Johan Isaac HOLLANDUS
The Hand of the Philosophers
With Its Secret Signs
Translated from the German by Leone Muller.
Produced by Restorers of Alchemical Manuscripts Society (RAMS), 1986.
This is the Hand of the Philosophers with their dear secret signs, with which the old sages united with each other and took secret oaths. Nobody can understand this hand with its secret signs, unless he becomes first a juror of the philosophers, (one who swore loyalty to a philosopher), and has loyally served them in the Art Alchemia. Consequently, those who have not this Hand and do not understand its secret signs, nor have taken the oath of loyalty, are bastards in this Art. They do not possess the philosophers’ treasure. That is why I advise all those who do not possess the secrets of the Hand not to start working in the alchemical Art, nor to believe books or writings, since they will all only be cheated in the secrets of the Hand. Therefore, everybody had better be careful.
In this Hand is locked the secret of the philosophers, that is, of the seed and the earth, as will be told later.
Now then, I will teach my child and describe the secret, hidden matter of the wise philosophers and masters of the true Art Alchemia. Nobody can use it unless he take the oath and swear not to divulge the Art and secrets and hidden signs of the sages, except he finds that it would be a good placement. In that case, he should also request the oath that that man should not use the Art except for the salvation of his soul. Only then can he be given the secret signs of the philosophers or sages, with their hidden signs and meanings.
1. The Thumb
First look at the thumb on which stands the crown next to the moon, one quarter old. By this is meant saltpetre. For just as the thumb vigorously finishes off the hand, saltpeter does in the Art Alchemia, for he is the King and Lord of all salts. He is the mill through which everything must be ground. His nature is elsewhere sufficiently described.
The second sign and secret of the philosophers is the Star with six points, standing above the foremost finger next to the thumb. It is compared to Roman Vitriolo, because no work that is to be perfect can be completed without vitriol; for it is the greatest and strongest salt after saltpeter. Its nature is described.
3. The Middle Finger
The third sign of the philosopher’s Hand is the Sun, standing above the third finger. By it, Sal Ammoniacum is designated, for apart from saltpeter and vitriol, no thing more powerful is found than *. That is why it is the third secret.
4. The Ring Finger
The fourth sign of the philosophers is the Lantern, standing above the fourth finger of the Hand, whereby Alum Roche is indicated; for without alum, no perfect work can be accomplished, because it is required for the Red and the White. It has an astonishing nature and the most subtle Spiritus. It is described elsewhere.
5. The Little Finger
The fifth secret and sign is the Key of the philosophers, standing above the little finger. Simultaneously, it is the lock of the hand. That is why the key is standing on it. By it, common salt is designated, for salt is the Key in this Art.
6. The Middle of the Hand
The sixth secret sign is the Fish. It stands in the middle of the Hand and signifies Mercury, for without Mercury, or the fish, nothing can be done. He is the beginning, the middle and the end, and he is the priest who must marry everything. And he is the male and the seed; he is the water out of which all metals have originated; and he is the principal (factor) of all Arts, and the greatest of all secrets.
7. The Palm
The seventh sign of the philosophers is Fire. By this Sulphur is indicated. It is the earth and beginning of all metals. It is the female who brings forth the fruit. For no seed can grow unless it be first thrown into fertile soil. Then beautiful fruit will come from it. Thus it also happens tat when a pure Mercury is joined to a pure Sulphur, it brings forth pure fruit. Thus, they are man and woman, father and mother, fire and water, seed and earth. This is sufficient about the seven secret signs of the philosophers. He who understands well this Hand and its sign, and can work with it, will derive joy from it. Now follows the Preparation.
The Preparation of Saltpetre
Take living chalk (quicklime), according to the quantity of the substance. Pour on it a good amount of urine. Let the lime slake in it; after it is slaked, let it settle, and pour it off above. If there are 6 lb of saltpeter, take 12 lb or pints of pure urine, even a little more, but not less. Put it all together into a clean kettle. Boil it and skim it with an iron spoon. Put the latter occasionally into the Liquor and squirt it into the fire. If it burns, or the coal becomes ignited by it, it is enough: Take it off and let it cool somewhat. Now pour it into a large linen sack, like a claret sack. This sack has to hang above a barrel, 5 feet above. Soon there sprout cones in the water, one above the other, as if it were crystal. Take these out --- it is the purified saltpeter. Now take the other saltpeter which did not sprout into cones. Fish it out and put it into the urine. Let it boil again as before and pour it also through the sack. It will immediately crystallize into long streaks, like the first. What stays behind is good for nothing; it is only salt which can be coagulated, and then it is common saltpeter.
This is the Manual Work Done with the Crown or Saltpeter
Take 4 lb of the Crown, prepared egg chalk, Sal Alcali made of quicklime, weedashes, potash of Sal Vitri of afterwine (tartar lees) or shoots of vine, calcined Tartarum, in equal amounts. These things must be prepared with the hand, as you well know. When they are prepared, dissolve them in distilled vinegar. Hang them in the balneum to dissolve there for 21 days and nights. Then coagulate them in the Alembicum, and keep the matter clean, so that no dust or impurity can get at it. After this, put them into a round, earthenware vessel, as illustrated here. Put it in Tripode or in the Athanor till the King is fixed. Regulate the fire so that you can barely keep your hand in it --- for the first 8 days. After this, let the vessel glow for another 8 days; but before you do this, divide it as if you wished to burn separating water; drive everything over that will come over, for it is of no use to the work, since the volatile spirits spoil all works, so that they cannot reach the state of fixation. Therefore, before putting it in Tripode to calcine, get rid of the volatile spirits, otherwise your work would not get fixed.
When it has been standing in Tripode for 14 days, take it out. Take 2 lb of the Long Finger, which must have been sublimated 3 times through salt. Pulverize it with the powder you took out of the Tripode, and sublimate them together till the Long Finger becomes fixed.
Now dissolve this fixed powder 7 times in good, distilled vinegar. Let it settle each time, and each time separate the Faeces, and congeal it again in the Alembic. Then glow the King in the fire, but take care that he does not melt. Do this 7 times, by dissolving, congealing, and glowing as before. Then the saltpeter is well prepared for the work. Keep it in a closed box of Cyprian earth, glazed with glass, and you will have an infinite treasure, greater than you might believe, with which you can accomplish wonderful things. I will describe to you only one part of its effect, should you need the Art: By it you can turn all seven metals into their first nature, that is, into Mercury.
To this end you must take a good amount of distilled vinegar and , and 8 of raw *; add to it whatever metal you wish, provided it is calcined, then quickly seal the jar and put it in Balneum or in horse manure for 21 days. After that, put it on fire with the Alembic, and distill. First there will be vinegar and *, afterwards the essence of the metal, that is, Mercury. With that you can do astonishing things. But there is a great deal of cheating in this; that is why we do not wish to describe it. When you have used the King and he has done his work, let the faeces drop, pour off the pure, and coagulate as before. Then he will be better than before, because his power has grown tenfold by having been dissolved and purified with Acetum and [??], as also next to the *, and by having been water and then congealed. One performs miracles with this King; that is why he carries the crown.
Also, he makes all red metals white, and all soft metals hard, and all hard metals soft, and I write more than have been commanded to.
Also, make an Aqua Fort of nitre, O, vitriol and * ; and to a quarter lb of this AF, add ij *; dissolve in it ij lb mercury; draw off the AF per Balneum, and you will thus kill mercury. Then take 4 lb of common salt to every 2 lb of this Mercury. Mix and pound it well together in a mortar; then sublimate it; then take it out and pound it again with salt as before, and sublimate it. Repeat this 7 times.
After this, take 1 lb salt, 1/2 lb *, mix them well with the sublimated mercury, and sublimate again. When it is sublimated, take it out, and mix it again with fresh salt alone; sublimate again, and do this 3 or 4 times. Now pound it fine and put it into a glass vessel and set it to calcinate in the philosophers’ stove for 30 days and nights.
Then remove it, and dissolve it in balneo or on a stone in the cellar. When everything has been dissolved, put it to distill 7 times in Balneo, till everything has become hard. Then take it out, pulverize it small, and imbibe it with water of silver made thus:
Take fine cupel silver; cement it till it comes out white from the salt; dissolve it in AF; then draw it off per Balneum; take it out, add to it as much * as there is silver, pulverize them together, and dry it. Then calcinate it for 30 days in the philosophers’ furnace. After this, dissolve it in Balneo or on a stone. Imbibe this water into your powder, and put it into a glass to distill per Alembicum, so as to draw off the humidity. When it is dry, take it out and imbibe it again with silver water. Do this till all the water of silver has been imbibed into it. Finally, let it stand on the fire till all your matter is fixed. Then make your matter fusible till it melts like butter.
Also, when you have drawn out the Red from the foremost finger, or from the fire, or from several other things, take 1 lb of the dry powder and 1 lb of the sun. But the sun must first have been 3 times sublimated through the key till it is transparent. Then take 1 part of the Red, 1/2 part of the sun, powder them together and sublimate them. Then the sun will sublimate up, and the Red will stay at the bottom of the vessel. Take the sun out above and mix it again with the Red that stayed at the bottom of the vessel. Sublimate it again as before, at least 10 or 12 times. Now take the same sun and the same Red, powder them impalpably, and put them into the philosophers’ furnace to quickly calcine for 30 days. Then take it out and dissolve it in Balneo. When everything is dissolved, you have a brilliant water with which gold would not want to be compared. Imbibe your elixir with this red water as you know.
Preparation of Vitriol
Take 3 or 4 lb Vitriolum Romanum, dissolve it in Balneo, clarify it of its own impurity, and calcine it till it begins getting grey. Then dissolve it again, and let everything become pure again. Then calcine it until it becomes yellow. Now take the Tincture of Auripigment and gradually imbibe it onto it. Dry it carefully, imbibe it and dry it again until everything has been imbibed into it. Then it is ready to sublimate Mercury through it, so long that he no longer desires anything. Then his stomach is full, and add each time fresh Species. Then it turns into a precious Mercury and a salt more splendid than gold.
An Art of Arts
How to Extract Quintam Essentiam from Vitriol or the Philosophers’ Stone from the Hand.
Take 6 lb of glorified vitriol, as you well know how to make. Dry out all its humidity. Then 3 or 4 lb of the Fish and 1 lb of the prepared key. Mix them together and put them to sublime. The Tincture will rise with the Fish in a secret and invisible way. If you wish to sublimate the Fish once again with fresh vitriol and fresh Key, you may do so. Then you have the fish full of Tincture, but if you wished to separate the latter, make a water of the hand, or a bad water with salt, or made with some of the long (Middle) finger. Put the sublimated Fish, which is full of the Tincture of the Star, into the Balneum, and it will dissolve into water.
Now take 6, 8, or 10 lb of the key, which has been prepared to sublimate through it. Put the Key into a Syburg jar and pour into it, upon the Key, what has been dissolved, so that it turns into a dry Materia. Otherwise the water would not putrify or go up in smoke. Put the jar in Balneum, add a helm, and distill the AF over in a boiling Balneum, till nothing comes over. Following this, set the jar into sand, and more spirits of the AF will go over which did not rise out of the balneum.
