Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Keys Of Heaven ( Saint Peter )

"God works in mysterious way."

I'm not religious person, I never read the bible, I don't go to church or temple regularly, but it happened that all the symbols and all the information I need to know, what is truthful, free from any speculation comes to me naturally, in divine way, at the right time.

I would like to share with you one of the the mysterious stories that happened with me last year.
I had the key from already old house, it was stainless, 5 years old, very strong metal made key. One night I left it on the table near the kitchen as usual, but when I woke up in the morning, I found it broken, broken in two parts and standing on the table, so I could see the word it created "L". If you think in terms of science, it has no explanation for it, this key shouldn't  be  standing and shouldn't be broken.
When I look at "L"-shape, the first thought what jumped in my mind it was Love, L-Love, Love from Heaven. Then sometime later I visited Orthodox church, I felt the impulse to go there , and I was amazed when I knew that I came in the day when people and church celebrated the day of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. And on the icon inside of the church, Saint Peter is holding the keys.
This is how I learned about Saint Peter mission and his  keys of  Heaven.  It is a miracle, Divine guidance,  and I'm truly grateful for it !

LADYBUG ( Wish Fulfilled )

The appearance of a Ladybug heralds a time of luck and
protection in which our wishes begin to be fulfilled.
Fall and Spring are the most abundance times for a person with a Ladybug totem.
Higher goals and new heights are possible with a Ladybug totem.
Worries begin to dissipate.  New happiness comes about.
Their presence signals a time of shielding from our own aggravations and pests.
Its coloring, red and black, is a warning to predators
and we need to give that same clear warning to our enemies.
Stay back!  I'm dangerous if attacked!
Lady bug is never the aggressor, but it will defend.
Ladybug also cautions not to try to hard or go to fast to fulfill our dreams.
Let things flow at their natural pace.
In the due course of time, our wishes will all come true.

The Ladybug is associated with spirituality and religious devotion. The name Ladybug originated in Europe during the Middle Ages, when insects were destroying the crops. Catholic farmers were said to have prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon after, Ladybugs appeared and began eating the pests and saved the crops from destruction. The farmers began to call the Ladybugs “the Beetles of Our Lady” and eventually they were known as Lady Beetles. The Ladybug's red wings are said to represent the Virgin's cloak and the black spots her joys and sorrows.
The Ladybug is widely considered a symbol of luck and is seen as a good omen when it comes calling. In Sweden, it is said that if one lands on a young woman's hand, she will soon get married. In France, it is said that if you are ill when one lands on you, it will fly away with your illness.
Ladybugs are also considered to be symbols of fire and the Sun.
Ladybug teaches life is short and it teaches to let go of ones' worries and fears, to trust in spirit and enjoy life. It brings the gifts of renewal and regeneration. The message of the Ladybug could be asking you to “Let go and let God”.

The Lily of the Valley

Convallaria magalis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
Common Names: ~Ladder to Heaven~ ~Jacob's Tears~ ~May Lily~ ~Convallaria~ ~Our Lady's Tears~ ~Convall-lily~ ~Lily Constancy~ ~Male Lily~

Its scientific name, ~Majalis~ or ~Maialis~ means ~that which belongs to May.~ Old astrological books place the plant under the dominion of Mercury, since Maia, the daughter of Atlas, was the mother of Mercury or Hermes.

A French legend tells of a holy man known as Saint Leonard, a close friend of King Clovis, who lived in the Vienne Valley near Limoges in 559 AD. Saint Leonard, a brave and fearless fighter, wanted to spend his days communing with God. So he took permission from the king to go live the life of a hermit in the woods. In the same woods also dwelled the dragon Temptation. Saint Leonard was at prayer and did not hear the dragon when it demanded that Saint Leonard leave the woods. The evil dragon burned down Saint Leonard's hut with his fiery breath. Much blood was spilled as terrible battles took place between them. Saint Leonard drove the evil dragon further into the woods until the dragon disappeared altogether. Poisonous weeds began to grow where the dragon spilled his blood, but beds of lilies of the valley sprang up wherever the ground was sprinkled with Saint Leonard's blood to mark the places of their battles. These woods, till today are known as St. Leonard's Forest

The lily of the valley signifies the return of happiness. Legend tells of the affection of a lily of the valley for a nightingale that did not come back to the woods until the flower bloomed in May.

It is a symbol of humility in religious painting. Lily of the valley is considered the sign of Christ's second coming. The ~Songs of Solomon~ in the Bible mentions the ~Lily of the Valley.~ According to a Christian legend, Mary's tears turned to ~lily of the valley~ when she cried at the cross and because of this it is also known as ~Mary's Tears.~ The power of men to envision a better world was attributed to the lily of the valley.

Lily of the valley has been used for medicinal purposes. It was believed to strengthen memory, to restore speech and as a liquor smeared on the forehead and the back of the neck, to make one have good common sense. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous, despite it's alleged powers.The leaves yield a green dye, with lime water. 

History of the four leaf clover

What do the leaves symbolize?
One leaf is for FAITH...     The second for HOPE...

The third for LOVE
...         And the fourth for LUCK!

In Irish tradition the Shamrock or 3-leaf Clover represents the Holy Trinity: one leaf for the Father, one for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit. When a Shamrock is found with the fourth leaf, it represents God's Grace.

History of the four leaf clover:

The four leaf clover is a universally accepted symbol of good luck with its origin ages old. According to legend, Eve carried a four leaf clover from the Garden of Eden.

"The clovers also occupied a position in the cultural life of early peoples. White clover (T. repens  L.) in particular was held in high esteem by the early Celts of Wales as a charm against evil spirits." Clover Science and Technology". N.L. Taylor, 1985.

Druids held the 4 leaf clover in high esteem and considered them a sign of luck. In 1620, Sir John Melton wrote: "If a man walking in the fields find any four-leaved grass, he shall in a small while after find some good thing.

The mystique of the four leaf clover continues today, since finding a real four leaf clover is still a rare occurrence and omen of good luck.


Infinity is a concept in many fields, most predominantly mathematics and physics, that refers to a quantity without bound or end. People have developed various ideas throughout history about the nature of infinity. The word comes from the Latin infinitas or "unboundedness".
In mathematics, "infinity" is often treated as if it were a number (i.e., it counts or measures things: "an infinite number of terms") but it is not the same sort of number as the real numbers. In number systems incorporating infinitesimals, the reciprocal of an infinitesimal is an infinite number, i.e. a number greater than any real number. Georg Cantor formalized many ideas related to infinity and infinite sets during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the theory he developed, there are infinite sets of different sizes (called cardinalities). For example, the set of integers is countably infinite, while the set of real numbers is uncountably infinite.

The Infinity Symbol

The infinity symbol ∞ is sometimes called the lemniscate, from the Latin lemniscus, meaning "ribbon". John Wallis is credited with introducing the symbol in 1655 in his De sectionibus conicis. One conjecture about why he chose this symbol is that he derived it from a Roman numeral for 1000 that was in turn derived from the Etruscan numeral for 1000, which looked somewhat like and was sometimes used to mean "many."
Another conjecture is that he derived it from the Greek letter omega, the last letter in the Greek alphabet. Also, before typesetting machines were invented, infinity was easily made in printing by typesetting the numeral 8 on its side.


Ancient cultures had various ideas about the nature of infinity. The ancient Indians and Greeks, unable to codify infinity in terms of a formalized mathematical system approached infinity as a philosophical concept.

Early Greek
The earliest atestable accounts of mathematical infinity come from Zeno of Elea (ca. 490 BC? ­ ca. 430 BC?), a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. Aristotle called him the inventor of the dialectic. He is best known for his paradoxes, which Bertrand Russell has described as "immeasurably subtle and profound".
In accordance with the traditional view of Aristotle, the Hellenistic Greeks generally preferred to distinguish the potential infinity from the actual infinity; for example, instead of saying that there are an infinity of primes, Euclid prefers instead to say that there are more prime numbers than contained in any given collection of prime numbers (Elements, Book IX, Proposition 20).

