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View Full Version : Treatise Study #2: "Twelve Keys" by Basil Valentine



Schmuldvich
08-06-2018, 10:31 PM
https://i.imgur.com/0TyzJqF.png


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Let's take a look at one of the most popular printed works of Alchemy.

By dissecting each paragraph and scrutinizing the words of this Sage we can all further our understanding of our Art.

I am hoping we can have a fruitful discussion while studying Basil Valentine's words together as a group and hear how we each interpret what is being presented by Basil Valentine in each of his Keys.

This thread is not just a platform for me to voice my opinion, but a place that we can all be heard.

Schmuldvich
08-07-2018, 12:21 AM
https://i.imgur.com/RqtLyu8.png

https://i.imgur.com/qBaYQkW.png

"The vivifying power of the Earth, produceth all things that proceed there form: And he that saith that the Earth is without life, is in an error..." Can we understand this to mean that our prepared Earth is the cornerstone of our Work and that this prepared Earth contains everything we need in order to proceed to Success? Although this gross Earth appears to be "dead", we who have properly worked with this Earth know for a fact that this Earth contains Life and that this lowly terrestrial Body can be manipulated by Art into a higher form than its current manifestation.

"For all Herbs, Trees, and Roots, and all Metal and Minerals, receive their powers, increase, and nourishment from the Spirit of the Earth: For the Spirit is the Life, which is nourished by the Stars, and administereth of its nourishment to all Vegetables..." It is declared here that something is needed from this Earth. What is needed Basil Valentine here calls 'Spirit'. This Spirit administers its nourishment to all "Vegetables" (all Vegetables come from the Earth). Without this Spirit our Work languishes and stagnates!

Basil Valentine says "...the Earth nourishes in its bosom the Minerals by its Spirit received from above..." This tell us where this Spirit is located when it is manifested within our flask.



https://i.imgur.com/R1Oc0LB.png

Note that this Fifth Key mentions a Magnet. We will discuss this later.

Just like Fulcanelli, we see that Basil Valentine is one to use ingenious wordplay with double meaning behind his remarks. For example, "...I will reveal one thing more unto you in this Chapter. When a Man looketh in a Glass, there is the reflection of his Image, which is you go to touch with your hands, you find nothing tangible but the Glass wherein the person looked: So also from this matter must be drawn a visible Spirit, which nevertheless is impalpable."

Furthermore Valentine explains this Spirit is the origin of Life in our Work and that this Spirit is "...the Mercury of the Philosopher's, from whence our liquid Water is prepared in our Art, which you must again make material with its own Composition, and by some certain means reduce it from the lowest to the highest degree into a most perfect Medicine..." Not only is it made clear that this Spirit manifested in a certain form is the 'Mercury Of The Philosophers' but a major hint is given when we are told about this 'liquid Water' obtained from our Spirit.

"For our beginning is a secret and palpable Body..." I take as the first Body being our prepared Earth, and "...the middle is a fugitive Spirit and golden Water without any corrosive..." is a lucid description (again in doublespeak) of what we are to be looking for towards the middle of our Work time-wise and in the middle of our flask location-wise.

We will discuss this middle golden Water in more detail later.

https://i.imgur.com/7fZQrFW.png

After our Matter (our Earth) is prepared "...very well and highly purified in the beginning of our work then dissolved and destroyed and thoroughly broken and reduced into dust and ashes..." we are told to "...make thereof a volatile Spirit white as Snow..." which is in my opinion referring to our Sal-Armoniac (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?5701-Our-Whiteness-Regeneration) and to make "...another volatile Spirit red as Blood..." which is our Redness: Exaltation preceded by our Whiteness: Regeneration preceded by our Blackness: Putrefaction.

Note that these "...two Spirits contain in them a third, and yet are but one Spirit...", just as our Earth is but one Body which contains all we need in our Art.

As Basil Valentine himself says, "...know that my lips never yet so plainly revealed any thing."

Florius Frammel
08-07-2018, 06:27 AM
Why not start with the first key?

Weidenfeld
08-07-2018, 08:03 AM
Why not start with the first key?

I assume they think that within the first key(s) the profane purification of the matter ore is described and that there is hidden no allegory so far !

Florius Frammel
08-07-2018, 08:17 AM
I assume they think that within the first key(s) the profane purification of the matter ore is described and that there is hidden no allegory so far !

I think so too. That's the easy part. But the allegories are still there and can be very useful in learning.

