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Hekate in the PGM

April 17, 2015

Few deities have forged the intimate link with magicians, witches and magical practitioners that Hekate has in her various manifestations. As the bonafide patroness of magic and witchcraft and goddess of liminality, Hekate has represented and embodied the sacred mysteries and arcane arts for millennia.

"Hekate" by Maximilian Pirner (1901)

“Hekate” by Maximilian Pirner (1901)

Hekate’s antiquity is indisputable with most scholars tracing her worship to a remote prehistory in Anatolia or Thrace.[1] Her largest cult center was in the southwestern Anatolian region of Caria where it is suggested that she was worshipped in the tradition of the Great Goddesses of Asia Minor.[2]

Regardless of her origins, Hekate first enters Greek mythology with unprecedented prestige and power. She is identified as one of the “old gods”, a Titan born from Asteria (titan of the night) and Perses (titan of destruction) who is readily accepted and even honored by the olympic gods. The first mention of Hekate is in Hesiod’s  Theogony (8th C. BCE), where she is greatly favored by Zeus and retains her sovereignty over the earth, the heavens and the sea even after the Titans are overthrown.[3] From the Hellenic period onward, Hekate’s role begins to shift, her rulership over the realms is replaced by a focus on her liminal nature.[4] It is during this time that she emerges as the chthonic goddess of ghosts and magic with emphasized lunar and nocturnal aspects. She becomes intimately associated with the oracles of the dead and the practices of necromancy, psychagogoi and goetia.[5] [6]  By the 2nd century CE, Hekate’s role is once again redefined within the metaphysical tradition of the Chaldean Oracles. This Chaldean Hekate is a super-cosmic entity identified as the Amina Mundi in a neoplatonic cosmology. She emerges as the ever-flowing ever-present feminine aspect of the divine, the ruler of destiny and savior of man.[7]

The Greek Magical Papyri presents us with invaluable insight into how the practicing magicians, priests, and sorcerers of late antiquity viewed and interacted with this formidable and mysterious goddess. We find that the Hekate of the PGM is indiscriminately merged with elements reminiscent of both the late Hellenic and the Chaldean Hekate…one may even argue that glimpses of that Anatolian Great Goddess shine through. It should be noted that Lewey interprets the Chaldean Hekate as being born from the magical tradition versus influencing it.[8] This is an interesting theory given the great importance endowed upon the goddess by the magical papyri in which essentially all the other Greek goddess are conflated with her. Among the most prominent are Selene, Artemis and Persephone who as aspects of Hekate come to represent her authority over the celestial, terrestrial and chthonic realms respectively.

The hymns and spells of PGM IV are perhaps the most revealing  as they compose the majority of the extant mentions of Hekate in the magical papyri. In these texts she is paradoxically chthonic and celestial, frightful and beautiful, infernal and divine. She is described triple-formed and three headed as was customary in the Hellenic period, but in the same invocation she is also tetra-formed with the head of bull, a snake, a horse and a dog as described in the Chaldean fragments.[9]  Hekate is hailed as ‘all-powerful’, ‘all-nurturing’, ‘all-giving’ and ‘all-guarding’ further echoing the Chaldean influence yet she never looses her dominance over the underworld and her terrifying and distinctly dark aspects. Her epithets speak for themselves, for she truly is the enigmatic goddess of many forms (polymorphos) and many names (polyônymos).

What follows are a couple tables that can be used as a reference for devotees of Hekate or practitioners of Graeco-Egyptian magic. The first table lists all the spells from the readily available Betz edition of the magical papyri in which Hekate is mentioned and briefly describes the intent of the spell.[10] The second table lists the epithets of Hekate found in the invocations and hymns of the PGM.

PGM Spell  Notes
PGM III. 1-164  Spell to deify a cat by drowning and make into a talisman/idol. Hekate is invoked together with Hermes and even as a syncretic Hermekate.
PGM IV. 1390-1495  Love spell performed in necromantic setting (with the help of “those who have died a violent death”). Invoked by herself (also as Hekate-Persephone) for three days while making the initial offering at the place of death. Later invoked with many other  Chthonic deities for a secondary offering.
PGM IV. 2006-2125  Necromantic spell to bind a spirit of the dead to service. Hekate is drawn on a flax leaf “with three heads and six hands, holding torches in her hands, on the right side of her face having the head of a cow; and on the left side the head of a dog; and in the middle the head of a maiden with sandals bound on her feet.”
PGM IV. 2241-2358  Hymn to the Waning moon. Though not mentioned directly, the hymn is without a doubt to Hekate (as Hekate-Selene) given the epithets, symbolism, and nominae magicae. 
PGM IV. 2441-2621  This spell is actually a series of smaller “slander” spells (of attraction, to send sickness, to destroy an enemy, to send dreams to others, and to procure a dream oracle). Hekate is invoked in the offering that precedes all the other spells. Here she is syncretized with Artemis, Persephone, Selene, and Aphrodite.
PGM IV. 2622-2707  Another spell similar to PGM IV 2441-2621. “For it attracts in the same hour, it sends dreams, it causes sickness, produces dream visions, removes enemies when you reverse the spell, however you wish.”  The phylactery for the spell is a heart-shaped magnetite carved with “Hekate lying about the heart, like a little crescent.”
PGM IV. 2708-2784  Full moon hymn. In this case the petition is to secure the affections of a lover, but could be used for any form of petition or prayer. Hekate is once again identified with Artemis, Persephone and Selene.
PGM IV. 2785-2890  Another hymn accompanying lunar offerings. Hekate is again associated with Artemis, Persephone and Selene. In this hymn there is a distinct Chaldean nature to Hekate who amongst omnipotent and cosmic imagery is called forth as “Mother of all things.” A protective charm accompanies this rite, it is to be a lodestone carved with ” a three-faced Hekate. And let the middle face be that of a maiden wearing horns, and  the left face that of a dog, and the one on the right that of a goat.”
PGM IV. 2943-2966  Love spell to cause a lover to “lie awake for me for all eternity”. In this spell it appears that  Iope (Cassiopeia) is called forth to perform the deed through the authority and power of Hekate.
PGM XII. 1-13  The maiden of the spell is Persephone; however that she appears at a crossroads holding two torches speaks to Hekate. This is an odd spell as the magician coerces the goddess by extinguishing her torches and only promising to relight them upon the petition being granted.
PGM LXX. 4-25  Spell titled “Charm of Hekate Ereschigal agains fear of punishment.” As stated in the title, the spell identifies Hekate with the Babylonian underworld goddess Ereschigal. Seems like two disjoint spells in one. The first is to avert being caught by authorities, the second is to cause insomnia on a target.
PGM XCIII. 1-6  Fragment, likely of a spell to acquire favor and victory. Mentions Hekate along with an blood offering.
PGM CXIV. 1-14  Fragment of a protection spell from evil attacks and epileptic fits. Hekate mentioned, though her role is uncertain.
PGM CXVII.  Fragment of historical significance. It is is likely one of the earlier papyri of the collection and speaks to an already well established syncretic Greek and Egyptian tradition. Thought to be a love spell mentioning Hekate.

The following table lists the epithets used for Hekate in her various forms throughout the PGM (i.e. Hekate-Selene, Hekate-Artemis, Hekate-Persephone, etc.). The epithets are only listed once per spell, so even if an epithet occurs multiple times in one invocation it will only be listed once. However, if the same epithet is used in multiple spells it will be listed in each so that we can see how frequent certain epithets are across spells. There are no epithets listed for PGM IV. 2006-2125 since the invocations are all nominae magicae and all direct references to Hekate are in the construction of the phylactery. Nor are any epithets listed from the fragmented papyri (PGM XCII, PGM CXIV, PGM CXVII). The epithets were taken from the Preisendanz edition of the PGM and cross-referenced with the LMPG and the LSJ; most of these -and versions thereof – have been published by modern scholars and can be found elsewhere online. [11][12][13][14][15][16]

The first column presents the epithets in the form in which they appear in the text (generally singular vocative), the nominative suffix is presented in parenthesis when it differs.  The middle column contains the phonetic spelling of the nominative epithet in latin characters; and the third column, the English meaning.

