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D.A. Freher, in Works of J. Behmen, Law Edition [1764] (Public Domain Image)
D.A. Freher, in Works of J. Behmen, Law Edition [1764] (Public Domain Image)

The Signature of All Things

by Jacob Boehme


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In an herb, if the blossom be somewhat reddish, and wreathed, or streaked, and inclined to white by the red, then is the power of Venus there, which makes resistance therein; but if it be only reddish, and of dark wriths or streaks, with a rough peel or skin on the stalk, branch, and leaf, then does the basilisk lodge there.--p. 99, no. 39.

If Signatura Rerum by the German mystic Jacob Boehme looks like a book you'd find in the library at a certain school of wizardry, you're not too far off. Boehme discourses at length here on one of the fundamental laws of Magic: the law of signatures, the concept that every object in the real world has some hidden meaning, and particularly how these signatures interact.

At the core of Boehme's philosophy is a mystical Christianity. However, his beliefs were far from that of the Lutheran establishment, and he was persecuted his entire life. Boehme's view of a universe where a creative and destructive principle are in conflict was later repurposed by Hegel as the dialectic. Newton, Nietzsche, the Quaker George Fox, and even Phillip K. Dick have all been cited as being influenced by Boehme.

NOTE: The English translation from the Latin appears to be from a much older book, but the translator is uncredited. The introduction is signed by one Clifford Bax, but he does not appear to have produced the translation. Any help as to the identity of the translator would be appreciated.--JBH.

Title Page

Signatura Rerum

Title Page
Preface to the Reader
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Postscript by the Translator

The Supersensual Life

Dialog I
Dialogue II


Of Heaven and Hell
The Way from Darkness to True Illumination