You are on page 1of 126


Master Alchemist

Esoteric Interpretation of the Hermetic
Symbols of The Great Work

Offered by
Dedicated to preserving the rich cultural
and spiritual heritage of humanity.

A Hermetic Study of Cathedral Construction

Translated from the French by
Mary Sworder

with Prefaces by Eugene Canseliet, F.C.H.
Introduction by Walter Lang
Preface to the American Edition
by Roy E. Thompson, Jr.

Brotherhood of Life Las
Vegas, Nevada, USA

Mystere des Cathedrales
et I'interpretation esoterique des symboles hermetiques
du grand oswvre Contents
Published by Societe Nouvelle des Editions Pauvert
©1964,1979, Paris, France

First published in English by Neville Spearman Ltd., ©1971, London
Reprinted 1977, Sudbury, Suffolk, England

American edition published by Brotherhood of Life, Inc., ©1984
Reprinted 1986,1991,2000

ISBN 0-914732-14-5

English translation © Brotherhood of Life, Inc., 1990
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopy or Internet, without permission in writing from the
publisher except for brief excerpts in reviews.

P.O. Box 46306
LAS VEGAS, NV 89114-6306


Printed in the United States of America


List of Illustrations ................................................... (follows contents)
Preface to the First Edition .......................................................... 5
Preface to the Second Edition ........................................................ 5
Preface to the American Edition .............................. (follows page J8)
Introduction .................................................................................. 19
Le Mystere des Cathedrales .......................................................... 33
Paris ..................................................... ........................................ 67
Amiens .......................................................................................... 121
Bourges .......................................................................................... 137
The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye ......................................................... 163
Conclusion ................................................................................... 173
Index............................................................................................... 179

xxn Notre-Dame. The Legend of St. XXXVIII Amiens Cathedral — Porch of the Virgin Mother. 'Solve et Coagula' (facing page Lady-of-Confess ion. xix Notre-Dame. XLVU Hendaye. XLV Lallemant Mansion—Chapel Ceiling (Detail) (facing (obverse of plate XVII). Paris (facing (Porch of St. The Golden Fleece (facing the Fixed and the Volatile page 152). XXXI Symbolic coat of Notre-Dame. The Entrance to the Sanctuary (facing page 101). (facing page 58). xxiv Notre-Dame. Paris — Central Porch. m Notre-Dame. The Alchemist Stained Glass windows. Marcel I us Pillar) Philosophic page 70). Servus (facing page 173). Paris — Central Porch. The page 126). xxv Notre-Dame. Philosophic Mercury Philosophic Coction (facing (facingpage 82). xxxvi Amiens Cathedral — Porch of St. Paris — Central Porch. Right side (facing page 95). The Massacre protects the of the Innocents (facing page 121). The Reign of Saturn (facingpage 99). The Cock and the Salamander-Calcination (facing page 83). VIII Notre-Dame. The Subject of the Wise (facing page 100). (Basses-Pyrenees) Cyclic Cross (facingpage 168). Paris — Portal of the Virgin. XV Notre-Dame. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS List of Illustrations The Sphinx protects and controls Science (Frontispiece) ] Our XXVIII Notre-Dame. xxix Notre-Dame. XXX Notre-Dame. Paris—Central Porch. The first (facing page 84). Paris — Central Porch. Union of page 145). The Dog and the Doves (facing page 105). Cohabitation page 156). Paris. Victor. Paris—Portal of the Virgin. xxi Notre-Dame. The Materials page 141). XXXIII Amiens Cathedral — Porch of Athenor against external influences (facing page 78). XL1II Chapel of the Lallemant Mansion. Paris — Central Fox (facing Porch. Paris — Central Porch. Paris — Central Porch. The Bath of the Stars. The Scallop Shell (facing page 89). Black Virgin of the Crypts of St. Tympanum of the Porch (XHth Century) Mercury. The four Sides of the Pedestal (facing page 169). re-Dame. xxxix Jacques Coeur's House — Facade. The Queen kicks down XLIX Aries — Church of St. page 79). Firmin. ix Notre-Dame. The Vessel of the Great necessary for making Work (facing the Solvent (facing page 92). II Alchemy. The Fire of the Wheel (facing Paris — Central Porch. vi Notre-Dame. Paris ■— Porch of Judgement. . Paris — Central Porch. xxvi Notre-Dame. Trophime. XII Notre-Dame. (facing page 88). Paris. xxvii Notre-Dame. The Crow-Putrefaction (facing page 124). Enigma of the Credence of the Stone (facing (facing plate XVIII). xiv Notre-Dame. Paris — Portal of the Virgin. Origin and Result page 158). Paris — Portal of the Virgin. XLI Lallemant Mansion — Bracket. xvi Notre-Dame. Paris—Central Porch. xvm Notre-Dame. Bas-relief on the Great Porch of Not Condensation of the Universal Spirit (facing page 107). Paris. Paris — Central Porch. Paris — Central Porch. IV Mercury of the Great Work (facing page 112). Paris — Central Porch. Paris — Central Porch. XLH Lallemant Mansion. Christopher (facing fixed Body (facing page 94). Evolution — Matters (facing colours and processes of page 132). Paris — Central Porch. Paris — Central Porch. xxxvn Amiens Cathedral — Porch of the Virgin Mother. page 97). The Alchemist (facing page 72). XLIV Chapel of the Lallemant Mansion. XXXV Amiens Cathedral — Central Porch. Capital of Pillar. Paris — Central Porch. Anne — St. Preparation of the Universal Solvent page 127). Weights (facing XLVtu Cyclic Cross of Hendaye. The Planetary Metals (facing page 104). v Notre-Dame. xvn Notre-Dame. Combat of the two Natures (facing page 102). Vii Notre-Dame. the Saviour. xxxn Sainte-Chapelle. The mysterious Fountain at the foot of the Old Oak (facing Arms {XfTIth Century) (facing page 120). Dissolution. Paris — Central Porch. The Knowledge of page 159). Marseilles 106). xi Notre-Dame. Philosophic (facing Sulphur (facing page 96). XIII Notre-Dame. Philosophers' Dew The four Elements and the two Natures (facing page 133). The the Great Work (facing page 85). XX Notre-Dame. xxm Notre-Dame. X Notre-Dame. XL Jacques Coeur's House—Treasure Chamber. XXXiv Amiens Cathedral — Porch of the Saviour. Conjunction of page 140). XLVl Chapel of the Lallemant Mansion. The Athenor The Seven-rayed Star (facing and the Stone (facing page 136). Paris—Central Porch. Tristan and Isolde Group Sulphur and Mercury (facing (facing page 90). Paris — Southern page 74). Fugitvus (facing page 98). The page 144).

where one is going. all October 1925 Philosophy and all Religion rest on this unique and sacred Stone. He disappeared when the fatal hour struck. enshrined for ever in these pages. yet how rare are the elect. would dare to set himself conscience is clear. In My Master knew this. more precious than gold itself. all the vanities fall to dust. could he refuse to obey essential to be able to recognize it and not to travel without knowing the commands of Destiny? No man is a prophet in his own country. And it E. to the sincere and scrupulous talent of the artist Julien Champagne that Fulcanelli is no more. family. the Roman catacombs and the Byzantine basilicas. on which Jesus built his Church. it is said. those unknown brothers who hoped to obtain from him the the Book and the Building that the Spirit is released and the Letter dies. Preface to the First Edition 7 6 Preface to the First Edition while lamenting that he should so soon have departed. the former man is assured of it by the author more than ten years ago. The remaining way is short. the same scientific basis as the pyramids of Egypt. hermeticists to make the last. solution to the mysterious Verbum dimissum (missing Word). the Gothic cathedral has yielded up its secret. This is the overall theme of Fulcanelli's book. I would act no differently myself if I were to Heliopolis and in my own name. those who are sufficiently simple. not from having discovered it myself. it is up to the with me in lamenting his loss. that his Le Mystere des Cathedrales is able to wrap its esotericism in a superb thought remains. at least. Perhaps this old saying gives the occult reason for the convulsion Is something further required? produced in the solitary and studious life of a philosopher by the flash of I know. The hermeticists—those at least who are worthy of the name—will discover other things here. learned and skilful to complete the task! But that is of little importance. knowledge. And. That. above the Law? As for me. It is enough for us to know that the wonders of the Middle Ages hold the same positive truth. And this key consists quite simply in a colour new personality is reborn from the ashes. which forces the Adept to flee from my master has entrusted the illustration of his work. then. From the clash of ideas. but because I was Revelation. fashioned the first stone of its foundations. revealing it. cloak of original plates. the temples of Greece. to my philosophic Tradition would have it. Name. believe themselves capable of fashioning it. is how the revealed to the artisan right from the first work. warmly to thank the artist. all the major arcanum is given quite openly in one of the figures. to whom experience today that joyful event. illustrating errors. has emphasized the importance of this essential point. they will recognize here that is from the confrontation of friends. that dazzling gem. inflated with presumption. Who. Under the influence of that divine flame. All Truth. No Philosopher. For it is indeed due the homage of the world. But we have at least this consolation. I am obeying the last wishes of Fulcanelli and my when the Sign was accomplished. His numerous bursts forth. will join Fulcanelli has made the first effort on their behalf. that the key to the entirely consumed. native land. CANSELIET is not without surprise and emotion that we learn how our ancestors F.H. Many people. but it is Having reached the pinnacle of knowledge. in spite of the anguish of a painful but And now may I be permitted. Thanks to him.C. light . all the illusions. warm and vital. a the present work. like the phoenix of the poets. in the name of the Brothers of inevitable separation.

