THE BIRDS OF ALCHEMY
The Genius of Michael Maier (part I)
©2014 Dorian Taddei
The renaissance scientist and natural philosopher, known as Count, Michael Maier [Fig.1], is one of the key figures in renaissance alchemy. He lived from 1568 - 1622. He was a champion of the esoteric order known as Rosicrucianism. The few man who have attempted to understand the work of Michael Maier in our present era, have made the same errors in their analysis. They have imposed their post-Jungian metaphysical existentialism on a subject that should have been analyzed from an esoteric perspective. Most dismiss the idea that he had actual access to the secrets of physical alchemy. However, recent breakthroughs in research into the alchemical art of Michael Mayer (as well as that encoded into writing and other emblematic art of the period by other 16th and 17th-century alchemists), conceals a vast and ancient current of knowledge, which carried the seeds of the ancient wisdom of the Arcanum within its bosom.
We will show that Michael Mayer was in possession of scientific information far beyond his time, and in fact his understanding of biology was only matched the latter half of the 20th century.
RENAISSANCE ROSICRUCIANISM — ANCIENT WISDOM
Our first analysis will be of the bird imagery in Michael Maier’s alchemical, emblematic art. For this study we will focus on his etching for the “9th key of Basil Valentine.” Basil Valentinus, an alchemist of the 16th century, inspired many later alchemists from the 17th century. Those who followed his work considered him a a true alchemist in possession of the secrets of the elixir of life, and that of the lapis philosophorum: also known as the Philosopher’s Stone.
As we shall show, Maier’s work is far beyond his years. His “birds of alchemy” imagery [Fig.2] displays an arcane, yet highly sophisticated knowledge of the technology of the oxidation of minerals, and their subsequent reduction into metal hydroxides. This knowledge alone would seem far ahead of his time. It was not until the mid 17th century that men like Johann Rudolf Glauber (1604 - 1670) — a German-Dutch alchemist and chemist — would begin to develop modern approaches to what today is called chemistry. Herman Skolnik, in W. F. Furter’s 1982 edition of “A Century of Chemical Engineering,” page 230, states: "Some historians of science consider Glauber as one of the first chemical engineers as he developed processes for the manufacture of sulfuric, nitric, acetic, and hydrochloric acids.”
Although Maier was not known for laboratory work, it is clear that he was taught true alchemy from someone close to him. Although Glauber would begin to understand the processes involved in chemical reactions, and standardize them, a generation earlier, in the early 17th century, Michael Maier demonstrates the knowledge of oxidation and reduction, illustrating these using bird symbolism. This knowledge may not appear to have been based on laboratory work, but on information passed to him. We will see another example of this sort of inherited science as we examine this same piece of emblematic (esoteric, symbolically encoded) etching in more detail in Part II of "The Genius of Michael Maier," section of the page in this section titled "Renaissance Alchemy."
As we take a closer look at both the esoteric as well as alchemical symbolism present in the other symbols of the 9th Key engraving, we'll show that Maier had a knowledge of biological processes that was not matched until the latter half of the 20th century (approximately 1975), following the invention of the scanning electron microscope (SEM).
Portrait of Michael Maier based on a 17th century engraving (©Mitchell Nolte) [Fig.1]
ALCHEMICAL OPERATIONS SYMBOLIZED THROUGH BIRD IMAGERY
The following is a sequence of operations symbolized by the 4 (of the 5) bird symbols used in alchemy, as depicted in Michael Maier’s emblematic art [Fig.1] from the 12 Keys of Basil Valentine. This is the 9th key plate. CCW from the top-center we have:
➡ Raven ➡ White Swan(Goose) ➡ Mallard(Peacock) ➡ Phoenix
[Fig2] This engraving iby Count Michael Maier is from the 9th Key of Basil Valentine (1618). The "Birds of Alchemy" refers to an esoteric encoding device utilizing the colors of birds feathers to stand in for the colors of sequential oxidation states observed while making — in this case — the (Green Dragon" or "Green Lion) 'elixir'. For the "Red Dragon" 'elixir' an additional bird is required and the Mallard is generally replaced with a Phoenix. During the renaissance this tradition was ubiquitous. [Fig.2]
To pass on information, and to insure the transmission of occult science, esotericists had worked through existing social, political and religious systems. The Knights Templars, who retrieved the secrets of the ancient Hebrews, had developed a network throughout Europe. It took hundreds of years, and political connections. This information — or a good part of it — appears to have made it from the ancient Temple at Jerusalem, through Templar hands, into the middle renaissance.
