Nicolas Flamel and Maranatha Books Sendeth Health

The legend of Nicolas Flamel includes a mysterious book and his quest to discover the hidden meaning within its pages. This ancient tome came into Flamel’s possession after an angel, who was holding the book, appeared to him in a dream and said, “Look well at this book, Nicolas.  At first you will understand nothing in it; neither you nor any other man. But, one day you will see in it what no other man will be able to see”.

It is said for twenty-one years he searched for answers to the curious work.  The tale states he faithfully studied and journeyed afar for wisdom’s attainment over the mystery placed before his eyes.  Legend claims he eventually learned of the pages’ secrets and was able to successfully turn lead into gold by use of the Philosopher’s Stone.

Flamel’s life, though, was not one that turned to rich luxury, as one would expect from learning this incredible ability. Instead, his life was known to be one of great charity; exposing his amazing wealth and knowledge in other ways.

The title of Flamel’s book claimed to sendeth health.  It is this phrase, ‘sendeth health’, that has captured my attention.  It directs my thoughts towards other mysteries found in other books that seem to encourage the same type of Quest.  One of these was called Maranatha: Et in Arcadia Ego, and since it emulated parts of Flamel’s tome, it included the same phrase.

Flamel’s book is described as very old, and so I find it interesting on how the past sages define ‘health’ and realize if health is understood in this way, it brings possible understanding to what ‘health’ the book may have ‘sent’; and the secret it is known to have contained and imparted upon Flamel.

In Kitty Ferguson’s book, The Music of Pythagoras (Walker Publishing, 2008), she relates the immense influence Pythagorean insight had on discoveries made in the past, and those even of today.  The belief that “all things known have number – for without this, nothing could be thought of or known” continues to reveal Truths of the universe to those who seek.

It is told Pythagoras noticed that different musical sounds correlated with varying string lengths and their ratios.  Those of 2:1, 3:2, and 4:3 had a profound impact on him.  Recognizing some sounds were pleasant and others not, he was led to deeper study into the number patterns and order of the world.  Unity was believed to exist in all things.  Opposites found balance with each other.  Harmony was key.

The word Harmony derives from the verb (Greek)”to fit together or join”. Ferguson notes the term was not believed to have been specifically used by Pythagoras.  But, as followers of Pythagoras expanded on his ideas, harmony became known as the principle which bound together the ‘limitless and limiting’.

She includes in her book the following statement made by Alcmaeon of Croton (one of the first medical scholars); “What preserves health is an equilibrium of the powers…health is a balanced mixture of opposites.”  Sickness and death were felt to be caused by ‘disharmony’, but health could be restored if balance could be restored.  This definition of health was not seen as only a physical harmony, but embraced the Soul and included a universal harmony, as well.

The above thoughts on health make me think that Flamel’s mysterious work, claiming to ‘sendeth health’, may have been providing a method to achieve and know harmony; both within and out.

The scenario of balance and the fact that the lack of harmony caused sickness forms a connection in my mind to the wasteland of the Fisher King.  In this story the land is sick and the healing of the land comprises of a Quest and a Grail.  (Something I continue to study more on).

The Quest for the Key and Grail was what the Maranatha puzzle entailed and the puzzle intended to ‘sendeth health’. The discontinuing of the puzzle did not stop the Quest for some puzzlers, or the release of the Key by Duncan Burden.  The Key was revealed in an article on the Arcadia website.  It consisted of the three primary shapes which fit together in a harmonious manner to indicate a tilted hexagram.

Could there be a relationship made back to Pythagorean thought?  Could the square represent the limited, the circle the limitless, and the triangle the Harmony that binds them?  Sure, it might not, I don’t know, but I love walking on this path.

It seems the Quest for answers is what may be most important, anyway.  I was recently just reminded of such while working on The Unicornis Manuscripts.  After searching for the Spiral Horn and coming up empty, the author, Michael Green, responded in wisdom, “The good news is that, like the Grail Quest, it may well be that the real treasure is found in the search.”

That same sentiment is what many are feeling in the hunt for gold in The Thrill of the Chase.  With this hunt I am amazed at certain correlating aspects to the Grail Quest. Forrest Fenn created the search for the bronze chest to get families out and enjoy the land.  He felt something has been lost by society, similar to a sickness across the land, and wanted to ‘heal’ it by sending people on a quest.

Like Flamel, it will not only be the discovery of gold in The Thrill of the Chase that gives the reward. It will include the adventures and knowledge learned during the Quest.

