Alchemy Academy archive
November 1999

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Subject: ACADEMY : Encyclopaedia Brittanica on alchemy
From: Adam McLean
Date: Mon 1 Nov 1999

>reference is made by Johann Plattner and Art Kunkin to the
>1781/1771 edition of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

I have not personally checked this edition, but there is a
transcription of the article from the 1771 edition of the
Encyclopaedia Britannica published under the title
'Eighteenth Century chemistry as it relates to Alchemy' by
Carl Stahl in the USA 1978. I have a copy of this. It refers
to the 1771 edition.

Roger Kessinger also reprints this article at a modest price.

http://www.kessingerpub.com

Adam McLean


Subject: ACADEMY : Yvain: The Knight of the Lion
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999

Greetings,

Does anyone know of a reference to an alchemical interpretation
to Chretien de Troyes' Yvain: The knight of the Lion? (12th Century
French epic poem) I am reading it in a medieval class. It is filled
with so many alchemical symbols, yet I can't seem to find a
source for an interpretation.



Subject: ACADEMY : Yvain: The Knight of the Lion
From: Adam McLean
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999

>Does anyone know of a reference to an alchemical interpretation
>to Chretien de Troyes' Yvain: The knight of the Lion? (12th Century
> French epic poem) I am reading it in a medieval class. It is filled
>with so many alchemical symbols, yet I can't seem to find a
>find a source for an interpretation.


I am not surprised that you cannot find such an interpretation.
I would be very surprised if there were any alchemical influences on
such early French verse. While the symbolism might seem similar
to alchemical imagery, this does not mean that there is an
alchemical influence or that one can see the work of Chretien
de Troyes through an alchemical interpretation. For example,
lions appear as symbols in many contexts, but they are not
necessarily alchemical. Now a "green lion", that would be more
suggestive of an alchemical influence. Or an knight standing on
a hermaphroditic dragon, holding a Sun shield and a Moon
on his helmet. But general symbols must surely be seen within
their cultural context and the sea of influences on Chretien. As he
is a major figure, I feel sure the influences upon him have been
well documented by scholars.

Adam McLean


Subject: ACADEMY : Yvain: The Knight of the Lion
From: Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 1999

Dear Adam, I beg to differ. The poetry of Chrestien de Troyes can be
interpreted in the light of the Hermetick Philosophy as indeed Homer and
Virgil can be read by that light. The fact that it has not been done
hitherto is attributable to the poor state of scholarship in such matters
and to the fatal lack of knowledge and preparation that usually prevent the
modern scholar from deciphering, or even recognizing that he is in the
presence of the hidden language of the Wise. Hence the exoteric
interpretations always prevail. This state of affairs will only be remedied
when more of us shall accept to sit, read and LEARN.
ORA ET LABORA.

Stanislas Klossowski de Rola


Subject: ACADEMY : Yvain: The Knight of the Lion
From: Hans Hammerschlag
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 1999

Dear Adam and other list members :

I dont know why I have not received copy from the
list, of Adam's message to which Klossowski de Rola
is referring to, so my words are not oriented towards
agreeing or not with Adam words ..

However, and having said that, I can only agree
with Stanislas words in the sense that the whole
Chretien de Troyes work and later arthurian/grail
myths, as well as Homer and Virgil writings can
definitely be interpreted in the light of Hermetick
Philosophy.

About the first, for whatever reasons, regrettably
there is not much written about the deeper associations
of this material with the Hermetick Philosophy. John
Matthews on his book "The Grail - Quest for the eternal"
published by Thames and Hudson, touches even though
briefly, upon some very interesting aristas that go
to the heart of the matter. On the second, Homer and
Virgil's, traditional view from the Hermetick insight,
only a few to be found, mainly in french and spanish,
of which I find specially revealing the works arising
from the true philosophic penmanship of Emmanuel d'Hooghvorst
(in spanish refer to http://www.ttecla.es/lapuerta ).

I wont take part in signaling towards a "poor state
of scholarship", given that I am not a not a scholar
but only a humble student of the Sacred Art. I personally
feel that scholars do an oustanding job in providing
us with the material that otherwise could not reach
the hands of the many, such as myself, that do not
have either the resources, expertise, nor the direct
access to such material, and putting this material
within the right historical and cultural timeframe,
making valuable studies and commentaries about the
materials in themselves, the true references about
authorships, and among many other things also the
interconnectedness of such materials with others of
the same epoch.

However it is true, that one can only see through a
given work, within the frame of one's knowledge, and
if such knowledge is strictly Academic and not Hermetick,
in the sense of not being able to talk from within the
knowledge of the "Argot", it will be impossible to go
deeper than those layers of knowledge hidden within
the outer and truly valuable layers of Scholarship.

It is not a matter of anyone interpreting any given
work as he/she may see fit, because that just would be
a philosophical circus, but certainly in all true
Hermetick Works, there are deeper meanings that only
exists for those may have found the appropiate key to
such understanding.

Best regards to all,

Hans


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemical printed books
Date: Sun, 07 Nov 1999
From: Carl-Michael Edenborg

I have reached a stage in the work with my doctor's dissertation
where I compare prefaces to classical alchemical texts from
different periods, trying to examine differences in attitude towards
authority. I have been working with collection of the Royal Library
and the collection of the Science Academy in Stockholm. Even
though these collections are good, there are many objects missing.
Now, I'd like to ask the members of this Academy if they know where
in the world one can find the largest number of alchemical printed
books at the same place? My own choice would be the Ferguson
collection in Glasgow, but my knowledge is not great.

Anyone's got a suggestion?

Carl-Michael Edenborg


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemical printed books
Date: Sun, 07 Nov 1999
From: Adam McLean
Carl-Michael Edenborg wrote:

>Now, I'd like to ask the members of this Academy if they know
>where in the world one can find the largest number of alchemical
>printed books at the same place? My own choice would be the Ferguson
collection in Glasgow, but my knowledge is not great.

Glasgow has the largest collection by far of alchemical printed books.
The Ferguson collection and the Young collection (both in
Glasgow) have well over 90% of all alchemical books in their
holdings. The libraries are both easy to use and the fetching
times very short so one can acheive a great deal within a few days.

A full searchable database is on my Alchemy web site CD-Rom.
and also on the web site in the form of individual pages.

Adam McLean


Subject: ACADEMY : Yvain: The Knight of the Lion
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 1999
From: Catherine Fox-Anderson

Dear Stanislas,
I very much appreciate this line of discussion, and
send my best wishes to you, Adam and Jose for their
academic support, as well as to the many thoughtful
participants over the last year. Hans, I understand
your frustrations, and think also that what you and
this academy represents is very important. There is
much charlatanism to wade through. My own research
has meant learning the hermetic tradition, as Adam
exhorts, from within, while trying to find what you,
Stanislaus, aptly call "exoteric" support for the
literary content of the thesis. Happily to the
possible originality of my thesis, not much if
anything exists - although there are hints, traces, and
sidepaths galore in terms of the hermetic and even
latinamerican hermetic tradition. I believe
hispanic-hermetic studies merits and is beginning to
receive "mainstream" academic attention, both in terms
of it's mystical; it's linguistic/literary;
cabalistic; alchemical and socio-historical content
and contexts. Still, I have found that I cannot study
the Spanish language and culture, and now the hermetic
tradition itself, without great caution, and wonder.
I want to do honor to both, and because I am new to
this, must go more slowly than a master's degree
candidate may wish. However, many are the good
teachers, including my own advisor, Harry Dennis; I am
meeting new ones, such as Santiago Jubany, too. I
thank all of you for the assistance you have offered.
When I feel it is worthy to be shared with you, if
anyone is interested, I will. Stanislas, I thank you
for your assistance this year. The key for me right
now is knowing who to ask what, when, and when to
figure it out for myself! God's blessings to you in
your study of the Great Art.

Sincerely,
Catherine


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999
From: Susanna Åkerman

In a very interesting speech on Paracelsus last week here in
Stockholm it was claimed that Paracelsus according to recent
research was no alchemist.
He practised Spagyria, the distillation of herbal medicines, but
there is no evidence that he searched for the philosopher's stone
or did practical alchemical experiments. Ursula Szulakowska in her
recent article in "Cauda Pavonis" on Dee's alchemy describes
Paracelsus so called "medical alchemy", which is nothing other
than Spagyria I suppose. In view of his theorizing on the nature of
Sulphur, Mercury and Salt in texts such as "Archidoxis", "Paragranum"
and "Paramirum" I wonder whether Paracelsus should be regarded
as an alchemist or whether it is better to see him as "merely" theorizing
on such notions as the nature of the "archeus", the spirit in matter, etc.

It is clear that he was regarded as an alchemical hero in the
sixteenth and seventeenth century, but that this glamour was based
mostly on texts written by practising "Paracelsians", i.e. followers in
his tradition. What is the relation of medical Spagyria to alchemy in
the experimental sense?

Are we just quibbling over words when some do not regard
Paracelsus as an alchemist "proper" or should one in fact realign
the word alchemist for mere spagyrists also? I feel muddled.

PS. I am treasurer in the Stockholm Paracelsus-society and we have
discussed this question somewhat, (being no scholars) but with
various results.

Susanna Åkerman


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
From: Penny Bayer
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999

Dear Susanna,

I am interested in your posting as I am trying to grapple with how
Paracelsus related to alchemy. I note in the Oxford English
Dictionary that the word "spagyrist" is given the meaning "the
science of alchemy; an alchemist; alchemical, [probably invented
by Paracelsus]" which seems quite a big clue.

Paracelsus is concerned with the secret of eternal life, and ways of
renewing and extending that life, which surely is one of the classic
stereotypes, or true concerns, of an alchemist. In the Archidoxis
he says

"we have seen a man that sustained himself for many years by a
medicine, viz by the quintessence of gold"
(transl by JH, London 1660, p9)

and later presents the Philosophers Stone as one of the important
Arcanaes: he says that the Stone of the Philosophers works as the
fire burns the defiled skin of the Salamander, so that the Stone
purges the whole Humane body, and introduces new and younger
youth-like virtues (p47). According to Jolande
Jacobi his work also contains references to spiritual alchemy.

I have been thinking about the idea of alchemy as a contested term
in the early modern period. Some of Paracelsus' followers, like
Oswald Croll, go to great lengths to distinguish themselves from
the common riff-raff alchemists, regarding themselves as the true
natural philosophers. Some Italian alchemists (who are happy to
regard themselves as alchemists) go to great lengths to distinguish
themselves from Arnold de Villa Nova, Ramon Lull etc. So there
isn't one idea of what alchemy is, or just one seamless alchemical
tradition.

Best wishes
Penny Bayer


Subject: ACADEMY : Academic job opportunities
From: Prof. Dr. W.J. Hanegraaff
Date: 9 Nov 1999

The Chair "History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents"
located at the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Humanities,
is looking for

Two University Lecturers/Researchers (m/f)
History of Esoteric Currents in Western Culture (Renaissance-Present)


Recently a new institution for teaching and research has been created
at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, devoted to the
academic study of so-called "western-esoteric" currents in modern
culture. In this context, "western esotericism" is understood in the
technical academic sense of the word, as referring to a complex of
interrelated currents that have existed in western society from the
early modern period up to the present day. Accordingly, the field
includes the revival of Hermetism and the so-called "Occult
Philosophy" in the early modern period and its later developments;
Alchemy, Paracelsianism and Rosicrucianism; Christian and
post-Christian kabbalah; Theosophical and Illuminist currents; and
various occultist and related developments during the 19th and
20th centuries, including the New Age movement.

Western Esoteric currents have played - and continue to play - a
significant role in the religious landscape of the modern west, but
have tended to be neglected by academic research. The new
institution in Amsterdam combines the world's second university chair
in this field with the first initiative for a complete research group and
the development of a standard academic teaching curriculum. In
this context, the history of western esotericism will be studied and
taught from an empirico-historical (religiously neutral) and
interdisciplinary perspective, and with special attention to the
complex nature of the relation between these currents and processes
of modernization, rationalization and secularization. The general
goal is to make a significant contribution to the academic
professionalization of the study of western esotericism as a legitimate
domain of study in its own right; a more specific goal is to demonstrate
the relevance of this domain of research to our understanding of the
foundations of modern western culture and society, and hence to
stimulate cross-fertilization with other disciplines interested in the latter.

The research focus on modernization requires particular emphasis.
To date, there exists a widespread tendency to perceive "esoteric"
or "occultist" traditions as inherently anti-modern, since they espouse
"mystical" or "irrational" attitudes that are considered incompatible
with rationality and science. This tendency is closely connected to
the idea that such traditions are essentially static and conservative,
in contrast to the dynamic and progressive nature of modernity.
Recent research demonstrates such assumptions to be over-simplistic,
and incompatible with the evidence. During all the phases of the
emergence of modernity one finds, rather, a complex involvement
of western esoteric currents with mainstream developments that are
seen both as reflections of, and as contributions to, the emergence
of the modern world (see, for example, the relation between the
Hermetic revival and Renaissance humanism, alchemy and the
scientific revolution, esoteric Freemasonry and the Enlightenment,
Spiritualism and nineteenth-century positivism, modern Theosophy
and evolutionist anthropology, Mesmerism and the rise of psychology,
New Age religion and postmodern consumer culture). The complex
and often paradoxical interrelation between western esotericism
and the history of modernity cannot be understood without a critical
contextual approach which recognizes that traditions associated
with "magic and the occult" are subject to continuous change and
creative innovation under the impact of new social and historical
conditions, rather than being stale "revivals" or mere residues of
past ages. The research program of the new institution at the University
of Amsterdam will be based upon this axiom, and focus on exploring
the complex involvement of western esotericism and mainstream
modern culture.

