“It is a well-attested fact that Pope Sylvester II was publicly accused by Cardinal Benno with being a sorcerer and an enchanter. The brazen “oracular head” made by his Holiness was of the same kind as the one fabricated by Albertus Magnus. The latter was smashed to pieces by Thomas Aquinas, not because it was the work of or inhabited by a “demon”, but because the spook who was fixed inside, by mesmeric power, talked incessantly, and his verbiage prevented the eloquent saint from working out his mathematical problems.
These heads and other talking statues, trophies of the magical skill of monks and bishops, were facsimiles of the “animated” gods of the ancient temples. The accusation against the Pope was proved at the time. It was also demonstrated that he was constantly attended by “demons” or spirits.
In the preceding chapter we have mentioned Benedict IX, John XX, and the VI and VII Gregory, who were all known as magicians. The latter Pope, moreover, was the famous Hildebrand, who was said to have been so expert at “shaking lightning out of his sleeve”, an expression which makes the venerable spiritualistic writer, Mr. Howitt, think that “it was the origin of the celebrated thunder of the Vatican.” The magical achievements of the Bishop of Ratisbon and those of the “angelic doctor”, Thomas Aquinas, are too well known to need repetition; but we may explain farther how the “illusions” of the former were produced.
If the Catholic Bishop was so clever in making people believe on a bitter winter night that they were enjoying the delights of a splendid summer day, and cause the icicles hanging from the boughs of the trees in the garden to seem like so many tropical fruits, the Hindu magicians also practice such biological powers unto this very day, and claim the assistance of neither god nor devil. Such “miracles” are all produced by the same human power that is inherent in every man, if he only knew how to develop it.”
H. P. Blavatsky