23 May 2009


Alchemy Is a Craft
(from "The Alchemy of Craft" in A Way of Working by D.M. Dooling)

The gold of alchemy was simply hastened perfection, inner and outer, the divinization of matter and man. This idea is certainly not strange to any craftsman. "When a man undertakes to create something," wrote Paracelsus, "he establishes a new heaven, as it were, and from it the work that he desires to create flows into him." In order that it may be expressed, that it may resound, the Word must be made flesh; immortality must be incarnated outwardly in gold and inwardly in the development of a subtle body within this ordinary body: the "glorious body" or "diamond body" of oriental tradition, the "spiritual body " of the Christian.
This "becoming" is what alchemy is about. Its process can also be expressed by the traditional formulas of initiation: the suffering, death, and resurrection of the god or the neophyte, represented by the substances in the crucible or by the material of the craftsman -- the symbolic formula of transformation. Whether raw material, base metal, divine or human spirit, there must be the suffering of purification and separation. The patience that is the quality more vital to the craftsman is, in the final analysis, no other than this suffering, as it applies to the process of creation operating in and upon the artisan himself (Latin patiens from pati, to suffer).
And as the alchemical substance is "punished," so is the craftsman's material: clay is pounded; flax beaten; wool teased, carded, and twisted; metal softened and struck. The substance, whether material or human, must change its character, be torn into separate elements in order to be reformed into something other -- it must "die" in order to be reborn.
And here we come to the central tenet of alchemy: its chief absurdity, proof (some would say) that in its operational sense at least it was all superstition and quackery; the idea that matter is alive. Yet, strangely enough, this is something that all craftsmen know to be true. They know that their material has a life of its own, a history, a character, needs, and possibilities unlike any other. They know that they must feel and understand this life so that a relationship can appear between it and their own. They accept a pattern for their work that is not theirs, that comes to them, as it were, from Above; but their work is not merely to obey and to imitate, not even only to "speed the process of nature," but to bring something peculiarly their own, some element of themselves, to unite with that other living entity, the material between their hands. Otherwise the relation does not exist; the material is indeed dead, and they themselves no more than copyists. The gold of the alchemists was not the same as natural gold; it was "living" god. The craftsman added something even to the noblest of metals by his active relation with it.
The craftsman, as well as the alchemist, knows that his central task is the creation of himself; and it is above all for this aim that he strives with endless patience -- as it is said in the Emerald Tablet of Trismegistus, separating "the subtle from the gross, softly and with great care" to make what his hands touch turn to gold.
George P Traikos

"trust your steps"


(pen on paper 29,5 x 21,5 cm)

Alchemy Is a Science
(from Alchemy by Franz Hartmann)

Alchemy is a Science of Soul that results from an understanding of God, Nature, and Man. A perfect knowledge of any of one them cannot be obtained without the knowledge of the other two, for these three are one and inseparable. Alchemy is not merely an intellectual but a spiritual science, because that which belongs to the spirit can only be spiritually known. Nevertheless, it is also a science dealing with material things, for spirit and matter are only two opposite manifestations or poles of the eternal One.
Alchemy in its more material aspect teaches how minerals, metals, plants, animals, and men may be generated or made to grow from their "seeds." In other words, how that generation, which is accomplished during long periods of time in the due course of the action of evolution and natural law, may be accomplished in a comparatively short time, if these natural laws are guided and supplied with the proper material by the spiritual knowledge of man. There is no doubt that gold can be made to grow by alchemical means, though it requires an alchemist to make the experiment succeed, and he who is attracted by the material power of gold will not obtain possession of the spiritual power necessary to practice the art.
It is therefore a grave mistake to confuse alchemy with chemistry. Modern chemistry is an artificial science that deals only with the external forms in which the elements of matter are manifesting themselves. It never produces anything truly new to creation; it can only recombine atoms and molecules into different substances. We may mix and compound and decompose chemical bodies an unlimited number of times and cause them to appear in various different forms, but at the end, we will have no augmentation of the underlying substances nor anything more than the recombinations of the substances that have been employed at the beginning. Alchemy does not mix or compound anything; it causes that which already pre-exists in a latent state to become active and grow. Alchemy is, therefore, more comparable to biology than to chemistry; and, in fact, the growth of a plant, a tree, or an animal or the evolution of whole species are alchemical processes going on in the laboratory of nature, and performed by the Great Alchemist -- the power of the divine Mind acting in nature.

