Psellus, What Pagans Believe About Daemons

Category: Neoplatonism > Chaldaica & Procliana

1 Introduction

Although this text has a title that suggests a single topic – What Pagans Believe About Daemons –, it does not address this subject systematically, but appears to be a series of excerpts and summaries of material taken from Proclus’ Chaldaic compendium. This would be the simplest explation of how Psellus could have had access to teachings of Porphyry and Iamblichus about daemons that are not found in any of their extant works (section 1) and to details about Chaldaic rituals (section 7). At any rate, we know that Psellus had some writings of Proclus about Chaldaic matters, and Marinus’ Life of Proclus indicates that Proclus’ compendium addressed not only the Chaldaic Oracles, but also Chaldaic prose works (which would have included ritual instructions) and the commentaries on Chaldaica which Porphyry and Iamblichus composed. Of course, the possibility cannot be definitively excluded that Psellus had direct access to such Porphyrian or Iamblichean works.

(To think that the ascription to Psellus itself is erroneous, as Paul Gautier, Le De daemonibus du Pseudo-Psellos, p. 128 states without argument, seems far-fetched to me, but in any case does not change what has been said about the sources.)

Be that as it may, it cannot be gainsaid that this text is an important source of information about Neoplatonic theory and the kinds of rituals it was meant to account for. It can be divided into the following sections:

  1. Daemons, especially material/punitive daemons, are discussed, in contrast with Christian doctrine about demons. Several other Psellian texts here address this topic.
  2. Various details of pagan sacrifice are laid out, in a text almost identical to Psellus, On the Sacrificial Science.
  3. A passage on mystery rites.
  4. Goetia is defined as the art of drawing apparitions of daemons.
  5. Magic is defined as the last or lowest part of hieratic; there is a list of the kinds of materials employed, and some examples of what we might call talismans, but are here called cult statues.
  6. Again on daemons, their invocation, and lecanomancy (divination from bowls of water).
  7. A specific Chaldaic rite (teletḗ), called the “covenant” (synthḗkē), is described in brief.

Sections 4–6 are also found, in a slightly different verion, in a text ascribed to Psellus, called On the Activity of Daemons.

2 Translation

What Pagans Believe About Daemons

(1) Our (Christian) teaching (lógos) has given choices even to the angels, […]

καὶ πρὸς τὴν κρείττονα μὲν τούτους ἀπευθύνων ῥοπὴν, μὴ μέντοι γε καὶ τῆς χείρονος ἀνεπιδέκτους οἰόμενος, ἐνταῦθεν ἐκπεσεῖν τοὺς δαίμονας τῆς ἀγγελικῆς τάξεως ἀποφαίνεται, καὶ, κακὰ τὸ μέτρον τῆς ἑκάστου ἀξίας ἢ τάξεως, τὴν πτῶσιν ὑπομεμενηκέναι.

But the Greek (or ‘pagan’) teaching, which takes away decision-making of such kind from the natures free of body, have the daemonic orders (taxeis) subsist after the angelic order (diakosmos). And it makes some of them intellective (noeraí), has others be in conformity with intellect or reason (lógos), others again with reason alone; but they allot the irrational alongside those oriented to reason, and it throws the lowest of the daemons into sheer irrationality, whom he also calls material (hylaîoi) or punitive (poinaîoi) daemons. And it divides creation among them, so that it is enkindled and inspired (‘breathed into, animated’) by them. It subjects fire to some of them, air to others, waters to others again, and finally earth to some. It also makes some of them climatarchs (‘rulers of regions’), and others guardians (prostátai) of bodies and protectors (phýlakes) of matter.

And they say they fall upon our souls, not because of hatred for humanity or hostility, but as punishers of those who have transgressed; and they draw them down towards matter, not because they have an intention to do them evil, but in order to transform their disgrace through their relation to it (matter).* And they have attributed passion and shamelessness to them (=the punitive daemons) by nature, as to leopards and lions, and they enchain them in fine, aerial and less firm bodies, not only spherical but also oblong ones, which partake less in light and more in earth-like shadow. They also attest that they have foreknowledge of the future, from many other (indications), but especially from astral figures. This is what the Porphyries and Iamblichi say.