When all the Spiritus have gone over, increase your fire and you will see the Quinta Essentia, or Tincture of the Fish and the said Star, sublimate as if it were a crystal stone. Remove it carefully from the Alembic and dissolve it again in fresh AF. Repeat this 4 times, and the tinctures of QE of the Fish will become so subtle that it is unbelievable to write about it. The reason for it is that it was first dissolved and afterwards sublimated, and that it is killed and rises into a spiritual Corpus. In my estimation, it should be distilled and afterwards sublimated so often that it will obtain such great power that it would be worth a kingdom. Now you have the QE Vitrioli and Mercurii together.
If you wish to make an Elixir of it, you must calcine it in Tripode; then dissolve it in Balneo with the water of the Hand; distill and sublimate it, and add the soul to it, and congeal it, as I have taught of other stones. But if you wish to separate the tincture of the Star from the Fish, take good * and distilled vinegar. Pulverize the QE and put it into the vinegar. Set it into the Balneum. The Mercury will sink to the bottom, and the QE of the vitriol will go into the vinegar. Pour off the tinged vinegar, and pour fresh upon it. Put it back into the Balneum, and repeat this till the vinegar no longer tinges. Now put all the tinged vinegar together and take other vinegar. In it, slake iron or steel 10 or 12 times. Now pour that to the tinged acetum, put it into a large glass and distill all the vinegar per Alembicum and in the Balneum. What remains, will be the most beautiful redness of the world, because the tincture of the Fish stayed with the tincture of the Star. That is why the Fish is no longer of any use when the tincture of the Star is drawn off, because they both have the same nature.
With this tincture, you can work miracles, because it is indestructible just as heaven is incombustible; it changes everything into its nature and color, and thus it does to all stones and pearls.
The Preparation of the Sun or, Sal Ammoniaci
Ammoniac is of different kinds, that is, natural and artificial. Natural ammoniac is found in the earth, and it is again twofold, white and red. Both are extracted from hard clean ores. It is sweet of taste; its nature is hot and dry; and it is good for washing and purifying. Further, there is also an artificial *, and that is better for this work than the natural; it is also nobler than salt, and changes Mercury into water. When it has been prepared with it, grind it and put it into a humid spot to dissolve. With it, one accomplishes the solution of iron and lead into living silver; and it is gold which the dryness of the fire has congealed. It is hot and humid and is a subtle spirit for the Elixir, for without it, it could not be done. How to sublimate it, I will yet teach you, although through it the Corpora are not transmuted white or red into another substance, except by means of other spirits, it nevertheless gives to the spirits their entrance and exit; it purges and cleans the Corpora of their blackness, leaving the spirits mingles with the bodies, while itself going away.
Sal Ammonicum, or the Philosophers’ Sun
Ammoniac is the sun of the philosophers, which shines through all things and is the noblest Secret of the hand, for by it I will teach you how to make the whole secret of the Tinctures, and in this way you can, if you wish, extract all other tinctures and use them for the great philosophers’ stone. For the Lapis Minor you extract the things from the minerals, for the Lapis Majori from the herbs and Species that are not human; for like makes its like, a horse begets a horse, etc. Therefore, prepare like to its like; otherwise you follow wrong ways in this Art.
First I will teach you how to extract the tincture from gold, and how to make spirit and oil. Change the gold to a subtle calx through calcinations. Then take a broad glass slab or a glass vessel. Put the calx into it and pour on it good distilled wine vinegar. Into a Nossel, put 3j of the middle finger’s Sun, and pour it on the gold calx in the vessel, reaching two fingers’ breadth above it. Set it into the Balneum or in a hot reflection of the sun. Then there will arise a small yellow skin on top, as if it were oil. Remove this with a silver gilt spoon, or with a feather. Do this several times a day, till nothing else arises to the top. Put what you have skimmed off into the Balneum and let the humidity evaporate. Then an oil will remain, or the QE, which is so wonderful, it is beyond your belief.
One can do just as well with pure, old urine, as with vinegar. Then there still remains earth in that which stays in the vessel and out of which you have drawn the QE. Put that also into the Balneum. Let the vinegar, or old urine, evaporate, and the earth of the Sun will stay behind. And when the earth has been prepared, bring it back to its QE as it should be. Now you have an elixir and a glorified Corpus and an earthly treasure far greater than can be believed. For that, thank God Almighty.
Preparation of Alum, or, Water of the Lantern
Take a new earthenware pot with a fitting cover. In it, pulverize as much Alum de Roche to half fill the pot. Lute it well so that no air can escape. Put it over a small fire and listen to the pot. When it is no longer boiling, decrease your fire, and finally, let the pot sit in the glow for about one hour, or thereabouts, after this, remove the pot and you can allow it to then cool off. The alum has been calcined enough to make water from it. Dissolve this calx in distilled vinegar that has been well rectified. Then remove it from the ashes and congeal it in a glass. Now put it over a blue stone and congeal it in a glass. Now put it over a blue stone so as to dissolve it, and keep the water, for by it one can dissolve mercury into clear water. This is the right alum water with which to imbibe all Corpora that one wishes to make Alba or white. Likewise, put some of this water into an iron spoon or pan, pour mercury into it, let it boil till it gets clear. Then pour it into a small vessel and set it in the sun. It will congeal and become so hard that it cannot be broken with the fingers.
Additional Manual Work with Alum, or the Lantern of the Philosophers
Take 10 lb of alum, and purify it by dissolving it. Then take 2 lb of white vitriol, 3 lb of tartar, and 3 lb of Sal Alcali, and these must be purified; also 2 lb of Sal Vitri, 12 lb of Sal Gemmae, taken from the apothecary; further, 4 lb of the Key and egg calx 4 lb. All these have to be purified.
Now take the white of 100 hardboiled and pulverized eggs, put into distilled vinegar in addition to 1 lb of *, also tartar, Alcali, of each 1 lb; common salt, 4 lb. Put everything into a jar, luted, and set into the Balneum, or in horse manure, for 6 weeks. Let it dissolve into water; then remove it and distill. First, the * will come, then the acetum; and the blessed white water that stays in the retort, preserve it till you need more of it, because it is also good for other works.
Now take the vinegar, the *, and the egg water, and imbibe with that your powder. Dry it in Alembicum, so that it may stay pure. Do this till all the water has been imbibed into the powder. Set the water to calcine in Tripode for 14 days or longer, and regulate your fire in such a way that you can just keep your hand in it through the hole.
After this, take it out. Take 2 lb of *, and sublimate it through this powder till it is fixed. Then dissolve the powder 7 times in distilled vinegar, and again congeal it in the Alembic, so that it may stay pure. After it has been dissolved as often and has finally been congealed, put it in the Balneum to dissolve, or in a cellar, or in horse manure. Then the Lantern is prepared, and you have an earthly treasure, the whitest water one can see with one’s eyes, and it transforms all things into the White, no matter what one cooks in it, be it metal or rock. With it one can make mercury fixed in many different ways, and you, nevertheless, keep almost all of your lantern, and almost your previous weight. Anything you wish to get pure and white, such as pearls, put them into this water and you will see wonders. It transforms all metals into mercury, if they are cooked in it in Balneo. I must not write more.
Now take the water of the hand and 1 lb of the impalpable powder of the Key. Sublimate them, well mixed together beforehand, 7, 8, or 10 times, each time with fresh key. After this, pulverize it impalpably on a glass slab with 1 lb of the middle Finger, 2 lb of the Fire, 2 lb of salt. Sublimate 7 times, each time with fresh salt; finally pound it and set it in Tripode to calcine for 30 days, heating gently the first 8 days, then gradually stronger. The last 8 days, let it become so hot that you would hardly hold your hand in Tripode for one Ave Maria. Then take it out, powder it on a stone, then dissolve it into water in Balneo. Occasionally, it does not easily dissolve. That is due to the fact that it has not been sufficiently cooked during calcinations, since one has to stir it once every day, what is at the bottom has to be turned uppermost; and if something has been sublimated up, put it down again and continue calcining. When it is dissolved, preserve it at once in a glass, well stoppered with something.
Now take gold. Purify it by dissolving and cementing, as you know how to do. Then dissolve the water of the hand and keep it well stoppered in a glass. When you have all three of these waters, you have an earthly treasure. If you wish to conjoin them, take a glass Recipient, big according to the quantity of your waters, narrow above and wide below. Into this, put your three waters, seal as you know how to do; set it in Balneo, and let it rise and descend till you see no more spirits rise except a watery dew. Now take it out, powder it impalpably, put it into a round glass with a long neck, put it sideways on ashes, in a stove. Then you will see an evident miracle, that is, all the colors God has created in the world, before the perfect White comes; and then the redness from an increase in the fire. At first, one has to heat mildly, and gradually stronger. But when the white color appears, you must increase your fire somewhat till the glass becomes glowing. Should something rise, turn the glass over, and continue with the fire till you see the perfect redness which surpasses all the redness in the world. Thank God!
I have done it, but I never reached the end of the Perfection. But with it, you can well make Projection into all metals, because you have the QE of the Sulfur of the philosophers, and you have subtilized, dissolved, and spiritualized the Gold. Then its color is increased a thousand times. Also, Mercury has in himself the red color or Tincture in such an abundance, that it cannot be described. Therefore you must yourself experiment as to what wonderful Projection it makes. I am telling you in true charity that I and my journeymen never reached the goal of projection. That is why you must throw it on tin and no other metal. You may also dissolve your Medicine into a Massa, and carry it about with you, so that you can take the powder out of the glass, stir it into wax; and you can throw it upon whatever you wish, and close your mouth, by the damnation of your soul. Amen.
Preparation of Common Salt, or the Key
Take sea-salt, pulverize it in a mortar, dissolve it in distilled vinegar made from white wine, filter and congeal it until a small skin forms on top. Remove this and keep it, because it is the Spiritus of the key. Dissolve and congeal it again until the skins form on top. Remove this again and the Spiritus is thus separated from the Corpus.
To 10 lb of this Spiritus add 1 lb of * ; dissolve in distilled rain water, and coagulate it again, per Alembicum, with a recipient, until it is coagulated. Then take it out and pound it on a stone. Put your powder into a glass; dissolve and coagulate it again till it is fixed and no longer rises. With this Spiritus one does wonders and miraculous things in metals, especially with Mercury, tin and lead. But this Spiritus must first be prepared, as I will yet teach.