George P Traikos

"crazy village"


(pen on paper 29,5 x 21,5 cm)

Alchemy Is an Art
(from Alchemy by Franz Hartmann)

Alchemy is also an art, and as every art requires an artist to exercise it, likewise this divine science and art can be practiced only by those who are in possession of the divine power necessary for that purpose. It is true that the external manipulations required for the production of certain alchemical preparations may, like an ordinary chemical process, be taught to anybody capable of reasoning. However, the results that such a person would accomplish would be without life, for only he in whom the true life has awakened can awaken it from its sleep in matter and cause visible forms to grow from the primordial Chaos of nature.
Alchemy in its highest aspect deals with the spiritual regeneration of man and teaches how a god may be made out of a human being or, to express it more correctly, how to establish the conditions necessary for the development of divine powers in man, so that a human being may became a god by the power of God in the same sense that a seed becomes a plant by the aid of the Four Elements and the action of the invisible Fifth Element (the Quintessence or Life Force).

George P Traikos

"the spirit of a king"


(pen on paper 29,5 x 21,5 cm)

8 May 2009


Alchemy refers to both an early form of the investigation of nature and an early philosophical and spiritual discipline. They both combine elements of chemistry, metallurgy, physics, medicine, astrology, semiotics, mysticism, spiritualism, and art. It has been practiced in Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Persia, India, and China, in Classical Greece and Rome, in Muslim civilization, and then in Europe up to the 19th century in a complex network of schools and philosophical systems spanning at least 2500 years. Today the discipline is still active but is of interest mainly to historians of science and philosophy, and for its mystic, esoteric, and artistic aspects. Alchemy was one of the main precursors of modern sciences, and many substances and processes of ancient alchemy continue to be used by modern chemical and metallurgical industries.
Although alchemy has many aspects, it is perhaps best known in popular culture as the process used to change lead (or other elements) into gold. Another well known aspect is the search for the Philosopher's Stone, the possession of which would supposedly give a person the ability to transmute gold or to have eternal life..
Alchemical symbols, were used to denote most elements and some compounds until the 18th century. While the notation method was mostly standardized, styles and symbols varied between alchemists, this page shows the most commonly used ones, with some more recent additions used by alchemists today for substances unknown prior to the 19th century.
Planetary Glyphs Planetary metals were "dominated" or "ruled" by one of the seven planets known by the ancients. Although they occasionally have a symbol of their own (see table below), they were usually symbolized by the planet's symbol. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were not yet discovered while Alchemy was commonly practiced, though many modern alchemists consider them representative of Uranium, Neptunium and Plutonium, respectively.
12 Core Alchemical Processes The 12 Alchemical processes are considered to be the basis of modern Chemical processes. Each of these processes is "dominated" or "ruled" by one of the 12 Zodiac signs
Four Basic Elements


Time Periods

Planetary Glyphs

Mundane Elements

Measures, Equipment and Terms

Alchemical Compounds

12 Core Alchemical Process


Other Metals

Other Elements and Substances

6 May 2009


Triumphal Chariot of Antimony Book Cover

The above drawing is the frontispiece to Triumph-Wagen Antimonii, shown at the left. The book was published in Nurnberg in 1676 and contains treatises by several famous alchemists, including the Benedictine alchemist Basil Valentine, who wrote the featured selection. The engraving shows Mercury, Antimony, and other archetypal powers parading through the countryside in a chariot while an angel looks on from above. The word "triumphal" refers not to the conquering of anything but rather to an ancient pagan procession in which people dressed up in costumes depicting the archetypal forces in nature were carried through the streets in a chariot. For many alchemists, especially Isaac Newton, the metal Antimony became a more potent form of Mercury with which to work transformation. They were fascinated by a property of Antimony to form a cyrstalline star (the Star Regulus) under certain conditions. For alchemists, of course, that symbolized the Quintessence of matter.

