The Alchemy web site on Levity.com
Description of figures from the Aurora consurgens
I made this description of figures from the version of the Aurora consurgens in Glasgow University Library (Ms. Ferguson 6.). The order, number of illustrations and precise details of each figure varies in the different manuscripts.
Back to figures from the Aurora consurgens.
1. A coat of arms is shown against a reddish purple background. A crowned metallic grey helmet with blue wreaths of stylised leaves, is set above a blue shield bearing the image of a yellow solar face. Above the helmet another sun is seen shining its beams upon the scene below.
2. A crowned woman stands her arms outstretched holding open her cloak in a protective gesture. The cloak is blue on the outside and green on the inside. Inside the cloak we see seven small figures sheltering, they wear different coloured robes (blue, red lilac, reddish-purple, blueish-purple, dark red, and yellow). Inside her cloak the woman is seen wearing a yellow or golden dress. In each hand are stylised banners such as should have text, though no text is shown in this version. At her feet another small figure in a black robe with a red hood, kneels and gestures as if also seeking shelter under her cloak. Beside him at her feet is another banner. She is standing on a brown and green mound, against a reddish purple background, and the circle of blue sky is above her head.
3. Two miners one with a pickaxe in a red robe with a hood, and the other in a light purple hooded robe, are working at some rocks on the left. On a rocky pinnacle on the right we see a green bird sitting upon its nest. It seems to be a pelican in the act of biting its own breast.
4. On the left two figures one in a crimson the other in a green robe stand at a table and seem to be working with some gold upon a sheet of paper. On the right a figure in a crimson robe wields a hammer and seems to be beating a rectangular plate upon a tree stump or anvil.
5. On the left a miner clothed in dark earth green is in the act of sieving ore and extracting golden grains which fall down into a rectangular collecting vessel. Beside him is a bucket and spade. On the right we see a rocky outcrop on top of which a golden yellow phoenix is seen rising from its nest of flames.
6. Five small cherubic figures hover and play over a band of flames in the lower part of this figure. On the right within the flames we see a serpent, part of its body coiling round forming an egg shape.
7. Against a reddish-purple background, on the left a woman in a grey robe with long blond hair emerging from under a green bonnet, stands at a table and seems to be counting golden coins lying on the table. On the right a woman wearing a green robe with long sleeves, holds a pair of scales in her left hand, while a grey bird perches on her left hand and pecks at a gold coin she is holding.
8. Against an orange background a crowned woman in a grey robe stands in a green field. Her breasts protrude through two holes in her tunic and two bearded men (that on the left is dressed in reddish purple, while the other on the right wears a green robe) kneel on either side and suckle her breasts.
9. A man in a brown robe and cap with a purple collar, strides from left to right across a green rolling plain towards a rocky outcrop. To his left is a tree in leaf. Beneath the rocks we see a round cauldron set upon a fire. Out of the wide neck of this cauldron we see the crowned head of a naken male figure. The man in the brown robe gestures towards this cauldron which seems to be the object of his journey.
10. On a low green mound beside a brown path, two fires are burning. Within the fire on the left we see a peacock displaying its resplendant tail. The fire on the right holds a white open wide necked flask or cauldron.
11. On the left we see a dark skinned naked man with a fair face sitting upon a matress set on the ground. He gestures towards another male figure on the right wearing a deep blue robe, its collar outlined in gold. Underneath he wears a reddish purple garment. He holds out to the seated figure a green stick bearing a round green form speckled with red. The man on the matress seems about to receive this into his outstretched hand.
12. Two male figures on the left converse with each other. One is crowned and wears a brown robe over a reddish undergarment, while the other with a brown cap, wears a reddish jacket over brown underclothes. They gesture towards a wide necked white flask on the right set upon a fire. Within this flask we see the outlines of two naked figures.
13. A naked couple make love within a bed with a blue cover and a reddish purple pillow. In a cot beside the bed is a small infant wrapped up in a reddish purple cover. At the foot of the bed stands a young man in red robe with green leggings. He holds something is his right hand which he seems to be about to present to the couple.
14. Under a roof supported by columns with ornate bases, an old man is seen seated at the right. He supports a large book upon his knees, which has on its open pages sun and moon symbols, and an ouroboros bird figure. To the left three men approach and gesture towards him, seeming to enter into conversation. On the roof of this house nine deep blue birds are seen.
