It is chiefly to be understood, That the Ancient Philosophers did often endeavor to compose in a most short time above the Earth, those things, which by Nature, in many years, were perfected under the Earth; viz. To make most perfect and most precious Sol and Luna; wherein they imitated the foresteps of Nature, choosing to themselves most pure Earths; white and Red, which they named their Sol and Luna; joining them together as Nature doth, without repugnance, until at length they were brought tO a fixation and subtility: This thing also is needful for you to perform, if you desire to obtain the desired end in this Science.
For Sol and Luna, is nothing else, but Red and White Earth, to which Nature hath joined Argent VIve, pure, subtile, white, and Red, and so of them hath produced Sol and Luna.
It is therefore needful for thee, seeking this Science, That first thou get these Earths, White and Red, subtile, pure and fixed, and in these two Earths to fix two Mercuries, white in the white, and red in the red, without division, and by their least parts, so as they may endure the greatest Examen of the fire, and may have such fusion, that as we see a great quantity of Water coloured with a little Saffron, so they may in the least quantity abundantly tinge every metal, and all metalline spirits whatsoever, so as they be of the same Kind and Nature, and may altogether and fully bring them to their own quality.
And moreover, that in themselves they may be infinitely multiplied, and able to free the body if Man from the worst and most deadly Diseases; which Properties truly are not found in common Sol and Luna, without great Labour, (and yet but only in part) because that the Vegetative power, the Mother of all increase, for the most part, is long since extinct in them.
If thou know how to perform this, and to imitate the condition of the inferior nature in making Metals, thou mayst worthily rejoice in the name of a Philosopher, as being not meanly expert in natural things.
It is to be noted, That the more ancient Philosophers used not common Sol and Luna in this Work, and therefore they said, That their work needed not great Cost and Charges, but that it might be as well performed by the poor, as the Rich: Which were altogether different from the truth, if it could not be performed without common Sol and Luna: for they are very precious and rare, and hardly to be gotten of poor men without great labour. Indeed, many have bought great quantities of Sol and Luna to nothing by this Art, and have unprofitably spent and wasted their Time and Labour, to the destruction both of their Bodies and Souls, which is much to be lamented.
Moreover, in these our Times, we know no man who doth diligently and truly find out the Philosophers Tinctures, but most of them labour absurdly and vainly in vulgar Mercury and in common Sol and Luna; therefore few of them obtain this grace.
Let us take heed; for although Sol and Luna may be subtiliated and mixed with tinctures, and so reduced into lesser tinctures, and Elixirs with mean profit; yet the true way according to the Doctrine of Philosophers, is not in them: for Sol and Luna are two tinctures Principal, red and white, buried in one and the same body, which by nature were never brought to perfect compliment, yet they are separable from their dirty and accidental dross, and afterward according to their proper qualities, are made most fit ferments for pure earth, white and red, so as in no sort they are said to breed any other thing.
For the whole Work is one, and the thing itself is one, and all the whole is derived from an Image. For our Ancestors knew, that the parts of this Stone are celestial and concrete; which were altogether absurd, if common Sol and Luna were needful to the composition thereof.
For it is said, Take a body wherein is Argent Vive, pure, clean, unspotted, and incompleat of Nature: such a body after its compleat and perfect cleansing, is much better than the Bodies of Mineral Sol and Luna.
Of this self-same body, which is the matter of the Stone, three things are chiefly said; that it is a green Lyon, a stinking Gum, and a white Fume.
But this is spoken of Philosophers, purposely to deceive Folks, and to bring them into doubts, by the many different names.
But understand thou shalt, one thing always is really signified, though accidentally and by names it is said to be three: for the Green Lyon, Stinking Gum, and White Fume, are spoken of one and the same subject, wherein they altogether lie hid, until by Art they are made manifest.
By the Green Lion, all Philosophers mean Green Sol multipliable and spermatick, which is as yet incompleat by Nature, having power to reduce Bodies to the first matter, and to make fixed things spiritual and flying, and so it is fitly called a Lion.
For as every Beast is subject to the Lion, so every Metalline body is confirmed and strengthened by the power of this Liony and green Sol; namely, of our Mercury, when it is Philosophically prepared.
