Hermetic Alchemy↭King Vegita

Written by probationideadlyi on May 28th, 2014. Posted in Alchemi, NYAYA-KARMA

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MAG-NUM OPUS

word MAGNUM OPUS de-codecode bookwriter

The Great Work /Latin: Magnum opus/ is an alchemical term for the process of creating the philosopher's stone. It has been used to describe personal and spiritual transmutation in the Hermetic tradition, attached to laboratory processes and chemical color changes, used as a model for the individuation process, and as a device in art and literature. The magnum opus has been carried forward in new age and neo-hermetic movements which sometimes attached new symbolism and significance to the processes.

The alchemical process of transformation has been variously described, according to the text that is consulted, as being a six-stage process, 12 stage, 20, 22, 50, and even 75 stage process! However, it is possible to understand the alchemical process in terms of four basic stages, this being most useful when starting out as an "alchemical beginner" and in trying to relate it to the psychotherapeutic process.

THE FOUR STAGES of CHAOS

Psychologist Carl Jung is credited with interpreting the pseudo-scientific alchemical process as analogous to modern-day psi psychoanalysis.

In the Jungian archetypal schema:

The origin of these four phases can be traced at least as far back as the first century. Zosimus of Panopolis wrote that it was known to Maria the Jewess.After the 15th century, many writers tended to compress citrinitas into rubedo and consider only three stages. Other color stages are sometimes mentioned, most notably the cauda pavonis (peacock's tail) in which an array of colors appear.

The magnum opus had a variety of alchemical symbols attached to it. Birds like the ravencorvus, swanswan, and phoenix phoenix amulet could be used to represent the progression through the colors. Similar color changes could be seen in the laboratory, where for example, the blackness of rotting, burnt, or fermenting matter would be associated with nigredo.

The Four Stages

At each stage the alchemist is subjected to an increasingly intense purification, which is followed by a union with the fire of that stage (alchemical marriage), a rebirth of a new sense of self and then the death of that sense of self (in order to proceed to the next stage). At each stage the fire is twice as intense as the preceding fire. The fire could also be seen as awakening four degrees of fiery love in the heart of the alchemist by his anima or "inner female soul mate" (in the case of a man) or by her animus or "inner male spirit" (in the case of a woman). In alchemy the anima (in men) and the animus (in women) therefore pass through four stages of development corresponding in turn to the four steps of the alchemical marriage. At each stage the experience of this "fiery love" purifies and awakens the alchemist, in order that a greater sense of self be realised and a vaster reservoir of feeling open up in his or her heart. Fire therefore is the fuel of the alchemical work and the main agent of its continuous process of transmutation. Once kindled, the alchemist's fire is maintained without interruption until the completion of the process.

Stage One: Nigredo or Blackening

In alchemy, nigredo, or blackness, means putrefaction or decomposition. The alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher's stone all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter. The Crow -A messenger between heaven and Earth, an omen of death, and prophet of the hidden truth or the unconscious. Because of its black color, the crow is often associated with evil. Like the raven,  the crow in alchemy represents the Nigredo, the initial blackening and putrefaction that initiate the process of the Great Work.

In the first stage the fire is "slow and mild" as of the flesh or "embryo," gradually helping to bring about the first stage of the work, culminating in the earthly nigredo or "blackening." This stage involves a purification of the earthly nature in us. The work begins with a seeking for the "Prima Materia," a condition the alchemists coined to represent that original, pure, uncorrupted state of the matter that is the basis of nature, i.e. out of the Prima Materia the elements emerged. They also recognised that all nature is renewed after dying away and that in order to grow, an organism must first die. An apple, for example, has to  putrefy before its seed can take root and produce more apples. Of course, this "putrefaction" applies not only to the material but also to the spiritual world. Just as material death is necessary for the material rebirth of things, so spiritual death is necessary for the spiritual rebirth of man.

Thus the much sought-after act of rebirth is always preceded by a return to the source of life -regeneration depends on a "reduction to the primal matter," and fire is a most important element needed to achieve this. From a psychological standpoint, this stage is experienced as entering a dark and chaotic unconscious inner world. St John of the Cross has referred to this as the first of two dark nights,the dark night of the mind, which is an encounter with the darker aspects of our self (that which Jung called "the shadow"). At first nothing appears to make sense, indeed all the therapist can do at this stage of the process is to be fully present and empathise with the client, who in the process of articulating their experience, facilitates it further. The therapeutic setting, i.e. the therapy room, becomes the hermetically sealed vessel and the inner chaos that the client enters into is symbolised by the reactions of opposing forces struggling against each other.

That is to say the client's own psyche reveals its submerged inner conflicts to the conscious mind. As the client begins to experience the inner world to be more real, the process intensifies (the fire increases) and often anger, fear, frustration, and a desire to "escape from it all" is experienced. To pass through this stage requires patience, humility and acceptance not only of the client, but also of the therapist, who through experiences knows that a process of purification is in progress and that one by one the inner conflicts will gradually become resolved until a completely new inner state of clarity and freedom is achieved. Then the client will be reconciled with his or her inner earth nature – in alchemical terms they will have united with their "earth nature." Throughout the first stage, the encounter with the earth nature necessitates a freeing of the sense of self from its identification with the elements earth and water. What we are concerned with is removing the veils of unconscious attachment to the world so as to get a clearer sense of who we are in this world.

For example, I am not my family, nor my job, nor my status that people acknowledge in the world. The identification of the self with the earth element is experienced in terms of our attachment to worldly objects (our body, material objects, parental figures, etc.) and so long as we remain attached to the worldly objects we remain separated and divided inside. In letting go of the attachments we can turn within to discover inner guidance and our inner animus or anima, for which a passion (and later love) is awakened, leading to the first alchemical union or marriage. The water element symbolises the emotions that we experience in encountering and letting go of such attachments – fear, anger, grief, etc. – emotions we need to encounter and survive,experiencing them in order to become free of them and so move on to the next stage.

Thus it is that when the unconscious earth nature in us is first awakened we initially experience negative thoughts and feelings. Once we have overcome the unconscious identifications, the thoughts and feelings become positive, i.e. the world no longer threatens our real self because we are free of it and we can choose when and how we integrate the world into out self (rather than our self becoming absorbed and lost in the world). When we enter the unconscious we often experience these emotions in terms of water images such as the sea, or a lake or a river. This is also a sign that we are beginning to "flow along" with our inner process, i.e. we have let go of our attachment to the solid outer world (earth element) and are following our feelings.

A sign of having worked through these earthly attachments and their corresponding emotions is the positive encounter with our inner anima (for men) or inner animus (for women). At the point when physical union with the inner anima or animus is experienced, then the union or "marriage with the earth nature" has been achieved. The anima at this stage is symbolised by Eve, the object of sensual love. The animus is symbolised by the physical "Tarzan" figure. This union paves the way for becoming free of the unconscious influence of the earth nature. The very act of becoming free of this nature is seen by the alchemists as awakening of the air element through sublimation, leading to the freeing of the soul nature.

The first freeing of the soul nature is accompanied by child-like images appearing in the client's dreams. This signals the first rebirth of the self. In women, the Rebirth image is sometimes preceded by dreams of being pregnant. Completion of the first stage is now experienced as a death, which is in fact a complete letting go of the old sense of self that was identified unconsciously with the earth nature. Images of fire and burning often accompany the images of death and endings. Now we are ready to enter the second stage. So far we have described the union of opposites (alchemical marriage), Rebirth of the new self and the death of the old self. All the while, purification, principally by means of the fire element has been a continuous part of the process.

Stage Two: Albedo or Whitening

Albedo (pronounced al-bay-do in Omniverse and al-bee-do in Alien Force and Ultimate Alien) is a villain that first appeared in Good Copy, Bad Copy.

Albedo /ælˈbd/, or reflection coefficient, derived from Latin albedo"whiteness" (or reflected sunlight) in turn from albus "white", is the diffuse reflectivity or reflecting power of a surface.Albedo depends on the frequency of the radiation.The albedo is an important concept in climatology, astronomy, and calculating reflectivity of surfaces in LEED sustainable-rating systems for buildings.

The albedos of planets, satellites and asteroids can be used to infer much about their properties. The study of albedos, their dependence on wavelength, lighting angle ("phase angle"), and variation in time comprises a major part of the astronomical field of photometry. For small and far objects that cannot be resolved by telescopes, much of what we know comes from the study of their albedos. For example, the absolute albedo can indicate the surface ice content of outer Solar System objects, the variation of albedo with phase angle gives information about regolith properties, whereas unusually high radar albedo is indicative of high metal content in asteroids.

Stage Three: Citrinitas or Yellowing

Citrinitas, sometimes referred to as xanthosis,is a term given by alchemists to "yellowness." It was one of the four major stages of the alchemical magnum opus, and literally referred to "transmutation of silver into gold" or "yellowing of the lunar consciousness."In alchemical philosophy, citrinitas stood for the dawning of the "solar light" inherent in one's being, and that the reflective "lunar or soul light" was no longer necessary. The other three alchemical stages were nigredo (blackness), albedo (whiteness), and rubedo (redness).

Alchemists refer to Citrinitas as the stage of the sun, or the dawning of the "solar light" inherent in our Being. Now the light is no longer reflective as in the lunar or soul light. Its nature is direct and it is all pervading (we do not experience it as having a source). This light is "great and strong, as of a calcining fire." It is sometimes referred to as the original Light or the Light that is pure, creative Intelligence. Some alchemical texts describe it as the Divine Intellect (as distinct from the human, mental intellect). It is said that the only true knowledge is revealed to us when this Light becomes conscious in us. Now in describing the second stage, mention was made only of an alchemical marriage and a rebirth. Stage three begins with the "yellow death," i.e. there is a dying away of the "lunar light" to the point of complete darkness, which is in fact "black light," a light so bright we cannot see it as our inner sight is veiled and it appears as darkness. St. John of the Cross speaks of this in a personal account of his own "Dark Night of the Soul."

This "death" is also described from a Buddhist point of view as a death of the sense of self as being a separate individual. It is a complete dying of the dualistic state of mind that perceives subject and object as separate. It is hard to find the equivalent experience in the psychotherapeutic setting, but we do have a possible example when we consider the schizophrenic experience. Here the client can lose all sense of individuality and moves into a world that is almost totally subjective and there is little or no ability to be objective, i.e. for the client to separate him/herself from the experience.

The "yellow death" signals the end of the influence of the "lunar light," as the consciousness is transformed into "solar light." This "solar light" awakens the sense of revelation and revelatory knowledge. Inner knowing is not arrived at by study, reflection or deep thought; it is to be experienced as a direct revelation. Further descriptions of this stage become too metaphysical to be relevant and so we must proceed to the description of the third Alchemical Marriage. Purification at this stage focuses on the removal of the "watery" elements. This alchemical marriage reveals the anima figure as corresponding to the Divine Virgin, or heavenly woman, the object of spiritual love. This love is devotional in nature. One example of this would be Dante's Beatrice, who leads the poet on to the spheres of paradise and the marvels of heavenly love. The corresponding animus figure appears as the spiritual guide – the professor, clergyman, guru, who is seen as "elevated and spiritualised." The Rebirth is in terms of the birth of the Solar consciousness, a revelatory light.

Stage Four: Rubedo or Reddening

In stage four, the alchemist awakens to the desire to return to the earth and to fully incarnate his or her state of "illuminated" consciousness into the mind and body. To achieve this, a purifying fourth fire, "burning and vehement, as of fusion," must be used to bring about a new coagulation of spirit and matter. The culmination of stage three leaves the alchemist completely free in a state of Pure Spirit, Pure Intelligence, beyond space, time and form but without a consciousness of body or mind. Thus the death or "Red death" at the start of stage four involves the death of the freedom inherent in this state and the death of the conscious state of Pure Spirit (and Pure Intelligence) as an individual soul that desires to be embodied without the sense of separation from its original pure state. It is only when the soul is finally incarnated in the mind/body (psyche) that it can realise its state of spiritual completeness.

Heaven and earth in the alchemist are now united. Furthermore the process is incomplete and inherently unstable at the end of stage three as there is no body or psyche as a vehicle to incarnate into, and the mind/body will suffer the fate of eventually regressing backwards towards its original impure, leaden state. However, spirit is not meant to incarnate into the old (leaden) state of mind/body as there would be no purpose in the process if this happened, i.e. the consciousness would revert back to its leaden state or worse still, split off from the psyche and the alchemist would be left in an internally split state. So the psyche needs to be awakened – "Materially spiritualised" is the term used – so that it can be an appropriate vehicle for the soul to incarnate into, i.e. the psyche can now express the soul's qualities and nature because the psyche has become of the same nature as the soul. This uniting of the spirit/soul with the mind/body represents the final and most important alchemical marriage. Now the anima becomes the Mother of God, or Consort of God, the object of mystic love. The corresponding animus figures are Illuminated Ones – Christ, Buddha, the Saints, etc.

What this means is that God consciousness, in being born into the world of the earth, realises its Godlike nature consciously – as an enlightened, transcendental individual and in a state of oneness with the Cosmic whole. This then is the philosopher's stone that the alchemist has been seeking for. It is the grand culmination of the Great Work. The psychotherapeutic equivalent to this is far easier to recognise, explain and understand by comparison to the complex mysticism of stage three. Quite simply, once the client has realised and transcended the nature of their problems or dilemmas, they are faced with the task of implementing it in their life. This involves a change in their personality that will accommodate and sustain their realisation. Thus the client who realises that his or her life has been a sham which has lead to numerous problems, now sets about the process of changing it to be more in accord with his or her own true nature.