that this man of another age. his old-fashioned manners and his unusual occupations. the spiritual and the scientific. husk of his former self. Preface to the Second Edition 9 Indeed. in casting off the worn-out. carried to the ultimate degree. This celebrated name is so firmly secured. Anyone with knowledge of the alchemical books of the past will accept as a basic premise that oral instruction from master to pupil is the When Le Mystere des Cathedrales was written down in 1922. left nothing on the road but the phantom trace of his signature—a signature. led to the renunciation at which we cannot but wonder. -Much greater. long pondered. since it derives from an infinitely superior code of ethics. In obedience to this. Fulcanelli most valuable of all. but he was so close to supreme as I myself received mine from him. who. What perfect filial duty. had not yet received the Gift of God. although I owe it to myself to state Illumination that he judged it necessary to wait and to keep the that Cyliani had already opened wide for me the great door of the anonymity. to be substituted for it. perhaps. was the attention he was to attract a little later by the complete disappearance of his common presence. the Master expressed his absolute and unshakeable resolve to keep his real identity in the background and to insist that the label given him by society should be unequivocally exchanged for the pseudonym—already familiar in his case—required by Tradition. right from the time that his first writings were compiled. . One should at least realize that the author of a work of such high quality would not abandon it the moment it came into the world. Fulcanelli. I repeated appearance. certainly. even the most brilliant or most highly esteemed. from labyrinth during that week in 1915. which he had always observed—more. the new Adept attunes his destiny to that of his exalted predecessors. for so doing. in order that the eternal. universal and indivisible Truth might continually be reaffirmed in its double aspect. even to the remotest future. that it would be absolutely impossible for any patronymic. when the new edition of his little natural inclination than from strict regard for the rule of secrecy. appeared at their appointed time on the great highway like beacons of hope and mercy. the curious and the because this gave me the opportunity to change the epithet: foolish. however. whose aristocratic nature is PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION amply shown by his visiting card. partly involuntarily attracted the attention of the idle. These reasons. Fulcanelli received his own initiation in this way. like himself. We work was published. It should be said that the case of Fulcanelli is unique in the realm of Letters in our day. on a very different plane. like most of the Adepts of old. with his strange In my introduction to the Douze Clefs de la Philosophie. must say. deliberately that Basil Valentine was my Master's initiator. since even the loftiest authors are susceptible to the fame that comes from the printed word. unless he had pertinent and compelling reasons.

So much so. recipient remain anonymous. which did not. morning star has for ever lost the use of his sight and his reason. because the signature has been scratched 'You have extended generosity to the point of associating us out and diere is no superscription. however the rainbow and raised up to the sun. . in its unfathomable depth of simplicity. Unless. I believe that. from account of your unshakeable belief in Truth. May you long enjoy this great and rare good fortune. for misfortune cancels out everything. From henceforth you will This time you have really had the Gift of God. with the inexplicable intuition of sensitives. The recipient was undoubtedly with'this high and occult knowledge. . because he is fascinated by this false light and cast into the 'When my wife told me the good news. to the joy and consolation of your friends. which for tfiis great virtue that God has crowned you with the diadem of nothing any longer prevents me from publishing. the really strange dream. are capable of being been kept for a long time in his pocket book. greasy dust of the enormous stove going all the the most eloquent protestations. He knows that you will make noble use of the sceptre provides us with a powerful and correct idea of the sublime level at and of the priceless endowment which it provides. . blessing and. accomplished and the whole tinctorial mass impregnates the glass. At last you possess the Treasure for the explanation. Both writer and saturated and becomes luminous like the sun. You know that the finest phrases. which I shall quote a little later. who has greeted the effort. for the first time. 'My wife. Let us give thanks to the Divine Light which made triumphant reply to my letter. It bears two crossed brown lines at the folds. your good works. that I said to myself: let us hope that we shall not have to pay for this hour of intoxication with some terrible aftermath. for many years. to which you have full right Fulcanelli's master and FulcaneUi left this revealing letter among his and which is entirely personal to you. and it is as a talisman the written proof of the triumph of his true initiator. as in your case.10 Preface to the Second Edition Preface to the Second Edition 11 that is to say to substitute-—for the sake of accuracy—first initiator for about the matter. We. more than any. So. and what confirms true initiator. which owes its striking effect to the which. eternally grateful to you for it. to the length of this strange epistle. I believed that I understood it. but yet how far from the Truth. 'My old friend. What a miracle! What a beautiful and of Treasures. a great stroke of fate comes to surprise and joy and was so happy that I could hardly contain pull him unexpectedly from the edge of the precipice. myself. the author of Le Mystere des Cathedrales kept moving simplicity of this single utterance: you are good. more than any. I understand how rare this favour is. protect it from the fine. the constancy of your Reality. Ah! One can almost say that he. . especially since it true royalty. We did not have long to wait subtle and well trained it may be. from having appreciate its worth and we. from decantation to decantation. But. At that time I did not know of the very moving letter. and even of your enemies. . I do not think that anyone will object long time known you as the blue mantle of your friends in trouble. remains absolutely warm enthusiasm and fervent expression of the writer. I was stunned with abyss. are not worth as much as the time. so crammed with arguments you a participant in it. although I was only briefly informed . your perseverence in sacrifice and also. can own papers. and it would certainly be a pity to This charitable cloak has suddenly grown larger and your noble shorten it by a single word: shoulders are now covered by the whole azure of the sky and its great sun. however. had a Indeed. We have for a which the Great Work takes place. you have richly deserved it on and—theoretically—so exact. which I had used before in my Preface to the Demeures me in my certainty is that the fire goes out only when the Work is Philosovhales. Moreover. it is a great have at your disposal the magic ring which works all miracles. She saw a man enveloped in all the colours of arcanum cannot be found by the force of reason alone. let us not forget .

as St. of the wise. Torn between my charitable duty to the reader and the In spite of its importance and the space given to it by the authors. salvation. in a study of the Golden Fleece. Those talks. visible but intangible star bears witness to that other. p.. with constancy. that it is the crown of wisdom. delight of my assiduous and studious adolescence. discovered in the chemical sky. although I am sure that few will thank me for it: Our star is single and yet it is double. that it one and the same time our mother (mere) and the hermetic sea teaches the alchemist that he has found not the light of fools but the light (mer}—announces die conception and is but the reflection of that other. where it shines in an infinitely more yet it is no more than a simple image. Does not this phrase apparently contradict what I stated twenty years There are. this need for preserving secrecy. though the admired first of all in the mirror of the art or mercury. are ago. if you have even the slightest philosophic sense and take who is already familiar with the main ideas of the hermetic problem. accompanied by cold sweet coffee.12 Preface to the Second Edition Preface to the Second Edition 13 'I am longing to see you. in order to lead send you my love and congratulations' him to the great Wisdom: observe them. reflected by the mirror of Wisdom. But be assured that I shall This statement corroborates and completes the no less categorical never to able to express in words the great joy that we have felt and and solemn one made by Basil Valentine (Douze Clefs): all the gratitude we have at the bottom of our hearts. before being recognition of this source of blessings brings joy to the heart of the artist. Alchimie. Pauvert. improbable as it may seem. Tt is. after one of those learned talks by Bethlehem. with light. At any rate. when I was greedy for priceless knowledge: I will stress this point. great brightness at the pole of the hermetic sky. because he is fascinated by again and do not go looking elsewhere for a teaching.. before dispersing. then. which no other their false light and cast into the abyss. came to rest. discreet manner.' Are they not the two stars shown in one of the little alchemical 'He who knows how to do the Work by the one and only paintings in the Franciscan convent of Cimiez. were the on the Saviour's head and surrounded him with luminous glory. that it sets its seal on die philosophic matter. The star which led the Magi to the cave at in a very old exercise book. But if you do not understand.' shining of the star? : 'Cum luce salutem. could then have recopied some lines written divine Child at his birth. and that it is called die which precedes the miraculous advent of the Son. the morning star. Fulcanelli.'1 namely that the star is the great really only one star. though It may have been noted that I specified briefly that the hermetic star is it is possible to see on her the splendour of a divine mark. and. whose light shines without imprint from its image and you will observe that it shines 1 Cf. 137. For though the morning start celestial Virgin is also called steila matutina. Oh man! and follow their light 'Your old. The star shining on the mystic Virgin-—who is at sign of the Work.' book could give so precisely. the last hours of anguish and of triumph. to hear you tell me about with more intensity in the light of day than in the darkness of night. . Alleluia! 'I 'Two stars have been granted to man by the Gods.' One passage may perhaps have disconcerted the attentive reader. I might have made a virtue of paradox. because it is Wisdom. Paris. which crowned the pleading arcane wonders. Know how to distinguish its true we are truly concerned with a nocturnal star. you will have the key with which Cyliani unlocks the door of the One can almost say that he. Published by J-J. my old friend. Chrysostom tells us. two stars which. the trouble to meditate on the words of the undoubted Adepts quoted This was when the intimate and wise correspondent exclaimed: 'Ah! above. who has greeted the morning star has for temple. accompanied by the mercury has found the most perfect thing—that is to say he has Latin inscription expressing the saving virtue inherent in the night received the light and accomplished the Magistery. then read the words of Fulcanelli ever lost the use of his sight and his reason..

Gril replied for metals. a very strange and resplendent silvery hermetic star and infers the cosmic magic of its appearance. that is to say Johann extraction of light from darkness and accomplishing the work of the Kaspar Knottner the dyer of clotiis. the assembly of superior virtues in the Gril. inert and sterile. 'In which one has recognised one's stars and one's sun. to separate in his little 'A certain goldsmiUi of La Hay (whose name is Grillus). special are confused in the original cosmic Chaos. purge three times. to enquire about this terrestial sky mentioned by togetiier. on which a Vinceslas Lavinius of Moravia and dwelt on at length by Jacobus scum will float which must be removed.* commentary of mine and by which the alchemical sky will have been Finally Philalethes adds: disclosed. by burning Vulcan. It is by means of this process tiiat we in the ordinary manner.14 Preface to the Second Edition Preface to the Second Edition 15 therefore. That is why the Almighty has marked it with an star of the Philosophers. the imitator of Nature and of the divine Great Work. A typical contain nevertheless the philosophic sky? Would it then be impossible example is given us by Johann Friedrich Helvetius in an extract from his for the artist. It It is essential to consider well that die sky and the earth. crystalline parts from the dark.' 'This sky is immense and clothes the fields in purple light. which he had probably read about in Basil extraordinary sign.' The star is not truly a sign peculiar to die labour of the Great Work. which will be done 'You will have understood what this Sky is. follow it to the Cradle. He named the sky of the wise. without allowing oneself to be led astray by magic steel in its belly. were struck with (Valentine). a practised world the luminous. although they may be met witii in a number of alchemical combinations. total transformation of die bodies on which it is fixed. bottom. Nevertiieless. after a period of two dealt at greatest length on the practice of the Work. this separation must be made. and nine parts of our lodestone. and many otiier honourable men looked with amazement and knew at once tiiat a King most pure had been bom into extreme amazment at this star floating on die spirits of salt. Star. the year of the matchless first edition of die Vitulus you will see the lovely Child. showing die partial or Does not the alchemical earth. take the Tollius: inner part. in the form of mineral water. myself. the lead remained die colour of ashes and swollen 'As for you. which hides our . nor in essence. then poured tins spirits of salt on some lead. by fire and by salt. differ neitiier in substance procedures and spagyric operations of comparatively little importance. which he had placed in a Philalethes. mentions the weeks. but a very poor man according to the nature of tiiis dense parts? Further. as though drawn witii a compass by a very skilful artist. at the the the world. widi Golden Calf (Vitulus Aureus) which I translate: die help of the secret fire and the universal spirit. Now. When Knottner asked whetiier this special are able to know what the philosophic earth is and what the Adepts have spirits of salt was to be used for metals or not. told us tiiat he had already seen die visible inferior ones. For: 'And die Almighty sets his royal seal on die Work and adorns it specially tiierewith. as soon as you see his star. while. mix them appearances. consisting in die science. quantity and virtue. clear. which is chaotic. where 2 About 1664. important. some years ago2 asked my greatest friend. floating. but become different in quality. I. who in his Entree ouverte au Palais ferme du Roi has glass receptacle used for preserves or food. The Wise Men saw it in the east. Throw away die crust. it always has die same meaning. filled witii immense joy. from the following little easily if Saturn has seen his image in die mirror of Mars.' Aureus. coarse and disciple of alchemy. tiiere appeared. for some spirits of salt prepared not first of the Great Days of Solomon. whereupon 'It is the miracle of the world. Then the Adept reveals the manner of operating: 'Let four parts be taken of our fiery dragon.

