The Mysteries of Egypt: Secret Rites and Traditions of the Nile
The spiritual influences of Egypt did not disappear but lived on in silence until, like “voices from the dust,” the secrets of their esoteric traditions and ancient initiation-rituals again are revealed to us in this extraordinary book, written in the early part of this century.
“No land can lay claim to such a chronicle of mystical and occult thought as Egypt, the mother of magic,” wrote Lewis Spence in his outstanding study of that ancient civilization’s mysterious rituals and customs. His extraordinary work reveals to today’s readers the significance of these rites and traditions, many of which have lived on long after the decline of ancient Egyptian culture.
Spence’s superb work covers a vast amount of scholarship—from the early origins of mystical observances and beliefs in immortality, to ideas about the transmigration of the soul, the rites of rebirth, and related philosophies in ancient Greek, Hindu, and Roman rituals. Instructions for mortals on how to reach the “Otherworld” and prepare for a more exalted life after death are described, as are the mysterious rites practiced within Egyptian temples, the initiation ceremonies of the priesthood, the transplantation of these sacred beliefs to other cultures, and their surviving vestiges.
Scholars, students, and interested readers of ancient Egyptian literature, language, or culture will welcome this classic compilation.
About the Author
James Lewis Thomas Chalmers Spence (1874–1955) was a Scottish journalist, poet, author, folklorist, and occult scholar. He was a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and Vice-President of the Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society. He was also founder of the Scottish National Movement. Spence’s researches into the mythology and culture of the New World, together with his examination of the cultures of western Europe and northwest Africa, led him to the question of Atlantis. During the 1920s he published a series of books which sought to rescue the topic from the occultists who had more or less brought it into disrepute. Spence died in Edinburgh in 1955 at the age of eighty.