Papyri Graecae Magicae

Ecloga Ex Papyris Magicis: Liber I

a Johanne Opsopoeo

Liber I

Selections from Magical Papyri by John Opsopaus

Book I

Shall we write about the things not to be spoken of?
Shall we divulge the things not to be divulged?
Shall we pronounce the things not to be pronounced?

- Julian, Hymn to the Mother of the Gods

 

Introduction

Origin of the Magical Papyri

Although most of the magical papyri were discovered in Egypt the nineteenth century and brought together as part of the Anastasi Collection, they were not completely published until 1925. In fact, the first complete translation into English had to wait until 1986 (Betz).

It is quite likely that many of the papyri come from a single source, perhaps a tomb or temple library, and it is commonly supposed that they were collected by a Theban Magician. In any case, they are one of the best sources of Greco-Egyptian magic and religion, comparable to the Qumran scrolls for Judaism and the Nag Hamadi library for Gnosticism. We are extremely lucky that they have survived, since magical books and scrolls were often systematically burned (Acts 19:19; but not just by the Christians: Augustus ordered 2000 to be burned).

Contents

Here are the translations of a few spells, prayers, etc. that I thought might be useful or interesting. The information in [brackets] following each indicates the collection (PGM = Papyri Graecae Magicae, PDM = P. Demoticae M.), the papyrus number and the lines where the spell can be found. The source for these translations is Hans Dieter Betz (ed.), The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation Including the Demotic Spells, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986.

The spells, prayers, etc. are organized by category:

I. Protection
II. Divination and Visions
III. Self-Improvement
IV. Health and Healing
V. Craft
VI. Miscellaneous

Pronunciation of Magical Names

In general, most of the "voces magicae" (magical names) are written in Old Coptic, which used Greek letters, so you will do best if you think Greek. Thus, Y sounds between English "u" and "y", something like German umlauted "u". Pronounce CH as in German "ach" or Scotch "loch". The symbol E' represents eta, so pronounce like a long "a"; O' represents omega, so pronounce like a long "o". The diphthong "OU" is pronounced like English "oo". The symbols PH (phi) and TH (theta) probably should be aspirated "p" and "t", but may have been pronounced like English "f" and "th" by the time the papyri were written. The symbol "NN" in a spell means "fill in the blank," generally with the name of the one on whose behalf the spell is cast (thus, "NN" or "the NN man"), or with the question or problem to which the spell is addressed (thus, "the NN matter").

 

I. PROTECTION

i. Protective Spell

Taking Sulfur and Seed of Nile Rushes, burn as Incense to the Moon and say, "I call on You, Lady Isis, whom Agathos Daimon permitted to rule in the entire Black Land [i.e., Egypt]. Your name is LOU LOULOU BATHARTHAR THARE'SIBATH ATHERNEKLE'SICH ATHERNEBOUNI E'ICHOMO' CHOMO'THI Isis Sothis, SOUE'RI, Boubastis, EURELIBAT CHAMARI NEBOUTOS OUE'RI AIE' E'OA O'AI. Protect me, Great and Marvelous Names of the God (add the usual [i.e., the protection you seek]); for I am the One Established in Pelusium, SERPHOUTH MOUISRO' STROMMO' MOLO'TH MOLONTHE'R PHON Thoth. Protect me, Great and Marvelous Names of the Great God! (add the usual) "ASO' EIO' NISAO'TH. Lady Isis, Nemesis, Adrasteia, Many-named, Many-formed, glorify me, as I have glorified the Name of Your Son Horus! (add the usual)" [PGM VII.490-504]

ii. Restraining Spell

Write on a Tin Lamella with a Bronze Stylus before Sunrise the Names "CHRE'MILLON MOULOCH KAMPY CHRE' O'PHTHO' MASKELLI (formula) ERE'KISIPHTHE' IABEZEBYTH." Then throw it into River or into Sea before Sunrise. Also write on it, with the others, these Characters: "[six symbols, see below] Mighty Gods, restrain (add the usual, whatever you wish)." [PGM VII.417-22]

