Friday, 23 October 2015

The Alchemical Garden by Daniel Stolcius [1624] (English)

To The Reader
I write my poems for the learned and the unlearned; both read them with modesty. He who understands this well looks into a true mirror; he who does not know it may learn much if he is industrious. To those who mock us, saying that our beard is covered with hellebore, we bid: Depart! For if you read aright you will find nothing of the hellebore flavour.


Daniel Stoclius (Daniel Stoltz von Stoltzenberg/Stoclius de Stolcenberg) was born in Bohemia on August 11th, 1600. He was a Poet Laureate (before 1624), (Paracelsisan) physician, astrologer, and alchemist.

He attained his M.A. in Prague in 1619, where he became the pupil of Rosicrucian alchemist Michael Maier. In 1623 he was in England, were he met Rosicrucian philosopher Robert Fludd and the alchemist and inventor Cornelius Drebbel. Among his other contacts (later in life) was Johann Amos Comenius.

In 1624, he met the publisher Lucas Jennis in Frankfurt. Jennis' copperplate engravings were used in the production of Hermetic emblems, used to convey the symbolic ideas in alchemy pictorially, and he published the alchemical works of Michael Maier, Johann Daniel Mylius, Thomas Norton and many others. Other names associated with Jennis include Basil Valentine and John Dee.

Of his meeting with Jennis, Stolclius writes in Viridarium chymicum: 

"When I saw the office of Lucas Jennis in Frankfort on the Main these copper engraved drawings, they pleased me so much that I asked Jennis for them. Praising me for my desire, he gratified it immediately with the proviso that describe each figure with a short poem and publish my labours."

This was to be the genesis of his Viridarium chymicum, this alchemical emblem book consisting of 107 images. As Stolclius states in the Preface:

"Here you see many figures, and below them verses and poems. The figures are taken from other authors and works; the verses are my own."

In fact, the 107 engravings are from previously published books by Basil Valentine, Michael Maier and Johann Daniel Mylius, and other known "alchemical image sequences". He added 6 line Epigrams because, as he states:

"After I had the work begun and half finished I observed that the descriptions no longer corresponded to the figures; nor could I find their meaning anywhere else. I found myself perplexed and in a labyrinth; nor could I find means to extricate myself from this peculiar situation. But I did not want to leave the work unfinished. So I compared the philosopher’s writings and excerpted the explanations which I communicate to you without hesitation."

The translation that follows should be considered a "work in progress" or "beta version".  It is based off of an uncredited English translation of the German text, "Chymisches Lust-Gardlein", where "Viridiam" in the end becomes "Pleasure Garden" (a translation I reject). This english version does not contain the German or Latin text. Although I do not know latin, it became obvious that some of the translations (from Latin-to-German-to-English) are corrupt and not true to the original latin text at all, so I started over to re-edit the images to include the original latin text 

Layout of original manuscript.

I say it's a work in progress because I plan to, over time, edit the english translations to be more correct. For instance, "secundo" has always been translated to "other" instead of "second", "symbolum" as "confession"(?) etc. I've made some corrections, but there is still plenty more work to do.



Dear friendly reader:

You will probably wonder at my undertaking and be curious to know what prompted me. For, to this twofold fate or divine providence are subjected all things known and unknown.

To the end that no judgement of myself may cross your lips prematurely, I proceed to inform you about my work.

Remain, then, a short time at this place, so that you will not be drawn or carried through this pleasure-garden as if it were a sea of waves. Know its beginning and its construction. I shall hide nothing from you nor decorate myself with foreign plumes, though this behaviour is much in vogue today.

Here you see many figures, and below them verses and poems. The figures are taken from other authors and works; the verses are my own.

Listen, and I shall tell you how this all came to pass.

All drawings in one colour, especially those engraved in copper, appeal to me very much, I consider it a much greater art to convey an idea to the human mind by means of one colour than by the aid of many colours. 

Therefore, I thought of preparing my own album that would regale my eyes with artistic figures and my mind with the understanding of occult things.

The special occasion was a journey that I undertook in the interests of medicine and when I heard of and experienced with sadness the wonderful and miserable conditions of my beloved fatherland.

When I saw the office of Lucas Jennis in Frankfort on the Main these copper engraved drawings, they pleased me so much that I asked Jennis for them. Praising me for my desire, he gratified it immediately with the proviso that describe each figure with a short poem and publish my labours. What could I do? To refuse acceptance of the plates and do nothing would have smacked of ingratitude and laziness. To act and comply with his request was selfish and bold. I decided to be friendly rather then ungrateful, and I promised to publish the drawings in such a manner that I would not disclose the secret interpretation nor add my own, but state that which in the right and free text could be understood and brought into verses.

After I had the work begun and half finished I observed that the descriptions no longer corresponded to the figures; nor could I find their meaning anywhere else. I found myself perplexed and in a labyrinth; nor could I find means to extricate myself from this peculiar situation. But I did not want to leave the work unfinished. So I compared the philosopher’s writings and excerpted the explanations which I communicate to you without hesitation.

I did this work, not because I sought my own advantage or courted popular favour, but because I wanted to satisfy the wishes of my friend and fulfil my own promise, and to ease for you, dear reader, your own work so that you do not have to search great works with the loss of much time but be prepared to follow nature’s sign and footstep.

