spells

The Gospel of Satan: Grand Grimoire is One of the Creepiest Medieval Manuscripts Out There!

The Gospel of Satan: Grand Grimoire is One of the Creepiest Medieval Manuscripts Out There!

The Grand Grimoire, sometimes referred to as the ‘Red Dragon’ or the ‘Gospel of Satan’, is a medieval grimoire believed to possess immense powers. According to legend, it was written by an apocryphal...
Collection of Egyptian Busts and Shabtis, design by Anand Balaji

Nefertiti and the Perfect Serenity of Death: Mesmeric Shabtis of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun —Part II

Archeological records and a trove of recovered specimens inform us that shabtis (funerary figurines) produced from different materials were placed in the tombs of Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaoh...
Collection of Egyptian Shabtis, design by Anand Balaji

Deputies of the Dead from Amarna to Thebes: Mesmeric Shabtis of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun—Part I

Among the most important items that made it into the crypts of both kings and commoners alike were shabti figurines that served to ensure that the Afterlife was one long holiday for their masters...
Detail of two ancient Egyptian 'gate spells'. On the top register, Ani and his wife face the ‘gates of the House of Osiris'. Below, they encounter the 'mysterious portals of the House of Osiris in the Field of Reeds'. All are guarded by unpleasant underworld protectors.

Through the Twelve Chambers of Hell: The Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

Death, the ancient Egyptians believed, was not the end of our struggles. They believed in an afterlife and that the worthy would go on to paradise, but their dead didn’t simply pass over to the other...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Life after Life: Guidebook to Conquering Dangerous Demons and Dark Waters in Duat – Part II

One of the pivots for the successful implementation of ‘heka’, the ancient Egyptian term for magic, was words – both spoken and written – and the latter was considered the most powerful form. Scores...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Life after Life: In the Quest for Eternity, Death is Only the Beginning – Part I

The ancient Egyptians took great care to prepare for the Afterlife. In fact, they were so meticulous about getting every minute detail in order, that to us they come across as having been obsessed...
Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Usually, the Empress of the Han Dynasty was invincible, untouchable, and protected by the law more than anyone else. However, in the case of Empress Chen of Wu, the accusation of practicing black...
Friedrich Paul Thumann, (1834-1908), "Cupid (Eros) and Psyche."

Four Ways to Love: How the Ancient Greeks Used Magic to Fulfil Hopes, Dreams, and Desires

For the ancient Greeks, 'love' was categorized into distinct words, each representing a different kind of infatuation; which is considerably different from our ideas of generalizing all aspects and...
Making Medieval Magic: Countering Infections and Poison with Nine Potent Herbs

Making Medieval Magic: Countering Infections and Poison with Nine Potent Herbs

Many old spells have been lost or forgotten over the years, but careful readers of medieval books can still recognize some of them tucked within old tomes. There is a spell from a 10th-century book...
How the Ancient World Invoked the Dead to Help the Living

How the Ancient World Invoked the Dead to Help the Living

Though it may seem as if Halloween is a modern con trick designed to get us spending our hard-earned cash on an American celebration, this is not the case. In fact, dressing up, knocking on neighbors...
Spells, Invocations and Divination: The Ancient History of Magical Grimoires

Spells, Invocations and Divination: The Ancient History of Magical Grimoires

Grimoires are books containing magic spells and instructions for the making of amulets and talismans, but some of them also contained directions on how to summon and control demons. Grimoires have...
Newly translated Egyptian papyrus reveals evil spells of coercion, love incantations and healing recipes

Newly Translated Egyptian Papyrus Reveals Evil Spells of Coercion, Love Incantations and Healing Recipes

Some ancient Egyptian papyri have recently been translated and were found to be magic incantations intended to cast love spells, treat disease and force people to do the bidding of the person casting...
From Mal Corvus Witchcraft & Folklore artifact private collection owned by Malcolm Lidbury.

Weird Witch Bottles, Historic Efforts to Ward Off Evil Spells and Witchcraft

Witch bottles (known also as ‘spell bottles’) are apotropaic devices (things believed to have the power to avert evil influences). These objects are believed to protect their owners from the negative...
Person holding an ancient grimoire

Magic of the Ancients: Five Incredible Texts of Spells, Curses, and Incantations

As long as humanity has had beliefs in a higher power, the use of magic, spells, curses, and incantations have featured widely across cultures. A number of influential texts or ‘grimoires’ (textbooks...
Ancient Egyptian codex deciphered, revealing 1,300-year-old spells and invocations

Ancient Egyptian codex deciphered, revealing 1,300-year-old spells and invocations

An ancient Egyptian codex written in Coptic and dating back 1,300 years had been deciphered for the first time, revealing that the 20-page book made of parchment contains a series of spells and...
Picatrix: The Ancient Arabian Book of Astrology and Occult Magic

Picatrix: The Ancient Arabian Book of Astrology and Occult Magic

The Picatrix is an ancient Arabian book of astrology and occult magic dating back to the 10 th or 11 th century, which has gained notoriety for the obscene natural of its magical recipes. The...

Top New Stories

Inside one of the tunnels under Rome, Italy.
Few visitors recognize that there is a forgotten world below the Roman Colosseum and Forum. The ancient maze of tunnels and quarries date back to the very beginning of this famous city. Locals, on the other hand, remember the existence of the underground pathways every time one of the ancient tunnels collapses, damaging the structures above. Hundreds of buildings and streets have fallen victim to the decaying tunnels.

Myths & Legends

The fall of Icarus, circa 1635.
Daedalus, the legendary inventor of ancient Greek myth, joined the court of Minos, the ruler of Crete, as the king's star engineer. Daedalus was credited with creating myriad marvels, from carpenter's tools to animated statues. It was Daedalus who designed and built the bewildering Cretan Labyrinth as a prison for Minos' monstrous son, the Minotaur. Every year, the Athenians were compelled to send fourteen young men and women to be sacrificed to the cannibal with the bull's head.

Ancient Places

Inside one of the tunnels under Valetta, Malta.
Hordes of tourists visit the Mediterranean island of Malta each year to enjoy the above ground attractions the country has to offer such as breath-taking sandy beaches, historical buildings, and traditional cuisine. Yet, there is also a subterranean world hidden beneath the island’s surface. These are the rumored secret tunnels of Malta.

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At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

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By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)