"A collection of 40 old necromancy spells updated to the 5e edition! And two templates to transform low challenge rating beasts into zombies or skeletons! There was great concern with the balan...
The Unofficial Harry Potter Spellbook is a comprehensive guide to the magical spells, curses, hexes and charms of the Harry Potter universe. Written by avid Harry Potter fan Duncan Levy, The…Descrição completa
The Unofficial Harry Potter Spellbook is a comprehensive guide to the magical spells, curses, hexes and charms of the Harry Potter universe. Written by avid Harry Potter fan Duncan Levy, The Unoffi...
The Unofficial Harry Potter Spellbook is a comprehensive guide to the magical spells, curses, hexes and charms of the Harry Potter universe. Written by avid Harry Potter fan Duncan Levy, The…Descripción completa
The Great Net Spellbook sixth edition, a vast collection of wizard spells for use with most AD&D 2E settings.
www.hadeanpress.com No portion of this book may be reproduced by any means without the written consent of the publisher, except in cases of short passages for review or citation. All footnotes have been added by the translator.
INTRODUCTION New Orleans is considered to be something of a Mecca for American magical practitioners. This town that was once home to voodoo pharmacies, witch doctors and many an old time superstition now thrives on the mythology built up around this history. Of its many famous inhabitants, one name in particular has come to dominate all concepts and representations of the city’s voodoo practice as it once was: Marie Laveau. Her tomb exists in the old St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, to which many a visitor now travels to perform a ritual of scratching an X in her wall or leaving an offering in exchange for the special aid of her spirit. Laveau really may be more famous now than she was in her own lifetime: popular tourist shops bear her name, and local bed and breakfasts advertise their offerings with claims that Laveau once owned the property. The real Marie Laveau was a free woman of color, born around the year 1801 in New Orleans. Laveau, or Laveaux, was her own family name. In her lifetime she was often referred to as “The Widow Paris” after the surname of her first husband, Jacques Paris, a wealthy free man of color. She later entered into a relationship with the grandson of a French nobleman, Louis Christophe Dominic Duminy de Glapion, and it is in his family tomb that her body now rests. By the year 1850 she was recognized as the leader of the New Orleans voodoos, who came to her cottage on St. Ann Street where she held services, gave readings, and offered magical items and services to her customers. Wildly exaggerated stories about her seemed to circulate within her own lifetime, and since her death in 1881, her legend has only continued to grow. Various spellbooks purporting to contain the “works of Marie Laveau” have been cropping up since at least the 1920s. Nevertheless, as the practice of American voodoo and hoodoo began to undergo some very great changes shortly after her own era, these spellbooks can be dated to a time subsequent to her death; they are not genuine. Indeed, no definitive detailed record of Marie Laveau’s spells appears to exist; the memories of old timers recorded decades after the fact, and a few second-hand accounts from magazine and newspaper interviews, are the only hints that remain of her actual practice. One might then think that to receive any glimpse of her style of magic would be a hopeless wish, but in fact, there’s more to magic than the life and works of Marie Laveau. There is a spellbook which was popular amongst the French-speakers of Laveau’s day, a work of European origin called The Petit Albert, credited as the work of one Albertus Parvus Lucius—a name that is apparently quite fictional and belonged to no one. Its original date of publication is uncertain, as magical grimoires during this period were often given purposefully incorrect publishing information so as to avoid censorship; it has at least been documented as existing from the year 1702. It is called the Petit Albert (“Lesser Albert”) to distinguish it from the well known book of Albertus Magnus (Albert the Great). Voodoo and hoodoo practitioners interviewed during the 1930s still referred to the Petit Albert as a trusted source for information in their magical practice. The Petit Albert is a grimoire, seemingly cobbled together from data mined out of other period books of magical recipes and household hints (which, for many years, were not so well distinguished from one another as we would perceive them to be in this day and age). Information is rehashed from the
works of Paracelsus, Agrippa, Cardano, and other lesser-known scientists and magicians. It’s somewhat dated by its inclusion of recipes for things like the once-popular beverage Hipocras (a kind of spiced wine), but it can yet be seen how denizens of the New Orleans underworld would find the works it contains to be of merit. (Spells for purposes such as making girls dance in their underwear do, afterall, maintain a universal appeal.) When one considers what sort of spellbooks the real Marie Laveau might have come to know in her lifetime, the Petit Albert jumps to the top of the list. Indeed, one can assume that if she was literate, and if she kept any books on the subject of magical practice, the Albert’s popularity and availability would have assured it a spot on her shelf. It was only after reaching this conclusion that I chose to present The Petit Albert as the spellbook of Marie Laveau. I had found myself looking over my own mid-sized occult collection, which includes several of the false Laveau spellbooks, and wondering if there were not some more accurate portrayal of her spells which might exist or that could be made to exist. While I have to confess, the few snippets that do survive of her genuine practices present an image of something much more African-derived than anything one would come upon in the Albert, it can also be said with certainty that the real Laveau was not speaking in a faux-Biblical English dialect instructing clients to utilize their indoor plumbing for the deployment of patent formulas purchased at the Crackerjack Drug Store, as other spellbooks portray her. That which calls itself Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo sells magical mixtures instantly recognizable as having come from the works of Scott Cunningham, and so-named Marie Laveau Spell Kits are sold featuring blessed pennies from the cauldron of Dorothy Morrison. Even her biographies are known to be wildly inaccurate, and only recently has improved scholarship begun to untangle the truth of her life from the fantastical, and often insulting, stories. Her name is used all over, yet with so little substance behind it. My own way of thinking finds that authenticity is the most respectable way to commemorate a person’s life, and to me it seems that the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans deserves much better. A spellbook under her name, that could have some reasonable semblance of the magic she’d have seen in her world with her own two eyes, seemed a worthy cause. I certainly have no proof that Marie Laveau was familiar with the contents of the Petit Albert, but I say with confidence that the book provides a period-correct view of the sort of magical knowledge that was likely to have influenced the real and genuine life and works of the famous Marie Laveau, and of New Orleans Voodoo as a whole. Talia Felix
September, 2011 - April, 2012
MESSAGE TO THE READER: This is a new edition of the Book of the Fantastical Secrets of the Petit Albert, known in Latin by the title Alberti Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis: the author, to whom it is attributed, having been one of those great men whom the ignorant people have been accusing of witchcraft; (it was once the stock of all the great minds that they possessed such extraordinary abilities with the sciences, by allying themselves with sorcerers). It is perhaps for this reason that this little treasure has come to be so rare; because the heathenistic have cast suspicion upon its utility, it has been nearly lost: for one distinctive person in this world has had the zealousness (in order that he could secure the subject) of offering more than a thousand florins for one single copy; yet it did so happen that we were able to uncover it some time later in the library of a very great man who has generously sought to lend it, so as not to deprive the public of so rich a treasure. One will now be able to make use of it for little cost, with advantage and ample gain. The mindful will not be much affected by the old-fashioned language and the lack of polish of this book; we have preferred leaving it as we found it, to changing anything, for fear of altering the true construction of the writing. As for the rest, no one will lament that such has been added to the end of this treasury even more fantastical secrets, provided by a person of great experience; and as it is discussed often within this collection, for the preparing of the secrets for the Hours of the Planets, one will find at the end of this book some tables which indicate the hour of the sunrise for all the days of the year, in order that there be no mistakes about the hours that each planet rules: for it must be known that one needs to reckon the first hour from the sunrise, and not by midnight, as some people have erroneously claimed.
THE TREASURY OF THE FANTASTICAL SECRETS. The genuinely inquisitive man, who desires proficiency in the most rare and most hidden secrets of nature, needs, with an open mind, to disclose the eyes of his understanding unto that which I have gathered for him with an ample amount of care and meticulousness in this little volume. It could well be called a Global Treasure, in that within its tiny size it includes marvels capable of bringing joy to the entire human race: the nobleman as the plebian; the city merchant as the country workman; the warrior as the pacifist; the bachelor as the boy; the grande dame as the young girl, and above all the good head of household, will take all in good part what these my own experiences have proven will be to their advantage, and will satisfy their most vivid inclinations and their most pressing desires. Now, in order to observe some method of order in this work of mine, and so as to render it easier and more pleasant for my readers, I did mark each of the topics separately, for fear that a careless mingling would bring about a baffling confusion; I wish to say, that when I did discourse upon, for example, the secrets of love and of war, I did lay out all in suit, and without interruption, that which I had wished to provide on the subjects; or, if due to a natural obligation, I described elsewhere such secrets which correspond to love or to war, I did notify my readers, indicating the places where they will be able to find these secrets. It is well to warn my readers likewise, that, for as astonishing as one can perhaps perceive the secrets that I put forth to them in this little volume, they do not in any way surpass the occult powers of nature; that is to say, of any of the known beings that are scattered throughout this vast universe, which are in the skies, in the winds, on the land and in the waters. For even as it is written that the wise man will rule the astros by his prudence, by the same token one must be persuaded that the astros by their agreeable influences shall give advancement to the wise man who will take instruction from their ascendants. Now, it is required that one should know the ascendants of the astros in order to understand the favorable dispositions between them; such as their aspects or regards, their entries and habitations in the celestial signs. By the term astros, one generally means those planets which have their own day in the course of the week; the Sun for Sunday, the Moon for Monday, Mars for Tuesday, Mercury for Wednesday, Jupiter for Thursday, Venus for Friday, Saturn for Saturday. Those who have never studied the high sciences of philosophy and astronomy will be capable— either by consulting astrologers, or using a good almanac whenever they would put to work any secret that relies upon aspects or conjunctions of the astros—of bringing to the operations which these will perform, the precision that such will provide, rendering an outcome that is clean, easy and favorable. But such things must not be attributed to witchcraft nor devilry, even though in some of the wondrous secrets that I have given, one uses certain words or figures; for they have their virtue and effectiveness irrespective of magic, and the ancient Hebrew sages made use of them with a great deal of holiness. In the histories and chronicles of France we learn that Charlemagne received from a Pope a small book being composed only of mystical words and figures, which the prince used for powerful good fortune on an infinite number of occasions, and this little book was entitled Enchiridion Leonis Papae. The marvels that this little book had produced on behalf of those who used it, made it celebrated despite those who had wished to decry it as false religion.
Finally I advise my readers that they will not find anything of the vulgar or the trivial in this little work of mine; it is like an extract or an elixir of that which Nature has perfected and aided through her art, having the most marvelous of hidden virtues; I will not allow myself to be seduced by vanity in presenting this as by my own self and by my own stock: I confess frankly that I have drawn these things from the writings of the most famous philosophers who have penetrated with an admirable diligence all these most curious and most concealed things of nature; but truly I do not put these forth here with any want of consideration, since there is hardly a one of which I have not had the pleasure of putting to trial myself.
ON RECIPROCAL LOVE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. As it falls that there is nothing more natural to man than to love and to seek love, I did commence the overture of my little treasury with those secrets which are conducive to such an end; and without holding myself to invoke Venus and Cupid, who are the two dominant divinities over this noble passion of mankind, I say that Madam Nature, who fashions all things on man’s behalf, every day brings forth a great number of creations that become propitious to him in the outcome of his romances. Such can be found very often at the front of the foaling of a horse a piece of flesh, of which I here give representation, which is of a wondrous use in producing love: for if one can have this piece of flesh that the ancients have called the hippomane, one should dry this in a newly glazed earthenware pot, in an oven, from which bread is taken, and bearing it upon yourself, cause it to touch against the person by whom you should like to be loved, one will succeed: if the subject may be able to have the opportunity of being made to swallow only the larger of two peas in some liquor, jam or soup, the effect will be even more infallible; and as Friday is sacred to Venus, who presides over the mysteries of love, it will be beneficial if you can perform the work on that day. See what was said by the celebrated Jean-Baptist Porta of the amazing properties of the hippomane for creating love.
ANOTHER FOR LOVE. Take some of your own blood on a Friday during springtime; put it to dry in an oven in a small pot, as is described above, with the two testicles of a hare and the liver of a dove: reduce the whole to a fine
powder, and cause it to be swallowed by the person for whom you have made such endeavors, about the quantity of a half-dram; and if the effect does not follow after the first attempt, repeat up to three times, and they will love you.
ANOTHER FOR LOVE. Live chastely for at least five to six days, and the seventh, which should be a Friday if you can make it so, eat and drink foods of a spicy nature which excite you to love; and when you sense yourself to be in that condition, endeavor to have an intimate conversation with the object of your affection, and arrange it that she can have the ability to look upon you fixedly, you and she, for only the span of an ave maria: for the visual rays which you mutually encounter will be such forceful vehicles for love, that they will penetrate right to the heart, and even the greatest disdain and the grandest indifference cannot withstand them. It is fairly difficult to lead a young woman, who has any modesty, to gaze fixedly upon a young man for such a length of time; but one will be able to oblige her to do it, saying to her, playfully, that one has learned a secret for divining by the eyes whether one is going to be married soon, whether one will live a long life, whether one will be fortunate in marriage, or some other such thing which piques the person’s curiosity, and which can make her inclined to gaze steadily.
ANOTHER FOR LOVE. Get a gold ring set with a small diamond, which has never been worn since it was taken from the hand of the craftsman, wrap it in a bit of silk cloth, and carry it for nine days and nine nights, between the shirt and the skin across from your heart. The ninth day, before sunrise, you engrave with a new stylus inside the ring the word, Scheva. Then attempt however you may to acquire three hairs from the person by whom you would like to be loved, and you top them with three of your own, saying: O body, be enabled to love me, and would that your design might come to prosper as ardently as my own, by the powerful virtue of Scheva! It is necessary to tie these hairs into love-locks, arranged that the ring be almost entwined in the midst of the lock; and having wrapped it in the silk cloth, you carry this once more over your heart another six days, and the seventh day you remove the ring from the love-lock, and one will make arrangements to cause its being received by the beloved person: all this work needs to be done before the sun rises and before eating.
ANOTHER FOR LOVE. So as not to say anything that offends decency, I did not copy here that which I have read in a very credible medicinal concerning the unparalleled virtue of human sperm or semen for inducing one to love, in as much as the experiment is not able to be made without coercing the essence which we can furnish easily by other means. Have then instead recourse to the herb which one calls elecampane, of which I here provide illustration:
Elecampane One needs to gather it while fasting on St. John’s Eve in June before sunrise, dry it, reduce it to powder with some ambergris; and having carried it for nine days over your heart, you endeavor to make it be swallowed by the person by whom you desire to be loved, and the effect will follow. The heart of a swallow, a dove, a sparrow, combined with the true blood of the person whom you would like to bring to love, has the same effect.
ANOTHER FOR LOVE. One can also advance with a great deal of success in this enterprise by the assistance of the talismans made under the alignment of Venus; I have given in the course of this little work some figures engraved in copper-plate of seven talismans that one can make under the auspices of the seven planets, and I have spoken of the mode and method of their creation, and of the virtues which they contain: one will be able to see for this matter’s account I use the one of Venus. These talismans have been composed by the wisest of all the cabbalists; and are adorned with mystic numbers, and by emblematic figures appropriate to the planets from which they acquire their properties; they have been called the stamps or the seals of the planets or celestial intelligences.
ANOTHER FOR LOVE. Concerning some secrets that one calls, according to the cabbalist sages, the Apple of Love, and are performed in this manner: You go one Friday morning before sunrise into a fruit orchard, and pick from a tree the most beautiful apple that you can; then you write with your own blood on a bit of white paper your first and last name, and on another line following, the first and last name of the person by whom you would like to be loved, and you try to have three of her hairs, to which you affix three of yours which you shall use to bind the little message you have written with another one, the which is to have nothing but the word Scheva, likewise written in your blood, then you slice the apple in two, you throw away the seeds, and in their place you lay your papers bound with hair, and with two sharp skewers made from green myrtle branches, you neatly rejoin the apple’s two halves and you will put it to dry in an oven, ensuring that it grows hard and free of moisture like the dried apples of Lent; you wrap it thereafter in the leaves of bay and myrtle, and endeavor to place it under the mattress of the bed or the cot of the beloved person, without letting her know of it, and in a short while she will give unto you some sign of her love.
ANOTHER FOR LOVE.
A man is not satisfied by gaining the love of a woman in passing and only for a short while; he demands that it go on, and that the love be unfading, and for such he has need to possess secrets for committing the woman to no longer alter or lessen her affections. Therefore you acquire for this matter the marrow that you find in the left foot of a wolf, you mix it into a sort of paste with some ambergris and Chypre powder, you apply this cream upon yourself, and you ensure it be smelled from time to time by the woman, who will love you more and more.
ANOTHER FOR LOVE. As it may come to pass that the woman will become disgusted by the man if he is not able-bodied in the actions of Venus, he needs to take precautions not only for the sake of her satisfaction, but moreover for those secrets that the ancient and modern researchers of the miracles of nature have put to test. He must, they say, compose a balm from the ashes of a stellion lizard, oil of St. John’s wort and of civet, and anoint the big toe of the left foot and the kidney region an hour before entering into battle; and one will be able to go forth with honor and to the satisfaction of his party.
ANOTHER FOR LOVE. A cream composed from the lard of a young he-goat, with some ambergris and civet, produces the same effect, if one rubs it upon the virile member; for this produces a sensation which bestows a marvelous pleasure to the woman during the action of coitus.
ANOTHER FOR LOVE. If the husband finds that his wife is of a frigid disposition, and doesn’t take pleasure in the sport, then he shall make her eat the testicles of a gander, and the womb of a hare, seasoned with good spices, and from time to time some salads which have a great deal of arugula, ragwort and celery, with red wine vinegar.
AGAINST THE CHARM OF THE KNOTTED CORD. Our ancestors assure that the bird which one calls the woodpecker is a capital remedy against the sorcery of the knotted cord, if one can eat it on an empty stomach roasted with some blessed salt... if one inhales the smoke from the burning tooth of a recently dead man, one will likewise be unburdened of the charm... The same effect comes to pass, if one places some quicksilver in a shaft of oat-straw or wheatstraw, and if one places this shaft of oat-straw or wheat-straw under the mattress of the bed or cot of the one who is responsible for this evil doing... If the man and the woman are afflicted by this charm, it requires for being cleansed that the man piss through his wedding ring, which the woman will hold steady while awaiting him to piss.
FOR KNOTTING THE CORD. Obtain the penis of a freshly killed wolf, and being close to the door of the one that you should like to bind, you call him by his proper name, and at the same moment that he should respond, you tie the said wolf’s penis with a loop of white thread, and he will be rendered so impotent in venereal actions, that he couldn’t do less if he were castrated. From good accounts has it been made known that for curing, and
even for preventing this type of enchantment, one need but wear a ring in which the right eye of a weasel has been set.
FOR CONTROLLING INTENSE VENEREAL DESIRES IN WOMEN. Reduce to powder the genital member of a red bull, and give about the weight of an écu of this powder in a broth prepared from veal, purslane, and lettuce to the overly-lustful woman; and the subject will no longer be bothered, but on the contrary she will have aversion to the acts of venery.
AGAINST PROVOCATIONS OF THE FLESH, AND FOR LIVING CHASTELY. Though frequent tempering by lettuce and purslane can be very useful for killing the ardor of lust, as one nonetheless cannot find them year-round, and as the subject would grow bored with this food in imitation of the Israelites who tired with the manna of the desert, nature has provided many other remedies. Therefore you take some powdered agate, that you lay in a linen band which one will have soaked in the fat of a wolf, and the subject encircles the lower back with this band in the manner of a sash; beyond this, the man will carry on himself the heart of a male quail, and the woman one of a female quail, and it will be more effective if it is wrapped in a bit of wolf-skin.
FOR KNOWING WHETHER A GIRL IS CHASTE, OR WHETHER SHE HAS BEEN DEBAUCHED, AND HAS MATED. You get some jet or lignite, that you reduce to an impalpable powder, and you will make the weight of an écu be taken by the woman, and if she has been debauched, it will be entirely impossible for her to retain her urine, and it will cause her to piss uncontrollably; if on the contrary she is chaste, she will retain her urine more than is usual. White or yellow amber, from which one makes necklaces and beads, bring forth the same trial, if they are provided with the same preparation as the jet or lignite: seeds of purslane, leaves and root of burdock, reduced to powder, and given to drink in a bouillon or other liquor, serve the same trial quite well.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. Get white sewing thread, measure with the thread the size of the girl’s neck, then you double that length, and you cause the girl to hold the two ends with her teeth, and you stretch the aforesaid length so as to allow her head to pass through; if her head goes through very easily, she is debauched, if she can only pass through with difficulty, assure yourself that she is a virgin.
FOR RESTORING A LOST MAIDENHEAD. Take a half-ounce of Venetian holy earth, a bit of the milk expressed from the leaves of asparagus, a quarter ounce of mineral crystals infused with lemon juice, or the juice of unripe plums, a fresh egg-white with a bit of oat flour: from all these fashion a pill which should have a thin consistency, and you place this into the privy-parts of the deflowered girl, after having her douched with the milk of a goat, and anointed with ceruse pomatum. You will not have carried out this secret four or five times, before the
girl will return to a state which will fool the matron who will be coming to survey her. The girl douching her privy-parts for several consecutive days, with the water of asparagus distilled with the juice of lemons, produces the same effect, anointing the party with pomatum, as is described heretofore.
FOR PREVENTING THAT A WIFE WILL BE ABLE TO COMMIT ADULTERY WITH ANYONE. Those who are obligated to be a long time absent from their home, and who have untrustworthy wives and occasion for caution, will be able, for their security, to carry out that which follows. It requires getting a bit of hair from the woman, and cutting it small as possible; then having coated the virile member with a bit of good honey, and casting the powdered hair thereupon, one will perform the venereal action with the woman, and she will be followed with a very great revulsion for the pastime: if the husband would like to restore her to this pleasure, then he takes some of his own hair, which he cuts as ably as he has done with that of his wife, and after having anointed his virile member with some honey, and having powdered it over with his hair, he will proceed with the action contentedly with the wife.
FOR TIGHTENING THE STRETCHED OUT VAGINAL FLESH OF YOUNG WOMEN, AFTER BEING BROUGHT EXCESSIVELY TO BED. You compose a cream with some Venice turpentine, some milk from the leaves of asparagus, some cow’s-milk fromage frais which has been soured, and some mineral crystals, then having rubbed the vagina with a little sponge soaked in lemon juice, one will apply a layer of the said cream over the looseness, and one will repeat this secret several times, and one will be contented.
