The eggshells calx and cooking diverting the Sun beams by a mirror. The last part of my translation from Ortheli Explicatio Verborum Mariae Prophitissae.
My translation has been kept verbatim for the operative parts and more interpretative for the speculative ones. It is fair to say that Orthelius latin is absolutely awful and neologisms ridden. And, incredibly enough, the speculative parts, that’s to say those on the two Suns, celestial and terrestrial, are so chaotic and incorrect to make the puzzled reader to ask him/herself whether Orthelius is making fun of us or is serious. Anyway, the pages are here produced, so you can judge by yourself. My translation in quotation marks and comments in normal.
You can find the first part at Orthelius Commentary on Maria Prophitissa. Part 1. On page 3 of the first part you can find a reference link to the “Dialogue between Maria and Aros on the Alchemical Art”.
Theatrum Chemicum tome 6, page 481: “Inito itaque Solis & Lunae matrimonio, necesse est ulterius rem perfequi, in quem finem textus ait, utrumque Zaybech, vel fumos, vel aquas currentes debere vitrificari………..And so of Sun (Sol) and Moon (Luna) the marriage is stipulated, it is necessary to bring the thing even more to perfection, in that the test has its goal, either Zaybech, or fumes, or running waters must vitrify, that’s to say to fix and solidify.”
The marriage is stipulated, that’s to say there is a promise, a declaration, not the real marriage yet. Because there cannot be a physical union in the form of matters too much difficult to handle yet. As said in the first part, vitrificari is a neologism from italian rather than latin.
“The agent is here indicated, which is humid calx. From this matter the calx is really prepared, either by means of the body of mountain dwellers ( ex corpore monticulorum) or eggshells (seu corticibus ovorum), this is partly made clear from the test, and my experience.”
Now, eggshells are easily intelligible, but the body of mountain dwellers. Never, ever, read of this “tool”. I said tool since we are not talking of ingredients here, but instrumental matters. Not only, but it is pretty impossible to clearly guess what Orthelius does mean by monticulus. Monticulorum is the genitive plural of monticulus, that’s to say a “slight rounded projection above a surface, a little hill”. Wallerius and J.Manget mention the word as a hidden synonym of the human pubic area, which seems rather extravagant for an alchemical use ( we are talking of gold and silver, after all) . Or may be Orthelius does mean something different, almost suggested by the wording” body of monticula”. Surely in ancient latin the word for sparrow was “passer”, very similar to italian passero, indeed. The scientific definition of a sparrow is monticola solitarius, that’s to say lonely mountain dweller ( nevertheless, monticola is an incorrect modern spelling of monticula). Anyway, would a sparrow corpse plays the same role of eggshells? A pile of feathers and small bones? Not to mention that the scientific name is a modern definition ( even if in Latin). Dom Pernety, in his Dictionnaire Mytho-Hermétique, says: “….Quelquefois les Alchymistes ont entendu par le terme de Montagne, leur vase, leur fourneau, et toute matière métallique.” Sometimes Alchemists by the term Mountain mean their vase, their furnace, and any metallic material. Mind that further on we will encounter the wording calx monticulorum, calx of little hills.
Concerning the eggshells, Orthelius doesn’t mention whether they should be crushed into powder, or almost keep their form. My question is not pointless, since further on we will encounter the wording ” calx of eggshells” .
“It is described elsewhere how the starting point of the common air calx (calx vulgari aeri) without either snow or rainwater, saturated with the hidden air chill, tends to fail and how, by this power, Mercurius Saturni in turn, after twelve days of digestion, gets coagulated in form of either Magnesia or Zineti.”
By the way, snow and rainwater are also rich in Secret Fire, or Mercurius Universalis in this case. Mercurius of Saturn is a right definition when the matter has to undergo a digestion. Of course the Magnesia is coming out of this operation, and then Zineti, which perhaps is a synonym of ferment, that’s to say a step forward the white Magnesia ( nevertheless, according to some alchemists, Magnesia can also be the black before the white).
