As below, i.e., to attract greater Mercurius/Secret Fire/Spiritus Universalis from the sky and gather it into our virginal dissolvent.
My translation from Archarion’s La Via della Vera Alchimia, ed. Mediterranee 1994, appendix Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis from Cod SN 2897 in the Vienna Nationalbibliothek, with the Ms full title Testamentum Der Fraternitet Rosæ et Auræ Crucis, als gewisse Extases oder geheime Operationes, wodurch das Mysterium eröffnet an unsere Kinder der Weisheit göttlicher Magie und englischer Cabbalae. I.W.R. Anno 580.
The first chapter is known as ‘Nosce te Ipsum‘ at Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis. Part 2.
In the second chapter of Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis we understand why preparing a salt particularly charged in Spiritus Mundi ( spirit of the world) is important when putting together the dissolvent. It is of the utmost importance to bring down the Mercurius/Secret Fire/Spiritus Universalis/Vitriolum Microcosmi from the Macrocosm ( the above) to our Microcosm ( below). But Macrocosm, as we will see, does mean both sky and the interior of the earth. The Microcosm is our little alchemical “battlefield”: the preparation of the virginal Dissolvent/Alcahest, or Mercurius. Another step of the countless transformations of our Spirit of life.
We will see in the coming chapters how Macrocosm and Microcosm meanings will fit a more complex situation. Presently we have to prepare the Dissolvent. As dissolvent is also the philosophers Stone and in Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis the red Stone will not remain confined to itself but will take on a broader sense.
In this chapter, we will encounter a lot of specific names. Theoretically, our ineffable substance is always the same; its appearance is always changing, largely depending on the stages of the work and according to the different paths described here (see an Opus Magnum scheme).
The operations focusing on the preliminary works are more unveiled than the main work ones. In fact, the alchemical marriage and the following feedings are here roughly treated and barely mentioned. To complicate things, the author hints at numerous paths and jumbles processes. Anyway, it isn’t easy to find proceedings more clear than those.
Note that all the passages of states in preliminary works are comprehensive of what we call “Solve et Coagula”—crystallizing, crushing, liquefying, and then over and over again. They all are indispensable to come to the Spiritus/Secret Fire from power to the act.
What is below is as what is above.
Now, if you want to search for the spiritus universalis magneticus, bear in mind: it is obtained in various ways. First: it hovers in the air; second, in the dew, rain, snow, and hail. The fastest thing is to get it from rainwater. The spiritus mundi moves down frequently to keep all the created things in life, so it is hidden in the spirit that weaves and creates all the spirits from which all things begin. And here, it hovers in the water.
With fir wood, have some large barrels made containing 12-16 buckets ( around 1000 liters) of water, and cover well. In spring, take rainwater, and when the weather is fine, keep them uncovered under the sun and moon; in fact: Patrem ea res habet solem, matrem lunam ( this thing has the sun as father and moon as a mother). This water is particularly fertile because it contains all the superior forces. Finally, when appears Venus is swimming in the sea, that’s to say, it turns green, then it becomes magnetic. Then replace the water that received sunbeams with other rainwater; when it rains, and the weather is terrible, you have to cover it. In addition, the barrels must be kept in a hidden place where no one can get to them. After four to eight weeks, when it starts to putrefy and a mucous substance gets formed, cover the barrels because in them you have, concealed, the spiritus and the beginning of all things in the world.
Take two large alembics, put them in a balneum-mariae, set a helmet and a gathering container, fix them well, and distillate one part. Keep the distillate tightly closed in stone vessels. Then distill another part and preserve this one. Leave the third part (one-third of the liquid) in the alembic. When everything has cooled, pour on the liquor and other fresh rainwater, set the helmet and the water container, fix them well, and distill a part of the Phlegm again. Pour other fresh water and keep going until you’ve consumed all the water and distilled everything but some 12 measures of liquor, which will be red-brown. Remember: you have to distill all the slime and earth produced in the putrefaction, so you have not only pure earth but also a red sulfur, the real Hermes fish without bone, swimming in this fiery salty sea. Keep well the residual liquor. Then take your spirit and have rectified: the remained phlegm is of no use. Keep it carefully when you have extracted your spiritus, except for 2-3 measures, because it is very volatile and penetrating. Then take the red-brown liquid/liquor, pour it into a retort, put it in a bath of cinders, cover it with the container, and distill everything but a dense liquor. Let cool and pour the second part of the distillate, which will concentrate again. Let rest for a day and a night, then distill again. This time, distill until a residual liquor denser than the first will remain. Pour the distillate again, and leave for two days and two nights so that it will soften again. When you see the earth separating, pour all the clear solution into another retort.
