Alchemy Index

A Lexicon of Alchemy



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EBEL --- i.e., SALVIAS, i.e., juniper Seed.

ECHIDNA --- i.e., Female Viper.

ECHIES CATULI --- Viper's Whelps. The viper is a serpent which is known to us as the adder. It inhabits the neighbourhood of houses, and especially thickets near water. It is very accurately described by Nicander. Some things have been fabricated concerning the manner of its copulation. At the time of pairing the male viper puts its head into the mouth of the female, and so injects the seed. The female, whether conscious of her coming trouble, or moved by the pleasure which she experiences, or aware that the male is in the habit of committing adultery with eels, immediately bites off the head of her husband. Furthermore, the young, thus conceived, when they are conscious that the moment for their birth has come, tear their way through the womb of the mother, and enter the world by matricide. The viper is the only member of the serpent-tribe who carries the ova in the womb; the rest all lay their eggs in nests after the manner of birds. Nor are these vain fables which we have just related. I have myself beheld a female viper which had been thus gnawed through by its offspring, and the young were lying about like earthworms in the open air. From this name of the viper is derived that of the echitis, or adder-stone, so called, either on account of its colour, or because its marks are not unlike the form of the adder. On this subject, see Pliny, 1. 37, c. 11 and Solinus, c. 40. The stone is a preservative against venomous animals, and the same virtue is possessed by the forked tongue torn from the living reptile. Also by the head when cut off and dried. So Nicander testifies in his Antidotes.

ECHIS --- i.e., Male Viper.

ECLIPSIS --- i.e., the Head of the Raven.

EDELPHUS --- One who prognosticates by means of the Elements.

EDES --- i.e., Gold of Elempius.

EDIR --- i.e., Iron or Steel.

EFFIDES --- i.e., Ash of Lead, White Lead.

EFFILA --- Freckles, Spots caused by the sun upon the face, or other parts of the skin.

EGILOPS --- i.e., Wild Oats, Straw, etc.

ELABORATION --- is a Manual Operation by which the vital, inmost, and essential substance, or quality, of a matter is developed, and the whole nature is changed. Now-a-days, we term Elaboration that process by which we separate the ignoble, or worthless, portions of any substance, and most powerfully draw out whatever belongs to its essential part. Thus the separation of the pure from the impure proceeds quickly. Elaboration is either Solution or Coadunation.

ELANULA --- is hard Alum, like Iron.

ELAQUIR --- i.e., Green Vitriol.

ELECTRUM --- is Amber, a Gum from a Tree.

ELECTRUM --- is Gold, according to Pliny. It is Gold containing one part of Silver to five of Gold. It is called Electrum because it shines in the sun like the pure metal. It is found in mines, but is also manufactured.

ELECTRUM --- according to Theophrastus, is a Metallic Composition containing all the metals attributed to the seven planets. Of this substance were made those bells of the ancients which were used to give the signal for the execution of male or female adulterers. Also it was used for the manufacture of drinking cups, which had the signal virtue that no poison could be placed in them. For the moment it was put there, a great bubbling or spluttering would ensue, as if nitre were thrown on live coals. Paracelsus relates that he was acquainted with a Spaniard who had a bell made of this metallic composition, and inscribed with strange signs and words. With this instrument the Spaniard could at will produce the apparition of spectres and kindred prodigies. Paracelsus makes out that the virtue mainly resided in the magical signs and characters, but supposing there was virtue in the characters, there was, doubtless, much more in the metal.

ELEMENTA --- The Elements are the Matrices of Substances, and in and out of these are all things generated. For Fire, Air, Water, and Earth are the four Universal Matrices. Each of the four elements individually contains all the others. The more simple a thing is in its occult nature, the more general is it found to be by the adepts and spagyric philosophers, and by so much as it is particular is it found to be composite and material. For example: by so much the more that a species is removed from its essence, so does its substance approach the simple elements, and in like manner the form approaches the most simple, general, and universal influx or influence. It is not so in manifest nature, wherein special parts deteriorate and are inferior, by so much as they are removed from the universal part. This takes place because the principles of natural things contain all things potentially in themselves. Most true therefore is the judgment of the spagyric philosophers concerning the difference of occult nature from manifest nature, and vice versa.

