The stages of the ALCHEMICAL process
compiled by Johnes Ruta
fire operation -- Calcinatio
= poultice ,
= soft ; Latin: malagma.
Latin: calx = Lime.
The heating of limestone Ca CO3, or slaked lime Ca(OH)2 to produce quicklime CaO, calx vita. -- When water is added, quicklime has the property of generating heat.
The fire of calcination is a purging whitening fire. For example, cremation produces calx; the fire acts upon the black stuff of the nigredo or mortificatio, and turns it white. This process is connected with the symbolism of Purgatory, the eternal punitive fire. -- The notion that the wicked are punished in the afterlife was widespread in antiquity: Ixion was punished for trying to seduce Hera by being bound to a perpetual wheel of fire. The goddesses called the Erinyes, Erinues , (the Furies or Eumenides) burnt the damned with their torches. The Pyriphlegethon is an igneous river surrounding Tartarus. Lucian in his True Histories describes the island of the impious as an immense brazier. [Edinger]
In the Sibyline Oracles, Book III, "And then shall a great river of flaming fire will flow down from heaven, and consume all places."
In the book of Daniel (3:12-30), Nebuchadnezzar orders everyone to prostrate themselves to the golden image of himself. All do this, but the Jews, Shadrack, Meschack, and Abednego --who are thrown alive into the fiery furnace. They remain unharmed in the flames, and a fourth unknown man is seen among them, and the form of the fourth man is like unto the Son of God.
In Revelations (20:13-15), "And the sea gave up
her dead, Death & Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged
by what they had done, and if anyones name was not in the Book of
Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire."
=to curdle; from cogere = to drive together.
The Turba Philosophorum states an alchemical
recipe for coagulation: "Take quicksilver, coagulate in the body
of Magnesia, in Kuhul (lead), or in Sulphur which does not burn
If mercury is amalgamated with another metal, the amalgam solidifies --
Similarly, mercury combines with sulphur to form a solid, mercury sulfide."
Latin: jungere = to join; jugum = to yoke together; from the Greek: Zygon, zygon; and the Sanskrit: juga.
The Coniunctio is the culmination of the alchemists opus, with both extroverted and introverted aspects. It is both the chemical and physical combination in which two substances come together to form a third substance with different properties, such as the fusion of molten metals, and the amalgams by the union of mercury with other metals. This is the common alchemical image of SOL & LUNA entering the mercurial fountain, representing the dissolving of gold and silver in mercury. Another chemical combination used by the alchemists is the union of mercury and sulphur to form red mercuric oxide, (Hg + S à HgS.) [Edinger]
In the two phases of the Lesser and Greater Coniunctio, the Lesser is the union or fusion of substances not yet thoroughly separated or discriminated. It is always followed by death or mortificiato. The product is a contaminated mixture that must be subjected to further procedures. In alchemical symbolism, the product is pictured as killed, maimed, or fragmented.
In the Greater Coniunctio -- the Opus -- the goal is the creation of the miraculous "Philo- sophers Stone," produced by the final union of the purified opposites, which mitigates and rectifies all "one-sidedness." The Stone has the power to give life, to purify all corrupt, to soften the hard, and to harden the soft. [Edinger]
Latin: pregnans = to impregnate.
To interpenetrate or saturate thoroughly in order to produce a chemical or metallurgical crystalization or compound.
In early metallurgy, streams, galleries of mines, and caves are identified with the vagina of the Earth-Mother : everything that lies in the belly of the earth is alive and in a state of gestation. The ores extracted from mines are embryonic; they grow slowly as if in obedience to some temporal rhythm other than that of vegetable and animal organisms, they "grow ripe" in their telluric darkness.
The mining of metals from the bowels of the earth is
an operation executed before its time. With these metals the metallurgist
was succeeding the work of Nature, which in time would have ripened these
metals to "perfection." [Eliade, p. 42]
Latin: praecipit = to throw violently; praeceps =
to fall or come suddenly
into some condition.
Sanskrit: panati = he cleanses; Latin: purus, akin to Old High German: fowen = to sift.
a. To clear from
material defilement, imperfection, or extraneous matter.
Latin: verber = a rod, hence to
Latin: solutio; solvere = to loosen, to solve.
In spiritual alchemy, SOL & LUNA represent the
personalitys masculine and feminine principles "concretely"
manifested in the personality at the beginning of the process. SOL = the
dominant conscious attitude, and LUNA = the anima of its current state
of development -- these two are dissolved by "friendly water,"
which is mercury, and equated in the womb, corresponding with the materia
prima. In this incest symbolism of SOL & LUNA, Love and
Lust are the agents of Solutio.
Latin: sublimis = to elevate over a threshold.
Latin: volate = to fly.
Written & compiled by Johnes Ruta, email@example.com
Titus Burckhardt, Alchemy
: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul; (Walter Verlag Olten
und Freiburg; Breisgau; 1960)