Volume V: Number 2 Spring 1977


Separation by Leandro Della Piana


The Four Elements - Water p.421
Astrology For the Neophyte - Jupiter p.426
The Water of Life p.429
The Hermetic Bookshelf: Hans W. Nintzel p.434
Questions and Answers p.438
Separation - back cover

p. 423

The Four Elements

Frater K.H.


The element water represents another mystery within the four phases which we are covering. All hermetic philosophers have spoken with one accord when they stated that water is the seed of all things. To he more definitive, common water saturated by any type of crystalline salt, ordinary table salt for example, will manifest a crystalline growth. All manner of minerals that are water soluble can be grown in this fashion. The water has become our nurturing menstruum, and whatever is placed therein will grow. We do not limit this to the growth of mineral crystals alone, seeds and even the animal embryo cannot grow and be nurtured without water. Thus, simply put, water has become the repository for growth. If any of these various growing things were exposed to crude air, they will, in the case of crystals, cease growth immediately, and with the animal embryo, death ensues. In short, where there is no growth there is death or a cessation of activity.

If we take a plant substance, any seed, and nurture it in a moist, damp earth, it will, if permitted, reach a state of maturity where it can bear the crude air. This also applies to the animal embryo, which only after birth can survive in the air.

As we work upon our subject within the retort, our water menstruum is periodically elevated and becomes air, whereby through a subtle process celestial influences prevail and this that we now call air is thereby strengthened. As this circulation completes its cycle, air again becomes water and imparts to the waters below a new strength which was not there before. As a quick example, we need only to refer to water that has evaporated from the oceans and received new strength while in the air as vapor and clouds. A new substance is added at this time which we call niter and is so absolutely necessary for the growth of the vegetable seed. Thus, fire is added to water whereby coagulation is possible once a proper earth becomes available.

Thus, the waters of spring, the spring rains, prepare the seed in the ground, dormant and now putrifying from winter just past. Water also has another very interesting property about which so many of the hermetic philosophers spoke. They would state in different ways that water contained within all the colors of the rainbow and that it was the action of light upon water which revealed that which was already in the water.

Even in the Bible, we find reference to the tree of life, and how it was nourished by living water. As we look at the tree as pictured in the Qabala, we see all the colors contained within this tree, and that it too is nourished by our philosophic water. Centered in the heart of this tree, we find that light which radiates in all directions and thereby reveals to us those colors we see at the extremities. This light comes from the sun, Tiphareth, and its color is yellow. Water has been assigned the color blue because it reveals itself in this spectrum. Our secret fire, the sun, at the center of the tree circulates this water into air and we now have the color yellow. This mysterious air by way of this fire is fixed into earth whose color is green. Thus, we find that the colors blue and yellow make green, and this is why it is called the tree of life. We find here revealed those things which constitute life.

What we are really seeking in the water is an enzyme, which for lack of proper definition we will call life. This is the activity which conjoined to the other essentials will then produce whatever nature intended. For example, in the human body we find that all foods including water become water. This occurs by special inner-transmutation whereby water is no longer HThis process is also followed within the vegetable kingdom whereby, through biological transmutation, the water that has been drawn into the plant body is in turn coagulated into cellulose and sap. This sap or water is the mercury (life's blood) of the particular vegetable structure.

Water is constantly in the process of becoming something else. In other words, there is a continuous change of form. Thus, water, as processed by nature's forces, will inevitably become some form of matter or, if you prefer, earth. This fixing process is possible through the internal hidden fire within earth. A point of interesting speculation that this author has entertained for some time, based on the above observation, is that our earth is also in the process of growth. All growth leads to a definite end or conclusion of its activity. One way of referring to this conclusion would be to call it maturity. All growth strives, by the law of nature, to reach its goal. However, impediments occur and growth is arrested. Thus, the subject has never reached its maturity. By these interruptions, we are surrounded by various stages of maturity. This pertains to all three kingdoms, animal, vegetable, and mineral. If we now assemble all the foregoing thoughts, might we not have the justifiable conclusion that the earth is also in the state of immaturity?

In springtime, the earth is warmed from the long, cold, arresting effects of winter. The solar sun gently stirs the hidden philosophical fire into activity. Any substance that does not contain the three essentials in proper proportions will not have the self-contained philosophic seed. Consequently, the subject will not be properly stirred into life by the solar fire. We find an excellent example of this activity here on earth where even the gentle fire of our solar sun only succeeds in drying the earth. This, even though the earth has been watered by rain. For growth to occur, a seed must be present in the earth. We all have had ample experience proving conclusively that under proper conditions water will nurture seed if that seed is present. For this reason, hermetic philosophy refers to water as the universal menstruum. Thus, the waters of springtime have been fittingly called the dew of May, the water of spring, and even a popular tune had these lines in it, "when April showers bring May flowers." It is our hope that the foregoing has brought home to some the essential character of the waters of spring.

