Of the need of Sulphur for producing this Elixir. Of the Component Principles of the Mercury of the Sages. Of the Chalybs of the Sages. Of the Magnet of the Sages. Of the Chaos of the Sages. Of the Air of the Sages.
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Of the need of Sulphur for producing this Elixir. Of the Component Principles of the Mercury of the Sages. Of the Chalybs of the Sages. Of the Magnet of the Sages. Of the Chaos of the Sages. Of the Air of the Sages. Of the Difficulty and Length of the First Operation.
Of the Superiority of our Mercury over all Metals. Of the Sulphur which is in the Mercury of the Sages. Concerning the Discovery of the Perfect Magistery. Of the Circumstantial and Accidental Requisites of our Art. Of the Incidental Purgation of Mercury and Gold.
Of the Amalgam of Mercury and Gold, and of their respective Proportions. Of the Furnace, or Athanor of the Sages. Of the Progress of the Work during the First 40 Days.
Of the Caution required to avoid Burning the Flowers. Of the Regimen of Saturn. Of the Different Regimens of this Work. Of the First Regimen, which is that of Mercury. Of the Regimen of the Second Part, which is that of Saturn. Of the Regimen of Jupiter. Of the Regimen of the Moon. Of the Regimen of the Sun. Of the Fermentation of the Stone. The Imbibition of the Stone. The Multiplication of the Stone. Of Projection. Of the manifold Uses of this Art. The contents of this Book are not fables, but real experiments which I have seen, touched, and handled, as an adept will easily conclude from these lines.
I have written more plainly about this Art than any of my predecessors; sometimes I have found myself on the very verge of breaking my vow, and once or twice had to lay down my pen for a season; but I could not resist the inward prompting of God, which impelled me to persevere in the most loving course, who alone knows the heart, and to whom only be glory for ever.
Hence, I undoubtedly gather that in this last age of the world, many will become blessed by this arcanum, through what I have thus faithfully written, for I have not willingly left any-thing doubtful to the young beginner. I know many who with me do enjoy this secret, and am persuaded that many more will also rejoice in its possession.
Let the holy Will of God perform what it pleases, though I confess myself an unworthy instrument through whom such great things should be effected.
CHAPTER I Of the need of Sulphur for producing the Elixir Whoever wishes to possess this secret Golden Fleece, which has virtue to transmute metals into gold, should know that our Stone is nothing but gold digested to the highest degree of purity and subtle fixation to which it can be brought by Nature and the highest effort of Art; and this gold thus perfected is called "our gold," no longer vulgar, and is the ultimate goal of Nature.
These words, though they may be surprising to some of my readers, are true, as I, an adept, bear witness; and though overwise persons entertain chimerical dreams, Nature herself is most wonderfully simple. Gold, then, is the one true principle of purification. But our gold is twofold; one kind is mature and fixed, the yellow Latten, and its heart or centre is pure fire, whereby it is kept from destruction, and only purged in the fire.
This gold is our male, and it is sexually joined to a more crude white gold -- the female seed: the two together being indissolubly united, constitute our fruitful Hermaphrodite. We are told by the Sages that corporal gold is dead, until it be conjoined with its bride, with whom the coagulating sulphur, which in gold is outwards, must be turned inwards. Hence it follows that the substance which we require is Mercury. Concerning this substance, Geber uses the following words: "Blessed be the Most High God who created Mercury, and made it an all-prevailing substance.
Hence it is clear that our Mercury is not common mercury; for all common mercury is a male that is corporal, specific, and dead, while our Mercury is spiritual, female, living, and life-giving. Attend closely to what I say about our Mercury, which is the salt of the wise men. The Alchemist who works without it is like a man who draws a bow without a string. Yet it is found nowhere in a pure state above ground, but has to be extracted by a cunning process out of the substance in which it exists.
CHAPTER II Of the Component Principles of the Mercury of the Sages Let those who aim to purify Mercury by means of salts, faeces and other foreign bodies, and by strange chemical processes, understand that though our water is variousy composed, it is yet only one thing, formed by the concretion of divers substances of the same essence.