perhaps too. After this detailed and precise elucidation and after the brief to the action of muriatic acid. wishing to repeat the process. even devoting the greater part of this disappeared and the star went down to the bottom and rested on this preface to it. will be reanimated. developed in substance. For if it words cabala and kabbala. inversions. for example. specific properties. However. underhand dealing or intrigue. to that state of spoken. augmented by fruitless and disappointing work which might be undertaken by some three drawings by Julien Champagne and by Fulcanelli's original notes. a great flame will consume a little from the Hebrew Kabbalah. No chemist will would be enough to point out that this book has restored to light the contradict me when I say that ordinary lead. treatment of it. figurative fire—it is none the less true that the same metal. on my constant concern for truth. the sign of the star on all the internal modifications of bodies treated the very title of the work which—after the 1926 printing. kabbala is because. it must be obvious how logical it number of witnesses. if Le Mystere des Cathedrales needed any justification. This result caused amazement to no small aim of writing of this kind. with which the Master was That is why I draw the attention of those. this The reader may be surprised that I have spent so much time on a moisture of the spirits of salt. in so doing. the phonetic cabala. right from the beginning my Master has one pound of lead twelve ounces of assayed silver and from these two dwelt on the primary role of the star. a horse. it the preliminary operations carried out on the metal. by means of the requisite fermentation. By contrast. and on which I shall say a few words in to the fact that two essential pieces of data are missing in this account: connection with the Demeures Philosophales. I quote it in order to illustrate the presence of concealed in religious buildings. besides. necessary to cause the dilation of the metal. the therefore. concerned for a long time. whose principles and application had been completely never take on the appearance of pumice stone by being subjected. patiently fed a fiery meanings like coterie. the Jewish Kabbala is full of transpositions. will little by little regain its lost activity modem usage by analogy. should be ignored so as to reserve for the and. as arbitrary as they are Blaise de Vigenere and Naxagoras. based on the reputation of Helvetius. leads us straight ash-coloured lead which had the star adhering to it and he obtained from into Fulcanelli's text. 16 Preface to the Second Edition Preface to the Second Edition 17 like a sponge. consisting of philosophically. absorbed by the great heat of the July air. the exact chemical composition of the hydrochloric acid and However. lost. will phonetic cabala.' announces with certainty the tangible solution of the great secret This is Helvetius1 story. this mineral Theophany. single point of the Doctrine. I would not like to be the cause of any only 300 copies—we are bringing out in a second edition. The the eye-witnesses and. However. This is the philosophic body. and. This is the Mystere des Cathedrales. is easily understood swelling which obliges it to assume a soft spongy structure. in order to use them knowledgeably. However. have spoken at abstruse. one which Fulcanelli himself confirmed in such a masterly way by B . This is why it is important to distinguish between the two length of the expediency of a long preliminary cooking process. will become a living noun cabala the only significance which can be assured for it. latter refer to a very agonizing question. as Basil Valentine says. this forceful idiom. Several preparatory operations are. which I gave in connection with the centaur. I fear that I may have exceeded the usual spongy and earthy lead. whatever it may be. which means tradition. cold. in Deux Logis Alchi-miques. namely. to separate out man-horse of Plessis-Bourre. from being an inert chemical mass. Indeed. enthusiastic readers. already and it is—at least according to Cyrano de Bergerac—the instinct or showing a very marked tendency towards a profound change in its voice of Nature. after an interval of seven or nine days. Finally. which ounces. two ounces of excellent gold. Cabala is true that common lead is dead—because it has suffered reduction and derives from xaSaXXTj? or from the Latin cabaUus. I maintain. the probity of collected just as they were without the least addition or alteration. Finally Gril assayed the part of this same was for me to dilate on this subject which. substitutions and calculations. in order to tongue need never be confused with the Jewish Kabbala. this mother from it the coarsest impurities and its perishable elements. Though never bring it finally.

I . Patrick's. PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION I purchased my first copy of Fulcanelli's Le Mystere des Cathe-drales from Brotherhood of Life bookstore in 1972. was thoroughly familiar and which he used with so much knowledge and stand on the threshold of a unique and never-to-be-forgotten experience in the universe of word and letter. the Language of the Birds. It is the language with which Jonathan Swift. August 1957. Savignies. the Language of the Gods. Since that time I have studied and reread this definitive work on words. I consider my introduction to this great book as one of tbe beacons in my search for light.. that strange Dean of St. symbolism and hermetic alchemy many.18 Preface to the Second Edition rediscovering the lost key to the Gay Science. many times. To you who now have the privilege of reading this magnificent work for the first time..

To you who have had the privilege of reading this book before. New Mexico. 1984 INTRODUCTION BY WALTER LANG TWO UNIVERSES: the universe of science and the universe of alchemy. Behind science. As you study Fulcanelli's interpre- tations it will not be necessary to search for the plate that illustrates the text on that particular page. alchemy is a farrago of medieval nonsense which enlightened materialist method has rightly consigned to the discard. Albuquerque. there exists a technology of noumena as superior to the technology of phenomena as a supernova is to a candle flame. ROY E. these paragraphs comprise some of the finest occult observations on the 'Traditional Kabbala' which have ever been hidden by the 'Bark'of words. for all of the 49 fine plates have been positioned in re- lation to the text for easy reference. you hold in your hands one of the finest editions ofZ..Le Mystere des Cathedrales is certainly a major fragment of the 'Golden Fleece' for which we all search. .beware of the Alchemical Dragon and may God guide your steps. there is Science. except by a negligible few in every age. In my opinion. To all fellow Argonauts. as well as those now reading it for the first time. says the alchemist. To the scientist.. the scientific universe is no more than an abstraction from a much greater whole. All unsuspected. Preface to the American Edition particularly wish to call to your attention pages 42 and 43.. To the alchemist. JR. THOMPSON....e Mystere des Cathedrales which has yet been published.

Fehlt leider nur das exist. abuse the plaintiff's counsel. a general theory of alchemy might be asserting with complete confidence diat your ideas are delusional. this is entirely legitimate. and As there is no sensory evidence for any other kind of universe. However. why used the fragment for its own egoistic ends. die Teile in der Hand. Alchemy. and has Sucht erst den Geist hinaus zu treiben. your clearly implies that. . What is not so tenable is to imply that because Wer will was Lebendiges beschreiben und erkennen. and one inhabited by men with real eyesight. Science has defined this minute abstraction as its Weighed solely on statistical probability. gold and such an activity is so associated with human credulity. truncated even that. the universe of fact. so far as science has heard. therefore to scientific good sense. a displays the separate bits. science has selected one possible universe.20 Introduction Introduction 21 To the alchemist. Alchemy is a total science of energy transformation. he investigates the universe around same way that Mesmer was concerned with hypnotism. century took a single aspect of 'Mesmerism'. Science. Therefore we have no hesitation in specific case. see the implication accepted. Goetiie has a word for this process: In so far as any discipline is entitled to define its own concerns. The situation is really the Plato's cave allegory one stage up. what is it? Wilmshurst has denned it as hypothesis unnecessary to explain die shadow world they five in. been superbly successful in charting it. To them. soul-making is again only a supposed universe is nonsense. The impasse is worse than it need be because of an almost accidental Since alchemists are popularly regarded as at best deluded and at factor. he immediately goes on to offer a second definition which This is precisely the attitude of modern materialist science to alchemy: 'In terms of the universe we measure and know. The twentieth him—and occasionally—die universe inside himself. a claim that alchemy is not only science but Science. The scientific standpoint begins by being consistent. We have our own terms of reference and we find them satisfactory. the shadow men live in a seemingly logical world. all die phenomena of me universe are combinations In effect: 'No case.' condition in which it was originally created'. does it seem likely that an total concern and is therefore condemned to turn endlessly inside a entirely imaginary philosophy should attract ceaseless generations of nutshell of its own making. no other universe can possibly zwar. does not exactly say this but it is very happy to geistige Band. from involvement in anything so obviously puerile.' ventured. to be fair. The 'the exact science of the regeneration of the human soul from its present shadow men say in effect: 'We know nothing of this superior world you sense-immersed state into the perfection and nobility of that divine talk about and we don't want to know. as with gold making. Alchemists are concerned with gold in much the instruments. rendered tangible. By inference. all dead. is a If alchemy isn't gold making. So equipped. some of the best cross section of the total cosmic spectrum is 'bent' by doe senses and so intellects of all cultures have been occupied with the ideas of alchemy. more solid world. It declared that it had drag one in? Dragging in hypotheses which are unnecessary to explain investigated Mesmerism. is concerned with making worst deranged. cupidity not only a religion but Religion. Dead. learning ever more and more about less and men? less. Dann hat er.' of a single prime energy inaccessible to ordinary senses. Only a minute But is there no case? For some thousands of years. In Plato's Truly science drives out the spirit from the whole and proudly cave. is apt to be dismissed out of hand as and unscience generally that ordinary philosophy begs to be excused derisory. Please go away. exposed its ridiculous pretentions and encountered facts is an affront to the principle of Occam's Razor and rendered what was left 'scientific'. Man has certain Is alchemy concerned with making gold? Only in a specific case senses and he has developed extensions of his senses which he calls within a total situation.

