The Signature of All Things, by Jacob Boehem, , at sacred-texts.com
OF THE BIRTH OF THE STARS, AND FOUR ELEMENTS IN THE METALLINE AND CREATURELY PROPERTY
1. As it is before mentioned, all things proceed out of one only mother, and separate themselves into two essences, according to the right of eternity, viz. into a mortal and an immortal, into life and death, into spirit and body; the spirit is the life, and the body is the death, viz. a house of the spirit: As the holy Trinity stands in the birth, so also is the external birth: There is likewise essence and spirit in heaven; a figure of which we see in this outward world, where there are four elements, and yet there is but one only element, which separates itself into four properties, viz. into fire, air, water, and earth, as is above mentioned.
2. For so we are to consider of the creation of this world, that the whole essence of eternity has moved itself in the place 1 of this world, and the whole form was enkindled and stirred, and that in the desire to manifestation; and there the generation divided itself in the flagrat of the enkindled fire into four parts, viz. into fire, water, and earth, and the air is its moving egressive 2 spirit; as is to be considered in Sulphur, which consists in these four things.
3. In like manner also the astrum is thus generated out of the first mother; and all put together is only one body, and it all takes its rise from the inward spirit; as a hand or foot grows forth from the inward centre, and has already its form in the centre, viz. in the first operation, and so only grows into a form as the spirit is.
4. The first mother of all things, viz. the lubet with the desire, does especially introduce itself into seven forms, and yet continues steadfast in three only, but manifests itself in seven forms. 3
5. The first form is astringent, viz. an austere attraction, which is a cause of coldness and salt, and all corporality.
6. The second form is the compunction, 1 viz. the drawing or motion, and causes the feeling, also pricking, aking, tormenting; the affection 2 of bitterness, enmity and friendliness, joy and sorrow.
7. The third form is the great anguish in the impression, which causes two wills, viz. one to the fire, where the will of the free lubet falls down to the wrath in the fire, and again goes into itself, and makes a lustre in the fire's sharpness.
8. Now the fourth form is the fire itself, viz. the first principle in the life, with which the dark and light world do separate; also in this flagrat all material separations are effected, and the corporality and multiplication begin according to the property of the first eternal mind, viz. according to the essentiality a mortal [ens], and according to the free source a living [ens].
9. The fifth form is now the second desire, which is effected after the separation, and that according to two properties; viz. one according to the lubet of the liberty out of the light, which is the highest love-desire; and the other according to the fire's lubet, which leads its life of its essence in the love in the light, from whence the joyfulness and every true life arises.
10. The love gives essence; for it is expressive, and yielding, viz. itself; for God gives himself to every essence; and the fire is receptive; for it needs essence in its wrathful hunger, else it extinguishes; and then the lustre of the light would go out, and the desire of love would cease, for the fire makes the light desiring, viz. of the joyfulness; for if the fire dies, the light waxes dark, and love turns into anguish, as may be conceived of in the devils.
11. The sixth form arises from the turning wheel before the fire, where the multiplication of the essence arises out of the property of Mercurius in the salnitral flagrat; with the enkindling of the fire one form is introduced into another; and if now the love-desire penetrates all the forms, then all the forms grow very desirous the one after the other, for the dear lovely child Venus is in all.
12. Here begin the taste, smell, hearing, seeing, feeling, and speaking; for the light opens another principle of another source, and fills all; and here springs up the life in death, viz. the love in the anger, and the light shines in the darkness; here the bridegroom embraces his bride, and God himself resists his anger, viz. the wrath of nature; and in this form all speeches, understanding, and senses arise, and the true real life of all
creatures; so also the life in the vegetables, viz. trees and herbs, in each thing according to its property.
13. The seventh form arises from all the other, and is the body, mansion-house, or food of the other, and it is thus effected; when the other forms taste each other in their mutual penetration in the love-desire, then in each form there is an hunger or desire after the love, viz. after the light; now each hunger or desire is reaching forth after the thing it desires, and eagerly attracts the property of the thing desired; and thus out of two one essence is made, viz. out of the hunger, and that which the hunger desires; for this hunger does not stand in death, it does not any more enclose itself up in death, unless it be too great, and the imagination in the hunger be too great, and the hunger cannot obtain that same thing, then it choaks; as many times a child is so choaked or smothered in the mother's womb, if this form be enkindled in another form to eat of some external thing, whereupon the mother grows so ardent in longing, and if she cannot get it, the child also cannot get it; now it choaks in the hunger, or else a member is spoiled, from whence the hunger arose.
