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4332RE: [SCA-Herbalist] Halloween fun - Hildegarde's instructions on a Basilisk

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  • Rhonda Kountz
    Nov 1, 2004
      Sorry, no toads or hen eggs, but would really love to heaar about the
      unicorn and what to do with a dead dragon!

      >And just because Halloween is the best time of the year... and because
      >I'm a bit bored... I've been flipping through the more interesting bits
      >of Hildegarde's Physica. Among the gems that every housewife should
      >know: how to catch a unicorn, what to do with a dead dragon, and of
      >course, the nature of a Basilisk.
      >Page 233:
      >"The basilisk is born from certain vermin that are somewhat diabolical,
      >that is, from toads. Sometimes, when the toad has been impregnated and
      >is going to bring forth young, if she sees the egg of a serpent or hen,
      >she loves it and lies over it. She warms it until she gives birth to her
      >naturally conceived young.
      >These die as soon as they are born. Seeing them dead, she again places
      >herself over the egg and warms it until the young in that egg has begun
      >to live. Soon, a particular power of the diabolical art of the ancient
      >serpent touches it. This power rests in the Antichrist, and just as he
      >resist all heavenly beings, so this animal fights against all mortals,
      >killing them. After the toad senses that the thing in the egg is alive,
      >she is immediately astounded by this unusual occurance and flees. The
      >animal breaks through its shell and emerges. It naturally sends out very
      >strong breath, similar to thunder and lighting. The fire within it can
      >be very fierce and strong, without the torments of Tartarus. It comes
      >from its shell and with its breath it splits the earth almost to the
      >depth of five cubits. It then lies in this split of moist earth until it
      >grows to maturity. Then it climbs back up to earth, killing with its
      >breath all the living things it finds. Nothing living desires, nor is
      >able, to endure it. When it sees something that is alive, in its
      >displeasure it sends cold and then its breath, so killing the creature
      >it blew on. It falls immediately, as if struck by thunder and lighting.
      >If a basilisk has died in a field or vineyard, and its cadaver has
      >rotted there, that place will be unfruitful and sterile. If it dies and
      >rots in any citadel or house, the people there will always be ill, and
      >the animals in that place will frequently get disease and very often die
      >from it." - Hildegarde's Physica, 12th century Germany.
      >So.... anyone got a pregnant toad and some hen eggs? Enquiring minds and
      >all that....
      >Her description of a unicorn is pretty wacked out too. :)

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