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Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians
This 18th century compendium, drew on 17th century alchemical sources such as Adrian von Mynsich, with mystical pieces from Valentin Weigel, and Abraham von Franckenberg's works on Jacob Boehme. It was an important and influential source of Rosicrucian ideas, albeit filtered thtough an 18th century perspective.
Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer, aus dem 16ten und 17ten Jahrhundert. Erstes Heft. Aus emem alten Mscpt. zum erstenmal ans Licht gestelit. Altona, 1785. Gedruckt und verlegt von J. D. U. Eckhardt. Zweites Heft. Altona, 1788.
Back to Rosicrucian texts.
The Teachings of the Rosicrucians
of the 16th and 17th Centuries
A Simple ABC Booklet
For Young Students
Practising Daily in the School of the Holy Ghost
Made clear to the eyes by pictorial figures
For the Exercises of the New Year
Natural and Theological Light
by a Brother of the Fraternity of the Rose Cross Christi P.F.
For the first time made public
with several figures of similar content added by P.S.
Altona. Printed and Published by Joh. Ad. Eckhardt, Book-Printer to H.M. the King of Denmark.
The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet - Proverbs 27, 7.
A scorner seeketh wisdom and findeth it not; but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth - Proverbs 14, 6.
An anonymous treatise on the Philosophers' stone
If a philosopher you wish to be,
Let only patience dwell in thee.
Where on this globe lives a man so wise,
Who'll ever learn what four ones do comprise,
And even if he'd know all this,
He'd still always be an apprentice.
Therefore, O human, with all thy might,
Recognise God and thyself in God's and nature's light,
Both these lights God pours into thee,
That a likeness of him thou mayest be,
He is one fourfold God, let thou be told,
As thou art a piece of clay fourfold.
This maketh nature to thee well known,
With wisdom, light and understanding to thee is it shown.
To nothing can thine eye be blind,
Be it of body or of mind.
Therefore be thankful to thy God,
Who in time this before thee hast brought.
Be thou not jealous of the scoffer's fame,
Do not begrudge every mocker's great name.
With sophisticated vanity they strut,
Unbeknownst to them is what thou'st got.
Be happy with what God to thee gave,
Defy, that four in one they have.
Fiat and Amen, be my treasure,
A fourfold sphere always together.
O Domine quam mirabilia sunt opera tua.
Lord, thine eternal Spirit is in all Things.
Coelum et Terra.
There is never a philosopher who Nature's ultimate Principle doth not know.
Speculum divinum occultum atque
Natura rerum seu instrumentarum
Igneum philosophorum et
Four fires are floating in this world,
Wherein God holdeth a Center,
That is locked up in four,
Out of which Heaven and Earth were poured
So thou has all in all,
Earth and Heavens in one together,
Look well at it, it is to thy good,
And pondering over, thou wilt not rue it.
Notice Nature in its strength,
Look at its great life-power
From God it, and all things spring
And return to their centers again.
Friend thoughtfully look at this mirror,
See how Nature is revealed,
Always watch the inner center,
Turn the outer spheres around it.
Look well for the golden Magnet. If thou findest it thou wouldest get rid of thy sorrows.
Study well the law 'Know thyself', that thou may not be deceived any more.
Unum sunt omnia, per quod omnia.
Make known to thee the Terra Sancta, so that thou mayest not go astray.
Figurative Image of how within this world three Worlds in each other, namely this earth Sun-World, and also the Heavenly and the Hellish world have their effects. And the darkness cannot conquer the light. It also shows that the land of the dead, the entrance to Hell or superficial darkness, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, as well as the land of the living, the heavenly paradise or third heaven are from this world. And that the human being has all these things in his heart; heaven and hell, light and darkness, life and death.
The outer and inner Mind
Without God's light you cannot find
Only the Spirit alone knows
Reason in flesh is blind.
God is free everywhere
Within and without all Creature
Time measure of Nature
The Angel with six wings.
