Stuart Chevalier is here dealing with two major alchemical arcanes: the consequentiality of the Mercurii and the alternation of hexagons and circles.
Two must-know concepts that do enlighten so many hermetic symbologies. Secret Fire is the main ingredient and its fixed-volatile working. As we go in the translation of “ Discours Philosophique sur les Trois Principles, Animal, Vegetal and Mineral, ou la Clef du Sanctuarie Philosophique”, Paris 1781, we can realize how Sabine Stuart Chevalier often speaks out of the pack when dealing with practical proceedings.
As a matter of fact, she tends to work with a system a bit too much “baroque”, and is sometimes superstitious. But she, unlike most alchemists, does speak out and tells us her processes. So a very interesting reading, just not always to imitate. The pages here presented range from number 70 to 81 and are fully translated. My translation from the original french is in quotation marks, while my comments in normal. You can find the previous chapter at Stuart Chevalier, Lessons on Earth & Two Golds.
Discours Philosophique, page 70: Diana’s Doves
“The Diana of Philosophers is the volatile salt of the earth or the virgin earth extracted from salt. “
We have already encountered the concept of Virgin Earth in Stuart Chevalier, Lessons on Earth: a Virgin Marriages. roughly the alchemical feminine always deals with volatility and a Virgin, according to Stuart ( and other alchemists of course) is simply a woman waiting for a man, or better a Mercurius waiting to be fixed.
“Hundreds of times lucky he/she who borns this Diana. She is made to appear from 7 to 9 of May. When Diana is born is always accompanied by her Doves, which main use is to feed and strengthen her until she has reached the perfection degree she can achieve.”
Diana is a goddess in the mainstream of hunting female deities, so a fast-running symbol for a fast-running substance: the volatile Whiteness/Mercurius out of the first black. Diana’sDoves stand for the first appearance of this whiteness. The same white substance (Mercurius) afterward will be poured on itself to feed and wash in order to extract as much Secret Fire/Mercurius as we can.
“So let’s have patience while waiting for her birth and we will soon see her doves appearing, which are nothing but the Philosophers Sulphur or the Tincture to achieve white and red (1). This Sulphur feeds, grows, and multiplies the philosophical gold (2).”
Mercurius/Diana so achieved generally tends to be excessively volatile and must be fixed in Mercurius Philosophorum which can be considered a Sulphur. The second White is often called White Sulphur and the red Mercurius is, even better, a Sulphur in all its power. That’s to say the same Diana’s Doves (Mercurius) out of Blackness (Mercurius) become Diana (Mercurius) and subsequent a fixation become Philosophical Gold (always Mercurius), after an operation, which we will see below, we get a second Blackness, then a White Sulphur (riped Mercurius), then Redness ( see at an Opus Magnum scheme).
“These Doves need to be joined with the Mercurius since the Sulphur is itself the form which he communicates, it is it who fixes the Mercurius and it is also the Mercurius itself who has to fix it.”
Diana, once fixed, has to be divided into other portions. One of these parts can be used to dissolve a metal inside her and then reunified to form a couple (3).
“Page 71: “The Diana’s Doves and the Philosophers gold and silver are the same things. They both are what is called the fire of wises… so it is from nature that we have to wait for her birth and all the operations.
In one word, Diana’s Doves are the Magisterium ( of the masters) accomplishment.”
All the substances subsequently obtained are always Diana’s Doves worked and reworked again. But Diana’s Doves/Mercurius is just our Secret Fire extracted from Nature, in fact, some philosophers called it Nature.
“On Mercure ( Mercurius)
Philosophers confirm that all bodies are Mercurius’s arrangement: Sendivogius states that they give the name Mercurius to all the bodies employed in Chemistry and these bodies are in the number four. Also, four Mercurii are used, and all this abundance of names which they have given to the same word, just act to trick the reader’s mind: this is why I’m going to explain what do these different mercurii designate.”
Here below Stuart Chevalier identifies four different Mercuriii where instead there is just one to have been worked and partitioned. A part sometimes a bit of foreign raw Secret Fire to be added ( during the first blackness), a first fixation, a second blackness, a partition, a metal to be dissolved into, some washings, some multiplications, some fixations, and volatilizations. The basis and Philosophy’s foundation is always the same Secret Fire/ Mercurius extracted from chemical salt sublimation. The same comes from the sun and stars, incidentally.
I would recommend avoiding this artificial division. In my opinion just a nowhere land. But if you want to test your ingenuity or knowledge here’s below you can find food for your mind:
1. “The basis and philosophy’s foundation is known as Mercurius of Bodies, or the remote matter of wises ( Materia Remota). This Mercurius does contain the philosophical water and the stone as a whole; It includes at the same time all that is searched, as inside the body so outside. Mercurius encompasses, at the same time, both the tinctures for the red and white stone and it is for this very reason that the philosophers have revealed as many ways to identify it as to, better, hide it.