Early Hindu
The Isha Upanishad of the Yajurveda (c. 4th to 3rd century BC) states that "if you remove a part from infinity or add a part to infinity, still what remains is infinity".
The Indian mathematical text Surya Prajnapti (c. 400 BC) classifies all numbers into three sets: enumerable, innumerable, and infinite. Each of these was further subdivided into three orders:

  • Enumerable: lowest, intermediate, and highest
  • Innumerable: nearly innumerable, truly innumerable, and innumerably innumerable
  • Infinite: nearly infinite, truly infinite, infinitely infinite
In the Indian work on the theory of sets, two basic types of infinite numbers are distinguished. On both physical and ontological grounds, a distinction was made between asamkhyata ("countless, innumerable") and ananta ("endless, unlimited"), between rigidly bounded and loosely bounded infinities.


n physics, approximations of real numbers are used for continuous measurements and natural numbers are used for discrete measurements (i.e. counting). It is therefore assumed by physicists that no measurable quantity could have an infinite value,[citation needed] for instance by taking an infinite value in an extended real number system, or by requiring the counting of an infinite number of events. It is for example presumed impossible for any body to have infinite mass or infinite energy. Concepts of infinite things such as an infinite plane wave exist, but there are no experimental means to generate them.
The practice of refusing infinite values for measurable quantities does not come from a priori or ideological motivations, but rather from more methodological and pragmatic motivations.[citation needed] One of the needs of any physical and scientific theory is to give usable formulas that correspond to or at least approximate reality. As an example if any object of infinite gravitational mass were to exist, any usage of the formula to calculate the gravitational force would lead to an infinite result, which would be of no benefit since the result would be always the same regardless of the position and the mass of the other object.
The formula would be useful neither to compute the force between two objects of finite mass nor to compute their motions. If an infinite mass object were to exist, any object of finite mass would be attracted with infinite force (and hence acceleration) by the infinite mass object, which is not what we can observe in reality. Sometimes infinite result of a physical quantity may mean that the theory being used to compute the result may be approaching the point where it fails. This may help to indicate the limitations of a theory.
This point of view does not mean that infinity cannot be used in physics. For convenience's sake, calculations, equations, theories and approximations often use infinite series, unbounded functions, etc., and may involve infinite quantities. Physicists however require that the end result be physically meaningful. In quantum field theory infinities arise which need to be interpreted in such a way as to lead to a physically meaningful result, a process called renormalization.
However, there are some theoretical circumstances where the end result is infinity. One example is the singularity in the description of black holes. Some solutions of the equations of the general theory of relativity allow for finite mass distributions of zero size, and thus infinite density. This is an example of what is called a mathematical singularity, or a point where a physical theory breaks down. This does not necessarily mean that physical infinities exist; it may mean simply that the theory is incapable of describing the situation properly. Two other examples occur in inverse-square force laws of the gravitational force equation of Newtonian gravity and Coulomb's law of electrostatics. At r=0 these equations evaluate to infinities.


Cosmologists have long sought to discover whether infinity exists in our physical universe: Are there an infinite number of stars? Does the universe have infinite volume? Does space "go on forever"? This is an open question of cosmology. Note that the question of being infinite is logically separate from the question of having boundaries. The two-dimensional surface of the Earth, for example, is finite, yet has no edge. By traveling in a straight line one will eventually return to the exact spot one started from. The universe, at least in principle, might have a similar topology; if one travelled in a straight line through the universe perhaps one would eventually revisit one's starting point.
If, on the other hand, the universe were not curved like a sphere but had a flat topology, it could be both unbounded and infinite. The curvature of the universe can be measured through multipole moments in the spectrum of the cosmic background radiation. As to date, analysis of the radiation patterns recorded by the WMAP spacecraft hints that the universe has a flat topology. This would be consistent with an infinite physical universe. The Planck spacecraft launched in 2009 is expected to record the cosmic background radiation with 10 times higher precision, and will give more insight into the question whether the universe is infinite or not.


In logic an infinite regress argument is "a distinctively philosophical kind of argument purporting to show that a thesis is defective because it generates an infinite series when either (form A) no such series exists or (form B) were it to exist, the thesis would lack the role (e.g., of justification) that it is supposed to play."


The IEEE floating-point standard specifies positive and negative infinity values; these can be the result of arithmetic overflow, division by zero, or other exceptional operations.
Some programming languages (for example, J and UNITY) specify greatest and least elements, i.e. values that compare (respectively) greater than or less than all other values. These may also be termed top and bottom, or plus infinity and minus infinity; they are useful as sentinel values in algorithms involving sorting, searching or windowing. In languages that do not have greatest and least elements, but do allow overloading of relational operators, it is possible to create greatest and least elements.

The Arts and Cognitive Sciences

Perspective artwork utilizes the concept of imaginary vanishing points, or points at infinity, located at an infinite distance from the observer. This allows artists to create paintings that realistically render space, distances, and forms. Artist M. C. Escher is specifically known for employing the concept of infinity in his work in this and other ways.
From the perspective of cognitive scientists George Lakoff, concepts of infinity in mathematics and the sciences are metaphors, based on what they term the Basic Metaphor of Infinity (BMI), namely the ever-increasing sequence <1,2,3,...>.


The structure of a fractal object is reiterated in its magnifications. Fractals can be magnified indefinitely without losing their structure and becoming "smooth"; they have infinite perimeters - some with infinite, and others with finite surface areas. One such fractal curve with an infinite perimeter and finite surface area is the Koch snowflake.

Mathematics Without Infinity

Leopold Kronecker was skeptical of the notion of infinity and how his fellow mathematicians were using it in 1870s and 1880s. This skepticism was developed in the philosophy of mathematics called finitism, an extreme form of the philosophical and mathematical schools of constructivism and Intuitionism.
Mathematics With Infinity


Leonardo Da Vinci

April 15, 1452 - May 2, 1519
Da Vinci was an Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer. Da Vinci was a great engineer and inventor who designed buildings, bridges, canals, forts and war machines. He kept huge notebooks sketching his ideas. Among these, he was fascinated by birds and flying and his sketches include such fantastic designs as flying machines. These drawings demonstrate a genius for mechanical invention and insight into scientific inquiry, truly centuries ahead of their time. His greater fame lies in being one of the greatest painters of all times, best known for such paintings as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.

Personal Life
The first known biography of Leonardo was published in 1550 by Giorgio Vasari who wrote Vite de' piu eccelenti architettori, pittori e scultori italiani ("The lives of the most excellent Italian architects, painters and sculptors"), and later became an independent painter in Florence. Most of the information collected by Vasari was from first-hand accounts of Leonardo's contemporaries, (Vasari was only a child when Leonardo died), and it remains the first reference in studying Leonardo's life.
Leonardo was born in Anchiano, near Vinci, Italy. He was an illegitimate child. His father, Ser Piero da Vinci was a young lawyer and his mother, Caterina, was probably a peasant girl. It has also been suggested, albeit on scanty evidence, that she was a Middle Eastern slave owned by Piero. However, the latter theory is unlikely to be true.
As he was born before modern naming conventions developed in Europe, his full name was "Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci", which means "Leonardo, son of Mister Piero, from Vinci". Leonardo himself simply signed his works "Leonardo" or "Io, Leonardo" ("I, Leonardo"). Most authorities therefore refer to his works as "Leonardos", not "da Vincis". Presumably he did not use his father's name because of his illegitimate status.
Leonardo grew up with his father in Florence. Here, he started drawing and painting. His early sketches were of such quality that his father soon showed them to the painter Andrea del Verrocchio who subsequently took the fourteen-year old Leonardo on as an apprentice. Later, he became an independent painter in Florence.
In 1476, he was accused anonymously, along with three other men, of sodomy with a 17 year-old model, Jacopo Saltarelli, who was a notorious male prostitute. After two months in jail, he was acquitted because no witnesses stepped forward. For some time afterwards, Leonardo and the others were kept under observation by Florence's Officers of the Night - a kind of Renaissance vice squad, charged with suppressing the practice of sodomy, which a majority of male Florentines engaged in, as shown by surviving legal records of the Podestá and the Officers of the Night.
Modern critics contend that Leonardo's love of boys was well-known even in the sixteenth century. Rocke reports that in a fictional dialogue on l'amore masculino (male love) written by the contemporary art critic and theorist Gian Paolo Lomazzo, Leonardo appears as one of the protagonists and declares, "Know that male love is exclusively the product of virtue which, joining men together with the diverse affections of friendship, makes it so that from a tender age they would enter into the manly one as more stalwart friends." In the dialogue, the interlocutor inquires of Leonardo about his relations with his assistant, Salai, "Did you play the game from behind which the Florentines love so much?"
Leonardo kept his private life particularly secret, and there is no evidence that Leonardo was ever intimately involved with any woman, nor in a close friendship with one. He also surrounded himself with handsome young men throughout his life, and his art reflects an appreciation of androgynous beauty. It has, therefore, been assumed that he was a homosexual. One of his loves may have been Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno (nicknamed Salai (Little Devil)). Gian entered Leonardo's household around 1488 at the age of 10, becoming his servant and assistant.
In 1506, Leonardo met Count Francesco Melzi, the fifteen year old son of a Lombard aristocrat. Salai eventually accepted Melzi's continued presence and the three undertook various journeys throughout Italy. Though Salai was always introduced as Leonardo's "pupil", he never produced any work of artistic merit. Melzi, however, became his pupil and life companion. Leonardo had many other friends who are now figures renowned in their fields, or for their influence on history; these included Niccolò Machiavelli, Cesare Borgia and Franchinus Gaffurius.
Disregarding the controversy of homosexuality, it is clear from the works of Leonardo and his early biographers, that he was a man of high integrity and very sensitive to moral issues. Hereby, it should be noted that Leonardo was a vegetarian at least a part of his life and often bought birds just to release them. He was also the respected judge on the matters of beauty and elegance, particularly in pageantry.

