Hi! My name is Cheyenne and I am a beginner in Witchcraft. I have had a fondness towards the craft for many years but I have hardly sat down and started doing spells and rituals haha. I have some crystals and things in my room but I don't know how to use them. Sorry this is an introduction, let me get straight to the point.
As I was choosing my path to becoming a witch, I noticed a path of Egyptian witchcraft. I started looking at the different gods and goddesses and you must know I am more fond of the goddess Isis or Aset, whichever you prefer. Anyway, I would like to communicate with Isis since I always have a strong feeling whenever I study upon her. Maybe someone can give me an innovation chant and some tips on Isis from your experience? It would mean a lot to me.
Isis is a hard Goddess to deal with. Just start of by praying to her and taking good care of your hygiene. If your already doing this then start invoking her in your spells somehow. before you communicate to her you MUST form some sort of connection to her.
Witchcraft and religion are not the same. But if your religion is egyptain based, that's fine.
I reccoment the egyptain sun God Ra, and the Egyptian cat goddess Bast. There isn't a particular way to make your witchcraft egyptain, however you can invoke your egyptain God and goddess to guide you.
I don't really think there's such a thing as "Egyptian witchcraft" in a sense of "Egyptian" and "witchcraft". I'll explain why Cheyenne.
Witchcraft is, mainly, a European-based practice. Even if you go into the wider spaces, it's still mainly European or European derived. As much as I hate to discuss racial topics, this deals with it heavily and I need to stress it. Witchcraft, which is European, is as prevalent as other European or European derived things within our culture. Our culture describing the world culture present within many countries.
"Egyptian magic", which is a better -but still inaccurate- term, is namely ancient Egyptian. Ancient Egyptians are not all extremely dark-skinned Africans nor have they ever been. They are, however, people of Africa and the Middle East.
By mixing the two terms or taking Egyptian deities and plugging them into European concepts of magic/witchcraft, you are insulting the people, the Akhu/ancestors, the gods themselves, etc. It's misappropriation, regardless that the religion itself is considered dead.
You also have to be aware that the ancient Egyptians are different people than the modern Egyptians; which is why "ancient" is the key word. Modern Egyptians are mainly Muslim religiously, but there were also periods where Egyptians were mainly Gnositic Christians, Hellenic, Greco-Egyptian, etc.
If you want to learn about heka (magic that is ancient Egyptian) and being a hekau (an ancient Egyptian practitioner of magic), there's a lot of good books by people. Ritner, Briar, Rankine, Jacq, and Naydler do very well discussing theses things.
Also Aset is the other, more public half of my spiritual Mother, Serqet. Aset is pretty stern/strict, but it's not without love. She is the throne after all, so she is very busy and has a very important job to do. Make sure that when you work with her, pray to her, etc, you aren't doing so for things like "make my crush fall in love with me" or "will I talk to x tomorrow". Like I said, she has an important job to do and these sorts of things tend to make her pretty mad.
I do separate out Aset from Isis, since Isis is the Greek/Roman version and is what I consider people talking to the "loving of all things, great lady of all names, Goddess Isis". She's been significantly changed at the historical point where Aset becomes Isis, to the point where she is over things that are not ancient Egyptian at all, like the sea.
Sorry about the amount of information to take in, it's something I'm passionate about.
Re: Egyptian Witchcraft By: Brysing Moderator / Adept
Post # 7 Jan 20, 2016
This is just arguing about language. The word "witchcraft" derives from the word "wiccacreft" (Worker), and it is certainly European. But the "practice" is known in many languages. I was in Japan, and I met with people having the same views of magic as I had.
In my local Pagan group is a Chinese couple, husband and wife, who practice the same things I do, but they don't call it witchcraft.
I have books on Egyptian "magic" (It was mainly done by priests. Healing was done by others.) and many of the ceremonies would not be out of place in modern Wicca!
Magic is magic! The world over!
I've gone back and forth on responding to this for a while, but I ultimately feel it's a discussion that should be had.
"It was mainly done by priests. Healing was done by others."
