Heka “God of Magic” as the deification of magic and medicine in ancient Egypt. The name is the Egyptian word for “magic”. According to Egyptian literature (Coffin text, spell 261), Heka existed “before duality had yet come into being.” The term ḥk3 was also used to refer to the practice of magical rituals.

Name The name Heka is identical with the Egyptian word ḥkꜣ(w) “magic”. This hieroglyphic spelling includes the symbol for the word ka (kꜣ), the ancient Egyptian concept of the vital force. Due to the importance placed onto names in ancient Egypt Heka was often incorporated into personal names. Some examples include: Hekawy, Hekaf, or simply Heka. The goddess Isis is also sometimes affiliated with Heka being titled Weret Hekau, Great Lady of magic.

Beliefs The Old Kingdom Pyramid Texts depict Heka as a supernatural energy that the gods possess. The “cannibal pharaoh” must devour other gods to gain this magical power. Eventually, Heka was elevated to a deity in his own right, and a cult devoted to him developed.

Heka "God of Magic"
Heka “God of Magic”

General myths Heka is later depicted as part of the tableau of the divine solar barque and as a protector of Osiris in Duat capable of blinding crocodiles. Then, during the Ptolemaic dynasty, Heka’s role was to proclaim the pharaoh’s enthronement as a son of Isis, holding him in his arms. Heka also appears as part of a divine triad in Esna, Ptolemaic and Roman capital of the Third Nome of the Thebaid of Upper Egypt, where he is the son of ram-headed Khnum and a succession of goddesses. His mother was alternately said to be Nebetu’u (a form of Hathor), lion-headed Menhit, and the cow goddess Mehet-Weret, before settling on Neith, a war and mother goddess. Werethekau whose name means “she who has great magic” is also sometimes connected with the force of Heka.