ANCIENT MAGIC IN MODERN SCIENCE
[The Theosophist, Vol. VIII, No. 85, October, 1886, pp. 1-8]
Pauthier, 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 world *—yet, he is right in his statement. It is Aryan metaphysics† 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 corner-stone 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
* Essay. Preface by Colebrooke.
[This reference is rather misleading. What is meant is H. T. Colebrooke, Essai sur la philosophie des Hindous Translated from the English by Jean Pierre Guillaume Pauthier. Paris, 1833. In the Preface by the translator, the following passage occurs:
“Au milieu de ce monde presque tout nouveau pour nous, I’Inde, avec sa langue sanscrite si savante et si métaphysique, avec sa pensée religieuse si profonde et si sublime, sa pensée philosophique si abstraite et si hardie, son imagination si poétique et si gigantesque, et sa nature si merveilleuse et si féconde, nous apparaît comme le grand et antique foyer de la pensée humaine, comme le point central et rayonnant de ce vaste cercle d’idées philosophiques et religieuses, d’idiomes frappants de consaguinité, qui a enveloppé la haute Asie et qui a fini par embrasser presque tout l’ancien monde. . . . . ”
† It is only through Mr. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire that the world has learnt that “with regard to metaphysics, the Hindu genius has ever remained in a kind of infantile underdevelopment “!!
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 Nineveh, 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 formulae; 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 manifestation, 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. Archaeology 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 Archaeology 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 postmortem passport furnished to the osirified soul * 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
* The reader need not be told that every soul newly-born into its cycle of 3000 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.
gods, Penotman, the son of the delegate (or substitute)* for the High-priest Pion-kimoan, 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.
* “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.
† [Sanchuniathôn (), sometimes referred to as Suniaethôn (), is supposed to have been an ancient Phoenician writer, possibly a hierophant of the mysteries, whose works were translated into Greek by Herennius Philo of Byblus who lived in the latter half of the first century of the Christian era. A considerable fragment of this translation has been preserved by Eusebius in the first book of his Praeparatio Evangelica (chaps. vi and x) He is mentioned by Athenaeus, Mochus and Porphyry, among the ancient writers, though our evidence for his actual existence is confined to the testimony of Philo of Byblus alone. The genuineness of his writings has been questioned by many scholars. Sanchuniathôn may have been a native of Berytus, although his name may be only a generic term for a body of teachings concerning Phoenician occult lore and cosmogony. His works are supposed to have been: Of the Physical System of Hermes; Egyptian Theology; and Theology of the Phoenicians. Remaining fragments of his teachings can be found in Cory’s Ancient Fragments, London, 1832; new ed., 1876.––Compiler.]
All claim for their first and earliest dynasties * of rulers and kings, what the Greeks called Manes and the Egyptians Urvagan, “gods,” etc. Rosellini 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”!! †
A dynasty of, to all appearances, 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,
* 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 Sishtas of preceeding manvantaras.
† Ippolito Rosellini, I Monumenti dell’ Egitto e della Nubia, Vol. I, p. 8 and footnote. He adds that Manetho and the old Chronicles agree in translating the word manes by .. In the Chronicle of Eusebius Pamphili, discovered at Milan and annotated by Cardinal Mai, the word is also translated urvagan, “the exterior shadow” or “ethereal image of men”; in short, the astral body.
[The original Italian text of this passage from Rosellini is as follows:
“. . . . . Dalle memorie egizie di Manetone, che compose in tre libri la sua storia. Degli Dei e degli Eroi e dei Mani () **. . . .
** “Non è inutile la nota dell’ Eusebio milanese alla voce Manes, ., ove dicesi che nel testo armeno è resa per la parola URVAGAN ‘quae proprie significat externam speciem oppositam ipsius rei veritati: inde figuram et imaginem deorum.’ Che se le dinastie degli Dei in Egitto potessero riportarsi ad epoca storica, sarebbe da credersi che consistessero in una forma di governo teocratico rappresentato della immagine del Dio, e amministrato dai sacerdoti.”
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 archaeology. 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 archaeological 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
It should be noted that in H. P. B.’s text above, her expression, “ what the Greeks called Manes,” seems to be a lapsus calami. It is the Romans who used this term with several related meanings. Apart from the term ., nekuas, the Greeks used the expressions , theoi katachthonioi, and theoi daimones, for the Di Manes of the Romans, as appears from a number of funereal inscriptions and similar sources.
In an ancient epitaph of a certain Julius Terentius, found in the excavations of Dura-Europos, the Greek expression of , psychai theai, seems to convey a meaning practically identical with the term manes, though its literal translation into Latin would be Di (or Deae) Animae. (See Harvard Theological Review, Vol. XXXIV, April, 1941, essay by C. B. Welles.) —Compiler.]
* [Cf. op. cit., Vol. I, 266-67; and Vol. II, pp. 351 et seq., especially pp. 365-69; also Vol II, pp. 435-36, 487, original edition. Several of the passages in the present article occur in slightly altered form in the essay on “ Egyptian Magic “ which follows it.—Compiler.]
that it was “an historical romance of the XVIth century B.C.,* 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 hoary 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
* Supposititiously––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 Caesarea.
