We have called this our Work Clavicula, or the Little Key, for without this Work none is able to understand what we have wrote in our other Books, in which we have fully declared the whole Art, although with obscure words, by reason of the Ignorant. I have written many and large Books, under diverse Sections and obscure terms, as appeareth in our Testament, where we have handled of the Natrual Principle, where all things are set down that belong to this Art, yet under the Hammer in the proper phrase of Philosophers. Item, in our Chapter in the Philosophers Argent vive, and in the second part of the Testament of the Exub eration of Physical Mines, and in our Book of the First Essence, of the Quintessence of Gold and Silver; afterwards in other Books also made by me, where the whole Art is compleatly set down, but we have hidden the Secret as much as we could. But seeing that no man without this Secret can enter the Mines of the Philosophers, nor make any thing that can profit him; therefore by the help of the Almighty, whom it hath pleased to reveal unto me this secret, I will declare this whole Art without any fiction: And therefore see that you do not reveal this Secret unto the wicked, but unto your entire Friends; though you ought not to give it to men, being it is the gift of God, who will give it to whom he pleaseth, and whosoever shall have it, shall have an everlasting Treasure. Although Luna receiveth her clearness from Sol, of these two the whole Mastery dependeth; but seeing Metals cannot be transmuted (as Avicen witnesseth) in the Minerals, unless they be reduced into their first Matter, which is true, viz. that unless you reduce them into Argent vive; not Vulgar, that is, not volatile, but fixt, for the Vulgar is volatile, and full of flegmatick coldness, and therefore it needeth to be reduced by Argent vive fixed, more hot and dry, in qualities contrary to Argent vive Vulgar: Therefore I counsel you, O my Friends, that you do not work but about Sol and Luna, reducing them into the first Matter, our Sulphur and Argent vive: therefore, Son, you are to use this venerable Matter; and I swear unto you and promise, that unless you take the Argent vive of these two, you go on to the Practick as blind men without eyes and sence; therefore, Sons, I beseech you walk in the light, with open eyes, and fall not into the ditch of Perdition as blind men.
Of the difference between Argent vive Vulgar, and Argent vive Natural
We say, that Argent vive Vulgar cannot be the Argent vive of the Philosophers, whatever Art it be prepared with for the Vulgar cannot be detained in the Fire, but by another Argent vive corporeal which is hot and dry, and more digested there: I say, that our Nature is of a more fixt and hotter Nature, than the Vulgar, and that therefore because our Argent vive corporeal is turned into Argent vive current, not teyning the fingers; and when it is mixed with the Vulgar they are joyned, and embrace one another with the bond of Love, so that they never part from one another, as Water mixt with Water, for THUS it pleaseth Nature: But our Argent vive doth enter and mix it self actually with the other Vulgar, drying up its flegmatic humidity, and taking away the coldness from the Body, making it black as a Coal, which afterward it turneth into Powder. Note therefore, that Argent vive cannot shew forth such Operations, as our Physical or Natural, which in all its qualities hath the heat of Nature, and of true temperature, and therefore it turneth the Vulgar into its temperate Nature; nay it doth moreover somewhat else, for after its transmutation, it turneth it into pure Metal, that is, into Sol or Lune, according as it is extended; or from Sol and Lune, as is shewed in the second Chapter or Part of our Practick: Besides this, it hath somewhat greater, for it changeth and converteth Vulgar Mercury into Medicine, which Medicine can transmute the imperfect Metals into perfect: besides it turneth the Vulgar into true Sol and Lune, better than those of the Mine. Mark again, that one ounce of our Vulgar Natural Mercury, can make an hundred Marks, and so until infinity, with Argent vive, so that the Mine shall never fail. Besides this, I will have you know another thing, that Vulgar Mercury is not rightly nor perfectly mixed with the Bodies; for the Spirit cannot be mixed with the Bodies perfectly, unless they be reduced into the kind of Nature: And therefore when thou wilt mingle Lune and Sol in Mercury Vulgar, then these Bodies must be reduced into the kind of Nature, which is called Argent vive Vulgar, through the bond of natural Love, and then the Male is joyned with the female; for our Argent vive is hot and dry actually, Argent vive Vulgar is cold and moist passively, as a Female which is kept in her houses with temperate heat until the Eclipsis, and then are made black as Coals, which is the Secret of our true Dissolution: after they are at last truly knit together one with another, so that they never part from one another, and they become a most white Powder, which are the Males and Females engendered by true bond of Love; but the Children will multiply their kinds to infinity, for one ounce of this Powder, thoushalt make infinite Sol, and reduce to Lune, better than any Metal of the Mine.
