Franz Kieser, Cabala Chymica, Mülhausen, 1606.
Physica Naturalis RotundaAt first the Sun and Moon appeared, with the entire firmament, and stood still, had colour, but gave forth no light from themselves. Under these there stood a ball; it was of an earthy colour. In its centre was another little ball, which glistened snow white. When I had seen all of this, there occurred a terrifying thunderclap, which frightened me extremely. There also came a great mist, and as this slowly faded, there appeared above the Sun and Moon and the firmament a star, which shined so brightly that I could not look at it directly. In colour it was redder than the Sun is wont to be. As soon as this star appeared, the entire firmament with the Sun and Moon, began to move and to frisle and leap about, while from the star many fiery rays shot out of the firmament down upon the ball. Some of these penetrated a little, some halfway, and some completely (though this was the smallest portion) into the little ball. Those that had penetrated a little or half-way into the little ball moved the water currents, so that they began to run and all sorts of fish appeared within them. Others had the effect that the large ball turned green and brought forth all sorts of trees and fruits. And all sorts of animals and men also wandered upon it. However, the rays that had penetrated completely into the little ball moved this to such a degree, that it began to seethe, like water in a harbor, and gave off a white, clear pure steam, which then extended in the form of a star into the roots of the trees and the plants.
Visionis Chymicae Cabalista
Then there began to grow forth out of this little ball or white glistening star all sorts of trees and plants, but very slowly, which rose steadily toward the circumference of the larger ball. When they had finally come quite close, there grew out of the two ends of the ball two high, rocky mountains, which soon opened. But I saw these plants and trees steadily grow and bear to the ends of the mountains all sorts of flowers of many colors.
These then closed, and turned to buttons; red, yellow, green and white. The buttons on the mountain to the right were transparent and small, while those on the one to the left were larger, but not transparent. Rays were shooting constantly from the uppermost large star, from which more and more trees and plants grew forth out of each ball. At last there came a voice, which cried loud and clearly: "Praise be to God, who created this star, which forever shall be called the Star of Wisdom and the Eternal Light."
As I watched all this with great astonishment, I did not understand, nor could I interpret what it meant, when looking around me, I perceived the Principal, who stood near me. He spoke to me: "Do you understand this?" I answered, no, that I could not discover the meaning and then humbly asked if he would interpret the vision for me.
"That I will tell you without difficulty," he replied, "if you will listen to me.
Therefore attend it with diligence and do not be thoughtless."
"The large ball is the earth, from which all kinds of fruits grow, and through which the waters flow in order to give them moisture. But in the middle is that water which I call "corporeal" in distinction to ordinary water, of which I told you last time that it is the fertile field from which all the minerals take their origin and which receives the seeds from the heaven and the firmament.
As you can see, above it is the heaven, which courses with its lights around the earth, and tells the time of the years and the days. However, if you see the star as God, you are mistaken, for this star is but a creature of God, though gifted with such virtues that everything in heaven and on earth comes from it.
"The star, which you see, and through which the heaven and the earth are moved, is no star, but due to the weakness of human nature it appears to you as a star, for no bodily creature can see or understand it in and of itself. It is nothing other than an invisible fire, an eternal light, which is ordered next to God, over all the heavens. It is the power, might, form, life, virtue and preservation of all things in heaven and on the earth, an eternal movement, not Nature, but the Lord of Nature, a mistress of Nature, and of all her powers and, in summa, everything in everything. Therefore it is called the Star of Wisdom and an Eternal Light. Since it is a light in itself, not borrowed from anything else, but rather imparted to everything, the foundation of wisdom is concealed within it. I cannot tell you sufficiently what power and might is contained in it, and even if I were able to do so, it would be impossible for you to comprehend it, for as little as one can fathom the Mystery of God and His Majesty, even so little is it possible for you or any other man to investigate this. However, can it not at least be understood that there is a Lord above it, and that it comes from Him, and that He has thus demonstrated His Almightiness, in order that one can recognize His works?
I asked: "What is the power of this star, and what does it mean that the other stars are driven by it, and also that it moves the waters and that the earth brings forth fruits by means of its rays?"
He answered: "Almighty God in all of his works is an archetype of the future procreation, such that after he created and made the heaven and earth along with all the creatures, foliage, grass, plants, animals and men, he said: 'Be fruitful and multiply yourselves.' Behold, through these words this invisible fire had begun to dominate, to rule and to receive this impression (like that of the heaven and earth but of an attractive astral kind). It impelled Nature to complete the work that was implanted in her and not only gave the Sun (and through it the Moon and all the stars) an enduring light, but also gave a form to the moving power and to the seed through which everything comes on and from the earth, and is thus begotten as by a bearing-mother, who attracts everything to herself, as a lodestone attracts iron; just as it had previously given form to the stars and the firmament. Note also that as the earth attracted the eternal light to itself, it also attracted the form of the firmament (which form, however, had previously been a materia, namely of the star). Therefore, if God the Most High had not spoken the Word, then all things would have been dead, for in a short time the creatures would have become corrupted, the created animalia would have died out, the heaven would have turned to nothingness, and thus this exalted Work (from which one can sense Almightiness and Wisdom) would have turned to rubble in a short time. And although this Fire was the first creation, living and enduring eternally and imperishable (measured against the world) it still had to be obedient to its Creator, and would have stood still and not befriended Nature and the other creatures. But as soon as the exalted Word was spoken, then this unconsuming and vitalizing Fire coursed into the heart of Nature, and made its impression and awakened her. Only then the movement properly began as an attractive force and was implanted in the firmament and the sidereal stars, and only then the living power of procreation properly entered into all creatures.
"For this reason the Sun, Moon, stars and everything were first shown to you as dead, because they would have soon again come to an end. For they were created frozen, and frozen they would have declined, and thus the earth as well. But when this powerful Word was heard, the Sun received the seed whereby it could rejuvenate and purify itself, and likewise the Moon and all the stars, so that the earth as well could every day awaken that which had died out. Fur this reason the rays and radii shoot forth constantly anew, day and night and always, from this star. Thus these rays are the life of the firmament, the soul, the preserver or protection from dissolution. From the Sun, Moon and stars these rays take the seed that is their highest essence, and mix within it, the living Fire which the seed that has received this changes into Nature. The seed takes the moving life into itself, and with it a great power to multiply itself and to give forth to its race uncountable numbers like itself. When this mixing has occurred in the heaven or firmament, then this soul-kingdom of kindled seed separates itself off in the form of stars, and falls upon the earth, the Bearing-mother, with such vigor and force that it splits the earth (though invisible) and falls until it arrives at the centre of the earth.
However, in such a case, much of it remains on the surface of the earth, and part deeper in the earth, for much of it separates from the seed as an impurity, from which all sorts of plants, trees and fruits come forth and grow, each according to its kind, after its spiritual, volatile and material body has taken a nature from its star. This is the form (as was previously mentioned). As soon as this enters into the earth, it seeks the material that is useful to it, multiplies itself in it, and is given a corporeal body, even as before it had been given a spiritual body in heaven. In this body the Fire constitutes its life by means of the great Star. Thus there appear all sorts of fruit, both large and small, for everything upon the earth was shaped previously by the Star, and thus prepared as a form.
"That certain fruits, however may be found in one place, and not in another, is caused by the fact that the heaven is joined out of two parts, around which it revolves, as is well known to the astronomers. One part cannot enter into the other, and the stars that are in each part are not like the others, for there are as many different species as there are stars. Since one part cannot enter into the others place, it is not possible, due to the roundness of heaven and the centre of the earth, that the seed of a star in one part can fall on another part and develop there, but rather it must fall where it can, and this is always straight downward.
"Thus you may infer from this that a seed that comes from a star over India may not fall into Sweden, for the star does not reach so far. Of course, it is true that a man can carry a plant or a seed to another place and plant it there, and even though its star cannot reach to that place, that it will grow equally well there, but this is due to the inexpressible (power of) multiplication which is concealed in the spiritual Fire, and also to the fact that the seed receives its proper digestion. For again, when a plant grows well at one place and will not come forth at another, this is due to the fact that it cannot obtain its proper materials there. Among other factors, the digestion may be too weak or too strong, for a plant that grows in Arabia cannot grow in Germany, since its nature is to have a strong digestion. Likewise, a plant that grows in Germany cannot grow in Arabia, for it would be burned up there and come to nothing.
Thus one now sees how the vegetabilia are born by means of the stars of heaven, and how each has its own influence, how they may die out just like men, and be stained and receive their Venena through the stars. Now should we proceed further and see how man is born and ruled according to the stars?"
De generatione hominis et animalium.
"In the case of men and animals, however, who have a sensitive life, this has another significance. When the commingling of man and woman occurs, then the astra in the animal or human being rise up, and are so strong that they master the stars, and the stars again master the Eternal Light (for each materia attracts the form to itself). Thus there occurs the introjection of the stars together with the seed into the matrix. From this comes the movement, so that the male sperm, as the efficacious part, commingles with the female part, working within to make a human being or an animal, according to the form and character that the' stars and firmament had at that time. When this body has been finished, then comes the second introjection, that is, the astral, material, spiritual and firmamental body with the life.
"Now according to the constellation of the stars at that particular time, so the human being or animal proves to be in sensibility and thought. Through this the differences in men and animals may be understood, for someone may be a man in body, but have the disposition of a dog, a wolf or a bear, and some animals, such as dogs, wolves and bears are more fierce than others of the species. Thus it is that some pious fathers may have evil sons, or again, that an evil father may have a pious son.
