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Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Phillosopy 03


The Triad

The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly Palmer Hall

The triad–3–is the first number actually odd (monad not always being considered a number). It is the first equilibrium of unities; therefore, Pythagoras said that Apollo gave oracles from a tripod, and advised offer of libation three times. The keywords to the qualities of the triad are friendship, peace, justice, prudence, piety, temperance, and virtue. The following deities partake of the principles of the triad: Saturn (ruler of time), Latona, Cornucopiae, Ophion (the great serpent), Thetis, Hecate, Polyhymnia (a Muse), Pluto, Triton, President of the Sea, Tritogenia, Achelous, and the Faces, Furies, and Graces. This number is called wisdom, because men organize the present, foresee the future, and benefit by the experiences of the fast. It is cause of wisdom and understanding. The triad is the number of knowledge–music, geometry, and astronomy, and the science of the celestials and terrestrials. Pythagoras taught that the cube of this number had the power of the lunar circle.

The sacredness of the triad and its symbol–the triangle–is derived from the fact that it is made up of the monad and the duad. The monad is the symbol of the Divine Father and the duad of the Great Mother. The triad being made of these two is therefore androgynous and is symbolic of the fact that God gave birth to His worlds out of Himself, who in His creative aspect is always symbolized by the triangle. The monad passing into the duad was thus capable of becoming the parent of progeny, for the duad was the womb of Meru, within which the world was incubated and within which it still exists in embryo.

Of the Number Three, and the Scale thereof

Agrippa, Book 2, Chapter 6

The number of three is an uncompounded number, a holy number, a number of perfection, a most powerful number. For there are three persons in God, there are three Theological virtues in Religion. Hence it is that this number conduces to the Ceremonies of God, and Religion, that by the solemnity of which, prayers, and sacrifices are thrice repeated. Whence Virgil sings,

Odd numbers to the God delightfull are.

And the Pythagorians use it in their sanctifications, and purifications, whence in Virgil,

The same did cleanse, and wash with Water pure
Thrice his companions –

And it is most fit in bindings, or ligations, hence that of Virgil,

– I walk a round
First with these threads, which three, and severall art,
‘Bout th’ Altar thrice I shall thy image bear.

And a little after;

Knots, Amaryllis, tye, of colours three,
Then say, these bonds I knit, for Venus be.

And we read of Medea.

She spake three words, which caus’d sweet sleep at will,
The troubled Sea, the raging Waves stand still.

And in Pliny it was the custom in every medicine to spit with three deprecations, and hence to be cured.

The number of three is perfected with three Augmentations, long, broad, and deep, beyond which there is no progression of dimension, whence the first number is called square. Hence it is said that to a body that hath three measures, and to a square number, nothing can be added.

Wherefore Aristotle in the beginning of his speeches concerning Heaven, calls it as it were a Law, according to which all things are disposed. For Corporeal, and spiritual things consist of three things, viz. beginning, middle, and end.

By three (as Tresmegistus saith) the world is perfected: Hemarmene, necessity, and order (i.e.) concurrence of causes, which many call fate, and the execution of them to the fruit, or increase, and a due distribution of the increase.

The whole measure of time is concluded in three, viz. Past, present, to come;

All magnitude is contained in three; line, superficies, and body, every body consists of three Intervals, length, breadth, thickness.

Harmony contains three consents in time, Diapason, Hemiolion, Diatessaron.

There are also three kinds of souls, Vegetative, sensitive, and intellectual.

And as saith the Prophet, God orders the world by number, weight, and measure, and the number of three is deputed to the Ideal forms thereof, as the number of two is to the procreating matter, and unity to God the maker of it.

Magicians do constitute three Princes of the world, Oromasis, Mitris, Araminis (i.e.) God, the Mind, and the Spirit.

By the three square or solid, the three numbers of nine of things produced are distributed, viz. of the supercelestial into nine orders of Intelligences: of Celestial into nine Orbs: of inferiors into nine kinds of generable, and corruptible things. Lastly in this ternal Orb, viz. twenty seven, all Musical proportions are included, as Plato, and Proclus, do at large discourse.

And the number of three hath in a harmony of five, the grace of the first voice.

Also in Intelligencies there are three Hierarchies of Angelical spirits.

There are three powers of Intellectual creatures, memory, mind, and will.

