< Arabic 1477: al  : the, za'uq  :  mercury > In alchemy, the Mercury, the first principle of all the metals.

(The New Century Dictionary, 1957.)
  ALCHEMY < Arabic: al, the, kimiya, chemia > explained as 'the Egyptian art', identified with Khem, 'black earth,' i.e. Egypt. The chemistry of the Middle Ages and the 16th century, limited to the persuit of the transformation of the baser metals into gold, and the search for the alkahest (the universal solvent), and the universal Panacea.
(The Oxford Universal Dictionary, 1933, 1955.)

A medieval speculatve science and philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and a means to indefinately prolong life.

(Mirriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, 1995.)
  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The stages of the ALCHEMICAL process
an essay by Johnes Ruta
  Eliphas Levi:

The Universal Medicine is, for the soul, supreme reason and absolute justice; for the mind, it is mathematical and practical truth; for the body it is the quintessence, which is a combination of gold and light.

In the superior world, the first matter of the Great Work is enthusiasm and activity; in the intermediate world, it is intelligence and industry; in the inferior world, it is labor; in science it is Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt, which, volatized and fixed alternately, compose the azoth of the sages. Sulphur corresponds to the elementary form of fire, Mercury to air and water, Salt to earth.

Eliphas Levi, Transcendental Magic (1856), pp. 281; [Samuel Weiser, Inc.]

  Manley Palmer Hall:

In alchemy, there are three symbolic substances: mercury, sulphur, and salt. To these was added a fourth, mysterious life principle called Azoth. Concerning these substances, Herr von Welling has written: "There are three basic chemical substances which are called by the philosophers salt, sulphur, and mercury but which are not to be confounded in any way with the crude salt, sulphur and mercury taken from the earth or secured from the apothecary. Salt, sulphur, and mercury each has a triune nature, for each of these substances contains, in reality, also the other two substances, according to the secret arcanum of the wise.
The body of Salt is, therefore, threefold, namely salt, sulphur, and mercury; but in the body of Salt one of the three (salt) predominates. Mercury is likewise composed of salt, sulphur, and mercury with the latter element predominating. Sulphur, similarly, is actually salt, sulphur, and mercury, with sulphur predominating. These nine divisions - 3 times 3 - plus Azoth (the mysterious universal life force) equals 10, the sacred Decad of Pythagoras. Concerning the nature of Azoth there is much controversy. Some view it as the invisible, eternal fire; others as electricity; still others as magnetism. Transcendalists refer to it as the astral light."
  The universe is surrounded by the sphere of stars. Beyond that sphere is Schamayim, which is the Divine fiery Water, the first outflow of the Word of God, the flaming river pouring from the presence of the Eternal. Schamayim, the fiery Androgynous, divides. The fire becomes Solar fire, and the water becomes Lunar water. Schamayim is the universal mercury -- sometimes called Azoth -- the measureless spirit of life. The spiritual fiery original water comes through Eden (in Hebrew, vapor), and pours itself into the four main rivers, the four Elements. This is the River of living water -- Azoth -- the fiery mercurial essence, that flows out from the throne of God and the Lamb. In this Eden [vaporous essence or mist] is the spiritual earth, incomprehensible and intangible, or the dust Aphar, out of which God formed Adam min Haadamah, the spiritual body of man, which body must sometime become revealed.

Manley Palmer Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1988), p. CLV; [The Philosophical Research Society, Inc.]

On Paracelsus:

In 16 th century portraits painted of Paracelsus, the pommel of his sword, upon which rests his hand, bears the inscription "Azoth." From the poem set beneath a contemporary newspaper "broadside" published of Paracelsus, we may gather that Azoth was the name of a secret medicine, an elixir vitae, i.e. infallible remedy or alexipharmakon (~ counter poison), he kept hidden within his sword’s pommel. Azoth is also the secret name of Mercurius, extracted from cinnabar, the universal quicksilver medicine which comprised the virtues of all other medicines. Hence, it is also the name for the "philosophers’ stone." It is spiritus animatus, the animated spirit. The name occurs in writings as early as those of the mysterious philosopher "Mary the Jewess" of fourth century Zosimos, also of Olympiodorus in the fifth century, and of Jabir ibn Hayyan, the arab alchemist in the tenth, or the 4th Muslim century. Azoth also is interpreted as standing for alpha and omega, i.e., Zeus or Theos.

[Selected Works of Paracelsus, glossary, p.248. Jolande Jacobi, editor; Princeton/Bollingen,1951.]


[Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim]
(1493, near Zurich - 1541, Salzburg)
Alchemist, physician & surgeon, inventor of Iatrochemistry.


Isaac Myer, in a discussion of Ain Soph and Space, says: "The Ain Soph at first was filling All and then made an absolute concentration into Itself which produced the Abyss, Deep, or Space, the Aveer Qadmon or Primitive Air, the Azoth; but this is not considered in the Qabbalah as a perfect void or vacuum, a perfectly empty Space, but is thought as the Waters or Crystalline Chaotic Sea, in which was a certain degree of Light inferior to that by which all the created (worlds and hierarchies) were made." -- Secret Teachings of the Ages, Page Number: CXVII

[Contributed by]