The effort of accomplishing this is far greater than the effort of realising the need for this change in the first place.

The alchemical principal of "solve et coagula," or dissolve and coagulate, has been used at each stage of the process. In other words, the form the soulmoulded soul is caught in at the time (the self) must first be dissolved in order to free the soul so that it can rise (in consciousness) to experience a purer and subtler form, which can then be re-coagulated and experienced as the "new self."

However, in stage four as the soul incarnates, or descends into the worldly body, the latter has been tempered to be a more suitable vehicle or psyche, which is then coagulated with the soul to form the "self" that has awakened the body and mind to express its nature (the spirit has been materialised and the material body spiritualised)

The 3 SUN's

  SUNS IN ALCHEMY

In alchemic and Hermetic traditions, suns÷are employed to symbolize a variety of concepts, much like the sun in astrology. Suns can correspond to gold, generative masculine principles, imagery of 'The king' or Apollo, the fiery spiritflame or sulfur, the divine spark in man, nobility8½°, or incorruptibility. Recurring images of specific solar motifs can be found in the form of a "Dark" or "Black Sun", or a green lion devouring a sun

SOL NIGER

Sol niger /Black sun/ can refer to the first stage of the alchemical magnum opus, the nigredo/blackening/. In a text ascribed to Marsilio Ficino three suns are described:

  • black
  •  white
  •  red

corresponding to the three most used alchemical color stages. Of the sol niger he writes:

The body must be dissolved in the subtlest middle air: The body is also dissolved by its own heat and humidity; where the soul, the middle nature holds the principality in the color of blackness all in the glasswhich blackness of Nature the ancient Philosophers called the crows head, or the black sun.

The black sun is used to illuminate the disSolution of the body, a blackening of matter, or Putrefaction in Splendor Solis, and Johann Daniel Mylius’s Philosophia Reformata.

The Black Sun in Mesoamerican mythology has many mystical meanings, among them it is connected to the god
and his penetration  in the Underworld through the west door after his diurnal passage on the sky. For the Mexicas there were 2 suns, the young Day Sun and the ancient Dark Sun. Some scholars regard the mythological Black Sun as the ancient female origin of all, it is both tomb and womb. This way, it is the oneness that uniformly integrates unawareness, death, and yet an expectation of fecundity.

The Aztecs associated the passage of the Black Sun, on its nightly journey through the underworld with the image of a butterfly. The butterfly, in turn, is an archetypical symbol of the transcendent soul, transformation and mystical rebirth, whereas also seen in the figure of the frightening earth goddess ->, the "Obsidian Butterfly", that devoured people during the solar eclipses,while the Aztec ≡ lowest Underworld was the eternal dwelling place of the souls. According to the Codex Ríos, the underworld was made of nine layers. The first level was the Earth's surface, which also had the entrance, or the face of a gigantic toad that devoured the dead and gave access to the other eight lower levels. The souls of the dead occupied the ninth level known as "Mictlan Opochcalocan".

The connection with nocturnal elements is also ascribed to the god±, son of the primordial god Ometeotl who was a god of dualities such as light and darkness. Black Tezcatlipoca, as he was known, was one of the Five Suns of the creation myth of some Nahua peoples; he ruled over the north, the Earth, night, sorcery, and judgment. Another interpretation  holds that the sun god  crossed the underworld during the night bestowing light to the forgotten souls, however, he demanded human blood as payment to his tasks. Before his nightly effort,  was accompanied from zenith to setting by the Ciuapipiltrins, the souls of women who had died in childbirth, which then reappeared as crepuscular moths on Earth.

At archaeological scenes, the Plumed Serpent shows a man with a black sun within a yellow sun. In this manner the spinning of the sun and black sun shows a wheel crossing with an obfuscatory motion where four black rays move out of four yellow rays.According to some authors, these sets of four rays relate to the four cardinal points and the four quarters, they represent the governance held by the gods over the human race since its infancy, as well as the annual rotation of the heavens, and the universal rulership portrayed in the great dance called "Mitotiliztli", which reproduces the appearance of a wheel

The 12+/- 13 VITAL PROCESSES

Alchemical authors sometimes elaborated on the three or four color model by enumerating a variety of al-chemical steps to be performed. Though these were often arranged in groups of seven or twelve stages, there is little consistency in the names of these processes, their number, their order, or their description.

Various alchemical documents were directly or indirectly used to justify these stages. The Tabula Smaragdina is the oldest document said to provide a "recipe". Others include the Mutus Liber, the twelve keys of Basil Valentine, the emblems of Steffan Michelspacher, and the twelve gates of George Ripley. Ripley's steps are given as modified with attached other significance in the measured  measured  key words, which show more clarity about the multiple steps of the processes and how they are integrated with other meaningful words and concepts leading us to the stars in every constellation, by which we break up the oldfashioned boundaries of understanding as we build other more precise measured bonds as every word speaks by itself and to what other  is bond 

As first we bear in mind that the human body is Chemical galaxy by itself, so the periodic table of elements is taken in this account.If we use the formula  or Heaven and Cosmos so   or Earth or our body we can mirror and align almost every parallel system in a sample Matrix working in same principle as chip microscheme which has expanding fillings of key words and links with bigger data sources and the purpose of the constellation furnace  is fulfilled by which every alchemical or chemical process go through

 

recipetin eastern zodiac wheel western zodiac furnace alchemic processes  Athanor magma book of american secrets    ?

 
  Affinity purification      
       Distillation Cohobation nitrogen7magnesium12tantalum73          
      Refining      
      Water purification      
      Liquid–liquid extraction      
      Downstream processing      
    Digestion    Adsorption nitrogen7 magnesium12 tantalum73     
        6 Solution  Projection   ?  
      Filtration yttrium39 molybdenium42 copernicum112 unbinilium120    
      Centrifugation      
       9 Dis-solution      ?   
Aqua regis   Fixation      
    magma book of american secrets Coagulation technetium43 europium63    
    Congelation sulphur16 germanium32 caesium55 polonium84    
      Calcinationcalcium20 germanium32
 
 
      Crystallization      
      Recrystallization      
Aqua vitae     Infusion   Diffusion  
 
 
    Decumbiture phosphoros15 livermorium116  
      Corporification  
        PrincipalitiesMultiplication      
    Fermentation         
       Oxidation state          
      Putrefaction Putrefying bacteria      
     Incineration            
      Sublimate  Sublimation  Evaporation      
      Smelting      
      Bioleaching      

 
   Separation  Fractionation Chromatography technetium43 europium63        
   
 
Deposition    
      Salt bridge      
    Purgation       
      Ceration      
     Conjunction     
      Unity of opposites      
      Cohesion      
      Diffundere       
    Exaltation       
      Fall        
      Electrolysis      
      Exuberation       
       Deinking       
             

Various alchemical documents were directly or indirectly used to justify these stages. The Tabula Smaragdina is the oldest document said to provide a "recipe". Others include the Mutus Liber, the twelve keys of Basil Valentine, the emblems of Steffan Michelspacher, and the twelve gates of George Ripley. Ripley's steps are given as:

1. Calcination 7. Cibation
2. Solution (or Dissolution) 8. Sublimation
3. Separation 9. Fermentation
4. Conjunction 10. Exaltation
5. Putrefaction 11. Multiplication
6. Congelation 12. Projection

In another example from the sixteenth century, Samuel Norton gives the following fourteen stages:

1. Purgation 8. Conjunction
2. Sublimation 9. Putrefaction in sulphur
3. Calcination 10. Solution of bodily sulphur
4. Exuberation 11. Solution of sulphur of white light
5. Fixation 12. Fermentation in elixir
6. Solution 13. Multiplication in virtue
7. Separation 14. Multiplication in quantity

Some alchemists also circulated steps for the creation of practical medicines and substances, that have little to do with the magnum opus. The cryptic and often symbolic language used to describe both adds to the confusion, but it's clear that there is no single standard step-by-step recipe given for the creation of the philosopher's stone

The alchemical magnum opus was sometimes expressed as a series of chemical operations. In cases where these numbered twelve, each could be assigned one of the Zodiac signs as a form of cryptography. The following example can be found in Pernety's 1758 Mytho-Hermetic Dictionary:

 

  Spiritual Ascending Alchemical Processes

 

 

Prima materia

Prima materia, materia prima or first matter, is the ubiquitous starting material required for the alchemical magnum opus and the creation of the philosopher's stone. It is the primitive formless base of all matter similar to chaos, the quintessence, or aether. Esoteric alchemists describe the prima materia using simile, and compare it to concepts like the anima mundi

Comparisons have been made to Hyle, the primal fire, Proteus, Light, and Mercury.Martin Ruland the Younger lists more than fifty synonyms for the prima materia in his 1612 alchemical dictionary. His text includes justifications for the names and comparisons. He repeats that, the philosophers have so greatly admired the Creature of God which is called the Primal Matter, especially concerning its efficacy and mystery, that they have given to it many names, and almost every possible description, for they have not known how to sufficiently praise it.Waite lists an additional eighty four names.

Names assigned to the  Prima Materia in Ruland's 1612 alchemical dictionary, Lexicon alchemiae sive dictionarium alchemistarum

Description symbol
 Microcosmos
The Philosophical Stone
The Eagle Stone  
Water of Life  
Venom  
Poison  
Chamber  
Spirit  
Medicine  
Heaven  
Clouds
Nebula or Fog  
Dew  
Shade  
Moon  
Stella Signata and Lucifer  
Permanent Water  
Fiery and Burning Water  
Salt of Nitre and Saltpetre  
Lye  
Bride, Spouse, Mother, Eve  
Pure and Uncontaminated Virgin  
Milk of Virgin, or the Fig  
Boiling Milk  
Honey  
A Spiritual Blood  
Bath  
A Syrup  
Vinegar  
Lead  
Tin  
Sulphur of Nature  
Spittle of the Moon  
Ore  
The Serpent
The Dragon
Marble, Crystal, Glass  
Scottish Gem  
Urine  
Magnesia  
Magnet  Magnet compass.png
White Ethesia  
White Moisture  
White Smoke  
Dung  
Metallic Entity  
Mercury  
The Soul and Heaven of the Elements  
The Matter of all Forms  
Tartar of the Philosophers  
Dissolved Refuse  
The Rainbow
Indian Gold  
Heart of the Sun  
Chaos
Venus

There are 7 steps in the transformative processes, both for physical Alchemy as well as spiritual Alchemy. Here is a brief list of the 7 Steps of the Emerald formula

Hermetic Alchemy or The Operation of the Sun is a spiritual technique used to purify and refine oneself.

The Emerald Tablet / Mogul Mughal Emerald 5½º/ is considered to be the originating writing for Hermetic Alchemy and all of Western alchemical thought. Disagreements exist over whether physical alchemy or spiritual, Hermetic alchemy came first. Scholars of science and history tend to believe that spiritual alchemy is the offspring of physical alchemy. Occultists tend to believe that physical alchemy is the perversion of its spiritual counterpart, however some occultists, such as Manly P. Hall, believe that both are plausible and that spiritual alchemy is the key to successfully doing physical alchemy

Hermetic Alchemy came forth from Egypt, as a Hermetic art, and during the Middle Ages dominated the other branches -Astrology and Theurgy /Hall The Hermetic Marriage p. 225/ This art and Astrology are known as the two oldest sciences in the world. A legend even exists which purports that an angel had given to Adam knowledge of these two arts and told him that mankind could reenter Eden once both were mastered. /Hall The Secret Teachings of All Ages p. 494) It gained much support from those who required logic, reason, and philosophy once religion in Europe lost its philosophical edge and became entrenched in blind faith. /Hall The Hermetic Marriage p. 226/

Alchemy has given birth to chemistry through the work of such men as Roger Bacon. /Hall The Hermetic Marriage p. 225/ However, according to Hermetic alchemists, the physical side to the art is only half of it, the spiritual is the other. This is revealed in the symbolism of the Egyptian goddess Isis whose veil  hides the other half from the unworthy. /Hall The Secret Teachings of All Ages p. 126/

The Crown of Nature

by Bernard Trevisan

The influence of the heavens by the will and command of God, descends from above and mixes with the virtues and properties of the Stars, and likewise in this manner is the first production of our seed. You must not take it out of any combustible for it fights with it without being prejudiced, but is known out of a Metallic root ordained by the Creator only for the generation of metals.You must look [for] it in the seed of its proper nature from which nature may produce it. Bernard Trevisan's books are write true, right and once by circumstances to amuse souls.

The Elements are Water, Air, Earth, and Fire, which must be so applied and governed until such time they produce a soul.

  • aqua flow breakwater
  • vortex spirall ballair balance
  • earth break ballcontroller
  • flamealarm

We gather the four elements by a concordance of the Seven Planets.

  • arisemoon ball phase changemoon ball phase change
  • arisenessus

All our work is to Congeal and Dissolve the body, and Congeal the Spirit. God being before all things, when He was alone created one Substance, which He called the first matter and of that substance he created the Elements, and from them created all things. Our Stone is the Quintessence of the Four Elements, separated from them and reduced into a fifth Essence, being extracted out of the body of the first matter. Nature created by God prepared with human artificial then by the Conjunction and Union of the said elements after their perfect rectification, reduces them into a fifth, a glorious fifth Essence or Spirit called Quintessence, appearing in a glorified body which is found in one only thing created by God. Wheresoever is found a Metallic Spirit, a metallic Soul and a body Metallic, there is also found infallibly Quicksilver, Sulphur and Salt, in which certainly will make a perfect Metallic body->

We gather it from the most perfect Creature upon which the Sun ever set his eyes. St Dunstan's work, De Occulta Philosophia E: G: I: A, calls it the food of Angels, the heavenly Viaticum, the Bread of Life, and it is undoubtedly next under God, the true Alchochodon or giver of years, and he does not so much admire the question whether any man can die that uses it, as to think why the possessors of it should desire to live, who have these manifestations of Glory and eternity represented to their fleshly eyes.

