Sacred Texts  Grimoires  Index  Previous  Next 



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, ærial 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

p. 90

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

p. 91

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 whenever 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 suffume 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.

Next: Chapter X: Of The Composition Of Some Perfumes Appropriated To The Seven Planets