Kalid ben Jazichi - Secreta Alchymiae

Chapter XXXV.
A Further Explication of This Matter


 Our Medicine is made of 3 things, viz., of a Body, Soul, and Spirit.

 There are two bodies, to wit Sol and Luna: Sol is a Tincture, wherewith imperfect bodies are tinged into Sol; and Luna tingeth into Luna; for nature brings forth only its like, a Man a Man, a Horse a Horse, and etc.

 We have named the bodies which serve to this Work, of which some are called ferment; for as a little leaven leavens the whole lump so Sol and Luna, Leaven Mercury as their Meal into their Nature and Virtue.

 If it be demanded why Sol and Luna, having a prefixed Tincture do not yet tinge imperfect Metals? I answer: A Child though born of human kind, acts not the Man, it must first be nourished and bred up till it comes to Maturity: So it is with Metals also; they cannot show their power and force, unless they be first reduced from their Terrestreity to a Spirituality, and nourished and fed in their Tinctures through heat and humidity.

 There are several Spirits, as Mercury, Sulphur, Orpiment, Arsenick, Antimony, Nitre, Sal-armoniack, Tutia, Marcasites, etc., but Mercury is a better Spirit than all others; for being put into the fire they are carried away, and we know not what becomes of them: But Mercury, as it is much subtiler, clearer, and penetrative, so it is joined to the Metals, and changed into them, whereas the others burn and destroy, making them more gross than they were before.

 Now Mercury is of such a subtil nature, that it transmutes Metal into simple and pure substances as itself is, and attracts them to itself: But no Metal can be transmuted by any of the other Spirits, but they burn it to Earth and Ashes: Which Mercury becomes impalpable, and therefore is called Argent Vive.

 We take nothing else to subtilize metals, to make them penetrative, or to tinge other Metals: Some call it Argent Vive, or a Water, an Acetum, a Poyson, because it destroys imperfect Bodies, dividing them into several parts and forms; our Medicine is made of two things, viz., of Body and Spirit: And this is true, that all Metals have but one Root and Original.

  But why cannot this Medicine be made of the two compounded together? I answer: It may be made of all these together; but they must be reduced into a Mercury, which would be difficult of the shortness of Man’s Life: Therefore we take the next matter, which are the two aforesaid things, viz., Body and Spirit.

  Some Philosophers say, our Medicine is made of four things, and so it is: For in Metals, and their Spirits are the four Elements. Others say true also, That Metals must be turned into Argent Vive: Here many learned and Wise Men err, and lose themselves in this path. Thus far of the matter of which our Medicine is made, or with which it is joined: Now of the Vessels.


 The Vessel ought to resemble the Firmament, to enclose and encompass the whole Work: For our Medicine is nothing else but a change of Elements one into another, which is done by the motion of the Firmament; for which reason it must needs be round and circular.

 The other, or second Vessel, must also be round, and be less than the outward Vessel: 6 or 7 inches high, called a containing Curcurbit; on which you must place an Alembick or Head, through which the Vapors may ascend, which must be well luted, with Lute made of Meal, sifted Ashes, Whites of Eggs, etc., or of Meal, Calx Vive, and j. part tempered with whites Or eggs which you must immediately use: Lute it so well, that no Spirits may fly away; the loss of which prejudice your Work extremely; therefore be wary.

 The Furnace or Oven must be round, 12 or 14 inches high, and 6 to 7 inches broad, and 3 or 4 inches in thickness to keep in the heat the better.

 Our matter is generated through, or by the help of the heat of the fire, through the Vapour of the Water, and also of the mercury, which must be nourished; be wise and consider, and meditate well upon the matter.


[...]  Now in order to this work, there is
(1) Dissolution.
(2) Separation.
(3) Sublimation.
(4) Fixation, or Congelation.
(5) Calcination.
(6) Ingression.

1.  Dissolution is the changing of a dry thing into a moist one, and belongs only to Bodies, as to Sol and Luna, which serve for your Art: For a Spirit needs only to be dissolved, being a liquid thing of itself; but Metals are gross and dry, and of a gross nature, and therefore must be subtilized.

 First, because unless they be subtilized through dissolution, they cannot be reduced into water, and made to ascend through the Alembick, to be converted into Spirit, whose remaining forces are reserved for a farther use.

