Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:13 am


256 Many treatises define Mercurius simply as fire.1 He is ignis elementaris,2 noster naturalis ignis certissimus,3 which again indicates his "philosophic" nature. The aqua mercurial is is even a divine fire.4 This fire is "highly vaporous" (vaporosus).5 Indeed, Mercurius is really the only fire in the whole procedure.6 He is an "invisible fire, working in secret." 7 One text says that the "heart" of Mercurius is at the North Pole and that he is like a fire (northern lights).8 He is, in fact, as another text says, "the universal and scintillating fire of the light of nature, which carries the heavenly spirit within it." 9 This passage is particularly important as it relates Mercurius to the lumen naturae, the source of mystical knowledge second only to the holy revelation of the Scriptures. Once more we catch a glimpse of the ancient role of Hermes as the god of revelation. Although the lumen naturae) as originally bestowed by God upon his creatures, is not by nature ungodly, its essence was nevertheless felt to be abysmal, since the ignis mercurialis was also connected with the fires of hell. It seems, however, that the alchemists did not understand hell, or its fire, as absolutely outside of God or opposed to him, but rather as an internal component of the deity, which must indeed be so if God is held to be a coincidentia oppositorum. The concept of an all-encompassing God must necessarily include his opposite. The coincidentia) of course, must not be too radical or too extreme, otherwise God would cancel himself out.10 The principle of the coincidence of opposites must therefore be completed by that of absolute opposition in order to attain full paradoxicality and hence psychological validity.

257 The mercurial fire is found in the "centre of the earth," or dragon's belly, in fluid form. Benedictus Figulus writes: "Visit the centre of the earth, there you will find the global fire."11 Another treatise says that this fire is the "secret, infernal fire, the wonder of the world, the system of the higher powers in the lower."12 Mercurius, the revelatory light of nature, is also hellfire, which in some miraculous way is none other than a rearrangement of the heavenly, spiritual powers in the lower, chthonic world of matter, thought already in St. Paul's time to be ruled by the devil. Hell-fire, the true energic principle of evil, appears here as the manifest counterpart of the spiritual and the good, and as essentially identical with it in substance. After that, it can surely cause no offence when another treatise says that the mercurial fire is the "fire in which God himself burns in divine love."13 We are not deceiving ourselves if we feel in scattered remarks of this kind the breath of true mysticism.

258 Since Mercurius is himself of fiery nature, fire does not harm him: he remains unchanged within it, rejoicing like the salamander.14 It is unnecessary to point out that quicksilver does not behave like this but vaporizes under heat, as the alchemists themselves knew from very early times.



1. Aurora consurgens II, in Art. aurif., I, p. 212; Dorn, "Congeries Paracelsicae," Theatr. chem., 1(1659), p. 502; Mylius, Phil. ref., p. 245.

2. "Via veritatis," Mus. herm., p. 200.

3. "Tractatus aureus," ibid., p. 39.

4. "Aquarium sapientum," ibid., p. 91.

5. Ibid., p. 90.

6. "There is no fire in all the work save Mercurius" ("Fons chymicae veritatis," ibid., p. 803).

7. "Metall. metamorph.," ibid., p. 766.

8. "At the Pole is the heart of Mercurius, which is the true fire, in which is the resting place of his Lord, sailing through this great sea" ("Introit. apert.," Mus. herm., p. 655). A somewhat obscure symbolism!

9. "Aquarium sap.," ibid., p. 84.

10. This is a purely psychological explanation having to do with human conceptions and statements and not with the unfathomable Being.

11. Figulus, Rosarium novum olympicum, Pars I, p. 71. This is the "domus ignis idem Enoch." Cf. "Paracelsus as a Spiritual Phenomenon," supra, par. 186.

12 "Ignis infernalis secretus ... mundi miraculum, virtutum superiorum in inferioribus systema" ("Introit. apert.," p. 654).

13. "Ignis in quo Deus ipse ardet amore divino" ("Gloria mundi," p. 246).

14. "For it is he who overcomes the fire, and is himself not overcome by the fire, but rests in it as a friend, rejoicing in it" (Geber, "Summa perfectionis," De alchemia, cap. LXIII, p. 139).
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:15 am


259 If Mercurius had been understood simply as quicksilver, there would obviously have been no need for any of the appellations I have listed. The fact that this need arose points to the conclusion that one simple and unmistakable term in no way sufficed to designate what the alchemists had in mind when they spoke of Mercurius. It was certainly quicksilver, but a very special quicksilver, "our" Mercurius, the essence, moisture, or principle behind or within the quicksilver -- that indefinable, fascinating, irritating, and elusive thing which attracts an unconscious projection. The "philosophic" Mercurius, this servus fugitivus or cervus fugitivus (fugitive slave or stag), is a highly important unconscious content which, as may be gathered from the few hints we have given, threatens to ramify into a set of far-reaching psychological problems. The concept swells dangerously and we begin to perceive that the end is nowhere in sight. Therefore we would rather not tie this concept prematurely to any special meaning, but shall content ourselves with stating that the philosophic Mercurius, so dear to the alchemist as the transformative substance, is obviously a projection of the unconscious, such as always takes place when the inquiring mind lacks the necessary self-criticism in investigating an unknown quantity.

260 As has already been indicated, the psychic nature of the arcane substance did not escape the alchemists; indeed, they actually defined it as "spirit" and "soul." But since these concepts -- especially in earlier times -- were always ambiguous, we must approach them with caution if we want to gain a moderately clear idea of what the terms spiritus and anima meant in alchemical usage.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:22 am


261 Hermes, originally a wind god, and his counterpart the Egyptian Thoth, who "makes the souls to breathe,"1 are the forerunners of the alchemical Mercurius in his aerial aspect. The texts often use the terms pneuma and spirilus in the original concrete sense of "air in motion." So when Mercurius is described in the Rosarium philosophorum (fifteenth century) as aereus and volans2 (winged), and in Hoghelande (sixteenth century) as tolus aereus el spirilualis)3 what is meant is nothing more than a gaseous state of aggregation. Something similar is meant by the poetic expression serenilas aerea in the Ripley Scrowle,4 and by the same author's statement that Mercurius is changed into wind.5 He is the lapis elevalus cum vento (the stone uplifted by the wind).6 The expressions spirituale corpus7 and spiritus visibilis) tamen impalpabilis8 (visible yet impalpable spirit) might also mean little more than "air" if one recalls the aforementioned vapour-like nature of Mercurius, and the same is probably true even of the spiritus prae cunctis valde purus9 (pre-eminently pure spirit). The designation incombustibilis10 is more doubtful, since this was often synonymous with incorruptibilis and then meant "eternal," as we shall see later. Penotus (sixteenth century), a pupil of Paracelsus, stresses the corporeal aspect when he says that Mercurius is "nothing other than the spirit of the world become body within the earth."11 This expression shows better than anything else the contamination-inconceivable to the modern mind -- of two separate realms, spirit and matter; for to people in the Middle Ages the spiritus mundi was also the spirit which rules nature, and not just a pervasive gas. We find ourselves in the same dilemma when another author, Mylius, in his Philosophia reformata,12 describes Mercurius as an "intermediate substance" (media substantia), which is evidently synonymous with his concept of the anima media natura13 (soul as intermediate nature), for to him Mercurius was the "spirit and soul of the bodies."14



1. This characteristic of Mercurius is stressed in Aurora consurgens II, in Art. aurif., I, pp. 146 and 190: "He makes the nostrils [of the foetus] in the fifth month."

