Turba Philosophorum (part 2)
The Twenty-Sixth Dictum.
Zenon saith:- I perceive that you, O crowd of the Wise, have
conjoined two bodies, which your Master by no means ordered you
The Turba answereth:- Inform us according to your own opinion,
O Zenon, in this matter, and beware of envy! Then he:- Know that
the colours which shall appear to you out of it are these. Know,
O Sons of the Doctrine, that it behoves you to allow the composition
to putrefy for forty days, and then to sublimate five times in
a vessel. Next join to a fire of dung, and cook, when these colours
shall appear to you: On the first day black citrine, on the second
black red, on the third like unto a dry crocus, finally, the
purple colour will appear to you; the ferment and the coin of
the vulgar shall be imposed; then is the Ixir composed out of
the humid and the dry, and then it tinges with an invariable
tincture. Know also that it is called a body wherein there is
gold. But when ye are composing the Ixir, beware lest you extract
the same hastily, for it lingers. Extract, therefore, the same
as an Ixir. For this venom is, as it were, birth and life, because
it is a soul extracted out of many things, and imposed upon coins:
its tincture, therefore, is life to those things with which it
is joined, from which it removes evil, but it is death to the
bodies from which it is extracted. Accordingly, the Masters have
said that between them there exists the same desire as between
male and female, and if any one, being introduced to this Art,
should know these natures, he would sustain the tediousness of
cooking until he gained his purpose according to the will of
The Twenty-Seventh Dictum.
Gregorius saith:- O all ye Turba, it is to be observed that
the envious have called the venerable stone Efflucidinus, and
they have ordered it to be ruled until it coruscates like marble
in its splendour.
And they:- Show, therefore, what it is to posterity.
Then he:- Willingly; you must know that the copper is commingled
with vinegar, and ruled until it becomes water. Finally, let
it be congealed, and it remains a coruscating stone with a brilliancy
like marble, which, when ye see thus, I direct you to rule until
it becomes red, because when it is cooked till it is disintegrated
and becomes earth, it is turned into a red colour. When ye see
it thus, repeatedly cook and imbue it until it assume the aforesaid
colour, and it shall become hidden gold. Then repeat the process,
when it will become gold of a Tyrian colour. It behoves you,
therefore, O all ye investigators of this Art, when ye have observed
that this Stone is coruscating, to pound and turn it into earth,
until it acquires some degree of redness; then take the remainder
of the water which the envious ordered you to divide into two
parts, and ye shall imbibe them several times until the colours
which are hidden by no body appear unto you. Know also that if
ye rule it ignorantly, ye shall see nothing of those colours.
I knew a certain person who commenced this work, and operated
the natures of truth, who, when the redness was somewhat slow
in appearing, imagined that he had made a mistake, and so relinquished
the work. Observe, therefore, how ye make the conjunction, for
the punic dye, having embraced his spouse, passes swiftly into
her body, liquefies, congeals, breaks up, and disintegrates the
same. Finally, the redness does not delay in coming, and if ye
effect it without the weight, death will take place, whereupon
it will be thought to be bad. Hence, I order that the fire should
be gentle in liquefaction, but when it is turned to earth make
the same intense, and imbue it until God shall extract the colours
for us and they appear.
The Twenty-Eighth Dictum.
Custos saith:- I am surprised, O all ye Turba! at the very
great force and nature of this water, for when it has entered
into the said body, it turns it first into earth, and next into
powder, to test the perfection of which take in the hand, and
if ye find it impalpable as water, it is then most excellent;
otherwise, repeat the cooking until it is brought to the required
condition. And know that if ye use any substance other than our
copper, and rule with our water, it will profit you nothing.
If, on the other hand, ye rule our copper with our water, ye
shall find all that has been promised by us.
But the Turba answereth:- Father, the envious created no little
obscurity when they commanded us to take lead and white quicksilver,
and to rule the same with dew and the sun till it becomes a coin-like
Then he:- They meant our copper and our permanent water, when
they thus directed you to cook in a gentle fire, and affirmed
that there should be produced the said coin-like stone, concerning
which the Wise have also observed, that Nature rejoices in Nature,
by reason of the affinity which they know to exist between the
two bodies, that is to say, copper and permanent water. Therefore,
the nature of these two is one, for between them there is a mixed
affinity, without which they would not so swiftly unite, and
be held together so that they may become one.
Saith the Turba:- Why do the envious direct us to take the
copper which we have now made, and roasted until it has become
The Twenty-Ninth Dictum.
Diamedes saith:- Thou hast spoken already, O Moses [Custos],
in an ungrudging manner, as became thee; I will also confirm
thy words, passing over the hardness of the elements which the
wise desire to remove, this disposition being most precious in
their eyes. Know, O ye seekers after this doctrine, that man
does not proceed except from a man; that only which is like unto
themselves is begotten from brute animals; and so also with flying
I have treated these matters in compendious fashion, exalting
you towards the truth, who yourselves omit prolixity, for Nature
is truly not improved by Nature, save with her own nature, seeing
that thou thyself art not improved except in thy son, that is
to say, man in man. See, therefore, that ye do not neglect the
precepts concerning her, but make use of venerable Nature, for
out of her Art cometh, and out of no other. Know also that unless
you seize hold of this Nature and rule it, ye will obtain nothing.
Join, therefore, that male, who is son to the red slave, in marriage
with his fragrant wife, which having been done, Art is produced
between them; add no foreign matter unto these things, neither
powder nor anything else; that conception is sufficient for us,
for it is near, yet the son is nearer still. How exceeding precious
is the nature of that red slave, without which the regimen cannot
Bacsen saith:- O Diomedes, thou hast publicly revealed this
He answereth:- I will even shed more light upon it. Woe unto
you who fear not God, for He may deprive you of this art! Why,
therefore, are you envious towards your brethren?
They answer:- We do not flee except from fools; tell us, therefore,
what is thy will?
And he:- Place Citrine with his wife after the conjunction
into the bath; do not kindle the bath excessively, lest they
be deprived of sense and motion; cause them to remain in the
bath until their body, and the colour thereof, shall become a
certain unity, whereupon restore unto it the sweat thereof; again
suffer it to die; then give it rest, and beware lest ye evaporate
them by burning them in too strong a fire. Venerate the king
and his wife, and do not burn them, since you know not when you
may have need of these things, which improve the king and his
wife. Cook them, therefore, until they become black, then white,
afterwards red, and finally until a tingeing venom is produced.
O seekers after this Science, happy are ye, if ye understand,
but if not, I have still performed my duty, and that briefly,
so that if ye, remain ignorant, it is God who hath concealed
the truth from you! Blame not, therefore, the Wise, but yourselves,
for if God knew that ye possessed a faithful mind, most certainly
he would reveal unto you the truth. Behold, I have established
you therein, and have extricated you from error!
The Thirtieth Dictum.
Bacsen saith:- Thou hast spoken well, O Diomedes, but I do
not see that thou hast demonstrated the disposition of Corsufle
to posterity! Of this same Corsufle the envious have spoken in
many ways, and have confused it with all manner of names.
Then he:- Tell me, therefore, O Bacsen, according to thy opinion
in these matters, and I swear by thy father that this is the
head of the work, for the true beginning hereof cometh after
Bacsen saith:- I give notice, therefore, to future seekers
after this Art, that Corsufle is a composite, and that it must
be roasted seven times, because when it arrives at perfection
it tinges the whole body.
The Turba answereth:- Thou hast spoken the truth, O Bacsen!
The Thirty-First Dictum.
Pythagoras Saith:- How does the discourse of Bacsen appear
to you, since he has omitted to name the substance by its artificial
And they:- Name it, therefore, oh Pythagoras!
And he:- Corsufle being its composition, they have applied
to it all the names of bodies in the world, as, for example,
those of coin, copper, tin, gold, iron, and also the name of
lead, until it be deprived of that colour and become Ixir.
The Turba answereth:- Thou hast spoken well, O Pythagoras!
And he:- Ye have also spoken well, and some among the others
may discourse concerning the residual matters.
The Thirty-Second Dictum.
Bonellus saith: According to thee, O Pythagoras, all things
die and live by the will of God, because that nature from which
the humidity is removed, that nature which is left by nights,
does indeed seem like unto something that is dead; it is then
turned and (again) left for certain nights, as a man is left
in his tomb, when it becomes a powder. These things being done,
God will restore unto it both the soul and the spirit thereof,
and the weakness being taken away, that matter will be made strong,
and after corruption will be improved, even as a man becomes
stronger after resurrection and younger than he was in this world.
Therefore it behoves you, O ye Sons of the Doctrine, to consume
that matter with fire boldly until it shall become a cinder,
when know that ye have mixed it excellently well, for that cinder
receives the spirit, and is imbued with the humour until it assumes
a fairer colour than it previously possessed. Consider, therefore,
O ye Sons of the Doctrine, that artists are unable to paint with
their own tinctures until they convert them into a powder; similarly,
the philosophers cannot combine medicines for the sick slaves
until they also turn them into powder, cooking some of them to
a cinder, while others they grind with their hands. The case
is the same with those who compose the images of the ancients.
But if ye understand what has already been said, ye will know
that I speak the truth, and hence I have ordered you to burn
up the body and turn it into a cinder, for if ye rule it subtly
many things will proceed from it, even as much proceeds from
the smallest things in the world. It is thus because copper like
man, has a body and a soul, for the inspiration of men cometh
from the air, which after God is their life, and similarly the
copper is inspired by the humour from which that same copper
receiving strength is multiplied and augmented like other things.
Hence, the philosophers add, that when copper is consumed with
fire and iterated several times, it becomes better than it was.
The Turba answereth:- Show, therefore, O Bonellus, to future
generations after what manner it becometh better than it was!