FOR CAUSING GIRLS OR WIDOWS TO SEE, DURING THE NIGHT, THE HUSBAND TO WHICH THEY WILL BE WED. It requires that they should take a small branch from a tree of the type called poplar, which they should bind in a ribbon of white thread with their stockings; and after having laid them under the mattress of the bed where they will be going to spend the night, they rub their temples with a bit of blood from the bird that one calls the lapwing, and will say while tucking herself in the oration which follows for the purpose of that which they would like to know.
ORATION. Kyrios clementissime qui Abraham servo tuo dedisti uxorem Saram, et filio ejus obedientissimo, per admirabile signum indicasti Rebeccam uxorem. Indica mihi ancillae tuae quem sim neptura virum, per ministerium tuorum spirituum, Balideth, Assaibi, Abumalith. Amen. The following morning requires, as soon as she wakes, replaying in the subject’s mind whatever she would have had in her dream during the night; and, if while sleeping she did not see any appearance of a man, one must continue the night in this course for three consecutive Fridays; and, if the girl does not receive any images of men during these three nights, she then will know that she will never be married. The widows will be able to do this experiment just as well as the girls, with the distinction, that instead
of where the girls go to bed from the side of the mattress, the widows are obliged to lay down at the foot of the bed, and from there move across the mattress.
FOR BOYS AND WIDOWERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEE WHILE DREAMING THE WOMEN THAT THEY WILL WED. It requires that they have some pulverized coral, with lodestone powder which are dissolved together with the blood of a white dove; they make a little lump of paste, which they reconfigure into a large mass, and after they have wrapped it in a bit of blue taffeta, they hang this from their neck, and place under the sheet on the bed a branch of myrtle, speaking while laying down the oration heretofore indicated, changing only these words: ancillae tuae quem sim nuptura virum, instead they will become, servo tuo quam sim nupturus uxorem.
TO PRESERVE AGAINST BEING CUCKOLDED. Procure the head of the genital member of a wolf, the lashes of his eyes and that which he has in his throat which is in the shape of a barb: reduce these to a powder through calcination, and cause it to be swallowed by the woman without her knowledge, and one will be able to rest assured of her fidelity; the marrow from the spine of a wolf’s back produces the same effect.
FOR CAUSING A GIRL TO DANCE UNDRESSED TO HER UNDERWEAR. Get some wild marjoram, sweet marjoram, wild thyme, vervain, myrtle leaves, with three walnut leaves, and three small stems of fennel, all these gathered on the Eve of St. John in the month of June before the sunrise: it requires they be made to dry in the shade, put them into powder and pass them through a fine silk strainer; and when one wants to effect this merry foolishness, it requires blowing some of this powder through the air in the direction where the girl is, in order that she will be able to breathe it in, or she can be made to take it in the guise of snuff, and the effect will follow shortly. A famous author adds that the effect will be even more infallible if this gamesome experience is done in a place where there are some lamps fueled with the grease of a hare and of a young he-goat.
FOR BEING LUCKY IN GAMES OF SKILL AND CHANCE. Procure an eel that died from lack of water, take the gall of a bull which has been killed from a dogattack, place it into the skin of the said eel with a dram of vulture’s blood, bind the eel skin by the two ends with a hangman’s rope, and place it in a hot smokehouse for the span of a fortnight, and then you put it to dry in a hot oven with ferns gathered on the Eve of St. John; then you make a bracelet, on which you write with a quill from a raven and your own blood, these letters: HVTY And wearing the bracelet on your arm, you find fortune in every stead.
FOR IMPROVING A HAUL OF FISH.
You amass an infinite number of fish in whatever place you are usually able to find them, if you toss about the following composition. Take blood of a cow, blood of a black goat, blood which is to be found in the small intestines of a sheep, some thyme, oregano, wheat flour, marjoram, garlic, dregs of wine, and the fats or marrows of those same animals; you beat together all these ingredients and you make little pills of them that you cast in the path of the river or pond, and you will see wonders.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. Beat some nettles with the herb cinquefoil, adding juice of houseleek with some meal boiled in marjoram and thyme water, place this composition in a bow-net to take hold of the fish, and in a short while it will be full.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. Take unguis odoratus with some cumin, some aged cheese, and some wheat flour and good dregs of wine; bruise these all together and form tiny pills of the size of a pea, and cast these in the rivers where there are plenty of fish and where the water be tranquil, and all the fish that taste of this composition become intoxicated and will come to render themselves ashore, following which you can catch them by hand, and soon afterward the intoxication will have passed, and they become as spry as they were before they had eaten the bait.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. Marigold flowers, with marjoram, wheat flour, sour butter, goat’s fat and some earthworms, bruised and combined together, serve wonderfully for catching all sorts of fish in bow-nets or in lines.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. For causing the fish to assemble in a place in the sea, take three shells of those sort which form on the rocks; and having seized the fish that you find inside, your write with your own blood on these shells, the two words that follow: JA SABAOTH And having cast these shells in the direction where you want the fish to gather, so shall you see in no time an infinite number of them.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. For getting a large amount of crayfish, when one shall have discovered the direction where they keep themselves, one will place there some bow-nets into which one will have strewn some pieces of goat’s entrails or sliced up frogs, and by this method one will attract a vast number of the utmost quantity.
TO PREVENT BIRDS FROM EATING THE SEEDS, SOWN FOR CROPS. It requires getting the biggest toad that one can find, and one will seal it up along with a bat in a pot
made of fresh clay, and one will write, on the underside of the lid of the pot, the word Achizech with raven’s blood and one will bury this pot in the middle of the seeded field and have no fear of approaching birds: when the crops begin to mature one must remove this pot and strew along the fields any leftover remains within.
FOR CATCHING A GREAT MANY BIRDS. Take an owl or owlet which you attach overnight to a tree in a forest or grove, and nearby him you light a large candle which gives off a good flame; plus, two or three people should be making a ruckus around the tree with drums, the birds become confused, perching themselves near the owl so as to fight with him, and it will be easy to kill as many as you like with some small bullets.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. You soak in good aqua vitae some seed which will serve to feed the birds, with a bit of white hellebore; and those which eat of this seed will be slightly dazed, following which one will be able to pick them up by hand.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. If you would like to catch crows or ravens alive, make some cornets of strong paper which be greyish-blue; you rub the inside with glue, and place inside some kind of stinking piece of meat to draw them; following which they thrust their heads into these cornets, the glue will fix itself onto their feathers; and being thus enwrapped as if in a monk’s cowl such that their vision will be obstructed, when they attempt to fly away, they are not able, and it will be easy to grab them.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. You can mix some nux vomica into the food of the birds, which, soon as they eat, they fall weak and they will allow themselves to be taken.
FOR KEEPING AND BREEDING PIGEONS. If you hang inside of the pigeon-house the skull of an old man or some of the breastmilk of a woman who will be suckling a girl of two years, assure yourself that the pigeons are pleasing themselves in the pigeon-house and thereby multiply with abundance, through the newcomers that they attract, and so all live peaceably and without malice.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. If you have a large pigeon-house where you make a great deal of feed for the pigeons, prepare for them the following mixture to ensure that none are rejected, and on the contrary will attract others; take thirty pounds of millet, three pounds of cumin, five pounds of honey; a half-pound of bishopswort, or else costus, two pounds of seeds of agnus castus; cook the lot in river water prior to the aforesaid’s consumption of it, and then pour in three or four kegs of good wine and about eight pounds of well pulverized old cement; you go to cook this for another span of a half hour over low heat, and you
fashion a mass of all these ingredients, which shall harden, and you place the said mass in the middle of the pigeon-house, and you will be in a short time given recompense for the expense that you’ve incurred.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. I have read in the writings of an old time cabalist, that to ensure that snakes and other venomous beasts not come to molest the pigeons by night or by day, it is necessary to write with the blood of a badger in the four corners of the pigeon-house and at the windows, the word Adam, and you fashion an incense from coltsfoot or coughwort: someone gives credit that the head of a wolf hung over the pigeonhouse, brings forth a similar effect.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. The book La Maison Rustique teaches good practices for the apt raising of pigeons, and the wisdom of many trials makes it known that one cannot give them anything that fattens them up better than a paste of French beans fried with cumin and honey.
AGAINST THE ILLNESS ONE CAN GET FROM DOGS. You can keep them from annoyingly barking after you, if you carry over your heart the dried eyes of a wolf: the great antipathy that exists between the dog and the wolf causes this effect which has been tested many times.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. The bite of a mad dog is incredibly dangerous; it is nice to have some fast remedies for protecting one’s self from the deadly progression of this evil bite. You therefore pound collard seed with laserwort and some good vinegar, from which you make a plaster that you apply over the wound, which you should previously have anointed with Balsamic Oil. The fresh root of eglantine rose, which yields a good scent, being mashed and applied, is, according to Pliny’s opinion, a swift redress against dogbites... Some excellent naturalist authors assure that taking some hair from the mad beast, and burning it, and drinking the ashes to which it’s reduced in some good wine, bring a recovery... River crabs being burnt during the dog days of summer, the 14th day of the moon, at the time when the sun enters into the sign of Leo, and reduced to powder, of which one will give a half-dram in a broth, to the patient, morning and evening for a fortnight, and he will be cured. Galen assures that this remedy has never failed him when needed... Nevertheless I advise that one not rely so much on these medicines, for an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and is the most effective remedy, and one can exercise all these lesser remedies in their course.
AGAINST THE ILLS ONE CAN RECEIVE FROM WOLVES. If you wear upon yourself the eyes and heart of a Mastiff that died violently, have no fear that any wolf should approach you; but, on the contrary, you shall see him make like a scared rabbit... if you hang the tail of a wolf that has been slaughtered in the stall or the stable of cattle big or small, no wolf will come inside... The same effect will come to everyone in a village, if interred under every avenue are some pieces of wolf... I have read in the writings of a naturalist wiseman, a very surprising method for
apprehending wolves in large number, indeed for even depopulating an entire countryside which should be infested; it requires one to provide a goodly quantity of fish, such that one calls Seawolf or Wolffish: upon their suffocation one keeps aside their blood, and after they have been scaled and cleaned, one mashes them in a mortar with some meat from a lamb or a young sheep, and one will bring this composition to the region where one knows the wolves are at; one shall light a huge coal-fire across the wind; that is to say, that the wind goes to the side where the wolves are, so that they chase the smoke which will be made up from the meat and the fish that one will have put over the coals; the said smoke striking the wolves’ sense of smell, they will be drawn in this direction, whereupon they find this roasted bait, and by some that they eat, will become so dizzy, that they lay themselves to sleep, and it will be easy to kill them. Having whole books that are filled with secrets for protecting one’s self from the ills of troublesome animals, I am therefore not of the mood to uselessly enlarge this, my little treasury of the marvels of nature, with these types of secrets, which are becoming too commonplace to be unknown by anyone. I do proceed then to some things that are more intriguing and which better satisfy my readers.
AGAINST THE STUPIDITIES OF WINE. As man has nothing more respectable than his wit, but it often befalls him to lose it, from an excess of wine, it is proper to give him some kind of guard for defending himself; when you should come to some sort of meal, where you fear succumbing to the sweet coercion of Bacchus, you drink (which you place at the table beforehand) two spoonfuls of betony-water and one spoonful of quality olive oil, and you can drink wine with complete confidence... You take care that the glass or cup in which one’s drink is served, gives off no odor of summer savory or of rapure des ongles, for these two ingredients contribute much to drunkenness... If the subject is allowed to be overcome with wine it requires, for a man, that he wrap his genitals in a string which be imbued with strong vinegar, and that a woman who has succumbed to drunkenness, place a similar string upon her breasts; the one and the other will return to their good senses.
FOR RESTORING SPOILED WINE. I have proven more than a hundred times that spoiled wine is restored in the following manner. If it is close to harvesting season for the grapes, and they are starting to ripen, you collect around a hundred grosses of the most ripened grape clusters: you do well to clean a barrel, in which you put two armloads of chips or shavings of good wood; you sprinkle these shavings with juice from the grape clusters, which you squeeze by hand, and toss together all the grape clusters onto the shavings, and having sealed well the barrel and set it in place, you draw so as to clarify the spoiled wine, and pour it over the shavings, it will not have sat there three days, when it will be fine and fair to drink.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. You make a decoction of fine herbs; to wit, a handful of each of the following: marjoram, thyme, bay, myrtle, juniper berries, two peels of lemon and also of orange; you bring this to a strong boil in twenty pints of water, until it reduces to fifteen pints or thereabout, in proportion to the largeness of the barrel that you will have cleaned in preparation for its receiving your spoiled wine; you wash the barrel well with the said decoction already boiled together, and allow it to soak in; then you put inside two armfuls of
wood chips or shavings or chunks, which you also sprinkle with the decoction; you draw so as to clarify the spoiled wine, which you leave to rest for eight days over the chips and shavings, and it will become better than it ever was before it turned.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. I have learned from a steward of a German prince’s house this alternate method for restoring unfit and spoiled wine; it demands drying in an oven fifty clusters of good grapes, and a half-bushel of sweet almond shells, until these shells become a bit browned; while waiting for them to finish up in the oven, it requires beating and whipping well together twelve egg whites until they are almost reduced to a foam, and turn them out into the barrel in which is the spoiled wine, and roll it around for a short while, then you cast the hot almond shells and grapes inside, and let it rest for eight days, and you are left with some fair and fine wine... When the wine has become sour, one restores it with some wheat that one puts to boil until it is cracked, the measure or quantity being one percent of the content of the barrel.
FOR QUICKLY MAKING AN EXCELLENT VINEGAR. It requires some good strong wine, into which you put some long pepper and some very sour rye bread starter: it will not have been left to sit in strong sunlight or near a fire for six hours, before it will be of good utility. One can fashion some nice vinegar without wine in this manner: procure a horse-load of wild pears, beat them well, and leave them to ferment in a barrel for three days, then, for thirty days, you moisten them each day with two pots of water, in which water you will have made an infusion of ginger and long pepper; at the point of thirty days you press the mashed pears, and you get fit vinegar.
FOR MAKING LUSCIOUS WINES. We proceed from the useful to the delightful, and we bring mirth to mankind with delectable liqueurs... For making an excellent Greek-Style Wine, for a hundred kegs of good strong wine, you mix the following decoction: six pounds of fine sugar, of ginger, galangal, grains of paradise, cloves, each four ounces, with two lemon peels, you put these all to boil in six pints of fountain water, until it reduces by half; and after having clarified this composition, you place it in a barrel in which you have the hundred kegs of good wine, and you have some excellent Greek-Style Wine... For Muskie Wine, you take some licorice, polypody, anise, nutmeg, calamus aromaticus, of each two drams, you lightly bruise them all together, and having placed them in a fine linen bag, you drape this through a barrel of white wine, following which the bag is able to sink to the middle of the barrel, for ten to twelve days, and you have some nice Muskie Wine. For the quantity of the ingredients specified, the barrel used should therefore be one for a size of three ass-loads. For Malmsey Wine which lends itself to be swiftly drinken, for a barrel of the size of three ass-loads, you throw in the following composition: you take four pounds of good, natural, unadulterated honey, a dram of powdered cloves, like quantity of ginger and mace, four pints of fountain water; you put this all together to boil for two hours, and be you careful to skim it diligently; it requires that the cloves, ginger and the mace, powdered, be wrapped in a white linen cloth; and when this composition should be prepared, you cast it almost lukewarm into the barrel, and allow it to rest for eight days, and you have some good Malmsey... If you are wishing to create some further delicacies, you take a dram of musk and of aloeswood, two drams of cinnamon, some grains of paradise and cloves, with two pounds of good sugar, for the quantity of a hundred kegs of good wine; the lot is to boil in four pints of water.
TO MAKE IN LITTLE TIME AN EXCELLENT HIPOCRAS. For four pints of wine, you prepare the ingredients which follow: a pound of fine, good sugar, two ounces of good cinnamon broken into large pieces, one ounce of grains of paradise, the same of cardamom, and two grains of the highest quality ambergris, mashed in a mortar with some sugar candy; you will make from all these ingredients a clear syrup, which you purify by passing two or three times through a stamine, and you mix the said syrup with four pints of excellent wine, and you will thus have the finest Hipocras that can be imbibed.
FOR MAKING THE GENUINE INDIAN CLEAR WATER WHICH POSSESSES SOME MARVELLOUS PROPERTIES AGAINST SICKNESS OF THE HEART, HEAD AND STOMACH. You take six pounds of the fairest sour cherries that you are able to get. After having removed the stems and pits, you turn them to the stove in a very clean pan, with a pint of fountain water and put this to boil for the better part of an hour’s course. At length, you pass the pulp through a strainer or a stamine, and from the juice which will follow, you shall fashion a syrup, in which you place three pounds of fine sugar, four ounces of cinnamon, one ounce of cloves, a large nutmeg, one ounce of grains of paradise, one ounce of cardamom, four grains of musk, like quantity of ambergris bruised in a mortar with sugar candy, the lot of it gently broken up. When the syrup will be formed and thoroughly clarified, you mix it with four pints of quality aqua vitae in a large jug, which you seal up well, and set it out in intense sunlight for a fortnight and you receive some excellent Clear Water. The eight ounces which you retain of these spices are good for making a basic Hipocras, with sugar cast unto it in the manner that we have described previously.
TO HAVE SWEET, JUICY AND FRAGRANT MELONS. You procure a good species of melon seed, you put them to infuse for two days in a syrup which shall be made up of raspberries, cinnamon, cardamom, two grains of musk and likewise of ambergris; it is necessary that the syrup be not thick, and tepid when you place the seeds into the infusion; it requires that the ground where you plant be well prepared, over a layer of good horse-dung, and to have great care of not overwatering them and to protect them from an overabundance of rain. If you are diligent about all these matters, you will have melons fit for the mouth of a king.
TO HAVE FINE, RIPE GRAPES IN SPRINGTIME. It demands having a cherry-tree that be planted in an espalier, having good exposure to the sun and in good soil, and that an able gardener graft properly two or three stems of good grapevines onto the said cherry-tree; that the one should take care in protecting them from the severities of the end of winter and of the springtime, and one shall not withhold from it any good manure, nor water when it should be necessary, and one shall witness something quite wondrous at the time when the cherries become ripe.
FOR MAKING WHEAT GROW AND FLOURISH. You take a pound of potassium carbonate, which is artfully composed from flowers of sulfur,
saltpeter and niter; good druggists have this powder: you put it to boil in six pints of water, with two pounds of fresh new wheat, until such time as the wheat begins to split itself, then you strain this mixture through a linen cloth till very clear, and you do so till the cooked wheat renders forth all of its moisture; afterwards you put to soak in this liquid as much good wheat as you are able to for twenty-four hours; when the dirt has been well prepared, you sow it with the soaked wheat, and having put to dry the grosser substance left from the composition’s straining, you powder it and cast it over the ground, and you witness, in my experience, that the grain that you have thus put to seed will produce twenty-four times that of regular grain. It is true that one must not do this twice in a row on the same land; for in such manner it so consumes the nutrients that it is not able to bear again, if it is not well fertilized.
FOR KEEPING SEEDS AND CROPS FROM BEING EATEN BY ANIMALS. You get ten large crayfish, which you place in a vessel filled with water, and expose this to the sun for ten days, then you sprinkle the seeds with this water for the span of eight days; and when they begin to sprout, you sprinkle them for eight more days to follow, and you shall see how they will flourish miraculously, and that any beast, be them rats, weasels or otherwise, will be unable to come near.
FOR KNOWING WHETHER THE SEEDS WILL BE FRUITFUL IN THE YEAR TO FOLLOW. Zoroaster provides an infallible secret, for knowing the fruitfulness of the crops for the next year, by doing that which follows. It demands, around the fifteenth of the month of June, preparing a little plot of land, in the manner that one ordinarily prepares it for seeding: whereby you sow all kinds of seeds, and by the principal that, in this season, the heat is scorching and is thereby able to provoke the seed to germinate and come forth most easily. You witness after this which seeds will come up the best and shall have the fairest appearance in the time that the dog-star begins to reign over the horizon; for you are forewarned by this sign that the most fruitful shall be those seeds which come up the best, and those which will not advance with the preparations that you have made will be sterile. Thus the wise laborer will take from this his rule for gaining an abundant harvest.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. You shall observe during springtime what be the condition of the walnut-trees: for if they should appear burdened with leaves with hardly any flowers, be assured that Nature shall be stingy with the distribution of her riches; if, on the contrary, you see a great abundance of flowers on the walnut-trees and that the amount surpasses that of the leaves, take it as a prediction of fertility: the ancients would make the same forecast using almond-trees.
AGAINST MALADIES AND OTHER ACCIDENTS THAT PLAGUE THE LIFE OF MAN. Foul odors are naturally contrary to the health of mankind; and they are oft times fatal, observe the writings of Fioraventus, which declare that if one acquires the grosser parts of human blood when the waters and serous matter are removed, and that after they have been dried, if one mixes them with some
styrax and the which being scorched in a chamber, the foul odor which is emitted is fatal. Thus for preserving against these deadly infections, I wish to propose a capital antidote which will triumph over all sorts of venoms and poisons. You get, when in season, some leaves of St. John’s wort before it has cast its flowers, as much as you are able to hold in your two hands; put them to infuse in the sun, in four pounds of olive oil, for ten days. Then you lay it out on a stove, in a bain marie, in hot water, and you squeeze out the moisture with a press, and put it into a jar, or a bottle, or a sturdy glass jug; and, when the St. John’s wort shall be blooming and seeding, you put a handful of this seed and of these flowers in a jug, and put it to boil over a fire, in a bain marie, for the course of an hour; then you cast therein three scorpions, a viper and a green frog, from which you separate the heads and the feet; and after they have been put to boil once more for a little while, you put thereto two ounces of each of the ingredients which follow, powdered or chopped: gentian root, dittany flower, greater or lesser fortelle or motherwort, some tormentile, some rhubarb, some prepared bole armoniac, some good treacle, and a bit of powdered emerald. You expose this all to the sunlight, for three of the dog days of summer, after having stopped-up the jug securely; and, finally, you place it into digestion, for three months, in a warm dung-heap; and, after this time, you run this composition through a colander, and ideally keep it in a vessel of pewter or of strong glass, for your utilization. The way to use it is to rub it about the heart, temples, nostrils, sides, and the length of the spine, and you prove whether or not it is an antidote against every type of poison... It is also good for healing the bites of venomous creatures.
ON THE ANCIENTNESS OF THE TALISMANS, THEIR ORIGIN, AND UTILIZATION OF EACH.
Figures of the Talismans From left to right, descending top to bottom, captions are: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn. (The final seal shown is the 5th seal of Mars.)
