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


Of the Seals and Characters of Natural Things.

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 natural thing receives, from a harmonious disposition and from its star shining upon it, some particular Seal, or character, stamped upon it; which Seal of character is the significator of that star, or harmonious disposition, containing in it a peculiar Virtue, differing from other virtues of the same matter, both generically, specifically, and numerically. Every thing, therefore, hath its character pressed upon it by its star for some particular effect, especially by that star which doth principally govern it. And these Characters contain and retain in them the peculiar 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, or Figures, or celestial Signs,  viz.,

p. 115

as oft as they shall be made in a fit matter, and in their due and accustomed times. Which ancient Wise Men considering—such as labored much in the finding out of the 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, and joints and knots of boughs, and some in divers members of animals. For the bay-tree, the lote-tree, and the marigold are Solary Plants, and in their roots and knots, being cut off, shew the Characters of the Sun. So also in the bones and shoulder-blades in animals; whence there arose a spatulary kind of divining (i. e.) by the shoulder-blades; and in the stones and stony things the Characters and Images of celestial things are often found. But seeing that in so great a diversity of things there is not a traditional knowledge, only in a few things, which human understanding is able to reach: Therefore, leaving those things which are to be found out in plants and stones, and other things, as also in the members of divers animals, we shall limit ourselves to man's nature only, which, seeing it is the most complete Image of the whole Universe, containing in itself the whole heavenly harmony, will, without all doubt, abundantly afford us the Seals and Characters of all the Stars and Celestial Influences, and those, as the more efficacious, which are less differing from the celestial nature. But as the number. of the Stars is known to God alone, so also their effects and Seals upon these inferior things, wherefore no human intellect is able to attain to the knowledge of them. Whence

p. 116

very few of those things became known to us which the ancient philosophers and chiromancers attained to, partly by reason and partly by experience; and there be many things yet lying hid in the treasury of Nature. We shall here, in this place, note some few Seals and Characters of the Planets, such as the ancient chiromancers knew of, in the hands of men. These doth Julian call Sacred and Divine Letters, seeing that by them, according to the holy Scripture, is the life of men writ in their hands. And there are in all nations of all languages always the same and like to them, and permanent; to which were added and found out afterwards many more; as by the ancient, so by latter chiromancers. And they that would know them must have recourse to their volumes. It is sufficient here to shew from

p. 117


The Letters or Characters of Saturn.

The Letters or Characters of Saturn

The Letters or Characters of Jupiter.

The Letters or Characters of Jupiter

The Letters or Characters of Mars.

The Letters or Characters of Mars

The Letters or Characters of the Sun.

The Letters or Characters of the Sun

The Letters or Characters of Venus.

The Letters or Characters of Venus

The Letters or Characters of Mercury.

The Letters or Characters of Mercury

The Letters or Characters of the Moon.

The Letters or Characters of the Moon

p. 118

whence the Characters of Nature have their original source, and in what things they are to be enquired after. *


114:† The Heavens in general are mapped out into clusters and combinations of stars, known as "constellations," and to each constellation the ancients gave a certain "figure," the name of which also named the constellation, p. 115 as Capricornus (from "caper," goat, and "cornu," horn) is given the figure of a goat (one horn starry); and this constellation, by being one of the twelve constellations of the Zodiac, is further known as one of the twelve "Signs."

118:* "Mr. Morley, on page 138 of his work, gives "successively, line under line, the divine letters of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, the Sun, and the Moon," which may be compared with the figures made from the 1651 edition:

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Next: Chapter XXXIX. How, by Natural Things and Their Virtues, We May Draw Forth and Attract the Influences and Virtues of Celestial Bodies