Sacred Texts  Esoteric  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Philosophy of Natural Magic, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, L. W. de Laurence ed. [1913], at


How the Elements Are in the Heavens, in Stars, in Devils, in Angels, and lastly in God Himself.

It is the unanimous consent of all Platonists, that as in the original and exemplary World, all things are in all; so also in this corporeal world, all things are in all; so also the Elements are not only in these inferior bodies, but also in the Heavens, in Stars in Devils, in Angels, and lastly in God, the maker and original example of all things. Now in these inferior bodies the Elements are accompanied with much gross matter; but in the Heavens the Elements are with their natures and virtues, viz., after a celestial

p. 59

and more excellent manner than in sublunary things. For the firmness of the Celestial Earth is there without the grossness of water; and the agility of the Air without running over its bounds; the heat of Fire without burning, only shining and giving life to all things by its heat. Amongst the Stars, also, some are fiery, as Mars and Sol; airy, as Jupiter and Venus; watery, as Saturn and Mercury; and earthy, such as inhabit the eighth Orb * and the Moon (which, notwithstanding, by many is accounted watery), seeing, as if it were Earth, it attracts to itself the celestial waters, with which, being imbibed, it doth, by reason of its nearness to us, pour out and communicate to us. There are, also, amongst the Signs,  some fiery, some earthy, some airy, some watery; the Elements rule them also in the Heavens, distributing to them these four threefold considerations of every Element, viz., the beginning, middle and end: So Aires possesseth the beginning of fire, Leo the progress and increase, and Sagittarius the end. Taurus the beginning of the earth, Virgo the progress, Capricorn the end. Gemini the beginning of the air, Libra the progress, Aquarius the end. Cancer the beginning of water, Scorpius the middle, and Pisces the end. Of the mixtions, therefore, of these Planets and Signs, together with the Elements, are all bodies made. Moreover, Devils also are upon this account distinguished the one from the other, so that some are called fiery, some earthy, some airy, and some watery. Hence, also, those four Infernal Rivers—fiery Phlegethon, airy Cocytus, watery Styx, earthy Acheron. Also in the Gospel we read of hell fire, and eternal fire, into which the cursed shall be commanded to go; and in the Revelation we read of a lake of fire, and Isaiah speaks of the damned that

p. 60

the Lord will smite them with corrupt air. And in Job, they shall skip from the waters of the snow to extremity of heat; and in the same we read, that the Earth is dark, and covered with the darkness of death and miserable darkness. Moreover, also, these Elements are placed in the Angels in Heaven and the blessed Intelligences. There is in them a stability of their essence, which is an earthly virtue, in which is the steadfast seat of God; also their mercy and piety is a watery cleansing virtue. Hence by the Psalmist they are called Waters, where he, speaking of the Heavens, saith, Who rulest the Waters that are higher than the Heavens. * Also in them their subtile breath is Air, and their love is shining Fire. Hence they are called in Scripture the Wings of the Wind; and in another place the Psalmist speaks of them, Who makest Angels thy Spirits and thy Ministers a flaming fire. Also according to orders of Angels, some are fiery, as Seraphim, and Authorities and Powers; earthy, as Cherubim; watery, as Thrones and Archangels; airy, as Dominions and Principalities. Do we not also read of the original maker of all things, that the earth shall be opened and bring forth a Savior? It is not spoken of the same that he shall be a fountain of living Water, cleansing and regenerating? Is not the same Spirit breathing the breath of life; and the same, according to Moses’ and Paul's testimony, a consuming Fire? That Elements, therefore, are to be found everywhere, and in all things after their manner, no man can deny: First in these inferior bodies seculent and gross, and in celestials more pure and clear; but in supercelestials living, and in all respects blessed. Elements, therefore, in the exemplary world are Ideas of things to be produced, in Intelligences are distributed powers,

p. 61

in Heavens are virtues, and in inferior bodies gross forms.


59:* A supposedly transparent envelope or azure sphere inclosing the earth and other like spheres, within which were carried the planetary bodies.

59:† The twelve "houses" or divisional parts of the Zodiac.

60:* See Psalm cxlviii., 4: "Waters that be above the Heavens." Gen., i., 6-9, is also noteworthy. The Watery Triplicity of the Zodiac may properly be termed as "Waters above the Heavens," or Celestial Waters.

Next: Chapter IX. Of the Virtues of Things Natural, Depending Immediately upon Elements