Is it any wonder then that in our work upon the vegetable stone we must follow the same process or else lose all that we started with and start over? If the seed has not been planted in our earth, how will our water of life bring forth what is not contained therein? Curiously enough, water as the universal menstruum is also fit to be called the seed of all things, our chaos. What we are presenting here must be considered from the viewpoint of hermetic philosophy as no other approach will suffice.

Let us ask ourselves a searching question: If vegetable matter, by separation into the three essentials and properly purified, can, by spagyric treatment, 'become the vegetable stone, why does ingestion of the very same vegetable matter by an animal body become flesh, blood, and bone?

In both cases, the three essentials were spagyrically separated and purified. Some incredibly wonderful process has taken place in each instance, transforming our substances into something they were not before. We must be more vigorous in our self-analysis and ask the question more often. We were not meant to be machines performing mechanical operations and obtaining mechanical results. Springtime has been called by some the rebirth. Yet, we are in danger of certain misconceptions here. That which has matured or aged in fall, died in winter, is not reborn in spring. The old must pass away to make room for the new. Only the seeds lain down in fall will reappear in the springtime; they are the germ of the old. That which has died disintegrates into the essentials of earth and will never again reappear in its previous form. Springtime is the birth of that which is new and fresh. The waters of spring have been recharged through the winter and in spring they again nurture new seed. This new seed consists of earth or more precisely, salt, freshly prepared and coagulated from the essential water of the parent now decayed.

The sulphur, too, has been prepared by way of water and earth from the old parent. Thus, the seed is new, having been prepared by nature through the art of water.

The Four Elements - Air

There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself, for better or for worse, as his portion; that, though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed upon that plot of ground which is given him to till.


Astrology For The Neophyte

By Carl W. Stahl

Jupiter In The Constellations

Jupiter is the planet of expansion. It is called the Greater Benefic; the planet of good fortune and luck. Those strongly under Jupiter have the ability to bringabout the fulfillment of their dreams and wishes. This is because they are experts at prayer (wishing) and constructive thinldng. Ritual and ceremonial magic come under Jupiter as do priests and religion peddlers. The 10th Key or the llth card of the Tarot come under Jupiter. In fact it is called the Wheel of Fortune and has to do with astrocyclic pulsations. In our birth charts it represents our ability to enjoy ourselves. If in aspect to the Moon our joy is vocal and loud. If with Saturn we may display no sign of joy depending on whether either planet is on an angle of the chart. Jupiter with the Sun and the native aspires to success and honor. With Mercury it brings ease and facility in communicating with others. With Venus we have love and happiness in our contacts with others. With Mars it inclines to energetic expansion. With Saturn we have restrained optimism. Uranus brings unexpected progress and gain. In aspect with Neptune the ability to make our dreams come true. With Pluto secret joy, happinessand individual success. Those with Jupiter strong radiate an aura of success and confidence in others as well. We have said that Jupiter signifies expansion and the simplest form of this comes when we over eat. We get fat and then require the restriction of Saturn to get back into shape again. We have said that Jupiter rules religion and prayer. I think you will agree that there is more fervent praying in a crap game and other forms of gambling than is found in most churches. Some key words that apply to Jupiter are: Humor, joy, expansiveness, enthusiastic, optimistic, idealistic, honor, esteem, belonging. respect, conforming, compliance, prayer, medicine, worship, wish fulfillment and ritual.


Happiness and love go hand in hand and the native shares his happiness and love with others. Friendship and understanding are the two most important aspects of the life. Native mingles socially with the cream of society and the beautiful in all walks of life. Success can come with almost no effort as this position of Jupiter inclines others to bestow gifts and favors on the native. Friendship, love and brotherhood are the rallying points and everyone is used for whatever he can contribute to the success and honor of the native. The love given or received under this influence is always upright conventional and moral. What others think about his action is very important.


Jupiter here gives the native a cloak of respectability. The usually untidy, vulgar, and uncouth native gives the appearance of neatness, culture and morality. This combination of Jupiter and Mars gives drive, energy and an aggressive nature, always neatly hidden behind the cloak of civilization. Gives tremendous vitality and healing power. This is the iron fist in the velvet glove. The native starts out all his ventures in a spirit of good fellowship and comradery. As obstacles crop up, which cannot he removed by reasonableness, the native reverts more and more to force and aggression to attain his ends. Always within the law, if possible, otherwise sheer naked force is resorted to.


Jupiter here reflects the idealistic and noble nature of this constellation. The native is joyous and radiates his good humor over all who come his way. They share in the joy and happiness that are the lot of those with Jupiter unafflicted. All doors to honor and success are open to them. Others go out of their way to assist them in accomplishing their desires. They have an optimism that no amount of apparent failure can dim. Each day is another opportunity to enjoy the goodness that only heaven can bestow. For are we not all God's children? Always in the back of the native's mind is the knowledge that someday he will return, to his father's kingdom.


