Magick in Egypt is both powerful and weak. There are several
millennia of magick beneath the land and the population has widely
differing beliefs; in some places magick is so easy to perform that it
is dangerous, in others only certain styles are acceptable and here
and there there are veritable null pockets where nothing works due
to ancient prohibitions or strange paradox effects. There is no
general rule other than: magick that is done in harmony with the
place works, magick that is in disharmony tends to get very messy
(the Law of Maat).
Today the paradigm is largely modern Arabic, with some strong
western influences in the large cities and of course along the tourist
routes. But just a few steps away there are the villages of the Copts
and Fellahin, where the paradigm is much gentler to at least hedge
magick. And in the ancient sacred sites, when the archaeologists
and tour guides are gone, the paradigm shifts back in time to the
The Spheres in Egyptian Magick
For almost all magickal work ("Hekau") in the ancient Egyptian
paradigm, true names were used. These names were all known by Thoth
and Isis, who were the main gods of magick.
Interestingly enough, Correspondence was a very rare sphere
among the ancient Egyptians. It was first discovered/created by
Imhotep, who taught it to the priesthoods of Thoth and Ptah. In
time it became the hallmark of the sacred architects, who in time
connected with the Hellenic mathematicians.
In Egypt correspondence parallel to the Nile is much stronger than
Typical foci: Astrology, measuring ropes and poles, geometrical
Gods: Imhotep, Thoth
Never a popular sphere, but sometimes used for destructive magick
and in its form as destiny for blessings or curses.
Typical foci: Sand, water
Gods: Set, Nepthys
Another relatively little used sphere. The most common use was to
protect against the heat of the sun.
The Egyptian gods and priests excelled at Life. Changing form,
becoming animals and plants, bringing forth growth and healing,
controlling animals and even resurrecting the dead was fairly well
Foci: Water, ointments, amulets
Another fairly often used sphere. There are many Egyptian spells
for animating clay figurines or giving dead matter various useful
abilities such as acting as wards, tools or sentient beings, or for
controlling natural phenomena, especially water (dividing the sea
was known long before Moses). Most Egyptian matter magick was
on a fairly human scale; for the monuments plain craftsmanship
was usually used instead.
Foci: Clay, tools, body fluids
Not widely known outside the priesthood of Thoth. This was the
magick of knowledge and secrets.
Foci: Writing, secret words
The ability to name things into reality. Quintessence was abundant
in the ancient eras and especially in the Nile valley; most pattern
magick didn't need any Prime components at all, just naming a
pattern was enough. However, the sacred architects developed
Prime magick to create effects that would strain even the fairly
flexible reality around them, and as the quintessence levels slowly
waned their knowledge became more and more essential for all
Foci: True Names, architecture, water
God: Thoth, Maat
Egyptian mages traversed the spirit worlds freely, and regularly
dealt with the lands of the dead. In many ways Life and Spirit were
the main spheres of most Egyptian mages.
Foci: statuettes, prayers, mummification tools
Gods: Anubis, Osiris
Timekeeping was vital for the Egyptians, as was basic divination.
But time control was never developed far; possibly the closeness to
mythical time and the stasis of the society made it unnecessary.
Foci: astrology, Nile water
Gods: Khonsu, Sothis, Thoth
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