And he:- I will do so willingly; it is because it is augmented
and multiplied, and because God extracts many things out of one
thing, since He hath created nothing which wants its own regimen,
and those qualities by which its healing must be effected. Similarly,
our copper, when it is first cooked, becomes water; then the
more it is cooked, the more is it thickened until it becomes
a stone, as the envious have termed it, but it is really an egg
tending to become a metal. It is afterwards broken and imbued,
when ye must roast it in a fire more intense than the former,
until it shall be coloured and shall become like blood in combustion,
when it is placed on coins and changes them into gold, according
to the Divine pleasure. Do you not see that sperm is not produced
from the blood unless it be diligently cooked in the liver till
it has acquired an intense red colour, after which no change
takes place in that sperm? It is the same with our work, for
unless it be cooked diligently until it shall become a powder,
and afterwards be putrefied until it shall become a spiritual
sperm, there will in no wise proceed from it that colour which
ye desire. But if ye arrive at the conclusion of this regimen,
and so obtain your purpose, ye shall be princes among the People
of your time.
The Thirty-Third Dictum.
Nicarus saith:- Now ye have made this arcanum public.
The Turba answereth:- Thus did the Master order.
And he:- Not the whole, nevertheless.
But they:- He ordered us to clear away the darkness therefrom;
do thou, therefore, tell us.
And he:- I counsel posterity to take the gold which they wish
to multiply and renovate, then to divide the water into two parts.
And they:- Distinguish, therefore, when they divide the water.
But he:- It behoves them to burn up our copper with one part.
For the said copper, dissolved in that water, is called the ferment
of Gold, if ye rule well. For the same in like manner are cooked
and liquefy as water; finally, by cooking they are congealed,
crumble, and the red appears. But then it behoves you to imbue
seven times with the residual water, until they absorb all the
water, and, all the moisture being dried up, they are turned
into dry earth; then kindle a fire and place therein for forty
days until the whole shall putrefy, and its colours appear.
The Thirty-Fourth Dictum.
Bacsen saith:- On account of thy dicta the Philosophers said
beware. Take the regal Corsufle, which is like to the redness
of copper, and pound in the urine of a calf until the nature
of the Corsufle is converted, for the true nature has been hidden
in the belly of the Corsufle.
The Turba saith:- Explain to posterity what the nature is.
And he:- A tingeing spirit which it hath from permanent water,
which is coin-like, and coruscates.
And they:- Shew, therefore, how it is extracted.
And he:- It is pounded, and water is poured upon it seven
times until it absorbs the whole humour, and receives a force
which is equal to the hostility of the fire; then it is called
rust. Putrefy the same diligently until it becomes a spiritual
powder, of a colour like burnt blood, which the fire overcoming
hath introduced into the receptive belly of Nature, and hath
coloured with an indelible colour. This, therefore, have kings
sought, but not found, save only to whom God has granted it.
But the Turba saith:- Finish your speech, O Bacsen.
And he:- I direct them to whiten copper with white water,
by which also they make red. Be careful not to introduce any
And the Turba:- Well hast thou spoken, O Bacsen, and Nictimerus
also has spoken well!
Then he:- If I have spoken well, do one of you continue.
The Thirty-Fifth Dictum.
But Zimon saith:- Hast thou left anything to be said by another?
And the Turba:- Since the words of Nicarus and Bacsen are
of little good to those who seek after this Art, tell us, therefore,
what thou knowest, according as we have said.
And he:- Ye speak the truth, O all ye seekers after this Art!
Nothing else has led you into error but the sayings of the envious,
because what ye seek is sold at the smallest possible price.
If men knew this, and how great was the thing they held in their
hands, they would in no wise sell it. Therefore, the Philosophers
have glorified that venom, have treated of it variously, and
in many ways, have taken and applied to it all manner of names,
wherefore, certain envious persons have said: It is a stone and
not a stone, but a gum of Ascotia, consequently, the Philosophers
have concealed the power thereof. For this spirit which ye seek,
that ye may tinge therewith, is concealed in the body, and hidden
away from sight, even as the soul in the human body. But ye seekers
after the Art, unless ye disintegrate this body, imbue and pound
both cautiously and diligently, until ye extract it from its
grossness (or grease), and turn it into a tenuous and impalpable
spirit, have your labour in vain. Wherefore the Philosophers
have said: Except ye turn bodies into not bodies, and incorporeal
things into bodies, ye have not yet discovered the rule of operation.
But the Turba saith:- Tell, therefore, posterity how bodies
are turned into not-bodies.
And he:- They are pounded with fire and Ethelia till they
become a powder. And know that this does not take place except
by an exceedingly strong decoction, and continuous contrition,
performed with a moderate fire, not with hands, with imbibition
and putrefaction, with exposure to the sun and to Ethelia. The
envious caused the vulgar to err in this Art when they stated
that the thing is common in its nature and is sold at a small
price. They further said that the nature was more precious than
all natures, wherefore they deceived those who had recourse to
their books. At the same time they spoke the truth, and therefore
doubt not these things.
But the Turba answereth:- Seeing that thou believest the sayings
of the envious, explain, therefore, to posterity the disposition
of the two natures.
And he:- I testify to you that Art requires two natures, for
the precious is not produced without the common, nor the common
without the precious. It behoves you, therefore, O all ye Investigators
of this Art, to follow the sayings of Victimerus, when he said
to his disciples: Nothing else helps you save to sublimate water
And the Turba:- The whole work is in the vapour and the sublimation
of water. Demonstrate, therefore, to them the disposition of
And he:- When ye shall perceive that the natures have become
water by reason of the heat of the fire, and that they have been
purified, and that the whole body of Magnesia is liquefied as
water; then all things have been made vapour, and rightly, for
then the vapour contains its own equal, wherefore the envious
call either vapour, because both are joined in decoctions, and
one contains the other. Thus our stag finds no path to escape,
although flight be essential to it. The one keeps back the other,
so that it has no opportunity to fly, and it finds no place to
escape; hence all are made permanent, for when the one falls,
being hidden in the body, it is congealed with it, and its colour
varies, and it extracts its nature from the properties which
God has infused into His elect, and it alienates it, lest it
flee. But the blackness and redness appear, and it falls into
sickness, and dies by rust and putrefaction; properly speaking,
then, it has not a flight, although it is desirous to escape
servitude; then when it is free it follows its spouse, that a
favourable colour may befall itself and its spouse; its beauty
is not as it was, but when it is placed with coins, it makes
them gold. For this reason, therefore, the Philosophers have
called the spirit and the soul vapour. They have also called
it the black humid wanting perlution; and forasmuch as in man
there are both humidity and dryness, thus our work, which the
envious have concealed, is nothing else but vapour and water.
The Turba answereth:- Demonstrate vapour and water!
And he:- I say that the work is out of two; the envious have
called it composed out of two, because these two become four,
wherein are dryness and humidity, spirit and vapour.
The Turba answereth:- Thou hast spoken excellently, and without
envy. Let Zimon next follow.
The Thirty-Sixth Dictum.
Afflontus, the Philosopher, saith:- I notify to you all, O
ye investigators of this Art, that unless ye sublime the substances
at the commencement by cooking, without contrition of hands,
until the whole become water, ye have not yet found the work.
And know ye, that the copper was formerly called sand, but by
others stone, and, indeed, the names vary in every regimen. Know
further, that the nature and humidity become water, then a stone,
if ye cause them to be well complexionated, and if ye are acquainted
with the natures, because the part which is light and spiritual
rises to the top, but that which is thick and heavy remains below
in the vessel. Now this is the contrition of the Philosophers,
namely, that which is not sublimated sinks down, but that which
becomes a spiritual powder rises to the top of the vessel, and
this is the contrition of decoction, not of hands. Know also,
that unless ye have turned all into powder, ye have not yet pounded
them completely. Cook them, therefore, successively until they
become converted, and a powder. Wherefore Agadaimon saith:- Cook
the copper until it become a gentle and impalpable body, and
impose in its own vessel; then sublimate the same six or seven
times until the water shall descend. And know that when the water
has become powder then has it been ground diligently. But if
ye ask, how is the water made a powder? note that the intention
of the Philosophers is that the body before which before it falls
into the water is not water may become water; the said water
is mixed with the other water, and they become one water. It
is to be stated, therefore, that unless ye turn the thing mentioned
into water, ye shall not attain to the work. It is, therefore,
necessary for the body to be so possessed by the flame of the
fire that it is disintegrated and becomes weak with the water,
when the water has been added to the water, until the whole becomes
water. But fools, hearing of water, think that this is water
of the clouds. Had they read our books they would know that it
is permanent water, which cannot become permanent without its
companion, wherewith it is made one. But this is the water which
the Philosophers have called Water of Gold, the Igneous, Good
Venom, and that Sand of Many Names which Hermes ordered to be
washed frequently, so that the blackness of the Sun might be
removed, which he introduced in the solution of the body. And
know, all ye seekers after this Art, that unless ye take this
pure body, that is, our copper without the spirit, ye will by
no means see what ye desire, because no foreign thing enters
therein, nor does anything enter unless it be pure. Therefore,
all ye seekers after this Art, dismiss the multitude of obscure
names, for the nature is one water; if anyone err, he draws nigh
to destruction, and loses his life. Therefore, keep this one
nature, but dismiss what is foreign.
The Thirty-Seventh Dictum.
Bonellus saith:- I will speak a little concerning Magnesia.
The Turba answereth:- Speak.
And he:- O all ye Sons of the Doctrine, when mixing Magnesia,
place it in its vessel, the mouth of which close carefully, and
cook with a gentle fire until it liquefy, and all become water
therein! For the heat of the water acting thereupon, it becomes
water by the will of God. When ye see that the said water is
about to become black, ye know that the body is already liquefied.
