Three Books of Occult Philosophy/Book 1/Chapter 65

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with Child, as Marcus Damascenus reports that at Petra Sancta, a Town scituated upon the territories of Pisa, viz. a wench that was presented to Charls King of Bohemia, who was rough and hairy all over her body, like a wild beast, whom her mother affected with a religious kind of horrour upon the picture of John Baptist, which was by her bed, in time of conception, afterwards brought forth after this fashion. And this we see is not only in men, but also is done amongst bruit Creatures. So we read that Jacob the Patriarch, with his speckled Rods set in the watering places, did discolour the Sheep of Laban. So the imaginative powers of Pea-Cocks, and other Birds, whilest they be coupling, impress a colour upon their wings. Whence we produce white Pea-Cocks, by hanging round the places where they couple, with white Clothes. Now by these examples it appears how the affection of the phantasie, when it vehemently intends it self, doth not only affect its own proper body, but also anothers. So also the desire of Witches to hurt, doth bewitch men most perniciously with stedfast lookes. To these things Avicen, Aristotle, Algazel, and Gallen assent. For it is manifest that a body may most easily be affected with the vapour of anothers diseased body, which we plainly see in the Plague, and Leprosie. Again, in the vapours of the eyes there is so great a power, that they can bewitch and infect any that are near them, as the Cockatrice, or Basilisk, killing men with their looks. And certain women in Scythia, amongst the Illyrians, and Triballi, killed whomsoever they looked angry upon. Therefore let no man wonder that the body, and soul of one may in like manner be affected with the mind of another, seeing the mind is far more powerfull, strong, fervent, and more prevalent in its motion then vapours exhaling out of bodies; neither are there wanting Mediums, by which it should work, neither is anothers body less subjected to anothers mind, then to anothers body. Upon this account they say, that a man by him affection, and habit only, may act upon another. Therefore Philosophers advise, that the society of evill, and mischievous men must be shun ned, for their soul being full of noxious rayes, infects them that are near with a hurtfull Contagion. On the contrary, they advise that the society of good, and fortunate men be endeavored after, because by their nearness they do us much good. For as the smell of Assa-fetida, or Musk, so of bad something of bad, of good something of good, is derived upon them that are nigh, and sometimes continues a long time. Now then if the foresaid Passions have so great a power in the Phantasie, they have certainly a greater power in the reason, in as much as the reason is more excellent then the Phantasie; and lastly, they have much greater power in the mind; for this, when it is fixt upon God for any good with its whole intention, doth oftentimes affect anothers body as well as its own with some divine gift. By this means we read that many miracles were done by Apollonius, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Philolaus, and many Prophets, and holy men of our Religion.

But of these more fully in the following Chapters, where we shall discourse of Religion.

Chapter lxvi. That the Passions of the mind are helped by a Celestiall season, and how necessary the Constancy of the mind is in every work.[edit]

The Passions of the mind are much helped, and are helpfull, and become most powerfull by vertue of the Heaven, as