A Manifest Declaration of the Sanguine and Solar Concealed Liquor of Nature
Whosoever attempts the Search of our Glorious Stone, he ought in the first place, To Implore the assistance of the All powerful Jehova, at the Throne of his mercy, who is the true and Sole Author of all Mysteries of Nature; The Monarch of Heaven and Earth, the King of Kings, Omnipotent, most True and Most Wise; who not only makes manifest (in the Macrocosm) the truth of every Science to Worthy Philosophers, and liberally bestows both Natural and Divine Knowledge on the Deserving and Faithful; but also lays open his Treasures of Health and Riches (which are locked up in the Abyss of Nature) to those who devoutly worship Him. And forasmuch as none as none are permitted to touch the Mysteries of Nature with foul Fingers; therefore it behooves all who attempt such matters, to lay aside their Natural Blinders (from which, by the Light of the Holy Scripture and a steadfast Faith, they may be freed) that being the means by which the Holy Spirit doth clearly make manifest the most profoundly hidden light of Nature; which Light alone lays open the way to the Wisdom of Nature, and to unlock the most abstruse Mysteries thereof.
All the Masters of Alchemy, who have ever treated of this celebrated Stone, and left us anything in writing have declared the Matter and Subject (which is the chief part of this Art) so obscurely, that Apollo himself would be tired in unwinding the Enigma’s they have excogitated concerning it. And this doubtful Declaration of the Matter is the reason why many who seek this Science without the Light of Nature, are precipitated into very great Errors; because they know not the true Subject of this At, but busy themselves about other things altogether unfit for the Work. But they ought to consider what the Philosophers’ Stone is in its own Nature, and what qualities of their Matters with the qualities of the Stone, the Thing itself will discover what is Truth and what is not.
1. The Stone in its Perfection is permanent in the Fire, and despises the most extreme violence of the Flames.
2. It containeth in itself, in great abundance the Vital Fire, and the Virtues and Powers of the Superiors and Inferiors concentrated in it.
3. It is resolvable in any Liquor.
4. It abounds with fixed and Tingeing Spirits, which before its Compleat Perfection were Volatile.
5. Before its Perfection it hath two distinct parts, one volatile, the other fixt.
6. It is of most easy fusion.
7. It contains the three Principles of Nature in the highest purity, namely Salt, Sulphur and Mercury.
8. It contains in Potentia Gold and Silver.
9. It is made of One Thing.
Seeing the Stone hath the qualities above mentioned, it is plain and evident that the subject of it ought to have the like — namely:
1. That the Subject of the Stone be only One Thing.
2. That it have in it, in potentia, Gold and Silver.
3. That it contain in it the Three Principles of Nature.
4. That it be of most easy fusion.
5. That it consist of volatile and fixt parts.
6. That it abound with Tinctures both red and white.
7. That it be resolvable in any Liquor.
8. That it be the place of residence of the vital fire, and the Virtues of the Superiors and Inferiors.
9. That it endure the most utmost force of the Flames.
Now let the Seekers compare the qualities of their Subjects with the forementioned qualities, and then they will see whether they are right or wrong.
I know there are many who will not approve of this Description of our Subject; especially Those who are wholly employed about Antimony, Vitriol, vulgar Mercury, the perfect Metals, Marchasites, Vegetables, Animals, Stones, and other like things, all which are by no means comparable to our Subject, part of which things are either partly or wholly volatile, or wholly combustible and inseparable by any means or by any Liquor, unless perhaps they are resolvable by a Corrosive. All Philosophers do declare that the knowledge of this Divine Science consists in the Knowledge of the Elements and their occult Operations’ which is a certain Truth, and it were to be wished that those, who employ their thoughts about the above-mentioned principles, would study this Saying, and follows its direction; There would not then be so many Sophisters, and so few Philosophers; and they would do well to seek out one of the Ancient Philosophers who expounds the Elements, and their occult Operations. But this is scarce found in any one, or if perhaps it is to be found, yet by reason of the obscure Style of the Author, it meets with incredulous Disciples.
And therefore for the Sake of some good men, who perhaps bear an honest mind, I will discourse something of the Elements, and their operations, and first and chiefly of the mover of the Elements, and of its Life; which not being known the whole operation of the Elements is unknown.
This Mover of the Elements which, not without good reason, I will call the living Fire, is two-fold, the one Volatile, the other Fixed, residing in the Center of the Earth, o which at present I will not speak, but of the Volatile; which is a substance Invisible, Spiritual, and wholly Fiery, an Eternal Light nearest to God, the Life of the Elements, from which the Sun and Moon, the radiant Stars, and whatsoever gives forth as a Luster in the Heavens, takes its Original and Splendour, flying through the Universe, every where present, and most of all in those Things which stand in need of continual Nourishment, endowed with innumerable Virtues. This Celestial Light is originally most pure in itself, as long as it is not defiled by impure bodies, the Knowledge thereof is the Sea of Wisdom, which all who have obtained Light from the Holy spirit, and Faith from the Father of Lights, ought to keep safe, if thou desire a happy Success in this Mysterious Philosophy. This Light descends daily into the Elements, which are Bodies internally Spiritual, very simple, and most powerful, which contain in themselves a certain Seminal Spirit, which is the very Element; and which Spirit of every Element is stirred up to motion by the living Fire; and if it were absent, the Elements would be dead, especially the Fire, if it were deprived of this fiery Splendour, which by itself, and not by accident is the true Principle in Motion in all Things; and to this the passive Elements are obedient. But yet this Agent cannot act without the Elements, nor the Elements upon one another without it. For this cause the Elements were made, by the most High Creator, which together with their Body contain a certain Seminal Spirit, very powerful, which lieth hid as a Soul in them, out of which by the Action of the living Fire upon it, daily new seeds are produced This Living Fire, with which the Heavens and all things are filled by the Creator, descends through the Elements into the Subject, which is called the balsam of Nature, Electrum Immaturum, Magnesia, the Green Dragon, Azoth Vitreous, the Fire of nature, the Universal Seed, the Salt of the Earth, out of which all Bodies which consist of the Elements are produced by Nature; and out of this Matter, by the administration of an ingenious Artist, by means of a spagyric destruction, new forms of Natural bodies may be produced; which is one of the greatest Arcana of Secret Philosophy. For in this Subject lie hidden all the Virtues, properties, and Splendours of Animals, Vegetables, and Minerals, Metals and Precious Stones; which by help of Vulcan, are brought from Darkness to Light.
Now I will describe the action of our Living Fire upon the Elements, which descends out of the Fire into the heavens as an Element of Fire, and there whatsoever is lucid or glistening, as the Sun, Moon and Stars, doth secretly derive its Original from this Living Fire, and constituteth this principal Element, and obeys it as a Son the Father, and a Patient its Agent, And from this Living Fire, the Heaven hath its chief power of acting; and is of so great consequence, that if its action upon the Heaven should cease for one moment of time, whole Nature would be ruined. For the Sun, Moon and Stars would lose their active and influential Virtue, the Elements would not move, and nothing for ever would have any Action; which would be a great mischief to the Earth, and extremely hurtful to all Mixts. For the Power and Virtue of this Living Fire is so great, that if it were absent, the Elements would be dead, especially the Heaven, an Element which most of all stands in need of this Light. Having passed through the Heaven, it comes into the Air, that great work this Element, and insinuates itself most intimately into it. In this Element the Virtue of this Fire doth chiefly manifest itself; because in it is inspissated, and constitutes the vital Air; which Air is this agreeable to the Creatures, for sustaining of Life. For this Living Fire simply is not convenient for the Creatures, nor yet the simple Air; but Fire concealed with the most pure part of the Air, and Air impregnated with the Celestial Living Fire; and so they constitute vital Airs, which every living Creature receives for the Conservation of its life. This living Fire needs the Soul of the Elements, chiefly of the Air, which it makes use of for a Vehicle, that thereby it may more easily enter into the other Elements, that is to say first the Water, a subtle and this Element, in which it is yet more inspissated, and takes a more gross Body of which it stands in need for irrorating of all Terrestrial Things, especially Salts, Minerals and Stones; all which need such irroration [?]; thus being clothed with a thick garment, it passeth into the Earth, a dark and thick Element, and of a very powerful fixing Virtue; and there it puts on a saline Body, which predominates over all things, and contains the rest of the Principles, which it had received in the Air, heaven and Water, that is to say, Sulphur and Mercury, by virtue of which it becomes capable of Production. This Salt is the Soul of the Earth, and all other Things.
Therefore if the Earth were deprived of this Salt, it would want the Power of sprouting and budding, which consists only in this Salt; of which also Moses was not ignorant, Saying (in the second Chapter of Genesis) And there went up a mist from the middle of the Earth, and watered the superficies of the ground; which vapour can be nothing else but the subtle parts of this Salt, which hath settled itself in the Center of the Earth, and by the warmth of the Corporeal Water are made to ascend, and so do Water the whole Superficies.
Thus we clearly and evidently see, that this living Fire puts on no other Body than that of Salt; because that alone is fit for generation, and so the Balsam of Nature is generated by the action of the Fire upon the Elements.
Now I will speak but a very little of the fixed Living Fire, which is hidden in the Earth or Center of the World, and there hath taken up its most fixed habitation; but it may better be called the Fire of Bodies. To know this is the most Secret Mystery in all our Philosophy. This fixt Fire hath a great Sympathy with the volatile Fire; for it wants it as an aliment, and to its Nourishment, which is continually attracted out of the Water and Air, and converted into its own Substance; and in this as in a Center all the Virtue lies concentrated, which being scattered, flies in the Circumference; as may be observed in Man, in whom this Fire fixed in the Center of the Heart, hath its seat as the Yolk in the Egg. But its operation is invisible and very Secret, and yet very powerful, which also few know; for it operates by its heat in all things, which lie in the Earth, and excites the Flux and reflux of the Sea, as the Pulse in man is excited by the Fire which lies hid in the Center of his Heart. Hence also all the Watery and Airy Vapours, which compose the Clouds, and by rarefaction of the Winds (being impregnated by the Vital Spirit) fall down again to the Earth in the form of water. And thus every Searcher of Nature must acknowledge it to be true, that there is only one subject under the concave of the Moon, in which alone the Virtues as well of the Superiors as of the Inferiors, lie concentrated; out of which by the Chemical Art, Stupendous things may be brought to pass.
This Body is Salt, but not common Salt, or any other Salt of this kind, but a Saturnine and Mineral Salt, which hath chosen to itself a residence in the Sphere o Saturn, and is also called the Heart of Saturn; out of which being made clean and bright, and purified from all Excrements, by an easy Art, a certain gummy Liquor is drawn, called by the Name of Glorious Mercury. But you must be very wary in the choice of this Salt, there is only one Salt which is useful to us, a pontick fiery, bitter and Mineral Salt of a Saturnine Nature, out of which this famous Liquor is extracted; which if of so great moment, that without it, no Transmutation of Metals can be made. In this Mercurial Liquor may be seen what is Sulphur and Mercury; for the Sulphur at first shows itself in a Purple and Yellow Colour; but the Mercury is invested with a watery and Airy humidity; and though the Salt appears not, yet its Virtue is eminent in this Liquor.
For it is whlly Saline, and an easie Fire is coagulated into a permanent Earth, which represents Salt.
And so you have Three Principles of Nature, Salt, Sulphur and Mercury.
These are but a few things which I have said of the Matter, which though it be very secret, yet its Operation is more secret which nevertheless in my following Discourse I will reveal, so that its occult may be made manifest only to Men Elected by God.
I have said before, that the living Fire (with which the Heaven and the Elements are filled by the Creator) doth secretly descend into the subject which is the balsam of Nature, and the absolute Subject of the Philosophers’ Stone; whose nine properties I have declared, and which I think fit a little to unfold; in the search of which the ancient Philosophers were very long employed. This Natural Body appears by the Writings which they have left us; out of which the modern Rout of Alchemists who seek the Golden Stone, have conceived as many Chimeras as their brains could reach; whereof some affirm that the Concretes of the Vegetables and Animal Kingdom, others that Minerals as Antimony, Sulphur and Marchasites, and the rest of the Minerals; others, that Metals themselves, Gold and Silver; but others of a more Subtle wit, that Vitriol and common slat is the Subject of the Glorious Stone; which opinions the Sincere Searchers of Nature ought to leave free to their Authors; and let him know by the Light of Nature and Experience, that the chief Error of these Smatterers in Chymistry is, that they falsely persuade themselves, that there are divers Subjects of this Art, contrary to the several Rules of the Philosophers, who teach clearly, that there is only one Subject, and say that this is compounded of the Four Elements, and the three Principles of Nature compose their Stone, by which they delude these foolish Chemical Novices. For they say, the Stone is made of one Things, of Two, of Three, and of Four: By which Contradictions they declare to the Sons of Art, and Pious Searcher this only wonderful Subject of this Art. For immediately this Thing which composes the Stone is but one; which is divided into a fixt and a Volatile, into an Agent and a Patient, and so it is Two; and although it be so divided, yet it doth by no means lose its Unity.
So also when it is divided into Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury, and so is Three-fold, neither doth this Division destroy its Unity; much less doth the Division into four Elements do so, And though this matter be common, yet it is not known to these Novices in Chemistry, who seek it among Animals, Vegetables, and partly Minerals but they know not that in these it is already determined; among the Minerals, the chief are Antimony, vulgar Mercury, and Vitriol. In Antimony indeed there is found a Mercury, but too Combustible (read Coagulated); and also a Sulphur, but too Combustible. In Vitriol there is also a Mercurial Nature, but too Acid, and hath no incombustible Sulphureous Salt. In Mercury and other Minerals there is found a useless proportion both of Sulphur and Mercury, of which the greatest part is in part wholly Volatile, or wholly Combustible, and so is not fit for this Art, but our only Minera, which is enclosed in an Earthy Substance, out of which may be plentifully drawn the Philosophers Aqua Permanens, whose Virtues are also powerful as well in Art as in Medicine, in no sort Venomous, but it is the chief Purger of Human Bodies, by Urine and Sweat, the highest Medicine for the Venereal Disease, Cancers, leprosy, Fistulas, and other incurable Diseases. And its Virtue is great in a Quartane, the Dropsy, Stone, Gout; it most powerfully resists all Poisons and Philters.
But of what kind this Matter is, which is endowed with such Virtue, and out of which is plentifully drawn the famous Philosophical mercury, I have sufficiently demonstrated in the preceding Chapter, and herein will further demonstrate; which is not properly Mineral not Vegetable or Animal; yet a Metalline Sulphur, Salt, and Mercury, are together purely and plentifully in it, which is obvious to every one, and lieth hidden in everything, but especially in the earth, the receptacle of all the influences, in which also the Virtues of the Sun, Moon, and Stars are found corporeally. This the Artist ought to take where it is most near and most pure, in the form of a Triune Salt, which elsewhere I called the Salt of Saturn: Out of this Salt grows Gold, and all other things, in the whole Mineral Kingdom, into it they may be resolved again. And as in Gold lies hidden a bright diaphanous Sulphur, so also in our Saturnine Minera, there is a celestial Solar Fiery, Diaphanous red and sweet Sulphur — For where there is glittering brightness, there is light; where is light, there is Heat; where is Heat there is Life and very powerful Action; and which is a great matter, in it reign its Elements animated with a living Fire, which is a Celestial vivifying, Fertile and greening Spirit; the Light, Force and Life of all things.
