Many new publications, projects, products and presentations coming this year. The rebirth from the Winter Rites is cleansing, the assessment of priorities are refined in the coldness of winter. The purity of survival, the incessant stragety and planning, the timing of all the alchemical projects, the celestial agricultural plantings are humble the spirit. It is the tenderness of youth, the freshness of immortal greens poking through the frigid forest ice. Here we hone our craft as hermits, with the joy and zeal of childhood in the sacred groves.
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The trilogy of the Oresteia, of which this play is the first part, centres on the old and everlastingly unsolved problem of the ancient blinded vengeance and the wrong that amendeth wrong. Every wrong is justly punished; yet, as the world goes, every punishment becomes a new wrong, calling for fresh vengeance. And more; every wrong turns out to be itself rooted in some wrong of old. It is never gratuitous, never untempted by the working of peitho (persuasion), never merely wicked. The Oresteia first shows the cycle of crime punished by crime which must be repunished, and then seeks for some gleam of escape, some breaking of the endless chain of “evil duty.” In the old order of earth and heaven there was no such escape. Each blow called for the return blow and must do so ad infinitum. But, according to Aeschylus, there is a new Ruler now in heaven, one who has both sinned and suffered and thereby grown wise. He is Zeus the Third Power, Zeus the Saviour, and his gift to mankind is the ability through suffering to Learn.” Gilbert Murray, in the preface to his translation of Agamemnon
OR THE PHILOSOPHICAL ELIXIR OF VEGETABLES
The Three certain Ways of Preparing it, fully and clearly set forth in One and Thirty
By Baro Urbigerus
A Servant of God in the Kingdom of Nature.
TO ALL TRUE LOVERS OF THE HERMETIC PHILOSOPHY
Having in our Precedent Aphorisms clearly delivered such infallible Rules and Instructions, as are necessary for producing our Grand Elixir, or Circulatum Majus, the only real Secret of the true Adepts, commanding in all the Kingdoms of Nature, which will, we question not, be no less pleasing to all other lovers of Sciences. than to our Disciples; and being farther inclined fully to inform them, how to preserve themselves and others in perfect Health by obviating any Distemper, that may otherwise overcome them, before they can attain to the Accomplishment of their Desires: We have thought it convenient to impart likewise to them our three several ways of making our Vegetable Elixir, or Circulatum minus, which may be prepared, and brought to its utmost Perfection in the space of a Philosophical Month by any skilful Artist, who shall comprehend and follow our certain Directions, laid down in these our subsequent Aphorisms, where the whole Work is so evidently demonstrated, that none, who is ever so little versed in Chymistry, can be liable to mistake. Nor do we any way doubt, but all those, who shall with a sincere and upright Intention peruse these our plainly-written Aphorisms. will find themselves obliged to bless Almighty God for his infinite Mercy in having inspired us to open their Eyes, that they may see, what is requisite for their present Health, and future Happiness, both which we heartily wish to every one. who, as becomes a true Philosopher, unfeignedly loves God and his Neighbor.
Circulatum minus Urbigeranum,
THE THREE CERTAIN WAYS OF PREPARING IT.
Our Circulatum minus is only a specificated Elixir, belonging to the Vegetable Kingdom, by which without any Fire, or farther Preparation of the Vegetables, we can in a Moment extract their true Essence, containing their Virtue, Quality, and Property: which is a great Chymical Curiosity, performing Wonders in the Practice of Physick, and in demonstrating some Works of Nature.
We call it Circulatum, because, tho never so often used in any Extraction, or Chymical Experiment what-ever, it loses nothing of its Quality, or Property: which is a Prerogative, pertaining to the Universal Elixir, called also the Circulatum majus, because it commands in all the three Kingdoms of Nature; whilst this, being restrained to one only Kingdom, is for that reason stil.’d Minus.
Out of Dianas undetermined Tears, when Apollo has appeared, after the Separation of the three Elements, Determination, Digestion, and glorious Resurrection, we can, without the Addition of any other created thing, prepare this our determined Elixir: Which is the first, noblest, and secretest way of the Philosophers.
The Determination of our Dianas Tears consists only in their perfect and indissoluble Union with the fixt Vegetable Earth, philosophically prepared, purified, and spiritualized: for the love of which they are forced to leave their first universal undetermined Property, and be clothed with a determined particular one, which is required to this our Circulatum minus.
Our second way of preparing this our Vegetable Elixir is by a right Manipulation of a Plant of the noblest Degree, standing by itself, or supported by others: after the Preparation of which, and its Putrefaction, Reduction into an Oil, Separation of the three Principles, with their Purification, Union, and Spiritualization, the whole is to be turned into a spiritual ever-living Fountain, renewing every Plant, that shall be plunged in it.