For a moment we wish to tie together a few of the esoteric threads of history, that the bigger picture of the esoteric agenda might be understood by the reader. For this purpose we need to look back over the millennia at the true history of history.
ANCIENT ORDER OF TEMPLE BUILDERS
It is not difficult to trace the esoteric knowledge of the Rosicrucian order to the Knights Templar. What we shall learn is that the Rosicrucians, like the Templars before them, carried on a secret agenda, one known only to a few. They built holy sanctuaries (temples), they transmitted scared science of the Arcanum down through time, but they also had another agenda, a grand vision. This vision was to re-establish the government and integrated scientific-cosmological religion of the Golden Age once more, on the North American continent.
This was the single agenda that had driven esoteric orders since ancient times, in memory of the Golden Age (See GOLDEN AGE). The ancient Armenians record this in their ancient history. They reference an on-going hierophantic agenda to teach true cosmology to the entire world. This agenda appears in rock art traceable all the way back to sites like the newly discovered temple mounds at Gobekli Tepe, in Turkey. [Fig.4]
Upon a a column that once supports the temple's lintels, we find the ancient symbol for the Summer Triangle. Not only is the "Summer Triangle" encoded by these vultures, they are also directly associated with an ancient knowledge of the existence of the New World, as symbolized by the horizontal line dividing 'above' from 'below.' The symbol of the Scorpian (Scorpio) was used anciently in Egypt to represent the constellation opposite in the sky to the symbol of (Dynastic) Egypt, the 'scared cow.' Apparently, the use of these symbols and the stars associated with these constellations, were known long before the Egyptian temple of Hathor at Dendra was constructed (where we find the oldest Egyptian astrological pantheon depicted on a domed ceiling).
The Summer Triangle. It is outlined by 3 stars: Deneb, Altair and Vega. Vega was once the Pole Star ca. 12,000 BCE. [Fig.3]
Ancient depiction of the Summer Triangle, encoded using the images of 3 vultures. This imagery was linked to the ancient knowledge of the Underworld
(New World continents), as Vega (the brightest star in what would become the constellation Lyra), is the most 'north star' prior to 4,000 BCE. [Fig.4]
• • • • • •
Vultures are esoterically understood to recycle death to new life, and so are a symbol for the on-going cycles of 'incarnation' of the advanced soul. Vultures represent an at-one-ment with the divine source of creation. This 'triangle' included the star Vega. During the post Ice Age world, Vega was the principle star of navigators. [Fig.4]
It was the 'pole star,' around which these 3 birds revolved. The Star Vega is the brightest star in the hoary constellation recognized as Lyra, the Turtle-shell harp of the ancient world. The Lyra was the oldest esoteric symbol for North America!
"The Summer Triangle is an astronomical asterism involving an imaginary triangle drawn on the northern hemisphere's celestial sphere, with its defining vertices at Altair, Deneb, and Vega, the brightest stars in the three constellations of Aquila, Cygnus, and Lyra, respectively.
"The term was popularized by American author H.A. Rey and British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore in the 1950s. The name can be found in constellation guidebooks as far back as 1913. The Austrian astronomer Oswald Thomas described these stars as "Grosses Dreieck" (Great Triangle) in the late 1920s and "Sommerliches Dreieck" (Summerly Triangle) in 1934. The asterism was remarked upon by J. J. Littrow, who described it as the "conspicuous triangle" in the text of his atlas (1866), and Bode connected the stars in a map in a book in 1816, although without label.
"Near midnight the Summer Triangle lies virtually overhead at mid-northern latitudes during the summer months, but can also be seen during spring in the early morning to the East. In the autumn the summer triangle is visible in the evening to the West well until November."