ELEMENTUM --- That which proceeds from the Matrices of the Elements.

ELEMENTUM PARACELSI --- is the corruptible and transitory Essence of the World and all therein, which all suffer mutation and are a prey to anxiety and necessity, even until the last day and final consummation of the world. There is also the Essence of Spirits subsisting in a concealed manner in the elements; and these are the stars thereof.

ELEMPTIS or EZEPH --- i.e., Sol.

ELEPHAS --- is Aqua Fortis; it also stands for Leprosy, Elephantiasis, and the varieties of these diseases.

ELEPODATUM --- i.e., polished, refined.

ELERSNA --- The Manipulation of Silver, Silver Vein, Lead Vein, and this also is Molybdena.

ELESMATIS --- Burnt Lead.

ELEVATIO --- Elevation, is Rarefaction, when the spiritual portions of a substance are elevated from the corporeal portions, the subtle raised from the gross, the volatile from the fixed, in the form of a vapour, by the power of fire, and are condensed at the top of the vessel. It is either dry or humid.

Dry Elevation (vulgarly, Sublimation) is a process by which the subtler dry parts are elevated, with adherence to their proper vase. It is performed in the following manner: I take any material which is to be sublimated, whether by itself, or combined with other substances, and place it in any vessel of glass or clay which has a broad or round base, in such a way that the vessel is one-third full and two-thirds empty. Over this vessel, or cucurbit, I impose a blind alembic, perforated at the top by a small aperture. I make it fast, and cover it with clay, to prevent any escape of the spirit or sublimed parts. Afterwards I place it in a deep vessel, with three fingers' depth of sand at the bottom, and round the sides, or in an open fire, and increase the heat by degrees. In the first degree, it is necessary to remove all the moisture. I discover if this has been accomplished by placing over it a smooth iron plate. When any moisture remains it appears upon this plate, but when it has all been absorbed then the dry spirits rise up, and, on this account, I seal the mouth of the alembic with a sufficient quantity of good clay, and continue to graduate the fire, until all the matter which has to be sublimed is elevated. In place of a cucurbit some operators make use of a scutella (a square salver or waiter), or otherwise of a shell-shaped clay vessel, which contains the material, and over which a tight-fitting glass cone or helmet is imposed. Additional note: I take two pounds of the best purified green sulphur, five pounds of common salt, and five of Hungarian vitriol, which has been partly calcined; I pound them severally, place them in a cucurbit, and impose over it a blind alembic, perforated at the top; I kindle a fire of the first grade, until the moisture has disappeared, then, closing the orifice, I proceed by degrees until all the sulphur has ascended in a subtilised form. This sulphur (called flowers of sulphur by the chemists), taken out of the alembic in the second or third alternation, I rectify by adding a fourth part of salt and of vitriol, restored by sublimation, and obtain the finest flowers of sulphur, of use in many complaints.

The Humid Elevation (vulgarly known as Distillation) is the rarified sepa. ration of the moist parts into vapour away from the dry and crude parts. It is either direct or oblique.

The Oblique Operation is when the moisture is drawn out of a vessel which is bent on one side.

The Direct Operation is when the moisture is drawn out of a retort; either of these ways are useful in dealing with substances that give up their spirit reluctantly.

ELIDRION --- is Mercury, like to Rha.

ELIDRIUM --- is Gum Mastic.

ELIDRIUM --- is a Preparation of Gold or Silver, which is produced from two parts of
silver and one of gold, together with one of copper.

