Here’s a book I wrote back in 2012 that reveals The Secret History of the Rosicrucians: what the people behind it were aiming at, and what the mysterious “Book M” really is.

(I mentioned a few days ago that I would be doing this to celebrate Cipher Mysteries’ having just reached its million-visit milestone, so thank you all for that once more.)

In the book, I reveal not only what I conclude was going on behind the Rosicrucians’ curtain (i.e. that a small group of German literati was trying, in the dying days of Rudolf II’s Court, to gain the Emperor’s patronage for their idealistic but far-from-ancient secret fraternity), but also its extremely surprising link with the Voynich Manuscript (i.e. that they were hoping to use the Voynich Manuscript as their leverage to persuade Rudolf II).

The Rosicrucians wanted Rudolf II's patronage

Rosicrucians: decrypted or debunked?

A bit of both, I’d say.

In many ways, my little book is like a cipher theory in reverse… by which I mean: rather than claiming to have decrypted the Voynich Manuscript, I think I may have glimpsed how the ‘Rosicrucian’ group were trying to use a fake cipher theory (i.e. ‘only our fraternity can read Book M, which you – the Emperor – have a copy of”) to convince Rudolf to back them. Hence my book is perhaps closer to an “anti-cipher-theory”, because it tries to strip away the confusing topmost layers of the Rosicrucian enigma to get closer to what really happened.

I still have work to do on it (in particular to put together a bibliography of the sources I used, such as Tobias Churton’s (2009) “Invisibles : The True History of the Rosicrucians”, etc) and it’s not quite as polished as I would make it if I were to publish it (which might happen in the future), so it’s perhaps best read as a work-in-progress.

Finally, I have formatted its ten chapters across ten webpages so that people can leave comments that relate specifically to each chapter. (I didn’t want to be in the situation where I had a single page with a thousand comments sprawling off into the distance.)

Will this turn out to be just another Rosicrucian-themed 21st Century virtual pamphlet to add to a future Carlos Gilly’s Cimelia Rhodostaurotica Redux? Perhaps… but even so, I really do think I’ve made a good amount of progress in getting to the heart of this long-standing mystery. Have a read, see what you think. 🙂

31 thoughts on “Announcing: “The Secret History of the Rosicrucians”…

  1. boyfriend , Champollion,,. :-) on November 28, 2015 at 2:12 pm said:

    Hi Nick.
    What do you think ? I think . A few more years and you’ll be at the Rosenbergs. ( Czech noble family).

    Otherwise, you’re not alone. Even the Polish physical education teacher. Prinke. It was this year’s survey. In the Czech Krumlov. Czech Krumlov and many castles belonged at that time was the Rosenberg dynasty. 🙂

  2. boyfriend , Champollion,,. :-) on November 28, 2015 at 10:29 pm said:

    Hi Nick.
    1.No where is it written that Rudolf II owned or purchased the manuscript.
    2. Marci in a letter written by Barbora Celski. ( wife of Sigismund).
    3. Hajek of Hajek and T. Brahe names are written in the manuscript.
    4. Rudolph’s wife was a whore. ( Caterine Strada ). Her father was an antiquarian. Manage collections of Rudolf. ( Jacobo Strada , Ital. The owner of a brothel ). Rudolph died of syphilis.
    5. Alchemy is not in the manuscript .
    6. The key is written on the side of 116.
    7. Key solved Michael Voynich and his wife.
    8. Rudolf Crowned of Prague Castle – Vilhelm von Rosenberg. The Lord of the Rose. The highest Prague burgrave.
    9. I have read 1 to 10. Nothing new.
    10. Solve key.
    11. Zandbergen manuscript not solve.

  3. boyfriend , Champollion,,. :-) on November 28, 2015 at 10:42 pm said:

    Rosicrucians no written manuscript.

  4. Ken Causey on November 28, 2015 at 10:57 pm said:

    Thanks Nick! An enjoyable quick read, highly thought provoking. I look forward to the bibliography.

  5. Ken: thanks, glad you liked it! I’ve got a few things to do this week (which you’ll see shortly…) but the bibliography won’t be far behind. 😉

  6. Karl Kluge on November 28, 2015 at 11:55 pm said:

    An alternative theory that I floated back in ’98 on the Voynich mailing list (21 Jan post in http://www.voynich.com/mailing_list/1998) is that the manifestos were an attempt to lure out someone with the ability to read the Mss.

