Three Books of Occult Philosophy/Book 1/Chapter 1

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Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, translated by John French
Book 1, Chapter 1
Three Books of Occult Philosophy - Woodcut 2.png

Three Books of Occult Philosophy, or of
Magick; Written by that Famous Man


Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Knight,


And Doctor of both Laws, Counsellor to
sars Sacred Majesty, and Judge of the
Prerogative Court.



Book I.


CHAP. I.

How Magicians Collect vertues from the three-fold World, is declared in these three Books.

SEeing there is a three fold World, Elementary, Celestiall, and Intellectual, and every inferior is governed by its superior, and receiveth the influence of the vertues thereof, so that the very original, and chief Worker of all doth by Angels, the Heavens, Stars, Elements, Animals, Plants, Metals, and Stones convey from himself the vertues of his Omnipotency upon us, for whose service he made, and created all these things: Wise men conceive it no way irrationall that it should be possible for us to ascend by the same degrees through each World, to the same very originall World it self, the Maker of all things, and first Cause, from whence all things are, and proceed; and also to enjoy not only these vertues, which are already in the more excellent kind of things, but also besides these, to draw new vertues from above. Hence it is that they seek after the vertues of the Elementary world, through the help of Physick, and Naturall Philosophy in the various mixtions of Naturall things, then of the Celestiall world in the Rayes, and influences thereof, according to the rules of Astrologers, and the doctrines of Mathematicians, joyning the Celestiall vertues to the former: Moreover, they ratifie and confirm all these with the powers of divers Intelligencies, through the sacred Ceremonies of Religions. The order and process of all these I shall endeavor to deliver in these three Books: Whereof the first contains naturall Magick, the second Celestiall, and the third Ceremoniall. But I know not whether it be an unpardonable presumption in me, that I, a man of so little judgement and learning, should in my very youth so confidently set upon a business so difficult, so hard, and intricate as this is. Wherefore, whatsoever things have here already, and shall afterward be said by me, I would not have any one assent to them, nor shall I my self, any further then they shall be approved of by the Universall Church, and the Congregation of the Faithfull.