Aphorisms of Urbigerus
Aphorismi Urbigerani, Or Certain Rules, Clearly demonstrating the Three Infallible Ways of Preparing the Grand Elixir or Circulatum majus of the Philosophers.. London, 1690.
To our Dear Disciples, Honor'd Coadepts, and all Well-Wishers to our Hermetic Art.
Finding you, dear Sons who have through our means attained to the true knowledge of our first Matter, worthy to receive our farther Instructions in the remainder of the Process, to extirpate all such Ambiguities, as you may have conceived in our Absence, to facilitate your Labors, and to precaution you in the bringing your Work to its Highest Perfection. We here, according to your desire, expose to you, and for your sakes, to the Public, all the most infallible Rules, necessary for preventing of Errors in this great Undertaking And tho you, ever - honored Coadepts, could never yet so far prevail on yourselves as to come to a Resolution of presenting the World with the full Practice of this our Art, joined to the Theory, we are nevertheless most certain, that we shall not receive any Reprimand from you for bringing to light these our Rules which we have so penned, that even those, who know not our Person, will not only soon perceive, that all we have written, is the real Truth, clearly exhibiting both the Theory and Practice of the whole Hermetic Art, but also conclude, that these Operations must of necessity have very often passed through our own hands from our giving such positive Rules and infallible Instructions, elucidating all the most obscure and intricate Enigrns of time Philosophers, and warning them of all the Accidents, that may happen is the working of our Subject. We are, we say, confident, you neither will, nor can blame us for this: since you will easily discern, that our Design is purely to instruct our Disciples, and prevent all the Well-wishers to this most noble Art from being imposed upon, and cheated, by any false pretended Adept : to the end that those, who shall from the Divine Benignity, by the help of these our Aphorisms, or otherwise, have received the blessed knowledge of our first Matter, which is the very same in all our three ways of producing the grand Elixir, may through these our certain Rules obtain the accomplishment of their Desires.
Having in our Travels fortuned to meet with some Persons of true Principles in Philosophy and Religion, we could not but embrace them and instruct them towards its farther Perfection, which cannot be attained without the true knowledge of our Celestial Art. by which comprehending all the Mystery of Mysteries, we learn also how to serve
God in Faith and Truth. And since we have no Obligation to any living Soul for time knowledge, we possess, having attained it all by the only Blessing of Almighty God on our Industry and Experiences being therefore at more liberty than those, who receive such a Favor from us, or some other Adept, 'tis our Determination, whenever we meet with Persons so qualified, always to do the same. Wherefore being at present in England though we are no Native of this Kingdom we think it necessary to set forth these our Aphorisms in the English tongue not in the least doubting, but that the Knowing, minding only the sense, will easily pardon any Impropriety, they may find in our Expressions: and when Providence shall carry us into any other Country, we, having attained to some competent Knowledge of most European Languages, shall again take care to publish them in the Speech of the Place, where we shall be. that we may the sooner obtain the effects of our Desires, which aim at nothing, but the undeceiving of the World by setting down certain and evident Marks, distinguishing the Worthy from the Unworthy, and at the bringing of Men to leave their unnecessary Forms, by instructing them in the true way of Serving God, being the only means to render them happy both in this World, and the next.
I. The Hermetic Science consists only in the right knowledge of the first Matter of the Philosophers which is in the Mineral kingdom not yet determined by Nature.
Or Certain Rules, Clearly Demonstrating the Three Infallible Ways of Preparing the Grand Elixir of the Philosophers.
II. An undetermined Matter being the beginning of all Metals and Minerals, it follows, that as soon as any one shall be so happy, as to know and conceive it, he shall easily comprehend also their Natures, Qualities, and Properties.
III. Although some Persons, possessed with foolish Notions, dream, that the first Matter is to be found only in some particular places, at such and such times of the year, and by the Virtue of a Magical Magnet; yet we are most certain (according to our Divine Master Hermes) that, all these Suppositions being false, it is to be found every where, at all times and only by our Science.
IV. The Hermetic Art consists in the true Manipulation of our undetermined Subject, which before it can be brought to the highest degree of Perfection, must of necessity undergo all our Chymical Operations.
V. Our Chymical Operations are these Amalgamation Sublimation, Dissolution Filtration, Cohobation, Distillation, Separation, Reverberation, Imbibition, and Digestion.
VI. When we call all these Operations ours, they are not all to be understood according to the common Operations of the Sophisters of Metals, whose Industry consists only in disguising of Subjects from their Form, and their Nature: but ours are really to transfigure our Subject, yet conserving its Nature, Quality, and Property.
VII. This our Subject, after its having passed through all those artificial Operations, which always imitate Nature, is called the Philosophers Stone, or the fifth Essence of Metals, being compounded of the Essence of their four Elements.