JDP
08-07-2018, 12:23 PM
I assume they think that within the first key(s) the profane purification of the matter ore is described and that there is hidden no allegory so far !

I have never seen any commentary of this text, even those reputedly written by the author himself, that does not explain that the first key is just about the purification of gold. Taking cues from these commentaries, Lawrence Principe has been able to follow and replicate all the steps in the first few keys, which deal with gold. But as he admits himself, things start getting blurrier and more difficult to interpret in the "middle keys". This is where the issue of the secret solvent comes into play, so no wonder that the text gets obscurer and vaguer.

Seraphim
08-08-2018, 01:16 AM
This is great, thanks Schmuldvich. :D

Florius Frammel
08-08-2018, 06:33 AM
know that my lips never yet so plainly revealed any thing

Be careful when the sages say they speak clearly, as it is most likely the most cloudy.

JDP
08-08-2018, 09:19 AM
Be careful when the sages say they speak clearly, as it is most likely the most cloudy.

Indeed. A very common boast, which more often than not wholly disappoints, as what they claim to have just "revealed" is usually either absurd, contradictory, mundane and/or barely coherent.

Weidenfeld
08-08-2018, 01:09 PM
I have never seen any commentary of this text, even those reputedly written by the author himself, that does not explain that the first key is just about the purification of gold. Taking cues from these commentaries, Lawrence Principe has been able to follow and replicate all the steps in the first few keys, which deal with gold. But as he admits himself, things start getting blurrier and more difficult to interpret in the "middle keys". This is where the issue of the secret solvent comes into play, so no wonder that the text gets obscurer and vaguer.
There is indeed a "key to the twelve keys". It is an anonymous manuscript in French, written about 1700.

La Clef des Douze Clefs de Frere Basile Valentin / Der Schlüssel zu den Zwölf Schlüsseln von Bruder Basilius Valentinus.

M. P. Steiner published it the first time in 2006 in French and German.

Florius Frammel
08-08-2018, 01:46 PM
There is indeed a "key to the twelve keys". It is an anonymous manuscript in French, written about 1700.

La Clef des Douze Clefs de Frere Basile Valentin / Der Schlüssel zu den Zwölf Schlüsseln von Bruder Basilius Valentinus.

M. P. Steiner published it the first time in 2006 in French and German.

I know this book too, and I found some "oddities". On one of the very first pages for example it mentions "oxygène" and here clearly the element is meant. However it was in 1779 when Lavoisier suggested this name for that element. So this book by far isn't as old as Steiner wants us to believe it is. Do I need to mention he's implying that B.V. himself might have written this book?

It isn't that clear as well. One would need the key for the key of the twelve keys..

Weidenfeld
08-08-2018, 01:53 PM
I know this book too, and I found some "oddities". On one of the very first pages for example it mentions "oxygène" and here clearly the element is meant. However it was in 1779 when Lavoisier suggested this name for that element. So this book by far isn't as old as Steiner wants us to believe it is. Do I need to mention he's implying that B.V. himself might have written this book?

It isn't that clear as well. One would need the key for the key of the twelve keys..
I own that book, but honestly never read it in its whole. Maybe a good reason to have another look to it. Steiner probably intended to say round about 1800 and not 1700 :D

Florius Frammel
08-08-2018, 02:01 PM
I own that book, but honestly never read it in its whole. Maybe a good reason to have another look to it. Steiner probably intended to say round about 1800 and not 1700 :D

No, I'm quite sure he really wrote 1700 ;)
His (Steiner's) other works are great though. I think his Fulcanelli translations are really awesome. The translation of the comment about the Mutus Liber by Canseliet is well done as well.

JDP
08-08-2018, 06:38 PM
There is indeed a "key to the twelve keys". It is an anonymous manuscript in French, written about 1700.

La Clef des Douze Clefs de Frere Basile Valentin / Der Schlüssel zu den Zwölf Schlüsseln von Bruder Basilius Valentinus.

M. P. Steiner published it the first time in 2006 in French and German.

How did the author of this commentary interpret the first keys? Everyone else I have seen so far who has commented on this (even Clinge and Kunckel) interprets the first keys in very similar fashion.

Aspiring Alkemist
08-09-2018, 06:08 AM
Obtained a copy of this text recently. Looking forward to reading it. May have thoughts to share after.

If so I shall update this post with them.