The Maranatha Puzzle authors said it as well, “The journey is as important as the Prize itself.”  So I suppose and wonder, is it the Quest that ‘sendeth health’ and causes Harmony to be found?


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16 Responses

  1. Jerry says:

    Hello Jenny,

    Just to share.. the idea of health (in any “system”) through balance, is the first thing I learned during a brief time when I was lucky enough to be apprenticed to a Hawaiian “Kahuna la’au lapa’au”.. Hawaiians call it Pono

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Hi Jerry, glad to hear from you and thanks for visiting and sharing! Very interesting. I suppose the ‘secret’ is more of how this balance/health is achieved….and kept. I believe it to be different for each person and that may be why the quest is so vital. We each must find our own song…

  2. Nate Beck says:

    A very profound article Jenny,

    I am reminded of the fact that Flamel states in his biography, which can be read on Adam McLean’s Alchemy website, that in order to be able to understand the hieroglyphical figures of Abraham the Jew, that one had to be well skilled in their tradition known as Cabala (Kabbalah). Many are also already familiar with the abundance of Biblical/Jewish references in the Maranatha puzzle.

    The central text of Kabbalah, the Zohar, makes frequent mention of the harmony and balance of the upper world and lower worlds/spheres, or the heavenly and earthly planes.

    In the Bible it is said that a false balance is an abomination to God and it even hints that music has many benefits to one’s own personal health, as is illustrated in the story of David playing on his harp to drive the madness and demons away from King Saul. All these are points that tie in with everything in this article.

    The Hexagram in the Key is just that, a balance between worlds, upper and lower; illustrated in the upright and inverted Triangles. The trinity of man in body soul and spirit in union with a Triune God. It can also be mathematically demonstrated that a Triangle is the middle shape between a Square and Circle. Not quite Squaring the Circle, but as close as we’ll ever get!

    As above, so below.

  3. Nate Beck says:

    As a lover and friend of Flamel and his Jewish allies, I figured I would recommend two volumes that I feel are necessary and wonderful additions to any Flamelian scholars library, and, indeed, to any Maranatha puzzle fanatic like me.

    1. ‘Alchemy and Kabbalah’ by Gershom Sscholem. Written by the top Jewish scholar of the Kabbalah, this book examines the common denominators and roots of both arts.

    2. ‘The Jewish Alchemists’ by Raphael Patai. A great work that focuses on the alchemists of history who were of the faith and stock of Abraham.

    These two books are gems and are, to me, of inestimable worth.

    I also feel that, perhaps, some of the authors of the Maranatha puzzle, besides being Freemasons, priests, etc., were also Jews, especially considering that the scattered pig pen cipher that one finds all over the international version of the puzzle spell out ‘Jacob’ and ‘Benjamin’. There is an undeniable and vital Jewish element, and therefore, Biblical one, involved with this Secret. In fact, Flamel tells us that according to Abraham the Jew, God taught the Jewish leaders the secret of transmutation so that they would be able to pay their unfair taxes to their cruel Roman kings of terror!

    In fact, as far as I’m concerned, the first historical document that speaks of transmutation at all, is the hebrew Bible itself.

    From Moses to Einstein, Jews have been manipulating matter! From turning the Nile to blood to splitting the atom, we find God’s special people being instrumental in the Great Work.

    May we keep this in mind as we continue to seek for the Secret of Flamel!

  4. Nate Beck says:

    Well, I thought I’d remind everyone what day it is.


    In celebration of Nicholas Flamel’s memory and legacy, I will be celebrating with a glass of wine and a toast to our esteemed alchemist today, while standing out under the midday sun.

    Care to join in the celebration?

    With best wishes to each of you,


  5. Nate Beck says:

    Ah Jenny,

    Going back over this article, I realize now that your linking of Pythagorean thought and the story of Flamel are more Philosophic Gold than I realized before!!!

    This is a hint people!

  6. Maria Rigel says:

    I have no doubt that there is a final destination. But I agree that the quest itself is most interesting.

    • Maria Rigel says:

      And I can see Duncan’s point that you might not be so interested in the destination if you didn’t go on a quest to get there. On the other hand, you could well be interested anyway… and even hate the answer. But a quest ensures a certain level of respect that might not happen otherwise.

  7. Maria Rigel says:

    Interesting thoughts on health and harmony. Rosacrucians also were supposed to be healers, and maybe this was meant in the sense of “finding the harmony within”.

  8. Maria Rigel says:

    About the geometric key of Maranatha: I think the main harmony isn’t represented by the different shapes, but by the ratios between the inner and outer circles.

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