Picatrix Book 3

Chapter 5
Revelation of the virtue proper to animals, remarkable facts necessary in this science, and how the planetary spirits are drawn by images and incenses

1. After having spoken above of the properties of each planet in the three lower kingdoms, animal, vegetal, and mineral, it is needful to speak next of these three kingdoms. Among them, the animals are the most noble, and one recognizes in the human being the most lofty one among them, because he is founded upon a most noble reflection. There are some animals which have a single sensitive element such as the sea mollusks and other similar animals; others that have two, three, four, five and six sources of sensibility. Humanity has of these ten visible and five hidden of which we have already spoken in this book. On the other hand, the forms of animals are diverse, as is apparent if one passes all animals in review. As humanity is the intermediary animal between celestial spirits, separately, and the beasts without reason, the fish are intermediary between the birds and the wild beasts; the aquatic mollusks are the intermediaries between the animals granted sense and those that lack it, because they have only two sources of sensibility - and that due to their earthy nature that dominates in them, and they become nearly similar to the plants by their nature.

From that it is apparent that the more an animal has the trait of an element, the more dependent they are upon the nature of this element. Humanity is the most noble of the animals because within his body the elements are in a favorable quantity and without excess and this permits him to be more balanced in his complexion than the other living beings. Each one of the elements has an animal proper to it which is never separated from it, like the birds that are never separated from the air, nor the fish from the water, and the devilish spirits are never separated from the perpetual fire, those which are called infernal, but the fire that is sensed and perceived properly speaking by the senses is especially suited to the animal called salamander, an animal created in the fire in the shape of a mouse. The heavy animals, by reason of their weight, are not separated from the earth. Let's respond now to a tacit question, that is how the devils exist in the fire. I say indeed that the human being is called microcosm, and this by comparison with the macrocosm, like if one says that all that is contained in the great is contained virtually in the small.

If therefore the devils are themselves within the macrocosm, it is necessary to find them, after a certain fashion, effectively in the microcosm. This is what happens: when the irascible appetite is inflamed within man, he is inflamed in an immoderate fashion, becoming irascible and furious to the highest degree, and transforms into a devil therefore in all his actions. By a certain similitude, we can say that the devils exist in the fire, that is the say within the blaze of the irascible fire that is found within humanity and from whence follow diabolical effects. And vice versa, when the will of man is appropriately ruled and governed by the virtue of reason, man becomes like an angel. We can therefore justly state that within the microcosm, all is disposed as in the macrocosm.

2. I return now to my theme. I say that the distribution of the three kingdoms preceding (animal, plant, mineral) between the planets and their actions with the sciences aforementioned, after the Copts, Nabateans, Egyptians, Greeks, Turks, and Hindus, comes from the mutual admixtures of these kingdoms, and that they work through incenses, vestments, foods, and scents. By this means, they work great marvels, as we found it integrally within their books. Indeed they made preparations with which they worked, in adding to it the forces of the stars within the air, by means of blending the forces of the fire and that finally they might attain this world and therefore the effect or the accomplishment of the request.

The air indeed is a body without which the other bodies cannot be in life, since it is intermediate for receiving the bodies, the influences, or the planetary effects, by the regulated will of the agent who takes advantage of it by means of the mixture of his own air with the universal air. There is also effect by the incenses corresponding to the members of the human body, incenses prepared with plants and other species; these incenses permit turning the spirits of men to what one wants. There are also magical workings that have marvelous and manifest effects.

3. For my part, I have seen in the book of a sage, called "Division of the sciences and discovery of mysteries", where he had written:

"A man worthy of confidence, having met a man of Khorazan who, having come from India, dabbled in this science, told me that, when he had spoken with him and discussed certain of his doubts, he had precisely doubts about this science. He told me in fact that the other brought him evident proofs and he recounted to me what follows:

There was in this country an extremely beautiful young girl. He said that he could make her come to my house. Myself, I asked him to carry out his promises, and for these two reasons: the one for love of this science, the other to have relations with this girl; and I asked him to perform the working in question under my eyes.

Soon after having suspended an astrolabe and having found the height of the Sun, he took the ascendent and established the twelve houses. He found Aries at the ascendent, of which Mars is the ruler, and he found in the 7th House Libra, which is ruled by Venus. I asked him the significance of what precedes. He replied: "The ascendent and the 7th House are especially suited to the request that you make." As one says that Mars and Venus are of equal force, he places them in the figure according to their position, saying that, when they regard each other in a trine aspect - which is the aspect of love or friendship - what one wants is manifested. He found that this aspect would be completely realized between them at the fourth day. He affirmed that at the said fourth day from the day of the request, he would obtain what he desired.