*I.e., the apparent evil of drawing us toward matter
ultimately is for a beneficial purpose.




(5) Magic (mageía) seemed like thing of great power to the pagans. At any rate, they say that it is the lowest part of the hieratic science. For it seeks out the essence, nature, power and property of all things below the Moon, I mean of the elements and their parts, all kinds of animals, plants and the fruits from them, stones, herbs, in short the subsistence and power of every thing, and it does its works with them.

It produces cult statues that bring about health, and renders them in all kinds of shapes, as well as other creations that bring about illness. And eagles and serpents are, for them, a vital material for health; while cats, dogs and ravens are symbol that produce wakefulness.* Wax and clay are used for forming their body-parts.

*A description of what would later be called talismans, but here they
are still understood as a kind of cult-statues (

It also frequently imagines discharges of celestial fire. And the cult statues smile upon them, and torches are kindled of themselves. And it girds itself with all of astronomy, and through it can do and accomplish many things.

(7) And concerning the practice of the ineffable covenant among the Chaldaeans, I will briefly summarize for you what power it had. First, a purifying sacrifice (thysía hagneúousa) was furnished by them: fragrant spices (arṓmata), herbs and stones, saffron and myrtle and laurel, mystically purified (with smoke? or burned?). A space would be marked out for (or by?) planting and burying these. After that, the one who is making the covenant, being a powerful man in goetic matters, named the matter for which he has made the sacrifice.

In the following days, he would come again to the place of the rite (teletḗ). Digging out the spots of the plants and the purified (aphagnistheísai) materials (hýlai), and taking them up with he left hand, all in a heap and at once, he would invoke (anekaleîto) certain secret powers. And these were the ruler (kathēgemṓn) of the sacrifice undertaken, the lords (kýrioi) of the materials, the guardian (prostátēs) of the day, the time-ruler (khronoárkhēs), and the tetrarch (tetrárkhēs) daemon (i.e., ruler of four elements?).*

*Similar daemons (and angels) are invoked in some PGM rituals.

This much suffices for a purified tongue and a temperate ear.

3 Greek text (from Migne’s Patrologia Graeca 122)

[The text is corrected from its shoddy typesetting as best I could, but really requires a second pass.]


αʹ. Ὁ μὲν ἡμέτερος λόγος προαιρέσεις καὶ τοῖς ἀγγέλοις διδοὺς, καὶ πρὸς τὴν κρείττονα μὲν τούτους ἀπευθύνων ῥοπὴν, μὴ μέντοι γε καὶ τῆς χείρονος ἀνεπιδέκτους οἰόμενος, ἐνταῦθεν ἐκπεσεῖν τοὺς δαίμονας τῆς ἀγγελικῆς τάξεως ἀποφαίνεται, καὶ, κακὰ τὸ μέτρον τῆς ἑκάστου ἀξίας ἢ τάξεως, τὴν πτῶσιν ὑπομεμενηκέναι.

