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May 13, 2010 11:57 PM
by Cass Silva

I could shoot myself, I forgot to reference this article.
In the Jewish Kabala, the nature-spirits were known under the general name of Shedim and divided into four classes. The Persians called them all devs; the Greeks, indistinctly designated them as demons; the Egyptians knew them as afrites. The ancient Mexicans, says Kaiser, believed in numerous spirit-abodes, into one of which the shades of innocent children were placed until final disposal; into another, situated in the sun, ascended the valiant souls of heroes; while the hideous spectres of incorrigible sinners were sentenced to wander and despair in subterranean caves, held in the bonds of the earth-atmosphere, unwilling and unable to liberate themselves. They passed their time in communicating with mortals, and frightening those who could see them. Some of the African tribes know them as Yowahoos.
Eliphas Levi expounds with reasonable clearness, in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, the law of reciprocal influences between the planets and their combined effect upon the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, as well as upon ourselves. He states that the astral atmosphere is as constantly changing from day to day, and from hour to hour, as the air we breathe. He quotes approvingly the doctrine of Paracelsus that every man, animal, and plant bears external and internal evidences of the influences dominant at the moment of germinal development. He repeats the old kabalistic doctrine, that nothing is unimportant in nature, and that even so small a thing as the birth of one child upon our insignificant planet has its effect upon the universe, as the whole universe has its own reÃctive influence upon him.
âThe stars,â he remarks, âare linked to each other by attractions which hold them in equilibrium and cause them to move with regularity through space. This network of light stretches from all the spheres to all the spheres, and there is not a point upon any planet to which is not attached one of these indestructible threads. The precise locality, as well as the hour of birth, should then be calculated by the true adept in astrology; then, when he shall have made the exact calculation of the astral influences, it remains for him to count the chances of his position in life, the helps or hindrances he is likely to encounter . . . and his natural impulses toward the accomplishment of his destiny.â He also asserts that the individual force of the person, as indicating his ability to conquer difficulties and subdue unfavorable propensities, and so carve out his fortune, or to passively await what blind fate may bring, must be taken into account.
A consideration of the subject from the standpoint of the ancients, affords us, it will be seen, a very different view from that taken by Professor Tyndall in his famous Belfast address. âTo supersensual beings,â says he, âwhich, however potent and invisible, were nothing but species of human creatures, perhaps raised from among mankind, and retaining all human passions and appetites, were handed over the rule and governance of natural phenomena.â
To enforce his point, Mr. Tyndall conveniently quotes from Euripides the familiar passage in Hume: âThe gods toss all into confusion, mix everything with its reverse, that all of us, from our ignorance and uncertainty, may pay them the more worship and reverence.â Although enunciating in Chrysippus several Pythagorean doctrines, Euripides is considered by every ancient writer as heterodox, therefore the quotation
After the death of the depraved and the wicked, arrives the critical moment. If during life the ultimate and desperate effort of the inner-self to reunite itself with the faintly-glimmering ray of its divine parent is neglected; if this ray is allowed to be more and more shut out by the thickening crust of matter, the soul, once freed from the body, follows its earthly attractions, and is magnetically drawn into and held within the dense fogs of the material atmosphere. Then it begins to sink lower and lower, until it finds itself, when returned to consciousness, in what the ancients termed Hades. The annihilation of such a soul is never instantaneous; it may last centuries, perhaps; for nature never proceeds by jumps and starts, and the astral soul being formed of elements, the law of evolution must bide its time. Then begins the fearful law of compensation, the Yin-youan of the Buddhists.
This class of spirits are called the âterrestrialâ or âearthly elementary,â in contradistinction to the other classes, as we have shown in the introductory chapter. In the East they are known as the âBrothers of the Shadow.â Cunning, low, vindictive, and seeking to retaliate their sufferings upon humanity, they become, until final annihilation, vampires, ghouls, and prominent actors. These are the leading âstarsâ on the great spiritual stage of âmaterialization,â which phenomena they perform with the help of the more intelligent of the genuine-born âelementalâ creatures, which hover around and welcome them with delight in their own spheres.
The language of Porphyry, who was himself a direct disciple of Plotinus, is still more explicit as to the nature of these spirits âDemons,â he says, âare invisible; but they know how to clothe themselves with forms and configurations subjected to numerous variations, which can be explained by their nature having much of the corporeal in itself. Their abode is in the neighborhood of the earth . . . and when they can escape the vigilance of the good dÃmons, there is no mischief they will not dare commit. One day they will employ brute force; another,cunning.â Further, he says: âIt is a childâs play for them to arouse
* âAnthropology,â p. 125. ÂÂÂÂÂ â âOf Sacrifices to Gods and DÃmonsâ chap. ii.
â âOdyssey,â book vii.
 Porphyry: âOf Sacrifices to Gods and DÃmons,â chap. ii.
in us vile passions, to impart to societies and nations turbulent doctrines, provoking wars, seditions, and other public calamities, and then tell you âthat all of these is the work of the gods.â . . . These spirits pass their time in cheating and deceiving mortals, creating around them illusions and prodigies; their greatest ambition is to pass as gods and souls (disembodied spirits).â*
Iamblichus, the great theurgist of the Neo-platonic school, a man skilled in sacred magic, teaches that âgood dÃmons appear to us in reality, while the bad ones can manifest themselves but under the shadowy forms of phantoms.â Further, he corroborates Porphyry, and tells that â . . . the good ones fear not the light, while the wicked ones require darkness. . . . The sensations they excite in us make us believe in the presence and reality of things they show, though these things be absent.ââ
Even the most practiced theurgists found danger sometimes in their dealings with certain elementaries, and we have Iamblichus stating that, âThe gods, the angels, and the dÃmons, as well as the souls, may be summoned through evocation and prayer. . . . But when, during theurgic operations, a mistake is made, beware! Do not imagine that you are communicating with beneficent divinities, who have answered your earnest prayer; no, for they are bad dÃmons, only under the guise of good ones! For the elementaries often clothe themselves with the similitude of the good, and assume a rank very much superior to that they really occupy. Their boasting betrays them.ââ
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