The House of the Net: The Magical Symbolism of the Hieroglyphs

Wendy Berg

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When Jean-François Champollion rediscovered how to translate the Egyptian hieroglyphs in the early nineteenth century he described them as “....a complex system, a writing that is figurative, symbolic, and phonetic all within the same text, a single sentence, I would even say a single word.” Since then, although his discoveries have led to the translation of most of the ancient Egyptian texts, the emphasis in modern scholarship is to regard the hieroglyphs purely as sounds and to disregard or even deny their symbolic meaning.

This book explores how the hieroglyphs function as a comprehensive system of magical symbolism, the medw neter or Words of the Gods by which the sacred truths of the Inner worlds of creation are conveyed to humanity. Their effect is ‘magical’ because when we study them and ponder their meaning they cause changes in our consciousness, enabling us to reach a deeper understanding of ourselves, of our surroundings and of the universal principles that lie behind all creation. They also incidentally teach us a great deal about the magical beliefs and practices of the ancient Egyptians and their perception of the relationship between the earthly and spiritual worlds.

Using many examples and illustrations, this book demonstrates how the hieroglyphs formed the basis of Egyptian magic and were the means by which it was taught and practiced. It offers an entirely new interpretation of Egyptian magic, and shows how the hieroglyphs can be used as a magical tool that is as transformative today as it was in ancient times.