The form in which it was used in Europe, is just one of the links in the whole system of magical devices. Its prototype, of course, existed in ancient times; however, it is impossible to establish a direct link between the ancient ways of its application, and those we meet in Europe in the late Middle Ages.
By itself, this image has been known since ancient times archaeologists ancient rock paintings have been found, which show figures holding sticks, and subsequently, many Indo-European peoples portrayed their gods with various objects in their hands, symbolizing their power, and had stories about all sorts of magic wand.
Priests of a number of nations have used batons similarity to perform various rituals. There are several hypotheses about the origin of the image – the connection with the cult of the phallus or the original use as a shaman drum sticks.
Apparently, during the interim period wand it was distributed among the people and methods of its application liable to variation. What was her fate at this time, we do not know as medieval authors are silent about it, and we cannot tell about its history. We only know the following.
When the Roman emperor Valens (364-379), many notable people accused in the fact that they allegedly conspired against him and tried to learn the magical ways of his successor’s name. They are used in this ring, hanging on a thin thread one of its present kept over a circular metal cup, which edges at regular intervals were engraved letters. The ring is rotationally driven along the edges of the bowl, and some letters it seemed to stumble. According to these guidelines it was compiled right word.
Not everyone, however, can do so, and indicate twig not always reliable, so that Paracelsus classifies the reception to the wrong means. Perhaps, this custom was not particularly common, because otherwise almost omniscient in magic, Agrippa would certainly have mentioned it, because this kind of phenomenon is very suited to this liking thing.
Paracelsus during his wanderings among the lower classes, probably accidentally stumbled on this method and described it in his writings, contributed to its widespread dissemination. Anyway, about the magic wand mention. Views on the wand and its application are very diverse Some authors say that the twig is to be taken from a tree, have a natural liking to seek out the metal, for each metal needs a special kind of wood.
Others argue that the type of wood does not mean anything, but it is important that the twig was flexible, so it is best to take it out of willow, hazel or ash. Some explain all natural affection, others – especially the clergy – see him as the machinations of the devil, finally, others simply call it superstition.
In 1630, a French nobleman made a valuable discovery that willow and alder twigs can also be used to detect underground water veins. The scientific world, however, until 1692 was not interested in the phenomenon, but from this year begins a curious chapter in the history of the magic wand. July 5, 1692 at 10 pm was found dead in Lyon wine merchant and his wife.
Since the authorities have not found any trace of the murderer, by the initiative of a private person, a wealthy landowner, the farmer was invited Jacques Aymar, who enjoyed fame for his ability with the help of a magic wand to find not only metal and water-bearing veins, but also thieves and murderers. Aimar once said that his wand pulls in three directions, so that the killers should be three.
He followed the sticks for several miles on land and on water, and finally found the person who is indicated as the murderer.
He denied his involvement, but it was executed, since the Court was able to obtain from him some dubious recognition. The incident has caused great excitement; was written several scientific books in different ways tried to explain this action rod.
The clergy saw in the machinations of the devil, but the theologian Valmont spoke quite categorically in his book The secret power, or a treatise on magic wand that this phenomenon is in full agreement with the magnetic and electric action, and that therefore there is no reason to prevent the interference of the supernatural here forces.
He, like all the other scientists, I forgot whether wand performed really what was demanded of her. Severe blow received the whole theory, when it was discovered that the well-known physicist Athanasius Kircher showed nearly half a century before, that a stick is not tilted either in the water or to another subject, if it is not in the hands of man, and is secured by the two ends so that can rotate freely.
The case is still worsened when Jacques Aymar was summoned to the son of the Duke of Conde, and he was forced to do different experiments. It turned out that he could not find any water or metal, hidden people, and was unable to find the thieves, already known to the police. Then just started to doubt whether executed really was a killer.
Finally, the priest Lebrun explained this issue by many experiments on persons in whose hands the stick came in busy traffic. First of all, he suggested the influence of the devil, so fervently urged those who experimented, pray to God that stick remained immovable, if the matter involved the evil spirits. Then stick immediately become immobile.
It is surprising that such experiments priest unexpectedly made the most correct conclusion, namely, that the cause of the movement rods lies in the desires of man and sent his intentions.