 PGM III. 1-164
 ἂρκυια  Arkuia  ‘Spinner of webs’, ‘Entrapper’
 νεκυῖα  Nekuia  ‘Goddess of death’, ‘Mistress of corpses’
 PGM IV. 1390-1495
 τρικάρανε (ος)  Trikaranos  ‘Three-headed’,’Three-faced’
 νυχία  Nychia  ‘Nocturnal’
 κλειδοῦχε (ος)  Kleidouchos  ‘Key-holder’, ‘Key-keeper’
 πυριδρακοντόζωνε (ος)  Pyridrakontozônos  ‘Girt with flaming serpents’
 ἐνόδια (ος)  Enodia  ‘Of the crossroads’
 κύων μέλαινα  Kyôn melaina  ‘Black bitch’
 χθονία (ος)  Chthonia  ‘Chthonic’
 PGM IV. 2241-2358
 ταρταροῦχε (ος)  Tartarouchos  ‘Ruler of Tartarus’, ‘Controller of Tartarus’
 φωτοπληξ  Phôtoplêx  ‘Who smites with light’
 στρατηλατις  Stratêlatis  ‘Leader of hosts’
 ακτινοχαιτις  Aktinochiatis  ‘Radiant haired’
 λυκω  Lyko  ‘She-wolf’
 φῶς  Phôs  ‘Holy light’
 παιώνια (ος)  Paiônios  ‘Healer’
 πολυκλείτη (ος)  Polykleitos  ‘Famed’
 προμηθική (ός)  Promêthikos  ‘With forethought’
 νύσσα  Nyssa  ‘Goader’
 ποδάρκη  Podarkê  ‘Quick-footed’
 ἂμβροτε (ος)  Ambrotos  ‘Immortal’
 ἂλκίμη (ος)  Alkimos  ‘Powerful’
 περσία  Persia  ‘Persian’
 νομαίη (ος)  Nomaios  ‘Pastoral’
 χρυσοστεφής  Chrysostephês  ‘Golden-crowned’
 πρέσβειρα  Presbeira  ‘Ancient’
 σκοτείη (ος)  Skotios  ‘Somber’, ‘Darkness’
 Βριμώ  Brimô  ‘Angry-One’, ‘Terrifying’
 φαεννώ  Phaennô  ‘Brilliant’
 δείχτειρα  Deichteira  ‘Teacher’, ‘Revealer’
 εἰδωλίη (ος)  Eidôlios  ‘Fantasmal’, ‘Ghostly’
 ἰνδάλιμη (ος)  Indalimos  ‘Beautiful’
 αὐτοφυής  Autophyês  ‘Self-generating’
 βαριδοῦχε (ος)  Baridouchos  ‘Barque-holder’
 αἰζήιη (ος)  Aizêiοs  ‘Vigorous’
 ὀξυβόη  Oksyboê  ‘Shrill-screamer’, ‘Shrieker’
 ἂρκυια  Arkuia  ‘Spinner of webs’, ‘Entrapper’
 χαροπή (ός)  Charopos  ‘Ferocious-aspected’
 πάγγαιη (ος)  Pangaios  ‘World-wide’
 σώτειρα  Sôteira  ‘Savior’
 κλωθαίη  Klôthaiê  ‘Spinner of fate’
 πανδώτειρα  Pandôteira  ‘All-giver’, ‘One who gives everything’
 ἀγλαή (ός)  Aglaos  ‘Radiant’
 ἀρηγέ (ός)  Arêgos  ‘Helper’
 κύδιμη (ος)  Kydimos  ‘Glorious’
 ἂγια  Agia  ‘Holy’, ‘Sacred’
 λιπαροπλόκαμε (ος)  Liparoplokamos  ‘Brilliant-Braided’
 ζαθείη  Zatheiê  ‘Divine’
 τερψίμβροτε (ος)  Terpsimbrotos  ‘Delighting men’, ‘One who delights mortals’
 χρυσῶπι (ς)  Chrysôpis  ‘Golden-faced’
 λοχιάς  Lochias  ‘Protector of birth’, ‘Goddess of Childbearing’
 τλητή (ος)  Tlêtê  ‘Patient’
 ἀτάσθαλη (ος)  Atasthalos  ‘Pretentious’
 δαιδάλη (ος)  Daidalos  ‘Cunning’
 ἰοχέαιρα  Iocheaira  ‘Arrow-shooter’
 δράκαινα Drakaina  ‘Dragoness’, ‘Serpentess’
 PGM IV. 2441-2621
  ίοχέαιρα  Iocheaira  ‘Arrow-shooter’
  ἐλαφηβόλε (ος)  Elaphêbolos  ‘Deer-huntress’
  νυκτοφάνεια  Nyktophaneia  ‘Night-shining’
  τρικάρανε (ος)  Trikaranos  ‘Triple-headed’
  τρίκτυπε (ος)  Triktypos  ‘Triple-sounding’
  τρίφθογγε (ος)  Triphthoggos  ‘Triple-voiced’
  θρινακία  Thrinakia  ‘Triple-pointed’, ‘Of three extremes’
  τριαύχενε (ος)  Triauchenos  ‘Triple-necked’
  τριοδῖτι (ς)  Trioditis  ‘Of the Three ways’, ‘Of the three roads’
  τριπρόσωπε (ος)  Triprosôpos  ‘Triple-faced’
  μάκαιρα (ρος)  Makairapos  ‘Blessed-one’
  θηροκτόνε (ος)  Thêroktomos  ‘Beast-slayer’
  νυχία (ος)  Nychia  ‘Nocturnal-one’, ‘Goddess of Night’
  δασπλῆτις  Dasplêtis  ‘Horror’, ‘Frightful-one’
  πολυώδυνε (ος)  Polyôdynos  ‘Full of Pain’, ‘One who suffers much’
 νυκταιροδύτειρα  Nyktairodyteira  ‘Night Riser and Setter’
 τριώνυμε (ος)  Triônymos  ‘Triple-named’
 άβρονόη  Abronoê  ‘Gracious-minded’
 φοβερα (ός)  Phoberos  ‘Terrible’, ‘Fearful’
 κερατῶπι (ς)  Keratôpis  ‘Horned-faced’
 ταυρόμορφε (ος)  Tauromorphos  ‘Bull-formed’
 φωσφόρε (ος)  Phôsphoros  ‘Light-bringer’
 ίπποπρόσωπε (ος)  Ippoprosôpos  ‘Horse-faced’
 κυνολὐγματε (ος)  Kunolygmatos  ‘Doglike Howler’, ‘Who howls doglike’
 λὐκαινα  Lykaina  ‘She-wolf’
 χθόνια (ος)  Chthonia  ‘Chthonic’
 ἂγια (ος)  Agia  ‘Sacred’, ‘Holy’
 μελανείμων  Melaneimôn  ‘Black-clad’
 παγγεννήτειρα  Paggennêteira  ‘Mother of All’
 ἐρωτοτόκεια  Erôtotokeia  ‘Bearer of love’, ep. of Aphrodite as mother of Eros
 λαμπάδια (ος)  Lampadios  ‘Lamp-bearer’
 φαέθω  Phaethô  ‘Radiant’
 ἀστροδία  Astrodia  ‘Star-walker’
 δᾳδοῦχε (ος)  Dadouchos  ‘Torch-bearer’
 οὐράνια (ος)  Ourania  ‘Celestial’, ‘Heavenly’
 πυρίπνου (ος)  Pyripnoos  ‘Fire-breather’
 τετραοδῖτις  Tetraoditis  ‘Of the Four ways’, ‘Of Four roads’
 τετραπροσωπινή (ός)  Tetraprosôpinos  ‘Four-faced’
 τετραώνυμε (ος)  Tetraônymos  ‘Four-named’
 λιμενῖτις  Limenitis  ‘Harbor Goddess’
 ἐνόδια (ος)  Enodia  ‘Of the crossroads’
 νερτέρια (ος)  Nerterios  ‘Infernal’, ‘Subterranean’
 ὀρίπλανε (ος)  Oriplanos  ‘Mountain-roamer’
 αἰώνα (ος)  Aiônos  ‘Eternal’
 βύθια (ος)  Buthios  ‘Abysmal’, ‘Of the Depths’
 σκότια (ος)  Skotia  ‘Somber’
 βασίλεια  Basileia  ‘Queen’
 δεινή (ος)  Deinos  ‘Terrible’
 πανοπαῖα  Panοpaia  ‘All-seeing’, ‘One who sees everything’
 παρθένε (ος)  Parthenos  ‘Virgin’
 ταυροδράκαινα  Taurodrakaina  ‘Bull-Dragon’, half bull/ half serpent
 ίπποκύων  Ippokyôn  ‘Mare-Dog’, half dog/ half horse
 κραταιή (ος)  Krataios  ‘Powerful’, ‘Dominator’
 PGM IV. 2708-2784
 γιγάεσσα  Gigaessa  ‘Giant’
 μεδέουσα (ων)  Medeousa  ‘Protector’
 ἂδμητη (ος)  Admêtos  ‘Indomable’, ‘Unconquered’
 ίοχέαιρα  Iocheaira  ‘Arrow-shooter’
 περσία  Persia  ‘Persian’
 φροῦνε (ος)  Phroune  ‘Toad’, ‘Frog’
 εὐπατέρεια  Eupatepeia  ‘Noble-born’
 δαδοῦχε (ος)  Dadouchos  ‘Torch-bearer’
 ήγεμόυη  Hêgemoye  ‘Queen’
 κατακαμψυψαύχενε (ος)  Katakampsypsaychenos  ‘Bender of proud necks’
 ἐπίσκοπος  Episkopos  ‘Guardian’
 σκυλακάγεια  Skylakageia  ‘Dog-leader’
 ἐνόδια (ος)  Enodia  ‘Of the crossroads’
 πανδαμάτειρα  Pandamateira  ‘All powerful’, ‘Master of all’, ‘All-tamer’
 τρικάρανε (ος)  Trikaranos  ‘Triple-headed’
 φωσφόρε (ος)  Phôsphoros  ‘Light-bringer’
 έλλοφόνα (ος)  Ellophonos  ‘Fawn-slayer’
 δολόεσσα (ις)  Doloessa  ‘Astute-one’
 πολύμορφε (ος)  Polymorphos  ‘Many-formed’
 πυρίπνον (ος)  Pyripnos  ‘Fire-breather’
 τριοδῖτι (ς)  Trioditis  ‘Of the Three ways’, ‘Of the three roads’
 παρθένε (ος)  Parthenos  ‘Virgin’
 πολυώνυμε (ος)  Polyônymos  ‘Many-named’, ‘Of many names’
 φυλακa (ή)  Phylakê  ‘Protector’, ‘Guardian’
 βοῶπι (ς)  Boôpis  ‘Cow-eyed’
 πυρίφοιτε (ος)  Pyriphoitos  ‘Fire-walker’
 ῤηξιπυλη  Rêksipylê  ‘Door-breaker’, ‘Gate-breaker’
 πυρίβουλε (ος)  Pyriboulos  ‘Of fiery counsel’
 ῤηξιχθων  Reskichthon  ‘Bursting forth from the Earth’
 πασικράτεια  Pasikrateia  ‘All-powerful’, ‘who dominates all’
 παντρέφω  Pantrephô  ‘All-nurturing’, ‘All-sustaining’, ‘who feeds all’
 πασιμεδέουσα  Pasimedeonsa  ‘All-guarding’, ‘All-protecting’
 PGM IV. 2785-2890
 δέσποινα  Despoina  ‘Lady’
 τριπρόσωπε (ος)  Triprosôpos  ‘Triple-faced’
 φαεσίμβροτε (ος)  Phaesimbrotos  ‘Bringer of light to mortals’
 ἠριγένεια  Êrigeneia  ‘Daughter of morning’
 βασίλεια  Basileia  ‘Queen’
 τρικάρανε (ος)  Trikaranos  ‘Triple-headed’
 πολύμορφε (ος)  Polymorphos  ‘Many-formed’, ‘Of many forms’
 νυκτίβοη (ος)  Nyktiboos  ‘Night-Shouter’, ‘Night-Crier’
 ταυροκάρηνε (ος)  Taurokarênos  ‘Bull-headed’
 φιλήρεμε (ος)  Philêremos  ‘Lover of Solitude’
 ταυρωπος  Taurôpos  ‘Bull-aspected’
 ίοχέαιρα  Iocheaira  ‘Arrow-shooter’
 τετραοδῖτις  Tetraoditis  ‘Of the Four ways’, ‘Of Four roads’
 τετραπρόσωπος  Tetraprosôpos  ‘Four-faced’
 τετραώνυμε (ος)  Tetraônymos  ‘Four-named’
 τρικάρανε (ος)  Trikaranos  ‘Triple-headed’
 τρίκτυπε (ος)  Triktypos  ‘Triple-sounding’
 τρίφθογγε (ος)  Triphthoggos  ‘Triple-voiced’
 θρινακία  Thrinakia  ‘Triple-pointed’, ‘Of three extremes’
 τριαύχενε (ος)  Triauchenos  ‘Triple-necked’
 τριοδῖτι (ς)  Trioditis  ‘Of the Three ways’, ‘Of the three roads’
 ἐλαφηβόλε (ος)  Elaphêbolos  ‘Deer-huntress’
 νυκτοφάνεια  Nyktophaneia  ‘Night-shining’
 ἀθάνατος  Athanatos  ‘Immortal’
 καλλιγένεια  Kalligeneia  ‘Bearing Beautiful Offspring’
 πολυώνυμε (ος)  Polyônymos  ‘Many-named’, ‘Of many names’
 κερόεις  Keroeis  ‘Horned’
 ταυρῶπις  Taurôpis  ‘Bull-faced’
 γενέτειρα  Geneteira  ‘Mother’
 φύσις  Physis  ‘Nature’ (personified)
 παμμήτωρ  Pammêtôr  ‘Mother of All’
 ἀέναον (ος)  Aenaos  ‘Eternal’
 δαμνομένεια  Damnomeneia  ‘Dominating Force’
 δαμασάνδρα  Damasandra  ‘Dominator of Men’, ‘Subduer of Men’
 δαμνοδαμία  Damnodamia  ‘Subduer of Subduers’
 λιμενῖτις  Limenitis  ‘Harbor Goddess’
 ἐνόδια (ος)  Enodia  ‘Of the crossroads’
 νερτέρια (ος)  Nerteria  ‘Infernal’, ‘Subterranean’
 ὀρίπλανε (ος)  Oriplanos  ‘Mountain-roamer’
 οὐράνια (ος)  Ourania  ‘Celestial’, ‘Heavenly’
 ἀϊδωναία  Aidônaia  ‘Goddess of Hades’
 νύχια (ος)  Nychia  ‘Nocturnal’
 σκότια (ος)  Skotia  ‘Somber’
 δασπλῆτις  Dasplêtis  ‘Horror’, ‘Frightful-one’
 ὀλέτις  Oletis  ‘Destroyer’
 ὀφεωπλόκαμε (ος)  Opheôplokamos  ‘Coiled with Snakes’
 αίμοπότις  Aimopotis  ‘Blood-drinker’
 ζωνοδράκοντις  Zônodrakontis  ‘Encircled by Serpents’
 θανατηγός  Thanatêgos  ‘Death-Bringer’
 καρδιόδαιτε (ος)  Kardiodaitos  ‘Heart-Eater’
 φθορηγενής  Phthorênês  ‘Ruin-Bringer’
 σαρκοφάγος  Sarkophagos  ‘Flesh-Eater’
 ἀωροβόρος  Aôroboros  ‘Devourer of the Prematurely Dead’
 καπετόκτυπε (ος)  Kapetoktypos  ‘Tomb-disturber’
 οἰστροπλάνεια  Oistroplaneia  ‘Spreader of Madness’
 PGM IV. 2943-2966
 τριοδῖτις  Trioditis  ‘Of the Three ways’, ‘Of the three roads’
 πανοπαῖα  Panopaia  ‘All-seeing’, ‘One who sees everything’
 PGM LXX. 4-25
 κὐων  Kyôn  ‘Bitch’
 δράκαινα  Drakaina  ‘Serpent’, ‘Dragon’
 ταρταροῦχος  Tartarouchos  ‘Ruler of Tartarus’, ‘Controller of Tartarus’

Notes

  1. For Thracian origins see L.R. Farnell. Hekate’s Cult , in The Goddess Hekate, ed. Stephen Ronan (Hastings, UK: Chthonios Books, 1992) pp. 17-35.
  2. For Anatolian origins see Stephen Ronan. Introduction , in The Goddess Hekate, ed. Stephen Ronan (Hastings, UK : Chthonios Books, 1992) pp. 5 – 10. See also, Stephen Ronan. Chaldean Hekate , in The Goddess Hekate, ed. Stephen Ronan (Hastings, UK : Chthonios Books, 1992) pp. 120 , 126.
  3. Hesiod. Theogony. 400-430.
  4. Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. Hekate Liminal Rites: A Study of the Rituals, Magic and Symbols of the Torch-Bearing Triple Goddess of the Crossroads. (London, UK: Avalonia, 2009).
  5. Daniel Ogden. Greek and Roman Necromancy. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001).
  6. For Hekate in the goetic tradition see Asteroth, Lady of the Crossroads chapter in Jake Stratton-Kent. The True Grimoire: Volume 1 (Encyclopaedia Goetica). ( Scarlet Imprint, 2010). pp. 185-200.
  7. Sarah Iles Johnston. Hekate Soteira. (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1990).
  8. Hans Lewy. Chaldaean Oracles and Theurgy. (Paris: Institut d’Etudes Augustiniennes, 2011). pp. 361-365.
  9. See discussion of Fragment XIX in Stephen Ronan. Chaldean Hekate , in The Goddess Hekate, ed. Stephen Ronan (Hastings, UK : Chthonios Books, 1992) pp. 105.
  10. Hans Dieter Betz (ed). The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation: Including the Demotic Spells (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992).
  11. Karl Preisendanz (trans. & ed.). Papyri Graecae Magicae Die Greiechischen Zauberpapyri. (Berlin: Verlag und Druck Von B.G. Teubner, 1928).
  12. Luis Muñoz Delgado’s LMPG referenced from: http://dge.cchs.csic.es/lmpg/
  13. LSJ, Middle Liddle, Slater, and Autenrieth lexicons referenced from the Perseus Digital Library: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/
  14. Eleni Pachoumi. The Greek Magical Papyri: Diversity and Unity. (Doctoral Thesis, Newcastle University, 2007)Appendix 5. pp 151-160.
  15. Theodor Hopfner. Hekate-Selene-Artemis und Verwandte in den griechischen Zauberpapyri and auf den Fluchtafeln. Pisciculi. F. J. Dolger zum 60. Geburtstage, Münster; Aschendorf 1939, 125-145.
  16. http://nehetisingsforhekate.tumblr.com/post/87604951156/hekates-many-names-part-1-of-3

PGM IV. 154-285: Lecanomancy

April 10, 2015

Inquiry of bowl divination and necromancy. Whenever you want to inquire about matters, take a bronze vessel, either a bowl or a saucer, whatever kind you wish. Pour water: rainwater if you are calling upon heavenly gods, seawater if gods of the earth, river water if Osiris or Sarapis, spring water if the dead. Holding the vessel on your knees, pour out green olive oil, bend over the vessel and speak the prescribed spell. And address whatever god you want ask about whatever you wish, and he will reply to you and tell you about anything. And if he has spoken dismiss him with the spell of dismissal, and you have used this spell will be amazed.

– PGM IV. 223- 243

delphi1-500x498The term ‘Bowl Divination’ as the translation of the Greek λεκανομαντεία (lekanomanteia, ‘lecanomancy’) fails to capture the full intent, power and purpose of the practice. Indeed, the scribe here presents a rite in which a specific god or spirit of the dead is actively called forth  as opposed to the passive act of divination.[1] Our initial examination of this practice demonstrated that this is an evocationary scrying technique akin to those used by the later medieval and renaissance magicians.[2] 

At face value, this is one of the most accessible examples of a Graeco-Egyptian magical practice.[3] The steps are very simple and straightforward. The materials are clearly identified, none of which are too difficult to obtain : a bowl of water  and olive oil. However, the ability for a practitioner to succeed at summoning the spirit or deity is contingent upon the spiritual authority conferred by the ritual of  initiation discussed extensively in prior posts.[4]

After the empowerment from initiation, the second key element is water, which depending on its source dictates the realm targeted. Rain, sea and spring water together compose the nearly universal triadic division of the spiritual landscape into a celestial-realm, terrestrial-realm and nether-realm respectively.[5] These correspondences are self evident as rain comes from the sky above, the sea is here upon the earth, and  springs emerge from the chthonic world below.

River water is unique in that it is a source of fresh water that is replenished by both celestial and underground sources of water and flows into the sea. It is the symbolic vein and conduit that connects the three spiritual realms. As a source of both potable water and of nutrient-rich alluvial soil for agriculture, rivers nourish life. [6] Rivers were thus naturally connected to such deities as Osiris and Sarapis that represent the soul’s journey through the cycles of life, death, rebirth and initiation.

Water Source PGM IV Text Realm
Rain “heavenly gods” Sky (Celestial)
Sea “gods of the earth” Earth (Terrestrial)
River “Osiris or Sarapis” Rebirth & Initiation
Spring “the dead” Underworld (Nether)

The spell spoken over the vessel is: “AMOUN AUANTAU LAIMOUTAU RIPTOU MANTAUI IMANTOU LANTOU LAPTOUMI ANCHÔMACH ARAPTOUMI, hither to me, O NN god; appear to me this very hour and do not frighten my eyes. Hither to me, O NN god, be attentive to me because he wishes and commands this ACHCHÔR ACHCHÔR ACHACHACH PTOUMI CHACHCHÔ CHARACHÔCH CHAPTOUMÊ CHÔRACHARACHÔCH APTOUMI MÊCHÔCHAPTOU CHARACHPTOU CHACHCHÔ CHARACHÔ PTENACHÔCHEU” (a hundred letters).

But you are not unaware, mighty king and leader of magicians, that this is the chief name of Typhon, at whom the ground, the depths of the sea, Hades, heaven, the sun, the moon, the visible chorus of stars, the whole universe all tremble, the name which, when it is uttered, forcibly brings gods and daemons to it. This is the name that consists of 100 letters.

– PGM IV. 223- 243

As the scribe informs us, the formula of “a hundred letters” is the magical name of Typhon. Throughout this series on the magical system of PGM IV 154-285, we have extensively discussed the Graeco-Egyptian Typhon as raw magical energy in the form of primordial deity. [7]  In the spiritual landscape of the magicians of the PGM, to invoke Typhon was to call upon an ancient power greater than the manifest universe and master over the cycles of the sun, moon and stars; a power that “forcibly brings gods and daemons to it.”

