Hollandus, De Lapide Philosophico. First Book 3-4

Instead of distillations on liquids and oils extracted from plants, in chap three Johannes Isaac Hollandus has salts grinded, dissolved in distilled vinegar, then raised up with “subtle combustible spirits”,

Hollandus de lapide philosophico cap 3then again consumed on themselves till achieving a humid free sulphur.proceedings. Apart from that in “Opera Mineralia sive De Lapide Philosophico” proceedings are not so different from those in Opus Vegetabile.

The first book of  Hollandus “De Lapide Philosophico” has been unjustifiably scarcely translated or roughly summarized. Nevertheless these chapters are a must on Analysis or Magnetization, through raisings-exaltations-sublimations, being always present in our alchemical works.

Be aware that Hollandus might has achieved Mercurius Philosophorum already in the previous chapters. Pay attention to his “album lapidem” or white stone. ( see an Opus Magnum scheme)

Liber Primus or First Book.

Caput or Chapter three.

Tum vero sumes album lapidem tibi notum, eoque in subtilem pulverem conterendo redacto….. Translation: then you will take the really white stone you know, and grind (1) till reducing in subtle powder,…

Hollandus side note: having taken the white stone, now in wet way is prepared.

….recipe alumen per diem integrum calcinatum igni pusillo, ut tantummodo candescat nec amplius:……..Translation: allow (2) alum (3)  for an entire day calcined at very low fire, so to whiten (4), not more….

……tum recipe Sal commune praeparatum ut sopra, etiam partem aluminis calcinati,…….. Translation: then allow common salt prepared as aforementioned (chapter 1), as well as the part of calcined alum,….

……contere simul cum aceto destillato in densam pultem: tum in vas sublimatorium infra latum impone,…… Translation: grind at a time with distilled vinegar in a dense pulp: then put in a sublimating vessel with a lower side,...

Hollandus side note: sublimating vessel with a lower side.

……alembico magno & amplo superimposito, luta receptaculum ad  rostrum, eiq; exiguum ignem adde, ut humiditas absumatur, aqua destillata sublimabitur in alembico subtilissimus spiritus combustibilis:……. Translation: with a large and wide alembic placed over,  seal with mud the reservoir near beak, add  low fire, so humidity may remain, the very subtle combustible spirit is to be raised (5) in alembic with distilled water :….

Here Fire is our Secret Fire, the main component of Mercurius. Which is to be preserved, being our ultimate goal. Hollanndus side note points at that.

…..quod cum videbis ignem minues, tamque exiguum efficies, ut soli media aestate lucenti, calore sit  similis, ac  tamdiu in eo calore retinebis, donec certus eris nullam humiditate amplius sueresse: ……. Translation: in the same time you will see fire declining, as much negligible as the sun shining in the middle of summer, warm being alike, and  as long as  that warm will be kept, you will be sure no more humidity can remain:…….

……..tum ignem insigniter minues: humiditate enim destillata, & subtili spiritu destillante, nisi ignem minueres, subtiles illi spiritus una cum aqua destillarent receptaculu: …….. Translation: then dramatically reduce fire: because if you will not reduce fire, distilled humidity  and the subtle distilling spirit,  they together with  water will contemporary distill  in reservoir….

…….idcirco per diem unum ad pusillum ignem habeto, donec certus eris nullam humiditatem restare:….. Translation: thus keep for one day at low fire, as long as you will be sure no humidity remain;

augeatur ignis per gradus, ita ut valide sublimare incipias, sublimaque ad horas 24. igni mediocriter vehementi, ita ut materia una cum olla sublimatoria infra candeat ad horas 2 tum finito ut frigescat & alembico sublato, …..
Translation: and then the fire is to be increased by degrees, so that it will strongly start to raise, and keep raising for about 24 hours at moderately intense fire, so  matter at the same time  with  sublimating pot have to be lower than hot for about  two hours, then finished in order to chill up and solidify with  alembic lifted,

….exime id quod sublimatum est: faece remove; an vero nihil praeter faeces remanserit super carbone, aut lamina aere aut ferrea candente probabis. Translation: take out what is raised: remove faeces; or  rather nothing more will remain on the coal, either in air  streamline or in red hot irons you will try out.

Caput or Chapter four.

Tum denuo sublimabis id quod semel sublimatum est, per materia recentem, facies vero modis omnibus ut supra: ……..Translation. Then raise again which is once raised, by means of recently done matter, actually do it following all aforementioned instructions:

…….istamque sublimationem tertio iterabis, semper per materiam recentem: postremo sublimabis per se, 1. sine ulla alia materia, donec nihil amplius remaneat: …….Translation. And repeat this sublimation  for three times, always by means of the recently done matter: finally raise by itself, 1 without any other matter, as long as nothing more will remain:

…….tum lapis purus est, Primum enim ab omni suo sulphure combustibili repurgatus est, ita ut non amplius sit igni consumptibilis: …….. Translation. Then Lapis is pure, mainly because it has been purged of its sulphur combustible, so that it is no more dissipated in fire:

Sulphur Combustible is a spagyric and iatro-chemical concept. But Alchemy roots are all there. In this case sulphur just stands for something not liquid and volatile. In no case this sulphur has something in common with alchemical Sulphur, which is absolutely incombustible, since alchemical earth must be pure. Or no more subjected to changes of state.

……est etiam perpurgatus a sua terrestritate quae ingressum prohibeat: nam terrestritas illa & sulphur, combustibile utraque cum faecibus relictae sunt. Translation: it is also purged of its earthiness which prevents from entering: for that earthiness and sulphur, on or the other, are tied with faeces.

……Sulphur combustibile urebat prius corpus eius cum igni admoveretur, ac terrestritas ingressum prohibeat, ut in metalla ingredi nequiret: ab his duobus iam separatus & liber est uti dictum. Translation: combustible sulphur will burn, its previous body having been removed by fire, and earthiness prohibits from entering, so as in metals will be denied entrance: in these two last ones it is separated and free as said.

De Lapide Philosophico, chapter first

De Lapide Philosophico, chapter 2

  1. Grinding does not have only a mechanical function, being a common means of magnetization too;
  2. Recipe is imperative of recipio-recepi which means to receive, to allow in medical prescriptions, in fact it was an ancient common way to introduce them;
  3. Until eighteen century alums were mixed double salts of aluminum sulphate with potassium sodium or ammonium sulfate. (Potassium salt, when pure, was most commonly called “Alum.”). (Al2(SO4)3 . K2SO4 . 24H2O); (Al2(SO4)3 . (NH4)2SO4 . 24H2O); (Al2(SO4)3 . Na2SO4 . 24H2O). But there were other types of alums, for example Alum of lees was Potassium Carbonate or alkaline potassium compound;
  4. Candesco  means  to whiten, to shine, to start to shine, to get hot. Often in Alchemy whitening and shining are synonymous;
  5. Sublimo, does not mean to sublime or pass from solid to gaseous form, but instead to raise,  to lift, to elevate;