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Re: VMS -- Doctrine of Signatures
Yes, I believe the DoS was literalistic. I was simply repeating the title of
article. While there seem to be references to the DoS in the VMS, I think that
I am perhaps more interested in finding articles that are relative to the VMS
which will help dispel any views that its content is somehow completely
mysterious and foreign to our 'modern' understanding. A great deal of what
Paracelsus wrote has helped me gain further insight into the VMS. Culpeper
(post VMS?) may also assist us in further understanding some of the
Astrological apsects of the VMS. Of course, one needs to be careful and not
just arbitrariliy apply to the VMS what the ancients have written as fact. The
main idea, I think, is that we can learn from these great teachers of the past.
I don't know where Paracelsus learned the concept of the DoS, though it was
apparently known to Hippocrates and practiced in China and India.
"Paracelsus, Selected Writings", edited by Jolande Jacobi, translated by
Bollingen Series XXVIII, Princeton University Press, 1979. ISBN 0-691-01876-6
(pbk.), 286 pages.
Nick Pelling wrote:
> Hi Dana,
> >Here is a nice article on "The Doctrine of Signatures" that may help
> >provide some insight into the Nature of the VMS.
> Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the Doctrine of Signatures
> was rather more literalistic than as presented in this article: it's more
> about Culpeper's herbal astrology, and that was basically a populist
> version of the "London Pharmacopoeia" (first edition 1616, IIRC).
> AIUI, the DoS was the idea (revived by Paracelsus about 1530 or so, but had
> been dormant for several centuries before that) that plants with a
> particular visual affinity with a disease were placed on Earth in order
> that the similarity be recognised by man as a sign that that was the plant
> to treat an ailment. Basically, if the cap fits, eat it and be cured. :-)
> In the case of lungwort, the speckles on the leaves (so the theory goes)
> are a sign that it should be taken be those with lung problems. And so on.
> The lungwort identification in the VMS is a curious (yet probably highly
> demonstrative) one. The spots are stylised, quite unlike any actual
> lungwort - as if the plant was being drawn by someone who had only heard
> (or read) it described (perhaps a town-dweller?), or was drawing to
> emphasise the spot in a very stylised way.
> Still, I'm quite comfortable with the idea that the inclusion of lungwort
> could be read as a possible indication that the Doctrine Of Signatures is
> one of the sources of information the VMS contains. Is this what you're
> saying? :-)
> I wonder - if Paracelsus is too late for the VMS, does anyone know from
> what person or source Paracelsus learnt of the Doctrine Of Signatures?
> Perhaps by tracing this backwards in time, we may be able to tie down the
> provenance of the VMS from yet another direction. :-)
> Just a thought. :-)
> Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....