Additional Manual Work with the Salt or Key of the Hand
Here I wish to disclose to you all the secrets of the salt. It is the greatest secret of all Arts of Alchymie, in which occur most of the errors made by people who are engaged in the Art, since most of the Secreta concern salts. Therefore, understand well what I am going to teach, for as you separate the Spiritus from the body of the common salt, thus is also separated the Spiritus from the Corpora of all other things. Yet they are not all prepared in the same way but each according to its work, and according to how they are needed and how one wishes to work with them. There are many kinds of preparation of the Salts, for in the power of the salts and their Preparation lies the whole Art of Alchymie. One cannot work with any salt unless the Spiritus has first been separated from the Corpus. After this, the Spiritus must be prepared according to the work in which it is needed. In addition, the Corpus must also be prepared in other works, because the Spiritus and the Corpus each have its particular power and cause contrary effects, as they are in fact Contrair, and, when they are separated, effect contrary Operationes, each in its own area. But those who try to operate with non-separated salts will work in vain, in spite of all their labors. They cheat themselves and all those who believe them. Neither will they achieve any kind of Perfection, for the whole Art consists in the separation of the salt and the preparation of Sulphur. There are many kinds of preparation, the same with Sulphur, according to what works are being done. The simpletons, who read in our books about Sulphur, believe that we are speaking of the sulphur which is dug up out of the earth; but we all have another Sulphur in mind.
There do not exist so many kinds of salt that there should not be as many kinds of Sulphurs and their preparation. The Sulphur must be made artificially, just as * is made artificially. Now we will again return to our matter. First I taught you how to separate the Spiritus from the Corpus. Now I shall instruct you how to prepare the Spiritus, and to make it fixed, and also what you should do with it.
After you have removed the little skin, which is the Spiritus of the salt, and you have gathered as many of them as possible, dissolve them again in distilled rain water, the same in which you had dissolved your salt, Then congeal it again in a glass, or a glass vessel, over a gentle fire. Pulverize it in a stone mortar; add powdered *, mix them well. Put it into a glass with a long neck, lute well, put it to dissolve in horse manure or in the balneum. The glass must be well closed above, or put a helm on with a recipient, everything well luted. Should any moisture come over, it will coagulate more easily if there is also an Alembicum attached to it than if it were only badly stoppered. This solution and coagulation in Balneo must be repeated 10 or 12 times, or more, till it is fixed. Each time it has to be coagulated over gentle heat. When it is fixed, the salt is clear and transparent, like crystal and hard. If it is put on fire or on a glowing Lamel, it does not smoke or melt away, and penetrate like lard through leather; and that is its proof that it is fixed. Now the Spiritus Salis is prepared, and it has also made the * fixed together with itself; and they married and will never again be separated, but stay together and effect wonderful things together.
Put 1 lb of this salt into a Crucible and 4 lb of mercury purified with vinegar. Add also the salt below, but most of it above; set for 6 hours in the fire, and it will coagulate into true silver; your salt will neither be decreased nor worsened. It does not burn, neither does it fly away. Now put your silver upon the Cupel, as above.
If now you wish to bring tin to perfection, purify it first of its blackness. Use Amalgamation or calcination, and purify each time with vinegar and salt, till there is no more blackness in it. After that, drive the mercury from it, per Descendum, into another vessel. Now take the powder Jovis and Sal Fixum, put them into a crucible, as before, and let them drive for 6 hours; or pour the salt into it beforehand and let it drive. Afterwards add the powder Jovis, or both together. It is the same; I tried both. When it cools down, you find Jovem amid the salt. He is noble and a King. Sweeten the salt thereof and preserve it, because it is just as good.
Now finish your tin on the test furnace or cupel with lead and drive it off, and you will find good silver in all tests. Aside from this, know that the Corpus of the common slat of which the Spiritus has been separated, is fixed in itself. It is prepared in the following way with Sal Alcali, Oleo Tartari, Alumen de Roche and Marcasita, that is:
Of this salt, take 4 lb; of Sal Alcali, Alum de Roche ana, 1 lb; Marcasita, 1 lb. Pulverize them fine, then pound them together on a stone with Oleum Tartari, and make of them a thick paste. Put it into a glass vessel or a Syburg jar; lute it tightly and put it under the cookstove, where you keep a fire going every day. Let it dry; when it is dry, remove it and pound it once more on a stone with Oleum Tartari. Put it back into the jar, close it tightly, and put it again in the fireplace to dry, as before. Repeat this till the powder has imbibed the Oleum Tartari and you have a dry Massa. Powder this massa to a fine dust in a mortar, put it into a Syburg jar, lute it tightly all around, 3 or 4 thumbs breadth. Put it 3 or 4 times into a potter’s stove; break the jar open, and you will find it white.
Take it out and turn it into a fine powder in a mortar; let it dissolve in the cellar on a marble slate with a glass beneath it into which it can drip. Wit this water, one can do many wonderful things in the Art. Wit it one can dissolve mercury into a beautiful transparent water; when mercury is dissolved with it or in it, one can dissolve all 7 metals
Into pure water with it or in it. And this is the right preparation of the common slat, and it is the Key on the little finger, because the little finger is the Key to the Hand.
How to Turn All Metals into Water
Now we will teach you how to turn all metals into water, since all of them must previously have been water before they can be brought to Perfection. Purify the Mercury of its blackness, and purify it well without vinegar. Afterwards, dissolve it again in the aforementioned water, and you can dissolve in it any metal you wish. When it is dissolved, take sweet, fresh cheese curds. Boil them and skim the thick Materi off; let it settle. Separate from it what stays pure. Pour some of it into that which you have dissolved, and it will Precipitate into a Massa. Separate the water from the Massa. After this you must cleanse it of its blackness with salt and vinegar, and continue to work according to what purpose you wish to have the metals, to the Red or to the White, as different works indicate. But all metals must be water and purified of their blackness if one is to bring them to Perfection, or the great Elixir must do it: It has the power and nothing else.
Now I will teach you how to add the Spiritus to the Corpus that you have prepared, that is, in what way you must Conjoin them. When now the Spiritus and the Corpus come together and are united after their preparation, one can do wonderful things with them, since they have then a hundred times more power than they had previously; for after the Conjunctio of the soul and the body there exists a Glorified Corpus and a great Elixir. With it one performs great miracles.
First one cleanse Mercury of its blackness. After this, one must also dissolve in this water, Luna, which comes dry from the test furnace. Now take Marcasita Lunae; turn it into an impalpable powder and pound it well with salt and vinegar, washing it till no more blackness comes off. Now dry the powder at the sun, and afterwards grind it with good Aqua Vitae. Take * water. Then draw the water off per Alembicum, and immediately dissolve the powder again in the same water. Now take the water in which these three dissolved, and as much fixed Spiritus as the weight of the water in which the metals have been dissolved. Imbibe these spirits into this water, pound them, dry them, and imbibe them again; coagulate them again in the air, for it is the cold air that must coagulate them and the hot air must dissolve them.
Listen well to these discourses, how they are meant; it would take too long to elaborate further. Neither is it necessary for this work. When all this water has been imbibed, you have a precious Stone with great power to act upon Mercury and Mars. It can also be prepared for the Red, but that is not necessary; for when they prepare the aforementioned finger, they are making a great elixir. Should one work it to the Red, it would increase in power a thousandfold through the preparation. And this is one of the secret signs, and it is the little finger of the hand, which is the key of the Hand.
The Nature and Power of Mercury, the Fish of the Hand, and Sulfur the Fire
This is man and woman, this is sister and brother, this is earth and seed, this is origin and beginning of all metals; and without these two no work can be accomplished, for without seed no fruit can be born, and without seed no fruit can be born, and without soil no seed can grow. Accordingly, there has to be man and woman, water and earth, fire and seed, if any fruit is to be obtained. Thus these two are the origin of all metals, and without them no work can be brought to Completion.
Now I will further instruct my child and describe the nature of Mercury and his infirmities, and in what way he is to be made healthy. Therefore, understand well what I say, for by means of this work I will teach you all other Opera, for all metals.
Mercury is a spirit and also a Corpus, but the spirit is evident and the Corpus hidden and intangible. This is due to the Spiritus with which the body is covered, for the spirit is more powerful than the body. That is why the Spiritus takes the Corpus along when it gets into the fire. Mercury is cold and humid, cold in the manifested and cold in his humidity; but in his innermost and in his hidden nature he is red, which is hot and dry. That is why the old masters called him an egg, because an egg is white, cold and humid outside, and within it is hot and dry; and when an egg is put in the fire, it will evaporate and burst. That is due to its humidity and cold. This is the reason why they call him the philosophers’ egg, which people do not understand. Because of the coldness that he has in himself, he avoids fire; for two unlike things of a contrary nature cannot stand each other; one or the other must go. Because his Spiritus is stronger than his Corpus, the Spiritus leads the Corpus away from the fire. Now I immediately also show the virtues of Mercury.
Mercury is a slimy water in the earth, a subtle substance, an earth spirit. He is the same subtlety which the earth has in itself. That is why it is called Arsenicum of the earth. Therefore it has the power to produce fruit without the help of the earth; that is, he can perform works without any other thing, because the spirit of the earth and the spirit of a thing have the power to do a great deal without the help of the Corpus. But the Corpus has no power to do anything without the help of the spirit. By this understand well what I have in mind concerning mercury, though Mercury may well be changed into gold or silver without the help of the metals. That is why the old folks called him the Serpent that begets itself and gives birth without the help of some metals. Yet people do not understand this saying about the snake, because they do not know Mercury.
I have said that Mercury is a slimy water, of a white color, soft, natural, joined from within hot dryness and from without with cold humidity, more than with inner hot dryness; that is why he does not like the fire!
Mercury is the Ferment, the yeast, or the sourdough, for yeast causes the bread or beverage to rise and to go over, and it gives them their taste. Therefore mercury must be in all works like yeast, for without Mercury no work can be accomplished. Mercury is the beginning, the middle, and the end. He is the Copulator, the priest who brings all things together and marries them; because no fruit can come from like things; but unlike things, of two unlike natures, must be united. It is, however, not easy to unite unlike things. Thus, Mercury must gather all unlike things and marry them, if they are to bring forth fruit; for Mercury is in them as the universal Spirit, for he is the humidity of all things, also of the earth; just as blood is the Spiritus, humidity and life of men, Mercury is the life of the earth.
Therefore, all things that have got their nature from the earth are subject to him; also all that which the earth brings forth or has brought forth. That is why it is said that mercury is the Spiritus of all things. Because of this the old philosophers say that in Mercury there are four kinds of saline juices, for all salts are made of four things, each contrary to the other. That is why all salts are poisonous, but one more so than another.
The old masters called Mercury ‘Virgin’s Milk’, because Mercury is nourishment, food, and the dwelling place of all metals, since he enters and passes through all metals, just as mother’s milk passes through all members of the child and nourishes them. Mercury is the Nutriment and mother of all metals; Mercury makes all hot Corpora cold, and all dry bodies moist; he also makes all hot Corpora cold, and all dry bodies moist; he also makes all cold bodies hot, and all humid Corpora dry. However, Mercury has to be transmuted into another degree, according to what the work is, that one wishes to accomplish with him. For Mercury has a wonderful nature. Wherever he is added or used, he is the best or the worst, depending on how the company is.
Thus one may use Mercury for whatever work one wishes to perform. If he is congealed, he continues to congeal; if he is dissolved, he dissolves further; if he is fixed, he fixes further; if he is multiplied, he likewise continues to multiply; if he is made poisonous, he poisons everything.
