Master Rodanius wrote a little treatise on Elements. On the rotation of the Elements, as tools of our Alchemical Works.
My interpretative translation from Umbkehrung der Element, nach Beschreibung des Meisters Rodanii, or Rotations of Elements, according to Master Rodanius description. Taken from Joachim Tancke, or Tanckius, Promptuarium Alchemiae Leipzig 1614.
The misprints, archaic forms as well as the longitudinal cut of the verso pages, has made my translation from gothic german very difficult. I hope you will not devalue my article for the lack of the introductory parts, which I have omitted to spare me a hard time. Rodanius opening words may be of some interest for bibliographers, but nothing in it can be considered detached from the following body of the treatise. Anyway the starting part of Umbkehrung der Element can be deduced from the page picture on the top. As usual, my translation in italics and comments in normal.
“……..Philosophers define the Solving as the reduction of bodies in the nature of Spirits. the Coagulation as the reduction of a Spirit in the nature of bodies, and so the Body shall be spiritual, and the Spirit corporeal, both shall turn to be a philosophical composite (philosophorum) as they called it…..”
Very poetic words which express very practical truths. In few words the alchemists of the time defined Spirits everything which was able to “run away”, so even fumes and vapors. While Bodies was everything prevented to run away. To the first one they give the name of Mercurius, to the second the name of Salt. In fact they believe that a body which allowed its fumes to fly away, was a body which had missed the Spirits of Life. The Soul was extracted in a second operation.
The above mentioned are the primitive substances in which ancient alchemists believed the matter to be composed. They imagine a fume or volatile liquid to be a component of the matter, because they observed escaping fumes when heating matters. This is obvious and rather superstitious for us, today. But the idea behind that nomenclature is more complex, we are a step beyond than that. We are at the formation of our extremely volatile alchemical Mercurius, which is formed after reiterated volatilizations of salts. The running away matter is then much more complex that mere fumes.The fixation of this volatility is a matter of real knowledge, it is by real Philosophers ( latin philosophorum).
“….make the fixed running away and the running away fixed, in this way through the Grace of God you will achieve the full Mastery.”
Not only the philosophical volatile matter must be made fixed, but the fixed must in every moment be able to return to volatility. In this way all the unwanted matter is really discharged. There is another meaning for this statement: the volatile matter is able to dissolve, the fixed matter should have the same property. We will see how this concept is developed. The continue passage of the states of matter is absolutely indispensable in our alchemical works.
” Neither God can turn white this solution, without the transformation of the Elements, Turba Philosophorum says: set the Elements so you will find what you search, and surely the rotation of Elements is not different, then the transformation of Elements in other Nature.
Philosophers say that the four elements are result of an action and they are not mere aspects and they also say that without the four elements nothing can be accomplished….”
Elements are the result of passages from heat to cold, cold to head, dry to wet and wet to dry. Because the action is here not chemical but into the realm of physics. And it affects the electronic clouds of matters. Because the electronic movements greatly affect our Secret Fire and our operative methods.
“…..but in the same way in some of them different things master different Elements, as we see in Lapide Philosophorum ( Philosophers Stone). Philosophers say that our Stone will come from both belly and Spirit-Soul.
For this reason Corpora (bodies) are useful to this composition…….”
Although the Philosophers Stone, because of fixity, can be considered a body encloses all the features met during our works, so is even perfectly able to dissolve and volatilize. Like a Spirit.
” In Sol and Luna the dominations are not established and there is a complex game.”
This was an almost impossible for me to translate paragraph. The real instructions are in the following, and plain, sentences. So, although not fully literal, my translation is here purely interpretative. My interpretation translation is a summary of the paragraph, as well as a Sol and Luna behavior in the long run.
“In Sol the Fire dominates the other Elements…..”
In Alchemy Sol, or Sun in latin, may symbolize either metallic gold ( our Sun in the earth), or Sulphur, or Redness, or fixity, or the male part of the alchemical marriage (1). They are all renown for their dry featuring. Consequently it is intuitive enough why the Element Fire here dominates the other Elements.
” …….and about those, it is in the red Stone and in yellow color as well as having a role in a warm and true Corpus (body), and certainly not in the very hot, that the Earth is another Element so the bright Gold, the Earth is cold and dry, it moderates the Sol, then the Fire will retake the yellow color and the Sol entirely in a perfect red shall become, and so even red.”
We know of the passage of colors in the main work. The Element Fire can take our First Matter out of the Whiteness and, through the yellow-orange, to a perfect cooking in the Redness. In fact in many paths the perfect Red is achieved by means of skillful cooking. Since the First Matter is just one, the Element Fire takes the matter from whiteness to redness.
” But in Luna (Moon in Latin) dominates the Earth on the other Elements and those will be taken to a white color, which is a cold Corpus ( body), a little humid and dry, then the other Elements like Fire and Water are in equal part in the Luna . The Water alone is superior to the Fire and because of that takes care of the Philosophical Luna in a humid and cold Corpus, when in the Luna the Water is not superior to Fire, so certainly the whiteness of the Luna becomes yellow and consequently this Corpus (body) shall take the nature of Sol”.
Luna is here the female part of the alchemical marriage. The Dissolvent (see and Opus Magnum scheme)
To be continued at Rodanius and the Rotation of Elements Part 2.
See also Stoll, the Lacinius Translator on Male and Female Elements , Wenceslaw Lavinius and the Sky and Earth Properties , Cesare Ripa & the Hot Frozen Ouroboros World Machine and Glaser’s Frontispiece ;