Khunrath Extracted from MS. Ashmole 1459, p.\ 99-106

In Khunrath, magnesia is synonymous with “chaos” and “Aes Hermetis.” He calls it: “A Catholic or Universal, that is, a Cosmic Ens or Entity, Three-in-One, naturally compounded of Body, Spirit, and Soul, the one and only true Subiectum Catholicon and true Universal Materia lapidis Philosophorum”  ~Carl Jung, Von hylealischen Chaos, pp. 5f.,  CW 9ii, Para 241


In the image of Mercurius and the lapis the “flesh” glorified itself in its own way; it would not transform itself into spirit but, on the contrary, “fixed” the spirit in Stone, and endowed the Stone with all the attributes of the three Persons. The lapis may therefore be understood as a symbol of the inner Christ, of God in man. I use the expression “symbol” on purpose, for though the lapis is a parallel of Christ, it is not meant to replace him. On the contrary, in the course of the centuries the alchemists tended more and more to regard the lapis as the culmination of Christ’s work of redemption. This was an attempt to assimilate the Christ figure into the philosophy of the “science of God.” In the sixteenth century Khunrath formulated for the first time the “theological” position of the lapis: it was the filius macrocosmi as opposed to the “son of man,” who was the filius microcosmi. This image of the “Son of the Great World” tells us from what source it was derived: it came not from the conscious mind of the individual man, but from those border regions of the psyche that open out into the mystery of cosmic matter ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 127


It was Khunrath who said that Christ is the saviour of man, whereas the mysterious substance of alchemy is the saviour of the universe, not only of man but of nature. ~Carl Jung, ETH, Lecture XIV, Page 121.


KHUNRATH, who wrote in the sixteenth century, says directly: “He who knows the stone, is silent about it.” This reminds us of Lao Tsu’s words: “Whoever speaks does not know, whoever knows does not speak.” ~Carl Jung, ETH, Lecture XV, Page 128.


Saturn is the ruler of the sign of Aquarius, and it is quite possible that Khunrath meant the coming age, the age of Aquarius, the water carrier, which is almost due now. ~Carl Jung, ETH, Lecture XV, Page 128.


These sparks Khunrath explains as “radii atque scintillae” of the “anima catholica,” the world-soul, which is identical with the spirit of

God.55 From this interpretation it is clear that certain of the alchemists had already divined the psychic nature of these luminosities. They were seeds of light broadcast in the chaos, which Khunrath calls “mundi future seminarium” (the seed plot of a world to come).56 One such spark is the human mind.57


Everything springs from these two, and these two are in man, but without them man is nothing, though they can be without man.”62 In confirmation of this Khunrath writes: “There be … Scintillae Animae Mundi igneae, Luminis nimirum Naturae, fiery sparks of the world soul, i.e., of the light of nature …dispersed or sprinkled in and throughout the structure of the great world into all fruits of the elements everywhere.”


If we may compare the sparks to the archetypes, it is evident that Khunrath lays particular stress on one of them. This One is also described as the Monad and the Sun, and they both indicate the Deity.


Dorn, like Khunrath, owes much to Paracelsus, with whom he concurs when he supposes an “invisibilem solem plurimis incognitum”

in man (an invisible sun unknown to many).


Thus the one archetype emphasized by Khunrath is known also to Dorn as the sol invisibilis or imago Dei. In Paracelsus the lumen naturae

comes primarily from the “astrum” or “sydus,” the “star” in man. The “firmament” (a synonym for the star) is the natural light.


This Monad is the iota or dot (μία κεραία), and this tiniest of units which corresponds to Khunrath’s one scintilla has “many faces” (πολυπρόσωπος) and “many eyes‘” (πολνόμματος)


Dr. von Franz has demonstrated this emergence of trinitarian thinking in the Parable of Bernard of Treviso, in Khunrath’s Amphitheatrum, in Michael Maier, and in the anonymous author of the Aquarium sapientum.


(Its divers rays and sparks are dispersed and dissipated throughout the immense bulk of the whole mass of the prima materia: the sparks of the one universal soul now inhabiting those disunited parts of the world which were later separated from the place and mass of the body, and even from its circumference). Khunrath, Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae solius verae (1604), pp. 195f., 198.