[The six symbols are: (1) an X in a circle; (2) a backwards capital E; (3) a Z with a small circle at the end of each line segment (four in all); (4) draw a capital E on its side with the legs pointing down, add small leftward pointing feet to the first two legs, add two upward tick marks from the back between the second and third legs, extend the back to the left a little, and the first leg up a little to make a backwards L at the top-left corner, extend this upward from the left end to make a small |_| sign, then write a tiny U nested inside; (5) an X with a small circle on the end of the right leg; (6) a small epsilon or set membership sign.]

iii. Spell for Restraining Anger

If you want Someone to cease being Angry with you, write with Myrrh this Name of Anger: "CHNEO'M" [probably Egyptian Khnum]. Hold it in your Left Hand and say: "I am restraining the Anger of all, especially of him, NN, which is CHNEO'M." [PGM XII.179-81]

iv. Against Every Wild Animal, Aquatic Creature and Robbers

Attach a Tassel to your Garment and say: "LO'MA ZATH AIO'N ACHTHASE MA . . . ZAL BALAMAO'N E'EIOY, protect me, NN, in the Present Hour! Immediately, immediately! Quickly, quickly!" [PGM VII.370-3]

v. Charm of Hekate Ereschigal Against Fear of Punishment

If He [i.e., a punishment daimon] comes forth, say to Him: "I am Ereschigal, the One holding Her Thumbs, and not even one Evil can befall Her!" If, however, He comes close to you, take hold of your Right Heel and recite the following: "Ereschigal, Virgin, Bitch, Serpent, Wreath, Key, Herald's Wand, Golden Sandal of the Lady of Tartaros!" And you will avert Him. "ASKEI KATASKEI ERO'N OREO'N IO'R MEGA SAMNYE'R BAUI (3 times) PHOBANTIA SEMNE', I have been initiated, and I went down into the Underground Chamber of the Dactyls, and I saw the Other Things Down Below, Virgin, Bitch, and all the rest!" Say It at the Crossroad, and turn around and flee, because it is at those Places that She appears.

Saying It Late at Night, about what you wish, It will reveal it in your Sleep; and if you are led away to Death, say It while scattering Seeds of Seseme, and It will save you. [PGM LXX.4-19]

vi. Indispensable Invisibility Spell

Take Fat or an Eye of a Nightowl and a Ball of Dung rolled by a Beetle and Oil of an Unripe Olive and grind them all together until smooth, and smear your Whole Body with it and say to Helios: "I adjure You by Your Great Name, BORKE' PHOIOUR IO' ZIZIA APARXEOUCH THYTHE LAILAM AAAAAA IIIII OOOO IEO' IEO' IEO' IEO' IEO' IEO' IEO' NAUNAX AI AI AEO' AEO' E'AO'!" And moisten It and say in addition: "Make me Invisible, Lord Helios, AEO' O'AE' EIE' E'AO', in the Presence of Any Man until Sunset, IO' IO' O' PHRIXRIZO' EO'A!" [PGM I.222-31]

 

II. DIVINATION AND VISIONS

vii. Direct Vision Spell "EEIM TO EIM ALALE'P BARBARIATH MENEBREIO ARBATHIAO'TH IOUE'L IAE'L OUE'NE'IIE MESOMMIAS, let the God who prophesies to me come and let Him not go away until I dismiss Him, OURNAOUR SOUL ZASOUL OUGOT NOOUMBIAOU THABRAT BERIAOU ACHTHIRI MARAI ELPHEO'N TABAO'TH KIRASINA LAMPSOURE' IABOE ABLAMATHANALBA AKRAMMACHAMAREI!"

In a Bronze Cup over Oil. Anoint your Right Eye with Water from a Shipwreck and the Left with Coptic Eyepaint, with the same Water. If you cannot find Water from a Shipwreck, then from a Sunken Skiff. [PGM V.54-69]

viii. Request for a Dream Oracle

Take a Strip of Clean Linen and write on it the following Name. Roll it up to make a Wick, pour Pure Olive Oil over it and light it.