Our Stone is made or composed of Two, Three, Four, and Fire: of Five, that is the quintessence, of Four which are the Four Elements, of Three which is of three Principle natural things, of Two which signifies double Mercury, and of One which is the first principle of all things, which was produced clean and pure from the Creation of the world, fiat – be it made. There are Creatures created more noble than Gold and we must look [for] it where truth will find it, which so hath put in nature, and man cannot know it by sight, except he see the whole work.

Adam our first father was in his inward parts, or internal man, made according to the similitude of God of the same substance and matter which the Angels were made, though men /that the world hold great Doctors/ say and tell it for truth that God made man out of a piece of mud, clay, or dust of the Earth, which is false, it was no such matter, but a quintessential Matter, which is called Earth but is no earth. Adam before his all had a far different body than what he had after, and so far different that if we should behold him as he was in his Innocency, we should admire the glory of him, and tremble at the sight, as at the sight of an Angel and such a body as our blessed Saviour brought from heaven with him, such a body shall we arise with, and with such bodies shall our souls be endued with flesh and blood.

Otherwise Man would not differ from Angels, for this flesh and blood is put upon us by the Holy Ghost, that is by regeneration. I forebear to speak more of these mysteries known to few. But he that liveth to be blessed with this Art, shall glorify his Creator. Man the Microcosm or Little World, from the Stars received Spirit, from the Great World his body, and from God immediately his soul, so here is an illumination of the Blessed Trinity. Now let us say something of the production of the Great World out of nothing, when there were neither time or place, and God created a certain Chaos Invisible which the Philosophers call Hyle, the most remote matter. Out of this He made an extract or Second Matter Chaos, which the Philosophers know not by speculation, but since that matter was and is visible and tangible, in which were and are all the seeds and forms of all creatures Superior and Inferior, that ever were made. From this God divided the four Elements, in a word did make all things Celestial and Terrestrial, the Angels, Sun, Moon, and Stars. The knowledge and practice of the Philosophers upon this Chaos brought them to the knowledge of all wisdom, and from thence next [to] God, seek thou and find all wisdom, and indeed Angelical wisdom is attained by it.

Incredulity is given to the world as a punishment

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Concerning the Ancient Chaos

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chaos ba gua

 is the first beginning of the first created from an Uncreated Being, this God omnipotent created in the beginning, but before the work of the days it was without shape and also confused. But afterwards all the most sound Philosophers nominated that Essence, the Mother and the first matter of the world, for Hilon, and Nature, in whose bosom innumerable forms lay hid, which the Omnipotent Builder, that great Spagirus, appointed in his time to break forth, for he had first included a spirit in that Undigested Matter, Chaos, who some hath affirmed ought to be called the Soul of the World, some the Form of Forms, others the Proximate Instrument of the Creator. By the benefit of this spirit so included, there is at length by the most free will of God, providing for and overlooking all things, a separation is made of the waters from the waters, by which they were divided. But it is very remarkable, that at the separation of the Chaos, there was a just division, no deperdition, but every particle of the same being full of spirit and life, they are fit for that to which they were ordained, waxing strong and vegetating. Hence the admirable strength of things, may by the sons of men be drawn forth and become a true metamorphosis, if they artificially search and handle them according to the nature of the Chemical Art, for the true Philosophers have considered of no other Mystery than Nature itself, and a possibility of Nature, which Natural simplicity may indeed suffice those that rely on it, for Nature doth work most of all from its aptness of its own virtue and beginning, as it doth demonstrate, only needing a little help of Art. With the Cabalists this Chaos is twofold, to wit, Intelligibles and Visibles, the one proceeding from the immediate decree of God, the other is reported or declared to proceed immediately from the execution of the same decree. Know further, that the point you see in the White, is put for the centre of the Earth, the whiteness doth signify the Earth itself, the crooked line signifies the flowing water, which in its own place would cover the Earth, but by the decree of the most bountiful Creator, it encompasses some part only.

The white circle beset with little black spots, signifies the Air, as the sevenfold little points of a golden color denotes the Fire. These things being thus expounded and declared, the next consideration shall be of the seven Planets punctually compassing the Chaos. The first of these is Saturn, and therefore is placed in the ascendant, but he contains all the other planets, as the others do the rest, but in a diverse order. From hence it is known that all things are in all things, according to the true philosophical intention. But Saturn himself is feminine and melancholy, Jupiter feminine and phlegmatic and sanguine, Mars masculine and sanguine, Mercury feminine and phlegmatic, lastly the Moon feminine and melancholy.

Azoth

      As a visual guide to the operations of alchemy, we will use an alchemical mandala actually used by the alchemists in trying to understand the relationships between the processes of transformation. The “Azoth”representing  nitrogen7  is a meditative emblemazoth that appeared in several different forms during the late Middle Ages. The version we are using is based on an illustration first published in 1659 in the Azoth of the Philosophers by the legendary German alchemist Basil Valentine. The word “Azoth” in the title is one of the more arcane names for the First Matter. The “A” and “Z” in the word relate to “alpha” and “omega,” the letters at the beginning and end of the Greek alphabet. Thus the word is meant to convey the idea of the absolutely complete and full meaning of the First Matter and its transformations. In this sense, the Azoth represents not just the chaotic First Matter at the beginning of the Work but also its perfected essence (the Philosopher’s Stone) at the conclusion of the Work.

At the center of this striking drawing is the face of a bearded alchemist at the beginning of the Work. Like looking into a mirror, this is where the adept fixes his or her attention to begin meditation at the center of the mandala. The downward-pointing triangle superimposed over the face of the alchemist represents Water in its highest sense as divine grace or the gift of life pouring down from Above. Therefore, within the triangle we see the face of God, and the drawing clearly implies that the face of God and the face of the alchemist are the same. Of course, this idea was considered blasphemy to the medieval Church, which explains why this drawing was circulated secretly in so many different forms during the Middle Ages. It was not until the Renaissance, when the idea of the divine nature of man, that the drawing was first published.

The schematized body of the alchemist is shown in perfect balance with the Four Elements as depicted by his arms and legs. His feet protrude from behind the central emblem, and one is on Earth and the other in Water, indicating he is grounded in the real world. In his right hand is a torch of Fire and in his left hand a feather symbolizing Air. Although he is firmly planted in the world of matter, the alchemist has easy access to the powers of spirit.

The alchemist also stands balanced between the masculine and feminine powers in the background. He is really the offspring of the marriage between Sol, the archetypal Sun King seated on a lion on a hill to his right, and Luna, the archetypal Moon Queen seated on a great fish to his left. “Its father is the Sun,” says the Emerald Tablet, “its mother the Moon.”

The jovial, extroverted Sun King holds a scepter and a shield indicating his authority and strength over the rational, visible world, but the fiery dragon of the rejected contents of his unconscious waits in a cave beneath him ready to attack should he grow too arrogant. This dragon is created by the fiery nature of consciousness any time we forcibly reject part of the contents of our psyche and relegate it to the shadows. We have given this undesirable part life energy in the very act of rejection. The fact that light casts shadows is inherent in masculine consciousness, and it becomes a source of demons that plague us throughout our lives.

The melancholy, introverted Moon Queen holds the reins to a great fish, symbolizing her control of those same hidden forces that threaten the King, and behind her is a chaff of wheat, which stands for her connection to fertility and growth. The bow and arrow she cradles in her left arm symbolize the wounds of the heart and body she accepts as part of her existence, for feminine consciousness accepts the world as it is, with all its pain and suffering.

In simplest terms, the King and Queen represent the raw materials of our experience – thoughts and feelings – with which the alchemist works. The King symbolizes the power of thought and planning, which are characteristics of spirit. The Queen stands for the influence of feelings and emotions, which are ultimately the chaotic First Matter of the soul. The much heralded marriage of the King and Queen produces a state of consciousness best described as a feeling intellect, which can be raised and purified to produce a state of perfect intuition, that Egyptian alchemists referred to as “Intelligence of the Heart.” This special kind of intelligence or way of knowing is at work in the alchemist, for he is born of the sacred marriage of masculine and feminine consciousness.

Between legs of the alchemist dangles the Cubic Stone, which is labeled Corpus (meaning “body”). The five stars surrounding it indicate that the body also contains the hidden Fifth Element, the invisible Quintessence whose “inherent strength is perfected if it is turned into Earth” in the words of the Emerald Tablet.

Where the head of the alchemist should be, there is a strange winged caricature. This represents the Ascended Essence, the essence of the soul raised to the highest level in the body. This image evolved through the decades with this drawing, and at one time or another was shown as a golden ball, a helmet, a heart, and finally as a depiction of the pineal gland (a light-sensitive, pinecone-shaped organ at the center of the brain).

Touching the wings of the Ascended Essence are a salamander engulfed in flames on the left side of the drawing and a standing bird on the right. Below the salamander is the inscription Anima (Soul); below the bird is the inscription Spiritus (Spirit). The salamander, as a symbol of soul, is attracted to the blazing heat of the Sun, while the bird of spirit is attracted to the coolness of the Moon. This is a visualization of the fundamental bipolar energies that drive the alchemy of transformation. This is similar in meaning to the Tai Chi symbol representing the interplay of the feminine yin and masculine yang energies. In this process, one thing takes on the characteristics of the other as it becomes its opposite. This is the relationship between Mercury and Sulfur in alchemy, and explains why Mercury is sometimes associated with soul and other times associated with spirit. The same is true of Sulfur. The alchemists believed that within this interplay could be found the source of the life force. Carl Jung called this overall process of one thing changing its opposite by the unfortunately unwieldy name of “inandromedria.”  

Spiritus, Anima, and Corpus (Spirit, Soul, and Body) form a large inverted triangle that stands behind the central emblem of the alchemist. Together they symbolize the Three Essentials behind anything, the celestial archetypes that the alchemists termed Sulfur, Mercury, and Salt.

Saturn the Chemical Subject in the Root of Art

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 is the first of the planets far exceeding all his brethren in essence, order and dignity. He is accounted the primary son of Nature, the root of metals known to few. Hence saith the Clangor, the colouring spirit is the philosopher's Mercury with its Red or White Sulphur being naturally mixed with it in the mine and bowels of the Earth, also indifferently prepared, the judgement of the artificer being left until the perfect consummation, as it is in the metaphor of Bellinus concerning the Sun, that which is the spirit is called, in plain words tincturing and dividing all metallic bodies especially gold with a true and radical Dis-solution, as is manifest by his words in the Rosary

"Know, saith he, that my father the Sun hath given me power above all power and hath clothed me with a garment of glory, and all the world seeks me and runs after me, for I am that excellent one who exalts and debases all things, and none of my servants except one can overcome me, to whom is given that which is contrary to me, and he destroys me, though not my nature, and that is Saturn who separates all my members. Afterwards I turn to my Mother who congregates all my divided and separated members".

Trevisan affirms the same thing, that no other argent vive can be extracted out of any other body, except out of the Red Servant, which is called by Bellinus, the contrary Servant. But it is called a Servant (to wit) the Servant of Nature, because it serves in the generation of Metals in her Minerals, and because it serves in Chemistry to generate that heavenly and also specified stone. It is called Red, because in this last preparation he goes into red dust. But it is termed to be contrary to the , because he doth radically dissolve him and bring him into his first matter. But lest thou should err, my Son, these things are not to be understood of belonging to metals or mineral , but concerning the metalline  and  which are contained in our lead, (to wit) in potential and not visible. Pythagoras says that every secret is in lead. That I may at length conclude in one word this golden chapter, I do plainly with a constant protestation affirm the more sound Philosophers to have nominated it the Star of the , the Ens of the  ( and ). Know further, that although the subject of health and riches be the same, and that we will handle them both in these commentaries, yet professedly as to the sons of learning and men of understanding it may appear in this place, we will especially treat of the matter of Medicine, for it is our chief intention. But as yet you see  in the , and all the planets accompanying him, but having the  and  under6½° his feet, by which is signified that himself only doth contain in himself those two tinctures, sought by so many and found or known to few. But that a little solar star appears in the Moon, and a little lunar star in the , doth not want a Mystery, for the  and  came forth of the one and same root, as may in a short space be occularly demonstrated by an ingenious Artificer, by the little white drops which afterwards become red is signified abundance of , lying hid especially in the body of . By the mountain out of which a flourishing tree doth appear, is very fitly signified that  is not gotten elsewhere than in hilly places.

Saturn the Chemical Subject in the Root of Art Distillation

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After the subject was known, the first intention of the philosophers that water should be got which they had noted with many names amongst which that sharp vinegar so much spoken of by them is one. But the second is dissolving . The third is Marish water. Dissolving is defined by a natural dissolution, and is defined by them to be that by whence metals are dissolved by a natural dissolution, and their spirits are brought from power into Action. But before they can be brought to act, Nature ought necessarily to be stirred up, but if the dissolving should be dry there would be no irritation of Nature, and so by consequence in vain would the solution be hoped for. There are therefore some which have endeavoured to have that dissolving , or this water of those marshes, by Distillation, and it was effected.