 Secondly, because the Body and Spirit must be made indivisible and one: For no gross matter joyns or mixes with a Spirit, unless it be first subtilized and reduced into Argent Vive, then the one embraces the other inseparably. For Argent Vive meeting with a thing like itself, rejoyceth in it; and the dissolved Body embraces the Spirit, and suffers it not to fly away, making it to endure the fire; and it rejoices because it has found an equal, viz., one like itself, and of the same nature.

 Dissolution is thus done: Take Leaves of Sol, or Luna, to which add a good quantity of pure Mercury; putting in the Leaves by little and little, into a Vessel places in so gentle a heat, that the mercury may not fume: when all is dissolved, and the Mass seems to be one Homogene body, you have done well: If there be any faeces, or matter undissolved, add more Mercury, till all seems to be melted together.

 Take the matter thus dissolved, set it in B.M. for 7 days, then let it cool: and strain all through a Cloth or Skin; if all goes through, the dissolution is perfect; if not, you must begin again, and add more Mercury, so long till all be dissolved.

2. Separation is the dividing or a thing into parts, as of pure from impure. We take our dissolved matter, and put it into the smaller Vessel which stands in the Curcurbit, well luting to the Alembick, and setting it in ashes, continuing the fire for a Week: One part of the Spirit sublimes, which we call the Spirit or Water, and is the subtilest part; the other which is not yet subtil, sticks about the Curcurbit, and some of it falls as it were to the bottom, which is warm and moist, this we call the Air. And a third part remaining in the bottom of the inner Vessel, which is yet grosser, may be called the Earth.

 Each of these we put into a Vessel apart; but to the third we put more mercury, and proceed as before, reserving always each principle or Element apart by itself, and thus proceeding, till nothing remains in the inner Vessel, but a black powder, which we call the black Earth, and is the dregs of Metals, and the thing causing the obstruction, that the Metals cannot be united with the Spirit; this black powder is of no use.

 Having thus separated the four Elements from the metals, or divided them, you may demand, What then is the fire, which is one of these four? To which I Answer: That the Fire and Air are of one nature, and are mixed together, and changed the one into the other; and in the dividing of the Elements, they have their natural force and power, as in the whole, so in the parts.

 We call that Air which remained in the bigger Vessel, because it is more hot than moist, cold or dry: The same understand of the other Elements. Hence Plate saith, We turned the moist into dry, and the dry we made moist, and we turned the Body into Water and Air.

3. Sublimation is the ascending from below upwards, the subtil matter arising, leaving the gross matter still below, as he said before in the changing of the Elements: Thus the matter must be subtilized, which is not subtil enough, all which must be done through heat and moisture, viz., through Fire and Water.

 You must then take the thing which remained in the greater Vessel, and put it to other fresh Mercury, that it may be well dissolved and subtilized: set it in B.M. for three days as before. We mention not the quantity of Mercury, but leave that to your discretion, taking as much as you need, that you may make it fusible, and clear like a Spirit. But you must not take too much of the Mercury, lest it become a Sea; then you must set it again to sublime, as formerly, and do this Work so often, till you have brought it through the Alembick, and it be very subtil, one united thing, clear, pure, and fusible.

 Then we put it again into the inner Vessel, and let it go once more through the Alembick, to see whether any thing be left behind; which if so, to the same we add more Mercury, till it becomes all one thing; and leaves no more sediment, and be separated from all its Impurity and Superfluity.

 Thus we have made out of two, only one thing, viz., out of Body and Spirit, one only cogenerous substance, which is a Spirit and light; the Body, which before was heavy and fixed, ascending upwards, is become light and volatile, and a mere Spirit: Thus have we made a Spirit out of a Body, we must now make a Body out of a Spirit, which is the one thing.

4. Fixation or Congelation is the making the flowing and volatile matter fixt, and able to endure the fire; and this is the changing of the Spirit into a Body: We before turned the dryness and the Body, into moistness and a Spirit; now we must turn the Spirit into a Body, making that which ascended to stay below; that is, we must make it a thing fixed, according to the Sayings of the Philosophers, reducing each Element into its contrary, you will find what you seek after, viz., making a fixt thing to be volatile, and a volatile fixt; this can only be done through Congelation, by which we turn the Spirit into a Body.

