Heka is the “great word”.
The term has two syllables: he and ka. As discussed here, the first refers to “power,” the next means “spirit” implying the power of the spirit. The letter “h” is the eighth letter of the alphabet and “k” is the eleventh. In the figure above, we can see how the arrangement of the snakes imply both these figures. If we write this as 8 + 11 we arrive at 19. Made up of the first and last numbers, 19 was known as the Alpha and Omega.
Heka was identified with the creator Himself, particularly when the latter appeared in child form to symbolise the emergence of new life. In this sense, heka is described as the ba of the Sun God. So Atum was the power (8) that made creation possible and every act of magick was simply a continuation of His creative force. To direct this power came Ptah (11) or the ka of spirit. Today we might call this mirrored conjunction “spiritual power” which is manifested in the 19th letter “s”.
While centred polygonal numbers are popular in recreational mathematics today, the Egyptians took them far more seriously because they resembled the geometry of the human biofield. In other words, every person can create a bioplasmic matrix around themselves when they use a mantra like “Atum”. This hyperspatial honeycomb can be drawn as a magickal sexagon with 19 cells:
This shape arranges numbers 1-19 in a centered sexagonal pattern. The numbers in each row, in all three directions add to 38—the magickal constant. This number is hinted at in the snakes that Heka holds at top in “X” fashion across his heart.
In the figure above, the “X” sums to 71. This is a harmonic of the number 8 (a centred heptagonal number). 71 also appears in the honeycomb above and reversed reads 17, the number of immortality. If we add to this pattern, we can create a figure eight making 101:
101 is the number of creation. The number 1 relates to new beginnings, genesis and motivation. 0 resonates with the influences of the “God force” or the vibrations of continuity, eternity and infinity. For those in meditation, you can use positive affirmations and an optimistic attitude to draw towards you all that you need along your path. Number 101 encourages you to create your own reality.
Heka then, is really the sexual practice of creation. By using the orgasm in conjunction with the breath, we can tap into awesome power. Similar to a Kundalini experience, we can prolong a normal climax. Here we are reminded to visualise the figure eight and allow the energy rising from our loins to be twisted back onto itself. In this way, the retorted life force can bestow its gifts.
Heka bridges sex and spirit. It awakens the divine within us and reconnects us with Source, bringing us back to the home we never left and the wisdom we never forgot. It lets us see ourselves and our partners as the amazing beings we truly are. Above all, it is fun, intimate and exciting—traits we should bring to all aspects of our lives.
Above: sexual energy is perfectly natural, readily available and incredibly powerful
Bees have been fertility symbols for millennia—in real life they help plants grow, flower and breed. They do so by transferring pollen between blossoming flowers and therefore help to keep the cycle of life turning. The vast majority of plants we need for food rely on pollination—from almonds and cherries to apples and squashes. No surprises then, that bees are often featured in alchemical art in conjunction with the sacral chakra.
In the ancient tradition, the humming sound of the bee was said to stimulate super hormones known as Elixirs of Metamorphosis. This sound also resonates the ventricular chambers in the centre of the brain which are filled with cerebrospinal fluid. This sound acts as a cushion for the brain’s cortex, providing mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull. By emulating the humming sounds of the bee then we can stimulate the pituitary gland, hypothalamus and amygdala.
Serket was a fertility goddess in Egypt who healed venomous stings and bites. She was associated with the scorpion because this creature resembled the hyoid bone in the throat. In fact, Serket’s name means “she who causes the throat to breathe” and therefore sound healing was her primary task (here we are reminded of the vasodilatory effect that humming has on our airways). As the octal goddess of fertility she was revered even in death—the canopic jar for the intestines was associated with venom.
To make their dreams come true then, the Egyptians placed their trust in the power of speech, or the ability to create by uttering the divine word conceived beforehand in the sexual organs. The creative power of words like “hu” is associated with Ptah, but we find this concept as early as the Pyramid Texts. In fact, without “words of power”, there would be no sex magick. Orgasm then, was always accompanied by powerful mantras.
All kinds of rituals accompanied these words, but the gods would never appear if the priests did not know what to say. The magickal actions were important, but impotent without the words to empower them. Moreover, to assume the form of Serket and Heka, precise recitation was necessary. Perhaps their names are echoed in the lyrics “Say, say, say, hey, hey now baby” from the pop song What Lovers Do? In this suggestive video, the melody is wedded to fertility symbols that reinforce the power of the music:
Instead of using sound as a tool to change our circumstances directly, sex magick is aimed at altering the magician’s energy in such a way that they remain eternally fertile. In effect, they were inviting the life force to take up permanent residence within their bodies. They were not letting an orgasm dissipate—rather they were keeping the energy flowing around their systems.
