A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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he must assume. This was vital. In most cases there were gestures which could not be omitted. Equally important was the magician's own state of mind. He must have faith, he must put all his soul into the accomplishment of the rite. The time at which the rite should be performed was also important and was largely determined by the habits and associations of the god to be addressed, being an immediate deduction from the law of sympathy. For magic in general, but especially for that connected with Selene-Hecate, the goddess par excellence^ sunset and the few minutes just before sunrise were very favourable ; so, too, was any phase of the moon ; but, above all, the new and full moon. The stars and planets assumed importance only after astrology had given greater precision to ideas about the kind of influence they wielded. As a matter of course, night was a better time than day. To use an analogy from electrical engineering, the magician must construct the proper machinery and establish the proper connection ; then, before turning on the power, he must see to it that the power is really there. To facilitate the action of magic power a certain number of instruments were used : the magic wand, the divining rod, keys in their symbolic use, cymbals, threads of different colours, and various other apparatus.
Sometimes the ceremonial proper needed the assistance of some rite whose object was to put the person interested in a condition to receive the benefit of the action desired. A case in point is the ceremony of incubation. This had its origin in the belief that demons endeavoured to have intercourse with human beings, a belief which is held even to-day in ' spiritualistic circles \ The purpose of incubation was to place the person in surroundings favourable to the desired vision. This rite became very popular in the Asklepian