A Lexicon of Alchemy
A ~ B ~ C ~ D ~ E ~ F ~ G ~ H ~ I ~ J ~ K ~ L ~ M ~ N ~ O ~ P ~ Q ~ R ~ S ~ T ~ U ~ V ~ W ~ X ~ Y ~ Z ~ Supplement
A Supplement To The Alchemical LExicon of Martinus Rulandus, Containing The Terms Of The Philosophers And The Veils Of The Great Mystery
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ABBREVIATION --- A word which in its literal sense means to gain time is used by the philosophers, for they say that " The Stone tolerates no abbreviation," meaning that the artist must not weary over long labour, nor endeavour to speed the operation by increasing the fire, since by so doing he will destroy his process.
ABSEMIR --- One of the names which have been given by Philosophers to the matter of the art.
ACARTUM --- One of the names of Minium. Others call it Azimar.
ACALACH --- Salt-according to the terminology of the Spagyric Philosophers.
ACATE --- Soot.
ACONOR --- An Earthen Pot, pierced with a number of holes at the sides and bottom.
ACETUM ACERRIMUM --- The Mercurial Water of the Sages.
ACHACHI --- Water of Light-is the Mercury of the Philosophers, so called because its active virtue purifies the Laton, and causes it to pass from the Black colour to the White, which they term Light.
ADAM --- is a Name which the Philosophers have given to their Magisterium when it has attained the perfection of the Red, because their matter, being the Quintessence of the Universe and the First Matter of all individuals in Nature, has a perfect correspondence with that original Adam, in whom God united the most pure substance of all beings, and, otherwise, because the word Adam signifies Red, and thus expresses at once the colour and the quality of the Magisterium --- that is, Red Earth, Mercury of the Sages, Sulphur, Soul, Fire of Nature.
ADAMITE --- A kind of white tartar, or foliated earth, which the Hermetic Philosophers have named Adamic Earth, Tartar, Virgin Earth, Adamita, etc.
ADAPTATION --- This process of the Philosophers occurs when the projection of the Elixir to the white or to the red is made upon a metal that has been melted upon or reduced to its mercurial form, so long as it is of the same nature, and for this reason is in harmony and agreement with the Elixir. Thus, Adaptation means Harmony, or Natural Likeness, or Affinity, or a capacity for entering into these conditions. In effect, should any one endeavour to project the white or the red upon any substance other than metallic, he will produce neither gold nor silver, because the matter upon which he is projecting has no affinity with the Elixir.
ADDITION --- This process is mainly concerned with Philosophical Gold, or Citrine Sulphur. It is the Rubification or Tincture of Mercury, which of itself adds nothing to the work, because it inheres to the Mercury. Sometimes, by the addition of Philosophical Gold, we understand the projection of the Elixir upon a suitable liquefied or heated matter.
ADHEBE --- Has the same meaning as Adhaec.
ADHIEC --- A Spirit which Conserves Life and Motion in Animals. In Man the Hermetic Philosophers distinguish three constituents which make up his humanity --- namely, Soul, Spirit, and Body. The Soul is immortal and spiritual, and derives its nourishment and its life from God, being a kind of extension of the Deity, to make use of an expression which occurs in the Asclepius of Hermes. The Spirit occupies a middle position between the Soul and the Body; it unites them together, and has its nourishment from all that is most subtle in Nature, and from the quintessence of the elements, which it absorbs by means of respiration. Lastly, there is the gross and terrene body, which is nourished by the earth and water of which it is itself composed.
ADIRLAPIS --- Sal Ammoniac.
ADULPHUR --- Ash or Sand.
ADUMA --- The Stone of the Philosophers arrived at the Red before it has become Elixir.
AFFLICTION --- This term refers to the Grief of the Artist, who has permitted his spirits to escape or evaporate, when his vessels are broken by excessive heat, etc.
AFFAX, or AFFARIS --- Every kind of Scum.
AFFEMICUM --- This name is given by chemists to the Soul of Things.
AGAR --- Lime.
AGAZOPH --- See Adulphur.
AHALCABOR, ALCHONAR, ALASTROB, ALOMBA, AGAR-ALGIT, ALGERIT --- Are all names of Calx.
ALARTA --- Burnt Copper.
ALBUSIE --- The Sulphur of the Sages. Some chemists have given the same name to Common Sulphur.
ALCADY --- Vitriol, White Atrament, White Salt of the Sages.
ALCALHAL --- The Vinegar of Vulgar Chemical Philosophy, but this Vinegar is not that of the Philosophers, which is nothing else but their Pontic Water, or Dissolving Mercury.
ALCES UNGULA --- The Hoof of the Elk, is used by physicians as a medicine for the nerves. What is called specific hoof is celebrated for its efficacy against epilepsy, both as a preventive and a cure. It is used externally and internally, the powder thereof being administered in the latter fashion. Externally a particle is placed in a ring, which is worn on what is commonly called the ring finger, next to the little finger, and so as to face the hand. Or, it is worn opposite to that finger in a ring purposely turned to it. It is also placed on the wrist, applied to the pulse, put into the left ear, suspended from the neck, so as to touch the skin, etc. It is said to be recognised by its smell, for it yields a pleasant odour in fumigation.
ALCHAZANON --- A Slime which falls off Millstones, and of which an excellent mastic is made.
ALCHEMY --- A word composed of the Arabic article Al and of Chymia.
ALCHEMY --- According to George Ripley, the Universal Matter of all Metals is Mercury, which set over the fire, together with the purest Sulphur, will become Gold. But if either of these constituents be sick or leprous --- that is to say, infected with any impurity --- some other metal will be produced instead of gold.
He adds that as mercury and sulphur are sufficient for the making of all metals, so of these may be composed a universal medicine, or metal, for curing all the sick; which some by an error have understood as a universal metal, efficacious in all the diseases of the human body.
ALCHEMY --- Authorities therein: Among later writings on the Hermetic science, there is a French Catechism of Alchemy which, as it is founded directly on a unique Ms. of Paracelsus, is of very high authority. It says that to obtain a knowledge of the mysteries of the art, it is necessary to be acquainted with all the works of Hermes, which should be first studied, and their lessons put to heart. The disciple should then proceed in the following order with his reading:
1. The Passage of the Red Sea.
2. The Entrance Into the Land of Promise.
3. Paracelsus, especially his Manual.
4. Raymund Lully, particularly his Vade Mecum, Lignum Vitae, Testament, and Codicil.
5. The Turba Philosophorum.
6. Denis Zachaire.
8. Roger Bacon.
ALCHITURA --- Liquid Pitch.
ALCOOLIZATION --- Reduction of a Body into its smallest parts. According to the Spagyric Philosophers, it is the same thing as Philosophic Calcination. Indeed, the terms are used interchangeably, and express the same process. But Alcoolization should not be confounded with ordinary chemical calcination, for in hermetic science the latter term has only a symbolical significance.
ALCOFIL NIGRA --- One of the names which the Alchemists give to Antimony. It is also called Alophjt.
ALCUR --- Sulphur.
ALETH --- The Jupiter of the Philosophers, and the Tin of the Chemists.
ALLEGORY --- A Greek Term which signifies that words should be understood in another than their natural sense --- that is, when one thing is said, and another meant.
ALERNET --- Orpiment.
ALLOR --- Burnt Copper.
ALLUTEL --- A Vessel designed for the Sublimation of Liquefied Matter.
ALMAGRA --- Chemists of the vulgar school give this name to Bolus, to Copper, and to Laton, but the philosophers understand by it the Matter of their Stone. According to Morien, it is Laton, named Red Earth, that is, Philosophical Sulphur.
ALMAKIST --- Lltharge.
ALMAT --- Ceruse, or Rust of Lead.
ALMAT KASITE --- Quicksilver.
ALMA --- Philosophical Water.
ALOE --- An Elk.
ANABISI, or ADEBEZI --- A Term of the Spagyric philosophers, which signifies the Shell, Bark, or Rind, which encloses the true matter of the Mercury of the Philosophers. It signifies the climbing Tendril of a Vine and also a Tortoise.
ANDROGYNE, or HERMAPHRODITE --- That is to say, Bisexual Water --- a name which the Philosophers have given to the purified matter of their Stone after Conjunction. It is properly their Mercury, which they call male and female.
ANGELS --- The chemical Philosophers sometimes give this name to the Volatile Matter of their Stone. They then say that their body is spiritualized, and that one will never succeed in performing the Grand Work unless one corporifies spirits, and spiritualizes bodies. This operations is philosophical sublimation, and it is certain that the fixed never becomes sublimated without the assistance of the volatile.
ANGLE --- The thing which has three angles --- a term of Hermetic science-The Philosophers say that their matter, or the Philosophical Mercury, is a substance having three angles as regards the substance of which it is composed, of four as regards its virtue, and of two in respect of its matter, while in its root it is one. These three angles are salt, sulphur, and mercury; the four are the elements; the two are the fixed and the volatile, and the one is the remote matter, or the chaos from which all has been produced.
ANIMAL --- The Philosophers have bestowed this name upon their matter after it has passed through putrefaction. It is so called because it grows in sublimation, and Chas a soul of blood colour, namely, the invisible spirit of vitriol.
ANIMATION --- This term of Hermetic science signifies the endowment of Mercury with a metallic spirit, which vivifies it, so to speak, and fits it for the production of philosophical sulphur. Philalethes and Bernard Trevisan have written much about this animation. The latter calls it Double Mercury.
ANRIC --- Sulphur.
ANTIMUM --- Spring Honey.
APHORISMUS --- A General Rule in Medicine.
APHIDEGI --- Ceruse.
APPOSITION --- The Philosophers say that one --- must begin by the apposition of citrine red Mercury in order to pass from the white to the red. It is a philosophical figure of speech. The truth is that nothing is added, for the matter contains within itself all that is required. The matter is simply cooked, augmenting the necessary fire. Those who understand this figure of speech literally, and introduce a citrine red Mercury fall into a serious error.
AQUA OLVES --- Distilled Vinegar. Some chemists use the same term to signify Aquafortis.
AQUALA --- Philosophical Arsenic.
AQUILEGIA --- Theophrastus calls the yellow-flowered plant Genista by this name.
AQUILENA --- The plant Larkspur.
ARACAB --- The Eagle of the Philosophers.
ARACEUM --- A Slime for Sealing Vessels.
ARAXOS --- Soot.
ARCHILAT --- A Weight of Three Grains.
AROP --- The Matter of which the Stone is formed --- at least, it is the Matter of which the Magisterium is composed, which also contains but one thing.
ARSAG --- Arsenic.
ARSAVEILE --- Sublimed Arsenic. Called also Arcanec and Artanec.
ARSENIC OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- The Mercury of the Wise --- otherwise, the matter from which this Mercury is extracted. It is also the Hermetic Matter when it has reached the black stage, and the Sulphur or active and masculine seed. Some also understand by this term that Salt, which is the bond between Sulphur and Mercury, and is one of the three principles of Nature, and of all composites.
ARSENIC --- Incombustible Arsenic of the Philosophers --- the Hermetic Stone perfected to the white degree.
ARUNCULA MAJOR --- The Matter of the Philosopher's Stone.
ASABON --- In Hermetic science, the Azoth of the Philosophers, with which they whiten their Laton.
ASABUM --- Tin; the Jupiter of the Philosophers.
ASERIT --- Living Sulphur.
ASMON --- Sal Ammoniac.
ASMUM --- Weights for weighing --- such as the pound, ounce, etc.
ASROB --- The Matter of the Philosophers in Putrefaction --- their Head of the Raven, Saturn, etc.
ASSA FOETIDA --- The Hermetic Philosophers have applied this name to the Mercury of Ripley, because it has the smell of this substance, when newly extracted from the mineral ore. This odour, according to Raymund Lully, is of the strongest kind, but it is changed by circulation into a quintessence of a most sweet and pleasant savour.
ASSALA --- An Arabic term which signifies Alum.
ASSUGAR --- Verdigris.
ASTRUM EX IGNE --- The Archetypal Form of Fire.
ATALANTA --- According to the Spagyric Philosophers is the Volatile Matter of the Magnum Opus which can only be arrested by the fixed matter, symbolically represented as the Golden Apples, since there is nothing more fixed than the radical matter of gold. When a fountain is said to be caused to burst forth from a rock, it means that the philosophical stone produces water, of which earth is made, and then again water. It is also said that Atalanta sleeps in the temple of her mother with Hippomenes, because the fixed and the volatile are placed together in the same vessel, and this is the chemical marriage which is so much talked of by philosophers.
ATIMAD --- Antimony.
ATTENUATION --- Reduction into Powder; Pulverised Matter or Substance, separated from all terrene particles, or otherwise subtilised.
ALTAR --- Some adepts have assigned this name to their Mercury and to their Matter, when operated on in the vessel.
AUTUMN --- The period when the artist obtains the reward of his labours. It is of a dry and cold complexion. It must ever be remembered that dissolution takes place in winter, coction in spring, coagulation in summer, and the garnering of the fruits in autumn-that is, the imparting of the tincture.
AYBORZAT --- Galbanum.
AZECI --- Philosophical Vitriol.
AZINARBAN --- A term by which the Spagyric Philosophers signified the Feces, or that impurity which is separated from the pure matter of the sages.
ARIES --- The Sulphur of the Philosophers when perfect at the Red stage. It derives this name from its warm and dry quality, which is characteristic of the Sign Aries. The adepts say that they extract their steel from the belly of Aries, and they call their steel Magnet by this name. But when the Cosmopolite and Philalethes so express themselves, they speak of the actual matter of the work, of which their sulphur is formed.
ATTEMPER --- This is the same as Coction, and it is in this sense that Raymund Lully says that our iron attempers sharp and bitter substances.
APOCALYPSE --- While the adepts of Hermetic science claim that the secret sense of the Book of Genesis is concerned with their mysteries, they regard the Apocalypse as especially alchemical in its interior meaning. It is, in fact, nothing less than a poem in praise of Alchemy.
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BAGEDIA --- A Weight of One Ounce, or a Pound according to the measure of medicine.
BALM --- Universal Balm of Nature --- is the Elixir perfected to the white or red stages, abounding in marvels and astonishing powers in the three kingdoms of Nature-vegetable, animal and mineral-for it educes their latent perfections, and is a most rare and little understood Medicine; it is an infallible and sovereign remedy of all diseases and can even resuscitate the dead.
BALSAM --- The Universal Balsam, or The Elixir of Life. According to Bernard Trevisan, the Universal Catholicon is nothing else than the reduction of the Philosophical Stone into Mercurial Water. It is also called Potable Gold. It cures every species of disease, and prolongs life even beyond the common limits of humanity. According to the same authority, the Perfect Elixir at the Red changes copper, lead, iron, and all metals into purer gold than can be produced from any mines. The Perfect Elixir at the White, which is also called Oil of Talc, changes all metals into the finest silver.
Among the many recipes for a Balsam or Elixir of Life, the following may be cited in this place. Take eight pounds of Mercurial Sap, two pounds of the Sap of Borage, using leaves and stems for the extract; twelve pounds of Narbonne or other honey, the best that can be found in the country; boil them altogether and skim. Filter and clarify. For the space of twenty-four hours set apart for infusion over hot cinders four ounces of sliced gentian root, infused in three half-pints of white wine. Stir occasionally. Pass the wine through a linen bag without squeezing it. Add this concoction to the saps and honey; boil the whole gently till it reaches the consistence of syrup. Turn it, to cool, into a glazed earthenware pan; then put it into bottles, which must be stored in a warm place. One spoonful should be taken every morning. This syrup prolongs life, confirms health against all manner of maladies, even gout, and moderates heat in the bowels. It is good for sciatica, vertigo, and generally for all internal complaints.
BALSAM --- The Sovereign Medicine, regarded from the standpoint of the Metallic Kingdom, is said to be made by taking the Stone, grinding it, powdering it, separating its terrestrial nature by the secret fire, subliming it, dissolving it in the Water of the Sea of the Wise, and then proceeding by the way of decoction. The Water of the Sea of the Philosophers is of the same nature as the Stone, because all that is comprised under the mineral and metallic nature was formed and nourished of that very same water in the bowels of the earth, whither it penetrates along with the influence of the stars.
BALSAM --- The Philosophical Stone, which is simply the Elixir of Life in another form, and under another phase, while the Elixir of Life is in like manner another phase and form of the Philosophical Stone, is the pledge not only of incalculable riches, of health ever blooming, but even, as some affirm, of immortality. The person who possesses it will find no one able to withstand him.
The philosophical theory of the Metallic Elixir is thus stated: Those Philosophers who experimented by the dry path have succeeded in rendering a part of their gold volatile, and reducing it into a sublimate, white as snow and shining like crystal. The remaining portion they have converted into a fixed salt, and from the conjunction of the volatile and the fixed, they have made their Elixir. Other Philosophers, subsequently, after another method, which is the humid way, have extracted from the interior of Mercury an igneous spirit, which is mineral, vegetable, and reproductive. In the humid concavity of this spirit is concealed the primitive Mercury, or universal quintessence. By the means of this spirit, they have attracted the spiritual seed contained in gold, and have thus obtained their sulphur, and that Mercury of the Philosophers which is neither solid as a Metal, nor of fluid-like Quicksilver, but has a medial condition between them.
BARNA --- A Glass Vessel.
BASILISK --- The Chemical Philosophers have sometimes given this name to their Mercury, because it dissolves everything. Some understand it to refer to the Stone at the White Stage, others to the Stone at the Red Stage, because just as the ancients said that the basilisk slew by the mere glance of its eye all those upon whom it fell, so also the powder of projection made of the stone at the white or the red stage, and projected upon Mercury or other metals, kills them, so to speak, by fixing them (as the eye of the basilisk killed also by fixing its victims) and transmutes them into silver or gold.
BASZIAL --- Beans.
BATH OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- That which the alchemists term the Bath is a matter reduced into a liquid or aqueous form; thus when it is required to perform projection on a metal, that metal must be melted, and this is called the Bath, or reduction in to the mercurial form, where the King and Queen come to Bathe --- that is, the Sun and Moon-because it is liquid water.
BATH OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- is when operations of circulation take place in the egg. The philosophers say that the King and Queen bathe in the fountain as many times as it will naturally contain them. Reference is also implied to the time when the distillation of the philosophical Mercury takes place.
BATHE --- To put in a Bath. The Philosophers say that they prepare a bath for the Sun and the Moon, for the King and the Queen, etc. In the symbolic pictures of Abraham the Jew, preserved by Flamel, there is a king so-called, armed with a great cutlass, who causes a large number of children to be slain in his presence by soldiers, while their mothers wail at the feet of the merciless military. The blood which flows from the victims is subsequently collected into a large vessel, wherein the Sun and Moon of the heaven come down to bathe themselves. This fountain is solely for the use of the king of the country. Sometimes the alchemists understand by the term Bathing the Coction of the Matter, and its Circulation in the Philosophical Egg.
BATHE --- Remark that Calcination, Tinging, Washing, Whitening and Bathing signify one operation, and that all these words signify the Coction of the Matter until it has attained its perfection.
BDELLERUM --- Saintfoin.
BEAST --- The Venomous Beast of the Sages and their Serpent. This is the Philosophical Stone when it is sublimated, and this by similitude as much as because the serpent glides along insensibly, and slays by means of its venom. In like manner the Stone, being perfect, enters and penetrates the metal, which is imperfect, and kills it-that is to say, annihilates its first imperfect being, together with its volatility, and tinges and fixes it at the perfect white or red.
BELISIS --- The Coral of the Philosophers.
BEMBEL --- is the Philosophical Mercury, and sometimes the operation of the Stone of the Sages --- one is often taken for the other.
BERINBRUCH --- A Stone found in the neighbourhood of Ephesus. The inhabitants of Darmstadt on the Rhine have applied this name to it on account of the effects it produces. The physicians term it Otea Colla.
BESEC --- Mercury of the Sages.
BHACTA --- Red Earth.
BLACINA --- Several Metals melted or fused together.
BOLUS, JUDAIC BOLUS --- The Marshmallow.
BOLESIS --- See Belisis.
BULESON --- Balm.
BORAX --- The Stone of the Philosophers at the white stage.
BORIN --- Vinegar, Terebinth, or Alkali.
BORITIS --- The Philosophers apply this name to their Mercury when it has reached the black stage, and is indeed very black as well as very thick. It is, otherwise the Laton which must be rendered white.
BOTHRACHIUM --- The Ash of Sardaigre, called by the botanists Apium Risus. Bozix --- Turpentine, or the Balsam which is artificially extracted therefrom.
BLAS CARDIS --- A Vital Spirit, and, consequently, a kindler of heat. The spirit is animated, and becomes the mother of the heat.
BLAS REGIMINIS --- Acts around the effluvium of the body when the moon disturbs the sea.
BRETAN --- Brefil Wood.
BRUMAZAR --- A name which some Philosophers have bestowed on their Mercury. It is a Fatty and Unctuous Vapour which the author of Clangor Buccinae refers to in the following terms: Bread which has been fermented and baked occupies, so far as it is perfect in itself, the same position as gold when it is purified by fire; it is a fixed body, susceptible of no further fermentation, unless it is mixed with Brumazar, that is, the First Matter of metals, wherein a becomes resolved into this First Matter. Take therefore this matter of which gold is composed, and by means of our art make the philosophical ferment, etc.
BRAY --- In chemical language this signifies the Coction of the Matter, and not its pounding in a mortar or otherwise.
BURN --- In chemical language this term is equivalent to assaying; it is not to be interpreted as calcination or submitting actually to the fire. It is simply the Coction of the Matter in its own vase by a moderate fire.
C C C
CAB --- Philosophical Gold.
CABALA --- The Science of the Philosophical Stone, or of Hermetic Philosophy, forms part of the Cabala, or Kabbalah, and is only orally taught.
CABET --- Iron Scales, or Filings of Iron.
CACOCHYLA --- An Injurious Sap found in certain Bodies.
CADMIA AURI --- Litharge of Gold.
CADMIA --- One of the names which the Hermetic Philosophers have given to the matter of their Stone. Some have also given the name of Cadmia to the heterogeneous parts of this matter which must not be permitted to enter into the work. It is correctly the stone in the red stage.
CADUCEUS --- The Chemical Philosophers have given to their dissolvent the name of the Caduceus of Mercury, because they affirm that the makers of the classical fable in question intended to indicate the dissolvent by the symbol of the Caduceus. The Caduceus is composed of three parts --- of the golden stem, or rod, surmounted by an iron apple, and of two serpents which seem to be on the point of devouring it. One of these serpents represents the volatile portion of the matter of the Philosophers, the other signifies the fixed part, and these strive with one another in the vessel. They are united, equilibrated, and restrained in the poise of fixation by the philosophical gold, typified in the stem or rod, and thus they are inseparably united in one body.
CAGASTRUM --- A term which Paracelsus invented, the image, or representation, or simulacrum of a real thing, or something which in itself has no reality. It is the antithesis of Yliastrum. He says that Cagastrum is what nitrous salt is to the first matter of all things, or what the flesh of man is to the first matter of that flesh. The flesh of man became Cagastrum after the fall --- a mere image of what it was in the primal state. In like manner, there are two kinds of life --- one according to Yliaster, or that of the spirit, the other Cagastric, or that of the animal nature. Consult Paracelsus in Azoth.
CAIN --- A name which the Philosophers have applied to their Matter in putrefaction and when it has reached the black stage, possibly on account of the malediction which God pronounced upon the son of Adam when he murdered his brother Abel, or because the flagitious lives of his descendants necessitated the deluge which destroyed almost the whole of the human race. This deluge is represented by the Dissolution of the Matter, and its effect by putrefaction.
CAL --- Philosophical Arsenic, or the Matter of the Chemists, not only during the period of its dissolution, when it is a virulent poison, but also when it has arrived at the white state.
CALAMBAC --- Aloes.
CALCADIN --- Colcotar, or the Matter of the Philosophers arrived at the red state.
CALCICOS --- Copper.
CALCITHOS --- Green Copper.
CALCITARI --- Alkaline Salt, Alkael.
CALDAR --- Tin.
CALERUTH --- A sign of a tendency or desire to return to the perpetual principle, as when substance desires to return to the first matter whence it proceeded.
CALIDITY or CALOR --- A quality of the Fixed Matter of the Philosophers. They have given this name to their male, or the Fixed-which is also called Sulphur, Living Silver, Frigidity, Humidity, etc.
CALIX CHYMICUS --- Glass of Antimony.
CALLENA --- Saltpetre.
CALMET --- The Antimony of the Philosophers.
CALUFAL --- Indian oil.
CALYFUR --- An Arabic word which some chemists make use of to signify cloves.
CAMBAR --- The Matter of the Sages arrived at the white stage.
CAMBIA --- An exudation, gum, etc.
CAMBILE --- The Red Earth of the Philosophers.
CAMERETH --- The Fixed or Red Mercury of the Philosophers, or the Sulphur of the Sages.
CAMES or CAMET --- Silver, or the Philosophical Matter arrived at the white stage.
CANCER --- The Stone of the Philosophers fixed at the red stage, and so named on account of its warm and dry quality, and of its igneous virtue, which has also caused it to be designated the Stone of Fire and Mineral of Celestial Fire.
CANICULUM --- The Fire of the Caniculum. Some Hermetic Philosophers have applied this name to their Third Fire or Fire of the Third Grade, which is compared to the warmth of the Caniculum or the Dog-Star, which is supposed to be the most extreme or fierce of the whole year. This does not, however, mean that we are to augment the fire up to the third degree, for we are told that it must be equal and continuous throughout the whole course of the work. The augmentation in question refers to the interior fire.
CAPE --- Mineral Earth which forms bodies and composes the metallic stones which are combined with metal but are not themselves metallic. It is the petrine matter which occasions the operations of extracting alloy from metals in order to obtain them in a pure state.
CAPITELLUM --- Water of Soap, also Caput Mortuum, or Feces.
CAPITELLUM --- Some Philosophers have applied this name to Lye and Water of Soap.
CAPITELLUM OF ALAMBAT --- This name has also been given to the Matter of the Work when it has reached the black stage.
CAPRICORNUS --- According to Mangetus some Philosophers have applied this name to Lead. He would have been correct if he had said that they applied it to the Lead of the Philosophers, or their Saturn. The name in question was given to this substance because Capricornus signifies the winter solstice, corresponding to the matter of the work in its black stage, for the Saturn of the Philosophers is also the Winter of the Philosophers.
CARAB --- Vegetable Salt [?].
CARAHA --- A name which the Chemical Philosophers have given to one of their Philosophical Bulls. It is the first of these; the second is called Aludel.
CARDEL --- Mustard.
CARDIS --- Jupiter or Tin.
CARUMFEL --- The Giraffe.
CARSUFLE --- Same as Corsufle.
CASIBO --- The Cypress.
CASMET --- Antimony.
CASPA --- The Philosophical Matter at the white stage.
CATILIA, or CORTILIA --- A Weight of Nine Ounces.
CENTRAL FIRE --- This is the Sulphur of Matter --- the Universal Fire of Nature which informs all things. Mercury also, according to Espagnet, manifests itself by the gentle heat of Nature.
CENTRE OF THE WORLD --- This is the Matter of the Stone of the Philosophers, and the Stone itself when it is in its perfection. The Philosophers have so named it, because they say that all the properties of the universe are united and meet therein.
CERAUNO --- Fulminating Gold.
CERDAC --- Mercury.
CEXIM --- Vinegar.
CHAIA --- Matter of the Philosophers when it has arrived at the white colour.
CHALCOS --- Copper.
CHANDEL --- Coloquintha.
CHANQUE --- Nitre of the Philosophers.
CHAOS --- In order to attain to the knowledge and the execution of the physical work, the Philosopher must follow the same route that the Great Architect of the universe employed at the creation of the world, by observing how the chaos was disentangled. The chaos could have consisted of no other substance but a moist vapour, for water only is the true receptacle of forms. An illustration may be found in ordinary seeds, which always change into a certain humour. Now, this humour is their particular chaos, whence the whole form of the plant is extracted, as it were, by irradiation. The Philosopher will therefore see that from the confused mass whence the world was formed, the Sovereign Artist began by an extraction of the light, which at the same instant dissipated the darkness covering the surface of the earth, to serve as a universal form to matter. He will thence conclude easily that in the generation of all composite bodies a species of irradiation takes place, a separation of the light from the darkness, in which Nature is continually the imitator of her Creator. The Philosopher will equally understand that by the action of this light there was formed that firmament which separated the waters from the waters. The sky was afterwards adorned with luminous bodies, but things superior being too remote from things inferior, it was necessary to make the moon, as an intermediate torch between the above and the below. So the moon, when it has received the celestial influences, communicates them to the earth. Here it should be noted that there is properly but one heaven, which separates the waters from the waters. Three, nevertheless, are admitted. The first is beyond the region of the clouds, and there the rarified waters are returned towards the fixed stars. In this place are the planets and the wandering lights. The second is the abode of the fixed stars themselves. The third is the home of the celestial waters. Having separated the waters of heaven and earth, the Creator, to give a field for generation, produced a light particularly destined to this end, which he placed in the central fire, tempering that fire by the humidity of water and the coldness of earth, in order to restrain its action, and to conform its heat to the design of its author. The central fire acts continually upon the humid matter which is nearest, whence it causes a vapour to rise. This vapour is the Mercury of Nature and the First Matter of the Three Kingdoms. By the double action, or, rather, the reaction of the central fire upon the mercurial vapour, the Sulphur of Nature was afterwards formed.
Now, a truly wise Philosopher, once he has understood the foundation and order of nature which the Great Architect of the Universe observed for the construction of what exists in Nature should, so far as he is able, be a faithful imitator of his Creator. In his physical labour he should make his chaos such as it actually was, he should separate the light from the darkness, he should form his firmament to divide the waters from the waters; and, in a word, accomplish perfectly, following the path indicated, the whole work of creation.
CHAOS --- The Philosophers have given by comparison the name of Chaos to the Matter of the Work in a state of putrefaction, because then the Elements or Principles of the Stone are in such confusion that they cannot be distinguished. This chaos is developed by volatilisation; the abyss of water leaves the earth visible little by little in proportion as the humidity is sublimed and rises to the summit of the vase. It is for this reason the Hermetic Chemists have compared their work to the development of the universe out of the primeval chaos.
CHAOS, CAHOS, or CAHAS --- This is sometimes termed Water of the Dew of the Equinox, and also Menstruum of the World, or, simply, Menstruum. The Cosmopolite says in his Enigma that it is found in the belly of Aries, and in his Epilogue that the Pontic Water is congealed in the Sun and Moon, and is extracted from both by means of the Steel of the Philosophers. Both these methods of speaking have reference to the same thing.
CHARIOT OF PHAETON --- One of the designations which the Philosophers have given to the Grand Work.
CHARON --- The son of Erebus and of Night. The chemists, however, regard Charon as the symbol of the colour grey, which is intermediate between black and white. The three rivers of the fable signifies the putrefaction which takes place in the three operations of the work. These operations are termed by Gebir the Medicines of the first, second, and third order. In each the matter must be dissolved and undergo putrefaction; it must also reach the black colour, to which grey succeeds, and this grey is the mythological Charon. It is for this reason that he is called the Son of Erebus and of Night. During the course of the grey colour, the matter becomes volatile, and the philosophical Laton whitens. This is the passage of souls through or over the three rivers of the mythos, so as to arrive at the Elysian fields represented by the white stage.
CHEF D'OEUVRE --- This is the Stone of the Philosophers, the Elixir perfect at the Red Stage. Those chemists have done well who have given it this name, for it is the most excellent thing which man can possibly imagine for the realisation of his well-being.
CHELOPA --- Jalop.
CHESEP --- The Air we breathe, also that of the Philosophers. According to Avicenna and Aristotle, you will not succeed in the work unless you extract water from air, earth from water, and fire from earth.
CHIBUR or CHIBUT --- The Sulphur of the Sages when it has attained to the colour Red.
