PAULTHIER, the French Indianist, may,
or may not, be taxed with too much enthusiasm when saying that India appears
before him as the grand and primitive focus of human thought, whose steady
flame has ended by communicating itself to, and setting on fire the whole
he is right in his statement. It is Aryan metaphysics2 that have led the mind to occult knowledge--the oldest and the mother
science of all, since it contains within itself all the other sciences.
And it is occultism--the synthesis of all the discoveries in nature and,
chiefly, of the psychic potency within and beyond every physical atom
of matter--that has been the primitive bond that has cemented into one
cornerstone the foundations of all the religions of antiquity.
The primitive spark has set on fire every nation, truly, and Magic underlies
now every national faith, whether old or young. Egypt and Chaldea are
foremost in the ranks of those countries that furnish us with the most
evidence upon the subject, helpless as they are to do as India does--to
protect their paleographic relics from desecration. The turbid waters
of the canal of Suez carry along to those that wash the British shores,
the magic of the earliest days of Pharaonic Egypt, to fill up with its
crumbled dust the British, French, German and Russian museums. Ancient, historical Magic is thus reflecting itself upon the scientific
records of our own all-denying century. It forces the hand and tires the
brain of the scientist, laughing at his efforts to interpret its meaning
in his own materialistic way, yet helps the occultist better to understand
modern Magic, the rickety, weak grandchild of her powerful, archaic grandam.
Hardly a hieratic papyrus exhumed along with the swathed mummy of King
or Priest-Hierophant, or a weather-beaten, indecipherable inscription
from the tormented sites of Babylonia or Ninevah, or an ancient tile-cylinder--that
does not furnish new food for thought or some suggestive information to
the student of Occultism. Withal, magic is denied and termed the "superstition"
of the ignorant ancient philosopher.
Thus, magic in every papyrus; magic in all the religious formulæ;
magic bottled up in hermetically-closed vials, many thousands of years
old; magic in elegantly bound, modern works; magic in the most popular
novels; magic in social gatherings; magic--worse than that, SORCERY--in
the very air one breathes in Europe, America, Australia: the more civilized
and cultured a nation, the more formidable and effective the effluvia
of unconscious magic it emits and stores away in the surrounding atmosphere
. . .
Tabooed, derided magic would, of course, never be accepted under her
legitimate name; yet science has begun dealing with that ostracised science
under modern masks, and very considerably. But what is in a name? Because
a wolf is scientifically defined as an animal of the genus canis, does
it make of him a dog? Men of science may prefer to call the magic inquired
into by Porphyry and explained by Iamblichus hysterical hypnosis, but
that does not make it the less magic. The result and outcome of primitive Revelation to the earlier races by their "Divine Dynasties"
the kings-instructors, became innate knowledge in the Fourth
race, that of the Atlanteans; and that knowledge is now called in its
rare cases of "abnormal" genuine manifestations, mediumship. The secret history of the world, preserved only in far-away, secure
retreats, would alone, if told unreservedly, inform the present generations
of the powers that lie latent, and to most unknown, in man and nature.
It was the fearful misuse of magic by the Atlanteans, that led their race
to utter destruction, and--to oblivion. The tale of their sorcery and
wicked enchantments has reached us, through classical writers, in fragmentary
bits, as legends and childish fairy-tales, and as fathered on smaller
nations. Thence the scorn for necromancy, goëtic magic, and theurgy.
The "witches" of Thessaly are not less laughed at in our day
than the modern medium or the credulous Theosophist. This is again due
to sorcery, and one should never lack the moral courage to repeat
the term; for it is the fatally abused magic that forced the adepts, "the
Sons of Light," to bury it deep, after its sinful votaries had themselves
found a watery grave at the bottom of the ocean; thus placing it beyond
the reach of the profane of the race that succeeded to the Atlanteans.
It is, then, to sorcery that the world is indebted for its present ignorance
about it. But who or what class in Europe or America, will believe the
report? With one exception, none; and that exception is found in the Roman
Catholics and their clergy; but even they, while bound by their religious
dogmas to credit its existence, attribute to it a satanic origin. It is
this theory which, no doubt, has to this day prevented magic from being
dealt with scientifically.
