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.
It is an exciting time of year and Halloween is getting closer by the day- the slow decline of my garden and the beginning of changing color on the leaves of the trees is a fine thing to behold. It looks like this year, unlike last, I will have achieved my three main goals at least two weeks before that special spooky day; namely, the release of Sickness in Hell, the release of the Greater Key of Solomon, and the release of the Book of Forbidden Knowledge.
Sickness in Hell is now almost half complete- I topped off the eighth chapter today and developed an expanded, better plot for the ninth, which would have contained material from the 11th, 12th, and 13th chapters of the original manuscripts. I can now guarantee that this work will be done by late September unless I fall into a coma or off a cliff.
The Greater Key is going well, and I have compiled about a third of the material itself into proper form without editing anything beyond the introduction just yet. Once it’s all in a good format and I get an idea of the length I can begin editing. I hope to have it done by the first week of October.
The Book of Forbidden Knowledge I haven’t worked on in three days but no worries; it’s far shorter than these other works.
In the meantime I have finished the Turba Philosophorum; which is probably as popular and important as the Rosarium Philosophorum and Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine. I’ve also formatted the Aurifontina Chymica although I have not begun editing it. For the time being I have stalled out on the Secret Book of the Black Arts although I hope to have this done in November at latest. As for Letters of Demonology and Witchcraft, it is a substantial work of about 300 pages so that will be a long time coming; maybe early 2017. I have work to do on Cultus Arborum as well.
Just so people know what they’re looking forward to here I figured it was time for another general update.
Having released half a dozen new works in alchemy, I think I’ve sated my appetite for the philosopher’s stone for a while- I’ve proceeded to begin working on literally half a dozen works at the same time, in addition to Sickness in Hell (which is now roughly one third complete.) Because they are not all the same in length (especially considering format and the size of text used!) they will surely not all be done at the same time. Because I tend to do a massive amount of work on a text and, if it isn’t short, subsequently lose interest for a while in the subject matter, I have a tendency to rotate the work that I do weekly, so that it stays fresh in my mind and helps my concentration.
Thus the following works are on my plate.
1. The Greater Key of Solomon: An extremely popular and important work compiling various Solomonic manuscripts together, originally released in its modern form by Mathers in the late 1800s. This grimoire is probably third in popularity only behind the Lemegeton and the Grand Grimoire. I can’t get a good indication of its final length until I’ve gotten more of it done because the typeset used was tiny. I estimate 150 to 200 pages. I have completed everything up to the preliminary introduction of the first book.
2. Cultus Arborum: This one is shorter (about 100 pages) and was released in the same series as the Ophiolatreia. It concerns phallic tree worship. I’ve gotten about 10 pages of this edited.
3. The Book of Forbidden Knowledge: An early 1900s manuscript combining aspects of talismanic magic, folk rites, folk medicine, and fortune telling. It is quite dense, and will stretch to an estimated 80 pages, 15 of which are done now.
4. The Secret Book of the Black Arts: Not to be confused with Cavendish’ work which comes a century later. I am 20 pages into this 200+ page work.
5. Secretum Secretorum: A roughly 70 pages pseudo-Aristotelian tract professing to be an antiquated work in which Aristotle guides Alexander the Great. In reality it is likely a Medieval tract simply attributed to the same. This one is fully formatted but it will take a long time to work through the extremely archaic English it contains.
6. Aurifontia Chymica: The second longest alchemical work I’ve seen, second of course to the Rosary of the Philosophers. At about 140 pages it will take a little time. I’ve formatted part of it and not yet begun editing.
Here are three short works of alchemy compiled together, for the purpose of length; each one was too short to release on its own. That being said, it’s one of the most significant possible triplicities of alchemical lore that could possibly be released at all.
It contains “The Immortal Liquor Alkahest” of Philalethes, “Everburning Lights” by Trithemius, and “Philosophic Fire” by Pontanus. Philalethes’ work, in the form of question and answer, spells out what alkahest is, where it comes from, and how to obtain it (namely, from human blood and urine.) Trithemius’ work is ascribed to him but was made later, containing the simplistic backstory that Trithemius gave a scrip to someone whom the author met with, discovering the secret of creating phosphorescent lamps which could give off light for thousands of years. The third text, by Pontanus, is itself a key of alchemy- namely because it is the only text to tell the reader the nature of alchemical fire and where to research it (specifically, they are recommended to read Artephius’ work.) With these three texts combined, alchemy becomes substantially easier to understand.
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.
“On the Philadelphian Gold” is mostly a Socratic-style dialogue related to philosophy as opposed to alchemy, but it is an alchemical work nonetheless, insofar as it relates to the several types of matter and body posited to exist by one member of this same dialogue; Philadelphus, speaking with the materialistic Philochrysis on the topic of spiritual gold.
This work was made by the Philadelphian Society many centuries ago. This edition has been rendered from older English usage to mostly modern English, save for a few references which have no other proper counterpart.
Here is one of the most interesting of all spiritual works; a tract on demonology literally written by a king- King James I of England that is- in the twilight of the 16th century.
Originally composed in extremely old English, this edition has been modernized, although a few generally outdated terms (like betwixt) have been retained for stylistic effect. The entire work is delivered in the form of a dialogue, between the fictional Epistemon and Philomathes. This usage was considered by James to be of greater entertainment than delivering a more academic text.
It covers the nature of witchcraft, the different types of magic (differentiating, for example, necromancers, sorcerers, and witches) and the nature of airy spirits or “fairies.” It proceeds to heavily denounce Catholicism and list some categories of demonic entities, the meaning of incubus and succubus and what they pertain to, and their connection to the “night mare” (sleep paralysis) among other things.