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Magic in Ancient Egypt
November 01 2010
The essence of anything in ancient Egypt, was magical in natures purest sense. Life, death, water, earth, were all seen as being magical. Everything that was given life or was a part of creation itself, was magic in itself. The word for ‘Magic’ in ancient Egypt was ‘Heka’ but it is also the name of one of their Gods. He was a divine God with more power than any other God, he was The Devine force which exists in the universe, and which drives it. They sometimes called him ‘The Power of Power’ indicating an absolute power, he was also known as Lord of the Ka’s. The Ka was a significant part of all humans, if we had to find an English word for the word ka, it would be the word spirit. Much like our modern conception of a ghost, the Ka had no substance. Heka was said to have existed since the time of creation itself, and he is mentioned in the oldest Egyptian document ever found (so fare), which are the Pyramid texts. If he has been around since creation itself began, then we can easily conclude that he must belong to the Cosmos, being a God of the Cosmos. He is also mentioned in the Coffin texts, these texts were written inside the coffin of the deceased. It is interesting to note that he is both mentioned in the pyramid texts and the coffin texts, because it makes him a central character of the ancient Egyptian religion/belief system.
“Since I own a copy of both the coffin texts and the pyramid texts, I thought I find the statements and put them into this article, for a deeper detailed look into this God”.
Fig. 1 Picture I took at Dendera Temple
The Pyramid Texts
The Pyramid text is divided into paragraphs called Utterance’s, one could also classify them as spells. These texts are found on the walls inside some of the old Pyramids, hence the name: Pyramid texts :)
Fig. 2 Picture from inside Unas Pyramid.
Utterance 472. (Spell)
924a. To say: Heaven thunders, the earth trembles before N. 924b. N. is a magician; N. is he who is possessed of magic. 925a. N. comes that he may glorify S??, 925b. that he may cause Osiris to be at the head, that he may put the gods in their places. 925c. M?-??.f, bull of the gods,, bring this (boat?) to N., 925d. set N. on that side for life and joy.
“The name of the deceased is placed instead of the N.”
The Coffin Texts
The coffin texts are found on the inside of the ancient tombs.
TO BECOME A MAGICIAN (TO BECOME HEKA): O you nobles who are in the presence of the Lord of All, behold, I have come to you; respect me in proportion to what you know. I am he whom the Sole Lord made before there came into being the two meals on earth, when he sent his Sole Eye when he was alone, being what came forth from his mouth; when his myriads of spirits were the protection of his companions; when he spoke with Khopri, with him, that he might be more powerful than he; when he took authoritative utterance upon his mouth. I am indeed the son of Her who bore Atum, I am the protection of what the Sole Lord commanded, I am he who caused the Ennead to live, I am ’If-he-wishes-hedoes’, the father of the gods. The standard is high, the god is endowed in accordance with the command of Her who bore Atum, the august god who speaks and eats with his mouth. I have kept silence, I have bowed down, I have come shod [into the presence of] the Bulls of the sky, I have seated myself [in the presence of] the Bulls of the sky, in this my dignity of ‘Greatest of the owners of doubles’, the heir of Atum. I have come that I may take possession of my throne and that I may receive my dignity, for to me belonged all before you had come into being, you gods; go down and come upon the hinder parts, for I am a magician.
Fig. 3 Picture of the Coffin texts inside a wooden coffin.
He was normally portrayed as a man with the curved beard which was usually seen upon gods. In later Egyptian days, Heka was given a form of a child, rendering him to a ‘son’ of several divine gods. But in the earliest of times, he was also seen as a serpent god. “Many believe that the changes of character, is parallel to the animal life which lived around people in what ever given time”
Since Heka belongs to the time of creation, thus being a part of the Cosmos, he does not have a temple like many other gods. But his family line is very evident both in tombs and upon the ancient walls of the temples, as I will reveal to you within just a few moments. What I have given you of information so fare, is what’s called the normal information about the God Heka, but I will now move into both my way of seeing these old images, and a rather complex journey into a gods family line, again this is my personal view, my theories exc.
Fig. 4 The image above is a copied scene from the Book of Gates, which shows Ras (the Sun’s) nightly journey over the heaven. Heka is one of the boat crew members, which makes him a protector of the Sun.
“The image above, is the Boat, that Ra the Sun travelled in, across the night sky, while passing the night hours, to return yet again to light up a new day.” If you understand this, then you should recognize that it is astronomical idea or thought.
Fig. 5 The image above shows Horus and Hekau presenting Amen-hetep III., with a baby, and his double, to Amen-Ra, Lord of the thrones of Egypt, king of the gods.
The image above is more a political scene than a religious one. Hekau is normally translated to ‘words of power’ (The magician) which was the embodiment of Heka. It was thought that all the gods and goddess existed through and because of, the magical protection of Heka/Hekau.
“Actually there is an interesting ritual connected to Heka, which other religions might have borrowed from.”
Ancient Egyptian: They believed that it was vital for their soul to obtain some of the Gods and Goddesses words of power, which would make them able to exist like the Gods. In the earliest of time, they believe that to become immortal and to make the soul strong, one must eat the Gods themselves. “their words of power (Heka), and swallowed their spirits (khu).” • This was not to be taken literally but rather a symbolic ceremony
The Christian/Catholic : The Christian and Catholic seem to have some of the same elements embedded into their ceremony known as the Holy Communion. Here in Denmark, where they consider themselves to be Christians, the Children will begin to take lessons at church. I personally never took these classes, so I cannot explain what exactly is said, but it is preparation for the Holy Communion ceremony.
Fig. 6 Christ with the
“Back in the days I bought an old Bible from 1894, it gives the bible history in both words, but more specifically pictures of curtain important points.”