For students and practitioners of the Solomonic traditions, the above passage will undoubtedly bring to mind the invocation from the Heptameron and from the Lesser Key of Solomon. Compare “…name of Typhon, at whom the ground, the depths of the sea, Hades, heaven, the sun, the moon, the visible chorus of stars, the whole universe all tremble…” to “…this ineffable name Tetragrammaton Jehovah , which being heard, the elements are overthrown; the air is shaken, the sea runneth back, the fire is quenched, the earth trembles and all hosts of Celestials, Terrestrials & Infernals do tremble…”.[8] As mentioned in previous posts, the Typhon of the PGM has much in common with the demiurgic deities of antiquity and the YHVH of the grimoires.

Throughout late antiquity Typhon was used as the Greek name for Set, thus the initial impression of the mythological context of this rite is simply a Hellenized re-interpretation of the Egyptian cult of Set in the Osirian narrative. However, as discussed in PGM IV 154-285: Invocation of Typhon, the Typhon of this rite is presented as a separate entity than the Egyptian Set. They share a similar energetic imprint, but here Typhon represents the primordial origin of the current whereas Set (in his role in the Osirian cult)  is an anthropomorphic manifestation of it. Thus, the practitioner self-identifies with Set in order to become a suitable vessel to receive the power of Typhon; who, in this context is a truly syncretic deity.[9] Here Typhon displays elements and traits associated with his namesake – the Olympic monster – as well as the Olympians Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, the demiurge of the Gnostics, the cosmic serpents of the Orphic teachings,  and the Canaanite, Hebrew and Babylonian martial and storm deities of Ba’al, YHVH and Hadad. The list of comparable deities continues and serves to underline the immense spiritual authority attributed to Typhon by the magicians of the PGM.

Interestingly, this may not have been an interpretation restricted to Hellenic Egypt. Typhon was possibly worshipped as Zeus-Typhon in necromantic contexts in the north-western Greek region of Thesprotia (either in syncretic form, jointly, or as a title of another chthonic deity).[10] Ampelius in his Liber Memorialis suggests that the temple of Zeus-Typhon in Thesprotia was in fact the famed Necromanteion of Acheron described by Homer (8th C. BCE) and Herodotus (5th C. BCE).[11] Ampelius’ reference though highly suggestive has not been corroborated by archaeological evidence. Nonetheless, the practice of prayer and invocation to a chthonic deity preceding necromantic operations is well documented by Homer, Virgil, Seneca and others. Such a deity was invoked, placated and petitioned to both empower the necromancer and to release the ghost of the dead from the underworld into the realm of the living.[12] As would be expected, Hades, Persephone, and Hekate were the most common deities called upon for this purpose; however, the first century Latin poets Lucan and Statius also mention the primordial deities of Tartarus and Chaos in this role foreshadowing the Typhon of the PGM.[13] Definitely by the first century Typhon was understood as a chthonic authority par excellence; in Plutarch’s Morellia,  Typhon  is  an allegory of Tartarus and is identified as the primordial “evil World-Soul” of the Platonists.[14] This authoritative power, capable of bringing back the dead has been known and invoked throughout history by many names. Thus, we can be certain that well before PGM IV 154-285 was written, the invocation of a Typhon-like deity to empower evocationary rites (necromantic or otherwise) was already a common magical technique employed by the goetes (‘sorcerers’) and psychagogoi (‘soul-evocators’) of the pre-Hellenic world.

The Acheron, river to the Greek underworld.

The Acheron, river to the Greek underworld.

It is significant that in the initiation ritual Typhon is identified as αβεραμενθω (Aberamenthô), a divine name indicating ‘lord of the waters’ and given such epithets as λαιλαφετης (’Storm-Sender’) and κοχλαζοκὐμων (‘Water-Boiler’).[15] The theme of water underlines much of the magical system presented in PGM IV 154-285. For the Egyptians, Babylonians and Greeks water and bodies of water were from the earliest times associated with conduits to the realm of the gods and of the dead.[16] Thus, the water in the bowl not only provides a practical scrying surface but is the appropriate liquid medium in which a spirit can manifest.

Indeed, the use of water in oracular, necromantic and divinatory rites throughout antiquity speak to this symbolic relationship. No other element of the natural world was revered and worshipped with such consistency throughout the history of Greece as rivers, lakes, wells and other sources of water.[17] The same religious devotion can be found in regards to the Nile river of the Egyptians, in which drowned animals and people were deified, and the Tigris and Euphrates worshipped by the early Mesopotamians.  Naturally, such sacred waters were used for magical and oracular rites and the  patterns and visions reflected upon the surface of the waters were understood to be direct messages from the gods and spirits of the dead. In this regard there exists a definite cross-over between hydromancy  and lecanomancy; the distinguishing factor is that in lecanomancy the water is contained in a bowl, dish or pan.[18]

The earliest written evidence of lecanomancy  are  from the Babylonian Ritual Tablets dating to the 7th Century BCE. [19] While these cuneiform tablets may be the earliest extant written evidence, the true origin of such practices are impossible to determine with any degree of certainity. Indeed, the pervasiveness of such rituals found independently across the world suggest an origin linked with the magical qualities bestowed on holy wells and springs that extends far back into prehistoric times. [20] We know that from very early on similar  practices were employed at the water-side necromanteions of Acheron and Avernus as well as many oracles and sacred wells throughout the ancient world.[21] 

"Priestess of Delphi " (1891)

“Priestess of Delphi ” (1891)

The  image of the Pythia at the Oracle of Delphi pictured at the beginning of this post is from a 5th Century BCE Attic cylix. She sits atop the sacred tripod of Apollo holding a laurel sprig and gazing into the bowl of water to deliver the prophecy. This iconic image of the Pythia has greatly influenced later depictions and the modern belief of the oracular methods at Delphi (i.e. “Priestess of Delphi ” (1891) by John Collier).  However, aside from the initial preparations of the priestess fasting and drinking the sacred water of the Delphic spring there are no firsthand accounts of how the oracle was delivered.[22] Apparently, such oracles were so common in classical antiquity that no sources bothered to describe the methods. Herodotus, in explaining the Oracle of Satrae in Thrace simply states that the prophetess functioned in the usual manner just like the Pythia at Delphi. [23]

One does not have to assume that the Pythia used lecanomancy, though it is a possibility. That water itself held an important role in the oracular process is quite evident in the primary sources regarding several ancient oracles including Delphi. Nonetheless, our interest in the depiction of Pythia on the Attic cylix is twofold. First, it indicates that lecanomancy was a common enough practice by the 5th C. BCE that it could be used as an artistic element to symbolize the delivery of an oracle, regardless of how it was actually delivered. And, secondly it displays a key element of lecanomancy; the use of a plant that establishes a link to the deity (in this case the laurel of Apollo). The plant and other offerings linking the ritual scrying to a specific deity appear to be instrumental in many documented accounts of lecanomancy.[24] At first, this element appears to be absent in PGM IV. 154-285.

Modern scholarship on lecanomancy suggest that when oil was used it was to form patterns in the water which the priest or priestess would interpret.[25] This is easily digestible in academic circles as it speaks to both a skill of the specialist in being able to produce relevant readings and provides a psychological explanation for the visions. However, within the context of this magical practice, I do not believe the olive oil is for producing any sort of ‘illusionary’ effect, rather it is a formal offering to the spirit evoked. Such an offering is consistent with the traditional libations of olive oil. As noted by Aeschylus the soothing and propitiating nature of olive oil make it an ideal offering for the spirits of the dead and the gods.[26] Our scribe specifies that this must be ελαιον ὀμφάκινον (‘unripe olive oil’, i.e. “green olive oil”) and as with the the “green ivy” of the initiation rite symbolizes an offering containing the essence of life itself. Thus, in the evocationary scrying of PGM IV. 154-285, the link to the deity or spirit is established first by the source of water  and then the plant offering of olive oil is made into the water.

odysseus-elpenor-HSA precedent for pouring the offering directly over (or into) the area of evocation is found in  the practices of  Greek necromancy during the archaic and classical periods. The  classical vase pictured to the left, depicts the ghost of Elpenor emerging from the waters of the Acheron as Odysseus pours the sheep blood offering into the river. In necromantic and evocationary practices not conducted near bodies of water, the standard procedure was to dig a pit and pour the libations into the earth from which the spirit was expected to emerge.

Regardless of when or where such Evocationary Bowl Scrying practices may have originated, they were nonetheless incorporated into the Greek necromantic and oracular tradition very early on, and certainly centuries before the Hellenization of Egypt. The same could be said of such practices in Egypt that were definitely in use prior to the Macedonian conquest and Ptolemaic dynasty.[27] Thus, together with the invocation of a Typhon-like authority to summon spirits, lecanomancy was likely part of a repertoire of practical magical techniques shared by many cultures in antiquity.

Modernity tends to think of ancient societies developing and living in an isolated void. Yet, when we actually study the movement of people and trade of goods throughout antiquity it becomes very clear that ideas spread across borders much the same way they do today. Since the prehistoric Neolithic vast trade networks have extended from Asia Minor to the Iberian peninsula through which technologies, ideas and goods were exchanged.[28] It is thus very difficult to isolate the development of a specific technology in such porous cultural environments. And, that is the one thing that we must keep in mind when discussing magical practices in antiquity. [29] Magic was – and still is – a spiritual technology! When a technology works, it spreads rapidly across language and country borders along with the exchange of goods and ideas and is quickly absorbed into the native traditions. The ubiquity of the practices discussed in this post are therefore a testament to their efficacy.

The PGM  is first and foremost a collection of these practical magical techniques that were already prevalent throughout antiquity and were neither Greek nor Egyptian (nor Hebrew, nor Babylonian, etc.) but truly and wholly syncretic. As such, the PGM provides a snapshot of a universal living magical tradition. Yes, undoubtably there are discernible elements from one ‘culture’ or another, but more importantly, there is a cohesiveness to the magic of the PGM, a practicality that exists outside of any concept of country, religion or isolated group of people. PGM IV 154-285 is no exception.

Notes

  1. Stephen Skinner. Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic. (Singapore: Golden Hoard Press, 2014). pp. 246.
  2. See PGM IV. 154-285: A complete Magical System.
  3. Hans Dieter Betz (ed). The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation: Including the Demotic Spells (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992).
  4. See PGM IV. 154-285: A complete Magical System , PGM IV. 154-285: Invocation of Typhon, and PGM IV 154- 285: Initiation Ritual.
  5. Mircea Eliade. Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004).
  6. See the discussion pertaining to the rhythms of the Nile river in the Black of Isis and references therein.
  7. See PGM IV. 154-285: A complete Magical System , PGM IV. 154-285: Invocation of Typhon, and PGM IV 154- 285: Phylactery of 100 Letters.
  8. See http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/goetia.htm and http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/heptamer.htm#conjuration11.
  9. See PGM IV. 154-285: Invocation of Typhon.
  10. Daniel Ogden. Greek and Roman Necromancy. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). pp. 52-53.
  11. “ibi Iovis templum Typhonis, unde est ad inferos descensus ad tollendas sortes; in quo loco dicuntur qui descenderunt Iovem ipsum videre.” (Ampelius, Liber Memorialis, 8:3) Note that “Iovis templum Typhonis” was changed in later (modern) editions of this work to “Iovis templum Trophonii” due to there being archaeological evidence of a temple of Zeus Trophonius at Lebadeia (though not in Thesprotia). 
  12. Ogden pp. 168 – 169.
  13. Ogden pp. 175.
  14. Hans Lewy. Chaldaean Oracles and Theurgy. (Paris: Institut d’Etudes Augustiniennes, 2011). pp. 370.
  15. See PGM IV. 154-285: Invocation of Typhon and Aberamenthô in the PGM.
  16. Daniel Ogden. Greek and Roman Necromancy. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001).
  17. W. R. Halliday. Greek Divination. (London, UK: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1913). pp. 116-144.
  18. Halliday. pp. 146 – 160.
  19. Ritual Tablets 15-25 quoted in Skinner. pp. 247.
  20. Halliday. pp. 146.
  21. Ogden pp. 53-54.
  22. Huffmon, Herbert B. The Oracular Process: Delphi and the Near East. Vetus Testamentum 57, no. 4 (2007): 449-460. 
  23. Herodotus. Histories. 7.11.2 (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0126%3Abook%3D7%3Achapter%3D111%3Asection%3D2).
  24. Jake Stratton-Kent. The True Grimoire: Volume 1 (Encyclopaedia Goetica). ( Scarlet Imprint, 2010). pp. 25-44.
  25. Max Nelson (May 2000). Narcissus: Myth and Magic. The Classical Journal (The Classical Association of the Middle West and South) 95 (4): 365–383. 
  26. See reference and footnotes to Aeschylus in Ogden pp. 169.
  27. Stratton-Kent. pp. 26.
  28. Emma Blake and A. Bernard Knapp (eds.). The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory. (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2005).
  29. Skinner’s book drives this point  home. The people of antiquity saw magic as a technology that was given the same attention and precision of language that modern society gives modern technologies.

PGM IV 154- 285: Initiation Ritual

March 26, 2015

The magical system of PGM IV 154-285 promises “a holy power” and the ability to evoke and obtain information from any spirit or god.[1]  Such operations of “miraculous nature” require that the practitioner first complete the initiation ritual that constitutes the majority of the text.[2] It is through this rite that one obtains the necessary spiritual authority to call upon the gods and the spirits of the dead. The scribe identifies this empowerment as an “attach[ment] to Helios,” and as we have discussed in prior posts this is achieved by invoking the raw magical energy of Typhon who embodies the driving force behind the cosmic narrative of the solar deity and of the slain and reborn god. For the Graeco-Egyptian magicians of the PGM, Typhon is the σκηπτουχος (‘scepter bearer’) of utmost authority and the θεὲ θεῶν (‘god of gods’); he is the unbridled chaotic force of the cosmos in the form of primordial deity. To invoke such a power was to call forth the very force capable of altering universal order; and, to wield this power is to have the ability to destroy the boundary between the realm of the living and that of the gods and the dead. [3]

The scribe is very clear as to the intent of the initiation rite, he writes that upon completion the practitioner will arise as  a “lord of a godlike nature” and will be “made equal to the original gods in power.”[4] This apotheosis is achieved through a metaphorical death and rebirth in which the practitioner self-identifies with Osiris (in the ritual garments) and with Set (in the words of the invocation). I have written much about the symbolism and structure of this ritual in my previous posts. For anyone who desires to work this system, I strongly suggest that they revisit those posts  to familiarize themselves with the contextual framework of PGM IV 154-285.  The goal here is not to further delve into the meaning, mythology and scholarly analysis of the magical system, rather it is to present the initiation ritual as experienced by a modern-day practicing magician.


 ¤ The Ritual ¤


You will succeed by inquiring in this way: First, attach yourself to Helios in this manner: At whatever sunrise you want (provided it is the third day of the month), go up to the highest part of the house and spread a pure linen garment on the floor. Do this with a mystagogue. But as for you, crown yourself with dark ivy while the sun is in mid-heaven, at the fifth hour, and while looking upward lie down naked on the linen and order your eyes to be completely covered with a black band. And wrap yourself like a corpse, close your eyes and, keeping your direction toward the sun begin these words.

– PGM IV. 169-179

The third day of the month in a lunar or lunisolar calendar  corresponds to the third day of the waxing crescent moon. In hellenic Egypt, the highest part of the house would have been the flat roof on top of the house (outdoors). Needless to say for those of us living in modern urban areas this will not be possible, thus a room with a southern facing window or a private yard or balcony will work.  The important thing is that the sun be clearly visible during the rite.