14. The first hunger in the centre before the fire is a spiritual hunger, which makes the dark world; and the hunger of the free lubet makes the light world; both which are only spirit, till they pass both together through the enkindling of the fire, where then they are mortified to the spirit, and are a likeness of the first spirit, viz. a manifestation of the incomprehensible spirit, which is called God in love and anger, in a twofold source: Thus each stands undivided in itself, viz. God in the time, and the time in God, and the one is not the other, but they come from one eternal original; thus the temporal spirit's hunger gives a temporal body, and the eternal spirit's hunger affords an eternal body, and are both mutually in each other, and yet are distinct. 1
15. The seven forms make them a body according to their hunger out of their own property; therefore all whatever the spirit has in all properties lies in the body.
16. Further we are to know, that there is a separation made in the creation of this world; for this is to be seen in the sun and stars; so likewise in all creatures; also in metals, stones, and earths; for this same is the manifestation of God.
17. We see in the firmament seven planets, and in the earth seven metals which are fixed, and also seven planets only which
are fixed in their property; the rest are minerals, and so of the stars: And as the planetary orb has its predominant stamp or influence, so is also the birth of each thing.
18. As the Deity, viz. the divine light, is the centre of all life; so also in the manifestation of God, viz. in the figure, the sun is the centre of all life; in the highest life the highest things have taken their beginning, and so forward successively one from another to the lowest: In every external thing there are two properties; one from time, the other from eternity; the first property of time is manifest; and the other is hidden, yet it sets forth a likeness after itself in each thing.
19. Whatever has its beginning out of the lubet of the liberty stands with the root in an heavenly property, and with the body in an earthly; but the eternal stands in time, and manifests itself with time.
20. Sulphur is on one part in the internal heavenly, and as to the body earthly, yet puts forth an heavenly likeness according to the eternal out of itself, which is fixed and stedfast; as is to be seen in gold, and is much more to be understood in the human body, if it were not corrupted in the desire in Mercury; for the spiritual or heavenly man consists in Sulphur, and in Mercury the corporeal, viz. the similitude of the divine [man]; so also the metalline property in Sulphur is the noblest, most excellent, and highest, for it is the highest spirit.
21. Understand it thus: In the heavenly being there is also a property of a seething, 1 when the liberty is apprehended and enkindled in the highest desire, wherein the joyfulness arises; this is effected in the heavenly Sulphur, where it is made essential in the heavenly Mercury, viz. in the eternal word, which is a spiritual essence.
22. But if the same spirituality longs to manifest itself in a similitude, both according to the property of the spirit, and the essentiality too, according to the Trinity of the Deity, according to the mortal and immortal essence, then that image is represented in the stars and elements; and lastly it is set forth in man, who is a lively image of the whole essence according to the divine and outward world; also the inward and outward worlds are represented with the metals in a mortal image, as a resemblance and similitude of the living heavenly essentiality.
23. The beginning is in Sulphur; for Sul is the lubet of the light, or the liberty, which longs to manifestation, and it cannot otherwise be effected but through fire: In Phur arises the desire,
viz. an austere attraction, which makes the dark earthly property, and the austereness of the spirit, viz. the fiery essence: In this austereness arises Saturn, which is the thing impressed; and Mercury is the desire of the hunger, and the rager, raver, and breaker; and Mars is the wrath in the hunger, a cause of anger; these three are the property of Phur, viz. of the free lubet's desire.
24. The free lubet's property begets the essence in the three fore-mentioned forms, viz. in Saturn, Mercury, and Mars; for it gives itself in to each property, and the property in the hunger of Mercury makes it a corporeal form; but if the free lubet turns also to an hunger in the austere desiring, then it makes also three forms according to itself, viz. Jupiter, who is the understanding of the lubet; and Venus, which is the desire of the lubet; and Luna, which is the body of the lubet; and according to the property of the light it makes Sol; all this is spirit; but now in every spirit's hunger there is also an essence, both according to the mortal and immortal ens, a fixed, and unfixed; a figure according to the heavenly, and a figure according to the earthly [being, or property].