CHIMERA --- The ignorant crowd has ever regarded the search for the Philosophers' Stone as a chimera. The Adepts say that this is by a just judgment of God, who does not permit so precious a secret to be possessed by the wicked and unwise.
CHISIR --- The Sulphur principle of Metals.
CHYLE --- Matter in putrefaction.
CICEBRUM --- The Water of the Philosophers.
CIDMIA --- Litharge.
CIMMERIANS --- The Bubbles which Ascend in the Philosophical Vessel during Putrefaction.
CIRCLE --- In the terms of Hermetic Science, this signifies the Circulation of the Matter in the Egg of the Philosophers. It is in this sense that they call their operation the Movement, or Revolution, of the Heavens, the Circular Revolution of the Elements, and that they also name the Grand Work the Quadrature of the Physical Circle. Moreover, they divide the practice of the Philosophical Stone into seven circles or operations, each of which consists, nevertheless, of solution and coagulation. The first circle is the reduction of the matter into water. The second is the coagulation of this water into fixed earth. The third is the digestion of the matter, which is performed very slowly, for which reason the Philosophers say that the revolutions of this circle shall take place in the secret furnace. It cooks the nourishment for the Child of the Sages, and converts it into homogeneous parts, after the same way that the stomach prepares the aliment and turns it into substance for the body. The adept Espagnet recognises only three circles, by the repetition of which there may be performed, he tells us, the reduction of water into earth, the reconciliation of the enemies --- that is, of the volatile, and the fixed, the moist and the dry, water and fire.
CLANCHEDEST --- Steel.
CLEARNESS --- In the terminology of Hermetic Science, this signifies the Whiteness which succeeds the Blackness of the Matter in putrefaction.
COAL --- Almost all the Philosophers have said that their fire is not a fire of coal. When the regimen of the fire is concerned, that of the philosophical fire must be understood, and not that of a coal fire. Philalethes and several others, as, for example, Denis Zachaire, speak of a fire of coal as necessary to the work. According to Philalethes, a hundred measures of coal are required for the three entire years. Espagnet says that there will be few causes of expense for him who has the materials prepared and suitable, but that coal is needful.
COCK --- Sulphur, perfect in the Red Stage.
COCK --- The Fire of the Philosophers.
COLOUR --- The colour of things, and more especially of flowers, has its principle based in the sulphur and mercurial salt existing in coloured substances. There are three colours which follow one upon another in a harmonious sequence, which is, however, interrupted by intermediate colours of a transitory and evanescent nature. The first is the colour Black, which should make its appearance on or after the forty-second day. Next comes the White, to which Citrine succeeds, and this the philosophers call their Gold. Finally, the colour Red appears, and this is the Flower of their Gold, and their Royal Crown. Should the red colour be produced before the black, that is the sign of an extreme violence in the fire. The operation must be undertaken anew. The colour black is an indication of putrefaction and of the complete dissolution of the Medicine. The white indicates fixation of an advanced stage in the Matter. The red is a sign of perfect fixation. All these colours must reappear in the work of multiplication, but they are not of such long duration.
COMBUSTION --- An old term found in the works of some chemists to signify the too violent action of fire upon the matter.
COMERISSON --- One of the names of the Stone of the Sages when it has reached the white stage.
COMMIXTURE --- Some Philosophers have substituted this term in place of those of Conjunction, Marriage, Union. It is performed during putrefaction, because the fixed and the volatile then mingle to be no further separated.
COMPANION --- Philosophical Mercury Vitalised by Sulphur, and educed to the white stage.
COMPAR --- By this term the Adepts understand the fixed and the volatile Mercury and Gold of the Sages which act successively in the work. The Mercury, or the female principle, prevails first up to the end of the stage of putrefaction, at which point the matter begins to be dessicated and to whiten. Then the Gold of the Sages predominates. Afterwards, they work harmoniously together to accomplish the perfection of the work.
COMPOST --- This signifies in the philosophical vocabulary the Matter of the Stone in the Black Stage, because then the four elements are, as it were, united.
CONTRITION --- In the terms of Hermetic Chemistry this means Reduction into Powder, but only as regards the evaporation of humidity in the matter by the regimen of fire. It does not mean pounding, or braying, in a mortar.
CORPUSCULE --- The whole of the great and sublime operation of the Philosophers is performed with a single corpuscule or little body, which contains, so to speak, only feces, dross, abominations, and from which there is extracted a certain dark and mercurial moisture, which includes in itself all that is necessary to the Philosopher. For he seeks only the true Mercury. The Mercury which he should use is not that which is found in the earth, but that which is extracted from bodies. Common Mercury does not contain a sufficient quantity of Sulphur, and, consequently, we must work upon a body created by nature, in which Sulphur and Mercury are united, that is, the male and female principles, which the artist should separate. He should then purify them and afterwards join them anew. The resulting substance is the Rude Stone, Chaos, Iliaster, Hyle.
COMPOSITES --- In each Composite Substance there are three Humids:
1. The Elementary, which is properly only the vase of the other elements.
2. The Radical, which is properly the Oil or Balm, wherein resides all the virtue of the subject.
3. The Alimentary, which is the true dissolvent of Nature, exciting the internal fire, causing corruption and blackening, and informing and nourishing the subject.
CONCEPTION --- The Marriage or Union which is effected between the volatile and the fixed portions of the matter of the Philosophers during the state of putrefaction. Hermetic chemists say that the conception of the Son of the Sun, and of the Young King takes place also at this period. The term in question has been employed with analogical reference to the birth of a man or of an animal.
CONFECTION --- A Combination of Several Substances, as, for example, of the Mercury and Sulphur of the Philosophers. Flamel says that the Philosophical Egg is a matrix of glass in the form of an escritoire, and it is full of the confection of art, that is, of the Waters of the Red Sea, and of the Breath of the Mercurial Wind.
CONFECTION --- The Elixir of the Philosophers, at once a species of Stone and a Medicine for purging, curing, and transmuting all bodies into the true Luna.
CONFORMANCE, or ADAPTABILITY --- This is when projection takes place upon a metal in a state of fusion, or reduced into a liquid form, or mercurial form. It is then said that the metal has a similitude with, or is conformed to (in its Nature) the Elixir which is composed of the Mercury of the Sages. The Philosophers also recommend for the work the selection of a matter which has some conformance with the metal, because a bull is not to be produced from a tree nor from a metal.
CONGEAL --- To fix the volatile Matter of the Work of the Sages.
CONVERSION OF THE ELEMENTS --- Those who interpret the language of the Hermetic Philosophers in a literal sense imagine that the Elements of the Sages are actually four distinct and separate things, which must be extracted from one matter, and must be subsequently converted into one another-thus, for example, Oil must be made from Water, Earth from Fire, Fire from Air, etc. By the processes of common chemistry four things are extracted from composite substances --- a Spirit, a Phlegmatic Water, an Oil, and an Earth, called Caput Mortuum, or Death's Head. By others these substances have been termed a Salt, a Sulphur, a Mercury, and a Recremental, Condemned, Relegate, or Useless Earth. Those who believe themselves to have arrived at the Magistery of the Philosophers by these operations of vulgar chemistry have given the name of Air to the Oil, of Fire to the Spirit, of Water to the Phlegmatic Water, and of Earth in some cases to the Salt, and in others to the Recremental Earth. But the Elements of the Philosophers differ altogether from these substances; their operations are those of Nature and not of ordinary chemistry; their fire is enclosed in their earth, and in no case separates therefrom; their air also is contained in their water. There are therefore but two visible elements with which conversion has to be accomplished; that is to say, their water changes into their earth, in its liquid nature of water, and afterwards the entire composition which has become water must become earth. In becoming water, all becomes volatile, and, in like manner, when reduced into earth, all is fixed. Thus, when they speak of the cold and the humid, they refer to their water, and when they speak of the warm and the dry, we must understand it as concerned with their earth.
CONVERT --- To Convert the Elements. This expression of Hermetic Chemistry signifies to Dissolve and to Coagulate; to change body into spirit and spirit into body; to volatilize that which is fixed, and to fix that which is volatile. All these terms refer to one only operation, which Nature, assisted by art, performs in one vessel, which is the Vase of the Philosophers, by the same process continuously persisted in, when the matter has been thoroughly purified and sealed in the Hermetic Egg. It is then simply a question of the conduct of fire.
COPHER --- Bitumen or Asphalt.
COPULATION --- Combination, or Union, of the Fixed and the Volatile, which the Philosophers call Male and Female.
CORAL --- Red Coral. One of the names which the Philosophers have applied to their Stone when it is fixed at the red stage, which is the apex of its perfection.
CORBATUM --- Copper.
CORBIN --- I'he Work of the Stone of the Philosophers.
CORDUMENI --- The Seed called Cardanom.
CORRECTUM --- Distilled Vinegar.
CORSUFLE or CARSUFLE --- The Sulphur of the Philosophers fixed at the Red Stage.
COSMAI --- Tincture or Water of Saffron.
COSMEC or CASMET --- The Antimony of the Philosophers and of Vulgar Chemistry.
COSMETIC --- A name generally applied to all Medicaments used for healing the skin.
COSUMET --- See Cosmec.
COTONORIUM --- Liqueur.
CROWN --- The Celestial Crown. This signifies in alchemical terminology the Spirit of Wine. But when Raymund Lully and other Philosophers speak of Spirit of White Wine and of Red Wine, they must not be taken literally, for they are making veiled reference to the Red and White Mercury which are made use of in the Grand Work.
CROWN --- Royal Crown. This is the Perfect Stone at the Red Stage, and qualified to compose the Stone of Projection.
CROWN OF VICTORY --- Same as the Royal Crown. Nevertheless, some Philosophers have applied the name to their matter when it has begun to issue from the stage of putrefaction and from the Black colour.
CUT --- The Operation of Cutting with Scissors or with any other instrument, signifies chemically the coction or digestion of the matter, without opening or removing the vase.
D D D
DABESTIS --- Tortoise.
DAIMOGORGAN --- By this term the Hermetic Philosophers understand that principle which animates the whole of Nature, and, in particular, the innate and vivifying spirit of the earth of the sages, which acts in all the stages of the operation of the great work.
DAMATAU --- The Gum of the Philosophers.
DATEL or ETDATEL --- Stramonium, Thorn Apple, Greater Nightshade.
DAUGHTER OF THE GRAND SECRET --- That is, the Stone of the Philosophers, according to one authority.
DAVERIDON --- Oil.
DEALBATION --- A term of the Hermetic science. It is the Coction of the Matter until it has lost its blackness, and becomes white as snow. It is also called Lotion and Lavation. It is in this sense that we must understand the philosophical term of Washing the Laton until all its obscurity has been removed.
DECEMBER --- The Magisterium in the Black Stage-the Lime of the Putrefaction of the Matter-so called because the Philosophers give the name of winter to this operation, and because the month of December is the beginning of that season when Nature seems idle, entranced, and asleep. On this account also December in some cases signifies the Magisterium in the White Stage, because snow falls commonly during this month, and the matter in the white stage is like snow, and has indeed received the latter name on the part of certain Adepts.
DECOCTION --- In Hermetic chemistry signifies the Action of Digestion, the Circulation of the Matter in the Vessel, without the addition of any foreign matter whatever.
DECOMPOSITION --- The separation of the constituents of a composite for the discovery of its prime principles. It is properly Analysis, but, as regards the Hermetic philosophy, it signifies nothing else but the reduction of the body of the gold of the Sages to its first matter, which is done by dissolution through the mediation of the Mercury of the Philosophers.
DISENGAGEMENT --- signifies the Hen, which stands for Heat-namely, that degree of warmth which the bird in question imparts to her eggs in brooding. It is the normal and natural warmth of the given substance. Therefore when the Philosophers recommend imparting to the regimen of the fire of the work, the degree of heat which is diffused by a brooding fowl, they are not counseling the making of an artificial fire of that grade, but are, in reality, directing that Nature should be left to act with the innate implanted heat which belongs to the Matter, and is no less natural in the mineral order than is that of the Hen in the animal.
DEGREES OF THE FIRE --- See Inspissation.
DELEGI --- Azfur, is Mirabolans.
DELUGE --- By this term the Philosophers understood the Distillation of their Matter, which, after it has ascended in the form of vapours to the summit of the vessel, returns upon the earth like a rain which completely inundates it.
DEMOGORGON --- See Daimogorgon.
DENUR --- Dust..
DEPOSIT --- A term of chemistry which refers to a Liquid in which Heterogeneous Matter is infused-which matter is separated and precipitated to the bottom of the vessel in which the liquor is contained. The matter precipitated is termed a Sediment.
DERAUT --- Urine.
DESENI --- Mirabolans.
DESSICATION --- Coagulation or Fixation of the Mercurial Humidity.
DESTRUCTION --- In the terminology of Hermetic science, this term signifies the Radical Dissolution of Bodies in the Philosophical Mercury, or the Reduction of Metals into their First Matter, which is the Mercury of the Sages. Destruction signifies also the blackness and putrefaction of the Matter.
DETONATION --- A kind of noise or hissing which is heard when the volatile parts of any compound are expelled with violence, or are fixed with the help of a strong fire. This hissing also takes place, according to the philosophers at the moment of projection upon the metal.
DEVENDEN --- Oil of Nard or of Lavender.
DIACELTATESSON --- A Species for Fevers discovered by Paracelsus.
DIADEM --- The Red Colour which obtains in the Matter of the Stone at the close of each process or operation. Despise not the cinder for the diadem of our King is hidden there.
DIAMETER --- Spagyric Diameter-the Equilibrium or Temperament of the Elements in the stone.
DIAMOND --- The Stone arrived at the White Stage.
DIANA --- This is properly the Matter when it has attained the White Colour, which appears previously to the red in the Work. The red colour is called Apollo. Then is Diana wholly unveiled. When the Philosophers apply the name of the Moon, they understand their Mercurial Water. Espagnet says that the yoke of Diana is alone capable of containing the ferocity of the philosophical Dragon. Philalethes calls this yoke the Doves of Diana.
DICALEGI --- The Tin or Jupiter of the Philosophers.
DICTE --- The Cavern in which Jupiter is born. It is the Philosophical Vase.
DIGESTION --- That action by which a liquid body and a fluidic body are united, either wholly or in part, to extract their tincture, to modify them, to prepare them for dissolution or putrefaction, to cause them to circulate, and thus to volatilize the fixed and to fix the volatile by means of proportioned heat. Almost all the operations of the Great Work may be reduced to that of digestion, which the Philosophers call by various names, according to the phenomena which they have remarked in the vessel at the various stages of the operation. Thus when they make use of the terms Distillation, Sublimation, Imbibition, Ceration, Inspissation, Descension, Solution, Emission, Coagulation, etc., they understand one only operation, or digestion repeated in the medicines of the first, second and third order.
DIKALEGI --- The Tin of the Philosophers.
DIMENSIONS --- The Adepts declare that their stone has the three dimensions of other bodies, namely, height, length and depth.
DIRT or SLIME --- The Philosophers have sometimes given this name to their Matter, which has led many chemists into error, for they have set to work upon mud, sediment, etc. But Philalethes informs us that the term can only be applied to the Matter when it is in putrefaction.
DISPOSITION --- A Philosophical Confection so-called by Maria, but Trevisan terms it Weight or Proportion, and others name it Composition. It is a synthesis of the three principles philosophically combined. In his Vade Mecum, Philalethes says that we must take one part of the red or the white body, which answer to the male, two or three parts of arsenic, which fulfils the office of the female; and four parts or more, up to twelve, of the sea-water of the Sages; the whole, being well mixed, must be placed in the vase, which must be well sealed, and the vase placed in the athanor, where it must be subjected to the required regimen.
DISSOLUTION --- By this term the Chemical Philosophers do not understand the reduction of a solid body into a liquid state, but the reduction of a body into its first matter-that is to say, into those elementary principles which are its ultimate constituents. They never pretend to reduce gold, for example, into air, water, earth and fire, but into mercury composed of its four elements, albeit this mercury partakes more of water and earth than of the two others, as indeed is the case in the whole mineral kingdom.
DISSOLVENT --- The Hermetic Philosophers give the name of Universal Dissolvent to their Mercury, and the same name was applied by Paracelsus and Van Helmont to their Alkaest. The anonymous writer known under the name of Pantaleon, says that the Alkaest can and does derive from the same mineral matter as the Mercury of the Sages. But it is obtained by a different method of manipulation, and furthermore the Alkaest never mixes with the body that it dissolves, while the Mercury of the Sages combines so intimately therewith that separation cannot be subsequently performed by any artifice whatever.
DITALEM --- Jupiter of the Philosophers.
DIVISION --- When the Philosophers speak of Division or Separation into two or more parts, it must not be supposed that they refer to a manual operation, but to that which is performed in the vessel by the help of fire --- in fact, they refer to Putrefaction.
DOG OF ARMENIA --- One of the names which the Hermetic Philosophers have given to their Sulphur, or to the Masculine Sperm of their Stone.
DOG OF CORUSCENE --- One of the names which the Chemical Philosophers have given to their Mercury, or Feminine Seed of their Stone.
DOVERTAILUM --- Generation of Composite Substances by the combination of constituting Elements.
DRAGON APPEASED --- Sweet Mercury.
DRAGON WITH THREE TAILS --- Mercury when animated, for then it contains the three chemical principles --- Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury.
DRAGON WITH WINGS --- Mercury or Feminine Sperm, the Volatile part of the Matter, which strives with the fixed part, and must subsequently become fixed like that.
DRAGON WITHOUT WINGS --- The Masculine Sperm, the Sulphur or fixed part.
DRIFF --- Van Helmont has applied this name to Sand and to Virgin Earth.
DRY --- To Dry; the Coction of the Matter, its Fixation, by means of circulation, up to the point of the perfection of the Sulphur of the Stone.
DUDAMI --- Mandragore.
DUE MATTER --- The due, requisite, and veritable matter. Trevisan tells us that he laboured for forty years upon innumerable substances, but could not succeed because he had not the "due matter".
DUZAMA --- The Work of the Stone.
DYAMASSIEN or DIAMASCIEN --- Flower of Copper.
E E E
EBDANIC --- Mars, or Iron.
EBISEMET --- Randeric.
EBISEMETH --- The Matter of the Hermetic Chemists during its period of putrefaction.
ECHEL --- The Matter of the Philosophical Egg when it is in a very black state, or imperfect putrefaction.
ECHINEIS --- A small, slug-shaped Fish. Some Philosophers have applied the name to their Matter when fixed, because it fixes that which is volatile, by rejoining therewith in an inseparable manner, being henceforth one body.
EDULCERATE --- To Wash a Saline Substance, until all the salt has been removed. This term, understood in its vulgar sense, also signifies moderation of the acidity and corrosive quality of salts, spirit, or other substances. Raymond Lully employs it more than once to express, or symbolize, the coction or digestion of the Mercury of the Philosophers to the point of fixation.
EFFERVESCENCE --- A physical term which means the action of two composite substances which by interpretation produce, or generate, heat, as takes place in almost every combination of acids and alkalis, as well as in most mineral dissolutions.
EFFUSION --- The First Purification of the Stone of the Philosophers, or the Medicine of the First Order.
ELEISIR --- Philosophical Elixir when arrived at the white stage.
ELKALEI --- Marsh, Pond, or Sea of the Sages.
ELMANTES --- Earthenware Glasses, Goblets, or Phials.
ELPOSILINGI --- Scum or Scale of Iron.
ELQUALITER --- Green Vitriol.
ELZARON --- This is the Salt of the Sages, which they call their Body and their Gum. "Take", says a certain alchemical writer, "The clear body which is obtained upon the small protuberances which are not the result of putrefaction but of movement only. Broil this gum with the gum that is called Elzaron and with the two smokes. For the gum Elzaron is the body which shall be the spirit".
EMBLEGI --- That is, Mirabolans (?).
EMBRYO --- The Chemical Philosophers have also given this name among others to their Mercury before it has been extracted from its ore, and to their Sulphur before it has been rendered manifest. Michael Maier in his Chemical Symbols represents them under the form of a child placed on the navel of a man, who has his arms extended, and fire emanating from his fingers and hair amidst a great cloud of smoke. Beneath are these words: "The wind has carried it in its belly". In another emblem, a woman has a globe in place of a stomach, with two breasts above, by ones of which she suckles a child, whom she is holding in her right hand. The following words are underneath: "The Earth is its nurse; the Sun. is its father, and the Moon is its mother".
EMERALD OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- A name which has been given to the Flos Coeli, and sometimes to the Dew of May and of September. The last is looked upon as masculine because it is more cocted and digested by the warmth of the summer. The other is considered female because it is colder, cruder, and more akin to winter in its quality. Some chemists, understanding these words literally, have imagined that dew was the matter from which the Philosophers extracted their mercury, because they often say in their books that mercury is male and female. So they have deemed that the union of the Dew of May with that of September would constitute that marriage so recommended by true chemists. But they should have noticed that the matter of their mercury must be mineral because the ox will produce but the ox, the apple an apple only, and it is an egregious blunder to suppose that any metal can ever be produced from a tree or a plant.
EPHESUS, or THE BATH --- The Second Operation of the Stone, wherein the dry fire is dissolved by the humid fire.
EPHODOBUTIS --- Some chemists have given this name to their Stone when it is perfect at the red, on account of the purple colour of the vestment which formerly bore this name.
EPOSILINGI --- Scoria.
ETHEB --- A term of Hermetic science which signifies Perfect. Thus, when the Philosophers say that their powder converts so many parts of lead, tin, etc., into Etheb, they understand Gold or Silver, which they regarded as perfect metals.
EVAPORATION --- Separation of the Spirits, or spirituous matter of bodies, by the action of air on fire. The Mercury of the Sages has two original sins, says Espagnet; the first is an impure earth and sulphureous, which is separated from it by the humid bath; the second is a superfluous humidity which must be evaporated not by the dry bath of fire, but of the mild and benign fire of Nature.
EVE --- The Magisterium of the Sages when it has attained whiteness.
EXTREMES --- The Extremes of the Work are the Radical Elements of All Things, and Gold, the Perfection of the Work. We must neither take the elements for the matter of the work, nor yet Gold, but another matter, which participates in the principiating elements, or secondary matter of metallic compounds. In the same way that to make bread, we do not take baked bread, but the flour of wheat, so do we proceed in the operations of our art.
EXTREMITIES OF THE STONE --- Philalethes terms them the Dimensions, and says that Mercury is one of them, while the complete Elixir is the other. The middle substances are the bodies or the imperfect philosophical metals. The two extremities in the work are the excessive crudity of the matter before it is prepared, and its perfect fixation--in other words, crude Mercury and the Powder of Projection.
EYEB or EZEPH --- The Sun of the Philosophers.
EZIMAR--- Flowers of Brass.
F F F
FACCA DE MALACCA --- Molucca Bean.
FADA --- The Matter of the Work when arrived at the White Stage.
FAUFEL --- Cashou.
FEBLECH --- Iron or Steel of the Philosophers.
FELDA --- Lung, or Silver of the Philosophers.
FIDEUM --- Saffron.
FIDHE --- Luna of the Alchemists.
FLUX --- That which helps towards the fusion of those substances with which they are combined. In the language of Hermetic science, flux means anything which enters readily into the condition of fusion. One of the signs of the perfection of the Elixir of Philosophy, and of the Powder of Projection, is that they will flow like wax when brought into proximity with fire, and can be liquefied into all kinds of liquids.
FLUX OF THE ART --- Some assign this name to the Prepared Mercury of the Philosophers, others to the Matter when arrived at the White Stage.
FOG, MIST, etc. --- There is a thick vapour resembling Fog or Mist which rises from the Matter and Condenses in the Philosophical Air, whence it again descends to moisten, purify, and fructify the Philosophical Earth.
FORCE --- Another term of the Hermetic science, which must be understood as much of the Mercury of the Philosophers as of the Spirit which it encloses. When it is said that all its power is converted into earth, this means that it has really become a fixed white earth, which will successfully resist all tests. To "lay hold of the power of things superior and inferior", is to perform the extraction of Mercury, and to put it, when thoroughly purified, into a state of digestion, to prepare it for circulation, and finally fix it in the form of earth at the bottom of the vase.
FORCE OF ALL FORCES --- By this expression, we must understand the Elixir when perfect at the Red, or the Powder of Projection, when it has vanquished all the diseases of the three kingdoms, however persistent they may be.
FOREST --- When the Philosophers say that their Matter is found in the Forests, the assertion must not be understood literally, nor must one actually seek that Matter in the woods. But, as it is everywhere, and not in the Forests more than in other places, the term signifies the terrestrial Matter in which the true First Matter is confused, and whence it must be extracted, as from a chaos where it is well hidden from vulgar eyes, and where the Philosophers alone can perceive it, albeit an innumerable multitude of persons make common use of it, sell it publicly at a small price, for indeed it costs really nothing at all, and is found everywhere. This terrestrial and superfluous Matter, from which the true Matter must be disengaged, is that which has been termed by Philosophers, both ancient and modern, their Forests, their dark, umbrageous, obscure, and cavernous places. It is also on the same principle that they say: Make manifest that which is hidden.
FORM --- The Human Form --- The Sulphur of the Philosophers when perfect at the Red Stage. This name has been applied to it because man in his masculine quality gives the human form to the seed which produces the child in the womb of its mother, even as does the Philosophical Sulphur in respect of the Feminine Mercury of the Sages. The Philosophical Mercury is, moreover, termed Microcosm as well as Man.
FORM --- The Female Form-The Stone at the White Stage. By this term Dry Mercurial Water is sometimes understood, and at other times the Luna of the Philosophers.
FRIDANUS --- Dissolving Mercury of the Sages.
FRUIT --- The Magisterium at the Red Stage, so called because it is in all truth the fruit of the labour of the artist.
FRUIT --- with Two Breasts --- The Stone when perfect at the White and the Red, which both proceed from the same root, that is, from the Mercury of the Sages.
FRUIT --- Solar and Lunar --- The same as above, or White and Red Sulphur, produced by the Lunar and Solar Trees, of which the Cosmopolite speaks in his Enigma for the Children of Science.
FURFIR --- The Red Colour which appears in the Matter of the work as the result of coction only.
FUSIBILITY --- A Quality of Melting under Heat possessed by certain Bodies. The term is scarcely applicable to anything but metals. The quality in question is due to the Mercury of the Bodies --- those which have more Mercury being more fusible, while those which have less are harder and offer more resistance to fire. Many chemists, misled by common experience, have attributed fusibility to Sulphur, but, as Becher points out, it only accelerates fusion by absorbing the Acid Spirits and Salt.
FYADA --- This term signifies, in the terminology of Secret Chemistry, the White Smoke of the Philosophers.
G G G
GABERTIN --- The Fixed Part of the Matter of the Magnum Opus. The volatile part is called Beza.
GABRIENIS --- The Sulphur of the Philosophers.
GABRIUS --- See Gabertin.
GAME --- A Game for Children. The Philosophers have given this name to the Work of the Stone after the preparation of the Mercury, because there nature takes up the work, and it is requisite only to maintain the fire, following the rules of a certain definite procedure.
GANNANA --- Peruvian Bark.
GARDEN --- The Garden of the Philosophers is the Vessel which contains the Matter of the Magnum Opus.
GARMENT --- Dark Garment. Another of the multitudinous names by which the Adepts have described the black colour which possesses the Matter of the work during the period of putrefaction.
GAZAR --- Galbanum.
GAZARD --- The Laurel Tree.
GELAPO --- Jalap.
GELSEMIN --- The Plant Jasmin.
GELUTA --- A Plant mentioned by Paracelsus. It is the Carline Thistle.
GENTARUM --- Succinum or Amber.
GEPSIN --- A Plaster.
GERM --- The Mercury of the Philosophers, the principle and the seed of all metals, without being actually itself a metal, though potentially it is, of course, metallic.
GERSA --- White Lead.
GIALAPPA --- Jalap or Marvel of Peru.
GLASS OF MARY --- Talc and Arabian Stone.
GLESSUM --- Succinum or Amber.
GOLD --- Its Artificial Production. It is not only by the common operations of mining and digging in the profundities of the earth that it is possible to obtain Gold. It is quite within the powers of Art to imitate Nature in this matter, for Art perfects Nature in this as in many other things. We propose to provide in this place an account of a formal experiment, the worth of which has been tested over and over again, and has in fact become little less than familiar among operators in the pursuit of the Grand Work. In order to perform it a large crucible must be provided, and it must be of such a quality as will be able to resist the action of intense heat. This crucible must be set over a burning furnace, and at the bottom of the vessel there must be strewn Powder of Colophony (a kind of resin) to about the thickness of the little finger. Above this undermost layer there must be another layer of Fine Powder of Iron -that is, the Finest Iron Filings --- which shall be of the same thickness. Subsequently, the filings must be covered with a little Red Sulphur. Then the fire in the furnace must be increased till the iron filings have passed into a liquid condition. The next operation is to throw in Borax --- that kind which is made use of by goldsmiths for melting gold. To this must be added a like quantity of Red Arsenic, and as much Pure Silver as will be equivalent to the weight of the Iron Filings. Let the entire composition undergo coction by driving the furnace, taking care at the same time not to inhale the steam, on account of the arsenic in the vessel. Take then another crucible into which, by inclining the first vessel, you must pour the cocted matter, having previously stirred it effectually with an iron spatula. Proceed in such a manner that the composition will flow into the second crucible in a purified state, and devoid of recremental matter. By means of the Water of Separation, the Gold will be precipitated to the bottom. When it has been collected, let it be melted in a crucible, and the result will be good Gold, which will repay all pains and expense which have been devoted to its production. This chemical secret is contained in the "Hermetic Cabinet", and the facility with which the experiment can be performed has led many persons to undertake it. The authority cited in support of it is no less than that of the most learned Basil Valentine, who also affirms that the operation of the Grand Work of the Philosophers can be performed in less than three or four days, that the cost should not exceed three or four florins, and a few earthen vessels are sufficient for the whole experiment.
GOLD --- Its Artificial Production. It is said that all roads lead to Rome, and the student of the Adepts and their followers will sometimes be tempted to conclude from the immense variety of methods that are described in the works of the Philosophers that there are as many processes which may result in the manufacture of Artificial Gold, as there are paths leading to the Eternal City. There is no doubt that a very considerable proportion of these must be discounted, some as the subterfuges resorted to by veritable initiates to conceal their arcanum from the vulgar crowd of fortune-hunters and dealers in the curious, but many more as the spurious devices of impostors who traded in the name of Alchemy at a period when it was possible to do so. Over and above these, there is a certain proportion of neglected and unknown experiment which has no authority to recommend it, and must be taken for what it is worth. An example of this class is the Process of Caravana, a Spanish-American of the early colonial period. It runs in the following manner: Take Living Sulphur, Salt of Nitre, and Saltpetre --- the same quantity of each, that is to say, about four ounces. Having reduced the whole to powder, place it in a well-sealed glass vessel, and plaster it over thoroughly with an adhesive clay. Set it by a slow fire for the space of two hours. At the end of this time augment the fire until it burns without emitting any smoke-that is, until it is a clear glowing fire-then let a clear flame play round the neck and along the sides of the vessel, and when it is expended the Sulphur will be found precipitated at the bottom of the vase, and it will be of a white colour and a fixed consistence. Let it be removed, and having added thereto a like quantity of Sal Ammoniac, the whole must be well pounded and pulverised, and afterwards sublimed over a fire which shall be slow at the beginning, but shall be gradually increased for the space of four hours. All the sublimed matter must then be taken from the vase, including the lees at the bottom. The whole must be incorporated together, again sublimed, and this operation is to continue up to the sixth time, after which the Sulphur will be again found at the bottom, must be again collected, and again pounded, this time on a marble slab in a moist locality. It will then be changed into an oil, six drops of which must be poured upon a Ducat of Gold that has been melted in a crucible. From this another oil will result, which will congeal upon a slab of marble. One part of this oil poured upon fifty parts of prepared and purged Mercury will produce a most excellent Sol.
