Lux in Tenebris, 6 





Dreams and Symbols in The Chemical Wedding

Thomas Willard



pp. 130-1 The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz 

p. 130

"First published in German in 1616, The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz .... following the Fama Fraternitatis (1614) and the Confessio Fraternitatis (1615) ... is ... 'the third item in the series which launched the Rosicrucian furore' [Yates 1972, 83]. Adam McLean remarks that ... '... [it] ... addresses itself to inner transformation rather than outer transformation of society and religion heralded in the Fama and Confessio' [McLean 1991, 7]."


"the author, Johann Valentin Andreae, regarded it as a satire (German Posse or Spott; Latin ludibrium). and particularly as the sort ... called Menippean satire [Willard 2010]."

p. 131

"Through his clever mixture of learned satire, dream vision, and esoteric symbolism, Andreae creates a conjunction or transmutation that rewards ... the path ... ."

Yates 1972 = Frances A. Yates : The Rosicrucian Eniightenment. London : Routledge.

McLean 1991 = Adam McLean : "Introduction". In :- Joscelyn Godwin ["EJG"] (transl.) : The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz. MAGNUM OPUS HERMETIC SOURCEWORKS, 18. Grand Rapids (MI) : Phanes.

"EJG" = "Eudaimonia of Joscelyn Godwin". 

Willard 2010 = Thomas Willard : "Andreae's ludibrium : Menippean Satire in the Chymische Hochzeit". In :- Albrecht Classen (ed.) : Laughter in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times. Berlin & NY : Walter de Gruyter. .pp. 767-89.


pp. 131-2 other litterature of the "dream-vision" genre

p. 131

"Typically, the narrator falls asleep at a time of stress, as does William Langland's Piers {modernly, \Pierce\} in The Vision of Piers Plowman {V&CPP}, and has a 'marvelous dream' that somehow speaks to his condition. ...


Sometimes the protagonist has a near-death experience, like the Irish knight Trugalus (Tundale in the English poem) who is met by an angel and guided through the afterlife.


Sometimes, as with Dante's pilgrim, he only hints that he is 'full of sleep' (pien de sonno) [Dante : Inferno, 1:11. ...


John the Revelator reports [Apokalupsis of Ioannes 1:10] that he was


'in the Spirit' (en Pneumati) ... .


{i.e., experiencing a peculiarly spiritual dream}


Then again, we often learn only at the end of a story that the protagonist has been asleep, like Scrooge in Dicken's Christmas Carol.

p. 132

In the semi-autobiographical narrative known as 'Lucian's Dream', ... at the end ... Lucian ... admits that he has been telling his dream ... ."


"In the New Testament, the ordinary dream (enhupnion) is distinguished from


the vision that occurs during sleep (onar) ... ." {"Greek oneiros dream; akin to Armenian anurǰ dream" (M-W, s.v. "oneiric")}

{This Hellenic-and-Armenian word may both be derived from the name (Strong's 6063) \<aner\, which may be related to \Ganduwr\ 'dandy, fop' (DMWA, p. 802b). The entire content of a dream may be extremely ornate, thus "dandified, foppish".}

V&CPP = Thomas Wright (ed.) : The Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman. 2nd edn. London : Reeves & Turner, 1887. 

M-W, s.v. "oneiric" 

Strong = Hebrew and Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament.

DMWA = Hans Wehr (ed. by Cowan) : A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. 4th edn.


pp. 132-3 litterature of the "sequential dream-vision" genre

p. 132

"For his part, Christian Rosencreutz has several dreams over the seven days of his narrative, but this does not mean that the whole story cannot be his dream.


Dante's pilgrim dreams on each of the three nights he spends on Mount

p. 133

Purgatory, but hints ... that he was dreaming all along."


p. 135 brief biography of Christian Rosencreutz

"Frater C.R. ... is said to have died in 1484 at an advanced age; according to the story of his boyhood as an orphan in a German monastery and his youthful travels in the Muslim world, he must have been born in about 1378. ... However, he is an accomplished astronomer ... ."


p. 136 litterature of alchemical ainigmata

"The celebrated Polish alchemist Michael Sendigovius (1566-1636) wrote a Parabola seu Aenigma Philosophicum as Filios Veritatis (Parable or Philosophical Enigmato Sons of Truth, 1628). The purpose was to summarize the twelve treatises published as Novum Lumen Chymicum (A New Chemical Light, 1604) ... . Interestingly ..., the narrator falls asleep repeatedly

and is taken to the Garden of the Hesperides in his dreams, where Neptune explains the secret of the golden fruit.  