Aside from the frankincense grains for the offering, there are three ritual items:

invocationTyphonTools

   1. A large linen to function as a symbolic burial shroud. A white bed-sheet is perfect.

   2. A black blindfold, ideally consecrated with the same symbolism as the Black of Isis.

   3. A crown made of ivy.

In PGM IV 154-285: A complete Magical System we identified these three items as symbols of the initiatic journey of the solar hero and the mysteries of life, death and rebirth. It may be beneficial to keep these associations in mind during the rite.

At sunrise on the planned day, go to the area you will conduct the ritual. Clean it by removing all clutter, sweep, vacuum, and dust. Burn sage or your preferred cleansing incense to neutralize the energy.  Lay the linen on the floor with the ivy crown and blindfold atop. Spend the day in contemplation and meditation on the symbolism of the ritual you are about to perform.

Just prior to the solar transit (look at an ephemeris to determine the exact time the sun will cross the meridian) , return to the designated location. Strip down naked and put on the ivy crown, lay on the ground and wrap the linen around your body “like a corpse.” Tie the blindfold and then cross your arms over your chest assuming the posture of an Egyptian mummy while pulling the linen sheet tightly around your body.  Your head should be in the north and feet south so that you are facing the sun as it approaches midheaven (northern hemisphere). Center yourself in the darkness and when ready, recite the invocation three times.[5]

Mighty Typhon, scepter-bearing almighty power and sovereign, god of gods; Lord 

ABERAMENThÔOULERThEXANAXEThRELUOÔThNEMAREBA.

Disturber of the dark, bringer of thunder, sender of storms, lighting flasher of the night! You are the one who exhaled the cold and the heat. Stone-shaker, wall-breaker earth-quaker, boiler of the waters. You are the one who stirs the depths to motion,

IÔERBÊT AU TAUI MÊNI

I am he who searched the entire world to find the great Osiris, whom I brought you bound. I am he who together with you allied with the gods (others say against the gods); I am he who shut heaven’s double door and put to sleep the unseen serpent, who at the edge of you kingdom, stopped the sea, the streams, and the flowing rivers. But, as your soldier, I was defeated by the gods and was cast face down on account of empty wrath. Awaken me, I beseech you, I implore you, friend; do not leave me here cast upon the earth, o lord of gods:

AEMINAEBARÔThERREThÔRABEANIMEA

Fill me with power, I beg you, grant me this grace, that whenever I call upon any one of the gods, they come to me swiftly and appear visibly before me.

NAINE BASANAPTATOU EAPTOU MÊNÔPhAESMÊ PAPTOU MÊNÔPh ·

AESIMÊ · TRAUAPTI · PEUChRÊ · TRAUARA · PTOUMÊPh · MOURAI · ANChOUChAPhAPTA ·

MOURSA · ARAMEI · IAÔ · AThThARAUI MÊNOKER · BORO PTOUMÊTh · AT TAUI MÊNI ChARChARA ·

PTOUMAU · LALAPsA · TRAUI TRAUEPsE MAMÔ PhORTOUChA ·

AEÊIO IOY OÊÔA · EAI AEÊI ÔI IAÔ AÊI AI IAÔ

After you have said this three times, there will be this sign of divine encounter, but you, armed by having this magical soul, be not alarmed. For a sea falcon flies down and strikes you on the body with its wings, signifying this: that you should arise. But as for you, rise up and clothe yourself with white garments and burn on an earthen censer uncut incense in grains while saying this:

– PGM IV. 209-215

As indicated by the passage, after the third invocation there will be an indication of the success. The experience may not be exactly as described above, but there will be a defined moment at which you will be instructed to rise. At this point, remove the blindfold and unwrap yourself from the linen. Stand up and get dressed in clean white clothes and step outside to burn the frankincense offering to the sky and sun overhead while reciting:

I have been attached to your holy form.I have been given power by your holy name. I have acquired your emanation of the goods, Lord, god of gods, master, daimon.

ANThThOUIN ThOUThOUI TAUANTI LAÔ APTATÔ

Having done this, return as lord of a godlike nature which is accomplished through this divine encounter.

– PGM IV. 209


¤ Personal Notes¤


I generally don’t discuss my personal experiences; however, I started this project with the intent to document my research and progress here on this blog. In the lines that follow I share some relevant portions of my personal notes including some of the intense visions. Please keep in mind that these visions are likely unique to my experience and others may or may not have similar encounters. Prior to delving into these, I’ll mention a few notes on the items that were used.

Last December around the time of winter solstice I consecrated a black linen cloth to the chthonic form of Isis under the new moon. I based my ritual on the symbolic principles discussed in Black of Isis, and have since been using the cloth as a blindfold in all my shamanic journeying and dream work.

ivyShrineAlso around winter solstice, I put together a small vivarium to house the ivy that I would be using to create the crown. Given the associations of ivy to Dionysus and Osiris and thus to the earth, I decided that it would be suitable to add some dirt from a secluded area in the local mountains that I frequent for my magical work. This vivarium thus became a shrine not only to the chthonic nature of Dionysus/Osiris, but also to the spirit of place of my local landscape. This helped me form a strong magical bond to the ivy itself that I would be using to make the crown for this rite.

Given the use of a blindfold and the practitioner laying on the ground, I imagined this ritual would be similar to a shamanic journey. I was mistaken. Rather than my consciousness traveling to specific locations in the spiritual landscape (as with shamanic journeying);  in this ritual,  the spiritual world very much – and very quickly – came to me. Throughout the experience I was constantly aware of being ‘inside’ a physical body that underwent a transformation from organic matter to a lifeless shell. It was as if I experienced the process of decomposition after death from a fresh corpse to a skeleton of bone and finally a stone fossil… a process that takes millennia was experienced in minutes all while my soul and consciousness remained individually intact and immortal. Despite the blindfold, I could easily ’see’ and  perceive the room and world around me, and at no point did I feel detached from my body.

Additionally, though I had committed the invocation to memory several times over, I found myself changing the wording as I progressed through the second and third iterations. The only reason was that it seemed natural to do so and as I became more aware of the energy that I was invoking, I felt more comfortable petitioning specific requests. For example the final lines before the 40 nominae magicae– “Fill me with power, I beg you, grant me this grace…” – became a much longer petition incorporating direct language from the invocation of the Lesser Key of Solomon and some elements of the Akephalos invocation from PGM V. 96-172. [6] These passages came to mind as particularly relevant while performing the rite and I was somehow able to recall them despite not having performed either in years.

By the second iteration of the invocation I became aware of an enormous serpentine entity around me. It was coiled atop itself extending high into the sky and forming a wall of scales so tall that I could not see its head. It was constantly in motion circumnavigating around and above me. By the third repetition of the invocation, the coils had become so large and radiated outward so far that they merged with the horizon…it seemed as if this serpent was literally encircling the planet. At this point, all the manmade structures around me vanished as if aeons of time had elapsed; day and night and the seasons passed in rapid succession one after another. I was no longer in a room, but out in the open surrounded by the natural landscape of my neighborhood. I was completely immobilized, yet my senses were hyper-attuned to the world around me. I could perceive all my surroundings in all directions and at all distances simultaneously.

Above me flew hawks, vultures, ravens and other large raptors. Below me, I could feel the stability and grounding weight of the earth and the pulsing currents of the underground water currents. I could feel and taste the salty spray of the ocean to the west, and the magnetic pull of the mountains to the east. In the far distance the enormous serpent continued it’s spiral coil around the horizon moving faster and faster resulting in howling winds around me and rabid waves crashing onto the shore and the earth trembling beneath me. I could clearly feel these sensation within and against the now hardened surface of what was once my body, everything was heightened. Even the flapping of the birds resonated within … I could feel all this physically but not in a human way. I was perceiving the natural world in a body of stone.

As the climate became more volatile and violent, the once familiar landscape gave way to an inhospitable world. The sea covered much of the land and giant waves threatened to topple the mountains, the mountains spewed lava and steam, the sky was ablaze in thunder and lightning yet the raptors remained circling above. Suddenly, they began to dive down, one by one,  and three of them pecked at my body. I felt one on each shoulder and a third at my solar plexus. Hard impacts that vibrated deeply and caused me to gasp loudly as if I had been struck by hammer at these locations. I then heard a voice roaring above me. It was literally spoken in claps of thunder, yet intelligible,  saying “rise up.”  As I looked up to see the source of the voice, the storm clouds parted and I saw the full magnitude of the serpentine creature. It had the torso of an enormous bird, gigantic feathered wings that could enclose the entire sky in darkness, as they flapped day became night and night became day. The head had humanoid features but was formed by ash and dark stones ephemerally held together by a vortex of wind.  He  had two eye sockets but no discernible eyes only holes that opened into a radiant fiery abyss. When his mouth opened, bolts of lightning shot between the jaws as if they were strands of saliva. A magnificent and terrifying creature…I had no doubt that I was in the presence of the mighty Typhon.

As I began to regain the sensation of my human body and my flesh, Typhon vanished into the sky into thousands of serpent-like strands of electrical energy. I slowly and groggily unwrapped myself and removed my blindfold. I was sweating profusely and my heart was racing, I was exhilarated and reinvigorated. I put on clean white pants and a white tee and stepped outside to make the offering of frankincense. As soon as I opened the door, a gust of wind hit my body and sent an electric tingle up my spine, before me circled a hawk – not an extremely rare site, but a remarkable synchronicity in this context. Over the course of the next hour as I offered up the incense I felt remnants of that hyper-awareness I had experienced during the invocation, and I caught ‘astral’ glimpses of Typhon’s electric coils in the sky and along the horizon. It was during this time outside and under the rays of the sun that I had some more profound and personal experiences that will remain in the pages of my journal.

Without a doubt, this ritual has left me with a residual sensation of empowerment, something I continue to feel today as I write these words. As to obtaining the spiritual authority to call forth the gods and the dead, that is something I will soon test with the Evocationary Bowl Scrying practice of this magical system.

Notes

  1. “… have sent you this magical procedure which, with complete ease, produces a holy power. And after you have tested it, you too will be amazed at the miraculous nature of this magical operation. You will observe through bowl divination on whatever day or night you want, in whatever place you want, beholding the god in the water and hearing a voice from the god which speaks in verses in answers to whatever you want. You will attain both the ruler of the universe and whatever you command, and he will speak on other matters which you ask about.” (PGM IV. 154-168)
  2. See PGM IV 154-285: A complete Magical System .
  3. See PGM IV 154-285: Invocation of TyphonPGM IV 154-285: A complete Magical System  and  PGM IV 154-285: Phylactery of 100 Letters.
  4. See PGM IV 154-285: A complete Magical System .
  5. The invocation is from my own translation of the passage. See PGM IV 154-285: Invocation of Typhon.
  6. For example: Fill me with power, I beg, grant me this grace that whensoever I call upon any of the gods or spirits of the dead that they come to me swiftly and appear before me in fair and human form without deformity and without delay. That they come visibly and affably speak unto me with a clear voice intelligible and without any ambiguity answering my questions and manifesting my desires. Grant me this authority so that all spirits become subject unto me: so that every spirit of the firmament and of the ether; upon the earth and under the earth; on dry land or in the water; of whirling air or of rushing fire; and every spell and scourge of the vast Cosmos may be obedient unto me.

PGM IV. 154-285: Invocation of Typhon

February 25, 2015

The invocation to Typhon (lines 180-209) is the crux of the initiation rite into the magical system of PGM IV. 154-285. As we have discussed previously, this is literally the rite of passage that the candidate must complete prior to engaging in the Evocationary Bowl Scrying practices. It is through this initiation that the practitioner gains the spiritual authority necessary to call forth the gods and the spirits of the dead to visible appearance.[1]

In an attempt to fully comprehend the text and to some extent personalize it,  I decided to return to the original Greek and translate it myself.[2]  This was more of a personal endeavor as the English translation in the Betz edition is very good.[3] However, I did come across some sections and words that I believe could have been translated differently to better capture the intent of the original Greek within the context of the ritual. Moreover, the process of translating the text forced me to examine every single word and has given me a much better understanding of the purpose and structure of the invocation.  Many thanks to my friends in the Facebook PGM Study Group who guided me towards some amazing resources and gave great insights regarding the translation from ancient Greek.[4][5]

The scribe of PGM IV. 154-285, indicates that by means of this rite, the candidate will “attached [them]self to Helios.” This is a rather odd statement given the Typhonian nature of the invocation, but it will make sense later when we delve into the text. The invocation in Greek is as follows (original line breaks indicated by a single pipe ‘|’, unclear letters within square brackets ‘[]’, nominae magicae in bold):

Κραταιὲ Τυφῶν, τῆς ἄνω | σκηπτουχίας σκηπτοῦχε καὶ δυνάστα, θεὲ θεῶν, | ἄναξ αβεραμενθωου (λὀγος), γνοφεντινάκτα, | βρονταγωγέ, λαιλαπετέ, νυκταράπτα, ψυχ[ρ]ο|θερμοφύσησε, πετρεντιυάκτα, τειχοσεισμο|ποιέ, κοχλαζοκύμων, βυθοταραξοκίνησε, | Ἰωερβήτ αυ ταυϊ μηνι · ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ σύν σοι | τὴν ὅλην οἰκυμένην ἀνασκαλεύσας καὶ ἐξευ|ρὼν τὸν μέγαν Ὀσιριν, ὅν σοι δέσμιον προσή|νεγκα. ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ σύν σοι συμμαχήσας τοῖς θεοῖς |(οἱ δέ · πρὸς τοὺς θεούς)· ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ κλείσας οὐρα|νοῦ δισσὰς πτύχας και κοιμίσας δράκοντα τὸν | ἀθεώρητον, στήσας θάλασσαν, ῥεῖθρα, ποταμῶν | νάματα, ἄχρις οὖ κυριεύσης τῆσδε τῆς σκηπτου|χίας. ὁ σὸς στρατιώτης ὑπὸ θεῶν νενίκημαι, | πρηνὴς ῥέριμμαι μηνίδος εἵνεκεν κενῆς. | ἔγειρον, ἱκετῶ, τὸν σόν, ἱκνοῦμαι, φίλον καὶ μ[ή] | με ῥίψῃς χθονοριφῆ, ἄναξ θεῶν αεμιναεβαρωθερρεθωραβεανιμεα. δυνάμωσον, ἱκετῶ, | δόσ τε μοι ταύτην τὴν χάριν, ἵν᾽, ὅταν τινὰ αὐτῶν | τῶν θεῶν φράσω μολεῖν, ἐμαῖς ἀοιδαῖς θᾷττον | ὀφθῇ μοι μολών. ναϊνε βασαναπτατου | εαπτου μηνωφαεσμη παπτου μηνωφ · | αεσιμη · τραυαπτι · πευχρη · τραυαρα · πτου|μηφ · μουραι · ανχουχαφαπτα · μουρσα · | αραμει · Ἰάω · αθθαραυϊ μηνοκερ · βορο | πτουμηθ · ατ ταυϊ μηνι χαρχαρα · πτου|μαυ · λαλαψα · τραυϊ τραυεψε μαμω | φορτουχα · αεηιο ϊου οηωα · εαϊ αεηι | ωι ιαω αηι αι ιαω.


