Alchemy Academy archive
February 2000

Back to alchemy academy archives.
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000
From: Catherine Fox-Anderson

Hello and thank you Mike,

Which text is this you refer to, and is it available on the website?
The only references to Pernety that my search turned up were on
the forum.


Subject: ACADEMY : Symbolism of the pomegranate
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000
From: Catherine Fox-Anderson

Yes, to Adam's question about seeing the pomegranate
in the Zadrobilek article, but also I recall seeing it
in at least two other texts, one of which I seem to
recall as an arabic one, translated to English. Mike,
I will search the website for the Pernety text again,
and thanks for the reference. The etymology of the
French is interesting: garnet in Spanish is 'granate',
while pomegranate is 'granada'. My etymological
resources don't establish a connection there, although
it may exist. Perhaps Jose could shed some light on
this. 'Granate' can also serve as an adjective for
deep redness, dark crimson. I always try to keep in
mind your precautionary advice in terms of the
symbolism, Adam. This fruit came up at the end of the
piece I'm studying as an alchemical allegory, in the
context of rubedo, followed by reference to the green
and fertile. Thank you again.


Subject: ACADEMY : Symbolism of the pomegranate
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000
From: Catherine Fox-Anderson


>This fruit came up at the end of the piece I'm studying as an
>alchemical allegory, in the context of rubedo, followed by
>reference to the green and fertile.

Can you tell us the title of this alchemical allegory ?

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Symbolism of the pomegranate
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2000
From: Mike Dickman

Hi Catherine,

The reference is in A. J. Pernety's 'Dictionaire Mytho-Hermétique' (1785),
reprinted by Archè, Milano, 1980, sub. ref. 'Gr'... 'Grenade, Pierre au
rouge'. Grenat is both the stone and the colour in French too, and, - in
Old French - the later, Middle French 'grenade' or pommegranate.
(Cf.Greimas, 'Dictionnaire de l'ancien français'; and Greimas & Keane,
'Dictionnaire du moyen français', both published by Larousse).
But that, unfortunately, is as far as it goes...

Happy hunting!

Subject: ACADEMY : Symbolism of the pomegranate
From: Eve Sinaiko
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2000

There is a good deal of pomegranate symbolism in general in
Christian iconography, which alchemical symbolism often seems
to draw on. In Renaissance paintings of the Madonna and Christ
Child, one often sees the child holding a pomegranate, which
represents the Universal Church (inner unity of many thousand
seeds within one fruit). It is also a reference to Christ's Passion:
the seeds are his drops of blood shed at the Crucifixion, and
vice versa, since the blood of Christ is the food of eternal life
(drunk ritually in the miracle of transubstantiation) for believers.
(Another red symbol that has similar echoes is the red coral
branch or red coral beads that the Christ Child sometimes holds
or wears in Renaissance paintings.)

The Christian pomegranate imagery may, in turn, arise (to a
degree) from the Greco-Roman myth of Proserpine, who, because
she ate the pomegranate seeds in Hades, dwells there each
winter and returns to earth each spring. The pomegranate (a
winter fruit) is therefore linked with spring renewal, return to life,
and therefore to resurrection and immortality.

I imagine many alchemical authors writing in the 15th and 16th
centuries would be aware of these references. The intense red
color of the seeds and their bloodlike juice, as well as the fruit's
symbolism of life cycle and immortality, seem natural opportunities
for alchemical symbolism. In a way, it's perhaps odd that the image
does not turn up more often.

I believe that the gem called garnet is named for the pomegranate,
not the other way round. Pomegranate = [many]grained apple, or
seedy apple. Garnets are so named because they look like
pomegranate seeds.

Eve Sinaiko

Subject: ACADEMY : Ape of Nature
Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2000
From: ME Warlick

Although not related to the monkeys in Fludd's engravings, there
are images of monkeys in some of the "foolish alchemist" prints.
See for example an etching by P. van der Borcht, c. 1580 at the
Wellcome Institute, Videodisc no. 12169, Wildcat no. (BRN 17512)

"An alchemist's laboratory inhabited by simians; to the right they
are shown calling at the poorhouse, destitute after their obsessive,
fruitless experiments," (Wellcome Institute description)

M. E. Warlick

Subject: ACADEMY : Who is Vrien?
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000
From: Eugene Beshenkovsky

In an 18th century manuscript I've been struggling for some time,
there is a book described as 'Vrien Versuche mit Quecksilber
und Gold'. The closest match I've been able to find is:

PRICE, JAMES, 1752-1783
Versuche mit Quecksilber, Silber und Gold: angestellt zu Guildford,
im May 1782 ; aus dem Englischen / beschrieben von James Price.
Nebst einem Auszuge aus Boyle's Erzählung von einer Degradation
des Goldes. Dessau : Buchhandlung der Gelehrten, 1783. 63 p. ; 8vo

Thank you for your ideas,

Eugene Beshenkovsky

Subject: ACADEMY : Kircher correspondence and alchemical manuscripts
From: Adam McLean
Date: 4 Feb 2000

I have discovered a web site displaying among other things,
the correspondence received by Athanasius Kircher

It has high quality scans of the letters (apparently over 2000),
and you access these through a search form.

To gain access, you must first request a user ID.

Also on this site is a catalogue of Scientific Manuscripts,
which on a superficial search revealed a number of
alchemical items.

Regrettably I do not have the leisure at present to browse
through this site, but I wonder if anyone in this group might care to
do so and report back on their findings, either of the Kircher
material or the catalogue of scientific manuscripts

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Ibn Arabi's writings on alchemy
From: Adam McLean
Date: 4 Feb 2000

Does anyone have any information on the availability of
English translations of Ibn Arabi's writings on alchemy?

