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


How, By Some Certain Natural and Artificial Preparations, We May Attract Certain Celestial and Vital Gifts.

Platonists, together with Hermes, say, and Jarchus Brachmanus and the Mecubals of the Hebrews confess, that all sublunary things are subject to generation and corruption, and that also there are the same things in the Celestial World, but after a celestial manner, as also in the Intellectual World, but in a far more perfect and better fashion and manner, and in the most perfect manner of all in the Exemplary. And, after this course, that every inferior thing should, in its kind, answer its superior thing, and through this the Supreme Itself, and receive from heaven that celestial power they call the quintessence, or the Spirit of the World, or the Middle Nature; and from the Intellectual World a spiritual and enlivening virtue, transcending all qualities whatsoever; and, lastly, from the Exemplary, or original, World, through the mediation of the other, according to their degree receive the original power of the whole perfection. Hence, every thing may be aptly reduced from these Inferiors to the Stars, from the Stars to their Intelligences, and from thence to the First Cause itself—from the series and order whereof all Magic and all Occult Philosophy flows: For every day some natural thing is drawn by art, and some divine thing is drawn by Nature, which, the Egyptians, seeing, called Nature a Magicianess (i. e.), the very Magical

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power itself, in the attracting of like by like, and of suitable things by suitable.

Now, such kind of attraction, by the mutual correspondency of things amongst themselves, of superiors with inferiors, the Grecians called sympathies. So the earth agrees with cold water, the water with moist air, the air with fire, the fire with the heaven in water; neither is fire mixed with water, but by air; nor the air with the earth, but by water. So neither is the soul united to the body, but by the spirit; nor the understanding to the spirit, but by the soul. So we see that when Nature hath framed the body of an infant, by this very preparative she presently fetcheth its spirit from the Universe. This spirit is its instrument to obtain of God its understanding and mind in its soul and body, as in wood the dryness is fitted to receive oil, and the oil, being imbibed, is food for the fire, the fire is the vehicle of light. By these examples you see how by some certain natural and artificial preparations we are in a capacity to receive certain celestial gifts from above. For stones and metals have a correspondency with herbs, herbs with animals, animals with the heavens, the heavens with Intelligences, and they with divine properties and attributes and with God himself, after whose image and likeness all things are created.

Now, the first image of God is the world; of the world, man; of man, beasts; of beasts, the zeophyton or zoophyte (i. e.), half animal and half plant; of the zeophyton, plants; of plants, metals; and of metals, stones. And, again, in things spiritual, the plant agrees with a brute in vegetation, a brute with a man in sense, man with an angel in understanding, and an angel with God in immortality. Divinity is annexed to the mind, the mind to the intellect, the intellect to the intention, the intention to the imagination, the imagination to the senses, and the senses,

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at last, to things. For this is the band and continuity of Nature, that all superior virtue doth flow through every inferior with a long and continued series, dispersing its rays even to the very last things; and inferiors, through their superiors, come to the very Supreme of all. For so inferiors are successively joined to their superiors, that there proceeds an influence from their head, the First Cause, as a certain string stretched out to the lowermost things of all; of which string, if one end be touched the whole doth presently shake, and such a touch doth sound to the other end; and at the motion of an inferior the superior also is moved, to which the other doth answer, as strings in a lute well tuned.

Next: Chapter XXXVIII. How We May Draw Not Only Celestial and Vital, but Also Certain Intellectual and Divine Gifts From Above