VIII. Time Metals and Minerals, which Nature already determined, although they should be retrograded into running Mercury Water, and Vapor; yet can they by no means be taken for the first Matter of the Philosophers.
IX. Our true and real Matter is only a Vapor, impregnated with the Metallic Seed, yet undetermined, created by God Almighty, generated by the Concurrence and Influence of time Astrums, contained in the Bowels of the Earth, as the Matrix of all created things.
X. This our Matter is called undetermined, because, being a Medium between a Metal and a Mineral, and being neither of them, it has in it power to produce both, according to the Subject, it meets withal.
XI. Such a Metallic Vapor, congealed and nourished in the Bowels of the Earth. is called the undermined, and when it enchants the Serpent with the Beauty of its termined and additional Fire, the determined Green - Dragon of the Philosopher and without the true knowledge and right Manipulation of it nothing can be done in our Art.
XII. This Green-Dragon is the natural Gold of the Philosophers, exceedingly different from the vulgar, which is corporeal and dead, being come to the period of its Perfection according to Nature, and therefore incapable of generating, unless it be first generated itself by our Mercurial Water but ours is spiritual, and living, having the generative Faculty in itself, and in its own Nature, and having received the Masculine Quality from the Creator of all things .
XIII. Our Gold is called Natural, because it is not to be made by Art, and since it is known to none, but the true Disciples of Hermes, who understand how to separate it from its original Lump, 'tis called also Philosophical; and if God had not been so gracious, as to create this first Chaos to our hand, all our Skill and Art in the Construction of the great Elixir would be in vain.
XIV. Out of this our Gold, or undetermined Green-Dragon, without the addition of any other created thing whatsoever, we know how through our Universal Menstruum to extract all our Elements. or Principles, necessary for the performance of our great Work: Which is Our first way of preparing the Grand Elixir and since this our first Chaos is to be had without any Expense, as costing only the trouble of digging it out of the Mines, This is not unfitly called the only way of the Poor.
XV. The Operations in this our first way being in a manner the same with those of our second, which is, when we join our determined Dragon with our Serpent, we shall (to avoid Repetitions) in the subsequent Aphorisms give Instructions for them both together.
XVI. Our Serpent, which is also contained in the Bowels of the Earth, being of all created things whatsoever the nearest subject of a Feminine Nature to our Dragon, through their Copulation such an astral and metallic Seed, containing our Elements, is also to be brought forth as can, though with somewhat more of Expense and Time, perform the whole Mystery of Hermes.
XVII. Since our Serpent is of all created things the nearest subject of Feminine Nature to our Dragon, she is after her Copulation to be taken for the Basis of our Philosophical Work: for out of her Bowels, without the help of any other Metal or Mineral ,we must draw our Principles or Elements, necessary to our Work, being retrograded by the Universal Menstruum.
XVIII. This Feminine Subject cannot be retrograded, unless to free her from her Impurities, and Heterogeneous Qualities, she is first actuated by her Homogeneous ones, that she may be in better Capacity to receive the spiritual Love of our Green Dragon.
XIX. After our Serpent has been bound with her Chain, penetrated with the Blood of our Green-Dragon, and driven nine, or ten times through the combustible Fire into the elementary Air, if you dc not find her to be exceeding furious, and extremely penetrating,, 'tis a sign, that you do not hit our Subject, the Notion of the Homogenea, or their Proportion.
XX. If this furious Serpent, after it has been dissolved by the Universal Menstruum, filtrated, evaporated, and congealed nine or ten times, does not come over in a Cloud, and turn into our Virgin Milk, or Metallic argentin Water, not corrosive at all, and yet insensibly, and invisibly devouring every thing, that comes near it, 'tis plainly to be seen that you err in the Notion of our Universal Menstruum.
XXI. The Serpent, of which I now speak, is our true Water of the Clouds, or the real Eagle and Mercury of the Philosophers, greatly different from the Vulgar, which is corporeal, gross, dead, and full of Heterogeneous Qualities, and a Subject fallen from its Sphere, like unripe Fruit from the Tree; but ours is spiritual, transparent, living, residing in its own Sphere, like a King on his Throne
XXII. Though the vulgar Mercury is such an unripe fruit, corporeal, and dead; yea, if you know how to amalgamate it with our Dragon, and to retrogradate it with the Universal Menstruum, you may assure your self, that out of this also you shall be able to prepare a Sophic Mercury, with which you shall certainly produce the great Elixir, discover the Secret of Secrets, unlock the most difficult Locks, and command all the Treasures in World.
XXIII. Our Mercury is called the Mercury of the Philosophers, because it is a Subject, which is not to be found ready prepared to our hand : for it must of necessity be made by our Philosophical Preparations, out of the first Chaos, and although it is Artificial, yet it is naturally prepared, Nature, which is imitated in the Preparation of it, contributing likewise thereunto.
