In this short fourth chapter A.E. Waite in his Introitus Apertus translation is once more not in shortage of wrong renderings of latin words.
Introitus Apertus ad Occlusum Regis Palatium”, Amsterdam or Amstelodami 1667, fourth chapter is the second of a series of four chapters ( from third to sixth) dealing with different aspects of quite the same thing: our Secret Fire/Mercurius and its strange mirroring working.
I have already explained that the Open Entrance version we are examining is the translation by Arthur Edward Waite in 1893. While latin Introitus Apertus is the first original edition of 1667, “curante” or edited by Joannes Langius.
This chapter is in the very Introitus style, that’s to say equivocal and not systematic. All that helped by latin language uncertainty. In fact, in my opinion, Introitus Apertus has been conceived to be written just in latin. Very unlikely one will get keys and clues from this book translated in languages other than latin. When translated, Introitus is not useful to open Alchemy, but conversely Alchemy is a precondition to open Introitus.
Chapter fourth or IV
Title: Of the Magnet of the Sages
Waite’s Open Entrance: As steel is attracted towards the magnet and the magnet turns towards the steel, so also our Magnet attracts our Chalybs.
Before going any further with latin comparison, we have to understand what we are talking about. Magnet or Magnesia is our Mercurius Philosophorum extracted from Raw Matter or Materia Tertia or blackness (see an Opus Magnum scheme). Chalybs, or steel (see in Introitus Apertus chapter third why steel can be a synonymous for Chalybs), is the same divided Mercurius Philosophorum causing a metal to be dissolved. And then Incrudated. To become a Male Sperm and partaking an alchemical Marriage. Now we are ready for latin sentence.
Latin Introitus Apertus: Quemadmodum chalybs ad magnetem trahitur (1), magnesque sponte se ad chalybem convertit (2), sic & magnes Sophorum trahit illorum chalybem.
In Latin magnes-tis means both magnet and magnesia, hence in hermetic symbolism magnesia and magnet are synonymous. Magnesia is often used by seventeenth century alchemists to point at white Mercurius. And in ancient chemistry magnesia was also a synonym for marcasite, a white brittle or sponge-like powder out of metals. But, more interesting, it stands for woman too. Thus our Female Sperm, or the one set aside waiting for male sperm (see Mercurius Duplicatus) or Chalybs to be married with.
But, of course, it is not as easy as that. We know that metals have to be prepared, thus dissolved in Mercurius Philosophorum, or female sperm, or magnet-magnesia. When we divide Mercurius Philosophorum to be set aside and employed for different uses, it takes different names. Metals to be dissolved inside or “Philosophically prepared” (3), generally undergo a long series of dissolutions (4) to be entitled to be then Incrudated to become a pure Secret Fire/Mercurius. But we are not ready to afford a translation of this latin Introitus first sentence yet.
Open Entrance author states to be the real author of Introitus, but his fourth chapter differs in nothing from the honest french translation (5) I often use as a double check. Both put to use the verb “to attract” to translate traho-xi. The word “Aimant”, which I lazily translated without even looking up in the dictionary as “Lover”, put us in the condition to find another synonym for our alchemical Magnet. To put it simply, we could render the word Magnet as Lover. A Magnet/lover generally attracts who is in burst for her/him. But, take notice, this lover is represented here causing an attraction, not experiencing it in his/her turn. Open Entrance’s paints this lover/magnet simply by turning towards the other. A love affair not so equal in quality and strength. We know that magnet/lover is female. Is female lover really so frozen? Well…..in seventeenth century that was a cool behaviour ( and it still is today), but we are here talking of Alchemy not anthropology, and two Mercurius/Secret Fires, even if one has recently been a campaigner in a fight involving a metal dissolution.
Male and female, Sun and Moon are subjected to the nasty rule of three, that’s to say every symbol may stand for at least three different concepts. Here we have two Magnets/lovers, and back at that time no doubt they officially are of different sex. Thus man has to be attracted by woman, Sun is attracted by Moon. And woman is a kind of fugitive or rather a passive character. Man features of something active (6).
Philalethes is never systematic in spite of chapters directory, never absolute and categorical in spite of titles. In some aspects he reminds of Fulcanelli. And here, in chapter fourth, we are unlikey to hear of a definite Mercurius Duplicatus affair, as one would hope.
A metal, which in this extend may be defined as male, is attracted by Mercurius Philosophorum, which in this extend may be defined as female. And dissolution is never a quiet affair. So done we can be before Mercurius Duplicatus marriage, before the two Mercurius Philosophorum union. We are preparing a male sperm, a steel. But Philalethes defines the metal to be dissolved too as chalybs/steel. No wonder, we know that he has never been a good and charitable boy.
Nevertheless attraction may also be a feature of Union between male and female Mercurii Duplicati. If you remember Secret Fire, when divided, causes the two parts to be affected by each other. Like a diapason, indeed, being quite an awakening. Not like a magnet. A magnetical attraction being more appropriate to a metal and a Mercurius Philosophorum/Universal Dissolvent. And as far as Polaris or North Star light attraction for Mercurius Philosophorum we know that light is, it does not come to. Thus light and consequently Secret Fire from the sky cannot be attracted. In seventeenth century iatro-chemistry poisons were said to be attracted by their antidotes. Now we are ready to try a translation of the Introitus Apertus latin sentence. To your surprise I will be verbatim, since ambiguity of traho-xi and converto-ti allows me to do it, and as you know, verbatim is always preferable to an interpretative translation: “Quemadmodum chalybs ad magnetem trahitur, magnesque sponte se ad chalybem convertit, sic & magnes Sophorum trahit illorum chalybem”.