Human Animals Part 32

Salamanders have been seen in the shapes of fiery balls, or tongues of fire running over the fields or appearing in houses. Nymphs have been known to adopt the human shape, clothing, and manner, and to enter into a union with man. The Undines appear to man but not man to them.

They may meet him on the physical plane, marry him and keep house with him and the children will be human beings and not Undines, because they receive a human soul from the man. If an Undine becomes united to man she will thereby receive the germ of immortality. As an Undine without her union with man dies like an animal, likewise man is like an animal if he severs his union with God. If any man has a Nymph for a wife, let him take care not to offend her while she is near the water, as in such case she might return to her own element.

The Sirens are merely a kind of monstrous fish, and are related to the Undines much as giant and dwarf monsters are related to the Sylvestres and Gnomes. The monsters have no spiritual souls and are comparable to monkeys rather than to human beings.

Such creatures seem almost too elusive to be labelled as human-animals, but the description given of them by the great occultist at least opens the mind to the possibilities of classifying beings not defined by material limitations or by animal senses. Of this character are the spirits or elementals called up in strange, and sometimes even gruesome, animal form by magicians when at work casting spells.


[173] "The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali." Translated by Manilal Nabhubhai Dvivedi, 1890, p. 66.

[174] _Ibid._, p. 56.

[175] _Ibid._, p. 71 and pp. 73-4.

[176] "The Secret Doctrine," Vol. II, p. 247.

[177] _Ibid._, 1897, Vol. III, pp. 524-6.

[178] _Ibid._, 1888, Vol. II, pp. 262-3.

[179] "The Sacred Books of the East," ed. by F. Max Muller, 1880, The Institutes of Vishnu, Vol. VII, pp. 144-5.

[180] "Mysteries of Magic," 1897, pp. 233-4.

[181] _Ibid._, pp. 237-40.

[182] "De Lunaticus."

[183] Hartmann, F., "Life of Paracelsus and Substance of his Teaching," 1896, pp. 60-2.

[184] _Ibid._, p. 62.



To call up demons the magician takes certain steps by which he puts himself into the right frame of mind, and by which he also ensures means of protection against harmful magical powers which he may bring into play.

He first draws a magical circle, of different character according to the time of the year, the order of the spirits desired, the day, the hour, and so forth. Three circles about nine feet in diameter with the space of a hand's breadth between them is one method, certain signs and written particulars being made within each circle. It is then necessary to bless and consecrate the work, and after nine days'

preparation, being provided with holy water, perfumes, salves, and ointments, a fine white linen garb of a certain shape; having drawn the pentacle of Solomon upon parchment in which to bind unruly evil spirits and having recited certain magical incantations, exorcisms, and prayers, he is ready and prepared for the appearance of the spirits he desires to consult for purposes of obtaining knowledge on various things that concern him and his destiny.

Books on ceremonial magic explain how it is possible to call up demons in the shape of beasts. "According to their various capacities in wickedness," says Reginald Scott, "so these shapes are answerable after a magical manner; resembling spiritually some horrid and ugly monsters, as their conspiracies against the power of God were high and monstrous, when they fell from heaven."[185]

Devils that belong to the supreme hierarchy, when they are called up by magicians, at first appear in the form of lions, vomiting fire and roaring hideously about the circle. Then they convert themselves into serpents, monkeys, and other animals. After the conjuration is repeated, they forsake these bestial shapes and gradually become more and more human, appearing at last after frequent repetition of ceremony, as men of gentle countenance and behaviour.

Demons from the two next orders of the infernal regions represent the beautiful colours of birds and beasts as leopards, tigers, peacocks, and so forth. By conjurations these also may be induced to take on human shape. Some, however, can hardly be conjured to desert their monstrous forms and continue to exhibit to the exorcist a pair of crocodile jaws or a lion's paw "with other dreadful menaces, enough to terrify any novice from such damnable injunctions as the practice of magic."

Such devils as Astaroth, Lucifer, Bardon, and Pownok, continues Scott, who incline men and instigate them to pride and presumptuousness, have the shapes of horses, lions, tigers, or wolves. Those that instigate lust and covetousness appear in the form of hogs, serpents, and other envious reptiles or beasts, such as dogs, cats, vultures or snakes.

Those who bend men's thoughts to murder, have the shape of birds or beasts of prey. More tolerable are those qualified to answer questions about philosophy and religion when called up, they seem almost human, but have crooked noses like mermaids or satyrs. Such evil spirits as have a predilection towards inducing mixed vices are not of distinct shape like one single beast, but are compound monsters with serpent tails, four eyes, many feet and horns and so on.

In Barrett's "Magus or Celestial Intelligencer,"[186] the author gives the Key to Ceremonial Magic with Conjurations for every day in the week--to be used in calling up familiars and spirits. Many of these appear in animal form, namely, as a cow, a small doe, a goose, and many others.

The familiar forms of the spirits of Mars, according to Barrett,[187]

"appear in a tall body and choleric, having a filthy countenance, of colour brown, swarthy, or red, having horns like harts, and griffins'

claws and bellowing like wild bulls." Sometimes they take the shape of a she-goat, a horse, or a stag. The spirits of Mercury are more affable and human, though they cause horror and fear to those that call them. Sometimes they appear as a dog, a she-bear, or a magpie.

When the familiar forms of the spirits of Jupiter are called, there will appear about the circle men who shall seem to be devoured by lions, and the demons may take the shape of bulls, stags, or peacocks.

On Friday, for instance, the conjuration may bring a camel, a dove, or a she-goat, on Saturday a hog, a dragon, or an owl, but it must always be borne in mind that apparitions in human shape exceed in authority and power those that come as animals.

