Whenever men really believe that they can get to the spiritual they always employ the material. When the purpose is good, it is bread and wine; when the purpose is evil, it is eye of newt and toe of frog. In this particular matter the witch’s charm included the hair of a black cat. But this is no more insane than the ingredients that have been immortalized by Shakspere. And indeed it is beside the mark to call the ingredients insane. They are chosen because they are insane. They are meant to put men into communication with the insane elements of the universe — with the lunatics of the spiritual world. How far they can succeed nobody can tell; but it is as reasonable to suppose that ugly actions (like tearing off a frog’s toe) may dispose us toward bad influences as to suppose that beautiful actions (like kneeling or uncovering of the head) may dispose us toward good ones. How much is the act and how much the association we do not know; but neither do we know it in daily life. If you are braced with a sea bath you do not know how much of it is the chemistry of the salt and how much of it is the poetry of the sea. If you are warmed with a glass of wine you do not know how much of it is wine and how much of it is the idea of wine.
— Illustrated London News, 6 October 1906.