Did she live before?

The Search for Omm Sety by Jonathan Cott

 Omm Sety

“After all, it is no more surprising to be born twice than it is to be born once.” Voltaire

 I’m not sure how I found this book. It was mentioned in some reading I was doing and luckily although it was first published in 1987, I was able to get a copy. This is a reincarnation story with a big twist. The New York Times once referred to Omm Sety as “one of the Western World’s most intriguing and convincing modern case histories of reincarnation.” And it is.

Dorothy Louise Eady (1904-1981) at age three fell down a flight of stairs at home and was pronounced dead by a doctor. The doctor left to make arrangements for the body and upon returning had quite a shock finding Dorothy sitting up, awake in bed. Over the next few years, the child started talking about wanting to go home. She was kicked out of Sunday school for comparing Christianity to an ancient religion and fared no better in regular school. Eventually, a priest visited and told her parents to keep her away from Catholic services. It was on a trip to the British Museum’s Egyptian rooms that things fell into place for Dorothy. There she saw a photograph and exclaimed, “There is my home!” She seemed to recognize the temple of Seti I. After that, she made frequent trips to visit the Egyptian collection eventually meeting E.A. Wallis. He taught her to read hieroglyphs.

Seti I

Seti I


From an early age Dorothy Eady was consumed by the desire to learn all things Egyptian. At 15, she described a nighttime visit by Seti I (in mummy form). She had vivid dreams of ancient Egypt and saw herself as a young girl. Troubled by her behavior and sleep disturbances, her parents placed her in sanatoriums but no real answers were forthcoming. As a teen, Dorothy began collecting Egyptian antiquities and, while performing with a theatre group, she played Isis in a production of the story of Isis and Osiris. In her twenties she went to work for a magazine that advanced Egyptian public relations and support for an independent Egypt.

In 1933, Dorothy married an Egyptian teacher and moved to Cairo. She reported that she felt that she was finally at home. It was here that she began to entertain the presence known as King Sety I. He came as a physical being that Dorothy could touch. Her mother who visited at one point also saw the form of the king, but mistook him initially for Dorothy’s husband. After the birth of her son, Sety, Dorothy’s behavior grew more concerning. She would get out of bed in a semi-trance state and sit at a desk and write fragmentary hieroglyphic messages.


Seti I Temple, Abydos


Over the year that followed, Dorothy transcribed the story of her previous life in Egypt. The being who related the story was known as “Hor-Ra”. The work ran about seventy pages written in hieroglyphics. In the Egyptian lifetime, Dorothy was known as Bentreshyt. She came from humble beginnings and was placed in the care of the temple at Kom el-Sultan. As a teenager, she took the vows to become a temple virgin. Eventually, she met Sety I and they began an affair. Bentreshyt was pregnant by the time the temple authorities became aware of the situation. In order to save Sety I from the shame of the affair, Bentreshyt committed suicide. Upon learning her fate, Sety I was inconsolable.

By 1935, Dorothy’s marriage had crumbled and she relocated to a town near the Giza pyramids taking a job as a secretary and draughtswoman for an archeologist. She also dedicated herself to writing articles and books about Egypt. Her work here made her a valuable asset and she later moved on to work with Ahmed Fakhry at Dashur. While there, she was known to make offerings to the gods of ancient Egypt and spend nights in the Great pyramid. Dorothy’s work there ended  in 1956 when Fakhry’s project ended. She was offered a well- paid job in the Cairo Records Office or a low paying position in Abydos. After consulting Sety I, she moved to the small town of Arabet Abydos and lived amongst the Egyptian people at a subsistence level. Dorothy now became known as “Omm Sety” (mother of Sety)  as was the custom of villagers to refer to women by the name of their oldest child.


Abydos site. Photo: Merlin-UK

Omm Sety’s current incarnation was now living where Bentreshyt had lived during the Sety I reign. Her visitations with the king continued here and much more is disclosed. Two tests of Omm Sety’s  reincarnation story happened here. In the first, she was asked to locate a particular wall painting at the Temple of Sety in the dark. She accomplished this during a time period when no publication had yet to divulge where the particular painting was in the complex. The other test concerned the location of a garden at the temple. Omm Sety had insisted from childhood that there was a garden at the temple and it was while she was living in Abydos that a garden matching her description was excavated. Omm Sety lived out the rest of her life pursuing her Egyptological studies, integrating into the local community, and practicing her ancient religion. She garnered the respect of the Egyptologists she worked with for her knowledge and integrity.

The Search for Omm Sety is a fascinating read about a woman who lived her life passionately believing she had once lived as an Egyptian priestess. There is much more to the intimate story of her and Sety’s relationship in this life for those wishing to pursue it. It’s a curious tale more powerful than many fictional stories about reincarnation.





