Three Books of Occult Philosophy/Book 1/Chapter 33

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Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, translated by John French
Book 1, Chapter 33

it, some particular Seal, or Character stampt upon it, which is the significator of that Star, or harmony, conteining in it a peculiar vertue, differing from other vertues of the same matter, both generically, specifically, and numerically. Every thing therefore hath its Character pressed upon it by its Star for some particular effect, especially by that Star which doth principally govern it: And these Characters contain, and retain in them the peculiar natures, vertues, and roots of their Stars, and produce the like operations upon other things, on which they are reflected, and stir up, and help the influencies of their Stars, whether they be Planets, or fixed Stars, and figures, and Celestiall signs, viz. as oft as they shall be made in a fit matter, and in their due, and accustomed times. Which ancient wise men considering, such as laboured much in the finding out of the occult properties of things, did set down in writing the images of the Stars, their figures, Seals, Marks, Characters, such as nature her self did describe by the rayes of the Stars, in these inferiour bodies, some in stones, some in Plants, and joynts, and knots of boughs, and some in divers members of Animals. For the Bay-tree, the Lote-tree, and the Marygold are Solary Plants, and in their roots, and knots being cut off, shew the Characters of the Sun, so also in the bone, and shoulderblades in Animals: whence there arose a spatulary kind of divining (i.e.) by the shoulder-blades, and in stones, and stony things the Characters, and images of Celestiall things are often found. But seeing that in so great a diversity of things there is not a traditionall knowledge, only in a few things, which humane understanding is able to reach: Therefore leaving those things which are to be found out in Plants, and Stones, and other things, as also, in the members of divers Animals, we shall limit our selves to mans nature only, which seeing it is the compleatest image of the whole universe, containing in it self the whole heavenly harmony, will without all doubt abundantly afford us the Seals, and Characters of all the Stars, and Celestiall Influencies, and those as the more efficacious, which are less differing from the Celestiall nature. But as the number of the Stars is known to God alone, so also their effects, and Seals upon these inferiour things: wherefore no humane intellect is able to attain to the knowledge of them. Whence very few of those things became known to us, which the ancient Philosophers, & Chyromancers attained to, partly by reason, and partly by experience, and there be many things yet ly hid in the treasury of nture. We shall here in this place note some few Seals,and Characters of the Planets, such as the ancient Chyromancers knew in the hands of men. These doth Julian call sacred, and divine letters, seeing that by them, according to the holy Scripture is the life of men writ in their hands. And there are in all Nations, and Languages alwaies the same, and like to them, and permanent; to which were added, and found out afterwards many more, as by the ancient, so by latter Chyromancers. And they that would know them must have recourse to their Volumes. It is sufficient here to shew from whence the Characters of Nature have their originall, and in what things they are to be enquired after.



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Now if thou desirest to receive vertue from any part of the World, or from any Star, thou shalt (those things being used which belong to this Star) come under its peculiar influence, as Wood is fit to receive Flame, by reason of Sulphur, Pitch, and Oile. Nevertheless when thou dost to any one species of things, or individual, rightly apply many things, which are things of the same subject scattered amongst themselves, conformable to the same Idea, and Star, presently by this matter so opportunely fitted, a singular gift is infused by the Idea, by means of the soul of the world.