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Thread: Alchemists A-Z

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    Lightbulb Alchemists A-Z

    Alchemists A-Z

    The purpose of this resource is to give a short insight into the vast pantheon of alchemists (and those that deal with alchemy/alchemists), and to provide a link to texts and threads. If a certain alchemist interest you just click on the letter of the group s/he belongs to. Enjoy!


    A
    Agricola, Georg
    Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius
    Akhenaten
    Albertus, Frater (Dr. Albert Reidel)
    Alfarabi
    Alkindus
    Aluys, Albert
    Alveydre, Alexandre Saint-Yves d’
    Apone, Pietro d’
    Apollonius of Tyana (Balinas)
    Aquinas, Thomas
    Aristotle
    Artephius
    Asclepius
    Ashmole, Elias
    Atwood, Mary Anne
    Augurello, Giovanni Aurelio
    Avicenna


    B
    Bacon, Sir Francis
    Bacon, Roger
    Bartlett, Karen
    Bartlett, Robert Allen
    Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna
    Boehme, Jacob
    Borri, Joseph Francis
    Boyle, Robert
    Brahe, Tycho
    Brand, Henning
    Browne, Sir Thomas
    Bruno, Giordano


    C
    Cagliostro, Alessandro
    Calid, (Khalid ibn Yazid)
    Casanova, Giacomo
    Clarke, Lindsay
    Coelho, Paulo
    Conway, Lady


    D
    Dee, Arthur
    Dee, John
    Di Prima, Diane
    Dubuis, Jean
    Dyer, Edward


    E
    Enki


    F
    Faust, Johann Georg
    Ficino, Marsilio
    Flamel, Nicholas
    Fludd, Robert
    Franz, Marie-Louise von
    Freher, Dionysius Andreas
    Fulcanelli


    G
    Geber pseudo
    Glauber, Johann Rudolf
    Guo, Zhang the Elder
    Gurdjieff, G. I.


    H
    Hall, Manly Palmer
    Hauck, Dennis William
    Hayyan, Jabir Ibn
    Heindel, Max
    Helmont, Franz Mercurius van
    Helmont, Jan Baptist van
    Heydon, John
    Hollandus, Johann and Isaac

    I
    Ibn al-Nadim


    J
    Jung, Carl
    Junius, Manfred M.


    K
    Kelley, Edward


    L
    Lille, Alain de
    Llull, Ramon


    M
    Magnus, Albertus
    Mary the Jewess
    Mayow, John
    McKenna, Terence
    McLean, Adam
    Meung, Jean de
    Mormius, Peter


    N
    Nagarjuna
    Newton, Isaac


    O
    Olympiodorus of Thebes
    Ostanes


    P
    Paracelsus
    Plato
    Pope John XXII
    Pythagoras


    Q


    R
    Rabelais, François
    Rays, Maréchal de
    Regardie, Israel
    Rhazes
    Ripley, George
    Rosenkreuz, Christian
    Rutherford, Ernest


    S
    Saint Germain, Comte de
    Scully, Nicki
    Sedziwój, Michal
    Shulgin, Alexander
    Starkey, George
    Stavish, Mark
    Steiner, Rudolf
    Strindberg, August
    Swedenborg, Emanuel


    T
    Thoth
    Trevisan, Bernard
    Trismegistus, Hermes
    Trithemius, Johannes


    U


    V
    Valentinus, Basilius
    Vemana
    Villeneuve, Arnold de


    W
    Waite, Arthur Edward
    Weigel, Valentin


    X


    Y
    Yates, Frances

    Z
    Zachaire, Denis
    Zozimos

    Don’t let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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    A

    Agricola, Georg (1494 - 1555)
    A German scholar and scientist. Known as the father of mineralogy, he was born at Glauchau in Saxony. His real name was Georg Bauer; Agricola is the Latinised version of his name, Bauer meaning farmer. - source
    His most famous work, the De re metallica libri xii, was published in 1556, though apparently finished several years before, since the dedication to the elector and his brother is dated 1550. It is a complete and systematic treatise on mining and metallurgy, illustrated with many fine and interesting woodcuts and containing, in an appendix, the German equivalents for the technical terms used in the Latin text. It long remained a standard work, and marks its author as one of the most accomplished chemists of his time. Believing the black rock of the Schlossberg at Stolpen to be the same as Pliny the Elder's basalt, he applied this name to it, and thus originated a petrological term which has been permanently incorporated in the vocabulary of science.

    De Re Metallica is considered a classic document of the dawn of metallurgy, unsurpassed for two centuries. In 1912, the Mining Magazine (London) published an English translation. The translation was made by Herbert Hoover, an American mining engineer better known in his term as a President of the United States, and his wife Lou Henry Hoover. – source
    Free on-line text: De Re Metallica
    Related thread: None
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    Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius (1486-1535)
    Agrippa was born in Cologne in 1486. In 1512, he taught at the University of Dole in France, lecturing on Johann Reuchlin's De verbo mirifico; as a result, Agrippa was denounced, behind his back, as a Judaizing heretic. Agrippa's vitriolic response many months later did not endear him to the University.

    In 1510, he studied briefly with Johannes Trithemius, and Agrippa sent him an early draft of his masterpiece, De occulta philosophia libri tres, a kind of summa of early modern occult thought. Trithemius was guardedly approving, but suggested that Agrippa keep the work more or less secret; Agrippa chose not to publish, perhaps for this reason, but continued to revise and rethink the book for twenty years.

    During his wandering life in Germany, France and Italy he worked as a theologian, physician, legal expert and soldier. He was for some time in the service of Maximilian I, probably as a soldier in Italy, but devoted his time mainly to the study of the occult sciences and to problematic theological legal questions…

    According to his student Johann Weyer, in the book De praestigiis daemonum, Agrippa died in Grenoble, in 1535. - source
    Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim had two very different and contradictory identities. He was the author of the most comprehensive and most widely known book on magic and all occult arts, De occulta philosophia libri tres

    Students of the more recondite (and least respectable) branches of natural philosophy and occult sciences pored over De occulta philosophia, some of them seeking alternatives to the Aristotelian natural philosophy taught in the universities, others seeking less conventional goals, such as success in alchemical operations or the ability to use magical secrets in order to control both the natural world and the world of spirits. - source

    Free on-line text: Writings of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
    Related thread: None
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    Akhenaten (? - 1336/1334 B.C.E.)
    Akhenaten, born Amenhotep IV, had a thin face and an elongated baldhead supported by a spindly neck. Pear shaped torso, skinny legs and slumped shoulders. All around ascetic and androgynous. Statues show him naked with no male genitalia and the breasts of a woman. Not that important, but there are theories that he was in fact a woman and/or a homosexual.

    Akhenatens most important deed was to set up a new monotheistic religion that recognised the sun as the One Thing breaking with the priests of Amen. This resulted in Akhenaten being referred to as the heretic pharaoh. Amen means the Hidden One and was the source of the cool north wind that blew across the desert at night. The Greeks identified Amen with Zeus.

    It was at this point that Amenhotep became Akhenaten, from Amen is Satisfied to He who Serves Aten. Aten was the name of the new Egyptian god meaning The Disc. Aten wasn’t personified like previous gods but was thought of as an abstract force. Pictures of Aten show a solar disc with rays descending from heaven and terminating on Earth in dozens of tiny hands symbolizing the One Thing.

    Akhenaten upheld the revolutionary concept of living in truth and acting in natural accord with cosmic principles. Maat was what he called the universal ideal, which means the real thing or the one mind. Its agent was the One Thing, its material expression.

    Every level of Egyptian society under Akhenaten was penetrated by the principle of living in truth. He ordered the abandonment of Thebes and built a new capital city along the east bank of the Nile known as Akhetaten (or Horizon of Aten). Villas were constructed in the city of 60 000 without separate quarters for men and women and the latter were treated with more respect there than anywhere else. Either he was a man that had embraced the ideals of feminism or he was really a she using the power of rule to spread equality.

    Akhenaten’s court was one of the most open even hiring advisors from many different nationalities including Canaanites, Myceaneans and Philistines. Art changed and paintings and reliefs portrayed natural subjects like plants and animals for the first time, and images of Akhenaten kissing his wife or bouncing his daughter on his knee. He even developed spiritual breathing methods in a school he founded in the city of Akhetaton, a possible first emergence of Chi.

    Akhenaten was aware that the patriarchal priests of Amen did not think kindly of his new way. After seventeen years of rule Akhenaten disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Smenkhare took over for a short time and he has long believed to be either Akhenatens son or lover. Smenkhare’s tomb was discovered by an amateur archaeologist in the Valley of Kings in 1907.

    Akhenatens son-in-law Tutankaten (or Servant of Aten) changed his name to Tutankamen (or Servant of Amen) after the murder/disappearance of Akhenaten. This child pharaoh’s actions were controlled by the fundamental priests and Thebes was restored as capital and Akhetaten destroyed together with all traces of the new religion. Tutankamen ruled for nine years dying at eighteen, his golden burial vault was found in 1922 by Howard Carter. The ruins of Akhetaten, also known as Tell el Armarna, are located near the modern city of Asyut in Egypt. The great Sphinx on the Giza Plain is the only surviving reference to Aten.

    It was Sigmund Freud made popular the notion that there was a connection between Moses and Akhenaten because they both encouraged the worship of one God only. It has been envisioned that Moses was a devotee of Akhenaten’s monotheistic cult and when the rival priests of Amen suppressed this form of religion Moses preserved it among an oppressed group. When they departed from Egypt Moses established the worship of Yahweh and it became their religion. Even though all this sounds very probable many scholars give it little serious value. - source
    Free on-line text: The Great Hymn to the Aten
    Related thread: Akhenaten
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    Albertus, Frater or Dr. Albert Reidel (1911 - 1984)
    ...founder of the Paracelsus Research Society in Salt Lake City, which later evolved into the Paracelsus College. Based on the Paracelsian concept of three essentials, Body, Soul and Spirit, Frater Albertus developed a system of teaching alchemical concepts using the spagyric technique of separation and cohobation. The unique gradated courses allowed students to explore aspects of the vegetable, mineral and animal kingdoms in an understandable and accessible way. Previous to this, one had to be a member of a fraternity or secret society in order to gain access to structured teaching. After his death in 1984, the college ceased operations in the United States but continued to carry on the tradition in Australia. Frater Albertus had a profound effect on the way Alchemy and particularly the Spagyric method was disseminated and understood in the mid to late 20th century. His works were translated into many languages. - source
    Free on-line text: Archive
    Related thread: Herbs and Stars
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    Alfarabi or Al-Farabi (c. 872 - 950/951)
    Abu Nasr Mohammad Ibn al-Farakh Al-Farabi was born to a noble family in the small village of Wasij, in the province of Farab in Turkestan... His works included several rich commentaries on Aristotle's physics, meteorology, and logic - in addition to a large number of books on several other subjects embodying his original contributions. As a result, he was called the Second Teacher (al-Mou'allim al-Thani) - with Aristotle being the First.

    Al-Farabi had a great desire to understand the universe and humankind, and to understand the latter's place within the former, so as to ascertain a comprehensive and intellectual picture of the world and of society as a whole. When he undertook his meticulous study of ancient philosophy, particularly of Plato and Aristotle, he absorbed the components of Platonic and Neo-Platonic philosophy, which he then integrated into his knowledge of the Qur'an and the various sciences derived from it.

    However, he combined these two in a new and unique way: He was the first Islamic philosopher to separate philosophy and theology, influencing the scholars of many different religions who followed him. He concluded that human reason - the tool of the philosopher, was superior to revelation - the tool of religion, resulting in the advantage of philosophy over religion. He claimed that philosophy was based on intellectual perception, while religion was based on imagination. He thus attributed impressive characteristics to the philosopher, and advocated the philosopher as the ideal head of state. He blamed political upheavals in the Islamic world on the fact that the state was not run by philosophers, whose superior powers of reason and intellect would result in ideal leadership.

    Al-Farabi's psychological view of humanity was that an isolated individual cannot achieve perfection by himself, but requires the aid of many other individuals. Therefore, to achieve any sort of perfection, every person needed to interact and associate with others. In terms of political thought, Al-Farabi described the ideal state as a Muslim one, which had the duty was to provide for the physical well-being of the citizens, as well as helping people towards religious salvation. According to Al-Farabi, the best ruler for this Muslim states would be a philosopher-king, a concept described in Plato's Republic. Al- Farabi's ideal rulers would be chosen for their intelligence and carefully educated in science, philosophy and religion.

