Agricola - Treatise on Gold

All true chymists and philosophers write that common corporeal gold is of not much use in man's body if it is only ingested as such, for no metallic body can be of use if it is not previously dissolved and reduced to the prima materia.

We have an example in corals. The virtue of corals is not in the stone or the body but in their red color. If the corals are to release their power, a separation must first occur through a dissolution, and the redness must be separated from the body.

The body is a shell which is left behind, quite white, but the essence of the corals, which is quite red, afterwards perfectly accomplishes its effect in man's body because the obstruction has been separated from it (that is, from the stone and the tincture).

Thus you should also deal with gold, silver, iron, lead, and other metals. If they are to bear fruit, they must likewise be separated from their bodies, that is, from their inner earth or slime, to allow their radical moisture to operate quite unhindered in man's body. Before, its power could not accomplish it, as the bodies were still held by their metallic slime and earth.

Consequently, whoever wants to do something useful in medicine must see to it that he first dissolve and open his metallic body, then extract its soul and essence, and the work will then not result in no fruit.

True, it is certain and undeniable that if metals are to be brought into their essentials, they must be dissolved into Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury. However, these are not the prima materia but the materia secunda ex prima orta (the second matter originated in the first). Of what use would it be to us if they were to revert directly into their chaos? We could not do anything with them.

But if you do not have the prima materia of the metals, you will never radically open the gold [].

Many a man has been delayed by the name of prima materia, which he did not correctly understand, searching for a key that would bring the gold into the prima materia or chaos. As I have indicated above, this would be of no use to me, but with the other materia prima I can afterwards make what I want. In this there is hidden a great secret, especially if one wishes to bring out the substantialia.

When they hear of the Principles, many believe that they will turn into a Mercurius currens (Liquid Mercury?), a special Salt, and a separate Sulphur. [] I have found a distinguished man who had in his possession a whole pound of liquid Mercury of gold, but he achieved no more with it than that he prepared with it a precipitate. [] They could not believe that this Mercury also has its hypostatic principles.

But the Philosophical Mercury is a simple body, and with it a Mercury is made, as the philosophers say: Fac Mercurium per Mercurium. (Make Mercury through Mercury). Yes, they say, our Mercury is our gold, and our gold dissolves common gold.

Tincture alicujus corporis extractio (the extraction of the tincture of a body) is something else than resolutio corporis in sua principia sive in primam materiam (the resolution of a body into its principles or into prima materia).

the tincture in precious stones and corals is so scanty that it makes me wonder that so little can be extracted. Therefore many believe that it is impossible for the Art to extract a tincture, but they are mistaken. The tincture may well be extracted, but it is impossible to obtain it in great quantity.

Consequently, we can infer what is to be thought of the tincture sold in pharmacies, where they have big vats full of it.

If [] the body of corals is good for nothing and only deserves to be poured away, it would follow that the Salt of corals and the magistery were of no use at all. Experience, however, has proven it to be quite different. I have learned in practice that if a magistery of corals is especially well prepared, it is a mighty tonic for the heart. If this only came from the tincture, there would be little hope in it.

Although I must admit that the greatest power is in the tincture, one must not therefore throw the body away altogether, because it can be so beautifully prepared that it results in very great virtues. Its crystalline Salt - with which was as a ruby. From the body I made the Salt which was as clear and crystalline as diamonds can never be. When I had it in its last solution, I again added to it its own tincture, drew the superfluous liquid off per balneum until it looked quite dry. Now this crystalline Salt turned as red as blood and as transparent as crystalm []

Gold Oil. (process of Poppius)

Fine gold, 2,3,4, Lots, or as much as you like. It must first be poured three times through antimony, each time driving the antimony off on a cupel, as goldsmiths and refiners know how to do. Basil says: The Grey Wolf must eat the Lion, which must be devoured by it three times, after first purifying itself and cleansing its eyes with the Wolf's blood, so that they shine brightly.

When now the gold has thus been purified, have it beaten thin like paper. Make of it round, rolled-up rolls that can be put into a separator. Pour on it Aquam Regis (King's water) that has previously been conjoined with the sublimated ammonia during distillation and rectification. This water must stand two fingers' high above the gold. Now close the mouth of the retort, so that the spirits do not vanish. Set the glass in warm ashes and dissolve it in the Balneum and gently distill the moisture off it. Then refine it strongly in the sand till the corrosive or sharpness has altogether gone over the head. The gold will be left at the bottom of the vessel like a brown powder or dust.

This powder must afterwards be reverberated, closed, in a steady fire, day and night for 13 weeks. the heat must be such that the gold neither flows nor melts. In the heat the gold will stew in its own juice, so that it will thereafter in the second dissolution drop its earth and metallic slime.

After that, take one-third of the subtle gold calx and pour its own water over it. It is a crystalline, transparent, mineral water, quite pure and delicate, which Paracelsus calls the Green Lion and Basil, Aquam Solventem (Dissolving water). Take nine parts, everything closed in a phial, let it circulate for three weeks in a vapor-fire, and the gold will turn into oil, leaving its slime and earth behind.

Now we will turn to the preparation of aurum potabile (potable gold).

Although many call antimony the Grey Wolf, it is only to be understood figuratively and is only enigmatically true. Is it that antimony, or the Grey Wolf, refines gold and adds a beautiful lustre to it? But how does it help the Philosophical Work? For all philosophers admit unanimously that their gold is no common gold. Yes, their gold dissolves gold. If then it is not common gold, how can it be processed through antimony?

Common gold is dead and powerless, unless it be dissolved through the prima materia out of which it was born, and be born a second time. Only then will it really become Philosophical Gold and aurum potable, a small dose of which can drive away all sicknesses in a short time.

Without doubt, in his Liber de Tinctura Physicorum (Book of Physical Tinctures) Paracelsus understands quite a different Green Lion than the author imagines, for it is not born in the general manner of lions but appears ex sputo Lunae (out of the spittle of Luna), which was likewise invulnerable.

in the Rosarium it is often said that there are three things that do the work, Leo viridis (Green Lion), aqua foetida (evil-smelling water), and fumus albus (white steam). This Green Lion has made many men crazy, nam illa viriditas vertitur in aurum nostrum (for that greenness changes into our gold).

This Lion quarrels with the Dragon and is wounded and devoured by it, because of which the Dragon must also burst. But when they putrefy together, a sweet medicine results, like that of Samson's lion, which can cure all diseases.

It is regarding this Lion that many wonderful and beautiful processes have been undertaken with gold, many dangerous sicknesses cured by it, but nevertheless it is also true that it is quite unlike the true Philosophical Gold, and that it cannot be compared with it at all. Even if the gold were prepared in such a way that it could never again be reduced into a body - which can be done, and many boast about it although the proof is surely lacking - it is still only a Particular medicament and no such a Universal one as the true philosophers' potable gold should be.

Thus all philosophers say that their gold is not yet corporeal or in a metallic body, either by Nature or through fire, but that it is soft, does not resemble gold either in substance or external form, and that it contains its own water by which it is dissolved without the addition of anything else. This water must never be separated from it but stay with it forever, and it is coagulated with it.

For the water of the philosophers is also their gold, which dissolves and coagulates itself, also their only menstruum acetum acerrimum (most acid), and not the spirit of wine or another corrosive water

Many a man might think that these are odd notions, namely, that the gold of the philosophers is simultaneously their menstruum, solvent water, and Mercury, and yet it is the pure truth.

Aside from this, the highest truth remains that if its own water does not remain with it, the gold is worth very little. Many will think that that must be a strange gold that can dissolve other gold. Yes, it dissolves itself, and it is the Dragon that devours and revives itself. It is the Phoenix that burns itself and rises from the ashes much more beautiful than before. For if gold is sown into its field, it grows and multiplies itself, bringing a thousandfold fruit for the maintenance of man's life.

But where this water can be found is kept very secret by the philosophers.

They say that it must be fetched from India. True, it is easiest to get it in India, as the best gold mines are there. Experience has shown us, however, that an Indian crow brought this water to Germany in its pouch and poured it on a mountain. Thus a fountain is said to have sprung up from it which provides enough of this water, and at present it is as easy to obtain it in this country as in India. One has to be careful, however, to find the right fountain, as there are many other fountains around it that contain poison. The water is precisely of the kind which Pegasus (a winged horse that caused the stream Hippocrene to spring from Mount Helion with a blow of his hoof) beat out of Parnassus with its hoof, or which the mountain Nostacris in Arcadia (typist: please note that it is Arcadia and not Akkadia) pushed out of a rock and which cannot be kept in any other vessel than the horn of a horse.

 I will add something one has to carefully note about this water and by which it can be recognized: It lights and burns itself, simultaneously burning the gold. This may well be the fiery means whereby Moses burnt the Golden Calf to ashes and gave of it to drink to the children of Israel in that water. If you cannot find this water which burns itself and turns into red ashes, you may surely believe that you will achieve nothing in this secret. It is gold and at the same time water and fire. It is hot and cold, like Jove's Hammonius fountain, moist and dry, it wets and dries again.

Many have been laid astray by this water, so that they achieved little with this process. Even if they had obtained this mineral-crystalline water - which is made by two different processes - and had added it to the gold, it is yet not the right handle and the right key for opening this strong lock and house, even if it were broken down ever so subtly into its atoms. For as long as it is not processed in such a way as to be dissolved into its prima materia, it is not the true philosophical dissolution.

