Egyptian Meditation Room at Ruscombe

by Dr. Bob Hieronimus

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The Egyptian Meditation Room was five years in the making and was made possible through the generosity of Mari Haskins Milholland of Richmond, Virginia. Mrs. Milholland provided the funds, guidance and artifacts (both reproductions and authentic) for the room. She is the former Mrs. Edward V. Milholland Jr. and previous resident of Sutton Place, New York. Mr. Milholland retired as Captain in the Naval Reserve and passed on in April 1977. Former resident of Baltimore, he was the son of Dr. Edward V. Milholland Sr., prominent Baltimore physician, and was awarded the Silver Star in The Battle of Leyte Gulf, in the Pacific.

The Egyptian Room is a tribute to the Pharaoh AKH-EN-ATON (c. 1350 B.C.) who was the Pharaoh TUT-ANKH-AMEN's predecessor. It was he who almost single handedly transformed the ancient Egyptian priesthood of AMON-RA from polytheism to monotheism. AKH-EN-ATON supported the concept of the oneness of all humanity.

The work in the Egyptian Room was completed under the direction of noted Baltimore artist Robert R. Hieronimus, President and Founder of Ruscombe, Inc., Savitria, and co-founder of AUM Study Center, a teacher and philosopher whose central interest is in the effect on consciousness of two-dimensional forms. This accounts for his research and study of symbols, and his teaching, writing, and painting in the symbolic/allegoric manner. He received his B.S. at Towson State College (1965), his D.F.A. from the World University (1973), Tucson, and is a research fellow of the Humanistic Psychology Institute. His publications include: The Two Great Seals of America (revised edition), The American Flag, A New Constellation, Bicentennial Mural Guidebook, The Apocalypse Mural Guide (Johns Hopkins), Baltimore the Gastronomic Capital of the Universe Mural Guide (Lexington Market), Elisha Tyson, The Man and Mural, and Locust Point's All America City Mural.

Special thanks to Jennifer Gibbs, whose skill and endurance completed the final work.

Ruscombe, Home of the Egyptian Room

The Egyptian Room resides in the West wing of the Ruscombe community. The community's name (meaning "enclosed field") was derived from the lane upon which it resided until the arrival of the Coldspring New Town. The lane received its name from James W. Tyson, previous owner of the property, after the estate of William Penn in Berkshire, England. James Tyson was the great-nephew of Elisha Tyson, a Baltimore Quaker, philanthropist, abolitionist, and patron of cultural, social, and educational reform.

AUM Esoteric Study Center

The Egyptian Room is the outgrowth of the basic philosophy of the AUM Center, which has resided at Ruscombe since 1970.

The TUT-ANKH-AMEN Throne Chair

The most fascinating piece of the Egyptian Room is a full-scale exact replica of the Golden Throne Chair of TUT-ANKH-AMEN, which was hand-carved in Cairo by one of the art guilds. The original Throne Chair has never left Egypt and, of course, is therefore not included in the fifty-five-piece exhibit of TUT-ANKH-AMEN's treasures now touring several American cities. The back of the Golden Throne Chair of TUT-ANKH-AMEN is a significant item of his treasures. It is significant in two ways. One, it presents the sensitive, emotional realism of the art of this period, influenced by the philosophy of AKH-EN-ATON. Here, TUT-ANKH-AMEN and ANKH-SEN-AMEN, his wife, portray in the natural, relaxed forms, the loving attitude of the whole family of AKH-EN-ATON. Two, the Throne Chair of gold is important to show an example of the ATON, the One Universal God, in symbolism, extending hands of benevolence to all Men. It shows TUT-ANKH-AMEN's loyalty to this concept of religion of the ATON, despite his supposed loyalty to the Amen Priests of Thebes. This beautiful Throne Chair is in dazzling colors. (The sheer finely pleated linen of dress is typical of the 18th Dynasty.)

The winged cobras serving as arms for the Throne Chair symbolize Divine Wisdom. The lion's head and paws signify Kingship, and the interweaving of the papyrus and lotus blossoms in the bottom of the chair are emblematic of the uniting of upper and lower Egypt into one Nation.

Of special importance also is the appearance of the royal cartouche in the arms of the Throne Chair, showing the former name of TUT-ANKH-ATON, which he later changed to TUT-ANKH-AMEN when he went to Thebes to rule. As the last member of the family line of AKH-EN-ATON, his original family name incorporated the ATON, TUT-ANKH-ATON, but when he ascended to the Throne to save it, he changed it to TUT-ANKH-AMEN to appease the Priests of Amen at Thebes. For nine years he tried unsuccessfully to hold the Throne in the true faith of the One God of AKH-EN-ATON's teachings. HOR-EM-HEB had him killed, usurped the Throne and destroyed as many of his buildings as he could, and obviously thought no trace of him would remain of his hastily constructed tomb. It is said that those workers who had any knowledge of the tomb and burial were killed. Many think this accounts for the small size and unpretentious arrangement of the tomb, and the disorder in which Howard Carter found the treasures jammed in confusion.

Weighing of the Souls Drama

Directly behind the Throne Chair is a scene taken from The Egyptian Book of the Dead, believed by some to actually be an important ritual in the initiation of the aspirant to higher states of consciousness.

The Egyptian believed a Man's integrity was his heart, not his brain -- "as a man thinketh in his heart;" that God recognized what was in a man's heart. At death, the heart was removed with the other viscera, and placed in the separate Jar, which is the hieroglyph for heart, called the AB. In this scene, the heart is balanced on the pans of the Scales against the Feather of Truth. Thoth, in the symbolic ibis-headed figure, the Guardian of the Dead, attends the Weighing. Today, the Scales are seen in law offices.

