Secrets of the Art Revealed


bullet1 Foreword

bullet2 Apparition of Blessed Raymond

While I was addressing my Blessed Teacher in these and many other words, and my mind was entirely absorbed in him and my eyes trained on his picture, pressed by great anxiety, I considered how I should, as I must, declare the Mysteries and Secrets of this lofty and forbidding Art and Science to my fellow Disciples in a presentation that is sufficient and not over abundant, "succinct in style, neither entirely arcane nor entirely open, and not woven with enigmatic figures but rather in plain language, phrased in a way that is clear to discerning readers, very profound to mediocre readers and, mercifully, incomprehensible to fools so that this most excellent Science will not be usurped by those unworthy of it, which would happen if we made it equally accessible to honest and dishonest readers alike." (Mag. Artis Gen. de Flor. de Mag. Lap. Comp. cap. 1)

And behold, our Doctor Illuminatus in person stood at my side, with his prominent beard - as he is usually depicted - and spoke to me with a cheerful and handsome countenance, saying: "My Son". Startled and terrified, I turned around and he said: "Do not be afraid, and look into this book," as he opened for me a huge book he was carrying, sealed with seven seals, and told me to read it out loud. And so I began to read it, as follows:

"On the summit of a lofty mountain stood three very noble and beautiful Damsels, one of whom ascended and descended and went around the whole mountain; while she was walking about in this way, she looked and saw a tall tree, very beautiful and great, laden with plentiful leaves, flowers and fruit. This tree was at the foot of the mountain and it was irrigated by fountains and rivers that both descended from the mountain and ascended into it.

Now as the Damsel was considering this tree, she saw an animal come out of a deep forest and approach the tree; the neck of this animal was divided into two heads, the right one had a human face and the left one had the face of a beast: in the left head stood two ladders, the first had four rungs and the second had five; on the first, four rung ladder there were two distinctly different beasts; on the second ladder with five rungs there were five beasts each with a different shape and function.

After this, she contemplated the right head with the human face where she also saw two ladders standing, each ladder had five rungs; in the first ladder stood three very beautiful and nobly appareled Queens and in the second one there were four Queens, each of the seven was different in shape and appearance and had different gifts.

Meanwhile, the animal had reached the tree, and now it raised its right head with its two ladders to the tree and the seven Queens climbed the ladders and ate its flowers and fruit as each of them saw fit. While they were eating, the seven beasts enclosed inside the left head that was lowered to the ground got hungry and loudly shouted that they wanted the animal to raise its left head and lower its right one; and as the animal did this, the seven beasts climbed the ladders into the tree, devoured its leaves, chewed up its branches and destroyed the flowers and fruit that were food for the Queens. When they saw this, the seven Queens wept and held a meeting to find a way to forcefully repel the seven beasts; one of them said that they would make a red banner, with a picture of the Sun painted on one side and a picture of the Moon on the other, because these individuals have no one similar to them, or like them, or equal to them in the whole world.

As they had gotten wind of what the seven Queens intended to do, the seven beasts together  decided likewise to make a black banner with the inverted figure of a man on one side and the figure of a snake on the other. Thus the war was on, and after a severe and very long battle the seven Queens, aided by one of the three Damsels, defeated the seven beasts. Once the beasts were defeated, one of the Damsels saw, emerging from a deep forest, two very strange looking, fierce and wild beasts: one was black from the middle to the top and its other half was of a saffron color; the other beast was green from the middle to the top and its bottom half was white: both beasts engaged in a bitter struggle against each other and wounded each other until the black and saffron beast defeated the green and white beast; after defeating it, it attacked the animal, destroyed and defeated it and divided it into two parts, one of which it divided into four portions that it carried off to the forest from which the two beasts had emerged; but it could neither divide the other part nor carry it away to the forest.

 When all these things had been done to the animal, a large bird arrived and seized the part of the animal that could not be divided into contrary parts, and seized the seven Queens, and carried them off to a deep forest; and the three Damsels were sometimes joyful on the mountain top and at other times sad and desolate in the forest where they were imprisoned. And so, while they were imprisoned, they complained about one another to one of the seven Queens, who tormented every Damsel in the forest on account of the injury each one was doing to the others. And while one of the seven Queens tormented the three Damsels, they all agreed to send one of the seven Queens to the mountain top to fetch an apple that they could eat and smell, so the taste and fragrance of the apple could console and comfort them in the severe distress they endured. And then, once the three Damsels had settled their mutual conflict, the apple arrived and right away, the Queen who had tormented the three Damsels, together with another Queen who was her sister, took the three Damsels, carried them out of the forest and set them on the mountain top in a place that was much more beautiful and delightful than where they had previously stood while the Queens and the beasts waged war." (Doctor Illuminatus in Lib. Contemp. Vol. 3. Lib. 5. Dist. 40. cap. 354)

When I had finished reading, he asked me:

"Do you think you understand what you are reading?"

"How can I understand this, my Father, if no one shows me?" said I.

He replied:

"If you understand my Art, my Rhetoric, my Philosophy and Theology, then you can also understand what we just heard; 'now if anyone wants to understand this Book, he should know the terms of Philosophy and Theology so as to understand and know the Philosophical reasoning that shapes and constitutes this Book; because if you do not understand the terms, you cannot understand the things that are said with them, namely the subjects of this new and newly demonstrated Science; and you must know the first three trees in the third volume, as they will guide you in this Science.' " (Doctor Illuminatus Lib. Contemp. Vol. 3. Lib. 5. Dist. 40. cap. 366.)