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1  ALCHEMY AS EXECUTED BY MOSES - AND STILL PRACTISED IN MUCH LATER TIMES
- evt. praktisk at kunne læse teksten off-line
¤ Aspiranten Magazine, (Norway), no. 20, May 2008, pp. 11-17 - feature:
Alchemy's Mysteries - by Moses,
Tycho Brahe, Newton, and Jung
By  OVE VON SPAETH


Why did Moses order the Israelites to drink gold dust - from the mysterious Golden Calf of Egypt's gold? A profound knowledge about such circumstances appears as relating to the 'Egyptian wisdom gold' which Moses took with him out of Egypt.
          From the alchemists' opus - their personally integrated working process to refine metals - the mysterious gold dust is known. It was also called panacea and supposed to be a universal remedy that was to cure all diseases.
 

Alchemy and Magic Behind the Idea About the Golden Calf?

In ancient history a somewhat mysterious subject, alchemy, is frequently to be met. Alchemy is known as a philosophical and spiritual as well as physical discipline, all as parts of the occult traditions of magic, initiation, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, etc. The aim was known as achieving ultimate wisdom as well as immortality, including the improvement of the alchemist's personal development as well as producing different substances often described as possessing unusual abilities.
          One of the earliest reported incidents related to the concept of alchemy is to be found in the Bible's narrative on Moses. After having received the "holy text" on the tablets Moses went down the Mount Sinai and saw a festival held for the Golden Calf. According to the account he was now equipped with horns, worn on his head - like the Golden Calf - an appearance which, all things considered, may have been a particular disguise in connection with a mystery cultic initiation act. According to an alternative, also correct translation it meant that 'his face was shining/radiating', a quality normally connected with the gods who with exactly this expanded significance were thus depicted wearing horns.
          The very casting process of the Golden Calf - which was carried out by Aaron, Moses' close colleague - was understood in antiquity as related to magic, thus with alchemist marks:  the cultic religious act as well as the ritually connected treating of precious metals.
          The history of alchemy has become an extensive academic field. As the obscure Hermetic language of the alchemists was gradually decoded the historians became more aware of the intellectual connections between the discipline of alchemy and other facets of history of culture, especially the evolution of:  - a)  philosophy (the constituents of the universe, biology, and the relations in psychology),  - b)  spiritual insight (the inner meaning of alchemical work as a spiritual path), and  - c)  the exact sciences (medicine, chemistry, and metallurgy). Let this be sufficient as survey while the whole concept being rather complexed.

          According to the Rabbinical Writings the practical part of the casting process of the Golden Calf was entrusted with Korah, he was a cousin to the high priest and magician expert Aaron. - Later, Korah started a revolt against Moses, who then used a magic alchemical effect to punish Korah and his helpers by letting some fire bowls (censer) explode in their hands (cf. the Bible's "Book of Numbers", chapter 16).
          The Rabbinical Writings say that originally Korah was one of the pharaoh's tax managers. Later a famous branch of his descendants, i.e. the Kohatit clan, was supervisors and door-keepers of taxes and inventory of the Jerusalem Temple. Korah knew about gold handling and mining, i.e. in exact coherence with conditions especially of the 18th and 19th Dynasties of Egypt (1500-1100 BC): here the pharaonic treasurers also worked with gold coating and melting of gold. According to the Rabbinical Writings and the Quran, Korah was incredibly rich, actually the capitalist of the Israelite camp.
          In connection with the Golden Calf episode, the Rabbinical Writings mention a revolt in the camp, and that Korah was among the men behind this. Apparently he used a secret knowledge related to the Golden Calf against Moses.
          Through ages many readers of the Bible have found it mysterious that Aaron was not punished for producing the Golden Calf. Also, when almost all Israelites of the camp were punished by being denied access to Canaan this included even the Levites, although they did not participate in the cultic episode around the Golden Calf. It is also a mystery that according to "Exodus" (32:20) one of the so-called punishments was to drink gold dust:
                    "... (Moses) took the calf which they had made, and burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. ..."
          Could it be that this was - in reality - a part of an alchemist activity? Alchemist texts are well known in great, ancient culture countries, e.g. Babylonia, India, and China, but the oldest traditional alchemist texts are Egyptian. The name alchemy means 'from Egypt' (kemet). In the past some advanced techniques existed in certain fields. In Babylonia archaeologists have found and recognized simple "electric batteries" - now exhibited in many ethnographic museums - and the items were actually used for electrolytic coating of genuine gilding of metal objects (which have been retrieved too).
 




Egyptian gold- and metal workers.

 


The Golden Calf is Well-known by Archaeologists

Many scholars consider the whole account of Moses, the exodus from Egypt, and the Golden Calf as being a myth invented 1000 years after the era in which Moses is assumed to have lived. However, archaeologists have found several Gold Calves in Israel - from exactly the era of Moses. These Gold Calves are excavated at those defined places where the Bible precisely mentions that the people with Gold Calf cult had settled down.
          In the Bible's "Book of Judges" (18:11-31) is mentioned that the Dan tribe's worship of the Golden Calf was maintained until 700 BC, making this custom to continue by a priest who was an immediate descendant of Moses. This priest, Jonathan, is among the three members of his family mentioned in the Bible after the invasion. A group of the Dan tribe and the same priest left the Jaffa area at the coast when being under pressure from the neighbouring Philistines. So they moved north to Leshem (Laish) in central Lebanon. They conquered this city and re-named it Dan and introduced their cult of the Golden Calf.
          In different Israelite places there have been excavated small figures of bull calves or young bulls cast in bronze. These Golden Calve-figures have been dated to 1400-1200 BC. One of these, now exhibited at the Museum of Israel in Jerusalem, was found in Samaria at a cultic site close to the very ancient road between Dothan and Tizah. Here the outdoor cultic worshipping took place - like it did with the Golden Calf at Sinai. (more about the Golden Calf and Moses: chap. 8 in Ove von Spaeth's book, "The Secret Religion").
          Another Golden Calf has been found in Northern Israel at a temple construction in Hazor, 25 km south of the city of Dan. Both of the Golden Calves are mentioned in the article of Amihai Mazar: "Bronze Bull Found in Israelite 'High Place'," Biblical Archaeology Review (vol. 9, no. 5, 1983, pp. 34-40). High Place is the normal expression for 'holy site for carrying out sacrifices'.
          From excavations in the Israelite and the Philistine areas carried out by a Harvard University team and with American archaeologist Lawrence E. Stager as the leader, a hitherto 'secret' find of a Golden Calf was published in July 27th, 1990. It had been dug out in June by his assistant Rachel Starck. It was found underneath the city gate in the seaport of antiquity, Ashqelon (19 km north of Gaza).
          This Golden Calf is 12.5 cm long ("Time Magazine", 6th August 1990) and cast of gold upon bronze and silver - and is the world's most ancient cultic object with precious metal. The site of the find is precisely in the Dan tribe's ancient Palestine coastal area which during the changing times also had belonged to the Philistines and later the Judah tribe. The dating is 1500-1400 BC - and thus the time of Moses.


The Golden Calf of the Danas - and the Druzic Golden Calf of Present Times

It is absolutely amazing that today a cult of the Golden Calf is still in existence and is practised exactly at the mentioned central area of south Lebanon among the Druzes. However, attention seems not to have been paid to any coherence.
          The Druze sect is a special branch of the Shia-Muslim religion and observes other traditions and also elements from ancient mystery cults too, as well as Gnosticism, neo-Platonism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, and a the idea of reincarnation.
          In Israel and Lebanon, the Druzes, who claim to be of non-Arab origin, have maintained traditions relating to the Golden Calf. These customs are part of the secret rituals of the sect and are managed by the Druze religious and secular leader, head of the leading family, which is the powerful Yomblat clan - this according to the informative treatise of Philip K. Hitti, i.e. "The Origins of the Druze People and Their Religion", Columbia University Oriental Studies (vol. 28, New York 1928).
          Once a year - during a special cultic ceremony, members of the Druze Sect take out from a silver box the figure of a Golden Calf, says William B. Seebrook, the American Anthropologist, in his report, "The Golden Calf of the Druzes", "Asia" (New York, March,1926, pp. 220-227, 250-253).
          Their figure is made out as a small statue of a golden bull and the size is less than that of a small cat, i.e. almost the same size as the figures of golden calves found in Ashqelon and at Dan in Lebanon - again, as mentioned, exactly and in particular in places inhabited by the Dan tribe, which carried on the cult of the Golden Calf.
 

Connected With the Sky

Apis, the holy bull of Egypt, was the herald of Ptah, the creating god, a special channel to the earthly sphere. Priests took omens of the movements of Apis in order to predict the future, e.g. according to which of the two boxes Apis chose to enter; or Apis was able to send oracle dreams to a person sleeping in the Apis Temple. Apis bulls were selected early, i.e. when they were half bull half calf.
          When worshipped in the temples in Heliopolis, Ptah was also the god for the alchemists. Also bulls, oxen, and cows of the Egyptian mythology, and in several other mythologies, were in antiquity connected with the sky and the stars. Likewise, the alchemy was strongly connected to star knowledge.
          Ox or bull cults were not always especially fertility cults - in contrary to what was early suggested by researchers - and not an expression of "materialism"! This in contrary to what was ascribed, much later in history, to a deceptive "symbolism as the worship of the golden calf" - a stupid cliché. Neither the narrative nor the remaining part of the Bible suggests such at all!
          In fact the relation is quite the opposite, as the Israelites voluntarily handed over the gold items and jewellery, captured or stolen in Egypt, in order to obtain the casting of the Golden calf. Later in the Bible the Golden Calf symbolizes "giving up" of the right knowledge.


Alchemy Known Far Back in History

Was alchemy really known in the time of Moses 3,500 years ago? In fact, it was known even further back in antiquity - alchemy has been known as long man have been able to melt metals.
          In the Bible's books named "Job", "Isaiah", and "Malachi" and others, several alchemist expressions can be seen. In "Daniel" 2:31-33 a dream is interpreted, it was dreamt by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar - and had a strongly significant motive appearing with a giant figure of a man consisting of gold, silver, copper, iron and clay.
           In the alchemist tradition Abraham is called "the first great alchemist" - and Miriam, Moses' so-called sister, is called the first female alchemist. In fact, she seems to have been a famous Jewish female alchemist in Egypt's main city Alexandria in the Ptolemaic era, a time of much interest for magic and alchemy - and here especially the 1,400 years elder Moses' name was invoked on magical amulets and cited in magical papyri, by Jews and non-Jewish scholars.
          Alchemy was understood not only as means for producing gold. The precious metal was among initiated persons often considered a significant by-product only - while the very process was meant to function as a parallel aid process for "mentally alchemical" cleansing and refinement of the person who was deeply personally involved in working with the process.
          A profound knowledge about these conditions was to be perceived behind the "wisdom gold of Egypt". And the mentioned gold dust is known from the opus of the alchemist, i.e. person's performing a current process in which - after the albedo phase with silver - gold dust appears in the work's last and highest phase, the rubedo.
          The gold dust produced in this way is in alchemy also called (gold)panacea which was believed to be a universal remedy being able to cure all illnesses, and extremely prolong life, especially when the gold had been made drinkable (aurum potabile).
 

From Alchemy to Medicine

Medicine was in fact an alchemist spin-off. It was used by famous doctors like Greek Galénos (Galen), and later by Arabic Avicenna. Later in Europe the Danish pioneer astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) occupied as many as 16 alchemist furnaces in his star observatory (alchemy was closely related to star knowledge) on the island of Hven, from where he distributed free medicine for ill people.
          Prior to this, the Swiss doctor and alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541) had renewed the old tradition of doctors and founded the iatro or biochemical science - and invented chemo-therapy, for instance by using alchemist "tools", mercury, against syphilis. Paracelsus' admirers mention gold dust as a cure, a "gold cure" also used today professionally against rheumatism.
          There may be an entire idealism behind the fact that Moses had the Israelites drink the alchemist "all curing" remedy, i.e. panacea, made by the magic gold dust of the Golden Calf, which symbolized the wisdom gold of Egypt.
          Rather than a punishment it can be symbolically understood as a remedy for creating a special state of the entire Israelite group mentioned in the Books of Pentateuch to become "... as a kingdom of Levites…." - a people established in a religious way (Levites were of those Israelites who could be initiated as priests). The prophet Malachi (3:3) says in an alchemical way that Yahweh at the "melting pot" "... purifies the sons of Levi like gold and silver. ..."

                   

The Egyptians' Apis-bulls were chosen quite early when between calf and young bull.
Right: Golden calf, 15th century BC (Moses' era), found 1990 in Ashqelon, the Dan-tribe's coastal area.
 

