Alchemy also has the belief, (like many eastern disciplines) in which spiritual or psychic progression is necessary in the individual practitioner to be successful in the magical or alchemic endeavors. Alchemy is a belief that says that you must first have developed yourself before you can generate the essential creative energy to pursue complex change or "creation".
The best description of Alchemy , I believe, is found in the doctrines of Aristotle that all things tend to strive toward perfection.
This belief resulted in the theory that gold found deep inside the earth had naturally been produced from less perfect metals. The alchemist's hope was to discover the secret of this natural process and duplicate it. Original attempts for achieving such a feat were both empirical and practical as chemical knowledge encreased. Today we have been doing what he envisioned in the making of lab created Gemstones.
Roman emperors seemed to have mixed feelings about the practice. Caligula is alleged to have ordered experiments to be performed to produce gold from orpiment, a sulfide of arsenic.
The early Greek philosophers wrote the first chemical theories. The word Alchemy defined with its Arabic or Egyptian meaning, means divine chemistry. Alchemy was also practiced in ancient Egypt. In Alexandria and in China schools of alchemy were developing. In the fifth century BC it was believed that all things were composed of air, earth, fire and water. This belief greatly influenced alchemy.
Astrology, mysticism, medicine, esoteric doctrines of the Near East, Pythagoreanism, and orphism were all eventually embodied in alchemy. Modern chemistry and physics are the result of ancient Alchemy. Which is more than simply turning base metals into gold. Some of the results of early alchemist are porcelain, alcohol distillation, acids, salts, and various metallic compounds. It was commonly practiced in the Middle ages as a means to discover a substance that could base metals into gold or silver.
Alchemists were the ultimate in Wizards, Magicians and Sorcerers. From the Thirteenth century until end of the Renaissance (16th century), magic was not seen as superstition, but as a means of understanding the universe and controlling your destiny.
Magic, imagination, and magnetism are all related, as they are viewed through the mind of the magician or alchemist. The ancient alchemist, understood the universe to be comprised only of matter and energy. That matter was a reflection of the creative energy of the Godhead. Its laws of nature being consistent and logical, reflects that since we are created in the image of the Creator, then we can also create as the Creator has, through use of this creative energy.
Alchemy, as well as other forms of magick; believe that an intense creative imagination creates a stress in the makeup of the cosmic universe. By becoming "one with nature" we can create this energy, drawing to it magnetic power, and this can effect matter (Note however: that nothing is ever created from nothing; but is acted upon and it's properties altered, as by nature, it becomes something different). Just like the chemical reaction that facilitates the making of SOAP; from fat and Ash.
The skilled alchemist not only went through a rigorous apprenticeship but also a solemn ceremony upon the completion of his training. With strict practices the true alchemists tried to refresh and restore the earth and also to find a way to prolong human life.
Today the basic ideas of Renaissance magic and alchemy are seen in various areas of what has been termed "New Age" thought as well as Eastern yoga, and hypno-therapy, guided visualizations for mental health or cancer treatment, affirmations and many other spiritual/psychology based practices.
But; we still have yet to find the Philosopher's Stone.
Alchemy is more than mettalurgy. It is concerned with the basic properties of the human body (bio-chemistry). Homeopathic medicines are based on the alchemical undertakings of the 16th century alchemist Paracelsus. Alchemical recipes, like homeopathic medicines, are made from plants, minerals, and metals. Homeopathic treatment originated in 1796 and came to the United States in 1825. Alchemically prepared and homeopathic medicines are available to the general public in Europe. Medicine as well as Psychiatry has found many adverse physical conditions due to chemical imbalances in the body. Sir Francis Bacon , a student of Alchemy. Wrote a treatise on it's Philosophical aspects in "Making of Gold".