    One of the most important contributions of Farabi, beyond his political views and scientific philosophies, was to make the study of logic easier by dividing it into two categories - Takhayyul (idea) and Thubut (proof). He wrote several sociological books, including his famous work - Ara Ahl al-Madina al-Fadila (The Model City). His books on psychology and metaphysics were largely based on his own work.

    Al-Farabi also wrote a book on music, called Kitab al-Musiqa (the Book of Music). He was an expert in art and the science of music and invented several musical instruments, besides contributing to what we now know as musical notes. It has been reported that he could play his instrument so well that he could make people laugh or weep at will - depending on the piece. In physics he demonstrated the existence of void.

    Although many of his books have been lost, we still know of 117 of them, which include 43 on logic, 11 on metaphysics, seven on ethics, seven about political science, 17 are on music, medicine and sociology, and 11 of which are commentaries. Some of his more famous books include the book Fusus al-Hikam, which remained a textbook of philosophy for several centuries at various centers of learning and is still taught at some of the institutions in the East. The book Kitab al-lhsa al 'Ulum discusses classification and fundamental principles of science in a unique and useful manner. The book Ara Ahl al-Madina al- Fadila is a significant early contribution to sociology and political science.

    His interests in philosophy, science and politics were greatly influenced by his teachers and travel. Al-Farabi's father was of Persian origin and was an army commander in the Turkish court. He migrated to Turkestan after being named general. Al-Farabi later moved to Baghdad, where he studied grammar, logic, philosophy, music, mathematics and sciences. There, he was a pupil of the great translator and interpreter of Greek philosophy, Abu Bishr Matta bin Yunus. Al-Farabi then studied under Yuhanna bin Haylan in Harran. During this period, he acquired mastery over several languages - as well as various branches of knowledge and technology. His translations of ancient Greek works mean that he was among the earliest Islamic philosophers to encounter and then introduce Greek philosophy to the Islamic world He lived through the reign of six Abbasid Caliphs. As a philosopher and scientist, he acquired great proficiency in various branches of learning.

    Farabi traveled to many distant lands and studied for some time in Damascus and Egypt, but repeatedly came back to Baghdad, until he visited Saif al-Daula's court in Halab (Aleppo). He became one of the constant companions of the king, and it was here at Aleppo that his fame spread far and wide. During his early years he was a qadi (judge), but later on he took up teaching as his profession. During the course of his career, he suffered great hardships and at one time was the caretaker of a garden. He died a bachelor in Damascus... at the age of 80.

    Al-Farabi's work greatly influenced the Islamic philosophers who followed him, particularly Ibn Sina [also known as Avicenna] and Ibn Rushd, and for several centuries thereafter. He also sparked what would become an ongoing debate between representatives of philosophy and theology, as Islamic thinkers sought to reconcile disparities between the two fields. - source
    Free on-line text: The Philosophy of Alfarabi
    Related thread: None
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    Alkindus or Al-Kindi (c. 800 - 873 C.E.)
    Al-Kindi is known in the West as Alkindus. He was popularly known as the Philosopher of the Arabs in the Middle Ages. Cardano considered Al-Kindi as one of the twelve greatest minds of the Middle Ages. He is among a small group of Muslim scientists who made original contributions in many fields. Al-Kindi was a philosopher, astronomer, physician, mathematician, physicist, and geographer. He also was an expert in music.

    Al-Kindi was the first physician who systematically determined the dosage for most drugs. It greatly helped in the development of dosage standards (prescription) for patients. In the field of Chemistry, Al-Kindi argued that base metals cannot be converted to precious metals and that chemical reactions cannot produce transformation of basic elements. He made important contributions to the Arabic system of numerals. In addition, he contributed to spherical geometry while assisting al-Khwarizmi in astronomical studies. Al-Kindi's original work provided the foundation for modern arithmetic. He also made original contributions to geometrical optics, a special field of Physics, and wrote a book on it. Several centuries later, Al-Kindi's work inspired Roger Bacon.

    Al-Kindi researched on the scientific aspects of music. He stated that the various notes that combine to produce harmony have a specific pitch, and the degree of harmony depends on the frequency of notes. Further, he provided a method for the determination of pitch. Al-Kindi stated that when a sound is produced it generates waves in the air, which strike the eardrum.

    Al-Kindi wrote more than two hundred forty books. Among them are sixteen books in Astronomy, twenty-two each in Medicine and Philosophy, twelve in Physics, thirty-two in Geometry, eleven in Arithmetic, nine in Logic, four on the number system, seven in Music and five in Psychology. In addition, he wrote monographs on astronomical instruments, tides, rocks and precious stones.

    Gerard of Cremona translated many of his books into Latin. These books include Ikhtiyarat al-Ayyam, al-Mosiqa, Risalah dar Tanjim, Ilahyat-e-Aristu, Mad-o-Jazr and Adviyah Murakkaba.

    Al-Kindi's influence on the development of physics, mathematics, medicine, philosophy and music lasted for several centuries. - source (link broken)
    Free on-line text: On First Philosophy
    Related thread: None
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    Aluys, Albert (c. 18th century)
    The young Aluys was an apt scholar, and soon mastered all the jargon of the alchymists. He discoursed learnedly upon projections, cimentations, sublimations, the elixir of life, and the universal alkahest...

    In the year 1726, Aluys, without his mother, who appears to have died in the interval, was at Vienna, where he introduced himself to the Duke de Richelieu, at that time ambassador from the court of France. He completely deceived this nobleman; he turned lead into gold (apparently) on several occasions, and even made the ambassador himself turn an iron nail into a silver one. The Duke afterwards boasted to Lenglet du Fresnoy of his achievements as an alchymist, and regretted that be had not been able to discover the secret of the precious powder by which he performed them.

    Aluys soon found that, although he might make a dupe of the Duke de Richelieu, he could not get any money from him. On the contrary, the Duke expected all his pokers and fire shovels to be made silver, and all his pewter utensils gold; and thought the honour of his acquaintance was reward sufficient for a roturier, who could not want wealth since he possessed so invaluable a secret. Aluys seeing that so much was expected of him, bade adieu to his Excellency, and proceeded to Bohemia, accompanied by a pupil, and by a young girl who had fallen in love with him in Vienna. Some noblemen in Bohemia received him kindly, and entertained him at their houses for months at a time. It was his usual practice to pretend that he possessed only a few grains of his powder, with which he would operate in any house where he intended to fix his quarters for the season. He would make the proprietor a present of the piece of gold thus transmuted, and promise him millions, if he could only be provided with leisure to gather his lunaria major and minor on their mountain tops, and board, lodging, and loose cash for himself, his wife, and his pupil in the interval.

    He exhausted in this manner the patience of some dozen of people, when, thinking that there was less danger for him in France, under the young king Louis XV, than under his old and morose predecessor, he returned to Provence. On his arrival at Aix, he presented himself before M. le Bret, the President of the province, a gentleman who was much attached to the pursuits of alchymy, and had great hopes of being himself able to find the philosopher's stone. M. le Bret, contrary to his expectation, received him very coolly, in consequence of some rumours that were spread abroad respecting him; and told him to call upon him on the morrow. Aluys did not like the tone of the voice, or the expression of the eye of the learned President, as that functionary looked down upon him. Suspecting that all was not right, he left Aix secretly the same evening, and proceeded to Marseilles. But the police were on the watch for him; and he had not been there four-and-twenty hours, before he was arrested on a charge of coining, and thrown into prison.

    As the proofs against him were too convincing to leave him much hope of an acquittal, he planned an escape from durance. It so happened that the gaoler had a pretty daughter, and Aluys soon discovered that she was tender-hearted. He deavoured to gain her in his favour, and succeeded. The damsel, unaware that he was a married man, conceived and encouraged a passion for him, and generously provided him with the means of escape. After he had been nearly a year in prison he succeeded in getting free, leaving the poor girl behind, to learn that be was already married, and to lament in solitude that she had given her heart to an ungrateful vagabond.

    A rich greffier [a notary] paid him a large sum of money that he might be instructed in the art, and Aluys gave him several lessons on the most common principles of chemistry. The greffier studied hard for a twelvemonth, and then discovered that his master was a quack. He demanded his money back again; but Aluys was not inclined to give it him, and the affair was brought before the civil tribunal of the province. In the mean time, however, the greffier died suddenly; poisoned, according to the popular rumour, by his debtor, to avoid repayment. So great an outcry arose in the city, that Aluys, who may have been innocent of the crime, was nevertheless afraid to remain and brave it. He withdrew secretly in the night, and retired to Paris. Here all trace of him is lost. He was never heard of again; but Lenglet du Fresnoy [one of the French Encyclopédistes] conjectures, that he ended his days in some obscure dungeon, into which he was cast for coining, or other malpracticcs. - source
    Free on-line text: None
    Related thread: None
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    Alveydre, Alexandre Saint-Yves d’ (1842 - 1909)
    ...a French occultist who adapted the works of Fabre d'Olivet and, in turn, had his ideas adapted by Papus. He developed the term Synarchy - the association of everyone with everyone else, into a political philosophy, and his ideas on this form of government proved highly influential in politics and the occult. - source
    ...together with contemporaries like Eliphas Levi, Maitre Philippe, and Fabre d'Olivet, belonged to the most influential spiritual teachers/philosophers of France in the 19th century. Saint-Yves may be looked upon as a 19th century profound thinker, philosopher and mystic... According to Saint-Yves the secret world of "Agartha" and all of its wisdom and wealth "will be accessible for all mankind, when Christianity lives up to the commandments which were once drafted by Moses and Jesus, meaning ' When the Anarchy which exists in our world is replaced by the Synarchy". Being an occultist and alchemist, Saint-Yves believed in the existence of spiritually superior beings. These 'beings' could be contacted telepathically. - source
    Free on-line text: None
    Related thread: Inner Earth
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    Apone, Pietro d’ (1250 - ?)
    This unlucky sage was born at Apone, near Padua, in the year 1250. Like his friend Arnold de Villeneuve, he was an eminent physician, and a pretender to the arts of astrology and alchymy. He practised for many years in Paris, and made great wealth by killing and curing, and telling fortunes.

    In an evil day for him, he returned to his own country, with the reputation of being a magician of the first order. It was universally believed that he had drawn seven evil spirits from the infernal regions, whom he kept enclosed in seven crystal vases, until he required their services, when he sent them forth to the ends of the earth to execute his pleasure. One spirit excelled in philosophy; a second, in alchymy; a third, in astrology; a fourth, in physic; a fifth, in poetry; a sixth, in music; and the seventh, in painting: and whenever Pietro wished for information or instruction in any of these arts, he had only to go to his crystal vase, and liberate the presiding spirit. Immediately, all the secrets of the art were revealed to him; and he might, if it pleased him, excel Homer in poetry, Apelles in painting, or Pythagoras himself in philosophy.

    Although he could make gold out of brass, it was said of him, that he was very sparing of his powers in that respect, and kept himself constantly supplied with money by other and less creditable means. Whenever he disbursed gold, he muttered a certain charm, known only to himself; and next morning the gold was safe again in his own possession. The trader to whom he gave it, might lock it in his strong box, and have it guarded by a troop of soldiers; but the charmed metal flew back to its old master. Even if it were buried in the earth, or thrown into the sea, the dawn of the next morning would behold it in the pockets of Pietro. Few people, in consequence, liked to have dealings with such a personage, especially for gold. Some, bolder than the rest, thought that his power did not extend over silver; but, when they made the experiment, they found themselves mistaken. Bolts and bars could not restrain it, and it sometimes became invisible in their very hands, and was whisked through the air to the purse of the magician.

    He necessarily acquired a very bad character; and, having given utterance to some sentiments regarding religion which were the very reverse of orthodox, he was summoned before the tribunals of the Inquisition to answer for his crimes as a heretic and a sorcerer. He loudly protested his innocence, even upon the rack, where he suffered more torture than nature could support. He died in prison ere his trial was concluded, but was afterwards found guilty. His bones were ordered to be dug up, and publicly burned. He was also burned in effigy in the streets of Padua. - source
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    Apollonius of Tyana or Balinas (c. 40 - 120 C.E.)
    Apollonius of Tyana was a Greek Pythagorean philosopher and teacher. He hailed from the town of Tyana in the Roman province of Cappadocia in Asia Minor. After his death his name remained famous among philosophers and occultists. - source
    The world, for the spiritual development of which he worked so enthusiastically, has not done Apollonius full justice. He was surrounded with hatred as well as with admiration. He made too many prophecies, even though they were precisely realized, performed too many marvelous tricks. The mediocre minds that create the reputations of great men insist that virtue shall be muffled in tedium and that it shall not be illumined by anything of the marvelous. If a man lacks the audacity or has too much sincerity to present himself as a god, he must be content to remain within the limits of honest humanity. If the philosophers glorified Apollonius, the Christian world contrasted him with his contemporary, Jesus. While the ecclesiastical historians for centuries, even down to our own times, have made his name a synonym for charlatan and trickster -- with such a tenacity that should suffice to prove his greatness of soul! - source
    Free on-line text: The Life of Apollonius
    Related thread: Apollonius of Tyana
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    Aquinas, Thomas (c. 1225 - 1274)
    Thomas Aquinas lived at a critical juncture of western culture when the arrival of the Aristotelian corpus in Latin translation reopened the question of the relation between faith and reason, calling into question the modus vivendi that had obtained for centuries. This crisis flared up just as universities were being founded. Thomas, after early studies at Montecassino, moved on to the University of Naples, where he met members of the new Dominican Order. It was at Naples too that Thomas had his first extended contact with the new learning.