The third and common way is only a Conjunction of a fixt Vegetable Salt with its own volatil sulphureous Spirit, both to be found ready prepared by any vulgar Chymist, and since in their Preparation the purest Sulphur, containing the Soul, has suffered some Detriment by their not being philosophically manipulated, they cannot be inseparably joined without a sulphureous Medium, by which the Soul being strengthened, the Body and Spirit are also through it made capable of a perfect Union.
The proper Medium, requisite for the indissoluble Union of these two Subjects, is only a sulphureous and bituminous Matter, issuing out of a Plant, living or dead, which is to be found in several parts of the World, and is known to all manner of Men, (the Copavian we find to be the best, and after that the Italian,) by which, after it has been separated from its feculent parts through our Universal Menstruum, all the Pores and Atoms of the fixt Vegetable Salt, which is extremely fortified by it, being dilated, it is made capable of receiving its own Spirit, and uniting itself with it.
To fortify the Sulphur, and open the Pores of the Salt, no other Method is to be used, but to imbibe the same with the bituminous Matter in a moderate digestive Heat, as if one would hatch Chickens, and as the Salt grows dry, the Imbibitions are to be repeated, until you find it so fully saturated that it refuses to imbibe any more of the Matter.
In the Course of Imbibitions the whole Mass is at least nine or ten times a day to be stirr’d with a Spatula, or some other Instrument of dry Wood, by which reiterated Motion, the bituminous Matter receives a better ingress into the Body, and perfects its Operation the sooner.
Great care is to be taken, that in the performance of the lmbibitions, no kind of Soil or Dust fall into your Matter, for the prevention of which your Vessel may be kept covered with a Paper, prickt full of holes, or any other suitable Covering, and that nothing come near it, which has its own internal Sulphur: for the Pores of the Salt being very much dilated and opened, it may easily determine it self to any other Subject, and so spoil your Undertaking.
If in three, or four Weeks time at farthest, your fixt Vegetable Salt does not manifest its full Saturation, it will certainly be in vain for you to go any farther with it: for you may assure yourself, that you either err in the Notion of the Salt or of the real sulphureous Medium, or in the Management of the Imbibitions.
When your Imbibitions are fully performed, your Salt will then be in a convenient readiness to receive its own Spirit, by which it is made volatil, spiritual, transparent, and wonderfully penetrating, entring of a sudden into the Pores and Particles of every Vegetable, and separating in a moment their true Essence or Elements.
Altho the Salt is fully prepared for the Reception of its own Spirit, yet unless you well observe the right Proportion of them (which is, that the volatil always predominate over the fixt) you will never be able to make any perfect Union between these two Subjects, contrary in Quality, though not in Nature.
Before you begin your Distillations and Cohobations, after the Addition of the Vegetable Spirit to its own Salt, a Putrefaction of eight or ten days is to precede, during which time, the sulphureous Spirit, strengthened by the bituminous Matter, and finding its Salt fit for Conjunction with it, has the power to enter into its Pores, to facilitate its Volatilization, and Union.
If after six or seven Distillations and Cohobations of the distilled upon the Remainder, you do not find your Spirit to be extremely sharp, and the Remainder in the bottom altogether insipid, it will be an evident Sign, that you fail in the true knowledge of the Vegetable Spirit, which, being exceeding volatil, has in its Nature power to volatilize its own Body, and unite itself inseparably with it, finding it capable of its Reception.
It is to be observed, that in the Progress of your Distillations the sulphureous Medium do not in the least ascend: for as it is a real Medium, concurring to unite the Body with the Spirit, before the Spiritualization of the Body, and without the Concurrence of which no perfect Union of these two Subjects is to be expected; so on the contrary in the Progress of the Work its Concurrence would be highly disadvantageous to them both, and totally subvert your Operation.
The ascending of the sulphureous Medium, when the Spirit begins to carry over its own, Body, to unite itself inseparably with it, evidently and certainly signifies, that you do not regulate your Fire, as you should, and that, instead of giving a gentle vaporous Heat to facilitate the Union, you give a violent one to destroy it.
When your Salt is brought to its perfect Spiritualization, and real Union with its own volatile Spirit, then you will have in your power your Circulatum minus, or Vegetable Elixir, and Menstruum, with which you will be able to perform wonders in the Vegetable Kingdom, separating in a moment not only their Principles or Elements, but also at one and the same Operation the Pure from the Impure.
If into this your Vegetable Elixir you put any green Vegetable, shred in pieces, it will in less than half a quarter of an hour without any external Heat putrify, and precipitate itself into the bottom quite dead, (which is nothing but the cursed Excremental Earth) and on the Top will swim a yellow Oil, containing the Salt and Sulphur, and the Elixir will be of the Color of the Plant, comprehending its Vegetable Spirit: which if it does not, ’tis a sign, that your Operations have not been Philosophical.