In line with this, Ptah was an Egyptian god who existed before all other things and, by his will, thought the world into existence. So the cosmos was first conceived by His intention and then realised by His loins within the secret words. That which Ptah commanded was created, just as it was with humans who followed his teachings. Here we are implying that power (the Was), spirit (the Ankh) and stability (the Djed) were needed for creation:
The original name for Memphis, Hikuptah, meant “Home of the Soul of Ptah”. This word entered Greek as Aiguptos, Latin as Aegyptus and eventually English as Egypt. At Memphis, Ptah’s role of intercessor with humans was particularly visible in the enclosure that protected the sanctuary—large ears were carved on the walls symbolising “he who listens to prayers”.
He (Ptah) gave birth to the gods, He made the towns, He established the nomes, He placed the gods in their shrines, He settled their offerings, He established their shrines, He made their bodies according to their wishes.
—the Shabaka Stone
In the Old Kingdom, Memphis was the centre of Heaven on Earth. In the temple, gods and goddesses could allow their “ba” and “ka” to accept the invitation spoken by Ptah. In these ceremonial performances, only the deities spoke, listened or moved. The priests identified themselves as much as possible with the gods and linked them to the heka residing in their reproductive organs. Indeed, to penetrate the belly of a god was the best way to establish oneself in the most intimate part of their being and acquire a position of dominance there.
So heka (magick) acted together with sia (perception) and hu (utterance) for the expression of life through orgasm, thought and speech. Words in particular were regarded as divine, whether written or spoken and were to be treated with respect—to know the name of something meant to have power over it. The rejuvenation of the body required this sacred triquetra to be present. As Ogden Goelet remarked:
Heka magick is many things, but, above all, it has a close association with speech and the power of the word. In the realm of Egyptian magick, actions did not necessarily speak louder than words—they were often one and the same thing. Thought, deed, image and power are theoretically united in the concept of heka.
In other words, heka involved using the human body as an alchemical vessel through which spirit-induced change could occur. Magicians were able to activate the centres of their subtle bodies, diagnose the illness and heal the patient by changing their frequencies. Like bees, humans create through sound, image and spirit—we are all musical instruments:
In the 25th Dynasty, the Nubian pharaoh Shabaka transcribed on the Shabaka Stone an old theological document found in the archives of the library at Memphis. This has become known as the Memphite Theology:
- Ptah the beautiful face
- Ptah lord of truth
- Ptah master of justice
- Ptah who listens to prayers
- Ptah master of ceremonies
- Ptah lord of eternity
- Ptah the God who made himself to be God
- Ptah the double being
- Ptah the begetter of the first beginning
So what do these epithets mean? It implies that by yoking our orgasms to our dreams and mantras then we can even live forever—climaxing should be accompanied by fantasies and screams. Unsurprisingly, the subconscious responds most readily to archetypes of power. When you experiment with this, you may be surprised how quickly the universe manifests—especially when practiced with a partner.
When is the best time to try sex magick? Well, the Moon represents the most intimate sides of ourselves—our emotions, moods and instincts. Each lunar cycle begins with a new moon, which then waxes for about two weeks until it climaxes on a full moon. The new moon brings us a clean slate on a monthly basis that allows us to reset, recharge and refocus. A new moon is the first phase of a new lunar cycle during which it aligns with the Sun and is virtually invisible in the night sky. Because new moons take place at the very start of the lunar cycle, they bring the energy of fresh starts.
A full moon, on the other hand, represents the climax of the lunar cycle. This occurs when the Moon is opposite the Sun in the zodiac and is therefore fully-illuminated by its light. Full moons are even more notorious than new moons in mainstream culture because they’re often associated with chaos. While new moons are ideal for setting goals and beginning new projects, full moons are more about bringing tasks to fruition. Sex magic then, is best performed between these two lunar phases.
So if we are true alchemists, we can use our sexual desires to manifest our financial, professional and romantic dreams. To begin with, we should keep it simple—our feelings and appetites should inspire our orgasms. The more we use emotions that we can relate to, the better our chances of success. Sometimes they will not manifest until we are fully aroused. Finally, at its most profound, sex magick even leads to illumination.
The magickal sexagon then, really describes the geometry of spiritual power within the breath. When we observe a bee hive, it is really the outward manifestation of the human biofield. This magick is timeless and remains an essential part of the creative act.