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Here you will find resources devoted to the noble art of Alchemy

What Is

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.

“The Mirror Of Alchemy”, by Roger Bacon 1250

 

Concerning this admirable, excellent, divine, and most secret Art, it is a matter of no ordinary difficulty to satisfactorily resolve the question of the actuality thereof, but, as appears from Aristotle, it is absurd to prove the existence of Nature, or to argue the possibility of what is know. Our subject is the transmutation of metals into true gold and silver by the skill of art. Alchemy is the Art by which the principles, causes, activities, properties, and affections of metals are thoroughly apprehended; and by means of this knowledge those metals which are imperfect, incomplete, mixed, and corrupt, and therefore base, are transmuted into gold and silver. Alchemy is an operative science, and produces effects by supplying natural conditions, e.g., by the action of fire.

And the claims of the Art itself appear so miraculous, and so far exalted above the ordinary course of Nature, that the vulgar herd are of necessity led to regard the Alchemist as a kind of sorcerer or magician, and to place his pretensions in the same class with those of the man who professes to work signs and wonders. Nevertheless, I stoutly maintain that the Art of Alchemy is clear and true, and founded upon Nature.

The fact is that, in producing gold, the Art of Alchemy does not pretend to imitate in the whole work of Nature. It does not create metals, or even develop them out of the metallic first substance; it only takes up the unfinished handiwork of Nature and completes it.

As to the brief space of time required for the conversion in our Art, it must not be thought that we bring this about by exposing metals in the furnace to the sudden operation of fierce heat. If we did so, their metallic moisture would, of course, be destroyed and dried up. But we only just melt the imperfect metals over the fire, and then add to them the Philosopher’s Stone, which, in a moment of time, imparts to them the form of gold, thus changing and ennobling their nature.

“The New Pearl Of Great Price”, by Peter Bonus 1339

Why

He that has once found this Art, can have nothing else in all the world to wish for, than that he may be allowed to serve his God in peace and safety. He will not care for pomp or dazzling outward show.

But if he lived a thousand years, and daily entertained a million people, he could never come to want, since he has at hand the means of indefinitely multiplying the Stone both in weight and virtue, and thus of changing all imperfect metals in the world into gold.

In the second place, he has it in his power to make stones and diamonds far more precious than any that are naturally procured.

In the third place, he has an Universal Medicine, with which he can cure every conceivable disease, and, indeed, as to the quantity of his Medicine, he might heal all sick people in the world.

“An Open Entrance To The Closed Palace Of The King”, by Philalethes 1667

 

Prepared as medicine and sweet food, when taken into the mouth it may immediately penetrate the human frame, greatly holding to itself every fleshly thing, increasing, restoring, and nourishing the incorrupt virtue and spirit of life, digesting the crude and undigested, removing the superfluous, making natural water abound, and augmenting, comforting, and inflaming natural heat or fire. The above will be the duty of the true physician and sane philosopher.

For thus will he be able to preserve our body from corruption, to retard old age, retain florid youth in full vigour, and, if possible, to perpetuate it, at least to preserve it from death and destruction.

“Man, The Best And Most Perfect Of God’s Creatures”, by Benedict Figulus 1607

 

The most noble Art and comforter of the poor, above all natural arts, which man may ever have on earth, the noble Alchemy, is to be esteemed as the gift of God; for it is hidden mostly in manifold proverbs, figurative sayings and parables of the old Sages. Whosoever therefore will act wisely should search for the Wisdom of the old Philosophers, which is shown in the wit and Artfulness of the manifold parables and roundabout sayings, thus hiding the proper operations and thus rendering their unriddling difficult.

To think over these things requires a very subtle mind, and only those with suitable faculties and knowledge will find it easy and natural. ‘For those who have no natural understandings of these things, there is nothing so precious in Nature as he who possesses this Art; he is like one ‘who had a flint from which he strikes fire and gives to whosoever he likes, without the stone getting any smaller through it’. It is as good as giving superfluous fine Gold.

