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Riddle in the Pandora
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Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Thu Oct 10th, 2013 10:27 am
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The 'Pandora Sextae Aetatis' of Theophilus Schweighart contains the following 'riddle' and I was wondering if anyone has deciphered it or can shed any other light on it. German transcription and my tentative translation follow:

Beschluß darinn deß Authoris Namen Cabalisticè verdeckt.

Demnach nun mein Pandora beschlossen / und das Speculum gratiae jedermenniglich eröffnet ist worden / sich und seine potentiam darinnen zu contempliren. Will ich noch so Candidus sein zum Beschluß / und dir Naturkündiger meinen Tauf und zunamen / in einem Philosophischen Rätzel eröffnen / damit / da du hierin beleidiget / mich wissest anzutreffen.

AENIGMA PHILOSOPHICUM.
Ich gieng an einem Morgen spatzieren gegen Auffgang der Sonnen / da begegnet mir unter weges ein Weibsbild in weisser Kleidung und ansehlicher geraden statur, deren folgten nach Vier ihrer Töchter / die Erste hielt in der hand einen Athanore auff Chymische art / die Ander aber war mit flügeln geziert in gestallt eines Engels / und führete mit sich ihre Schwester / so den Mercurium philosophorum hatte in ein Glaß auffgefangen / die Vierte aber gieng allein traurig hernach / und hatte Aschen auff ihr haupt gestreuet / zur anzeigung sonderbarer Melancholi.
Solcher auffzug kam mir wunderlich genug vor / und fragt derowegen das Weib / was er zubedeuten / und woher die ursach ihres traurens? Ach sagt sie / die Philosophi treiben uns auß ihren gräntzen / die wir doch niemalen beleidiget / und erkennen uns nicht / du aber / damit du wissest wer wir seyn / Nimm hin dises Buch / und Lise darinn unsere Namen: Als sie solches gesagt / reycht sie mir her ein Buch / welches ich zuvor öffter gesehen / sein geschrifft war künstlich von allerhand farben / und in ihm war all Weißheit / und es war groß genug / das ich mochte darein gehen / und ich lase ohne unterlaß mancherley Künst und Wunderwerck / und ich gedaucht mich glückseelig. Weiln ich aber also studiert / vergaß ich meiner selber / unnd wurde verzuckt / und mich bedunckt / ich schwebte zwischen Himmel und Erden / und ich hörte ein Stimm durch die Wolcken sprechende: Theophile, du hast hart genug geschwigen / Rede / dann es ist zeit / dir soll ein anderer Namen gegeben werden / welcher in sich begreifft Weißheit / verstandt / und grosses vermögen. Also bald kam einer dessen antlitz wie Sonnenstrahlen / disen erkannt das vorgedachte Weib für ihren Herrn / fiel ihme zufuß / und sprach / Herr gib deinem Knecht einen Namen. Und er gab mir den ersten Buchstaben von dem seinigen / das Weib aber den andern und ersten von dem ihrigen / und die den Athanor trug / verehrt mir auch den ersten. Darauff ward mir noch zugestellt ein Syllaben / welche grösser ist als Himmel und Erden in ihrem vermögen / und das Weib sprach: Ich fahre davon / Gott woll das dir gelinge. Als sie solches gesagt / verschwand sie mit allen den ihrigen / und war mir nicht anderst / als wann ich in einem süssen Schlaf gelegen. Laß dir hiebey genügen.

Ex Corde Alemannorum, 1617. Mensae Jan.
------------------------------------------------------
PART II: Conclusion, in which the Author's name is Kabbalistically concealed

Now that my Pandora's Box has finally been closed and the Mirror of Grace has been given to everyone to enable them to contemplate their reflection and see their future, I want to end on a note of candour by revealing to you, my dear investigator of nature, both my baptismal name and my surname in a philosophical riddle, if only so that you whom I have offended may track me down!

A PHILOSOPHICAL RIDDLE
One morning around sunrise I went for a walk. On the road I met a woman of impressively upright bearing, clad all in white, followed by her four daughters. The first daughter held an athanor like the alchemists use, while the second was adorned with wings in the form of an angel and accompanied her sister who had captured the Mercury of the Philosophers in a glass vessel. The fourth daughter walked after the others all alone and in great sadness. She had even strewn ashes upon her head to signify exceptional mourning. I was sufficiently moved by what I saw to ask the woman what it all meant and what the cause of her sadness was.
"Ah,", she said, "the Philosophers have driven us out of their country, even though we gave them no offence. They will not even acknowledge us. You however shall now know who we are. Take this book and read our names in it."
As she said this she handed me a book that I had often seen before. It was written in an artistic hand in many different colours and it contained all wisdom. The book was so big that I could actually step inside it, and in it I read without stopping about many kinds of art and miracle, and I felt happy.
But being so deeply immersed in study caused me to forget myself and become enraptured. I felt as if I was floating between heaven and earth. Then I heard a voice through the clouds, saying, "Theophilus, you have remained silent for quite long enough. Speak, for it is time to give you another name which will encompass within itself wisdom, understanding and great power."
Soon there appeared through the clouds, like the sun's rays bursting through, the face of the man who had spoken to me. The woman acknowledged him as her husband and fell at his feet saying, "My Lord, give your servant a name." And he gave me the first letter of his own name, while the woman gave me the second and first letters of hers, and the daughter who held the athanor gave me the first letter of hers. To this was added a syllable which is greater in its power than heaven and earth.
Then the woman said, "I am going now. Godspeed." As she said this she vanished with all her entourage and I felt no different than if I had just awoken from a gentle slumber.
But let that be enough for you.

Written in the heart of Germany, 1617, in January of that year.

Tom Willard
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 Posted: Fri Oct 11th, 2013 05:42 am
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Thanks for this, Paul. Here's a guess:

Father = Deus
Mother = Natura
Eldest daughter = Ignis
Syllable = El
Theophilus = Daniel

Schweighart = Moegling. Perhaps hidden in the word translated as "enable" but more likely in the three younger sisters.

Last edited on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 05:58 am by Tom Willard

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sun Oct 13th, 2013 12:54 pm
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Tom Willard wrote:
Thanks for this, Paul. Here's a guess:

Father = Deus
Mother = Natura
Eldest daughter = Ignis
Syllable = El
Theophilus = Daniel

Schweighart = Moegling. Perhaps hidden in the word translated as "enable" but more likely in the three younger sisters.


Ingenious! Yes, I think you're right. Thanks Tom.

D + AN(*) + I + EL

(*) "...while the woman gave me the second and first letters of hers."

Last edited on Sun Oct 13th, 2013 01:06 pm by Paul Ferguson

Tom Willard
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 Posted: Sun Oct 13th, 2013 03:39 pm
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It's hard to see how the surname (the name of the mother and her son) is concealed in the book. However, if you look at the last words spoken by the father (vermögen) and mother (gelling), we may find the name Mögling--the one most scholars attribute to Schwiehardt.

The Bavarian State Library has the full text on its website:

http://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/en/fs1/object/display/bsb10253004_00005.html

Tom Willard
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 Posted: Sun Oct 13th, 2013 03:51 pm
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Daniel -- "God (El) is my judge" -- is the prophet who tells of a fiery furnace and who promises an increase of knowledge in the last days (12: 4).


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