An Explanation of the Natural Philosophers’ Tincture: Now Available!

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.

37 pages.


Magic Plants: Now Available!

“Magic Plants” is not an herbal, strictly speaking, although it treats on the use of herbs in a sorcerous context in some primary sources it lists. Rather, it is a general treatise on the philosophy behind such use within the context of natural magic.

Translated from “De Vegetabilis Magicis” by Goldsmid in the mid 1800s, it is a dense little work, which, in its appendix, adds a tract detailing some witch trial material (almost surely to show the reader the torments applied for an understanding of natural healing and science in the burning times, especially to those who did not even practice sorcery) which speaks of herbalism insofar as witching ointment and a Satan-bestowed “mysterious black powder” used to harm cattle and people is concerned.

28 pages.

Turba Philosophorum: Now Available!

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.

110 pages.

From the Universal Fortune Teller (1790)

The 1790 version of the Universal Fortune Teller is indeed far stranger than the one I’ve already released which post-dates it by seventy years. One look at the content and you know you’re not exactly reading something from modernity.

The work is substantially more dense than I originally predicted; the astrological content alone stretches well past 40 pages, and that’s really only half the work. All told, it might approach or slightly exceed 100 pages in length with a modern format (bibliophiles will know, of course, that many works from the 1700s had what we would now consider tiny typesetting.) Take a look at this passage from the book:

On the seventeenth day the child that shall be born will be foolish to that degree that it shall be almost unnatural, and thereby become a great affliction to his parents. To go on messages this day is unfortunate, yet to contract matrimony, to compound physical preparations, and to take physic is good, but by no means let blood.

On the eighteenth day the child that shall be born, if a male, shall be valiant, courageous, and eloquent; and if a female, chaste, industrious, and painstaking, and shall come to honor in her old age. It is good this day to begin buildings; and to put out our children in order to be brought up in learning. Have a care of being let blood this day for it is very dangerous.

On the nineteenth day the child then born, if a male, shall be renowned for wisdom and virtue and thereby arrive to great honor, but if a female, she will be of a weak and sickly constitution, yet she will live to be married. This day they may bleed that have occasion.
These three short sections are from the end of the astrological work, regarding the birth of children at various stages of the lunar phases. As we see, bloodletting is encouraged according to the day, and what we term a “voyage” or “trip” is (and this is replicated in the work at least two other times) referred to as a “message.” I am leaving some of the antiquated English intact in this work for stylistic purposes, where a modern individual will still be able to infer the meaning from context.
This work, oddly, appears to contain less of the “females are only interested in marriage and lovers” content than the 1860 version; indeed, some of the passages refer to women of a vaguely heroic or brawny constitution depending on the circumstance of their birth. This probably relates to the growing moralism of the mid 1800s as opposed to the lingering flames of the enlightened times of the 1700s and the philosophy from that same era.

Coming Soon: The Golden Chain of Homer

When we discuss alchemical texts we are most often reviewing elaborate systems of symbolism involving celestial and other phenomena. With the Golden Chain of Homer, this is assuredly not the case. Of middling length, (64 pages,) the work ruminates far more on the actual chemical processes behind alchemy; humidification and distillation especially. “Released” (and almost surely written) by Anton Kirchweger in the early 1700s, it was first worked into English not long after by Bacstrom, although the text was not strictly full length in this work. To keep with proper tradition, it is this “shortened” manuscript which I have edited.

Unlike most works, which provide theory without practice or philosophy without physicality, the Golden Chain includes several literal experiments (which I do not condone the working of, for legal reasons!) including a rather strange experiment in which sterilized sediment is used to grow “plants” (almost surely mold)- a telltale sign that the work predates microscopy to a great extent.

I definitely recommend this specific edition for those interested in alchemy, along with a shorter manuscript on the Aurum Potabile which I have just finished editing but must format and work through the cover design for.