Monday, December 25, 2006

Musings of Sifu H.A. Diop 12.25.06

On the Art and Practice of Conjure, Conjuration and Hoodoo Rootwork. . .
Recollect, Wise-Folk know more than the average mortal being. . .
More than one will ever be privy to know, realize or understand. . .
Possession of all-encompassing esoteric, arcane spiritual-magickal knowledge
and powers are mightier than any possessor of the evil eye, poison pen or

Friday, December 22, 2006

Gardnerian BoS (An Excerpt)

The Gardnerian Book of Shadows
Gerald Gardner

Winter Solstice

Form circle in usual manner, invoking the Mighty Ones.

The Cauldron of Cerridwen is placed in the circle at the south wreathed with holly, ivy, and mistletoe, with fire lighted within it. There should be no other light except for the candles on the altar and about the circle.

After all are purified, the Moon should be drawn down.

Then the High Priestess stands behind the Cauldron in pentacle position, symbolizing the rebirth of the sun. The people, man and woman alternately, stand round the circle. The Magus stands facing the High Priestess with a bundle of torches, or candles, and the book of words of the incantation. One of the officers stands beside him with a lighted candle, so that he may have light to read by.

The people begin to slowly move round the circle sunwise. As each passes him the Magus lights his candle or torch from the fire in the Cauldron, which may be simply a candle, till all have lighted candles or torches. Then the people dance round slowly as he reads the incantation. (A real fire must now be kindled in the Cauldron.)

Queen of the Moon, Queen of the Sun. Queen of the Heavens, Queen of the Stars.

Queen of the Waters, Queen of the Earth. Who ordained to us the child of promise:

It is the Great Mother who gives birth to him, He is the Lord of Life who is born again, Darkness and tears are set behind,And the star of guidance comes up early.

Golden sun of hill and mountain illumine the land, illumine the world, illumine the seas, illumine the rivers,Grief be laid, and joy be raised.

Blessed be the Great Mother, Without beginning, without ending, To everlasting, to eternity, I O. Evohe, Blessed be."

The dance commences slowly, in rhythm with the chant, all taking up the call "I. O. Blessed be."

The Priestess joins dance and leads them with a quicker rhythm. The cauldron with burning fire is pushed so that the dancers leap or step over it, in couples. Whichever couple is passing it as it goes out, should be well-purified, three times each, and may pay any amusing forfeit as the High Priestess may ordain. Sometimes the cauldron is relighted several times for this purpose.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Official Announcement


We are pleased to announce that the Temple of Kheti ministry and metaphysical organization, eGroup, and website have undergone a name (and organizational) change to the "Temple of Kemetic Wicca". To access the Temple's website and eGroup, please click on the following links:

Temple of Kemetic Wicca

The Temple of Kemetic Wicca (based in Denver Metro, Colorado) has openings for clergy. If you are interested in applying for one of the following positions below, then send an e-mail outlining your intent and qualifications to:


1. Hemet-netjer tepey (High Priestess)
2. Kheri-heb (Lector Priest)
3. Sem Priest (Mortuary Priest/ess)
4. Wa'eb Priestess (Assistant to the HPS)
5. Wa'eb Priest (Assistant to the HP)
6. Sesh (Scribe Priest)

Ideally, it would be great if prospective candidates reside in or around Colorado already but we are flexible and adaptable.

Other than that, it's (spiritual) business as usual.

Brightess Blessings & Merry Yule,

Dr. K.A. Sahure,
Elder High Priest & Spiritual Overseer
Temple of Kemetic Wicca
Eclectic Priestesses & Priests of Ma'at

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Must Reading - "Drums and Shadows"

Drums and Shadows
Georgia Writer's Project
Work Projects Administration
Mary Granger, District Supervisor
[1940, copyright not renewed]

This collection of oral folklore from coastal Georgia was assembled during the 1930s as part of a WPA writers' program, under the supervision of Mary Granger. The accounts in this book, framed by colorful descriptions of the rural locales where they were collected, were principally from elderly African-Americans, some of them centarians. Most had been slaves. In some cases they had known first generation slaves who had been born in Africa.

