The Ritman Library

The Ritman Library Follow

The Ritman Library or Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (BPH) more info: follow us also on FB and YouTube or via our newsletter

19,098 Followers  6,861 Follow

Share Share Share

Fludd from Friday

Robert Fludd (1574-1637): #Hermetic philosopher and surveyor of two worlds. Based on Joscelyn Godwin’s study of “Robert Fludd: Hermetic #philosopher and surveyor of two worlds” (London: Thames and Hudson, 1979). A Colour Wheel
‘Neither cold, nor heat, nor colour, nor taste, nor odour are (as the old Philosophers thought) accidents; but essences placed primordially in creatures by the #Creator’ (p. 147). Colour derives from the elements: fire is naturally orange or red, air yellow, water white, earth black. The colours of things are a factor of their elemental constitution, and of the degree of primordial light and darkness within them. On the colour wheel are seven colours: red (‘rubeus’), orange (‘croceus’), yellow (‘flavus’), white (‘albus’), black (‘niger’), blue (‘ceruleus’) and green (‘viridis’). Black and white are extremes of darkness and light, and red is the mean between them. Orange and yellow are stages between red and white; green and blue between red and black. ‘But the ultimate cause of colour is the natural or radical sulphur, which is present in all things and causes rotation of the #elements and mutation of forms. The radical sulphur has its root and origin in the Light which first differentiated itself out of the primal mass. Fire is the closest element to it, and most nearly approaches its colour’ (p. 149).
The theory of #colours as consisting of varying degrees of light and shade was carried much further by Goethe and his follower Rudolf Steiner. Goethe’s ‘colour wheel’ differs from Fludd’s only in his placing of green between blue and yellow.
#Fludd #colourwheel #colourtheory
Secret signs of Hermes

Thanks to Giuliano D'Amico for pointing #Oslo out to us. Our Thrice Great can be spotted in so many places there that it looks like he feels truly at home in the #Norwegian capital. For instance on a pedestal outside Oslo Stock Exchange, for which this god of commerce and wisdom is an excellent symbol, pointing upwards for eternal growth.

Where have you seen Hermes? Tag your photo #secretsignsofhermes and together we'll keep on hunting!
Hermetic Gallery

The Hermetic Gallery presents images from printed books and manuscripts that are part of or related to the library's collections. The images and their brief explanatory notes are taken from 'The Hermetic Museum - Alchemy & Mysticism' by Alexander Roob, published by Taschen Verlag in 1996.

Opus Magnum – Fortress

Access to the ‘’mountain of the #philosophers’’ is blocked by a wall of false, sophistical doctrines. The old man at the entrance is the saturnine #Antimon, here called ‘’the father of #metals’’. The alchemists identified this ‘’old protector’’ with the Bethlehem landlord Boas, David’s great-grandfather. Above him, the Arab #alchemist Senior Zadith plants the sun and moon tree, from which the lapis emerges. In the ‘Aurora consurgens’ there is also a passage leading back to Senior #Zadith, in which the lapis is compared with a house built on a strong rock. Whoever opens it will find within the source of #eternal youth.

Image from Geheime Figuren der #Rosenkreuzer, Altona, 1785.
#OpusMagnum #fortress #hermeticgallery
Hermetic Notebook – Jacob Böhme (5) € 7,50 / $ 8.90 / international shipping

Looking for an original and thought-provoking notebook, for all your inward journeys? We offer you a new range of softcover #notebooks illustrated with highlights from our collection. On the inside each notebook contains an explanation of the cover image.

Jacob #Böhme ‘The whole created firmament’ 1764-81
This is the opening image of the first of three pop-up tables illustrating Böhme’s ideas on the origin, fall and regeneration of man. They were made by Dionysius Andreas Freher (1649-1728), a follower of Böhme and one of the artists to have been inspired by his thought. The first table shows the material world, which is ruled by the #zodiac and the planets. The tables can be opened to reveal layer after layer the innermost core of existence: God, who created the universe. Jacob Böhme (1575-1624) was #Germany’s most influential #mystic and original thinker of the 17th century. Only one of his works was published in his lifetime; he was banned from publishing when he came into conflict with the established church. (LINK IN BIO)
Exhibition Highlight ‘Beauty as imprint of the Cosmos 2013-2014’

68) Kleinodienkunst als Goetheanistische Formensprache | Rudolf #Steiner

Full title: 'Die Entwurfe Rudolf Steiners und deren Ausfuhrungen durch Bertha Meyer – Jacobs und andere Goldschmiede', herausgegeben von Justina Schachenmann. #Dornach, Rudolf Steiner Verlag, 1984.

View the book here:
#RudolfSteiner #Kleinodienkunst #Beauty
Hermetic Music

Introducing #music inspired by #hermetic ideas

Shortly after meeting the great #astronomer #Herschel and observing the stars and #planets through a #telescope, the composer Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) composed his oratorium ‘Die Schöpfung’ (‘The Creation’). Convinced, as many before him who adhered to the #philosophy of the #harmony of the spheres, that something of the #harmonic order of the divine state of the world before the fall of #man could still be found in the #light of the sun and the perfect order of the planets, he endeavoured to chart by musical means the sublime structure of the universe. 
More on Haydn’s ‘Die Schöpfung’ next week.