Sidetop


Moses as Alchemist - Well-known among Scholars of Antiquity

In manuscripts from the Alexandrian era, Moses is also mentioned as an alchemist equal to King Solomon and to the famous female alchemist also known as the Jewess Maria (Miriam). Influenced by contemporary mystery cults "the sister of Moses" can be seen added to her name, and Moses can be seen in comparison with Hermes Trismegistos, the personified epitome of Egyptian alchemy.
          One reason for this can be found in the perception that the Egyptians had taught Moses alchemy - and later at Sinai the Qainites did so; like the Medianites they were experts in handling metals.
          Generally, among the ancient descriptions, in which Moses is mentioned as an alchemist, it seems that none of them refers to episodes of the biblical Moses narrative which contains obvious alchemist characteristics.
          One of these biblical episodes is the narrative (Exodus 32:20) about the Golden Calf which by order of Moses was destroyed to pieces and then pulverized, after which the gold dust was mixed into the drinking water for the Israelites. The incident is mentioned as a punishment - and that is a peculiarity.
          In alchemy this kind of "consumption" of gold is known as the special phase rubedo of an alchemist process. Such process may have been introduced to the Israelites as a symbolic action, which also demonstrates detailed knowledge of alchemy reaching further back than hitherto known regarding ancient Egyptian and Babylonian tradition.

          When alchemy was known for leading to a special kind of medicine production, thus there also could be produced substances aiming at an opposite reaction, i.e. provoking of illness. In another other episode, Aaron and Moses participated in the preparation of one of the "ten plagues of Egypt" mentioned in the "Book of Exodus" (9:8-11) and they were thus instructed:
                    "... Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beasts ... And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; and the boil was upon all the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. ..."
          Chemical processes producing a special chemical material must have taken place in the furnace. It must have been dangerous, as the pulverized material spread in the atmosphere and caused what seems like real infectious abscesses and blisters among the Egyptians and their cattle.
          An alternative explanation might be that secretly and under cover of the night Moses had his many agents poison the most important wells with a rapidly infectious remedy - and then participate in the mentioned performance in order to give the impression that he might have been the reason for the epidemic. Whatever the method, the goal was achieved.


A Philosophical and Spiritual Discipline

At the European Universities in the Middle Ages and Renaissance astrology as a philosophical system was a subject for prescribed studies - first and foremost in order to better understand the philosophers of antiquity who dealt with these matters.
          Regarding the concepts and goals of alchemy, it was a philosophical system intended to be practiced with intensive devotion and a profoundly integral approach to reality. In some ways alchemy is akin to Buddhism which is also a kind of applied and practical system with philosophical premises and intended for spiritual advancement.

          The work by the alchemists included dealing with carefully selected plants - e.g. together with "influenced" water, i.e. dew collected in the mornings at certain times of the year. Also by this
herbal medicine the "spagyrical" art was in action, an expression the alchemists used as connected with to "separate and to join together" (solve et coagula).
          In addition, the alchemists worked much for that the process should result with the "philosopher's stone", lapis philosophorum, a legendary product which, when pulverized, was included in the process of transmuting common metals into gold - as well as contributing to creating the panacea


Alchemy - Practised by the Rosicrucians and Astrologers

In the 1100-1300's, the heyday of the Knights Templar, they were believed to have adopted a special knowledge handed down from biblical and old Oriental tradition, including Egypt. When all of a sudden they were persecuted and disappeared from history, many parts of the ancient knowledge and treasures could be found kept or preserved at other fraternities - e.g. the Scottish Order - and the Portuguese Order of Christ, where Prince Henrique O Navigador was Grand Master, or other societies to which many escaped Knights Templar were admitted.
          Devotees of the old Egyptian-Oriental knowledge of the "Corpus Hermeticum", the ancient work of Hermes Trismegistus, are called Hermetics. When the Hermetical and alchemistic orientated Tycho Brahe deduced auguries from astrology about Europe and wrote about these in his "De nova stella" (1573), he also placed the Bible - in the Hermetics' way - into an non-ecclesiastical and greater cohesion.

          Many others were inspired by the ideas in "Corpus Hermeticum". Thus the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons included in their systems this work's special impression together with the interest of the still so mysterious Egyptian wisdom.
          In the Renaissance, "Fama", a famous book on the philosophical knowledge of the Rosicrucians, also informs about Christian Rosenkreuz or Rosenkreutz (1378-1484), the founder of the society, that he was studying in the Orient: alchemy and the "secrets of the universe", as well as the metaphysical text(s) of Hermes Trismegistus, i.e. "Corpus Hermeticum". And in Morocco he studied with Oriental Jews, who had maintained secret traditions, e.g. the Kabbalah in a pure form.
          The "Fama" was printed in 1614 in the German town of Kassel, the residence of Prince Mouritz of Hesse; he knew Tycho Brahe, who had visited his father here, the previous prince, with whom he had an extensive co-operation and correspondence about astronomy and alchemy. Also Michael Maier, a well-known German doctor, published a number of texts on alchemy knowledge, when he was employed at the court of the Prince of Hesse.

          Many charlatans have tried on practicing some of the secrete teachings, in particular the alchemy, but also some mysterious cases are known and have not been seen explained as illusion and fraud: the so-called forever young Count of Saint Germain. Voltaire himself wrote wrote about him, "... a person who does not die and who knows everything ...". When finally he died after all - accidentally in 1784 during an unfortunate poison research - it took place still at this house of Princes, now ruled by Carl of Hesse.
          In England, Sir Francis Bacon was inspired by the Rosicrucian knowledge. And Robert Fludd (1574-1637), an Oxford educated doctor, who became the philosophical heir to John Dee, Queen Elizabeth I’s court astrologer, published in 1616 a defense for the Rosicrucians (whom Fludd - as being a Hermetist - could support). In this he emphasized: that they were the true Christians and the spiritual descendants of Hermes Trismegistus.

 



Alchemists' retort-oven, a version from the Renaissance.

 
 
Alchemy, Newton - and Tycho Brahe's Earthly Astrology


Great scientists as Tycho Brahe and Isaac Newton were also seriously occupied with astrology and alchemy.
          Tycho Brahe stated that he had spend as much time for the stars as he had spend for the alchemy which he called "the earthly astronomy" - a special art of science which later also Newton intensively attended to.


Was Isaac Newton also Occupied With Astrology?

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) - who, based on Kepler's laws on planetary movements, eventually found the principles of the law of gravitation (published in 1687) - dealt with astrology like Kepler and even like his brilliant colleague in Germany, Leibnitz. Their interest in astrology was, not the least, in connection with weather forecasts, on which Tycho Brahe already had experimented.
          Nevertheless, it has been tried later to reject that the impressive capacity of Newton with his reputation for having "the highest IQ in history" - only comparable to few persons, e.g. Goethe and Leibnitz - should have accepted "superstition" of this kind or the similar.
          One of the most distinguished researchers on Newton is D.T. Whiteside, historian of science, has said (quoted by T.G. Cowling, 1977) that he had never found any reference to astrology among the many millions of words preserved from the hand of Newton. However, something is peculiar also here: all his life Newton was extremely interested in alchemy, and this implies unavoidably that he must even very detailed have dealt with astrological basic conditions (but not necessarily including 'prediction' features).
          All modern, serious science historians with this period as their subject have to know this, so why repress this matching relation?


Isaac Newton's Million Words On Alchemy

What several Newton researchers could not explain away was the fact that in addition to his own collection of 169 books on alchemy, Newton left many manuscripts of his own with near a million words about alchemy.
          A similar amount of written material on mysticism were also found including codes (!) contained in The Revelation of St. John the Divine - all his life he was occupied with this biblical text.
          Newton was also occupied in details with the numbers of the dimensions of the Solomon Temple as well as with other biblical prophecies and chronology. (Others claim that he was secretly attached to an order of the Knights Templar, the later main residence of which, i.e. Rosslyn Chapel, has the same exact measures as the Solomon temple).

          During most of his life Isaac Newton, who in addition learnt Hebrew, worked also with the codes of the Bible, inspired from his reading of "the last days" in "the Book of Daniel" and "the Revelation"he believed he was on the track. Based on this, Newton computed the end or radical change of the world to be in the year 2060. Through all his life he wrote much more about the religious founded subjects than about science.
          When John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), the political or national economist, found Newton’s notebooks, originally stowed away at the Cambridge University in 1696, he was much surprised also to find here - and this let alone what concerns esoteric theology - almost one million words especially about a hidden code in the Bible.
          In 1936 Keynes bought the Newton papers at an auction and translated their code language. The Jerusalem University bought 4,000 other Newton papers. According to Keynes' work, "Essays and Sketches in Biography" (1956, pp. 280-290), Newton wrote that:
                    "... the Bible and the universe are a cryptogram created by God Almighty ...", - and:  "... the essence of the Bible is a prophecy about the history of man ...".

          Regarding the creation of the world as presented by Moses in the Bible, Newton also wrote:
                    "... Moses, that ancient Theologue, describing and expressing ye most wonderful Architecture of this great world, tells us that ye spirit of God moved upon ye waters which was an indigested chaos, or mass created before by God ...", - and:
                    "... Just as the world was created from dark chaos through the bringing forth of the light and through the separation of the aery firmament and of the waters from the earth, so our work brings forth the beginning out of black chaos and its first matter through the separation of the elements and the illumination of matter. ..."
 




Newton's own manuscript on his interest in the religion.

 

Correspondances Between Stars and Elements?

Concerning alchemy, it can be pointed out that for example Tycho Brahe openly confirms the connection between alchemy and astrology. In 1588, in one of his letters he wrote:
                    "... it is important to demonstrate that the celestial planets are corresponding to the seven kinds of metal on Earth and in human beings to the seven most important organs. All this is even so beautifully and harmoniously arranged that it seems close to be one and the same function, kind, and nature. In this way the sun and the moon are corresponding with the most outstanding metals to gold and silver, and, by man, to two of the most important organs, the heart and the brain ...".
          And when Brahe was producing medicine it was developed on the basis of a general point of view that the planets could be related to human organs. This meant for instance that because the sun was related to the heart, a heart disease cure might be the drinking of water containing pulverized gold (connecting the sun).

          Brahe and other alchemists seem to have been working among other things from basis of a special correspondence between the matter of sulphur and the brightest shining star in the sky, Sirius, activated when passed (i.e. passing the Sirius meridian) by the sun which was connected to gold in an alchemy-conditioned way.
          In an introductory oration to the course of lectures which Tycho Brahe gave at the University of Copenhagen in 1574, he defended astrology on the grounds of correspondences between the heavenly bodies, terrestrial substances (metals, stones, etc.) and bodily organs (medical astrology).
          The correspondence between alchemy and astrology was understood to be extremely close. Tycho Brahe named his astronomical research: "the celestial alchemy". And correspondingly, in his autobiography "Mechanica" he wrote about his commitment to alchemy:
                    "... I have spent far from a small amount of care concerning alchemy investigations and chemical experiments. The material they deal with includes a good share of analogy with the celestial bodies and their effects, which is why I usually call this science 'the earthly astrology' ...".

          Tycho Brahe states in his book "De Nova Stella" on his discovery of the supernova (1572) that his findings do not contradict Moses' account about the creation of the world with its heavens and elements.
          In fact, among alchemists this very first biblical event, the Genesis, which Moses presented, was always considered an alchemy-process!

          In later time it has been criticized why a man of Newton's intelligence was established "only" as the country's coin master by the British state. However, this was not only providing a good, regular income for him, but the office may also have been entrusted to him because of his alchemy-knowledge about metals. Some kinds of practice of alchemy was not prohibited - for instance John Dee resumed his practising alchemy and got an official licence for this from Queen Elisabeth I.
          Also, King Christian IV of Denmark (1596-1648) was occupying an alchemist as his coin master - who had his work shop in the gardens of Rosenborg Castle at Copenhagen. A similar kind of work - besides to be an adviser - was apparently promised to Tycho Brahe by Bohemian Emperor, Rudolph II.


Newton's Experiments With Regulus, the 'Basilisk'

Special expressions are found in the Newton papers on his alchemy experiments, e.g. "the Starry Regulus of antimony and Mars" or "Martial Regulus", as well as "Lunar Regulus" and "Venusian Regulus". Thus Mars, Luna (the moon), and Venus are references to iron, silver, and cobber, the parent metals. And antimony - from Greek anti  plus mono means that 'this does not come alone' - was often used as the name of antimony, the very metal, which later was also called stibium. It is being extracted from stibnite, a mineral appearing in the form of prismatic crystals.
          And finally the designation Regulus, which is the name of one of the five brightest stars in the sky, the constellation of Leo's main star, also mentioned by its original Greek name, i.e. Basilikos. Copernicus, the astronomer, successfully re-named it by translating it into Latin as Regulus, and the name is apparently mutually inspired by alchemy terminology. In Greek basilisk means 'a savage monster, the basilisk', as well as 'little king'; the latter is also the meaning of Regulus, the Latin form of the name.