And although the Celestial Sun doth much help the production of Sublunary Creatures, yet without this Internal Sun nothing can be generated; which also the philosophers knew. Therefore all other Concretes are rejected, as also Salts, except one which is the Salt of Wisdom, Power and Strength, and the Mother of the other Salts, namely our Central Saturnine Salt, a Sulphureous and Mercurial Salt; whose Heart and Blood doth easily dissolve every metal, and coagulate Mercury.
The Fire as Sol and Luna, though they appear not to sight, yet they are powerfully in the inward parts of our matter, and it possesses the Seminal Virtue of all Things; so also that unless what is hidden in it be made manifest, they will not appear; which is done only by reduction and purification of the matter, that the Feces (which beclouded our Sol and Luna) may be thoroughly purged away, and the matter may first grow white as a Diamond, and be as fulgent as a Ruby, then they appear to sight. Which reduction must be made with a certain contrary Liquor; for Sol and Luna, which are secretly in our Matter, and rule powerfully in it, are not reduced so as to appear to sight, unless this reduction is made by a contrary, which is a Menstruum or Most Subtile Vapour, penetrating and resolving, containing in it Air, Fire, and Water, and separating the pure from the impure, and yet first extracted out of our Minera; which Liquor possesses only power of reducing, manifesting, and multiplying Tinctures; and therefore it is called the Secret Fire of Nature, which alone excites and perfects Tinctures. But yet we must not therefore suppose that the Subject is red or any other colour, but it is white apparently, and red only in Potential; because this nature of redness lieth secretly hidden in the Belly of the Air of our Matter, not showing its Tincture visibly, because if it be put into the Fire, it cannot manifest a fixed Tincture, unless it be first reduced by an ingenious Artist, so that the Watery and Earthy heterogeneous Substances may be separated; then appears a Tincture resisting the Fire, and showing itself in it White and Red.
The certainty of this Solar Subject may be evidently known, if out of it the three principles of Nature can be separated. What they are I will explain.
Sulphur residing in our Matter, is its fiery, most subtle, and most thin part, partaking of a subtle Earth, which indeed is the perfect and absolute Tincture, having power of rubifying and illuminating every Body, by reason of its innate oily, very fat, unctuous and viscous, fiery and ethereal quality; upon which account it is able by its subtle and internal action to produce all Natural Things. Which Sulphur is called the Philosophers’ Secret Fire, the Living Fire, in the luminous part, etc.: Therefore if anyone in the Anatomy of our Matter see a certain shining, subtle, clear Substance, full of a fiery shining redness like a Ruby, and full of active Virtue, he may be certain that he hath seen our Sulphur, and the Secret Fire of the Philosophers. Mercury is the Aerial and unctuous humidity of our Matter, and the inseparable Companion of Sulphur, and is as a Menstruum to it, cherishing and nourishing it, and a Medium of conjoining the Sulphur with the Salt; but the reason why it is Viscous as Sulphur, is, because it hath subtile Earthy parts resolved in it, which it took with it in the Anatomy made by external Fire. The Salt is the Principle of coagulation; and coagulates the mercury and the Sulphur, and in which a new form is introduced by the action of the Sulphur which operates in it, which Sulphur is very bitter and acid, in which bitterness there is a certain fiery Substance corrupting the inward parts of the Salt, and which being corrupted immediately it receives a new form, and that a living one, which is a great Secret.
These Principles are also very much defiled with heterogeneous Feces; which an Artist ought to know. Sulphur in the first place, abounds with destructive and consuming Feces; But the Mercury with watery and cold substances contrary to life; and in Salt there are caustic, viscous and bitter Salts; all which must be separated and if not, they occasion damage and unlucky Success to the Work. This one Minera is of easy fusion, so as it can catch Mercury upon the fire before his flight; which if it be circulated by the Philosophers’ Wheel, so that those parts which hinder speedy fusion be separated, and the Elements firmly coagulated, it becomes of more easy fusion than it was before; which fusion depends upon the Saline and Sulphurous Spirituality, which is a perfect and concentrated Light, penetrating every Body and on all Sides illuminating it with the Tingeing Rays with which it abounds. The Spagyrical Art by Distillation and Separation, affords us Two Sulphurs out of one Minera of a Saturnine Nature; one is volatile and green, the other fixt and fiery, which two by circulating their Elements were made one, which Sulphurs are of the Nature of Salt produced by Nature out of the most pure Soul of the Elements. Because by the mixture of the living Fire and this Soul, these Sulphurs are produced in the greater World, out of which by the Chemical Art the two Sulphurs of the Philosophers are extracted, which consist of the most subtile and pure part of the Sulphurs produced by Nature. Out of this pure Substance Metals are also generated, which differ only according to the purity of the place, and the more or less fit disposition. Out of these Two Minerals is plentifully extracted the mercury of the Philosophers, which is their Radical Humidity mixt with a Subtile Earth. For as by this Earthy Sulphur is meant heat and fire of Nature, as also the forms of the Matter, which we also call Sulphur. So also the Humidity if this Substance is our Sulphur, in which (if they be joined by Art in a certain proportion, and are decocted in a glass Vessel, circulating their Elements; first Water, then Air, Fire and Earth, and then they are purified by reduction into a certain chaotic, thick and viscous Mass; then by Distillation into Liquor, one white, another red and shining as fire; lastly they are fixed into a glorious and permanent Earth) consists all our Art. Sulphur is the principal part of our Tincture, and that which plentifully bears rule in our Matter, is two-fold, as we have declared, white and red, fixed and volatile. The fixt is the Green Lion; which lies hid in the center of our Concrete, abounding with fixt and tingeing Tinctures, but the volatle is the Fire of Nature and our Sulphur, full of Power and Efficacy of Tingeing and illuminating, as this testament doth manifestly declare. For it is the blood of our Green Dragon, distilled from the very Bowels of it, abounding with redness; therefore it is not without cause, called the blood of Nature, which stirs up its own Sulphur, lying his in an Earthy Substance, and brings it from Power into Act; and them out of it do arise our two glorious Mercuries, our two perfect Sulphurs, one red, the Husband; the other white, the Wife; Springing out of one Minera. And that Sulphur which we call the Green Lion, is the Fire of Nature, which lieth hid in the Center of our Subject, understand Salt, and there is detained shut up in a strong Earthy Prison, disabled to exert its force, unless by its associate it be set at liberty from its Fetters, so that it may come out together with his Companion. This deliverance consists in Solution, which is very difficult, for this Sulphur which we also call the Stone, is both most hard and most soft in its Nature, and therefore it is not easily dissolved, except in its own Liquor, that is his Companion in which it is most soft; so that it can be set at liberty only by this aery Companion, which otherwise could not be delivered, neither by Fire nor Water; which is a Secret known to a few, of which I will speak more particularly hereafter.
This fixt Sulphur is very powerful, and sustains every thing that operates in Nature, but as soon as it is set free, it ceases from its Labour, if together with its Companion it be carried aloft, and in to Top of the Vessel, where if they are detained, they constitute a certain Substance bright as Lune, called Diana; at this time I say, it receives the power of Transmuting. Since the Stone is of the Substance of Salt, it resolves itself in any Liquor; but the Salt, out of which it is prepared is of most profound research, and differs much from other Salts; for it is fluid in the fire, and values not its martyrdom at all, and loses nothing of its Virtue therein, though it be kept in it divers years, which other Salts, as Vitriol, Sal Gemma, and other like Salts, cannot do; for by often repeating ignitions, they all turn to an unprofitable and unfluxable Calx, being of the Nature of damned Earth. Though the Matter to sight is most vile and most cold, yet its more inward parts are of the Superiors and Inferiors, and therefore its Soul flies in all places to bring down the Living Fire. For the Father of it is the Sun, and the Mother the Moon, from which it secretly derives the Virtues of all things. This Living Fire rules powerfully in our two Radical Sulphurs, fixed and volatile; which two being firmly united, do constitute our Universal mercury, which contains in itself the two Central Fires of the Macrocosm, the Celestial and Terrestrial; and these two, by the help of External Fire, are reduced into one Substance, in which the Celestial and Terrestrial Virtues lie concentrated, which heat is the innate heat of everything, which often shows its splendour in the Eyes of Fishes, Hairs of Brutes and Men, in Insects generated out of Dew, as also in rotten Wood; but I think it is sufficient, that every one daily sees the luster of Gold and Silver, Pearls and precious Stones, and also beholds the Sun and Moon. Lastly, it is to be considered, that the Tincture of the Philosophers, is a substance Tingeing imperfect Metals in a very strong Fire, into perfect Gold and Silver, from whence it necessarily follows, that its Subject ought also constantly to resist the Flames, and to rejoice in them. But it is not the whole Substance of the First Matter which endures the Fire; because it abounds with many Elementary Feces, which are combustible in the Fire; but only its pure parts, which are also called incombustible Oils, rejoice in the Fire, and are not defiled with any Feces, therefore the Fire cannot touch them. Wherefore it is necessary in the first place, to purify the matter, and take away the Sphere of Saturn, which beclouds the Sun and Moon, before they be reduced into one Thing, whose Virtues neither Fire, nor Water, nor Iron, nor Air, can diminish, but they, unvanquished, resist all their force. Consider therefore, O Man, the Wisdom and Power, which the most Wise, Eternal, and Omnipotent God, Jehova, hath granted thee. Consider these things in Humility of Heart, and Sing Hallelujahs to him without ceasing, for, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord Zeboath; the Heavens and the Earth are full of the Majesty of His Glory. Amen.
We have spoken copiously of divers things necessary to this Art; but we will speak yet more, and things more necessary, among which is the Solution of Gold into Water, which is the beginning of making our Divine Mercury, and that is, to convert the hard and soft Nature of our Gold, into a thin and Watery Substance, with Conservation of the Internal Nature, and Property of Gold. For if this internal Sulphur should be corrupted and destroyed, it would not be a Physical, but a Sophistical Operation; but that which we desire to perform, ought to be done with our corrosive pontic bitter and sharp Mercury, which imitates the Natures of Sol and Luna, with which We truly dissolve; because our Sulphur is hard and kept close in the Prison of its Excrements; therefore this Substance ought to set it at liberty and extract it, in the mean time by the same operation we also calcine, reduce, dissolve and putrefy the Gold. For if we calcine, the Fire burns the Heterogeneous fetid and viscid parts, full of life, and so attenuates them, that thereby they become of more easy Solution. But nothing doth more destroy and conserve these parts, than our pontic and corrosive Mercury, by reason of its fiery Nature wherewith it abounds, which also the Philosophers call the Fire of Nature; and if they speak of Fire, they mean this Water, and not common ravenous culinary Fire, as appears in their Books, when they say, Burn Our Copper with very hot Fire. Azoth and Fire are sufficient to burn Laton, and et this burning is done with a gentle Fire, for with a very strong one it would be destroyed, because our Mercury being tender and full of Fire, which would make it fly away from our hard and unattenuated Gold, and the Gold would remain undissolved, and if it were dissolved, it would ascend with its Mercury in the form of a red ponderous Water.
Therefore also in this Operation two Works are performed; namely, a coagulation of Mercury, or of the fiery Substance into a red Mineral and viscous Water, and a Solution and conversion of Gold into the same Water; which the Philosophers hint when they say, that Mercury cannot be coagulated unless the Sulphur be dissolved; and on the other side, the Sulphur cannot be dissolved unless the Mercury be coagulated; they must mutually act one upon another for the performing of this Operation (for gold, which is hard and strongly compacted, needs this Subtle and Aereal Mercury) which if it be accomplished, out of it is generated, by putrefaction, a middle water, powerful in Tinctures, which is that permanent Water which the Philosophers so earnestly desire; that is to say, that with which, and the glorious Salt, is generated a certain Substance which we call Diana regenerated, and the triumphing Sulphur of Nature.
And it is to be noted, that this regenerated Diana is generated of the fiery Salt and fiery Water, leaving behind it unprofitable Ashes, and is so fiery and penetrant, that it can burn Gold; and without it no Elixir is made. For in our glorious Salt there is a certain Virtue which is fiery, subtle, penetrant, and most mighty in Power, which is found in its last and utmost destruction, in which is the Virtue and power of multiplying Gold: and it is so powerful, that this Virtue can neither be burned by the vehemence of a calcining fire, nor be extinguished by the coldness of the dissolving and washing Water, nor be stirred by any force of the Winds; and therefore, saith a certain philosopher in these words: Our Stone is alone ponderous, unmoved by Fire, unmoved by Water, unmoved by wind; and it is also most light, hollow and spongeous, moved by fire, moved by water, moved by wind, because it is moved and altered by the spirit which is called Fire, which is called Air, which is called Wind.
Our Gold is not vulgar Gold, which is sold by goldsmiths, or anything like it, but it is a certain other substance more precious than Gold itself, whose green and golden Colour doth sufficiently demonstrate its original and Excellence. This Green Gold in its first root is clothed with a foul Garment, which must be separated by dissolving it by help of Mercury of Gold, first extracted out of Gold, and abounding with a bright golden Sulphur; which alone is capable of performing this Solution; because it dissolves nothing but the golden nature of Gold, which is of its own Nature. But the Earth adhering to Gold, which is of its own Nature. But the Earth adhering to Gold is not of a golden nature, and therefore is not dissolved by this Solvent, but falls to the bottom of the circulatory Vessel, in form of a muddy and viscous matter, very like to the Sediment of Urine, and is easily separated from the dissolved Gold. But this Golden Mercury is wonderfully intricate to be searched out, and though it be found everywhere, yet it is most difficult to be found, by those who know it not, thought easy to those who know it, and know its Nature exactly. For it is a white and serene, ponderous, Acid and pontic Liquor, of an ethereal Substance, which is sublimed with a most gentle fire, and converted into Air, and there in a glass Vessel turns into Water, which is that so celebrated Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Mercury, which the Ancient Philosophers knew, especially Lully, who doth not without cause, call it red Wine, and Lunary. For it doth not alone constitute the Essence of these three Kingdoms, but also the heaven itself; and all the Heavenly and Earthly Natures have their Being and Conservation from this Spirit and Watery Substance, by reason of its living fire with which it abounds, and without which no Creature can live.