XXIV. Since our Subject cannot be called the fiery Serpent of the Philosophers, nor have the power of overcoming any created thing, before it has received such Virtue and Quality from our Green-Dragon, and the Universal Menstruum, by which itself is first overcome, devoured, and buried in their Bowels, out of which being born again, 'tis made capable of the same, it follows, that such a Virtue of killing and vivifying is natural to our Dragon and the Universal Menstruum.
XXV. The Universal Menstruum of the Philosophers is that Celestial one, without which nothing can live nor subsist in this World: 'tis also that noble Champion, which delivers time uncorrupted Virgin, Andromeda, who was with a strong Chain fastened to the: Rock in the power of the Dragon, of whole spiritual Love having admitted, for fear of being eternally ruined and devoured by him (which could not have been avoided, if this noble Champion had not come to her assistance) She is to be delivered of a Child, which wilt be the Wonder of Wonders, and Prodigy of Nature.
XXVI. If our Virgin in her Confinement, before she is set at liberty, does not manifest her extreme Beauty with all her internal, divers, delicate natural Colors wonderfully charming, and very pleasant to the Eye, it signifies, that she has not sufficiently enjoyed the spiritual Company of the Dragon.
XXVII. If the Universal Menstruum has not totally delivered the Virgin from the Claws of the Dragon, it is a sign, either that she was not sufficiently free from her Heterogeneous Qualities, or that she had not received from the external Heat a sufficient penetrating Quality, or that the Universal Menstruum was too weak to perform its Undertaking.
XXVIII. To know, whether the Amalgamation, Sublimation, Dissolution, Filtration, Coagulation, and Distillation have been Natural and Philosophical, the whole Body of the Serpent must come over spiritual and transparent, leaving only some few and very light Feces at the bottom, which can by no Art be reduced! - either into a running Mercury, or and other kind of metallic Substance.
XXIX. After all these above-mentioned Operations, and the Separation, if our Serpent, being amalgamated with any Metal, pure or impure, cannot suffer the Fusion, it will be in vain for you to go any farther with it: for you may assure your self, that you do not walk in the true Paths of the Hermetic Art.
XXX. Our Philosophical Distillations consist only in the right Separation of our Spiritual and Mercurial Water from all its poisonous oily Substance, which is of no use at all in our Art, and from though Caput Mortuum, which is left behind after the first Distillation.
XXXI. If after the first Distillation an exceedingly corrosive and extremely penetrating red Oil does not ascend (which as soon as it begins to appear in the Neck of the Retort, the Receiver must be changed it signifies that the Distillation has not been rightly performed, and by Consequence, that the internal Fire of our metallic vaporous Water, being burnt up, and corroded by its poisonous Vapor, and the outward Fire, is still mixed with it, and with the Caput Mortuum.
XXXII. In case you should commit so great an Error in the performance of this first Distillation, although it will never be in your power to prepare the Mercury Duplex of the Philosophers, unless you should begin the whole World agar; from the very beginning; yet, if you have any farther Skill in our Art, you may easily prepare our Mercury Simplex, with which you will effect great and miraculous things.
XXXIII. This blood red Oil with its only Fumes penetrates every Part and Atom of all Metals and Minerals, and principally of Gold out of which Dissolution one may easily extract the right Tincture or Essence with highly rectified Spirit of Wine, and bring it over the Alembic with it: which is indeed a great Medicine for humane Bodies.
XXXIV. A deep blood-red Tincture of excellent Virtue is to be extracted also out of the above-mentioned Caput Mortuum. accidentally and unfortunately intermixed with the internal Sulfur of our Mercurial Water, and with the red Oil, with highly rectified Spirit of Wine : with which after it has been evaporated to a Powder, imbibed, and Philosophically digested, you may assure your self of having the Medicine of Medicines, next to the great Elixir, by which you may, imperceptibly and quickly cure all sorts of Distempers, to the great Admiration. Of all Galenists, and to the Astonishment of all Vulgar Chymists.
XXXV. The most part of the Philosophers, whilst their Intention was to go farther to the noblest Perfection of our Celestial Art, either employed this red Oil brought to a Potability, for internal Medicines, or to external Diseases without any farther Preparation of it, till they had obtained the great Elixir.
XXXVI. If the Caput Mortuum has not the Magnetic Quality in attracting the Spiritus Mundi into itself from the Astrums, it is a sign, that at time end of the Distillation of the red Oil the outward fire was so violent, as quite to burn up the Magnet, which is contained in the first Feces of our Mercurial Water.
XXXVII. After the first Distillation, if the least Part of the Virgin Mercurial Water can by any Art whatsoever be brought to running Mercury, or any other kind of a Metallic Substance, it is an evident sign, that either the Subject, or its Preparation and Reduction into Water, has not been real, natural, or Philosophical.