This Art is also better than all commerce, Gold and Silver, and her fruits are better than the wealth of all the world. For by means of this Art, is obtained that which furthers long life, health, her youngest fruit being the true Aurum, the most powerful balm and most precious gift of God, which the old Philosophers could find in Nature with their Art.

“Splendor Solis”, by Solomon Trismosin 1582

Affirmations

And I, Artephius, after I became an adept, and had attained to the true and complete wisdom, by studying the books of the most faithful Hermes, the speaker of truth, was sometimes obscure also as others were. But when I had for the space of a thousand years, or thereabouts, which has now passed over my head, since the time I was born to this day, through the alone goodness of God Almighty, by the use of this wonderful quintessence. When I say for so very long a time, I found no man had found out or obtained this hermetic secret, because of the obscurity of the philosophers words. Being moved with a generous mind, and the integrity of a good man, I have determined in these latter days of my life, to declare all things truly and sincerely, that you may not want anything for the perfecting of this stone of the philosophers.

“The Secret Book Of Artephius” 1150

Finally, I found that which I desired, which I also soon knew by the strong scent and odour thereof. Having this, I easily accomplished the Mastery, for, knowing the preparation of the first Agents, and after following my Book according to the letter, I could not have missed it, though I would. Then, the first time that I made projection was upon Mercury, whereof I turned half-a-pound, or thereabouts, into pure Silver, better than that of the Mine, as I myself assayed, and made others assay many times. This was upon a Monday, the 17th of January, about noon, in my house, Perrenella only being present, in the year of the restoring of mankind, 1382. And afterwards, following always my Book, from word to word, I made projection of the Red Stone upon the like quantity of Mercury, in the presence likewise of Perrenella only, in the same house, the five and twentieth day of April following, the same year, about five o’clock in the evening; which I transmuted truly into almost as much pure Gold, better assuredly than common Gold, more soft and more plyable. I may speak it with truth, I have made it three times, with the help of Perrenella, who understood it as well as I, because she helped in my operations.

“Hieroglyphics”, by Nicolas Flamel 1382

I do most positively and solemnly assert that I have with my own hands performed every one of the experiments which I have described; and I know many others whose experience has shewn these things to be true. How can our opponents hope to prevail against eye-witnesses by bare negation? My testimony is borne out by the experience of such men as Albertus, Raymund, Riplaeus, Flamellus, Morienus, and a host of others. I confess that the transformations of which I have spoken are not easy to accomplish, but whoever has the Key of our Art can unlock all gates, and has power over all the secrets of Nature. But this Key is possessed only by those who have both a theoretical and a practical knowledge of natural processes.

“Metamorphosis Of Metals”, by Eiranaeus Philalethes 1668

I have read not only many sincere Chemical books, but also sophistical ones, worked through the processes of the God-forsaken deceitful arch-liars, through which I have lost both my moderate fortune and my health. If but a single Christian friend had only revealed to me the meanest spark of the true being, and from thence what is absorbed by animal, vegetable, mineral and lead, flux of the solar-rays, yea! If he had led me and directed me to catch hold of the astral, viscous, fat water, I would be forever obliged to that one from that hour forth: In any case, for the most part I did nothing but wander through pretended, misleading, falsely groundlessly prescribed processes, and having worked, unfortunately did nothing but thresh empty straw.

For nearly thirty-seven years I laboured greatly, and in all three kingdoms there was virtually no other subject to be sought, which had not already been found to be impotent. Now when I became disgusted with the mess, the distilling, cohobating and coagulating, and set Chemistry wholly to the side, God willed it that during my travels, I had opportunity to speak with a gentleman of honor concerning the nature of things; but now I complained to him of all my labours, and how by them I had only gained great loss, and also allowed that I did not wish to think thereon for the rest of my life, nor would I: For two whole days this Elias Artista carefully gave me to understand else but comforting exhortations and then a large body of truthful lessons.

