Two different drinks. One for the Spirit and blood for the Soul. Gentle the first, unexpectedly cruel the second. The Ripley Scroll shows all the dripping.
“Of my blood and water I wish, Plenty in all the World there is, It runs in every place, Who it finds he has grace……….”. Not such a remarkable verse indeed, but it names two very interesting tools: Blood and Water, or better Water and Blood, since the first is the forerunner of the second.
The Mellon 41 is the Ripley Scroll of the university of Yale, in fact it is known as the Ripley Yale ( turn the page to see a full image) and it is the version I prefer, because of its three alchemical works, or parts, so magnificently rendered. Not only, but the Ripley Scroll in general is one of my favourite alchemical pictographic collection as well. I know that many serious ( in the very sense that they don’t easily smile) european researchers would turn up the corners of the mouth: the Ripley scroll is too simple to be complicated, and too much schematic to be misleading.
As a matter of fact in the second part of the scroll there are two kind of “rains” that can cause confusion. Before getting down to try an explication, we have to understand where we are, in what stage. To the purpose an Opus magnum scheme can get useful. Roughly a Mercurius Philosophorum has come out of pelican rotations (1), a Mercurius not more volatile but fixed in something more sulfurous (2). Then we start a Reincrudation (3), and make twice as a Mercurius Duplicatus (4). But that will be another article, what I’m interested in is the second part of the second and final scene, or the two “Rains”.
Here we are in the main alchemical work. The first rain, as we can see on the left, is a kind of Washing and in fact it is, or Laton (5). Inside the vessel a clear watering of Mercurius/Secret Fire washes from black putrefaction to get to whiteness through a stormy grey. The dark cloud in the upper part of the drawing is also inside the vessel. A real “golden” miraculous water is falling. Gold, because that is our Philosophers Gold, or Mercurius/Secret Fire. The dark sphere is our first matter, or materia prima, (already in the spiritual form of Mercurius Philosophorum) to be whitened and then reddened in a rotations of colors (6). The strange animal is winged because of is sublimating capacity. It is also crowned because it is married (duplicated and joined with a metal) and being a Mercurius Philosophorum (bearded) is from royal descent (7). Despite its male appearance, it is a queen and a goddess, Venus (8). It is our Spirit of Life coming out of the first putrefaction and now extracting the Soul (9). It is the white Sulphur, to be fed ( a synonym of washing) on gently added Mercurius Philosophorum/Water. If you want to know more on those strange feathers go to Ripley Scroll and the Art of Plucking a Bird King.
Many rains are here expected, to change and rotate colors (10). Six feathers in fact, the seventh is pretty hidden. During this stage we will have three different kind of Mercuriii, three spheres and a threefold Moon.
But there will be a time in which we cannot go any further. The result of that will be the birthing of a real monster, who partakes in volatile/dissolving and fixing/earthing virtues of all forerunner substances. It is the Soul, of course, but partakes in the Spirit of Life and is going to become a body, a new alchemical body/Earth (11).
Nevertheless our work has not come to an end yet. We have entered in the last stage, the baby monster is being born before us (12). This child has to be fed, of course, but not with our Spirit/Mercurius/Milk. This monster is feeding on itself, since red can only drink red. Drop by drop. It is a real dripping. This dragon/Soul/Sulphur is strangely bloodthirsty, for its own blood. Nothing extraneous.
Turn the page to see a full image of the Mellon 41, the Ripley Scroll of the university of Yale.