Therefore the Ancients call it a fiery vigor, the natural living fire, Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral; by which all things in the Air, Water, and Earth, which have life, are nourished, and which failing they die; by which substance is performed the True solution of our Gold, and by no other; because all other Waters are Heterogeneous to our Gold, and therefore not fit for our Work. Of this kind of Gold we have spoken. Now I will also say something of the Body, which is a certain, Saline, Sulphureous, fixed and permanent Matter, which must be dissolved with a Philosophic Menstruum, else all the pains is lost, which are taken in any Operations, and they are all Vain who boast of such a Tincture, without this Menstrous and permanent Liquor, which alone is able for penetration, Subtilization, and depuration of this body, and reducing it to the highest Purity. For this Water was before naturally included in this Body; which if it be again poured upon it, it opens its Pores, and attenuates without any inward hurt; because it is of the same nature with the Body, so that it can do nothing else but nourish and conserve it. This Water is extracted out of the very Bowels of our Matters; for even our Body was Water before, and by Nature, by means of the internal fire, is reduced into a Body, which is easily reduced and resolved by its own Water, whose Nature it before had, which if they are dissolved and decocted by fire of the first degree, convert themselves into a viscous fiery penetrant Substance, which by further operation passes into an Earth, which by the Philosophers is called the black Earth of Magnesia, whose Operation they have hidden with the utmost envy. Our humid Mercury, which contains the fire of the Elements, is extracted out of our only Minera, by force of an external fire, which being highly purified, is poured again upon the Body and conjoined with it so purified, and works lying upon it, until at last it exalts it to a higher degree; namely, into Luna of Luna, which being again dissolved and putrefied with our Water, affords us a permanent Water, which resolves all Metallic Bodies, yea, and Precious Stones; with which Water, and our glorious Earth, we prepare our Two Sulphurs and Tinctures both white and red.
But that this operation may be more easily understood by all, imitate the following Manner.
Take our Corporeal Mercury, Animal, Vegetable and Mineral, pure and purged by the fire from all Excrements, and put it into a glass Vessel, stopping it very firmly, and digest it by assation, till the bloody Pores of this Body be opened, then take it dry and dissolve it in Aqua Foetida, white and ponderous, which is also Vegetable: digest it for some time till it appear a dry mass. Dissolve this again and filter it well, decoct it till the whole be resolved into a bloody Liquor. Shining and ponderous; circulate this Wheeling about and extracting it into a liquid, hard and this Substance which is our Mercury, with which gold and Silver are burnt into Ashes. A great and wonderful Mystery, known only to Adepts; the Secret Knowledge of which Earthly Mercury, Hermes hath shown in his Table, Saying, His Father is the Sun, and his mother the Moon, the Wind carries it in its Belly, the Earth is its Nurse; it ascends from Earth to Heaven, and again descends into the Earth, and receives the Virtues of the Superiors and Inferiors, its Virtue is entire, if it be turned into Earth.
Out of which Earth is our Mercury Sublimed, glorious and fixed, is made our Elixir.
Now let us return to the Water, by means of which this our Subtilization is made; which is a certain Water very subtle and precious, acid, fetid, corrosive and sharp, which the Ancients hid under the Name of Vinegar, as also of other acid and fiery Liquors, as of Aqua Fortis, Vitriol, Alum, Salt-petre, and Sal Armoniac; by which our Body is made Subtle, and reduced into the next mater of the Stone, which is a Viscous and muddy Water, fiery and full of tinctures, With which the Stone sublimed, Viscid and fixed into Earth is fed, that it may ascend to a Royal Dignity. Which Secret, namely of subtlizing our Body, the Ancient Philosophers would not reveal, but left it to God to reveal it to whom he pleased; nevertheless they left in writing among the Rubbish, some hints how that middle Substance which they named with many Names) and yet is the Key and Foundation of this Subtilization, of which Water it is said in Turba, Our Body must be environed with the Flames of our red fume and be broken by it, as being a fire against Nature; for by this Water, which is full of Fire, Our Body is washed till it be also made a Mineral or permanent Water.
But that I may give you an Epitome of this Chapter, I say, That the whole World of our Subtilization consists in Vapour and Water, which is called Whitening and purifying water; which I divide into two parts, namely the water of the two Zaybeths, white and red, whereof one calcines the Body, and in calcinations coagulates itself with it; but the other purifies it from its blackness, whitens and rubifies, and at last makes it volatile. Which water is called Acetum Acerrimum, because it is very sharp and acid. This Humidity also contains in itself an unchangeable Tincture, which can by no means be extinguished. This Water is called Aqua Vitae, Vegetable, Animal, Spirit of Wine, Strong Vinegar, Saturnal Water, and many other names.
But the Artist, who endeavors to set upon this work, must know that every Body is dissolved by a sharp Spirit, and made volatile with a Spirit; and if the Spirit be so prepared by the help of the Body, our Mercury is prepared, which purifies, washes, and fixes and incerates itself, till at last it attains to the highest Subtility and purity, and sublimes itself from the bottom of the Vessel into white Stone. This must be separated from its Feces, by sublimation and reduction; and then will be prepared the Foliated Earth more white than Snow, which after its due Decoction, coagulates and fixes vulgar Mercury, and transmutes every imperfect Body into true Luna. This most precious Whiteness is our Arsenic, an incomparable Treasure, which above all other things the Philosopher needs. This Sulphur must be calcined, till it be converted into a dry and very subtle powder; which Powder must be imbibed with the white Oil of the Philosophers divers times, till at length it flows like wax and then there will be prepared the White Stone, whereof one part Tinges a Thousand parts of any Metal, into true Silver.
Thus it appears clearly, That all that can be desired in Philosophy, may be extracted out of only the Body, and its own Sulphureous Mercury, which two with the help of the fire, accomplish all things; and he who understands these two, understands all that is necessary to our Art. Though the Philosophers say many things of divers matters, yet they mean nothing else but these two Sulphurs, which for the sake of the Sons of Art, I will explain.
Among the Secrets of Alchemy, the greatest is to draw Water out of a Rock; Verily a hard and very difficult Work, unless Chymistry alone had shewed us the possibility of this thing; which the Artist ought to endeavor to do by Fire, which in the beginning must be gentle, in the middle strong, and in the end most vehement; so that all the Aereal and Ethereal Spirits of Rocky Minera, may issue forth into a fit Philosophical Vessel, and there resolve themselves into water; which water with wonderful Sympathy loves the Rock, from whence it issued; which Water is called by various names, as Rock-Water, Argent Vive, A Fume, The Tingeing Celestial Spirit, Incombustible Sulphur, Wine Vinegar, Succus Acacia, Spirit of Wine, Temperate Water, the Luciferous Virgin: all which Names signify this water; which if it be again conjoined with it, remains Stone, and often operates resting upon it, it acquires a wonderful active Power, as all know who are acquainted with this Water. This operation is also called by the Philosophers, a destruction of the Compound; which destruction is not to destroy as the Vulgar Chemists think, who destroy Mixts by Corrosives, but by the unlocking the Bonds of our Compound, by which it is bound, which if they be unlocked, it is divided into parts with conservation of those parts which constituted this Elementary Mixture; which parts so divided, are purified and delivered from Excrements and Impurities, with which they abound in their Composition.
But that this might be more easily done, the Ancient Philosophers devised this Distillation and Destruction, by help of which, the parts might be most highly purified and exalted to such a degree of Purity, that there upon a Compound might be made, of greater Efficacy. But to bring this to pass, the Artist ought to follow Nature, as all Philosophers, both Ancient and Modern teach, and to extract our Mineral out of the Bosom of Nature, where she hath hidden it, and purify it most subtily, by very frequent Cohabitations and Reductions. For so it thoroughly sheds all its Excrements, and whatsoever else hinders it from its perfect Power of Transmutation, which is powerful, and yet it is more wonderful, that in this vile and abject Minera, lies hidden the celebrated Stone of the Philosophers, whose Essence also by reason of its obscurity no body can see, unless it be delivered therefrom, and brought to light; for before it is set at liberty by the Chymic Art, it is a rude, vile, abject, and undigested Mass, which is also found scattered in the Earth, out of a hundred pounds whereof, scarce one or two pounds can be extracted, which is the pure Soul, Fire, Oil, and powerful Tincture; so also but one pound of our glorious substance; which, after many Martyrdoms, we extract out of our Minera, and after every Extraction dissolve, coagulate and fix; till passing through almost all other colours, it appears white, subtle, dry and penetrant, which abovementioned colours do sufficiently evidence the Essence of this minera, whereof the chief colour is green as a most certain indication of life. These two Substances, that is to say, the Mercury and glorious Earth, are sufficient to perfect the Stone, having first, as we have said, accomplished their purifications; because our Sol and Luna before that, were involved in obscurity.
The Excrements of the fixt Body are Earth and Fire, burning, viscous, insoluble by our Mercury, and therefore they are easily separated in our Water, and those things which have the Nature of the Body, which puddle the water and confuse it, and which by a quiet rest of the Vessel, fall to the bottom, and there unite, and are separated from the limpid water, which retains this precious Body in its Bosom, which at length, by reduction, appears again, and by Assation, is more and more attenuated; is more and more cleansed from its Earthy and Viscous Excrements, which as before, are separated by our Water, till at last there remains a spongy, fixed, most pure Body. But this Water is a thing and viscid Water, abounding also with Excrements, which do naturally adhere to it; for these are a fiery and Sulphureous Earth, able indeed to coagulate this our Water in a long time, but yet of no moment, which nevertheless many have unluckily magnified, the Philosophers exclaiming, In Mercury there is whatsoever the Philosophers seek; which is not to be understood of this Water, but of our glorious Mercury, which not withstanding is extracted out of this Water, which contains Fire dissolved in it, for which reason it has Power of Coagulating itself, which is a long Work; therefore to quicken the Work we dissolve some parts of the glorious Earth in our Mercury, that the Secret may be completed in a shorter time. But this thin and viscous Substance which we also call our Mercury, doth also abound with many Aereal and Watery Excrements, which savour of the nature of Fountain Water; but there are others, which are of a greasy, oily, and fat nature, and are the corroding and caustic Fires of a sulphureous nature, which must be separated first, by a gentle digestion, in a Vessel exactly well stopped, that thereby they may easily be see; for that would be hurtful to the Water, and bring damage to the Work; but if this mercury be rightly prepared, it is fit to perfect the Mystery which ought to be accomplished, and to perform many other Operations; but chiefly to perfect the Sublimation, which cannot be done without pure Materials. For the Body admits not unclean Waters, and Water agrees not with an unclean Body; therefore both ought to be clean, that they may be perfectly united and at last Sublimed to the top of the Vessel, and there constitute the Sulphur of Nature so much desired. This operation, Morien sowed in these words, If you do not perfectly cleanse the unclean Body, and do not dry it, nor whiten it well, and do not mix its Soul with it, and do not take from it all its ill scent, till after its cleansing, the Tincture comes into it, thou hast discovered nothing at all of this Mystery.
Therefore we must apply ourselves with our utmost endeavors to this Purification and Mixtion, that both may be united and joined pure together with an inseparable bond; and a durable Matrimony, which even the Fire may not be able to Separate.
We have said many things of Putrefaction, Solution and Distillation and that we may proceed farther to things necessary to this Work, we will speak something of Philosophical Calcination, which among the Philosophers hath been of great account. For it purifies those things which before were involved in the darkness of Excrements, and it brings to light clean things, which before were stained, and affords to us oily Sulphurs profitable only to our Work; but not as the Vulgar Sophists do, who attempt to Calcine by violent Fires, Aqua Fortis, Cementation, who yields dry and Calxes not flowing like wax. This is not our Calcination, but rather the loss of our Body; because they do not increase but diminish the innate Fire of Our Gold, which alone we want for perfecting the Tinctures. They who calcine thus, are blind, and walk in darkness, for our Calcination is not a dry dessicating of our Body, by which the Body is made dry and not flowing. This is not our Calcination, but after we have drawn out all the Stinking Menstrous Spirits from the Mineral Body, and abstract and cohobate till at last we obtain a Body pure, fixed, fiery, and fluid as wax; out of which (being resolved in our Mercury, and so often cohobated upon it till it be turned into a red and viscous Oil) is prepared the permanent Water, and the glorious shining Earth, the only Pillar of our Tincture. Thus our Calcination is the augmentation of the innate fire, and the highest Purification of the body; which is done by our Pontic Water full of fire, which burns and mortifies the body, after Death brings it to an Immortal Life.
Here perhaps the rout of Vulgar Chymists will object, not understanding this Calcination, and for that reason will say, How can Calcination be made with Water, seeing the fire is the only Instrument of Calcination? To this we answer, That Philosophic Calcination is not the Calcination of the Vulgar, which Calcineth Mixt into Ashes, dry and deprived of all the innate fire, and fit for no work necessary to Life, as above said; but our Calcination, Calcineth the Mixt into a viscous Humidity, abounding with fire, and fixed and Permanent in it; which Humidity alone Alchemy uses to perfect her Arcana, this made with the pontic Water, full of Living Fire, which alone is capable of perfecting this Calcination, which defending Bodies from the most violent flames of the fire, and mixes itself with their internal Fire, and fortifies it, which hidden Calcination is known to few, and the True Knowledge of it is a great Secret in this Art. Which that the Sincere Searcher may more easily understand, let him take the hard Vegetable Body, in the bottom; and take it fresh and most subtly powdered, and put it in a Vessel well secured, and put that into a Furnace with an open Fire, increasing the Fire by degrees, and at last giving a most strong Fire, let him urge it so far, that the Vessel comes plainly to a candent heat, so all the Water and stinking Vapours left by the Menstrual Spirit, will pass out, and the Body will be freed fro the; but the Fire must not be increased to that degree to make the matter vitrify by the Flux, for thus it would lose its vegetable Virtue, and the operator would lose his oil, and Labour, and the Body would lose its thirst and hunger of Drinking up its proper Soul. Therefore it must be calcined with very great Caution, and so that it may retain this Thirst; and thus the Calcination will be rightly performed; which is a very tedious and long work, in performing of which the Artist ought to be very cautious. Now, after the earth is so prepared, take it and work it by help of our Calcination till it be wholly freed from all its Earthly and burning Feces by Reduction, Solution, Calcination, and Imbibition, till by Calcination it becomes wholly red, and the Calcinatory Water be also freed from all its phlegm and Watery Humour. Take the Earth now fluid, porous and plainly fiery, and grind it into Powder in a hot glass Mortar, grinding it over a Fire of Ashes for two or three hours, until it be a subtle Powder; then add to it drop after drop of the Aqua Vitae, grinding it continually with a glass Pestle till the coagulating fume of the Earth be pretty well satiated. Then put in a glass Vessel, digesting, and imbibing with Aqua Vitae, and grinding till it be converted into a bloody, glorious and mercurial Liquor, which Liquor is Aqua Vitae regenerated by the Fume of our earth, the Celestial Water, Ethereal liquor; and this is a Short and Secret Way which few also have known. The other way is longer, and is thus: Take the Earth rubified by virtue of the Fire of our Aqua Vitae, and grind it subtly, and digest it with its water, till it be converted into a black sparkling Mass, which is the Antimony or Black Lead so much spoken of by the Philosophers, which is made in three months, then Wheeling it about, and circulating it well, work it till it becomes a Tincture Citrine and red. This way is long, and lasts almost two years, and is very tedious, which also the Ancient Philosophers taught, saying: Azoth and Fire are sufficient; Fire and Water wash Laton, Purify, and Fix and Incere it. And, Wash Laton and Tear your Books, lest your Hearts be broken. Which way also a certain Philosopher teaches darkly, saying: Take that which is most Volatile, and conjoin and wash the more fixed with the volatile, till the most fixed receives the most volatile; then turn the Earth into Water, the Water into Fire, the Fire into Air, and enclose the Fire the middle of the Water, and the Earth in the Belly of the Air; Mix the hot with the moist, and the dry with the cold, because one Nature overcomes another, and Nature rejoices in Nature, but the Earth contains them all. For when the four Natures have ascended up to Heaven, again at length descended, so that the Fire may descend into Air, Air into Water, Water into Earth; but the end of the whole Work is Powder and Ashes.
