Alchemist, A Modern Egyptian : A correspondent writing to the Liverpool Post of Saturday, November 28th, , gives an interesting description of a veritable Egyptian alchemist whom he had encountered in Cairo not long before, as follows "I was not slow in seizing an opportunity of making the acquaintance of the real alchemist living in Cairo, which the winds of chance had blown in my direction.
He received me in his private house in the native quarter, and I was delighted to observe that the appearance of the man was in every way in keeping with my notions of what an alchemist should be. Clad in the flowing robes of a graduate of Al Azhar, his long grey beard giving him a truly venerable aspect, the sage by the eager, far-away expression of his eyes, betrayed the mind of the dreamer, of the man lost to the meaner comforts of the world in his devotion to the secret mysteries of the universe.
After the customary salaams, the learned man informed me that he was seeking three things the philosopher's stone, at whose touch all metal should become gold the elixir of life, and the universal solvent which would dissolve all substances as water dissolves sugar the last, he assured me, he had indeed discovered a short time since.
I was well aware of the reluctance of the mediaeval alchemists to divulge their secrets, believing as they did that the possession of them by the vulgar would bring about ruin of states and the fall of divinely constituted princes and I feared that the reluctance of the modern alchemist to divulge any secrets to a stranger and a foreigner would :. Yes, there was the sage, surrounded by his retorts, alembics, crucibles, furnace, and bellows, and, best of all, supported by familiars of gnome-like appearance, squatting on the ground, one blowing the fire a task to be performed daily for six hours continuously , one pounding substances in a mortar, and another seemingly engaged in doing odd jobs.
Involuntarily my eyes sought the pentacle inscribed with the mystic word Abracadabra,' but here I was disappointed, for the black arts had no place in this laboratory. One of the familiars had been on a voyage of discovery to London, where he bought a few alchemical materials another had explored Spain and Morocco, without finding any alchemists, and the third had indeed found alchemists in Algeria, though they had steadily guarded their secrets.
After satisfying my curiosity in a general way, I asked the sage to explain the principles of his researches and to tell me on what his theories were based. I was delighted to find that his ideas were precisely those of the mediaeval alchemists namely, that all metals are debased forms of the original gold, which is the only pure, non-composite metal all nature strives to return to its original purity, and all metals would return to gold if they could nature is simple and not complex, and works upon one principle, namely, that of sexual reproduction.
It was not easy, as will readily be believed, to follow the mystical explanations of the sheikh. Air was referred to by him as the vulture,' fire as the serpent,' and earth as scorpion,' water as the 'calacant and only after considerable cross-questioning and confusion of mind was I able to disentangle his arguments. Finding his notions so entirely mediaeval, I was anxious to discover whether he was familiar with the phlogistic theory of the seventeenth century.
The alchemists of old had noticed that the earthy matter which remains when a metal is calcined is heavier than the metal itself, and they explained this by the hypothesis, that the metal contained a spirit known as phlogiston,' which becomes visible when it escapes from the metal or combustible substance in the form of flame thus the presence of the phlogiston lightened the body just as gas does, and on its being expelled, the body gained weight. I accordingly asked the chemist whether he had found that iron gains weight when it rusts, an experiment he had ample means of making. But no, he had not yet reached the seventeenth century he had not observed the fact, but was none the less ready with his answer the rust of iron was an impurity proceeding from within, and which did not effect the weight of the body in that way.
He declared that a few days would bring the realisation of his hopes, and that he would shortly send me a sample of the philobut although his sopher's stone and of the divine elixir promise was made some weeks since, I have not yet seen the fateful discoveries. Wallis to pour, whence the word " gusli. To this name the Arabs affixed the article al, thus giving al-khemeia, or alchemy.
History of Alchemy. From an early period the Egyptians possessed the reputation of being skilful workers in. Crookes's spinthariscope a small box containing a particle of radium highly magnified and showed it to the sheikh.
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When he applied it to his eye and beheld the wonderful phenomenon of this dark speck flashing out its fiery needles on all sides, he was lost in wonder, and when I assured him that it would retain this property for a thousand years, he hailed me as a fellow-worker, and as one who had indeed penetrated into the secrets of the world. His reticence disappeared at once, and he began to tell me the aims and methods of alchemical research, which were indeed the same as those of the ancient alchemists of yore.
His universal solvent he would not show me, but assured me of its efficacy. I asked him in what he kept it if it dissolved all things. He replied In wax,' this being the one exception. I suspected that he had found some hydrofluoric acid, which dissolves glass, and so has to be kept in wax bottles, but said nothing to dispel his illusion. My highest expectations were fulfilled everything was exactly what an alchemist's '.
The resulting oxide was supposed to possess marvellous powers, and it was thought that there resided within it the individualities of the various metals that This in it their various substances were incorporated. Thus there grew up in Egypt the belief that magical powers existed in fluxes and alloys. Probably such a belief existed throughout Europe in connection with the bronze-working castes of its several races. See Shelta Thari. It was probably in the Byzantium of the fourth century, however, that alchemical scienee received embryonic form. There is little doubt that Egyptian tradition, filtering through Alexandrian Hellenic sources was the foundation upon which the infant science.
The Theory and Philosophy of Alchemy. The first objects were to be achieved as follows The transmutation of metals was to be accomplished by a powder, stone, or elixir often called the Philosopher's Stone, the application of which would effect the transmutation of the baser metals into gold or silver, depending upon the length of time of its application. Basing their conclusions on a. The Arabs, after their conquest of Egypt in the seventh century, carried on the researches of the Alexandrian school, and through their instrumentality the art was brought to Morocco and thus in the eighth century to Spain, where it flourished exceedingly.
Indeed, Spain from the ninth to the eleventh century became the repository of alchemical science, and the colleges of Seville, Cordova, and Granada were the centres from which this science radiated throughout Europe. The first practical alchemist may be said to have been the Arabian Geber q.
He was followed by Avicenna, Mesna and Rhasis q. Later, in French alchemy the most illustrious names are those of Flamel b. Norton, Dalton, Charnock, and Fludd kept the alchemical flame burning brightly. It is surprising how little alteration we find throughout the period between the seventh and the seventeenth centuries, the heyday of alchemy, in the theory and practice of the art. The same sentiments and processes are found expressed in the later alchemical authorities as in the earliest, and a wonderful unanimity as regards the basic canons of the great art is evinced by the hermetic students of all time.
On the introduction of chemistry as a practical art, alchemical science fell into desuetude and disrepute, owing chiefly to the number of charlatans practising it, and by the beginning of the eighteenth century, as a school, it may be said to have become defunct. Here and there, however, a solitary student of the art lingered, and the department of this article on " Modern Alchemy " will demonstrate that the science has to a great extent revived during modern times, although it has never been quite extinct.
The Quests of Alchemy. The grand objects of alchemy were 1 the discovery of a process by which the baser metals might be transmuted into gold and silver 2 , the discovery of an elixir by which life might be prolonged indefinitely and there may perhaps be added 3 , the manufacture of an artificial process of human life. For ;. Nature is also divisible into the male and the female.
She is the divine breath, the central fire, invisible yet ever active, and is typified by sulphur, which is the mercury of the sages, which slowly fructifies under the genial warmth of nature. The alchemist must be ingenuous, of a truthful disposition, and gifted with patience and prudence, following nature. We are told that the original matter of metals is double in its essence, being a dry heat combined with a warm moisture, and that air is water coagulated by fire, capable These terms the of producing a universal dissolvent. Great confusion exists in alchemical nomenclature, and the gibberish employed by the scores of charlatans who in later times pretended to a knowledge like.
The beginner must also acquire a thorough knowledge of the manner in which metals grow in the bowels of the earth. These are engendered by sulphur, which is male, and mercury, which is female, and the crux a process which the of alchemy is to obtain their seed alchemistical philosophers have not described with any degree of clarity. The physical theory of transmutation is based on the composite character of metals, and on the presumed existence of a substance which, applied to matter, exalts and perfects it.
This, Eugenius Philalethes and others call " The Light. The entire trend of the metallic kingdom is towards the natural manufacture of gold, and the production of the baser metals is only accidental as the result. The Philosopher's Stone is the combination of the male and female seeds which beget gold.