Soon, after having taken a piece of lodestone he powdered it completely and worked it into some gum ammoniac; with this preparation, he fashioned an image of my resemblance. Then he took some dried blackberries and after powdering them well, mixed them with wax; with this preparation he made an image in the form of the young girl, and covered it with similar fabric and clothing.

After that he took a new clay pot, where he placed seven branches or pieces of wood, that is to say branches of myrtle, willow, pomegranate, apple, quince, blackberry bush, and laurel; he put them in the bottom of the pot - four above and three below - crossed. He placed there in the pot the image made in my name, following which he placed the image of the girl within this pot. For doing this he watched when Venus was in opposition with Mars, and when Mars was strengthened by favorable planets. Then he closed the pot and ordered me to bury it under a hearth where a small fire burned; and on burying it with a bit of gravel and in saying a word in Hindu, he translated this word and revealed to me what we will speak of later. Once the work was achieved as above, he retrieved and opened the pot, and took out the images.

We soon saw the young girl in question enter by the door of the house and remain there without interruption for ten days. At the end of ten days the practitioner in question advised me "From the moment that I fulfilled my promise on your behalf, I judge preferable to free the spoken of young lady and cause her to recover her former liberty." I was equally in agreement. After having taken the two images, he replaced them where he had buried them. He took some chaste tree, reduced it to powder, mixed it with wax and made a candle that he burned upon the hearth. When this was consumed he took out the images from the place where they were buried, and separated them the one from the other, tossing one to one side and the other to the other side, while pronouncing other words that he explained to me after. He did all this to show me his science. This done, we saw the girl breathe and get up as if overcome with sleep. She spoke thusly: "Say what you want of me." And then she removed herself in running from the house.

This was one of the great marvels that I was able to see within this science, during my life."

I merely recount what precedes to draw your attention to the marvels of this science and the greatness of its effects, so that, as he worked, within what precedes, while observing the planets, their positions, their aspects, the ascendant, the other houses, the materials for making images, incenses, and all that is suited to this operation, you also work similarly in your workings, in order to accomplish as necessary all that conforms and corresponds to your goal. You will thus at the end be able to attain the desired end, as the sages have written.

4. We begin to cover now what was announced regarding the workings with the planetary spirits, the relations of stars, and in general, what is necessary to perfect the talisman, so that this item may receive the powers of the planets, that's to say of incenses, and of foods that the practitioner must abstain from to facilitate the manifestation of the working. I tell you dearest one that I wrote this book at the cost of much effort and of long study, in consulting many numerous books from ancient sages, examining and studying the opinions of some of them, and in writing the conclusions of the averred workings, confirmed by the results, insofar as I studied word by word the two hundred twenty four books of the ancient sages who came before us, and that with them all I wrote this book as their anthology and most beautiful epitome, working continually for six years at this work.

5. Before speaking of what precedes, I will present an aphorism that is very important to note and observe. The reception of the planetary spirits, according to the opinion of the ancients, is the following. It is first necessary to familiarize yourself with the nature of the planet with which you want to work for receiving its powers and its spirits, and the forces of which you want to dispose within the image or the talisman of your choice, as well as knowing the natures of the things properly suited to the planet, as what was treated above, that's to say with regard to colors, foods, scents, and smokings. Then, observe with care that the color of the surface of the talisman's body resembles the colors assigned to that planet, that the perfumes of the same are suitable and that the color of the clothing for the talisman and of the practitioner be like the color apppropriate to the planet; that the incenses are made of perfumes appropriate to the planet. That the body of the practitioner, at the interior, is of the nature of the planet, in other words that he feeds himself with foods assigned to the planet and takes as needed, in such a manner that the the body of the practitioner may thereby be maintained as necessary within the necessary complexion.

And if by chance it arrives that some foods be contrary to its nature, you will feed the body in a moderate and measured fashion at the start, and thus, in feeding it little by little, you will come to habituate the stomach to such foods; the appetite of which will be augmented for permitting the body to accept this regimen and this food. When the body will follow such a regimen, observe within what part of the zodiac the planet is found, that its rays project in a straight line upon the earth and that they not be separated by the rays of other planets that are contrary to it; that instead its rays shine directly upon the earth, without any impediment.

