Note: This is an extract from Egypt – Land of the Pharaohs, for my Gas-Lamp Fantasy Roleplaying Game. I hope to release this soon on kindle.
Although the supplement is for 1894, it does feature a fair bit of information concerning Ancient Egypt.
The Lost Magick of Ancient Egypt
It is known that the Ancient Egyptians had some very powerful wizards. But, apart from a few spells which have descended to the Victorian age through other cultures, very few of the spells of the Ancient Egyptian wizards survive. For the most part the individual spells have been lost. Some of the spells found on papyri do not even work – wizards who have tried to cast the spells have met with failure, as there is some aspect of the Ancient Egyptian approach which is missing.
One of the things which modern wizards might desire to do is to resurrect the Magick of the Ancient Egyptians. This would be extremely hard, if not impossible. But it might unlock powerful aspects of Magick, some of the lost gaps in the past, between the Magick of Atlantis, and the Magick of lands like Greece and Rome. It would fill in gaps in the Hermetic Tradition.
Magick in Europe traces itself back to Hermes Trismegistus, who was allegedly of Atlantean descent, if not an Atlantean himself. But the Magick of Egypt, according to some legends, was not given to them by Hermes Trismegistus, but by a different Magus, an Atlantean by the name of Serapis. It is more than likely that Serapis gave secrets that Hermes Trismegistus did mot know (and vice versa).
There are some things which are known about Magick in Ancient Egypt, even if most of the individual spells appear to have been lost. It is known that the areas which they were interested in were Necromancy (which, from their viewpoint, dealt with the Otherworld, not animating corpses per se); Protection Magick, and Portal Magick (which they referred to as the Opening of the Way).
It is known that the Ancient Egyptians destroyed wax or clay figurines of their enemies, presumably to invoke Curses.
It is believed that the Ancient Egyptians also invoked evil gods to appear in their enemies’ dreams, suggesting that their wizards knew dream Magick.
It was claimed that their wizards could sometimes see the future. By using a technique called Incubation, wizards would sleep in a temple, hoping to receive some prophetic dream from a god.
The Ancient Egyptians used both metal and ivory wands.
In Ancient Egypt Magick was called heka. On the following pages are some of the lost spells of this heka. Gamesmasters should feel free to design more lost spells. But these spells should only be recovered if the characters manage to piece together clues present all over Egypt. This should be something which should take a long time, possibly years.
If the Gamesmaster does design knew spells care should be taken to make sure that they do not overpower the game. Compare the spell to others in the Gas-Lamp Fantasy world before introducing them – and make sure, also, that they are the sort of heka which the Ancient Egyptoans would have come up with.
It should be noted that not all spells of the Ancient Egyptians are lost, and that many of them, including spells of Protection and Dream Magick, have passed down to the present day.