Leonardo kept his private life particularly secret, going as far as writing his journals in code. He also claimed to have a distaste of physical relations: The act of procreation and anything that has any relation to it is so disgusting that human beings would soon die out if there were no pretty faces and sensuous dispositions, a comment later interpreted by Freud, in an analysis of the artist, as indicative of his "frigidity" (Gesammelte Werke bd VIII, 1909-1913). He concludes that Leonardo is driven by a homosexual libido, one that is sublimated in his scientific investigations. Indeed, Leonardo surrounded himself with handsome youths throughout his life, and allowed his art to reflect an appreciation of masculine beauty. His lasting and loving relationship with young men and lack of close relationships with women, together with surviving legal records and contemporary writings have led many modern historians to conclude that he had a strong erotic interest, one focused exclusively on males.
The first known instance of his interest in youths occurred in 1476. While still living with Verrocchio, he was twice accused anonymously of sodomy with a 17 year-old model, Jacopo d¹Andrea Saltarelli, a boy already known to the authorities for his sexual escapades with men. After two months in jail, he was acquitted because no witnesses stepped forward. For some time afterwards, Leonardo and the others were kept under observation by Florence's Officers of the Night - a Renaissance organisation charged with suppressing the practice of sodomy, as shown by surviving legal records of the Podesta and the Officers of the Night.
Leonardo's alleged love of boys was a topic of discussion even in the sixteenth century. In "Il Libro dei Sogni " (The Book of Dreams) a fictional dialogue on l'amore masculino (male love) written by the contemporary art critic and theorist Gian Paolo Lomazzo, Leonardo appears as one of the protagonists and declares, "Know that male love is exclusively the product of virtue which, joining men together with the diverse affections of friendship, makes it so that from a tender age they would enter into the manly one as more stalwart friends." In the dialogue, the interlocutor inquires of Leonardo about his relations with his assistant, il Salaino, "Did you play the game from behind which the Florentines love so much?" Leonardo answers, "And how many times! Keep in mind that he was a beautiful young man, especially at about fifteen."
Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno, nicknamed il Salaino ("The Little Unclean One" i.e., the devil), was described by Vasari as "a graceful and beautiful youth with fine curly hair, in which Leonardo greatly delighted." Il Salaino entered Leonardo's household in 1490 at the age of 10. The relationship was not an easy one. A year later Leonardo made a list of the boy¹s misdemeanors, calling him "a thief, a liar, stubborn, and a glutton." The "Little Devil" had made off with money and valuables on at least five occasions, and spent a fortune on apparel, among which twenty four pairs of shoes. Nevertheless, il Salaino remained his companion, servant and assistant for the next thirty years, and Leonardo's notebooks during their early years contain pictures of a handsome, curly-haired adolescent.
Il Salaino's name also appears (crossed out) on the back of an erotic drawing (ca. 1513) by the artist, The Incarnate Angel, at one time in the collection of Queen Victoria. It is seen as a humorous and revealing take on his major work, St. John the Baptist, also a work and a theme imbued with homoerotic overtones by a number of art critics such as Martin Kemp and James Saslow (Saslow, 1986, passim). Another erotic work, found on the verso of a foglio in the Atlantic Codex, depicts il Salaino's behind, towards which march several penises on two legs (Augusto Marinoni, in "Io Leonardo", Mondadori, Milano 1974, pp.288, 310). Some of Leonardo's other works on erotic topics, his drawings of heterosexual human sexual intercourse, were destroyed by a priest who found them after his death.
In 1506, Leonardo met Count Francesco Melzi, the 15 year old son of a Lombard aristocrat. Melzi himself, in a letter, described Leonardo's feelings towards him as a sviscerato et ardentissimo amore ("a passionate and most fiery love"). (Crompton, p.269) Salai eventually accepted Melzi's continued presence and the three undertook journeys throughout Italy. Though Salai was always introduced as Leonardo's "pupil", he never produced any work of artistic merit. Melzi, however, became Leonardo's pupil and life companion, and is considered to have been his favorite student.
Both of these relationships follow the pattern of eroticized apprenticeships which were frequent in the Florence of Leonardo's day, relationships which were often loving and not infrequently sexual. See Historical pederastic couples Besides them, Leonardo had many other friends who are now figures renowned in their fields, or for their influence on history. These included Cesare Borgia, in whose service he spent the years of 1502 and 1503. During that time he also met Niccolò Machiavelli, with whom later he was to develop a close friendship. Also among his friends are counted Franchinus Gaffurius and Isabella d'Este, whose portrait he drew while on a journey which took him through Mantua.

Professional Life
The earliest known dated work of Leonardo's is a drawing done in pen and ink of the Arno valley, drawn on the 5th of August 1473. It is assumed that he had his own workshop between 1476 and 1478, receiving two orders during this time.From around 1482 to 1499, Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, employed Leonardo and permitted him to operate his own workshop complete with apprentices. It was here that seventy tons of bronze that had been set aside for Leonardo's "Gran Cavallo" horse statue were cast into weapons for the Duke in an attempt to save Milan from the French under Charles VIII in 1495.When the French returned under Louis XII in 1498, Milan fell without a fight, overthrowing Sforza.
Leonardo stayed in Milan for a time, until one morning when he found French archers using his life-size clay model of the "Gran Cavallo" for target practice. He left with Salai and his friend Luca Pacioli (the first man to describe double-entry bookkeeping) for Mantua, moving on after 2 months to Venice (where he was hired as a military engineer), then briefly returning to Florence at the end of April 1500.
In Florence he entered the services of Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI, acting as a military architect and engineer; with Cesare he travelled throughout Italy. In 1506 he returned to Milan, now in the hands of Maximilian Sforza after Swiss mercenaries had driven out the French.
From 1513 to 1516, he lived in Rome, where painters like Raphael and Michelangelo were active at the time, though he did not have much contact with these artists. However, he was probably of pivotal importance in the relocation of David (in Florence), one of Michelangelo's masterpieces, against the artist's will.
In 1515 Francis I of France retook Milan, and Leonardo was commissioned to make a centrepiece (a mechanical lion) for the peace talks between the French king and Pope Leo X in Bologna, where he must have first met the King.
In 1516, he entered Francis' service, being given the use of the manor house Clos Lucé (also called "Cloux") next to the king's residence at the royal Chateau Amboise. The King granted Leonardo and his entourage generous pensions: the surviving document lists 1000 écus for the artist, 400 for Melzi (named "apprentice") and 100 for Salai (named "servant").
In 1518 Salai left Leonardo and returned to Milan, where he eventually perished in a duel. Francis became a close friend.Leonardo da Vinci died at Clos Lucé, France, on 2nd May, 1519. According to his wish, 60 beggars followed his casket. He was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert in the castle of Amboise. Although Melzi was his principle heir and executor, Salai was not forgotten; he received half of Leonardo's vineyard.

Leonardo pioneered new painting techniques in many of his pieces. One of them, a colour shading technique called "Chiaroscuro", used a series of glazes custom-made by Leonardo. It is characterized by subtle transitions between colour areas, creating an atmospheric haze or smoky effect. Chiaroscuro is a technique of bold contrast between light and dark.
Early works in Florence (1452-1482)
Leonardo was apprenticed to the artist Verrocchio in Florence when he was about 15. In 1476 Leonardo worked with Verrocchio to paint for the friars of Vallombrosa The Baptism of Christ. He painted the angel at the front and the landscape, and the difference between the two artists' work can be seen, with Leonardo's finer blending and brushwork. Giorgio Vasari told the story that when Verrochio saw Leonardo's work he was so amazed that he resolved never to touch a brush again.
Leonardo's first painting completed wholly by himself was the Madonna and Child painting completed in 1478, he also painted at the same time a picture of a little boy eating sherbert.
In 1480-81 he created a small Annunciation painting which is now in the Louvre. In 1481 he painted an unfinished work of St. Jerome. Between 1481 and 1482 he started a painting called The Adoration of the Kings (also known as The Adoration of the Magi). He made extensive, ambitious plans and many drawings for the painting, but it was not finished, as Leonardo's services had been accepted by the Duke of Milan, to which he traveled.
Milan (1482-1499)Leonardo spent 17 years in Milan under the services of Duke Ludovico (between 1482 and 1499). He did many paintings, sculptures, and drawings during this time. He also designed court festivals, and did many of his sketches related to engineering. He was given basically a free reign to work on any project he chose, though he left many projects unfinished, completing only about six paintings during this time. This included The Last Supper (Ultima Cena or Cenacolo, in Milan) 1498 and Virgin of the Rocks. He worked on many of his notebooks between 1490 and 1495.He painted the Virgin of the rocks in 1494.
In 1499 he painted Madonna and Child with St. Anne.He often planned grandiose paintings with many drawings and sketches, only to leave the projects unfinished. One of his projects involved making plans and models for a monumental seven metre (24 ft) high horse statue in bronze called "Gran Cavallo". Because of war with France, the project was never finished. (In 1999 a pair of full-scale statues based on his plans were cast, one erected in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the other in Milan.) The Hunt Museum in Limerick, Ireland has a small bronze horse, thought to be the work of an apprentice from Leonardo's original design.
The French invaded Milan in 1499, and Ludovico Sforza lost control. Leonardo was forced to search for a new patron.
Nomadic Period - Italy and France (1499-1519)
Between 1499 and 1516 Leonardo worked for a number of people, travelling around Italy doing several commissions, before moving to France in 1516. This has been described as a 'Nomadic Period'.
In 1500 he went to Mantua where he sketched a portrait of the Marchesa Isabella d'Este. He left for Venice in 1501, and soon after returned to Florence.After returning to Florence, he was commissioned for a large public mural, The Battle of Anghiari; his rival Michelangelo was to paint the opposite wall. After producing a fantastic variety of studies in preparation for the work, he left the city, with the mural unfinished due to technical difficulties. The painting was destroyed in a war in the middle of the sixteenth century.
He began work on the Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda, now at the Louvre in Paris) in 1503, which he did not finish until 1506. He most likely kept it with him at all times, and did not travel without it. Thousands of people see it each year in the Louvre, perhaps drawing their own interpretation on what is known as the Mona Lisa's most infamous and enigmatic feature - her smile. It is well known that Leonardo made extensive use of many tricks in this painting, including the so-called Golden Ratio. The name Mona Lisa is not the one given to the piece of art at the time, nor was it known by this title until much later. The Mona Lisa was probably his favourite piece.
He painted St Anne in 1509. Between 1506 and 1512, he lived in Milan and under the patronage of the French Governor Charles d'Amboise, he painted several other paintings. These included The Leda and the Swan, known now only through copies as the original work did not survive. He painted a second version of The Virgin of the Rocks (1506-1508). While under the patronage of Pope Leo X, he painted St. John the Baptist (1513-1516).
During his time in France, Leonardo made studies of the Virgin Mary for The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, and many drawings and other studies.