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Ibn Arabi's writings on alchemy
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000
From: Christopher Warnock

I am not aware of any extant English translations of Ibn Arabi's
writings on alchemy. Basically all that is available in English by
Ibn Arabi is:

(1) The Fusus al Hikam, the Jewels or Bezels of Wisdom,
which Paulist Press keeps taking in and out of print. This is not
specifically alchemical, but is an amazing tour de force of occult
(2) What the Seeker Needs, Threshold Books, (Halveti-Jerrahi
tariqah) various mystical essays;
(3) Journey to the Lord of Power. Threshold Books, (Halveti-Jerrahi
tariqah) excellent account of the miraj, the spiritual ascent to the
Divine; Mysteries of Purity :
(4) Ibn Al-Arabi's Asrar Al-Taharah, a partial translation of the Futuhat
al Makkiya on sufism and fiqh (islamic law);
(5) Kitab Anqa Mughrib, Ibn Al-Arabi's Book of the Fabulous
Gryphon which deals with Ismalic sainthood and Ibn Arabi role
as the Seal of the Saints;
(6) The Tarjuman Al-Ashwaq, the Interpreter of Desires, Sufi love
poetry and uniquely a commentary by Ibn Arabi on the divine
aspects of love;
(7) Sufis of Andalusia : The Ruh Alouds and Al-Durrat Al-Fakhirah
of Ibn Arabi, my recollection is that this is an account of
Western sufis and also contains autobiographical information.

For the most part, academics, Chittick, etc. have preferred not to
translate Ibn Arabi, but churn out endless articles and secondary
texts. Ibn Arabi is described as the Sheikh al Akbar, the Greatest
Sheikh, and from a philosophical standpoint there can be no
doubt that he was and is the most significant Sufi. Given incredible
breadth and depth of his knowledge and revelatory information
revealed in the Fusus, I can only imagine what the Futuhat al
Makkiya (Meccan Revelations) his masterwork contains with regard
to alchemy. We can only hope that some scholar will be willing to
translate rather than mine Ibn Arabi's writings to produce secondary
(or tertiary) works.

Christopher Warnock

Subject: ACADEMY : Ibn Arabi's writings on alchemy
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000
From: Mike Dickman

His translated writings and writings about him as presented by the Ibn
'Arabi Society are as follows:

Quest for the Red Sulphur by Claude Addas Published by the Islamic Texts
Society, 1993 A major biography covering the temporal and mystical life of
Ibn 'Arabi. Paperback $32.95/£18.95 (E)

Mystical Astrology According to Ibn 'Arabi by Titus Burckhardt translated
from the French by Bulent Rauf Published by Beshara Publications 1977 A
distillation of the essential symbolism underlying spiritual astrology from
the works of Ibn 'Arabi. Paperback $9.00/£4.00 (A)

The Bezels of Wisdom by Muhyiddin Ibn al-'Arabi translated, with
introduction, by R.W.J. Austin Published by Paulist Press, 1980. Reprinted
1997 Complete translation of the Fusus al-Hikam. Preface by Titus
Burckhardt. Paperback $26.95/£19.99(D)

Universal Man by Abd al-Karim al-Jili translated with commentary by Titus
Burckhardt. English translation by Angela-Culme Seymour Published by
Beshara Publications, 1985 Extracts in translation of the celebrated work
by Jili, a spiritual descendant of Ibn 'Arabi. Paperback $15.00/£7.50 (A)

The Sufi Path of Knowledge by William Chittick Published by SUNY Press,
1989 Over 600 passages translated from the Futuhat , with commentaries,
organised by theme. Paperback $26.95/£19.95 (F)

Imaginal Worlds by William Chittick Published by SUNY Press, 1994 An
examination of Ibn 'Arabi's concepts of human perfection, the World of the
Imagination and the reasons for religious diversity. Paperback
$19.95/£15.50 (C)

The Self-Disclosure of God by William Chittick Published by SUNY Press,
1997 Like Chittick's earlier work, The Sufi Path of Knowledge, this book is
based primarily on Ibn 'Arabi's Futuhat al-Makkiyya. More than 100 chapters
and subsections are translated. The book is divided into 3 parts, dealing
with the relation between God and the cosmos, the structure of the cosmos,
and the nature of the human soul. Paperback $24.95/£19.50 (F)

The Spiritual Writings of Amir Abd al-Kader by Michel Chodkiewicz Published
by SUNY Press, 1995 Translations from the work of Abd al-Kader, many of
which are commentaries on the writings of Ibn 'Arabi. Paperback
$16.95/£13.25 (C)

An Ocean without Shore - Ibn 'Arabi, The Book and the Law by Michel
Chodkiewicz Published by SUNY Press, 1993 An examination of the Koranic
roots in the writings of Ibn 'Arabi. Paperback $21.95/£17.25 (C)

The Seal of the Saints by Michel Chodkiewicz Published by Islamic Texts
Society, 1993 An exploration of Ibn 'Arabi's teachings on Sainthood
Paperback $29.95/£17.95 (C)

Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi by
Henry Corbin Published by Princeton University Press, 1997 An introduction
with biographical details on Ibn 'Arabi with two complementary essays:
"Sympathy and Theopathy" and "Creative Imagination and Creative Prayer."
Paperback $19.95/£14.95 (E)

The Unlimited Mercifier The Spiritual life and thought of Ibn 'Arabi by
Stephen Hirtenstein Anqa Publishing & White Cloud Press, 1999 A new
appreciation of Ibn 'Arabi's life and thought. Seventeen alternating
chapters of biography and thought, with illustrations, photographs and
maps. Both an introduction and a further study. Paperback $19.95/£17.50 (D)
Hardback $40.00/
£29.99 (E)

Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom by Ibn 'Arabi interpreted by Tosun
Bayrak from the Ottoman Turkish
Published by Fons Vitae, 1997 In "Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom",
at-Tadbirat al-ilahiyyah Ibn 'Arabi uses metaphors from worldly politics to
illuminate details of the spiritual search. The volume also includes "What
the Seeker Needs", Kitab Kunh ma la budda minhu lil-murid and "The One
Alone", Kitab al-ahadiyyah Paperback $19.95

Kernel of the Kernel by Ibn 'Arabi with commentary by Ishmael Hakki
Bursevi, translated by Bulent Rauf Published by Beshara Publications 1981,
Reprinted 1997 From the Lubb-ul-Lubb. A treatise of instruction for the
mystic who undertakes the journey to Union with God. Hardback $15.00/£7.50