This is bred and born wit a certain water, which we call Argent Vive of the Philosophers, and white Mercury: Therefore their water White and Red, giveth unto us two tinctures, white and red, proceeding from one body and substance: There are always named our Mercuries; and after due conjunction, decoction, and digestion, we call our White and Red Stones.
By the Stinking Gum, we mean a certain stinking smell, proceeding from the unclean Body in the first distillation, which is altogether like unto stinking Asafoetida, that with a certain sweetness, whereof it is said before its preparation, its smell is grevious; which is most certain: but after that, thou shalt find a substance endued with these three qualities, know that it is the true matter of the Philosophers’ Stone.
There ariseth a Question very difficult, which much troubleth fantastic Heads, viz. Our Stone sheweth itself in a foul shape, because it is in everything, and in every place; whence many men reading this, make choice of several and stinking things, which with great labour they distil, calcine, and join together. But let such hear what the Philosophers say, “Who so seeks the Philosophers Secrets in Turds looseth his Labour, and in the end finds nothing but deceit”.
Yet there is also another thing which troubleth these mens’ Brains, viz. Our Stone is bred between two mountains, it is cast out into the Dunghill, and trodden under men’s feet, it is counted a most vile and contemptible thing, it is generated between Male and Female, and lieth hidden in Thee, in Me, and in such like things. And contrarily it is said, Our Stone cannot be in things differing from its kind, namely, from the Nature of SOL and LUNA; for nothing can give that which it hath not. A Nettle cannot produce a Rose, nor a Woman a Dog; how then shall we resolve so many doubts rising from Contrarities?
Truly, it is easily done for it is plain, that nothing in this World, whether it be Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral, can be generated without a natural and a special appetite.
Therefore according to the Doctrine of Philosophers, which informs us only by obscure Examples; We must understand that the Stone may be by Similitude in every thing, and in all places, chiefly, because it is nothing else but a specifical virtue and quality joined with natural heat, whereby every compounded thing is brought to his perfectest determined end.
Things generally spoken are always generally to be understood, for what earthly thing can be in very thing, and in all places, but only a specifical Appetite, and a natural Heat; for these are the immediate and near causes without which the Stone cannot be.
Whosoever therefore desireth to understand the Stone, let him not depart from his specifical quality and Original.
Of a Man cometh a Man, of a Rose a Rose; so likewise from a matter which is potentially Gold, having things necessary, and Excrements purged, ariseth SOL by an inward Appetite; therefore from a Metal ariseth multitude of metalline tincture and perfection: The Stone is made of a metal, living, hot and moist, when natural heat is joined with it, whereby it is made apt to generate its like. For our Stone is most pure matter, viz. the nature of Sol containing in itself a vegetable heat, whereby it hath power and virtue always to multiply in itself a vegetable heat, whereby it hath power and virtue always to multiply in its own specifical and natural form; therefore it is called the secret Fire of nature, stirring up the compound, and perfecting it in our Glass into a Stone, in like manner as seeds by reason of its own proper natural heat, and radical moisture, if its mother Earth doth putrefy to admirable Generation and Multiplication.
Whosoever therefore keeps not this our heat, our fire, our balneum, our invisible and most temperate flame, and of one regimen, and continually burning in one quality and measure within our Glass; I say, whosoever understands not this Dunghill, horsebelly, and moist fire, shall labour in vain, and shall never attain this Science.
Thou seest therefore that the radical humidity, which is that first vegetable Virtue, is the cause of multiplication of every thing in its kind. Therefore of the Composition of Sol and Luna take our burning water, that Aqua Vitae, which the ignorant do think, but falsely, to be extracted from Wine, Oil, and such like Liquors.
I say, such green Sol and Luna, in which the vegetable virtue is not extinguished, but is living, hot and moist, and hath power to reduce all Bodies to their vegetability; for by this, with God’s permission, bodies extinct, and not multiplicable, may more easily get the habit and virtue to germinate, which of Philosophers is called the beginning and term from whence the Stone is generated.
Marie the Prophetesse in an Epistle to Aron, writeth, that “The Body taken from little Mountains, is a Body white and clear, not suffering putrefaction nor motion, and it is that which is generated between Male and Female”; By these little Mountains is understood Sol and Luna, which are naturally separated from us by a great distance, by whose influence Gold and Silver are generated, both which are in our Mercury.
