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The great dharma wheel is nothing more complex than that. The big mystery in life is that there is no mystery.

Magic Genie in Jinn


I guess the magic lamp is a Hollywood version of a jinn? There is some basis for the magic lamp in ancient lore, similar again to the spirit vessels in African practice. Jinn were legendarily thought to be mortal, but not material. Not having physical bodies, they could take many vessels. They were even considered to be able to inhabit humans, if temporarily. The bottle was a way of controlling a shaitan, an adversarial jinn.

Now I know who to blame. Well, actually, that wouldn’t be correct, because a jinn couldn’t inhabit you without a breach of behaviour. Neglect of proper purity observances, more or less was seen as your fault, if not evil on your part. It was considered foolish not to account for the presence and behaviour of jinn, and when not inhabiting a vessel they were considered to be able to make communities in the earth or sky. They made a point of asking if they could pass through deep desert areas to avoid angering the jinn because they trespassed.

So they didn’t “live” in the vessel? No. They have unseen kingdoms hidden in the world itself. They would even avoid throwing water on fire because a jinn might be living in the ash, and they might give it cause to act against them as their act would have injured it. Also about desert devils, if they saw a sand devil when they asked for permission to pass they would not go into that territory as it was considered a warning, so air and earth as well.

The act of summoning a genie would have been possible for one of two reasons. Either your tribe had a treaty with the jinn of an area and were considered to have an alliance with them. Thus they would be honour bound to help when called, or they could be summoned in a way that amounted to slavery as they were considered subject to similar laws as governed human life, but with more restrictions due to their greater age as a people and their greater power. It might be why they lumped the desert nomads and the jinn together as the desert nomads were considered to have uncanny abilities to survive and evade pursuit in the desert, as well as to remain unseen if they chose.

As for the muse connection, most of the cultures in that region, and many other cultures that lived near or in deserts, would often retreat into the desert to commune with the spirits there. Many poems have been written about the wide open sky or the seemingly endless expanse of land. This is perhaps the most silent and empty space on our planet. That coupled with mirages and hallucinations. Well, they say there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Coincidence?

When the Arab people heard about the Egyptian God Set, they would have understood him to be a shaitan. Their two lands being very close together, the cross-pollination seems inevitable. Though Set’s original role was as God of the black earth, the land where the Egyptians found their gold, also maybe the source of other beliefs that would emerge later.

Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.

Travis Saunders
Dragon Intuitive

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