In conclusion, I wish to say to you that the entire Art stands as a recognition of current materials and their solution. He who knows both of these ideas knows the secret of the entire Art. But for greater facility, less trouble, and lower costs, seldom can be found or understood, for the Art will then be absolutely so easy, as philosophers say, that it is a woman’s work and children’s play, and also we need nothing more than fire and nitrogen, and this is the material which is the same as the gold of the philosophers, as I have already previously described in sufficient detail, through natural preservation; what is, will be. The operations of this Art, however, involve calcinations, putrefaction, solution, distillation, coagulation, and preparation of the tincture, with the operations of coagulation and putrefaction covering a period of  40-42 days, before the blackness appears, and then solution in 70 days, whereupon it appears white. Coagulation and Fixation occur in 120 days, and thereupon the product becomes completely white, i.e., it is the finished tincture which after 40 days becomes quite stable to fire. At that point a redness appears, so that approximately 3 months and a few days are required for this work, which is then augmentation initially of 10 parts, the second of 100 parts, and the third of 1000 parts, and gradually by another 10 times greater through solution and coagulation with acrid water.

“The Transmutation Of Base Metals Into Gold And Silver” by Beuther, 1570

It appears by all that hath been said, and by the undoubted Testimony of all Philosophers who have been Eye-witnesses to this Truth, that the work is not so tedious, nor so chargeable, but that in the simple way of Nature the Mastery is to be attained: for when once the true body is Impasted with its true Leven, it doth calcine it self, and dissolve it self for the dissolution of the Body into a black and changeable coloured Water, which is the sign of the egression of the Tincture, is the Congelation of the Spirits into this lowest Period of Obscurity, which is this black Powder like unto Lamp-Black, this is the Complement of Eclipsation, which Contrition begins soon after the Colours, Yellowish, Blewish, etc.

This Calcination begins with these Variation in Colour about the two and fortieth day, of fiftieth at the farthest, in a good Regimen: After which comes putrefying Corruption, like to the Scum of boiling bloody Broath or melted Pitch; but Blackness in part, to wit, Superficial, begins about the fortieth day after the stirring up of the matter, in case of right Progress and Regimen of the Fire, or about the fiftieth at farthest. But this drowning of him in his own Poyson, and stewing him in his own Broath, is the intire Blackness and Cimmerian utter Darkness of compleat Rottenness, which according to the Author, is for the space of eighty four days. This time is not certainly agreed upon by Authors: But in this they all agree, they prescribe so long time until the Complement. One writes, That this Blackest Black indures a long time, and is not destroyed in less than five months. Another writes, That the King when he enters into his Bath pulls off his Robe, and gives it to Saturn, from whom he receives a Black Shirt, which he keeps forty two days: And indeed it is two and forty days before he put on this Black Shirt instead of his Golden Robe, that is, be destroyed as touching his Solary Qualities, and become instead of Fixt, Citrine, Terrene, and Solid, a Fugitive, Black, Spiritual, Watery, and Flegmatic Substance: But Putridness begins not till the first Forms be put off; for so long as the Body may be reduced into its former Nature, it is not yet well ground and imbibed: grind therefore and imbibe, till thou see the Bodies to become no Bodies, but a Fume and Wind, and then circulating for a season, thou shalt see them settle and putrifie.

Saturn then will hold the Earth, which is Occidental, Retentative and Autumnal, in the West; then proceed to the North, where Mercury holdeth the Water, where the Matter is Watery and Flegmatick, as it is Winter, and the North expulsive. But they who divide the Operation into Saturn’s Rule, and after him succeeding Jupiter, ascribe to Saturn the whole of Putridness, and to Jupiter the time of variety of Colours. After Jupiter, who holds but twenty or two and twenty days, comes Luna, the third Person, bright and fair, and she holds twenty good days, sometimes two over and above: In this Computation it is good to count from the fortieth or fiftieth day of the first beginning of the Stone, to the fourteenth or sixteenth day of Jupiter’s Reign, wherein in the washing of Laton there is still Blackness, though mixed with variety of gay Colours, which amounteth to the sum of days allowed by the Author in Putrifaction, to wit, Eighty four days. Accounting intire Blackness, with Augurellus, after four times eleven days and nights, which make four and forty: Or, according to another Philosopher, which saith, In the first Fifty Days there appears the True Crow, and after it in Threescore and Ten Dayes the White Dove; and after in Fourscore and Ten Days the Tyrian Colour.

