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.
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.
One of the foremost texts of alchemy, the Aphorisms of Urbigerus remains one of the better kept secrets of the tradition. Written in 1690 and originally of English manufacture, it contains a series of 100 short statements (technically 101 statements) on alchemy, and alchemical philosophy.
Referring often to the green dragon, the red lion, and other alchemical veils for simplistic chemical terms, it allows the reader, so it claims, to create three stages of purified mercury and several types of elixir- through both a long, proper method, and a shorter but less effective one. It combines the quite literal with the metaphoric in such a way that the modern reader can presumably determine what specific chemical processes are being used; as is not the case with at least half of all works of alchemy.
Isaac Hollandus delivers again with one of the better alchemical works I have read.
Largely revolving around the use of lead for medical purposes (something I cannot recommend!) “A Work of Saturn” is a bit less veiled and difficult to understand than most texts on alchemy- Hollandus fails on only one account, for while referring to the lead of the philosophers as antimony, the text describes a process which quite clearly involves rudimentary, normal lead- as in, the toxic element, which Hollandus unwisely recommends the alchemist taste in order to make sure the process is working.
It is essentially one long process for distilling powdered lead to make elixir- the resulting material (a red oil from a strange sort of compounded mineral deposit) is said by Hollandus to allow the projection (multiplication) of metals, as well as being used in dissolved and ingested form to cure all ailments, or injected into wounds to resolve infections.