John Dee – Inverted Celestial Philosophers’ Egg containing All Creation within it, “Monas Hieroglyphica”, 1564.
“Celestial astronomy is the source and guide of the inferior astronomy. Before we raise our eyes to heaven, kabbalistically illuminated by the contemplation of these mysteries, we should perceive very exactly the construction of our Monad as it is shown to us not only in the Light but also in life and nature, for it discloses explicitly, by its inner movement, the most secret mysteries of this physical analysis. We have contemplated the heavenly and divine functions of this celestial Messenger, and we now apply this co-ordination to the figure of the egg. It is well known that all astrologers teach that the form of the orbit traversed by a planet is circular, and because the wise should understand by a hint, it is thus that we interpret it in the hieroglyph shown, which conforms in every detail with all that has gone before.
Here you will note that the miserable alchemists must learn to recognize their numerous errors and to understand what is the water of the white of egg, what is the oil of the yoke of egg, and what we mean by calcined egg-shells. These inexpert impostors must learn in their despair to understand what are meant by these and many other similar expressions. Here we have shown almost all the proportions which correspond to Nature herself. This is the same Eagle’s Egg which the scarab formerly broke because of the injury which the cruelty and violence of this bird caused to timid and primitive man, for this bird pursued some of them who were running to the cavern where the scarab dwelt, to implore his aid. The scarab wondered in what manner he alone could revenge such insolence, and, being of an ardent character, prepared to accomplish his purpose by constancy and determination, for he was short of neither power nor intelligence. The scarab pursued the eagle resolutely and made use of this very subtle trick: he let fall his ordure in the bosom of Jupiter where the egg was deposited, with the result that the God in getting rid of it threw the egg to the ground, where it was broken. The scarab by this method would have completely exterminated the whole family of eagles from the Earth had not Jupiter, in order to avoid such a calamity, resolved that, during that part of the year when the eagles watch over their eggs, no scarab should come flying near them. Therefore, I counsel those who are ill-treated by the cruelty of this bird, that they learn the very useful art from these solar insects (Heliocantharis) who live concealed and hidden for very long periods of time. By these indications and signs, for which they should be very thankful, they themselves will be able to take vengeance on their enemy. And I affirm (O King!) that it is not Aesop but Oedipus who prompts me, for he presented these things to worthy souls, and ventured for the first time to speak of these supreme mysteries of Nature. I know perfectly well that there have been certain men who, by the art of the scarab, have dissolved the eagle’s egg and its shell with pure albumen and have formed thereby a mixture of all; afterwards they have reduced this mixture to a yellow liquid, by a notable process, viz. by a ceaseless circulation just as the scarabs roll their balls of earth. By this means the great metamorphosis of the egg was accomplished; the albumen was absorbed during a great many revolutions round the heliocentric orbits, and was enveloped in this same yellow liquid. The hieroglyphic figure shown here, of this art, will not displease those who are familiar with Nature. We read that during the early centuries, this art was much celebrated amongst the most serious and ancient Philosophers, as being certain and useful. Anaxagoras performed the magistery and extracted therefrom an excellent medicine. He who devotes himself sincerely to these mysteries will see clearly that nothing is able to exist without the virtue of our hieroglyphic Monad.”