The expansive influence of Jupiter here loosens some o& the restrictions of Saturn and the native becomes aware that the influence of those in authority, or who are placed above him I can make life easier and success more likely of accomplishment. Every dollar earned and every step up the ladder must still he earned but there will be an optim ism and ability to look ahead that is lacking when Jupiter is placed elsewhere in the chart of the Capricornian. The native reaches out to encompass the joy and success that Jupiter promises but being so strongly Saturnian he will still tend to limit himself. Not because he is forced to but because this is his innate nature.


The native's horizons and understanding are expansive and wide. Joy and happiness come from the search to unveil nature's secrets. Money comes easily and goes as quickly for the native understands the true purpose of wealth, which is to expand man's physical and mental well being. There is no hoarding here. He may achieve prominence and fame as a result of his search for the underlying laws of the universe. Those seeking knowledge and understanding will come far distances to study under the native. A tendency to take a chance could he misused here giving too much reliance on gambling rather than earning.


Jupiter here increases the native's already relaxed state of mind. Others seek your company and you will always be popular because of your happy and joyous state of mind. If you respond to the Neptunian side of this constellation you will find that you easily see through the apparent in life to the real. This makes the mystic approach to life the natural one for you. Because day dreams and other visions are so real to you there is no problem in bringing them to reality. Remember, what man can envision he can do. Negatively this position could bring about utter relaxation with no accomplishment.


The aggressiveness of Mars is here veiled behind the expansive approach of Jupiter. Diplomacy and a desire to belong enable the native to blend power and acceptability. The iron fist in the velvet glove approach. There is good physical coordination and an immense amount of energy that can be used to further the career and seeking out of those who may help advance the native's fortunes. There is joy in victory and in leading others. Here judgment is blended with power giving the native true leadership abilities.


The approach to life is one of continual joy and love for one's fellow man. The expansive and idealistic search for spiritual knowledge is met with unusual success. Here the veil of Isis is quickly penetrated by means of cyclic pulsations and the use of nature's laws. Pp-ace and contentment quickly bring about that relaxed state of mind required to attain the stillness and to hear the still voice of the soul. Physical as well as spiritual success come your way. Whether it is one or both depends on how you concentrate your attention. Justice and love for others should determine the goals you seek.


Jupiter here gives the native of Gemini the ability to slow down enough to really get at the truth behind appearances. Both Mercury constellations are business and communications oriented. This position gives selfconfidence and technical know-how. Native finds it easy to communicate his ideas to others and to put the expansive influence of Jupiter to work in making both profits and friends. Joy, under this position, is the acquisition of things and knowledge. If you choose things, you get material success. If you choose knowledge, you will eventually attain understanding and perhaps even wisdom.


Jupiter in the constellation of its exaltation is now in its most powerful position. Success and honor come as a matter of course. Others look up to you and you treat them with justice and compassion. Laughter comes easily and life is joyous and filled with contentment. You have natural leadership abilities, particularly in the field of trade and business. The professions hold their doors open for you. Others see in you what they hope to be and extend a helping hand that makes progress quick and sure. You have only to beware of over-expansion which physically becomes obesity.


Every inch a king. Here the natural ruler is cloaked with the judgment and justice of true royalty. Although pride and honor are important to the native he still puts the well being and needs of others above his own. The spiritual life has a strong attraction but regardless of which the native chooses success and honor will come his way. Religion holds a high place in the life as do high ideals and goals. Spiritual gold, since you can take it with you, is preferable to material gold which must stay here when you leave. These people are optimistic and self confident, having no thought of failure. Capable of real creative thoughts and actions.


Virgo, the server of mankind, is here bathed in a sort of blue light of fame and success. This is all very disconcerting to the natural critic of the zodiac. Now everything appears to be good and this apparent good is an almost instant ladder to success. The native now finds it easy to communicate to others his inmost ideas and plans. More amazing is the fact that they understand what he is saying. Shyness must give place to confidence. The native sees the broader picture and goes to work on bringing it into effect on the physical level. Learn to use those who approach you for help. Charity is a two way street. It is equally good to receive as it is to give.



The Water Of Life

In the 1976 American Sexta Class, a theoretical study of water was undertaken, which was followed by the application of a practical demonstration of those aspects of it that were possible to work with within the limited class period. This article is a brief report which, through the combined efforts of students in this class, sets forth simply, without elaboration or intensive elucidation, an abbreviated form of the theory and, as it was demonstrated and known by this class, the results of this theory applied. Primarily, attention is given to the results which show that the water, as it is worked with and subjected to separation, purification, and cohobation, undergoes changes and manifests interesting differences. All else in this report is given only to provide an idea.and to present somewhat of a picture of that from which such results stem. The changes and manifested differences in the water were observed and extended from the commencement, in these particular experiments, of the water in a stage of putrefaction, as it underwent separation and purification, and finally to the water in a stage of reunification or cohobation.

Two experiments were conducted. The purpose of the first experiment was to obtain the True Universal Gur. The purpose of the second experiment was to produce the Archaeus of Water. Two important procedures that differed were used in the work with the water. The purpose of the work determines which procedure is to be used and the procedure brings about those results that are of use and of value in the specific work undertaken. The two procedures should not be confused for they serve two different purposes.