The composition of these is so veiled by symbolism as to make their identification a matter of impossibility. Waite, summarising the alchemical process once the secret of the stone is unveiled, says " Given the matter of the stone and also the necessary vessel, the processes which must be then undertaken to accomplish the magnum opus are described with moderate perspicuity. There is the calcination or purgation of the stone, in which kind is worked with kind for the space of a philosophical year.
There is dissolution which prepares the way for congelation, and which is performed during the black state of the mysterious matter. It is accomThere is plished by water which does not wet the hand. In the conjunction which follows, the elements are duly and scrupulously combined. Putrefaction afterwards takes place, of. Without which pole no seed may multiply. In sublimation the body is spiritualised, the spirit made corporeal, and again a more '.
Alchemy glittering whiteness is apparent. Fermentation afterwards fixes together the alchemical earth and water, and causes. The matter is then augmented with the alchemical spirit of life, and the exaltation of the philosophic earth is accomplished by the natural rectification of its elements. When these processes have been successfully completed, the mystic stone will have passed through three chief stages characterised. The base metals made use of must be purified to insure the success of the operation. The process for the manufacture of silver is essentially similar, but the resources of the matter are not carried to so high a degree.
It cannot, however, destroy gold, nor exalt it into a more perfect metallic substance it, therefore, transmutes it into a medicine a thousand times superior to any virtues which can be extracted from it in its vulgar state. This medicine becomes a most potent agent in the exaltationof base metals. Atwood, author of A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery, and an American writer named Hitchcock are perhaps the chief protagonists of the belief that by spiritual processes akin to those of the chemical processes of alchemy, the soul of man may be purified and exalted.
But both commit the radical error of stating that the alchemical writers did not aver that the transmutation of base metal into gold was their grand end. None of the passages they quote, is inconsistent with the physical object of alchemy, and in a work, The Marrow of Alchemy, stated to be by Eugenius Philalethes, it is laid down that the real quest is for gold. It is constantly impressed upon the reader, however, in the perusal of esteemed alchemical works, that only those who are instructed by God can achieve the grand secret.
Others, again, state that a tyro may possibly stumble upon it, but that unless he is guided by an adept he has small chance of achieving the grand arcanum. It will be obvious to the tyro, however, that nothing can ever be achieved by trusting to the allegories of the adepts or the many charlatans who crowded the ranks of the art.
Gold may have been made, or it may not, but the truth or fallacy of the alchemical method lies with modern chemistry. The transcendental view of alchemy, however, is rapidly gaining ground, and probably originated in the comprehensive nature of the Hermetic theory and the consciousness in the alchemical mind that what might with success be applied to nature could also be applied to man with similar results. Says " The gold of the philosopher is not a metal, Mr.
Waite on the other hand, man is a being who possesses within himself the seeds of a perfection which he has never realised, and that he therefore corresponds to those metals which the Hermetic theory supposes to be capable of development. It has been constantly advanced that the conversion of lead into gold was only the assumed object of alchemy, and that it was in reality in search of a process for developing the latent possibilities in the subject man.
The Elixir of Life has been specially treated elsewhere. Records of Alleged Actual Transmutation. Several records of alleged transmutations of base metals into gold are in existence. These were achieved by Nicholas Flaro. For a detailed account of the methods employed the reader is referred to the several articles on these hermetists.
In nearly every case the transmuting element was a mysterious powder or the "Philosophers' Stone. That alchemy has been studied in modern times there can be no doubt. Figuier in his L'Alchimie et les Alchimisles, dealing with the subject of modern alchemy, as expressed by the initiates of the first half of the nineteenth century, states that many French alchemists of his time regarded the discoveries of modern science as merely so many evidences of the truth of the doctrines they embraced. Throughout Europe, he says, the positive alchemical doctrine had many adherents at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth.
Thus a " vast association of alchemists," founded in Westphalia in , continued to flourish in the year 18 19, under the name of the " Hermetic Society. About the same time several French journals announced a public course of lectures on hermetic philosophy by a professor of the University of Munich. He further states that many Hanoverian and Bavarian families pursued. Paris, however, was regarded as the alchemistical Mecca. There dwelt many theoretical alchemists and " empirical adepts. Figuier states that in the forties of last century he frequented the laboratory of a certain Monsieur L.