    When he joined the Dominican Order he went north to study with Albertus Magnus, author of a paraphrase of the Aristotelian corpus. Thomas completed his studies at the University of Paris, which had been formed out of the monastic schools on the Left Bank and the cathedral school at Notre Dame. In two stints as a regent master Thomas defended the mendicant orders and, of greater historical importance, countered both the Averroistic interpretations of Aristotle and the Franciscan tendency to reject Greek philosophy. The result was a new modus vivendi between faith and philosophy which survived until the rise of the new physics. Thomas's theological writings became regulative of the Catholic Church and his close textual commentaries on Aristotle represent a cultural resource which is now receiving increased recognition. - source
    Thomas Aquinas was an eminent theologian who was permitted to study alchemy before it was condemned by the Church. - source
    Free on-line text: On the Principles of Nature
    Related thread: Aurora Consurgens
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    Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.E.)
    It is reported that Aristotle's writings were held by his student Theophrastus, who had succeeded Aristotle in leadership of the Peripatetic School.

    The works of Aristotle fall under three headings: (1) dialogues and other works of a popular character; (2) collections of facts and material from scientific treatment; and (3) systematic works. - source
    Aristotle... wrote on many different subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology.

    ...one of the most important philosophers in Western thought. He was one of the first to systematize philosophy and science. His thinking on physics and science had a profound impact on medieval thought, which lasted until the Renaissance, and the accuracy of some of his biological observations was only confirmed in the last century. His logical works contain the earliest formal study of logic known and were not superseded until the late nineteenth century.

    In the Middle Ages, Aristotelian metaphysics had a profound influence on philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions, and on Christian thought, where its legacy is still felt in Christian theology, for example in Orthodox theology, and especially within the Catholic tradition shaped by scholasticism. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today.

    ...it is thought that the majority of his writings are now lost. They were lost and rediscovered several times, and it is believed that only about one fifth of the original works have survived. - source
    Free on-line text: Works by Aristotle
    Related thread: Pseudo-Science
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    Artephius (c. 12th century)
    A well known exponent of Hermetic philosophy who is said to have died in the early 12th century, and declared to have lived a thousand years by means of alchemical secrets. Francois Pic mentioned that in opinions of certain servant Artephius was identical with Apollonius of Tyana, who was born in the first century by that name and died in the 12th as Artephius.

    Many extravagant and curious works are said to have been written by Artephius: De Vita Propaganda (The Art of Prolonging Life) which he comments in the preface that he is writing it when 125 years old; The Key to Supreme Wisdom; a book on the character of the planets; a book on the significance of the songs of birds; on things of past and future; and on the Philosopher's Stone. Jerome Cardan talked of these books and believed that they were composed by some joker who wished to play on the credulity of the partisans of alchemy.

    Other scholars have identified Artephius as the Arabic poet and alchemist Al Toghari who died around 1119. A.G.H. - source
    Free on-line text: The Secret Book of Artephius
    Related thread: None
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    Asclepius (unknown)
    ...a skilled physician... who practised in Greece around 1200 B.C.E. and described in Homer’s Iliad. If he truly existed no one knows but regardless he, through myth and legend, became part of the Greek family of gods as the God of Healing and the son of Apollo and the nymph Coronis. He had several daughters of which Meditrina, Hygieia and Panacea all became symbols of medicine, hygiene and healing.

    Rationalism and patriarchy began to be established around the 5th century B.C.E and myths were modified. For instance Zeus who originally was represented as a serpent now defeats the serpent monster Typhon with the aid of his daughter Athene (Reason). This act guaranteed the reign of the patriarchal gods of Olympus and at the same time he brings back Asclepius to life, after having killed him with a lightning bolt, and presents him with the serpent wrapped around a staff.

    It’s believed that Hippocrates, a great doctor of antiquity, was a descendant of Asclepius and the oath, which bears his name, was sworn in the names of Apollo, Asclepius and Panacea.

    A cult formed from Asclepius and became very popular during the 300s B.C.E. The Asclepions, centres where priests cured the sick, became important in Greek society. The worship of Asclepius spread to Rome, his name changed to the Latin Aesculapius, and continued to the late as the 6th century.

    Since ancient times there have been columns, trees and staffs with serpents climbing or twirling around them and throughout the ages it has been the image of the art of healing and not evil. The famous Staff of Asclepius with a single serpent wrapped around it possibly became a symbol of medicine and healing because infections by parasitic worms were common. The filarial worm Dracunculus medinensis crawled around the victim’s body, just under the skin and the physicians treated this infection by cutting a slit in the patient’s skin just in front of the worm’s path. As the worm crawled out the cut the physician carefully wound the pest around a stick until the entire animal had been removed resulting in the symbol of a worm, serpent, around a stick to advertise this service.

    The Staff of Asclepius have often been confused with the Caduceus, or Staff of Hermes, and although the former is clearly a symbol of medicine and healing the latter has often taken on this role in the collective mind. The Encyclopaedia Britannica clearly states that the Staff of Asclepius is “the only true symbol of medicine.” It also says that the Caduceus is “without medical reference since it represents the magic wand of Hermes, or Mercury, the messenger of the gods and the patron of trade.”

    Modern pharmacies probably began using the serpent as a symbol for their business because they sold the antidote to snake venom. - source
    Free on-line text: None
    Related thread: The Staff of Asclepius
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    Ashmole, Elias (1617 - 1692)
    Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. Elias Ashmole was a chemist and antiquarian. Ashmole included in his diary reference to his having been a member of a Masonic Lodge. The dates for these meetings are placed at 16 October 1646, and again on 11 March, 1682. He was deeply interested in the medicinal uses of plants and a member of the Royal Society in 1661, although not active. - source
    Free on-line text: Extract from his diary
    Related thread: None
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    Atwood, Mary Anne (1817-1910)
    Born in Gosport, Hampshire, to Thomas South, a researcher into the history of spirituality, she assisted and collaborated with her father from her youth. Mary Anne's first publication, Early Magnetism in its higher relations to humanity (1846) was issued pseudonymously as the work of Θυος Μαθος (Gk. thuos mathos), an anagram of Thomas South.

    Mary Anne wrote A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery (1850) at her father's request, and in parallel with his own composition of a lengthy poem on the same subject. Thomas South paid for the book to be published anonymously in 1850, but without having read it, trusting his daughter's judgement. Reading it after publication, he believed Mary Anne had revealed many hermetic secrets that were better left unpublished, and therefore bought up the remaining stock and, with his daughter, burnt them. - source
    Free on-line text: None
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    Augurello, Giovanni Aurelio (1441-1524)
    ...an Italian humanist scholar, poet and alchemist. Born at Rimini, he was based mostly at Venice. He is best known for his 1515 poem Chrysopoeia. On the making of gold, it was dedicated to Pope Leo X; leading to a celebrated story, that the Pope had rewarded Augurello with an empty purse. - source
    Free on-line text: None
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    Avicenna or Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina (c. 980 - 1037)
    He was a Persian physician and philosopher. He was born near Bukhara then capital of the Samanid dynasty. By the time he was 10 years old he had learned the Koran as well as Arabic grammar and literature. By the age of 16 he had mastered not only natural science and rudimentary metaphysics but also medical theory. He was not satisfied with merely a theoretical understanding of medicine so he began to treat the sick. He knew enough about medicine to treat the ailing Samanid ruler Nuh Ibn Mansur. The successful treatment gained Avicenna access to the rich library of that prince.

    Abu Ali Sina was one of the main interpreters of Aristotle and was the author of almost 200 books on science, religion and philosophy. Avicenna's two most important works are: Shifa (The Book of Healing) and Al Qanun fi Tibb (The Canon of Medicine). The first is a philosophical encyclopedia based on Aristotelian tradition and the second is the most famous single book in the history of medicine. His medical system was long the standard in Europe and the Middle East.

    Avicenna died in 1037 in Hamadan, Iran. - source
    Free on-line text: A short biographical note on Ibn Sina
    Related thread: None
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    Bacon, Sir Francis (1561 – 1626)
    ...an English lawyer, statesman, essayist, historian, intellectual reformer, philosopher, and champion of modern science. Early in his career he claimed "all knowledge as his province" and afterwards dedicated himself to a wholesale revaluation and re-structuring of traditional learning. To take the place of the established tradition (a miscellany of Scholasticism, humanism, and natural magic), he proposed an entirely new system based on empirical and inductive principles and the active development of new arts and inventions, a system whose ultimate goal would be the production of practical knowledge for "the use and benefit of men" and the relief of the human condition.

    At the same time that he was founding and promoting this new project for the advancement of learning, Bacon was also moving up the ladder of state service. His career aspirations had been largely disappointed under Elizabeth I, but with the ascension of James his political fortunes rose. Knighted in 1603, he was then steadily promoted to a series of offices, including Solicitor General (1607), Attorney General (1613), and eventually Lord Chancellor (1618). While serving as Chancellor, he was indicted on charges of bribery and forced to leave public office. He then retired to his estate where he devoted himself full time to his continuing literary, scientific, and philosophical work. - source
    In March, 1626, he came to London, and shortly after, when driving on a snowy day, the idea struck him of making an experiment as to the antiseptic properties of snow, in consequence of which he caught a chill, which ended in his death on 9th April 1626. He left debts to the amount of £22,000.

    The intellect of Bacon was one of the most powerful and searching ever possessed by man, and his developments of the inductive philosophy revolutionised the future thought of the human race. - source
    The Shakespeare authorship question, which ascribes the famous plays to various contemporaries instead of Shakespeare of Stratford, has produced a large number of candidates, of whom Bacon is one of the most popular. An 1888 two-volume book, The Great Cryptogram, by American journalist and adventurer Ignatius Donnelly, had much to do with this. - source
    A collateral descendant of the Elizabethan philosopher Francis Bacon is the famous artist of nightmarish imagery Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992) of the very same name. - source
    Free on-line text: The New Atlantis
    Related thread: None
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    Bacon, Roger (c. 1214–1294)
    The first known alchemist in England was Roger Bacon. Although Bacon has been described as a physician rather than a chemist, we are indebted to him for many scientific discoveries. He was almost the only astronomer of his time and in this capacity rectified the Julian calendar, although not put into practice until much later. He was responsible also for the physical analysis of convex glasses and lenses, the invention of spectacles and achromatic lenses, and if not for the actual construction, at any rate for the theory of the telescope. As a student of chemistry he called attention to the chemical role played by air in combustion, and having carefully studied the properties of saltpetre, taught its purification by dissolution in water and by crystallisation.

    From certain of his letters we may learn that Bacon anticipated most of the achievements of modern science. He maintained that vessels might be constructed which would be capable of navigation without rowers, and which, under the direction of a single man, could travel through the water at a speed hitherto undreamt of. He also predicted that it would be equally possible to construct cars which might be set in motion with marvellous rapidity, independently of horses and other animals, and flying machines which would beat the air with artificial wings . He also urged the close study of geography so that by knowing the location of Gog and Magog people could plan against the coming invasion.

    In an atmosphere of superstition and ignorance which reigned in Europe during the middle ages it is no wonder that Bacon's achievements were attributed to his communication with devils, and that his fame spread through Western Europe not as a savant, but as a great magician! His great services to humanity were met with censure, not gratitude, and to the Church his teachings seemed particularly pernicious. She accordingly took her place as one of his foremost adversaries, and even the friars of his own order refused his writings a place in their library. His persecutions culminated in 1279 in imprisonment and a forced repentance of his labours in the cause of art and science.

