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Rosicrucians

Rosicrucianism or the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross was founded by Christian Rosencreutz (1378–1484) a semi–legendary alchemist whose life is recounted in the manifesto Fama Fraternitatis (“Declaration of Brotherhood”), which was printed in Germany in 1614. The widely circulated manifesto stated that the fraternity was created for adepts who wanted to reform the world.

In 1615 and 1616 appeared two more manifestos, the Confessio Fraternitatis and Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreutz (“The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz”). The Confessio provided more details of Rosencrutz’s life, but The Chemical Wedding was reportedly written by Rosencrutz himself describing a mystical ceremony a, “Sacred Marriage” between a King and Queen that he was invited to assist with. Rosencrutz’ text is rich with symbolism and interpretations of the allegorical meaning of the Chemical Wedding are numerous.

Rosicrucian treatises began to be published all over Europe, however, no one ever admitted to being a Rosicrucian. Membership was so secretive that it led others to believe that Rosicrucians were living among them in hiding and selecting new initiates to join the “Invisible College.”

Although Rosicrucians affirm Christian beliefs, the order also embraces reincarnation, theosophy, and Eastern philosophy. As initiated alchemists, the group believed in spiritual enlightenment through transformation of the higher consciousness in addition to the transmutation of metals.


Christian Rosencreutz

Chymische Hochzeit: Christiani Rosencreutz anno domini 1459 / verfasst von Joh. Val. Andreae; mit achtundzwanzig Federzeichnungen von Hans Wildermann. Regensburg: G. Bosse, c1923.

Twentieth century facsimile of Christian Rosencreutz’s essential fifteenth century manifesto Chymische Hochzeit (“The Chemical Wedding”).




Hermes Trismegistus

Des Hermes Trismegists wahrer alter Naturweg, oder, Geheimniss wie die grosse Universaltinctur ohne Gläser, auf Menschen und Metalle zu bereiten. Leipzig: Bey Adam Friedrich Böhme, 1782.

This eighteenth–century edition of a text by Hermes Trimegistus was intended for Rosicrucian audiences. This symbol combines the alchemical double ouroboros with the Masonic square and compass within the Seal of Solomon, and with the Rosicrucian rose in the center.




Michal Sędziwój

L’art transmvtatoire dv pape Iean XXII. de ce nom. [A Paris: Chez Charles Hulpeau ..., 1629].

Polish alchemist, philosopher, physician and Rosicrucian, Michal (Sendivogius) Sędziwój (c.1556–c.1646) worked in the courts of Rudolf II in Prague and King Sigismund III of Poland. He was a prominent alchemist who developed methods of purification of various acids and metals. This chart shows the symbols for the seven planets.

Stephan Michaelspacher

Cabala, speculum artis et naturae, in alchymia: exinde, quid, lapis sophorum antiquissimus, rei sit, qui triplex, & tamen simplex lapis existit: omnia hactenus ex variis etiam scriptis paucis observata, singulis laboriosis amatoribus artis honoris ergò, deo annuente, tam perspicuè ac lucidissimo speculo, proposita & quatuor aeneis laminis incisis picturis exhibita. [Augsburg]: Impressum Typis Christophori Schmidt, sumptibus Joannis Weh ..., 1667.

This significant Rosicrucian work was reprinted many times since its first printing in 1615. This elaborate fold–out engraving contains three panels which depict elements of the Great Work.

Robert Fludd

Robert Fludd (1574–1637) was a prominent English Paracelsian physician, astrologer, mathematician, and Rosicrucian apologist, although he claimed to have never been in contact with them. He had the reputation for being a sympathetic doctor and eventually became court physician to King James I. Fludd often combined cosmology with his scientific theories which made them highly controversial; regardless he remained highly respected. Fludd’s concept of the “Anima Mundi,” as the soul of the world’s soul, a connection of all living things, caused French Scientist Marin Marsenne to accuse Fludd of being a magician, an atheist, and a heretic. Fludd was a devout Catholic and was able to defend himself successfully. He died of unknown causes in 1637.