• • • • • •
Klaus Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working at Gobekli Tepe for more than a decade, is convinced it's the site of the world's oldest temple. Schmidt says of the great stone rings forming the sanctuaries of Gobekli Tepe (one of them 65 feet across), “This is the first human-built holy place.” Partly because Schmidt has found no evidence that people permanently resided on the summit of Gobekli Tepe itself, he believes this was a place of worship on an unprecedented scale. He refers to Gobekli Tepe as humanity's first "cathedral on a hill."
The ancient esoteric orders maintained friendly relationships with the leaders of most of the lands that spanned the distance between the centers of esoteric knowledge in the Old World, and the Eastern and Western shores of the New World. This insured the on-going agenda of those ancient orders. Homers Iliad and Odyssey were excellent examples of this preservation of ancient knowledge, as it was secretly encoded, in this case, in popular myths passed down for millennia.
In Henrietta Mertz’s seminal work “The Wine Dark Sea,” we learn that Homer’s Heroic Epic was nothing less than an esoteric map, providing visual clues and listing features encountered on the way from the Mediterranean, to the New World via the Canary Islands. Mertz’s detective work on esoteric transmission of this information did not stop with evidence of the knowledge of transoceanic travel across the Atlantic in ancient times, but has its sequel in her second boo “Pale Ink,” which suggests that the knowledge of a Pacific approach to the New World, through Indian and Asia was also extant through ancient time.
Understanding the relationship of the Templars to the Rosicrucians, and of all of these early orders to the transmission of esoteric truths through time, answers the riddle of the pretense of advanced scientific knowledge of biology and alchemy, among the elite of the Rosicrucian movement of the early 17th century. SO let's look back at the story of the Knights Templar for a few insights into the origins and history leading up to the days of Michael Maier.
After the recapture of Jerusalem in 1099, it became popular for Christians engage in pilgrimages from Western Europe. These pilgrims would journey in great numbers to the sacred sites in ancient Jerusalem. Although the cities of the Holy Land were freed from the control of Islam, the countryside remained the domain of thieves, robbers, and murderers, Saracen and others. These pilgrims were easy prey for armed brigands.
Circa 1120 CE, nine Frankish knights who had settled in Jerusalem after the First Crusade took vows to defend these Pilgrims. These knights vowed — like others involved in religious brotherhoods — to live lives of chastity, poverty, and obedience. However, their fourth vow was unique: to police the roads of the Holy Land for the protection of pilgrims. Soon nine grew into 30, and King Baldwin II of Jerusalem gave the knights their own wing of his palace. Tradition held that this location was once the site of Temple of Solomon. And so the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem — or simply, the Templars — were born.
As one early chronicler said of this order: “they became the "the first properly disciplined and officered troops in the West since Roman times" and "the storm troopers of the Crusades" (Desmond Seward, “The Monks of War: The Military Religious Orders,” p17).
Bernard of Clairvaux believed that a religious order of soldiers was a good idea, and he requested from the pope papal approval for the order. In January 1128, at the Council of Troyes, Bernard presided over the writing of the 72 articles that made up the Templar’s official code (the Rule of Life), which covered all aspects of Templar life. These religious initiates also trained for combat and, when the need arose, supported the Christian religion’s expansion into Asia Minor.
With a rule, the official recognition of Catholic leaders in Rome, and the endorsement of Bernard of Clairvaux, the Templar Order grew quickly. By the middle of the 12th century, the Templars had an extensive network of agricultural estates, (preceptories) throughout France, Italy, Spain, and England. Secular knights would come and go, but it was the military religious orders—the Templars, the Hospitallers, and the Teutonic Knights— who constituted a standing army in support of the Crusades.
As these knights gained in power and prestige, and accrued wealth, they began to build a series of sacred houses, Cathedrals, as initiatory centers. The Templars developed a tradition of initiation that involved visits to seven of these centers, culminating in a final pilgrimage to the now famous Rosslyn Chapel in Northern Scotland. Apparently, the Templar’s corpus of sacred science was transmitted to select Templar adepts, with specific information provided at leach location. Each of the seven sites (6 Cathedrals and Rosslyn) represented (symbolically) the seven chakras, and esoterically, the passage of kundalini energy up the soon to the Pineal Gland. Hence, the symbolism was linked both to cosmological principles, as well as spiritual ones, and each participating "Knight" would eventually understand the sacred science of the ancients, through participation in his own pilgrimage. The knights Templar are seen as the next iteration of the Kingdom of Israel.