          The "empirical philosophers", i.e. the alchemists, had great expectations to the aid of antimony (insensitive to air) mixed with gold - a homunculus feature (cf. little king) - and that this silver-white coloured metal, i.e. antimony, would lead them to the development of "the philosophers' stone", the miraculous material.
          An alchemy process involving antimony may develop into a special raw metal result called Regulus, a name just introduced here by the alchemists. Among them it was first and foremost related with antimony. The classical parent metals could be used for extraction of antimony (stibnite) in order to "trim" (reduce/cleanse) the metallic substance - which then became for instance Regulus of Venus (with cobber) or Regulus of Jupiter (with pewter) etc.
          When metallic antimony is being purified in coal fire, it must sink to the bottom in a container or a melting pot, and the appearing small, regularly shaped lump must be subject to several purifications in order to "develop" Regulus the Star. On the bottom of the container is to be found what will appear to be the little king.

          Metaphorically, there are many references to constellations for instance the Raven (Corvus) or the black crow, which is a constellation in the celestial section of Virgo. Or the Eagle - the celestial constellation Aquila, (Jupiter's) Eagle, which in alchemy was an amalgam containing Mercurium, i.e. mercury. Newton is referring directly to that "the black crow" (black scoria) and 2 purgations (purifications) with potassium nitrate (may take 3-4 purgations) will develop a silver-shining largely serrated star.
          Unless this stage with the star is passed, "the right regulus" or (continuation of) his work is not present. Newton writes for instance about such a process that "... the Regulus - after a purgation or two - starred very well ...". The nuclear structure seems to be changing during purification - improvement.
          Newton used the expression "starred" in the most literate perception: when cooling of crystal forms on the fluid metallic surface had created triangular branches around a centre point and produced the image of a real geometrically structured, considerably large "silver" star!

 

                    

Left: Creation of Regulus(-Martial) showing clearly the
starry pattern in the substance of antimony metal.
Right: Title page of the Tycho Brahe autobiography also showing
his Hermetic motto - "What I see upwards, I see below".

 
Prometheus' Fire - and Metaphysical Insight

Alchemy's contributions were, in all, immense concerning modern chemical industries, not the least the modern medicine, nuclear science, and research on astronomy and space.
           And what alchemy has mattered as being important to an edifying kind of philosophy and spiritual insight is especially impressing.
 

In a Deeper Sense

The alchemists worked to obtain sublimation of spirit, mind, body, and earthly elements - for instance the body is seen variously described as the "retort" and the "vessel of distillation".
          The concept of alchemy included medicine manufacturing, chemistry, goldsmiths' work, and alchemy both as a transmutation of base metals into gold and as a esoteric chemical inspired philosophic process of the mind. Many alchemists were serious researchers who led a tight control on their experiments. Many alchemists were serious researchers who conducted a tight control on their experiments.
          Alchemists invented early forms of some of the laboratory equipment used today, including filters, crucibles, laboratory beakers and special stirring rods. They also discovered and purified a number of chemical elements, including mercury, sulfur, and arsenic. And the methods they developed to separate mixtures and purify compounds by distillation and extraction, are still important.
          From alchemy a lot of new products were born - the invention of gunpowder (by Chinese alchemists), ore testing and refining, metalworking, and enhanced products of ink, dyes, paints, cosmetics, modern leader tanning, ceramics- and glass manufacture, preparation of extracts and liquors, alcohol chemistry, and distillation products.

          Earlier, when alchemy was known as the spagyric art after Greek words meaning "to separate and to join together", this concept was also connected with an observation that three precious metals - gold, silver, and copper - had some characteristic qualities in common.
          Another observation was the important fact which fascinated the alchemists that three special metals were of almost similar heaviness in weight: gold (nuclear weight 79), mercury (80), and lead (82). This could be observed without knowing anything about the later nuclear physics.
          Thus, one of the concepts was that at a certain point in the alchemist's process it should be possible to, so to speak, "push" the nature of the metal lead to make a change into the nature of the metal gold - by adding purifying fire, energy, to obtain the changed content which in this case also had a small, desired loss in mass/weight. The fluent metal mercury, with its weight between lead and gold, was supposed to contribute to carrying the process through - during a certain transmutation process.
          When the alchemist personally was closely involved all the way through the process this would thereby magically "facilitate spiritual awakening". In addition, if the physical resulting product gold should appear, then it should be considered as a sign of the right purification had been executed - as a parallel to the personal refinement.


The Modern Transmutation

The nature of chemical processes was only understood in a modern sense when Greek element of fire itself came to be understood as also especially being a process, and the French scientist, Lavoisier, just prior to the French revolution, was then able to investigate the chemical elements in its tiniest detail. These observations were carried out by the British researcher John Dalton, in ca. 1808, turned into a modern concept of atomic theory.
          After this development also the world picture of knowledge in its hitherto wholeness of spirituality and matter had became more split up - with an emphasis on the mechanical-technical part. Later, according to nuclear physicist Wolfgang Pauli - a scientific discussion partner of Carl Jung - the modern science eventually again will bring us closer to a more satisfactory conception of a relationship between "psyche and physique".
          By the knowledge of today's nuclear physics the ancient alchemistic idea of changing e.g. the metal lead to the metal gold is considered as a fantastic difficult or only possible with an unbelievable supply of energy. In stead, modern nuclear 'transmutation' is the conversion of one chemical element or isotope into another through nuclear reaction.

          The German chemist Otto Hahn (1879-1968) received the 1944 Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering nuclear fission (in 1938). He is considered a pioneer of radioactivity and radiochemistry. American nuclear physicist Glenn T. Seaborg (1912-1999), who discovered the radioactive metal/element Plutonium in 1940, deemed Hahn "the father of nuclear chemistry". Hahn was also called the "founder of the atomic age" by his contemporaries.
          Very early in history it was considered traditionally knowledge that seven celestial bodies were supposed connected with the seven "classic" metal elements - the planet Mars with iron, Venus with copper, Jupiter with pewter, Mercury with mercury ("quicksilver"), Saturn with lead, the Moon with silver, and the Sun with gold. And often Terra, the Earth, with antimony. The alchemists, and later e.g. scientists as the Rudolf Steiner oriented researcher Lili Kolisko (1893-1976) according to their experiments have experienced much relevance in cases about such connections.
          The first discovery of any new planet was Uranus in 1781 and consequently the first new metal, discovered in 1789, was named Uranium. The next two new metals, Neptunium and Plutonium both discovered, and in that order, in 1940 were immediately named after the "likewise" next new planets, Neptune (of 1846) and Pluto (of 1930).

          In Berlin, another German chemist, Lise Meitner (1878-1968), had worked closely together with Otto Hahn on the nuclear fission - but had to escape from Germany because of her Jewish background. The Greek word atom means 'no division possible', but Lise Meitner was the first person to realize - as a modern Miriam the Jewess, the so-called "Moses' sister" and expert on the alchemist art "to separate and to join together" - that the nucleus of an atom could separate in itself, i.e. to become split into smaller parts.
          Thus the uranium nuclei had split to form barium and krypton, accompanied by the ejection of several neutrons and a large amount of energy (the latter two products accounting for the loss in mass).
 

A Magnum Opus of Science

A letter from the Danish nuclear physicist and philosopher, Niels Bohr (1885-1962), commenting on the fact that the amount of energy released when uranium atoms are bombarded was far larger than had been predicted by calculations based on a non-fissile core, had sparked off the above inspiration in December of 1938. Hahn claimed that his chemistry had been solely responsible for the discovery, although he had been unable to explain the results. In fact, a surviving correspondence indicates that Hahn had believed nuclear fission was impossible
          It was politically impossible for the exiled Meitner to publish jointly with Hahn in 1939. Hahn published the chemical findings in January 1939 and two months later Meitner with her nephew, physicist Otto Robert Frisch, published the physical explanation and named the process "nuclear fission".

          In addition, Meitner realized the probability or a chain reaction of enormous explosive potential. A most important report - the impression of which also lead to the establishment of The Manhattan Project where the nuclear bomb was to be developed - and by this recalling the Greek myth about Prometheus stealing the transforming fire from the gods.
          From the antiquity we can read in Hesiod's "Works and Days" (7th century BC) that Zeus had warned: "... Prometheus, you are glad that you have outwitted me and stolen fire ... but I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be glad of heart while they embrace their own destruction ...",  (from Hesiod: "The Homeric Hymns and Homerica", I, (transl. H.G. Evelyn-White), Loeb Classical Library, vol. 57, org. 1914). - In addition with Hesiod, other Greek and Roman authors from Plato to Ovid and some dozens more have retold and embellished through 800 years the - alchemy- (and nuclear-)aspectual - myth of Prometheus.


 

Moses describing the Creation of the World - an Alchemical Process

The alchemists considered the biblical Genesis, i.e. on the creation of the world - according to tradition described by Moses - being a gigantic alchemical process, "the Opus of God".
          In ancient history, Moses as highly educated in Egypt became famous among the later Greek philosophers because he was the first and earliest known person in history to teach and write about the very idea that "anything, at all, existed before the creation". The Bible's opening statement in Genesis introduces the concept of pre-creation elements, including light, darkness, will, and distinction, all of which are substantial qualities of what was required to initiate primal patterns that would structure and urge creation.
          The alchemist idea of a process of one element transmuting into the next element and so on - today being considered "outmost difficult" concerning the alchemists' favourite metals - is actually taking place every time a star changes into a supernova and opens for the strongest outburst of energy in the universe. Up till then, the star has all the way during its lifetime transformed helium via fusion into more and more heavy elements, until the metal of iron has been achieved.
          The universe is structured as patterns of tension-systems of infinite differences. By this, already Pascal and, in turn, Arnauld, Leibniz, Helmholz, Planck, Einstein, and Bohr predicted nuclear power: tensions so immense that a tiniest wobble in the balance may cause destruction of all existence. J. Robert Oppenheimer, a leading father of the nuclear bomb, stated that he recognized such or similar kind of forces already mentioned in the religious-philosophical text of ancient India, "Baghavad-Gîta".     
 

Alchemists as Empirical Philosophers

Among the alchemists both the transmutation of more common metals into gold, and the universal panacea, symbolized evolution from an imperfect, diseased, corruptible and ephemeral state towards a perfect, healthy, incorruptible and everlasting state; and the philosopher's stone then represented some mystic key that would make this evolution possible.
          Throughout months and even years of repeating and repeating certain purification processes and observations, the growing experience then became empirical knowledge founded in the individual alchemist.
          Tycho Brahe was the first in science to develop and use empirical methodology in practice - as mentioned, up to at least 40 years before Francis Bacon wrote about just such a method. Brahe could have been inspired and encouraged to develop this method by his daily exercise through more than 20 years of specifically carrying out the hermeticians' procedure:  the numerous repetitions - controlled repetitions for bringing forward the final product of alchemistic processes. A technology with roots in ancient Egypt. And by, in effect, repeating Brahe's method Newton seems (in his work on optics) analyzing light in the same thorough manner as conducted by alchemy.

          Many alchemists viewed the metaphysical aspects of their work as the true foundation of alchemy; and organic and inorganic chemical substances, physical states, and molecular material processes as mere metaphors for spiritual entities, spiritual states and ultimately, spiritual transformations.
          Applied to the alchemist himself, the twin goal symbolized his evolution from ignorance to enlightenment, and the stone represented some hidden spiritual truth or power that would lead to that goal. During the era of the Inquisition this could bring alchemists under charges of heresy.
          To alchemy, again and again the world of stars and planets is intimately connected, a fact often much absent in modern attempts of describing alchemy. In the world of matter in an alchemist version, for instance from Basil Valentine (Basilius Valentinus, 15th century), the sulphur by having the ability of "dealing with fire", represents an ability of the soul, while mercury was representing the spirit, and salt representing the body being a motive power of transformation. The concept makes a certain astro-alchemical interplay more clear when the sun (as a main radiating point of light), represented by gold (incorruptible and by itself imperishable as the soul), in the sky conjuncts the meridian of the most important and largest star, Sirius, representing sulphur.

