Ripley's Twelfth Gate

Back to Twelve Gates.


In Projection it shall be proved if our practice be profitable,
Of which it behoves me the secrets here to move,
Therefore if your tincture be sure and not variable,
By a little of your medicine thus you may prove,
With Metal, or with Mercury as pitch it will cleave,
And tinge in Projection all fires to abide,
And soon it will enter and spread full wide.

But many by ignorance do mar what they made,
When they make Projection on uncleansed metals,
For because of corruption their tinctures must fade,
Which they would not first take away from the body,
Which after Projection be brittle, blue and black.
That your tincture therefore may evermore last,
First see you cast your medicine upon ferment.

Then brittle as glass will your ferment be,
Upon bodies cleansed and made very pure,
Cast that brittle substance and soon you shall see,
That they shall be curiously coloured with tincture,
With all assays for ever shall endure,
But profitable Projection perfectly to make,
At the Psalms of the Psalter example thou take.

On 'Fundamenta' cast this psalm 'Nunc dimittis',
Upon 'verba mea', then cast 'Fundamenta' believe,
Then 'Verba' upon 'diligam', conceive me with your wits,
And 'diligam' upon 'attendite', if you wish to thrive,
Thus make you Projections, three, four, or five,
Till the tincture of the medicine begin to decrease,
And then it is time for Projection to cease.

By this misty talking I mean nothing else,
But that you must cast first the less on the more,
Increasing ever the number as wise men tell you,
And keep you this secret unto yourself in store,
Be covetous of cunning it is no sore burden,
For he that does not join the Elixir with bodies made clean,
Surely does not know what projection does mean.

Ten if thy multiply first into ten,
One hundred that number will assuredly make,
If one hundred into an hundred be multiplied,
Then ten thousand is that number if you count it wisely,
Then into as much more ten thousand to multiply,
Is a thousand thousand, I say,
Which multiplied into as much more, is a hundred millions.

That hundred millions being multiplied likewise,
Into ten thousand millions, as I do say to you,
Making so great a number I know not what it is,
Your number in Projection thus multiply always.
Now child through your courtesy for me that you pray,
Since I have told you our secrets all and some,
To which I beseech GOD by grace you may come.

Now you have conquered these twelve gates,
And all the Castle you hold at your will,
Keep your secrets in store to yourself,
And the commandments of God look you fulfil,
See you continue your glasses still in fire,
And multiply your medicines always more and more,
For wise men do say, that store is no sore.

The end of the twelve gates

If you have problems understanding these alchemical texts, Adam McLean now provides a study course entitled How to read alchemical texts : a guide for the perplexed.