 But how is this done? We take a little of the ferment, which is made of our Medicine be it Luna or Sol; as if you have 10 ounces of the Medicine, you take but 1 ounce of the ferment, which must be foliated; and this ferment we amalgamate with the matter which you had before prepared, the same we put into the Glass Vial with a long Neck, and see it in warm Ashes: Then to the said ferment, add the said Spirit which you drew through the Alembick, so much as may overtop it the height of 2 or 3 inches; put to it a good fire for 3 days, then will the dissolved Body find its Companion, and they will embrace each other.

 Then the gross ferment, laying hold of the subtil ferment, attracts the same, joyns itself with it, and will not let it go; and the dissolved Body, which is now subtil, keeps the Spirit, for that they are of equal subtility, and like one to another; and are become so one and the same thing, that the fire can never be able to separate any more.

 By this means you come to make one thing like another; the ferment becomes the abiding place of the subtil body, and the subtil body the habitation of the Spirit, that it may not fly away. Then we make a Fire for a Week, more or less, till we see the matter congealed: which time is longer or shorter, according to the condition of the Vessel, Furnaces, and Fires you make use of.

 When you see the Matter Coagulated, put of the above said Matter or Spirit to it, to over it two or three inches, which digest as before, till it be coagulated also, and thus proceed, till all the Matter or Spirit be congealed. This Secret of the Congelation, the Philosophers have concealed in their Books, none of them that we know of having disclosed it, except only Larkalix, who composed it in many Chapters; and also revealed it unto me, without any Reservation or Deceit.

5. Calcination. We take the known Matter, and put it into a Vesica, setting a Head upon it, and luting it well, put it into a Sand Furnace, making a continued great Fire for a Week: then the Volatile ascends into the Alembic which we call Avis Hermetis; that which remains in the bottom of the Glass, is like Ashes or sifted Earth, called, the Philosophers Earth, out of which they make their Foundation, and out of which they make their increase or augmentation, through heat and moisture.

 This Earth is composed of four Elements, but are not contrary one to another, for their contrariety is changed to an agreement, unto an homogene and uniform nature: Then we take the moist part, and reserve it a part to a farther use. This Earth, or Ashes (which is a very fixed thing) we put into a very strong Earthen Pot or Crucible, to which we lute its Cover, to which we lute its Cover, and set it in a calcining Furnace, or Reverbaratory, for 3 days, so that it always red hot: Thus we make of a Stone, a white Calx; and of things of an earthy and watery nature, a fiery nature: For every Calx is of a fiery nature, which is hot and dry.

 We have brought things to the nature of fire; we must now further subtilize the four Elements; we take apart, a small quantity of this Calx, viz., a fourth part: The other we set to dissolve with a good quantity of fresh Mercury, even as we had done formerly (in all the Processes of the aforegoing Paragraphs) and so proceed on from time to time, till it is wholly dissolved.

 Now that you may change the fixt into a Volatile, that is, Fire into Water, know, that the which was of the Nature of Fire, is now become the nature of Water; and the fixt thereby is made volatile and very subtil. Take of this water one part, put it to the reserved Calx; and add to it as much of the water, as may over top the Calx; and add to it as much of the water, as may over top the Calx 2 or 3 inches, making a fire under it for 3 days; thus it congeals sooner than at first, for Calx is hot and dry, and drinks up the humidity greedily.

 This Congelation must be continued till all be quite congealed; afterwards you must calcine it as formerly; being quite calcined, it is called the quintessence, because it is of a more subtil nature than fire, and because of the Transmutation formerly made. All this being done our Medicine is finished, and nothing but Ingression is wanting, viz., that the matter may have an Ingress into Imperfect Metals.

 Plato, and many other Philosophers, began this Work again, with dissolving, subliming, or subtilizing, congealing, and calcining, as at first. But this our Medicine, which we call a ferment, transmutes Mercury into its own nature, in which it is dissolved and sublimed. They say also, our Medicine transmutes infinitely imperfect Metals, and that he who attains once to the perfection of it, shall never have any need to make more, all which is philosophically to be understood, as to the first Original Work.

