The old tale about the genie of the bottle is
figurative language originating from the cultic initiations known in ancient
Middle East. But did other conditions of mystical relations attach to the
Modern languages still have several expressions from these relations - the
archetypal, symbolic expressions are re-echoed in the linguistic images from the
ideas of those initiated, who were versed in astronomy and alchemy. This applies
in particular for the Tycho Brahe records.
The Well In the Sky
In a letter dated on February 14, 1576, from Danish astronomer and alchymist
Tycho Brahe in Scania to his friend, Johannes Pratensis in Copenhagen, was
written about he (Brahe) was planning secretly to travel south to Basle in
Switzerland. However, at the decisive moment the command of Danish King Frederik
II to remain in Denmark, got in his way.
In that time Basle was a spiritual centre for many alchemists. In order to
understand the circumstances, we have to look into some ancient tales or
traditions from the Orient, in which the horrible basilisk is mentioned.
This terrible animal - a mixture of the head, wings, and claws of a cock, and
the body of a dragon - living at the bottom of a well shaft, and was so cruel
that a person died when looking at it, because its look had a lethal effect.
However, it was possible to get at the culprit by lowering a mirror into the
well to the brute. (A principle mythical Perseus used with Medusa).
Alchemist’s reagent bottle with
a ”little king” - a so-called homunculus.
According to old traditions there is a well in the sky. Its bottom is the
Leo constellation, the main star of which is a so-called “royal star” Regulus
or Basiliskos (is both in Latin and Greek ‘little king’, and in Greek
also ‘a monster’). The upper opening of the well is the Aquarius constellation,
named the Water Carrier, but originally the Well Pitcher or the Well Bucket.
The constellation of Aquarius,
the Water Carrier, originally named
the Well Pitcher or the Well Bucket. From Bayer’s star atlas, 17th century..
Basle - and Basilisk
Among alchemists the widespread assumption was that terrestrial conditions
were mirrored in the sky and vice versa. They considered the said starry well as
a parallel to their retort (process container). The Draco constellation (the
Dragon) which winds around the celestial well and bite himself in the tail, was
understood as a reflection/figurative echo of the retort with its entwined
At the bottom of this retort the alchemist started to develop a so-called
“homunculus”, a tiny human being and looking like a king, in other words
a “little king”, a “basiliskos”.
The old tale about the genie with the violent forces - trapped in a bottle
sealed with seal of King Solomon, shows to be an allegory of the alchemist
creature in the well/retort.
And similarly, the tale about a monster in a well
- an ugly toad,
which eventually turns into a prince, a “little king” (e.g. by being
kissed of the woman/princess who found him).
During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance the name of the city, i.e.
can be seen attached to the name expression ‘basilisk’, and the city arms
presented a basilisk. Therefore, it is natural that many alchemists turned their
eyes towards Basle (where books on alchemy were allowed to be printed), and
which quickly became one of the centres of this occult science.
Basle’s original city arms presenting the mystical
Uraniborg Founded On the Day
Of the Basilisk
Tycho Brahe wrote, that during his life he spent as much time on alchemy as
on astrology. When in 1576 he built the Uraniborg, his palace and observatory,
he created towers for observations of the stars as well as a huge laboratory
with as many as 16 alchemist ovens in operation, and 5 similar ovens in his
house in Copenhagen. Thus, exactly like by his working with astronomy, he had a
large-scale-operation of experiments and observations producing enormous amounts
of data for use in a statistical and empirical research - the first in history -
and he became the grand pioneer of modern science.
First, however, he made ample provisions for the foundation on August 8, at the
time - early in the morning when the sun was passing Regulus-Basiliskos,
the royal star. - Likewise, he chose the time when Moon and Mars were passing Regulus-Basiliskos, when on December 11, 1584, he founded an annex to the
Uraniborg, i.e. the “Stjerneborg” (‘Star-castle’) placing the fundament stone in
the deepest observation well of this, his demi-underground observatory.
99 years later, the Greenwich Observatory was founded by John Flamsteed,
Britain’s Astronomer Royal, by being following the same original guide lines as
presented by Tycho Brahe at the Uraniborg. Flamsteed took care that the
foundation took place at a very particular time, that is at the time when the
sun was passing Regulus-Basiliskos.
Ove von Spaeth
Writer, Historian, Independent Researcher: copyright © 1998 & © 2004.
- Partly from Ove von Spaeth’s “The Secret Religion”
the vol. 4 of his book-series, “Assassinating Moses”.
( C.A. Reitzel Publisher & Bookseller - phone 33 12 24 00 &
Tycho Brahe’s armillary-instrument with the
mythology figure Atlas (with the sky globe on
his shoulders), who purposely is pictured as a king at the bottom of the
Part of alchemistic laboratory with ovens and retorts as in the
Tycho Brahe’s own workshop in the cellar vaults of Uraniborg.
The Draco constellation shown as Ourobos.
Right: Alchemists’ retort-oven.