One only drop of this yellowish Oil, given in Distempers according to the Virtue and Quality, attributed to the Plant, every Morning and Evening in a Glass of Wine, or any other convenient Vehicle, will infallibly and insensibly cure those Distempers, and corroborate the vital Spirits, if constantly taken to purify the Blood in sickly and infectious Times.
If you put Coral into this Menstruum, you will see an admirable Experiment: for although its Pores are compacter, than in any other Vegetable; yet it will on a sudden transmit its internal Spirit into the Menstruum, and sending its Soul and Body, like a blood-red Oil to the Top, will at last fall to the Bottom like a grayish Excrement.
If Myrrh, Aloes, and Saffron, of each an equal Quantity, are put into this Menstruum, the truest Elixir Proprietatis (as Paracelsus terms it) which is a most excellent Cordial, and almost of as great Efficacy and Virtue, as the Universal Elixir itself, in curing all curable Distempers, will presently swim on the Top, and its Caput Mortuum will separate itself into the Bottom.
This Vegetable Menstruum dissolves not only all sorts of Gums, or any other kind of Substance in the Vegetable Kingdom, but also all sorts of Oils and Balsams, coming out of Trees, separating their true Essence, by which you may perform wonderful things both upon living Bodies, and dead ones, the last of which it preserves forever without opening or any farther Preparation of them.
Though this Menstruum is only specificated upon Vegetables, it will nevertheless in a moment draw the Tincture out of Metals and Minerals; but it will not separate all their Principles, not being the appropriated Menstruum for such Operations; and though such Sulphurs are highly balsamic for the Lungs and Spleen, yet since our Elixir Proprietatis far exceeds those praeter natural Preparations, we only give this as a curious Chymical Experiment.
Since this Vegetable Menstruum is eternal, you must observe, that you lose nothing of its Quantity or Quality in separating of it from the Oil, and Spirit of the Vegetable, which is done by a gentle Destillation in Balneo aporoso, the Vessel being very well luted and dried before. The Menstruum, coming over with the Flegm of the Vegetable, from which it is by a Distillation in Balneo to be separated for farther uses, leaves the Oil at the Bottom, united with its own Spirit, which will easily go over in any common Heat, not leaving anything behind it: which is a Mark of its Spiritualization, Purification, and Regeneration, that it has received from the Menstruum.
Out of this Oil or Essence of your Vegetable so prepared, or by any other Philosophical way, (as we have mentioned in our second Manner of making this our Elixir) if you know how to putrify it natually without any Fire, and to separate all our Principles out of it, purifying and uniting them inseparably together, being all made spiritual and transparent, you will then have out of this second Regeneration the greatest Arcanum in the World, as upon Vegetables, so also upon Minerals and Metals, except Gold and Silver.
If this regenerated Essence be determined with our First Matter, it will then be in a Capacity radically to dissolve all sorts of Metals or Minerals, and principally Gold, which is imperceptibly dissolved in it, like Ice in common Water, and can never be separated common Gold again, neither by Distillation, nor Digestion: out of which, after a Philosophical Digestion, Separation of the three Principles, with their Purification, Union, Digestion, and third Regeneration, you may prepare the great Medicine of Medicines, of equal Virtue and Quality with the Grand Elixir upon human Bodies, and with our Mercury simplex, upon Metals or Minerals.
The determinating this regenerated Menstruum with our first Matter is to be performed by its Amalgamation with it, in which the Vegetable Menstruum, drawing out of it all its Qualities and Properties, and uniting them with its own, is made capable of the same Virtue and Property, as our Mercury Simplex, in dissolving and volatilizing every created thing, that shall come near it.
Some are of Opinion, that both the Elixirs may be produc’d out of several determined things as Human Excrements, May-dew, (which they call also their Menstruum from above, or Water from the Clouds) etc. as also that the Grand Elixir may be prepared out of this, or any other Vegetable regenerated Menstruum; but since we know, that such Menstruums, which they call their Philosophical Mercury, although they may dissolve and volatilize Metals, yet cannot meliorate any of them, this Dissolution and Volatilization being neither natural nor Philosophical, we therefore with good Reason judge all those Opinions to be only false Suppositions and ill-grounded and imaginary Notions.
We with our Divine Master Hermes absolutely affirm, that, Almighty God having, after he had created all things, commanded every one of them to procreate out of its own kind, our Elixirs are not to be produced by any of those sophistical ways, as we have fully made appear in these and our precedent Aphorisms, in which we have given ample Instructions for the preparing the Universal Elixir out of our undetermined Matter, and the specificated one out of the Root of Vegetables.