    Doubtless during his lifetime his persecutions led him to conceal carefully his practice of the Hermetic art and to consider the revelation of such matters unfit for the uninitiated. He wrote: "Truth ought not to be shown to every ribald, for then that would become most vile which, in the hand of a philosopher, is the most precious of all things." - source
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    Bartlett, Karen (unknown)
    ...born in New York City and grew up in an Italian/Lithuanian family. Her grandmother immigrated from Italy and was a Strega (Italian Witch) who taught Karen folk magick. On the Lithuanian side, her aunt was a Gypsy who read Tarot cards for family members and taught her and her sister the art. Karen was initiated into Welsh Traditionalist Wicca at the age of 14 by the late Eddie Buzinski (co-founder of the Welsh Tradition) along with Lady Rhiannon (of Brooklyn's Warlock Shoppe in Brooklyn which later became Magickal Childe in NYC).

    At 16, Karen became the youngest High Priestess ever. She was soon hired by the late Herman Slater (author and proprietor of Magickal Childe) to teach classes on pagan rituals.

    After meeting her husband, Robert Allen Bartlett, Karen was initiated into alchemy and spagyrics. She has been doing astrology charts by hand (no computer) for many years. Today, she does consultations that incorporate cell salts into her astrological readings to bring a great source of body balancing to the health deficiencies indicated in the Natal chart. - source
    Free on-line text: The Salts of Life
    Related thread: None
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    Bartlett, Robert Allen (unknown)
    ...a practicing alchemist and author. A natural born scientist, Robert's interest in geology and the sciences in general prompted him to construct his own home laboratory when only 9 years old. Roberts interest in the ancient use of natural materials lead him to the study of alchemical works at the age of 12, and it has become his lifelong passion. In 1974, he left San Jose State University to pursue an intensive course of alchemical study at the Paracelsus Research Society (later Paracelsus College) under the guidance of Dr. Albert Reidel (Frater Albertus). During this time, Robert lived in central Idaho where he performed personal research on botanical materials and worked underground mining antimony (an important alchemical resource).

    By 1976, at the prompting of Frater Albertus, Robert returned to college at Boise State University to complete his degree in chemistry with the view of working at the newly formed Paralab, a commercial offshoot of Paracelsus College. During this time Robert was also employed as a geochemical assayer for the mining industry. In 1979, he received his B.S. degree chemistry and immediately began work at Paralab as Chief Chemist. Working closely with Frater Albertus, Robert developed a wide range of mineral and metallic preparations following Western and Eastern alchemical traditions for applications in alternative health care. Later, he was selected by Frater Albertus to become a Director of Research at Tristar, the future vision of Frater Albertus which would combine the Paracelsus College, Paralab, and a Healing Arts Center into one complex. Unfortunately with the death of Frater Albertus in 1984, both the college and Paralab closed its doors and the Tristar dream was never realized.

    Robert’s pursuit of alchemical research never diminished, as he continued his chemistry career as a research scientist for new ceramic materials, then later as the Chemistry Department Manager for a large materials testing laboratory. In this new environment, he was able to document and perfect alchemical experiments using the very latest in scientific instrumentation. Robert is currently living in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and two daughters where he has been teaching classes and giving workshops on practical alchemy since 2002. He is an instructor with Flamel College and... also produces a line of spagyric and homeopathic mineral salts under the Terre Vitae label. His latest book is Real Alchemy. - source
    Free on-line text: None
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    Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna (1831 - 1891)
    Madame Blavatsky was born in Russia in 1831 and died in England in 1891. She is the pioneer esotericist of our age.

    What she did:
    - Launched the Theosophical Movement calling her message Theosophy.
    - First introduced knowledge of eastern religions to the West - including the ideas of karma and reincarnation.
    - First showed that all major religions are derived from one original religious philosophy.
    - Demonstrated that the ancient wisdom was still known.
    - Presented a portion of that ancient wisdom.
    - Performed phenomena not explainable by known laws of science.
    - Gave the logical basis for morality and brotherhood.
    - Required that the first objective of the Theosophical Movement be Universal
    - Brotherhood without regard to race, creed, sex, caste, or color.

    What she wrote:
    1877 Isis Unveiled - over 1300 pages. Sold out first day in print.
    1879 The Theosophist - monthly magazine started in India.
    1887 Lucifer - monthly magazine (literally meaning light bringer) started in London.
    1888 The Secret Doctrine - her master work - over 1500 pages.
    1889 Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge - stenographic recording of Blavatsky's answers to student questions in 1889.
    1889 The Voice of the Silence - an inspirational book - studied by disciples.
    1889 The Key to Theosophy - an introductory book.
    1892 Theosophical Glossary - published posthumously - not fully edited by her. - source
    Free on-line text: Text of Blavatsky Online
    Related thread: None
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    Boehme, Jacob (1575 - 1624)
    Boehme, the German mystic, was born in the East German town of Goerlitz in 1575. He had little in the way of an education and made his living as a shoemaker; he married and had four children. His thought drew on interests including Paracelsus, the Kabbala, alchemy and the Hermetic tradition. His first written work, Aurora, went unfinished, but drew to him a small circle of followers.

    Like Eckhart and others, Boehme's thought drew fire from the church authorities, who silenced Boehme for five years before he continued writing in secrecy. He again raised the cockles of church authorities, and he was banished from his home. He died soon thereafter, in 1624, after returning home from Dresden. His last words spoken, as he was surrounded by his family, were reported to be, "Now I go hence into Paradise."

    His thought has since influenced major figures in philosophy, especially German Romantics... as did the psychologist, Carl Jung, who made numerous references to Boehme in his writings.

    Thought

    Martin Buber has written that the "summation of (Boehme's) thoughts, is the problem of the relation of the individual to the world." For Boehme, as a precursor to existentialist thought, the Godhead, as the Undgrund or Abyss, is unknowable to human beings. God as such appears with the appearance of the world - creation emerging such that it allows God to emerge from primordial oneness so that He may come to know Himself. The world as such yearns to re-merge with the Undgrund. Submission to the will of Christ, for Boehme, leads to true freedom, as opposed to the fallen will, since Adam, of the individual human being.

    The world as becoming, in Boehme's cosmology, is the self-revelation of God in the sensible, emerging out of a desire to reveal Himself to Himself. As Boehme writes: "Creation was an act of the free will of God; God unfolded his eternal nature, and through his active love, or desire, he caused that which heretofore had been in him merely as spirit (as an image contained in a piece of wood before the artist has cut it out), to become substantial, corporeal." Thus, it follows, God reveals Himself from within creation when the individual submits his will to the will of God. Of his own divine revelation, Boehme wrote: "I did not climb up into the Godhead, neither can so mean a man as I am do it; but the Godhead climbed up in me, and revealed such to me out of his Love..."-source
    Free on-line text: Jacob Boehme Resources
    Related thread: None
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    Borri, Joseph Francis (1627 - 1685)
    ...a famous chemist and charlatan, born at Milan in 1627, and educated by the Jesuits at Rome, being a student of medicine and chemistry. He lived a wild and depraved life, and was compelled to retire into a seminary. Then he suddenly changed his conduct, and pretended to be inspired by God, advocating in a book which he published certain strange notions with regard to the existence of the Trinity, and expressing certain ridiculous opinions, such as that the mother of God was a certain goddess, that the Holy Spirit became incarnate in the womb of Anna, and that not only Christ but the Virgin also are adored and contained in the Holy Eucharist.

    In spite of the folly of his teaching he attracted many followers, and also the attention of the Inquisition. Perceiving his danger, he fled to Milan, and thence to a more safe retreat in Amsterdam and Hamburg. In his absence the Inquisition examined his book and passed its dread sentence upon its author, declaring that “Borri ought to be punished as a heretic for his errors, that he had incurred both the ‘general’ and ‘particular’ censures, that he was deprived of all honour and prerogative in the Church, of whose mercy he had proved himself unworthy, that he was expelled from her communion, and that his effigy should be handed over to the Cardinal Legate for the execution of the punishment he had deserved.”

    All his heretical writings were condemned to the flames, and all his goods confiscated. On the 3rd of January, 1661, Borri’s effigy and his books were burned by the public executioner, and Borri declared that he never felt so cold, when he knew that he was being burned by proxy. He then fled to a more secure asylum in Denmark. He imposed upon Frederick III., saying that he had found the philosopher’s stone. After the death of this credulous monarch Borri journeyed to Vienna, where he was delivered up to the representative of the Pope, and cast into prison. He was then sent to Rome, and condemned to perpetual imprisonment in the Castle of St. Angelo, where he died in 1685. His principal work was entitled La Chiave del gabineito del cavagliere G. F. Borri (The key of the cabinet of Borri). Certainly the Church showed him no mercy, but perhaps his hard fate was not entirely undeserved. - source
    Free on-line text: None
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    Boyle, Robert (1627 – 1691)
    ...a natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, inventor, and gentleman scientist, also noted for his writings in theology. He is best known for the formulation of Boyle's law. Although his research and personal philosophy clearly has its roots in the alchemical tradition, he is largely regarded today as the first modern chemist, and therefore one of the founders of modern chemistry. Among his works, The Sceptical Chymist is seen as a cornerstone book in the field of chemistry. - source
    Free on-line text: Essay on the Virtue of Gems
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    Brahe, Tycho (1546 - 1601)
    From his 7th year he was taught Latin and at the age of 12 (in 1559) he began his studies at the University of Copenhagen (Rhetoric and Philosophy). In 1560 Tycho Brahe probably witnessed a partial solar eclipse, and from that time he began his studies of atsronomy. In 1562 he travelled to Leipzig to study law, but Tycho was more interested in astronomy. He discovered large discrepancies between his own observations of the positions of the planets and the positions noted by astronomers before him. Tycho Brahe returned home from Leipzig in 1565 and between 1566 and 1570 he studied astronomy in Rostock, Wittenberg, Basel and Augsburg. In this period he constructed his first instruments (in 1564 a radius of wood and in 1569 the Great Quadrant at Augsburg). In 1570 his father died, and Tycho returned to Denmark.

    On November 11th 1572 Tycho discovered a new bright star in Cassiopeia. The star was visible for 18 months. Tycho published his observations on the star in a book, De Nova Stella. Today we know that this was a supernova.

    In 1575 he travelled south again and made the acquaintance of the Landgrave Wilhelm IV of Hesse, who was very interested in astronomy. When he returned home again he contemplated leaving Denmark, but the king, Frederick II, at the request of Wilhelm, offered Tycho Brahe the island of Hven as fief and generous financial support (Tycho Brahe received more than 1% of Denmark's income).

    In August 1576 he began building the combined manor house and observatory Uranienborg on Hven. Because of lack of space he began the construction of another observatory, Stjerneborg on a hill outside Uraniborg. As feudal lord Tycho Brahe had an obligation towards the king and the peasants, but he did not fulfil them (e.g. he did not take care of the lighthouse, and he demanded too much work of his peasants and generally treated them badly).

    When Christian IV took over the throne in 1596, Tycho Brahe lost most of his financial privileges, but he still kept Hven as a fief. He was criticised in particular for his treatment of the peasants. In 1597 Tycho Brahe left Denmark, and in 1598 he accepted a proposal from emperor Rudolf II that he come to Prague, where he was to work with Johannes Kepler. Tycho Brahe died in 1601, possibly of ureamia, possibly because of mercury poisoning. He is buried in Prague. Kepler inherited the observations of Tycho Brahe, with the aid of which he was able to find his laws of planetary motion. - source (link broken)

    Free on-line text: Tycho’s 1004-Star Catalog - The First Critical Edition
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    Brand, Henning (c. 1630 – c. 1710)
    ... a merchant and amateur alchemist in Hamburg, Germany who discovered phosphorus around 1669. The circumstances of Brand's birth are unknown. Some sources describe his origins as humble and indicate that he had been an apprentice glass-maker as a young man. However, correspondence by his second wife Margaretha states that he was of high social standing. In any case he held a post as a junior army officer during the Thirty Years' War and his first wife's dowry was substantial, allowing him to pursue alchemy on leaving the army.

    Like other alchemists of the time, Brand searched for the philosopher's stone, a substance which purportedly transformed base metals (like lead) into gold. By the time his first wife died he had exhausted her money on this pursuit. He then married his second wife Margaretha, a wealthy widow whose financial resources allowed him to continue the search.

    Around 1669 he heated residues from boiled-down urine on his furnace until the retort was red hot, where all of a sudden glowing fumes filled it and liquid dripped out, bursting into flames. He could catch the liquid in a jar and cover it, where it solidified and continued to give off a pale-green glow. What he collected was phosphorus, which he named from the Greek for light-bearing or light-bearer [famous picture of his discovery here].

