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HEKA - THE PRACTICES OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN RITUAL AND MAGIC: The Practices of Ancient Egyptian Ritual and Magic - An Exploration of the Beliefs, ... a Historical and Modern Practical Perspective [Paperback]

David Rankine

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Book Description

1 Jan 2006
The religious and magical practices of the ancient Egyptians have had a profound and lasting effect on the world. Egypt has been described as the "mother of magicians". To appreciate the Egyptian view of magic, we need to accept that to the Egyptians magic was not considered strange or eccentric, but was a part of daily life, to which everyone resorted. Magic blended seamlessly with religion and medicine, being seen as part of a holistic worldview. In this volume these magical and religious practices are explored, from both a historical and practical perspective. The practices are explored from an ancient Egyptian worldview, taking into consideration that the Egyptian culture spread over a period of more than 3000 years. The Egyptians saw the universe as being made of four worlds - the everyday world we live in, the underworld, the sky and the heavens. Subject covered in this book include: -What is Heka? -Ancient Egyptian Worldviews -The Gods and Goddesses of Magic -Symbolism - Colours & Sacred Numbers -The Tools Used -Sacred Words & Gestures -Statues & Masks -Crystals & Other Materials used in Heka -Incenses & Perfumes -Food & Wine used in Offerings & at Feasts -The Ancient Egyptian Magical Calendar -Purification, Sacred Space & Rituals David Rankine is based in London (UK) and is a respected authority on spiritual & magical practices. He is the author of many books, including Climbing the Tree of Life, Circle of Fire & The Guises of the Morrígan. This book, HEKA - The Practices of Ancient Egyptian Magic, is the result of careful research & practical work and is highly recommended to students wishing to pursue practical work within this system.

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More About the Author

Author, magician and esoteric researcher David Rankine lives and works on the Welsh Borders with his wife author Sorita d'Este and their son. Since the early 1980s David has been making major contributions to the modern occult revival, through lectures, workshops, presentations, articles and books. He is fascinated by all areas of magic, but his particular passions are medieval and renaissance magick as exemplified by the grimoires, the Qabalah, and Greco-Egyptian magic.

David's breadth of esoteric knowledge can be seen in the hundreds of articles for magazines, journals and international part-works, his contributions to anthologies, and the twenty-three books he has written or co-written, including the Practical Magic series with his wife Sorita and the Sourceworks of Ceremonial Magic series with Stephen Skinner. His work is characterised by the publication of previously unavailable or inaccessible material on the grimoires and other areas of magic. He is a member of both Societas Magica and ESSWE (European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism).

David has given lectures and facilitated workshops around the UK and Europe for the last three decades, concentrating on the subjects closest to his heart, including the Grimoire Tradition, Angelic Magic, Egyptian and Celtic Mythology and spirituality. He has frequently featured in media interviews over the years on his specialist subjects, including television programs on Channel 5, ITV, BBC and Sky; BBC Radio London and Glastonbury Radio, and numerous publications including TIME OUT, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Alternative London and many others.

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From the Publisher

There has long been an interest in the magick and spiritual practices of Ancient Egypt. Many books have been published on the subject - primarily focussing on the well-known Funeral Texts and only a few touching on the magic done by the living. This book draws together the different strands of Heka (the name of both the Egyptian God of Magic and the magic performed by and for the people)

From the Author

(Extract from the Author Foreword)

In presenting this material I have endeavoured to place it within the context of the ancient Egyptian worldview as far as I am able, albeit limited by the knowledge we have thousands of years later. The glory of ancient Egypt spanned a period of around three thousand years, so inevitably during this time practices evolved or fell into disuse, and foreign influences crept in. Obviously we are not in ancient Egypt any more, and the level to which you may choose to recreate the practices of heka within your own magic is your decision.

I have included as much detail as possible about the various materials used by the ancient Egyptians, including food, crystals, metals, woods, incense materials, etc, so that you may work with the same materials if you wish to. Remember that the Egyptian magicians were rigorous in maintaining the discipline of good hygiene and timing!

You may be puzzled at the absence of information on hieroglyphics in this book. However as this volume is focused on techniques and information, I leave it to the reader to pursue this topic in one of the already extant works that cover the field admirably, such as Sir Alan Gardiner’s Egyptian Grammar or James Allen’s Middle Egyptian.

I hope you enjoy finding out more about heka, and may you always uphold Maat in all that you do.

