By Philip Wheeler
Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine is without doubt one of the most crucial alchemical works on hand to fashionable scholars. First released in 1599 with no illustrations, it completed wider distribution as a part of the Tripus Aureus (Golden Tripod) compendium edited through Michael Maier and released at Frankfurt in 1618 by means of Lucas Jennis. Lucas Jennis supplied twelve engraved plates, one for every of the keys. those plates drew upon the allegorical descriptive imagery of the textual content and extra coherence to the symbolism.
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Additional resources for Twelve Keys Of Basilius Valentinus: Alchemical Manuscripts
For we begin with a firm and palpable body, which subsequently becomes a volatile spirit, and a golden water, without any conversion, from which our Sages derive their principle of life. Ultimately we obtain the indestructible medicine of human and metallic bodies, 41 of 95 Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine which is fitter to be known to angels than to men, except such as seek it at God’s hands in heartfelt prayer, and give genuine proofs of their gratitude by service rendered to Him, and to their needy neighbour.
This spirit is itself fed by the stars, and is thereby rendered capable of imparting nutriment to all things that grow, and of nursing them as a mother does her child while it is yet in the womb. The minerals are hidden in the womb of the earth, and nourished by her with the spirit which she receives from above. Thus the power of growth that I speak of is imparted not by the earth, but by the life–giving spirit that is in it. If the earth were deserted by this spirit, it would be dead, and no longer able to afford nourishment to anything.
For the heavenly city is about to be besieged by earthly foes. You must, therefore, strongly fortify it with three impassable and well–guarded walls, and let the one entrance be well protected. Then light the lamp of wisdom and seek with it the gross thing that was lost, shewing only such light as is needed. For you must know that the worms and reptiles dwell in the cold and humid earth, while man has his proper habitation upon the face of the earth; the bodies of angels, on the other hand, not being alloyed with sin or impurity, are injured by no extreme either of heat or cold.