15. Two knights fight a combat, striking each others shields with lances. That on the left bears a sun head and is mounted on golden lion. He wears a blue armour coat over his grey brown armour. His shield is black and has three grey lunar crescents set upon it. On the right we see a naked figure (possibly a woman) mounted upon a winged griffon, the front part a blue eagle form, the rear part a golden lion. This figure has three faces like three crescent moons, one looking forward, another backwards while the third set upon the top of the head looks upward. This figure holds a blue shield with a golden solar faced disc upon it.
16. A woman is seen seated upon the ground within a circle bearing each of the zodiacal signs. Outside of this the sun shines from beneath a grey cloud. The woman's head is wrapped in a white cloth and she seems to be holding up a triangular cloth in her hands. She sits awkwardly on the ground wearing a purple robe pulled up above her knees. From between her open legs we see a flow of waters. She seems to be in the act of giving birth.
17. Against a purple background we see a green dragon lying dead upon its back, its feet in the air. From its head a flow of blood appears. It is labelled "Corpus". On the left a figure labelled "anima" with a crown and a yellow pointed hat wearing a white shirt shaded with blue, seizes hold of the dragons rear legs. On the right a figure labelled "Spiritus", wearing a white shirt over grey underclothes, takes hold of the dragons front legs. They seem to be about to lift the dragon and carry it off.
18. A grey bodied woman with green wings stands in a nimbus of light upon a blue shaded hill. At her feet is a grey moon disc. She is wearing a white shift, and her hands reach down and part this over the area of her stomach. Through this oval opening we see a caduceus within against a red background. There is some text above "Amictus lamine tanquam vestimento. Psal. 103".
19. On the left a blue figure with a long tail, brown animal legs and white angel wings, holds in its right hand a white sword and in its left an grey arrow. On the right we see a wide mouthed white flask. Flames are burning within its lowest part, and above this we see two birds seizing each others tails. One bird coloured red lies below on its back just above the flames, while the other, coloured grey shaded in blue, beats its wings and flies upright, its feet set upon the belly of the lower bird. This is taking place upon a green field against a pinkish purple background.
20. Two naked lovers lie beside one another upon a white mattress set on an open green plain. Their heads are supported by a reddish purple pillow. At the foot of their bed a low fence is seen made of woven twigs.
21. On the left a brown trunked tree is seen rising from a green mound, around which is a low fence of woven twigs. A golden crown is seen around the bole of the tree. A man wearing a red robe and a blue hat and leggings, holds in his right hand a large grey key and moves from the tree towards the gate of a grey castle on the right.
22. A green mound rises to the right against a reddish-purple background. On the left a strange blue figure with a serpent's tail and blue rays like a sun around the head, hovers in the air, carrying an axe over ite left shoulder, while its right hand holds what appears to be a pan-pipe to its mouth. At is feet in the forground we see the decapitated figures of a man and woman in pinkish-red robes. From their necks streams of blood still gush forth. On the right higher up the mound is a grey wide mouthed vessel with four greyish flowers within it.
23. On the left we see a naked figure seated upon a low stool, one hand holding a rod or cane. Beside this figure stands another with a yellow cap cutting the seated figure'e head with a small knife to let the blood flow. This standing figure holds in out in its left hand a small bowl to the seated figure who also grasps this in its right hand holding it in such a way as to catch a stream of blood which flows from an open vein in its arm. On the right a man with a grey sword, dressed in a white robe shaded with pinkish red and wearing stockings or knee length boots, leads a woman with fair hair, similar to the standing figure on the left. Her arms are bound behind her back, and he appear to be leading her to a fire on the extreme right of the drawing.
24. A blue disc is seen with three smaller circles at the vertices of an upright triangle set upon it. These bear the images of the three components of the holy Trinity. Above a symbol of the Father, to the left the dove of the Holy Spirit, while on the right is the Son depicted as an infant with his cross. At the centre of the blue disc is a golden crown set above a small circle, within which is depicted two almost skeletal figures between which a dove rises.
25. A crowned flask is seen set upon flames. Within it three birds, a white a blue and a red fight each other (similar to the Splendor Solis image).
26. A figure with fair hair, wearing a white tunic shaded with red and blue, tends a fire with bellows. Upon this fire is set a open cauldron within which we see yellow and brown shapes. Two brown birds perch on the side of the cauldron and are either seizing hold of these shapes or else dropping them into the cauldron. In the air above three other brown birds fly, two upwards and one down toward the cauldron. They have nothing in their beaks.