Ὁ δὲ Ἑλληνικὸς, ἀναιρῶν τὴν τοιαύτην ῥοπὴν ἐπὶ τῶν ἀπολελυμένων τοῦ σώματος φύσεων, μετὰ τὸν ἀγγελικὸν διάκοσμον τὰς δαιμονίας τάξεις ὑφίστησι. Καὶ τὰς μὲν αὐτῶν νοερὰς τίθεναι, τὰς δὲ κατὰ νοῦν ἢ λόγον οὐσιῶσθαι, τὰς δὲ κατὰ λόγον μόνως· ταῖς δὲ πρὸς τῷ λόγῳ συγκατακληροὶ καὶ τὸ ἄλογον· τοὺς δὲ ἐσχάτους τῶν δαιμόνων εἰς ἀλογίαν μόνην ἀποῤῥιπτεῖ, οὓς δὴ καὶ ὑλαίους καὶ ποιναίους κατονομάζει. Ἐπιδιαιρεῖ δὲ αὐτοῖς τὴν κτίσιν, ἵνα παρ’ ἐκείνων ζῶπυρῆται καὶ ἐμπνέηται· καὶ τοῖς μὲν τὸ πῦρ, τοῖς δὲ τὸν ἀέρα, τοῖς δὲ τὸ ὕδωρ, τοῖς δὲ τὴν γῆν ὑποτιθησιν· ἐνίους δὲ καὶ κλιματάρχας ποιεῖται, καὶ σωμάτων ἑτέρους προστάτας καὶ ὕλης φὐλακας. Ἐμπίπτειν δὲ τούτους φασὶ ταῖς ἡμετέραις ψυχαῖς οὐ διὰ μισανθρωπίαν τε καὶ δυσμένειαν, ἀλλ’ ὡς κολαστὰς ὦν ἡμαρτήκασι· καὶ κατασπᾶν πρὸς τὴν ὕλην, οὐ λογισμὸν ἔχοντας ταύτας κακοῦν, ἀλλ’ ἵνα τὸ αἶσχος ἐκείνων μορφοῖτο διὰ τῆς τούτων πρὸς αὐτὴν σχέσεως. Τὸν δὲ θυμὸν τούτοις καὶ τὴν ἀναίδειαν κατὰ φύσιν διδόασιν, ὡς ταῖς παρδάλεσι καὶ τοῖς λέουσι, καὶ σώμασι δὴ τούτους ἐνδεσμοῦσι λεπτοῖς καὶ ἀερίοις καὶ ἔλαττον ἀντιτύποις, οὐ περιφερέσι μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐπιμήκεσιν, ἔλαττον μὲν φωτὸς, πλέον δὲ τοῦ γεώδους σκότους μετέχουσι. Τὴν δὲ γνῶσιν αὐτοῖς καὶ τῶν μελλόντων τὴν πρόγνωσιν ἐκ πολλῶν μὲν καὶ ἄλλων ἐπιμαρτυροῦσι, μάλιστα δὲ ἐκ τῶν περὶ τοὺς ἀστέρας σχημάτων. Ταῦτα δὲ Πορφύριοί φασι καὶ Ἰάμβλιχοι.

(2) To the ethereal (gods), they sacrificed white and red animals, on account of the ethereal color and the purity of their nature, …

βʹ. Ἔθυον δὲ τοῖς αἰθερίοις μὲν τὰ λευκὰ ἣ πυῤῥὰ τῶν ζώων, διά τε τὸ αἰθέριον χρῶμα καὶ τὴν καθαρότητα τῆς ἐκείνων φύσεως, ὑψοῦ τὸν κριὸν ἢ τὴν ἔριφον λαιμοτομοῦντες, ὡς καὶ Ὅμηρος, “Αὖ ἔρυσαν μὲν πρπῶτα,” φησὶ, “καὶ ἔσφαξαν καὶ ἔδειραν.” Τοῖς ἀερίοις δὲ ποικίλα προσῆγον καὶ τοῖς χρώμασι σύμμικτα· τοῖς δέ γε ὑποχθονίοις ἐζωοθύτουν ἀντίχροα, καὶ κάτω τὴν κεφαλὴν τοῦ θύματος ἔλκοντες, οὕτω τοὺς αὐχενίους ἀπέτεμνον τένοντας· τοῖς δέ γε μέσοις πλαγιάζοντες τὰ θυόμενα, ἐδειροτόμουν τὰς κεφαλάς· εἶτα δὲ, τὰς γαστέρας αὐτῶν ἀναχίζοντας, τὴν καρδίαν πρῶτον κατέτεμνον, καὶ τὸν μὲν ὑμένα ταύτης θεοῖς πατρῴοις ἀπέθυον· τῶν δέ γε κοιλιῶν τὴν μὲν δεξιὰν ἀνατέλλοντι τῷ ἡλίῳ κατέθυον, τὴν δὲ εὐώνυμον δύνοντι, τὸν δὲ βόθυνον ἄρτι μεσουρανήσαντι. Οὕτω δὲ καὶ τοῦ ἤπατος ἀποδιελόντες τὸν ὑμένα ἠρέμα, ὅς ὑπὸ τοῦ περιτοναίου τῷ σπλάγχνῳ ἐπίκειται, τῆς μὲν κεφαλῆς τοῖς ὑπερκοσμίοις κατήρχοντο, τοὺς δὲ λοβοὺς τοῖς πέντε πλάνησιν ἀπεδίδοσαν· τὸ δέ γε νέκρωμα ᾋδῃ καὶ Περσεφόνῃ κατέθυον.

