Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Library. Splendor Solis: Alchemical Treatises of Solomon Trismosin

Title: Splendor Solis: Alchemical Treatises of Solomon Trismosin
Author: "J. K." (see Wikipedia for more on Splendor Solis)
Edition: 1920
Online Source: Hathi Trust
Online Source: British Museum (for an illuminated ms. in color)

We are very fortunate that there is a convenient English edition of Splendor Solis that you can read online, while being able to see a beautiful German manuscript version with colored paintings. Here is what Wikipedia says about the book:
The author of the manuscript was considered to be a legendary Salomon Trismosin, allegedly the teacher of Paracelsus. The work itself consists of a sequence of 22 elaborate images, set in ornamental borders and niches. The symbolic process shows the classical alchemical death and rebirth of the king, and incorporates a series of seven flasks, each associated with one of the planets. Within the flasks a process is shown involving the transformation of bird and animal symbols into the Queen and King, the white and the red tincture. 
Below I have made an animated gif using the images from the British Museum online manuscript.

You can read J.K.'s description of the 22 images, and you can also ponder his contention that they mirror the cards of the Major Arcana of a Tarot deck, which also number 22.

No comments:

Post a Comment