Real Name: Ashake
Identity/Class: Human magic-user;
26th - 11th century BC (see comments)
Occupation: Sorceress, disciple of Oshtur
Group Membership: None known
Llyra, Magik (Illyana Rasputin), Mirage (Danielle Moonstar), Ian
Le Fay, Oshtur,
numerous other gods she invoked/drew power from including Amun, Hauhet, Iah, Nu, Keku, Shai, Shu
Heka-Nut's warriors, Keku
Known Relatives: Ayesha
other unspecified ancestors;
Ashake of Meroë (descendant);
Ororo Munroe (distant descendant), presumably N'Dare Munroe, and extended family via Ororo
Base of Operations: Last seen in Ian McNee's
Cornerstore on Creation;
formerly 26th - 11th century BC Egypt
First Appearance: New Mutants I#32 (October, 1985)
Powers/Abilities: Ashake’s sorcerous powers include
the ability to create illusions, telepathically read the memories of
others, sense the presence of other sorcerers (even across the
timeline), learn other languages, and cast a “guiding spell.”
She says she “walks the Shadow Path” as
She can summon the power of the gods
and the protection of spirits through protective symbols (like the Eye
of Ra and the Ankh) or through invocation, as was commonly done by
priests and magicians in ancient Egypt.
Amongst the gods she invoked for power were Oshtur (aka Ma'at, on many levels), Iah (for illusions), Ra (for light), Shai (for shields), and Shu (for concealment).
Ashake is from a line of sorceresses, and she possessed a number of urns containing the spirits of her ancestors; each spirit possessing different strengths, they all watched over and protected Ashake.
Ashake kept two familiars: Her cat, Phix, was constantly draped across her shoulders while she was in her home, and her bird, Harmarkhis, was usually perched near the entrance to her home.
She displayed some swordsmanship while wielding the Sword of Bone.
By observing and recording certain
archetypal individuals, Ashake created a set of images that became the
Major Arcana cards of the First Tarot.
The First Tarot is a powerful scrying item, capable of revealing information about the past, present and future to an individual who can properly read the images.
Amun, Huahet, Nu, and Keku were specifically noted to aid in her use of the Tarot.
As with most telepaths, Ashake found
Magik's mind to be closed to her.
Weight: 130 lbs.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2 (fb) - BTS / Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic: Ashake) - Ashake is from a line of sorceresses stretching back to 10,000 BC’s Ayesha of Balobedu, one of Earth’s Sorcerer Supremes.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Ashake possessed a number of urns containing the spirits of her ancestors; each spirit possessing different strengths, they all watched over and protected Ashake.
(Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic: Ashake) - In 26th century BC (see comments), Ashake was chosen by Ma’at (aka Oshtur) to learn magic beyond the abilities of most mortals.
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1/3
(fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z
hardcover#3: Dr. Glitternight entry) - Ashake and Heka-Nut were tutored in
magic by Oshtur and other gods.
The apprentices became good friends and
studied faithfully for 1000 years (see
comments), but Heka-Nut eventually grew jealous of Ashake’s
superior skill, feeling that the gods favored her.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - The dark god Keku (the primordial Ogdoad god of darkness and chaos and an agent of the Elder God Chthon) progressively tempted and broke Heka-Nut.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2 (fb) - BTS / /
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#3: Dr.
Glitternight entry) - Chthon instructed Heka-Nut to collect four talismans of immense mystical power, the
Cornerstones of Creation.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - First targeting the Sword of Bone (Oshtur's Cornerstone), Heka-Nut spent 500 years searching for it; eventually locating it in the Valley of Kings, Heka-Nut spent more centuries futilely trying to pierce the traps and spells to obtain the Sword.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - As foresight/precognition
was not her specialty, Ashake created the First Tarot (although
she didn't call it that), painting images on flat cards made of
bone, which helped her understand the influences/patterns that shaped
their lives. Amongst the forces/powers she accessed via the Tarot were
Nu, of the primordial waters; Amun, who rules air and the invisible;
Hauhet, whose influence was space and visible matters; and Keku, whose
domain was darkness and chaos.
While not mentioned, Ma'at/Oshtur likely provided assistance as well.
(New Mutants I#32 - BTS) - Seeking to arrive in Cairo in advance of the Shadow King-possessed Karma, Magik transported herself and Dani Moonstar through the limbo-realm Otherplace to Egypt, but they inadvertently shifted through time as well, arriving in Egypt in the 11th century BC.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - <11th
century BC> - Sensing the arrival of
time-traveling modern era mutant Magik (Illyana Rasputin), who was
traveling with her teammate Mirage (Danielle Moonstar), Heka-Nut tried
to mystically ensnare them.
