The Mysterium Magnum by Jacob Boehme

(1575-1624)

Jacob Boehme

Chapter 13

The Thirteenth Chapter

Of The Creation of the Fourth Day

1. The fourth day Mercurius has the first hour of the day, who causes the sensitive life. Here we understand very fully and exactly the ground of the manifestation of the inward nature into the external; for on the fourth day the sun and stars were created, which are the right mercurial life. Here the fire's property opened itself in the sulphurous-source through the water, and the first essence became manifest through the light of nature, which is a Mercurius Salnitri, an incentive Mercurius, a quick perceptive Mercurius.

2. In the third form of nature there is a senseless life in sulphur and Mercurius, but in the fourth there is a feeling life; for the properties are made painful in the fire; and in the oleous [life] they become meek, pleasant and full of joy: therefore now the motion in the oily is feeling from the painfulness.

3. Here we now understand very fundamentally how the separation in the fire of the eternal nature has manifested itself in the essence of the outward world with form and shape; for in the enkindling of the fire in the salnitral flagrat two essences do severise, viz. one watery from the devoration in the fire, where the fire devours the rough harsh source of the impression in itself; then out of the consuming there proceeds a great meekness, which is mortified to the fire, and is insensible, and gives the water-source.

4. Secondly, the fire-source does sever itself [likewise into its Principle], viz. the properties to the fire-source, which now with the enkindling of the fire are full of pain and sense. This fire-source could not subsist, unless it did again devour [or take] the water into itself whereby it does strengthen itself; whence also the salnitral flagrat arises, where the wrath is dismayed at the essence of the water's meekness; whence arises the feeling, so also the lustre, of the fire.

5. For that water which is devoured in the fire is dissolved into a spiritual oil, in which the fire shines; and out of the oil proceeds the air, viz. the moving spirit of the fire which is motive in the fire.

6. The air is nothing else but the moving life, where the speaking Word does diffuse itself in the water-source through nature, through the powers of nature, through the fire, in the oil of the nature of the light. It is the fire's life: but it is mortified to the fire, and yet it is made manifest by the fire; it is the life of nature according to the property of meekness.

7. Thus in [1] the enkindling of the fire in the light of the fire, which is the light of nature, four properties are to be understood, viz. a fiery, an airy, and an oily (wherein the light is manifest), and a watery; all which do originally spring forth out of the first desire to nature; in that the free lubet introduces itself into a desire and nature; and they all display themselves through the fire into a moving life; and yet there is no intellective life, but only properties to the true life. The intellectual life is the spirited Word, which manifests itself through the properties. These properties are impressed in the Crea T, [?] that is, in the Verbum Fiat, and brought into an essentiality; wherefrom is come a Sulphur Salnitri, that is, a magical astrum, in manner and mode as the mind of man is; which also has thence its real original.

[1. Or by, or with.]

8. This salnitral and sulphureous property was brought forth out of the third day's work, viz. out of the fire-flagrat; and thence the fourth motion is arisen, viz. the mercurial, which the Fiat has amassed, and impressed it into it, and made it visible, which are the stars; which are nothing else but properties of the powers of nature. Whatsoever nature is in a little spark in itself, that the whole astrum is in its circle; and what nature is in its hiddenness, and secretness, the same the astrum is, in an open working life. Understand it thus:

9. Each star has the property of all stars in it, but hidden in nature, and the star is manifest only in one sole property; else, if the whole nature were manifest in each thing, then all things and essences would be but one thing and essence; and therefore God has, by his sounding Word, moved the Sulphur Salnitri according to the properties, that the distinct severation might be manifest: and this manifestation is a Mercurius; for the eternal-speaking Word, which is called God, has manifested his voice or will through nature.

10. Therefore the whole astrum is a pronounced voice (or breathed tone) of the powers, an expressed Word, which does again give forth from itself its spiration and speaking out of the properties. It is an echo out of God's love and anger, out of the dark-and-light-world.

11. After the astrum [2] are the four elements, which also have their original out of this fountain; which also have their spiration [or out-breathing] out of themselves; they also speak forth their properties out of themselves, and they are as a body of the stars. For they speak or breathe forth from themselves a corporeal essence; and the stars do breathe forth a spiritual essence out of themselves: and this twofold essence rules mutually in the visible world, as body and soul.

[2. Next the stars.]