God is the Alpha and Omega
The Beginning and the End
Time measure of the Law
Lion with six wings.
God is the first and the last.
Time of the Evangelium
Ox with six wings.
IV. HOLY GHOST.
And there is no God
But the one God
Time of fulfillment
Eagle with six wings.
The way of life is above to the wise, so that you shun the hell beneath. Prov. 15, 24.
The Tree of Good and Evil Knowledge
There is one tree bearing two kinds of fruits. Its name is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Like its name, are its fruits: namely, good and bad fruits of life and death, of love and hate, of light and darkness. This tree was put before Adam, and even if he had in his innocence the liberty to look upon it as a tree of God's wonders. God's prohibition did not allow him to place his desire in it and eat of it, but threatened that (if he would do so) he would die from its fruit. For this was a tree of division where good and evil battled with each other: but in a battle there can be no life: For battle brings forth destruction, and destruction brings forth death, life lives in the sweet unity of love. Therefore, when Adam ate from this tree, a battle started within him, and in this battle he lost his life.
Nevertheless wretched men will not learn through such fall and damage. His desire is still for that tree and its fruits. Man is always desirous to have the division of manifold things, and man is always battling, when he could return to the unity of simplicity, if he only would come in peace. Life's light stands in the middle to point out to men the way to this first rest, and the Father in the heaven lets his Sun rise over good and evil: But everything grows after its own fashion, and man is only too apt to look upon the stars of the manyfoldness, and in his own discretion, to choose them for his ladders, though they make him stray many times from the true light, and detain him in the whirlpool of uncertainty. This whirlpool of uncertainty leads more and more out of the innermost face of the Sun into the outer (world) and can find neither end nor place of rest, unless it leads from the outer (world) back again and seeks the beginning, from which all the smaller star-lights originated.
There is also among 7 stars, hardly one turning its rays inward to direct the searching mind to Bethlehem, and amongst 7 eyes winding around the whirlpool of searching desire is hardly one which stands towards the Sabbath in the innermost; but the restless movement of the working days move them through all spheres, and even if they take a look at God's wonders, they only look upon the surface and every eye looks upon that which is shown through its own desire. God made man to live in an eternal Sabbath, he should not work, but let God work in him, he should not take with his own hands, but only receive what God bestowed plentifully upon His mercy. But man left the Sabbath, and wanted to work himself, raised his hand against the law to take in his own desire what he should not have taken. Therefore, God let him fall, and since he had despised the quiet, he had to feel painfully the restlessness. In such restlessness of life all children of man still extend their hands, trying to grasp their pleasures. And as is their understanding and will, so is their grasping. Some grasp for the good, some grasp for the evil. Some grasp for the fruit, some only for the leaves, some for a branch with fruits and leaves on it. And they derive pleasure from the things they have grasped, these poor fools do not know that all their pain and labor had only been a Studium particulare. They grasp for pieces, where they could obtain the whole. They seek for quiet and cannot find it; for they look from the outside into the restlessness of movement, which dwells in the inner solitude of the inner Centri, and though one may grasp more than the other, it is still piece-work. At times there may be one amongst 7 hands coming near the secret and it grasps the whole stem of the tree at that point where all the divided branches return to unity. But even this hand is still far from the roots of the tree, only grasping and holding the secret from the outside and cannot yet see it from the inside. For the root of this tree is understood only by the eye of wisdom, standing in the Centro of all spheres. These roots go from the visible world of mingled good and evil, into the sphere of the invisible world. This eye looks with the greatest peace upon the wonders of all movements and also looks through all the other eyes, wandering about outside of the rest in the unrest, all those eyes which want to see for themselves without the right eye of wisdom, from which they have received all their seeing-power. This eye can prove all spirits, how intelligent, pure and acute they be. It understands the sources of good and evil. Plain before it is light and darkness. It understands time and eternity, visible and invisible, present and future things, earthly and heavenly things, things of the body and things of the spirit, high and deep, outwardliness and inwardliness. And nevertheless, none of these things are disturbed by it, for the eye lives in the Centro of peace, where everything stands in equality outside of any strife, and whatever it sees it possesses. For in the Centro of its peace is its kingly throne, everything being subject to it. Therefore, dear man! If thou wouldst return to right understanding and right peace, cease from thy works and let God alone work in thee, so that the eye of wisdom will open in thine own self and thou wilt attain a studio particulari ad universale and One find All.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord,
God liveth in a Light, since no one can come to Him, or near Him.
