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Thread: Paracelsus

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Read this last night. Not bad. Still, he's a bit like me, cocky and tricky.
    Weeks of coding can save hours of planning.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmuldvich View Post
    Today, Spagyrics is the realm of Art that works with the [literal] vegetable kingdom, though please keep in mind this is a modern term invented for this scope of practice.

    The Ancients used both terms Spagyria and Alchemy almost interchangeably, mostly referring to Alchemy as "the Spagyric Art" and the Alchemist as "the Spagyrist". In recent times, due to mass ignorance and fundamental lack of understanding the Truth behind this term, the commonly accepted definition and understanding of the word Spagyrics has been bastardized into meaning preparing herbal essences and tinctures with an Alchemical blanket (figuratively speaking) when the word Spagyria itself simply means to Separate\Split Apart\Break\Extract (spao) & Unite\Gather Together\Assemble (ageiro) in Greek, its root language.

    Paracelsus loved the word.

    Fulcanelli has some interesting words on the topic...

    It is to be expected that a good number of chemists ---and some alchemists as well ---will not share our point of view. This will not stop us. Should we be regarded as the most resolute partisan of the most subversive theories, we would still not be afraid to develop our thought here, deeming truth to be endowed with many more attractions than a vulgar prejudice and that it remains preferable, in its very nakedness, to the most made-up and sumptuously dressed error.

    Since Lavoisier, all the authors who have written on the history of chemistry agree to profess that our chemistry comes by direct affiliation from old alchemy. Consequently, the origin of the one is confused with that of the other, to such an extent that modern science would owe the positive facts on which it is built to the patient labor of the ancient alchemists. This hypothesis, to which we could only have given a relative and conventional value, being regarded today as demonstrated truth, alchemical science, stripped of its own foundation, loses everything liable to motivate its existence, justify its reason for being.

    Thus, seen from a distance, under legendary mists and the veil of centuries, it only offers a vague, nebulous form, without consistency. An imprecise ghost, a lying specter, the marvelous and deceiving chimera indeed deserves to be relegated to the rank of illusions of yesteryear, of false sciences, as a very eminent professor notes. But where proofs would be necessary, where facts prove indispensable, people are content to oppose to hermetic "pretenses" a petitio principii. The School peremptorily does not discuss, it decides. Well, we in turn certify, proposing to prove it, that learned men who have in good faith espoused or propagated this hypothesis deluded themselves by ignorance or a lack of penetration. Understanding only in part the books they studied, they mistook appearance for reality.

    Let us clearly state, since so many educated and sincere people seem unaware of the fact, that the real ancestor of our modern chemistry is ancient spagyrics and not the hermetic science itself. There is indeed a profound abyss between spagyrics and alchemy. This is precisely what we will now try to demonstrate, in as much as it is expedient to do without exceeding the boundaries allowed. Nevertheless, we hope to extend our analysis far enough and to bring out sufficiently precise details to nourish our thesis. Furthermore, happy to provide the chemists, enemies of preconceived ideas, with a testimony of our good will and of our solicitude.

    There was in the Middle Ages and possibly even in Greek antiquity, if we refer to the works of Zosimos and Ostanes ---two degrees, two orders of research in chemical science: spagyry and archemy.

    These two branches of the same exoteric art spread throughout the working class by means of laboratory practice. Metallurgists, goldsmiths, painters, ceramic artists, glassmakers, dyers, distillers, enamellers, potters, etc., had, as much as apothecaries, to be provided with sufficient spagyric knowledge. They perfected this knowledge themselves later on in the exercise of their profession. As for archemists, they formed a special category, more restricted, more obscure also, among the ancient chemists. The aim which they pursued presented some analogy with that of the alchemists, but the materials and the means which they had at their disposal were uniquely chemical materials and means. To transmute metals into one another, to produce gold and silver from coarse minerals, or from saline metallic compounds, to force the gold potentially contained in silver and the silver potentially contained in tin to become real and extractable, was what the archemist had in mind. In the final analysis, he was a spagyrist confined to the mineral realm and who voluntarily neglected animal quintessences and vegetable alkaloids. And since medieval laws forbade private possession of furnaces and chemical utensils without preliminary permission, many artisans, their work once finished, studied, manipulated, and secretly experimented in their cellars or their attics. They cultivated the science of the little particulars, according to the somewhat disdainful expression of the alchemists for these side activities unworthy of the philosopher.

