by LAPIDUS Additions and Extractions by STEPHEN SKINNER First published in the United States in by SAMUEL WEISER, INC. Broadway, New York. Title, In Pursuit of Gold: Alchemy in Theory and Practice. Authors, Lapidus, Stephen Skinner. Edition, illustrated. Publisher, Spearman, ISBN, In Pursuit of Gold by “Lapidus”, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.
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Artephius, an alchemist of the twelfth century, wrote in his treatise entitled The Secret Book that up to that time he had already lived a thousand years by aid of the Elixir.
One serpent holds in his mouth the tail of the other, to show that they are indissolubly conjoined by community of birth and destiny, and that our art is accomplished by the joint working of this mercurial sulphur, and sulphureous mercury. There is a good deal more, but its involved nature, much of which is padding, is best left alone until one is more advanced. Ib then that the alchemist takes four mercurial substances, namely four metals, as these are all alleged to have mercury as their base, and he reduces them to their two fundamental principles.
We must take good notice of this claim, for here lies one of the main stumbling blocks. One tends to read voraciously any alchemical book that comes to hand.
Alchemy texts archives – Lapidus
It is necessary then to reduce metallic bodies to their homogeneous water which does not wet the hands, and that from this water there may be generated a new metallic species, which is nobler by far than any existing metal, viz. Though the aforementioned sages wrote in different times, and in different languages, yet their works exhibit so marvellous an agreement, that any true philosopher may easily see that all their hearts have been gladdened by God in the discovery of this stone, and that they all had perform, work with their own hands.
The Secret Book 4. The Secrets of Antimony 6. Human greed has always been a deterrent against open declarations of success in the art, and therefore the philosophers thought it best either to remain silent, which many did, or else record their knowledge in the curious symbolic forms which each decided for himself; and what a chaos and babel has ensued from all these treatises!
All this work was carried out in a natural manner; no fires or furnaces like the metallurgist uses. It is important to remember that, if alchemy is a true science, and an art mastered by men of past ages, who were simple-minded by comparison with present knowledge and standards of research, how much easier ought it to be today to uncover all their secrets with our resources, equipment and materials. In the long-lived family of metals there are still many potential secrets, undreamed of by man, remaining to be discovered.
Following from this alchemical axiom was the idea that everything living consisted of earth and water. Calcination is the first purgation of the stone, the drying up of its humours, through its natural heat, which is stirred into vital action by the eternal heat of water, whereby the compound is converted into a black powder, which is yet unctuous and retains its radical humour. Be ready therefore to recognize this pair whenever they are met with in alchemical literature.
It is worthwhile puruit again attempt the unravelling of this great problem. It is called a stone by virtue of its fixed nature, and it resists the action of the fire as successfully as any stone.
Here you are presented with the first great secret and problem. Alexis is currently reading it Sep 18, Trivia About In Pursuit of Gol Candy Wyman marked it as to-read Aug 11, Its substance is in metals, but in form it differs widely from them; and in this sense, the metals are not our stone. In many ways we today have many advantages and facilities which they sorely lacked. This idea is altogether erroneous.
What man may do, provided he has the requisite knowledge, is to change things from one form into another, but not out of their genus, which is quite a different matter.
Christian marked it as to-read Jun 28, The simple answer is that there is hardly a treatise among the many thousands that can be clearly understood. For example, their fairly primitive furnaces which were heated with charcoal, wood, and less savoury fuels, were difficult to control at a constant temperature over long periods of time, whereas our modern thermostatically controlled hot-plates are able to carry on this task continuously without some one constantly in attendance.
Tired I slept on my idle bed in the illusion that the work had an end. This is all the present author intends to present of the Brief Guide, for to give more at this juncture is but to lead to confusion.
Alchemy texts archives – Lapidus
They were written often in Latin by masters who asserted they had themselves completed the work. It is the one true natural first substance, to which nothing is added, and from which nothing is subtracted, except certain superfluities, which however it will cast off without any aid by its own inherent vital action. The Secret book by Artephius presented later in this book will help solve this difficulty to a great extent.
Lisa Sophia marked it as to-read Oct 27, Erin Evans added it Apr 10,