I’ve been spending a lot of time in the past week with some translations of magical papyri. It occurred to me that some of the titles and epithets which the Magician uses to address the Gods (or even to identify with them) are quite interesting. So I’ve compiled a list, in the order in which I’ve come across them. They appear in petition-type formulas, short prayers to be said during ritual and in authoritative utterances in which the Magician identifies with the Gods.
Osiris, the divine Drowned (col. VI)
Nut, mother of water (col. VI)
Khonsu-in-Thebes-Nefer-Hotep, the noble child that came forth from the lotus (col. IX)
Horus, lord of time (col. IX)
Isis, mistress of magic (col. IX)
Anubis with thy fair face (col. X)
Geb, heir of the Gods (col. X)
Heknet, lady of the protective bandage (col. X)
Taweret, the great of sorcery (col. XII)
Sekhmet the great, lady of Ast, who has seized every impious person (col. XII)
Anubis, the good ox-herd (col. XIV)
Anubis, Pharaoh of the Underworld (col. XVIII)
Isis the sorceress (col. XIX)
Osiris, King of the Underworld, lord of burial, whose head is in This, and his feet in Thebes, he who giveth answer in Abydos (col XXI)
Something which I found particularly interesting is the following authoritative utterance for a spell spoken to a sting:
I am the King’s son, eldest and first, Anubis. My mother Sekhmet-Isis, she came after me forth from the land of Syria, to the hill of the land of Heh [...]
Osiris, the king of the Underworld, the lord of embalming, he who is in the south of Thinis, who gives answer at Abydos, he who is under the noubs tree in Meroue, whose glory is in Pashalom. (PGM IV 1-25)
Anubis, of the nome of Hansiese, upon his mountain (PGM IV 1-25)
Thoth, the great, the great, the wise (PGM IV 1-25)
Isis, the dusty maiden (PGM IV 94-153)
Thoth the Great (PGM IV 1-25) – here is is also referred to as Her Father, i.e. Isis’ father.
Some of these titles and epithets I have come across before. However, there’s a handful I don’t think I have, such as Thoth being referred to as Isis’ father – this really doesn’t ring a bell at the moment.
And I find the merging of Sekhmet and Isis particularly interesting. I guess in a way it makes sense to refer to both goddesses when working heka, considering they are very well known for being ‘weret-hekau‘ (‘great of magic’) on their own. I wonder if the Magician was looking to double up on the heka so to speak :) Or it’s very possible that he is invoking the healing/great of magic powers of Sekhmet and the reference to Isis is linked to the fact that she cured Ra from a venomous sting (which herself caused, to gain knowledge of his secret name and therefore his power). In any case, I think it deserves some attention.
* First set is from the London and Leyden Papyrus
Second set is from the Greek Magical Papyri