Back in the day, magicians were pretty brazen and bold about calling on gods, powers, and other ethereal entities to get shit done for them. Sometimes they appealed to the entities in question based on their offerings and good relationship, but sometimes they made them get off their divine asses by threatening them with even higher powers (cf. most Solomonic magic, the Spirit’s Chain, the Bond of Solomon). This is a pretty ancient practice, and was generally done by calling on a god bigger and stronger than the direct target of the ritual. Usually, the magician in question would skip right on over to the scariest, most deadly, and most chaotic of the gods, the Egyptian Set, the Hellenic Typhon, or the syncretic Typhonian Seth. We’re talking utter chaotic destruction, ruin, and death for everyone involved, that even the immortal gods feared and did battle with to keep at bay.
Old-school magicians had balls, yo.
In the spirit of sharing some of my research and to make it a little more lively around here, here are two rituals from the PGM that were used to call on Set-Typhon. The first, from PGM III.73, is from an engraved image that calls on the power of the god to use as a binding, but can be adapted for any quick call to the god. The barbarous names used appear in all sorts of contexts in the PGM, but mostly those that deal with this deadly force.
ΙΩ ΕΡΒΗΘ (IŌ ERBĒTH)
ΙΩ ΠΑΚΕΡΒΗΘ (IŌ PAKERBĒTH)
ΙΩ ΒΟΛΧΩΣΗΘ (IŌ BOLKHŌSĒTH)
ΙΩ ΑΠΟΜΨ (IŌ APOMPS)
ΙΩ ΠΑΤΑΘΝΑΞ (IŌ PATATHNAX)
ΙΩ ΑΚΟΥΒΙΑ (IŌ AKŪBIA)
ΙΩ ΣΗΘ (IŌ SĒTH)
ΦΩΚΕΝΣΕΨΕΥ ΑΡΕΚΤΑΘΟΥΜΙΣΑΚΤΑΙ (PHŌKENSEPSEU AREKTATHŪMISAKTAI)
I call on you, Seth!
The other, from PGM XIV.675, is much more involved, and is meant as a full-on curse against someone to cause an “evil sleep”, like a coma or catalepsy, to befall someone, but if done for a longer period of time can kill. For this one, take the head of a donkey and put it between the feet facing the opposite way from the Sun, to the west at dawn just before sunrise and to the east at dusk just before sunset. Anoint the right foot with yellow Syrian ocher, the left with clay; place the right hand in front of the head and the left behind. Anoint one hand and the corners of the mouth with blood of a donkey. Say the following at dawn and dusk for four days to induce “evil sleep”, or for seven for death. Apparently, it’s helpful or good to wear a thread of date palm fiber around the head, phallus, and hand of the magician.
I call upon you who are in the empty air, you who are terrible, invisible, almighty, a god of gods, you who cause destruction and desolation, you who hate a stable household, you who were driven out of Egypt and have roamed foreign lands, you who shatter everything and are not defeated! I call upon you, Typhon Seth! I command your prophetic powers because I call upon your authoritative name to which you cannot refuse to listen:
ΙΩ ΕΡΒΗΘ ΙΩ ΠΑΚΕΡΒΗΘ ΙΩ ΒΟΛΧΩΣΗΘ ΙΩ ΠΑΤΑΘΝΑΞ ΙΩ ΣΩΡΩ ΙΩ ΝΕΒΟΥΤΟΣΟΥΑΛΗΘ ΑΚΤΙΩΦΙΣ ΕΡΕΣΧΙΓΑΛ ΝΕΒΟΥΤΟΣΟΥΑΛΗΘ ΑΒΕΡΑΜΕΝΘΩΟΥΛΕΡΘΕΞΑΝΑΞΕΘΡΕΛΥΟΩΘΝΕΜΑΡΕΒΑ ΑΕΜΙΝΑ!
(IŌ ERBĒTH IŌ PAKERBĒTH IŌ BOLKHŌSĒTH IŌ PATATHNAX IŌ SŌRŌ IŌ NEBŪTOSŪALĒTH AKTIŌPHIS ERESKHIGAL NEBŪTOSŪALĒTH ABERAMENTHŌŪLERTHEXANAXETHRELYOŌTHNEMAREBA AEMINA)
Come forth, and strike down NN with chills and fever, frost and fire! NN has wronged me, NN has spilled the blood of Typhon in his own home!
Needless to say, feel free to copy, but use with caution. I hear the dude is a little feisty.