Place again in its vessel, and cook for forty days, until it
drink up the moisture of the vinegar and honey. But certain persons
uncover it, say, once in each week, or once in every ten nights;
in either case, the ultimate perfection of pure water appears
at the end of forty days, for then it completely absorbs the
humour of the decoction. Therefore, wash the same, and deprive
of its blackness, until, the blackness being removed, the stone
becomes dry to the touch. Hence the envious have said:- Wash
the Magnesia with soft water, and cook diligently, until it become
earth, and the humour perish. Then it is called copper. Subsequently,
pour very sharp vinegar upon it, and leave it to be soaked therein.
But this is our copper, which the Philosophers have ordained
should be washed with permanent water, wherefore they have said:
Let the venom be divided into two parts, with one of which burn
up the body, and with the other putrefy. And know, all ye seekers
after this Science, that the whole work and regimen does not
take place except by water, wherefore, they say that the thing
which ye seek is one, and, unless that which improves it be present
in the said thing, what ye look for shall in no wise take place.
Therefore, it behoves you to add those .things which are needful,
that ye may thereby obtain that which you purpose.
The Turba answereth:- Thou has spoken excellently, O Bonellus!
If it please thee, therefore, finish that which thou art saying;
otherwise repeat it a second time.
But he:- Shall I indeed repeat these and like things? O all
ye investigators of this Art, take our copper; place with the
first part of the water in the vessel; cook for forty days; purify
from all uncleanliness; cook further until its days be accomplished,
and it become a stone having no moisture. Then cook until nothing
remains except faeces. This done, cleanse seven times, wash with
water, and when the water is used up leave it to putrefy in its
vessel, so long as may seem desirable to your purpose. But the
envious called this composition when it is turned into blackness
that which is sufficiently black, and have said: Rule the same
with vinegar and nitre. But that which remained when it had been
whitened they called sufficiently white, and ordained that it
should be ruled with permanent water. Again, when they called
the same sufficiently red, they ordained that it should be ruled
with water and fire until it became red.
The Turba answereth:- Show forth unto posterity what they
intended by these things.
And he:- They called it Ixir satis, by reason of the variation
of its colours. In the work, however, there is neither variety,
multiplicity, nor opposition of substances; it is necessary only
to make the black copper white and then red. However, the truth-speaking
Philosophers had no other intention than that of liquefying,
pounding, and cooking Ixir until the stone should become like
unto marble in its splendour. Accordingly, the envious again
said: Cook the same with vapour until the stone becomes coruscating
by reason of its brilliancy. But when ye see it thus, it is,
indeed, the most great Arcanum. Notwithstanding, ye must then
pound and wash it seven times with permanent water; finally,
again pound and congeal in its own water, until ye extract its
own concealed nature. Wherefore, saith Maria, sulphurs are contained
in sulphurs, but humour in like humour, and out of sulphur mixed
with sulphur, there comes forth a great work. But I ordain that
you rule the same with dew and the sun, until your purpose appear
to you. For I signify unto you that there are two kinds of whitening
and of making red, of which one consists in rust and the other
in contrition and decoction. But ye do not need any contrition
of hands. Beware, however, of making a separation from the waters
lest the poisons get at You, and the body perish with the other
things which are in the vessel.
The Thirty-Eighth Dictum.
Effistus saith:- Thou hast spoken most excellently, O Bonellus,
and I bear witness to all thy words!
The Turba saith:- Tell us if there be any service in the speech
of Bonellus, so that those initiated in this disposition may
be more bold and certain.
Effistus saith:- Consider, all ye investigators of this Art,
how Hermes, chief of the Philosophers, spoke and demonstrated
when he wished to mix the natures. Take, he tells us, the stone
of gold, combine with humour which is permanent water, set in
its vessel, over a gentle fire until liquefaction takes place.
Then leave it until the water dries, and the sand and water are
combined, one with another; then let the fire be more intense
than before, until it again becomes dry, and is made earth. When
this is done, understand that here is the beginning of the arcanum;
but do this many times, until two-thirds of the water perish,
and colours manifest unto you.
The Turba answereth:- Thou hast spoken excellently, O Effistus!
Yet, briefly inform us further.
And he:- I testify to Posterity that the dealbation doth not
take place save by decoction. Consequently, Agadaimon has very
properly treated of cooking, of pounding, and of imbuing, ethelia.
Yet I direct you not to pour on the whole of the water at one
time, lest the Ixir be submerged, but pour it in gradually, pound
and dessicate, and do this several times until the water be exhausted.
Now concerning this the envious have said: Leave the water when
it has all been poured in, and it will sink to the bottom. But
their intention is this, that while the humour is drying, and
when it has been turned into powder, leave it in its glass vessel
for forty days, until it passes through various colours, which
the Philosophers have described. By this method of cooking the
bodies put on their spirits and spiritual tinctures, and become
The Turba answereth:- Thou hast given light to us, O Effistus,
and hast done excellently! Truly art thou cleared from envy;
wherefore, let one of you others speak as he pleases.
The Thirty-Ninth Dictum.
Bacsen saith:- O all ye seekers after this Art, ye can reach
no useful result without a patient, laborious, and solicitous
soul, persevering courage, and continuous regimen. He, therefore,
who is willing to Persevere in this disposition, and would enjoy
the result, may enter upon it, but he who desires to learn over
speedily, must not have recourse to our books, for they impose
great labour before they are read in their higher sense, once,
twice, or thrice. Therefore, the Master saith:- Whosoever bends
his back over the study of our books, devoting his leisure thereto,
is not occupied with vain thoughts, but fears God, and shall
reign in the Kingdom without fail until he die. For what ye seek
is not of small price. Woe unto you who seek the very great and
compensating treasure of God! Know ye not that for the smallest
Purpose in the world, earthly men will give themselves to death,
and what, therefore, ought they to do for this most excellent
and almost impossible offering? Now, the regimen is greater than
is perceived by reason, except through divine inspiration. I
once met with a person who was as well acquainted with the elements
as I myself, but when he proceeded to rule this disposition,
he attained not to the joy thereof by reason of his sadness and
ignorance in ruling, and excessive eagerness, desire, and haste
concerning the purpose. Woe unto you, sons of the Doctrine! For
one who plants trees does not look for fruit, save in due season;
he also who sows seeds does not expect to reap, except at harvest
time. How, then, should ye desire to attain this offering when
ye have read but a single book, or have adventured only the first
regimen? But the Philosophers have plainly stated that the truth
is not to be discerned except after error, and nothing creates
greater pain at heart than error in this Art, while each imagines
that he has almost the whole world, and yet finds nothing in
his hands. Woe unto you! Understand the dictum of the Philosopher,
and how he divided the work when he said- pound, cook, reiterate,
and be thou not weary. But when thus he divided the work, he
signified commingling, cooking, assimilating, roasting, heating,
whitening, pounding, cooking Ethelia, making rust or redness,
and tingeing. Here, therefore, are there many names, and yet
there is one regimen. And if men knew that one decoction and
one contrition would suffice them, they would not so often repeat
their words, as they have done, and in order that the mixed body
may be pounded and cooked diligently, have admonished you not
to be weary thereof. Having darkened the matter to you with their
words, it suffices me to speak in this manner. It is needful
to complexionate the venom rightly, then cook many times, and
do not grow tired of the decoction. Imbue and cook it until it
shall become as I have ordained that it should be ruled by you-
namely, impalpable spirits, and until ye perceive that the Ixir
is clad in the garment of the Kingdom. For when ye behold the
Ixir turned into Tyrian colour, then have ye found that which
the Philosophers discovered before you. If ye understand my words
(and although my words be dead, yet is there life therein for
those who understand themselves), they will forthwith explain
any ambiguity occurring herein. Read, therefore, repeatedly,
for reading is a dead speech, but that which is uttered with
the lips the same is living speech. Hence we have ordered you
to read frequently, and, moreover, ponder diligently over the
things which we have narrated.
The Fortieth Dictum.
Jargus saith:- Thou hast left obscure a part of thy discourse,
And he:- Do thou, therefore, Jargus, in thy clemency shew
forth the same!
And he answereth:- The copper of which thou hast before spoken
is not copper, nor is it the tin of the vulgar; it is our true
work (or body) which must be combined with the body of Magnesia,
that it may be cooked and pounded without wearying until the
stone is made. Afterwards, that stone must be pounded in its
vessel with the water of nitre, and, subsequently, placed in
liquefaction until it is destroyed. But, all ye investigators
of this art, it is necessary to have a water by which the more
you cook, so much the more you sprinkle, until the said copper
shall put on rust, which is the foundation of our work. Cook,
therefore, and pound with Egyptian vinegar.
The Forty-First Dictum.
Zimon saith:- Whatsoever thou hast uttered, O Jargos, is true,
yet I do not see that the whole Turba hath spoken concerning
Then he:- Speak, therefore, thine opinion concerning it, O
Zimon saith:- I notify to Posterity that the rotundum turns
into four elements, and is derived out of one thing.
The Turba answereth:- Inasmuch as thou art speaking, explain
for future generations the method of ruling.
And he:- Willingly: it is necessary to take one part of our
copper, but of Permanent Water three parts; then let them be
mixed and cooked until they be thickened and become one stone,
concerning which the envious have said: Take one part of the
pure body, but three parts of copper of Magnesia; then commingle
with rectified vinegar, mixed with male of earth; close the vessel,
observe what is in it, and cook continuously until it becomes
The Forty-Second Dictum.
Ascanius saith:- Too much talking, O all ye Sons of the Doctrine,
leads this subject further into error! But when ye read in the
books of the Philosophers that Nature is one only, and that she
overcomes all things: Know that they are one thing and one composite.