    Without scorning these useful researchers, let us recognize that very often the most fortunate among them only obtained mediocre benefits, and that the same process, at first successful, later led to nil or uncertain results. Nevertheless, in spite of their errors ---or rather because of them ---it is they, the archemists, who provided first the spagyrists and later modern chemistry with the facts, methods, and operations they needed. These men, tormented with a desire to search everywhere and to learn everything, are the true founders of a splendid and perfect science to which they bestowed accurate observations, exact reactions, skillful manipulations, and painfully acquired techniques. Let us humbly salute these pioneers, these precursors, these great workers, and let us never forget what they did for us.

    However, we repeat, alchemy has nothing to do with these successive contributions. Hermetic writings alone, misunderstood by profane investigators, were the indirect cause of discoveries which the authors had never anticipated. It is in this manner that Blaise de Vigenere obtained benzoic acid by sublimating benzoin; that Brandt could extract phosphorus by seeking the alkahest in urine; that Basil Valentine, a prestigious Adept who did not despise spagyric experiments, established the entire series of antimonial salts and the colloid of ruby gold; that Raymond Lully prepared acetone, and Cassius the purple of gold; that Glauber obtained sodium sulphate and Van Helmont recognized the existence of gases.

    But, with the exception of Lully and of Basil Valentine, all these researchers, wrongly classified among alchemists, were simple archemists or learned spagyrists. This is why a famous Adept, author of a classical work, can say with much reason: "If Hermes, the Father of philosophers, was resurrected today, along with subtle Geber, and the profound Raymond Lully, our vulgar chemists would not regard them as Philosophers, and would practically not condescend to number them among their disciples, because the latter would not know the manner of operating all these distillations, circulations, calcinations, and all these innumerable operations which our vulgar chemists invented for having misunderstood the allegorical writings of these Philosophers". With their confused texts, sprinkled with cabalistic expressions, the books remain the efficient and genuine cause of the gross mistake that we indicate.

    For, in spite of the warnings, the objurations of their authors, students persisted in reading them according to the meaning that they hold in ordinary language. They do not know that these texts are reserved for initiates, and that is essential, in order to understand them, to be in possession of their secret key. One must first work at discovering this key. Most certainly these old treatises contain, if not the entire science, at least its philosophy, its principles, and the art of applying them in conformity with natural laws. But if we are unaware of the hidden meaning of the terms --for example, the meaning of Ares, which is different from Aries and is closer to Arles, Arnet, and Albait ---strange qualifications purposely used in the composition of such works, we will understand nothing of them or we will be infallibly led into error. We must not forget that it is an esoteric science.

    An anonymous author of the 18th century gives other reasons for the difficulty that we encounter in deciphering the enigma: "Here is", he writes, "the first and true cause why nature has hidden this open and royal palace from so many philosophers, even those gifted with a very subtle mind. Because, straying since their youth away from the simple path of nature through conclusions of logic and metaphysics, although ingenuous nature advances in a straight and very simple step in this path as in all the others". Such are the opinions of the philosophers about their own works. How can we be surprised then, that so many excellent chemists took the wrong path, and that they deluded themselves by inquiring into a science whose most elementary notions they were incapable of assimilating? And would it not be a great service to render unto others, unto neophytes, to advise them to meditate upon this great truth which the Imitation proclaims, when it says, speaking of the sealed books: "They can make the sound of their words resound, but they do not provide any understanding at all. They give the letter, but it is the lord who unveils the meaning of them; they propose mysteries, but it is He who explains them. They show the path that must be followed, but He gives the strength for walking on it". It is the stumbling block against which our chemists have tripped. And we can affirm that, if our scientists had understood the language of the ancient alchemists, the laws of the practice of Hermes would be known to them, and the philosophers’ stone would long have ceased to be considered a chimera.