The Formula to be written is this: "HARMIOUTH LAILAM CHO'OUCH ARSENOPHRE' PHRE'U PHTHA HARCHENTECHTHA."

In the Evening then, when you are about to go to Sleep, being Pure in every respect, do this: Go to the Lamp, say 7 times the following Formula, extinguish the Light and go to Sleep.

The Formula to be spoken is as follows: "SACHMOUNE [i.e., Sakhmet] PAE'MALIGOTE'RE'E'NCH, the One who Shakes, who Thunders, who has Swallowed the Serpent, Surrounds the Moon, and Hour by Hour Raises the Disk of the Sun, CHTHETHO'NI is Your Name. I ask You, Lords of the Gods, SE'TH CHRE'PS: reveal to me concerning the Things I wish." [PGM VII.359-69]

ix. Spell for Revelation

[Addressed to Ursa Major (Great Bear)]: "KOMPHTHO KOMASITH KOMNOUN You who shook and shake the World, You who have swallowed the Ever-living Serpent and daily raise the Disk of the Sun and of the Moon, You whose Name is ITHIOO' E'I ARBATHIAO' E', send up to me, NN, at Night the Daimon of This Night to reveal to me concerning the NN thing." [PGM IV.1323-30]

x. Saucer Divination of Aphrodite

Having kept oneself Pure for 7 days, take a White Saucer, fill It with Water and Olive Oil, having previously written on Its Base with Myrrh Ink: "E'IOCH CHIPHA ELAMPSE'R ZE'L A E E' I O Y O'" (25 letters [in Greek]); and beneath the Base, on the outside: "TACHIE'L CNTHONIE' DRAXO'" (18 letters). Wax over with White Wax. On the outside of the Rim at the Top: "IERMI PHILO' 6 ERIKO'MA DERKO' MALO'K GAULE' APHRIE'L I ask" (say it 3 times). Let It rest on the Floor and looking intently at It, say "I call upon You, the Mother and Mistress of Nymphs, ILAOCH OBRIE' LOUCH TLOR; Come in, Holy Light, and give Answer, showing Your Lovely Shape!"

Then look intently at the Bowl. When you see Her, welcome Her and say, "Hail, Very Glorious Goddess, ILARA OUCH. And if You give me a Response, extend Your Hand."

And when She extends It, expect Answers to your Inquiry. But if She does not listen, say, "I call upon the ILAOUCH who has begotten Himeros, the Lovely Horai and You Graces; I also call upon the Zeus-sprung Physis [Nature] of All Things, two-formed, indivisible, straight, foam-beautiful Aphrodite. Reveal to me Your Lovely Light and Your Lovely Face, O Mistress ILAOUCH. I conjure You, Giver of Fire, by ELGINAL, and by the Great Names OBRIE'TYCH KERDYNOUCHILE'PSIN NIOU NAUNIN IOUTHOU THRIGX TATIOUTH GERTIATH GERGERIS GERGERIE' THEITHI. I also ask You by the All Wonderful Names, OISIA EI EI AO' E'Y AAO' IO'IAIAIO' SO'THOU BERBROI AKTEROBORE GERIE' IE'OYA; bring me Light and Your Lovely Face and the True Saucer Divination, You shining with Fire, bearing Fire all around, stirring the Land from afar, IO' IO' PHTHAIE' THOUTHOI PHAEPHI. Do it!"

Preparation: having kept yourself Pure, as you learned, take a Bronze Drinking Cup, and write with Myrrh Ink the previously inscribed Stele [charm or amulet] which calls upon Aphrodite, and use the untouched Olive Oil and clean River Water. Put the Drinking Cup on your Knees and speak over it the Stele mentioned above, and the Goddess will appear to you and will reveal concerning what Things you wish. [PGM IV.3209-54]

 

III. SELF-IMPROVEMENT

xi. Memory Spell

Take Hieratic Papyrus and write the Prescribed Names with Hermaic Myrrh Ink. And once you have written them as they are prescribed, wash them off into Spring Water from 7 springs and drink the Water on an empty stomach for seven days while the Moon is in the East.