Do ye not see that the complexion of a man is formed out of a
soul and body; thus, also, must ye conjoin these, because the
Philosophers, when they prepared the matters and conjoined spouses
mutually in love with each other, behold there ascended from
them a golden water!
The Turba answereth:- When thou wast treating of the first
work, lo! thou didst turn unto the second! How ambiguous hast
thou made thy book, and how obscure are thy words!
Then he:- I will perform the disposition of the first work.
The Turba answereth:- Do this.
And he:- Stir up war between copper and quicksilver, until
they go to destruction and are corrupted, because when the copper
conceives the quicksilver it coagulates it, but when the quicksilver
conceives the copper, the copper is congealed into earth; stir
up, therefore, a fight between them; destroy the body of the
copper until it becomes a powder. But conjoin the male to the
female, which are vapour and quicksilver, until the male and
the female become Ethel, for he who changes them into spirit
by means of Ethel, and next makes them red, tinges every body,
because, when by diligent cooking ye pound the body, ye extract
a pure, spiritual, and sublime soul therefrom, which tinges every
The Turba answereth:- Inform, therefore, posterity what is
And he:- It is a natural sulphureous thing which is called
by the names of all bodies.
The Forty-Third Dictum.
Dardaris saith:- Ye have frequently treated of the regimen,
and have introduced the conjunction, yet I proclaim to posterity
that they cannot extract the now hidden soul except by Ethelia,
by which bodies become not bodies through continual cooking,
and by sublimation of Ethelia. Know also that quicksilver is
fiery, burning every body more than does fire, also mortifying
bodies, and that every body which is mingled with it is ground
and delivered over to be destroyed. When, therefore, ye have
diligently pounded the bodies, and have exalted them as required,
therefrom is produced that Ethel nature, and a colour which is
tingeing and not volatile, and it tinges the copper which the
Turba said did not tinge until it is tinged, because that which
is tinged tinges. Know also that the body of the copper is ruled
by Magnesia, and that quicksilver is four bodies, also that the
matter has no being except by humidity, because it is the water
of sulphur, for sulphurs are contained in sulphurs.
The Turba saith:- O Dardaris, inform posterity what sulphurs
And he:- Sulphurs are souls which are hidden in four bodies,
and, extracted by themselves, do contain one another, and are
naturally conjoined. For if ye rule that which is hidden in the
belly of sulphur with water, and cleanse well that which is hidden,
then nature rejoices, meeting with nature, and water similarly
with its equal. Know ye also that the four bodies are not tinged
And the Turba:- Why dost thou not say like the ancients that
when they are tinged, they tinge?
And he:- I state that the four coins of the vulgar populace
are not tinged, but they tinge copper, and when that copper is
tinged, it tinges the coins of the populace.
The Forty-Fourth Dictum.
Moyses saith:- This one thing of which thou hast told us,
O Dardaris, the Philosophers have called by many names, sometimes
by two and sometimes by three names!
Dardaris answereth:- Name it, therefore, for posterity, setting
And he:- The one is that which is fiery, the two is the
body composed in it, the three is the water of sulphur, with
which also it is washed and ruled until it be perfected. Do ye
not see what the Philosopher affirms, that the quicksilver which
tinges gold is quicksilver out of Cambar?
Dardaris answereth:- What dost thou mean by this? For the
Philosopher says: sometimes from Cambar and sometimes from Orpiment.
And he:- Quicksilver of orpiment is Cambar of Magnesia, but
quicksilver is sulphur ascending from the mixed composite. Ye
must, therefore, mix that thick thing with fiery venom, putrefy,
and diligently pound until a spirit be produced, which is hidden
in that other spirit; then is made the tincture which is desired
of you all.
The Forty-Fifth Dictum.
But Plato saith: It behoves you all, O Masters, when those
bodies are being dissolved, to take care lest they be burnt up,
as also to wash them with sea water, until all their salt be
turned into sweetness, clarifies, tinges, becomes tincture of
copper, and then goes off in flight! Because it was necessary
that one should become tingeing, and that the other should be
tinged, for the spirit being separated from the body and hidden
in the other spirit, both become volatile. Therefore the Wise
have said that the gate of flight must not be opened for that
which would flee, (or that which does not flee), by whose flight
death is occasioned, for by the conversion of the sulphureous
thing into a spirit like unto itself, either becomes volatile,
since they are made aeriform spirits prone to ascend in the air.
But the Philosophers seeing that which was not volatile made
volatile with the volatiles, iterated these to a body like to
the non-volatiles, and put them into that from which they could
not escape. They iterated them to a body like unto the bodies
from which they were extracted, and the same were then digested.
But as for the statement of the Philosopher that the tingeing
agent and that which is to be tinged are made one tincture, it
refers to a spirit concealed in another humid spirit. Know also
that one of the humid spirits is cold, but the other is hot,
and although the cold humid is not adapted to the warm humid,
nevertheless they are made one. Therefore, we prefer these two
bodies, because by them we rule the whole work, namely, bodies
by not-bodies, until incorporeals become bodies, steadfast in
the fire, because they are conjoined with volatiles, which is
not possible in any body, these excepted. For spirits in every
wise avoid bodies, but fugitives are restrained by incorporeals.
Incorporeals, therefore, similarly flee from bodies; those, consequently,
which do not flee are better and more precious than all bodies.
These things, therefore, being done, take those which are not
volatile and join them; wash the body with the incorporeal until
the incorporeal receives a non-volatile body; convert the earth
into water, water into fire, fire into air, and conceal the fire
in the depths of the water, but the earth in the belly of the
air, mingling the hot with the humid, and the cold with the dry.
Know, also, that Nature overcomes Nature, Nature rejoices in
Nature, Nature contains Nature.
The Forty-Sixth Dictum.
Attamus saith:- It is to be noted that the whole assembly
of the Philosophers have frequently treated concerning
Rubigo. Rubigo, however, is a fictitious and not a true name.
The Turba answereth:- Name, therefore, Rubigo by its true
name, for by this it is not calumniated.
And he:- Rubigo is according to the work, because it is from
The Turba answereth:- Why, then, have the Philosophers referred
it to the leech?
He answereth:- Because water is hidden in sulphureous gold
as the leech is in water; rubigo, therefore, is rubefaction in
the second work, but to make rubigo is to whiten in the former
work, in which the Philosophers ordained that the flower of gold
should be taken and a proportion of gold equally.
The Forty-Seventh Dictum.
Mundus saith:- Thou hast already treated sufficiently of Rubigo,
O Attamus! I will speak, therefore, of venom, and will instruct
future generations that venom is not a body, because subtle spirits
have made it into a tenuous spirit, have tinged the body and
burned it with venom, which venom the Philosopher asserts will
tinge every body. But the Ancient Philosophers thought that he
who turned gold into venom had arrived at the purpose, but he
who can do not this profiteth nothing. Now I say unto you, all
ye Sons of the Doctrine, that unless ye reduce the thing by fire
until those things ascend like a spirit, ye effect nought. This,
therefore, is a spirit avoiding the fire and a ponderous smoke,
which when it enters the body penetrates it entirely, and makes
the body rejoice. The Philosophers have all said: Take a black
and conjoining spirit; therewith break up the bodies and torture
them till they be altered.
The Forty-Eighth Dictum.
Pythagoras saith:- We must affirm unto all you seekers after
this Art that the Philosophers have treated of conjunction (or
continuation) in various ways. But I enjoin upon you to make
quicksilver con strain the body of Magnesia, or the body Kuhul,
or the Spume of Luna, or incombustible sulphur, or roasted calx,
or alum which is out of apples, as ye know. But if there was
any singular regimen for any of these, a Philosopher would not
say so, as ye know. Understand, therefore, that sulphur, calx,
and alum which is from apples, and Kuhul, are all nothing else
but water of sulphur. Know ye also that Magnesia, being mixed
with quicksilver and sulphur, they pursue one another. Hence
you must not dismiss that Magnesia without the quicksilver, for
when it is composed it is called an exceeding strong composition,
which is one of the ten regimens established by the Philosophers.
Know, also, that when Magnesia is whitened with quicksilver,
you must congeal white water therein, but when it is reddened
you must congeal red water, for, as the Philosophers have observed
in their books, the regimen is not one. Accordingly, the first
congelation is of tin, copper, and lead. But the second is composed
with water of sulphur. Some, however, reading this book, think
that the composition can be bought. It must be known for certain
that nothing of the work can be bought, and that the science
of this Art is nothing else than vapour and the sublimation of
water, with the conjunction, also, of quicksilver in the body
of Magnesia; but, heretofore, the Philosophers have demonstrated
in their books that the impure water of sulphur is from sulphur
only, and no sulphur is produced without the water of its calx,
and of quicksilver, and of sulphur.
The Forty-Ninth Dictum.
Belus saith:- O all ye Philosophers, ye have not dealt sparingly
concerning composition and contact, but cornposition, contact,
and congelation are one thing! Take, therefore, a part From the
one composition and a part out of ferment of gold, and on these
impose pure water of sulphur. This, then, is the potent (or revealed)
arcanum which tinges every body.
Pythagoras answereth:- O Belus, why hast thou called it a
potent arcanum, yet hast not shown its work!
And he:- In our books, O Master, we have found the same which
thou hast received from the ancients!
And Pythagoras:- Therefore have I assembled you together,
that you might remove any obscurities which are in any books.
And he:- Willingly, O Master! It is to be noted that pure
water which is from sulphur is not composed of sulphur alone,
but is composed of several things, for the one sulphur is made
out of several sulphurs. How, therefore, O Master, shall I compose
these things that they may become one!
