Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

November/December 2014 Gift Guide Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Egyptian Magic

This article was written by Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero on May 14, 2002
posted under Golden Dawn

Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex and beautiful balance of monotheism and polytheism, along with a good dose of pure magic. For the Egyptians there was no such thing as a separation between magic and religion. One ancient writer, Clement of Alexandria, said that "Egypt was the mother of magicians." The power that lay behind all magic was known as heka.

The Egyptians believed in one creator deity who was eternal, omnipotent, self-existent, and incomprehensible to the humans. This unknowable divinity was sometimes referred to by the name neter, the suggested meaning of which includes ideas of "god," "divine," "strength," and "renewal." The polytheism of Egypt manifested in the vast number of local and lesser deities. These deities were considered as the various aspects or attributes of the neter, manifesting in forms that could be visualized and comprehended by the human mind. Thus the goddess Isis was the divine femininity and creative force of the neter, while the god Thoth was the neter’s intellectual force, the god Horus was the neter’s strength, etc.

The Egyptian pantheon is heavily utilized in the Golden Dawn—more than any other. But in the Golden Dawn, it is the magical aspects of the pantheon, rather than the religious beliefs, that are employed. Another name for a magician is a theurgist or "god-worker." In ancient Egypt, the magician worked magic mainly through a form of self-identification, wherein the theurgist ritually identified himself with a particular deity. In later times this technique would come to be called the assumption of a godform. In the higher grades of the Golden Dawn, the theurgist learns to build up the image of a deity within the mind, and then "step" into it and assume its astral form. To perform this method properly, the magician needs to be balanced and experienced in visualization, vibration, and other psychic skills.

During all Golden Dawn induction ceremonies, the initiating Adepts assume Egyptian godforms in this manner. There is a godform for every officer who participates. There are also invisible stations where certain godforms are merely visualized. The reenactment of this myth represents the initiate’s spiritual rebirth into a greater life. The Neophyte Hall is based on the mythos of the "Hall of Judgment" from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The new initiate symbolically takes on the role of the deceased in the story, passing into the underworld of the god, Osiris, where his heart is weighed against the feather of Truth to determine if he has lived a good life and is worthy of joining with Osiris in the afterlife. The reenactment of this myth represents the initiate’s spiritual rebirth into a life of greater awareness.

Magical talismans had a prominent place in the heka of ancient Egypt. They continue to have a prominent place in the magic of today. In the First Order of the Golden Dawn student learns what symbolism is needed for the creation of talismans. In the Second Order, the student learns how to consecrate and use them.

Another aspect of Egyptian theurgy which would remain essential to magic throughout the long history of the Hermetic Tradition, was the importance given to divine names and words of power. The ancients believed that knowing the secret name of a deity conferred great power to the magician. In Golden Dawn, divine names are vibrated or powerfully intoned in such a way as to be felt throughout the entire body—a form of voice projection similar to that used by singers. It is not the name or word by itself is powerful—it is the amount of focus, feeling, and force that magician puts into it. "For by names and images are all powers awakened and reawakened."

When Lo Scarabeo asked me to create a Pagan-based casting kit, I was excited for a number of reasons. I love crystals. I love challenges. I loved the idea of creating a system that is complete in itself but also open to expansion and personalization. Although I wasn't sure what the kit and packaging would look like (sometimes a lot gets lost... read this article
5 Ways to Make Enlightenment Work in Everyday Life
The Lost Secrets of Western Magick Revealed
Communicate with Your Loved Ones in Spirit
Your Tickets to Past Life Exploration
Saved By the Goddess

Most recent posts:
The Spiritual Work of Winter
Winter is a time that we, in the Northern Hemisphere, naturally turn inward. Well, I should say that it would be the perfect time to turn inward, but...

To Fly in the Clouds, to Walk on the Water: The Grimoires and Magickal Super Powers
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...

3 Reasons to Be Self-Compassionate--And 1 Way to Do It
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Catherine Dowling, author of the new Radical Awareness. Compassion flows from spiritual experiences....




Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
$11.99 US,  $13.59 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $15.95 CAN
$11.19 US,  $12.76 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$8.79 US,  $10.00 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
$10.39 US,  $11.96 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.16 CAN On Sale!