By Male and Female, we understand Agent and Patient, Active and Passive, both which are also in our active Mercury, and in our Passive Earth.
Whereby, without doubt, is inferred, that mineral Earth and Water are the Active and Passive matter, as the Philosophers’ Stone. And here hence appears that community between the Poor and Rich, seeing that the Stone may be made of one thing, without visible Sol and Luna.
But here by the way, I advertise thee, that betwixt the Elixir and the Stone there is this difference; for the Stone rejoiceth in unity and simplicity, but the Elixir in plurality.
The Stone therefore is one thing, our Mercury, Sol, Luna, our Tincture white and red, which maybe naturally joined with its own proper Earth, or with the Earth taken from the little Mountains, and may easily be obtained by mortal men. But the Elixir is the same Vegetable Mercury, which yet by reason of its fixation, is said not to be common, but consisting of many things, for it is absolutely fixed in the Earth of common Sol and Luna: And therefore it always consisteth of many things, viz. of Mercury vegetable, and of a different Earth, which is neither Common nor fit for poor men. But of this Earth it is not much to be respected of what substance it is, so it be fixed.
Alphidius is if the same Opinion, saying, “The Faeces, from whence this Earth is taken, Seeing it is of no value, is altogether to be rejected, and the Mercury to be planted in another Subtil Earth”: For its own Earth is seldom natural in composition of the Elixir.
Yet, my Friend, I will name it to thee by its own Name, whereby the common People name it; and it is the end of the Egg, whereby we understand the nature of Metals, viz. Mercury rightly mixed by Nature, with its own sulphur, of its own accord inclined by putrefaction and growing.
From this Egg, three things must be considered; namely, the Yolk, the White, and the Shells; and this last is only and altogether necessary for Philosophers, which is called the end of the Egg; that is, the last part, rejoicing in perfection, having the likeness of a little Mountain, and also generated between Male and Female; which when it is perfectly calcined it exceeds all Earths whatsoever in whiteness and subtility, enduring the greatest fire embracing Tincture, and desiring a metal in Nature, which is hardly believed of Workers in the Art, unless they being overcome by experience the Mistress of things, that they be compelled to confess and admire it. But another Earth, wherein there is any Mercurial humidity, will not drink up our Mercury with so much greediness, and therefore it is not so commodious; the reason is, because it aboundeth with its proper and natural humidity was naturally transferred to the generation and union of the White and the Yolk.
Yet we deny not, that the virtue is necessary, yet profitable for the preservation of man’s Body, which is derived from the outward parts of the inward, yet so as it be mixed with the Elixir of life this Earth is wholly contemned, when the matter included is corrupted, and is cast out on the dunghill, and everywhere trodden underfoot, and accounted unprofitable.
Sometimes I desiring to try whether it would join with our unctuous humidity: I put it thereto, which it drunk up with so great appetite as that it seemed spongious, and a most fat congelation, rather than an Earth naturally naked; from which when I had gently evaporated Mercury, it remained very Citron.
Here I will end and shew what matter, and what way of practice is necessary for this Work and Art.
Of the Practick and Operative Part
In the Name of God take a Drop of the Green Lyon, which I have mentioned before, and dissolve him in distilled Vinegar very well for ten days, stirring the Compound strongly three times every day, that it may be well mixed; then separate the Faeces three times by filter; afterward evaporate the Vinegar with a gentle fire, until it be thick as Pitch, then pour it out, and keep it safe.
Having 12 pounds of the Green Lyon thus brought into Gum, thou mayst believe, that thou hast seen Earth of Earth, and the Brother of Earth, whereof Philosophers have soften spoken; put thereof three pounds into a Glass, whose third part may contain at least four Sextaries of Wine; put if into a Furnace with Sand, so as the sand may be two fingers thick under the Glass, and about and above the Matter; then the matter being a little dryed with a gentle heat, put a Receiver not yet luted thereto; after a few hours, having received a certain Light Water, when thou seest a certain white Fume begin to ascend, put thereto another most long and most large Receiver, which lay close, lest the Spirits break forth, which are most necessary in this Work:
Note also, that from the first appearing of the White Fume, the fire must be discreetly increased little by little: This same tingeth the Receiver with a certain thick and milky humidity which is out Luna, and therewith shall also ascend a most red oil, called the Philosophers aereal Gold, a stinking Menstruum, the Philosophers Sol, our Tincture, burning Water, the Blood of the Green Lyon; our Unctuous Humidity, which s the last comfort of Man’s Body in this Life; the Philosophers’ Mercury, the Solutive Water, which dissolveth Sol under conservation of its Species; it hath also may other Names.
