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Re: VMS -- Doctrine of Signatures

Hi Diane,

At 21:36 10/10/01 +0200, diane.cousteau wrote:
                        Maybe this is old news to some but as far as the
associations of the doctrine of signatures go, I recently found a list of
all correspondences between plants and planets, according to Paracelsus; it
is rather tedious to translate here, and I haven't found it on the Internet
yet but if anyone wants it I'll type it out. It gives planetary associations
for about 140 plants.

The (botanical section) question I'd most like answered is: even though the stylistics are different from what you might expect, do the plants of the VMS actually lie within an existing tradition?

That is, do the VMS actually espouse the Doctrine of Signatures? If not, then what?

To determine this, what we'd need from Paracelsus (and from as many other sources as we can find) is a reasonably cross-checkable list of the plants used (and perhaps their associated conditions - I think it's a bit too early for their associated planets).

The idea would be to then construct three separate datasets:-
(1) the range of plants thought to have pharmaceutical effect *by anybody*
(2) the best matches to those within the VMS
(3) the range of plants that were apparently *excluded* from the VMS

From these three, we can make an reasonably informed guess (OK, a stab in the dark) as to whether the VMS is similar to anything else, or different from everything else. Right now, either extreme is possible. :-/

So (getting back to the point, finally): yes, I think a list of plants (with their modern names if possible) mentioned by Paracelsus might be very helpful. If you have scans of these pages and you want to share out boring jobs, please feel free to ask - I have a fast net connection and am happy to help out (via email), and I'm sure others here would too.

Thanks, .....Nick Pelling.....