GOLD --- A process for its manufacture, attributed to Raymond Lully. Perfect Coction is the one thing needful in the great work of the Philosophers. To ensure this Perfect Coction, proceed in the following manner: Prepare an Ash, composed of the Wood of the Vine, and the Bones of a Horse or an Ox, well burned and calcined, until they are exceedingly white. Pulverise this Ash, place it in a Vessel of Glazed Clay, filled with forge-water, and add thereto as much Quick Lime as there is of Ash. Boil the whole together until the water is reduced by half. Then add four ounces of Fine Silver, previously beaten into thin plates of about the weight of a halfpenny. Let there be twelve of these plates. Cast them into the vessel which contains the Decocted Ash, and continue boiling until the water is again reduced by half. Then extract the twelve Silver plates; clean them at once with a white linen cloth, and leave the composition in the vessel to settle. A species of Salt will be found upon the surface, after the manner of crystals, and this must be skimmed off by means of a pewter spatula. Throw a little more forge-water into the vessel, and again boil. Then let it cool, and skim off the crystals of Salt. Continue this process until no more Salt can be obtained. Add to this Philosophical Salt four times the quantity of what is called Vegetable Salt, which is composed of Sulphur, Saltpetre and Tartar, in such a manner as good artists know how to combine them, and as indeed it may be obtained from all good apothecaries. Over and above this, take four ounces of Cement of Tiles, the reddest that can be obtained. Reduce them to a very fine powder. Then beat out as many small plates of Ducat Gold as you have already prepared of Silver, both being of the same weight. Use the best quality of crucible that you can obtain, and place at the bottom thereof a layer of your Salts, and your cement of Red Earth, with a little goldsmith's Borax. On the top of this layer place a plate of Gold. Cover it with a second layer of the Salts and Cement, and on this place a second plate of Gold. Continue this arrangement up to the twelfth time, and let the twelfth plate of Gold be covered with a final layer of Salts and Cement. Cover the crucible, seal it with adhesive clay, and set it in a burning fire, for such time as you shall judge will be required to melt your Gold, and precipitate it to the bottom of the crucible. This being done, take another vessel, shaped like a horn, and having a top which will shut or open, as required, when it is in the furnace. Transfer your Gold to this vessel, with a little Borax to melt it. When you judge that the Gold is melted, pass one of your prepared plates of Silver through the mouth into the vessel, so that the Gold may assimilate and be nourished thereby. Do this every twelve hours, till you have exhausted all your plates of Silver. Then extinguish your fire, allow your vessel to cool, and therein you shall find nearly double the quantity of Gold that you have placed therein; it will, moreover, furnish you with an excellent menstruum for augmenting Gold, if you follow the directions that have been given. It can be multiplied a million times.
GOLD --- Precipitated Gold or Gold of Life. Take two ounces of Quicksilver, which has been purged and cleansed by means of Salt and Vinegar. Add one drachm of fine Oriental Gold reduced to powder. Knead them well together in a glazed earthenware dish, which must be slightly warmed until they are thoroughly mixed. Such a composition is usually termed an Amalgam. Turn this Amalgam into cold water. Should there be a small quantity of Quicksilver which has not become incorporated with the Gold, it must be again cocted and purified, after which it must be reunited to the Amalgam, and the latter must be washed with Distilled Salt and Vinegar, till all recremented matter disappears. Should the Quicksilver become diminished by these processes, it must be augmented. For one drachm of Gold, there must be eight drachms of the Mercury. Place the Amalgam in an alembic of strong glass, well luted, and sealed with adhesive earth, taking care to add two ounces of Aquafortis, and distil the composition by a sand fire. Return to the alembic what has passed into the recipient. Repeat this process five times, after which you will find a fine powder at the bottom of the alembic. Place this powder in an earthenware vessel which will withstand a violent heat. Moisten the powder with good rose-water. Close the vessel so effectually that nothing can possibly escape; place it in the furnace; raise the fire till the vessel becomes red-hot; let it cool in the same furnace; and then you will be in possession of your Precipitated Gold.
This Precipitated Gold has the power of curing the plague, the pox, leprosy, dropsy, and other maladies which resist the healing art. It is a sovereign remedy for obstructions; it will be serviceable in the case of persons who have drunk poison, or have partaken of poisoned food; it will cure severe ulcers, poisonous erysipelas, etc., whether taken in a liquid form or mixed with ointment. Half-a-penny weight --- old French style --- must alone be taken in two spoonfuls of good capillary syrup, in the case of women and children. Adult males may take one penny-weight in half a glass of good old wine.
GOLD --- To Dissolve Gold. The Blood of a Stag is an excellent dissolvent of Gold. Take two pounds weight from the veins of a stag that has just been killed. Distil it five times in the Bath of Mary by means of Cohobation, always returning the product of each distillation to the sediment which remains in the alembic. After the fifth time, place it in a strong glass phial, and this quintessence is so good, and so simple a dissolvent of Gold that you can make the experiment upon the naked hand without fear of the consequences.
GOLD --- Another Dissolvent. Take two ounces of Saltpetre, half an ounce of very dry Saw-dust of Walnut-wood. Reduce the whole into an impalpable powder. Fill a large nut-shell as full as it will hold with this powder, and thereon [that is, upon the powder] place a small plate of fine Gold, so as to cover it completely. Cover the plate with another layer of powder about the thickness of a finger; and then you will see by experience that the plate will melt and go down to the bottom of the shell, without the shell being burnt. The same experiment may be made with other metals.
GOLD --- To change Lead into Fine Gold. There are many persons, says the book on natural secrets which is called Albertus Parvus Lucii Libellus, who reject as uncertain the method of the learned chemist Falopius for the transmutation of Lead into Fine Gold, because it appears too easy for an operation of such importance. Nevertheless, he is by no means alone among the recognised Philosophers, many of whom have expressed themselves in similar terms. Basil Valentine and Odomarus say nearly the same thing. However this may be, the receipt of Falopius is as follows: Infuse one pound of Cyprus Copperas in one pound of forge water which has been well clarified by filtration. The infusion must continue for twenty-four hours in such a way that the Copperas shall be completely liquefied and incorporated with the water. Then distil it by filtration through very clean felt, and afterwards by means of an alembic and sand furnace. Preserve the result of the distillation in a globular bottle of strong glass, well corked. Then place one ounce of good Quicksilver in the crucible, which must be covered to prevent evaporation, and when you judge that it is boiling, or, rather, at boiling point, add one ounce weight of Fine and Good Gold Leaves, at once removing the crucible from the fire. This being done, take one pound of Fine Lead, well purified after a manner that shall be hereinafter set forth. Melt this Lead; incorporate it with the composition of Gold and Quicksilver; mix the three substances well together over the fire with an iron spit; then add one ounce of the Copperas Water; and let the whole digest over the fire for a time. When the composition has become cold, you will find that it is good Gold.
The method of the preparation and purification of the Lead is as follows. In order to obtain one pound of pure metal, take four ounces over that quantity to allow for recrement and for evaporation. Melt it, then plunge it in good, strong, clarified Vinegar; again melt, and plunge in the sap or juice of the Celandine (?); continue the melting process, and plunge in salt water; melt it for the last time, and extinguish in strong Vinegar, in which Quicklime has been plunged. It will then be effectually purified.
GOPHRITH --- The Magisterium when arrived at the Red Stage.
GOTNE --- Cotton.
GRASSALE --- A Pottinger.
GREAT SECRET OF ARISTEUS --- The Albertus Parvus Lucii Libellus has the following account of a process which is attributed to this celebrated artist. If the great name of Aristeus had not become celebrated among those of Adepts in the high operations of philosophy, it would be difficult to give credit to the writing which he has addressed to his son by election, as an instruction for the undertaking of the great philosophical work. It will be discerned amidst the obscurities of the document that Aristeus considered the mysterious Stone of the Philosophers to be composed of condensed air, artificially rendered palpable. And this is how he instructs his son upon the all-important subject:
My son, after having imparted to thee a knowledge of all things, and after having taught thee how to live, after what manner to regulate thy conduct by the maxims of a most excellent wisdom, and after having also enlightened thee in that which concerns the order and the nature of the monarchy of the universe, it only remains for me to communicate those Keys of Nature which hitherto I have so carefully held back. Among all these Keys, that which is most closely allied to the highest spirits of the universe deserves to take the first rank, and there is no one who questions that it is very specially endowed with an altogether divine property.
When one is in possession of this Key, the rich become miserable in our eyes, inasmuch as there is no treasure which can possibly be compared to it. In effect, what is the use of wealth, when one is liable to be afflicted with human infirmities? Where is the advantage of treasures, when death is about to destroy us? There is no earthly abundance which we are not bound to abandon upon the threshold of the tomb. But it is no longer thus when I am possessed of this Key, for then I behold death from afar, and I am convinced that I have within my hands a secret which extinguishes all fear of misfortunes in this life. Wealth is ever at my command, and I no longer want for treasures; weakness flees away from me; and I can ward off the approach of the destroyer while I own this Golden Key of the Grand Work.
My son, it is of this Key that I propose to make thee the inheritor; but I conjure thee, by the name of God, and by the Holy Place wherein He dwelleth, to lock it up in the cabinet of thy heart, under the seal of silence. If thou knowest how to make use of it, it will overwhelm thee with good things, and when thou shalt be old or ill, it will rejuvenate, console, and cure thee; for it has the special virtue of curing all diseases, of transfigurating metals, and of making happy those who possess it. It is that Key to which our fathers have often exhorted us under the bond of an inviolable oath. Learn, then, to know it, cease not to do good to the poor, to the widow, to the orphan, and learn its seal of me, and its true character.
Know that all beings which are under heaven, each after its own kind, derives origin from the same principle, and it is, as a fact, unto Air that all owe their birth as to a common principle. The nourishment of each existence makes evident the nature of its principle, for that which sustains the life is that which gives the being. The fish joys in the water; the child sucks from its mother. The tree no longer bears fruit when its trunk is deprived of humidity. It is by the life that we discern the principle of things; the life of things is the Air, and by consequence Air is their principle. It is for this reason that Air corrupts all things, and even as it gives life, so also it takes it away. Wood, iron, stones, are consumed by fire, and fire cannot subsist but by Air. Now, that which is the cause of corruption is also the cause of generation.
When, by reason of divers corruptions, it comes to pass that creatures fall sick and do suffer, either through length of days or by mischance, the Air coming to their succour cures them, whether they be imperfect or languishing. The earth, the tree, the herb languish under the heat of excessive drought; but all things are recuperated by the dew of the Air. But, nevertheless, as no creature can be restored and re-established except by its own nature, Air being the fountain and original source of all things, it is in like manner the universal source. It is manifestly certain that the seed, the death, the sickness, and the remedy of all things are all alike in the Air.
There has Nature stored up all her treasures, establishing therein the principles of the generation and corruption of all things, and concealing them as behind special and secret doors. To know how to open these doors with sufficient facility so as to draw upon the radical Air of the Air, is to possess in truth the golden Keys, and to be in ignorance thereof precludes all possibility of acquiring that which cures all maladies and recreates or preserves the life of men.
If thou desirest then, 0 my Son, to chase away all thine infirmities, thou must seek the means in the primal and universal source. Nature produces like from like alone, and that only which is in correspondence or conformity with Nature can effect good to her. Learn then, my Son, to make use of Air, learn to conserve the Key of Nature. It is truly a secret which transcends the possibilities of the vulgar man, but not those of the sage, this knowledge of the Extraction of Air, the Celestial Aerial Substance, from Air; for Air may be familiar to all beings, but he who would truly avail himself thereof must possess the secret Key of Nature. It is a great secret to understand the virtue which Nature has imprinted in substances. For natures are attracted by their like; a fish is attracted by a fish --- a bird by a bird-and air by another air, as with a gentle allurement. Snow and ice are an air that has been congealed by cold; Nature has endowed them with the qualities which are requisite to attract air.
Place thou, therefore, one of these two things in an earthen or metallic vessel, well closed, well sealed, and take thou the Air which congeals round this vessel when it is warm. Receive that which is distilled in a deep vessel with a narrow neck, neat and strong, so that thou canst use it at thy pleasure, and adapt to the rays of the Sun and Moon --- that is, Silver and Gold. When thou hast filled a vessel cork it well, so that the heavenly scintillation concentrated therein shall not escape into the air. Fill as many vases as thou wilt with liquid; then hearken to thy next task, and keep silent.
Build a furnace, place a small vessel therein, half full of the Liquid Air which thou hast collected; seal and lute the said vessel effectually. Light thy fire in such a manner that the thinner portion of the smoke may rise frequently above. Thus shall Nature perform that which is continually accomplished by the central fire in the bowels of the earth, where it agitates the vapours of the air by an unceasing circulation. The fire must be light, mild, and moist, like that of a hen brooding over her eggs, and it must be sustained in such a manner that it will cook without burning the aerial fruits, which, having been for a long time agitated by a movement, shall rest at the bottom of the vessel in a state of perfect coction.
Add next unto this Cocted Air a fresh air, not in great quantity, but as much as may be necessary; that is to say, a little less than on the first occasion. Continue this process until there shall be no more than half a bowl of Liquid Air uncooked. Proceed in such wise that the cooked portion shall gently liquefy by fermentation in a warm dunghill, and shall in like manner blacken, harden, amalgamate, become fixed, and grow red. Finally, the pure part being separated from the impure by means of a legitimate fire, and by a wholly divine artifice, thou shalt take one part of pure crude Air and one part of pure hardened Air, taking care that the whole is dissolved and united together till it becomes moderately black, more white, and finally perfectly red. Here is the end of the work, and then hast thou composed that elixir which produces all the wonders that our Sages aforetime have with reason held so precious; and thou dost possess in this wise the Golden Key of the most inestimable secret of Nature --- the true Potable Gold and the Universal Medicine. I bequeath unto thee a small sample, the quality and virtues of which are attested by the perfect health which I enjoy, being aged over one hundred and eight years. Do thou work, and thou shaft achieve as I have done. So be it in the name and by the power of the great Architect of the Universe.
Such skilful artists of the Great Work as have pondered deeply on the principles confided to the son of Aristeus, have concluded that it would be no vain operation to make an Amalgam with the veritable Balm of Mercury, and this is the way in which they claim to produce this Balm:
Take one pound of the best Mercury that can be obtained; purge it three times through a skin, and once by calcined Montpellier Tartar. Place it in a glass horn, which shall be strong enough to resist a fierce heat. With it combine Vitriol, Salt of Nitre, Rock Alum, and eight ounces of good Spirit of Wine. Having hermetically sealed the horn, so that nothing can evaporate, place it for digestion in a warm dung-hill during a space of fifteen days. At the end of this time the composition will be transformed into a phlegmatic grease; it must then be exposed to a sand fire, and the fire must be raised gradually to an extreme point, till a white, milky humour exudes from the substance and falls into the recipient. Let it then be replaced in the horn to be rectified, and for the consumption of the phlegm. This second distillation will cause a sweet, white oil to exude; this oil will be devoid of corrosive qualities; it will surpass all other metallic oils in excellence; and there is no doubt that, combined with the Elixir of Aristeus, it will be possible to perform such marvels as might be expected from so admirable an experiment.
GREAT WORK, THE --- One of the names which Chemical Philosophers have given to their Art because of the difficulty of succeeding therein, and on account also of its two great objects --- the confection of a universal medicine for the treating of all maladies in the three kingdoms of Nature, and, in particular, the transmutation of imperfect metals into Gold purer than even that of the mines.
GRENARD --- The Stone when it has reached the Red Stage.
GUININA --- The Magisterium at the White Stage.
GUM OF THE SUN --- The Matter of the Work when it has arrived at the White Stage.
H H H
HABITATION OF THE FOWL --- The Hermetic Vessel.
HABRAS --- A Plant known under the name of Staphis Agria, or Flea's Bane.
HACUMIA --- Same as Endica, according to Morien. See Endica in Rulandus.
HAC --- The Stone at the White.
HAGER ALIENDI --- Judaic Stone.
HAGER ARCHTAMACH --- Eagle Stone.
HAGER ALZARNAD --- The Mercury of the Sages digested and cooked till it has attained the red colour of the Poppy.
HALCAL --- Vinegar.
HALEREON --- The Eagle of the Philosophers.
HALIACMON --- A River of Macedonia which has the property of whitening the fleece of the sheep that drink from it-supposing naturally that their fleece is not already white. See Pliny (l. 34, c. 2). Hence the expression which occurs in Hermetic Terminology, that the Philosophic Dragon and Eagle must be made to drink of the river Haliacmon, meaning that the Laton must be made white, or that the Matter of the Work must proceed from the Black to the White Stage. The word cited is also written Aliacmon.
HALLS --- Glue.
HANDEL, or HANDAL --- Colocinth.
HARMALA --- Wild Rue.
HATCHET --- The Fire of the Philosophers. To strike with the hatchet or axe is to cook the matter.
HEBRIT --- Red Sulphur of the Philosophers.
HEDELTABATENI --- Turpentine.
HEIGHT --- The Allegorical and Mysterious Dimension of the Stone of the Sages. If we are to believe Philalethes, the Height is nothing else than the Matter of the Philosophers as it is manifested to our eyes during the time of its preparation. For example, the Body of the Matter of our Art, he tells us in his treatise on the True Composition of the Philosophical Stone, is black during its first decomposition which takes place by means of putrefaction. This blackness which strikes our eyes, and is called Cold and Moist, is that which is manifested to our sight, and it is this quality, state, or disposition, that we term the Height of our Body.
HELSATON --- Salt that has lost its Savour.
HELSEBON --- Common Prepared Salt.
HEMIOBOLON --- The Twelfth Part of a Drachm.
HEMIOLIUM --- Some understand by this term a Weight of Half-an-Ounce, others a Weight of an Ounce and a Half.
HENRY --- Red Colestar.
HERB --- The White Herb --- A Plant which grows on small hills. In the terminology of the Great Art, it means the Matter when cooked and perfect at the White. Some understand it of the Mercury of the Sages, some of the Ore whence it is extracted, but the circumstances under which it is used in the Dialogue of Mary and of Aros show that it is really applied to the Matter at the White, because the philosophers sometimes represent their vase and their furnace by the expression small hills.
HERB --- Philosophic Herb --- Saturnian Herb --- Medicinal Herb --- All these terms of the Great Art signify the same thing --- that is to say, the Mercury of the Sages, and sometimes the Ore whence this Mercury is extracted.
HERB --- The Triumphant Herb --- Mineral Matter, forming part of the Composition of the Philosophers. It is that which they call their Sieve.
HERB --- Potherb, etc. --- The Stone at the White.
HERB --- Saturnian Herb or Saturnia --- A Vegetable Matter from which the Hermetic Philosophers know how to extract their Mercury.
HERMES --- The name which some chemists have given to Nitre. It is also one of the names, and, in fact, it is the true and proper name of the Mercury of the Philosophers, because it is actually the Mercury of Bodies, and particularly that of all the members of the Mineral Kingdom.
HERMETICS --- The Art or Science of the Hermetic Philosophers. Hermetic Physics are a part of this science which regards all beings of the sublunary world as formed from three principles --- Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury, while it ascribes all maladies to a want of proper equilibrium in their action. The second object of the Art is to compose what is called the Elixir at the White or at the Red, which they also term Powder of Projection and Philosophical Stone. It is also claimed that by means of the Elixir at the White, it is possible to transmute metals into Silver,, and by means of the Elixir at the Red into Gold.
HERNEC --- The Orpiment of the Philosophers.
HESPERIS --- A species of the Aloe Tree.
HEXAGIUM --- According to some, a Weight of Four Scruples; according to others, a Drachm and a Half.
HIDROS --- Sweat.
HILLA --- The Jejunum (an Intestine).
HIN --- Assafoetida.
HIPPURIS --- The Plant called Horse-tail.
HOLCE --- A Drachm.
HOREUM --- Honey extracted from the Hive during Summer.
HORIZONTIS --- Potable Gold.
HUMATION --- An action by which the Matter of the Stone of the Sages is placed in the Vase to be there subjected to putrefaction. Some chemists have compared this action to the Sepulchre of Jesus Christ. But albeit Humation in the terms of Hermetic Science signifies properly the Putrefaction of the Matter, yet the term is sometimes applied to its fixation, because the fixation of the volatile is one species of death, and that which was water during dissolution becomes water after fixing.
HUMECTATION --- That Process by which Humidity is imparted to the Stone, when it is perfect, and when it is desired to multiply it.
HUMIDITY --- Ignited Mercury of the Sages animated by its Sulphur. Sometimes the Philosophers understand by this term the matter of the work when it has arrived at the Black Stage.
HUMIDITY OF THE STONE --- This is also the Mercury, for the Mercury is a dry water which does not wet the hands, and attaches or clings only to that which is of its own nature. To impart its Humidity to the Stone is to perform the work of Imbibition; that is to say, to continue the regimen of the Philosophical Fire, which sublimes this Humidity to the summit of the Vase, whence Imbibition is performed of itself, the same Humidity returning upon the earth at the bottom.
HYDOTODES VINUM --- Wine mingled with Water.
I I I
IBERIS --- A Species of Water-cress or Cardamom (a Medicinal Seed), or Lepidium, which is called Sidymbrium by Dioscorides.
IBIGA --- Chamaepytis.
IBIS --- The Egyptians employed the figure of this Bird in their hieroglyphics, to signify in the first place, a part of the Matter of the Grand Work. The Ibis in fact became a symbol of the volatile part which dissolves and volatilizes the fixed part, frequently typified by Serpents. Sometimes the White Ibis signified the Matter at the White, and the Black Ibis the Matter in Putrefaction.
ILLEIAS --- The First Matter of all things.
ILLEIDOS --- Elementary Air which nourishes the life of all things.
INDIVISIBLE --- The Chemists call their Mercury the sole Indivisible thing known to the Sages.
IMPASTATION --- When the Matter of the Work succumbs into Putrefaction in the Philosophical Egg, and has become black, it thickens or congeals into the consistency of molten Black Pitch. It is then like a paste or a sediment, and hence the name of the operation.
IMPREGNATION --- There is no Impregnation without Conjunction says Morien, that is to say, if there be no marriage between the male and the female, or, what is the same thing, between the Fixed and the Volatile, one cannot act on the other and produce a third body which participates in the nature of both. The philosophical Impregnation is performed during the period when the Volatile and the Fixed are in a condition of complete dissolution, because then interpenetration takes place between them even to the inmost of their natures, and they are, so to speak, confounded together, and that in so complete a manner that after having circulated they become inseparable. The term Impregnation is also used in Chemistry to signify the communication of the properties of one composite substance to another, in what manner soever it may be accomplished. For example, when the emetic quality of Antimony is communicated to Tartar, which is then called Stibium Tartar.
INCOMBUSTIBLE --- The hermetic chemists give the name of Incombustible to their Sulphurs, because they are so fixed that they can withstand the most assaults of fire.
INFINITE --- This name is given to the Sulphur of the Philosophers, because it can be infinitely multiplied.
INFANT --- The Hermetic Chemists frequently apply this term to their Sulphur, and sometimes to their Mercury. The Four Infants of Nature are the Four Elements of which she makes use in the formation of all sublunary beings. The alchemists say that two of these Elements are male and female, two are heavy and two are light. The Chemical Philosophers find their Infant ready formed by Nature, and their whole secret consists in the extraction of its Matrix or Ore. Subsequently, they nourish it with a milk which is proper thereto.
INGRESS --- The Philosophers Say that their Stone is piercing, tinging, and penetrating, or that it has Ingress-that is to say, that although a body, it enters into the inmost marrow of other bodies.
INGRESSION --- That action by which substances combine in such a manner that they cannot afterwards be separated. Putrefaction operates this change during the period of perfect dissolution, and when the Matter is in the Black State.
INGROSSATION --- That action by which the Volatile and the Fixed Parts of the Matter of the Sages combine and unite intimately after having contended together for a long time.
INSIPID or TASTELESS SUBSTANCE --- The Magisterium at the White.
INSPIRE --- To join the Soul with its Body. Also to Whiten the Matter, which is accomplished by means of a single substance in its proper and sole vase without any operation of the hands.
INSPISSATION --- An operation which follows that of the Dissolution of Bodies, and which, nevertheless, is really the same process, since the body does not dissolve or become spiritualised unless the spirit corporifies. Inspissation is performed by means of a fire of the second grade. On this subject, it should be remarked that when the Philosophers speak of degrees in their fire which should be administered to their matter, the expression must not be interpreted to mean that the fire is to be exalted and diminished, as the vulgar chemists are accustomed to do in their furnaces, by means of registers or dampers, or of a varying quantity of coal, but that the secret fire of Nature must be augmented by digestion. In proportion, as the matter becomes more fixed, its fire increases by degrees, and these degrees are measured by the colours which it assumes.
INTERMEDIATE --- The Third Matter which is added to the two others in chemical or mechanical operations, either to unite them, to separate them, or to set them in action. Salts which differ among themselves never unite together so well as by the means of a terrene intermediary. The Philosophers give the name of intermediary to their Mercury, and also call it Philtre, or Beverage of Love, the bond and the proper means of joining Tinctures inseparably together.
INTUBUM, or INTUBUS --- Endive, a species of Chicory.
ISCHAS --- The Dried Fig.
ISIR --- The author of the Hermetic Dictionary says that the Philosophers understand by this term the Elixir at the White, and that the Sages have so named it when it is desired to multiply it. But the Philosophers also make use of it to signify the same thing that they express under the term Iris, which see.
ISIS --- The Hermetic Philosophers subsequent to Hermes who have made use of this name understand this goddess to signify the Volatile, Humid, Cold, Passive, and Feminine Portion of the Hermetic or Sacerdotal Art.
J J J
JABORA --- Mandragore.
JANUS --- The two Visages of the Classical God signify, according to the alchemists, the Matter of the Stone Philosophical, which they call Rebris, because it consists of two things.
JONI --- To assemble --- mix --- unite one thing with another. See Inspire.
JOURDANI --- In Hermetic Science this is a name which the Philosophers have given to their Dissolvent Mercury, because this Mercury must wash the soluble body seven times in order to purify it.
JOY OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- When the Stone or the Matter of the Philosophers has arrived at the perfect White Stage, which is the philosophical White Gold, or White Sulphur, or Endica of Morien, or the Swan, then all the philosophers say that this is the time of joy, because they behold Diana unveiled, and they have avoided all the rocks and dangers of the sea. The Code of Truth remarks: Whiten the Laton, and then destroy your books, for then have they become useless unto you, and will serve only as an incumbrance, a source of doubt and disquietude, when you should experience nothing but joy. When the Matter has arrived at the White State nothing but clumsiness can prevent the success of the work, and its eduction towards the perfection of the Red State, since all the volatile portion is then fixed in such a manner that it can withstand the most active and violent fire.
JUDGMENT --- Raymond Lully has given this name to the Projection of the Hermetic Powder upon imperfect Metals, because it is on this occasion that the artist has to be the judge of the operation, and by his success or his failure he judges whether he has operated well or badly, and he is recompensed according to his works.
K K K
KANECH --- Dew.
KEIRI, or KEIRIM --- According to some, the Narcissus, according to others, the Violet or the Yellow Gilliflower. It is also written Cheiri.
KIMENNA --- A Large Bottle.
KIMIT --- White Cinnabar.
KIRATH --- A Weight of Four Grains.
KIST --- Oppoponax. This term also signifies a Weight of Fifteen Grains, or, as some say, of Four Pounds. It also signifies Two Measures of Wine.
KUKUL --- See Kuhul, in Rulandus.
L L L
LABOS BALSAMAM --- The Water in which a Red-hot Metal has been Plunged.
LACHANUM --- Herbages, Vegetables.
LACINIAS --- A Woollen Strainer.
LAMATI --- Gum Arabic.
LAMER --- Living Sulphur.
LAMP --- When the Philosophers speak of the fire of a Lamp as of their fire, they are not to be understood as referring to a lamp that is fed with oil or spirit of wine. Their Lamp-fire is that of their Matter.
LAMPACOS --- Lampatan China.
LANDINVA --- Lingwort or Angelica.
LANGUAGE --- In the writings of Hermetic Science, the Philosophers never express the true significance of their thoughts in the vulgar tongue, and they must not be interpreted according to the literal sense of the expressions. The sense which is presented on the surface is not the true sense. They discourse in enigmas, metaphors, allegories, fables, similitudes, and each Philosopher adapts them after his own manner. A chemical Adept explains his philosophical operations in terms borrowed from the operations of common chemistry, speaking of distillation, sublimation, etc., of furnaces, of vases, of fires in use among chemists, as Gebir, Paracelsus, and others invariably do. An alchemical soldier like Denis Zacharie borrows his imagery from battles and from sieges. A churchman like Basil Valentine speaks in the terminology of moral philosophy and theology, as in his work upon Azoth. In a word, they have spoken so obscurely, in terms so different, in styles so various, that one must indeed be well versed in their mysteries to understand their meaning, and one Philosopher is frequently considerably embarrassed to explain another in any complete and intelligible manner. Some vary the names and reverse the operations; others begin their books in the middle of their practice; others again at the end; while not a few intermingle sophistic experiments, omit something that is important, and add something that is superfluous. One directs the student to make use of a certain ingredient, others advise him to avoid it. Rupecissa maintains that Roman Vitriol is the true Matter of the Philosophers, and the very writers who would maintain that Rupecissa was a veritable Adept recommend you to have nothing to do either with Roman or any other vitriol. All these manners of expression constitute a language which is exceedingly difficult to understand, but some Philosophers, the better to veil their practice, have had recourse to the Enigma. The Cosmopolite, among others, adds a very long one at the end of his Twelve Treatises. The ancients commonly made use of fables, and those of the Egyptians and Greeks were devised only in view of the Great Work, if we are to believe the Philosophers who frequently refer to them in their works. It was by following their ideas in this respect that Pernety devised a complete system of Hermetic mythology in his work upon The Egyptian and Greek Fables Unveiled. Some Philosophers have had recourse to a mute language by which to speak to the eyes of the spirit. They have presented by means of symbols and hieroglyphics, after the manner of the Egyptians, at one time the materials required for the work, the various necessary preparations, and even the demonstrative signs or the colours which appear in the Matter during the various stages of the process, because it is by these signs that the artist knows whether he has operated well or badly. Some Philosophers have added a discourse to their hieroglyphics, but the apparent explanation is invariably more difficult to understand than is the symbol itself. Such, for example, are those of Nicholas Flamel, Senior, Basil Valentine, and Michael Maier, although D'Espagnet says that those of the last-mentioned writer are a species of lunettes which discover clearly enough the truth which the Philosophers have concealed.
LAPPAGO --- Burdock.
LARON --- The Mercury of the Sages.
LARUSUS --- The Plant Mouse-Ear.
LASER --- Benzoin, an Aromatic Gum or Medicinal Resin.
LATERIUM --- Lye or Capitel.
LATHYRIS --- Spurge.
LATHYRUS --- A species of Pulse called Gerces.
LATRO --- Mercury of the Philosophers.
LAUNDRY --- The Yeoman of Laundry. A name which the Philosophers have given to Jupiter when the period of its rule is at its zenith, during the operations of
the Stone. It is the Circulation of the Matter in the Vase. It rises in vapour to the summit of the Philosophical Egg; then it condenses and falls back like a dew upon the Matter, which remains at the bottom. This dew or rain whitens the Matter, removing the black colour which prevailed during the period of Saturn. It is the Washing of the Philosophers, and what they term Whitening the Leton or Laton.
LAUDANUM --- A name which Paracelsus gives to a Composition of Gold, Corals, Pearls, etc. It was a Specific for Fevers.
LAUM --- Bitter Almond.
LASCA CYMOLEA --- A Salt which forms upon Stones.
LEPHANTE --- First Tartar or Bolus, occupying a middle place between Stone and Slime.
