Picatrix Book 3

Chapter 6
Art of attracting the spirits of the planets by natural means; Nature of the talisman and its manner of having power

1. Nothing can be accomplished in this science if it is not inclined to it naturally, by the power and the disposition of the planets; this is what Aristotle says in the book ASTIMEHEC, where he affirms: "Perfect nature strengthens he who seeks wisdom, firms his intelligence and wisdom, for permitting him to succeed more easily in all his works."

All the wise in this science, according to their degree, have hidden this knowledge amongst themselves, as much as they were able, and did not want to reveal it except to philosophers. They themselves showed their students all the philosophical knowledge and subtleties besides the works concerning the spirits of perfect nature.

Indeed they called these spirits of this perfect nature by the following four names: Meegius, Betzahuech, Vacdez, Nufeneguediz - four elements which are the names of this aforementioned spirit of perfect nature.

And when these wise men had need of this perfect nature, they called by these four names, names that signify the power of the perfect nature. Hermes on the other hand said: "When I wanted to understand and draw the secrets of the work of the world and of its qualities, I place myself above a deep and dark well, out of which comes a violent wind; I am unable to see there because of its darkness. And when I bring there a burning candle, soon the wind extinguishes it.

Then a handsome man, of imperious authority, appeared to me in dreaming; he spoke to me thusly: "Take the burning candle and place it in a glass lantern so that the violence of the wind will not put it out. Drop it into the well in the midst of which you must dig; draw from it a talisman; once drawn forth, this talisman will make the wind of the well fall, and thus you can keep the light there. Then excavate the four corners of the well for drawing out of it the secrets of the world, the perfect nature, its qualities and also the origins of all things."

I asked him who he was. "I am the perfect nature," he responded, "and when you want to speak to me, call me by my own name and I will answer."

I asked him by what name to call him. Said he: "I am called and named," he answered me, "by the four names aforementioned, and when you will call me by them, I will answer you." I asked him again at which moment to call him and what to do to invoke him. And he said:

"When the Moon is in the first degree of Aries, by day as by night, as many times as you want, penetrate into a beautiful and splendid house, and place in one of the corners a raised table at the east.

Take four jugs (capacity of 1 pound each); fill them: one of cow's butter, another with walnut oil, the third with almond oil, and the fourth with sesame oil.

Then take four more jugs of the same size and fill them with wine.

Then make a mixture of walnut oil, butter, honey, and sugar.

Take the eight jugs, the mixture that you made, and a glass vase. First put it (the vase) in the middle of the table and pour into it the mixture that you put together.

Then put the four jugs of wine at the four corners of the table in the following manner: The first jug at the east, the second at the west, the third at the south, and the fourth at the north.

Then take the other four jugs - first place the one with almond oil at the east, next to a jug of wine; place the one with walnut oil at the west, the one with butter at the south, the one with [sesame oil and the vase of oil and honey] turned to the north.

After that take a burning wax candle and put it in the middle of the table. Then take two censers with burning coals; on one place frankincense and mastic, on the other aloeswood.

Once this is done stand up on your feet and turn to the east and pronounce seven times the four names aforementioned. After these seven invocations pronounce these words:

"I invoke you, O spirits mighty, powerful, and lofty, because it is from you that proceed the knowledge of the wise and the intellect of those who understand, and it is by your virtue that the requests of philosophers are manifested, so that you may answer me, that you may be with me, that you may link me to yourself by your powers and virtues, that you may strengthen me in your knowledge, so that I may understand what I do not understand, that I may know that of which I am ignorant, that I may see that which I see not; set far from me blindness, indignity, forgetfulness, and weakness; make me to climb to the degree of the wise ones of old - those who had a heart full of knowledge, wisdom, intellect, and savvy - fasten that in my heart in such a manner similar to the heart of the wise ones of old."

He said then "When you have realized the above work in the preceding manner, you will see me."

This work is revealed in the book called Astimequem. And the wise ones of old ordinarily did this work once a year with their spirits, for ruling their perfect natures.

