George Wither's SDA

I am not of their Minde, who thinke the Sun,
The Moon, the Planets, and those glorious Lights
Which trim the Sphaeres, doe in their Motions run
To no more purpose, then to please our Sights.
Nor for distinguishment of Nights, and Dayes,
Or of the Seasons, and the Times, alone,
Can I suppose the Hand of God displayes
Those many Starres, we nightly gaze upon:
For, both by Reason, and by Common-sense
We know (and often feele) that from above
The Planets have, on us, an Influence;
And, that our Bodies varie, as they move.
Moreover, Holy Writ inferres, that these
Have some such pow'r; ev'n in those Places, where
It names Orion, and the Pleiades;
Which, Starres of much inferiour Nature are.
Yet, hence conclude not, therefore, that the Minde
Is by the Starres constrained to obey
Their Influence; or, so by them inclin'd,
That, by no meanes resist the same we may.
For, though they forme the Bodies temp'rature,
(And though the Minde inclineth after that)
By Grace, another Temper we procure,
Which guides, the Motions of Supposed Fate.
The Soul of Man is nobler than the Sphaeres;
And if it gaine the Place which may be had,
Not here alone on Earth, the Rule it beares,
But is the Lord, of all that God hath made.
Be wise in him; and, if just cause there bee,
The Sunne and Moone, shall stand and wayt on thee.

from A Collection of Embleme, Ancient and Moderne by George Wither (1635)


I happened to find this in my search of the symbolism of snail (as we see it in the Nine of  Pentacles of RWS tarot).


On The Street Where They Walked

 a photo of Farringdon Street from London Round (1896)

detail of map from Baedecker's London and its Environs (1889)

The first Vault was located in Thavies Inn which I believe was somewhere in the map. I need a more specified street guide of the late Victorian London. Anyway the Baedecker is a good starting point to make an armchair-exploration of the Capital of British Empire.


British Kumari

from The Baby's Day Book by W. Graham Robertson (1908)

WGR's literary executor Kerrison Preston wrote that WGR "acquired a reputation as a lover of children, with many little girls as friends in the manner of Lewis Carroll". The phrase was written in 1953 and innocent enough at that time. 

I am under the impression, admittedly without any substantial proof, that WGR was doing a sort of British version of "Kumari worship" by idealising Binkie (his deceased friend's daughter) as "The Woman", and writing many ritualistic plays of elemental nature for the baby-child. A similar attitude can be seen in some of the works of his friend Algernon Blackwood, notably in The Education of Uncle Paul. 


The Magic Bell

The Magic Bell for Invoking Spirits.

from a rare German Mss 

  This bell must be formed of electricum magicum, and fashioned as above described, round it the words + Tetragrammaton + and  +Sadai, + must be engraved in relief, and also the sign and planet under which you were born.

 Also inside thereof the word + Elohim, and on the clapper Adonai. It must be kept in a clean chamber, and when thou wouldest invoke the celestial agents or good spirit, make a fire with incense and proper perfumes, then rehearse devoutly an appropriate incantation, and ring the bell thrice, when the spirit will instantly appear before thee, and thou wilt be enabled to have thy wishes performed. But keep this a secret.

from Raphael's The Astrologer of the Nineteenth Century. p.512.

a new image of the bell