    Phosphorus must have been awe-inspiring to an alchemist. A product of man, and seeming to glow with a life force that didn't diminish over time (and didn't need re-exposure to light like previously discovered Bologna stone). Brand kept his discovery secret, again as alchemists of the time did, and worked with the phosphorus trying to use it to produce gold (unsuccessfully of course). - source
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    Browne, Sir Thomas (1605 - 1682)
    Browne first came to the attention of readers with his best known work, Religio medici, which he wrote around 1635. [It] is about Browne's personal Christian faith, and is distinguished by its elegant prose, its tolerant and widely-based version of Christianity, and its occasionally sceptical outlook. It is really an intellectual autobiography in which Browne writes about his personal views not just on religion but on a great variety of other subjects, too, although most of them may be related in some way to religion. For example, he believes in predestination, but likes some of the rituals of the Catholic Church; he fulminates against religious bigotry and persecution but is not a great admirer of martyrs. Browne has a mind that loves going a little beyond common sense and reason, venturing often into the realms of the fantastic, the mysterious and the unexplainable. He is one of those people who can find something of interest in just about anything, and the whole work breathes geniality, toleration, and an intelligent scepticism about the world he lives in. Religio medici is one of the great prose-works of the Early Modern period of English literature.

    Browne's innate curiosity never failed him, and his other works reflect his multi-faceted personality, too. In 1646, he wrote Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or Vulgar Errors, which tackled the subject of superstition and popular misconceptions about various subjects, and also showed Browne fighting his intellectual battles against the authors whose works perpetuated these errors.

    ...a work entitled The Garden of Cyrus, in which Browne wrote about the history of horticulture... is also the source of his famous idea of the quincunx, a shape with five parts, one at each corner (rectangle), and one in the middle, which he thought was present everywhere in nature; the number five, of course, had mystical and Neoplatonic meanings which fascinated Browne's mind. It also figured in the design of Cyrus's garden as described by the Greek writer Xenophon.

    The overall impression one gets from reading Browne is of an urbane, sophisticated and witty writer, who delights in collecting trivia and arcane information. His style is elegant and, for modern tastes, probably rather too learned, but his love of what he does is obvious, and he is a good example of the gentleman-antiquary, a man who revels in obscure knowledge of ancient rites and customs and wants readers to share his enthusiasm for these things. He also displays tolerance and good humour, something rare in a century of conflict and changing values. - source
    Free on-line text: Selected Works of Sir Thomas Browne
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    Bruno, Giordano (1548 - 1600)
    Giordano Bruno was more than a philosopher. He came across as a magus when he wrote and published his works on mnemotechnics.

    Frances Yates, whose research aims at redefining Brunian philosophy within the hermetic and magic context of his era, has shown that a parallel can be drawn between this figurative art and magic, since it could be used to obtain universal knowledge. The art of memory, which was all the rage among intellectual circles during the Renaissance, enabled archetypal images to be printed.

    Bruno's first two works on mnemotechnics, which were centred on the solar cult and contained hermetic overtones, proved to be real guides towards obtaining "all the powers of the soul". De Umbris Idearum is presented as a dialogue between three characters: Hermes, Philothine and Logifer, the first of whom is familiar with the magic art of revealed images, which he will pass on to his two disciples. Mnemotechnics is related to the sun, and the entire work expands on the theme of solar magic taught by Trismegistus.

    Bruno appears to be a master in the art of inventing systems of magic and talismanic images. As shown by Frances Yates, the Hermetic nature of his works is striking, since the images are entirely removed of their Christian meaning and appeal to Egyptian hermetism, which Bruno considered to be superior to Christianity. That is the reason for which The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, written two years later, was such a eulogy to the Egyptians' magic religion, and according to Frances Yates, inspired by the occult Asclepius. - source
    ...an Italian philosopher, priest, cosmologist, and occultist. Bruno is known for his mnemonic system based upon organized knowledge and as an early proponent of the idea of an infinite and homogeneous universe. Burnt at the stake as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition, Bruno is seen by some as the first "martyr for science." - source
    Free on-line text: Complete works of Bruno
    Related thread: Giordano Bruno
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    Cagliostro, Alessandro or Giuseppe Balsamo (1743 - 1795)
    Count Cagliostro was born Giuseppe Balsamo on June 2, 1743 in Palermo, Italy... Cagliostro was sent to a Benedictine monatery, where he discovered a talent for medicine and chemistry. Although he was a very good student he tried to look beyond the basic information he was given . After several years Cagliostro... ran away from the monastery joining a band of 'vagabonds', that committed petty crimes as well as murders... As quickly as he had become involved with the vagabonds, when at the age of seventeen he began to feign interest in the occult and alchemy when a goldsmith named Marano arrived in Palermo and became associated with Cagliostro.

    Marano met with many alchemists who had claimed to be able to transmute metals, but he believed that Cagliostro alone had the power to do so. Seeing that Marano believed in him, Cagliostro asked for sixty ounces of gold (a very large sum, considering that one ounce costs nearly $300 today 9/99) to conduct magical ceremonies and then would show Marano the location of a large cache of treasure hidden near the city. With some hesitation Marano gave Cagliostro the gold and at midnight that night he was led to the field some distance from Palermo. The only thing awaiting Marano were some thugs Cagliostro had hired to attack him. Soon after, Cagliostro fled Palermo and began his world travels.

    Cagliostro traveled throughout the world, visiting Egypt, Greece, Persia, Rhodes, India and Ethiopia, studying the occult and alchemical knowledge he found in those countries. In 1768 Cagliostro returned to Italy first going to Naples, where he met one of the thugs who helped him attack Marano. The two men went to Naples and opened a Casino, to cheat wealthy foreigners out of money. Neapolitan authorities quickly discovered their plot and forced the men to leave.

    Cagliostro went to Rome where established himself as doctor, making a very good living. While in Rome, he met and married Lorenza Feliciani, called Serafina. The couple lived in Rome until members of the Inquisition began to suspect Cagliostro of heresy. Quickly they both went to Spain, where they spent several years and then returned to Cagliostro's home town of Palermo, where he was arrested by Marano. Cagliostro was saved by a nobleman, and after cheating an alchemist out of 100,000 crowns (about $1 million) the man and wife went to England in the 1760's, claiming to have discovered an alchemical secret.

    Cagliostro met the Comte de Saint-Germain in London, who initiated him into the rites of Egyptian Freemasonry, as well as the recipes for the elixirs of Youth and Immortality. After establishing Egyptian Rite Masonic Lodges in England, Germany, Russia and in France Cagliostro went to Paris in 1772, where he again sold medicines, elixirs and began to hold séances. King Louis XVI became interested in Cagliostro, and was entertained by the Count who held magic suppers to entertain the court at Versailles.

    For many years Cagliostro was a favorite of the French court, until 1785 when he was involved in the Affair of the Necklace, one of the major events that led to the French Revolution in 1789. Thanks to his involvement in the scandal, Cagliostro spent six months in the Bastille and then was banished from France.

    Cagliostro went to Rome with his wife in late 1789, taking up the practice of medicine and séances once more. All went well for several years until he attempted to found a Masonic Lodge in Rome, after which the Inquisition arrested him in 1791, imprisoned him in the Castle of Saint Angelo (originally the tomb of Roman Emperor Hadrian in ancient times) in Rome and held a trial, accusing him of heresy, magic, conjury, and Freemasonry. After eighteen months of deliberations, the Inquisition sentenced Cagliostro to death but his sentence was changed by the Pope to life imprisonment in the Castle of Saint Angelo. Cagliostro attempted to escape, but was easily overpowered. Then, he was sent to the solitary castle of San Leo near the city of Montefeltro, one of the strongest castles in Europe, where he died on August 26, 1795. The reports of Cagliostro's death were not believed throughout Europe and only after a report commissioned by Napoléon did people accept the fact Cagliostro was actually dead.

    Cagliostro is said to be one of the greatest figures in occult, although since the late 19th century he has been considered by many to be a charlatan. Many wild stories have grown up around him, which have obscured the true facts of his life, which are more unbelievable than the fiction. - source
    Free on-line text: None
    Related thread: Comte de Saint Germain
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    Calid or Khalid ibn Yazid (? - 704 C.E.)
    In alchemy, Calid often refers to a historical figure, Khalid ibn Yazid (died 704 CE). He was an Umayyad prince, a brother of Muawiyah II who was briefly caliph. Prince Khalid lost the chance of inheriting the title, but took an interest in the study of alchemy, in Egypt, facilitating translations into Arabic of the existing literature. It is to this Khalid that later allusions to Calid rex (King Calid) refer.

    It is contested whether the attributions to Khalid ibn Yazid of alchemical writing are justified. A popular legend has him consulting a Byzantine monk Marianos (Morienus the Greek). The Liber de compositione alchimiae, which was the first alchemical work translated from Arabic to Latin was purportedly an epistle of Marianos to Khalid.- source
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    Casanova, Giacomo (1725 - 1798)
    ...a Venetian adventurer and author. His main book Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), part autobiography and part memoir, is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century.

    Casanova claimed to be a Rosicrucian and an alchemist, aptitudes which made him popular with some of the most prominent figures of the era, among them Madame de Pompadour, Count de Saint-Germain, d'Alembert and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. So popular was alchemy among the nobles, particularly the search for the “philosopher’s stone”, that Casanova was highly sought after for his supposed knowledge, and he profited handsomely. He met his match, however, in the Count de Saint-Germain: “This very singular man, born to be the most barefaced of all imposters, declared with impunity, with a casual air, that he was three hundred years old, that he possessed the universal medicine, that he made anything he liked from nature, that he created diamonds.” - source
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    Clarke, Lindsay (b. 1939)
    ...a British novelist. He was educated at Heath Grammar School in Halifax and at King's College Cambridge. He worked in education for many years, in Africa, America and the UK, before becoming a full-time writer. He currently lives in Somerset with his wife, Phoebe Clare, who is a ceramic artist. Clarke lectures in creative writing at Cardiff University, and teaches writing workshops in London and Bath. His novel The Chymical Wedding, inspired by the life of Mary Anne Atwood, won the Whitbread Fiction Prize in 1989. Most recently, Clarke has published novelizations about the Trojan War. - source
    Free on-line text: None
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    Coelho, Paulo (1947 - )
    The Brazilian author Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist.

    Coelho wrote song lyrics for many famous performers in Brazilian music, such as Elis Regina and Rita Lee. Yet his most well known work has been done with Raul Seixas. Together they wrote such successes as Eu nasci há dez mil anos atrás (I was born ten thousand years ago), Gita and Al Capone, amongst other 60 songs.

    His fascination with the spiritual quest dates back to his hippie days, when he travelled the world learning about secret societies, oriental religions, etc.

    In 1982 Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make any kind of impact. In 1985 he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves, since he considered it "of bad quality". In 1986, Paulo Coelho did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage.

    In the following year, Coelho published The Alchemist. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time.

    To date, Coelho has sold a total of 100 million copies and... The Alchemist was one of the most important literary phenomena of the 20th century. It reaches the first place in bestselling lists in 18 countries, and so far has sold 30 million copies.

    The book has been praised by different personalities... [and] ...it has equally inspired many projects – such as a musical in Japan, theatre plays in France, Belgium, USA, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland. It is also the theme of two symphonies (Italy and USA) and had its text illustrated by the famous French artist Moebius. - source

    Free on-line text: The Prologue from the book, The Alchemist
    Related thread: None
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    Conway, Lady or Anne Finch (1631-1679)
    Anne was the youngest child of the Finch family; she was born in 1631 and brought up in what is now called Kensington Palace in London. She was the daughter of Sir Heneage Finch, Speaker of the House of Commons. Miss Finch married Edward, Earl of Conway in 1651 and took the title of Lady Conway. After her marriage, the couple moved to Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, England.

    A philosopher and alchemist, Anne was fluent in Greek, Latin and Hebrew; her magickal interest was in the Lurianic Kabbalah and she became a Rosicrucian.

    The Conways received visitors to Ragley Hall including philosophers such as Gottfried Leibniz, Franz Mercurius van Helmont, Henry More (her former tutor at Cambridge) and other intellectuals of the time. It was More who introduced Anne to Helmont, a Dutch philosopher, mystic and physician, and it was More who she regularly corresponded with on Descartes, another strong influence on her cosmology. Later Helmont introduced Anne to Quakerism to which she eventually converted.

    In her writings, Anne attempted to reconcile the existence of a benevolent God with the existence of suffering in the world and her appraisal and critique of More, Descartes, Hobbes and Spinoza called The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy was published anonymously the year after her death in 1690 in Latin.

    It is said that Anne had a profound influence on modern science despite being a largely hidden female figure throughout the ages.