Triumphal Chariot of Antimony drawing

George P Traikos


Up To The Top

(pen on paper 21,5 x 29,5 cm)

24 April 2009


George P Traikos
" Thru The Ages"
(marker on paper 22 x 33,5 cm)


A fractal is generally "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole," a property called self-similarity. The term was coined by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975 and was derived from the Latin fractus meaning "broken" or "fractured." A mathematical fractal is based on an equation that undergoes iteration, a form of feedback based on recursion.
A fractal often has the following features:
It has a fine structure at arbitrarily small scales.
It is too irregular to be easily described in traditional Euclidean geometric language.
It is self-similar (at least approximately or stochastically).
It has a Hausdorff dimension which is greater than its topological dimension
(although this requirement is not met by space-filling curves such as the Hilbert curve).
It has a simple and recursive definition.
Because they appear similar at all levels of magnification, fractals are often considered to be infinitely complex (in informal terms). Natural objects that approximate fractals to a degree include clouds, mountain ranges, lightning bolts, coastlines, and snow flakes. However, not all self-similar objects are fractals—for example, the real line (a straight Euclidean line) is formally self-similar but fails to have other fractal characteristics; for instance, it is regular enough to be described in Euclidean terms.
Images of fractals can be created using fractal generating software. Images produced by such software are normally referred to as being fractals even if they do not have the above characteristics, as it is possible to zoom into a region of the image that does not exhibit any fractal properties.

The Mandelbrot set is a famous example of a fractal


Over the past five years of the Hermetic Journal, I have often illustrated in the Alchemical Mandala feature and other articles the profound symbolism wrapped up in the old sixteenth and seventeenth century emblematic engravings of alchemists and Rosicrucians.

first figure
I have sometimes indicated how certain of these diagrams can be seen to have an underlying geometric skeleton structure upon which the symbols are arrayed. However, I never analysed this aspect in great depth and merely pointed out some simple geometric features.

second figure
Patricia Villiers-Stuart in her publications has often brought to my attention the complex geometry that lies beneath such emblems, but I had not considered that this aspect was of paramount importance, until I recently requested from the British Library a microfilm of an important Rosicrucian book in their collection, the 'Speculum Sophicum Rhodo-Stauroticum' of Theophilus Schweighardt, published in 1618. Although a printed book this particular copy contains a number of manuscript additions made in the 18th century bound into the volume. Some of these manuscript additions analyse in great detail, the geometry underlying two emblems contained in this collection.

third figure

The first figure shows the emblem (contained incidentally in the 'Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians', the Geheime figuren, Altona 1785, and found in other Rosicrucian sources), and the second, third and fourth illustrations show an ascending series of intricate geometrical analyses of the emblem. The evidence of these drawings certainly convinces me that there is another level to many of the emblematic engravings of this period that has yet been fully considered - the key of their inner geometry. The engravers of that period, de Bry, Matthieu Merian, Lucas Jennis, may well have worked a complex geometric message as well as a symbolic one into their beautifully executed engravings.

fourth figure

I consider that this discovery is of great importance and hope that some of my correspondents might have the inclination to follow up in detail this aspect with regard to other engravings. There may be a whole layer of meaning that we are at present unaware of woven into these ancient emblems.

Adam McLean From the Hermetic Journal, Winter 1983

George P Traikos

"All Are Clear To Me"

(pen on paper 17 x 25 cm)

23 April 2009


The Emerald Tablet, also known as Smaragdine Table, Tabula Smaragdina, or The Secret of Hermes, is a text purporting to reveal the secret of the primordial substance and its transmutations. It claims to be the work of Hermes Trismegistus ("Hermes the Thrice-Great"), a legendary Egyptian sage or god, variously identified with the Egyptian god Toth and the Greek God Hermes.
This short and cryptic text was highly regarded by European alchemists as the foundation of their art, in particular of its Hermetic tradition.