And if you please, I shall tell you more.

It is my single purpose to awaken in you from the love of the volcanic fire the love of the philosophic fire. There may come from it a better observation not only of natural things but also of diseases and medicines, and great benefits for humanity in general. Because the fire alone is the cause of nearly all secret things in the whole world. Without fire, man would never have known the melting and treating of metals; never would he have understood the dissolution of all things into the three primary principles; never would man have known the birth of things, nor the cause of disease, and the nature of remedies. Without fire man would never have seen the reality of things; he would have seen their useless shadows only. Like the Aesopian fox he would have jumped around the pot of stew. Man should thank the Lord Almighty for inexpressible gifts received from Him, love the great treasures, and hand them on to posterity. With this light one cannot err in the darkness; with this staff one cannot fall on a slippery path. 

Disregarding misleading words and fantasies, man should follow the guidance of nature, examine and investigate all things by the light of reason and the experienced gained in the true fire. He should recognize the inexhaustible abysses of nature and the unspeakable wonders upon this great scene of perfection and be encouraged in the praise of the creator of all things. Without envy or avarice he should joyfully help his neighbours. For this shall be the noblest purpose and aim of our labours that we employ all things in the love of God and of our neighbour. Those who act differently I disregard and laugh at. He who succeeds in producing white from black and says that white is black, is bad and foolish. Therefore, dear reader, be on your guard. Use the book to your heart’s desire and walk in our pleasure-garden.

Daniel Stoltzius Von Stoltzenberg

I. A Commentary on the Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine

The First Key of Basilius Valentinus

The crown of the King shall be of gold, beautiful, pure and clear.
A chaste Bride is led to her Groom; that is as it ought to be.
Then give to eat to the King the grey Wolf that wants to eat continuously.
This do three times with a strong Fire; burn the Wolf entirely.
Then the King will come forth; without a blemish, clean, he will stand before you.
He can decorate you with his blood, and renovate you.

The Second Key of Basilius

When the garment is taken off. Then the Sun appears.
Diana no longer wears her garment, so that marriage becomes more desirable.
From two noble fencers the Bride receives delicious Water,
so that she can bathe her own body for her Groom.
The fighters may well fight. But if the fight comes to an end on both sides,
the fighters bring out of the fight treasures and great booty.

The Third Key of Basilius

From the rocks unite the Eagle with the Dragon,
so that he extract his white feathers. Solve with greatest zeal.
Remember, preserve the Sulphur with the astral Salt,
so that the Cock in this way may devour the sly Fox.
And that he drown in the Water and become alive again through Fire,
again to be eaten by the Fox entirely.

The Fourth Key of Basilius

All flesh that came into the world took its origin from the Earth.
It must again become Earth, and consequently also ashes.
A Salt will come from the Earth that causes the flesh to ensue:
Which in the mentioned manner is resolved with greatest zeal.
If you desire politely to see the form again,
then give to the Salt the Sulphur and the Mercury.

The Fifth Key of Basilius

The Earth for itself brings nothing to the light of day.
The Spirit must maintain everything and give it life.
This Spirit has its beginning in the heavenly stars.
Therefore, all metals receive at once plenty of force and effect.
The stone is strong and unites in love with the iron.
Our generous Lion greatly loves our Mercury.

The Sixth Key of Basilius

If woman is joined to man, from the seed, fruit she bears:
When Neptune has perfectly prepared its watery bath.
Then a doubly fiery man must be fed with a White Swan;
Together must they kill themselves and become alive again.
The Four Winds will roar so that the King, with great honour,
through Fire is united with the Bride that trusts him.

The Seventh Key of Basilius

Spring, summer and autumn, winter, Water and the white Salt
produce through the Light of the Sun out works and the admixture.
Provided that you in weight use not too much nor too little.
Because then it would surely happen that your work will not succeed.
Also seal the glass with the hermetic seal
so that the material will not be eaten by the winds.

The Eighth Key of Basilius

The seed is laid into the Earth for its decay.
In the grave our bodies lie hidden without worries, so that they come again.
You can find all the elements in one single element:
If you only know how, in such things, to bring also everything out of one.
This is the purpose and aim of the work and the premise of our great labours.
If you direct now adroitly the arrow then you will have the treasures of the Key.


The Ninth Key of Basilius

See to it that three Serpents come forth from three hearts,
After you have sealed them up in a glass container.
In such things Venus will then bring a beautiful Peacock's tail
and also regale your eyes with a White Swan.
Then, added to Saturnus, the Black Raven will do its damage,
and the Eagle's feather will grow beautiful and fine.

The Tenth Key of Basilius

In the beginning the Sun must give the life to Hermogeni.
The Moon with its kind and shine will help Hyperion.
Mercury must suffer much so that he die and be destroyed
if not you willingly add to him its Iamsuph.
If you understand there words correctly, sing the praise of you Creator,
that he has gifted man with such reason and wisdom.

The Eleventh Key of Basilius

Orpheus took Euridice, or the brother took the sister,
Ashis wife so that the blood from both bodies may become pure.
Thus, unite the sweat of Father and Mother, when it is still warm, industriously.
Let it enter into and seal it up at once in the globe of the white Master.
Then, with pleasure, you will see the generous Lion standing.
It will see so many of its body's fruits that they cannot be counted.

