How To Dispose Of A Problematic Ancient Artifact?

How do you dispose of an obviously problematic ancient artifact? These are not trinkets that happen to be centuries old: they’re created by someone who made them at an astrologically appropriate time to draw down a particular energy and then charged the talisman or icon with intent. You can’t just leave them out in the council recycling bin.

If you need answers now, I immediately referred this woman to my druid, Anthony Ashworth, who is an expert on these matters. The short answer is to clear/honor the item before returning it to an apt recipient in its place of origin. But I also have thoughts that you can read right after this spooky, poignant tale. 

Dear Mystic,

My brother was a shaman of sorts, born on Christmas Day, he was a schizophrenic who identified with a Jesus-like prophet role. He died of his own hand many years ago (I was 12) on (quite deliberately) David Bowie’s birthday. A collector of both characters and antiques, he left behind many treasures.

One was a small hand made sarcophagus, like the effigy buried with Egyptian elite, nestled between their hands. Many years ago, Simon, in a fit of temper/madness threw the effigy across the room and it broke at its base, separating its feet from its body in a crooked break. One week later, my brother went skydiving and broke his leg in a disturbingly similar spot. He always said that when he broke the effigy it released a curse. Yet he kept it. He said he bought it from a deceased estate that housed many international curiosities. When my brother died no one in my family wanted it. I took custodianship.

For many years it has sat, wrapped in silk and hidden in a box that I superstitiously taped shut. I had actually forgotten about it. I recently moved the last vestiges of my former life from a shipping container and discovered the box. It is home with me now. But it feels strange. I am celebrating my birthday with a good friend on top of a mountain with a permitted eight close friends. mount Alexander in central Victoria with a permitted eight close friends.

I have recently begun to consider the possibility of bringing the effigy with me, and all of us performing some sort of appropriate, grounded ritual for/with the effigy to release the curse? To free the spirit? Gosh, I don’t even know! I wonder, do you have any advice on ways to approach this? Fire? Rock? Water? I feel I don’t want it, however, the practicalities of popping in the bin feel dangerous!

The group of people who are with us for this celebration will also all be going skydiving together for the first time in December, which strangely feels not at all accidental! My year (like everyone’s) has been unprecedented – breakups, a parent dying, hysterectomy, near-fatal car accident – and I strongly feel that releasing the effigy at my natal Sun return will somehow begin a new chapter?!

(I did not respond to this question in time and then received this update after the release ritual took place)

An update: Since I unwrapped my little effigy there have been notable accidents in my close circle. The first two did not start me ruminating on their significance, but yesterday brought it home. Firstly, a couple of weeks after the unwrapping, my mum broke her foot. Then just before the new year, one of my best friends (who was slated to skydive with me) had a motorbike accident which he narrowly escaped, but his injury was a decimated foot/leg/ankle. Then yesterday my 13-year-old daughter broke her tibia in two places when skateboarding. The same bone and leg my brother broke all those years ago.

Perhaps it is not synchronicity and just coincidence? Though I always struggle to believe that everything is not connected… for now I will gaffer tape up his little box, as things were better with hundred miles an hour tape in place, though if you have any suggestions for ritual or release, I will practice them profoundly and reverently.

How to do this safely, respectfully, and with some sort of aboundingly positive finality!

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

With love and respect!

Aquarius, Scorpio Rising.

Dear Aquarius, Scorpio Rising,

This is such a sad and beautiful story: your brother, a seeker and clearly one of the Supernatural Capricorns, and a 12-year-old you, rigid with grief, taking on the exiled talisman. You’re right. There is no such thing as coincidence. As I write, the effigy has – I believe – been cleared, blessed, and sent back to the land it was from. I’m often stunned by the casualness with which some people (not you, obviously) treat Ancient Egyptian (actually, Kemetic)* artifacts. 

Enchantment was central to their culture, infused into everyday life to an extent not seen in any civilization since. If something says ‘opening this tomb will unleash the rage of Apophis‘ (or similar), isn’t there a faint chance that the creators of the message might have (a) meant it and (b) have been pretty good at sorcery? 

I’m always interested in Ancient Egyptian/Kemetic discoveries – many of them have temple friezes which show ancient astrological diagrams, for instance – but I view articles about such with my eyes nearly shut, lest they suddenly show the remains of a person on there. It’s disrespectful.