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When Monsieur L's pupils left the laboratory for the day the modern adepts dropped in one by one, and Figuier relates how deeply impressed he was by the appearance and costumes of these strange men. In the daytime he frequently encountered them in the public libraries, buried in gigantic folios, and in the evening they might be seen pacing the solitary bridges with eyes fixed in vague contemplation upon the first pale stars of night.
A long cloak usually covered their meagre limbs, and their untrimmed beards and matted locks lent them a wild appearance. They walked with a solemn and measured gait, and used the figures of speech employed by the mediaeval illumines. Their expression was generally a mixture of the most ardent hope and a fixed despair. Among the adepts who sought the laboratory of Monsieur L.
He confounded the wisdom of the alchemical adept with the tenets of the modern scientist in the most singular fashion, and meeting him one day at the gate of the Observatory, M. Figuier renewed the subject of their last discussion, deploring that " a man of his gifts could pursue the semblance of a chimera. The young man proceeded to fix a limit to the researches Gold, he said, according to the of the modern alchemists. Modern alchemists, he continued, reject the greater part of these ideas, especially those connected with spiritual contact.
The object of modern alchemy might be reduced to the search for a substance having the power to transform and transmute all other substances one into another in short, to discover that medium so well known to the alchemists of old and lost In the to us. This was a perfectly feasible proposition. The ancient alchemical theory established the fact that all the metals are the same in their composition, that all are formed from sulphur and mercury, and that the difference between them is according to the proportion of these substances in their Further, all the products of minerals composition.
Thus fulminating acid contains precisely the same quantity of carbon, oxygen, and azote as cyanic acid, and " cyanhydric " acid does not differ from formate ammoniac. This new property of matter is known as " isomerism. Figuier's friend then proceeds to quote in support of his thesis and operations and experiments of M. Dumas, a celebrated French savant, as well as those of Prout, and other English chemists of. Passing to consider the possibility of isomerism in elementary as well as in compound substances, he points out to M.
Figuier that if the theory of isomerism can apply to such bodies, the transmutation of metals ceases to be a wild, unpractical dream, and becomes a scientific possibility, the transformation being brought about by a molecular rearrangement. Isomerism can be established in the case of compound substances by chemical analysis, showing the identity of their constituent parts" In the case of metals it can be proved by the comparison of the properties of isomeric bodies with the properties of metals, in order to discover whether they have any common characteristics.
Such experiments, he continued, had been conducted by M. Dumas, with the result that isomeric substances were found to have equal equivalents, or equivalents which were exact multiples one of another. This characteristic is also a feature of metals. Gold and osmium have identical equivalents, as have platinum and iridium. The equivalent of cobalt is almost the same as that of. If transmutation is thus theoretically possible, it only remains to show by practical experiment that it is strictly in accordance with chemical laws, and by no means in-.
At this juncture the young clines to the supernatural. When metals are melted and brought to red heat, a molecular change may be produced analogous to fermentation. Just as sugar, under the influence of a ferment, may be changed into lactic acid without altering its constituents, so metals can alter their character under the influence of the Philosophers' Stone.
The explanation of the latter The case is no more difficult than that of the former. As with the ferment, the required quantity of the Philosophers' Stone is infinitesimal. Medicine, philosophy, every modern science was at one time a source of such errors and extravagances as are associated with mediaeval alchemy, but they are not therefore neglected and despised.
Wherefore, then, should we be blind to the scientific nature of transmutation? One of the foundations of alchemical theories was that minerals grew and developed in the earth, like organic things. It was always the aim of nature to produce gold, the most precious metal, but when circumstances were not favourable the baser metals resulted. The desire of the old alchemists was to surprise nature's secrets, and thus attain the ability to do in a short period what nature takes years to accomplish.
Nevertheless, the mediaeval alchemists appreciated the value of time in their experiments as modern alchemists never do. Figuier's friend urged him not to condemn these exponents of the hermetic philosophy for their metaphysical tendencies, for, he said, there are facts in our sciences which can only be explained in that light. If, for instance, copper be placed in air or water, there will be no result, but if a touch of some acid be added, it will oxidise.