{The connection of the Hesperides with Poseidon is thus : the depths of Poseidon's sea are known to Atlas; and the Hesperides (DCM, q.v.) "were said to be ... daughters ... finally of Atlas."}

... one finds similar enigmas and arcana in works by

Jean d'Espagnet,

[fn. 27 "d'Espagnet, The Summary of Physics Restored, xxiii-xxx and 158."]

Michael Maier (1568-1622), and

[fn. 28 "Maier, Subtilis Allegoria, vol. 2, 703-740."]

Thomas Vaughn (1621-1666).

[fn. 29 "Vaughn, Lumen de Lumine, 1-22."]

Indeed, Sendigovius has been proposed as a model for the character of Christian Rosencreutz

[fn. 30 "Prinke, 'Michael Sendigovius and Christian Rosencreutz'. 72-98."] 


pp. 136-7 plot-outline of The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz 

p. 136

"Christian Rosencreutz ... over the course of a week. On the first three days, he receives an invitation to  royal wedding and makes the arduous journey to the remote castle, where he is tested and admitted to the small wedding party.

p. 137

On the fourth day, he and the other six guests meet the royal family, are entertained with a drama in seven acts, and watch ... . The remaining days ..., on the penultimate he asscends the seven levels of an alchemical tower where the chemical wedding takes place, and on the day before that he faces a personal test before traveling to the tower. ...

On th first three days, he has cautionary dreams ... . On the fourth and fifth days, he has waking visions ... . On the sixth day, after the wedding has been completed, he has "one Dream" lasting nine hours ... . On the final day, the narrative breaks off ... ."


pp. 137-9 account of Royal Wedding in The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz 


"After Chrstian has received the invitation to as Royal Wedding (Ko:nigs Hochzeit ['King's Hightime']), he ... dreams that he is amidst a crowd ... in ...


a 'fenster Tu:r' ... : a 'dark tower' (ChH, 7). {"Childe Roland is to the Dark Tower come". "on a quest for the “Dark Tower” ... through a dark, marshy waste-land, ... Childe Roland is not the creation of a genuine madman, but of a man (Edgar in Lear) who pretends to be mad to escape his half-brother’s murderous intentions." (SN--RBP"ChRDTC")} ...

{This theme beareth resemblance to the plight forming the plot in that parallel dramatic play by William Shakespeare, to wit, his Hamlet, which is adapted from the Historia Danorum by Saxo Grammaticus, as concerning "Amlethus" (more accurately spelled \Amlo`di\ in the Poe:tic Edda), in regard whereto the book Hamlet's Mill was endited (by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend).}

p. 138

At the sound of a trumpet, Christian awakes ... (HR, 17). He leaves for the royal castle, carrying ...


four roses ... . {The roses are the Phrugian indication of Huperboreia, which is described by Herodotos as afar beyond the Thussagetai (Tunguz), even (Nippon), located to the east of the abode (Korea) of the gold-warding grupes.} ...

{These roses are indicative of the alchemical (gold-touch providing) dream concering Huperboreia, as experienced by Midas' guest backwardly-aging-whirlpool-touting satyr Silenos while he (GM @83.b) "was ... sleeping ... in the rose gardens."}


He chooses to spend the night in chains

{This is reminiscent of the memorable-dream-inducing practice in antient TL-MRJ, of sleeping with one's hand wrapped in bandages.}


so that he may leave without penalty.

