What makes a Queen into a PHAROH?
A lot. It takes desire. Will. Guts.
It takes wisdom. Patience. Courage.
It takes experience. Connections. Resources.
It also takes…
If you’ve every heard of Hatshepsut, you’ve probably heard lots about her life. It’s hard to hear just a little bit about her and then stop. For some reason, a movie hasn’t been made about her life yet, but I’m sure it will soon for no other reason than every time I think of a great idea for a movie, it comes out in theaters a year later. But I digress.
Hatshepsut was raised to be a queen. With her royal blood and small family, she was groomed as a child to make decisions with dignity. She was raised learning the working of the Empire she called home. When her parents both died, she was left with most of the responsibility but without the title, for her little brother was actually supposed to succeed their parents. Why? Because he had a penis. And back in those days, that’s how these things went.
Well, not only did Hatshepsut maintain queenship instead of passing it off to a less qualified but more supported male: she proclaimed that she was Pharaoh! And not only that but that she was married to none other than G-O-D.
This marked the beginning of a time of great plenty in Egypt. She build grand building that are still standing today, and ares poems of splendor and longevity. She ran campaigns that went further from Egypt than any Pharaoh before her, and her armies brought back new riches in the forms of spices, plants, stones, and even fish!
Recently, they even confirmed which mummified body belonged to her, and it is carefully preserved. This is one chick with majooooorrr staying power.
What I think is most fascinating is the way she balanced femininity and masculinity.
Hatshepsut was undoubtedly feminine. She was God’s wife! That means she was essentially deferring her self as the focus, and defining herself in respect to her husband: God. She was not saying,
“I am the most powerful!” she was saying, “I love and loyally serve that which is beyond the power and goodness of anything we can imagine.”
Simultaneously, she wore a beard. She wore the headdress of a Pharaoh.
How did she reconcile these two things?
She simply did it. She fulfilled the requirements to state and “played the fame game” by wearing the official uniform. Like a politician wears a tie to give a state-of-the-union address. And she wore it for God! So that she could more fully serve her higher power, her higher purpose, her kingdom of Egypt and the greater kingdom in heaven.
She wears the beard like it is jewelry, because in fact, it is. Even when the male pharaohs wore the headpieces, they were decorative! So it makes me realize that any object at all that we choose to wear is a symbol. It is used to emphasize an idea. Hatshepsut, the wife of God, wore the idea of power in a man’s world, with a Mona Lisa smile on her noble face.