These and the like words the Philosophers use to describe their Secrets, by which they delude the ignorant, and cast a mist before the Eyes of the Vulgar Chymists but as I said before, let all lay aside their Opinion of Our Calcination, who believe it is done by the vulgar way; these persons are daily deceived, and deceive many with themselves; let them learn first, before they attempt Our Calcination, which is of so great moment, and so wonderful, that in it Fire alone and Azoth are sufficient, and know, if they desire to know, that every Spirit is fixed by a Calx of its own kind; which if it be fixed with the Body, it Calcines it, and if the Artists so Calcine, they will find it profitable, but I not, Sorrow and Sadness will overwhelm them, because being Ignorant, they dare attempt Our Calcination.
Because the Vegetable Body which we also call Mercury, is of a vile Nature; namely, Earthy and Watery; therefore it ought to be exalted to a more noble and subtle Nature, namely Airy and Fiery, which two are very near Principles of this Mercury, as well according to the intention of Nature as of Art, and therefore the vegetable Body must enter again into the Belly of its Mother, thus by Death and Regeneration it may attain to such Dignity; but which cannot be done but by Philosophic Corruption and Alteration, which causes our Menstrous, Fiery and Airy Vapours and Fumes (which before came out by Distillation from the Body) to thicken by a gentle Digestion and Rotation, that this Water being circulated, may the better penetrate the Pores of our Body, and so successively alter the inward part of the Body, and at length truly and rightly regenerate it. This Putrefaction or Alteration of this Body, consists in Solution of the Same Body in its own Airy and Fiery Vapour, which can best by Digestion alter the Body, and bring it to a new Generation. And it is altered whilst it is dissolved in that Water, because this Water is the true Sepulcher of the Body, in which it dies and is putrefied. For this Water, and no other, can alter, purify, dissolve, distil, calcine, and mortify the Body, until at length it is reduced to a most subtle, not terrestrial, but Viscous Alcohol, which is done not only by dissolving this vegetable Body in its own Water, but by many other labours and operations; namely, by dissolving it into Water, and then again Drying, Calcining and Inhumating it, and this again drying and calcining and afterwards distilling, till at length the Body as it were Invisibly by so many, and such operations, it is truly altered; the sign of which is a dark blackness, which is the true mortification of this Vegetable Body, in its Mother or Menstrous and Vaporous Water; which is done in the beginning of the work, and in the crude Conjunction of a pure Agent and Patient; which is a hard Herculean and hazardous Work, the knowledge of which dissolves all other Arcana of the following Operations; but especially of the second Alteration, which is done with our Sublimed and glorious Sulphur; by Inhumation and Imbibition, in a philosophical Vessel, with our permanent Mercury, of which we will not now speak; but of the first, which is very laborious, and requires an Ingenious Artist; of which also the Ancient Philosophers made no mention at all; which whosoever understands, very easily attains all the rest, in which no Man can err, if after Distillation and Inhumation, he prepares the Earth to Citrinity and Viscosity; of which Body so prepared and calcined to a Citrinity, take one or two pounds, and Powder it subtly in a strong Mortar, and imbibe in the same mortar from hour to hour, grinding it subtly, and imbibing with our Living Water, till the Matter be converted into a fat and slimy Mass; whence you must circulate till it be thin, and circulate again till it be thick, sometimes imbibing and distilling. So by reiterated Work, this Earth will become a thin and viscid Mass. Take this and put into a glass cucurbit, which put in Balneo, and there circulate it till it be turned into blackish ashes, which you keep carefully and dry them in a gentle Fire, in a glass vessel. Then take these Ashes powdered, and put them into a glass Vessel very well luted, and distill at first with a gentle Fire; then somewhat stronger, and so will ascend our Mercury white, viscous and limpid, which we call the Lunary Virgin Milk; now increase the Fire, and there will ascend a gummy Liquor, red as blood, and transparent, which is the blood of Sol and our Earth, which is extracted from part of the Body and Soul of our Stone. This is that Liquor permanent and Triumphing over all Metals and Stone, the blood of the Green Lion, the Secret Fire, which must be extracted from its crudity, and exalted with the glorious Earth; to exalt which, take it pure, and pour it upon the remainder (which is Lead already calcined from redness to black) and digest it upon this Lead, till it hath extracted its Salt, and be satiated with that Salt; then it must be exalted, which is our triumphing, exalted and glorious Mercury, of an Hermaphroditical nature, which is that Water which putrefies, purifies, coagulates, fixes, distills, calcines and inceres itself; which is so Secret among the Philosophers, without which no Tincture can be made which an Artist can use to make Aurum Potabile. Put into it Vulgar Gold, having passed the Royal Cement, and being then most subtly foliated, circulating the Gold and distilling, till it be converted into a thick Oil, splendid as a Ruby, the use of which renews youth, and restores debilitated strength. But for Elixir, take it and circulate it upon Sal Armoniac sublimed and fixed into a citrine colour (N.B.: not Vulgar Sal Armoniac) and circulate till it be fixed, then ferment and multiply, until this Mercury together with its Earth, flow and remain fixed in the Fire, Tingeing every Metal into True Gold.
This now what I was willing to say concerning Alteration, which alone contains the hidden Secrets of Philosophy. Fr our Stone must often die and be revived and regenerated, and at last attain to the highest glory; which we have at present so clearly laid open, that he must be of a dull wit who does not perfectly understand it. I have written clearly, and will yet write more clearly; but it will make many admire apprehending that I break the Seal of Hermes. But let those know, that I have written clearly to the Sons of Art, to whom I would lay open more, if it were Lawful to do it publicly, but to the Myso-philosophists and Sophists, these will be mere Enigmas, in which is more, they will not believe there are so great Secrets hidden in Nature.
For the Exaltation of our Body (which we also call Gold) that of it may be made a new Heaven and a new Earth, it is necessary that the Body being already made pure, be again joined with a pure Soul, that so being perfectly united, may be exalted and glorified; which glorification, that it may be rightly performed, it is requisite that the Body be made pure by Death and Separation, and that the Soul be likewise purified, to do which, the Artist must in certain quantity (but cautiously) pour the Soul upon the Body, so that the Soul being so joined with the Body, may carry it to Heaven; and so both are perfectly divested of all Excrements, and acquire a very high penetrating Virtue. Both must be freed from Excrements, because this Soul (as is sufficiently shown already) needs many purification, by Subliming it, that it may be freed from all its Original Uncleanness, before they be united, so as they may become one thing by Glorification. For if they are conjoined while they are impure, they will never be united, because of the Original uncleanness with which they abound, would hinder Union; and their Conjunction being hindered, they could never unite, for in that Union consists the Glorification, but both, that is to say the Body and the Soul, are separated from their Original Uncleanness before they are conjoined, not by one and the same method, but by divers; that is to say, the Body by Sublimation often reiterated; but it must be observed, that the Soul must by little and little be poured upon the Body, and be cherished by natural heat, till the same hath imbibed all the Body, and the Soul which is contained within the pores of the Blood, receives a Sanguine Body, which it doth receive when the Blood, in which it is contained, has imbibed the Body, and so the Soul and Body are united by immediate Contact, and being of the same Nature, one as easy ingress into the other, and then the natural heat cherishes them so, that they are more and more united, and by union become one Body different from the former, in which the Soul and Body are exalted together. And it is to be noted, that the Body before was gross and soul, and the Soul in like manner impure; both which are now purified and united, which if they be united, by help of the Blood in which the Soul is contained, are exalted into a fiery Body, much different from the former, which is the Son of the Fire, a glorious Sulphur, not unlike to shining Talc, out of which is immediately made the Physical Stone. Now let the Searcher of this Science consider, how great a Work the glorification of the body with its Soul is; and let not any one accuse me of obscurity; I say, when this Soul, known to all, with the Blood of the Body, are truly and really conjoined, then you must take this Matter, and put it in to a glass vessel well luted, and a glass Alembic very well closed, and digest it, than give a strong fire, and so our Sulphur will ascend to the sides of the vessel, and will leave a black powder in the bottom, very volatile and of no value, which is the damned Earth deprived of all that is good for any thing. But if this Powder be heavy, it is an evident sign, that still there remains something good in it, which could not be dissolved, and then this Body must again be imbibed with the Soul and the Blood and again be sublimed, till it ascends white as Snow, and shining, which is our fiery, foliated Sulphur, which alone we need, to make any Tincture; to which, for abbreviating the work, we add pure Luna dissolved in the permanent Water; then we decoct, fix, incere and ferment in a close Vessel, till it be completely fixed, pure, flowing and Tingeing.
Take the dead and living Body, and put it in a glass Vessel, and our upon I its Soul till the Body be all imbibed by it, then distill and sublime; reiterate this Work often with fresh Water or Soul, till the matter sublimes itself clear as a Star, which you must take and put into an Egg with a long neck in hot Sand; digest it for a week, the next week increase the Fire, at last increase it more, and so it is fixed; Take this Sublimed and fixed mercury, and dissolve it in the fire against Nature; cohobate till both become one Water, in which dissolve Luna, and decoct, imbibe and fix till they flow, because it Tinges Venus into Luna.
Because I have declared to all Lovers of this Science, the beginning and end of perfecting our mercury, which is the chief and longest part of our Elixir, which being had, all the rest may be easily performed; therefore I will speak of its perfection and Operation into an Elixir; whose first operation to accomplish this end, is thus. Take our Earth very highly purified, which is Our Gold, hollow and spongy, and put it onto a glass Vessel, and there irrigate it by little and little, with its own subtle Humidity, which easily enters this spongy Body so that by means of Circulation, the Airy and Fiery part of this Subtle Humidity may incorporate, and be coagulated, and be united together with the Earth. Then irrigate again the subtle Humidity, and circulate for eight days in a Vessel very well closed (and here above all things, beware that you do not irrigate this Earth but by little and little, from eight days to eight days, in a very long trituration, so that the force of this Water may not suffocate the Virtue of the Earth; because the Virtue of the Earth is weak in the beginning of the Imbibition, which if it should be suffocated with abundance of water, it would become an unprofitable mass, void of all Action.
But the phlegm f our subtle Humidity may be drawn out by Alembic during the Circulation. So by reiterate Irrigations and Circulations this Earth will become a pure Fire and Aether, and the Artist will then obtain his desire, when the Earth is rubified by the Spirit and Soul, which be Irrigation and Circulation, have united themselves together with the earth; which if it be distilled, he will have the Blood of the Green Lion, the Saturnal Water, which is the first Operation of the mercury, in which the Spiritual Substance is transmuted from nature to Nature by means of the Body, so often, till together with the Body, they constitute the Permanent Water.
The Second and last Operation, is that of the Fixation of the permanent Water and the glorious Earth, of which the Philosophers say: That it is a commixtion of qualities, a Copulation of Complexions, a Reconjunction of things separated, a Coagulation of Principles, a Sisposition of what is repugnant; which must be done by a gentle Fire, Cherishing the parts mixt together, and put into a glass Vessel, being first made very pure.
And in the luternal Fire of these parts being excited by a gentle External, doth dissolve and decoct them, and by decoction they are again by little and little inspissated and made thicker, until a t length they are wholly fixed, and remain fixed in the bottom of the Circulatory.
For the Earth contains in itself a Fiery, most thin, dry and insensible Fume, which coagulates the Volatile part, being of its own Nature and Substance. This Fume lying hid in he Center of the Earth, by its Action converts the other volatile Elements into its own (namely a fixed) Nature; and then the Motion of these Elements cease because they have attained this desired end; which if they be again dissolved by the volatiles, their motion begins again, till the fixed have overcome the volatile. Then again motion ceases, which if they are dissolved again, they work afresh, and etc.
Here all operators must observe, that in this operation a Two-fold Fire must be used, the one Internal, the other External, which External must not overpower the Internal; the Internal is a dry Mercurial Ethereal Nectar, and our glorious mercury, which vivifies, conserves, and nourishes the matter, and brings it to perfection; This Fire is not moved but by our External Agent, which if it be slow in operation, the Internal Fire lies still, and produces nothing; but if the External be too strong, either the Vessels break, or the Matter burns; therefore the Fore must be warily applied, so that the Fumes, which lie hid in the Center of our Earth, may be moved, and then the Spiritual Humidity will resolve the Earthy Siccity, and the Earth will be impregnated by the volatile, and will grow thick; the Sign whereof is blackness. And if the Spirits of this compound be more inspissated, various colours will appear, and by a farther operation, there will appear a white colour, afterwards a citrine, and lastly, a red diaphanous colour; and after reiterate Operation, the matter will be of easy fusion, fixed, and Tingeing all imperfect Metals into pure Gold, which that the Artist may attain.
Take our glorious shining Earth, and fix it Philosophically, as above we have declared, and put it in a fit glass Vessel, let it be dissolved there in our Water against Nature which also is called Lunaria, the Blood of the Red Lyon, distilled Spirit of Wine, Saturnal Water, our glorious Mercury; digest the solution for three weeks, then open the Vessel, and join to it an Alembic, and distill by Fire of Balneum, all insipid phlegm that can be distilled, and when it ceases, take away the Alembic, and shut the Vessel; put it again to circulate, then all the Humidity, by little and little will be fixed, and will grown thick like mud of a blackish colour; circulate it farther till perfect blackness appear, and by farther operation whiteness, and lastly the highest shining redness; which is the fiery Ruby, tingeing and healing the Leprous Bodies of Metals; he multiplication whereof an Ingenious Operator can easily effect. Namely, if he dissolve the Stone of the first Order, completely finished, in our glorious Mercury decocts, fixes, and inceres; and so he may multiply it, and very highly exalt it; which that they may accomplish, I wish to all, by our Lord Jesus Christ.
I have, in the preceding Book, sufficiently taught, not only the Theory, but also the Practice, sufficient for the understanding the operation of this Divine Science. But for the more clear understanding it, by divers Praxes as well in general as in Particular; I have written this Second Book for the benefit of the Faithful and Worthy, as also of those who have attained to some Knowledge of our Mysteries, that they may more easily obtain their desire.
