Ancient Cans of Whoop-ass

(Update 1/9/2018: Interested in more about this ritual?  Check out my more polished, fleshed-out writeup over on this page!)

Back in the day, magicians were pretty brazen and bold about calling on gods, powers, and other ethereal entities to get shit done for them.  Sometimes they appealed to the entities in question based on their offerings and good relationship, but sometimes they made them get off their divine asses by threatening them with even higher powers (cf. most Solomonic magic, the Spirit’s Chain, the Bond of Solomon).  This is a pretty ancient practice, and was generally done by calling on a god bigger and stronger than the direct target of the ritual.  Usually, the magician in question would skip right on over to the scariest, most deadly, and most chaotic of the gods, the Egyptian Set,  the Hellenic Typhon, or the syncretic Typhonian Seth.  We’re talking utter chaotic destruction, ruin, and death for everyone involved, that even the immortal gods feared and did battle with to keep at bay.

Old-school magicians had balls, yo.

In the spirit of sharing some of my research and to make it a little more lively around here, here are two rituals from the PGM that were used to call on Set-Typhon.  The first, from PGM III.73, is from an engraved image that calls on the power of the god to use as a binding, but can be adapted for any quick call to the god.  The barbarous names used appear in all sorts of contexts in the PGM, but mostly those that deal with this deadly force.

I call on you, Seth!

The other, from PGM XIV.675, is much more involved, and is meant as a full-on curse against someone to cause an “evil sleep”, like a coma or catalepsy, to befall someone, but if done for a longer period of time can kill.  For this one, take the head of a donkey and put it between the feet facing the opposite way from the Sun, to the west at dawn just before sunrise and to the east at dusk just before sunset. Anoint the right foot with yellow Syrian ocher, the left with clay; place the right hand in front of the head and the left behind. Anoint one hand and the corners of the mouth with blood of a donkey. Say the following at dawn and dusk for four days to induce “evil sleep”, or for seven for death.  Apparently, it’s helpful or good to wear a thread of date palm fiber around the head, phallus, and hand of the magician.

I call upon you who are in the empty air, you who are terrible, invisible, almighty, a god of gods, you who cause destruction and desolation, you who hate a stable household, you who were driven out of Egypt and have roamed foreign lands, you who shatter everything and are not defeated! I call upon you, Typhon Seth! I command your prophetic powers because I call upon your authoritative name to which you cannot refuse to listen:



Come forth, and strike down NN with chills and fever, frost and fire! NN has wronged me, NN has spilled the blood of Typhon in his own home!

Needless to say, feel free to copy, but use with caution.  I hear the dude is a little feisty.

30 responses

    • Oh, def. Most of the PGM spells require supplies too arcane or are used for intents too forceful for me to rely on for anything but the most pressing of matters. At least we don’t usually have to worry about witchcraft laws anymore. :P

      • Head of a donkey, & blood of a donkey? Please tell me that animal sacrifice is no longer used in that current day ritual!

        • Well, I wouldn’t call it “current day”, since it probably hasn’t been done for at least 1500 years. That said, I don’t find anything wrong with animal sacrifice when done properly and respectfully, so it depends on how hardcore/messy you want to get. The donkey is used for this ritual since it’s one of the animals attributed to Set.

          • Animals are sentient beings, & have a right to life, & animal sacrifice is arcane & barbaric. Not sure if dissenting feedback is welcome here. :)

            • Dissenting feedback is of course welcome, so long as it’s respectful, civil, and with the understanding that you’ll probably get debated on it.

              To me, animal sacrifice isn’t barbaric when done properly, no more than kosher or halal butchering is. I’m not suggesting you grab a cat off the street, break its back, and drop it whole on an altar; far from it! Animal sacrifice needs to be done in a way that regards the holiness of animals as well as that of mine and that of divinity. Consider African diasporic traditions like Palo Mayombe or Santeria; these faiths require animal sacrifice but done in a particular context with prescribed rules and methods that respect god, devotee, and sacrifice. Some practices can appear barbaric, like the Bacchic practice of literally tearing apart a goat and throwing the remains around, but even in context, this is expected and holy, and so it’s not a bad thing, either.