Blum (Form and Structure in Science.' By extension. The explosion of a nuclear bomb is alchemy. The in order—that is. galactic matter from energy and the creating of energy from matter is Even if an increase in order arises fortuitously. Recent work in . mechanical consolidation of favourable' variations. Perhaps the process was improbable but it was The difficulties inherent in any theory of 'fortuitous' evolution have possible. 1964 and in Recent consideration however. But its The decay of radium into lead with die release of radioactivity is survival is by no means assured. chance expressly excludes such a possibility. how is it that Bronze Age Egypt and Pythagorean myths and classical traditions of demigods is in the highest degree Greece reputedly knew the whole science? Here even the most guarded suggestive. happen. If it is an acceptable proposition that man was the result of a carefully Materialist science is content—or was until very recently—to contrived alchemical operation by Higher Powers is it not at least suppose that fife began as an accident and that once die accident possible tiiat he was given. Bennett in The Dramatic Universe (London 1966). the transformation technique that produced him? On follow as the mechanical consequence of the factors initially and 1 subsequently present. The mathematical and philosophical arguments For evolution to take place. must have The Military have learned the great secret—or at any rate one been contrived by forces outside the system (the biosphere) in which it specific aspect of it—and woe indeed to the world. for in the arrogant occurred. been indicated by a number of distinguished specialists. The conclusion on the wall should be allowed to witness an operation. These negative entropy. among them Professor H. forms. world. involving the conscious manipulation of alchemy of nuclear science there is no place for Goethe's geistiges energy levels. The creation of big hole indeed in this particular bucket. G. 1965) and by Maurice Vernet (The Great Illusion of nature. this accidental shift alchemy. E. all subsequent steps in evolution would. evolution and its present end-product. in addition to consciousness. 'if the military ever leam the Great Secret.22 Introduction Introduction 23 The action of an Absolute in differentiating a prime-source substance applying mathematical theory to biology suggests that there is a very into a phenomenal universe is an operation in alchemy. this power by J. Nature is an alchemist. man. there is required at every step a shift against the arising of man by the accumulation of accidental increases away from less-organization towards more-organization. 206. Indeed it appears to be vulnerable to alchemy. Band. an insight into happened. speculation must seem outrageous. collapse in proportion to its achievement. appears to show that by its intrinsic Nature Vol. it must have done so not merely against probability but actually Chinese alchemists are said to have told their pupils that not even a fly against the possibilities present in a closed system. may be taken as an operation in alchemy. 'Woe unto the seems unavoidable: the evolutionary process was not a closed system. God is an alchemist. Statistically. Such an operation. Whether the 'artist' who accomplished this great work was a single But if it has taken Western technology so long to uncover a single Intelligence or a consortium of Intelligences seems immaterial: but the aspect of the subject. could be progressively established from the arguments contribute to his unified theory in which man is seen as the work of high (but limited) Intelligences. As it demonstrably did Nuclear energy was undoubtedly foreseen thousands of years ago. must survive if it is to be built upon by the next similar accident. The scientist is now an Even in the case of primitive life forms and certainly in higher life alchemist. evolution could not happen. by mechanical evolution—are developed with great mechanistic view asserts that this enhancement of organization. the number of possible combinations present at every stage is All such energy transformations are fraught with great danger and the enormous—so enormous as to require that entropy must always in- secrecy which has always surrounded Hermeticism is concerned with crease at the expense of chance arisings in the contrary direction.1 this aspect among others. Teilhard de Chardin). or at any rate could.' they said.

is not known. poor shadow of the Glory That Might Have Been. An evolutionary technique would thus become aware of other men who had made the same immense leap and such increasingly enlisted for involutionary ends. some vehicle. While Greece sowed abortively in Rome during her lifetime. The Elders of Jewry at any rate were unable beings and since they would be at the level of incipient conscious to find conditions within which their inheritance could be brought to its energy. history of our planet. and Rome proved as a transmission from ancestors whose existence we do not even to be a delinquent child and a degenerate adult in the community of suspect. Before Egypt became totally humanities in excess of thirty. suggests that the humanity of our Adam was not the eardi's first human As always. groups would combine to create schools of alchemy. perhaps also At each successive apocalypse. Whether any. Inevitably such men would be which it proceeded. Some fell on good ground and accumulated in a span of existence which imagination is inadequate flourished. even to visualize. survived in Europe in isolated pockets like Cracow already when it was assembled by Semti in the First Dynasty some five until the thirties of the present century. If this is the true but wholly unsuspected submerged in idolatry the Great Secret was transmitted. Here the alchemical relevant in biology and psychology as it is in dynamics) the energy chanelled through the esoteric schools of Islam and through exceptional individuals like Jabir externalized in the .24 Introduction Introduction 25 this assumption. The Glory That Was Greece may have been a totality of accumulated knowledge. she also Perhaps due to the second law of thermodynamics (which may be as sowed posmumously—and successfully in Arabia. only the germ plasm necessary to found the next humanity but with it Strange as the idea may be. Some very advanced alchemists have hinted at a range of previous torch was lit. God-orientated. Such would be the dying Egypt There are other theories. would become magic. isolated scraps of suitable material would plant in Israel was due to the Dispersion or whether the Dispersion was from time to time be selected for further processing in a solar alembic. much knowledge may have been selectively The seeds of alchemy were scattered. Greece appears to have made less of her also. in his own subconscious. some psychological micro-dot. On this assumption. Greece stood to Rome as parent to offspring. human cultures. containing the chances than she might. The plant of alchemy flowered only briefly in Greece A third possibility is that the Master Alchemists who made man in a and the seeds that blew to Rome never germinated at all. knowledge of the technique was compressed. self-dedicated. modern man might have. or a combination of all these possibilities is the To ensure its survival in some measure. Maybe the fragmentary data which exceptional individuals could recover and mechanism of its degeneration was a shift in the level of will from assemble into a technology of alchemy. a race. On this assumption the technique of alchemy would have reached us Also. Whether wilting of the done. Alchemy. a consequence of the Jewish failure to manage their alchemical The base metal in this case would consist of exceptional human inheritance. full actualization. they would co-operate in their own transformation. maintained a small initiated inner circle. however. evolutionary ferment of Egyptian alchemy began to involve. Egypt seems to have sown chiefly in Greece and Israel. They externalized some of it in the Zohar and clear that alchemy existed at the dawn of the human story we know. it is compromise dangerously. an ark would go out. Their work may not yet be promise but again the promise was not realized. solar laboratory have an interest in yet another transformation: the The transmission from Egypt to Israel was initially one of great alchemization of man into planetary spirit. thousand years ago. an ark was launched. very The material of the Egyptian Book of the Dead was said to be old greatly depleted. It may be that this circle. encapsuling not in China. One of the most arcane of human traditions against which Moses inveighed. they were obliged to explanation of the presence of alchemy throughout human history. some fell on stony ground and died.

Perhaps because Christianity had rejected the wisdom component If it is true that some 'beads of mercury* were reunited through of its total revelation—a decision in which Constantine was probably Mohammed. Thomas Aquinas. notices any conflict between the Jungian 'psycho- playing cards. Francis. In Seville and Granada there were subsequently identified with the word. being concerned with the totality. crucial—alchemy.26 Introduction Introduction 27 veritable explosion of Mohammedan art and science of the eighth to All the foregoing were the externalized forms of a major twelfth centuries. illumination process. the orders of Since Jung's work in alchemy began to infiltrate modern chivalry (cheval-ry: from die horse as a glyph of the alchemical psychology. The nature of this noumenal structure can never be glimpsed had served in similar circumstances in the past. the Courtly Romances. This lower discipline—metallic chemistry—was all that Christian pilgrimage (based on the form established by the Cluniacs the common fife of Europe ever understood by the word alchemy. the Crusades. At one level it was con- were perhaps reinforced from a permanent powerhouse from which cerned with the ultimate transformation of human souls. initiated Jews who carried the Egyptian transmission. harlequinades and Mystery equally valid at physical level. Albigenses. alchemy as a 'mental' or at any rate a non-physical 'volatile'?). could be represented with full integrity by the terminology of a lower A selection of these factors at random would include the discipline. falconry and certain ball games. below' might not require a process valid at mental level to be Teresa. die Language of the Birds concept. heresy. John of the Cross and St. Precisely because orthodox religion was defective in the which we have inherited and whose origin hardly one man in a wisdom component. facto. used the terminology which has been appear to have joined up. any modality which contained it was. has become a fashionable acceptance. It is 'nothing but' an early (reuniting the Celtic pre-Christian Grail Quest). Dazzled by the Virgin in Catholicism. and cybernetics (Raymond Lully). alchemical operation at an invisible level. masonry and Rosicrucianism. That . demonstrably did make tangible yellow twenty-two carat gold. A label has been affixed. the cosmology of Bacon. and therefore the mystery is no more. few have Magnus and St. Out of this con. ipso million has ever suspected in seven centuries. the Troubadours. the Craft Guilds. gardening (the Spanish Gardens). the theological philosophy of Albertus success of science in providing a label for evei^thing. all evolutionary operations are directed. the Arthurian Quest Theme that alchemy has now been explained. Heraldry. A certain principle and its functions in a higher dimension cannot even be imagined. They met For some hundreds of years alchemy existed in Europe as a real Arab initiates who carried the Greek transmission and the latter science of transformation at many levels. 'as above. two more were reunited in Spain. had to operate fluence grew a very large part of the whole of Western civilization in disguise. James of Compostella). The wave of Islam's expansion reached Spain where two streams that of chemical alchemy. Cafhars and 'reductionist' attitudes of the twentieth century is die current belief Minne-sanger. the Gothic cathedrals. castle architecture. It of nature (rendered in the codex attributed to Hermes. it seems. to St. externalized into the common life in a series of culture components so below') ensured that die alchemical process at its hidden level which in aggregate constitute a large part of Western civilization. some medicine like immunology (Paracelsus) and homoeo. No-one. specialized dancing. so devotional systems of St. the bothered to inquire whether die aphorism of Hermes 'as above. the Wandering Players. Jester. Only one aspect however. Typical of the and embroidery. Plays. logical interpretation' and the documented historical record of men archery. St. The current which flowed from the beads of mercury which were The genuine Christian alchemists—estimated to number four reunited in Spain flowed into an immense invisible force field over thousand between 1200 and 1656—readopted a chemical code which Europe. like Helvetius and the Cosmopolite (Alexander Seton?) who pathy. the Cult of the and crude study of psychology and perhaps of ESP. Free.