Another alchemical text mentions the “water from the rock” as the equivalent of the universal solvent, the aqua permanens. Khunrath, in his

somewhat florid language, even speaks of the “Petroleum sapientum.” ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 143


In Khunrath, magnesia is synonymous with “chaos” and “Aes Hermetis.” He calls it “A Catholic or Universal, that is, a Cosmic Ens or Entity, Three-in-One, naturally compounded of Body, Spirit, and Soul, the one and only true Subiectum Catholicon and true Universal Materia lapidis Philosophorum.” ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 291


in Michael Maier it signifies “the purity or homogeneity of the essence.” It is the “punctum solis” in the egg-yolk, which grows into a chick. In Khunrath it represents Sapientia in the form of the “salt-point”; in Maier it symbolizes gold. ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 345


The permanent water (the ὔδωρ θεῑον of the Greeks) also signifies “spiritualis sanguis,” and is identified with the blood and water that flowed from Christ’s side. Heinrich Khunrath says of this water: “So there will open for thee an healing flood which issues from the heart of the son of the great world.”  Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 355


The product is generally called the “quintessence,” though this is by no means the only name for the ever hoped for and never-to-be-discovered “One.” It has, as the alchemists say, a “thousand names,” like the prima materia. Heinrich Khunrath has this to say about the circular distillation: “Through Circumrotation or a Circular Philosophical revolving of the Quaternarius, it is brought back to the

highest and purest Simplicity of the plusquamperfect Catholic Monad.… Out of the gross and impure One there cometh an exceeding pure and subtile One,” and so forth. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 165


Hence Khunrath refers to a passage from Pseudo-Aristotle, where the circle re-emerges from a triangle set in a square. This circular figure, together with the Uroboros—the dragon devouring itself tail first—is the basic mandala of alchemy. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para165


Thus Khunrath declares that the “red” gum is the “resin of the wise”—a synonym for the transforming substance. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 209


Khunrath is of the opinion that one could “perfectly prepare our Chaos Naturae [= prima materia] in the highest simplicity and perfection” from a “special Secret Divine Vision and revelation, without further probing and pondering of the causes.” ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 356


Hence, according to Khunrath, the salt is not only the physical centre of the earth but at the same time the sal sapientiae, of which he says: “Therefore direct your feelings, senses, reason and thoughts upon this salt alone.” ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 360


Khunrath says: Therefore study, meditate, sweat, work, cook … so will a healthful flood be opened to you which comes from the Heart of the Son of the great World, a Water which the Son of the Great World pours forth from his Body and Heart, to be for us a True and Natural Aqua Vitae…  ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 390


Since it is not man but matter that must be redeemed, the spirit that manifests itself in the transformation is not the “Son of Man” but, as Khunrath very properly puts it, the filius macrocosmi. Therefore, what comes out of the transformation is not Christ but an ineffable

material being named the “stone,” which displays the most paradoxical qualities apart from possessing corpus, anima, spiritus, and  supernatural powers. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 420


  1. E. Waite has expressed the opinion that the first author to identify the stone with Christ was the Paracelsist, Heinrich Khunrath (1560–1605), whose Amphitheatrum appeared in 1598. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 453


This text [Aurora Consurgens], which is at least a century older than Khunrath, shows beyond all doubt that the connection between the mystery of Christ and the mystery of the lapis was even then so obvious that the philosophical opus seemed like a parallel and imitation—perhaps even a continuation—of the divine work of redemption. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 463


The text of Aurora is of historical importance in that it must be more than two hundred years older than Khunrath (1598) and Böhme (1610).

Curiously enough, Böhme’s first work bears the title “Aurora, oder die Morgenröte im Aufgang” (Aurora, or the Rising Dawn). Can it be that

Böhme knew Aurora consurgens, at least by name? ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 332


In the sixteenth century Khunrath formulated for the first time the “theological” position of the lapis: it was the filius macrocosmi as opposed

to the “son of man,” who was the filius microcosmi. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 227


For instance, Heinrich Khunrath says: “This [the filius philosophorum], the Son of the Macrocosm, is God and creature . . . that [Christ], is the son of God, the θεάνθρωπος, that is, God and man; the one conceived in the womb of the Macrocosm, the other in the womb of the Microcosm, and both of a virginal womb. . . . Without blasphemy I say: In the Book or Mirror of Nature, the Stone of the Philosophers, the Preserver of the Macrocosm, is the symbol of Christ Jesus Crucified, Saviour of the whole race of men, that is, of the Microcosm. From the stone you shall know in natural wise Christ, and from Christ the stone.” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 262


To me it seems certain that Paracelsus was just as unconscious of the full implications of these teachings as Khunrath was, who also believed he was speaking “without blasphemy.” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 263


In Dorn he [Mercurius] is the “true hermaphroditic Adam,” and in Khunrath he is “begotten of the hermaphroditic seed of the Macrocosm” as “an immaculate birth from the hermaphroditic matter” (i.e., the prima materia). ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 268


Khunrath calls Mercurius triunus and ternarius. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 270


In Khunrath Mercurius is the “salt of Saturn,” or Saturn is simply Mercurius. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 274