This book focuses on a set of beliefs and magical practices (some of which are today known as 'Hoodoo'), including root doctoring, the existence of spirits, talismans, lucky and unlucky acts and omens and more. The interviewer also investigates the use of drums and dancing during celebrations, funeral and baptism rituals, food taboos, and other aspects of folklore and ethnology. This study dispels any lingering doubt that these beliefs are derived directly from Africa--it exhaustively cross-references the narratives with an appendix of quotes from African ethnographers, folklorists and explorers.

Do not be put off by the use of phonetic dialect spelling. This is not being used here to belittle the speakers or cast them as ignorant. Rather, this book is scrupulously non-judgmental. This is simply how oral accounts were transcribed before there were portable tape recorders or camcorders. It takes a bit of work, but after a few pages, these potent and long-dead voices come to life. --JB Hare

Sacred Texts -

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Egypt and Her Mighty Pharaohs

Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire
Drusilla Dunjee Houston
[1926, no renewal]


M. Chabas regards a space at least of 4000 years, preceeding the first Dynasty as absolutely necessary to such development as Egypt possessed at the time of the fourth Dynasty. The art of the Old Empire was vigorous and full of original genius but the art of later times was stiff and conventional. The oldest religion had been pure, as proved by the monuments. The reign of Menes began about 3895 B. C. He was a prince of Upper Egypt. The records of Egypt say that prior to Menes were ten Thinite kings of Upper Egypt, the older of the two countries, as proved by this statement. There were still earlier ages when demi-gods ruled and a vast period when God himself ruled the universe. There is nothing at all in this incongruous with Bible statements. The Scriptures said that there were ten ante-diluvian patriarchs preceeding the Deluge. The Hindu, Chaldean, Arabian, Greek and Celtic chronicles named ten primitive kings. The part of Egyptian chronology, which we cannot understand is that division extending beyond the Hood.

Sir J. Gardner Wilkerson in The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians thought that civilization advanced northward from the Thebaid to Lower Egypt. Hieroglyphics show that in Upper Egypt were the older cities. Menes founded Memphis, but This on the Upper Nile was a royal city, where kings ruled long before the time of Menes. This was a suburb of Abydos. Here have been unearthed many relies of the Old Race. Because of this evidence, Renan asserts that Egypt had no infancy, no archaic period, because her first colonists were civilized in Ethiopia. Athotis, a successor of Menes, wrote anatomical facts. A medical papyrus in the British museum curiously illustrates this fact. Under the fourth Thinite king a great famine ravaged Egypt. Mantheo speaks of many wonders and a very great plague under the seventh king. In the Second Dynasty the worship of the bull Aphis was introduced at Memphis. Under another of these kings a law was passed where women could hold sovereign power.

Dynasty III was Memphite. We read of a revolt of Libyans showing that Egypt even then held dominion beyond the Nile. The Rebu, a dark people, appear on the monuments as kindred of the Egyptians. Dr. Brugsch calls attention to the general absence in the titles of the kings of the name Ra, which afterwards was essential to throne names. Dynasty IV the first king was Khufu or the Cheops of Herodotus. This was an epoch when pyramid building reached its zenith and was the beginning of the brilliant era of Egyptian history. We can judge this by the magnificence of the sepulchers of these Pharaohs. The kingly power was then supreme. These rulers were positively worshipped. These were reigns of peace the age before the Old Empire extended itself out over the continents. Khufu built the Great Pyramid and the temple of Isis. near the Great Sphinx, which was carved by some earlier monarch. This disproves the charge of impiety against him. Britannica says that the cost of life in building the pyramids could scarcely have equaled the loss in long wars.

Dynasty IV was 3700 B. C. Recent excavations have enabled us to look upon the face of Khufu. He possessed a giant Ethiopian profile. Petrie says of him: "The first thing that strikes us about him is the enormous driving power of the man, the ruling nature which it seems impossible to resist. As far as force of will goes, the strongest characters of history would look pliable in his presence. There is no face quite parallel to this in all the portraits that we know--Egyptian, Greek, Roman or modern." Myers says that these figures standing so far back in the gray dawn of the historic morning mark not the beginning but in some respects the perfection of Egyptian art. It is this vast and mysterious background that impresses us more than these giant forms cast up against it. The ancient Cushite looks at you out of the face of Khufu. Examination of the countenances of any of these first Pharaohs reveals all of the true Ethiopian types and there was more than one of them. Their parallels may easily be found in Ethiopian types around us today. Khufu was author of part of the funeral ritual. His wife was a priestess of Thot.

