About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I was raised in a traditional household and participatedin an organized, mainstream religion for many years. Questioning the tenets of my religion was not encouraged, leaving me dissatisfied and unfulfilled. I tried a number of religious pursuits in the ensuing years, as well as practicing no religion. I do not believe in speaking ill of other religious traditions, and I feel that everyone is entitled to follow their own spiritual paths without fear of recrimination or retaliation. However, I am also not naive enough to believe that religious persecution does not still exist, which often makes me reticent about my own beliefs. Several years ago, I approached Wicca, hoping I had finally found my path.
I will admit that Wicca was more to my liking than traditional organized religion. Solitary Wicca allows for more individual growth and investigation but still has certain restrictions. Wicca wants to attract practitioners but has had to fight associations with the occult of the 1970s as well as Satanism, and so it stresses positive magic, harming none, and the law of return.
The basics of magic opened my mind and alleviated some of the longing I felt in my soul, but I am a practical human with my own failings. I harbor dark thoughts and emotions, and sometimes I feel that revenge and retribution are helpful in moving forward and releasing anger. Dark, destructive magic, on par with some Hoodoo practices, is more in keeping with my temperament.
All the pieces came together when I started studying ancient mythologies and deities. The Greeks and Romans were into pleasure as well as retribution, but their gods cavorted with mortals far too often for my taste. The Indian and Asian pantheons seemed a bit overwhelming but distant. The Celts did not personally appeal to me, and though most Wiccans incorporate many Celtic deities and practices into their devotions, I knew I would not be fulfilled following that path.
Few books on Wicca even mention the Egyptian deities, and fewer still attempt to illustrate their religious practices. I spent many months pouring over dusty scholarly texts to learn about the temple priests and how they worshiped the gods. I read all I could about Egyptian mythology and cosmology; I had found a religious path that finally made sense to me. I could feel the Egyptians’ passion in their lives through their literature, and the devotion they felt for their gods was natural. Their religion was not just a part of their lives; it was their lives.
The path to rebirth in the afterlife for the ancient Egyptians only required a person to live a good and decent life. However, revenge, retribution, and coercive magic were practiced alongside positive, beneficial magic. There might have been consequences to negative magic, but it did not doom people to eternal death, the worst possible fate to befall an ancient Egyptian. This use of positive and negative magic was more realistic to me; this was a religion that stressed goodness but took humanity and human instinct into consideration, allowing for the darker, baser human emotions. But then my real journey began, the journey to recreate a practical religion based on spells and rituals written millennia ago.
Traditional Wicca urges one to keep a Book of Shadows to chronicle magical workings, allowing one to observe which spells work and which do not turn out as expected. Further, Wicca urges its practitioners to write their own spells (Write Your Own Magic by Richard Webster and Your Book of Shadows by Patricia Telesco) to gain the most fulfilling spiritual experiences. When I attempted to write my own Egyptian worship, it wasn’t out of a sense of arrogance or omnipotence: I just didn’t see my prosperity rising or falling with the Nile, and I had no need for herds of cattle, storehouses of grain, or luck in hunting waterfowl. My prosperity was geared toward finding and keeping gainful employment, looking for inspiration in my writing, and connecting with the right agent and publisher for my work.
My question became, Why has Egyptian magic been so overlooked as a pagan tradition? I wish I had a definitive answer, but I do not. Yet when I tell people what religion I practice, many express an interest and state that they have always been fascinated by ancient Egypt. I took their comments to heart and wrote my own spells, rituals, and incantations while trying to stay faithful to the language and passion of the ancient Egyptians.
It would be utterly impossible to attempt to distill the beliefs and practices of the ancient Egyptians in this one book. Plenty of books have been written on the subject of ancient Egypt, the Egyptian culture, cosmology, and religious literature. However, my aim is to make Egyptian magic a viable alternative to traditional Wicca. Egyptian magic does not require memorization, special study, levels of initiation, or entrance into a coven. Egyptian magic contains elements of many pagan traditions, including Wicca and Hoodoo and appears to predate most religions, even the Druids. Yet Egyptian magic today--as a way to connect with eternity--can be as vital and fulfilling as it was when the pyramids were first built.