And he:- Mix, O Belus, that which strives with the fire with
that which does not strive, for things which are conjoined in
a fire suitable to the same contend, because the warm venoms
of the physician are cooked in a gentle, incomburent fire! Surely
ye perceive what the Philosophers have stated concerning decoction,
that a little sulphur burns many strong things, and the humour
which remains is called humid pitch, balsam of gum, and other
like things. Therefore our Philosophers are made like to the
physicians, notwithstanding that the tests of the physicians
are more intense than those of the Philosophers.
The Turba answereth:- I wish, O Belus, that you would also
shew the disposition of this potent arcanum!
And he:- I proclaim to future generations that this arcanum
proceeds from two compositions, that is to say, sulphur and magnesia.
But after it is reduced and conjoined into one, the Philosophers
have called it water, spume of Boletus (i.e., a species of fungus),
and the thickness of gold. When, however, it has been reduced
into quicksilver, they call it sulphur of water; sulphur also,
when it contains sulphur, they term a fiery venom, because it
is a potent (or open) arcanum which ascends from those things
The Fiftieth Dictum.
Pandolphus saith:- If, O Belus, thou dost describe the sublimation
of sulphur for future generations, thou wilt accomplish an excellent
And the Turba:- Do thou show it forth, therefore, O Pandolphus!
And he:- The philosophers have ordered that quicksilver should
be taken out of Cambar, and albeit they spoke truly, yet in these
words there is a little ambiguity, the obscurity of which I will
remove. See then that the quicksilver is sublimed in tabernacles,
and extract the same from Cambar, but there is another Cambar
in sulphur which Belus hath demonstrated to you, for out of sulphur
mixed with sulphur, many works proceed. When the same has been
sublimed, there proceeds from the Cambar that quicksilver which
is called Ethelia, Orpiment, Zendrio, or Sanderich, Ebsemich,
Magnesia, Kuhul, or Chuhul, and many other names. Concerning
this, philosophers have said that, being ruled by its regimen
(for ten is the perfection of all things), its white nature appears,
nor is there any shadow therein. Then the envious have called
it lead from Ebmich, Magnesia, Marteck, White Copper. For, when
truly whitened, it is devoid of shadow and blackness, it has
left its thickened ponderous bodies, and therewith a clean humid
spirit has ascended, which spirit is tincture. Accordingly, the
wise have said that copper has a soul and a body. Now, its soul
is spirit, and its body is thick. Therefore, it behoves you to
destroy the thick body until ye extract a tingeing spirit from
the same. Mix, also, the spirit extracted therefrom with light
sulphur until you, investigators, find your design accomplished.
The Fifty-First Dictum.
Horfolcos saith:- Thou hast narrated nothing, O Pandolphus,
save the last regimen of this body! Thou hast, therefore, composed
an ambiguous description for readers. But if its regimen were
commenced from the beginning, you would destroy this obscurity.
Saith the Turba:- Speak, therefore, concerning this to posterity,
so far as it may please you.
And he:- It behoves you, investigators of this Art, first
to burn copper in a gentle fire, like that required in the hatching
of eggs. For it behoves you to burn it with its humidity lest
its spirit be burnt, and let the vessel be closed on all sides,
so that its colour [heat] may be increased, the body of copper
be destroyed, and its tingeing spirit be extracted, concerning
which the envious have said: Take quicksilver out of the Flower
of Copper, which also they have called the water of our copper,
a fiery venom, and a substance extracted from all things, which
further they have termed Ethelia, extracted out of many things.
Again, some have said that when all things become one, bodies
are made not-bodies, but not-bodies bodies. And know, all ye
investigators of this Art, that every body is dissolved with
the spirit with which it is mixed, with which without doubt it
becomes a similar spiritual thing, and that every spirit which
has a tingeing colour of spirits, and is constant against fire,
is altered and coloured by bodies. Blessed then be the name of
Him who hath inspired the Wise with the idea of turning a body
into a spirit having strength and colour, unalterable and incorruptible,
so that what formerly was volatile sulphur is now made sulphur
not-volatile, and incombustible! Know, also, all ye sons of learning,
that he who is able to make your fugitive spirit red by the body
mixed with it, and then from that body and that spirit can extract
the tenuous nature hidden in the belly thereof, by a most subtle
regimen, tinges every body, if only he is patient in spite of
the tedium of extracting. Wherefore the envious have said: Know
that out of copper, after it is humectated by the moisture thereof,
is pounded in its water, and is cooked in sulphur, if ye extract
a body having Ethelia, ye will find that which is suitable as
a tincture for anything. Therefore the envious have said: Things
that are diligently pounded in the fire, with sublimation of
the Ethelia, become fixed tinctures. For whatsoever words ye
find in any man's book signify quicksilver, which we call water
of sulphur, which also we sometimes say is lead and copper and
The Fifty-Second Dictum.
Ixumdrus saith:- You will have treated most excellently, O
Horfolcus, concerning the regimen of copper and the humid spirit,
provided you proceed therewith.
And he:- Perfect, therefore, what I have omitted, O Ixumdrus!
Ixumdrus saith:- You must know that this Ethelia which you
have previously mentioned and notified, which also the envious
have called by many names, doth whiten, and tinge when it is
whitened; then truly the Philosophers have called it the Flower
of Gold, because it is a certain natural thing. Do you not remember
what the Philosophers have said, that before it arrives at this
terminus, copper does not tinge? But when it is tinged it tinges,
because quicksilver tinges when it is combined with its tincture.
But when it is mixed with those ten things which the Philosophers
have denominated fermented urines, then have they called all
these things Multiplication. But some have termed their mixed
bodies Corsufle and Gum of Gold. Therefore, those names which
are found in the books of the Philosophers, and are thought superfluous
and vain, are true and yet are fictitious, because they are one
thing, one opinion, and one way. This is the quicksilver which
is indeed extracted from all things, out of which all things
are produced, which also is pure water that destroys the shade
of copper. And know ye that this quicksilver, when it is whitened,
becomes a sulphur which contains sulphur, and is a venom that
has a brilliance like marble; this the envious call Ethelia,
orpiment and sandarac, out of which a tincture and pure spirit
ascends with a mild fire, and the whole pure flower is sublimated,
which flower becomes wholly quicksilver. It is, therefore, a
most great arcanum which the Philosophers have thus described,
because sulphur alone whitens copper. Ye, O investigators of
this Art, must know that the said sulphur cannot whiten copper
until it is whitened in the work! And know ye also that it is
the habit of this sulphur to escape. When, therefore, it flees
from its own thick bodies, and is sublimated as a vapour, then
it behoves you to retain it otherwise with quicksilver of its
own kind, lest it vanish altogether. Wherefore the Philosophers
have said, that sulphurs are contained by sulphurs. Know, further,
that sulphurs tinge, and then are they certain to escape unless
they are united to quicksilver of its own kind. Do not, therefore,
think that because it tinges and afterwards escapes, it is the
coin of the Vulgar, for what the Philosophers are seeking is
the coin of the Philosophers, which, unless it be mixed with
white or red, which is quicksilver of its own kind, would doubtless
escape. I direct you, therefore, to mix quicksilver with quicksilver
(of its kind) until together they become one clean water composed
out of two. This is, therefore, the great arcanum, the confection
of which is with its own gum; it is cooked with flowers in a
gentle fire and with earth; it is made red with mucra and with
vinegar, salt, and nitre, and with mutal is turned into rubigo,
or by any of the select tingeing agents existing in our coin.
The Fifty-Third Dictum.
Exumenus saith:- The envious have laid waste the whole Art
with the multiplicity of names, but the entire work must be the
Art of the Coin. For the Philosophers have ordered the doctors
of this art to make coin-like gold, which also the same Philosophers
have called by all manner of names.
The Turba answereth:- Inform, therefore, posterity, O Exumenus,
concerning a few of these names, that they may take warning!
And he:- They have named it salting, sublimating, washing,
and pounding Ethelias, whitening in the fire, frequently cooking
vapour and coagulating, turning into rubigo, the confection of
Ethel, the art of the water of sulphur and coagula. By all these
names is that operation called which has pounded and whitened
copper. And know ye, that quicksilver is white to the sight,
but when it is possessed by the smoke of sulphur, it reddens
and becomes Cambar. Therefore, when quicksilver is cooked with
its confections it is turned into red, and hence the Philosopher
saith that the nature of lead is swiftly converted. Do you not
see that the Philosophers have spoken without envy! Hence we
deal in many ways with pounding and reiteration, that ye may
extract the spirits existing in the vessel, which the fire did
not cease to burn continuously. But the water placed with those
things prevents the fire from burning, and it befalls those things
that the more they are possessed by the flame of fire, the more
they are hidden in the depths of the water, lest they should
be injured by the heat of the fire; but the water receives them
in its belly and repels the flame of fire from them.
The Turba answereth:- Unless ye make bodies not-bodies ye
achieve nothing. But concerning the sublimation of water the
Philosophers have treated not a little. And know that unless
ye diligently pound the thing in the fire, the Ethelia does not
ascend, but when that does not ascend ye achieve nothing. When,
however, it ascends it is an instrument for the intended tincture
with which ye tinge, and concerning this Ethelia Hermes saith:
Sift the things which ye know; but another: Liquefy the things.
Therefore, Arras saith: Unless ye pound the thing diligently
in the fire, Ethelia does not ascend. The Master hath put forth
a view which I shall now explain to the reasoners. Know ye that
a very great wind of the south, when it is stirred up, sublimates
clouds and elevates the vapours of the sea.
The Turba answereth:- Thou hast dealt obscurely.
And he:- I will explain the testa, and the vessel wherein
is incombustible sulphur. But I order you to congeal fluxible
quicksilver out of many things, that two may be made three, and
four one, and two one.
The Fifty-Fourth Dictum.
Anaxagoras saith:- Take the volatile burnt thing which lacks
a body, and incorporate it. Then take the ponderous thing, having
smoke, and thirsting to imbibe.