Schmuldvich
08-10-2018, 04:01 AM
This is great, thanks Schmuldvich. :D


Why not start with the first key?

Because everyone else starts with the First Key.

But since you asked...



https://i.imgur.com/L9FFy82.png

https://i.imgur.com/PrLw086.png

Beginning with the first paragraph of the text, we see that Basil Valentine is speaking of our Starting Matter: "Know, my Friend, that impure and defiled things are not fit for out work; for their Leprosie, can be no help in our operations, that which is good is hindered by that which is impure. All wares sold from the Mines are worth one's money, but when they are sophisticated, they are unfit for use, for they are counterfeited, and are not of the same operation as they were before..." Frequently Masters describe our Starting Matter as coming from the mines, and Basil Valentine confirms that this Ore is indeed of value, but not when it is sophisticated i.e. treated improperly from the get-go, because if we ruin our Ore from the start it will not be fit for use in our Work. We need to prepare this Ore properly. Which is why I often repeat that the very first step in our Art is Preparation.

"...As Physicians cleanse and purify the inward parts of the body, by means of their medicines, expelling all impurities from thence, so also ought our bodies to be purged and purified from all their impurities, that perfection may be wrought in our Birth: Our Matters require a pure and undefiled body, which is not adulterated with any spot or strange mixture: For the Addition of another thing is a Leprosie to our Metals..." This paragraph is revealing to those whose eyes are opened. I will not comment on the esoteric aspect of the paragraph, but rather focus on the more exoteric part. Notice the capital letter 'P'--he is speaking to us--we are the Physicians who are to purify the inward parts of this Ore. And how do we do this? We expel the outward impurities present in our Starting Matter! Because just as JDP incessantly rants and raves about, no matter is found in Nature that is already prepared and waiting to be picked up by the Artist and put into a flask to turn into the Philosopher's Stone. We must prepare it first. Basil Valentine knows as we all do that this Starting Matter is composed of many constituents, just like was discussed previously (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?1310-One-Matter-One-Vessel-One-Fire/page16), and that nothing is added once this Matter has been collected. It is left to us Physicians to remove the excess superfluous junk present in our raw Ore so that it may become properly prepared and thus fit to begin manipulating inside our flask.

"...The King's Diadem is made of pure Gold, and a chaste Bride must be married unto him..." This is a direct statement, meant to be taken at face value, although to say literally would be improper because no human king is marrying some human bride. What is a diadem? A diadem is a type of crown or headband worn by royalty that comes from a Greek word that means 'to fasten'. We are told that this upper band is colored gold, and we know that a chaste bride has no impurities and therefore is signified by the color white. What happens when a pure White substance is combined with a royal Gold substance??? This is a later part of our Work being briefly mentioned, whereas if we look at the paragraph below we are told what happens earlier.

"...Take the most ravenous grey Wolf, which by reason of his Name is subject to valorous Mars, but by the Genesis of his Nativity he is the Son of old Saturn, found in Mountains and in Valleys of the World...." What is our Wolf? Note that if we look at the visual of the First Key (https://philosophiauniversalis.com/alchemical-images/12-keys-of-basil-valentine/#jp-carousel-505) we notice that the wolf is depicted as jumping. This is a clue to the initiated. Our Wolf is the son of Saturn (our Blackness (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?4940-Our-Blackness-Putrefaction)), subject to Mars (in this context the Red Earth of Hadamah (http://alchemyprocesses.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1069)). Valentine tells us exactly where we are to find this Wolf: in Mountains and Valleys of the World i.e. in the midst of our flask. This is neither our Fixed Salt nor our Astral Salt, but something else...similar to sperm which is found in the midst of our flask.

"...He is very hungry, cast unto him the King's body, that he may be nourished by it; and when he hath devoured the King, make a great Fire, into which cast the Wolf, that he be quite burned, then will the King be at liberty again: When you have done this thrice, then hath the Lion overcome the Wolf, neither can he find any more on him to feed upon; and so is our body prepared for the beginning of our work..." When we combine these substances in the belly of Saturn by making a big Fire (the Philosopher's Fire....remember "Alchemists burn with Water") the King's body is burned and our Wolf is overcome by our Lion. Notice that all of a sudden Valentine starts talking about a Lion. What is our Lion? Lions are known as the kings of jungle. Our Wolf has transformed into our Lion who is our Earthly King--ruler over the Earth...the terrestrial counterpart to our Celestial King reigning over all. By the way, this Matter is where many authors begin their treatises. Our Lion is the First Part of our Work completed, the end of the First Turn of the Philosophic Wheel and the beginning of the Second Turn.