THE TALISMANS OF PARACELSUS. The great reputation that Paracelsus has achieved throughout the world through his deep understanding, provides much testimony for that which he has left in writing. Rest assured, as a matter without question, that if one fashions these talismans following the method that is provided, they bring forth effects which will astound those who might put them to test; and this is what I have proven myself, with much wonder and very happy success. So behold the manner by which it is described in his Archidox of Magic. No one is able, without hesitation, to revoke skepticism that the astros and celestial planets have such commanding influences over everything which is in the lower world; because one sees and one experiences palpably what the planets rule by their influence over mankind, which is the image of God and the beneficiary of reason; for much more powerful reason lends one to think that they do reign and influence over the metals, over the stones, and all that which nature and art can produce since all these things are lesser than mankind, and more fit to be receptive without resistance, their influences being bereft of thinking and free will; and that man has the advantage and can put these sorts of materials to his profit, to draw for himself the influences of the astros. But this which is worthy to be known and well noted, is that the seven planets do not ever influence more efficiently than by procurement of the seven metals which are particular to them, that is to say, which are possessed by a sympathy with their substance; and by this same cause the cabbalist sages have known
from the highest penetrations of their learnings, which metals are proper for the planets: they have determined gold for the Sun, for the day of Sunday, silver for the Moon, for Monday, iron for Mars, for Tuesday, quicksilver for Mercury, for Wednesday, tin for Jupiter, for Thursday, copper or brass for Venus, for Friday, and lead for Saturn, for Saturday. Upon this foundation, we give here the method of creating some talismans which the wisemen of old called the seals of the planets.
TALISMAN OR SEAL OF THE SUN.
This talisman given here is to be made up from the finest and purest gold, which is that which comes from Arabia or Hungary: one forms a rounded plaque, nicely polished on both sides; and upon one of these sides one marks a square composed of six rows of numbers, arranged by listing these numbers from one corner to the other, in the form of a St. Andrew’s Cross, one finds one-hundred eleven. And the thing which is so mystical about this, and of which one ought to be informed, is that the numbers which will be marked in all the talismans or seals of the planets are the numbers of the major luminous bodies which are under the dominion of each planet, which God charged with them as their subjects, and it is because of this that those who are versed in astrology call them precursory planets or primary stars, and they converge by this, those which have the others under their control, because of the distribution of their influences. On the other side of the plaque, ones needs to engrave the emblematic figure of the planet, which portrays a crowned king in his royal throne, holding a scepter in his right hand, having above his head the sun and the title Jupiter, and motioning with his scepter toward a roaring lion at his feet. And finally when this operation is precisely completed and done in proper circumstances, for engraving you fashion two irons very particularly for imprinting over the gold all that which I have said before, so as not to lose a moment’s time from the favorable star alignment; for it requires that the engraving itself be done in the times that one will have observed where the sun will be in conjunction with the Moon in the first degree of Leo; and when the golden plaque will be marked on both sides with the aforesaid irons, you promptly wrap it in a fine linen cloth. But when I come to speak of the two iron engravers, they need to be similarly used for the fabrication of the talismans of the other planets. At last, as it is said, that the engraving is made in the favorable moment of the star alignment; for one needs to understand that it is in this very instant that the planet casts out and impresses its blessings upon the talisman by a supernatural and utterly mysterious method. The properties of this talisman of the Sun residing in this, so the person who shall carry it with confidence and reverence should become agreeable to the powers of the Earth, of the kings, of the princes, of the grand noblemen whose benevolence one needs to acquire. One will overflow with riches and honors, and one will have the esteem of all men.
TALISMAN OR THE SEAL OF THE MOON. This talisman needs to be formed from the purest silver that one is able to find, and so one shall make a round, well-polished plaque; and upon one side the subject will engrave nine rows of numbers
whereby each one will contain the mystical sum of three-hundred-sixty-nine, as it is portrayed hereafter in the following square.
On the other side of the plaque, one inscribes the emblematic image of the planet, which shall be a woman dressed up in a large and ample gown, having her two feet in the center of a crescent moon, and another crescent in her right hand and a brilliant star over her head with the word Moon. The operation must be done upon a Monday in springtime, when the subject shall have in the first degree of Capricorn or of Virgo a favorable aspect of Jupiter or of Venus. It also will require wrapping the talisman in a white linen cloth; and it will be enormously useful for preserving against common maladies; it will save travelers from danger and from the attacks of thieves; it shall be advantageous to laborers and to businessmen.
TALISMAN OR SEAL OF MARS.
This seal needs to be formed upon a plaque that is round and polished, from the best iron from Carinthia, the mystical sums being sixty-five; and on the other side of the plaque one shapes the emblematic figure of the planet, which should portray an armed soldier, holding a shield in his left hand, and in the right an unsheathed sword, having a star over his head, with the name of Mars. It requires that the instruments which will be used to engrave this talisman, shall be of good tempered steel, and that the impression itself be made in the moment where one shall observe that moon shall be in a benign aspect with some other favorable planet, entering into the first degree of the sign of Aries or Sagittarius; and it shall be similarly well if the plaque of the talisman be placed in a hot furnace, wherein it will be better prepared to receive the engraving of the mystical figures, and when it shall be cooled, one should wrap it in a piece of red taffeta. This talisman will have the power to render invulnerable whomever shall carry it with reverence, it will give him strength and extraordinary vigor, and he will be the victor in the battles with which he should assist. The planet Mars influences so wonderfully through this talisman, when it is made with precision, that if one buries it in the foundations of a fortress, it will become impossible to take by force, and those who should like to undertake an attack will be easily averted. And if one creates
it at such time as the star alignment of Mars is in opposition with the favorable planets and retrogrades, it brings misfortune unto anyone on whom it is placed, and it thus causes dissentions, revolts, and visceral warfare; I know of a great person of status who was made to bear one like it in England, during the time of Cromwell’s civil war.
TALISMAN OF MERCURY, FOR WEDNESDAY. This talisman needs to be formed upon a rounded plaque of solid mercury; and I do give hereafter the method for solidifying the mercury for the talisman which I have tested myself. When the plaque is made and polished, one engraves it with the iron tools, on one of the sides, the mystic sum of two-hundred-sixty, set out in eight rows as one sees portrayed here.
And to the other side of the plaque one engraves the emblematic figure of the planet of Mercury which portrays an angel having wings upon his back and his boots, having in his right hand a caduceus in the form of a scepter, and a star over his head with the name of Mercury. It will demand making the impression in the favorable moment in the star alignment, as one will have observed before commencing the endeavor. And when it will be accomplished, one wraps the talisman in a piece of silken cloth of the color purple. This talisman will have the property of rendering wise and eloquent whomsoever shall bear it with reverence, and he shall be admirably inclined toward being knowledgeable in all sorts of studies; and if one puts this talisman to infuse just for an hour in a glass of Malmsey, it makes the memory so excellent that one retains everything with ease. Samely it is able to cure all kinds of fevers; and if one places it under the mattress of the bed, it solicits true dreams in which one sees that which one wishes to know.
TALISMAN OF JUPITER. This talisman needs to be formed on a rounded plaque of the purest English tin; one shall engrave upon the first of its sides the mystic sum of the planet which is thirty-four, arranged in four lines, as one sees here so arrayed.
And on the other side of the plaque one engraves the emblematic figure of the planet, which should be a man dressed as a high priest holding between his hands a book from which he appears to be reading, and above his head a shining star, with the word Jupiter. One shall commence to engrave the mystic figures upon the plaque with the irons, at the moment when one observes that the star alignment of the planet will be favorable, the moon making its entry into the first degree of the sign of Libra, Jupiter in good aspect with the Sun; the operation being completed, one shall wrap the talisman in a piece of skyblue colored silken cloth. This talisman will procure for those who shall reverently bear it the love and goodwill of those from whom the subject should wish it. It will possess the virtue of multiplying and augmenting the things with which one would wrap it. It will render luck in business, in commerce and in everything undertaken; it will dispel sorrows, untoward worries and frightful panics.
TALISMAN OF VENUS, FOR FRIDAY. This talisman needs to be created upon a round plaque of highly purified and polished copper. One engraves upon one of the sides the mystic sum of one-hundred-seventy-five, arranged in seven rows, as it is here noted.
And for the other side of the plaque one will engrave the emblematic figure of the planet, which will be a woman dressed lasciviously, having near unto her right thigh a cherub holding a bow and a flaming arrow; and the woman holds in her left hand a musical instrument similar to a gittern, and up above her head a shining star with this word: Venus. The engraving itself will be made with the irons at the moment that one will have forecast that the star alignment of Venus will be of good aspect with such a planet as is favorable, the Moon being entered into the first degree of the sign of Taurus or of Virgo. The undertaking being finished you wrap the talisman in a piece of green silk cloth. And the person who should carry this talisman with reverence can be assured of acquiring the good graces of all those from whom he should wish them, and of being passionately loved by every man and woman; it also has the power to reconcile mortal enemies, by bringing them to drink whatever liquor into which the aforesaid will have been placed; through this manner the subjects become close friends. It also renders one diligent and very capable in the art of music.
TALISMAN OF SATURN, FOR SATURDAY. This talisman needs to be formed upon a rounded plaque, of very pure and refined lead, and one shall engrave upon one of the sides the mystic sum of fifteen arranged in three lines, following the demonstration which one sees here.
And for the other side of the plaque one shall engrave the emblematic figure of the planet, which will be a bearded old man holding in his grasp a kind of pick-axe, in the pose of a fellow delving into the ground, and above his head is a star with the word Saturn. One should begin the engraving of the mystic figures with the iron tools at the moment that one will have forecast that the star alignment of Saturn is in a favorable aspect; the Moon entering into the first degree of the sign of Taurus or of Capricorn. And when the work will be completed you wrap the talisman in a piece of black silk cloth. This talisman is of the utmost assistance, firstly, for women who are confined in delivering a child so that they will not suffer any pains; it is something which has been proven many times with a glorious success by certain persons of much quality who were subject to doing poorly in child-bed. It also multiplies and augments the things with which one places it. If a horseman carries it in his left boot, his horse can never be wounded in any way. It has all the opposite effects to those which form themselves at the times when the star alignment of Saturn is in an inauspicious state and the Moon retrogrades in the signs mentioned above.
THE METHOD OF SOLIDIFYING THE MERCURY FOR PRODUCING THE PLAQUES TO MAKE THE TALISMANS. It requires selecting a day of Wednesday in the spring, when one knows that the star alignment of Mercury will be in a benign aspect with the Sun and Venus, and after having invoked and conjured the spirits and intelligent directors of the influences of this planet, one will prepare the necessary ingredients in the following manner: Sal ammoniac, verdegris, blue vitriol, two ounces of each well pulverized, one will place them all together in a new cast-iron kettle with three pints of water from a forge, and then boil the whole until it has reduced to a pint, then one casts thereto two ounces of good mercury that one stirs well with a spatula while all about together, until the substances become thick; following this one allows them to cool, and one should empty by filtration the bit of water which will remain; one will find at the bottom of the kettle a paste of gray clay, which one shall rinse with regular water, two or three times, always going to empty out the water by filtration, then one shall spread the said paste upon a finelysanded oak plank, and one will leave it to dry in the sunlight; after which one will cast thereunto two ounces of turmeric, and also some powdered Alexandrine tutty, and one will place the lot in a crucible hermetically sealed with another crucible, such that the two seem to become nothing but single vessel without openings, and from which nothing is able to evaporate when it is upon the fire for refining; these two crucibles themselves sealing the one with the other with a paste of fuller’s earth, horse’s dung, fine powder of iron dust, and one must not place the sealed crucible in the oven until such time as this composition which forms the closure becomes well dried. When the crucible will have been in the hot oven for an hour, one shall build upon the fire to the point whereat it grows red. By the third hour one will build up the fire, by constantly aerating it, then one will leave the crucible to cool; one shall unlute it, and one should find the mercury at the bottom in small particles, and one shall collect the bulk of the little particles from it, and one shall relocate them all into another crucible with a bit of borax for the resolving; when this has been done you have a very fine solid mercury, quite suitable in its purity for forming talismans and mystical rings which have the power of bringing you the benign influences of the planet Mercury, provided you have been precise in the work, following the rules of the art.
FOR CONSTRUCTING SOME OTHER TALISMANS WITH THE CHARACTERS THAT THE ANCIENT CABBALISTS HAVE ATTRIBUTED TO THE SEVEN PLANETS. One will make use of them through plaques of the same metal that was heretofore described, and one shall begin the working at the hours and the instances that are proper for the benign influences; upon one side of the plaque one should engrave, in the form of a square, the characters which are hereafter noted: this is to wit, for the Sun, those which one shall find on the first row. For the Moon, those which one shall find in the second row. For Mars, those which one will find in the third row. For Mercury, those which one will find in the fourth row. For Jupiter, those which one shall find in the fifth row. For Venus, those which one will find in the sixth row. For Saturn, those which one will find in the seventh row.
One should be able to engrave on the other side of the plaque the same emblematic figures of which we have earlier spoken, and one will produce some wondrous results. I do not doubt in any way that if this little book of mine falls into the hands of those of little wit and lesser brains, they will merely condemn it as false religion, since they would imagine that the wonderful marvels of which I discourse come from the ministry of evil spirits; for they say, how can one perceive a plaque of metal loaded with somesuch characters and figures, to control such things which are beyond the ordinary forces of nature? But why then do you not believe that the Creator of the Universe is powerful enough to have implanted in his creations some secrets in which the jurisdictions do not move in this manner or that, why must you ill recognize that this being, who has given to the lodestone the powerful secret of drawing to itself a ponderous mass of iron of one type or another, is sufficiently capable of giving unto the astros —which are creations infinitely more superior to the lodestone—that which is most precious on earth, secret virtues and properties which surpass the capacity of our minds, the moreso as these astros are governed by the celestial intelligences which regulate their movements? But such trouble one is able to cause by believing that when certain characters or certain figures are laid out upon a metal plaque, it might be able to produce some kind of amazing effect, since the person believes and then the person sees in evidence that in the lodestone—some particular little pieces of spherical, rectangular or triangular matter, arranged by nature into a certain order—can produce such amazing effects, not only that of drawing an iron mass, but of turning a compass needle round from the direction of the north star, and of guiding the sun dial, et cetera... I would yet beg of such doubt-filled persons why in Switzerland and the region of Swabia, where there are a great deal of snakes due to the mountains, why these snakes can understand Greek, and are frightened if chance the powerful virtue of these three words: Osy, Osya, Osy. They promptly plug one of
their ears with the tip of their tail, and press the other against the ground, so as not to hear these words, which render them immobile and utterly insensible, and incapable of troubling humans. If one were to tell me that it is Nature that produces this instinct in them, why should Nature be less inventive with other creatures, et cetera? I perhaps might turn many people against me, if I declare that there are creatures inside the four elements which are neither mere animals, nor men, although they possess form and reason without having a reasoning mind. The celebrated Paracelsus spoke much more clearly, in saying that these beings of the elements are not at all from the stock of Adam, from which true men are produced, but that it is a category and a kind of creation entirely different from any other. Porphyry of Tyre elaborating upon Paracelsus, says, that not only are these creatures capable of reason, but likewise they worship and recognize God by religious service; and in evidence of his word, he reports a most sublime and most mystical oration from one of these creatures which forever dwells in the element of fire under the name of Salamander, of which I can perhaps bring joy to my readers by providing them with a copy, which will be put to use in the future.
ORATION OF THE SALAMANDERS Immortal, eternal, indescribable and holy father of all things, who is carried in the chariot which rolls without end through the universe which eternally rotates. Lord of ethereal lands, where the throne of your power is raised at a height from which your terrifying eyes discern all, and your blessed ears hear all: Lend a gentle ear unto your children that you have loved since the beginning of time; for your glowing and grand and eternal majesty shimmers above all the world and the stars of heaven: you are raised above all of them O glittering fire, and you enlighten and uphold yourself by your own glory, and it leaves your essence in everflowing streams of light which feed your infinite spirit. This infinite spirit brings forth all things, and creates the inexhaustible treasure of matter, which is not able to err in the generation which ever encompasses it, to cause the innumerable forms of which they are impregnated and of which you have thoroughly supplied from the beginning. From this outshot spirit they also occasion these very holy kings who are standing around your throne and who make up your court; O universal father, O unique one, O father of mortal and immortal good fortune! You have created apart from the powers which are marvelously similar to your eternal thought and your worshipful essence, you have set them up above the angels who announce your wishes to the world. Finally you have created us as a third kind of sovereign in the elements. Our continual exercise is in praising you and in honoring your desires. We burn with desire to obtain you. O father! O mother most tender of mothers! O admirable precedent for the thoughts and feelings of mothers! O son the bloom of all sons! O form of all forms! Soul, spirit, harmony and quantity of all things, preserve us and help us. Amen. Now all these which have been between the old-time philosophers and modern ones of our recent century persuade you that the four elements are beings of intelligent creation, distributing themselves in this manner. The element of fire is inhabited by the Salamanders; the element of air is inhabited by the Sylphs; the element of water is inhabited by the Nymphs; and the element of earth is inhabited by the Gnomes or Dwarfs. And they believe that these creatures have been fashioned by the creator so as to render their important services to mankind, and to punish them when they should rebel against his wishes. One expects that these extraordinary creatures are of a ghostly nature, not of a ghostliness that
excludes all substance; but of a ghostliness which does not abide material foundation while being an infinite matter as delicate and as imperceptible as the air; and on this principal the cabbalist wisemen who have good understanding of the nature of these elemental creatures have said that they have above all other qualities those of agility and of penetrability, as it follows that in an instant they can come from quite far to the aid of a man who has need of their services, and they are able to discern without breach of direction where the man is staying. For those who witness their manners, these beings are very strict in following the laws of their nature and are great enemies of men who live in disrule and contrary to the light of reason. And it is on this principal that the cabbalist wisemen, who have given instructions for arriving at the discovery of the mysteries of occult philosophy, have recommended above all things for the followers of this great science to live in good company, exempt from all corruption, from all debauchery, and from all that which oversteps correct behavior; because the greatest marvels which depend on the occult sciences operate by the services of these elemental beings who are like channels, or better put, the managers of the benign influences of the astros. In times past where one would live in a very great moderation of passions and with few corruptions of nature, these elementary beings had a great deal more frequentation with mankind than in our present era, and one so sees by the marvelous things which they have given through admiration, for they do appear to pass outside of the natural laws; as if the corruption of nature did not reign—the ignorance being so great that the better part of mankind do attribute to magic or devilry everything which is created by the services of these elemental beings; this is what one is able to see in the chapters of Charlemagne and in the laws that were made under the reign of Pepin, and the wonders of which the histories of these ancient eras make reference, passing them off as fairy tales. I direct back to the written wisdom of Paracelsus those of my readers who would like to be instructed more to the utmost of these elemental beings, and of the secret business that they have with mankind. Those that have journeyed in the boreal countries, and particularly in Lapland, cannot be unaware of the services which these Gnomes are rendering to the inhabitants of these regions, being for the protection from perils by warning them when they are working of upcoming landslides, or being in their making known the places where the mines are most abundant with precious metals. Lapps are very much accustomed to the frequent apparitions of Gnomes, that far from being frightened, they are disappointed whenever they fail to appear while they are laboring in the mines, for it is a sign that the mines are barren of metals when the Gnomes do not come to dwell within them; and it is a common belief that the creator has assigned them to watch over all subterranean treasures, and that they have the faculty to dispense with them as they see fit. Those who are occupied with the discovering of gold and silver mines obey certain ceremonies for themselves to procure the goodwill of the Gnomes, so that they will not be against their enterprises; experience has taught them that they are quite pleased by incense, and it is because of this that the cabbalist sages have designated in them some properties for each day of the week by connection with the seven planets; and as I know from experience that many people have been able to uncover treasures by means of incense, I would well, in favor of my readers, give here the true manner for making them to the end that they can be agreeable to the Gnome guardians of the treasures. For you must know that of all the creatures which inhabit the four elements, there are none that are more mindful of harming or doing good by mankind following the motive that one offers them.
INCENSE OF SUNDAY, UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE SUN. All the smokings need to be done in a little chafing-dish of new clay, upon a coal of hazel or laurel wood. For burning the perfume, it needs to be lit with a fire one makes particularly with a flintstone from a small firesteel; it is also well to ensure that the flintstone, the wick, the match, and the candle be new, and that they have never served any other profane usage; for the Gnomes are extremely troublesome, and it does not take much to irritate them. Then one will prepare for the perfume of Sunday the following ingredients: to wit, the quarter part of an ounce of saffron, likewise of aloeswood, likewise of wood balsam, likewise of laurel berries, likewise of cloves, likewise of myrrh, likewise of frankincense, a grain of musk, a grain of ambergris; one must pulverize and mix together all these ingredients, and you form them into little pills with a bit of gum tragacanth dissolved in some rosewater, and when they should be well dried, you use them yourself when needed by casting them three at a time onto the hot coals.
INCENSE FOR MONDAY UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE MOON. This incense needs to be formed from the following ingredients: you take a head of a green frog, the eyeballs of a white bull, the seeds of white poppy, the most exquisite incense resin, such as storax, benzoin, or olibanum with a bit of camphor, pulverize all these ingredients and combine them together, then you form a paste with the blood of a young goose or of a turtledove and from this paste you form little pills and use them three by three once they have been well dried.
INCENSE FOR TUESDAY UNDER THE AUSPICES OF MARS. This incense needs to be composed from euphorbium, bdellium, sal ammoniac, hellebore root, powdered lodestones, and a touch of flowers of sulfur; you pulverize the lot together and make a paste with the blood of a black cat and from the brain of a crow, and from this paste you form these pills for yourself to dish out three at a time as needed.
INCENSE FOR WEDNESDAY UNDER THE AUSPICES OF MERCURY. This incense needs to be composed from ash seeds, aloeswood, good storax, benzoin, and the powder from the blue stuff from the tips of the feathers of a peacock. You pulverize and incorporate these ingredients with the blood of swallows and a bit of stag’s brain, you make it into a paste, and from this paste you form little pills for you to use three by three as needed when they are dry.
INCENSE FOR FRIDAY UNDER THE AUSPICES OF VENUS. This incense must be of musk, ambergris, aloeswood, dried roses, red coral: pulverize all these ingredients and incorporate together with the blood of a dove or of a turtledove and with the brains of two or three sparrows, you make it into a paste, and from this paste you form some little pills for yourself to use three by three when needed once they are quite dry.