You take then a metal appropriate to the planet, with which you will cast a cross; do this operation under the appropriate figure, and stand the cross up with the aid of two feet. Then place it above the image or talisman corresponding to your request and to the spirit of the planet. For example: if you want to prepare a talisman for conquering and repelling lawsuits and enemies, associate a cross to an image of a lion or a snake. If you want to do a work for fleeing and evasion, then associate a cross with an image of a bird. If your work aims toward the increase of wealth, power, honor, and elevation, associate a cross to an image of a man seated on a throne. And you will perform after the examples of this sort in all your requests, in associating a cross to the image suited to your request.

If you want to be obeyed by the person of your choice so they will not transgress your demands, make their image in a stone appropriate to the nature of the planet, that is to say that planet which has a great enough force at the base of his nativity and at the ascendent of the working. You will make this image at the hour of the planet, and the dominant planet in the nativity will not be in opposition, nor in the same sign, nor in aspect with a contrary planet. When you will have done in this manner what is about to be said, place this image so that it serves to support the other image, the first one. The reason for which we say that this figure must be made in cruciform, is that, as we have said, all things see their forces concentrated if the images are conformed to their quality, and see them flee in the contrary case. We research how to unite the forces of the planetary spirits to their images, and since we are unfamiliar with the image of the spirit, we can only attain it in practical terms by the image of a man, an animal, or other thing. One concludes therefore that all the virtue of what precedes resides in the images. This is why, as we see that all the shapes and forms of trees and plants are distinct in their images, so it is with the shapes of animals and similarly of metals, and since we cannot by any means know properly the shapes of the planetary spirits, the wise men of old in this art chose for this the cross as a universal image, and this because all bodies appear on the surface, such that the surface of their shapes has a length and a breadth and that the image of length and breadth is found naturally in the cross. We have said therefore that this figure is so to speak the universal mistress for working here and as the receptrix of the forces of the planetary spirits, because there is no other figure that oppose her. This is one of the secrets of this art. Moreover, all men are placed within the circles of the seven planets. When the virtue of the planetary spirit is joined to the the figure of the cross, the working has therefore strength and power upon the other figures whatever they be, such that, if it is associated to the shape of a man, its force is directed upon men, and the same for the other animals.

When you have made these images in this way, make then a censer that you will make in the same material as the cross, of a manner and shape such that it be totally enclosed except for the top where there be a hole for the smoke to leave by, and that the smoke of what burns may not rise by other means.

Moreover, have a house set aside and reserved to these workings, where the one doing the preceding works may enter, and this solely at the moment of working. This house should have a place open to the sky. It's grounds should be covered with plants of the planet dominant to the working, and there should be none other than these kinds of plants.

Then you will take the incenses of the nature of the planet and will burn it in the censer. Then place the cross upon the censer so that the smoke that leaves the censer enters by the lower part of the cross and leaves by the upper part. All that precedes should be done at a time appropriately elected, when the dominant planet of the work is located as we stated above. Once this is made and accomplished in the order given, the smoke of this incense will completely attain the sphere of the zodiac in a straight line, and will not be cut by the lines of the rays of other planets that oppose the planet in question. If your working concerns the lower regions, by means of the spirit of the planets joined to the earth, and its virtue descending by its own lines, down to the earth, within the object of the working -- thusly what you ask will be manifested.

6. The one who wants to work in this science must know and understand first off that each planet has its powers and significations in a universal and a particular sense, and also one power that carries itself upon the other. Thus in what precedes, the essence of the working is to observe the planet that within your working, has the universal power, without delivering yourself to another planet that has a power in the particular; it is on the contrary by the spirit and influence of the planet that has the universal power that you will work. If by chance this planet that has the universal power governs the nativity of the sorcerer or if the almuten is dominant therein, then the action will be made more complete. The sage says that there is not one way or one means of uniting the noncorporeal spirits to the corporeal spirits, if not the means of which is spoken above; and that's the secret of this art. The one who will accomplish what precedes without mistake may arrive at what he desires.

The sage Aaron says that when one will have worked within this science in knowing his own nativity, one may distinguish the time of the conjoining of their spirit together with their body, and by consequence the dominant planet in their nativity, that one will know upon knowing these things the planet that makes efficient the combining of the spirit and the body at the moment of their birth. If this is an unfavorable planet, it will make him unhappy; if it is a favorable planet, it will make him otherwise happy.