XXXVIII. The above-mentioned Spiritus Mundi, although of no use at all in this our great Work, is yet a great Menstruum in extracting of Tinctures out of Metals, Minerals, Animals, and Vegetables, and in performing great things in the Art volatilizing all fixed Bodies, and principally Gold.
XXXIX. A great many Pretenders to the true Hermetic Knowledge prepare Menstruums, to dissolve common Mercury, and to turn it into Water several manner of ways, and by several additions of Salts, Sulfurs, Metals, and Minerals. but, since all those Preparations are sophistical, any one, expert in our Art, will be able to reduce it to its running Quality again.
XL. The Quality of our Mercurial Water: being to volatilize all fixed Bodies, and to fix all those, that are volatile, fixing 1t self with those, that are fixed, according to the Proportion of it, dissolving its own Body, it unites inseparably with it, conserving always its own Qualities and Properties, and receives no Augmentation from any other created thing, but only from its crude Body.
XLI. Our Mercurial Water has such a sympathy with the Astrums, that, if it is not kept very close, and Hermetically sealed, it will in a very short time, like a winged Serpent, fly away in a wonderful manner to its own Sphere, carrying along with it all the Elements and Principles of Metals, and not leaving so much as one single drop, or the least remainder, behind.
XLII. Several Pretenders to the Magical Science prepare Magical Magnets, to draw from the Air, and (as they pretend) from the Astrums such Menstruums, as they think necessary for she Production of the Great Elixir; but their Magnets being compounded of several determinate things, although their Menstruums are great Dissolvents yet we do on assured knowledge affirm that they can never perform any real Experiments in our Art.
XLIII. Some are of Opinion, that, unless the Operator is Master in the Magical Science, and fundamentally understands all its Experiments, he will never be able by any other Art whatsoever to bring forth any such things, as can produce the Universal Elixir. Now, although we do not deny, that the Magical Knowledge is required to attain to the highest degree of Perfection in all Sciences, yea; we are most certain, that it is not at all necessary to the Formation of the Grand Elixir upon Animals, Metals, Precious Stones, and Vegetables.
XLIV. Our Virgin Milk, or Metallic Water, being brought to a perfect Spirituality, and excellent Diaphanity, is called the true Chaos of the Philosophers: for out of that alone, without any addition of any created, or artificially prepared thing, we are to prepare and separate all the Elements, which are required to the Formation of our Philosophical Microcosm.
XLV. To understand aright, how out of this our Chaos we are to form our Philosophical Microcosm, we must first of necessity rightly comprehend the great Mystery and Proceeding in the Creation of the Macrocosm: it being extremely necessary to imitate and use the very same Method in the Creation of our little one, that the Creator of all things has used in the Formation of the great. One.
XLVI. When our Chaos or Celestial Water has purified itself from its own gross and palpable Body, it is called the Heaven of the Philosophers, and the palpable Body the Earth, which is void, empty, and dark : And if our Divine Spirit, which is carried upon the face of the Waters, did not bring forth out of the palpable Body that precious Metallic Seed, we should never be able by any Art whatsoever to go on any farther with time perfect Creation of our Microcosm according to our Intent.
XLVII. This Heaven of the Philosophers, after it has separated itself from the Earth, containing our Philosophical Seed, and the Magnet of our Salt of Nature, and from the superfluous Waters, is called the Mercury simplex of the wise men. for whosoever attains it, at the same time attains also the Knowledge and Power of retrograding Metals, Minerals, &c. so as to reduce them to their first Being, to perfect imperfect Bodies, and to vivify dead ones, conserving always its own Property and Quality to it self, and to produce the Great Elixir according to the usual ways of the Philosophers.
XLVIII. After we have separated the Water from the Water, by which I mean the Mercurial Celestial Water from the superfluous Water, which is the Flegm, by the Blessing of God and the Infusion of our holy Spirit, we do not in the least doubt, but we shall be able to bring forth out of our Earth such Fruits and Subjects, with which we shall certainly perform the whole Creation, carrying our Work to the highest Degree of Perfection.
XLIX. Our Mercurial Water being of the: same Brightness with the Heavens, and our palpable gross Body, which did separate it self from our Celestial Water. having the same Properties and Quality with the Earth, none, but Ignorance, will deny them to be the right Heaven and true Earth of the Philosophers.
L. If, after the Separation of the Spirit from the superfluous Waters, the World, in which it is contained, does not appear mighty clear, and full of light, and of the same brightness with our Celestial Water, it is a sign, that the Separation is not fully performed, the Spirit being still intermixed with the Waters.
LI. If in the space of nine or ten Weeks, or two Philosophical Months at longest, our Mercurial Water has not done separating it self from all its own Earth containing the Metallic Seed, it is an evident sign, that you have either erred in the working of it, or that its Digestion, having been too violent, has confounded and burnt up the principal Subject of the Creation.