There are three orders of the blessed, viz. of Martyrs, Confessors, and Innocents.

There are three quaternions of Celestial Signs, viz. Of fixed, movable, and common, as also of houses, viz. centers, succeeding, and falling.

There are also three faces, and heads in every Sign, and three Lords of each triplicity.

There are three fortunes among the Planets. Three graces among the Goddesses. Three Ladies of destiny among the infernal crew. Three Judges. Three furies. Three headed Cerberus. We read also of a thrice double Hecate. Three months of the Virgin Diana. Three persons in the supersubstantial Divinity. Three times, of Nature, Law, and Grace. Three Theological virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity. Jonas was three days in the Whales belly; and so many was Christ in the grave.

AOP What Magic Is, and the Professors Thereof

What Magick is, what are the Parts thereof, and how the Professors thereof must be qualified
Agrippa, Book 1, Chapter 2

Magick is a faculty of wonderful virtue, full of most high mysteries, containing the most profound Contemplation of most secret things, together with the nature, power, quality, substance, and virtues thereof, as also the knowledge of whole nature, and it doth instruct us concerning the differing, and agreement of things among themselves, whence it produces its wonderful effects, by uniting the virtues of things through the application of them one to the other, and to their inferior suitable subjects, joining and knitting them together thoroughly by the powers, and virtues of the superior Bodies. This is the most perfect, and chief Science, that sacred, and sublimer kind of Philosophy, and lastly the most absolute perfection of all most excellent Philosophy. For seeing that all regulative Philosophy is divided into Natural, Mathematical, and Theological: (Natural Philosophy teaches the nature of those things which are in the world, searching and inquiring into their Causes, Effects, Times, Places, Fashions, Events, their Whole, and Parts, also

The Number and the Nature of those things,
Cal’d Elements, what Fire, Earth, Aire forth brings:
From whence the Heavens their beginnings had;
Whence Tide, whence Rainbow in gay colours clad.
What makes the Clouds that gathered are, and black,
To send forth Lightnings, and a Thundring crack;
What doth the Nightly Flames, and Comets make;
What makes the Earth to swell, and then to quake:
What is the seed of Metals, and of Gold
What Vertues, Wealth, doth Nature’s Coffer hold.

All these things doth natural Philosophy, the viewer of nature contain, teaching us according to Virgil’s Muse.

– Whence all things flow,
Whence Mankind, Beast, whence Fire, whence Rain, and Snow,
Whence Earth-quakes are, why the whole Ocean beats
Over his Banks, and then again retreats:
Whence strength of Hearbs, whence Courage, rage of Bruits,
All kinds of Stone, of Creeping things, and Fruits.

But Mathematical Philosophy teaches us to know the quantity of natural Bodies, as extended into three dimensions, as also to conceive of the motion, and course of Celestial Bodies.

– As in great hast,
What makes the golden Stars to march so fast;
What makes the Moon sometimes to mask her face,
The Sun also, as if in some disgrace.

And as Virgil sings,

How th’ Sun doth rule with twelve Zodiack Signs,
The Orb thats measur’d round about with Lines,
It doth the Heavens Starry way make known,
And strange Eclipses of the Sun and Moon.
Arcturns also, and the Stars of Rain,
The seaven Stars likewise, and Charles his Wain,
Why Winter Suns make tow’rds the West so fast;
What makes the Nights so long ere they he past?

All which are understood by Mathematical Philosophy.

– Hence by the Heavens we may foreknow
The seasons all; times for to reap and sow,
And when ’tis fit to launch into the deep,
And when to War, and when in peace to sleep,
And when to dig up Trees, and them again
To set; that so they may bring forth amain.

Now Theological Philosophy, or Divinity, teaches what God is, what the Mind, what an Intelligence, what an Angel, what a Devil, what the Soul, what Religion, what sacred Institutions, Rites, Temples, Observations, and sacred Mysteries are: It instructs us also concerning Faith, Miracles, the virtues of Words and Figures, the secret operations and mysteries of Seals, and as Apuleius saith, it teaches us rightly to understand, and to be skilled in the Ceremonial Laws, the equity of Holy things, and rule of Religions.