25. In the saturnine property the desire of the free lubet makes (according to Saturn's own property) lead, and according to the watery [property] in Saturn, salt; and according to the mortal and earthly [property] in Saturn, stones, and earth, and all whatever is of that sort and semblance.
26. But according to the liberty, or according to the free desire's own property (in that it yields up itself to Saturn, viz. to the desire), it makes in Saturn gold, according to the desire of the light, where the spirit and body separate; the spirit of its desire is Sol, and the body is gold, understand, the golden body is in Saturn according to the property of the free desire, and not according to Saturn's property; his property in himself is lead, salt, and earth; but he keeps the golden child shut up in himself as a black raven, not in his gray form, but in a darkish cast: He is a great lord, but his dominion, by reason of the golden child which he has in his bowels, stands not in his own power: He is not father of the child, but Mercury is he which forms 1 the child; but he puts his morning mantle upon it, that he can have no joy with the golden child; he corporises the fair child; for he is its fiat or creator, and hides and covers it close under his mantle: He cannot give it the body from his own property, for it (understand the golden body) is the essence of
the free desire in the highest degree of corporality in the fixed death, where yet there is no death, but an enclosing, and in the similitude a representation of the divine heavenly essentiality.
27. Mercurius is the master-workman 1 of this child, which Saturn hides; when he gets it into his hunger, he casts off his black cloak, and rejoices in it; but he is too malignant in his fire-wrath, 2 he devours the child, and turns it wholly to his own property: When he is most sharply hungry in the fire, then Sol must be given him (it is his wife) that his hunger may be appeased; and then when he is satisfied, he labours in the materia of the child with his own hunger or fire, 3 and fills up his sufficed desire out of Sol's property, which he before had eaten, and nourishes the child till it gets upon it all the four elements with the constellation, and he grows exceeding pregnant with the child, and then it belongs [or is fit for] a strange fire, and yet not strange, an earnest fire; and then the father gives it the soul, viz. the fire-spirit; and its first mother, which Mercury did eat down in its hunger, which was fixed and perfect, [gives] the soul's-spirit, viz. the light-life: Then the death 4 arises, and the child is born, and becomes afterwards its own, and a child of the liberty, and cares no more for its work-master: It is better than its father, but not better than its mother, in whose seed it lay, before the father wrought in it; it bruises the head of its father's fiery essence, viz. of the serpent, and passes freely through death in the fire: Dost thou understand nothing here? Then thou art not born to the highest knowledge of the spagirical science.
28. Further, we are to consider of the degrees, what the liberty, viz. the eternal lubet, gives to the hunger of the other forms in Sulphur, in the property of the other planets; the form of the birth is as a turning wheel, 5 which Mercury causes in the Sulphur.
29. The birth of the highest degree turns round (viz. the desire), for this world is round, so also the birth; when the liberty has given its highest lubet (as a golden hunger) to Saturn, and placed Mercury for work-master, then it betakes itself into itself, into its desire, according to the property of meekness; for the first conception to the golden child is effected according to
the property of joyfulness; but this out of goodness and meekness resigns itself to Luna; for it is a pleasant demission by reason of the meekness, which Mercury apprehends and works therein also; this body is silver, and comes from the first impression, where the yellow and white separate in the fire, viz. the colours of the virtue; then Luna arises out of the yellow and turns into white, by reason of the divine meekness; and because its original is from Sol's colour, therefore it has a perpetual hunger after Sol, and receives the sun's lustre into it, puts it on 1 and shines with it.
30. Now as the superior is, so is likewise the inferior (namely metals), therefore silver is the next degree to gold; and as gold is generated, so is also silver: Venus clothes it, which Mercury cannot endure, seeing he is the master-worker, and he gives his garment also; but the silver has neither the property of Venus nor Mercury, for it retains the property of its mother, viz. the meekness in the liberty, and is hatched, as the gold by reason of the sun: The moon has an heavenly property, but in reference to its own proper form from the property of the desire, it is of a very earthly property, it is a cabinet and keeper of the earthly and heavenly essence: In like manner as the outward body of man, which before the Fall in Adam was comparable to silver, but when he died in the lubet then the earthly property only lived in him, and therefore he continually hungers after Sol's glance [and glory], he would fain take again his splendour with Luna from the sun, but he gets only an earthly lunar lustre, wherein he acts and exercises pride, unless he be born again out of Sol's splendour, that is, out of God's power in the heavenly Mercurius; and so he becomes again the golden silver-child in divine essentiality, only covered and clothed this life-time with the earthly moon, that is, with earthly flesh.