There are many connections from the old Egyptian religions mindset, which exist is other religions today. The ancient Egyptian also cherished the Trinity, the father, the mother, and the son. Some believe that in ancient Egypt the trinity was Osiris (father) Isis (mother) and Horus (son), but actually their conception of the trinity was seen almost everywhere.
“This article also offers you a trinity, a Trinity of the Universal spectrum. The Cosmos, the Star and the Earth bound body.”
If Heka was part of the Cosmos, then he did not belong to the earth, but he was seen on earth through another vital character, whom is known as Heket. We could say that here a divine family line begins.
Heka is the Male universal power of the Cosmos, Heket is the Female life (creative/creation) force
“The Earth Bound Goddess”
Fig. 7 I took this picture near the Dendera temple. It portrays the famous mythological scene of mankind's creation. “Also notice at the bottom of the picture.”
Heket, is the Frog Goddess many call Heka (even I at times call her that). But her real name is Heket, she is the female counterpart here on earth to the divine God Heka in the Cosmos. This made her a force of magical power itself, which we also see in the famous scene ‘the creation of mankind’. On the relief above, you see three central characters, namely Khnum (Ram headed God) Child (humans) Heket (Frog headed Goddess). Khnum is seen making mankind of clay, upon his potters wheel, Heka is seen kneeling in front of the potters wheel, she is holding the symbol of ‘life’ known as the Ankh-sign. Heket is holding the Ankh-sign very close to the clay models mouth, which leads me to conclude, that it is ‘the Breath of Life’ that Heket is giving to the lifeless clay body. “It is the creation myth of mankind.”
Fig. 8 The Ankh Sign.
In connection to being the giver of ‘the breath of life’ to mankind, she is also seen as a birth Goddess. But she is also mentioned in connection to the death of the deceased, because she acted as a guide from the earth to the deep blue heaven, which was above our light blue heaven. Heket (Heqet) is actually called by many names, and sometimes many of the gods and goddess are mixed in together, making it much harder to understand what nature, the ancient Egyptian gave them and for what reason. For instance Heket is also connected with Hathor, “As I was doing my research I found something else, which might be interesting to know.”
“But indeed there are more connection between the Frog goddess, and the Christian belief.”
I will quote the book;
Mr. E. A. Wallis Budge states in ‘The Gods of the Egyptian Vol. II:
“No. 20. : It is interesting to note that the frog-headed goddess Heqet (Heket), who was a form of Hathor, was connected by the Christians with the Christian Resurrection; in proof of this may be cited the lamp described by Signor Lanzone, whereon, he tells us, is a figure of a frog, and the legend:
“I am the resurrection.” No. 21. (see picture at the to of the next page) : Osiris, bearded, ithyphallic, in mummified form, and wearing the white Crown, lying on his bier, by the side of which stand Anubis, jackal-headed, and Heqet (Heket), frog-headed.
This gives you an idea of how complex the ancient Egyptian knowledge was, and how each element is entangled into another. The idea of life and death, was the most complex, for it was the souls journey home. So now you know that Heka was the Cosmos powerful force of existence in itself, and Heket (Heqet) was the Earths powerful force represented. The force which stood behind the woman’s power to give birth, sort to speak.
“Now we move into a further theory, which have more of my thoughts in it, than facts themselves. But my theories are based on a logical thought process, and with the lack of curtain knowledge about the Decans, one should be open to the possibilities, which might be proven or disprove one day.”
Could there be a star between the Cosmos God (Heka) and the Earth Goddess (Heket)?
The Decans are 36 in total, they are 36 specific stars, which the ancient Egyptian had incorporated into their calendar. The Decans are probably the hardest part to understand of their religion. People have translated some, but nothing in depth is really known about them. Their mythological history record is unknown, so many questions arises if we try to understand why they didn’t dedicate temples to them, when they seem like the time tellers themselves.
“Isn't time a magical tool to determine so many things?”
Fig. 9 I took this picture at Abydos, A beautiful relief of the hieroglyphic Frog sign
“The Decans, is the real mystery behind ancient Egyptian religion!”
Click the Link below to see a short video clip about the Decans
It was filmed by me on one of my trips to this ancient Holy land.
Fig. 10 I took this picture some years ago, you can see the Zodiac sign represented at the top and the characters below (in the picture), which are sailing in small boats, they are the Decans.
It would fit perfectly and with a kind of harmonic and balance which the ancient loved, if there was a Decan, which somehow represented the force of Heka/ Heket.
“I have both names and images of the 36 Decans, so it was easy for me to scan them through, to see if there was anything obvious.”
“There was a character (Decan) that jumped out as most likely, considering the God or Goddess has, what looks like a frog on its head.”
The exact knowledge behind the Decans, as I said, is lost. We can only read / see and do our very best to interpret it. Only when further papyrus scrolls with such information are found, will we be the wiser. “What is known about these Divine beings, belongs to a book by themselves, they deserve the study which it requires.”
Fig. 11 One of the Decans
November 01 2010
Research and theory presented by Karima Lachtane
The pictures in this article were ALL taken by Karima, otherwise it will state were its from, below .
God and Myths of Ancient Egypt By Robert A. Armour The Coffin Texts by R. O. Faulkner The Complete Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egypt By Richard H. Wilkinson The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. I. Vol. II. By E. A. Wallis Budge
(Fig. 5 - No. 20 - No. 21 - Fig. 11)
From Fetish to God in Ancient Egypt By E. A. Wallis Budge
(Fig.4) (Fig. 2– 3 borrowed from wikipedia)
This article was written and researched by Karima Lachtane. It gives you an idea of how Karima researches a topic and how she present the reader with an overall view, both in images and through her words.
“Everything leads to the Stars!”
“She is the Ideal Teacher, because she is the Eternal Student!”
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November 01 2010
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