The Turba answereth:- Explain, O Anaxagoras, what is this
obscurity which you expound, and beware of being envious!
And he:- I testify to you that this volatile burnt thing,
and this other which thirsts, are Ethelia, which has been conjoined
with sulphur. Therefore, place these in a glass vessel over the
fire, and cook until the whole becomes Cambar. Then God will
accomplish the arcanum ye seek. But I direct you to cook continuously,
and not to grow tired of repeating the process. And know ye that
the perfection of this work is the confection of water of sulphur
with tabula; finally, it is cooked until it becomes Rubigo, for
all the Philosophers have said: He who is able to turn Rubigo
into golden venom has already achieved the desired work, but
otherwise his labour is vain.
The Fifty-Fifth Dictum.
Zenon saith:- Pythagoras hath treated concerning the water,
which the envious have called by all names. Finally, at the end
of his book he has treated of the ferment of gold, ordaining
that thereon should be imposed clean water of sulphur, and a
small quantity of its gum. I am astonished, O all ye Turba, how
the envious have in this work discoursed of the perfection rather
than the commencement of the same!
The Turba answereth:- Why, therefore, have you left it to
And he:- Thou hast spoken truly; putrefaction does not take
place without the dry and the humid. But the vulgar putrefy with
the humid. Thus the humid is merely coagulated with the dry.
But out of both is the beginning of the work. Notwithstanding,
the envious have divided this work into three parts, asserting
that one quickly flees, but the other is fixed and immovable.
The Fifty-Sixth Dictum.
Constans saith:- What have you to do with the treatises of
the envious, for it is necessary that this work should deal with
They answer:- Demonstrate, therefore, what are those four?
And he:- Earth, water, air, and fire. Ye have then those four
elements without which nothing is ever generated, nor is anything
absolved in the Art. Mix, therefore, the dry with the humid,
which are earth and water, and cook in the fire and in the air,
whence the spirit and the soul are dessicated. And know ye that
the tenuous tingeing agent takes its power out of the tenuous
part of the earth, out of the tenuous part of the fire and of
the air, while out of the tenuous part of the water, a tenuous
spirit has been dessicated. This, therefore, is the process of
our work, namely, that everything may be turned into earth when
the tenuous parts of these things are extracted, because a body
is then composed which is a kind of atmospheric thing, and thereafter
tinges the imposed body of coins. Beware, however, O all ye investigators
of this art, lest ye multiply things, for the envious have multiplied
and destroyed for you! They have also described various regimens
that they might deceive; they have further called it (or have
likened it to) the humid with all the humid, and the dry with
all the dry, by the name of every stone and metal, gall of animals
of the sea, the winged things of heaven and reptiles of the earth.
But do ye who would tinge observe that bodies are tinged with
bodies. For I say to you what the Philosopher said briefly and
truly at the beginning of his book. In the art of gold is the
quicksilver from Cambar, and in coins is the quicksilver from
the Male. In nothing, however, look beyond this, since the two
quicksilvers are also one.
The Fifty-Seventh Dictum.
Acratus saith:- I signify to posterity that I make philosophy
near to the Sun and Moon. He, therefore, that will attain to
the truth let him take the moisture of the Sun and the Spume
of the Moon.
The Turba answereth:- Why are you made an adversary to your
And he:- I have spoken nothing but the truth.
But they:- Take what the Turba hath taken.
And he:- I was so intending, yet, if you are willing, I direct
posterity to take a part of the coins which the Philosophers
have ordered, which also Hermes has adapted to the true tingeing,
and a part of the copper of the Philosophers, to mix the same
with the coins, and place all the four bodies in the vessel,
the mouth of which must be carefully closed, lest the water escape.
Cooking must proceed for seven days, when the copper, already
pounded with the coins, is found turned into water. Let both
be again slowly cooked, and fear nothing. Then let the vessel
be opened, and a blackness will appear above. Repeat the process,
cook continually until the blackness of Kuhul, which is from
the blackness of coins, be consumed. For when that is consumed
a precious whiteness will appear on them; finally, being returned
to their place, they are cooked until the whole is dried and
is turned into stone. Also repeatedly and continuously cook that
stone born of copper and coins with a fire sharper than the former,
until the stone is destroyed, broken up, and turned into cinder,
which is a precious cinder. Alas, O ye sons of the Doctrine,
how precious is that which is produced from it! Mixing, therefore,
the cinder with water, cook again, until that cinder liquefy
therewith, and then cook and imbue with permanent water, until
the composition becomes sweet and mild and red. Imbue until it
becomes humid. Cook in a still hotter fire, and carefully close
the mouth of the vessel, for by this regimen fugitive bodies
become not-fugitive, spirits are turned into bodies, bodies into
spirits, and both are connected together. Then are spirits made
bodies having a tingeing and germinating soul.
The Turba answereth:- Now hast thou notified to posterity
that Rubigo attaches itself to copper after the blackness is
washed off with permanent water. Then it is congealed and becomes
a body of Magnesia. Finally, it is cooked until the whole body
is broken up. Afterwards the volatile is turned into a cinder
and becomes copper without its shadow. Attrition also truly takes
place. Concerning, therefore, the work of the Philosophers, what
hast thou delivered to posterity, seeing that thou hast by no
means called things by their proper names!
And he:- Following your own footsteps, I have discoursed even
as have you.
Bonellus answereth:- You speak truly, for if you did otherwise
we should not order your sayings to be written in our books.
The Fifty-Eighth Dictum.
Balgus saith:- The whole Turba, O Acratus, has already spoken,
as you have seen, but a benefactor sometimes deceives, though
his intention is to do good.
And they:- Thou speakest truly. Proceed, therefore, according
to thy opinion, and beware of envy!
Then he:- You must know that the envious have described this
arcanum in the shade; in physical reasoning and astronomy, and
the art of images; they have also likened it to trees; they have
ambiguously concealed it by the names of metals, vapours, and
reptiles; as is generally perceived in all their work. I, nevertheless,
direct you, investigators of this science, to take iron and draw
it into plates; finally, mix (or sprinkle) it with venom, and
place it in its vessel, the mouth of which must be closed most
carefully, and beware lest ye too much increase the humour, or,
on the other hand, lest it be too dry, but stir it vigorously
as a mass, because, if the water be in excess, it will not be
contained in the chimney, while, if it be too dry, it will neither
be conjoined nor cooked in the chimney; hence I direct you to
confect it diligently; finally, place it in its vessel, the mouth
of which must be closed internally and externally with clay,
and, having kindled coals above it, after some days ye shall
open it, and there shall ye find the iron plates already liquefied;
while on the lid of the vessel ye shall find globules. For when
the fire is kindled the vinegar ascends, because its spiritual
nature passes into the air, wherefore, I direct you to keep that
part separately. Ye must also know that by multiplied decoctions
and attritions it is congealed and coloured by the fire, and
its nature is changed. By a similar decoction and liquefaction
Cambar is not disjoined. I notify to you that by the said frequent
decoction the weight of a third part of the water is consumed,
but the residue becomes a wind in the Cambar of the second spirit.
And know ye that nothing is more precious or more excellent than
the red sand of the sea, for the Sputum of Luna is united with
the light of the Sun's rays. Luna is perfected by the coming
on of night, and by the heat of the Sun the dew is congealed.
Then, that being wounded, the dew of the death dealer is joined,
and the more the days pass on the more intensely is it congealed,
and is not burned. For he who cooks with the Sun is himself congealed,
and that signal whiteness causes it to overcome the terrene fire.
Then saith Bonites:- Do you not know, O Balgus, that the Spume
of Luna tinges nothing except our copper?
And Balgus:- Thou speakest truly.
And he:- Why, therefore, hast thou omitted to describe that
tree, of the fruit whereof whosoever eateth shall hunger nevermore?
And Balgus:- A certain person, who has followed science, has
notified to me after what manner he discovered this same tree,
and appropriately operating, did extract the fruit and eat of
it. But when I inquired of him concerning the growth and the
increment, he described that pure whiteness, thinking that the
same is found without any laborious disposition. Then its Perfection
is the fruit thereof. But when I further asked how it is nourished
with food until it fructifies, he said: Take that tree, and build
a house about it, which shall wholly surround the same, which
shall also be circular, dark, encircled by dew, and shall have
placed on it a man of a hundred years; shut and secure the door
lest dust or wind should reach them. Then in the time of 180
days send them away to their homes. I say that man shall not
cease to eat of the fruit of that tree to the perfection of the
number [of the days] until the old man shall become young. O
what marvellous natures, which have transformed the soul of that
old man into a juvenile body, and the father is made into the
son! Blessed be thou, O most excellent God!
The Fifty-Ninth Dictum.
Theophilus saith:- I propose to speak further concerning those
things which Bonites hath narrated.
And the Turba:- Speak, Brother, for thy brother hath discoursed
And he:- Following in the steps of Bonites I will make perfect
his sayings. It should be known that all the Philosophers, while
they have concealed this disposition, yet spoke the truth in
their treatises when they named water of life, for this reason,
that whatsoever is mixed with the said water first dies, then
lives and becomes young. And know, all ye disciples, that iron
does not become rusty except by reason of this water, because
it tinges the plates; it is then placed in the sun till it liquefies
and is imbued, after which it is congealed. In these days it
becomes rusty, but silence is better than this illumination.
The Turba answereth:- O Theophilus, beware of becoming envious,
and complete thy speech!
And he:- Would that I might repeat the like thing!
And they:- What is thy will?
Then he:- Certain fruits, which proceed first from that perfect
tree, do flourish in the beginning of the summer, and the more
they are multiplied the more are they adorned, until they are
perfected, and being mature become sweet. In the same way that
woman, fleeing from her own children, with whom she lives, although
partly angry, yet does not brook being overcome, nor that her
husband should possess her beauty, who furiously loves her, and
keeps awake contending with her, till he shall have carnal intercourse
with her, and God make perfect the foetus, when he multiplies
children to himself according to his pleasure. His beauty, therefore,
is consumed by fire who does not approach his wife except by
reason of lust. For when the term is finished he turns to her.
