Quick Update

As much as I love the benefits of modern day technology, it sometimes fails. As has my laptop last week. The hard drive is failing, my Windows is crashing and my browser messes up.

Until I can manage to fix it (it needs a new hard drive and some new software) I will be online very little. I foresee this taking about two weeks or so.

Whenever I do manage to get online I will try to keep up with blog posts and news from you all but I cannot guarantee I can post much myself. There is some good news at least as I have a new camera and when I do manage to post pictures, the quality will be significantly better than all the older photos. So there’s at least that :)

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Can Anyone Work Heka?

That is only part of the question. The full question would be more on the lines of ‘Can anyone work heka, regardless of their spiritual beliefs/religion?’ This of course, leads to even more questions such as: ‘Can I work with other Gods/Entities than the Egyptian ones?’, ‘If not, can I work with the Egyptian ones even if I don’t believe in/worship/know Them?’, ‘Can I substitute things the way I want?’, ‘Can I work heka along with other types of magic?’ and so on.

The answers are long and, in my opinion, quite open to debate and interpretation.

Let’s begin with the first and most important one (which will lead to answering the others too) The short answers is… well, there is no short answer for something like this. Heka is intimately linked to Kemetic beliefs and mythology. Indeed there are whole rituals dedicated to re-enacting and sustaining the Creation. Some of these were done within a temple setting on a daily basis. Others on a seasonal or yearly basis. As such, I don’t see how a ritual designed for the re-enactment (and protection) of the Solar Boat passing through the gates of the Duat for example would be feasible within another set of beliefs. You could change the names of the Gods or Spirits but what would be the point? It would not make sense at all if it’s not within the Kemetic frame. You wouldn’t keep the form nor the substance of it. So you’d end up with an empty ritual.

Not to mention the very occupation of Magician was reserved mostly to priests. In Egyptian thought, heka was not separate from religious and mundane life. Religion, mundane life and heka formed a cohesive and tight-knit frame of life. Heka permeated throughout all of creation. It could not be separated from it and seen as a force just floating about not doing anything. On the contrary, heka (and Heka the God) came before, was a part of and sustained creation and Ma’at.

The Creative act of Heka is not limited to a single event, for in the Egyptian theology the creation is cyclical, being re-enacted with each sunrise. In company with Hu and Sia (‘Perception’), ‘Heka who opens his two eyes that the two lands might see’ takes his place daily on the solar bark of Re, or is seen in prayer, invoking the separation of heaven and earth. In rare instances, he replaces the air god Shu and performs this separation himself. This creative benefaction of Heka by day is balanced by his role as protector of the bark by night. *

The Magician could claim protection by identifying with the Gods, as for example: I am that pure Magician who is in the mouth (or ‘utterance’) and body of Re… On your face, enemy of Re! I am his ba, the Magician.** With words of power such as these, it would hardly make sense to substitute Re with another deity or spirit. Heka places a very high importance on words and their meanings. Perhaps more than other forms of magic. The words one uses in ritual must be clear and have an exact meaning and purpose (and in some cases symbolism). Where words can create or undo and are full of power, one cannot use them as empty vessels. At best, nothing happens and you’re just wasting your breath.

There are of course  a few types of rituals/magical techniques which can be adapted outside the Kemetic frame, provided there are similar beliefs/techniques in the frame they are transferred to. For example, one can make a ritual to trample their enemy under the soles of their feet work outside the Kemetic frame. It’s possible. Not easy but possible.

Some rituals and prayers were designed with a specific deity in mind. The way these could be adapted within another frame does not come to my mind. However, when you look at some of the magical texts of the Greco-Roman Egyptian culture, there is clear syncretism of different religious and magical thoughts.

So when it comes to questions such as these, there is a great deal of yes, no, maybe and depends. There is a great deal of personal responsibility involved in working magic of any kind, but I dare say even more with heka. Especially since words can (and do) mean a lot. Gestures as well – since they are a language too (body language).

As for the last one, I personally do. But not at the same time, of course (we don’t want those energies clashing or mingling or goodness knows what!). Or for the same purpose. Let’s take a spiritual healing ritual example. I can work either heka with the help of Sekhmet or I can do a let’s say European folk magic spell. I never work two rituals for the same purpose as a rule of thumb (one I have set for myself). I can work the same thing again at a later time, depending on the results I’m seeking, but never two different workings. With that said,  I mostly work heka anyway :)

I realize this topic can spark a debate and I invite you to comment with your thoughts and opinions. And I am aware disagreement can come about but I urge you to keep things civil, thank you!

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Footnotes:

* R.K. Ritner – The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice (.pdf edition), pg. 18

**R.K. Ritner – The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice (.pdf edition), pg. 24

Posted in Food for Thought, Heka, Uncategorized, Words of Power | Leave a comment

A quick update

My dear lovelies,

The lack of posts from my part has been shocking, I know. But with the beginning of Autumn, my schedule gets quite full. However, I’m determined to make up for that in October and that’s a promise!

I wanted to let you all know that starting this October I’ve also agreed to contribute to Lunar Wisdom‘s newsletter: I will be writing a series on practical heka for the modern practitioner. There’s a bunch of wonderful people contributing to this newsletter, including Mystical Bewilderment‘s own lovely Satsekhem. To receive this monthly newsletter all you have to do is subscribe to it on Lunar Wisdom’s site linked above.