Therefore Distillation with them is the elevation of the watery vapours in the vessel, for in that are two parts of the Stone (to wit), the Superior and the Inferior. They will have the Superior part to be attenuated by Distillation, especially again when the Earth drieth and fasteneth, the Water makes clean and washeth, but the Air and Fire maketh to color. Arnoldus says, it is necessary that there be much Water and much Air, because the multitude of the tincture will be so much as the multitude of the Air, but the Water is purging and the efficient cause of the clearness of the whole body and Medicine. Hence it is that frequent Distillation is called the most true Ablution of the Elements.

It is therefore necessary that the Stone be divided by the Four Elements and that by Distillation. First, by a light fire equally temperated and continued, water is to be gotten. Then the fire is to be made a little more vigorous and stronger, until the fire be received mixed with the fire. That which remains burned in the bottom is the dry earth where the crystalline Salt of the Stone lieth hid. Moreover, by the inferior circle, the furnace is signified. By that Red as yet beneath, the fire is signified. By the superior circle, the vessel in which the matter is put. By the cloud is signified the smoke which seems to rise like a cloud as you are distilling.

The Azothazoth Ritual

The Azoth’s sixth ray points to the feather, symbol of Air and indicating the process of spiritualization. This ray is usually colored indigo, although it is shown as white or light gray. It is marked with the symbol for silver and the Moon.

Distillation is the sixth of the major operation in alchemy, and it is represented in the sixth circle by a unicorn lying on the ground in front of a rose bush. According to legend, the unicorn runs tirelessly from pursuers but lies meekly on the ground when approached by a virgin. The virgin is the purified matter at hand, which has returned to a state of innocence and potential. Above the circle is the word Occultum, meaning secret or hidden, since the essences at the beginning of this stage are invisible.

Distillation is a key process on all levels of alchemy. It involves releasing volatile essences from their prison in matter and condensing them in a purified form. In practical terms, this involves heating a substance until it boils, and then condensing the vapors into a purified liquid. In the Lesser Work of purification in the first three operations, sulfurous and mercurial substances are distilled into a clarified and purer form. In the Greater Work of rebirth, the process takes on an infinite aspect, as substances are continually distilled and circulated in a sealed vessel. Repeated Distillation produces an extremely concentrated solution the alchemists called the “Mother of the Stone.” In a kind of Distillation known as sublimation, the vapors condense directly into solid powder at the top of the distilling apparatus and remain “fixed” there. Distillation is described in the Emerald Tablet as: “It rises from Earth to Heaven and descends again to Earth, thereby combining within Itself the powers of both the Above and the Below.

The alchemical symbol for Distillation is the alembic, which is a hood that fits over the boiling fluid, condensing the rising vapors, and directing the purified condensate via a funnel or tube to a collecting vessel. Images include complicated distillation trains with multiple piping into tall vessels, large turning wheels, baptismal fonts, a rain of purified dew, the lotus flower, a five-petaled rose, the Rosy Cross, the unicorn, white doves, and the Pelican. The Pelican was thought to sacrifice its own blood to feed its young, and it is also the name of a feedback-distillation apparatus. Sometimes this crucial step is represented by flames ascending into the sky or a dragon in flames with its tail in its mouth. Dream images include flying, climbing to the tops of mountains, or confronting mountain lions or eagles.

In the laboratory, Distillation is the boiling and condensation of the fermented solution to increase its purity, which is why this is known as the White Stage of alchemy. Psychologically, this agitation and sublimation of psychic forces is necessary to ensure that no impurities from the lower personality are incorporated into the next and final process. “It rises from Earth to Heaven and descends again to Earth” is how the tablet describes Distillation, which represents the second or higher application of the Water Element in the tablet. The alchemists thought of this phase as working with the heavenly substance Mercury to extract and refashion the metals. The Ferment, the soft amalgam or balsam resulting from this operation must be hardened into a Stone before it can be made permanent, and the final phase of Distillation is a Sublimation in which vapor turns solid, or the spirit is made corporeal. Chemical Distillation is the boiling and condensation of a solution to increase its concentration and purity. Chemically, it is the boiling and condensation of the fermented solution to increase its purity, such as takes place in the distilling of wine to make brandy

Psychologically, Distillation is the agitation and sublimation of psychic forces is necessary to ensure that no impurities from the inflated ego or deeply submerged id are incorporated into the next and final stage. Personal Distillation consists of a variety of introspective techniques that raise the content of the psyche to the highest level possible, free from sentimentality and emotions, cut off even from one’s personal identity. Distillation is the purification of the unborn Self — all that we truly are and can be. In society, the Distillation experience is expressed as science and objective experimentation.

Physiologically, Distillation is raising the life force repeatedly from the lower regions in the cauldron of the body to the brain (what Oriental alchemists called the Circulation of the Light), where it eventually becomes a wondrous solidifying light full of power. Distillation is said to culminate in the Third Eye area of the forehead, at the level of the pituitary and pineal glands, in the Brow or Silver Chakra. On the Planetary level, Distillation is the realization of the power of higher love, as the life force on the entire planet gradually seeks to become one force in nature based on a shared vision of Truth.

Preparation

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To prepare in this art is nothing else than to take away superfluities and supply deficiencies, because light things cannot be fixed without the company of weighty, and weighty things cannot be exalted without the consortship of light things. Neither can the hot without the consortship of the cold, the cold of the hot, the moist of the dry, the dry of the moist, the hard of the soft, the soft without the addition of the hard, be temporated or prepared. But when they are by course fitly espoused, there is generated from them a temporated substance, which the violence of the Fire cannot overcome, nor the putrefaction of the Earth vitiate, neither the limosity of the Water condensate, nor any contract, adumbrate, or overshadow. We must know further that the preparation of the aforesaid matter is perfected by the removing of the superfIuous part and the addition of the absent, by the exercise of the Four Regimens. The first of them is a reduction to the nature of the Fire. The second is a resolution into Water, and the third is a levigation into Air, and the fourth is a pressing down to the Earth or fixing. The first is by Calcining

The second is by Loosening. The third is by distilling through a still. The fourth is by Coagulating or Congealing with a light fire. And so the whole preparation is perfected, to which purpose the Hermite did also intimate in his Smaragdine Table, saying, "it ascends from the Earth to Heaven and descends again from Heaven to Earth". And that this doctrine concerning the preparation of the Stone might be better understood, Geber testifieth most openly concerning this. Saith he, "Our art doth not consist in the plurality of things for it is one matter (to wit) of metals in which consisteth our Mystery, to which we have not added any strange thing, neither do we diminish unless that in the preparation we remove superfluity". But the other things pertaining to this Chaos are clearly enough unfolded by the second Chapter, but here it remaineth in the Water

Division Separation

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Division in this art is the separation of the parts of the composition that they may be the better at length united. In which sense composition is contrary to Division, which indeed is the beginning and life of the thing, for unless there were a Composition, the thing would not be produced into a being. Hence the cunning Son of Jazichus, the spirit will not remain in the body, neither will it be in it nor tarry any longer, until the body be subtilated, attenuated as the Spirit is. And when it is so attenuated and subtilated and does go out of his density and thickness to thinness, and from his grossness and corporeality to spirituality, then the spirit will be mingled with and drunk up in them, and so they are both become one and the same and will not be separated, as neither water mixed with water cannot be discerned, so although the Philosopher's Stone be divided into two principles (to wit) into the superior part which ascendent, and into the inferior part which remainet in bottom fixed, yet notwithstanding these two parts doth concord in virtue.

Therefore the materials are to be weighed and converted and divided because they are changed from a thing into a thing, as the seed of a man in the womb is in a natural preparation turned from thing to thing, until there be found a perfect man, from which was his root and beginning. Moreover, by the Solar and Lunar stars is signified the water already gotten out of the body of Saturn. By the Sun and Moon the body of Saturn wherein the Salt yet remaineth. By the red understand the fire, by mediation whereof the aforesaid water was drawn forth.

The Azothazoth Ritual

The third ray of the Azoth points toward the torch of Fire and is marked with the cipher signifying both the metal iron and the planet Mars. This ray is usually colored red or orange and is also marked with a smaller symbol denoting Sulfur. Iron and sulfur come together chemically in Vitriol or sulfuric acid, the aggressive and biting liquid fire of the alchemists.

The third circle shows the operation of Separation in which the black, earthbound Soul Bird splits into two white birds that retrieve the saved remains of Calcination and Dissolution. This is the first coming together of soul and spirit, and the newly acquired vantage point allows the discernment of what is worthy of being saved from the previous two operations. Above this circle is the written Terrae, which means “of the earth” and refers to the real or manifested essences being separated out from the dregs of matter at this stage.

At this stage, the saved elements are pure but opposite and were often seen at war or struggling with each other. It can be a tortuous time that demands will and determination. To keep the fighting essences alive yet separate, the alchemists made use of ascending and purifying operations associated with Air. Of this phase, the Emerald Tablet says, “The Wind carries it in its belly,” and the alchemists felt they were applying the Element Air in their work during Separation.

“On this third rung of the Ladder of the Wise,” noted Daniel Mylius in his Philosophia Reformata (1622), “the warring elements previously mentioned and distinguished from each other, are separated by a rectifying distillation. Therefore, the third step is called Our Separation.”

Images for the Separation process include filter funnels, piles of sand or dirt, knights wielding swords, the caduceus as a weapon, divorce, dismemberment, surgery, splitting of the Red Sea, breaking apart of heaven and earth, scenes from the Apocalypse, and complicated geometric diagrams such as the Squaring of the Circle. Alchemical engravings often show white birds taking flight at this stage, sometimes with images of fire, destruction, and a blackened earth below symbolizing the results of the earlier operations. Another popular image is that of a youthful Hermes (or Mercury) wearing full armor and trying to separate the arguing King and Queen, like a teenaged boy in a family dispute.

Laboratory Separation is the isolation of the components of Dissolution by filtration or fractional distillation and then discarding any impure or unworthy material. It is the isolation of the desired components from the previous two purification operations (Calcination and Dissolution). In the laboratory, the components of the polluted solution from Dissolution are separated out by filtration, cutting, settling, or agitation with air. Any dead or unworthy material is then discarded.

Psychologically, this process is the rediscovery of our essence and the reclaiming of dream and visionary "gold" previously rejected by the masculine, rational part of our minds. It is, for the most part, a conscious process in which we review formerly hidden material and decide what to discard and what to reintegrate into our refined personality. Much of this shadowy material is things we are ashamed of or were taught to hide away by our parents, churches, and schooling. Separation is letting go of the self-inflicted restraints to our true nature, so we can shine through. The process of Separation retrieves the frozen energy released from the breaking down of habits and crystallized thoughts (assumptions, beliefs, and prejudices) and hardened feelings (emotional blockages, neuroses, and phobias). This misspent energy is now available to drive our spiritual transformation. In Society, Separation is expressed as the establishment of clans, cities, and nationalities.

Physiologically, Separation is following and controlling the breath in the body as it works with the forces of Spirit and Soul to give birth to new energy and physical renewal. Separation begins in the Navel or Iron Chakra located at the level of the solar plexus. Separation on the planetary level is represented by the formation of landmasses and islands from the powerful forces of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire.

Acuation

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Acuation is that by which the Stone is amended by the extraction of his proper earth, that is of the Salt, and by the mixing of the same with Sulphur and his proper . Hence Gratianus, of every thing there may be made ashes, and of that Salt there is water, and of that water there is Mercury, and of that  by diverse operations there is made Sun. He therefore that knows the Salt and its solution, knows the hidden secrets of the ancient wise men.

Whosoever, therefore will alter spirits and bodies and change them from their nature, it behoveth that he first reduce them to the nature of Salts and Alums otherwise he will do nothing, then let him lave or wash those, that Sal may go forth fusible. You ought as Arnold saith to praise God, from whence also another Philosopher, put therefore thy mind on the Salt, the chief and most hidden Mystery of all the ancient Philosophers. Moreover, by the lunar star is signified the White Salt of already gotten. By the circles, the furnace and vessels. By the compassing red, the fire, and that of Calcination, because is not gotten but first by calcining.

The Green Lion

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The Green Lion is that Philosophical  so often spoken of in his first beginning, or flourishing, easily avoiding the fire, because it is not fixed, but being fixed it desires it, and expects it and rejoiceth in it. It is of a Cold and Airy nature, and out of it (as it is in the Rosary), God created all mines. Let it not therefore seem strange to anyone because it reduceth into and doth radically dissolve all metals into their first matter, when as out of him are all things, and in whose bosom are all the planets, they lie hid and are contained. Seeing therefore that some of them affecteth a sublime work to him and is a profitable spirit, and there is no thing in the world besides him, neither is there that may stand in his place, and is only profusive in the body that wants him (hence Rosary). But the ancient and wise Philosophers have engendered the manner of wit (knowing) until it be a little done that he might expect the fire. It doth not cease to go above the reluctancy of the fire and is nourished with it, so that when any fixation is fastened unto him, there proceeds wonderful things and changes, because when he is changed he changeth, and his entrance appears in his sound and splendour.