The Extraction of Mercury out of the Perfect Body
Take one ounce of Calx of Luna, let it be calcined in that manner as is said in the end of the Work of our Mastery; which Calx or Slime must be ground into subtile Powder upon a Porphyr, which Powder ye shall imbibe twice, thrice, or four times in a day with the best Oyl of Tarter, made in that manner as shall be said in the end of our Mastery, drying it in the Sun until the said Calx shall drink up of the said Oyl, four or five parts more than the Calx it self was, grinding it always upon the Porphyrie, as is said: And in the end, let the Calx be dried up well, that it may well be reduced into Powder; and when it is well pulverized, let it be put into a Boults-head with a long neck: put of our stinking Menstrual made of two parts of Red Vitriol, and one part of Salt-peter, and let the said Menstruum first be distilled seven times, and let it be well rectified, by separating the Earthly Faeces, in so much that the said Minstrual be altogether Essential. Afterwards let the Boults-head be well luted, and put to the Fire of Ashes, with a little Fire of Coals, until you see the said Matter boyl and be dissolved: afterwards distill it upon Ashes, until it loseth the Menstruum, and the Matter be altogether cold; and when it is cold, let the Vessel be.opened, and the Matter which is cold be put into another Vessel that is very clean, with its Cap or Head on, well luted to a Furnace upon Ashes; and when the lute is well dried, let the Fire be made by degrees in the beginning, until you get all its Waters: afterwards augment the Fire until the Matter be dried, and the stinking Spirits exalted to the Cap or Head, and in the Receiver; and when you shall see such a sign, let the Vessel be cooled by diminishing the Fire: And after the Vessel is cooled, let the Matter be taken out and made into subtil Powder upon the Porphyrie, so that the Powder may be impalpable, which must be set in an Earthen Vessel well luted and well glazed: afterward put upon this said Powder common Water boyling, stirring always the Matter with a clean Stick, until the Matter become thick as Mustard; and stir the said Saltish Matter with a Stick, until you see appear grains of Mercury from the Body, and that a great quantity of the said quick Mercury appear, according as you have put in of the perfect Body, that is of Luna; and until you shall have a great quantity, pour upon it boyling Water, and at length stirring it until all the Matter be resolved into a Matter like unto Argent vive Vulgar: let the terrestriety be taken away with cold Water, and dried up by a cloth; afterwards let it give through a Leather, and you shall see wonders.
Of the Multiplication of our
In the Name of God, Amen
Rx Of pure Silver three grostes, made into thin Plates, and make Amalgama with four grostes of Argent vive Vulgar, well washed; and when the Amalgama is made, then let it be put into a little Boults-head, with a neck of one foot and a half long. Afterwards ffy three groste of our Argent vive, formerly extracted and reserved from the Lunary Body, and let it be put upon the Amalgama, made of the body and of Argent vive Vulgar: let the Vessel be luted very well with the best lute, and let it be dried, when this is done, stirring the Vessel exceeding well, that the Amalgama may be well mingled; and thus the Argent vive may be well mixed with the Body. Afterwards put the Vessel in which the Matter is, in a little Furnace, to a little Fire of Coals, and let this not exceed the heat of the Sun, When Sol is in the Sign of Leo, for another heat exceeding that would destroy the Matter, and the one would fly from the other: and let such a Fire be continued, until the Matter become black as coal and thick as pulpis; and let the fire continue in this degree until the Matter be changed into a gray brown colour: and when the gray appeareth, increase the Fire in one point or degree, and let this second degree continue until the Matter begin to become white, to the most purest whiteness; afterwards augment the Fire to the third degree, continuing it until the matter become whiter than Snow, and be converted into pure Powder, whiter than Ashes: and then you have Calx vive, or the quick Slime of the Philosophers, and its Sulphury Mine, which the Philosophers have so much hidden.
The Property of the said Calx, or Slime
The said Calx converteth Mercury Vulgar into most white Powder infinitely, which can be reduced into true Silver, with some of the Bodies of Luna.
Multiplication of the Calx
The Vessel with the Matter, wherein put two ounces of Argent vive Vulgar, well washed and dried; afterwards lute the Vessel well, and put it where it was before, governing and administering to it the Fire of the first, second, and third degrees, as before, until the Matter be reduced into a most white Powder, and so you may multiply to infinity.
The Reduction of this Calx viva,into Luna
When thou thus hast gotten a great quantity of our Calx viva, or of our Mine, take a Crucible not covered, in which put one ounce of pure Lune, and when it is melted, put thereupon four ounces of thy Powder in small Pills, let thy Pills be the weight of the fourth part of an ounce: let them be put upon the middle Luna by degrees, always continuing the Fire strong, until all the Pills be projected and melted, together with the Lune, and in the end make a strong Fire, until it be incorporated: afterwards project it in an Ingot, and thou shalt have five ounces of Silver more pure than the Natural: and thus thou mayst multiply thy Philosophical Mine as thou pleasest.
Of our great Work to the White, and to the Red
Reduce the Calx viva, as is said before of Luna, into Argent vive, which is our Secret. Take therefore four ounces of our Calx, and reduce them into Argent vive, as thou didst with Luna, of which Argent vive thou mayst have at least three ounces: put this in a little Boult-head with a long neck, as thou didst before; afterwards make Amalgama with one ounce of true Sol, with three ounces of Argent vive Vulgar, and put upon it Argent vive of Lune, moving it strongly with thy hands, that all may be mingled together: afterward put the Vessel, well luted as before, in the Furnace, making the Fire of the first, second, and third degree: in the first degree thy Matter will become black, like to a Coal, which then is called the Eclipsis of Luna and Sol, and there will be a true commixtion, whereby is begotten the Sun and Sulphur, which is full of temperate bloud; after the appearing of his colour, continue the Fire of the second degree until the Matter become gray, then continue the third degree until the Matter appear most white; afterwards augment the Fire to the fourth degree, continuing so that the Matter may appear red as Cinnabar, and the Ashes become red: this Calx you may reduce into the finest Sol, as is said before of Lune.