Philip IV advocated merging the Templars and the other military orders into one order under a Warrior King—namely himself. The last Templar Master, Jacques de Molay, rejected the idea. This was the death knoll for the more public segment of the order, centered in Europe. However, the Knights Templar had established themselves in the Nordic countries, and preserved the most sacred items from Solomon’s Temple, and continued the ancient esoteric tradition of establishing a new order, a Platonic Republic in the Underworld; what we call today North America. This agenda was an absolute secret, and was only known to those who achieved adept status in the order of the Templars.
The Knights Templar maintained their presence in Europe at the behest of the papacy. They were an independent force that remained a threat to evilly disposed oligarchies. King Philip the Fair—grandson of St. Louis of France—had engineered the election of the pope and the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. Although the papacy may have been in the ambitious king’s pocket, one of the most powerful and wealthy institutions of the day was not: The Order of the Temple. In 3107, following the installation of this new Pope — one favoring the dissolution of this standing army — The knights were betrayed.
On Friday the 13th, 1307, in a coordinated surprise attack, the King’s constables stormed all the Templar estates in France and arrested 5000 knights of the order. Although a tremendous loss of personnel and resources, the true goals of the Templars — the establishment of a New Jerusalem in North America, in fulfillment of the ancient prophecies of Daniel — had already been underway.
Secretly, the Knights Templar had been establishing a northern backdoor to the North american continent. Like their ancient antecedents across the Old World, the secret of the existence of the Underworld — the continental landmasses of North, Central and South America — had been preserved, and travel between the Old and New Worlds was maintained. From evidence we have recovered over the last decade, it is obvious that the esoteric religious orders of the Old World maintained this knowledge, and visited the New World regularly, since the destruction of the ancient colonies in the area of the Gulf of Mexico — known to us through Egyptian records as Atlantis — since that nation’s destruction by comet-driven paroxysm in approximately 4300 BCE.
The Knights Templar apparently established another foothold in the New World in the Current Era, via a transatlantic route, but this was not the only foothold made in the continent. Although at this juncture this story needs to segue back to the science transmitted to key individuals like Michael Maier, and others in 17th Century Europe, the true extent of the penetration of the Templars into North America, is knitted at by artifacts like the controversial Kensington Stone.
The Templars were apparently mapping the lands marking the Eastern approach to the ancient lands of New Jerusalem, established in the 16th-13th centuries BCE by the ancient Houses of Israel. By documenting the river systems of the area, to their headwaters, the ancient practice of claiming land was being followed methodically. The Knights Templar’s agents in the New World were systematically laying claim to the river basins leading from the ancient center of the heretofore unrecognized New Jerusalem, established under the authority of the Tribes of Israel, for three centuries following the story of the Exodus. The Templars were apparently carefully documenting their land claims to establish what amounted to the ancient Platonic Republic, a New Jerusalem, in the New World.
Those interested in this Templar land claim angle, are encouraged to read a new book on this subject entitled "The Hooked X," by Scott Wolter. Wolter is a researcher tracing the roots of ancient knowledge, has traced a single symbol bad in time, demonstrating a linked knowledge system and agenda that is lined to a symbol he refers to as the “Hooked X, what he refers to as “an ideological thread that weaves through at least 3,800 years of human history. This amazing story involves some of the most important figures in world history, including the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, the biblical Jesus, the medieval Cistercians and Knights Templar, numerous Native American tribes, Freemasonry, and the founding fathers of the United States, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.”
This establishment of this New Jerusalem, New (holy) Order — or Zion — on the continent of North America, was the single-minded goal of every ancient order since time immemorial. From the ancient centers of esoteric learning from Asia and India, Egypt, Armenia, and up into the ancient Nordic countries, the Indo-European ancestors of those who survived the global comet-driven cataclysm of 4300 BCE (known through Biblical records as Noah’s Flood), maintained this singular vision. To this end they preserved the ancient sciences at sites across the world. The Egyptian hieroglyphs were but one example of these ancient libraries. The Library at Alexandria, was yet another more contemporary example.