Science and Engineering
Renaissance humanism saw no mutually exclusive polarities between the sciences and the arts, and as impressive and innovative as Leonardo's artistic work are his studies in science and engineering, recorded in notebooks comprising some 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, which fuse art and science. These notes were made and maintained through Leonardo's travels through Europe, during which he made continual observations of the world around him. He was left-handed and used mirror writing throughout his life. This is explainable by the fact that it is easier to pull a quill pen than to push it; by using mirror-writing, the left-handed writer is able to pull the pen from right to left.
His approach to science was an observational one: he tried to understand a phenomenon by describing and depicting it in utmost detail, and did not emphasize experiments or theoretical explanations. Throughout his life, he planned a grand encyclopedia based on detailed drawings of everything. Since he lacked formal education in Latin and mathematics, contemporary scholars mostly ignored Leonardo the scientist.
He participated in autopsies and produced many extremely detailed anatomical drawings, planning a comprehensive work of human and comparative anatomy. Around the year 1490, he produced a study in his sketchbook of the Canon of Proportions as described in recently rediscovered writings of the Roman architect Vitruvius. The study, called the Vitruvian Man, is one of his most well-known works.

Vitruvian man - 1498
Leonardo da Vinci draws the human body
Leonardo started to discover the anatomy of the human body at the time he was apprenticed to Andrea del Verrocchio, as his teacher insisted that all his pupils learn anatomy. As he became successful as an artist, he was given permission to dissect human corpses at the hospital Santa Maria Nuova in Florence. Later he dissected also in Milano in the hospital Maggiore and in Rome in the hospital Santo Spirito (the first mainland Italian hospital).
From 1510 to 1511 he collaborated with the doctor Marcantonio della Torre (1481 to 1511). In 30 years, Leonardo dissected 30 male and female corpses of different ages. Together with Marcantonio, he prepared to publish a theoretical work on anatomy and made more than 200 drawings. However, his book was published only in 1580 (long after his death) under the heading Treatise on painting.Leonardo drew many images of the human skeleton, and was the first to describe the double S form of the backbone.
He also studied the inclination of pelvis and sacrum and stressed that sacrum was not uniform, but composed of five vertebrae. He was also able to represent exceptionally well the human skull and cross-sections of the brain (transversal, sagittal, and frontal). He drew many images of the lungs, mesentery, urinary tract, sex organs, and even coitus. He was one of the first who drew the fetus in the intrauterine position (he wished to learn about "the miracle of pregnancy"). He often drew muscles and tendons of the cervical muscles and of the shoulder.
He was a master of topographic anatomy. He not only studied the anatomy of human, but also of other beings. It is important to note that he was not only interested in structure but also in function, so he was anatomist and physiologist at the same time. Because he actively searched for bodily deformed people to paint them, he is also considered to be the beginner of caricature.His study of human anatomy led also to the design of the first known robot in recorded history.
The design, which has come to be called Leonardo's robot, was probably made around the year 1495 but was rediscovered only in the 1950s. It is not known if an attempt was made to build the device. He correctly worked out how heart valves eddy the flow of blood yet he was unaware of circulation as he believed that blood was pumped to the muscles where it was consumed. A diagram drawing Leonardo did of a heart inspired a British heart surgeon to pioneer a new way to repair damaged hearts in 2005.
Inventions and engineering
Fascinated by the phenomenon of flight, Leonardo produced detailed studies of the flight of birds, and plans for several flying machines, including a helicopter powered by four men (which would not have worked since the body of the craft would have rotated) and a light hang-glider which could have flown.
On January 3, 1496 he unsuccessfully tested a flying machine he had constructed. PBS aired a special about the building and testing of a glider based on Leonardo's design. The glider was a resounding success.An armoured tank designed by Leonardo at the Château d'AmboiseThe interior of Leonardo da Vinci's armoured tankIn 1502 Leonardo da Vinci produced a drawing of a single span 720-foot (240 m) bridge as part of a civil engineering project for Sultan Beyazid II of Constantinople. The bridge was intended to span an inlet at the mouth of the Bosphorus known as the Golden Horn. It was never built, but Leonardo's vision was resurrected in 2001 when a smaller bridge based on his design was constructed in Norway.
Owing to his employment as a military engineer, his notebooks also contain several designs for military machines: machine guns, an armoured tank powered by humans or horses, cluster bombs, etc. even though he later held war to be the worst of human activities. Other inventions include a submarine, a cog-wheeled device that has been interpreted as the first mechanical calculator, and a car powered by a spring mechanism. In his years in the Vatican, he planned an industrial use of solar power, by employing concave mirrors to heat water. While most of Leonardo's inventions were not built during his lifetime, models of many of them have been constructed with the support of IBM and are on display at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum at the Chateau du Clos Luce in Amboise.
His notebooksLeonardo's notebooks were on four main themes; architecture, elements of mechanics, painting and human anatomy. These 'notebooks' - originally loose papers of different types and sizes, distributed by friends after his death - have found their way into major collections such as the Louvre, the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, and the British Library. The British Library has put a selection from its notebook (BL Arundel MS 263) on the web in its Turning the Pages section.
The Codex Leicester is the only major scientific work of Leonardo's in private hands. It is owned by Bill Gates, and is displayed once a year in different cities around the world.Why Leonardo did not publish or otherwise distribute the contents of his notebooks remains a mystery to those who believe that Leonardo wanted to make his observations public knowledge. Technological historian Lewis Mumford suggests that Leonardo kept notebooks as a private journal, intentionally censoring his work from those who might irresponsibly use it (the tank, for instance). They remained obscure until the 19th century, and were not directly of value to the development of science and technology.
In January 2005, researchers discovered the hidden laboratory used by Leonardo da Vinci for studies of flight and other pioneering scientific work in previously sealed rooms at a monastery next to the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, in the heart of Florence.
Leonardo da Vinci - Wikipedia
Leonardo da Vinci BBC

Lists of Scientists  Wikipedia

Flower of Life
The Flower of Life - a symbol most commonly associated with New Age permutations of Sacred Geometry, is a curiously universal emblem, appearing in religious contexts all over the globe.
The oldest example can still be seen at the Temple of Osiris at Abydos (one of many geometric arrangements of circles found there), it can also be seen in early Phoenecian, Assyrian, Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern, and later medieval art. The example at the Osireion, with its multiplicity of vesica pisces shapes, may represent the 'eyes' of Osiris- a symbol of the omniscience of the god.
This delicate net of overlapping circles arranged in a six-fold pattern is called the "flower of life" because it contains a number of other shapes within its deceptively simple pattern, leading some to call it the "blueprint of creation." By connecting points in the pattern, a multitude of patterns and shapes can be traced, including a tree of Life, pentagram, and various representations of three dimensional object.


Da Vinci and the Code He Lived By
December 4, 2005 - 9:00 PM History Channel
Ellie Crystal interviews the historians from the program.

Articles in the News

Video: Leonardo painting has coded 'soundtrack' MSNBC - November 13, 2007

Leonardo's 'Last Supper' Hides True Da Vinci Code BBC - November 10, 2007
A computer technician has claimed to have cracked a real Da Vinci code, by finding musical notes encoded in the masterpiece The Last Supper. Leonardo Da Vinci left clues to a 40-second musical composition in his painting, Giovanni Maria Pala said. Each loaf of bread in the picture represents a note, he said, which combine to sound "like a requiem". Alessandro Vezzosi, director of Tuscany's Da Vinci museum, said the theory was "plausible". The 15th century painting depicts Jesus' last meal with the 12 Apostles before his arrest and crucifixion.
Science decodes da Vinci's secrets News in Science - September 5, 2007
Leonardo da Vinci applied thin layers of colour on top of each other to create a rich texture and an almost 3D effect.
The Da Vinci Glow PhysOrg - October 6, 2005

Yin Yang and the Star of David

These symbols could be said to be complete opposites and yet they are so similar. They are opposites in that one is composed only of curved lines, the other composed only of straight lines. One feels feminine, being formed from curves, the other, masculine.
And yet each is said to contain these very opposites to which we are referring. Yang is represented in the Star of David as Alchemical Fire: Alchemical Fire Symbol

Yin is represented as Alchemical Water: Alchemical Water Symbol

Symbolic meaning of the pentagram

The Pentagram is a symbol of a star encased in a circle. Always with 5 points (one pointing upward), each has its own meaning. The upward point of the star is representative of the spirit. The other four points all represent an element; earth, air, fire, and water. All these things contibutite to life and are a part of each of us.
To wear a pentagram necklace or other form of jewelry, is to say you feel the connection with the elements and respect the earth.

