Historical Reprints Thaumaturgia: Elucidations of the Marvellous

Thaumaturgia: Elucidations of the Marvellous

Thaumaturgia: Elucidations of the Marvellous
Catalog # SKU1161
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Oxonian
 
$18.95
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Description

Thaumaturgia
or
Elucidations of the Marvellous.

by An Oxonian
(1835)


Thaumaturgia, the study of the working of miracles when the work is abstruse, anagogic, arcane, cabalistic, cryptic, enigmatical, esoteric, hidden, imaginary, impenetrable, inscrutable, magic, magical, metaphysical, mysterial, mysterious, mystical, necromantic, nonrational, numinous, occult, otherworldly, paranormal, preternatural, quixotic, sorcerous, spiritual, supernatural, telestic, transcendental, unaccountable, unknowable, visionary, witchlike, wizardly -- Thaumaturgia is a rarely used word, unfortunate since it encompasses so many concepts that healers and visionaries use, as well as preachers and charletans.

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

Children and old women have been accustomed to hear so many frightful things of the cloven-footed potentate, and have formed such diabolical ideas of his satanic majesty, exhibiting him in so many horrible and monstrous shapes, that really it were enough to frighten Beelzebub himself, were he by any accident to meet his prototype in the dark, dressed up in the several figures in which imagination has embodied him. And as regards men themselves, it might be presumed that the devil could not by any means terrify them half so much, were they actually to meet and converse with him face to face: so true it is that his satanic majesty is not near so black as he is painted.

However useful the undertaking might prove, to give a true history of this "tyrant of the air," this "God of the world," this "terror and overseer of mankind," it is not our intention to become the devil's biographer, notwithstanding the facility with which the materials might be collected. Of the devil's origin, and the first rise of his family, we have sufficient authority on record; and, as regards his dealings, he has certainly always acted in the dark; though many of his doings both moral, political, ecclesiastical, and empirical, have left such strong impressions behind them, as to mark their importance in some transactions, even at the present period of the christian world. These discussions, however, we shall leave in the hands of their respective champions, in order to take, as we proceed, a cursory view of some of the diableries with which mankind, in imitation of this great master, has been infected, from the first ages of the world.

The Greeks, and after them the Romans, conferred the appellation of Demon upon certain genii, or spirits, who made themselves visible to men with the intention of either serving them as friends, or doing them an injury as enemies. The followers of Plato distinguished between their gods--or Dei Majorum Gentium; their demons, or those beings which were not dissimilar in their general character to the good and bad angels of Christian belief,--and their heroes. The Jews and the early christians restricted the name of Demon to beings of a malignant nature, or to devils properly so called; and it is to the early notions entertained by this people, that the outlines of later systems of demonology are to be traced.

It is a question, we believe, not yet set at rest by the learned in these sort of matters, whether the word devil be singular or plural, that is to say, whether it be the name of a personage so called, standing by himself, or a noun of multitude. If it be singular, and used only personal as a proper name, it consequently implies one imperial devil, monarch or king of the whole clan of hell, justly distinguished by the term DEVIL, or as our northern neighbours call him "the muckle horned deil," and poetically, after Burns "auld Clootie, Nick, or Hornie," or, according to others, in a broader set form of speech, "the devil in hell," that is, the "devil of a devil," or in scriptural phraseology, the "great red dragon," the "Devil or Satan." But we shall not cavil on this mighty potentate's name; much less dispute his identity, notwithstanding the doubt that has been broached, whether the said devil be a real or an imaginary personage, in the shape, form, and with the faculties that have been so miraculously ascribed to him; for

If it should so fall out, as who can tell,
But there may be a God, a heav'n and hell?
Mankind had best consider well,--for fear
It be too late when their mistakes appear.

The devil has always, it would seem, been particularly partial to old women; the most ugly and hideous of whom he has invariably selected to do his bidding. Mother Shipton, for instance, our famous old English witch, of whom so many funny stories are still told, is evidently very much wronged in her picture, if she was not of the most terrible aspect imaginable; and, if it be true, Merlin, the famous Welch fortune-teller, was a most frightful figure. If we credit another story, he was begotten by "old nick" himself. To return, however, to the devil's agents being so infernally ugly, it need merely be remarked, that from time immemorial, he has invariably preferred such rational creatures as most belied the "human form divine."

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I.
DEMONOLOGY--
THE DEVIL, A MOST UNACCOUNTABLE PERSONAGE-
-WHO IS HE?-
HIS PREDILECTION FOR OLD WOMEN-
TRADITIONS CONCERNING EVIL SPIRITS, &C.

CHAPTER II.
MAGIC AND MAGICAL RITES, &C.
JEWISH MAGI.

