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Moon Knight: Heka Priests Explained

One of the things that Moon Knight does well is that it actually pays homage to Egyptian mythology better than it does to the Moon Knight comics. Of course, there are plenty of different references to Egyptian mythology in this series, especially in the scene in episode 4 where Steven and Layla were in the tomb where Ammit was kept hidden. One such reference was when Steven mentioned Heka priests. But what are Heka priests?

Heka priests in Egyptian mythology are people who practice magic and medicine during ancient times because Heka is the Egyptian god of magic and medicine. Meanwhile, in Marvel lore, there is a character named Heka-Nut, a sorcerer who appeared in the Mystic Arkana Magik comics.

It is interesting to note that Marvel Studios took a different route with Moon Knight by making more references to Egyptian mythology than to the comics. This means that there are plenty of new elements introduced to the series that we haven’t seen in the comics before. One such element is the concept of Heka priests, which we will try to elaborate on more in this article.

What Are Heka Priests?

Episode 4 of Moon Knight arrived at the point where Steven and Layla have finally found the place where the sealed Ammit was being kept. Of course, their purpose was to get to Ammit first before Harrow does so that they could prevent him from releasing the goddess into the world.

Of course, the series hasn’t been shy about making references to Egyptian deities and mythology during the course of the first four episodes. We already saw in the last episode that the avatars of the other Egyptian gods, specifically those who belong to the Ennead, also exist in this series. And in episode 4, Steven made reference to more Ancient Egyptian concepts when he mentioned Heka priests while exploring the tomb.

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In that regard, what are the Heka priests in Moon Knight? Well, other than when Steven mentioned Heka priests when he was looking through the tomb and the different hieroglyphs found in the walls, the term was no longer mentioned.

However, learning more about Heka priests can be an interesting topic because of how the concept of Heka could play into the future of Moon Knight and the different stories that may end up getting connected to the series.

In Ancient Egypt, Heka was actually one of the most important gods but was often overlooked because of the fact that he wasn’t as talked about as the other gods, such as Osiris, Horus, and Isis. That’s because there are no temples or rituals that were made for Heka.

However, Heka is actually an important figure that can be read in texts about magic and medicine because it was widely believed that the concept of magic in Ancient Egypt was something that started from him. And that’s because he is one of the oldest gods of Ancient Egypt.

There are even texts that suggest that Heka is a god that was feared by all of the other gods because he is a primordial being that was responsible for bringing about magic into the world. And that means that the very same magic that the other gods were able to invoke came from Heka.

Of course, back in the day, it was also widely believed that the practice of medicine among the Ancient Egyptians was some sort of ritual connected to magic, considering their primitive outlook on science. This is why the practice of medicine was also called heka, as can be read in the Ancient Egyptian texts. That is also the reason why Egyptian doctors were also called heka.

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In a sense, those that practiced heka were doctors that were also called Heka priests because they invoked the power of Heka whenever they practiced medicine or some sort of ancient practice that was synonymous with magic thousands of years ago.

“Magic in the sense of heka means an all-pervading coercive power,” said Egyptologist Jan Assman through worldhistory.org, “…comparable to the laws of nature in its coerciveness and all-pervadingness – by which in the beginning of the world was made, by which it is daily maintained, and by which mankind is ruled. It refers to the exertion of this same coercive power in the personal sphere.”

In this sense, the Heka priests were thought to be authoritative figures that were held in high esteem because they could control a power that was comparable to the laws of nature. And one of the most prominent Heka priests back then was Iufenamun, whose face was actually recreated by scientists.

Iufenamun face c/o worldhistory.org

As such, Heka priests were powerful figures that were able to control the powers of nature itself and were able to invoke the power of a being that was more powerful than some of the gods of Egypt.

Do Heka Priests Exist In The Comics?

As mentioned, Moon Knight actually tries to stay closer to mythology than the comics, as far as the first four episodes are concerned (but that could change based on the ending of episode 4). However, there is actually something that’s connected to Heka priests in the comics.

First off, there are no Heka priests in the comics. But there is a being that is connected to Heka because his name is Heka-Nut. This character is a powerful sorcerer who became corrupted and was in search of something called the Sword of Bone.

However, Heka-Nut is not connected to Moon Knight at all because he made his appearances in the Mystic Arcana Magik comic books, which star the mutant sorceress named Illyana Rasputin (Magic). You might have seen her in the New Mutants movie.

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How Is Heka Connected To Moon Knight?

Now that you know more about Heka priests, you might be wondering how that is connected to Moon Knight and why the concept was even mentioned in episode 4.

Truth be told, there are plenty of things we don’t know about the trajectory of Moon Knight’s story because it deviates from the comics a lot. And the fact that the ending of episode 4 of Moon Knight makes us question everything that had just happened is also something that’s interesting to look at.

That said, we don’t know how Heka is connected to Moon Knight or whether or not it might even be connected to the series at all, especially when you look at the ending of episode 4. It could be possible that Heka priests and Heka are figures that may or may not have a hand in the events of Moon Knight, considering that Heka is described to be someone that’s even more powerful than probably the Ennead.

Interesting, to say that there is a connection between Heka and Moon Knight could be a stretch. The possibility is that the Heka priest concept was only mentioned in passing to make reference to how the series tries to stay true to Egyptian mythology. As such, we believe that Heka or the Heka priests will have no connection to Moon Knight’s story whatsoever.

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