          An alchemistic world picture was that the material universe was composed of - in essence - mercury and sulphur. According to another stage, it was gold and sulphur. And for representing the soul directly there was the gold, always incorruptible, always known for its ability to resist decay and chemical attack. The Chinese alchemist Ko-Hung was quoted for saying:
                    "... Yellow gold, if melted hundred times, will not be spoiled. ..."
          Gold appear as being the universal prize in all cultures, in all ages, and to most people gold becomes valuable because it is scarce - but to alchemists all over the world gold was precious because it was incorruptible.
          The oldest preserved written reference to alchemy might be from Egypt but behind alchemy's allegoric terminology it would hardly be recognized by the Egyptologist, however, another most ancient source is from China and tells how to make gold and use it to prolong life.
          The internal meaning of the process is, however, deeply interesting. From a modern point of view the process of making gold is of course seen as purely symbolic and during this there was never produced a real lump of the metal gold.
          As to how a metallurgy scientist of the tradition of modern technological culture would express it, it would actually be like for instance:
                    "As to demonstrating the metallurgical process originally described in alchemical terms it will be impossible, since for the most part these descriptions of transmogrification of "gross substances" - through a sequence of less to more powerful or valuable materials, i.e. stone or lead to gold - has no rational basis and looks as being mostly based on wishful thinking. Note that in the radioactive decay process the end product is lead, and it seems that the alchemists have got it backwards."
 

The Fire - Prometheus' Gift - a Factor of Transmutation

In alchemy fire was one of the most important factors - purifying and transforming - and hereby rejoining material elements into new combinations. A special mystery is connected with man's relation to fire being the only one of the four Greek elements that no animal has.
          The Greek myth about Prometheus - his name means 'forethought' - relates that he stole the element of fire from the gods and gave it to the human beings.  There was, certainly, much more to it than no longer having to eat raw food or shiver in the cold of the night - and the animals naturally fearing the warning light of fire no longer dared attack.
          The idea of Prometheus' action was well-known in antiquity. According to ancient India's religious texts, the Rig Veda (3:9.5), the hero Mataricvan recovered fire, which had been hidden from mankind. In an ancient Finnish (not Samian) poem, later re-written as the "Kalevala", original Middle East features can be found about the fire light was hidden but then given as a spark handed over by a divine, reborn sun-prince who - like Moses - came up from a chest floating on the river.
          In the Americas, in the Cherokee myths, Algonquin myths, and among Creek Indians and also various Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest - the narrative was that the fire was stolen. And in Polynesian myth, too, the fire was stolen and brought to man.
          Prometheus' bringing of the divine fire unleashed a flood of inventiveness and productivity. Through getting hold on the fire Prometheus had acquired secret knowledge. "Adam ate the fruit of knowledge and was thrown out of Eden for it" - and Prometheus stole the fire and was severely punished for giving man the power to become like the gods, the immortals.
 

The Tinder Box

Man created the fire - besides the method of rubbing two sticks together - by striking flint against iron pyrite to make tiny, high-temperature chips break away as sparks. It was common in the late Palaeolithic period (older Stone age, hunters' Stone Age), going back 20,000 years.
          Many folk tales - often from original parables used in the initiation cults - contain a psychical language with many conspicuous alchemist symbols. Inspired from e.g. the Scandinavian folk tale, "The Spirit in the Candle", Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) used such elements in his fairy tale "The Tinder Box" (1835). This magic fire tool could control three very big, magical dogs. (Andersen also wrote a novel about the misery of an alchemist: "Valdemar Daae and his Daughters", - and Andersen's friend, the Danish pharmacist H.C. Oersted, was the great discoverer of electro-magnetism, a significant leap regarding that this Dr. Oersted's academic teacher also was an alchemist).
          Regarding Hans Christian Andersen's "The Tinder Box": - the star Sirius, which in alchemy seems connected with sulfur for obtaining gold, had, all over the ancient world, an extra name, Greater Dog (in Egypt Sirius also connects with the jackal-dog god Anubis), and is located in the sky very near other dog-designated stars such as Procyon. In Andersen's fairy tale the three dogs to protect boxes with precious metal are arranged in the "right" alchemistic order of their treasures, respectively of copper, silver, and gold - with the gold hidden under the greater dog!
          The protagonist in this tale gets rich, then poor, but gets all treasures back again, and became a king when remembering using his spark which he found in his "underground" root level. In principle as in biblical "Book of Job" - a true alchemistic individuation process
.

                       

Alchemy's conquests were indispensable for development of modern industrial chemistry -
however, from the start alchemy also contributed especially to personal development processes.

Sidetop

 
Opus, Transmutation - and Jung

The concept of the alchemists' the Great Work goes far back in history. A late use of the term for it was very much seen in medieval European alchemy - and refers to the successful completion of the transmutation of base matter into gold, or to the creation of the philosopher's stone - as well as the idea of personal transmutation. The last phenomenon was much re-studied and discussed by Carl Jung.


Alchemy - Hermeticism - Psychology


The alchemists often called their practice simply, magnum opus, Latin for 'the Great Work'. This was much used as a metaphor for spiritual transformation in the Hermetic tradition, i.e. the handed over practice based on ancient Egyptian-Greek wisdom from much older sources, which later in antiquity was collected in a book called "Corpus Hermeticum".

          The opus or the Great Work was known as a sequence of stages with exotic Latin names. The mystic interpretation of the opus' three stages would often be:
-  Nigredo(-putrefactio), blackening(-putrefaction): individuation, purification, burnout of impureness - also called Sol Niger;
-  Albedo, whitening: spiritualization, enlightenment;
-  Rubedo, reddening: unification of man with god, unification of the limited with the unlimited.
          There is a persistent belief in alchemic and Hermetic tradition - and in some esoteric astrology as well - concerning the existence of two suns: a hidden one of pure "philosophical gold" consisting of the essential fire conjoined with the earlier supposed light-bearing medium, the ether (aether), - and the apparent one of profane "material gold".

          The number and sequence of stages differs depending on the goal and the person's experience - and could also be:  - Solutio, - Nigredo, - Calcinatio, - Coagulatio, etc.
          It is well-known that the alchemist process - having many stages with parallels to the individuation process - expresses the alchemist's road map and in fact reflecting many of the steps of initiations in the mystery cults.


The Great Work of Psyche and Matter

Alchemy concepts occur in the psyche as part of the reservoir of mythological images drawn upon by the individuals in their dream states. Therefore Swiss psychiatrist pioneer Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) interpreted the old alchemical texts in terms of his analytical psychology as being means for obtaining individuation, actually corresponding with the old manuscripts' account on the act of alchemy - to the successful completion of the transmutation of base matter into gold or the creation of the philosopher's stone - thus having seemed to improve the mind and spirit of the alchemist.
          Jung draws an analogy between the great work of the alchemists and the process in the modern psychiatric patient's psychological goal or 'great work' of psychic and spiritual reintegration or wholeness through the individuation process.

          A development through the individuation process means a lot more than being a true individuality. It involves a profound maturation, responsibility, ethics, experience, and universal insight, however not two persons or their developments are equal or fulfill a 'perfect' ideal, and there would still be much for them to take care of in their new situation as a competent initiation level to operate from.
          In the jungle cultures a hunter can untiringly pursue his prey for many days and nights, and when having gone through some magic rituals he unites his mind and spirit with his prey  and will be able in advance to understand its course by how it feels and reacts. He respects the animal almost as it was a sacred being, and in his mind he makes a pact with it so that all what is going to be done to this prey should serve a higher order. By his state of being humble and pure, in his own soul this man has set his will to win - and he wins. Likewise the alchemist, untiring, is carrying out his demanding work almost ritually, pursuing the goal, and literally uniting himself with his opus' material - it all opens his mind to insight into the universe and the life essence.




Swiss psychiatrist and influential thinker, Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961), was
exploring the worlds of dreams, mythology, world religions, Eastern and Western
philosophy as well as alchemy, astrology, sociology, literature, and the arts.



Alchemy as diverse practice

The French author Eliphas Levi (1810-1875) as well as Carl G. Jung are contemporary interpreters of the material - rich in tradition - about alchemy. Here, the two researchers had searched for or emphasized on particular areas containing the psycho-spiritual directions.
          But alchemy included both these forms and a more 'everyday' chemistry (e.g. at a pharmacy) and metallurgy (e.g. at a goldsmith), and a great many people dealt mainly or exclusively with these features. It might be compared with that the designation 'mathematician' was used in Europe up till the 1800's both for a mathematical expert as well as an astronomer and astrologer - but sometimes, however, all the three specialties were conducted with great skill by one and the same person.
          The fact that alchemy often makes use of religious and cosmological ideas to explain the processes does not necessarily include that a person also involves himself personally by integrating through a kind of personification in these alchemistic processes.
          Jung has put forward the idea of the inner road. He brought his impressions in connection with the context of Gnosticism - which teachings in any case must be seen not as one-sided but as a rather diverse world of ideas - and although his teachings by themselves are definitely not wrong, it is a fact that also many of the early alchemists seem to have interpreted the process in that way. They took it more rarely as by a psychological concept, but rather a religious one (as did Paracelsus).


Moses - and Light of Nature

In the old texts it can also be seen that it was often more in the symbolic sense that a gold production was understood, it is frequently a metaphor for reaching the gold-like (yellow) material in the alchemists' bottle. In this way, the process was perfected, i.e. it goes through negrido (black) and  'silver'-like (white) to 'gold' (yellow). For example, similar is known from heraldic descriptions where the colour white in the coat of arms' symbolism preferably is called silver and, likewise, yellow is mentioned as gold.
          But in the light of the alchemists who intended to "walk all the way" and the spiritual interested persons eagerly sponsored costly books on alchemy - with engravings showing religious and cosmologic designs including e.g. a kind of fertilization between 'heaven' and 'earth', etc. and archetypal traces with the development of personal transmutation - it is evident that there were always groups that took alchemy very seriously as a spiritual path.
          This approach also proved to be workable alongside that the people involved were Christian believers too (even Paracelsus himself and Tycho Brahe are examples of this).
Such people focused on achieving greater knowledge embedded in "Light of Nature" - and Paracelsus says about this lumen natura:
                    "… Look at Adam and Moses and others. They sought in themselves what was in man and have revealed it and all kabbalistic arts and they knew nothing alien to man neither from Devil nor from the spirits, but derived their knowledge from Light of Nature. This they nurtured in themselves …", (Paracelsus: "The vita longa", 1562, p. 56, - quoted and translated from Latin in "C.G. Jung, The Collected Works, Vol. 13, Alchemical Studies", London 1967, p. 113).


The Mathematical-Geometrical 'Fixation'


From all the ancient cultures accounts exist about the smiths and metalworkers who obtained amazing skills by their transforming metals from impure to pure, and from hard to flexible and again to a new hardness - or in perfection of alloys. The smiths learned special "mantras" of special length to chant for making exact time measures to the precise length of each step of melting or casting. The smiths were often regarded as a kind of magicians and priests.
          According to Moses, the first smith was Abel's son, Qain (Cain) - it is a Semitic word for 'smith'. Although this symbolical account in the Bible presents Qain killing his brother, it also says that he was - in connection with a promise or a pact  - provided with a mark on his forehead, - later often seen interpreted as "the third eye", thus a special insight. The biblical narrative also says that Qain's descendants often were smiths and musicians. It was exactly from a smith that Pythagoras learned - by "the different sounds from hitting spots on different distances on the anvil" - so he could construct his mathematically based distinction and structure of the notes of music.

          Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), was a true  polymath - with his works of poetry, drama, literature, theology, humanism, and science. Goethe's magnum opus, lauded as one of the peaks of world literature, is the two-part dramatic poem Faust.
          The name "Faust" seems inspired from Faustulus, the royal herd who found the two princes, the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, being feed by the wolf-dog, symbol of the star Sirius. When Faust walks with his student Wagner they are followed by a dog - a poodle. Goethe's phrase in German, "des Pudels Kern" ('the core of the poodle'), means the real nature or deeper meaning of something (that was not evident before). The dog, the poodle, is significant here and transforms into the devil, and Faust makes an arrangement, a pact, with the devil for Faust's mastering the material or matter. According to Carl Jung, "Faust" is an alchemical drama from beginning to end.
          Doctor John Dee, the Elizabethan mathematician, astrologer, philosopher and magus, had attempted and was said to have succeed in creating a homunculus (i.e. 'little man', often by certain conditions as a 'little king'). The same was said about Paracelsus. And it could have inspired Goethe so that the sorcerer Faust's student, Wagner, creates a homunculus.

          Later, the great composer bearing the same kind of name, Wagner - Richard Wagner (1818-1883) - always wrote even the scenario and libretto for his works himself. Also he was so much inspired by folk tales and the ancient myths - and used a psychical language also with alchemist symbols.
          A Danish writer, Jurij Moskvitin, mathematician, philosopher, concert pianist, and composer (1938-2005), told about a dream he had a night in the autumn of 2004, and also repeated his account in a television documentary:  he was standing on a moving band, moving as an assembly line, but suddenly it broke and he fell off. He was about to mend the band or tape when voice from above said it actually would take care of itself, and he saw it turning into the special double helix, the dna-molecule. In the same time there was loudly Richard Wagner's music of "Tristan and Isolde" - and in that moment Jurij discovered that in a special level Wagner with his musical notes had been mathematically exact expressing the dna-geometry, completely fitting. A message with a most important discovery of the unity of such universal factors, and that no stop is real, the dna ensures a continuity. (However, what Jurij did not knew consciously - and so sadly a loss to us, his good friends - it was also a message of his own death, which took place 6 months later).             