I shall add my own Sentence: Mix thy two Natures well, and if thy matter be pure, both the Body, and the Water, and the internal Heat of thy Bath as it ought to be, and the external Fire gentle, and not violent; yet so that the Matter may circulate, the Spiritual Nature on the Corporal, in six and forty or fifty days expect the beginning of intire Blackness; and after six and fifty days more, or sixty, expect the Peacocks Tayl, and Colours of the Rainbow; and after two and twenty days more, or four and twenty, expect Luna perfect, the Whitest White, which will grow more and more glorious for the space of twenty days, or two and twenty at the most: After which, in a little more increased Fire, expect the Rule of Venus for the space of forty days, or two and forty; and after it the Rule of Mars two and forty days more; and after him the rule of Sol flavus forty days, or two and forty: And then in a moment comes the Tyrian Colour, the sparkling Red, the fiery Vermilion, and Red Poppy of the Rock.

“An Exposition upon Sir George Ripley’s Vision”, by Philalethes 1677

This Operation, saith Flammel, is not perfected in less then Five Months; and the Colours of the Compound are dark, obscure, waterish, and a length black like Pitch; in which blackness the Body is rotted into Atoms; which intire blackness, and height of corruption last but 2 or 3 days; and therefore saith Ripley in his Epistle, the third day he shall arise; the same saith Dastin in his Rosary, where he allows four days for Putrefaction: The same saith Efferarius the Monk in his intire Treatise published with Dastin; However, the whole time of blackness, in coming, continuing, and going away, is 150 days, although the Sun begins to appear in 130 days, if you work aright. This I have added for the sake of many who expect black of the blackest in 40 or 50 days, mistaking Flammel herein; who saith, the colour must be black of the blackest, and like to the colour of the Dragons in 40 days, which Dragons were blackish, blewish, and yellowish, which colours shew that the Matter begins to rot into Atoms; which rottenness is not perfected in less than 150 days. (so as to let the Sun appear in its Rays;) First in a small Circle of Heir of a whitish Citrine; which increaseth, and changeth hue day by day, till whiteness be fully completed.

“A Commentary Upon Sir George Ripley’s Recapitulation”, by Philalethes 1677″

Prepare this substance to dissolve with fire From whence three things at once by heat will rise Of which three pints the Wise men did desire To which they put a Salt congealed like ice And then these four things did distill again Whence Salt with Oil dissolved did rise with rain. Fire natural with Seed of Gold in Oil Remains below which we dry up to dust In out Athanor we continually boil Which dry Clay moisten often times we must For oft we grind, imbibe, bury and dry In which the Stone doth kindly putrify. This Lead dissolve like butter somewhat soft, Dissolve in Balneo what will thence arise. When fire of Sand will rise two fumes aloft A White, and Red, called Arsenick of the Wise. The Faeces black, calcine in fire you may Till they be White or else look somewhat Grey. In thirteen weeks this Earth thou White shall see Wherein three parts of water knit shall be These fixed Bodies volatile shall be If this first Water on again you put To cover it in a small quantity Digest in sand on night the head on shut. In Balneo distil the water weak away But volatile with fixed Salt will stay Continue this till Water loose his might And that the Earth increased be threefold, By heat sublime, comes Sal Armoniack bright More richer far than any Indian Gold. This White leaved Earth, divide it into two And in one part the Soul again must grow This Soul is Arsenic which likewise divide From greatest part sever, the white from Red Into fixed Oils with fire let them be fried Which are the Lights, true Leavens for our Bread. For when the Soul and Body be made on These are the Lights which must ferment our Stone The foliate earth which did behind remain Dissolve in bath and make our Virgin Milk The which must feed our Infant born again Till be he strong to wear a suit of silk. Then with our Gold and Silver set in order Let him be guarded with an Orient border.

“Certain Chemical Works” by Nowell, 1445

Four Elements: Fire, Air, Water, Earth — from God.
Three Beginnings: Sulphur, Salt, Mercury — from Nature.
Two Seeds: Masculine, Feminine — from the Metals.
One Fruit: Tincture — through Art.
Who understands this table correctly Sees how one goes from out of the other. First everything dwells in a 4-fold state The elements everywhere. Out of this the 3 Beginnings spring. Which bring forth two Sexes. Masculine, feminine from Sun and Moon. Out of which grows the Wise Son: Who is like nothing else in the world. He surpasses all Kingdoms.