The True Universal Gur

Within water is found the universal seed. Within water is found that which is called the primamateria, the pre-adamic earth, the true universal gur, which contains all the seeds of the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms.

The time within the class period allowed only that work which resulted in obtaining a small portion of substance, tannish in color, designated as the true universal gur. Further experimentation is being conducted and will be conducted by students of this class to further substantiate the results which manifested during the class instruction, to test such a substance by subjecting it to clinical evaluation to find out if it will yield and demonstrate certain manifestations when imbibed with waters according to prescribed procedures.

This work begins, according to the procedure given in Annulus Plotonis by Kirchweger, by collecting the precipitation of dew, rain, snow, hail, or frost. The use of rainwater is highly recommended. It is advisable that it be collected at a time when the atmosphere is clear and clean and preferably during a lightning and thunder storm, as there is more nitrogen (niter) -429- found in the precipitation at this time, which is of great importance in the work. Therefore, the kind of water that is used will make a difference in the results; and it is important that the water be caught before it comes in contact with the earth or any matter upon it. This water is to be filtered, placed in a glass container covered lightly to permit air to enter and to keep contaminants out, set m a warm (digestive), isolated place, and left to stand for one month. The implanted Archaeus spirit (life) within the water causes the water to begin to get a little warmer, to undergo putrefaction, which brings about a separation of the subtle from the coarse. The water turns turpid, smelly, and slimy. There appears in the water that which is sponge-like, a brown sediment which forms at the top and falls when sufficient has gathered. This appears to be like fine wool and is slimy to the touch.

In the experiment conducted during the class period, 3000 ml. of putrefied snow water, that had been first thoroughly shaken, was used. It showed .a pH reading of 5.0. By slow distillation, 750 ml. of water was separated and stored in a glass bottle. This water, the first one-fourth was labeled "fire and air of water" and showed a pH reading of 5. 1. A further separation of 2106 ml., approximately three-fourths of the water, was distilled and stored in a glass bottle. This water was labeled "water of water" and showed a pH reading of 4.0. The residue remaining, of a thin, honey-like consistency, was decanted and gently dried. This substance was tannish in color and showed a pH reading of 8.0. When dry, this substance or earth powder was placed in a glass bottle and labeled the "true universal gur."

Thus the substance:

Putrefied Snow water pH 5.0

The one substance divided:

First One-Fourth pH 5.1
Approx. Three-Fourths pH 4.0
Residue Remaining pH 8.0

The Archaeus of Water

Water which is highly rectified, that is, by distillation undergoes separation, purification, and cohobation by way of art and correct knowledge, can he used to great benefit as a menstruum for all kingdoms and has in itself, when taken medicinally, curative virtues. The degree of rectification (refinement) is of great importance, for its usefulness and success as a menstruum for each of the three kingdoms is dependent upon the degree of its rectification.

The water to he worked with is again that which has been collected from atmospheric precipitation and has undergone the stage of putrefication There is first a separation of the water into four divisions, designated as fire of water, air of water, water of water, and earth of water. In water we find all the elemental qualities in one. There is a further separation of each of the four divisions into three divisions, designated as sulphur of fire of water, mercury of fire of water, and salt of fire of water until there is obtained twelve divisions of the separated water. The three essentials are found in everything that nature produces. As separation occurs, purification takes place. Purification is an extension of separation. The cohobation of the waters is in reverse order.

In the experiment conducted during the class period, 2000 nil. of putrefied snow water, showing a pH reading of 5.0 was used. By a gentle distillation, the first one-fourth (500 ml.) of water was separated, stored in a glass bottle and labeled "fire of water" (pH 5.0). A second one-fourth (500 ml.) of water was separated, stored in a glass bottle and labeled "air of water" (pH 5.0). A third one-fourth (500 ml.) of water was separated, stored in a glass bottle and labeled "water of water" (pH 5.0). The last one-fourth (483 ml., somewhat less because of a slight evaporation and a residue which remained in the distillation flask) of water was separated, stored in a glass bottle and labeled "earth of water" (pH 5.0). A residue, having a thin, honey-like consistency, remained in the distillation flask, which was decanted, gently dried, and labeled "true universal gur."

The above four divisions of water - fire, air, water, and earth of water, were each separated into three divisions, designated first as "sulphur of fire of water," second that of "mercury of fire of water," and third that of "salt of fire of water." The remaining three elements, air of water, water of water, and earth of water, were separated into the three essentials, giving, when the separation was complete, twelve divisions of water. The first onethird (1662/3 ml) was distilled from each of the 500 nil., which represented the sulphur; the second onethird (166 2/3 ml.) was distilled, which represented the mercury; and the final one-third (166 2/3 ml.) was distilled, which represented the salt.

