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Ancient Egyptian Texts:  2.1


SPELLS AGAINST POISON AND OTHER DANGERS


Text:   MMA 50.85   [ TM 113760 ]
Date:   360-343 B.C.
Script:   Hieroglyphic
Translated by:   J.P. Allen
Format:   see key to translations

These spells cover the whole surface of a large stela, the so-called Metternich Stela, together with two stories about Isis.   The translations are taken from J.P. Allen, "The Art of Medicine in Ancient Egypt" (2005), no. 52.



[A]   { Images of Thoth and Isis, on either side of the infant Horus }

Recitation by Thoth, lord of Hermopolis: I have come from the sky by command of the Sun so that I might make your protection at your bed day and night, and for any man who is suffering as well.

Recitation by Isis the great, the god's mother: Don't fear, don't fear, my son Horus! I will be around you as your protection and drive away all evil from you and from any man who is suffering as well.

[B]   { Images of Thoth and Nectanebo II, on either side of the rising sun }

Recitation: Thoth comes, arrayed with magic, to enchant poison - and it will not have control of any limb of the afflicted - as he enchants the rebels in the youngsters' room when they rebel against the Sun, continually forever.

Recitation by the lord of the Two Lands, Senedjemibre-Setepenamun: Oh, lord of fire, flame, and burning, give your firelight in my path and not your fire against me.

[C]   { Spell against Apophis }

Back, you Apophis! You intestine of the Sun, you folding of the intestines, who has no arms, who has no legs, you have no body in which you have evolved. You whose tail is long within his cavern, you intestine, withdraw for the Sun! Your head has been severed, your body's severance has been made, and you will not lift your face. His flame is in your ba , his butcher block's smell is in your flesh, and your form has been felled with the knife of the great God. Selket will do magic and deflect your strength. Stop, stop! Reverse through her magic!

[D]   { Spell against poison }

Be spewed out, you poison! Come, come out on the ground! Now that Horus has enchanted you, constrained you, and spat on you, you cannot rise up, trampled down; weakened, you cannot grow forceful; become craven, you cannot fight; blind, you cannot see; your head turned upside down, you will not raise your face; reversed, you cannot find a way; saddened, you cannot become happy; lost, you cannot open your face - through what Horus, functional of magic, has said.

The poison that was active, for whom the heart of many became sad, Horus has killed it with his effective magic, and he who was in sadness is in joy. Stand up, you who are in sadness, for Horus has endowed you with life! He who came burdened has escaped by himself because of the felling of the biting rebels; every eye will glimpse the Sun and worship Osiris's son. Be turned, snake, and take that poison of yours that is in any limb of the afflicted! Look, the magic of Horus is forceful against you. You shall spew out, opponent. Be turned, you poison!

[E]   { Spells for healing a cat }

{ The first spell for a cat is very similar to the spell on the statue of Djedhor ; it ends as follows: }

Felled and constrained for her has been that poison of any male or female snake, any scorpion, or any crawling thing that is in any limb of this cat that is suffering. Look, now that Isis has spun and Nephthys has woven against that poison, this bandage shall be strong and this magic shall work through what the Sun Harakhti, the great god at the fore of the Dual Shrines, has said. You bad poison that is in any limb of this cat that is suffering, come, come down!

Another spell. Recitation: Sun, come to your daughter! Shu, come to your wife! Isis, come to your sister! Save her from that bad poison that is in any limb of hers! O you gods, come and fell that bad poison that is in any limb of this cat that is suffering!

Another spell like it. Don't fear, don't fear, Bastet, powerful of mind at the fore of the sacred marsh! You shall have control of all the gods, and no one can have control of you. Come out after my speech, you bad poison that is in any limb of the cat who is suffering!

[F]     Story of Isis and the infant Horus

[G]   { Thoth's spell for Horus }

You who are in the hole, you who are in the hole, you who are in the mouth of the hole! You who are in the path, you who are in the path, you who are in the mouth of the path! Mnevis, who will go to every man and every animal as well, he is a centipede who is off to Heliopolis, he is a scorpion who is off to the Elder's Enclave. You cannot bite him: he is the Sun. You cannot sting him: he is Thoth. You cannot shoot your poison at him: he is Nefertem. Every male and female serpent and every insect who bite with their mouth and sting with their tail, you cannot bite him with your mouth, you cannot sting him with your tail. You shall be far from him, you cannot make your fiery breath against him: he is Osiris's son. You shall spew out, you shall spew out, you shall spew out, you shall spew out!

