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TITLE ~ Queen of Heaven: The Life and Times of Mary Magdelene

Chapter 19

     It had been a tearful departure from Socotra. Once they had set sail, a depression descended upon the ship and the crew. The Heart of Isis seemed to have no soul without the presence of the irrepressible handmaids. Even with Alexander by her side, Miri felt alone and lost. She was constantly on the verge of tears, and Alexander, though he had tried as best he could, could not expunge her grief. She rose to eat when necessary, but took no pleasure in the eating. She had no wine with which to dull her pain. Her listlessness was reflected by the crew, and Alexander grew increasingly frustrated by the low morale aboard the ship. Miri sought refuge in sleep, each time praying to the Great Mother that she would awaken and find Portia and Drusilla racing madly about in some mindless game they had created to while away the moment.

     But it was not to be.

     Before embarking, the crewmen had sacrificed to Poseidon, as well as Auset, for they were as Greek in habits as they were Egyptian. Amon and others were also propitiated, and wine and beer poured into the surf. True to her word, Tanis sent the southwesterlies and the winds filled the sails of the Heart of Isis. Her sails full and blossoming, the ship plunged through the Erythrian Sea. Porpoises leaped in her bow wave, heralds of Poseidon, and the hearts of the men lifted. Fish of all sorts swam for protection beneath the shadow of the hull, and supplied the crew with fresh food.

     For three days they held fast to the coast, but a high sea forced them into a small bay for shelter, and to be safe from the waves, they beached the Heart of the Isis once more. The storm lasted two days, and on the third morning, all hands crawled from their shelter in the ship and took to digging a trench about the ship so that the high tide would fill the depression and float the Heart free.

     Miri, Alexander and Sylvanius decided to search the cliffs for game in hopes that they would find an antelope worthy of sacrifice before they set sail once more.


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