Those stating Augurello denies chemical operative systems to make gold surely have just run over his Crysopoeia. Let’s have a thorough examination of his words.
The main problem, when we are 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 that competed each other.
So I decided to summarize the pages in more simple words, but I will give a taste of poetry translating in full in some cases.
This is the second book continuing the Augurello and the Art of Making Gold, First Book. My translation from latin.
Augurello starts invoking the huge divinity of Phoebus, that’s to say an Apollo’s epithet, the “brilliant”. In fact Phoebus was Apollo, the sun-god-without being the sun itself (which was 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 foreigner to mysteric and hermetic cultures.
“You reader surely wish the exquisite the white like snow stone, or the powder which transmutes its snowy whiteness into permanent redness. The minimum part of those being mixed with any metal will make you trembling and raving before the same weigh of silver obtained: in so doing you will see the power of this missing liquor. And even more precious that 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 sparkshe will extract and produce the light and keep it well closed in a vessel. And done this he will give humid nourishment to this matter, in so imitating the worker who sews the seed in the earth interior.
Why you slow thinkers do talk of soft wines mixed with hard metals? Or your unskilled hands try to use the 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 just 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 better 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. Afterthis beautiful liquor is being distilled in this vessel or hat for several times, and as it goes it seems to be reduced and accumulated, it is worth enough to be kept. But this water is mostly made 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 to the bottom of the vessel will descend. When the liquor in this place is kept at the top of the vessel is arrived and then through these two handles it descends to bottom again and again, to return to the starting point.
This liquor is lighter than anything and goes with great mobility in its run repeated so much times by incessantly distilling always passing through the same places. Little by little a thick mass is forming, of a snowy whiteness. This matter is composed by 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 which 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 egg and receiving life from the exterior.
Nevertheless there are people who believe to operate with simple elements to force to their will, but 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.”