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An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians$
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Edward William Lane

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9789774165603

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774165603.001.0001

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Magic, Astrology, and Alchymy

Magic, Astrology, and Alchymy

Chapter 12 Magic, Astrology, and Alchymy
An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians

Edward William Lane

Jason Thompson

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter opens with an explanation of the distinction held by learned Muslims between “spiritual” magic, effected by angels and jinn, and “natural” or “deceptive magic,” induced by drugs or perfumes for example. It discusses who could practise it and relates tales of magic performed by famous magicians. It moves on briefly to alchemy (which is said to require good knowledge of chemistry) and astrology, both of which were widely studied in Egypt. Astrology includes geomancy, the signs of the zodiac, determining auspicious periods of time, and was used for purposes such as determining if two people will make a good marriage match.

Keywords:   Magic, Astrology, Alchemy, Geomancy, The zodiac, Magicians

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