Tomb Curses of Ancient Egypt: Magical Incantations of the Dead

Tomb Curses of Ancient Egypt: Magical Incantations of the Dead

Nothing instilled more fear in the tomb raiders of times past, than the possibility of encountering a curse that warned of dire consequences for those that did not heed its warning. In ancient Egypt, curses were sometimes placed on tomb entrances to protect the sacred monument from being disturbed or looted. Inscriptions sometimes spoke of the deceased coming back to life to seek revenge, or called for judgement to be taken in the underworld. Anyone who ignored such warnings, would do so at their own peril.

Stories and rumors surrounding curses placed upon tombs and mummies have existed for centuries. There are records dating back to the Medieval and Early Modern periods stating that Ancient Egyptian burial sites should not be tampered with, because they, and the mummies residing in them, possessed unknown and seemingly evil qualities. It was believed that curses were placed around burial sites by priests in order to protect both the mummies and their spiritual journeys after death. These beliefs formed the idea behind the so-called ‘curse of the Pharaohs’ – anyone who entered or disturbed the tomb of a mummy, particularly that of a pharaoh, would be subject to bad luck and inevitable death.

  • The Curse of Tutankhamen’s Tomb
  • The Ancient Art of Magic, Curses and Supernatural Spells
  • Ancient Roman Curse Tablets Invoke Goddess Sulis Minerva to Kill and Maim

Limestone donation-stele from Mendes, 3rd Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXII. The inscription celebrates a donation of land to an Egyptian temple, and places a curse on anyone who would misuse or appropriate the land. ( Wikimedia Commons )

The power of a curse as a deterrent depended upon its location. Though curses were not commonly recorded in the tombs of ancient Egypt, they were used on occasion for the protection of the burial place. Tomb curses would be inscribed in the tomb chapel, the more public part of the tomb complex and also on walls, false doors, stelae, statues, and sometimes coffins. Some of the more unusual curses include the "Donkey Curse" which threatened the violator of the tomb with rape by a donkey, the animal of Seth. Another, complete curse, comes from the administrator of the 18th dynasty, Amenhotep, son of Hapu. He threatens anyone who would damage his tomb with a lengthy list of punishments. The perpetrator would:

lose their earthly positions and honors, be incinerated in a furnace in execration rites, capsize and drown at sea, have no successors, receive no tomb or funerary offerings of their own, and their bodies would decay because they will starve without sustenance and their bones will perish

A stele belonging to Sarenput I, a nomarch of Elephantine under Senusret I (Dynasty 12), is meant to protect the offerings left to the statue in his image:

As for every mayor, every wab-priest, every scribe and every nobleman who shall take [the offering] from the statue, his arm shall be cut off like that of this bull, his neck shall be twisted off like that of a bird, his office shall not exist, the position of his son shall not exist, his house shall not exist in Nubia, his tomb shall not exist in the necropolis, his god shall not accept his white bread, his flesh shall belong to the fire, his children shall belong to the fire, his corpse shall not be to the ground, I shall be against him as a crocodile on the water, as a serpent on earth, and as an enemy in the necropolis.

Legends surrounding the so-called "Curse of the Pharaoh's" start around the 7th Century A.D. when the Arabs conquered Egypt and could not read the hieroglyphics (they would not be deciphered until the beginning of the 19th century). The preservation of mummies must have been a strange sight to behold. Many stories were told and they believed that if one entered a tomb and uttered a magical formula, they would be able to materialize objects made invisible by the ancient Egyptians. Also, it was thought that through magic, mummies could become alive. They believed that the Egyptians would protect their tombs by magical means or curses on anyone who entered. Arab writer’s warned people not to tamper with the mummy’s or their tombs because they knew Egyptian’s practiced magic during the funeral ceremonies. The first published book about an Egyptian curse was published in 1699 and hundreds were to follow.

  • Archaeologists Find Ancient Magic Curse Tablet in Jerusalem
  • The ghost city of Bhangarh and the curse of the Holy Man
  • The Curse of the House of Atreus

The opening of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1923, is probably the most famous case of a tomb curse. It launched widespread panic and belief in the ‘Curse of the Pharaohs’. Several people who were at the original opening died before their time and under strange conditions. Most accounts of the story have Howard Carter, English archaeologist and leader of the excavation, discovering a clay tablet in the Antechamber of the tomb. A few days after cataloging it, a team member deciphered the hieroglyphics. The alleged curse, purportedly said, “ death will slay with his wings whoever disturbs the peace of the pharaoh ”. However, no such record of any tablet exists and most assume it either disappeared or is simply a myth.

Howard Carter and associates opening the shrine doors in the burial chamber of Tutankhamun. 1924 reconstruction of the 1923 event ( Wikimedia Commons )

The first sign of the curse occurred when Carter sent a messenger to his house. On arrival, the messenger heard a faint cry and saw Carter's canary being eaten by a cobra, the sign of the Egyptian monarchy. Within seven weeks of the tomb being opened, the Earl of Carnarvon, who had discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb alongside Clark, died from complications of a mosquito bite. The media quick embraced the idea of the Curse of the Pharaohs. Conan Doyle, an occultist as well as the author of Sherlock Holmes, spread the word as did Novelist Mari Corelli who warned there would be dire consequences for anyone entering the previously sealed tomb.

Skeptics have pointed out that many others who visited the tomb or helped to discover it lived long and healthy lives. A study showed that of the 58 people who were present when the tomb and sarcophagus were opened, only eight died within a dozen years. All the others were still alive, including Howard Carter, who died of lymphoma in 1939 at the age of 64.