The number 5

The number 5 has always been regarded as mystical and magical, yet essentially 'human'. We have five fingers/toes on each limb extremity.We commonly note five senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. We perceive five stages or initiations in our lives - eg. birth, adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death. (There are other numbers / initiations / stages / attributions).
The number 5 is associated with Mars. It signifies severity, conflict and harmony through conflict. In Christianity, five were the wounds of Christ on the cross. There are five pillars of the Muslim faith and five daily times of prayer.
Five were the virtues of the medieval knight - generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety as symbolised in the pentagram device of Sir Gawain. The Wiccan Kiss is Fivefold - feet, knees, womb, breasts, lips - Blessed be.
The number 5 is prime. The simplest star - the pentagram - requires five lines to draw and it is unicursal; it is a continuous loop.

Human stars

Expressing the saying Every man and every woman is a star, we can juxtapose Man on a pentagram with head and four limbs at the points and the genitalia exactly central. This is Man in microcosm, symbolising our place in the Macrocosm or universe and the Hermetic / Tantric philosophy of associativity as above, so below.

The Golden Proportion

The geometric proportions of the regular pentagram are those of the Golden Section. The Golden Proportion is one beloved of artists since Renaissance times and also to be found in post-Hellenic art and in the geomantic planning of Templar sites, being those proportions of a rectangle considered most pleasing to the eye. Here, the ratio of the lengths of the two sides is equal to the ratio of the longer side to the sum of the two sides. Or :
a/b = b/a+b = a+b/a+2b = a+2b/2a+3b = 2a+3b/3a+5b ....etc.
If a square is added to the long side of a golden rectangle, a larger golden rectangle is formed. Continuing this progression forms the basis for a nautilus spiral. The ratio of the distance between two points of a pentagram to its total width is in the golden proportion, as is the ratio of the height above the horizontal bar to that below, as is the ratio of a central part of a line to the outer part.
This ratio forms the foundation of the Fibonacci series of numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, etc. where each number is formed by adding the previous two numbers. The Fibonacci series is much found in nature in the pattern arrangement of flower heads and leaves and many flower heads and fruits themselves exhibit a fivefold symmetry.

Protection against evil

The pentagram has long been believed to be a potent protection against evil, a symbol of conflict that shields the wearer and the home. The pentagram has five spiked wards and a womb shaped defensive, protective pentagon at the centre.

Five elements

Here are five elements, four of matter (earth, air, fire and water) and THE quintessential - spirit. These may be arrayed around the pentagrams points. The word quintessential derives from this fifth element - the spirit. Tracing a path around the pentagram, the elements are placed in order of density - spirit (or aether). fire, air, water, earth. Earth and fire are basal, fixed; air and water are free, flowing.
The single point upwards signifies the spirit ruling matter (mind ruling limbs); is a symbol of rightness. With two points up and one (spirit) downwards, subservient, the emphasis is on the carnal nature of Man.

Drawing a Pentagram

These point attributions are used in ritually inscribing, as a flourish of the hands or the athame, different forms of pentagram for invoking or banishing (grounding) each of the elementals according to the nature of the ritual. The line traces as illustrated for earth (the last stroke is optional).
Another way of seeing this path is as Man's spiritual journey through evolution. The spark of Life descending from God, the divine source of life to the simplest embryonic form (earth), rising to flow (water - air) on our plane of existence (compare with the intonation of the AUM mantra), then again descending to the fire of purification before again rising as a divine spark to find again his spiritual source.
The pentagram may be shown as an interlaced line symbolic of the web-weaving power of magick. The descending spirit-earth line may pass under (male) or over (female) the water-air line to give two slightly differing forms.

Open Pentagram

A pentagram may be open, without a surrounding circle.This is the active form symbolising an outgoing of oneself, prepared for conflict, aware, active. (One wearing an open pentagram must be physically aware of the danger of sharp points sticking in their skin from time to time). As a pagan religious symbol, the open pentagram represents an open, active approach.

Circled Pentagram

A circle around a pentagram contains and protects. The circle symbolises eternity and infinity, the cycles of life and nature. The circle touching all 5 points indicates that the spirit, earth, air, water and fire are alll connected.
The circled pentagram is the passive form implying spiritual containment of the magic circle, in keeping with the traditional secrecy of witchcraft, and the personal, individual nature of the pagan religious path, of its non-proselytising character.

Inverted Pentagram

The pentagram may be inverted with one point down. The implication is of spirit subservient to matter, of man subservient to his carnal desires. The inverted pentagram has come to be seen by many pagans as representing the dark side and it is abhored as an evil symbol. Fundamental christians, indeed, see any form of pentagram as such. However, these are recent developments and the inverted pentagram is the symbol of Gardnerian second degree initiation, representing the need of the witch to learn to face the darkness within so that it may not later rise up to take control. The centre of a pentagram implies a sixth formative element - love/will which controls from within, ruling matter and spirit by Will and the controlled magickal direction of sexual energies. This is another lesson of initiation.

The Pentagram As A Christian Symbol

Up until medieval times, the five points of the pentagram represented the five wounds of Christ on the Cross. It was a symbol of Christ the Saviour. This is in stark contrast to today where the pentagram is criticized by modern Fundamentalist Christians, as being a symbol of evil.
The church eventually chose the cross as a more significant symbol for Christianity, and the use of the pentagram as a Christian symbol gradually ceased.

How to draw a perfect Pentagram

This article explains how a perfect pentagram can be drawn using a compass and a ruler. It also has some comments on the relationship between the words pentagram and pentacle.
Note that this document was originally found here. I initially reformatted it, with the kind permission of the original author, although I have subsequently added more information.