I had benefited well from all the sincere instruction, and so had been able to grasp the work; so I know not why I had to delay the work until the fourth year; by and by I lacked this or that, by and by my mirror was broken in pieces, by and by I was not able to have the proper vessels. Alone in the Work I have found that: It is neither by will nor by haste, but only by the mercy of God, and this is true. Yet for all that, because God granted me the time and opportunity to attend properly to the Work, I studied the writings of the above authors with great purpose, often to the twentieth reading, especially those who spoke clearly, and became more firmly grounded day by day; nevertheless I had a good deal of difficulty with the appearance of the water at the beginning, until finally I found more elucidations here and there in the writings; the true subject I doubted even less, for I perceived in Sendivogius’ Tract de Sulphur; Est in aere occultus vitae cibus, quem nos rorem de nocte, di die vero aquam rarefactuam voamus Cujus Spiritus invisibilis coagulatus, melior est quam universa terra. They eyes of those who intelligently read through the above authors will be opened, and seekers will attain to the true well of the sages. The Dawn Breaking Forth to Heaven, likewise the book, Of Heaven and Earth, and not least Doctor Helvetius’ Golden Calf mention sufficiently quid sit, quando et quomodo material sit sumenda.

“Chemical Moonshine”, by Johan Fleischer 1739

After having reflected soberly, I came to the firm decision that I would live unknown, without pomp, and restrain my ambition by giving happiness in secret without letting myself be known as a benefactor. I had told my wife of my success and promised to repeat the transmutation for her benefit. She urged me not to speak of this to anyone. It was Maundy Thursday 1831 at seven minutes past ten in the morning that I had achieved my first transmutation, alone. I lacked mercury and put off showing my wife until the day after Easter. From a gardener, I bought a laurel branch and a twig of evergreen. Having tied them together, I wrapped the whole in a sheet of writing paper and wended my way home where my wife was sitting by the window, reading. Kneeling in front of her, I placed my bouquet at her feet, saying: “Here it is at last, dear friend, placed at your feet. It crowns me at last, just as you and I are descending towards the grave. It has cost me 37 years of painful labors and more than 1500 nights without sleep. I have known so many humiliations, been overwhelmed with abuses, shunned by my friends, rejected by your family and mine. Finally, I lost the most interesting creature that one might possibly see. Yet, I have never ceased from being an honest man and cherishing you”. My head fell upon her knees. I began to weep. O tears of regret at remembering my losses! Tears at the tribulations that I have known! Tears of joy, how sweet you were! You calmed my heart! I was reborn. I was a new man. Her eyes filling with tears, my wife lifted my head, saying: “Stand up, my friend, and stop crying”. I placed my lips upon hers and this tenderly reciprocated kiss embellished the sweetness of my life and reanimated my mind beaten down by unhappiness. It was not enough to have admitted my success and to have placed the laurel at her feet. It was necessary to convince her and to perform the transmutation in front of her.

“Hermes Unvieled”, by Cyliani 1831

Preparation

The first is, that you do know how to prepare well all your things, and that you do know how to remove that which doth hurt most, and that which doth comfort your Intention, and that you know the sign when you have that which you desire to have, and that you know how to remove that which you ought to remove.

“Speculum Alchymiae” by Bacon, 1250

 

This process of affusion and extraction must be repeated until all the salt, or potency and efficacy, has been extracted from the body. This is the case when the water becomes white and thick, and, in the cold, hard and solid like ice, while in the heat it melts like butter. Now, when nothing more can be extracted from the body, the residuum must be removed; for it is the superfluous part of the substance. This is what the Sages mean when they say: In the preparation we remove that which is superfluous.