But to recollect my self these three principal faculties Magick comprehends, unites, and actuates; deservedly therefore was it by the Ancients esteemed as the highest, and most sacred Philosophy. It was, as we find, brought to light by most sage Authors, and most famous Writers; among which principally

  • Zamolxis and Zoroaster were so famous, that many believed they were the inventors of this Science.
  • Their track Abbaris the Hyperborean, Charmondas, Damigeron, Eudoxus, Hermippus followed:
  • there were also other eminent, choice men, as Mercurius Tresmegistus, Porphyrius, Iamblicus, Plotinus, Proclus, Dardanus, Orpheus the Thracian, Gog the Grecian, Germa the Babylonian, Apollonius of Tyana,
  • Osthanes also wrote excellently in this Art; whose Books being as it were lost, Democritus of Abdera recovered, and set forth with his own Commentaries.
  • Besides, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Democritus, Plato, and many other renowned Philosophers traveled far by Sea to learn this Art: and being returned, published it with wonderful devoutness, esteeming of it as a great secret.
  • Also it is well known that Pythagoras, and Plato went to the Prophets of Memphis to learn it, and traveled through almost all Syria, Egypt, Judea, and the Schools of the Chaldeans, that they might not be ignorant of the most sacred Memorials, and Records of Magick, as also that they might be furnished with Divine things.

Whosoever therefore is desirous to study in this Faculty,

  • if he be not skilled in natural Philosophy, wherein are discovered the qualities of things, and in which are found the occult properties of every Being,
  • and if he be not skillful in the Mathematics, and in the Aspects, and Figures of the Stars, upon which depends the sublime virtue, and property of every thing;
  • and if he be not learned in Theology, wherein are manifested those immaterial substances, which dispense, and minister all things,

he cannot be possibly able to understand the rationality of Magic. For there is no work that is done by mere Magic, nor any work that is merely Magical, that doth not comprehend these three Faculties.


This is an expansion upon a previous chapter (OP 1:1), along with the first qualifications of a magician: That they know, and understand, all three parts.

Notice the flow described here. First the ‘occult properties’ which we’ve also seen previously described as ‘virtue’ in an older sense of
the word and as ‘sublime virtue’ shortly hereafter, of all the things (e.g. sticks and stones) and beings (e.g. people and animals) in the natural realm. Then comes mathematics and astrology, which those ‘sublime virtues’ depend upon, or we could say, are governed or ministered by. And finally theology, where we learn where those ‘properties’, ‘virtues’, or here, ‘immaterial substances’, are ‘dispensed’ from, which is to say, where they originate from, in their purest forms. This is not alltogether unlike the Yourba notion of Ase or Ashe, or the Egyptian concept of Heka.

The differentiation in terms for the same ‘stuff’ in the three spheres ought to be taken in consideration as well; the transition from ‘immaterial’, to ‘sublime’, to ‘occult’, and the transition from ‘substance’, to ‘virtue’, to ‘property’.

Immaterial Substances of Theology

First they begin as ‘immaterial substances’.

IMMATERIAL: Not consisting of matter; incorporeal; spiritual; disembodied.

SUBSTANCE: That which underlies all outward manifestations; substratum; the permanent subject or cause of phenomena, whether material or spiritual; that in which properties inhere; that which is real, in distinction from that which is apparent; the abiding part of any existence, in distinction from any accident; that which constitutes anything what it is; real or existing essence. The most important element in any existence; the characteristic and essential components of anything; the main part; essential import; purport.

Which means completely outside the domain of our modern day sciences; the incorporeal or spiritual element underlying all outward manifestations. Evoking half butchured quantum field theory or whatever may become similarly trendy later does not change this, these are models which belong to the mathematical realm in the way astrology served the role in Agrippa’s time, except no one seems to have come up with a plausible way to actually use QFT for anything magical except to use it as a carte-blanche excuse for how they they think magic would be used. Likewise Chi, Qi, Prana, the four elements, Mesmer’s “magnetisme animal”, Berson’s “elan vital”, von Reichenbach’s “odic force” and all the similar vitalist notions tend to miss the mark, their primary concern being largely human and animal, and none offering an explanation as to their origins which doesn’t essentially begin and end on earth. The Yourba concept of Ase and the Egyptian concept of Heka come close to fitting the bill, however we will stick with the astrological model which at the very least provides us a convenient way to categorize natural substances and a method to reify time itself in our magical works. We could compare the theological realm to God the Father, the alchemic Sulphur, the Hindu Creator, the Gnostic pneumatics, or the Gnostic Monad. It is the divine spark of life; the Ain Soph, the origin of existence, beyond existence, from which everything we know and can conceive finds its origin.