The Twenty-Nine Pages An Introduction to Ibn Arabi's Metaphysics of Unity
Published by Beshara Publications, 1998 Consisting of edited highlights
from A. E. Affifi's "The Mystical Philosophy of Muhyid Din Ibnul Arabi"
(Cambridge University Press, 1938), this book provides an introduction to
the language and thought of Ibn Arabi. Paperback $15.00/£7.50 (A)

The Wisdom of the Prophets (Fusus al-Hikam) by Ibn 'Arabi translated from
Arabic to French by Titus Burckhardt, from French to English by Angela
Culme-Seymour Published by Beshara Publications, 1975 Twelve chapters from
the Fusus al-Hikam in this first translation into English. Paperback
$12.50/£5.80 (B) Hardback £7.50 (C)

"Whoso Knoweth Himself..." by Ibn 'Arabi, translated by T.H. Weir
Published by Beshara Publications, 1975 From the Treatise on Being
(Risale-t-ul-wujudiyyah), a concise and elevated exposition of unity.
Paperback $9.00/£3.30 (A) Hardback £6.00 (B)

The Tarjumán al-Ashwáq by Ibn al-'Arabi, translated by Reynold Nicholson
Published by Theosophical Publishing House, 1978 Translation of Ibn
'Arabi's most famous work of poetry with his commentary and the Arabic
text. Hardback $18.00 Paperback £3.95 (B)

L'Interprète des Désirs by Ibn 'Arabi, translated by Maurice Gloton
Published by Albin Michel, Paris, 1996 The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq translated
into French with introduction and notes. Includes Ibn 'Arabi's full
commentary. Paperback £19.50 (E)

Sufis of Andalusia The Rûh al-quds and al Durrat al-fåkhirah by Ibn 'Arabi,
translated with introduction and notes by Ralph Austin Published by Beshara
Publications, 1988 Biographical sketches of some of the spiritual masters
and contemplatives amongst whom Ibn 'Arabi spent his early years. Paperback
$15.00/£7.50 (B)

Le Dévoilement des Effets du Voyage Kitâb al-isfar 'an natâij al-asfâr by
Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi. Parallel text - Arabic / French translation, with
introduction and notes by Denis Gril. Éditions de l'Éclat, 1994 Describes
the kinds of journeys travelled by human beings, with specific reference to
the model journeys of the prophets. Paperback £12.50 (C)

La Production des Cercles Kitâb inshâ ad-dawâ'ir al-ihâtiyya by Muhyiddin
Ibn 'Arabi. Parallel text - Arabic / French translation, with introduction
and notes by Paul Fenton & Maurice Gloton Éditions de l'Éclat, 1996 Book of
the Description (i.e. drawing) of the Circles Encompassing the
Correspondence of Man to Creator and Creatures. Paperback £9.50 (B)

Ibn 'Arabi in the later Islamic Tradition by Alexander D. Knysh Published
by SUNY Press, 1998 An analysis of the heated debates around Ibn 'Arabi's
ideas in the three centuries following his death. Hardback $29.95/£21.75 (E)

Mystical Languages of Unsaying by Michael Sells Published by University of
Chicago Press, 1994 Readings of the texts of Plotinus, Erigena, Porette,
Ibn 'Arabi and Eckhardt. Paperback $18.95/£15.25 (D)

Sacred Drift by Peter Lamborn Wilson Published by City Lights Books, 1993
A collection of essays and poems (almost all Rumi) including three
commentaries on the life and work of Ibn 'Arabi and "Sacred Drift: On the
Road with Doctor Maximus." Paperback $13.95

Mysteries of Purity - Ibn al-'Arabi's asrar al-taharah by Eric Winkel
Published by Cross Cultural Publications Translations from Ibn 'Arabi's
Futuhat al-Makkiyya concerned with legal discourse (fiqh) and the meaning
of purity. Hardcover $38.95

The Ibn 'Arabi Society themselves are contactable at:

And there is also the following reference which may be of use:


Subject: ACADEMY : Ibn Arabi's writings on alchemy
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000
From: Ahmad Y. Hassan

This site of Ibn al-Arabi Society has a list of those works of Ibn
al-Arabi that were translated from Arabic into other languages
including English:

There is another site also that deals with Ibn al-Arabi's works:

The Alchemy of Happiness is a chapter in Ibn al-Arabi's monumental
work A-Futuhat. It was translated into French. The following description
of this translation is from the second web site:

Alchimie du bonheur parfait
Février 81. 160 p. 90 F

L'oeuvre du célèbre mystique et visionnaire
Mohyiddin Ibn 'Arabî (1165-1240), originaire
d'Andalousie, a laissé une empreinte profonde
sur la tradition ésotérique et spirituelle de
Elle est synthétisée dans son monumental " Livre
des Conquêtes spirituelles de La Mekke" dont il
n'existe actuellement aucune traduction en
langue européenne.
L'alchimie du bonheur parfait (Kîmîyâ
al-Sa'âda) est un des chapitres les plus
développés de cet ouvrage et forme un dense
traité d'ésotérisme où l'auteur, s'inspirant du
fameux thème spirituel du Mi'râj de Mohammad
(l'Assomption céleste du Prophète), décrit les
transfigurations de l'âme du pèlerin dans son
ascension à travers les cieux, les demeures
paradisiaques, les univers invisibles. Le texte se
présente comme un récital visionnaire exploitant
tous les registres du symbolisme alchimique mis
en relation avec les métamorphoses successives
de l'âme de l' "adepte" en quête de sa
réalisation métaphysique. Associée à l'exégèse
de maints passages du Qorân, la prophétologie
y joue un rôle fondamental illustrant la présence
nécessaire du guide initiatique qui oriente le
pèlerin dans son voyage céleste.
Les travaux sur l'Alchimie en Islam, et surtout
les traductions, sont encore en très petit
nombre. L'originalité et la perspective
résolument mystique de ce traité, en font un
document spirituel de première valeur. Il nous
instruit sur la signification cosmologique et
eschatologique du Grand Oeuvre à travers
l'expérience visionnaire du " voyage de l'âme ".
Ce livre offre la traduction in extenso du traité
d'Ibn 'Arabî.

