Heka: The Practices of Ancient Egyptian Ritual and Magic by David Rankine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Heka by Ceremonial Magician David Rankine is a very special book. Slender yet packed with information that will enlighten you of the Egyptian world view and magick. It is scholarly yet easy to read for the common lay man. In the Babylonian Talmud it is stated that God gave 10 measures of magic to the world 9 of those went to Egypt.
Heka is the magical power that is inherent in every being, human, animal and plant. There are some being that have more Heka then others. It is said the dead have a very powerful Heka even more of it then the living. Gods have the most. In the earthly physical realm it is said that dwarves and people with red hair have very strong heka.
The magical power of Heka is executed through the power of the spoken word. Incantations and spells had as their most powerful component the spoken word. Words that were spoken had the power top shape reality. Heka was also the name of the God of Magic. Magic was Heka’s main thing.
Heka was not the only magical God. Thoth who was also a god of learning and wisdom as well as a lunar god was a god of magic. Isis, who learned Re’s name stole magic from Re and thus had the power of creation. Having someone’s name meant that you had power over them. There were three of four gods that are supposedly creator Gods depending on which part of Egypt you are talking about. Some parts say it was Re, others Amun and yet others say it was Ptah. It was said that Ptah created the world and universe with the utterances of his mouth.
The God Heka is considered to be the soul or Ka or Ra. Heka is sometime said to be the BA or Re as well. Heka thus uis the seeming magical and creative soul aspect of Re. Another possible sould or Re was the Goddess Maat. Pharoahs, priests and common citizens had a vested interest in maitianing the concept of Maat. Maat is then seen as the goddess of truth and the universal order over chaos. In may depictions she is called the Daughter of Re and stands directly behind him. As the religion evolved she too becamke part of his soul.
The book give a thorough over view of the creation story. Nuit was the sky and Geb was the earth. The creator god was jealous and so he command the sky called Shu to separate them. Thoth then a moon god somehjow created a five day gap where in they were able to birth out 5 children. One of them was Horus the Elder, Isis, Osiris and Set. The earth was also a primeval sea called Nun. From it came the Ben Ben or ann island. The five gods including Re was on a Solar Baque and ended up fighting Apohis the serpent .
Kheper is the beetle god who pushes Re across the sky in his sun chariot. He is also a guardian for the dead and is considered a protective god along with Sekhmet, Bes and Bastet. Scarabs were worn by the dead to protect them. In this life people wore then as well. In order to accom[pany Re the worshipper can light Frenakinscence in the morning, Myrrh in the afternoon and Kyphi at night.
The book is loaded. It has incense recipes that are simple and easy to make. There are table for all the god and day that are good for doing magic. The God table inform the reader what the God did and what things are associated with the god. There is a table of hours holy to the deities based on a twelve hour rotation and a chapter on the meaning of the colors. I can and will say that this book has all that and more.
Once you read this you will see how Egyptian Magic gave birth to Ceremonial Magic and Witch craft. Ideas like dietary restraction, cleanliness and circumcision were mentioned first in Egyptian scripture . Religions like Islam, Judaism and Christianity learned a lot from the Egyptians.
My one criticism is that the book could have been bit longer and delved into some of the numerous holidays the Egyptians had for their deities. But then perhaps that is a subject for another book..
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