Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Paracelsus (From Eliphas Levi -- The History Of Magic)

Quentin Massys, Portrait of Paracelsus, 1528, Oil on panel, Louvre, Paris 

        Let us pass to another maniac who was called Theophrastus Aureolus Bombast and was known in the World of Magic under the famous name of Paracelsus. [1]  

Let both the said pieces of Money be engraven only on one side, in the hour of the said conjunction of Mercury and Mars; and let them be so kept, that they touch not one another. The right-hand Lamen (or coin, medallion) seems to represent Mars piercing Venus.

       There is no need to recapitulate what has been said concerning this master in our Doctrine and Ritual of Transcendental Magic, but something may be added on the occult medicine restored by Paracelsus.  This truly universal medicine is based on a spacious theory of light, called by adepts fluid or potable gold.

Potable Gold


       Light, that creative agent, the vibrations of which are the movement and light of all things; light, latent in the universal ether, radiating about absorbing centres, which, being saturated thereby, project movement and light in their turn, so forming creative currents; light, astralised in the stars, animalized in animals, humanized in human beings; light, which vegetates in plants, glistens in metals, produces all forms of nature and equilibrates all by the laws of universal sympathy – this is that light which exhibits the phenomena of magnetism, divined by Paracelsus, which tinctures the blood, being released from the air as it is inhaled and discharged by the hermetic bellows of the lungs.

"The stubble on my chin knows more than you and all your scribes, my shoe buckles are more learned than your Galen and Avicenna, and my beard has more experience than all your high colleges!"  

-- Paracelsus, Der grossen Wundartzney (The Great Surgery), Augsburg, 1536. (Roderick Bowen Library and Archives, University of Wales).

       The blood then becomes a true elixir of life, wherein ruby and magnetic globules of vital light float in a slightly gilded fluid. These globules are actual seeds, ready to assume all forms of that world whereof the human body is an abridgement.  They can become rarefied and coagulated, so renewing the humours which circulate in the nerves and in the flesh encompassing the bones.  They radiate outside, or rather, in rarefying, they are drawn by the currents of light and circulate in the astral body – that interior and luminous body which is dilated by the imagination of ecstatic, so that their blood sometimes colours objects at a distance when these have been penetrated and identified with the astral body.  

       In a special work on occult medicine that which is stated here will be proved, however strange and paradoxical it may seem at first sight to men of science. Such were the bases of medicine as put forward by Paracelsus.

-- Eliphas Levi, The History of Magic (Including A Clear And Precise Exposition Of Its Procedure, Its Rites And Its Mysteries), 1860 (translated by A.E. Waite, 1913)

[1]  Paracelsus (born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 11 November or 17 December 1493 – 24 September 1541) was a Swiss Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist.  "Paracelsus," meaning "equal to or greater than Celsus," refers to the Roman encyclopedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus from the 1st century, known for his tract on medicine. He is also credited for giving zinc its name, calling it zincum, and is regarded as the first systematic botanist.


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