Comte Saint-Germain

Many average, reasonable men can conceive wisdom only under the boring form of a sermon and think of the sage only in the semblance of a clergyman. For such men prudery, hypocrisy, and the most abject enslavement to ritual habit and prejudice must be the everyday virtues. When therefore it happens that a genuine sage, by way of amusing himself, mystifies his contemporaries, follows a woman, or lightheartedly raises his glass, he is condemned eternally by the army of short-sighted people whose judgment forms posterity.
That is what happened in the case of the Comte de Saint-Germain. He had a love of jewels in an extreme form, and he ostentatiously showed off those he possessed. He kept a great quantity of them in a casket, which he carried about everywhere with him. The importance he attached to jewels was so great that in the pictures painted by him, which were in themselves remarkable, the figures were covered with jewels; and his colors were so vivid and strange that faces looked pale and insignificant by contrast. Jewels cast their reflection on him and threw a distorting light on the whole of his life.
His contemporaries did not forgive him this weakness. Nor did they forgive him for keeping for an entire century the physical appearance of a man of between forty and fifty years old. Apparently a man cannot be taken seriously if he does not conform strictly to the laws of nature, and he was called a charlatan because he possessed a secret which allowed him to prolong his life beyond known human limits.
Saint-Germain seems also to have been free personally from the solemnity in which men of religion and philosophers wrap themselves. He enjoyed and sought the company of the pretty women of his day. Though he never ate any food in public, he liked dining out because of the people he met and the conversation he heard. He was an aristocrat who lived with princes and even with kings almost on a footing of an equal. He gave recipes for removing wrinkles and dyeing hair. He had an immense stock of amusing stories with which he regaled society. It appears from the memoirs of Baron von Gleichen that when Saint-Germain was in Paris he became the lover of Mademoiselle Lambert, daughter of the Chevalier Lambert, who lived in the house in which he lodged. And it appears from Grosley's memoirs that in Holland he became the lover of a woman as rich and mysterious as himself.
At first sight all this is incompatible with the high mission with which he was invested, with the part he played in the Hermetic societies of Germany and France. But the contradiction is perhaps only apparent. His outward appearance of a man of the world was necessary in the first place for the purposes of the secret diplomacy in which Louis XV often employed him. Moreover, we often have an erroneous conception of the activities of a master. The possession of an "opal of monstrous size, of a white sapphire as big as an egg, of the treasures of Aladdin's lamp," is a harmless pleasure if these treasures have been inherited or have been made through the help of miraculous knowledge. It is no great eccentricity in a man to pull down his cuffs in order to show the sparkle of the rubies in his links. And if Mademoiselle Lambert had the ideas of her time on the subject of gallantry, the Comte de Saint-Germain can hardly be reproached for lingering one night in her room in order to open in her presence the mysterious jewelcasket and invite her to choose one of those diamonds that were the admiration of Madam de Pompadour.
For pleasure in life drags a man down only when it is carried to excess. It may be that there exists a way by which a man may attain the highest spirituality and yet keep this pleasure. Moreover, on a certain plane, the chain of the senses no longer exists and kisses cease to burn; a man can no longer harm either himself or others by virtue of the power that the transformation has wrought in him.
"A man who knows everything and who never dies," said Voltaire of the Comte de Saint-Germain. He might have added that he was a man whose origin was unknown and who disappeared without leaving a trace. In vain his contemporaries tried to penetrate the mystery, and in vain the chiefs of police and the ministers of the various countries whose inhabitants he puzzled, flattered themselves that they had solved the riddle of his birth.
Louis XV must have known who he was, for he extended to him a friendship that aroused the jealousy of his court. He allotted him rooms in the Chateau of Chambord. He shut himself up with Saint-Germain and Madam de Pompadour for whole evenings; and the pleasure he derived from his conversation and the admiration he no doubt felt for the range of his knowledge cannot explain the consideration, almost the deference, he had for him. Madam du Housset says in her memoirs that the king spoke of Saint-Germain as a personage of illustrious birth. Count Charles of Hesse Cassel, with whom he lived during the last years in which history is able to follow his career, must also have possessed the secret of his birth. He worked at alchemy with him, and Saint-Germain treated him as an equal. It was to him that Saint-Germain entrusted his papers just before his supposed death in 1784. However, neither Louis XV nor the Count of Hesse Cassel ever revealed anything about the birth of Saint-Germain. The count even went so far as invariably to withhold the smallest detail bearing on the life of his mysterious friend. This is a very remarkable fact, since Saint-Germain was an extremely well known figure.
In those days, when the aristocracy immersed itself in the occult sciences, secret societies and magic, this man, who was said to possess the elixir of life and to be able to make gold at will, was the subject of interminable talk. An inner force that is irresistibly strong compels men to talk. It makes no difference whether a man is a king or a count; all alike are subject to this force, and increasingly subject to it in proportion as they spend their time with women. For Louis XV and the count to have held out against the curiosity of beloved mistresses we must presume in them either a strength of mind that they certainly did not possess or else some imperious motive which we cannot determine.
The commonest hypothesis about his birth is that Saint-Germain was the natural son of the widow of Charles II of Spain and a certain Comte (Count) Adanero, whom she knew at Bayonne. This Spanish queen was Marie de Neubourg, whom Victor Hugo took as the heroine of his Ruy Blas. Those who disliked Saint-Germain said that he was the son of a Portuguese Jew named Aymar, while those who hated him said, in the effort to add to his discredit, that he was the son of an Alsatian Jew named Wolff. Fairly recently a new genealogy of Saint-Germain has been put forward, which seems the most probable of all. It is the work of the theosophists and Annie Besant, who has frequently made the statement that the Comte de Saint-Germain was one of the sons of Francis Racoczi II, Prince of Transylvania. The children of Francis Racoczi were brought up by the Emperor of Austria, but one of them was withdrawn from his guardianship. The story was put about that he was dead, but actually he was given into the charge of the last descendant of the Medici family, who brought him up in Italy. He took the name of Saint-Germain from the little town of San Germano, where he had spent some years during his childhood and where his father had estates. This would give an air of probability to the memories of southern lands and sunny palaces which Saint-Germain liked to call up as the setting of his childhood. And it would help to account for the consideration that Louis XV showed him. The impenetrable silence kept by him and by those to whom he entrusted his secret would in this event be due to fear of the Emperor of Austria and possible vengeance on his part. The belief that Saint-Germain and the descendant of the Racoczis are one and the same is firmly held by many people, who regard him as a genuine adept and even think he may still be living.
The Comte de Saint-Germain was a man "of middle height, strongly built, and dressed with superb simplicity." He spoke with an entire lack of ceremony to the most highly placed personages and was fully conscious of his superiority. Said Gleichen of the first time he met Saint-Germain: "He threw down his hat and sword, sat down in an armchair near the fire and interrupted the conversation by saying to the man who was speaking: 'You do not know what you are saying! I am the only person who is competent to speak on this subject, and I have exhausted it. It was the same with music, which I gave up when I found I had no more to learn.'"
Indeed, many people who heard him play the violin said of him that he equaled or even surpassed the greatest virtuosos of the period, and he seems to have justified his remark that he had reached the extreme limit possible in the art of music.
Saint-Germain was also an accomplished artist. One day he took Gleichen to his house and said to him: " I am pleased with you, and you have earned my showing you a few paintings of mine." "And he very effectively kept his word," said Gleichen, "for the paintings he showed me all bore a stamp of singularity or perfection which made them more interesting than many works of art of the highest order."
However, he seems not to have excelled as a poet. There survive of his an indifferent sonnet and a letter addressed to Marie Antoinette (quoted by the Comtesse d'Adhemar) that contains predictions in doggerel verse. At the request of Madam de Pompadour he also wrote a rather poor outline of a comedy.
By far the greatest obvious talents of the Comte de Saint-Germain were connected with his knowledge of alchemy. Yet if Saint-Germain he knew how to make gold, he was wise enough to say nothing about it. Nothing but the possession of this secret could perhaps account for the enormous wealth at his command, though he was not known to have money on deposit at any banker's. What he does seem to have admitted, at least ambiguously, is that he could make a big diamond out of several small stones. The diamonds that he wore in his shoes and garters were believed to be worth more than 200,000 francs. He asserted also that he could increase the size of pearls at will, and some of the pearls in his possession certainly were of astonishing size.
If all that he said on this subject was mere bragging, it was expensive, for he supported it by magnificent gifts. Madam du Hausset tells us that one day when he was showing the queen some jewels in her presence, she commented on the beauty of a cross of white and green stones. Saint-Germain nonchalantly made her a present of it. Madam du Hausset refused, but the queen, thinking the stones were false, signed to her that she might accept. Madam du Hausset subsequently had the stones valued, and they turned out to be genuine and extremely valuable.
But the feature in Saint-Germain's personage that is hardest to believe is his astounding longevity. The musician Rameau and Madam de Gergy (with the latter of whom, according to the memoirs of Casanova, he was still dining about 1775) both assert that they met him at Venice in 1710, under the name of the Marquis de Montferrat. Both of them agree that he then had the appearance of a man of between forty and fifty years old. If their recollection is accurate this evidence destroys the hypotheses according to which Saint-Germain was the son of Marie de Neubourg or the son of Francis Racoczi II, for if he had been, he would not have been more than about twenty in 1710. Later, Madam de Gergy told Madam de Pompadour that she had received from Saint-Germain at Venice an elixir that enabled her to preserve, for a long time and without the smallest change, the appearance of a woman of twenty-five. A gift as precious as this could not be forgotten! It is also true, however, that Saint-Germain, when questioned by Madam de Pompadour on the subject of his meeting with Madam de Gergy fifty years earlier and of the marvelous elixir he was supposed to have given to her, replied with a smile: "It is not impossible; but I confess it is likely that this lady, for whom I have the greatest respect, is talking nonsense.
We can compare with this the offer he made to Mademoiselle de Genlis when she was a child: "When you are seventeen or eighteen will you be happy to remain at that age, at least for a great many years?' She answered that she should indeed be charmed. "Very well," he said very gravely; "I promise you that you shall." And he at once spoke of something else.
The period of his great celebrity in Paris extended from 1750 to 1760. Everyone agreed then that, in appearance, he was a man of between forty and fifty. He disappeared for fifteen years, and when the Comtesse d'Adhemar saw him again in 1775, she declared that she found him younger than ever. And when she saw him again twelve years later he still looked the same. While he deliberately allowed his hearers to believe that his life had lasted inconceivably long, he never actually said so. He proceeded by veiled allusions.
