A tragic romance, a lost kingdom, an audacious hoax, the history of Elizabeth Stuart, The Bohemian Spring and The Rosicrucian Enlightenment may sound like a fairy tale but it set forces in motion that still shape our world today.
In November 1572 in the constellation Cassiopeia a supernova glowed for sixteen months. Five years later the Great Comet was visible throughout Europe and enthusiasts speculated that it foretold the end of the world, or the beginning of a new era. In 1596 and 1602 less spectacular comets appeared in the night sky. In 1603 Saturn conjunct Jupiter and a nova in the constellation Serpentario added to the excitement of star watchers. 1606 brought a double comet. Astrologers interpreted these celestial events as signs of a worldwide reformation. While Jesuits schemed to regain control of Germany, the Netherlands, and England, dreams of a world without a pope preoccupied Protestant visionaries.
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