  7. Karl: that’s also a possibility, indeed. Were I to extend this to something book-length, I would definitely need to draw together all the places where people have previously floated the idea that there may be some kind of connection between the Voynich Manuscript and the Rosicrucian “Book M”, such as your 1998 post (and the reactions to it from Jim Gillogly etc).

    Incidentally, back in 2012 I pursued the whole Norfolk/leprosy thing for a few days, before concluding that there was no such person for the dates claimed. Which is one reaon (out of many, truth be told) to conclude that there was no Rosy Cross in the 15th Century. But you knew that already. 🙂

  8. Nick and Friends: You may want to look up and cross-refer the so-called “Voynich” manuscript with 12-volume (very well illustrated) “Florentine Codex” contents and discussions.

  9. Hello Nick.

    I enjoyed your post — especially the part about “Book M”. It reminded me of something I’d found in one of the Voynich drawings a while ago that may interest you.
    There’s an odd little item hidden in one of the images on folio 86v3 that appears to be a ghostly letter “M”:

    http://www.jasondavies.com/voynich/#f86v5_f86v3/0.651/0.506/2.43

    If you look closely at the diagonal structure that rises from the lower left of the folio you can see that the top is composed of a pattern of “dots”.

    http://www.jasondavies.com/voynich/#f86v5_f86v3/0.627/0.553/5.00

    The “dots” don’t appear as just a random pattern of flecks laid down like an attempt to draw a snowstorm or such. Close examination shows that most of them ( especially the outer-most/upper-most layer) have some “length” to them — like they were put down to follow a broken-line pattern. Taken together, these broken lines form what appears to be a large “M” projecting from the top of the structure.

    Whether this something to do with the “Book M” of the Rosicrucians or the great “M” that Dante witnesses in the Sphere of Jupiter ( or both . . . or neither . . . or something else entirely ) of course depends on the theory at hand 🙂

    Best,
    Ernest

  10. Has anyone ever heard of
    “Jakub Krocinek – astrologer. Jakub had two sons, the youngest son killed his own brother.”
    If you google it, you will find the link where I found this name. I have not been able to find any other information related to this person. Perhaps the name is spelt incorrectly??? I am particularly curious about the two sons.

  11. Rick A. Roberts on December 1, 2015 at 5:41 am said:

    Misca, I did some research on Jakub Krocinek. Jakub Krocinek was Rudolf’s Astrologer. Rudolf lived in the Faust House. Supposedly Krocinek’s younger son killed his older son for an alchemical treasure that was hidden in the walls of Faust’s House. Rudolf invited people with similar interests to him to the house. Eventually, he invited Dr. john Dee to visit him. Dr. John Dee had written a twenty-four volume alchemical work titled, Mercurius Coelestis (Celestial mercury) in 1549. Page # 1 on the Blitz Ciphers has the letters, ” CM ” in concentric circles in the top center of the page. Could this be the abbreviation for Mercurius Coelestis (Celestial Mercury) ? The Mercurius Coelestis (Celestial Mercury) Works was lost. Are the Blitz Ciphers the long lost works of Dr. John Dee ? Dr. John Dee was highly influenced by the Rosicrucians.

  12. Rick – Thanks for sharing the information you found on Jakub. I hadn’t found that. Dee and Kelley come up a lot but not Krocinek.

  13. bdid1dr on December 2, 2015 at 5:04 pm said:

    It is interesting that you pulled out and posted that very “fruitful” painting of Rudolph II to accompany this discussion. Rudoplph had a very prominent “Hapsburg Jaw” He was unable to eat much food which would require much mastication. Historians have told us that he had an extensive art collection; and this portrait was his favorite. I can’t recall the artist’s name; but I am certain you will follow up. (Not that I making demands, mind you!)
    PS: Are you referencing the Knights of the Rosy Cross (as opposed to those of the White Cross?

  14. bdid1dr on December 2, 2015 at 5:17 pm said:

    Perhaps you might be able to recall the name of the small church (in Scotland?) which entire inside walls and ceiling were carved in a supposed obscure code. In more recent years, the ‘coded’ carvings were found to be musical notes which referred to the ‘green man’ (or something like that). I hope I am remembering correctly that the church has regular tours. Were you able to visit that beautiful little chapel?

