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About Egyptian Magic Ranks of magicians:

The head of the House of Life is the Chief Lector, who served as the pharaohs head magician and right-hand man in ancient times. 'Sem priests' are the senior magicians, the eldest and most powerful members of the House, who oversee the 360 nomes around the world and report to the Chief Lector.

Scribes are rank and file magicians. They are called scribes because writing is a form of magic, and a scribe in the House of Life has learned to summon magic simply by writing or saying magical words.

Initiates are magicians in training.

The tools of a magician: Each magician is expected to master the staff and the wand.

The staff is your primary offensive weapon. It can be used to control the elements, summon spirits, or simply whack bad guys on the head. It can also be turned into any number of helpful creatures like snakes, hippos, or crocodiles.

The wand is usually a curved piece of hippo ivory (yes, we know it looks like a boomerang). It is your primary defensive weapon, used to ward off enemy spells, counter curses, or repel enemies. It can be used as a throwing weapon to knock away attacks, or held up to create a magic shield. It can also be used to draw magic protective circles and cast healing spells.

The magicians box: Each magician carries supplies for casting spells. These include papyrus, stylus and ink for writing scrolls, wax for making shabti statues, and other protective charms and amulets. Never leave your supplies at home! You never know when youll need to summon a wax crocodile or concoct a potion to keep away scorpions.

Shabti statues: Shabti means answerer. A good magician can craft statuettes that come to life on command and perform any number of tasks, from doing your laundry to fighting your battles. Note: teachers frown on creating shabti for doing your homework!

Major fields of study: The House of Life offers numerous programs, depending on your interests.

Elementalist: Learn to control the five basic elements, earth, fire, wind, water and cheese! A good elementalist can summon the forces of nature to launch devastating attacks.

Diviner: A rare gift, diviners can tell the future. This is a dangerous path, and can lead you to a terrible fate, but if youre a diviner, you probably already knew that.

Animal charmer: It may sound simple, but animal charming was an important skill in ancient times, and can still be a very powerful discipline. Controlling scorpions, snakes, and other poison creatures can save your friends and make your enemies squirm. If you find a cobra in your sleeping bag, you can be sure youve offended an animal charmer.

Necromancer (rehket, seer): Not afraid of ghosts? Perhaps necromancy is for you. Skilled magicians can summon spirits of the dead to answer questions or perform tasks, even haunt peoples dreams! The spirits of the dead were important forces in Ancient Egypt, and the necromancer can use these forces or ward them off as needed.

Healers (sunu): The House of Life got its name from its ability to cure disease with magic. Back in ancient times, medicine and magic were the same thing. Magical healers can cure all sorts of wounds and diseases. If youve got the healing touch, perhaps you can become a sunu. This is a very popular and respected discipline!

Charm-makers (sau): The sau are magical craftsmen who know how to make amulets, rings and other powerful charms. They arent always the fastest combat magicians, but they can make incredible tools to help in a fight. If you are good with your hands and like designing your own magic items, consider studying charm-making.

Combat magician: Combat magic involves the use of an avatar, which envelops the user in magical armor. You then proceed to pound and smash your opponents to smithereens. Not the subtlest form of magic, combat magicians require a great deal of stamina and strength. If you like the idea of becoming a magical juggernaut who can smash through walls and wade through armies, this discipline is for you.

Path of the gods: Forbidden! Do not try this at home! In the olden times, magicians could study the path of the gods, drawing magical power directly from one of the Egyptian gods. A combat magician, for instance, might draw on the power of Horus, god of war, to become unbeatable in combat. The ultimate goal was to become the eye of the god a perfect combination of mortal will and godly power. The gods are unpredictable however, and often use mortals as their tools. This is why the path of the gods is now forbidden. Dont listen to those Kane children, who would tell you otherwise. This is dangerous magic that could get you in lots of trouble!

Greatest Hits of Egyptian History

Narmer:
One of the earlier Egyptian kings, Narmer may have been the first ruler to unify Egypt. Back in the old times, Egypt was two kingdoms: upper and lower. To make matters more confusing, the Nile River runs from south to north, so upper Egypt is in the south, where the river comes from, and lower Egypt is in the north. Narmer put the crowns of the two kingdoms together, becoming pharaoh of upper and lower Egypt. You can see a picture of him on an ancient stone carving called the Narmer Palette.

Imhotep:
Imhotep was a chief advisor to the pharaoh Djoser, though Imhotep became even more famous than his master. Imhotep was multitalented. He is credited with designing the first step pyramid, along with being an excellent poet, doctor, and inventor. After he died, he was worshipped as a god. Imhotep is also credited with starting the House of Life, so he may have been Egypts greatest magician, but that is a secret the House of Life isnt revealing!

