View Full Version : A strange theory regarding Paracelsus

01-04-2009, 06:35 PM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm) created by carabric.

With alchemy there is a leap of faith we must take regarding some of the more astounding ideas put forth by the art. We are of course told of the longevity with which the alchemist, after having produced the philosophers stone, is said to retain their youth despite the advancement of age. Many of the alchemist throughout the historic record are of course said to die well within the course of their natural life, and this has been contrary to what many of them suggest the benefit of producing the stone does. Paracelsus himself is said to have been brought down at the young age of 48 by pneumonia, or by natural causes...some even profess he was murdered. Others still suggest it was all an act, a facade put forward by the man himself to close one chapter of his life and begin a newer and far more obscure life. We can suppose till we're blue in the face, but the fact remains we were not there, and we may never know the whole of the matter. But many of the philosophers will tell you, theirs is a wandering life...perhaps in an effort to find some such material to elicit the stone, or to go and do the good deed of healing the sick. Many know that everyone from Philalethes to Paracelsus rarely set their anchors down for very long, perhaps it is because no prophet has honor in his own country as the saying goes.
What ever the case, a theory has been around for a while regarding the connection between the writings of Basil Valentine and Paracelsus. This of course suggest that they are one and the same person. While they may or may not be, their writings are of a similar nature...but then again many of the alchemist take on a similar tone to one another. I think this is more a result of repeatedly reading and rereading the material and slowly taking on it's character, much the same way new fiction authors will pantomime their heroes, or the young artist will copy their respective luminaries. But my theory revolves- not around the written word, but from comparing a few visual images, and similarities of character.
Below are images of the Comte de Saint Germain and Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim aka Paracelsus...again this is all supposition and in no way scholarly derived. Of both their characters we know, or suppose this: Both were learned in the art, both were said to be celibate, both are very outspoken and colorful in their narratives, both possessed knowledge of extolling gems to a loftier degree, and Paraclesus was of middle age when he died while the Comte appeared to be perpetually in his middle age. Saint Germain appeared out of nowhere, his birth is still in question- as well as his origin. I know this is thin ground to walk on, but as I said it's mere supposition...basically a novel way to pass the time. The Comte did say to Casanova he was closer to 300 years old in 1757 and though it is shy a few years, Paracelsus was born in 1493 (264). The reason I hold Casanova's claim to be closer to truth then many contemporary ideas regarding Germain is more or less due to certain observations he was privy to. I'm referring to a scenario where Casanova saw a phial filled with an oily liquid substance evaporate rather quickly in front of his eyes when the Comte punctured it's seal with a needle. This holds true to accounts of an exceedingly volatile oil that you must stopper well lest it fly away. At the very least Germain was, to me, a bona fide alchemist. Below are further quotes regarding the Comte's demeanor, as well as both Paracelsus and Germain mentioning the extolling of gems. This of course is all circumstantial, and if I have time I will dig deeper to find more similarities. But if I'm right then maybe perhaps the Monarch of Alchemy is still with us...I'm of the firm belief he is, as well as many others of the royal court.

An account from Horace Walpole on the Comte:The other day they seized an odd man, who goes by the name of Count St. Germain. He has been here these two years, and will not tell who he is, or whence, but professes that he does not go by his right name. He sings, plays on the violin wonderfully, composes, is mad, and not very sensible. He is called an Italian, a Spaniard, a Pole; a somebody that married a great fortune in Mexico, and ran away with her jewels to Constantinople; a priest, a fiddler, a vast nobleman.

Casanova on Comte: This extraordinary man, intended by nature to be the king of impostors and quacks, would say in an easy, assured manner that he was three hundred years old, that he knew the secret of the Universal Medicine, that he possessed a mastery over nature, that he could melt diamonds, professing himself capable of forming, out of ten or twelve small diamonds, one large one of the finest water without any loss of weight. All this, he said, was a mere trifle to him. Notwithstanding his boastings, his bare-faced lies, and his manifold eccentricities, I cannot say I thought him offensive. In spite of my knowledge of what he was and in spite of my own feelings, I thought him an astonishing man as he was always astonishing me.
The above quote regarding Germain sounds so like Paracelsus to me in character. Very bold, matter of fact, bombastic and exhuberant much the same way the Monarch of Alchemy is in writing.

