Page 59: “Plato says that our operation is in no way similar to operations of nature, which from a simple thing can do a composed one by means of the elements;
but we work in a reverse way, that’s to say we do a simple thing, in the same way as we separate gold from all its detrimental parts in order to make a new quick nature, which we then make a tincture. This simple nature, extracted from gold, is a quick Mercurius, which nature hasn’t yet completed because nature doesn’t make tinctures; but it has simply given Mercurius a form susceptible to change.
By means of the art, it can achieve this tincture, which nature has refused, and that will be what we call real silver, which comes before gold, which we can decorate with gold because this silver is the real Mercurius which is to be decorated and formed by gold, as we will shortly demonstrate later. We will make you see that gold contains the Soul of this Mercurius, according to the feeling of the old man when saying that gold is being born when the silver is being grown, and that silver is a dead body, which we animate giving it the Soul extracted out of gold, and that this very silver is a woman who is given a husband to have children”
First of all, we would like to know if this “silver” is the metal silver or a synonym for Mercurius. Since Stuart Chevalier says it is coming before gold, we can argue she is dealing with Mercurius, the formless. But the very concept here is Mercurius being originally deprived of a Soul, which is given by gold. In fact, Mercurius is the Spirit of Life. It would be interesting to know what ancient alchemists did mean for the metallic soul. Of course, we cannot accept the idea of metal giving seeds, and children, and undergoing marriages. Here the french alchemist expresses herself in such an ancient way to seem a contemporary of Cleopatra. Let’s say that metallic gold is the hugest Secret Fire container on the planet and is surely recommended. But we know that Alchemy can be performed without any metallic gold at all. As a matter of fact, a certain golden color can be obtained during our work. Anyway, keep noticing that if “silver” is a woman, also the man she is marrying is a woman “Mercurius” of gold. In the sense that the man-gold, in order to get married, has previously been reduced to Mercurius. In a poor words: alchemical marriages can be done only between two Mercurii, or metals reduced to Mercurius. Sadly alchemists call marriage also any fixation of volatile as well as the dissolution of gold inside Mercurius. The observation under the statement is that Mercurius will always dissolve gold, but gold will always fix Mercurius giving it a form. Chemical and alchemical notes were hardly disjointed.
Page 60: “We have to notice that here we are talking of the substance we extract from gold. and which is the real Mercurius or Sulphur of the Philosophers, and which is the only means for conjoining the Tincture, as says Al Jabair in his Summa. And when one has this means of conjunction, one is able to unravel the mystery in a short time. The Philosophers use to say this Sulphur is called the Nascent Stone; but let’s come now to the hidden stone which is the Soul and the form of the living rock.
The Mercurius Philosophorum must be made fugitive but it has to be fixed later and made stable. It was killed; its Soul has been separated from the body; but it needs to be given back its form and Soul to be made stable and living, so as to be able to produce fruits of its genus.
Page 61: This form cannot be other than the gold or the Soul which has been separated from it. This matter is much quicker than the gold composed of its corporal and spiritual substance.
Without the reincrudated gold, it is impossible of achieving a real Tincture, since there is only gold to be able to plunge into Mercurius. It really plunges and gets dissolved in the Mercurius Philosophorum, if is suitably prepared for a real Tincture.
Page 62: The Spirits do not freeze with gold but by means of the art and it is not possible to perform the whole work without the conjunction of gold and silver; however one has to fully understand this expression; the silver of Philosophers is nothing more than the aforementioned Mercurius Philosophorum.
On this subject let me quote Aeneide by Vergilius, chant 6, where there is Aeneas and Sibyl seize a shrub, cut it in half, and despite this amputation, it always keeps growing again. This shrub is the golden river celebrated by the pagan poets in their works.
… it is the body of the stone to retain the soul which cannot apply its power without being joined to a body. For the same reason, the Tincture cannot be perfected without being joined to a body”.
Page 63: “For this very reason soon after its appearance this matter must be reduced in a body and restrained in order to keep it stable and prevent it from flying away. Plato says this matter has soon to be provided with a body and its Soul must be of the same nature as gold, because it receives life just by means of its body, in a way similar to bread when fermented with a leaven which must be of the same nature.
Thus the Mercurius Philosophorum coming from gold, or from its first matter, has to be restrained by gold. Hermes says the ferment of gold is the same gold, and despite the matter being white in the beginning, it is all the same of the very nature of gold and towards the end of the operation this matter turns into a well-red crocus, but this comes after having introduced the leaven.
Mercurius Philosophorum and Ferment are two elements to be joined. These two elements are dry and humid. The dry is the body, or ferment by means of that we coagulate these two things together.
Page 64: We set aside the Mercurius and call it the hidden stone, for we can’t help to admire both the Sulphur contained inside, the matter in it, and also from where it gets the admirable virtues it retains;
since it makes fugitive the body with which is joined: it is a fixed body attracting a fugitive Mercurius, and is able to keep this capability, till it arrives at an age at which it can produce its similar by multiplying to infinity. They get easily together because they are of the same nature”.
