Monday, January 02, 2023

Well, something had to be done!

Execration figurines are examples of heka, or magic. All images in ancient Egypt were extremely powerful. The image of the bound captive alone had magical power; the depiction of the desired effect or event guaranteed its reality. By depicting the enemies of the king, and thus the enemies of Egypt, bound and helpless, as the prisoner statues do, the Egyptians ensured that all evil forces, in all realms of the cosmos, would remain powerless and contained. The execration figurines take this further; the proscription formula that usually covers or is associated with them explicitly connects named threats, both foreign and domestic, with the generic captive form. Moreover, the active, ritualized manipulation of these figurines sets them apart from passive images of bound captives. While the exact content of the rituals remains unclear, they do seem to have changed over time and been somewhat variable, with elements not always appearing or being executed in different combinations. These elements could include breaking, binding, incineration, striking, and burial, all of which served to further damn and destroy the targeted individuals, places, and things that were mentioned on the figurines themselves.—Ancient Egyptian Prisoner Statues: Fragments of the Late Old Kingdom, 161

<idle musing>
Now, before you snicker and say, "Oh, those silly Egyptians!," think about the little rituals you do every day to make the day go your way.

How Christian are those? How "logical" are they?

Right. That's what I suspected.
</idle musing>

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