View Full Version : Raymond Lully - Spirit of Wine

ghetto alchemist
11-24-2013, 05:48 PM
Reading THIS THREAD (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?512-Vitriol-of-Saturn) from a few years ago, the author mentions a text called ¨Spirit of Wine¨ by Lully.

I cant find this text.
Does it actually exist?
Is there another name for it?

Thanks in advance
G Alchemist

11-24-2013, 10:15 PM
Reading this (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?512-Vitriol-of-Saturn) thread from a few years ago, the author mentions a text called ¨Spirit of Wine¨ by Lully.
I cant find this text.
Does it actually exist?
Is there another name for it?

Hi, how are you? Long time no talk :)

To the best of what I have learned, the actual/historical Raymond Lully (christian name) didn't have any dealings with Alchemy, although he was apparently a reputed man of science.

One or more alchemical authors (sometimes referred to as 'Pseudo Lully') apparently used his name to gain credibility, or so the story goes.

A good source of dissertations on this 'Spirit of Wine' can be found in the book 'Secrets Of The Adepts' by Weidenfeld. I think you can even find & download it online.

A 'Pseudo Lully' book that I am not aware of is mentioned in THIS POST (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?1961-Best-Texts-Most-Charitable-Texts&p=12705#post12705).

PS: I am not aware of any book by 'Lully' with the title 'Spirit of Wine', as it is mentioned in the thread you linked to.

ghetto alchemist
11-25-2013, 01:48 AM
Hi, how are you? Long time no talk
Yeah it has been a while.
Ive gone back to the books, and as you can probably tell, Im still stuck in them.

I have changed course too......as you know I used to flog quartz as the prima materia.
Now realise that quartz is a rather difficult material to make spiritus mundi from (if it is even possible at all). It now appears that for most alchemists, the starting material to make spiritus mundi is none other than limestone/dolomite/chalk/tufa/eggshells/coral/pearls/seashells (all are calcium carbonate).
But Im still working on that.

Glad you mentioned the psuedo lully thing, because I have some thinking about that.
I think that academia are now trying to hail Lully as being a true historical genius hundreds of years ahead of his time. Alongside this, there seems to be a force pushing him away from alchemy claiming he never wrote any books about it and was even strongly against it. I have no problem with calling him a genius, but why does he have to be distanced from alchemy?

The psuedo lully idea seems at odds with historical fact.
As I understand, these pseudo lully works are the first writings in history that describe making anhydrous ethanol, a true scientific breakthrough, they also describe how to make diethyl ether many years before mainstream science discovered it.

Lully indeed would have had access to this kind of secret knowledge through his contacts with the Arabic Alchemy masters. But not many others in Europe would have.

In any case, pseudo Lully still seems worth reading regardless of who the actual author was.

A good source of dissertations on this 'Spirit of Wine' can be found in the book 'Secrets Of The Adepts' by Weidenfeld.
Ill see if I can find a copy of this.
Thanks Androgynous

G Alchemist

11-25-2013, 05:26 PM
Hello G Alchemist and Androgynus,

I have copied below the section from Weidenfeld concerning Lully's Spirit of Wine. I cut out Weidenfeld's annotations.

Of course the actual "wine" one begins with is still up for debate:)
I've been working in the lab on this for some time.


The First Kind.

Simple Vegetable Menstruums made of Philosophical Wine only.
1. The Heaven, Essence or Spirit of Wine of Lully, Described, Can. I. Dist. I. Lib. De Quinta Essentia.