When the water was first divided into the four elements, there was observed a slight but significant differentiation in the colorr and quality of the water. For example, the first one-fourth (fire of water) appeared very clear and sparkling in contradistinction to the last one-fourth (earth of water) which appeared slightly cloudy and was of a more viscous nature. At a later stage, as the twelve separated divisions of water were poured during the process of cohobation, there was observed a difference in the quality of these waters as well. There was a variation, a considerable variation in some instances, in the rate of time of the distillation of the elements into their three essentials. When tested with an electronic pH meter, the twelve separated divisions of water showed different readings. An interesting point is the difference in the consciousness (sulphur) readings in the earth, water, air, and fire elements. For example, the sulphur of earth of water showed a pH reading of 3.6 while the sulphur of fire of water showed a pH reading of 6.5. Also, such is noteworthy when one considers that the pH reading of the original water showed 5.0. These and other results are presented for comparison and study in Tables I and II. In Table 1, the results of the PH readings of the water after separation and division into twelve and during the process of cohobation and finally after cohobation are given, along with the pH readings of the separated divisions of water and the gur in the first experiment. Table II shows in a simpler and less detailed form the pH readings, beginning with the original water, through the separation and purification process, and ending with its cohobation which gives the Archaeus.

Because there was some doubt as to the cleanliness of the equipment used in the distillation of the water of water into the sulphur, mercury, and salt, this fact is included. While it has no effect on the results given in regard to the other three elements and their further separation, it is possible that, should the equipment not have been clean, this would have some effect, especially in the last stages of the cohobative process and in the result of the cohobation itself. Thus, it cannot be stated with certainty that this water acually did attain .2 more acidity through the distillation procedure. This calls to our attention the great importance of cleanliness in our work., in both the outer and inner laboratory.

With the above possible and unintentional exception, the changes that took place with the one substance, water, transpired by way of the processes of separation, purification, and cohobation with only the application of heat and with nothing foreign added to the substance itself. The changes which manifested and the differences which are shown to exist within but this one substance, water, are meaningful and significant - not only in what is revealed thereby and the correspondences that may arise from this as pertains to further work with it and with self but in the use of its virtues as they become known and understood and applied for the good of all. The results, as given within this report, are important for such makes it possible for us to begin to see the value, the virtues, that are within living water. It is this value, found in the water during its stage of separation and purification as well as in its cohobative stage, which, when once it becomes cognizable, may become, when utilized with understanding, useful and effect some benefit for the good of all upon this earth. +

... when man has found God, his own Eternal and Infinite Self, and has thrown away his smaller self, he has himself become the Truth, the Life, the Way, and no longer needs any other way to God. - BHAGAVAN DAS
If that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. - Alipili
The truth which we seek must be the truth of direct experience, in which the distinction between subject and object has ceased to exist. Only a disinterested search can result in Truth, for every form of self-interest will lead onIr to a creation which will serve that self-interest.- N. Sri Ram


p. 434

The Hermetic Bookshelf
In Pursuit Of Gold by Lapidus
A Review by Hans W. Nintzel

With the relative scarcity of new books dealing with alchemy, it is pleasant to report that Weiser is distributing "In Pursuit of Gold." The author preferring to remain anonymous assumes the nom-de-plume of "Lapidus." The title page indicates that there are "additions and extractions by Stephen Skinner." Mr. Skinner presided over Askin press in London and published Arch Magazine. These two organizations produced a series of items dealing with Enochian Magick, Qabala and Alchemy. The latter was a reproduction of "The Archidoxes of Paracelsus." With that in mind, it is not a far step to conclude that Mr. Skinner might even be "Lapidus." While some may feel it is unimportant who the author is, it is actually quite important. In this case credentials have some bearing as to the factuality of the writings. However, the reader can certainly draw some conclusions having read the book.

The table of contents list such chapter headings as: "Sophic Fire" "The Secret Book " The Secrets of Antimony," "The Green Lion," "Consummation of the Hermetic Marriage," "The Use of the Stone" and others. The dust jacket has words to the effect that this is a book by a practicing alchemist and is the first such book to take a totally physical approach to the science of alchemy. The book is indicated as being not mere conjectures or theories but "actual detailed analysis of a number of texts which have been either quoted in full or systematically reduced in length by the elimination of irrelevant and misleading material."

This last piece of information causes some immediate concern as an analysis, no matter how detailed, of other writings is still in my opinioin, conjecture and theory. I would say further that ALL alchemistical writings will remain that, conjecture and theory, until the reader puts the theory to practice and proves that it is indeed fact. Until then, the laboratory work, it is only interesting theorems. So, Lapidus runs the risk of analyzing spurious writings and digesting them for the readers of his book. Naturally, it is implied that as a practicing alchemist he is able to discern the chaff from the wheat. Perhaps.