“The Glory Of The World”, 1620

Putrefaction

Here is required by how long time the stone is to be turned into blackness and what is the figure of true solution of the stone when blackness appeareth the first time it is figure of putrefaction and solution of the stone, but when it is vanished away and clearly gone it is a sign of the whole putrefaction of the stone and of the dissolution thereof, or else it is demanded if the black clouds endure in the foresaid stone by the space of 40 days, I answer sometimes it doth more, and sometimes less, this variation chanceth of the variety and quantity of the medicine, and according to the wisdom of the worker, wherefore the more quantity requireth more time, and the less the less.

“Donum Dei” by George Aurach, 1475

 

When the matter has stood for the space of forty days in a moderate heat, there will begin to appear above, a blacknesse like to pitch, which is the Caput Corvi of the Philosophers, and the wise men’s Mercury. Blacknesse once seen, thou mayst be sure a True Conjunction of the principles is made.

“Zoraster’s Cave” by Anonymous, 1667

 

Black colour, which is first and it is the key of the Beginning of the Work. This mass thus Blackened is the Key and sign of perfect invention.

“Verbum Dismissum” by Bernard Trevisan, 1480

 

But every seed is useless if it remains as it is, if it does not decay and becomes black; because corruption always precedes generation. It is this way that Nature proceeds in all its operations, and when we want to imitate it, we must also blacken before whitening, without which we will only produce rejects.

“The Light Coming Out Of Darkness By Its Own” by  Fransisco Santinelli, 1666

 

When in the work blacknesse appears, know that thou hast found the right way of working. Then rejoice, for God has given thee a very Great and pretious Gift.

“Zoraster’s Cave” by Anonymous, 1667

 

Our stone is a thing rejected, but found in dunghills, (i.e., in putrefaction, or the matter being putrefied) containing in itself the four elements, over which it triumphs, and is certainly to be perfected by human industry. Digest forty days in igne philosophorum.

“The Root Of The World” by Roger Bacon, 1250

 

Therefore dear Son, when thou art in thy work, see first thou have the black colour, and then art thou sure thou dost putrefy and proceedest the right way, patience and tarrying be necessary in our work. O Blessed Nature and blessed is thine operation, for of imperfect thou makest perfect with true putrefaction, which is black and obscure. Then after thou shalt make to spring new, and divers things, which thy viridity or green lion makest divers colours appear.

“Donum Dei” by George Aurach, 1475

 

Our vessel being warily heated at the first for fear of its cracking, an ebullition of the contained matter is brought on, so that the moisture is alternately circulated in white fumes above, and condensed below, which may continue for a month or two, nay longer, increasing the heat gradually to another degree, as your matter discovers a disposition for fixing, by the vapor continuing at longer intervals condensed, and rising in a lesser quantity, of an ash color, or other dark shades, which it will assume as a medium to perfect blackness, the first desirable stage in our harvest. With darker clouds, but quickly dissipated, and growing less in quantity, till the whole substance resembles molten pitch, or the aforesaid bituminous substance, bubbling less and less, resting in one entire black substance at the bottom of your glass. This is called the blackness of black, the head of the crow, etc., and is esteemed a desirable stage in our philosophical generation, being the perfect putrefaction of our seed, which will ere long show its vital principle by a glorious manifestation of Seminal Virtue.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone”

 

Separation

The Putrefaction of our subject being thus completed, it exists under two forms; the moisture which was extracted, and the residuum, being our Philosophical Earth. The water contains its seminal virtue, and the earth is a proper receptacle, wherein it may fructify. Let the water, then, be separated and kept for use; and calcine the earth.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone” by Anonymous

Conjunction

The seed and its earth being thus prepared, nothing remains but a judicious conjunction of them together; for it too much moisture prevails, the philosophical egg may burst before it can go through the heat necessary for its hatching. To speak without a figure. Our subject must now be enclosed in a small glass vial, made strong enough to bear a due heat, which is to be raised gradually to the highest degree: the best form for this vessel being that of an oil flask, with a long neck; but these are much too thin in substance for this operation. In such a vessel the mixture is to be sealed hermetically, and digested so long till it is fixed into a dry concretion; but, if, as we observed, the moisture should predominate, there is great danger of the vessel bursting, with a vapor which cannot be concentered by the fixing quality in the matter. The intention is, nevertheless, to fix our subject in the heat, and so render its future destruction impossible.