The Last Key of Basilius

When then the Lion has devoured the Serpent:
Then Mercury will produce a thousand fruits and flowers.
Because without the ferment of the gold this stone cannot work.
If it has found its way it will tincture that much more.
He who uses this means will persevere
and he will see that through his sighs God will be willing toward him.

The Material of the Philosopher's Stone

It is one thing, and through two it is also three things;
All there are but one. If you do not understand me, you will find none.
The Dragon is not dear, because it is lazy and loses its power.
But it has within itself the King's bourn and rich gifts.
There are two Mercuries: quickly unite the volatile and the fixed.
It is one Soul, one body, one Spirit to which Art and Nature direct you.

Three Possessors of the Philosopher's Stone

Here you see, dear reader, three artists of the highest Art,
Who through their zeal have succeeded in obtaining the Stone, so highly esteemed.
The known Cremerus stands in the center, Nortonus to the left,
At the right Basilius; Their praise cannot be passed in silence.
Read zealously their works, then also use the volcanic tools,
if you want to pluck the golden apples in the land of the Hesperides.

Mercurius, a Lord of all Worldly Things

The goose, the bee, the calf, and Mercurius, the silkworm and the sheep,
As well as the mussel and the flax, are worldly goods and riches.
Dear reader, I implore you, follow not many masters.
Better beware of them and their burden, if you possess the knowledge of this Art.
Remember that the other things are perishable. Take care to serve God alone!
Then seek with joyous courage Hermes' great good and treasure.

III. The Champions of Alchemy and the Principle Alchemists of Twelve Nations

Hermes Trismegistus, called the Greatest, an Egyptian.

Mercurius, also called Hermes, was a king of Egypt.
On account of his character, office, art and wisdom, he was the greatest of this times.
He has described a variety of beautiful things, wonderful ones, too.
With wisdom he explained the excellence of the chemical Art.
The Father of the maritial union is the Sun; The Moon, however, is the Mother.
The third that directs it all must be the Fire.

Mary, the Hebrew Woman

Mary of the Jewish race is indeed a sister of Moses.
She is very happy, and remains amongst the number of chemists.
Many secrets were revealed to her through the Stone.
With her wise sayings she taught much good.
The smoke loves the haze and the haze loves the smoke.
But the white plant of the high mountain partakes of both.

Democritus, a Greek

Democritus, often displayed much laughter.
He laughed at all times at the vanity of the human heart.
Happily, this man had seen many foreign countries.
He arrived at various riches and possibilites of Nature.
He taught: That the mobile shadow is taken from the body;
With constant fortune one will learn that they produce much fiery medicament.

Morienes, a Roman

Morienes did not care for the pomp and pleasures of the world;
Voluntarily he retired into solitude.
The whole Art he explained in his dialogue with Calidius;
Though to inexperienced people it remains a secret forever.
Take what you trample under your feet! Because if you want to climb
without a ladder you will fall on your head.

Avicenna, an Arab

Avicenna was honoured by the Ancients as a great prince
of medical Art, for he knew many things.
To the world he bared the secrets of Mastership.
He incorporated in his writings many fine sayings and words.
Unite a garden toad with a flying Eagle; then you will see
in our Art, excellently, the right Mastership.

Albertus Magnus, a German

Albertus who was known far and near often carries this surname
Because he was great in the Art, industrious and excellent.
He knew many arts that he described,
and to this day his name is greatly honoured.
He says: Those who write of one agree in this:
He has two kinds of organs and a twofold body.

Arnold Villanova, a Frenchman

Arnold when in Rome acquired the right gold 
and decided to give it the true test. 
In chemistry, astrology, and medicine he was proficient. 
His works clearly prove what a wise man he was. 
He says: Our young son will issue from the marriage union, 
aas the fruit of our bodies, a truly sweet child.

Thomas Aquinas, an Italian

Thomas Aquinas has the name of Angelic Doctor:
With his teachings he was known universally.
It is often claimed that his teacher was Albertus Magnus.
He has drawn freely from the bourne of the chemical Art.
Like Nature, namely, the Art comes from Mercury,
so come all pure metals from the mixture with Sulphur.

Raymund Lully, a Spaniard

Raymund confesses openly that he finally came
to the perfection of the chemical Art through the favours of his teacher Arnold.
In reason he was Proteus, in philosophy Policletus,
in art he equalled Daedalus, he was a great honour to the Spanish people.
He says: A man produces the beautiful body of a child
if he takes to his side a woman, as is usually the case.

Roger Bacon, an Englishman

Roger Bacon, though a monk,
as a professor at Oxford in England was an honour to the arts.
The greatest wonder works he put before our eyes,
to be had by all in the course of nature.
If you gain equal weight again to the elements,
you will see with your own eyes many gifts of his.

Melchior Cibinensis, a Hungarian

Melchior, called Cibinensis, was born in Hungary.
Though he was a priest he possessed the golden Art.
In the form of the mass he alone described the precious Stone.
Whether is be so, you may judge according to the tenets of the artists.
Like a tender babe is nourished by the milk,
so the precious Stone has to be fed with pure milk.