Beware of all Particulars, for Nothing Particular is Universal: It is forever certain, he, who is a possessor of the true Art, does not need to take pains about money for himself, for as he only takes our putrefied Electrum Minerale Immaturum, extracts its salt (it goes quite naturally) lays pure or unfixed metal therein, pours on so much of our milk, that its salt therein can again dissolve itself, so will he see, that water and salt, not only ennoble and increase gold and silver, but also the vulgar mercury or Saturn, if you put this to it, is ennobled in the same way, that you will wonder at it.

“Chemical Moonshine” by Fleischer, 1739

Our art is also compared to man making. The first is the deprivation of its chastity, the second is the conception, the third is the being with childe, the fourth is the birth it selfe, and the fifth is the bringing up of the child borne; understand also these words, our Son that comes from the privation of chastity is Mercury, for he is drawn out of a perfect body so there remaines an earth the mother of 4 elements, and when the earth begins to take somewhat in of Mercury, it’s call’d unchastity, but when the man lyes with the wife it’s called conception, which without the Mercury is wrought in the earth; this is what the Philosophers say, our Art is nothing else but that the man lyes with his wife, and that they mingle one with the other, so that the Water governes and has the Mastery, and that the Mercury bee more than the Earth, and so earth increases and augments; but when the earth becomes a wife she is with Child, after that the ferment is added to the imperfect prepared body as is said before, so long till it becomes something in colour and in sight and that’s called the birth; so then our Stone is born, for the Philosophers call him King and say this, honour your King who comes from the fire crowned with a double crown, bow the knees before him when he comes to his perfect alter, for the sun is his father and the Moone his Mother, the perfect body is Luna, the perfect body is gold; at last followes the nourishment whereby he is nourisht with a great nourishment, he is nourisht with his owne Milk, with the Seed in the beginning he is fed, to wit with Mercury, till he hath drunk enough of the Mercury. Beloved sonns by these things which are told you, You may easily perceive the darke and hidden worke of the Philosophers and by that you may know that they all runne one way and upon one straine.

“Chymical Treatise” by de Villa Nova, 1299

The whole substance resembles molten pitch, or the aforesaid bituminous substance, bubbling less and less, resting in one entire black substance at the bottom of your glass. This is called the blackness of black, the head of the crow, etc., and is esteemed a desirable stage in our philosophical generation, being the perfect putrefaction of our seed, which will ere long show its vital principle by a glorious manifestation of Seminal Virtue. When the putrefaction of our seed has been thus completed, the fire may be increased till glorious colors appear, which the Sons of Art have called Cauda Pavonis, or the Peacock’s Tail. These colors come and go, as heat is administered approaching to the third degree, till all is of a beautiful green, and as it ripens assumes a perfect whiteness, which is the White Tincture, transmuting the inferior metals into silver, and very powerful as a medicine. But as the artist well knows it is capable of a higher concoction, he goes on increasing his fire till it assumes a yellow, then an orange or citron color; and then boldly gives a heat of the fourth degree, till it acquires a redness like blood taken from a sound person, which is a manifest sign of its thorough concoction and fitness for the uses intended. Having thus completed the operation, let the vessel cool, and on opening it you will perceive your matter to be fixed into a ponderous mass, thoroughly of a scarlet color, which is easily reducible to powder by scraping, or otherwise, and in being heated in the fire flows like wax, without smoking, flaming, or loss of substance, returning when cold to its former fixity, heavier than gold, bulk for bulk, yet easy to be dissolved in any liquid, in which a few grains being taken its operation most wonderfully pervades the human body, to the extirpation of all disorders, prolonging life by its use to its utmost period; and hence it has obtained the appellation of “Panacea,” or a Universal Remedy. Therefore, be thankful to the Most High for the possession of such an inestimable jewel, and account the possession of it not as the result of your own ingenuity, but a gift bestowed, of God’s mere bounty, for the relief of human infirmities, in which your neighbor ought to share jointly with you, without any grudging or sinister views, according to the charge delivered to the Apostles: Freely have you received, freely communicate, remembering at the same time not to cast your pearls before swine; in a word, to withhold the manifestations of Nature you are enabled to exhibit, by the possession of our Stone, from the vicious and unworthy.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone”

The preparation is composed of four parts; the first is the solution of the material into mercurial water; the second is the preparation of the Mercury of the Philosophers; the third is corruption; the fourth is the creation of the philosophical sulphur. The first is made by the mineral seed of the earth; the second volatilises and spermatises the body; the third makes the separation of the substances and their rectification; the fourth unites and fixes, which is the creation of the stone.

