Certain historic modes of healing, including the use of medical amulets and charms, which have been regarded from early times as magical remedies, belong properly to the domain of Psychical Medicine. For the therapeutic virtues of medical amulets are not inherent in these objects, but are due to the influence exerted by them upon the imaginative faculties of the individuals who employ them. They afford powerful suggestions of healing. In this volume the writer has sought to emphasize the fact that the efficiency of many primitive therapeutic methods, and the success of charlatanry, are to be attributed to mental influence.
famous as skilled practitioners, were prominent among the Druids. Although thoroughly conversant with the healing properties of herbs, they appreciated keenly the influence exerted upon the minds of their patients by charms, fairy cures, and incantations. Therefore their methods of treatment were of a medico-religious character, the psychic element being utilized in the form of various magic rites and ceremonies, which were important healing factors. The ancient Druidic charms are still in use among the Irish peasants, the titles of pagan deities being replaced, however, by the name of Christ and words of the Christian ritual. In this form they are regarded as magic talismans, when repeated over the sick, and the peasants have a strong faith in these mystic formulas, which have a powerful hold upon their imaginations, having been transmitted to them through many generations of a credulous ancestry.[13:1]
The peasants of Ireland do not wholly depend upon the skill of their fairy-women. On the contrary,
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