One of the manifestations of Mercurius in the alchemical process of transformation is the lion, now green and now red. Khunrath calls this transformation “luring the lion out of Saturn’s mountain cave.” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 275


From ancient times the lion was associated with Saturn. Khunrath calls him “the lion of the Catholic tribe,” paraphrasing the “lion of the tribe of Judah”—an allegory of Christ. He calls Saturn “the lion green and red.” In Gnosticism Saturn is the highest archon, the lion-headed

Ialdabaoth, meaning “child of chaos.” But in alchemy the child of chaos is Mercurius. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 275


If Mercurius is not exactly the Evil One himself, he at least contains him—that is, he is morally neutral, good and evil, or as Khunrath says: “Good with the good, evil with the evil.” His nature is more exactly defined, however, if one conceives him as a process that begins with evil and ends with good. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 276


The mysterious rose-coloured blood occurs in several other authors. In Khunrath, for instance, the “lion lured forth from the Saturnine mountain” had rose-coloured blood. This lion, signifying “all and conquering all,” corresponds to the πᾱν or πάντα of Zosimos, i.e., totality. Khunrath further mentions (p. 276) the costly Catholick Rosy-Coloured Blood and Aetheric Water that flows forth Azothically. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 283


Khunrath says: “From this little salty fountain grows also the tree of the sun and moon, the red and white coral tree of our sea.” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 406                                                                                      


Salt and sea-water signify in Khunrath among other things the maternal Sophia from whose breasts the filii Sapientiae, the philosophers, drink. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 406


Khunrath says: Of itself, from, in, and through itself is made and perfected the stone of the wise. For it is one thing only: like a tree (says Senior), whose roots, stem, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, and fruit are of it and through it and from it and on it, and all come from one seed. It is itself everything, and nothing else makes it. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 423


This point is on the one hand the world’s centre, “the salt-point in the midst of the great fabric of the whole world,” as Khunrath calls it (salt = Sapientia).  ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 41


In Khunrath the scintilla is the same as the elixir: “Now the elixir is well and truly called a shining splendour, or perfect scintilla of him who

alone is the Mighty and Strong. . . . It is the true Aqua Permanens, eternally living. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 50


Khunrath rises to Gnostic heights when he exclaims: “And our Catholick Mercury, by virtue of his universal fiery spark of the light of nature, is beyond doubt Proteus, the sea god of the ancient pagan sages, who hath the key to the sea and . . . power over all things: son of Oceanos and Tethys.” ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 50


Many centuries lie between Monoïmos and Khunrath. The teachings of Monoïmos were completely unknown in the Middle Ages, and yet

Khunrath hit upon very similar thoughts which can hardly be ascribed to tradition. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 50


Khunrath says: “From this little salty fountain grows also the tree of the sun and moon, the red and white coral-tree of our sea,” which is that same Lunaria and whose “salt” is called “Luna Philosophorum et dulcedo sapientum” (sweetness of the sages). ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 157


Ruland’s remark that the sponge “has understanding” (see n. 205) and Khunrath’s th at the essence of the Lunaria is the “sweetness of the sages” point to the general idea that the moon has some secret connection with the human mind. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 159


Mercurius is made from salt, and Khunrath identifies Mercurius with common salt. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 243


Khunrath identifies the femina alba or candida with the “crystalline salt,” and this with the white water. “Our water” cannot be made

without salt, and without salt the opus will not succeed. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 244


After these remarks—which seemed to me necessary—on the “saltspirit,” as Khunrath calls it, let us turn back to the amaritudo. As the bitter

salt comes from the impure sea, it is understandable that the “Gloria mundi” should call it “mostly black and evil-smelling in the beginning.” ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 254


Khunrath boldly summarizes these statements about the salt when he says: “Our water cannot be made without the salt of wisdom, for it is the salt of wisdom itself, say the philosophers; a fire, and a salt fire, the true Living Universal Menstruum.” “Without salt the work has no success.” Elsewhere he remarks: “Not without good reason has salt been adorned by the wise with the name of Wisdom.” ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 329


Khunrath says: “And the Light was made Salt, a body of salt, the salt of wisdom.” The same author remarks that the “point in the midst of the

salt” corresponds to the “Tartarus of the greater world,” which is hell. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 327


The mystique of the king comes out even more clearly in Khunrath: “When at last,” he says, “the ash-colour, the whitening, and the yellowing are over, you will see the Philosophical Stone, our King and Lord of Lords, come forth from the couch and throne of his glassy sepulchre onto the stage of this world, in his glorified body, regenerated and more than perfect, shining like a carbuncle, and crying out, Behold, I make all things new.” ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 355