Εἶτα δὴ τῶν θυομένων περιειργάζοντο τὰ πτώματα, εἰ ἐπὶ τὰ λαιἀ· κἀκεῖθεν μὲν δεξιὰ ἑαυτοῖς ἐμαντεύοντο, οὕτω δὲ ἐπαριστερά. Ἐμέτρουν δὲ καὶ τὸν τοῦ σπαραγμοῦ μετὰ τὴν θυσίαν καιρόν· καὶ, εἰ μὲν αὐτίκα τὰ θύματα ἀποπνεύσειε, ταχείας ἑαυτοῖς τὰς τελευτὰς περὶ ὧν προσῄεσαν ἐμαντεύοντο· εἰ δ’ οὔ, ἀποτεταμένας καὶ πράγματα ἐχούσας.

Οὐ πᾶσι δὲ πάντα ἐτέλουν, ἀλλὰ τοῖς οἰκείοις τῆς ληφθείσης θυσίας. Καὶ νηφαλἰοις μὲν ἐδρυτόμουν καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ἀνῆπιον πυράς· Βάκχαις δὲ καὶ Διονύσῳ κληματίσιν ἀνέκαιον τὴν πυρκαϊάν· καὶ πάντα τούτοις οἰνόσπονδα· ὁ δὲ λιβανωτὸς καὶ ἡ σμύρνα, ὁ κρόκος τε καὶ ἡ ῥητίνη διεμερίζοντο τοῖς ἐφ’ ἑκάστης θυσίας θεοῖς.

(3) Their mysteries, for instance the Eleusinian ones, represent the mythical Zeus having sex with Dēō, that is, the one also (known as) Korē. …

γʹ. Τὰ δὲ γε μυστήρια τούτων, οἵα αὐτίκα τὰ Ἐλευσίνια, τὸν μυθικὸν ὑποκρίνεται Δία μιγνύμενον τῇ Δηοῖ, ἤγουν τῇ καὶ Κόρῃ. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἔμελλον καὶ ἀφροδίσιοι ἐπὶ τῇ μυήσει γίνεσθαι συμπλοκαὶ, ἀναδύεταί πως ἡ Ἀφροδίτη ἀπὸ τινων πεπλασμένων· μηδέων πελάγιος. Εἶτα δὲ γαμήλιος λέγεται ἐπὶ τῇ Κόρῃ ὑμέναιος, καὶ ἐπᾴδουσιν οἱ τελούμενοι· “Ἐκ τυμπάνου ἔφαγον, ἐκ κυμβάλων ἔπιον, ἐκιρνοφόρησας, ὑπὸ τὸν παστὸν εἰσέδυν.” Ὑποκρίνεται δὲ καὶ τὰς τῆς Δηοῦς ὠδῖνας. Ἰκετηρίαι γοῦν αὐτίκα Δηοῦς καὶ χολῆς πόσις καὶ καρδιαλγίαι. Ἐφ’ οἷς καὶ τι τραγοσκελὲς μίμημα παθαινόμενον περὶ τοῖς διδύμοις, ὅτιπερ ὁ Ζεὺς, δίκας ἀποτιννὺς τῆς βίας τῇ Δήμητρι, τράγου ὄρχεις ἀποτεμὼν, τῷ κόλπῳ ταύτης κατέθετο ὥσπερ δὴ καὶ ἑαυτοῦ. Ἐπὶ πᾶσιν αἱ τοῦ Διονύσου τιμαὶ καὶ ἡ κίστις καὶ τὰ πολυόμφαλα πόπανα, καὶ οἱ τῷ Σαβαζίῳ τελούμενοι καὶ οἱ μητριάζοντες, Κλώδωνές τε καὶ Μιμαλλόνες, καί τις ἠχῶν λέβης Θεσπρώτειος, καὶ Δωδωναῖον χαλκεῖον· καὶ Κορύβας ἄλλος, καὶ Κούρης ἕτερος, δαιμόνων μιμήματα. Ἐφ’ οἷς ἡ Βαυβὼ τοὺς μηροὺς ἀνασυραμένη, καὶ ὁ γυναικεῖος κτείς· οὕτω γὰρ ὀνομάζουσι τὴν αἰδῶ αἰσχυνόμενοι. Καὶ οὕτως ἐν αἰσχρῷ τὴν τελετὴν καταλύουσιν.

