THE GLAIVE OF MARS
Before you are three crosses that represent the triple Mercury, which contains threefold the four elements of nature. You will dig in the virgin adamic earth with the tip of this glaive, which is the iron born of the same earth, and you will plant the glaive therein, which is the triple fire of Hermes. You will turn it into the philosophical steel by quenching it with the permanent water. The tip of the glaive is of gold and fire. Carefully observe the philosophical tree, whose root is a saturnian fruit, the apple of sulphur, containing the sulphurous Saturn-Mars (here in the form of symbols) and recalling Venus (here in symbolic form) by its vitriolic flowers. You will imitate the figure of the world and that of the egg and you will hatch the dry earth from the moist earth. These are the two methods, which must not be confused, but must be united and in whose use you cannot err. The hen will sit on her egg for forty days, in her nest of dung and she will lift up her wings little by little, becoming white-coloured, and then bloodletting like the pelican. Thus, you will angle for the two fishes of running water, and you will feed them to the crow, which will become the white swan.
There are two green dragons that devour one another and that become one, and there is a tree whose root is watered with fire. There is a fire which is an earth and a water, yet the earth is not earth, it is a stone, and if it is not a stone it is a metal, and yet it is not a metal. We must grind it and decoct it without burning it, for there is coldness in winter and it hides in the cave or becomes valiant like Job. But you will gather its leprosity with the philosophical test and you will put it in the cask of the vintage of Mars. The batch will ferment and you will first obtain the white salt of tartar, which will change into cream of white wine, then from the dregs, sprinkled drop-by-drop with the milk of the vine, you will extract the red blood. From the new wine, you will mix and marry the two serpents and decoct the green dragon by the fire of the lamp of Hermes until it becomes black, then white, then citrine, then red; this done, you will marry the new red with the preserved portion of the first white in the same manner as in the beginning and in the proportion of three moons for one sun, and you will obtain ten from one, a hundred from ten, a thousand from a hundred, ten thousand from a thousand and one hundred thousand from ten thousand. Thus, may God help you, and you will achieve victory with the glaive of Mars.
The sheath that you see depicted in this tableau, offers the most faithful image of your ditch, there lives the pelican, swan of earth and water; the lyon is the hilt, and the pommel, the work… The nest of the pelican, dung-built, the crow that changes into a quite pure dove, and of a network of iron, the globe surrounded, hiding the great secrets of art and nature.