This is the Omega, which has caused so many
evil days and restless nights.
This is the trifling matter over which so many
hundreds of people moaned in vain.
Notice here the eternal end without beginning, the eternal
revolution and circle, in eternal love, willpower and centro,
whose principle reveals itself since eternity began.
You will see in this the eternal nature in its seven
apparitions, revealing itself in the centro of the eternal
Bottomless depth since eternity began.
The Centrum of the eternal bottomless depth of light and
darkness is in the infinite inexpressible width and depth everywhere.
Therefore is said: The light inhabits the darkness and the
darkness cannot grasp it.
An eternal holy fire -
An infinite God sent flame -
A heavenly secret -
The great indescribable spirit of fire, inexplorable in eternity.
Harmonious Conception of the Light of Nature.
From which you can deduce the restoration and renovation of all things emblematic.
The art is just, true and certain to the
Man who fears God and is assiduous,
And behaves rightly towards all natures.
The art makes him a lord, not a servant.
Do not make haste, stay on the right track,
So thou wilt have much profit and much joy.
If God grants many things in thy life,
Give plentifully to the poor,
Be faithful and silent about the art,
For this surely is God's will,
Keep truth and faith, think of me,
So thou wilt be free from all evil.
The soul of men everywhere was lost through a fall, and the health of the body suffered through a fall, Salvation came to the human soul through Iehova, Jesus Christ. The bodily health is brought back through a thing not good to look at. It is hidden in this painting, the highest treasure in this world, in which is the highest medicine and the greatest parts of the riches of nature, given to us by the Lord Iehova. It is called Pator Metallorum, well known to the philosopher sitting in front of the mountain-cave, easy to obtain for anybody. But the sophists in their sophistic garb, tapping on the walls, recognise him not. At the right is to be seen Lepus, representing the art of chemistry, marvellously white, the secrets of which with fire's heat are being explored. To the left one can see freely what the right Clavis artis is; one cannot be too subtle with it, like a hen hatching a chicken. In the midst of the mountain, before the door stands a courageous Lion in all its pride, whose noble blood the monster-dragon is going to shed; throwing him into a deep grave, out of it comes forth a black raven, then called Ianua artis, out of that comes Aquila alba. Even the crystal refined in the furnace will quickly show you on inspection Servum fugitivum, a wonder-child to many artists. The one effecting this all is Principium laboris. On the right hand in the barrel are Sol and Luna, the intelligence of the firmament. The Senior plants in it Rad. Rubeam and albam. Now you proceed with constancy and Arbor artis appears to you, with its blossoms it announces now Lapidem Philosophorum. Over all, the crown of the glory, ruling over all treasures.
Be diligent, peaceful, constant and pious, pray that God may help thee. And if thou attain, never forget the poor. Then thou wilt praise God with the legion of the angels, now and forever.
Mercy - Choice
Light, strength, joy in the recognition of God's virtue and hymn of praise.
Darkness, evil-doing, fear in Godlessness, sin and vice.
Come ye to the Mercy-Seat. Go ye to the pit of fire
Mars: Fear, heat, therein consists the sensibilities.
Mercury: Bitter, drawing and moving out of the harsh quality, which causes a sting within, and remains in that spirit, the existence of mobility.
Saturn: Harsh, hard, cold, severe, sharp, sour, inclined to rudeness and earthliness, its desire consists out of these qualities.