And against petty tricking Chymists, who endeavor to make the Tincture of the Philosophers, in one Vessel, for very little charges, in one Furnace in a short time, and shamelessly, and with a brazen Face, fraudulently profess this Art, which they are not in the least worthy to know. And here I would advise the True and Faithful Searchers of this Art, that they understand that there is but one thing in Nature of which all things are made, which can be desired in Philosophy; which though sometimes I have called and shall call Calx Vive, sometimes Tartar, sometimes Venus and other Names, yet I say, that only one thing is to be understood, as with me bears witness, the Ancient Philosopher Hermes, saying, As all Things were from one by the mediation of one; so all things proceeded from this one by Adaptation.
The First Praxis ~
The masculine Earth of Sol, of itself, can bear no Fruit, as the male without the Female cannot have any offspring, therefore necessarily the male needs the Female; Our Solar Earth needs the Water, which is its Female. Take therefore, in the Name of the Creator of heaven and Earth, this Solar Golden and Ruddy, and add to it the water of Dew, which is its Wife and Mother; for this Earth is generated by the Dew, and put it into a round glass Vessel, so the Earth will resolve itself in the Dew-Water, and the Water will be impregnated with the Golden Seed of the male. Then give a gentle Fire of Circulation, so the superfluous and stinking sweat will vanish out of the Vessel, which being gone, if the Female begin to fly and follow the Sweat, close the glass firmly and continue the Fire, so the matter, and by long Operations and Continuation of the External Fire, the water will extract the Seed of the Earth and grow thick, and wholly by the farther continuation together with the Earth, will thicken into a blood red Liquor, which is the first Fruit of the Philosophic Tree. Take this and circulate, evaporating its superfluity, adding more water and circulating, until the Earth with the Water be turned into Air and Fire. Then distill, first the Air, which reserve firmly closed up in a glass vessel. This Air is the White Air, a vivifying and unctuous Air, the life Metals. Secondly, distill the Fire, which is Red Vital Fire, a Fire vivifying the Souls of metals, keep also this Fire apart. Now rectify first the White Air till it be bright and serene as Crystal; in like manner rectify the Fire till it be like a pure Ruby; Then take the Earth and separate from it the Water, which rectify and join it partly with the Fire, and partly with the Air. Rectify the Earth by drying it gently till it be white. Then add to the Earth, first, the Fire conjoined with the Water, and circulate the Fire upon the Earth, till the Earth appears plainly dry. Add again the Fire with the Water, and circulate as before till it again be plainly dry; and if all the Fire be coagulated by the Thirsty Earth, the Earth will be turned into Fire. Now add the Air with the Water, and circulate till the fiery Earth hath swallowed up the Air; add again Air, and circulate till it be again dry. Then add all the remaining part of the Air, and circulate for some days, and take out your water, fiery and Airy Earth, and put in another Vessel, and give gentle Fire and a certain watery humour will arise. Then put an Alembic upon your Vessel, and distill, increasing the Fire, and so there will pass over, first, an airy, fiery and earthy Water Splendent as Luna.
Then cease, and put to it another Alembic, and distill an airy, fiery and watery Earth, which two being had, if the Artist be adapted, he hath enough for doing farther things, if he proceed after the following manner. Take the airy, fiery and watery Earth and pulverize, grinding it subtly in a glass mortar, and put it into a glass Vessel, imbibing this Earth with the airy, fiery and earthy Water, grinding this mass strongly upon a gentle Fire, till it be like a thin Paste.
Now distill and circulate it till it be thin, and liquorous; then distill, and pour this distilled Water again upon what remains, and distil and cohobate until the water with the Earth becomes a fixed Oil, which must be circulated upon Gold after this manner. Take Gold calcined most subtly with Sulphur Vive, into a purple red Calx, which put into a glass, and pour upon it of this thin Oil, and circulate in a close vessel till the Oil become red. Take this and fix it upon the remaining Earth of Gold, after a Philosophical manner, till both are fixed into Powder, which resolves with the aforesaid Oil, and convert it by circulation into a fixed Oil, whereof one part Tines much Copper into Gold. This manner is very difficult and long, by reason of the many Purifications and long Circulations and Distillations and Conversions of the Elements, but the following manner is shorter, which is done with Calx Vive.
The Second Praxis with Calx Vive ~
Take Calx Vive, calcined to a redness by a strong Fire in a dry Reverberatory; put it into a Vessel, with a strong cover, adding Spirit of Wine, and imbibing with the said Spirit till it will drink no more, then distil the Phlegm from the Spirit of Wine, which being passed over, increase the Fire, and join another Receiver, and distill the Spirit of Wine from the Calx Vive; and when the Calx Vive is plainly dried, then take it and dry it more in a glass vessel with a good strong Fire, and being again cooled, add Spirit of Wine, separate it by filter, because it is a combustible Sulphur. And so cohobate the Spirit of Wine upon the Calx Vive, always separating the Phlegm, till it be thick, oily and fat, then cease, and take the remaining Calx Vive, and calcine it in a Reverberatory with a strong Fire, until it be plainly white; put it so white into a strong glass, and imbibe it with the thick water, reiterating till the water be coagulated by the Fire of the Calx Vive; then digest this mass four days, and distill first a Water which is Aqua Vitae, from Red Wine, Spirit of Wine, rectified, etc. And when that is distilled, increase the Fire, and change the Receiver, and so there will ascend a Volatile Salt, which Salt is the Terrestrial Fire of the Calx Vive, purified, coagulated, and made Volatile by the Spirit of Wine in form of a bright Salt, which the operator must take, and assating, calcine and imbibe it with the Aqua Vitae of the Red Wine, and then dissolve that Mass, and distill till both become one Water, shining as Crystal; which is the fiery Mercury of Calx Vive, resolving all metals.
This Praxis of Calx Vive is shorter than the former, but in working it, the Artist ought to be Ingenious, especially in Calcining the Calx Vive, and imbibing it, which mus be done warily. And to this Praxis the Vitriolization of Tartar is not Inferior, which is not only useful in all Tartarous Diseases, and in resolving their Obstructions, but also in increasing the Animas of Metals.
The Third Praxis, of Vitriolate Tartar ~
Take Salt of Tartar very well calcined, and well purified by Resolutions and Calcinations till it be Porous; dissolve it by Imbibitions with Spirit of Vitriol, then dry and imbibe, and again dry so often, till one part of the Tartar coagulates two parts of the Spirit of Vitriol.
Then take it, and powder it, and spread it upon a glass plate, and set it in a moist place to resolve into an oily Liquor, which evaporate in a glass Curcurbit in Balneo till it be like Honey. To this add more of the Spirit of Vitriol, and dissolve this Honey-like Mass, and when it is dissolved, distil off the Spirit of Vitriol, which pour again upon what remains, cohobate so often till the Tartar, together with the Spirit of Vitriol, become one Water; which take (for it is the fiery Water of Tartar and Vitriol) and distil gently in Balneo, first the burning Spirit of Vitriol; then increase the Fire, and change the Receiver, and distil the Oil of Tartar, which must be rectified, as also the burning Spirit of Vitriol; which Two, are our Mercuries sufficiently fitted for the Composition of the Elixir of the first Order. There is yet another manner very Subtle, which is done by Extraction and Sublimation, but it is very Secret, which I will also Communicate to the Worthy, and it is done out of the Vitriol of Venus.
The Fourth Praxis of the Vitriol of Venus ~
Take Vitriol of Venus which is made of Verdegrise and distilled Vinegar, by Extraction, as is known; Powder it, and put it into a glass Retort very well luted, put it into a Furnace with Sand-Fire, and put to it a Receiver , and begin to distil first with a gentle Fire till the Phlegm be come over; then increase the Fore, and when the white fumes begin to distil, change the Receiver and join a new one, which must be well luted; and when the white Spirit is distilled, increase the Fire; and as quick as can be, change the Receiver, and distil the Red Oil, which is the Oil of Verdegris; increase the fire till the Retort be of a white heat, and when no more will distill, take off the Receiver, and break the Retort, being first cooled, and take out the Caput Mortuum, which is obscurely red, and ponderous, by reason of the Venus which it contains; powder it, and pour upon it its dephlegmated Oil, and also its white Spirit; and when you have poured on all the Spirit, close the Vessel and circulate these Liquors upon the Earth till they are perfectly united; then distill, and first will come over a white and gummy Liquor, which is the exuberate water, then increase the fire and there will ascend the Sulphur of Venus, subtle and penetrating all Metals after its Calcination. Take this and powder it, and put it t the exuberate water, circulating and dissolving till both are turned into a glutinous Liquor shining like Talc; which circulate till nothing will ascend and descend, then distill, and there will distill a serene Liquor, which is our triumphant and exuberate Mercury; and when it ceases to distill, increase the Fire, and a white Sulphur will distill, which is the glorious Sulphur extracted from the Earth of our Venus, and the Feces which remain are the Terra Damnata. The following manner is of the Slat of Saturn, useful and very profitable upon Metals, by reason of the grain of Gold which it contains.
The Fifth Praxis of the Salt of Saturn ~
Take of the Salt of Saturn very well purified, and mix it with two parts of Vitriol Calcined. Put this mixture into a Curcurbit well luted, and join to it an Alembic, luting it strongly, and distil into a good large Receiver first with a gentle Fire, and the Water which distills, is called the Water and Oil of Nature distilled from the hearth of Saturn, which rectify well till it is bright, break the Cucurbit, and if the Caput Mortuum is red, it is good, if not Calcine it in a Crucible with a gentle fire till it be red. Take this and separate all heterogeneous things from it, as well as may be, after the Vulgar manner, till it be pure; which take and put into a large glass Vessel, and pour upon it its distilled Oil in great quantity, and put the Vessel in a warm place for four or five hours, and then filter what is dissolved of the Caput Mortuum, and upon what remains, pour new Oil and filter what is dissolved; pour all the Solutions together, and distill all the Oil by Retort, so a certain white and subtle Salt will remain in the bottom. Take this and dissolve it in new Oil, and cohobate this Oil upon the Salt of Saturn, till after the Oil the volatile Salt of Saturn rises; which purify by four sublimations, every time changing the Vessel; and taking out that which is pure; and rectify the Oil by Seven Distillations. Then conjoin the Salt with the Oil, and digest this Mass for four weeks in a vaporous Bath, then distill in a retort well luted, cohobating so often until they are inseparably united. Which Oil is our mercury, which being decocted with the Anima of Gold, gives great Tincture upon Lead. But the following manner gives not place to This.
The Sixth Praxis ~
Take Urine putrefied, and inspissate it, out of which so inspissated, make a Salt which is an Animal Salt. Distill this in a very strong Retort, and what distills rectify seven tomes, till it be pure and very bright, which keep.
Take what remains in the Retort and calcine it, and extract out of it a Salt with common Water, which Salt must be rectified by Calcinations till it is white and flows. Take this and Powder it very subtly, and dissolve it in the water reserved as above, and when it is dissolved, abstract all its Superfluities, seal the Vessel and work the matter by Circulation of the Elements of this urine until the matter appear dry by Means of Circulation, which dissolve again in the abovesaid Water, and circulate the Solution by Distillation till all be converted in the bottom of the Vessel into a very thick and fat Oil, which dry and distil, and there will distill a two-fold water. One white, the other yellow, each of which rectify seven times by itself. Now take the Oil remaining in the Retort from the Distillations of the white and yellow Water, and sublime it in a clean Vessel, increasing the Fire by degrees, and take what is sublimed, and put to it the abovesaid yellow rectified water, and circulate the water with the sublimate till they are united; in which dissolve Gold, and cohobate the water upon the Gold till the Gold be turned into an Oil, which is augmented by the yellow water, conjoined with the sublimate, in Infinitum. And it is to be noted that after every cohobation of the water upon the Gold, the Phlegm must be separated; this way is very available to Metals.
The Seventh Praxis ~
Take our Vegetable Body, which is our Gold extracted from the Minera of Saturn, Powder it very subtly in a very clean glass, and if it be one pound, put to it o our water (which is the Aqua Vitae distilled from Wine) two pounds; mix it very well with a glass Pestle, grinding it for two or three hours continually, and when the Mass is so mixed, put it in a good strong glass, and digest it for a fortnight: Then open the Vessel, and evaporate the superfluous Water, which is the phlegm if that wonderful Wine from which the phlegm of that wonderful Wine from which the phlegm distills first, and when the mass is dry, powder it and again dissolve it in this Water, and again digest, and again evaporate, and when the Mass is dry, yet once more do with it as before, thus put it into a Cucurbit, and give a Fire of Sublimation and what is sublimed put together, and what remains, work over again with our wonderful Wine, and sublime, and what is sublimed, put with the former, and so often work the remainder with our wine, till there remain in the bottom a subtle Powder of no value, for it is the Terra Damnata, and the Desert laid waste, which cast away; but take that which is sublimed, and sublime it seven times by itself; then Powder it most Subtly, and put it into a glass, and put upon it so much of our glorious Mercury that it may become a paste, which so work that out of it by Circulation, may be made a fixed Oil. This Tinges all impure Metals into Gold or Silver, according as it is fermented. Our glorious Mercury is commodiously prepared after the following manner.
The Praxis of the Glorious Mercury ~
Take our corporeal mercury, which is Animal, Vegetable and Mineral, the reason whereof for the present I will not speak of.
Powder this most subtly, and pour upon it the Water of the Rock in equal weight (for this stony Spirit is white, and contains the Soul of the Elements, and therefore it is called the Blood of nature, Secret, extracted from its own Body, Animal and Vegetable) and digest it in Balneo; Circulating this Water upon the Mercury till it will work no more; then separate the Water from the Earth, and add new, till all which is Homogeneal be extracted out of the Body. Then take this water exuberated with the Fire of the Corporeal mercury, and circulate it into a black Earth by continual operation, and when the Water is so converted into Earth, after it had passed through all the other Elements, take it and sublime it in a close Vessel upon a gentle Fire, and what sublimes to the top of the Vessel, will be a Volatile Substance shining and ruddy. This is that thing which Tempers the violence of our mercury. Take this Substance very pure, and add to it its Water, and distill the water with it, and all which distills will be bright, ponderous, and unctuous, and is our glorious Mercury.
The following manner is very good, which is done with white Sugar, which is brought in great plenty from the East Indies.
