Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wherefore they do often meet children, women, and poor and mean men.

And in Philostratus we read, when Apollonius and his companions were travelling in a bright Moon-shining night, that the Phantasme of a Hagge met them, and some times changed it self into this shape, & some times into that, and some times vanished out of their sight. Now assoon as Apollonius knew what it was, grievously reviling it advised his companions to do the like: for he knew that that was the best remedy against such invasions. His companions did as he advised, and the Phantasme presently with a noise vanished away like a shadow: For so fearfull is this kind of spirits, that they are moved, tremble, and are compelled by a feigned terrour, and false and impossible threats. Whence Chereon the holy scribe saith that these are those things by which especially the spirits are compelled. There is moreover as hath been above said, a certain kind of spirits not so noxious, but most neer to men, so that they are even affected with humane passions, and many of these delight in mans society, and willingly dwell with them: Some of them dote upon women, some upon children, some are delighted in the company of divers domestick and wild animals, some inhabit Woods and Parks, some dwell about fountains and meadows. So the Fairies, and hobgoblins inhabit Champian fields; the Naiades fountains: the Potamides Rivers; the Nymphs marshes, and ponds: the Oreades mountains; the Humedes Meadows; the Dryades and Hamadryades the Woods, which also Satyrs and Sylvani inhabit, the same also take delight in trees and brakes, as do the Naptæ, and Agaptæ in flowers; the Dodonæ in Acorns; the Paleæ and Feniliæ in fodder and the Country. He therefore that will call upon them, may easily doe it in the places where their abode is, by alluring them with sweet fumes, with pleasant sounds, and by such instruments as are made of the guts of certain animals and peculiar wood, adding songs, verses, inchantments sutable [enchantments suitable] to it, and that which is especially to be observed in this, the singleness of the wit, innocency of the mind, a firm credulity, and constant silence; wherefore they do often meet children, women, and poor and mean men. They are afraid of and flie from men of a constant, bold, and undaunted mind, being no way offensive to good and pure men, but to wicked and impure, noxious. of this kind are hobgoblins, familiars, and ghosts of dead men. Hence Plotinus saith, that the souls of men are sometimes made spirits: and of men well deserving are made familiars which the Greeks call Eudemons, i.e. blessed spirits: but of ill deserving men, hags, and hobgoblins, which the Greeks call Cacodemons, i.e. Evil spirits; But they may be called ghosts when it is uncertain whether they have deserved well or ill. Of these apparitions there are divers examples; such was that which Pliny the Junior makes mention of concerning the house of Athenodorus the Philosopher of Tharsis in which there appeared with a sudden horrible noise the ghost of an old man. And Philostratus tels of the like of a hag of Menippus Lycius the Philosopher turned into a beautifull woman of Corinth, whom Tyaneus Apollonius took to be a hobgoblin; the same at Ephesus, the like in the shape of an old beggar who was the cause of the pestilence, who therefore being by his command stoned, there appeared a mastive [mastiff] dog, and presently the pestilence ceased. We must know this that whosoever shall intellectually work in evil spirits, shall by the power of good spirits bind them; but he that shall work only worldlily, shall work to himself judgement and damnation.
- Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Of Occult Philosophy, Book III (Part 3).
 I couldn't decide on which sentences I liked best. So, you get the whole section sampled.

Thanks to Ms. Krasskova and Sannion for having me on the Wyrd Ways Radio podcast tonight. I had a lot of fun.

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