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Thomas Vaughan – The Allegory Of The Mountain

Arcana XXI, ‘Das Glükliche End’,

from ‘Das Märchen-Tarot’,

by Lisa Hunt.


Today’s sharing from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA is an excerpt from the ‘Lumen de Lumine’ by Thomas Vaughan (a.k.a. Eugenius Philalèthes), written in London in 1651. ‘My reward is a light that doesn’t give up on me‘. (From the end address to the Reader).


‘…There is a Mountain situated in the midst of the earth or center of the world, which is both small and great. It is soft, also above measure hard and stony. It is far off and near at hand, but by the providence of God invisible. In it are hidden the most ample treasures, which the world is not able to value. This mountain – by envy of the devil, who always opposes the glory of God and the happiness of man – is compassed about with very cruel beasts and ravening birds – which make the way thither both difficult and dangerous. And therefore until now – because the time is not yet come – the way thither could not be sought after nor found out. But now at last the way is to be found by those that are worthy – but nonetheless by every man’s self-labor and endeavors.

To this Mountain you shall go in a certain night – when it comes – most long and most dark, and see that you prepare yourselves by prayer. Insist upon the way that leads to the Mountain, but ask not of any man where the way lies. Only follow your Guide, who will offer himself to you and will meet you in the way. But you are not to know him. This Guide will bring you to the Mountain at midnight, when all things are silent and dark. It is necessary that you arm yourselves with a resolute, heroic courage, lest you fear those things that will happen, and so fall back. You need neither sword nor any other bodily weapons; only call upon God sincerely and heartily.

When you have discovered the Mountain the first miracle that will appear is this: A most vehement and very great wind that will shake the Mountain and shatter the rocks to pieces. You will be encountered also by lions and dragons and other terrible beasts; but fear not any of these things. Be resolute and take heed that you turn not back, for your Guide – who brought you thither – will not suffer any evil to befall you. As for the treasure, it is not yet found, but it is very near.

After this wind will come an earthquake that will overthrow those things which the wind has left, and will make all flat. But be sure that you do not fall off. The earthquake being past there will follow a fire that will consume the earthly rubbish and disclose the treasure. But as yet you cannot see it.

After these things and near the daybreak there will be a great calm, and you will see the Day-star arise, the dawn will appear, and you will perceive a great treasure. The most important thing in it and the most perfect is a certain exalted Tincture, with which the world – if it served God and were worthy of such gifts – might be touched and turned into most pure gold.

This Tincture being used as your Guide shall teach you, will make you young when you are old, and you will perceive no disease in any part of your bodies. By means of this Tincture also you will find pearls of an excellence which cannot be imagined.

But do not arrogate anything to yourselves because of your present power, but be contented with what your Guide shall communicate to you. Praise God perpetually for this His gift, and have a special care that you do not use it for worldly pride, but employ it in such works as are contrary to the world. Use it rightly and enjoy it as if you had it not. Live a temperate life and beware of all sin. Otherwise your Guide will forsake you and you will be deprived of this happiness.

For know of a truth: whosoever abuses this Tincture and does not live exemplary, purely and devotedly before men, will lose this benefit and scarcely any hope will be left of recovering it afterward.’

Illustration page 23 of the original edition.


Thomas Vaughan, ‘Lumen de Lumine’- 1651 original edition Title page.


Verso side, from ‘Das Märchen-Tarot’, by Lisa Hunt.


More about Thomas Vaughan:🌿 Source for the text from a copy at the Getty Institute:🌿 More about Lisa Hunt’s art:
Thomas Vaughan – The Allegory Of The Mountain

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