As Above, So Below

Textual History

The oldest documentable source for the text is the Kitab Sirr al-Asrar, a compendium of advice for rulers in Arabic which purports to be a letter from Aristotle toAlexander the Great. This work was translated into Latin as Secretum Secretorum (The Secret of Secrets) by Johannes "Hispalensis" or Hispaniensis John Of Seville ca. 1140 and by Phillip Of Tripoli c. 1243.
In the 14th century, the alchemist Ortolamus wrote a substantial exegesis on "The Secret of Hermes," which was influential on the subsequent development of alchemy. Many manuscripts of this copy of the Emerald Tablet and the commentary of Ortolanus survive, dating at least as far back as the 15th century.
The Tablet has also been found appended to manuscripts of the Kitab Ustugus al-Uss al-Thani (Second Book of the Elements of Foundation) attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan , and theKitab Sirrr al-Khaliga wa San 'at al Tabi 'a ("Book of the Secret of Creation and the Art of Nature"), dated between 650 and 830 AD.

The Emerald Tablet is an ancient artifact that reveals a profound spiritual technology, which has survived to this day despite centuries of effort to suppress it.

17th century depiction of the Tablet by Heinrich Khunrath, 1606

Encoded within the tablet's mysterious wording is a powerful formula that works in very specific and comprehensible steps on all levels of reality at once (the physical, the mental, and the spiritual) and shows us how to achieve personal transformation and even accelerate the evolution of our species.

hand-sketch of the original Emerald Tablet

Latin Text
(Chrysogonous Polydorus , Nuremberg 1541)

Verum, sine mendacio, certum et verissimum: Quod est inferius est sicut quod est superius, et quod est superius est sicut quod est inferius, ad perpetranda miracula rei unius. Et sicut res omnes fuerunt ab uno, meditatione unius, sic omnes res natae ab hac una re, adaptatione. Pater eius est Sol. Mater eius est Luna. Portavit illud Ventus in ventre suo. Nutrix eius terra est. Pater omnis telesmi totius mundi est hic. Virtus eius integra est si versa fuerit in terram. Separabis terram ab igne, subtile ab spisso, suaviter, magno cum ingenio. Ascendit a terra in coelum, iterumque descendit in terram, et recipit vim superiorum et inferiorum. Sic habebis Gloriam totius mundi. Ideo fugiet a te omnis obscuritas. Haec est totius fortitudinis fortitudo fortis, quia vincet omnem rem subtilem, omnemque solidam penetrabit. Sic mundus creatus est. Hinc erunt adaptationes mirabiles, quarum modus est hic. Itaque vocatus sum Hermes Trismegistus, habens tres partes philosophiae totius mundi. Completum est quod dixi de operatione Solis.

The Emerald Tablet says - Its father is the Sun, its mother the Moon

The source of alchemy and the Hermetic sciences, the tablet's universal approach made it forbidden knowledge, condemned by patriarchal powers for thousands of years, from the Egyptian priesthood, to the medieval Church, to our modern politicians and religious leaders. To ensure the survival of such "dangerous" principles, which guide people to higher states of consciousness, the ancients concealed their knowledge in a succinct declaration that has become a time capsule of wisdom for future generations.

English Translation

1. Truly, without deceit, certain and most veritable

2. That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Entity.

3. And just as all things come from the One Entity, through the mediation of its One Mind, so do all created things originate from this One Entity through transformation.

4. Its father is the Sun. Its mother the Moon. The Wind carries it in its belly. Its nurse is the Earth. The origin of all the perfections of the world is here. Its force is entire, if it is converted into Earth.

5. Separate Earth from Fire, the subtle from the gross, gently and with great ingenuity. It rises from Earth to Heaven and descends again to Earth, thereby receiving the force of both things superior & inferior. In this way, you shall obtain the glory of the whole world and thereby all obscurity shall fly away from you.