    Ragley Hall is still in existence today and is open to the public and it is said that the first psychical research society was founded at the Conway's Warwickshire, where the gardens were designed on occult principles. - source: Radiant Star
    Free on-line text: The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy
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    Dee, Arthur (1579 – 1651)
    ...the eldest son of Dr John Dee, and educated at Westminster School. Arthur accompanied his father in his peregrinations across Bohemia. He became a physician to Michael I of Russia, the founder of the Romanov Dynasty and resided in Moscow for fourteen years where he wrote his Fasciculus Chemicus, a collection of writings upon alchemy.

    Returning to England upon the death of his wife in 1637, Dee became physician to King Charles I. Upon his retirement Arthur Dee resided in Norwich, where he became a friend of Sir Thomas Browne. Arthur Dee died in October of 1651. Dee's relationship to Browne has been little explored, but upon his death it was to Browne that the bulk of Arthur Dee's alchemical manuscripts and books were bequeathed. - source
    Free on-line text: None
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    Dee, John (1527 - 1608/1609)
    1. Visionary of the British Empire; coined the word Brittannia and developed a plan for the British Navy.

    2. The first to apply Euclidean geometry to navigation; built the instruments to apply Euclid; trained the first great navigators; developed the maps; charted the Northeast and Northwest Passages.

    3. An angel conjuror with his sidekick Kelley; the angels told him what Britain would have in their eventual empire; used an obsidian show stone which came from the Aztecs/Mayans and rests in the British Museum along with his conjuring table which contains the Enochian Alphabet he used as angel language.

    4. Philosopher to Queen Elizabeth; did her horoscope; determined her coronation date astrologically; she came to visit him on her horse.

    5. Founder of the Rosicrucian Order, the protestant response to the Jesuits.

    6. An alchemist; hermeticist, cabalist, adept in esoteric and occcult lore.

    7. Translator of Euclid and wrote the famous Mathematical Preface, mapping mathematical studies for the future, a kind of system of the sciences based on math.

    8. Put a hex on the Spanish Armada which is why there was bad weather and England won.

    9. Commissioned by Elizabeth to establish the legal foundation for colonizing North America; went back to Madoc, a Welsh Prince who took a group over to New England in the middle ages and established the first colony, and intermarried with the Indians, but with little or no historical trace but for the legend.

    10. Instrumental in theatre arts and architecture.

    11. Shakespeare depicted him as Prospero, and King Lear.

    12. Sold the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious, a cipher as yet to be deciphered--"the Everest of cipher studies"--to the Holy Roman Emperor--Rudolph II--for a lot of gold. Resides at Yale in the Beineke Library. Probably an herbal and an almanac by Anthony Askham.

    13. Had the greatest library in England over 4,000 books.

    14. Biography by Peter French and everything by Francis Yates, his greatest advocate: cf. especially THE ROSICRUCIAN ENLIGHTENMENT.- source
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    Di Prima, Diane (1934 - )
    Diane di Prima was born in Brooklyn... a second generation American of Italian descent. Her maternal grandfather, Domenico Mallozzi, was an active anarchist, and associate of Carlo Tresca and Emma Goldman. She began writing at the age of seven, and committed herself to a life as a poet at the age of fourteen.

    She lived and wrote in Manhattan for many years, where she became known as an important writer of the Beat movement...

    In 1966 she moved to upstate New York where she participated in Timothy Leary’s psychedelic community at Millbrook.

    She [has] studied Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, Sanskrit and alchemy... From 1980 to 1987, she taught Hermetic and esoteric traditions in poetry, in a short-lived but significant Masters-in-Poetics program at New College of California... She was one of the co-founders of San Francisco Institute of Magical and Healing Arts (SIMHA), where she taught Western spiritual traditions from 1983 to 1992.

    Diane lives and writes in San Francisco, where she teaches private classes and workshops and does individual consultations on writing and creativity. - source
    Free on-line text: None
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    Dubuis, Jean (1919 - 2010 )
    "My name is Jean Dubuis. I am, this present day that I write [1995], aged 76 years old, and I have a practice of esotericism of more than half a century. My esoteric researches started when I was twelve, after a tremendous inner experience; the invisible world had become for me as true as the world of matter where we live. From that time on, I never ceased trying to understand the nature of this experience, to find means to renew it if possible."

    "This experience had shown me that there was another truth than the one of our visible world. I wished to be able to understand the nature and workings of this ordinarily invisible Universe. My researches started with books, where I didn’t find much, so my early progress was rather slow. Much later, I found the only book that really helped me, the Sepher Yetzirah. After the ill success of books, I became a member of groups, of Rosicrucian or Martinist spirit. I did not find there really useful elements. Their habit of illegitimate secrecy led me far from these groups."

    "It is in fact a persevering personal effort that lead me to renew my experience, and that resulted in my few contacts with the Eternity. From there on, I wrote three courses, one on Alchemy, one on Qabala, and one called The Fundamentals of Esoteric Knowledge. These lessons were finished some 15 years ago and I insured their distribution for 12 years. This work taught me a lot of things in the field of esoteric teaching. Today I have a lot to add to these lessons."
    - source
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    Dyer, Edward (1543 - 1607)
    ...many thought Dyer to be a Rosicrucian, and that he was a firm believer in alchemy. He had a great reputation as a poet among his contemporaries, but very little of his work has survived. In 1943 Alden Brooks proposed Sir Edward Dyer as a candidate in the Shakespearean authorship question in his book Will Shakspere and the Dyer’s Hand. - source
    Free on-line text: My Mind to me a Kingdom
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    Enki, one of the Anunnaki (c. 3000 B.C.E.)
    Enki [is] the most complete and modern mirror of masculine wholeness in Mesopotamia and world religion. His values and attributes are timeless, and it is not surprising to see that He is one of the most beloved gods of Mesopotamia. How can He be so whole? Because in Him the passionate and joyous Lover, the Mystic, the Strategist, the Sorcerer, the Divine Manager, the Keeper of World Order and Rescuer of Humankind and Gods alike are all One. - source
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    Faust, Johann Georg (c. 1466 – c. 1540)
    It seems the legend [of Faust] is loosely woven around several men who eventually composed the character Faust. There probably was a real Dr. George (later named Johannes) Faustus, a German living approximately between 1480 and 1540. What is fact and fiction concerning this man is indisputably unclear. Perhaps this is a reason for the longevity of the legend. It was thought the man could have been one of the charlatan magicians who traveled throughout Europe during the Renaissance, entertaining at fairs and at royal courts. About him, stories circulated that he had sold his soul to the Devil for magical powers. Alleged stories credited him with various activities such as he had a familiar in the form of a dog, he road through the air on bales of hay or on bear or wine barrels, and conjured the spirits of the dead. Mephistopheles was his infernal servant twenty-four years who did his bidding.

    Little is known of the actual person upon whom Goethe's Faust is based. He was probably born in Germany between 1480 and 1540 at Knittlinger in Wurttemberg. The first mentioning of him is in 1507, as Georg Sabellicus, an ignorant necromancer, Faust the Younger. Possibly he was the Johann Faust who relieved a degree from Heidelberg in 1509, and went on to study magic (natural science) in Poland and reported as fact by Philipp Melanchthon.

    When reviewing the traditional feats of magic attributed to Faust one must remember the and in which he lived. It was an age of schism, any unorthodox ideas, and those holding them, were considered dangerous. The feats attributed to Faust during life and after his death placed him in this category. Such public opinion was often dangerous for religious and scientific innovators, and especially for those unfortunates accused of witchcraft. Even though humorist scholars consider his magical feats as petty and fraudulent, such men as Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon took him seriously as previously indicated. Both his notoriety and negligible achievements made him a convenient symbol of the wrong religious, scientific, and philosophical thought of his day; so he appeared in the first so called Faust-book, the anonymous Historia von D. Johann Fausten (1587). Ironically, however, this relatively obscure character Faust has come to be preserved in legend as the representative magician of the age from which came such occultists and seers as Paracelsus, Nostradamus, and Agrippa von Nettesheim.

    It was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) who made the legend more reasonable. Goethe's first attempt at his creation of Faust was in the manuscript discovered in 1886 entitled Urfaust. Faust attempts magic as an escape from the sterile rationalism that surrounds him. Despondent of any ultimate knowledge, Faust indentures himself to Mephistopheles in hopes of forgetting his frustration in a life of sensual pleasure, only to discover with tragic poignancy, through the love of Gretchen, a simple girl whom he had seduced, the full meaning of life.

    Goethe took the legend out of the pure theological and placed it in the realm of reality. Faust discovers his escape was not in the servitude of Mephistopheles but in Gretchen herself. This was the beginning of the insertion of practical life applications into the legend.

    These are only some of the versions of the legend of Faust, or Faustus, or Doctor Faustus as he has been called. No doubt, there are other versions, which is why Faust has a variety of meanings for different individuals. The legend inspired many literary and musical works. - source
    Free on-line text: Goethe's Faust
    Related thread: None
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    Ficino, Marsilio (1433 - 1499)
    "People will perhaps laugh at a Priest who heeds [astrology]. But I, relying on the authority of the Persians, Egyptians and Chaldeans consider that... Heavenly matters in truth were the sole concern of the Priest..." Marsilio Ficino

    Ficino was a priest, doctor, musician, philosopher and into the astrological aspect of Hermeticism. Ficino's part came in Hermetics as a classics translator; translated part of the Corpus Hermeticum into Latin by 1463 and teamed up with Pico della Mirandola to get ritual back into fashion; they were trying to reinstate ritual that was considered Pagan since Christianity had taken a hold in Europe.

    Ficino was interested in astrological magick and talismans and apparently learned a lot from the Picatrix, from that came his Three Books on Life which includes a section of theory and practice of astrological magick. Though not the first to make Judaic, Greek, Zoroastrian and other connections, he was influential in bringing magick to Europe and therefore could be said that he stands at the forefront of the Western Hermetic Tradition. - source: Radiant Star
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    Flamel, Nicholas (c. 1330 - 1418)
    In the 14th century there was a man destined for a certain book. His life was for this book and without this book he would not have been remembered. They would become a unity where one was seldom mentioned without the other. This man was Nicholas Flamel and the book was The Book of Abraham the Jew.

    Nicholas married an intelligent widow slightly older than himself called Pernelle, and started a bookselling business. Together with his wife they built up a cultural enterprise of an ever-increasing income. Nicholas realised that astrology could earn him even more money so he began casting horoscopes and fortunes, and richer he got.

    One day in the year 1357 he bought a book from a travelling scholar in need of cash for two florins. Later he would suspect the book had been stolen from the Jews or found in some hidden place of theirs, and neither the seller nor the buyer realised at the time of the books importance.

    It was most unusal, old and large, made of Copper and delicate rindes of tender young trees covered with Latin texts. It contained three times seven leaves and the printing was marvelous, but cryptical with Hieroglyphs and strange signs and figures. Every seventh leaf contained no words but were instead a adorned with beautiful drawings. More on this book here.

    Like the true adept that Flamel was he lived a humble life without luxuries, although he and his wife spent a large part of their fortune on charity: they built fourteen hospitals and three Chapels and funded several humanitarian organizations feeding the poor and helping churches.

    As a medical authority he advised: "Those who pursue medicine as they should and who industriously study the writings of their predecessors, must grant that this science of astrology is not only useful, but absolutely essential to medicine." - source
    Free on-line text: The Testament of Nicolas Flamel
    Related thread: Nicholas Flamel
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    Fludd, Robert (1574 - 1637)
    Robert Fludd was born at Milgate House, in the parish of Bearsted and county of Kent, in the year 1574. His father was Sir Thomas Fludd who served Queen Elizabeth for many years and received his Knighthood for his services as War Treasurer in the Netherlands.

    Little is known concerning the early life of Robert Fludd. At the age of seventeen, he entered St. John's College, Oxford and graduated B.A. and M.A. between the years 1596-1598. Although the spirit of the College St. John the Baptist was in the direction of a variety of knowledge, it still remained a center for theological studies. His years at St. John made a great impression upon him, and he remained "at all times a faithful and attached friend and member of the Church of England."

    Fludd was more conservative than other Paracelsians of this time, and yet he had enough of his own radical philosophies to raise the eyebrows of his more conservative contemporaries. These interests may have developed during his six year journey throughout Europe following his graduation.

    Upon graduation, Fludd decided to pursue the medical sciences and ventured to the Continent to further his studies as a roaming scholar. It was during these six years of study as a medical student that he became quite proficient in chemistry, an interest that led him into Paracelsian medical circles. He also developed a great interest in Rosicrucian philosophy and later was to become one of the Movement's most ardent supporters.