https://i.imgur.com/o5CDKQg.png

"...I Know also, that this is the right and true way to purge our bodies, for the Lion purifies himself by the blood of the Wolf, and the tincture of its blood wonderfully rejoyceth in the tincture of the Lion, for both their bloods are nearer of kin one to the other; when the Lion is satisfied his spirit is made stronger than it was before, and his Eyes shine with great splendor like the Sun, and his inward Essence is of great efficacy, and is profitable for any thing you apply it unto..." Of course both their bloods rejoice together...because they are of the same Body! These two substances mingling together augment each other to a higher perfection, which when perfected is profitable to the Artist.

Oh, look! A metaphorical description of our Lion "...whoever drinketh from this golden fountain..." and the text later goes on to explain again that this must be absolutely pure.

The part about "...and of a wholesome Fish a Serpent is produced..." is discussed further in this thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?5701-Our-Whiteness-Regeneration&p=59362#post59362).


https://i.imgur.com/T0MrGQi.png

"...When a Tree bringeth forth unwholesome and ungrateful fruit, it is cut off at the stem, and some other kind of fruit is grafted in, then the graft uniteth itself with the stem so of them, root and graft, a good Tree is produced, which according the workman's desire bringeth forth wholesome and pleasing fruit.." is a hint at an abbreviation, a process the Artist can carry out once we have exhausted our Tree of its supply of desirable fruit.

"...The King walketh through six places in the Celestial Firmament, but in the seventh he keeps his seat..." We know that our King is Philosophical Gold hence ...the King's Palace is adorned with golden Tapestry...", and the King walks through six places is a reference to the six inferior metals, the seventh being gold.

"...If now you understand what I say, then have you opened the first Lock with this Key..." In conclusion, the main focus of this First Key is the completion of the First Rotation...the manifestation of the Earthly King...our Lion.

Which is confirmed in Basil Valentine's "Elucidation Of The 12 Keys"





https://i.imgur.com/XSGnHI1.png

JDP
08-10-2018, 09:37 AM
Because everyone else starts with the First Key.

But since you asked...



https://i.imgur.com/L9FFy82.png

https://i.imgur.com/PrLw086.png

Beginning with the first paragraph of the text, we see that Basil Valentine is speaking of our Starting Matter: "Know, my Friend, that impure and defiled things are not fit for out work; for their Leprosie, can be no help in our operations, that which is good is hindered by that which is impure. All wares sold from the Mines are worth one's money, but when they are sophisticated, they are unfit for use, for they are counterfeited, and are not of the same operation as they were before..." Frequently Masters describe our Starting Matter as coming from the mines, and Basil Valentine confirms that this Ore is indeed of value, but not when it is sophisticated i.e. treated improperly from the get-go, because if we ruin our Ore from the start it will not be fit for use in our Work. We need to prepare this Ore properly. Which is why I often repeat that the very first step in our Art is Preparation.

"...As Physicians cleanse and purify the inward parts of the body, by means of their medicines, expelling all impurities from thence, so also ought our bodies to be purged and purified from all their impurities, that perfection may be wrought in our Birth: Our Matters require a pure and undefiled body, which is not adulterated with any spot or strange mixture: For the Addition of another thing is a Leprosie to our Metals..." This paragraph is revealing to those whose eyes are opened. I will not comment on the esoteric aspect of the paragraph, but rather focus on the more exoteric part. Notice the capital letter 'P'--he is speaking to us--we are the Physicians who are to purify the inward parts of this Ore. And how do we do this? We expel the outward impurities present in our Starting Matter! Because just as JDP incessantly rants and raves about, no matter is found in Nature that is already prepared and waiting to be picked up by the Artist and put into a flask to turn into the Philosopher's Stone. We must prepare it first. Basil Valentine knows as we all do that this Starting Matter is composed of many constituents, just like was discussed previously (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?1310-One-Matter-One-Vessel-One-Fire/page16), and that nothing is added once this Matter has been collected. It is left to us Physicians to remove the excess superfluous junk present in our raw Ore so that it may become properly prepared and thus fit to begin manipulating inside our flask.

