Flammel's Hieroglyphics Chapter VIII

From His Exposition of the Hieroglyphicall Figures which he caused to bee painted upon an Arch in St. Innocents Church-yard, in Paris. London, 1624.
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CHAPTER VIII

The figure of a man, like unto Saint Peter, clothed in a robe Citrine red, holding a key in his right hand, and laying his left hand upon a woman, in an orange coloured robe, which is on her knees at his feet, holding a rowle.

Look upon this woman clothed in a robe of orange colour, which doth so naturally resemble Perrenelle as she was in her youth; She is painted in the fashion of a suppliant upon her knees, her hands joined together, at the feet of a man which hath a key in his right hand, which hears her graciously, and afterwards stretcheth out his left hand upon her. Wouldest thou know what this meaneth? This is the Stone, which in this operation demandeth two things, of the Mercury of the Sun, of the Philosophers (painted under the form of a man) that is to say Multiplication, and a more rich Accoustrement; which at this time it is needful for her to obtain, and therefore the man so laying his hand upon her shoulder accords and grants it unto her. But why have I made to be painted a woman? I could as well have made to be painted a man as a woman, or an Angel rather, (for the whole natures are now spiritual and corporal, masculine and feminine), but I have rather chosen to cause paint a woman, to the end that thou mayest judge that she demands rather this than any other thing, because these are the most natural and proper desires of a woman.

To show further unto thee that she demandeth Multiplication, I have made paint the man, unto whom she addresseth her prayers in the form of Saint Peter, holding a key, having power to open and to shut, to bind and to loose, because the envious Philosophers have never spoken of Multiplication, but under the common terms of Art, APERI, CLAVDE, SOLVE, LIGA, that is, Open, shut, bind, loose, opening and loosing, they have called the making of the Body (which is always hard and fixt) soft fluid, and running like water: To shut and to bind, is with them afterwards by a more strong decoction to coagulate it, and to bring it back again into the form of a body.

It behoved me then, in this place to represent a man with a key, to teach thee that thou must now open and shut, that is to say, Multiply the budding and encreasing natures: for look how often thou shalt dissolve and fix, so often will these natures multiply, in quantity, quality, and vertue, according to the multiplication of ten; coming from this number to an hundred, from an hundred to a thousand, from a thousand to ten thousand, from ten thousand to an hundred thousand, from an hundred thousand to a million, and from thence by the same operation to Infinity, as I have done three times, praised be God. And when thy Elixir is so brought unto Infinity, one grain thereof falling upon a quantity of molten metal as deep and vast as the Ocean, it will teine it, and convert it into most perfect metal, that is to say, into silver or gold, according as it shall have been imbibed and fermented, expelling and drying out far from himself all the impure and strange matter, which was joined with the metal in the first coagulation: for this reason therefore have I made to be painted a Key in the hand of the man, which is in the form of Saint Peter, to signify that the stone desireth to be opened and shut for multiplication, and likewise to show thee with what Mercury thou oughtest to do this, & when; I have given the man a garment Citrine red, and the woman one of orange colour.

Let this suffice, lest I transgress the silence of Pythagoras, to teach thee that the woman, that is, our stone, asketh to have the rich Accoustrements and colour of Saint Peter. She hath written in her Rowle, CHRISTE PRECOR ESTO PIVS, that is, Jesu Christ be pitiful unto me, as if she said, Lord be good unto me, and suffer not that he that shall become thus far, should spoil all with too much fire: It is true, that from henceforward I shall no more fear mine enemies, and that all fire shall be alike unto me, yet the vessel that contains me, is always brittle and easy to be broken: for if they exalt the fire overmuch, it will crack and flying a pieces, will carry me and sow me unfortunately amongst the ashes.

Take heed therefore to thy fire in this place, and govern sweetly with patience, this admirable quintescence, for the fire must be augmented unto it, but not too much. And pray the soveraign Goodness, that it will not suffer the evil spirits which keep the Mines and Treasures, to destroy thy work, or to bewitch thy sight, when thou considereth these incomprehensible motions of this quintescence within thy vessel.


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