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The Philosophy of Natural Magic, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, L. W. de Laurence ed. [1913], at


How We Shall Know What Stars Natural Things Are Under, and What Things Are Under the Sun, Which Are Called Solary.

Now it is very hard to know what Star or Sign every thing is under; yet it is known through the imitation of their rays, or motion, or figure of the superiors. Also some of them are known by their colors and odors; also some by the effects of their operations, answering to some Stars. So, then, Solary things, or things under the power of the Sun, are amongst Elements, the lucid flame; in the humors, the purer blood and spirit of life; amongst tastes, that which is quick, mixed with sweetness; amongst metals, gold, by reason of its splendor, and its receiving that from the Sun which makes it cordial; and amongst stones, they which resemble the rays of the Sun by their golden sparklings, as doth the glittering stone aetites, which hath power against the falling sickness and poisons. So also the stone which is called the Eye of the Sun, being of a figure like to the apple of the eye, from the middle whereof shines forth a ray; it comforts the brain and strengthens the sight. So the carbuncle, which shines by night, hath a virtue against all airy and vaporous poison. So the chrysolite stone, which is of a light green color, in which, when it is held against the Sun, there shines forth a golden star; and this comforts those parts that serve for breathing, and helps those that be asthmatical; and if it be bored through,

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and the hole filled with the mane of an ass, and bound to the left arm, it drives away idle imaginations and melancholy fears, and puts away foolishness. So the stone called iris, which is like crystal in color, being often found with six corners; when, under some roof, part of it is held against the rays of the Sun and the other part is held in the shadow, it gathers the rays of the Sun into itself, which, whilst it sends them forth, by way of reflection, makes a rainbow appear on the opposite wall. Also the stone heliotrope, green like the jasper or emerald, beset with red specks, makes a man constant, renowned and famous; also it conduceth to long life; and the virtue of it, indeed, is most wonderful upon the beams of the Sun, which it is said to turn into blood (i. e.), to appear of the color of blood, as if the Sun were eclipsed, viz., when it is joined to the juice of a herb of the same name, and be put into a vessel of water. There is also another virtue of it more wonderful, and that is upon the eyes of men, whose sight it doth so dim and dazzle that it doth not suffer him that carries it to see it, and this it doth not do without the help of the herb of the same name, which also is called heliotrope (i. e.), following the Sun. These virtues doth Albertus Magnus and William of Paris confirm in their writings. The stone hyacinth also hath a virtue from the Sun against poisons and pestiferous vapors; it makes him that carries it to be safe and acceptable; it conduceth also to riches and wit; it strengthens the heart; being held in the mouth it doth wonderfully cheer up the mind. Also there is the stone pyrophylus, of a red mixture, which Albertus Magnus saith Æsculapius makes mention of in one of his Epistles unto Octavius Augustus, saying that there is a certain poison so wonderfully cold, which preserves the heart of man (being taken out) from burning, so that if for any time it be put into the fire it is turned into a stone, and this is that

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stone which is called pyrophylus, from the fire. It hath a wonderful virtue against poison, and it makes him that carries it to be renowned and dreadful to his enemies. But, above all, that stone is most Solary which Apollonius is reported to have found, and which is called pantaura, which draws other stones to it, as the loadstone doth iron, and is most powerful against all poisons. It is called by some pantherus, because it is spotted like the beast called the panther. It is therefore also called pantochras, because it contains all colors, and Aaron calls it evanthum. There are also other Solary stones, as the topazius, chrysopassus, the rubine, and balagius. So also is auripigmentum, and things of a golden color and very lucid.

Amongst plants, also, and trees, those are Solary which turn towards the Sun, as the marigold, and those which fold in their leaves when the Sun is near upon setting, but when it riseth unfold their leaves by little and little. The lote-tree also is Solary, as is manifest by the figure of the fruit and leaves. So is peony, sallendine, balm, ginger, gentian, and dittany; and vervain, which is of use in prophesying and expiations, as also driving away evil-spirits. The bay-tree also is consecrated to Phœbus, so is the cedar, the palm-tree, the ash, the ivy and vine, and whatsoever repel poisons and lightnings, and those things which never fear for the extremities of the winter. Solary also are mint, mastic, zedoary, saffron, balsam, amber, musk, yellow honey, lignum aloes, cloves, cinnamon, calamus, aromaticus, pepper, frankincense, sweet-marjoram, also libanotis, which Orpheus calls the sweet perfume of the Sun.

Also amongst animals those are called Solary which are magnanimous, courageous, ambitious of victory and renown—as the lion, king of beasts; the crocodile, the spotted wolf, the ram, the boar; the bull, king of the herd, which was by the Egyptians

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at Heliopolis dedicated to the Sun, which they called Verites; and an ox was consecrated to Apis in Memphis,
and in Herminthus a bull by the name of Pathis. The wolf, also, was consecrated to Apollo and Latona. Also the beast called baboon is Solary, which twelve times in a day (viz., every hour) barks and in time of Æquinoctium micturateth twelve times every hour; the same also it doth in the night, whence the Egyptians did engrave him upon their fountains. *

Also, amongst birds, these are Solary: The phœnix, being but one of that kind; and the eagle, the queen of birds; also the vulture, the swan, and those which sing at the rising Sun and, as it were, call upon it to rise, as the cock and crow; also the hawk, which because it, in the divinity of the Egyptians, is an emblem of the spirit and light, is by Porphyrius reckoned amongst the Solary birds. Moreover, all such things as have some resemblance of the works of the Sun, as worms shining in the night, and the beetle. Also, according to Appious’ interpretation, such things whose eyes are changed according to the course

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of the Sun are accounted Solary; and things which come of them.

And amongst fish, the sea-calf is chiefly Solary, who doth resist lightning; also shell-fish and the fish called Pulmo, both of which shine in the night; and the fish called stella, * for his parching heat; and the fish called strombi  that follow their king; and margari,  which also have a king, and, being dried, are hardened into a stone of a golden color.


98:* Mr. Morley notes here in reference to the baboon that "Hermes Trismegistus, or a writer in his name, taught that the common division of time was suggested to man by the habits of this sacred animal." Life of Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Volume I, page 132.

99:* Stella—a star—star-fish; the Asterias or sea-star. One peculiarity of this radiate animal is that so long as it has any one of its usual five points remaining, it will restore any others that may have been destroyed.

99:† Strombi—Strombite. A mollusk, of the genus Strombus, possessing a spiral shell with a broad, wing-like lip. Ordinarily known as sea-snail.

99:‡ Margari—Margarite—Margaritaceæ. Pearl-fish; the pearl oyster.

Next: What Things Are Lunary, or Under the Power of the Moon