This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
I don't find it surprising that Egyptian magic is so influential on the western mystery tradition. I suppose I'd also say it figures muchly in GD* because it is so effective. Not surprisingly Egypt was famous in the classical world as the "most advanced" of magical cultures and internal evidence backs this up. There is hardly any technique in magick of the modern period that doesn’t have a precedent in Egypt e.g.: wax image spell, encircling, cardinality, and importance of colours especially red, The earliest "graded course of magick" / the Corpus Hermeticum - is essentially a summary of the Egyptian magical religion of its time - and has an Egyptian context for example Hermetic texts are found at Nag Hammadi (in Egypt). The earliest grimoires have an Egyptian connection (See Testament of Solomon) and often continue to make reference to their source e.g. Goetia says the spirits speak in the Egyptian tongue, Abramelin has Egyptian authorship etc., Important aspects of Kabbalah originate in Alexandria, an Egyptian city, Kabbalah also seems to incorporate many Egyptian religious concepts. Some of this is obscured by the fact that Egypt was colonised by Greece and later Rome. It is also the historical "contrary" of Israel which perhaps contributes to its erasure from intellectual history, the famous closure of its temples and suppression of its ancient language There is a prophesy in the CH that after the destruction of "The temple of the world" the Egyptian magical religion will one day rise again in the west - and this is part of the purpose of modern magic. For written work may I tentatively recommend material on my portal and indeed my books www.ombos.info But then again some, such as Christopher Lehrich view "Ægypt is a pretty myth, and one that still resonates with a great many people in this (post)modern age." And that ....there is no provable connection between Kabbalah and Ancient Egypt. And that “The connections between such grimoires as the Solomonic keys, which are clearly of Medieval and not ancient origin … and have no ties to Ancient Egypt.” Which makes me think the above views "might" fall in the category of the reductionist of Egyptian magical religion and indeed reflect the old classical bias that still exists in some classics departments but is become less common in Egyptology where there is much new research I think its maybe the kind of thing that needs more discussion in a forum such as ours which is trying to make a new start in study of magickNot all grimoires are medieval as recent studies, including Owen Davies’, show although I think he makes a small error where he talks about nature of late Egyptian religion but that doesn't negate his general thrust. Most seem to agree that the Testament of Solomon is late classical and certainly incorporates Egyptian theories e.g.: the decanal spirits
Here's an interesting lecture on the dating of TOS: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/divinity/rt/otp/guestlectures/harding/ The flowering of QBL may well be the middle ages but although its not really my area - I thought its origins were in the late classical world - including Alexandria ? I can certainly recognise Egyptian elements in it - and AFAIK it's own foundation myth cites the sojourn of the Hebrews in Egypt - I.e. Joseph and his brothers; Moses the Egyptian etc?? But then again there are still those who insist that it’s all about “an exotic culture [Egypt] receiving projections - the Greeks and Romans 'projected' magical virtues onto Persian and Jewish culture in the same way, but the elements of magical practice were not necessarily even foreign. They maintain that the Egyptian elements of the Corpus Hermeticum are just local colour and are mostly outweighed by those of Babylonian and Greece. And yes it is true that Greeks & Romans projected an image onto the Egyptian priests - which they in turn adopted - as it enabled them to earn a living as magical practitioners at a time when normal ways of earning a livelihood were restricted by their colonial masters - previous scholarship tended to use this to argue there that's all there is - i.e. the exotic persona but nothing more - which seems to me reductionist and steadily proved wrong by new research see for example Jacco Dieleman "Priests, Tongues and Rites" - I think many modern commentators may have subconsciously adopted this classical bias . . . For a definitive summary of Egyptian magical techniques see Robert Ritner "Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical practice" which includes the material on encircling and circumambulation in Egyptian magick - a good example of which is the ubiquitous image of the cartouche - in which the name of the king is encircled as a protection etc The CH is indeed a synthesis but there are many strong arguments for a substantial Egyptian component - (whereas it used to be argued there was NO Egyptian component whatsoever apart from a bit of local colour). New editions and new discoveries of Hermetic texts have tended to underline the Egyptian context - the material on the decanal spirits being the Egyptian contribution to astrology, the centrality of the sun, the material on activating statues and fetishes, the prophesy and indeed the whole philosophy of language (see again Dielemann, and Garth Fowden, David Frankfurter et al) Yes indeed the Testament of Solomon is written in Greek and is a synthetic text - the argument is whether it is contemporary with the PGM (Papyri Graecae Magicae – a ancient “grimoire” or “Book of Shadows”) rather than some sort of medieval forgery, and whether is has any authentic Egyptian magical components. A “testament” as in “will” is an Egyptian technique with a long pedigree and certainly Ring Spells, like those it contains are common in Egyptian magick. But the section on decanal spirits, thought perhaps an interpolation, is a very characteristic Egyptian text.
Perhaps the Egyptian component that features in many later grimoires shows continuation of a tradition - given the Egyptian context of the earliest grimoires and indeed Hebrew magick (Cairo Geniza)? QBL has strong Neo-Platonic elements for sure but Neo-Platonism is itself reliant upon Egyptian wisdom, so for example Iamblicus claimed to be been taught by Egyptian priests and discusses their philosophy and magick - i.e. it’s the same source. The PGM is indeed a compilation of magical texts from various sources, the magical library of an Egyptian priest from Thebes who was fluent in all the languages used shows that the reputation for the Egyptian mages was no mere exotic thing but based on their grasp of the subject. (See again Jacco Dielemann) Some may dislike the idea of Egypt as a colony, first of Persian, then Greeces and later Rome. We’ve been taught that Greece & Rome were great, civilising empires; the antecedents of our own “great” British or French empires? Even so many modern studies have recognised that the Greeks operated a system of "apartheid" in Egypt - yes the native Egyptians initially welcomed Alexander the Great - but what was the alternative? We can say they had a love / hate relationship with the Greeks who were marginally better than the Roman - So for example the early Christians successfully exploited the Egyptian hatred of the Greeks, associating it with the demonised god Seth (at that stage associated with foreigners) - I think the background to this is in David Frankfurter - if anything the modern obsession would be to assume countries enjoy being part of great empires such as Greece & Rome and its modern avatar the British or French. I think we can all agree that there are lots of streams that flow into modern magick including all the stuff that surfaced in the renaissance & before but also the new material post Napoleonic wars etc, My interest happens to be in the Egyptian current which has only really been fully revealed post Golden Dawn and more than justifies a modern practitioner's "obsession". Feb. 2010
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.