ANCIENT GREEK MAGIC, WITCHCRAFT, SPELLS AND CURSES

ANCIENT GREEK CURSES


ancient Greek binding spell from the 4th century BC

The ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Jews, Christians, Gauls and Britons all dispensed curse tablets used placate "unquiet" graves, cast love spells and call up the spirits of the Underworld to make trouble. [Source: Christopher A. Faraone, Archaeology, March/April 2003]

Curse objects were used to call ghosts from the Underworld to bring suffering on one's enemies. They were often buried with the dead who were believed to have the power to pass them on to a party that could carry them out. Curses buried with people who died young were thought to be able to reach their destination quicker. Curses became such an annoyance in Athens they were outlawed. Even so they were secretly buried on the dead.

It is not clear what kinds of punishments there were if one was caught putting a curse on someone. One of Plato’s dialogues asserts that “if it be held that a man is acting like an injurer by these of spells, incantations or any such mode of poisoning, if he be a prophet or diviner, he shall be put death.” In this passage Plato’s character thinks that practitioners of black magic should be punished but in Greek and Roman law investigations of magic was only done if it was involved in a serious crime such as murder.

See Separate Articles ANCIENT GREEK RELIGION factsanddetails.com ; GREEK GODS AND GODDESSES; THEIR CREATION, BEHAVIOR AND POWER factsanddetails.com ; MAJOR GREEK GODS factsanddetails.com ; ANCIENT GREEK GODDESSES factsanddetails.com ; ANCIENT GREEK RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, RITUALS AND SACRIFICES factsanddetails.com ; ANCIENT GREEK TEMPLES, SANCTUARIES AND SACRED PLACES factsanddetails.com ; ELEUSINIAN MYSTERY CULTS AND DEMETER factsanddetails.com ; INITIATION FOR THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES factsanddetails.com ; ELEUSINIAN MYSTERY RITUALS factsanddetails.com ; ANCIENT GREEK IDEAS ABOUT DEATH, THE AFTERLIFE, HADES AND THE SOUL factsanddetails.com ; FUNERALS AND TOMBS IN ANCIENT GREECE factsanddetails.com ; ANCIENT GREEK ASTROLOGY, DIVINATION, OMENS AND THE ZODIAC factsanddetails.com ; ANCIENT GREEK MAGIC, WITCHCRAFT, SPELLS AND CURSES factsanddetails.com ; ORACLES IN DELPHI, TROPHINOS AND SIWA factsanddetails.com

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Curse inscription
Websites on Ancient Greece and Rome: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Greece sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Hellenistic World sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; BBC Ancient Greeks bbc.co.uk/history/; Canadian Museum of History historymuseum.ca; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; ; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org; British Museum ancientgreece.co.uk; Illustrated Greek History, Dr. Janice Siegel, Department of Classics, Hampden–Sydney College, Virginia hsc.edu/drjclassics ; The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization pbs.org/empires/thegreeks ; Oxford Classical Art Research Center: The Beazley Archive beazley.ox.ac.uk ; Ancient-Greek.org ancientgreece.com; Metropolitan Museum of Art metmuseum.org/about-the-met/curatorial-departments/greek-and-roman-art; The Ancient City of Athens stoa.org/athens; The Internet Classics Archive kchanson.com ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” forumromanum.org; “The Private Life of the Romans” forumromanum.org|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history; The Roman Empire in the 1st Century pbs.org/empires/romans; The Internet Classics Archive classics.mit.edu ; Bryn Mawr Classical Review bmcr.brynmawr.edu; De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors roman-emperors.org; Cambridge Classics External Gateway to Humanities Resources web.archive.org/web; Ancient Rome resources for students from the Courtenay Middle School Library web.archive.org ; History of ancient Rome OpenCourseWare from the University of Notre Dame /web.archive.org ; United Nations of Roma Victrix (UNRV) History unrv.com

Ancient Greek Voodoo Dolls

Archaeologists have found ancient Greek "voodoo dolls" called kolossoi , consisting of a small doll lying in a lead coffin. One such doll had its arms pulled back and a man's name inscribed on its leg. The man appeared to have been involved with a public trial with eight other men, whose names were inscribed on the coffin lid. Kolossoi figures have been found buried in a cemetery, but not inside graves, perhaps to draw the attention of Hades, god of the Underworld.

In Antinopolis, Egypt, a small effigy of woman, dated to the A.D. 4th century was found kneeling with her feet together and her arms tied behind her back. She is pierced with 13 pins: one in the top of her head, one in the mouth, one in each eye and one in each ear, one each in the solar plexus, vagina and anus, and one in the palm of each hand and in the soles of each foot. The effigy was wrapped in an inscribed table and sealed in a pit.

