Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art

Richard H. Wilkinson

Review by Soror Chamos for
Reviewed January 2008

This is one of those books I am unlikely to ever part with. It provides a great reference guide in a thematic scheme to the magickal symbolism found in egyptian art, including the religious aspects thereof. Included are information on the shapes, the sizes, locations materials, colours, numbers, hieroglyps, actions and the gestures which were all used to represent different meanings by the ancient Egyptian scribes. There are a 160 illustrations in this volume and each of them are carefully chosen in this well presented and excellently written volume.

The Chronological Table provided by the author at the start of this book I found to be particulary useful, it puts the massive period of time which is sometimes so negligently called “ancient” egypt into perspective – from the Late Predynastic Period (circa 3000BC) through to the Greco-Roman period (which lasted until circa 395CE) with everything in between all representing different stages of development in the history of Egypt.

On a personal basis I have found this book to be a great help when composing ceremonies to the Egyptian deities I work with in that it provided me with ideas for my altars, temples, robes and also with gestures to use in the ceremonies themselves. The information on colours and numbers also came in useful for the writing of the ceremonies themselves. The information on numbers in particular was an eye opener and worth purchasing the entire book for!