An ivory statute of a king of the First Dynasty taken from Petrie's Abydos shows the flat nose, prognathous jaws, and the long head of the Cushite. Sheikh-el-Beled, in the museum of Gizeh, a supposed overseer of the Great Pyramid is the exact prototype of a modern mulatto. The Sphinx was the form of the ancient god Horus. This Great Sphinx, the sphinxes at Tanis and the colossi at Bubastis, all represent black, full featured Africans, that are emblematic, says Dr. Dubois, of kings of the earliest dynasties. Under the rulers of the fifth and sixth Dynasties, there was a notable decline in power and achievement. A less careful style of architecture appeared and there were less pains in the excavation of tombs. In the Fifth Dynasty the capital was moved to Middle Egypt. . The royal forces at this time were composed chiefly of Ethiopians and their pictures appear largely in the pictured priesthood. Tylor points, out that 2000 B. C. Negroes by the tens of thousands were in the Egyptian service, carrying her dominion into Syria and Arabia. After the Sixth Dynasty there is a blank in the records. We have no monuments to guide us.

2400 to 2000 B. C. brings us to the Middle Kingdom. The reigns preceeding it were probably Memphite. The three following were Theban, Egypt always rose in art and achievement when the south was supreme. With Dynasty Twelve came the Golden Age of Egypt. These Theban rulers laid Syria waste. Amenemhat I of Cushite blood ruled beyond Egypt southward as Lord of the Two Lands. All Egypt came under his domination. He extended her boundaries. Sculpture and architecture were revived. The blood that had given Egypt her civilization was again upon the throne. Tens of thousands of acres of marsh were drained and a wonderful system of artificial reservoirs built to hold the surplus waters of the Me. Theban glory began with the rise of these monarchs. Amenemhat reclaimed 20,000 acres of fertile land. He settled these districts with people from the south. Under these Cushite cultivators the yields of grapes, flax, cotton, peas, beans, radishes, melons and other vegetables were enormous. Under Usurtesen II, the kingdom reached the highest prosperity. The monuments tell of the grandeur of the works and the armies that marched out of the Hundred gated Thebes to foreign conquests. In Dynasty XII Cushites were formidable rivals of Egypt.

The Two Lands were pulling apart, though Ethiopians still sat upon the throne of Egypt. By the Two Lands we mean Egypt and Ethiopia. Ethiopia in those ages extended to the northern confines of Upper Egypt. Amenemhat II and III and Usurtesen I were Ethiopian Pharaohs of this Nubian line. Look at authentic cuts of these kings (see page 209) and you will be satisfied that they were Cushites. During their reigns, the ancient glories of Egypt were restored. No Pharaoh had had a reign so glorious for conquest and works of engineering as Usurtesen III.

On his cartouch was the symbol of the union of the Two Lands. He was worshipped as a god in Nubia in subsequent times. Amenemhat III of the same Nubian line, constructed a vast artificial reservoir, Lake Moeris. Near the lake he built the famous Labyrinth, the most justly celebrated structure of antiquity. Herodotus who saw a declared it greater than all the temples of Greece. He was struck dumb by the magnificence of its three thousand apartments. The domestic life of this age excites our admiration. We read of no expeditions into Nubia. These monarchs seemed anxious to build up the country.

1700 B. C. finds Egypt invaded and conquered. Dynasty XIII brought another blank in the monumental records. Egypt had broken into two really separate kingdoms. This enfeebled the country for the conquest of the Hyksos. During their stay, the native princes at the south maintained themselves. 2080-1525 B. C. these Shepherd kings ruled over Egypt. They were a barbaric and nomadic race from Asia which destroyed the temples and left no monuments standing in Egypt. Those who contend that the origin of the civilization of the Nile was from Asia should note that under these Asiatics, Egypt entered into the darkest period of her history. The Shepherds were expelled from Egypt by Aahmes, a mulatto and a Theban. He was the Amoisis of the Greeks and king of the north and south. He secured the favor of the Cushites by marrying Nefruari, the black princess of Ethiopia, famous for her dusky charms, wealth and accomplishments. The marriage of the Pharaohs to black princesses was frequent and seemed to establish the legality of the claim of descent from the black god Amen-Ra, whom the ancients represented as Cush of Ethiopia.