 Seeing then that our Medicine transmutes imperfect Metals into Sol and Luna, according to the nature and form of the matter out of which it is made; therefore we now a second time say, That this our Medicine is of that nature, that it transmutes or changes, converts, divides asunder like fire, and is of a more subtil nature than fire, being of the nature of a quintessence as aforesaid, converting Mercury, which is an imperfect substance, into its own nature, turning the grossness of Metal into Dust and Ashes, as you see fire, which does not turn all things into its nature, but that which is homogene with it, turning the heterogene matter into Ashes.

 We have taught how a Body is to be changed into a Spirit; and again how the Spirit is to be turned into a Body, viz., how the fixed is made volatile, and the volatile fixed again: How the Earth is turned into Water and Air, and the Air into Fire, and the Fire into Earth again: Then the Earth into Fire, and the Fire into Air, and the Air into Water; and the Water again into Earth. Now the Earth which was of the nature of Fire, is brought to the nature of a quintessence.

 Though we have taught the ways of transmuting, performed through heat and moisture; making out of a dry a moist thing, and out of a moist a dry one: otherwise Natures which are of several Properties, or Families, could not be brought to one uniform thing, if the one should be turned into the others nature.

 And this is the perfection of the matter according to the advice of the Philosopher: Ascend from the Earth in Heaven and descend from the Heaven to the Earth; to the intent to make the body which is Earth, into a Spirit which is subtil, and then to reduce that Spirit which is subtil, and then to reduce that Spirit into a Body again which is gross, changing one Element into another, as Earth into Water, Water into Air, Air into Fire; and Fire again into Water, and Water into Fire: and that into a more subtil Nature and quintessence. Thus have you accomplished the Treasure of the whole World.

6. Ingression. Take Sulphur Vive, Melt it in an Earthen Vessel well glazed, and put to it a strong Lye made of Calx vive and Pot ashes: Boyl gentle together, so will an Oyl swim on the top, which take and keep: Having enough of it, mix it with Sand, distil it through an Alembic or Retort, so long till it becomes incombustible. With this Oyl we imbibe Our Medicine, which will be like Soap, then we distil by an Alembic, and cohobate 3 or 4 times, adding more Oyl to it, if it be not imbibed enough.

 Being thus imbibed, put fire under it, that the moisture may vanish, and the Medicine be fit and fusible, as the body of Glass. Then take the Avis Hermetis before reserved, and put it to it Gradatim, till it all becomes perfectly fixt.

 Now according to Avicen, it is not possible to convert or transmute Metals, unless they be reduced to their first Matter; then by the help of Art they are transmuted into another Metal. The Alchymist does like the Physician, who first Purges off the Corrupt or Morbidic Matter, the Enemy to Man’s Health, and then administers a Cordial to restore the Vital Powers: So we first Purge the Mercury and Sulphur in Metals, and then strengthen the Heavenly Elements in them, according to their various Preparations.

 This Nature works farther by the help of Art, as her Instrument; and really makes the most pure and fine Sol and Luna: for as the heavenly Elemental Virtues work in natural Vessels; even so do the artificial, being made uniform, agreeable with nature; and as nature works by means of the heats of Fire and of the Bodies, so also Art worketh by a like temperate and proportionate fire, by the moving and living virtue in the matter.

 For the heavenly virtue, mixed with it at first, and inclinable to this or that is furthered by Art: Heavenly Virtues are communicated to their Subjects, as it is in all natural things, chiefly in things generated by putrefaction, where the Astral Influences are apparent according to the capacity of the matter.

 The Alchymist imitates the same thing, destroying one form to beget another, and his Operations are best when they are according to nature, as by purifying the Sulphur, by digesting, subliming and purging Argent Vive, by an exact mixtion, with a Metallic matter; and thus out of their Principles, the form of every Metal is produced.

 The power and virtue of the converting Element must prevail, that the parts of it may appear in the converted Element; and being thus mixed with the Elementated thing, then that Element will have that matter which made it an Element, and the virtue of the other converting Element will be predominant and remain; this is the great Arcanum of the whole Art.