Continue this Distillation from the first appearance of the white Fume 12 hours following: then remove the Receiver, and stop it close, lest the Spirits be lost, which are very volatile and penetrative: And thus thou hast the Blood of the Green Lyon, called The Secret Water, and most sharp Vinegar, by which all Bodies may be reduced to their first Matter, and purgeth Man’s Body from all Infirmities.
This is our Fire always equally burning in one measure within the Glass, and not without: This is our Dung-hill, our Horse-belly, working and producing many Wonders in the most secret Work of Nature: It is also the Examiner of all Bodies dissolved, and not dissolved; a Fire hot and moist, most sharp, a Water-carrying Fire in its Belly; otherwise it could not have power to dissolve Bodies into their first Matter: This is our Mercury, our Sol, our Luna, which we use in our Secret Work.
Take the Faeces left in the bottom, as soon as they are cold; for they are our Cross-Bill, far blacker than Pitch, which thou mayst set on fire, by putting a kindled Coal into it; so as they shall be calcined of their own accord into a most Yellow Earth: But this Calcination sufficeth not for its perfect cleansing; put it therefore into a Reverberatory, with a moderate heat, for eight days, and so many Nights following, increasing the heat and flame, till it be white as Snow; they may also be calcined in a Potters’ Furnace, being meanly hot.
Having this white Earth, thou mayst putrefy and alter it, or the Calxes of other Metals prepared; as I will teach you in that which followeth, at thy pleasure, into a new whiteness or Redness, by means of our Luna or Mercury, which putrefy with them by Generation, and Vegetation; which Properties they wanted before: for the Philosophers say, first calcine, then putrefy and dissolve; distill, sublime, descent, and fix often with our Aqua Vitae; wash and dry; and make a Marriage between the Body and the Spirit; and if the Water be congealed, by a natural commixture with the Body, then the Body shall die of the Flux, shedding its blood, and putting on many Colours; after the third Day, he shall ascend and descend, first to the Moon, then to the Sun, through the round Ocean Sea, and without end, sitting in a very little Ship; and when his Journey is ended, he shall not need any great expense: And thus thou mayst wait again patiently the Harvest, and thou should be filled with Joy and Riches. And now we will speak of Putrefaction.
Take an ounce of this Calx hidden before in the Philosophers Egg, and thereon put of the red tincture to cover it two fingers; then seal it, and set it to putrefy eight days in a most cold place; which being ended, it will drink up the humidity; again pour on as much of the tincture, and let it stand as before for other eight days, continuing again the said imbibitions and times: Let it stand till it cease to drink any more tincture; remove it not from its place, until it be blacker than any pitch; which being seen, set it into a natural balmy, that the moisture with the black earth may be digested, and fixed into a white Mineral: then divide it into two equal parts, and work the one for the white, and the other for the red stone: which thou shalt thus easily perform; Ferment the one part with the oil of Luna, that is, with white water, and the other part with the oil of Sol, that is, with the red water; and so by greater heat and digestion, it shall be converted into a most red powder, like Dragon’s Blood.
This powder being joined with a part of our Mercury, and circulated, is called Aurum Potabile, Elixir of Life and of Metals, which transmuteth Mercury and all imperfect into most perfect Sol.
But here learn a general Rule; if thou ordain the Elixir only for the white, then keep one part of the red work, distill the other part with a gentle fire, taking the white water, which we call our white tincture, our Eagle, our white Mercury, and Virgin’s Milk, and having these two Mercuries, thou mayst practice with them, either upon their own Earths, or upon the calxes of Metals prepared.
For it is said, the Earth is not much to be respected, so that it be fixed. Therefore take which thou wilt, being first altered into whiteness; and for the white work, you may ferment thus:
Take the Calx of Luna and earth altered, equal parts, grind them together, and temper them with white Mercury, named Virgin’s Milk, which keep safe; sublime the rest not fixed, and that which ariseth to the sides of the glass, like mercury sublimed, reiterate upon his proper calxes, grinding and tempering with our Virgin’s Milk, distilling and subliming as before, until no fire will raise it.