Nefruari or Nefertari was by the inscriptions, the most venerated figure of Egyptian history. She was a queen of great beauty, strong personality and administrative ability. Her son, Amenhotep the Amenophis of the Greeks, reigned jointly with her for many years. Mariette discovered in 1850 the mummy of Queen Aahotep, the Nubian mother of Aahmes. The ornaments now preserved in a museum near Cairo are of such marvelous workmanship that modern jewelers confess their inability to even imitate them. Under Aahmes Egypt again became supreme. The decayed and ruined temples were restored to their ancient richness and splendor. In a few years she had regained what had been lost in the five Centuries of rule of the Hyksos. The country became covered with edifices and new roads were opened for commerce and trade. Aahmes founded an empire that lasted 1500 years, a period rich in its records of history and growth for Egypt. As late as 663 B. C., Psamtik, a Pharaoh of Libyan origin strengthened his claim to the Egyptian throne by marriage to an Ethiopian princess, the daughter of Sabako. The father of the great Ramses II followed the same procedure.

Dynasty XVIII, 1500-1300 B. C. Egypt attained the summit of her power. She became the arbitress of the whole world. Sayce says that they returned with new rolls of conquered provinces and with the plunder and tribute of the east. Amenophis I, son of Aahmes and Nefertari, carried on the Ethiopian wars. Ethiopia was breaking away from Egypt. His son Thotmes I, subdued Phoenicia and Syria. His daughter, Hatasu, called herself daughter of Amen and his incarnation. She had a strongly mulatto countenance. The name of her father occurs at Meroe. His son Thothmes I ordered offerings made to the gods of the south. He sent out expeditions to Khent-hen-nefar, probably the country known today as the western Soudan. He was called sovereign of the Two Lands. He was the first of a long line of conquering pharaohs. The astonishing resemblance of the art of the Fourth, Twelfth and Eighteenth Dynasties, the great periods of Egyptian history lies in the fact that they were dynasties that were purely Ethiopian. They represented the best genius of the race that had given Egypt her civilization. When they were out of power her culture always declined.

The great Thotmes III was of all the Pharaohs, unquestionably the greatest. During his long reign of fifty-four years, the country was covered with monuments and became the center of trade and intercourse. Sayce says that countless treasures flowed into Egypt and Thebes became the capital of the world. Thotmes created a considerable navy upon the Mediterranean and was absolutely supreme upon its waters. Monuments of his reign have been found in Algeria. In the Hall of Ancestors, Karnak, Thotmes III, may be seen making offerings before sixty-one of his ancestors. This will give us some idea of how many Ethiopian monarchs had sat upon the Egyptian throne. He called himself the royal son of the land of the South. He erected in Nubia many more edifices than any other monarch. There he appears worshipping the gods of the south. From his expeditions into Asia he returned with enormous spoil. He was undoubtedly, the Alexander of Egyptian history. He conquered the known world. Thothmes III carved the names of 628 vanquished nations and captured cities on the walls at Karnak. Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Armenia, Abyssinia and Nubia were parts of his domain.

This Pharaoh was also a magnificent builder. His works are almost numberless. One being a portion of the temple of Karnak, the most magnificent ruin in the world. During the reign of Thotmes III, Mycenaean culture was at its zenith. Sayce shows that he established royal botanical and zoological gardens, stocked with curious plants and animals which he brought back with him. Year after year tribute and taxes of every kind came regularly to the Egyptian treasury from the towns of Palestine, Phœnicia and northern Syria. From Cush and Punt came offerings. He received also the tribute and homage of the Assyrian and Chaldean kings. This was without doubt the Middle Ages when the Cushite race ruling from Thebes as a center, sought to follow and hold the old lines of the more ancient Cushite empire of Ethiopians. that in the ages of Amen-Ra and Osiris had covered three worlds. In an earlier age, the central seat had been the primitive Meru. In the latter days of the Egyptian empire, the priestcraft and soldiers retired and set up a new capital at Napata; but the days of world empire were over, which empire had lasted, some authorities say, for six thousand years.