    After his travels through Europe, Fludd returned to Oxford and by 1605, he had earned his degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Doctor of Medicine. However, it was not until 1609 that he was finally admitted a Fellow of good standing, for a number of reasons. Although the application of Paracelsian chemicals into medicine was receiving less opposition by the Fellows of the College, Fludd's esoteric and mystical speculations were still under suspicion. Further, they found him arrogant and offensive.

    However, after a series of unpleasant encounters, he was finally admitted to the London College of Physicians. He then established a practice in London. Fludd was successful enough to employ his own apothecary and maintain his own laboratory to prepare his chemical remedies, as well as carry on his alchemical experiments. The success of his practice was due not only to his skills, but to what has been attributed to his mystical approach, and to what has been described as a magnetic personality and "...his influence on the minds of his patients, producing a 'faith-natural,' which aided the 'well-working' of his drugs."

    Further, in addition to established methods of diagnosis, Fludd also used a patient's horoscope for such a purpose, as well as to anticipate critical days.

    In spite of his busy medical practice, Fludd also found time to write, and as a writer, became associated with the school of medical mystics who claimed to be in possession of the Key to Universal Sciences. His interest in the Rosicrucians continued and it is said that he became, during this time, an influential member of the Fraternity of the Rose Cross. - source
    Fludd was the first person to discuss the circulation of the blood, and did in fact arrive at the correct conclusion. However, his conclusion was based on the macrocosm-microcosm analogy, a theory in which all occurrences in the microcosm (man) are influenced by the macrocosm (the heavens). His theory was that the blood must circulate because the heart is like the sun and the blood like the planets and, by this time, it was known that the planets orbit around the sun. William Harvey later explained the circulation of blood in more modern and experimental terms, although the work of Harvey still refers to the macrocosm-microcosm analogy of Fludd. - source
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    Franz, Marie-Louise von (1915 - 1998)
    ...the daughter of an Austrian baron and born in Munich, Germany, was a Swiss Jungian Psychologist and scholar. She worked with Carl Jung whom she met in 1933 and knew until his death in 1961. She founded the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. As a psychotherapist, she is said to have interpreted over 65,000 dreams, primarily practicing in Kusnacht, Switzerland.

    She wrote over 20 volumes on Analytical psychology, most notably on fairy tales as they relate to Archetypal or Depth Psychology, most specifically by amplification of the themes and characters. She also wrote on subjects such as alchemy, discussed from the Jungian, psychological perspective, and active imagination, which could be described as conscious dreaming. In Man and his Symbols, von Franz described active imagination as follows: "Active imagination is a certain way of meditating imaginatively, by which one may deliberately enter into contact with the unconscious and make a conscious connection with psychic phenomena."

    Von Franz, in 1968, was the first to publish that the mathematical structure of DNA is analogous to that of the I Ching. She cites the reference to the publication in an expanded essay Symbols of the Unus Mundus, published in her book Psyche and Matter.

    Carl Jung believed in the unity of the psychological and material worlds, i.e., they are one and the same, just different manifestations. He also believed that this concept of the unus mundus could be investigated through research on the archetypes of the natural numbers. Due to his age, he turned the problem over to von Franz. Two of her books, Number and Time and Psyche and Matter deal with this research. - source
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    Freher, Dionysius Andreas (1649 - 1728)
    ...a German mystical writer who lived in London most of his life. He wrote an extended commentary, in many manuscript volumes and amounting to thousands of pages, on the writings and mystical ideas of Jacob Boehme.

    Boehme's mysticism incorporated a number of alchemical ideas and it is not surprising that Freher sought to find parallels between alchemical philosophy and his mysticism. - source
    Free on-line text: Freher Series
    Related thread: Paradoxa Emblemata - Dionysus A Freher
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    Fulcanelli (1839 - fl. 1953)
    ...almost certainly a pseudonym assumed, in the late 19th century, by a French alchemist and esoteric author, whose identity is still debated. He is also called the Master Alchemist. The appeal of Fulcanelli as a cultural phenomenon is partly due to the mystery that surrounds most aspects of his life and works; one of the anecdotes pertaining to his life retells, in particular, how his most devoted pupil Eugène Canseliet performed a successful transmutation of 100 grams of lead into gold in a laboratory of the gas works of Sarcelles at the Georgi company with the use of a small quantity of the Projection Powder given to him by his teacher, in the presence of Julien Champagne and Gaston Sauvage.

    Fulcanelli was undoubtedly a Frenchman, widely and profoundly educated, and learned in the ways of alchemical lore, architecture, art, science, and languages. Fulcanelli wrote two books that were published after his disappearance in 1926, having left his magnum opus with his only student, Eugène Canseliet. - source
    Free on-line text: The Mystery of the Cathedrals (PDF download)
    Related thread: Fulcanelli - Oak...
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    Geber pseudo (unknown)
    Pseudo-Geber is the name assigned by modern scholars to an anonymous alchemist born in the 14th century, probably in Spain. He wrote a few books on alchemy and metallurgy, in Latin, under the pen name of Geber (Jabir Ibn Haiyan), the 8th century Islamic alchemist with the same name.

    Books by the real Jabir Ibn Hayyan had been translated into Latin during the 11th to 13th centuries, and had made a profound impression on European alchemists. Pseudo-Geber probably adopted the name of his illustrious predecessor in order to capitalize on his reputation. In any case, Pseudo-Geber's work reflects 14th century European alchemical practices rather than earlier Arab ones.

    Being the clearest expression of alchemical theory and laboratory directions available until then — in a field where mysticism, secrecy, and obscurity were the usual rule — Pseudo-Geber's books were widely read and extremely influential among European alchemists.
    Pseudo-Geber was instrumental in spreading Islamic alchemical theories throughout western Europe. He assumed that all metals are composed of sulfur and mercury and gave detailed descriptions of metallic properties in those terms. He also explained the use of an elixir in transmuting base metals into gold.

    Pseudo-Geber's rational approach, however, did much to give alchemy a firm and respectable position in Europe. His practical directions for laboratory procedures were so clear that it is obvious he was familiar with many chemical operations. Pseudo-Geber's works on chemistry were not equaled in their field until the 16th century with the appearance of the writings of the Italian chemist Vannoccio Biringuccio, the German mineralogist Georgius Agricola, and the German alchemist Lazarus Ercker. - source
    Free on-line text: A Critical Reassessment of the Geber Problem
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    Glauber, Johann Rudolf (c. 1604 - 1670)
    A German-Dutch alchemist and chemist. Some historians of science have described him as one of the first chemical engineers. His discovery of sodium sulfate in 1625 led to the compound being named after him: Glauber's salt. - source
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    Guo, Zhang the Elder (unknown)

    Zhang Guo is one of the Eight Immortals. He is known as Master Comprehension-of-Profundity.

    Zhang Guo was a Taoist occultist-alchemist who lived on Mount Tiáo in the Heng Prefecture during the Tang Dynasty. By the time of Empress Wu, he claimed to be several hundred years old. He also declared that he had been Grand Minister to the Emperor Yao during a previous incarnation. Zhang Guo Lao was known for wandering between the Fen River & Chin territories during his lifetime and was known to travel at least a thousand li per day (circa 500 meters or 1640 feet).

    Zhang Guo also had a love for wine and winemaking. He was known to make liquor from herbs and shrubs as a hobby. Other members of the Eight Immortals drank his wine, which they believed to have healing or medicinal properties. He was also known to be a master of Taoist breath regulation or Qigong and could go without food for days, surviving on only a few sips of wine.

    He was the most eccentric of the eight immortals, as one can see from the kung fu style that was dedicated to him — which includes moves such as delivering a kick during a back flip, or bending so far back that your shoulders touch the ground. - source
    Free on-line text: The Eight Immortals
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    Gurdjieff, G. I. (1866 – 1949)
    Who was George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff? Writer? Choreographer? Psychiatrist? Musician? Doctor? Master Cook? He defies categorisation: though it is clear that he re-united segments of 'acroamatic' knowledge gleaned during a twenty year search in Asia; and brought to the West a methodology for the possible evolution of consciousness, within a cosmology of awe-inspiring scale. His call was radical. Awake! Awake from your unsuspected hypnotic sleep, to consciousness and conscience.

    …Gurdjieff never issued one. 'I teach,' he said gnomically, 'that when it rains, the pavements get wet.' The vivifying power of his ideas entails the moment, the circumstance, the type and state of the pupil. His one constant demand is Know thyself, to which he adduces a metaphysic, a metapsychology and a metachemistry which absolutely defy précis; a human typology, a phenomenology of consciousness, and a quasi-mathematical scale linking macrocosm and microcosm. This complex apparatus is illuminated by one master-idea: that Man is called to strive for self-perfection, in service to our sacred living Universe.

    No-one - whether he responds to Gurdjieff or reacts against him — can measure the voltage of his intellect without receiving a certain shock. His is one of those few effectual voices, which, 'passing through a great diversity of echoes, keeps its own resonance and its power of action'.

    Men are tragically divided, but all who wish may share the primordial existential questions: who am I, and what is the significance and aim of human life? The great edifice of Gurdjieff's teaching rests on the unshakable foundation of this innocent interrogation. Gurdjieff preferred Today over Yesterday; he did not invite us either to anatomise him or to idolise him, but to search for ourselves. - source
    Free on-line text: The Meaning of Life
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    Hall, Manly Palmer (1901 - 1990)
    ...a Canadian-born author and mystic. He is perhaps most famous for his work The Secret Teachings of All Ages, which is widely regarded as his magnum opus, and which he published at the age of 25 (or 27, 1928). He has been widely recognized as a leading scholar in the fields of religion, mythology, mysticism, and the occult. Carl Jung, when writing Psychology and Alchemy, borrowed material from Hall’s private collection.

    In 1934, Hall founded the Philosophical Research Society (PRS) in Los Angeles, California, dedicating it to an idealistic approach to the solution of human problems.

    In 1973 Hall was recognized as a 33º Mason (the highest honor conferred by the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite), at a ceremony held at PRS on December 8th, despite never being initiated into the physical craft.

    In his over 70-year career, Hall delivered approximately 8,000 lectures in the United States and abroad, authored over 150 books and essays, and wrote countless magazine articles. - source
    Free on-line text: The Secret Teachings of All Ages
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    Hauck, Dennis William (unknown)
    ...an author, consultant, and lecturer working to facilitate personal, institutional, and global transformation through the application of the ancient principles of alchemy. He writes and lectures on the universal principles of physical, psychological, and spiritual perfection to a wide variety of audiences that range from scientists and business leaders to religious and New Age groups. Hauck's interest in alchemy began while he was in graduate school in mathematics at the University of Vienna, and he has since translated a number of important Latin and German alchemy manuscripts dating back to the fourteenth century. - source
    Free on-line text: From the Fire
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    Hayyan, Jabir Ibn or Geber (c. 721 - c. 815)
    According to tradition Geber lived in the 8th century and born in Persia (Iran). Geber's father's profession as a pharmacist may have contributed greatly to his interest in alchemy. - source
    ...a prominent polymath: a chemist and alchemist, astronomer and astrologer, engineer, geologist, philosopher, physicist, and pharmacist and physician. He is considered by many to be the "father of chemistry" [and] is held to be the first practical alchemist.

    He emphasised systematic experimentation, and did much to free alchemy from superstition and turn it into a science. He is credited with the invention of over twenty types of now-basic chemical laboratory equipment, such as the alembic and retort, and with the discovery and description of many now-commonplace chemical substances and processes – such as the hydrochloric and nitric acids, distillation, and crystallisation – that have become the foundation of today's chemistry and chemical engineering.

    "The first essential in chemistry", he declared, "is that you should perform practical work and conduct experiments, for he who performs not practical work nor makes experiments will never attain the least degree of mastery."

    is also credited with the invention and development of a number of chemical substances and instruments that are still used today. He discovered sulfuric acid, and by distilling it together with various salts, Jabir discovered hydrochloric acid (from salt) and nitric acid (from saltpeter). By combining the two, he invented aqua regia, one of the few substances that can dissolve gold. Besides its obvious applications to gold extraction and purification, this discovery would fuel the dreams and despair of alchemists for the next thousand years. He is also credited with the discovery of citric acid (the sour component of lemons and other unripe fruits), acetic acid (from vinegar), and tartaric acid (from wine-making residues). Jabir also discovered and isolated several chemical elements, such as arsenic, antimony and bismuth. He was also the first to classify sulfur (‘the stone which burns’ that characterized the principle of combustibility) and mercury (which contained the idealized principle of metallic properties) as 'elements'. He was also the first to purify and isolate sulfur and mercury as pure elements.