Michael Sendivogius, a Pole

Though this name in the past has been kept in oblivion,
its praise now penetrates the darkness, as it ought to be, indeed.
Prague in Bohemia has well acknowledged his works.
He has written twelve books and taught accordingly.
He said: Saturn himself must water the Earth
if it, dear Sun and Moon, shall bear your beautiful flowers.

IV. Five Things

Meteoric Things
That is, all things that stay above

The elements produce many beautiful colours, dew, and rain,
thunder, hail, lightning, and wind; So experience teaches.
Thus the artist's Stone gives many fine figures,
that is, only in the glass, illuminated by the light of the Air.
Therefore, one can readily compare the Stone to dew and rain;
Also to thunder, lightning, and fire, and even to fierce storms.

Mineral Things
That is, what is dug out of and found in the Earth

How many precious stones, how many metals, large and small,
are found deep in the Earth! They must be sought with zeal.
Many important things you can have through your Art and charity,
if you desire to know well their kind birth, quality, and gender.
Yet without work, labour, and pain nothing is dug nor found.
Thus you cannot without work count such fine riches.

Vegetable Things
That is, What grows upon the Earth

Like a garden greens beautifully and bears many fine herbs,
so also this our garden bears many forms and kinds.
Here stand the beautiful hyacinth, also grapevines,
wheat and poppies, and red roses.
Golden apples and mulberry trees can here be found;
Myrtle, laurel, olive trees, liquid-amber, and the prettiest saffron.

Animal Things
That is, all that is animal and has life, or the living

Over hill and vale many animals walk and run.
The Air carries many birds; The Water is full of fish.
But more important to the artists is the ram, bull, Lion, and bear,
the mule, and the wild pig, the lynx, Wolf, and the dog.
Look at the Eagle, Phoenix, and Peacock, the Raven and the Swan;
Do not forget the whale, adders, otters, and the bees.


What comprises and maintains the work of the great world
is contained in the small world, namely, in Man.
Europe is the head, indeed, Africa nourishes the heart;
Asia supplies the abdomen, America the hands and feet.
Death destroys the harmony of the human body.
Therefore man passes away like a bubble or like smoke.

V. Twenty Eight Plates about the Philosopher’s Stone and its Cultivation

1. The Division of the Stone into the Four Elements

If you desire to have the son of wisdom with all his beautiful gifts,
then divide the four elements and put each in its place.
This operation will not succeed unless you putrefy the material 
that shall bear to you the son. 
through distillation the powder becomes clear. That nature is hidden 
we experience here. And what is known to us, hides itself again.

2. The Four Effects, Disintegration, Lavation, Composition, and Stability

Four beautiful sisters of fine forms and equal fortune are portrayed to you.
They show you, in a pleasant way, what your work is like.
The first one tells you to disperse any part resulting from disintegration. 
The other teaches you how you lave together such excellent materials. 
The third advises you to put together separate parts; 
And the fourth, how to stabilize the Stone in the Fire.

3. The Stone of the Philosophers from the Spirit, Body and Soul.

Like this unique Serpent shows three heads
and has but one body full of deadly poison.
So receives the offspring of Sun and Moon the three natures, 
and it has in its own body, too, a fierce poison. 
Therefore the King and the Raven, the Swan and the Peacock indicate the colours; 
If you see them with your own eyes you will be surer of the Art.

4. Our Dragon

Delius with his warm arrow hurriedly kills the rough Dragon
so that he can put its life into the Fire.
If one would ask: Who is this Dragon?
The Ancients would answer: It is the Sulphur.
If now you want to know whence Delius takes his bow and arrow,
The resting Lion will explain the riddle.

5. Calcination is the 1st Step of the Philosophers

Mercurius sits happily winged at the table.
He is guarded on both sides by Sun and Moon.
Upon this table, not by accident, grow herbs with flowers.
The courageous Lion unhesitatingly devours the Serpent.
Through powder the volatile Spirit is generally fixed and made permanent.
Then when put on its own soil it enjoys itself with fruit and flowers.

6. The 2nd Step is the Disintegration or Solution

The hot Lion promptly devours the Sun in the Heavens.
The beautiful nymph brings for this occasion her tender flowers.
Then the fiery Man will sweat and become hot in the Fire;
Also he will resolve his body and carry it afar through moisture.
Expel the mastery accomplished through the mentioned powder's force,
So that happily and beautifully Mercurius may issue therefrom.

7. The 3rd Step is the Separation

The broken fetters fall; That which is Light rises;
That which is heavy sinks; Each one has its place.
The heaviness of the Earth destroys the Light things from above.
Proud hearts are hurt, and put on low stools.
However, the lightness of the Air mixes with the heaviness,
For it embellishes all with its glorius Light.

8. The 4th Step is the Conjunction

After rain often appears beautiful, lovely sunshine;
After anger comes again much greater love.
What you have separated, unite again completely,
so that many fertile seeds bless you with many children.
In the meantime Neptune prepares a warm bath,
so that husband and wife wash their bodies clean.

9.The 5th Step is the Putrefaction

Destruction brings about death of the material;
But the Spirit renews, like before, the life.
Hence the black globe signifies the black Raven.
Also the Light Spirit quickly expels human consciousness.
Provided that the seed is putrified in the right soil;
Otherwise all labour, work, and Art will be in vain.