28 Introduction Introduction 29 which is above is as that which is below' might never have been written. The indications effort to trace the vanished Master. search and unceasing One man knew better—Fulcanelli's former pupil Canseliet. One day the that orthodox science was on the brink of manipulating nuclear energy. he had no hope that such a warning would have publication caused a sensation in esoteric circles in Europe. The reunion was brief for before he is able to unravel a further step. its genuine or was on the brink of completing. required to leave behind them some thread which those who come after For nearly half a century. reported by the French researcher Jacques Bergier. Eugene Canseliet a strange—and highly knowledgeable— warning. the Magnum Opus. been crossed by humanity in the past with disastrous consequences.' is silence. the conclusion seemed inescapable: Fulcanelli. still find their way through the maze—perhaps by making contact with he appeared to be no older than I was myself'. After a labour may wrest from the code. must be dead. the next step following but the lapse of many years. and why the veil of the Temple was rent. certain familiar legends have a wholly new. what the younger. Canseliet had worked with him) Vas already a very old man but he The strictly alchemical aspect of The Great Work has been quiescent carried his eighty years lightly. and he appeared to be a man of fifty. that is. Canseliet has told the present writer: The Master' (when Cross may symbolize. Fulcanelli had grown sacrifice and why. a source outside Europe—and achieve one or other of the degrees of the One other possible appearance of the mysterious master alchemist is Magnum Opus. Repeated attempts by private provided must be in code and the code must be self cancelling. This was to the effect was studying under the man now known as Fulcanelli. Bergier was approached one day who has come to be known as Fulcanelli. Interest in such practitioners appear to have been under certain obligations which may an individual. Fulcanelli once again severed contact and once again disappeared In the course of his work the alchemist may come to understand that without leaving a trace of his whereabouts. by an impressive individual who asked Bergier to pass on to Helbronner In the early 'twenties. . . practical and unsuspected One circumstance of the reunion was very remarkable—and in an meaning. individuals to pick up the trail—and on at least one occasion by an an inquirer who does not possess the first secret must be infallibly international Intelligence agency—have all ended in a blank wall of prevented from discovering die second. The manuscript was the now famous hiystere des Cathedrales and its Knowing human nature. among those who knew what was involved. Throughout the whole European record of Alchemy. That is to say. in Europe for about three centuries but rare and exceptional individuals as I have mentioned. Given that the inquirer knows the first secret. He may suddenly discover what Abraham was required to alchemical sense of the highest significance. Canseliet received a message from the alchemist searcher will need to have made progress in his own personal practice and met him at a pre-arranged rendezvous. The mysterious stranger then left. was in fact apply to 'artists' in the Work of every age. what the star in the East really heralds. any effect but it was his duty to give it. 'Unto him tiiat hath . existed. Bergier is convinced to this day that he was in the presence of Fulcanelli. . a French student of alchemy. Thirty years later. Few such instances come to the knowledge of the outside world but While working as assistant to Andr6 Helbronner. painstaking research has gone on in an may use as a guide line across the web of Ariadne. I was to see him again. Thus the secret protects itself. nowhere better exemplified dian in the attempt to study alchemical To most. From internal evidence the author was a man who had either completed. if he ever texts. It seems that they are enormous. latter charged Canseliet with the task of publishing a manuscript—and The stranger said it was his duty to warn that this same abyss had then disappeared. the noted physicist one exception to the general rule is the case of the modem alchemist who was later to be killed by the Nazis.

who Like all who truly KNEW. wholly to sustain in view of the existence of Mystere des Cathedrales. This unsuspected by the profane. Mystere des Cathedrales. the Valois. alive at the present time. the rose windows and the flying buttresses. Paracelsus and Flamel. About one thing it seems impossible to have any doubt. all but openly displayed. that he was the painter secret lay. in a laboratory at Sarcelles and in the presence of who wrote Mystere des Cathedrales KNEW. These include Johann Schweitzer (whose experience was investigated by Spinoza) Professor Dienheim of Fribourg in 1602 and Christian II Elector of Saxony.' is a process of 'separating the fine from the gross'. 'he will show it to you plain enough if you be substance is produced from a heavy mineral and will recall that alchemy a Magus and worthy. he is wholly myth. the Gothic cathedrals have for seven work is authoritatively accepted as the work of a man who had gone hundred years offered European man a course of instruction in his own far—very far—in the practice of alchemy. Given that the reader of Mystere des Not a few were driven to the conclusion that Fulcanelli was a myth Cathedrales has even begun to suspect the first secret. Canseliet thus joins a remarkable band of privileged—and perhaps bewildered—people who through history have recorded the same experience. that he was this or that occultist. as seem plainest the camouflage factor is highest. But for all practical purposes Fulcanelli has vanished as though he never existed.' said Boehme. Fulcanelli is indicating the steps in a process he has himself gold using a minute quantity of the Powder of Projection given to him been through. a mighty the former French Royal Family. the mightiest secret that man may ever discover. Fulcanelli veridical nature of an event which modern science regards as an absurd masks and reveals in equal measure and like all before him. that behind the gargoyles . possible evolution. in the following year. The unknown In September 1922. having authority. By pointing to a glyph in Notre Dame or a statue in Amiens and relating an unknown sculptor's work to some ancient or Canseliet himself made an alchemical transmutation of 100 grammes of modem text. It has long been believed that the Gothic cathedrals were secret textbooks of some hidden knowledge. Alchemist however. The alerted reader will explicitly as he dares. Only his contributions to the literature of alchemy remains. warn repeatedly that when their descriptions perhaps in some curious sentences on the rose windows. certainly consider here that a gasworks is a site where a volatile *Behold. silent on the initial step of the practice. Fulcanelli's and that no such person had ever existed. The myth theory is also untenable against the testimony of Canseliet.30 Introduction Introduction 31 Treatises have been written to prove that Fulcanelli was a member of and the glyphs. The account seems the plainest possible statement of a purely physical But in his method of repeatedly underlining certain words and event. Julien Champagne. else you shall remain blind still. This theory is a little difficult legacy is at once seen as an exposition of an incredible fact: that. Thus there is a European. he suggests. Legend has it that this transmutation took place 'in a gasworks'. from Hermes through Geber and the personally testifies not only to the existence of Fulcanelh but to the Greek and Arab artists to Lully. by his teacher. Fulcanelli speaks as one the painter Julien Champagne and the chemist Gaston Sauvage. In being allowed to perform an alchemical operation with energy lent him by another. This is no longer a theory.

Le Mystere des Cathedrales .

struck with wonder. such immensity. unable to tear myself away from the attraction of the marvellous. such intoxication expressed by this more divine than human work. was the emotion aroused in my young heart by the sight of a gothic cathedral. but the original impression remains. I was immediately enraptured by it. the vision has been transformed. I have never acquired a . 1 The strongest impression of my early childhood—I was seven years old—an impression of which I still retain a vivid memory. I was in an ecstasy. And if custom has modified the spontaneous and moving character of my first contact. Since then. from the magic of such splendour.

its heart. not use the cathedral for the passing-out ceremony of its new the organ music of Handel or Frescobaldi. bom of a strong faith. if expression. nymphs and naiads emerging . multi-coloured light from the tall masters without words and without voice? How could I show the stained-glass windows and the silence combine as an invitation to tiiankfulness which fills my heart for everything they have taught prayer. It is simple in If people go to the building to take part in religious services. the says with much truth 'is at the same time clear and sublime. La Filiation genealogique de toutes tes Ecoles gothiques Paris. enthusiasts and its crowds. jocular. quite bluntly. those If the tranquility in the ghostly. release and reflect less edifying sensations. spoken by this new art. absolute sense. to recognize and to discover? hand. superiority. a more secular stone books have their sculptured letters—their phrases in and. with its triumphal chariot of secular. philosophic or social thoughts of our ancestors. bursting with vitality. of literary ambiguities. concerned entirely with religious observance. essential and autocratic. to beg for pardon. that sanctuary of the Tradition. What a comedy it all was. the reflection of its manuscripts and printed books. glory of Christianity. the drapers fix the speaking alike to the humblest and to the most cultured heart. to which we can disguised Science and crushed under the weight of undeniable refer without fear. The gothic cathedral. the common people of the Middle Ages. in being translateable only in a single. price of grain and livestock is discussed there. scarcely a guild which does not meet there once a year Beethoven or Cherubim. frolicsome. naive and picturesque in interpretation. 1884. . or at least let us pity them as those who are without to set out from the church with its pope. an almost pagan spirit. Baudry. They are clearer than their younger brothers—the the declaration of its conscience. F. of its will. which the cathedral ceremonies. that the songs of Orlando. In what language. whenever we would penetrate the religious. Science noisy. very popular with the masses. How could I show my gratitude to those silent masterpieces. enthusiasm and and Art. this gothic of the stones! A language for advice. an obscene carnival J.' as J. a sense purged they enter it following a funeral cortege or the joyful procession of of subtleties. Woe to those who do not like gothic Fools—or of the Wise—a processional hermetic fair. There is scarcely a guild which does so moving. and accompanied by the great Pan. the trappings. should not be regarded as a work dedicated solely to the spirit. could I express my admiration? it seems. and spread through the town. abstract. of with an ignorant clergy thus subjected to the authority of the tendencies. of popular beliefs. in their extraordinary Without words and without voice? What am I saying! If those power. indeed. to ask What a moving language it is. which is greater than all these. Beside the fervent bas-relief and their thoughts in pointed arches—nevertheless they inspiration. Bacchus. by what means. people hurry there to seek comfort. F. . the nobility of form. They have the advantage over them thought at its most complex.' price of their cloth there. Coifs. a high festival. drawn by a male and a female centuar. taking possession of a sacred building. perhaps the only real chant During the great medieval period it was the scene of other there is. . their pages. on the other me to appreciate. naked as the god T himself. the orchestral works of journeyman. the grandeur of the picture books erected in our closes and raising to heaven their proportions and the beauty of the execution combine to make a pages of sculptured stone. The language of stones. de Lassus or Palestrina. Coifs1 Political meetings are held there under the aegis of the bishop. or. There was the Feast of itself has already aroused. but rather as a vast concretion of ideas. its dignitaries. predisposing us to meditation. which used architecture. the under the protection of its patron saint. Ah! the Feast of Fools. but not one. do nothing but add to the emotions. cathedral an original work of incomparable harmony. they also throng there in many other circumstances. simple and severe Gregorian chant. a perfect whole. of allusions. 36 Le Mystere des Cathidrales Le Mystere des Cathidrales 37 defence against a sort of rapture when faced with those beautiful The bold vaulting. the structure and the ornamentation. the thousand and one pre- speak also through the imperishable spirit which breathes from occupations of the great heart of the people can be discerned there.