This is not meant to denigrate this book. It has definite value as will be pointed out. It is merely my desire to insert the necessary caveats to not swallow whole this book or any other dealing with alchemy. The writings of the ancient alchemists were nor meant to be crystal clear. It was not intended to put anything on a silver platter. True, the thread of veracity and the clues are to be found, but they do not jump out and declare themselves. The reader can, at best, by poring over many tomes of alchemical lore, pick out commonalities and tie together similar threads. Happily, this is just what Lapidus does in his book. There is little original material except for some analysis, as indicated, of the writings of others. For this alone, the book has great worth.

Lapidus presents to us the entire text of "The Secret Book" of Artephius. This is one alchernist who seems to be respected by others. John Pontanus also praises Artephius and Lapidus includes excerpts from Pontanus' writings. Since this material is rather rare, this is a service indeed to the student. The book also includes many plates from Michael Maier's "Atalanta Fugiens" which are of great interest also. Finally, in the same vein, Lapidus reproduces Ripley's poem "The Twelve Gates," and has a great deal of material from the writings of Sigismond Bacstrom. The latter published a slim volume called "Bacstrom's Alchemical Anthology." This book has been referred to as being a "Rosetta Stone of Alchemy." And indeed it is. Since only 500 or less copies were produced, the material in Lapidus book is most welcome. Lapidus uses the technique that the good Doctor used. That is, Bacstrom took a subject, such as Mercury. Then, in that chapter, he had 20-25 quotations from as many authors on the subject of Mercury. A sentence, a paragraph or a page of explanation of the term "Mercury" as given by such authors as Lully, Vade Mecum, Bloomfield, Paracelsus, Valentine etc. The reader could then synopsize all these writings under a particular heading and get a very good notion or, as least a better understanding of what was meant by that term. Lapidus aims to explain the terms "Sophic Fire" and "Secret Fire." He uses Artephius and a Bacstrom like technique on Bacstrom's Anthology. Although he seems to get things mixed up a bit, the reader should be able to figure out what these two terms mean. At least as Lapidus understands them. The book concludes in the same vein by presenting a set of questions and answers attributed to Paracelsus entitled "The Theory of Alchemy."

The book has a few other features such as a glossary and a listing of materials needed for alchemical experiments. The glossary does not offer anything new and in some cases is not what one might call "direct." For example, the definition of "Red Man" is: Iron, or occasionally gold or copper. Another entry is "Earth" defined by: Metals are often referred to as "earth." The "Alchemists Handbook" of Frater Albertus is by far the superior in these matters and can be considered indispensable." Lapidus clearly means well with these insertions but just doesn't do all that much for those who have read other alchemystical works. Of course, the tyro will find it all new and exciting.

Aside from occasional lapses into the turgid and obfuscated writings Lapidus is trying to clear up, such as in the chapter on "Sophic Fire," we find: "The Secret Fire which might be termed the fiery water dissolves the metals: this latter is a salt nitrate, often termed vinegar, to be found everywhere easily and never valued, yet never mentioned in any alchemical treatise by name," the book does a valuable service to the student and even to the "expert" If nothing else, the material described, since it is so rare, is welcome indeed. Lapidus' conclusions on certain matters (Green Lion, Secret Fire, etc.) may or may not be valid. Nonetheless, he leads the reader to follow a certain technique in synthesizing the writings of others in a way that enables one to draw definite conclusions. The final truth or proof of these conclusions, of course, can be only revealed in the laboratory.

In summary, Lapidus whoever he€ or she is, does seem to have a grasp on the fundamentals of alchemy. This background enables a reasonable analysis to be done on the writings presented in the book and allows the reader a modicum of confidence that the conclusions DO seem reasonable as well. For those who have never been exposed to Artephius' writings or those of Bacstrom, the book is highly recommended. For those who have read material by these two excellent writers, perhaps a different viewpoint can reveal new vistas. In other words, it is my opinion that the book is valuable and I recommend reading it.

Questions and Answers


Q. When you mentioned 7 rectifications ... did you mean of the White Mercury only or rectify both the Red and White Mercury before their conjunction?

A. The mercury primarily.

Q. How long do you keep the Red and White Mercury separate?

A. As you please.

Q. When using ethanol over angel water, can this be distilled angel water? Would you please repeat the points on this process being a transmutation?

A. If you use distilled angel water, the salt is left behind and it will extract very little essence with the help of ethanol. This is no transmutation, only a separation.

Q. What is the alchemistical, philosophical Acetone of the Ancients and how is it prepared?

A. It is a fixed spirit derived from inorganic substances. The preparation is taught to our students.

Q. According to the U.S. Dispensatory, 23rd Edition, 1943: Acetone is found in small amounts in normal urine, in blood, etc. (1) What are the alchemical implications of this? (2) How is acetone synthesized in the human body and what is its purpose? The U.S. Dispensatory also notes that Acetone is mildly intoxicating, somewhat similar to alcohol in effect, but not toxic. (3) Why is it not possible to use an acetone menstruum for a tincture in the same way one uses alcohol and use this tincture medicinally?

A. (1) It is the product of an alchemical implication. (2) It is synthesized in the human body through alcohol upon the fixed spirit (acetum) and forms a compound. (3) You may do so. Use caution and good judgment.

