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Ancient Egypt: Incantations against reptiles and noxious creatures in general
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Incantations against reptiles and noxious creatures in general

1 Get thee back, Apep, thou enemy of Ra, thou winding serpent in the form of an intestine, without arms [and] without legs. Thy body cannot stand upright so that thou mayest have therein being, long is thy tail in front of thy den, thou enemy; retreat before 2 Ra. Thy head shall be cut off, and the slaughter of thee shall be carried out. Thou shalt not lift up thy face, for his (i.e. Ra's) flame is in thy accursed soul. The odour which is in his chamber of slaughter is in thy members, and thy form shall be overthrown by the slaughtering knife of 3 the great god. The spell of the Scorpion-goddess Serq driveth back thy might. Stand still, stand still, and retreat through her spell. - -Apep: Apophis, snake trying to prevent Re's progress and against whom only Seth had effective means. Sometimes also identified with Seth.
-serpent: Snakes generally were noxious, but they could also be powerful protectors, cf. the Uraeus worn by the pharaoh.
-Serq: also Selket, Greek Selkis
Be vomited, O poison, I adjure thee to come forth on the earth. Horus uttereth a spell over thee, Horus hacketh 4 thee in pieces, he spitteth upon thee; thou shalt not rise up towards heaven, but shalt totter downwards, O feeble one, without strength, cowardly, unable to fight, blind, without eyes, and with thine head turned upside down. Lift not up thy face. Get thee back quickly, and find 5 not the way. Lie down in despair, rejoice not, retreat speedily, and show not thy face because of the speech of Horus, who is perfect in words of power. The poison rejoiced, [but] the heart[s] of many were very sad thereat. 6 Horus hath smitten it with his magical spells, and he who was in sorrow is [now] in joy. The slaying of Apep
The slaying of Apep
Papyrus of Hunefer
Excerpt, photo courtesy Jon Bodsworth
 
In another myth Re took on the shape of an Ichneumon in order to fight Apep.
Stand still then, O thou who art in sorrow, [for] Horus hath been endowed with life. 7 He cometh charged, appearing himself to overthrow the Sebiu fiends which bite. All men when they see Ra, praise the son of Osiris. Get thee back, Worm, 8 and draw out thy poison which is in all the members of him that is under the knife. Verily the might of the word of power of Horus is against thee. Vomit thou, O Enemy, get thee back, O poison. -Sebiu: cf. The Book Ani: The Serpent-fiend Sebau hath fallen headlong, his forelegs are bound in chains, and his hind legs hath Ra carried away from him.
E.A.W.Budge

E.A.W.Budge, Legends of the Gods, 1912, pp.143ff

 


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