This manuscript concerns the chemical components of alchemy more than the actual crafting of any sorcerers’ stone or elixir itself; indeed, it is the general recipe for the precursor materials needed to work the great work itself. The formula is fairly explicit but most of the secondary content used to “prove” the point is religious in nature and heavily metaphorical. Overall, a fine alchemical work of note, from one of the less well known figures within the period. It is slightly similar to some of Hollandus’ work.
This very short tract is an excellent primer to alchemy; it’s actually more an explanation of the veils and hidden meanings of the terms used by other works than it is a process in its own right- the author is anonymous, but Waite dug it up and managed to translate it. Altogether, when paired with other longer, more literal works, it’s of far greater value than its general obscurity suggests.
Talk about an early Yule gift; Createspace saw fit to finally accept and process this submission two months later; I have to assume whoever had it on hold quit their job or there was a glitch in the system.
This short work is alchemical in nature; it appears to adapt and retell “A Work of Saturn” by Hollandus and describes the crafting and augmenting of the philosophers’ stone to create elixir- a sort of metallic substance that melts like wax at low heat (or in contact with silver) and can be dissolved in wine or injected into wounds- that this substance is a sort of mercurial compound renders it perhaps less favorable in modern medicine, although I suppose it could destroy infections.
The Turba Philosophorum is one of the foremost philosophical and alchemical texts of all time; probably comparable in popularity to the Rosarium Philosophorum.
It is delivered in the form of a dialogue between various great antiquated minds in science and philosophy, despite the fact that it was created no earlier than perhaps the late 800sAD and probably in the early 900s. It expounds and elaborates upon alchemical principles and truths that would become commonplace centuries later in virtually all Renaissance era works of this type.
I utilized Waite’s (now public domain) translation of this work, and modernized it completely, significantly improving the formerly cramped format of the same.
While this specific work claims the title of Hermetic Philosophy, it is more a standard alchemical text than a philosophical tract.
It attempts to reduce the convolution and deliberate obfuscation of alchemical truth by prior authors to a lesser degree such that the student is more readily able to understand the process of creating the stone of the philosophers- an attempt which is partially successful. It then divides the total work into the Zodiac, referencing stages of time required to produce the final result by astrological means.
Originally rendered into English by the 1600s, the Aurora of the Philosophers (or Monarchia) of Paracelsus is one of the foremost of all alchemical works ever created.
This particular work is of note for two reasons. First and foremost, it covers the ancient history of magick according to Paracelsus, as derived from Persia, Egypt, the Chaldaeans, and Hebrews. Second, it supplies hands-on experimentation where the vast majority of works supply only theory. For obvious reasons I in no way condone or encourage the working of any experiment in this work.
It additionally refutes some of the then-common myths regarding the work of alchemy in rather good detail.
When works of alchemy are made, mostly they fixate on obscure philosophy- the only exceptions I have encountered are this work and some of Paracelsus’ materials. The Golden Chain of Homer, however, is explicit and describes actual alchemical experiments and their recipes.
For those interested in alchemy this work is highly recommended; it may be seen as a somewhat dense but spectacular overview of the philosophy and the working of alchemy itself. Disclaimer: I in no way endorse the practice of these experiments.