At ancient sanctuaries in India, and in Turkey-Armenia, this knowledge was preserved for millennia. A body of hermetic writings was preserved in Byzantium which would become known as the Corpus Hermeticum, which — combined with addition information of even earlier origins - acquired by the Knights Templar during their re-capture of the Holy Land — was preserved through the 11th through 14th centuries by selected adepts in the Templar Order. With the assistance of key members of the Court of court of Cosimo de Medici, the Renaissance blossomed, representing a renewed effort to move this agenda forward once again. With the publishing of the Corpus Hermeticum in Europe in 1450, the ancient light burned anew once more across Europe.
It is in this spirit of the transition of core esoteric knowledge, that we examine the advanced knowledge transmitted to and through the Count, Michael Maier, as well as other key Rosicrucians (including Johann Mylius). This advanced alchemical and biological knowledge did not have its genesis in the renaissance, but millennia before, among those who continued these traditions of secrecy.
Seen in perspective, with a knowledge of the on-going agenda of these mind-expanded, dedicated hierophants, all the myths of ancient times (as correctly recounted) answer the greatest riddle of all time: who populated the American continents? The answer is that this was the TRUE Holy Land, and only ‘holy,’ spiritual people were bright here to inherit this land. This is what all of the major American Indian stories recount. The other half sphere, the great Turtle Island, was the Underworld to which these ancient faithful were relocated.
The early Mesopotamians called the Underworld (the domain of the God Enlil) Dilmun. The Egyptians called this North American “underworld” the land of God or P’Unt (perhaps more correctly, the PORT at the Land of God?). The Indians called it P’Atala (Port of Atala), and also Lanka (hence, the new name for the island of Ceylon, Sri Lanka). To the ancient Greeks it was El-Y-Sion: God = El, Y = possessive, Sion = Holy land, as did the Israelites, shortening it simply to Zion.
It was called “god’s Land,” or thought of as the land inherited by those who were on the path of evolution, to become gods (demigods), by every order that preserved the knowledge of it. Always, coupled to this tradition, was the transmission of various aspects of the Great Arcanum — or sacred science. The true Holy Grail was nothing less than this occulted Arcanum, and the promise of Eternal Life through the acquisition of both empirical knowledge (Chokmah) coupled with intuitive knowledge, or gnosis (Binah). Together one might attain true Understanding, the HIDDEN Sephira (Daat).
Alchemy was always a means to an end: physical “life extension.” With the goal of extending the life of the aspirant of the true hermeticism or esotericism, long enough to enable advanced learning, and eventually an at-one-ment with the gods.
This secret, sacred science, was a global phenomenon, its influence extending from the Old World to the New, in an almost unbroken chain of esoteric transmission through time. Its cumulative knowledge and spiritual truths represented the highest attainments of the adepts of the past, a true spiritual ‘treasure,’ with its roots extending back into the hoary past as an esoteric Yggdrasil, the ancient tree of hoary wisdom, the inheritance of the human race.
Michael Maier deserves our attention, because, through his emblematic art he transmitted information so advanced that he could not have fully understood it himself. In his own writings from the years just prior to the release of the 12 Keys of Basil Valentine, it is clear that his scientific knowledge was not far removed from that of his non-esoterically initiated contemporaries. So the question arises, from what source did he received his 21st century biological insights?
THE ROSICRUCIAN — MICHAEL MAIER
Well known as a key Rosicrucian, Michael Maier was one of a small number of advanced scientists who’s collective discoveries, documented scientific knowledge and inventions represent the cutting edge of this re-transmission of esoteric science, during this period. Beginning with the polymath Leonardo da Vinci, and traceable through other early “Rosicrucians” of renown like René Descartes, this new impulse of advanced knowledge finds its way into the hands of men like Michael Maier, during another period — like that of the Templars before them — when various key monarchs of Europe were being courted by occult leaders, in attempt to drive the agenda of the establishment of the New World Order forward. This plan seems to have stumbled, by the mid 17th century. However, the race was on to finish this great work of the re-establishment of Zion.
Scottish Rites Masonry will prove to be the next impulse of esotericism, and through its greatest proponent, Francis Bacon, the plan once again moves forward. It was from this school of esotericism that the ‘Founding Fathers’ would arise to finish the job of establish the United States of America on the North American continent, using the ancient symbol of the Lyra Constellation as its symbol: the Great Seal.