Sublime Virtues of Mathematics and Astrology

After ‘immaterial substances’ they are called ‘sublime virtues’.

SUBLIME: Lifted up; high in place; exalted aloft; uplifted; lofty.

VIRTUE: Active quality or power; capacity or power adequate to the production of a given effect; energy; strength; potency; efficacy; as, the virtue of a medicine. Energy or influence operating without contact of the material or sensible substance.

The planets, which includes the sun and the moon as ‘planet’ simply means ‘mobile’ although the sun and moon are sometimes distinguished as the ‘luminaries’, as well as the fixed stars above, are something we can physically see here with our own physical eyes. And yet other than strapping ourselves to ridiculously huge rockets which are essentially controlled (or occasionally not so well controlled) explosions built of science and math, we can never hope to touch one and so far that’s only gotten us to the the moon a few times which until very recently was entirely impossible. We need not bother to question how else the stars and planets, visible yet far above our reach, came to be viewed as something between divinity and man, and to this day the means by which we account for time striving with “leap-seconds” and “leap-days” to keep our days and years in sync regarding our position relative to the sun and to keep the seasons starting and ending on our calendars where we think they ought to.

The only serious contenders to the astrological model are the ten sephiroth and after a great deal of “creative interpretation” something like the various systems of chakras, however the former tends to be more concerned with spiritual matters and the latter more with the physical. I would suggest acquiring deep familiarity with both and simply using whichever of the three is “the right tool for the job”.

We could compare the astrological or celestial or mathematical realm to God the Holy Spirit, the alchemic Mercury, the Hindu Preserver or Sustainer, the Gnostic psychics, or the Gnostic Sophia. It is the Soul or Spirit of the World, permiating and unifying all things, bringing together the divinity above with the material world below, the path from which the immaterial substances above become the occult properties below. It is perhaps the one thing spoken of in “That which is below is like that which is above, and that which is above is like that which is below, to accomplish the miracles of [the] one thing.”

Occult Properties of Natural Philosophy

After ‘sublime virtues’ they are finally called ‘occult properties’.

OCCULT: Hidden from the eye or the understanding; inviable; secret; concealed; unknown.

PROPERTY: That which is proper to anything; a peculiar quality of a thing; that which is inherent in a subject, or naturally essential to it; an attribute; as, sweetness is a property of sugar.

Clearly we are now in the realm of physical existence, as to be ‘hidden’, something must exist, and ‘property’ has clear connotations of belonging to some thing. This is where, if you choose to use them as a model, one would find Chi, Prana, elan vital, the newager’s vaguely defined “energy”, or in our case as will be covered later, the four elements and the properties of things attributable to the planets. We could compare the physical realm to God the Son, the alchemic Salt, the Hindu Destroyer, the Gnostic hyletics, or the Gnostic Logos (or possibly, Demiurge).

PNM Whence Form Comes, the Chain of Homer, and the Rings of Plato

From where Form comes; and of the chain that Homer feigned, and the rings that Plato mentions
Porta, Book 1, Chapter 6

So then, the form, as it is the most excellent part, so it comes from a most excellent place; even immediately from the highest heavens, they receiving it from the intelligences, and there from God himself.

And the same original which the form has, consequently the properties also have. Zeno Citticus holds two beginnings, God and matter; the one of them active or efficient, the other the passive principle.

For God, as Plato thinks, when by the almighty power of his deity he had framed in due measure and order the heavens, the stars, and the very first principles of things, the Elements, which wash away by reason of so many generations and corruptions, did afterwards by the power of the heavens and Elements, ordain the kinds of living creatures, plants, and things without life, every one in their degree, that they might not be of the same estate and condition as the heavens are.

And he enjoined inferior things to be ruled by their superiors, by a set law, and poured down by heavenly influence upon every thing his won proper form, full of much strength and activity. And that there might be a continual increase among them, he commanded all things to bring forth seed, and to propagate and derive their form, wherever should be fit matter to receive it.