Far from the monotheistic religion ruling contemporary Egypt, old Kemet was governed by dazzling magic. They were a polytheistic, star-gazing, spell-making, sacred geometry mapping, nature-worshipping, cat-adoring people. Their beliefs are the ur-culture that lies beneath modern mysticism and religion.

A few examples: Many people believe that Bes – one of several household protection deities – lives on as the Maori Tiki. There is also a theory that the island of Tahiti was named for Tehuti, also known as Thoth, the original Mercury. Correspondences between the Goddess Isis/her son Horus and the Virgin Mary/Jesus story still tantalize academics.

Egyptian/Kemetic astrology influenced everything, like an occult river flowing beneath Babylon, the Ancient Roman Empire, the Phoenicians – who traded with Cornwall, Vedic astrology, and even China. The I-Ching springs from the eight primordial deities of the Ogdoad. The Tarot is but a visual depiction of far older mystical factors.

The Fool, for example, refers to the Egyptian God Sah, which was also the constellation now known as Orion. The Ancient Kemetic people were black Africans by the way.*

Anyway, Ms. Aquarius, Scorpio Rising – your Capricorn brother clearly felt an affinity to lost, magical lands and had a brain too intricately wired for this society. In another time he would have been a shaman. I’m sure he is watching from one of the dimensions, awed at your higher perceptions. You did right by him and the effigy. I’m posting this below because it feels right. It’s the Osiris Hymn from the so-called Egyptian Book of the Dead – a botched translation of the real title: The Book Of Coming Forth By Day.***

The doors of perception open; what was hidden has been revealed. It is myself I see and a thousand colors swirling in liquid light. I am where the sun sets below the mountains. I am in this body. I am that star rising above clouds hung by a thread from its ocean moon. Hail myself, traversing eternity walking among gods, a shuttle flying across the loom through the thread of time.

This is all one place; one cloth: a mans’ life endures. On earth flowers grow, snakes crawl and wisdom lies in the palm of a hand. All that is will be—hawks and sparrows, the thousand lives within.

I have come home. I have entered humanhood, bound to rocks and plants, men and women, rivers and sky. I shall be with you in this and other worlds. When the cat arches in the doorway, think of me. I have sometimes been like that. When two men greet each other in the street, I am there speaking to you.

When you look up, know I am there—-sun and moon pouring out my love around you. All these things am I, portents, images, signs. Though apart, I am a part of you. One of the million things in the universe, I am the universe, too.

You think I disguise myself as rivers and trees simply to confuse you? Whatever I am, woman, cat or lotus, the same god breathes in every body. You and I together are a single creation. Neither death nor spite nor fear nor ignorance stops my love for you.

May we come and go in and out of heaven through the gates of starlight. As the houses of earth fill with dancing and song, so filled are the houses of heaven. I come, in truth. I sail a long river and row back again. It is joy to breathe under the stars. I am the sojourner destined to walk a thousand years until I arrive at myself.

*Ancient Egypt refers to the Greek translation for the land – it was actually Kemet. I only recently learned this!

*** The Normandi Ellis translation.

From Anthony Ashworth

“Assuming the object was real as opposed to a tourist copy, Egyptians would have put a huge amount of energy into it with ceremony & ritual, it would have been a funerary piece, designed to accompany the owner to the other worlds & the after life. They often had cures embedded into them if they were disturbed or stolen from the grave. 

What I determined was that when it was in the box & taped up & put in a cupboard it seemed to settle & “sleep” however when it was disturbed & out,  it created serious issues. I told her to put it back in the box and – importantly – wrap it in a genuine real silk scarf . She said “oh” & went silent before explaining it was already wrapped in a silk scarf. 

I told her that whilst I am able to remove curses, that as the object was asleep when properly stored it would be ok, to just put it back in the cupboard in the box & well wrapped up. Silk is traditionally used in some traditions as an energetic insulation: I wrap some of my most sacred instruments in silk to isolate them & keep them pure & safe between uses.

Grasses & bamboo have a similar effect in being able to insulate items from subtle energies & can be used in a similar way. The client had already determined to send the statue back to Egypt – which I think is a good idea – and was in the process of contacting the Cairo museum.”

43 thoughts on “How To Dispose Of A Problematic Ancient Artifact?”