However, this final impulse ended with Bacon, but began with this Rosy Cross movement. As a little refresher on Rosicrucian history, I offer the following excerpt from the Wikipedia entry.
“Rosicrucianism is a generic term referring to studies or membership within a philosophical secret society said to have been founded in late medieval Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz. It holds a doctrine or theology "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which, "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe and the spiritual realm." Rosicrucianism is symbolized by the Rosy Cross.
“Between 1607 and 1616, two anonymous manifestos were published, first in Germany and later throughout Europe. These were the Fama Fraternitatis RC (The Fame of the Brotherhood of RC) and the Confessio Fraternitatis (The Confession of the Brotherhood of RC). The influence of these documents, presenting a "most laudable Order" of mystic-philosopher-doctors and promoting a "Universal Reformation of Mankind", gave rise to an enthusiasm called by its historian Dame Frances Yates the "Rosicrucian Enlightenment". [Yates, Frances A. (1972), The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, London]
Rosicrucianism was associated with Lutheranism, but is (once again) an order based on mystical, cosmological scientific certainty. Its manifestos opposed the dogmatism of Roman Catholicism, and its preference for dogma over empiricism. Tracing their philosophy and science to the Moors, Rosicrucians asserting that their occult knowledge had been kept secret for 120 years until the world was ready to receive it.
Early seventeenth-century occult philosophers such as Michael Maier, Robert Fludd and Thomas Vaughan interested openly promoted the Rosicrucian world view.
Rosicrucianism influenced Freemasonry driving its emergence in Scotland. In later centuries, many esoteric societies have claimed to derive their doctrines, in whole or in part, from the original Rosicrucians, but it seems pretty clear to this author, that the Rosicrucians had learned the lessons of the Knights Templars before them, and left open a ‘back door,’ in this case, Scottish Rites Masonry, through which their knowledge and agenda cold be carried forth, no matter the ultimate fate of the more public Rosicrucian impulse.
In the alchemical traditions of the renaissance, stages in the alchemical process of preparing the "elixir of life" (green dragon or greek lion elixir) and the "elixir vitae" (the red dragon or red lion elixir, a precursor to the lapis philosophorum), oxidation states and other visual signs of stages occurring during the manufacturing processes, were often depicted using birds as symbols. The colorization of particular board's plumage not only encodes the colors observed during these stages, but even the specific order in which they are perceived, can be linked to the sequential order of the colors as they appear on the bird used.
Variations in these bird depictions are found because, although there are three primary stages involved in making the 'green dragon' elixirs (magnesium hydroxide with traces of calcium hydroxide), the 'red dragon' elixir (also called the 'elixir vitae') involves a fourth stage, before the final process is complete. The alchemists would generally add a final Phoenix bird image to symbolize the completion of the work, and the resurrected state of the quinta essentia — reborn within the fire (literally, in the early days where calcination in an iron cauldron was used, in lieu of more concentrated acids), now free to vibrate within the aqueous solution of the elixir (and also in the body of the alchemist once consumed). This means that there will be at least 4-5 birds in all, in any depiction of the manufacture of either type of elixir.
[Note: For a review of the differences between the Green and the Red "dragon" or "lion" elixirs and mineralogy, please see the appropriate Green Dragon or Red Dragon pages in this website].
Depending upon the minerals used, the reagents required to isolate and trap the QE associated their respective hydroxide flocs varied, as did the processes required. Additionally, the alchemists could use acids and bases in aqueous solutions, but since earlier times had relied upon heat approaching the melting point of his prima materia, to force oxidation through a process called Calcination. The symbol for calcination is the same as the astrological symbol for Aries.
Alchemists relied upon heat for reduction processes as well, employing high temperature sodium hydroxide burns and
The two types are the organic sedimentary magnesia (aka magnesian limestone, dolomite) and volcanic, or igneous rock (including acidic rock such as landsites and high-pyroxene basalt). Each type contains a different set of the five essential di-atoms, or quinta essentia (QE). Dolomite usually contains Cu and Ag di-atoms, and igneous rock contains Rh, Ir and Au.