This is the Writing on the strip of papyrus: "KAMBRE' CHAMBRE SIXIO'PHI HARPON CHNOUPHI BRIONTATE'NO'PHRIBRISKYLMA ARAOUAZAR BAMESEN KRIPHI NIPTOUMI CHMOUMAO'PH AKTIO'PHI ARTO'SE BIBIOU BIBIOU SPHE' SPHE' NOUSI NOUSI SIEGO' SIEGO' NOUCHA NOUCHA LINOUCHA LINOUCHA CHYCHBA CHYCHBA KAXIO' CHYCHBA DE'TOPHO'TH II AA OO YY E'E' EE O'O'." After doing these things wash the Writing off and drink as is prescribed.

This is also the composition of the Ink: Myrrh Troglitis, 4 drams; 3 Karian Figs, 7 pits of Nikolaus Dates, 7 dried Pinecones, 7 piths of the single-stemmed Wormwood, 7 wings of the Hermaic Ibis, Spring Water.

When you have burned the Ingredients, prepare them and write. [PGM I.232-47]

xii. Another Memory Spell

Take a Silver Tablet and engrave it [with the Uzait Horu, or "Sacred Eye of Horus"] after the God [i.e., Helios, the sun] sets. Take Cow's Milk and pour it [or, perhaps, heat it]. Put down [into?] a Clean Vessel and place the Tablet under [it]; add Barley Meal, mix and form Bread: twelve Rolls in the Shape of Female Figures. Say [the formula] three times, eat [the rolls] on an Empty Stomach, and you will know The Power.

[The formula]: "BORKA BORKA PHRIX PHRIX RIX O' . . . ACHACH AMIXAG OUCH THIP LAI LAI LAMLAI LAI LAM MAIL AAAAAAAA IIIY E'I AI O'O'O'O'O'O'O' MOUMOU O'YIO' NAK NAK NAX LAINLIMM LAILAM AEDA . . . LAILAM AE'O O'AE' O'AE' E'OA' AO'E' E'O'A O'E'A, enter, Master, into my Mind, and grant me Memory, MMM E'E'E' MTHPH!"

Do this monthly, facing the Moon, on the First Day [of the month]. Prostrate yourself before the Goddess [i.e., Selene, the moon], and wear the Tablet as an Amulet. [PGM III.410-23]

xiii. Spell for Strength

"PHNOUNEBEE' (2 times), give me Your Strength, IO' ABRASAX, give me Your Strength, for I am ABRASAX!" Say it 7 times while holding your two Thumbs. [PGM LXIX.1-3]

xiv. Your Great Name, for Favor

"Everyone fears Your Great Might. Grant me the Good Things: The Strength of AKRYSKYLOS, the Speech of EUO'NOS, the Eyes of Solomon, the Voice of ABRASAX, the Grace of ADO'NIOS, the God. Come to me, Kypris, every day! The Hidden Name bestowed to You: THOATHOE'THATHO-OYTHAETHO'USTHOAITHITHE'THOINTHO'; grant me Victory, Repute, Beauty toward all Men and all Women!" [PGM XCII.1-16]

xv. Business Spell

Take Orange Beeswax and the juice of the Aeria Plant and of Ground Ivy and mix them and fashion a Figure of Hermes having a hollow bottom, grasping in his left hand a Herald's Wand and in his right a small Bag. Write on Hieratic Papyrus these Names, and you will see Continuous Business: "CHAIO'CHEN OUTIBILMEMNOUO'TH ATRAUICH. Give Income and Business to this place, because Psentebeth lives here." Put the Papyrus inside the Figure and fill in the hole with the same Beeswax. Then deposit in a wall, at an inconspicuous place, and crown Him on the outside, and sacrifice to Him a cock, and make a Drink Offering of Egyptian Wine, and light for Him a Lamp that is not colored Red. [PGM IV.2359-72]