{Is such poenalty indicated by the twain beds of Prokroustes/Damastes/Polu-pemon?}


During the night he dreams of ... men, each of whom is suspended from heaven by a thread (Faden) attached to his head. {Cf. the "silver cord" connecting the projected subtle body with the material body.}

{Moreover, this cord's extending skyward is a feature of Australian aboriginal occult practice (of shamanic initiation during a dream) : "an old doctor takes the postulant, reduced to the size of a baby, to the sky ... on a cord ... Reaching the sky" ("EAMHD", p. 393).}


An old man flies about, holding pair of scissors and clipping threads. Those who are closest to the ground, fall easily to safety,

{This old man would be the male counterpart to the thread-snipping moira A-tropos ('un-averted'), i.e., scissor-wielding goddess C^hinna-masta ('Split-Brain') -- who is aequivalent, in Anahuac, to Coatl-icue ('twin-skirt') of the split brain-current.}


but anyone who has 'over-exalted himself ... ' (HR, 45). {Here, "over-exalted" = is not reckoned sufficienly humble because arrogantly ignored the spirit-guide/divine tutor.} ...

{"Coatlicue's aged tutor ... agreed to take them to her, but they were unable ... because they were too heavily laden ... ." (MMG, cap. 3 "Deities", s.v. "Coatlicue", p. 150)}


Again, ... on the Third Day, ... dozens of potential guests


are weighed and all but the humblest of them are found lacking. ...

{"Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." (Daniye>l 5:27)}


Christian's scholarly instincts lead him to the 'Royal Sepulcher', where ... he finds a book about the phoenix ... . ... But he and his page {attendant} are interrupted by a second page {2nd attendant}, who reminds that the library and crypt are forbidden to any outsider. ...

p. 139

The outer gate bears the inscription Procul hinc, procul ite, profanes {'Avaunt hence, ... [O! ye] profanes'}, a variant of Virgil's warning to the uninitiated during the descent into the underworld."

[fn. 33 "HR, 26; Virgil, Aeneid, 6.258. Another variant appears in the ... 'Gate to the Amphitheater of Eternal Wisdom'; see Khunrath, Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae."]


Hamlet's Mill 

"EAMHD" = 35. A. P. Elkin: "Extract from Aboriginal Men of High Degree". In :- Andrei A. Znamenski : Shamanism. 3 Voll. RoutledgeCurzon, London, 2004. Vol. II, pp. 383-424.,_35.htm 

MMG = Kay Almere Read & Jason J. Gonza`lez : Mesoamerican Mythology : a Guide to the Gods ... of Mexico and Central America. ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara (CA), 2000.

Daniye>l 5:27 


pp. 139-41 sepulchre of Venus; tower of Olumpos

p. 139

"the fourth night, ... Six coffins are carried to the lake beside the castle and loaded onto six sailing ships. A chest containing the severed heads is loaded on a seventh ship."


"early the next morning, ... his page joins him on a tour of the castle. Descending the stairs, they come to a door with the name of Venus inscribed in copper letters, along with words in a strange alphabet. The door is unlocked ... because the coffins were carried through it ... . Taking ... his page along a dark passageway and through a smaller door into the royal treasury ... he marvels at a sepulchre that includes a copper kettle from which a tree of metals grows,


dropping precious stones as though they were fruit.

{"the trees bore ... fruit as ... sparkling jewels flashing with many colours." ("A&WL", p. 6)}


The page tells him it is the sepulchre of Venus, and leads him through a copper door in the pavement, down a narrow set of stairs, and into a bedchamber. Christian pulls back the curtains on the bed and sees none other than the Lady

p. 140

Venus. There is another tablet beside the bed, with the same secret alphabet, which the page interprets.


Now behold (said the page) what I heard revealed ... by Atlas. When the tree (said he [Atlas]) shall be quite melted down, Then shall Lady Venus awake ... . [HR, 130]

{The pertinence of Atlas to Lady Venus is thus : "Atlas ... knows the depths of all the seas" (Odusseia 1.52-- Th"Atlas"); such might include Upagupta's "brazen palace at the bottom of the ocean" (L&CU, p. 13), copper being the metal of planet Venus and of goddess Venus.}


By this time, the other guests ... join their guide, a beautiful young woman, as she presides over the burial of coffins that guards carry from the castle. Christian ... listens as she talks about ... seeking medicines 'helpful in ... restoring the present buried Royal Persons to life again' (HR, 134). They then board the ships, one guest on each. They enjoy a pleasant cruise, entertained by swimming nymphs and singing sirens.  ... they arrive at a square island with a single building on it :


a round 'Tower of Olympus' that turns out to have seven concentric walls

{Cf. the capital of Media at Ekbatana, built with seven concentric walls, successively : white, black, purple, blue, red, silver, gold (USHAE, p. 6-7).}


each with seven stories of connecting rooms. ... Later, while the other guests sleep, Christian ... walking back to the tower ... observes the flames of the royal souls converging at the top. ...