27. On the right a schoolmaster in a blue robe with red hat, sits in his pulpit at a lectern reading from an open book. On a bench in front of him to the left we see five children.
28. Against a green background a great blue eagle with e yellow beak hovers its wings outstretched. In front of the eagle and partly occluding it stands a naked female (to the left) and a male figure (on the right), facing outwards their arms around each others shoulders. Upon the woman's genitals is seen a blue lunar crescent, while her male companion has a solar disc. In her right outer hand she holds a brown bat , while the man holds a limp dead hare in his left outer hand. They stand upon a oval black disc upon which are seen numerous blue birds.
29. Against a reddish purple background a strange composite figure stands. It has a human body, but an ape like head on the left and an eagle head on the right. From its right shoulder a brown eagle wing also appear,and from the lower back on the opposite side the distinctive tail feathers of the eagle can be seen now a blue colour. The rightmost foot of this figure is a cloven animal hoof and stands upon a skull, while the other leg is flaming like a torch. This composite figure holds in its left hand a lobster and plays it like a violin with a long snake which it holds like a bow in its right hand. On a mound on the right a small grey bird holds to its beak a long pipe or reed, from the end of which a puff of smoke or air appears.
30. Against a dark brown sky the sun is seen shining at the zenith. On the left an old man stands upon an open green space, holding on his left arm a brown owl. He wears a blue cloak over an white robe shaded reddish purple. He gestures towards a group of four figures on the right. Two of these ( a man and a woman? wearing a green and a purple robe) dance blindfolded, while two other look on (one in a blue robe, the other in a yellow jerkin over blue underclothes. In the centre foreground a naked infant plays holding a banner (without text). Text around the frame of this figure says "Lux lucet in tenebris, et tenebrae non comprehenderunt..."
31. Upon a green plain a old man in a grey cloak over reddish purple underclothes, looks upwards and gestures to the Sun in a cloud. In his left hand he holds the end of a banner (without text). Beside him on the right a wide mouthed pinkish white flask is set upon flames. (Splendor Solis image).
32. Against an orange background a crowned king holding orb and sceptre is seated on the left upon his canopied throne. He wears a reddish purple robe over blue undergarments. He is approached from the right by two women, one crowned as a queen, wearing a grey cloak over green robes, and an attendant wearing a green cloak over reddish purple robes. In front of them goes a small naked infant holding aloft a wide mouthed grey white flask with a white star within it.
33. An wide mouthed flask is set at the centre of a circle. The flask has a pink layer lying on top of a yellow layer. It is surrounded by 7 smaller circles each bearing a figure symbolic of a planet. Saturn is at the top and a cycle proceeds clockwise through Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon.
34. Against a reddish purple background green ground rises to a small hill on the right. On the right under the hill a man lies dying pierced by a sword blood pouring from a wound. From his mouth a little greyish white soul comes forth. On the left we see a coffin upon the ground round which a green serpent dragon has fomed itself into an ouroboros. Another green serpent lies dead its feet in the air. In the coffin there sits upright a corpse being revived. A man wearing A green robe, and brown right arm and left leg, and grey left arm and right leg, holds a greyish white soul form to the mouth of the reviving corpse.
35. Against a reddish purple background a great cockerel serpent, stands on the left with its tail coiling. On the right at the foot of a little hill a grey serpent has been cut in two and bleeds profusely. Below this from out of a little copse comes a dog or fox jumping up at a round golden dish with a grey centre.
36. Against a green background a man dressed in a reddish purple shirt and blue grey trousers works at a table mixing a greyish-white substance (possibly cement?). On the right a large wide open mouthed flask is seen sitting upon flames. Within the flask a green dragon lies on its back and seizes it own tail. On top of the dragon a brownish blue eagle stands with outstretched wings, while a black crow perches upon the eagle's head.
37. In the foreground is a green plain while behind is a bluish green background. On the left a naked woman sits. Beside her are two pots or jars. She holds out in her right hand another jar containing a red substance, while her left hand holds on to her hair. To the right a naked man (woman?) sits legs apart. This figure has a large oval gash from the breast to the stomach, and holds in its right hand its heart proferring it to the figure on the left. Its skull has been cut round and hinged open and the figure seems to be holding its brains in its left hand. Much blood pours from the orifices of its body.
38. On a green and rocky crag, a brown rooster copulates with a hen, while below we see a hen sitting upon its eggs.