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BOHN'S SCIENTIFIC LIBRARY.

EMEilOSER'S

HISTORY OF MAGIC,

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Skinner Street.

THE

HISTOEY OF MAGIC.

BY

JOSEPH ENNEMOSEE.

TEAKSLATED FEOil THE GEE^lIAX

BY WILLIAM HOWITT.

TO WHICH IS ADDED AN APPENDIX OP THE MOST EEMAEKABLE AND

BEST AUTHENTICATED STOEIES OF

APPARITIOT^S, DEEAMS, SECOl^D SIGHT, SOMIS^AMBTJLIST^T,

PRLDICTIONS. DIYINATIOIf, WITCH.CEAPT, VAMPIEES, FAIEIES,

TABLE-TURFIIs'G, AlfD SPIRIT- EAPPI>'G.

SELECTED BY

MARY HOWITT,

TN TWO VOLUMES,

Vol. II.

LONDON:

HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COYENT GARDEN.

MDCCCLIV.

JHE INSTITUTE OF MEDIAEVAL STUDIES

10 ELr/iSLEY PLACE

TOR OK TO 6, CANADA,

DEC -11931

CONTENTS.

VOL. II.

Oy IMagic in Mythology.

Natural Science tlie Origin of Mytliology

G-reek and German Mythology .

5

Symbolism

6

Vast Antiquity of the Myth

8

On Magic in Mythology

11

The Wisdom of the Remotest Antiquity

13

Ou Magic in Mythology (continued)

15

Mythical Signs and their Magical Relations

17

The Key to Mythical Wisdom

19

The Dioscuri

23

The Myth of Hercules

25

Magnetic and Meteoi'ic Stones

27

Mystic Symbols in IS'atm-e

29

Vestal Fires

31

Samothracian Wings ; Iron Rings, etc.

33

Ancient Use of of the Magnet

35

Wonderful Clairvoyant Vision of Mysteries

37

Symbolic Meaning of Mythologic Fable

39

The Great Significance of Hermes

43

Symbolic Mythological Characters

51

The Significance of the Mythic Baccbus

61

The Wonder-working Dactyls

65

The Myth of Hercules Explained

67

Magical Effects of Stones

69

The Symbolic Horns and Wings Explained

71

The Magic of the G-eemans.

Magic among the Germans .

73

Magic among the Early Christians

81

Magic of the Ancient Germans and of the

iSorthcrn Nations

85

The Salic Law against Witchcraft

93

Amulets and Charms of the Middle Ages

95

Magic of Scandinavia .

97

The Magic of the Laplanders

99

Pigmies, etc.

107

Magic of the Middle Ages .

115

COS^TENTS.

Witch-prosecutions

Good and Evil Spirits

The Early Christian Belief in Demons . Sti-xiggle of Christianity and Heathenism .

Witch ^Metamorphoses

The Devil of the Fifteenth Centmy Witch Persecution of the Fifteenth Century

The Sorcery-bull of Pope Innocent

True Knowledge the Opponent of Witchcraft

Witch Trials

Tlie Cooking-witches

Witch Mountains of Europe

Magic Herbs, Trees, &c. Superstitions

The Heahng Ai-t .

Sympathetic Superstition?

Sympathetic Cures Pins and Needles

Laughing-fits

White Magic and Truth

Mystic DocTRI^-ES, a^d EycEATorES after a Philosophicai.

ELUCIDATIOy OF THE 3IaGIC OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

Theophrastus Paracelsus

Paracelsus on the Magnet Baptista Van Helmont Heniy Cornelius Agrippa

Eobert Fludd

M. Maxwell

Valentine Greatrakes

Richter of Stoyen, etc.

Athanasius Kircher

Tenzel Wirdig

Gassner

Gassner and his Patients Count Gagliostro Emanuel S«-edenborg. On Divine Providence, etc. On the Planets

Jacob Bohme

On the New Man

On God and His Manifestation, etc.

On the Sun, etc.

On tlie Constellations

On the Four Elements

On the Nature of Man after the Fall

On God in the Soul

On the Infection of the Soul

Animal Magnetism

CONTE>'TS.

VU

APPENDIX

SELECTED FROM VARIOUS SOURCES BY MARY HOWITT.

ArPAEITIONS.

PAGE

The Konigsberg Professor (S/r/i/s bffore Deed//)

 

.

.

Dr. Scott and the Title-deed (Do.)

 

.

.

