Those stating Augurello denies chemical operative systems to make gold have just run over his Crysopoeia. Let’s have a thorough examination of his words.
The main problem before hermetic poems is that they were not conceived as alchemical treatises but often as real word games in which authors show off their ability to deride the readers, unable to give a sense out of their lines. So we cannot think of them as didactic works, but rather real ability games competing.
So I decided to summarize the pages in simpler words, but I will give a taste of poetry translating in full in some cases.
This is the second book continuing Augurello and the Art of Making Gold, the First Book. My translation is from latin.
Augurello starts invoking the vast divinity of Phoebus, that’s Apollo’s epithet, the “brilliant”. Phoebus was Apollo, the sun god without being the sun itself (represented by a special divinity, Helios ). So the poet is here considering Apollo as the god of light. Additionally, he calls for Homer’s help: “ he who celebrated the power of Apollo and the muses”.
Not only Augurello points at Apollo as Phoebus, the light, but he mentions Homer, the first greek documented lyrist to celebrate an epic, not a foreigner to mystery and hermetic cultures.
“You reader wish the exquisite white like snow stone or the powder which transmutes its snowy whiteness into permanent redness. The minimum part of those mixed with any metal will make you tremble and rave before the exact weight of silver is obtained: in so doing, you will see the power of this missing liquor. And even more precious than an honorable purple powder will promptly reduce all metals in a gold mass.
This lucky man will see him as a minister of Nature when from earth and pits of sparks he will extract and produce the light and keep it well closed in a vessel. And do this. He will give humid nourishment to this matter, imitating the worker who sews the seed in the earth’s interior.
Why you slow thinkers do talk of soft wines mixed with hard metals? Or do your unskilled hands try to use human blood? Or eggs or herbs? When these things have nothing to do with the gold hidden inside the mounts from which it is extracted. All you need is to take some grapes, squeeze them in a press and then put them into a vessel or a vial with a sharp end spout to be placed on red hot coals, or put this vessel inside a cauldron with boiling water.
The following paragraph is fully translated: “Soon you will see a subtle vapor inside this vessel and distill penetrating this upper part, in water, it is converted and takes the very evident name of Water of Life, or better of ardent Water, and this Water of Life drop by drop and for a long period is distilled through a little pipe and device made for the purpose. After this beautiful liquor is distilled in this vessel or hat several times, and as it goes, it seems to be reduced and accumulated, it is worth enough to be kept. But this water is made mainly by a slow and moderate fire or cooked by a suitable heat in a manure bed by a little process. And when the time is ready, you will prepare a long-necked glass with two dependent hollow shanks, or handles, which will descend to the bottom of the vessel. When the liquor in this place is kept at the top of the vessel, it arrives, and then through these two handles, it descends to the bottom, again and again, to return to the starting point.
This liquor is lighter than anything and goes with excellent mobility in its run, repeated so many times by incessantly distilling, always passing through the same places. Little by little, a thick mass is forming of snowy whiteness. This matter is composed of gold fillings in its fluid form, as you can find it in a cave.”
It is not difficult to spot the Pelican Tool (1) in this paragraph. A device that has the great asset of producing continuous distillations. And we know we have to perform a repetition of volatilizations to free our First Matter.
“Inside this liquor, you can already find its active and passive agents, and this causes, by a mutual force, the male to be involved with the female, like the chick taking its nourishment from the egg and receiving life from the exterior.
Nevertheless, some people believe in operating with simple elements to force their will. Still, instead, we are before the natural being of the elements, which is so vigorous to penetrate all vessels. One needs to make a thick and hard Lover.”
Augurello reproves all the people picking up metallic sulfur, niter, salt, and wine and cooking them, distilling them droplet by droplet or melting. Then they dissolve again and again, and again and again, they reduce and fix, then wash and break, and calcine and reduce to earth, and when the thing is deprived of its vapors, at that moment, the dry Spirits of the body are raised to the top and reduced to ashes. These people’s laboratories are equipped with all kinds of devices, pieces of evidence of infinite works quite often condemned to failure.