10. The Four Grades of Warmth

The Sun passes in one year through the whole Zodiac,
and renews with its warmth all herbs, trees and flowers.
Hence one has to learn the four grades of our labours:
Which will then be a norm in the undertaken work.
The are the Ram, Cancer, Libra, and Capricornus.
Find out which amongst them is first and which follow.

11. The 6th Step is the Congelation

The volatile Spirit of the Air must become fixed:
And the hitherto hidden sap with its Water will be reproduced.
Many become united. What is tender and soft becomes stiff and hard:
The crooked organs of the Serpent become manifest.
Out Mercurius is remade. He throws away the wings,
adorns himself with the kingly sceptre, and his limbs become beautiful and clean.

12. The 7th Step is the Cibation

This, our child, is mostly fed with the milk of his mother:
So that it grows gradually and produce its own new powers.
In such things the triangle produces the rough Dragon,
which again gives us the fruit of the Moon and Sun.
Three Eagles stand on one side of the indicated triangle.
These together you can ascribe to the three Spirits.

13. The 8th Step is the Sublimation

So that our body change itself into lovely Air,
it is taken from a lowly place and led on high.
The King gives up the Phoenix, the Queen the Swan,
While the Wolf, as it ought to be, comes from its hole.
On the sun-tree stand, and grow many fruits.
Hence cut then the grass with the scythe at the desired time.

14. The 9th Step is the Fermentation

The seed thrown on good soil, sprouts,
for which purpose it regains its soul.
The trumpet sounds for the resurrection of the bodies,
so that they take on new flesh again.
Without ferment the Sun cannot again see the Light of day,
and beautiful Diana at its side without ferment cannot have life again.

15. The 10th Step is the Exaltation

King and Queen are finally elevated to the Throne.
The lovely Tree visible in the centre bears beautiful fruit
On the steps of the Throne are fourteen stately Lions.
Yet there are two heads on one neck.
Thus is elevated and enjoys honours
our Stone that shines in the whole world.

16. The 11th Step is the Multiplication

The Queen, in great honour, rides on the generous Lion
and carries, O Pelican, all the fruit of your body.
The Lion nourishes many young with its own flesh and blood.
The tender young cubs play with their father.
Thus you can produce quickly the many children of the Stone.
They cause multiplication without end. Therefore do rejoice.

17. Out of the Four Elements Come All Things

In the beginning all things consist of the four elements,
even those which you surmise are but pure elements.
Nothing pure is found. The Creator of the world
mixes all elements with his dexterous hands.
Therefore our Moon and Sun shine with great pleasure;
and our daughter has received the life.

18. The Seven Metals

Here are portrayed the hidden treasures of the Earth;
And how the stars of the Heavens are locked up deep in the mountains.
The Earth contains its own planets,
to which the elements give their qualities and powers.
If you doubt who they are you must look closely at all metals.
Heaven will help you to understand.

19. Marriage

In our Heavens stand two beautiful lights;
They indicate the great Light of the great heaven.
Unite them both as if a woman were led to a man:
So that in your own case the marital status be induced.
Then adroitly combine the elements proportionately
so that the round form produces its tender forces.

20. Mercurius

In Mercurius is at all times what the wise ones seek:
He represents the highest treasures of the entire world.
The great flame of the Fire-eating Father does not damage Mercurius.
He always flies away from the warm hearth.
Yet if you can keep him there, stiff and fine,
then you will be considered blissful here on earth by his Child.

21. The Tincture

The fierce animal pursues with awful howls
the tender girl in the field and forest.
Mercurius says without shame: You beautiful Nymph, come hither.
No hair shall be touched in your great and deadly danger.
Because he who dies with me will be happy with me:
He will be resurrected after the sad death, and enter into the desired riches.

22. The Water of the Philosophers

When a woman mixes colouring with Water,
she is about to wash linen or clothes.
The Water leaves the material when it is dried in the open Air;
But the coloured cloth retains the desired colour.
Likewise the Water of the wise penetrates all large and small metals;
Use it and it tinctures things speedily.

23. The Two Sulphurs

Look, two Lions meet with their paws
tying friendship's lasting tie.
If you seek the ferment, put together the two Sulphurs
so that you can multiply your work as well as the burden.
The one Sulphur be fixed and remain; The other be volatile and escape.
Yet both remain fixed in one step, the best.

24. The Elixir

He who desires to know what the Elixir is, and what it is
that renders all metals amenable to his work:
Firstly, must to this end seek such a medicament
that flows everywhere before the quick flight of Mercury.
Unite to this the Sulphur of the King or Queen;
And then the one bird betrays the other that flies away.

25. The Conjunction

Lock up in two glasses the two captured birds,
and seal the round opening at once.
One flies away; The other can not move;
Neither one henceforth desires to ascend.
Have Patience! Your work will not be in vain.
The lovely Tree will in time bear you fruit.

26. The Multiplication

Here you see three glasses as well as the strong Lion,
and Mercurius in the same form soon made light by wings.
Take three parts of the medicament and unite them with the flying one.
Soon he will lose his wings in warm Fire.
Then the Lion will be present which through your zeal, and at your pleasure,
you may lead into the oven and therein multiply.