¤ The Invocation ¤


Mighty Typhon, scepter-bearing almighty power and sovereign, god of gods; Lord 

ABERAMENThÔOULERThEXANAXEThRELUOÔThNEMAREBA.

Disturber of the dark, bringer of thunder, sender of storms, lighting flasher of the night! You are the one who exhaled the cold and the heat. Stone-shaker, wall-breaker earth-quaker, boiler of the waters. You are the one who stirs the depths to motion,

IÔERBÊT AU TAUI MÊNI

I am he who searched the entire world to find the great Osiris, whom I brought you bound. I am he who together with you allied with the gods (others say against the gods); I am he who shut heaven’s double door and put to sleep the unseen serpent, who at the edge of you kingdom, stopped the sea, the streams, and the flowing rivers. But, as your soldier, I was defeated by the gods and was cast face down on account of empty wrath. Awaken me, I beseech you, I implore you, friend; do not leave me here cast upon the earth, o lord of gods:

AEMINAEBARÔThERREThÔRABEANIMEA

Fill me with power, I beg you, grant me this grace, that whenever I call upon any one of the gods, they come to me swiftly and appear visibly before me.

NAINE BASANAPTATOU EAPTOU MÊNÔPhAESMÊ PAPTOU MÊNÔPh ·

AESIMÊ · TRAUAPTI · PEUChRÊ · TRAUARA · PTOUMÊPh · MOURAI · ANChOUChAPhAPTA ·

MOURSA · ARAMEI · IAÔ · AThThARAUI MÊNOKER · BORO PTOUMÊTh · AT TAUI MÊNI ChARChARA ·

PTOUMAU · LALAPsA · TRAUI TRAUEPsE MAMÔ PhORTOUChA ·

AEÊIO IOY OÊÔA · EAI AEÊI ÔI IAÔ AÊI AI IAÔ


¤ Analysis of the Invocation¤


The voces magicae conveniently divide the invocation into four  sections. The first calls upon Typhon by name and defines his magical role in this rite and in the entire magical system of PGM IV 154- 285. Typhon is identified as σκηπτουχίας (‘Scepter-bearing’, or ‘Staff-bearing’), a title indicating a supreme degree of spiritual authority, and an epithet shared only with Apollo in the magical papyri (PGM II. 82, PGM II. 98).  To drive the point home,  Typhon is identified as θεὲ θεῶν (‘god of gods’).

This understanding of Typhon is unique to the traditions of the PGM. Here he is a deity endowed with the authority and power generally ascribed to the demiurgic godheads such as the Semitic YHVH, Canaanite Baal, or Gnostic IAO . Yet he remains as a manifestation of the primordial volatile and chaotic forces of the universe, having much more in common with the Ophion and Chronos serpents of the Orphic traditions than the Typhon ‘monster’ of the Olympic mythologies. [6]

Typhon is called forth as ABERAMENThÔOU, an epithet we discussed previously that is  used in the PGM and in later gnostic traditions to denote the lord of the waters and master of cosmic forces.[7] The complete palindromic formula is:

ABERAMENThÔOULERThEXANAXEThRELUOÔThNEMAREBA

αβεραμενθωουλερθεξαναξεθρελυοωθνεμαρεβα

 This is the first of the voces magicae in the passage and marks the transition into the next stage of the invocation. The magical names Aberamenthôou and Lerthexana also appear together in the Demotic Leiden Papyrus (Col. XXIII.) in a spell calling forth the syncretic Typhon-Set. Additionally, a nearly identical version of this formula occurs in PGM I. 262-347, a spell to invoke Apollo.  The name Aberamenthôou  is very important within the context of the rite because it now identifies Typhon specifically with the element of water; both metaphorically – as in the cosmic waters of the sky, and literally – as in the waters of the sea. The epithets that follow clearly continue this association.

Greek Translation Notes
γνοφεντινάκτα ‘Disturber of the Dark’ γνοφος – ‘darkness’, “dark”; τινακτως – ‘shaker’, ‘disturber’.
βρονταγωγέ ‘Bringer of Thunder’ βρονταω – ‘thunder’ γςγε-‘guide’, ‘leader’, ‘bringer’.
λαιλαφετης ‘Sender of Storms’ λαιλαφετης – ‘Storm-Sender’.
νυκταράπτα ‘Lighting flasher of the night νυκτανγηεσ – ‘shining at night'; στραπτω- ‘lightnings’ , ‘lighten’, ‘flash’.
ψυχροθερμοφύσησε ‘One who exhales the cold and the heat’ ψυχρος – ‘cold'; ψυχροτης -‘coldness’, ‘cold'; θερμος – ‘hot'; θερμοτης – ‘heat’ φυσις – ‘origin’, ‘nature’, ‘powers'; φυσαω – ‘to blow'; φυσησις – ‘blowing upon coals’.
πετρεντιυάκτα ‘Stone-shaker’ πετρεν – ‘rocks’, ‘stones'; τινακτως – ‘shaker’, ‘trembler’, ‘agitator’, ‘disturber’.
τειχοσεισμοποιέ ‘Wall/Earth-quaker’ τειχος – ‘wall'; σεισμοποιος – ‘causing earthquakes'; σεισμος – ‘shaking’, ‘earthquake’.
κοχλαζοκύμων ‘Boiler of the waters’ κοχλαζω – ‘of boiling water’.
βυθοταραξοκίνησε ‘one who stirs the depths to motion’ βυθιος – ‘in the deep'; ταραξις – ‘confusion'; ταρακτης -‘disturber'; εκταραξις – ‘agitation'; κινησε – ‘set in motion’, ‘movement’.

While these can be translated in a myriad of ways, they all retain the common meaning of being directly related to violent and choatic aspects of nature in motion. Specifically, the manifestation of storms and earthquakes. These are generally associated with the olympian Poseidon who – interestingly enough – is entirely absent from the PGM. These attributes also bring to mind the Babylonian storm deity Hadad who we discussed in PGM IV. 154-285: A complete Magical System as one of the first deities associated with the magical practices of Evocationary Bowl Scrying.

Following these epithets of Typhon, the next magical name to be spoken is:

IÔ ERBÊT AU TAUI MÊNI

Ἰω ερβήτ αυ ταυϊ μηνι

IÔ ERBÊT and the cognate IÔ ERBÊTh is a divine name used throughout the PGM in magical formulae associated with Typhon, Set and the syncretized Typhon-Set. [8] Ἰω, while a name for the moon, is also used in the context of a sudden call, as if saying ‘look’ or ‘hail’, and as such ERBÊT is the operative word. Ερβήτ does not mean anything in Greek; however, in Hebrew  הר בית, translates to ‘mountain house.’ Given Typhon’s association to mountains in mythology, and our discussion in PGM IV 154-285: Phylactery of 100 Letters, this deserved a mention.[9] I have not found much regarding AU TAUI MÊNI, other than a reference to an obscure Babylonian deity and the phonetic spelling of the Egyptian words Aw (measure of space/time), tAwy (‘two lands’, i.e. Egypt), and mHn.I (‘O serpent spirit!’) .[10]

It may be interesting to look further into the possible Egyptian phonetic sounds of AU TAUI MÊNI as in the context of this invocation, these voces magicae herald the next stage of the rite that is very clearly influenced by Egyptian cosmology. It is in this segment that the candidate aligns himself with Set as the one who “searched the entire world to find the great Osiris, whom I brought you bound.”  Needless to say, this is a reference to the capture and murder of Osiris. What is different here, is that Set is acting on behalf of a greater power, and according to the text this power is the primordial Typhon. While it is well documented that in the Hellenic world Set and Typhon were often synonymous and even syncretized into one as Set-Typhon;   the scribe of PGM IV. 154-285 is very clear in distinguishing the primordial “lord of gods”, Typhon, from the anthropomorphic god who performs the deeds associated with Set. In this context, the candidate by self-identifying with Set is thereby becoming a suitable vessel to receive the power of Typhon.

Next,  the candidate states that together with Typhon they ‘allied with the gods (others say agains the gods).” The parenthetical contradiction highlights the duality of Set’s role; who according to this papyri was acting in accordance with the gods; a role that has been misunderstood by “others.” The idea is that the murder of Osiris was a necessary act in order to bring further life to the Nile and continue to evolve Egypt from a land of gods, to one of men. This is the principle represented by both Typhon and Set as that fundamental chaotic and destructive force that is essential to the continual motion of nature and the cosmos. Again, I am stressing the importance of motion as I did earlier,  because according to this rite the true enemy of man, cosmos and the gods is stasis.

ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ κλείσας οὐρανοῦ δισσὰς πτύχας και κοιμίσας δράκοντα τὸν  ἀθεώρητον, στήσας θάλασσαν, ῥεῖθρα, ποταμῶν νάματα, ἄχρις οὖ κυριεύσης τῆσδε τῆς σκηπτουχίας. [11]

‘”I am he who shut heaven’s double door and put to sleep the unseen serpent, who at the edge of you kingdom, stopped the sea, the streams, and the flowing rivers.”

Δράκοντα τὸν  ἀθεώρητον (‘the unseen serpent’) is an epithet of Apep (Apophis) common in the magical literature; [12] he is the serpent that Set must defeat daily in order to ensure the perpetual motion of the sun and cycles of the universe. Here the candidate is referencing Set’s role in the Egyptian Book of the Dead where he figures as a prominent protector of the solar barque.[13]

According to Spell 111 in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, at midday the course of the sun is threatened by the serpent Apep  who in one gulp swallows the waters of the cosmic stream effectively bringing the solar barque to a halt. Set declaring himself “the Great of Magic, son of Nut” defeats the serpent  that threatens the death and dissolution of the sun. As a result, Apep regurgitates all that he has swallowed and the cosmic waters continue to flow.  This act ensures the that the cosmos will remain in motion for another day and averts the return to the static state of non-existence. [14]

The lines in the invocation to Typhon perfectly echo this narrative, even in the choice of language – Set “put[s] to sleep” the serpent in the PGM and “close[s] thy eye” in the Book of the Dead. The στήσας (‘stopping’, ‘made to stand’) of the bodies of waters in the invocation describe Apep’s swallowing of the cosmic stream, an act that directly opposes Typhon’s power over the cosmic waters and role of maintaining nature in motion. The temporal synchronicity should not be overlooked as this cosmic battle occurs near noon, when the sun is at its zenith, the same time that the scribe of PGM IV 153-285 indicates that this ritual should take place. It is at this hour, as the sun reaches the apex of its journey and Set defeats the serpent threatening the preservation of daily order, that the candidate through self-identity with Set has effectively “attached [them]self to Helios.”

Yet, ‘on account of empty wrath’ (μηνίδος εἵνεκεν κενῆς), Set was vilified and was ‘cast face down’ (πρηνὴς ῥέριμμαι). It is from this desolate and prostrated position that the candidate petitions Typhon, his ‘friend’ and ‘lord of gods’ to elevate him. The word ἔγειρον is translated in the Betz edition as ‘raise up'; however, it is more commonly used in the context of ‘awakening’, ‘arousal’ and even to be ‘raised from the dead.’ In this sense it is the request for a spiritual awakening and rebirth from the darkness implied by one ‘cast face down’ on the ground and literally experienced by the candidate who is wrapped in a burial shroud and blindfolded during this ritual.

This is followed by the voce magicae:

AEMINAEBARÔThERREThÔRABEANIMEA

αεμιναεβαρωθερρεθωραβεανιμεα

Like the Aberamenthôou formula, this too is palindromic.  Variations of this palindrome appear in three other spells of the PGM (together with the Aberamenthôou formula) and in also in invocations associated with Typhon, Set, or Apollo. [15] The meaning of this formula eludes me at this moment, I firmly believe that as with the other formulae in this invocation it has either Semitic or Egyptian origins. One can perhaps make out Hebrew words such as אמן (amen, ‘truth’),  and ברר (‘bright’, ‘purify’, ‘purge’). More compelling, are the potential Egyptian phonetic representations of ia (‘arise’, ‘ascend’), minA (‘hither’, ‘here’), bA (‘possessing soul’), rW (‘lion’), and tr (‘respect’, ‘pray’, ‘worship’). Αεμιναε being a phonetic spelling of ‘arise/ascend here’  (ia minA) in Egyptian seems quite relevant within the present context.[16]

The text that follows should resonate familiar with those of us who have worked with medieval and renaissance grimoires (as indeed so would the entire structure of the invocation). It is here that the practitioner asks to be empowered so that they may have the authority to call forth the gods and spirits and that they respond and come swiftly and visibly. Presumable after performing the invocation three times (according to the scribe), the practitioner will receive a clear sign that they have been imparted the spiritual authority from the ‘lord of the gods.’

The invocation ends with a voce magicae  of forty names. As with the 100-later name,  the Egyptian words approximated by the phonetic sounds of the voce magicae are surprisingly quite relevant within the context of the rite. Particularly pA.dw/pt.dw (‘the mountain’, ‘sky mountain’) and the imperative mi (‘come!’), both of which we previously discussed in the context of Typhon’s 100-letter name. [17] The frequent occurrence of  μην (Egyptian mHn, ‘coiled one’ or ‘serpent spirit’) and μαυ, μου, and μω (Egyptian mw, ‘water’) are also very much inline with the rest of the invocation. The words are grouped into sections as indicated by the half-stop punctuation sign (·) in the original Greek papyrus.   And, as with the previous post, I reiterate that there is no way to properly translate these words and what I present is purely speculative.