12. And we give you this rightly to understand: In each element there lies a whole astrum; the fire has a whole astrum in itself; and also the air, water, and earth, but it is not manifest in them. Therefore God has enclosed [or encircled] the place of this world with a manifest astrum, that it might enkindle the other astrum in the four elements, that the manifest astrum might work in the hidden mystery, viz. in the astrum of the four elements, and procreate wonders. For so a wonderful figure and property may be produced out of a thing, which otherwise is impossible for nature to do, in its own [naked] self.

13. Also we are to know, that there is an astrum in the divine magic, which is the fountain of the eternal mind of the abyss, whence nature and all essences are arisen. Likewise there is an astrum in the manifest heavenly world, and also an astrum in the dark hellish world. And these astrums [1] are but one only astrum, but they are severised into distinct degrees and principles; that which in the outward world is open and manifest in the figure, the same is manifest in power in the spiritual world, and not in forms.

[1. Or constellations.]

14. And we understand, that the Verbum Fiat on the fourth day moved the fourth property of nature, viz. the fifth essence, and opened it out of the sulphureous property out of the fire-flagrat, viz. out of the third property. And thus an astrum became manifest in the air, which are the visible stars; and an astrum in the fire, which is the rational life of all creatures; and an astrum in the water, which is the vegetative life; and an astrum in the earth, which is the wrathful earthly life.

15. The fiery [astrum] gives soul; and the airy, spirit; the watery affords the mansion of the soul and the spirit, viz. blood, wherein the tincture of the fire and light dwells; and the earthly gives flesh. And every of the four astrums gives a spirit and body according to its property. Only, God has thus associated one unto another, that the one might be manifest in the other, and be jointly together one body; like as all the four elements are only one element, but they divide themselves into four properties according to the centre of nature.

16. Therefore astrums do procreate out of themselves their officer, viz. the outward nature, that is, the soul of the outward world, as a constantly enduring mind; wherein lies the omnipotency, as a manifest Great Mystery. In this officer God has awakened and raised a king, or as I might set it down by way of similitude, a nature-god, with six councillors, which are his assistants; that is, the sun, with the other six planetic stars, which were spoken forth out of the seven properties out of the place of Sol; and in the speaking were introduced into a rolling sphere, according to the property of the eternal generation in the centre of nature. And this was opened in seven degrees out of the birth; where the first degree of the motion in the light of nature, (from the inward spiritual fire-and-light-world), was the sun, which receives its lustre from the tincture of the inward fire-and-light-world: it stands as an opened punctum to the fire-world. See Threefold Life of Man,** ch. 4: pars. 16-49.

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17. And with the spiration the sixfold life of the six degrees of the days' works and forms of the centre came forth externally and severised itself; after the kind and nature of the eternal birth. As first, Venus which is the water-source out of the meekness out of the mortification in the fire, which is a desire of meekness from [1] the fire, for the fire enkindles the meekness whence it is desirous. This is now the love-desire according to the spirit, and according to its essence it is water; which water in the metals affords the noble corpus solis.

[1. By reason of.]

18. This Venus, seeing she (as to her own natural right) is mortified to the fire, is submissive, and gives the holy water; understand, as to her own peculiar property; which [water] is holy in the spirit, and yet in the essence it is captivated in the wrath, where it gives the material water according to the deadly property. It gives body unto all the seven metals, and essence to all the six planets: which we see in the metals; for each planet makes its essence in its property according to itself. As the Sun, in gold; the Moon in silver; Jupiter in tin; Saturn in lead; Mercurius in quicksilver; Mars in iron; and yet it is the essence of the Venus property alone: but they give their power and spirit into it, and hold the body for their own, seeing they rule the same.

19. This Venus property in the place of Sol sank downwards in the first egress; and the fire-source above it is Mars; and out of Venus property beneath, the heavy sound, and that is Mercurius, out of the Sulphur Salnitri through the water; and upwards out of Mars, the power of the fire and light, that is Jupiter; and beneath, from Mercurius, the essence of the desire, where Venus comprehends the essence in her fiery desire, as a body of the powers, that is Luna; and above Jupiter, Saturnus, viz. the expressed or spirated impression of the first form of nature.

20. These properties were spherated in the spiration, in manner as the birth of nature is in the essence, which the Verbum Fiat received and amassed into a body, and ordained it for dominion unto the four astrums, over which he has appointed angelical rulers as a supreme council: which we give only a hint of here, seeing we have spoken thereof at large in another place.

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