Insufflation, stated Eliphas Levi, “is of the most important practices in occult medicine, because it is a perfect sign of the transmission of life. To inspire, as a fact, means to breath on some person or thing, and we know already, by one of the doctrines of Hermes, that the virtue of things has created words, and that there is an exact proportion between ideas and speech, which is the first form and verbal realization of ideas. The breath attracts or repels, according, as it is warm or cold. The warm breathing corresponds to positive electricity, and cold breathing to negative electricity. Electrical and nervous animals fear the cold breathing, and the experiment may be made upon a cat, whose familiarities are important. By fixedly regarding a lion or tiger and blowing into their face, they would be stupefied as to be forced to retreat before us. Warm and prolonged insufflation restores the circulation of the blood, cures rheumatic and gouty pains, re-establishes the balances of the humors, and dispels lassitude. When the operator is sympathetic and good, it acts as a universal sedative. Cold insufflation soothes pains occasioned by congestions and fluidic accumulations. The two breathings, therefore, must be used alternatively, observing the polarity in the human organism, and acting in contrary manner upon the poles, which must be treated successfully to an opposite magnetism. Thus, to cure an inflamed eye, the one which is not affected must be subjected to a warm and gentle insufflation, cold insufflation being practiced upon the suffering member at the same distance and in the same proportion. Magnetic passes have a similar effect to insufflations, and are a real breathing by transpiration and radiation of the interior air, which is phosphorescent in vital light; slow passes constitute warm breathing which fortifies and raises the spirits; swift passes are a cold breathing of dispersive nature, neutralizing tendencies to congestion. The warm insufflation should be performed transversely, or from below upward, cold insufflation is more effective when directed downward from above.” A.G.H.


Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, New York, Carol Publishing Group Edition, 1996, p. 227