"With this the physiognomists are refuted, who wish to judge the nature of a man from his face and the form of his organs, for one man may not be like another, and yet they both have the same thoughts. For it commonly or most frequently happens that the second introjection of the stars with the soul or life into the animalia is not comparable to or is not of the same kind as the first. Thus some men may appear sad or wrathful and have a course face, yet are friendly and humble in their hearts. And again, the same thing may occur with animals, as when at times the eyes or another subtle organ like the tongue may make their disposition manifest. Therefore it is not possible from this alone sufficiently to recognize a man, though many wickedly dare to attempt it; for the same man is different in one place than another, and is more fierce or friendly at one time than at another. This is so because he is under another star and because of the type of land that he is in. For when the stars and the type of land correspond to his nature, then his disposition and the impression given to him by the heaven is strengthened; but if they are in conflict, then his disposition is distorted and repulsive and at times his body may also be afflicted. Thus one sees how the stars rule men and are either furthering or impeding to his aims. But this is said only of bestial men, who do only want the stars wish.
"But in this regard a correct man should consider that he is yet higher than all the other creatures, that is, that beyond these corporeal and firmamental bodies, he has received from Almighty God His breath and the third and highest body, namely an anima or psychic body, through which the two other bodies with their spirit and soul may be begotten. For in him is to be found not merely an eternity, but rather a perpetually enduring eternity, through which he has become the possessor not only of the earth, but also of the heaven and the entire firmament, and therefore can master and conquer this.
For this reason all impressions, complexions and nativities are refuted, for here the astra should not reign, but rather the psychic body, that is, the Spirit of God. The deeds of men have another name among men than they should; and this is because man should rule according to the will of Him Who created him, that is, according to the will of God, who forbade him to do evil and commanded him to hold to the good. Through such a commandment the entire heaven is refuted, for this commandment pays no regard to the man, of whatever complexion he might be of or to whatever he might be inclined.
This commandment overturns everything. For if Almighty God had not known that man could resist the stars, but instead had to act in accord with that to which he was inclined, then He would have given no commandment, no have placed man as a lord over everything. If more rested on heaven than on man, then no man could be condemned on Judgement Day, but rather the blame would be placed on luck and the stars, indeed on God himself, far be it for me to suggest it. Thus you men do wrongly in that you say, "I am a child of Venus, a child of the Sun, a child of Mars." That is not to speak rationally, but rather bestially, that is to make idols, namely, the stars that have made and created you. Instead you should say "I am a child of God, the Most High, Who has given His own Son, for me, that he might redeem me and save me from the power of the evil spirit through his blood, bitter suffering and death." That would be the proper way to talk, that you give to Him the honour that He has deserved from you and which He is worthy of.
The heathens have relied on astronomy, have subjected themselves to the stars, and have held the same to be their gods. But you should speak and act like men, not like heathens and irrational beasts. Let this be said as a warning to you and to everyone, so that God should not be caused to make his punishment more severe."
I asked: "Is astronomy then nothing, and should one reject it completely?"
He answered: "Astronomy is in and of itself a glorious art, which is to be praised and esteemed highly in so far as one uses it correctly. However, it has become greatly falsified, as I have said, because men want to make gods out of it. In the second place, the correct calculation has been lost, for the young astronomers only make use of that which Ptolomaeus has described, which is improper and false, since the heavens have now become different from what he says, and have grown very much lower, slower, sluggish in their revolution and much reduced in power. He who knows the correct method uses it as a Christian and not as a heathen, that is, in order to determine the time of the day and of the year, and in part also to investigate storms, but not, as some men wish, to announce war, riot, and misfortune, and to present this as certain. No, that is false, for such things come from the will of God and according to the merit of men. For even though a city might have the most favourable ascendant, it would still be possible, if the people of it led a wicked life, and acted contrary to God and His commandments, that punishment would not fail to appear, and God would send his scourge to chastise them. You have an example of this in Sodom and Gomorrah, which neither a good nor a bad planet was able to help, for their sins themselves had created a bad star for them, and God had to punish them. You may find many such examples in the Holy Scriptures; and thus a man should ask nothing concerning the stars and their signification, but rather look to God Himself, Who is the Lord, Who preserved Daniel and Joseph, and is yet able to preserve others.
But if a man relies on the stars and subjects himself to them, then he has not only departed from human nature and become a beast, but also has made false idols of them. If they should now show that he is malicious, then he must become malicious, and God afflicts him more, so that his foolishness and ingratitude will become evident. Also, many wish to sow their plants and other things according to the Influences. This is not merely false, but is a great error, for what, in their opinion, does the plant have to do with astronomy or the course of the heavens? Sow a plant or seed in a good fresh soil in the sunshine, and then sow the same sort of seed in an and soil which is poor and lies in shadow; thus you will see that the seed in the fresh soil comes forth sooner than the other, even though they lie close together. Although astronomy commanded you to begin this on a certain day at a certain time, since the one has grown better than the other the one can rise and the other declines, how then do you know whether you have chosen the right time? Thus, as I have said, this doctrine is false and worthless. The ancients understood astronomy correctly, but since then it has been greatly falsified. It is proper that every simplex should be planted and harvested according to astronomy, but that is to be understood as follows. Everything has its own astronomy within itself, namely its astra, and you should pay attention to this. When a favourable ascendant is present and its highest planet (from which its seed has come forth) is exalted, then the plant or whatever it might be is at its best and most powerful. Then a man should harvest it and use it, and pay no attention to the heaven, neither to the summer nor to the winter, but rather to the proper summer of the plant. Wait for its own heaven, for its proper autumn and the time when it has become best and grown highest through its own forces. This is the most exalted astronomy; from the highest you can learn to recognize the lowest; by means of the time you can learn to recognize what is before your hand and when a planet is exalted. Therefore, when you know to which planet a plant is subjected, you can surmise its exaltation by means of the signature.
"On the other hand, something even higher follows from astronomy. That is, when one perceives the conjunction of certain planets along with their exaltation, and at the same time also unites their genera (that is, metals, minerals, plants, jewels and stones) together beneath the open heaven, then the rays of the stars shoot into these bodies and augment the virtues in them, so that what might seem impossible things can be accomplished with them; not only curing, where one may heal the sicknesses of men spiritually, that is, invisibly, merely through touching, but also many wonders may be performed and accomplished through Magia Naturali.
"But as to why one should do this at the time of the conjunction of the planets and stars, note this. Every new material desires a new form, and, again, every new form desires a new material. Therefore, as soon as the planets unite with one another, then this heavenly spiritual, and material materia desires a form which is living in everything, and because this of an attractive nature, in an instant it draws this heavenly Fire, that is, life, into itself and unites with it.
Then spirit and soul are mixed with one another and united Thus the earth, which is a mother of heaven (which is a father) attracts in an instant such bodies to itself, so that these two conjunctions thus occur in that instant, from which all things of the vegetable, animal and mineral kingdoms come. When such rays fall on water or wood which is of their nature, then their virtues and spiritual bodies enter into it, through which such magic virtues may be found.
Therefore, if by means of astronomy, you know these conjunctions beforehand, prepare your metals and plants. For if these have the same star, essence, nature and complexion, then the rays will not go into the earth, but rather into these bodies (for everything loves its own likeness), through which many wonders may be performed with them per hoc Naturae miraculum. But every philosopher and chymist should also note something else from this, of which it is not necessary to speak. Sat sapientis."
De generatione mineralium et vegetabilium.
"In the third place it was mentioned that a portion of the seeds and rays given forth and projected by the star and the firmament, fall into the centre of the earth and enter into the little ball, that is, into the heart of the earth. Know now that such rays, which come and shoot so far, are purer, subtler and more spiritual than those which have not been able to attain such depths, and that, in this case, they purge themselves through the earth, as when water is purged by sand. Why? All things have been cursed by God, due to the falseness of the first man, that is, they are as you and all men are, glutted and surrounded by filth and impurity. Thus, when such rays shoot into the earth, the coarser spirit of the seed of the firmament remains in and on the earth, from which there grow all sorts of plants a portion also falls upon the animals, from which all sorts of sickness come. But the purged rays go through the earth, like a ghost through a wall, and reach the end and the middle-point or heart of the earth, by which the earth is sustained and strengthened. For the centre is more exalted than the circumference, since the circumference arises from the centre, and all the power of the circumference, which in the circumference is widely attenuated, is concentrated in the centre.
As you can see, in the middle of man rests the soul, the spirit of the disposition, the power and the movement. Likewise, in the middle of the seed of a plant is the heavenly Fire and the number of the multiplication. The rest is only a shell and a covering for the powers.
"Thus in the centre of the earth lies the corporeal water or the mineral earth (like a yolk in an egg). It is gifted with the purest and, as mentioned, with the highest, most subtle powers of the earth, for the earth take such water from it, but it takes nothing from the earth into itself, but rather multiplies itself below and rejuvenates itself like a kingfisher. For the Word to multiply was also directed to it, and was imparted to it along with its own fire. Therefore it has its own firmament in itself, and its movement in itself, as you can see from the example of grain. For weigh one part of grain, and then at least as much, or however much more you will, of good soil and sow the grain in it. After it has finished growing, weigh each again separately, and you will find that the soil has not been diminished, but rather its perfect weight will again be found as before. Thus it has its firmament in itself, its growth and movement, etc., through which it heats, tinctures, and rejuvinates itself, and is also strengthened in its degree of multiplication. This does not diminish, for although the metals grow out of it, they must once again die, as you see that men are born, but again that men die, and that much water runs out of the sea, but that much comes again into it. Thus, the metals likewise die, but, against this, they grow again. The ones that die leave their bodies at the place where they were engendered, but their soul or power departs from them, and is attracted by that from which it had come forth, for everything goes again to its likeness. Thus you can sense that there is no deficiency in this water, but the faeces that it casts off from itself fall into the earth and are of the form of the earth, from which the highest tinctures come, All of this neither you nor any other man has ever perceived, nor could you ever experience or take note of it without the help of me or of one of my companions, who are ordained to this by God. Thus you may well know joy beyond other men."
I said: "I ask you most kindly to tell me (since you are now on the topic) why you call the little ball 'corporeal water'."