“The four Elements are often misinterpreted. Nature operates through dissolving and coagulating. Despite these two movements, the matter is always a single one and never divided; in the same way, the theory of mutations must be intended from hot to cold, dry and humid. Thanks to this genital force from a perishable body, you can make a body involving it in wonderful accords, as everything, before conquering, must undergo putrefaction. But not only you have to find the matter out of which to make this Quicksilver, but also the matter which will give a form to Quicksilver since the last one is naturally bound to have any form.”
Augurello here seems to deprecate laboratory proceedings, but he’s simply searching for the ancient easy method. The following pages are a redundant disquisition on the human tendency to get caught up in mysteries and fairy tales. But of course, Augurello cannot declare himself exempt from dreaming.
“We have Nature and how it develops metals in the earth’s inner. I will teach you the secret caves where you can find this precious treasure. And how this inestimable matter is clear and pure is rich in water drops. As well as illuminate how the Sky moves and asters heat affects a certain place where these flowing stone take their origin. And further, I will demonstrate from where the so alluring precious gems come and, what’s more, how they get so hard and brilliant. And how the Lover can be harder than Iron.”
The following lines are the more convoluted, making it very hard not only to decrypt the hermetic purpose of the paragraph but to give a sense to phrases. Augurello talks here of the Lover, Iron, and how the Magnet does join them together while unifying and dividing them. It is not a secret that the part of the alchemical art concerning the Mercurius Duplicatus, or alchemical marriage (2), has always been the most shrouded mystery. Still, I have hardly read more inaccessible wording. Since the purpose of this site is to simplify Alchemy and try to get a sense out of the symbolism, I decided to spare you and try to get above and beyond the abyss. The main characters are the Lover, Iron, and Magnet, which are partitions of our Mercurius Philosophorum, to be reunified. The primary purpose here is the extraction of the seed of gold ( but Augurello is so nasty not to tell us).
In a poor word, we need the seed of gold to be reincrudated or reduced in the same Mercurius that dissolves it. I have already explained that we don’t need any metallic gold at all to achieve a “seed of gold” since our Mercurius is often enough, being just a matter of Secret Fire, this ineffable substance coming from Suns and Stars and dwelling in our molecules. We plant Secret Fire to crop Secret Fire (3). Alchemists did not use a conventional vocabulary, so some argued that the Lover was the female Mercurius whose main purpose was to dissolve. The Iron, conversely, was the male whose primary purpose was to be dissolved. Other alchemists argue the contrary. In the footnote links, you can find more comprehensive articles on the concept (4).
Nevertheless, they all agree on the Magnet’s purpose, which is the same substance, Secret Fire/Mercurius; its purpose is to join the aforementioned and prepare them to receive the influx from the Sky (5).
Agent and patient, or active and passive, represent the same topic, but more chemically: one tends to dissolve, while the other tends to fix. Often instead of being two substances, they are just two different stages of the same substance.
Augurello doesn’t mean to explain more than this; for the moment, he suddenly resumes what he seemed to have left incomplete, that’s to say, “ the secret caves in which you can find this precious treasure”.
Augurello: “I don’t mean here to veil our Emerald, whose green color symbolizes its virtue. To an extent, there is no more valuable color than that of the Earth when putting on springtime clothing, and it looks salubrious, if not thanks to this wonderful green color it wears. There is not much green color as the green of our Emerald in its blossoming beauty.”
Emerald is an allegory for the Flos Coeli or flux of the Sky (6). And here, we can understand why the poet starts this second book invoking Apollo as the god of light. Is this Emerald the precious cave of gold and a pit of sparks? Now we can understand all the processes with the pelican tool indeed.
To be continued at Augurello and the Art of Making Gold. Second Book 2.
- See also Baro Urbigerus and the Circulatum Tree and Starkey Pyrotechnie & Volatilization of Alkalis 2 ;
- See also Atalanta Fugiens & Mercurius Duplicatus ;
- See also Atalanta Fugiens & Terra Alba Foliata and Atalanta Fugiens & the Golden Apples ;
- See also Introitus Apertus vs Open Entrance. Chap 4 ;
- See also Fulcanelli & External Influences and Introitus Apertus vs Open Entrance. Chap 2 ;
- See also Nicolas Lefevre and the Flos Coeli Medicine and Capello & Equinox Nostoc Collecting ;