(Book Review of THE LADIES ORACLE by CORNELIUS AGRIPPA)
Whenever I’m in a blue mood, I browse through my bookshelves and pick up a book. Reading is the greatest of all joys, and the moment I start reading a book I enter a different world, and this change of environment has a positive psychological effect, and lo and behold, my spirits are uplifted. Those who do not have the habit of reading remain imprisoned in their moods and immediate surroundings.
I’ve just picked up a delightful little book called “The Ladies Oracle” by Cornelius Agrippa from my bookcase. Let me tell you about it.
Whenever I buy a book, I write down the date and place of purchase on its first page. I have duly recorded that I bought The Ladies Oracle on 14 February 1989 on the pavement bookstalls opposite the CTO at Fort in Bombay as it was then known.
Let’s get down to using this delightful oracle. First choose a question from the ninety five listed in the book from pages (v) to (viii) numbered 5 to 100 (I wonder where the first five questions are?).
I select question number 35: – Shall I always enjoy good health?
Now I turn to page (i), close my eyes and put my finger on the table of signs. (I have placed my finger on the sign representing a single square).
Now I consult the table starting from page ten, follow the line marked by the number of the question (35th line) till I arrive at the column which has the chosen sign over it, and this figure gives me the number of the page (74) where by looking at the sign traced by my finger I find my answer: – You will always have joy, health and prosperity!
Fantastic! I’m feeling good already.
Now the next question, number 15: – How many lovers shall I have?
I go through the procedure and the Oracle gives me the answer: – A great many, but those that have so many generally choose the worst.
Hey, I’ve to be careful!
The next question, number 91: – What opinion has the world of me?
The Oracle answers: – You are thought to have had more than one adventure.
Oh, dear! Have I?
Shall I be happy in love? The oracle says: – You will find more pain than pleasure.
Pretty bleak – better I steer clear of falling in love!
Will my reputation be always good?
It will always be as you make it!
Must take care to build up a good reputation!
Shall I go many long voyages?
You will do well not to voyage farther than round your own room!
Great! That puts an end to all my travel plans! All I’m going to do is go round and round in my room! What a gloomy answer! And I thought browsing books was supposed to lift my spirits!
Okay, just one last question, and the answer better be something good, or else no more ‘bibliotherapy’ for me!
I select question number 74: – What is the person that I am thinking about doing at this moment? and the Oracle answers: – She regrets not being with you!
Wow! Bibliotheraphy really works. I feel thrilled, jubilant, ecstatic, on cloud nine, in seventh heaven and right on top of the world as I rush off to surprise my beloved sweetheart. And just imagine, I thought she never even thought about me!
Long live The Ladies Oracle!
Oh, yes. The Ladies Oracle is a delightful little book you can consult from time to time on matters of love and life, believe me you’ll enjoy it. (It may be called The Ladies’ Oracle but I’m sure even men will enjoy reading and consulting it with satisfying results).
Dear Reader, why don’t you try it out? It’s entertaining reading, guaranteed to lift your spirits. And do let me know what questions you asked the Oracle and what answers you got!