2. The second Mercurius is called Mercurius of Nature because it does contain the next matter of wise (Materia Proxima), but he who is insensitive will have a hard time in trying to achieve it: because this is a work based on the foundation of the wise, the philosophers’ water, the sperm of metals and the power of their propagation; it is the radical humid (Humidus Radicalis), set up by nature
3. The third Mercurius is the real Philosophers Mercurius because only they can achieve it since it is not on sale: it is the real next matter, the real Diana, the Saturn’s Sphere, the real salt of metals; but all the ways to acquire it are above human.
4. The fourth Mercurius is called common Mercurius because is has a communication inside all the mines, but it is not the vulgar mercury on trade: we are dealing here of mercurial water, of an average substance containing a real occult fire, the real Diana’s Doves, which have the power to change all the bodies in nature”.
Of the four Mercurii mentioned by Stuart Chevalier, the last one is a chemical superstition and lies in the believe that all minerals are constituted by volatile parts, which ancient chemists called mercurius ( when roasted), and oil, which they called sulfurous part. The very concept of the virginity of a mineral lies in that. All this is absolutely useless for our main purpose being too much spagyric idea.
“You really have to consider what kind of sulfurs and mercurii you have to use to make the stone: this knowledge will be absolutely necessary to you if you want to enter the hermetic philosophy sanctuary.”
As you go in laboratory works you can see before your eyes ( or before your ears ) the same Secret Fire/Mercurius metamorphosis.
Many of these differences simply are no more in your vessels. While some are set aside.
Page 74: On Sulphur
“There isn’t any mixture which doesn’t contain any sulfur of luminous nature; but it is necessary to separate the impure part, and you will have an inner agent operating inside its mercurial matter, which is the radical humid in within is enclosed.”
This luminous nature is always our Secret Fire/Mercurius, but… as Stuart Chevalier will wonderfully shrink in a further aphorism, Secret Fire tends to naturally undergo a series of fixations-volatilization along its way from Sky to Philosophers Stone. So, when in form of ineffable matter coming from the sky, Stuart Chevalier is perfectly in her right to call it Sulfur. Furthermore Sulphur is within Mercurius, it is its agent and has to be extracted from Mercurius, or it is consequent to Mercurius.
“It is itself the form that it communicates to all bodies. It operates the whole generation in an unalterable subject. It is for this very reason that it makes appear so many different colors; but its natural color is the perfect red which is analog to nature, after having altered the subjects with which it has been joined, but nobody among philosophers has ever clearly explained the operations. They generally said: “ Spiritualize your bodies till they have a crystalline structure; get them reduced in water; anyone but the authentic sons of the art can understand the real sense of all these expressions. The common chemists don’t understand anything because they do have not the real philosophers’ alphabet, They don’t want to believe that all philosophers are of the same mind and that they agreed to not expose such a sublime thing to be violated by impious.”
“It is incomprehensible the reason why people who have just read vague recipes can try to carry out such a difficult operation. It is impossible to have them persuaded that a body cannot in any way penetrate another body and that physical bodies must be joined together by means of such a valueless thing. After having missed their reason and fortune these chemists anathematized the real philosophers whose books are to anyone’s reach.
Before approaching the operations, you have to study the nature of all its productions and try to understand the principles. We will also learn by ourselves, and with the celestial rescue, to take our operations to success.”
Page 76: On the Matter of the Stone
“We don’t have to search this matter within neither the animal nor the vegetal reign, as philosophers have stated, but one has to take what they have never mentioned; it is up to us to try the return to the origin of the three principles, of the three reigns, or to get to the point we have to collect the mine’s of mines, or the minerals first matter.”
Of course, we have to open these reigns to extract our Secret Fire. So, before getting down to work, we have to deal with normal things. We just have to return all these raw things to their origin, which is Secret Fire.
“This mine is not so important only inside mines, since vegetals and mineral also have their existence as well as their composition base. Listen to what Aristotle says. All beings convert themselves into what they are composed of. They can reduce themselves in water mixed with a little portion of the earth: it is plain that they are composed of earth and water, which has got a particular quality.”
The first product achieved, or the aforementioned Diana is a Universal Dissolvent for every body. And so it is able to reduce every body into the Primordial Water, or Secret Fire. And also to fix it.
“I will give two reasons why one has not to take a specified matter. The first is that philosophers have a particular matter prepared by nature itself.
The second is because the dead bodies are not convenient to the stone operation: I said dead bodies since all are from the center of the three aforementioned reigns are considered dead, but they can resurrect.”