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CABALA Mirror of Art and Nature – Stephan Michelspacher


CABALA: SPIEGEL DER KUNST VND NATUR was first published precisely four hundred years ago in the Free Imperial City of Augsburg, located in the Holy Roman Empire. The first edition was printed by Johann Schultes Sr., and published by the enigmatic Tyrolean, Stephan Michelspacher. CABALA remains one of the most fascinating, beautiful and problematic alchemical texts of the early seventeenth century. Its short text, partly in verse-form, describes three steel mirrors forged by the heat of the sun and revealed by the grace of God, which are at least partly metaphorical. When combined together, these mirrors – which reflect the Paracelsian triumvirate of mercury, salt and sulphur – reveal the great Arcanum, or secret of alchemical transmutation. The text is accompanied by four large plates, beautifully engraved by Raphael Custos (1590-1664), which similarly¬† encode the steps of progression to the work of transmutation, and which map onto the four mirrors of the text. The 1616 Latin edition introduces a further layer of complexity, by associating the tract with the Rosicrucian fraternity. Finally, Michelspacher’s dedicatory epistle sheds more light on his own circumstances than on the content of the work.

EDITIO TRILINGUA: The aim of the present volume is to present readers, for the first time, with reliable editions of the original German (1615, 1616) and Latin (1616) texts of CABALA, accompanied by an annotated English translation of the 1616 German text, together with a historical typsetting the whole offers a definitive and complete critical edition.

CABALA Ornament



A critical edition of the German and Latin editions of 1615 – 1616, published by Stephan Michelspacher in Augsburg, together with an annotated English Translation.

Edited and translated with an introduction, commentary, and notes by Leigh T. I. Penman





Now Available!

Tyrolean Edition Photo


TYROLEAN EDITIONS: handbound in full scarlet kid with gilt title and spine bands,

marbled endsheets and silk ribbon bookmark. Accompanied by a

portfolio of the four engravings in facsimile.

15 special exemplars | $378.00

Tyrolean Ornament

Grotesque ornament for the Tyrolean and Deluxe editions.



DELUXE EDITIONS: handbound in full walnut kid with gilt title and spine bands,

marbled endsheets and silk ribbon bookmark.

75 deluxe exemplars | $250.00


CABALA Cover Final

TRADE EDITIONS: Sewn in book cloth with a letterpress printed dust jacket.

777 standard exemplars | : $50.00



Specifications: Printed offset and bound in a small quarto format [7″ x 10″], 160 pages. Illustrated with 17th century engravings. With an introduction, commentary notes and includes a bibliography. English, German and Latin text in translation.