"...The King's Diadem is made of pure Gold, and a chaste Bride must be married unto him..." This is a direct statement, meant to be taken at face value, although to say literally would be improper because no human king is marrying some human bride. What is a diadem? A diadem is a type of crown or headband worn by royalty that comes from a Greek word that means 'to fasten'. We are told that this upper band is colored gold, and we know that a chaste bride has no impurities and therefore is signified by the color white. What happens when a pure White substance is combined with a royal Gold substance??? This is a later part of our Work being briefly mentioned, whereas if we look at the paragraph below we are told what happens earlier.

"...Take the most ravenous grey Wolf, which by reason of his Name is subject to valorous Mars, but by the Genesis of his Nativity he is the Son of old Saturn, found in Mountains and in Valleys of the World...." What is our Wolf? Note that if we look at the visual of the First Key (https://philosophiauniversalis.com/alchemical-images/12-keys-of-basil-valentine/#jp-carousel-505) we notice that the wolf is depicted as jumping. This is a clue to the initiated. Our Wolf is the son of Saturn (our Blackness (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?4940-Our-Blackness-Putrefaction)), subject to Mars (in this context the Red Earth of Hadamah (http://alchemyprocesses.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1069)). Valentine tells us exactly where we are to find this Wolf: in Mountains and Valleys of the World i.e. in the midst of our flask. This is neither our Fixed Salt nor our Astral Salt, but something else...similar to sperm which is found in the midst of our flask.

"...He is very hungry, cast unto him the King's body, that he may be nourished by it; and when he hath devoured the King, make a great Fire, into which cast the Wolf, that he be quite burned, then will the King be at liberty again: When you have done this thrice, then hath the Lion overcome the Wolf, neither can he find any more on him to feed upon; and so is our body prepared for the beginning of our work..." When we combine these substances in the belly of Saturn by making a big Fire (the Philosopher's Fire....remember "Alchemists burn with Water") the King's body is burned and our Wolf is overcome by our Lion. Notice that all of a sudden Valentine starts talking about a Lion. What is our Lion? Lions are known as the kings of jungle. Our Wolf has transformed into our Lion who is our Earthly King--ruler over the Earth...the terrestrial counterpart to our Celestial King reigning over all. By the way, this Matter is where many authors begin their treatises. Our Lion is the First Part of our Work completed, the end of the First Turn of the Philosophic Wheel and the beginning of the Second Turn.


https://i.imgur.com/o5CDKQg.png

"...I Know also, that this is the right and true way to purge our bodies, for the Lion purifies himself by the blood of the Wolf, and the tincture of its blood wonderfully rejoyceth in the tincture of the Lion, for both their bloods are nearer of kin one to the other; when the Lion is satisfied his spirit is made stronger than it was before, and his Eyes shine with great splendor like the Sun, and his inward Essence is of great efficacy, and is profitable for any thing you apply it unto..." Of course both their bloods rejoice together...because they are of the same Body! These two substances mingling together augment each other to a higher perfection, which when perfected is profitable to the Artist.

Oh, look! A metaphorical description of our Lion "...whoever drinketh from this golden fountain..." and the text later goes on to explain again that this must be absolutely pure.

The part about "...and of a wholesome Fish a Serpent is produced..." is discussed further in this thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?5701-Our-Whiteness-Regeneration&p=59362#post59362).


https://i.imgur.com/T0MrGQi.png

"...When a Tree bringeth forth unwholesome and ungrateful fruit, it is cut off at the stem, and some other kind of fruit is grafted in, then the graft uniteth itself with the stem so of them, root and graft, a good Tree is produced, which according the workman's desire bringeth forth wholesome and pleasing fruit.." is a hint at an abbreviation, a process the Artist can carry out once we have exhausted our Tree of its supply of desirable fruit.

"...The King walketh through six places in the Celestial Firmament, but in the seventh he keeps his seat..." We know that our King is Philosophical Gold hence ...the King's Palace is adorned with golden Tapestry...", and the King walks through six places is a reference to the six inferior metals, the seventh being gold.

"...If now you understand what I say, then have you opened the first Lock with this Key..." In conclusion, the main focus of this First Key is the completion of the First Rotation...the manifestation of the Earthly King...our Lion.