The Eighth Praxis of Sugar ~
Take white Sugar-Candy which grows in the East Indies in long Canals, and powdering it subtly, put it in a strong glass, and put to it the Acid Spirit of Honey, very highly rectified; and by Circulation, convert the Sugar with the Spirit of Honey into a viscous Earth, which circulate, adding more Spirit of Honey, till it be thin and liquid in a pale colour. Take this and digest it in Balneo for thirty days, which time being passed, open the Vessel, and distill off gently all the superfluous phlegm then change the receiver, and close the joints exceedingly well, distill a viscid liquor of Sugar, which pour again upon what remains, and distill the Liquor, cohobating so often upon what remains, till it ascends with the Liquor and leaves the Feces behind, which keep well, and take the Liquor, and circulate it by itself for seven or eight days in a close Vessel, then distill gently a clear and bright Liquor, which is one of our Mercuries; but what remain is thick as thin Honey, to which put the Feces above reserved, grinding both strongly in a Mortar, and being very well mixed, put to this our distilled Mercury, and seal up the glass firmly, digesting till our Mercury by digestion grows red with the Fire of its own Body, then separate it, and add new to what remains, proceeding as above said, till it will no longer grow red; keep what remains, and take the Mercury, and digest them for two days; then distill with a gentle Fire (luting exceeding well) a white Liquor, which being distilled, put your Vessel in Ashes, increase the Fire, and distil, and there will distill a thick Liquor very yellow; which keep, and rectify very highly in Ashes till it become clear, thin and bright; then take the Feces and put them to those above reserved; mix these well in a glass Mortar, and assate them, in the beginning gently, then strongly, till after various colours they become yellowish; which take, and put to them drop by drop of the red rectified Mercury, and circulate; when they are dry, add more of the red Mercury drop by drop, circulating the Mercury with this Earth so often, till it remains moist by Circulation; then seal up the Vessel, and digest it farther.
Now take Gold calcined, and pour upon it our mercury, and distill the mercury so often upon the Gold, till the Gold remains white, with which Solar Oil the Medicine may be multiplied till it is most strong.
The Ninth Praxis ~
Take the Minera of the red Earth, out of which separate a bloody and vaporous Humidity, which Circulate by itself for a long time, till from these is made one red fume, and another white; rectify each of these by itself, separating the superfluous and combustible Sulphur. Then take the Body well known, and coagulate these fumes upon it by means of a dry Fire, and when this mass is like ashes, take it and distill, first a Liquor, which is Lac Lunae extracted out of the Rays of the Central Luna: and when it is distilled, take and rectify it till it shines like Luna in her bright Luster (if it be first rectified upon Sulphur Vive sublimed, which must especially be noted here) this liquor is our vivifying Air, green and very powerful in Virtue to multiply Luna, which is of kin to it. Take Luna first subtly purified by various labours, and precipitated into a Powder by a corrosive; of which, with this Lunar Water, make a thick and blue Oil, by a gentle cohobation of the said Lunar Mercury, upon Luna so prepared. And here it is to be noted, that after every Distillation of the mercury upon Luna, the phlegm must be separated, which the Mercury during the Operation, by its own Virtue attracts. Afterward, decoct that Lunar Oil by a gentle heat of external Fire for 190 days, into a white shining Earth, which must be multiplied with the said Lunar Oil, till one part tinges five thousand parts of Venus into Luna.
This, Friendly Reader, is what I was willing to say in general, by divers Praxes tending tone end, which every one may easily understand, if he have but the Knowledge of the Sulphur and Mercury, discovered by me in the First Book.
I have sufficiently, in the foregoing Chapter, declared the Praxis in general, and openly enough to be understood. But now I will speak particularly of the Operations, and for the greater Illustration of the said very clear generals, that all who are Worthy and Faithful, may understand them. I know also, that for these Praxes I shall have many ill-willers and reproachers, and chiefly those Philosophers, who persuade themselves that the Tinctures may be made with very little pain, in one vessel, one Furnace, with one External Fire, and so deceive, with themselves, many others. But let these high nosed Scoffers Know, that the Philosophers’ Stone is a Thing of higher moment than they imagine. For it is a difficult Thing, and of deep Search to be understood; and of great labour to be accomplished; which they with me would acknowledge, if they apprehended the Operations of Nature.
The First Praxis of Mercury ~
Although this Praxis at the first Sight, may seem ridiculous to many, yet it is true if it be understood. Take, in the name of the Omnipotent God, of the best mercury, which must be pure, flowing, crystalline, and very Serene, which you may very well know, if you put it upon Silver; and after Evaporation, it leaves behind it a black spot, which is a certain sigh of Gold — or if you put it upon a strong fire, it emits green and red fumes; if it has these three signs, it is good, and fit for our work; which you must purify by subliming it divers times, that at length by a long time, it may become pure and neat, and free from all corrosive and phlegmatical Excrements, which take and pour upon calcined Gold, mingling and grinding the Mercury with the Gold, till both are very well mixed; put them upon a gentle Fire, evaporate the superfluous Mercury from the Calx of Gold, till you see it appear of a red colour, then take it and grind it subtly in a mortar, and amalgamate it with new mercury, grinding without Fire (which is to be noted for this kind of amalgamation is made without Fire) and when it is like a Paste, evaporate it again, reiterating this Amalgamation with new Mercury, and Evaporation of the Said Mercury, and soften till you see the Nature of this Mercury to be sufficiently introduced into this Gold, which may be easily discerned. This Gold is Mercurialized Gold, which take and digest in a glass firmly closed for some time; which being done, take it out and to reduce it proceed thus: Take the Mercurialized Gold, and mix it with the subtile and serene Mercury in sufficient quantity, and put the mixture into a good strong glass Retort, which close well; and digest this serene Mercury, circulating it upon the Gold, till you see no more ascend and descend; and in the bottom of the Vessel you will find the Gold corrupted; of a black colour; which take and amalgamate with New Mercury, distilling, cohobating and animating the Mercury upon the Gold, so often till the Gold is plainly reduced into a viscid Water, which is its Reduction, and requires a long time; out of which reduced Gold now the Elements must be separated.
Here let all the Ignorant Sophisters and all Chymists be mute, who endeavor to make all Tinctures in a short time without any labour. These Idiots know not, that first there must be a Reduction of Gold into its first Matter; namely, a thick splendid and Viscid water abounding with the principles of compounded Gold. Secondly, the Separation of this reduced Gold, and Sublimation of the same most fixed Gold, before any profitable Tincture can be made. Verily a Herculean Work, and most laborious! And not known but by those who are learned and Expert; which Lully and Geber, most subtle Doctors of Alchemy, do sufficiently show; whose divers ways of working described by them, are to be accounted not Sophistication, as the Ignorant Chymic Mob persuade themselves; but for the very truth, let all Searchers of the Chymic Art read the writings of the Ancient Sages, who have created of Alchemy, from the most Ancient Sages, who treated of Alchemy, from the most Ancient Hermes to the most Modern; they will find them all full of various Purifications, Reductions, Sublimations, Calcinations, and the like, of the pure Substance of Nature; and also of the Distillations and Circulations of the Elements, which how laborious it is, no man who is wise is ignorant of. For the pure Substance of the Mineral Nature, is the Stone of the Philosophers; which before its complete Perfection, is a rude and undigested Mass, very much defiled by the Elemental impurity, which though it may attain the highest Purity (namely, that it became a mere Fire, for the Stone itself is nothing else but mere Fire concentrated into one Thing) it requires very great Labour. But nevertheless (despising the Doctrine of the Ancients) these new Chymists and fraudulent gang, endeavor to obtain without any Labour and Industry, that which God hath given only to the Laborious; but they are deceived, and with themselves deceive may Persons who are Ignorant, credulous and Covetous of Gold; wherefore also for their sake, the true Art of Alchemy is esteemed as an unprofitable Juggle. For it is a far other work to divide and sublime Gold than they fancy; to the operation of which I will now apply myself.
Take the Gold reduced by Mercury and distil it and there will distil a Water of Gold; which being done, the Air of Gold will distill, and when this is over, then will distil the bloody and splendid Fire of Gold; and the Earth, as the fourth Element, remains in the bottom. Which take and assate it gently upon a gentle Fire, and when it is assated, take the distilled Air and pour it upon the Earth, and circulate till you have conjoined the Air and Earth. Then distill, and the Earth will distill in the Belly of the Air, and be suspended in it. This is a great Mystery, that the Earth should be suspended in it. This is a great Mystery, that the Earth should be suspended in the Air, and almost incredible, unless it could be occularly demonstrated. Now take you Earth suspended in the Belly of the Air, and decoct it with Fire of Gold till it grow red, which is the great Elixir, which may be multiplied infinitely. O Wonderful nature! Who permits the Earth to be suspended in the Bosom of the Air, and also to inhabit with the Fire! Thou verily are wonderful, because thy Operations are wonderful. Hermes was very well acquainted with thee, when he said, Separate the Earth from the Fire, the thin from the Thick, sweetly, and with great ingenuity. It ascends from Earth to heaven, and again it descends to the Earth, and receives the Virtue of the Superiors and Inferiors; and so the world is created. This Praxis of mercury (which nevertheless is not that vulgar Mercury which is sold by the Apothecaries which the Alchymists so wonderfully Torture, but another) is very good, and not only the Understanding, but also to the Working of which I could wish that all Worthy and Pious persons might attain; for whose sake I will subjoin the following Praxis for their greater illumination in the said Mercurial Praxis.
The Second Praxis of Mars ~
Take Crocus Martis, not vulgar, but calcined, and made purple red by Spirit of (also not vulgar) Vitriol, and dissolve that Crocus in new Spirit will be very well Tinged; which decant, and circulate so long, till the tincture by the operation of the Spirit upon it, begins to be Volatile, then distill, and again pour the distilled water upon the remainder, reiterating and cohobating soften, till the Tincture ascend together with the Water, which is the Tincture of Mars extracted from the Earth of our Chalybs, which distill divers times by itself; then take what remains, out of which you have extracted the Martial Tincture, and calcine it gently, out of which so calcined by gentle Coction, by a certain Art extract the Salt, which purify very carefully, calcining, dissolving and distilling soften, till it is pure and passes into red, as the innate colour of this Martial Minera, and dissolve it in the said red Tincture, and put both into a glass Vessel very well closed, and decoct them both till they are fixed in a strong Fire. With this Tincture of Mars (circulated upon Gold) you must ferment, and again fix it; which if it be done thrice (namely fermented with the fermental Tincture) it will be a particular Elixir, whereof one part fixes 1500 parts of Venus into Sol.
The Third Praxis of the Fixed Body ~
Take the Fixed Body which you very well know (which must be very pure) and dissolved, put it presently to the Fire, and diligently the Phlegm, which cast away, and when a certain acid water distills, change the Receiver, and take it and when the Vessels are cool, pour this water again upon the remainder, and dissolve it in a warm heat; and when it is dissolved put it again presently to a distilling Fore, and distill first the Phlegm, which cast away (for this water in which the Body is dissolved, is like the Spirit of Wine, for it attracts a Watery Phlegm) and when the acid water distills, change the Receiver and take it, as you did before. Continue this work of cohobating and dephlegming for six times. Then take the Matter which is in the Vessel, and is very much corrupted, grind it subtly, and put it in a glass vessel, and sublime it by degrees of Fire, and put it in a glass vessel, and sublime it by degrees of Fire, and take this sublimed Mercury and dissolve it into Water with its own Water, and when you have this Water, take Luna finely laminated, and cast it into that Water; and when it is dissolved, distill the Water from the Luna, and what distills, pour again upon the remaining Silver, reiterating so often till you see the Luna turned into an Oil by Cohobation of this Water upon it. Then take this Oil and put it to the Water with which the Luna was turned into an Oil, and mix them both well, and put them into a strong Vessel strongly closed, and put it into Ashes, and digest 120 days till they are fixed into a white powder, which take and dissolve in the Oil with its Water; and when it is dissolved, digest it after the same manner as you did before, reiterating this Work so often, till this Powder flow like Wax, without fume. And here ii is to be noted, that after the Second Fermentation with the Oil, they are fixed in a shorter time.
And this Tincture tinges much Venus into Luna.
The Fourth Praxis of the Green Lyon ~
Take the Substance which in the first Book I named the Green Lyon, for that is our Gold, living, and green, of a Saline Nature, produced by Nature out of the pure Substance of the Elements. Dissolve and congeal this, so often reiterating, till it flows without fuming, which that it may be more easily brought to pass, this Gold in every Solution must be dissolved in its own Water. When this Gold flows as Wax, take it and dissolve it in that Water in which our glorious earth is resolved, and to very pound of Gold put half a pound of the glorious Earth dissolved in its own Water; and when the Gold is dissolved, digest it for 20 days in a warm place, and separated (the Feces which during the Circulation, fall to the bottom) by Decantation.
Then take this Liquor and put it into a Retort, and distill with a very gentle Fire as much as you can of the Phlegm; and when that it over, which you may discern by the taste, put out the Fire and cease Distillation, and when the Liquor is cold, weigh it, and if it weigh three pounds, take vulgar Gold, and make a red Calx of it after the Vulgar manner, and free it from all corrosives, dry it, and put it into a circulatory (0f this calx there must be half a Pound) and put to it the above said three pounds of Liquor. Then close the Vessel, and circulate in Balneo for 40 days, in which time you will see it will be all plainly resolved. Now distill, and what you distill, pour again upon what remains, reiterating till all what remains, be turned into Oil of a Golden Colour, thick and fat, which separate from its Feces by Decantation, and circulate it for 20 days, in which time it will become much Thicker and Fatter.
Of this one part tinges 200 parts of Luna into Gold. Because the glorious Earth is necessary to this process, and for the making of it, I have not given so particular a manner, I will also add the Praxis of this Divine Substance, for the sake of all those who seek this Art for the Honor of God, and the good of their Neighbor.
The Fifth Praxis of the Glorious Earth ~
Take the black Earth, which is also called Litharge, and put it into a Retort well luted, and distill it, and rectify well all which distils, then take the Caput Mortuum and powder it very well, for that is our black and obscure coloured Laton, which must be whitened, and its blackness taken from it, according to the Philosophers, who say, Wash Laton and tear your Books, lest your Hearts be broken.
Take therefore this Laton, and powder it in a glass Mortar, with a Pestle of the same mater, and when you have powdered it, assate it gently upon the Fire, then put it into a glass, and pour upon it that which you before distilled; then shut the glass and circulate the matter; and when it is circulated, distill it, and what you distill is Our mercury. Pour this again upon what remains, and digest, and then distill, and when all is distilled, increase the Fire, and our Glorious Earth will sublime, which is Our Fire subtilized, Our Sulphur and Our Diana, which being so prepared, burns Gold to Ashes, out of which is extracted the Aurum Potabile, whose use is very great in restoring lost Strength.
The Sixth Praxis ~
Take the Glorious Earth duly prepared, as much as you please, and calcine it gently, and put to this in weight of our Mercury, mix them well, then distill with a strong Fire, and urge as much as will ascend, and pour all which distills, upon the remaining part, and distill, and with a good strong Fire there will distill a thick, clear and gummy Liquor. Circulate this by itself 25 days; then rectify it by itself four times, the dephlegm it; and this is our Mercury triumphant, in which dissolve Gold, and by circulation make it an Oil, circulate this Oil till it be a dry matter. Imbibe this with the above said thick mercury and fix it, which reiterate three times. Then take this Mass, and separate it from the Feces, as well as may be, by Sublimation, and what sublimes, decoct and imbibe with our Triumphant Mercury, and fix it soften till it is fixed, flowing and Tinges. This way is short, and is very powerful in transmutation of Metals.
