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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/171

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167
MAGICAL MEDICAL PRACTISE

known; others possess a half dozen or more. Skillful or unskillful, however, (users 'are by no means numerous, and when emergencies arise that demand their services it is sometimes necessary to send to considerable distances before one is found. Their scarcity is due to the fact that the formulas are jealously guarded, since the promiscuous disclosure of the secrets is thought to take away the possessor's influence over the powers which bring disease and death. The ethics of the profession demand that when an adept at 'using' feels the approach of age and death he shall divulge his magical knowledge to some one (and to one only) who is worthy to possess it; and this one is bound to transmit it in like manner to a single successor.

It is not altogether impossible, however, as this article will show, for one of the uninitiated to obtain possession of the formulas. One may sometimes find a possessor of the mystic charms who is not unwilling to communicate them to another for a money consideration. Of those grouped together below, eight were secured in this way. The remainder, with one exception, were then obtained by a system of exchange, charm being given for charm.

So much by way of preface to the formulas themselves, which are here given in italics, the directions for their use being printed in ordinary type. The authorities are followed verbatim:

For Cataract: I rub you with my right thumb, that you may move and depart. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Rub it with the thumb from the nose outwards until you say the above words, blowing first three times. This must be done three mornings and evenings, every time three times.

For a Film over the Eye: Eye, I do not knoio what ails you; I know not whence it is. There shall it go. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen. Hub the eye three times with the right hand and repeat three times.

For a Blister in the Eye: Joseph begat Anna, Anna begat Mary, Mary begat our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. This is most certainly true. Blotch, blister, go away. Do this man's [woman's] eye no harm. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. Say it three times.

For a Burn or Scald: O! you hot and burning flame, you are so hot and dark! With God, the Father, I drive you; with God, the Son, go you away. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. Blow the breath three times upon the burn, pass the hand thrice over it, and say these words three times.

For a Burn or Scald: The Holy Woman goes out over the land; what carries she in her hand? A fire-brand. Eat not in you, eat not around you. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen. Say these words three times, rub three times upward and downward, and blow three times—every time three times.

For Inflammation: St. John came over with all his congregation; St. Mary came over with all her communication; Christ is mighty to cure mortification and all other complaints. In the name of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost. Amen. Say it three times.

For the Liver-Grown: Liver-grown and Heart-bound depart from thy ribs, as Jesus went out of the manger. In the name of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. Dip your thumbs in fat and rub three times upon the breast and three times upon the back as you say the above words, every morning and evening for three mornings and evenings, three times. This must be done at odd hours—one, three, five, seven, nine or eleven o'clock.