The author's mineral water will never accomplish this, even if it were left mixed with it in the digestion till Doomsday. It does not do anything the gold except that it gets calcined. Finally it separates again from it, which the Philosophical Water never does, as has already been said. If it has once mingled with gold or silver, it cannot be separated from either in all eternity. Both become one single water, the water of life and health, rendering all creatures fertile. It is like the water in the country near Suessa (town in Latium) which renders those fertile who drink of it, be they men or women. If, on the contrary, a woman, cow, dog, or sheep drinks of the river Aphrodisios, it makes them infertile. This water, however, also makes old withered trees fertile again, if it is poured to their core through a hole drilled into them and the hole is again tightly closed with a plug.

The author instructs us to let the water circulate with the gold for three weeks, but before doing so it has to be reverberated for 13 weeks, which is a long and tiresome work. It is also dangerous, as in reverberating we can easily overlook that it flows back again into a body, when a great deal of calx is produced. If this happens, the previous pains and labor are totally lost. Therefore I cannot advise any beginning laboratory worker to spend much time and work on this process - reverberating requires much labor and coal.

Before this, I also prepared it according to the author's instructions. When it was ready, I finally coagulated it. The mineral water of which he speaks evaporated, leaving me only a fine subtle gold calx which I added to silver in flux. It tinged it into gold, but I had little gain from it as I obtained no more gold than I had used in the preparation. Pains, labor, Aqua Regis, and other expenses were lost. Nor could I tinge with it as the gold had not been radically opened, much less perfectly. In that condition it cannot give more to its needy neighbor than it has itself. If, however, it had entered its mother's womb a second time in a good Nicodemic manner and had been born again, it could have brought fruit a hundred fold

Philosophers do not alter Nature in the least, for then it would follow that an ox would turn into a man, a man into a wolf, as happens with the Laps through sorcery. They only remove the accidents of the metals to be transformed, as they differ not by species but solely by their accidents.

This is mighty thoroughly discussed in Quercetanus Contra Aubertum. What is lacking in my treatise, the kind reader may discover in that work.

As God has closed gold so tightly, a mighty treasure must doubtlessly lie hidden in it, and to prevent thieves from robbing it and causing damage with it, the Lord God has preserved it so carefully, and it is rightly called Lillium inter spinas (the lily among thorns).

It is solely the right key that is lacking, and this key is also the bride for whom one dances.

I must relate that I recently saw some clear water at a friend's. It transformed filed gold - not dissolved in Aqua Regis - into a bloodred liquid through a good digestion. After it stood in digestion for one month, the water disappeared and the gold rose in the glass as if some fermented paste were rising, which was a pleasure to see. When it was given stronger fire afterwards, it settled down again, and the glass looked as if some gold leaf had laid in it. Nothing rose anymore. It was fixed and stable. My friend opened the glass and weighed it, it had increased in weight due to the menstruum. He poured some more of the water over it and set it back, closed, in digestion. The gold united again with it and was as red as blood and quite fireproof. When it was taken out, I took two grains and put them into a glass of warm wine. It dissolved very quickly and tinged the wine bloodred, which was amazing to see. The wine became somewhat sweet from it. I am of the opinion that if ever a right tincture was prepared from gold, this was it.

 One could not notice any suspicion of any corrosive in the menstruum, but it was quite pleasant in taste, almost like wine about to become somewhat "hard". Gold melts in it like butter near a fire or in the hot sun. Nor did it leave any White Earth in the solution, as the solutions for the magistery generally do. It was a thick, red liquid and finally a powder, at first brownred, the bloodred.

 But what kind of water this was and of what it consisted, the practitioner did not tell me at the time. I can quite easily believe, however, that it must be made of a substance closely akin to gold. I have concluded so, because when I put just one drop of this water in a silver spoon, it soon resulted in a golden tincture, many hundred times more beautiful than the rubedo (redness) or sulphur of antimony. Although the latter also tinges silver, it is not quite pure but blackish-yellow. This one, however, was as pure as if a goldsmith had gilded it, and yet the water was as clear and white as crystal.

 If, then, someone knew its prima materia, I believed, he would not be far from the Universal Menstruum, since it dissolves gold without any violence. This is a characteristic of a true philosophical menstruum

 there are two dissolutions of gold. One is done quite gently and without violence through melting, whereby the gold is so much dissolved that it can never again be changed into a Body. This is the philosophical, natural, and friendly dissolution. The other is done in various ways with different menstrua and calcinations, by Mercury, Sulphur, various salts, etc. It is called violent because gold is thereby not changed into the prima materi but only into extremely fine atoms, and through them gold can again be reduced.

 Yet, aside from the Universal Menstruum, there still exist other means to bring gold so far that it can never be smelted into another Body. This has its special reasons, but it does not follow that gold has been changed into the true prima materia. Even so, a fine medicine has been made with it

Now we will proceed with our process for making potable gold.

Take some of the best purified gold, as much as you like, have a goldsmith laminate it very thin, the thinner the better. Cut it as big as a Thaler (old coin like the Dollar), the cut round pieces from a stag's antlers, as big and thick as half a Thaler, take a cement can no wider than the pieces of antlers or half a Thaler, so that only the pieces fit in. One can also make it of good clay, as one pleases. At the bottom of the can put one finger's width of sand or gypsum, which is better. On it put a piece of antlers, upon that a piece of your gold, above it again a piece of antlers, then again gold. Put everything layer upon layer, as the chymists say, till the can is full or till you have used all your gold. Again, put gypsum upon it till the can is quite full, close the can with good lute, let it dry, then set it in a medium strong cementing fire, at first very gentle, then finally so strong that the can will well glow for one hour or four. Let it cool, open the can, and you will find the gold calcined almost flesh-colored.

 This work must be repeated three times. The gold will become quite soft and can be pounded and rubbed. Now mix it with calcined antlers and reverberate it on a cupel but not too strongly, for a whole day. The gold will turn almost the color of bricks. Then it is correctly and well calcined, and you may be sure that you cannot get a better calcination. It will become so subtle that it can easily be used in medicines for several sicknesses without any further preparation, for this calx is sweet and not contaminated by any corrosives.

 Upon this beautiful pure calx pour the following prepared menstruum. It will extract its tincture in a few hours like blood, leaving its metallic slime behind. Pour the menstruum off, pour fresh one upon it till all of the tincture is extracted and nothing but a dead earth is left. Nor is that to be thrown out, because it has a special power for drying and cleansing all discharging damages, so that they heal all the sooner. Distill your menstruum down to dryness through sand, and a purple-colored tincture will be left in the glass. Upon that pour a good spirit of wine. How that is to be correctly prepared will be found further on in the Treatise on Tartar. Better, use some quintessence of salt. How to make that will also be taught under its title. Set it closed to digest and it will extract a yet purer tincture. Distill the spirit of wine to half, and you will have a wonderful potable gold. Or, if you pour some quintessence of salt over it, you can leave it such as, without distilling it and use it as a medicine, because the essence of salt is by itself a fine medicine, also without gold, as will also be shown in its proper place.

Even if this potable gold is one of the best kinds there are and does its share with glory in many sicknesses, it can still be processed higher, so that one grain accomplishes more than ten do otherwise. Although this preparation looks bad, it is quite philosophical, and as can be seen, does not contain anything corrosive. Neither Salt, Mercury nor Sulphur is added to this calcination, and although it is said that the volatile salt of stag's antlers (carbonate of ammonia) calcines gold, it is true but is no harmful corrosive. By itself it is a wonderful poison-eliminating medicine, which can be taken into the body without harm or damage. In addition, it does not mix with gold in such a way as to stay with it, as the corrosive spirits are want to do - which may be seen by its taste and weight - but the glowing disappears, leaving the gold behind pure and only calcined. I am of opinion that a better calcination cannot be found in the common works than this. Therefore a student may follow it quite assuredly, provided he knows just a little of how to deal with the fire, so as not to make it too hot and smelt the gold into a Body. If he did, all his work and trouble would be lost. If he prevents the smelting, he has already won, and thereafter the subsequent work will proceed without trouble and hindrance.

Take therefore 1 lb. of the best purified live Mercury (how it has to be prepared will subsequently also be indicated in its chapter), pour over it 1 lb. of the best rectified oil of vitriol, let it digest closed till the Mercury is altogether dissolved. Distill the oil from it quite strongly and finally give it so much fire that it can sublimate up, then it will rise very white and crystalline. Some black feces will be left at the bottom of the glass. Pour those off as they are good for nothing, remove the sublimate, put it back in a retort and pour the oil of vitriol over it. Let it dissolve again, and when this is done, again distill the oil off it and sublimate the Mercury. It will rise even more beautifully than before. You must repeat this work till the Mercury appears bright, transparent, and clear as crystal. Then it is well prepared for this purpose.

 Now take 2 Lots of it, and 1 Lot of the previous liquid or potable gold, mix them well, enclose them together in a phial,set that in a vapor fire, and in 20 days, at most 25 days, it will turn quite black and look like melted pitch. Thereafter set it in ashes or sand, and it will become grey-white-yellow and finally red like blood and transparent like a ruby. Thus you will get a medicine like which there is none better in virtues, and it is a true panacea for use in almost all sicknesses, especially where strength is required. It does its effect without any discomfort and almost through imperceptible perspiration, as will be shown in the description of its operation.