This our Mercury sublimed and fixed, made of the white Earth of bodies altered, arising at first admirably by the virtue and help of water.
This is that Mercury, instead of which the unlearned take the compounded of common Mercury, Vitriol, and Sol sublimed; wherein they are deceived; when this is thus fixed into white earth, it is afterward calcined, whereof is made an Elixir or stone as followeth; Put it into a circulatory, and pour thereon Virgin’s Milk to cover it, then circulate it to the thickness of oil, by drying and calcining it, as often as thou wilt, for by this means it may be augmented infinitely.
But before thou make projection, congeal it into an oily powder, one part thereof converts a thousand, nay ten thousand parts of Argent Vive, and the other metals into pure Luna, enduring all trials.
In like manner thou shalt work with the Red Water upon the calx of metals, by fermenting and subliming upon the calx of Sol altered.
And note, that thou canst have no perfect ferment, until it be altered with Mercury from their first qualities, into a new whiteness and redness by means of Putrefaction and alteration, which before it wanted.
But when after putrefaction, it shall be reduced into Whiteness, then it becomes spiritual, and is more apt to join better with our Mercury sublimed naturally, and by the least parts, and also to be fixed together inseparably; which would not be so natural, if one part were fixed, and the other part to be separated.
Moreover, when spirits have not virtue to penetrate bodies, nor bodies to embrace spirits, it is impossible that they should be joined by their least parts.
But contrarily, when ferments are made spiritual, then spirits will join with spirits, and the body which was most perfectly fixed, is naturally disposed, and inclined to return to his former fixation; which without doubt cannot possibly be in bodies which were never perfectly fixed, but the body before fixation, desiring a solid habit and fixation, draweth with him, and into his disposition, all spirits whatsoever, which are joined with him, and not degenerating as Sulphur Vive, Arsenick sublimed, Bole-Armonick, and such like.
Common Mercury sublimed, may very well be joined with spiritual ferments, which with calx of ferment not altered, will never be perfectly joined.
Therefore this part of natural Philosophoy excludeth all citrinations and dealbations, which were not produced by a perfect alteration before the tincture, were joined to their bodies and spirits.
For nothing can be made an Elixir, until it hath passed the Philosophical Wheel; which being unknown, all labour comes to nothing.
An Abbreviation of the Work
Wherein almost all Elixirs are contained, and the ways to make them
The First Abbreviation
Take Vitriol, calcine it into ashes, then beat them into most subtile powder; put them in an Urinal, and pour thereto Virgin’s Milk to cover them, stop the Urinal, and pour thereto Virgin’s Milk to cover them, stop the Urinal with a Lien cloth, and let it stand eight days, then add thereto as much of the aforesaid Milk, reiterating this from eight days to eight days, until a certain Crystalline earth like Fishes eyes, appear in the upper part thereof, which separates from the gross part remaining in the bottom, which put into the Philosophers’ Egg to digest discreetly until it be perfectly fixed.
Then increase the fire, till it be perfect yellow, and then again increase the fire, until it be red as Dragon’s blood: Then add to this a part of red Mercury, to cover it, and congeal it by Circulation into Oil, and afterward into Powder, and do thus three times.
Project one part of this Powder upon forty of most pure Luna, melted with one part of most fine Sol, and it shall be converted into most pure Sol; or if you project it upon Amalgam of Mercury and Sol, or of Mercury and Luna, it shall be more certain, and more plentiful.
But if thou wilt have Gold most perfect, and most high, take the Elixir out of the Egg, put it in an Urinal, and pour upon of the foresaid red Mercury, equally compounded, and mixed with a strong Corrosive made of Vitriol and Sulphur, which evaporate from the Elixir with a most gentle fire, and by means of the tincture of the one water and of the other, shall be fixed with the Elixir, by augmenting its quantity and colour; which being often repeated, the Elixir shall be converted into the form of Oil, in which if you quench Lamins of Luna annealed, they shall be throughout tinged into most perfect Sol, which being melted with a part of most pure Gold, it shall be purer than any common Gold.
But if you take as much of the white Earth of Mars altered as before, of Vitriol, fixing it upon the calx of Sol altered, and afterward rubified, and then convert it into Oil as before, with the said compounded water; thou shalt have a great Elixir, converting every Metal into most pure Gold.
