Of The Seals And Characters Impressed By Celestials Upon Natural Things

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ALL stars have their peculiar natures, properties, and conditions, the seals and characters whereof they produce through their rays even in these inferior things, viz. in elements, in stones, in plants, in animals, and their members; whence every thing receives from an harmonious disposition, and from its star shin ing upon it, some particular seal or character stamped upon it, which is the significator of that star or harmony, containing in it a peculiar virtue, different from other virtue s of the same matter, both generically, specifically, and numerically. Every thing, therefore, hath its character impressed upon it by its star for some peculiar effect, especially by that star which doth principally govern it; and these characters contain in them the particular natures, virtues, and roots of their stars, and produce the like operations upon other things on which they are reflected; and stir up and help the influences of their stars, whether they be planets, or fixed stars and figures, or celestial constellations, viz. as often as they shall be made in a fit matter, and in their due and accustomed times; which the ancient wise men (considering such as laboured much in finding out occult properties of things) did set down, in writing, the images of the stars, their figures, seals, marks, characters, such as Nature herself did describe by the rays of the stars in these inferior bodies: some in stones, some in plants, some in joints and knots of trees and their boughs, and some in various members of animals. For the bay-tree, lote-tree, and marigold, are solary herbs, and their roots and knots being cut, they show the characters of the sun; and in stones the character and images of celestial things are often found. But there being so great a diversity of things, there is only a traditional knowledge of a few things which human understanding is able to reach; therefore very few of those things ar e known to us, which the ancient philosophers and chiromancers attained to, partly by reason and partly by experience; and there yet lie hid many things in the treasury of Nature, which the diligent student and wise searcher shall contemplate and discover.


IT is necessary, before we come to the operative or practical part of Talismanic Magic, to show the compositions of fumes or vapours, that are proper to the stars, and are of great force for the opportunely receiving of celestial gifts, under the rays of the stars—inasmuch as they strongly work upon the air and breath; for our breath is very much changed by such kind of vapours, if both vapours be of the other like. The air being also, through the said vapours, easily moved, or infected with the qualities of inferiors, or celestial (daily quickly penetrating our breast and vitals), does wonderfully reduce us to the like qualities. Let no man wonder how great things suffumigations can do in the air; especially when they shall, with Porphyry, consider that, by certain vapours exhaled from proper suffumigations, srial spirits are raised; also thunder and lightnings, and the like: as the liver of a cameleon being burnt on the house top, will raise showers and lightnings; the same effect has the head and throat, if they are burnt with oaken wood. There are some suffumigations under the influences of the stars, that cause images of spirits to appear in the air, or elsewhere: for if coriander, smallage, henbane, and hemlock be made to fume, by invocations spirits will soon come together, being attracted by the vapours which are most congruous to their own natures; hence they are called the herbs of the spirits. Also it is said, that if a fume be made of the root of the reedy herb sagapen, with the juice of hemlock and henbane, and the herb tapsus barbatus, red sanders, and black poppy, it will likewise make strange shapes appear; but if a suffume be made of smallage, it chases them away, and destroys their visions. Again, if a perfume is made of calamint, piony, mint, and palma christi, it drives away all evil spirits and vain imaginations. Likewise, by certain fumes, animals are gathered together, and put to flight. Pliny mentions concerning the stone liparis, that, with the fume thereof, all beasts are attracted together. The bones in the upper part of the throat of a hart, being burnt, bring serpents together; but the horn of the hart, being burnt, chases away the same; likewise, a fume of peacock's feathers does the same. Also, the lungs of an ass, being burnt, puts all poisonous things to flight; and the fume of the burnt hoof of a horse drives away mice; the same does the hoof a mule; and with the hoof of the left-foot flies are driven away. And if a house, or ally place, be smoaked with the gall of a cuttle-fish, made into a confection with red storax, roses, and lignum aloes, and then there be some sea-water or blood cast into that place, the whole house will seem to be full of water or blood.

Now such kind of vapours as these, we must conceive, do infect a body, and infuse a virtue into it which continues long, even as the poisonous vapour of the pestilence, being kept for two years in the walls of a house, infects the inhabitants; and as the contagion of pest or leprosy lying hid in a garment, will, long after, infect him that wears it.

Now there are certain suffumigations used to almost all our instruments of magic (of which hereafter), such as images, rings, &c. For some of the magicians say, that if any one shall hide gold, or silver, or any other such like precious thing (the moon being in conjunction with the sun), and shall perfume the place with coriander, saffron, henbane, smallage, and black poppy, of each the same quantity, and bruised together, and tempered with the juice of hemlock, that thing which is so hid shall never be taken away therefrom, but that spirit shall continually keep it; and if any one shall endeavour to take it away by force, they shall be hurt, or struck with a frenzy. And Hermes says, there is nothing like the fume of spermaceti for the raising up of spirits; therefore if a fume be made of that, lignum aloes, pepperwort, musk, saffron, and red storax, tempered together with the blood of a lapwing or bat, it will quickly gather airy spirits to the place where it is used; and if it be used above the graves of the dead, it will attract spirits and ghosts thither.

Now the use of suffumigations is this: that wh enever we set about making any talisman, image, or the like, under the rule or dominion of any star or planet, we should by no means omit the making of a suffumigation appropriate to that planet or constellation under which we desire to work any effect or wonderful operation; as for instance:--when we direct any work to the sun, we must suffum e with solary things; if to the moon, with lunary things; and so of the rest. And we must be careful to observe, that as there is a contrariety, or antipathy, in the natures of the stars and planets and their spirits, so there is also in suffumigations: for there is an antipathy between lignum aloes and sulphur frankincense and quicksilver; and spirits that are raised by the fume of lignum aloes, are laid by the burning of sulphur. For the learned Proclus gives an example of a spirit that appeared in the form of a lion, furious and raging: by setting a white cock before the apparition it soon vanished away; because there is so great a contrariety between a cock and a lion;--and let this suffice for a general observation in these kind of things. We shall proceed with showing distinctly the composition of the several fumes appropriated to the seven planets.

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