MAGIC AND THE SCIENCE OF MEDICINE
I have given you in previous lessons some of the History of Magic and Magic's Relation to Religion. Now I shall trace for you Magic's relation to the great science of Medicine.
The Art of Medicine today with its profound studies of human ills is a far cry from the elementary medicine practiced by Magicians of old and still practiced by barbaric tribes. Yet this great and highly developed art had its origin in the crude practices of ancient magicians.
The most primitive method of treating disease was the use of spells and incantations by the magician. Then came the use of stones, sticks, and strings to draw out diseases. And later began the use of some practical remedies in combination with magical remedies. Essences and elixirs and ointments made from herbs and barks were administered by the magician. But with these remedies were still required the magical formulae which dealt with the demon-cause of the ailment. These herbs, though many are now used by Pharmaceutical and Medical Science, in ancient times were chosen for magical rather than for medicinal reasons.
Among the Chinese, the head of a plant was used to cure the head of the patient, the middle of the plant was used to cure the body of the patient, and the roots were used to cure the patient's legs. In the same way European doctors practiced what is known as "doctrines of signatures." This was, in fact, mere magic. They prescribed "eye-bright," a flower with the likeness of an eye in it, for complaints of the eyes. They treated small-pox with mulberries because their color made them proper for diseases of the blood. Thus magic and medicine were equally important in the infancy of the treatment of disease. These magical practices clung to the Science of Medicine just as Magic maintained its strong hold on Religion.
A definite system of relationship between the planets and medical art was devised by the ancients and this system was one of the main foundation stones in the development of the Art of Medicine. The influence of this system was apparent up to modern times, and in many foreign lands it still holds sway to some extent. By this system the human body was divided into sections which were under the power of certain planets.
Each planet was designated as capable of causing or curing certain diseases. These beliefs, of course, began with the art of divination and then became amalgamated with the primitive art of healing.
A table was worked out in which was stated the plants and herbs that were connected with each planet and the hour during which these should be prepared. The time which was auspicious for administering medicines and for performing operations was also recorded. Thus the "doctor" or sorcerer could consult his table and therein find the treatment for his patient. If the results of the treatment were harmful or even fatal, the sorcerer was absolved from blame because the people believed that the planets were at fault, not the doctor. Even in more modern times, in the 17th and 18th centuries, a doctor might lose case after case and yet he was not condemned for it was believed, not that he did not know his art, but that the planets were inauspicious.
This is the system of diagnosis and treatment used by the sorcerers, who were the first doctors. When a man became ill, the first thing to do was to discover the nature of his disease by means of the planets. If the moon was in a certain relation to Saturn at the time, for instance, it indicated that the man had a headache and cough. This was the diagnosis. Then the herbs which would be effective under these conditions of the moon and Saturn and the ailment of the man were studied. With this determined, the hour at which the medicine must be administered was found according to the planetary system. And thus the treatment of the ailment was arrived at. So we see that the art of the earliest doctors was much magic and a little medicine.
Talismans and charms with pictures and insignia of the planets on them were used also by the sorcerers in addition to the herbs and plants and minerals which the planets governed. Mystic characters and signs were an inseparable part of early medical practices. A circle was believed to have great influence in curing disease. The origin of this seems to have been in primitive sun worship. Certain numbers had great significance also in effecting cures. A combination of the numbers and signs sometimes was the whole treatment for some diseases. Consumption, for instance, was treated by passing the patient through a circular wreath of woodbine three times. This woodbine had to be cut during the increase of the March moon.
Some sorcerers cured their patients in this manner: They took a garland of green woodbine and caused the patient to pass through it three times. The garland was then cut into nine pieces and cast into the fire. This was a sure cure. Whooping cough was believed to be cured by giving the patient a certain draught to drink from the horn of a living ox, nine times repeated. All draughts and ointments, of course, had to be prepared according to the hour when certain planets were ruling.
These magical practices in connection with the Art of Healing were used for centuries up to modern times. With the enlightenment of the ages, medicine has been gradually releasing itself little by little from the influence of magic.
I have told you how Magic will develop your personality socially. The importance of personality in the social world is great because being well known and well liked means so much in your happiness. Think, however, of the tremendous significance of personality in business. You know that it's the man with personality who gets ahead every time.
As Magic develops your personality you find that you are progressing in your business. With the training in Magic which you have, you are better able to meet people. You have a little trick with which to break the ice when you call on a customer. In this way you can get the interest and attention of the man you are after. And you leave with him a lasting impression for he will remember you as the man who is clever at tricks. This business man becomes your friend because you arouse his interest in you as a personality. Your Magic has helped you win this man as a business friend and through him you meet other men either in a business or a social way. However, magic, like everything else, has its proper place and should be used with intelligence.
Magic has been proved to be invaluable to traveling salesmen. If he knows the Mystery of the Burning Cigarette, for instance, he has right there in that trick a powerful means of getting the prospective customer's interest. He calls on his man and starts talking business. At a proper moment he asks the man to loan him his lighted cigarette as seeing the man smoke reminds him of a little trick which he would like to show him. He performs this wonderfully puzzling little trick and he has his prospect smiling and good natured and interested. Then when he gets back to business, he has the good will of his prospect and can very probably make the sale.
I have heard that one of the salesmen for Maytag Washing Machines is using Magic to aid him in his sales with remarkable results.
If you aim to go on the stage or if you plan to become a semi-professional magician to make money on the side, you will have to study and practice principles and fundamentals and moves and tricks for a while yet before you will be proficient and will have a wide enough repertoire to accomplish your aim.
All of you, however—those who have ambitions of making money with their magic, those who want magic to bring them social popularity, and those who want magic to help them in their business—can start now with Magic as your Hobby. I am sure you realize by now what a wonderful means for relaxation from your daily work you have in Magic and what a fascinating additional interest in life you gain in studying the art.
Men in every field of business and professions—doctors, lawyers, salesmen, artists, men in every kind of business-- have taken up Magic as a Hobby and found rich rewards in having a fascinating and distinctive art.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.