After which they ate, their friends joining them, all that was placed on the table.

2. Aristotle says that each sage possesses a stainless virtue which is inspired in him by lofty spirits, powers by which are opened the doors of intelligence and mind and the sciences are revealed. This virtue joins to the virtue of the dominant planet at the base of the horoscope, virtue which to him is innate, strengthens the sage and gives him intellect. The wise ones of old and kings regularly performed this work and formulated this petition with the four names aforementioned, with which they were aided in their knowledge and intellect, for the increase of their affairs and their goods, and thanks to which they protected themselves from the traps of their enemies, and did many other things.

3. Aristotle said also that the first one who worked with talismans and to whom the spirits first appeared was Caraphzebiz. It is he who first invented the art of magia, the spirits appeared first to him in doing marvelous things, they revealed the perfect nature concerning the sciences and made him to understand the secrets of nature and the sciences. His family spirit told him "Keep me with you, reveal me not except to he who invokes me and performs sacrifices in my name." This sage worked from the spirits and was aided in his actions by their works and their powers. From this sage Caraphzebiz to another sage named Amenus (this Amenus was the second to work within the spirits and magical workings) 1260 years went by. This wise one in his theory claimed that a sage who wants to work in magy and serve himself by the strengths of the spirits must himself entirely from all cares and from all sciences outside of this one, so he would easily gain all intelligence, all intellect and all the thoughts that concern a most narrow domain; and as sustained thoughts accord well to this magical science, the one who has recourse to it within his works need not be involved within anything else.

4. And the Greek Tintinz said the same thing at the beginning of his book: "He who wants to manifest a working must distance his emotions and his thoughts from the rest because the root and the foundation of all working is found in the thoughts." And Aristotle says that the talisman is called such because the forces of the spirits are united; and thought is then introduced into the object where virtue is found closed within the spirit. The forces of the spirits are four in number: the intelligence that is located in structure of the world, the spirit of the object by which is attracted the spirit, the spirit of thought, which is complete, pure, and incorrupt, and the spirit of the working practiced manually. And the three spirits found within matter, feelings, and working are joined to the intelligence of perfect thought, of which we have said that it was in composition in the world. The talisman attracts the rays and links them within the things which one has the intention to link together, as within a mirror, because when it is raised towards the light of the Sun, its rays are reflected towards the nearby shadow; it receives the rays of the Sun by its own light and projects them towards a shadowy location; the place of this shadow becomes bright and illuminated without also diminishing the the light of the Sun. Thusly function the three spirits named above: when the spirits of movement and of repose are bound to the intelligence of the world of which there was question above, the forces of the spirit itself are attracted, and itself expands through matter. This is the basis of the talisman and of its label.

5. Socrates said that the perfect nature is the sun of the wise one and his root is that of the light. One interrogated the sage Hermes and asked him "With what are joined science and philosophy?" He replied "With the perfect nature." He was asked again "What is the root of science and philosophy?" "The perfect nature," he said. He was asked them more precisely "What is the key work of science and philosophy?" "The perfect nature" he answered. He was asked again "What is the perfect nature?" He answered "The perfect nature is the spirit of the philosopher or of the wise one bound to the planet that governs him. It is he that opens the doors of apprehension, and it is by he that one understands what cannot be understood otherwise, and it is from him that proceeds the workings of nature, directly, as much in dreams as in the state of wakefulness."

From what precedes it is therefore visible that the perfect nature comports itself within the wise one or in the philosopher like the teacher with respect to their student, who at the beginning teaches the easy matters, the elementary, and then advances by degree until what is most important and most difficult so that the student becomes accomplished in the field of study. It is thusly that the perfect nature properly works by its virtue and its influence in disposing the intellect of the philosopher according to his natural inclination. Understand that it is necessary to to entrust what precedes to your memory, since it concludes from what precedes that it is impossible to arrive a this science without a natural inclination for it as much by its proper virtue as by the disposition of the dominant planet within his horoscope.