Tutankhamun’s tomb, believed to be protected by a powerful curse ( Steve Parker / Flickr )

Most of the Egyptian curses are metaphysical but in some cases, booby traps and the use of poison did enforce these magic spells, causing injury or even death to those who trespassed. For example, tombs were sealed and bolted and contained secret chambers which were difficult to access. Passages were blocked with massive stone slabs, there were hidden holes, trap doors and wires used as booby traps. Ancient Egyptian engineers would also cover the floors and walls of tombs with hematite powder, a sharp metallic dust designed to cause a slow and painful death to those who inhaled enough of it, which was then released into the air when stones were disturbed. When Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass entered the Bahariya Oasis tomb in 2001, his team found the sarcophagus booby trapped with 8 inches of the hematite powder, forcing them to abandon their expedition until they could come back with hazmat suits and respirators.

While curses might seem to be the superstition of the ancients, there are many today who still arm themselves with objects or incantations of protection against the effects of curses. Scientific studies have revealed a powerful psychological phenomenon, in which those who firmly believe they are cursed eventually succumb to a physical ailment brought on by a strong stress response.

In this way, perhaps curses from ancient times remain powerful to this very day.

Featured image: The unbroken seal on Tutankhamun’s tomb, 1922. ( Wikimedia Commons )

By Bryan Hilliard

References

Dorsey, Teanna. "10 Creepiest Ancient Egyptian Curses." TheRichest. June 3, 2014. http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/10-creepiest-ancient-egyptian-curses/

"THE CURSE OF THE MUMMIES." THE CURSE OF THE MUMMIES. http://www.gizapyramid.com/articles/mummies-curse.htm

"Curses!" Curses! http://www.catchpenny.org/curses.html

"King Tut's Curse." Catchpenny. http://www.catchpenny.org/tut.html

"Unwrapping the Secrets of Ancient Egypt: The Pharaoh's Curse." Themuseum. July 22, 2014. http://www.themuseum.ca/blog/unwrapping-secrets-ancient-egypt-pharaohs-curse

Clark, Rosemary. "The Magic of Tutankhamun." Llewellyn Worldwide. http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/925


Ancient Egypt for Kids The Mummy's Curse

When the tomb was first discovered, there were reports of a message written in ancient hieroglyphics on the outside of the tomb. Translated, the message said, "Death Shall Come on Swift Wings to Him Who Disturbs the Peace of the King." This gave rise to great speculation in the newspapers and magazines of the time that there was a curse on King Tut's tomb.

A few months after the tomb was open, a British Lord began ill from a mosquito bite. He was there when they opened the tomb. A few months later, he died. Rumor said a mark similar to the mosquito bit was found in the exact same position on King Tut's cheek. You can imagine the media frenzy!

The ancient Egyptians believed that if their mummy was stolen or destroyed, their spirit would not be able to return to their mummified body at night, and they would disappear forever, no longer able to dwell in their Afterlife. Adding a curse or two to scare robbers into leaving their mummy alone was probably a common practice.

Howard Carter, the man who discovered King Tut's tomb, lived to be 65. He died of natural causes. He never believed in a curse.

But how to explain the deaths? Illness and death have been linked to the opening of ancient tombs. Archaeologists have discovered that there are poisonous plant molds in the tombs in many ancient tombs.

Today, archaeologists wear masks when exploring tombs, to protect themselves from these dangerous plant molds.

Just the same, Hollywood continues to have a great deal of fun with "the mummy's curse!"


30 FOR 40 Pathfinder MEGA-BUNDLE

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY FROM LEGENDARY GAMES.

This April 1st is the 7th anniversary of Legendary Games, but why wait until April Fool’s Day to save HUGE? Get an incredible assortment of awesome Pathfinder Roleplaying Gameproducts right now through next Saturday! Featuring nearly 1,400 pages of Pathfinder products for just $30almost 90% off the cover price of over $270 – this bundle brings you over a hundred marvelous magic items, 100+ magnificently menacing monsters in deliciously deadly detail, tons of new feats and spells and character options, new rule subsystems, ready-to-play characters with fantastic backstories, and 14 complete adventures running the gamut from 1st level to 13th level! Sample a wide variety of genres from the Far East to Ancient Egypt, from the rollicking south seas of the pirate isles to fey-haunted forests, and spectacular sci-fi/fantasy mash-ups from far-off worlds of adventure to postapocalyptic wastelands! Available now through April 7th!

Products included in the 30 FOR 40 Pathfinder MEGA-BUNDLE include the following:

  • Asian Bloodlines
  • Beasts of Legend: Beasts of the East
  • Faerie Mysteries
  • Feasting at Lanterngeist
  • Hero’s Blood
  • Horrific Curses
  • Hypercorps 2099: FAMOTH
  • Islands of Plunder: Raid on the Emperor’s Hand
  • Islands of Plunder: Scourge of the Steaming Isle
  • Legendary Beginnings: A Feast of Flavor
  • Legendary Beginnings: A Feast of Flavor Premium Cards
  • Legendary Beginnings: Crisis at Falling Spring Station
  • Legendary Hybrids: Deadeye Hexer
  • Legendary Villains: Evil Clerics
  • Legendary Worlds: Volretz
  • Mythic Magic: Advanced Spells I
  • Mythic Magic: Advanced Spells II
  • Mythic Magic: Advanced Spells III
  • Mythic Module Monsters: Red Throne 1
  • Mythic Module Monsters: Red Throne 2
  • Mythic Module Monsters: Red Throne 3
  • Mythic Monsters: Guardians of Good
  • Mythic Monsters: Mounts
  • Mythic Monsters: Shadow
  • Orphans of the Hanged Man
  • Past Lives: Secrets of Reincarnation
  • Path of the Reluctant Hero
  • Planetary Heroes
  • Road to Destiny
  • Scorpions of Perdition
  • Starfall
  • The Baleful Coven
  • The Fiddler’s Lament
  • The Lost Library of Thoth
  • The Murmuring Fountain
  • Tome of Madness
  • Treasury of the City
  • Treasury of the Crusade
  • Treasury of the Macabre
  • Winter Heroes

For those of you who purchased the original 30 BUCKS, 60 BOOKS MEGA-BUNDLE last year, there are no duplicate products in this bundle. Everything is brand new for you! Grab this incredible collection today for your Pathfinder game and Make Your Pathfinder Game Legendary!

