Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, (born Sept. 14, , Cologne— died Feb. 18, , Grenoble, Fr.), court secretary to Charles V, physician to Louise. The intellectual biography of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (– ) provides us with significant proof of a cultural crisis in. Cornelius Agrippa (—) was a celebrated German wizard who authored many works on wizards and magic. Cornelius Agrippa was born in
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This digital edition by Joseph H.
Finnish translation by Michael Sirola is also available. You will need a Hebrew font installed to read some of this book. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa is the most influential writer of Renaissance esoterica, and indeed all of Western occultism. Without doubt, his book de occulta philosophia should be at the top of any required reading list for those interested in Western magic and esoteric traditions.
Written in three books between the years and he would have been 23 at the timeit was an ambitious attempt to rejuvenate the art of magic which had degenerated during the dark ages.
He did this by assembling an intellectual and theoretical foundation from his extensive collection of sources. Agrippa started with a “systematic exposition of Ficinian spiritual magic and Trithemian demonic magic and Couliano in Hidden Truthsp. The resulting text circulated widely in manuscript form. Over twenty years later Agrippa undertook an extensive expansion and careful revision of the work, which was printed in These last minute difficulties account for the inclusion of the lengthy retraction appended to book 3as well as the absence of the printer’s name or location.
Perrone Compagni, Cornelius Agrippa: De occulta philosophia Libri tresLeiden: In his Mysteriorum LibriJohn Dee makes frequent mention of Agrippa’s book, to the extent that he seems almost to have memorized it. Portions of Agrippa’s work are also frequently found appended to magical manuscripts or even liberally merged with the text.
The English translation appeared in London in The translator, identified only as “J. In Agrippa’s text, in a slightly abridged form, was shamelessly plagiarized and published as his own work by Frances Barrett The magus, or Celestial intelligencerLondon This work can still be found in print.
The latter was in turn plagiarized and published as his own work by L. He managed the ‘Hindoo’ part by replacing certain of the Hebrew names with pseudo-Sanskrit fabrications. This edition is a transcription of the Gregory Moule edition Moule: I have added text in  primarily to facilitate searches, but also to include some corrections based on the original Latin Leiden: Note the Willis F.
His editorial efforts, aside from modernizing spelling, mainly consists of substituting euphemisms for sexual references or deleting them entirely for examples see chapters 15 and Brill, to restore these per Agrippa’s original intent. Unfortunately, this does not help track errors propagated from the defects in the early English editions. Translated out of the Latin into the English tongue, By J.
Of a Three-fold Consideration of the Elements. Of the Wonderful Natures of Fire and Earth. Of the vertues of things Natural, depending immediately upon Elements.
Of the Occult vertues of Things Chap. Whence the Occult vertues of Things Proceed. How the Operations of several vertues Pass from one thing into another, and are Communicated one to the other. Of the Inclinations of Enmities. How the vertues of Things are to be Tried and Found Out, which are in them Specifically, or in any one Individual by way of Special gift.
What things are Under the Power of Venus, and are called Venereal. Things are Under the Power of Mercury, and are called Mercurial. How Provinces and Kingdoms are Distributed to Planets. Of the Seals and Characters of Natural Things. Of the Mixtions of Natural Things, one with another, and their Benefits.
Of Bindings; what Sort they are of, and in what Ways they are wont to be Done. Of Sorceries, and their Power. Of the Wonderful vertues of some kinds of Corne,io. Of Perfumes or Suffumigations; their Manner and Power. The Composition of some Fumes appropriated to the Planets. Of Collyries, Unctions, Love-Medicines, and their vertues.
Of natural Agripa and Suspensions. Of Magical Atrippa and their Composition. Of the vertue of Places, and what Places are Suitable to every Star. Of Fascination, and the Art thereof. Of certain Observations, Producing wonderful vertues. Of Divination, and the Kinds thereof. Of divers certain Animals, and other things, which have a Signification in Auguries.
Of Divination by Dreams. Of Madness, and Divinations which are made when men are awake, and of the power of a Melancholy Humor, by which Spirits are sometimes induced into Men’s Bodies.
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa Quotes
How the Mind of Man may be Joined with the Mind of the Stars, and Intelligences of the Celestials, and, together with them, Impress certain wonderful vertues upon inferior Things. Of Speech, and the Corndlio vertue of Words.
Of the vertue of Proper Names. Of many Words joined together, as in Sentences and Verses, and of the vertues and Astrictions of Charms. Of the wonderful Power of Enchantments. Of the vertue of Writing, and of Making Imprecations, and Inscriptions. The life of Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Knight. This introduction is not found in the edition.
Enry Cornelius Agrippa, Corjelio from a noble Family of Netteshim in Belgia, Doctor of the Laws and Physick [medicine], Master of the Rols, and Judge of the spirituall Court, from his youth he applyed his minde to learning, and cornelik his happy wit obtained great knowledge in all Arts and Sciences; afterwards agripppa he followed the Army of the Princes, and for his valor was created Knight in the Field; when je was by these means famous for learning and Arms about Great men decline, mighty men may fall, but an honest Philosopher keeps his station for ever.
I see it is not in vain that you have compassed Sea and Land, for cornelo you have made a Proselyte, not of another, but of your cornelko, by being converted from vulgar, and irrational incredulities to the rational embracing of the sublime, Hermeticall, and Theomagicall truths. You are skilled in the one as if Hermes had been your Tutor; have insight in the other, as if Agrippa your Master.
Many transmarine Philosophers, which we only read, you have conversed with: Nay you have not only heard of, but seen, not in Maps, but in Rome it self the manners of Rome.