Christian's birthyear of 1378 ... makes him born during a year when Halley's comet appeared ..., and the miraculous opening of his tomb in 1604 was associated with Kepler's supernova."

p. 141

"The tower itself is a traditional symbol of the alchemical vessel,

[fn. 38 : Abraham 1998, pp. 203-4]


and the seven levels correspond to the seven stages of the alchemical work in many accounts."

[fn. 39 : Willard 2012, p. 439]

"A&WL" = "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp". 


L&CU = John S. Strong : The Legend and Cult of Upagupta : Sanskrit Buddhism in North India and Southeast Asia. Princeton Univ Pr, 1992.,_0.C.htm 

USHAE = Mahmoud Tavassoli : Urban Structure in Hot Arid Environments. Springer Internat Publ, 2016. 

Abraham 1998 = Lyndy Abraham : A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery. Cambridge Univ Pr.

Willard 2012 = Thomas Willard : "The Star in Man : ... the Alchemical Philosophy of Gerard Dorn". In :- Albrecht Classen (ed.) : Religion und Gesundheit. Berlin & NY : Walter de Gruyter. pp. 425-61.


p. 142 birth of hermaphrodite

"the appearance of Cupid on the tower's top floor is a reminder of the prophecy that Venus would be the mother ... . ... In classical mythology the union of Mercury and Venus -- ... Hermes and Aphrodite -- leads to the birth of Hermaphroditus, the androgyne." (cf. Diodoros Sikelos 4:6 -- GM @18.d)

{The most typical animal-species of hermaphrodites are worms, such as, earthworms : "the soul stays close to earth, creeping around the roots of plants" (S`ata-patha Brahman.a XIII.8:1:20 -- ShATh, p. 116). The worms which feed on human cadavres are traditionally worshipped on Madagascar.}


pp. 142-3 souvenir of quaest

p. 142

"On the seventh morning, the young woman gathers the guests. She gives each a golden fleece, a symbol of their successful quest, and tells them they are all 'Knights of the Golden Stone'. ...

p. 143

But ... The keeper of the outer gate ... 'was a very famous and rare Astrologer', but was assigned to the gate after he 'committed a fault against Venus, and beheld her in her bed of rest' (HR, 213). ... He asks that Christian be assigned to the gate, for he knows somehow that Christian committed same 'fault'. The king ... consults his astrologer, Atlas, ... and ... Atlas argues that Christian should replace the gatekeeper ... . ... Christian ... says goodbye to his ... fellow guests, ... to spend the night with ... the astrologer Atlas and the warden of the tower. The three retire to a 'glorious' room with three beds".


pp. 143-4 homecoming

p. 143

"But even here the editor has an explanation : ... Christian, the first-person author, falls asleep. ...

p. 144

However, it seems ... likely that he falls asleep in the royal castle and awakens in the humble cottage where his meditation began."


p. 145 the highest knowledge is either (1) to feign ignorance of information unknown to one's ignorant companions, or (2) to be aware of one's own ignorance

"When he signs the guest[-]registry on the seventh day, he writes [in concealed reference to how (supra p. 140) "new information separated him from the other guests, who will continue to remain deluded."] :

Summa Scientia nihil Scire. ["The highest knowledge is to know nothing."]" [That specific 'knowledge' (\<ilm\ : DMWA, p. 743b) which must be kept 'secret' (Strong's 5956 \<alam\) is how "Each ship has a flame flickering about it" ("D&SChW", p. 139). This must be "St Elmo's fire" : \Elmo\ abbreviated from (Eu-angelion kata Loukas 3:28) Strong's 1678 \Elmodam\, which is possibly a deformation of Strong's 5963 \<almon-Diblataymah\ (5960 \<almon\ 'hidden' + 'toward' 1691 \diblayim\ 'twain figgy pies').]

