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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Egypt

DEFINITIONS

Egypt: A country in North Africa considered part of the Middle East. Known formally today as the Arab Republic of Egypt, it is popular today among mystics, occultists, and magicians due to its ancient, highly developed civilization and the amazing remnants of that civilization, the massive temples, burial memorials, pyramids, and mighty sphinx.

The pictographic written language of the ancient Egyptians in the form of hieroglyphs amazed both archeologists and occultists. Many occultists made assumptions (sometimes wild assumptions) as to the meaning of the symbols even before the key to their decipherment, the Rosetta Stone, was translated (originally by Thomas Young in 1814 but expanded on and credited to Jean-François Champollion in the 1820s). Mystical and spiritual texts were often translated literally, making them seem foolish. Thus, Aleister Crowley reinterpreted a text that had been described as the “Headless One” as the more mystically appropriated “Bornless One.”

Egypt has been credited as being the source of many kinds of magic. Some of these ideas are legitimate, while others are highly questionable. Some place the origination of the Freemasons and at least one Rosicrucian group in ancient Egypt. Occult groups such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Ordo Templi Orientis use Egyptian symbolism and ideas in some of their rituals.Donald Michael Kraig


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