Babylonian Devil trap

A Babylonian Devil trap is a terracotta bowl inscribed with charms or magical texts to drive away evil. Babylonian Devil traps were common between the third to first centuries b.C.e. and sixth century C.E. They were adopted by captive Hebrews. The bowls were inverted and buried under the four corners of the foundations of houses and buildings.

Their magic was believed to protect against an assortment of evils, including male and female Demons, illness, Curses and the Evil Eye. Some inscriptions invoked God or quoted from Hebrew scriptures. One bowl from the 3rd century b.C.e. proclaims a “bill of divorce” to the Devil and all his night-monsters, ordering them to leave the community. See Amulets.

The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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