The doll surprisingly was commissioned by a man who wanted a the victim, a woman, to make live to him. The text of the tablet read: “Lead Ptolemasi, who Aias bore, the daughter of Horigense, to me. Prevent her from eating and drinking until she comes to me. Sarapammon, whom Area bore, and do not allow her to have experience with another man, except me alone. Drag here by her hair, by her guts, until she does not stand aloof from me.”

A magical handbook that has been found, dated to around the same time, has an image of a nearly identical effigy with instructions on where to place it and what to recite when doing so. The idea it seems was to cause the woman anguish so she would have feelings of affection for the man who pieced the doll.

Ancient Greek Curse Tablets

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Curse inscription
Archaeologists have found hundreds of ancient Greek curse tablets, which the Greeks called them katares , “curses that bind tight,” and they appear to have invented them with a great number focused on sporting competitions or legal contests. “To make such a “binding spell,” Christopher A. Faraone wrote in Archaeology magazine, “one would inscribe the victim’s name and a formula on a lead tablet, fold it up, often pierce it with a nail, and then deposit it in a grave or a well or a fountain, placing it in the realm of ghosts or Underworld divinities who might be asked to enhance the spell.”

Many ancient Greek curse tablets made of lead have been found. By far the most have come from Athens, where they have been found buried in cemeteries, inside sanctuaries and wells and outside theaters. They were purchased by shopowners, potters and tavern owners against rivals. Most were aimed at legal opponents. Some were directed at politicians. Many were accompanied by figures: a soldier with a bent sword a man with his hands tied behind his back, creatures with birdlike heads and pronounced sex organs. Many curses were put on bracelets buried with the dead.

Jessica Lamont, an instructor at John Hopkins University, told live Science: “The way that curse tablets work is that they're meant to be deposited in an underground location," such as a grave or well, Lamont told Live Science. "It's thought that these subterranean places provided a conduit through which the curses could have reached the underworld," and its chthonic (underworld) gods would then do the curse's biddings, Lamont said. The person in a garve containing curse tablets may have had nothing to do with the curses or the targets or initiators of the curse. They may have happened to die at the time when someone wanted to cast curses on others in the same community. At the time when funeral ceremonies are conducted, a grave "would have been accessible, a good access point for someone to deposit these tablets underground and bury them," Lamont said. [Source: Owen Jarus, LiveScience.com, April 6, 2016]

Early curse tablets were filled with spelling and grammar mistakes which has led archaeologists and historians to surmise they were probably inscribed by amateurs, but there are hints of professional sorcerers making spells as early as 400 B.C. A passage from Plato’s Republic goes: “And then there are the begging priests and soothsayers, who going to the doors of the wealthy persuade them that...if anyone wants to harm an enemy, whether the enemy is a just or unjust man, they [the priest and soothsayers], at very little expense, will do it with incantations and binding spells, once [they claim] they have persuaded the gods to do their bidding.”

Book: Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World by John Gager, professor or religion at Princeton (Oxford University Press, 1998)

Texts of Ancient Greek Curse Tablets

A spell from Attica in the 4th century B.C. read: "I bind Kalais, the shop-tavern keeper who is one of my neighbors and his wife, Tahittra and the shop-tavern of the bald man and the shop-tavern of Anthemion and Polon the shop-tavern keeper. Of all of these I bind the soul, the work, the hands, tying and mind: all of these I bind to Hermes the Restrainer."

Another read: "I inscriber Selinonitios and the tongue of Selinontios, twisted to the point of uselessness.” A Hellenistic curse read: "I will tattoo you with pictures of terrible punishments suffered by the most notorious sinners in Hades! I will tattoo you with the white-tusked boar." Curses aimed at unfaithful lovers was common in Hellenistic Greece.

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Dodona curse inscription

On dealing with the testimonies of three butchers in a court of law one tablet read: “Theagues, the butcher, I bind his tongue, his soul and the speech he is practicing. Pyrrhias: bind his tongue, his soul and the speech he is practicing. I bind the wife of Pyrrhias, her tongue and soul. I also bind Kerkion, the butcher, and Dikimos the butcher, their tongues, their souls and the speeches they are practicing. I bind Kineas, bind his tongue, his soul and the speech he is practicing with Theagenes. And Pherekles. I bind his tongue, his soul and the evidence he gives for Theagenes. All of these (i.e. their names) I bind, I hide, I bury, I nail down. If they lay any counterclaim before the arbitrator or the court let them seem to be of no account, either in word or deed.”