In the third type of rock, a metamorphic stone, composed of the other two types — recombined through the heat and pressure of geologic forces, like those along a continental plate — combine in their liquid states to form more complex minerals. Thus, in metamorphic rock we have a mix which may include all five of the QE. Working with such stone the separation processes could be even more complex.
In the Michael Maier emblematic art above we see the processing of the alchemist’s ‘magnesia’ (called magnesian limestone in England, or more commonly dolomite). Unlike the Great Art of the Philosopher’s Stone, the absence of the fourth stage of five stages of the alchemical process (represented by the Pelican) is missing. This is because the object of this series of operations depicted in this emblematic art, is to isolate Green Dragon elementals (di-atoms (Cu and Ag), the two more easily captured of the five QE.
Because of this, the Pelican — a symbol generally used in depicting the processes of multiplying the Red Dragon (or gold/rhodium/iridium) di-atoms (shown during the renaissance as a pelican pecking itself to feed its young on its own blood) — would not be needed. I explain this further below.
I have taken the liberty of putting it into the sequential description of operations.
Stage 1: Raven or Crow (Color: black)
The Raven (or Crow) represents the beginning of the great work of alchemy: a dry oxidation process that blackens the stone being calcined, called Nigredo (to make black). This process is known as Calcination, a process of whereby ‘prima materia’ ore was oxidized with high heat. The modern approach — due to the easy access we have today of strong, concentrated acids — is to use a concentrated, oxidizing reagent for this entire process. This was not an option anciently. Instead, the alchemist’s prima materia was subjected to a sustained heating — maintained just below the prima materia’s melting point, but never reaching it. The result is a blackened stone ready for the second stage of oxidation.
Calcination was also described by the the term Putrefaction or Caput Mortuum (“dead head” or “worthies remainder”). In some renaissance art, this first ‘dry’ step in the oxidation process was symbolized by a skull, or by the image of an alchemist dying within a flask.
In the symbol of the Raven we have the purification of the base prima materia — containing the active ingredient the Sulfur, trapped within the inert mineral Salt — through death and subsequent rebirth. As death among living things facilitates the separation of the spirit from the physical body — so through Putrefaction the Sulfur (the quinta essentia) is freed from the Salt in which it is trapped.
Stage 2: Swan or Goose (Color: white)
The next stage — the second ‘wet’ stage of the oxidation process — was symbolized by a white Swan or Goose.
The modern approach to oxidation — due to the easy access we have today of strong, concentrated acids — is to use an acid for the entire oxidation process, making Calcination unnecessary. This was not an option anciently. Anciently this second ‘wet’ stage of the oxidation process, utilized the universal reagent of the ancient alchemists, sal ammoniac.
Utilizing sal ammoniac, this second stage of oxidation process would yield chlorides of the metals in the magnesian limestone: calcium, magnesium, and small amounts of manganese and iron. This resulted in a clear liquid with a pale green tinge (one of the reasons they called this process the Green Dragon). Depending upon the acid used (sal ammoniac being the most common, but not necessarily the only reagent employed), some salts might be formed, precipitating out as a white solids.
In the occidental alchemical traditions, this second stage of oxidation would be depicted by a white Swan (or Goose) representing the final separation of the active principle of Sulfur (the quinta essentia) from its alchemical Salt. This process is termed Dissolution. Dissolution begins with a putrefying fire, and ends with an aqueous solution saturated with metal ions.
At the ’N Mojave’ rock art site, the alchemical formula for Amrita, employs these two symbols. The first of this the symbol of Aries (Calcination), to be followed by a symbol representing stage 2 in the dissolution process, is the symbol for Dissolution—in this case symbol utilized is highly specific, and means Extract Using Acid. [Fig.5]
Alchemical sigil is a formula for Amrita. Aries (yellow) = Calcination: oxidize using heat. Magenta symbol = to Dissolve using Strong Acid. [Fig.5]
How do we know that Michael Maier did not develop this information on his own?
The book “Count Michael Maier—Life and Writings," written by J. B. Craven, is an introduction to the spiritual and scientific understanding of Michael Maier, through a study of his own writings. It is obvious from these writings that Maier’s Scientific understanding was consistent with that of the middle Renaissance. And yet, in his emblematic art, he demonstrates an anomalous and advanced knowledge of the mechanisms of biological immunity, unknown in his times. How could a man understand chemistry 100 years ahead of his time, and biological cellular structure and mechanics, even before the invention of the compound microscope?