Thus have I taught and shown you what derives from mercury and what he is. I have informed you of part of his infirmities as well as of part of his wonderful nature. Now I will teach you part of his virtue and power and of the works he can do, from degree to degree, to his utmost, according to the understanding which Almighty God has granted to me through his bottomless charity. Although one could not write all his degrees and powers in a book as big as the Bible, I will now here teach my knowledge obtained through the charity of Gold Almighty, and what I know, have learned and experienced in this matter.
First, what he can do when he comes raw from the mines. Subsequently, what he can accomplish when he is a great Sublimate; and then, what his capability is when he is congealed and dissolved, and, in addition, how to understand this. Finally, I shall make you acquainted with his sister and brother; and also how to make the Sulfur, by which Mercury must be brought into a state of health.
First I will say what mercury can do inside and outside the earth, when he is still raw. I said that Mercury is the Spiritus of the earth; likewise he is the Sperma of the earth, and the seed of all metals. Of this seed, when planted in the earth, that is the Sulfur --- be it pure or impure, red or white --- one of the seven metals is generated.
Consequently, Mercury is the beginning and the foundation of all seven metals. His intention is always to generate gold or silver, but he is impeded by the lazy and impure earth or Sulfur, so that he cannot achieve his purpose, while it is also true that the stench of the earth hinders him often to do so. For as a child in the womb is made impure by the Materi which it attracts --- as the child may get a disease on account of the uncleanliness and Corruption of the place where it lies, which causes it to get such a disease; irrespective of the fact that the Sperma and seed were pure and clean, the child is nevertheless afflicted with an uncleanliness; it is due to the lazy mother and the Corruption befalling it --- so it is with the metals which are likewise corrupted by the impure Sulphur.
After this, I will say and teach whether God has created all things of one or of two natures, and how, and what. God has put together and united all things of four contrary elements. He has put them together with their opposites; but these natures are perfectly united in all things, regardless if they are perfect or imperfect. Thus we find that either the manifest part in a thing is perfect, or the concealed part. But while they are cold it is the contrary. That is why it is easy to change the Corpora into their prime root in a short time, so that the concealed part can be made manifest, and the manifest pert in nature can be hidden in the metals. For what iron lacks in its manifest form, is replaced by something in its hidden form during its transformation into gold or silver. Its hidden part is mercury, which replaces iron during its transformation.
If, therefore, iron is changed into Mercury, its hidden part will become hot and dry, and its visible part, cold and moist. Bring its hidden part into manifestation, therefore, and make its visible part hidden. Then its hidden part will be cold and dry, and its manifest part, hot and moist; now it is perfect and will last in all eternity.
There were some who said that it was the hidden Saturn and Jupiter; others said Luna; and in this they spoke the truth. I am saying all this to show how all Corpora must be transformed; for in all bodies two manifest natures must be hidden, and two hidden natures must be made manifest. What is manifest, is imperfect and full of sickness; and what is hidden in the metals is fixed, good, and perfect by nature. That is why you must make its hidden part manifest, and its manifest hidden. Then you have a pure, perfect, and fixed Corpus, lasting in all eternity. It is a great secret to have the understanding of this, and to know the Secreta as also the infirmities of the metals, and in what way the metals came by them; apart from this, (it is also a great secret) to well know their natures, within and without, hot and dry, cold and humid, over and again back. It is the fire that I have in mind.
You can make them healthy again with natural medicine and with Sulfur, which I will teach you later how to make from green herbs, oils, gums, and water. Concerning this, you must well understand my view, since in this chapter you are being acquainted with all the infirmities of the metals, and you will be taught to recognize all herbs, to prepare all Sulphura, and to know all medicines. You will learn what they require in their bodies, so that you will learn how to make manifest one of the hidden elements, and how to make its contrary hidden. Understand well that I indicate all this, so that you should know nature. For lead is cold and dry, its manifest nature is quite soft, and its hidden part is hot and humid.
In all things that God the Lord has created, the hidden part is always contrary to the manifest part, in softness as well as in hardness; for the soft is the Contrarium of the hard, that is, when its nature is reversed, its hidden part becomes manifest, and its manifest becomes concealed; that is, the soft has to become hard, and the hard, soft. This is meant for the Corpora lead, tin and iron. They are also composed of four natures, since the manifest of lead is cold, humid, and soft, while its hidden part is hot, dry, and hard. Likewise with iron. When they made him like lead, they called him lead; but its hidden part is iron, and the former is manifest. And when you reverse the hidden Saturn and make it manifest, it is Mars. Such is easy to do with Sulfur, and then it is Luna, lasting in all eternity.
The body of iron is composed of four natures whose exterior is hot, dry and hard, while the hidden part in its nature is cold, humid, and soft, like lead in its root. In no Corpus is there as great a hardness as in the manifest Mars, and in its hidden part there is an equally great softness. One becomes easily aware of its softness when it is prepared and reversed. After this operation it is Mercury.
The hidden part of Mercury is Mars; its manifest part is a cold dry water called Mercury. That is why his manifest part must be hidden and his hidden part made manifest. Thus he can be converted into fine gold; or, if you wish, increase his color, and his coldness will appear and become silver; or increase his heat and humidity, and it will become gold. Understand well what I say, what I intend to convey. Reflect on what I have taught you and how I have compared Mercury to an egg, which is white outside and red inside. Thus is Mercury in the center of his nature. Therefore, understand these teachings well. Enough of this.
Sol is hot and humid in its manifest part; dry, melancholy and like lead in its hidden part. Therefore, reverse all Corpora into this nature, for this nature is temperate. If you wish to cook Mercury till he becomes silver, and till he becomes gold, prepare your yellow-colored Sulphura that can tinct, and decrease his humidity till he becomes hot and dry. Then his humidity will be saturated and decreased, which means, to reverse his hidden part and root, which is gold, and his color, which is solar, into Sol. Take my discourses to heart, listen and pay careful attention to them.
Venus is hot and dry, and is a brother of Mars, for his root is hot and humid like gold, and he is different from him in dryness of his Minera, which has become impure. Take of him his dryness, and prepare it with contrary Sulphura that are good and healthy for him. Then he will again get back into his nature and will turn into gold. Understand my discourses well, and pay careful attention to what I intend to teach you. It is of great importance and secrecy what I am telling you; it is also a great secret and deep wisdom. Therefore do take my discourses carefully to heart.
Mercury is cold and humid in his manifest part, driving and soft as water; and in his hidden part he is he hot, dry, and hard without any doubt; for his manifest part is Mercury, and his hidden part Mars and the contrary. Now then, if we wish to reverse mercury into his first water, the way to do it is first to turn him into silver through Sulphur which helps him, that is, his brother and is sister. Understand my discourses: You must hide his humidity and reveal his dryness through Sulphur. Then it will become good silver. Such is the first way.
Understand my teachings well, and if you wish to perfect the work, reverse silver so slowly till its manifest part becomes hidden and its hidden part, on the contrary, manifest. Understand well, these are two ways, active and passive. Then its hidden part will be hot and humid, that is gold; and its manifest part, cold and dry, that is Saturnus. Do take care to understand my teachings well. I am addressing you in bad German, without veiled word. Know that silver is the root of gold. Therefore, if you wish to change it into gold, conceal its coldness. Then its heat will manifest. After this, cover up the dryness, and its humidity will manifest; and it will be good gold, everlasting.
Thus I have informed you of and made known to you the nature of metals and their infirmities; and how one is to reverse those and prepare them with each metal’s Sulphur; that is, according to what is the infirmity of a metal, prepare your Sulphur, as I will teach you.
Item, when Mercury comes out of the mines, it is living water, with which we must wash all our Sulphura, metals, and Corpora; and make all our Corpora humid. This means that all their Corpora must be amalgamated and dissolved with mercury, and Mercury must turn all hard Corpora into water or softness. Then one can pound and wash all metals with sea salt or distilled vinegar. This is to be done in a marble or stone mortar, and it has to be made so clean that no muddiness is left. When the Corpora are quite clean, drive the Mercury off per Distillationem. Now you can prepare the powder with the Sulphur, which I will hereafter teach you how to prepare.
Now I will further teach you how it is that Mercury becomes so poisonous during sublimation. The reason is that it is his nature to attract to himself all the poison he can get at. If he meets good metals, he wants to be the best; if he meets bad metals, the worst, etc. This is the reason why Mercury attracts to himself all poison when he is sublimated through hot natures; for all hot herbs, salts, and all other things created by God that are hot to the 4th degree, are poisonous. I would like to inform you of the reasons, but this work does not require my doing so. Therefore, if he were to be sublimated through hot salts and hot Species, he would become poisonous; for all salts are poisonous, one more than another; therefore, the more he is sublimated through them, the more poisonous he becomes. One could sublimate so often through Vitriolum Romanum, or Vitriolum Album, or alum, Sal Gemmae, Saltpetre, etc. that he would become so poisonous that, should he be put on a saddle upon which a man were riding, that man would immediately die as soon as his bottom got warm on it. But the salts must previously be dissolved 9 times in distilled wine vinegar, and again congealed. And if Mercury were then sublimated 30 times through it, he has the power to accomplish such feats, and he would stand the test.
It is not necessary, however, to bring Mercury thus to Perfection, since it is dangerous to do it on account of the poison, for if the pot got cracked, it would be dangerous for those who do not know him; since one must heat so strongly that the salts come in flux before Mercury will evaporate from them. Afterwards he does not completely rise but stays below in the vessel to cook with the salts. Yet to do this one has to sublimate him 40 times. I have done it myself with my own hands, and afterwards drove off 20 lb in a test, and I did not lose one pound of it.
I do not, however, advise you to do this because of the worries one has with it, since the last times one has to give such strong heat as I indicated. Also, there are many ways that are easier to bring Mercury to Perfection with Sulphur; I only wish to show you his powers, for when he is thus sublimated, one can perform miraculous things with him. It would be a pity if some people knew about it and understood it, as they would then perform miracles with him. That is why I cannot write to you about all his powers which I know and which I have tried, but I will relate part of what he can do when he is sublimated.
It is known that in the Art of Alchymia there is much fraud, and many imitations of gold and silver are made which are supposed to stand three or four tests; and yet they are finally false. If you should have any doubts concerning this, take some powder of the sublimated Mercury; put some of the gold or silver about which you have your doubts into a crucible, and melt it; throw your powder on it, and it will immediately reveal its nature; if it is false, it will get back to its first nature as soon as it melts. But if it is good, it will stay good. Throw the same powder on a stone; if it is false, it will immediately break into a hundred pieces, like salt.
Dissolve tin and silver together ana; put it in a test with Saturnus and throw this powder on it. It will drive as if there were no tin in it, and it will be of great benefit, as I have tested myself. If you have silver that is not malleable, throw this powder on it, and it will become malleable like fine silver; throw it on iron or steel, and it will become malleable and soft like lead; and one can test all things with it.