Philosophers have compared the preparation to the creation of the world, which was first a mass, a chaos, an empty earth without form and dark, which had nothing in particular but everything in general; so that by the first digestion the body is dissolved, the conjunction of the male and female and the mixture of their seeds is made; this is followed by putrefaction and the elements are resolved into one homogeneous water. The sun and the moon are eclipsed in the head of the Dragon, and the whole world at last turns and re-enters into its ancient chaos and dark abyss. The first digestion is made as in the stomach, by a low heat more appropriate to corruption than to generation.

In the second digestion the spirit of God is carried upon the waters, light begins to appear, waters are separated from waters; the moon and the sun re-appear, the elements come out of chaos and constitute a new world, a new heaven, and a new earth; the young crows change their feathers and become doves; the eagle and the lion are re-united in an indissoluble bond.

This regeneration is made by the fiery spirit, which descends in the form of water to wash the matter from its original sin and to carry the golden seed into it; for the philosopher’s water is a fire; but direct your attention so that the separation of the waters is made by weights and measures for fear that those that are under the heavens do not drown the earth or that in lifting too great a quantity, the earth is not left too dry and too arid.

The third digestion furnishes a warm milk to the new born earth and infuses into it all those spiritual virtues of a quintessence which binds the soul and body through the medium of the spirit. The earth now hides a great treasure within its bosom, and begins to resemble the moon and afterwards the sun; take note here that in the Hermetic philosophy, the moon signifies silver, and the sun gold; the first is named earth of the moon, and the second earth of the sun; they are born to be united in an indissoluble marriage, because neither of them fears the greatest heat of the fire.

The fourth digestion attains all the mysteries of the world; by it, the earth becomes a precious ferment, which changes all into perfect bodies, just as yeast changes all dough into its own nature; it has acquired this property in becoming a celestial quintessence; its virtue, which emanated from the universal spirit of the world, is a panacea or a universal medicine for all the maladies of creatures which can be healed. This secret fountain of the Philosophers, in which you make your matter ferment, will give you this miracle of art and nature simply by a repetition of the first work.

The whole philosophical process consists of the solution of the body and the congelation of the spirit, and all is done by the same operation. The fixed and the volatile are perfectly mixed, but this cannot be done if the fixed is not first made volatile; finally they are united and by reduction become absolutely fixed.

By these means, the superfluities of the stone are converted into a veritable essence; but he who should. separate anything from our subject, knows nothing of the philosophy, because all that is superfluous, unclean, feculent, in fact, the whole substance of the composition is perfected by the action of our secret fire.

This information should open the eyes of those who, in making an exact purification of the elements and the principles, are persuaded the one should take the subtle and reject the gross; they do not know that the fire and the sulphur are hidden in the center of the earth and that it is necessary to wash it perfectly with its spirit in order to extract its balm, the fixed salt which is the blood of our stone; here you see the central mystery of this operation which will not be accomplished until you have made a suitable digestion and a slow distillation.

The operative principles which are also called the keys of the work or the regimen, are four in number, the first is the solution or liquefaction; the second, the ablution; the third, the reduction; and the fourth, the fixation. By solution the bodies are reduced to the first matter and become raw again by coction; then the marriage is made between the male and female, and the crow is born. The stone is resolved into the four elements blended together; heaven and earth unite to bring Saturn into the world. Ablution is made to whiten the crow and to bring Jupiter to birth out of Saturn; this is done by changing the body into spirit. The work of reduction is to return the spirit to its body of which it was deprived by volatilization and to nourish it with a spiritual milk in the form of dew, until the infant Jupiter shall have developed the force of Hercules.

During these last two operations, the dragon, now descended from heaven, becomes furious with himself. He devours his tail and swallows it little by little until at last he is changed into stone.

Such was the dragon of which Homer speaks. He is the true image and the veritable symbol of these two operations.

Whilst we were meeting under a beautiful Pine tree, said Ulysses to the Greeks, and we were there to make the Hecatombs, near to a fountain which came out of the tree, there appeared a prodigious marvel; a horrible dragon with stains on his back, sent by Jupiter himself came out from the base of the Altar and ran to the Pine tree. In the branches of this tree were eight small sparrows with their mother who flew round about them. The dragon seized these with fury and also the mother who was bemoaning the loss of her little ones. After this, the same God who had sent him, made him beautiful and brilliant our astonished eyes. I leave it to apply the moral.