After the calcination of the gold, I thought of a special menstruum. Now I will also show you how it is to be prepared to make the work and the process perfect. It depends on the best manipulation, and this is what is to be done: Take a good amount of boy's urine, distill it to half, pour away what is left, and put the distillate again in a retort. Again distill it to half, and do this work three times. With the subtle spirit a beautiful, transparent, shining salt will rise. Rinse all the salt with the spirit out of the alembic, weigh this spirit, mix it with the same amount of the best spirit of wine, let it gently putrefy together for 8 days, then distill it, and you will have a wonderful menstruum for all metals, minerals, and precious stones. With this you can obtain the true tincture of gold.

Oil of Gold Prepared in the Common Way.

Gold purified through antimony, 1 Lot. Dissolve it into a gold-colored oil in a circulated oil of salt. When the gold is totally dissolved, pour oil of wine over it, not the common one obtained from tartar but that which is distilled from the best wine which still has its mother and lees. This done, the oil of gold will in one moment be changed into a blood red oil, like a beautiful transparent ruby. Now add to it 6 Lots of good spirit of wine to one part of this oil, set it in mild ashes, put a well luted alembic on it and begin distilling, at first gently, finally stronger. The gold will rise bloodred over the alembic, giving off a lovely lustre. Now it is prepared.


This process may well be short but it has many difficulties in it. It is not so easy to tinge as many believe and as the words look because it requires two strong requisites, namely, the circulated salt-oil and oil of wine, and it takes a great deal of trouble and work before the oil of wine is made. The author has not indicated how it is to be prepared, but in the treatise on tartar he has written about it. However, it is just as little the correct one as that of which he warns us in this process. But I have added the right preparation, obtained by my experience, which can be found in my Note, where the kind reader can look it up. It must not be made from the feces of the wine, as the author indicates, but from the purest wine, if anything good is to be done with it, as experience teaches. For the pure oil of wine mixes with the wine. That which is made of the feces of wine, however, may well mix with it but it does not take its essentials over the retort.

What has just been said of the oil of wine also applies to the circulated oil of salt. If the gold is to be rightly opened, it must be the circulated quintessence of the salt - but how it is to be prepared, the author does not indicate here either; although he has a description of the oil of salt under that title, it is also bad and according to the common manner. I have added a preparation taken from my own experience, which can also be found there.

 Have a retort made for you that has a tube at the back of the bottom. It must be quite narrow below, somewhat wider above. Fill it completely with stone-salt, such as is hewn in the mountains of Salzburg, Austria, and in Styria. Wall it in a furnace, lute a receiver in front but make a small hole between the joints with a quill, to give it air when the spirits move. Now give fire per degrees till the salt flows in the retort like water, which you can easily notice. Then let a few drops of water drip inside through the tubes, and the salt spirits will soon rise, penetrating forcibly into the receiver. Now you must give them some air through the small holes but close them up soon again, and they will move all the quicker, and it is so nice to see. You must continue doing this till all the salt changes into spirit. Take all the spirit and rectify it to remove the phlegma.

 Of this spirit take 1 lb., add to it as much melted salt, knead it under potter's clay and turn it into little balls. Let them dry in the air and distill them trough a retort, as is customary. You will obtain a beautiful yellow-green spirit. Take the caput mortuum (death's head) out of the retort, powder it, and lixiviate the salt from it with lukewarm rain water, filter and coagulate it, dissolve it again and coagulate it. You must repeat this till the salt has become as beautifully transparent as crystal and flows like wax.

Add it to the spirit and let both well unite in the digestion. Now you have a fine spirit of salt that dissolves gold rightly and liquifies it. Aside from doing this, it is also a good spirit for use in medicine, and the common spirit can never equal its performance. True, it requires a lot of work but it pays the effort well, as everyone who uses it in such work will see for himself. The gold calx will also become as beautifully brown as if it had been calcined for some time with Mercury and Sulphur.

 Thomas Kessler of Strasbourg also indicates a fine manner of making the spirit of salt with bellows: One has to have a retort made of good clay. It must have a tube at the back into which the bellows are directed, to enable the wind to get directly into the center of the retort, driving the spirit into the receiver. True, it is a fine piece of workmanship, but does not yield much. The retort must strongly glow for three hours before one begins with the bellows. I tried it, but when I saw that it would not yield much, I did as follows:

I had a retort made with two tubes, one in the center and one bellow at the bottom, as the figure shows. Through tube (a) I let the water drop in as indicated in the previous process, and quickly closed the hole up. After that, I directed the bellows into tube (b),and as soon as the cold water had dripped inside, I worked the bellows. An observer would have had great fun seeing how frequently and wonderfully the spirits ran into the receiver, and of what colors they were. It all goes fast, but the bellows must be glued to the tube to prevent the spirits from running out backwards. Therefore, it must be fitted with a long iron tube at the beak, so that it does not burn. The furnace must also be arranged accordingly, to let the tube stick out far enough. Likewise that which is supposed to stick out above. In this way things will go very well. It is possible to prepare a good amount in one day, because the air of the bellows does not permit the spirits to fall down again, to be united again with the Body, as happens otherwise. For they must go - but the receiver must be big enough, or else it is not without danger, as anyone will easily agree. For if the spirits force their way out and do not find enough room, they break the receiver, as happened to myself, not knowing that they are so violent and push almost like the spirit of tartar.

 If someone cannot work this process of the spirit of salt for lack of the right instruments, and yet would need it, let him take 1 lb. of crushed salt and 2 lbs. of coaldust, mix them well together and distill them in the common way through a retort. He will also obtain a good spirit, but it must be well rectified once or three times to rid it if its feces. He can also use it in the dissolution of the Sun, as our author would have it.

The reason why I here describe the spirit of salt in so many ways is so that the laboratory worker be instructed how important the menstrua are. Often a single bad manipulation hinders a great work, and those who will only use a common spirit of salt, as the distillers sell, will no doubt work in vain and achieve nothing useful. It is the same with the oil of wine whose preparation, as already mentioned, you will find further on. The better the wine, the more wonderful the oil will be. You can use Spanish wine and will obtain all the more, as experience has taught me. But his you must take careful note of: If you have distilled once, you must repeat it once or several times. Then you will get a good medicament, for the often repeated process turns the work into a subtle medicine.

When you have driven all the gold over the alembic, put it in a cold place for some time, such as a cool cellar, and in time beautiful transparent crystals, like rubies, will sprout. You can take those out with a wooden pair of tongs, and dry them on paper. There are very few of them, as the Body does not all rise in one go over the alembic. Therefore the Death's Head can be taken out, reverberated with sulphur flowers, and the gold calx will become quite pure. Pour again some spirit of salt of salt and oil of wine over that, and proceed as before. The entire Body will finally rise over the alembic. More will be reported on this at another place when we will deal with other preparations.

 These crystals still have another advantage: Take one part of them, add 3 parts of Mercury of Saturn optim. purified, set it together in sand in a phial and give it a graduated fire. Mercury will precipitate in a short time, and it will not only result in a fine medicine but also in a sample of gold, so that you can see with your own eyes that the Mercury of lead can thereby be turned into gold. It can either be melted with borax or melted and assayed by the cupel with lead. Thus you will certainly find that it is no empty talk, although some would deny that it is a proof. It might well be so, as the crystals made of gold can again be brought back into a Body and provide a gold proof. It is easy to answer this by first observing the weight of the crystals, then that of the added Mercury and the prepared gold. In this way you will see if you have an excess or not. I am of opinion that there will be some, but I do not say that it will be of great importance in regard to all costs incurred, because it does cost something to prepare the Mercury of lead. Thus, these crystals also do not just cost a little, yet one can nevertheless prove thereby that it is possible to make a transmutation without the Universal Tincture. Whoever wishes, can try it, he will not work in vain, nor will he lose much thereby, and the gold will turn out quite beautiful, more beautiful than that from the Hungarian mines, of which I once had 3 ounces together.

Nor is this oil of gold to be despised, because it is of great usefulness in medicine if properly applied. Whatever I have learned, I will reveal. It may well be that others have also tried it for other sicknesses, but I have mostly used this composition for the French disease (venereal disease), when it strongly drove the poison out through perspiration, thus healing the infected persons.

[] With this oil I still did something else: I took one Quentlein (1.66 gr.) of it, added to it 3 Quentlein oil or tincture of sweet antimony and congealed it in a phial to a fixed, darkred powder, which took four weeks. Finally I gave it a very strong fire and it flowed together in a glass. I removed it, pulverized it, and used it in many sicknesses. It also did its share amazingly well and was almost like a panacea.

 Another Process for the Preparation of Oil of Gold

Take purified gold, 2 Lots; quick silver, 8 Lots. Make of them an amalgam such as goldsmiths make when trying to gild. Put this ground gold in a leather and dry the quicksilver off it. The gold will be left in the leather like a white mass or dough. Put it in a crucible or cupel, mix it with three times as much sublimated sulphur, then set the cupel in a reverberating furnace till the sulphur and the mercury disappear completely and the gold is left in the cupel like a brown powder. This gold is as fluffy as a sponge. Put it in a glass, pour over it some oil of vitriol, which has been united with the White Swans, thereafter distill it to oil over the alembic. This oil must then be rectified with spirit of wine, strengthened by its oil. In this way one can also obtain a beautiful red oil.


In this formula the author again shows us another process for making potable gold. Although he does not lack in processes, they are deficient in so far as gold cannot thereby be made truly potable.

[] I remember a funny dreamer in Leipzig who pretended that gold, which is a pure fire, could not be opened or made potable except by another pure fire. In so saying he was not wrong, and it is so in truth. But I asked him what he understood by the fire that was to dissolve gold. He did not wish to tell me but said that it was a fire that only lights but does not burn. Now I well remembered that Paracelsus also wrote of such a fire, but whether that dreamer understood what was meant by it, I doubt very much, for in such a fire the angels and good spirits are also transformed.