Now then, all Sublimationes Mercurii are beneficial to his recovering his health, provided he is sublimated through hot, dry things. Likewise, all Congelationes are good for him, because all things that congeal mercury, be it green herbs or salts, or tin, or lead, or gums, or smoke, or sulphur, etc., are absolutely curative or healthy for him, and one should congeal him so long that he can stand in the fire.
There may well be more direct ways with sulphur; but when Mercury is congealed, he has powers and effects which he does not have when he is sublimated. It is not necessary, however, to relate them in connection with this work. When Mercury is dissolved, he does other wonderful works, and one does with him what one wishes; for when he is dissolved, he dissolves the seven metals. And, what is more, he dissolves all things grown out of the earth and everything the earth has given birth to, not everything in the same period of time but one in more time than another. Yet in time mercury dissolves all things, also with the help of other Species that are added to him.
Thus Mercury is the Lord and Spiritus of all things, for he shuns nobody and nothing in the world created by God Almighty, except fire. But with the help of the precious Sulphura, which the sages have invented and made by the Grace of God, and after they have well considered all powers and degrees of Mercury, as well as his infirmities and the causes thereof, and what he is, the masters have prepared a medicine for him; that is, a precious Sulphur made of many hot herbs and other Species which they used for it; and they have cooked and fried him so long that he could get into the fire and stand it. I will teach you yet how to make it.
Take small pearls, dissolve them with mercury --- all of them have to turn into water. Now pour on them fresh cheese curds, as I have taught you in the Key. The Materi of the pearls will precipitate to the bottom. Wash it clean till all the Aqua Fort is off, and you have a viscous oil. Of that you can make pearls as big or small as you wish.
Have the form made of silver, gilt inside. Put it into the blood of a buck, mixed with nightshade water, in which they will become as hard as they were before; and they will get such a pure luster that is more marvelous than that of all other pearls; for during the solution they become so clean of all spots, so purely oriental, that no uncleanliness whatsoever stays in them. The same happens to all other precious stones dissolved in this oil.
Item, in the second instance you may take crystal and dissolve it. Then take the tincture which I have taught you to prepare from Vitriol Romanum, in the foremost finger of the hand, upon which stands the star. Dissolve it in water together with the crystal, and conjoin them in the same way as you did with the pearls. Form them big or small according to your wishes, make them hard like pearls, polish them with Oil of Birchwood made per Descensum. With that oil all man-made stones have to be polished, and whenever they are polished, the oil has to be spread on lead. After being polished, the stone is like a beautiful, precious ruby, looking as if it were worth 100 crowns. Nobody can distinguish it from a ruby, unless it were subjected to the highest test; but there are not many people who know how to do that, yes, hardly one in a region.
Thus you can counterfeit all kinds of stones from crystal and give them the coloring you wish the stone to have, but the tinctures and colors must be dissolved with the crystal in the manner I have taught you concerning the ruby. All kinds of glass can be dissolved in this way, like crystal, red, blue, yellow, green; glass of all sorts. I have seen wonders made of it, wonderful things made of glass and crystal, which great Lords possessed and considered more highly than fine gold. They were formed with foreign animals and wonderful. They were considered precious stones and were set on feet; also on exquisite bowls, on treasure chests; and nobody knew what they were, except those who know how to make the supreme test of everything.
One can also take little pieces of rubies, or sand, or other stones, (no matter which), dissolve them in the aforementioned manner, form and harden them as said above. They will become as hard as before, but much purer and more beautiful. for nothing impure remains in them. And in this there is no fraud, because they can stand the highest test; and one does indeed find enough little pieces of precious stone, and therefore it is not necessary to accept or make imperfect tones.
But this is enough now of rocks. One does indeed make many wonderful things from Mercury after it is dissolved, so that it would be a pity if many a man knew about it.
Item, all metals that one wishes to bring to Perfection must be dissolved in Mercury, otherwise it is sheer fraud. Then they must be cooked with Sulphur; but you have to prepare the Sulphur according to whether the metals are healthy. Understand me well! I will teach you the Sulphur with which you must make Mercury healthy, and in connection with this Sulphur I will teach you how to prepare all other Sulphura.
Mercury is cold and humid in his outward nature, and in his innermost he is hot and dry. Reverse him, therefore, and he will become healthy. Consequently, one should remove from him his cold humidity. This must be done with hot herbs or oils of which you must make the Sulphur.
Take Alum de Roche, calcine it as is customary. Now take the peels of bitter oranges. Put them into a glass vessel, pour good distilled wine vinegar upon them, boil them till all the vinegar is boiled away and the powder is quite dry. Add this powder to the said powder of alum, together with three oak apples that are pointed; pulverize them. Then take sloe herb, pound it quite fine, and force it through a cloth with good distilled vinegar; pound it again till all of it all of it has gone through the cloth together with the vinegar. Now dry it in a bowl and let it dry in the sun. You will now have a fine powder which you should add to the other.
Now take cinquefoil and treat it like you did the celidonia. Add it to the other powder, and the more hot herbs you gather, the better you can get Mercury to die. Now take all these powders pounded finely together; put them on a grinding stone, imbibe them with pig’s gall --- that’s the best --- let it dry till you can pulverize it again.
Add to this dried human blood, the blood of roosters or hens; imbibe them together with animal gall as before, and let them dry together on a glass slab. Do this 8 or 9 times, the more the better; and finally let it become quite hard and dry, so that it can be turned into a fine powder.
Add to this dried human blood, the blood of roosters or hens; imbibe them together with animal gall as before, and let them dry together on a glass slab. Do this 8 or 9 times, the more the better; and finally let it become quite hard and dry, so that it can be turned into a fine powder.
Now take Roman, red-calcined vitriol, and as much cinnabar as the vitriol weighs. Pulverize them quite finely together, put them into a glass, pour good Aqua Vitae thereon; then distill the Aqua Vitae off per Alembicum. Repeat the drawing off and pouring 3 or 4 times.
After this, take the poured off Aqua Vitae of these two matters. Imbibe the powder therein on a grinding stone to the consistency of a pulp. Let it dry again on the glass as above. Do this 12 or 16 times, the more the better. The last time, let it dry hard, so that you can powder it in a mortar and pound it on a stone.
Now take Mercurius Sublimatus, or calcinated Mercury, 1 lb; of the prepared, pulverized Sulphur, 1/2 lb. Mix them together and put them into a Syburg jar, well stoppered. Put them where you heat every day, and let them get heated as much as you can, because Mercury will not fly away while he is lying with his brother and sister, arm in arm, mouth to mouth; and they will surely keep him there, so that he can stand the fire; for his brother is hot and his sister is dry. And they are the hot, dry Species of which the Sulphur is made. This is the Sulphur of the philosophers. This is the same of which the philosophers write, but the ignorant imagine that they mean Sulphur. This Sulphur I have often made.
Item, one can also make Sulphur of hot, dry oils; or hot, dry gums, or hot, dry seeds of herbs, but you must always add calcined alum. Sometimes you must add hot and humid, sometimes cold and dry; occasionally cold and humid; at times dry; sometimes hot, sometimes cold, sometimes humid, according to the infirmities of the metals that you wish to reverse outside, inside. Sometimes only one nature must be reversed in a metal; in another instance, two. That is why the Sulphur must often be made in different ways, because there are many kinds of infirmities in the metals. You can also transmute the metals into another nature and you can do this with Sulphur.
One can also change gold into silver with Sulphur made for that purpose. Nevertheless, that is contrary to nature, since nature is always aiming at the best. Nevertheless, it is possible to do it, that is, to transfer one thing into another nature by means of the Sulphur made through the Art. Therefore, whoever can transmute gold into the nature of silver, can also translate Luna and all other metals into Sol; for it is much better to do that than to change gold into silver, because nature always desires what is better. This is also the reason why one must prepare the Sulphur according to the works which one wishes to do with the metals or to Effect upon them. But whatever Sulphur you wish to make, be it hot or cold, dry or moist, you must always have calcined alum. It must be in the heat, coldness, dryness, and humidity of the Sulphura, for alum is the Lantern in the seven metals.
Let us now deal further with Mercury, who lies shut in the stove with the Sulphura. You must give fire day and night, that is to say, on the jar; and keep it always hot. Every 14 days you must go over to it, take out two or four ounces, put it with lead on the cupel and let it drive. And lo! If it drives on the test, you can take it out, pour clean water into a bowl, and pour Mercury with the Sulphur into it and stir well. Now mercury will settle down at the bottom, then you must pour off the water with the Sulphur above, into another bowl, 5 or 6 times, till the water runs off pure and becomes sweet. When all the Sulphur has been washed off it, dry Mercury over the fire, and drive it off on the test, as on silver, and you will find fine silver in all trials. Let the water containing your Sulphur evaporate on fire, and you have your Sulphur back; but it has been somewhat decreased because of the washing.
This is the first secret sign of the seven secrets. It is called the Fish, which is compared to mercury, and it is the most secret sign among all seven secrets, and it is the beginning, middle, and all perfect works, as I taught you before. I am therefore asking you not to let this get into the hands of the ignorant and sinners.
Sublimatio Mercurii, When One Wants to Dissolve It
If you wish to sublimate Mercury in order to dissolve it, let salt melt in hot water, and let the water stand over it for three hours to dissolve it. Now pour the water off and congeal it. Through this, sublimate Mercury as often as you wish, each time with fresh Cement; and do not take what is not dissolved in 3 hors, as it is not good for this work. This salt is good, although you have not much * with it. It will probably dissolve when it is calcined as it should be. When this mercury no longer shines, it is sufficiently sublimated and pure; and the test is when he no longer blackens, although he is putrefied.
Item this test: Put gold on a glass slab, and if everything together dissolves so that no Faeces remain, it may well be putrefied; but it must first be congealed before it is put on the slab and putrefied. If any Faeces remain, put it back into Putrefaction and feed it, and see if it does not require more; and you will feel that when the little pieces stay inside whole and no longer dissolve. Then congeal your Materi, which is now good and ready to work with.
A Water with Which to Congeal Mercurius and Make Him Perfect
Take Vitriolum Romanum, cinnabar, Sulphur and Alum de Roche, white lead, litharge, Magnesia, Marcasita Ana, 1 lb, pound them on a stone to a subtle powder; take 1 lb tin and stir it to ashes, as Minium is made. Pound this powder with salt and Aqua Vitae and dry it again in the sun or over a small fire. Then mix this powder and pound it on a stone while moistening it; dry it again as above.
Now take Sal Commune and Vitriol Ana, powdered and well dried over a fire. Make an AF of them. Pour this AF, on Mercury in a glass; put it in warm sand till Mercury congeals; after this, Abstract the AF per Alembicum, and you will get you AF back and better for the same type of work. Further, take Mercury coagulatum and melt them together; pour about 2 lb other dissolved lead, and let them stand for one hour together over fire in order to dissolve.
Afterwards, have at hand a pot with a long neck and a fitting lid. Into it pour pitch, resin and Sulphur Ana, 1 lb. Let them melt together; then pour the mercury and the lead together into the pot, close it well with the lid so that it does not burn toward the outside; afterwards let it cool down; then drive the Materi off on a test, as one Refines. You will find good silver in all assays, and you will lose little of the weight of mercury, except that which is impure, as I myself have done more than a hundred times.