Lady Pennyman

and Mrs. Atkins (Do.)

 

.

.

The Storj of Sir Charles Lee's Daughter (Deinonoioghi)

Dorothy Dingley (Sic/as before Death) .

 

.

.

Lord Tyrone (Do.)

.

.

.

.

Two Apparitions to Mr. William Lilly (Do.)

 

.

.

Mr. Booty and the Ship's Crew (Do.)

 

.

.

Apparition of Edward Ayon to Thomas Goddard (Do.)

.

The Dutchman -who could see Ghosts (GlanvU)

.

Sir John Sherbroke and General Wynyard (Si(/}is before Death)

Miss Pringle (Do.) Samuel Wallace (Noct"rnal Revels)

.

.

"

.

.

Dr. and Mrs. Donne (Signs before Death) .

Ghost Stories

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

,

343

345

351

356

358

363

369

373

374

378

380

884

385

387

.518

HArxTED HorsES.

*

House of the Wesleys (Si/j/ns before Death)

The Drummer of Tedworth (Do.)

Haunted House at Bow {Glanvil)

Mr. Jermin's Story (Do.)

.

.

.

.

.

388

.396

407

409

DeeIms.

Remarkable Dream

412

414

.416

Remarkable Dream by the Rey. J. Wilkins (Signs before Death) ^Yl

of Dr. Doddridge

.

410

Dream of Xicholas Wootton (/r^w/^^'^ /fo/^^/^/-,y)

Captain Rogers, R.N. (Signs before Death) . William Howitt's Dream .

.

.

.

.

.

   

.

"

419

 

.

.

Dream of Lord Lyttleton (Do.) Dream of a Gentleman at Prague (Wanleg's Wonders)

 

421

Second Sight.

 

J \/

Circumstances related by J. Griffiths (Carnbrian Superstitions)

424

^^

Zschokke (Truths in Popular Superstitions) .

425

 

.

 

'

Occurrence in the Family of Dr. Ferrier (Signs before Death)

 

428

Teance and Somnambulism.

 
 

Trance of the Rev. W. Tennant (Early Hist, of Massachusetts)

429

The Rochester Apparition (Signs before Death) .

 

.

433

The Fakeer Buried Aliye at Lahore (Braid on Trance)

 

437

Kgo?,i\nQ^o?,Vivi (JVanleg's Wonders)

.

.

.

440

Ecstasy.

 

Tlie Sleeping Preacher (Earlg History of Massachusetts)

 

442

1589

Till

Peedictioxs.

CONTENTS.

A Curious Prediction {Neics from the Invisihle JForlrT)

Dryden and his Son's Nativity ( Watileys Wonders)

DlTINATIOIT. Artificial and Natural Divination {Demonologia) .

Divining Eod {Truths in Popular Snperstitmis)

WlTCHCEAFT.

 

PAGE

 

.

445

.

450

 

.

452

.

461

Story of the Lady Alice Kyteler {Narratives of Sorcery and Magic) 464

African Witches {Thaumaturgia)

.

.

475

Vampiees.

Account of a Tarnpire, taken from the Jewish Letters

 

{Phantom World)

479

Amflets a>'d Chaems

Naecotics

Faieies

.

.

,

Spieituax MA^-IFESTATlu^::.

Preaching Epidemic and Sakm AVitchcraft

.

,

.

4S3

488

489

492

THE

HISTOEY OF MAGIC.

PAET II.

ON MAGIC IN MYTHOLOGY.

As we now have made ourselves acquainted with a num-

ber of the historical facts regarding magic amongst the

Greeks and Eomans, we may be allowed to cast a critical

glance backwards on the mythical ground of the same, in

order to justify certain assertions made above,namely,

that the Grrecian mythology is throughout of a magical

character ; that in Anthropomorphism the power of nature

is symbolised ; that magic reflects itself in the mythology,

and in the highest antiquity was a kind of natural philosophy. If the mysteries themselves have remained unsolved riddles,

so that we only in a fragmentary and indirect manner can

determine the inner proceedings and real nature of them

from facts, indications, and signs that have become known,

it is clear that all attempts at explanation now must be

merely hypothetical. The following hypotheses may, there- fore, be allowed, which really spring entirely from the

regular basis of mythological facts. Sloreover, their pro-

bability does not rest on wholly vacillating supports, for

they do not lean on invention, but on natural phenomena, which the most ancient mythology has wrapped in symbols, and which in the present times are corroborated by magnetic

experiences.