The next king of this dynasty was Amenhotep II, the son of Thothmes III. The Egyptians under his lead captured Nineveh. He brought back the bodies of seven kings that he had taken in battle. He put up their heads as trophies on the walls of Thebes. A new strain of Ethiopian blood appears in this line through the Nubian queen, Metuma, about 1400, B. C. Her son, Amenhotep III, the Amenophis of the Greeks, covered the banks of the Nile with monuments remarkable for their grandeur and perfection. He was the Memnon of the Iliad, who came to the relief of Troy. There he is called the black prince. He built monuments inscribed with his name. At Sulb, he and his wife, Tai, appear making offerings to Amen-Ra. He built the great temple at Luxor and the colossi at Thebes and was called by the Greeks the miracle working Memnon, who each morning with musical sounds greeted his mother. His rule extended from southern Ethiopia to Mesopotamia. He seemed to have wished to make the Soudan prosperous.

Thotmes III, Amenophis III and Amenophis IV were in appearance unmixed Negro types. Darwin was struck by the extremely Ethiopian characteristics of the statute of Amenophis III. We will pause here to glance at a son of Amenophis who in our day has aroused universal interest. Tut-ankh-amen was born 1350 B. C., long before the days of Athens and Rome. His tomb was discovered in a limestone cliff in the Valley of Tombs about five miles from ancient Thebes. It had practically been unmolested for thirty centuries. Here were the tombs of the other Pharaohs of the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties. All had been ruthlessly pillaged. Every effort had been made to conceal the spot. Herbert Carter, for thirty years had searched for the tomb. He found it in 1922. He knew by the seals on the door that it had been undisturbed. He sent at once to his generous patron Lord Carnarvan, and sought the aid of the world's greatest Egyptologists.

One of the first visitors to enter the tomb was Professor Breasted. He said: "It is a sight I never dreamed of seeing--the antechamber of a Pharaoh's tomb, filled with the magnificent equipment which only the wealth and splendor of the imperial age of Egypt could have wrought or conceived. In quality it is an astonishing revelation of the beauty and refinement of Egyptian art--beyond anything I had imagined." The first room of the tomb entered contained statutes, caskets, chests, beds, chairs and chariots all beautifully carved and decorated. On the lid of one chest were hunting scenes. The beauty and minuteness of the details of the painting excels the finest Chinese and Japanese art. Still more valuable articles besides these which filled the room had been plundered. The kings robes were elaborately decorated with beads of gold. There was a beautiful amber necklace. His sandals of leather were inlaid with gold. The king's throne was one of the finest specimens of Egyptian art ever found in a tomb. It was covered with gold and silver and inlaid with sparkling gems. Several very beautiful alabaster vases were found. Perfumes 3000 years old still gave forth a pleasant odor. Behind this chamber was another packed five feet high with innumerable objects.

Harold M. Weeks says, "This imperial age or first empire, now shines out as one of the world's most astounding epochs. It is needful only to point out that objects in Tut-ankh-amen's tomb have been valued at such sums as $10,000,000 (though it is futile, to price the priceless), and then to remember that Tut-ankh-amen was but a weak declining star compared to the other brilliant Pharaohs of the Eighteenth Dynasty constellation." At this age the nations of Asia were pouring tribute into Egypt. These nations remembered the terrible power of Amenophis and trembled. From the statutes and the wall paintings, the king of this tomb was black. This may have had something to do with the hasty closing of the tomb. His name ended with Amen, the black god of the Soudan and Egypt. With his name the Egyptians began and ended their prayers. We of the Christian world, through the Hebrews have appropriated it and use the title of the great Amen at the close of our petitions. During the Hyksos invasion, the native royal family of lower Egypt took refuge in Ethiopia. Alliance with Cushite princesses was common. Moses, says Giekie, only followed their example.

