How to Become Invisible

Take fat or an eye of a nightowl and a ball of dung rolled by a beetle and oil of an unripe olive and grind them all together until smooth, and smear your whole body with it and say to Helios: “I adjure you by your great name, BORKE PHOIOUR IO ZIZIA APARXEOUCH THYTHE LAILAM AAAAAA IIIII OOOO IEO IEO IEO IEO IEO IEO IEO NAUNAX AI AI AEO AEO EAO,” and moisten it and say in addition: “Make me invisible, lord Helios, AEO OAE EIE EAO, in the presence of any man until sunset, IO IO O PHRIXRIZO EOA.”

[From PGM I. 222–31].

A Love Spell

Leave a little of the bread which you eat; break it up and form it into seven bite-size pieces. And go to where heroes and gladiators and those who have died a violent death were slain. Say the spell to the pieces of bread and throw them. And pick up some polluted dirt from the place where you perform the ritual and throw it inside the house of the woman whom you desire, go on home and go to sleep. [A lengthy spell follows.]

[From PGM IV. 1390–1495]

A Spell of Attraction

Take a field mouse and deify it in spring water. And take two moon beetles and deify them in river water, and take a river crab and fat of a dappled goat that is virgin and dung of a dog-faced baboon, 2 eggs of an ibis, 2 drams of storax, 2 drams of myrrh, 2 drams of crocus, 4 drams of Italian galingale, 4 drams of uncut frankincense, a single onion. Put all these things onto a mortar with the mouse and the remaining items and, after pounding thoroughly, place in a lead box and keep for use. And whenever you want to perform a rite, take a little, make a charcoal fire, go up on a lofty roof, and make the offering as you say this spell at moonrise, and at once she comes. [A lengthy spell follows.]

[From PGM IV. 2441–2621]

To Ward Off Daily Fever and Shivering Fits

Write on a clean piece of papyrus and wear as an amulet:


[From PGM VII. 218–21]

To Induce Insomnia

[Take] a seashell and write: “IPSAE IAOAI, let her [insert name], daughter of [insert name], lie awake because of me.” That night she will lie awake.

[From PGM VII. 374–76]

Various Aids

To be able to eat garlic and not stink: Bake beetroots and eat them.

To keep an old woman from either chattering or drinking too much: Mince some pine and put it in her mixed wine.

To let those who have difficulty intermingling perform well: Give gum mixed with wine and honey to be smeared on the face.

To be able to drink a lot and not get drunk: Eat a baked pig’s lung.

To be able to copulate a lot: Grind up fifty tiny pinecones with 2 ozs. of sweet wine and two pepper grains and drink it.

To get an erection when you want: Grind up a pepper with some honey and coat your “thing.”

[From GMP VII. 167–86]