Paracelsus (Tincture of...):You also see with your eyes (though there is no need to speak of these things, which may be taken derisively by some) that in the fire of Sulphur is a great tincture for gems, which, indeed, exalts them to a loftier degree than Nature by herself could do. But this gradation of metals and gems shall be omitted by me in this place, since I have written sufficiently about it in my Secret of Secrets, in my book on the Vexations of Alchemists, and abundantly elsewhere.

I'll let you be the judge, the photo on the top right is the only known portrait of Germain, compare it to all the others of Paracelsus. In some cases artists rendering are drawn from previous images or imagination (much the same way Jesus has been) so it's unclear which are from source or not. Obviously to me, whoever sat for the top two images where there at the time when it was made. The other two below are less certain. So what do you think, is Paracelsus the Comte?
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll195/carabric/Paracelsus.jpg http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll195/carabric/2634557.jpghttp://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll195/carabric/Hirschvogel_Paracelsus.jpghttp://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll195/carabric/paracelsus2.jpg
Looks like I may be alone in my assertions....no one sees a similarity between the two?

Looks like I may be alone in my assertions....no one sees a similarity between the two?

It's a good article and a novel idea (to my knowledge). Obviously it's far fetched but of course that isn't surprising in light of the subject. The main problem is that there's so little known about St. Germaine compared to Paracelsus, if it were possible to compare writings it would be much easier. Looking at the paintings, they're similar in some ways, eyes and ears but overall the Comte looks like a sanguine character while Paracelsus looks more phlegmatic and their noses are different, at least when comparing the first picture of Paracelsus.

I've myself wondered whether Nicholas Flamel is still alive. I remember when I was in France, I was at a bus stop and had just recently started to read about Flamel. I looked up from my thoughts and I saw a wise-looking old man with white beard and hair taking a rest across the street, I'm not sure whether he looked at me but he was looking in the common direction. I looked another way and when I looked back he was gone and I tried to see where he had walked but couldn't. The superstitious thought entered my mind whether I had seen "him"... but of course that's unlikely.
I'm still working on written comparisons between Comte's Most Holy Trinosophia to the works of Paracelsus. It's still a bit of a long shot but I'll see if I can find anything more substantial. When I look at the picture of Paracelsus I try to imagine him minus a few pounds and position him in my mind the same way Germain is standing. The Comte was said to have dark hair and a swarthy complexion, this is a bit different from Paracelsus but he could have tanned and dyed his hair (bit of a stretch). The nose does look different, but again if he was repositioned maybe not. I find it amusing that all of the Paracelsus pictures don't all look like Paracelsus, again I'm sure these could have been imagined portraits. I'll try to find more in relation to the written works and post any new info before I leave next week.

Maybe it was him, either way France is a gold mine for alchemist. It wouldn't be the first time I'd heard about that disappearing trick.
I must confess until today I had not really studied the only treatise attributed to Germain. Suffice to say I don't believe Germain wrote this, if I were to guess I would say that it's origin and subject are dubious and don't appear to conform to certain alchemical traditions. I don't doubt Germain was an adept, Casanova's meeting with him provided details which for me confirm this. But in my hopes to compare the writings between Paracelsus and Germain, I am at a loss to use what is available since I doubt it's origin. If you want to read the Most Holy Trinosophia you can find it here (http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/mht/mht04.htm), perhaps you will find the wisdom I feel it lacks. Maybe I'm wrong and am unable to see the deeper meaning...either way it does not really speak to me. I guess my theory of them being the same person will remain on thin ground
I looked at parts of it but I can't translate the foreign symbols (hebrew/arabic?) that are used throughout the work. Manly P. Hall gives an interpretation at the end of the translation but what I read didn't really inspire me. Most interestingly he proposes that the twelve parts of the book correspond to the twelve alchemical processes and the twelve astrological symbols but basically his whole explanation seems more like freemasonry-based mysteries than alchemical, found here: Notes and Commentaries (http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/mht/mht16.htm)

But I found out Adam McLean has a study course on it:

Study Course on the Most Holy Trinosophia (http://www.alchemywebsite.com/bookshop/trinosophia_course.html)

