Heka (Magic)

The word “magic” is used to translate the Egyptian term heka, which meant, as James P. Allen puts it, “the ability to make things happen by indirect means”. Heka was believed to be a natural phenomenon, the force which was used to create the universe and which the gods employed to work their will. Humans could also use it, however, and magical practices were closely intertwined with religion. In fact, even the regular rituals performed in temples were counted as magic. Individuals also frequently employed magical techniques for personal purposes. Although these ends could be harmful to other people, no form of magic was considered inimical in itself. Instead, magic was seen primarily as a way for humans to prevent or overcome negative events.

Magic was closely associated with the priesthood. Because temple libraries contained numerous magical texts, great magical knowledge was ascribed to the lector priests who studied these texts. These priests often worked outside their temples, hiring out their magical services to laymen. Other professions also commonly employed magic as part of their work, including doctors, scorpion-charmers, and makers of magical amulets. It is also likely that the peasantry used simple magic for their own purposes, but because this magical knowledge would have been passed down orally, there is limited evidence of it.

Language was closely linked with heka, to such a degree that Thoth, the god of writing, was sometimes said to be the inventor of heka. Therefore, magic frequently involved written or spoken incantations, although these were usually accompanied by ritual actions. Often these rituals invoked the power of an appropriate deity to perform the desired action, using the power of heka to compel it to act. Sometimes this entailed casting the practitioner or subject of a ritual in the role of a character in mythology, thus inducing the god to act toward that person as it had in the myth. Rituals also employed sympathetic magic, using objects believed to have a magically significant resemblance to the subject of the rite. The Egyptians also commonly used objects believed to be imbued with heka of their own, such as the magically protective amulets worn in great numbers by ordinary Egyptians.

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Associated LOST Characters



Agelessness is the ability to not age through the passage of time. While it protects those who possess it from growing old and possibly protects them from disease, it is distinctly different from immortality in that ageless people can still be killed by other means.

Four characters are known to have possessed agelessness: Jacob’s adoptive mother, Jacob, and Richard Alpert. The Man in Black had the ability to take on the form of deceased people, making him appear ageless. Jack Shephard may have briefly gained the ability after becoming the new Protector of the Island. Hurley may have as well, and Ben may have after becoming Hurley’s deputy.

6×15 – Across The Sea


Jacob’s adoptive mother appeared to be the same age for at least 43 years until she died. (“Across the Sea”)


6×15 – Across The Sea  |  5×16 – The Incident, Part 1


Shortly before dying, she recited a incantation to Jacob, who lived for about 2,000 years without aging. (“Across the Sea”)  (“The Incident, Part 2”)

Jack and Hurley too may have become ageless following their ascensions as Protector of the Island. (“What They Died For”)  (“The End”)


6×09 – Ab Aeterno  |  6×17 – The End


In 1867, Jacob, with a simple touch, made Ricardo an intermediary between him and the people he drew to the Island. Ricardo, later Richard Alpert, used his agelessness as a tool to form and help advise groups of Others for Jacob’s tests of humanity. (“Ab Aeterno”)

Richard remained the same age for at least 140 years, and was unable to kill himself but could have been killed by other people. (“Dr. Linus”)

After Jacob died and Richard was no longer his advisor, he started to age normally. (“The End”)

Ben Linus later became Hurley’s “number two,” although it is unknown if he received agelessness or completed his task while aging normally. (“The End”)

The Man in Black

6×09 – Ab Aeterno


The Man in Black, while not strictly ageless, often assumed his original form during his thousands of years on the Island. (“Ab Aeterno”) He also appeared in Christian Shephard’s form for three years before ending his life currently in John Locke’s form. (“The Last Recruit”)  (“The Substitute”)

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Protectorship of the Island

6×15 – “Across The Sea

A Protector guards the Heart of the Island to prevent outsiders from extinguishing or mishandling the Light there. Only the Protector can find the Heart. Protectors also have other abilities, including agelessness, the ability to confer agelessness and healing. The Protector also defines rules that others must follow.

Protectorship transfer ritual 

Incumbents induct successors through a specific ceremony. In all known cases, this involves three actions:

  • The incumbent gives the successor a liquid, which the successor drinks.
  • The incumbent touches the successor.
  • The incumbent acknowledges the transition with a phrase. Mother told Jacob, “Now we are the same.” Jacob and Jack told their successors, “Now you’re like me.”

Details vary. Mother gave Jacob wine from a glass bottle, poured into a silver cup. Jacob gave Jack water taken from a river in a silver cup similar to the one Mother used for Jacob. Jack gave Hurley water from the stream leading to the Source in an Oceanic Airlines water bottle. Both Mother and Jacob uttered an incantation over the liquid before giving it to their successors, but Jack did not. It is unknown which of these actions are simply symbolic and which actually transfer the protectorship. (“Across the Sea”) (“What They Died For”) (“The End”)

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Jack (Island Protector)

6×16 – “What They Died For

When Jacob spirit visited the remaining Candidates to explain the situation, Jack choose to become the new protector of the Island and Jacob transferred protectorship onto him.

Hurley (Island Protector)

6×17 – “The End

Knowing he was going to die, Jack transferred Protectorship of the Island to Hurley before heading into the Source to replug the cork.

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