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Easy to Read & Comprehend Alchemical Tracts


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
I have an additional purpose behind this post. As anyone would know, we are very much close to the end & there is going to be a great culling. I earnestly wish that someone reading this will understand Alchemy and with its help will be able to achieve success. Post that, during the times of trouble lying ahead he will be able to help fellow citizens, plants & animals since this time everyone is on the menu.

One also needs to understand that majority of humans by themselves are not responsible for the mess they find themselves in. It is always some clowns destroying human civilization overtly/covertly by co-opting the govt/monarchy. First we go through their suffering & then wrath of God. So, it is a double whammy. The other solution is to never trust anybody or even your own family. Soon, trust will disappear between you & God and that marks the end. This requires thinking at the global level & some may not be able to completely understand my stance.

I will be sharing some useful treatises & selected portions of texts which I can assure, that the reader will be able to completely understand regarding what needs to be done in a short span of time. Most regular readers will be familiar with the texts, I am only grouping them together so that the reader will be able to maintain absolute focus on the final end goal rather than falling into the pits deliberately created by Adepts.

Readers are well advised to read the sticky threads especially Philosopher's Matter & Spiritus Mundi thread to have deeper understanding of the subject.

Regarding the end:

By Alois Irlmaier
1. First, a prosperity like never comes!
2. Then, an apostasy as never follows.
3. Then a moral corruption as never before.
4. Then comes a large number of strangers into the country.
5. There is a great inflation. The money will lose more and more value.
6. Soon after followed the Revolution.
7. Then the Russians invaded the West overnight.

Poem Lied der Linde: [link broken]


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
Ancient War of the Knights

I protest unto you before God, and upon the (eternal) Salvation of my Soul, with a sincere Heart, touch'd with Compassion for those who have been a long while in this great search; and (I give you notice,) all you who Esteem this wonderful Art, that our whole Work takes its Nativity {1} from one only thing, and that in this thing the Work finds its Perfection, without having need of any other thing, whatsoever, but to be dissolved {2} and coagulated, which it must do of it self, without the Assistance of any foreign Thing.

When we put Ice into a Vessel placed on the Fire, we see that Heat makes it dissolve into Water; {3} we must use the same way with our Stone, which only wants the help of the Artist, the Operation of this hands, and the action of the {4} natural Fire: For it will never be dissolved of it self, though it should remain for ever on the Earth, 'tis for that reason we must assist it; in such a manner, however, that we add nothing to it, which is foreign or contrary to it.

Just as God produces the Corn in the Fields, and that it afterwards belongs to us to reduce it into Metal, to knead it, and make Bread of it: In like manner our Art requires us to do the same thing {5}. God has created us this Mineral; to the end, that we should take it by it self, that we should uncompound or dissolve the Composition of the gross and thick Body; that we should separate and take for our selves whatever good it encloses inwardly, that we reject what it has of superfluous, and that our of a (mortal) Poison, we learn to make a (Sovereign) Medicine.

To give you a more prefect understanding of this agreeable Discourse; I will recite to you the Dispute which arose between the Stone of the Philosophers, Gold, and Mercury; so that those who have a long time apply'd themselves to the search (of our Art) and who know how we ought to deal with {6} Metals and Minerals, may be thereby sufficiently informed how to arrive directly at the End which they propose to themselves. 'This nevertheless necessary, that we should apply our selves to know {7} exteriorly, and interiorly, the Essence and the Properties of all things which are on the Earth, and that we penetrate into the Profundity of the Operations, which Nature is capable of.

Complete text can be read here: http://www.levity.com/alchemy/triumph4.html


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
The Only True Way

Beloved friend and brother, under the name of this glorious Art there is to be found much false teaching which is put forward by pseudo-alchemists, whose writings are nothing but imposture and deceit, and are yet highly esteemed by people of the simpler sort. These charlatans induce their dupes to waste much money and time on that which can profit them nothing; for unless a thing be well begun, it can never be brought to a good end. Yet most men, who, nowadays, have devoted themselves to this exalted art of chemistry, are pursuing a wrong course, and are deceivers or deceived. The deceivers are conscious of their own ignorance, and try to veil it under an obscure and allegorical style. The less they really know, the more pompous and the more unintelligible do their speculations become. But the reader, who is puzzled by their perplexing style, may at least comfort himself with the assurance that he knows as much about the matter as the authors. That assurance must serve for a kind of clue to the endless labyrinth of their false sublimations, calcinations, distillations, solutions, coagulations, putrefactions, and corruptions. Nevertheless, we may almost every (lay see foolish persons spend their whole substance on those absurd experiments, being induced to do so by the aforesaid pseudo-alchemists, who impose on them with a false process, and fanciful perversions of Nature.

With these useless and unnecessary experiments the true Alchemists will have nothing to do. They follow the method pursued by Nature in the veins of the earth, which is very simple, and includes no solutions, putrefactions, coagulations, or anything of the kind Can Nature, in the heart of the earth, where the metals do grow and receive increase, have anything corresponding to all those pseudo-alchemistical instruments alembics, retorts, circulatory and sublimatory phials, fires, and other materials, such as cobbler's wax, salt, arsenic mercury, sulphur, and so forth? Can all these things really be necessary for the growth and increase of the metals? It is surprising that any one not entirely bereft of his senses can spend many years in the study of alchemy, and yet never get beyond those foolish and frivolous solutions, coagulations, putrefactions, distillations, while Nature is so simple and unsophisticated in her methods. Surely every true Artist must look upon this elaborate tissue of baseless operations as the merest folly, and can only wonder that the eyes of those silly dupes are not at last opened, that they may see something besides such absurd sophisms, and read something besides those stupid and deceitful books. It seems that they are so entangled in their sophisms that they can never attain to the freedom of true philosophy.

But let me tell you that so long as you love lies, and turn away from rational philosophy, you will never find the right way. I can speak from bitter experience. For I, too, toiled for many years in accordance with those sophistic methods, and endeavoured to reach the coveted goal by sublimation, distillation, calcination, circulation, and so forth, and to fashion the Stone out of substances such as urine, salt, atrament, alum, etc. I have tried hard to evolve it out of hairs, wine, eggs, bones, and all manner of herbs; out of arsenic, mercury, and sulphur, and all the minerals and metals. I have striven to elicit it by means of aqua fortis and alkali. I have spent nights and days in dissolving, coagulating, amalgamating, and precipitating. Yet from all these things I derived neither profit nor joy. I had hoped much from the quintessence, but it disappointed me like the rest.

Therefore, beloved brother, let me warn you to have nothing to do with sublimations of sulphur and mercury, or the solution of bodies, or the coagulation of spirits, or with all the innumerable alembics, which bear little profit unto veritable art. So long as you do not seek the true essence of Nature, your labours will be doomed to failure- therefore, if you desire success, you must once for all renounce your allegiance to all those old methods, and enlist under the standards of that method which proceeds in strict obedience to the teaching of Nature - in short, the method which Nature herself pursues in the bowels of the earth. For you see that Nature uses only one substance in her work of developing and perfecting the metals, and that this substance includes everything that is required. Now, this substance appears to call for no special treatment, except that of digestion by gentle heat, which must be continued until it has reached its highest possible degree of development. For this simple heating process the cunning sophists have substituted solutions, coagulations, calcinations, putrefactions, sublimations, and other fantastical operations - which are only different names for the same thing; and thereby they have multiplied a thousand-fold the difficulties of this undertaking, and given rise to the popular notion that it is a most arduous, hazardous, and ruinously expensive enterprise. This they have simply done out of jealousy and malice, to put others off the right track, and to involve them in poverty and ruin. But they will find it difficult to justify their conduct before God, who has commanded us to love our neighbours as ourselves. For out of sheer malice they have rendered the road of truth impassable, and perplexed a simple natural process with such an elaborate tissue of circumstantial nomenclature, as to make the amelioration of the metals appear a hopelessly difficult task. For while you heat, you also putrefy, or decompose, as you may see by the changes which a grain of wheat undergoes in the. ground under the influence of the rain and of the sun; you know that it must first decay before new life can spring forth. It is this process which they have denominated putrefaction and solution. Again when you heat, you also sublime, and to this coction they have applied the terms sublimation and multiplication, that the simple man might err more easily. In like manner coagulation takes place in heating; for they say that coagulation takes place when humidity is changed into the nature of fire, so as to be able to resist the action of fire, without evaporating, or being consumed. And heating also includes that which they call "circulation," or conjunction, or the union of fire with water to prevent complete combustion. Thus you see that that which they have called by so many names is really but one simple process. The substance, which is one, they have described under a similar variety of appellations, to prevent men from finding that which, by the grace of God, can provide for them so many precious blessings. In the first place they call it "our mercury," by which they mean nothing but moisture, which begins to unite itself with the fire, and therefore may be compared to mercury. Again, they use the expression, "our sulphur," whereby they mean nothing but the fire itself, which lies hid beneath the water, or humidity, and is heated by the water to its highest degree. Then, again, they call it Hyle, or the First Substance, because all things are first generated out of water and fire. Other names, such as Arsenic, Orpiment, Bismuth, are not used by the Sages at all, but only by certain ignorant charlatans, of whom we need not take any further notice. Let us follow the guidance of Nature: she will not lead us astray.

If you let this be your motto, you will surely be able to call to mind the first substance, out of which all metallic substances are generated. But before we consider this question, it will much behove you to understand why the Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, are metals, and what is their origin. Besides finding an answer to this question, you must also bear in mind that all created things are divided into three kingdoms, viz., the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral. To the first belong all living things that have flesh and blood; to the second all herbs, plants, and trees; to the third all metals, stones, and everything that cannot be burned.

But, though divided into three classes, yet all things, O my brother, may be traced back to one common Principle, from which they derive their generation, or birth. By different varieties of heat this first substance is transmuted in various ways, and assumes different specific forms. Since, then, Nature is so simple, I advise you once more to have done with all those foolish sublimations, coagulations, and putrefactions, and the ridiculous old wives' fables which are even now believed by many, and simply to follow Nature, and her unsophisticated methods: then she will take you by the hand, and guide you to the true substance. For the only method of correcting or ameliorating Nature, consists in the natural heating of essences. Now, this Essence, my friend, is the principal thing, on which depends the whole matter. This simple truth, the vulgar herd of alchemists seem quite unable to understand, and thus go on toiling day by day with substances which have nothing to do with the matter. They might as well sow horn, or wood, or stones, and expect a golden harvest of corn. The sun and moon cannot be made out of all substances, but only out of the natural Essence out of which all things are formed, being afterwards differentiated into divers substances by different varieties of heat. Thus the special quality of every individual thing is to be referred to the degree of its coction. If, therefore, we wish to exercise the true Art of Alchemy, we must imitate the method by which Nature does her work in the bowels of the earth.

The ancients have named many colours in connexion with this process, such as black, white, citrine, red, green, and so forth. All this is simply intended to lead you astray from the right road, and to keep you in ignorance. Those ancient writers were constantly at the greatest pains to obscure their style with such a perplexing variety of allegorical expressions as to render it impossible for the ordinary reader to understand their meaning.

Therefore, I would again and again exhort you not to believe them when they tell you that you must have or take a black substance, or that the substance turns black, white, and red in the course of the chemical process. The black colour was suggested to them by the fact that the substance or essence at first mingles with a brilliant material fire, by which a liquid is separated from the essence in the form of a certain black fume. This black fume the ancients called the Black Raven, and the essence they denominated the Raven's Head. This separation you should carefully observe. From it the ancients learned that the separation of natural substances is nothing but a natural defect of the heating process. This, again, suggested to them the consideration that those essences that had been imperfectly heated by Nature, might be aided in a natural manner by ordinary fire, and that thus the essences which are still combustible, and their liquids (which the ancients invidiously called mercury) being black when they are separated from the essence, might be perfected by art, and the essences guarded against combustion by their liquid, and the liquid rendered incapable of being separated from the essence. This the ancients called "our sulphur." For after this preparation the essence is no longer vegetable or animal, but by the perfection of its heating it has become a mineral essence, and is therefore called sulphur; the essence is nothing but an elementary fire, and its liquid, which is guarded against combustion, is true elementary air, and, because air is naturally warm and moist, it is called mercury by those jealous ancients. Air contains in itself the nature of fire, and elementary fire, again, contains within itself the nature of air: thus, by the union of their common elements, a true amalgamation of the two can take place. Such are the material fire and water which we see. These material elements are nothing but an aid to the essences of the elements by which they can be naturally reduced to the highest degree (of perfection?). This gradation is the only true Alchemy, and there is none beside. The pseudo-alchemy of our modern charlatans is mere waste of money and time.

It would be a great mistake for you to suppose that you can derive any real knowledge from the writings of the Sages. They show you only the outside, and conceal the internal Essence. To you they offer the husks, but the finest of the wheat they keep for themselves. They show you a way which they do not dream of treading. I advise you, therefore, in future, to give them a wide berth; or you will only enrich the apothecaries while you plunge yourself and your family into the deepest poverty; nay, instead of gaining the universal panacea, you will contract the most dangerous diseases from constantly moving in an atmosphere black with sulphurous and mercurial smoke, and fetid with the stench of bismuth and all manner of salts.

It is truly amazing that none of the seekers after this great treasure, though willing to submit to any amount of labour and hardship for its sake, seem capable of perceiving the lesson which constant failure is striving to impress upon them. What, I pray you, have those thousands of persons, who have tried the solutions, coagulations, putrefactions, amalgamations, and circulations, gained by their agonising toil? What good result have they produced with their waters, solutions of metals, blood, hair, eggs, milk, sugar, and all manner of herbs? Let me beseech you to profit by their heart-breaking experience, and to have done with everything but true Alchemy, which teaches that the substance is brought to perfection, and attains the exaltation of elementary fire, by its own light and liquid- by which also imperfect metals are ameliorated, because their elementary fire was not properly digested by its liquid. And for the same reason the elementary fire cannot remain, for the liquid is separated from that elementary fire by the heat of the ordinary fire, and evaporates in the form of white smoke. The elementary fire, on the other hand, does not evaporate, but abides with its earth, and must be burned with it, because its protecting liquid has vanished in white smoke. This is that whiteness of which the Ancients have said that it comes after the black colour. For this reason, they are in the habit of saying that you must make it black before you make it white. We begin our process with blackness, and transmute the black smoke, but do not take it for our substance, and make it white. The latter would be a foolish supposition and imposture. If you would avoid such misapprehensions, you must not attempt the study of this subject until you have a sound knowledge of the operations of Nature, and more especially of the essential properties of the metals.

I am afraid, my Brother, that my book will cause you heaviness of heart, instead of joy, because I sweep away at one fell stroke all those false sophistical notions which had become so dear to you. Nevertheless, you must once for all relinquish that idea of yours that you are profoundly versed in the mysteries of this Art, and leave these childish absurdities to those who derive wealth and profit from them. Among these persons, Adam de Bodenstein held a very distinguished place; for he wrote all manner of so-called theosophical books, and boasted of his attainments in the alchemistic Art, of which he was really quite ignorant. Yet to the present day many people believe that he (whose expressions are those of a mere charlatan) had a real knowledge of true alchemy. It is true that his nonsense cannot for a moment impose on the initiated; but among the blind (as the proverb says) it is easy to win golden opinions as a good fencer. On this account, and as Bodenstein is no more among the living, I will dismiss the subject, for nothing but what is favourable should be spoken of the dead and of the absent. This I will say, however, that he was a good Sophist and a good physician; but of Alchemy he knew little or nothing. I should not have said this much if I were not really anxious to warn the unwary against being dazzled by the splendour of his name, and to prevent them from being lured on by it to their own ruin.

If, then, you are a lover of the truth, you will bid farewell to these specious absurdities, and henceforth entrust yourself to the guidance of Nature alone; be sure that she will lead you onward without faltering to the desired goal, even that method by which she works towards the essence. Moreover, she will demand of you neither much labour nor any considerable outlay The whole thing is done by a simple process of heating, which includes the solution and coagulation of the bodies, and also the sublimation and putrefaction. But some writers have substituted for the simple and true essence a certain other essence, with which they have deceived the whole world, and involved many persons in considerable losses. Whether their conduct was upright and loving will one day be decided by the Great Judge. It would be better not to publish such writings, since the false statements and groundless assertions with which they swarm, plunge so many credulous persons into grievous losses. For if there were not so many books put forward by ignorant writers, many thousands of persons who at the present moment are hopelessly floundering about in a sea of specious book-learning would have been led by the light of their own unaided intellects to the knowledge of this precious secret; they are prevented, these many years, from seeing the plain truth by a vast mass of printed nonsense which commands their reverence, because they do not understand it. The Ancients did indeed know something about the Art; but at the present day we can very well dispense with the cumbrous phraseology under which they (most successfully) attempted to veil their meaning. It can only tend to the bewilderment of honest enquirers, who are thereby thrown off the true scent, unless indeed they should come to be instructed by living Masters.

I myself may not speak out as plainly as I would, for I am silenced by the vow which binds all the masters of the Art, the curse that lights on those who violate the sacred seal of Nature's secrets, and the malediction of all the philosophers. Therefore, I must exhort you again and again to trust your own observations rather than the writings of others, and to let the Book of Nature be the most favoured volume of your library. Observe her methods, not only in the production of metals, but in the procreation of the fruits of the earth, and their constant growth and development, in the winter and summer, in the spring and autumn, by rain and sunshine. If you had a sound knowledge of Nature's methods in producing the bud and the flower, and in ripening the green fruit, you would be able to set your hand to the germs which Nature provides in the bowels of the earth, and to educe from them (or their substance) that which you so much desire. Forgive me then, my Brother, for so unceremoniously overthrowing all your old settled and dearly cherished convictions. My excuse must be that I have done it for your own good, as you would otherwise never learn the true secret of transmuting metals. You may believe and trust me, for I can have no conceivable motive for filling the world with fresh lies of which, God knows, it is already full enough, through the agency of the aforesaid deceivers and their willing dupes, who after being lured on by those false books to the loss of all their worldly goods, have not suffered their eyes to be opened by their losses, and seem unable to find their way out of that gigantic labyrinth of falsehood. Nay, they have even taken upon themselves to write books, and to speak as if they were perfect masters of the Art, and had derived great advantage from it, though in reality they have been brought so low as to be able to afford nothing but miserable decoctions. They dissolved until their whole fortune had undergone a process of dissolution; they sublimed until all their gold and silver had evaporated; they putrefied until their clothes decayed upon their bodies; and they calcined until all their wood and coal were consumed to ashes, and they themselves were reduced to wallet and staff.

This is the prize which they have won with all their trouble. Let their ruin be a warning to you, my Brother. For their alchemy instead of imparting health, is followed by penury and disease; instead of transmuting copper into gold, it changes gold into copper and brass. Consider also how many ignorant persons, such as cobblers, tailors, bankrupt merchants, and tavern keepers, pretend to a knowledge of this Art, and, after a few years' unsuccessful experimenting in the laboratory, call themselves great doctors, announce in boastful and sesquipedalian language their power to cure many diseases, and promise mountains of gold. Those promises are empty wind, and their medicines rank poison, with which they fill the churchyards, and for the impudent abuse of which God will one day visit them with heavy punishment. But I will leave the magistrates and the jailers to deal with these swindling charlatans. I speak of them only to put you on your guard. If so many persons write on the subject of Alchemy, who know nothing whatever about the nature and generation of metals, it becomes all the more necessary for you to be careful what books you read, and how much you believe.