{ShATh, p. 475 : "paradox is ... distinction of two opposite types of knowledge : He who knows everything {about the material world} knows nothing {about the divine world}, and he who knows nothing {viz., careth not for the blandishments of the impermanent material world} knows everything {viz., careth much for the joys of the aeternal divine world}."} {For figs, this could refer to ("WhJCFT") "a ‘Breba’ crop, or an ‘out of season’ crop." Thus, the admonition is to preach "out of season" as well as "in season".}

"the defense of Socrates : 'if I were to say I am wiser in anything, it would be in this, that not knowing very much about the other world, I do not think I know." (Platon : Apologia, 29b) {Pertinent knowledge about the "other world" would needs be Orphic : that which is unknown is why, at Deion, the Mainades would behead Orpheus along with (GM @28.d) murdering their own husbands -- this mystery might involve music (musical stone?).}

{The 1st of the beheaded suitors is (GM @109.e) Marmax (\marmaruge\ 'sparkling, gleaming'; \marmaros\ 'crystalline stone') : could this be aequivalent to the "Son of Man" (Apokalupsis of Ioannes 1:13), whose head and hairs are (Ibid. 1:14) "white as snow" (a substance glittering in sunlight)? Along the theme of the "crystalline stone" is the "musical stone" of Alka-thoos (DCM, s.v. "Alcathos", p. 30a), having the same name as the 2nd beheaded suitor.}

"WhJCFT" = "Why Did Jesus Curse the Fig Tree?" 


{The curse (Eu-angelion kata Markos 11:14) applied to the fig-tree must be intended to be directed against disclosure of the secret ("D&SChW", p. 139) "that the flames are the 'Spirits of the Beheaded' (HR, 125)." Cf. the steam rising (in response to water's being poured, by blue-faced god, out of a mug) from the hot apex of the head of "Stripe-Eye" (in CBM, p. 38) : this being caught by the foot of the holding a mug (in CBM, p. 37). This, explicitly designated as "rabbit-steam", might refer (via Skt \s`as`a\ 'hare', possibly cognate with \keos\) to Eu-xantios ('good wool-carder', a native of Keos [Ionian \Keos\] : Bakkhulides : Oide 1), who is said (in a scholion) to be father of Miletos, whose mother is (according to Ovidius) Deione (namesake of Deion in Thraike). Because the country [W]Anaktoria occupied by Miletos is said to have been ruled praeviously by [W]Anax the son of (GM @88.b) Ouranos, and because Ouranos is (according to Orphic divine genealogy : W"Dione") father of Dione, therefore \Deione\ may possibly be a variant of \Dione\. The name's meaning 'wool-carder' could be the source of the description "like wool" (in Apokalupsis of Ioannes 1:14). The blue-faced [cf. "once in a blue moon"] mug-holding god is likely a buddha (Amita-ayus being the specifically blue dhyani-buddha); for, according to the Jataka (which, not improbably, may be compilation of records of past lives of various disinct buddha-s) a buddha ascended onto the moon's surface upon completing the hare-incarnation; and in the Neo-Platonic cosmology, the atmosphaire of the moon is occupied by psukhe ('ghost') in the specific guise of cloud (i.e., of steam).

In the course of its ascent, the steam is bye-passing a rainbow-serpent (who is passing through a crenellated ring : CBM p. 38) : this "rainbow-serpent" might be intended as (if the crenellated ring be repraesentational of cycling through lifetimes of "sequential hermaphroditism") the "rainbow-WRaSS" (knowledge whereconcerning can enable achievement [WReSted, at the "Rainbow-Bridge", from Heim-dall], at one's death, of the imperishable "rainbow-body" \<ja>-lus\). This knowledge (gnosis, sarva-jn~ata) of all colors in the "vat of Lewiy (Levi -- a name indicating \obLIVIon)" can otherwise be integrative, blending them into (Philippos 58) whiteness, or else into being "unicolored" (according to the Matnawi -- "ChPJ"). The Vinaya alloweth only a single change of sex, indicating that ordination is into a capacity to become only a fish (instead of into a worm, which undergoeth an annual change of sex) [any actual sex-change would naturally occurr only in dreaming] -- much along the same line as the injunction "Be ye fishers-of-men!" If this provision of the Vinaya be based on the life-cycle of the wrasses, then (because in wrasses the male may become a female, but not contrarywise), therefore the Vinaya may have originally (in its earliest, non-extant edition) been intended only for nuns.