    We have stated earlier that archemists regulated their works according to hermetic theory --at least as they understood it ---and that this was the point of departure for fertile experiments with purely chemical results. Thus they prepared the acid solvents which we use, and through the action of these on metallic bases they obtained the saline series well known to us. By afterwards reducing these salts, either with other metals, with alkalies, coal, sugar or fatty bodies, they recovered, without transformation, the basic elements which they had previously combined. But these attempts as well as the methods which appeal to it showed no difference with those practiced today I our laboratories. A few researchers, nevertheless, pushed their investigations much further; they remarkable extended the field of chemical possibilities even to such a point that their results seem doubtful, if not imaginary, to us. It is true that these processes are often incomplete and enveloped in mystery almost as dense as that of the Great Work. Our intention being ---as we have announced ---to be useful to students, we will enter into this subject in some detail and show that these puffers’ recipes offer more experimental certainty than we would be inclined to attribute to them. May the philosophers, our brothers whose indulgence we claim, condescend to forgive us these divulgations. However, besides the fact that our oath is only answerable to alchemy and that we intend to remain strictly in the spagyrical domain, on the other hand, we wish to keep the promise we made, of demonstrating by real and controllable facts, that our chemistry owes everything to spagyrists and archemists and nothing, absolutely nothing, to hermetic Philosophy. The simplest archemic process consists in using the effect of violent reactions ---that of acids on bases ---so as to provoke, in the midst of the effervescence, the reunion of the pure parts, their irreducible combination under the form of new bodies. It is then possible, from a metal close to gold ---silver preferably ---to produce a small quantity of the precious metal. Here is, in this order of experiments, an elementary operation whose success we certify provided our instructions are closely followed.

    Archemists used a process which ensured nascent gold al the specific qualities of adult gold; they called this technique maturation or firming up, and we know that mercury was its principle agent. We find it mentioned in some ancient Latin manuscripts under the expression of Confirmatio. It would be easy to make a few useful and consequential remarks about the operation just mentioned and to show on what philosophical principles lies the direct production of metal in this experiment. We could also give some variant likely to increase the yield, but we would thereby overstep the limits that we have voluntarily imposed on ourselves. We will therefore leave to researchers the task of discovering them for themselves and of submitting the deduction of the control of experiments.

    Our role is confined to presenting facts; it is for modern archemists, spagyrists, and chemists to conclude. But archemy has other methods, whose results bring the proof of philosophical affirmations. They allow us to achieve the decomposition of metallic bodies, long considered to be simple elements. These processes, which alchemists know well, although they don’t have to use them in the elaboration of the Great Work, aim at extracting one of the two metallic roots, sulphur and mercury. Hermetic philosophy teaches us that bodies have no action on bodies and that only spirits are active and penetrating. It is they, these spirits, these natural agents, that provoke in the midst of matter the transformations which we observe there, yet wisdom demonstrates through experimentation that bodies cannot form among themselves anything but easily reducible, temporary combinations. Such is the case of alloys, some of which are liquefied by simple fusion, and of all saline compounds. Similarly, alloyed metals maintain their specific qualities in spite of the diverse properties which they take on in the state of association. We can then understand of what usefulness the spirits can be in releasing the metallic sulphur or mercury when we know that they alone are capable of overcoming the strong cohesion which tightly binds these two principles between themselves.

    It is essential first to understand what the Ancients meant by the generic and rather vague term of spirits. For the alchemists, the spirits are real influences, although they are physically almost immaterial or imponderable. They act in a mysterious, inexplicable, unknowable but efficacious manner on substances submitted to their action and prepared to receive them. Lunar radiation is one of these hermetic spirits. As for archemists, their conception proves to be of a more concrete and substantial nature. Our old chemists embraced all bodies under the same heading, simple or complex, solid or liquid, having a volatile quality liable to make them entirely sublimable. Metals, metalloids, salts, hydrogen carbides, etc., bring to archemists their contingency of spirits: mercury, arsenic, antimony and some of their compounds: sulphur, sal ammoniac, alcohol, ether, vegetable essences, etc. The favorite technique to extract the metallic sulphur is the one which uses sublimation.