Your sulphur and mercury being thus united, put them into a glass vial, before described, in such a quantity as to take up one-third of its contents, leaving two-thirds, including the neck, for the circulation of your matter. Secure the neck of your vial with a temporary luting at the first, and give a gentle heat, observing whether it sublimes and fixes alternately. If it easily sublimes and shows a disposition, at intervals, to subside at the bottom of the vessel, all is well conducted hitherto; for the moisture will first be predominant, which the sulphur can only perfectly absorb as the heat is increased for the perfect ripening of our Paradisiacal Fruit. Therefore, if it manifests a too early disposition for fixing, add more of the corrected mercury till Luna rises resplendent in her season; she will give place to the Sun in his turn. This is deservedly called the Great Work of the Philosophers; and the artist having done his part hitherto, must seal up his glass hermetically, an operation which every maker of barometers knows how to perform.

The glass is then to be put into a furnace with a proper nest contrived for its reception, so as to give a continual heat from the first to the fourth degree. A heat of the first degree is sufficient at the first, for some months, in which method much time may be lost by a young practitioner, till he knows how to handle his matter from experience; but then he is not so liable to be disappointed with the bursting of his vessel or the matter vitrifying. Thus you have arrived at the desired seed-time in our Philosophical Work, which, though it may appear in the artist’s power to ripen, depends no less on the Divine blessing than the harvest, which a painful husbandman has not the presumption to expect otherwise than from God’s beneficence.

We shall describe the changes which our subject undergoes during the second part of the process, commonly called the Great Work of the Philosophers. Our vessel being warily heated at the first for fear of its cracking, an ebullition of the contained matter is brought on, so that the moisture is alternately circulated in white fumes above, and condensed below, which may continue for a month or two, nay longer, increasing the heat gradually to another degree, as your matter discovers a disposition for fixing, by the vapor continuing at longer intervals condensed, and rising in a lesser quantity, of an ash color, or other dark shades, which it will assume as a medium to perfect blackness, the first desirable stage in our harvest. Other colors may be exhibited in this part of the work without danger, if they pass transiently; but if a faint redness, like that of the corn poppy, continues, the matter is in danger of vitrifying, either from an impatient urging of the fire, or the moisture not being sufficiently predominant. The whole substance resembles molten pitch, or the aforesaid bituminous substance, bubbling less and less, resting in one entire black substance at the bottom of your glass. This is called the blackness of black, the head of the crow, etc., and is esteemed a desirable stage in our philosophical generation, being the perfect putrefaction of our seed, which will ere long show its vital principle by a glorious manifestation of Seminal Virtue.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone”

Albification

When the putrefaction of our seed has been thus completed, the fire may be increased till glorious colors appear, which the Sons of Art have called Cauda Pavonis, or the Peacock’s Tail. These colors come and go, as heat is administered approaching to the third degree, till all is of a beautiful green, and as it ripens assumes a perfect whiteness, which is the White Tincture, transmuting the inferior metals into silver, and very powerful as a medicine.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone” by Anonymous

Rubification

These colors come and go, as heat is administered approaching to the third degree, till all is of a beautiful green, and as it ripens assumes a perfect whiteness, which is the White Tincture, transmuting the inferior metals into silver, and very powerful as a medicine. But as the artist well knows it is capable of a higher concoction, he goes on increasing his fire till it assumes a yellow, then an orange or citron color; and then boldly gives a heat of the fourth degree, till it acquires a redness like blood taken from a sound person, which is a manifest sign of its thorough concoction and fitness for the uses intended.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone”