Greek Phonetic Egyptian  Notes
ναϊνε nn – ‘hither’ An invocation (‘hither’) to either Osiris (‘beautiful soul of Abydos’), or Typhon (‘Sky-Agressor’) for protection.
βασαναπτατου ba – ‘soul'; san – ‘beautiful'; AbDw – ‘Abydos'; tw – ‘you'; pt – ‘sky’, ‘heaven'; Adw – ‘agressor'; bsA – ‘protect'; n – ‘to’, ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’
εαπτου iaH – ‘moon'; ia – ‘praise'; pA.dw – ‘the mountain'; pt.dw – ‘sky mountain’ Similar to the 100-letter name, praising ‘the mountain’/’sky mountain’. Here the ‘serpent spirit’ (either Typhon or Apep) is mentioned twice. Also, μηνωφαεσμη may have meaning in Greek as a reference to the light of the moon, or a revealing light (as in φαεσιμβροτος, ‘bring light to mortals’).
μηνωφαεσμη mHn – ‘the coiled one’, ‘serpent spirit'; -‘he/his/him';  as-‘summon'; mi-‘come!’
παπτου pA.pt.dw -‘the sky mountain’
μηνωφ mHn – ‘the coiled one’, ‘serpent spirit'; f-‘he/his/him’
αεσιμη aS – ‘summon'; mi – ‘come!’ ‘Come, I summon you!’
τραυαπτι tr – ‘pray’, ‘respect’, ‘worship'; aAw -‘greatly’, ‘great'; pt-‘sky’, ‘heaven'; I-‘O!’, ‘me’ ‘O worship-able, great of heaven’
πευχρη pXr – ‘to surround’, ‘enclose’, ‘revolve’, I-‘O!’,’me’ Perhaps, a petition to be enveloped by deity.
τραυαρα tr – ‘pray’, ‘respect’, ‘worship'; aAw -‘greatly’, ‘great'; ra-‘sun’, Re Praise and reverence to the sun (Re)
πτουμεφ pA.dw – ‘the mountain'; pt.dw-‘sky mountain'; mi-‘come!'; f-‘he/his/him'; Another invocation (‘come!’) to he of ‘the mountain’
μουραι mw – ‘water'; ri – (enclitic particle); also, could be a reference to μοῖραι , the Fates ‘the waters’, possible a reference (or even intentional pun) to the Moirai , the Greek Fates.
ανχουχαφαπτα an -‘beautiful’, ‘magnificent'; kkw – ‘darkness'; wk– ‘night'; kk – ‘dark'; afA – ‘devour'; pt– ‘sky’, ‘heaven'; A– (enclitic particle) Perhaps a reference to Typhon as ‘the magnificent devourer of the darkness of the sky’ (compare to γνοφεντινάκτα, ‘Disturber of the Dark’, or νυκταράπτα, ‘Lightning flasher of the night’ )
μουρσα mw – ‘water'; ri – (enclitic particle) ‘the waters’
αραμει ar – ‘ascend’, ‘mount up’, ‘penetrate'; mi – ‘come!’ ‘come, ascend!’
Ίάω IAO IAO Divine Name
αθθαραυϊ A – ‘tread'; a – ‘region'; at = ‘house’, ‘chamber';  dwAt – ‘netherworld'; dwA – ‘worship’,’praise'; r awy – ‘gate’, ‘limit'; rHwy – ‘the Two Companions/Combatants’ (joint epithet of Horus & Set); Potentially a reference to the joint worship of Horus & Set as ‘the Two Companions/Combatants’, maybe a celebration of their victory over Apep (‘night serpent’?). However, this could also be praise towards the ‘serpent spirit of night’ (Typhon) at the ‘gate of the netherworld.’
μηνοκερ mHn – ‘the coiled one’, ‘serpent spirit'; wk-‘night'; r-‘to’, ‘at’, ‘from’ (preposition)
βορο br -‘eyes'; bw – ‘place'; bAw– ‘power'; souls of dead’, ‘deed of power'; rw – ‘lion'; ra -‘sun’, Re An invocation to the ‘power of the sun’, potentially, also calling forth ‘the mountain.’
πτουμηθ pA.dw – ‘the mountain'; pt.dw -‘sky mountain'; mi – ‘come!'; t – ‘you’,’your’
ατ At – ‘moment’, ‘striking-power’, ‘time'; at – ‘house’, ‘chamber’ Various possible meanings. The reference to the Festival of Khoiakh is interesting given the narrative of the invocation. Additionally, may be a reference to the violence (‘striking power’, ‘rage’) of the ‘serpent spirit’.
ταυϊ tawy – ‘two lands’ (Egypt)
μηνι mHn – ‘serpent spirit’, I – ‘O!’
χαρχαρα Xar – ‘rage'; kA Hr kA – ‘Festival of Khoiakh’ (celebration of the finding of Osiris’ body); ra – ‘sun’, ‘Re';
πτουμαυ pA.dw – ‘the mountain'; pt.dw -‘sky mountain'; mw – ‘water’ More references to ‘the mountain’ and ‘water’. Possibly indicative of three regions ‘sky’, ‘mountain’, ‘water’.
λαλαψα “L” sound not found in ancient Egyptian, alternate pronunciation of “R”according to some scholars. λαλα means to babble or croak in ancient Greek,  such as λάλαξ (‘babbler’, ‘croaker’).
τραυϊ tr – ‘pray’, ‘worship god’, ‘respect'; wi – ‘I’, ‘me’ Possibly a petition to deity to be ‘initiated’ into the ‘splendor’ of the ‘nightly waters’. A reference perhaps to the cosmic mysteries. In context, such a petition is a suitable way to end the invocation prior to the vowel formulae that follow.
τραυεψε tr – ‘pray’, ‘worship god’, ‘respect'; wi – ‘I’, ‘me'; bs -‘initiate into’, ‘reveal a secret’, ‘instal’, ‘enter'; bsi – ‘flow forth of water’
μαμω mAA – ‘see’, ‘look upon'; mAa – ‘nightly’, ‘really'; mw -‘water’
φορτουχα fAw-‘magnificence’, ‘splendor'; rT-‘now, but'; wk-‘night'; A-(enclitic particle)
αεηιο AEÊIO Vowel formulae
ϊου ΙΟΥ
οηωα OÊÔA
εαϊ ΕΑΙ Vowel formulae
αεηι AEÊI
ωι ÔI
ιαω IAÔ
αηι AÊI
αι ΑΙ
ιαω IAÔ

Notes

  1. For an overview and introduction the magical system see PGM IV. 154-285: A complete Magical System.
  2. Original greek from Karl Preisendanz (trans. & ed.). Papyri Graecae Magicae Die Greiechischen Zauberpapyri. (Berlin: Verlag und Druck Von B.G. Teubner, 1928).
  3. Hans Dieter Betz (ed). The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation: Including the Demotic Spells (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992).
  4. LSJ, Middle Liddle, Slater, and Autenrieth lexicons referenced from the Perseus Digital Library: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/
  5. Luis Muñoz Delgado’s LMPG referenced from: http://dge.cchs.csic.es/lmpg/
  6. See Daniel Ogden. Drakon: Dragon Myth and Serpent Cult in the Greek and Roman Worlds. (Oxford University Press, 2013). Also, see The Eternal Chronos and Teli – Apep: Celestial Serpents and references.
  7. See Aberamenthô in the PGM and references.
  8. See PGM II. 64-183, PGM III. 1-164, PGM IV. 286-295, PGM IV. 2145-2240, PGM V. 1-53, PGM XII. 365-75, PDM xiv. 675-604[PGM XIVc. 15-27], PGM XXXVI. 1-34, PGM XXXVI. 69-101, PGM XLVI. 4-8, PGM LVIII. 15-39, PGM CXVI. 1-17.
  9. See PGM IV 154-285: Phylactery of 100 Letters and references.
  10. Meni is a Babylonian deity of fate worshipped along with Gad by the early Hebrews in Babylon.
  11. Both Betz’ and my translation of  ἄχρις οὖ κυριεύσης τῆσδε τῆς σκηπτουχίας greatly oversimplify the text (‘edge of your kingdom’, or ‘Were’er you rule this realm’ in Betz); a proper translation would be along the lines of “edges of your scepter-bearing rulership.” Regardless, the idea is that the Apep serpent resides at the edges or fringes of Typhon’s (as “god of gods”, “lord of gods”, and Aberamethou) domain of rulership/influence.
  12. See glossary in Betz. pp 332.
  13. Set (Suty) figures as a prominent protector of the solar barque and the soul of Osiris and the deceased. See spells 32, 39, 108 and 111 in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
  14. “Then after midday he [Apophis serpent] will turn his eyes agains Re. Then a stoppage will take place in the bark……Then Suty (Seth) will hurl a spear of metal against him and cause him to disgorge all that he swallowed. Then Seth will pit himself agains him and say a spell:’Fall back before the sharp metal that is in my hand. I stand against thee, that the core be true. O Farseer, pray close thy eye and veil thy head, that I may cross. Fall back before me, for I am male. Veil thy head and cool thy upper lip, for if I stay sound thou stayest sound. I am the Great of Magic, son of Nut; my magic power has been given me against thee..'” (Spell 111, Egyptian Book of the Dead)
  15. See PGM I. 262-347, PDM xiv. 675-694[PGM XIVc. 15-27] , and PGM LIX. 1-15.
  16. Raymond O. Faulkner. A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. (Griffight Institute, 1962). Online Resources: http://hieroglyphs.net/0301/cgi/pager.pl?p=16 and Ancient Egyptian Dictionary[pdf]
  17. See PGM IV 154-285: Phylactery of 100 Letters.

PGM IV 154-285: Phylactery of 100 Letters

January 27, 2015

In the Greek Magical Papyri (PGM) the term ‘phylactery’ describes an object that is worn by the practitioner as protection from the gods, daemons and other spirits. Unlike amulets and talismans, a phylactery is only worn during magical rituals and was not intended for daily use.[1] This form of ritual protection is very common in the PGM and it continued to be used into the later medieval and renaissance grimoires where they were called lamens; the most iconic of these is perhaps the Pentacle of Solomon from the Lesser Key of Solomon.[2]

As we discussed in the introduction to PGM IV 154-285: A Complete Magical System, the scribe of the letter describes a phylactery used to protect the practitioner while in the presence of the gods and spiritual energies of the rituals.

There is also the protective charm itself which you wear while performing, even while standing: onto a silver leaf inscribe this name of 100 letters with a bronze stylus, and wear it strung on a thong from the hide of an ass.

– PGM IV. 257-260

The “name of 100 letters”  is given by the scribe earlier:

…AChChÔR AChChÔR AChAChACh PTOUMI ChAChChÔ ChARAChÔCh ChAPTOUMÊ ChÔRAChARAChÔCh APTOUMI MÊChÔChAPTOU ChARAChPTOU ChAChChÔ ChARAChÔ PTENAChÔChEU” (a hundred letters).

But you are not unaware, mighty king and leader of magicians, that this is the chief name of Typhon, at whom the ground, the depths of the sea, Hades, heaven, the sun, the moon, the visible chorus of stars, the whole universe all tremble, the name which, when it is uttered, forcibly brings gods and daimons to it…

-PGM IV. 239-247

Typhon_PhylacteryI took some creative liberty in making my phylactery. For one, I chose to use a large silver medallion instead of a the fragile silver leaf to give it  more weight and substance.  I also engraved the 100-letter name within an Ouroboros. The use of an Ouroboros in protective amulets and charms is quite common in the PGM,[3] thus I felt this was an appropriate addition.

Regarding the name itself, the scribe made it a point to verify that his transcription contains “(a hundred letters).” Typhon, Hermes, and a syncretized Helios-IAO demiurge are the only deities in the papyri of the PGM explicitly associated with names of one hundred letters.[4] In the numerical-mysticism of the Pythagorean school, one hundred is a manifestation of Unity (1, 10, 100,etc.). Perhaps there is further symbolism to consider in that it is Unity expressed in three digits, given the importance placed on the number three in both Egyptian and Pythagorean thought and indeed in most magical traditions.[5] Of note is that from very early on Typhon was described as having 100 serpent (or drakon) heads, and among his epithets is hekatonkaranos (‘hundred-headed’).[6]

The scribe records the 100-letter name divided into fourteen distinct words. I suggest that there may be numerical significance to this as  well. Fourteen is the number of nights between new and full moon. In other words,  the amount of time it takes for light to fully encompass and to fully vanish from the surface of the moon. The importance of the moon in magical work is universal; in this specific papyrus it is apparent in the metal specified for the phylactery (silver) and the observation of the appropriate lunar phase for the initiation rite. [7]

The power that manifests as the waxing and waning moon represents the same force that carries the sun across the sky from sunrise to sunset; it is the power that guides life from birth to death and  ensures the cyclic nature of the cosmos. By nature this is a chaotic force that brings darkness and destruction, it is a potent magical energy that the Graeco-Egyptian magicians identified with Typhon.[8]

Looking at the 100-letter name, only a few words can be made out that make any sense in Greek. These are χαρα (chara) and χωρα (chora), which mean ‘delight’ and ‘country’ respectively. These don’t seem relevant within the context of the rite. Hebrew produces a few more meaningful matches with words such as Ach (‘brother’, ‘brazer’, or ‘fire pot’) and Chor (‘hollow’, ‘hole’, and root of ‘noble’). Yet the matches are still unconvincing. The prevailing sounds of Ch, ChÔ, and ÔCh, likely indicate words of Egyptian origin.[9] As suggested by Betz and others, ChÔCh appear to be the Greek phonetic rendering of Egyptian kk and kkw, words that mean ‘dark’ and ‘darkness'; particularly,  a darkness at liminal times such as prior to birth or twilight.[10]

After the various Ch sounds, the next most common sound is PTOU that occurs five times in the 100-letter name and five more times in the other incantations of PGM IV 154-285. Outside of invocations involving Typhon, the only other  instance of this sound is in the divine name NIPTOUMI employed in spells associate with Helios.[11] Ptou does  not mean anything in Greek, aside from being the phonetic spelling of a spitting sound. This in itself may have some meaning in the context of the PGM as hissing, popping and spitting sounds are common techniques used as apotropaic devices to resonate with specific spiritual energies.

Of greater importance to our discussion is that ptou is the phonetic spelling of of the Egyptian word pA.dw , ‘the mountain,’ and also be pt.dw, ‘sky mountain.’[12] Typhon, as with many deities associated with storms, was from the earliest times connected to mountains; he was compared to them in size, inhabited them, and even used them as weapons agains Zeus. By the 5th C BCE., Aeschylus in Prometheus Bound writes that Zeus entombed Typhon beneath Mt. Etna. Later retellings of the battle between the giants and the olympians, such as from the 2nd C. Bibliotheca, describe Typhon moving between  the prominent mountains of the Mediterranean, Asia Minor and North Africa prior to meeting his final fate at Etna.[13] Given the antiquity and persistence of these mythological accounts, the Graeco-Egyptian magicians would have undoubtably been aware of the connections between Typhon and the prominent mountains of the region.

Typhon’s 100-letter name does produce a certain coherency when examined in the context of what we know of the ancient Egyptian language. Aside from the words kk, kkw (‘dark’, ‘darkness’) and pA.dw (‘the mountain’), the other words we can extract with some frequency are Ax (‘spirit’), ka (life-force, will, ‘soul’), ra (‘sun’, or Sun God), and mi (‘come!’, an imperative statement). Together they permit one to speculate that the name may have in fact been an invocation to raise the spirit of Typhon from the depths of the mountains.

As a full disclaimer, I want to be clear that I am not stating that these are the direct translations of the nominae magicae. These are merely suggestions based on sounds that correlate with certain Egyptian words, and there can be many ways to look at the same word. For example the start of the 100-letter name, αχχωρ could be Ax-wr (aspirated ‘ah’) or axx-wr (spoken ‘ah’). Each of these has a different meaning, Ax-wr could mean ‘Great spirit’, while axx-wr literally translates to consume-great, or perhaps ‘great consumer’  (incidentally, an appropriate epithet for Typhon). There are vast possibilities, and lets be honest, this is all speculative; nonetheless,  the synchronicity between the potential Egyptian words and the symbolism of Typhon is highly suggestive and does merit further study.

Nomina Magicae Egyptian [14] [15] [16] [17]
αχχωρ

Ax-wr or axx-wr

Ax – ‘spirit’, as a verb ‘become a spirit’, ‘shinning one’

axx – ‘evaporate,’ ‘consume’

wr – ‘great’, ‘great one’

αχχωρ

same as above

αχαχαχ

Ax-Ax-Ax

Ax – See above

Ax-Ax – ‘stars’, ‘starry night’

πτουμι

pA.dw-mi

pA.dw – ‘the mountain’

mi – ‘come!’ (imperative)

χαχχω

ka-kkw

ka – ‘soul’, lifeforce

kkw – ‘dark’, ‘darkness’

χαραχωχ

ka-ra-kk

ka – ‘soul’, lifeforce

ra – ‘sun’, Sun God

kk – ‘dark’

χαπτουμη

ka-pA.dw-mi

ka – ‘soul’, lifeforce

pA.dw – ‘the mountain”

mi – ‘come!’ (imperative)

χωραχαραχωχ

kkw-ra-ka-ra-kk

kkw/kk – ‘dark’, ‘darkness’

ra – ‘sun’, Sun God

ka – ‘soul’, lifeforce

απτουμι

a-p∋.dw-mi

pA.dw – ‘the mountain”

mi – ‘come!’ (imperative)

 μηχωχαπτου

mi-kk-p∋.dw

 mi – ‘come!’ (imperative)

kk – ‘dark’, ‘darkness’

pA.dw – ‘the mountain”

χαραχπτου

ka-ra-kk-p∋.dw

 ka – ‘soul’, lifeforce

ra – ‘sun’, Sun God

kk – ‘dark’, ‘darkness’

pA.dw – ‘the mountain”

 χαχχω

ka-kkw

ka – ‘soul’, lifeforce

kkw – ‘dark’, ‘darkness’

χαραχω

ka-ra-kkw

 ka – ‘soul’, lifeforce

ra – ‘sun’, Sun God

kkw – ‘dark’, ‘darkness’

πτεναχωχευ  ??