[] We must also examine the author's process. Many think very little of it, as the gold must be amalgamated with Mercury and calcined with Sulphur. For they say that Mercury robs gold of its inherent moisture and that it becomes subsequently all too dry owing to its reverberation with the Sulphur. Whether this is true or not, I will indicate in the proper place, It may very well be that this calcination is not of very great benefit to medicine, but whether it is due to the fact that Mercury robs gold of its moisture, I will not dispute. So, it cannot be highly considered because of this, but the whole process appears suspect to me, and I believe the author has never worked it himself or achieved potable gold by it.

He wants to dissolve the gold with oil of vitriol and drive it thereby over the alembic, which gives me much to think about, because the corrosive oil of vitriol does not dissolve gold in such a way that it rises with it over the alembic. It is evident and requires no proof that the corrosive oil of vitriol fixes all volatile spirits and makes them stable, including sulphur, which becomes so fixed by it that no fire can light or burn it. If it does that, how then can it take gold, the stablest of all, along with it over the alembic? Here it is not important that some object and say that gold can be worked so far with other corrosive spirits that it rises into the alembic - why should the spirit of vitriol not do the same? But the answer is easy to find: one corrosive spirit is not like another. I am here speaking of the corrosive spirit of vitriol and not of its sweet arcanum, of which something will also be said later. For I am well aware that from vitriol a menstruum can be prepared that can dissolve and take over the alembic not only gold but all other metals and precious stones. To do this, however, is not everybody's doing and ability, and it requires an experienced and learned Philosopher and not a common laboratory worker. The process also takes quite some time, and the White Swan must also be present, as the menstruum is useless without it.

But what kind of Swan this is, neither Basil nor Paracelsus has expressly stated, although Basil speaks about the Swan. But if it is to be understood literally, I very much doubt, and I cannot imagine that the common laboratory workers know the White swan or know how to look for it. Nor can I believe that Poppius understood it, otherwise he would have achieved much more precious and greater works with this menstruum, as it can be called a Universal Menstruum, which it really is. In nearly all his works out author goes for the menstruum prepared of tartar and vitriol, which he no doubt understands here, and of which we will also speak of in its place. Soon afterwards he indicates how to prepare it under the name of "arcanum of Tartar". Thus he also speaks a great deal about it in his Preparation of Silver and Preparation of Tartar, using his process seven times, as indeed a Universal can do. Let scholars judge of it, my opinion will be found expressed clearly enough in my Notes.

But I consider the menstruum with the Swan of Basil and Paracelsus much more important than that which I saw at a wealthy Philosopher's. He put a whole Ducat in it. It disappeared in half an hour without any noise, and the menstruum turned bloodred from it. Therefore a young chymist must take great care not to trust every process - only to gain misery and bitterness for his great trouble. True, a process can soon be written, but it only becomes apparent hoe true or right it is when it is put in practice and elaborated according to the letter. If any man were to verify his writings and processes, of which he smears together big volumes, oh! how badly he would fare and he would finally be obliged to say that his writings had only been the thoughts of his brain, and that he had imagined that they would also succeed in the fire.

Shortly before, I thought that many do not speak highly of the calcination of gold with Mercury and do not wish to adapt it for medicines, such as those which are prepared with the power of the fire, like the Aquae Regis and the spirits of the salts of ammonia. I will therefore indicate here a fine method, for although gold must be calcined if one wants to make something important of it, suitable for all works, dissolutions, and extractions, it must be done as follows:

Have a fine crucible made of the kind that the glaziers have. It must not be too big or too small. Set it in the glass furnace at a constant heat and let it stay in a continuous flux. It must be placed in such a way that it can frequently or constantly be stirred with an iron wire. Let it stand in that heat for 14 days, and you will find a beautiful gold calx within that time. It melts easily in almost every menstruum and can afterwards be worked as you like. Little is lost of the gold. I have sent 3 Lots of gold to the glassworks, and when the calx came back, not more than half a Quentlein had been lost. It was so delicate that no laboratory worker could have made it subtler or clearer, of a somewhat blackish-brown color. Such a calcination can easily be done. The glazier gets a good tip and does it, leaving the stirring to boys who are doing it day and night. And a Thaler goes a long way.

There are other ways of calcination. I have seen a gentleman in Austria calcine gold in a constant fire, but the fire was made of pure sulphur. After four weeks - for that is how long he left the gold in the fire - it was so soft that it could be ground into a fine flour between one's fingers. But because this calcination is not suitable for everything, I will not recommend it. Each will see which kind of calcination he should use for his work. Before reporting the above, I had indicated that which is done with stag's antlers. It is not only suitable for all works but there is no suspicion of a corrosive in it. Likewise, the above calcination in the glass furnace can also well be used. I have read about more than a hundred calcinations of the Sun, but when they were examined they are nearly all cast over one last and issue from one foundation: either through dissolving waters or through fumigations or cementations, through minerals, also through lead, because the fumes of lead also calcine gold, rendering it so soft that it can easily be reduced to a powder. I would not want to use it for medicines, however, as lead fumes are poisonous and contain arsenic.

Some assert that gold can be calcined wit the salt of rainwater, May dew, or hail. If it is put in it while in flux, it is supposed to turn into a delicate powder which can afterwards melt in any kind of liquid. If that were so, it would indeed be a fine thing, and I would myself think highly of it as it would be quite a handy means.


If one takes what is beaten thin, Opens it as it should
Then pours into it drop by drop Mutratur which grows beautifully on the Rhine
Of that an oil arises of itself [] The gold then settles again
Slowly drips away until at last The effervescence stops of itself
Put a long alembic on And strongly distill everything again Till no more juice comes off it
Then pound it to a fine powder And pour it into warm water
To dissolve the sharpness Stir it with a wooden spoon
Pour it off and pour fresh one over it So that nothing corrosive is left
Gold calx should be left brown and subtle
But if there is much of it Repeat the work again Just as before

The more often this is repeated The more subtle and beautiful it becomes
Nor has it any grain or lustre But that has been completely destroyed
That one has also to take note of

When you believe that everything has been poured off, Dry it quite gently
Or else it will quickly ignite Bursting the oven at short notice Everything above and below
That happens as fast as lightning Therefore, use common sense and intelligence in this

Something else I wish to relate

If you cannot get any oil of Mutritar, Take common herbs
Prepare them into a fine salt, Dissolve it into an oil
Use it as indicated above
When the gold has been prepared

I give you this additional information
Twelve letters - the number fourteen
Five syllables and also six vowels
Rectify this very finely
And pour the gold calx into it
Set it in digestion well closed
Then leave it for several days
The solvent will become beautiful and red
This essence will help you in case of need.


[] I told him that there was nothing secret in these lines, that it was only the fulminating gold (or: leaf gold), aurum fulminans, known to all alchymists, that was indicated in them, and that he did not understand the word Mutratar nor the last eight lines in which mention is of 12 letters, 5 syllables, 6 vowels, and the number 14. He said that they contained a great secret - but this secret is also known to the coal-heavers.

[] The explanation is as follows: Laminated gold has to be dissolved in Aqua Regis. When it is dissolved, the oil of tartar (for Mutratar is tartarum', the letters have only been transposed) has to be poured in drop by drop. A strong roaring and effervescence will arise, But the drops must be put in only one after another because of the fast ebullition. When the fermentation has stopped and everything is calm, the liquid has to be distilled off (it can also be just poured down while the gold precipitates). Some powder is left. Warm water has to be poured on that to remove the sharpness. If the gold were not altogether dissolved softly and subtly, the process has to be repeated from the beginning. Then it has to be dried gently, only in the room or in the air but not in the sun, or else it would quickly ignite, breaking everything it meets[]

[] If sulphur flowers are mixed with the gold, however, and they are again cemented and burnt, it loses all fulminating, which is quite surprising. What is even more surprising: The fulminating is due to the tartar, and if after the gold has fermented, a good amount of oil of tartar is poured on it, it does away with the in the same way, no matter how strong the heat is that one applies.

[] If you have no oil of tartar at hand, the verses tell you to burn grape vine to ash and make salt of it. Then let it flow to oil in the cellar, and use it in the same way. This also works, it also precipitates the gold, but vinewood is often harder to obtain in many places than tartar. Nor are you always tied to these salts, others also precipitate gold, such as the salt of pine trees or ashes of firtrees, and there is more ash from firs than from vines. In addition, there exist other means for precipitating the dissolved gold in Aqua Regis than the salt of tartar []

[] But is it true that gold receives so much power to explode from these salts, someone might ask, not unreasonably. I say no, although the striking power does not properly stem from the tartar, for I have at various times precipitated gold with fir ashes. It did not explode, although the fire was rather strong. This has to be ascribed to the spirits which ignite the sulphur of the gold, making it explode so violently. This exploding occurs contrary to common sense, because other powder fulminates ahead or above itself, while this one kicks backwards and below itself, and with such force that one Quentlein of that fulminating gold has more force than 8 Lots of common gunpowder.

The sulphur of iron does the same as gold, but aside from that, no sulphur of any metal does, no matter how it is prepared. That is why many would like to conclude that these two metals must have a great kinship between themselves. They believe that the sulphur of iron is as good as the sulphur of gold, which is quite wrong, however. In all eternity, the sulphur of iron will not become a sulphur of the Sun, irrespective of how the preparationis carried out. the sulphur of iron remains what it is and cannot resist the power of Saturn (lead), even if it is a valiant hero. Nevertheless, it must concede victory to this old gentleman.