LII. This Philosophic Earth, containing our principal Subject, after it has been separated from all the Waters, is very gently to be dried by some external Heat, to free it from its extraneous Humidity, that it may be in a proper Capacity to receive the Celestial Moisture of our Argentin Water, to which it unites its most noble Fruits, with which our Philosophical Microcosm is generated, nourished, and saturated.
LIII. If the Earth, after it has been reverberated, humected with our Celestial Moisture, does not presently enrich our Air with the divine expected Fruits, you must certainly believe, that in the drying of it the external Heat has been so violent, as to burn up the internal Head and Nature of the Earth, and consequently spoil your Undertaking as to the performance of the whole Mystery of the Creation, according to the noblest, richest, shortest, most natural, and secretest ways of the Philosophers.
LIV. In case the Earth should be totally destroyed by the violent external Heat, although it is most certain, you cannot carry on our noble Creation any farther with it; yet if you know how to amalgamate our Mercury simplex with your common Gold, which is dissolved, vivified, and renewed by it, you may be sure of effecting the Great Elixir, although neither so quick. So natural, nor so rich, as you might have done without it. And this is our third way.
LV. The Amalgamation of our Mercury simplix with common Gold consists only in the right Proportion, and in the indissoluble Union of both, which is done without any external Heat in a very short time, without which exact Proportion and right Union nothing of any Moment is to be expected from their Marriage.
LVI. Know then, that this right Proportion is ten parts of our Mercury simplex to one of your finest common Gold in filings, which is dissolved in it, like Ice in common Water, after an imperceptible manner, and as soon as the Dissolution is over, the Coagulation and Putrefaction presently follow, which Effect, it you find not, 'tis a sign, that the Mercury exceeds its due Proportion. Now when your Gold has been thus well amalgamated, united, putrefied, and inseparably digested with our Mercury simplex, you will then have only our Philosophical Sulfur, in which time one might easily have performed the whole Work, working without common: Gold.
LVII. Although our Mercury simplex is exceedingly spiritual and volatile, yet since it is the right Agent, digesting the Seed or Essence of all Metals and Minerals it will, though undigested, naturally adhere to any of them although corporeal, that shall come near it, and will never leave it, unless it be forced away by the Test, though kept in a great Fusion for many hours.
LVIII. This Mercury simplex, which before its retrogradation was of a Feminine Nature, and before it left all its own Earth, was Hermaphroditic, being powerful in both Sexes, is now become of a Feminine Quality again, and although it has lost the Masculine visible Fire. yet it has conserved its own, which is invisible to us, and with which it performs visible Operations in digesting of imperfect Metals, after its Determination with any of them.
LIX. If this our Mercury (the Proportion rightly observed) should be amalgamated with any imperfect Metal, being first determined with a fixed one, it will regenerate and perfect the same, not losing the least Particle of its Virtue or Quantity: Which Metal after the digestion of a Philosophical Month will (as most Philosophers teach) be able to resist all manner of Tryals, and will be far better than any Natural one.
LX. The Determination of our Mercury simplex with any of the fixt Bodies is to be done by dissolving a small quantity of Filings of red or white according to the Color and Quality of the Metal, that you desire to meliorate, and if you do not err in the Separation and Union of the Subjects, you may assure your self of obtaining your desire after a Philosophical Digestion.
LXI. To examine aright, whether the Mercury simplex is rightly prepared, or come to its Perfection, one only Drop, put upon a red-hot Plate of Copper, must whiten it through and through, and must not part with it, although brought into a great Fusion: Which, if you find, it does not, it will be a plain Demonstration, that either your Mercury is not well prepared, or that it has not yet done separating itself from its own Earth.
LXII. If your Mercury simplex, put upon its own dryed Earth, does not presently unite with the Essence of Metals, appearing deeper than any Blood, and shining brighter than any Fire, which is a mark of the Reception of its own internal Fire, and that the Eagle has suckt the Blood of our Red Lion, it is an evident sign, that you have erred in the Manipulation of the Earth.
LXIII. This Mercury, thus impregnated with its Essence, or Sulphur of Metals, is called the Mercury duplex of the Philosophers, which is of a far greater Quality, and Virtue than the simplex, with whose Imbibitions in the Salt of Nature, after its being saturated with the simplex, the whole Mystery of the Creation of the Philosophical Microcosm is maintained and perfected.
LXIV. To know, whether your Mercury duplex is Philosophically prepared, and sufficiently impregnated with its own internal Natural Fire, put one single Drop of it upon a red-hot Plate of fine Silver: and if the Silver is not by this Drop penetrated through and through with a deep-red Tincture, enduring the greatest fire of Fusion, it will signifie, that you either fail in the Preparation of it, or that you have not given it time enough to receive a full Saturation out of its own Earth.