xvi. Spell for Assertiveness

"Greetings, Lord, You who are the Means to obtain Favor for the Universe and for the Inhabited World. Heaven has become a Dancing Place for You, ARSENOPHRE', O King of the Heavenly Gods, ABLANATHANALBA, You who possess Righteousness, AKRAMMACHAMAREI, Gracious God, SANKANTHARA, Ruler of Nature, SATRAPERKME'PH, Origin of the Heavenly World, ATHTHANNOU ATHTHANNOU ASTRAPHAI IASTRAPHAI PAKEPTO'TH PA . . . E'RINTASKLIOUTH E'PHIO' MARMARAO'TH! "Let my Outspokenness not leave me. But let every Tongue and Language listen to me, because I am PERTAO' [ME'CH CHACH] MNE'CH SAKME'PH IAO'OYEE' O'E'O' O'E'O' IEOYO'E'IE'IAE'A IE'O'YOEI, Give me graciously whatever You want." [PGM XII.182-189]

 

IV. HEALTH AND HEALING

xvii. Fever Amulet

"ABLANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMARACH
BLANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMARA
LANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMAR
ANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMA
NATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAM
ATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARA
THANABLANAMACHARAMARACHAR
ANABLANAMACHARAMARACHA
NABLANAMACHARAMARACH
ABLANAMACHARAMARA
BLANAMACHARAMAR
LANAMACHARAMA
ANAMACHARAM
NAMACHARA
AMACHAR
MACHA
ACH
A

"O Tireless One, KOK KOUK KOUL, save Tais whom Taraus bore from every Shivering Fit, whether Tertian or Quartan or Quotidian Fever, or an Every-other-day Fever, or one by Night, or even a Mild Fever, because I am the ancestral, tireless God, KOK KOUK KOUL! Immediately, immediately! Quickly, quickly!" [PGM XXXIII.1-25]

xviii. Spell for Coughs

In Black Ink, write on Hyena Parchment: "THAPSATE STHRAITO'" - or as I found in another: "TEUTHRAIO' THRAITEU THRAITO' THABARBAO'RI [symbol: an X in a circle] LIKRALIRE'TA - deliver NN from the Cough that holds him fast." [PGM VII.203-5]

xix. Spell for Migraine Headache

Take Oil in your Hands and utter the Spell: "Zeus sowed a Grape Seed: it parts the Soil; He does not sow it; it does not sprout." [PGM VII.199-201]

xx. Spell for Scorpion Sting

"OR OR PHOR PHOR SABAO'TH ADO'NE SALAMA TARCHEI ABRASAX, I bind you, Scorpion of Artemisia, three-hundred and

fifteen times, on the fifteenth day of Pachon . . ." [PGM XXVIIIa.1-7]

xxi. A Contraceptive, the Only One in the World

Take as many Bittervetch Seeds as you want for the Number of Years you wish to remain Sterile. Steep them in the Menses of a Menstruating Woman. Let them steep in her own Genitals. And take a Frog that is alive and throw the Bittervetch Seeds into its Mouth so that the Frog swallows them, and release the Frog alive at the place where you captured him. And take a Seed of Henbane, steep it in Mare's Milk; and take the Nasal Mucus of a Cow, with Grains of Barley, put these into a Leather Skin made from a Fawn and on the outside bind it up with Mulehide Skin, and attach it as an Amulet during the Waning of the Moon in a Female Sign of the Zodiac on a Day of Kronos or Hermes [i.e., Saturn or Mercury]. Mix in also, with the Barley Grains, Cerumen from the Ear of a Mule. [PGM XXXVI.320-32]

xxii. A Prescription to Stop Blood

Juice of "Great-Nile" Plant together with Beer; you should make the Woman drink it at Dawn before she has eaten. It stops. [PDM xiv.953-5]

xxiii. The Way to Know it of a Woman Whether She will be Pregnant

You should make the Woman urinate on this Plant, above [i.e., "Great-Nile" plant], at Night. When Morning comes, if you find the Plant scorched, she will not conceive. If you find it green, she will conceive. [PDM xiv.956-60]

