Last preparations, both chemical and moral, to the Secret Magic which Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis is known for.
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.
You can find the previous chapter at Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis. Part 4.
“Here I finish, and I turn to things supernatural to men’s eyes, which are the other part of the mysterium”. With this sentence, the author will conclude the seventh chapter, the last “chemical” part, with the final recipe on antimonium, to move to the last “moral” part, the anteroom to the magysterium magnum. Chapters 6, 7, and 8.
I have already said that, in my opinion, the Testamentum Fraternitatis is unlikely to be a real initiated document to be handed down among a secret brotherhood. The author displays all the cultural limits of his time, allegedly the baroque age. After the last chemical teachings, the last chapter of this article should be intended as purely “moral” ( and also, the middle of the seventh is an opportunity to warn the reader). To the purpose, understandably, in the seventeenth century, nothing was more effective than the total submission to a superior God, acting as an admonition to not fall into foolish and evil temptations to rule the world for childishly egoistic purposes since the evoked possibilities are here no more merely mystic, but of a tangible entrance in a state of being other from our common terrestriality, called magysterium magnum. We will see in the coming article, especially the tenth chapter, a kind of magic that, if not black, is at least unusual for an Alchemical treatise.
Conversely, the risk of falling into fundamentalist behaviors becomes very high, especially given the total irrelevance of creation, which is attributed to the Creator here. Since I have translated from Archarion’s book and not from the original manuscript, as I mentioned in the Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis Introduction, I cannot guarantee the eighth chapter as being a part of the original manuscript or group of manuscripts. Take the chapter as it is, a frightening religious sermon, don’t let it work on your mind and continue reading.
But before concerning the last chemical parts, the author ends up with his descriptions of preliminary works to reach our Mercurius ( see an Opus Magnum scheme), introducing rock salt and antimonium, which the author at first describes as a mineral of zinc (marcasite) then he goes on as though it is a mineral of bismuth. Anyway, antimony is not foreign.
The main work, or second work, is, as usual, just hinted by sentences like the following: “… And with the lapis medicinalis you can do the lapis universalis. But you can also pour your liquor already at the beginning ( of the main work) on the pure gold, that’s said to dissolve the gold in it and then transform it in lapis medicinalis, then transforming it in tincture, making it go through colors… “. In Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis, it is not difficult to spot the proceedings dealing with the main work, the second work: they always involve the dissolution of gold.
On the preparation of sal circulatum.
Coagulated water is the mother of all metals; at the beginning of the world’s creation, all were born by water, and even today, nothing could be if this water wouldn’t fall from the sky to give life, which is their primum agens, first agent. When it gets coagulated, it is a rock, a natural stronghold, and a hidden and sealed source that no one can open. So bear in mind that is the primum ens seu quinta essentia aquae, the first entity or quintessence of water (1) and the center of all minerals and metals, that by it have been born all the things and to be able to be born again purer and more beautiful they must die in it before.
So take a pure sal gemmae, and rock salt, and pour over two parts ( in weight) of water. Mind: It should be putrefied rainwater mixed with concentrated horseradish juice ( 1/3 of the water quantity), which is necessary as it improves the putrefaction, and heat them for three months at a moderate fire. Then get it chilled and putrefy at cool for another month. Please put it in a well-circled retort, place it in a scalable oven, and make to pass which wants to pass. Remove the residue, put it into a crucible, and melt it at an intense fire. Then pour again into a retort, and place it in an oven exposed to flame for 24 hours so the salt can reverberate. Do as though the flame wraps the retort entirely, but without making the salt liquefy! Remove the salt, put it in a glass bowl, place it in a humid cellar and let it become liquor. Pour the liquor into an alembic, add distilled water, close the alembic, let to putrefy all together for fourteen days, then distill till residues are oily. Pour on this oil an over-rectified spiritus vini ( spirit of wine) and let it rest; in this way, the feces will fall to the bottom. Decant the clear part, place it in the cellar, wait for the crystals to form, and remove them.
Note: mind the following: it is better not to use the distilled in the beginning but pour it over the crystals right now to repeat the distillation until a fixed oil remains in the retort bottom and nothing sweet rises anymore. Then make this salt to digest and putrefy for a month. Place the alembic in cinder balneum and distill by cohobation till all have risen in the helm. If you don’t bother to follow the long path, you obtain the primum ens salis, the first entity of salt, or better, the real key of the salt and universal liquor. An arcane key that opens all the secrets closed in gold, silver, and mercury.