(4) Goetia (goēteía) is a certain art relating to enmattered and chthonic daemons, which shows apparitions of these (phantasioskopoûsa … eídōla) to the epopts (…), and brings some of them up from the underworld, as it were, and brings some of them down from above, …

. And it brings powers of this sort through chants and incantations.

δʹ. Ἡ γοητεία δέ ἐστι τέχνη τις περὶ τοὺς ἐνύλους καὶ χθονίους δαίμονας φαντασιοσκοποῦσα τοῖς ἐπόπταις τὰ τούτων εἴδωλα καὶ τοὺς μὲν ὥσπερ ἐξ ᾃδου ἀνάγουσα, τοὺς δὲ ὑψόθεν κατάγουσα, καὶ τούτους κατωτικούς. Καὶ εἰδωλικὰ ἄττα ὑφίστησι φαντάσματα τοὶς θεωροῖς τῶν τοιούτων. Καὶ τοῖς μὲν ῥεύματά τινα ἐκεῖθεν κυμαίνοντα ἐπαφίησι· τοῖς δὲ δεσμῶν ἀνέσεις καὶ τρυφὰς καὶ χάριτας ἐπαγγέλλεται. Ἐπάγεται δὲ τὰς τοιαύτας δυνάμεις καὶ ᾄσμασι καὶ ἐπᾴσμασιν.

εʹ. Ἡ δέ γε μαγεία πολυδύναμόν τι χρῆμα τοῖς Ἔλλησιν ἔδοξε. Μερίδα γοῦν εἶναι ταύτην φασὶν ἐσχάτην τῆς ἱερατικῆς ἐπιστήμης. Ἀνιχνεύουσα γὰρ τῶν ὑπὸ τὴν σελήνην πάντων τήν τε οὐσίαν καὶ φύσιν καὶ δύναμιν καὶ ποιότητα, λέγω δὲ στοιχείων καὶ τῶν τούτων μερῶν, ζώων τε παντοδαπῶν, φυτῶν καὶ τῶν ἐντεῦθεν καρπῶν, λίθων, βοτανῶν, καὶ ἁπλῶς εἰπεῖν, παντὸς πράγματος ὑπόστασίν τε καὶ δύναμιν, ἐντεῦθεν ἄρα τὰ ἑαυτῆς ἐργάζεται. Ἀγἀλματά τε ὑφίστησιν ὑγείας περιποιητικὰ, καὶ σχήματα ποιεῖται παντοδαπὰ, καὶ νοσοποιὰ δημιουργήματα ἕτερα. Καὶ ἀετοὶ μὲν καὶ δράκοντες βιώσιμος αὐτοῖς πρὸς ὑγείαν ὑπόθεσις· αἴλουροι δὲ καὶ κύνες καὶ κόρακες ἀγρυπνητικὰ σὐμβολα. Κηρὸς δὲ καὶ πηλὸς εἰς τὰς τῶν μορίων συμπλάσεις παραλαμβάνονται. Φαντάζει δὲ πολλάκις καὶ πυρὸς οὐρανίου ἐκδόσεις. Καὶ διαμειδιᾷ μὲν ἐφ’ ἑαυτῶν ἀγάλματα, πυρὶ δὲ αὐτομάτῳ λαμπάδες ἀνάπτονται. Περιέζωσται δὲ καὶ τὴν ἀστρονομίαν σύμπασαν, καὶ πολλὰ διὰ ταύτης καὶ δύναται καὶ ἀποτελεῖ.