This work may be done in twelve weeks; but it is not good for the health of Man’s body.
In the same manner with the ferment of Luna altered, thou mayst fix the white Earth of Vitriol, and of Mars altered, which are reduced into Oil, with the aforesaid Virgin’s Milk, being equally mixed with water of common Mercury, sublimed, fixed, and calcined, so hast thou the best Elixir to convert all Bodies into most pure Luna.
The Second Abbreviation
If thou canst artificially prepare the aforesaid white or red water, thou mayst far sooner attain the end of the work. First therefore fix Mercury sublimed and calcine it, and then dissolve it in the other Mercury white or red, until they be made one water: purify the water three weeks, and it will alter the calxes of any Metal; for in this work is joined a twofold Water, namely, natural and against nature.
The way to fix Mercury sublimed, is thus: First sublime Mercury; if there be half a pound of it, join thereto half a pound of Saltpeter, and as much of Vitriol, grinding and tempering the mixture with distilled Acetum, till all become like white Paste; when they are thus incorporated, sublime seven times, that of his own accord he may be clear, then fix it in this manner: put two or three pounds in a long receiver, stop the mouth, place it in ashes, so as the Globe may be very wholly covered; the first week, give it a gentle fire; the second week stronger, and the third week most strong; this done, it shall be very well fixed. Again, dissolve it in Virgin’s Milk, after the aforesaid way and order; if thou wantest money, thou mayst obtain a branch or particular, in far shorter time.
Thus, take the aforesaid white compounded Mercury, and fix it upon the calx of Luna, not altered by circulating it thereon, and when one part is fixed, add more, repeating it often, until the calx itself melt like Butter on a fiery Coal.
One part thereof projected upon ten of mercury purged, maketh good Luna for Vessels and Household Ornaments. This selfsame way thou mayst handle our Mercuries composition, being made as before with the said water extracted from Mercury sublimed, fixed, and calcined, and dissolved in the said red Water, so as it be then calcined upon the calx of Sol not altered, and thou hast the best Tincture to convert Sol and Luna, whereof Rings and other things may be made.
The Third Abbreviation
Put into a Circulatory an ounce of the calx of the Egg-shells very well reverberated, and pour thereon of white or red Mercury to cover it; then nip the glass, or stop it close with lute made of powder of Iron, Vitriol, and Honey, well boiled together, circulating in balneo, till it be dried up into powder.
This done, pour in more observing the same order until it be made oil; this converts Mercury, and the other Metals into most perfect Sol and Luna, according to the nature and disposition of the Elixir.
After the same manner thou mayst circulate our Mercury upon the Calxes of Metals. There can be no way shorter than this; for if thou put an ounce of calx of Sol with mercury, before likewise fixed, and pour thereto as much red Mercury as may cover the calx two fingers breadth, then stop it close with paste compounded with Honey, Bole-armenick, and Iron dust, mixed and strongly tempered and boiled, till it be stiff and black.
Then set the circulatory in a Furnace, and with gentle heat digest the red Mercury into a red and fixed calx, then add thereto as much more of that Mercury, circulate and dry it as before, till the Calx have drunk as much Mercury as it can, and be converted into a thick blackish oil, and so thou hast an Elixir which converts ten parts of Mercury, purged and heated, into a most red powder dry and fixed, which if thou also put into a Circulatory with increase, and digest by imbibition and congealation, as before, it shall be so much increased in quantity: And thus thou mayst multiply this Elixir infinitely.
One ounce thereof will congeal a hundred of crude Mercury into powder, one ounce will convert ten of any metal into most pure Sol.
And this way thou mayst work with the Calx of Luna and Mercury joined together, so as evaporation be made by Circulation, and adding our natural white Mercury, until it be reduced into oil, proceeding in all points as in the former, with the red mercury upon the calx of Sol, and so thou shalt have a white Elixir converting all bodies into most pure and perfect Luna.
The Fourth Abbreviation
Take an ounce of the Earth of the Quintessence, smelling most sweetly, and an ounce of the Mercury of Virgin’s Milk; powder the Earth, and join it with the mercury.
