The Philosophy of Natural Magic, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, L. W. de Laurence ed. , at sacred-texts.com
Besides the virtues of words and names, there is also a greater virtue found in sentences, from the truth contained in them, which hath a very great power of impressing, changing, binding, and establishing, so that being used it doth shine the more, and being resisted is more confirmed and consolidated; which virtue is not in simple words, but in sentences, by which anything is affirmed or denied; of which sort are verses, enchantments, imprecations, deprecations, orations, invocations, obtestations, adjurations, conjurations, and such like. Therefore, in composing verses and orations for attracting the virtue of any star or deity, you must diligently consider what virtue any star contains, as, also, what effects and operations, and to infer them in verses, by praising, extolling, amplifying, and setting forth those things which such a kind of star is wont to cause by way of its influence, and by vilifying and dispraising those things which it is wont to destroy and hinder, and by supplicating and begging for that which we desire to get, and by condemning and detesting that which we would have destroyed and hindered; and after the same manner to make an elegant oration, and duly distinct, by articles, with competent numbers and proportions. Moreover, magicians command that we call upon and pray by the names of the same star, or name to them to whom such a verse belongs, by their wonderful things, or miracles, by their courses and ways in their sphere, by their light, by the dignity of their kingdom, by the beauty and brightness that is in it, by their strong and powerful virtues, and by such like things as these. As
[paragraph continues] Psyche, in Apuleius, prays to Ceres, saying, "I beseech thee by thy fruitful right hand, I intreat thee by the joyful ceremonies of harvests, by the quiet silence of thy chests, by the winged chariots of dragons, thy servants, by the furrows of the Sicilian earth, the devouring wagon, the clammy earth, by the place of going down into cellars at the light nuptials of Proserpina, and returns at the light inventions of her daughter, and other things which are concealed in her temple in the city of Eleusis, in Attica." Besides, with the divers sorts of the names of the stars, they command us to call upon them by the names of the Intelligences ruling over the stars themselves, of which we shall speak more at large in their proper place. They that desire further examples of these, let them search into the hymns of Orpheus, than which nothing is more efficacious in Natural Magic, if they, together with their circumstances, which wise men know, be used according to a due harmony with all attention. But to return to our purpose. Such like verses, being aptly and duly made, according to the Rule of the Stars, and being full of signification and meaning, and opportunely pronounced with vehement affection (as according to the number and the proportion of their articles, so according to the form resulting from the articles) and, by the violence of imagination, do confer a very great power in the enchanter, and sometimes transfers it upon the thing enchanted, to bind and direct it to the same purpose for which the affections and speeches of the enchanter are intended. Now, the instrument of enchanters is a most pure, harmonical spirit—warm, breathing, living, bringing with it motion, affection, and signification; composed of its parts, endued with sense, and conceived by reason. By the quality, therefore, of this spirit, and by the celestial similitude, thereof (besides those things which have already been spoken
of) verses, also, from the opportunity of time, receive from above most excellent virtues; and, indeed, are more sublime and efficacious than spirits, and. vapors exhaling out of the vegetable life, such as herbs, roots, gums, aromatical things, and fumes and such like. And, therefore, magicians enchanting things, are wont to blow and breathe upon them the words of the verse, or to breathe in the virtue with the spirit, that so the whole virtue of the soul be directed to the thing enchanted, being disposed for the receiving of said virtue. And here it is to be noted that every oration, writing and words, as they induce accustomed motions by their accustomed numbers, proportions, and form, so (besides their usual order) being pronounced, or wrote backwards, move unto unusual effects.