Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Book: Egyptian Magic

The American University in Cairo Press

Egyptian Magic. The Quest for Thoth’s Book of Secrets. Maarten J. Raven

Maarten J. Raven is curator of the Egyptian Department of the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden (the Netherlands). He has organized numerous exhibitions on pharaonic culture.

Objects and artwork from an exhibition in the Netherlands, along with explanatory text, on various aspects of ancient Egyptian magic, sorcery, superstitious beliefs and the occult

The ancient Egyptians were firmly convinced of the importance of magic, which was both a source of supernatural wisdom and a means of affecting one’s own fate. The gods themselves used it for creating the world, granting mankind magical powers as an aid to the struggle for existence. Magic formed a link between human beings, gods, and the dead. Magicians were the indispensable guardians of the god-given cosmic order, learned scholars who were always searching for the Magic Book of Thoth, which could explain the wonders of nature. Egyptian Magic, illustrated with wonderful and mysterious objects from European museum collections, describes how Egyptian sorcerers used their craft to protect the weakest members of society, to support the gods in their fight against evil, and to imbue the dead with immortality, and explores the arcane systems and traditions of the occult that governed this well-organized universe of ancient Egypt.

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