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Curse Tablet


Lilienrose

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A Curse tablet, also called defixio (latin) is a type of curse found throughout the Graeco-Roman world.

These texts were typically scratched on very thin sheets of lead in tiny letters, then often rolled, folded, or pierced with nails.

These bound tablets were then usually placed beneath the ground: either buried in graves or tombs, thrown into wells or pools, sequestered in underground sanctuaries, or nailed to the walls of temples.

Tablets were also used for love spells and, when used in this manner they were placed inside the home of the desired target. They are sometimes discovered along with small dolls or figurines, which may also be pierced by nails.

The figurines resembled the target and often had both their feet and hands bound.

Curse tablets also included hair or pieces of clothing.

This is especially the case in love spells, which calls for “hair from the head of the love target.”

Some love spells have even been discovered “folded around some hair".

 

Curse tablets were used in litigation, against rivals,in cases of jealousy and revenge and sometimes for love.

 

As said before the tablets were usually out of lead.

Lead was associated with attributed like gravity, cold, poisonousness, uselessness and valuelessness.

In regard to that there was found a tablet of the 2nd century in Carnuntum which goes against someone who steals a jar:

"Such as this lead has it's weight, so shall also Eudemus be hit by your anger."

 

A special form are the figurines out of wax, clay, lead and bronze, which allegorizes the victim.

The cursed were not only symbolically pierced, but also captivated, mutilated and occupied with the victims name.

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celticwolf264

This is awesome! I had read about these before. In my readings, the nails were brass, but I guess it depends upon the deity to which you are requesting assistance.

 

Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

 

Caera :)

 

 

 

260px-Defixio_Kardelos_Terme-2.jpg

 

A Curse tablet, also called defixio (latin) is a type of curse found throughout the Graeco-Roman world.

These texts were typically scratched on very thin sheets of lead in tiny letters, then often rolled, folded, or pierced with nails.

These bound tablets were then usually placed beneath the ground: either buried in graves or tombs, thrown into wells or pools, sequestered in underground sanctuaries, or nailed to the walls of temples.

Tablets were also used for love spells and, when used in this manner they were placed inside the home of the desired target. They are sometimes discovered along with small dolls or figurines, which may also be pierced by nails.

The figurines resembled the target and often had both their feet and hands bound.

Curse tablets also included hair or pieces of clothing.

This is especially the case in love spells, which calls for “hair from the head of the love target.”

Some love spells have even been discovered “folded around some hair".

 

Curse tablets were used in litigation, against rivals,in cases of jealousy and revenge and sometimes for love.

 

As said before the tablets were usually out of lead.

Lead was associated with attributed like gravity, cold, poisonousness, uselessness and valuelessness.

In regard to that there was found a tablet of the 2nd century in Carnuntum which goes against someone who steals a jar:

"Such as this lead has it's weight, so shall also Eudemus be hit by your anger."

 

A special form are the figurines out of wax, clay, lead and bronze, which allegorizes the victim.

The cursed were not only symbolically pierced, but also captivated, mutilated and occupied with the victims name.

170px-Heiligtum_mainz10.jpg

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Curse tablets were (and are) used extensively in Egyptian practice, as well (and may be where the Greeks & Romans got them from). Typically you make a clay tablet and before it dries, carve your curse into it (or wait for it to dry, then use an indelible marker to write with.) After the tablet dries, it's generally smashed to release the magic and the shards buried or just tossed in the bin. And they're not used just for 'cursing'. Any type of spell can be done using this method.

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Curse tablets were (and are) used extensively in Egyptian practice, as well (and may be where the Greeks & Romans got them from). Typically you make a clay tablet and before it dries, carve your curse into it (or wait for it to dry, then use an indelible marker to write with.) After the tablet dries, it's generally smashed to release the magic and the shards buried or just tossed in the bin. And they're not used just for 'cursing'. Any type of spell can be done using this method.

 

This reminds me of the ancient Greek ritual of the Ostraka. Ostraka was the word for 'vase' or vessel' and may be where the term 'Ostracize' originated. When a community wished to exile someone (more often used for politicians than criminals) they would vote by writing his name on potshards (broken bits of pottery which were cheaper than paper or papyrus). These would be collected in a pot or urn and counted. If exile was decided, the person would be banished for ten years and the ostraka smashed. Once the pot, with his name written on it, was smashed, the community would turn their back on the exiled person and he would not be spoken of or acknowledged. Strangely enough, after ten years, he could be welcomed back as if nothing had happened. I'd imagine that the breaking of the pot with the written name on it can easily be transferred with its rich symbolism to magic ritual.

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