Innovative research in the direction sketched above must necessarily
be based upon solid and detailed knowledge of the history and
variable manifestations of western esotericism understood as a
domain of research in its own right - with its own dynamics and
characteristic themes and problems - rather than as a domain that
derives its significance merely from the relevance it might have to
areas of traditional academic interest. On these foundations,
however, research should also broach questions and problems of
a more general nature, related to the historical processes of
modernization, rationalization and secularization.

Given these requirements, candidates might have a background
either in the historical study of western esotericism as such, or in
research concentrating on aspects of the history of modernity relevant
to the domain in question, or in both. In any case, they will be expected
to be actively involved in a research program along the lines
sketched above, and to display genuine interest in combining
historical research into various aspects of western esotericism with
theoretical reflection concerning questions of a more general nature.

Candidates should fit the following profile:
- Ph.D. (or equivalent) in a discipline of the humanities.
- Specialization in, or relevant to, one or more areas of historical
research belonging to the domain of "western esotericism", having
resulted in academic publications of high quality.
- Active interest in interdisciplinary research and teamwork in the
context of the humanities and the social sciences, within a research
program focused on the interrelations between western esotericism
and processes of modernization.
- Good didactic qualities.
- Good command of the English language.

Salary: according to the standard norms for University Lecturers in the
Netherlands, with a maximum of f. 8682,-- bruto p./m.

Letters of application, with C.V. and list of publications, should be
sent
Prof. Dr. W.J. Hanegraaff,
Fac. of Humanities/Dept. Theology and Religious Studies,
Oude Turfmarkt 147,
NL-1012 GC Amsterdam,
The Netherlands.

e-mail: w.hanegraaff@hum.uva.nl

Deadline for letters of application: January 1, 2000.


Subject: ACADEMY : The Rose Cross over England
Date: Sun, 07 Nov 1999
From: Michael Thomas Martin

Dear Friends,

I am a graduate student working on a thesis on Shakespeare and
alchemy. My research has led me to conclude that Shakespeare
was more than familiar with the Rosicrucian movement. Yates
suggests this in The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, as does Ron
Heisler in some articles on the alchemy site. My question to all of
you concerns the dates for the Rosicrucians.

Alchemy was at the height of its popularity in England in the last
decade of the sixteenth century, and Shakespeare, and
everyone else worth his salt in those days, makes many
references to it, good and bad.

It is my suspicion, as it is Heisler's, that there was Rosicrucian
activity in England prior to 1600, which is prior to the publication
of any of the Rosicrucian material. This activity would have been
hand-in-glove connected to the alchemical movement surrounding
people like Dee and Sidney. I believe Shakespeare's references
to alchemy and use of Rosicrucian themes, at least before 1600,
reflect his pandering to the powerful players at court by using
subjects/ideas which were current among the elite.

Does anyone out there have any leads on dates for Rosicrucian
activity in Englnd prior to 1600?

Michael Martin


Subject: ACADEMY : The Rose Cross over England
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999
From: Michael Srigley

Dear Michael Martin,

Where Shakespeare and alchemy is concerned, in addition
to Ron Heisler's articles which you mention, you might consult
Charles Nicholl's 'The Chemical Theatre' (London, 1980) which
examines alchemical imagery in Shakespeare from Lear onwards
(he does not deal with The Tempest). You might take a look at my
'Images of Regeneration: A Study of Shakespeare's The Tempest
and Its Cultural Background' (1985) where the play's alchemical
imagery and its possible connection with the Rosicrucians are
discussed.

It's my own impression that alchemical imagery in the plays down
to about 1603 is incidental, and only becomes organic in several
plays after that. It is possible that this is connected with the printing
of the 'Theatrum Chemicum' in 1602 and the following years, which
made available such works as Gerard Dorn's 'Philosophia
chemica'. This presents Paracelsan alchemy (spagyrism?) as an
alchemy of both mind and matter, and would have appealed to
such authors as Shakespeare and John Donne.

There is perhaps a distinction to be made between 'pandering' to
current courtly interest in alchemy, and exploiting the rich imagery
of alchemy which Shakespeare knew would be recognized by
his audience.

All best wishes,

Michael Srigley


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy in Bologna and Santiago de Compostella
From: Ernesto Fazioli
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 1999

I'm a researcher for an italian group 'La Porta Della Luna'.
We are working on a project concerning possible historical
alchemical connections between Bologna (Italy) and Santiago
de Compostella (Spain).

Can you give me some information about this matter (alchemists,
ideas or other)?

We plan to organize an exposition and a book for "BOLOGNA 2000
City of European Culture" in co-operation with the city of
Bologna.



Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999
From: Deborah E. Harkness

Dear Colleagues:

I was intrigued to read Susanna' message, in large part because
I have been thinking a great deal about Paracelsus and
Paracelsianism lately.

More specifically, I have been trying to articulate exactly how
interest in Paracelsus was developed in Elizabethan London, and
have found a great number of physicians and surgeons. I have
not however found very many Paracelsian alchemists in the more
narrow sense of the term (ie a search for the philosophers stone).
This may be too narrow a definition, I admit, but at the same time
I wonder if historians of alchemy (following the lead of Brian
Copenhaver, who attempted to sort out varieties of hermeticism)
should renew our efforts to separate some of alchemy's tangled
strands?

I suggest this not so that we would end up with a bunch of totally
discrete sub-specialties, but so we can begin to address the full
complexity of Paracelsus' thought and its subsequent adoption.
In the case of John Dee, for example, I believe he was very much
influenced by Paracelsian cosmology and concepts about the
natural philosopher as divine adept. But, Dee seems strongly
opposed to Paracelsian three-principle alchemical theory. In the
case of my London surgeons and physicians, however, they are
interested in Paracelsian medical preparatives.

Best,

Deb Harkness


To:
Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999
From: Dusan Djordjevic Mileusnic
Dear all,

While there is a discussion going on about Paracelsus and
Alchemy on the Academy, just today I`ve found a Site with
interesting material that might explain few things, or even
state new problems.

It is `Paracelsus Project of the University of Zurich`,
with Dr. Urs Leo Gantenbein as Project Director.

The address is

http://www.mhiz.unizh.ch/Paracelsus.html

I don`t recall there has been any information about this on the
Academy. Am I right?

Best wishes
Dusan Djordjevic Mileusnic



Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999
From: Carl-Michael Edenborg

I was the one who held the lecture on Paracelsus in Stockholm.
I based my denial of Paracelsus being an alchemist on what I
have understood is the result of the philological examinations
of his texts: that all the alchemical texts published in his names
are apocryphes (for example, I believe the Archidoxis is an
apocryphe).

I think that spagyria should be regarded as paracelsian
chemistry or farmacology, not as alchemy (defined as the
Work which has the Philosopher's Stone and the Elixir of life
as goal).

Carl-Michael Edenborg


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy in Bologna and Santiago de Compostella
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999
From: Catherine Fox-Anderson

Dear Academy,

I would also be interested in any solid
articles linking Santiago's route to alchemy. Have
have read a few things that suggest symbolic
connections (the Milky Way), and have read in one
source that Santiago was the patron saint of
alchemists, but have seen nothing very complete in
this regard. Best of luck,
Catherine Fox-Anderson


Subject: ACADEMY : The Rose Cross over England
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999
From: Michael Thomas Martin

Dear Michael Srigley and all,

Thanks for your input.

I am quite familiar with Nicholl's book, and I find it wonderful.
In my research I have discovered that Shakespeare was
experimenting with alchemical motifs as early as Romeo and
Juliet in 1597, or thereabouts.
Most researchers who know anything about Shakespeare's
use of alchemy point to the Romances, but he was, in fact,
exploring this trove of metaphor earlier. Though, it seems to me,
in his early work he was ambivalent or even negative about the
Work, while with the Romances he is most obviously sympathetic.
This may have something to do with dissatisfaction with the
Protestant and Catholic camps countered by the tolerance
presented in Rosicrucianism.

As for the Rosicrucian connection prior to 1600, I agree that
evidence is spotty or even circumstantial, but the Rosicrucians
didn't just precipitate out of thin air in 1602 or 1614. While most
evidence points to Germany as the country of origin, it is not
out of the question that there is an English connection, whether it
be to the order of the Garter, or Dee and the Monas, both
connected, in some regard as Yates suggests, to the marriage
of Elizabeth Stuart and Prince Frederick. And, anyway, when it
comes to evidence and the Rosicrucians, all evidence is
pretty spotty.

And please forgive me if I seemed a bit callous in suggesting
that Shakespeare was only sucking up to the court in
appropriating alchemical iconography. Without a doubt, the rich
vocabulary found in alchemy would be food for any poet worth
his salt.

Michael Martin


Subject: ACADEMY : Microcosmic and macrocosmic progression
From: Massimo Marra
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999

From the Historia Naturale of Ferrante Imperato (Naples 1599) cap. 21.

"Sono dunque, nella minore, E nella maggiore.
li gradi da considerarsi

1 Forma 1 Chao
2 Materia 2 Materia
3 Corpo 3 Forma
4 Licor Lunare 4 Ethre
5 Calcinazione 5 Elementi
6 Scioglimento 6 Mistione
7 Divacamento 7 Dissoluzione
8 Moltiplicamento 8 Alterazione
9 Spirto 9 Digestione
10 Argento vivo dimonto 10 Generazione
11 Solfo di natura 11 Colori
12 Tintura 12 Separazione
13 Sublimazione 13 Operazioni
14 Oglio 14 Essenza
perfetta
15 Incerazione 15 Fermentazione
16 Pietra Filosofale 16 Veneno trasformante.

This text (in Italian) shows the ascending progression of the Work
from the chaos to the Philosophical stone from two different points
of view : macrocosmic (Opra maggiore, opus maius) and
microcosmic (Opra Minore, opus minus). I have found the same
progression, in an inverted direction (from the Lapis and the
venenum trasformans to the forma and chaos) in a Latin
manuscipt quoted by G. Carbonelli (Sulle fonti storiche della
chimica e dell'alchimia in Italia - Roma 1925 pag. 30\31) and
bearing the title "Libellus Aureus" (Vat. Ott. Lat. 2132 cart. Fol 57)

UNIVERSALIS MEDICINA
16 Lapis 16 venenum trasformans
15 Inceratio 15 fermentatio
14 Oleum 14 perfectum ens
13 Sublimatio 13 operatio
12 Tinctura 12 separatio
11 sulfur naturae 11 colores
10 argentum vivum exuberat 10 generatio
9 spiritus 9 digestio
8 moltiplicatio 8 alteratio
7 evacuatio 7 dissolutio
6 dissolutio 6 mixtio
5 calcinatio 5 elementa
4 lunaria 4 coelum
3 corpus 3 forma
2 materia 2 materia
1 forma 1 chaos

It seems that the accomplishment of the macrocosmic opus is
called Philosophical Stone. On the contrary, the accomplishment
of the microcosmic opus is the Venenum (or the Elixir).
I would appreciate very much to receive every information available
about the "Libellus Aureus".
It would be really interesting to know other texts that show the
same progression, in order to trace the source texts of the Historia
Naturale.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Best wishes.

Massimo Marra


Subject: ACADEMY : 19th century alchemy
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999
From: Carl-Michael Edenborg

Even if the alchemical tradition seems to have come to an
abrupt end around 1790, individuals and small groups, without
connection and continuity, still manifested their alchemical
interest during the 19th century. There are the english swedenborgian
alchemists around John Augustus Tulk, there are Barrett, there are
the frenchman Cyliani, there are the swede Ekenstam, and a few
others - before the hyperchemical revival in the 1880's in France,
and Waite's work a little later.

Does any one know if there are anything written concerning the 19th
century alchemists?

Carl-Michael Edenborg


Subject: ACADEMY : Heidelberg masques
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999
From: Bartosz Protas

I wonder if anybody could tell me the titles of the masques
that were performed at Heidelberg during the royal wedding
of prince Frederick V and princess Elisabeth in 1613. Thank
you in advance.

Bartek Protas


Subject: ACADEMY : The Rose Cross over England
From: William S. Aronstein
Date: Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999

Dear Mr. Martin,

Your question about Shakespeare's possible use of Rosicrucian
imagery brings to mind a most interesting book, which I commend
to your attention, and about which I should like to seek
enlightenment from the readers of this list. I refer to "The Byrom
Collection," by Joy Hancox, London, Jonathan Cape, 1992. In this
very interesting work, Ms. Hancox describes the discovery and
initial analysis of a group of drawings that at one time belonged to
John Byrom, FRS, a man with Freemasonic, Jacobite, and esoteric
connections.

Included in the collection are a number of highly stylized graphic
plans for a number of major Elizabethan and Jacobean theatres,
including the Globe and the Rose. These drawings encode the
dimensions required to build the theatres in a series of interlocking
circles and other geometric designs.

It is difficult for me to describe them, but suffice it to say, they do
not at all resemble the kind of architectural drawings in use today.

I mention this because the theatres seem to have been constructed
as microcosms, and the way in which they were designed may
reflect esoteric thinking. The Bard himself notes that "all the world's
a stage," &c.

The manuscripts do seem to point to the existence of esoteric
schools of thought and knowledge involving many of England's
most interesting scientific and literary figures.

I wonder if any reading this note are familiar with the book, the
man, the ideas, and drawings of this type.

Best of luck with your researches,

William Aronstein


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999
From: Urs Leo Gantenbein

Since I am intensely investigating the teachings of Paracelsus as
well as the history of alchemy at the turn of the Middle ages to
the 16th century, I can clearly say that Paracelsus was deeply
rooted in the lore and teachings of medieval alchemy. There are
many hints in his true writings written by himself. Of course many
"Paracelsian" writings dealing with metallic transmutation are
apocryphes (for example Philosophia ad Athenienses, Thesaurus
alchemistarum, Coelum philosophorum, Manuale de lapide
philosophico).