          In the greater picture Carl Jung believed that the "world contains divine light of life" and that this essence was enmeshed in a mathematical "trap", presided over by a demiurge, Lucifer, the 'Bringer of Light'. Lucifer contained the insight of light within this reality, until a time when it would be set free. (Jung seems to have borrowed the expression "trap" from his great studies of the insightful but sometimes pessimistic Gnostics).
          One of the first operations of alchemy is the process of transformation - the true, creative opposites emerge and begin their interaction designed to bring the alchemical, complete union of anima and animus. The conscious and unconscious become integrated and assimilate the ego, after which the Self emerges. In this ultimate union, known as the coniunctio, according to Jung the previously confined light is redeemed and brought to the point of its ultimate and redemptive fulfillment.
          The alchemists expressed this paradox through the symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. In the ancient image of the Ouroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and turning oneself into a circulatory process, self-contained, - again, the very art of processing the elements was all about man - (the) Adam - himself. And to Jung, self realization is the final of the stages of development - becoming a true individuality.
          A much discussed, enigmatic "first stuff", the Prima Materia, was brought out of the Paradise by Adam, according to writings of antiquity. An addition, in the biblical narrative - what Moses tells in the Genesis (2:11) about a river of Paradise leading to a place with gold, "... and this gold is good ...", actually guaranteed such goal is genuine and that here is the first beginning of the process of man, Adam.





 Left:  Ancient Greek King Croesus ('gold'), 7th cent. BC, was famous for his gold.
Picturing Croesus on the pyre, Attic red-figure amphora, 500-490 BC, Louvre(G197).
Right:  Jason returns the Golden Fleece to Pelias, Apulian red-figure calyx krater, ca.
340–330 BC, Louvre(K127).

 


Moses and a Royal Road in the Alchemy


Did the alchemists ever produce the metal gold? Almost any researcher would deny it because the idea was only to gain individuation development and wisdom recognition, and because it would seem technically impossible (and these scholars or researchers are right according to present-day knowledge, but not necessarily according to other, now unknown conditions which maybe also could appear in a future).

          The individuation process was also seen alchemistally visualized as "the animus" (masculine personification of the unconscious) coming up in the conscious psyche - a development from a powerful monster (the basiliscus) via a crown prince (the "little king") to a king (to" be the king of oneself").
          According to ancient traditions in the teachings for the initiated a certain idea existed about a well among the stars of the sky. On the bottom of the there is the main star of the Leo constellation, the "royal star" Regulus  or Basiliscos, Latin and Greek respectively for 'little king', and in Greek also meaning 'a wild monster'. (The constellation opposite in the sky - the top of the celestial well, so to speak - is the Well Pitcher, the earlier name of the Aquarius). 
          A significant episode in Moses' narrative in the Bible's "Book of Genesis" (37:9-37) is about Joseph and his dream in which the Sun, the Moon, and 11 stars (constellations) in the situation appear like being his subjects. His brothers' reaction is to throw him down on the bottom of an empty well and then sell him to Egypt. The brothers tell their father that "a wild monster" has devoured Joseph - in fact, from here Joseph started off a new development, and he became "little king", i.e. vizier, and eventually viceroy of Egypt, pharaoh's substitute.

          Through a huge part of the history, in principle the kings were to be initiated - also the coronation itself was an initiation ritual. Some of the kings may even have tried practising alchemy, as did the emperor Rudolph of Bohemia whom Tycho Brahe served in his last years. Emperor Rudolph became mentally ill eventually, probably from breathing evaporated mercury of the experiments, and for the rest of his life his brother had to rule on his behalf.
          In Antiquity alchemy seems to have been connected with the last of the 'native' Egyptian pharaohs, Nectanebo II - and with the biblical King Solomon.
          Especially in the early Greek culture we hear about the Lydian king, Croesus (560–546 BC), with his enormous treasures of gold (the name Croesus is from Greek krysos, 'gold') and his special dealing with fire - and also about the Phrygian king, Midas, known for being able to transform everything to gold - Midas' famous the golden touch obtained by dipping his hand in the River Pactolus; - in certain rivers both in Phrygia and Lydia gold could be  washed out, an extra basis of the wealth of the economy of these countries. In the legend Midas had ass's ears - this could point to the alchemistic work's ancient connection with Sirius, which, besides of being known as the "Greater Dog" this star or constellation was also called the "(heart) of the Ass".
          This wealthy state Lydia also seems to have been one of the oldest countries with a coinage. The earliest coins are from 7th century BC and some of them are produced from "white gold" or "electrum", the natural alloy of gold and silver - also well-known by the alchemists.
          Also King Midas was claimed to be a myth only, but Alexander the Great visited Gordion, the city of the wealthy King Midas and Midas' father, King Gordion. At the site a cultic tradition with cultic initiation had continued - and here Alexander advanced to an important step by going through a ritual of cutting through the Gordian knot. In 1957, American archaeologist Rodney Young opened King Midas' grave mound, close to Yassihöyük in Turkey. Here was the site of the ancient Gordion. Whatever any modern theory will assume next about the dating, it is a fact that the exact, scientific dating of the contents to around 750 BC is precisely in accordance with data of the so-called myths.

          In all tradition by the ancient Rabbinical Writings of the Jews, and by the Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church too, the authorship of the Bible's "Book of Job" was always and unambiguously connected with Moses.
          The Hebrew Bible's "Book of Job" (28:1) says: "... For there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold which they refine ..." and (23:10)  "... But he knows the way that I take - after I have been tested I will come out as gold ..." - the process as to comparing to a spiritual alchemist process.

          By his observing and recognizing advanced and spiritual factors included also in the process of exact research (McGuire & Hull, eds.: "C.G. Jung Speaking. Interviews and Encounters", 1978) Jung's statement is demonstrating brilliantly the most profound relation to genuine science:
          "... The irrational fullness of life has taught me never to discard anything, even when it goes against all our theories (so short-lived at best) or otherwise admits of no immediate explanation. ..."

           Carl Jung emphasized the cosmos containing the divine light of life. By this he also states - almost as in the ancient philosophy of the Veda texts in India or the Buddhist learning - in his book, "Mysterium Coniunctionis, an Inquiry Into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy" (1956) - that the collective unconscious was not just comprising the psychology of human beings but the whole universe.

*

Ove von Spaeth,  writer, researcher - copyright © 2005 and © 1998

The article includes extracts from Ove von Spaeth's books "The Vanished Successor", "The Secret Religion", and "Prophet and Unknown Genius", all from his  series "Assassinating Moses". All the books can be read independently. Information: www.moses-egypt.net

*

 

                   

Alchemists' reagent bottle with a homunculus, here - as a stage in the individuation process -
at an advanced shape as a "little king", considered as connected with the Basiliscos star, Regulus.
Right:  the Ouroboros-serpent, by the alchemical process symbolically eating its own tail - turning oneself into a circulatory process - reflecting the constellation Draco of same positure in the sky.

 

*

Bibliographies

The Golden Calf

Aberbach, M., & L. Smolar:  Aaron, Jeroboam, and the Golden Calves, Journal of Biblical Literature, 86, 1967, (Philadelphia), pp. 129-140.

Albright, William F.:  The Golden Calf and the Cherubim, Journal of Biblical Literature, 57, 1938, (Philadelphia), pp. xviii ff.

Bin-Gorion, E.:  Das Goldene Kalb, Encyklopädie Judaica, Band 7, 1931, col. 472-474.

Coats, G.W.:  The Golden Calf in Ps. 22: A Hermeneutic of Change, Horizons in Biblical Theology, 9,I, 1987.

Dus, J.:  Die Stierbilder von Bethel und Dan und das Problem der 'Moseschar', Annali dell'Instituto (Universitario) Orientale di Napoli, NS 18, 1968, pp. 105-137.

Eissfeld, Otto:  Lade und Stierbild, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 58, 1940/1941, pp. 190-215.

Fensham, F.C.:  The Burning of the Golden Calf and Ugarit, Israel Exploration Journal, 16, Jerusalem 1966, pp. 191-193.

Gressmann, Hugo:  Das Goldene Kalb, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Band 2, 1910, (Band 1-7, Tübingen 1960), col. 1518.

Hahn, Joachim:  Das 'Goldene Kalb', Frankfurt a.M., 1981.

Hitti, Philip K.:  (The Golden Calf in:) The Origins of the Druze People and Their Religion, Columbia University Oriental Studies, vol. 28, New York 1928.

Kitchen, Kenneth A.:  Calf, Golden, New Biblical Dictionary, (ed. J.D.Douglas), London 1962.

Mazar, Amihai:  Bronze Bull Found in Israelite 'High Place', Biblical Archaeology Rewiew, vol. 9, No. 5, 1983 pp. 34-40.

Noth, Martin:  Zur Anfertigung des "Goldenen Kalbes", Vetus Testamentum, 9, 1959, pp. 318-322.

Perdue, L.G.:  The Making and Destruction of the Golden Calf - A Reply, Biblia, 54, 1973, pp. 237-246.

Rank, Otto:  ("Moses" in:) The Myth of the Birth of the Hero, (Rank: "Die Mythus von der Geburt des Helden, Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde", Herausgeb. von Sigmund Freud, Heft 5, Leipzig 1909), New York 1952.

Sasson, J.M.:  The Worship of the Golden Calf, Orient and Occident, Essays presented to Cyrus H. Gordon, AOAT 22, Neukirchen/Vlynn 1973, pp. 151-159.

Seebrook, William B.:  The Golden Calf of The Druzes, Asia, March 1926, New York, pp. 220-27 & 250-53.

Spaeth, Ove von:  Den gådefulde Guldkalv af Egyptens guld, in: Ove von Spaeth: "Den Hemmelige Religion, Attentatet på Moses, bind 4, København 2004, pp. 70-81.

- - :  Guldkalven - eksport fra egyptisk kult?, in: Ove von Spaeth: "Den Forsvundne Tronarving", Attentatet på Moses, bind 3, København 2001, pp. 117-120 & 127.

Seebrook, William B.:  The Golden Calf of the Druzes, "Asia". New York, March, 1926, pp. 220-227, 250-253).

Stager, Lawrence E., & Rachel Starch:  A Golden Calf, Time Magazine, August 6th, 1990, p. 37.

*

Alchemy

Bischoff, Erich:  Der Sieg der Alchymie, Berlin 1925.

Bolton, Henry Carrington:  The Follies of Science at the Court of Rudolph II, 1576-1612, Milwaukee Pharmaceutical Review Publishing Co., 1904.

Bronowski, Jacob:  The Ascent of Man, British Broadcasting Corporation Publ., London 1973, pp. 123-154

Charron, Régine:  The Apocryphon of John (NHC II, 1) and the Graeco-Egyptian Alchemical Literature, Vigiliae Christianae, 59, 2005, pp. 438–456.

Debus, Allen G.:  Hermeticism and the Renaissance. - Intellectual History and the Occult in Early Modern Europe, Folger Institute Symposia, Folger Books, 1988.

- -  :  The Chemical Promise. - Experiment And Mysticism in the Chemical Philosophy, 1550-1800 : Selected Essays of Allen G. Debus, Science History Publications, 2006.

Eliade, Mircea:  The Myth of Alchemy, Parabola, vol. 3, no. 3, 1978.

Fabricius, Johannes:  Alchemy. The Medieval Alchemists and Their Royal Art, Copenhagen, (Rosenkilde and Bagger), 1976.

- -   :  Ingmar Bergman og 'Sjaelens mörke nat', ("Ingmar Bergman and 'the dark night of the soul'"), Kosmorama, no. 85, 1968.

- -   :  Jungian analysis of Shame, A passion and The touch, Kosmorama 18/110, Sept. 1972, p. 259-261.


Franz, Marie-Louise von:  The Idea of the Macro- and Microcosmos in the Light of Jungian Psychology, Ambix, February, 1965.

Fulcanelli:  Master Alchemist: Le Mystere des Cathedrales. - Esoteric Intrepretation of the Hermetic Symbols of The Great Work, (transl. Mary Sworder), Brotherhood of Life, Alberquerque, New Mexico, 1984.

Hoeller, Stephan A.:  C.G. Jung and the Alchemical Renewal, Gnosis: A Journal of Western Inner Traditions, Vol. 8, 1988.

Josten, C.H.:  Robert Fludd's 'Philosophicall Key' and his alchemical experiment on wheat, Ambix, 11, 1968.

- - :  A translation of John Dee's Monas Hieroglyphica with an introduction and annotations, Ambix, 12, 1969.

