Ancient Egypt for Kids
In ancient Egypt, you could purchase a magical spell in the marketplace for just about anything. There were good luck spells, love spells, beauty spells, spells to help you have a baby, and even spells to help you get along with your in-laws. Spells sold in the marketplace were written down on papyrus paper. Some had blanks left so spell sellers could add your name. Spells did not have to be personalized to work, but some were. Their religion required that they had their name written down someplace. A spell was one more place.
To make a spell work, first you bought it from someone who knew what they were doing, and then you took it home and chanted it, over and over.
Some spell sellers were famous. People might travel to a different city to consult with a certain spell seller if their need was great and if they could afford it.
In ancient Egypt, magic and medicine overlapped. They might chant a magical spell they bought in the marketplace, and swallow medicine they bought from a different vendor, to solve the same problem.
The ancient Egyptians had a regular calendar with 365 days based on their three growing seasons (flooding, planting, harvesting.) They also had a calendar of lucky and unlucky days. This calendar was somewhat like a horoscope and covered about a month of days. You could buy a calendar in the marketplace. If you saw an unlucky day in your future, you would probably buy a spell to block your bad luck and change your fate. The calendars were not all the same. Some spell sellers were much better at predicting the future than were others. So you might buy more than one calendar, just to be safe.
The most important spells of all were the spells referred to as The Book of the Dead. These were the spells you needed after you died. They were written down on papyrus paper and included your name. Spells were placed in your tomb to help you travel through the dangerous underworld, filled with horrible monsters, to safely reach your afterlife. Spells were also written on the walls of tombs.
The ancient Egyptians believed in curses and omens and magical powers, all of which were an important part of their daily life and religion. They bought spells to increase their luck, to change their fate, and to keep them safe.