2. Rosarium, pp. 252, 271.

3. Theatrum chemicum, I (1659), p. 169.

4. 16th cent. British Museum, MS. Add. 10302.

5. Ripley, Opera, p. 35.

6. "Tractatus aureus," Mus. herm., p. 39.

7. Rosarium, p. 282.

8. Basilius Valentinus, "Practica," Mus. herm., p. 404.

9. "Introit. apert.," ibid., p. 654.

10. Rosarium, p. 252.

11. Theatr. chem., 1(1659), p. 600.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:30 am


262 "Soul" represents a higher concept than "spirit" in the sense of air or gas. As the "subtle body" or "breath-soul" it means something non-material and finer than mere air. Its essential characteristic is to animate and be animated; it therefore represents the life principle. Mercurius is often designated as anima (hence, as a feminine being, he is also called foemina or virgo), or as nostra anima.15 The nostra here does not mean "our own" soul but, as in aqua nostra, Mercurius noster, corpus nostrum, refers to the arcane substance.

263 However, anima often appears to be connected with spiritus, or is equated with it.16 For the spirit shares the living quality of the soul, and for this reason Mercurius is often called the spiritus vegetativus17 (spirit of life) or Spiritus seminalis.18 A peculiar appellation is found in that seventeenth-century forgery which purports to be the secret book of Abraham le Juif, mentioned by Nicolas Flame! (fourteenth century). The epithet is spiritus Phytonis (from [x], 'to procreate,' [x], 'creature,' [x], 'procreator,' and Python, the Delphic serpent), and is accompanied by the serpent sign: [x].19 Very much more material is the definition of Mercurius as a "life-giving power like a glue, holding the world together and standing in the middle between body and spirit."20 This concept corresponds to Mylius' definition of Mercurius as the anima media natura. From here it is but a step to the identification of Mercurius with the anima mundi,21 which is how Avicenna had defined him very much earlier (twelfth to thirteenth century). "He is the spirit of the Lord which fills the whole world and in the beginning swam upon the waters. They call him also the spirit of Truth, which is hidden from the world."22 Another text says that Mercurius is the "supracelestial spirit which is conjoined with the light, and rightly could be called the anima mundi."23 It is clear from a number of texts that the alchemists related their concept of the anima mundi on the one hand to the world soul in Plato's Timaeus and on the other to the Holy Spirit, who was present at the Creation and played the role of procreator ([x]), impregnating the waters with the seed of life just as, later, he played a similar role in the obumbratio (overshadowing) of Mary.24 Elsewhere we read that a "life-force dwells in Mercurius non vulgaris, who flies like solid white snow. This is a spirit of the macrocosmic as of the microcosmic world, upon whom, after the anima rationalis, the motion and fluidity of human nature itself depends."25 The snow represents the purified Mercurius in the state of albedo (= spirituality); here again matter and spirit are identical. Worth noting is the duality of soul caused by the presence of Mercurius: on the one hand the immortal anima rationalis given by God to man, which distinguishes him from animals; on the other hand the mercurial life-soul, which to all appearances is connected with the inflatio or inspiratio of the Holy Spirit. This fundamental duality forms the psychological basis of the two sources of illumination.



12. P. 183.

13. P. 19.

14. P. 308.

15. "Tractatus aureus," Mus. herm., p. 39.

16. Mylius, Phil. ref., p. 308: "(Mercurius est) spiritus et anima corporis." The same in Ventura, Theatr. chem., II (1659), p. 282, and in "Tractatus Micreris," ibid., V (1660). p. 92.

17. Aegidius de Vadis. ibid., 11 (1659), p. 106.

18. Philaletha, "Metall. metamorph.," Mus. herm., p. 766.

19. Abraham Eleazar, Uraltes Chymisches Werck, pp. 29ff. "Phyton is the life of all things," p. 34.
20. Happelius, "Aphorismi Basiliani," Theatr. chem., IV (1659), p. 327.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:21 am


264 In many of the passages it remains doubtful whether spiritus means spirit in an abstract sense.26 It is moderately certain that this is so in Dorn, for he says that "Mercurius possesses the quality of an incorruptible spirit, which is like the soul, and because of its incorruptibility is called intellectual" 27-- i.e., pertaining to the mundus intelligibilis. One text expressly calls him "spiritual and hyperphysical," 28 and another says that the spirit of Mercurius comes from heaven.29 Laurentius Ventura (sixteenth century) may well have been associating himself with the "Platonis liber quartorum" and hence with the neo-Platonist ideas of the Harranite school when he defined the spirit of Mercurius as "completely and entirely like itself" (sibi omnino similis) and simplex)30 for this Harranite text defines the arcane substance as the res simplex and equates it with God.31

265 The oldest reference to the mercurial pneuma occurs in an Ostanes quotation of considerable antiquity (possibly pre-Christian), which says: "Go to the streamings of the Nile, and there you will find a stone that has a spirit."32 In Zosimos Mercnrius is characterized as incorporeal ([x]),33 and by another author as ethereal ([x]) as having become rational or wise ([x]).34 the very old treatise "Isis to Horus" (first century) the divine water is brought by an angel and is clearly of celestial or possibly daemonic origin, since according to the text the angel Amnael who brings it is not a morally irreproachable figure.35 For the alchemists, as we know not only from the ancient but also from the later writers, Mercurius as the arcane substance had a more or less secret connection with the goddess of love. In the "Book of Krates," which was transmitted by the Arabs and is possibly of Alexandrian origin, Aphrodite appears with a vessel from the mouth of which pours a ceaseless stream of quicksilver,36 and in the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz the central mystery is his visit to the secret chamber of the sleeping Venus.

266 The fact that Mercurius is interpreted as spirit and soul, in spite of the spirit-body dilemma which this involves, indicates that the alchemists themselves conceived of their arcane substance as something that we today would call a psychic phenomenon. Indeed, whatever else spirit and soul may be, from the phenomenological point of view they are psychic structures. The alchemists never tired of drawing attention to the psychic nature of Mercurius. So far we have concerned ourselves with, statistically, the commonest synonyms such as water and fire, spirit and soul, and it is now possible for us to conclude that these exemplify a psychological state of affairs best characterized by (or, indeed, actually demanding) an antinomian nomenclature. Water and fire are classic opposites and can be valid definitions of one and the same thing only if this thing unites in itself the contrary qualities of water and fire. The psychologem "Mercurius" must therefore possess an essentially antinomian dual nature.



