Mylius 'Philosophia Reformata' seriesJohann Daniel Mylius, Philosophia reformata..., Frankfurt 1622, has three series of emblems. The first shown here with 28 emblems, is unique to Mylius, the second series is a reworking of the 20 emblems of the Rosarium philosophorum sequence, and the third is a re-engraved version of the Azoth series of Basil Valentine (13 images).
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Emblem 1. In a deep valley between two mountains, a naked woman with a Moon head stands nursing a solar headed child at her breast. Her body is enveloped in the globe of the Earth, and she stands with her feet immersed in a lake or channel of water that runs between the two mountains. On top of the leftmost mountain a salamander stands in a blazing fire, while on the top of the rightmost hill, is a birds nest. On bird sits on the nest while the other is about to fly off into the air.
Emblem 2. Four woman or goddesses stand balancing upon spheres which bear the symbols of the four Elements - from left to right Earth, Water, Air and Fire. They balance upon their heads flaming flasks. Inside each of these flasks a symbol is seen - from left to right , a dark man, a seed sprouting(?), a bird with wings outstretched as if about to fly off, and a lion's head. Each of these women stand with hands upon their hips except for the woman-goddess upon the Water globe with the seed flask on her head, for she is pointing with her left hand to the earth below.
Emblem 3. Upon a radiant globe of light figures of the Sun and Moon are seated back-to-back, the Sun on the left. The Sun-headed figure holds out in his right hand a double flask, in the upper part of which is a king with sceptre, while in the lower is a black bird (a crow or raven). The Moon-headed woman holds out a double flask in her left hand, the topmost sphere of which contains a white swan, while the lower has a peacock. She points to this lower sphere with her right forefinger. Within the radiant sphere of light is a three headed snake. To the left is a stump of a tree which is regenerating showing forth a few new leaves, while to the right is a fully mature tree.
Emblem 4. Within a cavern in the side of a mound or hill a winged dragon lives in a blaze of fire and flames. On the right a bearded philosopher stands and points to the dragon, while to the left an armoured knight Is about to shoot an arrow at the dragon with his bow. On the hill above a Lion lies, and seven plants grow out of the hill.
Emblem 5. Calcination. On the left an alchemist bearing tongs attends a square furnace from the top of which flames and smoke emerge. On the right below a window a Sun-headed man and a Moon-headed woman sit at a table flanking an old bearded man with wings, whose hands are raised seemingly in blessing. On the table two flowers possibly roses grow out of a triangular crucible. In the foreground in front of the table A lion is in the act of devouring a snake.
Emblem 6. Solutio. On the right, a man naked except for a lonincloth stands in a nimbus of flaming fire pointing with both hands to a receiving flask set into the side of a large square furnace. On the left a lion is in act of devouring a sun disc in the air. In the centre a woman stands, holding up in her left hand a plant with seven roses, while she points to the ground below the lion with her right forefinger.
Emblem 7. Separation. A winged Hermes or Mercury stands upon a pair of wings, between the Sun disc on the left and Moon disc on the left. In each hand he holds a caduceus. On the left is an armed warrior or knight with sword and shield (probably a Mars figure). On the right is a female figure holding a bird in her left hand - a hawk or eagle. She points to the earth with her right hand and is probably a Diana-Moon figure.
Emblem 8. Conjunction. Under a heavy shower of rain falling from a layer of cloud under a rainbow, arching between Sun and Moon, a couple are being married by another man, their hands being linked together. On the right a man with a trident (possibly a Neptune figure) walks away from this scene looking backwards at the couple. On the left is a circular furnace, on the top of which two male heads are fused together to form a double spout with two collecting flasks. This double-faced form emits flames from the top of its head.
Emblem 9. Putrefaction. On top of a flaming black globe stands a skeleton, which holds a black crow in its right hand. On each side of this is a winged angel, both of which point to the black globe. In the heavens above, on the left is the Sun and on the right the Moon. In the lower foreground is a regenerating tree stump.
Emblem 10. Four Grades (of Fire). Four women with solar heads sit at a table. In the sky above are two winds blowing towards four flaming flasks set above the zodiac with its signs. Three of the woman seated at the table point to their heads. In front of them on the table are the symbols of Aries the Ram, Scorpio the Scorpion and Libra the Scales. The other woman points to her symbol Capricorn the Goat.
