Casting Spells

From a book of spells, early fourth century:

Spell of Attraction: it attracts those who are uncontrollable and require no magical material and who come in one day. It inflicts sickness excellently and destroys powerfully, sends dreams beautifully, accomplishes dream revelations marvelously. …

Take a field mouse and deify it in spring water. And take two moon beetles and deify them in river water, and take a river crab and fat of a dappled goat that is virgin and dung of a dog-faced baboon, two eggs of an ibis, two drams of storax, two drams of myrrh, two drams of crocus, four drams of Italian galingale, four drams of uncut frankincense, a single onion. Put all these things into a mortar with the mouse and the remaining items and, after pounding thoroughly, place in a lead box and keep for use. And whenever you want to perform a rite, take a little, make a charcoal fire, go up on a lofty roof, and make this offering as you say this spell at moonrise and at once she comes.

Spell: "Let all the darkness of clouds be dispersed for me, and let the goddess AKTIOPHIS shine for me, and let her hear my holy voice. For I come, announcing the slander of NN, a defiled and unholy woman, for she has slanderously brought your holy mysteries to the knowledge of men. Go to her, NN, and take away her sleep and put a burning heat in her soul, punishment and frenzied passion in her thoughts, and banish her from every place and every house, and attract her here to me, NN."

And after these things, sacrifice. Then raise loud groans and go backward as you descend. And she will come at once. But pay attention to the one being attracted so that you may open the door for her; otherwise the spell will fail.


From a small lead tablet from ...

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