  1. Well Mystic, talk about coming back after a break, with a bang! The comments read almost as interestingly as the article. Thank you MM for (again) taking great care of a potentially sensitive and inflammatory subject.

    My thoughts flew to museums and lack of regard for objects and heritage stolen, the power of intention, the power of responsibility as well as the power of knowing what is/isnt, meant for us.

    Without hashing over the myriad of comment content here, I am sat with thoughts of my best friend (aquarian) who’s story was very similar. I never got over the bright, shining light of him, his health diagnosis (same) too late and ending (same). I am also struck with a deep reminder that loss and grief can deeply unground us, of the ripple effects (energetic) and how this too, can potentially leave both us and those around us, deeply accident prone until we sit inside the disassociation incurred by trauma.

    My dad once. made a very last minute decision to travel to Egypt. He was about to bring back a token gift for me and was told rather casually by the seller, “only give this if you are happy for that person to have a baby” it was a scarab beetle (not entirely accurate symbolism but still..) it spooked him enough not to buy it. A deeply pragmatic man, my father bought no tokens from his visit. Ive found many beetles in my garden since and included a deceased green one for years, in a small personal alter, returning it to earth recently when I felt its symbolism was no longer needed. I have always been deeply drawn to certain ancient Egyptian artefacts and yet known they were not ‘for me’. However I do feel, what we need will make itself known and also the power of objects to have their own, purposeful inheritance. My dad and I would regularly visit museums (with me spook-vibing around the place) and always come away discussing ethics, over and above objects.

    I find symbolism and ceremony to be deeply powerful and our personal power often to be negated and undermined because we are not taught important aspects of spiritual as well as, material custodianship. I don’t think it’s ‘wrong’ to own something from another culture but I do believe sincerely in the consequence of ignorance, the importance of endings and closure. I really hope this person has since sought significant support for her sad loss and I am really pleased you helped her find the right ending for the sarcophagus MM.

  2. just reading the comments thread – oi – I think the curse HAS been released. Bury that thing, or burn it, send it off to sea, something. Was that ever addressed? I was rereading the blog and couldn’t figure out what she did ultimately. Did she just tape it back up?

  3. Hey all, firstly am relatively new to this website so I didn’t feel my thoughts were relevant. But for sake of spreading some hopefully healing oil, I just wanted to say:

    a) MM & Anthony, is there maybe a healing rite you can do over this post ?? It seems the release of this artifact- and even its very story – has accidentally released discord. I ask for blessings and peace for all sentient beings accidentally or intentionally affected by this story .. 💗

    b) My humble experience of this magical safe harbour created by Mystic, for people (I.e. all of us), who look beyond the mundane (worldly concerns); is of brave Men and Women and Beyond Gender who intellectually and respectfully share their diverse experiences. I hope and still believe it can stay this way. Mystic, your research is simply mind-bending in its depth and scope, please don’t stop reporting on what you find. I say this as somebody who until recently was completing postgraduate research studies (so can appreciate complexity of effort) ..🙏

    c) I personally avoid social media (apart from following this blog on this website), because of the phenomenon we’ve all seen. It follows:
    1. Somebody writes something
    2. Somebody else reads it, completely misinterprets it,
    3. This same person gets triggered by this misinterpretation
    4. This same person then writes a strong response to what they interpreted was said,
    5. The original writer then reads the response, may or may not misinterpret it ALSO, then gets defensive at a. Not being heard/read correctly, and/or gets triggered by a perceived critical reply.
    And so on and so on.

    I’m NO psychologist (despite having Mars conjunct MC in Pisces!!) But ~~~ I have had my fair share of both magical experiences and (separately) trauma in the first half of my life. I believe communication is a REALLY powerful way to both heal and harm; and I think (and know) this safe space is above personal attacks, gendered language and hostility. And we’re all mature enough to clarify and share understanding, even with vehement disagreement.