"He diluted the strength of the marvelous in his stories," said his friend Gleichen, "according to the receptivity of his hearer. When he was telling a fool some event of the time of Charles V, he informed him quite crudely that he had been present. But when he spoke to somebody less credulous, he contented himself with describing the smallest circumstances, the faces and gestures of the speakers, the room and the part of it they were in, with such vivacity and in such detail that his hearers received the impression that he had actually been present at the scene. 'These fools of Parisians,' he said to me one day, 'believe that I am five hundred years old. I confirm them in this idea because I see that it gives them much pleasure -- not that I am not infinitely older than I appear.'"
Tradition has related that he said he had known Jesus and been present at the Council of Nicea. But he did not go so far as this in his contempt for the men with whom he associated and in his derision of their credulity. This tradition originates from the fact that Lord Gower, who was a practical joker, gave imitations at his house of well-known men of his time. When he came to Saint-Germain, he imitated his manner and voice in an imaginary conversation that Saint-Germain was supposed to have had with the founder of Christianity, of whom Lord Gower made him say: "He was the best man imaginable, but romantic and thoughtless."
About 1760, an English newspaper, the London Mercury, quite seriously published the following story: "The Comte de Saint-Germain presented a lady of his acquaintance, who was concerned at growing old, with a vial of his famous elixir of long life. The lady put the vial into a drawer. One of her servants, a middle-aged woman, thought the vial contained a harmless purge and drank the contents. When the lady summoned her servant next day, there appeared before her a young girl, almost a child. It was the effect of the elixir. A few drops more and I have no doubt the servant would have answered her mistress with infantile screams!"
"Has anyone ever seen me eat or drink?" said Saint-Germain, as he was passing through Vienna, to a Herr Graeffer who offered him some Tokay. Everyone who knew him agreed in saying that though he liked sitting down to table with a numerous company, he never touched the dishes. He was fond of offering his intimate friends the recipe of a purge made of senna pods. His principal food, which he prepared himself, was a mixture of oatmeal.
But is it really so surprising that the authors of memoirs depict Saint-Germain as retaining the same physical appearance during a whole century? Human life may have a duration infinitely longer than that ordinarily attributed to it. It is the activity of our nerves, the flame of our desire, the acid of our fears, which daily consume our organism. He who succeeds in raising himself above his emotions, in suppressing in himself anger and the fear of illness, is capable of overcoming the attrition of the years and attaining an age at least double that at which men now die of old age. If the face of a man who is not tormented by his emotions should retain its youth, it would be no miracle. Not long ago a London medical periodical reported the case of a woman who at seventy-four had preserved " the features and expression of a girl of twenty, without a wrinkle or a white hair. She had become insane as the result of an unhappy love affair, and her insanity consisted in the perpetual reliving of her last separation from her lover." From her conviction that she was young she had remained young. It may be that a subjective conception of time, and the suppression of impatience and expectation, enable a highly developed man to reduce to a minimum the normal wear and tear of the body. The Comte de Saint-Germain asserted also that he had the capacity of stopping the mechanism of the human clock during sleep. He thus almost entirely stopped the physical wastage that proceeds, without our knowing it, from breathing and the beating of the heart.
Saint-Germain's activity and the diversity of his occupations were very great. He was interested in the preparation of dyes and even started a factory in Germany for the manufacture of felt hats. But his principal role was that of a secret agent in international politics in the service of France. He became Louis XV's confidential and intimate counselor and was entrusted by him with various secret missions. This drew on him the enmity of many important men, including, notably, that of the Duke de Choiseul, the minister for foreign affairs. It was this enmity which compelled him to leave hurriedly for England in order to escape imprisonment in the Bastille.
Louis XV did not agree with his minister's policy with regard to Austria and tried to negotiate peace behind his back by using Holland as an intermediary. Saint-Germain was sent to The Hague to negotiate there with Prince Louis of Brunswick. Monsieur d'Affry, the French minister in Holland, was informed of this step, and complained bitterly to his minister for foreign affairs that France was carrying on negotiations that did not pass through his hands. The Duke de Choiseul seized his opportunity. He sent d'Affry orders demanding the extradition of Saint-Germain and have him arrested by the Dutch Government and sent to Paris. This decision was communicated to the king in the presence of his ministers in council, and Louis, not daring to admit his participation in the affair, blamed it all on his emissary. But Saint-Germain received warning just before his arrest. He had time to escape and take ship for England. The adventurer Casanova gives us some details of this escape; he happened to be in a hotel near that in which Saint-Germain was staying, and found himself mixed up in a complicated story of jewels, swindlers, duped fathers and girls madly in love with him -- a story, in fact, that was typical of the ordinary course of Saint-Germain's life.
According to Horace Walpole's letters, Saint-Germain had been arrested in London some years previously on account of his mysterious life. He had been set free because there was nothing against him. Walpole, a true Englishman, came to the conclusion that "he was not a gentleman" because he used to say with a laugh that he was taken for a spy. He was not arrested a second time in England. Not long after this, he was found in Russia, where he was to play an important but hidden part in the revolution of 1762. Count Alexis Orloff met him some years later in Italy and said of him: "Here is a man who played an important part in our revolution." Alexis' brother, Gregory Orloff, handed over to Saint-Germain of his own free will 20,000 sequins, an uncommon action, seeing that Saint-Germain had not rendered him any particular service. At that time he wore the uniform of a Russian general and called himself Soltikov.
It was about this period, the beginning of the reign of Louis XVI, that Saint-Germain returned to France and saw Marie Antoinette. The Comtesse d'Adhemar has left a detailed account of the interview. It was to her that he turned to obtain access to the queen. Since his flight to England, he had not reappeared in France, but the memory of him had become a legend, and Louis XV's friendship for him was well known. It was easy, therefore, for the Comtesse d'Adhemar to arrange a meeting with Marie Antoinette, who immediately asked Saint-Germain if he was going to settle in Paris again. "A century will pass," was his reply, "before I come here again."
In the presence of the queen he spoke in a grave voice and foretold events that would take place fifteen years later. "The queen in her wisdom will weigh that which I am about to tell her in confidence. The Encyclopedist party desires power, which it will obtain only by the complete fall of the clergy. In order to bring about this result, it will upset the monarchy. The Encyclopedists, who are seeking a chief among the members of the royal family, have cast their eyes on the Duke de Chartres. The duke will become the instrument of men who will sacrifice him when he has ceased to be useful to them. He will come to the scaffold instead of to the throne. Not for long will the laws remain the protection of the good and the terror of the wicked. The wicked will seize power with bloodstained hands. They will do away with the Catholic religion, the nobility, and the magistracy."
"So that only royalty will be left," the queen interrupted impatiently.
"Not even royalty. There will be a bloodthirsty republic, whose scepter will be the executioner's knife."
It is quite plain from these words that Saint-Germain's ideas were entirely different from those ascribed to him by the majority of historical authors of this period, nearly all of whom see in him an active instrument of the revolutionary movement. His terrible and amazing predictions filled Marie Antoinette with foreboding and agitation. Saint-Germain asked to see the King, in order to make even more serious revelations, but he asked to see him without his minister, Maurepas, being told of it.
"He is my enemy," he said, "and I count him among those who will contribute to the ruin of the kingdom, not from malice but from incapacity."
The king did not possess sufficient authority to have an interview with anybody without the presence of his minister. He informed Maurepas of the interview that Saint-Germain had had with the queen, and Maurepas thought it would be wisest to imprison in the Bastille a man who had so gloomy a vision of the future.
Out of courtesy to the Comtesse d'Adhemar, Maurepas visited her in order to acquaint her with this decision. She received him in her room.
"I know the scoundrel better than you do," he said. "He will be exposed. Our police officials have a very keen scent. Only one thing surprises me. The years have not spared me, whereas the queen declares that the Comte de Saint-Germain looks like a man of forty."
At this moment the attention of both of them was distracted by the sound of a door being shut. The comtesse uttered a cry. The expression on Maurepas' face changed. Saint-Germain stood before them.
"The king has called on you to give him good counsel," he said; "and in refusing to allow me to see him you think only of maintaining your authority. You are destroying the monarchy, for I have only a limited time to give to France, and when that time has passed I shall be seen again only after three generations. I shall not be to blame when anarchy with all its horrors devastates France. You will not see these calamities, but the fact that you paved the way for them will be enough to blacken your memory."
Having uttered this in one breath, he walked to the door, shut it behind him and disappeared. All efforts to find him proved useless. The keen scent of Maurepas' police officials was not keen enough, either during the days immediately following or later. They never discovered what had happened to the Comte de Saint-Germain.
As had been foretold to him, Maurepas did not see the calamities for which he had helped to pave the way. He died in 1781. In 1784 a rumor was current in Paris that the Comte de Saint-Germain had just died in the Duchy of Schleswig, at the castle of the Count Charles of Hesse Cassel. For biographers and historians this date seems likely to remain the official date of his death. From that day forward, the mystery in which the Comte de Saint-Germain was shrouded grew deeper than ever.
Secluded at Eckenforn in the count's castle, Saint-Germain announced that he was tired of fife. He seemed careworn and melancholy. He said he felt feeble, but he refused to see a doctor and was tended only by women. No details exist of his death, or rather of his supposed death. No tombstone at Eckenforn bore his name. It was known that he had left all his papers and certain documents relating to Freemasonry to the Count of Hesse Cassel. The count for his part asserted that he had lost a very dear friend. But his attitude was highly equivocal. He refused to give any information about his friend or his last moments, and turned the conversation if anyone spoke of him. His whole behavior gives color to the supposition that he was the accomplice of a pretended death.
Although, on the evidence of reliable witnesses, he must have been at least a hundred years old in 1784, his death in that year cannot have been genuine. The official documents of Freemasonry say that in 1785 the French masons chose him as their representative at the great convention that took place in that year, with Mesmer, Saint-Martin, and Cagliostro present. In the following year Saint-Germain was received by the Empress of Russia. Finally, the Comtesse d'Adhemar reports at great length a conversation she had with him in 1789 in the Church of the Recollets, after the taking of the Bastille.
His face looked no older than it had looked thirty years earlier. He said he had come from China and Japan. "There is nothing so strange out there," he said, "as that which is happening here. But I can do nothing. My hands are tied by someone who is stronger than I. There are times when it is possible to draw back; others at which the decree must be carried out as soon as he has pronounced it."