Take Wine Red or White, the best that may be had, or at least take Wine that is not any way eager, neither too little nor too much thereof, and distil an Aqua ardens, as the custom is, through Brass Pipes, and then rectifie it four times for better purification. But I tell you it is enough to rectifie it three times, and stop it close, that the burning Spirit may not exhale, because herein have many men erred, thinking it ought to be seven times rectified, But my Son, it is an infallible sign to you when you shall have seen that Sugar steeped in it, and being put to the flame burneth away as Aqua ardens. Now having the water thus prepared, you have the matter out of which the Quintessence is to be made, which is one principal thing we intend to treat of in this Book. Take therefore that, and put it in a circulating Vessel, or in a Pelican, which is called the Vessel of Hermes, and stop the hole very close with Olibanum or Mastick being soft, or quick Lime mixed with the White of Eggs, and put it in Dung, which is naturally most hot, or the remainings of a Wine-Press, in which no heat must be by accident diminished, which you may do, my Son, if you put a great quantity of which you please of those things at a corner of the House, which quantity must be about thirty Load: This ought to be, that the Vessel may not want heat, because should heat be wanting, the circulation of the water would be impaired, and that which we seek for uneffected; but if a continual heat be administered to it by continual circulations, our Quintessence will be separated in the colour of Heaven, which may be seen by a diametrical Line, which divides the upper part, that is the Quintessence, from the lower, namely, from the Fæces, which are of a muddy colour. Circulation being continued many days together in a circulating Vessel, or in the Vessel of Hermes, the Hole, which you stopp’d with the said Matter, must be opened, and if a wonderful Scent go out, so as that no fragrancy of the world can be compared to it; insomuch as putting the Vessel to a corner of the House, it can by an invisible Miracle draw all that pass in, to it; or the Vessel being put upon a Tower, draws all Birds within the reach of its Scent, so as to cause them to stand about it. Then you will have, my Son, our Quintessence which is otherwise call’d Vegetable Mercury at your will, to apply in the Magistery of the transmutation of Metals: But if you find not the influx of Attraction, stop the Vessel again as before; and put it in the place before appointed, and there let it stand till you attain to the aforesaid Sign. But this Quintessence thus glorified, will not have that Scent, except a Body be dissolved in it, nor have that heat in your mouth as Aqua ardens: This is indeed by the Philosophers call’d the Key of the whole Art of Philosophy, and as well Heaven, as our Quintessence, which arrives to so great a sublimity, that either with it by it self alone, or with the earthly Stars (Metals) the Operator of this work may do miracles upon the Earth.

2. The Essence, Soul or Spirit of Wine of Johannes de Rupescissa, described Chap. 5. of his Book de Quintessentia.

Repute me not a Liar, in calling Aqua ardens a Quintessence, and saying that none of the modern Philosophers and Physicians have attained to it, Aqua ardens being commonly found everywhere; for I spoke true of a certain: for the Magistery of a Quintessence is a thing occult, and I have not seen above one, and him a most approved Divine, that understood any thing of the Secret and Magistery of it: And I affirm for a truth, that the Quintessence is Aqua ardens, and is Aqua ardens. And may the God of Heaven put prudence in the heart of Evangelical Men, for whom I compose this Book, not to communicate this Venerable Secret of God to the Reprobates: Behold now I open the Truth to you. Take not Wine too watry, nor Wine that is black, earthy, insipid, but noble, pleasant, savoury, and odoriferous Wine, the best that can be found, and distil it through cooling pipes so oft, till you have made the best Aqua ardens you can; that is, you distil if from three to seven times; and this is the Aqua ardens which the modern Physicians have not acquired. This water is the Matter out of which the Quintessence which we intend principally in this Book, is extracted: because when you have your noble water, you must cause such a Destillatory to be made in a Glass-makers Furnace, all entire of one piece, with one only hole above, by which the water must be put in and drawn out; for then you shall see the Instrument so compleatly formed, that, that by which by the virtue of Fire ascends, and is distilled into the Vessel through the Pipes, may be again carried back, in order to ascend again, and again descend continually day and night, till the Aqua ardens be by the will of God above, converted into a Quintessence; and the understanding of the Operation is in this; becanse the best Aqua ardens that can be made, hath yet a material mixture of the four Elements; therefore it is by God ordained that the Quintessence which we seek for, should be by continual Ascensions and Descensions separated from the corruptible composition of the four Elements; and this is done, because that which is a second time or oftener sublimed, is more pure and glorified, and separated from the corruption of the four Elements, than when it ascends only one time, and so to a thousand times, and that which is by continual ascent and descent sublimed, comes at length to so great an altitude of Glorification, as to be almost an incorruptible Compound, as Heaven it self, and of the Nature of Heaven; it is therefore called Quintessence, because it is in reference to our Body as the Heavens in respect to the whole World, almost after the same manner, so far as Art can imitate Nature, in a near and connatural similitude.
Circular Distillation therefore being for many days made in a Vessel of Circulation, you must open the hole which is in the head of the Vessel, which is indeed suppos’d to have been seal’d with a Seal made of Lutum Sapientiæ, compounded of the finest Flower and the White of an Egg, and of wet Paper most carefully pick’d and mix’d, to prevent the least exhaling. And having opened the Hole, if the Odour (which ought to be super-admirable, above all the Fragrancies of the World) which shall seem to have descended as it were from the sublime Throne of the most glorious God, be so great, that setting the Vessel in a corner of a house, it shall by an invisible force with the fragrancy of the Quintessence (which is wonderful and highly miraculous) attract to it self all people that enter in, then have you the Quintessence which you heard of; to which none of the modern Philosophers and Physicians (except him that I excepted before) have so far as I have been able to understand, attained. But if you find not the Odour and Influence of attracting men, as I said, seal the Vessel as before, and bring it to the heat above described, in order to compass your desire by Sublimations and Circulations; namely, in finding out this Quintessence so glorified, into an Odour of inestimable fragrancy and favour glorified to a wonder, and the influx of attraction before expressed; and not only so as to yield a wonderful Scent, but also to raise it self more fully to a kind of incorruptibility, it hath not that heat in your mouth which Aqua ardens hath, nor the moistness, that is, such an Aqueity flowing; because the acute heat of the Aqua ardens; and its watery moistness is by Sublimations and Circulations wholly consumed, and the Terreity will remain apart in the bottom: And the Heaven as well as Stars, of which this our Quintessence is compounded both as to Matter and Form, are not as that which is compounded of the four Elements; but there is but little of it glorified so much even to the highest, fill’d with so noble a form, that the power of Matter cannot aspire to any other Form, and so remains uncorrupted, till the Composition be destroyed by command of the Creator: Nor is the Quintessence which we seek, altogether reduced to the incorruption of Heaven; as neither is Art equal to Nature: yet notwithstanding it is incorruptible in respect of the Composition made of the four Elements, because should it be altogether incorruptible, as Heaven, it would absolutely perpetuate our Body; which the Author of Nature, the Lord Jesus Christ forbids. Now have I opened to you much of the Secret, to the Glory of the immortal God.