Listen to a performance of ‘Die Schöpfung’ (in English) here:
Source: ‘Hayds Schöpfung en het muzikaal sublieme’ by James Webster, in: ‘Harmonisch Labyrint, De #muziek van de #kosmos in de westerse wereld’ red. Jacomien Prins en Mariken Teeuwen. #Hilversum: #Verloren, 2007
Image: ‘Creation’, from Jacob Böhme, ‘The Works’ 1764-81 (LINK IN BIO TO SHOP AS NOTEBOOK)
#Haydn #creation #HermeticMusic
Hermetic Holidays

Prague - a magical and alchemical city. At the time of Rudolph II and at his orders, a laboratory was built in the centre of Prague. Discovered during the reconstruction of one of the oldest buildings of Prague, it is now a wonderful alchemical #museum. Go visit when you're there!
#Prague #alchemy #HermeticHolidays
Hermetic Reads ‘The Prophetic Vision and #Mystic Life of Merlin’ (1986) by R.J. Stewart.

In the introduction the author states the #book exclusively deals with the aspects of the character of Merlin and in particularly an unknown work: ‘The Prophecies of Merlin’. Since the 1980's there has been an explosion of interest in the #King Arthur lore, nevertheless not so much has been written on the wisdom of Merlin as a source of #enlightenment.

Merlin’s powers are traditionally said to be derived from his #parents: a mortal mother symbolizing the human psyche and an immortal or otherworldly father, symbolizing transforming #energy from another place of existence. Merlin could be seen as the originator of ‘Seership’, although his visions seem to be mostly ignored by modern scholars. Just as is the case with #Arthur, his existence cannot be proven: yet there is some suggestion historical and #mythological characters have merged inseparably. 
#Esoteric tradition suggests that there has been more than one #Merlin and that each incorporates the wisdom and power of his predecessors. In our own psyche Merlin represents an archetype symbolizing wisdom from an otherworldly source. This was his role in the guidance of Arthur, the making and tutoring of the king and the revitalization of human imagination and hope related to the endings of cycles. ‘The Prophecies’ hold a secret illumination of the Quest for the Holy Grail and form part of a long tradition of revolutionairy or fundamentally radical reaction, allied to inner vision.
#Stewart #Merlin #hermeticreads
Are you looking for a nice place to visit during the Christmas holidays? 🌲📚💫 Even if you don't have holidays, we might be the perfect quiet get away in the vibrant city of Amsterdam. At the end of the year we will only be closed on Tuesday 26 December - all other days you're more than welcome to visit us! 
Come visit the our new home in the @embassyofthefreemind and learn about Amsterdam in the 17th century, the history of the famous #housewiththeheads and the universal wisdom contained in our library collection of 2.000 books at your disposal. Find a good read and make yourself comfortable in one of the many cozy sofas we have... What will you be reading? 
We're open from Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am to 5pm, with a daily guided 30 minutes tour at 3pm. 
Tag the person who needs to come visit with you!
Art & Imagination 
Emperor Rudolph II as the Roman god Vertumnus, by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1590-1.

#Vertumnus was the god of changing seasons, and hence #flowers and #fruits. Rudolf was immensely pleased by this #portrait and raised the artist to the nobility. Rudolph II was deeply interested in the sciences and was the patron of astronomers like Tycho Brahe and Johannes #Kepler, but he was also obsessed with #alchemy. He had a #laboratory in #Prague with three great furnaces. One was designed to produce great heat for the smelting of ores, the second one heated a large bain-marie or water bath, while the third was kept at low heat for the distillation of volatile liquids. 
Source: Neil Powell: Alchemy, the ancient science,1976 .
#EmperorRudolph #Vertumnus #artandimagination
The Quest for the Grail

The symbol of the Grail has occupied a place in the imagination since awareness of it first dawned in the European Middle Ages, and it continues to exert a fascination upon all who come within its sphere of influence. As a sacred vessel, the grail has strong links with Celtic #myth, with the hermetic vessel and the Philosophers’ Stone of #alchemy. Cup stone or jewel, however it is depicted, the grail has remained a symbol of spiritual wholeness leading to union with the #divine, which has been the aim of seekers after truth in every land and every century. It is a symbol ‘whose home is properly in the uncharted country of the #soul’. The theme of #healing is of central importance to the Grail legend. The Grail #King suffered from a wound, either in the thighs or, more specifically, in the genitals, which was caused through loss of faith or the performance of an evil act. The suffering of the king was extended to the country which became barren in token of his #spiritual failure. Neither he nor the Waste Land could be healed until the coming of the destined knight, who would bring new life through the achieving of the Grail and the asking of the correct question: ‘Whom does the Grail serve?’ The usual answer is the Fisher King himself, who was kept alive by the Grail. But there is a certain amount of ambiguity involved in the healing of the wounded king: according to the various texts, it is sometimes Perceval who heals him and sometimes Galahad, either by the Grail itself or by blood from the spear which caused the wound. As the Grail can be said to contain healing, both of a physical and a spiritual kind, so too, the Hermetic Vessel, the 'vas mirabile', contains the elements which can cure all ills - including those of the spirit. Here, the alchemist walks through a landscape rich with the bounty of nature, which he hopes to draw forth and store in the vessel. From this, in time, will be distilled the divine essence which gives eternal life and the spiritual understanding which is the true goal of the alchemical and Grail quests. (Manuscript illustration, Germany, 16th c.) Text: John Matthews, The Grail. Quest for the Eternal.
Pearls of Wisdom "Purify the light self so that it in turn will save you''. From: 'Songs of the Living Self in The #Manichaean Body in Discipline and Ritual' - Jason D. Beduhn
#Beduhn #light #pearlsofwisdom