The raising of ghosts by fumes is discussed by Cornelius Agrippa.[188]

"If Coriander, Smallage, henbane, and hemlock be made a fume, spirits will presently come together, hence they are called the spirit herbs.

Also it is said that a fume made of the root of herb sagapen with the juice of hemlock and henbane, and the herb tapsus barbatus, red sanders and black poppy makes spirits and strange shapes appear.

"Moreover, it is said that by certain fumes certain animals are gathered together, and put to flight, as Pliny mentions concerning the stone Leparis, that with the fumes thereof all beasts are called out; so the bones in the upper part of the throat of a hart, being burnt, gather all the serpents together, but the horn of the hart being burnt doth with its fume chase them all away. The same doth a fume of the feathers of peacocks."

"Hags and goblins," says Agrippa, "inoffensive to them that are good, but hurtful to the wicked, appear sometimes in thinner bodies, another time in grosser, in the shape of divers animals and monsters whose conditions they had in their lifetime.

"Then divers forms and shapes of brute appear, For he becomes a tiger, swine, and bear, A scaly dragon and a lioness, Or doth from fire a dreadful noise express, He doth transmute himself to divers looks, To fire, wild beasts, and into running brooks.

"For the impure soul of man, who in this life contracted too great a habit to its body, doth by a certain inward affection of the elemental body frame another body to itself of the vapours of the elements, refreshing as it were from an easy matter as it were with a suck that body which is continually vanishing...."

These souls sometimes do inhabit not these kind of bodies only, but by a too great affection of flesh and blood transmute themselves into other animals, and seize upon the bodies of creeping things, and brutes, entering into them what kind soever they be of, possessing them like demons.

Such herbs as belladonna, aconite, parsley, poplar leaves, and drugs like opium, hyoscyamine and other ingredients, as the blood of the bat, were used among other strange ingredients for making the ointments, which were rubbed upon the skin until it reddened with the friction. This had the effect of making the recipient believe he was being transported through the air, and as the ingredients mounted more and more to his brain, he was filled with imaginary visions of lovely gardens, and forests, banquets, music, and dancing, probably also less pleasant ideas of devils and mocking ghoulish faces.

Perfumes too had strange effects in producing states of exaltation or trance.

Mexican priests rubbed the body with a pomade or salve to which they attributed magical virtues, and at night they wandered in the forests without fear of wild beasts, but not necessarily believing they had been transformed, yet the idea of metamorphosis can surely be regarded as a possible hypothesis when it is remembered that Man's body is composed fundamentally of the same substances as the bodies of animals, that the same elements murmur in the waters, rush in the winds and form the insensate soil of the earth, that the cells in the human being are not essentially different in composition or structure from the cells in the bodies of animals, that all cells are formed primarily of protoplasm, a compound of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, and that scientists have already solved the problem of separating matter into electrons, and of measuring vibrations even to the million and trillion per infinitesimal division of time. Is it to be wondered at that in investigating such theories strange results have been obtained and curious sights and sounds have been seen and heard by the student?

The Chaldeans, who were among the world's greatest magicians, like the Egyptians, represented demons under such monstrous forms, with combined human and animal characteristics, that it was thought sufficient to show them their own image to cause them to flee away in alarm. One such specimen, for instance, had the body of a dog, the feet of an eagle, the claws of a lion, the tail of a scorpion, the head of a skeleton but half decayed, and adorned with goats' horns and the eyes still remaining, and four great expanded wings. Such hideous forms, borrowed as they were from the most different animals as well as from man, were thought to have the characteristic features of the first rudimentary beings born in the darkness of chaos. The magical documents of the day throw light upon the interpretation of these uncanny monsters. They undoubtedly were possessed of a talismanic character and were intended to avert fatal influences, on the principle that an image has the same value as an incantation, and like it, acts in a direct manner on wicked spirits.

Winged bulls with human heads which flanked the entrance gates to palaces were thought to be genii which kept real guard for the whole time that their images dwelt there without disturbance. Expressive of this was the ancient inscription:

May the guardian bull, the guardian genius, who protects the strength of my throne, always preserve my name in joy and honour until his feet move themselves from their place.

In one of the magnificent palaces at Nineveh enormous figures are represented having the body of a man, the head of a lion and the feet of an eagle. These were arranged in groups of two figures fighting with daggers and clubs. Sometimes the groups represent the struggle of gods against malevolent spirits. Occasionally the gods were depicted wrestling with one or many bulls or bull-headed men whom they assail with swords. Demons of this character, called Telal by the Accadians and Gallu by the Assyrians were believed to be particularly harmful to man. The following fragment of a conjuration applies to a struggle of two persons combating two bulls, or creatures which are half-men, half-bulls.

Telal, the bull which pierces, the very strong bull, the bull which passes through dwellings, (It is) the indomitable Telal, there are seven of them They obey no commands, They devastate the country They know no order, They watch men, They devour flesh; they make blood flow; they drink blood; They injure the images of the gods; They are the Telal which multiply hostile lies, Which feed on blood, which are immovable.

In ancient Egypt incantations and exorcisms were used in order to protect the departing soul of man from malevolent beasts and also to keep the body from becoming, during its separation from the soul, the prey of some wicked spirit which might enter, reanimate, and cause it to rise again in the form of a vampire.

The following formula has been translated by M. Chabas:--

O sheep, son of a sheep! lamb, son of a sheep, that suckest the milk of thy mother the sheep, do not allow the deceased to be bitten by any serpent, male or female, by any scorpion, by any reptile; do not allow their venom to overpower his members. May no deceased male or female penetrate to him! May the shadow of no spirit haunt him! May the mouth of the serpent have no power over him! He, _he is the sheep_!

Chapter end

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