The Seventh Praxis of Cinnabar ~
Take red Cinnabar made of mercury Vive by means of Sulphur, Powder this very well, and pour upon it Spirit of Salt very well rectified two pounds, and mix them very well (and note, that in the mixing them, the glass will grow very hot, which heat comes from the Internal Sulphur and Mercurial Fire of the Cinnabar) then put it in Balneo and Circulate for a long time. Then distill, and pour all the Spirit of Salt which distills, again upon the Cinnabar, and distill again, reiterating so often, till the Spirit of Salt ascends very red as Blood, which distill gently in Balneo, and the Spirit of Salt will distill, but the Tincture of Cinnabar will remain, which keep, and pour the Spirit of Salt to the remaining Cinnabar again, and extract the Tincture as you did before, and if all the Mercurial Sulphur be so extracted out of the Cinnabar, and the Spirit of Salt also distilled from the Tinctures; then keep the Oil of Cinnabar, and pour again the Spirit of Salt to the remaining Cinnabar, and digest and distill at last with a strong Fire, and the Sublimed Mercury will distill like crystal; which dissolve in the Oil of Cinnabar, and mix both very well, and distill them into one red Liquor which is very precious.
The Eighth Praxis ~
Make a Spirit of Mercury Vive, and when you have well dephlegmed and rectified it, put it into a good strong glass, and put it to the Fire, and when the Spirit is warm, cast in a little of the Corporeal Mercury, so often till it becomes thick, then increase the Fire, and all will be dissolved, then decoct this mixture till it be dry; then take new Spirit of Mercury divers times; and if you now see your Mercury like a Rose in the bottom, then take this Mercury and powder it subtly, and put it into a glass firmly closed, and digest it 15 days with a good strong Fire; and you will perceive the matter to be fat; which circulate till it be again thin, then put it to the Fire, and separate the pure from the impure, and distill the pure, and there will distill a very subtle Spirit, and what remains, will be like Frogs’ Spawn, but whiter and more bright. Now take the thin and distilled Spirit, and pour it upon the remaining matter; digest, distill, and cohobate, till this thick Oil ascend together with the Thin Spirit, and when it is in the Receiver, it swims above the Spirit, and is bright as Crystal, which Separate, and circulate by itself; then distill it, and when it is distilled, circulate it upon Luna, and it will be a good work. This is what I have spoken particularly. But I hasten to what follows, which is the practical way of our Mercury upon the Calx of Sol and Luna.
Temperate Water ~
Take our Glorious Earth, which being calcined, circulate with our mercury, distilling till they become one Water, bright and clear, which is the Temperate Water.
The Use of the Temperate Water ~
Take Gold and amalgamate it with Mercury, and evaporate the Mercury, and calcine the remaining Gold, and edulcorate, till it becomes a very spongy Powder, and purple red; which put into a circulatory, and pour upon it a sufficient quantity of Temperate Water, and work it by circulation, Distillation and cohobation till the Gold remains in the bottom in form of a viscid Calx, and separate the superfluous water. Now when this Calx is prepared, the Praxis is to be ordered in the following manner: Take of this Golden Calx and our Earth, both being very well powdered; put to it drop after drop, grinding it, much Mercury as you see is sufficient, which you may easily see; then take this matter and put it into a glass Vessel and circulate 20 days, then take it out and put it in Sand, and distill our Mercury from the Calxes; and that which ascends after the Mercury in form of a Crystalline Powder, take and put to what remains, and dissolve it in Mercury, and distill, and it will sublime which again put to what remains, and circulate, and distill, and there will remain the Glorious Earth of our Gold and of our Earth, conjoined by virtue of the Natural Fire, which take and reduce by our Mercury into a Tincture.
Thus far, Friendly Reader, by the Divine Grace I am come; and have, with a willing mind, instructed thee by divers Praxes to make our Golden, Famous and so celebrated Stone, by which also, if thou be ingenious, thou will see what advantage you may receive from them; and how difficult and Herculean a Work it is to come at. But that I may conclude this little Treatise, I will first advise thee to study to know these three principal things:
First, that you know the true Matter, which is only one Matter, out of which all our practical ways must be performed. This matter lurks everywhere, and in all things, and for that reason it is called the Central Salt of all things:
Take this while it may yet properly be called an undetermined Hyle and Hidden Salt.
Secondly, in the mixtion it is to be noted that the water must predominate over the Body; for the necessity the Body must first be dissolved in its water, and turned into water, before the Body can corporify the water, and which verily must be done with very great caution, by little and little dissolving the Earth; for the Earth is weak in the beginning, and if you suffocate it with its water, there will ensue a Sea of Confusion.
Thirdly, and lastly, the Regimen of the Fire must be observed, which must be sometimes gentle, sometimes strong, sometimes temperate, sometimes subtle and vaporous, according to the Operation of the Operative Matter. The knowledge of this Regimen is a great Secret, which above all things the Artist must know, if he desires the wished end; Which from the bottom of my Heart I wish to all who are Worthy, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I have in my two preceding Tracts so manifestly declared that Art which was kept so secret by the Ancient Philosophers, that they would not reveal it, even to their own Sons; both as to Theory and Practice: That any Man of a common Capacity, imploring first Divine Assistance and Blessing, may easily apprehend it.
In the first place it is most necessary to understand the Nature of the matter, which the Artist worked upon, and its Purities and Impurities, and Active and Passive Virtues.
He who knows these will attain his desired end; For in the right Knowledge thereof consists the true Practice.
These I intend to reveal to all those who do not already know it, But yet with such Philosophical Caution, that the Readers hereof may not with unwashed hands touch these sacred Mysteries, which Almighty God from the Creation of the World to this day has not revealed to any but his faithful Servants.
There are therefore Two chief Principles to be considered, namely Air and Fire, as an Agent, and Earth and Water as a Patient.
Of these four, two of which are only Visible, is made our Mercury, which is a perfect Creature, for it contains the Four Elements.
And here it is to be observed that Water and Earth are manifest to sight, and Fire and Air are hidden, which is to be understood of the gross Matter. But when they are circulated by the Philosophical Wheel, the Fire and Air are made manifest, which is the Philosophical Mercury White and Red.
For in our Matter are Two Things, namely Purities and Impurities; the Impurities are superficial, and must be separated being Feces which naturally adhere to the Matter. And if they are not well separated, the Fire cannot operate upon the Water, not the Air upon the Earth; but pure Qualities act one upon the other. The Fire upon the Water, and the Air upon the Earth, and not separately, but altogether. For the Air cannot act upon the Earth without the Mediation of the Two others; namely Fire and Water, and in like manner it is to be understood of the others.
But our Water is not common Water, not our Fire common Fire, for no Man is so senseless as to think that Water and Fire can be united. But our Water is of a Celestial Nature, and therefore our Fire loves it.
The same is to be understood of the two others, namely Air and Earth; Vulgar Earth is leprous, and abounds with Excrements, but our Earth is Crystalline Green, and therefore it is called Green Gold. And our Air is unctuous and therefore contains Fire.
The Air impregnated with Fire, is Celestial and Solar, and therefore has the Virtue of illuminating all Bodies, and of fixing and exalting their Souls, of which all Philosophers have spoken, saying, In Mercury is all that the Wise Men seek. For in it are all the Four Elements in the highest Purity, and that is all the Philosophers have desired. Hence it most clearly appears, that the Matter of our Mercury is a perfect Body, and contains all things which are under the Sphere of the Moon, that is to say, it contains all things potentially; for it contains the Essences of all things, and therefore is the first Matter of all Things.
Out of this Matter purified (for it abounds with Feces) and duly prepared, and if I may say so, made Spiritual, is prepared our Mercury, yet this Matter in its first appearance is not so pure (although it be potentially perfect) and yet notwithstanding all the parts of our Stone are hidden in it, and it is not apparent to sight, so that it cannot show its Virtue, made by an ingenious Artists, so that it may become the Mercury of the Philosophers.
If it be thus prepared it has the Virtue to vivify, illuminate and exalt dead gold, into the highest degree of Tincture, which no other matter in the World can do. And here apprehend us right, were I call it a perfect Body, not because it is by nature brought to a complete Perfection, but because all Perfection does both inchoate and end in it, and gave it Power and Virtue to exalt Gold Radically, according to the Will and Pleasure of the Omnipotent who created it For if it were not more perfect than Gold, how could our Mercury extracted from it, exalt Gold?
Here it may be perceived that they all incur error, who endeavor to make Philosophical Gold our of Minerals, and imperfect Metals, as Vulgar Mercury, Sulphur or Antimony. These are not perfect bodies, because the Fire destroys them, and Gold itself is not by nature made so perfect, but that it may be destroyed either by Fire, Water, Air or Earth; therefore Gold need to exalt its Virtue.
This is that Miraculous Substance which contains all Things. This is that Crystalline Mercury always current, to which no Creature is altogether like: for in this, the Forms of Bodies do ascend and descend, as on a Ladder.
This is sometimes green, whose spirit if it be set at Liberty from its bonds, will reveal all the Essence, which before lay hid in the Center. But these are secrets to be revealed to none, of which I dare not speak further.
I have somewhat deviated from my purpose, which was rather to explain the Agent and the Patient, the male and the Female, the moist and the dry, which are Water and Earth in their Crudity, the two principle Pillars of our Glorious mercury, must of necessity be perfected out of these two, namely out of the humid and dry nature. The Male and the Female, one must operate upon the other, so that the operation being finished, they might both become one again.
And consequently that which was before of a lower form, is exalted and made our Mercury, clear and transparent, but how difficult this operation is, I will hereafter show.
The Earth laying in the bottom and purified, is subject to the continual operation of the water upon it, wcih when it once ascends on high, again it descends to the Bottom by drops, and by gentle Rarefaction is at last coagulated.
At first it appears dry, then moist and viscous, then coloured like the Chameleon, which if it be acted upon, by the heat of a Bath, the Earth breaks and sublimes into a Water like Silver, which is our Glorious Mercury. This is the Star of the Wise Men, which being corrupted with the fiery Water, affords the Glorious Earth, which Wise Men call Diana.
But for the better understanding of this it is to be observed, that in this Earth called the Green Lion, when it is purified, the form of Water is manifested, namely the Soul, which is the Philosophers Sol, and when the time of operation is over, both of them come forth, the Fire of the Water, and the Air of the Earth.
For then their Occult becomes manifest, as above said, for the Water is appropriated to the earth, as above said, for the Water is appropriated to the Earth, hence the Air of the Earth stirs up the Fire of the Water, which before by reason of cold was almost extinguished.
And therefore it is that Fore doth not appear in crude Water; For the Water imprisons it, as the Blood encloses the Vital Spirit.
This Water is fat as a Subtle Oil, and therefore may be coagulated by the Earth, for this was Water before, and therefore s friendly to Water as abovesaid. And here you may observe the difference between Vulgar and Philosophical Waters; but the common Man does not understand the Power of Nature, and therefore he always errs.
This Water I have in my first Part called the Spirit of the Rock; and it is truly Rocky and Stony, and is coagulated into the Stone of the Wise Men.
Hence the mistake of all those who work in the Vulgar Waters and Spirits, is easily discerned; For these cannot be coagulated, though many do affirm that they may; but how learned these Doctors are, every day’s Experience shows.
Hence I understand that Water which in the Second Part I call Dew Water, Spirit of Wine, (whose phlegm distilled first) the Oil of Nature, the Spirit of Honey, the Crystalline and clear Mercury; this Water I have said is coagulated by the Earth, and by and with it is converted into a higher form.
Here something is to be observed of which very may take no Notice. This Water when it is often distilled, and is made clear and Crystalline doth then leave behind it a White Earth, which before left a red one, and if it has come thus far, then this Water is highly exalted in its property of easily coagulating, and the Colours in the Operation will sooner appear; because it is not so crude as it was before, for the continuance of the Colours proceed from the from the Crudity of the Matter and though it be distilled, yet it is in some sort Mature. For even distribution does Maturate, although it elevated it, which the Chymists will not believe. For Maturation does not differ much from Purification, and pure things approach more to maturity than impure things, which the Vulgar also Know, though they are not Philosophers, and yet in this Art, it is a great secret, and the Learned Doctors do often seem to say the contrary, and from hence it happens that the sayings of philosophers are understood by few.
I have in some measure described the matter and its parts, namely Water and Earth, of which the operation of our Mercury consists, now I will proceed to the Secret Operations which occur in the practice.
Water and Earth must be conjoined, namely the Spirit, Soul and Body; these three which are involved in dark Feces must be purified, but this is rather a Regeneration.
For the Earth must be Crystalline and flowing, the Soul Tingeing and resplendent, and the spirit serene and freed from all spots, but to arrive thus far is a difficult point.
The Intention of the Artist in this case, ought to be directed to this end that the may make the Water dissolve the Earth, so that the Power of this one may be overcome by the other, namely that the Water may convert the Earth into its own nature.
This is the best Operation for by this means the power of the Earth is augmented by the Virtue of the Water, that it may be the better coagulated.
But here it is to be observed, that this is an operation more difficult than the rest, which the Ancient Philosophers called the Conversion of the Elements, and said that in it consisted all the Art.
Verily it is difficult to operate with the Elements, yet the Philosophers have proceeded so far, that even in their Glasses they can make a Coagulation of the Elements in this Praxis of the body is the Agent, though it be dissolved into water, for in this Solution the power of the Earth is set free from its Bonds, and acts upon the Water, for no Water fan better be coagulated than that into which the power of the Earth is introduced, which is plain and evident.
Hence it is that in every Conversion of the Elements, this Practical Operation must always be observed, which proceeds the real Transmutation of both, namely of the Earth and Water, as we have said, only that the power of the dissolving Water, may wholly contain the dissolved Earth.
So that before the real Transmutation there may be made a Solution per Minima and this is a great secret known to very few, particularly to those who know not the Philosophical Dissolution, and operation before the Transmutation.
Here are three things to be noted, first that the Earth must be light and porous, and light and not compact and solid; for so the Water doth better enter it with its subtle humidity and restores the Virtue, which was lost by Calcination, and augments the innate heat, in a light, insensible and friendly way.
Secondly, that the Earth must be dry and the superfluous humidity, dulling the natural heat must be well extracted from the earth by various solutions and Coagulations, for these humidities hinder the coagulating Virtue. And both these Operations must preceed the Solution.
Thirdly, above all, care must be taken in the solution of the Earth when the same be dissolved gently per Minima, with a long trituration, so that the virtue of the Water does not too suddenly lay hold on the Virtue of the Earth, for the Earth is weakened by divers Calcinations and purifications, even to Death; hence proceeds a subtle Error of many in this difficult solution, in which it must be observed, that they do not debilitate the Virtue of the Earth by Addition of too much Water, and make a sea of confusion, a Pelagus Contserbationis.
