The Philosophy of Natural Magic, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, L. W. de Laurence ed. , at sacred-texts.com
The passions of the soul which follow the phantasy when they are most vehement, cannot only change their own body, but also can transcend so as to work upon another body; so that some wonderful impressions are thence produced in elements and extrinsical things, and they can thus take away or bring some disease of the mind or body. For the passions of the soul are the chiefest cause of the temperament of its proper body. So the soul, being strongly elevated, and inflamed with a strong imagination, sends forth health or sickness, not only in its proper body, but also in other bodies. So Avicen is of the opinion that a camel may fall by the imagination of any one. So he who is bitten with a mad dog presently falls into a madness, and there appear in his body the shapes of dogs. So the longing of a woman with child doth act upon another's body when it signs the infant in the womb with the mark of the thing she longs for. So many monstrous generations proceed from monstrous imaginations of women with child, as Marcus Damascenus reports that at Petra Saneta, a town situated upon the territories of Pisa, there was a wench presented to Charles, king of Bohemia, who was rough and hairy all over her body, like a wild beast, whom her mother, affected with a religious kind of horror by the picture of John the Baptist (which was in the chamber she occupied), afterwards brought her forth after this fashion. And this, we see, is not only in men, but also is done among brute creatures. So we read that Jacob, the patriarch, with his speckled rods set in the watering places, did discolor the sheep of Laban.
[paragraph continues] So the imaginative powers of peacocks, and other birds, whilst they be mating, impress a color upon their wings. Whence we produce white peacocks, by hanging white clothes round the places where they mate. Now, by the above examples, it appears how the affection of the phantasy, when it vehemently intends itself, doth not only affect its own proper body, but also anothers. So also the desire of witches to hurt doth bewitch men most perniciously with steadfast looks. To these things Avicen, Aristotle, Algazel, and Gallen assent. For it is manifest that a body may most easily be affected with the vapor of another's diseased body, which we plainly see in the plague and leprosy. Again, in the vapor of the eyes there is so great a power that they can bewitch and infect any that are near them, as the cockatrice or basilisk which kill men with their looks. And certain women in Scythia, amongst the Illyrians and Triballi, killed whomsoever they looked angry upon. Therefore, let no man wonder that the body and soul of one may, in like manner, be affected with the mind of another, seeing the mind is far more powerful, strong, fervent, and more prevalent in its motion than the vapors exhaling out of bodies; neither are there wanting mediums by which it should work, neither is another's body less subject to another's mind than to another's body. Upon this account, they say that a man, by his affection and habit only, may act upon another. Therefore, philosophers advise that the society of evil and mischievous men must be shunned, for their soul, being full of noxious rays, infects them that are near with a hurtful contagion. On the contrary, they advise that the society of good and fortunate men be endeavored after, because by their nearness they do us much good. For as the smell of musk doth penetrate, so something of either bad or good is derived from anything bad or good by those that are nigh to them; which may
continue a long time. Now, if the foresaid passions have so great a power in the phantasy, they have certainly a greater power in the reason, in as much as the reason is more excellent than the phantasy; and, lastly, they have much greater power in the mind; for this, when it is fixed upon God for any good with its whole intention, doth oftentimes affect another's body, as well as its own, with some divine gift. By this means we read that many miracles were done by Apollonius, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Philolaus, and many prophets and holy men of our religion, which things we shall now consider.