For I tell you truly that so long as you have no real and fundamental knowledge of the nature of the metals, you cannot make much progress in the true Art of Alchemy, or understand the natural transmutation of metals. You must grasp the meaning of every direction before you can put it into effect. Always mistrust that which you do not understand (i.e., in studying this art). There are many false ways, but there can be only one that is true, and indicates a process which does not require many hands, or much labour. For this reason, beloved friend and Brother, you must work hard by day and by night to obtain a thorough knowledge of the metals, and of their essential nature. Then you will be able to understand the requirements of the art. You will know without being told what is the true substance and the true method. You will see the utter uselessness of your former labour, and you will be amazed at your former blindness. Study the nature of metals and the causes of their generation, for they derive their birth from the same source as all other created things.

For as by a heating process the infant is developed in the mother's womb out of the father's seed, and as the chicken is brought forth out of the egg by the natural incubation of the hen, so the metals, too, are developed in a certain way out of a certain substance. Yet I do not say, my Brother, that mercury and sulphur are the first substance of metals. Those juggling deceivers have told you so; but in the veins of the earth, where the metals grow, are found neither mercury nor sulphur. Therefore, when they speak of sulphur, you must understand them to allude to elementary fire, and by mercury you must understand the liquid. In a similar lying spirit they have called fire (elementary) "our Sun," and the liquid "our Moon," or the elementary fire soul, and the elementary liquid spirit, because elementary substances are invisible. The soul is invisible fire, and the spirit invisible moisture: the outward essential fire and water they have called ' bodies,' because they are visible and palpable. Nay, they try to make you believe that these are metallic bodies, and that you must dissolve them. But do not let them deceive you. Be on your guard against their dishonest tricks, and cunning devices, by which they set you to experiment with metallic bodies, when they really mean the metallic essence.

They point out to you various materials and substances, notwithstanding that there is only one true substance, and one true method. Be sure that their solutions, coagulations, sublimations, calcinations, and putrefactions, do not represent the method of Nature in the heart of the earth, where the metals grow. For pious Nature only heats the elementary fire which is thereby ameliorated and fixed through its liquid; which latter she also changes, by various degrees of heat, into all the various objects which compose the three natural kingdoms-and although now it is differentiated into bodies so different as vegetables, animals, and minerals, yet they have all originally sprung from one common substance, all have one root, which the Ancients denominated the first Matter or Hyle. But it is really nothing but hidden elementary fire, with its liquid, which the Ancients called the root liquid, radical moisture, or humid radical, because it is the root of all created things.

This liquid, with its fire, is differentiated into the various kinds of natural bodies, by the various degrees of heat, or 'coction,' which take place in them. One thing is more perfectly heated in its elementary fire through its liquid, than another. The vegetable nature is that in which the coction is least perfect. Therefore its essence is easily burned, and its liquid easily separated from its elementary fire, by common fire.

The coction of the animal is almost as imperfect as that of the vegetable substance: for its essence is easily burned. The coction of the mineral substances is the most perfect of all, because in them the metallic liquid is more closely united (by coction) to its elementary fire. Hence metals are better able to resist common fire than the vegetable and animal substances. When a metal is placed in the fire, it does not burn with a bright flame like wood; for the liquid of wood is not so completely joined (by coction) to its essence, as the liquid of metals is to its essence. The union of the liquid with the essence is not metallic, but vegetable, for which reason the latter is consumed with a black smoke, when, by a higher degree of coction, the vegetable has been transmuted into a metallic essence, it no longer gives out a black smoke in common fire, but a white smoke, as you may see when imperfect metals are melted in the fire. That is why the Ancients said that you must first make the substance black before you make it white, i.e., it must first give out a black smoke before it gives out a white. Again they say: You must first make it white before you make it red. To make red is to make perfect, because gold and silver have been rendered perfect by coction, their essence being fully united to their liquid, and changed into pure fire.

Do not then suffer yourself to be thrown off your guard by the obscure phraseology of the Ancients. If you thoroughly study the simple fundamental nature of the metals, you will know what their enigmatic expressions mean, and will not, like some moderns, conclude from their writings that you must take a certain substance and dissolve it until it turns black., then again purify and calcine it till the blackness disappears and it begins to turn white; and after that, once more increase the fire and calcine and toil until the substance turns red. Such an interpretation of the language of the Ancients can only suggest itself to persons entirely ignorant of the nature of metallic substances; indeed, the Ancients wrote as they did solely in order to hide their real meaning from all but the close students of Nature. To this end they were in the constant habit of employing the terms "mercury " and "sulphur." And although the metallic essence is the true substance which, by natural coction, must be raised from the lowest to the highest stage of development, and although the meaning of the Ancients is intelligible enough to the initiated, yet the ignorant can gather from their language no more than the fact that the substance must be taken from the metals. But where are they to obtain it, and how are they to bring it to perfection?

The metallic essence can not be separated from the imperfect metals without being injured; for if it be separated with fire the liquid must evaporate, and the essence (with its earth) be consumed. Nor will you be able to separate the essence of the imperfect metals by means of aqua fortis, arsenic, aqua vita-, or alkali, without injuring the essence and its liquid by the foreign moisture: for the metallic nature can bear no foreign substance, and if any foreign moisture combines with the metallic liquid, it loses its proper quality and is entirely corrupted. The metallic essence of the perfect metals you cannot obtain in a separate form; for their liquid and elementary fire are welded together by so perfect a process of coction, and so closely united with their earth, that neither fire nor water can avail to separate them, seeing that the fire has no power over them, and no foreign moisture can combine with, or corrupt, the liquid of perfect metals. All your labour will be in vain: the coction has done its work so well that you will never be able to undo it.

Hence, the Ancients said that there was no sulphur in anything but in the metals, and hence also they called the metallic liquid quicksilver. But names do not alter facts: the fact is that the elementary fire must be so united to its elementary liquid by natural coction that they become indivisible. For the liquid protects the fire against combustion, so that both remain fixed and unchanged in common fire. This perfected substance the Ancients have well called Elixir, or fire which has undergone a process of perfect coction: for that which before was crude and raw is "cooked," or digested by the process of coction. That element which, by its imperfection, causes base metals to be broken up and disintegrated by fire, has been digested and perfected by natural heat.

For this reason you must not grudge the labour which the proper performance of this heating process demands, seeing that it includes purification, sublimation, dissolution, and all the other chemical processes enumerated by the ancient alchemists. All these you may safely dismiss from your mind, as they can cause you nothing but trouble, loss, and waste of time. My purpose in writing this faithful admonition is to caution you again and again to beware of those pitfalls with which the contemptuous obscurity of the Ancients has so plentifully beset the path of the ingenuous enquirer. I also desired to suggest to you the true substance, and the one true method and have throughout endeavoured to express myself in a style as free from allegorical obscurity as possible. I have recalled you from your wanderings in the pathless wilderness, and put you in the right way. Now you must beseech Almighty God to give you the real philosophical temper, and to open your eyes to the facts of nature. Thus alone you will be able to reach the coveted goal.

Source: http://www.levity.com/alchemy/trueway.html


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
Book of Lambspring

PHILOSOPHY I have read, and thoroughly understood,
The utmost depth of my teachers’ knowledge have I sounded.
This God graciously granted to me,
Giving me a heart to understand wisdom.
Thus I became the Author of this Book,
And I have clearly set forth the whole matter,
That Rich and Poor might understand.
There is nothing like it upon earth;
Nor (God be praised) have I therein forgotten my humble self.
I am acquainted with the only true foundation:
Therefore preserve this Book with care,
And take heed that you study it again and again.
Thus shall you receive and learn the truth,
And use this great gift of God for good ends.
O God the Father, which art of all the beginning and end,
We beseech thee for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ
To enlighten our minds and thoughts,
That we may praise Thee without ceasing,
And accomplish this Book according to Thy will!
Direct Thou everything to a good end,
And preserve us through Thy great mercy.—
With the help of God I will shew you this Art,
And will not hide or veil the truth from you.
After that you understand me aright,
You will soon be free from the bonds of error.
For there is only one substance,
In which all the rest is hidden;
Therefore, keep a good heart.
Coction, time, and patience are what you need;
If you would enjoy the precious reward,
You must cheerfully give both time and labour.
For you must subject to gentle coction the seeds and the metals,

Day by day, during several weeks;
Thus in this one vile thing
You will discover and bring to perfection the whole work of Philosophy,
Which to most men appears impossible,
Though it is a convenient and easy task.
If we were to shew it to the outer world
We should be derided by men, women, and children.
Therefore be modest and secret,
And you will be left in peace and security.
Remember your duty towards your neighbour and your God,
Who gives this Art, and would have it concealed.
Now we will conclude the Preface,
That we may begin to describe the very Art,
And truly and plainly set it forth in figures,
Rendering thanks to the Creator of every creature.

Complete text can be read here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/alc/hm1/hm113.htm


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
The Book of Alze

DO not, gentle Reader, find fault with me for speaking first about the Moon, then about the Sun, and the other planets, and only in the third place about our most excellent Medicine, ALZE. In this case that which is last is better and more honourable than that which is first. The substance must first become white, and then red; it cannot become red unless it have first become white. Hence Simon the Sage says: "Know that unless you first make the Stone white, you cannot make it red." For by the red are the rest of the planets united, and the Medicine appears unawares unless this order is observed in the matter of the white and red. So is the Moon first taken and makes, with the white, Elixir, that is, the white of the Moon to the white of Mercury out of bodies comes to the red. Whence our Sages say that the red is hidden in the white, which they do not dare to extract, until the whole substance has become red. When the substance has been subjected to the influence of the Moon, it may then, in the second place, be brought under the influence of the Sun, which will bring the Medicine to perfection without any aid from the other planets. By which you may understand why the Medicine comes last, even as from the Father proceeds the Son, and the Holy Spirit from both of these. He that hath ears to hear let him hear, and comprehend the brief statement of our Art, which is given in "The Crowd": "Know that the true Tincture can be prepared only out of our ore." Concerning this ore I therefore propose to give you the only explanation that is required, and I shall be careful to supplement and confirm my own opinion by quotations from other Sages. I shall speak not only about our ore, but also about our union or conjunction of water and mercury. For Eximenus says: "Nothing profitable can arise out of the

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elements without conjunction and gentle coction." Our ore Lucas calls the white ore, and it goes by many other names on account of the many colours which it exhibits in the various stages of the chemical process. But though the jealousy of the Sages has described it under various names, it is, and remains only one substance. Pythagoras says: "Many names are given to it; nevertheless, it is nothing else but the one and true Matter, and this is by reason of the development of its nature. The envious have described it by the names of all bodies, as, for instance, a coin, lead, copper, etc., according to the variety of its colours." So Lucas tells us that we have no need of many things, but only of one thing. Diamedes and Basan say: "Do not add to it any foreign substance; for the common substance of metals is one thing, and more excellent than all other things." Hence our whole Art is concerned with water, and a twin substance that ameliorates the water. Synon tells us that sulphur and our ore are derived from one thing, and changed into four. Lucas says: "The white ore is subjected to coction till it generates itself. Thus it becomes united in all its four elements, and receives a living soul. It is never more than one thing, but as a man consists of body, soul, and spirit, and yet is no more than one person, so our substance consists of body, soul, and spirit. The ore receives its strength, spirit, and growth from the water." The Sages say: "If the ore be often deadened in its coction, it becomes all the more excellent, and if the body have a soul after the manner of man." The body does not penetrate the soul, but the soul penetrates the body, because it is volatile. The soul, which is hidden in the four parts of the body, is called sulphur. These bodies are male and female, and by their mutual operation our substance becomes water. Aristeus says: "Observe the indestructible water which issues from it." Take the humidity which it gives off. Hence other Sages say: "Take water with its twin substances, and let it be dried up by means of the vapour which is like it, and coagulated in its own water." That water is also called poison; it is the principle of life, because it is a soul, and extracted from many things. All bodies that this Tincture enters are quickened; all bodies from which it is extracted are destroyed. Its potency is spiritual blood, which, if well mixed with bodies, transmutes them into spirits, and

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combines with them into one substance. The body attracts the spirit, and the spirit tinges the body with a spiritual substance like blood. For the Sages say that whatever has a spirit has blood. If the venom penetrate the body, it imparts to it an indestructible colour, and then the soul cannot be separated from the body any more. If in flying it faces round and meets its pursuer, then is the flight at an end. The two belong together, and Nature always tends to assimilate kindred substances. The final colour is indestructible, because the soul pervades every part of the body, and is inseparably bound up with it. Though the water is naturally cold, yet we must beware of too fierce a degree of heat; for if the moisture of the substance be dried up, our work must come to nought.

That which is called the spirit, is the active, or male principle, and can only be obtained by. the dissolution of the body. Accordingly, we must understand this of the humidity which results, namely, that which is produced, as long as two spouses are conjoined after a lawful manner, even unto the white. Would you know when the body has been rendered liquid by coction? Hear what Bonellus answers: "When you see a black substance floating in the water, you may know that the body has been dissolved."

These two, body and spirit, have a third thing which represents their common substance, and is, in its turn, called their body. It is also called a round cloud, death, blackness, darkness, shadow, ashy lead, or a metallic and subtle ore; or it is described, after that which is obtained from it, as gold that was hidden in the body of Magnesia. Hence it is said: "Extract the shadow thereof from the splendour." This also is the substance of which so many have spoken. Three things constitute the true ore, viz., body, soul, and spirit. Hence it is compared to an egg, because in an egg, too, the chicken is developed out of three things. Thus also Alchemy is produced out of the above-mentioned three things, as many philosophers do testify in "The Crowd." The male principle, or the water, is also called the "nature"; for water is a natural agent which dissolves the elements of bodies, and then again unites them. Concerning this water, it is said by Fictes, that its nature has the wonderful power of transmuting the body into spirit. Where it is found alone it overcomes all

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other things, and is an excellent, harsh, and bitter acid, which transmutes gold into pure spirit. Without this acid we cannot attain either the red, or the black, or the white. When it is combined with bodies, then the body changes into spirit, by a heavenly fire, and immutable, indestructible tincture. Know also that the union must be brought about by a gentle fire, since the elements cannot stand a fierce fire, until the union has taken place. When the gentle heat is applied, the elements devour and consume each other, and yet again, on the other hand, comfort and strengthen each other, and teach each other to stand the test of fire. Hence the Sages say: "Invert the elements, and you will find what you seek." To invert the elements is to make that which is moist, dry, and that which is volatile, fixed. The husband also enforces conjunction that he may reproduce his own likeness. Many strive to accomplish this separation and conjunction; but few succeed in bringing about an union which can stand the test of fire. The composition which is prepared out of our precious substance is not even in the slightest degree diminished in volume by fire. Rather, it is nourished by fire, as a mother nourishes her child. These are the only things that have the power of making red and white, both inwardly and outwardly. Remember that at first they can only bear a gentle fire. When you see that a whiteness begins to appear it must be your next care to extract it from the black substance; then you should develop the redness which is hidden in it. But the latter object you must attain, not by extraction, but by gentle coction. Do not marvel that the Sages describe our ore under many names, and as consisting of body, soul, and spirit. They are also referred to as brothers, or as husband and wife. But Geber says that sometimes the whole substance is only called body, or spirit; and unless there be a dissolution into water, our work cannot be brought to a successful issue. Of course, we do not mean the water of the clouds, as the foolish say, but a permanent water, which, however, cannot be permanent without its body. Thus Hermogenes says that we are to take the hidden spirit, and not to despise it, because it shares its great power with its brother. For only the union of the two can give us the right Tincture. The water is also called a most sharp acid, with which the body must be washed; this is what Socrates calls "woman's work, and

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child's play." The secret of our Art is the union of man and woman: the husband receives the tinging spirit from his wife. The union of husband and wife coagulates the female principle; and if the whole be transmuted into red, we have the treasure of the world, of which Synon says: "If the water be changed into the body, the body is changed, first into earth, then into dust and ashes, and you have what you want."

Then the work is over, and the Stone contains within itself the Tincture in the body of Magnesia. Therefore, the Sages say, in conclusion: "My son, extract from the splendour its shadow." Accordingly, we need exertion, and exercise is beneficial to us, seeing that milk is for infants, but that strong men require stronger food. So also is it in this operation of the Stone.

Now, it is laid down by Geber that our Art must do more for the substance than Nature has done for it; otherwise we should never obtain the Medicine which has the power of correcting and perfecting the essences of the seven planets, or metals. For this purpose the Art of Alchemy has been delivered to us by the Sages; but the beginner must be on his guard against being misled by their manner of speaking, and the multiplicity of names which they give to our substance, which has been suggested to them by its great variety of (successive) colouring, and by the fact that it is composed of the four elements. The Stone must be saturated with its water, that it may imbibe it all, and then subjected to the action of fire, until it turns to a kind of dust, like burnt blood, and becomes indestructible by fire. This Stone is sought by Kings, but is found only by those to whom it is given of God. It is publicly sold for money. But if men knew its precious nature, they would cease to think lightly of it. God, however, has hidden it from the world, and he who would accomplish our work should first lay the right foundation, or his building must come to nought. Let me tell you, then, that our Stone requires a gentle fire; and if, after not many days, it die, and lie in the tomb, yet God restores to it its spirit, and removes its disease and its impurity. When it is burnt to ashes, it must be well sprinkled and saturated with its blood, until it becomes like burnt blood. Hermes remarks that both substances rejoice in being united to each other. To the spiritual substance God gives that which Nature could not give it. For Nature has

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nothing so precious as the true Tincture; and if with its bodies it become liquid, it produces a marvellous effect. For the Tincture changes everything it is mixed with into its own nature, and makes it white both within and without. By one operation and way, by one substance, and by one mixing, the whole work is accomplished, while its purity is also one, and it is perfected in two stages, each consisting of a dissolution and a coction, with the repetition of these.

It must be your first object to elicit the whiteness of the substance by means of gentle and continued coction or heat. I know that the Sages describe this simple process under a great number of misleading names. But this puzzling variety of nomenclature is only intended to veil the fact that nothing is required but simple coction. This process of coction, however, you must patiently keep up, and that with the Divine permission, until the King is crowned, and you receive your great reward. If you ask whether the substance of our Stone be dear, I tell you that the poor possess it as well as the rich.

Many have been reduced to beggary because they foolishly despised that which is highly esteemed by the Sages. If kings and princes knew it, none of us would ever be able to obtain it. Only one vessel is required for the whole process, which should be of stone, and should be capable of resisting fire.

A pound of the body of our ore should be taken, and rendered as pure, refined, and highly rectified, like the virtue of heaven, as the philosophers have it. Then the vessel should be placed in a reverberatory alembic. This should be set over a gentle fire, the vessel being kept tightly closed, in order that it may be able to retain its companion, and permit the same to enkindle the whiteness thereof, as Lucas says. The vessel containing the ore must be placed over the fire, since there can be no perfection without heat and intermixture of elements, seeing that it is produced from blood. When the male and the female principle have been together for a space of forty nights, there is an emission of moist warm seed; and to the same God has liberally given much blood to heat it. This seed develops into an embryo which is supported with a little milk over a moderate fire, and grows stronger day by day. Its growth must be aided by warmth; but the heat of the fire should be temperate,

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like that of the Sun. This may be effected by placing our vessel over an empty vessel, and that again upon some glowing coals. The process of coction should be continued until the alembic is well dried and the substance begins to assume a liquid aspect; for water alone is sufficient for the coagulation and fixing of the whole, as we are told by Democritus. This water is described under various names, such as sulphur, quicksilver, spirit, and also vapour, for it can scarcely retain its companion. There are in our Art only two substances, and if I speak of two, then I think of four, all which things require one thing, by which Nature, conquering all Nature, is extracted. For Nature, on account of its nature, rejoices in itself, Nature conquers nature, and in itself contains nature. At the same time one is not opposed to the other, but one comprehends the other, whereby it excels the other, and the philosophers call this water the purifying water.