The components of our water are fire, the vegetable "Saturnian liquid," and the bond of Mercury. The fire is that of mineral Sulphur, which yet can be called neither mineral nor metallic, but partakes of both characters: it is a chaos or spirit, because our fiery Dragon, that overcomes all things, is yet penetrated by the odour of the Saturnian liquid, its blood growing together with the Saturnian sap into one body which is yet neither a body since it is all volatile nor a spirit since in fire it resembles melted metal.
It may thus be very properly described as chaos, or the mother of all metals. From this chaos I can extract everything -- even the Sun and Moon -- without the transmutatory Elixir.
It is called our Arsenic, our Air, our Moon, our Magnet, and our Chalybs: these names representing the different stages of its development, even unto the manifestation of the kingly diadem, which is cast out of the menstruum of our harlot.
Learn then, who are the friends of Cadmus; who is the serpent that devoured them; what the hollow oak to which Cadmus spitted the serpent. Learn who are the doves of Diana, that overcome the green lion by gentleness: even the Babylonian dragon, which kills everything with its venom.
Learn, also, what are the winged shoes of Mercury, and who are those nymphs whom he charms by means of his incantations. It is the ore of gold, the purest of all spirits; a secret, infernal, and yet most volatile fire, the wonder of the world, the result of heavenly virtues in the lower world -- for which reason the Almighty has assigned to it a most glorious and rare heavenly conjunction, even that notable sign whose nativity is declared in the East.
This star was seen by the wise men of old, and straightway they knew that a Great King was born in the world. When you see its constellation, follow it to the cradle, and there you will behold a beautiful Infant.
Thus, as Chalybs is the ore of gold, so our Magnet is the true ore of our Chalybs. The hidden centre of our Magnet abounds in Salt, which Salt is the menstruum in the Sphere of the Moon, and can calcine gold. This centre turns towards the Pole with an archetic appetite, in which the virtue of the Chalybs is exalted into degrees.
In the Pole is the heart of Mercury, the true fire in which is the rest of its Master , sailing through this great sea that it may arrive at both the Indies, and direct its course by the aspect of the North Star, which our Magnet will manifest. In the Beginning God created Heaven and Earth; and the Earth was without form and void, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. These words are sufficient for the student of our Art. The Heaven must be united to the Earth on the couch of friendship, so shall he reign in glory for ever. The Earth is the heavy body, the womb of the minerals, which it cherishes in itself, although it brings to light trees and animals.
The Heaven is the place where the great Lights revolve, and through the air transmit their influences to the lower world. But in the beginning all was one confused chaos. Our Chaos is, as it were, a mineral earth by virtue of its coagulation , and yet also volatile air -- in the centre of which is the Heaven of the Sages, the Astral Centre.
What man is wise enough to evolve out of this world a new King, who shall redeem his brothers from their natural weaknesses, by dying, being lifted on high, and giving his flesh and blood for the life of the world? I thank Thee, O God, that Thou hast concealed these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes!
CHAPTER VI Of the Air of the Sages Our air, like the air of the firmament, divides the waters; and as the waters under the firmament are visible to us mortals, while we are unable to see the waters above the firmament, so in "our work" we see the extracentral mineral waters, but are unable to see those which, though hidden within, nevertheless have a real existence. They exist but do not appear until it please the Artist, as the author of the New Light has testified. Our air keeps the extracentral waters from mingling with those at the centre.
If through the removal of this impediment, they were enabled to mingle, their union would be indissoluble. Therefore the external vapours and burning sulphur do stiffy adhere to our chaos, and unable to resist its tyranny, the pure flies away from the fire in the form of a dry powder. This then should be your great object. The arid earth must be irrigated, and its pores softened with water of its own kind, then this thief with all the workers of iniquity will be cast out, the water will be purged of its leprous stain by the addition of true Sulphur, and you will have the Spring whose waters are sacred to the maiden Queen Diana.
This thief is armed with all the malignity of arsenic, and is feared and eschewed by the winged youth. Though the Central Water be his Spouse, yet the youth cannot come to her, until Diana with the wings of her doves purges the poisonous air, and opens a passage to the bridal chamber.
Then the youth enters easily through the pores, presently shaking the waters above, and stirring up a rude and ruddy cloud. Do thou, O Diana, bring in the water over him, even unto the brightness of the Moon!
