Tuesday, June 25, 2013

... Goddamn it, Harold. You're Awesome.

I... I've actually read about this before, but never seen it blatantly stated, just referred to in a way that discussed veiling 'the mysteries' of magick.

So I was pleased to see Harold Roth's link on Plant Codes elsewhere.

And then I looked up the PGM section he mentioned, and sat in shock... realizing I'd never read that bit before. EVER. /Noobsauce.

So. I'm just going to straight up quote it, because, fuck. I should've read and known this sooner:

PGM XII. 401-44:
Interpretations 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 [i.e. the masses], since they do not take precaution, might not practice magic, [being prevented] by the consequence of misunderstanding. But we have collected the explanations [of these names] from many copies [of the sacred writings], 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.
“Tears” of a Hamadryas baboon: dill juice.
Crocadile dung: Ehtiopian soil.
Blood of a Hamadryas baboon: blood of a spotted gecko.
Lion semen: human semen.
Blood of Hephaistos: wormwood.
Hairs of Hamadryas baboon: dill seed.
Semen of Hermes: Dill
Blood of Ares: purslane
Blood of an eye: tamarisk gal.
Blood from a shoulder: bear's breach.
From the loins: camomile.
A man's bile: turnip sap.
A pig's tail: leapard's bane.
A physician's bone: sandstone.
Blood of Hestia: camomile.
An eagle: wild garlic.
Blood of a goose: mulberry tree's “milk”.
Kronos' spice: piglet's milk.
A lion's hairs: “tongue” of a turnip.
Kronos; blood: … of cedar.
Semen of Helios: white hellebore.
Semen of Herakles: this is mustard rocket.
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.”
The sad thing? A number of items are derived from Dioscorides, as both Betz and Mr. Roth note, and I've read a lot – not all by any means – of De Materia Medica and never picked some of this up. I suuuuuuck.

Now I'm going to be obsessing for weeks about Materia again.

DAMN YOU, ROTH. Err. I mean. Thank you. For enlightening me.



Harold Roth said...

Lol! Thanks for blogging about this. I think very few people realize how old the herbal codes are.

Gordon said...

"A physician's bone: sandstone"

The first ever instance of cockney rhyming slang? :)

Word verification: 'medical'