Now we will finish with the paraphrasing of the rhymes. When everything has thus been prepared and the calx of gold has been achieved, one is supposed to pour on it some spirit of wine, that is 5 syllables, 6 vowels, 12 letters, together the number 14.

[] Well then, with this spirit of wine one was supposed to extract the tincture of gold, and this was supposed to be the essence of the Sun which could help in case of need. Let those believe it who want to, I for my part cannot believe it. Nor do I let myself be persuaded, because I am quite certain that the spirit of wine does not extract any essence out of this fulminating gold. It is far too weak to decompose such a perfect subject, the most perfect Body. And what would it matter if it could extract an essence, it would yet not be the essence that could help you in need, for it would only be a subtle part of the gold, separated from its Body. It can do little, and can in no way lead you to riches, for it has not become plusquamperfect (more than perfect), as it has to become if it is to do something for others. Gold does not have its powers from it, it has no more than it requires for its own perfection. If it is to accomplish anything, it must first acquire such a virtue in its regeneration, when it has again to enter its mother's womb. []


Take some of the brown gold calx that has been reverberated with sulphur. Put it in a phial glass with a very flat bottom. Set that in warm sand for 18 weeks, day and night. Give it constant heat but so that the calx does not melt. In this way the gold is finally swelling up and becomes as soft as cotton. Open the glass and pour over it the following fiery spirit of the arcanum of tartar, which extracts the tincture of gold in an astonishing way. This must be discarded over the alembic, when a gold-colored oil will rise, quite transparent and lovely to look at.


Take the magistery of vitriol, which is quite clear, transparent and crystalline. Dissolve in it the vegetable salt, then distill the phlegms gently off it. Thereafter dissolve it in distilled rainwater till it loses all its feces and gets rid of its slime. Now coagulate it to dryness. Pour the vegetable blood, or the vegetable fire over it, then distill it over the alembic. First the spirit will come out, then the fiery spirit, and this is the arcanum for this work.


The author presents another way of making oil of gold. It differs little from the first, except that the menstruum for the extraction is taken from vitriolic tartar, with the addition of brandy. The process is probably fine and can be made, although I have not tried it for gold. I have, however, done it for silver and found it to be true according to the letter. But the reverberation is a very tiresome work, as 18 weeks is a long time and much coal has to be used. In addition, this fire must be well regulated or else the substance will easily melt and revert into a Body. Then all effort and work are lost. This long time is required to allow the calx to become all the subtler, but one can achieve this just as well in a shorter time. In the manner indicated, potable gold cannot be prepared in less than half a year. The patient could die a hundred times before getting his medicine. I would advise (the alchymists) to use the gold calx which I taught in the previous process, or that obtained with stag's antlers. It can melt and be extracted in almost every liquid, even if one does not use the tartarized arcanum as a menstruum.

The gold calx can in any case soon be made volatile. Within two days I can volatilize it so much that it rises entirely into the alembic; even flies away. One may well be surprised that such a fixed Body can be so far destroyed that it can fly away without wings like Mercury, and yet can also be made fixed again with a little effort. I know how to make a spirit that destroys gold so much in a few hours that it flies with the spirit out of the glass into the air, if the glass is not tightly closed. Nobody knows where it goes, and it vanishes entirely, so that not one grain is left in the glass.

When I mentioned this one day at a princely table, the Prince did not want to believe it and asked me to show it to him in practice. When I did this in a short time - because I already had a supply of the spirit - he was quite surprised and said that he had had many laboratory workers, but none had gone so far. Furthermore, he said that if he knew how to make this spirit, he would not doubt the preparation of the Philosophers' Stone. But he was wrong, because this spirit had not been the Universal Spirit, as the Philosophers want it to be, but had been made from other minerals, and was corrosive. Therefore it could not and should not be an ingredient and medium for attaining this high Work. Although it could not be used for this purpose - nor had I prepared it to this end - it was yet a wonder that it could volatilize the gold so fast without further preparation. And if nothing was added to it, it did not let the gold drop away. Even if one tried ten times to separate it through the Balneum, the gold always went with it over the alembic, not as an oil or an extract but with its color, just the color of the spirit itself, only somewhat pale-yellow. Aside from that, it was beautiful, bright and white like spring water. It is not necessary to describe here how to prepare this spirit as it does not help this Work. It is also dangerous to operate with it because it kicks so much and violently as no gunpowder does. It is better, however, to handle the tartarized arcanum, but one must have a good amount of it, and I will here describe how I made it.

I took 1 lb. of salt of tartar, optim. rectified. Upon it I poured drop by drop the same amount of oil of vitriol. I let it effervesce, then put it down till it had settled. I decanted the liquid and gently dried the residue. I dissolved the latter in the phlegma of the vitriol, poured the pure off and filtered it. I distilled the liquid to half, then put the rest in a cold place. Now beautiful clear and transparent crystals sprouted, which I took out with a wooden spoon, letting half of the remaining water steam off further; set it back in the cellar, let it sprout, poured the liquid off, mixed the crystals with the previous ones. When I had dried and weighed them, I had obtained 2 lbs. from these 4 lbs.

On these crystals I poured some good rectified spirit of wine - which the author calls the "vegetarian blood" - set it to digest, as otherwise they do not easily dissolve, till they were completely dissolved. Then I distilled them according to the Art. When I had driven over 2 lbs. of the spirit, I changed the receiver, added another and increased the fire somewhat. Now a beautiful fiery spirit went over. I removed the Death's Head, enclosed it in a retort and reverberated it well. I also extracted its salt with distilled rainwater, added it to the distilled spirit, let it circulate for 8 days, and drove it over again. Thus I obtained a wonderful menstruum with which one can not only extract the Soul of the gold but also that of all metals, minerals and precious stones. It dissolves and extracts exceedingly well, and if it does not take everything over the alembic the first time, it must be cohobated and will work very well.

When I tried this process with silver, I could not get everything over the alembic the first time but had to pour it back several times into the left-over. Then it went over, leaving only a few feces in the retort, which were quite black and light. I am of opinion that one has to proceed in the same way with gold, as its Body is even more fixed and compact than the Body of silver, and the cohobations achieve much good, which could otherwise not be done.

With this menstruum I have dissolved the crocus Martis, the crocus (saffron color) of iron and extracted its tincture, which turned out more beautiful than any dissolution of the Sun. I took it over the alembic in the same way. And when I separated the menstruum from it by a vapor bath, a beautiful oil was left, pleasant and sweet, as if it had come from the best gold. It also tinged silver into shining gold, though it was not stable. But when the silver was immediately held in the fire, it did not fly away like that which comes from antimony. It was only washed away when it was strongly rubbed. This work could well make you hope that you could make something out of iron with which you could earn your bread. I leave it to anyone who would like to try it. I am afraid, however, that it will hardly be possible without a good fermentation, because Basil says that Mars also attains glory by his quarrelsomness, but that he must take care not to be pushed down again and suffer shame and derision, as the old Saturn (lead) is his archenemy: where he can give him a secret knock, he will not hesitate to do so, because the old folks are generally no friends of warriors.

With this oil one can also turn Mercury into a beautiful precipitate, which can be used to great advantage in many sicknesses. It makes it so fixed and fireproof that it can pass a rather stiff test of Vulcan (fire).

 How to Prepare the Quintessence of Gold

Take some of the brown calx reverberated with sulphur, 3 or 4 Lots. Mix it with the crystalline coagulated dry water, 6 Lots. This water does not dissolve the metal in the common way but separates the good from the bad. It destroys the bad and the course, turning it into earthdust and slime, while increasing the good in its nature, This conjunction done, very carefully close the glass with lute, then set it in a gradation-fire in sand for 8 weeks, day and night, in steady heat, but only so much that the calx does not melt and shows just a slight brown glow. In that steady heat the crystalline water will open the gold completely, turning it into dust and ashes.

When now the gold has all turned into ashes, give it a stronger fire for three weeks. Then take it out, open the glass and pour it over these ashes the vinegar of Nature, which the Philosophers call Nature's fire. The vinegar will soon revivify the ash, extract its Soul, beat the earth and feces down and leave them at the bottom of the glass. You can do the same with silver and other metals. In this way metals can be totally anatomized and decomposed, bringing them into their crystalline and essential form.

Whoever wants to follow Nature further, may add to this essence of gold the essence of antimony, which may be quite sweet and transparent, nicely smelling and tasting, and also penetrating. This essence will soon be tinged and attract the tincture of the gold. Enclose the latter in a glass and set it in warm ashes. It will turn into a red transparent glass or salt, quite stable and fixed in the fire, quite transparent. It might well be called the arcanum of gold. It is also possible to add the essence of vitriol instead of the essence of antimony and coagulate further, as just said.


As I see it, [] , this is not a quintessence but only a wearisome calcination and extraction with the arcanum of tartar or vitriolized tartar.