David Rankine
December 2005

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Amazon.com: 2.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Crudely Produced and Superficial 18 April 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The coverage of ancient Egyptian magic is superficial and the book itself is very cheaply produced. This might be a useful resource for a ceremonial magician but the actual information contained in it is minimal and much better sources are available elsewhere. The author doesn't go into a deeper understanding of the nature of heka (or the god Heka) or known historical practices of magic in ancient Egypt. The one good role it could fulfill is as a compendium of knowledge about the subject but I think it's too shallow to be useful for that purpose.

Most of the book is listings of things and their correspondences. That's interesting for planning workings but the style makes it look like he's copied things out of his notebook (I keep voluminous notes of a similar nature myself) without any further explanations or deeper understanding of the subject. Listings of the Neteru (gods) just give the name and a brief description with a listing of an amulet, animal, color, concept, and associated symbol. Each Neter is listed on a separate page with lots of whitespace at the bottom, most likely to pad out the slim volume. The information is brief but basically correct in most cases, with the prominent exception of qualities syncretized into Hathor and Isis in late times when they absorbed the qualities of many other goddesses. Two pages on 'composite deities' are downright annoying in their incompleteness and list Sekhmet-Bast-Ra as Mut-Sekhmet-Bast, which is baffling but probably based on visual confusion in the vignette of chapter clxiv of the Papyrus of Ani.

Some of the listings are clearly based on other works. For example the color and number associations on pages 76 through 82 are obviously cribbed from Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art.

The illustrations are laughable. Take a look at the cover image. That's as good as it gets.

All-in-all I'd say this book might be worth a look if you're looking to work with the Neteru in ceremonial magick but doing research in the many other books available would be much more rewarding.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise Guide To Egyptian Magic 25 Feb 2013
By S. Cranow - Published on Amazon.com

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..
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facts first thank you 22 May 2009
By Clarence - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mr Rankine's
book is a non frill and
bare boned
book covering
what is presently known about Egyptian magic and is certainly a workable tool.
41 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really worth it - A Priestess Of Isis 8 Oct 2006
By A. M. Mellenthin - Published on Amazon.com
I was really excited about ordering this book, but when it came i was dissapointed before i opened it. It was this tiny, skinny little package. I opened it and read it in about an hour. It has bits and pieces of useful and NON-redundant information but not worth the almost thirty dollars. What a rip off.

The author also was severly biased toward the goddess Maat, and he was rather incorrect with his descriptions about the god/desses. I dont think he had his facts straight either. He gives a slight feeling that Maat is more important than any other god (and also provides more ritual for her), and he also portrays Isis as a conniving, tricking, she-devil. And anyone who knows Her knows it is quite the opposite. (Not to get off subject, but i highly recommend the book "Isis Magic" by M. Isidora Forrest. It talks about the real egyptian magic and a lot of hard work was done so she could get accurate historical information. It has alot about Ancient Egypt in it.)

All in all, the book had very slim pickins. It had small tidbits here and there of good info. The only thing i found to be of great value was the tables he has about the correspondances of the god/desses. Like colors and vegetables. But there werent that many god/desses he had in his book. He has very little rituals (i think 3) and doesnt go into spells really. I recommend "Ancient Egyptian Magic and Divination", "Egyptian Paganism for beginners", and Rosemary Clarks "Sacred Magic Of Ancient Egypt." And if you care "Circle Of Isis", because the info isn't really Isis-y that much at all. It has INVALUABLE information about most of the panthenon.

Dont buy this book. Rent it from the library. I would have returned it, but thats a hassle and I'm a book pack-rat. Seriously not worth more than $10.00. All of the info you could EASILY find on the internet.

I hope this review will help you, and i know its a contrast to the first one, but i didnt think it was fair of that review. (I seriously think that Daivd Rankine or one of his pals wrote it) Because of the first good review i thought this would be an awesome book. (if you dont know anything about Ancient Egypt, i guess it'd be okay. But take it with a grain of salt) And its nowhere near awesome. Take my word for it. Spend your money on better books. You can email me if you'd like at vampirefamine@comcast.net. Thanks, Happy Amazoning.
4.0 out of 5 stars Visions Ancient & Modern 10 Sep 2014
By H. B. Baldwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Since we only can guess at what their rituals were like most of the rituals in this book are created similar to those that the Ancient
Greeks wrote about plus intuition and imagination. Considering that it is gook starter book. You have everything yoiu might need to go it alone as there are not that many that can tell you if it is correct or not. I liked the calendar in the back and found that some of the listed ceremonies were on the same days as were recorded in Ancient times. IT all depends on how into it you are and how connecte to Egypt you are'
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