About the Book
In 1656 'Das Astronomische Kartenspiel', containing a set of playing card designs based on the astronomical constellations, was published in Nürnberg. This was created by Georg Philipp Harsdörfer, a lawyer, writer and mathematician from Nürnberg and the 52 engravings were based on a well known earlier work, the 'Uranometria' or star atlas by Johann Bayer published in Augsburg, Germany, in 1603.
The suits follow the convention used in German playing cards of that period, with Leaves, Bells, Acorns and Hearts. There are three court cards in each suit, the King, the Overknave which we now name as the Queen, and the Underknave or Jack.
Adam McLean, is a well known authority on and enthusiast for alchemical texts and symbolism, the editor and publisher of over 60 books on alchemical and Hermetic ideas. Based in the UK, he has been writing and researching alchemical and hermetic literature for many years. Between 1978 and 1992 he edited the Hermetic Journal and during those years he also began publishing the Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks, the important series of forty one editions of key source texts of the hermetic tradition. In 1995, when the internet became more widely available, he began to construct the alchemy web site in order to make alchemical ideas more accessible to the wider community. It is now recognised as the most important internet resource on alchemy. McLean is a great researcher and has often discovered, buried in libraries and specialist collections, important texts, both in printed books and manuscripts, which have been neglected. In 1999 he began to produce a series of in-depth study courses