Egyptian authorities closed the Great Pyramid on Friday "following rumors that groups would try to hold spiritual ceremonies on the site at 11:11 A.M. on Nov. 11, 2011," reported the Associated Press.
A number of foreign groups have been planning to conduct New Age, spiritual ceremonies inside and near the Great Pyramid, Cheops, on November 11.
The Egyptian antiquities ministry, however, said the closure was for "maintenance" of Cheops and denied the move had anything to do with planned rituals.
The Associated Press reports:
The closure follows a string of unconfirmed reports in local media that unidentified groups would try to hold “Jewish” or “Masonic” rites on the site to take advantage of mysterious powers coming from the pyramid on the rare date.
Several foreign websites have been offering holistic tour packages (see here and here, for example) to visit Egypt around November 11.
One of them promised visitors to Egypt that an 11/11/11 sunrise trip to the pyramids would be a spiritual “journey of a lifetime”, and was “guaranteed to energetically enhance your life and accelerate your healing process.”
An alternative archeological group based in Poland, the Foundation for the Support of Archeological Research, had planned two ceremonies on November 11. One of them involved “human angels” that would place a special pyramid-shaped crystal inside the burial chamber of Cheops at 11am.
The astrological group claimed it had hypothesized through “soft science” methods, such as channeling and hypnotism, that the pyramids at Giza were built to warn future generations of a “great cataclysm” that could kill many people in 2011 or 2012.
The solution, they argued, was to hold a ritual “activating the energy of love, energy of the the Great Pyramids and the energy of crystals for earth protection.”
“The Great Pyramid can be activated by the energy of love and energy of crystals. The energy of love is the most powerful energy in the universe,” said Andrzej Wojcikiewicz, president of the Polish group, in a YouTube video that invited people to attend the ritual.
Wojcikiewicz said a separate hand-holding meditation ceremony would take place later on Friday night outside the pyramids complex to “send the energy of love towards those crystals.”
Here’s Agence France-Presse on the significance of 11/11/11:
Thousands of people plan to meet at the time around the world for ceremonial dances, and several pages devoted to the date have appeared on social networking website Facebook. Some attribute the number 11 to paranormal powers that provide a channel of communication with the subconscious, others see a mystical connection between the number and disasters, like the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Egypt’s state-funded Al-Ahram Online reported that some Egyptologists were insulted by the “childish” rituals of the foreign organizations, many of which claim that the pyramids were built by “more advanced” civilizations.
Other Egyptians seemed to agree.
“Personally I do not believe in 11.11.11 or 2012 and I also believe the Pyramids should be respected and left alone away from these parties , fashion shows and concerts because I do not think those who designed and built the pyramids from thousands of years ago wanted it to turn in to a backstage for silly shows,” wrote the Egyptian blogger Zeinobia earlier this week.
Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities confirmed the pyramid closure to AFP, but said the move was made for “maintenance” purposes following a long religious holiday during which many visitors entered the chamber.