So then, seeing that forms come from Heaven, they must needs be counted divine and heavenly things, for such is the pattern and the most excellent cause of them, which Plato, that chief Philosopher, calls the Soul of the World, and Aristotle, Universal Nature, and Avicenna calls it Form-giver. This Form-giver does not make it of anything, as though it were but some frail and transitory substance, but fetches it merely out of himself, and bestows it first upon intelligences and stars, and then by certain aspects informed the Elements, as being fit instruments to dispose the matter. Seeing therefore this form comes from the Elements, from Heaven, from the intelligences, yes, from God himself.

Who is so foolish and untoward, as to say that it does not favor of that heavenly nature, and in some sort of the majesty of God himself. And that it does not produce such effects, as nothing can be found more wonderful, seeing it has such affinity with God? Thus has the providence of God linked things together in their ranks and order, so that all inferior things might by their due courses be derived originally from God himself, and from him receive their operations.

For God the first cause and beginner of things, as Macrobious says, of his own fruitfulness has created and brought forth a Spirit, the Spirit brought forth a soul, (but the truth of Christianity, says otherwise) the soul is furnished partly with reason, which it bestows up divine things, as Heaven and the stars (for therefore are they said to have divine Spirits) and partly with sensitive and vegetative powers, which it bestows upon frail and transitory things.

This much Virgil well perceiving, calls this Spirit, the Soul of the World. The Spirit, says he, cherishes it within, and conveying itself through the inmost parts, quickens an moves the whole lump, and closes with this huge body. Wherefore seeing man stands as it were in the middle, between eternal and those transitory things, and is not altogether so excellent as Heaven, and yet, because of his reason, more excellent then other living creatures. And he has also the sensitive power. Therefore the other living creatures, as it were degenerating from man, are endued only with the two powers that remain, the sensitive and vegetative powers. But the trees or plants, because they have neither sense nor reason, but do only grow are said to live only in this respect, that they have this vegetive soul. This the same poet does express a little after.

Seeing then the Spirit comes from God, and from the Spirit comes the soul, and the soul does animate and quicken all other things in their order. That plants and brute beasts do agree in vegetation or growing. Brute beasts with man in sense, and man with the divine creatures in understanding, so that the superior power comes down even from the very first cause to these inferiors, deriving her force into them, like as it were a cord platted together, and stretched along from Heaven to Earth, in such sort as if either end of this cord is touched, it will wag the whole.

Therefore we may rightly call this knitting together of things, a chain, or link and rings. For it agrees fitly with the rings of Plato. And with Homer’s golden chain, which he being the first author of all divine inventions, has signified to the wise under the shadow of a fable. Wherein he says, that all the gods and goddesses have made a golden chain, which they hung above in Heaven. And it reaches down to the very Earth. But the truth of Christianity holds that the souls do not proceed from the Spirit, but even immediately from God himself. These things a Magician being well acquainted withal, does match Heaven and Earth together, as the Husbandman plants Elms by his Vines.

Or to speak more plainly, he marries and couples together these inferior things by their wonderful gifts and powers which they have received from their superiors. And by this means he, being as it were the servant of Nature, does extract her hidden secrets, and bring them to light, so far as he has found the true by his own daily experience, that so all men may love, and praise, and honor the almighty power of God, who has thus wonderfully framed and disposed all things.


I’m not sure what rings of Plato may allude to other than the Ring of Gyges which was concerned with morality in the face of being in posession of a ring granting invisibility, but regarding Homer’s golden chain:

Now when Morning, clad in her robe of saffron, had begun to suffuse light over the earth, Jove called the gods in council on the topmost crest of serrated Olympus. Then he spoke and all the other gods gave ear. “Hear me,” said he, “gods and goddesses, that I may speak even as I am minded. Let none of you neither goddess nor god try to cross me, but obey me every one of you that I may bring this matter to an end. If I see anyone acting apart and helping either Trojans or Danaans, he shall be beaten inordinately ere he come back again to Olympus; or I will hurl him down into dark Tartarus far into the deepest pit under the earth, where the gates are iron and the floor bronze, as far beneath Hades as heaven is high above the earth, that you may learn how much the mightiest I am among you. Try me and find out for yourselves. Hangs me a golden chain from heaven, and lay hold of it all of you, gods and goddesses together tug as you will, you will not drag Jove the supreme counsellor from heaven to earth; but were I to pull at it myself I should draw you up with earth and sea into the bargain, then would I bind the chain about some pinnacle of Olympus and leave you all dangling in the mid firmament. So far am I above all others either of gods or men.”
The Iliad, Book 8, as translated by Samuel Butler.

