“And since they ( Arabs) did not ignore that the man has the insatiable thirst of gold, were committed particularly to entice more and, at the same time, to bring out the seekers from the simple path of nature, which is, in my opinion, the only authentic, and throw them in a multitude of other particular ways, so they stopped mainly on the mineral and metal, arguing that gold could not be produced without gold, as well as only a cow could have come from a cow, or a horse a horse . The foundations of this rule are very true, because it is not possible for nature to produce gold without the seed of gold, and also even the greatest philosopher will not be able to dissolve the gold and philosophically reduce it to his seed, without our means and without the balance of nature”
In this last sentence the author begins to unveil his intentions: to philosophically reduce metallic gold to its seed we need “Our Means” and the “Balance of Nature” , which is a synonym of our alchemical Mercurius.
I nevertheless give you some advice, which is that, after reading a few of the authors of ascertained sincerity, you have to erase from your mind any temptation to manipulate raw metals and minerals of all kinds, on the contrary, applying only to generations of Nature and in this way you can be very sure you have entered the true path.
The road that I will show you doesn’t get you in great expense, or unnecessary work in the manner of the philosophers, in fact, beyond the ordinary expenses which you are obliged by your regular maintenance, it will not cost you more than two or three crowns. My subject is neither animal nor vegetable, or mineral, but participates in all three kingdoms. It is universal and most common in the world than anything else. Must be called by microcosmic sympathy, and rightly so. This is always and everywhere, either in the bottom of the Indies, in the middle of Rome, or the day and night, in summer as in winter.”
The author’s subject does participate of all the three kingdoms: in fact the seed of metals can be extracted from vegetal and animal kingdoms too, since the substance composing the so called universal seed is above and beyond the molecular stage. It is our Secret Fire/Mercurius/Spirit. The same substance-matter coming from Suns and Stars and still dwelling in our bodies.
It is never at rest but always in action and movement, it is never exposed, but still hidden from view. Its mine is deep located and covered with thick darkness, as it is enclosed in confined spaces and in the bowels of the earth, from which it draws and manifests itself suddenly to the artist. Its origin is the Earth and its life in Heaven. It follows that it is alive and not dead. This Mercurius is vulgar, but it is not at all that common. The first is a common cold fluid, mine is a hot fluid. The common one needs of many things and work to be cleansed, mine needs only a single pleasant job. Mine dwells in a single body. At the end it retains the same color when it started, although it is infinitely exalted. It is formed by an infinite number of other materials, and the analysis at raw give evidence of the similarities it has with the three kingdoms. Although I am forbidden to compose it, I would not worry about it, for Nature gives me prepared and made what I need for my purpose. Its name is well known by all, but its virtues are more than unknown and untested. Has deceived many people who foreshadowed great things from its excellence and its heavenly origin. They have made every effort to improve it, ignoring his true and friendly cooking. Because of that the great philosophers have rejected and condemned it, even with good reason, because it can not be dissolved or die, or be revived, nor perfected, but only in himself and by himself, in only one really suitable and natural way, hidden and philosophical. Every simple fire, also the least, whatever name you give it, turns it off or kill it, or at least makes it unable to be philosophically raised. In this way the matter without the exact knowledge of the fire, the pot and athanor is more useless than you might believe.”
This Secret Fire is at a time matter, fire which cooks and vessel ( towards the end of the work though).
“Having thus known the matter, you still need to consider and look for how it should be corrected and purified. This is not accomplished by means of any elementary or artificial fire in any pot or stove, but rather by his own fire that the Creator has given immediately, from the beginning, and that we inherit. The farmer recognizes it despite the crudeness of his mind, while the Alchemist ignore it altogether. We hear all the time about its virtues, but we do not know the location of the house in which it retired. It is invisible but not insensitive, sweet, fluffy, continuous, equal, and lies within the raw matter. By this it is supported, nurtured, dissolved, made dead, corrupted, germinated, rejuvenated, revived and flourished, perfected, increased and multiplied. Therefore is the knowledge of this fire to be preferred to matter knowledge, because knowledge of matter alone contributes greatly to that of the fire, and, once we know it, the knowledge of the first may even be hidden.”
When we know how to extract this matter, that’s to say by means of salts volatilization, we understand that quite all raw materials could be suitable for the use, but operative considerations.
“Even the vessel is neither artificial nor handcrafted, but rather natural and homogeneous, oblong, with a closed neck or open depending on what is required by the need, opaque and dark. In this, which is one and unique in the earth, matter begins, it is cooked and refined. You can have it anywhere and at any time and cost as much as the fire, not more than the matter costs to many people. It seals by itself and reopen.”
Towards the end of the work our Mercurius gets harder and can contain itself ( but it is not as easy as it may seem).
“It contains no more than suitable and refuses superfluous, so that you do not have to worry about either proportions or amounts, for Nature is not unaware of what it needs, provided that it gets the necessary help. I do not possess more than a single burner, which is of earth but natural, the construction of which the art had no part. It is equipped with two windows, and is opaque to the sides, nevertheless it is so mobile that I can easily carry it from one place to another, and even take it with me on long journeys without any difficulty or fear of being betrayed. What is amazing is that my athanor contains within itself the strongest fire in nature, or as others say, the fourth degree of fire, and that thanks to its virtue, however, it breaks down and is destroyed by most elementary fire or lamp. From this you can convince yourself of how different from an artificial vessel.”