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The Chymical Wedding


I haven't read the Wedding in years, and felt inspired to do so this morning. When I read it previously, I knew that it was full of evocative imagery and enjoyed that without penetrating it one bit -- but this was before I grew to practice Spagery . When I first read it I didn't speak much of the Alchemical language; this has changed (although not by much). Not that any of the actual processes or the application of such described within this manual (it seems more and more to be exactly that as I read it again, this time bookmarking pages and feverishly jotting down notes about possible interpretations, the vast majority of which are undoubtedly wrong)  have become clear; I just know enough to know there is more going on than I know. Awesome. There do seem to be quite a few Biblical references/allusions which took me aback for a moment. I recalled a comment by a Frater of another Order who mentioned biblical studies being part of his Inner Order work--which I thought was quite strange at the time. I'm in the Golden Dawn, and our Justified God in the Outer is's easy to forget that in the RR et AC, it's Yeshua that's revered. The GD and RR et AC get lumped together, but they are definitely different Orders as far as aim and structure go, from what I understand.

 Perhaps the Bible holds the key to understanding this text? This would be somewhat ironic for me, as the Bible itself has been so thoroughly abused by modern Christianity--to promote all sorts of non-Christian foolishness-- that the tome itself has become difficult to respect. Not that I doubt there's wisdom in it-it's the Bible, after all...but what a mess! Which translation of which books in which Bible are of use? The Chymical Wedding itself gives us clues (see here for an exegesis that makes some sense, although it stops short at delving into actual process) but even then, understanding seems to be a matter of inspiration-or possession of a Key, of the very information that the Inner guards so closely.

It does seem to me that the processes described (involving de-feathering lovely birds and heating deceased royalty using the reflected light of the Sun, and more of the like...nothing that makes a lick of sense if we are only referencing a way of viewing things) are the processes that the various Inner Adepts allude to in reference to Inner Alchemy and the Great Work. Hidden in plain sight...I've gotten to the point where the authenticity of a purportedly Alchemical text is, in my own limited view, reliant on how teeth-grindingly close I can come to understanding it without that Eureka moment. Le Sigh.

Anyway, it bears study. I'm sure the RR et AC gents have a full grasp on it....I'm going to keep studying, and hope that my turn with the Key comes. Labore, Labore, Labore.....




  1. Care Fra A.I.T.,

    another interesting post.

    Some thoughts: I am aware of the significance the Chymical Wedding has for the hermetic studies, specifically within the GD Tradition. I also know about the traditional view that the Chymical Wedding actually refers to far older Alchemical secrets. However, in my opinion there is one important aspect to always bear in mind when reading a text like this and that is the socio-political and cultural context of the time the text was written. The German states were at the edge of what is known as the 30 years war. Any critics upon the religion (as chosen by the monarch in the respective states), politics or the socio-cultural-political order as it was well established and god given, would be seen as treason and would result in the death of the involved people. Also it was the first glimpse of the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment. As we know, the authors of the Chymical Wedding were Lutheran and indeed were facing for a “global” change as one can read in the earlier Fama Fraternitas. However to address and call for more or less drastic or radical changes in the known society would be dangerous, and so it was common to cover the text’s real aim by something else. Obviously the manifests were not addressed to the ordinary public but to the scholars, scientists and “Heads of all Europe”, as the full title of the Fama Fraternitas implies. These people would understand… however, in the worse case the authors could cover their butts by insisting that they obviously were writing about something different. In my opinion, in the text as we know it, we have a call for change on many levels, described by the description of the old alchemical processes. That does not know that the text also has a deeper hermetic meaning since the principle is, as above, so below and the authors were pretty aware of the way how to change society…

    As for the possible interpretation of the text by using the bible and which version would have to be used, I believe that any reference to the bible would come straight out of a German Luther translation of the bible of the 1600s. I assume that the text as such was not much changed from Luther’s original version.

    Now obviously I was not referring to, or interpreting the Chymical Wedding as a pure political statement. I believe the text to have various levels of understanding and what I am referring to is just to help understanding one aspect of the text. It also may be a bit like with the classification of the A. A.’s publications. In this case, the Chymical Wedding would have to be seen as a publication with the classification “A”. So of course you always find another level, another interpretation and who holds the true meaning...

    in L.V.X.


  2. Ave Fra Arcad,

    Interesting notes-especially about taking the political atmosphere into account. I'm sure there are many layers of meaning to be drawn out there; thanks for sharing about Germany's history! Here in the States....if it ain't WW2...little about German history is discussed. Unfortunately.Bizarrely, I learned more about German and European history peripherally through a college Art History class than through the standard World History classes.

    Now, do you have any ideas regarding interpretation of the processes described in the text?

    In LVX,


  3. Carete Fratres,

    A very interesting discussion ideed. The Chymical Wedding is a extremely beautiful and evocative work which truly belongs to the category of Rosicrucian foundation texts.

    I agree that both it and the previous manifestos echoes the discourse which was prevalent in Germany (and Europe) at the time of writing. However, one has to remember that the publishing date isn't nessesary identical with the writing date. This is especially true of the Rosicrucian manifestos.

    The German edition of Fama Fraternitatis, as an example, was circulated in private copies prior to the publication in 1614. But there also exists earlier editions of this text written in another European language long before 1614. It has also been suggested that the Chymical Wedding was written before the publication of the Fama in 1614. It may be that the Chymical Wedding precedes the Fama.

    So what these texts actually express, from a socio-political perspective, is probably not the 30 years war (which properly was the actual First World War) but the social, religious, philosophical and political currents active prior to and which led to the outbrake of the war, i.e. the protestant reformation and the pre-enlightment phase.

    When it comes to the interpretation of the alchemical processes my guess is that it concerns Internal Alchemy, in the allegorical language of external processes. Notice that human bodies are used, i.e. killed and subjected to purpfication processes which lead to ressurected and immortal bodies.

    There is also a very interesting analysis made by a German Order member and Frater of ours, H. Fra. L.e.N.e., regarding the paths of the Chymical Wedding. I reccomend reading it here:

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe

  4. Carete,

    indeed, if one takes into consideration that the age of Christian Rosenkreutz surpassingly died at the age of around 80 and in the fama he would be 106, it seems that the publication dates do not really reflect the texts' dates of origin. Also it was exactly what I meant, that the texts reflect the political - socio-cultural current before the 30 years war.

    I agree that it refers to inner alchemy in the first. In my opinion it is about the transformation of men (if you allow me to use that term). It also has a very strong context to teh general theme of resurrection. Remember that the wedding is happening just before Easter. It then refers to the death of the king and queen and their re-birth after the alchemical process. That just sounds like the hermetic principle of death and being reborn, purification of the soul etc... the all present theme since Osiris.
    I am looking for an interpretation of the text I once had but can not find right now.

    I will check out the analysis you linked to. Indeed an interresting discussion.

    In L.V.X.



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