Ancient Egyptian Magick – Lesson 1 – Recommended Books

We list below a selection of our most recommended books for lesson one of this course, with commentary as to their usefulness in your studies and practice.

Magicka Students receive The Path of the Stars, a full four-lesson course on Ancient Egyptian Magick, as one of many courses included within monthly subscription!

Each lesson has exclusive written material, full reading list, exercises, simple rituals and an exam to consolidate and test your knowledge of the materials.

The Path of the Stars course has four lessons, each of which is released once per month starting from your subscription:

  1. Learn the essential components of Ancient Egyptian cosmology, including the concept of Ma’at.
  2. Meet a selection of the primary deities of Ancient Egypt through contemplative and ritual work, bringing them into your daily life.
  3. Explore three specific spells & learn the essential aspects of ritual in Ancient Egypt.
  4. Experience the Book of the Dead (Coming Forth by Day) and gain an overview of ritual types with suggestions for your further study and experience.

Every lesson is self-contained and does not require additional materials.

Join Magicka School today for this and many other unique and comprehensive courses with magical training you can trust.

The course is based on thirty-five years experience, extensive travel to Egypt, group and solitary practice backed up by solid research delivered in an accessible manner for beginners to advanced students.

We provide below the optional reading list for lesson one – students receive a full reading list with every lesson.

Gods and Goddesses

Lurker, M. The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt. This title may be now a bit dated, but it is the book I used for many early rituals and remains a personal favourite.

Hart, G. Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. A useful companion with more detail than Lurker but still basic. A good easily accessible book for casual interest.

Wilkinson, R. H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. A comprehensive and up-to-date catalogue of deities – if you only buy one book, this is the one. However, it is strangely organised into categories such as “mammalian deities” etc., which can make it a bit trickier to locate your deity. There are several short introductory essays on Ancient Egypt at the start of the book, which is useful.

Faulkner, R. The Egyptian Book of the Dead. This famous collection of spells and funeral texts entitled the Book of the Dead, or the Book of Coming Forth by Day, is an essential component of Western Esotericism since its incorporation into the rituals and regalia (such as the pillars) of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. We will examine this text in more detail in lesson four, and recommend its early purchase for study throughout the course.

Ancient Egyptian Concepts & Cosmology

Naydler, J. The Temple of the Cosmos: The Ancient Egyptian Experience of the Sacred. In reaching back to the comprehension of Ancient Egyptian life and belief, we are met by the many challenges of time. In this book, Naydler attempts to circumnavigate the later major influences on our own thinking, such as Greek philosophy and Judeo-Christian monotheism, to bring to life the world-view of Ancient Egypt. It is a book of philosophy and shows how a life lived in an interwoven belief of magic and sacredness in the everyday would be lived. Highly recommended for this course.

Assmann, J. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. A classic and essential reading of the “religion” of Ancient Egypt, discussing the difficulties of even applying the word “religion” to the culture. There are essential components of this book of practical use to students wishing to build ritual out of the texts of Ancient Egypt, such as the use of myth and the power of speech.

Quirke, S. Ancient Egyptian Religion. An accessible overview for the general reader of the main components of Ancient Egyptian thought including the nature of the worlds, and the afterlife.

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs

The study of Hieroglyphs is a challenging yet rewarding discipline, and certainly assists the appreciation of the entire corpus of texts and practices of the culture. I have listed here several “casual interest” titles and then selected “serious” language primers.

McDermott, B. Decoding Egyptian Hieroglyphs. A nice coffee-table style book with good illustrations and examples of Hieroglyphs in thematic sections such as “food and drink”. If you only want one general overview for casual reading, this is the best.

Katan, N. J. Hieroglyphs. There are several ‘simple guide’ books that can only ever barely touch the surface of Hieroglyphs. This one is a reasonable little book for the very casual reader, giving a taste of how Hieroglyphs work and some basic examples. It is usually available second-hand at a low price.

Manley, B. Egyptian Hieroglyphs for Complete Beginners. A good book for starting to get to grips with the language, as it concentrates on several specific monuments and funerary related texts. In this way, you learn to recognise many of the inscriptions likely found on museum artefacts before moving on to more general or complex texts.

Collier, M. & Manley, B. How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself. This is a wider-ranging primer in reading Hieroglyphs for the serious student. A lot of dense material yet well-presented for study.

Allen, J. P. Middle Egyptian. The most comprehensive language guide for the serious student, assumes a good grasp of grammatical terms, such as “the passive in dependent clauses”.

Gardiner, A. Egyptian Grammar. Worth purchasing a proper hardback version of an earlier printing rather than the modern reprint without dustjacket, etc. An impressive reference book first published in 1927. My copy is the 3rd edition, revised, 2001.

The History of Ancient Egyptian Studies & Impact on Modernity

If you are interested in appreciating how the whole notion of “Ancient Egypt” has been seen, interpreted, communicated and impacted western life and esotericism, the following titles are recommended for study.

Hornung, E. The Secret Lore of Egypt: Its Impact On the West. A good book which looks at the impact of “Ancient Egypt” on esotericism, particularly where it was taken into Theosophy.

Iversen, E. The Myth of Egypt and Its Hieroglyphs. This book looks at the earliest incursions of “Ancient Egypt” in Europe, which set the ground for later revivals of interest and fascination with the subject. It particularly looks at Kircher’s work and several other creative misunderstandings of Hieroglyphs up to the first translations of Champollion.

Navratilova, H. Egyptian Revival in Bohemia 1850 – 1920. An academic study of Egyptian revivalism in specific areas of Europe, including examples of architecture and art influenced by Ancient Egypt.