Side-note: The Human Rebis.
There, dear reader is the path and preparation for new and more noble generations, which must come here through the Tincture of the first and last hour.”
… quae pro tinctura loco primae et veteris haberi debet.....I translated which “must come here through the Tincture of the first and last hour”. The terms primae et veteris are singular genitives and prima stands for “the first hour”, so I guess veteris might be the oldest hour. Anyway, unquestionably Orthelius is hinting at the second work (see an Opus Magnum scheme): i.e. the fabrication of the red sulfur, the Tincture/Dye. And we know, when talking of red sulfur, there is a first newbie redness and a last full ripe, perfect, redness. As colors, black-white-red tend to rotate to perfection. Nevertheless, the uncertainty remains in my translation. On my part, it is the “creative” Latin of Orthelius. Due to excessive creativity, the Latin language has been disappearing from scientific treatises already from the beginning of the eighteenth century.
“For this reason, it is fair to say the human Rebis ϰαἔ έξοχήν exceeds all other excrements, nonetheless from our experience, it is known that the ovine droppings (of which, in the undercover mention IN VENTRE ARIETIS, Sendivogius sufficiently turns the topic into a dry louse… in Latin: hanc quaestionem satis sicco pede transit) can be very relevant and useful for this work, since they are closer to nitrous nature than all the other ones, and since niter is neither fixed nor volatile, those operations will be exhaustively disclosed.
Rebis looks like dove color salt armoniacum ( original: Columbinum), while the equine manure actually takes the nature of salt alkali.”
Orthelius words simply put: Rebis is an alchemically prepared salt, composed by the union of two Mercurii, which tend to be dove color. While manure is a raw matter which, only when prepared and reduced in salt, tends to look like salt alkali.
“The real method for its fermentation or preparation is the following. Since we are not tied to a due time, nevertheless in the month of September, as it uses to occur in more than just a determined month, so dig up a hole in the common earth as deep as a man’s height, lay down into the hole mixed raw earth and any excrement with the help of an axis with many perforations, throw on them common earth so to fill the hole up to the surface, let stand until the month of March.”
… throw on them common earth to fill the hole up to the surface… in fact, it is important to cover our mixture with a thick layer of common ground (the best is clay) as the fermentation tends to better occur in acceptably closed, and out of light, conditions.
“And so after that, all the snow will be turned into water, which thing is considered in the second and fourth chapters of his book (of Sendivogius), the content of the hole can be removed. It is not unknown to me in what way the human Rebis, without the disgusting blend of anything, in a whole year time in the viscera of the earth is tied to putrefaction and degeneration, and laid down every imperfection and impurity is reduced in its chaos and in prima materia/first matter (in what way with the addition of quicklime is not only carried out quicker but also in its virtue improved, which work I will compare with the philosopher’s opinion).”
… Non me later... or it is not unknown to me, is sometimes translated as “I ignore” while the main meaning would be “I don’t ignore”. Unfortunately, the Latin verb lateo allows this vagueness, but it is not crucial to us whether Orthelius ignores or doesn’t, as we have to just rely on his following narrative anyhow.
Orthelius has here clearly designated excrements as raw matters involved in our preliminary works. It is not so difficult to get that perhaps human excrements are involved too, in fact just some lines before he said: … the human Rebis ϰαἔ έξοχήν exceeds all the other excrements… As we will see further on, Orthelius will talk of Microcosm and Macrocosm, the reader has to know that the Microcosm is the human body part in the Opus Magnum, which implies urine, excrement, blood, and bones ( 5).
“Nevertheless this practice doesn’t show a path of very great excellence and in these chapters, we will not find much about Microcosm things but about the fossil earth considered in Macrocosm. I retain to talk about such a peculiar mystery in the right place. So within this limit, it was unveiled, that look-alike earth or simple or prepared should be achieved and extracted at the beginning of Spring, with the Sun entering the sign of Aries.”
So Orthelius indicates the beginning of his preparatory works in September, the standing of the buried raw matter till March, and the acquiri et effodi debet phase, or achievement and extraction while entering the sign of Aries. He is talking of the Sun’s path of course, or Ecliptic, so about the vernal equinox. A suggestion of mine: start to consider the week before the official equinox peak, as the official day is often already too late.