    To the person who shared their story – we all share your grief and send you so much healing and light!!💖

    To Mystic – the realm of written words is still a safe space to perform your magic. Thank You, Thank you, Thank You.🙏❤

    To DavidL – As a multiple Aries myself I know you were trying to help give peace and comic relief (and in no way trivialise it). 💖

    Heaven knows I hope nobody misinterprets, is re-traumatised or derives offence from my little offering – I come in peace.👽💝

  4. I have two prefaces before going to my main reply, first is that I have many mistakes when writing in English and I’m a Virgo with Mercury conjunct Mars (square Saturn 0°), so you can imagine how hard it is for me! And I wanted to reply to many of Mystic’s blog posts cos the Saturn-Pluto conjunction was 0° degree with my natal descendant-north node conjunction… second preface (lol…) is my name – Anat – is the name of an ancient Canaan warrior goddess who was inspiration for Egyptian and Greek goddesses and maybe in other ancient cultures too. I know a little about these cultural rituals but yes, they were powerful and often cruel, in the modern way of understanding…
    Anyway, it brings me to write a memory that I have from when I was 12, my mom brought a spiritual-awakening-healing workshop in our house. One of the practices was with rocks of green glass with shaped movement of some color pigment in it. After putting little stickers with number on the rocks and putting them in a basket at the center of the circle of people sitting around. Everyone took out one rock and as instructed meditated with it, holding the rock and imagining of putting the power of self into it. After returning it to the basket again we took the rocks, meditated and tried to guess who it belongs to. There were maybe 20 people there. I felt fire like a volcano activity in the rock and said a name of a man in the group who beat cancer without chemicals. The rock with its number was his.

    1. Hello Anat, what a wonderful story.

      This sounds like psychometry – the ability to hold an object and being able to tell something about the history of that object or of the person to whom it belongs. Have you tried since then with other objects? Maybe you have the ability to scry that way.
      I’d like to add that the only time that i have been truly impressed by a psychic was by a psychometrist i found by chance in a bookshop. He held my watch and was able to tell me not only about myself, but about my partner – with stunning accuracy – and *everything* he saw for the future happened .

      Objects do have energy fields, as is shown in the the sarcophagus in Aquarius, Scorpio Rising’s poignant story, and in the hands of people with knowledge about such energies, there is no doubt they would be able to transfer and bind energy to them.

      (would love to hear some snippet by Anthony Ashworth on this – it’s such a fascinating topic)

  5. This is a beautiful version of the Osiris hymn, Mystic. I have read it now about 10 times since yesterday & each time it makes me sigh with utter pleasure. It sounds like the diaphanous & poetic cousin of Lao Tzu’s TheTao that can be told is not the eternal Tao...

  6. Hanging to know some of the MM recommended Anthony Ashworth’s thoughts! Obviously, much of it will be between him and the querent, but if there’s anything for the rest of us to draw on, it’d be great to hear.

  7. This brings to mind the centuries-long practice of the squandering of ancient relics, by notably, ‘colonialist cultures..who simply collected and stole whatever they liked from anywhere?? No consideration given to the country or culture of origin, and no consideration of the often highly-charged symbolism of the object. Visit ANY famous museum for proof. And, even down to small items, origins unknown, people trade & collect objects still..from curiosity & for personal pleasure. The innate symbolism & energy of these objects is quite literally ‘objectified’..and then it’s seems random, that the object creates a sense of “curse” or havoc. Much more awareness is needed, to this day, of cultural backgrounds and the legacies & potencies of what society deems “collectors items” x

    1. In other words…thoroughly contemplate purchasing that *antique mask made in the PNG highlands* to decorate your patio area…possibly just to make yourself seem more interesting?! x

      1. Aqua Sun/Scorpio Moon/Polynesian..
        And the Fire element has always been a potent favourite of ancient cultures to dispose of items with bad juju and/or cleansing.

        1. I was going to add in a paragraph about not having icons or imagery in your house of a deity or belief system that you know nothing about, let alone follow but couldn’t get the right tone for it. But yes.

          1. It is tricky to get the tone right on this topic…but my basic summary of the random acquisition of icons et al from other cultures could be ‘careful what you wish for’…even from seemingly benevolent items??
            Such a great article post, Mystic.
            Some very interesting comments! x

          2. Yes to both Myst and O888. Often we are exploring our own spiritual lineage or the ones we feel strongly drawn to, because they are not passed down as practice. We all know the various reasons why peactices were shut down and not handed down. Not everyone’s a “Karen” wannabe witch. I bought Vaudoun tarot cards years ago; they taught me, opened up energies and interpretations. I had connected thru my french lang with other brown cultures through Vdn at a time when poc were not even called such, and the images on the cards were artistically gorgeous and fresh. But i released them eventually, as their energy and mine started to sync in ways that were powerful but i could not fully understand with my whole being. Last year i remembered them and gave myself a cultural appropriation guilt trip. Now i give myself, the deck and creator gratitude for being my gurus during grok-more-time. I hope that someone distinctly Vaudoun by lineage happened across that deck; or, hope they were fascinated to learn and be inspired as i was, heeded the power and released it.

