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

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Of Magical Rings and Their Compositions.

Rings, also, which were always much esteemed of by the ancients, when they are opportunely made, do in like manner impress their virtue upon us, in as much as they do affect the spirit of him that carries them with gladness or sadness, and render him courteous or terrible, bold or fearful, amiable or hateful; in as much as they do fortify us against sickness, poisons, enemies, evil spirits, and all manner of hurtful things, or, at least, will not suffer us to be kept under them. Now, the manner of making these kinds of Magical Rings is this, viz.; When any Star ascends fortunately, with the fortunate aspect or conjunction of the Moon, we must take a stone and herb that is under that Star, and make a ring of the metal that is suitable to this Star, and in it fasten the stone, putting the herb or root under it—not omitting the inscriptions of images, names and characters, as also the proper suffumigations; but we shall speak more of these in another place, where we shall treat of Images and Characters.

So we read in Philostratus Jarchus that a wise prince of the Indies bestowed seven rings made after this manner (marked with the virtues and names of the seven planets) to Apollonius; of which he wore every day of the week one thereof, distinguishing them in their order according to the name of the days, as is set forth by astrologers, viz., Sunday, the ring marked with the virtues and inscribed with the name and seal of the Sun, that planet which ruleth over Sunday and from which the day taketh its name; Monday, the ring of the virtues, seal and name of the Moon; Tuesday, that inscribed unto Mars; Wednesday, that unto Mercury; Thursday, that inscribed unto Jupiter; Friday, that unto Venus,

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and Saturday, that unto the planet Saturn, seeing as Saturday is the last day of the week and hath correspondence with the last end of life, and is ruled by Saturn which carries the sickle of death; and, it is said, that Apollonius, by the benefit of these seven magical rings, lived above one hundred and thirty years, as also that he always retained the beauty and vigor of his youth. In like manner Moses, the lawgiver and ruler of the Hebrews, being skilled in the Magic of the Egyptians, is said by Josephus to have made rings of love and oblivion. There was also, as saith Aristotle, amongst the Cireneans, a ring of Battus which could procure love and honor. We read also that Eudamus, a certain philosopher, made rings against the bites of serpents, bewitchings, and evil spirits. The same doth Josephus relate of Solomon. Also we read in Plato that Gygus, the king of Lydia, had a ring of wonderful and strange virtues, the seal of which, when he turned it toward the palm of his hand, rendered him invisible; nobody could see him, but he could see all things; and, by the opportunity of which ring, he deceived the queen and slew the king, his master, and killed whomsoever he thought stood in his way; and in these villainies no one could see him; and, at length, by the benefit of this ring he became king of Lydia himself. *


147:* Notwithstanding the many exaggerated accounts like this one of King Gygus, the editor desires to give his unqualified assent as to the occult properties of specially prepared Magical Rings. When a boy he got a copy of an old book entitled "The History and Poetry of Finger Rings," which contains much curious information on the subject, and from that time to this he has by personal experiment, and much study in connection with other occult arts that bear upon the matter, become confident that rings may be made that will insure many good things to their possessors—warding off and curing diseases, guarding against evil transits and other dangerous influences, and those which will favorably influence one's station in life, and procure other ardently desired things and ends. The Masonic ring will gradually take on occult power if its owner yields intelligent assistance on every call, methodically performing his regular society duty, thereby infusing his ring with Masonic virtues. Of course, a properly prepared ring may seemingly fail of its specified object, but p. 148 we are inclined to believe that they are helpful, however little their effect may be noticed, in every case. We warn our readers against the numerous charlatans who sell so-called Magical Rings. Magical Rings are never sold as such. Whatever virtue may exist in a ring the owner alone confirms and binds. All that any other person can do is to properly instruct how such a ring should he made and worn. Any so-called "prophet" or "oracle" that now disgraces and perverts true occult art will most probably lay claim to this knowledge, as will those astrologers and "gifted" pretenders in America who hide their crude acquirements and practices behind high-sounding names. I say "in America," because in England even eminent practitioners are prohibited by British law from doing work for the public and are forced, for self-protection, to serve under assumed names. Such a condition not prevailing in this country it is safe to regard those who assume titles as either charlatans or who act from a very superficial knowledge. There may, possibly, be honorable exceptions to this rule, but we doubt it. Consult yourself, therefore, regarding a personal occult ring, selecting the metal, stone and design that you are most pleased with. Then you have made a proper start, and, in a great many cases, need go no further; thus every plain gold marriage ring becomes a magical ring. As the courtship is exalted so will be the potency of the ring. The wife may often owe her security to the marriage ring and should always wear it. To lose the marriage ring portends evil, and another one, heavier and engraven with the first names of the couple—like "Jack" and "Mary"—and the marriage date, should be procured as soon as circumstances will permit. Every ring, being a circle, contains occult force and symbolizes the eternal.

Next: Chapter XLVIII. Of the Virtue of Places, and What Places Are Suitable to Every Star