With this salt he does nearly all his works, believing that he has quite rightly proceeded according to the views of the Philosophers - which I cannot believe, because the crystalline dry water of the Philosophers and the arcanum of Nature are different from what the author thinks. The latter decompose gold, so that it can never again be brought into a Body ( ), unless it is done by projection. But according to the processes of our author, gold can again be reverted into a Body with little effort, and this crystalline water and out author's vinegar of Nature cannot do much that it would completely discard its covers and stand there naked. In addition, one is said to decompose the Body ( ); the other, to extract it, which is against all Philosophers. They always say that calcining, sublimating, fixing, etc., are all one work, and that it is done in a closed vessel and furnace. If this is true, as it is indeed, it must follow that the author never understood the views of the Philosophers, much less prepared Nature's vinegar and making potable gold thereby. This process can therefore not be a quintessence of ( ), no matter how often he insists that we must follow Nature.

[] It is the same with the vinegar of Nature. Nature has already prepared it. We must not make it under any circumstances but only take it out of her vinegar-jar. It is vinegar against Nature, sweet, pleasantly tasting and crysta-clear. Therefore it does not wet the hand and is called the most acid vinegar (acetum acerrimum) by the Philosophers, which are strange words. This vinegar correctly decomposes gold into its Principles, simultaneously extracting its tincture. Our author's process is unable to do this, and it is nothing but a preparation of the Body for turning it into a liquid. It differs very little from the other preparations, because for a quintessence all three Principles must be well purified. Here, the tincture and the Sulphur are indeed purified, but where are the other two, Salt and Mercury? Mercury, which appears in the form of a beautiful clear water, must likewise be brought to the highest degree of purity. The Salt also must be sublimated into a transparency, like diamonds or rubies. Then a quintessence can follow.

All this can be accomplished by the vinegar of Nature alone, without decanting or distilling. The common man will not believe this, because he calcines gold himself, dissolves and extracts it himself, thus believing that he can produce a quintessence. According to our author's instructions, gold must first be turned into a fulminating gold, then mixed with the vitriolized tartar, then cemented for fully 18 weeks. With the vitriolized menstruum the Sulphur is first extracted. This is saying it in a few words, but the work is so long that it becomes extremely tedious. Even so, there is something to it. This process is good enough to work after it, but you have to remember that it does not result in a quintessence, as our author believes. But whoever wants to obtain a fine essence in a short time, may work as follows:

I took the calcined gold and poured on it the secret spirit of vitriol. It dissolved the gold within 24 hours and extracted an essence like a ruby, leaving a white Body like fixed silver. Thus I could obtain the whole preparation and perfection within 8 days, because the real spirit of vitriol has the power of attacking, decomposing, and liquefying gold without violence. No other menstruum can easily do this, except that which I saw at a good friend's, of which I also spoke above. Anyone in possession of it could produce the quintessence of gold - but not everything is revealed to us, nor would it always be good to do so.

But how the secret spirit of vitriol, which so nicely dissolves gold, is to be prepared will be reported below under its title, to which I hereby wish to refer the kind reader. What is missing here will be disclosed there.

Here I wil teach you to prepare a secret spirit for making potable ( ) which tastes as good as a Seville orange. It subdues gold, causing it to melt in any liquid, yes, in rainwater, and it tinges bloodred. I have always considered this my greatest secret, and am still considering it such. I will communicate it here out of goodwill, but on condition that I am rightly understood. Whoever does not understand had better leave it, or else he might accuse me of misleading him. Yet I can say in good conscious that I am writing nothing but the truth, and I here reveal what I have made with my own hands. With this spirit gold becomes so beautiful and pleasant that it is amazing, and not one in a hundred will believe that there is so much power in this spirit. For if filed gold is simply put in it and subjected to a mild digestion, it will lose its luster and change into the highest redness. The spirit, however, unites with the gold and disappears - and Body and Spirit result in one sweet Body. No menstruum can do this, except the Universal of the world and the Philosophers, no matter what the laboratory workers write - it is not important. You must know, however, that this spirit must not be made more often than once a year, for various reasons, and this is no sophistry as some imagine. Although it can be made at any time, it does not have the power of decomposing gold, at which I myself have been surprised.

But so as not to keep you waiting any longer, know that in the soil near silver mines a special brown earth is found between the galleries. When the sun enters the constellation Cancer and at full moon, which happens every year about mid-June, that earth turns beautifully yellow, as if it were covered with the finest gold. It does not last for more than three hours when it disappears again and the gold vanishes in one moment, so to speak. I observed this carefully at Freiberg in Meissen. You have to wait for it attentively, otherwise you will not notice it. You must not only go by the calendar, but if you wish to collect this gilt earth, you must yourself be familiar with astronomy, to know at what time the full moon occurs in the sky in the mountains, so as not to miss this time, be it at night or during the day, it is all the same.

Get as much of this earth as you like, put it in an oak barrel to prevent the spirit from evaporating, half fill the retort with it, add a receiver, then distill the spirit off. It will look wonderful. When it is all out, distill the phlegma over. By rectification you must get the volatile salt from the left-over. The latter must be turned into a viscous substance by means of its fixed salt. Without it, the work is impossible as one must open the other. When the viscous substance is quite pure, distill it seven times through a retort, and you will get a beautiful crystalline spirit with which you can master the gold and get its essence. I do not believe that any writer has revealed as much as I have. Pray to God for good luck! It is plain enough, I believe a child could understand it. If you cannot make gold spiritual with this spirit and dissolve it into its three Principles, you will not do it with any Aqua Regis or salt of ammonia, except with the dry water of the Philosophers - let anyone say what he likes.

[] The author also advises us to add the essence of the Sun to the essence of antimony and to coagulate them together. That is correct, but one has to take care that the essence of antimony or vitriol be quite sweet and red. Otherwise there will be a failure. How to prepare them will be shown in their place.

In the grand-ducal laboratory at Innsbruck in Thieving, I saw that the tincture of the Sun was increased by the tincture of antimony by 1 to 5 parts. After four days in digestion, various colors could be seen, and I was very surprised that during this time a flower appeared in the center, like gold. It did not change, but all around it there was something like a rainbow. Now the laboratory worker removed it from the fire and opened the glass. When the air touched it, all the colors in the center disappeared and only a muddy-red liquid was left. This caused everybody to be startled. We put it back and coagulated it to a red powder. After that, we took it out and put some of it on a red hot silver plate. It was fixed and did not smoke.

 A Common Way of Making Potable Gold

Take some gold purified through antimony, 3 Lots. Dissolve it in oil of salt, mixed with Mercury made of urine. When the ( ) is well dissolved into a golden oil, pour the oil of wine into it, and it will become red as blood. Take 1 part of this blood and 10 parts of spirit of wine, distill over the alembic till it is quite beautiful like a ruby, and you have a potable gold which can be used internally and externally.


The author indicates various processes for making potable gold, and when they are examined by day, it is all one work, that is, a dissolution of gold. Only the menstrua are somewhat changed, for the rest it is one and the same, as I have already mentioned. You can take any menstruum you like, provided it does not harm ( ), so that the gold is not contaminated by it, thereby causing harm to man. Through the menstrua gold does not acquire any other virtues than those it already has. Arousing those, however, so that they can come out of their potentiality into actuality, can only be done by a suitable menstruum, which has been discussed in various Notes.

[] The present preparation is just like the recent one with the oil of wine, except that the spirit of urine is added to the oil of salt. Aside from that, it is one operation and has one effect. But here he speaks of the Mercury of urine, which is no other than the spirit of urine, and he does not say anything about the method of its preparation. Although I have already referred to the spirit of urine, I will nevertheless describe here the right preparation of the Mercury, so that laboratory workers are not hindered by a lack of knowledge thereof and can find in one context the whole perfect process. It is done as follows:

Collect a good amount of boys' urine, let it putrefy for some time, and distill the first and subtle spirit over like brandy. Set the filtrate in digestion for 8 days and distill again as before. Keep the spirit but boil the left-overs of both distillations quite dry in a kettle. Calcine it in a potter's furnace, extract from it its fixed salt with rain water, knead it under potter's clay, and distill it like common spirit of salt. You will obtain a yellow, sharp spirit, rather heavy in weight. Rectify it to remove all phlegma, then pour on it by drops the first-prepared volatile spirit. It will effervesce strongly, so that you will be surprised to find so many opposites together in one subject. A white substance will precipitate. Let it settle, pour the phlegma off from it, dry the rest, put it in a curcurbit and sublimate it with a strong fire. A beautiful bright sublimate will rise into the alembic. Remove it and keep it, as it is good for many things. Take one part of it, add to it 3 parts of spirit of salt, digest this together and distill it. Now you will have a wonderful menstruum for dissolving not only gold but all the other metals and minerals.

Now dissolve the calcined gold with it, according to the author's instruction, and you will obtain a very fine and right extraction. While feces will be left over in the retort, which turn into a white Body if they are melted with borax, but it is quite untractable, brittle, and breaks. If it passes through the bath of Saturn, however, its malleability is restored and it turns into a true fixed silver, which has also been referred to in the previous Note. How to process it to revert it to what it had been has also been reported.

 How the Purging ( ) is to be prepared

Take 4 Lots of quicksilver, 1 Lot of fine gold, make an amalgam with them, such as goldsmiths do when they wish to gild. Thereafter, enclose the amalgam in a glass, let it stand for 32 days in a gentle heat, such as a vapor fire. After that, 3 days in warm ashes. In this time the Body of the ( ) will have completely mixed with the quicksilver. Now pour the oil of vitriol over it, standing one finger's width over the materia. Set the glass in warm sand till the moisture has evaporated, then leave it in the same heat till it turns into a beautiful red precipitate.