I am Thoth. I have come from the sky to make protection of Horus and to bar the poison of the scorpion that is in any limb of Horus.

You have your head, Horus: it will be continually fixed with the crown.
You have your eye, Horus: you are Horus, Geb's son, lord of the two eyes within the ennead.
You have your nose, Horus: you are Horus the Elder, the Sun's son, and you cannot inhale hot air.
You have your upper arm, Horus: your strength is great enough to kill your father's opponents.
You have your lower arms, Horus: you shall receive the office of your father Osiris, for Ptah has judged you on the day you were born.
You have your chest, Horus: the sun disk is making your protection.
You have your eye, Horus: your right eye is Shu, your left eye is Tefhut; they are the children of the Sun.
You have your belly, Horus: the gods' children who are in it cannot receive the water of the scorpion. You have your rear, Horus: the strength of Seth cannot come about against you. You have your penis, Horus: you are his mother's bull, who cares for his father, who is responsible for his children in the course of every day. You have your thighs, Horus: thus your strength is to kill your father's opponents. You have your shins, Horus, that Khnum built, swaddled by Isis. You have your feet, Horus: the Nine Bows have been spread fallen under your feet, for you have managed the south, the north, the west, and the east. You are seen to be like the Sun, you are seen to be like the Sun, you are seen to be like the Sun, you are seen to be like the Sun - and the afflicted as well.

[H]   { Thoth's invocation of Horus }

Horus was bitten in the marsh of Heliopolis, north of Vulva-town {Hetepet} while his mother Isis was in the upper houses giving cool water to her brother Osiris. Horus sent his voice to the sun and He in the Rising heard saying: "So, spring up at Horus's voice, keeper of the doors in the noble ished tree! Command mourning for him, command the sky to heal Horus and care for him with life! Have Thoth, my Isden who is in Builder's Mound, told: 'Are you sleeping? Enter to the lord of sleep, for my son Horus is being squeezed, for my son Horus is being squeezed, and get everything to cut the poison that is in any limb of Horus, Isis's son, and that is in any limb of the afflicted as well.' "

Worshiping Horus to cure him by effective magic. To be said on water or on land. Recitation by Thoth, the saviour of this god: "Greetings, god, son of a god! Greetings, heir, son of an heir! Greetings, bull, son of a bull, to whom a divine vulva gave birth! Greetings, Horus, who came from Osiris, to whom divine Isis gave birth! I have recited with your magic, I have spoken with your effectiveness, I have enchanted with your words that your mind created. They are your spells that came from your mouth, that your father Geb commanded for you, that your mother Nut gave to you, that your incarnation Foremost of Letopolis taught, to make your protection, to repeat your aid, to seal the mouth of every crawling thing in the sky or in the earth or in the water, to give life to people, to content the gods, and to glorify the Sun with your praises.

"Come to me quickly, quickly, on this day as he who rows in the god's boat did for you, and bar for me every lion on the desert edge, every crocodile on the river, every biting mouth in their cavern, and make them for me like a pebble of the desert cliff, like a potsherd strewn in the street, and remove for me the flowing poison that is in any limb of the afflicted. Let your words not be scorned because of it. Look, your name has been called upon on this day. May you bring about awe of you, elevated for you by your effectiveness, and give life for me to the one who is being asphyxiated, and praise will be given you by the subjects, double Maat will be worshiped in your form, and every god will be summoned like you. Look, your name has been called upon on this day"

I am Horus the Saviour.

[I]   { Spell for protection on water }

Oh, elder one who rejuvenates himself at his time, long-lived one who makes his youth, may you make Thoth come to me at my voice and make Wild-Face retreat for me when Osiris is on the water, Horus's eye with him, and the great Scarab spread over him. You elder one with his fist, who gave birth to the gods as a child, may he who is on the water come out sound. If one approaches that which is on the water, one approaches Horus's weeping eye.

