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Thread: Le Clefs du Cabinet Hérmetique

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    Hi Hellin,

    I'm having difficulty finding these treatises. Do you know where I can find them, in English (preferably) or in French?

    Thank you!
    Is it this book? The Summa perfectionis of Pseudo-Geber. A critical edition, translation and study

  2. #102
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    In my personal opinion, I dont believe that there is a "specific subject" to carry out the great work, it is not the subject that matters, if not its "condition". This is explained very well by Norton and Ripley when they say that you can make the stone of anything (of the three kingdoms) if you separate and purify its elements. Of course, you need an advanced knowledge to do this, and know how to differentiate between the stone and the Elixir, which are not the same thing. Speaking again personally, I dont believe that there is a single "secret solvent", common gold does not enter the work if not until the end, in the fermentation, and there are many different ways to extract its tincture in what is known as "radical dissolution". For me, the most important aspect is not the obtaining of mercury or sulfur, but the salt, that's why the teachers rarely mentioned it or only gave vague details. And returning to the text, this is precisely a point where the author focuses, when pointing out the treatment that the Hermetic Triumph gives to this salt. However, it is not as simple as he says and omits details that only practice gives.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by garvolt2002 View Post
    Is it this book? The Summa perfectionis of Pseudo-Geber. A critical edition, translation and study
    No, the ones by Nicolas Valois and Pierre Vicot.

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by Hellin Hermetist View Post
    Exactly. First matter comes from the metallic kingdom, as have said Geber, Arnaud, Raymond Lulle, Vallois, Vicot, D'Espagnet and all the classicals. Its nothting else than the humid and dry principles of the perfect metal, which have been seperated, purified and recombined to a new body. When you have accomplished ths first work you dont have much to do anymore. You simply have to put your prepared matter at the athanor and it will putrefy, dissolve in to a water, divide again into her own principles, purify by itseld and recongeal by itself to new, more glorious body. Thats the second labour which is work of nature. But the first labour. But the first labour its not easy at all according to the philosphers. To dissolve the metal, make it putrefy, separate it to its principles, purify those principles and recombine them to create the first matter of the Great Work, its a labour which asks for a perfect contemplation of the theory and a skillful chemical operator. Thats the path described by the ancients, in which common gold was essential. Now if later authors found the metallic principles in some vegetable or animal matter and extracted them from it i dont know, but it sounds strange to me.
    Hi Hellin Hermetist

    I agree with you. Seeking the path to the Stone, it is the more ancient writers that we should primarily turn our attention to. Arnald, Lull, Geber and a few others (e.g. Albert the Great) - they are all close to each other, sometimes to the degree that one clearly perused another one's books in writing his own (e.g. see William R. Newman's analysis in his edition of the Summa Perfectionis). Also, their works connect directly to the Arabic and Hellenistic conceptions, which is about as far as we can follow our art back to its roots.

    And yes, aforesaid authors all describe the Great Work as beginning with metals! While they may have purposefully jumbled the exact procedures and omitted many a detail, they seem rather explicit as far as the matters to be used are concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellin Hermetist View Post
    Ηi Illen,

    I dont study many books anymore. Most of them are written by charlatans. Limojon de St Didier have written about the extraction of the principles of a certain mineral substance, Fulcanelli also I think, and not many others. Philalethes/ Starkey has described its own mercurial/antimonial path and some authors have said that they had success with it. The only books I have kept at my alchemical library at pdf or printed format are: 1) Summa of Geber, 2) Raymond Lulle, his Testament and Codicillus, 3) Arcanum of D' Espagnet and 4) Vallois and Vicot's manuscripts. If we expecte Summa, which give many insights about the internal nature of metals, the other treatises seems to agree in many points and describe one and the same path. Philosophically speaking, I believe that Vicot and Vallois manuscripts are the best among the alchemical treatises, and sheds a clear ligth at the work of Lulle and his almost uncomprehensible cabal.
    Apart from that, I believe that most of the treatises out there are written by real charlatans. Make the dissolution of the metal, its putrefaction, seperation of the principles, purification and recombination of them, and turn that wheel three consecutive times at four hours? Sorry but I dont buy that.
    Again, I agree that the later texts are primarily of interest insofar they take up the views of the medieval practitioners. This is not to say that some more recent authors, having profoundly explored Alchemy in their own right, were not able to make their own valuable contributions to the understanding of our art. For instance, Paracelsus and Sendivogius greatly elaborated on its underlying principles.

