The Alchemy web site on Levity.com
Liber SecretisimusTranscribed by Robert Nelson.
Back to Ripley's Works.
Sir George Ripley
The Whole Work of the Composition of the Philosophical Stone and grand Elixir, and of the First Solution of the Grosse Bodies:
Take our Artificial Antimony, but not the Natural Antimony as it comes out of the Earth, for that is too dry for our work, and hath little or no humidity, or fatness in it, but take as I say, our Artificial Antimonial Compound, which is abundantly replenished with the Dew of Heaven and the fatness and unctuosity of the earth, wherein precious Oils and rich Mercuries are by Nature closely sealed up, and hidden from the eyes of all ignorant deriders of the great and wonderful mysteries of Almighty God, to the end that seeing they should not see, nor understand, what he hath enclosed in the most obvious, common, and contemptible beginnings of all Things in the whole World.
This our Antimonial Compound is only to be revealed to the Children of Art, who firmly believe the constant truth thereof, and whom in all fraternal love and charity we say, that it is made of one Sulphur, and of two Mercuries, which otherwise by the wise Philosophers are called, the Sun, Moon, and Mercury, or as some of them will more plainly have it, Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury, which are the three several and distinct substances and bodies, although for the most part we term them but one Thing, because in the conclusion of our work they make but one Thing, that is our admirable Elixir, and they have alone original, and tend altogether but to one end. For if we had not in our Work a triune aspect of these Planets, and did not begin it with a Trinity, all would be lost labour and inutilous profile.
Wherefore if thou wilt thrive in our Art, we wish thee to begin with our Mineral Trinity, whereof this our Artificial Antimonial compound is made. Take then first in the prime beginning of thy Work, these three noble Kinsmen, who are immediately indued with all the strong and subtile qualities of the four Elements, and in their due and most natural proportions, (in which proportions see thou do not erre, for if thou do, thou shalt never reduce those bodies into our true Chaos, and so thou wilt be constrained to begin again, which will be a most tedious discouragement unto thee). Put them into a good and strong cucurbit, or glass body, and close it well on the Top, that none of the spirits exhale, for if they find a Vent to evaporate, thou art undone, because thereby thou loosest and wasteth the flowers of our Gold. When thy Vessel is well closed, put it in the Philosophers’ Oven, and set it in Ashes or sand, with a temperate fire under it, for the space of a Philosophers’ Month, which is six whole weeks, and in that time our grosse bodies will be dissolved and mortified and made fit to begin a more royal generation.
In this time of dissolution and putrefaction our three noble Kinsmen, most unnaturally become the immane homicides of each other, for they spare not with all cruelty to extract each others vital blood, and are stewed in their own proper gores, and become soft and tender, like unto butte, and are made all one thing without any difference, or distinction. When thou hast brought thy work to this pass, thank God, and be glad that through his Grace and mercy thou hast obtained our Chaos dark and mistie, which is the true one Thing written of by all the Philosophers, our confused mass, and the prime ground of all our Secrets, for therein lieth invisible couched, our Gold and Silver, our Sulphur and Mercuries, our Christalline Water, our Oils and Tinctures, and our four Elements which thou must make visible and apparent to all seeing eyes, else can nothing be effected, neither shalt thou ever obtain thy wished for silvery and golden desire.
These Mercuries, Waters, Oils, Tinctures, and Elements, make visible then and conspicuous thus. After the aforesaid months end, thy vessel being cold, open the mouth thereof, and set on the top thereof a head of glass well fastened thereunto, and place it in our Bath, and close well a receiver to the mouth of the helmet, and draw out all the insipid and faint water, which take away and reserve it close by itself, then fix your receiver on again, and with a stronger fire in ashes, and draw out all the White fume, which is called our Air, silverie Tincture and Virgins Milk, which also remove and keep it likewise most close stopped by itself. Then last of all put to another receiver, and in sand, with the strongest fire thou canst make, separate the red fume, which is called our natural fire, our golden Tincture, and radical humidity of our Elemental bodies, and continue thy fire so long until it leave bleeding, then assuage the fire by degrees, and suddenly close it well with wax, that the spirits vanish not away, for this is called our blessed Liquor, and trust me there is not a stronger poison in all the World than it, therefore keep it close and meddle not with it till hereafter.