Paracelsus's being an alchemist begins with his knowledge of
technical alchemy used in metallurgical engineering. There are
several quotations scattered in his writings pointing in this
direction. In his youth and also in later years Paracelsus spent
some in time in Schwaz, which was a famous silver mining town
in Tyrol, Austria. There he studied with Simon Fueger, a famous
alchemist of his time. As I could confirm on the basis of recent
MS findings, the mining places were important meeting-places
for people doing technical, transmutational as well as medical
alchemy. All was intertwined and cannot be looked at separately.

Before asking whether Paracelsus was an alchemist we have
to define what we want to understand under the term of alchemy.
To my opinion an alchemical process always has to do with some
change. Substances (material or immaterial ones) are changed
in other substances. Very often in this process of change there is
the idea of transmutation from a lower state to a higher one. This
principle can be applied in very different areas: lead can be
transmuted to gold, a lower mind to a higher spiritual one, a raw
pharmaceutical material to a highly purified and efficient remedy.

Paracelsus was against the making of gold, but this idea of
transmutation from lower to higher can be found again and again
in his genuine writings. As many may think medical alchemy did
not start with Paracelsus. There were many "books of art", mostly
existing only in MS form, where alchemical and medical items can
be found mixed. There were also mineral and metallic remedies
alchemically produced before Paracelsus. This is also a point
which is subject to my researches and I hope I shall be able to
present my results in the near future.

Spagyrics is a term probably introduced by Paracelsus. It is an
synonymous word for medical alchemy. "Separatio puri ab impuro",
separation of the pure from the impure. This is the process of
separation of the operative principle or substance from a base
drug. It is a completely alchemical process, and in this way
Paracelsus was an alchemist.

By the way, according to my opinion the archidoxis is one of
Paracelsus' genuine writings, although an early one. The tria
prima sulfur - mercury - salt is not yet quoted there. Paracelsus
refers to the archidoxis in a later work.

To those understanding German I can recommend my paper:
"Separatio puri ab impuro - Die Alchemie des Paracelsus",
in: Nova Acta Paracelsica N.F. 11 (1987), 3-59.

Thank you for hinting at the homepage of the Zurich Paracelsus
Project:

http://www.mhiz.unizh.ch/Paracelsus.html

Urs Leo Gantenbein


Subject: ACADEMY : 19th century alchemy
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999
From: Gene Albinder

Carl-Michael Edenborg wrote:

>Does any one know if there are anything written concerning the 19th
>century alchemists?

Try Honore De Balzac. "The Quest Of The Absolute". Stirring little
volume, I'll tell you.

Respectfully,
Gene Albinder.


Subject: ACADEMY : The Rose Cross over England
From: Adam McLean
Date: Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999

>a most interesting book, which I commend to your attention,
>and about which I should like to seek enlightenment from the
>readers of this list. I refer to "The Byrom Collection," by Joy
>Hancox, London, Jonathan Cape, 1992. In this very interesting
>work, Ms. Hancox describes the discovery and initial analysis
>of a group of drawings that at one time belonged to John
>Byrom, FRS, a man with Freemasonic, Jacobite, and esoteric
>connections.
>Included in the collection are a number of highly stylized graphic
>plans for a number of major Elizabethan and Jacobean theatres,
>including the Globe and the Rose. These drawings encode the
>dimensions required to build the theatres in a series of interlocking
>circles and other geometric designs.

Dear William,

This book by Joy Hancox is absolute rubbish. And worse than
that it was written when she knew the truth about these drawings
and yet ignored this and proceeded to write a mischievous book
based on her own nonsensical ill-informed speculation. The
appearance of the Rose and the Globe theatres in her book was
a bit of opportunism as both these theatres had been in the news
while she was writing the book. The Rose theatre was at that time
being excavated by archaeologists, and the Globe was being
built by Sam Wannamaker and was much discussed in the press
in the UK. Hancox probably thought linking her book to this might
increase sales.

I knew about these diagrams long before Hancox discovered
them. They are geometric deconstructions of well known
alchemical and hermetic emblems. The author of these
diagrams was obviously trying to find geometrical
structures underlying these engravings. I wrote about this
in the Hermetic Journal years earlier in 1983 and you can read
the article on the web site at

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/innergeo.html

The back of many of the Byrom figures have such cryptic phrases
as 'Khun. tab. 2', 'Fl. Tom. II. p235', which when I met Hancox she suggested
were a secret masonic code. When I explained to her that these were
references to illustrations in books such as Khunrath's 'Amphitheatrum',
and Fludd's 'Utriusque cosmi... historia Tome II', rather than being
happy to find the truth she felt I had damaged the mystery with
which she wanted to surround them. Some of the circular figures
in her book are geometric deconstructions of the circular engravings
from the first edition of Khunrath's 'Amphitheatre'. This is not my opinion
or belief but can be easily demonstrated by imposing the figures onto
the original emblem. Her original idea was that these were secret
masonic diagrams of King Solomon's Temple !!!

People like Hancox really annoy me. She seems totally uninterested in
the truth of such matters, but only in promoting a fiction. Her motives for
this were possibly pecuniary, but in any case the book was badly
received and quickly remaindered. There is a lot more to this story
I could tell - about the way in which these drawings were kept away
from other scholars. Once Hancox knew I understood what these
diagrams actually were, she did not give me further access to them.
It makes me sick that people can treat this material (which belongs
to the hermetic tradition) as a commodity to be fashioned to their
own purposes.

It reminds me of another similar situation in which I became involved, that
of the publication of the Rudd manuscript from the Sloane collection as
the 'Rosicrucian Secrets of John Dee'. This manuscript has nothing at
all to do with John Dee, but was a late 17th century copy and paraphrase
of various alchemical writings from the mid 17th century, some by
Christopher Heydon. I pointed this out to the publishers, Aquarian
Press, before they published the book and I provided them with full
information on the origins of the texts in this book and the fact that
they could have had nothing whatsoever to do with Dee. But they
chose not to listen - they wanted to have John Dee's name attached
to this book to add to its sales. Three or four times a year I have
someone write to me believing this work to be by Dee. To me it is
attrocious that people, knowing the truth about some manuscript
or drawings, should instead mischievously publish this in such a
way as to delude future readers and perpetuate untruths.

I don't know how people can feel easy with such things on their
conscience. Authors and publishers surely have some
responsibility towards the truth.

Sadly the truth about these diagrams is much more interesting
than Hancox's book. Her actions in hypeing the importance
of these (and their financial value) seem to have resulted in their
being unavailable to other researchers.

Adam McLean


Subject: ACADEMY : Bryom drawings and Michel Le Blon
From: Susanna Åkerman
Date: 11 Nov 1999

>This book by Joy Hancox is absolute rubbish. And worse than
>that it was written when she knew the truth about these drawings
>and yet ignored this.


I have read Hancox book and found an interesting connection
to Michel le Blon. Hancox reproduces his hermetic Zeus engraving
and says that his signature appears on the back of some of these
diagrams. Le Blon was Queen Christina's artmerchant and in 1650
offered her 20 manuscripts from Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel, one
of which was described as "magia cabalistica... du quel il fait un
grand etat". We do not know which manuscripts this was but
I conjecture that it is the Latin version of Sefer-ha-Raziel, copied out
at the court of Alfonso X the Wise (d. 1284), now in her Vatican collection
as Reg. Lat. 1300. This is a very important book of "secrets" with
angel magic and herbal medicines described. An English sixteenth
century version by John Gwynne is in the British library with at one point
Dee's monas sign written upside down in the margin. Le Blon earlier
worked as art merchant for Charles I, but in Holland he is even
suspected to be the author of one of the early Dutch replies to the
Fama, signed M.B. 1615. This according to Govaert Snoek's De
Rosenkruisers in Nederland, a dissertation at the University of Leiden
in 1989 (available at the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica).

According to Hancox, Le Blon was related by marriage to Theodore
de Bry, the Rosicrucian printer. While in Stockholm in 1647-49 Le Blon
translated Jakob Boehme's "little prayer book" and he is regarded
to have belonged to a secret lodge of some sort together with the
poets Reyer Anslo and Joost van den Vondel, who from their
Mennonite and Anabaptist origins converted to Catholicism around
1655 (when Christina converted). Le Blon's project for classical
sculptures for an academy in Stockholm was described by Artus
Quillinus in a poem "De Zweedse Pallas" that is rumoured to
contain an Hermetic and concealed understanding.

I have written about this in an article "Queen Christina's Latin
Sefer-ha-Raziel manuscript" published in A.P. Coudert, S. Hutton,
R. H. Popkin and G. M. Weiner (eds.): Judeo-Christian Intellectual
Culture in the Seventeenth Century. Kluwer, The Hague 1999.

The question really arises to what end these drawings were made
and why such a figure as Le Blon was involved with them. Someone
should write a new study of the Byrom collection I suppose...

Susanna Åkerman


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy in Bologna and Santiago de Compostella
From: Guy Ogilvy
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 99

While on a pilgrimage to Santiago de C. last month, I heard tell
of a book by Louis Charpentier*. It's French title is, I believe,
'Les Jacques et le Mystere de Compostelle', while the title of
the Spanish translation is 'El Mysterio de Compostella'. I was
informed that the book alludes to alchemy, astronomy/astrology
and the pre-Christian history of Santiago and its pilgrimage routes.
It may well refer to alchemical currents between S. de C. and
Bologna, if there is such a connection. My initial attempts to track
this book down have so far yielded no results. There appears to
have been no English translation and the British Library has no
information on it. Our French and Spanish forum members may
be better placed to search it out.

Guy Ogilvy

*author of 'The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral' (NY: Avon Books,
1975) originally published in France as 'Les Mysteres De La
Cathedrale de Chartres' (Paris: Robert Lafond, 1966).


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy, mining and early medical alchemy
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999
From: Sophie Page

With reference to Urs Leo Gantenbein's comment that

> the mining places were important meeting-places
>for people doing technical, transmutational as well as medical
alchemy. All was intertwined and cannot be looked at separately.

Albertus Magnus points to an indirect relationship between mining
and alchemy as important contexts for 'an inquiry into the nature
of metals' In his bk. of minerals (III.i.I) he writes:

'at one time I became a wanderer, making long journeys to mining
districts, so that I could learn by observation the nature of metals.
And for the same reason I have enquired into the transmutation of
metals in alchemy, so as to learn from this, too, something of their
nature and accidental properties.'


>There were many "books of art", mostly existing only in MS form,
>where alchemical and medical items can be found mixed.

I have come across a number of anonymous, fluid (sharing some
recipes but not all) and largely unremarked upon recipe collections
in Medieval manuscripts - some in compilations containing alchemical
texts, others in different kinds of compilations. I dont know if this is
what you are referring to but I don't think these provide evidence
for the existence of a kind of 'medical alchemy' - and practical
recipes (for example for colours, metals etc) and magical recipes
are also usually mixed in. I think that a Medieval audience for these
MSS. would probably recognise and distinguish the different
genres, but rather link them all as 'secrets' or 'experiments' than
view them as a form of medical alchemy or magico-medical alchemy.

Sophie Page


Subject: ACADEMY : Liber Rasielis
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999
From: Sophie Page
Dear Susanna,

I am very interested in the Medieval tradition of Liber Rasielis
texts and unfortunately the library where I work has not yet acquired
a copy of the book in which your article appears, so please
excuse my ignorance. In the Medieval period a number of different
treatises circulate under the name of Rasiel - Latin translations of
different Hebrew treatises relating to the Cabala. Although the
secondary literature mentions a number of what are clearly
different Latin texts, no work has been done on identifying these
as far as I am aware (with the exception of Alfonso X's version
which was itself a compilation of origninally separate works). I dont
know much about the later history of all the versions and I wondered
if you could tell me whether the Alfonso X version predominates
amongst the sixteenth and seventeenth century editions or whether
the ambiguity of which text the works under this name originate from
remains. Could I ask you for the MS. no. of the British Library MS
with Dee's monas? I will look for your article in other London
libraries and I apologise if these questions are answered within it.
Since this is a magical rather than alchemical text it may be
appropriate to take a discussion off the forum - my email is

spage@sas.ac.uk

Yours sincerely,

Sophie Page


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy in Santiago de Compostela
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999
From: Michael Thomas Martin

The recent conversation on Santiago of Compostela lights upon my own
recent musings on Romeo and Juliet and the journey of CRC as told in the
Fama. The famous sonnet shared by Romeo and Juliet (1.5.92-105) which
speaks of the pilgrimage of love in terms of religious pilgrimage, I
believe, speaks to the shrine at Compostela (as it was the most popular
site of pilgrimage through the Renaissance and R&J is built upon an
alchemical motif). The journey of CRC in the Fama is also a pilgrimage
of sorts and it brings him in a circle that travels counterclockwise (or
anticlockwise as my European brothers and sisters would say). I find it
interesting that the Masonic circumambulations also proceed in a
counterclockwise fashion.

Michael Martin


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy in Bologna and Santiago de Compostella
From: Hans Hammerschlag
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999

Guy,
The publication references of the spanish version of the L. Charpentier
book that you are referring to, are included below. However, as far as
I understand this book has been out of print and unavailable for
some time ....

