Project Title

Heka Deck: Magic in Ancient Egypt & How It Has Influenced Modern Mysticism Today

Presenters

Nikki RaitzFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

COTA - Art and Design

Faculty Sponsor Name

Jessica Stephenson

Additional Faculty

Professor Stephenson is actually part of the Art History Department, which is not listed.

I submitted to NCUR and was accepted. This is the first I've heard of the IRB?

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Magic is a complex concept that has intrigued mankind since the beginning of time. In this interdisciplinary research project, I explore the ancient Egyptian views on magic through a lens of art history, archeology, and contemporary art. This project draws on ancient Egyptian ideas about magic, known to them as Heka, and uses a selection of modern-day tarot cards as a vehicle to help illustrate their beliefs.

Ancient Egyptians enjoyed a culture that did not stigmatize or demonize magic as a harmful practice like almost all other civilizations of their time. Heka, which was seen as a morally neutral magical tool, was used regularly as an important instrument for prosperity and protection amongst all members of the Egyptian kingdom. Based on surviving artifacts and structures, it has been shown that Heka was in fact so important to the ancient Egyptian culture that it is recorded as being synonymous with both their religion and their entire worldview. Claims can be made that Heka was so fundamental to Egyptian culture that is one of the most consequential lenses through which all of their surviving artifacts should be viewed.

Similar to ancient practices of Heka, tarot cards are viewed as a modern-day magical tool that are used to help guide practitioners to prosperity and away from harmful occurrences. The cards, whose modern counterparts are significantly influenced by ancient Egypt, are a collection of 78 individual, unique illustrations that are used to guide the practitioner through what is considered to be the complete collection of possible human experiences or universal archetypes. By viewing a selection of modern tarot cards that are informed by ancient Egyptian ideas about magic, I seek to connect the universal archetypes of the cards with the Ancient Egyptian Worldview. These cards which are informed by Heka become a means of connecting ancient world ideology with modern perceptions on magic and connect art history with contemporary art.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Heka Deck: Magic in Ancient Egypt & How It Has Influenced Modern Mysticism Today

Magic is a complex concept that has intrigued mankind since the beginning of time. In this interdisciplinary research project, I explore the ancient Egyptian views on magic through a lens of art history, archeology, and contemporary art. This project draws on ancient Egyptian ideas about magic, known to them as Heka, and uses a selection of modern-day tarot cards as a vehicle to help illustrate their beliefs.

Ancient Egyptians enjoyed a culture that did not stigmatize or demonize magic as a harmful practice like almost all other civilizations of their time. Heka, which was seen as a morally neutral magical tool, was used regularly as an important instrument for prosperity and protection amongst all members of the Egyptian kingdom. Based on surviving artifacts and structures, it has been shown that Heka was in fact so important to the ancient Egyptian culture that it is recorded as being synonymous with both their religion and their entire worldview. Claims can be made that Heka was so fundamental to Egyptian culture that is one of the most consequential lenses through which all of their surviving artifacts should be viewed.

Similar to ancient practices of Heka, tarot cards are viewed as a modern-day magical tool that are used to help guide practitioners to prosperity and away from harmful occurrences. The cards, whose modern counterparts are significantly influenced by ancient Egypt, are a collection of 78 individual, unique illustrations that are used to guide the practitioner through what is considered to be the complete collection of possible human experiences or universal archetypes. By viewing a selection of modern tarot cards that are informed by ancient Egyptian ideas about magic, I seek to connect the universal archetypes of the cards with the Ancient Egyptian Worldview. These cards which are informed by Heka become a means of connecting ancient world ideology with modern perceptions on magic and connect art history with contemporary art.