M is for Magic


Ancient Egyptians believed that magic (or heka) was used by the creator to make the world. Everyone was thought to possess this, but there were rules about how it could be used.

- Priests were believed to be the main users of magic in ancient Egypt. It was believed that they were given this secret knowledge by the gods. The most respected users were the Lector priests, who were able to read ancient books of magic kept in temples and palace libraries.

- These priests would perform magical rituals in order to protect their king, and to help the dead to rebirth. Eventually, their role was taken over by magicians (or hekau).
An Amulet depicting the eye of Horus
Taken from here
- The priests of Sekhmet, the goddess of plague, were known for their healing magic.

- Other magic uses were the scorpion charmers, who would use their magic to get rid of poisonous reptiles and insects.

- Midwives and nurses were believed to use magic also, as well as wise women, who were usually consulted about ghosts.

- Amulets were believed to be a source of magic power.

Comments

  1. Those times sound pretty scary, Laura, with all that magic going on. You'd have to be careful which midwife you chose in case she didn't like you for some reason.
    Snake charmers are still around today. I remember reading something recently about it not being unusual for the priests to turn things into snakes. I suppose that was why the Pharaoh didn't take much notice of Moses at first, since turning his rod into a snake was seen as a simple magic trick.

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  2. So interesting about the midwives and nurses! I love the idea of consulting the wise women. :)

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  3. Once the A to Z is over and I have more time to browse, I will come back and read all your A to Z posts. This is fascinating.

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  4. I would've had several scorpion charmers around me at all times!

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  5. I am trying to imagine anyone charming a scorpion ;P
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

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  6. Ah yes we all need a bit of magic in our lives . . . . .

    Rob Z Tobor

    Keep up the good work Miss Laura.

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  7. Magic played a huge role in Ancient Egypt. Mention of amulets remind me of the anime series Yugioh.

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  8. Magic has always interested me and I think that's one of the reasons why I love Ancient Egypt so much.

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  9. This post readily brings Merlin to mind, and the stories of King Arthur. Your research is fascinating and very enjoyable to read.

    Teresa

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  10. The idea of magic has certainly fascinated many human societies for thousands of years. I'd like to be able to practice healing magic. It could come in handy!

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  11. It seems like magic was much more commonplace to them. It would be interesting if we thought of doctors the way they thought of midwives.

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  12. I never realised magic was so important. On the documentaries they always go on about magic and the afterlife, but they rarely talk about it in terms of everyday life. Thank you.
    I haven't read an unreliable narrator lately, but I did watch one. I'm a Teen Wolf fan and through parts of the last season one of the characters wasn't sure what was real and what was dream and neither was the audience. It was nicely done.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

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