I will be publishing all articles on the blog as well, about two weeks after  the newsletter is out so if for any reason you chose not to subscribe or can’t subscribe, you can always read the articles here. They will all be filled under ‘Off-site contributions’ in the blog archives.

I’m editing this because while publishing I got a message from WordPress stating that ‘occasionally visitors may see advertisements’ with the explanation that they some times run ads as to make up for their costs. Which in my view is fair enough. I don’t afford at the moment to upgrade to their ‘no ads’ services so they have to make up somehow for maintaining this blog for free.  So keep in mind if you see any ads, they don’t come from me, they come from WordPress!

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Afternoon Tea with Updates

Since I’ve been on a short break for a while (busy with moving house) I thought I should have my tea with you all and tell you what I’ve been up to.

Moving has been a bit of a physical effort, especially since the place we moved in was in a very bad shape. Before opening boxes we’ve had to clean everything properly and it got to the point where we filled five large rubbish bags. And the heat didn’t help, at one point we had to take a few hours break as we were both feeling dizzy. However all has been cleaned, unpacked and organized and I’ve already started on the garden. I have big plans for that little patch of soil and of course, there will be lots of potted plants as well. The great part is that there’s already ivy on the fences and I absolutely love that.

The previous owners also left us their goldfish. I won’t go into the details of how bad that fish was kept, except that the water was brown and smelly and he was gasping at the surface. Now he’s a happy fish in clean water and with proper food! I still have plans for improving his living conditions even more (bigger tank, plants, an air pump) but that will all have to wait until we recover financially.

There’s a new shrine and plenty of working space and I’ve been writing prayers and started a few articles which I hope to publish soon. I know a few of you have worried about the silence around here but fret not, everything is perfectly fine :)

I hope you are all well and happy! Best wishes!

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The Monday Quote

“Throughout their history, the Egyptians themselves attributed the origin of their writing system to the gods. This divine source is seen in the very name which the script was accorded: medu netcher: ‘the words of the gods’ or ‘divine words’. This meaning was preserved in the word hieroglyphs (‘sacred writing’) which the Greeks later gave to the Egyptian inscriptions. But the Egyptians’ characterization of their hieroglyphic script goes deeper than we might casually assume. Not only did the hieroglyphs command a measure of respect as a divinely appointed system of communication, but in many instances„ they were also treated virtually as living things – entities which were themselves endowed with divine power.”

Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art by Richard H. Wilkinson Chapter ‘Words as Magic, Words as Art’, pg. 149

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Image source.

Posted in Books and Resources, Food for Thought, The Monday Quote, Thoth, Uncategorized, Words of Power | 1 Comment

Reading the Spanish Baraja – a 46 page e-book, complete with illustrations by Carolina Gonzalez

For those who don’t know who this amazing lady is: Carolina Gonzalez is a veteran Tarot reader, spiritual practitioner and artist from the Canary Islands. Her website is here: http://caminodeyara.indiemade.com/

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I must say I’ve read this e-book twice. Not just for the learning opportunity (being a Tarot reader myself, I’m always interested in various card decks – and not just Tarot decks – and techniques ) but also because I got immersed in the reading – her style is flowing and very easy to read and enjoy and the pictures and illustrations are a beautiful addition which adds to the reading pleasure.

Chapter 1 -  Origin and Particularities of the Spanish Baraja introduces  you to this interesting deck with a load of tasty tidbits of information –origins, meanings, a preview of each suit and even the possibly puzzling Joker card.

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Chapter 2 is a presentation of each card of the four suits (Oros – Pentacles, Copas –Cups/Chalices,  Bastos –Wands/Clubs and Espadas – Swords) complete with meanings and various correspondences attributed to each card/suit. This also includes the Joker card (which doesn’t belong to a particular suit but is sometimes used in readings).

Chapter 3 deals with three suggested readings, explained in details and with tips, advice and pointers.

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Chapter 4 gives a Spirits’ perspective on reading the Spanish Baraja and it’s deals with Spirit Guides, cleansing and consecrating your cards and how to properly prepare for a reading.

Every chapter has information and advice from her vast experience and the book has a free bonus chapter:  Spirit Guides in Maria Lionza’ Spiritism – originally published on her blog earlier in April. This in itself is a treasure as there isn’t much information in English about this particular spiritual path out there.

Reading this book gave me the feeling of a teacher patiently explaining every detail to me and kindly giving me advice and guiding me on the right track. A pleasure to read and many many new things learned. All the photographs and illustrations are crystal clear and makes the reading even easier to follow and understand, they fit with each chapter beautifully. It’s a very well organized and written resource, without being distracted into anything useless or too repetitive. A must for anyone interested in enriching their knowledge.

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Available for purchase here:  http://caminodeyara.indiemade.com/product/reading-spanish-baraja-ebook-learn-read-spanish-deck-cards-special-price at a special introductory price. I hope you enjoy as much as I have!

* All photographs used in this post are Copyright Carolina Gonzalez. Used with permission from the copyright holder.

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For the Beloved Dead

In the memory  of recently passed away relatives. I honour you and remember you.

In the memory of recently passed away relatives*. I honour you and remember you.

Mullein, herbal salts and a special ancestor oil. 

Four candles for the Four Guardians. The Gateway and the Key.

The smoke of the wormwood stick takes prayers, memories and thoughts to the Spirits.

 

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*Relatives as in I found out just after my last post that someone else in my family has died as well.

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