Amenophis IV. tried to establish a new religion. Open war broke out between him and the priests of Amen. In enforced flight he retired to a new capital. Weakened by this strife he lost his hold upon the Asiatic provinces. The close of his reign found Egypt shorn of all that had been won by his predecessors. His successor speedily made peace with the priests of Amen and was permitted to be buried in the royal burying ground. Dynasty XIX, 1300 B. C. brings us to Ramses I and Seti I who restored the waning glory of Egypt. He strengthened his claim to the throne by marrying princess Tai, granddaughter of Amenophis III. Remeses II, the son of this marriage became the legitimate king. He was the Sesostris of the Greeks. He reigned sixty-seven years. The temple of Abydos records the names of sixty daughters and fifty-nine sons. He built two magnificent temples in Nubia and part of the temples of Karnak and Luxor. Around his name, says Lenormant, clustered the lustre of his predecessors. We know he subdued Syria, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Media, Persia, Bactrina and India even to the Ganges, the Scythians and the inhabitants of Asia Minor. All of these regions were anciently Cushite. He returned after nine years loaded with captives and spoil.

Great changes were taking place in world populations. The emigration southward had begun that made the modern Persian nation, Armenians, Turo-Scythic populations were pouring down upon Greece. The old Cushite colonists of the great belt that had once stretched from India to Spain became restless and chaffing under the inroads of these barbaric hoards they began a movement southward--an attempted return to the regions of their origin. Egypt strong, fully populated, did not feel inclined to receive them. As these new infusions entered and changed the life and ideals of Mesopotamia, Syria, Asia Minor and the Ægean, their attitude toward Egypt became more hostile. These conquered nations revolted and the Egyptians were driven back to almost the valley of the Nile. Remeses III was the last of the heroes, when he assumed the crown Egypt was surrounded by enemies. The Libyans had established themselves in the western portion of the Delta. They attacked Egypt but were repulsed. The successors of Remeses were insignificant sovereigns; the high priests of Ammon at Thebes usurped their power and 1100 B. C. set aside the heirs and seized the throne. They did not long retain this dignity.

The Tanites 1090 B. C. succeeded in expelling the priests of Ammon and established dominion over Egypt. They reigned one hundred years. They were succeeded by the Bubastes of Lower Egypt. With the Tanite dynasty, the high priesthood which had been so powerful from early ages, with the royalty, retired to Ethiopia and set up a rival state at Napata. Azerch-Amen, King of Ethiopia starting from Napata invaded Egypt, traversed the whole length and penetrated Palestine at the head of an army of Ethiopians and Libyans. 800 B. C. Pianki made the Thebaid a simple province dependent upon Ethiopia. The people of Egypt favorably received his accession to the throne at Thebes. They were better disposed toward an Ethiopian king than one from the Delta. 693 B. C. Tarkaka conquered the whole Nile valley. Thebes welcomed him with enthusiasm. Priests opened the gates of Memphis. He fixed his capital at Thebes. Strabo said that Tarkaka rivalled Remses II in his conquests, which extended westward to the Pillars of Hercules and eastward to the Assyrian domains. With the wrestling of Egypt from Ethiopian conquerors, the old empire died.

670 B. C. in the twenty-third year of his reign, the Assyrians drove Tarkaka out of Egypt. His successor Tanut-Amen determined to wrest Egypt from Asia. Thebes and Memphis opened their gates and even Tyre sent help, but the Assyrians returned and executed a terrible vengeance. 660 B C. Psammeticus, of Libyan origin, threw off the yoke. He married an Ethiopian princess as so many Pharaohs that had preceeded him. This prince of the final line of native sovereigns gained the throne by aid of Greek mercenaries. He throw open the door of Egypt to foreigners, especially Greeks. Greek travelers visited the cities of the Nile. The Greek colony of Naucrates was given special privileges. He entrusted some of the highest offices of Egypt to foreigners. The military class because of this emigrated to Ethiopia. Psammeticus humbled his pride and sued for their return but these two hundred thousand preferred Ethiopia. 343 B. C. the last native dynasty ceased, with the flight of Nektanebos with the treasury of Egypt to Ethiopia, upon the approach of Persian conquerors. Persia did not enjoy sway over Egypt very long, her sceptre soon passed to Alexander.