Jung, Carl Gustav:  Man and his Symbols, (Ferguson) 1964.

- -  :  Mysterium Coniunctionis. An Inquiry into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy, (2nd ed. 1970, Collected Works, Vol. 14), London (Routledge), 1956.

- -  :  Psychology and Alchemy, (2nd ed. 1968, Collected Works, Vol.12), London (Routledge), 1940.

- -  :  Psychology and Religion. The Terry Lectures, (contained in Psychology and Religion: West and East, Collected Works, Vol. 11), New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938.

- -  , & S.M. Dell:  The Integration of the Personality, London (Routledge and Kegan Paul), 1940.

- -  , & Aniela Jaffe:  Memories, Dreams, Reflections, (Jung's autobiography), London (Collins), 1962
.

Kean, W.F.: The History of Gold Therapy in Rheumaoid Disease, Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, February 1985.

Kolisko, L.:  Workings of the Stars in Earthly Substances, Orient-Occident, London 1928.

- -  , & Adalbert Stifter, & Rudolf Steiner:  The Sun Eclipse, (transl. G.A.M. Knapp and Susan Stern), Kolisko Archives, (England: Bournemouth), 1978.

Larsen, Lars Steen:  Western Esoterism. - Ultimate Sacred Postulates and Ritual Fields, Lund Studies in History of Religions,  Volume 25, Lund University (Department of History and Anthropology of Religions), Lund, (Sweden), 2008, pp. 118-150, 180-190
.

Lindsay, Jack:  The Origins of Alchemy in Greaco-Roman Egypt, New York (Barnes & Noble), 1970.

Merchant, Carolyn:  The vitalism of Francis Mercury van Helmont: its influence on Leibniz, Ambix, 26, 1983.

Paracelsus (ed. Jolande Jacobi):  Selected Writings, (transl. Norbert Guterman), Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1979.

Rees, Graham:  Francis Bacon's Semi-Paracelsian cosmology and the Great Instauration, Ambix, 22, 1969.

Sheppard, H.J.:  Gnosticism and alchemy, Ambix, 6, 1953.

Silberer, Herbert:  Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts, (transl. Ely Jelliffe Smith), (1917), Dover Books 1971.

Schumaker, Wayne:  The Occult Sciences in the Renaissance, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1972.

Szulakowska, Urszula:  The Alchemy of Light. Geometry and Optics in Late Renaissance Alchemical Illustration, (Brill), Leiden (and Boston, MA) 2000.

Thorndike, Lynn:  Alchemy during the first half of the 16th century, Ambix 2, 1937.


Yates, Frances Amelia:  The Occult Philosophie of Elizabethan Age, Boston (Routledge & Kegan Paul), 1979.

- - :  The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, (Routledge & Kegan Paul), 1972.

Zolla, Elemire:  The Retrieval of Alchemy, Parabola, vol. 3, no. 3, 1978.

*

Tycho Brahe and Alchemy

Christianson, John:  The Celestial Palace of Tycho Brahe, Scientific American, 204, no. 2, 1961, pp. 118-128.

Dreyer, J.L.E.: Tycho Brahe, a picture of scientific life and work in the Sixteenth Century, (Edinburgh, 1890) New York (Dover) 1963.

Figala, Karin:  Tycho Brahe's Elexier, Annals of Science, vol. 28, 1972.

Friis, F.R.:  Tyge Brage. En historisk fremstilling, København 1871.

Marshall, Peter:  The Magic Circle of Rudolf II: Alchemy and Astrology in Renaissance Prague, (Walker & Company), 2006.

Moesgaard, Kristian Peder:  Brahe, Tyge (Tycho), Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, 3. udg., bind 2, København (Gyldendal) 1979, pp. 429-436.

Norlind, Vilhelm:  Tycho Brahe. En Levnadsteckning, Gleerup, 1970.

Partington, J.R.:  The origins of the planetary symbols of the metals, Ambix, 1, 1937.

Wilson, Collin:  The Theory of Celestial Influence, New York (Samuel Wiser, Inc.) 1973.

*

Isaac Newton and Alchemy

Brewster, D.:  Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, vol. 1, (1855) repr. (Johnson Reprint Corp.) London/New York 1965, pp. 21-24.

Cohen, I.B.:  Isaac Newton - An Advocate of Astrology?, Isis, vol. 33, 1941, pp. 60-61.

Dobbs, B.J.T.:  The Foundations of Newton's Alchemy, or "The Hunting of the Greene Lyon", Cambridge U.P.1975.

- - :  The Janus Face of Genius: The Role of Alchemy in Newton's Thought, Cambridge U.P. 1991.

Geoghegan, D.:  Some indications of Newton's attitude towards alchemy, Ambix, The Journal for the Society for the History of Alchemy & Chemistry, 6, 1957, pp. 102-106 (Newton's text: pp. 105-106).

Keynes, John Maynard:  Essayes and Sketches in Biography, 1956, s. 280-290.

McGuire, J.E.:  Force, active principles, and Newton's invisible realm, Ambix, 15, 1952.

- - :  Transmutation and immutability: Newton's doctrine of physical qualities, Ambix, 14, 1951.

More, L.T.:  Isaac Newton: A Biography, (1934) repr. (Dover Publ.) New York 1962, pp. 32-33.

Westfall, R.S.:  Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton, Cambridge U.P. 1980, pp. 88 & 98.

Whiteside, D.T., & M.A. Hoskin & A. Prag (eds.):  The Mathematical Papers of Isaac Newton, vol. 1, Cambridge U.P. 1967, pp. 15-19.

*

Postscript:  some of the oldest sources on alchemy are from Egypt. The ancient magical-theological text on the Shabaka Stone proclaims that it was the god Ptah who called the world into being, having dreamt creation in his heart and speaking it - by (the) word.

The lower half of the god Ptah is wrapped up as a mummy, signifying the earthly world of death and renewal - and the upper part is open, the spiritual part. Ptah is resting on a ruler, maat: the
 principle of universal laws. - This sacred god of creation was especially recognized in Memphis
and On (Heliopolis), Egypt's northern theology centres. At these sites he was also worshipped
as the god of alchemists, metal craftsmen, and smiths.

 

More texts about  Moses' Mystery in New Light

          in    Zenith files  -  net-base for Ove von Spaeth's articles.

Sidetop






 
 
2  ON THE ANCIENT CONCEPT OF ASTRONOMICAL KNOWLEDGE CONNECTING WITH ALCHEMY
- evt. praktisk at kunne læse teksten off-line
¤ AMH Magazine, January 2007, no. 1, pp. 24-27  -  feature:
The Royal-Star Basiliscus in the Initiation Teachings

By  OVE VON SPAETH
 

The ancient cultures' astronomical divisions of the sky, and the geometric
patterns shaped by stellar visual connection lines, and the planet's orbits - were
all seen as special features or keys for an exclusive, religious insight.
          The mystery cults in antiquity knew a celestial geometry based on cosmological teachings, a special knowledge also connecting to the ancient art of alchemy.



Esoteric Perception of Cosmic Structure

Early in history a learning which concerns the starry sky knowledge was seen connected with the art of alchemy. The ancient Egyptian alchemy was related to the god Ptah and was known as a process claimed to produce gold also for medical use - i.e. an alchemical all-healing agent with the later name panacea.
          In the Renaissance, the Swiss doctor and alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541) used gold dust for a "gold cure" against rheumatism/arthritis and this method is still in use today. However, in Egypt and the ancient world the process of gold production was also considered as a symbolic, spiritual process belonging to the teachings of the cultic mystery initiation. And in many respects astronomical knowledge was perceived to be very a connected with alchemy.
          The Bible refers to Moses "was educated in all the wisdom of Egypt" - cf. his construction of the Israelite calendar (showing the knowledge of astronomy) and that he made the Israelites drink water containing gold dust produced of the Golden Calf's Egyptian gold.
          Among the ancient learned priests and initiated the geometric basic patterns were perceived as being expressed by the celestial divisions also related to the shapes of constellations and planetary orbits - and all these were considered as charged with religious significance. Geometry was perceived as connecting link between the spiritual and physical dimensions which took the shape from "the ideal matrix", on which space both is built upon and comprises. It is well known that Plato (who had studied in Egypt for 13 years according to his pupil Eudoxus) linked the geometric doctrines directly with the creation.

From most ancient times the basilisk appeared in connection with cosmology, the stars, or
alchemy. The mythological symbols of the basilisk are: its head as a cock and its tail as a snake.
Manuscript illustration of a basilisk; from 1633 (Royal Danish National Library, Folio 51r).
 

Sidetop

Archetypical patterns in constellation shapes and planet's orbits

Geometry is "spatially dimensioned mathematics". Mathematical primal images are archetypical and divine logical - like crystalline geometric structures or the combinations of relations in the harmonies in music - and may in a natural way cause religious "excitement" by the perceiving person.
          This was not a question about that everything could symbolize everything. In the tradition concerning understanding of the image creating, celestial exact lines - with archetypical patterns and structures - these were not seen as a result of contingencies or subjective interpretation. The many very precise astronomical conditions by themselves are of exact controllability, for instance concerning time and measures.
          The ancient people's widespread method of conducting observations of a certain pattern in the movements of some constellations during the night was this: Just after sunset it could be observed early in the night-sky that while the constellation The Greater Bear (Big Dipper) is setting partly below the horizon, the constellation Cassiopeia rises at a position from the horizon of the other side, almost directly opposite - all action taking place in the northern sky. By midnight Cassiopeia is close to its upper culmination (most high in the northern sky) while The Greater Bear simultaneously reaches its utmost lower position. Just before dawn The Greater Bear rises, now from the opposite side, while Cassiopeia is going down.
          The so far most comprehensive encyclopaedia of antiquity and ancient history is the "Pauly-Wissowa's Real-Enzyklopädie der classischen Wissenschaft" (Stuttgart 1894-1980). In this work some very fine material can be found concerning many "connecting lines between stars". Some of the articles contain information presenting a survey on the interplays of "rising and setting of stars" in ancient times.
          Other stars have a further precisely shaped pattern concerning their visually related risings and settings. For instance, such can be observed in the very precise relation - supported by the exact connecting line - between the stars Aldebaran and Antares, the two of the four so-called "royal stars".
          The celestial-geometric "archetypes" are thus created from lines of connection and sight to distinctive stars - often with special positions and characteristics. In ancient cultures the were known as connecting a conception system with an emphasis on cosmic patterns of interplaying actions - almost as in modern quantum physics-like conditions of synchronicity relations. Altogether, this belongs to a world of ideas long forgotten, a world with its own consequent logics, however, still recognizable in surviving fragments.

 

The oldest documented Greek horoscope depicted is a relief in the tomb of
King Antiochus I, in the Taurus Mountains. The time of this king's coronation
(7th July, 63 BC) is visually noted here. Above the lion's back: Jupiter, Mercury, Mars
can be seen and the Moon is on the mane - all in conjunction in the Leo constellation
.

Sidetop

'Little King' - by the Celestial Geometry Mysteries

According to Greek astro-mythology the supreme god Zeus descended in the shape of the Swan - the constellation situated close to Lyra, the biggest star most high in the sky - and he fertilized earthly Leda (Ionic for 'the woman') representing Sirius, the Egyptians' Isis. Lyra and Sirius are situated on exactly the same straight line of sight, with Sirius at the part outside the ecliptic's celestial circle, which the line is crossing almost perpendicularly. The off-spring of Zeus and Leda became expressed or transferred as the pair of stars known as the Twins.
          Also according to similar principles it was by a special understanding that the line was seen leading from "the Father" as the supreme, divine principle - here related to the Swan and especially the Lyra star. This line was a frequently used line of sight (the World-axis, latest seen in use by astronomer Ole Roemer, ca. 1700) and it leads as a basic line (hypotenuse) from the Lyra star down to "the Mother", i.e. Sirius. In this way a perfect Pythagorean triangle appear with its top angle (rectangular) in "the Son", the Prince, i.e. in Leo's main star (Alpha Leo), Basiliscus, the "little king" (: "the king's son, prince").
          In the esoteric celestial geometry - and in the present case with the cardinal numbers of 3, 4, and 5 of the Pythagorean triangle - the number symbolizing the Father is to be expressed as 3, i.e. the length of the triangle-side being opposite the vertex of the Father. Thus, the number of the Mother is 4 as relating to the triangle-side between the Father and the Son. The number of the Son is 5 and is expressed by the connecting line (the hypotenuse) from the father to the mother.
          With the Father in the sky (Paradise), the Mother outside (earthly), and the Son exactly at the very ecliptic circle ("having a foot in both camps") - this son, "the Crown Prince", the human being, i.e. the Son of Man, appears half-worldly and half divine. The concept: the principles of the Father, the Mother, and the Son - is known in all major religions. And even the starry duplicate of the idea about the Father at the centre and the Son at the circle-line can be seen even in the late 1600's in the star related learning of ideas at the beginning modern, western European science.