I hope this information is useful.

Ahmad Y. Hassan

Subject: ACADEMY : The Jesuits and Alchemy
From: Penny Bayer
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000

Dear Academy

Can anyone recommend a source on the Jesuits and alchemy?

Any ideas gratefully received.

Subject: ACADEMY : Ibn Arabi's writings on alchemy
From: Jose Rodríguez
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000

Concerning the Futûhât chapter called «Kîmîyâ al-Sa'âda» I would like
to notice that Claude Addas is really opposite to the Fuscoli's introduction
in the french edition entitled "L'alchimie du bonheur parfait", Paris, 1981
(see: Claude Addas, "Ibn 'Arabi ou La quête du Soufre Rouge",
Introduction, note nº 24, Paris, 1989).

Jose Rodríguez

Subject: ACADEMY : Grail and alchemical texts
From: Jose Rodríguez
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000

"The characters in the story of the Grail and the alchemical texts".
Right now I have extensive information concerning alchemical
works atributted to Merlin and Arthur and I wonder if anyone could
send me information about alchemical works atributed to other
typical characters in the story of the Grial: Mordrain, Perceval, Urien,
Bran, Erec, Gauvain, Keu, etc.

Subject: ACADEMY : The Golden Cross
From: Jose Rodríguez
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000

"The Golden Cross"
I read some alchemical text explaining about the "Brethren of the
Golden Cross" (see: «Aureum saeculum redivivum» by Madhatano
or the «Aureus tractatus» by Johann Grassoff).

Is "fratres aureae crucis" a reference to the " fratres rosae crucis"
and the Rosicrucian movement? Are there other references about
the Golden Cross?

Thanks all.

Jose Rodríguez

Subject: ACADEMY : Grail and alchemical texts
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000
From: Mike Dickman

Jose Rodríguez wrote:

>Right now I have extensive information concerning alchemical
>works atributted to Merlin and Arthur

You do?... I would be grateful if you would share this with us...

Thank you,

Subject: ACADEMY : The Golden Cross
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000
From: Susanna Åkerman

José Rodriguez wrote,
>I read some alchemical text explaining about the "Brethren of the
>Golden Cross" (see: «Aureum saeculum redivivum» by Madhatano
>or the «Aureus tractatus» by Johann Grassoff).
>Is "fratres aureae crucis" a reference to the " fratres rosae crucis"
>and the Rosicrucian movement? Are there other references about
>the Golden Cross?

Dear José,

I have been told, and think I have read at one point, that Robert Fludd
makes a distinction between the golden and rosy cross in his Apology for,
or in his defense of, the Rosicrucians (1617) , but I have no access to the
texts right now. I recall that William Huffman translates the Apology in
his collection "Robert Fludd - Essential Readings" (Aquarian/Thorson,
London, 1992).

Madathanus' mentioning of the "aurae crucis frater" at the end of
"Aureum Saeculum redivivum" (1622) is not as far as I know mentioned
in correspondence of other Rosicrucians at the time, the 1620's.
(Perhaps, though, Carlos Gilly has found something like this in the
minutiae of his research.) As you can read in my article on the Porta
Magica raised in Rome in 1680 by Massimiliano Palombara where
the emblem from Madathanus' "Aureum saeculum redivivum" is used,
there may be a connection from it to Palombara's mentioning of
"a company entitled the rosy cross or as others say the golden cross"
in his Ms. "La Bugia" (c:a 1666). Palombara knew Francesco Maria
Santinelli, Queen Christina's employee 1656-1658, who, in a poem
printed in 1659 entitled "Carlo V", expresses his hope for "la mia
aurea rose croce fortuna." Santinelli was in the year before, according
to Christina's papers, accused of stealing some sort of jewel from

The emblem from Madhatanus has, because of Palombara's door,
been regarded as Rosicrucian in the 18th century tradition. Mino
Gabriele suggests its design is similar to the well known emblem of
Michael Maier where a man with a pair of compasses draws a triangle
within a square. There seems to be no trace of any mentioning of
Madathanus' "golden brothers" in texts of the early seventeenth century.
There is an occult tradition, however, which says that some alchemists
received a golden cross upon initiation in rosicrucianism, while others
received a rose, seemingly marking out two directions in the order,
the golden one being alchemical, the rosy one being the theosophical
direction. This is probably based on Fludd's statement. I note that in
the curious Roman document referred to in my article on the Porta
Magica where Christina is suddenly transformed into Alexander,
he/she goes to Constantinople to convert the Turks and then to
the Nile, where after a battle with the infidels a golden cross is
lowered down over the victorius Alexander. An initiation scene?

Susanna Akerman

Subject: ACADEMY : The Golden Cross
Date: 11 Feb 2000
From: Michael Thomas Martin

Waite makes mention of the golden rose cross "according to some
authors"-- though he never mentions them. 'Real History of the
Rosicrucians', p.10

On this subject, is anyone besides Waite familiar with a white rose


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy in Orthodox countries
From: Constantin Severin
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000

I have always wondered why the intellectuals from the Orthodox
countries of Europe had no interest in the past for the alchemical
adventure. Is anyone capable to offer me arguments for such a
position, very different to the Catholic and Protestant countries?
In Romania, for example, only in the 20th century very few
cultured men ( Mircea Eliade and Vasile Lovinescu ) studied
alchemical texts.

Best wishes,

Constantin Severin

Subject: ACADEMY : Orthodoxy and Alchemy
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 1980
From: Michael Thomas Martin

Constantin and all,

I am not necessarily an expert on this topic, but I am an Eastern Rite
Catholic, which can also be called "virtual Orthodoxy."

1)There were certainly Byzantine alchemists prior to the fall of
Constantinople. Most general reference books on alchemy mention
them.See Burland, and others.