Fixation

Boldly give a heat of the fourth degree, till it acquires a redness like blood taken from a sound person, which is a manifest sign of its thorough concoction and fitness for the uses intended. Having thus completed the operation, let the vessel cool, and on opening it you will perceive your matter to be fixed into a ponderous mass, thoroughly of a scarlet color, which is easily reducible to powder by scraping, or otherwise, and in being heated in the fire flows like wax, without smoking, flaming, or loss of substance, returning when cold to its former fixity, heavier than gold, bulk for bulk, yet easy to be dissolved in any liquid, in which a few grains being taken its operation most wonderfully pervades the human body, to the extirpation of all disorders, prolonging life by its use to its utmost period; and hence it has obtained the appellation of “Panacea,” or a Universal Remedy. Therefore, be thankful to the Most High for the possession of such an inestimable jewel, and account the possession of it not as the result of your own ingenuity, but a gift bestowed, of God’s mere bounty, for the relief of human infirmities.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone”

Fermentation

The Fifth Key includes the Fermentation of the Stone with the perfect body, to make therof the medicine of the Third order. I will say nothing in particular of the operation of the Third work; except that the Perfect Body is a necessary leaven of Our Paste. And that the Spirit ought to make the union of the paste with the leaven in the same manner as water moistens meal, and dissolves the leaven to compose a fermented paste fit to make bread. So when you shall have sublimed, cleansed and separated the foulness from the Faeces, and would make the conjunction, put a ferment to them and make the water earth, that the paste may be made a ferment; which repeats the instruction of the whole work, and shows, that just so as the whole lump of the paste becomes leaven, by the action of the ferment which has been added, so all the philosophic confection becomes, by this operation, a leaven proper to ferment a new matter, and to multiply it to infinity.

“Six Keys Of Eudoxus”

 

The quicksilver of the Sages has no power to transmute imperfect metals, until it has absorbed the essential qualities of gold and silver; for in itself it is no metal at all, and if it is to impart the spirit, the colour, and the hardness of gold and silver, it must first receive them itself.

“A Tract Of Great Price Concerning The Philosophical Stone”, 1423

 

It behoves us therefore by this our water to attenuate, alter and soften the perfect bodies, to wit sol and luna, that so they may be mixed other perfect bodies. From whence, if we had no other benefit by this our antimonial water, than that it rendered bodies soft, more subtile, and fluid, according to its own nature, it would be sufficient.

Put therefore the perfect bodies of metals, to wit, sol and luna, into our water in a vessel, hermetically sealed, upon a gentle fire, and digest continually, till they are perfectly resolved into a most precious oil. Saith Adfar, digest with a gentle fire, as it were for the hatching of chickens, so long till the bodies are dissolved, and their perfectly conjoined tincture is extracted, mark this well. But it is not extracted all at once, but it is drawn out by little and little, day by day, and hour by hour, till after a long time, the solution thereof is completed, and that which is dissolved always swims atop.

“The Secret Book Of Artephius”, 1150

 

A small quantity of gold and silver is, indeed, necessary when the stone is made, as a medium for its tinging either in the white or red tinctures, which such pretenders have urged from books of philosophers as a plausible pretence to rob the avaricious both of their time and money; but their pretences are so gross that none can be sufferers in this respect, if they have not justly deserved it.

When you have finished the stone, dissolve it in our mercury again, wherein you have previously dissolved a few grains of pure gold. This operation is done without trouble, both substances readily liquefying. Put it into your vessel, as before, and go through the process. There is no danger in the management, but breaking your vessel; and every time it is thus treated its virtues are increased, in a ratio of ten to one hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, etc., both in medicinal and transmuting qualities; so that a small quantity may suffice for the purposes of an artist during the remaining term of his life.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone”

 

There are no other ferments like these here. The ferment of silver is silver, the ferment of gold is gold, therefore don’t look elsewhere! The reason for this is that the two bodies are luminous, they contain the brilliant lights which communicate to the other bodies true redness and whiteness. They are of one nature, similar to that of sulphur, the purest of the matter of this type of stone. Extract then, each kind from its own kind, each family from its own family. The work of the white has as a goal, to whiten; the work of the red, to redden. Above all, do not mix the two Works, otherwise nothing will work well.

