This work was published in French inTraitez du Cosmopolite nouvellement decouverts ou apres avoir donne unde idee d'une Societe de Philosophes..., Paris, 1691. This translation by Ebenezar Sibly is found in MS. Ferguson 25. Letters to the Society of Unknown Philosophers.
The Hieroglyphical Seal
of the Society of unknown
Let no man judge this present Character to be invented and erected for us for nothing.
For the Trident is the Neptune of our Parable which comprehends the whole hermetical Science hieroglyphically and compendiously, as well the Theory as the Practice. But that these Mysteries may be well understood we shall proceed in twofold Order geometrical namely by resolution and Composition or analysis and synthesis.
By way of Analysis first the Maxus is to be considered or the Total Unity of the Figure.
2. The Duality, or that Part of Conus or that of the right Pyramids.
3. The Trias, or Triplicity of the sines, or that of the angles, and
4. The Quaternarium of the Lines, and last of all the utmost Points, the Dimension of the whole figure and the Breatdth of the Lines.
Each of them have their cabalistic Significations.
But the way of Synthesis or Composition, the Reversion of the Quaternarius of the Linse, to a Trias takes Place.
Then of the Trias into a Binary of the Cones.
3. That of the Binary into a Monas.
And both Analysis as well as Synthesis do not inelegantly represent as well the first Genesis, viz: the Creation of corporeal Beings; as also the second Genesis viz: the natural Production or Multiplication of the same Things, and lastly also doth it represent the Order which imitating Art doth keep both in its analytic as well as synthetic Method.
And now as concerning the first Genesis, monas, or the Unity of the Total Character, its deform Figure, or, as it were of no Figure because of its ugly Sinuosity, which tends neither to the Figure of a Triangle, neither Square nor yet a Circle, or any other perfect Figure, denotes the characteristical Water, the first corporeal Being, which hath a deform Form and is indifferent to receive any perfect Form. The Duality or Binary of two strait Pyramids, or the two Cones going together, denotes the most remote, active and passive Power of the said [Ens].
The Trias or Triplicity of the Sines (being threefold corroborated and turned and opposite One to the other and so disposed that each makes the immediate and indivisible lateral Part of the Other) signifies the Hylem, Archeus and Azoth which in like manner stand affected and related one to the Other. The Quaternans of strait Lines of Divers Latitude, Position and Term, notion yet mutually conjoined signify the four Elements, their Distinction and Distribution of their first Qualities as well as symbolical as dissymbolical.
Then as to the Retrogradation by Synthesis.
The threefold Conjunction of Lines in their compounded Angles doth spew the Composition of principiated Principles of the first Order, viz: Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury and the Cortion of the Elements and communion, which their dissymbolical Qualities have by means of symbolical.
The Binary of Cones or that of the Pyramids in various Sides and joining together in the Basis do denote the princpiated Principles of the second Order as are Sulphur and Mercury, mas and [Fomina], humidum and calidum.
Lastly the Monas of the total Characters which is drawn from the joined Cones and all coalescing doth represent Mercurium Philosophorum, Aquam chaoticam secundam, or in a Word our universal Spirit.
But the outmost Point which here and there; answer the Conjunction of the Cones do represent the masculine and feminine Seed of all kind of Species.
But the Points in which the Lines mutually do concur and make Angles, those represent the three Families of the infima mixta with their Diversity of Species formed out of the said Seeds.
Now likewise as to the natural Production and Genesis. The Monas of the whole Character, demonstrates the whole Matter, not that fictitious one of the erroneous Schools but of corporeal, sensible and already endowed with some primordial Form, namely that of the simple Elements or principiating Principles, as also represents the princpiated Principles.
The Binary of Cones, shows the real and actual Motion of Action and Passion of all corporeal Beings and the nearest cause of perpetual Corruption and generation. The Trias of the Sines doth prefigurate the Influence of the higher Bodies viz: the Stars and Astra and the continual Reflux of the inferior and confluence of middle Regions, Bodies form the Center of the World, to the Circumference of the whole Corporeal Machine.
The Quaternary of Lines demonstrates the Effluxion of the Elements and the Emission of the quinta Essentia.
But to make a Reflection by Synthesis.
The Triplicity of signs shows the Multiplication of principiated Principles of the first Rank and Order viz: Salt, Sulphur, and Mercurius. The Binary of Cones, is a Type of multiplication of principiated Principles of the second Order, by the Congress of that President.
Lastly the Monas of a Sinous hieroglyphical Characteris an Image of Multiplication as well of primordial Seeds, as that of the Species of both Families of the infima mixta by a threefold Digestion and magisterial concoction and determinated Specification of the universal Spirit.
Likewise in the Analysis and Synthesis touching our Art. The Monas of the Character as a type of the foresaid chaotical water, which is loaded with a confused Bulk of heterogeneous Things out of which he must be brought to Light by means of our Art, of doubled consistency. The Binary of Cones signifies the two substances, coming from the Body of the universal Spirit, by the solution of what is coagulated, but not by division of what is mix'd, to be distinguished.
The Trias of the Lines prefigurates the threefold Temper which the universal Spirit hath acguired viz: Mercurial, Sulphurous, and Saline.
Lastly the Quaternary of Lines denotes the harmony of the four Elements.
Then by an inverse Order, or to proceed again by Synthesis.
The Triplicity of lines describes the three principal Parts of the Magistry, and its Purposes viz: the Solution of the Body, the Coagulation of the Spirit, and the Union of the Body, Soul, and Spirit and that by means of Digestion. The Binary of joined Pyramids do depaint the Specification of the Magistry, by Solution and Coagulation as well for the Red and White Elixirs.
But the Position of the most outward Points designs the Projection of the Elixir upon divers Qualities of divers other Bodies and an actual Transmutation of imperfect Forms to a most perfect One, either of a more noble Species or again of a seminal Substance.