2) Orthodoxy, unlike Catholicism, holds a deep disdain for the sciences
and reason. Eastern Christianity is more religious, in a sense, than
Western Christianity. Faith is paramount in the East. There is not much
value placed on reason. There are no Aquinases in the East. In fact,
many Orthodox theologians consider Aquinas sympotomatic of exactly
what is wrong with Catholicism. Needless to say, alchemy, as an art
where science, religion and art are intertwined, would have less of a
chance to thrive in the culture like the East. A case in point is the
difference in the way in which Orthodox and Catholics view the
Transubstantiation of the Eucharistic elements. In the 12th and 13th
centuries Catholics were very concerned with the how, what and when of
this transformation. On the other hand, it was, and continues to be, a
non-issue for the Orthodox.

Hope this helps.


Subject: ACADEMY : The Golden Cross
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000
From: Susanna Åkerman

Is Waite simply meaning a white rose cross in the proto-Pietist tradition
harkening back to Luther's crest: a white rose, with a red heart and a
black cross in the middle? The idea may be that the heart of the rose is
not yet stung through, thus on par with the white Lily.
Perhaps Waite means something more esoteric.

In Studion's Naometria there is a rose cross with a small cross
in the middle of rose petals made up of numbers for years significant
in his calculation. This rose is part of his gaming concerning the end
of times and appears to signyfy the Teutonic Order for he manipulates
by gematria the numbers in the hebrew words Hebsaleh (Rose) and
Shushanna (Lily), counting up to the number for the year of the founding
of the Teutonic Order of St. Mary in Jerusalem, 1190. They had a
black cross and an image of Mary in their insignia. Mary is signified
through the rose, so was Studion's rose red or white? In Studion it
is outlined in black ink. (Or does the xerox I have seen make it so?).
I believe Luther's protector in the 1520's, Fredrik of Saxony, was
connected to the Teutonic Order and he appears in the Naometria
as the Rider of the white horse.

Susanna Akerman

Subject: ACADEMY : Another third book of Fulcanelli ?
From: Adam McLean
Date: 17th Feb 2000

I have heard recently of another third book of Fulcanelli entitled
'Architecture of Nature' - this would be in French, of course. I am
informed that only 50 copies where originally produced.

I have never heard of this.

Does anyone have any information on this book?


Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : The White and Red Roses
Date: 19 Feb 2000
From: Michael Thomas Martin

Dear Susanna and all,

This discussion on the white and red roses intrigues me. First of all,
it was my suspicion that the white rose was connected to Mary, and your
comments on the Teutonic knights confirms it. I also believe this
somehow connects to the tradition, however unsubstantiated, that Dante's
beatific vision somehow is representative of a proto-Rosicrucianism.

The white rose belonging to Mary would as a matter of course connect the
red to Jesus. Perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, our understanding of
the Rose Cross as possessing a red rose stems (no pun intended) from the
Protestant emphasis on Jesus at the expense of the Virgin. I also find
it interesting that in the color scheme of kundalini, white is the male
and red the female, opposite from the alchemical/Rosicrucian schema. It
seems to me that the difference lies in the kundalini emphasis on sexual
energy and the Christian/Rosicrucian emphasis on the energies of the
heart (see Daniel Cramer's emblems). This is just a hypothesis.

Since the feast of St Valentine, the color's of which are white and red,
is just passed may I wish that all of your weddings are chemical ones.



Subject: ACADEMY : Rose Cross
Date: 21 Feb 2000
From: Michael Thomas Martin

Dear Friends,

The rose cross is making me crazy.

Problem #1: I cannot but detect decidedly rosicrucian elements in
Shakespeare's plays from at least the early 1600's. "Romeo and Juliet"
(1595-8) fairly drips with alchemy. "Hamlet" includes a few references
to alchemy and the RC's. It is my belief that WS was mocking the
secretive nature of the RC's in the characters of Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern, whose names, while not exact references to RC symbols, are
suggestive. It is also important that they were students with Hamlet at
Wittenburg, the cradle of the Reformation.(Did Andreae study there?) Of
course, the date of "Hamlet"'s publication (1603) preceeds the RC
pronouncement by a good few years, which only complicates things all the

It has been suggested that Michael Maier first heard of the RC's on his
visit to England which began around late 1610. It is further suggested
that he heard of the movement from Robert Fludd, though there is no way
to say that they were acquainted for sure. I would suggest that the RC's
were known in England-- in certain circles-- at this time and even
earlier. I realize how heterodox this interpretation is, but I'm willing
to risk a chance. Anyway, it seems to me that Shakespeare was making
sport of the RC's in "Hamlet" possibly because those he was connected to
in the court thought the idea preposterous.He was not loathe to "suck
up" in the name of getting his plays produced. It should also be
remembered that "Hamlet" is a play in which the question of religion and
faith is treated in a very existentialist way-- and neither the
Catholic, the Protestant, nor the RC views triumph.

Problem #2: I still cannot believe that a sixteen year old boy wote "The
Chemical Wedding," especially since it is so much finer in style than
the "Fama" and the "Confessio" which are also, more or less, attributed
to the mature Andreae. And if Andreae was so interested in a Universal
Reformation why did he balk as soon as the manifestoes came out.
Certainly, news did not travel as fast in those days as it does now. How
could he guess he had been misinterpreted?

Any and all comments more than welcome.



Subject: ACADEMY : Athanasius Kircher
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000
From: Catherine Fox-Anderson

Can anyone recommend good source and biographical
material on Athanasius Kircher? He is listed as an
alchemist in the Web site's list of authors, I found
his Table of alchemical equipment and operations- is
there a more specific bibliography on that source?
Does anyone know of any ties he may have had with
Spanish or New Spain Jesuits or intellectuales? I am
studying him in relation to Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.
If anyone would be interested in anything I find, let
me know.

Thank you in advance,

Subject: ACADEMY : Call for articles for Aries
From: Adam McLean
Date: 22 Feb 2000

Dear colleague,
Possibly you are familiar with the existence, since 1985, of the
Paris-based journal ARIES, that used to be published by La Table
d'Émeraude and Archè-Edidit. We are pleased to announce that, from
January 2001 on, ARIES will be published by Brill Academic Publishers,
in a strongly revised format and with a new editorial formula. We are
confident that Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism has
the potential of becoming the leading academic journal in the study
of western esotericism, and may come to play a key role in the needed
professionalization of the field.