He answered: "I call it this because I can thus present it to you in a better manner and with its proper name, since you can also see in this figure that it is white and glistening like mother-of-pearl. Thus it is a water in distinction to common earth, but a body of earth, due to its density, in distinction to common water. These words have not been given it by me in vain; in a little while you shall perceive it better. But let us leave it thus for now.
"When this pure, purged seed and mineral form enters into the centre of the earth, the life of the mineral metals is engendered, and a movement arises because of the unification which this immortal, heavenly spirit desires to achieve with the dead earthly body. It pursues its likeness (which it also attracts to itself from delight and desire), until it finds it, and which it then, in the same instant mixes and unites. After sufficient digestion a tender treelet grows forth from it, shoots into the heights, and attains its branchlets, leaves, flowers and blossoms, and at last its seed, in which all the power of the entire tree resides. This seed is the end, through which one can recognize that it is ready for multiplication, just as one may see this with an ordinary plant. And no matter in what form the many plants come forth, three seeds grow from the many seeds, and each seed or form attracts a suitable body or material to itself out of the earth according to its nature (for unquestionable the earth has the material in itself). Thus also, all sorts of heavenly seeds fall everywhere and always into the earth from the conjunctions of the stars, by means of their form and through the power of the life-creating Fire, from which all sorts of fruit are engendered. For there is no star so small, so insignificant and impotent, that it does not give forth its animalia, vegetabilia and mineralia out of itself. (Thus it is that, if the star is insignificant and weak in power, irrational men, coarse animals, bad plants and base minerals arise, and vice versa.) Thus also, just as many different sorts of plants grow near one another and are harvested together, many sorts of minerals grow near one another and become known through the harvest of miners,' where they are then separated from one another by means of fire.
"Know further, that if this spiritual, heavenly body is pure, clear from the best stars and diaphanous, then it also seeks a similar material, that is pure, clear and diaphanous, in the centre of the earth. From this there grows a subtle treelet, clear and transparent which has fine, subtle delicate branchlets that are clear as sap. On the last one the flower that had been opened closes.
From it comes according to its nature, a clear transparent and pure seed. Thus are the precious jewels born, and are coloured and characterized according to their reception of the form. This you can see clearly illustrated on the mountain to your right."
I asked further: "If this is so, then it could be inferred that one may be able to find precious jewels everywhere, since the stars revolve around the whole world, but experience teaches that there are none at all to be found here, but in other places very many can be found."
He answered: "Know that these seeds fall mostly into the hot lands, and that, where the heat is strongest, there this seed (which comes only from the planets and a few other powerful stars) is sown, and purged by the great heat of the Sun, such that even before it reaches its material in the centre of the earth it achieves its most pure state. And even though the sun shines as intensely in one place as in another, the cold is so great in proximity to the poles that the seed cannot be sufficiently clarified, and even if it were immediately clarified, the digestion there is still too insignificant, for there the heat usually does not remain very long. However, in the hot lands the digestion corresponds to the seed; that is, after the seed is cast from the sun or the stars, it is first purged in the sphaera aeris and then likewise in the earth, which is hot, and of an attractive nature. When the seed has cast off all its impurities, it seeks and finds its pure material, according to its nature.
There it grows forth with great exuberance, for the sun warms the earth through its strong, steady light, so that the best stones that can be found on earth are engendered. Thus, even though stones can also be found in Germany and in other such places, they are not like these, for all things are nobler at morning and noon than at evening and night. As you know, Arabian gold is far more excellent than Hungarian, and Hungarian more excellent than Rheinish gold; and also in regard to fruit, the oriental varieties surpass the occidental in strength and virtue. It is likewise not possible that Hungarian gold could be like Arabian gold for natural reasons, for the digestion is too meagre so that in the first place, the seed cannot be sufficiently purged, and, secondly, it cannot be properly matured. Know also (as an example) that when the sun is exalted in its own house, in bright, lovely clear weather, then the seed falls in puncto exaltationis. It is purged; one part remains in the air, one part in and on the earth, and one part goes to the centre of the earth. This last part is also divided. The loveliest, clearest, final part, which is most highly purified, mixes with its materials, and from this grows the garnet. Another part, which is less noble, mixes with its materials and from this grows the ruby. A part that is even less noble produces the finest Arabian gold. For all of the diaphanacter turn into stones. Again, one part produces Sulphur of which Arabian Sulphur, and, after it, Hungarian, are held to be the best. For although many speak of other sulphurs with high praise, those who understand have judged it so.
"From the parts that have remained on and in the earth grow the best and most noble plants that one can find, among which is that plant called Alladruca or Allakenea, of which much could be reported.
It grows high and brings forth red and golden-yellow flowers, which are transparent and fatty, like an oil, and are well known to the Arabian peoples.
That part which has remained on the earth gives forth Gamachi in stones, wood and plants, when all of these have previously been cut off from their roots. That part which has remained in the air gives forth a growth like sheep's wool. It falls upon the earth, is sweet, and is called Rumani, though it is unknown to you. There are also many other such things, which it is not necessary for you to know. Thus you now see the power of a single ray, and always when one planet is in conjunction or aspectum trigonum, etc., with another planet. Note, when its sign changes and it passes into another sign, then its rays always fall differently than before, for which reason there are so many different fruits. Furthermore, when the sun is in its exaltation with Mars, then garnets are engendered that are redder and darker in colour, rubies that are brownish and dull and gold that is reddish and impure. So is it also to be understood in regard to the other planets.
"In cold lands there grow stones, metals and plants which are not to be found in the warm lands, such as crystal, which must have cold, for this is found most pure, now and then, in the midnight lands. However, its origin is not from snow (as many pronounce) but rather from the mineral water. It is born through Saturn in its cold ascendant. If it happens that Saturn is exalted in a clear heaven, and is in conjunction with the Moon, then you obtain the most beautiful crystals, which are clear, white and pure. But if it is cloudy weather, and Saturn is in conjunction with Mars, then crystals are likewise produced, but these are dull. So is it likewise with other planets of other colours and forms, of which I cannot inform you sufficiently, for you would not be able to grasp all of it. But it is thus that from the forementioned causes sapphires, carbuncles, pearls, corals and chalcedons come to us, according to the domination and conjunction of the planets, which are not similar to those in the orient. Thus you have learned how the precious jewels are engendered.
"You should now note something well from this (since you wish to be an experienced physician) which cannot be more clearly described, so that the travelling scholars, imposters and betrayers of this Art do not learn more about it. If the seed is pure, corporeal, and spiritual, but not fully transparent, that which has separated from it, namely, the crystal, is similar. But these seeds fall rarely, and there are very few of them, and thus it is that so few precious jewels are found, for the heaven does not always permit it. However, the highest power is found in such precious jewels. For among all creatures of the heavenly Fire, it is in garrets and rubies that the purest and most delicate power is to be found through a minimal preparation, mixed with the soul of the sun. The next is in the sapphire of the moon and in the emerald of Venus.
If it has the nature of its likeness, it grows forth like a tree, produces its branches, that is, its veins, and spreads its blossom in the earth, which can be found in vitriol, antimony, sulphur, marcasite, talcum and cobalt. In these the blossom is pure, delicate, subtle, like sap or an extended and scattered material, and of a much more noble essence than the metal or seed that shall come from it. Similarly roses, lavender, spikenard and other aromatic plants smell much better and are lovelier while they are still in bloom, and most others also give off a much more glorious scent than when one smells the seed or distills it. Thus this blossom is much more lovely and glorious, and higher in strength, power and virtue than its metal."
I asked: "Is this blossom also called the primun ens, of which Theophrastus described so many wonders?"
He answered: "Yes, but it is thus improperly named and thought of, for the marcasites, cobalts, etc. are not the prima entia, nor is that which Theophrastus taught should be distilled from them per sublimationem distillationem, for these are rather the beginning of the seed, which may thus be called the ultimum ens spirituale metallorum vel mineralium. The primum ens itself, however, lies hidden; it is the heavenly aetherial Fire, which both contains its subjectum and is united with it. You must separate these from one another through something besides sublimation, since through sublimation you may only obtain the flower or blossom of the metals and minerals, and thereby only pluck it from its stem and take it away from the weeds (that is, from the mountain) and from other impure things. Rather, you must first extract the primum ens from those things in which it rests more lightly and is much more easily obtained than from its metal. For in these it is still soft, delicate, gentle, extended, volatile and pure, whereas in a metal it is compressed, hard, coarse and fixed.
Similarly (as I have already mentioned) you can attain the taste and lovely scent of roses and lavender through distilling their blossoms as though through a shorter path, and your sense of smell will tell you that this is the best way to obtain it. And you can obtain this from their seeds only with difficulty, since these are compact and compressed and the ultima materia rosarium, it is to be understood in the same way with metals.
Thus in this spiritual and ultimo ente metallorum (which is in the process of turning itself into a seed) there is contained great power, which can easily be produced by means of the preparation (although only with difficulty from a metal). Note this well. Thus, when the blossom has completed its time, it closes, shrinks, grows smaller, turns into a body, and a metal grows from it (after the seed has been previously provisioned spiritually by heaven). With this Nature has finished her course, for she cannot take this seed higher, and in this way the metals and minerals are engendered, as you can see in the mountain on your left."
I asked further whether this heavenly Fire was the same in the metals that are found in a pure state as in the others, for then one could extract the Fire from the minor metals just as well as from the noblest, or (which is easier) of their primo ente, and save oneself a great expense.
He said: "I told you before, and you should have also understood it diligently, that the heaven or the heavenly firmamental astra, whenever a new conjunction rises, draw, as an attractive material (and yet as a fire in comparison to the earth), the life from the stars, and the living Fire. The awakening of this Fire transforms itself then into the nature and form of the firmament, or the form that the firmament has attracted to itself. That is, if the spiritual body is cold, then this anima or fire will be of a cold nature. For this Fire is not subject to any complexion; but rather it takes on its nature according to that to which it comes. In the same way other complexions are also engendered in the other conjunctions. You should now understand from this that the life is not the same, nor likewise the nature; thus, the more noble a creature is, the more noble also is its life or the heavenly Fire within it.
