Lumen de Lumine

Written by Thomas Vaughan (Eugenius Philalethes) and edited with and introduction by Arthur Edward Waite.

You may have noticed that I have not posted a Newsletter for a few weeks. The reason is I have been working on re-issuing a book entitled Lumen de lumine by Thomas Vaughan, a Welsh philosopher and alchemist who lived and wrote in the 17th century. The edition I am working on was edited and introduced by Arthur Edward Waite in 1910. This book is of special interest to those interested in the use of metaphor and allegory as applied to mystical philosophy and esoteric lore, especially with regards to Alchemy.

Waite writes in the Preface, “The books issued under the name of Eugenius Philalethes in the middle of the seventeenth century were written by Thomas Vaughan. He had taken holy orders, but at the period of the Great Rebellion it is on record that he proved his royalist sympathies actively in the struggle between King and Commons. He was the brother of Henry Vaughan, to whom a permanent place has been assigned among English poets, and he himself wrote verses. As a prose writer he is deserving of consideration, but even so his titles to remembrance are not exactly of the literary kind.

“He was a man of rather wide reading, considering his epoch and—so far as one can judge concerning it—his restless, almost vagrant life. His tracts are Anthroposophia Theomagica, Anima Magica Abscondita, Magia Adamica, and Caelum Terrce issued in 1650. These I collected into a single volume in 1888, but it has long since gone out of print. Lumen de Lumine appeared in 1651, Aula Lucis in 1652, and Euphrates, or the Waters of the East, in 1655. The last was edited by Dr W. Wynn Westcott in his series entitled Collectanea Hermetica, and in this case also the edition is now exhausted. Aula Lucis still awaits an editor.

“The present reprint of Lumen de Lumine is designed for students of mystical philosophy, I have thought it desirable to modernise the inchoate orthography and to punctuate in accordance with modern methods. I have further omitted the Latin passages, and, where these have not been translated by Vaughan himself, I have supplied my own renderings. I should add that Lumen de Lumine in its first and so far sole edition, is exceedingly rare and I believe that I have worked well for those of my school in thus rendering it available.”

Lumen de Lumine is the first of a series of books of a mystically curious nature that will emerge over the next year or so. Other titles include: The Sacred Cube; The History of Incense; Nymphs, Sylphs, Gnomes and Salamanders; Hades, etc. Those of you who would like a copy of Lumen de Lumine please get in touch with me on allan@cruciblebooks.co.uk or visit www.cruciblebooks.co.uk where you can purchase a copy online. It is a fascinating work, well worth the study, as it is rich in symbolism with many levels of understanding that will reveal themselves as time goes by. I have reprinted this wonderous text as a sewn hardback, bound in blue book-cloth with gilt lettering + dust-jacket; size 203mm x 127mm, pp.129 + 2 b/w illus. It is quite portable and easy to read, price £25.00. However, although it is not a limited edition I have printed 100 copies only. I will only print more if the demand requires it.

With many blessings

Allan