CHAPTER III.
ON THE SEVERAL KINDS OF MAGIC.
AUGURY, OR DIVINATIONS DRAWN FROM THE FLIGHT AND FEEDING of BIRDS.
ARUSPICES, OR DIVINATIONS DRAWN FROM BRUTE, OR HUMAN SACRIFICES.
DIVISIONS OF DIVINATION BY THE ANCIENTS--PRODIGIES, ETC.

CHAPTER IV.
HISTORY OF ORACLES-
-THE PRINCIPAL ORACLES OF ANTIQUITY.
THE ORACLE of JUPITER HAMMON.
THE ORACLE OF DELPHOS, OR PYTHIAN APOLLO. CEREMONIES PRACTISED ON CONSULTING ORACLES.
ORACLES OFTEN EQUIVOCAL AND OBSCURE.
URIM AND THUMMIM.
REPUTATION OF ORACLES, HOW LOST.
CESSATION OF ORACLES.
HAD DEMONS ANY SHARE IN THE ORACLES?
OF ORACLES, THE ARTIFICES OF PRIESTS OF FALSE DIVINITIES.

CHAPTER V.
THE BRITISH DRUIDS, OR MAGI--ORIGIN OF FAIRIES --ANCIENT
SUPERSTITIONS-- --THEIR SKILL IN MEDECINE, &C.
THE BRITISH MAGI.

CHAPTER VI.
AESCULAPIAN MYSTERIES, &C.

CHAPTER VII.
INFERIOR DEITIES ATTENDING MANKIND PROM THEIR BIRTH TO THEIR DECEASE.

CHAPTER VIII.
JUDICIAL ASTROLOGY-- ITS CHEMICAL APPLICATION
TO THE PROLONGATION OF LIFE AND HEALTH- -ALCHYMICAL DELUSIONS.
CHAPTER IX.
ALCHYMICAL AND ASTROLOGICAL CHIMERA.
THE HOROSCOPE, A TALE OF THE STARS.
THE FATED PARRICIDE; AN ORIENTAL TALE OF THE STARS.
APPLICATION OF ASTROLOGY TO THE PROLONGATION OF LIFE, &C.
ADVERTISEMENT. SPRING,
SUMMER,
AUTUMN
OF THE WINTER QUARTER.

CHAPTER X.
ONEIROCRITICAL PRESENTMENT, ILLUSTRATING
THE CAUSE, EFFECTS, PRINCIPAL PHENOMENA,
AND DEFINITION OF DREAMS, ETC.
CAUSE OF DREAMS.
POETICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE EFFECTS
OF THE IMAGINATION IN DREAMS.
PRINCIPAL PHENOMENA IN DREAMING.
DEFINITION OF DREAMS.

CHAPTER XI.
ON INCUBATION; OR THE ART OF HEALING
BY VISIONARY DIVINATION.

CHAPTER XII.
ON AMULETS, CHARMS, TALISMANS,
PHILTERS, THEIR ORIGIN AND
IMAGINARY EFFICACY, ETC.
AMULETS USED BY THE COMMON PEOPLE.
ECCENTRICITIES, CAPRICES, AND EFFECTS, OF THE IMAGINATION.

CHAPTER XIII.
ON TALISMANS-- SOME CURIOUS, NATURAL ONES, ETC.

CHAPTER XIV.
ON THE MEDICINAL POWERS ATTRIBUTED TO
MUSIC BY THE ANCIENTS.

CHAPTER XV.
PRESAGES, PRODIGES, PRESENTIMENTS, ETC.

CHAPTER XVI.
PHENOMENA OF METEORS, OPTIC DELUSIONS, SPECTRA, ETC.

CHAPTER XVII.
ELUCIDATION OF SOME ANCIENT PRODIGIES.
MAGICAL PRETENSIONS OF CERTAIN HERBS, ETC.

CHAPTER XVIII.
THE PRACTICE OF OBEAH, OR NEGRO WITCHCRAFT
CHARMS-- THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF VEGETABLE
POISONS--SECRET POISONING.

CHAPTER XIX.
ON THE ORIGIN AND SUPERSTITIOUS INFLUENCE of RINGS.

CHAPTER XX.
CELESTIAL INFLUENCES--OMENS--CLIMACTERICS--
PREDOMINATIONS--LUCKY AND UNLUCKY DAYS -- EMPIRICS, &C.
ABSURDITIES OF PARACELSUS, AND VAN HELMONT.

CHAPTER XXI.
MODERN EMPIRICISM.
ON THE TRANSFUSION OF BLOOD
FROM ONE ANIMAL TO ANOTHER.

CHAPTER XXII.
THE ROSICRUCIANS OR THEOSOPHISTS.




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