If you are a 5th Edition player too, you also don’t want to miss the magnificent 20 FOR 20 II 5E MEGA-BUNDLE! Grab them both and get almost 2000 pages of incredible RPG material for just $50!

Avg. Customer Rating: ( 0 )

Tomb Curses Of Ancient Egypt!

Nothing instilled more fear in the tomb raiders of times past, than the possibility of encountering a curse that warned of dire consequences for those that did not heed its warning. In ancient Egypt, curses were sometimes placed on tomb entrances to protect the sacred monument from being disturbed or looted. Inscriptions sometimes spoke of the deceased coming back to life to seek revenge, or called for judgement to be taken in the underworld. Anyone who ignored such warnings, would do so at their own peril.
Stories and rumors surrounding curses placed upon tombs and mummies have existed for centuries. There are records dating back to the Medieval and Early Modern periods stating that Ancient Egyptian burial sites should not be tampered with, because they, and the mummies residing in them, possessed unknown and seemingly evil qualities. It was believed that curses were placed around burial sites by priests in order to protect both the mummies and their spiritual journeys after death. These beliefs formed the idea behind the so-called ‘curse of the Pharaohs’ – anyone who entered or disturbed the tomb of a mummy, particularly that of a pharaoh, would be subject to bad luck and inevitable death.

The power of a curse as a deterrent depended upon its location. Though curses were not commonly recorded in the tombs of ancient Egypt, they were used on occasion for the protection of the burial place. Tomb curses would be inscribed in the tomb chapel, the more public part of the tomb complex and also on walls, false doors, stelae, statues, and sometimes coffins. Some of the more unusual curses include the “Donkey Curse” which threatened the violator of the tomb with rape by a donkey, the animal of Seth. Another, complete curse, comes from the administrator of the 18th dynasty, Amenhotep, son of Hapu. He threatens anyone who would damage his tomb with a lengthy list of punishments. The perpetrator would:

”lose their earthly positions and honors, be incinerated in a furnace in execration rites, capsize and drown at sea, have no successors, receive no tomb or funerary offerings of their own, and their bodies would decay because they will starve without sustenance and their bones will perish”

A stele belonging to Sarenput I, a nomarch of Elephantine under Senusret I (Dynasty 12), is meant to protect the offerings left to the statue in his image:

”As for every mayor, every wab-priest, every scribe and every nobleman who shall take [the offering] from the statue, his arm shall be cut off like that of this bull, his neck shall be twisted off like that of a bird, his office shall not exist, the position of his son shall not exist, his house shall not exist in Nubia, his tomb shall not exist in the necropolis, his god shall not accept his white bread, his flesh shall belong to the fire, his children shall belong to the fire, his corpse shall not be to the ground, I shall be against him as a crocodile on the water, as a serpent on earth, and as an enemy in the necropolis.”

Legends surrounding the so-called “Curse of the Pharaoh’s” start around the 7th Century A.D. when the Arabs conquered Egypt and could not read the hieroglyphics (they would not be deciphered until the beginning of the 19th century). The preservation of mummies must have been a strange sight to behold. Many stories were told and they believed that if one entered a tomb and uttered a magical formula, they would be able to materialize objects made invisible by the ancient Egyptians. Also, it was thought that through magic, mummies could become alive. They believed that the Egyptians would protect their tombs by magical means or curses on anyone who entered. Arab writer’s warned people not to tamper with the mummy’s or their tombs because they knew Egyptian’s practiced magic during the funeral ceremonies. The first published book about an Egyptian curse was published in 1699 and hundreds were to follow.

The opening of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1923, is probably the most famous case of a tomb curse. It launched widespread panic and belief in the ‘Curse of the Pharaohs’. Several people who were at the original opening died before their time and under strange conditions. Most accounts of the story have Howard Carter, English archaeologist and leader of the excavation, discovering a clay tablet in the Antechamber of the tomb. A few days after cataloging it, a team member deciphered the hieroglyphics. The alleged curse, purportedly said, “death will slay with his wings whoever disturbs the peace of the pharaoh”. However, no such record of any tablet exists and most assume it either disappeared or is simply a myth.

The first sign of the curse occurred when Carter sent a messenger to his house. On arrival, the messenger heard a faint cry and saw Carter’s canary being eaten by a cobra, the sign of the Egyptian monarchy. Within seven weeks of the tomb being opened, the Earl of Carnarvon, who had discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb alongside Clark, died from complications of a mosquito bite. The media quick embraced the idea of the Curse of the Pharaohs. Conan Doyle, an occultist as well as the author of Sherlock Holmes, spread the word as did Novelist Mari Corelli who warned there would be dire consequences for anyone entering the previously sealed tomb.
Skeptics have pointed out that many others who visited the tomb or helped to discover it lived long and healthy lives. A study showed that of the 58 people who were present when the tomb and sarcophagus were opened, only eight died within a dozen years. All the others were still alive, including Howard Carter, who died of lymphoma in 1939 at the age of 64.

Most of the Egyptian curses are metaphysical but in some cases, booby traps and the use of poison did enforce these magic spells, causing injury or even death to those who trespassed. For example, tombs were sealed and bolted and contained secret chambers which were difficult to access. Passages were blocked with massive stone slabs, there were hidden holes, trap doors and wires used as booby traps. Ancient Egyptian engineers would also cover the floors and walls of tombs with hematite powder, a sharp metallic dust designed to cause a slow and painful death to those who inhaled enough of it, which was then released into the air when stones were disturbed. When Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass entered the Bahariya Oasis tomb in 2001, his team found the sarcophagus booby trapped with 8 inches of the hematite powder, forcing them to abandon their expedition until they could come back with hazmat suits and respirators.
While curses might seem to be the superstition of the ancients, there are many today who still arm themselves with objects or incantations of protection against the effects of curses. Scientific studies have revealed a powerful psychological phenomenon, in which those who firmly believe they are cursed eventually succumb to a physical ailment brought on by a strong stress response.
In this way, perhaps curses from ancient times remain powerful to this very day.