"If then, the spiritual body is crude, that is, has it origin in a crude star, then it will also take a similar material to itself. From such a conjunction grow all sorts of stone, gravel, quartz, marble, grit and sand. This grit and sand is nothing but crushed stone. These stones are thought of as weeds among the mineral stones, and grow continually with the good plants, often impeding or stopping their growth. This is why it is that commonly the best mines are found in the largest mountains, for among the best plants one often finds the most weeds. Similarly, when a tree (a beech, oak or any other kind) or any other plant grows out of the earth and rises in the air, then it branches grow strong and separate the air. Such separation, however, cannot be seen by men, although it can be recognized easily by their understand. The mineral plants do exactly the same. They split the earth, heave it into the heights drive it sideways and thus create mountains and valleys. For such trees are large, powerful, and strong, as is to be expected; for if such a plant is to reach from the centre to the surface of the earth, it must be large and thick, and, in addition, have great power to extend itself. Now you know where the mountains come from, and what is the cause of the valleys.
"However, this mineral growth, in which all gems, minerals and stones are formed, advances very slowly, so that many believe that it does not grow at all, but rather that there is only a flow of Mercury through the sulphuric veins, which coagulates and turns into a metal. However, this view is false and contrary to God, in view of His commandment to multiply. Thus Mercury is not the materia of the metals, much less Sulphur. For Mercury has its origin in the planet Mercury, and is a growth in the same, for quicksilver is engendered according to the conjunction of Mercury with the other planets, in the manner mentioned previously. Mercury is the most mobile of the planets, and transforms itself into the nature of each planet with which it stands in conjunction, that is, after it has been in the houses of the Zodiac that it rules. For it is according to the planet that dominates in a conjunction that the metals are engendered, although they also take on the nature of the planets that are conjunct with it. Therefore, many different varieties of quicksilver are found; one is white, another bluish, one is gray, another blackish, one is sluggish and inert, another swift and lively. Although in itself it is a complete metal, it is often and easily changeable. For just as Mercury can swiftly change itself into the nature and qualities of the other planets, so can quicksilver easily be transmuted and made into another metal, and especially when it has arisen from a conjunction with a planet into whose metal it is to be transformed, or transmuted. Thus, if Mercury is in conjunction with the sun, and is the ruler of the conjunction, then a mercurial tree is engendered, whose quicksilver has a spiritual solar seed within it.
Therefore such quicksilver may be easily transmuted into gold. It is thus also to be understood with all the planets. However one must be experienced in order to know and recognize what each kind of quicksilver is good for, so that one may make the proper transmutation. For if one were to take the kind that has the nature of silver, or of another metal, then one must first transform it from that nature, and then make it into gold, which requires great effort. For truly the mastery of a spirit cannot proceed by means of a body, but rather this must occur by means of a spirit which is more powerful and strong than the spirit which one wants to master. Thus through luck, in your first attempt you had a Mercury that had arisen from the conjunction of Mercury, the sun and mars, in which Mercury was the ruler and dominated over the sun and mars. It was from this conjunction that the quicksilver had grown, which you precipitated and then turned into a higher metal. The effort was minimal, because Mercury had dominated over the sun and mars, and thus you could easily master it. However, if you had tried to transmute a different kind, such as one with the nature of the moon and Jupiter, you would not have been able to master it unless you had conquered it first with spiritu solis. This you should have first considered and thus I have unveiled your error and ignorance.
"The sort of Sulphur which is also said to generate the metals, is (as was mentioned previously) not the sort that one buys and sells, but rather the kind that comes from heaven. It was called Sulphur by the ancients, because of the heavenly Fire from the stars, which dominated it. This kind is incombustible and incorruptible. No metal can be made from the other Sulphur (without the art), for in itself it is a peculiar growth, and yet is gifted with metallic virtues, which an Artist is able to extract. The best of this kind is found in Arabia and Hungary, for they contain the excrement of rubies, carbuncles and garnets. It is as red as blood and transparent, but its preparation is truly not trivial. In itself it has more the form than the material of metals, for the materials come from the stars and are, as I have said, nothing but the excrement of the stars, and indeed, of many different species; black, green, yellow, white and brown, according to the kind and nature of the star. Thus you can now perceive that the ancients erred concerning the generation of the metals, and that no one understood it as well as Hermes.
"Since the metals grow, as I have said, and have a beginning, it follows that they must multiply themselves. But the ancients err again, in that they pronounce that gold is eternal and imperishable. No, that is false, for everything contains both life and death. Therefore, because gold has received life, it has simultaneous received death. If this were not so, then it could not be destroyed by Nature alone, nor by means of the Art. But experience has shown it to be otherwise, as you have perceived yourself. Thus gold and every other thing in the world dies, has an end, and passes away. However, as I have said, since the minerals grow slowly, they also decline slowly. For everything that grows swiftly, also declines swiftly, as is to be seen with plants, and also with Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus, for they are devoured and destroyed by rust, that is, by their own embodied death. You men, however, because of your short lifetimes, cannot perceive the death of gold, and thus you have always considered it to be immortal.
"However, it can never be proven, as many of you write, that gold takes one thousand years to grow, and this is the refutation of the third error of the ancients. See, in Spain, France and Italy the fruits grow sooner than in Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, and they grow even sooner in Arabia and India. Thus too, the minerals grow sooner in one place than in another, and yet each in one summer, that is, in its own summer. For (as I have said) each thing has its own summer and firmament, and thus each metal is sown in its spring, grows in its summer, brings forth fruit in its autumn, and in its winter again declines and passes away. Therefore no set time can be assigned to a particular thing, and, in regard to gold, it develops at various rates.
"Furthermore, I must reject yet another error, which is committed by several men, who deem that one metal can be transformed into another within the earth. This is false, for as little as an apple tree can grow out of a pear-tree can gold come from silver in the earth. Although certain plants can be grafted into others, what comes of this is a special variety which cannot be found in Nature, Likewise, when silver is transplanted, Lasur comes from it, but this is not gold, nor any other kind of metal, but rather a peculiar species, which nonetheless has more of the nature of silver than the qualities of the other metals. Thus, one should ignore such gross errors; for each of the metals grows by itself, and none has anything to do with the others, just as no plant has any connection with the others. Even though all of them come from the same material, namely, the earth, and the minerals all come from the corporeal water, nevertheless they do not have the same materia and form, and this must be kept in mind."
I spoke to the contrary: "But it is evident, in the first place, that one can nonetheless produce gold and silver by means of the Art from ore that is poor in quality and often contains nothing or only base metals. From this it can be inferred that such poor metals and minerals may be transformed and turned into gold and silver.
"In the second place, if the metals should not be transmutable into one another, then the art of changing lead, tin, and copper would not be possible, because the Art is an imitator of Nature, and does nor can do nothing that Nature has not already done before it. Thus alchemy must be false and improper."
He answered: "That one can produce gold and silver from certain ores which contain neither gold nor silver, and even in which none can be found through a test, is true and possible; but this is not to be understood as you think. For (as I have said) many poor plants grow with the good plants that bear gold and silver, and are intermixed among them, such as copper, iron, tin, lead, vitriol and antimony. These plants become mature sooner than the plants of gold and silver. Thus they are also sooner corruptible. Therefore, if one harvests the Venus and Mars or the Jupiter and Saturn ores the flowers of the Sun and the Moon are often also contained or found among them, and also, at times, the seeds.
"Thus if one tests this in the ordinary way, there is sometimes a sign of gold, which means that a seed is in it. But if only the flower is there, then the result is negative, for the flower does not have the strength to withstand the powerful fire, as does the seed.
"But if one takes the ore and digests and matures it with hot, corporeal fixed species that are engendered from the conjunctions of the sun, such as antimony, vitriol, arsenic, etc. then one obtains a correct and powerful shower of blood. Since this not only matures the immature gold, but also transmutes the other immature metals, such as lead, tin, copper and iron, and turns them into gold or silver while they are still in blossom, and thus easily affected, they should be placed in an oven that is proper for them. There the flower will be matured and made enduring in a short time, although Nature would have taken a long time on them, due to her weak digestion. Thus such ores can very often now give forth their spiritual, immature gold as mature, corporeal and fixed, as I have said, and, indeed, much more of it than Nature could have perfected. Thus it is necessary to use diligence, to insure that one has the correct species for maturation, if possible, that kind that has a relation, in regard to its birth, with the sun and moon, or even better, a golden sulphur, which contains the flowers of the sun, for these are found to be very powerful and highly tinctured in such sulphuric species. Furthermore, one must be careful to digest these properly and preserve a tempered heat, which is not destructive, but rather natural and fostering of perfection; for, truly, if one wants to perfect the ore in great amounts, this requires a special diligence and understanding. Many men have had great success with small tests, but none with larger quantities, because they not only laid the ores improperly and too thickly upon one another, cut it up too much and exposed the flowers too much to the light, but also because many were of the opinion that the digestion must be more intense, and thus made the fire larger, so that in one place the ore burned, and in another experienced no fire at all. Therefore, it remained a common ore; indeed, at times more damage than utility was the result. Therefore, one must pay attention to this.
But if one ore, however volatile it may be (for many think that more can be produced from a volatile ore, than from a fixed one which is properly spoken, but not properly understood) does not contain the flowers of the sun or of the moon, or does not obtain them by means of addition, then one can cook it, roast it or fry it, however one will, and one will still find neither gold nor silver, but rather only that metal which is proper to it and which it contains.
Now you possess the doctrine and instruction concerning the maturation of the ores, in which the Art matures them just as Nature does, and also, against and above Nature, transmutes the metals by means of human cunning and understanding, which Nature cannot do, for she lacks hands and feet, and cannot bring widely separated things together, as a man can.
In the second place, you are of the opinion that, since no metal can transmute into another in the earth, it should follow that such a transmutation is also not possible through the Art. But no, a metal that is still in the earth remains connected to its own stem and has its own roots, its own nourishment. As long as it remains on its stem, it can take nothing from another metal or attract the others nature to itself. But when it is broken off, and thus still desires nourishment, and then obtains a flower of the sun or the moon or some other metal (which is commonly in the light or in the air), it draws this eagerly to itself. This seed, which is a spirit of the same body, attracts it into its nature, and at times brings itself to a better state, at times to a poorer, as has also been said of the ores. However, there must be digestion present.
"But know that as soon as an ore is separated from its stem, it has departed from Nature and no longer can either grow or come to maturation without the help of men. Furthermore, if a metal is engendered in the same source as another, then they have one mother, and yet the mother is purer in one metal than in another, for the nobler the form, the nobler the material. Therefore, since their are many forms, there must be many materials.
"As the form, if it is pure, removes the excrement from the impure materials and purifies them (and only thereafter engages in a proper mixture, from which a fruit follows), so the Art also acts when one prepares a pure form and casts it upon an impure metal, which is to say that this form separates the impure form and materials from the metal and its materia. When this has occurred, a correct conjunction follows, in which a pure metal is formed.
"But if the form is exalted and subtle, as I have taught you, and multiplies itself by means of itself, then it is so virtuous and powerful, that it does not need to reject the mineral excrement either from the form or from the materials of the metals that are imperfect, but rather it tinctures them all together, and renews and rejuvenates them into the highest and best metal.
But, on the other hand, if one makes such a multiplying form from a lesser metal, that is, from Jupiter or Saturn, then this multiplies the imperfection and excrementa within itself so greatly, and thus becomes so powerful, that when such a form is cast upon a perfect body or metal, it imparts its own impurity so intensely that it can master even perfect bodies like gold or silver and turn them to pure lead or tin. Through this you can now perceive the power and strength of Regeneration.
"Furthermore, since gems, metals and minerals have but one origin (in regard to the mother) one can make all sorts of gems from the metals by means of the preparation, if one has previously refined and purified them. These gems are so great in power and virtue, when the preparation is subtle, that they are more powerful than natural gems. But, on the other hand, if one, through preparation, takes their nature from them, then one can make enduring metals out of them. For instance, one can make metal, and even gems, from every sort of vitriol, antimony, sulphur and salt, after it has been prepared.
Or, on the other hand, one can make vitriol, antimony, sulphur, salt from each metal. Nevertheless there is a great difference to be found among such things, for one can find vitriol of Venus, vitriol of the Sun, of Mars, of Saturn, etc. and also antimony of Venus, antimony of the Sun, etc., and likewise with sulphur and salt. And just as there are so many different sorts of minerals, so is it the case with quicksilver, as I have mentioned already.
"Now know further that it is possible to make a salt from each sort of gem, metal and mineral, and to make a plant or a tree from the salt, though each according to its kind. Furthermore, one can make an animal and sensitive beast from this plant or tree. Thus, on the other hand, one can make a vegetable from every animal, a salt, sulphur, vitriol, etc. from every vegetable, and further, a metal from that, and finally all sorts of precious jewels. This seems to me a great thing, which few men have nonetheless experienced and perceived. You have seen one example, namely, that wine, which is a vegetable growth, has produced a salt, which is considered to be among the minerals, and furthermore, that from this salt came Saturn.
"But see, if you had thought about it, and pursued the matter properly, you could have gone further with this Saturn, and could have made the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Saturn etc., and finally all sorts of precious jewels. Or, if you had properly desired so, you could have produced a tartar from the salt, and made a wine, made a grape from the wine, and a vine from the grape, even to its origin. Also, if you had wished, you could have made a different plant, of whatever kind you had wished, from the Saturn by means of its transposition, then an animal of any kind, and finally a man or homunculus (though it would have no eternal soul). Now that you have heard what this Art is, and how it proceeds further, in a short time you can make vitriol of the Sun or the Moon from vitriol of Venus, and also antimony of the Sun from antimony of Saturn, and so on, so that each thing turns into another, according to your pleasure. You have now clearly learned from this what the stars may bring about through their rays, and also what this Art which man has received from God, is able to accomplish. I could indeed, describe it in much greater detail, but rather contemplate it yourself, and sharpen your wits thereby, for have I not told you more than all the philosophers have told you? Yet know that all things are possible for this Art, which man has received from God; it is far beyond Nature. The Art does not imitate Nature, as though it were her servant, but rather it rules over Nature, perfects her, and accomplishes things which it is impossible for Nature to do.
Note that man has the entire world: India, Spain, and Italy, at his disposal, and also the entire heaven. Thus, he can make in the midnight lands that which Nature is only able to make in the noon lands; and, again, that which Nature produces at sunrise, man can make at sunset, and vice versa. Thus, man can bring a plant that grows in India into Norway, which Nature cannot do, because of the firmament. But man can do it in concord with the firmament. He can prepare the materials from whatsoever he wishes to prepare and complete, from stone or wood, and prepare such a glorious growth that Nature, because of the power, virtue, form and nature of the same, will not be able to perceive it as within her own resources.
"Thus man can make Arabian gold in Germany, Sweden and Poland, and Rhenish gold in Arabia. None of this is possible for Nature.
"However, this is derived from two sources. First, God has created all things out of one thing, and has made his division from that so that they all have a relationship with one another. Thus it is possible for a man to restore them into one thing and to make another creature from this, like a potter, who makes whatever he wishes out of clay.
"Secondly, man has been placed by God as a lord over everything. For this reason knowledge has been given to him, that he may know the virtue of all things, as can be seen in the first man, who dealt with everything according to its virtue. Thus spirits have been ordained by God and have received wisdom from Him, whereby they may reveal this to the most excellent men, who have been chosen for it, among whom the most outstanding was Solomon, who received wisdom from God, which was given him through the mediation of the spirit. In the end, however, he abused it. After him the greatest has been my friend Adolphus Magnus, who is both known and unknown; after him, Hermes, and, finally, Theophrastus. After these come many others, but they were only journeymen.
I asked who this Adolphus Magnus was.
He said: "He was a man wise whose like may not be found. I will tell you something of his deeds at the end of this instruction, but now I must proceed with what is most ,important. I have told you previously, and also demonstrated and proven, that neither gold nor any other metal has an eternal life, but rather must die again, that is, when it has fully attained its perfection, when it has turned into or become a seed.
"When this seed has become fully mature, it sinks down again with its plant, or, as most often happens, it falls off or is harvested. If it sinks down with its plant, the stem returns to its earth and fertilizes it. The seed falls into it, dies in it, and multiplies itself. Then a new birth occurs, as with the other plants.
However in 10,000 seeds it does not occur in one that it returns to its prima materia and to its earth, for the other plants that grow next to it commonly exclude it immediately. If it is harvested, then you have seen how men use it.
But if it falls off or is broken off, then it must rot, for, due to the density of the earth, it cannot return to the matrix from which it had its origin, that is, to the corporeal water. If the earth were as subtle as the air, however, the seed could fall through it and return to its origin, just as the seed that has fallen from a weed is not impeded by the air in reaching the earth. Nevertheless if this were to fall in a stony field, then it too must rot, for it cannot grow out of stone. Thus also, when, like this seed, something falls into the earth, something else may easily block it, so that it gets stuck, and rots in the course of time. So if the earth were the mother of the metals (as many fantasists, among which Aristotle was the most notable, have pronounced) then one would not have to do very much, for wherever the seed might fall, it would soon return to its origin or attain it Mercury, within which it would seed itself and grow forth anew. Their fantastic belief has a fantastic consequence, for as little as a plant can grow in the air without earth, so little can a metal grow out of the earth, or out of common quicksilver, even if one were to sow an entire wagon full. Not much needs to be said concerning this; one can observe it every day.
"it happens, however, that some rays from the stars fall and (if they are otherwise of one nature) they mix with, enter into and unite themselves with these metals, stones and minerals that have fallen off, from which Gammahi arise. These immediately penetrate with this influence and attain a signature from Nature. Thus many strange forms are found upon stones, wood, metals and gems, which are not noticed, although there is no form that does not have its special manifestation and virtue. One should thus pay attention to this. Know as well that no Gammahi are born, unless its subject has come to an end and is dead, that is, perfected, and has been broken off from its stem, but is not yet destroyed. For when it still is connected to its stem, it is green, has its own nurture and moisture from its roots, and thus all astra which attempt to enter it are driven off. But when it is broken off, then it is dry, porous and desirous of receiving energy. Thus as soon as the astra strike into it, they are retained by it, and immediately obtain its signature. However, no signature but its own can come to the green ones, for growth does not allow it.
"Thus you have heard about the dying of minerals, that these cannot attain to multiplication, for the seed rots or is crushed, is driven out by water, ground between mountains, and scattered. From this comes gold dust and pure iron and copper, all of which are seeds that have fallen off. But if the multiplication of the minerals were to proceed and be so little impeded as the multiplication of the vegetables, then one would find as many metals, jewels and varieties of minerals growing and prospering, as one finds plants. But because the multiplication is unsuccessful, the abundance of such fruits is cut short. Thus you have now heard how animals, vegetables and minerals grow and multiply themselves; you have also received a sufficient account of the Art considered in general, that when in a short time, I feel that you will transform yourself, and be silent about all of this, including what I have just said, and keep it secret, then I will explain it to you in specie, and explicate one thing after another, in order that you may know everything, and learn to recognize one thing as well as the next."
I replied: "I think you for this exceedingly and will henceforth deal more carefully and cautiously with these things than I have before, but I also ask fervently that you also inform me what the steam and the vapour meant, which arose from the conjunction of the spiritual, corporeal and mineral in the centre of the earth."
At this he looked downward, and reflected a long time, and finally said: "You already have the whole foundation of physics; wait for the proper time and you shall have the rest. You can also perceive from the words I have spoken enough to know what is yet to be understood from this." However, I did not relent, but pled as strongly as possible, until at last, after he had listened to me a long while, he said: "I rely on your promise that you will not reveal this to the unworthy, for otherwise the punishment shall apply twofold to you.
Know now, that this is the highest and most excellent element of the entire figure, for by means of this we may advance from the natural to the supernatural. However, I must first give you a preliminary instruction.
"In the first place, you not only possess the comparison of the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms with one another, which I have imparted to you in the discussion of transmutation, but also you may learn to recognize through this the highest and the lowest. For instance, the weakness of Nature in comparison with the Art, for it is not possible for her to have the seed, let alone to prepare it, as a man can, who, by means of the subtle operations and high understanding of men, may obtain the proper primam materiam metallorum, and extract the heart from the centre of the earth, not to speak of attaining the eternal Fire - all of which is incredible to the ignorant and the foolish.
"You have always thought that the destruction of the metals comes from the spiritus vini. No, the spiritus vini cannot do this, it is too weak and impotent to carry out such an operation, for it would be too gross that something combustible should master something incombustible. But if the spiritus vini is transformed then it is no longer spiritus vini, but rather something higher, and then it can do this. But in regard to where this transformation should come from, know that all vegetables and animals receive a particular inferior impression and Influence, from the centre of the earth, and that they have concealed this within themselves, which impression is as subtle as the vision of the eye, such that a man cannot grasp it. And yet it is a fire, and one can use diligence to understand it. Therefore, note it diligently, and with great understanding. You know, as I have said, that when I have united the invisible Fire and the life and the movement with the sidereal stars by means of the attractive nature of the firmament, and thus that a spiritual body has come from the aetherial fire and the astral air, then afterwards this first spiritual conjunction is able to achieve transformation, that is, to the corporeal or mineral water, from which all gems, minerals and metals have their origin. Due to the strength of this spirit, a great movement and trembling occurs (as you can see in the figure), which makes the water warm and steamy, and makes the best, most subtle part (from which otherwise precious jewels would grow) spiritual. Just as when water is warmed, the best part escapes as steam and the rest, that is, the coarsest part, resolves itself again to water and falls to its origin; so here also, one part will take on something from the Form and the spiritual body will transmute itself into the best precious stones, and its excrement into the best metals, whereas the other part, which the Form was not able to master, steals on the gentlest breezes of the earth into the heights, purges itself like water through sand, and leaves all its impurities behind in the earth. These, because of their weight, sink again in the ground to their origin, but the subtle steam does not slacken, for because of its movement, it is ever more driven, ever more impelled, and driven forth by means of the earth and natural heat until it has attained to the roots of the vegetable kingdom. And, since these are of an attractive nature even without it (for they are always suckling the earth) this spiritual steam seeps invisibly into the roots, distributes itself throughout the plant and unites with the most delicate spirit of the plants. Here it remains and is sustained by the fiery body of the spirit. One plant is better and of a more attractive nature than another, among which, I recognize the grapevine as the most excellent, for although this is not of a strongly attractive nature, it is very subtle and pure. Thus it suckles only the highest essence from the steam, and rather a lot of it in comparison with other plants, ignoring the inferior parts, which seep into the other plants. However, one part of the remaining steam that has not entered the plants goes through the earth and enters men and animals, which also possess a living attractive power, and thus rests invisibly in them.
"Now listen and open the ears of your understanding. If one takes such pure vegetables or animals (although none is to be rejected, for though the steam is purer and more abundant in one than in another, the impure can be made equal to the pure) and by means of subtle operations bring them to the point that the animal or vegetable with the mineral spirit or steam is caught in a watery body, and then separates the mineral spirit from it with great care (for in comparison with other things there is very little of it, although it has a most exalted power, brighter and clearer than day) then this spirit will bring the animal or vegetable essence to the point that it is the same as it (if you so desire). This is the foundation of the entire art, that the spirit of the vegetable or animal should depart from its combustibility, and become imperishable or immortal. This is the key that opens all doors, and here you have the correct prima materia of gems and metals. But if I consider it correctly, this is not the, prima materia, but rather the threefold extraction and essence from the Prima materia of gems. Therefore, you should praise and thank God the Most High in Eternity that He has considered you worthy and has given you understanding, so that you might obtain the deepest things of the earth for your use.
"Hear further concerning the prima materia: when it has previously been turned into a liquid, and is unlocked by means of the incombustible (not the common) vegetable spirit, then you can dissolve gold, silver, and all minerals and gems in it, and melt them like ice in warm water. You can destroy them, kill them, and make them new again; you can visibly obtain the heavenly astral spirit (as a lamp in which the eternal Fire and the power of the highest star of eternal wisdom dwells) and see it, grasp it, feel and sense it, like an unconsuming fire, shining day and night beyond the radiance of the sun, moon, stars, garnets and all fire. You will perceive all the power and perfection of the entire firmament in it. May this be a great thing to you, O you creature, that you can obtain the highest thing, exalted over all the heavens and the deepest thing in the earth by means of the Art, and in a short time, whereas Nature takes long to achieve it, and, due to its subtlety, cannot hold a candle to you.
"If you now unite this super-heavenly unconsuming Fire, which is higher than everything, with the most highly purged body, which is lower than everything, and make one thing from these two red and white glistening stars (by means of the hermaphroditic spirit, created from two natures, that is, from heaven and earth, for which reason it is white and blue, and has the correct diameter to bring the two outermost poles together and to make a new circle from this conjunction, which will endure through all eternity - and of which much more could be said), then you will have the power of the highest and lowest things. (Listen diligently, for such matters are communicated very rarely). In the first place, you have the soul from the heart of the earth; for, just as the heart is the noblest organ in man, and yet is only a housing and seat for the soul, so this corporeal water is the heart of the earth and contains all the power of the earth within it. Just as a seed in an apple contains the whole apple and all of its power within itself (for a tree and an apple can again come from this seed, but from the apple without the seed nothing can come) so is this water full of all power and virtue and the life of the entire earth. However, you should not take this, but rather something higher, namely, its soul, its spirit, not the soul from which the metals arise, no, but rather the corporeal soul, which comes from the body of the garnet. Here in the vegetable kingdom you have the pure soul of the garnet; not its body, for this cannot rise far enough, but rather its soul, I say. But from this soul you should take the other, indeed, the third soul, which comes about by means of subtle preparation and purgation, which you know in part, but have not yet fully brought to completion. This soul is pure, white and crystalline, such that nothing on earth is comparable to it. This is your materia.
But now also hear concerning the form. In heaven the highest planet is the sun, through which all creatures are sustained. But this sun (as I have said before) would be nothing and dead, if it were not kindled by the eternal Fire and thus were not a lamp of this, through which the other stars first receive their radiance. Now Nature takes the seed from the sun, in which the eternal light or Fire is concealed. From this seed there grow forth garnets, rubies and gold. Since you cannot obtain garnets, you should use gold. Extract the life and the seed from this and prepare it so that it is the same as a garnet.
Observe now that a soul is separating from its other body. Pursue this, carry out the second and third separation, and there will no longer be a garnet, but rather something comparable to it as gold is comparable to lead; a tiny heavenly fire, pure, delicate and clear. See, this is the final separation, and this you must still learn. Now what has become of those men who pronounce that the Art follows Nature? No, the Art is the master, and not Nature. She may not hold her head high, but rather must be ashamed of her works, for she can never prepare this materia and this form as high as the Art can. She can never make this Fire so pure, and the centre of the earth even less so. Thus Hermes has correctly written as I translate it, that this is the glory of the entire world, which strengthens the strength of the strongest, and the mastery of all subtle things. Behold, with this you may cure all vegetables, make all unfruitful trees fruitful, and turn winter to summer and summer to winter.
That is, in winter you can have all the plants which are otherwise only provided by summer. Indeed, you can make a tree bear fruit five or six times in a year; you can make a good plant from a bad one, a young fresh tree from an old rotten one, a bitter apple sweet, turn pears to cherries, and cherries again to pears, and thus transform all plants and trees into one another.
"In the second place, you can turn all imperfect metals into good ones, that is, into garnets, rubies, emeralds, pearls, etc., or to gold and silver, and indeed, into so many of these, that you are not able to express the amount. For one part will tincture not merely ten thousand parts, but rather several hundred thousand parts, and this by means of multiplication.
"In the third place, you can liberate men from all diseases, turn an old man into a young one, and make a healthy man from a sick one. You can transform the mind and thoughts of men, and make the most pious man from the wickedest knave. And whatever you might think of all of this, it is not great but rather insignificant in comparison with what follows, for the words of Hermes have not yet been sufficiently explicated.
"Listen, for now we will advance to the supernatural. This is the key to open heaven and earth, that you may enter into the highest firmament of heaven, into the centre of ,the earth, and into the depths of the ocean. You can see through every mountain, valley, leaf, grass, animal, man, etc., and in short through everything, as though you were looking through a piece of glass. You can learn the characteristics of everything, for everything hidden will be revealed to you, everything will humble itself before you. You will be capable of everything; you will master heaven and earth; all spirits will be obedient to you, they will have to serve you and do your will. You can also come to know everything, both present and future (as much as God permits), which means you can create the world and receive the power of the same. However this may seem, it is knowable, for it is magic and supernatural. As I have already said, when you are granted the success of attaining the completion of the natural, then you may go on to experience the supernatural. Thus you now possess what I have taught you, and, considering how poorly you have dealt with it before, guard yourself against this, and be warned."
After I had considered and contemplated all these matters, and had also listened diligently to his abuse, which had lasted a long time, it seemed to me that I stood upon a thorn or a sharp stone, and saw these visions in a deep valley. Then I heard something rustling behind me, as though someone were wearing a silken garment. Suddenly I grew afraid and looked behind me.
There appeared an old ice-grey man with a long beard that reached to his belt.
He was wearing a long black garment. In one hand he held a compass, in the other a carpenter's square. As he went wordlessly past me, toward the ball, he grew ever taller and larger, until the ball reached only to his belt (although it was really higher than a house) and his head reached to the Sun. Then he set his compass in the centre and circumscribed the ball, so that it became perfectly round. After this, he placed his compass on the carpenter's square, and spoke. "It is one times three multiplied by itself." Then he placed the compass again on the top of the ball and measured the distance from this to the firmament, and again from the firmament to the highest Star. He cried with a terrible voice, "This is one out of four separated by the three." Next he drew two lines from the uppermost star to the ball, such that they intersected one another, so that a triangle was formed. After this he made a quadrangle from the centre with the compass, such that one corner was at the centre of the ball, and a white dove sat on the opposite corner, which he called the spirit of the conjunctions and the vivifications. But the two remaining corners were united with the two corners of the triangle. Then a flame of fire shot forth to the lines made by the triangle and remained there. Up from below there came a white glistening star, whose rays spread outwards and intermingled in the middle of the quadrangle. This star grew blood-red and shined so brightly that I could not look directly at it. It had a threefold circle or halo around it, the innermost ring golden-yellow, the second red, and the third blood-red. The light from this star grew so intense and powerful that the uppermost star, and the Sun and the Moon of the firmament lost their radiance and turned blood-red. Likewise the earth lost its greenness, and everything turned red, for a fire shot forth from the star, which burned up the ball together with the entire firmament, so that nothing more remained, neither Sun, nor Moon, nor anything in heaven or on earth. After this the star split in two, like a mirror or a round disk, and a new ball appeared in it. This was bright and transparent and green as an emerald. Above it stood the sun, also transparent and very bright, indeed, much brighter than it had shined before. The entire firmament was there as well, but it did not revolve. Then the old man cried "Praise be to God, for Evil has now been suppressed, and Truth has again been revealed. Delight, you children of light; the darkness has an end. The Sun shall never set again, but rather it shall shine on you from Eternity to Eternity, and shall never more be darkened," And then he vanished.
Then the Principal said to me: "Observe and note this figure well, which for you is the meaning of the entire work. In this the whole secret of secrets resides, in natural as well as supernatural things, which are not possible for men to comprehend. But if you are pious and have faith in God, then you will master all of this." The Principal spoke further: "Until now you have learned what the Art is capable of beyond Nature. Now let us see what the summum arcanum is, that is, the lapis philosophorum. Then you will see hereafter how far from the mark and the middle point the ordinary philosophers have shot, although they have written many large books about it, which some of them in our time often cannot understand themselves, and yet still attempt to translate into German, Therefore, may you and everyone else come here, I say, everyone; here you shall find the true foundation, and from it learn better to understand the other writings of philosophy."
I asked: "What then is the lapis philosophicus, and what is its foundation?"
He answered: "The lapis philosophorum is a microcosm, created through regeneration or rebirth, in which the perfected essence of the uppermost and the undermost stars has found its place, as in the centre. For one part of it is taken from the highest vitalizing centre of heaven, which is its super-heavenly light and incomprehensible fire, through which the heaven, stars, planets and all elements have their life-light, movement, power and endurance. The other part however, comes from the undermost, purest transparent centre of the earth, which is a corporeal water, and imparts life, power and efficacy to the earth.
"If these two widely separated centres (from which all the powers of the world flow) are joined together through the Art by means of the spiritual hermaphroditicum or heavenly diametrum and united with one another then from them the stone of the wise is compounded (as soul, body and spirit), in which the highest and lowest powers of heaven and earth are enclosed and comprehended. For this reason, because of its nature, it may be called the true, regenerated and reborn Microcosm, and, as a plusquam perfectum, or more than perfect being, which rules the entire world, it may also properly be called the Lord of the Macrocosm, or the greater world.
For it is an exalted and excellent mystery of the world, whose body, soul and spirit are purely purged and regenerated animae, or rather quintae essentiae, taken from the centre of the hearts of the highest and lowest worlds, in consideration of which its body is an anima or quinta essentia, as likewise its soul and spirit are, according to the nature of each, which have been purified for the third time to the highest degree and separated from their corruptibility. Therefore, its body is the centre or the anima ex corde terrae vel corporalis aquae, whereas its soul is the centrum animae from the highest eternal light, and its spirit is the centrum animae from the firmamental and astral spirit.
If one desires to attain these exalted and great powers, then the ultima materia lapidis must be resolved in primam and be brought through generation to its perfection. For the materia which is prepared only through common solution and coagulation does not belong to this work, because this is no regeneration, but only a purgation, through which the body is washed clean, to a certain degree, like a cloth, but nevertheless remains in its old being and state, still subject to corruption and impotence, Therefore another solution is required here, indeed, a water so divine and imperishable, that it can master the elements and rule over them. From this the vegetables and minerals are engendered, as from the prima materia.
It enters their innermost centre, seeks their life, and separates it by means of its powers from the other dead organs, putrefies it, brings it from potential to action, and then again vegetates and vivifies the dead body, and unites it with its soul and spirit, through which their life and their powers increase greatly, and finally attain their first true perfection. For only when the body is robbed of its soul by the spirit, and these two are purified and then again joined together and united, does that which before was dead become a regenerated, new and vitalizing body, which then resurrects in all clarity, snow white and clear, no longer subject to corruption and mortality, but rather an immortal, psychical, divine and clarified body, which brings forth manifold fruit with great virtues and powers. Owing to its causes, this regeneration is nothing other than a separation of corruption and a restitution of imperishability, a removal of death and a restoration of life, an abolition of the elemental and a replacement of the divine powers, and finally an extirpation of evil and an awakening of the good and advantageous being, indeed, a death and dying of the reigning unfruitful elements and the life of the repressed, immortal, divine might and strength. For, as before in the old, natural body only corruption, death and the impure corpus had dominion and power, and oppressed both the soul and the spirit, usurping their power; thus in the new-born body, clarified to righteousness through this power, dominion is restored and given again to the soul and the spirit, in which the life dwells. These two illuminate and ennoble the body, and make it like them in glory, dignity, power and might to the extent that henceforth the three rule simultaneously with one another, and demonstrate and manifest their great deeds and power.
"Such is the rebirth of a new, spiritual and tempered being, an enduring, spiritual, psychical and super-heavenly might, an immortal and imperishable power, which far surpasses the old being, and is also no longer subject to Nature, but is grounded and exalted over her to the extent that, through regeneration, new virtues and a new all-powerful eternal life will be introduced. That is, although the body was previously inert, coarse, impure, dark, corruptible, weak and impotent, through regeneration it will become like the soul and spirit; vital, volatile, light, penetrating, pure, subtle and clear, full of power and might, immortal, incorruptible, potent and active, in order to turn imperfection to perfection and thus to sustain it. Therefore, Regeneration consists of three operations.
"First, in the killing of the body; that is, when it is resolved into primam materiam and made like this, that is, vegetated, and the life that sleeps in it is awakened and brought to activity; in addition to which its soul and spirit are taken from it by means of Generation. Secondly, in the purification of the body and the spirit; that is, when the external, impure, corruptible elements are removed from them, and on the other hand, the internal, invisible, hidden, incorruptible and divine elements are given to them.
"Thirdly, in the conjunction, when the pure soul and spirit are poured again into the pure body, which is thereby brought to life, and the three are united with one another, clarified, and made enduring and equally powerful. Thus Hermes has said, 'Auferei animam et redde et animam', in which, along with his 'Solve et coagula' he has comprehended the whole method of the philosophical work.
"The reason for regeneration is that because the Lord God cursed the earth, that is, the elemental, corporeal and undermost part of the world, due to the terrible fall of Adam, and subjected it to corruption, neither the vegetable nor the mineral kingdom, nor also the animal kingdom, could again attain their original happy state and powerful nature without it, and much less could they achieve their lost perfection.
"And since the philosophical regeneration is nothing but a purgation and separation of the good from the bad; that is, of the soul, the highest part, within which there is life, and then the spirit, and finally the body, which is dead in comparison with the other two; thus, the soul as well as the spirit and the body must have previously been separated from their corruptible nature, so that subsequently these three may become pure animae or quintae essentiae in the philosophical work. For if one gives a body (of whatever nature one will) to the regenerated animae (yet understand that the body must have a symbolum with the same anima, for otherwise anything at all could come from anything at all) then the body must be in accord with the animae and not the anima with the body. The reason for this is that the life in the anima becomes an ever-enduring life when it is regenerated, and the old body in itself is dead by contrast. Therefore, the body must be in accord with the animae, and thus alive; indeed, it must become an anima when judged against its old condition, so that this should not be called a body that one can see, but rather the hidden thing that is brought forth from the same, and is introduced into sublimation by means of the spirit, so that in contrast to the common body it is said to have become a corporeal spirit. Thus too, when we speak of a spirit that is regenerated, it is no longer a common spirit, but rather has become a psychical incorruptible spirit. And, in summa, the entire philosophical work is nothing other than the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, in which the heaven is drawn downward and the earth is lifted above itself, raised into the heights and set in the place of heaven, so that this proceeds in a like manner to how the Lord God acted in the creation of the World.