When therefore it is coloured it coloureth, when it is loosed it looseth, and it doth make itself white in the twinkling of an eye, and it becomes red in succession, and it is a congregating water, milk, and strong urine, softening oil, and the father of all wonderful things. It is smoke and a cloud, and the fugitive servant accidental eating the Sun, who hath preferred himself before Gold and hath overcome, for it is generated, risen and produced out of him. But lest thou should err, my son, know that those which understood of  in the body of Philosophical  and metalline, to be true. Moreover the Lion is said to be green in the threefold aspect. First in respect of his attractive power, for here the Central Sun is like to the Celestial Sun and make the world flourishing and green. Secondly, it is called the green Lion, because as yet the Gold is incomplete nor fixed in any body, and therefore is called living Gold. Thirdly, it is called a Lion by reason of its very great strength, reference being had to the Animal Lion, for as all beasts obey the lion, so all metallic bodies do give place to this living Gold.

Conjunction Coitus

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Conjunction in this art is a natural act of two vapours of the body and spirit, in one and the same genus but in a diverse species of actors and sufferers [actives and passives]. But lest thou should err, my Son, thou must now that the spirit is twofold (to wit) Tinctural and Preparing. The Preparing spirit dissolveth brass and extracteth it out of the body of the lodestone, and reduceth it again into the body itself.

But the Tinctural spirit is beyond the body, and it is a body itself of a watery nature, but in the Elixir the tinctural spirit being masculine is the body, the woman the spirit. Hence saith Arnold, the spirit is not altered from the body so that it should lose its spiritual virtue, but every body is altered and coloured by the spirit. Join therefore, my Son, (as it is in the Rosary thy Gabricius more beloved to thee than all thy sons, with his sister Beya, who is a cold girl, sweet and tender. Hence it is rightly gathered, that unless there should be such a copulation, there would never be a Conception, Raising, Pregnation, or Birth. This therefore, is the direction of this disposition, which is especially assimilated to the creation of Man. But by the circles is signified the vessels and furnace. By the Green Lion as it were but half into the vessel, is signified that one part ought to be put in after another and not altogether, as first Mercury then Salt or Oil, and these things are to be put in by little and little, after they are purified.

The Azothazoth Ritual

The fourth ray of the Azoth points to the area at the top of the drawing where the right wing of the Ascended Essence touches the salamander wallowing in flames. The ray is marked with the single symbol for both  andand is usually colored green or yellow-green.

The fourth circle depicts the twin birds of soul and spirit leaving the earth together, lifting a five-spiked crown (the Fifth Element or Quintessence recovered from the preceding operations) into heaven or the realm of spirit. At this point in the Work, only the purest and most genuine parts of the substance to be transformed remain in the vessel. The goal of the Conjunction operation is to recombine these saved elements into a whole new incarnation. As the Emerald Tablet says of this stage, “Its nurse is the Earth,” and the alchemists felt they were working with the Element Earth during Conjunction.

Above this circle is inscribed the word Rectificando, which means “by rectification” or setting things right, and the wings of the Ascended Essence spread over this operation as if to bless it. It is truly a sacred process. The alchemists often referred to the Conjunction as the “Marriage of the Sun and Moon,” which symbolized the two opposing ways of knowing or experiencing the world. Solar consciousness is intellectual and relies on rational thought; lunar consciousness is feeling based and taps into non-rational sources of information like psychic impressions and intuition. After this Marriage of the Mind, the initiate experiences an increase in intuitive insight and the birth of Intelligence of the Heart. This newly found faculty produces a sense of reality superior to either thought or feeling alone.

Conjunction is more than a simple marriage however. It is actually an alchemical crucifixion in which the substance at hand (or the alchemist) is nailed (or fixed) on a cross between the Vertical Axis of reality and the Horizontal Axis of reality. In the vertical orientation, Conjunction is the attempted union of the forces of spirit Above and matter Below. As can been seen in the Azoth drawing, Conjunction is really a turning point from working with the first three operations Below (in matter) and working with the last three operations Above (in spirit).

In the horizontal orientation of left and right, the Conjunction is an attempt to balance the masculine consciousness of the King with the feminine consciousness of the Queen. As can be seen in the Azoth drawing, Conjunction marks balancing point between the forces of theAnima (Soul) on the alchemist’s right side to the forces of the Spiritus (Spirit) on the alchemist’s left side. In fact, it is the alchemical crucifixion at the center of the vertical and horizontal realities that makes Conjunction the most significant operation in alchemy.

            Images of horizontal Conjunction include the fruitful earth, sexual intercourse, rams and satyrs, double-chambered furnaces (athanors), glue or tape binding opposing entities, two streams coming together in one stream, Janus or double-faced people, people wearing crowns, and the hermaphrodite, Often engravings show the King and Queen in reconciliation at this stage, with Hermes (or ) joining them an embrace or handshake. In some of these drawings, Hermes is shown with a wry smile or even with two faces. This is a subtle revelation that the Conjunction is really a good-natured ruse by the notorious trickster, who knows that both the King and Queen must die or sacrifice their identities in the marriage to produce the Child of the Philosophers, which is all Hermes really cares about.

Images of the vertical Conjunction include the Ladder of the Planetsgradup, 777 stars on an object inclined upwards, and rainbows (the seven colors in harmony). Other images are a white bird descending into flames, a bird chained to an earthbound animal, the Red Lion partly disappearing into a sphere, or stylized representations of the union of Fire and Water. Carl Jung suggested that angels coming down from heaven and the landing of UFOs were also images of vertical Conjunction, in the obvious sense of the union between the powers AboveAs Above with the powers BelowSo Below

In the laboratory, the operation of  is the recombination of the saved elements from Scorpio into a new substance. Often this was a forced marriage done by fusing or amalgamating metals or by mixing saved components in a new chemical reaction by the addition of a temporary mediator such as an acid or a catalyst.

Physiologically, Conjunction is using the body’s sexual energies for personal transformation. Conjunction takes place in the body at the level of the Heart or Copper Chakra. On the planetary level, Conjunction occurs when primordial life forms are created from the energy of the Sun or lightning.

Psychologically, Conjunction is empowerment of our true selves, the union of both the masculine and feminine sides of our personalities into a new belief system or an intuitive state of consciousness. The alchemists referred to it as the Lesser Stone, and after it is achieved, the adept is able to clearly discern what needs to be done to achieve lasting enlightenment. Often synchronicities begin to occur at this stage that confirm the alchemist is on the right track in his or her personal transformation. In society, it is the growth of crafts and technology to master the environment.

The Animal, Vegetable and Mineral Stone

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We find the Philosophers Stone to be variously defined with Philosophers in general, amongst which definitions we will at length rehearse one or other of them. Therefore, the Stone, as Clangor hath it, is a body composed out of the first essence of metals, which first essence is indeed termed other where Argentvive reduced from the power of them into acting by the art of chemistry, the mystery of all beginnings. Again the Philosopher's Stone is metallic matter converting the substance and forms of imperfect metals. That this conversion is not done but by its like is long ago agreed upon by all Philosophers. It is therefore necessary that the Stone be got out of a metallic matter (to wit) our Mercury in which is all that which is so sought for by the wise men, and lieth hid in our Mercury, although this Mercury may be termed threefold. From whence three principle Stones are known by philosophers, (to wit) the Mineral of the Wise men, or the Mineral, Animal, and Vegetable Stone of them, threefold in name, one in being.

Whereupon saith one of the Ancients, there are three Stones and three Salts of which the whole magistery consisteth, (to wit) Mineral, Animal, and Vegetable (Mercury is mineral; the Moon is plant, because she receiveth into herself two colours, white and red ; and the Sun is animal because he receiveth three, (to wit) constriction, white and red). But by the tree upon the mountain on the left hand flourishing and bearing fruit, is signified his vegetability, as by the leg of a man raised out, his animality. By the third mountain upon which also a flourishing tree grows out, two things are signified. First, that Saturn is hid only in hilly places and it behoveth that he should be digged out of the Earth, which may be understood to be noted by the circle, from whence especially his minerality appears.

Calcination

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Calcination, as subtle witted Geber will, is the turning of a thing into dust by the fire, and by the privation of its humidity, consolidating other parts. According to others, this Calcination is the last purgation of the Stone, the restoring of its colour, the conserving of its innate Humour, and the induction of Solution. And it is fourfold, for it is either by the desiccation of the moistness of Nature, or by reduction into the bottom of the furnace by fire, and then it is called Alcoole or a subtle powder, or by the amalgamation of familiar metals with quicksilver, by mixing metals with six parts of Mercury, or by strong waters, the spirits of the Salts of black vitriol, of sulphur and the like.

However it be, we use Calcination to mundify the part fixed, and the Earthly part of the Stone. For every calcined thing is in its kind fixed. And so the Sun and Moon are calcined with the first water philosophically, that the bodies may be opened and become spongeous and subtle, that the second water may the better go in to work its work, which is to exalt the Earth into Mirable Salt by its only attractive virtue. Which second water is fire, not natural, by whose virtue the completement of this art is done. Moreover, by the Sun here joined with the Moon, understand the body of Saturn even now to be calcined with the Philosophical water. By the bird flying from above, that in Calcination the spirit of Saturn goes downwards and remains together with the body, as in Sublimation it always goes upward, as is to be seen in the next chapter. But by the bird or spirit flying upwards, understand dusky clouds ascending frequent indeed but moderately.

The azoth Ritual

The star-shaped pattern that makes up the body of the alchemist represents what Paracelsus called the “star in man,” the hidden process that is going on in our souls, just as it is the hidden process behind the evolution of the Anima Mundi or the soul of the universe. The first ray in this inner star is the black ray labeled number one and pointing to the Corpus Stone. It represents the beginning of the Ladder of the Planets and is marked by the cipher that stands for both the metal lead and the planet Saturn. This is archetypal situation at the beginning of the Work. The square symbol for Salt is also shown in the first ray, which indicates the Work begins in the unredeemed matter of an imperfect incarnation. It could be any substance that needs to be perfected from lead to the human soul.

Movement through the Azoth is clockwise, and between each step on the Planetary Ladder are a series of circles that show how to proceed to the next step or transform the current situation. These are the operations of alchemy. The first circle shows a black crow perching on top of a skull. Next to the first circle (between the first and second rays) is the Latin word Visita, which means to visit or start a journey. Black crows are symbols of the initial Black Phase (the Nigredo) of alchemy, during which the subject of transformation is purified by breaking it down.

The scene in the circle represents the first operation of Calcination, which works with the element Fire to burn away dross and reveal hidden essences. The word “Calcination” (and such related words as “calcify” and “calcium”) are from the Latin root calx, which means limestone or bone. To calcine  something is to burn it until it turns chalky white, reduce it to ashes, or cremate it. After Calcination, the substance at hand is no longer affected by common fire.

Fire was very important to alchemists, who were often called “Philosophers of Fire.” They believed it was the primary agent of transformation. “All our purifications are done in fire, by fire, and with fire,” noted the twentieth-century alchemist Fulcanelli. “Become acquainted with the secrets of fires,” counseled alchemist Daniel Mylius (Philosophia Reformata, 1622), “and the true achievements of our Medicine, which lead easily to the achievement of the Magistery.”

The skull in the first circle is the classic symbol of the process of Calcination. Other images at this stage include funeral pyres, hell, bonfires, blazing furnaces (athanors), crucibles, salamanders, the Red Lion fighting other animals, the Sun and Moon roasting over flames, the King being burned alive, cremated, or sitting inside a sweat box. Another Calcination image is a yellow lion devouring or struggling with a green snake. The lion represents the fiery principle of Sulfur and the Secret Fire in the alchemist’s soul. The green serpent is unrefined or unclean Mercury that must be redeemed during Calcination. In the alchemist, this is the false identity or poisoning ego that fights desperately for its survival but must be devoured in the flames of higher consciousness.

In laboratory Calcination, a substance is heated over an open flame or in a crucible until it is reduced to ashes. Alchemists considered acids, especially Vitriol, as a kind of liquid fire that also was considered a process of Calcination. Vitriol is a thick green substance that forms from the weathering of sulfur-bearing rocks. It is a combination of iron and sulfuric acid that fascinated the alchemists. Sulfuric acid became the fire that drove hundreds of chemical reactions. It is a powerful corrosive that eats away flesh and all metals except gold.

Physiologically, the Fire of Calcination can be experienced as the metabolic discipline or aerobic activity that tunes the body, burning off excesses from overindulgence and producing a lean and efficient body. Bodily Calcination begins in the Base or Lead Chakra at the sacral cup at the base of the spine. On the planetary level, it is the Fire of creation, the formation of a livable environment from molten matter and volcanic ashes.

Psychologically, this operation involves the destruction of ego and our attachments to material possessions. Calcination is usually a natural humbling process as we are gradually assaulted and overcome by the trials and tribulations of life, though it can be a deliberate surrender of our inherent hubris gained through a variety of spiritual disciplines that ignite the fire of introspection and self- evaluation. In society, the Calcination is expressed in the lives of revolutionaries, conquerors, and other warriors who try to overthrow the status quo.

    Calcination 

    Calcination is the 6st of the 14 steps to transformation  and in your personal experience it can be equated to the trials and tribulations that arise in life to point out your short comings and inspire transformation. The process is meant to assist in destroying the ego’s attachment to material things or things outside of the self and is often humbling. When you realize that change is necessary due to unavoidable indications you are inadequate in some area it can feel crushing and overwhelming, but, ultimately it is the crisis that fuels the needed change.

    Psychologically, Calcination is an operation on the saturnine elements of the personality which allows the identification of illusions Reveal The Truth Behind Illusions and therefore the ability to destroy attachments to material possessions. Spiritually it is the flamesof the higher consciousness which will burn away the dross of the restricting habits, beliefs and limitations of the ego self.It is a controlled burn achieved by a deliberate surrender of materiality through a variety of psychological and spiritual disciplines that cause introspection and self-evaluation. The intensity of the calcining fires varies depends on how much the person needs to burn away mental constructs and reveal their true essence. The identification of calcining fires can be seen in many religions, such as in Buddhism where “all life is suffering.” This suffering is caused by the need to be purified by the calcining fires. What are experienced as the soul is purified are the fiery emotions such as anger and frustration.

    In the Arcanum Experiment, Calcination is represented by sulfuric acid, which the alchemists made from a naturally occurring substance called Vitriol toxic. Sulfuric acid is very corrosive and reacts with all metals except gold.Physically calcination is related to exercise and chemically to fire as it burns away at all material that is undesirable.

    The chemical procedure of Calcination is when a substance is pulverized and then heated over an open  13 ° flame 3½° or in a crucible  20½° to eliminate water and other volatile compounds until it is reduced to ashes.

    Tonalli:

    In , calcination was believed to be one of the 12 vital processes required for the transformation of a substance.

    Alchemists distinguished two kinds of calcination, actual and potential. Actual calcination is that brought about by actual fire, from wood, coals, or other fuel, raised to a certain temperature. Potential calcination is that brought about by potential fire, such as corrosive chemicals; for example, gold was calcined in a reverberatory furnace with mercury and sal ammoniac; silver with common salt and alkali saltcopper≈ with salt and sulfur with sal ammoniac and vinegar; tin ≈with ; lead with sulfur; and mercury with aqua fortis.

    There was also philosophical calcination, which was said to occur when horns, hooves, etc., were hung over boiling water, or other liquor, until they had lost their mucilage, and were easily reducible into powder.

    AMALGAMATION recipetin— is a calcination of the familiar metals by means of artificial Quicksilver. At the same time, the operation of calcining is not carried out invariably to its utmost limit, and it is enough for the metal to be sufficiently melted to assume the consistency of the pulp or amalgam of the goldsmiths. The disintegration into a most fine powder which takes place under this process is also called a calcining. Further, amalgamation is calcination of a metal by Quicksilver; and it is performed when a metal, after being reduced into fine filing, thin plates, or lamina, is blended and mixed with six, nine, or twelve parts of Quicksilver, so that it becomes a homogeneous mass; and in this way also is the metal calcined and disintegrated. For the metal is reduced into the condition of a fine ash by evaporation with Quicksilver over a gentle fire.

    Sublimation

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    Sublimation according to some is when that which is extracted into the sublime part of the vessel is stirred up and doth subsist there. According to Geber, it is the elevation of a dry thing by the fire, with the adherency of its vessel. Either definition is honest. We must know further, that the philosophers for four reasons made sublimation. First, that the body should be made a spirit of a subtle matter. Secondly, that the Mercury might incorporate itself with the body and become one with it. And thirdly, that the whole may become White, then Red and clean, and especially that the innate humidity of the Stone might be restored, which he had at the first lost in the bottom, and may be moved forwards and made fit for a sudden liquefaction, because the medicine ought to be a simple dust of a most subtle and pure substance, adhering out of its nature to the Argent vive or a most easy liquefaction, and hidden or secret subtilation of an easy ingression, after the manner of water, and fixed on the reluctancy of the fire, before the flight of .

    Solution-Dis-solution

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    This Solution is the reduction of a dry thing into water. By this Solution metallic bodies are reduced into their first form, that is into their next matter, to wit, Mercury and Sulphur from whence they took their beginning. Some of the Philosophers do put the matter of Solution to be twofold, to wit, by hot mud and fervent water, but others do contend that there is but only one Solution necessary in this art, which only hath and is to be done out of and with itself, and it is raw and clear without violence. Hence saith the Philosopher – a raw solution is better than a sodden one, a moist than a dry, a voluntary than a violent, a temperate than a swift, a fragrant than a stinking, a clean one than a thick, a black one than a red one, and therefore in every Solution we must secretly beware of the vitrification of the matter by the odours and vapours of imperfect bodies, that the force of that generative form may not be choked up with corrosives. Therefore, saith the Philosopher "help Solution by the Moon and coagulation by the Sun"

    The Azothazoth Ritual

    The second ray of in the star of the Azoth points toward the King, and the operation here is directed toward masculine consciousness and signatures. This is the second rung on the Ladder of the Planets and is marked with the symbol that stands for both the metal tin and the planet Jupiter. This ray is usually white or light blue in color.

    The second circle depicts the operation of Dissolution and shows the black crow watching itself dissolve before its eyes to reveal its white or purer part. Reflecting back from the pool of Dissolution is the white image of the Soul Bird, which is exposed during this operation. This is still the Black Phase of alchemy, and the process of purification continues. In the outer ring next to the circle of Dissolution is the wordInteriora, meaning the operation takes place in the interior or innermost parts.

    Images of Dissolution include retorts, tears, menstruation, floods, melting, orgies, Mother Nature, water springing from the earth, plants blooming with seven flowers, poisonous toads, the King swimming naked, the King and Queen sitting in a bath together, dark dragons, basilisks (winged serpents), and demons guarding secret treasures. Another image of Dissolution is the Sun and Moon surrounded by total darkness with a white bird descending from the sky. One frequent image of Dissolution is the Green Lion reaching up to devour the Sun. The Green Lion is the purified Green Snake of Calcination, purified and alive during Dissolution. But the Green Lion is still imperfect Mercury, although it is now imbued with the soul’s sincere desire to ascend. On the chemical level, the Green Lion is the purified Vitriol, the Aqua Regia acid that can dissolve even gold.

    In the laboratory, the second operation involves dissolving the ashes from Calcination in water, acid, or other solution. These ashes are sometimes called the Salt of the Stone (Sal Salis), which is the inner matrix that carries all the essences that later become the Philosopher’s Stone. In summing up the important transition from the operation of Calcination to the operation of Dissolution, Daniel Stolicus wrote (Chemishes Lustgaertlein, 1625): “The fiery man will sweat and become hot in the fire. Also will he resolve his body and carry it far through moisture.”

    Psychologically, Dissolution represents a further breaking down of the artificial structures of the psyche by total immersion in the unconscious, the rejected part of our consciousness. Within the alchemist, the dissolving Water of Dissolution can take the form of dreams, voices, visions, and strange feelings which reveal a less ordered and less rational world existing simultaneously with our everyday life. During Dissolution, the conscious mind lets go of control to allow the surfacing of buried material and tied up energy. Dissolution can be experienced as "flow," the bliss of being well-used and actively engaged in creative acts without personal hang-ups or established hierarchy getting in the way.  In society, the process of steady growth through gradual Dissolution is exemplified by monastic, nature-based, or agrarian lifestyles.

    Physiologically, Dissolution is the continuance of the kundalini experience, the opening-up of energy channels in the body to recharge and elevate every single cell. Dissolution takes place in the Genital or Tin Chakra and involves changes in the lungs and spleen. On the planetary level, Dissolution is the Great Flood, the cleansing of the earth of all that is inferior.

    Putrefaction

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    Putrefaction according to some is the resolution of that which is mingled into the hot and moist by a natural putrefaction. According to others, Putrefaction, which is also termed conception or espousing in the putrefaction which is in the bottom of the glass, is the Conception of the proper and natural callidity in every moisture, under the conservation of it from another moisture going about in the glass. Yet notwithstanding, Putrefaction is necessary in this work because there is never anything born, increasing, nor animated, except after Putrefaction because if it were not putrefied, it could not be poured forth nor loosed, and if it were not loosed, it will be brought to nothing. But thou must know this, My Son, that the Putrefaction of the Philosophers is not sordid nor unclean, but it is a mixing of the water with the Earth, and the Earth with the water, by little and little, until the whole body is become one.

    Hence Morien "in the Putrefaction of our brass, the spirits are united with the body and are dried up in it. For unless the water should be dried up with or by the Earth, the colours would not appear". For Putrefaction is nothing else but a mortification of the moist with the dry, between whose mortification there doth appear blackness in regard of the domination of the obscure woman. Yet the process or force of itself, to wit, of the Philosopher's Stone, is first Black, because unless it were first Black it would not be White, nor Red, because that redness is composed of Black and White. The Philosophers have called this blackness, Silver, the black Lead, the head of the Crow, and from whence it is said in Turba, "when thou shalt see blackness to come to that water, know then the body is melted".

    Conception

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    Thou must know, my Son, that whilst the Earth in the aforesaid blackness doth begin to retain with it some of the Argent vive, then it is termed Conception, and then the male acteth towards the female, to wit, Argent vive, with or into the Earth, and this is the reason why the Philosophers say that our Mystery is nothing else but the male and female and their conjunction. For the water beareth sway over the Argent vive, and the Earth increaseth, multiplieth, and augmenteth. Hence again Philosophers say, "Conception and Dispousation are to digest it in the putrefaction in the bottom of the vessel, and the generation of the genitors in the air and head of the vessel, to wit, the still". For the body does nothing except it putrefy and it cannot putrefy except with .

    Therefore the Philosophers, "for with one part of the body are six and thirty parts of the water to be taken, and let putefraction be made with moist gentle fire of hot and moist dung, and in no ways with others, so that nothing may ascend. Because if any thing should ascend a separation would partly be made, which ought not to be done, until the male and female are perfectly joined together, and one received the other, the sign whereof is the superficies in the nature of perfect solution"

    ImPregnation

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    We must know that when the Earth is a little made white, there it is termed Pregnation, because then the Earth is Impregnated. For when the Earth is joined with an imperfect body, it is called Our Earth, because the Earth is the Mother of all the elements, and this is that which they term [unidentified alchemical symbol], when the Earth begins to retain with it somewhat of Arsenic, or Our Salt, or Argent vive, for then it is called a Conception, because the male acteth towards the female, because the Mystery of the Philosophers is nothing else but the male and female and their conjunction.

    Water coming to them, that is Arsenic or Our Salt, which increases much in the Earth and is augmented and comes out when the Earth is dealbated, then it is called a Pregnation, because the Earth having conceived goes away pregnant. Moreover, that here and in the former Chapter, the little star formed of seven fold little pricks, becometh Red but not fully, it signifies that the matter of the Stone now shut up in the Philosophical phial, hath in some part suffered putrefaction, but it is far from a plenary mundification, which is made in the bottom of the vessel. For it ought to purge further, as is demonstrated by the thirteenth Chapter. But whereas the Red and White is not compounded of Red and White, but of Black and White, there is no doubt but by the help of the Governor of all things, it will in short space come into perfect whiteness. But that the little star is not deprived of his blackness, appeareth by the black complements sticking to the little points and planets.

    Generation

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    Matter and form are only contained (as saith the Philosophers) by the Generation of Nature, but they understand by the matter and form, the Agent and Patient, thin and thick, Sulphur and Mercury, male and female, and by consequence know Generation. He therefore that doth know how to choose matter well disposed and very ready to suffer, and strong to act, this man shall bring forth the more excellent and strong effect, but that the generation of the elixir might be the better done, let the artist diligently consider what things are requisite for Nature in the generation of metals, and what of art is to the generating of the Stone, that a collection being made between these thing he may have, from whence he may judge, whether it be possible to generate the stone.

    Thou must know, therefore, my Son, lest thou should err, that there are four things that are altogether requisite or necessary to Nature in the Generation of metals. First, to have composing principles, one whereof hath itself as the Matter, the other is the form of composing. Secondly, to have that due weight of the principles. Thirdly, a fit place is altogether required, that is a solid place, for unless the place where Nature mingleth were according to the two principles solid, the Vapours which are also termed Spirit would exhale, and the solidity of the place doth condensate or thicken those spirits already mixed, from whence it is they begin to act and suffer one towards the other, by subtilizing and separating impurities.

    The fourth thing requisite in the generation of metals is heat temperated, by which metals are in the end excluded and exhaled into the air. All these things required are necessary in the art to generate the Stone, all which the artist by imitating Nature in all things, except in her weight, shall easily conceive that the Stone may be gotten. But let him take the weight from Nature necessarily as it shall be meet. Moreover, of the diverse and intermingled colours appearing here and elsewhere, you may see from day to day in the glass vessel, whereof it is sufficient to have put you in mind, in this place.

    Fermentation

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    Fermentation with the Philosophers is the incorporation of the Animal part, the restoration of the vapour, the inspiration of the odour, the supplying of the beings, and it is double White and Red, whose ferment is the Sun, the Sun of the Sun, the Moon of the Moon. That is, the Sun is ferment to the Gold, or Red Elixir, and the Moon is ferment to the Silver, or White elixir. But as substantial bodies, and fixed upon the fire, cannot manifest their qualities, neither do live or are lifted up of themselves, unless by the benefit of spirituality, they are first purified and vivificated, so neither can spiritual accidence manifest their permanent virtue, except they are united and perpetuated with fixed bodies. For then and not before, the body inbreatheth the spirit, teaching him by vigorating, to reluct, strive or struggle against the fire, and the spirit embraceth the body teaching him to pierce through gross bodies, actually to subtilize thick ones, and to generally cure all infirmities and diseases. But the intention of Fermentation is that the thing to be fermented should be prepared, washed, calcined, and dissolved, that it may the better be joined with the subtle work or body, that is to say, White ferment with White, and Red with Red.

    Yet these things not hindering, my Son, you are to know that Fermentation doth not change the powder of the Stone into any form but his own, but it giveth savor, odour, and strength to transmute other bodies to his own nature. But by the Toad, here understand the sphere of Saturn swelling with tincture, or his heaven to be great and impregnate therewith, and by and by ready to bring forth, which by the ejection of the four elements appeareth most plainly in the next Chapter, in the conversion of whom one after another, until they are inseparably fixed, dependeth the chief completement of this work.

    The Azoth azothRitual

    The fifth ray of the Azoth points to the area where the left wing of the Ascended Essence touches the standing bird of Spirit. The ray is marked with the cipher for the metal Mercury (Quicksilver) and the planet Mercury, as well as an identical smaller symbol indicating the heavenly principle of Mercury. This ray is usually colored blue-green or green, symbolizing the living energy of transformation spoken of in the Emerald Tablet or what the Sufis called the “Emerald Vision.”

    The fifth circle is under the inscription Invenies, which means “you will discover.” This is the operation of Fermentation in which the unexpected mystic substance forms, the ambrosia of the gods, which represents the first lasting solidification of the conjoining of soul and spirit. The circle shows the Soul and Spirit birds nesting in a tree, brooding over their Egg, waiting for the mystical birth to occur.

    Fermentation is the introduction of new life into the product of Conjunction to completely change its characteristics, to completely raise it to a whole new level of being. The Emerald Tablet tells us to leave the earthly realm by the fire of imagination, “gently and with great Ingenuity,” into a state that sets our soul afire with higher passion. This is the second or higher application of the Fire Element in the tablet, and the alchemists thought of it as working with the heavenly substance of Sulfur.

    Like natural fermentation, alchemical Fermentation is a two-stepped process that begins with Putrefaction, which in which the matter is allowed first to rot and decompose and then to ferment or come alive again in spirit. In his Chemisches Lustgaertlein (1625), alchemist Daniel Stolcius describes the importance of this uncomfortable phase: “Destruction brings about the Death of the material. But the spirit renews, like before, the Life. Provided that the seed is putrified in the right soil – otherwise all labor, work, and art will be in vain.”

    Images of the Putrefaction phase of Fermentation include corpses, graves, coffins, funerals, guardian angels, massacres, mutilation, worms, rotting flesh, Drawings of this phase occasionally depict a bird descending into a pitch black sky or caught lost in the dark clouds during a thunderstorm. Skeletons or black crows standing on corpses or rotting balls of earth are also seen. Images of Fermentation include scenes of sowing and germination, greenness and rebirth. Sometimes the King and Queen are show with wings or as angels to emphasize their spiritized form.

    Laboratory Putrefation begins with the rotting of the plant material or substance of transformation. The alchemists often added manure to help get the process going. The sign that Putrefaction is nearing its end is a milky white fluid that appears like a tunnel of white light in the black, rotting material. The dead material seems to come to life again with an influx of digesting bacteria, as Fermentation begins. This is the introduction of new life into the product of Conjunction to revive and rejuvenate it in a process of spiritization. Finally, out of the utter blackness of Putrefaction comes the yellow Ferment, which appears like a golden wax flowing out of the foul matter. Chinese alchemists called this substance the Golden Pill, which marked their intermediary Yellow Phase (the Xanthosis), a alchemical transition also recognized by Alexandrian alchemists. The production of the Ferment or Golden Pill is heralded by the formation of an iridescent, oily film the alchemists named the Cauda Pavonis (“Peacock’s Tail”).

                We see this process most clearly in the making of wine. First, the grapes are “sacrificed” or crushed to release their essences in the juice. Then, Putrefaction begins as the juice is allowed to decompose and rot. Next, a white layer of digesting bacteria arises that begins the process of Fermentation. This phase is also sometimes marked by waxy substance the alchemists called the Ferment and an oily film known as the Peacock’s Tail. Finally, the new life force “conquers” the original identity of the grape juice and supplants it with a new and higher presence or life. This higher presence is release during the next operation (Distillation), which produces the true Spirit of Wine (its alcohol), which contains the purified essence of grapes.

    Psychologically, this process is the death of the feeble (or unstable) Child of the Conjunction that will eventually result in its resurrection to a new level of being. Fermentation starts with the inspiration of spiritual power from Above that reanimates, energizes, and enlightens the alchemist. Out of the blackness of the alchemist’s despair (Putrefaction) comes a brilliant display of colors and meaningful visions (the Peacock’s Tail.)  Fermentation can be achieved through various activities that include intense prayer, desire for mystical union, breakdown of the personality, transpersonal therapy, psychedelic drugs, and deep meditation. Thus, personal Fermentation is living inspiration from something totally beyond us. In society, the Fermentation experience is the basis of religion and mystical awareness.

    Physiologically, Fermentation is the rousing of living energy (chi or kundalini) in the body to heal and vivify. It is expressed as vibratory tones and spoken truths emerging from the Throat or Mercury Chakra. On the planetary level, it is the evolution of life to produce consciousness in matter.

    The Separation of the Elements

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    We being about to speak concerning the generation of the elements and their conjunction, by reason that one of them cannot be understood without the other, we shall handle them both together in this and the subsequent Chapter. Therefore the separation of the elements in this art is nothing else than to separate or segregate heterogeneous (which are accidents from homogeneous (which are of the Essence of the Stone), that at length the mixture of the elements might be most pure and perfect. But the conjunction of the elements is to keep up homogeneous things, that is, those that are of the nature of the Radical Moisture. Hence Raymond "have patience in dealbation or whitening, because here lieth much tardity".

    Thou must know further, my Son, that the separation of the elements with the Philosophers is termed the conversion of them, as if to convert the elements was to make a thin body of a gross one, that is, of the body a spirit, and afterwards of the moist a dry, of water earth, and the elements are converted one into the other. But the Philosophers do prescribe such a manner of converting the body into the spirit. The earth is resolved into water, and water into air, the air into fire, but the spirit is turned into the body. This way the fire is coagulated and it becomes air, but the air is coagulated and becomes water, but the water is coagulated and becomes earth. From whence saith Assidnus "behold elements hath met together in one nature, who when they are so impelled (that is coagulated) become friends, but when they wax thin they become enemies.

    Therefore convert the elements and thou shalt find what thou seeketh". It behovest thee, therefore, first of all to mortify and exalt the Stone, that is, the body, soul and spirit, seeing that no one gains any thing in this art except he mortifieth, but mortification is by the separation of the elements, by which the effect of every element is shown. Therefore if thou wilt make the elixir, it will be necessary that thou break this Stone into his elements, which is signified by the parts of the year, and then conjoin the elements by fire, Mercury mediating, which is the Philosopher's chiefest secret, and then this Mystery is completed, for all the art is placed in conjoining and loosing. But these separations are done as seest, my Son,  mediating, for it first looseth the body and makes separation which in the meantime are conjoined by Salt and y. But here we must diligently note it is first of all Mercury,in the beginning of the work is called water, then the blackness appearing earth, then being sublimated air, and being made red is called fire.

    The Conjunction of the Elements

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    Then being sublimated with some luminary body it is termed Salt. Then being added to the whole composed matter it is called the Spirit. And so the Earth, with Water, Air and Fire, is a body, the Salt is the life, the last watering of the only  the spirit. It is therefore evident that the Stone consisteth of four elements, to wit, Water, Air, Fire and Earth. For in the Stone there are the Soul, the Body and Spirit, and yet but one Stone, as it is above said, behoving to loose and coagulate him again, then all the operations are contained under the Solution until the Albifaction it is sodden again, and becomes a Stone again when it is coagulated. Afterwards it is loosed again and then the solution is reiterated, until the Stone comes out like wax

    The Azothazoth Ritual 

    The fourth ray of the Azoth points to the area at the top of the drawing where the right wing of the Ascended Essence touches the salamander wallowing in flames. The ray is marked with the single symbol for both copper and Venus and is usually colored green or yellow-green.

    The fourth circle depicts the twin birds of soul and spirit leaving the earth together, lifting a five-spiked crown (the Fifth Element or Quintessence recovered from the preceding operations) into heaven or the realm of spirit. At this point in the Work, only the purest and most genuine parts of the substance to be transformed remain in the vessel. The goal of the Conjunction operation is to recombine these saved elements into a whole new incarnation. As the Emerald Tablet says of this stage, “Its nurse is the Earth,” and the alchemists felt they were working with the Element Earth during Conjunction.

    Above this circle is inscribed the word Rectificando, which means “by rectification” or setting things right, and the wings of the Ascended Essence spread over this operation as if to bless it. It is truly a sacred process. The alchemists often referred to the Conjunction as the “Marriage of the Sun and Moon,” which symbolized the two opposing ways of knowing or experiencing the world. Solar consciousness is intellectual and relies on rational thought; lunar consciousness is feeling based and taps into non-rational sources of information like psychic impressions and intuition. After this Marriage of the Mind, the initiate experiences an increase in intuitive insight and the birth of Intelligence of the Heart. This newly found faculty produces a sense of reality superior to either thought or feeling alone.

    Conjunction is more than a simple marriage however. It is actually an alchemical crucifixion in which the substance at hand (or the alchemist) is nailed (or fixed) on a cross between the Vertical Axis of reality and the Horizontal Axis of reality. In the vertical orientation, Conjunction is the attempted union of the forces of spirit Above and matter Below. As can been seen in the Azoth drawing, Conjunction is really a turning point from working with the first three operations Below (in matter) and working with the last three operations Above (in spirit).

    In the horizontal orientation of left and right, the Conjunction is an attempt to balance the masculine consciousness of the King with the feminine consciousness of the Queen. As can be seen in the Azoth drawing, Conjunction marks balancing point between the forces of theAnima (Soul) on the alchemist’s right side to the forces of the Spiritus (Spirit) on the alchemist’s left side. In fact, it is the alchemical crucifixion at the center of the vertical and horizontal realities that makes Conjunction the most significant operation in alchemy.

                Images of horizontal Conjunction include the fruitful earth, sexual intercourse, rams and satyrs, double-chambered furnaces (athanors), glue or tape binding opposing entities, two streams coming together in one stream, Janus or double-faced people, people wearing crowns, and the hermaphrodite, Often engravings show the King and Queen in reconciliation at this stage, with Hermes (or Mercury) joining them an embrace or handshake. In some of these drawings, Hermes is shown with a wry smile or even with two faces. This is a subtle revelation that the Conjunction is really a good-natured ruse by the notorious trickster, who knows that both the King and Queen must die or sacrifice their identities in the marriage to produce the Child of the Philosophers, which is all Hermes really cares about.

    Images of the vertical Conjunction include the Ladder of the Planets, seven stars on an object inclined upwards, and rainbows (the seven colors in harmony). Other images are a white bird descending into flames, a bird chained to an earthbound animal, the Red Lion partly disappearing into a sphere, or stylized representations of the union of Fire and Water. Carl Jung suggested that angels coming down from heaven and the landing of UFOs were also images of vertical Conjunction, in the obvious sense of the union between the powers Above with the powers Below.

    In the laboratory, the operation of Conjunction is the recombination of the saved elements from Separation into a new substance. Often this was a forced marriage done by fusing or amalgamating metals or by mixing saved components in a new chemical reaction by the addition of a temporary mediator such as an acid or a catalyst.

    Physiologically, Conjunction is using the body’s sexual energies for personal transformation. Conjunction takes place in the body at the level of the Heart or Copper Chakra. On the planetary level, Conjunction occurs when primordial life forms are created from the energy of the Sun or lightning.

    Psychologically, Conjunction is empowerment of our true selves, the union of both the masculine and feminine sides of our personalities into a new belief system or an intuitive state of consciousness. The alchemists referred to it as the Lesser Stone, and after it is achieved, the adept is able to clearly discern what needs to be done to achieve lasting enlightenment. Often synchronicities begin to occur at this stage that confirm the alchemist is on the right track in his or her personal transformation. In society, it is the growth of crafts and technology to master the environment.

     

    The Separation Conjunction of the Elements

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    Ortus-The Rising

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    Ortus in  this art is termed to be conjunction of the second salt or ferment, with the imperfect body prepared. Hence Morien "we must know that the knowledge of our Mystery is likened to the creation of Man. For first there is conjunction, then conception, then pregnation, then Ortus or a springing or rising, a bringing forth, then Nutrition". I would therefore have thee understand this one thing, because our seed is Argent vive. When the Earth is joined to an imperfect body, which is termed Our Earth, because the Earth is the Mother of all the elements, and they call it Copulation. But when the Earth begins to retain with it something of the Argent vive, then it is termed Conception, when the male act towards the female. But when the Earth is made white then it is called Pregnation, because it is then pregnant, and then the ferment is joined with the imperfect body until they become one in species and aspect, and then it is termed Ortus, because our Stone is then born, which is called a King by the Philosophers. Whereupon it is said amongst them "Honour your King coming from the Fire. Crown him with a Diadem, and bring him up even to perfect age, whose Father is the Sun, his true Mother the Moon".

    Unnatural Fire

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    With the philosopher are four fires recorded, to wit, Natural, Unnatural, against Nature, and Elementary, and these fires may better be known by their complexion and compositions. For out of Mercury dissolving and conjoined in the body, there becomes another Mercury, which is called Adrop, Thick Water, Our Water, the Second Water, which is Fire, Strong Fire, Unnatural Fire. For those two, to wit, Spirit and Body, being fit and joined together according to their due proportion, out of them this second Mercury, which we have described is made, and this is that Mercury of which it is written, that in it is whatsoever wise men seek, for the body, the soul and the Tincture are drawn from this Mercury. But the second Mercury is moist in the vapour, not oily but gummy, of a property indifferent, subtle, easily lying the sharpness of the fire, and vanishing away in it, possessing both body and spirit in loosing remaining water in itself.