In his story of how the lapis is made, Khunrath describes the mystic birth of the king. Ruach Elohim (the spirit of God) penetrated to the lowest parts and to the centre (meditullium) of the virginal massa confusa, and scattered the sparks and rays of his fruitfulness. “Thus the form impressed itself [forma informavit], and the purest soul quickened and impregnated the tohu-bohu, which was without form and void.” ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 355


Since the peacock stands for “all colours” (i.e., the integration of all qualities), an illustration in Khunrath’s Amphitheatrum sapientiae logically shows it standing on the two heads of the Rebis, whose unity it obviously represents. The inscription calls it the “bird of Hermes” and the “blessed greenness,” both of which symbolize the Holy Ghost or the Ruach Elohim, which plays a great role in Khunrath. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 391


Elsewhere Khunrath says that at the hour of conjunction the blackness and the raven’s head and all the colours in the world will appear, “even Iris, the messenger of God, and the peacock’s tail.” He adds: “Mark the secrets of the rainbow in the Old and New Testament.” ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 392


The colour green, stressed by Khunrath, is associated with Venus. The “Introitus apertus” says: “But in the gentle heat the mixture will liquefy and begin to swell up, and at God’s command will be endowed with spirit, which will soar upward carrying the stone with it, and will produce new colours, first of all the green of Venus, which will endure for a long time. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 393


Khunrath equates Venus with the green lion. Since Sulphur is to Sol as Leo is to Rex, we can see why Khunrath regards Venus as the anima vegetativa of Sulphur. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 416


Evidently on account of its close connection with Venus the green lion has, surprisingly enough, rose-coloured blood, as mentioned by Dorn and by his contemporary, Khunrath. The latter ascribes rose-coloured blood to the filius macrocosmi as well. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 419


Khunrath speaks of the “wondrous natural triune Son of the Great World,” whom the sages name “their Son and crowned King, artificially hatched from the egg of the world.” Elsewhere he says of the filius Mundi Maioris: The Son of the great World [Macrocosm] who is Theocosmos, i.e., a  divine power and world (but whom even today, unfortunately, many who teach nature in a pagan spirit and many builders of medical science reject in the high university schools), is the exemplar of the stone which is Theanthropos, i.e., God and man (whom, as Scripture tells us, the builders of the Church have also rejected); and from the same, in and from the Great World Book of Nature, [there issues] a continuous and everlasting doctrine for the wise and their children: indeed, it is a splendid living likeness of our Saviour Jesus Christ, in and from the Great World which by nature is very similar to him (as to miraculous conception, birth, inexpressible powers, virtues, and effects); so God our Lord, besides his Son’s Biblical histories, has also created a specific image and natural representation for us in the Book of Nature. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 460


As we have seen, the filius regius is identical with Mercurius and at this particular stage also with the Mercurial serpent. This stage is indicated in Khunrath by Saturn, the dark, cold maleficus; by the world-egg, obviously signifying the initial state, and finally by the green and red lion, representing the animal soul of the king. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 473


Khunrath’s insertion of the word “SVI,” in capital letters, after “unius” plainly indicates that he was referring to something divine. This

can only be some analogy of God or Christ. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 475


Khunrath’s “SVI” seems to refer rather to God, in the sense that the filius regius is born on “His” day, the day that belongs to God or is

chosen by him. Since the phoenix is mainly an allegory of resurrection, this one day of birth and renewal must be one of the three days of Christ’s burial and descent into hell. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 475


So we can understand why Khunrath writes:  But chiefly pray to God . . . for the good gift of discretion, the good spirit of discriminating good from evil, who may lead thee into true knowledge and understanding of the Light of Nature, into her Great Book. So wilt thou extricate thyself from the labyrinth of very many deceitful Papers, and even books of Parchment, and arrive right well at the ground of truth. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 495


Mummies were supposed to possess   medicinal virtues, and for this reason bits of corpses had long been mentioned in European pharmacy under the name of “mumia.” It is possible that “mumia” was also used for alchemical purposes. It is mentioned in Khunrath as synonymous with the prima materia. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 560


In Paracelsus, who may have been Khunrath’s source for this, “Mumia balsamita” has something to do with the elixir, and is even called the

physical life-principle itself. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 560


The alchemists rightly regarded “mental union in the overcoming of the body” as only the first stage of conjunction or individuation, in the

same way that Khunrath understood Christ as the “Saviour of the Microcosm” but not of the Macrocosm, whose saviour was the lapis. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 675


In Khunrath, Sal tartarí mundi maioris is identical with sal Saturni and sal Veneris. It contains—or is—the “scintilla Animae Mundi.” ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 703


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