    This would be my advice to whomever it may concern: In the study of any art or science, start from first principles! Otherwise you end up all too easily not being able to see the forest for the trees.

    And those principles tie in with the natural philosophy of the ancients! Derived from Stoicism, Platonism, Aristotelianism, Hermetism - all blended into an admirably coherent and comprehensive cosmological system - this alone provides Ariadne's Thread that leads through the otherwise incomprehensible maze of the alchemical literature.

    It is by no means coincidental that a deep understanding of nature in terms of the old philosophers was seen as a prerequisite for undertaking the Great Work in days gone by.

    Best wishes on your path!

    Michael

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach

    And those principles tie in with the natural philosophy of the ancients! Derived from Stoicism, Platonism, Aristotelianism, Hermetism - all blended into an admirably coherent and comprehensive cosmological system - this alone provides Ariadne's Thread that leads through the otherwise incomprehensible maze of the alchemical literature.

    It is by no means coincidental that a deep understanding of nature in terms of the old philosophers was seen as a prerequisite for undertaking the Great Work in days gone by.
    That's absolutely right. It can also be helpful not to stop there, but see how they dressed up the "eternal" principles in medieval and early modern times, in order to remove/wash/decant/distill/sublime them from their dresses/feces.

    In this case, what if the metals aren't just metals? Just like the celestial bodies aren't just planets in this regard? Paracelsus said each man possess his own stars/planets inside his microcosm. What is written must not be taken by, but freed from the letter, as all the philosophers say.

  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    It's imo noticeable, that compared to modern books on alchemy, these older works NEVER explicitly speak about man as the subject of the art.

    Even the most materialistic researcher would acknowledge this "spiritual" part exists in the texts though! That doesn't mean such a person needs to "believe" in it. There is definately the method of the ancient greek philosphers or gnostics to mingle all kinds of religious and scientific believes, forms, deities together to eventually reach only one single thing (the stone).

    So if this method and believe system is without question there between the lines, but never openely revealed, which path do you think is the first, the latter, the fast (in three days with one subject and vessel only - like discussed in the appendix), the long, the hard, the soft, the violent?

    Which is the path Apuleius, Trevisianus and the other guys mentioned in this texts followed? This author cleary says he thinks that those people only knew and described one (the ancient) path. Which one is that? The path of an iron ore, urine, feces, antimony, or the more or less personal (but most likely not solely spiritual only) path to "the one"?

    They almost always say our starting matter is pretty disgusting. What is the matter that people were told to despise the most in those times?

    Oh: And remember Fulcanelli saying the mirror is the symbol for our starting matter
    Hello James Bond

    While there is little doubt in my mind that the older writers aimed at - in parallel with the practical work in the laboratory - the spiritual transformation of the practitioner, there is IMO little reason to assume that a physical substance of human origin traditionally played any role in the Great Work.

    So I, for one, will happily forego dabbling in pee and poop, but hey - whatever floats your boat!

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    Don't forget that most of the confusion derives from books describing two different paths - one very long, the other very short.

    Minerals are used in the traditional long path to prepare a universal solvent that is used on vulgar gold to extract its seed. There are various ways to achieve this.

    In the short path, vulgar gold is not required at all. This is the path rarely mentioned or explained. There are also various ways to achieve this - apparently, also including one that can take less than 4 hours in total (assuming all the conditions have been met).

    Thus the texts can become extremely confusing unless you not only know which "way" is being described, but which variation of that "way".
    Indeed, and there seem to be mixed ways being suggested as well.

    The so-called short path popularized by Philalethes goes back at least to Flamel. It seems to be based on Antimony as its starting matter.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
    Indeed, and there seem to be mixed ways being suggested as well.

    The so-called short path popularized by Philalethes goes back at least to Flamel. It seems to be based on Antimony as its starting matter.
    Actually, the really short path goes all the way back to the first to third centuries, when Maria the Prophetess explained that she made it in less than a day. It has nothing to do with antimony.

  9. #109
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    Drinking game: Have a shot of your favourite Spiritus each time this book says to not use your hands for the work.

    Edit: That isn't meant to put it down in making fun about it! I am actually enjoying reading it very much and am happy they brought it out.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post

    So I, for one, will happily forego dabbling in pee and poop, but hey - whatever floats your boat!

    I wasn't speaking about these substances either, Michael!

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