This dissolution first imparts a black appearance to the body. The substance should then turn white, and finally red. The blackness exhibits an intermediate stage between fixedness and volatility. So long as there is blackness, the female principle prevails, till the substance enters into the white stage. This whiteness is called the first power of our Stone, and the water is referred to as that most excellent acid. You must be very careful not to destroy the potency of this water. Avicenna says that natural heat operating in humid bodies, first causes blackness; then removes the blackness; and finally causes whiteness, as may be seen in calx. Hence our substance must become first black, and then white, and be reduced to a kind of powder. Then the soul must be restored to the powder by a powerful fire; and both [be] subjected to coction until they become first black, then white, afterwards red, and finally good venom, the whole being accomplished by the separation of waters. And now, the waters being divided, cook the matter and the vapour till coagulation takes place, and there is made a white stone. Then are the waters divided. Another mortification, or exsiccation, follows, and is called clouds, or smoke. The smoke well coagulated with its feces becomes quick white; roast then the white ore that it may bring forth itself. When the blackness vanishes, the spirit is restored; for the spirit does not die, but rather

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quickens body and soul. The more perfectly our ore is purged, and subjected to coction, the better it becomes, till it is at length condensed into a Stone. But it must be dissolved again, and subjected to a powerful fire, until it looks like burnt blood. If this Stone be added to any substance, it tinges it into gold. The Sages speak of it as a kind of root. Take, they say, the whole virtue of the Tincture, and concentrate it in the Root. If a body which has no earthy elements receive this Tincture, it receives more benefit than less excellent bodies. The Stone overcomes everything to which it is applied, and tinges foreign bodies with its own colour. The dry fire tinges bodies, the air strengthens them, the white water washes away their blackness, and their earth receives the Tincture. Concerning the coction needed for the development of our substance, the Sages have expressed themselves in a great variety of ways. Observe Hermes, who says that it must be repeated again and again, until the red colour at length is obtained. Herein is the stability of the whole work. Afterwards it assumes many, many colours, not including the red, which appears at the end. For the white must precede it. Set to work by the regimen of fire, and triturate. The above mentioned water volatilizes all bodies; even such as are gross it penetrates until it has assimilated them to its own nature. Know that unless you operate upon bodies until they are destroyed and their soul is extracted, with such you will never tinge any body, for nothing tinges which has not first itself been tinged. If the body be made fluid and burnt, then it bends itself towards its begetter, becoming a subtle Magnesia, and it turns towards the earth, which makes it spiritual and vivifies it. Before the final whiteness of the first stage is attained, the substance turns first of a black, then of an orange, and then of a reddish colour (which, however, is quite different from the final redness of the last stage). These colours, however, need not trouble you, since they are evanescent and merely transitional.

From what I have said you may gather that our substance is found in the gold which is hidden in Magnesia, and that it is one thing composed of sulphur from sulphur and mercury from mercury. And as the substance of our Stone is one, so is the method of its preparation. Therefore, do not listen to those

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ignorant and fraudulent alchemists who speak of many different kinds of sublimation and distillation. Turn a deaf ear to those who say that the substance of our Stone is the powder of the Basilisk. As to the (length of) time required for the preparation, you must begin it in the winter, which is moist, and extract the moisture until the spring, when all things become green, and when our substance, too, should exhibit a variety of colours. In the summer the substance should be reduced to powder by means of a powerful fire. The autumn, the season of ripeness, should witness its maturity, or final redness. About the motions of the stars or planets you need not trouble yourself. Our substance is a body containing the spirit which makes glass malleable, and turns crystals into carbuncles. One drop of our Elixir, as large as a drop of rain, will suffice to tinge and transmute a body a thousand times as large as itself

This most noble Remedy was appointed, like all other things, for the use of man, because he is the most glorious of God's creatures, and the lord of the whole earth. It was given to him for the purpose of preserving his youth, expelling disease, preventing suffering, and providing him with all he requires. Our Elixir is better than all the medicinal preparations of Hippocrates, Avicenna, and others. From it may be prepared a potable antidote which has power to cure leprosy. As fire purges and refines metals, so this Remedy restores to the human body its natural heat, expels from it all health-destroying matter, and fortifies it against every conceivable form of disease. Its virtue is infinitely greater than that of the potable gold dust, which is taken as a preventative among the Gentiles.

Great and wonderful is the potency of the gold that slumbers in Magnesia, both for the purifying of the human system, and for the transmuting of metals. What more shall I say? All the things that I have here faithfully described I have seen with my own eyes, and performed with my own hands.

When I was preparing the substance, after discovering the true method, I was so seriously interfered with by the persons with whom I lived that I was almost on the point of giving up the whole thing in despair. At length I communicated my discovery to a friend, who faithfully executed my instructions,

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and brought the work to a successful issue. For which Blessed Gift may God be praised, world without end. Amen.

Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/alc/hm1/hm112.htm


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
The Secret Fire - John Pontanus

I commenced first my operations with putrefactions of the Body of this material over a period of nine months but this came to naught. I placed it in the bain-made for lengthy periods, erring just the same. I took and placed it in the calcinating fire for three months and proceeded awry. All sorts and kinds of distillation and sublimation spoken of, or apparently spoken of by the Philosophers - Geber, Archelaus, and almost any other - have I attempted and tried, and found equally nothing. In brief, I tried to come at and perfect in every way conceivable the subject of all the Art of Alchemy, be this by manure, bathing, ashes, or the thousand other sorts of fife mentioned by the Philosophers in their works, but nothing did I discover of worth.

It was for this reason that I set myself to study the books of the Philosophers for three years continual, studying among others those of Hermes, whose brief words contain the whole magistry of the Stone; though he speaks quite obscurely of things above and below, of Heaven and of the Earth.

All one's application and care must then be only to know the correct practice in the first, second and third Works. It is not at all the fire of the bath, dung or ashes, nor any of the other fires of which the Philosophers sing or describe for us in their books.

What, then is this fire which perfects and achieves the entire Work, from beginning to end? Certainly all Philosophers have hidden it; but for myself, touched by a moment of pity, I would declare it and the achievement of the whole Work.

The Philosophers' Stone is unique, and one, but hidden and veiled in a multiplicity of different names, and before knowing it you will have seen much struggle: only with difficulty will you come to know it by your own genius. It is watery, airy, fiery and earthy, phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine and melancholy. It is a sulphur and equally Quick Silver.

It has several superfluities which I assure you by the living God, transform themselves into one unique Essence, if only there be our fire. And whoever - believing such to be necessary - would subtract anything from the subject, knows of a certainty nothing of Philosophy. For the superfluous, unclean, foul, scurvy, miry and, in general, entire substance of the subject, is perfected into one fixed spiritual body, by means of our fire. Which has never been revealed by the Wise, thus making it that but few succeed in this Art; imagining that some foul and unworthy thing must be separated out.

Now must one make appear, and draw out the properties of our fire; if it agree with our material in the way of which I have spoken, that is to say, if it be transmuted with the material. This fire burns the material not at all, nor separates anything from it, nor divides nor puts apart the parts pure and impure, as is told by all Philosophers, but converts the whole subject into purity. It does not sublime as Geber or Arnold and all others who have spoken of sublimation and distillation sublime. And it makes and perfects itself in little time.

This fire is mineral, equal and continual, and never evaporates unless over excited; it has certain of the characteristics of sulphur, is taken and originates elsewhere than in the material. It ruptures, dissolves, and congeals all things, and similarly congeals and calcinates; it is difficult to fmd by industry or by Art. This fire is the epitome and abridgement of the Work in its entirety, taking no other thing else, or very little, and this same fire introduces itself and is of mediocre heat; for with this little fire the whole Work is perfect, and all due and necessary sublimation achieved together.

Those who read Geber and all other Philosophers shall never come to an understanding of it though they live one hundred million years; for this fire may not be discovered but by the sole and profound meditation of the mind, following which one will understand the books, and not otherwise. Error in this Art, consists only in the acquisition of this fire, which converts the material into the Stone of the Wise.

Study, then, this fire, for had I myself found it at the first, I should not have erred two hundred times upon the veritable material. By which am I no longer surprised if so many come not to the accomplishment of the Work.

They err, have erred and will ever err, in that the Philosophers have placed their veritable agent in but one, single thing, which Artephius named, but speaking only for himself. Had I not read Artephius, nor penetrated and understood, never would I have arrived at the accomplishment of the Work.

Here, then, the practice: take the material with all dilligence, grind and pulverise it physically and place it in the fire, that is within the oven; but the degree and proportion of the fire must also be known. To wit, that the external fire excite only the material; and in a little time this fire, without that one put a hand to it in any manner, will assuredly realise the Work in its entirety. For it will purify, corrupt, engender and bring to perfection the whole work, making appear the three principal colours, the black, white and red. And by our fire the medicine will multiply, not only in quantity but also in virtue, if joined with the material in its raw state.

Search, therefore, this fire with all strength of your mind, and you shall reach the goal you have set yourself; for it is this that brings to completion all the stages of the Work, and is the key of all the Philosophers, which they have never revealed in their books. If you think well and deep upon this above-mentioned fire, you will know it. Not otherwise.

Thus, moved by a moment of pity, I have written this; but, and that I satisfy myself, as I made mention above, the fire is in no wise transmuted with the material. I wished to speak this and to warn well the prudent concerning these things, that they spend not in vain their money, but know in advance what it is that they seek and, by this means, arrive at the truth of the Art; not otherwise.

God keep thee.

Source: http://www.levity.com/alchemy/pontan_1.html


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
Remonstration of Nature

NATURE (speaks).


GOOD heavens, how deeply I am often saddened at seeing the human race, which God created perfect, in His own image, and appointed to be the lords of the earth, depart so far away from me! I allude more particularly to you, O stolid philosophaster, who presume to style yourself a practical chemist, a good philosopher, and yet are entirely destitute of all knowledge of me, of the true Matter, and of the whole Art which you profess! For, behold, you break vials, and consume coals, only to soften your brain still more with the vapours. You also digest alum, salt, orpiment, and atrament; you melt metals, build small and large furnaces, and use many vessels: nevertheless, I am sick of your folly, and you suffocate me with your sulphurous smoke. With most intense heat you seek to fix your quicksilver, which is the vulgar volatile substance, and not that out of which I make metals; therefore you effect nothing. For you do not follow my guidance, or strive to imitate my methods, rather mistaking my whole artifice. You would do better to mind your own business, than to dissolve and distil so many absurd substances, and then to pass them through alembics, cucurbitas, stills, and pelicans. By this method you will never succeed in congealing quicksilver. For the revivification you use a reverberatory fire, and make it so hot as to render everything liquid—thus do you finish your work, and in the end ruin yourself and others. You will never discover anything unless you first enter my workshop, where, in the inmost bowels of the earth I ceaselessly forge metals: there you may find the substance which I use, and discover the method of my work.

Do not suppose that I will reveal my secret to you unless you first find the growing seed of all metals (resembling that of

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the animals and vegetables). I preserve in the bosom of the earth both that which is used for their generation, and that with which they are nourished up.

Metals Exist, vegetables Live and Grow, and animals Feel, which is more than merely to grow. I make metals, stones, and the atramental substances out of certain elements, which I mix and compound in a certain way. These elements you must seek in the heart of the earth, and nowhere else. Vegetables contain their own seed, and image; in like manner, animals are propagated, and by the same means do generate their own likeness. Everything proceeds by the laws laid down for it. Only you, wicked man, who try to usurp my office, have departed further from me than any other creature. Metals have no life, or principle of generation and growth, if they lack their own proper seed. The first is accomplished by the four elements in nine days; the Moon goes through the twelve heavenly signs in twenty-nine and a half days.

By the aforesaid laws, winter and summer relieve each other, the elements are changed, generations take place in the earth—through my working, through the working of God and the heavens, do all things subsist, the perceptible, the visible, and the invisible. Thus all things in heaven which are comprehended under the Moon, do work, and impart their influence to the substance, which, like a woman, longs to conceive seed. Each star influences its own substance, and according to their peculiar nature, they produce different things. They work first in heaven above, then in the earth beneath in the elements, each according to its own peculiar virtue; and hence arise species and individual things.

You are to know that these manifold influences do not pour themselves fruitlessly upon the earthly elements. For though their working is invisible, yet it is a most certain and real thing. The earth is surrounded by heaven, and from it obtains her best influences and substances. Every sphere is ready to communicate its truth, and therewith to pervade her centre. Through this motion and heat, there arise upon earth vapours, which are the first substances. If the vapour is cold and moist, it sinks down again to the earth, and is there preserved; that which is moist and warm ascends to the clouds. That which is

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shut up in the earth I change, after a long time, into the substance of sulphur, which is the active, and into quicksilver, which is the passive principle. The metals are another mixture of this first composition. The whole is obtained from the four elements, which I form into one mass. This process I repeat so often that you have no excuse for a mistake.

After the putrefaction comes the generation, which is brought about by the internal incombustible warmth heating the coldness of the quicksilver, which gladly submits to this heat because it wishes to be united to its sulphur. All these things, fire, air, and water, I have in one alembic in the earth. There I digest, dissolve, and sublime them, without any hammer, tongs, file, coals, vapour, fire, "bath of S. Mary," or other sophisticated contrivances. For I have my own heavenly fire which excites the elemental according as the matter desires to put on a suitable and comely form. Thus I extract my quicksilver from the four elements, or their substance. This is always accompanied by its sulphur, which is its second self, and warms it gradually, gently, and pleasantly. Thus the cold becomes warm, and the dry moist and oily. But the moist is not without its dry substance, nor is the dry without its moist: one is conserved by the other in its first essence (which is the elementary spirit of the essence, or the quintessence) from which proceeds the generation of our child. The fire brings it forth, and nourishes it in the air, but before that, it is decomposed in virgin earth; then water flows forth (or it flows forth from the water), which we must seek, since it is my first Matter, and the source of my mineral. For contrary resists strenuously to contrary, and doth in such wise fortify itself, lest perchance it be carried away in operating; then does it suffer transmutation, and is stripped of its form by the concupiscence of matter, which incessantly attracts a new form.

By my wisdom I govern the first principle of motion. My hands are the eighth sphere, as my Father ordained; my hammers are the seven planets, with which I forge beautiful things. The substance out of which I fashion all my works, and all things under heaven, I obtain from the four elements alone. Chaos, or Hyle, is the first substance. This is the Mistress that maintains the King, the Queen, and the whole court. A horseman is always ready to do her bidding, and a

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virgin performs her office in the chambers. The more beautiful she is, the more beautiful do I appear in her. Know also that I have power to give their essence to all essences, that it is I who preserve them, and mould them into shape. Moreover, observe the three parts into which God has divided the first substance. Of the first and purest part He created the Cherubin, Seraphin, Archangels, and all the other angels. Out of the second, which was not so pure, He created the heavens and all that belongs to them; of the third, impure part, the elements and their properties. First and best of these is Fire. Fire admits of no corruption, and contains the purest part of the quintessence. After Fire, He made the subtle Air, and put into it a part (but not so large a part) of the quintessence. Then came the visible element of Water, which has as much of the quintessence as it needs. Last of all comes the Earth. All these (like all the rest of Nature) He created in a moment of time. The earth is gross and dark, and though it is fruitful, yet it contains the smallest part of the quintessence. At first the elements remained as they were in their separate spheres. So Air is really moist, but is properly tempered by Fire. Water is really warm, but obtains its moisture from the air. The Earth is really dry, but it is also cold; its great dryness renders it akin to fire. Fire, however, is the first of elements which causes life and growth by its heat.

Now all these elements influence and qualify each other, so that each in its turn is now active, now passive. For instance, Fire works upon air and earth. Earth is the mother and nurse of all things, and sustains all that is liable to decay under heaven. Now God has given me power to resolve the four elements into their quintessence; this is that first substance which in every element is generically qualified. I resolve them for my own purpose, and thereby bring about all generation. But no one will be able to resolve me into my first substance, as he strives to resolve the elements. For I alone can transmute the elements and their forms, and he who thinks otherwise deceives himself. For you will never be able to assign to each substance its proper influence, or to find the correct proportions of the elements which are required by that substance. I alone, I say, can form created things, and give to them their peculiar

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properties and substance. By my heavenly mysteries I produce perfect works, which are justly called miracles, as may be seen in the Elixir which has such marvellous virtue, and is of my own forming. No art upon earth can add anything to, or improve upon, my workmanship. Every sane person must see that nothing can be accomplished without a perfect knowledge of the heavenly bodies, or apart from the efficacy which abides in them; without these everything is error and misuse; and yet, whence is a mere man to obtain this influence, and how is he to apply it to the substance? How can he mingle the elements in their right proportions? Even if a man were to spend a long life in the investigation of this secret (says Avicenna, De Vir. Cord., cp. ii.), he would not get any nearer to its solution. It is entrusted to my keeping alone, and can never be known to any man. By my virtue and efficacy I make the imperfect perfect, whether it be a metal or a human body. I mix its ingredients, and temper the four elements. I reconcile opposites, and calm their discord.

This is the golden chain which I have linked together of my heavenly virtues and earthly substances. I accomplish my works with such unerring accuracy that in them all my power is shewn forth, and with so much skill that the wisest of men cannot attain to my perfection. Go forth then, and behold my works, you who think yourself so skilled a workman, and (without any knowledge of me), with your coal fires and your S. Mary's bath, strive to make gold potable in my alembics—and know that I cannot bear the sight of your folly. Are you not ashamed, after considering my works, to attempt to rival them with your malodorous decoctions in your coloured and painted vials, and thus lose both your time and your money? I am at a loss to conceive what you can be thinking. Have pity upon yourself, and consider my teaching. Try to understand rightly what I tell you, for I cannot lie. Consider how that most glorious metal, gold, has received its beautiful form from heaven and its precious substance from the earth. The generation of the precious stones, such as carbuncles, amethysts, and diamonds, takes place in the same manner. The substance itself is composed of the four elements; its form and qualities it receives through heavenly influences, although the capacity of being thus wrought upon

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slumbers in the element and is only brought out and purified in the course of time. All this is accomplished by my hands alone. I am the architect, and no one else knows the secret of life. For, however wise he may think himself, he does not know how much to take of each element, or where to obtain it, or how to mingle hostile elements so as to allay their discord, or how to bring the heavenly influences to bear on these essences. He cannot even make iron, or lead, or the very basest of metal; how then should he be able to make gold except by stealing my treasure? The object which he desires can be accomplished by my art alone—an art which it is impossible for man to know.

And even though we allow gold to be the most precious of metals, yet gold by itself cannot cure diseases, or heal the imperfections of other metals, or change them into gold. In the same way glass (which might otherwise be the Philosopher's Stone) can never become so soft as to be rendered malleable. Gold alone is the most precious and the most perfect of all the metals. But if you cannot even make lead, or the minutest grain of any metals, or produce the fruit of any herb, how hopeless must your search after the art of making gold appear! Again if you say that you wish to produce some chemical result, even if it do not turn out to be gold, I answer that you thereby only give a fresh proof of your folly. Can you not understand that the secret of my innermost working must always remain a sealed book to you? What Nature does can never be successfully imitated by any created being. Nay, if I made gold out of seven metals, and you do not understand my method, how can you ever hope to prepare the substance which itself changes all metals into the purest gold, and is the most precious treasure that God has given me? You are foolish and ignorant, if you do not know that this precious thing which you seek is, to the created mind, the greatest mystery of Nature, and that it is compounded by heavenly influences—and thus has power to heal and deliver men from all diseases, and to remove the imperfection of the base metals. If, therefore, it is in itself so perfect that it has not its like upon earth, it must surely be the workmanship of the highest Intelligence, since no one else can even make gold, and certainly not produce a thing which has itself the power of making gold. Surely, to maintain that you are

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able to prepare such a thing, is like saying that you cannot carry ten pounds, but that you are strong enough to carry a hundred pounds. Put to heart, therefore, the true scope and responsibility of your intent.

I, myself, again, receive all my wisdom, virtue, and power from heaven, and my Matter, in its simplest form, is the four elements. This is the first principle and the quintessence of the elements, which I bring forth by reductions, time, and circulations, by which I transmute the inferior into the more perfect, the cold and dry into the moist and warm; and thus I preserve stones and metals in their natural state of moisture. This is brought about by the movements of the celestial bodies, for by them the elements are ruled; by their controlling influence like is brought to like. The purer my substance is, the more excellent are the results produced by the heavenly influence. And do you think that there in your alembic, where you have your earth and water, I will be induced by your fire and heat, and by your white and red colour, to bend my neck to your yoke, and to do your will and pleasure? Do you think that you can move the heavens, and force them to shed their influence upon your work. Do you think that that is an organic instrument which gives forth sweet music only when it is touched by the musician's fingers? You take too much upon yourself, you foolish man. Do you not know that the revolutions of the heavens are governed by a mighty Mind, which, by its influence, imparts power to all things?

I beseech you to remember that all great things proceed from me, and, in the last instance, from God; and not to suppose that the skill of your hands can be as perfect as the operation of Nature. For it is void and vain, and, ape-like, must imitate me in all things. Nor must you suppose that your distilling, dissolving, and condensing of your substance in your vessel, or your eliciting of water out of oil, is the right way of following me. Far from it, my son. All your mixing and dissolving of elements never has produced, and never can produce, any good result. Do you wish to know the reason? Your substance cannot stand the heat of the furnace for a single half-hour, but must evaporate in smoke, or be consumed by the fire. But the substance with which I

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work, can stand any degree of heat, without being injured. My water is dry, and does not moisten what it touches; it does not evaporate, or become less, neither is its oil consumed. So perfect are my elements; but yours are worse than useless.

In conclusion, let me tell you that your artificial fire will never impart my heavenly warmth, nor will your water, oil, and earth supply you with any substitute for my substance. It is the gift of God, shed upon the elements from heaven, and upon one more than upon another; but how, is known only to me, and to the Great Artist who entrusted me with this knowledge. One thing more let me tell you, my son. If you would imitate me, you must prepare all out of one simple, self-contained Matter, in one well-closed vessel, and in one alembic. The substance contains all that is needed for its perfect development, and must be prepared with a warmth that is always kept at the same gentle temperature. Let me ask you to consider the birth and development of man, my noblest work. You cannot make a human body out of any substance whatsoever. Of my method in forming so subtle a body neither Aristotle nor Plato had the remotest knowledge. I harden the bones and the teeth, I make the flesh soft, the muscles cold, the brain moist, the heart, into which God has poured the life, warm, and fill all the veins with red blood. And in the same way, I make of one quicksilver, and of one active male sulphur, one maternal vessel, the womb of which is the alembic. It is true that man aids me with his art, by shedding external heat into the matrix; more than this, however, he cannot do. He, then, that knows the true Matter, and prepares it properly in a well-closed vessel, and puts the whole in an alembic, and keeps up the fire at the proper degree of warmth, may safely leave the rest to me. Upon the fire all depends, and much, therefore, does it behove you to see thereto. Consider, therefore, the fire, which they call epesin, pepsin, pepausin, and optesin, or natural, preternatural, and infranatural fire, which burns not. Without the true Matter and the proper fire, no one can attain the end of his labour. I give you the substance; you must provide the mere outward conditions. Take, then, a vessel, and an alembic

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of the right kind and of the right size. Be wise, and perform the experiment in accordance with my laws. Help me, and I will help you. I will deal with you as you deal with me. To my other sons, who have treated me well, have obeyed their father and mother, and submitted themselves to my precepts, I have given a great reward, as John de Mehung, for instance, will tell you. His testimony is also borne out by Villanova, Raymond, Morienus the Roman, Hermes (whom they call Father, and who has not his like among the Sages), Geber, and others who have written about this Art, and know by experience that it is true.

If you, my son, wish to prepare this precious Stone, you need not put yourself to any great expense. All that you want is leisure, and some place where you can be without any fear of interruption. Reduce the Matter which is one), to powder, put it, together with its water, in a well-closed vessel, and expose it to continuous, gentle heat, which will then begin to operate, while the moisture favours the decomposition. The presence of the moisture prevents the dryness of the quicksilver from retarding its assimilation. Meanwhile, you must diligently observe what I do, and remember the words of Aristotle (Meteor iii. and iv.), who says: Study Nature, and carefully peruse the book concerning Generation and Corruption." You must also read the book concerning heaven and the world, in which you will find indicated the beautiful and pure substance. If you neglect this study, you will fail. On this subject consult Albertus Magnus, De Mineralibus. But if your eyes are opened by such studies, you will discover the secret of the growth of minerals, viz., that they are all produced from the elements.

First learn to know me, before you call yourself Master. Follow me, that am the mother of all things created, which have one essence, and which can neither grow, nor receive a living soul, without the heavenly and elementary influences. When you have learned by persevering study to understand the virtues of the heavenly bodies, their potent operations, and the passive condition of the elements, and its reason—if you further know the media of transmutation, the cause of generation, nutrition, and decay, and the essence and substance of the elements—you are already acquainted with the Art, notwithstanding that a

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most subtle mind is still needed for the studying of my operations. But if you do not possess part at least of this knowledge, you will be fortunate indeed if you succeed in discovering my secret. It is a secret that is read not by those that are wise in their own conceits, but by those that humbly and patiently listen to my teaching. Therefore, if you desire to own this treasure, which has been the reward of the truly wise in all ages, you must do as I bid you. For my treasure has such virtue and potency that the like of it is to be found neither in heaven nor upon earth. It holds an intermediate position between Mercury and the Metal which I take for the purpose of extracting from it by your art and my knowledge that most precious essence. It is pure and potable gold, and its radical principle is active humidity. Moreover, it is the universal Medicine described by Solomon (Eccles. xxxviii.); the same also is taken from the earth, and honoured by the wise. God has assigned it a place among my mysteries, and reveals it to the Sages, although many who call themselves learned doctors of Theology and Philosophy, hold it in ignorant contempt—as Alchemy is also despised by the doctors of Medicine, because they do not know me, and are ignorant of that which they profess to teach. They must be insufficiently furnished with brains, or they would not direct their foolish scorn against the panacea which renders all other medicines unnecessary. Happy is the man, even though he be sinking under the weight of years, whose days God prolongs until he has come to the knowledge of this secret! For (as Geber says) many to whom this gift was imparted late in life, have, nevertheless, been refreshed and delighted by it in extreme old age.

He that has this secret possesses all good things and great riches. One ounce of it will ensure to him both wealth and health. It is the only source of strength and recreation, and far excels the golden tincture. It is the elixir and water of life, which includes all other things. In my treasure are concealed quicksilver, sulphur, incombustible oil, white, indestructible, and fusible salt. I tell you, frankly, that you will never be able to accomplish its preparation without me, just as I can do nothing without your help. But if you understand my teaching, and cooperate with me, you can accomplish the whole thing in a short time.

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Have done with the charlatans, and their foolish writings; have done with all their various alembics, and phials; have done with their excrements of horses, and all the variety of their coal-fires, since all these things are of no use whatever. Do not perplex yourself with metals, or other things of a like nature: rather change the elements into a mutable form. For this is the most excellent substance of the Sages, and is rejected only by the foolish. Its substance is like, but its essence unlike, that of gold. Transmute the elements and you will have what you seek. Sublime that which is the lowest, and make that which is the highest, the lowest. Take quicksilver which is mixed with its active sulphur; put it into a well-closed vial, and one alembic, plunge one-third of it into the earth, kindle the fire of the Sages, and watch it well so that there may be no smoke. The rest you may leave to me. I ask you to do no more, but only bid you follow my unerring guidance.


In which he confesses his errors, asks pardon for them, and returns thanks to Nature.

Dearest Mother Nature, who, next to the angels, art the most perfect of all God's creatures, I thank thee for thy kindly instruction. I acknowledge and confess that thou art the Mother and Empress of the great world, made for the little world of man's mind. Thou movest the bodies above, and transmutest the elements below. At the bidding of thy Lord thou dost accomplish both small things and great, and renewest, by ceaseless decay and generation, the face of the earth and of the heavens. I confess that nothing can live without a soul, and that all that exists and is endued with being flows forth from thee by virtue of the power that God has given to thee. All matter is ruled by thee, and the elements are under thy governance. From them thou takest the first substance, and from the heavens thou dost obtain the form. That substance is formless and void until it is modified and individualized by thee. First thou givest it a substantial, and then an individual form. In thy great wisdom thou dost cunningly mould all thy works through the heavenly influences, so that no mortal hand can utterly destroy them. Under thy hands God has put all things that are necessary

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to man, and through thee, He has divided them into four kingdoms, namely, those that have being and essence, like the metals and stones; those that have essence and growth, like the vegetables; those that have feeling and sensation, like the beasts, birds, and fishes. These are the first three classes; in the fourth it pleased God to place only the noblest and most perfect of His works, namely, man, to whom He also gave a rational and immortal soul. This soul is obscured by the defilement which found its way into the body through the senses, and, but for the grace and mercy of God, would have become involved in its condemnation. Hence the chief perfection of man is not derived from thee, nor dost thou impart to us our humanity. Nevertheless, the material part of man is the work of thy hands alone.

And, surely, our bodies are cunningly and wonderfully made, and, in every part of them, bear witness to the masterly skill of the workman. How marvellous are the uses of our various members! How wonderful that the soul can move them and set them to work at will! But, alas! oftener still the body is master of the soul, and forces it to do many things which pure reason condemns. If we consider the matter from this point of view, it seems as though thou hadst begun well, and yet thy work had, after all, turned out an abortion. Wert thou wanting in wisdom, or knowledge, or couldst thou not do otherwise? Pardon me if I speak too presumptuously about thy wisdom, I only desire to be rightly and truly informed. For, indeed, even now thy stern rebuke has made many things clear to me. I have spent my whole life in attending to thy lessons; and the more closely I have listened, the more clearly have I understood my mistakes and the depth of thy wisdom. Now, whether I lie, or stand, or walk, I can think of nothing but thy great mystery. And yet I am unable to conceive what substance and form I must take for it. Thou didst sternly rebuke me for not following thy way; but thou knowest that, if I do not obey thee, it is only because I do not know what thou wouldst have me do. I shall' never be able to attain any satisfactory result in this Art, unless thou wilt enlighten my blindness. Thou hast rightly said that it is not for man to know the mystery of thy working: how then can I be guided to this knowledge, unless thou wilt take me by

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the hand? Thou sayest that I must follow thee; and I am willing to do so. But tell me what I must do, and what books I must study for that purpose. Of the books which I have read, one says, "Do this," and the other, "No, do that "; and they are full of unintelligible expressions and of dark parables. At last I see that I cannot learn anything from them. Therefore I take refuge with thee, and instantly beseech thee to advise and to tell me how to set about this difficult task. On my knees I implore thee to show me the way by which I can penetrate into the lower parts of the earth, and by what subtle process I am to obtain the' perfect mercury of the metals. And yet I doubt whether any man, even after obtaining this mercury, can really make gold. That is thy work, and not the work of man; as thy words and my own experience most clearly shew.

We see that the cold and moist mercury needs the assistance of its sulphur, which is its seed after its kind, or its homogeneous sperm, out of which the metal or Stone must be produced. But thou sayest only: Take the proper substance, the proper vessel, the proper mineral, the proper place, and the proper fire; then form, colour, and life will grow and spring forth from thence. Thou art the Architect; thou knowest the glorious properties of the Matter. The active principle can do nothing unless there be a passive principle prepared to receive its influence. Thou knowest how to mix the warm and the cold, the dry and the moist; by reconciling hostile elements, thou canst produce new substances and forms. For I did indeed understand all that thou didst tell me, but am unable to express it so well as thou. This thou hast firmly impressed on my mind, that the Elixir is composed by the reconciling and mutual transmutation of the four elements. But what man is sufficient for such a task? For who knows how earth can have its essence in common with air, or how it can be changed into moisture which is contrary to its nature? For humidity will not leave a cold and humid element, not even under the influence of fire. This, too, is the work of Nature, that it becomes black, and white, and red. These three visible colours correspond to the three elements, earth, water, and fire, and are pervaded by the air.

Then, again, thou sayest that the Stone is prepared of one thing, of one substance, in one vessel, the four (elements)

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composing one essence in which is one agent which begins and completes the work; man, thou sayest, need do nothing but add a little heat, and leave the rest to thy wisdom. For all that is needed is already contained in the substance, in perfection, beginning, middle, and end, as the whole man, the whole animal, the whole flower is contained each in its proper seed. Now, in the human seed the human specific-substance is also included, as flesh, blood, hair, &c.; and thus every seed contains all the peculiar properties of its species. In the whole world men spring from human seed, plants from plants, animals from animals. Now I know that when once the seed is enclosed in the female vessel, no further trouble or work of any kind is required—everything is brought to perfection by thy gradual and silent working. And the generation of the Stone, thou sayest, is performed in a similar manner. Only one substance is required, which contains within itself air, water, and fire—in short, everything that is needed for the completion of this work. No further handling of any kind is necessary, and a gentle fire is sufficient to rouse the internal warmth, just as an infant in the womb is cherished by natural heat. The only thing in which man must aid thee, is, by preparing the substance, removing all that is superfluous, enclosing this simple earth, which is combined with its water, in a vessel, and subjecting it to the action of gentle heat in a suitable alembic. This, thou sayest, is all that needs to be done by man; when all has been prepared for thee, thou dost begin thy part of the work. Thou dissolvest the substance, and makest the dry watery; then thou sublimest it, and bearest it upward into the air, and thus, without any further aid, bringest that to perfection which can itself impart perfection to all imperfect things. Therefore, thou, Nature, art the first mother, since thou dost cunningly combine the four elements into an essence by a process of which none but thou has any knowledge. Thus far have I understood thee, and do not quite despair, if it be pleasing unto God and to thee, of seeing thy great reward with my own eyes.

But at present I earnestly desire to know but one thing: and that is, how can that substance be obtained, what are its qualities, and what its powers to impart perfection to imperfect things?

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I am well aware that gold is the most precious of the metals; but I cannot see that it has any capacity of becoming more potent than it already is. For whatever man may do with it, it will never be able to perfect anything but itself. If any one told me to dissolve it and extract from it its quicksilver, I should regard that as a very foolish direction; for nothing can be got out of gold but what is in it. These philosophasters betray their ignorance by saying that they can reduce gold to its first substance; but thy instruction has made it clear to me that the first substance cannot be obtained, except by destroying the specific properties of a thing, nor can any new species be brought forth by such a destruction, unless the species be first universalized into the genus. Moreover, I make bold to affirm that no man can first resolve gold into its generic substance, and then restore it again; for when it has once lost its specific properties, no mere human skill can change it back into what it was before. Nor can any one really reduce gold to the first form imparted to it by the elements. For gold is not transmuted either by heat or by cold, and is so perfect in its kind that fire only renders it purer. It does not admit of any further development, and therefore no other metal or quicksilver can be obtained from it.

It is true that plants and animals are constantly producing their like by means of their seed, and their capacity of organic nutrition. But I do not see how the same can be said of metals, seeing that at the expiration of any given period they still retain the same size and weight which they had at the beginning. Through thee they receive their being out of the elements without any sowing, planting, or development of any kind. Moreover, I know that no credit is to be attached to the fanciful notions of the old Sages who would prepare our Stone out of a crude metallic substance, and do not understand that the form and substance of a thing are conditioned by its essential nature. Now, I remember a certain juggling charlatan, who was looked upon as a great philosopher, telling me that the only true material was common quicksilver, which must be well mingled with gold, since in such an union the one brought the other to perfection. If I did this, continued that impostor, I should be able to prepare the Elixir. First, however, the four elements must be separated from each other, then, after each had been

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purified, they must be reunited, the great being combined with the small, and the subtile with the gross. This, he said, was the right way of making the Stone. But I know that all this is sheer nonsense, and that such men are only deceiving themselves and others.

I am also aware that only God can produce anything out of the elements. He alone knows how to mingle and combine them in their due proportions. For He alone is the Creator and Author of all good things, and there is nothing in the world that He has not made. Therefore, let the charlatans cease their vainglorious talk, and remember that they can never hope to gather where they cannot sow; let them make an end of their false calcinations, sublimations, distillations, by which they extract the spirit in a vaporous form, and of their juggling coagulations and congelations, by which they pretend, even among the initiated, to be able rightly to separate the elements of gold and quicksilver. It is certainly true that all things under heaven are composed of the four elements, and mixed of them according to the due proportion of their genus and species; but it is not simply the union of the four elements, but their being combined in a certain way, which constitutes the substance of the Philosophical Stone.

I also understand that in the red quicksilver and perfect body, which is called the Sun, the four elements are combined in a peculiar way, and so inseparably conjoined, that no mere human art can divide them. For all ancient and true Sages say that fire and air are enclosed in earth and water, and contend so violently with each other that none but God and Nature can loosen their grappling embrace. This I can truly affirm and also prove. For we can neither see the fire nor grasp the air; and if any one says that the several elements can be seen he is an imposter, seeing that they are inseparably and inextricably conjoined. For, although the Sophists pretend, and confidently affirm, that they can divide gold and quicksilver into the four elements, yet for all that they speak not the truth. If two elements, fire and air, were thus taken away, all the rest must vanish into nothing. They may say that those two are retained, but they are, nevertheless, densely ignorant as to what becomes of them; for air and fire cannot be seen or perceived. Again, that extract which they call fire and air renders humid, which is not the property either of fire or of air.

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Moreover, as thou hast said, even the most learned Doctor cannot know the proportion of each element in any given substance. For God has entrusted this knowledge to thee alone. Nor is any Sage wise enough to be able to mingle and put together the elements so as to produce any natural object. If then he dissolves anything into its elements, how, I pray thee, is he to put them together again into any abiding form, since he is ignorant of their proportionate quantity and quality, and of the method of their composition? Yet it is of no use to separate them, if they cannot be put together again. To thee, O Nature, we must entrust this task, since thou knowest the art of preparing the Philosopher's Stone, and of combining the elements without first separating them. Nevertheless, for the preparation of the true Elixir, thou needest the aid of a wise and truly learned man. Aristotle says: "Where the physicist ends, there the physician begins." Nor can we attain to true alchemy, until we begin to follow Nature, and to be guided by a knowledge of her principles. Where the study of Alchemy is rightly carried on, it is mightily advanced by Nature. But, for all that, we must not suppose that every natural substance must be useful to the alchemist. We must remember that Alchemy has a threefold aim: First, to quicken and perfect the metal, and so to digest its spirit that none of it is lost; secondly, so to digest and heat the substance in a small phial that (without the addition of anything else) the body and spirit are changed into one. The mingling of the elements is performed, not by the artist, but by thee. Thirdly, it (alchemy) proves that the process of preparing the Stone does not include any separation of the four elements (of the quicksilver and the Sun, which is called red and glorious gold). To believe that such a separation must take place is a great mistake, and contradicts the fundamental principles of philosophy.

Again, it is an undoubted fact, that every elementary substance is fed by the elements themselves. If, then, that which now forms one object is dissolved, the object as such is destroyed, the bond which held the elements together being violently broken, and each returning to that from which it was first taken. A father that begets a son must not be destroyed

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for that purpose; it suffices that the generating spirit shall go forth with the seed, and be conceived by the female seed, and cherished with its warmth. Such a generating spirit has power to beget an infant of the same species, as Avicenna says. Now, it is the same with pure gold, which is the true matter of the Philosophical Stone. For the father is the active principle, and must not be destroyed, or resolved into its elements, but it is sufficient for the paternal Sun (gold) to breathe its virtue and strength through the mother into the son. When the mother (who is of the earth) brings forth, the son is seen to have the father's substance.

Thus, I have learnt from thee, O Nature, that Alchemy is a true science, and that the deep red gold, which is called Sun, is the true father of the Stone or Elixir, from which this great and precious treasure proceeds; which heats, digests, and cunningly tinges (without the least diminution or corruption) the other principle of that gold, and thus brings forth so glorious a son. It is worse than useless, therefore, to meddle with the composition, or to separate the elements, which Nature has so skilfully combined in the quicksilver, and in the perfect body of the gold. All we have to do is to imitate Nature, and use the instruments with which she combines the elements, and which she uses in moulding minerals, and in giving its form to the quicksilver. If we act otherwise, wt destroy thy works, and sever the golden chain which thou hast forged. Nevertheless, we must, as Aristotle says, transmute the elements that we may obtain the object of our search.

Thus thou hast wisely led me into thy way, and hast shewn me the utter folly of my own doings. Unto thee I render the most heartfelt thanks for that thou hast delivered me from my own ignorance, and from the disgrace and ruin to which all my endless alembics, quicksilvers, aquæ fortes, dissolutions, excrements of horses, and coal fires, must at length have brought me.

In future, I will read thy book more diligently, and obey thee more implicitly. For this is the surest and safest way that a man can go, because the Art is entirely in thy hands, although, by reason of its gigantic aim, its progress must necessarily be slow. Therefore, I will lose no more time, and

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first begin to think about the substance, the active principle of which shall yield me most potent quicksilver. That I will enclose in a clean, air-tight phial, and under it I will place an alembic; thereupon thou wilt wait upon thine office. From the bottom of my heart I once more render unto thee the debt of unspeakable gratitude, for that thou hast deigned to visit me, and to bestow upon me so precious an inheritance. in token of my gratitude I will now do thy bidding, and let it be my ceaseless aim to attain to this most glorious Tincture of the Elements, feeling assured that with the help of the thrice great and good God, I shall succeed.

Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/alc/hm1/hm107.htm


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
Mirror of Alchemy

Of the Definitions of Alchemy.

In many ancient Books there are found many definitions of this Art, the intentions whereof we must consider in this Chapter. For Hermes said of this Science: Alchemy is a Corporal Science simply composed of one and by one, naturally conjoining things more precious, by knowledge and effect, and converting them by a natural commixtion into a better kind. A certain other said: Alchemy is a Science, teaching how to transform any kind of metal into another: and that by a proper medicine, as it appeared by many Philosophers' Books. Alchemy therefore is a science teaching how to make and compound a certain medicine, which is called Elixir, the which when it is cast upon metals or imperfect bodies, does fully perfect them in the very projection.


Of the natural principles, and procreation of Minerals.

Secondly, I will perfectly declare the natural principles and procreations of Minerals: where first it is to be noted, that the natural principles in the mines, are Argent-vive, and Sulphur. All metals and minerals, whereof there be sundry and diverse kinds, are begotten of these two: but: I must tell you, that nature always intends and strives to the perfection of Gold: but many accidents coming between, change the metals, as it is evidently to be seen in diverse of the Philosophers books. For according to the purity and impurity of the two aforesaid principles, Argent-vive, and Sulphur, pure, and impure metals are engendered: to wit, Gold, Silver, Steel, Lead, Copper, and Iron: of whose nature, that is to say, purity, and impurity, or unclean superfluity and defect, give ear to that which follows.

Of the nature of Gold.
Gold is a perfect body, engendered of Argent-vive pure, fixed, clear, red, and of Sulphur clean, fixed, red, not burning, and it wants nothing.

Of the nature of silver.
Silver is a body, clean, pure, and almost perfect, begotten of Argent-vive, pure, almost fixed, clear, and white, and of such a like Sulphur: It wants nothing, save a little fixation, color, and weight.

Of the nature of Steel.
Steel is a body clean, imperfect, engendered of Argent-vive pure, fixed & not fixed clear, white outwardly, but red inwardly, and of the like Sulphur. It wants only decoction or digestion,

Of the nature of Lead.
Lead is an unclean and imperfect body, engendered of Argent-vive impure, not fixed, earthy, dressy, somewhat white outwardly, and red inwardly, and of such a Sulphur in part burning, It wants purity, fixation, color, and firing.

Of the nature of Copper.
Copper is an unclean and imperfect body, engendered of Argent-vive, impure, not fixed, earthy, burning, red not clear, and of the like Sulphur. It wants purity, fixation, and weight: and has too much of an impure color, and earthiness not burning.

Of the nature Iron.
Iron is an unclean and imperfect body, engendered of Argent-vive impure, too much fixed, earthy, burning, white and red not clear, and of the like Sulphur: It wants fusion, purity, and weight: It has too much fixed unclean Sulphur, and burning earthiness. That which has been spoken, every Alchemist must diligently observe.


Out of what things the matter of Elixir must be more nearly extracted.

The generation of metals, as well perfect, as imperfect, is sufficiently declared by that which has been already spoken, Now let us return to the imperfect matter that must be chosen and made perfect. Seeing that by the former Chapters we have been taught, that all metals are engendered of Argent-vive and Sulphur, and how that their impurity and uncleanness does corrupt, and that nothing may be mingled with metals which have not been made or sprung from them, it: remains clean enough, that no strange thing which has not his original from these two, is able to perfect them, or to make a Change and new transmutation of them: so that it is to be wondered at, that any wise man should set his mind upon living creatures, or vegetables which are far off, when there be minerals to be found near enough: neither may we in any way think, that any of the Philosophers placed the Art in the said remote things, except it were by way of comparison: but of the aforesaid two, all metals are made, neither does any thing cleave unto them or is joined with them, not yet changes them, but that which is of them, and so of right we must take Argent-vive and Sulphur for the matter of our stone: Neither does Argent-vive by itself alone, nor Sulphur by itself alone, beget any metal, but of the commixtion of them both, diverse metals and minerals are diversely brought forth. Our matter therefore must be chosen of the commixtion of them both: but our final secret is most excellent, and most hidden, to wit, of what mineral thing that is more near than others, it should be made: and in making choice hereof, we must be very wary. I put the case then, if our matter were first of all drawn out of vegetables, (of which sort are herbs, trees, and whatsoever springs out of the earth) here we must first make Argent-vive & Sulphur, by a long decoction, from which things, and their operation we are excused: for nature herself offers unto us Argent-vive and Sulphur. And if we should draw it from living creatures (of which sort is man's blood, hair, urine, excrements, hens' eggs, and what else proceed from living creatures) we must likewise out of them extract Argent-vive and Sulphur by decoction, from which we are freed, as we were before. Or if we should choose it out of middle minerals (of which sort are all kinds of Magnesia, Marchasites, of Tutia, Coppers, Allums, Baurach, Salts, and many other) we should likewise, as afore, extract Argent-vive and Sulphur by decoction: from which as from the former, we are also excused. And if we should take one of the seven spirits by itself, as Argent-vive, or Sulphur alone, or Argent-vive and one of the two Sulphurs, or Sulphur-vive, or Auripigment, or Citrine Arsenicum, or red alone, or the like: we should never effect it, because since nature does never perfect anything without equal commixtion of both, neither can we: from these therefore, as from the foresaid Argent-vive and Sulphur in their nature we are excused. Finally, if we should choose them, we should mix everything as it is, according to a due proportion, which no man knows, and afterward decoct it to coagulation, into a solid lump: and therefore we are excused from receiving both of them in their proper nature: to wit, Argent-vive and Sulphur, seeing we know not their proportion, and that we may meet with bodies, wherein we shall find the said things proportioned, coagulated and gathered together, after a due manner. Keep this secret more secretly. Gold is a perfect masculine body, without any superfluity or diminution: and if it: should perfect imperfect bodies mingled with it by melting only, it should be Elixir to red. Silver is also a body almost perfect, and feminine, which if it should almost perfect imperfect bodies by his common melting only, it should be Elixir to white which it is not, nor cannot be, because they only are perfect. And if this perfection might be mixed with the imperfect, the imperfect should not be perfected with the perfect, but rather their perfection's should be diminished by the imperfect, and become imperfect. But if they were more than perfect, either in a two-fold, four-fold, hundred-fold, or larger proportion, they might then well perfect the imperfect. And forasmuch as nature does always work simply, the perfection which is in them is simple, inseparable, and incommiscible, neither may they by art be put in the stone, for ferment to shorten the work, and so brought to their former state, because the most volatile does overcome the most fixed. And for that gold is a perfect body, consisting of Argent-vive, red and clear, and of such a Sulphur, therefore we choose it not for the matter of our stone to the red Elixir, because it is so simply perfect, without artificial mundification, and so strongly digested and fed with a natural heat, that with our artificial fire, we are scarcely able to work on gold or silver, And though nature does perfect anything, yet she cannot thoroughly mundify, or perfect and purify it, because she simply works on that which she has. If therefore we should choose gold or silver for the matter of the stone, we should hard and scantly find fire working in them. And although we are not ignorant of the fire, yet could we not come to the thorough mundification and perfection of it, by reason of his most firm knitting together, and natural composition: we are therefore excused for taking the first too red, or the second too white, seeing we may find out a thing or some body of as clean, or rather more clean Sulphur and Argent-vive, on which nature has wrought little or nothing at all, which with our artificial fire, and experience of our art, we are able to bring unto his due concoction, mundification, color and fixation, continuing our ingenious labor upon it. There must therefore be such a matter chosen, where in there is Argent-vive, clean, pure, clear, white and red, not fully complete, but equally and proportionably commixt after a due manner with the like Sulphur, and congealed into a solid mass, that by our wisdom and discretion, and by our artificial fire, we may attain unto the uttermost cleanness of it, and the purity of the same, and bring it to that pass, that after the work ended, it might be a thousand thousand times more strong and perfect, then the simple bodies themselves, decoct by their natural heat. Be therefore wise: for if you shall be subtle and witty in my Chapters (wherein by manifest prose I have laid open the matter of the stone easy to be known) you shall taste of that delightful thing, wherein the whole intention of the Philosophers is placed.


Of the manner of working, and of moderating, and continuing the fire.

I hope ere this time you have already found out by the words already spoken (if you are not most dull, ignorant, and foolish) the certain matter of the learned Philosophers blessed stone, whereon Alchemy works, while we endeavor to perfect the imperfect, and that with things more then perfect. And for that nature has delivered us the imperfect only with the perfect, it is our part to make the matter (in the former Chapters declared unto us) more then perfect by our artificial labor. And if we know not the manner of working, what is the cause that we do not see how nature (which of long time has perfected metals) does continually work! Do we not see, that in the Mines through the continual heat that is in the mountains thereof, the grossness of water is so decocted and thickened, that in continuance of time it becomes Argent-vive? And that of the fatness of the earth through the same heat and decoction, Sulphur is engendered! And that through the same heat without intermission continued in them, all metals are engendered of them according to their purity and impurity? and that nature does by decoction alone perfect or make all metals, as well perfect as imperfect? 0 extreme madness! what, I pray you, constrains you to seek to perfect the foresaid things by strange melancholical and fantastical regiments! as one says: Woe to you that will overcome nature, and make metals more then perfect by a new regiment, or work sprung from your own senseless brains. God has given to nature a straight way, to wit, continual concoction, and you like fools despise it, or else know it not. Again, fire and Azot, are sufficient for you. And in another place, Heat perfects all things. And elsewhere, see, see, see, and be not weary. And in another place, let your fire be gentle, and easy, which being always equal, may continue burning: and let it not increase, for if it does, you shall suffer great loss. And in another place, Know you that in one thing, to wit, the stone, by one way, to wit, decoction, and in one vessel the whole mastery is performed. And in another place, patiently, and continually, and in another place, grind it seven times. And in another place, It is ground with fire, And in another place, this work is very like to the creation of man: for as the Infant in the beginning is nourished with light meats, but the bones being strengthened with stronger: so this mastery also, first it must have an easy fire, whereby we must always work in every essence of decoction. And though we always speak of a gentle fire, yet in truth, we think that in governing the work, the fire must always by little and little be increased and augmented unto the end.


Of the quality of the Vessel and Furnace.

The means and manner of working, we have already determined: now we are to speak of the Vessel and Furnace, in what sort, and of what things they must be made. Whereas nature by a natural fire decocts the metals in the Mines, she denies the like decoction to be made without a vessel fit for it. And if we propose to imitate nature in concocting, wherefore do we reject her vessel! Let us first of all therefore, see in what place the generation of metals is made. It does evidently appear in the places of Minerals, that in the bottom of the mountain there is heat continually alike, the nature whereof is always to ascend, and in the ascension it always dries up, and coagulates the thicker or grosser water hidden in the belly, or veins of the earth, or mountain, into Argent-vive. And if the mineral fatness of the same place arising out of the earth, be gathered warm together in the veins of the earth, it runs through the mountain, and becomes Sulphur. And as a man may see in the foresaid veins of that place, that Sulphur engendered of the fatness of the earth (as is before touched) meets with the Argent-vive (as it is also written) in the veins of the earth, and begets the thickness of the mineral water. There, through the continual equal heat in the mountain, in long process of time diverse metals are engendered, according to the diversity of the place. And in these Mineral places, you shall find a continual heat. For this cause we are of right to note, that the external mineral mountain is everywhere shut up within itself, and stony: for if the heat might issue out, there should never be engendered any metal. If therefore we intend to immitate nature, we must needs have such a furnace like unto the Mountains, not in greatness, but in continual heat, so that the fire put in, when it ascends, may find no vent: but that the heat may beat upon the vessel being close shut, containing in it the matter of the stone: which vessel must be round, with a small neck, made of glass or some earth, representing the nature or close knitting together of glass: the mouth whereof must be signed or sealed with a covering of the same matter, or with lute. And as in the mines, the heat does not immediately touch the matter of Sulphur and Argent-vive, because the earth of the mountain comes everywhere between: So this fire must not immediately touch the vessel, containing the matter of the aforesaid things in it, but it must be put into another vessel, shut closed in the like manner, that so the temperate heat may touch the matter above and beneath, and where ever it be, more aptly and fitly: whereupon Aristotle says, in the light of lights, that Mercury is to be concocted in a three-fold vessel, and that the vessel must be of most hard Glass, or (which is better) of Earth possessing the nature of Glass.


Of the accidental and essential colours appearing in the work.

The matter of the stone thus ended, you shall know the certain manner of working, by what manner and regiment, the stone is often changed in decoction into diverse colors. Whereupon one says, So many colors, so many names. According to the diverse colors appearing in the work, the names likewise were varied by the Philosophers: whereon, in the first operation of our stone, it is called putrifaction, and our stone is made black: whereof one says, When you find it black, know that in that blackness whiteness is hidden, and you must extract the same from his most subtle blackness. But after putrifaction it waxes red, not with a true redness, of which one says: It is often red, and often of a citrine color, it often melts, and is often coagulated, before true whiteness. And it dissolves itself, it coagulates itself, it putrifies itself, it colors itself, it mortifies itself, it quickens itself it makes itself black, it makes itself white, it makes itself red. It is also green: whereon another says, Concoct it, till it appears green unto you, and that is the soul. And another, Know, that in that: green his soul bears dominion. There appears also before whiteness the peacocks color, whereon one says thus, Know you that all the colors in the world, or that may be imagined, appear before whiteness, and afterward true whiteness follows. Whereof one says: When it has been decocted pure and clean, that it shines like the eyes of fishes, then are we to expect his utility, and by that time the stone is congealed round, And another says: When you shall find whiteness atop in the glass, be assured that in that whiteness, redness is hidden: and this you must extract: but concoct it while it becomes all red: for between true whiteness and true redness, there is a certain ash-color: of which it is said, After whiteness, you cannot err, for increasing the fire, you shall come to an ash-color: of which another says: Do not set light by the ashes, for God shall give it to you molten: and then at the last the King is invested with a red crown the by will of God.


How to make projection of the medicine upon any imperfect body.

I have largely accomplished my promise of that great mastery, for making the most excellent Elixir, red and white. For conclusion, we are to treat of the manner of projection, which is the accomplishment of the work, the desired and expected joy. The red Elixir turns into a citrine color infinitely, and changes all metals into pure gold. And the white Elixir does infinitely whiten, and brings every metal to perfect whiteness. But we know that one metal is farther off from perfection then another, and one more near then another. And although every metal may by Elixir be reduced to perfection, nevertheless the nearest are more easily, speedily, and perfectly reduced, then those which are far distant, And when we meet with a metal that is near to perfection, we are thereby excused from many that are far off. And as for the metals which of them be near, and which far off, which of them I say be nearest to perfection, if you are wise and discrete, you shall find to be plainly and truly set out in my Chapters. And without doubt, he that is so quick sighted in this my Mirror, that by his own industry he can find out the true matter, he does full well know upon what body the medicine is to be projected to bring it to perfection. For the forerunners of this Art, who have found it out by their philosophy, do point out with their finger the direct and plain way, when they say: Nature, contains nature: Nature overcomes nature: and Nature meeting with her nature, exceedingly rejoices, and is changed into other natures, And in another place, Every like rejoices in his like: for likeness is said to be the cause of friendship, whereof many Philosophers have left a notable secret, Know you that the sour does quickly enter into his body, which may by no means be joined to another body, And in another place, The soul does quickly enter into his own body, which if you go about to join with another body, you shall loose your labor: for the nearness itself is more clear. And because corporeal things in this regiment are made incorporeal, and contrariwise things incorporeal corporeal, and in the shutting up of the work, the whole body is made a spiritual fixed thing: and because also that spiritual Elixir evidently, whether white or red, is so greatly prepared and decocted beyond his nature, it is no marvel that it cannot be mixed with a body, on which it is projected, being only melted. It is also a hard matter to Project it on a thousand thousand and more, and incontinently to penetrate and transmute them. I will therefore now deliver unto you a great and hidden secret. one part is to be mixed with a thousand of the next body, and let: all this be surely put into a fit vessel, and set it in a furnace of fixation, first with a lent fire, and afterwards increasing the fire for three days, till they be inseparably joined together, and this is a work of three days: then again and finally every part hereof by itself, must be projected upon another thousand parts of any near body: and this is a work of one day, Or one hour, or a moment, for which our wonderful God is eternally to be praised.

Here ends the Mirror of Alchemy, composed by the most learned Philosopher, Roger Bacon.

Source: http://www.levity.com/alchemy/mirror.html


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
Ripley Revived

Sophisters are (here) in a Labyrinth, for because they are not acquainted with Metalline love, they work in things altogether heterogeneal; or if they work upon Metalline Bodies, they yet either joyn Males with Males, or else Females with Females, or else they work on each alone; or else they make Males which are charged with natural inabilities, and Females whose Matrix is vitiated. Thus by their own inconsideration they frustrate their own hopes, and then cast the blame upon the Art, when as indeed it is only to be imputed to their own folly, in not understanding the Philosophers.

I know many pitiful Sophisters do dote on many Stones, Vegetable, Animal, and Mineral; and some to those add the fiery Angelical, Paradaical Stone, which they call a Wonder-working Essence; and because the mark they aim at is so great, the ways also by which they would attain their scope, they make also agreeable, that is a double way; One way they call Via Humida, the other they call Via Sicca, (to use their languages:) the latter way is the Labyrinthian path, which is fit only for the great ones of the earth to tread in; the other the Daedalean Path, an easie way of small cost for the poor of the world to enterprise.

But this I know, and can testifie, that there is but one way, and but only one Regimen, no more colours than ours; and what we say or write otherwise, is but to deceive the unwary: For if every thing n the world ought to have its proper causes, there cannot be any one end which is produced from two wayes of working on distinct Principles.

Therefore we protest, and must again admonish the Reader, that in our former writings) we have concealed much, by reason of the two ways we have insinuated, which we will briefly touch; There is one Work of ours, which is the Play of Children, and the Work of Women, and that is Decoction by the Fire; and we protest that the lowest degree of this our work, is, that the matter be stirred up, and may hourly circulate without fear of breaking the Vessel, which for this reason ought to be very strong; but our lineal Decoction is an Internal Work, which advances every day and hour, and is distinct from that of outward heat, and therefore is both invisible and insensible. In this our work, our Diana is our body when it is mixed with the water, for then all is called the Moon; for Laton is whitened, and the Woman bears rule: our Diana hath a wood, for in the first days of the Stone, our Body after it is whitened grows vegetably. In this wood are at the last found two Doves; for about the end of three weeks the Soul of the Mercury ascends with the Soul of the dissolved Gold; these are infolded in the everlasting Arms of Venus, for in this season the confections are all tincted with a pure green colour; These Doves are circulated seven times, for in seven is perfection, and they are left dead, for they then rise and move no more; our Body is then black like to a Crow’s Bill, for in this operation all is turned to Powder, blacker than the blackest. Such passages as these we do oftentimes use when we speak of the Preparation of our Mercury; and this we do to deceive the simple, and it is also for no other end that we confound our operations, speaking of one, when we ought to speak of another; For if this Art were but plainly set down, our operations would be contemptible even to the foolish. Therefore believe me in this, that because our works are natural, we therefore do take the liberty to confound the Philosophers work with that which purely Natures work, that so we might keep the simple in ignorance concerning our true Vinegre, which being unknown, their labour is wholly lost.

And be thou wise in choosing of the Matter,
Meddle with no Salts, &c
But whatsoever any Worker to thee chatter,
Our Sulphur and our Mercury been only in Metals,
Which Oyls and Waters some men them calls,
Fowls and Birds, &c.
Because that Fools should never know our Stone.

If thou hast attended well to what hath been told thee in these five Gates, thou art secure; make sure of thy true Matter, which is no small thing to know, and though we have named it, yet we have done it so cunningly that if thou wilt be heedless, thou mayst sooner stumble at our Books, then at any thou ever didst read in thy life.

Meddle with nothing out of kind, whether Salts, or Sulphur, or whatever is of the like Imposition; and whatever is Alien from the perfect Metals, is reprobate in our Mastery. Be not deceived wither with Receipt or Discourse, for we verily do not intend to deceive you, but if you will be deceived, be deceived.

Our principal know that it is but one, and that is in Metals, even those metals which you may buy commonly, to wit, the perfectest of them: but before you can command it out of them, you must be a Master, and not a Scholar, namely as is wisely said in Norton;

To know to destroy their whole Composition,
That some of their Components may help in conclusion.

But trust me this is not for a Tyro, nor for every one of us, unless he have the Secret from his own Studies, and not by Tradition from a Master or Guide. Know then that this fore-recited way is true, but involved with a thousand broileries.

But our way which is an easie way, and in which no man may erre, our broad way, our Linear way, we have vowed never to reveal it but in Metaphors; I being moved with pity, will hint it to you. Take that which is not yet perfect, nor yet wholly imperfect, but in a way to perfection and out of it make what is most noble and most perfect: This you may conceive to be an easier Receipt, then to take that which is already perfect, and extract out of it what is imperfect, and then make it perfect, and after out of that perfection to draw a plusquam perfection: and yet this is true, and we have wrought it, And because it is an immense Labour for any to undertake, we describe that way; but this last discovery which I hinted in few words, is it which no man ever did so plainly lay open, nor may any man make it more plain, upon pain of an Anathema.

For of this World our Stone is called the Cement,
Which moved by craft as Nature doth require,
In his increase shall be full opulent,
And multiply his kind after thy own desire:
Therefore if God vouchsafe thee to inspire,
Like unto thee in Riches shall be but few.

Our Stone it is the Representative of the great World, and hath the Virtues of that great Fabrick, comprised or collected in this little System; in it is the virtue Magnetical, attractive of its like in the whole World: it is the Coelestial Virtue, expounded universally in the whole Creation, but Epitomized in this small Map or Abridgment.

This Virtue or Power is in it self barren, sluggish, dead and unactive, and for this cause it remaineth without fruit; but being loosed by Art, it doth through the co-operation of Nature, produce that Arcanum which hath not its like in the whole World; for it doth heal the imperfections of all Creatures and Metals, taking away their sickness, and restoring them to perfect health.

The reward which his Mastery will bring to the Artist, is indeed inestimable; for having it, he needs want no worldly blessing, for wealth he need take no care, and from all frailties of Body he hath a most sure Antidote.

Pray then to God, that he would be propitious unto your studies and labours, in giving thee the true knowledge of this secret Mystery; it is the gift of God, I have holpen thee what I can, but venture not to practice barely upon my words, for know that what I have only hinted, is far more then what I have discovered; and what I have declared to thy first apprehension most openly, hath yet its lurking Serpent under the green Grass, I mean some hidden thing which thou oughtest to understand, which thou being Cock-sure at first blush wilt neglect; but yet it will bite thee by the heel when thou approachest to practice, and make thee begin again, and it may be at last throw away all as a man desperate: for know that this is an Art very Cabalistical, and we do study expression such as we know will suit almost with any mans fancy, in one place or other; but be sure to take this Maxim from one who knows best the sence of what he hath written: Where we speak most plainly, there be most circumspect, for we do not go about to betray the Secrets of Nature; especially then in those places which seem to give Receipts so plain as you would desire, suspect either a Metaphor, or else be sure that something or other is supprest, which thou wilt hardly without Inspiration ever find of thy self, which in tryal will make all thy confident knowledge vanish; yet to a Son of Art, we have written that which never heretofore was by any revealed.

Source: [link broken]


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
Ripley Revived - Snippet

Now for a close of this most secret Gate,
Whereat few enter, none but they who are
By Gods grace favour’d; its not luck ne fate
That in disclosing this can claim a share:
It is a portion which is very rare,
Bestowe’d on those whom the most High shall chuse,
To such the Truth freely I shall declare,
Nor ought through Envy to them shall refuse,
Nor with unwonted Riddles shall their hopes abuse.

Of uncouth subjects now shall be my Song,
My mind intends high Wonders to reveal,
Which have lain hidden heretofore full long,
Each Artist striving them how to conceal,
Lest wretched Caitiffs should these Treasures steal:
Nor Villains should their Villanies maintain
By this rare Art; which danger they to heal,
In horrid metaphors veil’d an Art most plain,
Lest each Fool knowing it, should it when known disdain.

Remember Man how he produced was,
How formed from a lump of abject Clay,
From whence Created; he each thing doth pass,
Which next to Angels ever saw the day:
For God in him infus’d so bright a Ray
Of his own Image, which the Body joyn’d
To it, ennobled so that both pourtray
Their maker, as though Heaven with earth combin’d
A little System of the Universe to find.

But yet though he of Soul and Body both
Was made, and of the two the nobler part doth
The subject nominate; yet that same Art
That made so rare a piece, dot from the part
Less noble name the whole, Adam, or Dust,
Wherein a Mystery was couch’d, whose heart
Of life the Centre, to Earth’s bowels must
Return, the Earth it self for man’s sake being cursed.

Right so our Stone containeth Natures two,
One hidden, subtle Soul, Heavens Progeny,
The other gross, compact, terrene also,
Earth’s product must to Earth by destiny;
Which when resolv’d is made a feculency
To sight, but the Coelestial part is still
(Though over-clouded) most pure inwardly,
And shall at last most Pearlie drops distill,
Which shall the barren Earth with fruit in plenty fill.

Thus all our Secrets from the Eath do flow,
‘Tis Earth which for our base at first we take,
Our Wate also unto Earth must go,
And both together must a Limus make,
Which we with respite by our Art must bake,
Ill all become a Spirit glorify’d,
Whose firmness wasting, time shall never shake;
By perfect union th’ are so surely ty’d,
Each Element the other three within it self doth hide.

Take then that thing which Gold we plese to call,
But ‘tis not Gold, yet Gold it is in truth;
Metalline ‘tis, yet from a Mineral
It flows, which Art by Nature holp renew’th,
And to a Fool an ugly face it sheweth;
Yet to a Son of Art it lovely seems,
‘Tis Stellar white, and tender in his youth,
And vile appears in many mens esteems,
Yea the most part of men it for a trifle deems.

From it is made a subject of great price,
Shew it the Goldsmith and he’l swear ‘tis Gold;
But look you sell it not, if you be wise,
The Basis ‘tis of secrets manifold,
This for their secret main the Sages hold:
The like is in Gold digged from the Mine,
But to procure it is scarce to be told,
That you may understand, though every line
Were plainly wrote, yet might your practice oft decline.

For ‘tis a Labour hardly to be borne,
So many tricks and turnings in it be,
And he that tryeth it is surely forlorne,
Unless a crafty Master, credit me;
For I have tried both, yet could not see
How any in this way can be secure:
I therefore who have vowed secrecy
Have writ this way, which we can scarce endure
For knowledge-sake to try, its ease will none allure.

Our Kingly road I also hinted have,
Our way in which a Fool can hardly erre,
Our secret way, which much mad toyl will save,
Which is so easie, that I may aver,
If thou shouldst see it, thou wouldst it prefer
To any earthly pleasure; yet beware
That you mistake not, for I do aver,
A mingled Doctrine these lines do declare,
I or both ways in this Book of mine do claim a share.

Learn to distinguish every sentence well,
And know to what Work it doth appertain;
This is great skill, which few as I can tell
By all their reading yet could ere attain,
And yet of Theory this is the main:
Also to know accordingly to give
Due heat, which in one way thou must be fain
T’ increase ten-fold, thou mayst me well believe,
For what we decoct, t’other away will drive.

Also their Operations different
Appear, the one thou must sublime and boyl,
O tedious way! In which much time is spent,
And many errours, which the Work will spoyl:
The other silently doth make no toyl,
Like the still voice which to Eliah came,
About which Work thou needest not to broyl,
Nor wantst thou fiery Vulcan’s parching flame,
A far more gentle heat begins and ends this Game.

But if thou canst each Work perform apart,
And knowst them afterward to reconcile,
Then art thou Master of a Princely Art,
The very success will thy hopes beguile;
Thou hast all Natures Works ranks in a File,
And all her Treasures at command dost keep,
On thee the Fate shall never dare but smile,
No Mystery is now for thee too deep,
Th’ art Natures Darling, whether thou dost wake or sleep.

Pardon my plainness, if the Art thou knowst,
‘Twas the fruit of my untamed desire
To profit many; and without a boast,
No man above my Candour shall aspire:
My zeal was kindled with Minerva’s Fire,
And thou who to this Art wilt now apply,
My Book in Natures way shall lead thee higher,
Then ever thou alone mayst hope to fly,
If only thou shalt favour’d be by Destiny.

Peruse these lines, and being read, review
And read again, and on them meditate,
Each reading shall fresh Mysteries and new
Discover, which are scatter’d in each Gate;
For they so linked are, that all relate
To each, and we our words have woven so,
That thou mayst soon erre by misleading Fate,
Unless for to distinguish thou do know;
Remember that ‘mongst Briars thick, sweet Roses grow.

Source: [link broken]

These are the only portions worth reading over & over again in the entire book. Ofcourse, you are free to read the entire text as you deem fit.


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
Dwellings (Fulcanelli)- Castle of Dampierre selected portion

So perishes the inconstant one.

Like the lantern without a light, his faith ceases to shine; easily defeated, unable to react, he falls and in vain seeks in the surrounding darkness this light which can only be found within.

But while the inscription presents no ambiguity, the image, on the other hand, is much less clear. This stems from the fact that the interpretation can be given in two ways in consideration of the method employed, and also of the path followed. We first discover an allusion to the fire of the wheel, which, for fear of its ceasing resulting in the loss of the matters, should not for even one moment cease its activity. Already in the long way, a slowing down of its energy, a lowering of the temperature constitute accidents detrimental to the regular progress of the operation; for, even if nothing is lost, the length of time, already substantial, is increased even more. An excess of fire spoils everything; however, if the philosophical amalgam is merely reddened and not calcined, it is possible to regenerate it by redissolving it, according to the Cosmopolite’s advice, and by resuming the coction with more caution. Completely extinguishing the fire on the other hand causes the irremediable ruin of the content, although if analyzed the latter does not seem to have undergone any change. Therefore, during the entire course of the work the hermetic axiom told by Lintaut must be remembered which teaches that "gold, once dissolved into spirit, if it feels the cold, is lost with the entire Work". Consequently, do not activate the flame inside your lantern too much and watch that you do not let it go out: you would be between Scylla and Charybdis (9).

Applied to the short way, the symbol of the lantern provides another explanation to one of the essential points of the Great Work. It is no longer the elemental fire, but the potential fire --- the secret flame of the matter itself --- which the authors veiled from the layman in the form of this familiar image, What then is this mysterious, natural, and unknown, fire which the artist must be capable of introducing into his subject? Here is a question that no philosopher has wished to resolve, even by resorting to the help of an allegory. Artephius and Pontanus speak of it in such an abstruse fashion that this important thing remains incomprehensible or goes unnoticed. Limojon de Saint Didier asserts that this fire is of the nature of limestone. Basil Valentine, ordinarily more verbose, is content to write: "Then light the lamp of wisdom and seek with it the gross thing that was lost". Trismosin is barely clearer: "Build", he says, "a fire in your glass or in the earth which holds it enclosed". Most of the other authors designate this inner light, hidden within the darkness of substance, by the epithet of fire of the lamp. Batsdorff describes the philosophical lamp as one always needing to be abundantly supplied with oil and its flame as always needing to be fed by way of an asbestos wick. The Greek [*329-1] (asbestos) means inextinguishable, of unlimited duration, tireless, inexhaustible, qualities attributed to our secret fire, which says Basil Valentine, "whines in the darkness, although it does not burn". As for the lamp, we find it in the Greek term [*329-2] (lamptern), lantern, torch, which used to designate the fire vase where wood was burned to provide light. Such indeed is our vase, dispensing the fire of the sages, that is, our matter and its spirit, or, to say it all, the hermetic lantern. Finally, a term close to [*330-1] (lampas), lamp, the word [*330-2] (lampe), expresses all that which rises and comes to the surface, scum, foam, scoria, etc. And this indicates, for whomever possesses a smattering of hermetic knowledge, the nature of the body, or, if you prefer, of the mineral casing containing this fire of the lamp which only needs to be stirred up by ordinary fire to perform the most surprising of metamorphoses.

Yet another word for the benefit of our brothers. Hermes, in his Emerald Table, utters these solemn, true, and important words: "You separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, gently, with great industry. It rises from the earth to the sky, gently, with great industry, and then descends from the sky into the earth and thus receives the virtue of higher and lower things". Note therefore that the philosopher recommends to separate, to divide, and not to destroy or sacrifice one to save the other. For if it were so, we ask you, from which body would the spirit rise and into which earth would the fire descend to again?

Pontanus affirms that all superfluities of the stone are converted under the action of fire into a unique essence and that as a consequence whoever claims to separate anything however small understands nothing about our philosophy.

Panel 8 --- Two vases, one in the form of an embossed and engraved flagon, the other a common earthen pot, are represented in the same frame occupied by this saying of St Paul:


One vessel for honorable uses, another for base uses.

"But in a great house", says the Apostle (10), "there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor".

Our two vases appear well defined, clearly marked and in absolute agreement with the precepts of hermetic theory. One is the vase o nature made of the same red clay God used to form the body of Adam with. The other is the case of the art, whose entire material is composed of pure, clear, red, incombustible, fixed, and diaphanous gold, of an incomparable brightness. And these are our two vessels which truly represent only two distinct bodies containing the metallic spirits, the only agents we need.

If the reader is acquainted with the traditional manner of writing of the philosophers --- which manner we try to imitate correctly so that the Ancients can be explained through us and se we can be controlled by them, it will be easier for him to understand what the hermeticists meant by vessels. For these vessels represent not only two matters, or rather one matter in two states of its evolution, but they also symbolize our two ways based on the use of these different bodies.

The first of these ways which uses the vase of the art is time-consuming, painstaking, thankless, accessible to wealthy people, but is in a place of great honor in spite of the expenditures it entails, because it is the one which authors preferably describe. It s used as a support for their reasoning as well as for the theoretical development of the Work, requires an uninterrupted labor of twelve to eighteen months, and starts with natural gold prepared and dissolved in the philosophical mercury which is then cooked in a glass matrass. This is the honorable vase reserved for noble use of these precious substances which are the exalted gold and mercury of the sages.

The second way demands, from beginning to end, only the help of a coarse clay abundantly available, of such a low cost that in our time ten francs are sufficient to acquire a quantity more than enough for our needs. It is the clay and the way of the poor, of the simple and the modest, of those whom nature fills with wonder even by her most humble manifestations. Extremely easy, it only requires the presence of the artist, for the mysterious labor perfects itself by itself and is achieved in seven to nine days at the most. This way, unknown to the majority of practicing alchemists, is elaborated from start to finish in one crucible made of fireproof clay. It is the way that the great masters called woman’s work and child’s play; it is to it that they apply the old hermetic axiom: una res, una via, una dispositione. One matter, one vessel, one furnace. Such is our earthen vase, a despised, plain vase of common use, "which everyone has before his eyes, which costs nothing, which can be found at everyone’s house, yet which nonce can recognize without a revelation".

Source: [link broken]

Castle of Dampierre is the hidden gem in his series of works. It is my favorite portion. The secret of the dry path & Ars Brevis (short dry path) has been laid out (somewhat)plainly in the same portion.

Illen A. Cluf

Hermes Trismegistus
Patron of the Arts
Honorable Meister
Hermetic Pilgrim
Jan 1, 2009
Source: [link broken]

Castle of Dampierre is the hidden gem in his series of works. It is my favorite portion. The secret of the dry path & Ars Brevis (short dry path) has been laid out (somewhat)plainly in the same portion.

What do you think Fulcanelli means with his "coarse clay abundantly available"?


Hermetic Pilgrim
Oct 9, 2016
This is great work, Dwellings! Exactly what I like to see posted on an Alchemy message board!

It seems that our comprehension and pertinence of particular texts is directly related to our grasp of our Art at the time. I find that every year that I go back and re-read the same texts, something new always pops out to my mind's eye. Perhaps those portions that you feel are the "only parts worth reading" will be the parts that further advance your knowledge of Alchemy in later years.

What do you think Fulcanelli means with his "coarse clay abundantly available"?

"...these vessels represent not only two matters, or rather one matter in two states of its evolution, but they also symbolize our two ways based on the use of these different bodies..."


Hermes Trismegistus
Honorable Meister
Hermetic Pilgrim
Aug 31, 2012
"...these vessels represent not only two matters, or rather one matter in two states of its evolution, but they also symbolize our two ways based on the use of these different bodies..."

"The combination of the two initial matters, one volatile, the other fixed, produces a third body, fixed, which marks the first stage of the stone of the philosophers."

"No philosopher knows, and many admit it, in what manner the initial matters, while in contact with one another, react, interpenetrate, and finally unite under the veil of darkness which envelops, from beginning to end, the intimate exchanges of this peculiar procreation."

"These are the emblems of the initial matters, one ardent, igneous, figured by the Gorgon mask and its lightning bolts; the other, aqueous and cold, passive substance represented in the shape of a sea shell called Merelle by the philosophers... The mutual reaction of these primary elements --- water and fire --- yield common mercury, of mixed quality, which is this igneous water or aqueous fire that we use as a solvent in the preparation of the philosophers’ mercury."

"It is the common epithet applied to decomposing matters, matters being corrupted, which are characterized in the philosophers’ work by an oily, greasy appearance, a strong and disgusting odor, a viscous and sticky condition, a quicksilver-like consistency, a blue, violet or black coloration."

"These very suggestive attributes clearly show in form the two active and passive matters
(notice the PLURAL FIRST), whose mutual reaction yields, at the end of the philosopher’s fight, the first substance (notice the SINGULAR NOW, AFTER THE INITIAL MATTERS HAVE REACTED AND BECOME "ONE" IN APPEARANCE; this is the trap that you keep falling for over and over, and over, and over, etc. without realizing the fact that the "one matter only" is in fact a composite of several and not really "only one" from the beginning, which is what many a MALICIOUS & ENVIOUS alchemist want you to incorrectly assume so you will be sent on a wild goose chase for that "one matter only" that exists NOWHERE already made for your convenience, and that YOU have to make yourself out of SEVERAL) of the Work."

"Latona, the princess becomes in the language of the Adepts, La Tonne (French for the tun), le tonneau (French for the cask), which explains why beginners have such a difficult time identifying the secret vessel where our matters are fermenting."
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Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
What do you think Fulcanelli means with his "coarse clay abundantly available"?

There are 3 meanings of the single word Clay in the para.

1. Fireproof clay -> for crucible

2. "Clay" the mineral matter.

3. "Clay" - Initial fixation of the spirit into metallic realm & not reaching iron i.e. it is between one state & the other. Also, Gold & Iron has affinity.

Fit the clay & its products according to the above meanings in the para.


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
"...these vessels represent not only two matters, or rather one matter in two states of its evolution, but they also symbolize our two ways based on the use of these different bodies..."

"The combination of the two initial matters, one volatile, the other fixed, produces a third body, fixed, which marks the first stage of the stone of the philosophers."

"No philosopher knows, and many admit it, in what manner the initial matters, while in contact with one another, react, interpenetrate, and finally unite under the veil of darkness which envelops, from beginning to end, the intimate exchanges of this peculiar procreation."

"These are the emblems of the initial matters, one ardent, igneous, figured by the Gorgon mask and its lightning bolts; the other, aqueous and cold, passive substance represented in the shape of a sea shell called Merelle by the philosophers... The mutual reaction of these primary elements --- water and fire --- yield common mercury, of mixed quality, which is this igneous water or aqueous fire that we use as a solvent in the preparation of the philosophers’ mercury."

"It is the common epithet applied to decomposing matters, matters being corrupted, which are characterized in the philosophers’ work by an oily, greasy appearance, a strong and disgusting odor, a viscous and sticky condition, a quicksilver-like consistency, a blue, violet or black coloration."

"These very suggestive attributes clearly show in form the two active and passive matters
(notice the PLURAL FIRST), whose mutual reaction yields, at the end of the philosopher’s fight, the first substance (notice the SINGULAR NOW, AFTER THE INITIAL MATTERS HAVE REACTED AND BECOME "ONE" IN APPEARANCE; this is the trap that you keep falling for over and over, and over, and over, etc. without realizing the fact that the "one matter only" is in fact a composite of several and not really "only one" from the beginning, which is what many a MALICIOUS & ENVIOUS alchemists want you to incorrectly assume so you will be sent on a wild goose chase for that "one matter only" that exists NOWHERE already made for your convenience, and that YOU have to make yourself out of SEVERAL) of the Work."

"Latona, the princess becomes in the language of the Adepts, La Tonne (French for the tun), le tonneau (French for the cask), which explains why beginners have such a difficult time identifying the secret vessel where our matters are fermenting."

I am trying to move everyone away from the same pit and you guys seem to fall back into it. Amazing.

Ripley Revived
Also their Operations different
Appear, the one thou must sublime and boyl,
O tedious way! In which much time is spent,
And many errours, which the Work will spoyl:

The other silently doth make no toyl,
Like the still voice which to Eliah came,
About which Work thou needest not to broyl,
Nor wantst thou fiery Vulcan’s parching flame,
A far more gentle heat begins and ends this Game.

You are still in the bolded part.


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016

The beauty of the style, the successful choice of motifs, the delicacy of execution, make this little door one of the most delightful specimens of 16th century wood sculpture. This hermetic paradigm, exclusively devoted to the symbolism of the dry way, the only one which authors reserved without providing any explanation about it, is a joy to the artist as well as a treasure to the alchemist (Plate V)

In order to make the students more responsive to the particular value of the emblems analyzed, we shall respect the order of the work without allowing ourselves to be guided by considerations of architectural logic or aesthetic nature.

On the tympanum of the door with carved panels, we notice an interesting allegorical group composed of a lion and a lioness facing each other, They are holding in their forepaws a human mask which personifies the sun, encircled by a liana carved into a mirror handle. Lion and lioness, male principle and female virtue, reflect the physical expression of the two natures, of similar form but opposite properties, that the art must choose at the beginning of the practice. From their union, accomplished according to certain secret rules, comes this double nature, mixed matter that the sages have named androgyne, their hermaphrodite, or Mirror of the Art. This substance, at once positive and negative, passive containing its own active agent, is the basis, the foundation of the Great Work. Of these two natures, taken separately, the one which plays the role of the feminine matter is the only one indicated and alchemically named on the corbel bearing the overhand of a second-story beam. The figure of a winged dragon can be seen, its tail curled into a ringlet. The dragon is an image and symbol of the primitive and volatile body, true and unique subject upon which one must first work. The philosophers have given it a multitude of diverse names besides the one under which it is commonly known. This has caused and still causes so much difficulty, so much confusion, to beginners, and especially to those who are little concerned with principles and do not know how far the possibility of nature can be expanded. In spite of the general opinion averring that our subject had never been named, we assert on the contrary that many books name it and that all describe it. However, while it is mentioned by the good authors, it cannot be said that it is underlined or expressly shown; it is often classified among the bodies that have been rejected as improper or alien to the Work. This is a traditional technique used by Adepts to divert the lay people and to hide from them the secret entrance to their garden.

Its traditional name, the stone of the philosophers, is descriptive enough of the body to serve as a useful basis for its identification. It is, indeed, genuinely a stone, for, out of the mine, it shows the external characteristics common to all ores. It is the chaos of the sages, in which the four elements are contained, but in a confused, disorganized manner. It is our old man and the father of metals which owe their origin to it, as it represents the first earthly metallic manifestation. It is our arsenic, cadmia, antimony, blende, galena, cinnabar, tutia, tartar, etc. All ores, through the hermetic voice, rendered homage to it with their name. It is still called black dragon covered with scales, venomous serpent, daughter of Saturn, and "the most beloved of its children". This primal substance has seen its evolution interrupted by the interposition of a filthy combustible sulphur, which coats its pure mercury, holds it back, and coagulates it. And, though it is entirely volatile, this primitive mercury, materialized by the drying action of the arsenical sulphur, takes the shape of a solid, black, dense, fibrous, brittle, crushable mass rendered, by its lack of utility, vile, abject, and despicable in the eyes of man, Yet, in this subject --- poor relative of the metal family --- the enlightened artist finds everything that he needs to begin and perfect his Great Work, since it is present, say the authors, at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the Work. Therefore the Ancients have compared it to the Chaos of Creation, where elements and principles, the darkness and the light, were on and the other confounded, intermixed, and unable to mutually interact. For this reason they symbolically depicted their matter in its first being as the image of the world which contained in itself the materials of our hermetic globe (1), or microcosm, assembled without order, without form, without rhythm or measure.

Our globe, reflection and mirror of the microcosm, is therefore nothing but a small part of the primordial Chaos, destined by divine will for elementary renewal in the three kingdoms, but which sets of mysterious circumstances have oriented and directed toward the mineral kingdom. Thus given form and specified, subjected to the laws ruling the evolution and the progression of minerals, this chaos, which has become a body, contains in a confused manner the purest seed and the closest substance there is to minerals and metals. The philosopher’s matter is therefore of mineral and metallic origin. Hence, one must only seek it in the mineral and metallic root, which, says, Basil Valentine in the book, The Twelve Keys, was reserved by the Creator and intended only for the generation of metals. Consequently, anyone who seeks the sacred stone of the philosophers with the hope of encountering this little world in substances alien to the mineral and metallic kingdoms, will never reach his goals. To turn the apprentice away from the path of error the ancient authors teach him to always follow nature. Because nature only acts within its own appropriate species, only develops and perfects itself within itself and by itself, free from any heterogeneous thing occurring to hinder its progress or to oppose the effects of its generating power.

On a post of the frame on the left side of the door that we are studying, a subject in high relief calls and holds our attention. It shows a richly dressed man wearing a sleeved doublet and a mortarboard hat, his chest emblazoned with a shield showing a six-pointed star. This man of means, standing on the cover of an urn with embossed sides, serves to indicate the content of the container, according to the custom of the Middle Ages. It is the substance which during sublimations rises above the water, floating like an oil on its surface; it is Basil Valentine’s Hyperion and Vitriol, Ripley’s and Jacques Tesson’s green lion, in a word, the real unknown of the great problem. This knight of beautiful bearing and heavenly lineage is no stranger to us: several hermetic etchings have acquainted us with him. Salomon Trismosin, in The Golden Fleece, shows him standing up, his feet planted on the edges of two water-filled vases, which reveal the origin and the source of this mysterious fountain; water of dual nature and virtue, issued from the milk of the virgin and the blood of Christ; igneous water and aqueous fire, virtue of the two baptism mentioned in the Gospels: "I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier that I cometh, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable" (2). Philosopher Solidonius’ manuscript reproduces the same subject in the image of a chalice filled with water, out of which two characters are half-emerging in the center of a rather busy composition summing up the entire work. As for the treatise of Azoth, it is a huge angel --- that of the parable of St John in the Book of Revelation --- who treads the earth with one foot and the sea with the other, while raising a burning torch with his right hand and compressing an air-inflated goatskin with the left one, clear images of the quaternary of the primal elements: earth, water, air, fire. The body of this angel, whose two wings replace the head, is covered by the seal of the open book, ornamented by the cabalistic star, and the seven words, emblem of Vitriol: Visita Interiora Terrae, Rectificandoque, Invenies Occultum Lapidem (3). "I then saw", writes St John (4), "another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was, as it were, the sun, and his feet were as pillars of fire. He had in his hand a little open book, and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth. And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth; and when he had cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had resounded their voices, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me: Keep under seal the words of the seven thunders, and write them not... And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said: Go and take the little open book which is in the hand of the angel who standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And he said unto me: Take it and eat it; it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey".

This product, allegorically expressed by an angel or by a man --- the attribute of the evangelist St Matthew --- is none other than the Mercury of the Philosophers, double in nature and quality, partly fixed and material, partly volatile and spiritual, which suffices to begin, achieve and multiply the work. It is the unique and only matter that we need, without having to worry about finding any other; but we must know, so as not to err, that authors generally begin their treatises with this mercury and how to acquire it. This Mercury definitely is the matrix and the root of gold, and not the precious metal which is absolutely useless and without function in the way we are studying. Eirenaeus Philalethes says with much truth, that our Mercury, barely mineral, is even less metallic because it only contains the spirit or metallic seed, while the body tends to move away from the mineral quality. It is nevertheless the spirit of gold, contained in a transparent oil, easily coagulable; the salt of metals, since all stone is salt, and the salt of our stone, since the stone of the philosophers, which is this mercury of which we speak, is the subject of the Philosophers’ Stone. Hence several Adepts, intending to create confusion, called it nitre or saltpeter (sal petri, salt of stone), and copied the sign of the one onto the image of the other. Further, its crystalline structure, its physical resemblance to melted salt, its transparency, have allowed it to be compared to salts and caused it to be given all their names. According to the will or whim of writers, it has been described in turn as sea salt, rock salt, sal alembroth, oleu vitri which Pantheus describes as being chrysocolla, and others as borax or atincar; Roman vitriol, because [***-123-1] (Rome), Greek name of the Eternal City, means strength, vigor, power, domination; the mineral of Pierre-Jean Fabre because he says gold lives in it (vitriol) (5). It is also called Proteus because of its metamorphoses in the course of the work, and Chameleon ( [***-123-2], (rampant lion), because it takes on, in sequence, all the colors of the spectrum.

Now here is the last decorative subject of our door. It is a salamander serving as capital to the small twisted column of the right jamb. It appears to be, in a fashion, the protecting corbel of the median pillar, located on the ground floor, and as far as on the attic window. It would even seem, given the deliberate repetition of the symbol, that our alchemist had a marked preference for this heraldic reptile. We do not want to insinuate here that he meant to give it the erotic and vulgar meaning which Francis I valued so much; it would be insulting artisan, dishonoring science, and outraging truth in the manner of this high-bred debauchee with low intellectuality to whom we regret owing the paradoxical name of Renaissance (6). However an unusual feature of human disposition prompts man to cherish more that for which he has suffered and toiled most; this reason would probably allow us to explain the triple usage of the salamander, hieroglyph of the secret fire of the sages. It is so indeed, because, among the secondary products entering into the work as helpers or servants, none is more difficult to discover, none is more laborious to identify. It is yet possible, in accessory preparations, to use instead and place of the required additives certain substitutes capable of a similar result; however, in the elaboration of Mercury, nothing could be substituted for the secret fire, this spirit likely to animate it, exalt it and blend with it after having extracted it out of filthy matter. "I would feel very sorry for you", wrote Limojon de Saint-Didier (7), "if, like myself, after having known the true matter, you had spent fifteen years entirely in work, study, and meditation without being able to extract from the stone the precious juice it contains in its midst, for want of knowing the secret fire of the sages, which from this apparently dry and arid plant, causes to flow a water that doesn’t wet the hands". Without it, without this fire hidden in a saline form, the prepared matter could not be tested or fulfill its function of mother, and our labor would remain forever chimeric and vain. Every generation requires the help of a specific agent, determined for the realm in which nature has placed it. And everything bears seed. Animals are born from an egg or fertilized ovum; vegetables come from a seed that has been rendered prolific; similarly, minerals and metals have for seed a metallic liquid fertilized by the mineral fire. The latter then is the active agent introduced by the art into the mineral seed and Philalethes tells us, "it is the first to make the axle turn and the wheel move". Hence it is easy to understand to use of this invisible and mysterious metallic light, and the care with which we must seek to know it and to distinguish it by its specific, essential, and occult qualities.

Salamander, in Latin salamandra, comes from sal, salt, and mandra, which means stable and also rock hollow, solitude, hermitage. Salamandra then is the name of the salt of the stable, salt of the rock, or solitary slat. In the Greek language this word takes another meaning, revealing the action that provokes: the Greek word [***-125-1] (Salamandra) appears formed from [***-125-2] (Sala) meaning agitation, perturbation, used probably for [***-125-3] (salos) or [***-125-4] (zale), agitated water, tempest, fluctuation, and from [***-125-5] (mandra) which has the same meaning as in Latin. From these etymologies we can draw the conclusion that the salt, spirit or fire takes birth in a stable, a rock hollow, a grotto... That is enough. Lying on the straw of his manger in the grotto of Bethlehem, is Jesus not the new sun bringing light to the world? Is he not God himself in his carnal and perishable shell? Who the has said: "I am the Spirit and I am the Life; and I have come to set fire unto things?".

This spiritual fire, given form and materialized in salt, is the hidden sulphur, since during its operation it is never made manifest or perceptible to our eyes. And yet this sulphur, as invisible as it may be, is not an ingenious abstraction or a doctrine stratagem. We know how to isolate it, how to extract it from the body that conceals it, by an occult means and in the appearance of a dry powder which, when it is in that state, becomes improper and without effect for the philosopher’s art. This pure fire, of the same essence as the specific sulphur of gold but less digested, is, on the other hand, more abundant than that of the precious metal. This is why it easily unites with the mercury of minerals and imperfect metals. Philalethes affirms that it is found hidden in the belly of Aries, or the Ram, constellation which the sun crosses in the month of April. Finally, to even better designate it, we will add that this Ram, "which hides within itself the magical steel", ostensibly bears on its shield the image of the hermetic seal, the star with six rays. So it is in this very common matter, which may seem merely useful to us, that we must look for the mysterious solar fire, a subtle salt and spiritual sulphur, a celestial light diffused in the darkness of the body, without which nothing can be done and which nothing could replace.

Among the emblematic subjects of the small mansion of Lisieux, we have mentioned earlier the important place occupied by the salamander, specific emblem of its modest and learned owner. We were saying that it can be found as far as the attic window of the roof, almost inaccessible and rising up against the open sky. It embraces the kingpost of the gable between two parallel dragons sculpted on the exposed wooden sides of the gable (Plate VI). These two dragons, one apterous ( [*126-1], without wings), the other chrysopterous ([*126-2], with golden wings), are those about which Nicolas Flamel speaks in his Hieroglyphic Figures, and which Michael Maier (Symbola aurea mensae, Frankfurt, 1617) considers to be, along with the globe surmounted with the cross, specific symbols of the style of the celebrated Adept. This simple declaration demonstrates the wide knowledge that the artist from Lisieux had of philosophical texts and of the symbolism specific to each of his predecessors. On the other hand, the very choice of the salamander leads us to believe that our alchemist must have searched for a long time and spent many years to discover the secret fire. The hieroglyph in fact hides the physicochemical nature of the fruit of the garden of Hesperia, fruit whose late maturity can only rejoice the sage in his old age, at the sunset ([*126-3] (Hesperis) of a laborious and painful career. Each piece of fruit is the result of a progressive condensation of the solar fire by the secret fire, a word incarnate, a celestial spirit embodied in all things of this world. And the assembled and concentrated rays of this double fire color and animate a pure, diaphanous, clarified, regenerated body of brilliant brightness and admirable virtue.

Once it has reached this point of exaltation, the igneous principle, material and spiritual, by the universality of its action becomes assimilable to bodies contained in the three kingdoms of nature; it is as efficient with animals and plants as it is within mineral and metallic bodies. It is the magical ruby, agent endowed with igneous energy and subtlety and clothed in the color and the multiple properties of fire. Again the Oil of Christ or of crystal, the heraldic lizard, attracts, devours, vomits and feeds the flame, resting on his patience like the old phoenix on his immortality.

Source: [link broken]

Note: He lays the same trap as Ripley which I have quoted above. Read carefully. Also, the concepts learned will be general & fundamental in nature.


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
Castle of Dampierre - Selected texts


Thus is one immortalized.

This pyramidal construction, the shape of which recalls the hieroglyph adopted to designate fire, is note other than the Athanor, a word by which the alchemists signified the philosophical furnace essential to the Work’s maturation. Two side doors have been installed, facing each other: they block out glass windows which allow observation of the phases of the work. Another one, placed at the basis gives access to the fire; finally, a little cover near the top serves as a heat register and exhaust vent for the gases produced by the combustion. Inside if we rely on the very detailed descriptions given by Philalethes, Le Tesson, Salmon, Pierre Vicot, Huginus a Barma, etc., the Athanor is designed so as to receive an earthen or metallic plate called nest or arena because the egg undergoes incubation in the warm sand (Latin arena, sand). As for the combustible agent used for heating, it often varies although many authors admit they prefer thermogenic lamps.

At least this is what the masters teach about their furnaces. But the Athanor, the dwelling of the mysterious fire, claims kinship with a less common design. It is more in accordance with hermetic esotericism, it seems to us, to understand that it is through this secret furnace --- the prison of an invisible flame --- that the substance is prepared, the amalgam or the rebis, used as an envelope ad matrix of a central core where these latent capabilities are sleeping, which the common fire will soon activate. As matter alone is the vehicle of the natural and secret fire, the immortal agent of all our achievements, it alone remains for us the true and unique Athanor (from the Greek [*** 386-1] (athanatos), which renews itself and never dies). Philelthes tells us about the secret fire, which sages could not do without as it is the one responsible for all metamorphoses within of the compounds, that it is of metallic essence and sulphurous origin. It is acknowledged as a mineral because it is born from the primary mercurial substance, the unique source of all metals; and sulphurous because this fire during the extraction of the metallic sulphur has taken on the specific qualities "of the father of metals". It is therefore a twofold fire --- the twofold fiery man of Basil Valentine --- who contains at once the attractive, agglutinating, and organizing virtues of mercury and the drying, coagulating, and fixative properties of sulphur. Whoever has at all any smatterings of philosophy, will easily understand that this twofold fire, the animating agent of the rebis, as it only needs heat to go from potentiality to actuality and to make its power effective, could not be the one of the furnace although it metaphorically represents our Athanor, that is to say the topos of energy, of the principle of immortality enclosed in the philosophical compound. This twofold fore is the pivot of the art, and according to Philalethes expression, the first agent which causes the wheel to turn and the axle to move", and so it is often called fire of the wheel, because it seems to develop its action according to a circular fashion, whose aim is the conversion of the molecular structure, a rotation symbolized by the wheel of fortune and by the Ouroboros.

And so matter destroyed, mortified, then recomposed into a new body, thanks to the secret fire which is aroused by the one of the furnace, gradually raises itself with the help of multiplications, up to the perfection of the pure fire, veiled under the figure of the immortal Phoenix: sic itur ad astra (thus is one immortalized). Similarly, the workman, faithful servant of nature, acquires with the knowledge of the sublime, the high title of knight, the esteem of his peers, acknowledgement by his brothers, and the honor, which is more enviable than all worldly glory, to be among Elias’ disciples.


Within nothing, everything lies.

A primordial motto which the ancient philosophers loved to repeat and by which they meant the absence of value, the commonness, the extreme abundance of the basic matter from which they drew everything they needed. "Then you will find the All-in-All, which is the styptic force of all metals and minerals derived from salt and sulphur, and twice born of Mercury", writes Basil Valentine in the book of the Twelve Keys.

Thus does true wisdom teach us to not judge things according to their price, the pleasure received from them, or the beauty of their appearance. It leads is to value in man personal merit rather than the outer or the social conditions, and in bodies the spiritual quality they keep hidden within them. To the eyes of the wise, iron, this pariah of human industry, is incomparably more noble than gold, and gold more despicable than lead; for this bright light, this ardent, active, and pure water that common metals, minerals, and stones have preserved, is lacking only in gold. This sovereign to which so many people pay homage, for which so many consciences demean themselves in the hope of obtaining its favors, has of wealth and preciousness only the clothes. A sumptuously dressed king, the gold is but an inert, albeit magnificent, body, a brilliant corpse compared to copper, iron, or lead. This usurper, that an ignorant and greedy crowd raises to the rank of god, cannot even claim to belong to the old and powerful family of metals; stripped of its coat, it then reveals the baseness of its origin and appears to us as a simple metallic resin, dense, fixed, and fusible, a triple quality which renders it obviously improper to the realization of our objective.

Thus we can see how vain it would be to work on gold, for whoever has nothing can evidently give nothing. It is therefore to the raw and vile stone that we must address ourselves without repugnance for its miserable appearance, its disgusting odor, its black coloration, its sordid rags. For these same rather unattractive characteristics allow us to recognize it and caused people to always looks at it as the primitive substance, issued from the original chaos and that God, during the Creation and organization of the universe, would have reserved for his servants and his chosen ones. Drawn from the Void, it bears its imprint and its name: Nothing. But the philosophers have discovered that in its elementary and disorganized nature, consisting all of darkness and of light, of bad and of good, assembled in the worst of confusion, this Nothing contained All they could hope for.


Beside the dragon, which is watching, things are not guarded.

The myth of the dragon in charge of the surveillance of the famous orchard and of the legendary Golden Fleece is known well enough to prevent us the trouble of repeating it. It suffices to point out that the dragon is chosen as the hieroglyphic representative of the crude mineral matter with which we must begin the Work. That is to indicate its significance, the care that we must bring to the study of the outer signs and of the qualities likely to make its identification possible, to help us recognize and distinguish the hermetic subject among the many minerals which nature places at our disposal.

In charge of guarding the marvelous field, where philosophers go and get their treasures, the dragon is known to never sleep. His fiery eyes remain constantly open. He knows neither rest nor weariness and could not overcome the insomnia which characterizes it and grants it its true raison d’etre. This is actually what the Greek name it bears expresses. [*408-1] (Drakon) has for root [*408-2] (derchomai) to look and see, and by extension to live, a word close to [*408-3] (derchenes) who sleeps with open eyes. Primitive language reveals through the cloak of symbols, the idea of an intense activity, of a perpetual and latent vitality enclosed in the mineral body. Mythologists name our dragon Ladon, a word whose assonance comes close to Laton and which can be assimilated to the Greek [*408-4] (Leto) to be hidden, unknown, ignored like the matter of the philosophers.

The dragon’s general appearance, its well-known ugliness, its ferocity, and its unusual vital power correspond exactly to the external characteristics, properties and capabilities of this subject. The special crystallization of the latter finds itself clearly indicated by the scaly skin of the dragon. So are its colors, for the matter is black, spotted red or yellow as is the dragon, which is its likeness. As for the volatile quality of our mineral, we see it translated by the membranous wings with which the monster is equipped. And because it is said that it vomits fore and smoke when attacked and that its body ends in a snakelike tail, poets, for these reasons, had him be born of Typhon and Echidna. The Greek [*408-5] (Tuphaon) a poetic term for [*408-6] (Tuphon) or [*408-7] (Tuphos) --- the Egyptian Typhon --- means to fill with smoke, to light, to set aflame. [*408-8] (Echidna) is nothing else than the viper. Hence we can conclude that what the dragon takes after from Typhon is its hot, ardent, and sulphurous nature while it owes to its mother its cold and wet complexion with the characteristic form of the ophidians.

While the philosophers have always hidden the common name of their matter under an infinity of qualifiers, they were, on the other hand, often quite prolix as far as describing its form, its virtues, and sometimes even its preparation. By common consent, they assert that the artist must hope to discover nothing, nor produce anything outside of the subject because it is the only body in nature capable of providing him with the essential elements. To the exclusion of other minerals and other metals, it preserves the principles necessary to the elaboration of the Great Work. By its monstrous albeit expressive figuration, this primitive subject appears clearly as the guardian and the unique dispenser of the hermetic fruits. It is their depository, their vigilant preserver, and our Adept speaks wisely when he teaches us that apart from this solitary being, philosophical things are guarded by no one, since we might look in vain for them elsewhere. And about this first body, fragment of the original chaos and common mercury of the philosophers, Geber exclaimed: "Blessed be the Almighty, who created our mercury and who gave it a nature to which nothing resists; for, without it, the alchemists’ painstaking efforts would be in vain, all their labor would become useless".

But, asks another Adept (3), "Where then is this aurific mercury which, resolved into salt and sulphur, becomes the humid radical of metals, and their animated see? It is imprisoned in a jail so strong that nature itself could not pull it out, if the industrious art did not facilitate the means for it".


In vain.

It is the succinct translation, engraved in stone, of the four fires of our coction. The authors who spoke of it, describe them as so many different and proportionate degrees of the elementary fire acting in the midst of the Athanor, on the philosophical rebis. At least, such is the meaning suggested to beginners, and that they hurry to put into practice without much further thought.

And yet the philosophers themselves attest that they never speak more obscurely than when they seem to express themselves with precision; their apparent clarity deludes those who let themselves be seduced by the literal meaning, and who do not attempt to make sure whether it agrees or not with observation, reason and the possibility of nature. This is why we must warn the artists, who will try to accomplish the work according to this process that is to say, by submitting the philosophical amalgam to the increasing temperatures of the four regimens of fire, that they will certainly be the victims of their ignorance and frustrated from the desired results. They should first strive to discover what the Ancients meant by the metaphoric expression of fire and that of the four successive degrees of its intensity. For indeed we are not speaking of a cooking fire here, of a fireplace fire, or of a blast furnace fire. "In our work", asserts Philalethes, "common fire only serves to keep away the cold and the accidents it could cause". In another section of the treatise, the same author positively affirms that our coction is linear, i.e., equal, constant, regular, and uniform from the beginning to the end of the work. Almost all philosophers have used as an example this fire of coction or maturation, the incubation of a hen’s egg, not in terms of the temperature to be used but in terms of uniformity and permanence. And so we very strongly advise people to consider before anything else the relationship that the sages have established between the fire and the sulphur, so as to obtain this essential notion that the four degrees of the first must infallibly correspond to the four degrees of the second, which is to say much in a few words. Finally in his so minute description of the coction, Philalethes does not forget to point out how much the real operation is removed from its metaphoric analysis because instead of being directed as one generally believes it to be, it has seven stages or regimens, simple reiterations of one and the same technique. In our opinion, these represent the most sincere words that have been said about the secret practice of the four degrees of fire. And, although the order and the development of these works are guarded by the philosophers and always shrouded in silence, the special characteristic which the coction, understood in that way, takes on will nevertheless allow the wise artist to rediscover this simple and natural means, which ought to favor its operation.

Source: [link broken]


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
Mystery of the Cathedrals - Selected Texts

Few alchemists will admit the possibility of two ways, one short and easy, called the dry way, the other, longer and less rewarding, called die moist way. This may be due to the fact that many authors deal exclusively with the longer process, either because they do not know of the other, or because they prefer to remain silent about it, rather than to teach its principles. Pernety refuses to believe in those alternative methods, while Huginus a Barma, on the contrary, asserts that the ancient masters, such as Geber, Lully and Paracelsus, each had his own particular process. Chemically speaking, there is no objection to a method, employing the moist way, being replaced by another, which makes use of dry reactions, in order to arrive at the same result. Hermetically the emblem we are studying is a proof of this. We shall find a second one in die eighteenth-century Encyclopaedia, where the assurance is given that the Great Work may be accomplished in two ways; one, called the moist way, being longer but held more in honour and the other, or dry way, being much less esteemed. In the latter 'the celestial Salt, which is the Philosophers' mercury, must be boiled for four days in a crucible over a naked fire, together with a terrestial metallic body. 'In the second part of the work, attributed to Basil Valentine, but which seems rather to be by Senior Zadith, the author appears to have the dry way in mind when he writes that 'in order to arrive at this Art, neither great labour nor trouble is required and the expenses are small, the instruments of little worth. For this Art may be learnt in less than twelve hours and brought to perfection within the space of eight days, if it has its own principle within itself.'

Philalethes, in chapter XIX of the Introitus, after having spoken of the long way, which he describes as tiresome and good only for rich people, says: 'But by our way no more than a week is necessary; God has reserved this rare and easy way for the despised poor and for abject saints.' Furthermore, Langlet-Dufresnoy, in his Remarques on this chapter, thinks that 'this way is achieved by the double philosophical mercury'' and adds: 'The work is thereby accomplished in eight days, instead of taking nearly eighteen months by the first way.' This shortened way, which is, however, covered by a thick veil, has been called by the Wise the Regime of Saturn.

The boiling of the Work, instead of necessitating the use of a glass vase, requires only the help of a simple crucible. 'I will stir up your body in an earthenware vase, in which I will inter it', writes a famous author, who says again further on: 'Make a fire in your glass, that is to say in the earth which holds it enclosed. This brief method, about which we have freely instructed you, seems to me to be the shorter way and the true philosophical sublimation, in order to arrive at the perfection of this difficult task.'This could be the explanation of the basic maxim of our Science: 'One single vessel, one single matter, one single furnace.'

In the preface to his book, "Cyliani refers to the two processes in these terms: 'I would like to warn you here never to forget that only two matters of the same origin are needed, the one volatile, the other fixed; that there are two ways, the dry way and the moist way. I follow the latter one for preference as my duty although the former is very familiar to me: it is done with a single matter.' Henri de Lintaut also gives a favourable testimonial to the dry way when he writes: 'This secret surpasses all the secrets in the world, for by it you can in a short time, without great trouble or labour, arrive at a great transmutation. For information about this, see Isaac Hollandois, who speaks of it more fully.' Unfortunately our author is no more forthcoming than his colleagues. 'When I consider,' writes Henckel," 'that the artist Elias, quoted by Helvetius, claims that the preparation of the Philosophic stone is begun and finished in the space of four days, and that he has actually shown this stone, still adhering to the fragments of the crucible, it seems to me that it would not be so absurd to ask whether what the alchemists call great months may not be as many days, which would mean a very limited space of time. And to ask further whether there may not be a method, which consists only in keeping the matters in the greatest degree of fluidity for a long time, which could be achieved by a violent fire, maintained by the action of the bellows. However, this method cannot be carried out in all laboratories and perhaps not everyone would find it practicable.'

Source: Mystery of the Cathedrals


Hermetic Pilgrim
May 22, 2016
De Lapide Philosophorum - Hollandus

Therefore, stay with the Great Art, or the great Elixir, as your foregathers did. When you have accomplished that, you may try other operations of Nature with greater confidence. But if you do otherwise, you are not following my advice. To begin with, take in hand the Great Work, because there is no worry in it. Nothing in it is distilled, dissolved, coagulated or purified. In it there are no unknown works or things, no impure things that have faces. Nor do you calcine as there is no need for it. You do not separate any Elements, because they are pure. It is one species, one thing, one vessel, one furnace, and one work --- to the White and to the Red.

Therefore, no danger will befall this work. It is nothing but a woman’s work and merely child’s play. Ignorant men cannot understand this simply because this work is so easy. This because the Great Work dissolves, purifies, coagulates, sublimates, and congeals itself! It also makes itself easy to melt, just like wax, and perfects itself into that which it is supposed to become.

Therefore, I recommend the great Work to you, for in it there is no failure, worry, work or vigil. Nor can it be spoiled, unless it be done deliberately. You need no foreign spirits, or conjuring, or a multitude of glasses, you only need one vessel and no more, one species of matter and no more, one oven and no more. That is why Geber says: Our Stone is one species, one thing. Therefore ignorant men cannot understand it. No foreign things that are not of its nature are added to our Stone. Ignorant men wish to bring it into its nature because they are unable to congeal this one thing. But when they do succeed in congealing it, they are right back to where they started from. Then it is nothing but earth that has lost its moisture. It cannot flow and it has no ingress. This is true because they stop when they should actually start (the work). Now, if they knew of what species this subject is and recognized its father and mother, sister and brother, arm in arm, mouth to mouth, they would die at once! If they would recognize and understand these things, they would obtain all their desires from the Art, and all their works would end happily.

Dear Sons, I have revealed all this to you in clear words. Therefore, do not undertake anything with unknown operations before you have accomplished the Opus Magnum. Following that, start whatever you wish and do not spare any expense or time because you will have as much of both these as you want. I have mentioned the many accidents that may occur, and there are many others as well. But you should know that there exists an easy rule of which the Philosophers all speak of in a strange way, using parables and expounding it under veiled names, and yet, they are all referring to the great Work. Those who are able to perform the Great Work can also understand all the parables and the veiled words. In addition, you should understand and know about this work that the true Art is in al things, and it is true! You are to understand it as follows: Every determined thing contains its perfect medicine, though it is in an unprepared form. If you know how to prepare it, you neither need to buy or to have any other medicines. All this needs to be understood.

No disease in the world can come upon a man because he has the perfect remedy within himself whereby he can completely recover. That is, providing he knows how to prepare it properly. He can obtain it from himself and prepare it so it will not harm his body. The same applies to all animals, birds, plants and anything created by God. It is indeed so, but ignorant men cannot understand what the old sages said and they think they can make a medicine from all things. That is why they take eggs, blood, urine and the like, believing that they can thereby bring into perfection, imperfect bodies. And when they have done, they are still at the start and remain immersed in their stupidity.

But my child should know that a man generates a man. A horse generates a horse, a bird a bird, each its like, otherwise it would be contrary to Nature. This is the reason that metal cannot be made from such sperm as blood and eggs. Where there is nothing, do not try to extract anything from an imperfect thing. To transmute metals into Sol and Luna from such is against Nature and reason. Clearly it is not possible. It is a wonder that some should have seized upon such a fantasy. If they understood the workings of Nature, they would never have made such a mistake.

Source: [link broken]


Hermetic Pilgrim
Jan 16, 2017

I think the communists, Marxist, Illuminati, neocons call them what you will are so desperate to cause the collapse of the western world Physically, mentally, spiritually that it can only result in conflict. People are waking up to their plans and this has and will result in pushback. If they see their plans being majorly challenged or reversed I am convinced that these psychopaths would consider nuking major city's to accomplish their goal (and probably blame it on north Korea). I say this because I myself had a waking dream many years ago in which I seen mass destruction by some aerial event the nature of which could only be astronomical or nuclear in nature. What can we say people were not vigilant enough, probably too trusting in the "human spirit" or lazy and willing to be herded by self-appointed shepherds not to greener pastures but to the abattoir!

I believe however the golden age will return as sure as Summer follows Winter and all the ancient arts including Alchemy will return for in every age a thrice grate Hermes reappears on the scene to remind people of forgotten ways.


Alchemical Adept
Magus de Moderatio
Patron of the Arts
Hermetic Pilgrim
Dec 10, 2009
Perhaps AD-AM

I mentioned this before, but it was long ago :)

The Hebrew root A-D-M can direct us either to ADAM (Man), ADAMAH (Earth/Clay), DAM (Blood) or ADOM (Red).