slideshow widget

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A spell to prevent evil on an ancient journey

I suppose desperate measures call for desperate actions.  In the past when travel was difficult and dangerous, certain spells and incantations were performed on you, for you, before your journey.  The following is one such spell:
...I detest what is detestable, I will not eat faeces, I will not drink urine, I will not head downward.
I am the owner of bread...

What I doubly detest, I will not eat; what I detest is faeces, and I will not eat it; excrement, I will not consume it.  It shall not fall from my belly, it shall not come near my fingers, and I will not touch it with my toes.
"What will you live on," say the gods and spirits to me," in this place to which you have been brought?"
"I will live on seven loaves which have been brought to me; four loaves are with Horus and three loaves with Troth."...
What I detest, I will not eat; what I detest is faeces, and I will not eat it..."
This spell is from the Ancient Egyptian "Book of the Dead."  This comes from a time when there were two forms of medicine existing side by side:  magico-religious and emperico-rational.  Yet the main emphasis was on the magico to ward off evil spirits, and to prevent the dead from causing disease or evil or bad luck.  So this type of spell was normal medicine in Ancient Egypt. 

Medicine really isn't much different today, yet instead of magic we use Ventolin and Tylenol to ward off evil spirits.  Instead of believing in false gods and evil spirits, we believe in false theories and faux medicine.

  1. Prioreschi, Plinio, "A Hisotory of Medicine," volume I: Primitive and Ancient Medicine," 1991, Edwin Mellen Press, Chapter IV: Egyptian Medicine, page 327.  Reference used by Prioreschi is as follows:  "Book of the Dead," translated by Raymond O. Faulkner, London, British Museum Publications, 1985, Spell 289, page 185

No comments: