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Category:The Book of Psalms

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The Book of Psalms
The Book of Psalms

The Book of Psalms is a collection of 150 ancient Hebrew poems or songs. It forms one of the most loved portions of the Jewish Bible or Hebrew Tanakh, and is equally revered in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The word "Psalms" comes from the Greek "Psalmoi," meaning "songs sung to a harp." Another name for The Book of Psalms is the Psaltery, from the Greek word "psallein," meaning to "play on a stringed instrument."

Contents

The Book of Psalms in Folk Magic

  • Psalms 1: For removal of the ungodly from a group; for a safe pregnancy.
  • Psalms 2: To aid in disbanding and breaking up enemy conspiracies.
  • Psalms 3: For relief from a severe headache or from back pain.
  • Psalms 4: For restful and peaceful sleep; to change one's luck from bad to good.
  • Psalms 5: For finding favor with authorities or superiors in business.
  • Psalms 6: For healing diseases of the eye; for protection in the dark.
  • Psalms 7: To stop conspiracies, enemy pursuit, for court cases.
  • Psalms 8: Success in business through the good will of associates.
  • Psalms 9: To punish enemies, restore health to male children, for court cases.
  • Psalms 10: To cleanse off an unclean, restless, or intranquil spirit.
  • Psalms 11: To cast off fear; for righteous retribution against your foes.
  • Psalms 12: For protection against severe persecution or oppression.
  • Psalms 13: For safety from unnatural death; for curing painful eye diseases.
  • Psalms 14: To stop libel and slander from tarnishing the trust others have in you.
  • Psalms 15: To exorcise evil spirits and devils from a person; for mental peace.
  • Psalms 16: To identify a thief; to change sorrow to joy and heal to pain.
  • Psalms 17: For safe travel abroad and to help bring a loved one safely home.
  • Psalms 18: To drive off approaching robbers; for anointing the sick to cure them.
  • Psalms 19: For help in childbirth, for release from jail, to remove evil spirits.
  • Psalms 20: Protection from danger for a day; to be justified in a court case.
  • Psalms 21: To both calm a storm and to offer protection for seafarers and sailors.
  • Psalms 22: For travel protection from dangerous storms, pirates, beasts, and men.
  • Psalms 23: For prosperity, love, protection, wisdom, and guidance.
  • Psalms 24: For protection from floods and escape from rising waters.
  • Psalms 25: Forgiveness of the sins of youth; protection from capture.
  • Psalms 26: For the release of someone from confinement or from jail.
  • Psalms 27: For protection and hospitality while one is travelling abroad.
  • Psalms 28: To bring back estranged friends who have become hostile to you.
  • Psalms 29: To drive out devils and restore peace and tranquility to the home.
  • Psalms 30: For protection from enemies; for recovery from severe illnesses.
  • Psalms 31: For protection from conspiracies, back-biting, and gossip.
  • Psalms 32: To gain respect, love, grace, and blessings from Heaven.
  • Psalms 33: To protect, unite, and bless all of the members of a family.
  • Psalms 34: To destroy and reverse back evil; for protection while travelling.
  • Psalms 35: For justice to prevail in court cases and legal matters.
  • Psalms 36: For protection from slander and gossip and to expose liars.
  • Psalms 37: For protection against slander, gossip, lies, and evil-doers.
  • Psalms 38: To help in court cases where slander fouled up the proceedings.
  • Psalms 39: To turn around a court case when false testimony has been given.
  • Psalms 40: For protection against evil spirits and to cast them out.
  • Psalms 41: To restore a good name if slander and gossip have ruined a reputation.
  • Psalms 42: For spiritual guidance; for answers in dreams; for love reconciliation.
  • Psalms 43: To work against slander and wicked people; to turn back evil.
  • Psalms 44: To guard and protect against enemies, invading armies, or war.
  • Psalms 45: For peace between husband and wife; to calm an angry spouse.
  • Psalms 46: To help a struggling marriage; to soothe marital tensions.
  • Psalms 47: To gain favour from those in power; for mastery over people.
  • Psalms 48: To destroy hateful and envious enemies; to seize them with terror.