INCENSE OF SATURDAY UNDER THE AUSPICES OF SATURN. This incense needs to be composed from the seeds of black poppy, seeds of henbane, mandrake root, lodestone powder and good myrrh. You well pulverize all these ingredients, and incorporate them
together with the blood of a bat and the brain of a black cat, you make them into a paste, and from this paste you form little pills for yourself to use three by three whenever needed, when they will be well dried. We have spoken before giving here the manner for making these incenses, of the Gnomes; out of all the creatures which inhabit the four elements, that the Gnomes are the most mindful of causing good or bad for man, following the motivations which they are given; this is the reason why those who work with minerals or for the discovering of treasures, being aware of this, do all that they are able for the sake of making them agreeable, and take as much care as they can against the effects of their indignation; and experience has made known many times that the vervain and the laurel are of great utility for ensuring that the Gnomes do not harm the work of those who are occupied with seeking treasures underground. This was the manner Iamblichus and Arbatel spoke about in their cabbalistic secrets. Since by the natural or supernatural indexes, which is to say by the revelations made in dreams, you will be well assured of the route by which you will find a treasure, you make on this route the proper perfume for the day upon which you would like to begin to dig the ground, then you plant in your right hand a branch of green laurel, and in the left hand a sprig of vervain, and you make the opening of the earth between the two branches; and when you have made a hole of your own height, you make from these two branches a crown which you encircle round your hat or cap, and underneath this crown you attach the talisman of which I will here provide a model.
If one is part of a group, it demands that everyone have a crown of the same type. One can make this upon a virgin parchment or on a plaque of fine and well purified tin at the day and hour of Jupiter, the celestial mood being in a fortunate situation. One thereby will form on one side the figure of Fortune as she is here portrayed, and on the other side these words in large letters: OMOUZIN ALBOMATATOS. And if one has many days’ labor ahead of reaching the route where the treasure is, one should renew daily the incense which will be proper for the day, as we have explained before. These precautions will bring it about that the Gnome guardians of the treasure be not at all bothersome, and so will help you in your enterprise. It is a test to which I have been an eyewitness, with happy success, in the old Chateau d’Orviete. I have spoken before of the natural indexes by which one can make the discovery of treasures, and which I here explain more precisely. Paracelsus in his treatise On Occult Philosphy page 489 says that for gaining the particular indexes of places that have riches and treasures hidden, it requires observing
paths at which during the night specters or phantoms will appear, or some other supernatural thing which frightens the passers-by and those who dwell in the area; and particularly the nights of Friday or Saturday, if one sees floating lights, commotion and fracas or some other similar thing, one can form a reasonable conclusion that in this area there is some kind of hidden treasure. But the prudent man will not stay standing there, he needs to keep himself on guard of being taken in by the reports of anyone else and above all by certain she-rogues or silly little women, who, with makebelieve visions, engage honest folk in such useless searches. There is no reason to engage in these sorts of searches unless they are from the testimony of people who are not at all suspect, that is to say, who have integrity, and who are of solid mind; and it will be more certain yet when they come from experiencing these sorts of visions yourself when taking residence in these areas. It does not, however, require absolutely dismissing the people who make these sorts of reports to us, but to carefully examine the circumstances, for I have witness that, if one has wish to believe Philip d’Ornano, chief surgeon of the little garrison of the old Chateau d’Orviete, one would have neglected the enterprise which the subject pressed forward with a happy success; for as he was a great speaker and was persuasive in that of which he discoursed, he jokingly did relate that which the subject had reported about apparitions which several servants and soldiers had seen in the place, where the treasure was found. Those who might wish to apply themselves to the seeking of a treasure thought to be hidden, need to examine the qualities of the place, not only for the present standing of the place, but for correspondences with whatever the past history tells; for one must note that there are two kinds of hidden treasures, the first kind is of gold and of silver which has been formed in the entrails of the earth by the metallic powers of the astros and the terrain where it is. The second sort is of gold and silver money or pieces of goldsmith’s work, and which have been deposited in earth for various reasons, as from war, from plagues and other things; and so the smart seeker of treasures needs to examine whether these circumstances come together at the place in question. These kinds of treasures of gold and silver money and golden vessels are ordinarily found in the debris and ruins of ancient homes of quality and of castles, or near old churches, or ruined chapels. And the Gnomes do not lay any claim of these kinds of treasures if it doesn’t happen that, voluntarily, those who have deposited and buried in the underground place have invited it by the virtue of incenses and talismans made for the purpose; and by this conclusion, it is necessary when depriving them to use even stronger incense and talismans, as we have explained; those which one forms under the auspices of the Moon and of Saturn, the Moon entering into the sign of Taurus, Capricorn or Virgo, are most effective. It requires above all that those who are busy with this searching fear nothing, for it does not fail to come about quite typically that the Gnome guardians of the treasures fascinate the imagination of workers through hideous visions and images; but there are some tales from good people of times past saying that they strangle or murder those who approach the treasures which are under their watch, and if someone or other was killed in the subterranean cavities while doing their search, perhaps it has come to pass either from the contamination of these places, or by the carelessness of workers who did not solidly support the routes they were digging, when they are entombed in the ruins. It’s foolish to say that one needs to keep a deep silence when digging; on the contrary, it is the way to frighten one’s self more easily with imagined fantasies; therefore one can speak of agreeable things without fear, or even sing, provided nothing is said that is dirty or lewd, which can irritate the spirits. If, in bringing the work about, one hears more noise than previously, then one should not fear but still
one should repeat the incenses, and then someone in the company should loudly recite the Oration of the Salamanders that I have previously provided, and this will be the means for preventing the spirits from carrying the treasure further away, rendering themselves in attention before the mystic words which one will recite and at which time one needs to vigorously redouble the efforts; I say nothing which has not been successfully proven in my presence; the little book of the Enchiridion is good on these occasions for creating these mystical orations. It has often come about that the Gnomes have transformed the precious metals into some kind of vile, despicable matter, and have fooled ignorant people who were not informed of their cunning: but the wise and prudent diggers, who find matter of this kind in the bowels of the earth, which should not naturally be there, they will collect it and they will test it with fire made up from laurel branches, ferns and vervain; the charm is broken by this method, the metals return to their original nature; one typical mark of these fantastical transmutations is the way one finds these vile and sordid materials in containers or terra cotta, or in cut stone, or brass; and in which case they should not be neglected, but test them with fire as I have described. I do finish this material with the secret that Cardano gives for knowing whether the treasure is in the place where one digs; he says, that it requires having a large candle composed from human fat, and that it be enclosed in hazel wood, formed in the mode that is displayed, in the following manner:
And if the candle be lit in the underground space and makes a lot of noise, and crackles in flashes, it is a sign that there is a treasure in the area; and the closer one gets to the treasure, the more the candle will crackle; and finally it will go out when one should be as near as possible; one needs to have some other candles in lanterns so as not to tarry without light. When one has some solid cause to think that there are spirits of deceased men that guard the treasures, it is good to have some blessed tapers instead of the common candles, and to beg them in the name of God whether one can do anything in order to put them into peaceful rest; and one should not fail to do that which they should ask.
THE TRICK OF THE MANDRAKE DECEPTION. It so happens that some rogues of people who abuse the trust and simplicity of good folk, are put into great credit through some bouts of cunning which have the appearance of being something supernatural; like this of the Mandrake deception, with which they forge oracles and divinations; as I was passing by the island in Flanders, I was invited by one of my friends to accompany him to the house of an old woman whom he met by this foolishness and who had passed for a great fortune-teller; and I uncovered the scheme, which was not capable of being hidden for long when used on any greater being than a Fleming. The old woman led us into a small, dark closet lit only by a lamp, by the glow of which one could see on a table covered by a cloth, a sort of little statue or doll sitting on a tripod having the left arm extended, holding in the same left hand a little cord of very delicate silk, from the end of which was hanging a small, well polished iron bit, and having it above a verre de fougere aligned so that the bit hung into the glass about the length of two fingers. And the action of the old woman consisted of commanding the Mandrake to knock the bit against the glass so as to provide testimony for whatever the subject wanted to know.
The old woman said, for example, “I command you Mandrake in the name of those to whom you must obey, such that if the gentleman is going to be successful in the journey he is going to take, you are to knock the bit against the glass three times,” and in saying these final words she brought her hand a little ways laying hold of a small wand which she held in her hand then lifted nearer to the height of the suspended bit, which never failed to knock three times against the glass, such that the old woman had in no way touched the statue, nor the cord, nor the bit; this is what had astounded those who did not understand the artifice which she had used. And so as to dupe the people with some variation of her oracle, she forbade the Mandrake from striking the bit against the glass, if this thing or that must not be or must not come to pass; for example: “I forbid you Mandrake in the name of those whom you must obey, that you should not strike the bit against the glass if such that the gentleman is going to die before his wife,” and placing her hand in the same position that I have described, the bit does not strike against the glass. This is all that the old woman’s artifice consists of, from what I have perceived after having attentively examined it a little while. The iron bit which was suspended in the glass at the end of the silk cord was very light and highly magnetized. When the old woman wished that it should strike against the glass, she placed on one of her fingers a ring the which was set with a powerful piece of lodestone, in a manner that the magnetic virtues of the stone brought the magnetized bit forth in movement, and caused it to knock whatever number of strikes she wanted against the glass. And whenever she wanted the bit not to strike, she removed the ring from her finger without anyone noticing it. Those who were in communication with her, and who attracted the customers, had need to adroitly inform themselves of the affairs of those that they brought in to her, and thereby the subject was easily duped.
ANOTHER TRICK FOR THE HEAD OF SAINT JOHN. The avidity for the gaining of money is a real tyranny in the heart of man, that renders him conscious to the debasement of sacred things. The old poets have understood this well, lamenting it in these terms: Auri sacra fames, quid non mortalia cogis pectora? I say this for the bringing up of another trend that I have seen at practice by these sort of folk of whom I come to speak. They have arranged a square table held up by five columns, one at each corner, and one in the middle, the one in the middle being a giant pasteboard pipe, thick, painted like wood, the table being pierced at the other side of this pipe, and a copper basin also pierced was placed on the hole in the table; and in the basin was a head of St. John made from thick pasteboard painted to look natural, which was carved as having the mouth open; it has a speaking-trumpet which had been passed through the floor of the room which was underneath the table where all this machinery was set out, and this speakingtrumpet connects at the neck of the head, by means of which a person talking through the workings of this speaking-trumpet from the room below, can be made clearly understood in the enclosure from the mouth of St. John’s head. Thus the supposed divinator or divinatrix, pretending to do some kind of heathenistic ceremony so as to infatuate those who come to consult with this head, conjured it in the name of St. John to reply about that which was sought to be known, and announced the problem in a voice loud enough to be heard in the room below, so that the person who needs to make the reply through the speaking-trumpet is instructed in this manner about whatever he needs to talk about.
NATURAL CRAFTS OF A MARVELLOUS TYPE. Here is the manner of making a magical candle, by means of which the one who holds it alight will
appear headless. You take the skin of which a snake is newly shed, some orpiment, some Greek pitch, the least kind of rhubarb, virgin wax, and some blood of a donkey; you bruise all these things together, and you put them to boil slowly over a small fire, for three or four hours, in an old cauldron full of bog-water; then allowing it to cool down, you separate the solid parts of your ingredients from the water, and you construct them into a candle, the wick of which will be several threads from a sheet in which a dead person shall have been buried; and whosoever will light this candle, in doing so will seem to be headless in its glow.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. If you wish that everyone being in a room appear in the form of giant elephants or horses, you make an incense in this manner: it requires bruising some darnel with some dolphin fat, and form it into little pills, of the size of lemon seeds, then you acquire some dung from a cow which did not ever bear a calf; you will need to thoroughly dry this manure, following which one is able to set it on fire, and you will have the divertissment you seek, provided that the room is very well shut, so the smoke cannot get out through the door.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. For making a room appear to be full of snakes and other terrifying figures, you light a lamp which has been set in the following manner: take the fat of a black snake, with the most recent skin which he will have cast off; you put to boil this fat and this skin with some vervain, in a cauldron where you will have put two pots of forge water, and at the end of a quarter hour you pull the cauldron from the fire, and you strain this composition with a piece of linen which has been used on a dead man, you allow the mixture to cool, and you remove with a strainer the fat which will be congealed upon the water; then you make a wick from some threads of the funerary cloth, and having placed at the foot of the lamp the boiled snakeskin, and you mount the wick into the grease, and when the lamp shall be alight with the oil of amber, you have a hideous spectacle which will terrify those who do not understand the secret behind the lamp.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. I have tested in Flanders the effect of a lamp for taking away the bothersome croaking of frogs, and for charging them swiftly to silence. It was in the manor-house of Lord Tillemont, whose ditches were so full of these screaming pests that one had trouble sleeping at night. We brought some white wax to melt in the sunlight with some crocodile fat, which is practically identical to whale fat, and I thought likewise that this oil is like the fat of a crocodile, which is more rare in this country. We fixed a lamp with this composition with a very fat wick, and it was no sooner lit and placed upon the edge of the ditch, than the frogs ceased their croaking.
THE HAND OF GLORY.
ON THE HAND OF GLORY, WHICH IS USED BY TREACHEROUS THIEVES, IN ORDER TO ENTER HOMES BY NIGHT WITHOUT HINDRANCE. I confess that I have never tested the secret of the Hand of Glory; but I have three times assisted in the convicting of certain miscreants who confessed under torture to have used the Hand of Glory in the thefts they had committed; and when during the interrogation they were asked what it was, how it was acquired, and what it was used for, they responded, firstly, that the purpose of the Hand of Glory was to entrance and make immobile those to whom it is shown, after which they become unable to stir, such as if they were dead; secondly, that it was the hand of a hanged man; thirdly, that it must be prepared in the following manner: One takes the right or left hand of a hanged man who has been left to the dogs; one wraps it in a piece of a funeral shroud, in which one presses it well so as to squeeze out the bit of blood which remains in it; then one places it in an earthenware container with some green vitriol, saltpeter, salt, and long pepper, all well pulverized. One leaves this resting in the pot for a fortnight, then having removed it one exposes it to the intense sun of the dog days of summer, until such point as it has become quite dry; and if the sunlight is not adequate, one places it in an oven fueled with ferns and vervain; then one composes a special candle with the fat of a hanged man, virgin wax and sisame de laponie, and it is set into the Hand of Glory like it is a candle holder, so that it grips the burning candle; and in all the places where one goes with this wretched device, so are people rendered immobile; and when after this they were asked if it did not have some remedy for the neutralizing of its trick, they said that the Hand of Glory became useless and that thieves could not make use of it if one rubbed the threshold of the door of the house, or of any other place through which they might enter, with an unguent composed from the gall of a black cat, fat of a white hen and the blood of an owl, and it was required that this confection should be made in the dog days of summer.
ANOTHER FOR MAKING A MAN OR WOMAN OBLIVIOUS TO TORTURE, FOLLOWING WHICH ONE CANNOT GAIN THEIR CONFESSION. In tune with that which of I have come to speak, of the proclamations that these villains have made by being exposed to the rack, I will report of the details something which I have learnt from Lord Bamberg,
the famous criminal judge from Oxford. He has told me that he has assisted many times in criminal judgments of certain villains wherein the aforesaid could not seem to convict but with their confessions, required because their crimes had been committed so secretly and with such precaution that not one of them had been able to produce sufficient testimony, even though they had some strong suspicions against them, and that these people themselves were so empowered with secrets that they did have for rendering themselves oblivious to torture, that they did wish to take prisoners for the clearing of these assumptions supposed. There are those who use certain words, spoken in a low voice; and other with little notes that they conceal on somesuch part of their body. Here are three verses that they speak at the time when they are put upon the rack: Imparibus meritis tria pendant corporæ ramis. Dismas & Gestas in medio est divina potestas, Dismas damnatur, Gestas ad astra levatur. Here are some other words that they say when they are actively put to torture: As the milk of the blessed and glorious Virgin Mary has been mild and sweet to Our Lord Jesus Christ, so this torture and twine shall be mild and sweet to my limbs. The first person that I recall being served by one of these kinds of charms, we were surprised by his steadfastness which was beyond what was natural; for after the first thrust of the rack that he was given, he appeared to fall asleep as peacefully as if he had been in a nice bed, without moaning, crying or screaming; and when one had gone on with the thrusts two or three times more, he remained as still as a marble statue, which made us suspect that he was immune through some kind of enchantment; and so as to discover it, the subject was made to strip naked as a nail, and after a thorough search one could find nothing on him but a small paper on which was a picture of the Three Kings with these words on the reverse: Fair star, you that have delivered the wisemen from the persecution of Herod, deliver me from all torment. This paper was thrust into his left ear; but even though they had removed the paper, he did not relinquish being, or at least appearing to be, unconscious of the torments, such that whenever they would apply them he would recite in a low voice and through his teeth some particular words which one could not distinctly make out, and as he constantly persevered in the negation, one was obliged to return him to the prison until such time as someone had some more compelling evidence against him. It is said that one can put an end to the effect of these mystic words by reciting some verses of the holy scripture, or from the canonical hours, such as the following: My heart has offered up good deeds, I declare all my actions to the king, and to him I announce all my works. The Lord shall watch over my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim truth. That the ills of the transgressor be confounded, you, Lord, cast away all those who speak lies.
OINTMENT BY MEANS OF WHICH ONE CAN BE EXPOSED TO FIRE WITHOUT BEING BURNED. It oft times happened that the custom was to allow criminals to prove their innocence through trial by fire; but maybe because the subjected person could have figured that this manner of legal action was not legitimate—because it was in some fashion provoking God concerning the innocence of the accused persons—as it might be, since the subjected may have recognized that he could utilize some cheats in these trials, the custom has been entirely abolished. In effect, one has found in the present day the method for halting the fire’s activity, following what has been said by the old historians. And here is what I have
gathered as the most realistic: it requires making an ointment from marshmallow sap, fresh egg whites, the seeds of an herb that one calls sphylion or fleabane, pulverized lime, radish juice: pound well and mix all together; rub it all over your whole body if you want to do the full trial, or just the hands, if you intend to only test the fire on that part; and one will allow the ointment to dry; and one will anoint himself again three times, and finally one is able to boldly withstand the trial by fire, without fear of being injured.
FOR AQUA ARDENS WHICH SERVES FOR AN INFINITY OF GREAT PROJECTS. You take a strong old wine, bold in color, violent; and to two pints you put into infusion a rock of good quicklime, weighing about a half pound; forty ounces of black sulfur, likewise of good Montpellier cream of tartar, likewise of regular salt, and all this being crushed and mixed together in a good alembic well luted, you distill by gentle heat up to three times your aqua ardens, which you keep for your usage in a bottle of strong glass. Some people content themselves to distill it from a serpentine coil infused with some of the wine and quicklime.
FOR MAKING THE TERRIBLE GREEK FIRE. This fire is so violent that it burns everything to which it is touched, without being able to be put out; except by urine, strong vinegar, or sand. One composes it from black sulfur, sarcocol, pitch, annealed salt, naphtha, and some common oil. One needs to thoroughly boil all these ingredients together, until it will consume a piece of cloth you cast into it; one must stir it with an iron spatula, and one must not allow this mixture to be made in a room, but in a yard, for if it should catch fire, one must be very frantic putting it out.
FOR HAVING PEACE. I leave off these violent matters to say a word about peace. I have read in the most excellent book of the Secrets of King John of Aragon, if anyone in the month of September, having observed the time when the sun has entered into the sign of Virgo, takes care to collect some of the flower known as marigold, which the ancients called Spouse of the Sun, and if one wraps it in bay leaves with a dandelion, no one can speak badly of the person who should carry it on himself, and he will live in the utmost peace and tranquility with everyone.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. One witnesses in an old record of the history of France under the reign of Charles VII, that the prince was in an extreme consternation of observing his royal duties of war. Having recourse to a holy hermit for his commending unto his entreaties, the holy man gave unto him an image of St. Veronica, as one sees portrayed here with the following oration which he had written on the back of the picture, by hand, assuring that if he bore it with devotion, and recited every day the aforesaid oration, his affairs would resume from good to better.
That which actually happened was shortly thereafter, in a manner that one could describe as miraculous due to the service that he was rendered by the Maid of Orleans. And it is this which has given rise to the devotion that many people employ by carrying the picture, and by reciting this oration: Pax Domini nostri Jesu Christi sit semper mecum, per virtutem Heliæ prophetæ, cum potestate et efficacia Faciei Domini nostri Salvatoris et dilectissimæ Matris ejus sanctæ Mariæ Virginis, et per caput Sancti Joannis Baptistæ, et per duodecim Apostolos, et per quatuor Evangelistas, et per sanctos omnes Martyres Dei, Confessores, Virgines, Viduas, Archangelos, Angelos, et omnes denique celestes Hierarchias. Amen.
SECRET OF THE TRAVELERS’ GARTER. You gather the herb that one calls mugwort, at the time that the sun makes its entrance into the first degree of the sign of Capricorn. You leave it to dry a while in the shade, and make of it some garters with the skin of a young hare, this is to say, that having cut the skin of the hare into a string of the size of two thumbs, you make a fold, into which you sew the said herb, and wear it on your legs: there is no horse that is capable of following, for long, the man who is equipped with these garters. If you get a virgin girl to piss on your legs before sunrise, not only will you recover from the weariness of the previous day, but also you will for that same day be able to cover much more ground than you ordinarily would without growing tired. Observe the time when the moon will be in conjunction with Mercury; and the observation will be better yet, if it can be made to be a Mercury in springtime; then you take a bit of leather from the skin of a young wolf whereof you make two garters, upon which you write with your blood the following words: Abumalith cados ambulavit in fortitudine cibi illius. And you will be astonished by the quickness with which you cover ground, being furnished with these garters on your legs. For fear that the writing not be rubbed off, it would be well to fold these garters into a padoue of white fabric on the side with the writing... To have another method for making the garters which I have read in an old manuscript of Gothic letters, by this recipe: You take the hair of a hanged criminal, from which you make some locks which you form into garters, which you sew between two cloths of whatever color you please; you attach these to the hind legs of a young colt, then
forcing him to march backwards about twenty steps, you say the following words: Sicut ambulat Dominus Sabahot super pennas ventorum, sic ambulabo super terram. And you allow the colt to go free, and let him run himself out of breath, and you happily utilize these garters for yourself.