This way shall be made a perfect composition in the first order for the white Elixir, which by longer time and greater fire is reduced into a red Elixir; put therefore the compound into a blind Urinal (as it is called) very close stopped, and digest it in dung equally for fifteen days; then take it out, and shut it up in a Philosopher’s Egg; and digest it in a gentle heat, till it be black, and so into perfect whiteness. This we call a white Elixir: within this time, the fire being increased, will be red, of which one ounce cements hundreds of Mercury into Sol.
To multiply it, take a part thereof, and join it in the foresaid manner with Virgin’s Milk, digest as before, unto whiteness, and then unto redness.
In this second repetition, the Projection will be upon four hundred. By this Projection thou mayst multiply it at thy pleasure.
The Fifth Abbreviation
Dissolve the red Calx of Sol and Mercurie in the first most strong Corrosive composed of Salt-Peter and Vitriol the common way; put the solution in a pelican in balneo; drawing off the one half, then stop it most close, dry it up with a gentle heat; then add more of the Corrosive, observing the foresaid order, in dissolving, evaporating and congealing ten times, until the Corrosive cease to arise; which is then done, when by no fire it can be fixed into powder, but remaineth like oil and thick.
This Elixir converts Mercury, and every metal into most perfect Sol; This work ought to be done in a Circulatory placed in an Earthen Pot, wherein it must stand covered with dung to the middle; This Pot must be full of holes in the bottom, and must be placed upon the mouth of a Copper Vessel half filled with hot water, as a Copper Vessel is placed of a Furnace, wherein fire must be made to be continued discreetly for the necessity of digestion.
This Experiment is called Rustum.
Of the Mineral Stone
God is wonderful in his Works, who is Virtue, teaching Truth.
Take in this name of Mercury white or red, simple or compounded, and dissolve therein five stone of the Sea; Doing in all things as you did in Vitriol, and thou shalt have the great Elixir.
By the same way of putrefaction, all Minerals may be altered, and so of every fixed thing (a due matter being added) may be made an Elixir, for our Mercury white and red must be joined with fixed things which want Mercury; and this way the Metalline Bodies may be brought into a metalline form, namely a Vitrified Powder, as also Egg-shells, which when they are perfectly calcined, will endure fire more than Sol; and thereof being well and artificially tinged, Philosophers have made Sol in the space of one day, which nature cannot do underground in a thousand years; A thing hard and incredible to the unlearned; yet true and most certain, and confirmed by the testimony of many men.
Be thou therefore not solicitous or curious in choosing thine Earth so that it be of a Metalline Nature, and enduring the Fire.
Hereby Glass is made malleable, and by means of this Tincture, is converted into transparent and fixed Metal, whereby it appeareth, that this science is possible.
For there is no Earth which doth more easily embrace the Spirituality of our Mercury, than that which is most deprived of Mercury, and moisture; which Privation thou shalt not find in Bodies of another Nature, although yet they be very much calcined.
Wherefore it appeareth manifestly, that seeing Sol and Luna, are nothing else but Earth, Red and White, wherein a most pure Mercury is fixed and joined by the least parts, that Philosophers (having the same elements) may artificially imitate Nature in her Composition under the Earth, to produce the same effect: for it is certain, that earth may be fermented to Water, so as it be fixed; and water fermented to Earth, if it be perfect and cleansed; and this without the help of any common Sol or Luna: And therefore Philosophers in their Writings have taught, that the Stone is equally common to the Poor and Rich.
These things considered, thou shalt understand, that our Stone lyeth hid, and secretly lurking, often in places least expected, and nothing esteemed, whose matter and nearness, if it should be known, would produce most great danger.
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.
For from Sol alone, by means of this Tincture, which is our burning Wine, is made a most precious and a most perfect Elixir, white and red; for it rejoiceth in fullness of white and red Sulphur, whereby may be made most perfect Silver.
Of this Work, I have written more fully in my Seventh Book; wherein I treat of the manifold plenty of Gold, and of the greatest Elixir of Life: But here also I will briefly touch it. Understand therefore, that it behooveth thee to alter the Calx of Gold (with the aforesaid Stone, equally mixed with the Water of mercury, sublimed and perfectly fixed) into most white and fixed Sulphur.
Then calcine it well, that the strength and poison of the Fire against Nature put toit, do hasten to Putrefaction and alteration, may be utterly destroyed.
