Heka, god of Egypt

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses for kids - Heka, the god of Magic

The Mythology & History of ancient Egypt surrounding Heka, the god of Magic and Medicine


Heka, god of Egypt
Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding Heka, the Egyptian god of Magic and Medicine. According to ancient Egyptian mythology Heka was the son of Khnum was the ram-headed creator god of fertility and Neith a war goddess. Heka was often depicted as a child god. Heka, also known by the name of Hike, the god with magic powers and spells was the personification of divine magic that the ancient Egyptians believed produced the magical power of the sun and of life. As the god of magic he was also associated with medicine and healing and the power of the written and spoken words. The priests of Heka invoked his magical powers when practicing their arts, called themselves 'Priests of Heka'. Ancient Egyptian temples included a type of hospital where the priest practised their form of medicine and magic.

Who was Heka?
Heka was the Egyptian god of Magic and Medicine. Heka was depicted as a young, beautiful and healthy child god. In ancient Egyptian art children were illustrated with a finger pointing towards their mouth (sucking their thumb) or pointing towards the lips. The Hieroglyphic Symbol for a child was indicated by a finger inserted in mouth. Heka was also depicted wearing a side lock, as worn by ancient Egyptian boys and the style of headdress called a Hemhem crown.

Hemhem Crown
The Hemhem Crown
worn by Heka

Facts about Heka
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Heka:

Heka Profile & Fact File

Egyptian Name:Heka. Alternative Names: Hike
Role & Function:The roles of the god Heka included those associated with magic and medicine
Status:Heka was a member of the Triad of Latopolis, consisting of Neith, Khnum and Heka
Symbols:The side lock, Hemhem crown, ankh, flail and scepter
Cult Center:Hermopolis (Khmunu) in the Nile Delta lands of Lower Egypt
Titles:"He Who Activates the Ka"
Name in Hieroglyphics:
Translation of Hieroglyphics for Heka: The symbol of Heka consisting of the wick hieroglyph  for the letter H. Two upraised arms is the symbol for the word 'ka' and Heka as a seated god


The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses


The Hieroglyph for Heka
The name Heka, the Egyptian god of Magic and Medicine, was written by the ancient Egyptians in the following hieroglyphics:

There seems to be some misinterpretations of these symbols but to clarify the first hieroglyph pictures a wick which was the symbol used for the letter H. The two upraised arms is the symbol for the word 'ka'. The third symbol denotes a god - so together we have a visual interpretation conveying the name Heka.

Heka and the 'Ka'
The ancient Egyptians called the soul by two names - the Ka and the Ba. The Ka was believed to be the life-force of a person. Heka means activating the Ka and magic worked by activating the power of the soul. The father of Heka was the Khnum the ram-headed creator god of fertility. Khnum was credited with providing man with the part of the soul called the 'Ka'. Heka had the ability to activate the Ka hence his title "He Who Activates the Ka"

The Triad of Latopolis
Khnum and Heqa, together with the war goddess Neith, were worshipped as members of the Triad of Latopolis (Esna), The ancient Egyptian city of Esna was known to the Greeks as Latopolis and located in Upper Egypt on the west bank of the River Nile, 45 km south of Luxor. The temple of Esna was dedicated to the triad of Latopolis consisting of:

Depictions of Heka in Egyptian Art
The pictures and depictions of Heka in ancient Egyptian art can be found in the tombs, temples, hieroglyphics, artefacts and relics of ancient Egypt. The people of ancient Egypt were able to recognise and distinguish their numerous gods and goddesses by their depictions in art understanding the meanings of the symbols which conveyed information about the god. The following facts and information will enable you to decipher the art of ancient Egypt and understand the meanings behind the pictures of Heka.

Heka, God of Magic

  • Heka is often depicted holding the Ankh, the key of life, that represented eternal life
  • The headdress worn by Heka was called the Hemhem crown reflecting his divine status and his royal status as a legitimate heir

Hemhem Crown

  • Heka wears a side lock which was a plaited lock of hair worn on the side of otherwise shaven heads. Ancient Egyptian boys would stop wearing the side lock once they had reached the age of fourteen years
  • Heka is also depicted holding the the crook and flail, both symbols of royalty


  • Heka god of magic and healing
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  • Heka, the Egyptian god of Magic and Medicine
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  • Facts and information about the gods and deities of of classical Egypt for schools, research and kids
  • Heka, the Egyptian god of Magic and Medicine

The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses


Heka and the Ancient Egyptian Doctors and Physicians
As the god of magic Heka was associated with medicine and healing and the power of the written and spoken words. Magic, medicine, healing and religion were an integral part of everyday life in ancient Egypt. The priests of Heka were also trained as doctors and healers. Ancient Egyptian temples included a type of hospital where the priests of Heka practised their form of medicine and magic. In their roles of doctor and physicians the Priests of Heka were expected to be highly literate. The ability to read and write was essential as medical wisdom records were kept in the temples detailing knowledge of healing, diagnosis, medical procedures and remedies. Part of the ancient Egyptian medical kit was a container of papyrus scrolls with texts on illnesses and ailments that could be consulted. The mix of magic and medicine was also evident as a medical kit would also include various amulets and magical charms, such as the Eye of Horus. The ancient Egyptians believed that demons and evil sorcerers caused illnesses, accidents and infertility. Before any practical treatment was given to a patient various magic rituals and incantations were performed by the priests of Heka as part of treatment forming an integrated therapy for both physical and spiritual health. Magic was also used for protection against evil forces. In ancient Egypt, medicine and healing consisted of four components:

  • Heka: The primeval potency that was identified with Heka
  • Seshaw: The magical rituals were called Seshaw
  • Rw: The magical and sacred texts were called Rw
  • Pekhret: The medicinal prescriptions and physical treatments were called Pekhret

Heka, god of Magic & Medicine - Ancient Egyptian Medical Kit & Tools
The ancient Egyptian Medical kit and tools were inscribed on a temple relief at Kom Ombo

Ancient Egyptian Medical Kit & Tools
Ancient Egyptian Doctors Kit - Kom OmboAncient Egyptian Medical Kit & Tools 
1 = Knife

2 = Drill

3 = Saw

4 = Forceps / Pincers

5 = Censer

6 = Hooks

7 = Bags

8 = Beaked cup

9 = Knives


10 = Beaked Vessel

11 = Incense Burner

12 = Amulet - Eye of Horus

13 = Scales

14 = Herb pot

15 = Pot

16 = Papyrus Scroll

17 = Shears

18 = Spoons

Egyptian Medicine


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