  • Psalms 49: To help heal and ease serious illnesses, diseases, and fevers.
  • Psalms 50: For healing; to overcome fevers and other forms of sickness.
  • Psalms 51: For cleansing and removing sin, especially after acts of revenge.
  • Psalms 52: To end all manner of gossip and calumny by poison-tongued people.
  • Psalms 53: To protect from enemies whose names are known or unknown.
  • Psalms 54: To give protection by reversing works of evil and malice.
  • Psalms 55: To call upon the Lord to bring down retribution against attackers.
  • Psalms 56: For intercession by the Almighty to remove temptation and bad habits.
  • Psalms 57: To turn around one's luck, changing bad luck into good luck.
  • Psalms 58: For warding off snakes and wild beasts; to reverse evil unto enemies.
  • Psalms 59: To bring down the vengeance of the Lord against one's enemies.
  • Psalms 60: For the Lord to march into battle and protect His soldiers.
  • Psalms 61: For a new home to be fixed with good fortune, happiness, and peace.
  • Psalms 62: For forgiveness of sins and to gain the blessing of the Lord.
  • Psalms 63: To protect from being victimized by business partners and investors.
  • Psalms 64: For protection, especially while at sea, and for a safe return.
  • Psalms 65: For road opening that breaks through barriers and leads to success.
  • Psalms 66: To remove evil spirits; to heal those possessed; for wishes to come true.
  • Psalms 67: To help release those who has been imprisoned or otherwise bound.
  • Psalms 68: Recited while preparing baths that are used to exorcise evil spirits.
  • Psalms 69: To free one from slavery to addictions and unhealthy habits.
  • Psalms 70: To cast down and reverse the wickedness wrought by enemies.
  • Psalms 71: To release clients from prison, for acquittals in court cases.
  • Psalms 72: To craft charms and talismans that bring a client favour and grace.
  • Psalms 73: To protect travellers against religious persecution in foreign lands.
  • Psalms 74: For an end to persecution and to destroy oppressors and persecutors.
  • Psalms 75: Used along with specially prepared baths for the cleansing of sins.
  • Psalms 76: For the Lord's intercession, to provide protection from all attacks.
  • Psalms 77: Used against danger, poverty, chronic illness, drought, and famine.
  • Psalms 78: To gain favors from kings, princes, and other government officials.
  • Psalms 79: To utterly destroy the wicked and also to cast fatal curses.
  • Psalms 80: To end spiritual doubts and to prevent people falling into unbelief.
  • Psalms 81: To save people from error and mistakes, for safety from accidents.
  • Psalms 82: To facilitate business deals and assist those making investments.
  • Psalms 83: To keep clients safe during times of war, persecution, and captivity.
  • Psalms 84: For healing, especially when the body has contracted unusual odors.
  • Psalms 85: To soften hearts and restore peace to friends who have become enemies.
  • Psalms 86: To bring goodness, spiritual peace, and happiness to the community.
  • Psalms 87: To cleanse the community before starting healing and blessing work.
  • Psalms 88: To remove evil and bring blessings; used with baths and talismans.
  • Psalms 89: To anoint the sick, to secure a release from prison, for psychic vision.
  • Psalms 90: Used with Psalms 91 for protection; also to bless the work of the hands.
  • Psalms 91: For protection from distress and harm; to exorcize evil spirits.
  • Psalms 92: Prayed over herbal baths used to bring good fortune and high honors.
  • Psalms 93: Against prosecution by unjust and oppressive men; to win in court.
  • Psalms 94: For protection and to turn all evil back onto your enemies.
  • Psalms 95: To cleanse sins; to pray for guidance and forgiveness for enemies.
  • Psalms 96: To bless a family and bring happiness, peace, and joy to them.
  • Psalms 97: Used with Psalms 96 for healing, blessing, and cleansing a family.
  • Psalms 98: To restore peace between two hostile families; to bless a home.
  • Psalms 99: For praise and devotion to God; to gain conversation with God.
  • Psalms 100: To bring victory against enemies by uplifting the client.
  • Psalms 101: For protection against enemies and to be rid of evil spirits.