332 B. C. Egypt was glad when the empire fell to Alexander the Great. He was welcomed in Egypt as a deliverer. 331 B. C. he visited the oases of Ammon in the Libyan desert where he was recognized by the priests as the son of Amon. In the winter of the same year he founded the city of Alexandria. Ptolemy I, 306 B. C., raised Egypt again to first rank. Alexandria became the foremost city of the world as a center of commerce and culture. The famous museum and library attracted to Alexandria men of science and letters from all parts of the Hellenic world. Under his successors Egypt prospered greatly. Philadelphus is said to have suggested the preparation of Manetho's Egyptian History from native sources. The line of Ptolemies ended with Cleopatra, who through her influence over Caesar managed to preserve the nominal independence of Egypt. At her death the land of the Pharaohs became a Roman province. Christianity was early introduced and at first was severely persecuted. 391 A. D. it became the state religion 639-641. A. D. Mohammedan Arabs conquered Egypt. Cairo became the capital and a great center of religion and learning.

So we might continue on down the line of changing sovereigns to modern times, but that is not the purpose of this book, which seeks only to follow the more ancient traces in Egypt of the ancient Cushite empire of Ethiopians. Diodorus Siculus said of the work of the closing Ethiopian dynasty, that there were numerous canals built and embankments, intended to keep the towns above the level of the Nile. Hosea, king of Israel, sent presents to Shabaka. Amen-Iritis his sister was a woman of rare intelligence and superior merit. She was three times regent of Egypt under three sovereigns of the Ethiopian dynasties, showing the respect the Ethiopian had for his womankind. Amen-Iritis was very popular at Thebes. Shabaka abolished capital punishment and substituted hard labor. At Luxor he appears making offerings to the gods of Thebes as a native sovereign. Tarkaka in 693 built the great temple of Gebel Barkel. Many of the reliefs of the pyramids present the Ethiopian rulers as Lord of the Two Lands, with the throne titles Amen and Ra. They wear the same symbols upon their heads. We read the names Ankh-Ka-Ra, Alu-Amen, Amen-Ark-Neb, showing that for ages Nubia and Egypt were ruled as one land, ages far earlier than the period marked in the average history as the Ethiopian dynasty.

The original inhabitants of Asia Minor, of the South Caspian and the basin of the Mediterranean were closely related to Egypt. They had the cranial formation of Upper Egypt. In Egyptian war scenes there appeared very strangely formed and remote nations, that because of distance had lost the ancient race type. We see red hair, blue eyes and tatooing on the legs like the ancient Scythian. These may not have been aliens but northern branches of the Cushite race. The extended conquests of the Egyptian kings do not seem at all impossible when we remember that they were recovering and reclaiming regions anciently their own. We know by the records that Amenophis (Memnon), seized the whole coast of Arabia, Libya and Ethiopia. In the Iranian histories he had extended his conquests to far Bactrina. Amenophis subdued the Scythic nations in the Caucasus. He marched into Colchis which was Ethiopian (Her. II, 104) and marched as far as the Don. These were but old Cushite dominions. The passage of Hercules represents the early colonization of Western Europe by the race. Other ancient records tell us that the Ethiopian Cymandes led an immense army to conquer the Bactrians. The triumphant arms of Osiris reached from the sources of the Ganges to the Danube in Europe. Western Europe had its legends of the passage of Bacchus and Dionysus.

Friday, December 1, 2006

The Heptameron

The Book of Ceremonial Magic
Arthur Edward Waite

§ 6. The Heptameron

The Fourth Book of Cornelius Agrippa was much too informal, and left too much to the discretion of the operator, to be satisfactory for a science so exact as that of Ceremonial Magic. A form of procedure which bequeathed nothing to the imagination and asked no other skill than the patient exactitude of the rule of thumb was necessary to the weakness of the ordinary sorcerer. The Heptameron, or Magical Elements ascribed to Peter de Abano is an attempt to supply the want and to offer to the neophyte a complete wizard's cabinet. Cornelius Agrippa, says the introduction, which might, ex hypothesi, be that of a later hand, seems to have written for the learned, for the well-experienced in this art; he does not treat specially of the ceremonies, but mentions them in a general way. Those who have not "tasted magical superstitions" may here find them ready to their hand. "In brief, in this book are kept the principles of magical conveyances." It may be conceded at once that the undertaking is scrupulously fulfilled; what the operator must do and how he should perform it, so as to "draw spirits into discourse," are matters set forth so plainly that the wayfaring man need not err therein. Assuming the sacerdotal office of the operator, or a priest for an accomplice, it is all so simple that failure could not well be ascribed to a blunder on his part.