LXV. This deep-red Tincture, extracted out of our Philosophical Earth, is called our Sulphur, our undigested, essentificated Gold, our internal elementary Fire, and our Red-Lion: for without its Help and Concurrence our Philosophical World cannot be nourished, digested, or accomplished, being the right Ground, and true Essence of the whole work of our Creation.
LXVI. When the Earth has lost its Soul, the remainder of it is the true Magnet, attracting the Salt of Nature from the combustible Fire after a violent Calcination for several hours: which Salt, after its Purification and Clarification, is called the clarifyed Earth or Salt of the Philosophers, which, Uniting it self with our single and double Mercury, after their Digestion, is called by our Master Hermes the Universal Spirit earthifyed.
LXVII. The Extraction, Purification, and Clarification of our Earth or Salt of Nature is to be performed by our Mercury simplex: which being put upon the reverberated Earth, will presently draw to it self, and unite it self with it, yet separable by gentle Distillation, after which the clarifyed Salt of the Philosophers is at hand.
LXVIII. Although we use our Mercury simplex in the Extraction of its own Soul out of its Body, and for the Clarification of the latter; yet, since it is a philosophical and perpetual Menstruum, it loses nothing of its connatural Prerogatives, nor does in the least diminish in Quantity, being our true Alkahest, as Paracelsus is pleased to call it.
LXIX. Those three Principles, or Elements of our Chaos, perfectly separated from their Impurities, and brought to their highest Perfection, are rightly called the three Herculean Works: for after the Preparation of them all the Labor, Trouble, and Danger will be past.
LXX. Some foolish Operators pretend, that our Great Elixir is to be prepared in a very easie manner, and without any trouble at all, to whom we will with our Master Hermes, briefly answer, That such Impostors neither know our Matter, nor the right Preparation of it. Yet we do not deny, but any Healthy Person, of what Age soever he may be, may understand all our Herculean Labors, necessary to the Performance of it.
LXXI. These our Operations are therefore called Herculean in respect to the rest of the Work, which is exceeding easie, and without the least Trouble or Danger, being for that reason called Childrens Play, because a Child or a Woman, that has any Sense, may easily work it, and bring it to the highest Perfection, according to the Saying of all true Philosophers.
LXXII. Although all those above-mentioned Operations are, according to the common Opinion of the Philosophers, esteemed difficult, and dangerous; yet we can upon our Conscience assure you, that we have our self alone without the help of any Creature living prepared them all on a common Kitchin Fire, as is very well known to several Coadepts, our Friends, who could not but admire and approve of our Industry.
LXXIII. No true Adept or perfect Artist can deny, but that the whole Work of the Great Elixir may from the very beginning to the end be performed on one only Furnace, in one only sort of Vessel, and by one only Person alone, at a very small charge.
LXXIV. Some Impostors would perswade the Vulgar, that Gold, Silver, and many other Ingredients are required to the making of the Grand Elixir according to our noblest ways: which the Doctrines of all the Philosophers, and our own infallible Rules clearly shew to be false: for 'tis most certain, that we neither use any of their Ingredients, nor yet any Silver or Gold, (unless, as we have mentioned, in our third way) till we come to the Fermentation of our Elixirs.
LXXV. We do with all true Philosphers assure you, that all things, necessary for our Philosophical Work, besides the Fewel, Vessels, and some new Instruments, belonging to the Furnace, are to be purchased for less than the Expence of one single Guinea, and that every where, and at all times of the year.
LXXVI. Since neither Gold nor Silver is to be used at all in the Formation and Cibation of our Philosophical Work, it follows, that the old and common saying of some Authors, viz. That without working with Gold 'tis an impossible thing to make Gold, proved to be only a false Notion of Men, who understand not our Art.
LXXVI. When our Herculean Works are brought to Perfection, which is, when our three Principles, or Elements are prepared, purifyed and perfected, unless the Philosophical and unseparable Union of them is exactly performed, the Great Mystery of our Creation is not to be expected.
LXXVIII. Our Principles or Elements being brought to a perfect and unseparable Union and Digestion, it is called the Triple Mercury of the Philosophers, which being finished, the whole Creation and Formation of our work is crowned.
LXXIX. All our Work of the Creation from its very Beginning to its perfect End may, on our certain knowledg, be perfected in less than nine Months by any skilful and careful Artist, that follows our Rules, unless some Accident should happen in the Preparation of our Herculean Works: which to prevent, we wrought them our self in an earthen Vessel, which we count far better and surer than any Glass, and which is most agreeable to the Practice of the most ancient Philosophers.
LXXX. Before you come to the Union of your Elements, your clarifyed Earth is before all things to be digested in a moderate and continual Heat of Ashes, to free it from any unnatural Moisture, that it might have attracted after its Purification, to be in a fit Capacity to receive your Mercury simplex, by which it is to be nourished in its Infancy.