2,400-year-old Curse Tablets Target Tavern Keepers

In 2016, a John Hopkins researcher announced that five 2,400-year-old lead tablets that cursed tavern keepers had been found in a young woman's grave in Athens, Greece. Owen Jarus of Live Science wrote: “Four of the tablets were engraved with curses that invoked the names of "chthonic" (underworld) gods, asking them to target four different husband-and-wife tavern keepers in Athens. The fifth tablet was blank and likely had a spell or incantation recited orally, the words spoken over it. All five tablets were pierced with an iron nail, folded and deposited in the grave. The grave would have provided the tablets a path to such gods, who would then do the curses' biddings, according to ancient beliefs. [Source: Owen Jarus, LiveScience.com, April 6, 2016]

“One of the curses targeted husband-and-wife tavern keepers named Demetrios and Phanagora. The curse targeting them reads in part (translated from Greek): “Cast your hate upon Phanagora and Demetrios and their tavern and their property and their possessions. I will bind my enemy Demetrios, and Phanagora, in blood and in ashes, with all the dead…I will bind you in such a bind, Demetrios, as strong as is possible, and I will smite down a kynotos on [your] tongue."

“The word kynotos literally means "dog's ear," an ancient gambling term that "was the name for the lowest possible throw of dice," Jessica Lamont, an instructor at John Hopkins University who recently completed a doctorate in classics, wrote in an article published recently in the journal Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. The "physical act of hammering a nail into the lead tablet would have ritually echoed this wished-for sentiment," Lamont wrote. “By striking Demetrios' tongue with this condemningly unlucky roll, the curse reveals that local taverns were not just sociable watering holes, but venues ripe for gambling and other unsavory activities in Classical Athens."

“The grave where the five curse tablets were found was excavated in 2003 by archaeologists with Greece's Ephorate for Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. The grave was located northeast of the Piraeus, the port of Athens. Details of the burial have not yet been published, but Lamont said that excavation reports indicate that it contained the cremated remains of a young woman. Lamont has been studying the curse tablets at the Piraeus Museum, where they are now kept. The writing on the curse tablets is neat and its prose eloquent, suggesting that a professional curse writer created the tablets. "It's very rare that you get something so explicit and lengthy and beautifully written, of course in a very terrible way," Lamont said.

“This curse writer, who probably provided other forms of supernatural services — including charms, spells and incantations — was likely hired by someone who worked in Athens' tavern-keeping industry, according to Lamont. "I think it's likely that the person who commissioned them was probably in the world of the tavern himself or herself," possibly a business rival of the four husband-and-wife tavern keepers, Lamont said.

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Magic Pella leaded tablet (katadesmos) 4th_Century

Roman-Era Greek Tablet Calls Upon the Jewish God to Curse of Greengrocer

A 1,700-year-old curse tablet, whose contents were revealed in 2011, called upon Iao, the Greek name for Yahweh, god of the Old Testament, to strike down Babylas identified as being a greengrocer. Live Science reported: “A fiery ancient curse inscribed on two sides of a thin lead tablet was meant to afflict, not a king or pharaoh, but a simple greengrocer selling fruits and vegetables in the city of Antioch. Written in Greek, the tablet holding the curse was dropped into a well in Antioch, then one of the Roman Empire’s biggest cities in the East [Source: livescience.com, December 201]

“The curse calls upon Iao, the Greek name for Yahweh, the god of the Old Testament, to afflict a man named Babylas who is identified as being a greengrocer. The tablet lists his mother’s name as Dionysia, “also known as Hesykhia” it reads. The text was translated by Alexander Hollmann of the University of Washington. The artifact, which is now in the Princeton University Art Museum, was discovered in the 1930s by an archaeological team but had not previously been fully translated. The translation is detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. “O thunder-and-lightning-hurling Iao, strike, bind, bind together Babylas the greengrocer,” reads the beginning of one side of the curse tablet. “As you struck the chariot of Pharaoh, so strike his [Babylas’] offensiveness.”

“Hollmann told LiveScience that he has seen curses directed against gladiators and charioteers, among other occupations, but never a greengrocer. “There are other people who are named by occupation in some of the curse tablets, but I haven’t come across a greengrocer before,” he said. The person giving the curse isn’t named, so scientists can only speculate as to what his motives were. “There are curses that relate to love affairs,” Hollmann said. However, “this one doesn’t have that kind of language.”

