(Update 1/9/2018: Interested in more about this ritual? Check out my more polished, fleshed-out writeup over on this page!)
Readers of this blog may have picked up on many things about me and what I tend to write about, specifically these two:
- I like old magical shit, being a Hermetic ceremonial magician.
- I like guys for fun and sex, being a guy who, well, likes guys.
With those in mind, it’s always cool to see queer or gay icons in the magical literature, since it makes me feel a little more comfortable. After all, the recent talks in the blogosphere about the Scarlet Woman are nice and all, but don’t do me much good. Granted that “going Greek” is what I like to go for, it turns out that this often wasn’t the case for magicians of yore (though who can say what the magisters would do with those young boy seers after the rituals).
I was browsing recently through a book I got for my birthday, “Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power” edited by Marvin W. Meyer and Richard Smith, which is like a Coptic version of the PGM and has texts that range from the 1st to 14th centuries A.D. The texts and structure are generally the same, being old Mediterranean magic, though the holy names and pictures are a little unfamiliar. All the same, I was browsing through the book and found a nifty little thing that some magi (magaysters?) might be interested in: the following is a love-binding spell used by one man on another (Papapolo son of Noe and Phello son of Maure, respectively) from the Ashmolean Museum Collection (1981.940), probably from around the 6th century A.D. Like other old-school love spells, this took the form of a binding much like a defixio, forcing the target to seek out the worker and giving them rest only once they were both together, but this one is notable for being one explicitly from one man to another.
It was intended to be folded up and placed near the door or home of the target, and to cause them to seek out the worker endlessly until they found him. The book says that “ring signs” were put between the “ROUS” line and the next paragraph, though doesn’t have an illustration; I assume one might put sigils of love or seals of spirits to help out in this matter. I’ve edited the text slightly for spelling and format.
† SELTATALBABAL KARASHNEIFE ANNAS KNEKIE
By the power of IAO SABAOTH!
ROUS ROUS ROUS ROUS ROUS ROUS ROUS ROUS
† † † I adjure you by your powers and your amulets and the places where you dwell and your names, that just as I take you and put you at the door and the pathway of NN. son of NN., so also you must take his heart and his mind; you must dominate his entire body!
When he tries to stand, you must not allow him to stand.
When he tries to sit, you must not allow him to sit.
When he lies down to sleep, you must not allow him to sleep.
He must seek me from town to town, from city to city, from field to field, from region to region, until he comes to me and subjects himself under my feet, me whose name is NN. son of NN.,
While his hand is full of all goodness, until I satisfy him with the desire of my heart and the demand of my soul with pleasant desire and love unending,
Right now, right now, at once, at once!
Do this now, do my work!
Just as an aside, the bit in the last paragraph about “his hand is full of goodness”? That could be taken two ways, depending on the cultural frame of reference: in Egyptian culture, this refers to one’s generosity as one lover to another, but in Hebrew culture, “hand” was a euphemism for the penis, so it really could go either way here. Because of this, I don’t know whether the spell would work as well on a woman, but I don’t see why this wouldn’t work on a man for a woman, either.