Of Sorceries

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THE force of sorceries are, no doubt, very powerful; indeed, they are able to confound, subvert, consume, and change all inferior thin, gs; likewise there are sorceries by which we can suspend the faculties of men and beasts. Now, as we have promised, we will shew what some of these kind of sorceries are, that,, by the example of these, there may be a way opened for the whole subject of them. Of these, the first is menstruous blood, which, how much power it has in sorcery, we will now consider:--First, if it comes over new wine, it will turn it sour; and if it does but touch a vine, it will spoil it for ever; and, by its very touch, it renders all plants and trees barrfen, and those newly set, die; it burns up all the herbs in the garden, and makes fruit fall from trees; it makes dim the brightness of a looking-glass, dulls the edges of knives and razors, dims the beauty of polished ivory, and makes iron rusty; it likewise makes brassf rusty, and to smell very strong; by the taste, it makes dogs run mad, and, being thus mad, if they once bite any one, that wound is incurable; it destroys whole hives of bees, and drives them away, if it does but touch them; it makes linen black that is boiled with it; it makes mares cast their foals by touching them with it, and women miscarry; it makes asses barren if they cat of the corn touched by it. The ashes of menstruous clothe s cast upon purple garments, that are to be washed, change their colour, and likewise take away the colour of flowers. It also drives away tertian and quartan agues, if it be put into the wool of a black ram, and tied up in a silver bracelet; as also if the soles of the patient's feet be anointed therewith, and especially if it be done by the woman herself, the patient not knowing what she uses. It likewise cures the falling sickness; but most especially it cures them that are afraid of water or drink after they are bitten by a mad dog, if only a menstruous cloth be put under the cup. Likewise, if a menstruous woman shall walk naked, before sun-rise, in a field of standing corn, all hurtful things perish; but if after sun-rise, the corn withers; also, they are able to expel hail, rain, thunders, and lightnings; more of which Pliny mentions. Know this, that if they happen at the decrease of the moon, they are a much greater poison than in the increase, and yet much greater if they happen between the decrease and change; but if they happen in the eclipse of the sun or moon, they are a most incurable and violent poison. But they are of the greatest force when they happen in the first years of the virginity, for then if they but touch the door-posts of a house, no mischief can take effect in it. And some say that the threads of any garment touched therewith cannot be burnt, and if they are cast into a fire, it will spread no farther. Also it is noted, that the root of piony being given with castor, and smeared over with a menstruous cloth, it certainly cureth the falling sickness.

Again, let the stomach of a hart be roasted, and to it be put a perfume made with a menstruous cloth; it will make cross-bows useless for the killing of any game. The hairs of a menstruous woman, put under dung, breeds serpents; and if they are burnt, will drive away serpents with the fume. So great and powerful a poison is in them, that they are a poison to poisonous creatures.

We next come to speak of hippomanes, which, amongst sorceries, are not accounted the least: and this is a little venemous piece of flesh, the size of a fig, and black, which is in the forehead of a colt newly foaled, which, unless the mare herself doth presently eat, she will hardly ever love her foles, or let them suck; and this is a most powerful philter to cause love, if it be powdered, and drank in a cup with the blood of him that is in love: such a potion was given to Medea by Jason.

There is another sorcery which is called hippomanes, viz. a venomous liquor issuing out of the share of a mare at the time she lusts after the horse. The civet-cat, also, abounds with sorceries; for the posts of a door being touched with her blood, the arts of jugglers and sorcerers are so invalid that evil spirits can by no means be called up, or compelled to talk with them:--This is Pliny's report. Also, those that are anointed with the oil of her left foot, being boiled with the ashes of the ancle bone of the same and the blood of a weasel, shall become odious to all. The same, also, is to be done with the eye being decocted. If any one hath a little of the strait-gut of this animal about him, and it is bound to the left arm, it is a charm; that if he does but look upon a woman, it will cause her to follow him at all opportunities; and the skin of this animal's forehead withstands witchcraft.

We next come to speak of the blood of a basilisk, which magicians call the blood of Saturn.--This procures (by its virtue) for him that carries it about him, good success of petitions from great men; likewise makes him amazingly successful in the cure of diseases, and the grant of any privilege. They say, also, that a tike, if it be taken out of the left car of a dog, and it be altogether black, if the sick person shall answer him that brought it in, and who, standing at his feet, sh all ask him concerning his disease, there is certain hope of life; and that he shall die if he make him no answer. They say, also, that a stone bitten by a mad dog causes discord, if it be put into drinks; and if any one shall put the tongue of a dog, dried, into his shoe, or some of the powder, no dog is able to bark at him who hath it; and more powerful this, if th e herb hound's-tongue be put with it. And the membrane of the secundine of a bitch does the same; likewise, dogs will not bark at him who hath the heart of a dog in his pocket.

The red toad (Pliny says) living in briers and brambles, is full of sorceries, and is capable of wonderful things: there is a little bone in his left side, which being cast into cold water, makes it presently hot; by which, also, the rag e of dogs are restrained, and their love procured, if it be put in their drink, making th em faithful and serviceable; if it be bound to a woman, it stirs up lust. On the contrary, the bone which is on the right side makes hot water cold, and it binds it so that no heat can make it hot while it there remains. It is a certain cure for quartans, if it be bound to the sick in a snake's skin; and like wise cures all fevers, the St. Anthony's fire, and restrains love and lust. And the spleen and heart are effectual antidotes against the poisons of the s aid toad. Thus much Pliny writes.