ELIXIR, or ELEI --- i.e., the Medicine. Elixir is an incomparable Medicine for conserving life and eradicating diseases. Or:

Elixir is a Ferment of which the smallest quantity will amalgamate a large mass of any generic substance, or substance with which it has affinity, into a confection like unto itself. Here the confection signifies the spirit of the life of man, and the internal balsam of life. It is that internal conserver which preserves the body in a fitting condition. Elixir is also an external balsam, extracted and prepared from external things into a Spagyric ferment. Or:

Elixir is a Medicine fermented either out of gold alone, or out of the seven metals. (A medicine made of gold or all the seven metals. It is like a leaven, of which a little lasts a whole day.)

Elixir is a species of diverse nature, composed of many species of simple substances, as, for example, when oil of terebinth is compounded with flowers of sulphur and oil of myrrh; when the quintessence of wine is mixed with tincture of saffron, etc. It is also called Elixir when the magisteria of vegetables are combined with mineral magisteria, essences, or other extracts, and composed into a homogeneous medicinal compound. Liquid Elixirs are, however, the most preferable, those especially which have the appearance of Bezoardic waters, and other distilled compounds. It is to these also that the term is chiefly applied. Some writers distinguish Elixir from all other essences, because it is compounded of many substances, and is used for the preservation of normal health, for curing or preventing diseases, and for preserving bodies from putrefaction. Or:

Elixir is the Ferment, the Leaven, the Dough, which is produced from Water. It is a Coloured Water, mingled with Bodies; it is also the White Stone, Olitet and Powder, for it is all one thing. It is also called the Treasure, First Matter; this is an imperfect Elixir. When it is perfect and ready, it is then truly a treasure. Lacinius says: Elixir is made of three things-Sol, Luna, and Mercury. But it must be of a moderate quality, between hard and soft --- softer and more subtle than Mercury. Otherwise the gold that is made of it cannot be hammered. Out of the Elixir comes Azoth, and is the first part of the work. Therefore is the Elixir of two kinds-white and red. When it is red, one adds the ferment to it, and it is multiplied. Or:

Elixir, otherwise Xir: It is a subtle and penetrating Medicine, which is made and derived from things of vegetable nature-that is to say, from four spiritual essences, by the mediation of a certain body, and this body is the ferment of a medicine, or, more tersely, it may be termed a medicinal ferment.

ELOANX --- is Orpiment.

ELOME --- is Orpiment.


ELOS MARIA --- i.e., Burnt Lead.

ELPIS --- i.e., Recrement of Silver.

ELTZ --- i.e., Flower of Copper.

ELZIMAR --- i.e., Flower of Copper.

EMA --- i.e., Blood.

EMATITES --- i.e., Bloodstone.

EMBULA --- i.e., is a Vessel like a reed.

EMUNCTORIUM --- is the place through which the expurgation of corrupt matter or
disease takes place. An outlet for corrupt matter.

ENDICA --- is the Impurity, the Excrement on the floor. Morien says : Seek Endica in
glass vessels, and shut it up till it begins to taste like vinegar, for you can do nothing while it is sweet. When this is applied to bodies and turned to earth, keep it that it may not burn, for when bodies lose their soul, then they burn easily. Endica is serviceable to all bodies, makes them vital and valuable, and prevents their destruction by fire. It is called also Mose Hazuania.

ENS --- is the First Extract of Mineral Natures which have not yet attained their final perfection, and are richer in seminal virtue. Hence it is also termed First Matter, which is that principle of every genus out of which the first natural life-impulse derives to the substance of that genus, and possesses potency like unto it. The primum ens is to be sought above all things in the mineral world. For in this world there is a rich potentiality, not developed by Nature. In the vegetable world it is to be sought among plants which are still in the blade, i.e., still sprouting, and among unripe fruits. In the animal world, there is not much profit in seeking it, unless it be in the blood, or in the ova. The spawn of frogs and similar organisms are utilised for this purpose.

ENTALE --- i.e., Vessel.

