View Full Version : Donum Dei

06-28-2009, 12:52 PM
What is the Donum Dei, who wrote it and is it the goal of all alchemists to bring it to fruition?

I have briefly read through a transciption of the Donum Dei (http://www.scribd.com/doc/8102427/Pretiossissime-Donum-Dei) and see that many references on this forum seem to come from this text and yet I can only find four entries for it and none which explain it.

I have put this text into a Word file (http://www.genius.toucansurf.com/The Donum Dei.doc) and pinched some clearer images from here (hdelboy.club.fr/donum_dei.html)

If someone could shed some more light on this text or better still an interpretation of of it :D I would be most grateful

solomon levi
06-28-2009, 01:23 PM
Literally, it means the gift of god.
Alchemically, it is used to refer to the path/method/accomplishment
of the Philosophers' stone, as some say it can only be given by god,
which, IMO, means an insight or realisation of what the first matter is,
and the method of its exaltation into the stone.
I recall from my reading that Starkey once exclaimed in his notebook, and
to his friends, that he had seen his genius or holy guardian angel and that it
showed him the method of the alkahest, or perhaps the volatile alkali... I forget which.

I first ran into the term reading Fulcanelli, and it stuck and I use it once in a while
to refer to either the stone, or the accomplishment of the Great Work.
I may be using the term incorrectly, but that's my knowledge of it.

Donum Dei - DD... not to be confused with how god has blessed some women. ;)
(Is this the wrong place for boob jokes?)

07-10-2009, 08:23 PM

Hello Ghislain and hello also to solomon levi!

The Rider-Waite Judgement Card (XX Tarot), in my opinion, provides a key to understanding The Donum Dei.

My interpretation of The Donum Dei is that it is speaking to alchemical processes which take place within the physical body of the alchemist and it eschews, as gross and impure, a captivation with externals (i.e., gold the metal).

The author seems to be saying that some kind of insight or divine illumination (a major Ah-Ha) is first required before The Great Work can begin in earnest.
And when the work begins in earnest it forsakes externals and focuses upon inner conditions and follows the guidance of 'The One'.

Perhaps the big 'ah-ha' is the realization of the actual existence of 'The One'.

Then, it follows, according to the logic of Hermes' "As Above, So Below", that the alchemist is also an expression (rendition) of 'The One" and by his or her nature is, in reality, a spirit and not only a physical form.

If the above is true then when the alchemist realizes that he or she is, in truth a spirit, then the physical ego-self becomes (relatively) 'the stone' that MUST be dissolved in order to receive the ultimate gift of God which is eternal life.

The Donum Dei seems to be advocating a 'shift' of consciousness or personal psychological origination-point from matter-centric to spirit-centric, or the gradual re-invention of one's self on a higher order of existence.

The great impetus is the realization that one is actually a spirit and has previously existed in a condition (mill-stone) of relative slavery.

The big 'ah-ha' is also the process of 'splitting the Adam' (yes, Adam) and results in the alchemist realizing that 'consciousness' is the occupant of the physical body and not to be dominated by physicality, as it was previous to the realization. So, the process goes from the unity (exclusive identity) of consciousness and form, to the split of consciousness from form (2 identies - spirit and form) and then evolves to 'consciousness' as a free and liberated individualized entity that is a component of "The One".
In anthropological-speak it also alludes to the notion that 'consciousness' is, initially, a seeming emergent-trait of biology (emanates from) and then proceeds (with guidance from 'The One') to become a fully-liberated individualized creative consciousness which has its existence in eternity. As such, the human being is a 'pod of God' capable of miraculous transformations. The metaphor is caterpillar-butterfly.

After that (Ah-Ha) The Great Work is to go about getting free of the weighty attributes of the physical form by being ever mindful of 'The One' and surrendering to the mediations of 'The One' by becoming like 'water'. ('Water to wine' is also applicable).

I believe that all of the urn-images in the text (link in Ghislain's originating post) represent the human body and the human figures inside of the urns represent states-of-consciousness. I also believe that prime-matter (?) is represented, by the author, by the urn without any apparent contents; the text description of this urn is also quite telling (5th chapter).

Anyhow, this is all opinion based upon the content of the writing, but nevertheless it provides a 'lens' through which one can interpret The Donum Dei which seems to imply that practical alchemy is the precursor of inner-alchemy.


solomon levi
07-14-2009, 05:43 PM
Hi Play Dough!
I really enjoyed your post!

07-14-2009, 06:22 PM
Hi Play Dough!
I really enjoyed your post!

Thank you, solomon levi!
It was your post (2nd from top) which started the synapses firing and aided significantly in connecting the dots to arrive at a thesis.
It was you who provided the inspiration and a few 'key words' that started the knot unraveling.
Nevertheless, you are most welcome, my brother.

08-15-2009, 03:25 PM

So I read the text, a beautiful discription, of the alchemistic process.

The pictures are not drawn in a way, that the Text touch me or open the mind.

So you want some enlightment about it.

The text points out, like others so often, to open ones heart and mind for the
processes in nature, meditate on them and bring it in our own alchemistic work.

This was just plain saying, what I realy believe is, that you search, what is the
"Donum Dei" how can we recieve it and how will we notice it.

Just looked at your first question again, this needs another answer, which has nothing to
do with the text, but since I have to work in a few minutes, this has to wait.