“Compounds Of Compounds” by Magnus, 1260

 

All that are conversant in this Art, learn from Experience, and all good Authors, That the true matter and subject of this stone, has Gold and Silver in potentiality, and Argent vive naturally, or actually, Which Gold and Silver are much better than those men commonly see and handle, because these are alive and can increase; the other dead: And if this could not be effected, the matter would never be brought to this perfection, which this art promises, which is indeed so efficacious as to perfect Imperfect metals. But this same invisible Gold or Silver, which by this Magistery is exalted to so sublime a degree, cannot communicate its perfection to imperfect metals, without the help and service of vulgar Gold and Silver.

“Zoraster’s Cave”, 1667

 

These words of the Philosophers, my Son, are true, and spoken upon very good ground; for it is impossible for common Gold and Silver, to perfect other Bodies that are imperfect, unless, as taught before, that the Body of Sol and Lune be born anew, or regenerated by the water and Spirit of the prima materia, and thereby a glorious, spiritual, clarified, eternal, subtle, penetrant Body do grow forth, which afterwards hath power to perfect other Bodies which are imperfect.

It is impossible by the means of the simple Gold to perfect other Bodies, unless the perfect Body be first dissolved and reduced to its first matter, which done, it is introverted by our Labour and Art, and reduced into a true ferment and tincture.

“Hydropyrographum Hermeticum”, 1680

 

After that with a good water thou must anoint and irrigate the Leaven, and the Leaven is called by the Philosophers a Soul; they call also the prepared body a Leaven, for as a Leaven does make other breade sowre, so does this thing, and I tell thee freely, that there is no other Leaven but Gold and Silver, of necessity must the Leaven bee Leavened in the body, for the Leaven is the Soule of the body, and therefore says Morienus: Unlesse you purify the unclean body, and create in him a new soule, you have perceived Lesse than nothing in this art.

“Chymical Treatise” by de Villa Nova, 1299

 

It is to be noted, that the Philosophers have found out divers ways of handling this one thing: but I answer for them all, and briefly conclude, That our Earth doth drink up and fix our Mercury; and that this mercury doth wash and tinge our Earth, and so doth perfect it into the Stone, without any further ferment. For the white Mercury giveth a most perfect Tincture of Luna, and the Red Mercury of Sol: Therefore, when they are fixed in convenient Earths, they make Sol and Luna, without any help of common Gold and Silver. Behold thou understandest this Tincture, which we draw out from a vile thing of no price: yet note, that he that hath Salt in his Breast, may ferment this Tincture with common Gold, whereby he may obtain incomparable Riches, yet with Wisdom, with most great Cost, and not without danger.

“Philosophia Maturata” by St. Dunstan, 1668

Multiplication

There are three methods of making the multiplication; the first is to take a part of the perfect red elixir and mix it with nine parts of its red water; place the flask in the bath to make it all dissolve in water; after the solution, cook this water until it coagulates into a substance resembling a ruby; incerate this to the matter of the elixir and by this first operation the medicine acquires ten times more virtue than it had before, reiterate this same process a second time and it will augment to one hundred; a third time, a thousand, and so on always increasing tenfold.

The second method is to mix the desired quantity of the elixir with its water, always being careful of the proportions of one and the other, and after having placed it in a vessel closely sealed, dissolve it in the bath and follow the regimen of the second, successively distilling the elements by their proper fires until all- becomes stone; then incerate, as in the other case, and the virtue of the elixir will augment one hundred-fold the first time, but this way is too long, reiterate as in the first to increase its force more and more.

