Quicksilver of Philosophers

One of the main goals of the alchemist is to produce quicksilver of philosophers out of ordinary quicksilver. The alchemist Fulcanelly has said that no alchemist has ever talked openly about how to produce it. He argues that quicksilver of philosophers emerges out of ordinary quicksilver. However, he also warns that many cannot see the difference between them two, which is “delusion which destroyed and will destroy large number of artists”. Fulcanelli further explains that usual quicksilver comes into existence through the work of nature, while quicksilver of philosopher emerges through the work of art. He mentions that quicksilver of philosophers emerges from the union of initial quicksilver and initial sulfur through refining and continuous laundering, sinking, and deriving of viscous, oily and clean moisture from the metal. Fulcanelly also warns that many researchers are not familiar with the right method, so they get just a bit different quicksilver from the previous one after hard, long and hazardous work.

However, if correctly done, quicksilver will change its name and quality and become quicksilver of philosophers as a solid body of metal appearance. It differs from usual quicksilver in its consistency. It shines due to sulfur, as the Moon shines due to the Sun. It is born from a struggle and disaster of two antagonistic natures and represents „The Fool of the Great Work”.S. Michelspacher wrote in “Cabala” (1616) about how alchemists of his time were getting lost until the Mercurial rabbit would appear to show them the true quicksilver of philosophers. This alchemist argued that you need to master seven alchemist steps to get this quicksilver: calitination, sublimation, solution, putrefaction, distillation, coagulation and tincture. For some philosophers it is “philosphical snake” – created by union of Sol and Luna. J. C. Barchusen elaborates in “Elementa chemicae” (1718.) that quicksilver of philosophers is a mysterious substance which consists of liquid components (azoth), hard parts (latons) and mercurial spirit shaped like a bird. Greek alchemist Zosimus calls it „divine water”. C. Knorr von Rosenrott in “Cabala Denudata” (1684) mentions that it falls down from Kether to lower heavens as nectar or Rosencreutz, Some alchemists connect quicksilver of philosopher with Holy Ghost “above the water” from the Bible or with holy water which was kept by St. Jacob. J. L. Hollandus wrote in “Dei Hand der Philospohen” (1746) that it is cold, wet and white in its surface, but red, hot and dry inside. That is why he called it the egg.

Quicksilver of philosopher is also known as: salt of wisdom, Saturnine salt, salt above salt, green vitriol, chameleon, double quicksilver, second quicksilver, quicksilver of the sage and May dew. Fulcanelli argues that all what the wise man searches for may he find in Quicksilver of Philosophers and that it is solely enough to complete the Great Work. It can be kept forever if not exposed to air and light. Quicksilver of philosophers is still not the stone of wisdom (rebis, the most exalted quicksilver, the first matter of magisterium or philosophical androgen). In further alchemical procedures, the goal is to make the stone of wisdom out of quicksilver of philosophers’ union with sulphur. According to Fulcanelli, all the art is about discovering the mental semen of sulphur, its expectoration into quicksilver of philosophers and successive exposition to the element of fire. Temperature should be successively changed towards more heat. Four different temperatures are four different grades of Great Work. Cyrano de Bergerac sees this process as a fight between Salamander and Nymph. It is an esoteric fight – “terrible but real”. J. C. Barchusen, an alchemist from the 18th century, talks about 78 different alchemist approaches to the creation of the stone of wisdom.


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