THE SECRET OF THE STAFF OF THE HAPPY TRAVELER. You gather on the day after All Saints’ a sturdy branch of elder, with which you make a staff which you make use of by this mode: you dig out the pith which is inside, after having set the base end with an iron ferril. You place at the bottom of the staff the two eyes of a young wolf, the tongue and heart of a dog, three green lizards, three swallows’ hearts; and all of which have been dried in the sun between two papers, these previously having been dusted with a fine powder of saltpeter; and you place on top of all these in the staff seven leaves of vervain, gathered on the eve of St. John the Baptist, with a stone of many colors that you find in the nest of a lapwing, and you cap the top of the staff with the fruit of a box tree, or some other material you desire, and rest assured that the staff will protect you from the perils and misfortunes which do not come but regularly to travelers, being from the part of brigands, vicious animals, mad dogs and venomous creatures. It will also procure you the kindness of those at whose places you would lodge.
SECRET FOR MAKING A HORSE TRAVEL FARTHER IN ONE HOUR THAN ANY OTHER COULD DO IN EIGHT HOURS. You mix into the horse’s oats a handful of the herb called ragwort, which you chop very fine; you anoint the tops of his four legs beneath his belly with the fat of a stag; and when you will mount him in preparation to depart, you will turn his head to the direction of the sunrise, and leaning over his left ear, you recite three times, in a low voice, the following words, and you leave at once: Gaspar, Melchior, Merchisard. I add to this, that if you hang from the neck of the horse the larger teeth of a wolf which has been killed while running, the horse will not grow tired for the whole way.
FOR TAMING A WILD HORSE. One finds some little round, green stones at the foot of Mount Säntis, which have such virtue that if you place them by hand into each of a wild horse’s ears, the horse becomes gentle and mild, of the sort that one can not only mount easily, but also the ferrier will be able to shoe it without it kicking. The wild and untamed bull can be tamed, if one ropes it to a fig tree, then one makes him take his food during the span that he is under the tree. One can also achieve this end, if one binds with the bark of the elder-tree, the right leg of the bull above the knee.
FOR MAKING A HORSE LIE DOWN AS IF HE WERE DEAD. You acquire the tongue of a snake which you envelope in virgin wax, and if you can place this in the left ear of a horse, he will fall to the ground as if he were dead; and just as soon as you will have removed it, he will rise himself up more jauntily than he was before; but he must not be left that way for long, for fear that it would harm the horse.
TO RENDER ONE’S SELF INVISIBLE BY MEANS OF A RING. One recalls the famous Gyges, how he came to the throne of Lydia by the means of a magic ring which, rendering him invisible, gave him the facility to commit adultery with the Queen and murder the King. The cabbalist sages have left us the method for making rings which have like virtue for invisibility. It requires undertaking this important working on a Wednesday in the spring, under the auspices of Mercury, when one knows that the planet will be in conjunction with one of the other favorable planets, like the Moon, Jupiter, Venus or the Sun; and having some of the proper solidified and well purified mercury, one will form it into a large ring through which can easily be entered by the middle finger of the hand, one will set into the collet a tiny stone that one finds in the nest of a lapwing, and one will engrave around the ring the following words: Jesus passing through the midst of them went away Then having positioned this ring on a small plaque of solid mercury, which should be made in the shape of a little saucer, one will perfume it for Mercury as it is noted heretofore, and one will put the ring on the saucer three consecutive times into the smoke of the incense, and having wrapped it in a piece of taffeta in a color suitable for the planet, one carries it to the nest of the lapwing from which one had taken the stone, and one will leave it for nine days, and when one retrieves it one shall repeat the incense like the first time. Then one will carefully keep it in a little box made of solid mercury until its use is occasioned. The manner of putting it to use is merely to place this ring on your finger while turning the stone outward on the hand, and it has the power of so bewitching the eyes of standers-by that one is in their presence without being seen. And when one wants to be seen, he needs to turn the stone inward on the hand and lock the hand into a fist... Porphyry and Iamblichus, Pietro d’Abano and his master Agrippa, held that a ring fashioned in the manner of which one here sees the figure portrayed, has the same virtues and properties.
It requires taking some hairs which are on top of the head of a wild hyena, one makes them into little locks with which one fashions the ring as one sees it here, and one brings it likewise into the nest of a lapwing for nine days and one does the incense as it has been described previously under the auspices of Mercury, one puts it into service the same as the one made of mercury, excepting that one removes it altogether from the finger when does not wish to be invisible.
SO AS NOT TO BE FOOLED AND BEWITCHED BY THE RING OF INVISIBILITY. As there is no poison in nature which does not have an antidote, the wise providence of the creator, having made all things by balance and counterbalance, does not allow deception to be without remedy. If one would then precaution himself against the cabbalistic ring of mercury, one will get a ring composed in the following manner: One shall form a ring with some refined and well purged lead, in the manner that
the subject has been explained in the place where previously we spoke of talismans of the mystic numbers of planets; and in the collet of this lead ring, one encases the eye of a young weasel who has not born kits more than once, and on the contour of the ring one will engrave the following words: Aparuit Dominus Simoni. The making of the ring itself should be on a Saturday, when one will know that Saturn will be in opposition with Mercury. One will perfume it three times for Saturday. One shall wrap the ring in a piece of a funeral shroud, and one shall bury it in a cemetery, where one shall leave it for nine days. Then having retrieved it one will three times perfume it for Saturn, and one shall be served by it. Those who have devised this ring, have reasoned it by the principals of antipathy which is found between the materials which make up these two rings, which have opposing effects: in effect, there is nothing more antipathic to the hyena than the weasel; and Saturn is nearly always retrograded to Mercury, or if they meet in the house of somesuch sign of the zodiac, it’s always a fatal aspect of ill omen.
FOR MAKING OTHER MYSTICAL RINGS UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE SEVEN PLANETS WHICH APPLY THEIR INFLUENCES TO THOSE WHO BEAR THEM. One has supposed before this that each planet has its metal affected and owned by its celestial makeup, so to proceed in due place to the manufacture of rings of which we here will speak, we will say that it is not only necessary to make use of the metals of the planets, but also one needs to know the stones which produce rapport with their makeup when being encased and engraved with their mystic figures. The eaglestone or aetite, and the jacinth are of a Solar nature. The emerald is Lunar, the lodestone is owned by Mars as well as the amethyst. The topaz and the porphyry agree with Mercury, the beryl is proper for Jupiter, the carnelian becomes Venus, and to Saturn, the chalcedony and the jasper. This being so known, one will make rings of metals and precious stones in agreement with each planet, and one will take care in making them on their proper days and hours of their favorable star alignments, and one will engrave upon the stones the mystic figures of which we have given the models before in copperplate engravings, in the places where we spoke of talismans from the mystic numbers of the planets; and since it is not as easy to engrave the figures on the stones as quickly as on the metals where one can etch them with irons, it is well to put off those who undertake these operations till ensuring that the work be started at the first moment of the planet’s favorable hour, and if they continue without stopping the ring will be worthy and will have joint influence. Here is a table of all the hours for the day then for the night which you will need for knowing the beginning of each planet’s rulership through the full course of the week.
The cabbalistic condition of the planetary hours is not one of the less diligent products of the wise observer of the occult science of the astros: one sees that these figures of the planets are each found at the first hour of its day, without forestalling one upon another, nor interrupting their order through the whole course of the hours of the weekdays, and one has observed that it is regularly at these hours that the planets have favorable aspects; so those who would like to work with the mystical figures of the talismans and pentacles can set themselves up according to this order and this arrangement of the hours, for it is important not to work a figure of Venus during an hour of Saturn, nor a figure of Saturn under the hour of the Sun, and so on.
WHAT HAS BEEN FELT BY THE PHILOSOPHIC SAGES AS TO THE SUBJECT OF THE TALISMANS AND MYSTIC FIGURES. The wisemen who have applied themselves to the uncovering of the origins of the terms for which one has given these things, and above all to those who will retain such extraordinary things, say that the term talisman is a Hebrew word which signifies a mystical image; certain ones have said that the word talisman is constructed from the Greek word τελεσμα, which signifies great perfection. Others have given its origins to be from the Latin words talis mens, because when one is an expert in the cabbalistic science one can design talismans by wit, according to his intentions, and as he wishes; so much is well expressed by these two Latin words. Now whether or not one cares about the origins of the term, it is certain that the origins of talismans and the utilization of mystic figures have come to us from the Egyptians and the Chaldeans, who were very knowledgable in the calculation of the astros, in having perceived all the powers and effects of their influences, and in having made a practical science whereby the usage of this put them in high regard; and the Hebrews who went into Egypt after Joseph governed under the reign of
the Pharaoh learned of such mysteries, and in that they were perfected by the frequentation they had with the Chaldeans who fashioned the celestial figures, for attracting the influences of the astros, because they had made a working profession of observing their courses, the diversity of their aspects, and their conjunctions, for deriving predictions which they used to govern their lives and fortunes. They invented a celestial system, whereby they arranged the astros under various fantastic beings to fix the eyes and imagination on the disposition of these celestial bodies; they put the planets into several skies, with a judicious subordination of the inferior ones to the superior ones, as one can witness in this large figure I have engraved.
They made a distinguishment for the signs, where they resolved upon them under the forms of animals that have a sympathetic nature with the astral influences, and this formed the occasion and the origin of the distinction that is made of them under the names of Taurus the bull, Aries the ram, Capricorn the horned goat, Cancer the crab, Leo the lion, Scorpio the scorpion, Pisces the fish, etc. with which they marked the spaces in the sky through which the sun and moon run. One will offer the name of zodiac for all such spaces, so distinguished, which is a word derived from the Greek ζόον, which means animal, because animals and delineated figures of various living subjects have marked these assemblages of stars which make up these appropriate signs. The most intelligent among the learned Greeks applied themselves to this mystical science, and flourished so successfully that the greatest minds of other nations came to train themselves under their direction, the which is a huge prejudice to there being something solid and genuine in the workings of this science: all the more, since the same nature seems to offer power by such marvelous productions that one cannot deny. I hear talk of these emblematic figures which one sees naturally imprinted on stones, on shells, on animals, and which have altogether surprising relation to the figures by which they are adorned. Crollius, who is not an author to be scorned, did remark that the majority of plants and metallic rocks, somewhat extraordinarily, have worked into their color or in their form marks, properties and uses for which they are able to be fit, the Creator having so disposed them for being useful to mankind by the sympathy which they have with the heavenly bodies. This same author remarks that if the Hebrews themselves were not served in their talismans by natural symbols, it was due to their being zealous observers of that law which forbade all types of images, which they did not want to transgress, and all the more since Moses had found in the divine names of Jehovah, Adonai, Sabaoth, Tetragrammaton, Elohim, etc. some marvelous powers which supplied the lack of the figures, and this is why they composed their talismans of these holy names and oracles derived by the law, and persuaded themselves, through their
experience in making them, that they had the virtue of preserving them against evils that they feared and for them to procure the advantages that they sought, when they bore them upon theirselves, engraved upon metals which had agreeability with the astros, which spread their influences over the sublunary bodies. Those who want to delve further into this science of talismans and mystical figures can make a great deal of progress if they put themselves to read the works of Jean L’Heureux, the canon of Arras in Artois, which have been printed at Anvers by the care of Lord Chifflet under the title of Disquisitio Antiquaria de gemmis Basildianis seu Abraxas Apistophistus. One will find here the model for a talisman for being lucky in games and in business.
It has been designed by the famous Arbatel, who has said that one needs to make it in this manner: You take a round plaque of solid mercury, well purified and well polished, and you select at any time during the season of spring a Wednesday on which you observe the alignment of Mercury is in a favorable spot, that is to say, in good aspect with Jupiter or Venus, or in conjunction with the Sun or the Moon; you engrave on one side the Star of Mercury, as it is portrayed here, and on the other side the Hebrew words which you see similarly engraved, and afterwards having perfumed it three times in the proper incense for the day of Wednesday; and you go to bury it under a highway beneath a gallows, and leave it there for seven days; at the end of which you retrieve it and keep it for your use after having perfumed it again three different times in the same incense, and it will be well to reapply the Mercury incense every Wednesday after sunrise. One celebrated author of our times says that it has nothing to do with the talisman, which does not relay; nor with astrology, nor with medicine, nor with religion, nor even with all three together; for one sees these figures, whether in nature or in emblems, to relate to the different groups of stars. And these talismans have the power of bringing the celestial influences to the people and to the goods of those who make them. One cuts in some other symbols which have rapport with the planets, with spices, with minerals and otherwise: things which are the prerogative of medicine, and these here are utilized for the healing of maladies and for the preservation of health. Finally, in others one combines the names of God with the celestial intelligences and words from the Old and New Testament, against tempests, shipwrecks, fires, violent deaths, and other accidents. I have provided before this some models of these talismans engraved with their properties and virtues concerning the seven planets, and it puts me to something else of which I speak hereafter, to work a bit of variety into this little treasury of secrets.
THE METHOD FOR MAKING GENUINE CELESTIAL WATER. You take great care in selecting the following ingredients, ensuring that there is nothing that is spoiled or adulterated: fine cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, zedoary, galangal, white pepper, of all these one ounce. Six peels of good lemon, two handfuls of Damask raisins, the same of jujubes, one
handful of danewort pith, four handfuls of juniper berries that are well ripened, a handful of green fennel seeds, likewise of sweet basil flowers, likewise of St. John’s wort flowers, likewise of rosemary flowers, likewise of marjoram flowers, pennyroyal, French lavender, true elder, rosa moschata, rue, scabious, centaury, fumitory, and agrimony, two ounces of spikenard, likewise of aloeswood, likewise of grains of paradise, likewise of calamus aromaticus, likewise of good mace, likewise of olibanum, likewise of yellow sandalwood, one dram Socotrine aloe, fine amber and rhubarb each two drams. All these ingredients being assembled and in good condition, whereat grind those which need to be ground and pulverized, and one will place the lot well mixed in large alembic of strong glass a foot and a half tall and you pour good aqua vitae over these herbs, arranging that the aqua vitae overswim at least three finger-breadths above the spices; then having well stopped the alembic for fear of evaporation, one must put the alembic into some very hot horse’s dung, and digest for the span of a fortnight, then one will place it into distillation in a constantly boiling bain marie, after having furnished it with its lid and recipient, the two being well luted and sealed. One will be watchful of the distillation, following that whenever one will perceive that that which falls in the recipient will change color, one needs also to change the recipient, and replace the first liquid which has been distilled in the alembic for the purifying of its temper by a second distillation. This second will be the genuine Celestial Water. Nota: That when you witness this second water to change again in color, turning reddish, you place this in reserve, well stopped, in a bottle of thick glass, then you dissolve a half pound of good treacle with as much of fine Venice turpentine and some sweet almond oil, and mix all of these with the dregs which are left in the alembic, and fiercely put forth the distillation in a sand bath so as to have the true Balsamic Oil, which ought to be like clarified honey.
THE ALMOST MIRACULOUS PROPERTIES OF CELESTIAL WATER. If one rubs this water each morning on the face, the lids of the eyes, the back of the head and on the nape of the neck, it will render the person quick and capable for good learning; it fortifies the memory, sharpens the wit, and miraculously strengthens the vision. In placing it in the nostrils with a piece of cotton, it is a good cure for the head to purify the brain from all superfluities, frigid humors and rheums. If one drinks a spoonful for three days, it maintains a person’s strength, vigor, and sound disposition, such that they will keep their beauty into an extreme old age. It is capital against shortness of breath, and renders itself agreeable by softening the organs of the lungs and healing them when rotten. If one is given from time to time towards leprosy, it repairs the liver so well, that it paves the way to a prompt recovery. Likewise it is fit against venoms and poisons, that if one pours over a toad or other poisonous creature just six drops, one observes it to die suddenly. There is no restorative which can match the substantial virtue of of this divine water; for not only is one able to forgo themselves of food and drink for twentyfour hours, when one will be availed of a spoonful in the morning, but also if one puts it in the mouth of someone at the point of death, and he can swallow it, it will restore him to vigor, and restore to him the use of speech and mentality if it has been lost. It serves to break up kidney stones and sandy urine, dispels urine retention and burning pain in the male privy-member. It noticeably relieves consumptives, asthmatics, and hydropics who suffer from edema. The gout-sufferer can likewise put it to useful service as a balm. It guards against plague and every malignant fever there is. In a word, one could call this Celestial Water a Cure-All.
PROPERTIES OF THE BALSAMIC OIL WHICH IS EXTRACTED FROM
THE DREGS OF CELESTIAL WATER. If you place but three drops in the ear of a deaf person with a piece of cotton which has been soaked in it, the aforesaid will dispense with it. It can protect against all sorts of scurf and dandruff, most inveterate that it be, as well as all inward swellings, wounds, scars, ulcers old and new, as well as all sorts of venomous bites of snakes, scorpions, etc., as well as fistulas, cramps and erysipelas, as well as all palpitations of the heart and other parts, with balms and bandages. Crollius made one of such esteem, that he named it Par Excellence Mother of Balm Oil, thereby attesting that it is more superior than the aforesaid balm.
EXCELLENT BALM AGAINST THE PLAGUE. This recipe which I will give against the plague and all contagious illness, is a present from the King of Spain to the Queen of France, and I received it from the top physician, and there is nobody who cannot make it due to its great ease. You scrape well twelve roots of scorzonera-black salsify, and you put them to cook in three pints of white wine, ensuring that the pot in which it will cook is well covered, for fear of an excessive evaporation of the spirits; then being well cooked you strain it through a cloth and squeeze out the rest, then you put to this liquor the juice of twelve lemons, a half ounce of ginger, a half ounce of clove buds, a half ounce of cardamom, a half ounce of aloeswood, the whole well-pounded. You add to that about an ounce of each of the following herbs: leaves of rue, elder, blackberry, and common sage, you put these all to boil together on a very weak fire, until it is reduced by one quarter, and then you immediately strain it through a doubled cloth or a straining bag, and having placed it all in a sturdy glass bottle, well stopped, you drink on an empty stomach every morning for nine days a third of a half-pint, and by these means you will be resistant to bad air, even if you associate with plague victims. Those who are already struck by the contagious disease, they add to this beverage the juice of the roots of bugloss and scabious, tempered with some good treacle, and thereby they will be purged of the deadly poison. And those who are showing the buboes, pound the leaves of blackberries, of elder, with some mustard seeds, and make into a type of poultice upon the bubo, and by the grace of God, they will heal.
FOR MAKING ROTTEN TEETH FALL OUT PAINLESSLY. Put to steep in strong vinegar some small roots of black mulberry, after having well bruised them you add thereto, large as a little bean, some Roman vitriol; and you leave this out in the sun of the summertime for a fortnight in a sturdy glass bottle, following which you retrieve it, and put it to dry in a pot of varnished clay, with a green lizard, in a moderately hot oven, the pot being well covered; and you make it into a powder, the which you place upon the rotten tooth, and it will be uprooted and fall out in little time.
FOR HEALING OF GUNSHOTS AND OTHER INJURIES, BOTH OLD AND NEW WITHOUT OINTMENT OR LINIMENT. You make a decoction of this which I will note hereafter: take some aristolochy around the weight of two écus, laurel berries, as much of freshwater crayfish dried in an oven (the which having been caught on a full moon) an écu’s weight of powdered musk, the herb called brown bugle or else middle comfrey the weight of four écus (it requires that this herb be picked with its flowers and dried in the shade between two cloths.) You reduce all these ingredients to a powder, and after having mixed them well you place them in a new linen baggie which must be stitched closed or bound with a string, then you acquire a
newly varnished clay pot, in which you place your sachet with a score of little branches of periwinkle and three chopines of the best white wine that you can find, and after having stopped your pot with three or four sheets of paper, in order that the vapor cannot get out, you put it into a coalfire, and let it boil until you can guess that the decoction has been reduced by one-third, at which point remove it from the heat, and having let it cool, you strain the decoction through a fine double-linen, and put it into a bottle of sturdy glass, for you to use as needed. Take care above all that the bottle be very well stopped, that it is not able to come into air. So by this manner one will use it for the healing of wounds. You take a small, silver syringe which should always be well cleaned and wiped in preparation for using it for the injuries which will be opened, the which one will dress three times a day in this way: you gently wipe the wound with a little white cloth washed in lye, soaked in the decoction; then you syringe three or four times with the decoction into the wound; and you cover it with a fine, small cloth which be soaked in the decoction; and lay it over with a leaf of red cabbage, and place on this leaf another cloth soaked in the decoction in the form of a compress, and bind it gently around the wound, which will come to heal in a short while. Take care to clean it well for however long it takes to heal, so as not to allow a cat among the pigeons.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. I have been a witness to the astonishing manner in which a Polish soldier healed, without any medications, one of his comrades who was injured by two blows from a sword to his body which should have been fatal. He began by thoroughly washing his mouth and teeth with aqua vitae, then with rosewater, to the end of having sweet breath with no ill odor, then nearing unto the patient, he uncovered his wound which was quite bloody, and having cleaned it well in a wash of plantain-water, he stopped all the blood by applying gentle pressure, and wiping it with a cloth soaked in plantain-water, then bringing his mouth to the wound, in order that his breath would reflect over and above it, he recited the following words, while making the sign of the cross over the wound, as it is here noted: Jesus Christ is born Jesus Christ is dead Jesus Christ is revived Jesus Christ orders the wound that the blood stop Jesus Christ orders the wound that it heal Jesus Christ orders the wound that it neither ooze nor stink just as he did to the five wounds that he received on his holy body ... Then he continued to say “Sword, I command you in the name and by the power of Him that all creatures must obey, not to create any more ill to this creature than did the lance which pierced the holy side of Jesus Christ being hung from the wood of the cross, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost Amen.” If the wound penetrates all the way through, it requires performing the same ceremony on the other side, and on the top of a compress soaked in plantain-water which the subject renews every twelve hours by twelve hours, and the patient receives a swift healing.
ANOTHER WONDER AGAINST FOOT SPRAINS. It demands to undertake this remedy the soonest that one can, and not to give it time to develop inflammation, and the sprain will be finely healed. The one that performs the operation needs to strip bare his left foot, and use it to touch three times the injured foot in the form of the sign of the cross with the same left foot while reciting the following words. For the first one, saying: Ante ; for the second time, Ante te ; for the third time, Super ante te . The injured foot needs to be touched on top of the sprain, and one can use this to heal horses as well as people.