Q. How does Paralab prepare Natrium Kalium and Ferrum tissue salts?

A. By separating the three essentials and recombining them. Thereafter, by dilution to the required X.

Q. What is the Sodium-Potassium ratio for the body? Is it 4 to 1? If tissue salts containing these two were taken, would the ratio be important? If Ferrum Phosphate were also taken, what should that ratio be compared to the SodiumPotassium ratio?

A. This depends on the individual constituents required to balance the intake and to keep this balance of all tissues.

Q. Is the true, correct way to make KM with tartar instead of ammonia and spirit of wine only? The KM would then contain animal, vegetable, and mineral? Or does ammonia contain animal vegetable, and mineral within itself? Refer to page 97, Triumphal Chariot of Antimony, 1894 edition.

A. The Kerkring Menstruum is made as he describes it. Any other menstruum would not be Kerkring.

Q. Why do the crystals formed from the Acetone-soda wash not dry? If we get a tincture from these crystals, would it be considered fixed?

A. These crystals are very hydroscopic. They are not fixed.

Q. Can we make a liquid stone of herbs?

A. A liquid is no stone but a stone may contain liquid.

Q. Is it correct to say that when Acetic Acid is added to the Sodium Hydroxide and Antimony Solution and the Hydrogen Sulphite is released that all the Elemental Sulphur is released with the Hydrogen Sulphite and therefore what is available is only the Oil of Antimony? In other words, can we obtain both the Oil of Antimony and the Oil of Sulphur together from the precipitate, or only the Oil of Antimony?

A. You will have both in combination if the Antimony has not been calcined.

Q. We believe Antimony to be a most potent medication. So far our knowledge of this is based on accounts five hundred and more years old. How can we come up with something more definite?

A. By testing and clinical evaluation.

Q. What would be the result of using a Sal Ammoniac tincture to extract Antimony rather than the KM menstruum? Is it only a matter of being able to identify the presence of Oil of Antimony? What would be the combined effects of Oil of Antimony and Oil of Sal Ammoniac present in the same tincture?

A. In some cases disastrous.

Q. If you have a substance of fixed nature, make an oxide and make it unfixed first, can you then fix it by acetic acid?

A. If you can unfix it as you state, it can be fixed again with acetic acid.

Q. Why doesn't wine vinegar (mother) form a liver on it like is formed on apple vinegar?

A. It does form in wine vinegar. Without it there would be no vinegar.

Q. Why are all liquids obtained from Pharmacies that have used an herb and cold press it clear?

A. Not all cold pressed liquids are clear. Filtration will help do that.

Q. Regarding winestone in water, the tartar menstruum process, i.e., when 19% alcohol is imbibed, distilled off, etc., flask broke. Dissolved a little of this in water and filtered in case of glass bits. Tincture developed. Have been taking 7 drops on Sundays or when kidneys ached. No more than once a week. Seems to be effective but your words in class have frightened me off.

A. Potassium carbonate in minute doses is not harmful when taken for relief of kidney pains, provided no other complications are present. Your physician should be consulted first.

Q. In a natural cycle where water nourishes seed into grape (example), grape juice into wine-alcohol, then wine-vinegar, on into acetic acid, what is the very next phase or transmutation of acetic acid?

A. All changes take place through the interaction of other substances or compounds. Further interactions on acetic acid can produce acetic anhydrate, ethyl acetate and many more.

Q. What is the maximum temperature which can be applied to an airtight flask which contains a small portion of moisture? Example: One-tenth oil? (Without danger of explosion)

A. Moisture under heat will cause expansion and pressure. The small portion depends on the size of the container. A quick pressure relief is the best remedy before an explosion.

Q. There has been much recent talk of using vitamin B 17 as an effective medication in the treatment of cancer. Since the center of peach pits is a major source of B 17 would an Elixir made from peach pits prove even more effective?

A. It needs more evaluation at present to establish its purported value.

Q. In the Winter 1976 Parachemy you wrote an article on extracting the oil of copper. I find the article very unclear. Could you write explicitly again what it is you are trying to say in the article?

A. Yes, we shall make another attempt and then give the results step by step of our own research procedure here at PRS.

Q. Does the Philosopher's Stone remain in a liquid form from the citrine color onward, or does it become a solid?

A. It is said to be a solid.

Q. What do the ancients mean by the Spirit of Salt?

A. Hydrochloric Add.

Q. How may Alchemy be proven to be a science that can mass produce medicines when it seems that planetary influences affect the manufacture of the medicine. In our present medicines it does not apparently have any effect - also other products. Alchemy seems to be an individual approach for self purification. Is this true?

A. Everything is under planetary influences whether it is known, believed or what not. It is the knowledge about these influences, when properly applied, that makes the difference. It does not matter if this is applied alchemically or otherwise.

Q. In speaking of the two kinds of antimony, I understood you to say that the medicinal purpose is to heal man and the alchemical purpose is to heal sick metals. Please explain this healing of sick metals.