Still, nolens volens, science has to take it in hand. Archæology
in its most interesting department--Egyptology and Assyriology--is fatally
wedded to it, do what it may. For magic is so mixed up with the world's
history that, if the latter is ever to be written at all in its completeness,
giving the truth and nothing but the truth, there seems to be no
help for it. If Archæology counts still-upon discoveries and reports
upon hieratic writings that will be free from the hateful subject, then
HISTORY will never be written, we fear.
One sympathises profoundly with, and can well imagine, the embarrassing
position of the various savants and "F.R.S.'s" of Academicians
and Orientalists. Forced to decipher, translate and interpret old mouldy
papyri, inscriptions on steles and Babylonian rhombs, they find
themselves at every moment face to face with MAGIC!
Votive offerings, carvings, hieroglyphics, incantations--the whole paraphernalia
of that hateful "superstition"--stare them
in the eyes, demand their attention, fill them with the most disagreeable
perplexity. Only think what must be their feelings in the following case
in hand. An evidently precious papyrus is exhumed. It is the post-mortem passport furnished to the osirified soul3 of a just-translated Prince or even Pharaoh, written in red and
black characters by a learned and famous scribe, say of the IVth Dynasty,
under the supervision of an Egyptian Hierophant--a class considered in
all the ages and held by posterity as the most learned of the learned,
among the ancient sages and philosophers. The statements therein were
written at the solemn hours of the death and burial of a King-Hierophant,
of a Pharaoh and ruler. The purpose of the paper is the introduction of
the "soul" to the awful region of Amenti, before its judges,
there where a lie is said to outweigh every other crime. The Orientalist
carries away the papyrus and devotes to its interpretation
days, perhaps weeks, of labour, only to find in it the following statement:
"In the XIIIth year and the second month of Schomoo, in the
28th day of the same, we, the first High-priest of Ammon, the king of
the gods, Penotman, the son of the delegate (or substitute)4 for the High-priest Pion-ki-moan, and the scribe of the temple of Sosser-soo-khons
and of the Necropolis Bootegamonmoo, began to dress the late Prince Oozirmari
Pionokha, etc., etc., preparing him for eternity. When ready, the mummy
was pleased to arise and thank his servants, as also to accept a cover
worked for him by the hand of the "lady singer," Nefrelit Nimutha,
gone into eternity the year so and so--"some hundred years
before!" The whole in hieroglyphics.
This may be a mistaken reading. There are dozens of papyri, though,
well authenticated and recording more curious readings and narratives
than that corroborated in this, by Sanchoniathon and Manetho, by Herodotus
and Plato, Syncellus and dozens of other writers and philosophers, who
mention the subject. Those papyri note down very often, as seriously as
any historical fact needing no special corroboration, whole dynasties
of Kings-manes, viz., of phantoms and ghosts. The
same is found in the histories of other nations.
All claim for their first and earliest dynasties5 of rulers and kings, what the Greeks called Manes and the Egyptians Ourvagan, "gods," etc. Rossellius has tried to interpret
the puzzling statement, but in vain. "The word
manes meaning urvagan," he says, "and that term in its
literal sense signifying exterior image, we may suppose, if it
were possible to bring down that dynasty within some historical period--that
the word referred to some form of theocratic government, represented
by the images of the gods and priests"!!6
A dynasty of, to all appearance, living, at all events acting
and ruling, kings turning out to have been simply mannikins and images,
would require, to be accepted, a far wider stretch of modern credulity
than even "kings' phantoms."
Were these Hierophants and Scribes, Pharaohs and King-Initiates all
fools or frauds, confederates and liars, to have either believed themselves
or tried to make other people believe in such cock and bull stories, if
there were no truth at the foundation? And that for a long series of millenniums,
from the first to the last Dynasty?
Of the divine Dynasty of Manes, the text of the "Secret
Doctrine" will treat more fully; but a few such feats may be recorded
from genuine papyri and the discoveries of archæology. The Orientalists
have found a plank of salvation: though forced to publish the contents
of some famous papyri, they now call them Romances of the days
of Pharaoh so-and-so. The device is ingenious, if not absolutely honest.