SIGNS OR DEMONSTRATIVE PRINCIPLES

The colours which come upon the philosophical matter during the course of the processes of the work are black, white, and red. They follow one another immediately and in that order. The beginning of the black shows that the fire of nature begins to work and that the matter is on the way to solution. When this black colour attains perfection the solution is complete, the elements are blended, the grain rots and becomes ready for generation. That which will not blacken will not become white, says Artephius, because the blackness is the beginning of whiteness and is the indication of alteration as well as of putrefaction.

The action of fire upon humidity performs everything in the work, as it does in all nature in the generation of mixed bodies.

During this putrefaction, the philosophical male, or the sulphur, is blended with the female in such a manner that they become one and the same body, which the philosophers have named hermaphrodite; this says Flamel, is the androgyne of the ancients, the head of the crow; the elements converted in this way reconcile two natures which can make our embryo in the belly of the glass and bring to birth a very powerful King who will be invincible and incorruptible. Our substance in this condition is the serpent Python, who having arisen from the corruption of the mud of the earth, must now be killed and vanquished by the arrows of Apollo through the golden sun, that is to say by our fire equal to that of the Sun.

The second principle colour is the white. Hermes says: Son of the Science, know that the vulture cries from the top of the mountain; I am the white from the black because whiteness follows blackness. Morien calls this whiteness the white fume. Aphidius informs us that this substance or white fume, is the root of the art and the argent vive of the sages. Philelethes assures us that this argent vive is the true mercury of the philosophers; this argent vive, says he, extracted from this very subtile black, is the philosophical tinging mercury with its red and white sulphur naturally mixed together in their minera; the philosophers have given it an infinity of names.

Artephius says that this whiteness comes about because the soul of the body swims upon the surface of the water, like a white cream and that the spirits are united together so strongly that it is impossible for them to depart because they have now lost their volatility. The great secret of the art is therefore to whiten the matter; so the wise artist need occupy himself solely with the dissolution of the bocly with its spirit, cut off the head of the crow, whiten the black and redden the white; it is this resplendent white colour which contains in its veins the blood of the pelican; let the artist abandon all those books which only embarrass the reader and engender false ideas of the work which are useless and expensive.

The process of the work should not cost more than the price of the vessel.

The whiteness is the stone perfect at the white stage; it is a precious body which, when it is fermented will become white and full of an exuberant tincture which has the property of communicating itself to all metals; the volatile spirits having already been fixed. The new body resuscitates, white, beautiful, immortal, victorious; for this reason it is called resurrection; light of day; and by all the names which indicate whiteness, fixity and incorruptibility.

Flamel has represented this colour in his hieroglyphical figures, by a woman having a white border to her dress, in order to show, says he, that Rebis commences to become white in this same matter ; whitening first at the extremities all round in a white circle; the best philosophers say this sign is the first indication of whiteness.

As the black and the white are the two extremes, and the two extremes cannot unite except in some middle colour, the substance when passing out of the black does not become suddenly white; the grey colour is found to be the intermediary because that participates of both.

The philosophers have given this the name of Jupiter because it follows the black which they call Saturn. It is this fact which makes d’Espagnet say that air follows water after it has had seven revolutions which Flamel names imbibition. The matter, adds d’Espagnet, being fixed on the bottom of the flask, Jupiter after having overcome Saturn, siezes the realm and holds the government; at his coming the philosophical child is formed and nourished in the matrix, and, at last, being born with a beautiful face, brilliant and white, thence becomes a universal remedy for all the ills of the human body.

Lastly the third principal colour is red, which is the completion and the perfection of the stone; we obtain this redness merely by continuing to cook the matter. After the first work is completed the substance is called masculine sperm; philosophical sperm; fire of the stone; royal crown; son of the sun; minera of celestial fire.

Most philosophers commence their tracts with the stone at the red stage, so that those who read these books should not pay too much attention to them, because they are the source of many errors, until one learns how to detect the matter of which philosophers speak the reason for their operations and the proportions of the substances which in the second work, or the practice of the Elixir, are very different from those of the first. Although the second operation is simply a repetition of the first, it is very necessary to note that what they call fire, air, earth and water in the one, are not the same as those used in the other; their Mercury is called Mercury whether it is in liquid form or whether it is dry. Those, for example, who read Aphidius imagine, when he calls the substance of the work “red minera” it is necessary first to find a red matter before beginning the work; some therefore work on cinnabar, others with minium, others on orpiment, others with the rust of iron, because they do not know that the red minera is the perfect philosophical stone.