A. Elevation from inferior to superior similar to illness into health.


Q. Will you say something about meditation? How does one concentrate the mind? How does one still the mind? How does one direct the mind in contemplation? Mention has been made in the Alchemical Laboratory Bulletins about yoga. Is there some kind of yogic meditation that would be of benefit to us?

A. To concentrate does not mean that one meditates. One cannot still the mind. It is ever becoming as part of the All Mind. Contemplation is a thorough consideration. Various kinds of yoga claim to assist in the above. Please note that there are several kinds mentioned.

Q. Most schools teach that survival of the fittest is the determining factor in evolution. Schools such as the PRS teach that progress is made through evolution and not revolution. Survival of the fittest implies warfare. In nature destructive catastrophies such as earthquakes, cyclones, etc., might be compared to revolution. Does revolution have a justified place in progress?

A. Absolutely. Revolution is but a reoccurrence of evolution. Re means again. If evolution is diverted one way or another, then it has to undergo again (re) evolution in a different way.

Q. How should we understand truth? When does part truth become acceptable? At what cost should we insert truth - at the risk of offending others?

A. You are confusing facts with truth. There is only one truth available to men according to the law of polarity, as explained in the prima class.

Q. How does relativity enter in the PRS curriculum?Is it considered at all? How do you interpret relativity? I am somewhat confused by the constant use of this word and its reference to Albert Einstein.

A. Relativity is but an extension of the law of polarity. Just as Philosophy combines the extension of science and reason into logic so it can be said that the relative value of philosophy is logic as it becomes cognate on all planes of awareness expressed by the word. When taken at its full value, it is the word which creates. Through the spoken word is created the image of that which is comprehended only by its relative polarity. When extended into actuality, we create its awareness on the tangible plane as a tool to be used, for which it was conceived, created and made manifest.

Q. How does a person raise his "vibrations" - by prayer, by diet, by good deeds?

A. By living a clean life within and without.

Q. How may a rock or tree have a soul?

A. Every substance has a degree of consciousness within it and that is its soul.

Q. What will be the form of that which has everlasting life?

A. Any form has a segment of life everlasting within it. Q. Can something inanimate have everlasting life? A. There is no inanimate substance. Life is found in any and all particles of physical substance. + -

(Back cover)


Separation is the segregation of one thing from another. It is the dissolution of the one into the many and again the many into the one. Separation Is like unto a mother from which all generation proceeds. That which comes forth by way of separation shows itself as being different than that from which it originates. Thus, from the no-thing comes something. From the formless comes form, just as from milk comes cheese. Though different from the original, the something which comes forth carries with It a germ of the original, becoming then a something having a dual nature - that which is tangible and that which is intangible, that which is of form and that which is of the formless. that which is terrestrial and that which is celestial. "Separation Is the great divider, which gives to everything its form and its essence." Separation is the revealer of the three principles, sulphur, mercury, and salt and the liberator of the pure from the impure, of the noble life from the ignoble life.

From the chaos, the first matter, separation begins. There comes forth from the chaos four distinct elements, fire, air, water, and earth. That which grows is of the element of fire; that which nourishe's Is from the element of air; that which consumes is from the element of water; and that which is fixed, which is as a terminus, is from the element of earth. It is when there is a dying that separation begins. Dying Is a dissolving and disintegration which serves to cause to appear that which is but was not until that which was disappears. The formless becomes- form. The form becomes formless. Substance changes its form, Its body, becoming a different receptacle wherein life burns.

This dying is a putrefaction which is the cause of all life, for it gives the Impetus to separation, which begets the generation of all things, unfolding the essence of life in multifarious ways. Life begets life. Life itself is as a burning, consuming fire that nourishes itself with itself, revealing through its generation a diversity of nature which, in a final separation, will rest in that essence wherein it originated. As with any fire, there is that Which is the cause of it and that which is as a fuel for it. Life manifests because there is an interaction of the three essentials, mercury, sulphur, and salt or spirit, soul, and body. That which is electrical and seeking, which is as a burning power, is like unto Spirit, Life. That which is generative and moving, which generates power and is as a light and sound, is like unto Soul, Mind. And that which is magnetic and attracting, which is as a fuel which burns, is like unto Salt, Body.

Man may be The Separator of the lesser world, himself, and the greater world wherein he moves and has his being. Man may come to know in himself and in the greater world what it is that gives growth, what it is that nourishes, that which consumes, and that which is of a fixed nature. He may know that which impels all life, the power of life, and the glory that is revealed in that which burns. Death is an ending of something, though even that which is dead can again be given life, be revitalized, caused to be vital once again. Whereas, dying is a giving up, an offering up of that which is Inferior in demonstration so that there may be manifested that which is superior to It - the more abundant life under the control of that which is noble. Through separation, man may come to know the pure from the Impure, the noble from the ignoble; he may begin to die to the mortal life, which limits, and awake to the Immortal life which is without limit and eternal.