Egyptian Gods: Heka

Heka or also known as Hike was the Egyptian God of Magic and Medicine. For ancient Egyptians, though the magic and the medicine were one and the same. ‘Heka’ is the Egyptian word for magic. According to Coffin text, “Heka” was used for the practice of magical ritual.

Literally Heka means activating the Ka, the aspect of the soul which embodied personality. By activating the power of the soul was how magic worked, but more significantly also power and influence, particularly in the case of the Ka of gods. Heka was one of the creative powers both in the mortal world and the world of the gods, which were necessary for creation to come about. Thus, Heka was the divine energy or the life force, which acted together with ‘Hu’, the principle of divine utterance, and ‘Sia’ the concept of divine omniscience.

Heka was said to be the son of Atum, the God of Creator. He was also considered to be the son of Khnum and Menhit, due to Atum and Khnum being associated with one another. These three deities formed the Triad of Latopolis (Esna) in Upper Egypt.

His name was depicted as a twist of flax and a pair of raised arms. The flax was often placed with the arms and was thought to resemble two snakes. He also portrayed as a man standing in front of the naos carrying different ritual objects and occasionally shown as a man holding two entwined serpents. The two intertwined serpents became symbolic of his power, which still associated with medicine today.

Although Heka had no formal worship, his favor was beseeched by doctors and other healers, who were called “Priests of Hike”.