 

V. CRAFT

xxiv. Spell for Picking a Plant

Use it before Sunrise. The Spell to be spoken: "I am picking you, such and such a plant, with my Five-fingered Hand, I, NN, and I am bringing you home so that you may work for me for a Certain Purpose. I adjure you by the Undefiled Name of the God: if you pay no Heed to me, the Earth which produced you will no longer be watered as far as you are concerned - ever in Life again, if I fail in this Operation, MOUTHABAR NACH BARNACHO'CHA BRAEO' MENDA LAUBRAASSE PHASPHA BENDEO'; fulfil for me the Perfect Charm!" [PGM IV.286-95]

xxv. Procedure for Obtaining Herbs

Among the Egyptians Herbs are always obtained like this: the Herbalist first purifies his own Body, then sprinkles with Natron and fumigates the Herb with Resin from a Pine Tree after carrying it around the Place 3 times. Then, after burning Kyphi and pouring the Libation of Milk as he prays, he pulls up the Plant while invoking by Name the Daimon to whom the Herb is being dedicated and calling upon Him to be more effective for the Use for which it is being acquired.

The Invocation for him, which he speaks over any Herb, generally at the Moment of Picking, is as follows:

"You were sown by Kronos, you were conceived by Hera, you were maintained by Ammon, you were given birth by Isis, you were nourished by Zeus the God of Rain, you were given growth by Helios and Drosos [Dew]. You are the Dew of all the Gods, you are the Heart of Hermes, you are the Seed of the Primordial Gods, you are the Eye of Helios, you are the Light of Selene, you are the Zeal of Osiris, you are the Beauty and Glory of Ouranos, you are the Soul of Osiris' Daimon which revels in Every Place, you are the Spirit of Ammon. As you have exalted Osiris, so exalt yourself and rise just as Helios rises each day. Your size is equal to the Zenith of Helios, your Roots come from the Depths, but your Powers are in the Heart of Hermes, your Fibers are the Bones of Mnevis [i.e., Mr-wr, the holy bull of Heliopolis], and your Flowers are the Eye of Horus, your Seed is Pan's Seed. I am washing you in Resin as I also wash the Gods [i.e., the cult statues] even as I do this for my own Health. You also be cleaned by Prayer and give us Power as Ares and Athena do. I am Hermes! I am acquiring you with Good Fortune and Good Daimon both at a Propitious Hour and on a Propitious Day that is effective for all things."

After saying this, he rolls the Harvested Stalk in a Pure Linen Cloth (but into the place of its Roots they threw seven Seeds of Wheat and an equal number of Barley, after mixing them with Honey), and after pouring in the Ground which has been dug up, he departs. [PGM IV.2967-3006]

xxvi. Interpretations of Herbs and Other Ingredients

Which the Temple Scribes employed, from the Holy Writings, in translation. Because of the Curiosity of the Masses they [i.e., the scribes] inscribed the Names of the Herbs and Other Things which they employed on the Statues of the Gods, so that they [the masses], since they do not take Precaution, might not practice Magic, [being prevented] by the Consequence of their Misunderstanding. But we have collected the explanations from many Copies, all of them Secret.