The literary Sadducees may fairly rejoice.
One of such is the so-called "Lepsius Papyrus" of the Berlin
Museum, now purchased by the latter from the heirs of Richard Lepsius.
It is written in hieratic characters in the archaic Egyptian (old Coptic)
tongue, and is considered one of the most important archæological
discoveries of our age, inasmuch as it furnishes dates for comparison,
and rectifies several mistakes in the order of dynastical successions. Unfortunately its most important fragments are missing. The learned Egyptologists who had the greatest difficulty
in deciphering it have concluded that it was "an historical romance
of the XVIth century B.C.,7 dating back to events that took place during the reign
of Pharaoh Cheops, the supposed builder of the pyramid of that name, who
flourished in the XXVIth (?) century before our era." It shows Egyptian
life and the state of society at the Court of that great Pharaoh, nearly
900 years before the little unpleasantness between Joseph and Mrs. Potiphar.
The first scene opens with King Cheops on his throne, surrounded by
his sons, whom he commands to entertain him with narratives about hoar
antiquity and the miraculous powers exercised by the celebrated sages
and magicians at the Court of his predecessor. Prince Chefren then tells
his audience how a magus during the epoch of Pharaoh Nebkha fabricated
a crocodile out of wax and endowed him with life and obedience. Having
been placed by a husband in the room of his faithless spouse, the crocodile
snapped at both the wife and her lover, and seizing them carried them
both into the sea. Another prince told a story of his grandfather, the
parent of Cheops, Pharaoh SENEFRU. Feeling seedy,
he commanded a magician into his presence, who advised him as a remedy
the spectacle of twenty beautiful maidens of the Court sporting in a boat
on the lake near by. The maidens obeyed and the heart of the old despot
was "refreshed." But suddenly one of the ladies screamed and
began to weep aloud. She had dropped into the water, 120 feet deep in
that spot, a rich necklace. Then a magician pronounced a formula, called
the genii of the air and water to his help, and plunging his hand into
the waves brought back with it the necklace. The Pharaoh was greatly struck
with the feat. He looked no more at the twenty beauties, "divested
of their clothes, covered with nets, and with twenty oars made of ebony
and gold"; but commanded that sacrifices should be made to the manes of those two magicians when they died. To this Prince Gardadathu remarked that the highest among such magicians never die, and
that one of them lived to that day, more than a centenarian, at the town
of Deyd-Snefroo; that his name was Deddy; and that he had the miraculous
power of reuniting cut-off heads to their bodies and recalling the whole
to life, as also full authority and sway over the lions of the desert.
He, Deddy, knew likewise where to procure the needed expensive materials
for the temple of the god Thoth (the wisdom deity), which edifice
Pharaoh Cheops was anxious to raise near his great pyramid. Upon hearing
this, the mighty king Cheops expressed desire to see the old sage at his
Court! Thereupon the Prince Gardadathu started on his journey, and brought
back with him the great magician.
After long greetings and mutual compliments and obeisance, according
to the papyrus, a long conversation ensued between the Pharaoh and the
sage, which goes on briefly thus:--
"I am told, oh sage, that thou art able to reunite heads severed
from their bodies to the latter."
"I can do so, great King,"--answered Daddy.
"Let a criminal be brought here, without delay," quoth the
"Great King, my power does not extend to men. I can resurrect only
animals,"--remarked the sage.
A goose was then brought, its head cut off and placed in the east corner
of the hall, and its body at the western side. Deddy extended his arm
in the two directions in turn and muttered a magic formula. Forthwith
the body of the bird arose and walked to the centre of the hall, and the
head rolled up to meet it. Then the head jumped on the bleeding neck;
the two were reunited; and the goose began to walk about, none the worse
for the operation of beheading.
The same wonderful feat was repeated by Deddy upon canaries and a bull.
After which the Pharaoh desired to be informed with regard to the projected
temple of Thoth.
