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By Alexander Roob

A fantastical trip in the course of the pictorial global of alchemy and mysticism, the Cabbala and magic, freemasons and Rosicrusians. This precise choice of illustrations with commentaries and resource texts publications us on a desirable trip in the course of the representations of the key arts.

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R. Fludd, Urriusque Cosmi, Vol. II, Frankfurt, 1621 The tetragrammaton, the holy name of God with the four letters JHVH (Jehova), concentrates within itself all of the ele­ mental strength and power from which creation arose. "The visible world, with its teeming creatures, is none other than the word transpired," wrote Bohme. All things arise out of combinations or rearrange· ments of these four letters. From the great tetragrammaton flow the ten "epithets" of God. These embody various aspects of the godhead, which in tum correspond to the ten primal num­ bers, the Sephiroth: quoted a rabbi"s admonition to a Torah writer: "My son, be careful at your work for it is God's work; if you leave out but one letter or write but one letter too many, you destroy the whole world ( ...

A serpent. The Egyptians and Phoenicians placed this creature above all others and saw its nature as divine because it has a sharper mind and a greater fire than the others. This is due both to its rapid movement without feet, hands or other tools, and the fact that it frequently renews its age with the sloughing of its skin, and rejuvenates itself. They made a similar i mage of the dragon's tail when the moon had disappeared i n the dragon's tai l, or occupied an unfavourable position i n relation to Saturn or M ars.

D ' Espagnet, Das Ceheime Werk, Nuremberg, 1730) 1 24 OPUS MAGNUM: Genesis in the retort Opus MAGNUM: Genesis in the retort 125 Cenesis Cenesis in the retort in the retort The following series of i l lustrations is taken from the Elementa chemi­ The emblems of the lapis on the crescent moon. Normal gold (lion) must be twice d riven byanti· many (WOlf) in order to lose its impurities. The dragon is philo· sophical quick· silver (Mercury). cae of the Leiden chemistry professor J . e. Barchusen. He had them engraved from an old manuscript "to do a great favour to the adepts of gold-making".

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