Sun: Fire or life, half in darkness, half in light, is the setting alight and the goal of separation.
Moon: The being, made of of the forenemaed six spiritual qualities, in which they lie bodily and in readiness, as in their coffer.
Jupiter: Is the power from the life of light, in it is fulfilled God's word of the cognition, sound, call and tone.
Venus: Light, love, fire, which burns in the oil of Mercy, in which consists the heavenly life.
The first and dark Principium. God the Father, being called a consuming fire.
The other Principium of light, being God's Son, is one with the eternal world of light.
The Principium of the fire belongs to the world of the four elements, being an offspring of the first two, and is the third principle.
Whenever the first three qualities of the first dark Principii gain the upper hand, then the others are tied up around their Centro and all seven are evil. Then Saturnus stands for avarice, Mercurius for envy, Mars for wrath, Sol for vanity, Venus for lewdness, Jupiter for cunning and Luna for bodily desire, which are the seven evil spirits ruling within the old human being.
But when the three in the Principio of light have the upper hand and are born out of the dark Centro, so that they are in accordance with their innermost depths of light, which is the new birth in man, all seven are good, and then Saturnius stands for compassion, Mercurius for doing good, Mars for gentleness, Sol for humility, Venus for chastity, Jupiter for wisdom, and Luna for Christ's flesh or body.
The Hermetic Philosophy
I attract all those seeking God and the truth; those alone will find the art.
I am the Magnet-Stone of divine love; attracting the Iron-hard men on the road to the truth.
I am the moisture which preserves everything in nature and makes it live, I pass
from the upper to the lower planes; I am the heavenly dew and the fat of the land; I am the fiery water and the watery fire; nothing may live without me in time; I am close to all things yea; in and through all things, nevertheless unknown.
Nevertheless I only am in the grasp of the Philosophers.
I unfold and fold up again,
Bringing contentment to the artists,
Without me thou canst do nothing
Furthering any of your affairs.
Therefore fear God, pray and work in patience, if you find me your want would
cease and you have a merciful God who befriendeth thee and giveth thee whatever thy heart may desire.
This moisture must be caught lest it should change into vapour or fume.
The two vapours are the roots of the art.
The Prima Materia derives its existence from the Fiat, the Word of creation. And this Word comes from the Father who is the creator of all things, and the Spirit radiates from both: This is God's life giving air. Then, too, air brings to Iife everything within the elements. The fire warms all things, the water refreshes, delights and saturates all things: And the nitrous earth, Mother-like, nourishes and sustains all things; the air was born out of fire, and in turn makes the fire burn, that it may live, but air in the form of water is food for the fire, and the fire burns into this element: Water and dew of the ground, the greasy fat dew of the ground, the earth as keeper of nitrous salt nourishes it. For the womb of the earth is the sulphuric nitrous salt of nature, the one good thing God has created in this visible world.
The same Salt-Mother of the elements is the nitrous, aluminous and spiritual gumosic water, Salt earth or crystal, which has Nature in its womb, a Son of the Sun, and a Daughter of the Moon. It is a Hermaphrodite, born out of the wind, a phoenix living in fire, a pelican, reviving his dear young ones with its blood; the young Icarus, drowned in the water, whose nurse is the earth, whose Mother is the wind, whose Father is the fire, the water her caretaker and drink, one stone and no stone, one water and no water, nevertheless a stone of living power and a water of living might; a sulphur, a mercury, a salt, hidden deep in nature, and which no fool has ever known nor seen.
If you have problems understanding these alchemical texts, Adam McLean now provides a study course entitled How to read alchemical texts : a guide for the perplexed.
Works of Nicolas Flamel
Works of George Ripley
Works of Sendivogius
Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum
Emerald tablet of Hermes
Texts from Musaeum Hermeticum
Spanish alchemical texts
German alchemical texts
French alchemical texts
Russian alchemical texts
Italian alchemical texts