I also make known to you that the dragon never dies, but the
Philosophers have put to death the woman who slays her spouses.
For the belly of that woman is full of weapons and venom. Let,
therefore, a sepulchre be dug for the dragon, and let that woman
be buried with him, who being strongly joined with that woman,
the more he clasps her and is entwined with her, the more his
body, by the creation of female weapons in the body of the woman,
is cut up into parts. For perceiving him mixed with the limbs
of a woman he becomes secure from death, and the whole is turned
into blood. But the Philosophers, beholding him turned into blood,
leave him in the sun for certain days, until the lenitude is
consumed, the blood dries up, and they find that venom which
now is manifest. Then the wind is hidden.
The Sixtieth Dictum.
Bonellus saith:- Know, all ye disciples, that out of the elect
things nothing becomes useful without conjunction and regimen,
because sperma is generated out of blood and desire. For the
man mingling with the woman, the sperm is nourished by the humour
of the womb, and by the moistening blood, and by heat, and when
forty nights have elapsed the sperm is formed. But if the humidity
of the blood and of the womb were not heat, the sperm would not
be dissolved, nor the foetus be procreated. But God has constituted
that heat and blood for the nourishment of the sperm until the
foetus is brought forth, after which it is not nourished, save
by milk and fire, sparingly and gradually, while it is dust,
and the more it burns the more, the bones being strengthened,
it is led towards youth, arriving at which it is independent.
Thus it behoves you also to act in this Art. Know ye that without
heat nothing is ever generated, and that the bath causes the
matter to perish by means of intense heat. If, indeed, it be
frigid, it puts to flight and disperses, but if it have been
tempered, it is convenient and sweet to the body, wherefore the
veins become smooth and the flesh is augmented. Behold it has
been demonstrated to you, all ye disciples! Understand, therefore,
and in all things which ye attempt to rule, fear God.
The Sixty-First Dictum.
Moses saith:- It is to be observed that the envious have named
lead of copper instruments of formation, simulating, deceiving
posterity, to whom I give notice that there are no instruments
except from our own white, strong, and splendid powder, and from
our concave stone and marble, to the whole work whereof there
is no more suitable powder, nor one more conjoined to our composition,
than the powder of Alociae, out of which are produced instruments
of formation. Further, the Philosophers have already said: Take
instruments out of the egg. Yet they have not said what the egg
is, nor of what bird. And know ye that the regimen of these things
is more difficult than the entire work, because, if the composition
be ruled more than it should be, its light is taken and extinguished
by the sea. Wherefore the Philosophers have ordered that it should
be ruled with profound judgment. The moon, therefore, being at
the full, take this and place in sand till it be dissolved. And
know ye that while ye are placing the same in sand and repeating
the process, unless ye have patience, ye err in ruling, and corrupt
the work. Cook, therefore, the same in a gentle fire until ye
see that it is dissolved. Then extinguish with vinegar, and ye
shall find one thing separated from three companions. And know
ye that the first, Ixir, commingles, the second burns, while
the third liquefies. In the first place, therefore, impose nine
ounces of vinegar twice - first while the vessel is being made
hot, and second when it is heated.
The Sixty-Second Dictum.
Mundus saith:- It behoves you, O all ye seekers after this
Art, to know that whatsoever the Philosophers have narrated or
ordained, Kenckel, herbs, geldum, and carmen, are one thing!
Do not, therefore, trouble about a plurality of things, for there
is one Tyrian tincture of the Philosophers to which they have
given names at will, and having abolished the proper name, they
have called it black, because it has been extracted from our
sea. And know that the ancient priests did not condescend to
wear artificial garments, whence, for purifying altars, and lest
they should introduce into them anything sordid or impure, they
tinged Kenckel with a Tyrian colour; but our Tyrian colour, which
they placed in their altars and treasuries, was more clean and
fragrant than can be described by me, which also has been extracted
from our red and most pure sea, which is sweet and of a pleasant
odour, and is neither sordid nor impure in putrefaction. And
know ye that we have given many names to it. which are all true
- an example of which, for those that possess understanding,
is to be traced in corn that is being ground. For after grinding
it is called by another name, and after it has been passed through
the sieve, and the various substances have been separated one
from another, each of these has its own name, and yet fundamentally
there is but one name, to wit, corn, from which many names are
distinguished. Thus we call the purple in each grade of its regimen
by the name of its own colour.
The Sixty-Third Dictum.
Philosophus saith:- I notify to posterity that the nature
is male and female, wherefore the envious have called it the
body of Magnesia, because therein is the most great arcanum!
Accordingly, O all ye seekers after this Art, place Magnesia
in its vessel, and cook diligently! Then, opening it after some
days, ye shall find the whole changed into water. Cook further
until it be coagulated, and contain itself. But, when ye hear
of the sea in the books of the envious, know that they signify
humour, while by the basket they signify the vessel, and by the
medicines they mean Nature, because it germinates
and flowers. But when the envious say: Wash until the blackness
of the copper passes away, certain people name this blackness
coins. But Agadimon has clearly demonstrated when he boldly put
forth these words: It is to be noted, O all ye demonstrators
of this art, that the things [or the copper] being first mixed
and cooked once, ye shall find the prescribed blackness! That
is to say, they all become black. This, therefore, is the lead
of the Wise, concerning which they have treated very frequently
in their books. Some also call it [the lead] of our black coins.
The Sixty-Fourth Dictum.
Pythagoras saith:- How marvellous is the diversity of the
Philosophers in those things which they formerly asserted, and
in their coming together [or agreement], in respect of this small
and most common thing, wherein the precious thing is concealed!
And if the vulgar knew, O all ye investigators of this art, the
same small and vile thing, they would deem it a lie! Yet, if
they knew its efficacy, they would not vilify it, but God hath
concealed this from the crowd lest the world should be devastated.
The Sixty-Fifth Dictum.
Horfolcus saith:- You must know, O all ye who love wisdom,
that whereas Mundus hath been teaching this Art, and placing
before you most lucid syllogisms, he that does not understand
what he has said is a brute animal! But I will explain the regimen
of this small thing, in order that any one, being introduced
into this Art, may become bolder, may, more assuredly consider
it, and although it be small, may compose the common with that
which is dear, and the dear with that which is common. Know ye
that in the beginning of the mixing, it behoves you to commingle
elements which are crude, gentle, sincere, and not cooked or
governed, over a gentle fire. Beware of intensifying the fire
until the elements are conjoined, for these should follow one
another, and be embraced in a complexion, whereby they are gradually
burnt, until they be dessicated in the said gentle fire. And
know that one spirit burns one thing and destroys one thing,
and one body strengthens one spirit, and teaches the same to
contend with the fire. But, after the first combustion, it is
necessary that it should be washed, cleansed, and dealbated on
the fire until all things become one colour; with which, afterwards,
it behoves you to mix the residuum of the whole humour, and then
its colour will be exalted. For the elements, being diligently
cooked in the fire, rejoice, and are changed into different natures,
because the liquefied, which is the lead, becomes not-liquefied,
the humid becomes dry, the thick body becomes a spirit, and the
fleeing spirit becomes strong and fit to do battle against the
fire. Whence the Philosopher saith: Convert the elements and
thou shalt find what thou seekest. But to convert the elements
is to make the moist dry and the fugitive fixed. These things
being accomplished by the disposition, let the operator leave
it in the fire until the gross be made subtle, and the subtle
remain as a tingeing spirit. Know ye, also, that the death and
life of the elements proceed from fire, and that the composite
germinates itself, and produces that which ye desire, God favouring.
But when the colours begin ye shall behold the miracles of the
wisdom of God, until the Tyrian colour be accomplished. O wonder-working
Nature, tingeing other natures! O heavenly Nature, separating
and converting the elements by regimen! Nothing, therefore, is
more precious than these Natures in that Nature which multiplies
the composite, and makes fixed and scarlet.
The Sixty-Sixth Dictum.
Exemiganus saith:- Thou hast already treated, O Lucas, concerning
living and concealed silver, which is Magnesia, as it behoves
thee, and thou hast commanded posterity to prove [or to experiment]
and to read the books, knowing what the Philosophers have said:
Search the latent spirit and disesteem it not, seeing that when
it remains it is a great arcanum and effects many good things.
The Sixty-Seventh Dictum.
Lucas saith:- I testify to posterity, and what I set forth
is more lucid than are your words, that the Philosopher saith:
Burn the copper, burn the silver, burn the gold.
Hermiganus replies:- Behold something more dark than ever!
The Turba answereth:- Illumine, therefore, that which is dark.
And he:- As to that which he said - Burn, burn, burn, the
diversity is only in the names, for they are one and the same
And they:- Woe unto you! how shortly hast thou dealt with
it! why art thou Poisoned with jealousy!
And he:- Is it desirable that I should speak more clearly?
And they:- Do so.
And he:- I signify that to whiten is to burn, but to make
red is life. For the envious have multiplied many names that
they might lead posterity astray, to whom I testify that the
definition of this Art is the liquefaction of the body and the
separation of the soul from the body, seeing that copper, like
a man, has a soul and a body. Therefore, it behoves you, 0 all
ye Sons of the Doctrine, to destroy the body and extract the
soul therefrom! Wherefore the Philosophers said that the body
does not penetrate the body, but that there is a subtle nature,
which is the soul, and it is this which tinges and penetrates
the body. In nature, therefore, there is a body and there is
The Turba answereth:- Despite your desire to explain, you
have put forth dark words.