26 For instance, Djabir in Berthelot, Chimie au moyen age, III, p. 169; Rosarium, in Art. aurif., II, p. 339; Hoghelande, Theatr. chem., I (1602), pp. 153, 183.

27 Theatr. chem., I (1659), p. 419. The same in Ripley, "Axiomata," ibid., II (1659), p. 123.

28 "Tractatus aureus.'· Mus. herm., p. II. Here cited from Valentinus.

29 Steeb, Coelum Sephiroticum, p. 137.

30 Theatr. chem., II (1659), p. 231.

31 Ibid., V (1660), p. 129.

32 Berthelot, Alch. grecs, III, vi, 5.

33 Ibid., III, xxviii, 5.

34 Ibid., IV, vii, 2.

35 Ibid., I, xiii, 3. [Cf. supra, "The Visions of Zosimos," pars. 97ff.]

36 Berthelot, Moyen age, III, p 63.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:55 am


267 Mercurius, following the tradition of Hermes, is many-sided, changeable, and deceitful. Dorn speaks of "that inconstant Mercurius,"1 and another calls him versipellis (changing his skin, shifty).2 He is duplex3 and his main characteristic is duplicity. It is said of him that he "runs round the earth and enjoys equally the company of the good and the wicked."4 He is "two dragons,"5 the "twin,"6 made of "two natures"7 or "two substances." 8 He is the "giant of twofold substance," in explanation of which the text9 cites the twenty-sixth chapter of Matthew, where the sacrament of the Last Supper is instituted. The Christ analogy is thus made plain. The two substances of Mercurius are thought of as dissimilar, sometimes opposed; as the dragon he is "winged and wingless."10 A parable says: "On this mountain lies an ever-waking dragon, who is called Pantophthalmos, for he is covered with eyes on both sides of his body, before and behind, and he sleeps with some open and some closed."11 There is the "common and the philosophic" Mercurius;12 he consists of "the dry and earthy, the moist and viscous." 13 Two of his elements are passive, earth and water, and two active, air and fire.14 He is both good and evil.15 The "Aurelia occulta" gives a graphic description of him:16

I am the poison-dripping dragon, who is everywhere and can be cheaply had. That upon which I rest, and that which rests upon me, will be found within me by those who pursue their investigations in accordance with the rules of the Art. My water and fire destroy and put together; from my body you may extract the green lion and the red. But if you do not have exact knowledge of me, you will destroy your five senses with my fire. From my snout there comes a spreading poison that has brought death to many. Therefore you should skilfully separate the coarse from the fine, if you do not wish to suffer utter poverty. I bestow on you the powers of the male and the female, and also those of heaven and of earth. The mysteries of my art must be handled with courage and greatness of mind if you would conquer me by the power17 of fire, for already very many have come to grief, their riches and labour lost. I am the egg of nature, known only to the wise, who in piety and modesty bring forth from me the microcosm, which was prepared for mankind by Almighty God, but given only to the few, while the many long for it in vain, that they may do good to the poor with my treasure and not fasten their souls to the perishable gold. By the philosophers I am named Mercurius; my spouse is the [philosophic] gold; I am the old dragon, found everywhere on the globe of the earth, father and mother, young and old, very strong and very weak, death and resurrection, visible and invisible, hard and soft; I descend into the earth and ascend to the heavens, I am the highest and the lowest, the lightest and the heaviest; often the order of nature is reversed in me, as regards colour, number, weight, and measure; I contain the light of nature; I am dark and light; I come forth from heaven and earth; I am known and yet do not exist at all;18 by virtue of the sun's rays all colours shine in me, and all metals. I am the carbuncle of the sun, the most noble purified earth, through which you may change copper, iron, tin, and lead into gold.

268 Because of his united double nature Mercurius is described as hermaphroditic. Sometimes his body is said to be masculine and his soul feminine, sometimes the reverse. The Rosarium philosophorum, for example, has both versions.19 As vulgaris he is the dead masculine body, but as "our" Mercurius he is feminine, spiritual, alive and life-giving.20 He is also called husband and wife,21 bridegroom and bride, or lover and beloved.22 His contrary natures are often called Mercurius sensu strictiori and sulphur, the former being feminine, earth, and Eve, and the latter masculine, water, and Adam.23 In Dorn he is the "true hermaphroditic Adam," 24 and in Khunrath he is "begotten of the hermaphroditic seed of the Macrocosm" as "an immaculate birth from the hermaphroditic matter" (i.e., the prima materia).25 Mylius calls him the "hermaphroditic monster." 26 As Adam he is also the microcosm, or even "the heart of the microcosm," 27 or he has the microcosm "in himself, where are also the four elements and the quinta essentia which they call Heaven." 28 The term coelum for Mercurius does not, as one might think, derive from the firmamentum of Paracelsus, but occurs earlier in Johannes de Rupescissa (fourteenth century).29 The term homo is used as a synonym for "microcosm," as when Mercurius is named the "Philosophic ambisexual Man."30 In the very old "Dicta Belini" (Belinus or Balinus is a corruption of Apollonius of Tyana), he is the "man rising from the river,"31 probably a reference to the vision of Ezra.32 In Trismosin's Splendor solis (sixteenth century) there is an illustration of this.33 The idea itself may go back to the Babylonian teacher of wisdom, Oannes. The designation of Mercurius as the "high man"34 does not fit in badly with such a pedigree. The terms Adam and microcosm occur frequently in the texts,35 but the Abraham Ie Juif forgery unblushingly calls Mercurius Adam Kadmon.36 As I have discussed this unmistakable continuation of the Gnostic doctrine of the Anthropos elsewhere,37 there is no need for me to go more closely now into this aspect of Mercurius.38 Nevertheless, I would like to emphasize once again that the Anthropos idea coincides with the psychological concept of the self. The atman and purusha doctrine as well as alchemy give clear proofs of this.

269 Another aspect of the dual nature of Mercurius is his characterization as senex39 and puer.40 The figure of Hermes as an old man, attested by archaeology, brings him into direct relation with Saturn-a relationship which plays a considerable role in alchemy (see infra, pars. 274ff). Mercurius truly consists of the most extreme opposites; on the one hand he is undoubtedly akin to the godhead, on the other he is found in sewers. Rosinus (Zosimos) even calls him the terminus ani.41 In the Bundahish,42 the anus of Garotman is "like hell on earth."



1 Theatr. chem., I (1659), p. 470.

2 Aegidius de Vadis, ibid. II (1659), p. 105.

3 "Aquarium sap.," Mus. herm., p. 84; Trevisanus, in Theatr. chem., I (1659), p. 695: Mylius. Phil. ref., p. 176.

4 "Aurelia occulta," Theatr. chem., IV (1659). p. 506.

5 "Brevis manuductio," Mus. herm., p. 788.

