'THE world, as the Eddas say, is ruled by three Fates, the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Present rests upon the Past and proceeds from it, the Future from the Present. But it is the Future that holds the ideal to which the world moves, and therefore it is she who conditions both the Present and the Past. The Three are inextricably One.'--H. Fielding Hall, The World Soul.
THERE is not the slightest doubt that if the Present is the result of the Past, the Future will be the result of the Present. The three being one, the Future should be as easily read as the Past. But this can only be done when the finite mind of the Seer becomes one with the infinite mind of the Seen, by a manifestation of the Soul, which is the Creator, and source of Truth.
The Prophecies of Paracelsus are set forth in thirty-two 'magical' or allegorical Figures with Prognostications to each Figure, a Preface and an Epilogue or Elucidation written by Paracelsus.
The entire work evidently relates to predictions
of mundane events, some to ecclesiastical affairs, others to social political upheavals and changes that have since happened, are actually becoming accomplished or may still come to pass.
The Predictions, apparently limited to 24 or 42 years (both numbers are given) from 1530, about which time they appeared, were possibly occultly intended to mean mystic years, meaning either the fulness of time, or 240 or 420 years, which latter term would include the affairs of the present critical time.
Whoever studies these predictions cannot fail to see how worldly affairs have followed the course Paracelsus foretold for them either by mystic inspiration or astrological calculation.
Concerning the time when certain predictions should come to pass, an eminent seer of the Middle Ages, the Hermit Johannes Liechtenberger, aptly observed:
'Although Almighty God alone has retained the time and hour in his power, and he alone knows future things, and although there is no one in this world who can predict anything with certainty for to-morrow, or for some days to come, nevertheless the same merciful Deity, of his overflowing Love, has poured various gifts unto his creatures, whereby
in things that are still distant and in the future, He allows us to understand and know, not wholly, but in divers parables, symbols and comparisons of things already happened with those that are to take place in the future.'
These Predictions were at their first publication in great demand and often reprinted.
Professor Sudhoff mentions numerous editions and reprints, but they would have fallen altogether into oblivion had not the noted Kabbalist, Eliphas Lévi, drawn attention to them by counselling their suppression.
True Initiates are ever on the side of Law and Order, and maintain that the secrets of the Occult should remain occult. But these are times when the old order changes and what has been kept occult must become manifested.
The time has thus arrived for making known what has been kept in concealment or lapsed into oblivion for centuries; for as Paracelsus quaintly observes: 'when the time comes then comes also that wherefore the time has come.'
In that extremely rare, because suppressed, occult book, A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery, occurs the remarkable observation:
'Many prophecies there are of times to come,
and those days are even said to be at hand, when the Fourth Monarchy, which is the Intellectual reign of Truth and Peace, shall predominate, when the Mother of Sciences will come forth, and greater things be discovered than have been hitherto in the past monarchies of the world. But we do not tarry about these matters; the Revelation of all things is always at hand for him who knows how to investigate, and the rest will be always far behind. If truly there be minds prepared, or if the great era approaches more rapidly than is given us yet even in faith to foresee (for notwithstanding so many signs that are appearing, all signal rumours of a coming change, yet they are fewer and far between and more rare yearly which indicate the progression of Truth); but if, we say, a better age is approaching, which at some period of time must come, when abundance of all things by an equitable distribution of all, shall help to break down the competitive barrier of society, and introduce a co-operative alliance among mankind, then this incentive to inquiry may not be inopportunely offered in the self-discovery of truth.'
Curiously enough Paracelsus also connects the establishment of the 'Fourth Monarchy' or Millennium with a rediscovery of Alchemy and a
universal knowledge of the secret of transmutation of metals.
'Then will the Old Art flourish, and no heed be given to the New.
'Then shall the Pearl so long lost be found by an humble one, and will be set, as a jewel, in gold,' etc.
What the world would be if gold had to be demonetised on account of its being as common as lead I must leave to the reader's imagination.
The idea of the Millennium may also have served as an occult allegory for the Regeneration of Man, as every reborn Soul lives even now in the Millennium, the Fourth or Fifth Monarchy, or the Rule of Christ.
The attainment of the Individual to the Divine mystic state of Illumination would in no wise impede, but rather hasten, the realisation of the Father's Kingdom on earth.
Paracelsus calls the Power that rules the world's Fate, Magic.
The Creator rules the world by Magic. He is the Divine Magician creating and sustaining the All by His omnipotent Word: Fiat! Be!
Man, too, has the Soul-Power of Magic, but it extends no further than the potency of his trained
will and the reality of his Thought.
The Creator's Will being omnipotent, Man's will is only potent in as far as it is in unison with the Creator's.
But Man by selfishness circumscribes his power and dissevers himself from the Eternal Unself, the I AM.
Were Man to enter the plane of the Divine Unself his power for Good would increase in proportion to his attunement with the Father's Will.
But clouded by ignorance and environed by sin, that has become his lower Nature, man's mind knows nothing of the Reality of the Eternal Mind nor of its Mastery over Fate.
Man, as he now is, has depraved senses but no real Thought. He is but the creature of a day, and perishes like the beasts he devours, having fallen from Providence to Fate.
Who can tell the extent of the faculties Man possesses when he is in his rightful state--the Immortal Mind?
Who can even faintly foreshadow the vast power latent in his eternal Being?
Can the son of the Infinite be finite?
Is it not more probable that he too has faculties for infinite development?
Why should the Future not be known to us as the Past?
The Soul knows all things, the Soul being the Eternal Mind.