The explanation is that " the acid provokes oxidation of the metal, because it has an affinity for the oxide which tends to form " a material fact almost metaphysical in its production, and only explicable thereby. He concluded his argument with an appeal for tolerance towards the mediaeval alchemists, whose work is underrated because it is not properly understood.
See also Elixir of Life, Homunculus, and the many lives of the alchemists throughout this book. Robert Boyle S. Dumas, speaking before the British Association, had shown that when three simple bodies displayed great analogies in their properties, such as chlorine, bromide, and iodine, barium, strontium, and calcium, the chemical equivalent of the intermediate body is represented by the arithmetical mean between the equivalents of the other two.
Such a statement well showed the isomerism of elementary substances, and proved that metals, however dissimilar in outward appearance, were composed of the same matter differently arranged and proportioned. This theory successfully demolishes the difficulties in the way of transmutation.
Again, Dr. Prout says that the chemical Paris, Thus, if the equivalent of Alchindus : An Arabian doctor of the eleventh century, hydrogen be taken for the unit, the equivalent of every placed by some authoiities among the number of magicians, other substance will be an exact multiple of it carbon but regarded by others as merely a superstitious writer.
But, pointed out M. Figuier's to cure his patients. Demonologists maintained that the friend, if the molecular masses in compound substances devil was responsible for his power, and based their statehave so simple a connection, does it not go to prove that ments on the fact that he had written a work entitled The all natural bodies are formed of one principle, differently Theory of the Magic Arts.
He was probably, however, arranged and condensed to produce all known compounds? Some of his theories were of a magical nature, when he essayed to explain the phenomena of dreams by saying that they were the work of the elementals, who acted their strange fantasies before the mind of the. The Emperor Valens, informed of this circumstance, was ill-pleased that the infernal powers should have been consulted regarding his destiny. Indeed, he went further, for with unexampled severity, he proscribed not only all the sorcerers, but all the philosophers in Rome, and punished them so severely that many perished.
When he appears in visible form he takes the shape of a Aleuromancy A species of divination practised with flour. Sentences were written on slips of paper, each of which woman. These were thoroughly Alectorius : This stone is about the size of a bean, clear as It is said mixed up nine times, and divided amongst the curious, crystal, sometimes with veins the colour of flesh. Apollo, who was It renders its owner to be taken from the cock's stomach.
So late as the nineteenth thirst, and makes the husband love his wife, or, as another century the custom lingered in remoter districts. A band. He published a to regain a lost kingdom and acquire a foreign one. An ancient method of dissertation on the marvellous, entitled De Rebus A dmiraAlectryomancy, or Alectormancy In practising it, a circle must be bilibus, in which he recounts prodigies which happened in divination with a cock.
Italy, dreams which were verified, the circumstances made in a good close place, and this must be divided equally connected with many apparitions and phantoms, which he into as many parts as there are letters in the alphabet. He followed this dissertation says that he beheld himself. This must be done when the sun or moon is in Aries He tells how one evening he set out to join a party of or Leo.
A young cock, all white, should then be taken, several friends at a house in Rome which had been haunted his claws should be cut off, and these he should be forced In the middle of for a long time by spectres and demons. One of the most intrepid of the he must repeat two verses of the Psalms, which are exactly company advanced in front of the spectre beating a light, the midmost of the seventy-two verses mentioned under " Onimancy," and it is to be noted on the on which it disappeared.
Several times afterwards the the head of same apparition re-entered through the door. Alexander, authority of an ancient Rabbi, that there is nothing in these seventy-two which is not of some use in the kabawho had been lying on a couch, found that the demon had The cock being within the circle, it must slid underneath it, and on rising from it, he beheld a great listical secret. By this time be observed from which letters he pecks the grains, and several of the company had retired to rest, and the lights upon these others must be placed, because some names were out, but torches were brought in answer to their cries and words contain the same letters twice or thrice.
These of alarm, on which the spectre opened the door, slid past letters should be written down and put together, and they will infallibly reveal the name of the person concerning the advancing domestics, and disappeared. Alexander whom inquiry has been made it is said, though the story visited many other haunted houses, but he appears to have is doubted, that the magician Iamblicus used this art to been easily duped, and by no means the sort of person to discover the person who should succeed Valens Caesar undertake psychical research.
