Vol. 23 APRIL, 1916. No. 1

Copyright, 1916, by H. W. PERCIVAL.


Commonplace Magic and Magic of Elementals.

TO bring this part of the work down to a comparison with familiar occurrences, it may be said that the rites, if properly enacted, have an effect like the building of a house, where the openings for windows, heating, lighting by gas or electricity, telephoning, are provided for in the construction of the frame and the finishing, so that the influences of light, heat, and those aiding in telephonic messages can thereafter readily act on the persons in the house. With some seals an influence acts without any further effort on the part of the possessor of the talisman, just as light comes into a house through the windows. With other seals, it is necessary that the possessor should do some act in order to call on the power, in the same way as in the case of the house one would strike a match or press a button to get light. Such acts which have to be done, are pressing or rubbing the seal, drawing a sign or name, or pronouncing or singing a word. The response is as certain as is the appearance of a glow in the electric lamp if all preliminaries have been done.

A seal can be made effective for a certain time, depending on the purpose for which the seal is made; for instance, to avoid dangers at sea on a certain journey, or to protect a person through a war, or to give to a person a certain power for his life. A seal can be made so, that it will give protection or lend power to any possessor of the seal, will protect him from drowning, aid him in locating metal ores, give him success in cattle-raising.

Breaking the Power of a Seal.

The power of the seal may be ended by immersing it in a certain liquid which breaks the seal, or a seal may be dissolved by special rites, or, in some cases, by the holder of the seal breaking the compact under which the seal was made, or by a change and waning of certain influences. An influence may continue for ages during the life of the elemental ruler, by the power of whom the seal was cast and the ghosts were bound.

Mystery in Common Things.

The mysteriousness surrounding the preparation of a talisman is often resorted to for mere effect on believers in the powers of talismans. On the other hand, disbelief in and ridicule of talismans is due to ignorance. Striking a match and getting light, pressing a button and seeing where there was darkness before, operating with electric waves and so communicating across the Atlantic by wireless, surrounding one’s self with charged electric wires which cause death to intruders, is no more supernatural than making a talisman, and, by the seal thereof, commanding, through a compact with an elemental ruler, the acts of inferior ghosts.

All these acts are artificial contrivances for man to use elementals. On the one hand, the chemical preparation on the match, the battery and wires used for electric lighting, the antennae and rigging for wireless telegraphy, are artificial means to cause the action of natural forces, which are nothing but the acts of elementals. On the other hand, the ceremonies and the more personal compact with an elemental ruler who binds elementals, that is, natural forces, to act when called upon by a person who wants them to act, are artificial contrivances for man to obtain the service of nature ghosts. Such contrivances are necessary as long as man is unable to use his human elemental in calling directly on the powers of nature, that is, the nature ghosts, to do his bidding.

To invoke an elemental by rubbing a stone is as natural as the evocation of an elemental by the striking of a flint or a match. The friction puts a part of an element into touch with another part of the same element, or with a part of another element, or loosens the bound portion of an element and puts it in touch with a free portion of the element.

The Mystery Worker a Materialist.

The physicist and the talismanic wonder-worker are both materialists; the first works on the seen side of the physical screen, and the wonder-worker works on the unseen side of the physical. Both appeal to the rulers of the elements. The physicist appeals to what he calls the natural law, and uses his physical means to call the elementals into operation. The wonder-worker, too, uses physical means to call elementals into operation, but he makes a more personal appeal, and offers and gives a part of his personality to the ghost—though he does that very often unconsciously.

Difference Between a Mind-Man and a Mystery-Worker.

A mind-man who has power over his human elemental, the co-ordinating formative principle of his physical body, which elemental, it will be remembered, is of the nature of all four spheres, can, through that elemental, without any physical means and often irrespective of time and place, compel the action of elementals to produce any of the results which the physicist produces mechanically or the wonder-worker brings about magically. He does it by knowledge through the power of his will and imagination. (See “The Word,” Vol. 17, No. 2.)

Karma May Be Postponed, But Cannot Be Avoided by the Holder of a Magic Object.

It is erroneous to believe that the possession of amulets, charms, spells, talismans, seals, or any magical object will enable the possessor or beneficiary to escape his karma. The most these objects can do is to postpone what is his karma. But usually not even that is done. Often the possession of a magical object precipitates karma, much against the expectation of the possessor of the charm, who believes that he is, with it, above all laws.

Elementals Bound by a Seal Do Not Favor All Who May Hold the Seal.

The presence giving power to a seal, which is made for a certain person, will not necessarily act favorably to another person who becomes the possessor of the seal, though the power may accompany the seal. So a seal made to assist in the discovery of precious ore would so act for the person for whom it was made. But another, should he become the possessor of the seal, might be led to the place where ore is, but he might break an arm, or be stricken by disease, or fall to his death, or be killed by robbers at the very spot of his discovery. One should be careful in wearing ancient talismans, jewels, and the like, even though he may know the cryptic symbols of the charm. The seal may be not for him. All magical objects whereof a man acquires the possession or use, must be in accordance with his karma; and he is constantly making karma.

There is More Power in Truth and Honesty Than in All Seals and Elemental Gods.

A man may procure amulets and talismans, charms and seals which will protect him in danger and endow him with power; but, on the other hand, one who has confidence in his own power and goes through life attending to his affairs with rectitude, who speaks truthfully, and who relies on the law of justice, secures a better protection and acquires better and more permanent powers than all the magical seals in the world can bring him. To think and speak and act with rectitude is more difficult than invoking with ceremonies elemental gods, and entering into compacts with them, or paying the price necessary for having the benefit of elemental powers bound by a magical seal.

To be continued