Also it is said, that the sword with which a man is slain hath wonderful power; for if the snaffle of a bridle, or bit, or spurs, be made of it, with these a horse ever so wild is tamed, and made gentle and obedient. They say, if we dip a sword, with which any one was beheaded, in wine, that it cures the quartan, th e sick being given to drink of it. There is a liquor made, by which men are made as raging and furious as a bear, imagining themselves in every respect to be changed into one; and this is done by dissolving or boiling the brains and heart of that animal in new wine, and giving any one to drink out of a skull, and, while the force of the draught operates, he will fancy every living creature to be a bear like to himself; neither can any th ing divert or cure him till the fumes and virtue of the liquor are entirely expended, no other distemper being perceivable in him.

The most certain cure of a violent head-ache, is to take any herb growing upon the top of the head of an image; the same being bound, or hung about one with a red thread, it will soon allay the violent pain thereof.


THERE are made, artificially, some kinds of lamps, torches, candles, and the like, of some certain and appropriate materials and liquors opportunely gathered and collected for this purpose, which, when they are lighted and shine alone, produce some wonderful effects. There is a poison from mares, after copulation, which, being lighted in torches composed of their fat and marrow, doth represent on the walls a monstrous deformity of horses' heads, which thing is both easy and pleasant to do: the like may be done of asses and flies. And the skin of a serpent or snake, lighted in a green lamp, makes the images of the same to appear; and grapes produce the same effect, if, when they are in their flowers, you shall take a phial, and bind it to them, filled with oil, and shall let them remain so till they are ripe, and then the oil be lighted in a lamp, you shall see a prodigious quantity of grapes; and the same in other fruits. If centaury be mixed with honey and the blood of a lapwing, and be put in a lamp, they that stand about will be of a gigantic stature; and if it be lighted in a clear evening, the stars will seem scattered about.

The ink of the cuttle-fish being put into a lamp, makes Blackamoors appear. So, also, a candle made of some saturnine things, such as man's fat and marrow, the fat of a black cat, with the brains of a crow or raven, which being extinguished in the mouth of a man lately dead, will afterwards, as often as it shines alone, bring great horror and fear upon the spectators about it.

Of such like torches, candles, lamps, &c., (of which we shall speak further in our Book of Magnetism and Mummies) Hermes speaks largely of; also Plato and Chyrannides; and, of the later writers, Albertus Magnus makes particular mention of the truth and efficacy of these, in a treatise on these particular things relative to lights, &c.


WE call fascination a binding, because it is effected by a look, glance, or observation, in which we take possession of the spirit, and overpower the same, of those we mean to fascinate or suspend; for it comes through the eyes, and the instrument by which we fascinate or bind is a certain, pure, lucid, subtil spirit, generated out of the ferment of the purer blood by the heat of the heart, and the firm, determined, and ardent will of the soul which directs it to the object previously disposed to be fascinated. This doth always send forth by the eyes rays or beams, carrying with them a pure subtil spirit or vapour into the eye or blood of him or her that is opposite. So the eye, being opened and intent upon any one with a strong imagination, doth dart its beams, which are the vehicle of the spirit, into whatever we will affect or bind, which spirit striking the eye of them who are fascinated, being stirred up in the heart and soul of him that sends them forth, and possessing the breast of them who are struck, wounds their hearts, infects their spirits, and overpowers them.

Know, likewise, that in witches, those are most bewitched, who, with often looking, direct the edge of their sight to the edge of the sight of those who bewitch or fascinate them; whence arose the saying of "Evil eyes, &c." For when their eyes are reciprocally bent one upon the other, and are joined beams to beams, and lights to lights, then the spirit of the one is joined to the spirit of the other, and then are strong ligations made; and most violent love is stirred up, only with a sudden looking on, as it were, with the darting a look, or piercing into the very inmost of the heart, whence the spirit and amorous blood, being thus wounded, are carried forth upon the lover, and enchanter; no otherwise than the spirit and the blood of him that is murdered is upon the murderer, who, if standing near the body killed, the blood flows afresh, which thing has been tried by repeated experiments.

So great power is there in fascination that many uncommon and wonderful things are thereby effected, especially when the vapours of the eyes are subservient to the affection; therefore collyries, ointments, alligations, &,c. are used to affect and corroborate the spirit in this or that manner: to induce love, th ey use venereal collyriums, as hippomanes, blood of doves, &c. To induce fear, they use martial collyriums, as the eyes of wolves, bear's fat, and the civet-cat. To procure misery, or sickness, they use saturnine, and so on.

Thus much we have thought proper to speak concerning Natural Magic, in which we have, as it may be said, only opened the first chamber of Nature's storehouse; indeed we should have inserted many more things here, but as they fall more properly under the heads of Magnetism, Mummy, &c., to which we refer the reader, we shall take our leave of the reader for the present, that we may give him time to breathe, likewise to digest what he has here feasted upon; and, while he is preparing to enter the unlocked chambers of Magic and Nature, we will procure him a rich service of most delicious meats, fit for the hungry and thirsty traveller through the vast labyrinths of wisdom and true science.

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