If you pour this liquor on the mercury in a retort, the mercury melts in it, so it is enough to place the retort in a sand balneum and distill by cohobation to make all risen and let in the bottom just useless earth. You can forever repeat this operation ad Infinitum till all the liquor becomes a heavy oil. Pour this oil on some well-ground pure gold ( or silver), so this will melt as ice in the water. If you have used gold, it will turn red; if you have used silver will turn yellowish. Close this liquor in a phial and make all go through the colors, So you will have the lapis medicinalis, which you can use more universally, that’s to remove all diseases.
With this sal circulatum, you can also do that: take some magnesia, that’s to say, bismuth, grind it up well, put it in an alembic, and pour over your sal circulatum, a quantity of the same, which allows you to overcome by three horizontal fingers the salt level, and let to digest together; in this way, the liquor will take a herbal green color. Decant this green liquor; repeat the operation till the liquid doesn’t take any more color, so you have a liquor universalis. Put together all the extracted and distill over and over by cohobation; this way, it is ready. Together with it, you can accomplish the opera, and if you join it to gold and silver, you obtain first the lapis medicinalis and then the lapis philosophorum universalis.
But with this liquor, you can also extract a red-gold mineral and make it go alone through colors. You can transform it into lapis medicinalis. Even with hornblende, you can accomplish your opera, as this liquor, the quintessence and containing the substance keeping all nature alive can get used with everything. Its preparations are long but give prodigious results and are not expensive. Putrefaction is the most time-consuming; the rest of the work is neither difficult nor dangerous.
While there are many methods to prepare this liquor, the safest and best is the following described. Rock salt, i.e., can be extracted in its spiritus salis (2). Pour the extracted in a retort and distill by cohobation, but just after having let it putrefy for at least one month before being wholly melted, the salt transforms into an oily substance. Eventually, have all the phlegm separated from it in the water balneum. You can prepare the magisterium in this way, even starting from vitriol, alum, saltpeter, and tartar; nonetheless, you should know how to master the fire and perform all the operations with great patience; if you work in a hurry and with little skillfulness, you will get nothing; bear it well in mind.
Now I want to teach you how to prepare the arcanum lapidis et caeli metallorum, the arcane and sky metals stone.
On the arcanum lapis et caeli metallorum.
Although many of our ancient masters have partly treated stibium, it is impossible to comprehend anything for those who don’t grasp their emblematic and ambitious speeches. Therefore you have to know that stibium or antimonium (crudum) is gold marcasite ( metallic zinc) and that the little quantity of Mercurius contained is so profoundly incorporated that it is impossible to separate from it. One cannot separate it from treating antimonium with fire because it is strongly refractory. Antimonium provides a good magnet for the spiritus universi, spirit of the universe, because it is very voracious and because, when a certain quantity of this spirit has been picked and rectified, its corpus, body, can be treated exactly as the ancients did. But since a better way has been recognized in magnesia or bismuth, given that the matter is more open and unlikely closed and given that it contains in a good measure both spiritus mundi, a beautiful Mercurius, and salt which can be extracted employing its spirit and reduce a salt which – as I have already said – the ancient called their vitriol, the latter have chosen the bismuth.
Thus we turn to antimonium, mercurius solaris coagulatus, and solar coagulated Mercurius. In fact, in it is present the most excellent essence that the Highest has placed in nature so that man recognizes his infinite omnipotence through it. As our extasi have used antimonium, we want to teach our brothers and followers to use it too. Not all want and know how to use the same matter, nor can you push a brother to do an established work, but he should be allowed to operate as he likes, as his mind and soul wish. You have to know that the man’s mind often penetrates the rock; in fact, he reaches even the inner of nature. Since man can all, he is the master of nature. Since man can do everything, he is the master of nature. If he considers the Highest above everything and abstains from human love for things, he can arrive at the very core of nature alongside the Eternal Spirit. Law of the mysterium magnum (Archarion’s note: the divine abyss of Akasha), as in it, nature’s ultimate goal is hidden; both of nature in and out us. In fact, ‘Omnia transit sed mysterium magnum permanet’ all pass by, but the utmost mystery lasts forever! suppose first, when searching inside ourselves, we don’t know ourselves and have not investigated the deepness of the Great Spirit. In that case, we cannot find and know the mysterium magnum, even if it may seem impossible to go that far. But, listen carefully, how can the man still be attached to the flesh, which his hands dripping with blood, limbs full of impurities, injustice, hypocrisy, envy, conviction, and animosity towards the Great Spirit, the man who adores a God the humankind have created and placed at their level, who constantly breaks the Lord’s commandments and who has fraudulent thoughts, almost as if the Eternal can and must be bound to this or that human commandment! Such a man, even if alive, is dead!