They were allotted a ridicule poured out by these mystifiers of the land of Saba or Caba. a strange Ball Game was played inside est festa dies festarum festa dierum!' Saint-Etienne. p. in which the choirboys clothes. witii its Evoel—and scholars in ecstasy replied: Mad Mother. This continued to be satirical procession. in words recalling the epistle. holy-water stoup at the very entrance to the basilica. that chapel lit by six lamps near the second door and tiiere tiiey spent the is the cabalists themselves. We may add that place of the illustrious dead. was discernible. The priest. together with a fox. enclosed in a shrine. Here 2 4 This day is the celebrated day of celebrated days! Top with the outline of a Tau or Cross. Until 1538. head to foot. its banner on which two brothers. which was worth to the Church the gold of Arabia. the Corbeil. vampires and tarasques. And what a Mass! It was composed by the initiate Pierre de die cadiedral of Langres. In cabalistic language. of grotesques and comic figures. whose hoof (sabot) once trod the streets of Jerusalem. the Procession of the Shrovetide Carnival. myrrh of the land of Saba. being unable to understand this who came to Notre-Dame in Paris to pray to God for relief from their grotesque parody. Archbishop of Sens. Schemit. when Haec est clara dies clararum clara dierum! Haec the custom died out. 38 Le Mystere des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 39 from the bath. his head bent under the sufferings. as this asinine power. 5055 in die and moral centre. and modelled on a pagan rite. Here a Devilry of Chaumont. the heart of public activity. with the triumphal entry under the sacred archway of Master Aliboron. The Epiphany cake sometimes contains a sabot instead of a bean. Witkowski. in which a pig may be seen carrying a holy stoup. Juno. Examples these were the secular guardians of an ancestral patrimony. the intellectual an identical scene is illuminated in folio 40 of manuscript no. of often a very precise one. Tales of Mother Goose. the custom until 1454. Venus and Latona converging on a cathedral to energetically whipped their humming-tops (sabots)1 down the aisles of hear Mass. the cathedral of Auxerre. which left the University in the thirteenth 'the bas-relief on one of the capitals of the great pillars represents a century to continue independently. sabot is This day is the feast day of feast days! SG. 2 Thus our glorious Christ-bearer was celebrated in a special service. 1908. Confirmation of these curious celebrations is night. . L'Art profane the equivalent of cabot or chabot. had to accept it in silence. It is the city within a city. masks. used to stay on till they were cured. J. These were held every year. presided over followed by donkeys dressed in priestly clothes and monkeys bearing by Jacques Desparts. 35. This host of bristling monsters. the chat botte (Puss-in-Boots) of the a I'Eglise. It is The cathedral is the inviolable sanctuary of the hunted and the burial die Procession of the Fox or the Feast of the Donkey. the incense and the The camedral was the hospitable refuge of all unfortunates. the apotheosis of thought. It was tiiere too Indeed Witkowski1 writes that in the nave of Notre-Dame of Strasbourg that the Faculty of Medicine. Finally there were some bizarre events in which a hermetic meaning. There the doctors would give their consultations round die to be found graven by the chisels of the master image-makers of the time. Etranger. delighted in uncovering their buttocks. all witib die Gothic church as their theatre. knowledge and art. the procession and banquets of the Infanterie congregation of the year 1220 uttered the bacchanal cry of joy: Evoe! dijonnaise? The latter was the last echo of the Feast of Fools. Diana. almost as gaudy as the one just mentioned. gave lectures. which praised him. dragons. when its last meeting took place. There was also the Feast of the Donkey. The sick. its bawdy diplomas. various religious attributes. gods of Olympus minus their clouds and minus their include die Flagellation of the Alleluia. Paris. Bibliotheque nationale. of menacing gargoyles.

at the Portal of St. occult that it is not impossible even now to rediscover the meaning of Denys Zachaire tells us that this custom was followed until the year the secrets hidden under the petrified exterior of tiiis wondrous book of 1539 'on Sundays and feast days'.'11 There. the steeples. They expand on least animated part of these gatherings was the abstruse explanation of the church front into a glorious explosion of liberty and expression. rose. for tiiose academy meetings was Notre-Dame of Paris. In this Lassus. There is notiiing more moving than these multiple witnesses to extent destroyed what the Souffleurs7 could admire in die sixteentii die daily life. Indeed I shall consider myself satisfied and amply The alchemists of die fourteenth century used to meet there once a rewarded if I have been able to awaken the curiosity of the reader. alive. suggesting its blue vault. speak to the stones and question animated and picturesque. either at the main porch. starred with gold. In the steps of Gobineau de Montluisant. contes et discours d'Eutrapel (ch. of string-courses and copings.' trouble of a visit. hold the attention of the shrewd observer and to show to lovers of the Marcel or else at the little Porte-Rouge. of which the the motifs still extant are sufficiently numerous to repay the time and church of Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie was such a complete hieroglyph. . from the need to puff at their furnaces—translator's note. 3 ! Noel du Fail. As proof of tiiis we have the words of Martyrius. x). something barbarous. fifteenth century. of tympana with multi-coloured figures. was bestowed in derision on a form of art. Purple. Propos rustiques. 1842. as Victor Hugo said. indisputably one of the most perfect specimens and. which imposed its rules on all the productions of Armenian bishop and traveller. all decorated with salamanders. Geffroy Dechaume. They transform the windows into precious bilities and studied on die spot the allegory of the Great Book. Boeswill-wald. so ably translated by these modest medieval statues. is never again find what it has lost. Traces of gilding may Some have claimed—wrongly—that it came from the Goths. sometimes in disorder but always vivid with them. Science will connection Notre Dame of Paris. the still be seen at the top of the tympanum of the great portal. the ideals. 40 Le Mystire des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 41 art and science. Nothing could be more secular than the exotericism of this teaching. 1 Souffleurs = 'puffers'. to the flying buttresses. amid a dazzling array of painted and gilded6 arches. shall undertake the pious pilgrimage. However that may be. Viollet-le-Duc and alchemists. The vandalism of Soufflot has to a large interest. the Philosophers' church. And if art owes some gratitude to those eminent architects diere is nothing more captivating than the sybolism of the ancient Toussaint. to the pinnacles. the fifteenth century applied to French art. the instincts of our fatiiers. who restored the basilica so odiously profaned. free. silver and gold were to be seen there. azure. Cambriel and all the rest. die taste. to week on the day of Saturn. They cling to next sequence of his researches. 'the most satisfying summary of die hermetic science. Not the stones and endow the bells with sonorous vibrations. and in spite of these regrettable mutilations. The one at the church of Saint-Germain-rAuxerrois has preserved its painting and ancient Germanic people. Others alleged that the word. have each philosopher would show the result of his labours and work out the emerged from their seclusion and colonized the cathedral. e First of all it is necessary for me to say a word about the term gothic as In the cathedrals everything was gilded and painted in vivid colours. baliverneries. Noel du Fail says timt 'the great place magic. the mysterious symbols all around them. vernacular word for alchemists. Gosselin. Paris. fill the niches. This author says that the porch of the Middle Ages and whose influence extends from the twelfth to die Notre-Dame of Paris was as resplendent as the gates of Paradise. Alas! It is almost too late. They hang from It was there that tbey assessed probabilities and discussed possi- the coving. formerly concentrated in the great monasteries. Above all century. we nothing more human than this profusion of quaint images.

has a life of its own-even though it is only a reflection of the manned the ship Argo. If the usual sense of words does not allow us language and does not pay any attention to spelling. Faith gives us a presentiment of what this is. cant or slang. are the hermetic descendants of the argonauts. calling for liberty and independence. then words become useless. All is foreseen. This is in conformity preordained. self-satisfied middle class. which governs the traditional cabala in every inscrutable will of Destiny. The argotiers. How the even more expressive term sons or children of the sun. i. banned by high classical school. Often we pass by a Villon—■ as well as the Freemasons of the Middle Ages. the well-fed and Renaissance. It becomes no outsiders'. The sought in the cabalistic origin of the word and not in its literal root. which sounds exactly the same. which is the key to the between gothic (gothique) and goetic (goetique) have thought that there religious mystery. I agree. everything. conventions. important thing is that such word-play should guide our faith towards Some discerning and less superficial authors. gothic art {art gothique) is simply a corruption of the word coincidence nor accidental correspondence here below. of bringing us work of art goth (gothic art) or of argot. in cant. which we still and deaf. imbued with the decadent principles of the society. the poor. Thus it certainly is a spoken cabala. the puns . customs and etiquette. its beauty. the to the Garden of the Hesperides. The fact is that there is neither chance nor For me. verte ('green language' or slang)—while they were sailing towards the All is in everything. People thinking and more or less imperfect particle of the macrocosm. Our microcosm is only an infinitesimal. man: 'he knows believe we have ourselves discovered by an effort of our intelligence. nearer to our Creator. its greatness. and should not leave us wandering in the capricious must be a close connection between gothic art and goetic art. like men blind the lodge of God'. to strip them of their bark and liberate the spirit. Besides. who built the argotique masterpieces. 'members of phenomenon—or a miracle even—without noticing it. we do not create anything. cant is spoken by the humble people. maze of our imagination. luxuriating in the ermine of their ignorance has ensured the continued use of the expression gothic art. animated. Cant is the cursed dialect. but rather sly. in spite of and fatuity. We do not invent anything. the approximations. the instrument of the use this language. What unsuspected marvels we should find. the rebels. dictionaries define argot as 'a language peculiar to all individuals who which gives man his indisputable superiority. argotique (cant). the vagrants of the Court of Miracles—headed by the poet Revelation gives us absolute proof. by the nobility (who are really so little noble).e. voyous (street-arabs) that is to say voyants (seers) is applied to them and since they are always on the look-out for the derivation of words. Those constructional sailors (nautes) also knew the route dissect words. The cathedral is a any discovery capable of elevating and instructing us.' All the Initiates expressed themselves exists already elsewhere. Le Mystere des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 43 whose originality and extreme peculiarity were shocking to the people despised. The spoken word. They spoke the langue argotique-—our langue universal Idea.. Moreover. divine tight which is within! Jesus expressed himself only in parables.e. magic. and it is not for us to bend to our pleasure the with the phonetic law.. who spirit. There was outside accepted laws. the can we deny the truth which the parables teach? In present-day con-conversation is it not the ambiguities. regulated. the outlaws.. language. What we still say about a very intelligent. The term an obscure reason for this. struck by the similarity certainty. of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. those who more than a distressing vanity. But truth. upon the right one? The simple fact is that the explanation must be People think that such things are merely a play on words. his dominion over every wish to communicate their thoughts without being understood by living thing. if we knew how to admire today. i. Such is the opinion of the the tramps and the wanderers. preserved in the speech of the common people. felicitious shores of Colchos to win the famous Golden Fleece. Gothic art is does it come about that so few compilers of dictionaries have lighted in fact the art got or cot (xo)—the art of light or of the spirit. he understands cant. loses its nobility. In our day. which should have made our linguists ponder. towards positive and scientific truth. It remains the language of a minority of individuals living the efforts of the Academy to substitute the term ogival art.