YOL. II.

h<

B

Z HISTOET OF MAGIC.

In the first place, the question will require answering,

whether mythology be not perhaps a misunderstood natural

that at least a great portion of those poetic

enigmas may have rested originally on views of natural philosophy. K this were the case, then magic and the heal- ing art under it would be things also to be understood. What evidences are discoverable of magical cures, or the

magnetic healing art in mythology ? That would be the

second question, the proper subject of the following observa-

science, so

tions, which many may regard as strange, and for which a

In the mean-

con\'incing evidence may not be producible.

time they touch on many truths which rest on natural phi-

losophy, and are calculated to clear up many dark particulars of physical and spiritual life.

" If any one exerts himself to introduce, through natural

science, useful things for common life, he may with prudence

calculate confidently on general approbation. But when any one is disposed to regard the new light acquired by

natural science as Promethean light, and endeavours to avail

himself of it in this sense to light up the dark corners of

our planet, truly the matter is not so easy as lighting up a

dark mine, that is, with a Davy-lamp ; and the experiment is

not so readily accomplishable. In the meantime, history shows us, by splendid examples, that the question is not an impossible thing ; and it shows, to say the least, little penetration and historical knowledge, when any

on matters

which ought to be calmly weighed, that they are empty

and impracticable speculations."J. S. C. Schweigger, In- troduction to Mythology through Natural History, Halle,

1836.

one pronounces

in

a light gossiping tone

If mythology must be taken literally as it stands, and as

it usually is taken, then it is an extraordinary fabulous pro- duction, both as to its contents and its origin. To philology

it is the perpetual and unravelled knot in which all its fine

roots lie hidden, and out of which all the branches and

blossoms shoot downwards, in order to sensualise the divine

and natural attributes of things.

To poetry it is the in-

exhaustible source whence the imagination draws her images and pictures of the physical and spiritual world. For re-

ligion mythology is a chaos, through which still the dimmed

ITATUEAL SCIENCE THE OEIGIi!f OF MTTHOLOGT.

3

rays of the suu of the true knowledge of Grod, which went

down in the deluge, faintly gleam, while she is sensible of a cosmic process at work in it, by which gradually in a

mythologic purification the true god-man raises himself,

and comes forth as in sublimation.

upon mythology as that so easily assigned fact, but seek to penetrate behind that fact itself, and to fathom the origin of things there, we then, probably, shaR seize the right clue

and arrive at the true issue.

Is mythology an accidentalworkof an indolent and playful

If, now, we do not look

invention, or is it a necessary development of an instinctive law of nature, a half-conscious infantine speech of actuality

advancing through the dark labyrinth of spiritual life ? Is

the fundamental principle of action the creative imagination, or is it the force of the feelings and of the religious mind which therein symbolises poetical or religious ideas ? Are

the symbols and signs something springing up accidentally,

or an arbitrary work of man ; or are they the orginal bearers and interpreters of necessary powers, whicli are only so far

mysterious as we have lost the key to the symbolic explana-

In short, take the matter as we may, we

cannot by all the known paths arrive at a satisfactory con-

clusion.

from two sides, the poetic and religious.

Shall, then, the

Spiritual life is invariably only to be comprehended

tion of the facts ?

knowledge of nature and of spiritual power, which is derived

from experience, find no place ?

How if we should ascribe

to mythology a scientific foundation and substance ? How,

of what kind, and whence ought the theory and the princi-

ple to be looked for ?

" The real contents of mythology are pre-eminently derived

from natural history, and the origin of the myths is one of physical symbolic language founded on a natural necessity."

This is perhaps the result of the inquiries of Schweigger in

the work referred to, and in his history of the physics of the remotest antiquity, as well as in many treatises in his

Tear-books of Chemistry and Physics, especially for the

year 1826.

Schweigger has shown that a lost natural philosophy of

antiquity was connected with the most important religious

opinions, and that it had, through that means, the greatest

influence on art and poetry. According to our fundamental

4

HISTORY or MAGTC.

ideas on the essential characteristics, on the natural laws

and development of spiritual strength, given already in our introduction, there can be no existing revelations for one

special language, for poetry and religion, as isolated.

The

human soul is an indivisible unity of spiritual powers.

