Three Books of Occult Philosophy/Book 1/Chapter 70

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Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, translated by John French
Book 1, Chapter 70

names of things are very necessary in Magicall operations, almost all men testifie: For the naturall power of things proceeds first from the objects to the senses, and then from these to the imagination, and from this to the mind, in which it is first conceived, and then is expressed by voices, and words. The Platonists therefore say, that in this very voice, or word, or name framed, with its Articles, that the power of the thing as it were some kind of life, lies under the form of the signification. First conceived in the mind as it were through certain seeds of things, then by voices or words, as a birth brought forth, and lastly kept in writings. Hence Magicians say, that proper names of things are certain rayes of things, every where present at all times, keeping the power of things, as the essence of the thing signified, rules, and is discerned in them, and know the things by them, as by proper, and living Images. For as the great operator doth produce divers species, and particular things by the influencies of the Heavens, and by the Elements, together with the vertues of Planets; so according to the properties of the influencies proper names result to things, and are put upon them by him who numbers the multitude of the Stars, calling them all by their names, of which names Christ in another place speaks, saying, Your names are written in Heaven. Adam therefore that gave the first names to things, knowing the influencies of the Heavens, and properties of all things, gave them all names according to their natures, as it is written in Genesis, where God brought all things that he had created before Adam, that he should name them, and as he named any thing, so the name of it was, which names indeed contain in them wonderfull powers of the things signified. Every voice therefore that is significative, first of all signifies by the influence of the Celestiall harmony: Secondly, by the imposition of man, although oftentimes otherwise by this, then by that. But when both significations meet in any voice or name, which are put upon them by the said harmony or men, then that name is with a double vertue, viz. naturall, and arbitrary, made most efficatious to act, as oft as it shall be uttered in due place, and time, and seriously with an intention exercised upon the matter rightly disposed, and that can naturally be acted upon by it. So we read in Philostratus, that when a maid at Rome dyed the same day she was married, and was presented to Apollonius, he accurately inquired into her name, which being known, he pronounced some occult thing, by which she revived. It was an observation amongst the Romanes in their holy rites, that when they did besiege any City, they did diligently enquire into the proper, and true name of it, and the name of that God, under whose protection it was, which being known, they did then with some verse call forth the Gods that were the protectors of that City, and did curse the inhabitants of that City, so at length their Gods being absent, did overcome them, as Virgil sings,

----- That kept this Realm, our Gods
Their Altars have forsook, and blest abodes.

Now the verse with which the Gods were called out, and the enemies were curst, when the City was assaulted round about, let him that would know, finde it out in Livy, and Macrobius; but also many of these Serenus Samonicus in his book of secret things makes mention of.

==Chapter lxxi. Of many words joyned