6. This is a force, strong with all forces, for it overcomes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.

7. In this way the world was created.

8. From this will come many admirable applications, the means of which is in this.

9. Therefore I am called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world. 10. What I have said of the operation of the Sun is finished."

English translations of the Emerald Tablet

Molded out of a single piece of green crystal, the Emerald Tablet carries a prophetic message full of hidden meaning. Although its true origin is lost in legends that go back over 10,000 years, the wondrous artifact was translated into Greek by Alexandrian scholars and actually put on display in Egypt in 330 BC. Around the year 400 AD, it was reportedly buried somewhere on the Giza plateau to protect it from religious zealots who were burning libraries around the world at that time. Many believe the tablet still lies hidden there.
Working only with these early translations, many seekers of truth recognized in subsequent centuries that the Emerald Tablet contained a secret formula for transforming reality.
Many alchemical drawings (such as the one called the Azoth of the Philosophers), are really schematic diagrams of the steps and operations of this Emerald Formula. The alchemists used these diagrams like Eastern mandalas and meditated on them in their laboratories to achieve altered states of consciousness.

Azoth of the Philosophers

The uncredited source of many of the our mystical and religious traditions, the tablet also inspired over 3,500 years of alchemy, a period in which some of the most creative minds in the world delved into the intertwined mysteries of matter, energy, soul, and spirit. Most medieval alchemists had copies of the tablet hanging on their laboratory wall. It was the only guidance they needed in both their meditation and practical work. It served as their Rosetta Stone for deciphering the deliberately obscured terminology of their art.

The Ouroboros connects the Above with the Below.

As we enter the third millennium, the ancient formula is resurfacing in what people perceive as mystical or paranormal events. Such experiences are in fact simply the continuing expressions of the underlying alchemy of our lives. For many decades, knowledge of this hidden pattern has been discussed only among an elite group of esoteric scholars, but now, this amazing science of soul is available to everyone. For those with the courage to see beyond the illusions handed down to us by blind tradition, the Emerald Tablet's formula offers a way to reinstate our rightful relationship with the universe.

The Emerald Tablet by Dennis William Hauck


Air Warrior
(pen on paper 17 x 22 cm)

Let Me Show You The Way

(pen on paper 16 x 21 cm)


Garden Of Delight

(pen on board 8 x 12 cm)


Mind Prison

(pen on paper 21 x 29,5 cm)


Time For Action

(pen on paper 17 x 24 cm)


21 April 2009

PARACELSUS (1493-1541)

His Youth

Auroleus Phillipus Theostratus Bombastus von Hohenheim, immortalized as "Paracelsus," was born in 1493. He was the son of a well known physician who was described a Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, and it was from him that Paracelsus took his first instruction in medicine. At the age of sixteen, Paracelsus entered the University at Basle where he applied himself to the study of alchemy, surgery, and medicine. With the science of alchemy he was already acquainted, having previously studied the works of Isaac Hollandus. Hollandus' writing roused in him the ambition to cure disease by medicine superior to those available at that time to use, for apart from his incursions into alchemy, Paracelsus is credited with the introduction of opium and mercury into the arsenal of medicine. His works also indicate an advanced knowledge of the science and principles of magnetism. These are just some of the achievements that seem to justify the praise that has been handed him in the last century. Manly Hall called him "the precursor of chemical pharmacology and therapeutics and the most original medical thinker of the sixteenth century."