Here they are:

A Snake's Head: a Leech.
A Snake's Ball of Thread: this means Soapstone.
Blood of a Snake: Hematite.
A Bone of an Ibis: this is Buckthorn.
Blood of a Hyrax: truly of a Hyrax [probably the rock hyrax, Procavia capensis].
Tears [Sleep Sand] of a Hamadryas Baboon: Dill Juice.
Crocodile Dung: Ethiopian Soil.
Blood of a Hamadryas Baboon: Blood of a Spotted Gecko.
Lion Semen: Human Semen.
Blood of Hephaistos: Wormwood.
Hairs of a Hamadryas Baboon: Dill Seed.
Semen of Hermes: Dill.
Blood of Ares: Purslane.
Blood of an Eye: Tamarisk Gall.
Blood from a Shoulder: Bear's Breach [probably Acanthus mollis L. or Helleborus foetidus L.].
From the Loins: Camomile.
A Man's Bile: Turnip Sap [probably Brassica napus L.].
A Pig's Tail: Leopard's Bane [probably a variety of leopard's bane in the genus Boronicum, or one of the heliotropes].
A Physician's Bone: Sandstone.
Blood of Hestia: Camomile.
An Eagle: Wild Garlic [Trigonella foenumgraecum, but the reading is doubtful].
Blood of a Goose: A Mulberry Tree's Milk.
Kronos' Spice: Piglet's Milk.
A Lion's Hairs: Tongue of a Turnip [i.e., the leaves of the taproot].
Kronos' Blood: . . . of Cedar.
Semen of Helios: White Hellebore.
Semen of Herakles: this is Mustard-rocket [probably Eruca sativa].
A Titan's Blood: Wild Lettuce.
Blood from a Head: Lupine.
A Bull's Semen: Egg of a Blister Beetle.
A Hawk's Heart: Heart of Wormwood.
Semen of Hephaistos: This is Fleabane.
Semen of Ammon: Houseleek.
Semen of Ares: Clover.
Fat from a Head: Spurge.
From the Belly: Earth-apple.
From the Foot: Houseleek.

[PGM XII.401-44]

[Similar lists can be found in De succedaneis transmitted among the works of Galen, Claudii Galeni Opera Omnia (Kuehn, ed.), vol. 19, 721-47; adapted version in Paul of Aegina, Paulus Aegineta, Corpus Medicorum Graecorum IX/2 (Heiberg, ed.), vol. II, 401-8; and in Dioscorides' Materia Medica.]

 

VI. Miscellaneous

xxvii. Prayer to Selene for Any Spell

[Since several aspects of this ritual are contrary to modern Pagan and Wiccan ethics and practice, I had some misgivings about including it in this collection, but decided to do so, because the hymn is so beautiful, so moving and so empowering. It has been discussed by K. Kerenyi, "Die Goettin Natur," Eranos-Jahrbuch 14 (1947), 39-86.]