 



Until very late in history the World-axis was still used as in antiquity, i.e. as
a line of sight and reference. Around 1700 the illustration, above, was made
for Ole Roemer, the Danish astronomer and discoverer of the speed of light
.

Sidetop

The Star of the Royal Births

In parables Jesus talks about him self as "a king's son". And concrete statements in The Gospels show his family is reaching back to King David who is registered among his royal ancestors - all this is, apparently, not the only relating. On a certain day every summer when the sun passes the star Basiliscus-Regulus, i.e. "the little king" or "the (royal) son", probably may be the day of the birth of Jesus. Only 350 years after the time of Jesus, the church decided that his birthday should be determined to be on the birthday of Mithras, the god of cultic initiations - it was at the day of winter solstice, i.e. 25th December.
          In the years around the birth of Jesus, the Basiliscus-Regulus star was situated at the very ecliptic circle right on the border between the constellations Cancer and Leo - in a location computed based on the position of the equinox point at that time.
          Furthermore - on the same mentioned "day of Basiliscus" in the summer the star Sirius with its other name, The Greater Dog, began its special 30 "dog days" period - as they still are called - after that Sirius had disappeared and being out of sight for 70 days but now returned to show itself again above the horizon.
          Then the celestial Pythagorean triangle, i.e. the Father, the Mother, and the Son could be observed/percepted simultaneously at sunrise (while the sun passed and covered Basiliscus). The day was especially the marking of the Egyptian New Year, approx. 20th July - which in the Roman calendar was the day of the Tammuz Festival and was signified as "the Day of Adam".
          The idea was imported from Babylonia - a syncretism, cf. the Roman use of elements of other religions - for instance, the Roman version of the Egyptian Isis cult.
          Jesus was also called "the Son of Man" and "the Saviour", St. Paul called him "the other Adam", and Pilate called him "king". Alexander the Great, another king, was also born on 20th July - Alexander is Greek for 'Saviour of Man'. Likewise, Julius Caesar was favoured by some 'royal' prestige from the fact that he was born very close (a few days prior) to this date.

 



The constellation Leo, shown by Johs. Honter's woodcut (inspired from Albrecht Dührer's map, 1515)
in a publication – printed in Basel in 1541 – of Ptolemy's book "Omnia quae extant opera". Correctly
for the time the Leo main star, Basiliscus-Regulus, is placed in the middle of Leo's 3rd decan
.

Sidetop

The Serpent Hatching the World Egg

Today the basilisk is mostly known as something else - a recently discovered American lizard, of the group of tree-iguanas. The special type is also called the Jesus Christ Lizard because of its ability to walk on the water, in reality by running 10-20 metres across the water surface with many steps per second to avoid sinking. It got the basilisk name because of the scary look of the basilisk described in ancient Middle East myths where the traditional basilisk appears as a monster with the head of a cock, claws with dangerous spurs and wings of a cock, and a snake-like tail.
          The characteristic of this basilisk (cockatrice) was that a snake had hatched this monster (or a toad, cf. "little king") from a spherical, yolkless egg, laid during the days of Sirius (the Dog Star) by a seven-year-old rooster (cock)!
          Sin some of the myths is added that the basilisk spit out such powerful venom that plants withered, and animals died when being hit. The eyes of the monster were flashing sparks - and had such a sinister power that everything the monster looked at died. Therefore it could not endure to look at its own reflected image. Only the cock (and weasel) possessed power to be in control - so when the basilisk heard a cock crow (metaphoric for the sun's rise and appearance), it disappeared into the ground.
          During the ages the basilisk was discussed by European writers, including Pliny the Elder (1st century AD, in his "Natural History", Book 8:33), Lucan (1st century AD, in his "Pharsalia", Book 9:849ff), and Isidore of Seville (7th century AD, in his "Etymologies", Book 12, 4:6ff). In the Middle Ages the Church's dignitar Pietro d'Abano wrote about the subject.
          And later mentioning by the poets, e.g. in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", William Shakespeare's "Richard III", and Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ode to Naples". Also in modern times the magic of the basilisk catches, such as in Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret".
          The basilisk appears in Leonardo da Vinci's "Bestiary" and in his Notebooks. Theophilus Presbyter gives a long recipe in his book for creating a basilisk in order to convert copper into "Spanish gold" (De auro hyspanico). And Albertus Magnus' "De animalibus" claiming Hermes Trismegistus - but possibly not correct - as a source of the legends and as the creator of the account about the basilisk's ashes being able to convert silver into gold.
 

The stars and alchemy

Again and again the idea about the basilisk appears among alchemists and astrologically initiated persons - even in late European history. The Italian theologian, Marcilio Ficino (1433-1499), the Renaissance Platonist philosopher at the Medicis, wanted to re-create a magnificent synthesis of the greatest ancient ideas and knowledge - and also including the star teachings.
          In his work, "De vita coelitus compranda" (pp. 394-398), Ficino says about a type of magic that:
                    "... with the sage herb cleansed by means of manure - and while the sun and the moon were in conjunction in the second third of the Leo's zodiacal sign - some Persian magicians once produced a bird like a black-bird with a serpent's tail. After the creature had been pulverized to ash they put it into a lamp resulting in that the house suddenly becoming full of snakes. That kind of magic is empty and hazardous to the health and should be avoided. But the other (magic), the necessary one, that connects astrology to medicine, should be maintained. ..." - (reference in Axel Haaning's book: "Light of Nature. Western Philosophy of Nature in the High Middle Age and Renaissance 1250-1650", in Danish, Copenhagen 2001, pp. 189-190).
          The mentioned manure and ash powder played an important part in alchemy. Especially the esoteric-astrological features are unmistakable. The sun's annual passage follows the ecliptic circle through the 12 zodiacal signs of which each is divided into 3 parts of 10 arc degrees, a decan (of Greek deka,'10'). The ecliptic's own movement - the precession - had at the time of Ficino caused that the Basiliscus star now was situated in the second (i.e. the middle) decan of the star sign of Leo.
          And when the sun passed through Leo it would thus be in direct contact with the Basiliscus-star, but the point of time should also be arranged that around here a culmination of the new moon also took place - as mentioned by Ficino as the "conjunction" (with the sun).
          From Egypt is known the powerful sun god Ra - with his vehicle, the sun disc Aton - adopted by the Greeks as the sun god Apollon, with his vehicle, the sun as Helios, the largest celestial body. However, Apollon was the powerful figure, also in destructive connections, thus in Greek apollon was also a word for 'destruction' - and was used, for instance, in this meaning in the Bible's New Testament (in The Revelation of St. John the Devine).
          The sun was symbolical connected with the cock in numerous old narratives. And the expression "... a bird similar to a black bird (though in Latin is here used merula, 'a blackbird') with the tail of a snake ..." points directly to traditions of Babylonian star knowledge - well-known earlier in the Greek-Roman tradition, which was much occupying Ficino.
          Vega (alpha Lyra), one of the sky's most luminous stars - originally the North Star - was in Babylonian named Tartugallu, i.e. the 'King Rooster/Cock'. Later the Arabs changed this to Black Hen or Cock (cf. Babylonian tartu, 'cock' - and gal-lu, 'king', this with an extra, associative significance by that the expression in reverse order, i.e. lu-gal, meant 'man', 'human being'). Concerning the "tail of a snake", and also the black rooster, see the following.

 


In the teachings of the initiated the moon's orbit - the snake-like
revolving path around the earth - was depicted as the coiling Cosmic
Serpent hatching the World Egg. From this the Basilisk was hatched out.

Sidetop

The Snake Coiling the Earth

Through the ancient cults' mystery initiations a special information was communicated in the shape of parables - often known as the so-called fables, as the fables e.g. of Aesop (620-560 BC) - a widespread practice and tradition also later being used frequently by Jesus. One of these Greek fables gives an image of a rooster/cock standing on the back of a dog standing on the back of a donkey. This simply expressed the previously mentioned World-axis (not to be mistaken for the axis of the earth) stretching along the Milky Way across the sky all the way up to Lyra.
          The World-axis was seen extending from the star Canopus - which, being the "donkey's hoof", was a part of the ancient constellation The Donkey (with its underlying constellation Argo Navis) - and going up through the Sirius star (The Greater Dog, Canis Major) - up till the star Lyra/Wega close to the Swan (the Swan or Cygnus in European tradition, but the Rooster/Cock in Babylonian perception).
          The idea of this image of the World-axis with three main stars - the Donkey, the Dog and the black Cock - was connected with the esoteric parable about the Cock (from ancient times, relating the principle of the sun) which from top of the World-axis laid a special egg, i.e. the Earth. It was well-known in antiquity that the Earth was round, spherical, a knowledge which was a condition for the existence of the ancient Greeks' astronomical Antikythera computer.
          The egg was then hatched by the snake surrounding it (like the lunar orbit around the globe/earth). The principle of the concept is recognized from the mentioned Greek narrative about Zeus from the starry world creating a fertile connection to earth. Then the basilisk was hatched as a creature of special powers which, when uncontrolled, could be terribly destructive.
          The up to five possible annual lunar eclipses can only take place in two opposite nodes, which - during a fixed number of 19 years - having of currently changing positions, but only when these positions of the nodes are passing a pair of placement points out of the only possible 35 specific places on the ecliptic circle.
          In other words, the 35 places in the sky are from year to year a little variously distributed but always keeping their mutual distances of almost one decan (= 10°). Between these points the lunar orbit's changing placements - when seen through the 19 years' cycle altogether in the same picture - are situated on a course winding up and down as a giant snake around the earth.
The ancient Babylonians with their extensive astronomical knowledge used such a symbolic expression of the lunar orbit's zig-zag curve positions in space.


Descending to the Underworld

The mentioned two nodal points - "moon-nodes", i.e. of the lunar orbit - which constitute the positions of the eclipses have from ancient times been called the Snake's or Dragon's "head" (at the ascending lunar orbit) and the Dragon's "tail" (at the descending lunar orbit).
          In eastern Asia the same nodal points were called the Demon's Head and the Demon's tail.
          In India the tradition concerning celestial subjects contains many elements of the ancient Babylonian tradition. A very important element of the teachings of the stars in India was the moon's descending node, being the above mentioned celestial point of where the lunar orbit is crossing "downwards" through the ecliptic plane. In all known tradition in India this nodal point was called Ketu - this, however, was an ancient Babylonian word meaning 'the underworld'.
          This concept was symbolized by a sea monster in the shape of the constellation The Whale (placed close to the beginning of the Aries constellation), and was known too by the Greeks, who - likewise inspired by the Babylonians' name for it, Ketu - also named it Cetu(s). (However, the Egyptian-Greek astronomer, Ptolemy, and few Roman writers called it Balena or Belua - also meaning 'monster').
          In those days whales were - by their looks - considered also a kind of monsters, and according to the Hebrew Bible (in the Book of Jonah, 2:1-3) the prophet Jonah stayed for three days in "the belly of the whale" - literally: in the intestine of the (monster-)fish, however, the next verses states that Jonah cried out of "the belly of hell" - in Hebrew beten is 'belly'.
          In medieval times the simple theatre form still contained this reminiscence of antiquity's religious mystery plays and metaphoric thinking - by arranging the stage with its one side being permanently set up depicturing the sky - and its other side: the Hell (underworld) with fire being shown in the open big, swallowing jaws of a monster. This monster devouring - as the "whale fish" devoured Jonah (symbol of the spirit) - is recognized as the original Cetus figure.(Stories in which "belly of the beast" appears were well-known in ancient Greek mythology and the Bible as well as later in Grimm's Fairy Tales. It became a common metaphor in the literature, and e.g. it has been used also as film titles).
          Thus, Baten Kaitos is the traditional Hebrew name, 'belly of Cetus', of a special star (Zeta Ceti) - (Arabic: batn qaytus - 'Cetus-belly') - which is in Cetus, the constellation of the underworld or sea monster (later called a whale fish) on the eastern part of the sky.
          In Greek mythology Cetus represents the sea monster sent to devour Andromeda (Greek for 'controlling a course'). But in earlier times Cetus also was identified with the primeval Mesopotamian monster Tiamat, the 'deep sea', personified as a goddess or a female dragon (again, the lunar orbit), the name possibly derived from the more early Sumerian ti, 'life', and ama, 'mother' - life as originally connected with the sea (concerning the primordial biology).
          The Hebrew name Jonah means 'dove' - which is also the name of a star on the very same meridian as Cetus and is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. The Dove was a one of the Babylonian names for Andromeda. It was considered a special significance that the dove-star (Andromeda) and the monster-belly star (Baten Kaitos) are placed exactly on the same celestial longitude, respectively above and below the ecliptic (where the ecliptic is crossing the Earth-plane., i.e. the equator) in the same distance to each of them.
          Obviously, the biblical text in this way presents in a parable: that the "underworld" was visited by the Jonah, "spirit" (Jonah, the dove).