(New Mutants I#32 - BTS / Mystic Arcana#1/2 - BTS) - Via the newly-created First Tarot, Ashake sensed Heka-Nut's efforts to ensnare Rasputin (and Moonstar). Learning of their natures via the Tarot, Ashake mystically intercepted them and brought them to her home. Ashake's sorcery (drawing on the power of Ma'at/Oshtur) also taught her their language.(New Mutants I#32) - As guards pursued Dani and Magik, Ashake called out to them in English, guiding them through a doorway.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2 - BTS) - After Ashake sensed the approach of Heka-Nut's minions, she
invoked Shu to conceal Moonstar, after which the mummy-like
minions confronted Ashake and Magik. Ashake called on great Shai's
shield to protect them while she detailed Heka-Nut's nature. Still too
exhausted to generate a stepping disk to teleport them away, Illyana
used her Soulsword against them. However, Heka-Nut's minions eventually
grabbed and restrained Ashake and clubbed Illyana from behind despite
(Mystic Arcana#1/2 (fb) - BTS) -
Magik and Ashake were brought to Heka-Nut's boat and mystically bound.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2) - Aboard his
ship, Heka-Nut mockingly noted to Ashake that because Ashake had tried
to protect Magik from him, she ended up in his clutches, as well.
Admitting -- at his query -- that she
feared Heka-Nut's power, Ashake informed him that she could not simply
abandon a child to a monster who wished to use her as a cat's paw.
Magik summoned her Soulsword in preparation to free herself and Ashake, but Ashake as was agonized as a result; Heka-Nut explained that Ashake would be dead in the space of three breaths if she continued to resist him, and Magik sheathed her sword.
Impressed by Magik's power and no
longer content to merely use her as a pawn, Heka-Nut attempted to claim
her soul for himself; however, he found her soul both corrupt and
already bound elsewhere, so he instead took Ashake's soul to force Magik
to aid him.
Though Ashake tried to dissuade Illyana
from assisting Heka-Nut, Illyana noted that she had failed to save and
been forced to murder a version (temporal divergent) of Ashake's
descendant Ororo, and she vowed that she would save Ashake.
Heka-Nut then instructed Magik to enter
the crypt and to bring him the Sword of Bone; when Ashake asked if he
honestly believed this young girl could succeed, Heka-Nut advised her
that if she could not, both Ashake and Illyana were lost. He further
noted that though he would retain Ashake's soul as a hostage, her body
and mind would accompany Magik and act as her guide.
Heka-Nut gave his word that if they brought him the Sword of Bone, he would return Ashake's soul uncorrupted and set her free, but he further warned that he would be watching through Ashake's eyes and that he would fully claim Ashake the second they betrayed him.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2) - Within the
crypt, Ashake called on the light of Ra to shine in the darkness.
Ashake and Illyana penetrated deeper
into the crypt than Heka-Nut, but when they set off a trap that locked
them in a chamber and began dumping sand on top of them, Ashake cast an
illusion to block their actions from Heka-Nut, and -- with Ashake's
permission -- Illyana teleported them through Otherplace.
Within Otherplace, Ashake noted the barren realm with demons scampering around, and Illyana used a scrying glass to see inside the crypt, find out how it was made, and determine where they needed to go. Illyana further explained how she could return them to exactly when they had left so Heka-Nut would not even know they were gone.
Magik bypassed the remaining traps and
transported herself and Ashake directly to the Throne of Bones chamber
containing the Sword of Bone. They were then confronted by an immense
serpent guardian protected by a doubling spell as explained by Ashake,
causing their number to double when their magic was disrupted.
Ashake called on Ma'at/Oshtur to aid them, and Oshtur sent the immense Ammut to
restrain the serpent guardians long enough for the Magik and Ashake to
approach the skeleton laying in the center of the chamber.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2) - Magik failed to recognize the sword in its inert rib form (clutched in the skeleton's hands), but Ashake explained its nature: For the tainted, it remained just bone, and only the pure of soul could call forth its true power. As she already had her Soulsword (and presumably because she was no longer pure of soul), Magik let Ashake grasp the rib, which swiftly transformed into the Sword of Bone. Via transporting through Otherplace again, Magik brought herself and Ashake back to Heka-Nut.
(Mystic Arcana#1/2) - As they returned, Magik showed Heka-Nut the Sword of Bone and demanded he restore Ashake's soul and release her. However, Heka-Nut refused to honor the agreement, noting he was unwilling to give up the tool that delivered to him the Sword of Bones. As he forced Ashake to give him the Sword, he noted that Ashake would be his finest slave while Magik would be the first of many beings of power to be devoured by the Sword's burning blade.
However, as soon as Ashake relinquished
the Sword to Heka-Nut, it reverted to its inert bone form in his
Magik then struck the distracted
Heka-Nut with her Soulsword, disrupting his power and shattering his
Ashake reclaimed the Sword of Bones,
and Illyana encouraged Ashake to kill Heka-Nut for what he tried to do
to her, but Ashake countered that Heka-Nut was a victim of manipulation.