Of course, being both Mercurii.
“…. Al Jabair says the Mercurius Philosophorum (9) can’t have a yellowish color without being mixed inside a thing wholly tingeing it. Because it contains a perfect tincture.
Page 65: We never get to dye Mercurius without using some gold, which is impossible to find before. Gold is a blessed stone and without it, the nascent stone of Mercurius would surely die.
This blessed Stone is the heart, the form, and the Tincture of gold. Hermes says, about it, that “at the turn of the century, earth and sky will join”. When saying “earth and sky” this philosopher means the two beings we have mentioned before.
The first part of the operation consists of the preparation of Mercurius; the second of the fixation and the fermentation of this double mercurius, because in this case, we have to operate real conjunction of elements: the actives virtues and the passive ones get reunified and inseparably joined; but these two things must be well prepared, get along nicely in order to produce all the effects. They have to be closed inside a glass vessel and exposed to temperate heat since in this way their matter will act as nature. In the same way, as they would be in the deep of the earth.
Page 66: “This matter is unquestionably the foundation of the work. The whole success of the operation relies on its preparation of its. One has moreover to make it suitable to receive the influences of the stars since without it would be impossible to succeed. Art is all about the preparation of the matter; nature does the remaining as well as giving the suitable form.
Thus to summarize all our talking, all we have to do is make a single substance. Plato believes that one has to join these two forms separately, by means of the art, with the matter which one gets out of the imperfect metals. This double form doesn’t entirely receive metals, in fact, it just allows the most subtle and purest substance of these bodies.
Page 67: “Only this part can be converted into gold; the other part of the matter is abandoned and falls into waste while doing projection.
The alchemist’s goal is not to make gold, but they mean to do a thing much more precious than gold itself. They are looking for the tincture of gold, which, in action, is the real form of gold. The form is also called the imperfect metals ferment, though gold is the ferment of Mercurius which has been previously extracted since the Mercurius and the Ferment are of the same nature; but this ferment has to be quick and spiritual to be able of conjunction in the same way as one can join water with water.
After this mixing, what the body has enclosed, will look evident and what appears is hidden, as it happens when the wax is melted; the one and the other become the same nature.
These two Spirits make coagulation of the same kind, as milk when is coagulated to make cheese, which is done from milk which is of the same nature as cheese. The whole milk substance cannot but convert in cheese: apart just separating the little milk or the watery part which is unable to coagulate”.
Page 68: Metals coagulation is done in the same way, in order to make an appropriate comparison: the whole of the imperfect metals substance will not be converted into gold, but only the suitable parts which are of the same nature as gold. There are only these parts that can be tinged in gold and these parts are nothing more than pure quicksilver.
So we have to actually know if the quicksilver will be tinged in the same way, or if it gets coagulated in gold, or if it will be just its Sulphur to be tinged and coagulated. If this happened, the Sulphur would be surely weakened, or to say better, killed; since if the quicksilver is coagulated with its Sulphur, the result will be an imperfect metal, and if one separates the Sulphur, it gets converted into imperfect gold.
When nature wants to make gold from imperfect metals, it starts with depriving their detrimentalSulphur, but nature employs a lot of time to perform this operation in the deep of the earth. With Tincture, on the contrary, this is done in a very short time, thanks to the great analogy existing between imperfect metals and the Tincture used to remove their diseases.
Page 69: “ The Art explains the method to convert metals in gold and not in stones or other matters: since if one could transmute stones into gold, that would be a miraculous transmutation, while the transmutation of imperfect and metallic bodies into gold is nothing but really natural because if the matter would not be already prepared by nature to receive Tincture, one could never convert into gold by means of the Art.
We can prepare the form of imperfect metals and their matter with other Spirits containing huge metallic virtues”
Just keep notice that the element earth is the supreme and final alchemical goal, not only the reunification of all alchemical elements but the solidification of a huge amount of Secret Fire in a tiny new body. The Summa Philosophica.
Next Stuart Chevalier, Lessons on Mercurii from Hexagon to Circle.
Previous Stuart Chevalier, Lessons on Earth & the Marriages of a Virgin.
- See also Universal Sal Armoniacum & Hollandus Sal Armeniacum;
- See also Weidenfeld & Basilius Oleum Vitriolis;
- See also Lemery & the Spirits of Sal Armoniac , and Lemery & the Spirits of Common salt with wine;
- See also Atalanta Fugiens & Mercurius Duplicatus;
- See also Thesaurus Hermeticum & the Pythagorean River;
- Fioravanti & the Metals Calcination;
- Archarion & the Opus Magum Scheme;
- Atalanta Fugiens & the Golden Apples;
- Basilius Valentinus, Salt, Azoth or Philosophers Gold?