What does Fulcanelli mean for Antimony? At times the very ore. But recurrently he doesn’t need being cryptic by saying: “ All ores, through the hermetic voice, rendered homage to it with their name.”
“In its subtle state is a universal Spirit, and we call our Mercurius, but when it descends and penetrates the world, it thickens and coagulates to become……..” . But Fulcanelli’s using of dry way makes difficult perceiving Mercurius features. At least the didactic wet way Mercurius we are used to.
Fulcanelli from The Dwellings of the Philosophers, 1929:
“This substance, at once positive and negative, passive containing its own active agent, is the basis, the foundation of the Great Work. Of these two natures, taken separately, the one which plays the role of the feminine matter is the only one indicated and alchemically named on the corbel bearing the overhang of a second-story beam at the Maison Lisieux . The figure of a winged dragon can be seen, its tail curled into a ringlet. The dragon is an image and symbol of the primitive and volatile body, true and unique subject upon which one must first work.
……….The philosophers have given it a multitude of diverse names besides the one under which it is commonly known. This has caused and still causes so much difficulty, so much confusion, …………….
Its traditional name, the stone of the philosophers, is descriptive enough of the body to serve as a useful basis for its identification. It is, indeed, genuinely a stone, for, out of the mine, it shows the external characteristics common to all ores. It is the chaos of the sages , in which the four elements are contained, but in a confused, disorganized manner. It is our old man and the father of metals which owe their origin to it, as it represents the first earthly metallic manifestation. It is our
All ores, through the hermetic voice, rendered homage to it with their name. It is still called
Black Dragon Covered with Scales,
Daughter of Saturn,
Venomous Serpent and “the most beloved of its children”.
This primal substance has seen its evolution interrupted by the interposition and penetration of a filthy combustible sulphur, which coats its pure mercury, holds it back, and coagulates it. And, though it is entirely volatile, this primitive mercurius , materialized by the drying action of the arsenical sulphur, takes the shape of a solid, black, dense, fibrous, brittle, crushable mass rendered, by its lack of utility, vile, abject, and despicable in the eyes of man. Yet, in this subject ~ poor relative of the metal family ~ the enlightened artist finds everything that he needs to begin and perfect his Great Work, since it is present, say the authors, at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the Work. ……. our subject contains a frightful poison whose very odor would suffice to cause death. Yet it is from this toxic mineral that the universal medicine is made, which no human illness can resist, no matter how incurable it is thought to be. But that which gives it all its value and makes it infinitely precious in the eyes of the sage is the admirable virtue it possesses, of revivifying metals that have been reduced and molten and of losing its poisonous properties by granting them its own activity. And so it does appear to be the instrument of resurrection, and of redemption of the metallic bodies, dead by violence of a reducing fire, the reason for which it bears in its coat of arms, the sign of the Redeemer, the cross.”
The problem with Fulcanelli is his speaking about dry way, which of course can not be an educational way unless you are before its processes. That’s to say unless you are before the oven. Indeed, in Fulcanelli, concepts can not become assumptions or systems of ideas intended to explain general principles. Some more charitable authors, like Philalethes or Canseliet, used to operate in dry way but brought into play wet way for didactic purposes. Sadly, this is not the case with Fulcanelli and a theory conclusion can be very challenging with him. By the way, the concept here is to get something volatile, so female, out of a black substance, and get her to become an hermaphrodite and still be able to embrace and kill metallic fixed males to a rebirth. So antimony ores can not be used as raw matter or Materia Tertia, but destroyed by this dragon-girl-old man. Nothing more likely that the girl has been previously extracted from the same antimony ore which she has to annihilate. The sex of the girl is bound to complicate things: in order to destroy ores must she remain volatile or must she got coagulated, that’s to say becoming a he-girl? The same concept is also covered in the treatise below about the wet way by an Anonymous “ A Magnificent and Select Tract on Philosophical Water” (1). Here we come up with a water of arsenic, but let’s have a reading:
“…..Whoever succeeds, with God’s help, in attaining this blessed water should thank God, for he has in his hands the key which will open the closed locks of all metal chests, and can take gold, silver, precious stones, honour, power and good health.
This blessed water is called the daughter of Pluto by the philosophers, it has strength and power over all reassures. It is also called the white, pure, tender and unspoiled maid of Beja and without it no birth or blending can occur. For this reason the philosophers have married this tender and pure maid to Gabricus, so that they bear fruit, and when she was joined with Gabricus, he died. Beja swallowed and consumed him in her great love, as Arisleus tells in his ‘Practica’: The spring or Fontina is like a mother to the king, for she draws him to her and kills him. But through her the king is resurrected again and he joins himself fast to her, so that no man can harm him. This is why the philosopher says that Gabricus is more precious and worthy and dear to the world than Beja, but he can bear no fruit alone. The philosophers have called this maid and blessed water by many thousands of different names in their books. They call it:
Arsenic, water of
dung, hellish fire of horse,
Leonem Viridis, green lion,
Menstruum or blood. They also call it
Milk, and virgin’s milk,
Oven, melting and calcinating,
Poison, deathly all-penetrating,
Quintam Essentiam Vini,
scorpion which eats its young,
stomach of an ostrich which eats and digests all things,
sulphuric steam and smoke,
water of Paradise,
waxy green juice,
and innumerable other names of animals, birds, plants, waters, juices, milks and blood, etc. They have used all these names and written of it figuratively in their books. They have suggested that such a water is made of these things, with the result that all ignorant people who have searched for it in these things, have not found the desired water.”
Arsenic, antimony, water, daughter of Saturn and Pluto, old man, woman, green lion, dragon, poison, salt, luna, father of metals. All these different names apparently have very little in common and sometimes are mutually opposed. The ubiquitous rule of three ( In Alchemy a name can stand for at least three concepts) in this case could be renamed the rule of three thousands, for at least so many are the known ways to call the Subjectum Artis. More than a definition they seem to be a fast metamorphosis into each other. Note that Fulcanelli, in the excerpt above, is not interested in giving a precise and single notion, that’s to say he does not shot a single frame, but a whole process or becoming or Tree. Secret Fire becoming Blackness becoming Mercurius becoming Mercurius Philosophorum becoming Materia Prima becoming Sulphur, finally becoming pure…..Time. Pointing on female-male nature Fulcanelli suggests Passive-Active processes. In wet way watery substances are to be dried in the end, while in dry way “ waters” are already in ore state, even if sublimated. Fulcanelli talks about ore-like substances, very similar to mineral antimony and arsenic, the anonymous in wet way about white and fluid substances coming out of dark. Yet they both are winged dragons. For, as Fulcanelli states above: “ the four elements are contained”. Mercurius coming out of Primitive Mercurius. Chaos, Indeterminate. And both are women. Rather volatile ones.
Of course the four elements are contained in the Male too. But…..here they are very unlikely to be extracted. They have become definite. Mercifully the french Adept will repeat us along these lines throughout the whole dwellings. So we are going do bump into black dragon covered with scales again and again. Don’t worry. Repetita Iuvant. Repetitions are good.
Fulcanelli’s Antimony is no more a raw ore but a philosophical one regenerating itself. However it is rather a misconception thinking that the “ Way of antimony” actually does not put to use raw ores. But it is a fact that it does not need to. Metals killed in a certain way can germinate again as their forms endure over the time in the materials that made their graves.
Thanks to “Restorers of Alchemical Manuscripts Society (1986). You can download the full treatise at www.rexresearch.com .