Instead, she called on Ma'at (Oshtur) to send an jackal-headed
canopic jar/urn to seal away his dark power, which
she then vowed to hide.
Heka-Nut wandered off, noting his failure and begging Keku for mercy.Sensing that keeping and using the Sword of Bones would shift Earth's balance of power, Ashake had Magik transport them back to the Throne of Bones within the Valley of Kings, where she replaced the Sword of Bones.
(Mystic Arcana#1 - BTS) - Posing as Oshtur, Chthon manipulated the sorcerer Ian McNee into restoring the sorcerer Heka-Nut to save the mystic realms, which he could do by gathering the Cornerstones of Creation.
(Mystic Arcana#1/3, Mystic Arcana:
Black Knight#1/3, Mystic Arcana#3 (Scarlet
Witch) - third story, Mystic Arcana: Sister
Grimm#1/3) - McNee gathered the Cornerstones of Creation: The Sword
of Bone (Oshtur's Cornerstone), Ebon
Rose (Gaea's Cornerstone), Serpent
Crown (Set's Cornerstone), and the Black
page, which accessed the power of the Darkhold
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1 - BTS, 1/3 - BTS) - Ian McNee suspected the truth based on some inconsistencies in the story of "Oshtur." Aided by the modern manifestation of Ashake’s First Tarot, Ian saw through Chthon’s deception
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1/3 (fb) - BTS) - In preparation for the coming conflict, and Ian (aided via contact from the real Oshtur) made plans with former holders of the Sword of Bone, Ebon Rose, and the Serpent Crown -- Ashake, Morgan Le Fay, and the Lemurian Llyra, respectively -- to oppose Chthon's plot.
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1/3) -
Pressured by Chthon (still posing as Oshtur), McNee summoned the four
Cornerstones of Creation and began the spell to restore Heka-Nut, aided
by Ashake, Llyra, and Morgan Le Fay.
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1/3 / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#3:
Dr. Glitternight entry) - Ashake
the canopic jar containing Heka-Nut's power, and Ian McNee restored
Heka-Nut's soul, brought it forward in time, and gave Heka-Nut shelter
within his own form.
(Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1/3) -
With Heka-Nut restored, Chthon revealed his true
nature and prepared to use Heka-Nut to control McNee and through him use
the Cornerstones to control all creation.
However, McNee called on his allies,
and Morgan and Llyra called on the Rose and Crown's power to temporarily
As Heka-Nut began taking over McNee's
form, McNee urged Ashake's haste, and Ashake traveled forward in time
both to help McNee resist Heka-Nut and to help Heka-Nut remember whom he
Heka-Nut noted his pleasure at Ashake
being present for his rebirth and that their age-old enmity would soon
Using the Sword of Bone's logic, Ashake
pierced Heka-Nut's mind, and she noted that she bore him no enmity and
wondered why one so great as him would hate one such as herself.
Heka-Nut could not recall the reason, but felt there must be a reason.
Using the Ebon Rose's strength to tie
Heka-Nut to his truth, Ashake reminded him of the time when there was
respect and friendship between them.
Initially considering such a friendship absurd, Heka-Nut then remembered learning magic with Ashake and being taught by the gods themselves.
As Ashake used the Serpent Crown to
flood Heka-Nut with feelings, Heka-Nut recalled that he was happy for a
time until he began to resent the Ashake's skill, feeling the gods had
favored her. Desperate to prove himself, Heka-Nut had accepted Chthon's
offer to gather the Cornerstones, which would make him supreme.
Ashake then used the Sword of Bones to
sever the connection between McNee and Heka-Nut; his mind freed,
Heka-Nut urged McNee to use what power he had left and to revive himself
and banish Chthon; using the Cornerstone's power, McNee banished Chthon
from the Earthly plane, although Chthon took the Cornerstones with them.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont and Steve Leialoha.
The 11th century BC date is
confirmed in initial story, Mystic Arana #1 (Magik): second story.
That same story has Ashake note that Heka-Nut serving the Elder Gods for a thousand years before being corrupted.
That same story also has Ashake says that Heka-Nut spent 1000 years searching for the Sword of Bone. Three pages later Heka-Nut says he spent 500 years searching for it, but he then continues that he spent centuries more trying to overcome the traps/spells in the Valley of Kings.
The 26th century BC date in the
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe for the start of Heka-Nut
serving as an intermediary of the Elder Gods was based upon the thousand
years of service, plus the five hundred years searching for the Sword of
Bone that Heka-Nut references.
However, given that Ashake describes
1000 years of seeking the Sword of Bone and that Heka-Nut specifies 500
years trying to find out where it was and then "centuries more" trying
to recover it from the Valley of Kings, the 26th century appears to be
erroneous. While the 1000 year references given are likely
approximations rather than exact time periods, Heka-Nut's origins would
more likely start in the 31st century BC.