Curses

This chapter contemplates the obstacles to grasping the intended impact of ancient oath-curses and of the ritualized violence described in them. As cases of point, consider the following:

Just as young sheep and ewes and male and female spring lambs are slit open and their entrails rolled down over their feet, so may (your entrails and) the entrails of your sons and your daughters roll down over your feet. (Parpola and Watanabe 1988, section 70)

[J]ust as [thi]s ewe has been cut open and the flesh of [her] young has been placed in her mouth, may they make you eat in your hunger the flesh of your brothers, your sons and your daughters. (Luckenbill 1968, section 69)

Zeus greatest and best, and all the other immortal gods, whoever is first to violate the oaths, so may their brains fall to the ground as does this wine, and those of their children, and may their wives be overpowered by others. (Iliad 3.297-301)

Given a distance of approximately 3000 years, entering into the religious minds of these first millennium BCE cursors and their potential victims is difficult enough on its face but the task is further daunting insofar as these cursing texts sensationalize violence. While the mutilations and references to implicit rape arguably resonate into certain terroristic events in our own time, we cannot presume that our grasp of these is identical to that of their intended audiences. At the very least, given a three-millennia-long history of ancient Near Eastern oath-curses, we might suppose that the intended trepidation for ancient witnesses was honed to a high art, with implications extending into different spheres of imagination, such as costs to family, a range of punishers and punishments, and temporal urgency. In this essay, I consider some historical, anthropological, and hermeneutic constraints on entering the ancient Near Eastern mindsets that produced these. Then I briefly treat the eerie resonance of such spectacles with similar events in our own time, as contemporary events surely bear on how we perceive ancient events.

I want to share my testimony of a great death spell caster that helped me in casting a death spell on my grandmother who have been troubling my life, seeing her in my dreams and lots of evil happening to me,after the casting the spell the bitch died in a car accident within 24hours, I was so happy and I was employed in a big company with a good salary. All thanks to this great man called DR AGADA for this instant death Spell.
If you also need an urgent death spell on someone then contact this great spell caster immediately via:
CALL/WHATSAPP: +2348114081028
EMAIL: [email protected]
http://dragadaspells.blogspot.com

AS HIS POWERS ARE SO STRONG AND VERY EFFECTIVE AND HAS NO BAD EFFECT INSTEAD IT HAVE A VERY GOOD RESULT AFTER CASTING THE SPELL THANKS TO DR AGADA

Una presentación general sobre el tema de la magia maléfica y, en concreto, sobre los textos de maldición (defixiones) en el mundo griego antiguo.

Coercitive Magic and Curse Tablets in ancient Greece.

The idealized and romanticized way of looking back on ancient Greece as the unique and unsurpassable source of classical thought, beauty, and noble ideals, which was prevalent at least until the beginnings of the twentieth century, overshadowed effectively any early attempt to recognize and approach other, commoner aspects of the eveyday life of the ancient Greeks, thus impairing our ability to conceive and evaluate all the parameters and variables operating within the society which produced the Greek wonder. In the latter part of the twentieth century, however, important archaeological discoveries in combination with scrutinizing philological research and the recent development of new anthropological approaches penetrated the thick, shiny and indeed blinding surface layer of the impressive Greek cultural, intellectual and artistic achievements, revealing in the process a darker core filled with a fluid mixture of earlier and more “primitive”, but also ageless and omnipresent, underlying elements, structures, beliefs, customs and practices, and thus challenging the fabricated myth of an “all-perfect”, super-human society. One such aspect of basic human behaviour involves the belief in and the practice of magic.

This paper engages an interdisciplinary study of the binding curse tablets in ancient Greece, including examination of etymology and definition review of ancient testimonia and literary sources on magical spells, curses, and practices study of the geographical distribution and chronological development of the curse tablets taxonomical analysis of the binding formulae examination of the materials used for the tablets study of the
secret places of deposition, the function and role of chthonic gods, daemons, and the dead reconstruction of magical rituals social contextualization and thematic taxonomy of the curse tablets.

Τhe curse tablets eventually developed into a legitimate device in their agonistic social context. Such offensive magic was inexorably stigmatized by renowned philosophers and orators as a marginal, malevolent, impious and harmful practice, bending the borderlines of moral orthodoxy. On the contrary, binding spells, curses, and magic had already infiltrated literature much earlier, where they flourished on terra firma in the poetic verses of Homer and Pindar, or the tragic stage of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Magical binding was widely practiced by the common people, to judge from the literary accounts, the sheer number of curse tablets and effigies discovered, their prolonged time-span and wide spatial distribution. In contrast to contemporary philosophical notions, therefore, magical binding in the eyes of the average person was not a contemptible or ill-famed religious behaviour, but a resourceful agonistic mechanism, primarily used by the weaker against more powerful opponents in an unfavourable agonistic situation or in a context of crisis, in an effort to counterbalance their disantvantage and even the odds. The binding spell on the curse tablet is in effect nothing but a ritualized, thus more powerful and efficient, “borderline” prayer addressed not to the Olympic gods but to the chthonic deities. It was this very agonistic dimension, as well as the apparent reluctance towards homicide, that generated social acceptance which, though far from being catholic, validated ipso facto the practice of magical binding and legitimized the use of curse tablets and effigies in the margin of public conscience, thus allowing them to remain well within the rules of the game and the walls of the organized and civilized city-state.

Given the strong connection between athletic, theatrical, judicial and political competition in ancient Greece, which provided interrelated arenas for personal, guild, and intertribal rivalries within the polis, victory or defeat in litigation, athletic or theatrical contests carried the special weight of a parameter and indicator of one’s popularity, influence, and political power in this light, therefore, the curse tablets and binding spells transcend the narrow boundaries of an act of personal rivalry, and acquire the dimensions of a legitimate agonistic mechanism within the framework of a larger pattern of fierce socioeconomic and political competition, characterized by the perpetuous and omnipresent agonistic spirit of the ancient Greeks.