Robert Fludd

Medicina catholica, seu, Mysticvm artis medicandi sacrarivm: in tomos diuisum duos: in qvibvs metaphysica et physica tam sanitatis tuendæ, quam morborum propulsandorum ratio pertractatur. Francofvrti: Typis Caspari Rötelii, Impensis Wilhelmi Fitzeri, 1629–1631.

Engraving of Robert Fludd and engraved title page displaying a chart of how to combine liquids.



Robert Fludd

Clavis philosophiae et alchymiae Fluddanae, sive, Roberti Fluddi, ad epistolicam Petri Gassendi Theologi exercitationem responsum: in quo: inanes marini mersenni monachi obiectiones, querelaeque ipsius iniustae, immèritò in Robertum Fluddum adhibitae, examinantur atq; auferuntur. Francofurti: Guilhelmum Fitzerum, 1633.

Title page shows an engraving of the Rose Cross, a symbol of the Rosicrucians.




Robert Fludd

Medicina catholica, seu, Mysticvm artis medicandi sacrarivm: in tomos diuisum duos: in qvibvs metaphysica et physica tam sanitatis tuendæ, quam morborum propulsandorum ratio pertractatur. Francofvrti: Typis Caspari Rötelii, Impensis Wilhelmi Fitzeri, 1629–1631.

This engraving is a representation of the world soul.




Robert Fludd

Philosophia sacra & vere Christiana seu Meteorologia cosmica. Francofurti: Prostat in Officina Bryana, 1626.

Beautiful and ornate title page engraving.






Robert Fludd

Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica, physica atqve technica historia: in duo volumina secundum cosmi differentiam diuisa. Oppenhemii: Ære Johan–Theodori de Bry, typis Hieronymi Galleri, 1617.

This engraving depicts the primordial fires described in the macrocosmic principles contained in Fludd’s work.



Robert Fludd

Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica, physica atqve technica historia: in duo volumina secundum cosmi differentiam. Oppenhemii: ære Johan–Theodori de Bry, typis Hieronymi Galleri, 1617–21.

This engraving describes Fludd’s theory of perception. It depicts the three levels of the existence of man, the World of the Senses, the World of Imagination and the World of the Intellect which connects one to God. The image represents both the microcosm and the macrocosm within the worlds of existence.

Michael Maier


Michael Maier

Tripvs Avrevs. Francofvrti: Ex chalcographia Pauli Iacobi, impensis Lvcæ Iennis, 1618.

The frontispiece engraving is of Michael Maier (c.1568–1622) a prominent Rosicrucian alchemist. The title page shows a depiction of alchemist Basil Valentine. Maier was physician to Emperor Rudolph II. He was also a voluminous writer and had the reputation of being among the most exceptional chemists of his time.


Michael Maier

Arcana Arcanissima. [London: s.n., 1614].

Maier based this alchemical treatise on Greek and Egyptian myths. He uses these mythologies allegorically to represent Hermetic principles. The title page is a beautifully engraved architectural border depicting the heroes, Gods and Goddesses: Hercules, Typhon, Isis, Osiris, Dionysus, Ibis, Apis and Cynocephalus.




Michael Maier

Michaelis Majeri ... Secretioris naturae secretorum scrutinium chymicum. Francofvrti: Impensis Georgii Heinrici Oehrlingii, typo Johannis Philippi Andreae, 1687.

Another of Maier’s famous emblem books about the transmutation of metals. The epigram accompanying this engraving reads, “He is conceived in Baths, born in the Air, and being made Red he walks upon the Waters.”



Michael Maier

Atalanta Fvgiens. Oppenheimii: Ex typographia Hieronymi Galleri, sumptibus Joh. Theodori de Bry, 1617.

This alchemical emblem book is Maier’s most famous work. Maier, an amateur musician, composed a fugue to accompany all fifty emblems alongside poems and discourse. The egg represents a Hermetic vessel, the womb which is about to struck by the sword, which represents fire, which is an allegory related to the Philosopher’s Stone.




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11/16/12

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