"For in the beginning, when the Lord God created heaven and earth, everything was merely a water, which was the Prima Materia, in which heaven and earth with their entire host were comprehended, together with the abyss of the earth, through which they were surrounded with darkness, void and made deep without power or life. For this reason Democritus was perhaps led to constitute his atomos as a watery vapor, smoke or resolved water pro principis rerum. Above this water, which is the purest and best part, the Spirit of God, which is an imperishable fire and life, hovered, and preserved the same. But he forsook the abyss of the earth, which is the most unsuitable and dead part, and drew the powers of light and life only from the earth into the water, so that even in the beginning, through the Spirit of God, a separation occurred in the solution and putrefaction. Thus the Spirit of God surrounded only the water, that is, the uppermost, most powerful and best part, and enclosed it with His almighty power, but left the impotent and dead part lying in the abyss of darkness. Since one essence and life is comprehended in this solution of all creatures, the Spirit of God, like a hen, with her chicks, properly looked after it and covered it with the wings of its almighty fruitfulness, and strengthened and matured it for the increase of its perfect light of life. Since, through the Spirit of God, everything was matured in this solution and putrefaction, and apportioned to its perfect and efficacious state of life, there followed a true essential separation; that is, in that God, by means of the command of His Almighty Word, first separated the most clear, most subtle, most powerful and most purified water, which surpasses the clarity and radiance of all crystals, and called this, because of its incomprehensible radiance and inexpressible clarity, the Light. But it could also be called the first water, which, among all creatures, is the perfect power and efficacy, indeed, a living source of all being, in whose flow everything bathes, sustains and refreshes itself. Therefore it is also the Form, the Actio and the undermost water of all things, and additionally received the first and highest place beside God, through whose influence the heaven, stars, planets, all elements and inferior bodies are sustained with their powers and movements, Out of this light there followed other separations, in the order of their exaltation, which were ordained by God for the creation of the angels, the souls, and then for the preservation of the lower world. This light is also called the coelum empyream or vivificum as well as the mundus superior vel invisibilis.
Without doubt Plato perceived his Ideas in this, since the entire visible world is comprehended by it, as by the highest creature, according to the will of God.
"After this there follows the second separation, that is, the threefold sundering or the three distinctions of the upper, middle and lower water, which signify the soul, spirit and body, where all three, in a spiritual and inexpressible manner, are comprehended in the Light, or the first water. For through the command of the Word of God, at each stage the most clear and subtle water goes forth from the Light or first water to its proper place, until finally the undermost, weakest and coarsest water remains in the undermost region, as the body, after which each of these waters again attains its own separation. The uppermost water is the invisible coelum chrystallium, which is counted a materia in contrast to the light, and in which as in wax, the influentiae lucis immortalis et vivicae imprint, inform and impress themselves as in a model. Thus, this is a type and impression of the light or first fiery water, in which the animae of all creatures, that is, of all births from the light after the angels, show forth their light and their power. The manifold impressiones animarum result from this in the same way, for which reason it may be called the coelum animatum, since this uppermost water is a scaturigo and living wellspring of all souls, which are imparted variously with their gifts and gradations to the undermost corporeal elements, flowing into them like a spiritual, living water. Thus, in the Hebraic language, the heaven is called "fire-water", from Ish and Majim, that is, Shamajim.
"The middle water is divided through this separation into the visible heaven, that is, into the orbes planetarum and the firmament or primum mobile, from each of which thereafter first their essentia, that is, the seven planets and the uncountable stars, are separated and discharged, and then again placed back in them, where they are united and bound to their orbibus and propriis motionibus. This middle water, or orbes syderum with all its stars is of the nature of a medium, having the qualities of both the soul and the spirit, according to the nature of the Spiritus concealed in it.
Therefore, when the upper and the lower water is separated in Genesis 1, a partition is placed between them by God, in order that through this the light or upper water could be united with the lower corporeal water, since the soul could never be like the body without the spirit. Thus, the vivifying impressions of the light or upper water first enter into the middle water, which is of both a corporeal and a spiritual nature, with which the spiritual body is suffused, which finally lets its nature and qualities flow into the lower water, and thus bestows upon it a harmonious body. Thus the spirit is an invisible water concealed in the visible, and the soul is a fiery incomprehensible water comprehended in the spirit, that is, in the invisible water.
"The lower water is corporeal and is subdivided into the four elements, each of which is further divided into vegetables and animals. In comparison with light, fire is only a water, and thus the pure earth was also in the solution, and was a water, but in this case a coagulated water. It was clear, diaphanous and radiantly unsullied before the fall of Adam, immaculate and full of power, life and soul. Even after the corruption it still has a corporeal, pure, potent water concealed in it, but in external appearance it is nothing now but a coagulated, impure, dark water. For after the fall the lower waters, within which the uppermost, immortal powers had been deposited, and were immediately caught and permeated, were subjected to the curse and corruption, and individually afflicted with death. He, who knows correctly, how to separate and disjoin this, that is, the immortal part from the mortal and corruptible part, and how to restore the incorruptible part to its old condition and essence, imitates God, and has won.
1. Three sorts of forms and materials come from this, three sorts of activity and passivity, three sorts of soul, spirit and body, also three sorts of means of the upper, middle and lower, and, as a consequence, three sorts of Separations and Influences.
2. Note that such purification must take place by means of Separation and removal of the impure from the pure, that is, when the extraneous materials and forms and the impure elements are dissolved and taken away from the internal Essentiae.
3. Note that since the earth was in the Solution, only this should be sought, but the dark abyss, that is, the cursed earth, should be forsaken and only the living earth be purified with its spiritual water. Note that the All-highest and purest may not be united with the all-lowest and impurest without the existence of the middle.
5.Note that, since the best and highest part of the water is spiritual, and has ventured above itself and hovers in the heights, thus our artificial water is to be made volatile and spiritual, which can easily occur, because the Lord God began by introducing the primam materiam of the world into water, and out of this took the purest creatures, according to their order, for in the beginning no creature was impure, because in God they were all good, that is, beautiful, lovely, clear, pure, useful, full of power, life, virtue and fruitfulness. Therefore, all creatures had a relationship, a flowing and outpouring, with one another; as they still have, and thus can easily be transmuted into one another.
"Therefore the Holy Ghost calls all creatures water, and fundamentally they are only water. This is also the reason that all dissolved bodies may better be mastered, resolved, purified, united with one another and restored to their first state. For without water, nothing can be purified and attain to its original perfect essence.
"However, since I have spoken of many sorts of water here, one must harmoniously understand what the correct water in our work is, and know how to use it. The philosopher must follow the rules and regulations of the Holy Ghost in his philosophical work, and restore each body to its proper solution and first essence, that is, turn it into the water from which it arose and was engendered. However, this water must not be common, elemental or corruptible water, but rather the middle, fruitful, incorruptible water, the sort of water that the spirit rules, which is mutual in essence, life and powers with the upper and with the lower world, that is, which bears something of the nature and qualities not only of the Light and uppermost world, but also of' the lower, elemental water. It is like a sequester, intermediary and spokesman, which is impartial and inclined to all parties, and also can adapt itself to the nature of each and take on the perfect essence of each.
"In the second place, just as this microcosmic solution had stood for a time while the hovering Spirit of God matured it, in order that one part could separate from the other, thus also the philosophical solution must be allowed to putrefy and be mastered by its warm and moist spirit, and thus be corrupted, so that the body may be made spiritual by the spirit that hovers in and over it, and so too that body, soul and spirit properly separate and be divided from one another.
"In the third place, just as in the maturation of' the water, the Lord God undertook the separation and divided it into four parts, namely, into the light and the upper, middle and lower waters, in which the entire upper and lower world is comprehended and upon which it is founded, as in four principle parts, and from which everything that lives springs forth as from a wellspring; thus also the philosopher must divide his entire work into four parts, as the main pillars of his artistical building, that is, into the light, and the upper, middle and lower water, and separate or divide these from one another.
"The light is the form, the living water and the efficacious power and the burning radiance of the souls, or the super-heavenly incomprehensible fire.
"But the upper water is the materia or the aetherial body of the souls, their vessel and seat, or the two insensitive breezes, through whose conjunction and influence a radiant, clear, crystalline super-heavenly essentia, that is, soul, comes to be.
"The middle water is counted a form in contrast to the lower water, but a material in contrast to the upper water. This is the spirit, which is the body of the souls, but also the living power, form and essence of the lower corporeal water, through which this must be mastered, purified and made spiritual. For the spirit is a living water and the true aqua vitae, in which the upper light lies with its crystalline water. Through it the body, that is, the lower water, is illuminated and clarified and its previously oppressed life, which was as dead, is now first properly awakened, crowned with complete power and glory, and clarified.
"The lower water is the body and the true materia, in which all of the upper powers lie according to their proper measure. Thus it is a centre, on which the form has its eyes, and which it desires, and into which the invisible outpouring of all the upper waters flow, as into a lake, in which they are made enduring and remain fixed.
"But because the lower elemental water, due to the sin committed by Adam, had to depart from its first state, and came from its purity into the greatest impurity, thus all inferior mixed bodies, together with their souls and spirits are covered and sullied to their innermost being by the curse of impurity. If these parts, the soul, the spirit and the body, are to be delivered again from impurity and restored to their original, pure and powerful state, then they must be disjoined, divided from one another, separated several times, putrified from their impurities, and thereafter each specially again restored, that is, first purified and then made like their first essence, indeed, more glorious than before. Moses calls this building and preserving paradise. Such a body then brings forth many hundredfold, nay, thousandfold fruit, for it is heavenly, spiritual and full of souls, and is nothing other than an extract of the powers of the Light and all of its various waters, indeed, an abyss full of all powers. It is a pregnant body which bears innumerable beautiful glorious children, and remains continually pregnant and thus inclined to give birth at any moment, for it has received the upper and the lower seeds without number and measure for its multiplication. Therefore it is now inclined to give and not to take, and in it heaven and earth have become one thing.
"In such a manner, then, the lapis philosophorum is an anakephaleosis [summary] and compilation of everything that is in heaven and earth, but rather a full compendium of the world and an unfathomable lake, in which the upper and the lower life have poured through its channels and influences, a regenerated microcosm, and the centre which is established between the highest and the lowest, which draws the two powers into itself, as the true philosophical lodestone, which has taken the perfection of such essences into itself to illuminate and clarify the other bodies. Finally it is the band of marital duty, of the heavenly man and the earthly woman, who are bound to one another in inseparable love and gifted with incalculable fruitfulness.
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