The

sense, which in subjective feeling and representation unfolds

itself within, comprehends the external objective world, which the understanding and the mind in self-consciousness

again shape into a unity; from which, on the other hand, the

subjective impulse and conception in the will come forth

again objective in revelation. The operations of the under- standing and condition of the will are, according to the

different reception by the senses of objective things, and

according to the individual constitution, more or less palpable,

and the will brings the substance of the operations to the

Xow, what must man originally have had for

revelation.

objects of physical contemplation, except Nature herself, in

which he so wholly, body and soul, was placed ?

The im-

mediate ideal contemplations of Grod, to which the outer

senses are not adapted, we shall here leave quite unnoticed,

for we are speaking not of man in Paradise, but of fallen

human nature : and the circumstances of art must first be

attended to. The original representations must, therefore, have certainly been images of natural objects, and the feelings

connected with them must consist of pleasure or pain, which

would necessarily determine the objective attraction and re-

pulsion of the spectator of them. That in young humanity the representations should be brilliant, and the feeling lively,

is a natural consequence ; and thence the combinations of

such images would be influenced more by a fugitive fantasy tlian by tranquil reason : and this prevailing ascendancy of

tie imagination over the understanding is strikingly obvious

in the ancient mythologies.

reflection, and came afterwards.

Theories were the business of

Schweigger, in the works referred to, has in the amplest manner placed side by side the historical evidences in favour

of the philosophical, Eesthetic, and artistic views, with the

physical comprehension of the myths, to which I must refer

I shall here, supported by these inquiries and

other sources, endeavour to show that ma^ic in the primeval agesthat is, before the so-called historical periodwas

the reader.

GREEK AND GEEMAT?^ MYTHOLOGY.

5

contained in the mysteries, and that the greater portion of

those poetical enigmas in the mythology rested, in fact, on

views of natural science. The most ancient monuments of the East and of the

G-reeks point to deeper contemplations of nature. The ima-

gination of the poets took out of these the material for their

serious as well as their sportive images, and therefore the true poet is actually styled by Plato, the teacher of the

present and the future ; whence the Pythian madness is of

more value than the human rationality which is so highly

lauded ; since in these the most eloquent echoes of the past, and anticipating notes of the future, make themselves

heard.

But is the myth equally a poem ; and is it, therefore, equally empty and fictitious ? To such a conclusion one

might easily be led if we received the mythology merely from Homer and the historic times. But the ground and substance of mythology lie far beyond Homer, w^hom an-

tiquity represents expressively by the phrase of " the wise poet," and as an old man, who, not only exalted above the

fleeting youth of frivolity, but over the understanding of

the man engaged in the affairs of the world, speaks wisdom, drawing from the past knowledge at once for the present and the future. In the language of Homer all the pe- culiarities of the age of man and the innocence of the child

are expressed,as the fire of youth, the vigour of man, and the calm reflection of the grey-haired sage ; and there also are reflected in his poems the saga of the people and the doctrines of the ancient mysteries ; so that the mythology

is to be regarded as a code of natural philosophy, and of re-

ligious and poetical contemplations, in which natural science,

or rather the objective and religious relations, furnish the material, and the poetical the form,which form Homer first

presented to the public in so beautiful and unrivalled a

manner. Herodotus himself says that Homer and Hesiod

have given the genealogy of the gods, have attributed to

them names, honours, and arts, and have described their

Herodotus gives his view of them merely as an indi-

forms.

vidual, steering clear of the teaching of the priests : for tlie

priests of Dodona drew the names of the gods from Egypr,

there being origiuall\' in Grreece only one nameless gud

6

HISTOET or MAGIC.

'^vorshipped. Such were the foundations of the myths, which

Herodotus corroborates, only ascribing their fuller develop-

ment and adornment to Homer and Hesiod.

But it is not merely the question of a Grrecian mythology :

every original race has its mythology ; the Indians, the Egyptians, the Scandinavians, and the Germans. Every where it stands prior to history, and possesses a universal internal resemblance, although the remaining means of under- standing these mythologies are greater or less in different

countries.

The German mythology, for instance, is of all

others the poorest and most circumscribed in the means of

demonstrating its original completeness. Grimm laments

this in his " German Mythology :" " Here on a dead

ground stand trees whose topmost boughs bear green leaves ;

there the ground is still verdant below, but all the trees are dried up. Seldom are we able to call up to us shapes from the far distant twilight into sufficient distinctness to be

But as the imagi-

able to recognise and describe them."

nation originally embodied objective things and expressive

the

signs and symbols, which is its essential function,

myths have everywhere sprung out of the symbolising,

poetical fantasy, and were not first invented by Homer and

Hesiod and their age. Mythology originated in a necessity

of nature, and in accordance with ideas which nations enter-

tained of the world, and with the spirit of their language.