Close tight your retort with the earth and conserve it with care. Place the retort with the liquor in a bath of sand or better cinders, set a water container, fit it well, and distill four measures. Keep the distillate, pour the red residual liquor into a glass, cover it well, put it in a cool place, and see if crystals form. When crystals of various colors are formed, decant the liquor into a crooked, pick up crystals with wood pliers and keep away from dust; add a measure of spiritus to liquor and distill in cinders a little more of measure, add the distillate to the previous one. Place the vessel in a cold place and let other crystals be formed; take them and add the residual spiritus to the remaining liquor, distill again in cinders a little more of a measure, put the liquor in the cellar, and wait for the formation of new crystals. And add the distilled to the previous. When the crystals are formed, decant the liquor, take the crystals, and keep them with care. Distill a part of the liquor again and wait for the crystals to form. Repeat this operation for all the crystals to be formed; In this way, you have the vitriolum microcosmi.
If some red remains stuck, pour it over again all that spiritus spirtuosus that you have distilled from the liquor and rinse vessels with it. Then pour the remaining one on the earth you have put aside. Pour it all on the liquor where no more crystals are formed and distill it into a retort. Towards the end, increase the flame so that the bottom of the retort should be red hot. It does not matter if it cracks. Remove the retort from the heat, break it, and collect all the red-brown earth, grind it to powder, put it in an alembic, pour the distilled spirit over, and extract it so white earth will settle on the bottom. Pour the red extract into a clean glass. Put the remaining earth into a small alembic, set it in the sand, and distill all the remaining humidity until total drying, so you have prepared the sigillum Hermetis. Also, distill the red liquor until a thick red juice preserves the super distillate spirit. Then take all crystals, grind them very well, and put them in an alembic. Also, add the thick red fiery liquor and a measure of the last distilled water.
Place the alembic on moderate heat. So everything will soften. Let rest for four days and four nights so that crystals will liquefy. Then put the glass in a cool place, so other crystals will form, which look entirely different. When crystals are formed, decant the liquor, and pick up the crystal. Distill half of the liquor, put again what the residual in cinders, and so on. Repeat until all the crystals are formed. Liquefy them again, and if you do not have any saturated water, take what I told you to put aside after the first distillation, liquefy the crystals and wait for them to be formed again. Repeat the operation several times until they melt into the fire as a wax, so you have prepared the sal sapientiae, the strongest of all things; as Hermes says, starting from the macrocosm, you have prepared the lapis medicinalis, a spiritual rock. Also, it is confirmed what Hermes says, that what is above is what is below, and with it, you can perform wonders.
Take half an ounce of these crystals and grind them up with a dram (1/8 ounce) of gold, put them together in a phial, seal it, and set it all together in our athanor until colors appear. You can enhance your universal stone with other crystals, so you get the lapis medicinalis fixus.
But you can also do this: take your crystals of the first order (sal sapientiae), grind them very well to two ounces of this, add one ounce of purified mercury, and put them together in an alembic. Set a helm and heat with a fire that can sublimate. Add the sublimate to the residual and sublime again. Repeat until everything has risen except a few feces. Then pick up the sublimate and sublime it alone several times. Now you have two ways in front of you again: the dry one with gold and a humid one after you have made the sublimate to liquefy in a cellar. Treat this liquor as I taught you for the urine, as it’s the same thing so that you will get the lapis medicinalis again.
Nevertheless, you can also do this: take your sublimate and grind it up to a powder, then with it also grinds your fiery red sulfur and sublime together, so the sublimed sulfur will increase with it, and you have the fire of nature. You can pass this fire through colors alone or distill it together with sublimate by coobations, you have to let soften (becoming an oil) the sublimate in a cellar. So you get a fiery liquor.
But you can transform your crystals in a liquor (in a steam bath), even at the very beginning, and distill by coobations. Then pour this liquor on red sulfur and extract it, carefully decant the clear solution, pick up the white earth, and put it in a phial. If this earth weighs a dram, you must pour four drams of liquor on it. Then close the phial and place it in the athanor. Heat for four weeks with a first-degree fire so the mass begins to turn black. If not, then you did not correctly operate. Therefore, past four weeks, let the fire of first-degree acting for another four weeks, so you get the right velvety black, the philosophical black ( the images below have been taken from ms. Darmstadt).
These four weeks past increase the heat, but only lightly. You have to know that the first-degree fire must correspond to the heat produced by a brooding hen, and if you would increase the heat too much, yellow and white appear before and eventually would become red; that’s to say that newborn white will burn out. Bear in mind, however, that after the black color, the glass should be immersed in the cinders but not very deep so that matter is still high in the glass. The heat of the second degree must correspond to the maximum heat from the summer sun.
After about four weeks, the tail of the peacock will appear. Once you have seen many colors increase fire by a degree so that the glass does not get red-hot and keep it for another four weeks, so all the colors will pass, and the matter will gradually become dazzling white. As it becomes white, sink the glass in the cinders, increase the fire again, and keep it so for another four weeks so that it will turn red peach. Increase heat for a further four weeks, so the red peach becomes a red-blue, and a king appears; the substance in the glass center coagulates till it becomes a ruby: so you have the lapis medicinalis, Which you can see represented in the image on the left ( while the images below have been taken from ms. Darmstadt).