It would be invidious to suppose that the Heptameron is more authentic as regards its attribution than the work to which it is professedly a sequel; its real authorship is involved in much the same kind of obscurity as that of pseudo-Agrippa. There are several grave reasons why the pupil of Trithemius should not have written the spurious Fourth Book, but Peter of Abano is not an unlikely personage to connect with the Magical Elements, if it were not for a trifling chronological disparity of about three hundred years. It is true that Agrippa professedly wrote upon Magic, and the other upon Astrology and Geomancy, unless his imputed works in these departments of occult science are also forgeries; but the Heptameron was never heard of for the space which I have mentioned after the death of its reputed author, which occurred in 1316, and it is too obviously later in its tone, too obviously a sequel [1] to a much more recent work, for it to have been possibly a memorial of the fourteenth century.

Peter of Abano, a town in the vicinity of Padua, was born in 1250 and was a learned physician of his period, who attempted to conciliate the different medical systems and is supposed to have been the first European who quoted Averroes. He established himself at Paris, but at the instigation of jealous professional brethren he was accused of heresy and fled to his native place. At Padua a chair of medicine was created for him, but the accusation followed its victim; by some he was charged with denying the existence of demons, by others with obtaining his knowledge from seven imps whom he kept in a bottle. However this may be, the Inquisition instituted a process, but the designed sufferer was delivered by death--as some say, on the eve of his execution. The intervention infuriated the Tribunal, though the testament left behind him by Peter of Abano affirmed his belief in the orthodox faith. The magistrates of the city were ordered, on pain of excommunication, to exhume his body, but it was removed by a faithful servant and buried secretly in another church. The Inquisition clamoured for the punishment of the offender but was content in the end to burn the dead physician in effigy. As a counterpoise, a century later his bust was placed in the town-hall of Padua. His undoubted works, which are frankly unreadable, betray no acquaintance with the occult sciences beyond a belief in astrology, which in those days was catholic as Rome and powerful as the Holy Tribunal. He remains, therefore, one of the moral martyrs of Magic, faussement accusé, as Gabriel Naudé has it. His accusation and the mode of its prosecution remain also among the lesser glories of the Holy Office.

Accepting the Heptameron as a work belonging to the period of its first publication, it is here placed among the Rituals of a composite character, not because it professedly deals with devils, but because the nature of its angels and spirits is indicated by the manner of their conjuration; in a word, they are described as angels and threatened as demons.

The procedure is divided into two parts--a general method for the evocation of the Spirits of the Air, who are undoubtedly demons, and a set of angelical conjurations proper to each day of the week. The second section presumably belongs to the department of White Magic--if I may adopt this glorious distinction in the ribaldry of a passing moment--as the intelligences concerned are said to be good and great, though their offices are mixed and confusing, including the discovery of treasures, the detection of secrets, fomenting war, opening locks and bolts, procuring the love of women, inclining men to luxury and sowing hatred and evil thought. Obviously, White Magic of this kind is much blacker than it is painted. Though the entire Heptameron appears under one attribution, the first part only is ascribed in the text to Peter de Abano. Therein the personal preparation of the operator corresponds to that given in the Second Part of the present work, and the ceremonial itself, which, if cited at all, would have to be printed in extenso, as it contains no detachable portions, is much too elaborate to be inserted in this place, more especially as that of the Lemegeton will provide later on a fairly complete notion of the scope and purpose of the Composite Rituals, taken in their broad aspect, and will illustrate the fact that all conventional distinctions dissolve therein.

[1] A sequel, moreover, which contains several direct references, as, for example: "But after what manner they appear has been described already in the former book of magical ceremonies"--The Conjuration of the Lord's Day. This recurs with slight variations throughout the Heptameron. It may be advisable to add that Agrippa was of the sixteenth century.