The self-inflicted eclipse of the Soul will not last for ever.
Sin is the result of Ignorance and Ignorance the cause of sin.
Where true knowledge flourishes sin dies and man becomes a regenerate being.
Let us therefore endeavour to understand the everpresence of the Creator in the World and in Nature.
Wherever we rightly search Nature's phenomena we can infer from Manifestation to Cause, from Cause to Thought, from Thought to Law, from Law to Love.
Nature, when rightly understood, will be seen to act upon the principles of Thought that we can follow, of Love that we can love and that loves us.
By Nature we mean the creative Life in Nature.
Man should not be subject to Fate, as he now is, but should be a Divine being guarded by Providence, the Divine Mind.
If we could only realise that we are immortal beings, how differently we should live!
Let us then, endeavour to understand the everpresence of the Creator in Nature.
Underlying Phenomena there are Noumena, underlying Nature there is Nature's God--the Creator. Sustaining Matter there is the all-pervading Spirit.
The Universe is not void, the Universe is full. Ether holds all things in solution.
Wherever we can follow the Creator's footsteps in Nature or in History, we find revelations of Divine Thought.
Nature's Law is animated by Divine Thought.
He, the Creator, is united to us as the Spirit of Life, the All Soul, the All Life. Our Soul, our Life is a part of His.
We are the Creator's offspring, but we can only become children of the Father's Kingdom by an act of mystic self-renunciation. The renunciation of Self--the lower Nature.
We may now inquire how these predictions were given by Paracelsus.
Although predictions can be made by the aid of Astrology alone and their subsequent accomplishment may be deemed marvellous, yet no one will have a correct foresight unless he sees with the eye of the Soul, whereby comes a true image of
things seen in the Eternal Mind.
Concerning this true Imagination Paracelsus says in his Liber de Imaginibus, Cap. XII:
'Therefore should you also know that the perfect Imagination coming from the Astral, issues from the Soul, wherein all Astra lie occult, and the Soul, Faith and Imagination, are three things to count, for the names are different, but they have equal force and strength, for one comes from the other, and I cannot compare it otherwise than with the Divine Trinity. For through the Soul we come to God, through Faith to Christ and through the Imagination to the Divine Spirit. Therefore also is to these three, even as to the Divine Trinity, nothing impossible.'
In the time of Paracelsus it was not safe to know anything beyond the dogmas of Mother Church. We find therefore that most real knowledge became occult.
The Prognostications were given in signs and symbols and to interpret them we will let Paracelsus himself give us a few hints.
In the same Book, Cap. V, he explains.:
'When out of Magic a Prophecy is given by pictures and figures, on a city, country, government, principality or kingdom, it is indicated by
the animals, arms, colours which the same city, country, prince, or king carries, and not described in plain words.
'Therefore every one who would undertake to interpret such Prophecy, should not only be a good Astrologer but also a good Magnus and should know thoroughly what plant, animal or colour each city, country, prince or Lord carries in the coat of arms.
'As an example, the Eagle means in Magic the Emperor, or only his Empire.
'Three Lilies, or only one Lily, the King of France, or the Kingdom of France.
'Three Crowns, one upon the other, or a triple cross, the Pope, or the entire Papacy.
'A crown by itself, a King or a Kingdom.
'A Half-Moon, the Sultan, or his Empire, and so on.'
France, the Papacy, the German Empire, England, Russia, Turkey, &c., appear in the Predictions many of which have been remarkably fulfilled.
The 'Magic' Paracelsus speaks of is the occult Divine Power that rules the Destiny of the World and the Regeneration of the Individual Soul. It is the World Soul. I should prefer to call it the Creator's Everpresence.
According to the Kabbala every Nation has a Ruling Angel, Prince or Lord.
It is however also esoterically taught that the Archangels are not persons but dignities or grades which the Soul must attain before becoming united with the Creator.
Thus might the whole set of Figures and Texts be esoterically interpreted as the phases of the Soul's course towards Perfection, and what exoterically treats of the world's course or destiny may esoterically teach the Regeneration of the Soul.
This interpretation could be taken for each and all of the thirty-two figures and chapters.
It was a common practice for mediaeval Occultists to write about one subject, teaching all the while another.
Such policy was, in those times, necessary.
Even as a treatise on the Occult may these Prognostics be found of interest to those who are mystically inclined.
The XXXIInd Chapter is profoundly mystical. 'Blessed is he that is born during sleep' refers to the Divine re-birth, the birth of Cosmic Consciousness.
Thus, although the chapters and figures openly refer to the world, secretly they may speak of the world in Man.
Manifestly the Regeneration of the World is treated, occultly the Divine Re-birth in Man may be intended.
The Power at work in the one as in the other is that Mystic 'Magic,' the Divine Christ-Spirit.
According to Hebrew Tradition, the Incarnations of the Messiah educate mankind for perfection, while Christian Mystics maintain that the world is under the guardianship of Christ.
In the Occult Art of Regeneration it is the same Divine Spirit that teaches and guides the Soul in her course towards the 'End'--'Nirvana' the Divine Re-birth.
It is a peculiarity of true occult books that they bear looking into beneath the surface meaning, and the more their occult meaning is studied the more it will become manifest.
The Smaragdine Tablet of 'Hermes', the Twelve Keys of 'Basil Valentine' and the Amphitheatrum of Khunrath are considered to teach simultaneously Alchemy, 'Magic,' and the Kabbala.
These three are said to be not three Arts, but one Art relating to the body, spirit and soul of our being.