Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PGM IV. 2967-3006

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 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 the 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, 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 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.

*Tr: E.N. O'Neil. From Betz's The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, page 95.

Still working on other things, so you get this brief update and useful little bit for fun instead.  

Be seeing you.

EDIT: I have gotten a few questions about what natron and Kyphi are. So, for the sake of clarity, I'll briefly explain. Natron is a naturally occurring form of sodium, originally procured at dry lake beds in Egypt. When blended with oil, it forms an early type of soap and was used for a large number of hygiene related issues, as well as for purification purposes. The closest available approximation that's easy to get here in the U.S. is baking soda. However, you can easily make it by blending baking soda with table salt.

Kyphi would be much more taxing to make. Thankfully, Harold Roth totally sells it. And for an absurdly cheap price if he's taking the time to make it correctly. That means that this ritual, if you know a daimon and of a ritual that calls for natural (e.g. plant) ingredients, is easily useable.

1 comment:

Harold Roth said...

Thanks for the plug. Of all the products I make, I think the kyphis are the best. Thanks also for this tidbit from PGM. It is wonderful.