Basic Revenge Magic
Why would someone want to practice revenge magic? Revenge magic is actually only a small part of Egyptian magic, as is love or prosperity magic. Revenge magic is for those times when you really need closure for a bad situation so you can move forward in your life. Revenge magic addresses all those dark emotions we try to hide or avoid altogether. And, to be perfectly honest, revenge (dark) magic can be fun.
But let’s set the record straight. I do not go around hurling curses or hexing people just because they cut me off in traffic. I may mutter a few choice words under my breath directed at people who wait until all the groceries are rung up before even looking for their checkbooks (which is inevitably out of checks)! I will, however, direct an all-out, down-and-dirty spell at anyone who abuses another person physically, mentally, or emotionally.
True magic spells are not meant as “toys” to play with; they are practical expressions of one’s beliefs, and we should not take them lightly. However, spell kits, sold in stores and on the Internet, can be a useful introduction for a novice to learn the basics of spell casting. Unfortunately, Hollywood and the media continue to portray “witches” as spell-loving sorcerers and rarely touch on spell work as a basic form of worship in a legally recognized religion. Then again, the actual practice of pagan magic is not nearly as exciting or appealing without the Hollywood special effects. Trust me, real witches do not throw fire or turn people into toads, though I surmise that could hold a great deal of appeal to some people.
So why would someone want to practice revenge magic? Because revenge is a basic part of life and can easily coexist with other forms of magic. I practice love magic, prosperity magic, and healing magic as well as revenge magic, but all the magic I practice is based on the religion of ancient Egypt. My magic varies little from how it was practiced millennia ago; I worship the same deities and keep true to the spirit of the religious beliefs of the temple priests and the average Egyptian, while trying to tailor my worship to fit the current day.
Egyptian magic was performed for five thousand years or more, depending on which scholars and books you believe. Archaeological evidence does support the premise that organized groups of people lived and worshiped in Egypt around 5000 BCE. It is entirely possible that the civilization goes back even longer, though that has yet to be proven definitively. For a religion to survive that length of time is a true testament of how important the beliefs were to the people. Though Egyptian magic may seem a bit odd to us, one must remember that this was a “primitive” society trying to explain the rising of the sun without benefit of the scientific and astronomical knowledge we enjoy. Without that wisdom, how would you interpret a solar or lunar eclipse, a raging storm complete with sheets of rain, lightning, and thunder, or even a gentle spring breeze? The ancient Egyptian could view these as omens of ill fortune, a manifestation of a god’s displeasure, or the unmistakable touch of a protective deity.
Common Practices and Devices for Egyptian Revenge Magic
To appease or gain favor with their gods, the ancients made offerings and spoke words that they assumed the gods would appreciate. If the offerings and words did the trick, the ancients would repeat them again in similar circumstances. If the offerings and words did not have the desired effect, they would use other offerings and words on subsequent occasions. Eventually, the words (spells) were written on papyrus so the priests could speak them over and over, or in the case of the Book of the Dead, the proper words would accompany and be recited by the deceased on his or her journey through the Underworld.
It is probable that the same approach was used to facilitate destructive magic. The most common practices and devices the Egyptians employed in revenge magic were spitting, swallowing, breaking, fashioning figurines and red pots, and inscribing curse tablets and letters to the dead. However, these devices were not exclusive to hexes or curses, and the ancient Egyptians used many in healing or love spells as well. Let’s look at each one and how they were utilized.
Spitting: Written spells reference spitting for curses; the ancients viewed spitting as repellent, hostile, and insulting. The act of spitting was often employed against demons, such as Set and Apophis. Spitting on a figurine or item belonging to the person you were hexing would be a way to use this form of magic.
Swallowing: The swallowing of enchanted water or dissolved ink was a common practice in ancient Egypt to release the magic of a spell. Swallowing “acquiresR...