He prescribed for his was the person designed. Valens, however, learning patients amulets and charmed words, as, for instance, what had been done, put to death several individuals when he says in his Practice of Medicine that the figure whose names unhappily began with those letters, and the of Hercules strangling the Nemean lion, graven on a stone magician, to avoid the effects of his resentment, took a and set in a ring, was an excellent cure for colic. He also A kind of Alectromancy was also somedraught of poison. The oracle of Abonotica, an Alexander the Paphlagonian Ammianus Marcellinus describes the ritual which acobscure Paphlagonian town, who for nearly twenty years companied this act rather differently.
The sorcerers held absolute supremacy in the empirical art. Born about commenced by placing a basin made of different the end of the second century, a native of Abonotica, he metals on the ground and drawing around it at equal possessed but little in the way of worldly wealth. His sole distances the letters of the alphabet. Then he who capital consisted in his good looks, fine presence, exquisite possessed the deepest occult knowledge, advanced, envoice, and a certain talent for fraud, which he was soon to veloped in a long veil, holding in his hand branches of turn to account in an extraordinary manner.
His idea vervain, and emitting dreadful cries, accompanied by was to institute a new oracle, and he fixed upon Chalcedon hideous convulsions. He stopped all at once before the Finding no as a suitable place to commence operations. He struck great encouragement there he made a fresh start by setting on a letter several times with the branch in his hand, and afoot a rumour to the effect that Apollo and his son.
ZEsculathen upon another, until he had selected sufficient letters pius intended shortly to take up residence at Abonotica. The way was thus prepared for Alexander, who proceeded to Abonotica, diligently advertising his skill as a prophet, so that on his arrival people from many neighbouring towns applied to him, and ere long his fame had spread as far as Rome.
We are told that the Emperor Aurelius himself consulted Alexander before undertaking an important military enterprise.
Lucian gives a suppositious explanation of the Paphlagonian prophet's remarkable popularity. Alexander, he says, came in the course of his early travels to Pella, in Macedon, where he found a unique breed of serpents, large, beautiful, and so tame and harmless that they were allowed by the inhabitants to enter their houses and play with children.
Selecting the largest and finest specimen of the Macedonian snakes that he could find, he carried it secretly to his destination. The temple which the credulous natives of Abonotica had raised to Apollo was surrounded by a moat, and Alexander, ever ready to seize an opportunity wherever it presented itself, emptied a goose-egg of its contents, placed within the shell a newly-hatched serpent, and sunk it in. While passing through Syria he visited the court of the Sultan, who was at that moment surrounded by grave doctors and astrologers, who were discussing abstruse scientific points with the potentate.
Alfarabi entered the presence of the Sultan in his stained and dusty travelling attire he had been on a pilgrimage to Mecca , and when the prince bade him be seated, he, either unaware of, or indifferent to the etiquette of court life, sat down boldly on a corner of the royal sofa. The monarch, unused to such an informal proceeding, spoke in a little-known tongue to a courtier, and bade him remove the presumptuous philosopher. The latter, however, astonished him by replying in the same language " Sire, he who acts hastily, in haste repents.
The sages who were present were also astounded at his wide learning. When the prince called at length for some music, Alfarabi accompanied the musicians on a lute with such marvellous skill and grace that the entire company was charmed. When he struck up a lively measure, the gravest sages could not but dance to it. When he changed the melody to a softer lilt, tears sparkled in every eye, and at The last, with a gentle lullaby, he put the court to sleep.
Sultan wished to keep such a valuable philosopher about his court, and some say that A Ifarabi accepted his patronage and died peacefully in Syria. Others, again, maintain that he informed the Sultan that he would never rest till he had discovered the secret of the Philosophers' stone, which he These say that believed himself on the point of finding. He then impressively informed the people that Apollo had arrived. Making for the moat with all speed, followed by a curious multitude, he scooped up the egg, and in full view of the people, broke the shell and exposed to their admiring eyes a little, wriggling serpent.
When a few days had elapsed he judged the time ripe for a second demonstration.
Gathering together a huge crowd from every part of Paphlagonia, he emerged from the temple with the large Macedonian snake coiled about his neck. By an ingenious arrangement the head of the serpent was [See Astrology. The assembly was much astonished to find that Alfridarya A science resembling astrology, which lays down that all the planets, in turn influence the life of man. In other cases sealed rolls containing the questions livre, par Adrien de Montalembert, aumonier du roi Franwere handed to the oracle and returned with the seals This work dealt with the appearance in the cois Ier.