Hans

titulo: El Misterio de Compostela
autor: Charpentier, Louis
ISBN: 84-01-31048-2
traductor: Bassols, Rosa M.
traducido del: Frances
lengua publ.: Castellano
editor: PLAZA & JANES. Plaza & Janes Editores, S.A. prf: 01. SAN 004-539X.
serie: Otros Mundos
edicion: 3. ed.
fecha aparici?n: 07-1978
colacion: 256 p. ; 15x22 cm
encuadernacion: tela
documento: 7800000
precio: 500 pta


Fri Nov 12 17:39:28 1999
Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
From: Jose Rodríguez
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999

>I wonder whether Paracelsus should be regarded
>as an alchemist or whether it is better to see him as "merely" theorizing
>on such notions as the nature of the "archeus", the spirit in matter, etc.

Dear Susanna:
This message is a brief summary (sorry it is really very simple) with
some conclusions of the recent research concerning the relationship
between Paracelsus and alchemy.

Paracelsus was a physician and his purposes are medical in all his
authentic works. The alchemical texts searching for the philosopher's
stone published in his names are apocryphes as Carl-Michael
Edenborg suggests.

In his "Liber Paragranum" he explains that the pillars in medicine
are Philosophy, Alchemy, Astronomy and Ethic. Paracelsus thinks those
are the four foundations of medical science and people who want to
learn medicine have to know Philosophical, alchemical, astronomical
and ethical theories. Concerning alchemy... why does the medic or
physician have to study alchemy?

First we have to understand that Paracelsus use the "his" Philosophy
(The first pillar in his medicine) to go depply into the natural causes
of the illness. He explains that the real physician is the man who
knows the origin and the causes of the illness and in the Liber
Paragranum (X, 278) he said that the old physicians use only the
description but they don't percive the foundation [german: grunt]
and the origin [german: herkommen] of all the things. His first objective
is to observe Nature because he wants: "...to understand the origin
[german: herkommen] of all the natural things" (Paragranum, VIII, 190).

Besides he examines Nature and he concludes that all the things had
been created with an intentionality and a purpose. Alchemy in
Paracelsus works is the way to put into effect the purposes of all the
natural things, because he said that alchemy is the science dedicated
to improve [german: vollender] all the substances by means of three
operations: Transformation (internal or external), Separation
[german: scheiden] and Purification.

Moreover this idea about how to work with the natural things (to look
for an origin and then to improve) is an analogy that we can find in
the alchemical texts where Quicksilver is considered the basic
constituent of all metals: such transformation was said to be possible
on the condition that metals were first reduced to their primary matter,
Quicksilver. The subject of formless prime matter is of central
importance to alchemy because it touches upon a crucial issue in
the theory of alchemical transformations (changes: generations,
growing, etc).

Paracelsus sees the physician like a man who has to improve all
the things by means of the transformations (he transform the illness
into health, the plants and the mineral substances into medicines,
etc.) so alchemy, like a transmutatorial science, has to be his
principal tool in medicine.

As a result he is not an alchemist, he is a physician who takes:
- alchemical theories to explain and understand the transformations
in the natural things.
- alchemical operations to make transformations and produce
medicines (Spagyria).

Paracelsus was not specialy interested in making gold or silver. His
first objective is to change illness into health. He jokes about the
man who has the first objective making gold or silver.

José Rodríguez


Fri Nov 12 17:37:58 1999
Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy in Santiago de Compostela
From: Jose Rodríguez
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999

I send a reference concerning "El Misterio de Compostela" Spanish
edition.

Louis Charpentier. "El Misterio de Compostela", Ed. Plaza y Janes,
1974, ISBN: 8401310482.

The author builds a symbolic intepretation on Santiago's route and he
mixes alchemical, astrological and "hermetic" (?) interpretation in all
the symbols that the pilgrim finds during a peregrination to Santiago.
Concerning alchemy his intepretations are absolutely free, as a result
he makes some picturesque speculations without a solid historial
background. He thinks that there are many alchemical symbols in
the monuments along the Santiago's route, especially the medieval
monastery in San Juan de la Peña, but it is a personal and
subjective vision by Charpentier. There are no historical data to
conclude that Santiago's route was originally an alchemical route
or with alchemical purpose. I think there are no relationships between
Santiago's route and alchemy in the Middle Ages literature (truly in
Spain). The first references in spanish texts appears in the 16th
century referring to a belief of french pilgrims. This myth was very
popular ever since the pseudo-Nicholas Flammel published his
"Exposition of the Hieroglyphicall Figures which he caused to bee
painted upon an Arch in St. Innocents Church-yard, in Paris" (1612).
In this alchemical work appear a famous relationship betwen Santiago's
route and the achemist:

"...I made a vow to God and St. James of Gallicia, to demand the
interpretation of them at some Jewish Priest in some Synagogue of
Spain. Whereupon, with the consent of Perrenella, carrying with me the
Extract of the Pictures, having taken the Pilgrims' habit and staff, in
the same fashion as you may see me without this same Arch, in the
Church-yard in the which I put these Hieroglyphical Figures, where
I have also set against the wall, on the one and the other side, a
Procession, in which are represented by order all the colours of the
Stone, so as they come and go, with this writing in French: Much
pleaseth God procession, If it be done in devotion.
Which is as it were the beginning of King Hercules his Book, which
entreateth of the colours of the Stone, entitled Iris, or the Rainbow, in
these termes, The procession of the work: is very pleasant unto
Nature: the which I have put there expressly for the great Clerks who
shall understand the Allusion. In this same fashion, I say, I put myself
upon my way; and so much I did that I arrived at Montjoy, and
afterwards at St. James..."

José Rodríguez


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy in Santiago de Compostela
From: Adam McLean
Date: 12 Nov 1999

The speculative view on Santiago de Compostela was articulated
on the old alchemy discussion group on Sun, 06 Apr 1997

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/t_spain.html

This is far from a scholarly view and may represent the ideas in
Charpentier.

Adam McLean


Subject: ACADEMY : The Rose Cross over England
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999
From: Susanna Åkerman

Michael Martin wrote:

>It is my suspicion, as it is Heisler's, that there was Rosicrucian
>activity in England prior to 1600, which is prior to the publication
>of any of the Rosicrucian material. This activity would have been
>hand-in-glove connected to the alchemical movement surrounding
>people like Dee and Sidney.

You may consult my recent book "Rose Cross Over the Baltic - the
Spread of Rosicrucianism in northern Europe." Brill, Leiden 1998, for
some points on the Dee-connection and the political use of the
Rosicrucian legend. It is remarkable that the Swedish Rosicrucian
Johannes Bureus adapts his sign the Adulruna from John Dee's
monas which Bureus according to his notes he read and ponders
in 1609. I have also found that the emissar to the Lüneburg
"militia evangelica", described by Simon Studion in the Naometria,
i.e. to the English, Danish, German Protestant and French diplomatic
meeting in 1586 was from the English side Thomas Bodley. At the
same time Philip Sidney is campaigning in the Netherlands. It is of
interest to know that Bodley is regarded to have been introduced
to a Pythagorean society at Forli in Italy before that and that he may
have discussed such notions with Sir Robert Cotton who also set
up a semi-public library in London where even Fludd studied.

As for Rosicrucian activity before 1600 there is little evidence since
the notion "rosicrucian" does not appear before the publication of
the Fama. One can perhaps speak of esoteric understandings of
a rosicrucian type before 1600 (such as prophetic chronology of a
rosicrucian sort and monas- speculation, the influx of dew,
alchemical or platonic-pythagorean secret societies etc.), but
never are the specific elements of rosicrucianism present before
the writing of the Christian Rosencreutz fiction in the Fama of
1610-1614. This is an important watershed to keep in mind.

P.S. I have now published a short essay on Adam's pages
"A medieval forerunner to the crest of J.V. Andreae"

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/andreae_crest.html

that may suggest proto-rosicrucianism in an Italian medieval
context. But this is only with a stretch of the imagination.

Susanna Åkerman


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy in Santiago de Compostella
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999
From: Alejandro Garcia Aviles:

Charpentier's book on alchemy in Santiago's pilgrimage road:

Following the chinese proverb, I am sending not the results of my
own research, but the tools to do it yourself. Perhaps it will be
useful for others looking for Spanish books:

Availability:

http://www.mcu.es/bases/spa/isbn/ISBN.html

Shopping:
http://www.marcialpons.es
http://www.bol.es

and many more, of course. Very interesting will be www.diegomarin.com
(soon available), which purports to include the indexes of the books.

Availability and Loan from many Spanish University libraries:

http://www.baratz.es/RUECA
http://www.buo.uniovi.es/Buo-Ruedo.html
http://www.cbuc.es

Spanish National Library (last resource):
http://www.bne.es


Alejandro Garcia Aviles
Universidad de Murcia (Spain)


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
From: Hans Hammerschlag
Date: 12 Nov 1999

Dear Jose,

As always I find your participation to be particularly
enriching and filled with lots of factual data ...

You say :

>Paracelsus was a physician and his purposes are medical in all his
>authentic works. The alchemical texts searching for the philosopher's
>stone published in his names are apocryphes as Carl-Michael
>Edenborg suggests.

I wonder if it would be possible then, under the auspices of
this cybernetic assembly ... to draw up a tentative list, at least
partial and conformed by the most widely works attributed to
Paracelsus, siding which of this works are considered by the
scholars to be authentic Paracelsus works and which arent .

>As a result he is not an alchemist, he is a physician who takes:

Of course then, the question would come to mind, as to which
would be the criteria to be able to label appropriately anyone
as an alchemist, at least under the scope of scholarship.

Surely interesting subjects to be discussed ... or it seem so to me.

Best regards to all,

Hans



Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999
From: Michal Pober
Urs Leo Gantenbein wrote:

>In his youth and also in later years Paracelsus spent
>some in time in Schwaz, which was a famous silver mining town
>in Tyrol, Austria. There he studied with Simon Fueger, a famous
>alchemist of his time. As I could confirm on the basis of recent
>MS findings, the mining places were important meeting-places
>for people doing technical, transmutational as well as medical
>alchemy. All was intertwined and cannot be looked at separately.

Dear Urs Leo Gantenbein,

This comment was of particular interest to me and I wonder if you
would be willing to share some more on this topic?

I am also particularly interested in the intertwining to which you
refer and since this may take us further distant from the specifically
alchemical perhaps you could write to me off-line: michal@terminal.cz

My interest stems from my life and projects in Kutna Hora and
therefore my parallel and crossover interests in people like
Lazarus Ercker and Georgius Agricola.

best regards,
michal pober


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 99
From: Urs Leo Gantenbein

Dear Michal Pober

In mining the raised ores had to be tested. The percentage of the
desired metal had to be figured out, complicated processes were
separating the constituens of the ore. These all were processes of
technical alchemy. The early 16th century several textbooks of this
technical kind of alchemy were coming out culminating in George
Agricola's De Re Metallica. Furthermore, the various minerals being
a by-product of mining were the base materials for other alchemical
processes.

Paracelsus says in his "Seven "Defenses" (Septem Defensiones):

"It is necessary for a doctor to be an alchemist. When he wants to
be a such one, so he has to see the mother from which the minerals
grow. Now, the mountains won't come to him, but he has to go to
them. Where the minerals are resting, there are the artists. When
you want to look for artists being able to separate and prepare
nature, then you have to look for them at the places where the
minerals are."
(my translation from German, Collected Works, ed. Sudhoff,
vol. 11, p. 144).

In this passage Paracelsus clearly indicates mining places to be
the abode of alchemists, and he recommends doctors to go there
to learn alchemy.

In the Great Surgery (Grosse Wundarznei) Paracelsus gives credit
to one of his teachers in alchemy:

"I have also accumulated a large experience from many alchemists
having investigated in such arts, as from the noble and esteemed
Simon Fueger from Schwaz together with a number of his
employed laboratory workes"
(Collected Works, ed. Sudhoff, vol. 10, p. 354).

Fueger is a historical personality. He was a rich and influentual
so called "gewerke", an owner or feudal lord of parts of the
Schwaz mines, having a great number of workers under his
command, among them alchemists.

In the same book Paracelsus confesses having also dealt
with processes of metallic transmutation, but then to have
overcome them for the sake of medical alchemy:

"But then the aurifices and lunifices (gold and silver makers)
have come and spoilt alchemy; they have tried to transmute the
metals by the tincture. Such kind of art has come to me in many
ways, always intermingled with the process to transmute in gold and
silver, attaining nothing to for the renewal of man. By that I separated
this process of metallic transmutation from the one giving health."
(Collected Works, vol. 10, p. 352-353).

There are many other quotations pointing in the same direction.
Summarizing, Paracelsus says: Many alchemists live at mining
places, he learned alchemy at such a place, he got in contact with
metallic transmutation (and may have tried it), but then went to pure
medical alchemy of spagirics. But the technical skill and the base
alchemical procedures he learned in doing orthodox alchemy.

Now let me come these MS findings I mentioned in my last mail.
Together with Rudolf Gamper we are preparing a lengthy catalogue
of the alchemical MSS and books of the Kantonsbibliothek (Vadiana)
of St. Gall, Switzerland. There are many interesting items. Among
them is a corpus of four volumes of which a certain Michael Cochem
was the owner and main writer. Of Cochem nothing more is known.
The corpus was written in the years 1522-1533, partly in Schwaz!
One of these volumes is a copy of the famous Liber Trinitatis
(Book of the Holy Trinity), the very one presently being exhibited
at the Bibliotheca Hermetica Amsterdam. In this copy, there are
several additions and marginals by Cochem. In his collection there
is another very interesting book. It is a book of art mostly written by
himself. Cochem had noted several recipes and processes,
transmutational, medical and technical. By his widespread
interest in medical items, he was clearly a physician doing alchemy.
So we have a contemporary of Paracelsus with similar interests
being at the same mining place (but not necessarily at the same time).