              As for it being archaic, well, nearly every culture, even the ones we look up to and regard as the most civilized in antiquity and modernity, has practiced animal sacrifice in one form or another. Something being archaic isn’t a bad thing, and this is what gives things like reconstructionist or historical paganism their appeal, and what gives traditions like Wicca their claims to authority (however ill-earned they may be). Besides, if studying or practicing archaic things was bad, then we’d’ve lost knowledge of ancient languages, cultures, and practices long before now.

              As for animals being sentient and having a right to life, I can agree with that to an extent. However, in my cosmology and in a lot of other pagan frameworks, humans are bigger and higher than animals, just as the gods are above humans. Further, it’s the gods who want animals as sacrifices, and if you want to take the gods seriously and them you, it’s probably not a bad thing to heed their requests. If they don’t desire animal sacrifice, great! If they do and either you or them are unwilling to compromise, then things can go south awfully fast.

            • Would human sacrifice be more acceptable, perhaps? Nowadays the ritually standard sacrifice animals have vastly more intrinsic value than your average human… and often are quite delicious too!

              • I respect Neo-Paganism. And also Wicca, which respects nature, & does not sacrifice animals. By archaic, I mean outdated, superceded, improved upon, thru modern-day enlightenment, & rejection of superstition. African animal rituals are based on primitive superstitious beliefs that continue today, unfortunately. Halal butchering is widely protested & shunned by many as unnecessary cruelty. When one eats Halal meat, one is ingesting the animal’s suffering. Karmically, quite unfortunate & inevitable. If you check with some of the gods in current times, you might find they are kinder, gentler, & that old-school beliefs are now considered old-school illusory, as reflected by those ancient primitive uninformed cultures. The gods of today do not require animal sacrifice, but rather some metaphorical sacrifice, not blood-letting & dead carcasses. It’s called evolution. However, I understand that modern-day hard-core Satanic cults still require animal sacrifice. So be it, it’s their path, & their choice, but not mine.

                • – Halal butchering (along with kosher butchering, which you didn’t mention) is designed as an efficient, hygienic, and respectful way to butcher animals for food done with compassion and mercy for the animal. Seeing how Muslims who eat halal meat and Jews who eat kosher meat have a good bit of footing in the butcher’s world, I don’t think that it’s barbaric and cruel, and is certainly much kinder than most methods of slaughter the Western world has seen. From the lack of protests I can find, it seems that a good number of people agree with that.

                  – If I grant you that animals have spirits and a right to live, what about plants and their spirits? Are they also not holy and sentient in their own ways? And are they also not less than human and desirable by both god and man? At the risk of making a false dilemma, it should be that it’s all allowed to be sacrificed and consumed or none of it is.

                  – The bit about African rituals being based on primitive superstition reads a little racist, even though I’m sure you didn’t intend it that way. If African religions and rituals are based on primitive superstition, then so is Hinduism, Judaism (which would still require animal sacrifice if a Temple still stood), and all forms of paganism and practice that neopaganism is based on. Besides, being in a palo’s home where animal sacrifice has been performed, I can attest to the raw and amazing power that those gods have by being given a gift of life itself, and it wasn’t unholy or tainted in a way that would’ve offended the more Western and what you may call “enlightened” powers (i.e. Greek gods, angels, etc.) I work with.

                  – Just because humanity and its cultures have changed over time doesn’t mean the gods themselves have, and to assume something like that on behalf of divinity is a major misstep. I know of devotees who perform animal sacrifice because that is what their gods ask of them, and I’ve spoken to my own gods in the current day who prefer it over simple flowers or prayers (though understand I am currently unable to do so for them). Calling these gods Satanic, which is nonsense for someone like you who claims to respect neopaganism and Wicca, is disrespectful to other occultists and the gods themselves. You make a lot of assumptions about other peoples’ practices that I cannot attest to and seem a little offensive (e.g. “uninformed”, “Satanic”, “unforgiveable”). I have found these old-school “illusory” beliefs to be quite real, efficient, and practical in this day and age; serious results require serious works, and the gods appreciate seriousness and sincerity.

