Hello, I'm researching religious and historical artifacts, and am sharing a little of my knowledge with you, as well as opening a discussion as to your own beliefs in magic.
Fist things first, I'm not a Magus or a spiritualist. I don't believe in magic, but the subject is extremely interesting to me. I have never successfully cast a spell, although I have had many attempts. I have been intrigued by magic ever since I was 8, when I saw a South African shaman make a fishing charm for my dad. We were having no luck catching anything for hours, but as soon as the shaman gave us that charm we caught 3 dogfish in the space of half an hour. Whether this was magic or not, I don't know, but I do know that it wasn't normal. Anyway, I've been rambling on for a while now, so I think I'll get on with the main topic now.
Religion is something that has been in our society for hundreds of years. There are thousands upon thousands of legends and stories regarding religion, but the most intriguing has to be magic. Magic, in it's original form, was said to have been practiced over 5000 years ago, during the times of Ancient Egypt. The concept of magic was originally a means of sacrificing ones soul to a higher being, in return for a greater power. A perfect example of this was the people of Ancient Egypt. There are stories of ancient Egyptians praying to the burial god, Anubis that they would be rejected from death, and be allowed to live forever on earth as immortal beings. This is considered one of the many origins of magic.
The origins of magic are one of the most intriguing aspects of history- and there is very little known of it. Through my own research, I have come to the conclusion that the true origin of magic was in the time of the Neanderthals- 200,000 BC. This is around the time that Neanderthals began burying their dead. They simply dug out a hole, tore the body into smaller parts and threw them in. This is a simple form of christian burials, but nowhere near as sophisticated. This could mark the very first signs of spiritual belief.
Of course, as time progresses, so does human evolution. People started painting skulls with red ochre, ivory was placed in graves and fox teeth were tied to strings and placed on the copses. This more civil burial would progress into the start of religion and thus, with it will come magic.
The most interesting artifacts are those that are related to magic and religion. Blades such as Zulfiqar, Angurvadal, Surtr's Flaming Sword are all rumored to be magical artifacts, each with it's own unique ability. Zulfiqar in particular is interesting, as it is said to have been the blade of the cousin and son in law of Muhammad- Ali the Islamic leader. Gifted to Ali on the battlefield by the prophet, he used it to win the battle of Uhud. It is said that it fell from the heavens into Ali's hand, and it's name means 'Cleaver of the Spine'.
Now, the topic of magical artifacts is very interesting, but what's more interesting is the origin of spells. Spells are the essence of magic, and are how we apply our spiritual energy for arcane use. The classic form of a spell is known as a ritual, or ceremony. The sacrifice of blood is one of the most common rituals in our society. The blood ritual was originally performed as far back as 25,000 BC, as a means of sending the dead on to the afterlife with their companions blood to aid their voyage. The blood ritual now has common applications in alchemy, as a means of creating different substances using the iron in your blood. Blood is also said to represent the soul, and thus is used in potions for application on other people. Love potions, good luck potions and health potions can use your own blood as a way to lend your soul to someone.
What I have said here is just a bit of information I have accumulated throughout my life, and I'm looking for any other bits of information you may have, regarding magical and religious application throughout history.
Thanks for reading so far, any comments are appreciated.