(6) A klēidṓn is, as the name itself shows, an invocation (próklēsis) of wicked daemons. It is performed (teleîtai) at the time when the sun is turning to the South, when it is shortening the day, and lengthening the night. For it is a pagan belief that none of the enmattered daemons can endure the rays of the Sun. That is why they ambush us at night, because have no power to attack us during the day.

Ϛʹ. Κλῃδὼν δέ ἐστι δαιμόνων πονηρῶν, ὡς καὶ αὐτὸ δηλοῖ τοὔνομα πρόκλησις. Τελεῖται δὲ ἄρτι τρεπομένου πρὸς νότον ἡλίου, καὶ μειοῦντος μὲν ἡμέραν, τὴν νὐκτα δὲ αὐξάνοντος. Ἑλληνικῆς γὰρ ἐστι δόξης τὸ μηδένα τῶν ἐνύλων δαιμόνων θαῤῥεῖν τὰς τοῦ ἡλίου αὐγάς. Ἔνθεν τοι καὶ νυκτιλοχοῦσιν ἡμῖν, λοχᾷν ἡμέρας μὴ ἐξισχύοντες.

When the luminary is more northerly, they are utterly unable to do their works,

Τοῦ τοίνυν φωστῆρος βορειοτέρου τυγχάνοντος, μὴ πάνυ τι δυνάμενοι τὰ ἑαυτῶν ἐνεργεῖν, ὁπηνίκα πρὸς νότον τραπῆ καὶ οἱονεὶ κατηφέστατος ὁ περὶ ἡμᾶς γίνεται ἀὴρ, τηνικαῦτα προεξάλματά τινα καὶ, οὕτως εἰπεὶν, προκυλινδήματα τῆς σφῶν κακίας ἐμφαίνουσι, καὶ καλούμενοι τοῖς κλήτορσιν ὑπακούουσιν. Ἀλλ’ οἵ γε νῦν τῆς τελετῆς προεξάρχοντες τὴν μὲν τῆς κλήσεως οὐκ ἴσασιν ἐπῳδὴν, μηδὲ εἰδοῖέν ποτε· πυρὰ δὲ πολλὰ κύκλῳ τινὶ περιγράφοντες ἐξάλονται τῆς φλογός. Ἦν δὲ καὶ τοῦτο τῆς παλαιᾶς βρακχείας, ἵνα μὴ λέγω μανίας μερίς. Ἔφασαν γὰρ Ἕλληνες, ὀμιχλώδους τοῦ ὑπὲρ κεφαλὴν ἀέρος τυγχάνοντος καὶ παχεῖαν τὴν σύστασιν ἔχοντος, τὰς κατιούσας δυνάμεις εἰλικρινῶς τοῖς καλοῦσιν ὁμιλεῖν· ὁ δέ γε κύκλος κατοχῆς ἔχει δὐναμιν. Ὁ γὰρ προσκεκλημένος δαίμων, οἱονεί πως περιγραφόμενος, περιγραπτός τε δοκεῖ καὶ κατέχεται ἐς ὅσον ἡ γνώμη τοῦ κλήτορος βούλεται. Τῆς δὲ τοιαύτης τροπῆς τοῦ ἡλίου, μᾶλλον δὲ τῆς ἐν τοιαύτῃ τῶν δαιμόνων κακώσεως ὑποσημαίνειν τι καὶ τὴν θάλασσαν οἴονται· ὑφαρπάζειν γὰρ ἀεὶ τῶν ἐπινηχομένων τινὰς, οὐχ ὡς τοῦ ὕδατος ἐπάγοντος τὴν φθορὰν, ἀλλ’ ὡς τῶν ἐν τούτῳ δαιμὀνων ἐνεργούντων τὴν κάκωσιν.

The 11th-century scholar Michael Psellos describes dish-divination or lecanomancy,
the most common divinatory method in the Byzantine period. In this a
dish was filled with common water which was then endowed with extraordinary
power by the spells recited over it; the water received the mantic breath
which produced noise and other confused sounds that are then interpreted by
the diviner.