LXXXI. If your clarifyed Earth, after it has been digested the space of a whole Month, does not appear exceeding dry, subtil, and frangible, it will signifie, that you have failed in the Purification or Clarification of it, or that the external Moisture, it had attracted, is not yet parted from it.
LXXXII. Take great Care, that you do not begin your Imbibitions of your Earth, before you find it to be very well purifyed, clarifyed, dryed, and brought to be very subtil, and extremely frangible: for it would be a great Detriment as well to your Work, as to your Mercury; and, although it should not spoil your Work, yet it would be to you a great loss of Time.
LXXXIII. After our clarifyed Earth had been brought to a perfect Purity, Dryness, and Frangibility, it is to be imbibed with the eighth part of our Mercury simplex, or Virgins Milk, which will in a very short time be soaked into it, as into a Sponge, which shews the hungry State of our Infant, and then the Fire is to be continued, till the Infant is hungry again.
LXXXIV. If in the space of two or three days, or four, at the farthest, the Infant does not shew it self to be extreme hungry by becoming very dry and frangible again, it will become an evident sign, that you have overcome it by your excessive feeding of it.
LXXXV. Great care is to be taken also in the feeding of the noble Infant: for if you do not well observe all our infallible Rules, you will never be able to bring it to a perfect Maturity: for in the Notion and Proportion of our Imbibitions, and the Management of them, the prosperous and unfailable End of our Work is to be expected.
LXXXVI. 'Tis always to be observed, that the Fire be very moderate, as long as you are making your Imbibitions, for fear or forcing any part of your Mercury to leave the Earth: for as a moderate Heat makes the Union between the Soul and the Body, and perfects all the Work: so on the contrary a too Violent Heat disunites and destroys all.
LXXXVII. The Infant being dry, the Imbibition is to be repeated again, and this Method is to be used, until the Matter has received its weight of the Mercury: at which time if you do not find it to flow like Wax, and be whiter then any Snow, and very fixt, you must proceed with your Imbibitions, until you perceive the same.
LXXXVIII. The Imbibitions are not to be made any oftner, than once every three or four days, in which time you will find your Matter, having soaked up all your Mercury, to be in great want of Food, which must be supplyed, until it be saturated: the Mark of which will be, when it flows like Wax again.
LXXXIX. Your Matter being brought to a perfect Fluxibility, uncomparable Whiteness, and unalterable Fixedness, know then, that you have perfectioned the white Elixir, which, being fermented with fine Silver in Filings, will be in a Capacity to transmute all inferior Metals into the finest Silver in the World.
XC. Before the white Elixir is fermented with common Silver, you may multiply it, as well in Virtue, as in Quantity, by the Continuation of Imbibitions with the Mercury simplex, by which it may by Degrees be brought ad Infinitum in its Virtue.
XCI. The white Elixir being brought to its Degree of Maturity, desiring to go on to its highest Degree of Perfection, instead of fermenting it with Silver, it must be cibated with its own Flesh and Blood, which is the double Mercury, by which it being nourished, multiplyed in Quality and Quantity, and digested, the whole Work is accomplished.
XCII. As soon as the first Imbibition is made, you will see a great Alteration in your Vessel: for there will be nothing seen but a Cloud, filling the whole space of the Vessel, the fixt being in controversie with the Volatil, and the Volatil with the fixt. The Volatil is Conqueror at the beginning, but as last by its own internal Fire, conjoyned with the external, both are united, and fixed inseparably together.
XCIII. It is to be observed, that the Glass Vessel, which must be oval, with a Neck half a foot long, and very strong, be of a fit bigness, and of such Capacity, that your Matter, when it is put into the Vessel, may take up only the third part of it, leaving the other two vacant: for, if it should be too big, it would be a great hinderance in performing the Work, and if too little, it would break into a thousand pieces.
XCIV. After you have cibated the noble Elixir with your double Mercury, before it can come to its perfect Fixedness, it must of necessity wander through all the States and Colours of Nature, by which we are to judg its Being and Temperament.
XCV. The constant and essential Colors, that appear in the Digestion of the Matter, and before it comes to a Perfection, are three, viz. Black, which signifies the Putrefaction and Conjunction of the Elements; White, which demonstrates its Purification; and Red, which demonstrates its Maturation. The rest of the Colors, that appear and disappear in the Progress of the Work, are only accidental, and unconstant.
XCVI. By every Cibation of its own Flesh and Blood, Regeneration of its Colors, and Digestion, the Infant will grow stronger and stronger, that at last being fully saturated and digested, it is called the Great Elixir of the Philosophers, with which you will be able to perform, Wonders is all the Regions, as well Animal, as Mineral, and Vegetable.