And he told her in broad outlines all the events, not excepting the death of the queen, that were to take place in the years that followed. "The French will play with titles and honors and ribbons like children. They will regard everything as a plaything, even the equipment of the Garde Nationale. There is today a deficit of some forty millions, which is the nominal cause of the Revolution. Well, under the dictatorship of philanthropists and orators the national debt will reach thousands of millions."
"I have seen Saint-Germain again," wrote Comtesse d'Adhemar in 1821, "each time to my amazement. I saw him when the queen was murdered, on the 18th of Brumaire, on the day following the death of the Duke d'Enghien, in January, 1815, and on the eve of the murder of the Duke de Berry."
Mademoiselle de Genlis asserts that she met the Comte de Saint-Germain in 1821 during the negotiations for the Treaty of Vienna; and the Comte de Chalons, who was ambassador in Venice, said he spoke to him there soon afterwards in the Piazza di San Marco. There is other evidence, though less conclusive, of his survival. The Englishman Grosley said he saw him in 1798 in a revolutionary prison; and someone else wrote that he was one of the crowd surrounding the tribunal at which the Princess de Lamballe appeared before her execution.
It seems quite certain that the Comte de Saint-Germain did not die at the place and on the date that history has fixed. He continued an unknown career, of whose end we are ignorant and whose duration seems so long that one's imagination hesitates to admit it.
Many writers who have studied the French Revolution do not believe in the influence exerted by the Comte de Saint-Germain. It is true that he set up no landmarks for posterity, and even obliterated the traces he had made. He left no arrogant memorial of himself such as a book. He worked for humanity, not for himself. He was modest, the rarest quality in men of intelligence. His only foibles were the harm less affectation of appearing a great deal younger than his age and the pleasure he took in making a ring sparkle. But men are judged only by their own statements and by the merits they attribute to themselves. Only his age and his jewels attracted notice.
Yet the part he played in the spiritual sphere was considerable. He was the architect who drew the plans for a work that is as yet only on the stocks. But he was an architect betrayed by the workmen. He had dreamed of a high tower that should enable man to communicate with heaven, and the workmen preferred to build houses for eating and sleeping.
He influenced Freemasonry and the secret societies, though many modem masons have denied this and have even omitted to mention him as a great source of inspiration. In Vienna he took part in the foundation of the Society of Asiatic Brothers and of the Knights of Light, who studied alchemy; and it was he who gave Mesmer his fundamental ideas on personal magnetism and hypnotism. It is said that he initiated Cagliostro, who visited him on several occasions in Holstein to receive directions from him, though there is no direct evidence for this. The two men were to be far separated from one another by opposite currents and a different fate.
The Comtesse d'Adhemar quotes a letter she received from Saint-Germain in which he says, speaking of his journey to Paris in 1789, "I wished to see the work that that demon of hell, Cagliostro, has prepared." It seems that Cagliostro took part in the preparation of the revolutionary movement, which Saint-Germain tried to check by developing mystical ideas among the most advanced men of the period. He had foreseen the chaos of the last years of the eighteenth century and hoped to give it a turn in the direction of peace by spreading among its future promoters a philosophy that might change them. But he reckoned without the slowness with which the soul of man develops and without the aversion that man brings to the task. And he left out of his calculations the powerful reactions of hatred.
All over the country secret societies sprang up. The new spirit manifested itself in the form of associations. Neither the nobility nor the clergy escaped what had become a fashion. There were even formed lodges for women, and the Princesse de Lamballe became grand mistress of one of them. In Germany there were the Illuminati and the Knights of Strict Observance, and Frederick II, when he came to the throne, founded the sect of the Architects of Africa. In France, the Order of the Templars was reconstituted, and Freemasonry, whose grand master was the Duke de Chartres, increased the number of its lodges in every town. Martinez de Pasqually taught his philosophy at Marseilles, Bordeaux and Toulouse; and Savalette de Lange, with mystics such as Court de Gebelin and Saint-Martin, founded the lodge of the Friends Assembled.
The initiates of these sects understood that they were the depositories of a heritage that they did not know, but whose boundless value they guessed; it was to be found somewhere, perhaps in traditions, perhaps in a book written by a master, perhaps in themselves. They spoke of this revealing word, this hidden treasure it was said to be in the hands of "unknown superiors of these sects, who would one day disclose the wealth which gives freedom and immortality."
It was this immortality of the spirit that Saint-Germain tried to bring to a small group of chosen initiates. He believed that this minority, once it was developed itself, would, in its turn, help to develop another small number, and that a vast spiritual radiation would gradually descend, in beneficent waves, towards the more ignorant masses. It was a sage's dream, which was never to be realized.
With the co-operation of Savalette de Lange, who was the nominal head, he founded the group of Philalethes, or truth-lovers, which was recruited from the cream of the Friends Assembled. The Prince of Hesse, Condorcet, and Cagliostro were all members of this group. Saint-Germain expounded his philosophy at Ermenonville and in Paris, in the rue Platriere. It was a Platonic Christianity, which combined Swedenborg's visions with Martinez de Pasqually's theory of reintegration. There were to be found in it Plotinus' emanations and the hierarchy of successive planes described by Hermeticists and modem theosophists. He taught that man has in him infinite possibilities and that, from the practical point of view, he must strive unceasingly to free himself of matter in order to enter into communication with the world of higher intelligences.
He was understood by some. In two great successive assemblies, at which every Masonic lodge in France was represented, the Philalethes attempted the reform of Freemasonry. If they had attained their aim, if they had succeeded in directing the great force of Freemasonry by the prestige of their philosophy, which was sublime and disinterested, it may be that the course of events would have been altered, that the old dream of a world guided by philosopher-initiates would have been realized.
But matters were to turn out differently. Old causes, created by accumulated injustices had paved the way for terrible effects. These effects were in their turn to create the causes of future evil. The chain of evil, linked firmly together by men's egoism and hatred, was not to be broken. The light kindled by a few wise visionaries, a few faithful watchers over the well being of their brothers, was extinguished almost as soon as it was kindled.
Napoleon III, puzzled and interested by what he had heard about the mysterious life of the Comte de Saint-Germain, instructed one of his librarians to search for and collect all that could be found about him in archives and documents of the latter part of the eighteenth century. This was done, and a great number of papers, forming an enormous dossier, was deposited in the library of the prefecture of police. Unfortunately, the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune supervened, and the part of the building in which the dossier was kept was burnt. Thus once again a synchronous accident upheld the ancient law that decrees that the life of the adept must always be surrounded with mystery.
What happened to the Comte de Saint-Germain after 1821, in which year there is evidence that he was still alive? An Englishman, Albert Vandam, in his memoirs, which he calls An Englishman in Paris, speaks of a certain person whom he knew towards the end of Louis Philippe's reign and whose way of life bore a curious resemblance to that of the Comte de Saint-Germain. "He called himself Major Fraser, wrote Vandam, "lived alone and never alluded to his family. Moreover he was lavish with money, though the source of his fortune remained a mystery to everyone. He possessed a marvelous knowledge of all the countries in Europe at all periods. His memory was absolutely incredible and, curiously enough, he often gave his hearers to understand that he had acquired his learning elsewhere than from books. Many is the time he has told me, with a strange smile, that he was certain he had known Nero, had spoken with Dante, and so on."
Like Saint-Germain, Major Fraser had the appearance of a man of between forty and fifty, of middle height and strongly built. The rumor was current that he was the illegitimate son of a Spanish prince. After having been, also like Saint-Germain, a cause of astonishment to Parisian society for a considerable time, he disappeared without leaving a trace. Was it the same Major Fraser who, in 1820, published an account of his journey in the Himalayas, in which he said he had reached Gangotri, the source of the most sacred branch of the Ganges River, and bathed in the source of the Jumna River?
It was at the end of the nineteenth century that the legend of Saint-Germain grew so inordinately. By reason of his knowledge, of the integrity of his life, of his wealth and of the mystery that surrounded him, he might reasonably have been taken for an heir of the first Rosicrucians, for a possessor of the Philosopher's Stone. But the theosophists and a great many occultists regarded him as a master of the great White Lodge of the Himalayas. The legend of these masters is well known. According to it there live in inaccessible lamaseries in Tibet certain wise men who possess the ancient secrets of the lost civilization of Atlantis. Sometimes they send to their imperfect brothers, who are blinded by passions and ignorance, sublime messengers to teach and guide them. Krishna, the Buddha, and Jesus were the greatest of these. But there were many other more obscure messengers, of whom Saint-Germain has been considered to be one.
"This pupil of Hindu and Egyptian hierophants, this holder of the secret knowledge of the East," theosophist Madam Blavatsky says of him, "was not appreciated for who he was. The stupid world has always treated in this way men who, like Saint-Germain, have returned to it after long years of seclusion devoted to study with their hands full of the treasure of esoteric wisdom and with the hope of making the world better, wiser and happier." Between 1880 and 1900 it was admitted among all theosophists, who at that time had become very numerous, particularly in England and America, that the Comte de Saint-Germain was still alive, that he was still engaged in the spiritual development of the West, and that those who sincerely took part in this development had the possibility of meeting him.
The brotherhood of Khe-lan was famous throughout Tibet, and one of their most famous brothers was an Englishman who had arrived one day during the early part of the twentieth century from the West. He spoke every language, including the Tibetan, and knew every art and science, says the tradition. His sanctity and the phenomena produced by him caused him to be proclaimed a Shaberon Master after a residence of but a few years. His memory lives to the present day among the Tibetans, but his real name is a secret with the Shaberons alone. Might not this mysterious traveler be the Comte de Saint-Germain?
But even if he has never come back, even if he is no longer alive and we must relegate to legend the idea that the great Hermetic nobleman is still wandering about the world with his sparkling jewels, his senna tea, and his taste for princesses and queens even so it can be said that he has gained the immortality he sought. For a great number of imaginative and sincere men the Comte de Saint-Germain is more alive than he has ever been. There are men who, when they hear a step on the staircase, think it may perhaps be he, coming to give them advice, to bring them some unexpected philosophical idea. They do not jump up to open the door to their guest, for material barriers do not exist for him. There are men who, when they go to sleep, are pervaded by genuine happiness because they are certain that their spirit, when freed from the body, will be able to hold converse with the master in the luminous haze of the astral world.
The Comte de Saint-Germain is always present with us. There will always be, as there were in the eighteenth century, mysterious doctors, enigmatic travelers, bringers of occult secrets, to perpetuate him. Some will have bathed in the sources of the Ganges, and others will show a talisman found in the pyramids. But they are not necessary. They diminish the range of the mystery by giving it everyday, material form. The Comte de Saint-Germain is immortal, as he always dreamed of being.