Chapter XXXVI
The Key Which Opens the Mystery of This Grand Elixir


 Take mineral Quick Silver three pounds (made neither of Lead or Tin) and cause an Earthen Pot to be made, well burned the first time: glaze it all over except the bottom, the which anoint with hogs Grease, and it will not Glaze. This is done, that the Earth of the Quick Silver may sink to the bottom of the Pot, which it would not do, being glazed, nor become Earth again.

 The Pot must be made a good foot long, of the Fashion of an urinal, with a Pipe in the midst of it: The Furnace must be made on purpose, that the Pot may go in close to the sides of the Mouth of the Furnace: Set it on the Pot a good great Cap or Head, with its Receiver, without Luting of it, give it a good fire of Coals, till the Pot be all on fire and very red; then take the fire out quickly, and put in the Quicksilver at the Pipe, and then with as much haste as you can, stop it close with Lute.

 Then will the Quick Silver by the heat and force it finds, both Break and Work; a part thereof you shall see in the Water, as it were a few drops; and a part will stick to the bottom of the Pot in black Earth: Now let the Pot cool within the Furnace, as it is, then open it, and you shall find the Quick Silver in it all Black, which you must take out, and wash very clean, and the Pot also.

 As for the Water which does distill out, put it aside, or cast it away, for it is worth nothing, because it is all Phlegm. Set the Pot into the Furnace again, and make it red hot; put in the Quicksilver, lute well the Pipe, and do as you did the first time, and do this so often, until the Mercury becomes no more black, which will be in ten or eleven times.

 Then take it out, and you shall find the Mercury to be without Phlegm, but joined with Earth, of which two Qualities it must be freed, being  Enemies to Nature; thus the Quick Silver will remain pure, in color Celestial like to Azure, which you may know my this sign, viz., Take a piece of Iron, heat it red hot, and quench it in this Mercury, and it will become soft and white, like Luna.

 Then put the Mercury into a Retort of Glass, between two Cups, so that it touches neither bottom or sides of the Cups, and make a good fire under it, and lay Embers on the top, the better to keep the heat of the fire; and in 40 hours the Mercury will Distill into a slimy Water (hanging together) which will neither wet your hands, nor any other things, but Metals only.

 This is the true Aqua Vitae of the Philosophers; the true Spirit so many have sought for, and which has been desired of all Wise Men, which is called the Essence, Quintessence, Powers, Spirit, Substance, Water and Mixture of mercury, and by many other the like Names, without strange things, and without offense to any Man.

 Save well this precious Liquor or Water, obscured by all Philosophers, for without it you can do no good or perfect Work: Let all other things go, and keep this only; for any one that sees this Water, if he has any Practice or Knowledge, will hold to it, for it is Precious and worth a Treasure.


 Now resteth to make the Soul, which is the perfection of the Red, without which you can neither make Sol nor Luna, which shall be Pure and Perfect: With this Spirit you may make things Apparent and Fair, yea, most True and Perfect; all Philosophers affirm that the Soul is the substance, which sustains and preserves the Body, making it Perfect as long as it is in it.

 Our Body must have a Soul, otherwise it would neither move nor work; for which reason you must consider and understand, that all Metals are compounded of Mercury and Sulphur, Matter and Form; Mercury is the matter, and Sulphur is the Form. According to the pureness of Mercury and Sulphur, such is the Influence they assume.

 Thus Sol is engendered of most pure fine Mercury, and a pure red Sulphur, by the Influence of the Sun; and Luna is made of a pure fine Mercury, and a pure white Sulphur by the Influence of the Moon.

 Thence it is that Luna is more pure than the other five Metals, which have need of cleansing; being cleansed, they need but only the pure Sulphur, with the help of Sol and Luna, Sulphur is the Form of Sol and Luna, and the other Metals; their other parts are gross matters of Sulphur and Mercury.

 Husband-men know many times more than we do: They when they reap their Corn growing on the Earth, gather it with the Straw and Ears. The Straw and Ears are the Matter, but the Corn or Grain is the Form or Soul.

 Now when they sow their Corn, when they sow not the Matter, which is the Straw and the Chaff, but the Corn or Grain, which is the Form or Soul: So if we will reap Sol or Luna, we must use their Form or Soul, and not the matter.