This is of course not much to go on, but it’s easy to see how a manifestly superior deity pulling aloft his inferiors along with earth and sea (or, perhaps, alchemical salt and mercury) via a chain connecting all that is between earth and himself as the highest of gods could be taken to mean something like Agrippa’s “Wise men conceive it no way irrational that it should be possible for us to ascend by the same degrees through each World, to the same very original World it self, the Maker of all things, and first Cause, from whence all things are, and proceed;” (OP 1:1) especially given “two Elements producing a living soul, viz. Earth, and Water.” (OP 2:5) and “Neither yet is the matter quite destitute of all force. I speak here, not of the first and simple matter, but of that which consists of the substances and properties of the Elements, especially the two passable Elements, the Earth and the water.” (NM 1:5). This chain would later go on to inspire allegory again; in 1723 Anton Josef Kirchweger published his Golden Chain of Homer, an alchemical/hermetic text using the chain as its model, around 160 years after Porta’s Natural Magick (1558).

AOP Senses, Mind, Appetites of Soul, Passions of Will

Of the forming of Man, of the external Senses, and also the Inward, and the Mind: of the threefold appetite of the Soul, and passions of the Will
Agrippa, Book 1, Chapter 61

It is the opinion of some Divines, That God did not immediately create the body of man, but by the assistance of the heavenly Spirits compound, and frame him; which opinion Alcinous, and Plato favor; thinking that God is the chief Creator of the whole world, of the spirits both good and bad, and therefore immortalized them: but that all kinds of mortal animals were made at the command of God; for if he should have created them, they must have been immortal.

The spirits therefore mixing Earth, Fire, Air, and Water together, made of them all, put together, one body, which they subjected to the service of the soul, assigning in it several Provinces to each power thereof, to the meaner of them, mean and low places: as to Anger the Midrif, to Lust the Womb, but to the more noble senses the Head, as the Tower of the whole body, and then the manifold Organs of Speech.

They divide the Sense into External, and Internal.

External Senses

The external are divided into five, known to every one, to which there are allotted five Organs, or subjects, as it were Foundations; being so ordered, that they which are placed in the more eminent part of the body, have a greater degree of purity.

  • For the Eyes placed in the uppermost place, are the most pure, and have an affinity with the Nature of Fire, and Light:
  • then the Ears have the second order of place, and purity, and are compared to the Air:
  • the Nostrils have the third order, and have a middle nature betwixt the Air, and the Water;
  • then the Organ of tasting, which is grosser and most like to the nature of Water:
  • Last of all, the touching is diffused through the whole body, and is compared to the grossness of Earth.

The more pure senses are those which perceive their Objects farthest off, as Seeing, and Hearing, then the Smelling, then the Taste, which doth not perceive but those that are nigh. But the touch perceives both ways, for it perceives bodies nigh; and as Sight discerns by the medium of the Air, so the touch perceives by the medium of a stick or pole, bodies Hard, Soft, and Moist.

Now the touch only is common to all animals. For it is most certain that man hath this sense, and in this, and taste he excels all other animals, but in the other three he is excelled by some animals, as by a Dog, who Hears, Sees, and Smells more acutely then Man, and the Lynx, and Eagles see more acutely then all other Animals, & Man.

Internal Senses

Now the interior senses are, according to Averrois, divided into four,

  • whereof the first is called Common sense, because it doth first collect, and perfect all the representations which are drawn in by the outward senses.
  • The second is the imaginative power, whose office is, seeing it represents nothing, to retain those representations which are received by the former senses, and to present them to the third faculty of inward sense,
  • which is the fantasy, or power of judging, whose work is also to perceive, and judge by the representations received, what or what kind of thing that is of which the representations are,
  • and to commit those things which are thus discerned, and adjudged, to the memory to be kept.

For the virtues thereof in general, are discourse, dispositions, persecutions, and flights, and stirrings up to action: but in particular, the understanding of intellectuals, virtues, the manner of Discipline, Counsel, Election. And this is that which shews us future things by dreams: whence the Fancy is sometimes named the Fantastical Intellect. For it is the last impression of the understanding; which, as saith Iamblicus, is belonging to all the powers of the mind, and forms all figures, resemblances of species, and operations, and things seen, and sends forth the impressions of other powers unto others: And those things which appear by sense, it stirs up into an opinion, but those things which appear by the Intellect, in the second place it offers to opinion, but of it self it receives images from all, and by its property, doth properly assign them, according to their assimilation, forms all the actions of the soul, and accommodates the external to the internal, and impresses the body with its impression.