Actually, most priests knew how to do several different kinds of hekau (magical workings) and held texts within their own private libraries. Many of the texts that have been previously transliterated have shown themselves to be a mix of magical, religious, spiritual, and medical traditions and many priests were also trained medical professionals. I'm sorry, this is simply not accurate though I am unsure what books you have been reading. I have found that many of the books put out there by Wiccans, Pagans, etc, are mainly geared towards ancient Egyptian practices that reflect their individual values. For instance, I own a book that happens to note "spirit animals" (part of the Native Tribes closed traditions) and "chakras" (part of the Eastern groups closed traditions that has been blown out of portion by the occult scene) as traditional practices in ancient Egypt. Needless to say I had to put it down before I finished it.
As for magic being magic, that's also incorrect. The traditions of people within your local group would reflect your European traditions more than their ethnic ancestors' traditions. As for "Egyptian magic" itself - which is the point of this topic - heka (ancient Egyptian magic) is not magic the world over.
"There are no Gods or Goddesses in witchcraft. Witchcraft is not a religion; although you may practice any religion, and still be a witch."
Magic/witchcraft states that beliefs in gods, spirits, etc, is unnecessary. In heka it is necessary. That major difference is enough that the two should not be conflated with each other. You stated this quotation earlier and that is the issue. You may call it semantics, but I call it an important difference in definition. One cannot be an atheist hekau (practitioner of ancient "Egyptian magic") as you must believe in the Netjeru/gods. One can also not be a hekau who does not believe in the spirits of the dead (both Akhu and Muuetu) or the non-human spirits within the world (netjeri), as these are all beings which are important in the practice of heka. Heka is a Netjer/god itself and heka was given to us by the Netjeru (specifically Ra in the creation story I am thinking of) to use. To deny their existence and use the magic we have been given by them is paradoxical and idiotic.
In particular the attitude you showed is what I was attempting to address when I mentioned misappropriation and race. You have to be careful to not take your personal beliefs about magic as the beliefs everyone else shares, especially when many would disagree with you on both historical and modern points. When you state your definition of magic is the right definition, you remove all cultural, traditional, ethnic, etc, variables. It is these variables that are what make us different as human beings and which should be honored, not claimed as unimportant.
So no, there is no "Egyptian witchcraft", "Egyptian craft", "Egyptian magic", etc. There's heka and there are a ton of excellent scholarly texts about it. I've linked Ritner's free text at the Oriental Institue; in the beginning chapters he also addresses the importance of not using the term "magic" in regards to heka. His work has more depth and covers different reasons for using the proper term.
There's nothing wrong with equating them for ease of conversation with others, similar to how I have included both the correct term to be used and "what it means". However making them the same is something you should strive not to do because it takes away who and what a person is. Ritner, as with anyone else, had to use the more well-known terms.
Ritner's: The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice
Re: Egyptian Witchcraft By: Brysing Moderator / Adept
Post # 9 Jan 29, 2016
Of course we have to use "other terms and language".
The point is, magic was once all about the "spiritual". In ancient times there was no such thing as an Atheist. Gods and Goddesses were part and parcel of everyday life; and not just in Egypt.
Nevertheless,the "spiritual" rituals and ceremonies were, in the main, carried out by priests. And, of course, priests would have some knowledge of healing.Every person knows "something" of healing. Also, men and women,in their everyday life would stop and worship at a shrine,say a little prayer.
But there were, in every ancient civilization, professional "healers", especially surgeons, who treated the "war wounded". There were also special buildings for the sick and badly wounded; but they would not be called "hospitals"!
I am often asked if old-time witches cast spells. Of course they did! Everybody in ancient times believed in spells.The old witch/healers would perform all sorts os rituals, ceremonies,and "spells", when they were healing a patient.
But it wasn't the "spell" that did the curing; it was the Magic!
And that process was the same from the jungles of Africa to the mountains of China.From South America to Europe.
The Gods maybe be different. The ceremonies maybe different. The languages maybe different. The Magic is the same!
The only part of what you said that I have to disagree with is the fact that you said that Ancient Egypt wasn't all dark skinned Africans which is partially true but I have to interject that Egypt like Africa were names given to these places by the Greeks. The people of Ancient Egypt actually called it Khemet and Khemet meant land of black faces so to say they weren't all dark skinned Africans is a half truth because no Africans were not all dark in the same way not all African Americans are dark but they were still pretty much all black back in Ancient times before they started getting infiltrated.