Ὥσπερ δὲ ἀερομαντεία τίς ἐστι καὶ φυλλομαντεία, οὕτω δὴ καὶ λεκανομαντεία τοῖς περιττοῖς τὴν σοφίαν Ἀσσυρίοις κατῳκονόμηται ὑπὸ λεκάνης ὑποκειμένης καὶ μαντικοῦ πεπληρωμένης ὕδατος, τὸ πρὸς τὰ κοῖλα τῶν δαιμόνων ἐπιῤῥεπὲς τῷ οἰκείῳ χαρακτηριζούσης σχήματι. Τὸ δέ γε ἐπιχυθὲν αὐτῇ ὕδωρ ἀδιάφορον μέν ἐστι κατὰ τὴν οὐσίαν πρὸς τὰ ὁμογενῆ ὕδατα· ἀλλ’ ἥ γε ἐπ’ αὐτῷ τελετὴ καὶ τὰ ἐπᾴσματα ἐπιτήδειον πρὸς ὑποδοχὴν τοῦ χρῶντος ἐργάζονται πνεύματος. Τοῦτο δὲ δαιμόνιόν ἐστι γεῶδες καὶ μερικὀν· καὶ, ἐπειδὰν ἐμπέσῃ τῷ ὕδατι, πρῶτον μὲν ἦχόν τινα ἄσημον τοῖς περιεστηκόσι κατὰ τὴν ὑποδοχὴν ἐμποιεὶ, ἔπειτα δὲ ἐπικείμενον τῷ ὕδατι ἀμυδρούς τινας φθόγγους τῆς τοῦ μέλλοντος ὑποψοφεῖ προγνώσεως. Ἔστι δὲ πάντη πλάνον τὸ τοιοῦτον πνεῦμα, ὅτι τῆς ὑλικῆς ἐστι τἀξεως, καὶ ἐξεπίτηδες τὸ γένος τοῦτο τὸν ἀμυδρὸν ἦχον ἐπιτηδεύονται, ἵνα διὰ τὴν ἀσάφειαν τῆς φωνῆς τὸν τοῦ ψεύδους ἀποδιδράσκωσιν ἔλεγχον.

ζʹ. Περὶ δὲ τοῦ πρακτικοῦ τῆς ἀποῤῥήτου παρὰ Χαλδαίοις συνθήκης ἥντινα δύναμιν εἶχε τοῦτό σοι ἐπὶ κεφαλαίων ἐπιτεμοῦμεν. Πρῶτον μὲν θυσία τούτοις ἁγνεύουσα παρεσκεύαστο, ἀρώματά τε καὶ βοτάναι, καὶ λίθοι, κρόκος τε καὶ μυρσίνη καὶ δάφνη, μυστικῶς περικαθαιρόμενα. Χῶρός τε τούτοις περιεγράφετο φυτευμένοις καὶ βοθρευομένοις. Ἐφ’ οἷς ὁ τὴν συνθήκην ποιούμενος, δεινός τις ὢν ἀνὴρ τὰ γοητικὰ, καὶ ὀνομάσας τὸ πρᾶγμα ἐφ’ ᾦ τὴν θυσίαν πεποίηται, ὑσττεραίας αὖθις εἰς τὸν τῆς τελετῆς παρεγίνετο τόπον. Καὶ ἀναχωννύων τάς τε τῶν φυτῶν βάσεις καὶ τὰς ἀφαγνισθείσας ὕλας, καὶ τῇ λαιᾷ ταῦτα ἀναλαμβάνων χειρὶ, ἀθρόα πάντα καὶ ἐξαπιναίως, δυνάμεις τινὰς ἀνεκαλεῖτο κρυφίους. Αἱ δὲ ἦσαν ὁ τῆς ληφθείσης θυσίας καθηγεμὼν, οἱ τῶν ὑλῶν κύριοι, ὁ τῆς ἡμέρας προστάτης, ὁ χρονοάρχης, ὁ τετράρχης δαίμων.

Ἀρκεῖ ταῦτα καὶ γλώττῃ κεκαθαρμένῃ καὶ ἀκοῇ σώφρονι.