The Relation Of Magic To Other Sciences

Magic is made light of and dismissed as foolishness by some people, but it is fortunate that there are few of these people. If these people were well informed, they would hold no such opinion of Magic. Those who are learned know that Magic was really the fount of almost all knowledge. With the tremendous significance attached to it in the annals of history, Magic cannot be dismissed with a shrug. It must be credited with more than just the distinction of being entertaining. One's researches must go deep to understand the Mystic Art thoroughly. We must realize that although Magic is now an entertaining art, it was the root from which sprang some of our great sciences.

I have traced for you the History of Magic in its various phases, Magic's Relation to Religion and to the Art of Medicine. In this lesson I will complete my outline of the background of the Mystic Art by discussing for you Magic's Relation to the Sciences of Astronomy, Chemistry, Pharmacy and Physics.

Astrology -- Foundation for Astronomy

Astrology is the pseudo-science of the stars and planets, which was the foundation for our modern science of Astronomy. When the peoples of antiquity conceived of the idea that God has made these planets as His perfect works and set them on high in the heavens, the Astrological system began. Starting with worship of the celestial bodies and the attributing to them of magical powers, the next step in Astrology was to classify the whole world into divisions which were supposedly under the influence of certain planets.

Different parts of the human body, different animals, plants, metals, and different countries were designated as under the influence of certain planets. This developed into a very complicated planetary system built up on magical beliefs. In Lesson 6 I told about the belief in the magic influence of the planets in the Art of Medicine. The Astrological system covers far more than the Medical Art, however; within the scope of its magical influences lie many, many factors in human life.

To make this clear to you, I will take the Planet Mars and give you an outline of its widespread Astrological influence:

Magic Influence of M a r s

Mars is a masculine, nocturnal, hot and dry planet of the fiery division, the author of strife. One born under Mars is short, strongly made, has large bones, ruddy complexion,

red or sandy hair, quick, sharp eyes, and round, bold face. If a strong character, this person will be courageous, unafraid, careless of life. If weak in character, this person will be a trumpeter of his own fame, fond of quarrels and fighting and given to oppression. Nero of Rome was of this type.

This planet was believed to rule the head, face, left ear, and the sense of smell. Diseases: plague, fevers, wounds from iron or steel, injuries by poison, and evil effects from anger. Herbs and plants: mustard, radish, all pungent and thorny plants. Gems: bloodstone, ruby, and garnet. Minerals: iron, arsenic, sulphur. Animals: mastiff, wolf, tiger, and all savage beasts. Birds hawk, vulture, and all birds of prey. Weather: thunder and lightning, and all strange phenomena. Kingdoms: Lombardy and Bavaria. Cities: Jerusalem and Rome. It is the ruling planet for soldiers, surgeons, barbers, and butchers. Places: slaughter-houses, battlefields, brick kilns, blacksmiths' shops. Friends: all the planets except the Moon and Jupiter. Color is red and Angel is Samael.

You can easily see how this system developed. Mars was a planet of strength and power. The god, Mars, was designated as the god of War. Naturally those minerals, plants, those weather conditions and those professions which indicated power and forcefulness and strength were put under the influence of this planet. The old magical beliefs in the elements, in the plants, etc., had merely been arranged and systematized into the pseudo-science of Astrology.

Modern Development

From this system grew our modern scientific Astronomy, which has released the science of the planets from magical beliefs. Astrology, however, still exists and is believed in by many people. It is especially known today as the Horoscope, which predicts from the time of a person's birth what his future will be because of the influence of the particular planet under which he was born.

Alchemy — Foundation for Chemistry

Astrology with its magical origin was the foundation of another pseudo-science, Alchemy. The division of the metals among the planets led to the belief that the metals were formed by the influence of a certain planet for each -- thus the same matter under the rays of Saturn became lead, under those of Jupiter, tin, and under those of Venus, copper, under certain influence of the Moon it became silver, and by power of the sun it became gold.

Alchemy dealt primarily with the discovery of the properties of matter — how certain matter came into being and what it was composed of. It was, however, bound up with Magic. It was believed that the spirits in the planets controlled these metals and the Alchemist was believed to have supernatural and mysterious powers.

The purposes of Alchemy were:

1 - Discovery of the philosopher's stone, which would create and multiply gold.

2 - Making of an alkahest or universal solvent.

3 - Composition of an infallible, universal remedy, called the elixir of life.

The philosopher's stone, it was believed, if found, would reduce all matter to its perfect form. It applied to plants, animals, earth and stone, and even to spirits. It would transform the basest metals into silver and gold, and flint into precious rubies and diamonds. It would make all the world — even the remote parts and secret hidden caves -- visible to the holder of the stone.

The universal solvent was believed to be capable of dissolving all metals, even gold, and thus if it were found it would aid the Alchemist in discovering what the metals were formed of and would enable him to transmute or change them into purer form. This universal solvent was later exposed as ridiculous, for if this solvent were universal, what vessel would hold it?

The elixir of life was supposed to be a red medicine which would give long life and perfect health to the user. There were two problems attached to this mystery, however. Not only must the elixir be discovered, but the method of using it must also be found. It was believed to be so powerful that if used wrong, it would dissolve the whole body. A number of vague writings have been left us on this subject. Some of the philosophers believed that they had found this elixir and left prescriptions for making it. These formulae, however, are so vague and depend so much on magic that we poor mortals must go on unknowing.

These pseudo-sciences which I have discussed began with Magic and were, so closely bound up with it for centuries that all the secrecy and mysteriousness of Magic clung to the pseudo-sciences. Later when the real Sciences of Chemistry, of Astronomy developed, they were freed from magical beliefs and were given openly to the public. Though the secrecy was done away with, some of the atmosphere of the supernatural still clung to these sciences in the minds of people.

Science of Pharmacy

Pharmacy was, of course, an outgrowth of Chemistry and Medicine. First, it was allied with Medicine and Astrology and Magic. Then with the development of Alchemy and finally of Chemistry, it was placed on a scientific basis.

Science of Physics

The Science of Physics — that which deals with mechanics, light, heat, and sound; in short, that which deals with the physical influences in the world — cannot be definitely traced back to Magic for its origin. However, we can believe that as Magic opened the way to an understanding of nature and caused men to search for knowledge, and thus was the tree from which sprang the other branches of the Sciences, so the searching, at least, for other Sciences

-- Physics, Optics, and others -- had its origin with Magic. We do know that Roger Bacon, as I brought to your attention in the first lesson, studied the sciences and did much to develop the Science of Optics. Yet Roger Bacon was regarded as a Magician, and Optics, though since known to be a science not dependent on Magic, was then regarded as part of the Mystic Art.

It is astounding when we stop to consider the development of our great sciences and the understanding of the world which they bring to us, and then realize that all this had its origin in Magic — Magic which was to human beings the most tremendous influence in life and which to us now is the most entertaining of all arts.

The Art Of Astrology

The Art Of Astrology

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