 

Notes

  1. Stephen Skinner. Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic. (Singapore: Golden Hoard Press, 2014). pp. 163-167.
  2. http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/goetia.htm
  3. Skinner. pp 79 – 87. Also, see PGM I. 42-195, PGM XII. 201 – 269, PGM XII. 270-350 and  PGM XXXVI. 178-187.
  4. For Typhon see PGM IV. 154-285 and PGM IV. 1331-1389. For Helios-IAO see PGM IV. 1167-1226, and for Hermes see PGM V. 459-489.
  5.  Richard H. Wilkinson. Meaning in Many: The Symbolism of Numbers (Thames and Hudson, 1994).
  6. See http://www.theoi.com/Gigante/Typhoeus.html and references therein.
  7. See PGM IV 154-285: A Complete Magical System.
  8. Stephen Edred Flowers (ed). Hermetic Magic: The Postmodern Magical Papyrus of Abaris. (York Beach, ME: Weiser Books, 1995). pp. 94.
  9. Skinner. pp. 46.
  10. Hans Dieter Betz (ed). The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation: Including the Demotic Spells (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992). pp. 333. (BAINChÔÔÔCh reference in appendix) See also notes 14, 15, 16.
  11. PGM IV. 2145 – 2240, PGM VII. 1017-26, PGM XXXVI. 211-30,  and PGM I. 232-47.
  12. Martin Bernal (ed). Black Athena: Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization; Volume III: The Linguistic Evidence. (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2006). pp. 497.
  13. See http://www.theoi.com/Gigante/Typhoeus.html and references therein.
  14. Raymond O. Faulkner. A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. (Griffight Institute, 1962).
  15. Online Resources: http://hieroglyphs.net/0301/cgi/pager.pl?p=16 and Ancient Egyptian Dictionary[pdf]
  16. Antonio Loprieno. Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction. (UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
  17. Additional pronunciation notes: http://www.friesian.com/egypt.htm

PGM IV 154-285: A complete Magical System

January 10, 2015

This is the first post, on a series of posts I intend to make on PGM IV 154-285, “Nephotes to Psammetichos letter concerning bowl divination.”[1] The intent here is to introduce the passage and discus it as a complete and workable system of magical practices. Future posts will delve deeper into the individual rituals of the passage and document my personal progress.

As the title suggests, the passage is in the form of a letter from a magician to a pharaoh of Egypt. Psammetichos (Psamtik in Egyptian) was the name of three pharaohs from the 26th dynasty (664-525 BC).[2] However, there is little doubt that this surviving papyrus is much later as most papyrologist agree that the manuscript likely dates to the early fourth century CE.[3] The attributed provenance to the pharaoh was more than likely an attempt by the Graeco-Egyptian scribe to stress the antiquity of this practice.  Indeed, as we will see,  there are practices and techniques in this rite that would have been undisputedly ancient by the time that PGM IV was written.

Regardless of the true origin of the letter, the scribe makes great promises as to what the magical practice recorded can achieve:

Nephotes to Psammetichos, immortal king of Egypt. Greetings. Since the great god has appointed you immortal king and nature has made you the best wise man, I too , with a desire to show you the industry in me, have sent you this magical procedure which, with complete ease, produces a holy power. And after you have tested it, you too will be amazed at the miraculous nature of this magical operation. You will observe through bowl divination on whatever day or night you want, in whatever place you want, beholding the god in the water and hearing a voice from the god which speaks in verses in answers to whatever you want. You will attain both the ruler of the universe and whatever you command, and he will speak on other matters which you ask about.

– PGM IV. 154-168

Despite these grandiose claims, this passage was identified by Betz as simply one of the many “bowl divinations” of the PGM, a categorization that has been accepted by most modern scholars and practitioners. However, two points need to be addressed regarding this view.

The first is that labeling these rites as divinatory is overly simplistic and incorrect.[4] This misnomer resulted from a literal and modern understanding of Lecanomancy from the  Greek λεκάνη ( ‘dish’, ‘pan’, or ‘bowl’) and μαντεία (‘divination’). Today divination is generally understood to be a passive and receptive process, such as the methods used by Nostradamus of gazing into a bowl and allowing images of the future to appear in the darkness. The “bowl divinations” in the PGM are in fact very different  in that they are  proper evocations of deities, spirits, and the dead. The bowl contains the medium (usually water and/or oil) in which the summoned entity manifests. Such a scrying technique is analogous to  the use of dark mirrors and crystal balls in the evocation practices of the later medieval and renaissance grimoires. To call this a divination would be like calling Trithemius’ The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals , or John Dee’s Enochian explorations,  a practice of crystal ball divination. While yes, foretelling of future events could result from such communication with deity and spirit it is only one aspect of what can be achieved. Consequently, Skinner in Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic identifies these practices as “Evocationary Bowl Scrying”, a terminology that I am adopting since it better reflects the nature of these rites. [5]

Secondly, PGM IV 154-285  is a  rather complex – and amazingly complete – set of rituals,  only one of the rituals deals with with Evocationary Bowl Scrying. In fact, we can quantify this numerically since a mere 33 of the 131 lines are dedicated to the practice, accounting for only 25% of the text! When this is seen in context with the rest of the passage, it becomes apparent that recording an Evocationary Bowl Scrying practice was not the sole intent of the scribe.

As with all the rites of the PGM, examination of the headwords can lead to a better understanding of the intended magical practice.[6] In our letter to Psammetichos, the expected headword λεκανομαντια (lekanomenateia) is preceded by the unique phrase ισοθεον φυσεως κυριενσας , roughly translated as “make equal to the original gods in power.” [7] This is quite a claim and is unlike any of the other Evocationary Bowl Scrying rites of the PGM. Clearly, the intent of this rite is not only to evoke entities into the bowl, but more importantly to bestow upon the magician the spiritual authority necessary by which to summon the gods themselves. And to be blunt, without this authority – equated with the power of the primordial gods – the magician would be left staring hopelessly into nothing more than a bowl of liquid.

So how does one obtain this authority? The scribe informs us that this is done as follows:

You will succeed by inquiring in this way: First, attach yourself to Helios in this manner: At whatever sunrise you want (provided it is the third day of the month), go up to the highest part of the house and spread a pure linen garment on the floor. Do this with a mystagogue. But as for you, crown yourself with dark ivy while the sun is in mid-heaven, at the fifth hour, and while looking upward lie down naked on the linen and order your eyes to be completely covered with a black band. And wrap yourself like a corpse, close your eyes and, keeping your direction toward the sun begin these words.

– PGM IV. 169-179

Dionysus wearing the ivy crown

Dionysus wearing the ivy crown

The practitioner is instructed to use a linen garment as a burial shroud (“wrap yourself like a corpse”), is deprived of the sense of sight via a blindfold and is crowned with an ivy crow. While laurel and olive leaf crowns are quite common and used in the images and cults of various Hellenic deities, only Dionysus – whom the Greeks associated with Osiris [8]–  is consistently depicted wearing an ivy crown; the evergreen vine being a symbol of this twice-born god and of the mysteries of life after death.[9] These three elements constitute the symbolic structure of the ritual : 1) the metaphorical death represented by the burial shroud, 2) the spiritual journey into the darkness of the blindfold,[10] and  3) the the ivy crown of the reborn living god. Together they echo the mythic narratives of the solar hero and the canonical literature of the living, dying, and resurrected god.[11]

In practice, this is the test that the practitioner must complete in order to be initiated into the world of spirit and gain the necessary spiritual authority to call upon the gods and the dead as this papyri promises.  It is analogous to a shamanic soul journey into the spiritual and ancestral realm to make initial contact with a spirit guide.[12]  Only with and through this initial knowledge and connection to spirit  can one begin to wield the power necessary to perform true acts of magic, be it healing, divination, or evocation.

Indeed, after the practitioner assumes the role of the recently deceased they in effect, become a candidate for spiritual illumination and initiation. Playing on the double meaning of the Greek verb τελευτᾷν (‘to die’ and ‘to be initiated’), Plutarch writes ” to die is to be initiated.”[13] At this point the candidate recites a long incantation calling upon the power of Typhon and waits for a sign of the “divine encounter.”

Prayer:”O mighty Typhon, ruler of the realm Above and master, god of gods, O lord ABERAMENThÔOU (formula), O dark’s disturber, thunder’s bringer, whirlwind,  Night-flasher, breather-forth of hot and cold, Shaker of rocks, wall trembler, boiler of The waves, disturber of the sea’s great depth, IÔ ERBÊT AU TAUI MÊNI, I’m He who searched with you the whole world and Found great Osiris, whom I brought you chained. I’m he who joined you in war with the gods I’m he who closed heaven’s double gates and put to sleep the serpent which must not be seen, Who stopped the seas, the streams, the river currents Were’er you rule this realm. And as your soldier I have been conquered by the gods, I have  Been thrown face down because of empty wrath. Raise up your friend, I beg you, I implore: Thrown me not on the ground, O lord of gods, AEMINAEBARÔThERREThÔRABEANIMEA, O grant me power, I beg, and give to me This favor, so that, whensoe’r I tell One of the gods to come, he is seen coming Swiftly to me in answer to my chants, NAINE BASANAPTATOU EAPTOU MÊNÔPhAESMÊ PAPTOU MÊNÔPh AESIMÊ TRAUAPTI PEUChRÊ TRAUARA PTOUMÊPh MOURAI ANChOUChAPhAPTA MOURSA ARAMEI IAÔ AThThARAUI MÊNOKER BORO PTOUMÊTh AT TAUI MÊNI ChARChARA PTOUMAU LALAPSA TRAUI TRAUEPSE MAMÔ PhORTOUChA AEÊIO IOY OÊÔA EAI AEÊI ÔI IAÔ AÊI AI IAÔ.”

After you have said this three times, there will be this sign of divine encounter, but you, armed by having this magical soul, be not alarmed. For a sea falcon flies down and strikes you on the body with its wings, signifying this: that you should arise. But as for you, rise up and clothe yourself with white garments and burn on an earthen censer uncut incense in grains while saying this:

“I have been attached to your holy form. I have been given power by your holy name. I have aquired your emanation of the goods, Lord, god of gods, master, daimon. ANThThOUIN ThOUThOUI TAUANTI LAÔ APTATÔ.”

Having done this, return as lord of a godlike nature which is accomplished through this divine encounter.

– PGM IV 179-221

A full examination of this incantation is beyond the scope of today’s post, but we can clearly see that it is intended to align the practitioner to Set as both murder of Osiris and protector of the Sun barque.[14] As opposed to the exoteric mythologies of the religious cults and institutions of the Hellenic world, the Graeco-Egyptian magicians did not shun the deities of chaos and darkness; instead, they drew upon them to empower their magic. This is clearly seen in the number of spells of the PGM that call upon Typhon, Set, and the syncretic Typhon-Set not as the demonized antipode of good and order, but as  source of raw unbridled power to be channeled by the magician.[15] There is a  distinct science of spirit amongst the ancient magical traditions, a desire to identify, classify and name all the forces of nature outside any moral implications such deity may have had in the exoteric myths of the state religions. Consequently, all the forces of nature whether understood by the uninitiated masses as ‘good’ or ‘evil’, became part of the magician’s arsenal of power.

Thus, employing the power of Typhon to “attach yourself to Helios” was not a contradiction, but rather a powerful focal point of orientation to the mythic narrative of the solar deity who is slain and reborn as living god. The initiate not only aligns to the solar deity, but to the primordial energies of the entire cosmic narrative. As the headwords of PGM IV 154-285 suggest, this rite is designed to initiate the practitioner and to “make equal to the original gods in power.” Indeed, upon completion of the ritual, the practitioner arises as a “lord of a godlike nature.” This initiation rite is without a doubt the primary ritual of PGM IV154-285 both in importance and in size, spanning 53 lines and thus about 40% of the text.

Following this ritual and the subsequent offering of uncut incense to Helios, the practitioner – now an initiate into this magical system – has the ability to call upon all spirits and gods using the Evocationary Bowl Scrying method described below.  This is a stand alone rite, and as the scribe mentions can be employed by the initiate who now wields the required spiritual authority at any time and for any reason.

Inquiry of bowl divination and necromancy. Whenever you want to inquire about matters, take a bronze vessel, either a bowl or a saucer, whatever kind you wish. Pour water: rainwater if you are calling upon heavenly gods, seawater if gods of the earth, river water if Osiris or Sarapis, spring water if the dead. Holding the vessel on your knees, pour out green olive oil, bend over the vessel and speak the prescribed spell. And address whatever god you want ask about whatever you wish, and he will reply to you and tell you about anything. And if he has spoken dismiss him with the spell of dismissal, and you have used this spell will be amazed.

The spell spoken over the vessel is: “AMOUN AUANTAU LAIMOUTAU RIPTOU MANTAUI IMANTOU LANTOU LAPTOUMI ANChÔMACh ARAPTOUMI, hither to me, O NN god; appear to me this very hour and do not frighten my eyes. Hither to me, O NN god, be attentive to me because he wishes and commands this AChChÔR AChChÔR AChAChACh PTOUMI ChAChChÔ ChARAChÔCh ChAPTOUMÊ ChÔRAChARAChÔCh APTOUMI MÊChÔChAPTOU ChARAChPTOU ChAChChÔ ChARAChÔ PTENAChÔChEU” (a hundred letters).”

But you are not unaware, mighty king and leader of magicians, that this is the chief name of Typhon, at whom the ground, the depths of the sea, Hades, heaven, the sun, the moon, the visible chorus of stars, the whole universe all tremble, the name which, when it is uttered, forcibly brings gods and daimons to it. This is the name that consists of 100 letters. Finally, when you have called, whomever you called will appear, god or dead man, and he will give an answer about anything you ask. And when you have learned to your satisfaction, dismiss the god merely with the powerful name of the hundred letters as you say, “Depart, master, for the great god, NN, wishes and commands this of you.”  Speak the name, and he will depart. Let this spell, mighty king, be transmitted to you alone, guarded by you unshared.

-PGM IV. 222-256

The primary element that we want to point out in the context of this post is the use of Typhon’s great name of a hundred letters. Again,  like in the initiation rite, the power of Typhon represents that primordial force capable of altering universal order  and destroying the boundaries between the realms of the living and of the dead. This is precisely the power needed to call forth a deity or the spirit of the deceased.

However, such power should not be wielded without the proper precautions. The scribe informs us that a phylactery in the form of a lamen is to be worn around the practitioner’s neck to presumably protect from the presence of the gods and the potentially destructive power of the Typhonic energy.

There is also the protective charm itself which you wear while performing, even while standing: onto a silver leaf inscribe this name of 100 letters with a bronze stylus, and wear it strung on a thong from the hide of an ass.

