isis unveiled: xiii (alchemy)

“When the fakir had brought his exhibition of white magic to a close, the “sorcerer”, or conjurer, as they are called, prepared to display his power. We were treated to a succession of the wonders that the accounts of travelers have made familiar to the public; showing, among other things, the fact that animals naturally possess the clairvoyant faculty, and even, it would seem, the ability to discern between the good and the bad spirits.

All of the sorcerer’s feats were preceded by fumigations. He burned branches of resinous trees and shrubs, which sent up volumes of smoke. Although there was nothing about this calculated to affright an animal using only his natural eyes, the tiger, monkey, and bird exhibited an indescribable terror. We suggested that the animals might be frightened at the blazing brands, the familiar custom of burning fires round the camp to keep off wild beasts, recurring to our mind.

To leave no doubt upon this point, the Syrian approached the crouching tiger with a branch of the Bael-tree (sacred to Siva), and waved it several times over his head, muttering, meanwhile, his incantations. The brute instantly displayed a panic of terror beyond description. His eyes started from their sockets like blazing fire-balls; he foamed at the mouth; he flung himself upon the floor, as if seeking some hole in which to hide himself; he uttered scream after scream, that awoke a hundred responsive echoes from the jungle and the woods.

Finally, taking a last look at the spot from which his eyes had never wandered, he made a desperate plunge, which snapped his chain, and dashed through the window of the veranda, carrying a piece of the frame-work with him. The monkey had fled long before, and the bird fell from the perch as though paralyzed.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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