In this process and title the author indicates how the gold is to be prepared so that it may purge and turn into a fine precipitate, which also takes place. But if I take a good look at the preparation, it is rather a Mercury than a purging gold. This must be achieved by the Mercury, as Mercury can also do this without the addition of gold, if it is precipitated with spirit of vitriol or other means, of which more will be said later on. It becomes more sudorific than cathartic, as its effect shows. But when I look at the composition, I find that there is 4 times as much Mercury as gold. Therefore it is wrong to call it "purging gold". This process is not at all new or of particular importance, for this preparation can be found in many authors, and I had previously seen it in many laboratories, though under the title of "purging Mercury". More can be read about this and looked up in Penotus, Beuinus, Quercetanus, Harmannus, and other chymists, who prepare this medicine in a shorter time.

 How to Prepare Diaphoretic Gold

Take some of the brown gold calx, calcined quite subtly like sponge or cotton wool, as has been mentioned several times before. It has to be calcined in a steady fire for 13 or 18 weeks. This calx must be put in a phial glass and frequently moistened with mercurial oil. When there are 2 Lots of the calx, pour 1 Quentlein of mercurial oil upon it all at once, then mix these well together, close the glass and set it in warm sand for 3 days. When the calx has again become fixed and dry, open, open the glass and give it again 2 Quentlein of mercurial oil. The glass must be closed again and put for 1 or 6 days in the sand till it is again fixed and dry. This must be done a third time and continued till 4 Lots of mercurial oil have been imbibed into the gold calx. Finally, it has to be given a strong fire to turn it into a stable red powder. When this work has been completed, you have the right Diaphoretic Gold.


This preparation of diaphoretic gold is likewise more a preparation of Mercury than gold, as the whole composition proves, because the oil of Mercury, which is otherwise quite volatile, is tied with the gold and made stable in the fire. It should be more correctly called "diaphoretic Mercury" than "diaphoretic Gold", as twice the amount of gold is added to the oil of Mercury. This composition is almost literally repeated in the Treatise on Mercury. True, it is a fine composition, but one has to take care to obtain the right mercurial oil, devoid of any corrosive matter, otherwise nothing good will come of it. How to do this, will be clearly reported below by the author and myself, where the laboratory worker can look it up. Therefore, it is not necessary to add it here and to describe the same work twice or three times.

It is easy to prepare it, as these two coagulate easily. Only, one must not take too much liquid or oil. If it should happen through carelessness, the fire has to be correctly regulated to prevent the water or oil from rising and evaporating, leaving the gold alone at the bottom. This can very easily happen if there is too much spirit, because it is volatile and has great power. Not only does it rise quickly but it also breaks the glasses, as I myself have experienced. A beginning laboratory worker must pay dearly for his experience, especially if he is dealing with wrong and obscure processes. Strange things often happen, and nothing comes out of them.

[] The author did indeed not invent this process but compiled it from the old Philosophers who said that the gold had to be prepared through Mercury. This had a different meaning with them than the author now imagines. Some, however, got closer to this process. They were looking for a different liquid or mercurial oil and conjoined it with the gold. In that they were very successful and obtained a much nobler medicament than the author's. The author did hear a bell ring but he did not know in what village, because the term "Mercury" is an ambiguous word, and among a thousand there is hardly one who hits on the right understanding of it.

The right Mercury or its liquid absorbs the gold in such a way that it is so strongly conjoined with it that they can never again be separated - which common Mercury does not do. Even if it obtains great fixity, the two do not conjoin per minima. Saturn, no matter how lame he is, knows how to separate them. What he examines and finds to be stable will remain stable and need therefore not fear any enemy.

Of such a nature and capability is also the liquid of the real Mercury. But where to find and obtain him, I cannot report at this time, as I myself have not yet met him, although I saw him for some time at another good friend's. But to me he did not wish to come,, although I have not stopped searching for him. Many Philosophers have reported that he can surest be met in Egypt. Therefore, I did not begrudge a journey to Egypt, visited there all seven ports where the Nile flows into the sea, especially as they say that he lives near the water. That may well be so, because where the Nile does not flow, Egypt is desert, dry and infertile and uninhabited. Therefore I could not inquire in such places but traveled from one port to another, was referred from one to the next, from the uppermost, the Canopico, to the Bolbitico, from there to the others, the Sebbenitico, Pelusiario, Tenetico, Phanitico, and finally to the Mendosico. However, I achieved as little in one port as in another though I saw some horrible and enormous crocodiles. If Mercury had crept inside them - because when you are looking for him, he has a way of hiding like the polyp - I cannot say, but I can truthfully say that I met with great danger in Egypt, and yet, God's Providence did not allow me to find Mercury. I will probably not do so till God takes pity on me and grants him to me for a good medicine, as I greatly harmed my body in my youth with traveling and laboratory works - and this blessing of God must be obtained by continual and devout prayers. What I have so far said about Egypt has not been done without a reason, as some would imagine, for the Mercury I have in mind is a true son of the Nile, which takes its origin in the mountains of Luna and flows through the whole of Egypt, Sapienti satis.

In the course of my travels, however, I came to know many kinds of fine earth and metallic stones, which are useful to me in many ways. Nor will I withhold from the kind reader the good things that happened to me. Although I did not get to know the true Mercury, I did find a mercurial liquid with which i can prepare a wonderful potable gold. It is indeed no mean arcanum, although I have so far kept it as my greatest secret and have been reluctant to reveal it to anybody. Even so, I will not withhold it any longer but communicate it to my fellowman and serve him thereby. It must be prepared with great care, however, as the spirit is so volatile that it vanishes from a glass that is not tightly closed, even if set only in the air, without the heat of the sun and the fire, at which I have often been surprised. As mentioned earlier, this liquid is so acceptable to gold that they quickly conjoin and want to stay together. How you can obtain it is done as follows:

In the gold mines there is a yellow or red earth. Have some of it brought to you. Now take some of that, powder it, pour distilled rainwater over it, boil it for one to three hours, and when there is no more water, add some more. Then suck it down slowly, filter it through paper, distill half of it off, and put it in a cool place. After a few days, mighty beautiful crystals will sprout. Remove and dry them. They taste like sour wine, almost like cream of tartar mixed with a little bitterness. If they are left for a few days in a closed glass, in gentle heat, they turn as red as blood. Now take a good amount of the aforesaid mineral or earth, crumble it and dry it without fire. mix the crystals with it, one part of crystals to two parts of the earth. Put this mixture in a retort, place a rather big receiver in front, and distill by degrees. You will obtain a beautiful white mercurial spirit. Enclose that in a phial and let it digest for 14 days in a vapor bath. Then separate the phlegma from it, rectify it once or four times in a glass retort set in sand, and you will obtain a beautiful secret mercurial spirit, of which you will not have seen much. It has a very nice taste.

Now take one part of the gold calx, prepared as I have taught in my Note above. Add as much of the mercurial spirit, congeal them together well closed, and when there are no more yellow drops, add the same amount of spirit and coagulate again. It will again become fixed in a short time, and the gold will open and become quite red. Pour more spirit over it and process till the gold turns blood red and is fireproof. You will have a medicine, the like of which you will hardly find. It can be used for all diseases and all men. You must not try to find out how it operates, for it works according to the disease, and its effect is very fast. []

 How To Prepare A Mercurium Vivum From Gold And Other Metals

Take 4 Lots of Hungarian gold, dissolve it in salt oil, distill the salt off, and brown calx is left at the bottom. Put that into a flat glass, close it tightly and give it a constant fire, but so that the calx does not melt in the glass. Let it stand for 8 or 12 weeks, and the calx will be so much reverberated that it becomes quite malleable, like dust. Now dissolve it in oil made of antimony and Mercury, let it stand in the heat till the oil disappears altogether and dries up. Then begin to sublimate with a strong fire, and the gold will sublimate above on the glass like a golden ring. Remove it carefully. It can be manipulated with the fingers like an amalgam or quicksilver, except that it does not run like the common quicksilver.


Take subtle gold calx, calcine it with the elementary Mercury of the Sun or Moon. After the calcination, add as much Live Mercury to it and put it into a sublimatorium. Let it stand in gentle heat for 8 days till it turns into a sublimat. Now begin sublimating. Enclose this sublimate in a glass and set it to digest for some time in a vapor fire, and all the sublimate will change into a mercurial Body. If now sulphur is added to this quicksilver of gold in the right proportion or weight, and Mercury is thus prepared with the Philosophical Fire, you have an excellent medicine for healing lepra, for it cleanses the corrupt impure blood, expels the dirt of the whole body through perspiration, and rejuvenates it somewhat.


This is so because the Philosophers unanimously indicate that the first beginning of the Work must and should be a work based on the rays of the Sun, as Sendivogius says.

[] I have seen that Herr Hasselmeyer had almost a whole pound of Mercury of the Sun. He also added its sulphur - which was blood red - but it did not except that tincture, although he had kept it long enough in the fire. Bernard Penotus also testifies that he did not succeed in doing it. There are reasons why it does not except the sulphur. When the Body ( ) is changed into a running Mercury, there is no separation of the sulphur and the salt, but everything is simultaneously transformed into a Mercury. Consequently, it already contains all that it needs and cannot absorb more. That is also the reason why it rejects any additional sulphur, and the substance ( ) is totally transformed without a separation. Of what use is it them to add a superfluous amount of it? Nature does not absorb more than is her due. The rest is all time, effort and expense for nothing.