Which is confirmed in Basil Valentine's "Elucidation Of The 12 Keys"





https://i.imgur.com/XSGnHI1.png

I am not going to waste time addressing most of your fanciful "interpretations" of what is plainly just semi-hidden allusions to the purification of gold by such things as antimony (the "wolf"), only that your claim that the "one matter" must be "prepared" falls flat on its face because the trap that you are very literally trying to follow is also accompanied by the following caveats:

One vessel
One furnace
One regimen

So there are no ways to go around for any "preparations" here. All you can do with such conditions, if taken 100% literally, as you stubbornly keep trying to do, is to put this mythical "one matter", as you found it in nature, in one flask and heat it with one continuous degree of heat. Supposedly the Stone will eventually be made by following this simplistic nonsense. Good luck getting anywhere with such a naive approach. No one who ever tried it with any natural matter whatsoever ever succeeded. The "one matter" claim is nothing but a very obvious transparent trap. Be thankful that many alchemists were more sincere and charitable and "disarmed" it by bothering to explain what it actually means (i.e. an artificial mixture of several substances that will interact and blend into something that gives the appearance of being a homogeneous "one thing/matter". By omitting this crucial detail, the types of malicious misleading alchemists that you worship are having a good laugh at your expense by sending you into a very predictable wild-goose chase, looking for this mysterious "one matter" somewhere in nature already made for your convenience, knowing fully well that you will never find any such thing.)

Florius Frammel
08-10-2018, 09:46 AM
Schmuldvich is right with the grey wolf and it's connection to mars and saturn.
Being black and having other properties it's related to saturn. And it's related to mars. Mars is the god of war and in war in former times pikes were used which were usually made of iron (mars). The german word for the black antimony ore was "Spießglantz", literally meaning "pike shine". There should be little doubt that here the antimony ore is meant. In addition melted antimony ore "dissolves", "melts", "eats" all metals very quick (the quick jump over the fire). Letting the wolf go (in heating the mixture to very high degrees) subsequently after repeating it three times leaves the "king" of metals(gold) behind in a very purified form.
This is what Franz Clinge, Michael Maier, Kunckel, an anonymous from the 17th century and Lawrence M.Principe think about it. I may add some more interpretations later.

Andro
08-10-2018, 09:46 AM
Red Earth of Hadamah (http://alchemyprocesses.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1069)

Links to private forums can not be viewed by non-members.

JDP
08-10-2018, 10:44 AM
Schmuldvich is right with the grey wolf and it's connection to mars and saturn.
Being black and having other properties it's related to saturn. And it's related to mars. Mars is the god of war and in war in former times pikes were used which were usually made of iron (mars). The german word for the black antimony ore was "Spießglantz", literally meaning "pike shine". There should be little doubt that here the antimony ore is meant. In addition melted antimony ore "dissolves", "melts", "eats" all metals very quick (the quick jump over the fire). Letting the wolf go (in heating the mixture to very high degrees) subsequently after repeating it three times leaves the "king" of metals(gold) behind in a very purified form.
This is what Franz Clinge, Michael Maier, Kunckel, an anonymous from the 17th century and Lawrence M.Principe think about it. I may add some more interpretations later.

But he is not right. He thinks that all of this has to do with the mythical "one matter" that he actually thinks exists somewhere in nature already made for his convenience.

Florius Frammel
08-10-2018, 11:01 AM
I said he his right with the grey wolf's connection to saturn and mars.
Nothing more or less ;)

But B.V. already wrote that too.

JDP
08-10-2018, 11:22 AM
I said he his right with the grey wolf's connection to saturn and mars.
Nothing more or less ;)

But B.V. already wrote that too.

Exactly, that's why he might give the appearance that he more or less "got it right" (but in reality he didn't; he doesn't understand what the author is actually referring to) since the author himself plainly gives the references to those planets/gods.

Florius Frammel
08-12-2018, 09:02 AM
Here is what the Anonymous of the "12 clefs" (see post #10 of this thread by Weidenfeld) has to say about the first key:

He says B.V. here only specifies the general instructions he already gave in the introduction. It is limited on the presentation of the two principes that form our first matter. Those two principes (King/queen, sulfur/mercury -sometimes called argent vif) form our first matter he calls matière crue (crude matter). The whole work consists in doing a conjunction of those principles.
He talks about antimony too: Mr Salomon in his comment (Steiner here can only guess that Trißmosinus' comment on the Splendor Solis is meant) says the wolf means Antimony. He agrees that Antimony is a part of saturn (like Artephius says), but he doesn't see why it should be regarded as the "sujet" of the god mars neither for etymological nor other reasons (I guess he doesn't know the german word "Spiessglantz") except if he means "our antimony".
He disregards the opinion that here common gold is meant too. It's more about an "universal spirit" he as well calls "wet root matter" (d'Humide radical). He continues saying the wolf is nothing but the "water that wants to come down". The lion is the earth that that needs to be washed and purified.