The sage-magician knew all about the old remains of the temple, hidden
in a certain house at Heliopolis: but he had no right to reveal it to
the king. The revelation had to come from the eldest of the three triplets
of Rad-Dedtoo. The latter is the wife of the priest of the Sun, at the
city of Saheboo. She will conceive the triplet-sons from the sun-god,
and these children will play an important part in the history of the land
of Khemi (Egypt), inasmuch as they will be called to rule it. The eldest,
before he becomes a Pharaoh, will be High-priest of the Sun at the city
"Upon hearing this, Pharaoh Cheops rent his clothes in grief: his
dynasty would thus be overthrown by the son of the deity to whom he was
actually raising a temple!"
Here the papyrus is torn; and a large portion of it being missing, posterity
is denied the possibility of learning what Pharaoh Cheops undertook in
The fragment that follows apprizes us of that which is evidently the
chief subject of the archaic record--the birth of the three sons of the
sun-god. As soon as Rad-Dedtoo felt the pangs of childbirth, the great
sun-god called the goddesses Isis, Nephthys, Mesehentoo, and Hekhtoo,
and sent them to help the priestess, saying: "She is in labour with
my three sons who will, one day, be the rulers of this land. Help her,
and they will raise temples for you, will make innumerable
libations of wine and sacrifices." The goddesses did as they were
asked, and three boys, each one yard long and with very long arms,8 were born. Isis gave them their names and Nephthys blessed them, while
the two other goddesses confirmed on them their glorious future. The three
young men became eventually kings of the Vth Dynasty, their names being
Ouserkath, Sagoorey and Kakäy. After the goddesses had returned to
their celestial mansions some great miracles occurred. The corn given
the mother-goddesses returned of itself into the corn-bin in an out-house
of the High-priest, and the servants reported that voices of invisibles
were singing in it the hymns sung at the birth of hereditary princes,
and the sounds of music, and dances belonging to that rite were distinctly
heard. This phenomenon endangered, later on, the lives of the future kings--the
A female slave having been punished once by the High priestess, the
former ran away from the house, and spoke thus to the assembled crowds:
"How dare she punish me, that woman who gave birth to three kings?
I will go and notify it to Pharaoh Cheops, our lord."
At this interesting place, the papyrus is again
torn; and the reader left once more in ignorance of what resulted from
the denunciation, and how the three boy-pretenders avoided the persecution
of the paramount ruler.9
Another magical feat is given by Mariette Bey (Mon. Dir. pl.
9, Persian epoch) from a tablet in the Bulak Museum, concerning the Ethiopian
kingdom founded by the descendants of the High-priests of Ammon, wherein
flourished absolute theocracy. It was the god himself, it appears, who
selected the kings at his fancy, and "the stele 114 which
is an official statement about the election of Aspalout, shows how such
events took place." (Gebel-Barkal.) The army gathered near the Holy
Mountain at Napata, choosing six officers who had to join other delegates
of state, proposed to proceed to the election of a king.
"Come," reads the inscribed legend, "come, let us choose
a master who would be like an irresistible young bull." And the army
began lamenting, saying--"Our master is with us, and we know him
not!" And others remarked, "Aye, but we can know him, though
till now no one save Râ (the god) does so: may the great God protect
him from harm wherever he be" . . . . Forthwith the whole army cried
out--"But there is that god Ammon-Râ, in the Holy Mountain,
and he is the god of Ethiopia! Let us to him; do not speak in ignorance
of him, for the word spoken in ignorance of him is not good. Let him choose,
that god, who is the god of the kingdom of Ethiopia, since the days of
Râ . . . . He will guide us, as the Ethiopian kings are all his
handiwork, and he gives the kingdom to the son whom he loves." "This
is what the entire army saith: 'It is an excellent speech, in truth .
. . a million of times'."
Then the narrative shows the delegates duly purified, proceeding to
the temple and prostrating themselves before the huge statue of Ammon-Râ,
while framing their request. "The Ethiopic priests are mighty ones.
They know how to fabricate miraculous images and statues, capable
of motion and speech, to serve as vehicles for the gods; it is an art
they hold from their Egyptian ancestors."
All the members of the Royal family pass in procession before the statue
of Ammon-Râ--still it moveth not. But as soon as Aspalout approaches
it, the huge statue seizes him with both arms, and loudly exclaims--"This
is your king! This is your Master who will make you live!": and the
army chiefs greet the new Pharaoh. He enters into the sanctuary and is
crowned by the god, personally, and with his own hands; then joins his
army. The festival ends with the distribution of bread and beer."
