FOOTNOTES TO “THE SIBYL, ANCIENT AND MODERN”
[The Theosophist, Vol. V, No. 5 (53), February, 1884, pp. 117-119]
[In this article from the pen of Dr. Fortin, President of the “Société Scientifique des Occultistes de France,” the writer says: “History affirms that the Senate had passed a solemn decree that the Sibylline texts should be consulted at every national crisis and danger. The Roman republic owed its safety more than once to the precious prophecies contained in the books of the Sibyl of Cumae.” To this, H. P. B. appends the following footnote:]
The Sibyl of Cumae wore on her head a wreath of verbena. We have verified the influence of that plant upon sensitives. Wild verbena excites and intensifies seership, as to the action of the cultivated plant it is wholly a mystery. Let any woman, who can isolate herself, place upon her head a wreath of wild verbena when writing or doing any other mental work, and she will find herself safe from all bad influence and her faculties will reach their maximum of activity. This practice was followed in every Occult
sanctuary. In order to test the origin and the intrinsic value of a communication, one must test its justice. The divine is divine only in so far as it is just—said Socrates.
[Dr. Fortin writes further: “George Sand . . . used to retire alone into a dark apartment, where she began to smoke in order to awaken her faculties of seership. Her whole being was then seized with a sensation that led her very soon into a state of complete exteriority (exteriorisation).” To this, H. P. B. adds:]
As the translator understands the unusual term, it must mean with the French author an entire isolation from the divine, and the spiritual, and a complete merging into the psycho-physiological world of inner senses or sensuous perceptions which, unless entirely paralyzed, will always stand in the way of the true spiritual Seer. The first state may be induced through opium, morphia, etc., the second is entirely due to natural idiosyncrasies.