“It is very likely to have to wet as required with the Elzarog gum the calx of eggshells freshly removed from fire, and mix on porphyrio so to get chilled and frozen (in the sense of coagulated) virtue.”
Rulandus says Porphyrio is a red marble. Concerning Elzarog, Dom Pernety, in his Dictionnaire Mytho-Hermétique, comes to rescue: ” Elzaron. C’est le sel des Sages qu’ils appellent leur corps, leur gomme. Prenez le corps clair, pris sur les petites montagnes, qui ne se fait point par la putréfaction, mais par le seul mouvement. Broyez ce corps avec la gomme EIzaron et les deux fumées. Car la gomme EIzaron est le corps qui saisit l’esprit. Marie, Epît. à Aros. It is the salt of the Sages they call their body, their gum. Take the clear body, taken from the little mountains, which is not developed by putrefaction, but by movement. Grind the body with gum EIzaron and both fumes (1). Because the gum EIzaron is the body that captures the spirit. Maria to Aros.” Orthelius in a side-note states: Elzarog est aqua saturni, or water of saturn. But, don’t stop now to ask yourself what does it mean, since the process is not finished yet.
Water, the element Water, doesn’t mean to necessarily be a liquid, but something flowing. As for “monticula”, we have bumped again into the little hills. But, mind, Orthelius says we need the body of these little hills. Anyway, the eggshells apparently do the same function. (2).
“Simile processes too; they teach imbibitions and exsiccations must to be repeated.”
A major difference between Alchemy and Chemistry is the operations repetition. In fact the Secret Fire tends to come out after reiterated operations.
” This done, I place two Mercurii of Sun and Moon joined together and raised to stratify in the above mentioned setting and this till they can be kept at a moderate heat to a perfect hardening. Which on the other hand is the Elzarog gum, which of course as a medium is embracing or getting them embraced, and incorporates the Tincture in itself, as in the text is described by the excerpt, since the water of Saturn has the power to hold tight either the common mercury or the Mercurius of bodies.”
Here we have tree salts: the alchemical marriage celebrated by either the bishop or the servant. Though in a very complex construction. Of course, if Elzarog can hold tight both the common mercury and Mercurius of bodies, is unquestionably our universal dissolvent. So, yes…apparently we have three Mercurii joined together. Of them one will be called Sulphur, acting as male, or carrier of metals seed. That’s to say a Dissolvent into which a metal has been reincrudated.
” Maria Prophitissima suggests a simile idea in her dialogue to Aros about this Water ( if I remember right that Mercurius in the real Water tends to harden ). Paracelsus too mentions this virtue. Where Saturnus makes a disquisition on its own nature: the stone cold ( lapis frigiditatis) is within me, which is my own water, by which I frozen the corporeal spirits of my brothers.”
Here Orthelius plays with Saturnus meanings, Dom Pernety tell us this god devour his children. Saturnus is a synonym of Mercurial Dissolvent as well as of one the major metals. But the real difficult concept to understand is how a mercurial water, so a dissolvent, can actually frozen, or harden, our volatile matters.
“Actually the first and last part of that Great Work are by that enough clear. An even the other part is rigorous; if one goes on the right way, even following a slight different practice, provided he/she obtains either vitrification or congelation of the running water, operation which does not prevent the main work.”
What is Orthelius referring to? To the colors passages which are the Main Work’s major feature.
” This is my opinion, I don’t want to compel anybody nor rejecting any other artist or philosopher’s opinion. If one carefully follows my lessons and generously compares, no doubt with God’s help will succeed. As more eyes can see better than only one. Although Maria tells Aros: by ancient wises the secret was not revealed to them through researching and pondering. Aros reply: Nevertheless has not always been so, Hermes heirs and successors communicate their opinions and experiments and on this same secret finally something was revealed.
