Δευτέρα, 12 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

Atalanta fugiens by Michael Maier 1617 Emblem 10



Atalanta fugiens by Michael Maier 1617 Emblem 10

Emblem 10

Da ignem igni, Mercurium Mercurio, et sufficit tibi.
Give Fire to fire, Mercury to Mercury, and you have enough.

Epigram 10th

The machine of the world depends on this chain:
The whole, in a Rejoices in all of the same:
Mercury to Mercury, with fire,
For a fire is and this be the end of your life.
Hermes Vulcan act, but feathered Hermes
Cynthia, you pay, but you, Apollo sister.
(this is a Google translation)

Discourse 10th

If this saying be taken literally, it only increaseth the quantity of Fire & Mercury, but introduceth no new quality into the subject. For every like added to its like, makes it become more like. Hence Physicians affirm that contraries are healed & removed by contraries. So we see Fire is extinguished by Water, but fomented by the addition of Fire. As the Poet says: "Venus in wine, as fire in Fire, does rage." ["Et Venus in vinis, ignis in igne furit."] But it may be answered that Fire differs very much from Fire, & Mercury from Mercury, for there are several sorts of Fire & Mercury amongst the Philosophers. Moreover, the same heat & cold, being distant only in place & situation, differs from another of its own kind, so as to attract to it that which is like to itself.

So we see that Heat fixed in any part is drawn forth by the same Heat. Limbs benumbed & almost dead with Frost & cold water will be restored by putting them into cold Water rather than by the application of external heat. For as the greater light obscures the lesser, so also greater heat or cold has power over the lesser, so it is necessary that the Cold or Heat that is outwardly applied should be less than that which was before imprinted or fixed in the joints, otherwise the same impression would be made as before, & the like would rather be much more increased than drawn forth by the like.

This drawing out of cold by cold water, & of fiery heat by heat, is agreeable to Nature, for all sudden changes in contraries are dangerous & less acceptable to it, but that which comes by degrees can more easily be endured. So we say there is one internal Fire which is essentially infixed in the Philosophical subject, & another external. The same may likewise be said of Mercury. The internal Fire is Equivocally so cold because of its fiery qualities, virtue, & operation, but the External Fire is Univocally so. Therefore, External Fire & Mercury must be given to the internal Fire & Mercury, that so the intention of the Work may be completed. For in boiling we use Fire & Water to Mollify & mature any thing that has crudities & hardness. For Water penetrates into & dissolves the parts contracted, whilst the heat adds strength & motion to it. Thus we see in the common coction of Pulse ["pulté"], which, being hard in themselves, yet well are broken and reduced to a pulp in Water, the heat of the Fire rarifying the Water by ebullition & reducing to almost an aerial substance, so the heat of Fire resolves the crude parts of Fruit or Flesh into water, & makes them Vanish into Air together with it.

After the same manner, Fire & Mercury here are Fire & Water, & the same Fire & Mercury are the Mature & Crude parts, of which the crude are to be matured by Coction, or the mature to be purged from superfluities by the assistance of Water. But we shall in short demonstrate that these two Fires & these two Mercuries are principally & solely necessary to the completion of the Art. Empedocles was of opinion that the Principles of all things were Friendship & Discord. That corruptions were made by Variance, and generations by Love. This Discord is manifestly apparent in Fire & Water, Fire making Water evaporate & Water extinguishing Fire when applied to it.

But it is likewise plain that generations will proceed from these same things by a certain Friendship. For by heat is made new generation of Air, & by the same Heat that induration of Water into the Stone is performed, & so from these two as the first Elements are made the other two, & consequently from thence the production of all things. Water was the Matter of Heaven & all Corporeal things. Fire as the Form moves & informs this matter, so this Water or Mercury yields the Matter & Fire or Sulphur the Form. That these two may operate & mutually move themselves by Solution, Coagulation, Alteration, Tinction & Perfection, there will be a Necessity of external Helps, as instruments without which, no effect can follow. For as a Smith cannot Work without Hammers & Fire, so neither can the Philosopher without his instruments, which are Water & Fire.

This Water is by some called the Water of Clouds, as this Fire is called Occasioned Fire. It is without doubt called the Water of Clouds because it is distilled as May Dew, & consists of most thin parts. For as it is affirmed that May Dew being enclosed in the Shell of a Egg will raise it up by the Heat of the Sun, so this Water of the Clouds, or Dew, makes the Philosopher's Egg ascend, that is, Sublimes, Exalts & Perfects it. The same Water is also most sharp Vinegar, which makes the body a mere Spirit. For as Vinegar has different qualities & can penetrate to the bottom & bind, so this Water dissolves & coagulates, but is not coagulated, because it is not of a proper Subject. The Water is had from the Fountain of Parnassus, which, contrary to the Nature of other fountains, is upon the Top of the Hill made the Hoof of the flying Horse Pegasus.

There must also be actual Fire, which, notwithstanding, must be governed & qualified by its degrees as with Bridles. For as the Sun proceeding from Aries into Leo, & so approaching nearer, gradually increaseth heat to things growing, so it is here necessary to be done, for the Philosophical Infant must be nourished by Fire as with Milk, & the more plentiful that is, the more he grows.

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