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 re-uniting 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 re-unite heads severed from their bodies to the latter.”
“I can do so, great King,”—answered Deddy.
“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 re-united; 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 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 apprises 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,* 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.
* Long arms in Egypt meant as now in India, a sign of mahatma-ship, or adeptship.
After the goddesses had returned to their celestial mansions some great miracle 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.*
* 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 firsthand 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 “land 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 Archaeologist, Mr. Maspéro, in his work called Les contes populaires de l’Égypte ancienne.
Another magical feat is given by Mariette Bey (Monuments divers, etc., pl. 9, Persian epoch) * from a tablet in the Bulak Museum, concerning the Ethiopian kingdom founded by the descendants of the High-priests of Amon, 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.” (Jebel-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 as yet! How can we know him?” And everyone of them said to the other: “No one knows him, save Râ himself; may the god protect him from every harm wherever he may be! . . . .” Forthwith, the whole army of His Majesty exclaimed with one voice: “But there is that god Amon-Râ, of the Holy Mountain, and he is the god of Ethiopia! Let us go to him; let us not speak in ignorance of him, for the word spoken in ignorance of him is not good! Let him choose, 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 Amon-Râ, while framing their request.
The Ethiopian priests knew how to fabricate miraculous images, capable of motion and speech [to serve as vehicles for the gods]; it is an art they held from their Egyptian ancestors (Maspéro, Notes sur différents points de Grammaire et d’Histoire, dans le Recueil, t. I, pp. 152-60). All the members of the Royal family pass in procession
* [The reference is to the work entitled: Monuments divers recueilli en Égypte et en Nubie par A. Mariette-pasha, ouvrage publié sous les auspices de S. A. Ismaïl. Texte par G. Maspéro. Paris: F. Vieweg, E. Bouillon, succ., 1889. 3 p. 107 pl. Publié en 28 livraisons, 1872-89. (British Museum, 1704, b. 22.)––Compiler.]
before the statue, yet it remains motionless. But as soon as Aspalout approaches it, the statue seizes him and exclaims: “This is your king! This is your Master who will make you live!” And the army chiefs greet the Pharaoh. He enters into the sanctuary and is crowned by the god himself; then he joins his soldiers. The festival ends, as all such festivals end, with the distribution of bread and beer.
This stele has been translated in its entirety by G. Maspéro, Sur la stèle de l’Intronisation, trouvée au Djébel-Barkal, in the Revue Archéologique, 1873, Vol. XXV, pp. 300 et seq. Reproduced in the Records of the Past, Vol. VI, pp. 71-78.*
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, archaeology 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
* [The original French text of G. Maspéro, in Monuments divers, etc., has been retranslated into English, as it was shown to contain a number of inaccuracies.—Compiler.]
Theosophy, and is very suggestive. It is left for our next article––on MAGIC.
OSTENDE, July, 1886. H. P. BLAVATSKY.
[In this last paragraph, H.P.B. evidently refers to a work by François .Joseph Chabas entitled, Le Papyrus magique Harris: Traduction analytique et commentée d’un manuscript Égyptien, comprenant le texte hiératique, publié pour la première fois, un tableau phonétique, et un glossaire. Chalon-sur-Saône: impr. de J. Dejussieu, 1860. xi, 251 pp. et 11 pl. de Fac-simile (British Museum, 7703. bb. 6).
H.P.B. actually wrote an essay dealing to a very large extent with this Papyrus. It was published in 1897, in the volume entitled “The Secret Doctrine, Volume III,” pp. 241-57, under the title of “Egyptian Magic.”
In her article entitled “Theories About Reincarnation and Spirits” (The Path, New York, Vol. I, No. 8, November, 1886, pp. 231-45), H.P.B. definitely states that her essay on “Egyptian Magic” (as well as another one on “Chinese Spirits”) was to be one of the Appendices to The Secret Doctrine. This could not have referred to anything else but the original two volumes of her (then) prospective work, a portion of the MS. of which she had just sent to Adyar, for T. Subba Row to go over and correct.
As far as is known, the MS. sent to Adyar did not contain the text of this essay on “Egyptian Magic.”
This may be explained by the fact that in July, 1886, H.P.B., then at Ostende, intended to write an article for The Theosophist, on the subject of the Harris Papyrus, and probably planned to use the material she had already put together, as would obviously appear from the closing words of her essay on “Ancient Magic in Modern Science,” published above. It is possible that, having originally written it for The Secret Doctrine she was then working on, she had decided to use this material in The Theosophist instead.
For reasons unknown to us now, the essay on “Egyptian Magic” was not used at all during H.P.B.’s life-time.
It is obvious, of course, from what has been said above, that this essay cannot be considered as being part of her MS. for the prospective Third or Fourth Volume of The Secret Doctrine, as planned by her.
Such are the reasons why the essay on “Egyptian Magic” is published now, directly following the one on “Ancient Magic in Modern Science.”—Compiler.]