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Thread: Prima Materia and the Quintessence

  1. #1
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    Prima Materia and the Quintessence

    I am fairly new to this site and I have been studying alchemy for about a few years. But there is this nagging feeling in me that says there is no difference between the Prima Materia and the Quintessence. But then there is a part in me that says they are different only in function. Can anyone clarify the difference and the individual functions of the two. Thank You.

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    Hi, and welcome to Alchemy Forums!

    Quote Originally Posted by 71xt2xb3xr7 View Post
    There is this nagging feeling in me that says there is no difference between the Prima Materia and the Quintessence.
    But then there is a part in me that says they are different only in function. Can anyone clarify the difference and the individual functions of the two.
    The stone out of which Michelangelo's 'David' was sculpted/carved could be compared to the 'Prima Materia' for this particular work.
    The sculpture itself ('David') could be seen as the 'Quintessence' of this particular work.

    This is more of an explanation via analogy, but maybe more 'forthcoming' and terminologically detailed/explicit answers will be coming forth...

    We must also keep in mind that alchemical writers are in the habit of giving many names to one thing, and the same name to many things.
    So, a special way of 'reading' and of 'perceiving' is necessary for a better and deeper understanding of the terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by 71xt2xb3xr7 View Post
    I have been studying alchemy for about a few years.
    It would be interesting if you could elaborate a bit about your studies so far. Maybe the Introductions thread is better suited for this.

  3. #3
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    So a lump of clay is akin to the Prima Materia while the finished piece of art (clay pottery or sculpture) is the quintessence of the image it represents.
    Last edited by 71xt2xb3xr7; 04-29-2011 at 08:47 AM.

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    Then, as I understand, that Vital Force or The One thing of which all other things are is the Prima Materia, but when we have it in a tangible material, then it is the Quintessence, which we use in our alchemical work. Right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    Hi, and welcome to Alchemy Forums!



    The stone out of which Michelangelo's 'David' was sculpted/carved could be compared to the 'Prima Materia' for this particular work.
    The sculpture itself ('David') could be seen as the 'Quintessence' of this particular work.

    This is more of an explanation via analogy, but maybe more 'forthcoming' and terminologically detailed/explicit answers will be coming forth...

    We must also keep in mind that alchemical writers are in the habit of giving many names to one thing, and the same name to many things.
    So, a special way of 'reading' and of 'perceiving' is necessary for a better and deeper understanding of the terms.



    It would be interesting if you could elaborate a bit about your studies so far. Maybe the Introductions thread is better suited for this.

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    Hi.
    Some people have different definitions/ideas of what Prima Materia means.
    First matter could mean the first matter (hyle) to become material - the etheric vapor/fog/smoke/mist...
    Some people take first matter to mean the initial subject with which we begin our work,
    which could (depending on what type of work you're doing) be etheric or physical, but most
    alchemical authors are referring us to a mineral subject. This mineral subject is found with
    many impurities which must be removed before you can call it the quintessence. It is a magnet
    and attracts all sorts of things, pure and impure. It is "antimony" which means "not alone",
    because it is never found in nature in its pure quintessential state, but always mixed with
    these other minerals which it magnetizes/draws to it. All other minerals and metals were birthed
    from this initial pure subject while it was in the earth and still alive/metamorphasizing. This initial
    subject has been called by Philosophers, Our Mercury, because it can take a liquid form (colloid)
    like mercury metal, or a solid form.
    http://serpentrioarquila.blogspot.com/

    "To conjure is nothing else than to observe anything rightly, to know and understand what it is." - Paracelsus

    "Why, then, don't you act when you see the danger of your conditioning? The answer is you don't see... seeing is acting." J. Krishnamurti

  6. #6
    The prima materia is you, and 'God' is the quintessence. Unite the lower, with the upper; the inner, with the outer; the former, with the latter; and the beginning, with the end. Seek for the beginning, and find the end. Seek for the end, and find the beginning. With this being said, none of this is important. There's nothing to unite. There's no duality whatsoever. A circle has no beginning or ending point. It is always ending, and beginning.

    It was never about adding anything to the matter. There's no need to add anything to everything (let alone anything to nothing!). The Philosopher's Stone already exists in nature. Many will attempt to identify the matter: it is this, or it is that. Yes, it is that, and this, and neither of these (comes from beyond nothing).

    Nothing is more important than the Great Work. God is a solipsist. Interestingly enough, God is also an atheist!

    How do you multiply a number by infinity? Divide it by zero!

    "He's mad!"
    Last edited by Aleilius; 07-23-2011 at 01:31 AM.

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    all is prima and quintessence for all is transient.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleilius View Post
    A circle has no beginning or ending point. It is always ending, and beginning.
    A circle as I view it is a symbol of current of something continuously at work within itself, it is what it is, nothing more and nothing less, just doing what it does under all circumstances.

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