Isis is a renowned healing Goddess and so today, I would like to share with you an ancient healing formula of Isis.

A sweet illustration of a healing Isis by Lady Olivia of the Fellowship of Isis

It comes from a cache of texts found in Thebes, Egypt in the early 1800s. Today, the papyri are known as the London and Leiden Magical Papyri (because they are now in London and Leiden, you see). The physical texts are thought to date to about the middle of the third century CE. Although scholars think some of the material in the texts—specific phrases, for example—may date back as far as the 18th-20th Egyptian dynasties, the language of the texts seems to put their original composition in about the middle of the second century CE.

This particular formula is for the healing of a sting or bite. No doubt, it could also be applied to scratches or cuts. The formula uses classic Egyptian magical techniques. The one being healed identifies her- or himself with the child of Isis, Horus, as well as Isis’ adopted child, Anubis. Then it is Isis Herself Who instructs Horus/Anubis how to be healed, including applying a magically charged oil to the sting daily for seven days. To charge the oil with healing power, the sufferer takes on the Goddessform of Isis and, speaking as the Goddess, charges the oil.

If you wish to try this formula to heal your next sting or cut, you will need a balm to charge with the power of Isis. If you don’t wish to concoct your own healing oil, you might try speaking your spell over a little Neosporin or Bactine.

Spell spoken to the sting:

I am the King’s son, eldest and first, Anubis. My mother Sekhmet-Isis, She came after me forth to the land of Syria, to the hill of the land of Heh, to the nome of those cannibals, saying, “Haste! Quick, my child, King’s son, eldest and first,  Anubis, arise and come to Egypt, for thy father Osiris is King of Egypt, He is ruler over the whole land; all the Gods of Egypt are assembled to receive the crown from His hand.”

The moment of saying those things, She brought me a blow, it fell upon my tail, upon me. It gathered together, it coming to me with a sting. I sat down and wept. Isis, my mother, sat before me, saying to me,  “Do not weep, my child, King’s son, eldest and first, Anubis; lick with thy tongue on thy heart, repeatedly as far as the edges of the wound; lick the edges of the wound as far as the edges of thy tail. What thou wilt lick up, thou swallowest it; do not spit it out on the ground; for thy tongue is the tongue of the Agathodaimon, thy tongue is that of Atum.”

And you lick it with your tongue, while it is bleeding, immediately; thereafter, you recite to a little oil and you recite to it seven times, you put it on the sting daily; you soak a strip of linen, you put it on it.

The spell, which you say to the oil to put it on the sting daily:

Isis charging the healing oil

Isis sat reciting to the oil Abartat and lamenting to the true oil, saying, “Thou being praised, I will praise thee, O oil, I will praise thee, thou being praised by the Agathodaimon; thou being applauded by Me Myself, I will praise thee for ever, O herb-oil—otherwise, true oil—O sweat of the Agathodaimon, amulet of Geb. It is Isis who makes invocation to the oil. O true oil, O drop of rain, O water-drawing of the planet Jupiter which cometh down from the sun-boat at dawn, thou wilt make the healing effect of the dew of dawn which heaven hath cast on to the earth upon every tree, thou wilt heal the limb which is paralysed, thou wilt make a remedy for him that liveth; far I will employ thee for the sting of the King’s son, eldest and first, Anubis, My child, that thou mayest fill it; wilt thou not make it well? For I will employ thee for the sting of <insert the name of the sufferer here> the son of <insert the name of the sufferer’s mother> that thou mayest fill it; wilt thou not make it well? Seven times.

A little commentary

It is interesting that the sufferer’s mother is Sekhmet-Isis at the beginning of the formula. It may be because Sekhmet Herself is a healing Goddess, though often of a fiercer type, for Her priests could also be surgeons. Also interesting is that it is not until after Sekhmet-Isis tells Her son to come home to Egypt that he actually receives the sting: “She brought me a blow.” Perhaps the Goddess is called Sekhmet-Isis initially because of the harshness of the coming blow or sting. The child of Isis must be in His falcon form since the blow “fell upon my tail.”

After speaking the first part of the formula, the sufferer licks the wound and must not spit out the blood seeping from the wound, but swallow it. Bodily fluids—especially those of Deities—were considered magically potent. So by licking her or his own wound, while being identified with the child of Isis, with Agathodaimon, and with Atum, the sufferer has begun healing the wound with Divine saliva. Frankly, I’m not sure how to interpret the fact that the sufferer must swallow the blood—or even the poison—in the sting. Perhaps, because the sufferer is Divinely identified at this point, the seepage from the wound cannot harm her or him. Or, on the practical side, perhaps swallowing a bit of the venom immunizes the sufferer from future stings.

In any case, the next part of the treatment is anointing the wound with magically charged, and probably antiseptic, herbal oil. To make the oil effective, the sufferer speaks as Isis (no longer Sekhmet-Isis) to convince the “true oil” to do Her bidding and heal the sufferer. The oil itself is identified with the sweat of Agathodaimon (Good Spirit), an amulet of Geb the Earth God (surely so that the medicine will have effect on earth), pure rain, and the healing dawn dew, which is imbued with the power of the benevolent planet Jupiter. Finally, the invocation should be performed seven times. Richard Wilkinson, in his book Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art, notes that the number seven, to the Egyptians, seemed to refer to perfection, wholeness, and effectiveness. Perfect for a healing formula.