XCVII. When your Elixir is brought to a Fluxibility, and a perfect Fixedness, if you desire to make a Medicine upon Metals, you must determinate or ferment it with common Gold in Filings, in which Determination it will vitrify, and then you will have an incomparable Medicine, capable to transmute all imperfect Metals into the purst Gold, according to the Doctrine of all the Philosophers, though our self never designed any thing, but an universal Remedy for the Cure of all curable Diseases, incident to Human Bodies, as is well known to our Friends, who have enjoyed the Benefit of these our Labors.
XCVIII. It is to be observed in the Fermentation, that the Elixir exceed not the Ferment in Quantity, otherwise the Sponsal Ligament of it cannot be actually performed, and when the Ferment is predominant over the Elixir, all will be presently turned into dust.
XCIX. The best Method of Fermentation is to take one part of the Elixir, and put it into the midst of ten parts of Gold in Filings, cast through Antimony, to free it from all its Impurities, and to keep it in a circulary Fire for the space of six Hours, so increasing the Fire by Degrees, that the last two hours it be in a good Fusion, and when cold, you will find all your Matter exceeding frangible, and of the Color of the Granate-Stone.
C. Common Mercury, amalgamated with Lead, is counted the most proper Subject for making Projection, which being in Fusion, your fermented Matter being divided into three parts, one part of it rolled, in Wax, is to be flung upon the Amalgam: then presently cover the Crucible, and continue the Fire, until you hear the Noise of the Separation and Union: then the second and third part, as before, and being kept for two hours in a continual Fire of Fusion, let it cool by it self.
CI. Whoever shall presume to prepare the Great Elixir according to our most Secret Ways without following and observing all these our infallible Rules, will certainly find himself mightily mistaken at last, having after a great deal of Troubles, Charges, and Pains, reaped nothing but Discontent; and on the contrary they, that shall walk in our true and infallible Paths, shall with very little Trouble and Expences attain to their desired End, which we cordially wish to all those, who are sincere well-wishers to the Hermetic Philosophy.
A Postscript, containing An Explanation of the Figure, prefixt to the Aphorismi Urbigerani.
Having in our One Hundred and One Aphorisms so perspicuously laid open all the Difficulties, and so amply taught the compleat Theory and Practice of the whole Hermetic Mystery, that any ingenious Lover of Chymistry will not only be enabled to understand the most abstruse writings of the Philosophers, but also to effect any real Experiment, which is to be expected in the Progress of our Celestial Art; and yet being apt to believe, that such, as are not our Disciples, may perhaps meet with some of the Philosophical Figures, the meaning of which they may not so easily comprehend, we have judged it highly expedient, in the Front of this our little Book to place this our Figure, by which, being a perfect Compendium of all the Philosophical Emblems, the rest may be without any great difficulty understood. Now since this our Figure, mystically representing all our Subjects and Operations, cannot but admit of many and various Interpretations, all which if we should here set down, our Aphorisms (where they are already delivered, and of which this would then be a Repetition,) would be altogether useless and insignificant: we therefore at first esteemed it very superfluous to give any farther Illustration of it. But our desire being to do all the good, we can, to the Public, we have on second Thoughts resolved with our wonted Brevity to deliver the following Explanation for the better Comprehension both of it and our Aphorisms.
The Tree is a Supporter of the Motto, 'Virtus unita fortior': which, being to be read from the side of the Serpent, representing by the Half-Moon on its Head the Planet, under whose Influence it is born, is to be referred to it according to its particular Motto, which signifies, that, if you take it alone, it can do little or Nothing in our Art, as wanting the Assistance of others. By the Green Dragon is to be understood our first undetermined Matter, comprehending all our Principles, (as is demonstrated by the Half-Moon on its Head, the Sun in its Body, and the Cross on its Tail,) and denoting by its Motto, that it can perform the whole work without being joined with any other created or artificially prepared thing: which is our first way. But this our Dragon, when copulating with our Serpent, is forced to comply with her, degrading it self from its undetermined Being for the production of our second way. Apollo with the Sun on his head, and Diana with the Half-Moon, embracing each other, shew our third way, and the Continuation of our first and second. The River, into which they descend, signifies the State, they must be reduced into, before they can be in a Capacity of being born again, and before in any of our three ways they can be brought to a perfect Spiritualization and Union. Apollo and Diana, coming out of the River in one wonderful Body, Diana having obtained all, represent our Herculean works, ready finished and the beginning of their Conjunction, and by their going to set their foot on firm ground, where she is to sow the noble Fruits for the Procreation, is to be understood the Continuation of their Conjunction, till they are fully united and perfected. In this Scheme also, as well as in our Aphorisms, are mystically exhibited all the principal Points of Faith and Religion, comprised in the Volumes of the Old and New Testament: whence it manifestly appears, that the Contemplation of Nature truly leads to the Comprehension of those heavenly Verities, by which alone we can expect to arrive at the Enjoyment of that blessed Immortality, to which, as to the true and ultimate End of our Creation, all our Endeavours are to be directed.