Three illustrations from Robert Fludd‘s History of the Macrocosm and Microcosm (Utriusque Cosmi, Maioris scilicet et Minoris, metaphysica, physica, atque technica Historia, 1617—1621), as reprinted in Joscelyn Godwin’s summary of the same.

The Great Darkness

“The Great Darkness. ‘And thus, to infinity’” (p23).

A picture of pre-creation or un-creation, of materia prima, or Paracelsus‘s Mysterium Magnum.

Let there be Light

“Let there be Light” (p25).

From FIAT (“let it be”), the Spirit of God (the dove) creates the three realms of the universe by radiating its divine light in three revolutions: empyrean (the well-lit Heaven of the angels), ethereal (the crossroads of spirit and matter, domain of stars and demons), and elemental (dark home to man and plant).

The Primeval Duality

“The Primeval Duality” (p30-1). Click image for larger version.

A recapitulation of the dove’s progress. Down the right, “divine volunty, from which comes the divine act or wisdom, doing the will of the Father and revealing the foundations from the darkness and bringing to light the lethal shadow, creates the world of formless matter.” Down the left, “divine nolunty, from which comes divine potency, doing the Father’s nolunty.” Down the middle, “one from two”, “God, still one.”

Just “as Dionysus tears man into his seven pieces by night, so Apollo restores him by day to his sevenfold constitution. They are both none other than the one God, who works all in all.”

3 Responses to “The Creation of the Universe According to Fludd”

  1. Greg Pass Says:

    A scan of the entire work is available online from Bill Heidrick.

  2. Mirco Says:

    Fludd’s imagination was admittedly a bit wild.

    However, there is in some of his drawings an intriguing mathematical exactness, that does away with any all-too-easy “mysticism”.

    William Butler Yeats, many centuries afterward,
    has rediscovered this “trascendental geometry”, particularly the theme of cones, in his own
    “A Vision”: see

    By the way, Yeats’ uncanny book could and should find its way into your blog.

  3. Greg Pass Says:


    I just posted more on Fludd, including a bit of his “science of pyramids,” although not enough to fully appreciate the geometry.

    Note that the Yeats link you gave has one of Fludd’s “interpenetrating pyramid” diagrams. Thanks for the link.

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