Thursday, November 28, 2013

PGM VII. 505-28

Meeting with your own Daimon:

“Hail, Tyche, and you, the daimon of this place, and you, the present hour, and you, the present day – and every day as well. Hail, Universe, that is, earth and heaven. Hail, Helios, for you are the one who has established yourself in invisible light over the holy firmament / ORKORĒTHARA.”

You are the father of the reborn Aion ZARACHTHŌ; you are the father of awful Nature Thortchophanō; you who are the one who has in yourself the mixture of universal nature and who begot the five wandering stars, which are the entrails of heaven, the guts of earth, the fountainhead of the waters, and the violence of the fire AZAMACHAR ANAPHANDAŌ EREYA ANEREYA PHENPHENSŌ IGRAA; you are the youthful one, highborn, scion of the holy temple, kinsman to the holy mere called Abyss which is located beside two pedestals SKIATHI and MANTŌ. And the earth's 4 basements were shaken, O master of all, holy Scarab AŌ SATHREN ABRASAX IAŌAI AEŌ ĒŌA ŌAĒ IAO EY AĒ EY IE IAŌAI.”

Write the name in myrrh ink on two male eggs. You are to cleanse yourself thoroughly with one, then lick off the name, break it, and throw it away. Hold the other in your partially open right hand and show it to the sun at down and [...]* olive branches; raise your right hand, supporting the elbow with your left hand. Then speak the formula 7 times, crack the egg open, and swallow its contents.

Do this for 7 days, and recite the formula at sunset as well as sunrise.
- Hans Dieter Betz, The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation. (P. 131 – 132.)
This one caught my eye due to its relative simplicity; similar rituals in the PGM are more complicated, such as the first one (PGM I. 1 - 42), where one prepares an entire meal to be shared with the Daimon, shaves off all their hair (see G&J on this ritual act), along with a slew of other preparatory items.  Also interesting is that you salute Tyche (Fortune) first, and the praises to Aion (Deified Time, master of the revolutions of the stars). In other PGM spells and rituals, Tyche and the Agathos Daimon (Good Daimon), along with Aion, are praised together:
“Give me all favor, all success, for the angel bringing good, who stands beside [the goddess] Tyche, is with you. Accordingly, give profit [and] success to this house. Please, Aion, ruler of hope, giver of wealth, O holy Agathos Daimon, bring to fulfillment favors and / your divine oracles.” (PGM IV. 3125 – 7)
Typically this dispensation of fortune (wealth and health, if you will) can be seen as falling under the jurisdiction of a High God, such as Zeus:
“And so accept everything which happens, even if it seem disagreeable, because it leads to this, to the health of the universe and to the prosperity and felicity of Zeus (the universe). For he would not have brought on any man what he has brought, if it were not useful for the whole. Neither does the nature of anything, whatever it may be, cause anything which is not suitable to that which is directed by it. For two reasons then it is right to be content with that which happens to thee; the one, because it was done for thee and prescribed for thee, and in a manner had reference to thee, originally from the most ancient causes spun with thy destiny; and the other, because even that which comes severally to every man is to the power which administers the universe a cause of felicity and perfection, nay even of its very continuance.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (Book Five).
 A similar sense is found in the Orphic hymn to the Daimon:
“Thee, mighty-ruling, Dæmon dread, I call, mild Jove [Zeus], life-giving, and the source of all:
Great Jove [Zeus], much-wand'ring, terrible and strong, to whom revenge and tortures dire belong.
Mankind from thee, in plenteous wealth abound, when in their dwellings joyful thou art found;
Or pass thro' life afflicted and distress'd, the needful means of bliss by thee supprest.*

'Tis thine alone endu'd with boundless might, to keep the keys of sorrow and delight.
O holy, blessed father, hear my pray'r, disperse the seeds of life-consuming care;
With fav'ring mind the sacred rites attend, and grant my days a glorious, blessed end.
- Orphic Hymn to the Daemon (Taylor translation).
True, the Fates 'weave' destiny (or at least follow it's thread), but the ultimate authority for dispensing with Fortune is the 'Ruler,' if you will. As such identifying the Daemon with Zeus seems appropriate... Incidentally, Marcus Aurelius also makes a stray comment in the fifth book of Meditations that caught my eye:
Live with the gods. And he does live with the gods who constantly shows to them, his own soul is satisfied with that which is assigned to him, and that it does all that the daemon wishes, which Zeus hath given to every man for his guardian and guide, a portion of himself.* And this is every man’s understanding and reason.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (Book Five).
Perhaps Yeats was not so wrong when he wrote in Per Amica Silentia Lunae:
I think that all religious men have believed that there is a hand not ours in the events of life, and that, as somebody says in Wilhelm Meister, accident is destiny; and I think it was Heraclitus who said: the Daemon is our destiny. When I think of life as a struggle with the Daemon who would ever set us to the hardest work among those not impossible, I understand why there is a deep enmity between a man and his destiny, and why a man loves nothing but his destiny. In an Anglo-Saxon poem a certain man is called, as though to call him something that summed up all heroism, “Doom eager.” I am persuaded that the Daemon delivers and deceives us, and that he wove that netting from the stars and threw the net from his shoulder.*”
And yes, I've been musing on this all week... As well as the identification of the Genius through one's astrological chart, as per Agrippa.

* Italix mine.

[EDIT]: I won't lie. I thought it would be rather hilarious to transpose Marcus Aurelius and the practices of abominable sorcerers side-by-side.


ginandjack said...

"As well as the identification of the Genius through one's astrological chart, as per Agrippa."

If you've got a pdf or link rather than hardcopy stuff, please send it my way!

Jack Faust said...

G&J: I won't pretend to fully understand it. But RO has written on the topic here:

polyphanes said...

I've had good results working with the natal genius (NG) using the name derived from the astrological chart. From what I've gathered (both from Agrippa and my own experiences), this is a separate being from the HGA. The NG is more like the Idea of our incarnation: what we do, what we grow towards, our predispositions, our bodily/worldly plan. The NG doesn't serve the HGA and is a separate being, but the two work together.

Jack Faust said...

Polyphanes: Agrippa (Book 3, Chapt. 20 - 22) does seem to ascribe multiple 'Keepers of Men,' and testifies to that belief. He also notes multiple Genii that can be consulted (From the 11th House, 'Good Demon,' from the 6th House, 'Evil Genius' / 'Evil Demon,' etc.)

Hmmm. I need to go look at a few books, and compare a few more PGM rituals.

Thalia said...

What a coincidence! I just got myself a copy of Betz's PGM book and have been writing up a little report (for my own understanding). I have the same urge with it as with my Apicius--I want to try all the recipes.

Well okay, not all of them.