- "Sara's soul is likely trapped in Mallus' realm. Usually, I'd have to cast the demon into myself to rescue her, but luckily, I already have a link to Sara's soul. So I'll enlist Aken, the Egyptian ferryman of the dead."
- —John Constantine[src]
Egyptian dream temple technique is a magic ritual calling to the power of Aken that allows spellcasters to create, warp, and travel into an alternate reality of their own, or another realm of their choosing, such as the spirit plane controlled by Malice.
The spellbound alternate reality depends on willpower of a person, which allowed Jacob Shaw to prey on teenagers who traveled into his reality, and then also allowed Ritchie Simpson to reject Shaw's reality and substitute his own. While the person's consciousness traveled and resided within the alternate reality, their physical body would remain on Earth-1 (in stark contrast to the more science-based dimensional travel, such as that based on breaches). If a person who traveled using the Egyptian dream temple technique suffered any injuries while in the alternate reality said injuries would also affect their body on Earth-1. However, in an event of death in the alternate reality, the physical body would die, while the consciousness could be resurrected within an alternate universe, depending on the whims of its master. This allowed Jacob Shaw to torture and resurrect his victims over and over again for a sick game of his, but when the control over his reality was wrestled from him by Ritchie Simpson all the physically dead students became trapped within the crumbling remains of Shaw's universe (a single house in an open field). However, John Constantine theorized that the victims' soul would be freed after Shaw and his reality dissipated.
Those who traveled to an alternate reality at least once would become connected to it and subject to the reality creator's magic. According to Constantine, Shaw was able to draw people back into his realm through reflective surfaces, since in Egyptian magic, mirrors are doorways to other spiritual planes. However, Jasper Winters put protections on any and all reflective surfaces in his house, which was supposed to make it a safe zone from Shaw's mirror projections. Nevertheless, Shaw was able to appear on an unprotected surface, such as a smartphone's reflective glass.
The casting of a spell itself requires beeswax candle, hieroglyphics and residual ash. Additionally, to travel into a person's alternate reality a connection is required: experimenting students conducted their ritual on Jacob Shaw's grave, while John Constantine and Ritchie Simpson were based in Jasper Winters' millhouse, but were in direct contact with a student trapped in the alternate reality. Alternatively, the spell can be cast using a circle with the Eye of Horus in the middle, and the destination can differ, focusing on a person connected to the casters (for example, Sara Lance, whose soul was trapped by Mallus, previously had relations with John Constantine and Ava Sharpe, metaphysically connecting them with her and allowing to find her location across time, space and dimensions).
The spell's incantation is in Egyptian. It invokes the power of the concepts of Ancient Egyptian lore, such as Aken ("the Ferryman"), Duat (the Spirit World), the five parts of a human soul (Ka, Ren, Ba, Ib, Sheut) and the goddess Ma'at. According to Jacob Shaw's book, the incantations are specific to each god and may differ, mentioning variations on Isis, Horus, Osiris. As John Constantine explained, the ritual "enlists" the power of Aken, the Egyptian Ferryman of the Dead, to transport the spell's user into a different time, place or plane of reality. Duat, the Spirit World, was referred to in the incantation while traveling to Jacob Shaw's alternate reality, but when the Spirit World was controlled by Mallus, the incantation targeted said demon specifically, while the wording otherwise remained intact.
Duat Aken, Ka, Ren, Ba, Ib, Sheut.
Duat Aken Ma'at. (casting, traveling to Duat / Jacob Shaw's alternate reality)
Mallus Aken, Ka, Ren, Ba, Ib, Sheut.
Mallus Aken Ma'at (casting, traveling to Mallus-controlled Spirit Realm)
The spell was originally created by priests of Ancient Egypt as a pathway to "the dream temple". It was rediscovered in the 21st century by philosophers and researchers of occult, such as Jacob Shaw. Shaw, who already showed psychopathic tendencies in life by killing his assistant, turned his own alternate reality into an empty plane with his house in the middle, the only sign of life or nature around it being aurora borealis. In his plane he would wait for unsuspecting youth to try the ritual and have their consciousnesses connect with his plane. After the connection was made, he'd hunt them down, appearing through mirrors, drawing the victims into his realm once again and killing them there. John Constantine and Ritchie Simpson, whose students became Shaw's targets, researched this occult case and ventured into Shaw's reality themselves. With John's support, Ritchie, who's already been researching such otherworldly concepts, was able to wrestle control of the reality from Shaw and substitute it with his own. After Shaw's alternate reality self dissipated, so did his house start to crumble. John and Ritchie escaped, managing to get one girl, whose body was still alive back on Earth-1, out of Shaw's house. However, the other students, who have already been killed and resurrected in Shaw's world were trapped with the crumbling pieces of it. Ritchie Simpson intended to stay within the reality that he now controlled, but in the end agreed to return to Earth-1 after a talk from John.
The spell was once again used by John Constantine when he deduced that Sara Lance's soul was likely trapped in Mallus' realm. Instead of having to cast the demon into himself to rescue her, he used the link to Sara's soul he has acquired after "their souls have been one" intimately, gaining a metaphysical connection. As Ava Sharpe has a similar connection to Sara, the two were able to send a signal to Sara's soul in the Spirit Realm, but were rebuffed by Mallus, who was not amused by Constantine daring to enter his domain.
- John Constantine (travel)
- Ava Sharpe (travel; attempted)
- Jacob Shaw (creation)
- Ritchie Simpson (creation)
- Ritchie Simpson's students:
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Behind the scenes
- In real life, Egyptian sleep temples are regarded by some as an early instance of hypnosis over 4000 years ago, under the influence of Imhotep. Imhotep served as Chancellor and as High Priest of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis. Sleep temples were hospitals of sorts, healing a variety of ailments, perhaps many of them psychological in nature. The treatment involved chanting, placing the patient into a trance-like or hypnotic state, and analysing their dreams in order to determine treatment. Meditation, fasting, baths, and sacrifices to the patron deity or other spirits were often involved as well.
- Additionally, the spell's incantation itself is based on concepts from Ancient Egyptian mythology.