  • Psalms 102: For assistance in matters of fertility and to be granted grace.
  • Psalms 103: For help in conceiving of a child and for the forgiveness of sins.
  • Psalms 104: Repeated frequently to destroy and cleanse away harm, evil, and sin.
  • Psalms 105: For healing illnesses, especially recurrent or periodic fevers.
  • Psalms 106: For healing and to restore one to health, especially from fevers.
  • Psalms 107: For remission or healing from periodic or recurrent fevers.
  • Psalms 108: Utilized in a spell for financial success in your place of business.
  • Psalms 109: Used in a powerful curse against oppressive, slanderous enemies.
  • Psalms 110: For victory; to cause enemies to bow before you and beg for mercy.
  • Psalms 111: Recited to acquire many friends, as well as respect, and admiration.
  • Psalms 112: To increase in might and power, for success, abundance, and blessings.
  • Psalms 113: Prayers and blessings for those in need; to stop infidelity and heresy.
  • Psalms 114: Used in a spell for success in matters of finance, business, and money.
  • Psalms 115: To foster truth-telling, for victory in debate over scoffers and mockers.
  • Psalms 116: Recited daily for protection from violent or sudden death or injury.
  • Psalms 117: For forgiveness of a failure to keep a vow or promise that you made.
  • Psalms 118: For protection against those who try to misguide or lead you astray.
  • Psalms 119: The longest Psalm, its 22 alphabetic divisions cover all human problems.
  • Psalms 120: For success in court and for protection against snakes and scorpions.
  • Psalms 121: For safety at night, both during sleep and while travelling in darkness.
  • Psalms 122: For peace within a city, and to gain the favour of those in high station.
  • Psalms 123: Employed in a spell to cause a servant, trainee, or employee to return.
  • Psalms 124: Cleansing of the soul, protection at sea and from being wronged.
  • Psalms 125: For protection in foreign lands and against those who work iniquity.
  • Psalms 126: After miscarriage or the death of a child; for the next child to live.
  • Psalms 127: Placed in a mojo for the protection and blessing of a newborn baby.
  • Psalms 128: For a fortunate, accident-free pregnancy; for uncomplicated childbirth.
  • Psalms 129: Recited daily to prepare one for a long life of virtue and good works.
  • Psalms 130: Recited to the four quarters when passing by sentries in a war zone.
  • Psalms 131: Recited three times a day to reduce one's sin of pride and scornfulness.
  • Psalms 132: To remediate one's unpunctuality and failure to perform duties on time.
  • Psalms 133: To retain the love and respect of friends and to gain many more friends.
  • Psalms 134: For altar work in matters of higher education and for success in school.
  • Psalms 135: For repentance, spirituality, and rededication of one's life to God.
  • Psalms 136: Recited on behalf of those who wish to confess and be cleansed of sins.
  • Psalms 137: For cleansing of the heart and soul from hate, envy, evil, and vice.
  • Psalms 138: Recited daily to bring love and friendship from the Lord.
  • Psalms 139: To nurture and maintain love, especially within the context of marriage.
  • Psalms 140: To restore tranquility and to preserve and maintain relationships.
  • Psalms 141: To ward against terror and fear and against looming oppression.
  • Psalms 142: To heal the body, restore health, and alleviate pain and suffering.
  • Psalms 143: To heal bodily limbs, especially the arms and to alleviate pain.
  • Psalms 144: To speed up healing and to ensure the perfect mend of a broken arm.
  • Psalms 145: To cleanse and purify clients who are beset by ghosts or evil spirits.
  • Psalms 146: Used with altar work for healing and recovery after being wounded.
  • Psalms 147: For healing wounds and bites from snakes, insects, and other animals.
  • Psalms 148: Used with Psalms 149 to keep clients safe from accidents by fire.
  • Psalms 149: Used with altar work to protect against fire-related accidents.
  • Psalms 150: For the glory of the Lord and to give thanks for His intervention.
A bilingual English-Hebrew Book of Psalms (Tehilim), illustrated by Saul Raskin, 1942
A bilingual English-Hebrew Book of Psalms (Tehilim), illustrated by Saul Raskin, 1942
Bibliomancy, or consulting the Bible
Bibliomancy, or consulting the Bible