                • *ponders having seconds of the tasty stew he made with the carcass of the last bunny that was ritually sacrificed in this household* Mmmm, suffering… ;-)

                  Seriously, though, it’s hardly only “hard-core Satanic cults” who practice ritual sacrifice in the modern era. From reconstructionists of various types (Hellenic, Celtic, Norse, Meso-American, etc) to the various religious of the African diaspora (Santeria, Palo, Vodou, Candomble, etc) there are many modern paths that employ animal sacrifice. And contrary to what you believe about it, the animals involved do not suffer. Nor is it “based on primitive superstitious beliefs”, any more than any other aspect of neopaganism. Have you actually attended a ritual sacrifice, seen how it is performed, and felt the energy raised by it as compared to that raised by “some metaphorical sacrifice”? Or are you purely going by stories and rhetoric that demonizes practices with which you are not familiar and do not understand?

                • I am terribly sorry, but it’s the belief and idea that animal sacrifice, and the religions that continue to utilize this, are “primitive” and “superstitious” that has kept those religions out of the “legitimate” religious circles for decades. That view is rather childish and naive. It’s also incredibly discriminatory. Perhaps, if you read about the practices before making broad, sweeping generalizations, you would understand the reason behind such “outdated” practices.

                  In regards to voodoo, animal sacrifice is very much an integral aspect to certain festivities. Though the lwa are not gods, they *do* require it.

                  But, let’s move this back towards gods, whom you seem to believe no longer require these sacrifices because we manage to get out of this by sacrificing other things (time, money, energy, what have you). This is strictly not true. I am a devotee of Sekhmet and periodically, she requires a blood sacrifice. I am not the only child of hers who has found this to be true. Am I saying that I open up a vein at her altar and let rip? No. I do mine in the form of donating blood, but I’m only one of a handful of Sekhmet kids that I can think of off the top of my head who do donate blood and they don’t do it by giving to the Red Cross as I do.

                  Just because your gods do not require animal sacrifices or blood sacrifices does not mean that ALL gods ascribe to this practice.

              • Well, if you’re Crowley or a chaote, you’ve done “human sacrifice” (read: masturbation) millions of times to great effect (or at least a manageably messy one). Otherwise, I just hope you’ve covered your tracks and used some of that magical force to cloak yourself from absurd murder charges.

                To be fair, I wonder what kind of acts Crowley would’ve done if they had bath salts in his day. *ponders*

                • Can’t fully experience the sanctity of life until you’ve watched the light behind knowing eyes flicker and go out.

            • mirabella, would I be correct in thinking from your statement “Animals are sentient beings, & have a right to life” that you are an animal rights activist who is also against killing animals for purposes of eating meat, completely outside of a religious, ritual, or occult context?

              • Halal & kosher butchering aside, I shall try to address some of the points offered.
                I’m pro-Gaia, pro-environment, pro-sustainability. A plant-based diet happens to be one of sustainability.
                Yes, plants have consciousness, as does every living organism on this ravaged planet.
                One can examine Dr. Masaru Emoto’s research & YouTubes on the consciousness & reactability of water molecules to human emotions, music, etc.
                There is no racism in the observation that some modern-day African tribes engage in superstitious slaughter & consumption of raw meat & blood.
                I knew an African man who boasted that eating raw lion meat gave him super-strength & virility.
                No wonder there is mass starvation in parts of Africa. Inefficent irrational food-chain.
                I have an Asian sister-in-law who said that in her home country, some men eat cats & dogs to enhance their sexual performance. They slowly boil the cats & dogs while still alive, for maximum adrenaline (fear), for maximum “powers.”
                No, I have not attended a ritual animal sacrifice, nor do I anticipate doing so.
                You say it raises energy. Sounds to be testosterone-driven.
                You’ll likely say women attend, too, & feel “the energy raised.”
                Really, cannot higher consciousness be raised or accessed without blood-letting?
                I think contemporary gods & goddesses would indeed prefer “bath salts,” lol.
                The gods of yore are exactly that – gods of millennia ago.
                That was then. This is now.
                “Eternal” waxes rhapsodic about the “light behind knowing eyes flicker & go out.”
                That’s just sad.
                I’m all about magick & alchemy & transmutation.
                As long as it doesn’t involve a donkey’s severed head, & its blood.
                Thank you for listening. & if animal &/or human sacrifice is your thing, it’s your life & karma.
                So be it.