In order for this to happen, however, we need your help. You are hereby
heartily invited to submit any manuscript you believe might be fit for
publication in Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism, or to
suggest to your colleagues to do so. All manuscripts that reach us will
be subject to a standard procedure of anonymous reviewing, so as to
enable us to publish a journal of the highest possible quality. Attached
to the present note, please find some standard information.
We are looking forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

The Editors.


Andrea Kroon,
staff assistant.

Chair for the history of the hermetic philosophy and related currents
(University of Amsterdam)

Oude Turfmarkt 143 (bezoekadres / visiting address)
Oude Turfmarkt 147 (postadres / postal address)
1012 CG Amsterdam
The Netherlands

tel +31 (0)20 525 3571
fax +31 (0)20 525 3572

Subject: ACADEMY : The White and Red Roses
From: Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000

In all these discussions about the colors of roses. An important
Alchemical point seems to be completely overlooked i.e. that the
Cross stands for the crucible as well as for the four elements. Thus
in practical terms the color of the rose depends on which stage of
the Work one is symbolically referring to.
I do apologize for not elaborating further the lack of time prevents
me from doing so.

Wed Feb 23 12:49:30 2000
Subject: ACADEMY : Athanasius Kircher

Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000
From: Susanna Åkerman

Dear Catherine,

The Kircher website,, says there are 64
Kircher-related letters in Spanish in the Gregorian Pontifical collection,
but there seems to be no way to access them specifically
through the search engine. Instead one has to search for specific
items by author or year. You can look up the bibliography in
Fletcher and then pick your items. Mail your question to the
organisers for the site if that fails.

John Fletcher, Athanasius Kircher and his correspondence, in

J. Fletcher (ed.), Athanasius Kircher und seine Beziehungen zum
gelehrten Europa seiner Zeit. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz; 1988,
pp. 139-195

_________, A brief Survey of the unpublished Correspondence
of Athanasius Kircher, S.J. (1602-1680), Manuscripta, 1969;
13(3): 150-160.

If you wish you can send me an e-mail, to tell me more about
your project, it may enlighten me on Kircher's sending the
Musurgia universalis and promises of the Oedipus Aegyptiacus
to Queen Christina, in the year before her secret meeting with
two Roman Jesuits in 1651.

Subject: ACADEMY : Rose Cross
From: Susanna Åkerman

Dear Michael,

I agree that the Rose Cross makes one stare in the dark with
hypothesis and conjectures at hand to fill in all gaps in the story.

Problem 1. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are modelled on existing
Danish men of state, such as Jörgen and Holger Rosencranz
(alchemists) and the family Gyllenstierna. They may have been
made familiar in England during Prince James' Danish jaunt in
1598. Heisler shows that Tycho Brahe sent an image of his family
tree with the arms of Rosencrantz and Gyllenstierna to John
Saville in England at that time.

Heisler argues that Shakespeare's most Rosicrucian play is the
little known 'Two Noble Kinsmen' (1612) that he wrote with John
Fletcher, but that was not included in the Grand Folio, because
of its Palatinist tendency.

Andreae studied at Tübingen only, but one can be suspicious of
what was said in his meeting with the Jesuits at Dillingen in 1609,
cited by Montgomery. I have met at least one Italian scholar,
Manoel Insolera, who because of this, conjectures that Rosicrucianism
was doctored by the Jesuits to infuse mysticism into Protestantism.
I do not agree, but the thought is provocative.

Michael Maier had enough experience on the continent to have
encountered Rosicrucianism there before his christmas-cards
to James in 1611. For accurate datings of his life see Karin Figala's
Bio-biography of Michael Maier, an article in van Martens,
Alchemy revisited Leiden 1990. (I found the Figala-Maier reference
by trying the new search engine :

Karin Figala & Ulrich Neumann, "Author, cui nomen Hermes Malavici"
New Light on the Bio-Bibliography of Michael Maier (1569-1622)."
pp. 121-148.

In P.Rattansi & A.Clericuzio (ed.), Alchemy and Chemistry in the 16th
and 17th Centuries. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht,
1994. [International Archives of the History of Ideas, 140]
208pp. ISBN 0-7923-2573-7

"A collection of papers read at the international symposium on the
16th and 17th century
Alchemy and History held at Warburg Institute of University of London in
July 26th-27th 1989."

problem 2: You may confer Donald Dickson's article on J.V. Andreae's
writings in Renaissance Quarterly 1996, including his autobiographical
confession that he wrote the Chemical Wedding. Is not the Wedding
the kind of imaginative and overly convoluted statement that one
may expect from a young writer? Johan Valentin's parents were
alchemists according to Montgomery, so these ideas were partly
household items.

Susanna Akerman

Subject: ACADEMY : Rose Cross
Date: 25 Feb 2000
From: Michael Thomas Martin

Dear Susanna,

Thank you for your comments, as always they are clear and to the point.

I am already familiar with the connection of Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern to Brahe's coat of arms, but I am not necessarily
convinced that WS would have been aware of it. On the other hand,
it is very like WS to pile layer upon layer of meaning onto a
symbol in order to give his audiences multiple means of access
to the work.

I am also familiar with Heisler's "Two Noble Kinsman" hypothesis.
And while I find it intriguing and recognize in Heisler a man sympathetic
with my own intuitions about WS and the RC's, introducing an
"Ur-TNK" is a little more than I am ready to accept. I don't rule it
out, but I'm not convinced.

Likewise, I am aware of the idea that Andreae came from an
"alchemically-friendly" family. If he did write "The Chemical Wedding"
my question is how did his writing become so dead in the intervening
years? He was mighty precocious. Did he lose his gift? I don't
necessarily expect an answer. Just don't tell me it was really Bacon!

I am still looking forward to reading your book, but the nearest
library that has it is some distance from me, and I have four
children to feed... Nevertheless, let me pose a question: How did
the mystical and political arms of the RC's diverge? It seems to me
that the RC's may have helped create exactly what they feared
would be created without them: science, politics and mysticism
divorced from one another, ie., the Enlightenment.