“The lead curse tablet is very thin and could have been folded up. This side contains a short summary of what the inscription says and would have gone on the outside. It’s possible the curse was the result of a business rivalry or dealing of some sort. “It’s not a bad suggestion that it could be business related or trade related,” said Hollmann, adding that the person doing the cursing could have been a greengrocer himself. If that’s the case it would suggest that vegetable selling in the ancient world could be deeply competitive. “With any kind of tradesman they have their turf, they have their territory, they’re susceptible to business rivalry.”

“The use of Old Testament biblical metaphors initially suggested to Hollmann the curse-writer was Jewish. After studying other ancient magical spells that use the metaphors, he realized that this may not be the case. “I don’t think there’s necessarily any connection with the Jewish community,” he said. “Greek and Roman magic did incorporate Jewish texts sometimes without understanding them very well.” In addition to the use of Iao (Yahweh), and reference to the story of the Exodus, the curse tablet also mentions the story of Egypt’s firstborn. “O thunder—and-lightning-hurling Iao, as you cut down the firstborn of Egypt, cut down his [livestock?] as much as…” (The next part is lost.). “It could simply be that this [the Old Testament] is a powerful text, and magic likes to deal with powerful texts and powerful names,” Hollmann said. “That’s what makes magic work or make[s] people think it works.”

Ancient Greek Love Tablets

A curse that focuses on erotic love found on a potsherd perhaps heated in a ritual read: “Burn, torch the soul of Allous, her female body, her limbs, until she leaves the household of Apollonius. Lay Allous low with fever, with unceasing sickness, lack of appetite, senselessness.”

The text of one Greek curse found rolled up in the mouth of a red-haired mummy found in Eshmunen in Ptolemaic Egypt read: “Aye, lord demain, attract, inflame, destroy, burn, cause her to swoon from love as she is being burnt, inflamed. Goad the tortured soul, the heart of Karosa...until she leaps forth and comes to Apalos...out of passion and love, in this very hour, immediately. Immediately, quickly, quickly...do not allow Karosa herself...to think of her [own] husband, her child, drink, food, but let her come melting for passion and love and intercourse, especially yeaning for the intercourse of Aapalos.”

One tablet addressed to a ghost goes: “Seize Euphemia and lead her to me Theon, loving me with mad desire, and bind her with unloosable shackles, strong ones of adamantine, for the love of me, Theon, and do not allow her to eat, drink, obtain sleep, jest or laugh but make her leap out...and leave behind her father. Mother, brothers, sisters, until she comes to me...Burn her limbs, live, female body, until she comes to me, and not disobeying me.”

Hekate, Goddess of Witchcraft


According to Theoi Project: “Hekate (Hecate) was the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. She was the only child of the Titanes Perses and Asteria from whom she received her power over heaven, earth, and sea. Hekate assisted Demeter in her search for Persephone, guiding her through the night with flaming torches. After the mother-daughter reunion became she Persephone's minister and companion in Haides.

“Three metamorphosis myths describe the origins of her animal familiars: the black she-dog and the polecat (a mustelid house pet kept by the ancients to hunt vermin). The dog was the Trojan Queen Hekabe (Hecuba) who leapt into the sea after the fall of Troy and was transformed by the goddess. The polecat was either the witch Gale, turned as punishment for her incontinence, or Galinthias, midwife of Alkmene (Alcmena), who was transformed by the enraged goddess Eileithyia but adopted by the sympathetic Hekate.

“Hekate was usually depicted in Greek vase painting as a woman holding twin torches. Sometimes she was dressed in a knee-length maiden's skirt and hunting boots, much like Artemis. In statuary Hekate was often depicted in triple form as a goddess of crossroads. Her name means "worker from afar" from the Greek word hekatos. The masculine form of the name, Hekatos, was a common epithet of the god Apollon. Hekate was identified with a number of other goddesses including Artemis, Selene (the Moon), Despoine, the sea-goddess Krataeis (Crataeis), the goddess of the Taurian Khersonese in Skythia, the Kolkhian (Colchian) nymph Perseis, the heroine Iphigeneia, the Thracian goddesses Bendis and Kotys (Cotys), the Euboian nymph Maira (the Dog-Star), the Eleusinian nymph Daeira and the Boiotian nymph Herkyna (Hercyna).”

