of medicine and letters; come to me, thou that art under the earth, rise up to me, great spirit." It was further stated that only on certain days could the process take place: the 7th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 21 st, 24th and 25 th days, counting from the start of the month.

Two characteristics of ancient Egyptian magic which have descended to us in Western rituals sound the keynote of their spirit. Even in the days of Rameses II (over five thousand years ago) the belief in the mystic 'Word of Power' was highly developed: just as magic itself was considered an art so ancient as to have no known source other than revelation by the gods. There is a strong possibility that some of these words—which were sometimes even then composed of unintelligible syllables—entered Egypt as a result of Mesopotamian conquests by various Pharaohs. Others, in all probability, were derived from Nubian magic, which still flourishes in Africa.

The second characteristic is associated with the above belief. In order to compel the spirits and gods to obey his will, whether for good or ill, the sorcerer had to be armed with Words of Power and a knowledge of the names of the gods. In this way he was able to take a dictatorial attitude towards deities, however powerful. There was no exception to the number and potency of the gods that could be 'bound' or forced to act on the sorcerer's commands. In some cases, in fact, the magician actually identified himself so closely with the powers of the god invoked that he assumed his name, and issued commands on his behalf. Students of Mediaeval European magic will recognize this trait in some of the processes in the Western versions of the Key of Solomon, in which the operator communicates with the spirit not under his own name, but as Solomon himself (51).

The 'Words of Power', it may be assumed, are akin to the Semitic theory of the Most Great Name of God, which even initiates must not speak. It is thought that the Egyptians shared with other peoples the belief that a name—whether of a person or a god—was vitally connected with the powers, attributes and spiritual element of the named one. Is it entirely from modesty that women in many lands will not give their names to strangers? They are the 'daughter of so-and-so', or 'the wife of such-and-such a man'. Anthropologists are familiar with tribal customs of wide currency, in which extraordinary precautions are taken to ensure that the real name of a person is not known outside his immediate family. In some cases, names are frequently changed. There is already a vast literature on this subject, and I cannot venture to add to it.

The magical word or name may not be understood by him who uses it, but it still possesses its original power. This belief may not have originated with the Egyptians: it certainly was current among them, as among later magicians in many lands.

In the Louvre there is a magical funerary papyrus dating as far back as Rameses II, in which barbarous words appear as names: "Q Ualbpaga, O Kemmara! O Kamalo! O Aamagoaa! The Uanal The Remu! . . ."

Osiris [See p. 38]

Since similar words and phrases appear in most other ancient magical writings, it is probable that they meant no more to the priests than they do to us. Following up this line of research, and assuming that some Words of Power came from neighbouring lands, the Viscount de Rougé in the last century compiled a list of words—unfortunately unpublished—which seemed to show affinities with dialects spoken by the Nubians and others.

In the Harris magical papyrus there is a process by which the invocant, using certain names, actually takes on the shape of the god Amsu. There may be a clue here. It could be argued that the identifica-

tion of the magician with a spirit or god in words and prayers might have been designed to cause him to become that god or spirit. At the least, he may have believed that he could 'borrow' all the attributes and powers of the deity named, even for a short period. The ritual is designed to protect a man in a ship from any monster or hostile animal that might approach.

Taking a 'hard egg' in one hand, the man says: "O Egg of the water which has been spread over the earth (5 2), essence of the divine apes, the great one in the heavens above and in the earth beneath: who doth dwell in the nests which are in the waters, I have come forth from thee from the water, I have been with thee in thy nest, I am Amsu of Coptos, I am Amsu, Lord of Kebu."

Just as names contained magical powers in relation to the life on earth, so their potency was invoked in funeral ceremonies, and they were used in the imaginary encounters between the soul and the gods of the hereafter. No soul could hope to receive its just deserts and admission to the heavens until it had passed a very close examination, as is fully described in the Book of the Dead.

What of embalming, and the elaborately designed pyramids, both of which have been regarded as significant items in the magic of ancient Egypt? There is already a considerable literature in which such authorities as Flinders Petrie and Wallis Budge have fully described the embalming rites and their purpose. Briefly, the reason for preserving mortal remains is thought to be because contact, however incipient, remained to link the soul, ego {ka) and body after death. Lenormant states that there was an ultimate belief that the body would one day be resurrected in its former (though purified) form. It is, however, more widely held that the mummy was preserved as a hostel for the Ka. Again, the symbolic rites which were performed with the mummy—such as the 'opening of the mouth' ceremony— seemed to be designed to reflect the events that were supposed to be happening to the soul in another world. It was, in fact, a sort of magical duplication of the soul's future life, on the familiar lines of sympathetic magic. There is a possibility, too, that a belief existed that certain organs in the body continued to function, in a different way from their normal role in life.

Books and pamphlets have been written in an attempt to prove that the pyramids represent symbolically both the Book of the Dead and the supposed Book of Thoth. There seems no doubt that the dimensions of some pyramids, and their internal arrangement and planning, are associated with mystical and magical concepts of dynastic religion. As to whether they are the key or not is a matter which is still open to discussion. Conventionally minded observers are, on the whole, inclined to regard the symbolism of the pyramids as natural projections from Egyptian belief and theology, rather than as signs placed there for any particular purpose other than to preserve the body from defilement. To take up any other attitude in the present state of knowledge of ancient Egyptian occult sciences would be tantamount to assuming that there was an intention by the Egyptian priest-magicians or their kings to transmit hidden knowledge to future generations. Since, however, there is no indication of a desire to make known their knowledge to others, let alone an inkling that the Pharaonic might would ever pass away, one might ask upon what premises such an assumption could be held.

In taking the stand outlined above, I exclude such supernatural 'revelations' as were reported to me by one earnest occult student. He had had revealed to him in a dream—and partly through a spiritualist medium—that his 'mission' was to go to Egypt, and camp in the shadow of the pyramids: when their occult power and intention would be made known to him. Being very wealthy at the time, and as keen as the next man for adventure, he did exactly as commanded. The only result was that the expenses involved were so great that he became impoverished. Equally unfortunately, no revelation resulted. When he returned to England, he found that his business had all but collapsed. It cannot, however, be denied that the experience had a very great effect upon him.

Singing Sands

In the El Meman chain, near the Red Sea, is the Jebel Narkous— Mountain of the Bell. Its rocks and pinnacles are so placed that when the wind blows from a certain direction, loud whispers are heard 'proceeding from the rocks'. This probably accounts for the ancient Egyptians being thought by less civilized Arabian tribes to have the power of raising the voices of oracles from the ground.

Many magicians claimed to be able to interpret the whispers: they were the voices of spirits, telling mankind what and what not to do. In any case, the effect on the visitor, even in this century, is eerie.

Similar tales are told of the Egyptian priests taking oracles from the Singing Sands. These sands still 'sing', and probably there was at one time a regular system of interpreting the sounds. In this idea we may have a clue as to the source of some Dynastic Egyptian magical beliefs having come originally from across the Red Sea: just as we know that certain rites were derived from inner Africa. Desert people have many superstitions in connection with singing sands, which may be as old as the Egyptian ones. If, for instance, you hear them before the new moon, the signs are good for the tribe: if after, evil. Others are that such-and-such a journey is to be taken: and this being the case, further enquiries must be made of the sands as to the times and places to be visited. I was told in Egypt just after the war, by a large variety of people, that a Libyan dervish had foretold war in 1937, and that he had warned the Senussi to prepare for the Western Desert

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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