Daniel, even if attending the divine service by Chaldeans, worshipped his God, and in his heart, he prayed to the Lord to forgive those people’s ignorance! And the Lord answered his prayer, as he didn’t pray along the formulas of high priests and scribes, but according to his feeling. The Great Spirit did comprehend him. Then Daniel understood that the created things must be at his feet, even all the evil’s power, and worshiped him. In fact, by the spirit of knowledge, he won all aggressions of nature’s enemies and imposed them, in the name of the Lord, to prostrate at his feet; and was steadfast in his commitment to the blessed goal.
So, dear brothers, free yourself from the fear and awe in which you live! mind instead not refuse the homage of God, to offer it to the carnal! You shall not accomplish the opera if you do not love God with all your heart. If, instead, you love Him and wish to become a unique spirit with Him; you shall soon enjoy His love. But if besides Him you love even the lowest of the lowest, He will not tolerate it because it is above all things and because all existing comes from Him, while what is human, even if it seems sacred, is against him. So shun idolatry and fear only Him with all your heart, soul, and strength. So you will not lack anything; you will have what you wish for as He is life and wealthy.
Now to get to the goal, that’s to say to obtain the real quintessence starting from antimonium, you have to know that you have three ways to prepare it.
Take a raw, pure antimonium crudum you can find in Hungary at Schemnitz and Marienburg, and smelt it alone to get a king (regulus). Melt this regulus over and over together with small quantities of saltpeter and tartar till it becomes as white as silver. In this way, you have the mercurius coagulatus antimonii. melt this with oleum vitrioli and with the spirit of the same ( sulfuric acid) as follows: crush and grind your very well regulus, put into a retort, and pour over the acetum of metals (Arcarion’s note: acid), place the retort in a sand balneum, fit a gathering container and distill by cohobation what wants to rise, nevertheless till an oily substance will residue. Pour again the distilled and repeatedly cohobate until nothing more rises but useless phlegm. Then pour some fresh oleum and spiritus vetrioli and cohobate again. Till you see your oil rise, pour it all again and let it cool down.
Then replace the risen oil with the same quantity of a strong spirit of wine, and put it together at a moderate fire so it gets rotten and all the white powder falls on the bottom. Decant the solute in a clean glass and put it in a cool place: in this way, crystals do take form. Remove them, and distill from the remained solution till you think other crystals may form; make them dry, put them in a glass bowl, place them in sand balneum, and heat per gradus, degree by degree. The sublimed of a day makes it circulate the day after. Repeat the operation over and over till all gets stabilized. Then take it to the cellar in a glass bowl and wait for it to become oil. Put this oil in a retort, place it in cinders balneum, and distill the liquor by cohobation; when all have risen, you have the quintessence. Then take other fresh regulus antimonii, crush it well, pour this liquor on, and place it to digest: in this way, the liquor will become red like blood. Place the glass in a sand balneum and distill what wants to rise. Or decant the solution, pour over some fresh liquor, and extract from it what you want to be extracted.
Then put together all the extracted and only now distill by cohobation. In this way, you obtain the real quinta essentia antimonii in oil. This quintessence opens the core of the mercurius vivus; with this liquor, you can do what you want; you can stabilize the mercurius and make with it a lapis medicinalis by getting it to go through colors. And with the lapis medicinalis, you can make do the lapis universalis. But you can also pour your liquor already at the beginning ( of the main work) on the pure gold, that’s to say, dissolve the gold in it and then transform it in lapis medicinalis, and then transform it in tincture, making it go through colors.
Also: if you don’t want to work with oleum vitrioli, take the circulatum maius or minus, although the first is the most suitable for the work, I.e., if you pour the first on mercurius coagulatus antimonii, it soon transforms the Mercurius in an oily liquor universalis, while if you put on the sal dulcis circulatus, circulating sweet salt, it transforms this in salt. Thus if you pour on regulus the latter, you should decant the solution. Then put it in a cold place to make the crystals form. These crystals can be fixed again alone in a glass bowl. Then let them in the cellar, where they become an oily liquid. In this way, you have the quintessence. It is enough to keep to all said about the secret manipulations. These are the more secret operations, most essential and secure, so the brothers must keep them secret, and following their conscience, they must use them uniquely to honor God and to serve the other. Here I finish and turn to supernatural things in men’s eyes, which are the other part of the mysterium. Thus I will reveal to you something of the secret magic; that’s to say, I will tell you how the soul and body of the man who wants to practice it should be and how he can get to magic through the mysterium.
