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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine

 

 

 

 

2 articles for "Mesmer"

Mesmer, Franz (or Friedrich) Anton [Astro*Index]

(1734-1815) German physician. Born at Iznang am Bodensee, Baden, Germany; died at Meersburg, Germany.

He received his medical degree at the University of Vienna, in 1766. He was keenly interested in astrology. A mystic, and a follower of Paracelsus, he investigated non-orthodox sources which might affect the lives of humans. Experimenting with magnets, he effected some cures by passing them over the bodies of patients. He later obtained similar cures without the magnets by merely passing of hands, and introduced the termology "animal magnetism." His failure to cure other patients, however, let to his expulsion, first from Vienna, and later from Paris. He retired to Versailles, then moved to Switzerland, and finally back to Germany. While in Paris, he met with Benjamin Franklin, who denied the validity of Mesmer's work, but did allow that cures could be induced by suggestion (i.e., psychosomatic ailments).

 

See also:
♦ Magnetism
Mesmerism [DeVore]

A word derived from Mesmer, the eighteenth-century physician who applied animal magnetism or psychic influences in the treatment of disease. It has largely been superceded by Hypnotism, with which it is approximately identical.

 

See also:
♦ Magnetism

 

Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine