Three Books of Occult Philosophy/Book 1/Chapter 42
clothes, if they be cast upon purple garments that are to be washed, change the colour of them, and takes away colours from flowers. They say that it drives away tertian, and quartane Agues, if it be put into the wooll of a black Ram, and tyed up in a silver bracelet, as also if the soles of the patients feet be noynted therewith, and especially if it be done by the woman her self, the patients not knowing of it; moreover it cures the fits of the falling sickness. But most especially it cures them that are affraid of water, or drink after they are bitten with a mad dog, if onely a menstruous cloth be put under the cup. Besides, they report, that if menstruous women shall walk naked about the standing corn, they make all cankars, worms, beetles, flyes, and all hurtfull things fall off from the corn: but they must take heed that they do it before Sun rising, or else they will make the corn to wither. Also they say that they are able to expell hail, tempests, and lightnings, more of which Pliny makes mention of. Know this, that they are a greater poyson if they happen in the decrease of the Moon, and yet much greater, if they happen betwixt the decrease, and change of the Moon: But if they happen in the Eclypse of the Moon or Sun, they are an incurable poyson. But they are of greatest force of all, when they happen in the first years, even in the years of virginity, for if they do but touch the posts of the house there can no mischeif take effect in it. Also they say that the threads of any garment touched therewith, cannot be burnt, and if they be cast into the fire, it will spread no further. Also it is said that the root of Peony being given with Castor, and smeared over with a menstruous cloth, cureth the falling sickness. Moreover if the stomack of a Hart be burnt or rosted, and to it be put a perfuming made with a menstruous cloth, it will make crass-bows useless for the killing of any game: The haires of a menstruous woman put under dung, breed Serpents: and if they be burnt, will drive away Serpents with their smell. So great a poysonous force is in them, that they are poyson to poysonous creatures. There is also Hippomanes, which amongst Sorceries is not the least taken notice of, and it is a little venemous piece of flesh as big as a fig, and black, which is in the forehead of a Colt newly foaled, which unless the Mare her self doth presently eat, she will never after love her foals, or let it suck. And for this cause they say there is a most wonderful power in it to procure love, if it be powdered, and drank in a cup with the blood of him that is in love. There is also another Sorcery, which is called by the same name, viz. Hippomanes, viz. a venemous humour, issuing out of the share of a Mare what time she desires a horse, of which Virgill makes mention, when he sings
Hence comes that poison which the Shepherds call
Hippomanes, and from Mares groines doth fall,
The wofull bane of cruell stepdames use,
And with a charme 'mongst powerfull drugs infuse.
Of this doth Juvenall the Satyrist make mention.
Hippomanes, poysons that boyled are, and charmes
Are given to Sons in law, with such like harmes.
Apollonius also in his Argonauticks makes mention of the hearb of Prometheus, which he saith groweth from corrupt blood dropping upon the earth, whilest the Vultur was gnawing upon the liver of Prometheus upon the hill Caucasus. The flowre of this hearb, he saith, is like Saffron, having a double stalk hanging out, one farther then the other the length of a cubit, the root under the earth, as flesh newly cut, sends forth a blackish juice as it were of a beech; with which, saith he, if any one shall after he hath performed his devotion to Proserpina, smear over his body, he cannot be hurt either with sword, or fire. Also Saxo Gramaticus writes, that there was a certain man called Froton, who had a garment, which when he had put on he could not be hurt with the point or edge of any weapon. The civet Cat also abounds with Sorceries: for, as Pliny reports, the posts of a dore being touched with her blood, the Arts of Juglers and Sorcerers are so invallid, that the Gods cannot be called up, and will by no means be perswaded to talk with them. Also that they that are anoynted with the ashes of the ankle bone of her left foot, being decocted with the blood of a Weesell shall become odious to all. The same also is done with the eye, being decocted. Also it is said that the straight gut is administered against the injustice, and corruption of Princes, and great men in power, and for success of Petitions, and to conduce to ending of suits, and controversies, if any one hath never so little of it about him, and that if it be bound unto the left arm, it is such a present charm, that if any man do but look upon a woman, it will make her follow him presently; and that the skin of her forehead doth withstand bewitchings. They say also that the blood of a Basilisk, which they call the blood of Saturn, hath such great force in Sorcery, that it procures for him that carryes it about him, good success of his Petitions, from great men in power, and of his prayers from God, and also remedies of diseases, and grant of any priveledge. They say also that a tyck, if it be pulled out of the left eare of a dog, and if be it altogether black, hath great vertue in the prognostick of life, for if the sick party shall answer him that brought it in, who standing at his feet, & shall ask of him concerning his disease, there is certain hope of life, and that he shall dye, if he make no answer. They say also, that a stone that is bit with a mad dog hath power to cause discord, if it be put in drink, and that he shall not be barked at by dogs, that puts the tongue of a dog in his shooe under his great toe, especially if the hearb of the same name, viz. houndstongue be joyned with it. And that a membrane of the secondines of a dog doth the same; and that dogs will shun him that hath a dogs heart. And Pliny reports that there is a red toad that lives in bryers, and brambles, and is full of Sorceries and doth wonderfull things: for the little bone which is in his left side, being cast into cold water, makes it presently very hot, by which also the rage of dogs is restrained, and their love is procured, if it be put in drink; and if it be bound to any one, it stirreth up lust. On the contrary, the litle bone which is on the right side, makes hot water cold, and that it can never be hot again, unless that be taken out, also it is said to cure quartanes if it be bound to the sick in a snakes skin, as also all other feavors, and restrain love, and lust. And that the spleen, and heart is an effectual remedy against the poisons of the said Toad. Thus much Pliny writes. Also it is said that the sword, with which a man is slain, hath wonderfull power in Sorceries: For if the snaffle of the bridle, or spurs be made of it, they say that with these any horse, though never so wild, may be tamed, and gentled: and that if a Horse should be shod with shooes made with it, he would be most swift and fleet, and never, though never so hard rod, tire. But yet they will that some Characters, and names should be written upon it. They say also, if any man shall dip a sword, wherewith men were beheaded, in wine; and the sick drink thereof, he shall be cured of his quartane. They say also that a cup of liquor being made with the brains of a Bear, and drank out of the skull, shall make him that drinks it, to be as fierce, and as raging as a Bear, and think himself to be changed into a Bear, and judge all things he sees to be Bears, and so to continue in that madness, untill the force of that draught shall be dissolved, no other distemper being all the while perceived in him.
Some Suffumigations also, or perfumings, that are proper to the Stars, are of great force for the opportune receiving of Celestiall gifts under the rayes of the Stars, in as much as they do strongly work upon the Aire, and breath. For our breath is very much changed by such kind of vapours, if both vapours be of another like: The Aire also being through the said vapours easily moved, or affected with the qualities of inferiours, or those Celestiall, daily, and quickly penetrating our breast, and vitals, doth wonderfully reduce us to the like qualities; Wherefore Suffumigations are wont to be used to them that are about to Sooth-say, for to affect their fancy, which indeed being duly appropriated to any certain Deities, do fit us to receive divine inspiration: