Is there any difference between Spiritus Mundi, Secret Fire, and Mercurius?
Strictly speaking, no. They are the same ineffable substance at the different stages of work and manifestation. We call it Spiritus Mundi before the extraction, Secret Fire during the process of extraction, and Mercurius when extracted. The difference lies in the different “host” matters, as the alchemical proceedings transmute the host matter. The envelope.
Is there any difference between Spiritus Mundi, Secret Fire, and Light?
As we have already seen in the Solar Alchemy section, although alchemical light is not the light object of Einstein’s Nobel prize, nevertheless it is not totally foreign to it. Maybe the two lights do share some physics aspects, and even share corpuscles and waves (theory of Secret Fire as electrons). But there is also a theory affirming that the alchemical light and the light subject to physics laws don’t even love each other, and operate just in absence of each other, even though the sun and stars are known as huge sources of alchemical light. The alchemical Spiritus Mundi is said to prefer the nocturnal dark to descend to the earth, by means of the Moon. If we can say to be rather accustomed to the physics light laws ( I mean for the current state of the science), very little is known about alchemical light, which is both evident and obscure. It can be visible to our eyes ( or better, detectable to our brain) when the first Mercurius, in certain paths, shines into the vessel, and even in a spectacular way when metallic gold is involved.
Is there any difference between Spiritus Mundi and Anima Mundi?
It is not easy to answer this question in modern times, as nobody has provided a concise and clear statement in this regard so far. Ancient alchemists traditionally tended to identify these two “entities” either as specific substances, as coming from specific regions of our Universe (the earth or the sky), or as coming out of different stages of the works. Anyway, the two are different and cannot be confused with each other. In a certain sense, the Spiritus Mundi can be compared to Mercurius/Universal Dissolvent/Universal Magnet, while the Anima Mundi is comparable to Sulfur. Anima means “Soul”. Spiritus Mundi and Anima Mundi are considered to be the α and ω of our alchemical works. The quest for Spiritus Mundi begins with the preparatory works, as an indispensable condition to get our Universal Dissolvent from nature. In fact, many modern alchemists take Spiritus Mundi as a synonym for Mercurius Sideribus and Universalis from the upper part of the terrestrial atmosphere. The Anima Mundi will be then extracted with the help of the Spiritus Mundi at the end of the Opus, which represents the ultimate goal. The issue was interpreted in a very pragmatic way by Johannes Trithemius (who, strictly speaking, was not an alchemist) while describing the Western divine magic: “which was namely how to get the Spiritus Mundi, which attracted to itself the stars and their influence, and how to separate the Anima Mundi to make things magnetic”.
Can we say that Spiritus Mundi and subtle body are synonymous?
Without necessarily wanting to compare Spiritus Mundi and the etheric or subtle body that surrounds and interpenetrates all bodies, the laboratory alchemist must however admit that they behave in a similar way.
What about the theory of an Inner Central Sun when referred to Spiritus Mundi?
The theory of an Inner Central Sun affirms that every independent body has an Inner Central Sun in constant back-and-forth communication with the Inner Central Sun of the astronomical Sun. As the preliminary, first, work involves the raw matter destruction to let the spiritual part out, as the latter is often called “Philosophical light”, and the operations aimed at the purpose are defined as “Extraction of Secret Fire/Spiritus Mundi/Mercurius”, consequently it can be argued the above-mentioned notions are not foreign to the idea of an Inner Central Sun of the body in the object.
What about invisible fermentation?
It was an imagined alchemical stage in which the visible matter is preceded by an invisible fermentation, during which the so-called male principle of light and time revolves as a “flaming sword” within the solid crust of the so-called feminine principle, which is the essence of the space.
And yet what about the visible fermentation?
There are two schools of thought: The first is summed up by Johann Joachim Becher who, in Physica Subterranea, comes to the conclusion that the result of putrefaction is the same as combustion, that’s to say to separate volatile parts from fixed, and leave behind just friable earth as a residue. He dared to analyze and observe all the degrees of a corpse’s decomposition in a year’s time. He directly witnessed all the phenomena, which were essentially gaseous and vaporous phenomena. We know that ancient alchemists gave the utmost importance to fumes and vapors, those being the dwellings of the alchemical spirits. And we know that alchemical fermentation should be performed in well-closed vessels. The second school of thought states that matter reaches the perfect putrefaction, and consequently the perfect black when it is utmostly dispersed and dissolved. For example, a fast blackness is achieved when fine powder of gold calcined is added to the Mercurius, even of plant origin. And of course into well-closed vessels.
Is the Secret Fire bound to change its name according to where it is extracted?