It goes on a bit in similar ways like this (quite much text), but I'm too lazy to type it all out. I think we can get the idea that this interpretation is in the sense of R+C / Mutus Liber/ (Universal) Spiritus (Mundi)/ Water Work tradition. And this is another reason why I would say (together with the "oxygène oddity) it is written much later than 1700 as those interpretations are typical for the timeframe from the mid 18th century to the end of the 19th century where they interpreted alchemy texts like that. Feel free to share your objections.

JDP
08-12-2018, 11:35 AM
Here is what the Anonymous of the "12 clefs" (see post #10 of this thread by Weidenfeld) has to say about the first key:

He says B.V. here only specifies the general instructions he already gave in the introduction. It is limited on the presentation of the two principes that form our first matter. Those two principes (King/queen, sulfur/mercury -sometimes called argent vif) form our first matter he calls matière crue (crude matter). The whole work consists in doing a conjunction of those principles.
He talks about antimony too: Mr Salomon in his comment (Steiner here can only guess that Trißmosinus' comment on the Splendor Solis is meant) says the wolf means Antimony. He agrees that Antimony is a part of saturn (like Artephius says), but he doesn't see why it should be regarded as the "sujet" of the god mars neither for etymological nor other reasons (I guess he doesn't know the german word "Spiessglantz") except if he means "our antimony".
He disregards the opinion that here common gold is meant too. It's more about an "universal spirit" he as well calls "wet root matter" (d'Humide radical). He continues saying the wolf is nothing but the "water that wants to come down". The lion is the earth that that needs to be washed and purified.

It goes on a bit in similar ways like this (quite much text), but I'm too lazy to type it all out. I think we can get the idea that this interpretation is in the sense of R+C / Mutus Liber/ (Universal) Spiritus (Mundi)/ Water Work tradition. And this is another reason why I would say (together with the "oxygène oddity) it is written much later than 1700 as those interpretations are typical for the timeframe from the mid 18th century to the end of the 19th century where they interpreted alchemy texts like that. Feel free to share your objections.

Indeed, your conclusions are spot on. This commentary was obviously written around 1800 or later, not 1700. All the 17th-18th century commentaries of this Valentine text I have seen so far interpret the first few keys very similarly: operations with purified gold in order to obtain a fine/subtle calx of this metal.

PS: Trismosin (late 15th & early 16th century) couldn't possibly have written a commentary on this work, since he predates the Valentine "corpus".

Florius Frammel
08-12-2018, 11:42 AM
PS: Trismosin (late 15th & early 16th century) couldn't possibly have written a commentary on this work, since he predates the Valentine "corpus".

That's why Steiner guesses it's a comment on the Splendor Solis -not on the 12 keys.

Does anybody know from a "Mr Salomon" commenting the 12 keys?

JDP
08-12-2018, 01:15 PM
That's why Steiner guesses it's a comment on the Splendor Solis -not on the 12 keys.

Does anybody know from a "Mr Salomon" commenting the 12 keys?

Can you quote the exact sentence in the French original? I also can't recall any pre-20th century commentary on the Splendor Solis (which, to be accurate, is obviously not written by Salomon Trismosin, contrary to the persistent attribution to him; anyone who has read Trismosin's genuine compositions will easily see how totally different they are in style and character from Splendor Solis.)

Florius Frammel
08-12-2018, 01:56 PM
Can you quote the exact sentence in the French original? I also can't recall any pre-20th century commentary on the Splendor Solis (which, to be accurate, is obviously not written by Salomon Trismosin, contrary to the persistent attribution to him; anyone who has read Trismosin's genuine compositions will easily see how totally different they are in style and character from Splendor Solis.)

https://imgur.com/yKa6geb.jpg

JDP
08-12-2018, 02:20 PM
https://imgur.com/yKa6geb.jpg

Thanks. Yes, unfortunately it is not clear what this commentary by "Mr. Salomon" is from such a reference. It cannot be the Splendor Solis since this text does not mention any "wolf" or antimony.

Florius Frammel
08-12-2018, 05:56 PM
It could be possible it's an englishman. The anonymous writes "Mr" (very likely) for "mister". The short form of the French "monsieur" is "M."