OF THE COMPOSITION AND MAGIC VIRTUE OF RINGS.
RINGS, when they are opportunely made, impress their virtues upon us insomuch that they affect the spirit of him that carries them with gladness or sadness; and render him bold or fearful, courteous or terrible, amiable or hateful; inasmuch, also as they fortify us against 1 sickness, poisons, enemies, evil spirits, and all manner of hurtful things; and often, where the law has no effect, these little trifles greatly assist and corroborate the troubled spirit of the wearer, and help him, in a wonderful manner, to overcome his adversaries, while they do wonder how it is that they cannot effect any hurtful undertaking against him. These things, I say, are great helps against wrathful, vicious, worldly-minded men, inasmuch as they do terrify, hurt, and render invalid the machinations of those who would otherwise work our misery or destruction. All which we are neither afraid nor ashamed to declare, well knowing that these things will be hid from the wicked and profane, so as that they cannot draw the same into
any abuse, or privy mischief toward their neighbour; we having reserved some few things in this art to ourselves--not willing to throw pearls before swine, And however simple and plain we may describe some certain experiments and operations (so as that the great-mouthed school philosophers may mutter or scoff thereat), yet there is nothing delivered in this book but what may be, by an understanding thereof, brought into effect, and, likewise, out of which some good may be derived. But to proceed.
The manner of making of these rings is thus:--when any star ascends in the horoscope (fortunately), with a fortunate aspect or conjunction of the moon, we proceed to take a stone and herb, that is under that star, and likewise make a ring of the metal that is corresponding to the star; and in the ring under the stone, put the herb or root, not forgetting to inscribe the effect, image, name, and character, as also the proper suffume. But I shall speak more of these in another place, where I speak of images and characters. Therefore, in making of rings magical, these things are unerringly to be observed as we have ordered;--if any one is willing to work any effect or experiment in magic, he must by no means neglect the necessary circumstances which we have so uniformly delivered. I have read, in Philostratus Jarchus, that a Prince of the Indians bestowed seven rings, marked with the virtues and names of the seven planets, to Appollonius, of which he wore one every day, distinguishing according to the names of the days; by the benefit of which he lived above one hundred and thirty years, as also always retained the beauty of his youth. In like manner, Moses, the Lawgiver and Ruler of the Hebrews, being skilled in the Egyptian Magic, is said, by Josephus, to have made rings of love and oblivion. There was also, as saith Aristotle, among the Cireneans, a ring of Battas, which could procure love and honour. We read, also, that Eudamus, a certain philosopher, made rings against the bites of serpents, bewitchings, and evil spirits. The same doth Josephus relate of Solomon. Also we read, in Plato, that Gygus, King of Lydia, had a ring of wonderful and strange virtues; the seal of which, when he turned it toward the palm of his hand, no body could see him, but he could see all things; by the opportunity of which ring, he ravished the Queen, and slew
the King his master, and killed whomsoever he thought stood in his way; and in these villanies nobody could see him; and at length, by the benefit of this ring, he became King of Lydia. 1
94:1 The Author will engage to teach any that are curious in those studies, the particular composition of Talismanic Rings; whereby they may be enabled to judge themselves of the effects that are to be produced by them.
96:1 We have above shewn the power and virtue of magical rings; but the particular characters, inscriptions, and images to be made in, or upon them, we refer the student to that chapter treating of "The Composition of various Talismans" in which we have described exactly the express methods of perfecting them.