Yes, and these are rather confusing alchemical nomenclatures. So the Secret Fire is widely known as Spiritus Mundi in its way from the sky and Radical Humid when dwelling in the bodies and earth. But we have seen that both have their own motion and a great attraction to each other.
What is the difference between aerial and terrestrial, superior and inferior, Spiritus Mundi?
Baroque age alchemists did distinguish between aerial and terrestrial, superior and inferior, Spiritus Mundi. They extracted what they defined as “aerial” or superior from atmospheric forms of humidity, and “terrestrial” or inferior all dwelling into bodies. Strictly speaking, there is no difference. It does make sense, although misleading, to list our salts.
How can we say that deep in the earth Spiritus Mundi turns into terrestrial?
There is a theory according to which the aerial Spiritus Mundi has turned into terrestrial, or inferior, once in the deep of the earth. And the quality has remained unchanged.
What is the difference between condensation and magnetization?
Magnetization is the destruction of the raw matter in order to let out the Secret Fire inside and, for the law of density, to make it more attractive for the Spiritus Mundi. Condensation is the catching of raw matters particularly rich in Secret Fire, through materials either prepared for the purpose or natural. For instance, the atmospheric humidity absorption through a peculiar salt artificially dried out is considered condensation, while the dismemberment of a matter under the Sun and Moon is considered magnetization.
What is it more correct to say – ”condensing” or “extracting” the Spiritus Mundi?
The extraction of Secret Fire/Spiritus Mundi/Mercurius is when drawing out using effort of force from bulk raw matter. The condensation is accumulation in a proper object, i.e. through a natural or alchemically prepared magnet. Roughly, the extraction takes place during the preliminary works, while the condensation is a peculiar goal of the second-main work when using an alchemically prepared magnet ( i.e. Mercurius Philosophorum), and a peculiar goal of the preliminary work when instead using a natural magnet.
Can we extract Spiritus Mundi from the air?
No, only the raw matter and the magnet prepared by alchemists can do that for us. It is extremely difficult to extract and condense spiritus mundi from non-aqueous air molecules. Lenses and mirrors can nevertheless operate, especially on particulates. Please refer to the section Solar alchemy for more details.
Can we extract Spiritus Mundi from the water in the air?
Yes. By distillation of some atmospheric humidity forms, such as dew, and by Heat/Cold conditions on the container.
But, more easily, we can condense the Spiritus Mundi through a salt exposition, and this occurs after the previous extreme de-humidification of a saline substance, which then, upon contact with moist air, will tend to receive once again water molecules from the atmosphere. Not only do the salts act mechanically as if they were a sponge, but also surely attract the Spiritus Mundi way much better than a regular sponge, having a “philosophical” magnet in them.”
An extreme de-humidification is a calcination process, and the ancient chemistry treatises are quite exhaustive on that. The preferred salts are of course saline substances that tend in normal conditions to attract water molecules. A crucible is a lab tool instead used in these processes of extreme desiccation.
The following exposition can mostly be outdoors, to sky beams and air condition, or even indoors, in caves in the deep of the earth.
Can a decreased pressure within the container help?
Yes, it has been observed that reducing the air pressure inside the container can facilitate the extraction of spiritus mundi.
Can a vacuum condition into the container help?
It is quite illogical to think that the absence of molecules could lead to the extraction of spiritus mundi from nothing. Theory and experience tell us that what is often mistaken for a vacuum, is instead simply a pressure decrease. It should also be borne in mind that glass has an ion exchange with many molecules. The spiritus mundi is evanescent and ineffable, but even if it were propagated in a vacuum as gravitational waves do, then it is extracted only from tangible matter.
How can the Moon be involved in the Spiritus Mundi landing?
Some ancient authors stated the Spiritus Mundi lingering in the highest atmosphere during sunlight conditions is then helped by the Moon to fall on the earth’s surface.
Is it true that Spiritus Mundi seems to love dark conditions?
Yes, in fact, it tends to linger in high altitudes during daytime sunlight.
How can be defined the Spiritus Mundi dwelling in underground cavities, aerial or terrestrial?
The Spiritus Mundi, after sunset, tends to naturally fall to the earth’s surface and enter the slots scattered on its surface. And it still has to be considered “aerial”.
Is it true that Spiritus Mundi loves motion?
Yes, indeed. Motion and sound are considered Spiritus Mundi accelerators. And almost the warm, as the first acting force, in fact, motion is a principle inherent in heat. Heat/cold, and dry/humid are just, and generate, ‘ motion‘, physically speaking. And Alchemy is physics, as Fulcanelli said.
Can heating conditions be considered a form of motion?
Alchemically, and physically, speaking, heating is a way to give motion to matter. And cooking must certainly be seen as giving heat to matter.