LEPROSY --- Heterogeneous Parts, Terrestrial Impurities, which Metals contract in the mine, and which the mere Powder of Projection is incapable of curing. Gebir and some other chemists have described the vices of imperfect metals. There are two kinds-the first being termed Original; and this is regarded as almost incurable, arising as it does from the first combination of the elements in Quicksilver or Mercury, which is their principle. The second is found in the union of Sulphur and of Mercury. The more that the elements are purified, the more they are proportionally mixed and homogeneous, the more have they of weight, malleability, capacity for fusion, extension, fulgidity, and permanent incorruptibility. The second malady, which comes from a more or less impure Sulphur, constitutes the imperfection of metals, to wit, the leprosy of Saturn, the jaundice of Venus, the lachrymosity of Jupiter, the dropsy of Mercury, and the scab of Mars. The dropsy of Mercury is caused by its excessive aquosity and crudity, which results from the frigidity of its matrix. This vice is an original sin, which it communicates and transmits to all metals that are engendered from it. Although the Philosophers have named Mercury a Quintessence, composed by Nature, it is, nevertheless, so aqueous, and so cold, that it can only be cured by a most potent Sulphur. The internal Sulphur, predominating in Mercury, cooks, digests, thickens, and fixes it into a perfect body; and the external, adustible, and separable Sulphur of the true substance of metals, suffocates the internal, deprives it of its activity, and mingles the impurities with those of the Mercury, which produces the imperfect metals. The causes of these maladies are the terrenity, aquosity, combustibility, and aerosity of the elements combined in them. The first prevents the union of substances, the second makes them crude, the third inflammable, and the fourth volatile. The first prevents penetration and ingress, the second is an obstacle to digestion and sublimation of the Matter, the third interferes with incorruptibility, and the fourth is opposed to fixation.
LETA --- Red Colour.
LEUCELECTRUM --- White Amber.
LEUCCENUS --- White Wine.
LEUCOLACANUM --- White Valerian.
LEUCOPHAGUM --- A Ragout said to be a Remedy for Consumption.
LEUCOSIS --- That Operation by which the Laton is Whitened. It is performed by the circulation of Azoth in the Vase of the Philosophers.
LEVIGATE --- The Reduction of a Hard and Solid Body into an Impalpable Powder.
LIAB --- Vinegar.
LIBANOTIS --- Rosemary.
LIGAMENT --- That Unctuosity of Bodies which binds the parts together, reunites the fixed with the volatile, prevents the evaporation of spirit, and forms the composition of sublunary beings.
LIGAMENT OF TINCTURES --- The Mercury of the Philosophers, called the Medium Conjugendi.
LIGAMENT OF QUICKSILVER --- This is Philosophical Gold, or the Fixation of Mercury, which happens when the Matter of the Work has arrived at the colour Red.
LIGHT --- The Hermetic Chemists give this name to Mercury when it whitens after putrefaction, and it is then that a separation is made between the darkness and the light. They also term Light the Powder of Projection, because it seems to illustrate the imperfect metals when it transmutes them into Gold or Silver. The Philosophers have also occasionally given this name to their Red Sulphur, because otherwise they call it the Sun, and the sun transmits light to our planet.
LIQUIDITY --- That State of a Body in which the Constituent Parts do not adhere together. There are two kinds of Liquidity; one, like that of water, which wets the hands, and one which does not wet them. Such is that of common Mercury and of the metals. This latter species of Fluidity is owing to the presence of terrestial particles insinuated into the pores of the metals in an excessive quantity.
LOTION --- Circulation of the Matter in the Vase of the Philosophers. It ascends in vapour and returns in rain upon the terrestial portion at the bottom, whitening and purifying it, like a shower upon new linen at the fullers. The Lotion of the Philosophers is only a term applied by similitude. They wash with fire even as they burn with water. Their Lotion is but a purification made by the Philosophical Fire. Let no one be therefore deceived by the author who says " Go and look at the women who are employed over the washing and fulling of linen; see what they do, and do thou even as they are doing ". He simply means to say: cleanse the Matter of its impurities, and that by the Philosophical Fire or the Fire of the Matter itself, for another author assures us that it dissolves, purifies, congeals, blackens, whitens, and reddens of itself; that, as a fact, nothing is taken away and nothing is added save that which is indispensable to the success of the work.
LUMINARIES --- The two grand luminaries of the Sages are the Gold and Silver of the Philosophers, that is to say, the matter of the Work arrived at the White Colour, which they term the Moon, and the Magisterium at the Red, which they name the Sun.
LUNARY --- The Sulphur of Nature.
LUPINUS --- A Weight of Half-a-drachm. Fernel understands it to be Six Grains and Agricola Eight.
LUPULUS --- The Plant called Hops.
LYCOCTONUM --- Aconite.
LYE --- The Azoth of the Philosophers, so named because it whitens the Laton of the Sages.
M M M
MACERATION --- The Attenuation of a Composite Substance by means of its own, or otherwise, in some foreign menstruum. Maceration precedes putrefaction, and there adapts the Composite.
MACHINOR --- The Material with which Clay Vessels are Varnished.
MAGALE --- A Latin term by which Paracelsus understands every species of Perfume made from minerals.
MAGI --- The Philosophers, Priests, and Offerers of Sacrifice in Persia, persons who were renowned informer times for their knowledge and for their wisdom. Their doctrine was identical with that of the priests of Egypt, who were the successors of Hermes; it was identical also with that of the Brahmins of India, the Greek philosophers, etc. Philo informs us that the end of their science was the knowledge of Nature and of her Author, and so intimate did this knowledge become, that they could perform the most surprising and wonderful works. They were able to avail themselves of all the resources of Nature, and of the mutual interaction of her forces, the achievements that resulted being taken for miracles in their time. The Magi believed in the resurrection of the body, and in the immortality of the soul. They also professed Magic, but it was that sublime Magic, as it were, a celestial art, which was practised by the greatest men of antiquity, and to which, at a later date, the name of Theurgy was applied, to distinguish it from the superstitious and detestable art, which has its essence in the abuse of holy things, and is concerned with the invocation of evil spirits. The essence of Theurgy, on the other hand, is to be found in the knowledge and the practice of the most curious and least known secrets of Nature.
MAGIC AND CHEMISTRY --- The transformations of Magic and of Hermetic Chemistry are both nothing more --- marvellous as they may seem --- than the artificial development of natural germs. No one actually makes gold; it is Nature who is assisted to make it. The problem resolved by the Magic of Hermes is briefly this: To accumulate and to fix in an artificial body the latent Caloric, in such a manner as to change the molecular polarisation of natural substances by their amalgamation with an artificial substance. On the other hand, the problem which Thaumaturgic Magic seeks to deal with should be thus formulated: To control or to exalt the principle that governs form manifestations in such a manner as to change appearances. By this definition it is plain that the prodigies of magical fascination are in effect nothing but prestige. To make use of illusions without being their dupe is therefore the great secret of this kind of magic. He who creates illusions without being subject to them commands all vertigo and all perdition. He who is victimised by illusion is carried away by vertigo.
MAGNETISM --- Human Magnetism --- This must be regarded as one of the active principles of the Great Work. As a fact the man who himself is perfectly equilibrated becomes an equilibrating centre for the things with which he deals, and rectitude in thinking gives exactitude in operation. Now, the operations of science are so delicate that they demand minds emancipated from all passions and all species of cupidity.
MAGOREUM --- Medicaments which perform their office without our being able to discover the physical cause. Such is the Sympathetic Powder and the Unguent of Paracelsus.
MALADORAM --- Sal Gemmae. See Rulandus.
MALARIBIO --- Opium.
MALE --- The Magisterium at the Red Stage. In reading the works of the philosophers, particular note should be taken of the point at which their work begins --- that is to say, of what part of the operation they first speak. A large number of writers have omitted all reference to the Magisterium, supposing it to have been already accomplished. It is on this understanding that they say Take the male, and unite it to the female. The reference here is to the Perfect Magisterium at the Red Stage.
MALCHORUM or MALEHORUM --- Sal Gemmae.
MALICORIUM --- Orange Peel.
MALINATHALIA --- Cypress.
MALTACODE --- A Medicament into which Wax enters as one of the ingredients.
MAMOLARIA --- The Plant called Acanthus.
MANIS NOSTER --- The Dew of the Philosophers and the Magnet of the Sages.
MANUS CHRISTI --- The Hand of Christ --- that is, Pearled Syrup.
MARATHRUM --- Fennel Seed.
MARGA --- A certain Fatty and Unctuous Matter which is found in some species of Stones, whence it has been called the Marrow of Pebbles.
MARIS --- A Weight of Eighty-three Pounds Three Ounces.
MARMORARIA --- Same as Mamolaria, which see.
MARRIAGE --- There is no term in more frequent use among the philosophers than is the word Marriage. They say that the Sun and the Moon must be joined in marriage together, that Gabertin must be united with Beza, the Mother with the Son, the Brother with the Sister, and all these expressions have reference exclusively to the union between the Fixed and the Volatile, which takes place in the Vase by the intermediation of Fire. All seasons are fitting for the celebration of this Marriage, but the Philosophers especially recommend spring as that period when Nature is most impelled to generation. Basil Valentine says that the Bride and the Bridegroom must be stripped of all their vestures, and must be well washed and purified before entering into the nuptial bed. D'Espagnet and others assert that the work will by no means succeed if the male and female are not so purified that no heterogeneous particle remains in them. In this purification the whole secret of the purification of Mercury consists. The ferment or leaven must also be perfectly pure, if we desire the Son born of this Marriage to possess such a degree of perfection that he can transmit his own high quality to his brethren and his subjects.
MARTHETO --- By this term some writers describe the Stone at the Red Stage, the Ferment of the Work; but it is said in the Code of Truth, Take Martheto and whiten it. This refers to the Laton or the Matter at the Black Stage.
MASAL --- A term employed in some chemical works to signify Sour Milk.
MASARDEGI --- Lead.
MASAREA --- Creeping Mouse-Ear.
MASSERIUM --- Hermetic Mercury.
MASTACH --- A Preparation of Opium much in use among the Turks.
MATER SYLVA --- Honeysuckle.
MATTER --- The First Matter of the Philosophers. The true and primal matter of metals is of double essence, or is dual in itself. One of these essences without the concurrence of the other will not create a metal. The first and the chief essence is a moisture of air, mixed with a warm air in the form of an oily water, which indifferently adheres to everything, pure or impure. This moisture is called the Mercury of the Philosophers --- that is, the Universal Dissolvent. It is governed by the rays of the Sun and Moon. The second essence is the heat of the earth; it is that dry heat which the Philosophers call Sulphur.
The First Matter of things is begotten by Nature without the help of any seed. That is, Nature receives the matter from the elements, and from it she afterwards engenders seed. Speaking absolutely, the seed in a body is nothings else but a congealed air, or a moist vapour, which, if not resolved by a warm vapour, becomes quite useless. By the artifice of Archeus, the four elements, in the first generation of Nature, distil at the centre of the earth a vapour of heavy water, which is the seed of metals, and is called Mercury, not on account of its essence, but of its fluidity and facile adherence to everything. The vapour itself is compared to Sulphur because of its internal heat. After its congelation, the seed becomes the moist radical of the Matter. Metals are composed of the Mercury of the Philosophers, and of no common Mercury, which cannot be a seed, having its own seed within it, like the other metals. The Subject of our Matter is the seed only, or fixed grain, and not the entire body, which is divided into Living Male --- that is, Sulphur --- and Living Female --- that is, Mercury. These should be joined together in order that they may produce a germ, whence they will procreate a fruit according to their nature. In this operation the artist has only to separate what is subtle from what is gross. Therefore, all the philosophical combination is reduced to making one of two and of two one. There is nothing beyond this.
MATTER OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- The First Matter of the Sages is to be found in ourselves. We all indifferently possess it, from the beggar to the king; and could our ingenious chemists but find a process for extracting it, their labours would be more than well paid. But we cannot draw or extract the secret Matter of the Stone out of ourselves by any common means. Nevertheless, it can be drawn into very action, and that not only by a most simple means, but in such a manner that the attainment of the Philosopher's Stone would very soon follow it. Look into thyself, and endeavour to find out in what part of thy composition is the Prima Materia of the Lapis Philosophorum, or out of what part of thy substance can the First Matter of the Stone be drawn. Thou sayest: It must be either in the hair, sweat, or excrement, but in none of these shalt thou ever be able to find it and yet thou shalt find it in thyself. In us is the power of all wonderful things, which the Supreme Creator has, of His infinite mercy, implanted in our souls. Out of these is to be extracted the First Matter, the true Argent vif, the Living Silver, the Mercury of the Philosophers, the true ens of Sol --- namely, a Spiritual Living Gold, or Waterish Mercury, or First Matter, which by being maturated is capable of transmuting a thousand parts of impure metal into good and perfect gold which shall endure fire, test, and cupel.
Our soul has the power, when the body is free of any pollution, the heart void of malice and offence, to act spiritually and magically upon any matter whatsoever. Therefore the First Matter is in the Soul, and the extracting of it is to bring the dormant power of the pure, living, breathing spirit and eternal soul into act. The expense which is involved is a trifle. All the necessary instruments are three in number --- a crucible, a philosophical egg, and a retort with its receiver. Put thou fine gold, in weight about five pennyweights, fill it up, place it in the philosophical egg, pour upon it twice its weight of the best Hungarian Mercury, close up the egg with an hermetic seal, put it for three months in horse-dung. Take it out at the end of that time, and see what kind of form the gold and mercury has assumed. Then remove it from the egg, pour on it half its weight of good spirit of sal ammoniac, and set them in a pot full of sand over the fire in the retort. Let them distil into a pure essence. Add to one part of this Mercury two parts of thy Water of Life, or First Matter; put them into thy philosophical egg, and set them again into horse-dung for another three months. Then take them out, and see what thou hast --- a pure ethereal essence, which is the Living Gold. Pour this pure spiritual liquor upon a drachm of molten fine gold, and then shalt thou find that which shall satisfy thy hunger and thy thirsting after this secret, for the increase of thy gold will seem to thee nothing less than miraculous, as indeed it is. Take it to a jeweller's or a goldsmith's; let him try it in thy presence, and thou wilt have reason to bless God for His mercy unto thee.
MAZA --- Macaroons or Mecal --- a Weight.
MECERI --- Opium.
MEDICAL MAN OF THE PLANETS --- This is not the Mercury of the Philosophers, it is the Philosopher himself who employs the Mercury of the Sages to heal the imperfections of metals, which are termed Planets. The Medicine cures and the Physician administers. The Stone of the Philosophers or the Powder of Projection constitutes this Medicine, which makes perfect metals, and cures the diseases that afflict the three kingdoms of Nature.
MEDICINE --- The Unique Medicine. The Stone at the White.
MEDICINE --- Paracelsus reduces the whole art of healing into principles which are very simple, both as regards theory and practice, and so did his cures eclipse anything achieved by the doctors of his age. Had he written his books in a more intelligible manner, possibly justice would be done to him at the present day, whereas now it is refused. He has made a mystery of everything; he has employed bizarre names to describe known things; and it is he who has suffered in consequence, for the successes that he promised have not resulted to those who have followed his experiments, and thence it has been concluded that he was nothing more than a charlatan. The proper and only method of removing these obstacles to his reputation would be to publish the process of what he terms the Universal Medicine, but those who pass for being acquainted with it, and having practised it, declare that the result of so doing would be extremely prejudicial to society on account of the abuse which would be made of it by the wicked. They have thus forborne to treat of it in their works except in an enigmatical, allegorical, and metaphorical manner, in order, as they say, that it may be understood by those only to whom God wills that it should be made known. The Philosophers distinguish several species of Medicine, though all have the same object, namely, the healing of diseases which attack the members of any of the three kingdoms of Nature. They term their Elixir the Medicine of the Superior Order when it is perfected for the cure of the maladies of the human body, and for the transmutation of the imperfect metals into Gold. But they have also made occasional use of the same name when their Stone is only perfect at the White. Their Medicine of the Inferior Order is their Elixir projected upon an imperfect metal, which becomes perfect by means of this Elixir, and can so be put in use, after coction, that is, adapted for projection upon other imperfect metals. This Medicine is by no means adapted for the treatment of human diseases. That of the Superior Order cures them by an operation of comforting and reinforcing. Medea made use of it in the case of the father of Jason. The Medicine which is obtained from the apothecaries is wholly opposite in its effect; it weakens by evacuating; it ruins the temperament, and hastens the sufferer towards the tomb. The Philosophers also apply the name of Physic or Medicine to the different operations of the Great Work. It is for this reason that they enumerate three sorts. The Medicine of the First Order is, according to Paracelsus, the preparation of the Stone, which is preliminary to the operation of the perfect preparation. It is properly called the Separation of the Elements, and the adaptation of each by each. The Medicine of the Second Order is that operation which immediately follows the first. It is termed perfect preparation and Fixation. The Medicine of the Third Order is the preparation of the Stone, which the Philosophers speak of as multiplication.
MEDIMNUS --- A Measure containing One Hundred and Eight Pounds, or Six Bushels.
MELANCHOLY --- This state signifies, alchemically, the Putrefaction of the Matter. The philosophers also term it Calcination, Incineration, Pregnation. The name has been also applied to the Matter in the Black Stage, doubtless, because that colour has a certain aspect of sadness, and that the humour which in humanity is called Melancholy, is attributed to a Black Bile, which causes heavy and depressing vapours to permeate the frame.
MELANZANA --- Love Apple [Tomato].
MELEAGRIS --- The Plant called Frittany or Imperial Crown; so-called possibly because the flowers are speckled like the plumage of that bird which in Latin is called Melagris.
MELGA --- Salamander.
MELIA --- Ash Tree.
MELICRATUM --- Hydromel, which is composed of one part of Honey to eight parts of Water.
MELOCARPUS ---A kind of Birth Mark or Wart.
MELON --- Poppy.
MEMBRANE OF THE EARTH --- The Matter from which the Philosophers extract their Mercury.
MENALOPIPER --- The Black Pear.
MEDICINE --- Raymund Lully is the first known author who considered alchemy expressly with a view to the Universal Medicine.
MENSTRUUM --- The Menstruum of the Philosophers is properly their Mercury. Nevertheless, they often use this name to designate the Matter from which they extract their Mercury. Water is the Menstruum which contains the seed of things, and carries that seed into the earth by insinuating itself through the pores of the earth. Now, the earth serves as the matrix of the seed, which it hatches and digests-as much by the heat proper to the sperm as by the aid of the celestial fire --- and manifests at last the individuals which must come therefore according to the determined species of the sperm. The sperm differs from the Menstruum in that the latter is but the receptacle of the former.
MERCURY --- Our Mercury is double-fixed and volatile --- in regard to its nature. In regard to its movement it is also dual, for it has one of ascension and one of descension. Having regard to that of descent, it is the influence of plants by which it rekindles the fire of slumbering Nature, and this is its first office before congelation. By the ascensional movement it rises to purify itself, and as this is by congelation it is considered as the radical moisture of all things, which under vile scoria still preserves the nobility of its first origin.
The Mercury of the Philosophers may be considered under four aspects. The Mercury of Bodies, which is the Hidden Seed; the Mercury of Nature, which is the Bath or Vase of the Philosophers, otherwise called the Radical Moisture; the Mercury of the Philosophers, because it is found in their laboratory and in their mineral storehouse. It is the Sphere of Saturn; it is their Diana; it is the true Salt of Metals. After its acquisition the philosophical work begins. In the fourth place, it is called Common Mercury, not the vulgar Mercury, but the true air of the Philosophers; the true middle substance, the true, secret, hidden Fire, called Common Fire because it is common to all minerals, since the substance of metals consists of it, and their quantity and quality are drawn from it.
MERCURY and LIGHT --- A French chemist, Monsieur Homberg, is said to have made Gold out of Mercury by introducing Light into its pores, but at such trouble and expense that no one would undertake the experiment for profit. By this juncture of Light and Mercury both bodies became fixed and produced a third different from either --- to wit, real Gold. Consult the Memoirs of the French Academy of Sciences concerning the genuineness of this experiment which goes to prove that Gold is only a mass of Mercury, penetrated and cemented by the substance of Light, the particles of these bodies attracting and fixing each other. This seems to have been not altogether unknown to former philosophers. Marcilius Ficinus, the Platonist, in his Commentary on the first book of the Second Ennead of Plotinus, and others likewise before him, regarded Mercury as the Mother and Sulphur as the Father of Metals, while Plato himself in his Timczus described Gold to be a dense fluid with a shining yellow light, which well suits a composition of Gold and Mercury.
METALLIC SEED --- Seed of Metals. The Seeds of Metals are contained in the four elements, and whatever the Philosopher produces he must produce from the germ of the said thing, which is the Elixir, or Superlative Quintessence thereof. It is more useful to the artist than is Nature herself. So soon as the Philosopher has obtained this Seed or Germ, Nature will be ready to perform her duty and assist him. The Germ, or Seed, of anything is the most finished and perfect decoction of the thing itself, or, rather, it is the Balm of Sulphur, which is the same as the Radical Moisture. Now, the Radical Moisture is the Mercury of the Philosophers, according to some authorities, and this Mercury is the foundation of every species in the three Kingdoms of Nature, but more especially is it the Seed and Base of Metals when it is prepared philosophically. The philosophical preparation consists in extracting what is superfluous and adding what is wanting.
The Seed or Germ of Metals is produced by the Four Elements through the will of the Supreme Being and the Imagination of Nature. These elements operate by an indefatigable and continual movement, each one, according to its quality, projecting its seed to the centre of the earth, where it is received and digested, and is finally forced outward by the laws of motion. The centre of the earth here referred to is a certain void place conceived by the Philosophers, wherein nothing can repose; according to one authority it is the Matter of the Stone of the Philosophers and also the Stone itself in the state of perfection. It is so called because all the essential qualities which go to compose the universe are supposed to be united therein as in a centre. The four elements deposit their seed in the ex-centre, or margin and circumference of the centre, which, when it has appropriated a part, rejects what remains and casts it out. Hence come excrements and scoria, even the stones of the natural world. When it has been deposited by the four elements in the centre the Seed contracts different modifications, because it passes through different places; thus each thing is produced according to the diversity of places.
METALLIC SEED --- How engendered. In order to understand how the elements engender this Seed we must note that two elements are heavy and two light; two are exceedingly dry and two exceedingly moist. They are, moreover, masculine and feminine. Each of these is most prompt to produce things like itself within its own sphere. Note also that the four elements never rest, but act continually on each other, and each one develops by itself and of itself that which is most subtle within it. Their general gathering-place is at the centre, and in the centre even of the Archeus, that servant of Nature --- the Universal Agent, which puts all Nature in motion, disposing the germs and the seeds of all sublunary things to the production and multiplication of their species.
The eight-hundredth part of any substance --- that which reposes at the very centre of the substance --- can alone be converted into seed. Relatively to this seed, the whole body of a substance is but an envelope which serves as a preservative against excessive heat, cold, moisture, or dryness, and generally against all hurtful intemperateness. To obtain this seed, the artist must separate all impurities from the substance. Such impurities exist even in the purest metals. He should also direct his attention to the end of Nature, and this he should not seek in the vulgar metals, in which it does not exist, for such metals --- and Gold especially --- are absolutely dead, while our own are absolutely living, and possess a spirit. The life of metals is fire, while they are still buried in the mines. Their death and their life are according to the same principle, for they die by a fire of fusion. Every metal which has undergone fusion loses its life through the tyranny of fire. The Living Gold, to which reference has been made above, is the fixed grain, or the principle of fixation, which animates the Mercury of the Sages, and the Matter of the Stone --- that is, the radical moisture of metals, the most digested portion of the unctuous and mineral vapour which composes them. Another authority adds that it takes the name of Living Gold more properly when it has become the Sulphur of the Philosophers, or the Red Magistery.
The metals are thus engendered in the bowels of the earth: After the Four Elements have produced their power or their virtue in the centre of the earth, and have deposited their seed, the Archeus of Nature, in distilling them, sublimises them on the surface by the heat and action of a perpetual movement. The Wind, which, according to Raymund Lully, seems to be the Mercury of the Philosophers, by distilling itself through the pores of the earth, results in a water, wherein all things have birth. It is then no longer anything but a moist vapour, from which the essential principle and archetype of each thing is afterwards formed. This serves as the First Matter of the Philosophers that is, the essential principle and primordial form of things is the First Matter of the Children of Knowledge, and this same Matter, when it has been once conceived, can suffer no mutation of form.
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, the Sun, the Moon, etc., have each the same seed. The locality of their birth is the cause of their difference, the more so as Nature achieves her work far sooner in the procreation of Silver than in that of Gold. When the vapour which we have said is sublimated at the centre of the earth, passes through warm and pure places, where a certain grease of Sulphur adheres to the sides, then this vapour, which the Philosophers have called their Mercury, accommodates and joins itself to this grease, and coming afterwards to sublimate itself in other places, which have been cleansed by the preceding vapour, and in which the earth is subtle, pure and moist, it fills the pores of the earth, joins itself thereto, and thus Gold is produced. When the same unctuousness or grease enters into totally impure and cold places, the result is Lead. Venus is engendered where the earth is pure, but is mingled with impure Sulphur.
This vapour at the centre of the earth has the power of invariably sublimating, by its continued progress, all that is crude and impure, attracting to itself continually what is pure.
The seed and life of metals is properly water, which is the centre and core of every mineral.
No seed is of any value unless it shall have been placed, either by Art or Nature, in a suitable matrix, where it may receive life in the corruption of the germ, and the congelation of the pure particle, or fixed grain. The seed is nourished and preserved by the heat of its body. In the mineral kingdom, the artist accomplishes what Nature could not finish on account of the crudity of the air, which by its violence has filled the pores of every body, not in the bowels of the earth but on the surface.
METALS --- These are composed or generated of a Viscous Water, or aqueous Living Silver.
METALS AND THEIR CORRESPONDENCES --- To understand properly the correspondence which exists between metals, we must consider the position of the planets, and notice that Saturn is higher than all, to whom Jupiter succeeds, then Mars, then the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and, lastly, the Moon. The virtues of these planets do not ascend, but descend, and experience teaches that Mars is easily converted into Venus, not Venus into Mars, and so on with the other planets, the Sun, however, excepted, for Sol enters into all, but is never ameliorated by its inferiors.
METALS AND THEIR FORMATION --- Before all things it is necessary that the amateur should understand the formation of metals in the bowels of the earth. This should be his first study. Without this, and the faithful imitation of Nature, he will never achieve anything successful. Nature composes all metals of Sulphur and Mercury, and forms them by their double vapours. Mercurial vapours are united to sulphureous vapours in a cavernous place, where a saline water is found. This serves as their matrix. There is first the Vitriol of Nature. From this, by the strife of the elements, there rises a new vapour, which is neither mercurial nor sulphureous, but is allied to both. It rises in places where the Grease of Sulphur adheres; it unites thereto; from this union there results a glutinous substance, or an unformed mass. On this mass the vapour, spread through these cavernous regions, acts by means of the Sulphur it contains. If the place and the vapour are pure, perfect metals result, if impure, then imperfect metals. Note that metals are termed perfect or imperfect according as they have or have not received a complete coction.
The vapour of which we are speaking contains a spirit of light of fire; being of the nature of the celestial bodies. This spirit should be properly considered as the form of the universe. The vapour thus impregnated by the Universal Spirit accurately represents the primeval chaos, wherein was enclosed all that was necessary for the creation, that is, universal matter and universal form.
METALS AND THEIR TRANSMUTATION --- According to the Clavicle or Little Key of Raymund Lully, metals cannot be transmuted unless they are reduced into their First Matter, i.e., into Mercury, not volatile, but fixed. But this is not to be understood of Common Mercury, for no preparation of art can change Vulgar Mercury into the Mercury of the Philosophers. Common Mercury cannot be detained in the fire except by the help of another Mercury which is hot and dry --- that is, more fixed. When the Mercury of the Philosophers is mixed with the current or running Mercury, they are united in the bond of love and never part. The Mercury of the Philosophers mixes actually with the other, drying up its phlegmatic humidity, and taking away the coldness from the body, making it black as a coal, which afterwards it turneth into powder. It possesses of itself the heat of Nature, and changes the Vulgar Mercury into its own temperate quality, afterwards transmuting it into pure metal, into Sol and Luna-one or other according as it is extended. It changes also the Vulgar Mercury into Medicine, which Medicine can transmute Imperfect Metals into Perfect, while it turns the Vulgar Mercury into true Sol and Luna, better than those of the Mines. This Sophic Mercury is the secret of the Philosophers.
METHODS OF INTERPRETATION --- The symbols and allegorical language made use of by the hermetic philosophers lend themselves readily to interpretations which have no connection with physical chemistry. Under this treatment the Philosopher's Stone assumes a purely moral or spiritual significance. One writer explains it as follows: He who can dive into the depths of his own soul and penetrate to its centre, avoiding the monsters of the deep (the passions) which guard the mystery, and the water-nymphs (the desires) who endeavour to distract his attention, will find at that centre the jewel of priceless value, the Philosopher's Stone, or Wisdom Revealed, before whose touch the portals of the mysterious temple will open, and he will behold things which no tongue can describe, and hear words which it is "not lawful for man to utter". He will find the seed out of which grows the tree of life, and having eaten of the fruits of that tree, he will die no more, for he will be one with Christ, and will be rendered immortal in Him.
MORNING --- The Magisterium at the Red, so called by the Philosophers because its colour is rosy like the dawn before it attains the perfect Red.
MOTHER --- The Spagyric Philosophers sometimes apply the name of Mother to the Vase which contains the Matter of the Great Work, but they more commonly say that the Sun is the Father of the Stone, and that the Moon is its Mother, because, in their opinion, the Matter of the Stone, as of every other substance, is engendered by the Four Elements, mingled and combined by the action of these two luminaries, and not, it should be noted, because ordinary Gold, which they also call Sun, and vulgar Silver, which they call Moon after the same manner, must be made use of for the achievement of the Great Work.
MOTHER --- The Mother has Drowned her Child. This allegorical expression is used by some Philosophers to mean that the philosophical earth has absorbed all the water that originally issued from it. It is the same process as Cohobation.
MOTHER OF THE STONE --- Matter of the Stone when arrived at the White Stage. But the name also applies, and that indeed more exactly, to Mercurial Water, since it is of that the Matter of the Stone is formed.
MOTHER OF THE ELEMENTS --- The Chaos Or Hyle. The First Matter of which the Elements and all things are composed.
MARVEL OF MARVELS --- This is the true name of the Perfect Elixir, because there is no greater wonder upon earth. It is for this reason that the majority of Philosophers call the Great Work the Work of Divine Wisdom.
MARVEL OF THE WORLD --- The Mercury of the Philosophers,
MESSENGER OF THE GODS --- The Universal Spirit which permeates all Nature, or the Mercury of the Philosophers, which is formed from it.
MESTUDAR --- Sal Ammoniac.
METALS --- When the Sages speak of Metals, they do not in most cases refer to those which are used in ordinary life and in the commercial world. Their metals are nothing else but the several states of their Mercury during operation of the Magisterium. Just as there are seven planets, so are these states seven in number, and so also we speak commonly of seven metals. For the same reason, the Philosophers ascribe the regime of their work to the planets, which they say, dominate each state, each dominion being characterised by its special colour. The bellows-blowers and vulgar chemists, when they set to work upon ordinary metals, deceive themselves equally in this as in other matters, for they will never accomplish the Magisterium by such means.
METOPIUM --- Galbanum.
METROS --- The Stone at the Red Stage.
MEZEREUM --- A species of Plant which belongs to the genus Laurel.
MICLETA --- A Medicament for stopping Haemorrhage.
MIGMA --- A Combination of several Simples, which is used as a Medicament.
MILCONDAT --- Dragon's Blood.
MILITARIS, or STRATIOTIS --- An Aquatic Plant which stops bleeding of wounds. The same name has been given to another plant called Milfoil, or Garrow.
MINE --- The Matter out of which metals or minerals are formed in the bowels of the earth. According to the principles of Hermetic Philosophy, this Matter in its original state is nothing but a vapour put in motion by the elements together with air and water in the interior of the earth. The central fire sublimes towards the surface. It digests and cooks, combining with the Sulphur it meets with, and according to the degree of purity which exists in the combination, more or less perfect metals result.