The course is entirely self contained, and though not designed for beginners, does not assume any particular previous study of alchemical material. It provides for the first time a detailed explanation of this alchemical allegory.
Some of the foreign symbols are Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, Aramaic, and maybe Syriac (not sure on this one) . Anyhow this below called the "triangular altar" in the treatise says Athanor in Greek. http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll195/carabric/05507.jpg It's odd, sometimes I read this (Holy Trinosophia) and have my doubts, but after looking at it again I will have to rethink my first impression. I honestly can't say what I think about it. I do feel I was to quick to judge after looking at it again; I had read it once a long time ago but only recently reread it and didn't find it agreeable. Now I'm unsure, but it's alchemical depths are covered more then most if it has any at all. For now I think I'm on the fence, maybe leaning in it's favour.
I do agree, M.P.Hall isn't one of my favorites either, he usually relegates occult wisdom in a way I find unfavorable.

I guess my theory of them being the same person will remain on thin ground
I think so... I also suggest that if St Germain is still alive then I am sure it is David Bowie!

I think St Germain is an adept, and Casanova is not!

I also think Cagliostro knows more than what history gave him credit for...

Regardless, all these characters are quite fascinating!

Although he [St Germain] never ate or drank in public he had a very strict diet of oatmeal, groats and the white meat of chicken. He had a recipe of a purge made of senna pods and on rare occasions would have some wine. He took great precautions to minimize the wear and tear of the body always trying to avoid getting a cold. When he slept he allegedly stopped the mechanism of the human clock. The physcial decay that occurs unknowingly within the body, like the free radicals spoken of earlier, was known by him in some form. - source (http://nidhoggz.blogspot.com/2004/10/original-sin.html)
No I never meant Casanova was an adept...I meant the observations he made while visiting St.Germaine in Tournay are consistent with written observations and characteristics pertaining to substances within alchemy.

Of St. Germain's athoeter Casanova writes:

'Then he showed me his magistrum, which he called Athoeter. It was a white liquid contained in a well stopped phial. He told me that this liquid was the universal spirit of Nature and that if the wax of the stopper was pricked ever so slightly, the whole contents would disappear. I begged him to make the experiment. He thereupon gave me the phial and the pin and I myself pricked the wax, when, lo, the phial was empty.'

01-12-2009, 11:54 PM
I've never heard Germain and Bombast before but Francis Bacon? They do look similar and Bacon's is an interesting tale too.

As for Flamel there is a tale I read where two gentlemen met a Turkish Philosopher. He told them that Flamel was alive and well after his death was reckoned. He also related the tale of how Flamel came to own his 'Book of Abraham'.

01-13-2009, 01:09 AM
I've never heard Germain and Bombast...
Oh... begin to study... truly great stuff...

Paracelsus (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=10)
St. Germain (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?p=683)

As for Flamel...

See: Nicholas Flamel (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=56)

Reading about the old alchemist legends is far better than reading fiction...


01-13-2009, 01:18 AM
Oh... begin to study... truly great stuff...

Paracelsus (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=10)
St. Germain (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?p=683)
No you misunderstood. I've read extensively on both. I was meaning I hadnt seen someone suggest they were the same person before. Francis Bacon and Germain yes, Bombast and Germain no.

See: Nicholas Flamel (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=56)

Reading about the old alchemist legends is far better than reading fiction...

You're right there which is what I do. Fiction? It might be but then again it might not. It is a good yarn though. Sometimes a little levity lifts the soul. :)

01-13-2009, 01:34 AM
I edited your BBcode...

No you misunderstood.

Sorry... I jumped the gun... do that a lot... :D

I don't think Paracelsus and Germain were the same person... that doesn't really fit. Although I like the notion that David Bowie is St. Germain... there are some similarities...


There is no one like Paracelsus, he stands alone - a giant to mankind. I rank him up there with the top minds of the last 5000 years... he was ahead of us all, still is!

Germain is a different persona... they don't fit - unless some major transformation occurred. Just the fact that Germain is perceived as beautiful and Paracelsus as ugly is just one perspective!

01-15-2009, 07:15 AM

It is an interesting thought. I have ignored St Germain in the past because he seemed so tied with the new-age crowd, but you have inspired me to read the Most Holy Trinosophia and look again.

As to differences in appearance, I feel that the power of the stone allows gradual physical change (DNA change or recoding), and so an adept's appearance can change over time.


01-16-2009, 12:29 AM
As I have stated in before the I AM movement should be ignored... it has got nothing to do with St. Germain other than the fact that they used his name... kind of like Christianity and Jesus!