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  • Constellation Plate and the Music of the Spheres May 26, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    Here is a curiosity: a plate that plays magical music to your sleeping ear. The passage comes from the writing of John Beaumont (obit 1731) a geologist and reluctant British mystic who sometimes saw ‘spirits’. In one of his works (Account, 188) Beaumont claims:

    I may here note, That some Persons have told my self, that they have seen a constellated Plate here in London, made of such Electrum, which if put under a Man’s Pillow at Night, will make him hear Heavenly Music.

    Well, the general sense is clear, but at least for Beach some of the individual words are a struggle: the following is based on a half hour in dictionaries. ‘Constellated’ means in its first and magical sense something made under a given constellation: i.e. created with astrological considerations in mind. Or it can mean something decorated to look like a constellation. Presumably the first here. Electrum was a magical metal described thus by Parcelsus: ‘it is made up of a blend of a seven separate metals [seven planets presumably] and drives away evil spirits’. We are not talking about Electrum, then, as understood today. The next question is where can we get an electrum plate to listen to the music of the spheres? Here unfortunately John Beaumont is not forthcoming. If any readers can help with this or any similar magical devices: drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com