MINE OF CELESTIAL FIRE --- The Magisterium at the Red Stage, or the Sulphur of the Philosophers.
MINERAL --- A Combination or Composite Substance participating of the principle of metals. Metallic minerals are composed of very simple and homogeneous parts, which make the composition extremely fixed, and almost incapable of corruption. The Vase of the Philosophers is an unctuous and vitrifiable earth, and as it does not possess the reproductive organs of vegetables and animals, it forms by simple accretion, and all its genera possess a similar form or, more correctly, they have none of them any determinate form, such as is possessed by every species in the two other kingdoms of Nature. Nevertheless, the metals possess a seed, but it is the same in all; it does not consist of a conglomeration of different parts, but is a very simple subject to which are conjoined and do adhere many other parts constituting its outward or apparent form. Three ingredients enter into the compositions of a mineral, namely, a seed, an unctuous moisture attaching to it, and, finally, an unctuous humidity which augments and nourishes it.
MINIERE --- The Philosophers apply this term to several things, as, for example, to that Matter out of which they extract their Mercury by the proper process learned of experiment and of experience. This also they call the Miniere of their Mercury, or the Miniere of Metals. Then again they designate their Animated Mercury by this name, or --- which is the same thing --- their Matter after Putrefaction in the Medicine of the First Order, because it is in Putrefaction that the reunion between body and spirit takes place. Philalethes says that the Steel of the Sages is the Miniere of their Gold, and that their Magnet is the Miniere of their Steel. Once more, a number of Adepts have given the same name to their Sulphur, because this red body is the principle and the beginning of their tincture, as it is also of their metals. Their White Miniere is their Magisterium at the White Stage, and their Red Miniere is their Stone at the Red in the operation of the First Work.
MIRACLE OF ART --- The Powder of Projection at the White and at the Red, so called because Art can accomplish nothing more perfect in the efficacity of the influence that it exercises over the health of the human body, or more potent for the transmutation of Metals into Gold.
MISSADAM --- Mercury or Quicksilver.
MIXED BODY --- An Assemblage of several Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Substances. It is possible to reduce all mixed or composite substances into three classes on the theory that all things are composed of air and water. The first of these classes contains those composites which consist of water and water, the second of those which are constituted of earth and earth, the third of those which have earth and water for their principles. The individual composites comprised in each of these three kingdoms differ also among themselves according to the different proportions in which the constituting elements are combined. The melange which forms the bodies of animals consists in union, that of vegetables in coagulation, and that of minerals in fixation.
MOLHORODAN --- Sal Gemmae. See Rulandus.
MOLLIFICATION --- Identical with Solution, Trituration, and Putrefaction.
MORTAR --- The Dissolving Mercury of the Philosophers.
MORTIFICATION --- In chemical terminology, this process is a species of Pulverisation which disposes the mortified body towards a new generation, such as that of the seeds of vegetables. The name of Mortification has been given to this species of corruption, because this kind of putrefaction takes place slowly, and the seed appears to die. In Mortification, the Radical Moisture of earth in vegetables, and that of the seed in animals, governs for a time the innate and vivifying heat, but at the end of a given time this igneous spirit, assisted by external heat, reassumes its active powers, and dominating the Radical Moisture in its turn, achieves generation.
MOSARDEGI --- Lead.
MOSEL --- Pewter; but according to some chemists it signifies Mercury.
MOOT --- The same as Endica.
MOUNTAIN --- The Philosophers have analogically given this name to Metals.
MOZ --- Myrrh.
MUCAGO --- Mucilage.
MUCARUM --- Syrup and Infusion of Roses.
MURPHUR --- Copper or Venus.
MOON --- This term is understood in a variety of senses. By it the Philosophers sometimes understand their Mercury in its simple state, sometimes their Matter at the White Stage, and occasionally common Silver. When they say that their Stone is made with the Sun and the Moon, we must understand that the reference is to the Volatile Matter for the Moon, and to the Fixed Matter for the Sun. They also call their White Sulphur or White Gold by the same name. The dominion of the Moon in the operations begins when the Matter, after putrefaction, changes its colour of grey into that of white. When the sages speak of their Moon in this state they call it Diana Unveiled, and they say that happy is the man who has beheld Diana naked, that is to say, the Matter at the perfect White Stage. He is happy as a fact because the perfection of the Red Sulphur, or of Philosophical Gold, depends only, when once this point is reached, upon the sustenance of the fire.
MOON OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- The Matter of the Philosophers, not isolated, but making part of a Composite. It is not Common Silver nor Mercury extracted therefrom. It is the Vegetable Saturn, the Daughter of Saturn, called by some Venus, and by others Diana, because she has a forest which is consecrated unto her. Common Silver performs the office of the male in the operations of the Great Work, and the Moon of the Philosophers performs the office of female. An infinite number of names have been applied to it, some of which appear to exclude one another, but it must be always borne in mind that such designations are relative only, either to the operations or else to the colours of the work, or again to the qualities of this Matter. At times they have termed it Water, and at times Earth. In respect of perfect bodies it is a Pure Spirit, and relatively to mineral water it is a Body, but a Hermaphrodite Body. Having regard to Gold and Silver, it is a Living Mercury, a Fugitive Water. In comparison with Mercury it appears to be an Earth, but an Adamic Earth, a Chaos. It is the true Proteus.
MOON --- Horned Moon. The chemists apply this name to Calx of Silver made by aquafortis in the manner following: Dissolve one ounce of fine silver in two ounces of aquafortis. When the dissolution has taken place add spirit of common salt, which will precipitate the silver to the bottom. When this calx has been subsequently edulcorated the resultant is called the Horned Moon.
MOON --- The Moon Compressed. Cupellated Silver. But when the chemists speak of their Luna Compacts the reference is to the Philosophical Luna, or the Matter of the Work arrived at the White State, which is also called White Gold and the Mother of the Stone.
MUD --- Mud, Lute, or Slime, is properly a species of Mortar, composed of different substances, which artists make use of to harden or encrust glass vessels, so that they may the better resist the action of fire. Lute also serves to join the orifices of two vessels, or their communicating beaks, to prevent the spirits when passing from one to another, or therein circulating, from escaping and becoming dissipated in the air.
MULTIPLICATION --- An operation of the Great Work by means of which the Powder of Projection is multiplied, either in quantity or quality, to infinity, according to the good pleasure of the artist. In consists in recommencing the operation which has been already performed, but with exalted and perfected matters, and not with crude substances as in the previous case. The whole secret, says one Philosopher, is a physical dissolution in Mercury and a reduction into its First Matter. With this end in view the Philosophers take the Matter, as prepared and cocted by Nature, and reduce it into its First Matter, into the Philosophical Mercury from which it has been extracted. In order to attain to a full acquaintance with this operation five points must be observed:
1. That the Adepts reduce years into months, months into weeks, weeks into days, days into hours, etc.
2. It is an axiom among the Philosophers that all dry matters absorb greedily their proper moistures.
3. That then the dry matter acts more rapidly upon its humid part than it did previously.
4. That the greater, the proportion of earth, and the less that of water, the sooner does solution take place.
5. That every solution is made according to expediency, and that every matter which dissolves the Moon dissolves also the Sun.
N N N
NAMPHORA --- Oil of Stone.
NAPORAN --- A Sea-shell whence the colour Purple is obtained. The Adepts have occasionally applied this name to their Sulphur because it possesses this colour.
NASSE --- Furnace.
NEAGULA --- New Milk.
NECTAR --- The Beverage of the Gods. It is the Medicine of the Philosophers. The philological meaning makes it equivalent to a drink which preserves youth. The Hermetic Philosophers attribute the same property to their Medicine. In the course of the operation of the Work, they give the name of Nectar to their Mercury or Azoth, because it drinks the Matter which remains at the bottom of the vessel, which they term Saturn, Jupiter, Venus.
NESTUDAR --- Sal Ammoniac.
NEPSU --- Pewter; an Alloy of Tin and Lead.
NEUSI --- The Magisterium at the Red.
NEST OF THE FOWL --- The Mercury of the Sages. It is also sometimes the Vase containing the Matter, or the Triadic Vessel which Flamel calls the Domicile of the Fowl.
NUCLEUS --- The Mercury of the Philosophers, so called because it must be extracted from its Ore by separation from the terrestrial parts, the aqueous parts, and the heterogeneous parts in which it is imbedded like the kernel of a nut in the shell.
NUCHT --- Brass.
NURSE --- The Philosophers apply this name to their Mini2re or Ore; that is, to their Matter from which they extract their Mercury and their Sulphur. This must be understood as referring to the condition which antecedes the first preparation and also during the course of the second. Michael Maier represents the Philosophical Child by an emblem in which is depicted a woman having a terrestrial globe about the middle of her belly. From this globe two breasts issue, which are sucked by a child whom she carries. Above there are these words, which are taken from the Emerald Table of Hermes --- Nutrix ejus est Terra --- The Earth is its Nurse. But when the Nurses of the Gods are referred to, the reference is usually to the volatile portions of the Matter, or the Mercurial Water of the Philosophers.
NYSAE --- Sal Ammoniac.
O O O
O --- The letter 0 taken simply is a chemical character which signifies Alum. When it is horizontally divided in the middle, or in the direction of its diameter, it indicates Common Salt. It is identical with the circle which stands for the most precious of all the metals, as also for its philosophical antitype, the Gold of the Sages. If this circle be perpendicularly divided, it then represents Nitre. The circle also enters into the symbols which represent the following substances:
Iron, or Steel. Alum. Antimony. Mercury. Arsenic. Wax. Cinnabar. Copper, Venus. Calcined Copper. Spirit. Wheel of Fire. Oil. Day. Nitre. Night. Gold, or Sol. Orpiment. Powder. Purifying Agent. Realgar. Mars. Salt of Alkali. Sal Gemmae. See Ruland. Black Sulphur. Sublimating Agent. Sal Ammoniac. Glass. Verdegris.
The above enumeration by no means exhausts the list.
OBAC --- Sal Ammoniac.
OBJECT OF THE ALCHEMISTS --- The end of the research of philosophers is to attain the art of perfecting what Nature has left imperfect in the mineral genera, and to arrive at the treasure of the Philosopher's Stone. This stone is nothing else but the radical moisture of the elements, perfectly purified and brought to a sovereign fixity, which causes it to operate those great things for life and health that dwell alone in the radical moisture. The secret for performing this admirable work consists in a knowledge of the true process for extracting and educing from potentiality into activity the inner or latent heat which dwells in the radical moisture, and is called the Fire of Nature. The precautions which must be taken to prevent failure are mainly centred in an exceeding carefulness over the extraction of excrement from the matter, and in seeking only for the nucleus, or middle point, which contains all the virtue of composite substances. The Medicine here treated of has the power of curing every kind of disease, not on account of the variety of its qualities, but simply because it so powerfully fortifies the natural warmth of the body, by a gentle and moderate elevation or excitement thereof, whereas other remedies irritate it by an over-violent action.
OCCULT --- This term sometimes stands for the Sun of the Philosophers concealed in the belly of the Magisterium. We do honour to the Sun, says Philalethes, because without him our Arcanum could not be separated from its imperfections. This Sun, however, is not Vulgar Gold; only the sages behold, perceive and know it. Nor can this Sun of itself make our tincture perfect; it has need of the assistance of the Moon, which makes it ethereal and volatile, by purifying it of its imperfections. This Moon is the Mother and the Field in which our Gold must be sown.
To make the occult manifest is to extract the Mercury from the Ore; it is also the coction of the Matter in Putrefaction until the manifestation of the colour white, and of the other colours which succeed it.
To make that which is manifest occult and that which is occult manifest This expression means nothing else but the dissolution of the Fixed into Mercurial Water, with its subsequent volatilisation in view.
OCCUPATION --- A Commingling, by means of weight and measure, of a perfect body with the matter of which it is composed. It is performed in a suitable vessel, and at a philosophical fire.
OCHEMA --- The Entire Liquor, or the vehicle with which Medicaments are mixed together.
OCHRUS --- A Vegetable Nature.
ODOUR --- The philosophers say that they recognise their Matter by its smell, which is that of Assafoetida, that of the tombs and that of the sepulchres. But this must not be understood of the crude Matter, considered before its entrance into the state of putrefaction. Nicholas Flamel teaches us that the artist does not become acquainted with this evil odour unless he breaks his vessels, whence it is to be concluded that he refers to the Matter in putrefaction. He further refers to the Matter, when in this state, as a thing that is dead, and as a dead body in its grave. Morien also speaks of it as possessing the smell of a corpse. Raymund Lully also describes it in similar terms, but he adds that the bad odour is succeeded by one so pleasant and delicious that it attracts all the birds in the neighbourhood to the house where the process is being carried out. In other words, the Matter passes into a volatile state after its putrefaction, and ascends to the top of the vase, to fall afterwards into the Sea of the Philosophers.
OLEANDER --- The plant Bears' Breech.
OLIVE --- The Magisterium at the Red. Called also Everlasting Olive.
OLLUS --- The Matter at the Black Stage.
ONITIS --- A species of Wild Marjoram.
ONOBRYCHIS --- Sainfoin.
ONOLOSAT --- A Weight of Half a Scruple.
ONOMEL --- Wine mingled with honey.
ONOOLOEUM --- A Mixture of Oil and Wine.
OPEN --- To Open is to Dissolve the Matter, to render Bodies Fluidic. According to Flamel, the Philosophers, anxious to protect their secret, have never spoken of the mystery of multiplication except under the veil of common names --- such as to open, to shut, to bind, to loose. Opening and loosing is the reduction of a body into a fluid state, like water. Binding and closing is coagulation by a stronger decoction.
OPERATION --- There is but one Operation in our work, and that is, according to Gebir, the Elevation of the Dry Substance by means of Fire, with adherence to its proper vase.
OPERATION --- A Philosopher may risk the performance of the work when he knows how to extract from a dissolved body, by means of a crude spirit, a digested spirit, which he must then reunite to the vital oil.
OPERATION [a further view] --- When the Philosopher shall know how by means of a vegetable menstruum, united to a mineral menstruum, to accomplish the dissolution of a third essential, having united which together, he must wash the earth, and then exalt it into a celestial quintessence for the composition of the sulphureous thunder, which in a moment shall penetrate bodies, and destroy their excrements, then may he commence his work.
OPOCHRISMA --- An Unguent or a Sympathetic Balm which Cures Hurts and Sores by the unusual method of rubbing the instrument which inflicted them. It is also called Unguentum Armarcum.
OPRIMETHIOLIM --- A Mineral Spirit which assists in the formation of Metals and Minerals.
OREPIS --- A Fiery Vapour of Tartar.
ORIZONTIS --- Tincture of Gold.
ORNUS --- The Wild Ash.
OSATIS --- Wood, Dyer's Wood, Pastel.
OSCIEUM --- The Plant Api or Smallage.
OSEMUTUM --- Iron Wire.
OSMUNDA --- A Species of Fern-the Fern Royal.
OSYRIS --- A Plant known by the name of Purging Flax.
OTAP --- Sal Ammoniac Tinged Red by Water of Colestar.
OUBELCOR --- A Cucurbit.
OXELEUM --- Vinegar Beaten up with Oil.
OXOS --- Vinegar.
OXYACANTHA --- Barberry.
OXYCROCEUM --- A Medicament composed of Vinegar, Saffron, and some other drugs.
OXYDERCICA --- Remedies adapted for Strengthening the Sight. Eye-salve.
OXYGALA --- Sour Milk.
OXYLAPATHUM --- A sort of Sorrel or Dock.
OXYTRIPYLLUM --- The Sour or Acid Trefoil; so called, firstly, on account of its flavour, and, secondly, because it has three leaflets like common trefoil.
P P P
P. AE, PAR, PART AEQ --- Abbreviations for Equal Parts.
PACHUNTICA --- Ingredients used for Thickening, or for giving Consistence to a Medicament. Some Philosophers have applied this name to the Sulphur of the Sages, because it coagulates and fixes their Mercury.
PAJON --- Bezoar, Animal Concretion, Medicinal Stone, Antidote.
PANACEA --- The Universal Panacea is one of the results of the Hermetic Work, and the only one which the philosophers of ancient times proposed as their end in view. [Note that this view is in contradiction with what has been previously cited from another source.] It is probable that the transmutation of metals was in no sense their main object, and that it was only by a consideration of the virtue and the qualities of their Medicine that they were led to apply it to the achievement of this end, which succeeded according to their hopes.
PANCHYMAGOGUM --- Sweet Sublimate.
PANDATIEA --- Solid Electuary.
PARADISE (Grain of) --- Cardamon.
PARDALIANCHES --- Aconite.
PAREGORIC --- A Medicament with the assuaging properties of Anodyne, Soothing and Tranquilzing Pain.
PARONYCHIA --- A small Plant, which is good for Sores in the neighbourhood of the Nails.
PART WITH PART --- Amalgam of Gold and Silver.
PASSIVE --- The Inactive Condition of Substance; that which is acted on by an agent. It is interchangeable with the term Patient.
PATIENT --- A Substance acted on by another Substance to accomplish the generation of a composite. Mercury is the Patient in the Work of the Stone, while Sulphur combined with Fire, are the Agents.
PAULADADA --- A species of Sigillated Earth, found in Italy.
PEARL OF THE CHEMISTS --- The Dew of the Spring Season. It is so called, because it condenses into drops which resemble these precious Stones. Some chemists have regarded it as the veritable Matter of the Hermetic Work, and as the Philosophers affirm that there are two indispensable Matters --- the one Male and the other Female --- they have given the name of the Male to the Dew of the Autumn period, or that of the month of September, and the name of Female to the Dew of the month of May. This is because they say that springtime dew partakes more of the winter cold which has preceded, and the other of the heat and geniality of the summer.
PELLICULE --- The Matter of the Work during the period in which it is in Putrefaction; so named, because it has the form of a Pellicule upon its surface; it is also polished, and like Black Pitch.
PENTAMYRON --- An Unguent, composed of five ingredients --- to wit, Styrax, Calamite, Mastic, Opobalsamum, Wax, and Nardic Ointment.
PEPANSIS --- A process of Cooking or Dressing, which is adapted to giving perfection to a thing.
PEPANTINQUE --- The First Heat that is requisite in the digestion of the Matter of the Work, and for disposing it towards that putrefaction which is preliminary to a fresh generation.
PIERCE --- To Pierce with the Lance, or with an Arrow, or a Javelin; the coction of the Matter of the Work by means of the Philosophical Fire, which is called the Lance or javelin.
PERYCLYMENUM --- Honeysuckle or Woodbine.
PERIMINEL --- An operation by which a Substance is reduced to Cinders. Reduction to ashes or fine dust is sometimes called Adulphurs. The two processes in conjunction are termed Agasoph.
PERIPLOCA --- A species of Convolvulus.
PHACE --- The Vegetable called Lentil.
PHELLODRIS --- Cork.
PHILADELPHUS --- A Species of Gluten.
PHILOSOPHER --- The Lover of Wisdom who is instructed in the secret operations of Nature, and who takes pattern by her procedure for the production of more perfect things than she has herself evolved. The name of Philosopher has been given from time immemorial to all those who are duly initiated into the operations of the Great Work, which they term also Hermetic Science or Philosophy, because Hermes Trismegistus is regarded as the first who became illustrious therein. It is further claimed that the proficients in this achievement do alone really deserve the title of Philosophers, because it is they only who know Nature in her inmost depths, and because by means of this knowledge they have arrived at the knowledge of the Creator, unto whom they pay worship and adoration in all love, fidelity, and respect. They affirm further that it is precisely this love of God that is the first step which educes towards wisdom, and they never weary of impressing on their disciples, whom they call the children of Science, the necessity of this love.
PHILTRATION or FILTRATION --- That Action whereby a Liquor is Clarified and Purified. The subtle part is separated from the gross, thick, and terrestrial part. It is generally performed by passing the liquid through a linen cloth, or by some similar means.
PHILTRE --- In Vulgar Chemistry this is a piece of some kind of stuff, cut to a convenient size, and shaped like an inverted cone. Liquids are passed through it with a view to clarify them. It is also performed by means of a funnel of prepared paper, and in other ways. But in the terminology of the Hermetic Science the Philtre signifies the Azoth of the Sages, because it is by means of Azoth that the pure is separated from the impure. Philtre represents further in symbolic language that Azoph of the Wise which whitens the Laton, otherwise the unclean body, and strips it of its impurities.
PHIONITA --- Natural Hostility or Antipathy, such as one animal or composite of any kind entertains towards another, as for example, the antipathy of the cat for the mouse, of one pole of the magnet for the other. The Philosophers say that their Dragon has this quality in respect of water, and that it must be forced to drink thereof, and to bathe therein, so that it may be relieved of its old skin or impure cortex.
PHISON --- Sulphur of the Philosophers, or Magisterium at the Red.
PHLEGM --- A Water or Vapour which rises up from the Matter of the Work, and which whitens itself in distilling. It is by reason of this quality that the Philosophers have given the name of Phlegm to the Mercury and to the Stone when they have attained the White State.
PHLOGISTIC --- Fixed Fire which has become a Principle of Bodies. It is the Inflammable Matter or Primal Sulphur. The phlogistic virtue in metals ' accomplishes the union of their parts, a fact which is evident because when deprived of this fire they are reduced into Lime, but can be brought back to their former condition by the addition of phlogistic substance. It is by ascertaining the quantity of this substance that is present in any metal or by ascertaining the degree of cohesion among its principles that their relative value can be appraised, independently of any value which opinion may attribute to them, for the more these substances resist fire the greater is their solidity in proportion, and the more brilliant is their sparkling. The preciousness of metals depends therefore on their power of resistance, and not upon any question of their comparative scarcity or their abundance. Thus Gold, which fire cannot overcome, and which seems to have the least phlogistic quality which is possible consistently with the cohesion of its parts, is regarded as chief among the metals. Silver, which fire can permeate or penetrate, it is true, but only with the greatest difficulty, unless Lead or Borax be added to it, or some Alkaline Salt, follows immediately upon Gold. Then ensue Copper, Iron, Pewter, Lead, Bismuth, and Zinc. For the rest this resistance must not be interpreted as that opposition which the metals in question offer to fusion, but the constancy with which they persist in their fused state, with less or more evaporation and waste, or, alternatively, the more or less great difficulty which is experienced in converting them into scoria and cinder. Independently of this, one would attribute a greater virtue to Iron than to Silver or to Copper, because it resists fusion much better than the two latter metals. The excess of the Phlogistic element produces in metals the same result as its deficiency. Both make the substance impregnable to fire. The Phlogistic element is found in all species of Nature. In the animal it preponderates in the oily or unctuous parts, which are the most open to inflammation. This fire was known to the ancients as it is now familiar to the moderns, more especially to the Hermetic Philosophers, who have almost invariably spoken of it in allegories or under the veil of metaphors, and have in almost every case assigned it some name borrowed from the different fires of vulgar chemistry.
PHLOGIUM --- A species of Violet, so named because the blossoms, or flowers, have a certain fire-coloured aspect.
PHOSPHORUS --- One of the names which the Philosophers have applied to the small white circle which forms upon the Matter of the Work when it enters upon the White Stage. They have thus named it because it is the herald of this White State, which in its turn is denominated Light.
PHTORTICUM --- A Medicament adapted to Dissolving or Softening Flesh and producing Suppuration.
PHU or PHY --- Valerian.
PHYLLUM --- A species of Herb.
PHYSALOS --- The Toad.
PHYTEUMA --- A Plant.
PIMING --- The Areca.
PISO --- Mortar.
PISSASPHALTOS --- Asphalt, Indian Bitumen.
PISSALCON --- Pitch.
PITYSA --- Esula.
PLECMUM --- Lead.
PLELYOPHTHALMON --- Antimony.
PLERES ARCHONTICUM --- Cephalic Powder.
PLOMA --- White Bouillon.
POINT --- The philosophers apply the name of point or puncture to their Magisterium at the White, because the whole work depends thereon. Hence they have said: Whiten the Laton, and burn your books. For once you have reached this stage, success depends solely on continuing the regimen of the fire.
POLISH (To) --- The Coction or Digestion of the Matter, in order to lead it on to perfection.
POLYOPPORA --- Wine or any other Intoxicating Liquor.
POLYNEURON --- Plantain.
POMAMBRA --- A Pastil or composition of several Odoriferous Substances, among which Amber is particularly prominent. The name itself is equivalent to Apple of Amber.
POPPY OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- The Stone when perfect at the Red Stage; so called because it has the vivid colour of this field flower.
PORRONITRI --- Fusible Salt.
POSCA --- Oxycrat.
POT OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- The vessel which contains the Matter of the Philosophers or of the Work.
POWDER --- Black Powder --- The Matter of the Sages in the condition of Putrefaction.
POWDER --- White Powder --- The Matter of the Work fixed at the White Stage.
POWDER --- Discontinuous --- The Matter of the Sages when it has issued from the state of Putrefaction and manifests in the colour of the white state.
POWDER OF PROJECTION --- The Outcome of the Hermetic Work, which being projected upon metals, transforms them into Gold or into Silver, according as the work has been developed to the white or to the red stage.
PULVERISE --- To Dissolve the Gold of the Philosophers. Flamel says that such Dissolution reduces the said Gold or Sulphur into a powder so fine that it may be fittingly compared with the atoms which are visible in a ray of sunlight.
POUST --- Opium.
PRATUM VIRIDE --- Flowers of Copper.
PRECIPITATE PHILOSOPHICAL --- Mercury Precipitated by the Internal Fire of Gold or Gold essentialized.
PRECIPITATION --- A Failing which is charged by the Philosophers against those who grow weary of the length of the Work.
PREGNATION --- The period of the Putrefaction of the Matter. It is so-called because corruption is an indispensable forerunner of generation, and there is no conception which has not been preceded by Putrefaction.
PREPARATION --- That action or process, by means of which Superfluous Substances are removed from the Matter, and that which is wanting to it is added. There are three kinds of preparation in the Work or Confection of the Magisterium. The first is Manual and not Philosophical; it is for this reason that it has been omitted in the writings of the philosophers, though success depends thereon. The second is the Philosophical Preparation of the Agents, which the Philosophers call the First Preparation, and Philalethes, the Imperfect Preparation. The third is the Preparation of the Elixir, or the Complete and Perfect Preparation. But the successive philosophical preparations are only one operation repeated, so at least is the declaration of Morien, who terms them Dispositions.
PRESMUCHIM, PRESMUCHUM and PRESMUKIS --- Are all significant of one substance, and that is Ceruse.
PRISON --- The Philosophers use this term in several senses. They apply it firstly to the more gross and heterogeneous matters, in which their Mercury and their Gold are shut up as in a Prison, and from which it is necessary to set them free. They apply it, secondly, to the Vase, in which the Matter of the Work is placed, in order to work upon it with a view to the Magisterium. It is in this sense that we must understand Aristeus, when he says that the King of the Sea Coasts imprisons it in a narrow dungeon, wherein he retains it for forty days and more, and does not set it free till it has given up to him his son Gabertin. Trevisan also uses the word in the same sense. Thirdly, the Philosophers apply it to the Mercury, which, dissolving the Fixed Part, holds it, as it were, in Prison, during the entire period of the Black State. The terms, Sepulchre and Tomb, are made to serve as equivalent for Prison in this connection. It is applied, fourthly, in reference to the Fixation of the Mercury, and it is in the three senses last enumerated that we must interpret the Prison of which Basil Valentine speaks in the preface to his Twelve Keys.
PROCESSES --- Operation, Method, Manner of Proceeding, etc. The Processes of the Hermetic Art in the composition of the Stone of the Sages are an imitation of those which Nature employs in the production of Mixed Substances.
PROCESSION --- Nicholas Flamel, in his hieroglyphic figures, has employed the symbol of a procession, at which many persons assist, clothed in different colours, as much to indicate the successive ascensions and descensions of the Matter by means of circulation in the Vase, as to signify the colours which develop in the operation of the Great Work.
PROJECTION --- It is to be noticed that in the operation of Projection, all the Metal upon which the Powder is projected does not transform into Gold or Silver unless it has been well purified before fusion. There is an exception in the case of Mercury because it has naturally a smaller proportion of impure and heterogeneous matters, and possesses also much closer analogy with gold. To make projection upon Mercury, it is sufficient to warm it slightly, and the powder must be projected before it begins to give off smoke. The powder is wrapped in a little wax, and the pellet thus formed is cast upon the metal in fusion. The crucible is covered over, and the powder is left to act for the space of a quarter of an hour or thereabouts. The Matter is then allowed to get cold, and is then taken out of the vessel. If cracked or broken, it must be projected upon a small quantity of the same metal in fusion, for it is a proof that too much powder has been used.
PROPOLIS, or PROPOLIX --- A species of Cement or unctuous Wax, of a somewhat bitter taste and blackish colour. It is that substance with which bees coat over the clefts of their hives, and even the entrance, when the approach of winter impels them to close quarters. Planoscampi terms it Virgin Wax, others Sacred Wax. When placed upon burning coals, it exhales an odour which is very similar to aloes. One writer says that this matter is a species of reddish or yellow mastic.
PROPOMA --- A Beverage composed of Wine and Honey, or of Wine and Sugar.
PROPORTION --- Combination of the Weights, or by Weight, of the Principal Materials in the Composition of the Hermetic Work.
PSAMMODEA --- A Sandy Sediment.
PSILOTHRON --- A name which is given to certain Unguents used to remove Superfluous Hair.
PSORICA --- A Medicament for the Cure of the Itch.
PSORICUM --- A Composition of Two Parts of Chalcitis and one of Cadmia or Refuse of Silver, pulverised and mixed together by means of Vinegar (White Vinegar). The whole is placed in a Vase which is well sealed, and then set in horse-dung (warm) for the space of forty days. The matter is subsequently dried over live coals until it assumes a red colour.
PTERIS --- Fern.
PTERNA --- Cinders.
PUCHO --- Tenesmus.
PURITY OF DEATH --- The Matter of the Philosophers when it has arrived at the White Stage. It is so called because the Black colour occasioned by Putrefaction is called Death and the Impurity of Death, while the colour White, being of itself the symbol of purity succeeds the Black. When it is in this latter state it is said that the Laton must be washed and made pure. When it has been washed it is pure.
PYRE OF THE SUN --- Philosophical Sulphur.
Q Q Q
QUATARUM --- Identical with Quadrans. It signifies also a Measure containing Five Ounces of Wine, or Four and a Half Ounces of Oil.
QUEBOLIA --- The Indian Plum, used as a Purgative.
QUERCOLA --- A Little Oak.
QUERN --- Mercurial Water of the Philosophers, so called because they have applied the term King to their Sulphur, and this Sulphur must be married to Mercurial Water.
QUIAMOS --- Copperas.
QUIRIS --- A Stone found in the Nest of the Lapwing.
R R R
R --- Signifies, in Chemistry, Take or Place, etc.
RAAN --- Sal Ammoniac.
RAARI --- Sal Ammoniac.
RABEBOYA --- Some have applied this name to the Luna, or Female of the Sages.
RABRIC --- Sulphur of the Philosophers.
RACARI --- Sal Ammoniac.
RADIRA --- Tin; Jupiter.
RAIB --- Any species of Stone.
RAMED --- Rhubarb.
RAMICH --- Gall Nut.
RANDERIC --- Matter of the Work, or Rebis, before it has attained the white stage.
RASTIS --- The Chemical Jupiter.
RAVED --- Rhubarb. Seni --- Oriental Rhubarb.
RAXAD --- Sal Ammoniac.
RAYB --- Same as Raib.
REBUS --- See Ruland. But, according to another authority, it is the Matter of the Sages in the first operation of the Work. The crude Mineral Spirit which is like water, says the good Trevisan, mingles with its body in the first decoction, and dissolves the same. This is why it is called Rebus, because it is made of two things --- to wit, Male and Female; in other words, the Dissolvant and the Dissolved Body, though at the bottom these are but one and the same thing, and one matter. The Philosophers have also given the name of Rebus to the Matter of the Work when it has arrived at the White Stage, because it is then a Mercury, animated by its Sulphur, and these two things have issued from one only root, and from one homogeneous substance.
