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Re: VMs: Necromancy
At 05:04 11/09/2004 -0700, Pamela Richards wrote:
Agrippa, who was initially published in Germany, is
the most widely read authority on necromancy and other
forms of magic, declares what you have just stated:
that evil spirits are most likely fallen angels. But
previous to that explanation, he states that the
spirit of each angel (that is _each_ angel, seemingly
regardless of fallen or unfallen state) is bound to a
star (either a fixed star or a wandering star; that
is, a planet).
The relevant question here is: was connecting demons to particular fixed
stars part of the medieval necromantic tradition, or was it a later
Renaissance addition? You suspect the former (based on your 16th century
reading), while I suspect the latter (based on my 15th century reading) -
perhaps someone on-list more informed (perhaps on Agrippa?) might be able
to say which is more likely?
I guess you might say that most necromancers were
within the Church, particularly if you kept in mind
that everyone was expected to be in the Church.
What Kieckhefer meant was that, based on trial records, it appears to be
the minor orders of clergy that were most drawn to necromancy, rather than
the laity (per se).
This is why there are few surviving materials on this
subject, and many of them in manuscript form; there
were few publishers willing to go out on a limb and
disseminate heretical instructions in black and white.
Agrippa's publisher was anonymous.
FWIW, this is Kieckhefer's justification for going into so much detail on
Yes, I agree it is not a large part of the document.
So what do you think of the circular motif of the four
figures with an "egg?" Do you find it consistent with
the magic circle?
IIRC, some necromantic conjurations involve (for example) a white egg from
a black hen: so it's perfectly conceivable that the items being held by the
characters in each magic circle are required for that particular ritual. A
ring was another recurrent item (which we also can apparently see being
held up in the VMs), as was a sword (which we apparently don't): so, the
connections are many, but subtle.
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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