stronomy and, after much deliberation, he presented a heliocentric world view: the sun was the centre around which the earth and other planets revolved. Brahe, in his turn, made observations through a large observatory; after observing a nova and a comet, he also decided that the old world view was incorrect. However, he propounded that all the planets except the earth moved around the sun and that these, in turn, moved around the earth. Kepler, who was Brahe’s student, took his teacher’s research further and made findings that supported a heliocentric view of the solar system. It was, however, Galileo who, by observing the galaxy through his telescope and coming to the conclusion that the stellar bodies did not move around the earth, popularized the Copernican theory.
The Roman Catholic Church did not pay much attention to Copernicus, as they did not think his findings could damage their worldview. When the Church saw Copernican heliocentric theory being promoted and popularized in the masses by Galileo, it warned him to abstain and later forced him to recant. The Church held the doctrine that the earth was the centre of the universe, both physically and spiritually; the new scientific discoveries laid false this theory and were in direct contrast to the scriptures, that is why the Church felt threatened by their dissemination.
The Hermetic beliefs stipulated that there was a universal spirit present in all objects, and that this universal spirit was evident therein. This belief was also held by Kepler, and it was because of it that Kepler studied planetary motion – so that he could discover a unifying spirit. Moreover, Paracelsus was an alchemist, and he built his theories upon the ideas stipulated by the ideas propounded by alchemy. He theorized that all matter was made up of three principles – salt, sulfur and mercury – as opposed to earth, fire, water and air as traditional alchemy laid down. He also digressed from traditional alchemy by denying