Trivia [ edit | edit source ]

Honest Trailers Commentary - The Mummy (1999)

  • The writers created Blockbuster Summer in order to make several highly requested Honest Trailers that they otherwise had no reason to do. The writers were surprised to learn The Mummy (1999) had such a passionate fanbase. In fact, the fandom has their own wiki which is called, fittingly, Rickipedia.
  • In the associated episode of Honest Trailers Commentaries, the writers riffed on the pharoah's ludicrous plan to punish Imhotep by giving him superpowers when he could simply be killed. They also mocked the pharoah's foolish decision to preserve the key to Imotep's release and the only copy of the resurrection spell, when both items could be easily destroyed.
  • This video expands on the Epic Voice Guy lore: he has a child called Billy.
  • The last viewer's comments pay tribute to Star Wars vetaran Peter Mayhew, who had died this year.
  • Screen Junkies also made an Honest Trailer for the 2017 remake of The Mummy, starring Tom cruise. They have also made Honest Trailers for several other historical action movies including Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator, Robin Hood (2018), 300 and many more. See list of Honest Trailers for more.

Oionoskopika is a practice of seeing the future by observing birds

When observing birds, face North. Find a hill with a clear view in which birds can be seen when coming from any direction.

If a bird appears from the right, the dawn and the sun, it is favorable. If it appears from the left, towards the darkness, it is unfavorable.

If the bird raises its left wing and dissapears, even if appearing from the right, it is unfavorable. If the bird raises its right wing, however, even if appearing from the left, it is favorable.

Not all birds foretell the future. Only those which are prophetic do. Those that are prophetic are: eagles, falcons, ravens, storks, krex, owls, cranes, nightingales, swallows, hoopoes and swans.

Although, if one has a strong feeling that another bird is prophetic, and/or if they&rsquore acting in a certain and strange way, this may be prophetic as well.

Prophecying from birds is similar to tarot or crystal ball divination. One must learn to use their intuition to decipher the signs. For example, an eagle devouring a pregnant rabbit is a sign of victory, as the eagle is victorious over its prey, but also eventual retribution, as the bunny is pregnant.

Some say that if your ears are cleaned by a snake, you can understand the words that birds speak.


Confining Women’s Dangerous Voices: The Strategy of Containment

Gibson, John Jocasta intervening between her Sons Eteocles and Polynices / Royal Academy, Creative Commons

At this point the Chorus has finally agreed to restrain its wailings (258-63) and Eteocles gives the final directions before uttering his own prayer, in order to create the appropriate liturgical and ritual context to support the men’s verbal and ritual actions in preparing to battle. His first command interrupts the women’s contact with the statues and ends the formal supplication (264-6):

This utterance likes me better than thy words that went before. Aye, and more than this – quit thy place about the images and make the better prayer: “May the gods fight on our side!”.

Line 265 probably indicates a stage direction, whereby the Chorus distances itself from the statues: after verbal silence has been obtained Eteocles also reduces them to gestural silence. He then asks them to pray in “the most appropriate way” and for him “appropriate” means asking the gods to be partners in battle. This kind of address is of course a customary element of prayers before duels, battles or difficult enterprises, but its occurrence here takes on a clearer meaning because of the opposition to the women’s utterances and is highlighted by the opposition between reciprocity and supplication. The women in fact have already asked for intervention from the gods (130-1, 145, 214, 255), but in a manner of supplication and submission. Eteocles on the other hand, asks the gods to be engaged in the battle as allies, more powerful than men, but still together with them, consistent with his human-centred approach to salvation (267-81).

And now first hear my vow, and then ring out the loud and solemn cry of jubilance, our Grecian wont of sacrificial shout heartening to our friends, and remove the terror of battle.

And now “To the guardian gods of our country, whether they haunt the plain or keep watch over the market-place, to Dirces’s springs, and to Ismenus’ stream, I make my vow that, if all go well and the city with its burghers be preserved, they shall stain with blood of sheep the hearths of the gods and offer trophies, while I will bedeck their hallowed abodes with the spoil of the spear-smitten vestments of the foe”.

Such be the tenour of thy prayers unto the gods, indulging not in lamentations nor in vain and frantic shrieks.

Its several difficulties notwithstanding, this passage can be viewed as a positive ‘rulebook’ of the customary men’s ways to interact with the gods in civic religion, particularly during wartime. First of all, vow-prayer and sacrifice are mentioned and understood as a complementary pair, verbal and material offerings to the gods that continually renew a two-way relationship solemn prayers and sacrifices were a part of warfare, uttered before going into battle, but they are also the exclusive lot of men, as warfare is.

The duty of men is therefore defined as their almost exclusive leadership in wartime rituals, and the role of women is contained in the controlled and positive emotional expression of their shrill ritual cry, the ololygmos, at line 268, coupled with the paean. Lupas and Petre [33] see in Eteocles’ invitation a dangerous reversal of customary ritual because the ololygmos “does not accompany the vows but rather the sacrifice”. In fact, Greek practice uses the ololygmos or ololyge in many functions (such as greeting, free prayer, expression of joy), even if its most relevant use is as a high-pitched accompaniment to the sacrifice.

In pointing out the opposition between the order of the citizen’s behaviour against the impious and unmeasured attitude of the enemies, Petre [34] remarks that “the piety of the assieged is entirely on the side of order”. Still, according to our interpretation, the piety expressed by Theban women is tendentiously depicted as siding more with the barbaric than with the civic, particularly regarding the connotation of disorder and vocal distortion in this picture we have seen women performing extreme acts and it is important to remind ourselves that as Foley [24] has remarked, “tragedy permits male choruses and actors not only to imitate female behaviour but to imitate female behaviour forbidden to contemporary women in a public context”. The former emotions of disorderly cries are converted into the order of a customary expression. While at the beginning the women uttered “savage sounds” (280), and threatened by this token to spread panic among the population, their newfound vocal expression in the ololygmos can provide positive reinforcement to the fighters. With this in mind we can also see the ritual process prompted by Eteocles as a passage from the barbaric to the civic, which, in gender’s terms means a passage from feminine to masculine.

