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


Of the Mixtions of Natural Things, One With Another, and Their Benefit.

It is most evident that in the inferior nature all the powers of superior bodies are not found comprehended in any one thing, but are dispersed through many kinds of things amongst us; as there are many Solary things, whereof every one doth not contain all the virtues of the Sun; but some have some properties from the Sun, and others other-some. Wherefore, it is sometimes necessary that there be mixtions in operations, that if a hundred or a thousand virtues of the Sun were dispersed through so many plants, animals, and the like, we may gather all these together, and bring them into one form, in which we shall see all the said virtues, being united, contained. Now, there is a twofold virtue in commixtion; one, viz., which was first

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planted in its parts, and is celestial; the other is obtained by a certain and artificial mixtion of things, mixt amongst themselves, and of the mixtions of them according to certain proportions, such as agree with the heaven, under a certain constellation. And this virtue descends by a certain likeness and aptness that is in things, amongst themselves, towards their superiors, and just as much as the following things do by degrees correspond with them that go before, where the patient is fitly applied to its superior agent. So from a certain composition of herbs, vapors, and such like, made according to the principles of natural philosophy and astronomy, there results a certain common form, endowed with many gifts of the Stars, as, in the honey of bees, that which is gathered out of the juice of innumerable flowers and brought into one form, contains the virtue of all, by a kind of divine and admirable art of the bees. Yet this is not to be less wondered at, which Eudoxus Giudius reports, of an artificial kind of honey which a certain Nation of Giants in Lybia knew how to make out of flowers, and that very good and not far inferior to that of the bees. For every mixtion, which consists of many several things, is then most perfect when it is so firmly compacted in all parts that it becomes one, is every where firm to itself, and can hardly be dissipated—as we sometimes see stones and divers bodies to be, by a certain natural power, so conglutinated and united that they seem to be wholly one thing; as we see two trees, by grafting, to become one; also oysters with stones, by a certain occult virtue of Nature; and there have been seen some animals which have been turned into stones, and so united with the substance of the stone that they seem to make one body, and that also homogeneous; so the tree ebony is one while wood and another while stone. When, therefore, any one makes a mixtion of many matters

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under the celestial influences, then the variety of celestial actions on the one hand, and of natural powers on the other hand, being joined together, doth indeed cause wonderful things—by ointments, by collyries, by fumes, and such like—which are read of in the books of Chiramis, Archyta, Democritus, and Hermes, who is named Alchorat, and many others.

Next: Chapter XXXVI. Of the Union of Mixed Things, and the Introduction of a More Noble Form and the Senses of Life