6 Valentinus, "Practica," ibid., p. 425.

7 Mylius, Phil. ref., p. 18; "Exercitationes in Turbam," Arl. aurif., I. pp. 159, 161.

8 Dorn, in Theatr. chem., I (1659), p. 420.

9 "Aquarium sap.," Mus. herm., p. 111. [Cf. infra, par. 384. n. 5.)

10 "Summarium philosophicum," ibid., pp. 172f.

11 Cf. the snake vision of Ignatius Loyola and the polyophthalmia motif discussed in "On the Nature of the Psyche," pp. 198f.

12 "Tractatus aureus," Mus. herm., p. 25.

13 "Consilium coniugii," Ars chemica (1566). p. 59.

14 Rosarium, in Art. aurif., II, p. 208.

15 Khunrath, Hyl. Chaos, p. 218.

16 Theatr. chem., IV (1659), pp. 501ff.

17 I read vi instead of vim.

18 This paradox recalls the Indian asat (non-existing). Cf. Chhandogya Upanishad, VI, ii, 1 (Sacred Books of the East, II, p. 93).
19 Art. aurif., II, pp. 239, 249.

20 "Introit. apert.," Mus. herm., p. 653.

21 "Gloria mundi," ibid., p. 250.

22 Aurora consurgens I, Parable VII.

23 Ruland, Lexicon alchemiae, p. 47.

24 Theatr. chem., 1(1659). p. 510.

25 Hyl. Chaos, p. 62.

26 Phil. ref., p. 19.

27 Happelius in Theatr. chem., IV (1659). p. 327.

28 Phil. ref., p. 5.

29 La Vertu el propriete de la quinte essence, p. 15. The "metal of the philosophers" will become like "heaven." says the "Tractatus Micreris." Theatr. chem., V (1660), p. 100.

30 Khunrath. Hyl. Chaos, p. 195.

31 Manget. Bibliotheca chemica, I, p. 478b.

32 IV Ezra 13: 25-53. Cf. Charles. Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, II. pp. 618f.

33 In Aureum vellus (1598). Tract 3: Splendor Solis (1920 facsimile), p. 23, PI. VIII.
34 Ruland, Lexicon alchemiae, p. 47.

35 John Dee in Theatr. chem., II (,659), p. 195; Rosarium, in Art. aurif., II, p. 309.

36 Eleazar, Uraltes Chymisches Werck, p. 51. Adam Kadmon is the Primordial Man; d. Mysterium Coniunctionis, ch. V.

37 "Paracelsus as a Spiritual Phenomenon:' supra, pars. 165ff., and Psychology and Alchemy, index, s.v.

38 Gayomart also is a kind of vegetation numen like Mercurius, and like him fertilizes his mother, the earth. At the place where his life came to an end the earth turned to gold, and where his limbs disintegrated various metals appeared. Cf. Christensen, Les Types du premier homme et du premier roi dans l,histoire legendaire des Iraniens, pp. 26, 29.

39 Senex draco in Valentinus, "Practica," Mus. herm., p. 425. In Verus Hermes (1620), pp. 15, 16, Mercurius is also designated with the Gnostic name "Father- Mother."

40 "De arte chimica," Art. aurif., I, p. 581. Regius puellus in "Introit. apert.," Mus. herm., pp. 678, 655.

41 Art. aurif., I, p. 310. Here it is the stone identical with Mercurius that is so called. The context disallows the reading "anni." The passage which follows soon after, "nascitur in duobus montibus," refers to the "Tractatus Aristotelis" (Theatr. chem., V, 1660, pp. 787ff.), where the act of defecation is described. (Cf. supra, "Paracelsus as a Spiritual Phenomenon," par. 182, n. 61.) Correspond. ing illustrations for Aurora consurgens may be found in the Codex Rhenoviensis.

42 Ch. XXVIII. Cf. Reitzenstein and Schaeder. Studien zum antiken Synkretismus aus Iran und Griechenland, p. 119.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:23 am


270 In spite of his obvious duality the unity of Mercurius is also emphasized, especially in his form as the lapis. "In all the world he is One."1 The unity of Mercurius is at the same time a trinity, with clear reference to the Holy Trinity, although his triadic nature does not derive from Christian dogma but is of earlier date. Triads occur as early as the treatise of Zosimos, [x] (Concerning the Art).2 Martial calls Hermes omnia solus el ter unus (All and Thrice One).3 In Monakris (Arcadia), a three-headed Hermes was worshipped, and in Gaul there was a three-headed Mercurius.4 This Gallic god was also a psychopomp. The triadic character is an attribute of the gods of the underworld, as for instance the three-bodied Typhon, three-bodied and three-faced Hecate,5 and the "ancestors" ([x]) with their serpent bodies. According to Cicero,6 these latter are the three sons of Zeus the King, the rex antiquissimus.7 They are called the "forefathers" and are wind-gods;8 obviously by the same logic the Hopi Indians believe that snakes are at the same time flashes of lightning auguring rain. Khunrath calls Mercurius triunus9 and ternarius.10 Mylius represents him as a three- headed snake.11 The "Aquarium sapientum" says that he is a "triune, universal essence which is named Jehova.12 He is divine and at the same time human."13

271 From all this one must conclude that Mercurius corresponds not only to Christ, but to the triune divinity in general. The "Aurelia occulta" calls him "Azoth," and explains the term as follows: "For he is the A and O that is everywhere present. The philosophers have adorned [him] with the name Azoth, which is compounded of the A and Z of the Latins, the alpha and omega of the Greeks, and the aleph and tau of the Hebrews:

A {z/w/n} Azoth."14

The parallel with the Trinity could not be more clearly indicated. The anonymous commentator of the "Tractatus aureus" puts the parallel with Christ as Logos just as unmistakably. All things proceed from the "philosophic heaven adorned with an infinite multitude of stars,"15 from the creative 'Nord incarnate, the Johannine Logos, without which "was not any thing made that was made." The commentator says: "Thus the Word of renewal is invisibly inherent in all things, but it is not evident in elementary solid bodies unless they have been brought back to the fifth, or heavenly and astral essence. Hence this Word of renewal is the seed of promise, or the philosophic heaven refulgent with the infinite lights of the stars."16 Mercurius is the Logos become world. The description given here may point to his basic identity with the collective unconscious, for as I tried to show in my essay "On the Nature of the Psyche,"17 the image of the starry heaven seems to be a visualization of the peculiar nature of the unconscious. Since Mercurius is often called filius, his sonship is beyond question.18 He is therefore like a brother to Christ and a second son of God, though in point of time he must be accounted the elder and the first-born. This idea goes back to the conceptions of the Euchites reported in Michael Psellus,19 who believed that God's first son was Satanael20 and that Christ was the second.21 However, Mercurius is not only the counterpart of Christ in so far as he is the "son"; he is also the counterpart of the Trinity as a whole in so far as he is conceived to be a chthonic triad. According to this view he would be equal to one half of the Christian Godhead. He is indeed the dark chthonic half, but he is not simply evil as such, for he is called "good and evil," or a "system of the higher powers in the lower." He calls to mind that double figure which seems to stand behind both Christ and the devil-that enigmatic Lucifer whose attributes are shared by both. In Rev. 22: 16 Christ says of himself: "I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and the morning star."