Now these senses have their Organs in the head, for the Common sense, and imagination take up the two former Cells of the brain, although Aristotle placers the Organ of the Common sense in the heart, but the cogitative power possesses the highest, and middle part of the head; and lastly, the memory the hindmost part thereof.

Moreover, the Organs of Voice, and Speech are many, as the inward muscles of the breast betwixt the ribs, the breasts, the lungs, the arteries, the windpipe, the bowing of the Tongue, and all those parts and muscles that serve for breathing. But the proper Organ of Speech is the Mouth, in which are framed words, and speeches, the Tongue, the Teeth, the Lips, the Palate, &c.

The Mind

Above the sensible soul, which expresses its powers by the Organs of the body, the incorporeal mind possesses the highest place, and it hath a double nature,

  • the one, which inquires into the causes, properties, and progress of those things which are contained in the order of nature, and is content in the contemplation of the truth, which is therefore called the contemplative intellect.
  • The other is a power of the mind, which discerning by consulting what things are to be done, and what things to be shunned is wholly taken up in consultation, and action, and is therefore called the Active Intellect.

This Order of powers therefore nature ordained in man, that by the external senses we might know corporeal things, by the internal the representations of bodies, as also things abstracted by the mind and intellect, which are neither bodies, nor any thing like them.

Appetites of the Soul

And according to this threefold order of the powers of the soul, there are three appetites in the soul:

  • The first is natural, which is an inclination of nature into its end, as of a stone downward, which is in all stones;
  • another is animal, which the sense follows, and it is divided into irascible, and concupiscible;
  • the third is intellectual, which is called the will, differing from the sensitive, in this, the sensitive is of it self, of these things, which may be presented to the senses, desiring, nothing unless in some manner comprehended.

Passions of the Will

But the will, although it be of it self, of all things that are possible, yet because it is free by its essence, it may be also of things that are impossible, as it was in the Devil, desiring himself to be equal with God, and therefore is altered and depraved with pleasure and continual anguish, while it assents to the inferior powers. Whence from its depraved appetite there arise four passions in it, with which in like manner the body is affected sometimes.

  • Whereof the first is called Oblectation, which is a certain quietness or assentation of the mind or will, because it obeys, and not willingly consents to that pleasantness which the senses hold forth; which is therefore defined to be an inclination of the mind to an effeminate pleasure.
  • The second is called effusion, which is a remission of, or dissolution of the power, viz. when beyond the oblectation the whole power of the mind, and intension of the present good is melted, and diffuses it self to enjoy it.
  • The third is vaunting, and loftiness, thinking it self to have attained to some great good, in the enjoyment of which it prides it self, and glories.
  • The fourth and the last is Envy, or a certain kind of pleasure or delight at another mans harm, without any advantage to it self. It is said to be without any advantage to it self, because if any one should for his own profit rejoices at an other mans harm, this would rather be out of love to himself, then out of ill will to another.

And these four passions arising from a depraved appetite of pleasure, the grief or perplexity it self doth also beget so many contrary passions, as Horror, Sadness, Fear, and Sorrow at another’s good, without his own hurt, which we call Envy, i. e. Sadness at another’s prosperity, as pity is a certain kind of sadness at another’s misery.

AOP Origin and Kinds of Passions of the Mind

Of the Passions of the Mind, their Original, difference, and kinds
Agrippa, Book 1, Chapter 62

The passions of the mind are nothing else but certain motions or inclinations proceeding from the apprehension of any thing, as of good or evil, convenient or inconvenient. Now these kind of apprehensions are of three sorts, viz. Sensual, Rational, and Intellectual. And according to these three, are three sorts of passions in the Soul;

For when they follow the sensitive apprehension, then they respect a temporal good or evil, under the notion of profitable, or unprofitable, delightful and offensive, and are called natural, or animal passions.

When they follow the rational apprehension, and so respect good or bad, under the notions of Virtue or Vice, praise or disgrace, profitable or unprofitable, honest or dishonest, they are called rational, or voluntary passions.

