“Dubbed ‘the most prominent alchemical physician in Germany since Paracelsus,’ Michael Maier was Royal Physician and Count Palatine to Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. A doctor, diplomat and alchemist, Maier spent much of his life in a poignant, fruitless quest for the elusive Rosicrucian Brotherhood; visionaries and intellectuals whose Manifestos proclaiming a “universal reformation of mankind” had caused an immense impact on European culture in the wake of decades of religious warfare. Maier produced a variety of works synthesising his interests in healing, alchemy, and esoteric philosophy. His Atalanta fugiens (1617) was designed to simultaneously stimulate the senses, the intellect, and the spirit through engagement with the emblems, music, and text, to lead the reader on a path to self-initiation through the secrets of alchemical knowledge. In this richly illustrated book, Sasha Chaitow traces this path through the structure and content of the Atalanta fugiens together with a number of Maier’s other works. She explores the coded mythical references in the images and provides evidence that the emblems need to be rearranged to decode Maier’s full message.
“Sasha Chaitow’s published research papers cover topics in the history of esotericism, culture, and science. She has exhibited her work internationally in 13 solo exhibitions since 2000, and has worked as a curator and event manager since 2008. She lectures internationally for academic and general audiences on culture and education, and she teaches academic skills and research literacy for the sciences. She has also worked in academic and scientific publishing and as a journalist and science writer. Her current research interests include the history of science and its intersection with wider culture between the 18th-21st centuries, and interdisciplinary approaches in the health sciences.”
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