  15. Rick A. Roberts on December 3, 2015 at 12:43 am said:

    to bdid1dr,
    Your posting about the church in Scotland interested me, so I searched about it. The name of the church is the Rosslyn Church, located in Roslin, Scotland near Edinburgh. This was the set location used in the Da Vinci Code. During the restoration process, the walls and ceiling were found to have stone walls and ceilings with Nordic Dragons around pillars and foilage made of stone. Figures are seen dancing a waltz with their own skeletons in a, ” Danse Macabre ” (Macabre Dance). Dozens of Pagan Deities are present too. The Rosslyn Church was finished about 1480. The St. Clair Family and their descendants have been the caretakers/owners of the church. Knights Templar Legend records that there is a deep vault sealed by a stone wall under the church. The contents of this vault are not known. However, speculation is that one or more of any unimaginable fantastic treasures is located there.

  16. Rick A. Roberts on December 3, 2015 at 1:01 am said:

    Also, the ” Green Man “, is a group of 110 human faces that are carved with greenery coming from there mouths. All except two of these are found in the ” Chapel ” Area. There is one other found in between altar walls in the church. Carvings of plants including maize, wheat, and strawberries are also found in the church. The church also has a number of blocks that look like teeth protruding on the inside of it, along with numbers of columns and arches. many believe that there is a significant, numerical importance to the quantity of these.

  17. Rick A. Roberts on December 3, 2015 at 1:43 am said:

    Nick,
    I should have said that Dr. John Dee was a great influence on the Rosicrucians. He invited many scholars to visit him and started the ” Rosicrucian Movement ” of the Sixteenth Century. Frances Yates believed that Dee brought a brand of Hermetica to Eastern Europe, and that he made an important connection between magic, cabala, alchemy, and science that was encompassed within his philosophy. Since Rudolpf had Dee visit him on several occasions, I think that they might have collaborated on the ” Blitz Ciphers “, and that this might be the ” Mercurius Coelestis ” (Celestial Mercury) Works that was lost. Perhaps Jakub Krocinek’s older son killed his younger brother for this, the ” alchemy treasure “. Dee was considered a ” Renaissance man ” who wanted to understand different languages and cultures. Rudolf spoke, French, German, Italian, and Latin.

  18. Rick A. Roberts on December 3, 2015 at 1:56 am said:

    Misca,
    I am going to try and find some more information out about Jakub Krocinek and his sons. I will post this when I find out anything additional. I think that the ” alchemy treasure ” that the younger son of Krocinek killed his older brother for was the ” Mercurius Coelestis ” (Celestial Mercury) that was lost. The ” Blitz Ciphers ‘ has two concentric circles with the letters (deciphered), ” CM ” at the top center of Page # 1. The ” Blitz Ciphers “, are definitely an Astronomical Alchemy Works as it has numerology with Life Path Numbers and Destiny Numbers.

  19. bdid1dr on December 4, 2015 at 4:55 pm said:

    Nick and Rick,
    When I previously posted about Rosslyn, I mentioned that other references were made to the cubical (square) carvings as being musical notes. Have you found any other mention (or perhaps modern-day musicians ) who may have written a musical score and consequently orchestrated the mysterious ‘code’ ?
    Ehem! do re mi fa so la ti do !

  20. bdid1dr on December 4, 2015 at 5:02 pm said:

    May there be some relation to the vault as perhaps being the grave site of the Church’s first priest? (Viking, Norse, English, Scotch…..)

  21. Rick A. Roberts on December 4, 2015 at 10:37 pm said:

    bdid1dr,
    I read that there are burial vault(s) under the church. However, the article said that the ” ” deep vault ” sealed by a stone wall is not a burial vault. I’m going back and reread the article, and see if there is any reference to the identity of person(s) who are entombed in the burial vault(s).

