Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Witch Doctor

I get it. I know why they call them Witch Doctors and Root Doctors. You're giving the person a checkup, an evaluation based on years of specialized training that have required a great deal of education and various degrees of pain, and then, if there's anything wrong in the areas you've specialized in, you offer a diagnosis, a treatment, or a cure for what ails them.

It's just like going to the doctor.

Hippocrates was a contemporary of Plato, who called him an Asclepiad, which could mean a follower of Asclepius, god of healing, or it could have just meant he was a healer like Asclepis was a healer. The practices of Hippocrates were neat. They preferred to let the body heal itself, and they focused on the humors of the body, which were based on the four elements. He believed that the body had the ability to harmonize its own humors, and let the body do so. He taught passive treatment for most ailments, and developed the phases of disease still followed today. Crisis and relapse are based on his observations that diseases followed a pattern, and the crisis point happened a set number of days after the ailment began.

Neat stuff. Very in theme with Hermetic Magic and the application thereof. Modern magicians are fascinated by Science and the exploration of the Natural World, but perhaps we'd find more and better harmony in the medical field than in astronomy or physics. I mean, Physicists don't even take an Oath before beginning their practices. Medicine is obviously closer to a Mystery Tradition or secret lodge in that regard.

"Applied Hermetics" is what one person suggested, and that sounds about right as an adjective. I'd rather have a proper noun, a title that described what we do. Asclepiad, the healer was called. Hermesthetician, I thought was closest. Well, whatever. I don't know. Mage, diviner, shaman, therapist, conjurer, herbal treatment recommender, talisman smith, emissary to the divine and sub-divine realms, balancer of elemental disproportions, lifter of curses, exorcist, psalmist, hexencrafter, fixer, whatever you want to call me, that's what I do these days. All the things the spirits of the Goetia were supposed to grant one the powers to do. Odd, eh? But interesting.

It seems Hermetic Magic is the spiritual medicine of the West.
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