Recitation of the Psalms

Psalms can be sung, but in popular Jewish, Protestant Christian, Spiritualist, and Catholic Christian traditions, it is more common to recite them, either from memory or from a book, as a form of prayer, or while performing other devotions, such as bathing oneself, performing a spiritual cleaning of a home or business, placing candles or vigil lights upon an altar, or suffumigating a room or person with incense.

In hoodoo and conjure practice, the Jewish custom of reciting specific Psalms over oils or water to fix or empower them is also found. Your spiritual counsellor may provide you with talismans, mojo bags, incense, or other spiritual supplies that have been blessed through the recitation of Psalms, or may instruct you in your own use of Psalms while handling your case for you.

The History of Psalmic Magic

The tradition of praying the Psalms for magical, medical, or social remediation is an old Jewish custom. Additionally, Jewish folk magicians and kabbalists have, over the centuries, developed a method of working with the Psalms in prescriptive rites, such as the consecration of talismans, and as an adjunct to spell-casting for various conditions. The earliest book on this subject, the Hebrew text "Shimmush Tehilim" ("On the Use of the Psalms") dates back to the 10th century CE.

In the 1700s, Johannes Gottfried Seelig, a German Jewish convert to Christianity, translated "Shimmush Tehilim" into the German language. Shortly thereafter, it entered the United states when Seelig himself emigrated to Pennsylvania, where he lived with a group of devout men known as "The Monks of the Wissahickon." By the early 1800s, the book had been well accepted among Pennsylvania German Christian practitioners of brauchererai folk magic (which is better known to English-speaking Americans as Pow Wow magic).

In the late 19th century, the American Ashkenazi Jewish publishers Wehman Brothers translated Seelig's German-language edition of "Shimmush Tehilim" into English, and Anglicized the author's name as well. Under the title "Secrets of the Psalms, A Fragment of the Practical Kabbalah" by "Godfrey Selig," the ancient Jewish magic book was introduced to the African American folk magic community by Jewish pharmacists and occult-shop owners. By the early 1900s, "Secrets of the Psalms" had become one of the most popular books used by conjure doctors and spiritual practitioners of hoodoo and rootwork, and its wide popularity continues to the present day.

Our compilation of the uses of the Psalms in hoodoo and rootwork is based on the English-language edition of "The Secrets of the Psalms" (and thus on "Shimmush Tehilim"), and it also incorporates original African American hoodoo variations on this ancient Jewish book of magical art.

Bibliomancy with the Psalms

For more information, plus a list of AIRR Certified Bibliomancers, see the page on Bibliomancy

Although it is a slim volume, the Psaltery may be consulted on matters of divination, for within its 150 songs are verses that cover virtually the entire gamut of human life. To divine with The Book of Psalms, one needs only the book and a moment of calm, peaceful silence. (Read More...)

Facts About the Psalms

Many of the Psalms were written by the Jewish King David, who was a harpist. Seventy-three of the Psalms specifically bear David's name as the author. Additionally, thirteen Psalms have headings that refer to events in David's life; these Psalms are 3, 7, 18, 34, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 63 and 142.

The shortest Psalm is number 117, which only contains two verses.

The longest Psalm is number 119, which is composed of 176 verses, in sets of eight verses, each set beginning with one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

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