When they follow the Intellectual apprehension, and respect good or bad, under the notion of just or unjust, true or false, they are called intellectual passions, or synderesis.

Now the subject of the passions of the soul, is the concupitive power of the soul, and is divided into concupiscible, and irascible, and both respect good and bad, but under a different notion.

For when the concupiscible power respects good, and evil absolutely; Love or Lust, or on the contrary, hatred is caused: When it respects good, as absent, so desire is caused; or evil, as absent, or at hand, and so is caused horror, flying from, or loathing: or if it respect good, as present, then there is caused delight, mirth, or pleasure; but if evil, as present, then sadness, anxiety, grief.

But the irascible power respects good or bad, under the notion of some difficulty; to obtain the one, or avoid the other, and this sometimes with confidence: and so there is caused Hope or Boldness; but when with diffidency, then Despair, and Fear. But when that irascible power raises into revenge, and this be only about some evil past, as it were of injury or hurt offered, there is caused Anger.

And so we find eleven passions in the mind, which are, Love, Hatred, Desire, Horror, Joy, Grief, Hope, Despair, Boldness, Fear, and Anger.

AOP Passions of the Mind Change the Body by Accidents and Spirit

How the passions of the mind change the proper body, by changing the Accidents, and moving the spirit
Agrippa, Book 1, Chapter 63

The Fantasy, or imaginative power hath a ruling power over the passions of the soul, when they follow the sensual apprehension. For this doth of its own power, according to the diversity of the Passions, First of all change the proper body with a sensible transmutation, by changing the Accidents in the body, and by moving the spirit upward or downward, inward, or outward, and by producing divers qualities in the members.

So in joy, the spirits are driven outward, in fear, drawn back, in bashfulness, are moved to the brain. So in joy, the heart is dilated outward, by little, and little, in sadness, is constrained by little, and little inward. After the same manner in anger or fear, but suddenly.

Again anger, or desire of revenge produces heat, redness, a bitter taste, and a looseness.

Fear induces cold, trembling of the heart, speechlessness, and paleness.

Sadness causes sweat, and a blueish whiteness. Pity, which is a kind of sadness, doth often ill affect the body of him that takes pity, that it seems to be the body of another man affected.

Also it is manifest, that among some lovers there is such a strong tie of love, that what the one suffers, the other suffers.

Anxiety induces dryness, and blackness.

And how great heats love stirs up in the Liver, and pulse, Physicians know, discerning by that kind of judgment the name of her that is beloved, in an Heroic Passion. So Naustratus knew that Antiochus was taken with the love of Stratonica. It is also manifest that such like Passions, when they are most vehement, may cause death.

And this is manifest to all men, that with too much joy, sadness, love, hatred, men many times die, and are sometimes freed from a disease. So we read, that Sophocles, and Dionysius the Sicilian Tyrant, did both suddenly die at the news of a Tragic victory. So a certain woman seeing her son returning from the Canensian battle, died suddenly. Now what sadness can do, is known to all. We know that Dogs oftentimes die with sadness for the death of their masters.

Sometimes also by reason of these like Passions, long diseases follow, and are sometimes cured. So also some men looking from an high place, by reason of great fear, tremble, are dim-sighted, and weakened, and sometimes loose their senses. So fears, and falling-sickness, sometimes follow sobbing. Sometimes wonderful effects are produced, as in the son of Craesus, whom his mother brought forth dumb, yet a vehement fear, and ardent affection made him speak, which naturally he could never do. So with a sudden fall oftentimes life, sense, motion on a sudden leave the members, and presently again are sometimes returned.

And how much vehement anger, joined with great audacity, can do, Alexander the Great shows, who being circumvented with a battle in India, was seen to send forth from himself lightening and fire. The Father of Theodoricus is said to have sent forth out of his body, sparks of fire; so that sparkling flames did leap out with a noise. And such like things sometimes appear in beasts, as in Tiberius his horse, which is said to send forth a flame out of his mouth.

AOP Passions of the Mind Change the Body by Resemblance and Imagination over Soul

How the Passions of the mind change the body by way of imitation from some resemblance; Also of the transforming, and translating of men, and what force the imaginative power hath not only over the body, but the soul
Agrippa, Book 1, Chapter 64

The aforesaid Passions sometimes alter the body by wa

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