272 One peculiarity of Mercurius which undoubtedly relates him to the Godhead and to the primitive creator god is his ability to beget himself. In the "Allegoriae super librum Turbae" he says: "The mother bore me and is herself begotten of me."22 As the uroboros dragon, he impregnates, begets, bears, devours, and slays himself, and "himself lifts himself on high," as the Rosarium says,23 so paraphrasing the mystery of God's sacrificial death. Here, as in many similar instances, it would be rash to assume that the alchemists were as conscious of their reasoning processes as perhaps we are. But man, and through him the unconscious, expresses a great deal that is not necessarily conscious in all its implications. Nevertheless I should like to avoid giving the impression that the alchemists were absolutely unconscious of their thought-processes. How little this was so is proved by the above quotations. But although Mercurius, in many texts, is stated to be trinus et unus, this does not prevent him horn sharing very strongly the quaternity of the lapis, with which he is essentially identical. He thus exemplifies that strange dilemma which is posed by the problem of three and four-the well-known axiom of Maria Prophetissa. There is a classical Hermes tetracephalus as well as the Hermes tricephalus.24 The ground-plan of the Sabaean temple of Mercurius was a triangle inside a square.25 In the scholia to the "Tractatus aureus" the sign for Mercurius is a square inside a triangle surrounded by a circle (symbol of totality).26



1 Rosarium, in Art. aurif., II, p. 253.

2 Berthelot, Alch. grecs, III, vi, 18: "The unity of the composition [produces] the indivisible triad, and thus an undivided triad composed of separate elements creates the cosmos, through the forethought [[x]] or the First Author, the cause and demiurge of creation; wherefore he is called Trismegistos, having beheld triadically that which is created and that which creates."

3 Epigrammata, V, 24.

4 Reinach, Cultes, mythes et religions, III, pp. 160f.

5 Schweitzer, Herakles, pp. 84ff.

6 De natura deorum, 3, 21, 53.

7 There is also a Zeus triops.

8 Roscher, Lexicon, V, col. 1208.

9 Hyl. Chaos, pp. 6 and 199.

10 Ibid., p. 203.

11 Phil. ref., p. 96.

12 This peculiar designation refers to the demiurge, the saturnine Ialdabaoth, who was connected with the "God of the Jews."

13 Mus. herm., p. 112.

14 Theatr. chem., IV (1659), p. 507.

15 Ibid., p. 614.

16 Ibid., p. 615.

17 Pp. 198f.

18 Cf. Rosarium, in Art. aurif., II, p. 248: "filius ... color is coelici" (cited from Haly's "Secretum"); Khunrath, Hyl. Chaos, passim: "filius macrocosmi," p. 59: "unigenitus"; Penotus in Theatr. chem., I (1659), p. 601: "filius hominis, fructus virginis."

19 De daemonibus (trans. Marsilio Ficino). fol. N. Vv.

20 Cf. the report on the Bogomils in Euthymios Zigabenos, "Panoplia dogmatica" (Migne, P.G., vol. 130, cols. 129ff.).

21 The duality of the sonship appears to date back to the Ebionites in Epiphanius: "Two, they assert, were raised up by God, the one (is) Christ, the other the devil" (Panarium, XXX, 16, 2).

22 Art. aurif., I, p. 151. The same is said of God in the Contes del Graal of Chretien de Troyes:

"Ce doint icil glorteus pere
Qui de sa fille fist sa mere."

(Hilka, Der Percevalroman, p. 372.)

23 Art. aurif., II, p. 339.

24 Schweitzer, Herakles, p. 84.

25 Chwolsohn, Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus, II, p. 367.

26 Bibl. chem., I, p. 409.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:46 am


273 One of the roots of the peculiar philosophy relating to Mercurius lies in ancient astrology and in the Gnostic doctrine of the archons and aeons, which is derived from it. Between Mercurius and the planet there is a relation of mystical identity due either to contamination or to an actual spiritual identity. In the first case quicksilver is simply the planet Mercury as it appears in the earth (just as gold is simply the sun in the earth);1 in the second, the "spirit" of quicksilver is identical with the planetary spirit. Both spirits individually, or the two as one spirit, were personified and called upon for aid or magically conjured into service as a paredros or "familiar." Within the alchemical tradition we find directions for such procedures in the Harranite treatise "Clavis maioris sapientiae" of Artefius,2 which agree with descriptions of the invocations mentioned by Dozy and de Goeje.3 There are also references to procedures of this kind in the "Libel' Platonis quartorum." 4 Parallel with this is the account according to which Democritus received the secret of the hieroglyphs from the genius of the planet Mercury.5 The spirit Mercurius appears here in the role of a mystagogue, as in the Corpus He7-meticum or the visions of Zosimos. He plays the same role in the remarkable dream-vision recorded in "Aurelia occulta," where he appears as the Anthropos with a crown of stars.6 As the little star near the sun, he is the child of sun and moon.7 But contrariwise he is also the begetter of his parents;8 or, as the treatise of Wei Po-yang (c. A.D. 142) remarks, the gold (sun) gets its qualities from Mercurius.9 (Owing to the contamination, the astrological myth is always thought of in chemical terms as well.) Because of his half-feminine nature, Mercurius is often identified with the moon10 and Venus.11 As his own divine consort he easily turns into the goddess of love, just as in his role of Hermes he is ithyphallic. But he is also called the "most chaste virgin."12 The relation of quicksilver to the moon (silver) is obvious enough. Mercurius as the shining and shimmering planet, appearing like Venus close to the sun in the morning or evening sky, is like her a Lucifer, a light-bringer ([x]). He heralds, as the morning star does, only much more directly, the coming of the light.