Back, you fish and crocodiles in the water, you dead man or woman, male or female opposition, and so forth! Don't lift your face, you fish and crocodiles in the water, until Osiris has passed by you! Look, he is bound for Busiris: let the mouth become small and your maw plugged.

Back, you rebel! Don't lift your face to him who is on the water - they are Osiris - for the Sun has risen to his boat to see the Ennead of Battleground; the Duat's lords are waiting to kill you. If Wild-Face comes to Osiris while he is on the water, Horus's eye is on him to capsize your face so that you are put on your back.

O, you fish and crocodiles in the water, your mouth has been shut by the Sun, your maw has been plugged by Sekhmet, your tongue has been cut out by Thoth, your eyes have been blinded by Magic {Heka}. Those four great gods who make protection over Osiris, they are the ones who make protection for all people who are on the water and all animals who are on the water on this day, who protect those in the water, who protect the sky and the Sun inside it, who protect the great god within the sarcophagus, who protect the one on the water. A great crying sound is in Neith's Enclave, a high sound is in the Great Enclave, a great moan is in the mouth of the cat. The gods and goddesses are saying: "Look, look, at the abed-fish being born!"

Withdraw for me your tread, rebel! I am Khnum, lord of Antinoē {Herwer}. Beware of repeating injury a second time, because of what has been done to you before the Big Ennead. Be barred and withdraw for me! I am the god: "Hey, hey," he says. Have you not heard the great crying sound since nightfall on the shore of Nedit, the great crying sound of all the gods and every goddess as mourning for the violence you have done, evil rebel? Look, the Sun has stormed with rage over it and commanded that your cutting up be made. Back, rebel! Hey, hey!

[J]     Story of Isis and the noblewoman

[K]   { Spell against a scorpion sting }

"Isis, Isis, come to your Horus! You who know her spell, come to your son," so say the gods in her area, "since a scorpion has stung him, a spiny scorpion has hunted him, an insect has rubbed him."

Isis came, a mesh shirt on her chest, having spread her arms. "Here I am, here I am, my son Horus. Don't fear, don't fear, you Effective One's son! Nothing evil will happen to you. The water of him who made what exists is in you. You are the son of the one in the midst of the Beaten Path, who came from Nu: you will not die from the heat of that poison. You are the big heron that was born on top of the reeds in the great Official's Enclave in Heliopolis. You are the brother of the abed-fish that foretells what happens. Since the cat has nursed you inside Neith's Enclave, with the hippopotamus sow and the female Bes as protection for your body, your head will not fall to one who crosses you, your body will not receive the heat of your poison, you will not turn back on land, you have not become wretched on water, no biting serpent-mouth will have control of you, no lion will exercise control of you. You are the son of the sacred god who came from Geb: you are Horus, and the poison will not have control of your body. You are the son of the sacred god who came from Geb - and the afflicted as well - and 4 noble goddesses are protection for your body.

[L]   { Spell against poison }

He rises from the Akhet, sets into the Duat, and comes into being in the Height Enclave. He opens his eye and light happens, he closes it and darkness happens. The inundation is in accordance with his command; the gods will never learn his identity.

I am he who illumines the Two Lands, drives away darkness, and rises day and night. I am the bull of the eastern horizon, the lion of the western horizon, who crosses the above day and night without being repulsed.

I have come at the voice of my daughter Isis: "Look, the bull has been bitten." The plait-snake is blinded: you poison, retreat from every limb of the afflicted; come on the ground! The afflicted is not the one you have bitten: Min, lord of Coptos, the child of the white sow that is in Heliopolis, is the one who has been bitten. Oh, Min, lord of Coptos, give air to the afflicted and you will be given air.

[M]   { Dedication }

The god's-father and servant of the Lord of Existence {Rê}, Esatum, son of the god's-father and servant of the Lord of Existence and scribe of the inundation, Ankh-Psamtik, born to the lady of the house Tahatnub, was the one who renewed this writing after he found it absent from the house of Osiris Mnevis, for the sake of making his mother's name live, forestalling for her death and every divine pain, and giving air to the suffocating, and for the sake of making live the families of all the gods. Then his lord Osiris Mnevis was heightening his lifetime with sweetness of mind and a final burial after old age because of this which he has done for the house of Osiris Mnevis.


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