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
ancient world1 yet, 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
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 soul3of 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
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 Pharaoh.
"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
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 of Heliopolis.
"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 this emergency.
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 triplets.
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 H. P. Blavatsky
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"!! back to text
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, a spirit. back to
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. back to
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. back to text
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. back to
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 of Cæsarea. back to text
8 Long arms in Egypt meant as now in India,
a sign of mahatmaship, or adeptship. back to text
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." back to text