After a short hesitation, the Chorus gives in to Eteocles’ orders and slowly transforms its laments into invocations to the gods in more reciprocal terms and with customary ritual addresses including curses against the enemy and wishes in bonam partem for Eteocles and the Theban army. Eteocles has therefore eventually succeeded in ‘taming’ the dangerous voices of the women, reducing them once again to devout supporters of men folk, even if Eteocles’ decision of confronting his brother at the end of the shields’ scene collapses any clear-cut and simplistic dichotomy in the more complex framework of tragic ambiguity. Still, the conflict between Eteocles and the Chorus, when seen as a larger tension between two types of religiosity in polis religion, allows a number of points to emerge. The interplay between euche and lite, sacrifice and supplication, order and disorder, control and expression of emotions create the dissonance of the parodos and the first episode.


Tomb Curses of Ancient Egypt: Magical Incantations of the Dead - History

Jewish Love Magic: From Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages is the first monograph dedicated to the. more Jewish Love Magic: From Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages is the first monograph dedicated to the supernatural methods employed by Jews in order to generate love, grace or hate.

Jewish History (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10835-019-09322-6): Special Issue on . more Jewish History (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10835-019-09322-6):
Special Issue on the Cairo Geniza.

The Cairo Geniza has proved to be a fascinating trove of information on all aspects of Jewish life in the medieval and early modern period, magic being one of them. Hundreds of manuscripts, in different states of conservation, testify to the interest of Jews in composing and copying magical manuals, as well as producing amulets, curses, or attempting to harness the supernatural in order to achieve earthly aims. This essay introduces the reader to Geniza magical texts and provides some guidelines for reading these documents.

Jewish Love Magic: From Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages is the first monograph dedicated to the. more Jewish Love Magic: From Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages is the first monograph dedicated to the supernatural methods employed by Jews in order to generate love, grace or hate.

Jewish History (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10835-019-09322-6): Special Issue on . more Jewish History (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10835-019-09322-6):
Special Issue on the Cairo Geniza.

The Cairo Geniza has proved to be a fascinating trove of information on all aspects of Jewish life in the medieval and early modern period, magic being one of them. Hundreds of manuscripts, in different states of conservation, testify to the interest of Jews in composing and copying magical manuals, as well as producing amulets, curses, or attempting to harness the supernatural in order to achieve earthly aims. This essay introduces the reader to Geniza magical texts and provides some guidelines for reading these documents.


True Bits in the book

Chapter 1
In Heathen mythology, ettin would be the English form of the Old Norse jötunn. Although the word is generally translated as giants, the jötunn in the Eddas were not necessarily either monsters or giants. They were a race of beings who intermarried with the gods. Unusually for someone described as one of the gods, Loki’s father was an ettin. His mother’s race is not mentioned.

Declan’s questions are drawn from interpretations voiced within modern Heathenry. In Heathen mythology, Garm is a dog or wolf in the underworld who breaks free at Ragnarok to fight the god Tyr. It may be another name for Loki’s wolf-son, Fenrir.

Chapter 2
Chouchou (informal French) = darling, baby, sweetheart. A term of endearment. The word is derived from chou = cabbage.

Ah, bon (French) = oh, really?

Vraiment! (French) = truly!

In Heathen mythology, there are nine worlds.

Chapter 3
Hospitality and being a good guest were obligations in some pre-Christian Heathen cultures. They form a basic tenet of modern Heathenry.

Benret MeresHethert SatAset (Kemetic) = Sweet One, beloved of Hethert, daughter of Aset. This form of name is authentic to ancient Egypt.

Kemet (ancient Egyptian) = Black Land. The name derived from the colour of the rich and fertile black soil which was due to the annually occurring Nile inundation. Kemetic is a modern adjective used to describe the people, language, religion and culture of ancient Egypt.

In ancient Egypt, sem priests were those who attended the newly dead. They were a mix of an undertaker, magician and psychopomp.

Chapter 4
The slander that Jewish people make Passover bread from the blood of Christian babies is called the blood libel. It spread throughout Europe in the 12 th and 13 th centuries and continues to be mentioned.

Chapter 5
Izzy’s dream has snatches of Kemetic mythology. The great god Ra (identified with the sun) sails the Sun Boat through the underworld at night. During the journey, he battles the force of chaos Apep (represented as a snake). In Spell 17 of The Theban Recension of The Book of Going Forth by Day, he is described as a cat, using a knife to kill Apep. The feather is a misinterpretation of the depiction of the knife in a wall painting in Egyptian Thebes. The god Djehuty (Thoth) takes the form of a baboon and the god Yinepu (Anubis) the form of a jackal or a wolf.

Monkshood is a highly poisonous plant.

Chapter 7
In sufficient quantity, lobelia causes nausea and vomiting.

Est-ce que tu me comprends? (French) = do you understand me?

Très bien (French) = very good.

Dr John Dee was court magician to Queen Elizabeth I.

Smelling salts irritate the mucous membranes of the nose and lungs. Canine noses require mucus to work at peak performance.

In the 14 th /15 th -century grimoire The Key of Solomon, asafoetida is used to evoke and bind demons.

Witch bottles as described by Marnie are evidenced from the 17 th century.

Chapter 8
je suis désolé (French) = I’m sorry.

Chapter 9
‘Pfff’ is the French vocal equivalent of a shrug.

Hein (French) = is a general-purpose linguistic tag to provide emphasis.

Chapter 10
Thoth (Greek)/Djehuty (Kemetic) is represented in animal form as a baboon or an ibis. In Kemetic mythology he invented writing. All the names and titles used for him or other Kemetic gods are from Kemetic texts.

Isfet (Kemetic) = chaos or disharmony. It’s the opposite of ma’at. Kemetic culture strived to maintain ma’at (harmony and balance). Ma’at is also a goddess.