Then imbibe it with the foresaid simple Milk, until the Calx itself shall have drunk up a reasonable quantity thereof, and that it be fixed.
Dissolve it again with the same Milk, and make it volatile; afterwards fix and calcine, and then bring it into Oil, with a little part of that Virgin’s Milk by circulation, and so it shall be a perfect Elixir, converting Mercury, and each imperfect Metal, into most perfect Luna: and by the same way, thou mayst rubify the other part with out Red mercury, by fixing and calcining, and afterward dissolving it with the same Red Menstruum, and at last by circulating it into a thick Oil, which we call potable Gold, a curing and preserving Elixir of Life, and of Metals.
Know also, that if our Red Mercury equally with mercury sublimed and fixed, be circulated with Lute, Vitriol, or Iron, before and after Rubification, be digested into Oil, it will convert thin Laminae of Luna annealed and injected into pure Sol, which if thou afterward taketh out, it will serve for all need to live withal.
It is a general Rule, That if thou wilt be a Master of this Art, it is needful to make all Medicines gummous and fusible, melting like wax of their own accord, without Fume, upon a plate annealed.
For by this means, each part will follow the other in Projection and will jointly dilate themselves through the Pores of the Metal, without any disjunction: but if any part be ponderous, it will separate the parts of the Metal, and make it brittle.
Therefore the Medicine must often be subtiliated, after that it is perfectly fixed, that at least it may be an incombustible Oil, and rather may be called a Species, then a Genus, because it is nothing else but a fixed Tincture of Colour.
If (this thing observed) thou canst prepare thy Medicine thus, thou shalt make fair Metals, or else not.
Also here understand, two Bodies to be dissolved with the Natural menstruum, is always the second Calx, not the first; and therefore it behooveth thee to dissolve Calx of Metals with a compound Mercury, as before is taught, that they may sooner putrefy, and be altered into the second Calx (which we call Sulphur of Nature, and Foliated Earth) which we then dissolve and coagulate (circulate) into Oil, with a Simple Menstruum; namely, Natural.
The Calcination of Metals
Now learn how Metals are to be calcined: Know therefore, that Saturn and Jupiter we calcine only one way, which is this: Put either of them into a great Iron Vessel, and in the Fire, so that the Flame may beat upon the Metal; and draw off the Scum with an Iron Rake, to the sides of the Vessel, stirring it often, until it grow white then cease it, and gather the subtile Powder; one Ounce is sufficient for thee.
Sprinkle Venus and Mars with the best Vinegar well distilled, that they may gather Rust: burn this with most strong Fire in an Iron Dish, when it is red-hot, cool it in the best Acetum, evaporate that Acetum, and gather a most red Earth; which dry, and keep safely.
Amalgame Sol and Luna, and grind it on a Marble with Powder of Salt, prepared without any moisture, until no Mercury appear: then sublime and evaporate the Mercury with strong fire; grind that in the bottom, into most subtile Powder, and sublime, until no Mercury remain with it; wash the Calx with hot Water, to take away the Salt; dry it, and thou shalt have a Calx more subtile than Meal.
Another way is thus: Take thin Lamins of Sol, anneal and cast them into Mercury, heated on strong Ashes; so the Mercury will drink up the Sol.
Note, That every Ounce of Sol requiroeth four and twenty Ounces of Mercury; put this amalgam in a large Glass; bury it in Sand in a great Furnace, give it Fire by degrees; after the sixth hour make it vehement: continue this heat five days and nights, at each hour putting down the Mercury which ascendeth, with a linen Cloth, bound with a little Iron Rod, and stopping the Glass with Lute, till at last all become a Powder redder than Blood, which then we call the first Calx, good and perfect; with which, if you mix the Fire of Nature, to use his Virtues, as it requireth, though canst no err in this Science.
I have told out of what, and how thou shalt make our Mercury white and red, and how this Mercury is to be actuated and sharpened; how thou shalt prepare Calx, how to purify and alter them into a new Whiteness, which we call our Mercury sublimed; how to abbreviate the time of Putrefaction and Alteration; how to fix and dissolve again, and then how to circulate into a white and red Elixir; how by imbibitions, with proper Waters white and red, they may be infinitely multiplied to an incredible profit.
Learn therefore Patience, fear God and love Him, keeping these Secrets, and then the Lord will bless thine Endeavors.