Filed under Book Review, Uncategorized

27 responses to “Did she live before?

  1. There are so many reincarnation stories, Ellis – but very few as detailed and persuasive as this one. From my own – limited – personal experience of such matters, I think it is possible that we may pick up on residues of other people’s lives, which are not necessarily our own – the Akashic record theory, I guess…I’ve Shared this on one of my Facebook Pages. Thanks for posting it.


  2. This sounds really interesting!


  3. Sebastian Hayes

    Very interesting. I am sure there is something in these reincarnation stories though they can also be interpreted, not as reincarnations but as some sort of visitation of previous lives not necessarily one’s own, like haphazardly fiddling with a radio and getting a hitherto unvisited radio station. My partner, June Mitchell, sees strange figures in the carpet, always the same, and, by using a pendulum, I have ‘ascertained’ the names of the persons, era and part of their life stories. There is an older man who is a Persian (Parthian) official at the time of the Emperor Hadrian, extremely anti-Roman, with an ailing daughter who has converted to Christianity against his wishes, and he has an adopted son who wants to marry her. I could write a novel about them. But since this period in ‘Persia’ is little known, has few records, it seems impossible to disentangle fact from fiction.
    It is conceivable that a ‘knock on the head’ made Omm Seti more receptive to influences, this does not necessarily invalidate them. Sebastian Hayes


    • Yes, I’ve also read about the theory that we are tapping into the Akashic records (or the Greater Unconscious) and pulling these details through as personal. It gets even weirder when some people report simultaneous past lives.


  4. Sounds like a good read, I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very, very interesting. I’ve long been tempted by reincarnation theory, ever since my own early experiments with age regression hypnosis, and I firmly believe there are other dimensions at work than time. Perhaps head trauma pulled a trigger in this woman’s brain that bridged the space between lives; and it begs the question: where is she now?


    • Yes, she’d probably be happiest back in Egypt. But she could be any twenty-something. Or not even back on this plane. Kind of spills over to thinking where are your own family members who have passed. There are some compelling reports of older generations coming back as grandkids.


  6. herongrace

    I read this book years ago and it made a lasting impression on me. I lent it to someone lost it and years later thankfully came across a copy which is on reread 1 day list.
    The Elisabeth Haich Initiation book is also very thought provoking and I recommend it.
    On reading a bit on early Egyptologists, 1800s, 1900s, it was not uncommon for them to be obsessed with Egypt from a very young age and love to visit museums and study the artefacts.
    The guy who deciphered the Rosetta stone Jean Francois Champollion being 1 of them.
    I think many people remember pieces of past lives there as 1. it was an era that lasted a very long time.
    2. They may have been very colourful and influential lives
    3. We may have been trained in the use of memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Virginia Wilber

      I’ve read both books years ago and they both reaffirmed my belief in reincarnation. Plus I have remembered at least 2 past lives of my own. When my husband and I were at Ushmal (sp) – in the Yucatan – I saw the two of us walking ahead of our current selves. My husband saw them also. We were both men in that lifetime.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ebrahim

    No, this was shortly before her death and she was not in good health or very mobile. She proudly showed a military body bag that she said she wanted to be buried in. I visited Aybdos again a few years ago and an Um Seti tourist industry was in place with hawkers were selling copies of her portrait. The person who said he had responsibility for her estate showed me her ‘library’ – mainly paperbacks which travelers had given her as well as unpublished manuscript titled “Ramsis II – Democrat or Despot” which he said he hoped could be published by the American University in Cairo. I made a donation for her grave marker.


  8. An interesting story. But it also leaves the very real possibility that she received brain damage when she was three. In which case, she got pregnant from a normal man who cruelly played along to take advantage of her. Unless you’re implying head trauma is good from a spiritual standpoint?


    • Her husband did not play along. He hated the bizarre things that went on and divorced her taking the child. I suppose trauma is possible but her intellect was fully intact. She made meaningful contributions to the field of Egyptology which are still respected today.


  9. Are you acquainted with Elisabeth Hiech´s The Initiation?
    A similar tale. Quite astounding in fact.


  10. Ebrahim

    She was a remarkable person – met her in the late 70s


  11. Eliska

    You can buy this book bei Gaddis in Luxor, by Winter Palace. It is fantastic.


  12. This sounds like a real interesting story, I am fascinated by reading about her. Thank you for sharing , Ellis. I now have look for the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on Supernal Living with Dana Taylor and commented:
    Ellis Nelson visits the fascinating life of Dorothy Eady.


  14. Thank you. I’m going to look for this book. sd


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