Thus now the work of Art, for Division and Separation, is the sole work of Art and of the Artist, and not of nature; for here Nature is forced by the Skill of the Workman, to forego and part with her beloved Elements, which she so straightly kept chained and enclosed in her bosome, and which by violence by external fire, are even as it were forcibly rent and torn from her. Indeed, the first Work of Solution and Mortification is the Sole operation of Nature, for the Materials being enclosed in the dungeon there nature attenuates them, there she dissolves and putrefies them, and causeth them to run a retrograde course into their own first mater again, that is, into a slimie and viscous mass and substance, whereof at first out of the four Elements they were formed and begotten. And in that first work, the Artist is but only a fire maker, which only giveth Nature strength and power to work in and upon the materials, for without an exciting fire Nature were not able to effect anything, but she would wholly remain idle and void of course, and that in regard to the extreme coldness of the Mercury, for where cold predominates, heat must needs lie fettered and immoveable, but when the external fire stirreth up and provoketh the fierce indignation of the Salt Menstrue, she presently seizeth upon the fat unctuous body of the sulphur, and extracts his natural heat and fiery element, and then both of them together do so ardently encircle and work upon the cold Mercury, that they dissever and scatter all his members into smaller atomes than fly in the beams of the Sun, and then heat beginneth to get the supereminence.
Therefore in this FIRST WORK the Operator is but the Trustie administrator of Nature, which in this case, the most illiterate and simple man in the World may be.
But in the Secret Work of the conjunction of our Elements, both Nature and Art, hand in hand accompanying each other, for there the artist Findeth and imbibeth, and Nature fixeth and congealeth, which we will show hereafter, when we handle that work.
The FIRST WORK OF SOLUTION reduceth our Trinity and Antimonial Compound into a green gum, called the Green Lyon, which gum dry moderately well, but beware thou burn not his flowers, nor destroy greenness, for therein lieth his Soul, which is our main Secret.
And our SECOND WORK manifests those things which were before hid from sight, namely, it makes our four Elements to appear visibly, and to be had generally and distinctly. But in this Second Work if thou extract our Air and our Fire with the phlegm water, they will the more naturally and easily be drawn out of their infernal prison, and with less losse of their Spirits, than by the former way before described.
After division is perfectly celebrated, thou shalt find in the sides of the Cucurbit, and also in the head o the Alembick a white hard Rye much like the Congelation of a frosty vapour, or like unto Mercury sublimate, which keep charily by itself in a clean glass well closed, for therein lieth hid a great secret, for therewith thou mayest abbreviate the work, in half the time, and with half the labour that else it would be done in, which will prove a greater ease and benefit, and shorten expenses.
The Cleansing of Our Base.
It is most certain, that the external fire is a great friend to us, and his nature is such, that he can endure no impurity in anything, therefore at the day of Judgment, the Elemental fire shall purifie, cleanse, and burn up all the impure earth that we tread on, and purge it from all dross and filth.
So likewise must it do in our work. Wherefore after the separation of our Water, Air and Fire out of our Earth; Take out the black faeces which remain in the bottom of our Vessel, called our Dragon, and grind it into small powder, and calcine it in two crucibles luted together, in a potter’s furnace, or in a glass, or wind furnace, until it look whitish or something grey, which Calx keep by itself, for it is called the Base and Foundation of our Work, and it is now called Mars, and our White Fixed Earth.
The Purification of Our Faint Waters.
But that thou mayest lose no time nor be idle, while the Earth is calcining, distil the Water that was first drawn out of the Compound, seven times, until it be clear as Crystal, but do it by itself alone, not intermixing any other thing therewith, and then hast thou our pure river of Water of Life, which hath power and virtue to revive the dead body from whence it sprung, and to make it white and Shining like a pure Alabaster. As for our other Arie and fiery Waters, they are so fixed and permanent, that no fire will again elevate their substances, and they would stand in the fire, till Doomsday without any wasting or exhalation.
All things being now purified without and within, now beginneth the Work of Art and Nature, wherein, the one must inseparably aid the other, for if either refuses to help the other, all the former sweats and Toiles are to no purpose, for Nature cannot bring our dissevered elements together without the assistance of the expert Artist; neither can the Artist coagulate the elements put together without Nature, wherefore Nature implores the aid of the Artist with an Adjuna me, et ego adjunabose. And the Artist finding before, what good Nature had done him, in dissolving and putrefying the bodies, is as ready to help her, thus.
The Work of Conjunction of Our Elements.
Take the abovesaid calcined faeces called Mars, or Our Dragon which devoureth his own Tail, and put thereof so much into a glass body, as scarcely fill half of it, and pour thereon so much of our rectified water of Life, as well may but cover the Calx made into powder, which done, incontinently stop the glass with a blind head well luted to the body, and set it in hot ashes, until the Calx have drunk up and congealed all the Liquor, which it will do in eight days, and so from eight days to eight days imbibe the said Calx with his own water, and that he will drink no more, but is very white and shineth as the Eyes of Fishes, and be full of Chrystalline Plates, then, the said Calx being very dry, take it out of the glass, and separate from it, all the Chrystalline Plates, and make them only into Powder, put that powder, which we call SULPHUR OF NATURE, or FOLIATED EARTH into another glass, and pour thereon some of our White Arie fume called Virgins Milk, upon a lent fire congeal them together, and continue this Work until it have drunk almost all his Air, and is become fixt and permanent. Then take it out, make it into powder and increate it with part of his reserved Air by drops, until it become like liquid honey, and that will melt and flow like Wax, on a coal fire, and not evaporate, thus thou has the perfect White Stone, and Silverie Medicine, which transmuteth all imperfect metalline bodies into true, solid and perfect Luna.