274 But the most important of all for an interpretation of Mercurius is his relation to Saturn. Mercurius senex is identical with Saturn, and to the earlier alchemists especially, it is not quicksilver, but the lead associated with Saturn, which usually represents the prima materia. In the Arabic text of the Turba13 quicksilver is identical with the "water of the moon and of Saturn." In the "Dicta Belini" Saturn says: "My spirit is the water that loosens the rigid limbs of my brothers."14 This refers to the "eternal water" which is just what Mercurius is. Raymund Lully remarks that "a certain oil of a golden colour is extracted from the philosophic lead."15 In Khunrath Mercurius is the "salt of Saturn,"16 or Saturn is simply Mercurius. Saturn "draws the eternal water."17 Like Mercurius, Saturn is hermaphroditic.18 Saturn is "an old man on a mountain, and in him the natures are bound with their complement [i.e., the four elements], and all this is in Saturn."19 The same is said of Mercurius. Saturn is the father and origin of Mercurius, therefore the latter is called "Saturn's child."20 Quicksilver comes "from the heart of Saturn or is Saturn,"21 and a "bright water" is extracted from the plant Saturnia, "the most perfect water and flower in the world."22 This statement of Sir George Ripley, Canon of Bridlington, is a most remarkable parallel to the Gnostic teaching that Kronos (Saturn) is a "power of the colour of water" ([x]) which destroys everything, since "water is destruction." 23

275 Like the planetary spirit of Mercurius, the spirit of Saturn is "very suited to this work."24 One of the manifestations of Mercurius in the alchemical process of transformation is the lion, now green and now red. Khunrath calls this transformation "luring the lion out of Saturn's mountain cave." From ancient times the lion was associated with Saturn.25 Khunrath calls him "the lion of the Catholic tribe,"26 paraphrasing the "lion of the tribe of Judah"-an allegory of Christ.27 He calls Saturn "the lion green and red."28 In Gnosticism Saturn is the highest archon, the lion-headed Ialdabaoth,29 meaning "child of chaos." But in alchemy the child of chaos is Mercurius.30

276 The relation to and identity with Saturn is important because Saturn is not only a maleficus but actually the dwelling-place of the devil himself. Even as the highest archon and demiurge his Gnostic reputation was not the best. According to one Cabalistic source, Beelzebub was associated with him.31 MyIius says that if Mercurius were to be purified, then Lucifer would fall from heaven.32 A contemporary marginal note in a seventeenth-century treatise in my possession explains the term sulphur, the masculine principle of Mercurius,33 as diabolus. If Mercurius is not exactly the Evil One himself, he at least contains him-that is, he is morally neutral, good and evil, or as Khunrath says: "Good with the good, evil with the evil." 34 His nature is more exactly defined, however, if one conceives him as a process that begins with evil and ends with good. A rather deplorable but picturesque poem in Verus Hermes (1620) summarizes the process as follows:

A weakling babe, a greybeard old,
Surnamed the Dragon: me they hold
In darkest dungeon languishing
That I may be reborn a king.

A fiery sword makes me to smart,
Death gnaws my flesh and bones apart.
My soul and spirit fast are sinking,
And leave a poison, black and stinking.

To a black crow am I akin,
Such be the wages of all sin.
In deepest dust I lie alone,
O that the Three would make the One!

O soul, O spirit with me stay,
That I may greet the light of day.
Hero of peace, come forth from me,
Whom the whole world would like to see!

277 In this poem Mercurius is describing his own transformation, which at the same time signifies the mystic transformation of the artifex; for not only Mercurius but also what happens to him is a projection of the collective unconscious. This, as can easily be seen from what has gone before, is the projection of the individuation process, which, being a natural psychic occurrence, goes on even without the participation of consciousness. But if consciousness participates with some measure of understanding, then the process is accompanied by all the emotions of a religious experience or revelation. As a result of this, Mercurius was identified with Sapientia and the Holy Ghost. It is therefore very probable that those heresies which began with the Euchites, Paulicians, Bogomils, and Cathars, and which developed the concept of the Paraclete very much in the spirit of the founder of Christianity, were continued in alchemy, partly unconsciously and partly under a deliberate disguise.35



1 Maier, Circulus physicus quadratus, pp. 15ff.

2 Theatr. chem., IV (1659), pp. 198ff.

3 "Nouveaux documents pour l'etude de la religion des Harraniens," p. 341.

4 Theatr. chem., V (1660), pp. 101ff.

5 Berthelot, Alch. grecs, Introduction, p. 236.

6 Theatr. chem., IV (1659), p. 510. [Supra, par. 106.] He corresponds to the stella semptemplex which appears at the end of the work. " ... cook, until the seven-fold star appears, running about through the sphere" (ibid., p. 508). Cf. the early Christian idea of Christ as the leader of the "round dance" of the stars. ("Transformation Symbolism in the Mass," pp. 273ff.)

7 "Tabula smaragdina," Rosarium, in Art. aurif., II, p. 253, and Mylius, Phil. ref., p. 101.

8 "Allegoriae super librum Turbae," Art. aurif., I, p. 155: "origo Solis"; Ventura, Theatr. chem., II (1659), p. 296: "The sun rises together with the moon in the belly of Mercurius."

9 Wei Po-yang, "An Ancient Chinese Treatise," p. 241.

10 "Epistola ad Hermannum," Theatr. chem., V (1660), p. 800; "Gloria mundi," Mus. ham., pp. 224, 244. As the arcane substance magnesia he is called the "full moon" (Rosarium, in Art. aurif., II, p. 231) and succus lunariae (p. 211). He has fallen down from the moon (Berthelot, Alch. grecs, III, vi, 9). The sign for Mercurius is 1) in the "Book of Krates" (Berthelot, Moyen age, III, p. 48). In the Greek Magic Papyri, Hermes is invoked as "circle of the moon" (Preisendanz, Papyri Graecae Magicae, I, p. 195).

11 Vision of Krates in Berthelot, Moyen age, III, p. 63. As Adam with Venus in the bath, Valentinus, "Practica," Mus. herm., p. 425 (d. Mysterium Coniunctionis, pp. 303, 383). As Sal Veneris, green and red lion (= Venus), Khunrath, Hyl. Chaos, pp. 91, 104. The substance of Mercurius consists of Venus (Mylius, Phil. ref·, p. 17). Since his mother Venus is the matrix corrupta, Mercurius as her son is the puer leprosus ("Rosinus ad Sarra tan tam," Art. aurif., I, p. 318). In the Magic Papyri, the day of Aphrodite is associated with Hermes (Preisendanz, Pap. Graec. Mag., II, p. 120). In Al-'Iraqi the attributes of Venus are identical with those of Mercurius: sister, bride, air, green, green lion, phoenix (Holmyard, p. 420).

12 "Aurelia occulta," Theatr. chem., IV (1659), p. 480.

13 Ed. Ruska, p. 204.

14 Art. aurif., II, p. 379. The same in Dorn, Theatr. chem., I (1659), pp. 560f.

15 Cited in Mylius, Phil. ref., p. 302.

16 Hyl. Chaos, p. 197.

17 "Aenigma philosophorum," Theatr. chem., IV (1659), pp. 458ff.

18 Hyl. Chaos, p. 195.

19 "Rhasis Epist." in Maier, Symb. aur. mens., p. 211. Like Saturn, Mercurius combines all metals in himself (ibid., p. 531).

20 Mylius, Phil. ref., p. 305. "Saturn's Chyld" in Ripley's "Medulla" (Theatr. chem. Brit., p. 391).

21 Pantheus, Ars transmut. metall., fol. 9r.

22 Ripley, Opera, p. 317.

23 Hippolytus, Elenchos, V, 16, 2.

24 "Liber Platonis quartorum," Theatr. chem., V (1660), pp. 127, 136.