ENTALI --- is Broken Alum, White Lead (Ger. Federweiss, a name given to several mineral substances), when it is melted from Cappadocius by the Spagyric Art.

ENUR --- is the Arcane Vapour of Water, out of which stones are generated.

EPAR --- i.e., Air, or Ether.

EPATUM --- i.e., The Hepatic Aloe.

EPIPOLASIS --- when a sublimed matter rises as far as the surface and settles thereon. Indeed, essences are drawn up first of all from the centre to the surface. But sometimes the same operation serves for repurgation. The process is of two kinds: Dry and Moist.

Moist Epipolasis is performed when the sublimed substance floats from the matter in the form of moisture, and emerges visibly at the top. It may be called Sublimation by Floating, or Emerging. It is assisted by the natural upward tendency of a light body, and by the disagreement of diverse natures. It is procured by actual and potential heat.

Dry Epipolasis is performed when the sublimed matter rises immediately from the thing itself, and coheres to it intimately in a dry state. It is performed in many ways, which are variations of heat-elevation, allowing an egress through the doors of the vessel.

EPOSILINGA --- i.e., Iron Filing.

ERODINIUM --- is an Omen of any thing or occurrence to come, which meanwhile is
hidden from man until it takes place. Afterwards, it is a certain Presage which signifies the recurrence of the event.

ERYSIPELAS --- The Beautiful, the Clouds.

ESSARE --- are small scabby Pustules, like bubbles, unless they have a fleshy swelling caused by burning.

ESSATUM POTENTIALE --- The strength, power, and virtue which dwell in vegetable and mineral things.

ESSATUM VINUM --- Herbs steeped in rectified and distilled Wine, so that it may draw out their essences. Such is Honey Wine, useful in asthma, and Pulmonary Wine, which indeed is the same thing.

ESCIRA or ESTPHARA --- is black, Dead, or Bruised Flesh, which by means of a cautery or of corrosive medicament is removed from healthy and living flesh.

ESEBON or ALSABON --- i.e., Common Salt.

ESSENTIA --- Essence, is a simple Extract which contains the whole nature and perfection of the substances from which it is derived. And it is called Essence because originating and comprehended in the elementary divisions of Nature; it is the perfect part of every composite substance, and is informed with their virtue, nature, and essential quality. It can be extracted from every species of mixed substance, mineral, vegetable, animal, with great success.

Essence is of two kinds : Sap, or juice, and Mystery.

Quintessence is the bodily matter of all things wherein there is life, separated from every impurity, and most subtilely purged from corruptibilities. Therein is all the potency and heating quality of substances.

Quintessence is so called because it is something higher than the elements, nor does it originate from these or from what is gross therein, but is divine in source and in effect.

ESSODINUM --- is a certain Presage of a future thing by means of a sign.

ESTHIOMENUS --- is the complete Corruption of a Member, which is entirely eaten away, as takes place in lupus, consuming ulcer, St. Anthony's fire, etc., etc.

ETESLE --- West, North-west.

ETHEL --- is the Black, also the Fire.

The Turba says : Ethelia is the Burnt Body, parched and dry, red and white, fire and sieve, or riddle, which holds together the water of the Mercury. It is the red Tincture. It is also the white Blossom of Gold. They call it the boiling when the black mounts to the top.

ETHESIUS LAPIS --- i.e., Chrysolite. ETHEEs-Precious Gold.

EVENTILATIO LINTEAMINUM JACTATUO --- The Purification of Linen by Shaking.

EVESTRUM --- is the Eternal Substance of Heaven in the regions of the four elements. It is also the Prophetic Spirit which forecasts by the interpretation of those signs which go before events. It is also the Sidereal Body of Man whose apparition foretells to us our approaching death or some other evil.

EUXOXORUS --- South-east wind, or S. by S.E.

EUXUS --- Middle South-east, i.e., S.E. wind, or wind generally.

EYEB, EFFEBEB, FILON --- Names of Gold.

EXALTATIO --- i.e., Sublimation.

