Sunday, 17 February 2019

Franckenberg's 'Tetrachord' (and other geometry)

In Franckenberg's 'Key to the House of David', which I posted before, there's the following comment near the beginning:
"if you know in advance the Tetrachord or Quadriga of Apollo, then you will understand more easily and more happily without doubt, the science of  מרכבה (Merkabah), the Chariot of Isra-El"
For now I want to deal with his "tetrachord", the Quadriga of Apollo. Tetrachord is a combination of: 

  • tetra; meaning 4, 4 "of something" 
  • chord; from Greek chordon meaning "string" or "note", and the latin chorda, meaning bowstring

In music, a tetrachord is a series of 4 notes (which could be represented by 4 strings of different lengths, or 1 string divided into 4 parts. It should be noted that in modern

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Adrian von Mynsicht - Aureum Saeculum Redivivum (The Golden Age Restored) [1622]


Adrian von Mynsicht (1603–1638) was a German Paracelsian medical doctor and alchemist. Otherwise known as Henricus or Hinricus Madathanus, Adrian Seumenicht or Sümenicht, Hadrianus a Mynsicht, Hadrianus a Munsicht, Hadrian Mynsicht; it has been suggested by some researchers that his real name was Adrian Seumenicht, with Hadrianus a Munsicht derived as anagram. ("Harmannus Datichus", mentioned in the following text, is also an anagram of the same.) Madathanus refers to himself as "Dei Gratia Aurea Crucis Frater" or
"by the Grace of God Brother of the Golden Cross".

Friday, 20 July 2018

John Heydon - The Rosie Crucian Prayer to God (1662)

This prayer was included in John Heydon's 'The Holy Guide', first published in 1662.

The Rosie Crucian Prayer to God.

Jesus Mihi Omnia.

Oh Thou everywhere and good of All, whatever I do, remember, I beseech Thee, that I am but Dust, but as a Vapour sprung from Earth, which even the smallest Breath can scatter; Thou hast given me a Soul, and Laws to govern it; let that Eternal Rule, which thou didst first appoint to sway Man, order me; make me careful to point at thy Glory in all my wayes; and where I cannot rightly know Thee, that not only my understanding, but my ignorance may honour thee.

Thou are All that can be perfect; Thy Revelation hath made me happy; be not angry, O Divine One, O God the most high Creator, if it please thee, suffer these revealed Secrets, Thy Gifts alone, not for my praise, but to thy Glory, to manifest themselves.

I beseech thee most gracious God, they may not fall into the hands of ignorant envious persons, that cloud these truths to thy disgrace, saying, they are not lawful to be published, because what God reveals, is to be kept secret. But Rosie Crucian Philosophers lay up this Secret in to the bosome of God, which I have presumed to manifest clearly and plainly. I beseech the Trinity, it may be printed as I have written it, that the Truth may no more be darkened with ambiguous language.

Oh stream thy Self into my Soul, and flow it with thy Grace, thy Illumination, and thy Revelation. Make me to depend on Thee: Thou delightest that Man should account Thee as his King, and not hide what Honey of Knowledge he hath revealed.

I cast my self as an honourer of Thee at thy feet. O establish my confidence in Thee, for thou art the fountain of all bounty, and canst not but be merciful, nor canst thou deceive the humbled Soul that trusts Thee: And because I cannot be defended by thee, unless I live after thy Laws, keep me, O my Souls Soveraign, in the obedience of thy Will, and that I wound not my Conscience with vice, and hiding thy Gifts and Graces bestowed upon me; for this I know will destroy me within, and make thy Illuminating Spirit leave me: I am afraid I have already infinitely swerved from the Revelation of that Divine Guide, which thou hast commanded to direct me to the Truth; and for this I am a sad Prostrate and Penitent at the foot of thy Throne; I appeal only to the abundance of thy Remissions.

O my God, my God, I know it is a mysterie beyond the vast Souls apprehension, and therefore deep enough for Man to rest in safely. O thou Being of Beings, cause me to work myself to thee, and into the receiving armes of thy paternal Mercies throw myself. For outward things I thank thee, and such as I have I give to others, in the name of the Trinity freely and faithfully, without hindering any thing of what was revealed to me, and experienced to be no Diabolical Delusion or Dream, but the Adjectamenta of thy richer Graces; the Mines and deprivation are both in thy hands.

In what thou hast given me I am content.

Good God ray thy self into my Soul, give me but a heart to please thee, I beg no more then thou hast given, and that to continue me, uncontemnedly and unpittiedly honest.

Save me from the Devil, Lusts, and Men, and for those fond dotages of Mortality, which would weigh down my Soul to Lowness and Debauchment; let it be my glory (planting my self in a Noble height above them) to contemn them.

Take me from my self, and fill me but with thee.

