Fermentation

The Fifth Key includes the Fermentation of the Stone with the perfect body, to make therof the medicine of the Third order. I will say nothing in particular of the operation of the Third work; except that the Perfect Body is a necessary leaven of Our Paste. And that the Spirit ought to make the union of the paste with the leaven in the same manner as water moistens meal, and dissolves the leaven to compose a fermented paste fit to make bread. So when you shall have sublimed, cleansed and separated the foulness from the Faeces, and would make the conjunction, put a ferment to them and make the water earth, that the paste may be made a ferment; which repeats the instruction of the whole work, and shows, that just so as the whole lump of the paste becomes leaven, by the action of the ferment which has been added, so all the philosophic confection becomes, by this operation, a leaven proper to ferment a new matter, and to multiply it to infinity.

“Six Keys Of Eudoxus”

 

The quicksilver of the Sages has no power to transmute imperfect metals, until it has absorbed the essential qualities of gold and silver; for in itself it is no metal at all, and if it is to impart the spirit, the colour, and the hardness of gold and silver, it must first receive them itself.

“A Tract Of Great Price Concerning The Philosophical Stone”, 1423

 

It behoves us therefore by this our water to attenuate, alter and soften the perfect bodies, to wit sol and luna, that so they may be mixed other perfect bodies. From whence, if we had no other benefit by this our antimonial water, than that it rendered bodies soft, more subtile, and fluid, according to its own nature, it would be sufficient.

Put therefore the perfect bodies of metals, to wit, sol and luna, into our water in a vessel, hermetically sealed, upon a gentle fire, and digest continually, till they are perfectly resolved into a most precious oil. Saith Adfar, digest with a gentle fire, as it were for the hatching of chickens, so long till the bodies are dissolved, and their perfectly conjoined tincture is extracted, mark this well. But it is not extracted all at once, but it is drawn out by little and little, day by day, and hour by hour, till after a long time, the solution thereof is completed, and that which is dissolved always swims atop.

“The Secret Book Of Artephius”, 1150

 

A small quantity of gold and silver is, indeed, necessary when the stone is made, as a medium for its tinging either in the white or red tinctures, which such pretenders have urged from books of philosophers as a plausible pretence to rob the avaricious both of their time and money; but their pretences are so gross that none can be sufferers in this respect, if they have not justly deserved it.

When you have finished the stone, dissolve it in our mercury again, wherein you have previously dissolved a few grains of pure gold. This operation is done without trouble, both substances readily liquefying. Put it into your vessel, as before, and go through the process. There is no danger in the management, but breaking your vessel; and every time it is thus treated its virtues are increased, in a ratio of ten to one hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, etc., both in medicinal and transmuting qualities; so that a small quantity may suffice for the purposes of an artist during the remaining term of his life.

“On The Philosopher’s Stone”

 

There are no other ferments like these here. The ferment of silver is silver, the ferment of gold is gold, therefore don’t look elsewhere! The reason for this is that the two bodies are luminous, they contain the brilliant lights which communicate to the other bodies true redness and whiteness. They are of one nature, similar to that of sulphur, the purest of the matter of this type of stone. Extract then, each kind from its own kind, each family from its own family. The work of the white has as a goal, to whiten; the work of the red, to redden. Above all, do not mix the two Works, otherwise nothing will work well.

“Compounds Of Compounds” by Magnus, 1260

 

All that are conversant in this Art, learn from Experience, and all good Authors, That the true matter and subject of this stone, has Gold and Silver in potentiality, and Argent vive naturally, or actually, Which Gold and Silver are much better than those men commonly see and handle, because these are alive and can increase; the other dead: And if this could not be effected, the matter would never be brought to this perfection, which this art promises, which is indeed so efficacious as to perfect Imperfect metals. But this same invisible Gold or Silver, which by this Magistery is exalted to so sublime a degree, cannot communicate its perfection to imperfect metals, without the help and service of vulgar Gold and Silver.

“Zoraster’s Cave”, 1667

 

These words of the Philosophers, my Son, are true, and spoken upon very good ground; for it is impossible for common Gold and Silver, to perfect other Bodies that are imperfect, unless, as taught before, that the Body of Sol and Lune be born anew, or regenerated by the water and Spirit of the prima materia, and thereby a glorious, spiritual, clarified, eternal, subtle, penetrant Body do grow forth, which afterwards hath power to perfect other Bodies which are imperfect.

It is impossible by the means of the simple Gold to perfect other Bodies, unless the perfect Body be first dissolved and reduced to its first matter, which done, it is introverted by our Labour and Art, and reduced into a true ferment and tincture.

“Hydropyrographum Hermeticum”, 1680

 

After that with a good water thou must anoint and irrigate the Leaven, and the Leaven is called by the Philosophers a Soul; they call also the prepared body a Leaven, for as a Leaven does make other breade sowre, so does this thing, and I tell thee freely, that there is no other Leaven but Gold and Silver, of necessity must the Leaven bee Leavened in the body, for the Leaven is the Soule of the body, and therefore says Morienus: Unlesse you purify the unclean body, and create in him a new soule, you have perceived Lesse than nothing in this art.

“Chymical Treatise” by de Villa Nova, 1299

 

It is to be noted, that the Philosophers have found out divers ways of handling this one thing: but I answer for them all, and briefly conclude, That our Earth doth drink up and fix our Mercury; and that this mercury doth wash and tinge our Earth, and so doth perfect it into the Stone, without any further ferment. For the white Mercury giveth a most perfect Tincture of Luna, and the Red Mercury of Sol: Therefore, when they are fixed in convenient Earths, they make Sol and Luna, without any help of common Gold and Silver. Behold thou understandest this Tincture, which we draw out from a vile thing of no price: yet note, that he that hath Salt in his Breast, may ferment this Tincture with common Gold, whereby he may obtain incomparable Riches, yet with Wisdom, with most great Cost, and not without danger.

“Philosophia Maturata” by St. Dunstan, 1668