– PGM IV. 257-260

This is a common technique in the PGM, both to use a phylactery to protect the magician from the evoked gods, and to include the description of the phylactery after the evocation ritual. [16] Such a phylactery when hung over the neck lays over the heart of the practitioner. We may find parallels in the protective qualities of the lamens found in later grimoires, Dee’s Enochian system, and the use of priestly breastplate of the Hebrews.[17]

Lastly, the scribe includes a final ritual. This one is designed to call upon Typhon and petition the deity to aid the practitioner.

Divine encounter of the divine procedure: Toward the rising sun say: “I call you who did first control gods’ wrath, You who hold royal scepter o’er the heavens, You who are midpoint of the stars above, You, master Typhon, you I call who are the dreaded sovereign over the firmament. You who are fearful, awesome, threatening, You who’re obscure and irresistible and hater of the wicked, you I call, Typhon, in hours unlawful and unmeasured, You who’ve walked on unquenched, clear-crackling fire, You who are over snows, below dark ice, You who hold sovereignty over the Moirai, I invoked you in prayer, I call, almighty one, that you perform for me whatever I ask of you, and that you nod assent at once to me and grant that what I ask be mine (add the usual) because I adjure you GAR ThAIA BAUZAU ThÓRThÓR KAThAUKATh IAThIN NA BORKAKAR BORBA KARBORBOCh MO ZAU OUZÓNZ ÓN YABITH, mighty Typhon, hear me, NN, and perform for me the NN task. For I speak your true names, IÓ ERBÉTh IÓ PAKERBÉTh IÓ BOLChOSÉTh OEN TYPhON ASBARABÓ BIEAISÉ ME NERÓ MARAMÓ TAUÉR ChThENThÓNIE ALAM BÉTÓR MENKEChRA SAUEIÓR RÉSEIODÓTA ABRÉSIOA PhÓThÉR ThERThÓNAX NERDÓMEU AMÓRÉS MEEME ÓIÉS SYSChIE ANThÓNIE PhRA; listen to me and perform the NN deed.”

– PGM IV. 261-285

Here the scribe presents us with an all encompassing prayer leaving the petition up to the practitioner to fill in according to the desired intent(“NN task”, “NN deed”). I believe that such a prayer can be used as part of a daily practice to attune the practitioner to the magical system described in the letter. Such a prayer would function in the same vein as the daily prayer from the Arbatel (Aphorism 14) where prior to the invocation of the Olympic spirits the magician petitions the Abrahamic god to teach and initiate him into the mysteries. [18]

As with the other rites preserved in PGM IV 154-285, this prayer is designed to align the practitioner to both the sun and to the raw unbridled energy of Typhon. As explained earlier, the Graeco-Egyptian magician would not have seen a contradiction here, but rather a source of power that results in the cosmic balance of the rising and setting sun. This echoes the importance placed on the principle of countermovement in other practices of the PGM. [19]

Moreover, this technique is not a new or unique concept. The use of a deity representing primordial chaos and one representing the sun and order would have been an ancient formula by the time this rite was written. Indeed, the very first record we have of a practice of Lecanomancy is in the Babylonian Ritual Tables dating to the 7th Century BCE.[20] Here, nearly a millennia before the writing of PGM IV 154-285 , the magician is instructed to invoke Šamaš, the Babylonian solar deity of order and light,  and Hadad, the storm deity of the primordial waters.  The Babylonians themselves were convinced of the antiquity of such practices, attributing them to the antediluvian king Emmeduranki who was said to have learned the art directly from the gods.[21] Thus, as perhaps was the original intent of the scribe of PGM IV, we can clearly see that despite the papyrus most likely not being a transcription of a letter to an ancient pharaoh, the practices laid out within had undoubtedly very ancient roots.

We have reached end of this introduction to PGM IV 154-285. In summary what we have is a complete magical system analogous in structure to some of the later medieval and renaissance grimoires. The following table displays the multiple sections of the passage that we have briefly touched upon, each of these can stand alone as an individual rite or practice. Together; however, they compose a workable system complete with a daily prayer, a protective phylactery to wear, a ritual of initiation, and method for evoking and communicating with spirit and deity.

Section Lines % of Passage
Introduction 154-168 11%
Initiation Rite 168- 221 41%
Evocationary Bowl Scrying Rite 222-256 26%
Creation of Phylactery 257-260 3%
Sunrise Rite: Prayer & Petition 261-285 19%

 

Notes

  1. Hans Dieter Betz (ed). The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation: Including the Demotic Spells (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992). pp. 40-43.
  2. David P. Silverman. Ancient Egypt. (Oxford University Press, 2003).
  3. Pieter W. van der Horst. The Great Magical Papyrus of Paris (PGM IV) and the Bible. In A Kind of Magic: Understanding Magic in the New Testament and Its Religious Environment. (A&C Black, 2007).
  4. Stephen Skinner. Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic. (Singapore: Golden Hoard Press, 2014). pp. 246.
  5. Skinner. pp. 246 -247.
  6. Skinner. pp. 51-52.
  7. Skinner pp. 250.
  8. According to both Plutarch and Herodotus, Dionysus was the Greek name for Osiris and several PGM spells reveal and implicit association between Dionysus and Osiris in both symbolism and eucharistic practices.
  9. Eleni Pachoumi. The Greek Magical Papyri: Diversity and Unity. (Doctoral Thesis, Newcastle University, 2007) pp. 42-44.
  10. See Black of Isis for a discussion on the use of blindfold in rituals of initiation.
  11. René Guénon. Symbols of Sacred Science. (Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2004). Also, Joseph Campbell. The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work, 3rd edition, Phil Cousineau, editor.(Novato, CA: New World Library, 2003). and Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008).
  12. Mircea Eliade. Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004). Also, Michael Harner. The Way of the Shaman: A Guide to Power and Healing (New York, NY: Harper & Row Publishers, 1980). and references within.
  13. Plutarch. Fragments also see Albert G. Mackey.The Symbolism of Freemasonry (1882).
  14. The phrase “closed heaven’s double gates and put to sleep the serpent which must not be seen,” is a reference to Set defeating Apep in the twelfth hour of the journey of the solar barque. Apep is referred to as the “serpent which must not be seen” several times throughout the PGM. See appendix in Betz. 
  15. Stephen Edred Flowers (ed). Hermetic Magic: The Postmodern Magical Papyrus of Abaris. (York Beach, ME: Weiser Books, 1995). pp. 94.
  16. Skinner. pp. 163-166.
  17. Skinner. pp. 165 & 203. Also, http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3668-breastplate-of-the-high-priest
  18. http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/arbatel.htm
  19. See Countermovement in Hermetic Magic.
  20. Ritual Tablets 15-25 quoted in Skinner. pp. 247.
  21. Wilfred G. Lambert. The Qualifications of Babylonian Diviners. In Festschrift für Rykle Borger zu seinem 65. (Groningen, NE: Styx, 1998).

Vowel Sounds in the PGM

December 26, 2014

alphabetic_cosmicThe pronunciation of the divine names, nomina barbara, or voce magicae of western ritual magic can be a hotly debated subject. Many will argue that proper pronunciation of these magical formulae is not critical and that it is the intent behind the word that empowers the rite. Indeed, the power of intent is indisputable; however,  there is also the essential vibrational quality of sound that I believe is as important as the intent, if not more.

Frequencies of sound are literally waves of vibrating energy and thus can have a very tangible physical, mental, and magical effect. In rituals and ceremonies throughout the world, sound is used as a transformational force to alter consciousness and to raise ambient energy. This has been something studied extensively in shamanic ritual practices but for some reason has not received as much attention in western magical traditions.[1]

In Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic, Dr. Skinner shows that the magicians of the PGM placed a tremendous amount of importance on the sounds of magical words. As more research is done into the ‘untranslatable’ words of the PGM, the more apparent it becomes that the scribes were interested in preserving the phonetics of Egyptian and semitic ‘words of power’ over their translated meaning. [2] As such, it would seem that the Graeco-Egyptian magicians believed that proper pronunciation of the magical formulae was instrumental to the success of the magical rite.

Within  the magical papyri there is one spell (PGM V. 1-54)  that preserves an extremely rare attempt by the scribe to teach the reader how to pronounce certain vowels. Since many of the formulae in the PGM consist of long string of vowels and vowel permutations, this passage is a unique and valuable resource for the modern practitioner of Graeco-Egyptian magic.[3]

the “A”  with an open mouth, undulating like a wave; [A, α]
the “O” succinctly, as a breathed threat. [O, ο]
the “IAÔ” to earth, to air, and to heaven. [ΙAΩ, ιαω]
the “Ê” like a baboon; [Η, η]
the “O” in the same way as above; [O, ο]
the “E” with enjoyment, aspirating it, [Ε, ε]
the “Y” like a shepherd, drawing out the pronunciation. [Υ, υ]

PGM V. 24 – 30

Both the sounds for Alpha (A/ A, α) and Omicron (O /O, o) are straight forward and correspond with the generally accepted Koine and the older Attic pronunciation.[4] We can identify these as a open-long vowel sound for Alpha (as in father) and a short vowel sound for Omicron (quicker than the in or).

Skinner notes that since the second “O [is the] same way as above,” both Omicron  and Omega (Ô/Ω,ω) should be pronounced the same.[5] The assumption here is that the scribe mistakingly included a second Omicron instead of an Omega. However, the scribe did not make a mistake. It is clear that these vowels reference the nine-lettered magical formula that ends the incantation on line 23 of the same papyri, which indeed contains two Omicrons and the exact sequence of vowels (AOIAÔ ÊOEY).  In the context of the PGM, Omega and Omicron would have most likely represented two different vowel sounds; a fact indicated in various other spells that not only speak of seven vowels, but also of seven unique sounds.[6]

Thus, while this passage is a great reference for how some ancient Greek vowels of the PGM may have been pronounced it does not provide any insight into the vowel sounds of Omega nor Iota (I / I,ι). The scribe, does however, give us a spatial dimension in regards to these vowels in the context of the IAÔ formula, something we will return to shortly. Most scholars of ancient Greek indicate that Iota was pronounced very much like modern Greek (as ee in see) and Omega was a longer form of Omicron (as the aw in saw, in Koine Greek it was more rounded as in or). [7]

This brings us to Eta (H, η) which the scribe says should be pronounced like a baboon. This is a long guttural and shrill ‘eh’ sound (as if holding the a in day). If, like me, you don’t happen to live in a area with a healthy baboon population, I suggest you do a quick search to find  a video on youtube on baboon vocalizations. Epsilon (E, ε) is an aspirated shorter sounding ‘eh’ (as in get), a sound that can be created by following the scribes instructions and quickly aspirating ‘eh’ while smiling.

Lastly, the scribe completely baffles us in stating that Upsilon (Υ, υ) should be pronounced “like a shepherd.” Perhaps, this is one of those sounds that may have been common in the pastoral lands of the hellenic world, but today has very little meaning. Among other sounds the scribe may be referencing the sound of a panpipe or a shepherd’s flute, or perhaps even the deep bark of Molussus shepherd dog.[8] In this context, perhaps it is best to assume that the scribe was giving more of an indication on how to draw out the sound of the vowel than the actual sound. Unlike modern Greek where Upsilon is pronounced exactly like Iota, it is believed that the sound in classical and hellenic times was more similar to the French ‘u (as ou in you but tending towards the sound ‘ee-you’).[9]

Drawing from these base vowel sounds we can start to examine their vibration qualities . This is accomplished by ordering the seven vowels according to their average frequency and pitch.

Seven Vowels arranged in a scale of  Average Frequency 

Vowel IPA [10]  Avg. Frequency [11] PGM V. 1-54 Instructions
I , ι [i]  1963 Hz “to earth”
E , ε [e] 1782 Hz “with enjoyment, aspirating it”
H , η [ε: 1617 Hz “like a baboon”
A , α [a] 1566 Hz “with an open mouth, undulating like a wave” | “to air”
Υ , υ [y:] 1492 Hz “like a shepherd, drawing out the pronunciation.”
O , ο [ŏ] 1074 Hz “succinctly, as a breathed threat”
Ω , ω [o:] 1074 Hz “to heaven”

Seven Vowels arranged in a scale of  Average Frequency 

Frequency is a measure of vibration, thus this also correlates with how we experience the sound physically. Higher frequency and therefore higher pitched sounds resonate in our heads while deep base tones resonate in our basal and sacral region.

There is an apparent inversion when comparing the resonant pitch of the vowels to how the scribe indicates that the IAÔ formula should be spoken. The ‘natural’ directionality based on where the vowels physically resonate, would be Iota – Above and Omega – Below. However, the practitioner is instructed to employ the complete opposite directionality by vibrating the high-frequency Iota vowel below, and the low-frequency Omega above.

This inversion, I believe is an intended magical technique. It is analogous to the use of countermovement in other rituals of the PGM as a means to draw and center power from the unification and balance of two antipodal poles.[12] Vibrating the IAÔ formula “to earth, to air, and to heaven” has the effect of reflecting the natural tonal frequency of sound. It is as if the magician is directing the power of the heavens downward while elevating earth energy up. The intersection and thus point of tension and balance of these two polarities is the body of the practitioner; and more precisely the harmonic breath of Alpha.

While it may be impossible to fully reconstruct the sounds of these ancient formulae, I believe that there is still much more practical knowledge we can learn by making our best attempts to pronounce the words a precisely as possible. Not only do we uncover additional levels of meaning when we examine the sounds, but we are also tapping into the specific spiritual-acoustic technology used by the Graeco-Egyptian magicians of the PGM.

Notes

  1. Michael Harner. The Way of the Shaman: A Guide to Power and Healing (New York, NY: Harper & Row Publishers, 1980). pp 64- 68.
  2. Stephen Skinner. Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic. (Singapore: Golden Hoard Press, 2014). pp 91-95.
  3. The mention and spelling of Sarapis (syncretism of Osiris-Apis), as opposed to the older variant Oserapis in this spell indicates that this papyrus dates to a later Hellenic period. Perhaps this passage indicates a necessity to preserve (or rediscover) the ancient sounds of the vowels at a time when the Greek language itself was changing.
  4. Joscelyn Godwin.The Mystery of the Seven Vowels.(Phanes Press,1991). Also see: http://www.biblicalgreek.org/links/pronunciation.php and references.
  5. Skinner. pp 102 (see note).
  6. See PGM XII 270-350, PGM XIII. 734 -1077, and PGM XXI. 1-29.
  7. See note 4.
  8. A panpipe or flute produces a melodic sound that can be drawn out beautifully; however, the pitch can range from low to high and thus can represent a multitude of pronunciations. The now extinct breed of Molussus dog was a large mastiff-like dog used throughout hellenic antiquity for protecting and herding sheep. Its modern ancestors today include the various Mountain Dog breeds such as the modern Greek Shepherd . The bark of the modern decedents of the Molussus dog  are a deep and drawn out wuuuuuuuuf sound maybe indicating the pronunciation of Upsilon as much deeper and closer to [u].
  9. See note 4.
  10. IPA symbols for vowels obtained from: http://www.webtopos.gr/eng/languages/greek/alphabet/chart1.htm and http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/greek.htm. Long(o:)or extra-short (ŏ) vowel lengths deduced from descriptions in PGM V. 1-54
  11. Average Frequency calculated as an average of the primary F1, F2, and F3 formats of the vowel sounds. Frequency values for these formats from:  http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/hayes/103/Charts/VChart/ and http://www.sengpielaudio.com/VowelDiagram.htm.
  12. See Countermovement in Hermetic Magic.
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