Obelisk Art History
The Magus, Book 1

Of Amulets, Charms, And Enchantments

Francis Barrett, 1801

The instrument of enchanters is a pure, living, breathing spirit of the blood, whereby we bind, or attract, those things which we desire or delight in; so that, by an earnest intention of the mind, we take possession of the faculties in a no less potent manner than strong wines beguile the reason and senses of those who drink them; therefore, to charm, is either to bind with words, in which there is great virtue, as the poet sings—

“Words thrice she spake, which caus'd, at will, sweet sleep
“Appeas'd the troubled waves, and roaring deep.”

Indeed, the virtue of man’s words are so great, that, when pronounced with a fervent constancy of the mind, they are able to subvert Nature, to cause earthquakes, storms, and tempests. I have, in the country, by only speaking a few words, and used some other things, caused terrible rains and claps of thunder. Almost all charms are impotent without words, because words are the speech of the speaker, and the image of the thing signified or spoken of; therefore, whatever wonderful effect is intended, let the same be performed with the addition of words significative of the will or desire of the operator; for words are a kind of occult vehicle of the image conceived or begotten, and sent out of the body by the soul; therefore, all the forcible power of the spirit ought to be breathed out with vehemency, and an arduous and intent desire; and I know how to speak, and convey words together, so as they may be carried onward to the hearer at a vast distance, no other body intervening, which thing I have done often. Words are also oftentimes delivered to us, seemingly by others, in our sleep, whereby we seem to talk and converse; but then no vocal conversations are of any effect, except they proceed from spiritual and occult causes: such spirits have often manifested singular things to me, while in sleep, the which, in waking, I have thought nought of, until conviction of the truth taught me credulity in such like matters. In the late change of Administration, I knew, at least five days before it actually terminated, that it would be as I described to a few of my friends. These things are not alike manifested to every one; only, I believe, to those who have long seriously attended to contemplations of this abstruse nature; but there are those who will say it is not so, merely because they themselves cannot comprehend such things.

However, not to lose time, we proceed. There are various enchantments, which I have proved, relative to common occurrences of life, viz. a kind of binding to that effect which we desire: as to love, or hatred; or to those things we love, or against those things we hate, in all which there is a magical sympathy above the power of reasoning; therefore, those abstruse matters we feel, are convinced of, and reflect upon, and draw them into our use. I will here set down, while speaking of these things, a very powerful amulet for the stopping, immediately, a bloody-flux; for the which (with a faith) I dare lay down my life for the success, and entire cure.

An Amulet for Flux of Blood.

“In the blood of Adam arose death—in the blood of Christ death is extinguished—in the same blood of Christ I command thee, O, blood, that thou stop fluxing!”

In this one godly superstition there will be found a ready, cheap, easy remedy for that dreadful disorder the bloody-flux, whereby a poor miserable wretch will reap more real benefit than in a whole shop of an apothecary’s drugs. These four letters are a powerful charm, or amulet, against the common ague; likewise, let them be written upon a piece of clean and new vellum, at any time of the day or night, and they will be found a speedy and certain cure, and much more efficacious than the word Abracadabra: however, as that ancient charm is still (amongst some who pretend to cure agues, &c.) in some repute, I will here set down the form and manner of its being written; likewise it must be pronounced, or spoken, in the same order as it is written, with the intent or will of the operator declared at the same time of making it.

Next chapter

Unguents convey the virtues of things natural to our spirits, and multiply, transform, transfigure, and transmute it accordingly

Of Unctions, Philters, Potions, & Their Magical Virtues

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Western Esoteric Art, Age of Exploration

Western Esoteric Art

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