With this few hints, it may now have become clear, why I came to
the conclusion, that an alchemist very often did supposedly different
things simultaneously, technical, transmutational and spagyrical. I
think the same was true with Kutna Hora, which was an important
mining place, too.

Urs Leo Gantenbein


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999
From: Michal Pober

Dear Urs Leo Gantenbein,

Many thanks for your marvellous and inspiring response to my
question. You have made a very strong case for the interweaving
of mining and metallurgy with at least Paracelsian Alchemy and thank
you for the very intriguing information regarding Michael Cochem.

I have been feeling this interweaving for some time, almost viscerally,
even as an inspiration choosing to come and live in Kutna Hora - a lot
more attractive than Jachymov, or Joachimsthal, where Agricola spent
several years.

Your message is very encouraging to delve deeper in search of how
that web was woven here in Kutna Hora.

Obviously Lazarus Ercker was of great significance but recently I have
been made aware of a significant role played by a gentleman
called Smisek. whose more mundane activities included increasing
his personal wealth considerably by digging, illegally, a private mine
through his basement! He will be featured at a conference which will
be held here in the spring - dates still to be confirmed.

It would be nice to imagine that Paracelsus came here but I've never
heard any evidence of that. A definite oversight considering the extent
of his travels.

I will get back in due course when I have made some meaningful
discoveries in this realm.

In a similar vein I am also pursuing the theory that Edward Kelley's
transmutations were something in the nature of what I understand
you to be describing as 'technical alchemy'.

A couple of significant relevant factors are K's connection with the
gold-mines of Jilove and prior to that with mines and minting
operations owned by the Rozmberks in Reichstein, or Reichenstein
in Silesia, now Zloty Stok nr. Klodzko in Poland.

With Best Regards,

Michal Pober


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
From: John A. Norris
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999

Dear Michal

> I have been feeling this interweaving for some time, almost viscerally,
> even as an inspiration choosing to come and live in Kutna Hora -

> It would be nice to imagine that Paracelsus came here but I've never
> heard any evidence of that. A definite oversight considering the extent
> of his travels.

Although I am not entirely up to date with which Paracelsian writings
are now considered to be non authentic, it may be of interest to you that
in the work of Paracelsus called "The Tincture of the Philosophers"
[in The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus; trnsl. Arthur
Edward Waite (1894); The Alchemical Press, Holmes Publishing
Group, 1992; vol 1, pp 19-30], specific mention is made of Kutna
Hora ["Kuttenberg" in the text].

This reference occurs in a discussion on the nature of vitriol, in
which the author mentions vitriol from Kutna Hora in relation to its
apparent ability to transmutate iron into copper.
[The history and significance of this reaction has been discussed
by Dr. Karpenko in a couple of papers, most notably in
"Fe(s) + Cu(ii)(aq) -> Fe(ii)(aq) + Cu(s) Fifteen Centuries of Search";
J. Chem. Ed., pp. 1095-1098, v. 72, n. 12, Dec. 1995].

Regarding Paracelsus' status as an alchemist, it may be of
interest to note that in the works I've read, he never claimed to have
accomplished any metallic transmutation other than this one, but
extrapolated the theoretical posibility of further metallic transmutations
based on this readily repeatable and [at the time] convincing
example of a transmutation between two base metals.

Regards,
J. Norris



Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999
From: Catherine Fox-Anderson

Greetings to the Academy,

I have been encountering, in the course of my
investigations of alchemy and its modern historical
context both in Spain and the Americas, information
about links with neonazi groups and esoterism (not
just in Spain, of course, but also in Germany). I am
using recognized alchemical texts throughout my thesis
(many from this wonderful website), and am researching
of course the author of the novel, trying to determine
why she might have chosen this symbolism. I don't
believe she herself holds these political views, but I
cannot conclude that yet; she has expressed interest
in communicating with me and I pray that comes to
pass.

Such a connection to modern alchemy is of course
disturbing, and seems to me a perversion of the
concept of Divine Love that also runs thematically
throughout alchemical texts. While this is a side
issue to my thesis, which examines the theme of the
chymical wedding in literature, I want to at least
footnote such issues in my paper. I ran across a
study, but unfortunately did not pick up on it at the
time, about Jung's dabbling in such thought toward the
end of his life. I'm currently searching anew for
that book.

A Spanish contact from Santiago Jubany's
website gave me the names of esoteric organizations
and intellectuals in Spain with such ties; I discovered
I possess a book by at least one of them, if this is
true. I recall this discussion last summer
in the Academy or Forum; I'm having trouble with the
search key for the archives. I'd appreciate help on
this, as it has been a dark thread that has troubled
me greatly; I don't believe the author of the book I'm
studying for it's alchemical content shares such a
vision, and am awaiting word from her. My contact in
Spain said that such connections have caused,
understandably, hesitation on the part of some modern
Spanish academics who may be interested in a serious
study of Spain's esoteric history. I have come to
respect the opinion of this Academy's participants
very much, and welcome your thoughts, as well as any
studies you may know of in this regard. I have been
invited by my university to present the paper at a
Symposium on Hispanic literature in March, and want to
have this issue more settled, of course, by then. I
thank you very much. Best wishes to all of you in
your searches.

Catherine Fox-Anderson


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy
From: Adam McLean
Date: 16 Nov 1999
Catherine,

Perhaps the name you are searching for is Julius Evola.
He is thought to have had active Fascist connections at one
period of his life and is a relatively well known modern writer on
alchemy.

There are two articles in the USA magazine Gnosis (now sadly
defunct) No 14 1990, p12-20 and articles on the more general
influences of fascism on twentieth centuty esotericism.

You should be able to find this back issue of this magazine in
a good US library.

Adam McLean


Subject: ACADEMY : Marlowe on Bruno
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999
From: Bartosz Protas

I came across a remark that in one of his works
Christopher Marlowe makes an explicit reference to
Giordano Bruno. Does anyone know which text is that?

Bartek Protas


Subject: ACADEMY : Marlowe on Bruno
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999
From: Michael Srigley

Dear Bartek Protas,

Concerning Marlowe and Bruno, you will find the references
to "Saxon Bruno" and his humiliation by the Pope in the 1604 ed.
of Christopher Marlowe's 'Dr Faustus', given in Michael
Keefer's 'Doctor Faustus: a 1604-version edition' (Oxford, 1991,
pp. 97-101). A note on p. 99 points out that Bruno lectured in
Wittenberg in Saxony in 1586-1588; this would explain the "Saxon
Bruno".

Roy T. Eriksen in his "'The Forme of Faustus Fortunes'": A Study
of the Tragedie of Doctor Faustus" (Oslo, 1987) has much of
interest to say on Marlowe's indebtedness to Bruno who, as you
will know, was in England from 1583 to 1585. At the time of Bruno's
dramatic lecture at Oxford in 1583, Marlowe was still a student at
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and may well have been
present at the lecture and if not, certainly heard about it.

Hope this is of some help,

Michael Srigley


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999
From: Carl-Michael Edenborg

Dear Catherine,

As for C G Jungs nazism, see Richard Noll: The Jung Cult.

I have also encountered some connections between modern
alchemy and fascism. As for the french Fulcanelli-Canseliet
tradition, I suppose it was quite conservative (christian-monarchist),
but hardly fascist.

Paracelsus, though, was a hero for the german nazists (see for
ex. Peuckerts Paracelsus-biography, reprinted several times
during the WW2, with false quotations by Paracelsus that made him
into some sort of proto-Hitler!).

C-M Edenborg


Subject: ACADEMY : Wolves, Bears and Ravens
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999
From: Aleks Pluskowski

Dear members,

I have just begun PhD research at the department of Archaeology,
Cambridge concerning changing attitudes towards the wolf, bear
and raven in Northern Europe (focusing on Scandinavia) from
the 7th-15thC AD. While this is primarily an archaeological study,
I aim to include as many variable sources as possible. My key
interest is in 'belief' as a motivator for behaviour. I know that all
three animals are used in alchemical iconography in the 16th
and 17thC but I was wondering if anyone has come across
references from the early medieval period, particularly from
Scandinavia, north Germany or Britain. I'd be extremely grateful
for any information on these animals concerning literary references
or iconographic depictions on paper, wood, metal, stone or
textiles.

yours

Aleks Pluskowski


Subject: ACADEMY : Collected works of Glauber
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999
From: Andrew Lange

I have been looking for a volume of the Collected Works of
Johann Rudolph Glauber which was republished in Amsterdam
sometime in the 1970-80's. I held it once in my hand, but it was
under the influence of my student finances that held me back.

If anyone knows of an available copy, I'd appreciate it.

Andrew Lange


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
From: Jose Rodríguez
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999
>which would be the criteria to be able to label appropriately anyone
>as an alchemist, at least under the scope of scholarship.

Dear Hans,

Thanks for your kind message.
Of course I am not a scholar of alchemy, only a humble amateur
but I send you my opinion.

Probably we could say he is an alchemist because he takes
alchemical theories and practical operations, but really we could
say he was a spagyrist because it is an alchemy strongly applied
to medicine (spagyria). By this way we could say he was astrologer,
physic (Philosophia Naturalis), philosopher (ethic questions) and it
could be right since these are the four foundations in Paracelsus'
medicine.

I think that research on alchemists or alchemical texts under the
scope of scholarship tries to reconstruct objectively his
original ideas with a solid background of historical, philological... facts.
To this effect in the real works by Paracelsus [Textus paramiri (1520),
Liber paragranum (1530), Opus paramirum (1531-1535), etc.]
alchemy, astrology, "Philosophia Naturalis" and Ethic are in a
medical field. Paracelsus appears as a physician taking alchemical,
astrological, philosophical and ethical ideas. Therefore overall he
appears as a physician... and this is the conclusion that scholars try
to transmit. What do you think?

Best regards Hans.

José Rodríguez


Subject: ACADEMY : The monk Ferrarius.
From: Jose Rodríguez
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999

I'm looking for information about the alchemist called "Ferrarius"
or "Efferrarius". Are there solid studies dedicated to this author?
Books, notes, articles... all references are appreciated. What
are the dates of his texts? Especially his Thesaurum Thesaurus.
I only found a short reference in: J. Telle. "Lexicon Mittelalters",
IV, München-Zürich, 1989, word: «Ferrarius».

Thanks all!

Jose Rodríguez


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
From: Heidi Heilemann
Date: 17 Nov 1999

Paracelsus is often quoted as having said:

All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison.
The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy.

What is the precise source of this oft-quoted line?

Thanks in advance for any insight or leads,

Heidi Heilemann
Information Services Librarian


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
From: Diane Zervas Hirst
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999

To members of the Alchemy Academy group and Catherine:
For a cogent, historically informed (rather than inflamed)
response to the Nazi-related accusations made in Richard Noll's
book The Jung Cult, please see Sonu Shamdasani's "Cult Fictions:
C.G. Jung and the Founding of Anallytical Psychology," London:
Routledge, 1998

Diane Zervas Hirst


Subject: ACADEMY : Wolves, Bears and Ravens
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999
From: Andrew Lange

One extraordinary book is The Great Bear: A Thematic Anthology
of Oral Poetry in the Finno-Ugrian Languages by Lauri Honko,
et al. Oxford University Press.


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999
From: David Porreca

Dear Heidi,

>Paracelsus is often quoted as having said:
>All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison.
The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy.

I believe this reference dates back to Plato, although the
precise passage in his Republic escapes me. It originates
with the Greek word 'pharmakon', which means both poison
and remedy.

David Porreca


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999
From: Catherine Fox-Anderson

Dear Diane,
Thank you very much for the reference - this is the
sort of thing I'm looking for. Do I understand your
message to mean that you think the Noll book is
inflamed or inaccurate?

Regards,
Catherine


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy in Santiago de Compostella
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999
From: Michael Srigley

Dear Friends,
Could I add to the contributions of Ernesto Fazioli, Catherine
Fox-Anderson and Guy Ogilvy on the topic of alchemy and Santiago
de Compostella by drawing attention to Shakespeare's 'All's Well
that Ends Well' (c. 1609). This combines clear references to
alchemy with the episode of Helena's " pilgrimage to Saint Jacques
le Grand; which holy undertaking with most austere sanctimony
she accomplish'd" (IV.iii.45-51). She is reported to have died there,
but turns up at the end of the play to reclaim her wayward husband.
Earlier in the play she is presented as the daughter of a famous
French physician from whom she has received a sovereign
remedy which has "something in't / More than my father's skill (I.iii.242-3).
With it she goes to the court of the French King who is dying of an
incurable disease. Like her cure, she herself is described as
"a medicine / That's able to breathe life into a stone, / Quicken a
rock, and make you dance a canary, / With sprightly fire and
motion" (II.i.70-73). She cures the king after he has been "relinquished
of the artists ... both of Galen and Paracelsus" and "Of all the
learned and authentic fellows" (II.ii.10-12), and in gratitude the
King gives her a ring with special properties. At the end of the play
this ring is associated by the King of France with alchemy:

Plutus himself,
That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,
Hath not in nature's mystery more science
Than I have in this ring (V.iii.102-4).

The power of both medicine and ring is attributed by Helena to
"the greatest Grace lending grace". A possible connection (it has
been criticized) between Helena's alchemical cure and Santiago
de Compostella, following Fulcanelli, would lie in the fact that it
was on a pilgrimage to this shrine that Nicolas Flamel met
Abraham the Jew and received from him the ms. describing the
opus alchemicum. The scallop-shell worn by pilgrims to this
shrine, is, again according to Fulcanelli, closely associated with
alchemy. Has this been confirmed from older sources?

By the way, can anyone throw light on Helena's father, the
physician, who is called in the play 'Gérard de Narbonne'?