Orphic Hymn to Hekatê


Artemis-Hekate from Apollonia, Albania

To Hekatê (Greek Goddess of Witchcraft, Magic & Ghosts);
“Hekatê of the Path, I invoke Thee, Lovely Lady of the Triple Crossroads,
Celestial, Chthonian, and Marine One, Lady of the Saffron Robe.
Sepulchral One, celebrating the Bakchic Mysteries among the Souls of the Dead,
Daughter of Persês, Lover of Solitude, rejoicing in deer.
Nocturnal One, Lady of the Dogs, invincible Queen.
She of the Cry of the Beast, Ungirt One, having an irresistible Form.
Bullherder, Keeper of the Keys of All the Universe, Mistress,
Guide, Bride, Nurturer of Youths, Mountain Wanderer.
I pray Thee, Maiden, to be present at our hallowed rites of initiation,
Always bestowing Thy graciousness upon the Boukolos. [Source: translated by Adam Forrest, Hermetic Fellowship]

Hekatês
Einodian Hekatên, klêizô, Trihoditin Erannên,
Ouranian, Chthonian, te kai Einalian, Krokopeplos. Tymbidian, Psychais Nekyôn meta bakcheuosan, Perseian, Philerêmon, agallomenên elaphoisi. Nykterian, Skylakitin, amaimaketon Basileian. Thêrobromon, Azôston, aprosmachon Eidos echousan. Tauropolon, Pantos Kosmou Klêidouchon, Anassan, Hêgemonên, Nymphên, Kourotrophon, Ouresiphoitin. Lissomenos, Kourên, teletais hosiaisi pareinai, Boukolôi eumeneousan aei kecharêoti thymôi.

Magical Papyri from Ancient Greece

John Opsopaus of hermetic.com wrote: “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). [Source: John Opsopaus, Papyri Graecae Magicae hermetic.com |+|]

“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). |+|

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Magic Engainion of an ancient Greek_house
“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 “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. |+|

“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”). |+|

“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 |+|

Protection Spells in Ancient Greece

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magical intaglio
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][Source: translations by Hans Dieter Betz (ed.), “The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation Including the Demotic Spells,” Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986, hermetic.com |+|]

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.] |+|

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] |+|

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] |+|

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] |+|

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] |+|

Divination and Vision Spells in Ancient Greece


Carpe Diem

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] [Source: translations by Hans Dieter Betz (ed.), “The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation Including the Demotic Spells,” Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986, hermetic.com |+|]

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] |+|

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] |+|

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] |+|

Self Improvement Spells in Ancient Greece


Circe turns Odysseus's men into animals

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] [Source: translations by Hans Dieter Betz (ed.), “The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation Including the Demotic Spells,” Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986, hermetic.com |+|]

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] |+|

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] |+|

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] |+|

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] |+|

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] |+|

Health and Healing Spells in Ancient Greece


altar with Aphrodite and Adonis

Fever Amulet: “ABLANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMARACH BLANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMARA
LANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMAR
ANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMA
NATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAM
ATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARA
THANABLANAMACHARAMARACHAR
ANABLANAMACHARAMARACHA
NABLANAMACHARAMARACH
ABLANAMACHARAMARA
BLANAMACHARAMAR
LANAMACHARAMA
ANAMACHARAM
NAMACHARA
AMACHAR
MACHA
ACH
[Source: translations by Hans Dieter Betz (ed.), “The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation Including the Demotic Spells,” Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986, hermetic.com |+|]

““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] |+|

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] |+|

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] |+|

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] |+|

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] |+|

“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] |+|

“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] |+|

Craft Spells in Ancient Greece


bird phallus

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] [Source: translations by Hans Dieter Betz (ed.), “The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation Including the Demotic Spells,” Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986, hermetic.com |+|]

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] |+|

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. |+|


snake in the basket

“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.] |+|

Miscellaneous Spells in Ancient Greece

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.][Source: translations by Hans Dieter Betz (ed.), “The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation Including the Demotic Spells,” Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986, hermetic.com |+|]


Hekate

“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] |+|

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] |+|

To be Able to Eat Garlic and Not Stink: Bake Beetroots and eat them. [PGM VII.173] |+|

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] |+|

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

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] |+|

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

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]

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons, The Louvre, The British Museum

Text Sources: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Greece sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Hellenistic World sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; BBC Ancient Greeks bbc.co.uk/history/ ; Canadian Museum of History historymuseum.ca ; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; MIT, Online Library of Liberty, oll.libertyfund.org ; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Live Science, Discover magazine, Times of London, Natural History magazine, Archaeology magazine, The New Yorker, Encyclopædia Britannica, "The Discoverers" [∞] and "The Creators" [μ]" by Daniel Boorstin. "Greek and Roman Life" by Ian Jenkins from the British Museum.Time, Newsweek, Wikipedia, Reuters, Associated Press, The Guardian, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, World Religions edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); History of Warfare by John Keegan (Vintage Books); History of Art by H.W. Janson Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated September 2018

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