(2) The Buckle
(4) The Ladder
(5) The amulet of Nefer
(6) The amulet of the Shen
(7) The amulet of Safety
(8) Amulet of Life
(9) Amulet of the Heart
(10) Amulet of the Pillow
(11) Amulet of the Scarab
(12) Amulet of the Vulture
(13) The Collar of Gold
(14) The Papyrus Sceptre e campaigns. They would lead, he had said, to certain liberation from the Italian yoke. All this—and much else—he had heard from the Singing Sands.
Near the Kom el Hettam, the mound of sandstone, which marks the site of the once-famous palaces and temples of Amunoph III, are two sitting Colossi. One is heard apparently to chant at sunrise. Others say that this is more like the sound of a breaking harp-string. Many explanations are, of course, given for this strange sound: that the Colossus was raised by Memnon, who had wonderful powers. He cured the sick miraculously, raised the dead, and daily at sunrise the winds made sure that certain words were repeated by his Colossus, giving the Salamdt (greetings). I was even told that when Memnon and certain of his High Priests return to Egypt they will first come to converse with this Voice. .. .
As opposed to this decorative and romantic story, the late Sir Gardiner Wilkinson explained that he had discovered a stone on the lap of the Colossus in question. Anxious to make some sort of test for himself, he ascended the figure and struck the stone with a small hammer. This sounded like brass being hit Sir Gardiner therefore states that only the striking of the stone causes the statue to appear to speak.
Similar metallic noises may be obtained by striking parts of the high rocks at Tunbridge Wells, especially the Bell Rock. These phenomena, known in many lands, are most probably caused by purely natural factors, or else are contrivances arranged by former peoples as a supplement to magical rites. It is not usually thought likely that there is any direct extra-physical explanation.
At the same time their value as portents has often been shown. The story is told that where Napoleon cut the road between Savoy and France, about two miles from Les Sechelles, there is a gallery in a tunnel twenty-seven feet square and 975 feet in length. When the excavations for this were nearly complete and the tunnellers met in the middle, the intervening few inches were broken with a pickaxe. A sound like a great groan was heard. When this was reported to Napoleon his face went white: because he had been told by a magician that if such a sound were heard by or near him, the future would hold only defeat.
There is, of course, a scientific explanation for this happening. But the occultist would claim that the origin of a phenomenon need not be supernatural to make it valid as a sign. However, when a certain Mr. Bakewell investigated the Napoleon Tunnel story he put the whole thing down to a difference in the temperature at either end of the tunnel.
Particular attention was paid by Egyptian magicians to the times and dates considered most suited to the carrying out of occult operations. This table gives the lucky and unlucky days, according to the ritual calendar of ancient Egypt. Days are marked in thirds; 'L' means that the period indicated is fortunate, 'U' stands for hours not under beneficent influences.
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