673J Hernano Castrillo. 1586–1667

Historia y magia natural, o Ciencia de filosofía oculta, con nuevas noticias de los más profundos misterios, y secretos del Universo visible, en que se trata de animales, pezes, aves, plantas, flores,yervas, metales, piedras, aguas, semillas, Parayso, montes y valles. Por el Padre Hernando de Castrillo de la Compañía de Jesús, natural de Cádiz. Donde trata de los secretos que pertenecen à las partes de la tierra. / por el padre Hernando Castrillo de la Compañia de Jesus

En Madrid : Por Juan Garcia Infanzon. A costa de Joseph Bazcones, mercader de libros 1692 . $6,000

Quarto: 21x.14 cm. Signatures ¶6, A-Y8, Z3of4 [Z4 blank and lacking]. Bound in original vellum. The first edition was1649 which is quite rare indeed I couldn’t find one in any library, this is the second edition.

Castrillo served as the Bishop of Puerto Rico (1649–1651) With a prefatory text by Juan Ponce de León.

“Castrillo, a Jesuit, first wrote this work in 1636. He discusses astrology, physiognomy, and natural magic, as well as America (p 104-8) He adds a section on earthly questions-the location of the terrestrial paradise, whether there are springs on the highest mountains, herbs, metals, and stones, and other natural phenomena. “It would appear that there is more nature than magic in Castrillo’s book … But he might answer that natural magic is more concerned with nature than other sciences are” (Thorndike).

The ability of the Society of Jesus to explore the occult grew as a result of publications by authors whose research such as Martín del Río’s Disquisitionum magicarum 1599, Juan Eusebio de Nieremberg’s Oculta Filosofía 1645, Benito Pereira’s Adversus fallaces & superstitiosas artes. Id est, De magia, de observatione somniorum, & de divinatione astrologica., and Athanasius Kircher’s Oedipus Aegyptiacus1652. Encompassed the ‘supernatural into the natural and thus a worthy subject for study. All Castrillo’s work is framed within the same conception of Kircher and Schott whose science of occult philosophy and natural magic which walks the tight rope between the sacred and the profane.

Natural Magic, becomes a default explanation and Not cause for the scientifically unexplainable, Artificial magic is a cause in which the help of the Devil is used to achieve unnatural actions.

This text is a clear defense of the magical arts, not as the power of the Devil but as special powers in itself. It says on page 7 “it is impossible that all the marvelous and rare effects that are seen have natural causes, because Magicians usually do things superior to the sphere of the natural virtue of sublunary things, such as healing the sick, casting out Demons of human bodies, and do other things similar to true miracles”.

He says, then, that Magic is an art, or faculty, that works with natural virtue unusual and marvelous things, that exceed the common opinion, è ingenuity of men. He calls it art, to include any knowledge, science, or mechanical opinion, or liberal, natural, or artificial, by virtue of man, or of the Devil. But Magic is a more universal knowledge; because it extends to supernatural and divine things, which is why San Geronimo divided Magic into white and black, which are what he calls S. Agustin Theurgiam, and Geoteiamam”.

The book is divided into four treatises that are
1º- First Book of Illustrated Natural Magic, or Science of Secret Philosophy of the hidden mysteries of nature.
2º- Of the matter, and object of the natural Magic that is the earth.
3º- From another more outstanding and excellent part of the earth, which is the Paradise that God planted in it.
4º- Of the mountains of the earth.
5º- Of the fields, valleys and forests of the earth, and of the herbs and trees that grow in them.
6º- Of the metals, and of some stones of the earth.

Sommervogel; vol. II, col. 855 nº ; • Palau, Manual, 1948-77: no. 48514. • Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. ?? [pages 104-8 are on America]. • Sommervogel, Bibliotheque Compagnie de Jesus, 1890: 2, 855. • Thorndike, History of Magic, 1923-58: 7, 334.; Palau y Dulcet (2nd ed.); v. 3, p. 293; Medina. Biblioteca hispano-americana; 1883.