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Golem, legends, mysteries and myths in history. Prague is the “magic city” by definition, but there are two absolutely magical points. The first is The Street of Gold (so called because there were many alchemists laboratories) with the Powder Tower, the Rahd.
The second is located, as well Visehrad, south of the great bend of the Vltava (Moldau), in the heart of Stare Mesto (Old Town) which includes Staromietskè Namesti (Market Square) with the Church of St. Mary of Tyn (Tynsky chram ), the astronomical clock tower, the monument to Huss and the building where Mozart stayed.
Hence, walking toward Josefov – the former Jewish district – and just a few meters away, in the alley of Maslova, there is a Jewish restaurant with an evocative name: “U ‘Golema” (The Golem).
We are in fact a few steps from the house of Rabbi Loew, the Vltava and the Carlùv Most (Charles Bridge): between here and Hradkani focused the entire history of the city. Already home, from the ninth century., The King of Bohemia, from the fourteenth century. It also became the seat of the Holy Roman Empire; in the sixteenth century. He passed under the direct Hapsburgs. Even in the sixteenth century., During the anti-Hussite struggles and the “Thirty Years’ War, under Rudolf II, Prague experienced its magic moment and legendary. And it is under Rudolph II who, during one of the periodic pogroms, originated the legend of the Golem, attributed to Rabbi Loew, who probably would have created with the help of the wizard and Kabbalist Englishman John Dee (1527-1607, creator the British Museum) of “Sigillum Emeth” still guarded talisman.
The charm of the place, and the evocative power of names, the night illuminated only by the lights of Tyn spiers recall the suggestions memory of a reality beyond time and space, as if the ghosts of the tangible past become, in the shadows of the night, in maze of narrow streets stretching between the Jewish cemetery, the old Synagogue and the Jewish Museum. This magic hour from the corner of the Rabbi’s house seems to emerge, a shadow among shadows, haunting figure of the Golem – you do not know if a statue of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or a satanic grin of the Nosferatu. Metaphors aside, what was the Golem? and especially what was the Golem? In Aramaic, the word Golem means “inert matter” and is used by the Talmud in the comment to the biblical account of Creation. To this tradition, Golem was a kind of human embryo, man to the primitive stage, obtained from the mud pile is inserted before the divine breath of life. In the tradition arose within the Central European Judaism “diaspora” is a clay giant is the secret of creation that belong only to the rabbis.
Around this core of traditions, and in the “Magic Triangle” (Prague, Turin, London), it is many legends are created. Here resided rabbis, alchemists, and experts of Kabbalah. Paul Johnson reminds us that various authors helped to spread, between the fifteenth and seventeenth century., Works well Pedahzur Gamaliel and probably Abraham Mears precisely in that area where the magic had already spread, and with it, the legend of the Golem. Rabbi Loew (who lived in Prague between 1520 and 1609) would have created the Golem as an autonomous creature, but we can not forget that already in 1508 the rabbi Salomon ibn-Gabirol had given birth to a female version of the Golem. Moreover, a similar legend had spread to Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, already in the eleventh century. For sure we know that, in the seventeenth century. The legend refers to the Golem Loew was established mainly in Prague Magic City. Because this is where it would have been created at the beginning of the seventeenth century. The most famous golem to defend the ghetto from the oppression and pogroms by one of Rudolph II.
The legend goes on telling that The Golem, over time, acquired human characteristics ending with rebel against his creator. So Loew was forced to destroy it. Because of the Golem, built without a breath of life from a motionless mass of mud, was animated by drawing on his forehead the signs ALEPH, MEM, and THAU: Jewish signs of which the Kabbalistic name of Adam. For the Talmudist Golem directly derived from the creation of the first man (incidentally I note that the word Golem, in the Bible, you meet only once, in a step of Psalms, never entirely clear). According to another tradition – as it is known Hebrew does not bear vocalization – reading the signs should be EMET (meaning “truth”). In either case, deleting the ALEPH sign, the Golem, as a robot suddenly turned off, decomposed. The remaining letters (Mem and Thau who speak out METH) matches the word death. There is no doubt that ideally, the Golem constituted the most powerful magic of Kabbalah practice (what Eliphas Levi called Goetia or Black Magic) ‘s result was the artificial creation of man (which he had already occupied Paracelsus), without forgetting or underestimate the legends connected to the vitality of the mandrake root.
The fact that in a magical Ba’al Shem (ie a master of the name) insufflated life by saying one of the secret names of God with a special formula, you can find the connection between Magic and Kabbalah in the Golem legend. The spread of the story of the Golem and its wider perception contributed two novels: “Der Prager Golem” by Chaim Bloch and “Der Golem” Meyrink. But Loew’s reputation and knowledge of the legend is due to David Gans, bohemian writer and scientist (1541-1613) author of a treatise on astronomy and geography entitled imaginative: “We nech-Mad-maim” (pleasant and dear ).
