H. C. Agrippa von Nettesheim – Sorceries and their power

Sorceries and their power

Agrippa v.Nettesheim





Henry Cornelius von Nettesheim

The force of Sorceries is reported to be so great, that they are believed to be able to subvert, consume, and change all inferiour things, according Virgils Muse.

Moeris for me these hearbs in Pontus chose,
And curious drugs, for there great plenty grows
I many times, with these, have Moeris spide
Chang’d to a wolfe, and in the woods to hide:
From Sepulchres would souls departed charm,
And Corn bear standing from anothers Farm.
Also in an other place, concerning the companions of Ulysses,
whom The cruell Goddess Circe there invests
With fierce aspects, and chang’d to savage beasts. And a litle after, When love from Picus Circe could not gaine Him with her charming wand, and hellish bane Chang’d to a bird, and spots his speckled wings With sundry colours. Now, there are some kinds of these sorceries mentioned by Lucan concerning that Sorceress Thessala, calling up ghosts, where he saith,

Here all natures products unfortunate;
Fomr of mad Dogs, which waters fear and hate;
Guts of the Lynx; Hyena’s knot imbred;
The marrow of a Hart with Serpents fed
Were not wanting; no nor the sea Lamprey
Which stops the ships; nor yet the Dragons eye.

And such as Apuleius tells of concerning Pamphila, that Sorceress, endeavouring to procure love; to whom Fotis a certain maid brought the haires of a goat (cut off from a bag or botle made with the skin thereof) instead of Baeotius a young mans haires: Now she (saith he) being out of her wits for the young man, goeth up to the tyled rough, and in the upper part thereof makes a great hole open to all the orientall, and other aspects, and most fit for these her arts, and there privately worships, having before furnished her mournfull house with sutable furniture, with all kinds of spices, with plates of Iron with strange words engraven upon them, with sterns of ships that were cast away, and much lamented, and with divers members of buryed carkasses cast abroad: here noses, and fingers, there the fleshy nailes of those that were hanged, and in another place the blood of them that were murdered, and their skulls mangled with the teeth of wild beasts; then she offers sacrifices (their inchanted entralls lying panting), and sprinkles them with divers kinds of liquors; sometimes with fountain water, sometimes with cowes milk, sometimes with mountain honey, and mead: Then she ties those haires into knots, and layes them on the fire, with divers odours to be burnt. Then presently with an irresistible power of Magick, and blind force of the Gods, the bodies of those whose haires did smoke, and crash, assume the spirit of a man, and feel, and hear, and walk, and come whither the stink of their haire led them, and insteed of Baeotius the young man, come skipping, and leaping with joy, and love into the house. Austin also reports, that he heard of some women Sorceresses, that were so versed in these kind of arts, that by giving cheese to men, they could presently turn them into working cattell, and the work being done, restored them into men again.