Astrapsoukos’ Spell for the Favor of Hermes

Astrapsoukos’ Spell for the Favor of Hermes

Make from olive wood a small statue of a dog-faced baboon with Hermes’ winged hat on its head. There should be a box in its back with a lid to close it. Write with myrrh ink on papyrus the following name of Hermes:
Phthoron Phthionê Thôuth.
You may add the following Great Names:
Iaô Sabaôth Adônaie
Give Thou: business, favor, elegance, prosperity,
to [a certain one] and to his/her work.
Now! Now! Quickly! Quickly!
Nun! Nun! Êdê! Êdê!
While you do so, pray for what you want. Put the papyrus in the statue and put on the lid. Burn incense before it and recite the following spell.
Come to me, Lord Hermes,
just as fetuses come into Women’s Coils.
Come to me, Lord Hermes,
gathering the sustenance of Gods and men.
Come to me, Lord Hermes,
to [a certain one], and give me:
sustenance and grace, fair face, charm, good living,
victory, and strength of every man and woman.
Hear Thy names in Heaven:
Lamphen Ouôthi : Ouasthen Ouôthi : Oamenôth : Enthomoukh
for these names are in the Quarters of the Heavens.
Yes, I know Thee, and I know what are Thy Shapes:
in the East Thou hast the figure of an Ibis;
in the West Thou hast the figure of a Dog-baboon;
in the North Thou hast the figure of a Snake;
in the South Thou hast the figure of a Wolf;
and I know Thy Plant: the Grape that is an Olive;
and I know Thy Wood, for it is Ebony.
Yes, I know Thee, Hermes, who Thou art and also
where You’re from, which town: Hermopolis.
Come to me, Lord Hermes,
Many-named One, knowing secrets under Earth and Sky.
Come to me, Lord Hermes, to [a certain one].
Kindly help me, benefactor of our world.
Hear me!
[Make me pleasing to all forms throughout the world;
open for me hands of all who may grant gifts;
make them give me what they’re holding in their hands.]
Yes, I know Thee and Thy Names Barbarian:
Pharnathar : Barakhêl : Khtha.
For these are Thy Names Barbarian!
And whenever Isis, Greatest of the Gods,
hath invoked Thee, Yea! in every crisis,
and in every place, ‘gainst people, Gods and daimons,
and what lives beneath the sea and on the land,
She hath held Thy favor and had victory
over Gods and men with every creature in the world.
Therefore also I, [a certain one], invoke Thee!
For this reason, give me beauty, form and grace.
Hear me, Hermes, Helper, who invented drugs;
be Thou easy to converse with and attend;
Thou hast done all things shaped like Thine Ethiopian
dog-baboon, the Lord of Daimons Underground.
Calm them all and give me strength.
Make [add the usual]
[Let them give me gold, silver, endless sustenance.
Save me always and through all eternity —
from deceits, all slander, poisons, evil tongues;
from possession, hatred of both Gods and men.
Let them give me favor, victory and wealth.]
Inasmuch as Thou art I, and I am Thou,
and because Thy name is mine, and mine is Thine,
and because of this: I am Thine effigy.
If perhaps some evil should occur for me,
any time this year or month or day or hour,
it will happen to the Great God (Akhkhemen Estroph);
thus the prow of the most holy ship is carved.
Thy True Name is graven on the Sacred Stêlê,
set up in the Shrine at Thy birth-place Hermopolis.
Thy True Name: (Osergariakh Nomaphi),
for this is Thy name of fifteen characters,
and the number of the days the Moon doth rise;
and Thy second name doth have the number seven,
corresponding to the Ones who Rule the World.
Truly: (Abrasax).
Yes, I know Thee, Hermes, and Thou knowest me;
I am Thou and Thou art I.
Therefore, do Thou everything for me I ask;
with Good Fortune and Good Daimon turn to me.
Now! Now! Quickly! Quickly!
Nun! Nun! Êdê! Êdê!

London Papyrus 122 (PGM VIII), a magical handbook dating to the fourth or fifth century CE, lines 1-63. It is a kharistêrion (spell for favor) written in Greek (except for one phrase in Coptic written in Greek letters). It is attributed to Astrapsoukos, which is perhaps supposed to be “Astrampsukhos,” a name of at least one Persian magician (Betz 145n1). The spell is syncretic, but this is an authentic aspect of ancient Greek magic, which invokes Gods through Their Egyptian names, attributes, etc. because they are alien.


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