31. Saturn also is the house of silver, he is likewise the cause of the first conception, but he turns his desire only upon the golden child, and leaves the silver its garment, and takes it into his stony earthly property, and lets Mercury hatch it.
32. The desire of the free lubet is fixed and steadfast, as concerning the property of the desire only, which brings its will again from the body into the combat in the senses, and makes Jupiter, that is on the orb 2 upwards under Saturn under the saturnine power; its metal is tin, and it is the third degree; for the lubet of the liberty in the desire proceeds forth into the desire of the austereness, and so it gives itself into the fiat.
33. We must understand it thus; the lubet of the liberty goes forth out of itself, as a plant, and makes one degree after another in order, but Mercury makes the sphere, for he is the work-master: And as the eternal birth is in itself in the heavenly Mercury, viz. in the eternal word in the Father's generation; so likewise with the motion of the Father it came into a creaturely being, and so proceeds in its order, as may be seen in the wheel of the planets; for the order is just so placed as man is in his order.
34. First there is in him the true golden divine man, which is the likeness of God: Next there is in him the man of heavenly essentiality, viz. the inward holy body, generated from the fire and light in the tincture, which is like to the pure silver if it were not corrupted. Thirdly, there is in him the elemental man from the pure element resembling Jupiter. Fourthly, the mercurial, which is the growing or paradisical [man]. Fifthly, the martial, from the fire, viz. the soulish [man], according to the Father's property. Sixthly, the venerine [man], according to the outward desire, and the water's property. Seventhly, the solar, according to the sun's property, viz. according to the outward world, as a seer and knower of the wonders of God: And yet it is but the one only man; yet is both in the inward and outward world. Thus likewise is the similitude [or form] of the seven metals; with one property according to the inward world, and with another visible and palpable property according to the outward world.
35. From Jupiter the sphere turns round, and out of the separation Mercury proceeds forth with a broken metal, according to his spirit's property; externally quicksilver, and internally he is a paradisical working; he is in his spiritual property the distinguisher (or articulator) of the words, voices, and speeches. It is written, "God hath made all things by his word: "The heavenly eternal Mercurius is his word, which the Father expresses in the enkindling of his light, and the expressed is his wisdom; and the word is the worker, framer, and maker of the formings in the expressed wisdom. Now what the inward Mercurius does internally in God's power, that likewise the outward Mercurius effects in the outward power in the created essence: He is God's instrument, wherewith he works extrinsically to death and to life; in each thing according to its property he builds, and breaks down.
36. According to Saturn's property he builds, and according to his own property he distinguishes and dissipates 1 the hardness
in Saturn, viz. the enclosed, and opens it to life: He opens the colours, and makes forms and shapes, and carries in him an heavenly, and also an earthly property; in the earthly he carries out of the first desire to nature, viz. out of Saturn, Mars, viz. the wrathfulness of the impression; for he is his soul, wherein Mercury lives; he gives him the fiery essence, and stands under Jupiter in the order upwards on the sphere; for he carries the fire-spirit in Sulphur into all planets, and forms and gives to each thing its source, and true spirit of life.
37. Mars in the first impression is the great anguish, and causes the love-will of the liberty to separate from him; and that which is separated is called God; and the anguish, or fire-source, is called God's anger, viz. the wrath of the eternal nature: And as internally God's love separates from God's anger, that is, from the wrathful property of the eternal nature, viz. heaven from hell, God from the devil; so also it is effected in the birth of the outward nature.