This is what I have to say of Solution.
Now I will speak of Transmutation.
It is known that the dry elements mixed per Minima, with the humid, are easily altered and corrupted, for they are of one and the same nature, the Male and the Female, the one acts upon the other, the Earth upon the Water, coagulating the Water into earth, lifting the same up by a contrary operation, by means of External Fire.
Here the Seed of the Earth mixes itself with the Seed of the Water, so as they can never be separated, for the seeds do here operate so long till they are overwhelmed with the darkness of the night and are inspissated into a Viscous Glue, whose Superficies are of a green and livid colour, as the signs of a sick and languishing Complexion, for it is the beginning of Alteration.
Here the Spirit of the Volatile substance endeavors to free the Spirit of the Green Soul from its Corporeal Prison, and to join itself with it.
Here the Body so far as it is able resists the Spirit (least this Volatile and insatiable Enemy should devour its soul) and carries it into the Black Prison; for if this soul be freed from the body, then Blackness appears not in the Work, it is a sign that the soul which lies hid in the Body, is not set at Liberty nor dissolved; for that is the Medium which conjoined the Spirit, Soul and Body, and causes one to have Ingress into the other.
For it is the Workman of Nature, and as long as the soul lies hidden in the Inward parts of the Body, it cannot become a Medium of conjoining the Spirit with the Body.
Here give good heed, that you may amend this error, if you happen to commit it, but this Body is Salt, this Soul lies therein enclosed, for it that which must hold together, namely the Spirit, Body and Soul, and cause that one have ingress into another; but if this is not done, there is no Conjunction, which is like Black Pitch. In this Salt is also the Tincture which is not dissolved, but in this soul, hence it is called Putrefaction, but only a solution of the splendor.
For Salt cannot be putrefied, therefore the putrefaction of the Philosophers is described after such wonderful manner, as that it is an Alteration into a better form.
Salt may be altered by the Fire of the living Water, which is the way to the Alteration of it.
Therefore also it is not to be wondered at, that when our Water is joined with our Earth, both of them are never at rest, but change from one Complexion to another, from one Colour to another, namely, White, Red, and Black, and infinite other Colours, which alterations ceases not until they come to a Resurrection, and become much more powerful in Virtue than they were before, because when they are altered, they renew themselves to much greater strength, therefore Resurrection is not a new Creation but only an Exaltation. I have described this operation practically and largely enough in the preceding Books, which Lully has delivered so obscurely, and that not without reason; for it is the Key of the Work as he confuses in his Codicil and Testament, and that he had revealed to him by his Master.
But not only Lully has hidden it, but also Ripley, and infinite other philosophers being overly envious, and so not willing to reveal so great a Treasure, lest Pearls should be cast before Swine. Verily I know none amongst them all that has so freely opened it with all its circumstances as I have.
For the Ancient and Modern Philosophers were as void of Charity as they were abounding in Riches.
You may abundantly see the Manuductions to this practice, in the first Praxis of the Second Book, of the Masculine Earth of Salt (rather Sol) and water of Dew. Also in the seventh Praxis, of the vegetable Body of the Minera of Saturn, also in the praxis of the glorious Mercury, of the Vegetable, Animal and Mineral body, and the Rock Water. Also in the eighth Praxis, of Sugar, and the Spirit of Honey.
But most clearly in the Second Chapter in the Second Book, of the Serene Crystalline Mercury and Calcined Gold, in which every searcher may most clearly see the Solution of the Body in its Water, per Minima, and its Transmutation into another Nature, and also its full Exaltation together with its Water into the Mercury of the Philosophers.
Therefore this principal operation of our mercury being known, it is also necessary that the Earth and Water, out of which such operation must proceed, be exactly known, and from whence they must be had, for these being unknown, the solution cannot be accomplished. I have said above that there is one Matter out of which our Mercury is extracted, which is divided into two parts, namely Water and earth by distillation. See this Praxis in the Second Book, in the Fifth Praxis, where our matter is mixed with Vitriol Calcined, as a Medium whereby the Water may better leave the Earth.
Also in the Sixth Praxis, of Urine. Also in the Ninth Praxis, of the Minera of the Red Earth. And in the Second Chapter of the said booking the Eighth Praxis of the Spirit of mercury, with all requisite Manuductions, are perfectly taught.
The Earth and Water being now had, it is necessary first that both be purified; the Water is purified by seven or more Distillations, and is circulated afterwards into a Quintessence of the First Order. See this Operation in the Fifth Praxis, Book Two, of the Salt of Saturn, where the Water is rectified. Also in the Praxis of Urine were it is seven times distilled, also in the First Praxis of the Second Chapter in the Second Book, of the Mercury, where this Water is seven times sublimed in a long time, and freed from its Corrosive and Phlegmatic Excrements. This Water so prepared in our precedent Book, is called the Spirit of Mercury Vive — Spirit of Salt, Spirit of Vitriol, Crystalline and serene Mercury, Spirit of Honey, the Water of the Rock containing the Soul of the Elements, Aqua Vitae, of Red Wine, Dew Water, etc.
But as to the Earth, that is purified by Calcinations and Separations, by means of the Natural Agent, for it must be calcined, digested, made fluid, and reduced into a Porousness and Redness, which are verily difficult Operations, the Praxis of which see in the Second Book, Second Praxis, of Calx Vive, where this Earth is calcined to a redness by a dry Fire, the Praxis of which see in the4 Second Book, Praxis of Calx Vive, where this Earth is calcined to a redness, by a dry Fire. Also in the Third Praxis, of the Salt of Tartar, where the earth is calcined into a Porousness. Also in Second Chapter of the Second Book, in the Praxis of Mercury, where the Earth is amalgamated with the Water and is so often dried till the Nature of the Water be sufficiently introduced into it. Also in the Praxis of the Green Lyon, where the Earth is soften dissolved and purified, till it flows like Wax.
This Earth in our Book is called Salt, Red Cinnabar, the Green Lyon, Crocus Martis, Gold, White Sugar Candy, Mercury — the Vegetable Body from the Minera of Saturn, Salt of Tartar, Calx Vive, etc.
This operation of the Earth is difficult and Secret and must be performed before the Water be joined with it to make our Mercury. The Operation of which, the Searcher has here openly discovered to him, and may easily accomplish, unless he be an Artist of a dull Capacity.
Although the pure Earth be joined with the pure Water, per Minima, and transmuted into an higher Form, yet our Mercury wants still another Operation to its Perfection. For after the Black and White Colours are past over, the matter must be sublimed and separated from some more subtle Excrements; namely from those which were not separated in the former operations.
This operation you may see, passing in the Practices of the first and second Book, then our Mercury will be prepared.
But before I proceed further, I will reveal a great Secret. Our actuated before it be joined with the earth, must be prepared into a Quintessence, namely, as it must be blue, green unctuous and ponderous, and not miscible with common Water. This admirable secret lurks in Vitriol and Urine; for the Golden Seed is in the Vitriol, and the mercurial in Urine. Hence these two have great Affinity. Here take notice that the Philosophers do frequently say nothing but their uintessence circulated for a long time, mixes itself with Gold bodies, as I have said above. This liquor thus circulated with Gold bodies, as I have said above. This liquor thus circulated abounds with a soul of an Earthly substance, therefore the Earth does easily admit it. For after both are mixed, the Earth which before was hard black and light and porous is now become fluid, white and heavy, and compact and of most easy sublimation.
And here note that as often as this Liquor is sublimed with the Earth, so often it is made more subtle and Vehement in Operation: So that no liquor in the whole Mineral Kingdom is so subtle and Vehement: and which is wonderful it is scarce discerned in the Glass wherein it is, by reason of the Fire which it carries in its belly, and therefore fixes everything with which it is mixed.
I should say more of this glorious substance, if it were lawful to cast Pearls before Swine. All mankind loves nothing more than Gold, and since that comes now in my way, I will teach the way of making it, out of the baser Metals: which making many have called transmutation, and that rightly, for it is a Transmutation of a baser form into a better, without hurting those things which make the Tincture, for where light is introduced, Darkness ceases, therefore these three things are to be considered, viz., the Confection, the Transmutation and Introduction.
The ancient Philosophers out of a zealous Piety and Charity made light accomp of this Operation, searching a Medicine healthful to mankind, which is quite contrary to men of our age, for God is their Idol, and they despise Spiritual Treasures, as the rest of the World do.
The Mercury of the Philosophers being now very well prepared, rectified and glorified (for it also needs Glorification) and the Glorious Earth being in the same manner prepared they must be mixed accordingly to the proportion of Nature with the souls of Gold by divers operations, in a long time, till all thicken as may be seen in the first and second Book; then take this Matter (for in it lies all which is necessary to this Work) and Work it till it grows fulgent as a Pearl — Then decoct it to blackness with a gentle and moderate Fire, then into Whiteness, first passing through other colours (which I will not here mention being sufficiently described in other Books) and lastly into Redness.
Work this Stone imbibing it by little and little with the Soul of the Gold, till it be absolutely perfect, red and fulgent.
This operation is plainly described in the first and second Books, and therefore I will not here describe it more plainly, since I have done it already; not for the sake of such as love Gold, and of those whose Heaven is in this present life, but for the sake of good men and well deserving in this Art, and of those whose Treasures lies no in the Things of this World, but in things spiritual and Celestial expecting the last coming of one Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I have been more prolix in this Discourse than I intended and therefore O will hasten to a Conclusion — but a fear I make music to the Deaf, for in this Age the World is Governed by Opinion. So many men, so many opinions, which many times are as absurd, as impossible: so that some affirm the White to Black, and yet these are the great Doctors, and wise Philosophers, and oftentimes the Expounders and Commentators of the Adepts.
Vain Ostentation! And foolish Ignorance of Man! O miserable and empty Philosophers, fit to be banished and excluded from the Conversation of Men, and these are to be shunned more than poison for they are the Corrupters of true Natural Philosophy, but enough of these Men.
Now I will speak of Urine and Vitriol, in which that so much wonderful secret of our Quintessence lies hid; which few know, and very many will not believe, for it is hidden by Divine Providence, lest the Ignorant and Vulgar should know it as well as the Wise men.
Vitriol is a salt, which (not without weighty Consideration) is taken into the Composition of the Quintessence; For it is a Salt of the Nature of Fire, full of Tincture, Red and White, and often black, persevering in the Fire, of a Vegetable Nature, and therefore it is green and yields a green Tincture in Vinegar. Such is our Vitriol, much different from common Vitriol, whose qualities are not so noble and powerful, nor so fixed and Tingeing as the qualities of this Golden Vitriol.
For it as so wonderful a Tincture as is scarce credible, because of the great Projection, which it makes upon Venus which it turns into pure Gold.
This is such a Tingeing Substance as none in the world is equal to it; this Vitriol is found everywhere, and is of most vile price: It is sold everywhere, and no Creature can live without it; for in it is shut up that ethereal Nectar, the nutritive Substance of all things, and here also fixed, that it therefore may operate so much the stronger. Behold now I have clearly described it, and if you do not apprehend me, you ought to confess yourself ignorant, because the Description of this substance is so clear.
This Vitriol as I have said, has a golden seed, therefore it is green to the sight in Virtue, and therefore called the Vegetable Saturnia: This Greenness is visible till it is set at liberty from its Bonds: For when it is set free it is red and no longer green and consequently more perfect.
This red spirit is the principal part of our Quintessence, for all that is fixed Volatile and dissolved by it (the Fifth Essence) is done by this circulated Spirit. Reader, if you know it keep it secret, for it is the first step to our secret Fountain, and if this green and red Spirit of Vitriol, be unknown, this Fountain is not found.
As to what concerned Urine, I will make no large description of it, for all men know what Urine is, yea boys and girls know how to discourse of it.
This substance which now I call Urine, because it is so vile, and to be found everywhere, and is on the power of all, therefore it is lightly esteemed.
But if Men knew the Virtue and Power of this Urine, they would seek it to the end of the Worlds. Therefore wise Men knowing its inward fiery and hot, and its outward cold and moist qualities, have called it by the name of Urine of Saturn, and this not without weighty reason, which it is not lawful to reveal to the unworthy. Therefore Geber, speaking of Sulphur has partly hinted these Noble qualities which Urine contains, says: —
By the Most High God it is that which illuminates every Body, and it is a Light from a Light and Tincture.
Verily these are Weighty Words, which do show the splendour, Light and Tincture of this Urine. For it is known to Vulgar Chymists, that out of the Urine, common to Men and Beasts (which nevertheless differs much from the Urine of Saturn ) that lucid Liquor called Phosphorus is prepared; and why should not out of Urine (which inwardly is almost wholly fiery) be prepared this lucid and splendent Salt, by the Philosophers commonly called Diana.
This lucid Salt in our Quintessence is of so great Efficiency, that it vivifies and illuminates dead Gold, this Salt before its preparation is merely phlegmatic, stinking and black (for Urine putrefies grows black) but after its preparation and fiery circulation it is sweet smelling, most white, flowing and splenent;sometimes also it viscous as Oil (but selfdom) for then it is brought to the highest degree of perfection, and hitherto few have attained to it. This Oil when it is distilled, gives a Light, and swims upon the Quintessence, and is endowed with so much purity and subtlety, that it can scarce be separated from our Glorious Liquor. But is is separated by a gentle abstraction of the Quintessence, leaving this subtle Oil in the bottom of the Cucurbit, which must be once more rectified, that it may become more pure.
This Oil has wonderful Effect in Transmutation upon Mercury, for it easily flows, and is of most subtle Penetration.
These things lie hid in Urine, a subject to vile and despicable, Secret of our Quintessence lies hid: For this liquor participates of both Natures, the Sulphureous and Mercurial part.
These are those two Substances, which in my foregoing Books I called Sulphur and Mercury, and without which nothing is performed in the Work.
Study therefore to know these for they are the Roots of the Physical Works, and now I will conclude this discourse.
Study very diligently what I have said scatteringly in these three little Tracts, namely to know the force of nature, its active and passive power, and lastly to know thyself. These are the principal materials of this Art, which if you take for you Foundation, you will work well; for knowing the force of Nature, you will know the possibility; Knowing the Operation, you will know the theory; Knowing the Active and passive Power, you will know the Practice: And knowing yourself, you will find all which you seek for,
These are the Mirrors in which you will see all Things Sublunarly, and believe me upon my word, unless these be your Foundations you will find nothing. For they are the way which leads to the Castle of Wisdom: Behold they are difficult ways for Wordlings, into which it will be impossible for them to enter. Hence comes the small number of Adepts, and multitudes of false Philosophers, for the former overcome the difficulty with humility, and become Victors, the latter with prided contend for lighter things and are overcome.
Therefore pray unto God the Creator, who is Almighty and Merciful, and will not forsake thee, if thou art of a good heart and mind, and will assuredly prosperity undertaking.