On the secret magic in the mysterium.
When the Highest by his Great Spirit had created man in his image, in the latter soon appeared the property to read the core of all the created things and name them; they, in turn, comprehend him; but since he cannot talk to nature and all the creatures, they fear him, although he was harmless and innocent. Humankind was enlightened; they lived in the light, and by it, see in the core of creatures and through them and see in the core of the mysterium and the inner center of all the things in nature and the holy Trinity. So the Lord is closer to mankind than all the created things. Consequently, if man yearns uniquely to the supreme and holy essence of Spirit and, fighting and whispering sighing, looks for it sparing no effort, he shall be penetrated by His strength.
But it is up to him, this is a task of him, to find the spirit; and to fulfill it, he must detach from all created things, giving entirely to the Lord, even to secretly enter, silently and intensely, Him, so to find in his soul the strength he is missing, which the Great Spirit produces, a thing that no natural man, being impure yet, can understand. Even the real conversion is a Great Spirit creation. So he who was to take part in magic, that’s to say to enter God’s mind and think with it, must abstain from all that is human and made by the terrestrial spirit and, through fasting and prayer, should give himself constantly to the Lord. Thus the Eternal Love cannot be hidden anymore but must go and join the Spirit; so in the soul, almost both the inner and external, one shall be able to hear the Lover’s whispering.
He is a kind-hearted and compassionate being that my pen cannot describe. Hence, when you have grasped the knowledge, it is enough. You will join the Great Mind, and you can do it every day, hour, and moment. No divine mage can serve the world since, within him, all is foreign to the world and prevent him from tying to it. Furthermore, the spirit has so profoundly entered some of our Fathers and Prophets, and they have been so penetrated to the point they have disappeared. Then, through this new strength, thanks to your sober life, and thanks to this union, you can deeply enquire and take action in all things. This will not be difficult: it will be enough authentic seriousness, continuous detachment from earthly things, and a constant silence that allows concentration. By this power, our father, after having lost searching, has found their goal and has done wonders. If you are willing, go for it, as it is far better to serve the Lord than the world and its material and carnal doctrine. Man cannot access divine magic till he is subjected to the asters, and they can affect him. While if he offers himself only to God, the Highest, to be blessed by the Great Spirit, he can discover any secret. For this reason, the learned philosophers have never been allowed to enter these secrets and have constantly vilified and persecuted the saints in the grace of the Highest.
The natural men, whose spirit is mixed with the spirit of darkness, being affected by the asters, express themselves with images that gather the men of their crowd. But these men are far from God and will fain in joining the Great Spirit, which doesn’t bear nor allow deities other than Him. Furthermore, with their commandments, these petty men prevent the devoted souls from obeying God and induce them to get away from Unique Entity, which manifests itself in Trinity, that’s to say as spirit, soul, and body. So you must fear the great and holy Jehova with all your heart and soul, give Him all your strengths, so He becomes in you the supreme strength. And when you feel the strength of the great Jehova, a kind-hearted light breeze, be sure you will turn down all the wealth in the world not to miss Him whose your soul loves so deeply. Keep silent and don’t tell anyone about this world, but hide yourself and your treasure to them, the king of the world, almost the Holy in Israel, and thanks to his strength, you will do wonders for the glory of his great Name.
To know how you should hold to reach such dignity, I warn you that you must not open your soul too much. Otherwise, you will lose all that you have conquered; or better, to this thinking, you must not associate any other, even if this may appear as holy, but you must content di have found, entering yourself, He who loves your soul.
I warn you again, so He doesn’t get angry at you. Since the most undesirable thing is that, beyond Him, other gods are honored and loved, stays Him faithful. Also will note with amazement that I have never known how the Highest manifests Himself in a holy place. No scribe and pharisee can teach you. Even to bring water to their mill, they keep you from God with their doctrines.
