Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon IIITranslated by Mike Brenner. Copyright Mike Brenner 1997. Permission given to freely copy this, as long as this copyright remains attached.
Back to Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon.
EXPLANATION OF THE FIGURE 3
Figure 1 shows the superior and inferior of Hermes. Figure 2 showed
the hermaphrodite duality in a single thing, the philosophical Adam,
who still has his rib, that is, who had not yet divided into separate
male and female to produce offspring. Figure 3 conceals many
important symbols of theory and practice.
(1) The most-secret dual receptacle,
without which the Work cannot be done. (2) How to
hermetically seal the passions (CAPRICUS in the form of golden Earth or
Sulphur, representing masculinity) with the the power of the
Conscience (BE-JAH the Holy Spirit [literally, the Lord God], in the
form of liquid Mercury or the Moon, representing femininity). (3)
The hermaphrodite figure standing on the circle, so it belongs to
that circle, but is nevertheless separate from it. (4) The green lion
in the circle, which represents the
blossoming of Life, and which attains its power through the gaseous
SAL-NITRE. It becomes larger by devouring the liquid Mercury it
drank, which it excretes as thick as tar.
Hermes called me the Sun and the Moon. Riplaeus called me the green
lion. Our author called me hermaphrodite, but I pay no attention to
that. It makes no difference. Nor does it matter what the sophists
call me, for they learn nothing for all their trouble except: (1) I
am One Substance, not two; (2) In me is Bernard's little fountain;
(3) I am dry water, subtle pure; (4) I am raised up by the power
of Mars, as commanded by Philaleth, the famous Adept who
coagulates my esoteric nature with Mercury.
EXPLANATION OF PARAGRAPH 3
In their books for the curious world, the adepts spoke in symbols.
For example, the Stone is made of One Substance. It is a thing that
is a simple unity, not a composite. It has equal parts of Earth,
Water, Fire, and Air. It possess equal attributes of heat and cold,
moisture and dryness. It arises from liquid and solid Fire. Thus, in
the first verse, Hermes calls it the Sun because it is made of Solid
Fire; and in the second verse, he calls it the Moon because it is
made of Liquid Mercury. Riplaeus calls it the green lion, because it
grows more fiery whenever the Celestial Fire is inflamed.
The Master Norton called it a Hermaphrodite, since Hermes said it is
both solar and lunar. But don't make the mistake made by most
current-day alchemists. This single thing with dual characteristics
is not a composite constructed by human hands. As it says in verse
13: By my nature I am One Substance.
And in verse 15: I am Dry Water, subtle and pure, and I am powered
with Mars energy. That means, that in the center there is a subtle
Fire. The Mars energy causes this Fire to rise up and become
strengthened by the Celestial Fire. According to the words of the
philosopher: Give the fire to the Fire and mercury to Mercury.
Four elements are sealed in me,
Sulphur and Mercury are dissolved in me.
I am savage, deadly, smoky, poisonous,
solid, liquid, constant, and gaseous.
Not animal, vegetable, fungus,
arsenic, vitriol-alaun, salt,
gold, nor any metal.
I am White Mercury. I have only one root and two stems.
Everyone despises me, because I don't look too cool in my dull gray
coat. Yet, I am like the prize-winning beehive that produces the best
honey for lords, princes, and the king. I equally valuable for
everyone, high and low, rich and poor.
EXPLANATION OF CANON 3
We are informed in Verse 1 that the chaotic-philosophical Water is
not the same as the Water Element. There the author states: the four
elements are sealed in me. And to show us the origin of his central
Sulphur and astral Mercury, he adds: flowing with sulphur and
mercury. The next 2 verses clarify that this hermaphrodite Substance
is both solid and gaseous.
First he describes the dark, earthly, liquid characteristic, saying:
I am wild, deadly, smoky, and poisonous. No man can face it without
crying out and suffering from the most terrible poison. None dare
touch it nor taste its repulsive smell. Yet even its raw state, it
effects wonderful cures. Also, after a little preparation with small
doses of ADMIRACULA PRAESTANDA, it can be touched or taken without
But the following verse describes its characteristic as solid,
liquid, constant, and gaseous. The author already named the interior
and exterior forms of this One Substance. But, admittedly, God and
the adepts do not permit discovering any clearer revelation.
Next,the author states what it isn't: not animal, vegetable, fungus,
arsenic, vitriol, alum, salt, sulphur, mineral, gold, nor metal. So
this universal Tincture is not from the animal, vegetable, mineral,
or metal kingdoms. These words bring particular dizziness to the
brains of today's alchemists, who will ask: what is it then? Well,
it has certainly already been named several times, but to repeat it
one more time superfluously: (1) It is the purest offspring of the
gaseous mercury in the belly and center of the Earth. (2) It is a
stone in liquid form. (3) It is an invisible solid. (4) It grows up
like the mustard seed. (5) It works through the astral fire. (6) It
transmutes everything it touches into a liquid-solid like itself.
(7) It is a fiery water or air which cold Saturn congeals on top of
the Earth. Enough said, since anyone who does not understand this now
is beyond help, and further words will not help, for this is
essential to any real Alchemy. (8) Manipulations, spells, and magical
formulae do not apply here, because it is a dual spiritual-physical
material, intractible to sophists. (9) It is White Mercury transmuted
into gray, liquid form. (10) Even though it is laying at everyone's
feet, philosophy cannot explain it better than as a unity with
balanced dual characteristics.
If you have problems understanding these alchemical texts, Adam McLean now provides a study course entitled How to read alchemical texts : a guide for the perplexed.