The panel to the left depicts Queen Nefertari being conducted by Isis to the Scales before Osiris. Upon Isis's head is a crown composed of a Sun Disk cradled by the horns of a cow from which is attached a cobra, the symbol of Wisdom. Isis also wears a rolled chain on her breast and an amulet seen between her arm and back. She carries in her left hand the Divine Scepter. Queen Nefertari is appropriately dressed and wears over the Vulturehood the tall-feathered crown of the Divine Consort. Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramses II, is thus passing through this initiation.

Following the Weighing of the Souls, we find Osiris as King and Judge of the Dead, sitting upon a funeral chest. He wears upon his head the ATEF Crown and holds his usual emblems: the scepter, flail, and shepherd's crook. Around his neck if worn the Menat, or amulet associated with joy and pleasure. Behind him stand Isis and Nephtys, and before him, standing on a lotus flower, are the four children of Horus.

The North Wall

Above the mantle piece is a portrait of AKH-EN-ATON beneath the Sun Disk. Here, AKH-EN-ATON is seen through more sensitive, more endearing eyes than history has accorded him. It is a beautiful copy of one by Winifred Brunton in her book Kings and Queens of Ancient Egypt. This was painted by Marcia Slivette, a famous Virginia artist, now living in Switzerland. It has captured the soft wistfulness of a visionary, inspired soul.

Parallels exist between Jesus and AKH-EN-ATON's teachings, his tenets of Reformation, his purification of thought on the reality of God and Man, discarding the worn out dogmas and complicated Priestly Rituals of Superstition, to supplant them by the truth of this reality.

Almost identical is his message of Love to all Men, encompassing a more humanistic approach, one with a universal appeal to all human beings, that all Men were Brothers under the simple and loving care of the One Father God, that each was individualistic in his relation to the source, the One Creator. His simple ATON Disc, the symbol of the sun with streaming hands toward man, a purity of Monotheism in "no other Gods before him," that antedated the Judaic scriptures, "according" to Moses.

He moved away from Thebes, and built a city to this Glorification of God, and people flocked to his side in this new freedom of thought. His dream was short-lived. The power and the fury of the corrupt Priesthood of Thebes prevailed. Betrayed by his trusted HOR-EM-HEB, decreed a heretic by the old Priesthood of Thebes, identical to the reaction of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem to Jesus, and as he, his death in shame.

His city to God was destroyed, stone by stone, and all traces of his thought destroyed. The ones faithful to him and his teachings of the True Religion, were persecuted and killed. Thus began the first "exodus," people fleeing to the North. These perilous times of religious persecution, compared and equaled only by the infamous Inquisition of later European history.

Now, more than three thousand years later in the Aquarian Age, AKH-EN-ATON's influence is being felt for its importance to the drama of Egyptian history. Egypt is emerging, and the mystery of Ancient Egypt unfolds bit by bit. It emerges, a worldwide interest through the great science of archaeology.

Despite much controversy and dispute, AKH-EN-ATON's tomb and body have never been found. But there are existing new finds being unearthed today, in the huge Temple Complex of Karnak at Thebes, the Luxor of today. It had long been thought that AKH-EN-ATON did not have the power to build a Temple to the ATON (One God) in Thebes at Karnak, in the face of opposition of the Priests of Amen.

But, quite by accident, when the Ninth Pylon, built during HOR-EM-HEB's reign was being repaired for the safety of tourists, the work disclosed nearly forty thousand stones, most in their original color, hidden inside. All of them were instantly recognized as Temple Stones of AKH-EN-ATON and his family. This proved that a Temple had been torn down and the stones placed inside the Pylon as building blocks, in an obviously supposed oblivion. HOR-EM-HEB, it must be remembered, was the ambitious General who conspired with the Priests of Thebes for both the deaths of AKH-EN-ATON and of his successor, TUT-ANKH-AMEN, to usurp the Royal Throne. The National Geographic published an exciting issue of the work assembling these thousands of stones in their different categories by a modern computer system in Cairo.

To the right and left of the Sun Disk ATON are two vultures. In Egypt, the Vulture was Nekhebet, the Protecting Goddess of Births. Nekhebet has a cult center of her own on the right bank of the Nile at the city of Nekheb and remained the protective Goddess of Upper Egypt throughout the country's long history. The vulture symbolizes the transmitting power of Wisdom, whereby the personality of lower nature if consumed. She holds in her talons, the Ankh, a symbol of Eternal Life.

The East Entrance

The East entrance door is adorned with a map of the Nile River emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. If may be of interest to the observer that the land Egypt is the symbol of the Lotus.


To the Nile's right is the Zodiac of Denderah, which shows the constellations of this earliest time of the planet.

Thutmose III

Beneath the Denderah Zodiac is the kneeling figure of Thutmose III. He is sometimes referred to as the Napoleon of Egypt. Initially, he served as co-regent with his domineering stepmother, Queen Hatshepsut, under whose peaceful reign the arts and culture flourished. After fifteen years of "co-rulership," Thutmose III began his reign in time to still the advance of Egypt's ancient enemies. He made Egypt a world power. In many schools, he is honoured as having brought back the ancient teachings of the mystery schools of the 18th Dynasty. He is holding the AB (the Jar) thus offering his heart to God. His fairness in ruling concerned people as well as the administration of his Soldiers and Countrymen, which made him one of the most significant Pharaohs ever to appear on the Throne of Ancient Egypt.


To the left of the East door is a reproduction of AKH-EN-ATON making offerings to ATON.

The Cobra

On the base of the cabinets on the South wall of the room are depicted the Solar Deity Cobras, BUTO, resting over the hieroglyph for "lord." It will be noted that many of these Solar Cobras are on the back of TUT-ANKH-AMEN's chair.

On the windows is depicted Anubis, who was erroneously called a god. Anubis was designed as the Guardian of the Dead.

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