Sum up thy blessings in those two, that I may be rightly good and wise; And these for thy eternal Truths sake grant and make grateful.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Pretiosissimum Donum Dei (The Most Precious Gift of God) [Early 15th C.]

The Pretiosissium Donum Dei, or "Most Precious Gift of God" is a classic early alchemical text, and includes a well-known image sequence. Dozens of versions of the Donum Dei exist in manuscript form, dating to the 15th century. The sequence is known under other names, often with different text - usually elucidations from pseudonoymous authors like Thomas Aquinas and Arnoldus.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Abraham von Franckenberg - The Key to the House of David (1646) [beta]

This is an Appendix of Abraham von Franckenberg's publication [1646] of Guillaume Postel's 'Absconditorum clavis, ou La Clé des choses cachées et l'Exégèse du Candélabre mystique dans le tabernacle de Moyse' [The Key of Secrets, or, The Key of Hidden Things and the Exegesis of the Mystic Candelabra in the tabernacle of Moses.], first published by Postel in 1547. Franckenberg served as the Editor, and added several appendixes, of which "The Key of David" is one. In the text below, Franckenberg is the "Editor", and Postel is the "Author". 

In latin, the opening greeting is "Salve Philomysta". Philomysta doesn't seem to exist elsewhere, and is probably a combination of Philo (philosophy) and "mysta", which translates to "deacon", "priest", and other variations through it's connection to "magister sacrorum". A more literal translation would be "Officiating Priest of Philosophy".

Translation and diagram are my own. 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Hunting of the GREENELYON


ALL haile to the noble Companie
Oftrue Students in holy Alchimie,
Whose noble practise doth hem teach
To vaile their secrets with mistie speach;
Mought yt please your worshipfulnes
To heare my silly soothfastnes,
Of that practise which I have seene,
In hunting of the Lyon Greene:

The Geometrical Order of the World - beta

This was originally going to be a post of the diagrams from Otto Van Veen's "Physicae et Theologicae Conclusiones" (1621), but I found an old paper, "The Geometrical Order of the World: Otto Van Veen's Physicae et Theologicae Conclusiones" by Christoph Geissmar (known nowadays as Dr. Christoph Geissmar-Brandi), published in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Volume 56, 1993. The author notes that the "conception of this paper was made possible by a Frances A. Yates fellowship at the Warburg Institute."

In the paper, Geissmar-Brandi provides a paraphrasing of the latin text that accompanies each diagram (each considered a "chapter"). This is this basis for the english explanations included below - they have only been slightly edited to fit this format. After the 20 chapters, Geissmar-Brandi provides some comparisons to other works of Van Veen, and those of Kepler and Jacob Boehme, parts of which I will include at the end as well.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Zeus and the Sky-Pillar (The Elysian Way)

The word elysion, which thus signifies both the spot struck by lightning and the abode of the divinised dead, is presumably related to elysie, a ' way' The term is remarkable, and its applicability is not at once clear. We must suppose that the Greeks recognised a definite ' way ' from earth to heaven, along which those honoured by the summons of Zeus might pass. This conception would at least square with certain Pindaric phrases. In a context of Pythagorean import the poet tells how —

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio - Book IX of De Architecture

"Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born c. 80–70 BC, died after c. 15 BC), commonly known as Vitruvius or Vitruvi or Vitruvio, was a Roman author, architect, civil engineer and military engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled De architectura. His discussion of perfect proportion in architecture and the human body, led to the famous Renaissance drawing by Da Vinci of Vitruvian Man." 


English translation by Morris Morgan (1914).  Headings are changed to reflect the chapters in the Latin versions. Images are from several 16th century Latin publications (1511, 1523, 1567).

Monday, 13 June 2016

Biography of Ramon Llull (1232-1316)

Image Source: Wikipedia
Source: "Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Volume 8" by Charles Coulston Gillispie (Ed.)
LULL, RAMON (b. Ciutat de Mallorques [now Palma de Mallorca], ca. 1232; d. Ciutat de Mallorques [?], January/March [?] 1316), polymathy.
A Catalan encyclopedist, Lull invented an "art of finding truth" which inspired Leibniz's dream of a universal algebra four centuries later. His contributions to science are understandable only when examined in their historical and theological context. The son of a Catalan nobleman of the same name who participated in the reconquest of Mallorca from the Moors, Lull was brought up with James the Conqueror's younger son (later crowned James 11 of Mallorca), whose seneschal he became. About six years after his marriage to Blanca Picany (1257) he was converted from a courtly to a religious way of life, following a series of visions of Christ crucified. He never took holy orders (although he may have become a Franciscan tertiary in 1295), but his subsequent career was dominated by three religious resolutions: to become a missionary and attain martyrdom, to establish colleges where missionaries would study oriental languages, and to provide them with "the best book[s] in the world against the errors of the infidel."{1}