So the darkness on the face of the abyss will be dispersed by the spirit moving in the waters. Thus, at the bidding of God, light will appear on the Seventh Day, and then this sophic creating of Mercury shall be completed, from which time, until the revolution of the year, you may wait for the birth of the marvellous Child of the Sun, who will come to deliver his brethren from every stain.
In this first section of our work, nothing is to be done without hard and persevering toil; though it is quite true that afterwards the substance develops under the influence of gentle heat without any imposition of hands. The Sages tell us that their Eagles must be taken to devour the Lion, and that they gain the victory all the sooner if they are very numerous; also that the number of the work varies between 7 and 9.
The Mercury of the Sages is the Bird of Hermes now called a goose, now a pheasant. But the Eagles are always mentioned in the plural, and number from 3 to lo. Yet this is not to be understood as if there should be so many weights or parts of the water to one of the earth, but the water must be taken so oftentimes acuated or sharpened as there are Eagles numbered.
This acuation is made by sublimation. There is, then, one sublimation of the Mercury of the Sages, when one Eagle is mentioned, and the seventh sublimation will so strengthen your Mercury, that the Bath of your King will be ready Let me tell you now how this part of the work is performed. Take 4 parts of our fiery Dragon, in whose belly is hidden the magic Chalybs, and 9 parts of our Magnet; mingle them by means of a fierce fire, in the form of a mineral water, the foam of which must be taken away.
Remove the shell, and take the kernel. Purge what remains once more by means of fire and the Sun, which may be done easily if Saturn shall have seen himself in the mirror of Mars. Then you will obtain our Chameleon, or Chaos, in which all the virtues of our Art are potentially present. This is the infant Hermaphrodite, who, through the bite of a mad dog, has been rendered so fearful of water, that though of a kindred nature, it always eschews and avoids it.
But in the grove of Diana are two doves that soothe its rabid madness if applied by the art of the nymph Mercury. Take it and plunge it under water till it perish therein; then the rabid and black dog will appear panting and half suffocated -- drive him down with vigorous blows, and the darkness will be dispelled.
Philalethes or Philaletha , Eirenaeus ca. The name, a pseudonym, is similar to the one used by Thomas Vaughan , who wrote as Eugenius Philalethes. Whoever Eirenaeus Philalethes was, however, he was not Vaughan. Others have striven to identify him with George Starkey , the doctor and author of Liquor Alchahest, but Starkey died of the plague in London in , and it is known that Eirenaeus was living for some years after that date. Philalethes appears to have been on intimate terms with Robert Boyle and, although this points to his having spent a considerable time in England , it is certain that he emigrated to America. Starkey was born in the Bermudas, and practiced his medical crafts in the English settlements in America, where, according to his contemporary biographers, he met Eirenaeus Philalethes. This meeting may have given rise to the identification of Starkey as Philalethes, while it is probably Starkey to whom Philalethes referred when, in a preface to one of his books, he told of certain of his writings falling "into the hands of one who, I conceive, will never return them," for in Starkey issued a volume with the title, The Marrow of Alchemy by Eirenaeus Philoponus Philalethes.
An Open Entrance - Philalethes
Early life[ edit ] Starkey was born in Bermuda , the first of at least five children of George Stirk, a Scottish minister and devoted Calvinist , and Elizabeth Painter. During his early years in Bermuda, Starkey displayed interest in natural history , as evidenced by his written entomological observations of various insects indigenous to Bermuda. Introduced to alchemical theory, he would later stylise himself as the "Philosopher by Fire. Despite his successful medical practice, Starkey immigrated at age 22 to London, England, in November with his wife, Susanna Stoughton, whom he had married earlier that year. Susanna is believed to be the eldest daughter of Colonel Israel Stoughton , and sister of William Stoughton , a future governor of Massachusetts. One clue points to his interest in alchemy and chemical technology.
Secrets Revealed Philalethes
Jung argued that alchemy, viewed as a diachronic, trans-cultural entity, was concerned more with psychological states occurring in the mind of the practitioner than with real chemical processes. In the course of elucidating this idea, Jung draws on a number of alchemical authors from the early modern period. One of these is Eirenaeus Philalethes, the pen name of George Starkey , a native of Bermuda who was educated at Harvard College, and who later immigrated to London. This finding casts serious doubt on the Jungian interpretation as a whole. Plan II.
William R. Newman