Yinepu or Anpu (Kemetic)/Anubis (Greek) is the primary psychopomp in Kemetic mythology.

Heka = magic. In Kemetic mythology, all things are formed from heka.

Deshret (Kemetic) = the red desert lands on either side of the Nile black lands. Deshret carries the usual outlander associations.

One of the titles of Set (Kemetic)/Seth (Greek) is the Red Lord or Lord of the Desert who ruled over the red lands in Upper (south) Egypt. He stands on the solar barge at night and helps Ra defeat Apep.

Chapter 11
The Kemetics split a human being into many parts. The ba was the closest to personality. It came into existence at death and was pictured as a bird with a human head. Kemetic sources are split as to whether the ba was non-corporeal or able to perform the normal functions of a body.

What Michael says about Thoth and Anubis is true.

Aleister Crowley was an infamous ceremonial magician in the first half of the 20 th century. The press of the time dubbed him ‘the wickedest man in the world’. He was into sex and drugs. What Michael says about Egyptomania and Crowley’s trip to Egypt are true. He created the religion of Thelema as a result of the trip.

What Michael says about Benret’s name is true.

Hathor (Greek) = Hethert (Kemetic).

Chapter 12
The Eye of Horus (wadjet in Kemetic) was a sign of health. Green was the colour of life.

The Anglo Saxon fylfot was a form of a swastika. It was a universal symbol of good luck or good health found in Asia and Europe from around 6000 BCE through the 1930s. It was a popular symbol in the Heathen religion. Nazi misuse hasn’t affected Asia’s use of the symbol.

In the Kemetic religion, the ka or vital essence was another part of the human being. This part was believed to be sustained by consuming the essence of food and drink.

The ka and ba reunite after death to become an akh if the person has passed all the tests. An akh could eat, drink and make love.

True of Voice is a Kemetic concept of moral righteousness.

The information given by Michael and Benret about Aset and Wesir (Kemetic)/Isis and Osiris (Greek) comes from Kemetic mythology.

In Heathen mythology, Odhin and Freya are renowned for their skill with magic. Freya taught Odhin the magic arts of the Vanir race of gods, according to the Ynglinga Saga (Snorri Sturluson).

Chapter 13
In the early New Kingdom (modern Egyptian dating) Hathor (Greek)/Hethert (Kemetic) welcomed the dead into the afterlife. The lioness goddess Sekhmet is her alter-ego in her protective role as the Eye of Ra. She is known for her love of music, dance, joy, love, sexuality and maternal care.

Sam’s prayer is spell 9 of The Book of Going Forth by Day (the so-called Book of the Dead). This gives a set of instructions for the dead to achieve the status of an akh. All of the prayers mentioned in this chapter are taken from it. I have modernised some of the words.

Benret’s rituals and the description of the feast are taken from ancient Kemetic texts. The main ritual carried out by a sem priest was called ‘opening the mouth’. This ensured that the deceased became fully alive in the tomb and the afterlife. The tools used by Benret are the pesesh-kef and the seb-ur.

Chapter 14
In Kemetic mythology, the ren is a part of a human being. Without it, the dead are unable to find their body.

In Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, forty-two is the solution to the meaning of life.

Dissolving a spell in a liquid and swallowing it is authentic Kemetic magic.

The description of Anubis/Yinepu is drawn from ancient Egyptian images. His skin colour is within the authentic range of options. Oiling the body was normal for Kemetics. He is carrying a was sceptre as a symbol of power.

Anubis’ animal is identified as the golden wolf, previously classified as a jackal.

The Two Lands are upper and lower Egypt. They had different crowns which were combined into a single crown, worn from the 1 st dynasty onwards. The gods Horus, Atum and Ra were sometimes pictured wearing the single crown.

Chapter 15
To him whose roof gives light and heat… is my rewording of the Address to the Gods of Duat from the Papyrus of Nu, Brit. Mus. No. 10477, Sheet 24.

The descriptions of the clothes, jewellery and headdresses of the gods are authentic to ancient Egyptian images. Djehuty is closely associated with the moon.

The vulture headdress was used by royal wives or female pharaohs from the 17 th dynasty. Later images of Isis/Aset picture her wearing one.

In Kemetic mythology, Aset, Wesir, Set and Set’s wife Nebet-Het were siblings.

Isolde’s confessions are either quotes from chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead (the negative confessions) or my substitution of similar modern social offences.

In ancient Egypt, the lotus and papyrus symbolised Upper and Lower Egypt.

In Kemetic iconography, only Wesir wears the Afet crown. Stripped of the uraei (cobra), sun disc and feathers, it’s a Hedjet: the white crown of Upper Egypt.

Chapter 16
The description of the scales is taken from an illustration in the Papyrus of Ani (the Book of the Dead). Ammit’s description and purpose are authentic.

Tefnut has the head of a lioness and is identified with the sun. The sun god Ra is the cat, Mau. Horus, the son of Aset and Wesir, has the head of a hawk. As the Eye of Ra, Hathor/Hethert wears the sun between her horns.

Atum wears a pschent (Greek)/sekhemty (Kemetic): the double crown of Egypt. It combined the White Hedjet Crown of Upper Egypt and the Red Deshret Crown of Lower Egypt.

Wesir wields the crook and flail. They were Kemetic symbols of authority. The shepherd's crook stood for kingship and the flail for the fertility of the land.

Shu is the son of Atum and the grandfather of Aset and Wesir. In Kemetic iconography, he is represented wearing between one and four ostrich feathers.

Any difference between Shu’s feather and Ma’at’s is lost to us.

What Michael says about the weighing of the heart is true.

The Field of Offerings in Duat was Kemetic paradise. It was situated in Duat.

Chapter 17
Michael’s historical information is true.

An egregore as a collective magical construct is a concept dating from the 19 th century.

The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes that connected the East and West.

What Michael says about Egyptian forms of writing is true.