"Come to me, O Beloved Mistress, Three-faced
Selene; kindly hear my Sacred Chants;
Night's Ornament, young, bringing Light to Mortals,
O Child of Morn who ride upon the Fierce Bulls,
O Queen who drive Your Car on Equal Course
With Helios, who with the Triple Forms
Of Triple Graces dance in Revel with
The Stars. You're Justice and the Moira's Threads:
Klotho and Lachesis and Atropos
Three-headed, You're Persephone, Megaira,
Allekto, Many-Formed, who arm Your Hands
With Dreaded, Murky Lamps, who shake Your Locks
Of fearful Serpents on Your Brow, who sound
The Roar of Bulls out from Your Mouths, whose Womb
Is decked out with the Scales of Creeping Things,
With Pois'nous Rows of Serpents down the Back,
Bound down Your Backs with Horrifying Chains
Night-Crier, Bull-faced, loving Solitude,
Bull-headed, You have Eyes of Bulls, the Voice
Of Dogs; You hide Your Forms in Shanks of Lions,
Your Ankle is Wolf-shaped, Fierce Dogs are dear
To You, wherefore they call You Hekate,
Many-named, Mene, cleaving Air just like
Dart-shooter Artemis, Persephone,
Shooter of Deer, night shining, triple-sounding,
Triple-headed, triple-voiced Selene
Triple-pointed, triple-faced, triple-necked,
And Goddess of the Triple Ways, who hold
Untiring Flaming Fire in Triple Baskets,
And You who oft frequent the Triple Way
And rule the Triple Decades, unto me
Who'm calling You be gracious and with Kindness
Give Heed, You who protect the Spacious World
At night, before whom Daimons quake in Fear
And Gods Immortal tremble, Goddess who
Exalt Men, You of Many Names, who bear
Fair Offspring, Bull-eyed, Horned, Mother of Gods
And Men, and Nature, Mother of All Things,
For You frequent Olympos, and the broad
And boundless Chasm You traverse. Beginning
And End are You, and You Alone rule All.
For All Things are from You, and in You do
All Things, Eternal One, come to their End.
As Everlasting Band around Your Temples
You wear Great Kronos' Chains, unbreakable
And unremovable, and You hold in
Your Hands a Golden Scepter. Letters 'round
Your Scepter Kronos wrote Himself and gave
To You to wear that All Things stay steadfast:
Subduer and subdued, Mankind's Subduer,
And Force-subduer; Chaos, too, You rule.
Hail, Goddess, and attend Your Epithets,
I burn for You this Spice, O Child of Zeus,
Dart-shooter, Heav'nly One, Goddess of Harbors,
Who roam the Mountains, Goddess of Crossroads,
O Nether and Nocturnal, and Infernal,
Goddess of Dark, Quiet and Frightful One,
O You who have Your Meal amid the Graves,
Night, Darkness, Broad Chaos: Necessity
Hard to escape are You; You're Moira and
Erinys, Torment, Justice and Destroyer,
And You keep Kerberos in Chains, with Scales
Of Serpents are You dark, O You with Hair
Of Serpents, Serpent-girded, who drink Blood,
Who bring Death and Destruction, and who feast
On Hearts, Flesh Eater, who devour Those Dead
Untimely, and You who make Grief resound
And spread Madness, come to my Sacrifices,
And now for me do You fulfill this Matter."

[Tr.: E. N. O'Neil]

Offering for The Rite: For doing Good, offer Storax, Myrrh, Sage, Frankincense, a Fruit Pit. But for doing Harm, offer Magical Material of a Dog and a Dappled Goat (or in a similar way, of a Virgin Untimely Dead).

Protective Charm for The Rite: Take a Lodestone and on it have carved a Three-faced Hekate. And let the Middle Face be that of a Maiden wearing Horns, and the Left Face that of a Dog, and the One on the Right that of a Goat. After the Carving is done, clean with Natron and Water, and dip in the Blood of One who has died a Violent Death. Then make Food Offering to it and say the same Spell at the time of the Ritual. [PGM IV.2785-2890]

xxviii. Love Spell

Aphrodite's Name, which becomes known to No One quickly, is NEPHERIE'RI [i.e. Nfr-iry.t, "the beautiful eye", an epithet for Aphrodite/Hathor] - this is the Name. If you wish to win a Woman who is beautiful, be Pure for 3 days, make an offering of Frankincense, and call this Name over it. You approach the Woman and say it seven times in your Soul as you gaze at her, and in this way it will succeed. But do this for 7 days. [PGM IV.1265-74]

xxix. To be Able to Eat Garlic and Not Stink

Bake Beetroots and eat them. [PGM VII.173]

xxx. To Let Those Who Have Difficulty Intermingling

[i.e. Socializing] Perform Well Give Gum mixed with Wine and Honey to be smeared on the Face. [PGM VII.179-80]

xxxi. To be Able to Drink a Lot and Not Get Drunk Eat a baked Pig's Lung. [PGM VII.181]

xxxii. To be Able to Copulate a Lot

Grind up fifty Tiny Pinecones with 2 ozs. of Sweet Wine and two Pepper Grains and drink it. [PGM VII.184-5]

xxxiii. To Get an Erection When You Want Grind up a Pepper with some Honey and coat your Thing. [PGM VII.186]

xxxiv. Love Salve

. . . Hawk's Dung; Salt, Reed, Bele Plant. Pound together. Anoint your Phallus with it and lie with the Woman. If it is dry, you should pound a little of it with Wine, anoint your Phallus with it, and lie with the Woman. Very Good. [PDM xiv.1155-62]

*** FINIS ***