Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Spells from Seventh Grade: Salt and Fire

The first "serious" spells I learned were from my seventh grade ancient history textbook. (I think it was an earlier version of this book.)  Before that, I just made stuff up based on fairy tales, Greek mythology, A Wizard of Earthsea, and what my mother called "effective wishing". It was immediately obvious to me, the day we read them aloud in class, that there was real power here.  Power of a whole different sort than what I'd been doing.  That was really the day I became a magician.  Here they are:

Oh Salt
Oh Salt, created in a clean place,
For food of gods did Enlil destiny thee.
Without thee, no meal is set out in Ekur,
Without thee, god, king, lord, and prince cannot smell incense.
I am NAME, son/daughter of NAME,
held captive by enchantment,
held in fever by bewitchment.
O Salt, break my enchantment!  Loose my spell!
Take from me the bewitchment!
And, as my creator, I shall extol thee!

Scorching Fire
Scorching Fire, Warlike son of Heaven
Thou, the fiercest of they brethern,
Who, like Moon and Sun decidest lawusits--
Judge thou my case, hand down the verdict!
Burn the man and woman who bewitched me;
Burn, O Fire, the man and woman who bewitched me;
Burn them, O Fire!
Scorch them, O Fire!
Take hold of them, O Fire!
Consume them, O Fire!
Destroy them, O Fire!

After class, I asked my teacher (Mrs. Kindbaum-Becker, who was probably the best teacher I ever had, but no magician.) where I could learn more about that sort of thing.  She gave me a copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh. I fell in love.

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