O Wise One, he who tames the snaketooth poison,
it is Choranu whom the Lady Mare calls for aid.
She pleas for her children, calls for her young ones,
to ease the scorpion’s sting, to save from harm.
The tamarisk is in your hand, the barbed branch in your grip.
The reed clacks loudly, the woody stems crush the oath-breaker’s skull.
The date palm spreads, sweeps, the fronds an outstretched
hand toward life.
Wise as serpents you are,
Renew the body, shred the old skin.
He who is the Purifier, the Hallowed Exorcist
no poison can sting you
the air made sweet by Your breath,
Inspired by writings of:
—“The Mare and Horon”, translated by Simon B. Parker. Ugaritic Narrative Poetry (1997). Canaanite myth.
— “The God Choron: Enchanter, Exorcist, Enforcer”, article by Tess Dawson. Anointed: A Devotional Anthology for the Deities of the Near and Middle East (2011).
–Spoken curse, “May Choron break your skull!”. Similar to modern English, “Go to hell!”
Image of kudurru (Akkadian for ‘boundary stone’) depicting the snake god Nirah, representative of Ishtaran, deity of Sumerian city Der. Via Wikipedia Commons.