His Travels

The Abbot Trithermius, an adept of a high order, and the instructor of the illustrious Henry Cornelius Agrippa, was responsible for Paracelsus' initiation into the science of alchemy. In 1516, Paracelsus was still pursuing his research in mineralogy, medicine, surgery, and chemistry under the guidance of Sigismund Fugger, a wealthy physician of the Basle, but the student was forced to leave the city hurriedly after trouble with the authorities over his studies in necromancy. So, Paracelsus started out on a nomad's life, supporting himself by astrological predictions and occult practices of various kinds.
His wanderings took him through Germany, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia. In Russia, he was taken prisoner by the Tartars and brought before the Grand Cham at whose court he became a great favorite. Finally, he accompanied the Cham's son on an embassy from China to Constantinople, the city in which the supreme secret, the universal dissolvent (the alkahest) was imparted to him by an Arabian adept. For Paracelsus, as Manly Hall has said, gained his knowledge "not from long-coated pedagogues but from dervishes in Constantinople, witches, gypsies, and sorcerers, who invoked spirits and captured the rays of the celestial bodies in dew; of whom it is said that he cured the incurable, gave sight to the blind, cleansed the leper, and even raised the dead, and whose memory could turn aside the plague."

His Return to Europe

Paracelsus ultimately returned to Europe, passing along the Danube into Italy, where he became an army surgeon. It was here apparently that his wonderful cures began. In 1526, at the age of thirty-two, he re-entered Germany, and at the university he had entered as a youth, took a professorship of physics, medicine, and surgery. This was a position of considerable importance that was offered to him at the insistence of Erasmus and Ecolampidus. Perhaps it was his behavior at this time that eventually led to his nickname "the Luther of physicians," for in his lectures he was so bold as to denounce as antiquated the revered systems of Galen and his school, whose teachings were held to be so unalterable and inviolable by the authorities of that time that the slightest deviation from their teachings was regarded as nothing short of heretical. As a crowning insult he actually burnt the works of these masters in a brass pan with sulfur and nitre!

The Hermetic Heretic

This high-handed behavior, coupled with his very original ideas, made him countless enemies. The fact that the cures he performed with his mineral medicines justified his teachings merely served further to antagonize the medical faculty, infuriated at their authority and prestige being undermined by the teachings of such a "heretic" and "usurper." Thus Paracelsus did not long retain his professorship at Basle, but was forced once again to leave the city and take to the road in a wanderer's life.
During the worse of his second exile, we hear of him in 1526 at Colmar and in 1530 at Nuremburg, once again in conflict with the doctors of medicine, who denounced him as an impostor, although once again, he turned the tables on his opponents by his successful treatment of several bad cases of elephantiasis. which he followed up during the next ten years by a series of cures that were amazing for that period.
In his book Paracelsus, Franz Hartmann says: "He proceeded to Machren, Kaernthen, Krain, and Hungary, and finally to Salzburg in Austria, where he was invited by the Prince Palatine, Duke Ernst of Bavaria, who was a great lover of the secret art of alchemy. But Paracelsus was not destined to enjoy the rest he so richly deserved. He died in 1541, after a short sickness, in a small room at the White Horse Inn, and his body was buried in the graveyard of St. Sebastian. At least one writer has suggested that his death may have been hastened by a scuffle with assassins in the pay of the orthodox medical faculty, but there is no actual foundation for this story.
What is odd is that not one of his biographers seems to have found anything remarkable in the fact that at sixteen years of age, Paracelsus was already well acquainted with alchemical literature. Even allowing for the earlier maturity of a man in those times, he must still have been something of a phenomenon in mental development. Certainly, few of his contemporaries either could or would grasp his teachings, and his consequent irritation and arrogance in the face of their stupidity and obstinacy is scarcely to be wondered at. Although he numbered many enemies among his fellow physicians, Paracelsus also had his disciples, and for them no praise was too high for him. He was worshipped as their noble and beloved alchemical monarch, the "German Hermes."