The on the logical answer is that he received knowledge from an outside source, with knowledge far ahead of that of the greatest minds of the European renaissance. In our times modern science does not admit that any form of advanced science on this level existed before the late 17th century. This only deepens the mystery surrounding the occasional anomalous artifact, like the now infamous 'Antikythera Mechanism' (which apparently was manufactured somewhere in Turkey/Armenia), the so-called 'Baghdad Battery,' et cetera. As we shall see, Maier illustrated structures and indicated processes that have only recently been discovered with advanced technology, including the SEM (scanning electron microscope). So, where did this advanced biological information come from?
It is well documented that Maier was a Rosicrucian. It is a matter of esoteric tradition that the Rosicrucians obtained their knowledge from an earlier source, which can be traced back through the exploits of the Knights Templar. And by the Templars own admission, their esoteric scientific knowledge could be traced back to the ancient Israelite temple at Jerusalem, and to (at least) as far back as the reign of King Solomon. Thus, we can tie at least some of the science of the 17th century Rosicrucians to no later than the beginning of the first millennium before the current era.
As any student of Kabbalah knows, esoteric encoding is present throughout the early Hebrew Scriptures. It is currently argued that the Kabbalah was an invention of the Hebrews. Most argue that this unique occultism was an invention of the first century of this era. Others, far bolder, have argued that the Kabbalah actually dates to as early as 1,000 BCE. We will present evidence throughout this website that, in point of fact, the Kabbalah can be dated absolutely to at least 2,300 BCE, and linked to the Lochrew cairns above the Boyne Valley, in Ireland. Additional evidence will demonstrate a more advanced, and esoteric version of the Sephiroth which shows up as an artifact of the global, transoceanic voyages of ancient 'sacred science' practitioners, at various pointy along the old routes to the New World, and in Mesoamerica. We have come to call these ancient routes the "corridors of the Magi," for reasons that will become apparent in this web site.
Perhaps even more controversial than these discoveries, is our claim that the Sephiroth actually has its roots as far back as 22,000-22,000 years BCE, in Siberia! However, for now let's get back to core discovery that we can now prove, from hard evidence scattered across the planet. This discovery is that the ancient 'art' of alchemy — and the advanced geological, petrological and mineralogical knowledge we see demonstrated at these sites — represents a hoary knowledge lost since antiquity, and surviving only as blocks of knowledge and techniques dating to antiquity.
This is no new science, and can be demonstrated that advanced alchemical operations, linked to esoteric astrological practices, come from knowledge shared among many peoples, but which invariably appears to have been preserved for the longest time in Ancient Armenia! This 'sacred science' has it roots long before the older settlements in the Armenian highlands (Catal ayuk) and Turkey (Gobekli Tepe) were extant. And yet it is fundamentally the same science that we see in Ancient Sibera, which was spread to Europe, the Mediterranean, to Turkey and Mesopotamia and through the Levant to Egypt. It was known in the highlands of Iran (Zoroastrian Magi), and the Magu in ancient India (modern Pakistan and Afghanistan, Napal and Tibet). This suggests that this is one of the sacred secrets that the brahmanic priest Abrahm (a-brahmin) took with him back to Egypt in 2300 BCE. Abrahm’s esoteric pedigree traces its roots back to ancient India and the Indo-european brahmanic culture, and this is encoded in the story of his wife Sarai becoming pregnant in her 80s. The high magnesium content of the dolomite they harvested — used both to make the elixir of life, but also taken orally (as a supplement), meant that Saria's reproductive system would have been in a nominal condition. The odds are that Abrahm's knowledge of alchemy came to him in later life, and that his wife may have recovered her fertility as a by-product of dolomitic limestone which became part of her diet later in life.
This belief in ancient science having its genesis in antiquity might remain a merely academic argument, but for the many discoveries we have made in these and related fields, since 2003. The sophisticated science present in Maier's later work is yet another prima facia piece of evidence in support of this premise.
So let us dig into this work beginning with his birds up alchemy, and finish with his knowledge of the vibratory mechanisms of mineral alchemy, and the immune system.
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