With all best wishes,

Michael Srigley


Subject: ACADEMY : Collected works of Glauber
From: Jean-Pierre Valjean
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999

Monsieur Lange,

Both RAMS and AMORC publish the complete works of Glauber,
minus the pictures. It is possible that Adam may have the
pictures on his site.

Valjean

P.S. Please note that due to the ill health of Han Nintzel the
R.A.M.S. volumes are currently unavailable. - Adam McLean


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999
From: Johann Plattner
Dear Heidi,

It seems that Paracelsus is connected with this famous saying:

"Sola dosis facit venenum !", what means "only the dose generates
poison" !

I think this is a little bit different.

Best wishes
Johann



Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
From: William S. Aronstein
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999

As a young student in Freiburg-im-Breisgau, I was very struck
and indeed surprised by a large sign in an apothecary's window,
that carried a saying it attributed to Paracelsus. As I recall, it went
something like this:

"Alles ist Gift; nur das Dosis macht, das Etwas nicht Gift ist."
(Everything is Poison; only the dose makes something not a poison.")

It seemed an odd sign for a pharmacist's shop, although I later
learned that the statement is indeed true, and that, for example,
both water and oxygen are dangerous if taken in too high a dose.
I wonder if the quote is genuine, and if Paracelsus would have said
or written this in German or
Latin.

A Roman antecedent for the saying might be sought in the writings
of Paracelsus' namesake, Celsus, a Latin author who although no
physician is credited with the standard medical definition of
inflammation.

Best wishes,

William S. Aronstein


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 99
From: Jon Marshall


Some relatively reliable background to the facist use of the
'occult' can be found in:

Elic Howe *Urania's Children*
Also issued as *Astrology and the Third Reich*

James Webb *The Occult Establishment* (Chapter "The
Magi of the North")

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke *The Occult Roots of Nazism*
and *Hitler's Priestess*

I don't think there is much on alchemy in any of these sources.
There is something on alchemy in Ravenscroft's *Spear of
Destiny*, but that is best treated as fiction.

One of the best books on Jung and Facisim is a collection
of essays edited by

Aryeh Maidenbaum & Stephen A. Martin, *Lingering Shadows*

The infamous 1933 Radio Berlin interview is translated in
*C.G. Jung Speaking* ed William Mcguire and RFC Hull.

jon


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
From: Diane Zervas Hirst
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999

Dear Catherine,

There has been much discussion caused by Noll's book, and if you
would like more information, I would be happy to supply you with
the reviews of Noll's book that I know about. There is probably
also discussion about it on

www.cgjung.com

Sincerely,

Diane Zervas Hirst


Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus and alchemy
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999
From: Urs Leo Gantenbein

Dear William Aronstein:

This is indeed a genuine saying by Paracelsus, written by him
in the Seven Defensions, and it is the most famous, too. In
German it runs as follows:

"alle ding sind gift und nichts ist on gift; alein die dosis macht das
ein ding kein gift ist"
(Paracelsus: Septem Defensiones, Collected Works ed. Karl
Sudhoff, vol. 11, p. 138).

In English:

"All things are poisons and nothing is without poison; only the dose
determines a thing not to be a poison."

With best wishes

Urs Leo Gantenbein



Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy and mining
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999
From: Sophie Page

Dear Urs Leo Gantenbein,

I'm not sure if you know this already or if its relevant to your
research - which sounds very interesting - but I came across a
reference to Sir Philip Sidney and Kutna Hora in Roberts and Watsons'
edition of John Dee's catalogue (pp.44-45) yesterday.

In a letter to Hubert Lanuet (whom Dee believed to have
discovered gold) of 1577 Philip Sidney asks him to send him the
mining laws of Kutna Hora. A reference to this correspondence is
given in a footnote. This may have nothing to do with alchemy ( I
haven't seen the corresspondence myself) but the connection to
Dee is suggestive.

Best wishes,
Sophie Page




Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999
From: Mike Dickman

>There has been much discussion caused by Noll's book,


There was certainly a lot of discussion about it on the now
defunct Jung Circle, however there is the web-page at

http://members.xoom.com/jungcircle/index.html

and I'm sure Maureen Roberts would be pleased to take up
cudgels with you any time.

I might say - the infamous 1933 doc notwithstanding - that Jung, for
all he might have been somewhat conservative at times in his
political vision, was certainly in no wise a fascist and nor, when it
comes down to it, did he countenance any of their views or
subsequent actions. One might as well call Christ a barbarian for
once having driven the money-lenders out of the temple, or Jacques
Chirac a Buddhist because he once attended a teaching by
HH Dalai Lama...

Believe me: there are some real, dyed-in-the-wool fascists in
the history of Western Occultism. One may point to the feet of clay
of the mighty, but at the end of the day what they actually achieved
is what they'll be judged by. One might be better off examining
one's own feet for argillaceous tendencies.

Respectfully,
m




Subject: ACADEMY : The monk Ferrarius
From: Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999

Dear Jose,
I see that you have not received any response to your query
regarding Ferrarius which is not surprising since very little indeed
is known about him. His name and dates are the subject of much
conjecture.

Lenglet Du Fresnoy in his Histoire de la Philosophie Hermetique
(Paris 1642) Vol 1 p.220-221 writes:
"Nous avons aussi le Traité du Moine Efferari ou Ferrari, mais ce
dernier est peu lu par les Connoisseurs; quoiqu'au milieu de
beaucoup d'obscurité, on y trouve quelques rayons de lumieres,
mais qu'il faut y sçavoir découvrir. On le croit de la fin du treizième
siecle, ou du moins du commencement du quatorzième, parce
que citant Geber, La Tourbe & le Solitaire Morien, il ne dit pas un
mot d'Arnauld de Villeneuve; ni de Raymond Lulle; c'étoient
cependant deux Grands Maitres qui méritoient d'etre cités, s'il
avoit vécu après eux."

TRANSLATION: We also have the Treatise of the Monk Effari
or Ferrari, but the latter is little read by the Connoisseurs; although
in the middle of a lot of obscurity, one finds therein a few rays of
light, but one must know how to find them. He is believed to be
from the end of the thirteenth century, or at least from the beginning
of the fourteenth, because while citing Geber, the Turba, & the
Solitary Morienus, he does not say a word about Arnold of Villa
Nova nor of Raymund Lull, those were however two Great
Masters who would warrant being quoted, if he had lived after
them.

In the third volume the same author gives only two editions both
1647: The first is the third treatise in "Tractatus aliquot Chimici
ingulares, summum Philosophorum arcanum continentes, in-8,
Geismariae 1647" the second:

" Fratris Ferarii, Tractatus integer, hactemus enim mutilatus d
atus tantu, fuerat, Opera Combachii publicatus, cum aliis Authoribus
Chimicis. 1647, in-12

I hope this helps.

All the very best
Stanislas Klossowski de Rola


Subject: ACADEMY : Kutna Hora, Paracelsus, Mining Laws
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999
From: Michal Pober


Dear J. Norris,

Sorry not to have acknowledged your message sooner.
Yes indeed Kuttenberg and Kutna Hora are one and the same.
The Czech means 'Mining Hill', I assume the German means
something similar.

>This reference occurs in a discussion on the nature of vitriol, in
>which the author mentions vitriol from Kutna Hora in relation to its
>apparent ability to transmutate iron into copper.
>[The history and significance of this reaction has been discussed
>by Dr. Karpenko in a couple of papers, most notably in
>"Fe(s) + Cu(ii)(aq) -> Fe(ii)(aq) + Cu(s) Fifteen Centuries of Search";
>J. Chem. Ed., pp. 1095-1098, v. 72, n. 12, Dec. 1995].

Interestingly the message preceding yours in my in-box was from
Dr Karpenko and he will give me that paper next week.
Currently he is working on a very exciting find - an alchemical text
from the late 15th C, apparently written by Hynek, the son of the
Czech King, Jiri [George] of Podebrady who was also a well
known poet, who allegedly had a laboratory in a tower in K.H.
which will be part of the now developing Alchemy Museum here.
Dr K. will be presenting a paper about this find at a conference
here in May and the translation and the background will find its
way into print soon.

Re the Mining Laws, referred to by Sophie Page [and thanks for
that very interesting connection of Sir Philip Sidney and Dee to
our fair town!] next year will see the celebration of the 700th year
of the Ius Regale Montanorum which will be the occasion of yet
another conference, in October.

Permit me one strange digression... The same evening that
I received the first two messages referred to above I paid a
visit to the adjacent teahouse and discovered that they had,
for the first time, had a 'reading' and the story was 'Paracelsus'
Rose' by Borges...

Best Regards,

Michal Pober



Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy and mining
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999
From: Robert Vanloo

I guess there must be question here of Hubert Languet, and not
Lanuet, a well known French Huguenot who served the Saxony
Elector. He was a familiar to most German and Bohemian
princes of the time. Here is the explanation which I give in
a book to be published next year : "L'hermétisme politique des
Rose-Croix" :

"L'électeur de Saxe avait accueilli en ses terres en 1559 un
huguenot célèbre, Hubert Languet (1518-1581), qu'il nomma son
ambassadeur à la cour impériale de 1573 à 1577, après l'avoir
chargé de plusieurs missions diplomatiques auprès de
Charles IX. Languet, qui était un ami très proche de Sidney et
de Duplessis-Mornay, fut le véritable lien entre les calvinistes
français et les princes réformés d'Europe. Il était également très
écouté par Guillaume d' Orange et fut chargé d'une mission en
Angleterre au service du comte palatin Jean-Casimir."

Robert Vanloo


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy and mining
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999
From: Urs Leo Gantenbein

Dear Sophie Page:

Thank you very much for this reference which I didn't know. I'm
going to check it.

Presently I am studying the handwritten remainings of the Zurich
alchemists as Raphael Egli, Caspar Wolff, Johann Jacob
Nuescheler, going back to the same period. They all looked for
or even owned mining places.

Urs Leo Gantenbein


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy and mining
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999
From: Sophie Page

Apologies,

I did mean Hubert Languet not Lanuet.

The correspondence, for those interested, is ed. by S.A. Pears, 'The
Correspondence of Sir Philip Sidney and Hubert Languet (1845), p. 128
(Languet to Sidney, Nov. 28 1577) and p. 227 (Sidney to Languet, Oct. 1
1577).

Sophie Page


Subject: ACADEMY : Kutna Hora, Paracelsus, Mining Laws
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999
From: Dusan Djordjevic Mileusnic

Dear Michal Pober,

I was searching few things myself concerning Kutna Hora, in fact,
the name itself. I was wondering what does it mean. I knew that
Hora is mountain or hill (Gora, in Serbian), but I didn`t know what
Kutna means. A friend of mine who lives now in Prague told me that
there is a legend on how the town was founded. The legend says
that there was a monk, named Antonin, from the nearby monastery
Sedlec, who found silver on that mountain, and that he wanted to
inform the abbot about this. In order to find that place for sure
when he gets back, and to hide the silver, he put on it his `kutna`, - cowl,
frock, the long robe - , so this means that Kutna Hora designates
something like the mountain covered with a frock, or cowl. (?)

Two alchemists are mentioned in this context - Krystof Putz and
David Wolfram. Anything on these names?

By the way, as I recall, you mentioned Ercker in some of your
previous messages. There is an interesting site with images from
Ercker`s book on metallurgy on

www.library.upenn.edu/etext/collections/smith/ercker/ .

All the best
Dusan Djordjevic Mileusnic




Subject: ACADEMY : Kutna Hora, Paracelsus, Mining Laws
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999
From: Catherine Fox-Anderson

Dear Michael,
I'd be most interested in where one could find that
short story- I have many of Borges' works in my
collection, and am slowly pursuing his interest and
his library of things Hermetic; this has also led to
my concerns with his later-in-life links to fascist
thought. I was informed by the Web master of the
argentinian transmutar@sion.com that his wife, after
Borges died, was a regular participant in that forum.
It sounds as if it has been around for awhile,
although I only recently discovered it. I am
interested in this as a literary/historical side note
to my thesis on alchemy in another Latin American
writer, mindful of Adam's suggestion to examine
alchemy and its allegories ( whether modern and
earlier texts) in its context. It is interesting that
one of the characters I'm studying has the surname
Muzquiz, (a name which seems perhaps arabic in
spelling?) which references a small carbon mining town
in northern Mexico. If I encounter any information
there in terms of alchemy, I'll let you know.
Best wishes,

Catherine Fox-Anderson


Subject: ACADEMY : The Rose Cross and Phillip Sidney
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999
From: Michael Thomas Martin

I have found the recent contributions here from Susanna Akerman
and Robert Vanloo most intriguing.

In regards to Sidney, who had connections to Dee, was a fine
poet, and true Renaissance man, do either of you (or anyone
else) suppose that there is a political antecedent between the
Rose Cross brethren and some kind of humanistic/religious
movement that Sidney may have been involved with?

If there is, I suspect that this would be only one aspect of the
Rosicrucian work, the political one, which inspired Andrae's
"Christianopolis," Bacon's "New Atlantis," etc. Indeed, all of the
Renaissance Utopias.This alchemical transformation of society is
implicit in alchemical literature and explicit in the Rosicrucian
material. Incidently, I have always found the meeting day in the
House of the Holy Spirit interesting, at least as some interpret it:
Corpus Christi. Why would a "Protestant" mystical movement
choose the feast wherein the Catholic Church celebrates the
transformation of the Eucharistic elements? Only through an
appreciation of alchemy does this even begin to make sense.

As for the political transformation of society and the RC movement,
I have a hunch, and at this time it is only a hunch, that this sentiment,
if not a proper "movement," goes back at least to "Le Roman de
la Rose" where "Pope Holy" is shown as a great hypocrite and
the figure "Idleness" is crowned with red roses.