Another Coagulation of Mercurius
Rx. --- Alumen Roche 1 lb, Vitrioli ij lb, verdigris iiij, hammer scale, tin ashes, Sulphur litharge ana 1 lb, common prepared slat, child’s urine, ana 1 lb, add to it finely chopped pig’s hair. Of this distill an AF, and put it in the Recipient four pig’s galls.
This AF, is to be put on mercury, in a glazed pot, on warm sand or ashes, till Mercury is congealed. Put this congealed Mercury in a glass; put it on half a pound of lead, melt them together; then have at hand 2 lb molten Saturnus in another crucible. Pour that to the lead and mercury, and let them stand molten in the fire. Now take a pot with a long neck, or a Syburg jar, well luted, and a cork that closes its mouth tightly. Put in it pitch, resin and Sulphur, human hair, horn, cow’s claws cut up, pig’s muck ana 1 lb, spikenard oil and linseed oil ana iiij. Melt everything together in that jar, and when it is melted, put it into a crucible. Then pour the molten Saturnus and Mercury in it, and stopper it immediately so that the flame should not come out. Let it stand in the heat for 24 hours. When it is cold, take it out, drive it off on the test, and you will have fine gold in all assays.
The Philosophers’ Pot
This is the pot of the philosophers or sages, of which they speak so discretely in their books and parables, so that nobody can understand it except those who are familiar with and have sworn to the Philosophic hand. That is why I advise all who wish to roast, boil, or cook the Egg of the sages, that they should take care lest the shell bursts or cracks in the fire; for if the Egg were to burst, all the poison described in the pot would get out, and would kill and destroy all persons near it. Nor could they be helped with medicine, for in it there is the most evil poison that can be found in the whole world. That is why I wish to advise all of you who are not familiar with this Art, nor have sworn by it, that you do not dare cook, boil, or roast the Egg, for you fare badly and would get all the troubles contained in this pot.
This is the fruit brought forth by the seed thrown into the earth; this is the fruit of the philosophers; this is the faithful Stone of Alchemia; this is the earthly treasure and earthly God, in whose hands lies the spiritual and temporal laws. He holds the whole world in his hand and gives people to understand that they are likewise to possess all things in this world. Whoever wishes to cook, boil, or fry this egg, let him most diligently examine the Hand of the Philosophers, so as to probe it with his intelligence; thereafter he may cook it.
In these two jars is the distilled Aqua Fort of the philosophers. Into this water one should put the earth and throw the seed, then put it into a glass with a long neck, close it tightly so that no air can escape. Now put it in horse manure for 6 weeks and the seed will grow.
Prepare a water with alum, potash, white calcined tartar, quicklime and cow’s galls, for which no water must be taken but Acetum. Take the same amount of all matters; then put Mercury into a thick bowl with ashes, pour this water on it, and grind Mercury with a pestle around which a woolen cloth is wrapped. Do this for one hour, and pound it with this water without ceasing, but beware of air. Then, pour the water off, and again put fresh water on it, and continue doing this as long as blackness comes off. After this take Mercury out and dry him with a cloth.
Now put your gold and silver into a Cement, purify it and Amalgamate it with Mercury. Put this into a glass, set it on a furnace; give fire for 6 more weeks, somewhat hotter than before. After this, take it out and purify it as before till no ore blackness comes off. Then press it through a chamois-leather, as strongly as you can, because the spirit would be too strong for the body, so that it would never get fixed.
Now put the amalgamate into another glass, seal it, set it in ashes, and give it a gentle fire for 8 days, and more every 8 days, till the glass stands in a glow. Then you will see all colors of the world. Afterwards, a black color will come; now increase your fire a little, and it will turn into a white color; if it is silver, it will stay white; but if it is gold, leave it in the heat till you see a yellow, red, brilliant color. Now break the glass open, make the powder subtle, and make Projection with it.
Rx. --- Cinnabar 1 lb, of the Sun of the hand, half a pound. Mix then together into a powder and sublimate it 7 times through the Key. Make this into an intangible powder, and then calcine it, as you well know how to do, for 21 days and nights, in the furnace of the philosophers. Then take it out of the fire and dissolve it, as you well know how to do. When it is dissolved, distill it till it gets hard; powder it as before. Afterwards dissolve it again, and imbibe your Elixir into it, as you well know how to do.
Take 1 or 2 lbs of tartar, and pure transparent Alcali, ana; then take for each 4 lbs of this matter 2 lbs of the lantern; dissolve them, put them together, and boil them together. Now pour the pure off above; you will thus draw off its phlegma. Then congeal the pure till it gets hard. Now take salt 2 lbs, dissolve it in pure warm water, filter and congeal it again. In addition, take of the long finger 1 lb. It must also have been sublimated through salt. Mix it with the aforesaid Species, put them together to sublimate. You must sublimate * with them till it is fixed. After this, set it to calcine for 21 days, as you know; when it is dissolved, clean it of its Faeces. Then coagulate it and make it fusible. Then work with it.
Tincture from Saturn
Stir lead to ashes and make Minium of it; take 1 lb of it. Take 3 lbs of the Key prepared for sublimating; of the Fish, 1 lb. Mix them to an intangible powder and sublimate them together. Then the Fish will bring up with it the QE or Tincture of Saturn, which is better than gold in all works. You can Separate it in the same way as was taught above in regard to the Star. But now the Fish is no longer of any use, except to throw it away. But now the Fish is no longer of any use, except to throw it away. The QE or Tincture is that which immediately coagulates the Fish to redness and causes it to be easily fixed.
Tincture from Venus
If you wish to extract QE Veneris, calcine it with the Key, with the Star, and with Sulphur, and prepare an Aes Ustum as follows:
Take pure urine of men, or good distilled vinegar, or old, pure, sour beer; put the powder on it and boil it till the Liquor is colored. Then pour it off and add other Liquor. Proceed as before till no more Tincture is extracted. Now put all the tincture together into a retort with an alembic, and distill the humidity off it per Balneum. Then the most beautiful redness will remain, which is better than gold. Sublimate the long Finger 4 or 5 times through it, and dissolve it in the cellar on a marble slab. After this, coagulate it again in Balneo per Alembico. With this you can now coagulate the soul of mercury to the most beautiful redness of gold, and it can also easily be fixed I this way.
The other way is the following: Take 1 lb of the powder, 1 lb of the Key, mix and sublimate them. Proceed with this as has been taught concerning Saturnus, and you will have the QE Veneris better than gold.
Rx. --- Copper 3 lbs, Fish 9 lbs. prepare an Amalgama; dissolve it in water of the hand, set it for 6 weeks into Putrefaction in Balneo. Then distill it in a boiling Balneum per Alembicum; set it in sand, and distill yet more spirits of the Amalgama. When they have gone over, increase your fire and the Fish will sublimate and the QE be contained in it. Take the sublimate out and put the Fish with the Tincture, pounded to an impalpable powder, into the Balneum with good distilled vinegar. Now the QE will rise into the vinegar and the Fish will settle at the bottom.
Pour the colored vinegar off, add other vinegar, and proceed as before till your vinegar is no longer tinged. Now Abstract all the tinged vinegar per Alembicum, and the most beautiful redness will remain, with which no gold can be compared. You can dissolve this tincture in water of the Hand; that is better to the Red. Congeal it again. You may do this so often, till you have achieved such great subtleness that it would well be worth a kingdom. Then you have the QE Veneris, of the Star, of the Fire --- which is Sulphur --- and of the Fish, all together.
Take copper filings, boil them in good distilled wine vinegar. To every pound of vinegar add 1 *. * will sublimate with the copper; a grit will stay at the bottom like a salt. Calcine it without any addition till the matter turns red. Now take it out and pour distilled vinegar over it. Extract the tincture as before, and you have the QE Veneris by itself. With it you can Cement whatever you wish. In addition, it is good to Rubify in other works, etc.
Take iron filings and put them into distilled vinegar. To every pound of vinegar add *. Set it for six weeks in the Balneum or in horse dung. Then take it out, pour the vinegar off, and add other vinegar together with the addition of *, as before. Put it in the Balneum for 6 weeks, and pour all your tinged vinegar together. Distill it all together in all together in the Balneum per Alembicum. A red tincture will stay at the bottom, like blood. Take that out, sublimate it 10 or 12 times with *; then dissolve it in the cellar on a stone; coagulate it again per Alembicum in Balneo; or you may previously dissolve it in water of the Hand, and extract the Aqua Fort in Balneo and from the sand, but then you must not sublimate. You will be left with a redness more beautiful than gold. This is called Crocus Martis. With it you can do wonderful things, so that it is much better than a landscape; since by dissolving it in AF, and again congealing it, you can make it so subtle that it reaches very great power; for with that one can congeal mercury to a beautiful redness; in addition, one can Rubify with it everything that is white.
Tincture of Sulphur
The art of extracting the QE of Sulphur, Auripigment, Calcined Ochra, Atrament, red Arsenicum, etc., is all one procedure, one art, one work, as follows:
If you happen to have some stuff and wish to extract the tincture from it, powder it impalpably; pour on it old pure urine; let it boil till the urine is colored. Then pour it off, and again pour fresh urine on it till all tincture is out. After this, evaporate all the tinged urine. Pour vinegar on that which stays at the bottom. Extract again all the tincture. What then stays at the bottom is of no use, because it is the saltiness of the urine.
Draw the colored vinegar off per Balneum, and the most beautiful redness will stay at the bottom. It shines more than gold, and it seems to be a heavenly color. Dissolve this tincture in the water of the Hand; distill same, like the previous tincture, by dissolving, distilling, congealing, and preparing it to its highest degree and power. Or you may sublimate through * as often as you wish, dissolve in the cellar on a marble slab, and bring to its greatest power. This was the first manner of the philosophers, and it was a long way. With these tinctures you can Rubify all things, yes, all metals, also all stones, crystals, glass, and other things, which I do not reveal for certain reasons.
Tincture from Antimonium
Take Antimonium from the mines, pulverize it impalpably; pour on it distilled vinegar in a glass or a stone jar. Put it for 6 weeks in horse dung or in the Balneum --- but the horse dung must be renewed every week, the longer the better. Subsequently, put it into a retort with an Alembic, draw the vinegar over the boiling water; then drive it in the sand, and it will sublimate into the blessed QE and come down from the spout of the helm like red drops of blood. Collect those a part and mix them with the Key, which must be prepared so dry that it is like dust.
Now distill per Balneum over a gentle fire, so that you can easily suffer your hand to be in it. Let it stand thus, distilling for 21 days, or till there is no more moistness. Congeal the QE Venerii and, in addition, all moist spirits, so that you can sublimate them. After this, take it out of the Balneum and set it in sand, in order to sublimate the red QE Venerii. When there comes a heavenly, incombustible redness, though not fixed, that is how it should be.