 The Form or Soul is made by God’s help, after this manner. You must make a good Sublimate, that is seven times sublimed; the last time of the seven you must sublime it with Cinnabar without Vitriol, and it will be a certain Quintessence of the Sulphur of that Antimony.

 When this is done, take of the finest Sol one Ounce, or of the finest Luna as much, file it very fine, or else take leaf Gold or Silver; then take of the aforesaid Sublimate four ounces; sublime them together for the space of 16 hours; then let it cool again, and mix them all together, and sublime again: Do this four times, and the fourth time, it will have a certain Rundle, like unto the Matter of the White Rose, transparent and most clear as any Orient Pearl, weighing about Ounces.

 The sublimate will stick to the brims and sides of the Vessel, and in the bottom it will be like good black Pitch, which is the Corruption of Sol and Luna.

 Take the Rundle aforesaid, and dissolve it in most strong Spirit of Vinegar, two or three times, by putting it into an Urinal, and setting it in B.M. for the space of three days every time pouring it into a new Spirit of Vinegar, as at the first, till it be quite dissolves: Then distill it by a filter, and save that which remains in the Pot, for it is good to whiten Brass.

 That which passed the filter with the Vinegar, set upon hot Ashes, and evaporate the Moisture and Spirit of Vinegar with a soft fire, and set it in the Sun, and it will become most White, like unto White Starch; or Red if you work with Sol; which are the Form, or Soul or Sulphur of Luna and Sol, and will weigh a quarter of an Ounce, rather more than less, save that well.


 Take an Urinal half a foot high, and take of the firm body five Ounces; of the Soul or Sulphur of Sol or Luna, a quarter of an Ounce; and of the Spirit four Ounces: Put all of them into the Urinal, and put on its head or Cover, with its Receiver well closed or Luted. Distill the Water from it, with a most soft Fire, and there will come off the first time, almost three Ounces.

 Put the Water on again, without moving the Urinal, and distil it again, until no more liquor will distill, which do 6 or 7 times, and then every thing will be firm. Then set the same Urinal in Horse-dung seven days, and by the virtue and subtility of the heat, it will be converted into water.

 Distil or filter this water, with stripes or shreds of Woolen-cloth: a gross part will remain in the bottom, which is worth nothing: All that which is passed the filter congeal, which will be about 4 or 5 ounces, and save it. When you have congealed it three times, melt ten ounces of the most fine Sol or Luna, and when it is red hot, put upon it 4 ounces (one Copy said 13 ounces) of this Medicine, and it will be all true and good Medicine.


 Likewise melt Borax and Wax, ana one ounce, to which put of the former Medicine 1 ounce: Put all these upon Mercury, or any other Metal 3 pound, and it will be most fine Sol or Luna, to all Judgments and Assays. Thus have I ended this process, in which, if you have any practice or judgment, and know how to follow the Work, you may finish it, or compleat it in 40 days.

  An Appendix teaching how to make Aurum Potabile.

 Take Sal Armoniac, Sal nitre, ana 1 pound: beat them together, and make thereof an A.R.: Then take of the most fine Sol q.v. in thin leaves, and cut into very small pieces, which roll into very thin rolls, and put them into an Urinal, or like Glass, to which put the A.R., so much as to overtop it the depth of an inch.

 Then nip up the Glass, and put it to putrefy in Sand, with a gentle heat, like that of the Sun for3 or 4 days, in which time it will come to dissolution; then break the Glass off at the Neck, and pouring off the A.R. easily and leisurely, leave the dissolved Sol in the bottom, and repeat this work with fresh A.R., 3 or 4 times, and keep the first water, then put on a Helm with Lute, and distill off in Sand: Being cold break the Glass, and take the Sol, and wash it 3 or 4 times in pure warm water.

 When the Sol is clean from the A.R., take of it, and put it into the like Glasses, with rectified S.V. 2 or 3 inches above it; put it into putrefaction as before in Sand, stopping the mouth thereof very close for 3 or 4 days; then put the S.V. out, which will be all blood red. If any thing remains in the Glass undissolved, put in more S.V. and let it stand as before. Do this as long as you find any Tincture therein. This is Aurum Potabile.

 But if you would have the Tincture alone, distill off the S.V. with a very gentle fire, and you shall find the Tincture at the bottom of the Glass, which you may project upon Luna.