my brother of Miletus. It is in the crucible that it dies to be revived. The good cure of Meudon reveals himself Lamb which God had ordered to be sacrificed at Easter. the Language of the Christ himself. to climb one's Calvary. eight or nine ages of man* and is supposed to have been successively man and this lamb. being chemical in character. 4 Finally I would add that argot (cant) is one of the forms derived from the Language of the Birds. It was knowledge of this cathedrals. crucible. This is the language which teaches the mystery of the crucible. a novel in cant. dialects. as well as a first-class cabalist. by sending them his cross laid on the ground. since the lamb to be 10 roasted is disposed in such a way as to represent a cross. which the Law prescribed to have roasted whole. die building of die Tower of Babel. revealed to him. that the cross bears the imprint of three nails used to personages. and fire. by the faith which they have in him. and in die language of the are all current sayings. abbey and collegiate churches—takes the form of a Latin language which Jesus revealed to his Apostles. In die Middle Ages it was It is indeed in the crucible that the first matter suffers the Passion. crammed full of legends. to go through the crucible of existence. of Gabritius and Beya. of Apollo and Diana. Constantine. and one would be wrong to consider it as . purified. express the human ordeal language to be perverted and to be totally forgotten by the greater part of on earth by religious parables and hermetic similes? —To bear one's humanity. Further. In that case the marvels recounted by Philostratus. with which those who believe stain their abodes. symbol of the cross which Christ had to endure. in all religions. appeared those prophetic words. not surprise us. should The cross is a very ancient symbol. Today. the Holy Ghost. apart from cant. Provencal. realized by the union of brother and says: the hands. because it was used by diplomats. whose life. which used to be called in French cruzol. which he adopted on his goddess of Wisdom. Now. in the science we are considering. the ground plan of the gothic churches— one spoken by philosophers and diplomats. seems to be extremely hypothetical. the Dive-Bouteille. miracles and prodigious deeds.' he says. crucible and things and unveils the most hidden truths. sacred and profane. Court Language. etc. was the woman. Remember too. the cross is the alchemical hieroglyph of spirit.8 Tradition assures us that men spoke it before spirituahzed and transformed. One of the Philosopher. we find its character in a few local cross. they say. who are glad to escape from the tyranny of the letter and thereby—unwittingly— show themselves cabalists in their own right. The other pierces its shoulders and the forefeet (the Greek of the compost or philosophic rebis. by all peoples. the vulgar Latin crucibulum.' sister. do not the common people. Tiresias6 had Let us not forget that around the luminous cross. seen in a vision by perfect knowledge of the Language of the Birds. Gods. like called the Gay Science and die Gay Knowledge. the figure of Christ. Further. which event caused this sacred those faithful guardians of the oral tradition. He shared it. ring sacrifice the Christ-body: an image of the three purifications by sword eloquently enough to require no analysis from me. 9 It is said that Tiresias was deprived of his sight for revealing to that is to say themselves. with Thales standard: In this sign thou shall conquer. from the hind quarters semi-fabulous personage seems to me to be just a mytho-hermetic image to the head. crucis. Melampus and Appolonius of Tyana. a cross). The ancient Incas called it die croiset (according to Ducange. 44 Le Mystere des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 45 or the assonances which characterize spirited people. the same symbolism. Augustine in his 8 The Life of Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais is an Dispute with Tryphon (Dialogus cum Tryphone 40): 'The mystery of the esoteric work. However he lived 'for seven. Meditate similarly on that clear passage of St. used in all ages. such as Picard." legendary alchemists. To them it was the has as its root crux. whose names. in which we find the same sense expressed by gypsies. which Minerva. mortals the secrets of Olympus. key to the double science. 'was in it as a great initiate. parent and doyen of all other languages—the With rare exceptions. The name of diis arms of the cross pierces it through and through. Mythology would have it diat the famous soothsayer. •&&$$ of the lamb are tied to it.

sculptured on the outside Honore at Aries. The common people called Later on. translated in a very fine bas-relief of the time. personified under the aspect composed of a whole series of concentric circles coifing one within 11 another in endless variety. Quentin. as the Abbe Ansault11 has more than of Lucifer (the morning star). impure) i. and the medieval freemasons have symbolically subjects could be assured of a sufficient variety of design and colour. one should note the labyrindis. showing the run rising above the horizon. 'Whiten the latten and burn your books' is the repeated advice of all the good authors. but which is a stumbling-block and hieratic sign of the crux ansata.' writes buildings of the Middle Ages. ground at the point of intersection of the nave and the transepts. have translated as brass or latten. As for the labyrinth at Corner). and its preparation by the sign of the cross. which has the meaning of manure. situated under churches of Sens. candle-grease and blackened with smoke. Thus the sculptured block of stone was marked with streaks of semicircle of the same metal. The Abbe Ansault. Ku^po. the Cloitre-Notre-Dame. But before being dressed to serve as a Use was also made of little cubes of multi-coloured marble. followed the divine example. which signifies universal life stone of shame. on an absidal chapel facing the Rue du symbol is the emblem of Venus or Cypris (in Greek Kv-rzpiq. M. common copper. It was a figure of the devil. which were traced on the image of the devil. . the dressing of this corner stone—I mean its preparation—it can be seen Germain-en-Laye. Chartres. encrusted with a bar of gold and a candles. is the same word as Zou<f>po<. Paris.46 Le Mystire des Cathedrales he Mystere des Cathedrales Al a special emblem of Christianity. which was intended to represent the first matter of the Lieu (the place) and drawn on the paving stones of the nave. In the centre of the labyrinth at Amiens opening an enormous mouth in which the faithful extinguished their a large flagstone used to be visible. it is Work. which was a continual embarras-ment to the archaeologists. Paraphrase de la Premiere Epitre de saint Pierre (ch. dung. 'while the ignorant will not be able to believe that it exists in gold. have preserved their labyrinths. 7). which some. 'The wise man will find our stone even in the dung heap. The Notre Dame of Paris possessed a similar hieroglyph. On the other hand. p. It is on this stone that the Middle Ages this art had reached such perfection that historical Jesus built his Church. the hermetic equivalent of the ankh of the building. Retaux. as well as for the philosophical work of manner of the Byzantine mosaics. on which rests elliptical apse joined to the choir.' writes the Cosmopolite. this stone. Rheims. Poitiers and Bayeux the rood-screen. We say further that the ground plan of the great religious headstone of the corner. Auxerre. La croix avant Jisus-Christ. 5 muck. the gold sun was replaced by a copper one and the latter in its this image Maistre Pierre du Coignet (Master Peter (stone) of the turn disappeared. was assigned to the worker in ceramics. at the comer of the choir rail. painted and covered with a lead glaze. The stone which the builders rejected. assumes the shape of the Egyptian the whole structure of the building.' Whilst the decoration of the salient parts was reserved for the tailleur It is thus that the ground plan of a Christian building reveals to us the d'imaiges (sculptor). the ankh.e. 12 1894. in order to veil the meaning further. sulphur. the rough. 27. At the centre of the figure.12 'has been made the headstone of the corner. St. In corner stone of the philosophers' Great Work. by the addition of a semi-circular or Amyraut. V.' As for hidden in matter. against which they dash themselves to their ruin.. IT. Amyraut. The floor was normally flagged which points the way for the alchemist to obtain the First Stone—the or tiled with baked clay tiles. Among the motifs most frequently art. v. in the base for the work of gothic art. impure. the amply shown. on a Christian sarcophagus from the crypts of St. ordure. Jean Lesnier. never to be replaced at all. Saumur. 1646. was the symbol of our corner stone. gross and unpolished stone was often given the employed. called in the common tongue La Lieue (the league) for Le Now. An example of this may be seen at the museum of St. the ornamentation of the floor of the cathedrals qualities of the first matter.

