Paracelsus, 1536

A dispensary. Paracelsus exhorted fellow alchemists to“Stop making gold - find medicines”. (Image from Paracelsus, 1536)

The Famous Wizards cards collected by Harry and chums include not only legendary wizards such as Merlin but also historical figures such as sixteenth-century Swiss alchemist Paracelsus, a medical researcher whose experimentation with the use of mineral supplements has earned him a place in the history of biochemistry.Paracelsus believed mental and physical health to be dependent on the harmony of individual human beings with their particular environments.

It’s a modern-sounding idea until one realises that for Paracelsus and like-minded alchemists the environment included not only this world but all worlds, all planets, all stars, every body and every thing, united in a 24-7 network of causation. In practice the belief led to erroneous diagnoses. For example, physicians might blame un-harmonious movements of the planets for causing un-harmonious movements of the bowels. 

Valeriano, 1556

Paracelsus wrote that “there is in each person, in every animal, bird and plant a star which mirrors, matches or is in some sense the same as a star in the heavens”. (Image from Valeriano, 1556)

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