Ancient Egypt provides us a treasure trove of religious, social, engineering and health related literature unsurpassed anywhere in the world. The Grand Old Library of Alexandria was one big facility that was the largest source of literary information and scholarly works during the middle Egyptian era.
A detailed study of ancient Egyptian religious literature provides us tons and loads of useful information on the topic of witchcraft and divine powers. Magic, sorceries and spells also formed an inalienable part of ancient Egyptian society.
Firm belief in magical spells, recitations and various other occult procedures made people to produce supernatural results and heavenly effects.
The Belief in the Power of Magic
An average Egyptian always believed in the power of magic to solve many of the most common problems relating to health, love, marriage, children, ghosts and evil spirits. The mysterious way and intensive care with which experts performed innumerable magic and occult ceremonies were amazing! As early as in the first phase of great Egyptian kingdoms, the art of practicing magic and spells was common among the royalty and ordinary citizens. There was a general belief that the earth has a very close relation with the ugly underworld, the sky and air with a countless numbers of visible and invisible beings, all of them either friendly and hospitable or enemy and inhospitable, depending on the conditions that were again favorable or unfavorable to men.
In the ancient Egypt, witchcraft was completely scientific and orderly. Though, it was heavily sprinkled with religious flavor, its practice was very precise, systematic, artistic and highly organized. Ancient mythologies religious texts, magic manual and occult sheets provided us an invaluable clue on the importance of occult science as a day-to-day activity. Egyptian witchcraft and occult practices also depend on various other subjects like alchemy, astrology, astronomy, herbal medicines and animal concoctions. The person who was a consistent practitioner was an expert, and he or she could proudly announce that there was the cream of the society.
The Fear of Magic and Protection
Old world magic in Egypt did enforce a sort of profound fear among the ordinary people, who made it a point to purchase amulets, herbs, magic potions and other similar things from magicians and sorcerers; most of these things were purely for protecting the life, home, farm and other personal goods from those invincible ghosts and spirits. Magical procedures and practices insisted on “speaking right”, meaning that one needed to repeat the magic formula and utterances in the right manner and the same way, even to the tenor of the voice!
The Book of the Dead
The much celebrated Book of the Dead states that the main gates to distant, other world will never open to you, until you know your secret name or when you utter it an incorrect manner.
Egyptians were the first people to maintain and chronicle a number of superb books containing innumerable formulae, incantations, recitations, verses, poems, spells, charms and magical utterances for daily use and for special purposes. People found them very useful in the daily lives. One such tool was amulets that were very important for a number of purposes; amulets worn by the living people gave protection from ghosts and spirits, while when put on the dead souls, they saved them from bad influences. Amulets are those intuitive pieces of instruments made by using any materials and some of them carved with magical formulae. Amulets also came in a number of shapes and sizes like scarab and heart. Amulets also came in different forms just to protect different parts of the body.
Egyptian history is also a big book of magic and occult, as it the science of magic appears in details even during the era of Great Moses and his brother Aaron. Exodus provides a graphical detail of the intense duel between these two brothers; just remember the famous incident of stick turning into a snake. Moses’ influence also included such things as pest infestation, plagues, and darkness during the day and torrential rains in the entire Egyptian territories. Incidentally, the appearance of plague through out the country is a manifestation of God’s fury and punishment.
King Solomon was a magician indeed, as mentioned in the book, The Wisdom of Solomon. This book provides details on how God gave him special powers including the capability to perform magic and occult. King Solomon had a great power to control even the most powerful demons. King Solomon is also a known expert in exorcising ghosts from human bodies.
Solving Problems with Egyptian Magic
Egyptian witchcraft and pharoanic magic had a profound influence on ordinary people, as they relied on such powers to provide them solutions to even the most difficult problems. Egyptian witchcraft also relied on a set of rigid and sound principles that controlled both mortal and immortal world. In essence, Egyptian witchcraft mainly aimed at creating:
Transfer of power heavenly, supernatural and surreal being to mortal men
Thus, the principles of Egyptian Pharaonic witchcraft enabled humans to get superhuman and supernatural strength and capacity, to become a mighty, powerful, original possessor of the supernatural powers.
The main goal of Egyptian witchcraft was to empower men with means and methods of making or compelling both demonic and friendly powers to do or perform what they wanted or wished, whether such forces wanted it or not!
Religion in Early Egypt
Religion in Early Egypt had a profound and deep influence on the pharoanic magic practices and in fact, both existed side by side in a peaceful coexistence for many thousands of years. In reality, the magical powers exclusively belonged to men of religion and the one who was skilled in the art, science of magic was invincible, and his or her capacity was almost boundless and eternal. The domain of Egyptian witchcraft and occult was divine and surreal; a person who was an expert in the field was an immortal both by the deeds and by life.
Men of magic in Ancient Egypt used to utter or recite some important words in a systematic manner and deep intonation to heal sick people, by curing the incurable diseases, spell off the ghost residing in the body and restore the dead soul back into the physical body. They could even converse with the dead souls to provide them power to get rid of their guilt and sins to become saner bodies!
An ancient Egyptian magician or a sorcerer was proficient in many things like:
- Enabling mortal humans to assume various others forms and their souls into weird animals and creatures
- Converting non living things and images to become living and making them act as per magician’s wishes
- To make powers of natures like wind, the rain, storms, hurricanes, rivers, sea, volcanoes, dangerous diseases and ultimate death, to work on behalf of a magician, and to make them wreak havoc and cause considerable trouble to all enemies
- Uttering the most powerful word of the day “thoth”, to which everyone gave respect including godly things
- To invoke most powerful gods to help them achieve things those are beyond normal people’s comprehension.
Ancient Egyptian religion was a wonderful mix of amazing gods, holy rituals and a fair amount of pure magic! It was surprising to see that Egyptians never differentiated between religion and magic! It id true as that well-known Egyptian writer, Clement, proudly said, “Egypt was the mother of magicians”! Ancient Egyptians also believed that the extreme power that lay behind magic and occult was heka. Old Egyptians also believed in one God who as eternal and omnipresent was unfathomable to human beings.
Neter was the name given to the unknown divine power and Neter means “god”, “divine”, “supreme”, “great”, “strength” and “renewal”
All old-world Egyptian magicians worked and performed magical rituals by identifying themselves with a particular deity or lesser god. In other words, a magician assumed the god form by attaching himself or herself with the god.Magic used quite a bit of things from the religion like utterances, holy chants and prayers. The polytheism of Egyptian religion meant that Neter himself manifested in those local and lesser deities.
Fact: The great Goddess Isis was solely responsible for the creative force of Neter, while the God Thoth was Neter’s intellectual repository and the God Horus was Neter’s strength!
Did you know? That another name for magician was a theurgist or “god-worker?”
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.
The Most Important Magical Texts of the Pharoanic Era
In Egyptian religious studies, the art of language and naming was also an 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.
The Later Years
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.
Destructive Magic in Historic Ancient Times
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 to help people. In fact, using a magical procedure by using the above-mentioned materials was mandatory, otherwise a spell would not work.