            1. Beautiful comment, great story…
              I can relate to seeking guidance from other cultural sources…
              Interestingly, I practiced a form of Chakra Yoga daily, for about 2 years (In my 20’s) anyway, I had to release and end my yoga practice too..when I realised it was actually awakening too much of some sort of energy force in my body, that was too strong for my liking?! And I then realised, of course, that even Yoga has a distinct history (millennia-long) based on highly spiritual practice??
              It’s interesting to see how there’s just about a Yoga school in every suburb now??…that’s a lot of energy being manipulated around from the comfort of wearing leisure-wear etc?? x

                1. Thanks for your understanding and response, lovely one. Yes, yoga is a funny one, isn’t it? It’s my birthright, started learning when i was 3. I wish the benefits and explorations for ALL WHO ARE DRAWN. But that may be bc i was clearly taught at that age that there is dogma, orthodoxy that helps many people, and also that each and everyone, including the thuggee, has their own personal path towards salvation. God help me if i was only just white enough but not white enough to learn Pilates when i did! There’s a practice, and then like you say, there’s a token. But i am not in anyone’s home or spiritual space so i have learned i really do not know enough to make that call. My current and fav yoga teachers are amazing and one is most likely someone i would have even a year ago dismissed as appropriating or something like it: but i love her! Her energy is not her skin or race or any other form she is born in, but her yoga totally works with her form and her bodily gifts! And i have watched her power growing in just a short space of time. Am pretty sure she has been one of the living forms in life helping my healing. Some have feathers, some have skin 🙂

        2. Got a weird feeling about using this for the artefact. Though i love that you share Polynesian wisdom even while reminding us of definite boundaries that can be appropriation. You know, i think we’re all adding silvery and golden beauty for the LW.

          1. It’s a fascinating topic & post, this one…
            I think ultimately, respect should be more important than curiosity..for all of us.
            In regards to ownership of objects/icons et should probably be:
            Question 1: why/how is this object even part of my life?
            Question 2: if needed, how do I release it appropriately?

      2. Oh yes Orchid88! Or the Sepik carved idol of a ‘demon’ of war, carried into a battle to embolden the tribe it belonged to…So ‘you’ haggled with the keeper of that carving until you managed to carry away that sacred creature; you grinning, falsly triumphant.but doomed from that time on even as you explained how if you didnt believe in its story, it has no power over you. And there it sits, on the polished floorboards in your library room, definately not bringing you the peace and good fortune you aspire to! Instead yu get relationship bust-ups, car accidents, sleepless nights: olgeta samting no gut tru yia! [‘you’ refers to the ex]

  8. Oh Aqua-Scorp, you have the flash in your hand, and should read as many Magician tarot esoteric not generic guidances as you can (in your own delicious time) find. This is not urgent; your brother was an urgent soul. Aqua and Scorpio are beautiful magic that connect to the Kemetic as they aesthetically and measuredly stepped and organised their world, and still come through in ours.

    Have been trying unsuccessfully to post a gift to Kenya for some time now, so i feel like my first flash of thoughts are not helpful, but may i write them: Return this to Egypt; Return this to ground that is not within the waters and biota of living suburbs.

    You did well to wrap this in silk. You wanted well to release it from you with those good and close. You chose the ground high up in air well. But you need soil, oils, prayers and a carrier for it back to … i am not sure where it can go now. My mate is more into crystals, but is incommunicado, perhaps super cleanse crystals near it (selenite? Sorry i don’t know, i don’t use, but no moonstone, moony reflections, no dark cleansing bc what do you do with that stone once it is ‘full’) If you have a genetic witchcraft, like Celtic for example, you and yours can be using comfrey, yarrow etc etc for healing. Also, you need to grieve again, in another layer (sorry that is blunt, this is a signal of another layer of connection that is beautiful and needs to be honoured but it seriously, truly hurts so bad, you can only take your time, lovely LW Aq-Sc) xxxx

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *