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. The Great Work


Mysterious Stranger
Mar 11, 2021
I've seen this term used a lot in alchemical literature. I understand this to mean the work in creating the philosopher's stone. I've also heard it said that the Great Work is the 3 transformations made possible by alchemy. The transformation of the interior, the transformation of the exterior, and the transformation of time itself.

I'm curious about what this community's thoughts are on the Great Work.


Hermetic Pilgrim
Sep 23, 2020
In alchemy, the great work is just the work of producing the Philosopher's Stone, yes. It is called "great" to distinguish it from lesser works:

"II. We call it Circulatum, because, tho ever so often used in any Extraction, or Chymical Experiment what-ever, it loses nothing of its Quality, or Property: which is a Prerogative, pertaining to the Universal Elixir, called also the Circulatum majus, because it commands in all the three Kingdoms of Nature; whilst this, being restrained to one only Kingdom, is for that reason called Minus."
(my emphasis)

Source: Circulatum Minus by Urbigerus