Other details about the Golem have been handed down by the aforementioned John Dee. I do not think that the Golem was an autonomous creation of Loew, nor that his legend was a creation of the Prague culture; I am personally convinced that the Golem could find a prominent and immediate predecessor in the “homunculus” of Paracelsus. Paracelsus was the pseudonym under which he hid the eminent Swiss scholar (he was born to Etzel in 1493) Theophrastus Bombastus Aurelius Philippus von Hohenheim. On a par of the enlightened era, it became known for his alchemical and medical studies, but also hermetic, philosophy and magic. It was called “the divine”, probably in the sense of diviner). In everyday life, beyond its undoubted merits as a researcher and scholar, he was a man very pompous and arrogant in which the name Bombastus (whence the English word “bombastic”) best describes its shortcomings. Suffice to say that the pseudonym Paracelsus, which he attributed, means “greater than Celsus” (maximum of Ephesus medical authority of the first century. A.D.). He taught at the University of Prague “negromantia”, “Carmina” (magical spells), “veneficia” (witchcraft), “Vaticinia” (prophecy), “incantationes” (spells) and those “vaticinia” who were of their “Jases” (Polish gypsies), the “Shinti” (Lithuanian gypsies) and “ROM” local Bohemian gypsies. This type of culture join Paracelsus Henry Cornelius Agrippa (born in Cologne in 1486). They were responsible for the introduction of terms still used: as “alcohol” (from the Arabic al kohol) or from the German “alka” (in turn from all-Geist, phantom) terms indicating the universal solvent necessary in the fulfillment of Great Work. But only to Paracelsus, the hermetic tradition attributes the production of life in a tube: the SO-CALLED homunculus. Paracelsus stated: “If the human seed, enclosed in the hermetically sealed glass ampoule, is buried for forty days in horse manure and suitably magnetized, begins to move and to take life. After the prescribed time takes on the form and likeness of a human being, but it will be clear and without a physical body. Bottle feeding with Arcanum sanguinis hominis for forty weeks and maintained at a constant temperature, take the child born of a woman looks, but much smaller. We call such a being homunculus and can be educated and brought up like any other child until adulthood when they will get judgment and intellect … “.
But not even the Homunculus of Paracelsus had a birthright. According to the ancient Magic existed another method for producing the Homunculus and consisted in the use of mandrake root that has just been extracted from the earth, has the shape of a little man.
It was stated that the mandrake root, which accreditation magical virtues and curative, if you developed under the body of a hanged, cultured from a black dog during the darkest hour before dawn, washed and fed with milk and blood He transformed, in fact, in the homunculus. And again, a homunculus would be obtained from David Christianus, a professor at the University of Giessen from an egg of a black hen. Whatever the formula, and the origin of the homunculus, in essence, it was a tiny servant of supernatural intelligence, putting the service of magicians and alchemists in their difficult search. In all probability, the homunculus, and then the connected Golem, derives from the myth of Prometheus or the numeric Enlil that create humanity with clay. Neither the mythical legendary vision stops here: the game is played even the gods that enrich a particular halfway between science and science fiction.
So Volcano builds serves seven gold mechanics who help him in the work; Gold and silver dogs (symbol of immortality) guard the palace of Alcinous; still Volcano, Simonides (556-468 BC) attributed the construction of the giant bronze Talos for the surveillance of the coasts of the Minoan Crete; an animal, not better identified, is finally represented in a statue it is kept in the Musée de l’Homme in Paris and presided over the custody of the island Nukuoro.
Golem and Homunculus, therefore: artificial beings with tasks guardian or worker at zero cost. The imagination thus anticipates the technology Robot, a literary creature created, for the first time in 1929 in the play by Karel Capek satirical R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). The word referred efficient mechanical men as devoid of personality (also part of the robot there is an illustrious precedent because it is said that already in the ‘200 Alberto Magno made use of a brass mechanical man). What is the meaning of the Golem? Obviously, in asking myself this question rule out the possibility of a historical reality: I believe the Golem (or any of the Golem of which is peppered the legend) was never created, as it was never created the Homunculus or the root of Mandrake. I think obvious that there were attempts in that direction, but I feel quietly me to rule out that, apart from cases in which the “establishment” gave life to try mechanical structures (such as the invincible “chess player”), attempts to go beyond the illusion or, worse, of swindle for fools. Nor, to explain the phenomenon you have to believe – as they tried to make various Edward Kelly or various John Dee – that the homo philosophicus is deemed able to repeat the work of the creator (regardless of the direction you want to attribute the statement Talmudic -Kasbalistica according to which the man who had found the name of God, would be able to perform miracles). The truth is that when we speak of phenomena that are associated with the Kabbalah and alchemy we move on land that is of closer esotericità: reading them, should, therefore, be made in the light of esoteric principles considering them well “icons “[ie symbols] of an otherwise inexpressible reality. In this respect, it can not be deemed possible to go in search of a Golem physically detectable, albeit in the mists of legend because the Golem physical existence has never had the same alchemical gold fashion or the philosopher’s stone.
In the esoteric sense, the Golem is nothing but the personification of human aspiration to a life renewed level, not forced from the shackles of human reproduction to follow the story of a limited life, bound to human passions and the human desires. In this respect, the Golem is almost a Doctor Jekyll (absolute good) as opposed to the evil Mr. Hyde (pure evil).
And the search had neither success nor end.
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