If you ask them what the Spirit of the Highest is and how it works in the soul, you will hear and see incredible things; you will see how the pride of men to put themselves on the same level as the Highest does not hesitate to boast of miraculous powers” Furthermore you will find out the reason why thousand and thousand of men don’t reach the conversion and union with the Great Spirit, although the path heading to Him is simple and just one.
The old Tobiah was equipped with outstanding spiritual power that the guardian angel of his son, the young Tobiah, must manifest and take the form of a travel companion. And the fish which was devouring him – the fish symbolize the natural spirit – had to die and serve as food to the young Tobiah and his companions, and his liver was used to exorcise the evil.
Bear in mind, dear brother, the secret of this magic symbol: the man should be at one with God; there it is why the natural man, wild, just like the fish, should be caught and turned into food for the saints, i.e., the house of the Great Spirit. This is why his guardian angel is willing to serve him, all because of God’s power. Employing this power, the angel drove out the devil and imprisoned him inside his liver’s fume. This fume is the wonderful prayer pronounced with deep conviction before the altar of the Great Spirit: Furthermore, the angel walked away from the darkness from the eyes of young Tobiah’s father, and for this, he regained the vision thanks to anointing with bile, to the prayer and kiss. Even here, you have a magic symbol. La bile stands for venom but also anger, which within the man can cause both living and dead. Inside the bile the utmost brutality is hidden, but at the same time, it is a balsam for the eyes, so we can see and offer to the Lord with a silent prayer our love and receive the kiss of Spirit.
Of the great secrets the beloved ancient had discovered and produced by communicating with the Great Spirit, scribes inspired by the natural world knew no one. Or better, no one had been recognized by the Lord’s worth and able to discover them. As soon as a man uses sound reason and brings God his intellect, he turns horrible before His eyes. Furthermore, if not from the Great Spirit, all the natural knowledge comes from man’s enemy and rises from the abyss of black magic. This spirit, in its superbness, always rises against the Highest. So it rises in the children of man, who begin to impose their thinking on their brothers and compel them to fall at their feet and adore them. They practice witchcraft and act against the Great Spirit to impose their thinking and hinder the Great Spirit from worshiping carnal gods instead of Him.
So, if you want to be a magician, to make the Lord not seize and devour you in His right anger for your and your pharisaical spirit is not damned for eternity, you must not turn away from him, and you must not have other gods than Him. Still, you should fear Him with all your heart and soul and obey HIs commandment with all your strength. You must be faithful to who loves you and has loved you till be born for the second time and incarnate Jesus in our flesh, the holy Messiah, the world’s salvation, drawing to the seven primordial spirits of His heart in a prodigious and incomprehensible to us. Jesus had to repair the fault and did wonders by the power of spirit, as did the disciples who followed him, called not by the flesh but by spirit. He, as an eternal and holy master and a perfect magician who knows men’s hearts to overthrow these carnal gods, didn’t want to be followed by the learned of the world but by simple and ignorant people in the Pharisee’s eyes. Nothing can exist before Him that is not put in his service. And those were made magicians and masters because they were fit to receive the cooperating power of the Spirit.
For this reason, he gave them spirit and strength and was able to resist all the evil temptations of the kingdom of darkness. His magic and spiritual hunger were so great that the enemy tried to satiate him. But He, although the devil made Him an earthly idol, offered Him all the reigns in the universe and the ruling of them, won all the temptations. The devil failed in his attempt to overwhelm him because He rejected him with the power of spirit. Jesus Immanuel was the most learned of all the learned in the world.
Nevertheless, He didn’t want the knowledge of the world, but that instilled by His Father to fulfill His will. Thanks to the Spirit’s strength, He chose twelve apostles and instilled them in His Great Spirit so they could do wonders, cast out devils, and heal the sick. After having been risen to the Father, he took action in His heart, and for this, they felt full of a sweet and heady whisper of the Great Spirit. But this happens on the Sinai Mount. Furthermore, He also penetrated three thousand souls, and the strength of the Spirit came out of their mouths as tongues of fire as in these souls, the igneous water has been descended.
When you have reached the union with God, you’ll be in the magysterium magnum. This is the real magic, you will find out what the Kabbalah is, and you will get used to it.
Previous Chapter at Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis. Part 4.
To be continued at Testamentum Fraternitatis Roseae et Aureae Crucis. Part 6.
- The original is “acquae”, an Italian neologism for the Latin “aquae”. This is another piece of evidence that the author may have written in the baroque period;
- See also Lemery & the Spirits of Common Salt with Wine ;