In Fortalitium Scientiae a recipe by the Roseae Crucis Friedrich Grick seems to involve the use of astronomical planets during operations and so Ephemerides knowledge.
The issue is crucial since apparently, this could differentiate the alchemical authors we are used to reading from the Roseae Crucis authors, not only because of their belief in the Magysterium Magnum, or preparation of the Philosophers Stone to reach other states of being but also for the presence of an additional alchemical tool like the external influences not only by the astronomical Sun and Moon but also by the astronomical little planets of our galaxy. And that is not in the way the classic spagyric seems to have misunderstood, in fact, Roseae Crucis don’t seem to trivially cast horoscopes for the matters to be prepared, we are before something very different.
Fortalitium Scientiae Das ist. Die unfehlbare volkommeliche was first published in 1617, to be printed again in 1618, in an unknown town but surely in Germany. Originally attributed to Ireneus Agnostus, it is now associated with Friedrich Grick at the Bayerische Staatsbibliotheck. Interestingly enough the edition of 1618 is presented by the same library also associated with the name of Johann Valentin Andreä, the writer of Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreutz, Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. We know that the same years were characterized by the sensational and mysterious appearance of the first Roseae Crucis books, and in fact, in the Fortalitium Scientiae long title the following wording appears “… hocherleuchte Brudershafft des Rosencreutzes…” or the enlightened Rosicrucian brotherhood… so apparently belonging to one of those composite brotherhoods who had monopolized the alchemical landscape of a certain historical period.
We know that sometimes spagyrics use to cast real horoscopes for their operations: they claim the presence of Mars to get a rubefacient and fortifying product, or Venus to boost the cellular metamorphosis and relax, Saturn as anti-inflammatory and antipyretic, or as an Astro ruler for every matter, i.e. Saturn for Atropa Belladonna, Mars for Arnica Montana or Venus for Achillea Millefolium. This way of operating is nothing more than to cast an astral chart as an astrologer could do to suggest us the right moment to apply for a job or to get pregnant. It goes without saying that this modus operandi is largely ludicrous if applied in a laboratory, since, even letting aside the precession of equinoxes, an astral chart is round and nobody on the earth can prevent a positive aspect in a certain astrological house to become totally negative in the opposite house. The perfect birth doesn’t exist, in any moment the sky draws positive and negative planetary diagrams in the same proportions. Additionally, a trine product can turn out to be as dull and useless as an inflated balloon as an all trines person. So, more than often it is much better to suffer from opposition and squares to be highly energized and motivated to get out of nasty situations. Relying on this evidence alchemists have always rejected the silly idea to cast horoscopes, but almost look at the Sun and Moon. At best the more learned of them look for stars on a moonless night to fecund our magnet/Mercurius Philosophorum. But I actually never heard of waiting for the conjunction of Saturn and Mars in the new moon for our last cooking, or the presence of Jupiter in the last degrees of Aquarius to try a transmutation. No mention the fact that the orbit of Saturn, so present in the Roseae Crucis recipes, is so slow that we should even wait 28 years for performing the same operation. In any case, this will not be a horoscope, but a calendar. And I don’t know if the direct observation of the sky can speed things up.
To give more value to my amazement the words of Philip Callahan in his Ancient Mysteries Modern Vision The Magnetic Life of Agriculture, 1984: ” In April 1946, John Nelson, an electrical engineer with RCA, was asked by his supervisor to investigate the sun. A strange request for an electronics specialist. Nelson obliged by setting up a telescope on the RCA Building in Manhattan. RCA was concerned about sunspots that interfere significantly with telecommunications, and the firm wanted to be able to predict that interference. After two years of devoted research, Nelson discovered something very peculiar. He found that whenever the Sun was positioned exactly between Mercury and Jupiter 0r degrees on either side and when Mercury was moving opposite Saturn, and also Venus was 90 degrees to Saturn, the incidence of large sunspots increased. This planet-sun orientation gives two angles of 180 degrees Mercury opposite Jupiter and Saturn opposite Mercury and one angle of 90 degrees Venus at right angles to Saturn. The orientation occurs during a four-day period…up to that time, astronomers were firmly convinced that the weak energies emitted by planets could have little effect on anything in the cosmos…”.
The Fortalitium Scientiae excerpt I decided to publish was, weirdly enough, the same choice of K.K. Doberer in his “The Goldmakers”. I don’t know whether Doberer’s attention was simply caught, like me, or he was suggested by someone. After having mentioned Callahan I will not do any comment, but wondering whether the calendar of planetary positions would be the same if planned by the Ephemerides, or by direct observation of the sky. In the first case, and if Roseae Crucis were right, the number of temporal windows in which one can try to perform certain final operations, i.e. the last cooking, can be reduced to 1 or 2 for a century. Not year.
And that’s almost due to the aspects of a slow planet like Saturn. In fact, due to the slowness of the planetary transits in which Saturn is involved, the favorable moments are very likely not to occur every year, but often in decades. And it seems that we have no choice, since, according to Friedrich Grick: ” if you will not observe the right time and constellations everything will disperse in the air and disappear in the form of steam, smoke, and fog”.
The following recipe is almost improbable in its lack of operational details. It seems that Grick would instead focus the reader’s attention on the presence of the planets’ position, which I can summarize as follows:
- “… wenn Saturnus in zeichen Fisch….”, if Saturn is in Fishes;
- “… wenn Sarturnus und Mars in Novilunio….”, if Saturn and Mars in novilunio;
- “… wann Jupiter mit dem Stern der Adler genant, und cauda Capricorni im 15 grad des wassermans untergehet…”, when Jupiter with the star of Eagle is retrograde and the Capricorn tail sets in 15° of Acquarius;
- “… conjunctio Solis & Jovis in ultimo gradu Capricorni….”, Sun and Jupiter conjunction in the last degree of Capricorn;
- “… conjunctio Jovis & Martis im 25 grad des Wassermans…..”, Jupiter and Mars conjunction in 25 ° of Acquarius:
- “… mit dem introitu solis in primum punctum arietis nach auffgang der sonnenconjunctio Solis & Jovis in ultimo gradu Capricorni…..”, with the entrance of the Sun in the first point of Aries coming towards the solar conjunction of the Sun and Jupiter in the last degree of Capricorn.
Now the entire recipe: ” Mix some Tutia (1) together with a little of Mumia (2) powder and pour on potash in which a gold ducat has been melted. Put the whole on moderately warm coal, in the period when Saturn is in Fishes. One obtains a powder very like ground gold. To this add a little mercury mixed with human saliva, as well as an equal quantity of Aeris Flos (3). Make the whole melted into a crucible where some sulfur in crystalline form and containing arsenic has been previously melted. All that is when Saturn and Mars meet during the new moon. In this way, one obtains a powder to be placed into an oven.
- K.K. Doberer’s note: grey arsenious anhydride, other researchers’ explication: zinc oxide. In this specific case I think: Mercurius Philosophorum;
- My note: the ferment-tincture;
- K.K. Doberer’s note: verdigris crystals, my note: Secret Fire;