Chapter 18
The tale of Loki and the stallion Svaðilfari is in the Prose Edda Gylfaginning 42. The tale of him cheating the dwarves in the shape of a fly is in Gylfaginning 35-36.

Loki’s full name is given as Loki Laufeyjarson in the Prose Edda.

Chapter 19
Michael uses two affectionate French phrases when addressing Declan: mon ami (my friend) and mon vieux (my old [friend]).

In Kemetic mythology, there are several conflicting accounts of the parentage of Yinepu/Anubis.

Chapter 20
They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! Was the only hit produced by Napoleon XIV (Jerry Samuels). It was released in 1966.

The Specialist Operations directorate of London’s Metropolitan Police Service has used the designations SO1 to SO20 for its units. There was no SO21 when this book was written.

Chapter 21
In Kemetic mythology, Bennu (aka the Bennu bird) is Ra’s ba. Bennu is a symbol of rebirth and so associated with Wesir/Osiris.

Declan quotes from spell 13 of the Book of the Dead.

Chapter 22
C’est bon (French) = that’s good/that’s great!

Netjeru (Kemetic) = gods. The singular is netjer.

Chapter 25
What Izzy says about Crowley and his wife in Egypt is true. The book that his guardian angel Aiwass dictated is known as the Book of Law, which he used to found the Thelemic religion. Crowley ignored the instructions given with the book.

Chapter 27
Sheep badger is a term used in the Forest of Dean for those with the ancient right to graze their sheep freely in the forest.

Make it so is a catchphrase associated with the character of Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry.

Chapter 28
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Dukas) was part of Walt Disney’s 1941 film Fantasia.

Chapter 29
Vraiment (French) = truly.

Mon amour (French) = my love.

Ce n'est pas nécessaire. Mais je vais le faire pour ma chérie (French) = It's not necessary. But I'll do it for my darling.

Écoute notre femme (French) = listen to our wife

Being trapped in Elfhame after eating fairy food is a common motif of British and Irish folklore.

Chapter 30
Désolé (French) = sorry.

Edgar Allen Poe’s The Purloined Letter is a story about a stolen letter disguised as a different letter.

Smoked fish = kippers (red herrings).

Draugr (Old Norse) = a malign ghost. They were generally portrayed as hideous in appearance.

Chapter 31
The gods in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series exist only as long as people believe in them.

Renée Zellweger starred as Roxy Hart in the 2002 film of the musical Chicago.

Chapter 32
What Sam says about Rohypnol is true. It was discovered and first marketed by Roche, who modified it (including blue dye) when its abuse became known.

Mickey Finn (slang) = is a drink laced with a psychoactive drug given to someone without their knowledge to incapacitate them.

The tale of Loki borrowing Freya’s falcon cloak to shapeshift is told in the Prose Edda Skaldskaparmal 56.

Chapter 36
The use of discarded bodily items, such as hairs and nail clippings, is widely attested in European magic.

Chapter 37
What Sam says about the physiology of flies is true.

Chapter 39
mon merveilleux amour = my wonderful love.

La Chanson des Vieux Amants (The Song of Old Lovers) was co-written by Jacques Brel, a popular Belgian singer-songwriter.

Chapter 40
’Events, dear boy’ is attributed to Harold MacMillan (Prime Minister 1957–1963). He may not have said it.

Box 500 (British slang) = the United Kingdom's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency also known as MI5 (Military Intelligence, Section 5). PO Box 500 was its official address during the Second World War.

Chapter 41
What fools these mortals be! Was written by Seneca (c.4BC–AD 65) in Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium Letter 1. Shakespeare gave the line to Puck in A Midsummer-Night’s Dream Act III Scene II.

The expression let us return to our sheep (let us return to the subject) is from the 15 th -century French comedy La Farce de Maître Pathelin. Although out of fashion in England it was still current in France when this book was written.

Chapter 44
The Collector’s prayer to Djehuty is a Kemetic school boy’s text, dating from the 18 th dynasty (BM#5656). Merit’s prayer is from another such text, known as Anastasi V. Djehuty’s response is from the Book of the Dead, spell 182.

Bunce (British slang) = money or profit gained by someone.

Chapter 45
You might very well think that… is a phrase associated with Francis Urquhart, a fictional character in Michael Dobbs’ House of Cards trilogy.

In Kemetic culture, the names of enemies were erased to eliminate their power. In some forms of modern Kemeticism, this is represented by drawing a line through a name.

Chapter 47
Izzy’s impression of an underground space refers to the roots of Yggdrasil, where the dragon Nigghog lives. So do the Great Norns, who tend wyrd.

Mon doux, mon tendre, mon merveilleux amour/ Je t'aime encore, tu sais, je t'aime (French) = My sweet, my tender, my wonderful love/ I still love you, you know, I love you. (From Jacques Brel’s Chanson des Vieux Amants).

Chapter 48
The information about the symptoms, speed and potential outcomes of meningitis is true.

The dosage for many medicines is calibrated for adults, not children, even when given to children.

Chapter 49
I have a cunning plan is the best-known catchphrase from Blackadder, a popular 1980s BBC comedy series.

In Heathen mythology, the goddess Freya has a cloak of falcon feathers she uses to take falcon shape. See the Prose Edda Skaldskaparmal 1.

Chapter 50
Aimee Mullins is a real person. The information about her is true.

Chapter 51
The festivals mentioned by Declan are real. Swedish Cinnamon Bun Day and the Danish Kulturnatte are modern. Chewing Cucumbers for Sekhmet and Eating Onions for Bast are Kemetic.

Chapter 52
Kryptonite is a fictional material that appears primarily in Superman stories. It weakens the superhero.

Chapter 54
Mercury’s feathers is an allusion to the Roman god, who wore winged sandals.

Chapter 56
Declan’s definition of entail comes from Merriam-Webster, a dictionary of American English, and not from Chambers. I added the last sentence.


Watch the video: Unterrichtsmaterial: Schöpfungsmythos und Götterwelt im Alten Ägypten Ausschnitt Schulfilm