Because this \ioulid-\ [f.] 'rainbow-wrass' (Coris julis) is the name-sake of Ioulis the capital-city of the isle Keos, the heritage, therefore, of the gens Iulii, who must be of extraction from Ioulis, and not descended (i.e., not even putatively) from Aineas of mt Ide, as falsely claimed in that spurious book the Aeneid, which hath mis-applied to Ide that extraction, deliberate confounding -- written by Bakkhulides of Ioulis -- the name of the dithyramb Idas, with the name of mt. Ide.}

CBM = Caudex Borgianus Mexicanus. 



"sequential hermaphroditism" 

"Mediterranean rainbow-wrass" [This species of wrasse hath the lowest stripe of its body white, however; only its upper and medial stripes having spectral hues.]

"Mexican rainbow-wrass" [This species of wrasse hath its 3 stripes in the authentic rainbow- (spectral) sequence : blue, yellow, red (front-to-rear).]

"rainbow-body" & 

Eu-angelion kata Philippos 

"ChPJ" = Lloyd Ridgeon : "Christianity as Portrayed by Jalal as-Din Rumi". In :- Lloyd Ridgeon (ed.): Islamic Interpretations of Christianity. Routledge, Oxon, 2001. 

Cecil Maurice Bowra : "Bacchylides" . In :- Hammond & Scullard (edd.) : The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 2nd edn. Clarendon Pr, 1970.



pp. 145-6 Menippean satire in the writings by Andreae

p. 145

"One of the Menippean satires that Andreae seems to have liked, and ... closest to the now[-]lost work of Menippus, is 'Icaromenippus, or the Sky-Man' (Ikaromenippos e hypernephelos), where the sophist Menippus ... flies up to heaven to learn the truth about mystery[-]cults, philosophy, and poetry from Zeus himself. [Harmon 1927, vol. 2, pp. 267-323] The results are ridiculous, whence the comparison to Icarus rather than Daedalus ... ."


"In Andreae's overtly Menippean satires, we find ... dialogue ... of .. religious issues.

[fn. 58 : "A dialogue on magic from Andreae's Menippus (1617) is translated in Churton, The Invisible History of the Rosicrucians, 320-323."]


In 'The Wanderings of a Pilgrim in [His] Native Land' (Peregrini in Patria Errores), published two years after The Chemical Wedding, Andreae's fifty-two connected sketches ... include fame or rumor (Fama), letters or books (Literae), and secrets (Arcana). ...

The first of these

p. 146

hints that he learned some hard lessons from his experience with the goddess Fama, and the book that bore her name in the title."


"Christian identifies himself as a pilgrim ...,


and Andreae wrote other pilgrimage allegories."

[fn. 60 : "Churton, The Invisible History, 301-305."] 

Harmon 1927 = A. M. Harmon (transl.) : Lucian in Eight Volumes. Loeb Classical Libr, Cambridge (MA).


pp. 146-7 alchemical symbolism in The Chemical Wedding 

p. 146

"The Chemical Wedding is read as ... alchemy, .... beginning with the severed heads, traditional symbols of the first, or black, stage of alchemy."

{Black is the color of the 2nd circumvallation of Ekbatana.}

p. 147

"The alchemical tower has no stairs at the ground level, and the guests therefore ascend to the second level by rope, with wings, or as Christian does, on a ladder. They enter a series of workrooms on a different floor, and are guided where they belong."



Peter J. Forshaw (ed.) : Lux in Tenebris : the Visual and the Symbolic in Western Esotericism. ARIES BOOK SERIES : TEXTS & STUDIES IN WESTERN ESOTERICISM, Vol. 23. Brill, Leiden, 2017.