27. The Cibation

A little Child on this Earth is nourished by the Mother's milk;
But a Man strong in body partakes of wheat as nourishment.
Each on receives the food that agrees with him;
Hence the powers are increased in the Child as well as in the Man.
Give therefore to our little boy ever his digestible food,
so that it may grow and grow in its strength.

28. The Wonder-Works of Our Stone

Four sisters divide their treasures without dispute,
Fortunately each receives her proper part and special place.
The first at all times can take away sickness;
The other heals the sick limbs of the metals.
The third can change the useless stones into beautiful jewels.
The fourth gives from her treasure again the glass that thins.

VI. Twenty Plates Concerning the Work of the Philosopher

1. The Water of Life

The living Water comes from the bourn of life;
to your life, too, it can give much usefulness and many fruits.
The stars stretch forth their great strength;
and Sun and Moon wash their faces.
Dear wanderer, rush to this bourn
and quench your thirst completely, because the Sun shines hot, indeed.

2. The Philosophic Ore

Our living ore, pure and clear, is the gold of the wise men.
Because with its rays it illuminates all things.
It be then that you add to it its own "Duenech";
Otherwise you will not have for such marriage the desired wedding bed.
If then the two Lions come together, and also their hearts,
from their mouths will flow, a golden juice.

3. The Philosophic Fire

Here is our warm Fire, humid, lovely, and not dangerous;
That preserves all things, and permits none to spoil.
It is even and good, agreeable to things to be born;
it carries everything properly heated away with the mixture.
The Sun with his Wife does not shun this Fire,
but accepts it voluntarily like a bath.

4. The Philosophic Bath

Our bath is so prepared that the body does not get wet.
Let Sun and Moon both wash themselves therein in the same manner.
After having done this, unite the Spirit.
Then you will see with your eyes two stems of the calendula.
Each Tree will then bear its own fruit,
and you can pluck many apples for yourself.

5. The Conjunction

Gabricus and Beya rest here in tranquil slumber
as Man and Wife on their marriage bed.
Those who before were two became then one.
And the Child is the treasure of the union.
The Sun and Moon are Husband and Wife,
and they, too, multiply their kind.

6. The Putrefaction

First the seed must rot and finally die,
so that it come forth again in a perfect state.
Without this process there is no growth on Earth.
And remember well, all labour, too, is in vain.
When death takes the lovers,
Vulcan gives the life new form and limbs.

7. The Extraction (or Impregnation of the Souls)

Both bodies putrefy in the grave below.
They take on again the powers of the new Soul.
The become united with the souls and sustained by them.
One becomes free through the other and is led to life again.
Be patient and wise with hand and in mind at once;
So that the Spirit does not escape from the place of Fire.

8. The Ablution or Washing

A lovely downpour falls from above onto the world,
and washes, with its drops, our bodies clean and pure.
The black colour vanishes and is lost entirely.
The limbs soon take on lovely beauty and form.
Why are the bodies washed? It is the work of the pure Spirit on Earth.
This Spirit is not contained to them, unless they are sufficiently clean.

9. The Exaltation or the Ecstasy of the Souls

It is now time to rise from bed and grave.
The rejoicing of the souls rebounds now everywhere.
The Soul rejoices because the body has agreed
to recognize the Soul's prerogative and to serve it well.
The bird saves the bird from the Water,
Surrounded by the fear of drowning.

10. The Germination

Here a body has two heads and stands upon the cresent Moon.
It holds three Serpents and a bird.
There is a tree with beautiful branches bearing many delicious fruits,
of which you may count great riches;
Provided that you understand well the kind and gender of this root.
Otherwise the Tree with its fruits will be secure against your intrusion.

11. The Fermentation

Take the true and genuine ferment and unite it with its own Sulphur
So that you can render mild whatever you want to bring forth
If you throw the well-known two things happily upon our land,
then this alive flame will produce its powers.
Thus you may throw your seed into the Earth
Which has been prepared by the Fire with great pleasure and joy.

12. The Illumination

Here you see the Sun shining with spread wings
and leaving Hell symbolized by a deep well.
The Moon, however, in its anger shoots through it with its arrow,
then the Sun with its shine falls back into the well.
The whole well receives a heavy golden colour.
If the Sun thus shines with its rays then there is Apollo.

13. The Nourishing

Here is our lovely garden, for our fruit rests here.
Mercurius appears as if he is ready for a quick flight.
You, most beautiful King, with your might seize quickly this booty
because for your noble stomach no other booty will be more appropriate.
Utilize the seized so that the limbs do not grow flabby,
and from ravenous hunger gradually enfeeble.

14. The Fixation

Our noble body lies here hidden in the grave.
The Spirit stands near and the Mind comes again from the Heavens.
Take care at all times that the Mind is elevated.
And again return from Above to that which is Below.
Thus it unites the friendly powers of Heaven and of Earth;
And with its rich gifts it will bring the body to life again.

15. The Multiplication

From the clouds pours rain;
Child and Mother both get quickly wet.
Our Water is dissolved and led first on high.
Then it is brought again with might down into the most lowly places.
Now wash our tender Boy; Let flow the liquid clear and pure,
so that his limbs take to the multiplication.