                • Just a postscript. I never said “unforgiveable.” I said “unfortunate.”
                  I hope this thread is taken in a democratic spirit, as discourse, not discord.

                • All those positions are valid, but you must admit that just because someone lives differently doesn’t make them worse people or worse off than you. You didn’t answer my question, though, about sacrificing plants instead of animals; if they have consciousness (which is a step further than I was going to take it), then do you support harvesting and sacrificing plants, for food or religion, and if so, where do you draw the line? I hear flower sacrifices are common across religions, too, just as animal sacrifices are. On that note, a related comic demonstrating an extreme view of this can be found at (please do read and enjoy, because SMBC Comics are amazing).

                  I can’t speak to folk practices and “low magic” spells like that; superstitious it may be, that still qualifies as magic, to me, and if it works, it works, and if not, it doesn’t. That’s decidedly not proper “animal sacrifice” as we’ve been talking about here, since I’m referring to the theurgic dedication of life to a god, and not the use of life for low thaumaturgical means. So, while those practices may seem barbaric, keep in mind that other culture’s notions of barbarity may differ significantly from yours (also see for examples that put those acts you mentioned to shame).

                  Actually, the animal sacrifices themselves were led by a woman, a trained and dedicated priestess in Palo Mayombe. So, yes, I was going to say that women attend, and they definitely feel the energy raised; the gods are beyond what you’re passing off as testosterone-driven superstition.

                  Higher consciousness can of course be accessed without bloodletting, but sacrifice is also among the most ancient and most powerful methods of it, too, right up there with entheogen use and torture ordeals. These methods have been used for ages, and are used even now to great effect, and for a good reason: they work. The gods, being immortal, don’t die; they don’t just vanish because you think old practices are outdated or offensive, and their tastes don’t change just because yours may. Some gods can work with changing mores, some gods like the old means best, and some gods being newer than others may never have developed a taste for some offerings. I don’t recall humanity making those decisions for divinity themselves.

                  Magic, religion, alchemy, and transmutation have long involved the use of raw life for its potency, whether in terms of blood or sexual fluids or life itself, and just because it seems icky doesn’t diminish its usefulness.

                  • That would be a yes to plant (& water) consumption (though you specify “sacrifice”), as both elements have consciousness, as does every organism on this planet.

                    Animals are more sentient, capable of communication, emotions, affection, intelligence, bonding, & creativity.

                    I never said people who live differently makes them worse, or worse off.

                    I respect your degree of literacy & scholarship.

                    I can only add that at the wonderful spiritual earth-based shop with which you are now affiliated, one of the goddesses there tends to many different animals at her home in the country, particularly a family of goats.
                    She would find the mere thought of a ritual sacrifice of any animals in her care, particularly her beloved goats, utterly abhorrent.

                    “In a world older and more complete than ours they [other animals] move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” ~Henry Beston

                    • “We are all connected…
                      To each other – biologically…
                      To the Earth – chemically…
                      To the rest of the Universe atomically.”
                      ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

                    • I think you should probably ask Bubbles what she would think on the subject, rather than assuming to speak for her. As she does own a working farm, I don’t think she’d approach the subject of slaughtering animals – for food or for sacrifice – from the standpoint you do.

                • You may want to rethink the idea that a plant-based diet is one of sustainability. Do some research into the actual practices involved in modern agriculture. Here’s some reading to get you started:

                  You take a piece of land and you clear every living thing off it–and I mean down to the bacteria. That’s what agriculture is. Richard Manning has this great line, “A wheat field is a clear-cut of the grass forest.” He’s right.

                  Besides the mass extinction, it’s inherently unsustainable. When you remove the perennial polyculture–the grassland or the the forest–the soil is exposed and it dies. It turns to desert ultimately.

