Old World Egyptian Magic

Academicians from all over the world have proposed a theory that the ancient Egyptian magic is the precursor to almost all western magic and occult practices. Old Egyptian funerary books provide us a clue as to how a particular deity or god represented the dead souls! The power of magical words and utterances is a predominant feature of ancient Egyptian magical and occult practices. There was a firm belief that human beings could become deities or servants of gods; just have a look at those amazing texts, as Pyramid Texts or The Book of Dead, and you will understand how Egyptians perfected the art of magic and occult. Deities were seen as possessing heku, or magic, which is the cosmic power existing in the universe. Ancient Egyptian also believed that magic is the essential part of daily life and various religious practices that also relied on the aspects of divinity.

One of the amazing texts available in the world is the Coffin Text written exclusively for the dead to retain the magic that is already in the body and to gather more lately in the deceased stage.

Fact: Egyptians believed that a person had the ability to sit with the deity, when he or she possessed the memory to recite the names of all the gods and objects. In almost all cases, deceased soul was closely associated with the god Osiris. Ancient Egyptians also used a tool called historaloe to transit usefully to the afterlife, as did Osiris.   The healing rites for the dead also relied on establishing a contact with the deity so that the after life journey was made successful by the men of magic.

In Egyptian religious studies, the art of language and naming was too important ritual and it carried tremendous power in ancient Egyptian philosophy. The goddess Isis was so successful in curing Ra’s snakebite with her magical powers. In the year 2700 BC, one of the oldest known texts described the god Ptah creating the mind and the word by using the power of magic. The god Thoth provided words of magic in the ancient Egyptian magic, Egyptians call their native language as those words spoken by gods, and the available hieroglyphic records mention this as the writing of the sacred words.
Three most important religious and magic texts of ancient Egypt are:

  • The Pyramid Texts,
  • The Coffin Texts,
  • The Book of the Dead

All the above texts originate in the Egyptian pharoanic era of 3000BC to 2000BC. Words and names were the de facto standards for any magical ritual, while amazing lines of Hieroglyphs exerted a special effect along with magical powers. No wonder most of the funeral texts found written in hieroglyphs.

During the succeeding years of 2700BC and 1500BC, the Egyptians used heka, the magic to provide many benefits and advantages to the world. Many symbolic actions of heka exerted harmonious and useful effects. The most common practitioners of magic were the local priests, whom with their secret knowledge and skills, could yield considerable influence over the residents. They could also use ancient texts and treatise of magic preserved in local temples and libraries. Legends say that these men of knowledge could even inanimate objects to life and turn over the waters from a lake!

Royal lector priests also had a special role to play to protect pharaohs from evil influences and they even initiated procedures to help the deceased pharaohs to rebirth and reincarnation. By the end of first millennium BC, local priests gave away their sacred duties to professional magicians, also called hekau. However, the temple priests exerted tremendous capacity to heal dangerous disease like plague that was set on the earth by the god of plague, Sekhmet.

Egyptian history also gave shelter to low-level charmers and magicians called scorpion charmers, who used magic to get rid of poisonous reptiles like snakes, scorpions, lizards and insects. Surprisingly, even nurses and midwives also proved useful with their considerable magic skills in getting rid of many maternity related problems. Another class of practitioners of magic was 'protection-makers', who provided an efficient tool called Amulet; these people could be either male or female. Curiously, none of the magical techniques was rejected, either by the royal court or by priests.

Fact: The ancient Egyptians had plenty of both religion and surreal magic in their life; most of the Egyptians had two names against them, one for the public, while the other secret and known only by the mother. If you knew someone’s private name, you could easily perform magic against him or her.

Even though, magic was a daily routine for the purpose of healing and protecting people, many Egyptians also made it a point to use destructive magic technique to control and maim state enemies. When a destructive magic session was required to bring spell of bad tidings to the enemies of the state, their name was inscribed in clay pots, tablets figurines, toys and metal icons and later burned or broken or even buries in a remote cemetery. 

In the major temples across the land, there were regular curse ceremonies to curse enemies of deities by burning or maiming their images. Above all the fiercest gods of the cosmos joined to fight and destroy bad and demonic influences. During this period, those people, who hated or despised the pharaohs, were also cursed and ostracized to provide protection to the royal court. Legend says that a divine magic protected King Ramses III, by royal priests by making a series of potions, spells, verses, recitations and wax figurines and later cursing them with magical procedures.

Other popular objects used for magical spells were hair, nail clips, foot dust and body fluids. These items were the sole medium by which a bad magician or a sorcerer could use spells and curses to harm people. In fact, using a magical procedure by using the above-mentioned materials was illegal and the person, who used this procedure, was condemned to death as traitor.


What They Say

PicThat old black magic has me in its spell, That old black magic that you weave so well; Icy fingers up and down my spine, The same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine..."

by: Johnny Mercer

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