So the two Zaybech are made corporeal and joined together and the embracing medium, of course the Saturnus cold, in themselves they conceive, as in aerial form as frozen they appear, then the first part of this Work is done, as well as the beginning of the following…..”
The end of the preparatory works is roughly the achievement of Mercurius Philosophorum, the division, duplication, and marriage (see an Opus Magnum scheme).
“……the science of Hermes do miracles, in three hours time they (the arrive to perfection, by the virtue and power of the celestial solar fire, which is the igneous Jehovah’s instrument supplying the fertility of all inferior things, bringing them to ripeness and perfection. This fire with expressed temporal names is overtly indicated. It is said to liquefy by the secret of nature.
On the other hand the measure of your fire has to be that of the temperature of the Sun in June and July. And additionally says: the whole regimen consists in the fire time. Every attention has to be taken in the right setting of the constellation in the month of July, with the Sun in its own dwelling, of course during Leo, in which this fire manifest a great effect. Really this work’s perfection is directly divine. In fact it is uniquely a God’s job. There the Philosopher sits making use of the divine instrument, and with that the divine blessing is exerted.
On the other hand this operation is, successfully performed by the terrestrial sun and the virtue of the celestial sun, as well as the divine power, one perceives the creation growing, minute by minute, degree by degree, color by color, by the Sun essential fire, more and more starts to grow, till arrives at perfect maturation.
In this occasion the sympathy between the Inferior and superior Sun must be considered. That’s to say the magnetic invisible and spiritual virtue of the terrestrial Sun. In the same way a corporeal contact is made and a wish of the superior celestial Sun to affect the inferior in every aspect provided there is free access and no obstacle standing in the way. For this immeasurable merge to rise, the inferior terrestrial Sun should be more penetrable while the incomparable spiritual and essential virtue of the superior Sun should actually become visible and corporeal, and by such a impetuous transformation that no human being could ever see this miracle, that did not mute, unless he was completely stupid and unable to discern the miracle in all this, It has to be noted that the brightness of the Sun is not naked and external but by its essential and at the same time internal natural power and heat feeds and digests everything. “
The next paragraph is side-noted as “the external heat of Sun (Externus calor Solis). These passages are so badly written, probably intentionally, that in most cases more than a translation it has been a deciphering operation word by word. Anyway:
“The external one (heat and power) is like a lantern or candle, in the nearby; a quantity of bright and transparent air aggregation returns-emits while illuminating (Iste externus similis est lucernae vel candelae accesae, vicinumque; tantum aeris complexum illuminando reddit perspicuum & lucidum), either without any other (alone, I guess) or taking part in something, or with the imprint of life and animated. Indeed, it is the darkness and the surface of its interior is off, as well as the parts placed in the top; to summarize; I said this spirit to be a body of middle of the way nature, and corporeal dwelling………..”
……. corporeum habitaculum magni illius spiritus mundani. This is, to me, a quite impossible sentence to translate. In fact magni and mundani are genitive but they are adjectives, where are the substantives? Habitaculum and spiritus? and why these are instead in nominative case? Probably Orthelius here misses the declination of “illius spiritus”, which instead should be at genitive. So, dear readers, content yourself with a ridiculously interpretative translation, but logic ( the bad of most interpretative translations from latin)…..…..
“….and corporeal dwelling of this material spirit. Actually of course this interior power and heat is the same real royal and essential Sun power that vivify the essence of all things, the only one they wish, and a single technique, nevertheless the Philosophers manage to derive and find the magnetic virtue in the inferior hidden Sun, from the superior. the natural property of the instantaneous beam is simile, to not be brought without distinction with light as part of the air, not even illuminates the air with the outside light, but the magnetic and floating is made to move and pulled to a determinate place by the power of its compliant and familiar nature, which only brings (sets in motion) all remaining and unharmed……..
……vimque suam activam evidenti nota impressa clare demonstratas as by the visible impressed distinctive note clearly demonstrates its active ( I failed to find the substantive object of the action, since suam activam are pronoun and adjective in accusative case)……..”