And he:- I signify that the envious have narrated and said
that the splendour of Saturn does not appear unless it perchance
be dark when it ascends in the air, that Mercury is hidden by
the rays of the Sun, that quicksilver vivifies the body by its
fiery strength, and thus the work is accomplished. But Venus,
when she becomes oriental, precedes the Sun.
The Sixty-Eighth Dictum.
Attamus saith:- Know, O all ye investigators of this Art,
that our work, of which ye have been inquiring, is produced by
the generation of the sea, by which and with which, after God,
the work is completed! Take, therefore, Halsut and old sea stones,
and boil with coals until they become white. Then extinguish
in white vinegar. If 24 ounces thereof have been boiled, let
the heat be extinguished with a third part of the vinegar, that
is, 8 ounces; pound with white vinegar, and cook in the sun and
black earth for 42 days. But the second work is performed from
the tenth day of the month of September to the tenth day [or
grade] of Libra. Do not impose the vinegar a second time in this
work, but leave the same to be cooked until all its vinegar be
dried up and it becomes a fixed earth, like Egyptian earth. And
the fact that one work is congealed more quickly and another
more slowly, arises from the diversity of cooking. But if the
place where it is cooked be humid and dewy it is congealed more
quickly, while if it be dry it is congealed more slowly.
The Sixty-Ninth Dictum.
Florus saith:- I am thinking of perfecting thy treatise, O
Mundus, for thou has not accomplished the disposition of the
And he:- Proceed, O Philosopher!
And Florus:- I teach you, O Sons of the Doctrine, that the
sign of the goodness of the first decoction is the extraction
of its redness!
And he:- Describe what is redness.
And Florus:- When ye see that the matter is entirely black,
know that whiteness has been hidden in the belly of that blackness.
Then it behoves you to extract that whiteness most subtly from
that blackness, for ye know how to discern between them. But
in the second decoction let that whiteness be placed in a vessel
with its instruments, and let it be cooked gently until it become
completely white. But when, O all ye seekers after this Art,
ye shall perceive that whiteness appear and flowing over all,
be certain that redness is hid in that whiteness! However, it
does not behove you to extract it, but rather to cook it until
the whole become a most deep red, with which nothing can compare.
Know also that the first blackness is produced out of the nature
of Marteck, and that redness is extracted from that blackness,
which red has improved the black, and has made peace between
the fugitive and the non-fugitive, reducing the two into one.
The Turba answereth:- And why was this?
And he:- Because the cruciated matter when it is submerged
in the body, changes it into an unalterable and indelible nature.
It behoves you, therefore, to know this sulphur which blackens
the body. And know ye that the same sulphur cannot be handled,
but it cruciates and tinges. And the sulphur which blackens is
that which does not open the door to the fugitive and turns into
the fugitive with the fugitive. Do you not see that the cruciating
does not cruciate with harm or corruption, but by co-adunation
and utility of things? For if its victim were noxious and inconvenient,
it would not be embraced thereby until its colours were extracted
from it unalterable and indelible. This we have called water
of sulphur, which water we have prepared for the red tinctures;
for the rest it does not blacken; but that which does blacken,
and this does not come to pass without blackness, I have testified
to be the key of the work.
The Seventieth Dictum.
Mundus saith:- Know, all ye investigators of this Art, that
the head is all things, which if it hath not, all that it imposes
profits nothing. Accordingly, the Masters have said that what
is perfected is one, and a diversity of natures does not improve
that thing, but one and a suitable nature, which it behoves you
to rule carefully, for by ignorance of ruling some have erred.
Do not heed, therefore, the plurality of these compositions,
nor those things which the philosophers have enumerated in their
books. For the nature of truth is one, and the followers of Nature
have termed it that one thing in the belly whereof is concealed
the natural arcanum. This arcanum is neither seen nor known except
by the Wise. He, therefore, who knows how to extract its complexion
and rules equably, for him shall a nature rise forth therefrom
which shall conquer all natures, and then shall that word be
fulfilled which was written by the Masters, namely, that Nature
rejoices in Nature, Nature overcomes Nature, and Nature contains
Nature; at the same time there are not many or diverse Natures,
but one having in itself its own natures and properties, by which
it prevails over other things. Do you not see that the Master
has begun with one and finished one? Hence has he called those
unities Sulphureous Water, conquering all Nature.
The Seventy-First Dictum.
Bracus saith:- How elegantly Mundus hath described this sulphureous
water! For unless solid bodies are destroyed by a nature wanting
a body, until the bodies become not-bodies, and even as a most
tenuous spirit, ye cannot [attain] that most tenuous and tingeing
soul, which is hidden in the natural belly. And know that unless
the body be withered up and so destroyed that it dies, and unless
ye extract from it its soul, which is a tingeing spirit, ye are
unable to tinge a body therewith.
The Seventy-Second Dictum.
Philosophus saith:- The first composition, that is, the body
of Magnesia, is made out of several things, although they become
one, and are called by one name, which the ancients have termed
Albar of copper. But when it is ruled it is called by ten names,
taken from the colours which appear in the regimen of the body
of this Magnesia. It is necessary, therefore, that the lead be
turned into blackness; then the ten aforesaid shall appear in
the ferment of gold, with sericon, which is a composition called
by ten names. When all these things have been said, we mean nothing
more by these names than Albar of copper, because it tinges every
body which has entered into the composition. But composition
is twofold - one is humid, the other is dry. When they are cooked
prudently they become one, and are called the good thing of several
names. But when it becomes red it is called Flower of Gold, Ferment
of Gold, Gold of Coral, Gold of the Beak. It is also called redundant
red sulphur and red orpiment. But while it remains crude lead
of copper, it is called bars and plates of metal. Behold I have
revealed its names when it is raw, which also we should distinguish
from the names when it has been cooked. Let it therefore be pondered
over. It behoves me now to exhibit to you the quantity of the
fire, and the numbers of its days, and the diversity of intensity
thereof in every grade, so that he who shall possess this book
may belong unto himself, and be freed from poverty, so that he
shall remain secure in that middle way which is closed to those
who are deficient in this most precious art. I have seen, therefore,
many kinds of fire. One is made out of straw and cinder, coals
and flame, but one without flame. Experiment shows that there
are intermediate grades between these kinds. But lead is lead
of copper, in which is the whole arcanum. Now, concerning the
days of the night in which will be the perfection of the most
great arcanum, I will treat in its Proper place in what follows.
And know most assuredly that if a little gold be placed in the
composition, there will result a patent and white tincture. Wherefore
also a sublime gold and a patent gold is found in the treasuries
of the former philosophers. Wherefore those things are unequal
which they introduce into their composition. Inasmuch as the
elements are commingled and are turned into lead of copper, coming
out of their own former natures, they are turned into a new nature.
Then they are called one nature and one genus. These things being
accomplished, it is placed in a glass vessel, unless in a certain
way the composition drinks the water and is altered in its colours.
In every grade it is beheld, when it is coloured by a venerable
redness. Although concerning this elixir we read in the sayings
of the philosophers: Take gold, occurring frequently, it is only
needful to do so once. Wishing, therefore, to know the certitude
of the adversary, consider what Democritus saith, how he begins
speaking from bottom to top, then reversing matters he proceeds
from top to bottom. For, he said: Take iron, lead, and albar
for copper, which reversing, he again says: And our copper for
coins, lead for gold, gold for gold of coral, and gold of coral
for gold of crocus. Again, in the second place, when he begins
from the top to the bottom, he saith: Take gold, coin, copper,
lead, and iron; he shews, therefore, by his sayings that only
semi-gold is taken. And without doubt gold is not changed into
rust without lead and copper, and unless it be imbued with vinegar
known by the wise, until, being cooked, it is turned into redness.
This, therefore, is the redness which all the Philosophers signified,
because, how ever they said: Take gold and it becomes gold of
coral; Take gold of coral and it becomes purple gold - all these
things are only names of those colours, for it behoves them that
vinegar be placed in it, because these colours come from it.
But by these things which the Philosophers have mentioned under
various names, they have signified stronger bodies and forces.
It is taken, therefore, once, that it may become rubigo and then
vinegar is imposed on it. For when the said colours appear, it
is necessary that each be decocted in forty days, so that it
may be desiccated, the water being consumed; finally being imbued
and placed in the vessel, it is cooked until its utility appear.
Its first grade becomes as a citrine mucra, the second as red,
the third as the dry pounded crocus of the vulgar. So is it imposed
Agmon saith:- I will add the following by way of a corollary.
Whosoever does not liquefy and coagulate errs greatly. Therefore,
make the earth black; separate the soul and the water thereof,
afterwards whiten; so shall ye find what ye seek. I say unto
you that whoso makes earth black and then dissolves with fire,
till it becomes even like unto a naked sword, who also fixes
the whole with consuming fire, deserves to be called happy, and
shall be exalted above the circle of the world. This much concerning
the revelation of our stone, is, we doubt not, enough for the
Sons of the Doctrine. The strength thereof, shall never become
corrupted, but the same, when it is placed in the fire, shall
be increased. If you seek to dissolve, it shall be dissolved;
but if you would coagulate, it shall be coagulated. Behold, no
one is without it, and yet all do need it! There are many names
given to it, and yet it is called by one only, while, if need
be, it is concealed. It is also a stone and not a stone, spirit,
soul, and body; it is white, volatile, concave, hairless, cold,
and yet no one can apply the tongue with impunity to its surface.
If you wish that it should fly, it flies; if you say that it
is water, you Speak the truth; if you say that it is not water,
you speak falsely. Do not then be deceived by the multiplicity
of names, but rest assured that it is one thing, unto which nothing
alien is added. Investigate the place thereof, and add nothing
that is foreign. Unless the names were multiplied, so that the
vulgar might be deceived, many would deride our wisdom.