Maybe I should say 'sorcery', not magic. In England and Ireland you had druids with stone-henge and similar. In Scandinavia were the Norse gods. In Ancient Greece (and Rome) were the Greek gods.
Egypt certainly predates Ancient Greece and Rome. You should read the story of Moses, the Ancient Egyptians and the Ancient Israelites. :) I would love to get my hands on the Staff of Moses... if it still exists.
Re: Egyptian gods
By: NordStar Moderator / Knowledgeable Aug 31, 2015
Post # 4
There are far more civilizations than that. China, Japan, India, and other Asian countries had practices of magic. Than there is Sumeria and a few others which are known to predate Egypt though little is known of them.
Since the dawn of man there has been a need to explain that which was not understood. There has been a desire to conform the world to what the people needed. I would not limit magic to a singular source, it seems egotistical to me.
We have no idea what the druids believed or practiced as they never wrote anything down. Furthermore spiritual practices in Britain existed far before the so-called 'Druids' were around! Stone Henge is a burial site, not some mystical ritual site.
I think you need a dose of reality, science, and actual history. If you believe Moses parted a red sea by stomping a staff on the ground and crying to God, then you are sorely lacking common sense.
Myths and legends are allegorical stories usually designed to teach some metaphysical principle or moralistic principle, not literal tales of history. Some times they were written to merely entertain.
Re: Egyptian gods
By: Brysing Moderator / Adept Aug 31, 2015
Post # 8
The thing to remember about Moses is that the first five books of The Old Testament Bible were written by Moses himself! All the stories; the Red Sea parting; the Exodus; the Egyptian plagues; etc., were all written by one man; Moses.
At my Catholic school there was a joke among the boys. That Moses was an idiot! If he had turned right instead of left at Sinai, the Jews would have the oil, and the Arabs would have the oranges!
Actually, it's neither. Sorcery and magic are both European terms which have totally different connations and meanings outside of heka, which is generally translated as "activiting the ka/spirit" and/or "authoritative speech". It is translated by laymen (aka non-scholarly sources) as "Egyptian magic", scholarly individuals such as Richard Ritner (a well-educated Egyptologist whom has researched and written extensively on this subject) feel that this term causes the wrong sort of connection in the mind and therefore divorce it completely.
Sorcery is somewhat close to what heka is as it involves the learning of techniques and their application; however heka is also considered to be something gift based in texts. This is how some people have the ability to perform heka more than others due to things like inherited traits, odd birth circumstances, hair color, etc. So it's a cross between the traditional concepts of sorcery and witchcraft.
But it's still heka, not sorcery, not witchcraft, not magic. Unlike these other terms, heka requires a belief in the Netjeru (Kemetic gods such as Aset/Isis, Wesir/Osiris, etc) as real beings which exist. Whether they exist in the Unseen or the Seen or both to the individual doesn't matter so much as a true belief in them being present in the world somehow. Heka is never divorced from it's religious and spiritual meaning; the Netjeru are where we get heka from and it is from their actions and their heka that we can perform our own. Witchcraft and magic don't require deities of any sort, though many paths include them.
The Staff of Moses is Abrahamic in nature, not Kemetic/Egyptian. It's power comes from that god, not from the Netjeru or from heka.
On other notes, ancient Egypt has been proven to be one of the oldest civilizations (not the oldest as we can't prove when civilization really started) and is believed to have created their own writing system separate from the Sumerians (previously Egypt was thought to have gotten it from them, this was disproved some years ago and both were proven to have risen at around the same time). So it's arguable that the Sumerians are older, but certainly the Greeks and Romans (and many others) are not.
To the ancient Egyptians, such stories (there is an older instance than that of Moses where a hekau/practitioner of heka, split a small pleasure lake to retrieve a comb of a female boatman) were considered both tales to tell and as literal things to strive towards. Polyvalent logic stated that it both had happened and had not; illusions were heka just as much as a real happening, it's all in how one wants to see it. That isn't to say I believe or think people should take the stories as literal; there are other ways to get combs out of a lake. ;)
Curiously enough, it was felt "to the world was given ten measures of magic; Egypt was given nine and to the rest was given one" (Talmud). The Western world (both ancient and modern) felt that Egypt was the pinnacle of "magical knowledge", which is why so many systems falsely or unsubstanciatedly claim to be decended (at least in philosophy) from Egypt. The Tarot is a big example of trying to give something of European origin a more mystical feel by naming it's origins as Egypt.
All in all, curious things to consider for the curious mind.