It is merely quintessential quaintness in a vertical, upright rectitude
towards a grammatical virtue that leads into free-spirited expression.
E. A. Wallis Budge - Egyptian Magic - Excerpts from the Book
Preface from the Book:
A study of the remains of the native religious literature of ancient Egypt
which have come down to us has revealed the fact that the belief in
magic, that is to say, in the power of magical names, spells, formulas,
figures, pictures, enchantments, amulets, and in ceremonies with words
of power (to produce supernatural results), formed a significantly large,
important part of Egyptian religion. And it is certain that, notwithstanding
the continuous progress which the Egyptians made in civilization, and
the high intellectual development to which they eventually attained, this
belief influenced their minds and, from the earliest to the latest period of
their history, shaped their views concerning things temporal as well as
spiritual in a manner which, at this stage in the history of the world, is
very difficult to understand. The scrupulous care with which they
performed their innumerable religious ceremonies, and carried out the
rules which they had formulated concerning the worship of the divine
Power(s), and their devotion to religious magic, gained for them among
the nations with whom they came in contact the reputation of being at
once the most religious and the most superstitious of men. That this
reputation was, for the most part, well deserved, is the object of this
little book to show.
---Editor's Comment: I haven't read this Egyptian Magic book yet,
although the title sounds very interesting. But one of the other things
that interested me about it, was Egypt's amazing record keeping ability
and their preservation of history. Of course the great Pyramids of Egypt
and the possibility of advanced civilizations assisting them in the past,
like, "Aliens from Another Planet," also factor into why I'm always
interested in basically anything that involves Egyptian ways of living -
whether fact or fiction. ---
Egyptian magic dates from the time when the pre-dynastic and
prehistoric dwellers in Egypt believed that the earth, the underworld,
and the air and the sky were all peopled with countless beings, visible
and invisible, which were held to be friendly and unfriendly to man
according to the operations of nature (which they were suppose to
direct) that were favorable or unfavorable to him.
The following material comes from the Preface from the book "Egyptian Magic" by E.A. Wallis Budge. The Preface was written in
London, August 28th, 1899. The book that I'm reading from, is the unabridged republication of the work originally published in
London in 1901 by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., as Volume 2 in their series "Books on Egypt and Chaldea." I decided
to type excerpts from the Preface and upload it into this website - with only slight modifications occurring occasionally. Enjoy...
In nature and attributes these beings were taught by primitive man to closely resemble himself and
to possess all human passions, emotions, weakness, defects, and the chief object of magic was to
give man the pre-eminence over such things. The favor of the beings who were placable (able to
be appeased or placated) and friendly to man might be obtained by means of gifts and offerings, but
the cessation of hostilities on the part of those that were implacable and unfriendly could only be
obtained by wheedling, cajolery, flattery or by making use of an amulet, secret name, figure, magical
formula, or a picture which had the effect of bringing to the aid of the mortal who possessed it the
power of a being that was mightier than the foe who threatened to do evil to him.
The magic of most early nations aimed at causing the transference of power from a super-natural
being to a man, whereby he was to be enabled to obtain superhuman results and to become for a
time as mighty as the original possessor of the power; but the object of Egyptian magic was to
endow man with the means of compelling both friendly and hostile powers, nay, at a later time, even
God himself, to do what he wished, whether they were willing or not.
The belief in magic, the word being used in its best sense, is older in Egypt than the belief in God,
and it is certain that a very large number of the Egyptian religious ceremonies, which were
performed in later times as an integral part of a highly spiritual worship, had their origin in
superstitious customs which date from a period when God, under any name or in any form, was not
conceived in the minds of the Egyptians.
---Editor Interjects: I find that last sentence to be interesting, but inconclusive. In some sense,
spirituality and divine ways of thinking along with the belief in magic, all sort of relate. Even if the
early Egyptians couldn't conceive a type of God with a name or form, they still sounded like they
were very religious. I suppose it is how you want to define God, religions and spirituality......but to
me, it is all relative. ---
Indeed it is probable that even the use of the sign which represents an axe, and which stands as
the hieroglyphic character both for God and "god," indicates that this weapon and tool was
employed in the performance of some ceremony connected with religious magic in prehistoric or, at
any rate, in pre-dynastic times when it in some mysterious way symbolized the presence of supreme
Power. But be this as it may, it is quite certain that magic and religion developed and flourished
side by side in Egypt throughout all periods of her history, and that any investigation which we may
make of the one necessarily includes an examination of the other.
From the religious books of ancient Egypt we learn that the power possessed by a priest or man
who was skilled in the knowledge and working of magic was believed to almost be boundless. By
pronouncing certain words or names of power in the proper manner and in the proper tone of voice
he could heal the sick, and cast out the evil spirits which caused pain and suffering in those who
were diseased, and restore the dead to life, and bestow upon the dead man the power to transform
the corruptible into an incorruptible body, wherein the soul might live to all eternity......
---Editor's Comment: I'm going to have to cut this Preface/Introduction and/or Excerpts from the
book "Egyptian Magic" off, mainly because it is getting rather long and also due to the fact that if
you're sincerely interested, maybe you just need to buy the book so you can analyze it to death.
However, one must realize that this book may contain lots of the woo-woo of wooism, so approach it
with caution; reader beware. Ha-ha! Ahh, but it's a featured book on this website that deals with
ancient Egyptian ways of living, so from there, you should realize that it has to be good. Enjoy......
------------>'Click Here' to Buy this Egyptian Magic Book Online<------------