Paracelsus extracts his Essence of Philosophical Wine not out of Aqua ardens, but out of Philosophical Wine it self. Thus;

3. The Spirit of Wine of Paracelsus:
Described, Chap. 9. of the Third Book of Long Life, pag. 64.

Your Wine being powred into a Pelican, digest in Horsedung, and that the space of two Months continually, you will see it so thin and pure, that a Fatness, which is the Spirit of Wine, will of it self appear in the superficies. Whatsoever is under this is Phlegm, without any nature of Wine; but the Fatness alone being put into a Phial, and digested by it self, is of most excellent energy for long Life.

Guido used the following Method, little differing from the Paracelsian.

4. The Essence of Wine according to Guido
Described, Pag. I. Thesaur. Chym.

Take White or Red Wine, which is better, distil by Balneo till the Matter remain in the consistence of Honey, which being divided into two parts in a duplicated Cucurbit, mix with the distilled Liquor, and joyn together again, and after the digestion of six weeks, a green Oyl will swim upon the Matter; which separate through a Funnel.

11-25-2013, 08:05 PM
We have an old thread dealing with wine, it may be helpful:

10-30-2014, 09:10 PM
Of course the actual "wine" one begins with is still up for debate :)

1. Wine can be worked with for this, among other matters (i.e. we don't necessarily have to work with actual wine, but it's definitely possible).

2. In all these 'recipes', the 'Hidden Hand' (without which it can be near impossible to attain to this Ph. SV) remains concealed by (almost) all Authors.

3. On a side note, behind EVERY (alchemical) Particular, the Universal (Spirit)/'Hidden Hand' is still at work, to various degrees.

This, too, is a Continuum (as opposed to the Universal Vs. Particular binary distinction). This is also reflected in the potency scale/continuum of the products.

In other words, the more 'corrupted'/specified/week the Universal, the more 'Particular' (and less potent) the Work.

This is valid for everything in Nature and Art, and of course also for the Ph. Spirit of Wine.