There is a number of papyri and old inscriptions proving beyond the
slightest doubt that for thousands of years High-priests, magicians and
Pharaohs believed--as well as the masses--in magic, besides practising
it; the latter being liable to be referred to clever jugglery. The statues had to be fabricated; for, unless they were made of certain
elements and stones, and were prepared under certain constellations, in
accordance with the conditions prescribed by magic art, the divine (or infernal, if some will so have it) powers, or FORCES,
that were expected to animate such statues and images, could not be made
to act therein. A galvanic-battery has to be prepared of specific metals
and materials, not made at random, if one would have it produce its magical effects. A photograph has to be obtained under specific conditions
of darkness and certain chemicals, before it can result in a given purpose.
Some twenty years ago, archæology was enriched with a very curious
Egyptian document giving the views of that ancient religion upon the subject
of ghosts (manes) and magic in general. It is called the "Harris
papyrus on Magic" (Papyrus Magique). It is extremely curious in its
bearing upon the esoteric teachings of Occult Theosophy, and is very suggestive.
It is left for our next article--on Magic.
OSTENDE, July, 1886
Theosophist, October, 1886
1ESSAY. PREFACE by Colebrooke.
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2 It is only through Mr. Barthelemy
St. Hilaire that the world has learned that with regard to metaphysics,
the Hindu genius has ever remained in a kind of infantile under-development"!!
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3 The reader need not be told that every
soul newly-born into its cycle of 8000 years after the death of the body
it animated, became, in Egypt, an "Osiris," was osirified,
viz., the personality became reduced to its higher principles,
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4 "Substitute" was the name
given to the father of the "Son" adopted by the High-priest
Hierophant; a class of these remaining unmarried, and adopting "Sons"
for purposes of transmission of power and succession.
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5 The Secret Doctrine teaches that those
dynasties were composed of divine beings, "the ethereal images of
human creatures," in reality, "gods," in their luminous
astral bodies; the Sishta of preceding manvantaras.
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6 Rossellius (vol. i, "Storia
degli Monumenti dell Egitto," (p. 8). He adds that Manetho and the
old Chronicles agree in translating the word manes by nekhues. In the Chronicles of Eusebius Pamphilius, discovered at Milan and
annotated by Cardinal Mai, the word nekhues is also translated urvagan, "the exterior shadow" or "ethereal image
of men"; in short, the astral body.
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7 Suppositiously--during the XVIIIth
Dynasty of kings, agreeably to Manetho's Synchronistic Tables, disfigured
out of recognition by the able Eusebius, the too clever Bishop
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8 Long arms in Egypt meant as now in India,
a sign of mahatmaship, or adeptship.
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9 This is the more to be regretted--says
the translator of the papyrus--that "legendary details, notwithstanding
the contents of the Lepsius papyrus are evidently based upon the most
ancient traditions; and as a matter of fact emanate from eye-witnesses
and first-hand evidence." The data in the papyrus are absolutely
coincident with facts known, and agree with the discoveries made by Egyptology
and the undeniable information obtained concerning the history and far
away events of that "1and of mystery and riddle," as Hegel called
it. Therefore we have no cause whatever to doubt the authenticity of the
general narrative contained in our papyrus. It reveals to us, likewise,
entirely new historical facts. Thus, we learn, first of all, that (Kefren)
or Chephren was the son of Cheops; that the Vth Dynasty originated in
the town of Saheboo; that its first three Pharaohs were three brothers--and
that the elder of the triplets had been a solar High-priest at Heliopolis
before ascending to the throne. Meagre as the details appear, they become
quite important in the history of events removed from us by more than
forty centuries. Finally, the Lepsius papyrus is an extremely ancient
document, written in the old Egyptian tongue, while the events narrated
therein may, for their originality (magic?), be placed on a par
with the best Egyptian narratives translated and published by the famous
Egyptologist and Archæologist, Mr. Maspero, in his work called "Contes
de l'ancienne Egypte."
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