  22. bdid1dr on December 7, 2015 at 4:28 pm said:

    Have I just now discovered some new discussion of B-408’s folio 86 (which has several verso/reverso pages which fold out? If so, I’d like to remind Nick (and Rene) that the entire folded-out manuscript is a discussion of the dangers of mis-identifying a particular mushroom. The look-alike poisonous mushroom causes hallucinations if alcoholic beverages are consumed/drunk within 24 hours of consuming: So the illustrations show a bird sailing down a waterfall. There are people huddled behind the stems of the mushrooms.
    The ‘folk’ story being told is of “Alcyone and Ceyx” — god and goddess protectors of sailors in stormy waters.
    PS: the dangerous mushroom is nicknamed the “Alcohol Inky”
    So, whether the entire folio 86 (so-called Voynich manuscript contents) can be identified by resemblance to the Florentine Manuscript; I probably no longer have the keen-ness of sight which I had two years ago.
    😉

  23. bdid1dr on December 8, 2015 at 4:57 pm said:

    @ Rick: Nick’s “Blitz Cipher” discussion is all about the destruction (WW II Blitz bombing) of a school for young potential teachers/educators. Quite a few years later, architectural drawings were made for the development of Greenwich University. The University was built upon the “Nitrate King’s” property: Winter Garden (huge glass dome), birdhouse (pigeons?) , Turkish bath, and hot water-heated floors…….

    The huge dome is still used as a conservatory, and various Holiday events are held there. Somewhere in Greenwich University’s archives (either or both campuses) one can probably find the architectural drawings.

  24. bdid1dr: you seem to have got yourself a bit tangled up there. 🙁

  25. bdid1dr on December 8, 2015 at 9:25 pm said:

    Ooo! Sorry Nick, we all seem to have gravitated from the discussion of the Secret History of the Rosicrucians” . So far, I’ve been able to find little ‘history’ of the Rosicrucians. Is there any chance that Rosicrucians may have once been occupants of a neighborhood in Jerusalem (similar to the neighborhood which Knights of the White Cross occupied)? Also not too far from the Armenian neighborhood? Also not too far from the Sharif’s occupation of the Temple?
    🙂

  26. bdid1dr on December 8, 2015 at 9:33 pm said:

    ps: Am I mistaken in my reading (many years ago) that Dee and Bacon tried to con Elizabeth I of England ?
    🙂

  27. Rick A. Roberts on December 10, 2015 at 6:18 am said:

    I went back and looked some more at the burial vaults at Rosslyn Church. According to what I read, these burial vaults entomb some of the descendants of the St. Clair Family. There was a search done to find the large vault, but it has not been found as of yet. There was a large area found under the church, but it was found to of a more recent time period than the large vault would have been.
    I noticed something interesting about the inner walls of the church. The Roman Numerals XIXIXIX can be found. This adds up to thirty-seven. According to the Bible, JESUS performed thirty-seven miracles across the Gospels. Also, Thirty-Seven is considered, ” The Word of Our Father “, and there is the Thirty-Seven Psalms.
    According to an article I read, there is also thought to be a ” Hidden Melody ” in the stonework. There are 213 cubes and thirteen geometric arches from North to South and some stones that protrude like teeth. An inverted circle and diamond rosette with twelve repeated patterns and stone angels playing instruments or singing( First and last angel have no instrument and or are not singing either).

  28. With regard to ‘Book M’ a possible source—or inspiration—to the author of the manifestoes may lie with the French Paracelsian physician Joseph du Chesne (aka Quercetanus, c. 1544–1609). His papers and manuscripts on alchemical subjects were identified by letters of the alphabet and included a book or paper designated ‘M’. The potential influence of du Chesne on the Rosicrucian movement receives some attention in Penny Bayer’s doctoral thesis ‘Women’s alchemical literature 1560-1616’ (University of Warwick, 2003), available to download at the Warwick Research Archive Portal; see in particular pp. 180–3. Other references to du Chesne’s lettered MSS can be found in the articles by Larry Principe and Didier Kahn in Ambix vol. 60 no. 1 (2013).

  29. Alan: thanks very much for that – I’ve been meaning to look at Bayer’s thesis for some time, and you’ve given me just the impromptu shove I needed to do that. 🙂

  30. bdid1dr on December 18, 2015 at 5:57 pm said:

    So, after taking another look at the Roslyn discussion of the Green Man, could it be that the very “fruitful” portrait of Rudolph II MAY HAVE been a reference to Roslyn? Are we any closer to solving the secret history of the Rosicrucians?

  31. boyfriend , Champollion,,. :-) on December 18, 2015 at 9:44 pm said:

    Friend eye.

    Well certainly there are not closer. Rather, we are moving away.
    Rudolf II. rosicrucian ? 🙂

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