After this last enormity, she, of course, left the An adept of remarkable gifts and an Alfarabi : d. His name through the intercession of the Virgin, received pardon. Though he was of Turkish extracA number of years afterwards, when the monastery was tion, a desire to perfect himself in Arabic, led him to occupied by other and better nuns, one of their number, a Bagdad, where he assiduously studied the Greek philosogirl of about eighteen years, was aroused from her sleep phers under Abou Bachar Maltey.
He next stayed for a time in Hanan, where he learned logic from a Christian by the apparition of Sister Alis. For some time afterwards the spirit haunted her wherever she went, continually rapphysician. Having far surpassed his fellow-scholars, he ping on the ground near where she stood, and even comleft Hanan and drifted at last to Egypt.
During his municating with the interested nuns. From all indications, wanderings he came in contact with all the most learned it was a good and devout spirit who thus entered the philosophers of his time, and himself wrote books on monastery, but the good sisters, well versed in the wiles philosophy, mathematics, astromony, and other sciences, The services besides acquiring proficiency in seventy languages.
His treatise on music, proving the connection of sound with of the Bishop of Lyons and of the narrator, Adrien de Montalembert, were called in to adjure the evil spirit. She answered a number of questions regarding her present state and her desire for Christian burial, and confirmed the doctrines of the Catholic Church, notably that of purgatory, which latter spirit-revelation the author advances triumphThe remains of antly for the confusion of the Lutherans. Sister Alls were conveyed to consecrated ground, and prayers made for the release of her soul from purgatory, but for some reason or other she continued to follow the young nun for a time, teaching her, on her last visit, five secret prayers composed by St.
John the Evangelist. All Hallow's Eve : One of the former four great Fire festivals in Britain, is supposed to have taken place on the ist of November, when all fires, save those of the Druids, were extinguished, from whose altars only the holy fire must be purchased by. The festival is still known in Ireland as Samhein, or La Samon, i. All Hallow's Eve, as observed in the Church of Rome, corresponds with the Feralia of the ancient Romans, when they sacrificed in honour of the dead, offered up prayers for them, and made oblations to them.
In ancient times, this festival was celebrated on the twenty-first of February, but the Roman Church transferred It was originally it in her calendar to the first of November. In some parts of Scotland, it is still customary for young people to kindle fires on the tops of hills and rising grounds, and fire of this description goes by the name of a " Hallowe'en bleeze. Sheriff Barclay tells us that about seventy years ago, while travelling from Dunkeld to Aberfeldy on Hallowe'en, he counted thirty fires blazing on the hill tops, with the phantom figures of persons dancing round the flames.
In Perthshire, the " Hallowe'en bleeze " is made in the following picturesque fashion. Heath, broom, and dressings of flax are tied upon a pole. The faggot is then kindled a youth takes it upon his shoulders and carries it about.
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When the faggot is burned out a second is tied to the pole and kindled in the same manner as the former one. Several of these blazing faggots are often carried through the villages at the same time. His Satanic Majesty is supposed to have great latitude allowed him on this anniversary, in common with that malignant class of beings known as witches, some of ;. Others again, in a manner wondrous to behold.
The ignorant believe that there is no such night in all the year for obtaining an insight into futurity.
The following are the customs pertaining to this sticks,. Should the stalks thus secured prove to be of stately growth, straight in stem, and with a goodly supply of earth at their roots, the future husbands or wives will be young, goodlooking and rich in proportion. But if the stalks be stunted, crooked, and have little or no earth at their roots, the future spouses will be found lacking in good looks and fortune.
According as the heart or stem proves sweet or sour to the taste, so will be the temper of the :. The stalks thus tasted are afterwards placed above the doors of the respective houses, and the christian names of those persons Who first pass underneath will correspond with those of the future husbands or wives. There is also the custom of Eating the Apple at the Glass. Provide yourself with an apple, and, as the clock strikes twelve, go alone into a room where there is a looking glass.