Very beautifully and instructively does Creuzer describe

symbolic poetry : although it was by no means his object to represent natural philosophy as the fundamental basis of

mythology, yet he really expresses this clearly in his " Intro-

duction to his Symbolism and Mythology," and which we

may quote as tending to elucidate what follows :

" The imaginative compositions and the religions of the

nations," he says (Moser's Abridgment, 1822, p, 22), "lie

as a fact at the bottom of the general life of things, without any separation of the spiritual and the bodily. This mode

of thinking everywhere acknowledges the living and the

human from an inward impulse. Man is to "himself the centre of the world, and from all the regions of nature life

and character reflect themselves back upon him.

The

perspicuity and figurativeness of writing and of speaking, of thinking and inventing, which prevailed in antiquity, is

SYMBOLISM.

7

not to be looked upon as an arbitrary one, but as an abso-

lutely necessary mode of expression. Man, regarding him-

self as the centre of creation, thus sees himself in all nature,

and all nature in his nature. That which abstract reason

terms the

operative

power, was

to his view

a person.

What we call plastic is thus the impression of the form of

thought to which antiquity was addicted, and which the

more timid spirit of an educated age cannot altogether

withdraw itself from.

The old religions lie before us as

the memorials of those plastic times whose fundamental cha-

racter reposes on the creative strength of personification.

The elements of nature spoke to man, and she became tangi- ble to him through joy and pain ; she expressed to him her sensations in speaking images. That mode of expression

brings many characteristics into the focus of a single phrase, which she at once imprints upon the soul, and completes

the intuition at a blow.

The essential characteristics of

symbolism are a hovering and undeterminateness between

being and form ; the simple light of an idea is in a symbol

laid in a coloured ray of signification.

This signification,

however, arises from the exuberance of the meaning in com-

parison with the expression.

The meaning must be clear

that which is to be expressed must be expressed positively.

The comprehensive power of symbols is closely connected

with their conciseness, which is only expressive when it is

poignant,when it bursts on us like a flash of lightning,

and opens a view into a boundless distance. But only the

most important things can be significantthat which origi-

nates in the mystery of our being, that which fills and agi-

tates our life ; and therefore the ancients were observant

of the divine intimations in momentous crises of life ; and the embodiment of these they called symbols.

" The strictly symbolical confines itself to the tender

middle line between spirit and nature ; within these bonds it can avail to render visible to a certain degree even the divine, and is thus so highly expressive. It obeys Nature,

merges itself into her form, and animates it ; the infinite

becomes human, and thus the strife between the two is at

an end.

of form united to the highest fullness ; and as the Grecian

sculpture has most perfectly expressed this, we may call it the

That is the divine symbolism ; that is the beauty

S HISTOEY or MAGIC.

plastic symbolism.

we may also style the symbolic language of nature ; for symbols are only a reminiscence of that which speaks to

man as an unalterable law of nature: it consecrates the works of man to eternity by reminding us of the eternal course of nature.

The character of necessity in symbols

" But the Greeks, besides art, knew an expression of

higher knowledge of the secret doctrine, which contains the

significationthe symbol in the external of an embodied

enigma,

a^viyjxa.

Therein especially consists the temple

Sjnnbolism of Greece and Eome.

When the clearness

of the scene is wholly annihilated, and only the astonishment

remains, so that a certain religious instruction is implied, the symbolism is still more enigmatical, and the key to the

mystery is in many cases lost.

The symbol is always an

embodied idea, allegory only a general conception ; whence

the mythos comprehends this, but not the symbol, since in it

is a momentary totality,in the allegory an advance through

The myth unfolds itself best in an

a series of moments.

epos, and endeavours only in Theomythos to compress itself into symbolism. In allegory is freedom ; in symbolism the

necessity of nature,both of which conceal a truth."

In the farther observation of the genesis of mythos (p. 31, f.) he speaks of the historical myth, which ordained

festivals, &c. to distinguished benefactors, as sons of the

gods, in gratitude for their services, and then proceeds :

" Physical occasions for the origination of a myth were

probably frequent : the character or the strength of a

beast, the peculiar form or properties of a natural body, and

the explanation of these things, propagated itself,