And what about cooling conditions?
Alchemically, and physically, speaking, cooling is a way to slow down motion in the matter. But also an opportunity for new heating, and hence a way to enhance motion.
How is the alternation between Heat/Cold involved in collecting Spiritus Mundi?
Alternating hot and cold is ultimately the basis of classical alchemical works not only to extract and condense the spiritus mundi but to make it manifest its power. Alternating hot and cold generally causes changes of state in the matter. And physically speaking, it generates electricity.
How about the Mercurius/Secret Fire/Spirit density theory?
In Alchemy, it is not uncommon to hear about a less dense Mercurius/Secret Fire/Spirit attracted by a denser one, as opposed to the atmospheric models. I don’t mean the density of raw matter, but the density of our ineffable and invisible Spirit. For this reason, the extraction from raw matter is difficult and hardworking. The density differentiation theory of Mercurius leads to a whole range of densities, which the ancient astronomers rendered in their astronomical charts with various types of skies.
Does it make sense to speak of a hidden magnet intervention in the first work?
Above and beyond the known magnetization stage performed by the astronomical sun and moon, as well as that by the symbolical sun and moon through heating-freezing and extraction-condensation, theoretically Mercurius and, consequently, spiritus mundi/secret fire, could neither exist nor work alone. I said theoretically because very few alchemists in the world actually know why and how that phenomenon does occur. And moreover what this occult companion is.
What about the theory of the mirror?
The mirror theory has similarities to the theory of the hidden companion. Anyway, whether we call Spiritus Mundi that which is extracted from the celestial matter, or Secret Fire, that’s to say extracted from terrestrial matter, or Mercurius which is obtained by the preliminary work, this ineffable substance seems to work in the mirror, that’s to say it always needs to be reflected in a mate, or even antagonist, it works best in pairs. It must be added to his fellow, or be waiting for his fellow.
In other words, it is a doubling, and the result will never be identical but similar.
In the light of the theory of density, what is a magnet?
The best magnet for attracting Spiritus Mundi, or Secret Fire from the sky, is the alchemically prepared Mercurius Philosophorum, as it is the densest in Secret Fire known artifact (being Alchemy the science and art of making Secret Fire condensers). But often we are still in the preliminary works, so we have only availability of either raw matters or handmade methods. For instance, as for the latter, there is the method of common air humidity to be attracted through the rehydration of extremely dried salts. It follows a list of “binary suggestions” on how to build or find out a good condenser/magnet. In fact, only experience can make us instinctively understand how to proceed. A colloidal substance, like nostoc, tends to be more attractive than a solid. A finely powdered and dispersed mineral powder is more attractive than a bulk ore. The fermented raw matter is more attractive than fresh matter. Nocturnal conditions are more attractive than sunlight. A desert is more attractive than a pluvial forest. The crescent Moon is more attractive than the full Moon. Natural fire is said to be attractive too. The dawn is more attractive than the sunset. Gold is the best attractive among minerals. Running stream water is more attractive than still water. A cavern is more attractive than open conditions. But a roofless house is more attractive than a house with a covering. An underground stream is more attractive than a superficial one. Equinoctial conditions are more attractive than solstitial. Slots are more attractive than wide open spaces. Daily extreme temperature excursions are more attractive than comfortable temperatures. Metal containers are more attractive than glass vessels. Rooms set at the top of high towers are more attractive than the ground floor. The high mountain is more attractive than the sea level. An ionized environment is more attractive than a null. The absence of wind is more attractive than windy conditions. The Moon is more attractive than the Sun. Mineral reign is more attractive than plant. A dispersing upward condition is more attractive than a downward-condensing one. A destroyed raw matter is more attractive than an untouched one. A liquid is more attractive than a solid. Salt is more attractive than a bulk mineral. A child is more attractive than an elderly. Our organic liquids are more attractive than the earth. Underground earth is more attractive than surface soil. A corpse is more attractive than a living body. An explosion is more attractive than stillness. The earth away from trees is more attractive than that under trees. A metallic salt is more attractive than a nonmetallic. A noisy place is more attractive than a silent one. A dissolving salt is more attractive than an already dissolved. But a saturated solution is more attractive than an unsaturated one. An aged raw matter is more attractive than fresh new. Dirty is more attractive than clean. A weak acid is more attractive than a strong one. A burned matter is more attractive than a non burned. A substance that underwent entropy is more attractive than a newborn substance. Natural substances are more attractive than artificial ones. An electrical discharge is more attractive than a non-conducting substance. Darkness is more attractive than light. A shelled place is more attractive than an electromagnetically hit place. Two merged substances are more attractive than a single one. Melting metal is more attractive than a solid, and it is also more attractive than an ore. A fume is more attractive than a liquid. Is more attractive what is merging than what is by a long time separated. A small slot is more attractive than a large aperture. It is more attractive what is buried than what is on the earth’s surface. Is more attractive a magnetization during an equinox than a solstice? Is more attractive to the melting snow than the newly felt. Is more attractive to deep water than surface water. Division and reunion are both attractive in the same way. The more attractive hour is an hour before dawn. Is more attractive to the evaporating seawater in a saltern than the salt remaining on the bottom. We are more attractive with long hair than bald. An ion is more attractive than an atom. Rock is more attractive than grass. Magma is more attractive than cooled rock. More attractive is the thunder than the silence. Antarctica is more attractive than French Polynesia. If we are waiting for a star beam to come, a Moonless night is more attractive than a crescent Moon night.
Is Mercurius a state of matter or a particle?
In alchemy when thinking of a state of matter one often thinks of plasma, which does appear in the works. Nevertheless, this state is soon fixed as a solid or a more or less viscous liquid, or a colloid. And in spite of that, it still is a solvent as well as a magnet, even to a more advanced degree. As the raw matters from which the greatest amount of Mercurius is extracted are heavy metals, the idea that Mercurius could dwell in the electronic clouds has been put forward. Besides that, ionization seems to play a role in raw matter magnetization. So, in my opinion, the alchemical works might affect the part of an atom generally occupied by electrons.
Finally, let me quote P. D. Ouspensky’s (A New Model of the Universe): “Expansion of gases, liquids and solid means that molecules retreat from one another. Contraction of solids liquids and gases means that molecules approach one another. The distance between them diminishes. There is space here and there are distances… There is more ‘time’ in a liquid than in a solid; there is more ‘time’ in a gas than in a liquid”.
By the way, the philosophical egg has an abnormal concentration of mass.
To deepen the subject, see also The Genesis on a Small Scale.
How about the alleged affinity of Secret Fire with common fire?
Ancient alchemists said that Secret Fire and common fire have an affinity. In fact, some of them prescribed to attract the Secret Fire with bonfires. It is undeniable that the secret fire, and the construction of Mercurius, find their best times in the same hour in which the common fire is more easily ignitable. At the same time when those who believe in ghosts use hunting ghosts.
Is it true that the primordial Mercurius and Sulfur have to be separated and purified?
No, this is a wrong and misleading superstition leading to modern spagyrics. In a very ancient past, chemists did observe that, when melted, many minerals divided into fumes/white emulsions and greasy/viscous liquids, so they believed the fume/white emulsion was the Mercurius and the greasy/viscous liquid the sulfur. While the real alchemical Mercurius is the spiritus mundi/secret fire extracted from the salt’s volatilization, and the sulfur is a complex subsequent dissolution-fixation operation by means of the Mercurius. In the dry metallurgic way they operate a kind of separation-purification, but nothing in common with the idea of primordial Mercurius and Sulfur.
Is it correct to say that gold has the most balanced content of Mercurius and Sulfur?
For the reason mentioned in the faq above this statement cannot be correct. But undeniably metallic gold is the more generous raw matter when it comes to releasing the Spiritus Mundi/Secret Fire from within.
What raw matters are the richest in Spiritus Mundi/Secret Fire?
Metallic gold, as well as the real nostoc from the sky.
How do we know if we have true Spiritus Mundi?
The Spiritus Mundi is a great solvent. The powder of gold calcined is quickly dispersed, and so it becomes black. The gold darkness is proof the material obtained is particularly rich spiritus mundi. It is however to be noted that even a strongly ionized matter can disperse the powder of gold.
What is true in the claim that Spiritus Mundi is influenced by the composition of atmospheric air?
There is a lot of truth in this statement. For the ancient alchemists, it was not strange to believe that the Spiritus Mundi was somehow influenced by the composition of the surrounding air, for the simple reason that the stellar influences did affect the very fabric of the air.
To confirm this idea, it would be enough that Hermes, the alchemical deity par excellence, was considered the god of air.
Can we speak of affinity between the Alchemical Secret Fire and the Eternal Fire of the Vestals?
The fire in the temple of Vesta in Rome was not merely symbolic, it was a real fire that had to burn perpetually, apart from the time of spring celebrations, Ver Sacrum: when the Pontiff Maximus, master of the waters, put out and rekindled the fire with the help of the older priestess, with water and perhaps embers from the old extinguished fire or a special solar flint.
Also in this case we can say that the secret fire did not consist of the common fire, but in what involved the physical operation of extinguishing and ignition. In fact, legend has it that Aeneas brought the spark of the sacred fire from his native Troy to the coasts of Lazio.
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