So still and subdued and yet somehow preluding was all the scene, and such an incantation of reverie lurked in the air, that each silent sailor seemed resolved into his own invisible self.
But not yet have we solved the incantation of this whiteness, and learned why it appeals with such power to the soul; and more strange and far more portentous--why, as we have seen, it is at once the most meaning symbol of spiritual things, nay, the very veil of the Christian's Deity; and yet should be as it is, the intensifying agent in things the most appalling to mankind.
Much of these texts is of extreme antiquity; one incantation at least has been proved to belong to an age anterior to the unification of the Northern and Southern kingdoms. Later copies also exist, but possess little independent critical value.
On the upper surface of these mounds was found a considerable Jewish town, dating from about the beginning of the Arabic period onward to the 10th century A.D., in the houses of which were large numbers of incantation bowls.
She is constantly invoked, in the well-known idyll (ii.) of Theocritus, in the incantation to bring back a woman's faithless lover.
The ritual alone which accompanied divination practices and incantation formulae and was a chief factor in the celebration of festival days and of days set aside for one reason or the other to the worship of some god or goddess or group of deities, is free from traces of the astral theology.
Less influenced by the astral-theological system are the old incantation texts which were gathered together into series.
Students of Tallquist's Maklu series of incantation or of the surpu series edited by Zimmern (in his Beitrage zur Kenntniss der Babylonischen Religion) will recollect the images over which the priest sorcerer recites his formulae.
The special god of this city was Ea, god of the sea and of wisdom, and the prominence given to this god in the incantation literature of Babylonia and Assyria suggests not only that many of our magical texts are to be traced ultimately to the temple of Ea at Eridu, but that this side of the Babylonian religion had its origin in that place.
In these series we can trace the attempt to gather the incantation formulae and prayers produced in different centres, and to make them conform to the tendency to centralize the cult in the worship of Marduk and his consort in the south, and of Assur and Ishtar in the north.