Now take it out carefully, put it in the Balneum to putrefy for 18 days, after which mix it with the dry key, dry like dust, as you have been taught before. Thus you can dissolve and congeal to reach such great virtues and powers as are worth a kingdom. When you have done it, add a great deal of gold, as I taught you to make before; dissolve them together in water of the Hand, distill them in the Balneum and afterwards in ashes, as I have instructed you before. Then the QE Venerii is conjoined to the gold and can never again be separated, either now or in eternity. Deo Gratias.
A Philosophers’ Stone
Rx. --- Fine Lunae j, dissolve it in common AF. Then take Mercury Sublimatus iiij; put him in a glass pot, set it on warm sand and let him get warm. Now imbibe him with the AF in which silver is dissolved, till he has imbibed all the AF. Then let it cool down. Pound this Mercury quite fine on a hard stone; let him dissolve on it of his own. After this, coagulate him again on a small fire in a glass; and pound him again as before; and dissolve him as before, seven times. Of this Elixir pour j on xxxj prepared, well flowing copper, and you will get fine silver in all alloys.
How to Make Venus Fixed
Take soap and dry it till it no longer smokes. Then give a hot fire till it turns into calx. When you calcine it, stopper it above with a stone. Add to it as much verdigris and close it in a crucible; lute it well, set it in the fire for 2 hours and melt it. Then you have fixed and supple Venus.
Mercury Changes All Metallic Corpora into Silver with Arsenicum, and Into Gold with Sulphur
Take a thick cloth, bind Mercury into it, hang him over a pot containing sulphur; then close it and heat below it. It will congeal red. But if this Mercury is pounded with Sal Alcali and Cerussa, he turns white. Instead, if he is pounded with water of Crocus Martis, * and Atrament, he nevertheless stays red, and one can also congeal him in a closed vessel with Jupiter.
With Saturn Mercury is congealed in white works. He has to be closed in a tube or another vessel, luted with Lutum Sapientiae. This has to be thrown on melted Saturnus and also kept in the fire; thus Saturnus will be congealed by the smoke.
How to Chew the Corpora to an Amalgama with Mercury, That is, to Give to Mercury All Corpora to Eat, Except Mars
Take any Corpus that you wish to melt. Add to it half as much Mercury and pour it. It will become brittle. Pulverize and wash it with vinegar and salt as long as blackness goes off it. Afterwards, dry it in the sun. Then it is to be cleansed with a water whose taste is between sour and bitter, with a gentle fire or the heat of the sun, for a whole day. After this, dissolve it; when it is dissolved, Incerate it; finally, cleanse it with Arsenicum that you have whitened,; then dissolve it again; after this, congeal it. This Materia will tinge the bodies of all men in a wonderful way.
The Philosophic Furnace, Called Athanor, or the Warm Stupha of the Philosophers
First build a little wall at the bottom with good glue, or with soil prepared for this purpose --- one foot long and high. Upon it put a narrow iron grill, so that the ashes of the wood or the coal can fall through. But under the grill there must be a little door, which can be shut as one wishes, so as to remove the ashes. Then, above the grit of the furnace build somewhat higher, a little wall, one foot long and wide, with a small door, and air holes at the four corners. Above, make a while floor of baked soil, without holes, so that the furnace is well covered, as this illustration shows. On this floor raise the wall; but first put on the floor, four iron supports like a tripod. On top there has to be a vessel. These supports together with the vessel must not touch the wall of the furnace. In addition, there has to be another tripod inside the vessel or test, as also a small vessel upon which one could put a glass or other bowl. This small vessel must be made of wood.
If then one wishes to dissolve the Spiritus or other things, water has to be put into the lower and upper vessels. The glass has to be left open, to allow the humid, subtle air to get inside. Now put a gentle little fire under the furnace, because it must not be warmer than it is usually in a warm room. Thus the matter will be dissolved by the steam of the water.
But if you wish to congeal, calcine or fix, you must put no water into the vessels but keep your work quite dry with the aforementioned heat. That is why the furnace must have a lid or cover above, which must be so wide that you can take it off if necessary. In addition, there should be a little door in the cover, so that you can put your hand inside and test the warmth, just as with the same heat all humid spirits are fixed. Will you please have a good look at the illustration.
Aside from this, there is still another furnace in which many kinds of things can simultaneously be cooked or done, as in ashes or in sand, in Balneo, or in Ventre Equino. This means, that if someone would like to putrefy something which would otherwise have to be put in horse’s dung, one would put hay or dung into the cupel and water it somewhat. Then it is just as good as if it were standing in horse’s dung.
It Now Follows How One is to Make or Use the Furnace
First, the lower part has to be made, so as to get the ashes. Then follows the grill which must be just in the center, a good bit narrower than the furnace. The furnace has to be made higher yet, but not narrower than it is below. On one side there has to be a small door, so as to allow the hanging lamp, and below, the coal to pass through. Afterwards the furnace must be made higher again and wider, with a thin wall. A few air holes must be made on one side, which can be opened and closed at will. After this, it must be closed and vaulted, well-fitting, with four round air holes with a lid on each of them. They must be separated by four equal little walls.
After this, the furnace must be made higher on the sides; it must have four doors on the four sides that close tightly so that, of one wishes to remove the lid from a hole, one can put one’s hand through it. When all this has been done, take four copper kettles, or other vessels burnt of clay, or something else. They must be walled in on the four parts of the furnace, one on each side. Next to each cupel, there must be an airhole with a well-fitting stopper in order to regulate the heat. In the first cupel or kettle there must be sand to make fixation in it. In the second there must be dung or moist hay, to putrefy in it. In the third, one can keep ashes, to distill on them. In the fourth, should be the water bath Balneum Mariae, also to distill and putrefy.
When all this is ready, one can put coal on the grill, or a hanging lamp. The four lids have to all be taken off; or, if one wishes one to be hotter than the other, one should remove that one lid and shut the little door tightly. One must also have pointed and high lids, burnt of clay, on the glasses in which one wishes to putrefy and fix. They must cover the glasses all around and close them tightly, and one must be able to take them off, as may be seen by the illustration.
Operatio Tartari, or the Work of Tartar
This is the way to prepare Tartarum. It is very good and has the four elements in it, but not like other things, Species and herbs.
In all the things that God Almighty has created out of the four elements, the elements are befouled and impure, and they cannot be purified otherwise than by distilling, sublimating, calcining, cementing, etc. In that way the elements can be cleansed wit hard work. One cannot find anything in the world that is like tartar, because God has not left any impurity in it, since it separates from wine of its own, like water from fire; and tartar does not take on any impurity from wine, just as water does not from fire; but if there is any impurity in the water, it will leave it in the fire, so that the fire may burn and destroy it. For fire consumes every impurity, and all impurities of the elements must be purified b fire. Nevertheless, fire is in itself frail in that it is not fixed; for when God corrupted the four elements, it also corrupted the fire. That is why the fire is not fixed.
Tartarum, however, is a fire without air and without a flame, fixed and pure. That is why no one can separate the element from Tartarum, since it is a glorified Corpus. Nothing can destroy Tartarum, nor can fire burn it. Tartar is the fixed fire of which we often write in our books. Fire has the power to purify all corrupted elements and to burn and consume all impurities, also to make all other elements fixed. What will this one not do when it gets into the impure elements, since it is more than superior to fire? Verily, I am telling you that Tartarum, when it is prepared, has the power to make all unfixed things fixed, and in it are hidden all things which it would take too long to describe. Yet one cannot accomplish any perfect work in the Art without Tartarum; thus the hand cannot be prepared without Tartarum; for if there were no Tartarum, the Art would be false. Consequently, Tartarum is the master of Alchymia. That is why the masters consider it their fixed fire which burns everything that is not fixed.
Take good white tartar of good Rhine wine. Wash the powder clean till the water runs off it. This has to be done with pure spring water. Then dry it in the sun, pound it small on a stone with good distilled wine vinegar, and dry it in the sun. Then moisten it on a stone with fresh vinegar to a thick pap. Now dry it again. Repeat this at least 10 times or more. Put this Tartarum thus imbibed into a strong suitable vessel and close it firmly, a good hand’s breadth.
Now take another, still larger vessel, fill it with living chalk. Into it put the vessel with the tartar; after this, fill the large vessel completely with living chalk; also around the tartar, so that it lies in the center like an egg yolk in an egg. Lute tightly as much as you can, a large hand’s breadth’s, and let everything gently dry of itself.
Make a big hole in your hearth in which you have a fire everyday; fill it with living chalk, put the vessel in it, and fill it all around with living chalk; but leave the bilge of the vessel free. On this your fire must burn for 8 weeks; keep it hot day and night, afterwards in a glow. The more it is calcined, the better. After this, remove the small vessel from the chalk, break it open, and pour the Tartarum into a large quantity of distilled vinegar, let it drop or become pure during three days. Pour the pure off from above and into another vessel. Pour other vinegar on the faeces, boil it and let it become clear as before; pour it to the other vinegar. Repeat this till nothing comes off any more. Throw the faeces away and Evaporate your vinegar; congeal all the salt till dry; again dissolve it in a large quantity of vinegar, as before. Let it boil once more; let it settle again, and pour the pure off above the fecibus; add other vinegar, and repeat this till no more faeces remain.
Now put it into an open crucible, let it glow for 24 hours in a furnace; then dissolve it again, and let it stand thus dissolved for 3 hours in order to see if there are any more faeces. Should it have faeces, they must again be clarified off, till no more faeces occur; then congeal it till it is dry. After this, imbibe Tartarum on a glass with Aqua Vitae, to a thin pap. Dry it in the sun or on hot ashes in a glass; imbibe and dry it again. Do this 100 times or more; the more the better, and the more it gets purged. Thereafter dry it in a glass which can stand the fire; lute it tightly below, put it uncovered on a furnace and let it melt. When it is molten, break the glass open. It will congeal in the air as clear as glass, and melt near the fire like butter. This is the fire of the wise philosophers. It is their fixed fire, of which they write in a veiled way which the simpletons do not understand.
When it is now thus prepared, it is a precious treasure, for with it all volatile matters can be fixed. Yes, put Mercury into a crucible with a little of this Tartarum upon it, put it in the fire and let it go, and it will turn into fixed Mercury. In various small works one has to prepare it in this way; because whoever works with it when it is not prepared, will not reach any Perfection, although he may accomplish a semblance of silver and gold. Also, those who thus work in unprepared Sales cheat themselves and all those who believe them.
Sol and Mercury
Here begins a most glorious work of Sol and Mercury; how to conjoin and unite them; also how to fix them together into the very best solid gold.
First you must make an Aquan Mercurialem. I will, however, advise all people against this Art, if they do not know how to deal with mercury, nor can prepare the water described hereafter.
Let them keep their hands off Mercury, for they would fare badly. This water is of two kinds, one to the Red and the other to the White. Take 4 Cologne quarts of good wine vinegar; potash, 1 lb, quicklime, weed ashes, tartar well calcined in a potter’s furnace and afterwards pulverized, each 2 lbs. First pour the wine vinegar on the lime, let it stand on it, and stir it with a stick 7 or 8 times a day. After this, filter the vinegar and pour it on the weed-ashes in a glazed pot. Let it boil for a quarter of an hour, then cool down. Filter it again and pour it on the Tartarum; boil and filter as before.