25 Preller, Griechische Mythologie, I, p. 43.

26 Hyl. Chaos, p. 93.

27 Cf. Christ as lion in the Aucoratus of Epiphanius and as lion cub in St. Gregory, In Septem Psalm. Pen it., Ps. 5: 10 (Migne, P.L., vol. 79, col. 609).

28 Hyl. Chaos, p. 195.

29 Bousset, Hauptprobleme der Gnosis, pp. 10, 321, 352.

30 For Saturn's day as the last day of creation, see infra, par. 301.

31 Codex Parisiensis 2419, fol. 277r. Cited in Reitzenstein, Poimandres, p. 75.

32 Phil. ref., p. 18.

33 Sulphur is the "fire hidden in Mercurius" (Trevisanus in Theatr. chem., I, 1659, p. 700). He is identical with Mercurius: "Sulphur is mercurial and Mercurius is sulphureal" ("Brevis manuductio," Mus. herm., p. 788).

34 Hyl. Chaos, p. 186. Therefore, he says, we should pray to God for the spirit of discretion, that it may teach us the distinction between good and evil.

 35 It is conceivable that the curious name for the alchemists in Rupescissa's La  Vertu et propriete de la quinte essence, "les poures hommes evangelisans,"  goes hack to the Cathar perfecti and pauperes Christi. Rupescissa (Jean de Roquetaillade)  lived about the middle of the 14th cent. He was a critic of the Church  and the clergy (Ferguson, Bibliotheca chemica, II, p. 305). The Cathar trials  lasted into the middle of the 14th cent.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:33 am


278 We have already met with a number of alchemical statements which show plainly that the character of the classical Hermes was faithfully reproduced later in the figure of Mercurius. This is in part an unconscious repetition, in part a spontaneous reexperience, and finally also a conscious reference to the pagan god. There can be no doubt that Michael Maier was consciously alluding to Hermes as pointer of the way ([x]) when he said that he found on his mystic peregrination a statue of Mercurius pointing the way to paradise,1 and that he was referring to Hermes the mystagogue when he made the Erythraean Sibyl say of Mercurius: "He will make you a witness of the mysteries of God and the secrets of nature."2 Again, as the divinus ternarius) Mercurius is the revealer of divine secrets,3 or in the form of gold is conceived to be the soul of the arcane substance (magnesia),4 or the fructifier of the philosophical tree.5 In the "Epigramma Mercurio philosophico dicatum"6 he is called the messenger of the gods, the hermeneut (interpreter), and the Egyptian "Theutius" (Thoth). Maier even goes so far as to relate him to Hermes Kyllenios when he calls him "this faithless and all too elusive Arcadian youth,"7 for in Arcadia was the sanctuary of Kyllenios, the ithyphallic Hermes. In the scholia to the "Tractatus aureus" Mercurius is named outright the "Kyllenian hero."8 Maier's words might also be a reference to Eros. And in fact, in Rosencreutz's Chymical Wedding) Mercurius does appear in the form of Cupid,9 and punishes the adept for his curiosity in visiting the Lady Venus by wounding him in the hand with an arrow. The arrow is the "dart of passion" (telum passionis), which is also an attribute of Mercurius.10 He is an "archer," and indeed one who "shoots without a bowstring" and is "nowhere to be found on earth,"11 so is obviously a daemon. In the Table of Symbols in Penotus12 he is associated with nymphs, which reminds one of the pastoral god, Pan. His lasciviousness is borne out by an illustration in the Tripus chimicus of Sendivogius,13 where he appears on a triumphal chariot drawn by a cock and a hen, and behind him is a naked pair of embracing lovers. In this connection may also be mentioned the numerous somewhat obscene pictures of the coniunctio in old prints, often preserved merely as pornographica. Pictures in old manuscripts of excretory acts, including vomiting, likewise belong to this sphere of the "underworldly Hermes."14 Again, Mercurius represents the "continuous cohabitation"15 which is found in unalloyed form in the Tantric Shiva-Shakti concept. Connections between Greek and Arabic alchemy and India are not unlikely. Reitzenstein16 reports the story of Padmanaba from a Turkish book of folklore17 about the forty viziers, which may date back to the time of the Moguls. Already in the first centuries of our era, Indian religious influences were at work in southern Mesopotamia, and in the second century B.C. there were Buddhist monasteries in Persia. In the royal temple of Padmanabhapura in Travancore (c. fifteenth century) I found two reliefs representing an entirely non-Indian senex ithyphallicus with wings. In one of them he stands up to his waist in the bowl of the moon. One is reminded of the winged ithyphallic old man who pursues the "blue" or "doglike"18 woman In Hippolytus. Kyllenios does in fact appear in Hippolytus19 as identical on the one hand with the Logos and on the other with the wicked Korybas, the phallus, and the demiurgic principle in general.20 Another aspect of this dark Mercurius is the mother-son incest, which may be traceable to Mandaean influences: there Nabu (Mercurius) and Istar (Astarte) form a syzygy. Astarte is the mother and love goddess throughout the whole Near East, where she is also tainted with the incest motif. Nabu is the "Messiah of the Lie," who because of his malice is punished and kept in prison by the sun.21 The texts remind us again and again that Mercurius is "found in the dung-heaps," but they add ironically that "many have grubbed in the dung-heaps, but extracted nothing thereby."22

279 This dark Mercurius must once again be understood as representing the initial nigredo state, the lowest being a symbol of the highest and vice versa:

Anfang und Ende
Reichen sich die Hande.23

He is the uroboros, the One and All, the union of opposites accomplished during the alchemical process, of which Penotus says:24

Mercurius is begotten by nature as the son of nature and the fruit of the liquid element. But even as the Son of Man is begotten by the philosopher and created as the fruit of the Virgin, so must he [Mercurius] be raised from the earth and cleansed of all earthiness, then he ascends entire into the air, and is changed into spirit. Thus is fulfilled the word of the philosopher: He ascends from earth to heaven and receives the power of Above and Below, and puts off his earthy and impure nature and clothes himself in the heavenly nature.