Although there is something to it that the Mercury ( ) is better than the common one, if it is processed to perfection, I do not doubt that common Mercury can also be processed to that degree by careful preparation, except, as already indicated above, one is sooner coagulated and made stable in the fire than the other. It must, however, not be infected with the common Mercury, which is only a bastard, but must be pure and perfect, otherwise it is not worth much. Whoever would like to prepare it, let him follow this process, for both of the author's processes are not worth a hood:

Take sublimated Mercury, sublimated with vitriol and salt. Make it come alive again as is customary. After that, take sal ammoniacum, as much as there is Mercury, and sublimate it again. When this is done, remove it from the head of the alembic. Discard the feces, and sublimate again. Repeat this sublimating till everything stays at the bottom and melts like wax or butter. Then it is enough. Now take it out and put it in a glass dish, pour over it ammoniated water of the Sun (whose preparation will be indicated below), to moisten it well. Set it in warm sand and coagulate it. Then add again some water and coagulate. This must be repeated till it can no longer be coagulated but stays fluid like oil. Put it in a cold place, and it will turn into a beautiful bright water. This water is also used for other things, and in chymistry much can be done with it, especially as a means for refining silver.

Now take as much of this water as you like, put your thinly laminated gold or silver in it, let it digest 24 hours, and the gold will melt and become like a sponge. Distill the water off, a dirty mass will be left at the bottom. Pour warm rainwater on it and mix it well with your fingers. The whole Body will turn into a beautiful running Mercury.

By this process the Mercury of any Body can be made pure and uncontaminated. It can be used at the artist's pleasure, but to make the Lapis with it will not happen this year.

Although there are more means and ways for preparing the Mercury of the Sun, they cannot all be recommended. Most of them are quite wrong, and among ten hardly one works. Therefore I will add yet another method by which it is easier to obtain it in less time. Here it is:

Take 4 Lots of gold, dissolve it in Aqua Regis, as is usually done. When everything is dissolved, distill the water off to oiliness, pour fresh Aqua Regis over it, let it digest 24 hours, and again distill it to oiliness. You must repeat this work seven times. Now give it a rather strong fire, and the gold will rise and sublimate. Remove this sublimate carefully and dissolve it in spirit of wine, strengthened by oil of salt. It will melt. Distill half of the water off and set the rest in a cool cellar. Beautiful crystals will spout. Remove them, add to them 2 Lots of salt of urine, salt of alkali, salt of tartar, sublimate of ammonia, each one and a half Lots, let them putrefy together for 14 days. Now add half a pound of crude tartar and sublimate or drive it through a retort into a receiver in which there is cold water. You will see the Mercury of the Sun rise over quite bright like common Mercury. It comes alive in the cold water. Remove it and purge it in the same manner as will be indicated regarding common Mercury. You have again a true live Mercury without the addition of common live Mercury.

[] But this Mercury costs much money and is an expensive medicine. A much better medicine can be made by making the gold potable. as I have taught you, than by first turning it into running Mercury.

Everything that has here been said about the Mercury of the Sun likewise applies to the Mercury of the Moon. I consider them at the same level, for both are perfect Bodies which cannot be brought into their prima materia without the addition of the true Philosophical Materia, even if 12 fodders of processing were prescribed. I could certainly indicate over 300 processes for one of these matters, which cost me a great deal, though no real work could be found in them, except that I learned a fine knack for regulating the fire and boiling some water.

 How to Prepare Vitriol from Gold

Take 6 Lots of fine gold which has passed through antimony or has been purified by it. Beat it into thin plates, coat it with the artificial Mercury, called Aqua Regis by the Philosophers, and give it a gentle heat. The plates will begin to give off a crocus and color. Put that in a clean glass, then coat the gold plate again and calcine it till a vitriol or color appears once more. Continue doing this till all the gold has become one color. This vitriol is like the crocus of Mars (iron). Put everything together and pour Aqua Regis over it. When it is dissolved enough, cleanse it with Nature's water., then distill the phlegma off to half the amount, and a beautiful vitriol will sprout, which attaches to the glass like sugar. That is the vitriol from gold.


Others, however, take the golden plates, beat them quite thin and fill the alembic with them so that, when the spirits rise into the alembic out of the artificial Aqua Regis, those same fiery spirits permeate the whole gold, extracting a subtle crocus which adheres to the plates like beautiful saffron. They remove it and pour over it Paradise Water, let it extract for 8 days, then decant, filter through paper, and coagulate it to a salt of vitriol.


Here the author indicates two processes for making gold vitriol, but in their effect one is like the other. Only a menstruum, or solvent, is used, and a method of working is prescribed. It is nothing but a dissolution of gold with the corrosive Aqua Regis, which he calls "artificial Mercury". If you have a good Aqua Regis, it extracts a crocus in the digestion, but that is much better done by the spirit of Mercury. It is nothing but a dissolution that occurs when Aqua Regis is poured on the calcined gold. It is not without merit and gives you a crocus, but it is much slower and afterwards leaves you with little spirit, because, if this vitriol is given strong fire in the digestion, it melts back again into a Body. It results in a yellow spirit that is not really sour though somewhat bitter. The salt or the vitriol of the Sun can be made in another way which goes faster and also dissolves the Body better.

Distill the spirit through the alembic, rectify it three times. Then take the salt from the Death's Head, add it to the first spirit and distill till the fixed salt also goes over the alembic. When this spirit is ready, beat the gold into plates, hang it in a glass above the spirit, and it will extract the crocus in the digestion. Then dissolve the crocus in distilled rainwater, filter it, and distill it by half. Now lovely brown, sometimes also red crystals will shoot in a cool cellar. They can be dissolved again, but it will not amount to much. It is indeed no radical dissolution, be it called salt or vitriol. It is nothing but a corrosion of the Body, to weaken it so much that it can be made potable. When all these works are rightly considered, one is like another, and one has the same effect as the other.

I have already several times reminded the reader in my Notes that if one has a right dissolution of the gold - of those I have mentioned I consider only two as the principle ones - it is sufficient, and there is no need to worry greatly about the others. Care has only to be taken to choose that which is not too corrosive, so that one does not administer poison instead of a teriac. You may call it by any name you wish, it is finally nevertheless leprous calx. Thus the author's vitriol is nothing else: For it is only corroded by Aqua Regis, and nothing concerning the Art can be learned from it, although the Aqua Regis is called a Mercury, and rainwater Paradise Water. Words do not improve the work, and one should take the least possible notice of words but look solely to the operation and in what it will and should result.

If the gold is calcined first, however, as has already been taught above, it can be imbibed with spirit of urine and thus be dissolved completely. It will leave its feces at the bottom. What is dissolved is decanted, and the menstruum is distilled off quite dry. Now pour on some more spirit of urine, proceeding as has been said before, and this must be repeated three or four times. Then pour distilled rainwater, or better, distilled May Dew over it. The gold will dissolve very well and will thereafter give off its crystals and salt.

May Dew is prepared as follows: Collect a rather large quantity of it, put it in a big glass, seal the glass and set it for 6 weeks in the sun or in warm horse manure. The dew wil coagulate, so to speak, but at first it becomes quite thin. The phlegma must be separated, and finally its spirit driven over with a strong fire. In this way one obtains a fine menstruum, useful for many things, especially if it is strengthened by its crystalline salt and conjoined to it. Now someone might ask for what purpose this vitriol of the Sun is made and prepared. The author does not mention it with one word, but it is easy to see why: to turn it into potable gold, serviceable for many diseases in case of need. It is not necessary to write here much about how this vitriol is to be elaborated further, for this has been dealt with ad nauseam in almost all headings and chapters.

[] So far we have dealt with many dissolutions and calcinations of ( ), explained and amplified the author's processes by our experience, also accomplished fine cures and experiments with it. But as to reveal my final option of this business - I do not think much of most of them, because these dissolutions are no philosophical destructions. But I have already shown above how gold is to be artificially decomposed, and it need not be repeated here. I have only examined the operations in accordance with the author's instructions and method, and have revealed how I have found them to be in the fire, in practice.

[] Recently I got a hold of another way of preparing potable gold, such as Herr Harianus a Mynsich, my old school comrade, describes in his Thesaro Medico-Chymico, although a similar one is also found in Ustadius' Coelum Philosphorum, and Thurnheuser also mentions it. [] Although the preparation appears to be bad, it does not matter. Often there is more art in a bad process than in one that has been colored by many exaggerations which, when put to the test, show what it is. Now we will proceed with the preparation.

Take Hungarian gold, well purified through antimony, have it laminated very thinly, then dissolve it in a right oil of the Sun (I have already indicated its right preparation and more will be said about it below under its title). When it is dissolved, distill the oil of the salt strongly off it, and a fine gold calx will be left at the bottom of the glass. Take it out, put it in a small retort, pour enough cinnamon oil on it to turn it into a pap. The gold will soon begin to effervesce and become black. Pour on it a good alcoholized spirit of wine, standing 2 fingers' breadth above the materia. It will soon extract a tincture from the gold. Pour the spirit off and pour fresh spirit on it, and continue doing this till no more tincture shows.

Remove the Death's Head, wash it with warm water and weigh it. Now pour again the right quantity of spirit of salt on it, and let it dissolve again. Distill the spirit off quite dry, pour oil of cinnamon over it, and when it effervesces, add the spirit of wine and extract its tincture. Repeat this work till the gold is completely dissolved and not the least bit of insolved matter is left of the Body. Now pour some clear purged spirit of wine on it, distill it to oil, and you will have a wonderful medicine or potable gold. To tell the truth, if among the common dissolutions one pleases me more than another, it is precisely this one, because it operates extremely well.