Those who are wary of alleging themselves of false religion by these sorts of methods, ought to know that the most learned people of all have given their approbation to secrets of medicine which hold such wonders, and of which the causes are as much unknown as these; this for example, wherein one will be able to explain by good physical reasoning that which I have read in the Livre de Secrets printed in Paris with consent and liberty, that an infallible remedy for curing insomnia or an excessive sleepiness, is of taking a large toad, and with a single blow remove his head from his body, then dry the head, and as it ever comes that of the two eyes of this head, when it is separated has in it one open and the other closed; the person who wants to sleep needs to carry on himself the closed eye, and the person who is overly tired and wants to stay up needs to carry upon himself the eye of the toad which is open... Of even more marvelous property is the powder of the human skull, with the capability it has to heal promptly the most old-grown ulcers, the which likewise seems contrary to common sense and to the principals of medicine, which is to say that opposite heals opposite, notwithstanding this confirmed and extraordinary author observed that the skull’s powder is nothing but decayed matter healing another decayed matter, and on the word of this author, a Lord Chief Justice in Paris—which is to say, a man of skill and good judgment— has tested these secrets to a triumphant success without fear of coming off as heathenistic. This same confirmed and extraordinary author, says that to untie the knot, it requires that the person wear a little sachet hanging round his neck with three kinds of herbs: acorn, mugwort and mistletoe, the acorns gathered on the twenty-third of September, the mugwort and mistletoe gathered on the twentyfourth of June before sunrise... Also for curing eyestrain, it requires cooking upon coals the shed-skin of a snake, and to receive the smoke into the eyes; this next wondrous cure is of the Blind Man of the Gospel for whom the Saviour placed some muck on his eyes in order to restore him of his sight... Also that the grain or seed of nettle placed in a kettle impedes boiling and cooking of food, however much fire you put it to... Also for the curing of illnesses brought on by travel it requires, says this author, placing the tongue of an adder in the sheath of a sword. Also to prevent a gun from shooting straight; it requires rubbing it with the juice of an onion at the tip. In this book are tested a great many other secrets for which we do not have permission, and yet the sages hold them not to be heathenistic, reporting them to be from obscure and unknown causes. Like that which Pliny says, that for preventing scorpions from entering homes, particularly in the countries and climates where these insects are abundant, it requires that one take care to hang above the door, inside the house, a little baggie in which one has some nuts, the natural reasoning for this secret being the antipathy between these serpents and the hazel-tree of which the nut is the fruit; the horseradish likewise has in it so much antipathy with scorpions, that by placing them on top of it, they die. The same Pliny reports that for inhibiting vineyards being damaged by frost or hail, it requires that two young men take a rooster, and place it near the vines, them gripping the rooster each by a leg and a wing, and pulling against each other with all their might, they rip it to pieces; then they go in a circle around the vineyards, from being turned back to back with one another, and sprinkling here and there with the blood of the rooster, and at the place where they meet again making the circle, they bury the torn-up pieces of the rooster; and this applies against hale, tempests, and also prevents animals from getting into the vines. Some others claim that by burning or roasting the liver of a chameleon on a fire of coals, in the field or vineyard, this incense conjures and dissipates hail and tempests. I allow myself to say that for goodmen of the country, they have many times conjured and sent away hail and tempests, by presenting a mirror across the path of the clouds. Similarly, by binding together several keys for different houses with a small cord, and arranging these keys on the ground in the form of
a circle. Also, placing a turtle on its back, arranged that it is not able to rise nor to walk, it is most assured that as long as it will be in this posture, neither hail nor tempest will be able to fall upon the field nor on the vineyard: these are experiences which the villagers do every day, those which they have learned from their ancestors by tradition passed down from father to son.
ON MANDRAKES. Albeit the better part of the villagers live in ignorance and a kind of gross stupidity, they nevertheless have certain practical knowledge which yields an admiration for the effects which they produce. I myself recall having lodged at the place of a wealthy swain, who had been previously quite poor and unfortunate, so much that he was obliged to toil from morning through night every day; and as I had known him in the time of his misfortune, I took occasion to ask of him what he had done to grow rich in so short a time. He told me that having prevented a Gypsy from being beaten and ill-used for having stolen some chickens, she had taught him the secret of making a mandrake, and that since that time, he had ever prospered from good to better, and scarcely did a day pass that he didn’t gain something, and this is the manner that the Gypsy had assigned for making the mandrake of which I give the engraved figure.
It demands taking a bryony root which approximates the shape of a human figure. One will take it from the ground on a Monday in the springtime, when the Moon is in a favorable sign, being in conjunction with Jupiter, in agreeable aspect with Venus; one cuts the extremities of this root, like gardeners do when they wish to transplant a plant, then one needs to bury it in a cemetery in the middle of a dead man’s plot, and water it before sunrise for a month, with a little cow’s milk, in which one will have drowned three bats, at the end of which time one retrieves it from the ground, and one finds it to even more resemble a human figure. One puts it to dry in an oven heated with vervain, and one keeps it wrapped in a piece of cloth which has been used to wrap a dead man. As long as one is in possession of this mysterious root, one is lucky, inclined to find things in the street, to succeed at games of chance, or by business; so much that one sees his wealth grow every day. That’s by what manner the swain told me he had very rapidly grown rich. There are some mandrakes of another sort, and which one claims to be from hobgoblins, elves, or familiar spirits, and which can serve for many purposes: some of them appear under the form of animals,
and others are invisible. I found myself in a manor house which had in it someone who for six years had taken care of maintaining a clock and of grooming the horses. He carried out these two things with all the accuracy one could wish; and I was interested one morning to see this horse-management. My astonishment became great on observing the groom leap onto the back of the horse, without being led by any visible hand. The horse-groom said to me that he acquired himself this hobgoblin for his service by taking a small black pullet, the blood of which he drained in a great crossroads, and that with the blood of the chicken he had written on a tiny piece of paper, “Berith will do my duties for twenty years, and I did repay him,” and having buried this pullet at a foot’s depth, that same day the hobgoblin had taken care of the clock and the horses, and from time to time, he made some profitable discoveries. It’s a notion held by many people to believe that this which is called Mandrake by them pays them out a certain tribute each day, like an écu, a pistole, or more, or less; I have never given word of mouth of this to persons of petty judgment, and all those who have spoken to me with more likelihood have not said anything other than that when one takes these sorts of Mandrakes into service, one is lucky with games, one finds silver and gems in the street, and that oft times during sleep one is inspired to go into places where one must in order to find something. I will conclude this material with the description of a Mandrake which I have seen in Metz in the hands of a rich Jew. This was a small monstrosity somewhat alike to the figure I give here engraved, it was not any larger than a fist; this little monstrosity had not lived more than five weeks, and in that short while had made the fortune of this Jew, who confessed to me that the seventh day he had it, it inspired him during the night while sleeping to go into an old ruin, where he found a very considerable sum of silver money, and a great deal of gold jewelry hidden in the dirt, and that since then he had always prospered in his affairs; he surprised me well in saying by what manner he had gained this Mandrake. “I have followed,” he said to me “that which the celebrated Avicenna has written on the subject, where he requires having a large egg from a black pullet, to pierce it, making it let out a bit of the whites, that is to say, around the quantity of a bean, and having replaced it with human semen, one will seal the opening very carefully, by sliding into it a little piece of dampened parchment, and one will put it into incubation on the first day of the Moon by Mars in a fortunate alignment with Mercury and with Jupiter, and at the end of the suitable timeframe, the egg comes to hatch, and a little monstrosity comes from it as you see; one feeds it in a secret chamber with spikenard seeds and earthworms. The one that you see did not live but for the span of a month and five days. And for preserving it after its death, one puts it into a bottle of sturdy glass with some spirits of wine, well stoppered.”
EXPLICATION OF TWO TALISMANS. The two talismans that one sees engraved below the mandrakes have been taken from the Key of Solomon; one observes the originals in the cabinet of the Grand Duke of Lithuania; they have been made by the learned Rabbi Isaac Radiel, the both under the auspices of the planet Mercury as it is easy to judge by the characters that have been marked in the second. Their property extends itself over that of business, over travel, and over games. Their material is that which is becoming to Mercury. Those who wish to instruct themselves in the principals of this cabbalistic science of talismans can read with diligence the works of Paracelsus, Cardano, Iamblichus, Giambattista della Porta, Campanella, Gaffarel, Van Helmont, Giuntini, Trithemius, Agrippa, Goclenius, Moncaejus and Fludd. All of these authors discourse upon these matters by astrological, cabbalistical and natural principals, in a very lofty manner.
ON THE POWDER OF SYMPATHY FOR THE HEALING OF WOUNDS. All those who have discoursed upon this wondrous secret, up to the present have endeavored by
huge physical arguments to test its truth; and as it is difficult to speak clearly of a thing which itself is very obscure and complex, it is no wonder if these natural philosopher gentlemen have not converted many to disbelief, nor convinced some knowledgeable men by their reasoning. Sir Digby passes for one of those who has spoken with greater evidence, and yet he is not made understood by all kinds of people, because he guesses these principals—of which one perceives to be correct upon asking for his reasons, as well as for the secret upon which he establishes these supposed principals. It requires having some good Roman vitriol which one calcines, or moreover that one purifies of its superfluous moisture by exposing for three or four days to intense sunlight, and shut it up again well stopped in a sturdy glass bottle. One needs to temper this vitriol in a little basin of rainwater filtered through felt around one ounce per pint of water. And if it’s during summer that one wants to perform the healing, one does not put the water on the fire, because it requires that it be neither cold, nor hot, but in a fair temperature between coldness and hotness; then one will dip into this vitriolic composition a cloth, soaked in blood come from the wound that one wants to heal, and one will gather it up being very wet. If the patient is taken away from the place where the operation is done, and in following when the first cloth is soaked in his blood, one has no ability to easily acquire others, one will content himself to soak the same cloth every twelve hours by twelve hours in the vitriolated water, and to hold this cloth in a warm location. What is marvelous about this, is that every time one shall dip the cloth, the injured person will recognize in his wound a soothing sensation alike to that which is given by a capable surgeon when he dresses a wound anew; and the injured person will heal in very little time, by the inestimable virtue of the vitriol, of which we will have occasion to speak elsewhere.
FOR MAKING ARTIFICIAL GOLD. It is not merely by digging and burrowing into the bowels of the earth that one finds gold. Art can imitate nature well on this point, seeing as it has made improvements on other things; I do then say here that this has been tested an infinite number of times; and it has become very normal amongst those who toil in this noble work. You then acquire a large crucible which is able to withstand the fiercest of fires, and having to place it into a very hot oven, you put at the bottom of the said crucible powder of rosin, about the size of one’s little finger, and you dust over this rosin about a pinky’s worth of fine iron filings, you coat these filings with a bit of red sulfur, you build up the fire of the oven until it brings the iron filings to melt into liquid, then you cast to it some borax which goldsmiths use for gold solder; you cast thereto a like quantity of red arsenic, and equal weight of silver which one places in the iron filings, and allow this mixture to cook while feeding the fire, and be careful about breathing the vapor from the crucible, due to the arsenic. You get another crucible, purified and free from dirt, into which you carefully pour the hot material which you shall have previously mixed well with an iron spatula, and you arrange it to trickle down into the second purified and dirt-free crucible, then by means of Water of Separation the gold itself will condense to the bottom, and once you have collected it you put it to melt in a crucible and you get some lovely gold which will repay you for your trouble and expense. I have taken this secret from a book which has the title Le Cabinet Hermetique, and the ease with which one can succeed at this has compelled me to put it to test many times, with much more gladness; but I have found framed in its execution that which the very wise Basil Valentine said: that experiments of great philosophical works can themselves be made in less than three or four days, that the expense need not exceed three or four florins, and that three or four earthenware containers can suffice.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE.
This is another method that we are left by Caravana, a Spaniard from the American colonies. You take some red sulfur, niter salts, saltpeter, the same quantity of each, which is to say about four ounces of each; the whole, being well powdered, will be placed in a cornue or in a large retort of strong glass well luted, and coated with fuller’s earth, and place this over a gentle fire for a span of two hours, then build up the fire until it ceases to smoke, after the smoke a flame will come out of the neck of the cornue along the sides; and this flame being halted, one will witness the sulfur condense at the bottom, solid and of whitened hue; one will draw it, and one will beat in nearly as much sal ammoniac, and pulverize the lot together very neatly, and one will go to bring up a fire, initially gentle, and constantly increase it little by little until it marks the span of four hours, then one will retrieve from the container all the subliminate as well as that which sticks to whatever will be found at the bottom. You combine the lot together and subliminate again, continuing this manner of sublimination for six instances; after which the sulfur at the bottom of the container will be collected and ground on a piece of marble in a damp location. And it will convert itself to an oil, of which you place six drops upon a gold ducat melted in the crucible, and it will make itself an oil which, being placed on a marble, it will congeal; and if you place one part of this oil over fifty parts prepared and purged mercury-metal, you will have some excellent sun-metal.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE, TESTED IN ENGLAND BY RAMON LLULL, IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HEADS OF THE ROYAL COURT. As much as it were being that the true operators of the great philosophic art are unanimously in agreement, that the moon-metal, which is to say, silver, is in and of itself in substance, really sun-metal, which is to say gold, and that it needs nothing other than to be concocted perfectly; for one to come to this perfect concoction, one will proceed in this manner for making a mere experiment, you make an ash composed of wood from twigs, horse or cow bones well cooked and calcined until they are quite white; you pulverize this ash, and place it in a varnished earthenware pot which you supply with forge-water, and into which you cast as much of good quicklime, into which the ashes will have been put; you put the whole mixture to boil until the water reduces by half, and at that time you put into it four ounces of fine, good silver that you have pounded into little sheets, around the size of a sou; you make twelve sheets of your silver, and throw them into the container with your ash decoction, and proceed to let them boil until it reduces by half from this half of water which remains; then you retrieve your twelve sheets of silver which you wipe clean with a white cloth, and allow the composition which is in the dish to rest; and it will form upon the surface a kind of salt, in the form of crystals, which you will go to collect with a tin spatula, and you pour a bit of different forge water in the container, and put it to boil again, then cool, so as to again remove the salt which will form itself on the surface; and continue these boilings until your mixture cannot bring forth anymore salt; add to this philosophic salt four times as much of another salt which one calls potassium carbonate, which is composed from sulfur, saltpeter and cream of tartar, in the manner that the skilled craftsman knows how to make it, or one can find it at any good apothecary’s place. Other than that, you take four ounces of good tile-cement, of the reddest color you can find, you reduce this to a fine powder, and you beat as many gold ducats into sheets as you made sheets of silver, a like weight of each, you get the best crucible that you are able, and in the bottom you will make a bed of the powders that you have prepared from your salts, your red cement, with a little of the borax which is used by goldsmiths; on the top, you place a gold sheet which you cover with a second bed of your salts and cement, then you place a second gold sheet, and do it the same way for all dozen, which will be covered the same as the others, then you put the crucible covered and well luted with fuller’s earth into a hot oven, for as much time as you can suppose it will take to melt your gold, and collect at the bottom of
your crucible. This being achieved, you take another vessel in the form of a retort which should have an opening that one can open and close when one would like to put it in the oven, and you put your gold into this vessel with a bit of borax for the remelting, and when you have reason to think that the gold is melted, you cast through the opening of the vessel one of your prepared silver sheets, to the end that the gold devour and nourish itself with it. You continue this every twelve hours by twelve hours, in casting a silver sheet into the vessel until the last one, taking great care in maintaining the fire at the same level, in order that the material can always be melted. When you will have englutted twelve sheets of silver, you can allow your fire to go out and your vessel to cool down, in which you will find nearly twice as much gold as you had placed into it, and from this will you have a very good menstruum for augmenting gold, following exactly the method that I have come to give. One can multiply it by up to a million parts.
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. If the great name of Aristaeus has not come to be celebrated amongst the artists of great work, one will trouble themselves to believe that which he said in a letter which he addressed to his son for his instruction in the grand undertaking of philosophical work. One discovers that through the concealments of his writing that Aristaeus has had the idea that the mystical philosopher’s stone must be made from air that’s been condensed and rendered tangible artificially behind the manner by which he instructs his son of this grand subject. “My son, after having provided you with the understanding of all things, and having taught you of how you must live, and the manner in which you must regulate your conduct by the maxims of an excellent philosopher; after having instructed you as well on all that which regards the order and the nature of the universal monarchy, I have no other thing to convey to you besides the keys of nature, which I have very carefully kept until this time. Amongst all these keys, those which hold shut the stead of the loftiest moods need to be held in the highest rank. It is the general source of everything, and one has no doubt that God hasn’t given particularly unto him wholly divine rulerships. “When one is in possession of this key, wealth becomes wretched, in as much as there is no treasure which can compare to it. In essence, what use are riches, when we are subject to being afflicted by human illness? What good are treasures, when seeing one’s self struck down by death? There is no wealth that does not need to be abandoned when death should seize us. It is not the same when I possess this key, for then I see death leave off me, and I am assured that I have a secret in my power, which removes all miseries of life from me. I have wealth at my command, and I lack nothing for treasures; loss of vigor flees before me, and I retard the approaches of death, when I hold the golden key of great work. “It is of this key, my son, that I wish to make you my heir; but I conjure you, in the name of God and by the holy place he dwells, to keep it firmly in the cabinet of your heart and under a seal of silence; if you know how to use it, it will accomplish good, and when you know age or illness, it will rejuvenate you, soothe you and heal you; for it has the particular power of curing all maladies, of revealing metals, and of bringing luck to those who possess it. It is a key that our forefathers have powerfully commended to us under the bonds of oath. Learn then to know it, and cease not to do good for the poor, the widowed and the orphaned, and in that is the seal and the signature. “Know that all beings under heaven are divided into different types, holding their origins by a like principal, and that it is from the air that they all have their birth as a common maxim. The nourishment of each thing shows what its main purpose be, as that which sustains its life is the same as what gives it
being. Fish love water, and the baby sucks from his mother. The tree produces no fruit unless its trunk has plenty of moisture. One knows from its life a thing’s maxim; the life of some things is air, therefore air is its maxim. It is for this reason that air rots everything, and as it gives them life, it removes the same from them. Wood, iron, stone find their end in fire, and the fire cannot exist without air. But that which is the cause of the decay, is also the cause of the generation. “When, by various degenerations, it ends up that creatures should suffer, be it through time or by lack of fortune, air rises to their succor, their healing, be it whether they are injured or lacking vigor. Dirt, tree and plant languish under the heat of overdryness, but all these are repaired by the moisture of the air. However, as no creature can be repaired and restored but when in its own nature, the air being the spring and source of origin to all things, it is in as much the universal source. We witness manifestly that seed, death, illness and cure of everything comes from air. “Nature has put into all these treasures in placing the maxims of generation and decay into all things, and they hold it firmly as if behind special and secret doors; but it is truly possessed by the golden key to these doors, which by knowing to open acquires fortune, for to draw the air hurries in more of the same air, for if one is not aware of how to draw this air, it is impossible to gain that which generally heals all maladies and which restores and preserves the life of men. “If you then desire, O my son, to drive away all your infirmities, it requires that you research the methods in the primitive and universal source. Nature produces nothing but like unto like, and there is nothing in it but what is alike or consistent with nature, which is able to do good by nature. Learn then, my son, to acquire air, learn to hold the key to nature. It is truly a secret which is beyond the mind the of the common man, but not the sage; know to take the air from the air, the dome of heaven; creatures may well be acquainted with air, but to seize the air, it requires having the secret key to nature. “It is a great secret for understanding the virtue that nature has placed upon things. Because natures are put amongst similar natures; a fish takes to a fish, a bird to a bird, and the air takes up with other air as by a sweet allure. Ice and snow are an air that the cold has congealed; nature has given them the disposition that they need for taking air. “You place then one of these things in a earthenware or metal pot which is well closed and well stopped, and you take the air which has congealed itself around the pot during a hot period, receiving this distillation in a deep bottle that is very narrow in the width of its neck, strong and clean, so that you are able to do as it will please you, or the rays of the sun-metal or the moon-metal, that is to say, gold or silver. When you will have filled the bottle, stopper it well, for fear that this heavenly spark which is concentrated within not escape into the air. Fill as many bottles as you like with this liquor; listen to the following of what you must do, and guard your silence. “Fix up an oven, place a small bottle into it, half full of the liquid air that you will have collected, seal and lute the said bottle thoroughly. Afterward light your fire, arranging that the most mild portion of the smoke rises frequently to the air, as nature makes it that what continually does the central fires in the middle of the earth, where it brings up the vapors through an unending circulation. It requires that the fire be gentle, mild and moist, similar to that of a bird which sits on its eggs. You need to continue the fire in this way, and maintain it in this condition, in order that it doesn’t burn, but moreover that it cooks these aerial fruits, until after they have been stirred to movement, for a long time, it remains fully cooking at the foot of the vessel.
“You arrange to add to this cooked air some fresh air, not in great quantity, but as much as it’s created, that is to say, a bit less than the first time. Continue so until there remains no more than a halfbottle of liquid air, which hasn’t been cooked. Make so that what has been cooked liquifies itself gently by fermentation from the hot oven, that it darkens, that it hardens, that it assembles, that it solidifies and that it reddens. After this the pure part being separated from the impure part by means of a reasonable fire and by a fully divine artifice, you acquire a pure portion of unrefined air that you mix with the pure portion that has been hardened. You take care that it is all dissolved and assembled, that it becomes marginally black, then white, and finally perfectly red. Here is the conclusion of the work, and you will have made this elixir which produces all the marvels that our wise ancestors have had reason to so esteem; and you possess by this method the golden key of the most inestimable secret of nature, the true potable gold and the cure for everything. I leave you with a small sample which will provide you the benefit proven by the perfect health that I’ve enjoyed, being aged more than a hundred and eight years: work, and you’ll be as fortunate as I have been, so I hope in the name and by the power of the great universal architect.” Those who are capable artists of this grand undertaking, who have made solid reflections upon the principals given to the son of Aristaeus, believe they will not toil in vain if one fashions a mixture with the genuine Balm of Mercury, and so by this manner they claim that one must take from this for making this balm: You take a pound of the best mercury that you are able to get; you purge it three times through a skin, and one time through calcined Montpellier cream of tartar. You place it in a sturdy glass retort which needs to be tested for great heat; you add thereto vitriol, nitre salts, and some rock alum, and eight ounces of good spirits of wine, and the retort being luted hermetically in order that nothing can evaporate; you place this into digestion in a hot dung-heap for a fortnight, and at the end of this span one finds this mixture transformed into a fatty mucilage. He must expose it to a sand bath and induce the fire fiercely bit by bit, until out comes from it a humor white as milk, which falls into the recipient. Then put it back in the retort for rectification, to the end of consuming the phlegm. This second distillation makes it produce a sweet white oil, and has not any corrosion, the which surpasses in excellence all other metallic oils; and it is doubtless, for if one joins it with the elixir of Aristaeus, one will work all the wonders that can be expected from such fine labor. I do not know whether I need to put forward here somesuch things about the faith of an Arab who has written on these sorts of matters. He assures that with these two elixirs, being joined together with an equal weight of the finest aurum vitae or gold precipitate, one flawlessly makes the Philosopher’s Stone; he claims that this operation itself needs to be done in a sturdy glass bottle in a sand bath, and that the calcination which rests at the base of the bottle then multiplies up to a hundred thousand times, and that this is all proven.