All the best,

Michael Martin


Subject: ACADEMY : The Rose Cross and Phillip Sidney
From: Robert Vanloo
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999

Dear Michael,

The point is that the political aspect of the publication of the
Fama in 1614 and the Confessio in 1615, together with some other
texts in connection with the Universal Reformatio has been largely
underestimated during the past centuries, where just the hermetic
and alleged initiatory side of the Rose-Cross prevailed.

It is difficult to sum up a study of 350 p. here, but most recent
discoveries tend to prove that Frances Yates was about right in
the "Rosicrucian Enlightement" concerning the links between the
spreading of the Rosicrucian manifestoes and the formation of the
Evangelical Union in the German Empire where Christian von Anhalt
(Croll and Sperber were his agents) and Peter Vok von Rosenberg
(Willhelm's brother was Dee's patron in Bohemia) played an
important role, together with Moritz of Hessen, even if she
overestimated Dee's role in this respect. Nevertheless hermetism
and alchemy were in certain respects an essential background to
vangelical politics of the time, as Bruce T. Moran has shown in
The alchemical world of the German court - occult philosophy and
chemical medicine in the circle of Moritz of Hessen (1572-1632).

Most recent historical documents concerning the origins of the
Rose-Cross have been discovered in political collections : see
Suzanna Akerman, Rose-cross over the Baltic, concerning Lotich, etc.
and the discovery by Carlos Gilly of the printed Haselmayer's
response to the Rosicrucians (1612) in the Weimar Anna-Amalia
library amidst political works. In the frame of my own work I have
also discovered in the Bibliothèque Royale de Bruxelles some
forgotten documents concerning the Rose-Cross within a 3 books
collection of « Pièces concernant les événements qui ont donné
naissance à la Guerre de Trente Ans », which will be
published in my book.

Other unpublished documents prove that Sidney's friend
Duplessis-Mornay, le pape huguenot, so much praised by
Johann-Valentin Andreae knew about the Rose-Cross as early as
1611, whereas most French writers still claim that their existence
was not known in France before the publication of the Fama...

Sorry for the quality of my English prose which I do not practice
enough !

Robert Vanloo


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
From: Diane Zervas Hirst
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999

Dear Catherine,

There are reviews of Noll's book on Jung in the following: The
Journal of Analytical Psychology, vol. 42 no. 4 Oct. 1997
(A. Stevens), pp. 671-690; and on Shamdasani's Cult Fictions in
Ibid., vol. 43 no. 4 October 1998 (S. Naifeh, A. Stevens) pp. 603-608.


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
From: Adam Simon
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999

The theme of this thread, before it focused on Noll and the Jung
debate, raised issues about Alchemy, hermeticism and
"fascism". A couple quick notes on that. Evola was not exactly a
fascist. And though at times seemingly sympathetic to both Nazism
and Italian Fascism he was regarded with suspicion by both sides.
He has much in common with proto-nazi Right-wing esotericism
(Mountain mysticism, etc) but is at core clearly different from
them. Most importantly because Fascism was crucially a kind of
Reactionary Modernism -- an apparent contradiction in terms --
which forcefully reconciled the mechanistic and technological
(not to mention propagandistic) aspects of Modernity with an
anti-enlightenment attitude -- while Evola, like the French
traditionalists remained firm in his rejection of Modernity. In
addition it must be said that what most people remember forcefully
in the negative about Fascism was (is) its racial politics, and while
Evola was heir to a plethora of 19th century esoteric doctrines of
race (as was Steiner and many other clearly anti-fascist thinkers,
the Fabians for example) he seems never to have been an
anti-semite or racist.

I suspect that Alchemy as a set of images is appropriatable by
any political view (as we have seen in earlier threads and
incarnations of Adam's mail list Alchemy lends itself to all kinds
of bizarre intellectual uses). The way Alchemical imagery prevaded
both sides of the English Civil war is a perfect example of this.
The larger questions of the political context of Hermeticism in
general are deeply and widely discussed in all the themed
issues of the French journal Politica Hermetica and in the excellent
works of both Nick Goodrick-Clark and Joscelyn Godwin who both
manage to discuss and reveal some of the less savoury aspects
of esoteric and hermetic thought in our century, without throwing the
baby out with the bathwater.

Happy Thanksgiving to all on the list,

Adam Simon


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
From: Robert Vanloo
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999

I am sorry to say that Evola WAS a fascist. He joined Hitler's
headquarters when Mussolini was liberated by a German commando
in September 1943 and was involved in the "Salo Republic".
After the war, he was a founder of the Italian neo-fascist organisation
M.S.I. Like many Italian fascists he was never judged as the MSI
served the CIA interests in its fight against Italian communism
(Gladio and the rest...)

His revolt against the modern world went further in this respect
than Guenon who was never involved in politics directly, even
during the Second World War.

The most complete study on Evola is :
BOUTIN Christophe
"Politique et Tradition - Julius Evola dans le siècle (1898-1974)",
Ed. Kimé, Paris, 1992.

Robert Vanloo


Subject: ACADEMY : Grebner in Cambridge
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999
From: Susanna Åkerman

Dear Robert Vanloo,

I am glad to hear that there is research in order to push forward
the findings hitherto made on the evangelical union that is mentioned
in Simon Studion's Naometria. I look forward to reading your
forthcoming book on the hermetic politics of the Rosicrucians.

I wonder whether you have looked at Paul Grebner's Vaticinia
"Sericum Mundi filum". There is one copy of it at Wolfenbüttel in
which Thomas Bodley is mentioned as the British delgate to
Lüneburg 1586, but there is also a corresponding document by
Grebner at No. 970 of Trinity College; Cambridge.
It is dated Hamburg 29 Sept 1585 with dedications to Henry IV of
Navarre, Fredrick II of Denmark and Elisabeth of England plus
the nobility of the Empire with further letters to Henry IV dated
Hamburg 1586 and to Otto of Braunschweig. On f. 61 there is a
picture of a "Synodus Regum ac Principum Europae", much as
in the lively Wolfenbuttel copy. The title is "Sericum mundi filum
sive vaticinum quo subita et plusquam miraculosa orbis terrarum
mutatio..."

It is too long 387 ff. to have a copy made for me and I have not
been able to go to Cambridge to see it. But it probably tells the
story in the same fashion as in Wolfenbüttel, relating prophecies
on a series of banners with a beginning in the 1572 new star and
St. Bartholomew massacre with a culmination in the political
initiatives of England, France, Denmark and the German princes.

I wonder what you think of its connection to the Lüneburg meeting in
July 1586 that Simon Studion speaks of (the militia evangelica)?
Have you investigated the matter and what is your opinion about
the "Lion with the Rose" that Ron Heisler says appears in it?
(as I relate in my book Rose Cross Over the Baltic). It may point to
Philip Sidneys' campaign in the Netherlands in the same year
and may give evidence adding to Francis Yates' British connection
(Sidney-Dee) of the Rosicrucian scenario. Even if these
machinations are not really at that time, yet, "Rosicrucian".

I have recently asked Carlos Gilly about this and he replies that the
lions that appear in Grebner are heraldic lions and not related to the
Paracelsian Lion of the North (as found in the Confessio). But one
may note that in the Lion of the North mythology in the case of Gustav
Adolf there was a intentional conflation of the Lion as heraldic national
sign with the Paracelsian lion whose primary mission is to reveal
scripture and prepare the oncoming of the new age.

In general Gilly disagrees with Yates' setting together Rosicrucianism
and political inititives around Fredrik of Würtemberg in 1618. However,
there were speculations on Fredrick future role in the evangelical
cause at an early stage, even if the Rosicrucians did not anticipate
the exact Bohemian adventure in 1618. Nor does there emanate
Rosicrucian writings from Fredrick's Bohemian court. Yet, much of
political initiatives on 1610-1630 were prepared by diplomacy for an
evangelical union in 1586 and onwards, and as is foreshadowed
in Studion, in Helias Roeslins' chronology, and in Grebner's
manuscripts that I thus commend to you.

Susanna Åkerman



Subject: ACADEMY : The Rose Cross and Phillip Sidney
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999
From: Michael Thomas Martin

Dear Robert Vanloo,

Thanks so much for your valuable comments. I have increasingly
been feeling that the Rosicrucians were a presence in Europe well
before 1614, and your comments are a reassurance. I have yet to
publish a book, and yet I exist. The Rosicrucians certainly existed
before they published, though this is a concept many academics
find hard to believe - as many of them are not thought to exist prior
to publication! I look forward to your book's release, and only hope
it is available in America soon thereafter.

Your discovery of the texts sounds fascinating. Are they dated?

And as for your English, it is superb - just be thankful I'm not writing
in French!

Michael Martin


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
From: Adam Simon
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999

Dear Mr. Vanloo,

Thanks for your correction on Evola. I have read little biographical
information on him and appreciated also the bibliographical
reference. I am not familiar with the "Salo Republic" which you
mention (though I wonder is this what is referenced in the title of
Pasolini's "Salo"?) Do you find Evola's fascism reflected in his
hermetic and alchemical work? Clearly your own work, and
Susanna Akerman's work and Moran's and even of course
Yates's work all suggest the Hermetic and Alchemical worlds are
hardly removed from the political worlds of their time. Any further
thoughts you have on these topics (whether in relation to earlier
Rosicrucian movements or 20th century movements) are of
interest at least to me.

I know there are many members of the list who are interested in
Evola and I wonder if anyone else has an opinion on the relation
between his thought and his politics. Also, I wonder if anyone has
information on the political context of Fulcanelli and Schwaller De
Lubicz and the French alchemical circles. In fact I am tempted
to at least wonder if perhaps it is only recently (particularly post-Jung)
that Alchemical thinking and reading and writing has become
detached from political (in the broadest sense) concerns. Some
esoteric and semi-Alchemical groups clearly remain(ed) very
engaged with the social-political world (the Rosicrucians, the
Theosophists, the Anthroposophists for example all seemed
commited to a transformation of the world, not just the individual
soul.)

This may well be too off topic for the list and if so I apologize and
would be pleased to recieve any thoughts you or others have
off list at aretefex@aol.com.

Thanks again.

Adam Simon


Subject: ACADEMY : The monk Ferrarius
From: Jose Rodríguez
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999

Dear Stanislas:
Thank you very much for your reply. I had not checked the " Histoire
de la Philosophie Hermetique" and your dates are very useful for me.
Ferrarus' writings are really very interesting. He makes a lot of
references to the pseudo-Geber (Paolo di Tarento) "Summa
perfectionis" and this gives evidence to suppose a date at the first of
the 14th century (see the beginning of the influence of the "Summa
Perfectionis" in William Newman "Summa" critical edition).

I think that this "obscure" author is a very interesting reference to
know about the real origin of some popular texts on alchemy
attributed since 15th century to Villanova, Flamel, etc.

Thanks again!

Jose Rodríguez


Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemy Glossaries
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999
From: Ahmad Y. Hassan

Greetings to all members of Alchemy Academy

I am interested in compiling a list of glossaries on alchemy
( Latin - English, Latin - German, Latin - French, or Latin with any
other language including Arabic and Hebrew), whether in print or in
manuscript form.

Any information on such glossaries will be greatly appreciated.

A. Al- Hassan


Subject: ACADEMY : Dee, Kelly and mines
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999
From: Sophie Page

Whilst reading through 'The Diaries of John Dee' ed. E.Fenton
(1998) today I found the following references to Dee, Kelly
and mines.

p.247. 19 Dec. 1589. Mr Adrian Gilbert came to me (i.e. John Dee)
to Mortlake: and offered me as much as I could requier at his
hands both for my goods carried away, and for the mines.

p.269 (a note by Fenton) According to the Czech writer Ivan
Svitak, Kelly had been awarded a Bohemian knighthood for
helping to develop the abandoned gold-mines in Jilove, south of
Prague (Svitak I, 'John Dee and Edward Kelley'. Kosmas 5,
125-38, 1986).


Subject: ACADEMY : The monk Ferrarius
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999
From: Eugene Beshenkovsky

Dear Jose,

Here is some information on Ferrarius which I have found while
working with a wonderful web site at Karlsruhe:

http://www.ubka.uni-karlsruhe.de/kvk.html

Tractatus aliquot chemici singulares summum philosophorum
arcanum continentes ...
Geismariae : S. Köhler ; [Drucker:] Schadewitz, 1647. 8vo.
Enthalten:Tractatus chemicus excellentissimus / Frater Ferrarius.1647

Fratris Ferrarii_ Tractatus chemicus excellentissimus. Geismariae:
sumptibus Sebaldi Köhlers, 1647.

Bruder Ferrarii_ Sehr fürtrefflicher chimischer Tractat / viel vermehret,
auffs neue ins Teutsch übersetzet und ... in den Truck gegeben von
Johann Langen. Hamburg, 1673. 72 S.

Von dem Stein der Weisen, wie man den recht bereiten soll / Fratris
Ferrarii Monachi. Zum 1. mahl ins Teutsche übers. Von Johann Langen.
Franckfurt u.a. : Guth, 1673. - 50 S.

Chymisches Zwey-Blat, das ist Zwey vortreffliche chymische Tractätlein /
beyde zum 1. mahl ins Teutsch übers. v. Johann Langen. Franckfurt ;
Hamburg : Guth, 1674. - 94, 72 S.
Aus d. Lat. übers. - Enth. u.a.: Philalethes, Eirenaeus: Eröffneter
Eingang zu deß Königs verschlossenem Pallaste. - Ferrarius : Von
dem Stein der Weisen, wie man den recht bereiten soll. -

Des hochgelehrten Philalethae und anderer auserlesene chymische
Tractätlein, ... / Johann
Langen [Übers.]. Wienn : Krauß, 1748. 358 S. ; 8vo
Enthalten: Sehr fürtreflicher chymischer Tractat / Bruder Ferrarius.

