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Ancient Egyptian Magic for Modern Witches; Rituals, Meditations & Magical Tools, Ellen Cannon Reed. WHEN ELLEN Cannon Reed comes up among pagans, you either know her name or realize very quickly that you ought to know it. The new edition of Ancient Egyptian Magic for Modern Witches demonstrates why. In it she offers reliable, accessible information and sound ritual advice grounded in the perspective of a longtime Wiccan practitioner devoted to the Egyptian Gods. This book is a breath of fresh air but it is not a book of ancient Egyptian reconstructionism. Rather it is a personal and authentic guide for modern Pagans to encountering, worshipping and doing magic with the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egypt.
There are three part to the text: individual descriptions of the Gods; instructions for rituals intended to build relationships with them; and instructions for magic and working with magical tools. While readers with a basic knowledge of the Egyptian pantheon might be tempted to skip or skim the first section, do not! This is where the true value of Cannon Reed’s approach comes into play. She offers something far more rare than descriptions of deities—experience. A quick search can tell you that Bes is a God of sexuality and humor. Cannon Reed offers insight into what sorts of people might consider pursuing a relationship with him, and what lessons we can take from approaching his altar. She describes the members of her coven who were particularly devoted to him, and discusses the insights into life, limitations, and humanity that grew out of her own worship of this God.
While it is primarily oriented toward more general practitioners, committed Kemetic reconstructionists would also do well to be familiar with this work, as it is based on decades of worship and magical practice with the Gods. It offers insight into their nature in modern terms as well as practical ritual guidance. Gone are the days of oscillating between the cartoon Osiris in the children’s section of the library and a mid-century photograph of a papyrus scroll in a journal of archaeology that you’re sure would be really interesting if you knew enough French to read the article!
There are other modern pagan-oriented resources on ancient Egypt to be found, but few are well-written, well-researched and based on extensive experience. Cannon Reed’s clear voice, hard-earned wisdom and orientation toward the modern perspective make Ancient Egyptian Magic for Modern Witches stand out from the field.