Cut the apple into small pieces, throw one of them over your left shoulder, and advancing to the mirror without looking back, proceed to eat the remainder, combing your hair carefully the while before the glass. While thus engaged, it is said that the face of the person you are to marry will be seen peeping over your left shoulder. This " Hallowe'en " game is supposed to be a relic of that form of divination with mirrors which was condemned as sorcery by the former Popes. The Burning Nuts. Take two nuts and place them in the fire, bestowing on one of them your own name on the other that of the object of your affections.
Should they burn quietly away, side by side, then the issue of your love ;. Hemp Seed, steal forth alone towards midnight and sow a handful of hemp seed, repeating the. Then look over your left shoulder and you will see the person thus adjured in the act of harrowing. The ceremony of Winnowing Corn must also be gone through in solitude. Go to the barn and open both doors, taking them off the hinges if possible.
- Anna: lultima stazione (Orizzonti. Narrativa) (Italian Edition).
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Should those engaging in this ceremony be fated to die young, it is believed that a coffin, followed by mourners, will enter and pursue the too adventurous youth or maiden, who thus wishes to pry into the hidden things of the future, round the barn. Another is Measuring the Bean Stack. Go three times round a bean stack with outstretched arms, as if measuring it, and the third time you will clasp in your arms the shade of. Eating the Herring.
Just before retiring to rest eat a raw or roasted salt herring, and in your dreams your husband or wife that is to be, will come and offer you a drink of water to quench your thirst. Dipping the Shirt Sleeve. Go alone, or in company with others, to a stream where " three lairds' lands meet," and after this is done not one dip in the left sleeve of a shirt word must be spoken, otherwise the spell is broken. Then put your sleeve to dry before your bedroom fire. Go to bed, but be careful to remain awake, and you will see the form of your future helpmate enter and turn the sleeve in order that the other side may get dried.
The Three Plates. Place three plates in a row on a table. In one of these put clean water, in another foul, and leave the third empty. Blindfold the person wishing to try his The left or her fortune, and lead them up to the table. Should it come in contact with the clean water, then the future spouse will be young, handsome, and a bachelor or maid. The toul signifies a and the empty dish, single blessedwidower or a widow This ceremony is repeated three times, and the ness. Throwing the Clue. Steal forth alone and at night, to ;. As you come near the end, someone will grasp hold of the thread lying in the kiln.
Alopeey : A species of charm by the aid of which one can fascinate an enemy against whom he has a grudge, and You then ask, " Who holds? Alphabet, Magical : See Kabala. Allantara : See Spain. Chaldean Hell. Maspero describes her as " the lady Alphitomancy : A method of divination carried out with the help of a loaf of barley, which has been practised since the of the great country where all go after death who have earliest days. It was used to prove the guilt or innocence breathed here below," and as their terrible judge. The innocent people suffered no ill-effects, Allmuseri : An African secret society with secret rites akin while the criminal betrayed himself by an attack of indigesto those of the Cabiric and Orphic Mysteries.
Their tion. The fact that it takes that theme and mixes it with lots of gore makes the film all the better, as a film with just one or the other may have been either boring, or putridly pointless; but this film does both and therefore works on more than one level. The torture sequences in the movie are some of the bloodiest and most cringe-worthy ever committed to the screen, and even I, a hardened gore fan, had to look away at numerous times.
The violence is very realistic, which makes it all the more shocking and potent as it's easy to believe that the people you are watching having their tongues cut out really are having their tongues cut out. Mark of the Devil also features strong western undertones, which is always nice to see in a horror movie if you ask me. The music doesn't really do the movie any favours as it's rather silly and a foreboding score would have served the film better. The score that the film has only serves in undoing the tension in the scenes it features in.
Udo Kier and Herbert Lomm have both cemented themselves as icons within the realms of the cult horror film and both do themselves proud in this movie. Of course, the amazingly awful dubbing brings the film down in every respect, so it's probably better if you can get your hands on a subtitled copy; but otherwise this is very much recommended viewing!
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Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This. In s Austria, a witch-hunter's apprentice has doubts about the righteousness of witch-hunting when he witnesses the brutality, the injustice, the falsehood, the torture and the arbitrary killing that go with the job. Directors: Michael Armstrong , Adrian Hoven uncredited.
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