Khufus Pyramid:
The Great Pyramid at Giza was the largest structure in the world for several thousand years. It was built for Pharaoh Khufu, who was called Cheops by the Greeks. Khufu is remembered as a cruel king, but he sure had a fabulous tomb. He also had a nine sons and fifteen daughters. Thats a lot of birthday presents!

Ramesses II, the Great:


One of the most famous pharaohs in Egyptian history, Ramesses expanded Egypts sphere of influence by conquering huge parts of the Middle East. He built cities and temples up and down the Nile. One his most famous monuments is Abu Simbel. Some people think Ramesses may have been the pharaoh mentioned in the Bible who got into trouble with Moses.

Akhenaten:
One of the stranger pharaohs ever to rule Egypt, Akhenaten decided to change Egyptian religion and outlaw all the temples of the gods, forcing his people to worship only one god the sun disk Aten. He built a new capital city, Amarna, and had a famously beautiful queen, Nefertiti. Unfortunately, Akhenaten made a lot of enemies with his reforms, and when he died, his son, the famous King Tut, reversed his policies and went back to the old gods. Amarna was abandoned, and the priests did their best to erase all evidence of the old pharaoh. So much for change!

Hatshepsut:
One of the most successful pharaohs was actually a queen regent. Hatshepsut took over Egypt when her son Thutmose III was too young to rule. She ruled for twenty-two years and eventually had herself proclaimed as pharaoh. She even decreed that she should be called king instead of queen, and wore a fake ceremonial beard like male kings. Yes, sir, Mr. Queen, sir! Hows that for confusing?

The Great Sphinx of Giza:


No one really knows who made this amazing statue, but it is usually credited to Khafre, the pharaoh whose pyramid stands behind the sphinx. Supposedly Khafre had a dream, which prompted him to build the sphinx. There is a tunnel under the paws of sphinx, which was only discovered in the 20th century. Supposedly, the tunnel is a dead end. At least, thats what the House of Life wants you to believe.

Cleopatra VII:
The last queen of Egypt, Cleopatra was actually a Ptolemaic Greek, a descendent of Alexander the Greats general Ptolemy, who made Egypt a Greek puppet state centuries before. She fell in love with Mark Anthony and got on the wrong side of a Roman civil war. When she and Mark Anthonys fleet were defeated by Augustus Caesar, Cleopatra committed suicide, reportedly by dropping a poison snake down her dress. Ouch! That ended the last Egyptian kingdom and Egypt became part of the Roman Empire.

Meet the Egyptian Gods

Ra

The god of the sun, Ra was the first pharaoh of the world, back in the days when gods inhabited Egypt. Each day, Ras golden sun ship would sail across the sky, and each night it would travel through the underground world of the Duat, sailing the River of Darkness, and fighting off monsters. The Eygptians celebrated each sunrise, when Ra emerged victorious again and caused a new day to begin. After many centuries, Ra became old and senile, and retreated into the heavens, giving up his throne to Osiris.

Geb and Nut

The god of the earth, Geb was one of the first gods to appear from the sea of chaos at the beginning of time. He appears as a man made of earth, with rivers, forests and hills across his entire body. Nut was Geb's wife, the goddess of the sky. Yes, we know shes got a funny name, but she was not the goddess of peanuts. She appeared as a woman with skin like a starry sky, dark blue and covered in constellations. She is often pictured stretching over Geb, as the sky stretches over the earth. Although Geb and Nut loved each other very much, Ra had a prophecy that their children would try to overthrow him someday, so Ra did his best to keep them apart. Despite this, Nut managed to have five children, and the oldest, Osiris, did indeed take over the throne from Ra.

Shu

Nuts father, the god of the air, was given the job of keeping Nut and Geb apart. This is why the sky is so far above the earth. The god of the wind stays between them, keeping his daughter from visiting her love the earth. Shu is usually not pictured, because he is invisible like the wind.

Osiris

The first son of Geb and Nut, Osiris was a wise and good pharaoh when he took over the world from Ra. Osiris taught man about farming, and created the first cities in Egypt. Unfortunately, Osiriss brother Set was jealous of him. Set tricked him into laying down in a golden coffin, then sealed the coffin and cut it into pieces. Set scattered the pieces all over Egypt, and Osiriss wife Isis spent years searching for them. Eventually, Isis put her husband back together, binding him in cloth to make the first mummy, but Osiris only came partially back to life. After that, he was the god of the underworld, sitting in judgment over the souls of the dead. He appears as a king with blue skin and white robes.

Isis

Osiriss wife was the goddess of magic, and clever and ambitious woman. She tricked Ra into retiring by poisoning him with a magic snake, then encouraging the old sun god to reveal his secret name so Isis could cure him. Once Isis knew Ras secret name, she could force him to do just about anything. She encouraged him to retreat into the sky, opening the throne for Osiris. Isis was the patron of magicians, and loved her husband very much. She encouraged their son Horus to take vengeance on the evil Set, who had killed Osiris. Isis is often pictured as a beautiful woman with multicolored wings.