280 Since Penotus is here referring to the "Tabula smaragdina," it must be emphasized that he departs from the spirit of the "Tabula" in one essential point. In the version of Penotus, the ascent of Mercurius is in entire accord with the Christian transformation of the hylic into the pneumatic man. The "Tabula," on the other hand, says: "He ascends from earth to heaven and descends again to earth, and receives the power of Above and Below. His power is complete when he has returned to earth." So it is not a question of a one-way ascent to heaven, but, in contrast to the route followed by the Christian Redeemer, who comes from above to below and from there returns to the above, the filius macrocosmi starts from below, ascends on high, and, with the powers of Above and Below united in himself, returns to earth again. He carries out the reverse movement and thereby manifests a nature contrary to that of Christ and the Gnostic Redeemers, while on the other hand he displays a certain affinity with the Basilidian concept of the third sonship. Mercurius has the circular nature of the uroboros, hence he is symbolized by the circulus simplex of which he is at the same time the centre.25 He can therefore say of himself: "I am One and at the same time Many in myself."26 This same treatise says that the centre of the circle in man is the earth, and calls it the "salt" to which Christ referred when he said: "Ye are the salt of the earth."27

281 Hermes is a god of thieves and cheats, but also a god of revelation who gave his name to a whole philosophy. Seen in historical retrospect, it was a moment of the utmost significance when the humanist Patrizi proposed to Pope Gregory XIV that Hermetic philosophy should take the place of Aristotle in ecclesiastical doctrine. At that moment two worlds came into contact, which-after heaven knows what happenings!-must yet be united in the future. At that time it was obviously impossible. A psychological differentiation of religious as well as scientific views is still needed before a union can begin to be brought about.28



1 Symb. aur. mens., p. 592. [Cf. Mysterium Coniunctionis, pars. 276ff.]

2 Ibid., p. 600.

3 Dorn, in Theatr. chem., I (1659), p. 547.

4 Khunrath, Hyl. Chaos, p. 233.

5 Ripley, in Theatr. chem., II (1659). p. 113.

6 Mus. herm., p. 738.

7 Symb. aur. mens., p. 386.

8 Theatr. chem., IV (1659), p. 673.

9 Also in the form of the boy showing the way and the "age-old son of the mother."

10 Ripley, Opera, pp. 421ff.

11 "Introit. apert.," Mus. herm., p. 653.

12 Theatr. chem., II (1659), facing p. 109.

13 P. 67.

14 E.g., Codex Rhenoviensis, Zurich, and Codex Vossianus, Leyden.

15 For this motif see Symbols of Transformation, pp. 209f.

16 Alchemische Lehrschriften und Marehen bei den Arabern, pp. 77f.

17 Belletete, trans., Contes turcs.

18 [x] or [x]. Hippolytus, Elenchos, V, 20, 6 and 7 (ed. Wendland) has the latter reading. The alchemical equivalents of this strange mythologem support both possibilities: Dog as Logos, psychopomp. and filius canis coelici coloris (puppy of celestial hue). all referring to Mercurius. [Cf. Mysterium Coniunctionis, pars. 174ff.]

19 Elenchos, V. 7. 29.

20 The duality of the Mercurius concept has a parallel in the syncretist views of the Naassenes. who sought to grasp and express the psychological experience of the paradoxical First Cause. But I must be content with this hint.

21 Bousset, Hauptprobleme der Gnosis, pp. 43, 55, 142.

22 Rosarium, in Art. aurif., II. p. 243.

23 "Beginnings and ends/Touch hands."

24 Theatr. chem., I (1659). p. 601.

25 "Tractatus aureus cum scholiis," ibid., IV, p. 608.

26 "Aurelia occulta," ibid., p. 507.

27 Ibid., p. 489.

28 [This paragraph originally ended the monograph.-EDITORS.]
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:40 am


282 Mercurius, it is generally affirmed, is the arcanum,1 the prima materia,2 the "father of all metals,"3 the primeval chaos, the earth of paradise, the "material upon which nature worked a little, but nevertheless left imperfect."4 He is also the ultima materia, the goal of his own transformation, the stone,5 the tincture, the philosophic gold, the carbuncle, the philosophic man, the second Adam, the analogue of Christ, the king, the light of lights, the deus terrestris, indeed the divinity itself or its perfect counterpart. Since I have already discussed the synonyms and meanings of the stone elsewhere there is no need for me to go into further details now.

283 Besides being the prima materia of the lowly beginning as well as the lapis as the highest goal, Mercurius is also the process which lies between, and the means by which it is effected. He is the "beginning, middle, and end of the work." 6 Therefore he is called the Mediator,7 Servator, and Salvator. He is a mediator like Hermes. As the medicina catholica and alexipharmakon he is the "preserver [servator] of the world." He is the "healer [salvator] of all imperfect bodies"8 and the "image of Christ's incarnation,"9 the unigenitus "consubstantial with the parental hermaphrodite."10 Altogether, in the macrocosm of nature he occupies the position which Christ holds in the mundus rationalis of divine revelation. But as the saying "My light surpasses all other lights"11 shows, the claim of Mercurius goes even further, which is why the alchemists endowed him with the attributes of the Trinity12 in order to make clear his complete correspondence to God. In Dante, Satan is three-headed and therefore three-in-one. He is the counterpart of God in the sense that he is God's antithesis. The alchemists did not hold this view of Mercurius; on the contrary, they saw him as a divine emanation harmonious with God's own being. The stress they laid on his capacity for self-generation, self-transformation, self-reproduction, and self-destruction contradicts the idea that he is a created being. It is therefore only logical when Paracelsus and Dorn state that the prima materia is an "increatum" and a principle coeternal with God. This denial of crealio ex nihilo is supported by the fact that in the beginning God found the Tehom already in existence, that same maternal world of Tiamat whose son we encounter in Mercurius.13



1 "Tract. aur. cum scholiis," Theatr. chem., IV (1659), p. 608.

2 Mylius, Phil. ref., p. 179; "Tract. aureus," Mus. herm., p. 25: Trevisanus in Theatr. chem., 1(,659), p. 695.

3 "Exercit. in Turb.," Art. aurif., I, p. 154.

4 Rosarium, ibid., II, p. 231.

5 Ventura, in Theatr. chem., II (1559), p. 232: "lapis benedictus"; Dorn, in Theatr. chem., I (,659), p. 510: "fiery and perfect Mercurius"; p. 520: "The Adamic stone is made out of the Adamic Mercurius in the woman Eve"; Lully, Codicillus, pp. 880f.: "The good that is sought is our stone and Mercurius."

6 "Tract. aur. cum scholiis," Theatr. chem., IV (1659), p. 608.

7 "Exercit. in Turb.," Art. aurif., I, p. 170; Ripley, Chymische Schrifflen, p. 31; "Tract. aur. cum scholiis," p. 610: "A mediator making peace between enemies."

8 "Aquarium sap.," Mus. herm., p. III.

9 Ibid., p. 118.

10 Khunrath. Hyl. Chaos, p. 59.

11 "Septem Tract. hermet.," Ars chemica, p. 22. Rosarium, p. 381: "I illumine the air with my light and warm the earth with my heat, I bring forth and nourish the things of nature, plants and stones, and with my power I take away the darkness of night, and cause day to endure in the world, and I lighten all lights with my light. even those in which there is no splendour nor greatness. For all these are of my work, when I put upon me my garments; and those who seek me, let them make peace between me and my bride." This is cited from the "Dicta Belini" (printed in Manget's Bibl. chem., I. p. 478). There are variations in the text. I have quoted the passage in full because of its psychological interest.

12 "For in the Stone are body. soul, and spirit, and yet it is one stone" ("Exercit. in Turb.," Art. aurif., I, p. 170).

13 Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, par. 26.
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