    Geber's alchemical investigations were theoretically grounded in an elaborate numerology related to Pythagorean and Neoplatonic systems. The nature and properties of elements was defined through numeric values assigned the Arabic consonants present in their name, ultimately culminating in the number 17.

    To Aristotelian physics, Geber added the four properties of hotness, coldness, dryness, and moistness. Each Aristotelian element was characterised by these qualities: Fire was both hot and dry, earth cold and dry, water cold and moist, and air hot and moist. This came from the elementary qualities which are theoretical in nature plus substance. In metals two of these qualities were interior and two were exterior. For example, lead was cold and dry and gold was hot and moist. Thus, Geber theorised, by rearranging the qualities of one metal, based on their sulfur/mercury content, a different metal would result. This theory appears to have originated the search for al-iksir, the elusive elixir that would make this transformation possible — which in European alchemy became known as the philosopher's stone.

    The elemental system used in medieval alchemy was developed by Geber. His original system consisted of seven elements, which included the five classical elements found in the ancient Greek and Indian traditions (aether, air, earth, fire and water), in addition to two chemical elements representing the metals: sulphur... and mercury...

    Geber also made important contributions to medicine, astronomy/astrology, and other sciences. Only a few of his books have been edited and published, and fewer still are available in translation. The crater Geber on the Moon is named after him.

    His books strongly influenced the medieval European alchemists and justified their search for the philosopher's stone. - source
    Free on-line text: Emerald Tablet translation
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    Heindel, Max (1865 - 1919)
    Max Heindel - born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 - was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic.

    In 1903, Max Heindel moved to Los Angeles, California, seeking work. After attending lectures by the theosophist C.W. Leadbeater, he joined the Theosophical Society of Los Angeles, of which he became vice-president in 1904 and 1905. He also became a vegetarian, and began the study of astrology, which gave him the key to unlocking the mysteries of man's inner nature.

    However, overwork and privation brought him severe heart trouble in 1905, and for months he lay at the point of death. Upon his recovery he was more keenly aware of the needs of humanity. It is said that he spent much of the time during this illness out of his body, consciously working and seeking for the truth as he might find it on the invisible planes.

    From 1906 to 1907 he started a lecture tour, in order to spread his occult knowledge.

    In the fall of 1907, during a most successful period of lectures in Minnesota, he travelled to Berlin (Germany) with his friend Dr. Alma Von Brandis, who had been for months trying to persuade him, in order to hear a cycle of lectures by a teacher in the occult field called Rudolf Steiner.

    During his short stay at Germany, he developed a sincere admiration of the personality of this knowledgeable lecturer, as latter shown in the dedication of his magnum opus ("esteemed teacher and value friend"). He sat in on several lectures and had one or two interviews with Steiner and he could learn about occult truth from the founder of later Anthroposophy, but at the same time he understood that this teacher had little to give to him. It was then, with his mind already made up to return, feeling that in vain he had given up a big work in America to take this trip, that Heindel reports to have been visited by a Spiritual being (clothed in his vital body).

    The highly evolved entity that visited Heindel eventually identified himself as an Elder Brother of the Rosicrucian Order, an Order in the inner worlds formed in the year 1313 and having no direct connection to physical organizations which call themselves by this name.

    As he afterwards mentions, the Elder Brother gave him information which was concise and logical and beyond anything he was capable of writing. Later, he found out that during a previous visit of the Elder Brother, he was put to a test to determine his worthiness to be messenger of the Western Wisdom Teachings. He recounts that only then he was given instruction how to reach the etheric Temple of the Rose Cross, near the German/Bohemian border, and how at this Temple he was in direct communication with and under the personal instructions of the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross. The Rosicrucian Order is described as being composed of twelve Elder Brothers, gathered around a thirteenth who is the invisible Head. These great Adepts, belonging to human evolution but having already advanced far beyond the cycle of rebirth, are reported as being among those exalted Beings who guide mankind's evolution, the Compassionate Ones.

    From 1909 to 1919, suffering a severe heart condition and with an adverse financial situation, but with an indomitable will and great energy, Max Heindel was able to accomplish the great work for the Brothers of the Rose Cross. With the help, support and inspiration of his wife Augusta Foss, to whom in August 1910 he was joined in marriage, he gave successful teaching lectures; he sent correspondence lessons to the students, who formed groups in many of the larger cities; he wrote volumes which are translated into many languages all over the world; he founded The Rosicrucian Fellowship in 1909/11 at Mount Ecclesia, Oceanside (California); he published the Christian Esoteric magazine Rays from the Rose Cross in 1913 and, above all, he launched the Fellowship's Spiritual Healing service.

    It is described that, at his death, his body dropped slowly as if loving hands were holding him and laying him down gently; as he looked up, smiling into Mrs. Heindel face, he spoke his last words: "I am all right dear".

    Last, it is worthy of mention that the work prepared by Max Heindel, has been, since then, continued through students of the Western Wisdom Teachings who, as Invisible Helpers of mankind, assist the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross to perform the Spiritual Healing around the world. This is the special work in which the Rosicrucian Order is interested and is provided according to the commands of Christ, namely, "Preach the gospel and heal the sick."

    He died on January 6, 1919 at Oceanside, California, United States. - source
    Free on-line text: The Mystic and Occult in Max Heindel's Writings
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    Helmont, Franz Mercurius van (1614-1699)
    ...the son of Jan Baptiste van Helmont and tutor and friend of Leibniz, who wrote his epitaph. He is best known for his publication of his fathers' prototype works on Chemistry, which link the origins of the science to the religiously-castigated study of alchemy. - source
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    Helmont, Jan Baptist van (1580 - 1644)
    Belgian chemist, physiologist and physician, a member of a noble family, was born at Brussels in 1577. He was educated at Louvain, and after ranging restlessly from one science to another and finding satisfaction in none, turned to medicine, in which he took his doctor's degree in 1599. The next few years he spent in travelling through Switzerland, Italy, France and England. Returning to his own country he was at Antwerp at the time of the great plague in 1605, and having contracted a rich marriage settled in 1609 at Vilvoorde, near Brussels, where he occupied himself with chemical experiments and medical practice until his death on the 30th of December 1644.

    Van Helmont presents curious contradictions. On the one hand he was a disciple of Paracelsus (though he scornfully repudiates his errors as well as those of most other contemporary authorities), a mystic with strong leanings to the supernatural, an alchemist who believed that with a small piece of the philosophers stone he had transmuted 2000 times as much mercury into gold; on the other hand he was touched with the new learning that was producing men like William Harvey, Galileo Galilei and Francis Bacon, a careful observer of nature, and an exact experimenter who in some cases realized that matter can neither be created nor destroyed.

    As a chemist he deserves to be regarded as the founder of pneumatic chemistry, even though it made no substantial progress for a century after his time, and he was the first to understand that there are gases distinct in kind from atmospheric air. The very word gas he claims as his own invention, and he perceived that his gas sylvestre (carbon dioxide) given off by burning charcoal is the same as that produced by fermenting must and that which sometimes renders the air of caves irrespirable.

    For him air and water are the two primitive elements of things. Fire he explicitly denies to be an element, and earth is not one because it can be reduced to water. That plants, for instance, are composed of water he sought to show by the ingenious quantitative experiment of planting a willow weighing 5 pounds in 200 pounds of dry soil and allowing it to grow for five years; at the end of that time it had become a tree weighing 169 ib, and since it had received nothing but water and the soil weighed practically the same as at the beginning, he argued that the increased weight of wood, bark and roots had been formed from water alone.

    It was an old idea that the processes of the living body are fermentative in character, but he applied it more elaborately than any of his predecessors. For him digestion, nutrition and even movement are due to ferments, which convert dead food into living flesh in six stages. But having got so far with the application of chemical principles to physiological problems, he introduces a complicated system of supernatural agencies like the archei of Paracelsus, which preside over and direct the affairs of the body. A central archeus controls a number of subsidiary archei which move through the ferments, and just as diseases are primarily caused by some affection (exorbitatio) of the archeus, so remedies act by bringing it back to the normal. At the same time chemical principles guided him in the choice of medicines -- undue acidity of the digestive juices, for exampie, was to be corrected by alkalies and vice versa; he was thus a forerunner of the iatrochemical school, and did good service to the art of medicine by applying chemical methods to the preparation of drugs. Over and above the archeus he taught that there is the sensitive soul which is the husk or shell of the immortal mind.

    Before the Fall the archeus obeyed the immortal mind and was directly controlled by it, but at the Fall men received also the sensitive soul and with it lost immortality, for when it perishes the immortal mind can no longer remain in the body. In addition to the archeus, which he described as aura vitalis seminum, vitae directrix, Van Helmont had other governing agencies resembling the archeus and not always clearly distinguished from it. From these he invented the term blas, defined as the vis motus tam alterivi quam localis. Of blas there were several kinds, e.g. blas humanum and blas meteoron; the heavens he said constare gas materiâ et blas efficiente.

    He was a faithful Catholic, but incurred the suspicion of the Church by his tract De magnetica vulnerum curatione (1621), which was thought to derogate from some of the miracles. His works were collected and published at Amsterdam as Ortus medicinae, vel opera et opuscula omnia in 1668 by his son Franz Mercurius, in whose own writings e.g. Cabbaiah Denudata (1677) and Opuscula philosophica (1690) mystical theosophy and alchemy appear in still wilder confusion. - source
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    Heydon, John (1629 - 1667)
    [John Heydon] was born in London, the son of Francis Heydon and Mary Chandler Heydon, of Sidmouth in Devonshire. He had one sibling, a sister, Anne, two years his junior. He studied Latin and Greek with a tutor and was apprenticed to the study of law; as a young man he served in the royalist armies during the English Civil War, then travelled to Italy, Spain, Egypt, Arabia, and Persia. He attracted attention in royalist and occultist circles for predicting the future, including the death of Oliver Cromwell, then Protector. Their royalist connections caused both Francis and John Heydon to be imprisoned in the final years of the Commonwealth era. The Restoration of 1660 resolved Heydon's incarceration — though he was imprisoned briefly later in 1663 for dealing in suspect (treasonous) literature, and in 1664 for debt.

    He married in 1656, and is thought to have fathered a daughter. Elias Ashmole called him "an ignoramus and a cheat." Frances Yates termed him a "strange character...an astrologer, geomancer, alchemist, of a most extreme type." He was accused of plagiarizing Sir Thomas Browne, Thomas Vaughan, and other writers; his Physician's Guide of 1662 largely derives from Sir Francis Bacon's The New Atlantis. He was in trouble again in 1667, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London for dealing in the treasonous plots of his patron, the Duke of Buckingham. The precise date of his death is unknown. John Heydon the Rosicrucian is liable to confusion with Sir John Heydon (1588 – 1653), a royalist military officer and mathematician. - source
    Free on-line text: Rosicrucian Apologists: John Heydon
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    Hollandus, Johann and Isaac (c. 1200 C.E.)
    They were two brothers, both of them of great parts and ingenuity, and wrote on the dry topics of chymistry. They lived in the 13th century, but this is not assured. The whole art of enamelling is their invention, as is also, that of colouring glass, and precious stones, by application of thin metal plates.

    Their writings are in the form of processes, and they describe all their operations to the most minute circumstances. The treatise of enamelling is esteemed the greatest and most finished part of their works: whatever relates to the fusion, separation, and preparation of metals, is here delivered. They write excellently of distillation, fermentation, putrefaction, and their effects; and seem to have understood, at least, as much of these matters as any of the moderns have done. They furnish a great many experiments on human blood; which Van Helmont and Mr. Boyle have since taken for new discoveries. I have a very large work in folio, under their name, of the construction of chymical furnaces and instruments. Their writings are as easily purchased, as they are worthy of perusal, on account of valuable secrets in them, which may pave the way for greater discoveries. - source
    Free on-line text: A Work of Saturn
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    Don’t let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

  10. #10
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    Ibn al-Nadim (d. 995/998)
    A Shi'ite Muslim scholar and bibliographer of either Arab or Persian background. He is famous as the author of the Kitab al-Fihrist.

    Ibn al-Nadim often mentions the size of a book and the number of pages, so that buyers would not be cheated by copyists passing off shorter versions.

    His discourses contain sections on the origins of philosophy, on the lives of Plato and Aristotle, the origin of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, thoughts on the pyramids, his opinions on magic, sorcery, superstition, and alchemy. source
    Free on-line text: Philosophy Entry of The Fihrist of al-Nadim
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    Don’t let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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