isis unveiled: xi (magical history)

“Bruce, Hasselquist, and Lempriere, testify to the fact that they have seen in Egypt, Morocco, Arabia, and especially in the Senaar, some natives utterly disregarding the bites of the most poisonous vipers, as well as the stings of scorpions. They handle and play with them, and throw them at will into a state of stupor. “

In vain do the Latin and Greek writers”, says Salverte, “assure us that the gift of charming venomous reptiles was hereditary in certain families from time immemorial, that in Africa the same gift was enjoyed by the Psylli; that the Marses in Italy, and the Ophiozenes in Cypress possessed it.”

The skeptics forget that in Italy, even at the commencement of the sixteenth century, men, claiming to be descended from the family of Saint Paul, braved, like the Marses, the bites of serpents.”

“Doubts upon this subject”, he goes on to say, “were removed forever at the time of the expedition of the French into Egypt, and the following relation is attested by thousands of eye- witnesses. The Psylli, who pretended, as Bruce had related, to possess that faculty…went from house to house to destroy serpents of every kind.

…A wonderful instinct drew them at first toward the place in which the serpents were hidden; furious, howling, and foaming, they seized and tore them asunder with their nails and teeth.”

“Let us place”, says Salverte, inveterate skeptic himself, “to the account of charlatanism, the howling and the fury; still, the instinct which warned the Psylli of the presence of the serpents, has in it some – thing more real.”

In the Antilles, the negroes discover, by its odor, a serpent which they do not see. “In Egypt, the same tact, formerly possessed, is still enjoyed by men brought up to it from infancy, and born as with an assumed hereditary gift to hunt serpents, and to discover them even at a distance too great for the effluvia to be perceptible to the dull organs of a European. The principle fact above all others, the faculty or rendering dangerous animals powerless, merely by touching them, remains well verified, and we shall, perhaps, never understand better the nature of this secret, celebrated in antiquity, and preserved to our time by the most ignorant of men.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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