16. The Revivification

Look, how the beautiful Moon and its shining brother
with happy countenance emerge from the pure well.
Oh Pelican! The young, your darling children,
You nourish with your heart and you sprinkle them with your blood.
Into their tender limbs comes a new virtue,
that afterwards receives animated strength.

17. The Perfection

See, the honourable King holds in the left hand a chain
attached to the neck of the Lion which he leads at certain hours.
In the right hand he carries a staff wherewith he shows an ugly worm.
With many fruits, oh noble Sun, stands here your proud Tree.
In the beginning search for the root if you want to break the fruit;
Otherwise you will have no fruit, be it then that you looked for its seed.

18. The Green Lion

What does the Lion with its star signify? And what does the Sun that likes to be
held tight in the Lion's paw? Tell me, Musa, as best you can!
This our courageous hero is the Green Lion
in whose innermost abdomen the red star also lies hidden.
The Green Lion is extremely agile and blows forth the Sun's colours
so that the reflection may be seen in the plain.

19. Our Gold

Here sites the Sun clad in kingly attire.
The beautiful Moon sits at its side.
Their dear Son stands in the centre being crowned by both,
so that he govern the Kingdom and much success and happiness.
Now tell me, what does this mean? Without the Sun and his Wife
our darling Boy will not be able to govern.

20. The Awakening of the King

To our King is given the greatest might from above.
Such gifts he alone possesses from the powers of the Father.
Though he overcomes everything, he is overpowered by a servant
whose limbs he solves with his washing.
Soon the virtuous Mother collects her solved limbs.
To the servant and Mother is therefore due glory and praise, fame and honour.

VII. Thirteen Plates on the Philosophic Development


1. Three Wells of the True Water

Three wells with plenty water are here in a hollow rock.
We are provided with many wonderful waters.
See, how the Sun and Moon give their powers and effects;
Also, how all other stars favor us with their own splendor.
He who of us elect ones drinks, is born anew.
He will also live and continue on the desired path.

2. The Philosopher

See, I carry Heaven and Earth upon my arms, without trouble.
With my Mind I perceive all things.
What is past, I revoke; What is present, I understand;
What is in the future, I can see and interpret from three aspects.
But yet, ever I show myself friendly, willing, and ready,
and I am rightly compared with a Boy, simple and just.

3. Nymph of our Ocean

I am the Daughter, born pure and clear of my Father,
who with quick step has long run around the world.
From my breasts I give you the milk with the blood.
These two things, when boiled, will give you much heavy gold.
Thus the possessor will receive from it much use and benefit,
and his labours and pain will not be wholly in vain.

4. Our Sulphur

See that the precious Eagle be united in love with the Lion;
Also that the delicate and weak pour out his tears.
Unite these tears with the blood of the courageous Lion.
Then you will possess the whole world.
If, after usage of the salamander, the come together through the Fire,
then the fire, bold and gay, will always see your powers.

5. The Egg of the Philosophers

Here stands our Dragon, so blown up by the branch of the Sun
that everybody can have it with little expense.
What properly lies here under the Dragon rests also badly in him.
Therefore, oh celebrated group, this is called your Egg.
Tell me what mean here the many crowns with their jewels?
He prepares, kindly and well, golden gifts for his brothers.

6. Generation

See, an old man rests in a desolate cave on a rocky spot.
A black Raven stands near him; it is his companion.
His Spirit and his Mind permit his limbs to be content,
so that the punishment be only in payment for a badness.
If they then come again and are united with him correctly,
from the three will be born our Apollo elect.


7. Conjunction

Here stand Sun and Moon; Each carries a Lily branch.
Our Apollo is the third: he stands erect in the center.
They become conjoined to him with their powers, in great pomp.
Consequently he carries a kingly sceptre in his hand.
His beauty and excellence are praised in the whole world.
To the rambling little folk is due alone honour and fame.

8. Death

Great honour causes to this King envy and enemies in the Kingdom.
This King is killed at the hand of ten youths from the peasant folk.
All things are upset. Sun and Moon are sad 
and give many signs at this time of darkness and sadness.
A rainbow stands above: It rises with many colours;
It brings extremely good news to the people, and also certain peace.

9. Putrefaction

The city is destroyed by fire and by many fierce enemies.
Thereupon the peasants die with their King.
The black Ravens devour the corpses, near and far.
That which possesses Soul and Spirit here on Earth, remains entirely undisturbed;
And which, if it can be united with the body of the King,
will give to all the beginning to a new life.

10. The Whitening

If the again-living sister precedes her dear brother,
then she again gets white limbs like crystal.
They accused her brothers that so far they loved
nothing but Earth's heavy burden; And that they have despised the heavenly.
She admonishes them to become like the star of their rich brother
and then she puts upon the head of each a crown of honour.

11. The Rubefaction

The King is resurrected from the fetter of death and brings new pleasure.
He regales with his gifts those who before were sad and depressed.
He is fond of his colleagues and crowns them with clear gold.
The tender limbs this time he clothes with genuine purple.
Here the true AZOTH is free, and also the medicine of the wise,
which restore with their powerful things sick limbs to health.

