Magic and Religion Enjoyed a Symbiotic Relationship
In [ancient] Egypt, magic and religion enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. Rituals which would count as magic under [Sir James] Frazer‘s definition, were more commonly performed by priests than by any other group…. Magicians are often said to be distinguishable from priests because they have clients instead of a congregation, and because they are not expected to exercise any moral authority. However, this description would also cover most ancient Egyptian priests, who were paid specialists in ritual rather than moral teachers. The theory that magic is always unorthodox and subversive, part of a religious and political counterculture, does not seem to apply in Egypt where ritual magic was practised on behalf of the state for at least three thousand years.