RECEIPT --- Uninstructed performers of experiments allow themselves to be duped by imposters, who proffer them false receipts, and demand gold to make gold. If they had studied the works of the true Philosophers they would have seen that the Matter is one which is vile and common, and that he who has a sufficient quantity of this Matter has more need of patience and of diligence than of extensive resources --- that the work is not performed in the multiplication of things --- and that there is only one Nature, one Vase, and one Furnace. If the Philosophers do occasionally furnish receipts, they take pains to warn their readers that they are not to be literally understood. For example, when they say: Take this or, Add that, they by no means intend that some foreign substance is really to be added to something that is already in the vase; but that the regimen must be continued to procure a change in the colour of the Matter, and to develop it from an imperfect state to a very high degree of perfection. They must not therefore be understood literally when they say Take or Add, except indeed in so far that the Matter has to be placed in the vase first of all, to compose the Mercury, and afterwards the Sulphur. From this Sulphur and this Mercury the Rebus has to be formed, so that in the end the Stone may be composed, and lastly from this Stone, combined with the Mercury, there must be obtained the great Elixir. This is the whole work.
RECFAGE --- Dissolution of Bodies by means of a Humid and Igneous Spirit.
RECONCILIATION OF FOES --- A Hermetic expression which signifies the reunion of the Fixed with the Volatile by means of the Mercury of Vulcan.
RECTIFICATION --- A Fresh Depuration of a Body or of a Chemical Spirit by means of reiterated distillation, or by some other operation which is adapted to this end. In the terminology of Hermetic Chemistry, it is identical with Sublimation or Exaltation of the Matter of the Work.
RECTIFY --- To Impart a Greater Degree of Perfection.
RED --- A term of the Hermetic Art which signifies the Sulphur of the Philosophers.
RED --- Blood Red --- The Magisterium when it has reached, under the process of coction, the colour of Purple.
REDDEN, To --- To Cook and Digest the Matter of the Work until it has attained the colour of Purple.
REEZON --- The Sulphur of the Philosophers when perfect at the Red Stage.
REFACTION --- Identical with Conversion of Elements.
REFECTIVUM --- A Medicament which restores the exhausted energies.
REGIMEN, or RULE --- The Philosophers say that everything consists in the Regimen of Fire. Here again one must guard against going astray over the literal sense of the words. The reference is not only to the conduct of the External Fire, which preserves the Matter from the influences of the cold air, it must also be understood of the Philosophical Fire --- that is to say, of the Fire of Nature, and of the Fire which is against Nature, in order that from these two well combined there may be gotten a third, which the philosophers term Unnatural Fire.
REGULUS --- This is a generic term which is much in use among chemists to describe the mass which remains at the bottom of the Crucible when Mineral or Metallic Ore has been melted therein. The name of Regulus is most commonly given to Calot of Antimony, and when it is combined with other metals it is called also by the name of the metal in question. Thus Martial Regulus is that in which there is a proportion of Iron or Mars. Many chemists have looked upon the last-mentioned Regulus as being the Matter of the Great Work, but they have misinterpreted a passage of Philalethes.
REGULIFY --- To Reduce a Metal into Regulus.
REILLI --- Acid Salt, or Vinegar.
REMIRUDATION --- Retrogradation.
REINCRUDATE --- To Reduce a Body into its First Principles. Artephius says that it signifies Decoction, the Mollifying of a Body until it is deprived of its hard and dry consistence. No one can succeed in the Work without performing the incrudation of the perfect body, and reducing it to its First Matter.
REITERATION OF DESTRUCTION --- This is performed in the second disposition for the Composing of the Stone, after the Sulphur has been made. Morien says that this disposition, or second operation, is a repetition of the first.
REMORE --- This is, firstly, the name of a small kind of Fish. But, secondly, it has been applied by the Philosophers to the Fixed Part of the matter of the Work by allusion to the supposed property possessed by this fish --- namely, that it can arrest a ship in its course.
RESTORE --- To Restore the Soul. This is the Restoration of the Soul to the Stone after having removed it thence. The expression signifies the Imbibition of the Volatile Matter upon the Fixed.
REPAST --- The Delicious Repast of the Philosophers. This expression is used to signify the discovery by the Sages of something which was previously unknown.
RESERVOIR OF THE UPPER AND NETHER WATERS --- The Mercury of the Sages. It has received this name because it is the abridgment, epitome, or synthesis of the Little World or Microcosmos, and it is, as it were, the Quintessence of the Elements.
RESIDENCE --- The Magisterium at the Red Stage, so called because therein is to be found everything which is needed to animate the Mercury, of which it is itself the residue or the resultant. When all these things have been united together, modified, and adapted, they constitute a whole substance which is capable of remaining for ever in the fire, and of resisting its fiercest attacks.
RESIN CARDIC --- A Gum or Extract, obtained from the Root of the Herb Angelica.
RESIN --- To drink Resin from the Earth. Sublimated Sulphur reduced to a Liquor, and called the Oil or Balm of Sulphur.
RESURRECTION --- The Hermetic Philosophers apply this name to the passage from the Black to the White in the operation of the Great Work, because the Black marks the stage of Putrefaction, which is a Sign of Death. They also give the same name to the Transmutation of Imperfect Metals into Gold, for, according to them, Lead, Iron, etc., are dead metals which cannot be resuscitated and glorified, except by becoming Gold, which is the highest degree of their perfection.
REVIVIFICATION --- That Action by which a Composite Substance is brought back into its First State, before it was corrupted by combination.
REVIVIFY, To --- The Return of a Mixed and Disguised Substance to its First State, received from Nature. Thus Mercury is Revivified from Cinnabar and other preparations that are combined with it to make it flow. Metals are Revivified by reducing them into Cinders by means of Calcination, or, otherwise, by the use of Aqua Fortis. In the terminology of Hermetic Science to Revivify is to reinfuse life, that is, to return the soul to its body.
RHA --- Rhapontic.
RHIZOTOMUM --- A Specific Medicament for radically Curing a Disease.
RHODELAEUM --- Red Oil.
RHODOMEL --- Honey.
RHODOSTAGMA --- Rose Water.
RHOE --- Sumach.
RHOCAS --- The Wild Red Poppy.
RIASTEL --- Salt.
RILLUS --- A vessel used in the fusing of metals.
RISIGALLUM --- A Species of Orpiment of a Reddish Colour.
RIVER --- The Philosophers have frequently personified Rivers, so as to make them Symbols of the Mercurial Water of the Sages.
RIVER --- Alkalised River. Chemists have applied this name to Rivers, the waters of which are charged with an Alkaline Salt, and they say that the water becomes impregnated with these Salts when passing among Stones which are calcined naturally in the earth.
ROBE --- This is one of the names which the Philosophers have applied to the successive colours which appear in the Matter during the course of the operations. Thence it is that they say their King and Queen change their garments according to the seasons.
ROBE --- The White Robe is the White Colour which follows the Black.
ROBE --- The Dark Robe is one of the colours which appear, or, at least, should appear, in the course of the philosophical operations. In the first preparation of the Crude Matter these colours should not be expected.
ROBE OF PURPLE --- This is the Red Colour of the Sulphur when perfectly fixed. It should also be noted that the Philosophers apply the name of Robe to the terrestrial and gross matters, wherein are concealed the Living Gold of the Sages and their Mercury. Consequently, they say that the vestments and robes of their King must be stripped off, as also those of their Queen, and that they must be well cleaned before they are put into the nuptial bed, because they must enter therein both pure and naked, so that they may give forth Venus to the world.
ROBUB --- A Conserve of Flowers or of Fruits.
ROCK --- The Philosophers have given the name of Rock to their Vase, because their Metals are formed therein after the same manner that the Ordinary or the Vulgar Metals, and Gold more especially, are deposited or formed in the rocks and in the bosom of the stony earth.
ROHEL --- The Blood of the Philosophical Dragon.
ROSCOD --- Vinegar.
ROSE --- This Symbol is sometimes understood to signify Tartar, but it has many and most profound meanings not only in Alchemy, but in all branches of the Hermetic Mystery, as well as in the Symbolism of Universal Mythology.
ROSE OF LIFE --- According to Mangetus, this is a Liquor which is composed of Brandy and of a most pure tincture of Gold, extracted by Spirit of Salt, the whole being subsequently combined by means of the Salt of Pearls.
RUBELLA --- A certain Spirituous Liquor possessing dissolving properties, adapted for the extraction of the tincture of bodies. Such are the Spirit of Venus, and the Alkaest of Paracelsus and of Van Helmont, and these rank higher than all other dissolving menstrua.
RUBIFICATION --- The Continuation of the Hermetic Regimen, or of that process by means of which the Matter of the Work of the Philosophers is passed from the
colour White to that of Red.
RUETORIUM --- Caustic or the Infernal Stone.
RUM --- The Magisterium at the Perfection of the Red.
RUSANGI --- Copper.
RUSCIAS --- Mercury.
S S S
SABRE --- The Fire of the Philosophers.
SACUL --- Succinum.
SAGITH, or SEGITH --- Vitriol.
SAHAB --- Mercury.
SAIL --- Quicksilver.
SAL ANDERON --- Nitre.
SALINUCAR --- Lavender.
SALT --- Fusile Salt, that is, Salt which has lost its savour, and is only fit for the fire. Some understand the term as an equivalent for Sal Gemmae.
SALT OF TABAR --- Sal Alembroth.
SAMBAC --- Jasmine.
SARCION --- The Ruddy Stone.
SARCOTICUM --- An Unguent with qualities that are adapted for renewing the flesh.
SATIR --- The Saline Water of the Philosophers.
SATURN --- Though according to vulgar chemists this term signifies Lead only, the Hermetic Philosophers apply it to a number of things. In the first place, it is the Black Colour, or the Matter when it has arrived thereat under the operation of dissolution and of putrefaction; it is again the Adrop of the Sages, or the Azoqueated Vitriol of Raymund Lully; it is ordinary Copper which the Mirror of Alchemy by the illustrious Arnold de Villanova denominates the First of Metals. Fourthly, it is Vulgar Lead, which is the most imperfect of metallic natures, and for the same reason is that which is furthest removed from the Matter of the Great Work. In the fifth and final place, it is the philosophical preparation of Philosophical Copper by means of the Vegetable Menstruum, from which it has received the name of the Vegetable Saturnian Plant, to distinguish it from Unprepared Copper. But this Vegetable Menstruum is also the Philosophical Menstruum.
SATURN --- Horned Saturn --- A name which chemists have applied to Lead when dissolved in Aquafortis and precipitated with Spirit of Salt.
SATURNIAN --- The Mercury of the Philosophers.
SAURE --- Fresh Water-cress.
SAVOUR --- That sensation which Sulphureous, Mercurial, and Saline Spirits occasion in the organs of taste. The varieties of Salt in themselves possess no savour, and their sharp or acrid nature is to be attributed to the igneous quality which is communicated to them by a Volatile and Mercurial Sulphur which is invariably combined with them, and is exceedingly difficult to separate. The different savours must be entirely attributed to the proportion in which the said Sulphur combines with the Salts; it is bitter, sweet, or acid, in strict correspondence with this proportion; the more penetrating the savour the greater is the quantity of Mercurial Sulphur.
SAYRSA --- A name of Mars --- i.e., of Iron.
SCAOPTEZE --- Flame.
SCARELLUM --- Feathery Alum.
SCARTEA --- The plant Orval, or Clery.
SCHONAM --- Salt of the Philosophers.
SCIRPUS --- A Reed.
SCOLYMUS --- Artichoke.
SCORODON --- Garlic.
SCORPION --- A term which certain chemists have applied to the Stone of the Philosophers.
SCRIPTULUM --- A Scruple, a Weight used in Medicine; it is the Third Part of a Drachm.
SCYTHE OF SATURN --- An expression made use of by the Philosophers in reference to the Fixed Part of the Matter of the Work which fixes the volatility of the Mercury of the Sages.
SCYTICA RADIX --- Liquorice.
SEASONS --- The Philosophers have their four Seasons, corresponding to the four divisions of the vulgar year, but they differ materially from these. They understand by the term Seasons the different states through which the Matter of the Art passes during the course of the operations, and these Seasons are renewed throughout each philosophical year-that is to say, each time that an operation is reiterated to arrive at the perfection of the Work. Their Winter is the period of Dissolution and of Putrefaction. Spring succeeds, and it endures from the time that the Black colour begins to vanish until the moment when the White has become perfect. The period of the White Colour and of the Saffron which follows it constitutes the Summer of the Work, while the ensuing Red colour is the Autumn of the Sages. It is for this reason that they say Winter is the first season of the year, and the Work must be begun in the Winter. Those who recommend beginning in Spring have in view only the Matter with which the Work must be performed, and not the commencement of the labour of the Artist, since he can perform that during any of the vulgar seasons.
SEBLEINDE --- The Matter of the Work.
SECRET OF THE SCHOOL --- This expression possesses a special application to the true and intimate Matter of the Work, and to its first preparation.
SEDEN, or SEDINA --- Dragon's Blood.
SEMEN, or SEED --- When simply so called, signifies, in the terminology of Alchemy, the Sulphur of the Philosophers. But when they speak of the seed of metals the reference is made to their Mercury, and sometimes to their Magistery when it has attained to the Red Stage. When, however, the Adepts discourse in a more general manner of the Seed of Metals, i.e., of the vulgar metals, and when they give instruction as to the manner of its formation in the bowels of the earth, the Seed of which they then speak is a Vapour formed by the union of the elements, carried down into the earth by the air and water, but afterwards sublimed back again to the surface by the operation of the central fire. This vapour becomes corporified, and either of an unctuous or viscous quality; it adheres in its sublimations to the Sulphur which it carries away with it, and forms more or less perfect metals according to the greater or lesser purity of the Sulphur and the Matter.
SIEVE OF NATURE --- The Air.
SIEVE OF THE SAGES --- Hermetic Mercury.
SIEVE (Hermetic) --- Mercurial Water.
SIMILITUDES --- Celestial Appearances.
SOW --- To Sow is to Cook, i.e., to Continue the Regimen of the Fire. The Philosophers say: Sow your Gold in a white and foliated earth which has been well prepared --- that is to say, Elaborate your Matter from the White to the Red colour.
SEMINALIS --- Knob-grass, Centinodia.
SEMIS --- For which S is commonly used as a sign or symbol, signifies a Half-ounce, a Half-pound, etc.
SENTISSIS --- The same as Semis.
SEMMOCIA --- A Half-ounce.
SENCO --- Lead.
SEVEN --- This is the Mysterious Number of Holy Scripture, and it is that also of the Great Work. The Philosophers speak of Seven Planets, Seven Kingdoms, Seven Operations, Seven Circles, Seven Metals. They say that their work resembles the creation of the world, which was accomplished in seven days. St. Thomas Aquinas in his Epistle to Brother Raynang, his friend, says that the work is performed in three times seven days and one day.
SEPULCHRE --- This name has been applied by one of the Adepts to the Glass Vase which contains the Compost or Matter of the Work; but the same name has been applied by others to a certain Matter which contains another Matter as if entombed in its breast. It is also given to the Black colour which appears during the period of putrefaction, because corruption is a sign of death, and black is a symbol of mourning. Sometimes the term Sepulchre has been used to signify the Dissolvent of the Sages.
SERAPIAS ORCHIS --- A Species of Ragwort, the Flowers of which resemble some very fertile Insect.
SERAPINUS --- Gum Arabic.
SERAPINUS --- Syrup.
SERF --- The Mercury of the Philosophers. Vide Servus Fugitivus in Rulandus. The term is significant of the Volatile Quality.
SERINECH --- The Magistery at the White Stage.
SERIOLA or SERIS --- Endive.
SERNEC --- Vitriol.
SERPENT of MARS --- The Mercury of the Philosophers.
SERPIGO --- Moss.
SERRIOLA --- Endive.
SERTULA CAMPANA --- Sweet Trefoil.
SERVANT --- This name is applied by the Philosophers to their Matters because they work according to the desires of the Adepts and yield obedience to their will. But in addition to this generic term, they at the same time make use of other epithets by which the Matters are severally distinguished.
SERVANT --- The Red Servant. The Matter from which the Philosophers extract their Mercury.
SENTLOMALACH --- Some have understood this term to signify Beet, some Spinach, and others Mallow.
SEXTARIO --- A Weight of Two Ounces.
SEXTULO --- Four Scruples.
SEXUNX --- Six Ounces, or Half-a-pound, according to the old method of computing the Pound in Medicine, which consisted of Twelve Ounces.
SEZUR or SFACTE --- Marine Oil.
SICILIUS or SICILIUM --- The Name of a Weight equal to Half an Ounce, but some understand it to be the Fourth Part of an Ounce.
SICYOS --- Cucumber.
SIEF ALBUM --- Dry Collyrium.
SIGIA --- Storax.
SION or SIUM --- Water-cress, according to some explanations.
SIPAR --- Quicksilver.
SMALTERNIUM --- Succinnum.
SISTER --- The Magistery at the White Stage.
SOLIDITY --- This condition is in opposition to the liquid state, and three kinds are distinguished. The first is that form of consistence in which the component parts of bodies are brought together and adhere to one another in the manner of a jelly; in this consistence the fluid state has just been passed, but the process of melting can be easily accomplished by the two ordinary solving agents, i.e., Fire and Water. The second species of Solidity is that of bodies which are termed Coagulated. The third is the fixation which takes place when the component parts are very intimately united in a compact manner, as we see in Metals and Stones. The first species is that of the soft parts of Animals; the second is that of Vegetables; the third is of Minerals.
SKIN --- The Human Skin --- Some Philosophers have given this name to their Dissolvent Mercury, and there have been artists in consequence who have regarded human hair and skin as the Matters of the Great Work. Doubtless these persons had never read the treatise of Trevisan on the Philosophy of Metals, who enumerates hair and skin among the substances which are excluded from the Work, as indeed are all substances which are derived from animals.
SPAIRIA --- Commonly understood as another name for Alchemy.
SPAITIUM --- A species of Broom; it is adapted for the Manufacture of Bonds, etc.
SPATULA OF IRON OR STONE --- The Matter of the Philosophers in Putrefaction and when arrived at the Black colour.
SPERM --- The Seed of Individuals in the three kingdoms, Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral. In the first, it is a white, humid, unctuous substance, and is composed of the purest parts of the blood. In vegetables, it is the seed itself, composed of oleaginous and unctuous substances, whence the name of Sulphur has been given to it by chemists. But that which is properly called Sulphur is the Sperm of Metals. According to Aristotle, it is a Vapour, but this must be understood of an unctuous, sulphureous, and mercurial Vapour, the Ethereated Liquor of the Philosophers --- a Mineral Sulphur which penetrates metallic stones and is fixed therein. The remote principle of this vapour is common Sulphur. Mineral Sulphur is an unctuous, incombustible Humour, which the Hermetic Philosophers term their Sun and their Masculine Seed. The Sperm must not be confounded with the Seed; the one is the vehicle of the other. The Sperm is the Generative Grain and the principle of the substance to which it belongs. It is for this reason that the Philosophers have given the name of Sperm of Metals to Sulphur and Seed of Metals to Mercury. The germ within the seed of vegetables is the Sperm.
SPERM OF MERCURY --- The True Mercury of the Sages.
SPRING --- The Matter at the White Stage, or the Regimen of the Fire of the Third Degree. Its complexion is igneous. The third degree fixes the Mercury, and it must be continued till the development of the Red Stage.
SWEAT OF THE SUN --- Mercury of the Sages. The same name has been given to the Philosophical Matter in Putrefaction.
SUPERFLUOUS --- Gebir, and other Philosophers who have followed his leading, have affirmed that there exists in their Matter a certain Superfluous Portion which must be eliminated. Such words are very generally interpreted after a literal fashion, and it is concluded that the operator must separate something from the Matter in the Medicine of the Second Order, etc. But the veritable sages assure us that such elimination takes place of itself in the Medicine, and that the superfluity is very useful in the Work. It is an Oil or a species of Slime originating in the body, and it comes floating to the surface of the Menstruum after the body is dissolved. The said slime is absolutely indispensable to the conversion of the body into oil, and such a conversion is, on the other hand, so essential that success is impossible to the Work without it, because it is impossible to obtain the principles of the Art.
SUPPRESSION --- The Fire of Suppression is that which is made above or within the Vase.
SUTTER --- Sugar.
SOOT OF METALS --- Arsenic.
SYCAMINOS --- The Mulberry Tree.
SYCE --- Fig.
SYNACTICUM --- An Astringent Medicament.
SYNCRITICUM --- Antispasmodic.
SYRUP OF GRANADA --- The Stone at the Red Stage.
T T T
TABLETS OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- These are their Books, their Allegories, their Hieroglyphics, etc.
TAGETES --- Tanesy.
TAIL --- The White Tail of the Dragon, Oil of the Mercury, or the Stone at the White. It is so called because the Black colour is termed the Dragon, and it is succeeded by the White.
TAIL --- The Red Tail of the Dragon --- This is the Magistery of the Red, or the Red Sulphur of the Philosophers.
TAIL OF THE DRAGON --- According to Hermes, the Mercury of the Philosophers in putrefaction.
TAIL OF THE PEACOCK --- The Colours of the Rainbow which manifest upon the Matter in the operations of the Stone. To indicate the colours which pass in succession over this Matter, Basil Valentin and many other Philosophers have employed a defined sequence of symbolism. The Raven signifies the Black colour, the Peacock the several hues of the Rainbow, the Swan the colour White, while the Phoenix stands for the Red.
TAIL OF THE RED FOX --- Minium.
TAMUE --- The Matter of the Work prepared and cooked to the Red colour of the Poppy.
TAMUS, or TANUS --- Snake-weed, or Bryony.
TANECH --- Pumice Stone.
TARAGUAS --- Bezoar.
TARGAR --- Oil of Juniper.
TARTAR --- White Tartar, or the Salt of Tartar of the Sages, is their Magistery arrived at the White Colour.
TARTAR OF MARBLE --- The Stones which form in the human body. They are so called on account of the terrestrial or tartaric substance of which they are composed.
TELESME --- End, Perfection, Complement.
TEMEYNCHUM --- The Gold of the Philosophers or their Magistery at the Red Stage.
TERENGIBIL --- Marina.
TERSA --- Mustard.
TETRAPHARMICUM --- A Medicament composed of Four Ingredients.
TETRABOLON --- A Weight of Four Drachms.
TEVOS --- The Matter of the Work arrived at the White Stage.
THABRITIS --- The Jupiter of the Philosophers.
THAMAR --- The Fruit of the Palm-tree.
THELIMA --- The Stone elaborated to the perfection of the Red Stage.
THELYPTERIS --- Fern.
THERMUS --- The Bath. Some Philosophers have given this name to their Mercurial Water.
THERMOMETER --- The Philosophical Thermometer is the Natural Warmth of Composites.
THIMI VENETIANI --- Absynth.
THITA --- The Magistery of the Sages in its Fixation at the Purple colour.
THUNDERBOLT OF JUPITER --- The Fire of the Philosophers, which by its dissolving property reduces the imperfect bodies of the Work into a state of solution, and after by its fixing quality converts them into a powder or ash which can suffer nothing further from the assault of the most potent fire.
TICALIBAR --- Sea Foam or Scum --- That Red Scum of the sea of which Flamel speaks when he enigmatically indicates the Matter of the Work.
TIERCELET --- A French term, signifying Tassel, and standing for a certain composition once in vogue among charlatans who pretended that they were Adepts in Hermetic art. By means of the composition in question they imposed upon those who were so credulous as to part with their money to them.
TIFACUM --- The Mercury of the Philosophers.
TIFARUM --- Hermetic Sulphur.
TINCTURE --- In the terminology of the Hermetic science to tinge or tincture signifies to Conduct the Regimen of the Fire, to administer it to the Matter for its digestion and coction in such a manner that the latter shall assume the successive different colours which are enumerated by the Philosophers, and are called by them demonstrative signs.
TINCTURE --- Living Tincture --- The Stone at the Red Stage.
TINCTURE --- The Red or Purple is the same as the Illuminating Tincture.
TINCTURE --- The Illuminating Tincture of Bodies --- This is the same thing as the Powder of Projection. Some, nevertheless, understand this expression to signify the Stone at the Red Stage, or the Auriferous Sulphur of the Philosophers, because they call it the Sun, and the Sun is, so to speak, the principle or the distributor of Light. Vainly do the chemists endeavour to extract the Tincture from Gold of the vulgar order for the rehabiliment of the rest of the metals. The true Tincture of Gold consists in its Radical Sulphur, which is inseparable from the very body of Gold, according to Espagnet. Moreover, were the thing otherwise to be regarded as possible, such a tincture could never give more than it possesses; in other words, it could never tinge a larger weight of Silver than that of the Gold from which it was derived; while, on the contrary, a single grain of the Philosophical Tincture, when elaborated to the utmost perfection of which its nature is possible, will tinge a million times its own volume of any metal whatsoever.
TINGENT --- A necessary property of the Stone of the Philosophers, or of their Powder of Projection. It was required that it should be capable of tingeing that is to say, that it should be able to impart to the imperfect metals the fixed and permanent colour of Gold or Silver, according to the degree of perfection to which it had been elaborated.
TIME --- The Philosophers do not seem to be in agreement with one another as to the duration of the operations or processes which are necessary for the attainment of the end of the Hermetic Work. Some say that it requires three years, others seven, and there are again some who extend the experiment to twelve. There are those also who reduce its duration to the space of eighteen months. Raymund Lully is satisfied with fifteen months. But these are so many manners of expressions which are only contradictory in appearance; it is actually the same period of time calculated upon a variety of methods. Their months and their seasons are not of the vulgar kind. A year must elapse, says Ripley, before we can enjoy the fruits that we expect from our labours. An anonymous writer explains the different periods in the following manner. Even as we call by the name of day that interval of time which the Sun takes to travel through the sky from the east to the west, so do the philosophers apply the same term to the period required by their coction. Those who say that a month alone is necessary, make reference to the course of the Sun through each celestial sign, while those who speak of a year have in view the four principal colours which successively manifest in the Matter, because these four colours are the four philosophical seasons.
TIRFIAT, or TIRSIAT --- Sal Ammoniac.
TERRELATI --- Corporeal Spirits living on the earth.
THIRD PRINCIPLE AND COLOUR --- The Sulphur of the Philosophers, digested and cooked till it attains the Red Colour. It is called third because Red is the third of the chief colours assumed by the Matter in the course of the Hermetic operation.
THIRTEENTH --- The Sulphur of the Sages attained to the Red Stage.
TIN --- Calcined Tin is a name of the Stone when it has been elaborated to the White Stage, which is also termed Cinders of Tin, Tin Ashes, the Full Moon, Diana Unveiled, etc.
TIN OF THE PHILOSOPHERS, or WHITE LEAD OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- Their Mercury stripped of its blackness, but before it has arrived at the perfect White.
TIE --- To Tie, in its general philological sense, is to Reunite, to bind together, to make the separated parts of a body cleave one to another. But in the terminology of Hermetic Philosophy, it is to coagulate and to fix, just as to untie or unbind are equivalent to dissolve and volatilize.
TIE --- That Unctuosity of Bodies which Binds their Component Parts together, which reunites the volatile with the fixed, prevents evaporation of the spirits, and forms the composing quality of sublunary things.
TIE OF QUICKSILVER --- Philosophical Gold or the Fixation of Mercury; it takes place when the Matter of the Work has arrived at the Red Stage.
TIE OF TINCTURES --- The Mercury of the Philosophers.
TMETICUM --- An Attenuating or Reducing Medicament.
TOMB --- The Philosophers have often made use of the symbolism of the tomb to contrive allegories concerning the putrefaction of the Matter of the Work.
TOPIC --- A Medicament which is applied to the Skin after the manner of a Plaster.
'I'ORDYLIUDS --- Cretan Sefeli.
TORTOISE --- The Philosophers have employed the Tortoise as an emblem of the Matter of their Art.
TOTHUS --- A White Gypsum-like Substance, resembling Dead Ashes. It is that Matter which forms about the joints of the bones in those persons who are subject to violent attacks of Gout.
TOWER --- Certain Philosophers have given this name to their Furnace.
TOWER --- The Transparent Tower is the Glass Vase in which the Matter for the performance of the Great Work is enclosed.
TOXICUM --- Poison or Venom. It is one of the names given to the Matter of the Great Work because before its preparation it is literally a most dangerous poison, while after preparation it becomes a remedy for all evils. The name has also been applied to the Mercurial Water of the Sages, because it dissolves the Philosophical Metals, and reduces them to their First Matter, which is the Philosophical Killing and Burying.
TRANSMUTATION --- The Changing or the Alteration of the Form of Bodies in such a way that they no longer have any resemblance to that which they previously were, but have acquired another manner of being both inwardly and outwardly, even another colour, a new virtue, a diverse property, as when a metal is converted into glass by the power of fire, wood into coal, clay into brick, hide into glue, rag into paper. Every Transmutation is performed by degrees or stages, of which it is commonly computed that there are seven. The others which are referred to by chemists can be reduced to this number, all, that is to say, are resolvable into Calcination, Sublimation, Solution, Putrefaction, Distillation, Coagulation and Tincture. The Metempsychosis of the ancient Philosophers was nothing else but the Transmutations of Nature understood in their physical sense.
TREASURE BEYOND COMPARISON --- This is the Powder of Projection, the source of all blessings, since it produces infinite riches. Some Philosophers have termed the Magistery at the White an Incomparable Treasure, as also Sulphur when it is perfect at the Red Stage.
TRICALILIBAR --- Sea-Foam or the Matter of the Stone of the Philosophers.
TRICEUM --- Wild or Autumn Honey.
TRIDENT --- The Hermetic Philosophers say that their Trident is the symbol of the three principles of the Great Work, which principles are found in the Mercury of the Sages from the first moment of its birth.
TRIENS --- A Weight of Four Ounces.
TRIOBOLAM --- A Weight of Half-a-drachm.
TRIPATER --- The Matter of the Sages, composed of the Three Principles.
TRIPOLIUM --- Marine Asparagus.
TRITURATION --- An Operation by Which Bodies are reduced into Powder. When the Philosophers affirm that bodies must be Tirturated, they do not mean by
the process of the Mortar or the Marble Slab, but they refer to the dissolution of the parts of the Matter of the Magistery, which takes place of itself in the Vase by the aid of hire and of Putrefaction.
TRUNGIBIN --- Manna.
TUMBABA --- Living Sulphur.
TURN --- To Turn in a Circle is to cause the Matter to circulate in the Vessel.
TURSES --- Sal Ammoniac.
TUSIASI --- Living Sulphur.
TUBEROSA --- Oriental Hyacinth.
TURIONES --- New shoot of trees.
TWENTY-ONE --- No one but an Adept can understand for what reason the Philosophers have given the name of Twenty-One to their Magistery at the White. To explain it here would be a partial violation of that secrecy which is so solemnly enjoined. They make no explanation themselves in their writings, and Philalethes is contented to inform us by a condescension that the enigmatical term in question signifies the same thing as Sulphur, the Root of the Art, or the Salt of Metals. This refers it to their Matter when cooked and digested at the perfect White.
TYPHA --- A Reed; also a Mass of Gum.
TYRIAN --- This Colour or Dye, derived from certain Marine Shells on the Coast of Tyre, has been utilised by the adepts as an emblem of the Red State of their Magistery. Compare Theriaca in Rulandus.
U U U
UBIDRUGEL --- Matter in Perfect Putrefaction.
UFFITUFFE --- The Odour of the Mercury of the Sages, which is as strong and disagreeable as that of graves and charnel-houses.
ULRACH --- Dragon's Blood.
ULVA --- Sea Weed.
UMO --- Tin.
