Cagliostro was a popular eighteenth century sorcerer/spiritualist/occultist/healer/freemason who, in Goethe’s time, captured the attention of many of the higher classes, including for a while, Eliza Von der Recke. Goethe’s interest in Cagliostro led to his investigating Cagliostro’s origins by visiting his supposed family in the slums of Palermo, Sicily.
Letter from Laurent Blessig to Madame Eliza Von der Recke:
“Diseases lie particularly in the blood and its distribution; the physician must also follow that. Since all nature is interblended, the physician must know it in its whole scope, and chemistry must stand at his command for solution and combination; in this, too, he must possess great knowledge. Moreover, since everything affects everything else, and this includes not only our earth, but also our whole solar system, the knowledge of the influence of the stars is indispensable to the physician. Thus Cagliostro pays much attention to the equinox, and at this season prepares most of his medicines. This mutual influence of all things is not limited to the material world; these are effects; the spirit is the cause. The spiritual world is a connected chain from which effects continually stream forth. Thus the true knower of nature is he who knows how to look up as well as down, or who stands in the same relationship to spirit as to matter. One can be initiated into this secret knowledge also in Arabia….”
Letter from Laurent Blessig to Madame Eliza Von der Recke — Dated, Strasbourg, June 7 1781 in Theosophical Path Magazine, January to December 1933. By G. De Purucker.