    Limiting our desire to simply prove the chemical reality of archemical research, we will be wary of teaching in clear language how one can fabricate gold. The aim that we pursue is of a much higher order. We prefer to remain in the purely alchemical domain rather than engage the researcher in following thorn-covered paths lined with potholes. For the application of these methods confirming the chemical principles of direct transmutation would not being the least testimony in favor of the Great Work, whose elaboration remains completely foreign to to the same principle. Having said this, let us resume our topic. An old spagyric proverb claims that the seed of gold is in gold itself; we will not contradict it, provided it is understood what kind of gold is meant and how it is appropriate to grasp this "seed" disengaged from common gold. If we do not know the latter of these secrets we will necessarily have to be content with witnessing the production of the phenomenon, without receiving any benefits from it except for an objective certainty.

    We believe that we have fulfilled our purpose and demonstrated, as much as it has been possible to do so, that the ancestor of modern chemistry is not the old and simple alchemy but ancient spagyrics, enriched with successive contributions from Greek, Arabic, and medieval archemy. If one wants to have some idea of the secret science, let him bring his thoughts back to the work of the farmer and that of the microbiologist, since ours is placed under the dependence of analogous conditions. For, as Nature gives the farmer the earth and the grain, and the microbiologist the agar-agar and the spore, similarly she gives the alchemist the proper metallic terrain and the appropriate seed. If all the circumstances favorable to the regular process of this special culture are rigorously observed, the harvest cannot but be abundant.

    In summary, alchemical science, of an extreme simplicity in its materials and its formula, nevertheless remains the most unrewarding, the most obscure of all, by reason of the exact knowledge of the required conditions and the required influences. There is its mysterious side, and it is towards resolution of this most difficult problem that the efforts of all the sons of Hermes converge.
    "The Dwellings Of The Philosophers" by Fulcanelli, 1929
    Paracelsus did not just "love" it, he in fact coined the term. None of the actual alchemists had used that word. "Alchemy" was referred to as either "alchemy", or "the Art", or "philosophy", or even "chymia" (or "kimiya" among the Arabs), but there does not seem to be any mention of "spagyria" before Paracelsus.

    As for it being different than alchemy: some of his followers used it in the sense of "alchemy", while other authors make a separation between it and alchemy. I agree with the latter.

    Fulcanelli makes a very clear separation between "alchemy" and "spagyrics" as well as what he calls "archemy" (a "spagyria" that concentrates on transmutation processes that do not really have much to do with making the Stone.)

    For greater clarity's sake, we can follow the distinction that can already be envisioned by 17th century authors like Alsted, but with some modifications:

    1- Alchemy (i.e. making the Stone/Elixir)

    2- Vulgar Chymia, which Alsted divides into:

    I. Chymiatria (which would be what others called "spagyria", i.e. a "chymistry" focused on preparing all sorts of medicines)

    II. Chymia Chrysopoetica (i.e. what Fulcanelli calls "archemy", a "chymistry" that concentrates on making gold and silver through "particular" methods, as opposed to alchemy's Philosophers' Stone/Elixir.)

    Which I would modify as follows for greater accuracy and clarity:

    1- Alchemy (typical examples: most of the works by or attributed to Agathodaimon, Mary, Galen, Zosimos, Stephanus, Asfidus, Aras the Sage, Morienus, Khalid, Ibn Umail, al-Iraqi, Llull, Villanova, Thomas Norton, Ripley, Trevisan, etc. which deal exclusively with making the Philosophers' Stone/Elixir and reject all other laboratory methods that do not have to do with it as "sophistry" and "foolishness")

    2- Transmutational Chymistry (typical examples of it are the transmutation processes found in the works of Glauber, Becher, Kunckel, Kellner, Juncker, etc. Note: BEWARE that the majority of these processes are utterly FALSE and do not produce what they claim, only a minority of them give positive results.)

    3- Vulgar Chymistry (includes here the medicinal compounds prepared by the spagyrists/iatrochemists, as found clearly explained in the works of Beguin, Glaser, Lemery, etc.)

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