UNDYING LAMPS --- The search for an unquenchable and ever-burning fire must be included among the quests, and if we are to believe what so many of them have affirmed, amongst the discoveries of the alchemists. Many marvelous accounts are related concerning the existence of everlasting lamps by the hundred and seventy authors who are said to have written on this subject. The discovery of the inextinguishable and enduring fire, like most of the transcendent secrets of alchemy and magic, is attributed to the ancient Egyptians, who hung lamps in the sepulchres of rich and noble persons. Many medieval writers affirm that on the opening of Egyptian and Roman tombs, which occurred occasionally in their own days, these lamps were found still burning but were at once extinguished on the admission of fresh air. The golden lamp wrought by Callimachus for the Athenian Temple of Minerva was replenished but once a year; another in the Temple of Jupiter Ammon is described Plutarch, whom the priests assured that it had burnt continually for years, and though it stood in the open air, neither wind nor water could extinguish it. Baptista Porta describes the discovery of a Roman sepulchre of marble, situated in a small island of the Bay of Naples. On opening it, a lamp was discovered diffusing a brilliant light, which dazzled and overwhelmed the beholders. It was extinguished instantaneously by the wind, but the inscription proved it to have been placed there before the birth of Christ. During the Papacy of Paul III a sepulchre was opened in the Appian Way, and there was found the entire body of a young girl, swimming in a bright liquor, which had so well preserved it that the face was beautiful, and like life itself. At her feet burned a lamp, but the flame vanished upon opening the tomb. This was supposed to be the body of Tullia, Cicero's daughter. Some years previously a similar lamp was unearthed by a labourer, who, while digging in a field near Atteste, came upon an urn containing another urn, in which last there was deposited one of these miraculous lamps, the most wonderful of all those described in medieval treatises. The aliment of this lamp, says a writer who has treated of the subject, appeared to be a very exquisite crystal liquor, by the ever-during powers of which it continued to shine Mercury. It is at least certain that common substances were adapted in such a manner by the initiates that their natural imperfections were eliminated, and their concealed potencies developed to a high point of manifestation and activity. The erudite Jesuit, Kircher, affirms that asbestos possesses the marvelous properties attributed by those who have recorded this experiment. He himself possessed a tablet of the substance in question which he used for writing purposes, and was accustomed to clean it by placing it in the fire, out of which it emerged white and shining. What is more to the purpose, he was acquainted with an asbestos lamp which burned for two years uninterruptedly, and was then stolen. He believed the extraordinary petrine substance to be composed of a species of talc, and a material akin to aluminium. The oil extracted from it was said to be a perpetual fuel, but later chemistry has failed to perform this operation; it has equally failed to extract the essential Oil of Gold, which was regarded as the fittest pabulum for the mystic flame, because of all metals gold wastes least when either heated or melted. Incombustible wicks were also made from the loadstone, which was supposed to burn in oil without being consumed, and the mysterious stone Carystios was endowed with the same properties. Another writer has attributed the alleged perpetuity of these flames to the consummate tenacity of the unctuous matter in which they were maintained, and to the exquisitely perfect balance between this and the strength of the flame.
Baptista Porta, having contemptuously noticed numerous experiments for extracting an inconsumable oil from metals, juniper-wood, magnets, etc., propounds as follows his own theory: If a flame were shut up in a glass and all vent-holes stopped close, if it could last one moment it would last continually, and could not be possibly put out. But how the flame should be lighted within a glass hermetically sealed is worth the while to know. Sometimes the old chemical writers give instructions for producing a light which, though not perpetual, has sufficiently extraordinary properties, as for example: Take four ounces of the herb Serpentinet, place them in a sealed vase, and cover them with warm horse manure for the space of fifteen days, when the matter will be transformed into small red worms, from which an oil must be extracted according to the transcendent principles of the Hermetic Art. With this oil a lamp may be trimmed, which, set to burn in any room, will cast all within it into a slumber so profound that no power can awaken them so long as the lamp continues burning.
UNICORN --- The Mineral Unicorn is Red Sigillated Earth.
UNION --- Volatilization of the body and copulation of the spirit, performed by the same operation. It has been termed the union of earth and water by the Philosophers, and is accomplished by the agency of putrefaction. Then are the elements confounded; the water contains air and the earth fire, while the two make one thing, namely, Hyle, or Chaos. This union of earth and water is achieved also by the fixation of the Volatile.
UNION OF ENEMIES --- The fixation of the volatile Mercurial Water by the fixed Sulphur of the Sages.
UNION OF SPIRITS --- Dry Water.
UNIQUE --- The Unique Substance is the Mercury of the Sages.
UNION OF ELEMENTS --- The Coction of the Matter.
UNIVERSAL MEDICINE --- The renewal of youth by the processes of alchemy and the communication of the arcane vitality and renovating potencies of the Universal Medicine must be distinguished from natural or ordinary longevity. There are many authors who treat of the regimen of long life and the way to preserve health, but these have nothing to do with alchemy, and their authors are not alchemists, or followers of our secret science of great Hermes. A robust constitution, life sober, life active, passed amidst an air that is keen, bracing, and pure, as in so many of our northern countries, will frequently enable the individual to subsist beyond the ordinary limits of the span of physical being. In isolated cases, perhaps insufficiently substantiated, many lustrums are said to have been added to an entire century of healthy existence. The facts of ordinary longevity substantiate the claim of the disciples of our art by exhibiting the possibilities of unassisted Nature. Our science steps in where Nature fails and falls short, completes what she has begun, makes perfect that which passes defective from her hands. It does not do violence to Nature; it is rather her extension and her supplement. The theory and the practice of the Universal Medicine repose upon natural law as a firm and immovable basis, and they achieve their end by reason of a development of natural potencies. The works which treat of this subject by no means ignore the curious facts of ordinary longevity either in men or animals, but regard them as a point of departure whence they develop their own principles. The philosophical theory and practice of the Universal Medicine is thus elaborated.
Man, made in the image of God, and by a special act of the creative power, so that he is regarded by theology as having come forth out of the hands of Omnipotence in a manner which cannot be postulated for the rest of the physical universe, was endowed from the moment of his creation with the high crown of immortality. But this immortality depended on his condition being immutably preserved in the innocence of the unfallen state. The Tree of Life in the centre of the terrestrial paradise was like a Universal Medicine or Reparative Elixir, of which he was privileged to partake, and he required no other food. Moreover, his primeval form of subsistence was devoid of all those contrary qualities which do now encompass his destruction. Amidst continual youth he enjoyed all the powers of maturity without any fear of lapsing into the infirmity of age. He was guided by the adequate illumination of a supreme reason by which a perfect knowledge was imparted to him without any need of study. He was equally innocent in body and in mind. His interior and exterior nature were therefore combined in harmony, and acted in the concert which is indispensable to perfect human felicity. The Tree of Life united soul and body so intimately by its celestial food that no separation could happen between them till man fell from the first standard of excellence. It was by sin only that he was ultimately rendered subject to mortality and entered into the power of death. Then his eyes were opened to his misfortune; guilt made him conscious of nakedness; he was stripped of the privilege of immortality; he was deprived of the Tree of Life.
Thus, eternal youth and strength were not inherent in primeval Adam. He was sustained in innocence by a perfect regimen, and this was the Arbor Vitae. The Elixir, the Grand Quintessence, the Universal Medicine, sustained him, that gift of God which has never been attained by any one except through the favour of God. Thus also, the Desire of the Wise after the Balm which is the consolation of philosophy, is an aspiration after the Tree of Life, and he who would compose the Universal Medicine must first enter into Paradise. But he only can enter into Paradise who has returned into the first condition of innocence. Now, the Philosophers from time immemorial have taught that the Stone is obtained by a Divine light entering the mind of the artist, and that a blameless, prayerful, charitable, studious, perfect life is an indispensable condition of success. Be ye, therefore, perfect like Adam, be ye enlightened by the rational light of the Edenic state, and ye shall not fail of the Grand Elixir.
It is a doctrine of the Adepts that fallen man has not lost the capacity for immortality, but simply the food or regimen of eternal life. The possibility is indestructible in his nature. They are also persuaded that the human body conceals the inexhaustible fountain of a Sovereign Balsam by which this life, under given circumstances, may yet be recovered. It is alike in blood and milk, grease and bone, brain and marrow; in a word, it sustains his physical nature at all points. Man has, therefore, within him the materials of a medicine which surpasses the healing properties of any herb or stone, as well as of any extract of other animal natures. This is the virtue of the food of the Tree of Life which once sustained Adam, and still persists in all his descendants. Extract it, and thou hast found the treasure. The essence is in thy hands; thou hast no need to seek outside thyself for that which is so abundantly within thee. Man is the monarch of Nature; his soul is his noblest part, which remains immortal and in its essence like unto the angels; it communicates to his fallen body the majesty which illuminates the countenance. But that body has still a thousand virtues which are the remains of his primal prerogatives, and, above all, a principle of life which it is still possible to develop.
Had Adam persisted in his first estate, his body would not always have remained upon earth. God placed him in the Garden of Delights to cultivate it and to nourish it. Then would he have laboured in sanctification by fidelity and adoration; then confirmed in his innocence and penetrated by the longing for a full possession of God, dome gentle ecstasy would have ravished him to heaven. In that brilliant form of subsistence which our understanding now cannot realize, the body would have been glorified in the soul's glory, as the soul herself would have been transfigured by the light and joy of God. This is the transport of Enoch and Elias, and it is the supreme desire of the Adepts, as their writings testify, and as their great hidden labours do proclaim to those who know.
A certain shadow of the primeval state of immortality is afforded by those who are instances of ordinary longevity. Now, as then, the way of innocence is the way of strength, health, and long life. Temperance has ever been regarded as a chief aid towards duration in years. It is a Divine inclination, agreeable to God, friendly to Nature, the daughter of reason, the mother of virtues, the companions of chastity; it is full of peace and happiness. It purifies the senses, fortifies the body, illuminates the mind, strengthens memory, embellishes the soul. It disengages slowly from the bonds which too securely bind us to the earth, exalts us above ourself, and makes us new men in proportion as it ensures us new days wherein we can work to merit ultimately the new life of immortality.
The Adepts assure us that it is possible not only to prolong life, but also to renew youth. To renew youth is to enter once again into that beautiful season when the forces of our being were at the spring and freshness of early power. Paracelsus, by means of his celebrated Mercury of Life, claimed to metamorphose an old into a young man, as well as change iron into gold. Arnold de Villa Nova, that great physician of France who lived towards the close of the thirteenth century, also invented a method to accomplish this most desirable object, and bequeathed it as a treasure to his disciples. This admirable operation must be renewed once in every seven years upon bodies that are naturally healthy and well organized. On the first day of the process, and during sleep,, a plaster must be placed upon the heart, consisting of one ounce of Oriental saffron, half-an-ounce of red roses, two drachms of red santal, one drachm of aloe wood, and the same quantity of good amber. These drugs must be well ground, and combined with half-a-pound of white wax, kneaded together by a sufficient quantity of oil of roses. At the moment of waking, this plaster should be removed, rolled up, and placed in a leaden box, to be again made use of on the following night. The next point in the process consists in a diet of chickens prepared after a prescribed manner. For sanguine temperaments it should be continued sixteen days, twenty-five for phlegmatic, and for melancholic dispositions as long as thirty days. A special brood of chickens must be bred for the purpose, the number thereof being regulated by the days computed for the special temperament; they must be kept in a spacious run where the air is clear and pure, and where there is no kind of herbage to tempt them from the food on which they must be reared. Their nourishment is to consist of as many fine vipers as there are fowls in the poultry-run. The reptiles must be placed in a cask in such a manner that their heads and tails can be cut off at once; they must then be flayed, steeped in vinegar, and salt must be rubbed into them with a rough cloth. Subsequently, they must be cut up in pieces and placed in a large kettle, with half-a-pound of flowers of rosemary, fennel, calamanth, and anise, in equal proportions, to which should be added half-a-pound of the African herb cumin. The kettle must be two-thirds full of clear water, and the whole must be gently boiled until the vipers are cooked. A quantity of well-cleansed corn, sufficient for the maintenance of the chickens during the required period must then be added, and again the whole must be boiled, until the corn has become saturated with the virtue of the reptiles. The better, to insure this end, the kettle should be kept covered, and should be suspended over the fire on a tripod, being subjected to an equable and gentle heat, till the whole mass is thickened. Water, when necessary, may be added to the contents of the kettle to make up for the evaporation by steam. When this operation is finished, the kettle must be removed from the fire, the corn must be spread out to dry in some well-ventilated place to prevent it putrefying, and when still warm it should be administered to the fowls, kneaded into little balls by means of bran soaked in the liquor of the stew. In this manner, the fowls must be fattened for the space of two months, one of the birds being eaten daily by the person who is undertaking the experiment with a view to renew youth. It must be cooked after one manner only, in a quantity of water which will be sufficient to make two plates of broth, which must be made with some bread of pure wheaten flour, well baked and two days old. At supper, as at dinner, one plate of the broth must be taken, and the remaining half of the fowl, or two or three fresh eggs, boiled in water, eaten with a little of the bread, and washed down with white wine or claret.
This operation answers most successfully during the months of April or May, when all Nature is itself undergoing the grand process of renewal. When the prescribed period has been accomplished, a clear warm water bath must be taken three times a week, or every other day. In the water must be poured a decoction of rosemary flowers, elder, the two cassidonies, or French lavender, camomile, sweet trefoil, red roses, and water-lily --- of each one pound. The roots of snake-weed, briony, alder, the plant patience, and iris --- of each one handful, cleansed and pounded, the whole being placed in a linen bag and boiled in a large caldron of river water. The bath must be taken fasting and immersed to the neck, seated on the bag of flowers for at least one hour. The same bag will answer for two or three baths. On issuing from the water a drachm of good theriaca must be swallowed in six spoonfuls of wine infused with flowers of rosemary and cumin. The patient must then retire to bed for the purpose of repose and sleep. Should sweating take place, it may be regarded as a favourable sign, and on awaking a moderate repast may be takes according to appetite. As a conclusion of the operation, for at least twelve days, the following confection must be taken after the bath.
Rx --- Four ounces of calx of gold, philosophically dissolved, aloe-wood, sandalwood, seeds of pearl, sapphire, hyacinth, emeralds, rubies, topazes, white and red coral, purest balm, raspings of ivory, the bones of a stag's heart, of each half-a-drachm, together with six grains of best amber and musk. Pulverise the whole in such a manner that it shall become an impalpable powder; combine it with conserves of citron, borage and rosemary --- of each one ounce. Add one pound of sugar of the finest quality, together with sugar of roses in sufficient quantity to make a confection which must be placed in a porcelain or earthenware vase, which must be well covered. Every morning, on an empty stomach, and every evening, before retiring to rest, about half a spoonful must be taken of this syrup, and in a very short time the patient will feel the value of this rare quintessence for the reparation of caducity and of decrepitude.
This marvelous arcanum for the rehabilitation of Nature is not to be found in the folio volume of the works of the celebrated Arnold de Villa Nova, printed at Lyons and Basle in the fifteenth century. It is extracted from an ancient Latin manuscript which, in the seventeenth century, came into the hands of M. de Poirier, physician-in-chief to the general hospital at Tours.
UNIVERSAL MEDICINE --- Substances which contribute to the prolongation of life. The best among these are quintessences, extracted from animals, minerals, and vegetables. The perfection of these quintessences consists in their preparation. So much does this vary that it would sometimes seem almost impossible that these essences are extracted from one and the same principle.
The Essence of Vipers preserves health for a number of years, providing it is operated on according to the true principles of art. This essence is more health-giving than is even the Powder of Vipers, because the latter contains their terrestrial matter.
The Essence of the Myrtle preserves everything, including that which is inanimate from corruption.
The Balsamic Oil of Sulphur, according to Paracelsus, preserves all things, whether dead or living, from corruption; it always does good and never evil, according to Fioramenti. When the Philosophical Salt is extracted, and the Essential Oil and Tincture of this Sulphur, the eduction of its Balsamic Oil is then performed.
The Oil of Mars, or of Vitriol, extracted from its Salt and Oil, rectified and cocted together, produces the fixed Oil of Mars, the virtues of which are concealed from the greater part of the world.
Among other quintessences which officiate in the prolongation of life may be enumerated:
(a) The true Tincture of Coral, extracted by the rays of the Sun and Celestial Brandy, or by the juice of the Citron.
(b) The Quintessence of Pearls, so useful in the fortifying of the life principle against poisons.
(c) The Quintessence of Ambergris, used medicinally and not as a perfume, which augments, without inflaming, our natural heat, and foments without dissolving it. It recuperates the depleted energies of the old by means of the Universal Spirit with which it abounds.
(d) The Quintessence of Sugar, which was discovered by Isaac the Hollander, is so favourable to every form of temperament that he regarded it as a sovereign remedy for dropsy, pthisis and consumption, as well as in epilepsy and confinements.
(e) The Quintessence of Honey, composed of flowers and dew, which contains a truly Heavenly Spirit.
(f) The Tincture of Natural Gold, the metal being reduced by spagyric operation into a true Oil or Tincture of Gold.
Of all these essences or tinctures there may be ultimately composed what occult chemistry has termed the DIAPHORON, a transcendant quintessence which has power over every kind of disease. It is referred to by Bartholomew Korodorfer in the following terms: It would be difficult to explain the virtue exercised by the Diaphoron upon all species of malady. When combined in doses with an aureated water, the person who takes it will enjoy most vigorous health. It is the Balm of Life, and it performs miracles. By its means a certain Gentile monarch extended his life to the age of three hundred years. I have re-established my own thereby, and that also of a friend eighty-nine years old, and we became as it were twenty years of age. I have administered half-a-spoonful to dying people, and they have returned to life and health.
UNIVERSAL MEDICINE --- Its Composition --- The auriferous Tincture of Antimony, which is primal ens of Gold, is so homogeneous to the body of man that it has been made the foundation of a Universal Medicine.
Take refined Salt of Nitre; melt it slowly in an iron vessel; being melted, add a small quantity of charcoal, made of some sweet wood like the willow, which has been well pounded. This charcoal will burn quickly, and fresh must therefore be added, till the Salt of Nitre shall become fixed after detonation, and attain a greenish colour. When this point has been reached, pour the melted Salt of Nitre into a very warm marble mortar. When it has grown cold, it will be like a white stone, and as brittle as glass. Pound it at once, and spread the powder upon an earthenware plate; having covered it to preserve it from dust, expose it slightly to the air by inclining the plate, but let this be in a place where neither sun, rain, nor dew can penetrate. Place an earthen vessel underneath to receive the oleaginous liquid which will flow from it, for the humidity of the air, resolving the Salt of Nitre in a few days, will produce twice the weight of oil in comparison with the salt, providing the operation be performed in a mild, temperate, and humid time. This oil, when rectified, is a most powerful dissolvent for the extraction of all kinds of mixed essences.
Rx --- Four or five parts of this rectified oil, combined with one part of the best Antimony, which may be distinguished by the redness which it obtains from gold in the mine where it is deposited. When the Antimony has been reduced to very fine powder on a marble slab, place it in a large glass vial, and pour in the Oil of Nitre above it. Two-thirds of the vial must remain empty, and the vessel must be so effectually sealed that nothing can possibly evaporate. Place it for the digestion of the matter in a mild and equable fire, or expose it to the heat of a lamp until the oil, which floats over the Antimony, appears to be of a gold or a ruby colour. Then extract your oil, filter it through paper, pour it into a long-necked glass vessel. Fill up with good and well-rectified Spirit of Wine, but, at the same time, let the vessel be two-thirds empty. Seal it carefully, place it for digestion by a gentle heat during a period of several days, until the Spirit of Wine has extracted all the colour of the oil in the Tincture of Antimony, but in such a manner that the Oil of Nitre shall remain at the bottom very clear and white, with the Spirit of Wine floating over it. They must be separated by decanting. The Oil of Nitre will always serve for subsequent operations in the extraction of the Essence of Antimony. Place the Spirit of Wine in a glass alembic; let it be distilled slowly till there shall remain at the bottom only the fifth part, which will retain the Tincture of Antimony; or, alternatively, distil the whole of the Spirit of Wine, and leave only the Essence of Antimony at the bottom. You will then possess the Universal Medicine in a liquid form, and it will cure and preserve against every form of disease. The dose is five or six drops either in wine or broth, according to the nature of the complaint. A stronger dose will not, however, prove harmful. Commonly, the disease will be cured when it has been taken three times, but, if obstinate, the dose must be doubled. It should be taken three times a week. It will cure both internal and external disorders, including wounds and gangrene. In external diseases it should be applied in the form of a balm. It strengthens head and stomach, and is a veritable potable Gold. It operates by an insensible perspiration or sweat, as also by the passage of water, but seldom in any other way. Its effect is natural and void of violence, so that it can be used at any age, by all temperaments, and at any time.
UNIVERSAL MEDICINE --- The admirable master and adept, Denis Zachaire, assures us that the Philosophical Stone, internally received, becomes the most precious of all medicaments. In the Natural Philosophy of Metals he lays down the true method of using the Divine Work to heal the diseases and woes of physical humanity: In applying our Great King for the recovery of health, a grain's weight must be taken and dissolved in a silver vessel with good white wine, which will thus be converted into a citrine colour. The patient must drink it a little after midnight, and he will be healed in one day if the disease has endured for a month, in twelve days if it should have lasted a year, but if he has been a confirmed sufferer, the cure will be accomplished in a month, during which period the medicine must be administered nightly. To ensure permanent good health, the same must be taken at the beginning of autumn and spring in the form of an electuary confection. By this means shall a man be ever fortified and established in perfect health even unto the very end of the days which the good God hath appointed him, as the Philosophers do testify in their writings.
UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL MEDICINE --- Not only does the Blessed Stone of the Wise Adepts convert all metals indifferently into Gold or Silver, not only does it heal the diseases and remove the infirmities of the body of man; it is also an interior panacea, a great medicine of the mind. Those who are so fortunate as to have attained to the possession of this high inestimable treasure of the whole world, however evil and vicious they may previously have been, experience a change of disposition, and become persons of good act and deportment. They are transmuted in intention and exalted in aspiration; they no longer regard any earthly matters as worthy of their desire or their affection, and having nothing left that they can wish for in this world, they thirst henceforth after God only, and after the beatitudes of eternity, and they exclaim with the prophet: Lord, now only do I need the possession of Thy glory for the attainment of my entire satisfaction. So also the most pious Nicholas Flamel affirms that when any one has perfected the Stone, all that is bad within him is changed into good; the radix of sin is uprooted; he becomes liberal, mild, pious, religious, God-fearing; how bad soever he may have once been, he is henceforth ravished by the great grace and mercy which he has obtained from God, and by the contemplation of the height and depth of His divine and admirable works. The illustrious Cosmopolite, whose high achievements are among the glories of Hermetic history, also declares that the Philosophical Stone is nothing else but a mirror in which may be perceived the three divisions of the wisdom of the world. He who possesses it is wise as Aristotle or Avicenna. So also Thomas Norton, the English alchemist, testifies, in his Confession of Faith, that the Stone of the Philosophers is a help to its possessor in all his needs, of whatsoever kind they may be; it strips him of all vain-glory, and equally of hope and fear; it annihilates ambition and the violence or excess of desire; it sweetens and softens the most severe forms of adversity. God ranks the Adepts of our art next to the saints of His religion. Hence it was concluded that the ancient sages must have been in enjoyment of the Philosophical Stone, that Adam received it from the hands of God Himself, that the Hebrew patriarchs and King Solomon were initiated into the secrets of Alchemy, and that the same inestimable treasure has been promised to all good Christians by that passage in the Apocalypse: To him that overcometh I will give a White Stone.
The consideration of these benefits and blessings which accrue from the possession of the Grand Treasure of Philosophy must account for the tabulated comparisons between the mysteries of Alchemy and of religion which have been undertaken with so much profit to our art and with no detriment to that pious reverence with which the teachings of Christ should be regarded by all faithful members of the Church, whether proficient in the admirable secrets of the true knowledge or uninstructed disciples rich only in the humility of the faith. Thus, the resurrection is regarded as a veritable operation of Alchemy and a transmutation of the superior order. Our science indeed abounds in the most magnificent comparisons between metallic processes, the resurrection of the dead, and the Last Judgment. Nor are suggestive analogies wanting between our processes and the most central dogmas of the Christian religion. In his Allegory of the Holy Trinity and the Philosophical Stone Basil Valentin thus expresses himself: Dear Christian, Lover of the Blessed Art, after how brilliant and marvelous a manner has the Holy Trinity created the Philosophical Stone! For God the Father is a spirit, and He appears, nevertheless, under the form of a man, as we learn in the Book of Genesis. Of God the Father is begotten Jesus Christ His Son, who is at once God and man, and is without sin. He had no need to die, but He died voluntarily, and then rose from the dead to give eternal life to all His brothers and sisters who do also keep themselves unspotted from the world. So is Gold without stain, fixed, glorious, and able to withstand all tests, but it dies for the sake of its imperfect and disease-stricken brothers and sisters. Then, with all speed, doth it rise up glorious to deliver them and to tinge them for life eternal. It establishes them perfectly in the state of pure Gold.
UNIVERSAL MEDICINE OF METALS AND OF MAN --- The method of preparing the Quintessence is delineated as follows by George Ripley: The operation must be begun at sunset, when the Red Bridegroom and the White Bride unite in the spirit of life to live and love in tranquility, by the exact proportion between water and earth. From the West shalt thou advance through the darkness to the North; thou shalt modify and dissolve husband and wife between winter and spring; change water into black earth; exalt thyself through many colours towards the East where the full Moon rises. After the purgatory appears the Sun, and he is white and radiant. It is now summer after winter, day after night. Earth and water are transformed into air, the shadows and the darkness are dispersed, light is manifested. The West is the beginning of this; practice, the East the beginning of the theory, and the principle of destruction is comprised between East and West.
UNQUASI --- Quicksilver.
URINE --- A Measure of the Ancients. It is equivalent to forty pounds of Wine, or thirty-five pounds of Oil.
URINE --- Mercury of the Philosophers, according to Artephius.
URINE OF THE PERICARDIUM --- Water Enclosed in a Membrane round the Heart.
V V V
VAPOUR --- The Philosophers testify that the First Matter of Metals is a Vapour which solidifies and becomes specialised into a given metallic substance by the action of the Sulphur with which it combines in the bowels of the earth. And as they have called the Magisterium at the White the First Matter of their Metals, so also have they applied to it the name of Vapour. But by the same term they at times designate their Mercury during the period of its volatilisation, because it is then sublimed into a vapour which again falls down in the form of a dew or rain upon that earth which is at the bottom of the vase, that it may whiten as well as fertilise it.
VASE --- The Philosophers have often given this name to their Dissolvent, which they have also termed the Vessel of the Sages.
VASE --- The Double Vase is that of Art and Nature.
VASE --- The Triple Vase is the Secret Furnace of the Philosophers. Some understand it to be the furnace which contains the Vase, which, literally interpreting Flamel, they affirm to be triple. They appeal also to the authority of Trevisan.
VASE, or VESSEL DIPLOMA --- A Double, or Extra Thick, Glass Vessel.
VASE --- That Vessel which receives the Matter of the Work to be cooked or digested therein, and to be elaborated to its perfection. This Vessel must be of glass, as this substance is most adapted to retain the subtle, volatile, and metallic spirits of the philosophical compost. It is not of this Vessel that the Philosophers have made any mystery. Their secret Vase is their Water or Mercury, and not the Vessel which holds the Matter of the Work. It is in this sense that we must understand them when they say that if the Philosophers had disregarded the quality and quantity of the Vase, they would never have reached the end of the Hermetic labour. Our Water, says Philalethes, is our Fire, and in it is the whole secret of our Vase, while the structure of our arcane furnace is based on the composition of our Water. Our regimens, our weights, and our fires do all lie hidden therein.
VASE --- Philalethes and many others distinguish two kinds, the one containing and the other contained, but the latter is also containing; it is indeed properly the Philosophical Vase; it is the receptacle of all tinctures; it is the unvarnished, earthen Aludel.
VASE OF HERMES --- Mary the Prophetess says that this Vessel is nothing but the grade of the Philosophic Fire.
VASE OF NATURE --- In its primary meaning, this term is referred to the Air, which receives fire, and transmits it to water. In the second place, it is that Water which is the receptacle of seeds, and carries them down into the earth. Thirdly, it is the earth which is the matrix wherein seeds corporify and develop. When the special formation of metals is the subject in hand, the Rock is the Vase or the Matrix. But when the Great Work is to be understood, the Vase is sometimes the Matter which contains the Mercury, and sometimes the Mercury itself.
VASTRIER --- Saffron.
VAU --- Red Sulphur of the Sages.
VEGETABLE --- When the philosophers make use of this term they do not actually refer to any plant or vegetable substance, and in this connection we must be careful to avoid confusion. It must be noted, for example, that Saturn is described as vegetal, not as a vegetable, and it is so called, according to a number of Hermetic explanations, because it possesses a vegetative soul, which cooks, digests, and conducts it to perfection. The Sages, moreover, carefully advise their disciples to avoid operating upon vegetable matters with a view to the Great Work. The allusion would appear to be made exclusively to the colour green which manifests at a certain period in the subject that is under operation. This is the Green Lion, a symbol so frequently recurring in alchemical works. Nevertheless, Raymund Lully says that that the Mercury of the Sages must have its activity and its penetrating power augmented by the help of vegetables, and gives a list of some that will be useful, including Celandine. But even here we must not understand him in a literal manner, for he says elsewhere: When you shall have extracted your Matter from the earth, add unto it neither powder, nor water, nor any foreign substance. Now, every one knows that things of a vegetable nature are foreign to those that are of a metallic or mineral nature. However, the Philosophers have occasionally conferred on wine the title of the Grand Vegetable; but the White Wine and the Red Wine of Raymund Lully are the Menstrua of the Sages, and not the beverages which are commonly understood by these terms.
VENOM --- The Hermetic Philosophers say that their Stone is a deadly Venom and Poison. This is not to be understood of the Perfect Stone, for that they affirm to be a Universal Medicine. The reference is to the Matter out of which the Stone is formed, and especially at the Black Stage, the corruption which then manifests being indeed a deadly poison. The name of Venom is also applied by some Philosophers to their Mercury, because it dissolves all substances with which it is combined in digestion. They say further that this Mercury is a violent poison before it has been prepared, but that after preparation it is theriacal, or an antidote to poison.
VENOM OF THE LIVING --- The Mercury of the Sages, so called because it slays and reduces to putrefaction the Philosophical Metals which are termed Living to distinguish them from the Vulgar Metals.
VENUS --- Step or Grade of Venus --- The Mildness and Sweetness of Nature, the Life of Verdure.
VESTURE --- The Matter of the Work during the Black Stage.
VIAND --- Viand of the Heart --- The Mercury of the Philosophers, the Principle and the Nourishment of all Metals, more especially, and in a more eminent manner, of the Hermetic Metals, because it nourishes them in the Vase, imparts strength to them, and develops them to the point of their perfection.
VIANDS OF THE DEAD --- which also effect resuscitation --- The Mercury of the Sages. It kills the living and gives life to the dead --- that is to say, it dissolves and induces putrefaction in the philosophical metals and gives life to those which otherwise are void of life, in other words, to the common metals.
VICTORY --- To Gain the Victory is to Cook the Matter of the Work until it shall have acquired the White Colour.
VICTORY --- To Chant the Victory is to Continue the Coction up to the Purple Colour.
VICUNIRAS --- Bezoar.
VINE OF THE SAGES --- That Matter from which the Hermetic Chemists extract their Mercury.
VINEGAR --- Antimonial or Saturnian Vinegar --- The Matter of the Magistery prepared for introduction and digestion in the Vase, according to the philosophical regimen. Artephius says: Take Crude Gold, beat it into leaves, or let it be calcined by Mercury; steep it in Antimonial Saturnian Vinegar and Sal Ammoniac; then place the whole into a glass vessel.
