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§ 8. The Gold-Finding Hen

I must pass, however, to the incubation of the gold-finding hen, which is the head and crown of the proceedings. The grand Oromasis, the father of Zoroaster, was the first person who possessed one of these marvellous fowls, which are hatched from an egg in the following manner. Take aromatic woods, such as aloes, cedar, orange, citron, laurel, iris-root, with rose-leaves dried in the sun. Place them in a golden chafing-dish; pour balsamic oil over them; add the finest incense and clear gum. Next say: ATHAS, SOLINAM, ERMINATOS, PASAM; set a glass over the chafing-dish; direct the rays of the sun thereon, and the wood will kindle, the glass will melt--obviously by the magical power which resides in the operation--a sweet odour will fill the place and the compost will burn speedily to ashes. Place these ashes in a golden egg while still red-hot; lay the

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egg upon a black cushion; cover it with a bell-glass of faceted rock-crystal; then lift up your eyes and stretch your arms towards heaven and cry: O SANATAPER, ISMAÏ, NONTAPILUS, ERTIVALER, CANOPISTUS. Expose the glass to the most fierce rays of the sun till it seems enveloped in flame, till the egg ceases to be visible, till a slight vapour rises. Presently you will discern a black pullet just beginning to move, when if you say: BINUSAS, TESTIPAS, it will take wings and nestle in your bosom. it is not said that anything disastrous follows, but rather a certain advantage, which will appear in the next paragraph.

While this is the true process of the Pyramids and easy no doubt to an heir direct of Oromasis, it is obvious that it has its difficulties to those born merely under the common moon of sorcery, and, merciful, like all its companions, to human limitations, the Grimoire provides an alternative method suitable to persons of small means. Take an unspotted egg; expose it to the meridian rays of the sun; then select the blackest hen that you can meet with; if it have any coloured feathers, pluck them. Should the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals not intervene opportunely, contrive to hood this bird with a kind of black bonnet, drawn over the eyes so that it cannot see. Leave it the use of its beak. Shut it up in a box, also lined with some black material, and large enough to hold it comfortably. Place the box in a room where no light of day can penetrate; give food only in the night to the fowl; see that no noise disturbs it, and set it to hatch the egg. As everything will be black to the bird, its imagination, which is likely enough, will be overwhelmed by the sense of blackness, and if it should survive the incarceration, it will ultimately incubate a perfectly black chicken, provided only that the operator by his wisdom and virtue is worthy to participate in such sacred and divine mysteries. It does not appear how or

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why a fowl incubated after this uncomfortable fashion should have a particular instinct for detecting the places wherein gold is hidden, but such is the faculty attributed to it, and it can only be concluded that the Black Pullet is a degree more foolish than its idle company of Grimoires.

The simplified process did not, however, in the opinion of sorcery, seem the last word which it was possible to say upon the subject. Despite the threatened vengeance of the heir of Oromasis, the mystery was adapted by the later editors of the Red Dragon and reappears as the Grand Cabala, without which no other can succeed. In this, its last transformation, it becomes a recipe for evoking the devil which seems to breathe the true spirit of Goëtic genius. Its success, as I must premise, will depend upon a recollected and devotional spirit in the operator, together with a clean conscience; otherwise, in place of commanding the evil spirit, the latter will command him. This understood, the process itself is simple. You have merely to secure a black hen which has never been crossed by the male bird and to do this in such a manner that it shall not cackle; it is best therefore to seize it in its sleep, clutching it by the neck, but not more than is necessary to prevent it from crying. You must repair to the highroad, walk till you come to a cross-way and there, on the stroke of midnight, describe a circle with a cypress rod, place yourself in the midst thereof and tear the bird in twain, pronouncing three times the words, Euphas, Metahîm, frugativi et appellavi. Next turn to the East, kneel down, recite a prayer and conclude it with the Grand Appellation, when the Unclean Spirit will appear to you in a scarlet surcoat, a yellow vest and breeches of pale green. His head will resemble that of a dog, but his ears will be those of an ass, with two horns above them; he will have the legs and hoofs of a calf. He will ask for your orders, which you will give as you

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please, and as he cannot do otherwise than obey, you may become rich on the spot and thus the happiest of men. Such at least is the judgment of the Grimoire. Whether the victim of the process is to be torn in pieces alive does not explicitly


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appear, but may be inferred from the initial precaution. This being the case, I have so modified the procedure that, in case it should be tried by a fool in these more civilised days, he will have only his pains for the trouble--by the hypothesis of the ceremonial art. This is therefore a word to the fool.

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Hyde Register, British Museum, Eleventh Century


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