One of those days, people... one of those days... I'm going to have to live you with a bit of ancient text, and I want to broaden the horizon a little today by giving you one of the spells/prayers from the Papyri Graecae Magicae, also known as the 'Greek Magical Papyri'. They are a body of papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt, which each contain a number of magical spells, formulae, hymns and rituals. The materials in the papyri date from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century AD. The manuscripts came to light through the antiquities trade, from the 18th century onwards. One of the best known of these texts is the so-called Mithras Liturgy.

Today, I will quote to you from the first book of spells and invocations. The hymn below was used when obtaining herbs. The herbalist would first purify his own body, then sprinkles with natron and fumigates the herb with resin from a pine tree after carrying it around the location three times. Then, after burning Kyphi and pouring a libation of milk as he prays, he would pull up the plant while invoking by name the daimon to whom the herb is being dedicated and calling upon him to be more effective for the use for which it is being acquired. The invocation for him, which the herbalist would speak over any herb at the moment of picking would go as follows:

"You were sown by Kronos, you were conceived by Hera, you were maintained by Ammon, you were given birth by Isis, you were nourished by Zeus the God of Rain, you were given growth by Helios and Drosos. You are the Dew of all the Gods, you are the Heart of Hermes, you are the Seed of the Primordial Gods, you are the Eye of Helios, you are the Light of Selene, you are the Zeal of Osiris, you are the Beauty and Glory of Ouranos, you are the Soul of Osiris' Daimon which revels in Every Place, you are the Spirit of Ammon. As you have exalted Osiris, so exalt yourself and rise just as Helios rises each day. Your size is equal to the Zenith of Helios, your Roots come from the Depths, but your Powers are in the Heart of Hermes, your Fibers are the Bones of Mnevis, and your Flowers are the Eye of Horus, your Seed is Pan's Seed. I am washing you in Resin as I also wash the Gods [i.e., the cult statues] even as I do this for my own Health. You also be cleaned by Prayer and give us Power as Ares and Athena do. I am Hermes! I am acquiring you with Good Fortune and Good Daimon both at a Propitious Hour and on a Propitious Day that is effective for all things." [I-XXV]