 

The two opposite placed nodes of the lunar orbit and the sun's so-called "orbit",
the ecliptic. These "moon-nodes" are slowly moving backwards on the ecliptic
(a cycle of 19 years) in the opposite direction of the planets. These two
points of crossing are the only places where occultation can take place.



The crossing nodal point of the lunar orbit, when leading down under the solar plane,
is named Ketu, 'underworld' - i.e. a name likewise the constellation Cetus resembling 'the
underworld monster' (here on the Bode star-map produced 1801-1817 from ancient tradition).

This Cetus constellation is placed where the nodal point (spring equinox) of the solar plane
crossing the plane of equator, had its position at the borderline of the zodiacal constellation
Aries 2,150 years ago when a new spring equinox cycle (a so-called Platonic age) started.
Through this "sun node" the sun, in springtime, arises from an 'underworld' (beneath
the equatorial plane) where the sun has been operating during the winter season.

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The occultation line - the magic wall around celestial Paradise

From the very old background in the Greeks' and the Indian's special horoscopes of the moon-house system, the name of the Cetus constellation is still seen in current tradition - and is connected to the starting point in the first moon-house of these horoscopes.
          According to this system - which in India's tradition has Rahu and Ketu, the two lunar-node points, appearing with important significance almost like planets - this first moon-house is "ruled" by Ketu, the setting node of the moon.
          Because the two nodes or cross-points on the ecliptic are the only places where the solar and lunar eclipse can occur, the name ecliptic, 'eclipse', was in use - actually from Greek: ekleipein, 'to leave or fail to appear'.
          The first moon-house is the starting in the point of east - and in the biblical parable Adam and Eva were expelled through the Paradise's eastern gateway to another world. In all ancient tradition the zodiacal constellations and houses were also designated: gateways of the sun. In this context the Paradise wall is the ecliptic circle, i.e. the occultation line is placesd as a magic border wall to be crossed through - in principle - via the mentioned eastern gateway.
          This could have a symbolic meaning in connection with alchemy - in order to get the fine gold - which according to the Bible's account on the creation, Genesis, is to be found by the rivers in the Paradise, the alchemist has to go through an occulted stage designated negrido.
          Again, a main idea in the astronomical feature includes that the hatching snake's (the lunar orbit's) one half part originated from the underworld (and the other half reaches and connects to the "upper world"). Of the egg/earth the Basiliscus monster was hatched, a hybrid of the sun-and-moon principle, actually transformed into a son of a king, a royal Prince as a refined principle of Man - a potential, activated by being the son of the "cosmic king/ruler".
          Significant themes in all this show similarities with the biblical Genesis. Adam was later called "the first earthly king" but also "the first alchemist" because a tradition by initiated persons stated that "he carried with him out of Eden-Paradise an important prime-material".
          The Bible was understood as a magical scripture - and the biblical Genesis as a perfect alchemic process - connecting with the geometrical dimensioning concept of the creation. At a next stage relations from planets to metals were incorporated, e.g. Mercury/mercurium (Latin, 'mercury'), Sun/aurum ('gold', Latin aurora, 'the sunrise colours'), Jupiter/pewter, originally named tin ('tin', a heritage of Etruscan designation for 'Jupiter'), etc.
          As indicated, the alchemists seem to have connected the brightest star of the sky, Sirius ("the woman", "the mother"), with the element sulfur. Thus it is of importance to see which elements were considered connected with the stars Lyra ("the father") and Basilicus ("the son", "Little King"). It may reasonably be inferred from Isaac Newton's text that the element of antimony ("the Earth's metal"), called stibnit, is relating to Basilicus (Regulus, alpha Leo).

 



At the Danish king's Castle of Kronborg this manor house tapestry shows: Tycho Brahe (left), King
Frederik II (centre) and his son, the later Christian IV (right). The dogs symbolize the stars Sirius (called Greater Dog) and Procyon (Lesser Dog). The king's son, likewise, represents the Basiliscus-Regulus
star ('Little King'). The inscription on the collar of the big dog contains alchemistic codified language
.

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Knowledge Fragments Surviving

From the ancient "depots of knowledge" - being the mystery cults' teachings, later also expressed by Hermetic philosophy - the celestial geometry with cosmological ideas of recognition and religious psychological archetypes were disseminated. Such kind of knowledge penetrates the biblical texts and the teachings of the Jews, Gnostics, Christians, and later Islamic tradition (for instance, in Sufism texts and even the Omar Khayyam poems); and also in the Renaissance by the early science at its start. Circumstances of this kind are rarely seen or expressed in history books and in theology.
          Gradually the cultic mysteries' code keys for occult celestial geometry were forgotten. Consequently the special perception of the "triadic concept" disappeared, i.e. the Father, the Mother, and the Son - and their celestial geometrical, Pythagorean rectangular duplicate. A part of the principle idea remained, however - later included as the special Christian "spiritual" Trinity as the Father, the Son, and now the Holy Spirit.
          Fragments of this special knowledge survived in Western Europe - in the Neo-Platonism and Hermetic astro-philosophy. Such was known, for instance by the Danish pioneer of astronomical science, Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), and his German colleague and heir, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630).
          Based on his metaphysical, scientific and religious world of ideas, Kepler let numerical values of the celestial spheres transform into music, and tried to explore the ancient idea of "harmony of the spheres". In principle, also expressed by his contemporary, Galileo (here possibly  inspired by Plato):
          "...The universe can only be read until we learned the language as written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles and other geometrical patterns. ..."

          Tycho Brahe laid the foundation stone of his observatory-castle early in a certain summer morning when the sun formed a conjunction with the Basiliscus star. He belonged to an international group of highly initiated persons, also including kings. The National Museum of Denmark now holds a manor tapestry of a special kind, made for the king's Castle of Kronborg - and Tycho Brahe is depicted on this contemporarily woven, royal tapestry.
          The tapestry also shows the key figures King Frederick II together with a big dog. He stands next to his son, the Crown Prince, the later King Christian IV, who is shown as a "little king" close to a "minor dog" - thus, correctly similar to a real celestial pattern in the sky.
          In this arrangement the king's long rifle (more outstanding than his long marshal's baton, as in Antiquity's symbolism) 'visualizes' the World-axis, here correctly positioned near Sirius. He is thus placed with the important star Sirius, The Greater Dog. In addition, the star Procyon/Canis Minor, 'lesser dog', is shown, - and the royal star, Basiliscus/Regulus ('little king').
          On the collar of the Greater Dog is written TIW, an abbreviation for the king's proverb, "Treu ist Wildbradt", these words in German meaning 'fidelity is roast of venison' (being old slang for "the best available"). This may be a very suitable inscription on a sporting dog's collar - however, to an alchemist the inscription is actually to be understood as tio (tiu) which is the Greek word for 'sulfur' - well-known as one of the most important substances in the alchemical process.
          In the alchemy writings some main ingredients are mentioned - especially gold, sulphur, and salt. The code tiw (tiu) strongly suggests here that the element sulfur was considered as associated with the Sirius star - as, in principle, the sun was regarded as a connection to gold
.
          The occult and esoteric symbolism held the close attention of royal houses of earlier times. To the initiated kings the jesters, the only persons being allowed to contradict the kings, symbolised a "balanced challenge". And when the kings employed expensively dressed dwarves - this contained certain features of a tribute to the homunculus motive, in alchemy the "little king" connected with the celestial royal star Basiliscus-Regulus.
          As Tycho Brahe belonged to the elite of his country, was a nobleman, had his own court, and presents as an initiated person - he had of course also a dwarf. This dwarf, Jeppe, most often called Per Geck (Gaek, 'teasing', 'fun'), followed Tycho Brahe in his 'exile' to Prague and caught much attention there. Jeppe had clairvoyant skills and it was well-known that Tycho Brahe and his assistants were following his advice in many respects.
          The dwarfs by the kings and other great men connected to ideas which can be traced back to, for instance, the Greek Cabir cults in Asia Minor with the ancient "alchemist" kings, e.g. Midas and Croesus.
           Concerning the above mentioned Aesop with his so-called fables, often about animals but in reality belonging to the initiation cults' teachings containing hidden astronomical and alchemistical themes, - it was stated by Plato in the Phaedo that Socrates spent his time, while he was in prison, turning Aesop's fables into verse. Also, historian Herodotus wrote about him. During the later part of his life Aesop took residence at a famous place in Asia Minor where he met Socrates' "predecessor" Solon, actually it was while Aesop lived here at the court of the golden King Croesus.

 



In heraldry, the looks of shield supporters giving power to the coat of arms, were often inspired of
the basilisk - with extra details from lion and eagle - and are called griffins or gryphons. In the sky the
Basilisk star is in the Leo constellation, and the Cock (the basilisk's head) near the Eagle-stars (Aquila).

Above, an example of basilisk-griffins holding on to a coat of arms for the von Spaeth nobilities, a
version of 1777 (an early version with a sun and more stars, instead of canons, was from the 1600's)
.
 

 

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Bibliography

Allen, Richard Hinckley:  Star Names. Their Lore and Meaning, New York, (Dover Publications), reprint 1963.

Ashbrook, Joseph:  The Astronomocal Scrapbook. - Skywatchers, Pioneers, and Seekers in Astronomy, Sky Publishing Corporation, Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Bischoff, Erich:  Der Sieg der Alchymie, Berlin 1925.

Christianson, John Robert:  On Tycho's Island. - Tycho Brahe, science, and culture in the sixteenth century, Cambridge (Cambridge University Press), 2000.

Eisler, Robert:  The Royal Art of Astrology, London (Herbert Joseph Ltd.) 1946, pp. 239-241.

Gingerich, Owen:  The Great Copernicus Case, - and other adventures in astronomical history, Sky Publishing Corporation, Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Haaning, Aksel:  Naturens Lys. Vestens naturfilosofi i højmiddelalder og renæssance 1250-1650, ("Light of Nature. Western Philosophy of Nature in the High Middle Age and Renaissance 1250-1650"), in Danish (C.A. Reitzels forlag), Copenhagen 2001, pp. 189-190.

Moesgaard, Kristian Peder:  Elements of Planetary, Lunar, and Solar Orbits, 1900 B.C. to A.D. 1900, Tabulated for Historical Use, Centaurus International Magazine of the History of Science and Medicine, 19, 1975, pp. 157-181.

- -  :  The Full Moon serpent: A foundation stone of Ancient astronomy, Centaurus, 24, 1980, pp. 51-96.

Pannekoek, Anton:  A History of Astronomy, (London 1961), New York, Dover Publications reprint 1989.

Partington, J.R.:  The origins of the planetary symbols of the metals, Ambix, 1, 1937.

Sheppard, H.J.:  Gnosticism and alchemy, Ambix, 6, 1953.

Thoren, Victor E.:  The Lord of Uraniborg. - A Biography of Tycho Brahe, Cambridge (Cambridge University Press), 1990.

Thorndike, Lynn:  Alchemy during the first half of the 16th century, Ambix 2, 1937.

Wilson, Colin:  Starseekers, London (Hodder and Stoughton), 1980.

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Postscript:
  the re-found knowledge of ancient antiquity and classical antiquity had some of the best conditions during the renaissance - where alchemy and astrology as a philosophical system were mandatory subjects at the European universities - not least in order to better understand the philosophers of antiquity. Also, with a keen interest many kings and rulers had the classical symbolism in ancient systems of ideas made connected with their architecture and the fine arts.

The Frederiksborg Castle north of Copenhagen was founded by the especially mystery interested King
Frederick II of Denmark, who held the patronage of Tycho Brahe and his experiments on the esoteric
sciences. Later the king's son, King Christian IV, expanded the castle.

The author Ove von Spaeth is here on his way exploring this rich renaissance castle of which
both of the two kings so exuberantly had equipped with antiquity's symbolic figures representing
a Hermetic legacy of special knowledge.

 

 

More texts about the Basilisk

          in    Zenith files - net-base for Ove von Spaeth's articles.




Egypt's Gold
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(courtesy: Cairo Museum)
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A special treasure of knowledge and wisdom of Greece, Rome, and the Renaissance had originated in Ancient Egypt - and was here known to connect also with the historical Moses' dramatic fate and mystery.
          Ove von Spaeth has written an intriguing, new-orientating work presenting this still influential background of our civilization. His interdisciplinary research on history, archaeology, and anthropology goes deeply into Egyptian tradition, history of religion, initiation cults, star-knowledge, and mythology - relating to biblical studies, the Rabbinical Writings, and the authors of Antiquity. Each volume offers unique insights not presented before.
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