In this there is no small variety, and your observation not little. In your passage thither by Sea, you have seen the wonders of God in the Deep; and by Land, you have seen the astonishing works of God in the unaccessible Mountains. You have left no stone unturned, that the turning thereof might conduce to the discovery of what was Occult, and worthy to be known. If I had as many languages as your selves, the rhetoricall and patheticall expressions thereof would fail to signifie my estimation of, and affections towards you both.
Let this Treatise of Occult Philosophy coming as a stranger amongst the English, be patronized by you, remembring that you your self was once a stranger in the Country of its Nativity. This stranger I have dressed in an English garb; but if it be not according to the fashion, and therefore ungrateful to any, let your approbation make it the mode; you know strangers most commonly induce a fashion, especially if any once begin to approve of their habit.
Your approbation is that which will stand in need of, and which will render me, SIR, Most obligedly yours, J. I do not doubt but the Title of our book of Occult Philosophyor of Magickmay by the rarity of it allure many to read it, amongst which, some of a crasie [languid, feeble] judgement, and some that are perverse will come to hear what I can say, who, by their rash ignorance may take the name of Magick in the worse sense, and though scarce having seen the title, cry out that I teach forbidden Arts, sow the seed of Heresies, offend pious ears, and scandalize excellent wits; that I am a sorcerer, and superstitious and divellish [devilish], who indeed am a Magician: I believe that the supercilious censors will object against the Sybils, holy Magicians and the Gospel it self sooner then receive the name of Magick into favor; so conscientious are they, that neither Apollonor all the Muses, nor an Angel from Heaven can redeem me from their curse.
Whom therefore I advise, that they read not our Writings, nor understand them, nor remember them.
For they are pernicious, agripa full of poyson [poison]; the gate of Acheron is in this book; it speaks stones, let them take heed that it beat not out their brains.
But you agri;pa come without prejudice to read it, if you have so much discretion of prudence, as Bees have in gathering honey, read securely, and believe that you shall receive no little profit, and much pleasure; but if you shall find any things that may not please you, let them alone and make no use of them, for I do not approve of them, agri;pa declare them to you; but do not refuse other things, for they that look into the books of Physicians, do together with antidotes and medicines, read also poysons [poisons].
Agripps confess that Magick it self teacheth many superfluous things, and curious prodigies for ostentation; leave them as empty things, yet be not ignorant of their causes. But those things which are for the profit of man, for the turning away of evil corneloi, for the destroying of sorceries, for the curing of diseases, for the exterminating of phantasmes, for the preserving of life, honor, or fortune, may be done without offense to God, or injury to Religion, because they are, as profitable, so necessary.
But I have admonished you, that I have writ many things, rather narratively then affirmatively; for so it seemed needful that we should pass over fewer things following the judgments of Platonistsand other Gentile Philosophers when they did suggest an argument of writing to our purpose; therefore if any error have been committed, or any thing hath been spoken more freely, pardon my youth; for I wrote this being scarce a yong [young] man, that I may excuse my self, and say, “whilest I was a child, I spake as a childe, and I understood as ahrippa child, but being become a man, I retracted those things which I did being a boy, and in my book of the vanity and uncertainty of Sciences I did for the most part retract this book.
Corenlio it happened afterwards, that the work being intercepted, before I finished it, it was carryed about imperfect, and impolished, and did fly abroad in Italyin Francein Germany through many mens hands, and some men, whether more impatiently, or imprudently, I know not, would have put it thus imperfect to the press, with which mischeif [mischief], I being affected, determined to set it forth my self, thinking that there might be less danger if these books came out of my hands with some amendments, thwn to come forth torn, and corneoio fragments out of other mens hands.
Moreover, I thought it no crime if I should not suffer the testimony of my youth to perish.
Also we have added some Chapters, and we inserted many things, which did seem unfit to pass by, which the curious Reader shall be able to understand by the inequality of the very phrase; for we were unwilling to begin the work anew, and to unravell all that we had done, but to correct it, and put some flourish upon it. Wherefore now I pray thee, Curteous [courteous] Reader, again, weigh not these things according to the present time of setting them forth, but pardon my curious youth, if thou shalt findd any thing in them that may displease thee.
When Agrippa first wrote his Occult Philosophy he sent it to his friend Trithemius, an Abbot of Wurtzburg, with the ensuing letter. Trithemius detained the messenger until he had read the manuscript and then answered Agrippa’s letter with such sound advice as mystics would do well to follow for all time to come. Trithemius is known as a mystic author and scholar. Now the cause, as I conceive is no other then this, viz.
They therefore by this sacred title of Magick, hoped to gain credit to their cursed and detestable fooleries. Since then these things are so, I wondered much, and was not less angry, that as yet there hath been no man, who did challenge this sublime and sacred discipline with the crime of impiety, or had delivered it purely and sincerely to us, since I have seen of our modern writers Roger Bacon, Robert [of York,] an English man, Peter Apponus [i. Peter de Abano], Albertus [Magnus] the Teutonich, Arnoldas de villa Nova, Anselme the Parmensian, Picatrix the SpaniardCicclus Asculus of Florence, and many others, but writers of an obscure name, when they promised to treat of Magick, do nothing but irrationall toies [toys], and superstitions unworthy of honest men.
Hence my spirit was moved, and by reason partly of admiration, and partly of indignation, I was willing to play the Philosopher, supposing that I should do no discommendable work, who have been always from my youth a curious, and undaunted searcher for wonderfull effects, and operations full of mysteries; if I should recover that ancient Magick the discipline of all wise men from the errors of impiety, purifie [purify] and adorn it with its proper lustre, and vindicate it from the injuries of calumniators; which thing, though I long deliberated of it in my mind, yet never durst as yet undertake, but after some conference betwixt us of these things at Herbipolis, your transcending knowledge, and learning, and your ardent adhortation put courage, and boldness into me.