Big thanks to Heka-Nut creator David Sexton in helping to clarify multiple issues from Heka-Nut's stories, some of which he and I figured out together (I consulted directly with David for the Mystic Arcana handbook and the Marvel Tarot). Of course, all in-story research came from young sorcerer Ian McNee, whose initial research -- as reported in Marvel Legacy: The 1960s-1990s Handbook trade paperback (2008)'s Where Are They Now? section on Dr. Glitternight -- speculated that Heka-Nut evolved/progressed into Dr. Glitternight. Subsequent research/consideration noted Glitternight to be a pre-existing being that inhabited Heka-Nut's burnt out, soulless husk back in the 11th century BC, as reported in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#3: Dr. Glitternight entry.
the things about Ashake that I wanted to explore was that she was so
much like the alternate reality Storm that taught Illyana magic in the
1984 Magik mini-series. And that she was part of Ororo's magical
bloodline. The First Tarot that i developed first appeared in Secret
The Storm David references is the one from divergent Reality-8280, in which Illyana was sent back to Earth, but the rest of the X-Men were trapped in limbo/Otherplace. --Snood
Ashake called Illyana "Ill-ah-ana" and Dani "Dah-ni"
Amun and Ra in the Marvel Universe are names used by Ammon-Ra, aka Atum, aka Demogorge.
This profile was completed 09/07/2020, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.
Profile by Snood.
Ashake should be distinguished from:
|(Mystic Arcana#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Ashake is from a line of
sorceresses, and she possessed a number of urns containing the
spirits of her ancestors; each spirit possessing different
strengths, they all watched over and protected Ashake.
--Mystic Arcana#1/2 (Magik)
Note: Ashake's ancestry can be traced back to the Sorceress Supreme circa 10,000 BC, Ayesha.
I wonder if Ayesha is in one of the urns?
Obviously that is Phix on the ground beside Dani Moonstar.
I think it is at least implied in Ashake's statements that one of her ancestors was particularly gifted in prophecy/precognition/reading the future.
Harmakhis is one of Ashake's two mystic familiars (along with the cat Phix) who live with Ashake in her home in the region that would eventually become Cairo.
Both Phix and Harmarkhis aid Ashake in focusing on a particular target.
--Mystic Arcana#1/2 (Magik); (identified) Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic: Ashake
Note: Harmarkhis received a name in Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic: Ashake profile.
Harmarkhis was named after the Sphinx of Giza.
David Sexton further explained that Harmarkhis was connected to the god Horus and was thus a falcon.
Phix the cat is one of Ashake's two mystic familiars (along with
the bird Harmarkhis) who live with Ashake.
Both Phix and Harmarkhis aid Ashake in focusing on a particular target.
--New Mutants I#32; (identified) Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic: Ashake
Note: Phix was named after the Sphinx of Greek mythology.
Phix was also pictured in the main image, as well as in the image of Ashake's ancestors/urns.
images: (without ads)
New Mutants I#32, pg. 18, panel 1 (Harmarkhis, frontal);
panel 2 (Harmarkhis, profile);
panel 3 (face);
panel 4 (seated);
Mystic Arcana#1 (Magik), second story (Magik), pg, 2. panel 2 (face with energy & Phix's face);
pg. 4, panel 2 (Phix swatting at Harmarkhis);
panel 4 (Phix eating);
pg. 5, panel 1 (urns, Phix full, from behind);
pg. 6, panel 5 (face, glowing symbols);
pg. 13, panel 4 (full, distant);
pg. 19, panel 5 (with Sword of Bone);
pg. 20, panel 4 (with canopic jars);
pg. 22, panel 2 (full, showing feet);
Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1, third story (McNee), pg. 4, panel 3 (bringing canopic jar to McNee);
panel 6 (face)
Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic: Ashake entry main - digitally remastered from New Mutants I#32, pg. 18, panel 1;
inset - digitally remastered from New Mutants I#32, pg. 18, panel 2
New Mutants I#32 (October, 1985) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (artist), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic (2007) -
Mystic Arcana#1 (Magik) (August, 2007) - first and third story (McNee) - David Sexton (writer), Eric Nguyen (artist), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
second story (Magik) - Louise Simonson (writer), Steve Scott (penciler), Kris Justice (inker), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Mystic Arcana: Black Knight#1 (September, 2007) - third story (McNee) - David Sexton (writer), Eric Nguyen (artist), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Mystic Arcana#3 (Scarlet Witch) (October, 2007) - first and third story (McNee) - David Sexton (writer), Eric Nguyen (artist), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm#1 (January, 2008) - third story (McNee) - David Sexton (writer), Eric Nguyen (artist), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
First posted: 09/06/2021
Last updated: 09/04/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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