Then Orthelius suggests very true and interesting considerations introducing the term Macrocosm, after having briefly mentioned the term Microcosm as well. He goes on to tell us that the general path is about extracting the Secret Fire/Mercurius (of course, that should be done before achieving Rebis) from the Macrocosm, or the world outside, above and beyond the human Microcosm. Put simply, just the raw matter from the human body can be defined Microcosm. But why this differentiation? Because, as Orthelius has just outlined, in the “very great excellence path” the two cosmos should be joined. This is called Magisterium Magnum, and of course, is the supreme path. The path leading to a very long life. Or an extra life. We don’t know whether Orthelius will ever hint at the excellent path, for the moment he seems to point out to the simple path, or general.
“Side-note: the Path of Simplicity on the Philosophicus Rebis.
There remains another path of simplicity which is higher than the other ones, that’s to say the Adamic earth (which towards the east is extracted and by the sky dew through its sand is washed), with the above mentioned universal sea water is taught, separated and merged again; but since this path is carried out with a unique method, whose practice in Sendivogius book is not handled, this untouched here the Hermes son from those German Rhythms (6) will give on the thing some artistically composed figures, which I refer the main parts which are:… “
… mediante coeli rore à sabulo suo abluitur... or by the sky dew through its sand is washed. The dew from the sky is the dew we all know, which back at that time was believed to be dropping from the sky. The sand of the dew is the salt extracted from the dew distillation, of course. The universal sea water Orthelius talks about is our Mercurius, which he calls Philosophicus. We will see from what salt our author means to extract the salt armeniac/Mercurius/universal dissolvent. The alchemical washings are to be meant as pouring on-merging-combining actions, and with dissolving purposes, in fact, the universal dissolvent can reduce to Mercurius whatever salt (7).
Just a few paragraphs above Orthelius talked of raw matters from which extracting the threefold salt. But, as you can see, this is not compulsory. We are in the first, preparatory, works, so the matters to choose from can be heterogeneous. And often selected as per atmospherical (more or less charged with Spiritus Mundi from the sky or the deep of the earth) and chemical (some reactions do occur better than others even in Alchemy) needed or wanted requirements.
“Side-note: Heterogeneous things to be avoided.
I want to loyally warn you, given that nothing Philosophicus in herbs, trees, animals, grease, metals, salt, vitriol, or alum, useless things for the purposes you are looking for. Gold too and to some extent silver as well, cannot bear comparison with the Primum Ens/First Being which is overtly called Prima Materia/First Matter. He who is wise knows it. About this thing I recommend you to read Arnau de Vilanova’s testament. Which is the starting point. The Stone arises from the Earth, and being submerged in very clear water augments in 12 hours.”
The First Being/First Matter is our Mercurius out of the salts volatilization in the first work. Of course, no one of the above-mentioned raw matters can compete with Mercurius, but the volatilized salts from them. Alchemical works start from the element earth and with the element earth finds its conclusion.
Previous chapter Orthelius Commentary on Sendivogius. Preface .
Next chapter Orthelius Commentary on Sendivogius. Chapter 2.
- See also Atalanta Fugiens & Terra Alba Foliata ;
- See also Atalanta Fugiens & Mercurius Duplicatus ;
- See also Cabala Mineralis & the three Salts Enigma ;
- See also Nicolas Lefevre and the Flos Coeli Medicine , Lemery, Saltpeter and the Blood of Salamander , Starkey Pyrotechnie & Volatilization of Alkalis 2 ;
- See also Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis. Part 2 and Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis. Part 6 ;
- Perhaps Orthelius here means the book Rythmi de Opere Universali ex coelo soloque prodeunte,….in Michael Sendivogius Lumen Chymicum Novum ed. Andreas Orthelius, Erphordiae 1624. Inspite of the Latin title the book is in German. There is a summary in Summa Rhytmorum Germanicorum de Opere Universalis edited by the same Orthelius, and which the reader can find in the same Theatrum Chemicum Zetzneri Argentorati, Tome 6;
- See also Dom Pernety, Laton & Putrefaction ;