They all look like different editions and translations of the same
'Tractatus chemicus'.

You might find additional information in Chr. G. Joecher. Allgemeines
Gelehrten Lexicon ... Revised and corrected by Adelung. There are
recent reprints.

All the best,

Eugene Beshenkovsky



Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999
From: Carl-Michael Edenborg

Dear Adam Simon,

As for Schwaller de Lubicz, I have read a most interesting book,
revealing this esotericist's participation in french racist-protofascist
groups after WWI. I believe the title was something like "Al-Kemi", it
was written by an american who worked with de Lubicz in the sixties.

The trend is obvious: after the last turn-of-the-century, esoterism has
been connected with extreme right-wing politics - christian,
conservative, anti-modern. There are of course great exceptions, like
for example the surrealist interest in alchemy and hermetic thought.

But from the late sixties and on, there are many examples of connections
between ecological, socialist trends and interest in esotericism. See
for example the influential Carolyn Merchant-book: The Death of Nature,
where the feminist author celebrates Paracelsus and the vitalistic
tradition in opposition to modern natural science.

One could also consider the interest in the cabala from many leading
socialist thinkers - see Michael Löwy's book Redemption et Utopie
(1988).


Greetings / C-M Edenborg


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
From: Massimo Marra
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999

>As for Schwaller de Lubicz, I have read a most interesting book,
>revealing this esotericist's participation in french racist-protofascist
>groups after WWI. I believe the title was something like "Al-Kemi", it
>was written by an american who worked with de Lubicz in the sixties.

The book is:

André Vandenbroeck - Al-Kemi, a memoir. Hermetic, Occult, Political and
private Aspects of R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz. 1987 NewYork
Lindisfarne press. ISBN 0-940262-31-2

Best wishes

Massimo Marra


Subject: ACADEMY : The Rose Cross and Phillip Sidney
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999
From: Susanna Åkerman

Dear Michael Martin,

You wrote:

>The Rosicrucians certainly existed before they published,
>though this is a concept many academics find hard to believe
> - as many of them are not thought to exist prior to publication!


I think the question is whether Rosicrucianism prior to 1610 had
crystallized as the legend that it subsequently became. Is it not
with the fiction of Christian Rosencreutz that we can speak of
rosicrucianism?

Before that there existed esoteric teachings, speculations on
the Schechina, the Rose, and a death to the cross and a rejuvenation,
but the fully formulated legend of CRC did not exist and thus did
not focus the mind. I am to look into the Roman de la Rose in
upcoming days and may return with an opinion on the notion of
Rosicrucianism as existing in spirit long before 1610. The question
is how one should look at this prehistory, as incidental or as
essential for forming Rosicrucianism!

Susanna Akerman


Subject: ACADEMY : Kutna Hora, Paracelsus, Mining Laws
From: Jerry Bujas
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999
Dusan Djordjevic Mileusnic wrote:

> The legend says
> that there was a monk, named Antonin, from the nearby monastery
> Sedlec, who found silver on that mountain, and that he wanted to
> inform the abbot about this. In order to find that place for sure
> when he gets back, and to hide the silver, he put on it his
> `kutna`, - cowl, frock, the long robe - , so this means that Kutna Hora
> designates something like the mountain covered with a frock, or cowl. (?)

The word Kutna is spelled with "accent grave" over "a" (Kutna) which
is an adjective derived from an atiquated word "kutat" - to dig.
Kutna Hora is then a "mountain where digging takes place".
Anyway, your interpretation deserves some merit, since it
fits the legend so nicely. But, even if we disregard the accent,
the word "kutna" would then have to assume a different form to
become an adjective, and it still would not designate a mountain
covered with a cowl.

Jerry Bujas


Subject: ACADEMY : The Romance of the Rose-Cross
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999
From: Michael Thomas Martin

Dear Susanna Akerman,

Amen to all of your comments.

Two things that puzzle me as far as pre-1610 dates go are:

1) The "'Ur' "Chemical Wedding" attributed to Andrae from about 1601-02.
Did this document refer to CRC, or was he added later?

2) The date of "1604" which appears on the 'Mons Philosophorum' page of
"Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreutzer..." (1788).
Certainly, this would have been the year of the finding of CRC's
vault. It also coincided with two separate super novas. But, why this
year, especially if CRC is a fictional character? Wouldn't 1610 (or
1614, etc) have served better?

These issues, obviously, are outside of connections, if any, to
"Roman de la Rose" or anything else (Dante) prior to the late
16th century.

Incidentally, does anyone out there suspect Andrae was not the force
he's cracked up to be in Rosicrucianism?

Michael Martin


Subject: ACADEMY : The Romance of the Rose-Cross
Date: 30 Nov 1999
From: Adam McLean

Michael Martin wrote:

> 2) The date of "1604" which appears on the 'Mons Philosophorum'
> page of "Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreutzer..." (1788).

This date appears because this illustration in the 'Geheime
figuren' was actually taken from the early 17th century work -

Alchymia vera, das ist: Der wahren und von Gott hoch gebenedeyten,
Natur gemessen Edlen Kunst Alchimia wahre beschreibung Etliche
kurtze und nützliche Tractatlein zusammen getragen,... Jetzo aber
zum andermal auffgeleget und mit vielen schönen Tractätlein
vermehret und verbessert, durch I. P. S. M. S.
n.p. 1604.

Page 13. Woodcut of 'Mons philosophorum'.


This acted as the frontispiece to a section of this book
presenting a verse in German. That is why the date '1604'
appears on it.

Some years ago I thought the appearance of this item in the
'Geheime figuren' was a reference to the date derived from the
'Fama', but it is probably not so. There are no clearly and definitive
'Rosicrucian' symbols in this illustration which is a obviously a
part of the allegorical emblematic alchemical material of this
period. The author of the 'Geheime figuren' gathered together
many illustrations and texts from diverse writers, many of which
had no connection to what we now identify as 'Rosicrucianism'.
In the late 18th century circles of the Golden and Rosy Cross,
I suspect this was more uncritically accepted.

Adam McLean


Subject: ACADEMY : The Romance of the Rose-Cross
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999
From: Ed Thompson

I've been lurking on this list (as best I can with a dodgy server)
following the Rosicrucian discussion with special interest - I'm
working on a book combining (new) translations of Rosicrucian
manifestos with the responses to them of J.V. Andreae, from the
1618 Invitatio through to his Specimen of 1624.

It seems to me that Susanna Åkerman is absolutely right to
distinguish between the Rosicrucian legend that found expression
around 1610 and the speculations and currents of thought which
came before it. Neither is wholly independent of the other: the
Fama didn't come into being in a vacuum, and it certainly provided
a focus for subsequent discussion and speculation; but that
doesn't justify us lumping them together.

I am happy with the proposition that what might perhaps be
called proto-rosicrucian ideas have a long and distinguished
history, and one which is worth exploring. If only to avoid confusion,
I would resist the idea that 'Rosicrucianism' existed before 1610,
without some sort of footnote defining what the term means in the
discussion. Otherwise, we are on the slippery slopes that lead to
the Priory of Sion, the Holy Grail and other areas ... in which
publication does not make one an academic.

Ed Thompson



Subject: ACADEMY : The Romance of the Rose-Cross
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999
From: Robert Vanloo

Dear Suzanna, Dear Michael,

Thank you for your messages. I do not think it is possible to speak
of "hermetic politics of the Rosicrucians" stricto sensu, but there is
a parallel between the history of the Rose-Cross foundation and
the main events concerning the formation of the Evangelical Union.

"Rose-Cross over the Baltic" presents new interesting facts on the
subject, concerning M. Lotich Pomer particularly, as does the new
book by Roland Edighoffer "Les Rose-Croix et la Crise de Conscience
Européenne au XVIIe siècle", Dervy, Paris, 1998. In this respect, a
careful study of the "Chemycal Weddings" compared to the
"Naometria" proves that the real purpose of the "Weddings" was
not alchemical but mostly prophetical and then political and that, as
in the "Fama", the reference to the Lion of the North is omnipresent.

And when during the third day one sees the unicorn kneeling before
the lion, the heraldic reference to English monarchy serving the German
protestant cause is obvious (remember "Weddings" were composed
in 1605/6 when James I had just become King of England and brought
to the English crown the 2 unicorns present in the coat of arms of
Scotland). In fact the same bestiary is used together in alchemy,
heraldry and Rose-Cross where the symbolism and its signification
all intermingle. Studion puts it clearly in the "Naometria" : the
Unicorn symbolizes the purity of the Evangelical faith and announces
the coming of the Lion, and then he makes a reference to the unicorns
in the arms of England...

Duplessis-Mornay decided also to join the same 2 unicorns in his
own coat of arms which is composed of a lion in majesty... In fact
the seven days of the "Weddings" refer to the seven days of the
Apocalypse and the weddings of the lamb announcing the birth of
the Celestial Jerusalem and the New Church : I explain it in details
in the book to come. It is built on the same model as the poem
"Les Tragiques" by the French Huguenot Agrippa d'Aubigné.

I am convinced that the mythical character of Christian RosenCreutz
in the "Weddings" is well Andreae's invention, even if it existed
"speculations on the Rose" prior to it as Suzanna writes it : Rose of
the Alchemists, Rose of Luther, Rose of Studion (a ciphered rose
appears in the Naometria), Andreae being particularly attentive to
this universal symbol which he also had in his coat of arms. Also
perhaps the Rose of the Rosenberg in Bohemia.

The political exploitation of the myth of Christian RosenCreutz is
the responsability of Moritz of Hessen with the heads of the Union,
Christian von Anhalt, Peter Vok von Rosenberg, etc. Why the "Fama"
was only published in 1614, whereas the manucript was circulating
since 1610/11 is obvious : the document in the Bibliothèque Royale
de Bruxelles shows clearly that this is in relation with the bicentennial of
Jan Hus' martyrdom at Constance, as well as Jerome de Prague
(1414/1415/1416). This is a long story, but I give every evidence in
the book about this, together with the political meaning of all other
dates concerning the mythical life of Christian Rose-Croix...

Robert Vanloo


Subject: ACADEMY : Modern Alchemy and fascism
From: Jose Rodríguez
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999

Dear Catherine,

There is a neo-nazi group called "Nueva Acrópolis" conecting
fascism and esoterical ideas including achemy. It was founded in
Argentina and right now it has headquarters in many countries. It is
a dangerous group and in Spain they have a sect status because
they show sectarian methods and they teach agressive ideas
including racism and scorn against women. Their leader is a man
called Jorge Ángel Livraga Rizzi.

His web site is: http://www.acropolis.org/

In this site you can find some articles on achemy:

"Alquimistas en la Corte de Rodolfo II".
"Arnaldo de Vilanova. Médico, alquimista y visionario".

This sect has published books on alchemy too:
- El Alquimista
- Alquimia y Simbolismo en las Catedrales
- Giordano Bruno

There are interesting texts on his sectarian methods in those
two ULR address:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/1348/ACROPOLIS.html
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Cafe/3627/lasecta.htm

Other references in:

http://moon.act.uji.es/~roc/a12/a12.html
http://moon.act.uji.es/~roc/a12/d16.htm
http://moon.act.uji.es/~roc/a12/es_na.htm
http://moon.act.uji.es/~roc/a12/or_na.htm
http://moon.act.uji.es/~roc/a12/aa12.htm

Jose Rodríguez


Subject: ACADEMY : Early Science and Medicine
From: Jose Rodríguez
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999

Dear members:

I found a reference about a Journal for the Study of Science, Technology
and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period.


Early Science and Medicine

Edited by Hans Thijssen, University of Nijmegen.
Review Editor: Anita Guerrini UC Santa Barbara.
Associate Editor: Christoph Lüthy University of Nijmegen.

Editorial Board: Stefano Caroti Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza,
Brian Cophenhaver UC Los Angeles, Harold C. Cook University of
Wisconsin, Madison, François de Gandt Université Charles de Gaulle,
Lille, Ann Hanson University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michael Hunter
Birbeck College, University of London, Danielle Jacquart École
Pratique, Paris, David C. Lindberg University of Wisconsin, Madison,
Michael R. McVaugh University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, John
E. Murdoch Harvard University, William R. Newman University of
Indiana, Bloomington, John D. North University of Groningen,
Abdelhamid I. Sabra Harvard University, Thomas B. Settle Polytechnic
University of New York, Nancy Siraisi Hunter College, New York,
and Robert S. Westman UC San Diego.

Early Science and Medicine is an international quarterly dedicated to
the history of science, medicine and technology from the earliest times
through to the end of the seventeenth century. The need to treat in a
single journal all aspects of scientific activity and thought before the
eighteenth century is due to two factors: to the continued importance
of ancient sources throughout the Middle Ages and the early modern
period, and to the comparably low degree of specialization and the
high degree of disciplinary interdependence characterizing the
period before the professionalization of science.

The journal, which limits itself to the Western, Byzantine and Arabic
traditions, is particularly interested in emphasizing these elements of
continuity and interconnectedness, and it encourages their diachronic
study from a variety of viewpoints, including commented text editions
and monographic studies of historical figures and scientific questions
or practices. Early Science and Medicine, which contains an
extended book review section, has recently also begun to dedicate
special feature sections to emerging historiographic fields and
methods of research.

The main language of the journal is English, though contributions in
French and German are also accepted.

· (4 issues per year.) February, May, August, November
· ISSN 1383-7427


Are there articles on alchemy in the first four numbers of this journal?
Does anyone knows the index of this articles?

Thanks all.
Jose Rodríguez