All the best,


Subject: ACADEMY : Rose Cross
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000
From: Susanna Åkerman

Michael Martin wrote,

>How did the mystical and political arms of the RC's diverge? It seems
>to me that the RC's may have helped create exactly what they feared
>would be created without them: science, politics and mysticism
>divorced from one another, ie., the Enlightenment.

The RC's in the Masonic version of Sincerus Renatus' Gold und-
Rosencreutz Orden (1710) and its successors in higher degree
masonry were as Christopher McIntosh argues a Counter-Enlightenment
movement and RCism often continues to be so to this day. On the other
hand it is argued that masons and rosicrucians such as Elias Ashmole
and Robert Moray (and Hartlib's people) were inspiring the foundation
of the Royal Society that was to be the vehicle for spreading the new
science that perhaps in the end led to the divorce of mysticism and
science. It is clear that the Rosicrucians expected a reformation of the
arts and sciences as a return to primordial science in the belief that
universal knowledge had been the priviledge of Adam and unfallen
mankind. The reformation was to be sudden and dramatic and part
of the Apocalyptic scenario. It appears, in fact, that science and
societal relations have developed in precisely this dramatic way
since 1610! Some locate the real scientific revolution to the
nineteenth century, apparently to get rid of the problem of the survival
of pre-modern scientific ideas into the eighteenth century.

The political RCism that I detect in my book on the Baltic adds to the
evidence that Protestant Chiliasm in Rosicrucian form was an integral
part of the Thirty Years war. When peace came Rosicrucianism seems
to have become more private and esoteric with the radical RC-preachers
(Adam Haselmayer, Philip Ziegler, Matthias Pfennig, Torrentius and
others) being replaced by initiates geared toward ideas of multiplying
microcosms of Divine monarchy and other types of elitism, inspired by
the secrecy of alchemy, and not least Michael Maier's Themis Aurea-view
of the RCs as a secret continuation of esoteric schools since antiquity.
Radical Paracelsianism was replaced by aristocratic and monarchical
restorationism in masonic form. This is partly studied in a new book by
Marsha Keith Schuchard, to be called "Restoring the Temple of Vision -
Stuart Freemasonry". It is 800 pages long in manuscript and we do not
know when it is to be published. Hopefully soon.

Of course, there are those who argue that RCism always have been
elitist, hierarchic, monarchical and esoteric in form, rather than being
a platform for open outreach to the political scene. Thus we have the
Fludd-Lorraine connection to entertain.

Ps. What is an Ur-TNK?

Susanna Akerman

Subject: ACADEMY : Athanasius Kircher
From: Guy Ogilvy
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000

Catherine Fox-Anderson wrote:

>Can anyone recommend good source and biographical material
>on Athanasius Kircher?

The following book would certainly be worth trying (check out for s/h copies):

Joscelyn Godwin, Athanasius Kircher: A Renaissance man and
the quest for lost knowledge, London/NY: Thames and Hudson; 1979.

Also Adam has found the following website, which looks very useful:

Hope this helps,


Subject: ACADEMY : Athanasius Kircher
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000
From: Catherine Fox-Anderson

Dear Guy,

Thank you. Susanna Akerman also referred me to an
incredible data base:

that includes original documents in Spanish as well as
several other languages. You have to have a password,
and register, but there is plenty of material for
research there.

Best wishes,

Subject: ACADEMY : Bernard of Treves
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000
From: John Friedman

This is a request for information or bibliography ( post Thorndike)
on Bernard of Treves or Trevisiano or Treviso (c. 1406--1490)
author of De Chimico miraculo and other treatises. It is the
long list of materials with which he experimented and failed,
which forms Part II of the work in question, which interests me, but
any scholarly biographical information would be most welcome.

Thank you,

John Friedman

Subject: ACADEMY : Athanasius Kircher
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000
From: ME Warlick

At last week's College Art Association meeting in NYC, I heard a
very interesting paper entitled, "The Science of Wonder: The
Musaeum Kircherianum in Rome," by Angela Mayer-Deutsch, from
the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main. Her
concerns are not alchemical but rather the politics of gaining entrance
to Kircher's museum in Rome and the design of his museum. I don't
know if this would interest you, but she might be willing to share the
text of that paper. Some, but not all, of the sessions were taped and
you might be able to track a copy of the tape down via

Hope this helps.

M.E. Warlick

Subject: ACADEMY : Athanasius Kircher
From: Dusan Djordjevic Mileusnic
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000

Dear Catherine Fox-Anderson,

There is a biography, rather concise, of Athanasius Kircher, as well
as a bibliography of major works of his at .

You should also try the Links on that page to other Kircher www
sources. I didn`t check it myself, but it looks promising.

All the best

Dusan Djordjevic Mileusnic

Subject: ACADEMY : Rose Cross
From: Michael Thomas Martin
Date: 28 Feb 2000

Dear Susanna,

I suppose the question is "What do I mean by 'Rosicrucian'?"

I am limiting my focus to the decades prior to and following 1600.
Renatus's group and those like his are pretenders to the RC
crown as far as I am concerned. After 1620 or so anybody could
appropriate the name 'Rosicrucian'-- and they did.

Broadly speaking, one way to look at the phenomenon of the RC's
in the time frame I am considering, is as a later day Renaissance
academy with a decidedly northern European flavor. But, just as
the Reformation did away with the exquisitely constructed braid of
art, science and religion augmented with Hermetic philosophy and
cabala, so the Thirty Years Wars destroyed the cultural balance
found in the manifestoes. The slogan "Iesu mihi omnia" reminds us
that the RC movement was essentially a religious one; chemistry
was a means to understanding God. It may be that the politicos
appropriated the RC mythos in the political sphere -- which always
spells disaster for religious and moral reform. If this is the case,
I can understand Andreae's being discouraged, if not downright
disgusted. What I don't understand is how he distanced himself
so soon following the initial publication of the manifestoes. Could
the politicos have moved so soon?

Ur-TNK is 'Ur'-Two Noble Kinsman, an idea of Heisler's that dates
a proto "Two Noble Kinsman" to 1594 or thereabouts.