Now take 6 lbs of green, common celandine; chop it finely, put it into 2 quarts of sharp wine vinegar, boil it down to half, then filter it and mix it with the other aforementioned water. Then take 1 lb Aqua Vitae; coarse salt that has not boiled away, 1 lb. Let them boil up together, but be careful not to put your matter in vessels coated with lead. Into this water thus boiled, put 8 or 10 ox galls, or galls of other animals. Mix them, and put this matter into a glass pot; put it for 6 weeks in horse dung, and it is ready. The older it becomes, the better it is. With this water one accomplishes wonders. It is called Sucus Mercurii, and it is a very good piece in this Art.
Take, therefore, good Mercury from the mines, not made from lead, tin or other metals. Take as much as you wish, grind it well with salt and vinegar in a stone mortar. Do it 12 times, till no more impurity comes off it; make a Corpus of it, put it into a phial and add as much beautiful, white salt. Mix well, put it on the furnace in sand for 3 weeks with a gentle fire; then put it into a stone mortar, pour the aforementioned water on it, grind it with it till no more impurity comes off it; put it back again into ashes or sand, pour your prepared water 3 fingers’ breadth above it, stopper the phial, and give it a good fire for 6 days and nights. Then put it back into the mortar and grind it again with the same water, as before; put it again into a phial, and again pour water on it, and give fire for 6 days and nights, somewhat stronger than before. Repeat this 6 times, and you must increase your fire each time every 6 days.
After this, calcine 4 or 5 lbs of Vitriol; also calcine an equal amount of ochre to each pound add x bloodstone haematite to calcine with the other. Through this sublimate mercury 5 times; then he is prepared. Now take Sol which has been cast through Venus j; prepared Mercury viii, amalgamate it, put it into a well luted phial, put it on its side in sand, and at first give a gentle fire. Increase your fire daily, till Mercury no longer rises; and turn the phial over every day 4 or 5 times, the more the better. At the end, when Mercury is quite dead, you will find a brown powder. Now your work is accomplished. Now remove this powder from the phial for the praise and thanks to God Almighty. Put 1 part on 4 of fine silver, let them well incorporate together. This work is certain and without troubles. That is why you must use it in the name of god.
How to Make Sal Urinae
Take several large, stone crocks, 10 or 12 quarts capacity, fill them with old, pure urine, 5 or 6 weeks old. Put an alembic with two spouts on, and to each spout, a large Recipient; distill on the fire whatever you can distill over. Then a great deal of blackness will stay in the jar. Take that out and calcine it for 2 or 3 hours. After this, remove it from the fire and dissolve it in common distilled water; let the faeces drop, and pour off the faecibus above. Put this pure water back on the fire and boil it till there forms a skin above. Then put it into a cool cellar, and a clear salt will crystallize. Take that out and boil the water down again till a skin forms.
Now take all the crystallized salt and dry it in an earthenware pan till it powders. Now heat it moderately without melting it in a low vessel, and dissolve it again in common distilled water. Let it boil for a quarter of an hour, remove it from the fire, let the faeces settle down, pour the pure off above when it is still warm. Then dry all the crystallized matter in an earthenware pan as before, till it dusts. Keep this till I teach you how to use it.
Now take all the distilled urine and, if there is still some impurity in it of oil or yellow greasiness, skim it off above with a spoon and afterwards with a feather. Make it pure and clean in this way; then put it into the stone jar with a helm on it; set it in sand or ashes, and distill all that can be distilled. Let it nicely glow for a while and afterwards cool down. Remove the faeces and throw them away, for they are good for nothing. Repeat this distillation till everything goes over pure, without leaving any faeces at the bottom of the jar or retort.
Take that which you have thus distilled out of the fire, put it in the Balneum to distill. Some impurity will stay at the bottom; throw it away. Grind this Distillation in the Balneum till no more faeces stay at the bottom of the jar. When everything has cleanly gone over, it is done.
Now take the salt which I told you to keep above. Put it into a large Recipient, and pour on it the pure liquor which you have distilled in the Balneum. When you have poured the water on it, stopper the Recipient with a cork, and put it on the furnace in a vessel with ashes. Now light a fire in the furnace, so that the ashes will become hot. Keep the Recipient standing there for 4 or 5 days, or till all the salt has been dissolved into pure water without Faeces at the bottom. Then it is ready and done. Then it is urine as it was before, but now it is deprived of its coarseness and has become subtle, yes, much subtler than one could believe. I am telling you in unadulterated Charity of god that one can accomplish wonders in our Art with this urine this prepared, yes, more than one might believe.
Add to it 6 quarts of sharp, distilled vinegar, and 6 Mass of Aqua Vitae, and 1 lb of prepared common salt; also, 1 lb of calcined white tartar, and 1-1/2 lb of *. Mix all these things together, and dissolve the matter into a pure, clear water, without any faeces at the bottom. I swear to you by God who has created and made me, that no greater secret has ever come into the world. For this water thus prepared, turns all Calxes and Corpora into their first nature, that is, into Mercury. With this water one can draw the QE from calcined Antimony, which is much better than all the treasures of the earth. In addition, you can extract with it the QE Solis and Lunae, and, furthermore, of all mineral things, and of everything there is in the world. One does so many wonderful things with this water that it is unbelievable; nor is it permissible to disclose it on account of the evil which might ensue.
Understand, however, this booklet well at bottom, and you will know what wonderful things one can perform with this water. And even if I did my very best, I could not express one thousandth of its secret. Know also that one can use the water like earth, for it does not diminish although it were used 10 or 12 times. For you may purify and rectify it again, and it will be just as good.
Now I will teach you how to extract the tinctures required for this work, Red as well as White; for the extraction of White and red is all one and is due to one mastery. Take, therefore, Sulphur, Auripigment, Atrament, Ochre, Cerussa, Minum, or the like, out of which you wish to extract the tincture. Powder it impalpably, and grind it like soap on a stonewith good, distilled vinegar, each time adding j of rectified salt. Put it into a big Recipient, set it into ashes or sand, pour on it some of the clarified urine which you have prepared, 1 part, and 1 part of wine vinegar, so that the Recipient becomes half full. Stopper it above with a cork, and shake itwell, so that the moisture gets well mixed with the powder. Put the glass back into the furnace, and when it is warm, remove the cork or stopper and give it some air; otherwise the glass would burst. Toss the Receptacle between your hands 10 or 12 times a day, and let it stand in the warmth till the Liquor is nicely colored. Then let the glass cool down and the Faeces drop; take another large Recipient that is clean. In it pour the colored Liquor off from the Faecibus, and take good care not to take any Faeces over. Stopper the Recipient and put it aside. Then take again fresh urine with Ana distilled vinegar, pour it upon the Faeces in the receiver, as before, half full. Shake it with your hands as you did then; and when the Liquor is well mixed with the sediment, put the glass again on the furnace in ashes or sand. Heat as before, and when the Liquor has again been colored, let the glass again cool down, pouring off and proceeding as before. Repeat this till the Liquor is no longer colored by the Faeces, and then you have got all the Tincture or QE. The Faeces can be thrown away, but they still contain the element of earth. You may extract and use that as you wish.
Now take the glass containing the colored moisture, set it in ashes or sand, and distill the moisture off till a skin appears on top. Now remove the helm, pour it into a large glass pot which must be wide above. Lute a helm on top of it, put this pot on the same furnace, and draw all humidity over. Thus the QE or Tincture of the thing you took to make it will stay in Fundo, be it Red or White. If it is a white Subjectum, you will find a white tincture, whiter than snow; but if it is red, it will shine like gold, just as the sun shines above Venus. And in this way you can extract, sublimate, the tincture of Mercury Sublimatus to the Red or White. In the same manner you can extract the tincture of QE from iron or copper filings, verdigris or burnt copper, cinnabar, Cerussa or Minium, or from calcined tin, also from Calx Solis or Lunae, item from Antimony. In addition, you can add the tincture, which you have thus extracted from sublimation to the Red or the White, to gold or silver, when they are dissolved, and put them in Putrefactionem. Thus they can be joined to the said Medicine, and the color will become all the more beautiful during Projection.
Know, however, that whenever you wish to extract something you must each time add j to the urine and distilled vinegar, which must be rectified of its Terrestriality by dissolving and again congealing before you pour it on the ground Materia in the Recipients. Know, in addition, that there is a great deal of secrecy in the extraction of this tincture, more than one could believe. For with these tinctures you can make Cements, in whatever Cement you with to Cement, or accomplish other wonderful things by Cementing. Item, you can make Aquas Fortes with these tinctures, which are red as blood and shine like a ruby. With these AFs you can do wonderful things during Solution, to disclose which I have not got permission.
Now Follow Some Annotations Concerning Various Termini Used in the Preparations
Liquefactio means making soft, and it is the root of all things.
Exaltio of the spirit is Liquefactio of the bodies.
The Salts of the bodies are made in many different ways.
Solutio means melting, or also stamping.
Calcinatio means making chalk or calx. It is done in sand, with strong fire, so as to draw the foul Sulphur from a thing; then, when such is consumed, the Corpus remains pure in the calx. Therupon comes Inceratio.
Inceratio means making the chalks subtle or fine, so that the humidity may pass all the better through the Corpora. Inceratio is nothing but grinding and imbibing till the material turns into wax, and such may easily be dissolved or melted with a small or gentle fire.
Dissolutio means delivery, release. It is done in the bodies that are calcined, and in the following manner: Put the matter that you wish to dissolve into a glass, and stopper it well. Cover it with moist earth, and put on it horse dung well sprinkled with water. Let it stand thus for 7 days. On the 8th day it will be dissolved, and this is Dissolutio by heat. But Dissolutio of cold humidity consists in making an edge and standing a glazed vessel on it. Complete this with a little water on the bottom. Let the glass hang above the water, but in such a way that it does not touch the water. Cover the glass vessel with a lid, but put wax on the glass, and sand on the wax. Let it stand thus for one day and one night, and it will dissolve.
Coagulatio means making hard, and it is done in this way: Take the aforementioned glass with the matter that is dissolved, and put it into a test with strained ashes, and light a fire under the test for 10 hours, or till the humidity has gone out. Then it will look like minium; but it is white, like a very white camphor.
Rubifactio Salts Ammonici: Take *, Crocus Mars Ana, well pulverized together. Put this into a glass and pour on it good distilled wine vinegar, three fingers breadth above it. Let it stand thus one day and one night, always stirring well. Then alow it to dry gently over a mild fire. After this, put the Crocus Mars and the * into a Sublimatorium, and sublimate them. It will descend, red like blood, even if the vinegar is not distilled. This actually is of no consequence, it is just as good.
Rubifactio Vitrioli Romani: Graduate it, and calcine it in a strong fire; it will become red like blood.
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