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Flammel's Hieroglyphics Chapter IV

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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Of the man and the woman clothed in a gown of Orange colour upon a field azure and blue, and of their rowles.

The man painted here doth expressly resemble myself to the natural, as the woman doth lively figure Perrenelle. The cause why we are painted to the life, is not particular to this purpose for it needed but to represent a male and a female, to the which our two particular resemblance was not necessarily required, but it pleased the Painter to put us there, just as he hath done higher in this Arch, at the feet of the Figure of Saint Paul and Saint Peter, according to that we were in our youth; as he hath likewise done in other places, as over the door of the Chapel of Saint James in the Bouchery near to my house (although that for this last there is a particular cause) as also over the door of Saincte Geneviesue des Ardans, where thou mayst see me. I made then to be painted here two bodies, one of a Male, and another of a Female, to teach thee that in this second operation, thou hast truely, but yet not perfectly, two natures conjoined and married together, the Masculine and the Feminine, or rather the four Elements; and that the four natural enemies, the hot and cold, dry and moist, begin to approach amiably one towards another, and by means of the Mediators and Peace-makers, lay down by little and little, the ancient enmity of the old Chaos.

Thou knowest well enough who these Mediators and Peace-makers are, between the hot and the cold there is moisture, for he is kinsman and allied to them both; to hot by his heat, and to cold by his moisture: And this is the reason, why to begin to make this peace, thou hast already in the precedent operation, converted all the confections into water by dissolution. And afterward thou hast made to coagulate the water, which is turned into this Earth, black of the black most black, wholly to accomplish this peace; for the Earth, which is cold and dry, finding himself of kindred and alliance with the dry and moist, which are enemies, will wholly appease and accord them.

Doest thou not then consider a most perfect mixture of all the four Elements, having first turned them to water, and now into Earth? I will also teach thee hereafter the other conversions, into air when it shall be all white, and into fire, when it shall be of a most perfect purple. Then thou hast here two natures married together, whereof the one hath conceived by the other, and by this conception it is turned into the body of the Male, and the Male into that of the Female; that is to say, they are made one only body, which is the Androgyne or hermaphrodite of the Ancients, which they have also called otherwise the head of the Crow, or natures converted.

In this fashion I paint them here, because thou hast two natures reconciled, which (if they be guided and governed wisely) can form an Embrion in the womb of the Vessel, and afterwards bring forth a most puissant King, invincible and incorruptible, because it will be an admirable quintessence. Thus thou seest the principal and most necessary reason of this representation: The second cause, which is also well to be noted, was because I must of necessity paint two bodies, because in this operation it behoveth that thou divide that which hath been coagulated, to give afterwards nourishment, which is milk of life, to the little Infant when it is born, which is endued, by the living God, with a vegetable soul.

This is a secret most admirable and secret, which for want of understanding, it hath made fools of all those that have sought it without finding it, and hath made every man wise that beholds it with the eyes of his body, or of his spirit.

Thou must then make two parts and portions of this Coagulated body, the one of which shall serve for Azoth, to wash and cleanse the other, which is called Letch, which must be whitened: He which is washed is the Serpent Python, which, having taken his being from the corruption of the slime of the Earth gathered together by the waters of the deluge, when all the confections were water, must be killed and overcome by the arrows of the God Apollo, by the yellow Sun, that is to say, by our fire, equal to that of the Sun.

He which washeth, or rather the washings which must be continued with the other moity; these are the teeth of that Serpent, which the sage workman, the valiant Theseus, will sow in the same Earth, from whence there shall spring up armed Soldiers, which shall in the end discomfit themselves, suffering themselves by opposition to resolve into the same nature of the Earth, and the workman to bear away his deserved conquests.

It is of this that the Philosophers have written so often, and so often repeated it. It dissolves itself, it congeals itself, it makes itself black, it makes itself white, it kills itself, and it quickens itself. I have made their field be painted azure and blue, to show that I do but now begin to get out from the most black blackness, for the azure and blue is one of the first colours, that the dark woman lets us see, that is to say, moisture giving place a little to heat and dryness: The man and woman are almost all orange-coloured, to show that our Bodies, or our body which the wise men here call Rebis, hath not as yet digestion enough and that the moisture from whence comes the black blue and azure, is but half vanquished by the dryness.

For when dryness bears rule, all will be white, and when it fighteth with, or is equal to the moisture, all will be in part according to these present colours. The envious have also called these confections in this operation, Nummus, Ethelia, Arena, Boritis, Corfufle, Cambar, Albar aris, Duenech, Randeric, Kukul, Thabricis, Ebisemech, Ixir, &c which they have commanded to make white.

The woman hath a white circle in form of a rowle round about her body, to show thee that Rebis will begin to become white in that very fashion, beginning first at the extremities, round about this white circle. Scala Phylosophoru, that is the Book entitled The Philosophers Ladder, saith thus: The figure of the first perfect whiteness is the manifestation of a certain little circle of hair, that is passing over the head, which will appear on the sides of the vessels round about the matter, in a kind of a cierine or yellowish colour.

There is written in their Rowles, Home veniet ad judicium Dei, that is, Man shall come to the judgement of God : Vere (saith the woman) illa dies terribilis erit, that is, Truly that will be a terrible day. These are not passages of holy Scripture, but only sayings which speak according to the Theological sense, of the judgement to come. I have put them there to serve myself of them towards him, that beholds only the gross outward and most natural Artifice, taking the interpretation thereof to concern only the Resurrection, and also it may serve for them that gathering together the Parables of the Science, take to them the eyes of Lynceus, to pierce deeper then the visible objects. There is then, Man shall come to the judgement of God: Certainly that day shall be terrible. That is as if I should have said; It behoves that this come to the colour of perfection, to be judged and cleansed from all his blackness and filth, and to be spiritualized and whitened. Surely that day will be terrible, yet certainly, as you shall find in the Allegory of Aristeau, Horror holds us in prison by the space of four-score days, in the darkness of the waters, in the extreme heat of the Summer, and in the troubles of the Sea. All which things ought first to pass before our King can become white, coming from death to life, to overcome afterwards all his enemies.

To make thee understand yet somewhat better this Albification, which is harder and more difficult than all the rest, for till that time thou mayest err at every step, but afterwards thou canst not, except thou break thy vessels, I have also made for thee this Table following.

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