    Moreover by Fermentation in this place, understand the second fermentation, because the Stone, especially the Inferior part thereof, should as yet be better prepared, washed, calcined, and dissolved, that it may yet unto a more higher and nobler degree of perfection, whereby it may the better be joined with any subtle work or body. The little star with sevenfold little pricks appearing a colour somewhat duskish, signifies that the star, although it has suffered many alterations and hath his elements indifferently mixed, yet is far from being sufficiently mundified, seeing as yet it wanteth much purgation, as by the same blackness which it hath in putrefaction, appearing in the next Chapter. By the bird flying from above, understand the Spirit descending, the Stone putrefying temperately, and by little and little.

    Purgation

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    Moreover by the domination of the Woman who is of the Mercurial and Lunar humidity, the blackness doth as yet appear, but here it is a little diminished in quantity as in the following Chapters you may see, for by little and little it is changed from color to color until the blackness doth altogether vanish away, and the Stone becomes endued with the greatest whiteness, which is a sign of perfection. By the bird flying from above, understand as you were admonished in the former Chapter.

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    Exaltation

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    Therefore, Exaltation is an ingenious nobiliating of the magnet or lodestone being dealbated, which is chiefly by the augmentation of the spirit, the sublimation of the Earth, the promotion of the liquefaction by the exaltation of the rectified elements, and by a lively constituting of the Fifth Essence out of them. From whom, saith the Philosophers, "when thou hast had the Water out of the Air, the Air out of the Fire, and the Fire out of the Earth, then thou mayest know that then the Stone hath lost the Water which he had at first out of the Air, after his resolution into it. For the Air and Water are contiguous elements, more light in mixing and better in operation of fire". When the cold hath overcome the hot, the Air is turned into Water, but when the hot hath overcome the cold, the Water is turned into Air, but thou must have the Air out of the Fire by his Solution. Moreover now you see the four elements wonderfully altered, exalted and almost fixed.

    By the azure colour understand the Earth turned into Air, by the green colour the Air turned into Water, by the yellow colour Water turned into Fire, lastly by the colour somewhat brown understand the Fire to be turned into Earth. By which wonderful alteration is further signified that the Stone now draweth nigh to Fixation. By the Pelican penetrating and wounding her own breast, from which rivers of blood do seem to flow, understand that this is spoken of the Pelican by a similitude which is called the Blood of Love, for as she doth impart her blood to her young ones, so the Stone being brought to a Quintessence by conversion into the four elements, is ready to impart his tincture to the imperfect wanting it. Lastly in that you have in the following figure the bird of Hermes sleeping in the midst and applying himself to perpetual rest, understand the discords and hatred of enemies, that is, of the elements, are laid aside, lulled asleep by their long alterations and conversions, laid before our eyes in the former Chapters. But from the fire from above temperately cherishing the Matter, the artificer buildeth the reason of making his Athanor.

    Coagulation

    The seventh ray of the Azoth points to the realm of the Queen and contains the symbol that stands for both the metal gold and the Sun. It is at the feminine level of soul where masculine consciousness is transformed, and this ray is usually colored lavender or purple, indicating the true royalty of the King.

    The final, seventh circle shows an androgynous youth emerging from an open grave, with the Latin word Lapidem, meaning “the Stone,” on the outer ring next to it. This is the operation of Coagulation, in which the fermented Child of the Conjunction is fused with the sublimated spiritual presence released during Distillation. The resurrection of the soul is accomplished by bringing together only the purest essences of one’s body and soul into the light of meditation. In other words, Coagulation incarnates and releases the "Ultima Materia" of the soul that the Emerald Tablet described as the “Glory of the Whole Universe.” Coagulation is the second or higher application of the elements Air and Earth in the tablet, and it results in a union of spirit with matter. At this stage, the alchemists felt they were working with the “new” or resurrected Salt.

    Coagulation images include, a soaring eagle, brilliantly shining gold, scales of justice, an egg-shaped Stone, a heavenly-scented balsam, the elixir or ambrosia (food of immortality), wingless creatures borne away by winged creatures, the serpent and lion united, and the Phoenix (a mythical bird that repeatedly rose from the fire). The event is also indicated by the King and Queen breaking free of their chains to matter and appearing as naked Sol and Luna (personages with heads of the Sun and Moon respectively). One drawing of this stage shows a purple moon fallen to the earth with a red bird ascending into the sky. In alchemical metallurgy, the baser metals are transformed into incorruptible gold during this stage. In many alchemical experiments, Coagulation is the precipitation or sublimation of the purified Ferment from Distillation.

                On the mental level, Coagulation is first sensed as a new confidence that is beyond all things, though many experience it as a Second Body of golden coalesced light, a permanent vehicle of consciousness that embodies the highest aspirations and evolution of mind. Coagulation incarnates and releases the Ultima Materia of the soul, the Astral Body, which the alchemists also referred to it as the Greater or Philosopher’s Stone. Using this magical Stone, the alchemists believed they could exist on all levels of reality. In society, it is the living wisdom in which everyone exists within the same light of evolved consciousness and knowledge of Truth.

    On the bodily level, this stage is marked by the release of the Elixir in the blood that rejuvenates the body into a perfect vessel of health. A brain ambrosia is said to be released through the interaction of light from the phallic-shaped pineal gland and matter from the vulva of the pituitary. This heavenly food or viaticum both nourishes and energizes the cells without any waste products being produced. These physiological and psychological processes create the Second Body, a body of solid light that emerges through the Crown or Gold Chakra. On the planetary level, Coagulation is a return to the Garden of Eden, this time on a higher level in tune with the divine mind.

    Quinta Essentia

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    Let putrefaction and much conversion be upon him until it being well purged by sublimation he be made white. For as Marcus saith "when he has drunk his burning  he passeth away and remaineth in the shadows of purgatory with many nights, but conceiveth in baths, and brought forth in the Air, then waxeth Red, goes upon the Water, and is white upon the tops, and is become White, light and airy, which first was ponderous, dry and obscure fire. For the Sun being Exalted the air waxeth hot and drieth". But take this concerning the fifth essence in this work and Mastery, is the mixing of all the four elements, and the reduction of them into one pure substance. If therefore thou wilt see the Stone, to wit, the fifth substance by the four elements, thou must know that if every one of them do not partake of the fifth nature, the Stone cannot be united nor conjoined with a dry body.

    Fixation

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    Fixation in this art is when the body receives a tinctural or colouring spirit and takes away his volatility or flying, which is by frequent iteration, until it becomes ashes of everlasting duration, and the whole remains in the fire. We must know further that fixation is always in the white, though not every fixation. We must know moreover, that out of the perfection of fixation, the fire becomes cold, by whose benefit alone the Stone comes out fixed. When the hidden Mystery of him is made manifest, his colour is Citrine or Red, but after his first fixation in the white, there follows no error in the whole Mystery, although you proceed to the Crowning of Nature by often passing the Philosophical Wheel, and by bettering your blessed Stone by many reiterated solutions and coagulations. Lastly, by the white circle is signified the white stone, now fixed by the red fire, whose punishment now it suffereth and feareth not, and by the vessel, which is within of an azure colour, is signified the Ethereal spirit of the Stone, which by the benefit of a cold fire doth animate the Stone.

    Projection

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    Projection in this art is the reduction of the fixed earth Multiplicative, or a formal substance firmly coloured, upon much of convenient matter, to the desired joy of the Artist. But because it is not well perceived, cast one pound upon a thousand, but before this moist medicine may go out, the Philosophers have noted some necessity of Ceration. Hence speaketh Anonimus "it is better to project, now thou dost cast upon fundaments, and fundaments upon. My word, I will love thee, O Lord. I will have thee attend, the which reason is in Saffron. If the Saffron should be projected dry it would colour but little, but if being loosed it be joined with a little liquor, and that little into much, it would colour infinitely.

    Thou shalt therefore make thy Projection so. First multiply 10 into 10 and then there will be 100, and 100 into 100 and they will be 10000, and so into infinity". But this cannot be done without Ceration, which the Wise have so defined "Ceration is the fitting of a hard and not fusible Medicine to Liquefaction by a frequent Imbibition". Hence Morien in the Rosary "the whole Mystery is nothing else than an extraction of Water out of the Earth, and a casting of Water on the Earth, until both it and the Earth putrefy, and become clean, seeing as yet the Earth to be mingled with the Water, and the Water or temperate decoction to be a little diminished, the other to increase".

    They all say that this was perfect Ceration, from whence they have also said further, that the Earth, when the Water is Cered, drunk up and dried with the temperated decoction of the Sun, that is, the heat, and is turned into Earth, that therein is the whole matter. For his force, as that divine Hermes speaketh, is entire if it were turned into Earth. But enough and more than enough has been said of the taking away of the Leprousy of Metals. Of the curing of Man's body and continual health, understand these things from a few days to a longer time.

    For a month every day let there be taken of this blessed powder, the quantity of a grain of mustard seed, in white wine or in any other liquor, early in the morning. It is sudorific or causing sweat, if anything be, to be sent forth by the pores. It is laxative, if anything be, to be evacuated by stool. It is diuretic, if anything be, to be driven forth by the passage of urine. But it is never vomative, as that is altogether contrary to nature. Moreover, that I may briefly conclude, all this powder is like Ethereal fire, pleasantly consumes all the hurtful superfluities in Man's body, raising it up, rectifying, and bringing it to a just temperature and equality. Furthermore, it not only rectifieth Man's body but also reneweth the whole man, by the use thereof continued for a few weeks, Lastly, none of the three principles, to wit, of Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury, can in the least exalt itself. But presently, by one little grain, taken as aforesaid, the disease is rooted out, and a man is continued safe and sound without diseases, until the time appointed of God. Therefore to the most Mighty God be Praise, Honour and Glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

    Hidden Keys to the Azoth

     

    There are deeper secrets contained in the Azoth drawing that are only revealed through meditation. Although there are only seven operations shown, there is another implied or eighth step in the mandala. This secret is suggested by the fact that while there are eight circles depicting corresponding to operations there are only seven rays labeled. Only deeper meditation on this drawing will reveal the unlabeled eight ray.

    Begin your meditation by entering a relaxed and open state of consciousness while staring directly at the face in the center of the mandala. Many alchemists have actually replaced the central image with a small round mirror to facilitate this introspective process. While staring at the center of the mandala, try to incorporate into your peripheral view all the alchemical images of King and Queen, Spirit and Soul that are present. Go slowly and intuitively and try to feel as sense of increased meaning and inspiration, as you begin your journey through the operations.

    First look at each ray in order, beginning with the black ray of Calcination. Observe the symbols on the ray and its position on the “Star in Man.” Then move your attention clockwise to the circle explaining the operation of transformation to be performed here. Look at the scene depicted and try to get a feeling of actually being in the scene and witnessing what it depicts. Continue this way all around the mandala until you reach the final operation of Coagulation that shows the androgynous youth emerging from the grave. This is a clue for you to do the same in your meditation with the mandala.

    Sit back now and stare at the whole drawing. In other words, free yourself from the dead grave of the flat, square picture in which you have buried your consciousness in this meditation. Let your attention be free and see where it lands. In almost every case, you will be drawn to the black ray at position one, which points to the Cubic Stone. This is the Salt or unpurified matter at the beginning of the Work, as well as the new Salt or Stone at the end of the Work.

    Further meditation on the meaning of this “eighth” ray leads us directly above this ray to the crowning sphere of Conjunction. This is the operation that works with Earth to manifest the new Salt in material reality. It is also the turning point between the Below and the Above. In other words, the operation associated with the hidden eighth step is Conjunction. It is the beginning and end of the Work. Some alchemists felt so strongly about this that they actually changed the entire process to show the final step of transformation depicted by gold and the Sun in ray number four instead of ray number seven. In any drawings based on Basil Valentine’s version that appeared in hisAzoth des Philosophes (1659), the Sun and its metal are shown in this Ray of Conjunction instead of in the final Ray of Coagulation.

    This is an overwhelming confirmation of the importance of the ancient alchemical principle known as the Law of the Octaves. Just as the seven first notes in the musical scale lead to an eighth note that is a repetition of the first at a higher level of vibration, so do the seven operations of alchemy lead to a return to the realm of matter at a higher frequency of consciousness. In other words, the goal of alchemy is not to remain in the realm of spirit, as it is in all the Abrahamic religions. Like Buddhist and Taoist doctrine, the goal is become purified in the realm of spirit and then return to the earth as seeds of spirit. The Great Work of alchemy is nothing less than the “consecration of the Whole Universe” as the Emerald Tablet tells us. It is the coagulation of spirit in matter, the full awakening of the hidden spark of light and consciousness that is trapped in matter. That can only be accomplished by a second Conjunction, a Sacred Marriage between Soul and Spirit that takes place on both the Vertical Axis and the Horizontal Axis of reality. This is the true message of the Rosicrucians, Kaballists, and mystical Christians. To bring spirit or the divine will into the world, we must sacrifice ourselves at the center of the cross of matter.

    There is also one last message hidden in the Azoth drawing. All the Latin words contained in the outer ring that connects the rays of transformation spell out a summary of what has taken place: Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem.  This condensation of the operations means “Visit the innermost parts of the earth; and by setting things right (“rectifying”), you will find the hidden Stone.”

    Furthermore, the first letter of these seven Latin words spells out "VITRIOL." This biting and highly corrosive liquid fire is symbolic of the soulful energy that drives the whole wheel of transformation. It is both the fundamental acid that drives chemical change and the inner Secret Fire, sometimes likened to a spiritual hormone, which brings about the bodily and spiritual perfection of the alchemist.

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