Works Published During His Lifetime

*Die grosse Wundarzney Ulm, 1536 (Hans Varnier) Augsburg (Haynrich Stayner (=Steyner) 1536
*Frankfurt/ M. (Georg Raben/ Weygand Hanen), 1536.
*Vom Holz Guaico, 1529.
*Vonn dem Bad Pfeffers in Oberschwytz gelegen, 1535.
*Prognostications, 1536.
*Posthumous Publications Wundt unnd Leibartznei. Frankfurt/ M., 1549 (Christian Egenolff) 1555 (Christian Egenolff) 1561 (Chr. Egenolff Erben).
*Von der Wundartzney: Ph. Theophrasti von Hohenheim, beyder Artzney Doctoris, 4 Bucher. (Peter Perna), 1577.
*Von den Krankheiten so die Vernunfft Berauben. Basel, 1567.
*Kleine Wundartzney. Basel (Peter Perna), 1579.
*Opus Chirurgicum, Bodenstein, Basel, 1581. Huser quart edition (medicinal and philosophical treatises), Basel, 1589.
*Chirurgical works (Huser), Basel, 1591 und 1605 (Zetzner). Strassburg edition (medicinal and philosophical treatises), 1603. Kleine Wund-Artzney. Stra?burg (Ledertz) 1608.
*Opera omnia medico-chemico-chirurgica, Genevae, Vol3, 1658. Philosophia magna, tractus aliquot, Coln, 1567.
*Philosophiae et Medicinae utriusque compendium, Basel, 1568. Liber de Nymphis, sylphis, pygmaeis et salamandris et de caeteris spiritibus.

20 April 2009


The Splendor Solis is one of the most beautiful of illuminated ,

alchemical manuscripts, and was made in the form of a medieval manuscript and illuminated on
vellum, with decorative borders like a book of hours, beautifully painted and heightened with gold. The later copies in London, Kassel, Paris and Nuremberg are equally fine.

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.

This echoes the Pretiosissimum Donum Dei sequence which is probably earlier, dating from the 15th century. Although the style of the Splendor Solis illuminations suggest an earlier date, they are quite clearly of the 16th century.
The Splendor Solis was associated with the legendary Salomon Trismosin, allegedly the teacher of Paracelsus. The Trismosin writings were later published with woodcut illustrations, in the Aureum Vellus, by Guldin Schatz and Kunst-kammer, 1598, which was reprinted a number of times. A French translation, entitled "La Toyson d'or, ou la fleur des thresors" was issued in Paris in 1612 with a number of very fine engravings, some copies of which were hand-coloured.

The original manuscript of these plates is in the British Museum, and dated 1582. Though the earliest version is considered to be at Kupferstichkabinett in the Prussian State Museum in Berlin, and dated 1532-35.
The text of this famous work have been translated by Joscelyn Godwin and printed by Phanes Press.
A Yogi Publications edition also contains a biography of Trismosin, with his quest for and eventual attainment of the Philosopher Stone written in 1498.
The only colored plates ever printed were by James Wasserman's fine work "Art and Symbols of the Occult", Greenwich Editions, London, 1993.
The Virtual Alchemy website also have the 22 color plates with comments, but the pictures here are of high resolution, they will offer much detail for study and appreciation.

S.L. MacGregor Mathers is credited with an early work on the Splendor Solis, his notes on the obvious Kabbalistic and Arcana Major Tarot implications of 22, not to mentioned the alchemical symbolism, would have proved of interest had they survived.
Ithell Colquhoun writes in the Sword of Wisdom, MacGregor Mathers and the Golden Dawn, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1975
"Besides Egyptian Symbolism", another book by Mathers which no one seems to have seen is his edition of the Splendor Solis by the fifteenth-century alchemist Salomon Trismosin, reputed occult teacher to Paracelsus.
Edward Garstin valued this work highly and cited it several times in his own alchemical writings, especially the unpublished Alchemical Glossary.
Trismosin was also the author of The Golden Fleece, one of the treasures of the British Museum's manuscript library, its coloured illustrations even rivalling the miniatures of Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.

Mathers passed his manuscript to F. L. Gardner, perhaps in part-payment of financial obligations, and Gardner published it about 1907 in the hope of recouping expense on some of Mathers' other work for which he had agreed to be responsible. But he did not let Mathers know what he had done, and the latter (understandably) protested. It must have been a very small edition and copies are scarce, if Ellic Howe has not seen one, who has? Again, there is no trace of it in the British Museum catalogues. Mathers' introduction and notes, if such there were, would be worth reading as his insight into alchemy is scarcely recorded elsewhere and would illuminate the Order's teaching on the subject.