Set

The god of the desert, storms, and evil, Set was one mean dude. His color was red, the color of sterile soil and the desert. Set was the strongest of the gods, and very tricky. He became pharaoh of Egypt after killing his brother, but was later overthrown by his nephew Horus. After that, Set fled into the desert, where he controlled all the evil

harsh lands outside the Nile Valley. Set wasnt all bad, however. In the old days, he sailed on Ras boat and helped defend the sun god from the armies of the chaos serpent Apep. Set is usually pictured with red skin and the head of an unknown animal demon part dog, part anteater, all ugly.

Nephthys

The river goddess, wife of Set and the sister of Isis. Nephthys didnt like her husband very much, because after he killed Osiris, Nephthys helped Isis collected his pieces and bind them together. She was a kind and gentle goddess, and mother of Anubis, the god of funeral rites.

Horus

Called the Avenger, Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. When he grew to manhood, he challenged Set and eventually defeated him, becoming the new pharaoh of Egypt. Afterwards, all mortal pharaohs considered themselves to be the descendants of Horus. Horuss symbol was the falcon, and he is often pictured as a man with a falcons head.

Bast

Cats were extremely popular in Egypt, because they could kill snakes, scorpions, and other nasty creatures. Bast, the goddess of cats, was just as popular. Bast was a protective goddess, and people would wear amulets with her likeness for good luck, especially during the bad luck Demon Days at the end of each year. In cat form, Bast is often pictured with a knife, fighting the chaos serpent Apep. She was Ras faithful cat.

Sobek

The god of crocodiles was both respected and feared. Crocodiles were strong creatures. In ancient Egypt, an entire city was named after them: Crocodilopolis, and Sobek had a temple with a lake full of crocodiles. However, crocodiles were fearsome predators, and many Egyptians were killed each year if they got too near the river. Sobek was pictured as a crocodile-headed man. His sweat was said to have created the rivers of the world. Yuck!

Serqet

The goddess of scorpions was both good and bad. She could send scorpions after her enemies, and a single scorpion bite could kill you. On the other hand, you could pray to Serqet for protection from poison, and sometimes she was seen as a guardian of children. She was pictured as a woman with a giant scorpion for a crown. Howd you like that on your head?

Anubis

Anubis the god of funerals was one of the most important gods, because he helped prepare the soul for the Afterlife and escorted the dead to the hall of judgment. The Egyptians noticed jackals hanging around their graveyards, so they decided jackals must be Anubiss sacred animals. Priests even wore jackal masks when they made the pharaohs body into a mummy. Anubis helped Isis make Osiris into the first mummy. Anubis is usually pictured as a man with a jackals head, leading a departed spirit through the Duat.

Bes

Bes is god of dwarves, protector of households, mothers and children. One of the ugliest and most popular gods in Ancient Egypt, Bes had the power to scare off evil spirits. He often appeared on amulets and in sculpture as a hairy little man with a lion-like mane and a pug nose. Egyptians believed that dwarves (and other people who were born different) were inherently magical. Bes was considered extremely good luck. He watched over the common man, children, women in childbirth, and anyone else who needed protection from evil.

Khonsu

Khonsu, the god of the moon, loved to gamble. In fact, he once lost five days of moonlight to the sky goddess Nut in a game of senet, which allowed Nut to give birth to her five children. Sometimes, Khonsu is depicted as a hawk-headed god, but more often he looks like a young man with a side-lock of hair, like an Egyptian youth. His favorite color is silver.

Nekhbet

Nekhbet is the goddess of vultures. One of the oldest goddesses of Egypt, Nekhbet was a patron of the pharaoh, and is often pictured with her wings spread over the king. Her shrine was in Nekheb, the city of the dead, where she oversaw the oldest oracle in Egypt. Like all vultures, she preyed on the dead and dying. If you see Nekhbet hovering over you, start dancing! Let her know youre still alive!

Babi

Unlike the wise baboons of Thoth, Babi was the god of wild baboons, especially alpha males. He was aggressive and bloodthirsty, and was given the job of eating the wicked dead in the Underworld. He especially loved entrails. Yum! Babi is definitely not a primate you want to fight.

Tawaret

Tawaret is the goddess of hippos. While the Egyptians were scared of male hippos, they saw the female hippo goddess Tawaret as a gentle protector. She looked after pregnant women especially, and is often depicted with a swollen belly. Like Bes, she could scare off evil spirits. In fact, in many stories Tawaret is the girlfriend of Bes. What a cute couple!