                  Northern Africa once fed the Roman Empire. Iraq was forests so thick that sunlight never touched the ground–no one in their right mind would call it the “Fertile Crescent” now. The dust storms in China are so bad that the soil is literally blowing across the Pacific Ocean and over the continent until it hits the Rocky Mountains, where it’s causing asthma in children in Denver.

                  The planet has been skinned alive. And the only reason we have not hit complete collapse is because we’ve been eating fossil fuel since 1950. This is not a plan with a future as peak oil is probably behind us and we are on the downside of Hubbert’s curve.


                  And yes, there is quite a bit of racism to think that African food shortages have anything to do with traditional beliefs regarding the consumption of lion meat to gain physical or metaphysical power. As the article above points out, it’s unsustainable agricultural practices that have caused food shortages in that area of the world – not hunting, not herding, but farming. We are seeing similar problems in the rain forest where the forest is being slashed and burned to create farmland which becomes infertile a few short years later.

                  And I highly doubt you actually have an asian sister in law who told you that, because it simply isn’t true. The cooking of dogs and cats alive in asian cultures has nothing to do with powers, sexual or otherwise, granted by suffering. Instead, they simply believe that the meat tastes better that way. And it has nothing to do with ritual sacrifice.

                  As for the idea that such practices are testosterone-drive, not only have women attened and felt the energy raised – in every case I’ve seen of it, women have officiated and performed the sacrifice. I, a male, stood as witness and offered to hold the animal while it was done. Instead, another woman did. So sorry to disillusion you, but sacrifices simply aren’t testosterone-driven in any sense of the word.

                  And last I checked, the gods we as pagans (with the possible exception of Wiccans who made theirs up fairly recently) worship today ARE the same ones worshipped hundreds and thousands of years ago. If you want to pretend that gods like Freyr, Hel, Cernunnos, Epona, Odin, Athena, Zeus, Sekhmet, Lillith, Hecate, Artemis, Itzpapalotl, Huitzilopochtli, etc. are all suddenly peace-loving hippies who only want flowers and candy, that’s your choice. But thousands of years of history and shared tradition say otherwise.

                  • My sister-in-law of 50 years is Korean-American.

                    She returns to South Korea yearly.
                    She has phone conversations with her family & friends there on a regular basis.

                    You can google search “Korean men eat cats for virility” (or as aphrodisiac) or “Asian consumption of dogs & cats” or any which way, & you will find vast documentation of it.

                    Perhaps your sphere of gaining contemporary information is superceded by your immersion in ancient esoterica. Enjoy!

                    • A Dog’s Death: dogs are electrocuted, hanged, beaten or burned to death. There is a perverted belief that the meat tastes better if dogs have high adrenaline levels in their meat before they die. Therefore, some dogs are made to experience extreme fear and suffering in the lead up to their deaths. Some dogs are hanged and then beaten while they are hanging and still alive. Others are hanged and then a blow torch is used on them while they are still alive to remove their hair. Others still are simply beaten and tortured to death. Generally, at the markets, dogs are electrocuted and then their necks are broken.


                      The article does go on to mention that “Dubious health claims are made about dog products, included the typical claim that it assists male stamina and sexual prowess. Such pathetic claims are made throughout Asia with regard to all manner of animal products to attract equally pathetic male customers.” But this is separate from the issue regarding cooking the animal alive. And the belief that it tastes better when cooked alive is common to all asian cultures who consume dog or cat meat as a regular part of their diet:

                    • An example of some (other) Asians’ consumption of animal flesh based on belief in superstitious pewers attributed to the consumption.”:

                      “In northern Vietnam, for example, some believe that eating dog before the holiday will chase away bad luck from the previous year. You get a clean karmic slate, as it were, ready for good fortune to arrive. At other times of the year, dog-meat dishes are thought to enhance virility and sexual prowess.”

  1. Originally may have misunderstood your pondering of what Crowley may have done with bath salts had they been available.
    Thought you meant benign aromatherapy herbal ones to summon the god(s) in question, lol. Then it occurred to me you were referring to the bath salt drugs thought to be in the system of the Zombie Face-eater, whose toxicology findings were that only marijuana was involved.
    Well, interesting exchanges here, folks.
    Have a good day.

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