Subject: ACADEMY : Athanasius Kircher
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000
From: Susanna Åkerman

Jacques van Lennep's encyclopedic catalogue Alchimie (Bruxelles,
1984) notes on p. 307, two essays by Kircher on alchemy, "De lapide
philosophorum dissertatio" pp. 54 sq and "De alchymia sophistica"
pp. 82 sq published in vol. I of J. J. Manget's 'Bibliotheca chemica
curiosa' (1702). It appears that Kircher is acting as an historian of
alchemy rather than a dedicated practitioner. His correspondence,
however, include preparations for an "arbor lunae", a crystallized
mineral tree.

In vol. II of Kircher's _Oedipus Aegyptiacus_ (1652-54) there is a
chapter on "alchymia hioeroglyphica", i. e. a text on John Dee's
Monas with planetary and alchemical interpretations. He also talks
of Aelia Laelia Crispis, the mythical hermaphrodite with some
comments on male-female polarities. At length,he argues for the
ancientness of the doctrine of the trinity and points to the Crux
Ansata as of Hermetic origin.

van Lennep also points to Kircher's Jesuit contemporary Gaspar
Schott, who under the pseudonym Aspasius Caramvelius
published three works on alchemy: Joco-seriorum naturae et artis
sive magia naturalis (s.l., 1666), Magia universalis naturae et artis
(Bamberg, 1666), Physica Curiosa (Wurzburg, 1662).

Both Jesuits have biographies in Carlos Sommervogel's Bibliotheque
de la compagnie de Jesus 1893. Kircher Vol. IV cols. 1046-1077 and
Schott Vol. VII col. 904-911 and Vol. IX col. 847. Lennep also notes
that the Jesuits' interests in the occult arts was part of the Papal
reasons supplied for their condemnation and dispersion in the
mid-eighteenth century.

Susanna Akerman

Subject: ACADEMY : Kutna Hora Alchemy Museum
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000
From: Michal Pober

Dear Friends,

Though on the surface things have been quiet and wintry in Kutna
Hora a great deal has been evolving here.

Re the Alchemy Museum there has been a big upsurge of interest
and the project has been receiving a lot of support from Prague
and locally.

Negotiations with the City regarding the space for the Museum
are at an optimistic and advanced stage.

I would be happy to send on to anyone who is interested a copy
of the most recent version of the proposal, either as e-mail text,
or as a MSW 6 attachment.

We would also be delighted to have people sign on as
supporters or Friends of the Alchemy Museum.

On 10th and 11th May our new umbrella organisation THE KUTNA
SCIENCES, a Prague based organisation whose membership
includes many prominent scholars, including virtually all of the
luminaries of the Czech Alchemy and Hermetic scene, are
co-sponsoring a symposium here:

May 10th & 11th: Mining, Metallurgy and the Alchemical Tradition,
as Reflected in the Iconography of Kutna Hora

This is part of the 700th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION in KUTNA
LAWS): - a programme which runs from April to October, culminating
in an International Conference, with about a dozen events totally.

I would be happy to send anyone who is interested a jpg. file of the
programme [25kb] and it should also be up on my website by the
end of this week.

Already there, as of today, is information about a Practical Spagiry
Seminar with Manfred Junius:


is proud to Sponsor:

A Spagiry Seminar with Manfred Junius

[author of 'Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy']

Dates: 28th June - 2nd July 2000 [4 days]

Location: Roztez Chateau, 8 kms. from KUTNA HORA,
Czech Republic. [ 60 kms. East of Prague]

Cost: $400; includes Seminar, a Sitar Concert, 4 nights
accomodation at the chateau in twin-bedded rooms or huge
triples and food.

Maximum Enrolment 25. Please enrol immediately! 10 places
available as of 28.2.00

There will be a theoretical component and in the laboratory a
Magistery of Rosemary (Exalted Essence) will be prepared.

There will also be a 3-day post-conference programme and early
arrivals are also welcome.

Complete Information by e-mail: or at:

The Alchemy Museum in Kutna Hora & Magical
Journeys in Bohemia

Please pass the word on this. It is very much a word of mouth effort
because the size of the group is small and many places are
already filled. If anyone knows of any lists where I should post this
please let me know!

Thank you and very best wishes,

Michal Pober

Subject: ACADEMY : Rose Cross
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000
From: Susanna Åkerman

Dear Martin,

Martin Brecht argues that Andreae's stand off from Rosicrucianism
has to do with his becoming a Lutheran Priest at Vaihingen in 1614.
I believe that his disenchantment with the RC-replies may have to do
with the current emphasis on the agressive Löwe aus der
Mitternacht-prophecy, circulating in Adam Haselmayer's (1612) and
others manuscripts at the time, but surfacing first with Johannes
Plaustrarius prophecy for Fredrick V as the Biblical Lion of the Woods
in 1619-20. See my identification of Michael Lotich's letter to Carl IX of
Sweden in 1605 that speaks of the fiery trigon, the new star and
"einer aud der Mitternacht". Carlos Gilly is publishing an essay (his
Habilitationsschrift of 1996 at Basel) on the Midnight Lion in
Nederlandse Archiev voor Keerkgeschiedenis in a current number.
(He said "the next number" in October). Andreae may thus, as you
indicate, partly have reacted as a pacifist.

If you regard RCism as an outflow of a Renaissance academy with
a northern flavor, you may have to investigate Hermetic societies
such as the one mentioned by Nicholas Barnaud in the 1580's or
Fludd's visits with "doctors" involved in the study of secret arts in
France/Lorraine in 1603-1604. (Research that must be done in
France with great difficulty).

One also needs research around Thomas Bodley and Robert
Cotton's supposed Pythagorean society centering on Cotton's
public library where Dee's manuscripts were deposited and Robert
Fludd studied. For a view of the library, but without intimations of
esotericism see Colin Tite, 'The Manuscript Library of Sir Robert
Cotton' The Panizzi lectures, The British Library, London 1994.
The collection does not seem to me to be esoteric apart from some
alchemy and Dee, rather it was an antiquarian collection.
So I do not know where that can lead.

The Tübingen circle itself (with Studion, Hess, Besold, and a little
further removed, Kepler) may have constituted the kind of
vulgarized Renaissance Academy that you look for. Without the
aristocratic element.

Susanna Akerman