FOR MAKING AURUM VITAE OR GOLD PRECIPITATE. Take two ounces of quicksilver purged and cleaned with salt and vinegar, join it to a dram of fine Oriental gold put into powder, and well knead these two materials in a dish of varnished clay which had been slightly warmed, until such time as they are thoroughly combined. This mixture is commonly called amalgam. Put this amalgam into cold water, if it retains a bit of quicksilver which has not incorporated with the gold, it requires passing it through a leather bag to purify it, and you recombine with your amalgam which you wash with salt and distilled vinegar until it gives off no dregs. If it happens that the
quicksilver diminished from the action of the mixing and purifying that one does, it needs to be restored, in following that for a dram of gold it have eight drams of quicksilver. After you place the amalgam in a strong glass alembic which needs to be well luted and well stopped with fuller’s earth, and pour into it two ounces of aqua fortis and go to distill this mixture in a sand bath, then return to the alembic whatever will have fallen into the recipient, repeat this five times, after which you find in the bottom of the alembic a powder that you place in an earthenware vessel which can endure a very hot fire, you sprinkle this powder with some good rosewater, and having stoppered the vessel so well that nothing can evaporate from it, you put it in an oven and increase the fire until the vessel glows red, and allow it to cool in the same oven, and your gold precipitate will be formed. It has the property of curing the plague, syphilis, leprosy, dropsy, and other illnesses that are hard to cure, it is capital against blockages, against obstructions of the liver, it is helpful to those who have drinken poison or eaten spoiled food, one can use it to cure bad sores, infected erysipelas, done by taking it in some liquor or by mixing it with some ointment to use with bandages. One doesn’t need more than two ha’-penny’s worth layered with two spoonfuls of good capillaire syrup for women and young people, and a penny’s weight in a half cup of well aged wine for the elderly.
FOR EASILY DISSOLVING GOLD. I have learned from a monk, an excellent chemist, and of such ability to which a queen of France had such faith, that the prescriptions of her physicians were not carried out if the monk did not offer his own approval. I have, I say, learned from this monk that the blood of a stag is swift at dissolving gold. Behold the recipe: you take two pounds of the blood of a freshly killed stag, you distill it in a bain-marie by cohobation up to five times, always replacing the distillation over the dregs which remain in the alembic, and on the fifth time you keep it in a bottle of strong glass; and this quintessence is so good and so easily dissolves gold, yet you can test it on your hand without being harmed.
ANOTHER MORE SURPRISING METHOD FOR THE SAME PURPOSE. Take two ounces of saltpeter, a half ounce of sulfur, a half ounce of sawdust of walnut-wood, well dried. You reduce this all to an impalpable powder, and from this powder you fill up a large walnut shell with as much as it can hold, and over this powder you put a fine little sheet of gold which rests atop all the circumference of the powder; and you cover the said sheet with the same powder around the size of a finger’s breadth, and you witness by experimentation that the sheet will melt to the base of the shell without the shell being cooked. This experiment can be done in the same way for other metals.
TO CHANGE LEAD INTO FINE GOLD. There are many people who reject as uncertain the method that the learned chemist Fallopius has left in this condition for changing lead into fine gold, because it seems to be too easy for a work of such importance. However it is not the only one adopted by philosophers that has been discussed in equivalent terms: Basil Valentine and Odomarus say of this subject nearly the same things as Fallopius. However it may be, behold by what manner he describes it needs to be brought about: you put to infusion a pound of Cypress copperas, in a pound of forge water, that you have thoroughly clarified by filtration; the infusion needs to be made for twenty four hours, such that the copperas be completely liquified, and incorporated with the water. Then you distill it by filtration with a good piece of clean felt, and afterwards with an
alembic in a sand-bath, and you keep this distillation is a bottle of strong glass, well plugged, then you put an ounce of well purified quicksilver in a crucible which you cover so as to prevent evaporation; and when you can presume that it will be starting to boil, you combine it with an ounce of fine gold leaf, and you take the whole crucible from the fire; the which being done, take a pound of fine and well purified lead, in the manner we will describe hereafter, the said lead being melted, you incorporate the composition of gold and quicksilver that you have prepared, and you mix well these three things thoroughly together over a fire with an iron lancet, and when all will be well mingled, add to it one ounce of your copperas water, and let them brook all together over your fire for a small span of time, and when the composition will be cooled again, you will discover that this shall be proper gold. Note to prepare and purify the lead in this manner in order to have a pound of it purified: it requires setting with a spoon four ounces more than a pound, to provide for dross and evaporation, then having melted it for the first time one quenches it in some good, strong, clarified vinegar, one melts it again, and one quenches it in the juice or sap of celandine; one continues with melting it, and one quenches it with salt water. Finally one melts it for the final time, and one quenches it in some strong vinegar, in which one will have killed some quicklime, and it will be quite purified.
FOR PROVIDING TIN WITH THE TONE AND HARDNESS OF SILVER, WITHOUT IT BEING APT TO CRUMBLE. Take two pounds of fine Cornwall tin, and a pound of lead, purged and refined as I have explained already. You put your tin in a retort, the pound of refined lead broken down alike to dust, then you adjust the retort in order that you can, without fear of yielding evaporation of the quicksilver, make it boil on the fire of rarefaction until you see that the quicksilver spouts up the neck of the retort drop by drop and finishes altogether; you find at the bottom of the retort your transmuted tin, you put it to melt three times with an ounce of good linseed oil each time; then on the final time, you cast it fully melted into lye boiled out of cream of tartar; and you find it at the base of the cauldron in granules. You melt it one more time with oil, and pour it into some kind of vessel of new clay, or you forge it into an ingot or other such shape as you please; and after all these repeated meltings, of three pounds and a quarter of material that you had begun with, you will retain at least two pounds and a half of a metal that can pass for good silver, in having the strength and the tone.
TO MAKE BORAX PROPER FOR MELTING GOLD. Understanding that borax is an extremely necessary drug for the chemical operations of gold and silver, I think that it will not be out of place to give here the method for making what is needed for good service and not a hefty price to husband the expense. The ancients confused borax with chrysocolla and got it both natural and manufactured, of which the property is to quickly solder a metallic body over a fire, and to reassemble into various parts of gold and silver. In brief, it serves for all works where one has need for a quick and sudden fusion. Real and natural borax, if it is true there’s any to be had, usually comes from Alexandria; and if one matches with the writings of the ancient chemists, it has always come from that region, and it is due to this that it takes the name of Alexadrine Niter. It is, however, likely that one imports it from India to Alexandria: I have seen a reference which explains in this way the manner which the Indians use for taking it from mines, for preserving it, and for putting it in a condition to be transported wherever you will. One finds in the mines from which one gets gold or silver a kind of muddy water; one collects it with the mud on which one finds it, one puts it to boil for a certain time, then one strains it through a stamine or a linen, and one allows it to cool, and it congeals and transforms into little
rocks of niter salt, and as experience has made known from keeping these little rocks for a long time, they decay and disintegrate to dust; this is why to prevent this from coming, one preserves them, so to speak, and one feeds them into pork or goat fat, with the same water that one has taken from which they are formed, and this is how one kneads this mud with the fat; and one makes it into a paste, then having made a hole in the ground, proportioned according to the quantity that one is going to preserve, one makes firstly a bed of this paste, and one covers it with these rocks of borax, then one makes over them a second bed of the said paste which one covers similarly with the rocks, and so on consecutively until one shall have utterly used the little rocks to fill the hole, and finally one covers the uppermost layer with one last bed of paste, and one covers the bed with some wooden planks, with some dirt on top, and one leaves it for some months, and when one would like to move it, one puts it all combined with the paste into little casks, and this is why it is fatty and oily. Women who are wise to the distilling well away of this fatty paste, make a marvelous cosmetic from it, to beautify the face and soften the skin. This is the manner whereby one can easily make artificial borax, which has the same property as the natural, and sometimes will even be found to be superior. We will take from this paste mixture those rocks which are not moldy, and one dissolves ten pounds in two pints of boiling water with two pounds of olive oil. One will take care to scum this mixture well, and one should allow it to boil until it is all well cooked, and one will know when this is when if one places it on a piece of sanded wood, it will remain with a consistency like a thick syrup; for when one removes it from over the fire, and one strains this mixture clear through a linen, one reserves the rocks, which one covers and stoppers quite thoroughly. Then one puts them into digestion for six days in a heap of horse-dung. At the end of this time we uncover the vessel, and one removes a small crust that one will find over the surface, which one will put aside; then the remainder of this mixture will be like little ice-crystals which will need to be washed with some fresh water; and put them to dry on a table in the shade; then one shall mix it with the little rocks which one will have put in reserve when doing the straining, after which you take three pounds of tartar from the lees of white wine well calcined, and dissolve them in a large kettle with thirty pots of forge water well clarified; cast thereto eight ounces of refined saltpeter, and one ounce of hare’s rennet, you put it into your little rocks and your dried ice-crystals, and you put it all to boil like you will have done previously; and when the composition will be reduced by one-third, you put into it the crust which you will have removed from the top of the unearthed vessel; and you continue to let it boil until, by the same test as before, you know that it is all well cooked. Then you furnish a little cask with several sticks crossing place to place, in order that the first sticks that you set at the bottom be about four finger lengths in height, so as to give space for the muck which will fall in; this being so prepared, you shut the cask well, and bury it in a hot dungheap for the span of a fortnight, to give space for the borax to attach itself and congeal itself around the sticks, and through this manner you have multiplied it by four times as much again, and experience will make you see that it is as good as that which people have brought in from foreign lands.
FOR FORGING REAL ORIENTAL PEARLS, AS LARGE AS YOU WANT THEM TO BE. You take four ounces of the finest and whitest seed pearls that you can find; the larger ones are the best. You grind them up, and dissolve them in the purest and cleanest water of alum, then you knead them for the span of a quarter-hour with an ivory spatula, and when the paste will be uniform, you gently wash it with distilled rain-water. Then having evaporated this water over hot ashes, you knead it anew with water of French-bean flowers. After this you put the paste in a little vessel of strong glass, well stopped, and when it will have endured a fortnight in digestion in a hot dungheap, you fashion pearls from this
paste with a silver mold: it will be well to ensure that the mold contain four or five casings for forming as many pearls; and that they be not all of the same shape, which is to say, that one be a little more or less round than another, so as to better imitate natural ones; one can pierce them while they are soft, with a very large hog’s hair or bristle. You suspend them in a well sealed alembic, so they won’t be altered by the air, and you put them to cook in this way by placing the alembic in a gentle sand-bath. When it will have been about six hours, you retrieve the pearls, and having wrapped them each separately in a piece of the finest and most consistent silver leaf, open a clam, and having voided the entrails and stopped the blood, you put the pearls inside it; and make a pastry-crust around this clam without butter and with bean flour, and put it to cook in the oven. When you take your pearls from the belly of the clam, if they appear not to have sufficient luster, you can wash them five or six times in a row with water distilled with the following ingredients: the herb called hedge-hyssop, French-bean flowers, powdered rock alum, lead mixed with the dross of silver, powdered plantain leaves, and a bit of saltpeter. Finally, for hardening them alike to the natural ones, you make a paste like I will describe: take an ounce and a half of good calamine, one ounce of Roman vitriol, six egg whites, which you beat together with plantain water for half of a quarter-hour, and you mix the lot together in an alembic, and the water which you will have distilled from it you should make into a piecrust with barley meal that’s been sifted through a silk strainer, and having wrapped your pearls in a little white cloth you put them to cook inside this crust. And be advised that if you diligently mind all these things, you will acquire pearls of great value which the most capable jewelers will have trouble distinguishing from natural ones.
FOR FORGING MUSK WHICH WILL BE JUDGED TO BE AS EXQUISITE AS THE NATURAL ORIENTAL KIND. You will have a small aviary or pigeon-house directly in sight of the rising sun. In a pleasant spot, you place six well-fed pigeons of the darkest color you are able to get, and all of them male; and you will begin in the first three days of the moon to give them seeds of spikenard, in place of other grains one normally gives to pigeons, and instead of normal water you give them rosewater to drink. Then on the first day of the moon, you feed them in the following manner: you make a paste prepared from fine bean flour, around the weight of six pounds, that you make into paste with rosewater, and the powders hereafter specified, to wit, from spikenard flowers, calamus aromaticus, good cinnamon, good cloves, nutmeg and ginger, each six drams, all reduced to a fine powder, then form from this paste some pills the size of a chickpea, and you put them to dry in the sun lest they should mold. You give them four times a day six of these each, and keep this up for a span of eighteen days, and let them drink the rosewater, and take great care in the thorough cleaning out of their droppings. At the end of this time you get a vessel of varnished clay, and cut the heads off each of your pigeons, and you collect the blood in this vessel, which you will have previously weighed, so that you will be able to know exactly how many ounces of blood are in this vessel, and after having removed with a feather the scum you will find to form upon the blood, you combine it with good oriental musk, dissolved in a bit of nice rosewater, it requiring at least one dram to three ounces of blood, with six drops of beef gall over the whole, then you put this mixture in a flask, with a long and well-stopped neck, and put it into digestion for a fortnight in a very hot heap of horse’s dung. However, it will be better to do this digestion in the strong summer sunlight, and when one shall witness that the matter shall be well dried in the flask, one takes it out to place it with some cotton in a box made from unrecycled lead. You will find the musk so fine and so excellent that it will be able to serve in the place of any other, as if it were true Oriental musk, and by this method one can make a considerable gain
from frequently performing this operation, in that the increase will be more than thirty ounces for every one.
TO FORGE AMBERGRIS. You reduce to a fine powder the following ingredients, which you pass through a fine sieve; to wit, one ounce of starch, one ounce of Florentine orris root, one half ounce of rosewood, one ounce of benzoin, an ounce and a half of spermaceti, and one dram of fine oriental musk, which you must dissolve together in distilled cinnamon water; and you must dilute a sufficient quantity of gum tragacanth in a mixture of cinnamon water, and from all of this form a paste which you place into digestion, as it has been described for musk, and when you judge that it has been sufficiently dried, you keep it for your use in a bottle with some cotton, and keep it very well stopped so that there will not be any leakage of air; you can thus preserve it from spoilage for ten years in good faith.
COMPOSITION OF PASTILLES FOR PLEASANTLY PERFUMING A ROOM. You take four ounces of benzoin, two ounces of storax, a quarter ounce of aloeswood; put these ingredients to boil over a small fire for a half hour in a pot of varnished earthenware with rosewater, so that the rosewater rises two finger spans over the spices, which need to be crushed; then you strain your mixture, you reserve the water which remains, and having thoroughly dried the dregs, you pulverize it to a fine powder in a mortar made hot with a pound of fine wood charcoal, then you dissolve some gum tragacanth in the water that you have placed in reserve, then combine into your powders a dram of good Oriental musk dissolved in a bit of rosewater, you make from all this a paste, the which you form into pastilles of the length and size of a pinky finger, pointed on one end and flat on the other, in order that they will be able to hold themselves upright on their cube, and when they are well dried, one lights them on the pointed end, and then they burn up until finished, producing a very sweet odor. To make them even better, add to them six grains of good ambergris.
FOR SOFTENING IVORY TO RENDER IT FIT TO BE CAST IN MOLDS. One is sometimes astonished to find for sale at a cheap price some exquisitely carved ivory. It can be for no other reason than that someone has discovered the secret for softening ivory, for it to be placed into molds, and thusly, produce in an hour something one could not make in eight days. Behold then what I have learned from a capable artisan of the city of Danzig. One needs to thoroughly scrape a piece of ivory so that it becomes totally white, then you put it to boil in ocean water clarified by filtration with six ounces of mandrake root, and you test with a spatula whether it is sufficiently malleable to be cast in a mold, which needs to be heated a little and well cleaned. Once the mold is filled, when it yields to cooling, then one exposes the ivory figure to the morning dew for two or three days in a row.
TO BREAK NEW CORDS WITH AN HERB. You will find in some large trees the nest of a pie or magpie, and you will bind this nest with some nice, new cords, in order that the mother-bird cannot enter to feed her young. Then you lay over the ground some handkerchiefs or napkins to catch an herb that the magpie goes to seek for breaking the cords in which her nest in entangled, which the Creator has made known by natural instinct; the which herb she
casts out of her nest once the cords are broken, and the said herb falls onto the handkerchiefs or napkins. You pick it up for yourself to use, or you go to search for the same kind.
TO EASILY BREAK AN IRON BAR. You take soap reduced into a thin paste, with which you anoint the bar; then you clean off the portion where you want the bar to be broken, and with a brush you moisten this spot five or six times with aqua ardens, of which we have already spoken, which be rectified and refined three times, and it will gnaw so surprisingly at the substance of the iron, that in fewer than six hours time you be easily able to break the bar.
A MYSTIC RING TO GUARD AGAINST EPILEPSY. You get a ring of pure silver, in the bezel of which you set a piece of moose’s hoof, then you select a Monday in the spring at which time the Moon will be in a benign aspect, or in conjunction with Jupiter or Venus, and at the favorable celestial hour you engrave inside of the ring that which follows: Dabi Habi Haber Habr Then having smoked it three times in the perfume of Monday, and having ensured that it be habitually worn on the middle finger of the hand, it protects against epilepsy.
MYSTIC TALISMAN AGAINST THE POISONS OF VENOMOUS ANIMALS. The talisman of which I will speak is engraved upon the following page 51 and is the first after the seven of the mystic numbers of the seven planets. It is wonderfully effective against poisons, in giving unto the person who bears it a foreknowledge of the impending danger which threatens him, and one might be aware of feeling a palpitation of the heart which warns of the peril. It is also effective for protecting against the bites of any venomous animals or insects. Here behold by what method one needs to make it: one will form a small plaque of fine gold well purified and polished. On a Sunday, at a favorable celestial hour, one will engrave the figures which are portrayed in the example which I have provided in the place noted here, then one will perfume them three times in the proper incense for Sunday, under the auspices of the Sun; and having wrapped it in a piece of appropriate silk cloth, one will bear it upon himself in a pouch or in a special flask. One may, if he wishes, engrave upon the reverse of the plaque a sun hurling its rays over several insects, such as toads, caterpillars, etc.
EXPLICATION OF FOUR MORE TALISMANS, WHICH ARE HERE GIVEN WITH THEIR ENGRAVED MODELS. I have very precisely taken down these four talismans from an excellent original manuscript in the Imperial Library at Innsbruck. The first, which portrays a human face with Hebrew characters, is good for joining itself with the favor and friendliness of the elves which are the distributors of wealth and honor. It needs to be formed on Sunday, under the auspices of the Sun, on a plaque of fine gold with the ceremonies of the appropriate incense for the hour, when one knows that the planet will be in a favorable position, and above all, in a good aspect with Jupiter. The second, whereupon one sees the figure of an arm which comes from a cloud, must be made on Monday, under the auspices of the Moon, on a plaque of pure and well-polished silver, with the appropriate ceremonies of the incense and at the hour of a favorable alignment. It is good for protecting voyagers from any perils of land or sea, and especially from the abuses of brigands, pirates, and rocky places. The third needs to be formed on a Tuesday, under the auspices of planet Mars, with the ceremonies of suitable incense, and at the hour of the best heavenly body, Mars being in conjunction with Jupiter, or benignly in view with Venus. It is very effective for bringing success to military expeditions, by enchanting firearms in order that they cannot do harm to those who bear them; it needs to be engraved upon a plaque of purified and well polished iron. The fourth, which needs to be created on a Wednesday under the auspices of Mercury, upon a fine plaque of solid mercury, with the appropriate ceremonies of the proper incense for the planet and at the hour of the lucky alignment, Mercury being in conjunction or benign aspect with Venus, or the Moon, its
power and specialty is to bring luck in games and in business enterprises to those who carry it, and it also protects voyagers from the abuses of brigands and breaks up or uncovers treacheries made against the life of the person who is furnished with it.
TO MAKE THE GENUINE HUNGARY WATER. You put into an alembic a pound and a half of very fresh rosemary flowers, a half pound of pennyroyal flowers, a half pound of marjoram flowers, two pounds of lavender flowers, and cover this all with three pints of good aqua vitae. Having well-stopped the alembic to prevent evaporation, you place it for twenty-four hours into digestion in very hot horse dung; then you put it to distill in a bainmarie. The usage of this water is: by taking it one or two times a day in the morning on an empty stomach, around the quantity of a dram, with some other drink or liquor; by itself to wash the face and all the body parts in which one feels any pain or decay of strength. This remedy renews vigor, renders the mind clean, clears away insanities, strengthens the vision, and preserves against decrepidness in old age, gives a youthful appearance to the person who uses it, is wonderful for the stomach and the chest when it is rubbed over. This medicine does not like to be heated, being that one makes use of it in potions or by rubbing. This recipe is the real one which was given to Isabella, Queen of Hungary.
FOR REMOVING PIMPLES FROM THE COMPLEXION AND WELLCLEANSING THE FACE, FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. You wrap some saltpeter in a fine linen cloth, and having moistened it in clear water, you pat the pimples with the said damp cloth. To have a water which is of great use to beautify the face and which I suggest more readily than the aforesaid saltpeter: you take two pints of water in which you have put to boil some fava beans until they are reduced to a paste; this water being placed in an alembic, you add thereto two handfuls of butter dock leaves, two handfuls pimpernel, two handfuls wild tansy, a pound of minced veal with six fresh eggs, and over this all a half-pint of white wine vinegar. You distill this mixture in a bain marie, and you acquire an excellent water for removing redness from the face when washing with it morning and evening... I know that there are countless people who fear that these distillations will render them old-looking at a young age, but this one has an effect to the contrary, in that it creates an appearance of youth in people of an advanced age. You form a bread with three pounds of barley flour and one pound of bean flour with some goat’s milk, without fermenting it too sourly. When you have put it in an oven to cook, you remove the crust from the bread and infuse the remainder with some fresh goat’s milk and six blotted egg whites; add to this one ounce of egg shell, calcined and well mixed, which being in the alembic you put to distillation in a sand bath, and you get some excellent rejuvenating water which, if you wash with every day, it then renders the complexion as even and polished as a mirror... Those men or women who have a tanned or somewhat leathery complexion will be able to make it white as snow by using the genuine Venice Water, which I provide in the following manner: you take two pints of the milk of a black cow in the month of May, a pint of liquid dripped from a vine, eight lemons and four oranges sliced finely, two ounces of candied sugar, a half ounce of borax well powdered, four peeled daffodil bulbs, and you put them all to distill and rectify in a bain marie, and you store the water in a well-stoppered bottle.
EXQUISITE CREAM FOR BEAUTIFYING THE FACE WITHOUT FEAR THAT IN THE PROCESS IT WILL REDDEN OR SCAR AS MAKEUP
DOES. You take thirty sheep’s hooves and six cow’s hooves from which you remove the flesh, and do not use any of the long bones; you break them up the best that you can, and you take good care with the marrow which you will find within; you put it well to cook in a large pot of new clay, and having started them to boil, gently skim them so as to remove the muck without disturbing the grease. When they have boiled for a span of three hours you allow them to cool thoroughly, then with a silver spoon you draw up the grease and the marrow which will be congealed upon the surface of the pot, without allowing in anything else. You acquire a similar weight of the grease from kid’s wool, and if these two greases equal a half pound, you add to it a dram of borax, and as much of calcined rock alum, two ounces of Oil of Four Cold Seeds, and you put the lot of them together to boil in a pint of well clarified white wine, and leaving it to cool you draw up all the surface of the grease which should be congealed, and you wash and rinse this several times with rosewater until such time as it has become quite white, and you put it into little faience jars for use.
COMPOSITION OF A WASH-BALL FOR THE FACE AND HANDS WHICH RENDERS AGREEABLE THE PERSON WHO USES IT. Take a pound of Florentine orris root, four ounces of storax, two ounces of yellow sandalwood, half an ounce of cloves, as much of fine cinnamon, one nutmeg, and twelve grains of ambergris, which have all been reduced to a fine powder and passed through a sifter, the ambergris to be added separately. Then take two pounds of good white soap which one must shave and place in three chopines of aqua vitae to cover, for four or five days, then knead it with orange flower water, and you make a paste of fine starch passed through a sifter, and it is at this time when you will be able to mix in your dissolved ambergris with a bit of gum tragacanth liquified in aromatic water, and from this paste you form wash-balls which you place in the sun to dry, and store them in jars with some cotton.
TO MAKE FINE ANGEL’S WATER WHICH PERFUMES WITH ITS AGREEABLE ODOR. Get a large alembic into which you place the following ingredients: four ounces benzoin, two ounces storax, one ounce yellow sandalwood, two drams of cloves, two or three pieces of Florentine orris root, half a lemon peel, two nutmegs, a half ounce of cinnamon, two pints of good rosewater, a chopine of orange flower water, a chopine of melilot water. You place them all into an alembic well sealed, and distill by a bain marie; and this distillation is an exquisite Angel’s Water.
A CANDLE WHICH HAS LIKENESS TO THE HAND OF GLORY TO PUT TO SLEEP ALL THOSE WHO ARE IN THE HOUSE. Take four ounces of the herb called cuckoo pint, place it into a stoppered earthenware vessel, then put it to digest in the belly of a horse—which is to say, in the hot dung-heap, for a fortnight. And it shall transform into little red worms, from the which you can get an oil following the basics of the art, and with this oil you dress a lamp; and any time this lamp will be lighted in a chamber, it will provoke drowsiness and will put into deep slumber those who will be in the said room, such that one will not be able to wake any of them as long as the lamp is alight.
STRANGE SECRETS P ROVEN
FOUND IN THE CABINET OF A PERSON CURIOUS ABOUT NATURE. FANTASTICAL SECRET FOR MAKING THE SYMPATHETIC DIAL OR COMPASS, BY MEANS OF WHICH ONE WILL BE ABLE TO WRITE TO A FARAWAY FRIEND AND MAKE KNOWN TO HIM YOUR INTENTION AT THE SAME TIME AND A MOMENT AFTER, WHEN YOU WILL HAVE WRITTEN TO HIM. Get together two boxes of fine steel (similar to the usual boxes for compasses at sea) which be of the same weight, largeness and shape, with a board large enough to put all around it the whole of the letters of the alphabet, that has a pivot at the base in which to position a needle, like for a normal sundial. It demands you take care that your boxes are well polished and well cleaned, then look amongst several fine and quality lodestones for one which has from the edge which inclines toward the south some white veins, and the one you find longest and most straight, you cut into two parts as equally as you can, for making into two needles for your two boxes. It requires that they be of the same thickness and the same weight, with a small hole for positioning them over the pivot in balance. Thus prepared, you give one of these boxes to your friend with whom you wish to secure correspondence, and note to him some hour of any day of the week, even an hour of the same day if one should wish it, and several if one should like; but that would seem a bit trying, for it requires, whenever you would like to speak to one another, being in your closet a quarter hour, or a half hour, an hour even, before this one which you will have assigned to your friend, and also to position your needle upon the pivot of the box and watch it during this time. It requires that you have a cross or some other mark at the beginning of the alphabet, in order to see, when the needle will be upon this mark when you have plans to speak to one another, for it compels that it turn itself the same way as that which the friend who will be far off will have placed, always before beginning, over that mark; so, the friend making his intention known to the other, will turn his needle upon a letter, and at the same time, the other will turn by itself onto the same letter, through the rapport which they have together. When you make a reply, it requires doing the same thing. And whenever one shall conclude, one will replace the needle upon the same mark. Note that after having spoken, one needs to have great care to enclose the box and needle, separately, in cotton, in a wooden box, and above all check that they do not rust.
FOR GETTING TO CARRY A FLINTLOCK TWICE THAT OF ANY OTHER. It requires, for our case, over two ounces of good gunpowder, to which place one ounce of white pepper bruised large, and mix them all together well; charge your flintlock with the said powder a little more than the usual charge, and on top of the powder put into it some camphor that you’ve pounded well, then put the bullet on top, and wrap it with some paper. A pistol will fire as far as a flintlock. One also acquires an herb which one calls psyllium: it is a seed which one gathers during the sign of Leo, it has a small seed like that of mustard; and one burns it in the barrel of a flintlock, by heating the barrel in a forge, and it is made.
METHOD FOR MAKING A LIFE-SAVING SYRUP. Take eight pounds of sap of herb-mercury, two pounds of borage sap, both leaves and stalk, twelve pounds of honey of Narbonne or elsewhere, the best of the land, put it to boil all together to a foamy broth, and pass it through a hippocrates’ sleeve and clarify it. Put it aside to infuse for twenty-four hours four ounces of gentian root cut into slices, in three chopines of white wine, over hot ashes, stirring from time to time. You pass this wine through a linen without squeezing it. Put the strained liquid in the said saps with honey, putting them all to a gentle boil, and cooking to the consistency of syrup. You put them to cool again in a varnished earthenware pan, afterward into bottles which you store in a temperate place for you to use as directed: by taking one spoonful every morning. The syrup of which I speak to you in this record, prolongs life, reinforces health against all sorts of illnesses, even gout, releases excess heat from the innards and that it should not remain in the body except a little bit of the lungs, and that the rest should be used up; it shall maintain wellness and rehabilitate illness, it is good for stomach pains, for sciatica, for vertigo, migrane, and generally for internal woes. And taking every morning only a spoonful of this syrup, one can be sure to never have need, not of doctors, nor of apothecaries, and one will pass the days of his natural life in happy health, for he is of such virtue, that he can never suffer corruption nor unwellness of the bodily humors, doing to evacuate the whole gently by the basic methods. This secret has been provided by a poor peasant of Calabria, for whom a draft was made by Charles V to the General of his fine navy which he sent into the Barbary Coast. The gentleman was at the age of 132 years, of which he assures to this General, the which was going to lodge at his place; and seeing him at so advanced an age, he informs him of the way of so living, and of many more of these examples being nearly as old as he, and likewise also healthy and vivacious such that they didn’t seem to be but thirty years old, though from another source it’s sworn that they led a life on wantonness. A Count from Germany, an invalid from the age of thirteen, was cured; the Elector of Bavaria, condemned and abandoned by the doctors of the empire, the Marchioness of Brandenburg, paralyzed since the age of nine, the Duchess of Fribourg, left weak after a long illness, and many other persons of quality of which the number is nearly endless. At length all those who have put it to use, have had a successful experience with its virtues.
FOR TRANSPLANTING ALL SORTS OF BRANCHES FROM TREES AND THEIR BEING MADE TO TAKE ROOT. It requires cutting a branch from whatever tree that it be, but it must not be one making sap. With a knife make a cross at the end, the length of two or three finger-spans, place in the middle an oat kernel, the germ at the bottom yet so it goes to the ground, and in the side of each slit an oat kernel with the germ upwards; and so place this branch in the earth.
FOR EXTENDING SOAP.
Take ten jars of water, six pounds of Alacant sante, two pounds of almond shells reduced to ash; from all these make a sort of lye which you keep. Afterwards, take six pounds of soap cut into pieces, put them into a kettle over a small fire, until melted; at this point stir in around ten pounds of the said lye, and let them boil together for ten or twelve bubblings; afterwards take some starch, soak it in the said lye, and pour the whole into the pot where the melted soap is and wherein one has cast the said lye. Stir the entirety well; put them to boil for one bubbling. Afterwards take a wooden box specially prepared, cast a bit of powdered quicklime inside, then pour into it the melted substance, and leave it to dry in the shade in good ventilation. NOTA: that the starch is for whitening the substance and giving to it the color of soap.
FOR EXTENDING SAFFRON. Take an ounce and a half of aqua vitae, fine sugar two drams, saltpeter half a dram; put the lot over the fire, and cast into it an ounce of saffron; and after having stirred the said concoction, leave it to dry in the sun, and you will find a fine augmentation.
FOR EXTENDING, BY HALF, PEPPERCORNS. They must be mixed with the spice of the cardamom seed, or else grains of paradise.
FOR EXTENDING WHITE WAX. Take ten pounds of white wax, being melted put it into three pounds of well-sifted orris root powder, and stir them well together. Incorporate them together with a wooden spatula.
FOR AUGMENTING MUSK: KEEP THIS SECRET. Take some very old and quite rotten rhubarb; reduce it to powder or chop it into pieces. Put it to boil in regular water, stirring constantly, until it reaches the consistency of molasses, allow it to dry by itself in the shade, and put it with the musk.
FOR DYEING THE HAIR. Take gold foam in powder, put it into water and stir well with a stick, allowing to boil; and into the top part of the water put the hair; if you put it briefly into the litharge, the color will not be as strong. If you put it in a long time, it shall be more strong. It is not required that it be boiling; it is adequate if it all be nicely hot; if it ends up so, it will get done, but not as well.
GOLD VARNISH, REMARKABLY PRETTY. Over two mingles of good spirit of wine, rectified, or if you want, a bit more, if you would rather that the varnish be not so red; you can also lessen somewhat the weight of the shellac which makes it red.
Take four ounces of shellac in grains, two ounces of gamboga powder in a vial, with your spirits of wine, and put it till reduced by one-third in a sand bath. To use it, one places a layer of the said varnish upon whatever it is that you want to gild, be it wood, metal, books, or anything; following which you lay on a sheet of fake metal leaf, leaving them to dry together; and when it is dry, you put down again another layer of the said varnish over the leaves of the said metal and put it to dry again, continuing so until it comes that your gilding has gained as much of the color as it can take. Nota: That it requires using a brush. Nota again: That for the best success, that it requires starting with a base-layer like one makes for a painting.
AGAINST GRAVEL, FOR THE CURE. Take a pint of rain water, two tablespoons of hulled barley, and a piece of licorice, as long as your hand, beaten flat. One should soak this all day, and afterward boil until the barley begins to crack. Take this every morning and evening, four spoonfuls with eight spoonfuls of cow’s milk, the way one takes coffee.
FOR CLEANING THE TEETH AND GUMS. Take an ounce of well-beaten myrrh, two spoonfuls of the best white honey, and a bit of green sage well powdered; and you rub this on the teeth evening and morning.
AGAINST BAD BREATH. Take in the evening before bed a bit of myrrh, as big as a nutmeg, that you must allow to dissolve in your mouth.
FOR THE TERTIAN AND QUARTAN AGUE. Blessed thistle or carduus benedictus, some wormwood and some saffron, pour boiling water over it, and drink it the same way as one does tea, every day, or shortly before the fever comes; it will go away soon.
FANTASTICAL SECRETS WHICH NEED TO BE DONE AND UNDERTAKEN UNDER THE INFLUENCES OF THE STARS, FOR THE CURING IN LITTLE TIME THE ILLNESSES OF WHICH ARE WRITTEN.
REMARKABLE SECRET FOR THE ETERNAL PRESERVATION OF HEALTH, FREQUENTLY PUT TO USE BY HIS MAJESTY CHARLES V. Take during the Hour of the Sun, as the engineer of all life, four sprigs of rue, nine juniper berries, a walnut, a dried fig, and a bit of salt; pound them all together and eat this on an empty stomach repeatedly.
FOR KNOWING IF A SICK MAN WILL LIVE OR DIE. Many are the divinations which themselves are known by anyone, for whether a sick man will live or die; but I do publish this present infallible omen, of which every man can put to use and with it make a solid judgement. Take a nettle and place it in the sick man’s urine, immediately after the patient has made it and so it is not in the least contaminated; and leave the nettle in the said urine for a span of twenty-four hours; and after which if the nettle is itself found dry, it is a sign of death; and if it is green, it is a sign of living.
FOR PROTECTION FROM GOUT. This illness is caused by Saturn; take at the hour of Mars or of Venus, the herb called marterica which you bruise and mix with the yolk of an egg cooked in the manner of an omelette, and eat it in the morning; this will forever protect you from gout.
FOR FISTULES. This illness is caused by Mars; take at the hour of its enemies Saturn or Jupiter, root of orris put into powder, which you mix with the ashes of burnt oysters and hog’s lard, and you apply this to the fistule.
FOR REMOVING THE MARKS OF SMALLPOX. This illness is caused by Mars; take at the hour of the Moon, Mercury, Saturn or Jupiter—its enemies —litharge, dried root of giant cane, chickpea flour, rice flour, pounded and mixed with oil of sweet almonds and liquified mutton fat, and use it to anoint the face, and leave it all through the night and morning, and wash it off with hot water.
FOR BLADDER STONES. This illness is caused by the Moon; take at the hour of Mars or Mercury some scorpions, place them in a jar of new clay, which has a narrow mouth, and put it in an oven which is not too hot for the span of six hours, then remove it and pound quickly.
FOR THE PAINS OF COLIC. This illness is caused by the Moon; take at the hour of Mars or Mercury, its enemies, laurel berries, and make them into a powder, and give in a drink the weight of two drams with fragrant wine, the which shall remove the pain.
FOR DIFFICULTY URINATING. This illness is caused by the Moon; take at the hour of Mars or Mercury, its enemies, the leaves and seeds of trefoil, seeds of southernwood, and put them to boil in some water, into which infusion you cast a cantharide without its head, feet or wings, powdered, and by drinking a spoonful it will cause urination.
FOR DROPSY (EDEMA). This illness is caused by Saturn; take at the hour of Mars or Venus, its enemies, a pheasant, killed, and the blood drawn, and give it in two glasses to drink, and the sickness will cure without fail.
FOR STOMACH AILMENTS. This illness is caused by the Sun; take—at the hour of Mars, Mercury or the Moon, its enemies—a hen and kill it, and bring up and out the fluff which one finds in the gizzard, and make it into a powder, and give it to drink with some wine. It is a fine remedy.
TABLE OF THE SUNRISE OVER THE SEVENTEEN PROVENCES.
Table shows the times of sunrise for the months of January, February, March, April (first column), May, June, July, August (second column), and September, October, November, December (third column).
TABLE OF THE SUNRISE OVER ITALY AND FRANCE
Table shows the Italian and French hours of sunrise for the months of January, February, March, April, May, June (first column), and July, August, September, October, November, December (second column).
FOOTNOTES  This is not to suggest I have anything against Scott Cunningham or Dorothy Morrison; I actually like their works very well. They simply just have nothing whatsoever to do with Marie Laveau or 19th century New Orleans magic.  Also sometimes written Enchiridium Leonis Papae.  The prayer is used here as a method for timing the interaction; that is to say, you should look upon each other for as long as it takes to recite an ave maria (about 30 seconds.) Before clocks were commonly available, using prayers was a typical way to time things.  A strand of hair, frequently braided or looped, and bound with a ribbon: once a popular token of affection to present to a lover.  A once-common perfume powder, in use since at least the 16th century. Recipes for the mixture vary greatly through the ages; but a formula from Laveau’s lifetime uses a combination of equal parts powdered sandalwood, rosewood and cedarwood scented with rose or rhodium oil.  The écu was a common coin before the French Revolution, weighing about 3.3 grams. Bouillon: “A kind of small drink made of oats” according to Randle Cotgrave; a “small drink” being any weakly alcoholic beverage.  A type of white clay, possibly bentonite.  Probably alum.  In the period of the Petit Albert’s composition, the word translated here as ‘lemon’ might also mean ‘citron.’ However, by the 19th century it usually would have been read as lemon. Fromage frais is a sort of lite cream cheese; soured, it would be something similar to yogurt.  The uvula?  Heating in a crucible over a fire until the substance is reduced to ashes.  “...made (most commonly) of Tyles, Potshards, Flint, Glasse, the drosse of yron, &c, beaten to dust, and incorporated with lime, oyle, grease, rosin and water.” So says Randle Cotgrave.  Probably crayfish.  This was a powder available from the apothecary, used as an emetic.  Ten pounds, by the French system.  A kind of cloth. Eau clairette was a French term signifying a type of medicinal liqueur, usually rendered in English under the Latin form aqua clareta. However, since this literal translation “clear water” made its way into English-speaking occult circles, I am preserving it here.  Historically the term niter could be used to indicate a variety of different minerals. Cotgrave insists that it is not the same as saltpeter, and that it is “a (Salt-resembling) substance of colour light-ruddie, or white, and full of holes like a spunge.” In a later recipe, Albert will claim that it’s made from sulfur, saltpeter and cream of tartar.  An old cure-all produced by various recipes, not necessarily made from molasses.  An old process used for scientific and alchemical purposes whereby a mixture was exposed to a consistent warm heat, usually for a long period; a dung-heap was a frequent source for this kind of warmth.  Sic. The actual illustration shows the seal to read “Sun.”
 Sic. The talisman shown portrays wings on his helmet and boots, but none on his body.  “A White Physical Substance bred of the Sparkles of Brazen Furnaces” according to Abel Boyer. It’s a type of zinc oxide.  Salamanders were once believed to be mythical animals of legend which could live in fires without being harmed, and only in the 17th century did the term come to be applied to the amphibian which we now know by such name.  The original term here is “Pygmy” which in ancient Greek referred to a dwarf-like creature. I’d consider the Greek word to be preferable, to preserve the unity of the terms provided, except that Pygmy has come to mean something else in modern language, much like Salamander no longer conjures the correct image to mind. Ultimately, Albert seems to prefer the term “Gnome” anyway.  Throughout this text, the word “mandrake” is frequently used to describe various magical objects that are unrelated to the mandrake plant. Mandrake plants were considered more to be humanoid creatures than mere roots, and old time illustrations would often portray mandrakes as small people; hence the logic behind this puppet and other fetishes being referred to as a mandrake.  Probably Saint-Géry Island, which is now joined with mainland Brussels in modern-day Belgium. It was still an island in Laveau’s lifetime, till the river was covered over around 1870. Not that I have any reason to think she was very familiar with the landscape around Brussels.  A sort of glass goblet. The name referred to the glass’s green color.  “A light yellow Pitch, much used in plaisters” according to Cotgrave.  This mysterious ingredient has given fits to the translators for ages. It has been proposed to be anything from a type of seed to horse dung.  The story of Charles VII and Joan of Arc would be better known to a French speaking audience, such that it probably wouldn’t need explanation: During the Hundred Years’ War, the successor to the French throne was in some dispute, and the English took the opportunity to invade. The future King Charles VII was unpopular and his own mother had already signed away his rights to the throne. Joan of Arc, having been instructed in her divine visions to drive the English out of France and ensure Charles be coronated at Rheims, ultimately did so.  “A sort of Berret or Ribbon, half thread, half silk” according to Boyer.  The Biblical Three Kings are traditionally named, in French, Gaspar(d), Melchior and Balthazar. The text of thePetit Albert definitely printed here “Merchisard” but, as I can attest it is not a printing that was completely free from errors, this could be a mistranscription by the original typesetter who meant Balthazar, or else some old fashioned variation on the spelling.  Joannes Macarius.  This would be a little taller than a modern foot, about an extra ¾ inch per. Napoleon Bonaparte is often erroneously reported to have been short based on this misunderstanding of what the French referred to as a foot, prior to their changing over to the metric system in the 1830s.  An inconsistent unit of measurement that could actually vary quite a bit by locality, but would be something between about 1-2 cups. Pints were often used for comparison.  Kenelm Digby, inventor of the Powder of Sympathy.  A mixture of nitric acid in water.  A kind of paper money. Albert, of course, was reusing recipes from various sources; another version of this one says to make them “of the thickness of two sheets of paper or thereabouts.”  This is to say, cement made from tiles.  Same as water of separation.  A kind of syrup, primarily used to make other medicines easier to swallow. A recipe for it from Laveau’s time is: “Take some good capillaire [maidenhair fern], chop it up, not so very small, put it upon a sieve, pour upon it some boiling water, and let it infuse for ten hours in a vessel well covered; strain this infusion, and put into it some sugar boiled au casse; clarify this syrup with the whites of eggs whipped; skim it till it is very clear; when it rises, take it off the fire, and leave it to cool, then put it into bottles.”
 Sic. This was not even numbered page 51 in the original volume.  Modern editions of The Key of Solomon also include these.  Made from seeds of cucumber, melon, squash and pumpkin.  A kind of rosemary-flower honey.  A type of filter.  A rare ingredient; all I can determine about it is that it was suitable for making into a porridge.  “The best kind of Litargie, comes of lead wherein silver hath beene melted by a quick, and great fire, giving it a golden luster, & thereby this name.” Says Cotgrave.  A Dutch measurement; a little over two Parisian pints.  In some manuscripts printed materica. There is no known plant by either name; it’s been speculated to be a misprint of “matricaria” which would designate German chamomile.
Table of Contents Introduction Message to the Reader The Treasury of the Fantastical Secrets On Talismans Strange Secrets Proven Table of the Sunrise over the Seventeen Provences Table of the Sunrise over Italy and France Footnotes