38. Love proceeds out of the wrath, and is an humility, or submission: Thus likewise it came in the creation into order; therefore Venus stands in the sphere on the line of Mars under the sun, for so is the separation in nature; and so one proceeds forth from another: Its metal is copper, the on final whereof is this, that the love is a desire, and desires only light and joy; for the materia is made out of the desire's property: But if the love-desire shall come to be corporeal in the impression, then it must resign itself to the wrathful fiat, viz. to the desire of Mars in the fire, or in the fiery property; for the saturnine property takes all into its might, and makes it corporeal.
39. Therefore the metal of Venus is so nearly related to gold, by reason of her own property from the liberty, but Mars makes it too wrathful; and because it separates itself out of Mars's fire, it retains a great part of the property of Mars in it.
40. Mars's metal is iron, for he is the wrath in Sulphur, in which the fire enkindles, and arises; his original with the materia is in the austereness of the desire: copper separates itself in the generation out of iron, for it arises from the will of Venus, and they differ as body and soul; for Mars is the fire-soul of Venus, and makes Venus corporeal; otherwise Venus, as to her own property, gives only water in the mortification in the salnitral flagrat; for her fire is only a pleasant shining, smile, or love-fire, as she is alone void of other mixture; and therefore she cannot produce any corporeal essence from her own power and ability, which is hard and tough; she is only the
mother 1 to her child without a creaturely soul; Mars is her soul, and Saturn makes her body.
41. The spirit of Sol may tincture Mars and Venus, and change them into the highest metalline perfection, viz. into gold; which cannot so easily be effected in silver, unless it be reduced into the first materia, where Saturn, Mars, and Mercury are together in the Sulphur, and then it can be done: Venus receives its toughness from Saturn, and its redness from Mars as the fire.
42. Now the desire of Venus is only eager, and longing after Sol, as after her first mother, from whence she springs forth in her birth in the first original; for the love comes forth originally from God, and so it is likewise in the external birth in the figure: The desire of Venus goes into Sol, into the sun, and receives in its desire the property of the sun, and shines from Sol; she has a very peculiar shining and lustre above all the planets and stars, which she receives from her mother; and in her mother's power consists her joy, viz. the pleasant twinkling smiling aspect which she has in her; she is in her own property (as she is purely alone without the property of the other planets) a real daughter of the sun (understand in Sulphur, where all is wrapt together), therefore she stands next under the sun, as a child of the sun; not that the sun did generate that star, for he is likewise created with her, but in the Sulphur without the creation, merely in the generation, it is so, both in the heavenly and earthly [being, or principle].
43. For God the Father generates the love through his heart; now the sun, by way of similitude, betokens his heart; for it is a figure in the outward world according to the eternal heart of God, which gives strength and virtue to every life and essence.
44. And understand it right; all things proceed from the word and heart of God (which is the divine Sulphur) in the birth of the Holy Trinity, and manifest themselves in and through the proceeded (or egressed) essence, which is God's wisdom; and they again do eagerly force and press out of the egress, in and towards his heart and power, and vehemently long after it, as Paul saith, all creatures groan and pant with us to be delivered from vanity.
45. So also does the outward essence in the outward birth of metals, planets, stars, and creatures; each thing longs after its centre, viz. after its first mother, whence it proceeded, viz. after the sun in Sulphur, for it is the tincture of all essences: Whatever the first desire with the impression in Saturn makes evil
in the wrath of Mars, that the sun turns again into good. As the divine sun tinctures the anger or wrath of God, so that the wrathful property of God's anger is changed into a joyfulness; so likewise the outward sun tinctures the outward Sulphur, viz. Saturn and Mars, that there is a pleasant temperature, viz. a growth, springing, and blooming in all metals and creatures; therefore the sun is the centre, which reason will not believe; understand, in the planetary orb, and in all vegetables and animals.
32:2 Outgoing, breathing.
32:3 Or in a sevenfold form.
33:1 Or sting.
33:2 Stirring up, or moving.
34:1 The one is not the other.
35:1 Boiling, or decoction.
36:1 Or fashions.
37:1 Or faber.
37:2 In a strange fire, and yet not strange; when the cloak is laid aside, it needs only its own fire.
37:3 Here must be its own fire only from within and from without.
37:4 And it is the tincture which tinctures the body.
37:5 Or rotation.
38:1 Draws it to itself.
38:2 Wheel, or sphere.
39:1 Attenuates, destroys.
41:1 Woman, wife.