D’Espagnet describes the method of making the philosophical sulphur; choose a red dragon, courageous, who has lost none of his natural force, and then seven or nine virgin eagles, fearless, whose eyes will not become dull in the rays of the sun; put them with the dragon into a clear, transparent prison, well closed up, and underneath place a warm bath, so that they may be incited to fight; they will not delay in coming to gripe; the combat will be long and very arduous, until the forty-fifth or fiftieth day when the eagles begin to devour the dragon; in dying the prison will become infected with the corruption of his blood and very black poison, the violence of which overcomes the resistance of the eagles and they die also; from the putrefaction of these bodies, a crow will be born, who little by little will raise his head, he will stretch out his wings and begin to fly; the wind and the clouds will carry him hither and thither; fatigued by being thus tormented, he will look for a point to escaper be careful that he does not find any chinks; at last, washed and whitened by a constant rain of long duration and a celestial dew, you will see him metamorphosed into a swan; the birth of the crow indicates to you the death of the dragon”

If you wish to proceed further to the red, add the element of fire, which was lacking in the white, without touching or removing the flask, but by fortifying your fire by degrees; apply its action to the matter until the occult become manifest, the indication of which will be a citrine colour; then govern the fire of the fourth degree gradually by its degrees, until by the aid of vulcan you see blossoms of red roses, which will change into amaranth, the colour of blood; but do not stop the work until you see all is reduced to very red and impalpable cinders. This philosophical sulphur is an earth of extreme tenuity, fieriness and dryness; it contains the fire of nature in great abundance and for this reason they have called it the fire of the stone; it has the property of opening and penetrating the bodies of metals and of changing them into its own nature; they call it, in consequence, Father of the male seed.

The three colours, bIack, white and red must necessarily foIlow one another in the order I have described; but they are not the only ones that become visible; they indicate the essential changes which take place in the substance, whereas the other colours, almost infinite and resembling those in the rainbow, are but temporary arld of very short duration. They are a kind of vapour which affects the air more than the earth, which follow one another and are dissipated to make way for the three principal ones of which I have spoken.

Some strange colours which may appear are signs that the regimen is faulty and of a badly conducted work; the return of the black is a certain indication, because the crow’s chickens, says d’Espagnet, must never return to the nest after they have left it; premature redness is also a bad sign, and must not appear until the end as a proof of the maturity of the grain and of the time of the harvest.

OF THE ELIXIR
Second Operation

It is not sufficient to have produced the philosophical sulphur which I have now described; for the most part, people are misled, and cease the work at this stage, believing they have brought it to perfection; ignorance of the processes of nature and art are the causes of this error; in vain they will try to make projection with this sulphur or red stone. The philosophical stone cannot become perfect until the end of the second work, which is called elixir.

Out of the first sulphur there is made a second, from which, thereafter, one can multiply to infinity, one must therefore preserve very carefully this first minera of fire, for use when required..

The elixir, following d’Espagnet, is compounded of a triple matter; that is, of a metallic water or mercury philosophically sublimed, of the white ferment should you wish to make a white elixir, or red ferment for a red elixir, and lastly of the second sulphur, all according to the weights and proportions prescribed philosophically. The elixir must possess five qualities; it must be fusible, permanent, penetrating, tinging, and multiplying; it draws its tincture and fixation from the ferment; its fusibility from argent vive, which serves as a medium for reuniting the tinctures of the ferment and of the sulphur, and its multiplication in quality comes from the spirit of the quintessence which it possesses naturally.

The two perfect metals give a perfect tincture because they contain within them the pure sulphur of nature; do not expect to find their ferment elsewhere than in these two bodies; tinge therefore your white elixir with the moon, and the red with the sun.

Mercury takes up the tincture at once and can thereafter transfer it; be careful not to make a mistake in mixing the ferments, not to take one for the other or you will lose all. The second work is done in the same flask or in one similar to the first; in the same furnace and with the same degrees of heat, but it is very much shorter.

The perfection of the elixir consists in the marriage and the perfect union of the dry and the humid, so that they become inseparable and the humid gives the dry the property of being fusible in a slight heat; you can make this tryal by placing a small amount on a thin plate of copper or iron and heating it , if it melts immediately without fuming, you have what you desire.

“Light Out Of Chaos” by Grassot, 1784