Out of the true Affection and Charity, we have for all Lovers of Arts, we advise every one, who shall desire to prepare either of these our Elixirs, only to follow our Infallible Rules, being the Compendium of the whole Practice and Theory according to all true Philosophers, and not to mind any other: for some having delivered things by Hearsay, others from Reading, and very few from their own Practice, they may easily be imposed upon and deluded by any Pseudo-chymist or pretended Adept.
AN EXPLANATION OF THE FIGURE, PREFIXT TO THE APHORISMI URBIGERANI.
Having in our One Hundred and One Aphorisms so perspicuously laid open all the Difficulties, and so amply taught the compleat Theory and Practice of the whole Hermetic Mystery, that any ingenious Lover of Chymistry will not only be enabled to understand the most abstruse writings of the Philosophers, but also to effect any real Experiment, which is to be expected in the Progress of our Celestial Art; and yet being apt to believe, that such, as are not our Disciples, may perhaps meet with some of the Philosophical Figures, the meaning of which they may not so easily comprehend, we have judg’d it highly experient, in the Front of this our little Book to place this our Figure, by which, being a perfect Compendium of all the Philosophical Emblems, the rest maybe without any great difficulty understood. Now since this our Figure, mystically representing all our subjects and Operations, cannot but admit of many and various Interpretations, all which if we should here set down, our Aphorisms (where they are already delivered, and of which this would then be a Repetition,) would be altogether useless and insignificant: we therefore at first esteemed it very superfluous to give any farther Illustration of it. But our desire being to do all the good, we can, to the Public, we have on second Thoughts resolved with our wanted Brevity to deliver the following Explanation for the better Comprehension both of It and our Aphorisms. The Tree is a Supporter of the Motto, Virtus unita fortior: which, being to be read from the side of the Serpent, representing by the Half-Moon on its Head the Planet, under whose Influence it is born, is to be referred to it according to its particular Motto, which signifies, that, if you take it alone, it can do little or nothing in our Art, as wanting the Assistance of others. By the Green Dragon is to be understood our first undetermined Matter, comprehending all our Principles, (as is demonstrated by the Half-Moon on its Head, the Sun in its Body, and the Cross on its Tail,) and denoting by its Motto, that it can perform the whole work without being joined with any other created or artificially prepared thing: which is our first way. But this our Dragon, when copulating with our Serpent, is forced to comply with her, degrading itself from its undetermined Being for the production of our second way. Apollo with the Sun on his head, and Diana with the Half-Moon, embracing each other, shew our third way, and the Continuation of our first and second. The River, into which they descend, signifies the State, they must be reduced into, before they can be in a Capacity of being born again, and before in any of our three ways they can be brought to a perfect Spiritualization and Union. Apollo and Diana, coming out of the River in one wonderful Body, Diana having obtained all, represent our Herculean works, ready finished, and the beginning of their Conjunction, and by their going to set their foot on firm, ground, where she is to sow the noble Fruits for the Procreation, is to be understood the Continuation of their Conjunction, till they are fully united and perfected. In this Scheme also, as well as in our Aphorisms, are mystically exhibited all the principal Points of Faith and Religion, comprised in the Volumes of the Old and New Testament: whence it manifestly appears, that the Contemplation of Nature truly leads to the Compre hension of those heavenly Verities, by which alone we can expect to arrive at the Enjoyment of that blessed Immortality, to which, as to the true and ultimate End of our Creation, all our Endeavors are to be directed.
Further comment from The Golden Game by Stanislas Klossowski De Rola Pg.307, note 497.
‘Virtue united is stronger.’ (Virtus unita fortior.) The virtue inherent in the Seed produces the miracle of the Tree. As the acorn becomes the oak, so does the Stone of the Philosophers grow into the Philosopher’s Stone. Nil sine vobis, ‘Naught without you,’ says the mercurial Snake with the martial tail, to his opposite number the winged Dragon with the saturnine tail. Per Nos omnia, ‘Through us, everything,’ answers the latter who, being the symbol of the Materia Prima, contains its future potentialities.
‘I am a captive of thy beauty,’ whispers Apollo to his sister Diana, indicating his incestuous designs (and the initial domination of the female in their tryst). ‘I will vanquish thee yet further,’ answers Diana, pointing to the rising Waters of Dissolution. The hieroglyph, which is in the place of an arrow on her bow, is the symbol of Gaea, the Earth, which indicates the kind of earth that must be dissolved in their fiery embrace. On the other side of the Tree, as the waters recede, the Rebis~Hermaphrodite emerges, and his/her lunar face addresses its alter ego (the Sun): ‘Thy Regeneration is in my power.’ The other face gratefully exclaims: ‘By thee [living water] I shall live.’