Emblem 11. Congelation. On the left stand three figures - a mature king, a young man, and an old winged man. The old man points to the ground, the young man gestures upwards, while the king seems to point to the right, where an alchemist works at a furnace, tending the fire. On top of the furnace is a long necked flask within which is a small serpent or snake.
Emblem 12. Cibation. Three birds sit upon a flaming downward pointing triangle. In the left top vertex of this triangle is the Sun, in the right top vertex, the Moon, while at the bottom vertex is a woman in a nimbus of fire nursing her child and seated on a crescent moon. At the centre of the triangle is a winged dragon.
Emblem 13. Sublimation. On the left, a king holds a sceptre in his left hand and a phoenix bird rising from its fiery pyre in his right hand. On the right, a queen stands holding a swan in her right hand and pointing with her left to a square built furnace in the foreground, on top of which is a threefold flask. On the left of this furnace is a flaming triangular crucible, beside which a dragon emerges from a cave in the earth. On the right of the furnace is a plant with three flowers, one a Sun, one a Moon and the other a Star, which an old man with a scythe is about to cut down (possibly a Saturn-Chronos figure). On the right is a tree with five Sun fruits in its branches.
Emblem 14. Fermentation. A man scatters seed upon a furrowed field with his right hand. On the ground lie a Sun-headed figure and a Moon-headed figure, their feet pointing in opposite directions. From the right a winged angel flows upon trumpet and caries a sceptre over her left shoulder.
Emblem 15. Exaltation. On a raised platform with five steps a King and Queen are seated between a tree with Sun, Moon and five stars of the planets The King holds a sceptre in his right hand and gestures to the Queen, who points with her left hand to a strange double-bodied lion with fused head which stands at the bottom of the steps, its mouth disgorging a stream of liquid. Six other lions stand on the steps to the left and there are a further six lions on the steps on the right.
Emblem 16. Multiplication. A Queen rides upon a lioness, which is nourishing four lions cubs at its breast. The Queen holds up in her left hand a disc within which a pelican is seen nourishing its young on its own blood.
Emblem 17. A woman with five stars of the planets around her head, and accompanied by the Sun and the Moon walks across a sea or lake. The Suin points to his head with his left hand, while the Moon points to the water below with her right. From the four corners, four winds blow in towards the centre.
Emblem 18. In a cave under a hill are the Gods of the seven planets. In the front the Moon, Sun and Venus are seated, while behind them Jupiter, Mars Saturn and Mercury stand on four low mounds. At the feet of the Gods are the symbols of the Zodiacal signs they rule. At each corner is a sphere of fire.
Emblem 19. Within a circle of stars a man on the left stands on a Sun, while on the right a woman stands on a Moon. Together they support an Earth globe within which is a triangle, within that a square, and inside that a circle. The Sun and Moon shine down from the corners outside the circle of stars, and the Moon at the woman's feet, and the Sun at the man's feet each casts a shadow.
Emblem 20. A winged old man sits warming himself in front of a fire. At his feet a Sun-headed boy and a moon-headed girl child play.
Emblem 21. A winged old man standing beside a forest is approached by a woman running from a wild dog or wolf
Emblem 22. Two women are washing clothes. Water is being heated on a furnace and poured into a large wooden tub. Theres are seven vessels in all in in this emblem.
Emblem 23. A crowned lion and a winged crowned lioness are fighting for supremacy.
Emblem 24. A King stands on the left holding a sceptre in his right hand, while a woman stands on the right holding a three blossomed lily branch in her right hand. In the air between them are two black birds or crows, the lower one upside down and the higher upright. Beside the King is a regenerating tree stump.
Emblem 25. An old man leans on a large cubic stone or square built furnace, inside of which two flasks are joined at their necks. A bird is seen inside of each flask.
Emblem 26. Hermes-Mercury stands on the left with his caduceus in his right hand, beside a large furnace, on top of which three long necked flasks are placed. On the right a Lion rampant stands beside the furnace.
Emblem 27. A warrior with sword and shield, perhaps a Mars figure, stands on the left and beholds a woman nursing her child at her breast, behind which is a cornfield of ripe grain. A male and a female child play around her skirts, the boy holds out a fruit to her, perhaps an apple.
Emblem 28. A woman sits at a table which is covered in coins. Three poor people approach her holding out begging bowls.