German Lutheran alchemist, physician and Rosicrucian apologist. Maier was a contemporary of Robert Fludd. He was the author of "Scrutinium Chymicum" (1687, a posthumously published abridgement of "Atalanta Fugiens"), which is included in Section 1 of the A:. A:. reading list.
The early Rosicrucian movement was deeply involved with alchemy. While dismissed by modern scientists as an immature precursor to chemistry which dealt with the naive object of transmuting base metals into gold, alchemy was, in fact, a highly sophisticated symbol system which dealt with the quest for Harmony and Perfection through the application of the universal processes of nature on all conceivable levels-- physical, psychological and spiritual: a process termed the Great Work.
Maier was the author of numerous alchemical and Rosicrucian works, many illustrated with symbolic engravings of great beauty. These include Arcana Arcanissima (1614), Lusus Serius (1616), De Circulo Physico Quadrato (1616), Atalanta Fugiens (1617), Examen Fucorum Pseudo-Chymicum (1617), Jocus Severus (1617), Silentium Post Clamores (1617), Symbola Aurea Mensae Duodecim Nationum (1617), Themis Aurea (1618), Tripus Aureus (1618), Viatorum (1618), Tractatus de Volucri Arborea (1619), Verum Inventum (1619), Septimana Philosophica (1620), Civitas Corporis Humani (1621), Cantilenae Intellectuales de Phoenice Redivivo (1622), Ulysses (posth., 1624) and Subtilis Allegoria super Secreta Chymiae (posth., 1749).
Maier, Michael; Atalanta Fugiens, translated and edited by Jocelyn Godwin, Phanes Pres, Grand Rapids, MI 1989
McIntosh, Christopher; The Rosicrucians, the History and Mythology of an Occult Order, Crucible, Wellingborough 1987
Rola, Stanislas Klossowski de; The Golden Game, Alchemical Engravings of the Seventeenth Century, George Braziller, Inc., NY 1988
Waite, Arthur Edward; The Real History of the Rosicrucians, London 1887
Yates, Frances; The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, ARK, London 1972/1986
Originally published in Red Flame No. 2 -- Mystery of Mystery: A Primer of Thelemic Ecclesiastical Gnosticism by Tau Apiryon and Helena; Berkeley, CA 1995 e.v.