EXALTATION --- is an Operation by which a Matter is Altered in its inclinations, and is elevated to a higher dignity of substance and virtue. It is twofold-Maturation and Gradation. Or:

EXALTATION --- is rarefying, the gradual transmutation of a substance, by dissolving into a purer and higher degree of its own virtue. It is done by circulation or ablution.

EXCOQUERE --- To Smelt.

EXCOCTOR --- A Smelter.

EXCREMENTA --- Excrements, are in general all Superfluities that are Ejected by Nature. The excrements of women are the menstrua.

EXHALATIO --- Exhalation is performed when dry spirits are caused to depart upwards into the air by the operation of heat. It is accomplished chiefly in dry substances, which have been triturated, and placed upon iron tables, or in deep flat vessels, or at the bottom of ovens, etc. The matters are heated by a fire from below, around, or above, until the spirits are consumed, as happens in metallic veins.

EXSILERE --- To spring out of.

EXITURA --- Refers in general to all kinds of Abscesses which exude matter.

EXORCISTA --- A Superstitious Operator who evokes shades and spirits by adjurations, and causes them to appear.


EXPRESSIO --- is Extraction by means of a Press (e.g., wine-press) which causes the substance of a thing to flow out in the form of liquid. Its chief use is for extracting oils and juices.

EXTRA ORDINARIA OPERA --- Work done in overtime.

EXTRACTIO --- Extraction is Digestion, a process subsequent to the separation of the recrement, dissolving, by corporeal concretion, the subtler and purer parts of a given substance. Thus I take any quantity of rhubarb, and, having pulverised it, I pour thereon sufficient spirit to cover the substance and float over it to a height of four inches. I then seal up the vessel and for the space of four days digest the matter in a bath. At the end of that time, I open the vase, and separate the root from the tinged spirit by inclining the vessel on one side. I again pour spirit upon the matter; again seal and digest it, and repeat this process until the spirit is no longer tinged by the rhubarb, from which all the tincture and essence is now extracted. I combine the extractions together, and abstract their spirit in the Balneum Maria; the essential residue I reserve in a glass vial for future use; it is good in bilious complaints and in other affections. Or:

Extraction is the Separation of the Essential Part from its body. It is really a similar operation to the disintegration of composite substances, and has affinity with calcination, melting, etc. Moreover, the essential nature of any matter cannot be extracted without a continuous dissolution. For the rest, extraction and its connected operations are often interchangeable.

Extractum, or the Substance Extracted, is that which is separated by corporeal concretion, the elemental grossness being left behind. It is a species of marrow, the most noble portion in the elements of an entire substance being educed, the seminal potency being conserved therein, and a still higher virtue being elaborated. There is a fourfold root of the elements, between which there is an intimate intercourse and a collateral nourishment continually interchanged; the chief sustaining power being at the same time derived from the power of the creating God, and the secret influence of heaven. This extract puts on the nature of ethereal and celestial things, and when it has been thoroughly and skilfully prepared, it can perform great works in medicine, which are very serviceable to the health of man, and for which God be blessed 1 When it is fully and perfectly liberated from its elements, or matrices, for the fourfold root is of unequal quality, and elaboration must be performed upon each, it differs in a special way from magisteries, wherein the elements still persist. When an extract is thus carefully educed, the subtlety of its essence endows it with a great power of penetration into the substance of bodies. It has received many appellations, which must all be understood as referring to this full and perfect extraction of elemental property. Such are the Soul, the Balsam of Life, the most Pure Essence, the Celestial Nature, and indeed it has a certain quality of heavenly being. It is also the Second Matter, which is produced in the separation of the celestial light, the pure Transcendant Ray of the Arcane Philosophy, from the obscure earth, which is reprobate and accursed. It is the Aethereum of Plato, and the active Manifestation of Heavenly Power and Virtue in the bodies of sublunary or inferior things.

EZEZICH --- i.e., Salt.

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