A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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I*             MAGIC HEALING IN THE PRE-CHRISTIAN ERA           57
sumption, consumption which never leaves man, consumption which cannot be induced to leave, bad consumption, in the name of heaven be placated. In the name of earth I conjure thee'32 (p. 13). Jesus Himself is represented as having practised this method. He is reported to have rebuked a fever (Luke iv, 39) and to have rebuked the winds of the sea (Matt, viii, 26; Mark iv, 39).
Many Babylonian incantations have been discovered. The formulae usually consist of a description of the disease and its symptoms, an expression of desire for deliverance from it, and an order for it to depart. The following is an example of an incantation for driving away the toothache : ' Ritual for this ; thou shalt mix usa-beer, barley meal and oil together, repeat the incantation over it three times, put it against his teeth. Charm ; after Anu made the heavens, the heavens made the earth, the earth made the rivers, the rivers made the canals, the canals made the marsh, the marsh made the worm. The worm came weeping unto Somoas ; came unto Ea, her tears flowing ; " What wilt thou give me for my food, what wilt thou give me to destroy ? " "I will give thee dried figs and apricots." " Forsooth, what are these dried figs to me, or apricots ? Set me amid the teeth and let me dwell in the gums, that I may destroy the blood of the teeth and of the gums chew their marrow. So shall I hold the latch of the door." " Since thou hast said this, O worm, may Ea smite thee with his mighty fist! " '226 Among ancient peoples, toothache was commonly supposed to be caused by a worm in the tooth, and this explanation is still accepted in some places. In Arabic the cau^se of toothache colloquially is ' susah ' (worm). As in Egypt, so in Babylonia too, exorcism was effected by laying the hand on the head of the sick person.