The Red Work.
When thou hast once obtained our White Stone in manner and form aforesaid, divide it into two equal parts, and to the one of them put the 4th part of Mercury sublimate both of them pulverized, mix them well together, and put them into a glass which stop close, and set it into your furnace, and there let it stand for the space of a month, in a temperate fire, until it be one body, then take part of it to project for your necessitie, and the other part you may still multiply with sublimate, or Quicksilver purified with Salt and Vinegar, unto your life’s ed, and so subtract and multiply at your pleasure.
But for the Red, take the other half of your reserved White Stone, and pulverize it, and put it into a glass, and pour thereon a little of our fiery water, or Golden Tincture, and congeal them together upon a slender fire lest your glass break, by force of the venome and insuperable power of our Red and fiery Mercury, do so once or twice, until it be perfectly fixed, then take it out, make it into red powder, and increate it in a crucible with his said red Oil, or fiery Water, until it flow like Wax, as you did the White Medicine, then have you our DARK RED STONE somewhat like the powder of an Haematite, which is able to do miracles upon earth, but we intend not to reveal them at this time, leaving it to be experienced by those, whom Almighty God shall think worthy to teach, by this our little and brief, but pithie and true book, unto whom we perpetually owe all thanks and praise, for endowing us with the Knowledge thereof.
The Accurtation of the Great Work, which Saveth Half the Time and Labour.
The White Rogue, or powder, whereof we spake before, and willed thee carefully to reserve it, which is perfect Sulphur of Nature, and foliated Earth, which needs neither imbibing, nor digesting unto the white.
Take it therefore, and being ground fine and small, imbibe it with a fourth part of our before said Air, or Virgins Milk.
But observe by the Way, that thou must have great store of our Water, Air and Fire, and those extracted out of five or six several Compounds, or Chaos, so that after you have driven one Chaos out of the Oven, you must presently set in a new one, and so successively one after another, and then separate their elements, for else you will want waters and oils for imbibition, inceration, and multiplication, and if thy work be discontinued for want of such materials, all is spoiled and will come to nothing, for if thou once begin, thou must proceed without stay or interruption unto the full end.
But to the matter, having imbibed the said Ryme, congeal the whole on a soft fire, until it be drunk up, then imbibe and congeal it twice more until it be fixed, after that powder it, and increate it, with some of our Air by drops, as thou didst thy white medicine before, until it flow like wax upon a red hot iron, and fly not away, thus shalt thou have the White Stone perfectly made in half the time, and with half the labour which is a precious Jewel, and a great Secret.
The Accurtation of the Red Work.
Take the whole, or the half, of this our White Stone, made of the said Ryme, and being pulverized, put it into a strong egg glass, and imbibe it with a little of our Red fiery Mercury, and set it on a weak fire for fear of breaking the glass, congeal it into a dry powder, then imbibe it and congeal it so twice more until it be strongly fixed, then take it out, pulverize it, and increate it with our said fiery Oil by drops in a strong crucible, on a gentle fire until it flow like wax as is before said. Then hast our the Red Stone perfect with less labour, expense of time and costs, for the which ever thank God.
This Secret was never before discovered by any of the Ancient Philosophers, for they were ever envious of their rare Mysteries, which we have now fully disclosed, for the honour of God, and for thy good, that thereby thou mayst perform holy Works of Charity and Mercy, plentifully supplying and relieving the fatherless and widowers, redeeming prisoners and captives, especially such as suffer for our Blessed Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus’ sake.
Our White Stone is Multiplied by reiterate imbibition, congelation, and inceration, with our Airie Virgins Milk, for the more and oftener you put that to it, the more it increaseth in quantity, and it is thereby made the more subtile and penetrating, and converteth the more metal, with the lesser of its quantity.
In like manner our Red Stone is also multiplied by reiterate imbibition, congelation, and Inceration with our fiery Oil, or Red mercury, and therewith thou mayst so actuate it, that it shall be able, not only to penetrate metals, but also the hardest Stone and whatsoever other said Things in the Whole World.
Whosoever then shall obtain these Medicines, he shall have incomparable Treasures, above all the Treasures of this World.
If you have problems understanding these alchemical texts, Adam McLean now provides a study course entitled How to read alchemical texts : a guide for the perplexed.
Works of Nicolas Flamel
Works of George Ripley
Works of Sendivogius
Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum
Emerald tablet of Hermes
Texts from Musaeum Hermeticum
Spanish alchemical texts
German alchemical texts
French alchemical texts
Russian alchemical texts
Italian alchemical texts