To learn the secrets of ancient Alchemy: we can begin with the study of herbalism and use of organic compounds before progressing famous to mineral and metallic experimentations, and homeopathic medicines. We research the kabbalah, astrology, tarot and the practice of the many Hermetic disciplines to find the great secrets. Among Ancient Greeks, Romas and Babylonians were dedicated Natural Scientists and Astronomers. But unlike separate disciplines that we have today; these were co-ordinated together.; and with the added dimension of Philosophical creation.; with a Cycle of human knowledge and discovery. Gemstones (some of which were known to come to earth from the heavens-meteorites) were seen as a gift (of wealth) for the vigilent But that precious stones were not only valued for their beauty; but for their representation of Celestial bodies; and natural affinity for different body functions and/or "powers".
These precepts were written about
By Phillipus Theophrastus Paracelsus
in his "Coelum Philosophorum" commonly
referred to as the "Book of Vexations".
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This page was last updated on: 1/12/09
Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus
Bombastus von Hohenheim
called himself: (Paracelsus)
Alchemist, physician, astrologer, and general occultist.
Known as the Father of Toxicology &Homeopathic Medicine
Sir Francis Bacon: Continually involved in villianous Elizabethan politica; he was a recognised intellect and prolific writer.
The Making of Gold
The World hath been much abused by the Opinion of Making of Gold:
The Worke it selfe I judge to be possible; But the Meanes (hitherto propounded) to effect it, are, in the Practice, full of Errour and Imposture; And in the Theory, full of unsound Imaginations.
For to say, that Nature hath an Intention to make all Metals Gold; and that, if she were delivered from Impedients, shee would performe her owne Worke; And that, if the Crudities, Impurities, and Leprosities of Metals were cured, they would become Gold. And that a little Quantity of the medicine, in the Worke of Projection,will turne a Sea of the baser Metall into Gold, by Multiplying: All these are but dreams.
So are many other Grounds of Alchymy. And to help the Matter, the Alchymists call in likewise many Vanities, out of Astrology, Naturall Magicke; Superstitious Interpretations of Scriptures; Auricular Traditions ; Faigned Testimonies of Ancient Authors; And the like.
It is true, on the other side, they have brought to light not a few profitable Experiments, and thereby made the World some amends. But we, when we shall come to handle the Version & Transmutation of Bodies; And the Experiments concerning Metals, and Mineralls; will lay open the true Wayes and Passages of Nature, which may lead to this great Effect.
We commend the wit of the Chineses, who despaire of Making of Gold, but are Mad upon the Making of Silver: For certain it is, that it is more difficult to make Gold, (which is the most Ponderous and Materiate amongst Metalls) of other Metalls, lesse Ponderous, and lesse Materiate; than (via versa) to make Silver of Lead, or Quick-Silver; both which are more Ponderous than Silver; So that they need rather a further Degree of Fixation, than any Condensation.
In the meane time, by Occasion of Handling the Axiomes touching Maturation, we will direct a Triall touching the Maturing of Metalls, and thereby turning some of them into Gold: For wee conceive indeed, that a perfect good Concoction, or Disgestion or Maturation of some Metalls, will produce Gold. And here wee call to Minde that we knew a Dutch-man, that had wrought himself into the Beleefe of a great Person, by undertaking that he could make Gold: Whose discousse was, that Gold might be made; But that the Alchymists Over-fired the Worke:
For (he said) the Making of Gold did require a very temperate Heat, as being in Nature a Subterrany Worke, where little Heat cometh; But yet more to the Making of Gold, than of any other Metall; And therefore, that he would doe it with a great Lamp, that should carry a Temperate and Equall Heat: And that it was the Work of many Moneths.
The Device of the Lampe was folly; But the Over-firing now used; And the Equall Heat to be required; And the Making it a Worke of some good Time; are no ill Discourses. We resort therefore to our Axiomes of Maturation, in Effect touched before.
The First is, that there be used a Temperate Heat; For they are ever Temperate Heats that Disgest, and Mature: Wherein we meane Temperate, according to the Nature of the Subject ; For that may be Temperate to Fruits, and Liquours, which will not Worke at all upon Metalls.
The Second is, that the Spirit of the Metall be quickened, and the Tangible Parts opened: For without those two Operations, the Spirit of the Metall, wrought upon, will not be able to disgest the parts.
The Third is that the Spirits doe spread themselves Even, and move not Subsultorily; For that will make the Parts Close, and Pliant. And this requireth a Heat, that doth not rise and fall, but continue as Equall as may be.
The Fourth is, that no Part of the Spirit be emitted, but detained: For if there be emission of Spirit, the Body of the Metall will be Hard, and Churlish. And this will be performed, partly by the Temper of the Fire; And partly by the closenesse of the Vessell.
The Fifth is, that there be Choice made of the likeliest and best prepared Metall, for the Version: For that will facilitate the Worke.
The Sixth is, that you give Time enough for the Worke: Not to prolong Hopes (as the Alchymists doe;) but indeed to give Nature a convenient Space to worke in. These Principles are most certaine, and true; We will now derive a direction of Triall out of them; Which may (perhaps) by further Meditation, be improved.
Let there be a Small Furnace made, of a Temperate Heat; Let the Heat be such, as may keep the Metall perpetually Moulten, and no more; For that above all importeth to the Work.
For the Materiall, take Silver, which is the Metall that in Nature Symbolizeth most with Gold; Put in also, with the Silver, a Tenth Part of Quick-silver, and Twelfth Part of Nitre, by weight; Both these to quicken and open the Body of the Metall: And so let the Worke be continued by the Space of Sixe Monthes, at the least.
I wish also, that there be, at some times, and Injection of some Oyled Substance; such as they use in Recovering of Gold, which by Vexing with Separations hath beene made Churlish: And this is, to lay the Parts more Close and Smooth, which is the Maine Work. For Gold (as we see) is the Closest (and therefore the Heaviest) of Metalls: And is likewise the most Flexible and Tensible.
Note, that to thinke to make Gold of Quick-silver, because it is the heaviest, is a Thing not to bee hoped; For Quick-silver will not endure the Mannage of the Fire. Next to Silver, I thinke Copper were fittest to bee the Materiall.
Gold hath these Natures: Greatnesse of Weight; Closeness of Parts; Fixation; Pliantnesse, or softnesse; Immunitie from Rust; Colour or Tincture of Yellow. Therefore the Sure Way, (though most about,) to make Gold, is to know the Causes of the Severall Natures before rehearsed, and the Axiomes concerning the same.
For if a man can make a Metall, that hath all these Properties, Let men dispute, whether it be Gold, or no?
THE SCIENCE AND NATURE OF ALCHEMY,
AND WHAT OPINION SHOULD BE FORMED THEREOF.
Regulated by the Seven Rules or Fundamental Canons according to the seven commonly known Metals; and containing a Preface with certain Treatises and Appendices.
(also called the Book of Vexations)
THE SEVEN CANONS OF THE METALS.
THE FIRST CANON: CONCERNING THE NATURE AND PROPERTIES OF MERCURY.
All things are concealed in all. One of them all is the concealer of the rest - their corporeal vessel, external, visible, and movable. All liquefactions are manifested in that vessel. For the vessel is a living and corporeal spirit, and so all coagulations or congelations enclosed in it, when prevented from flowing and surrounded, are not therewith content. No name can be found for this liquefaction, by which it may be designated; still less can it be found for its origin. And since no heat is so strong as to be equalized therewith, it should be compared to the fire of Gehenna. A liquefaction of this kind has no sort of connection with others made by the heat of natural fire, or congelated or coagulated by natural cold. These congelations, through their weakness, are unable to obtain in Mercury, and therefore, on that account, he altogether contemns them. Hence one may gather that elementary powers, in their process of destruction, can add nothing to, nor take away anything from, celestial powers (which are called Quintessence or its elements), nor have they any capacity for operating. Celestial and infernal powers do not obey the four elements, whether they be dry, moist, hot, or cold. No one of them has the faculty of acting against a Quintessence; but each one contains within itself its own powers and means of action.
THE SECOND CANON: CONCERNING THE NATURE AND PROPERTIES
In that which is manifest (that is to say, the body of Jupiter) the other six corporeal metals are spiritually concealed, but one more deeply and more tenaciously than another. Jupiter has nothing of a Quintessence in his composition, but is of the nature of the four elementaries. On this account this liquefaction is brought about by the application of a moderate fire, and, in like manner, he is coagulated by moderate cold. He has affinity with the liquefactions of all the other metals. For the more like he is to some other nature, the more easily he is united thereto by conjunction. For the operation of those nearly allied is easier and more natural than of those which are remote. The remote body does not press upon the other. At the same time, it is not feared, though it may be very powerful. Hence it happens that men do not aspire to the superior orders of creation, because they are far distant from them, and do not see their glory. In like manner, they do not much fear those of an inferior order, because they are remote, and none of the living knows their condition or has experienced the misery of their punishment. For this cause an infernal spirit is accounted as nothing. For more remote objects are on that account held more cheaply and occupy a lower place, since according to the propriety of its position each object turns out better, or is transmuted. This can be proved by various examples.
The more remote, therefore, Jupiter is found to be from Mars and Venus, and the nearer Sol and Luna, the more "goldness" or "silveriness", if I may so say, it contains in its body, and the greater, stronger, more visible, more tangible, more amiable, more acceptable, more distinguished, and more true it is found than in some remote body. Again, the more remote a thing is, of the less account is it esteemed in all the respects aforesaid, since what is present is always preferred before what is absent. In proportion as the nearer is clear the more remote is occult. This, therefore, is a point which you, as an Alchemist, must seriously debate with yourself, how you can relegate Jupiter to a remote and abstruse place, which Sol and Luna occupy, and how, in turn, you can summon Sol and Luna from remote positions to a near place, where Jupiter is corporeally posited; so that, in the same way, Sol and Luna also may really be present there corporeally before your eyes. For the transmutation of metals from imperfection to perfection there are several practical receipts. Mix the one with the other. Then again separate the one pure from the other. This is nothing else but the process of permutation, set in order by perfect alchemical labor. Note that Jupiter has much gold and not a little silver. Let Saturn and Luna be imposed on him, and of the rest Luna will be augmented.
THE THIRD CANON: CONCERNING MARS AND HIS PROPERTIES.
The six occult metals have expelled the seventh from them, and have made it corporeal, leaving it little efficacy, and imposing on it great hardness and weight. This being the case, they have shaken off all their own strength of coagulation and hardness, which they manifest in this other body. On the contrary, they have retained in themselves their color and liquefaction, together with their nobility. It is very difficult and laborious for a prince or a king to be produced out of an unfit and common man. But Mars acquires dominion. with strong and pugnacious hand, and seizes on the position of king. He should, however, be on his guard against snares; that he be not led captive suddenly and unexpectedly. It must also be considered by what method Mars may be able to take the place of king, and Sol and Luna, with Saturn, hold the place of Mars.
THE FOURTH CANON: CONCERNING VENUS AND ITS PROPERTIES.
The other six metals have rendered Venus an extrinsical body by means of all their color and method of liquefaction. It may be necessary, in order to understand this, that we should show, by some examples, how a manifest thing may be rendered occult, and an occult thing rendered materially manifest by means of fire. Whatever is combustible can be naturally transmuted by fire from one form into another, namely, into lime, soot, ashes, glass, colors, stones, and earth. This last can again be reduced to many new metallic bodies. If a metal, too, be burnt, or rendered fragile by old rust, it can again acquire malleability by applications of fire.
THE FIFTH CANON: CONCERNING THE NATURE AND PROPERTIES OP SATURN.
Of his own nature Saturn speaks thus: The other six have cast me out as their examiner. They have thrust me forth from them and from a spiritual place. They have also added a corruptible body as a place of abode, so that I may be what they neither are nor desire to become. My six brothers are spiritual, and thence it ensues that so often as I am put in the fire they penetrate my body and, together with me, perish in the fire, Sol and Luna
excepted. These are purified and ennobled in my water. My spirit is a water softening the rigid and congelated bodies of my brothers. Yet my body is inclined to the earth. Whatever is received into me becomes conformed thereto, and by means of us is converted into one body. It would be of little use to the world if it should learn, or at least believe, what lies hid in me, and what I am able to effect. It would be more profitable it should ascertain what I am able to do with myself. Deserting all the methods of the Alchemists, it would then use only that which is in me and can be done by me. The stone of cold is in me. This is a water by means of which I make the spirits of the six metals congeal into the essence of the seventh, and this is to promote Sol with Luna.
Two kinds of Antimony are found: one the common black by which Sol is purified when liquefied therein. This has the closest affinity with Saturn. The other kind is the white, which is also called Magnesia and Bismuth. It has great affinity with Jupiter, and when mixed with the other Antimony it augments Luna.
THE SIXTH CANON: CONCERNING LUNA AND THE PROPERTIES THEREOF.
The endeavor to make Saturn or Mars out of Luna involves no lighter or easier work than to make Luna, with great gain, out of Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, or Saturn. It is not useful to transmute what is perfect into what is imperfect, but the latter into the former. Nevertheless, it is well to know what is the material of Luna, or whence it proceeds. Whoever is not able to consider or find this out will neither be able to make Luna. It will be asked, What is Luna? It is among the seven metals which are spiritually concealed, itself the seventh, external, corporeal, and material. For this seventh always contains the six metals spiritually hidden in itself. And the six spiritual metals do not exist without one external and material metal. So also no corporeal metal can have place or essence without those six spiritual ones. The seven corporeal metals mix easily by means of liquefaction, but this mixture is not useful for making Sol or Luna. For in that mixture each metal remains in its own nature, or fixed in the fire, or flies from it. For example, mix, in any way you can, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, Sol, and Luna. It will not thence result that Sol and Luna will so change the other five that, by the agency of Sol and Luna, these will become Sol and Luna. For though all be liquefied into a single mass, nevertheless each remains in its nature whatever it is. This is the judgment which must be passed on corporeal mixture. But concerning spiritual mixture and communion of the metals, it should be known that no separation or mortification is spiritual, because such spirits can never exist without bodies. Though the body should be taken away from them and mortified a hundred times in one hour, nevertheless, they would always acquire another much more noble than the former. And this is the transposition of the metals from one death to another, that is to say, from a lesser degree into one greater and higher, namely, into Luna; and from a better into the best and most perfect, that is, into Sol, the brilliant and altogether royal metal. It is most true, then, as frequently said above, that the six metals always generate a seventh, or produce it from themselves clear in its esse.
THE SEVENTH CANON: CONCERNING THE NATURE OF SOL AND
The seventh after the six spiritual metals is corporeally Sol, which in itself is nothing but pure fire. What in outward appearance is more beautiful, more brilliant, more clear and perceptible, a heavier, colder, or more homogeneous body to see? And it is easy to perceive the cause of this, namely, that it contains in itself the congelations of the other six metals, out of which it is made externally into one most compact body. Its liquefaction proceeds from elementary fire, or is caused by the liquations of Mercury, with Pisces and Aquarius, concealed spiritually within it. The most manifest proof of this is that Mercury is easily mingled corporeally with the Sun as in an embrace. But for Sol, when the heat is withdrawn and the cold supervenes after liquefaction, to coagulate and to become hard and solid, there is need of the other five metals, whose nature it embraces in itself - Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, Luna.
In these five metals the cold abodes with their regimens are especially found. Hence it happens that Sol can with difficulty be liquefied without the heat of fire, on account of the cold whereof mention has been made. For Mercury cannot assist with his natural heat or liquefaction, or defend himself against the cold of the five metals, because the heat of Mercury is not sufficient to retain Sol in a state of liquefaction. Wherefore Sol has to obey the five metals rather than Mercury alone. Mercury itself has no office of itself save always to flow. Hence it happens that in coagulations of the other metals it can effect nothing, since its nature is not to make anything hard or solid, but liquid.
To render fluid is the nature of heat and life, but cold has the nature of hardness, consolidation, and immobility, which is compared to death. For example, the six cold metals, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mars, Venus, Luna, if they are to be liquefied must be brought to that condition by the heat of fire. Snow or ice, which are cold, will not produce this effect, but rather will harden. As soon as ever the metal liquefied by fire is removed therefrom, the cold, seizing upon it, renders it hard, congelated, and immovable of itself. But in order that Mercury may remain fluid and alive continually, say, I pray you, whether this will be affected with heat on cold?
Whoever answers that this is brought about by a cold and damp nature, and that it has its life from cold - the promulgator of this opinion, having no knowledge of Nature, is led away by the vulgar. For the vulgar man judges only falsely, and always holds firmly on to his error. So then let him who loves truth withdraw therefrom. Mercury, in fact, lives not at all from cold but from a warm and fiery nature. Whatever lives is fire, because heat is life, but cold the occasion of death. The fire of Sol is of itself pure, not indeed alive, but hard, and so far shows the color of sulphur in that yellow and red are mixed therein in due proportion. The five cold metals are Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, and Luna, which assign to Sol their virtues; according to cold, the body itself; according to fire, color; according to dryness, solidity; according to humidity, weight; and out of brightness, sound. But that gold is not burned in the element of terrestrial fire, nor is even corrupted, is effected by the firmness of Sol. For one fire cannot burn another, or even consume it; but rather if fire be added to fire it is increased, and becomes more powerful in its operations.
The celestial fire which flows to us on the earth from the Sun is not such a fire as there is in heaven, neither is it like that which exists upon the earth, but that celestial fire with us is cold and congealed, and it is the body of the Sun. Wherefore the Sun can in no way be overcome by our fire. This only happens, that it is liquefied, like snow or ice, by that same celestial Sun. Fire, therefore, has not the power of burning fire, because the Sun is fire, which, dissolved in heaven, is coagulated with us.
Gold is in its essence threefold:
(1) Celestial and dissolved,
(2) Elementary and fluid,
(3) Metallic and corporeal.
THE END OF THE SEVEN CANONS.
A question may arise: If it be true that Luna and every metal derives its origin and is generated from the other six, what is then its property and its nature? To this we reply: From Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Sol, nothing and no other metal than Luna could be made. The cause is that each metal has two good virtues of the other six, of which altogether there are twelve. These are the spirit of Luna, which thus in a few words may be made known. Luna is composed of the six spiritual metals and their virtues, whereof each possesses two. Altogether, therefore, twelve are thus posited in one corporeal metal, which are compared to the seven planets and the twelve celestial signs. Luna has from the planet Mercury, and from Aquarius and Pisces, its liquidity and bright white color. So Luna has from Jupiter, with Sagittarius and Taurus, its white color and its great firmness in fire. Luna has from Mars, with Cancer and Aries, its hardness and its clear sound. Luna has from Venus, with Gemini and Libra, its measure of coagulation and its From Saturn, with Virgo and Scorpio, its homogeneous body, with gravity. From Sol, with Leo and Virgo, its spotless purity and great constancy against the power of fire. Such is the knowledge of the natural exaltation and of the course of the spirit and body of Luna, with its composite nature and wisdom briefly summarized.
Furthermore, it should be pointed out what kind of a body such metallic spirits acquire in their primitive generation by means of celestial influx. For the metal-digger, when he has crushed the stone, contemptible as it is in appearance, liquefies it, corrupts it, and altogether mortifies it with fire. Then this metallic spirit, in such a process of mortification, receives a better and more noble body, not friable but malleable. Then comes the Alchemist, who again corrupts, mortifies, and artificially prepares such a metallic body. Thus once more that spirit of the metal assumes a more noble and more perfect body, putting itself forward clearly into the light, except it be Sol or Luna. Then at last the metallic spirit and body are perfectly united, are safe from the corruption of elementary fire, and also incorruptible.