The third method is the multiplication in quantity; project one ounce of the elixir multiplied in quality upon one hundred ounces of purified common mercury; this mercury placed upon a small fire will be quickly changed into elixir. If you throw one ounce of this new elixir upon one hundred ounces of other common mercury; this mercury placed upon a small fire will be quickly changed into elixir. If you throw one ounce of this new elixir upon one hundred ounces of other common mercury purified, it will- become most fine gold; the multiplication of the white elixir is made in the same manner, taking the white elixir and its water instead of the red elixir; the more you reiterate the multiplication in quality, the greater effect it will have in projection, but not by the third method of which I have spoken, because the force diminishes at each projection upon the common mercury; one cannot therefore push this reiteration beyond the fourth or fifth time, because thereby the medicine would become so active and so fiery that the operation would take place instantly; the duration shortens at each reiteration; consequently its virtue is sufficiently great at the fourth or fifth time to satisfy the desires of the artist, because out of the first, one grain can convert one hundred grains of mercury into gold, at the fourth, one hundred thousand, etc. One must judge that this medicine is like the seed of wheat which multiplies each time it is sown.

It should be observed that what is called red water is the red powder; which the first operation has produced; and that the perfect elixir or red soul is the red powder produced in the second operation; this must be understood in the same way for the white.

“Light Out Of Chaos” by Louis Grassot, 1784

 

When you have finished the stone, dissolve it in our mercury again, wherein you have previously dissolved a few grains of pure gold. This operation is done without trouble, both substances readily liquefying. Put it into your vessel, as before, and go through the process. There is no danger in the management, but breaking your vessel; and every time it is thus treated its virtues are increased, in a ratio of ten to one hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, etc., both in medicinal and transmuting qualities; so that a small quantity may suffice for the purposes of an artist during the remaining term of his life.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone”

 

The fourth thing which you ought to consider, is the greatest Secret of all and mighty Wisdom, that is, that you know how to fortify your Medicine and multiply his Virtue, and this is a work of great Prudence and Wisdom, and if you understand this last, one part of your Medicine will not only convert ten parts of any Body melted but a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, ten thousand thousand, and much more without end, according to the several Circulations you shall make.

“Speculum Alchymiae” by Bacon, 1250

Projection

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.

“Mirror Of Alchemy” by Roger Bacon, 1250

 

When the artist would transmute any metal- for instance, lead- let a quantity be melted in a clean crucible, to which let a few grains of gold in filings be cast; and when the whole is melted, let him have in readiness a little of the powder, which will easily scrape off from his “stone,” the quantity inconsiderable, and cast it on the metal while in fusion. Immediately there will arise a thick fume, which carries off with it the impurities contained in the lead, with a crackling noise, and leaves the substance of the lead transmuted into most pure gold, without any kind of sophistication; the small quantity of gold added, previous to projection, serves only as a medium to facilitate the transmutation, and the quantity of your tincture is best ascertained by experience, as its virtue in proportioned to the number of circulations you have given after the first has been completed.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone”

 

Now the projection is after this manner to be done: put the body, or metal upon the fire in a crucible, and cast thereon the elixir as aforesaid, moving, or stirring it well; and when it is melted, become liquid, and mixed with the body, or with the spirit, remove it from the fire, and you shall have fine gold or silver, according to what you elixir was prepared from.

“Root Of The World” by Roger Bacon, 1250

 

When you wish to make projection proceed as follows: Take a hundred parts of Mercury, cleansed with vinegar and salt; place it in a crucible over the fire; when it begins to bubble up, add one part of your Elixir, and project the whole upon one hundred other parts of boiling purified Mercury. Then project one part of this entire mixture upon one hundred parts of purified Mercury, and the whole will be turned into our Elixir. Then project one part of this last, coagulated, upon one hundred parts of purified Mercury, and it will become the purest gold, or silver, according as the Tincture is red or white.

“The New Pearl Of Great Price” by Peter Bonus, 1339

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