12. A Dream or Vision

Here stands a respectable man who appeared to me at night.
I saw his limbs clean, beautiful, and fine.
His whole body was clad in green.
An unblemished golden crown was being put upon his excellent head.
Above it was a shining star that illuminated the darkness.
As I wondered who he might be, he said: Rise and follow me.

13. The Symbol of Our Virgin

Our Virgin tells of great wonder-works.
Pay attention to her and forget nothing.
Let the bear give you the warm Fire from the wind that blows at midnight
The wind at noon will bring you then a good supply of the Lion's Water.
Because two things so mixed are volatile, bring them into a warm oven,
so that they flow again from the greatest height to the lowest place.

VIII. Four Plates about Managing Complementary-Opposites: Fire & Water, Heaven & Earth, the Sun & the Moon, the Eagle & the Lion

The Rhodostaurotic and Heaven-Carrying Atlas

Atlas carries on his shoulders the burden of the whole world.
With your Mind carry, without complaint, Heaven and the Earth.
Then you will speedily arrive at the foundation of all things,
and soon the stone from the Earth will be known to you.
Be always wise and prudent, without cunning towards others.
Be ever plain and simple, betray nobody, and you will be happy.

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes

Hermes says: What is Above must correspond to what is Below,
if someone desires to accomplish such wonderworks, with Art and might.
The moving planets may be seen standing in the Heavens.
The Earth with its precious metals resembles them exactly.
The Father of this Stone is the Sun; The Mother is the Moon;
The wind carried the reward in its body; The Earth has nourished it tenderly.

The New Symbol

I am indeed a beautiful goddess born in the deepest Ocean,
that in its course runs around the world.
My two breasts give you two noble rivulets with the special beauty,
which by the white milk and red blood, you may recognize immediately.
Put into the fire these two things so that they mix completely.
Sun and Moon will then let you do as you like.

Another Symbol

Torment the Eagle when it sheds its tears.
The timid Lion will then die a terrible death.
The blood of this Lion alone is considered the greatest treasure of the world.
Unite it immediately with the Eagle's tears and you will be rich.
Then both wash each other clean; They will be consumed through love;
While they, Oh salamander, become identical with your good nature.

IX. Seven Plates concerning the Prima Materia and its Effects

The First Material

I am the Dragon because I drive the deadly poison from the body.
The red Lion always loves me, and the green gives me pleasure.
By many I am recognized and called the egg of Nature.
I fly away unless one binds me with measure.
I have many forms and colours, and carry within me manly and womanly powers.
I recreate the human body and all metals.

The First Effect

Here I rest, not by accident, buried in the hard Earth.
My Spirit wants to rise with the Soul.
So that none flees the other, the grave is artificially sealed.
They demand my life in order to repair it.
After a fortnight I almost look like a Raven.
Then I renovate beautifully the Sceptre of my people.

The Second Effect

After many colours have appeared,
I rise with a red body shining, pure and clean.
In the world none can be found who is my equal.
The Sun as well as the Moon is always forced to obey my will.
The effects of herbs, large and small, everything is subject to my will,
also all sickness on earth that is driven from the human body.

The Third Effect

Ten men are not ashamed to take my life.
However, as they stand now here they will go with me to Death.
Sun and Moon are sad with me, which the black colour indicates.
The heavenly rainbow is a sign of happiness.
Therefore I wash my enemies clean of all dirt.
Finally it is due me that I be triumphant.

The Fourth Effect

So that one understands clearly what my virtue is, what my might,
I compensate the damage only with my riches that are great.
Though the Ravens, near and far, eat up the corpses,
there remain constant both Soul and Spirit.
Of the two I unite many. What is volatile, I fix,
so that everybody can behold the work of my hands.

The Fifth Effect

In the form of a Queen I come forth from the grave
and bring to my brothers happy bodings.
My Bridegroom has ordered me to come to you in person
so that I may solace sad hearts with my gifts.
With gratitude and decorum take this white crown from me,
until Apollo the great will issue from his grave.

The Sixth Effect

I have in these hours overcome my enemies.
To my people I have brought great trophies.
Therefore, you true brothers, and you dear hearts,
if you love me without shame, rush to me.

Take the shining crown wherewith I honour you.
Multiply yourselves into the tenth generation.

X. Three Plates Concluding the Subject

The Whole Philosophic Work

All things which heretofore have been portrayed in figures
you can see here in the circle.
The old man is the clear beginning; He also gives you the key;
Sulphur and Mercurius with Salt must produce the work.
See you here nothing, then there is nothing. Why do you ask for more?
In the midst of the clear light you will be Stone-blind.

Saturn's Symbol

Africa produces without doubt hot Lions with red hearts.
Together they possess the excellent gifts of our Dragon.
But the cold north wind brings us the cold bears,
that bring us your Eagle, oh my beautiful Apollo!

Then the golden sap will rise with its flame.
The Virgin asks you cautiously to take the two things.

The Insignia of our Hero

Our hero has overcome at certain hours his enemies in war.
He has also added the highest honour of all virtues.
On his helmet shines the Sun with its lovely rays.
Below the face of the sun stands the erected Moon.

Three round apples decorate the Sun in the shield.
This escutcheon will give you advantage through your deeds.

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