VINEGAR --- Very Sour or Rectified Vinegar --- is, according to the chemists, that Vinegar which has been distilled several times, and each time has been cohobated upon its feces. It becomes so potent and of so igneous a nature, that it is even affirmed to dissolve stones and metals. But this is not a radical dissolution like that of the Mercury of the Philosophers. It has a similar quality to Aquafortes which do not separate component parts, nor reduce metals to their First Principle. This, however, is accomplished by that most acrid Vinegar of the Philosophers which is their Mercury.
VIPER --- The Matter of the. Philosophers in Putrefaction, because it is then one of the most violent and active poisons in the world. Philalethes advises the most extreme caution during operation thereon, more especially the protection of the eyes, ears, and nose.
VIPER OF REXA --- The Matter of the Work when it has arrived at the Black Colour. The alchemists say: Take the Viper of Rexa and behead it --- that is to say, adds Flamel, deprive it of its blackness.
VIRGIN --- The Moon or Mercurial Water of the Sages, after it has been purified from the unclean and Arsenical Sulphurs with which it has been combined in the mines. The author of the Secret Work of Hermetical Philosophy says that, without sacrificing her virginity, she contracts a spiritual union before she is joined in wedlock with her brother Gabritius.
VIRTUE --- First Virtue --- The Hermetic Chemists have given this name to their Mercury --- not to the common Mercury --- because theirs contains the virtues of things superior and things inferior, and is the vessel and the principle of both.
VIRTUE OF HEAVEN --- Fire implanted in, and inseparable from, the Matter of the Work, which, put into activity by another fire, produces the Sulphur of the Philosophers, called the Minera of the Heavenly Fire.
VISIT OF THINGS HIDDEN --- The Dissolvent of the Sages, which penetrates the most obdurate substances and extracts the tincture which they conceal.
VISQUALENS --- Mistletoe.
VITRIOL --- The Green of the Philosophers is their Crude Matter.
VITRIOL --- Red Vitriol is the Colcotar, or Perfect Sulphur, of the Philosophers at the Red Stage.
VITRIOL --- Metallic Vitriols are the Salts of Metals.
VITRIOLATUM --- Liquid Vitriol.
VOARCHADUMIA --- A liberal art gifted with the virtue of occult science. It is what formerly was known as the Kabbalistic Science of Metals. It is thus defined Voarchadumia is that art of auriferous metallic veins which furnishes a substance abounding in extractive metallic virtue. This art also explains the intrinsic fixed form and the natural yellow colour of gold; it distinguishes its heterogeneous, combustible, volatile parts, and exhibits how the same may be conducted to the point of perfection. It defines, lastly, the Matter of the Work --- a heavy, corporeal, fixed fusible, ductile, tinged, rarefied, and arcane substance of Quicksilver and Mercury, and of an incombustible Metallic Sulphur, reduced and transmitted into true Gold by means of cementation.
VOLATILISE --- To exalt a Solid Body into a rarefied state. The whole art consists in the Volatilization of the Fixed and the Fixation of the Volatile.
VOMIT --- The Matter of the Philosophers at the Black Stage, because it is then in putrefaction, which separates the good from the bad, and manifests the concealed properties.
VEGETABLE WORK --- Many alchemists recommend operation upon vegetable substance with a view to the transmutation of metals. Greek writers celebrated in this connection the sap of the plant Celandine, whereof the juice, the flower, and the root have alike the yellow colour of Gold. Primrose and Rhubarb were prescribed by Democritus, or by the adept who assumes his name Raymund Lully indicates the sap of Lunaria Major and Lunaria Minor for the conversion of metals into Silver. Of these the Provencal alchemist Delis pretended that he manufactured his powder of projection. Hortulanus, the philosophical gardener, gives the following singular process for the preparation of the Stone by the Vegetable Way: For the space of twelve days let the sap of reprimand, purslain, and celandine be digested in dung. Then distill it and a red liquor will be obtained. Place it again in the dung. Worms will then be brought forth which will devour one another till only one will remain. This must be nourished on the plants already mentioned until it has grown to large size; it must be then burnt and reduced to ashes. The powder that obtained is mixed with Oil of Vitriol, and this is the quintessence. It hay been indicated already that the Vegetable Way is not to be literally understood.
VISIONS --- The allegorical and symbolical method adopted by the Philosophers to impart a veiled instruction upon the processes of Hermetic Science has led many of them to enclose their secrets in visions or parables. Such is the Allegory of the Fountain, by Bernard Trevisan, introduced into his Natural Philosophy of Metals, and said to contain the whole of the practice in a parabolic form. I wandered, he says, through the meadows in a mood of contemplation, being weary with much study. As the night fell, I came to a little fountain, very beautiful and clear, surrounded by a fine stone on all sides, and the said stone was beneath an old hollow oak. It was altogether encircled by walls, so that no cattle, nor indeed birds, could by any means bathe therein. I felt straightway a strong desire to sleep, and I seated myself above the said fountain, whereupon I perceived that it was covered underneath, and sealed up. In a little time a priest of great age passed by, and I demanded why this fountain was thus enclosed both above and below, and also on every side. He received my inquiry in a gracious mood, and began to speak to me in this wise: Sir, it is true that this fountain possesses a terrific virtue, above any other which can be found in all the world. It is reserved solely for the King of the country, they being well known to one another, and never does the said King pass by this fountain without being drawn hereto, so that he remains in it, bathing, for the space of eighty-two days. Then is the King renewed in youth and strength in such a manner that no one can overcome him. Straightway I besought of him to tell me if he had beheld the King, and he replied that he had seen him enter, but since then the fountain had been closed by his body-guard, nor could any one now look on him till one hundred and thirty days had elapsed, when he would begin to issue forth and to shine resplendently. The porter who is his guard continually heats the water so as to preserve his natural vital warmth. Thereupon I inquired what was the colour of the King, and he told me that he was vested in cloth of gold, that he had a black doublet, that his shirt was white as snow, while his flesh was red as blood. I then asked whether, when the monarch came to the fountain, he brought a great company with him. He answered, smiling in an amiable manner, that the King was invariably by himself, that no one otherwise approached the fountain save only the porter, who was a person of simple mind. When the monarch is within the precincts, he first of all removes his vestment of fine cloth of gold, beaten into the thinnest leaves, and delivers it to his first man, whom he calls Saturn. Saturn receives it, and has charge of it for forty or forty-two days at most. Afterwards the monarch delivers his black doublet to his second man, who is Jupiter, and he has charge of it for twenty full days. Then Jupiter, by command of his royal master, surrenders it to Luna, who is the third attendant, beautiful and resplendent to see, and she also has charge of it for twenty days. Then is the King in his clean shirt only, white as snow, with fine flowers of florid salt. This he ultimately hands over to Mars, who, in like manner, has charge of it for forty and sometimes for forty-two days. After this period, Mars, by the will of God, delivers it to the yellow and clouded Sun, who also guards it for the space of forty days. Then cometh the most bright and clear Sun, who in turn hath charge of it.
Then said I unto him: Do no physicians come ever to this fountain? None, he answered me; there cometh only the porter who maintains below a continual vaporous warmth.
Has this porter much work to perform? I asked. Then said the ancient priest: He has more labour at the end than at the beginning, for the fountain bursts into flame. Have many folks beheld this marvel? I inquired. It is before the eyes of the whole world, he made answer, but nothing is known thereof.
Then I said unto him: What do they after? If they desire it, he replied, they can purge the King in the fountain, circulating and containing the place in the contained of the contained containing, returning to him his doublet on the first day, his shirt on the second, and his blood-red flesh upon the third.
I cried unto him: What is this? And he answered me: God maketh one and ten hundred and a thousand and a hundred thousand, and then ten times doth he multiply the same.
I replied: I understand not at all. Then said he unto me: I shall tell thee no more, for I am weary. And I looked at him, and beheld that he was weary. But I also was weary, for I desired to sleep, having much studied on the preceding day.
In similar enigmatical and symbolical terms the same writer describes the preparation of the Magisterium in the Vision of Verdure:
I was buried in a most profound slumber when meseemed that I beheld a statue of about fifteen feet in height, representing a venerable and ancient man, very handsome, and beautifully proportioned in all the members of his body; he had long silver-coloured hair, falling in waves upon his shoulders; his eyes were like fine turquoises, set with carbuncles in the middle, and the radiation thereof was so brilliant that I could not support the light. His lips were of gold, his teeth of Oriental pearls, and the rest of his body was a most brilliant ruby. His left foot rested on a terrestrial globe which seemed to support him. With his right arm uplifted and outstretched, he seemed to be poising above his head a celestial globe at the end of his finger; his left hand held a key made of a large rough diamond.
This man approached me, and said: I am the Genius of the Sages; fear not to follow where I lead. Then, taking me by the hair with the hand which held the key, he raised me up, carried me away, and caused me to traverse the three regions of the air, the fire, and the heaven of all the planets. Beyond even these did he transport me; then, having enveloped me in a whirlwind, he disappeared, and I found myself on an island floating in a sea of blood. Surprised at finding myself in so remote a region, I walked along the bank or shore, and contemplating the said sea with profound attention, I remarked that the blood of which it was composed was all warm and living. I remarked also that a very gentle wind, which continually agitated it, maintained the heat thereof, and did excite in this sea a bubbling and movement which caused the whole sea to vibrate with a scarcely perceptible motion.
Ravished with admiration in that I was gazing on things so passing strange, I was reflecting on all these marvels, when I looked up, and lo! many persons standing by my side! I apprehended at first that they would seek to molest me, and I passed quickly into a bush of jasmine to conceal myself; but the odour of the said flowers did so speedily cast me into a sleep that they found and took possession of me. The tallest of the gang, who seemed to command the others, required of me in a haughty tone what had made me so rash as to enter from the Low Country into this most exalted empire. I described to him after what manner I had been transported thither. The personage did then immediately change his deportment, manners, and accent, and he said unto me: Be thou welcome, 0 stranger, who hast been here led by our most high and powerful Genius! He thereupon saluted me, as also did all the others, after the fashion of their land, which is first of all to lie flat upon the back, then in like way upon the belly, and so rise. I returned their salutation after the custom of my own country. After this ceremony, the commander notified unto me that he would present me to Hagacestaur, who is their emperor. He solicited me that I would excuse him in that he had no carriage by which he might transport me to the town, from which we were distant one league. He entertained me by the way with an account of the power and grandeur of the said Hagacestaur, telling me that his dominion extended over seven kingdoms, and that he had chosen that which was in the middle of the other six to establish his ordinary residence.
As he remarked that I found it difficult to walk upon the lilies, roses, jasmines, carnations, tuberoses, and a prodigious variety of other flowers, most beautiful and curious to behold, which blossomed even upon the road, he inquired, with a smile, if I feared to harm those plants. I answered that I was well aware they were devoid of a sensitive soul, but, seeing they were most rare in my own country, I shrank from trampling them under foot. Then, noticing that the whole land seemed to be nothing but flowers and fruits, I asked him where grain was sown therein. He replied that they sowed nothing of the kind, but the sterile portion of the Kingdom abounded in grain, and that Hagacestaur caused the greater portion to be thrown down into the Low Country to give us pleasure. As for the rest, it was devoured by the beasts. For themselves, they made their bread of the most beautiful flowers, kneading it with dew, and baking it by the rays of the sun. As I beheld everywhere an abounding quantity of the finest fruits, I had the curiosity to gather some pears that I might taste their flavour, but they would have prevented me, saying that these also were only eaten by animals. I, nevertheless, found that they were of delicious quality. The commander presently offered me some peaches, melons, and figs, nor ever has Provence, nor yet all Italy, nor Greece itself, produced fruits of such surpassing excellence. He swore unto me by royal Hagacestaur that the said fruits grew wild, that they did nothing to cultivate them, and that they ate nothing else with their bread. I inquired of him after what manner they preserved their flowers and fruits during the winter season, but he answered me that they knew no winter, that their years had three seasons only, to wit, spring and summer, and that of these two there was formed a third, which was autumn. The latter contained in the bodies of the fruits both the spirit of spring and the soul of summer, at which time they harvested the grape and the pomegranate, these being the choicest of their fruits.
This personage manifested an extreme astonishment when I informed him that we ate beef and mutton, game, fish, and other animals. He told me that we must possess but a gross or clouded understanding, since we made use of such coarse nourishments. I experienced no fatigue or distraction while listening to his curious and wonderful information, which I heard with great attention. But being counseled to take note of the appearance of the tower from which we were now distant only two hundred paces, I had no soon; raised my eyes to look at it than I beheld nothing, for I had become sudden: blind. At this my conductor fell a laughing, and all his company with him. The vexation of finding all these gentlemen making merry over my ill-chance caused me more chagrin than the misfortune itself. Seeing that their behavior displeased me, he who had taken such pains to entertain me consoled me t commending me to a little patience, for I should see clearly in a moment. He then went in search of an herb which he rubbed over my eyes, and I straightway beheld the light and glittering of this superb town, whereof the houses we built of purest crystal, while the sun illuminated it continually, for in the island no night or darkness did ever fall. On no account would they permit me to enter any of these houses, but I was allowed to look upon what was passing therein through the transparent medium of the walls. I examined the first of these mansions, which were all built on the same model. I remarked that they consisted of one storey only, divided into three apartments, having several chambers and cabinets on the same floor.
The first apartment was a dining-room, ornamented with hangings of gold lace, bordered by a fringe of the same precious material. The ground colour of this stuff was variable between red and green, enriched with finest silver, the whole being covered with white gauze. There were also some cabinet garnished with gems of different colours. Next I discovered a chamber entirely furnished with the richest black velvet, laced with very black and very glossy bands of satin, the whole being relieved by embroidery of jet, which had also a most brilliant and iridescent blackness. In the second apartment there was a chamber hung with white watered silk, enriched ar relieved by a broidery of very fine Oriental pearls. There were also several cabinets furnished in various colourings, such as blue satin, violet damask, citrine mohair, and carnation glazed silk. In the third apartment was a chamber draped with an eminently resplendent material, purple on a gold ground, beyond all comparison more beautiful and more rich than all the other fabrics I had seen. I inquired where were the master and mistress of this dwelling-place, and learned that they were concealed at the further end of this chamber, and that they must pass to one which was remoter still, and was separated from this one by certain communicating cabinets. The furniture of these cabinets was all of different colours, some yellow, some citrine, some purest and finest gold-brocade. I could not see the fourth apartment, but was told that it consisted of a single chamber, the furniture being covered with a tissue of solar rays, the purest and the most concentrated, on a ground of the purple fabric which I had previously remarked.
After having beheld all these curious things, I was informed after what manner marriages took place among the inhabitants of this island. The royal Hagacestaur, having a most perfect knowledge of men and of his subjects' dispositions, from the smallest even to the greatest, assembled the nearest relatives, and placed a young, unspotted maiden with a strong, healthy, and excellent old man. Then he purged and purified the girl, washed and cleansed the old man, who presented his hand to the maiden, and the maiden took the hand of the old man. Thereupon they were conducted to one of these lodgings, the door being sealed with the same substance of which the house itself was built. Thus shut up, they were destined to remain together for a period of nine months, during which time they made all the beautiful furniture and appointments which I had so much admired. At the end of the prescribed time they carne forth joined in one and the same body, possessing but one soul, the power whereof is of singular greatness on the earth. Of this Hagacestaur makes use to convert all wicked persons in his kingdoms.
They promised me that I should enter into the palace of Hagacestaur, and should behold the apartments therein, among others a saloon in which there are four statues as old as the world, that in the centre being the most powerful Seganisseged, who had transported me into this island. The three others, which form a triangle about him, are three women --- to wit, Ellugat, Linemalor, and Tripsarecopsen. It was also promised me that I should behold the temple wherein is the image of their divinity, whom they call Elesel Vassergusin; but by this time the cocks had begun to crow, the shepherds were already leading their flocks to pasture, and the husbandmen, yoking their oxen to ploughs, made such a clatter that I awoke, and my dream was altogether dissipated. All that I had seen was but nothing in comparison with what they had promised to reveal me. Nevertheless, I have found abundant consolation when I have reflected on that other and heavenly empire where the Most Migh is seen seated on His throne, surrounded with glory, and acct partied by angels, archangels, cherubim, seraphim, thrones, and dominatic: There shall we behold what eye hath never seen, shall hear what ear hath never heard, since it is in that place we shall partake of eternal felicity, which God bath promised to all those who seek to make themselves worthy of it, having been created to participate in this glory. Let us then do our best to merit it. God be praised!
VULTURE --- The Vulture which Flies without Wings is the Mercury of the Philosophers.
W W W
WASH --- When the Hermetic Philosophers make use of the term To Wash, to describe an operation of their work when the Matter is in the Philosophical Egg, we must not understand that the Matter is to be extracted from the Vase and washed in water or any other liquid, but simply that the grade of the fire is to be maintained or increased, for substances are purified by fire better than by any aqueous substance. Therefore, when the Adepts say: When the artist shall behold the blackness floating over the top of the Matter, this blackness is an earth which is fetid, sulphureous, corrupting, and it must be separated from that which is pure by frequent washing in fresh water, till the Matter becomes wholly white, this signifies that the fire must be maintained at the same grade until the whitening of the Matter.
WATER --- Purified Water. The Magistery at the White.
WATER --- Venomous Water. The Moon of the Sages.
WATER --- Arsenical Water. The Green Lion of the Philosophers.
WATER --- Dead Water. The Water of Sulphur which is known to the Philosophers.
WATER --- Dry Water which does not wet the hands. It must be remembered in this connection that those Adepts who give this name to their Mercury are followers of the Dry Way in the operation of the Magisterium; those who, like Paracelsus, Basil Valentine, etc., are operators of the Humid Way, apply to the same substance the appellation of Virgin's Milk, because it is a white liquor which does wet the hands, while the other is a fluid Mercury of the nature of Vulgar Quicksilver.
WATER --- Purified, of the Earth --- So-called because the Mercury is the purest portion thereof. But this name is more particularly applied when the Matter has become perfect at the White.
WATER --- Mineral Water --- Is so-called because it is obtained from the mineral kingdom, and possesses a metallic quality.
WATER --- Pontic Water --- Is again one of the many names which have been given to the Mercury of the Sages; in this case, the reference is to that Pontic quality which has otherwise obtained for it the appellation of a most sharp Vinegar.
WATER --- Sweet Water --- So called because it has the power to dissolve Gold and Silver without corrosion.
WATER --- Secondary Water --- So called because Mercury is a species of Aquafortis, but of a mild quality, dissolving, without corroding, metallic natures.
WATER --- Antimonial, Mercurial, and Saturnian Water --- So called because Antimony participates to a large degree in that Lead which is called Saturn of the Philosophers, while Mercury is called the Grandson of Saturn.
WATER --- Bleaching Water --- The Azoth of the Adepts, with which they say that the Laton must be whitened, and its darkness removed.
WATER --- Aureated Water --- Mercury when it is Perfect at the Red.
WATER --- Radical Water of Metals --- So called because it is their root and principle.
WATER --- Vegetable Water --- Brandy or Rectified Spirit of Wine.
WATER --- Thickened or Solidified Water. The Mercury of the Philosophers in that state wherein the spirit is conjoined with the body, or in that during which they say that Mercury contains all that is desired by the Wise. When spirits and body have united to compose this Mercury, they are no longer distinguished by separate names, but are known under the one name of Mercury, because it is then properly Animated Mercury, or Mercury of the Sages.
WATER --- Ladies' or Tinsel Water. A Liquid which softens, whitens, and gives a fresh tint to the skin. See Mynsicht, p. 189.
WATER OF HEAVEN --- See Aqua Coelestina in Rulandus.
WATER OF THE PHILOSOPHERS --- Some chemists have erroneously considered this to be Distilled Vinegar, others Brandy made from Wine, others again Rectified Spirit of Wine, following a statement of Raymund Lully, that the Quintessence is extracted from Wine, and is sometimes called Wine by the same writer. They would have seen their mistake had they remembered that Lully himself gives warning that this is not to be literally understood, and that when he says the Mercury of the Philosophers is obtained from Wine, he is speaking by similitude only, and that this Mercury or Philosophical Water is actually derived from the Red Sea of the Philosophers.
WATER OF SEPARATION --- Aqua Fortis.
WATER OF CELESTIAL GRACE --- So-called because the science which teaches the extraction of this Mercury from its mineral source is a gift of God and a heavenly favour.
WATER OF WATERS --- So-called because it is actually an Aqueous Principle which contains the substance of the four elements.
WATER OF LIFE OF THE SAGES --- Called also the Perfect Elixir; in that state which is requisite that it should attain before it can be used as a medicine, whether for the human body or for imperfect metals.
WATER OF FIRE --- Igneous Water --- So called because the Mercury contains the Fire of Nature when it is animated, and has then all that is needful for coction and digestion, as well as for the eventual communication of that multiplying virtue to Gold which of itself it does not possess.
WATER OF THE MICROCOSMOS --- Spirit of Nitre.
WATER OF THE EQUINOXES --- This is properly the Dew of Spring and Autumn, which possesses admirable properties for the cure of many diseases when it has been treated by an operator who is skilful in the spagyric art. The Philosophers have, however, applied the same term to their Mercury, with the intention of confusing the unenlightened, some of whom, taking such expressions literally, have concluded that the Mercury of the Sages can be extracted from equinoctial dew, and have lost both their labour and their money.
WATER WHICH BLEACHES THE INDIAN STONE --- The Magisterium at the White.
WATER OF THE WORLD --- Mercury in the operation of the Medicine of the First Order, or the First Preparation for the Magistery. Other names for the Mercury at this stage are as follow: Elevated Water, Exalted Water, Water of Art, Burning Water, Water of the Fountain, Purifying Water, the First Water, Simple Water, Water of Blood, etc. When the philosophers have given the name of Water to this Mercury during the period of the Second Preparation, or the Medicine of the Second Order, they term it: Dense Water, Water of Talc, Water of Life, Water of Urine, Stony Water, Foliated Water, Azothic Water, Metallic Water of Life, Ponderous Water, Water of the Styx. In the operations of the Medicine of the Third Order it is called: Sulphureous Water, Divine Water, Water from the Clouds, Venomous Water, Water of Gold, Water of Phlegeton, Alchemical Preparation of Tartar.
WATER OF CHASTITY --- An Artificial Water, made use of by persons who are anxious to safeguard chastity. The receipt may be found in the work of Adrian Mynsicht, p. 286.
WATER OF LOVE --- An Extract of Human Blood, so-called by Beguin in his work on chemistry; by its means he pretended that he could compose a philter for the preservation of love between married people.
WATER OF HEALTH --- A Water Distilled from Human Blood, the Flowers of the Celandine, Virgin Honey, and a number of Aromatics. Paracelsus calls it the Balm which is above every Balm, and strongly recommends it in medicine.
WATER BEARER --- Aquarius. This sign of the Zodiac has been adopted by Hermetic Philosophers as a symbol of Dissolution and of Distillation.
WHEEL --- The Sequence of Operations in the Hermetic Work.
WHEEL --- To turn the Wheel is to observe the regimen of the Fire.
WHEEL --- To make the Wheel revolve is to recommence operations, either for the confection of the Stone or for the multiplication of its virtue.
WHEEL --- The Elementary Wheel of the Sages is the conversion of the Philosophical Elements; that is to say, it is the Transformation of Earth into Water, and then of Water into Earth. The Water contains Air, and the Earth contains Fire.
WIDTH --- The philosophers suppose Three Dimensions in their Matter, just as Geometers assume in ordinary bodies. The Philosophical Length is the preparation of the Matter, by means of which they compose a Medicine. The Philosophical Height is its manifest part, while the Width or Breadth is the method which they employ to educe what is concealed therein. Height was regarded as cold and moist, and Width succeeded by a change of disposition, namely, to dry and cold, because the manifest always conceals its opposite.
WILL --- The Sulphur of the Sages, or their Living Gold.
WIND OF THE STOMACH --- Soma chemists suppose this to signify the Matter in Putrefaction; others say that it is Sulphur.
WIND OF THE WEST --- The Stone at the Red Stage.
WIND OF THE NORTH --- The Philosophers say that this Wind is opposed to the extraction of the Universal Menstruum. The allusion is to the dew of May and September, which falls only when the North Wind blows.
WINTER --- The sages have sometimes applied this name to their Mercury, but they use it commonly in an allegorical sense to signify the commencement of their Work, or the time which precedes putrefaction. Thus, they say that the operation must be begun in winter and completed in autumn.
WORK --- The philosophers enumerate various Works, but there is properly only one Work, and that may be divided into three parts. The first, which they term Simple Work, is the Medicine of the First Order, or that preparation of the Matter which precedes the Perfect Preparation, is the Work of Nature. The second part, called the Middle Work or the Mean Work, is the perfect preparation, the Medicine of the Second Order, the Elixir, and the Work of Art. The third is Multiplication, and the Work both of Art and Nature. The First Preparation purges, purifies bodies, and tinges them in outward appearance, but the tincture will not resist the test of the Coppel. The second preparation, or the Medicine of the Second Order, still further cleanses and imparts a permanent tincture to bodies, but without much profit. The Medicine of the Third Order is properly the Grand Work. It requires more sagacity and industry, and with much profit doth perfectly tinge bodies, because a single grain converts into Gold or Silver even millions of grains of the imperfect metals. Philalethes affirms that he has most clearly explained both the work and its regimen in his treatise entitled Enarratio Methodica Trium Gebri Medicarum, seu de Vera Confectione Lapidis Philosophi, and he adds at the end of the book that everything is enclosed in the four following numbers: 448, 344, 256, 224. It is even impossible to succeed without the knowledge of these numbers. All the operations together constitute what may be properly said to be the Grand Work, the Work of the Sages, so called on account of the excellence by which it transcends all other productions of Art. Morien testifies that it is the Secret of Secrets which God revealed to the holy prophets whose souls are in His heavenly Paradise. Therefore does the Grand Work hold the first rank among desirable things; Nature without Art cannot achieve it, and Art apart from Nature undertakes the experiment in vain. The potency of both is needed for the accomplishment of such a chef d'oeuvre. Its effects are so miraculous that the health which it procures, the perfection which it develops in all composites of the natural world, and the great wealth which it produces, are not among its greatest marvels. If it purifies bodies, it also illumines minds; if it elaborates composites to the apex of their possible perfection, it elevates understanding to the greatest of all knowledge. Many Philosophers have regarded it as a perfect emblem of the Christian religion; they have called it the Saviour of Humanity and of all beings in the great world, because the Universal Medicine, which is one of its consequences, cures all diseases in the three kingdoms of Nature, and repairs the disorder of their disposition by the great power of its virtue. It must follow that the Magnum Opus is very easy to accomplish, because the Philosophers have all set themselves to conceal it, while at the same time they termed it a pastime for women and a game for children. But when they have spoken of it as a work of women, they refer often to the conception of man in the womb of his mother, because, according to Morien, the Work of the Stone is parallel to the creation of man. It requires, in the first place, a conjunction of male and female, in the second place, conception, thirdly, birth, then nourishment and education. The Great Work is also called the Stormy Sea, whereon those who embark are perpetually exposed to shipwreck on account of the extreme difficulties which are in the way of complete success.
WORK OF PATIENCE --- The Great Work is so called because it is extremely protracted. For this reason, the Philosophers commend patience to all, and the necessity to avoid being rebuffed by the length of the time required. All precipitation comes from the demon. Nature has her weights, her measures, and her fixed periods in order to attain her ends.
WORK OF THE WOMAN --- The Great Work; a term used, as we have seen, on account of the facility with which the Stone may be composed by those who are instructed in the proper method of operation.
X X X
X. --- In some alchemical writings this letter is used to signify a Weight of One Ounce.
XEROMIRUM --- An Unguent used in Medicine, and said to possess a desiccating quality.
XIPHIDIUM --- Corn Flag.
XIR --- The Matter of the Great Work when it has reached the Black Colour, and is thus in the state of Putrefaction.
XOLOCH COPALLI --- The Gum Copal.
XYLAGIUM --- Holy Wood.
XYLOALOES --- Wood of the Aloe Tree.
XYLOBALSAMUM --- Wood of that Tree on which Balm grows.
XYLOCASSIA --- Wood of the Cinnamon Tree.
Y Y Y
YARIA --- A Name of Verdegris.
YDENS --- Mercury.
YEAR --- The philosophers, as we have previously exhibited, have a method of computation in time which differs from that of the Vulgar Calendar. Their years, months, weeks, and days must not be interpreted in any ordinary fashion. Their year is the time requisite for the perfect eduction of the Work, and it is so called because the operation is divided into four chief grades, even as the common year is distinguished by four seasons.
YELDIA --- The Matter of the Hermetic Work. The same term has occasionally been used to signify Mercury.
YERCIA --- Otherwise, the Black Pear, that is, the Matter of the Work during the period of Putrefaction.
YESIR --- The Earth of the Sages. The adepts advise their disciples to beware against feeding the Philosophical Earth with too much Mercury during the process of Imbibition. It is simply to be coated or overlaid therewith; the Mercury must not float above it to the depth of two or three fingers, for then it will be overwhelmed and submerged thereby. When the Yeser has moderately imbibed, it is to be placed in the Vase, which must be hermetically sealed.
YHARIT --- The Matter of the Work when it has reached that White Colour which the Philosophers term their Silver.
YLIASTRUM --- The Iliaster of Rulandus and other Philosophers, which see.
YN, YOMS, YOS --- Names of Verdegris.
YOUTH --- The Magistery of the Philosophers when it is Perfect at the Red Stage.
Z Z Z
Z. --- This letter was formerly accepted as the symbol of a Weight of Half-an-ounce, but by some it was understood to signify A.
ZAAPH --- The Stone of the Philosophers, or their Sulphur, at the Red Stage. It was so-called on account of its warm and dry quality.
ZADDAH --- Antimony.
ZAFARAM --- Iron Scaling Burnt in a Copper Vessel.
ZAHAU --- The Magistery at the Red.
ZANCRES --- Orpiment.
ZANDARITH --- A Substance which participates in equal proportion of Body and Spirit, that is, of the Fixed and the Volatile. Artephius explains that it refers to the Magistery at the White, and he affirms that it is identical with Corsufle and Cambar.
ZANERE --- Orpiment.
ZANTIRON --- Oriental Saffron.
ZARCA --- Tin.
ZARUS --- This signifies Gold.
ZAZAR --- Sugar.
ZEBLICIUM --- A Species of Stone having marks like the Skin of a Serpent.
ZECO --- The Gum called Tragacanth.
ZEIDA --- Mercury.
ZELOTUM --- Petrine Mercury.
ZEMASARUM --- Cinnabar.
ZENIC --- The Mercury of the Philosophers.
ZENIFARI --- Whey.
ZEPHYR --- The Stone at the White Stage.
ZERNA --- Moss.
ZERACHAR --- Mercury.
ZERICUM --- Arsenic.
ZERNIC --- The Orpiment of the Philosophers.
ZEROBILEM --- Bell Nut.
ZERSRABAR --- Quicksilver.
ZERUS --- Gold.
ZIBACH --- The Magistery at the White.
ZIBUTUM --- Mercury.
ZIMEN --- Vitriol.
ZINGAR --- Verdigris.
ZINGIFUR --- Cinnabar.
ZIPAR --- Rhubarb.
ZIT --- The Red Sulphur of the Philosophers.
ZITHUM --- Beer.
ZIVA --- The Stone of the Sages at the White.
ZIZIPHA --- A Berry.
ZOPISSA --- The Pear.
ZORABA --- Vitriol.
ZOTICON --- The Magistery of the Philosophers elaborated to the Perfect White.
ZUMEC --- The Sulphur of the Philosophers elaborated to the Perfect Red.
ZUMELAZULI --- The Magistery of the Philosophers when it has attained to the colour of the Red Poppy.
ZUNITER --- Marcasite
ZUNZIFAR --- Cinnabar.
A ~ B ~ C ~ D ~ E ~ F ~ G ~ H ~ I ~ J ~ K ~ L ~ M ~ N ~ O ~ P ~ Q ~ R ~ S ~ T ~ U ~ V ~ W ~ X ~ Y ~ Z ~ Supplement
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