bizarre and inextricable path. attracts. This is the masonic Hiram. tradition associated with the name of Solomon.48 Le Mystere des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 49 the combat of Theseus and the Minotaur used to be seen—yet spider aragno and iragno. Art. We would point out the path which must be taken in order to reach the centre—where the that this term is close to the Absolute. by the permutation of the labyrinths of Greece and Rome. a special treatise on what this thread of Ariadne is.' Let us recall in passing that the most celebrated of the ancient The picture of the labyrinth is thus offered to us as emblematic labyrinths. according lighted by the sun. It is there that the thread of Ariadne becomes necessary for him. seizes. However it is not a matter of establishing any connection a star from out of the sea. leaving concentric circles. Palestine. Thus alpvjv is the lodestone. The last 13 La Grande Encyclopidie. apuco has also the sense to attract. which enabled Perseus to fulfil his purpose. aip7)vs that which takes. interrupted at certain points. one of the three rose that virtue shut up in the body. Evans of Oxford. They leave the shadows and The verb aipw means to take. window is lit by the coloured rays of the setting sun. Labyrinths. the porch window. the lodestone. windows which adorn the transepts and the main porch. The second one blazes in the midday sun. whence walk towards the light. the divine ram. to preserve the Provencal language. open at the end of the right transept. i.. the star which rises between these images and those famous constructions of antiquity. has escaped from Amiens. In Provencal iron is called aran and iran. 703. of the left transept. T. of certain alchemical manuscripts and which is part of the magic airan—the Greek otpuav. forming the arms symbolical value of the famous myth. the which weaves our own body? But this word appears in other forms. xxl. Nor is this all. the artist must follow in order to emerge. It is a series of Ariadne. The felibres" called the is the southern rose. as Batsdorff did. so as to form a only the trace of her web on the paving stones of the choir.. vowels. to draw.e. that of Cnossos in Crete. The Picard version is aregni. But in laying stress on the cabala. thus apuav is also The labyrinth of the cathedrals or the Labyrinth of Solomon is. of the cross. sideris a star. which was discovered in 1902 of the whole labour of the Work. intended in such a fashion that the metathesis of the /. arahni. Is not our soul the spider. The verb apuco means the rising of meaning. the rising sun. walk straight can thus be read arahne. or ariane is thus the Orient. which is die name by which bitter combat of the two natures takes place—-the other the way which the ancient alchemists designated the philosophers' stone. which surpasses its side sisters in founded in 1854. which the Wise call their Magnesia. If we now compare StSTjpo. That Ariane (Ariadne) is a form of airagne (araignee. was called Absolum. Orient. As a consequence of this arrangement. Further. unable to extricate himself. out of the sea. In Spanish n is pronounced gn\ apaxu^the spider) faithful and profane. which has given the Marcellin Berthelot" tells us. I hope to furnish All churches have their apse turned towards the south-east. 6 My intention is not to write. which may mean either iconography and consequently of an evident mytho-hermetic iron or lodestone. This is the ^Translator's note: The felibres were members of a society of writers. we shall recognize our Provencal aran. p. this the architect of the Temple of Solomon. to seize. are directed to the north-east and the south-west. 'a cabalistic figure found at the head Latin sidus. cradle of Christianity. while the transepts. is never Let us continue.. This is the north rose. the spider) by is the invariable orientation. Thus on the facade of a got hie cathedral the D . entering the church by the west.. iran. arahagne. airagno. one by Dr. to the sanctuary facing the direction in which the sun rises. size and brilliance. if he is not to wander among the winding paths of the task.. their shrewd investigators with some precise information on the front towards the north-west. great rose. when apuav (Aryan). with its two major difficulties. another proof of the infiltration of pagan themes into Christian Compare all that with the Greek 2!8v)po<. the mystic spider. to attract. which glows on the facade to the different dialects.

has given rise to the name flamboyant gothic for the style 18 of this period. the Calend Portal at and produces the various phenomena which the artist observes in his the Cathedral of Rouen. of St. passing through the colour white. of co-ordinating the versions and of For in rising too high you will be burnt by heaven. the central rose window of the porches was philosophical mixture has been prepared according to canon law. sustained by ordinary heat. that is to say above the consequently of the coction itself.17 preponderance of the fiery symbol in the architecture of the fourteenth the goal of his journey. the section of which is starred like the magic sign 15 attributed to the King of the Israelites. emblematic of a certain compound. reveals to the artist that he has followed the right road and that the In the Middle Ages. a mention the cathedral Saint-Jean and the Church of Saint-Bonaventure second agent is needed as well. Since this sign is of the greatest interest to the alchemist—is it not the I recommend you to go by this road and no other. lies. constant and equal fire. have a particular shadows—represented by the absence of light and the colour black —to meaning. Moreover. Antoine of Compiegne. which makes the wheel turn Toul. allegory in these enigmatic fragments. Paris. in his Antiquitates rerum humanorum. the splendid blue rose of the Sainte-Chapelle. the time necessary for the coction of the philosophical matter. the Church of Saint-Gengoult at this latter fire. 254.15 7 Thus the rose alone represents the action of the fire and its duration. which the Creator has sealed with his own hand. task of making useful comparisons. which neatly characterizes the last period of Troja est egressus Aeneas. picking out the positive truth. Convallaria polygonata. It is a called Rota. Se/. the perfection of ruddy light. p. which underlines still further the properties of this substance. Gengoult). going from the Some roses. and which beams on the surface of the compound.50 Le Mystere des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 51 colours of the Work unfold in a circular progression. as Varro. The sustained. called the secret or philosophic fire. the Child-King. owes its name to its stem. Poeme philosophic de la Verite de la Phisique 17 Mineralle in Traittez de L'Harmonie et Constitution generalle du Vray Laurente (Laurentium) is cabalistically I'or ente (grafted gold). Among the buildings which present us with starred roses with six is for this reason called the fire of the wheel. De Nuysement. Now. the wheel is the alchemical hieroglyph of radiate figure. crib in which Jesus. But if your course remains set in the middle The route will be plainer and the way more sure. Veneris eum per diem medieval art. in the roses of Aeneas saving his father and his household gods from the flames of Toul (St. with six points (digamma) called the Star of the Magi. He gives the following explanation: Ex quo de and fifteenth centuries.16 I would the heat necessary for the liquefaction of the philosophers' stone. star which guides him and which announces to him the birth of the Only take notice of the tracks of my wheel. which is combined with legendary And in descending too low you will be destroyed by earth. commonly called Solomon's Seal. vessel: etc. Pgrier et Buisard. which the artist maintains night and day in the course of this operation. It is at Lyons (rose windows of the portals). That is why the medieval decorators sought in their rose windows to translate the movements of matter. the wheel. Saviour?—it would be useful here to collect certain texts recounting. etc. the son of David. 1620 and 1621. describing and explaining its appearance. the two roses of Saint-Vulfran at Abbeville. arriving at the fields of Laurentum. I shall leave to the reader the Do not rise or descend too soon to heaven or earth. This magic seal considered as being the mean between black and red. recalls the legend of may be seen on the north portal of Chartres cathedral. The Troy and. stirred up by the elementary fire. after long wanderings. And. in addition to petals—a reproduction of the traditional Solomon's Seal. . in order to give an equal heat overall.

form of a little child and presenting the shape of a cross. Ignatius.™ (After his age of which is unknown:19 departure from Troy. This fact made him realize that these were the lands allotted by not to last more than a day. these men climbed up on a mountain. where he ceased to rest nor food. prayed and praised God in silence for who looked at it were struck with astonishment. donee ad agrum Laurentum veniret. although far from Persia at the time of the birth of Christ. which took place in 'I heard some people speaking of a Writing. which prediction was given as transmitted from father to son by gods dance and sing at this news. in the to describe the matter of the Great Work. p.52 Le Mystere des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 53 quotidie stellam vidisse. who unknown. A priest announces that Juno has conceived. But finally it did appear on the Mount of Victory. XIX.' writes St. 386. who was in the same expectation. It had the form of an eagle. its brilliance was ineffable and its novelty was such that all those summit. guided by the star. and this period seemed to them see it. which was called in their language the Mount of Victory. bk. which should be taken to the Cyrus. A star descends and announces the generations of the wise men. is not contrary to the faith and is rather agreeable to hear. Epistle to the Ephesians. 18 21 Varro in Servius.'' in case by chance this star of fortune should appear during their Huginus a Barma.) brighter the star shone. 97 and 107. is attributed to Julius Africanus. which the Persian Empire makes this dedication'. the earn non vidit ulterius. it spoke to Take some real earth. All the statues of the Child.' he says. in the Practice of his work.2" possessed a book attributed to Seth. Above it was a cross. this was their practice in every generation. birth of a Child. the moon and the other stars* was ever lacking on their journey.11 'surpassed that of all the streams and trees. Then Bacchus up to waiting for this star. in quo The shape of the star was different according to this other legend. 1780. The star went before them for two years and neither bread nor water sun. X. flying through the air Here is a legend taken from a work entitled the Book of Seth and and moving its wings. always waiting stars formed a choir round this star. If one of them came to die. 19 Apocryphes. he saw every day and during the day the Star of 'During the journey. . bk. moon and the three days. qua recognovit terras esse fatales. which. All the statues fall down They chose out twelve from the most learned among them and from with their faces to the ground. 'well impregnated with the rays of the them. The nearer they came to Bethlehem. The Magi announce that this Child is born those most skilled in the mysteries of the heavens and gave themselves at Bethlehem and advise the king to send ambassadors. p. which surrounded it. the destiny.' which a sixth century author relates in these terms: The following legend. instructed them and bade them depart for Judaea.22 uses the same terms generation. Derieu. the Magi took neither Venus. The sun.* 20 Julius Africanus. the Beginning and the End. Paris. on which the star appears. have a portrait of her with the Child painted by a skilful silence and in a low voice. 469. Aeneid. Mithra (A'd HXtw —to the Sun God) to the Great God. they did not feel any need. in Patr. after the harvest. entitled Some events. grecque. false gods. certain. Departure of the Magi. La Regne de Saturne change en Steele d'or. At Bethlehem They were called in their tongue Magi. 'What they did next is reported briefly in the Gospel. enclosed a cavern hewn out of the rock and pleasant on account of the 'The light of this star. ch. his son or a near (ALOVUUO^) appears and predicts that this Child will drive out all the relative. slave and place it in their chief temple with this inscription: 'To Jupiter 'Every year. II. which spoke of the future The scene takes place in Persia in a temple of Juno (Hp^) built by appearance of this star and of the gifts. because they glorified God in they greet Mary. When they arrived at the others. 22 Huginus a Barma. which lasted thirteen days. until he arrived at the fields of Laurentum. they washed themselves. bk. although the actual date of it is that a race existed in the Far East on the shores of the Ocean. to King Jesus. It tells a chronicler of the third century. I l l . p. was chosen to replace him.

which the contemplation of celestial things. behold. p. which attests that the them diligently what time the star appeared.. 564. v. the gods of 'Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Rome and the gods of foreigners should be adored. lived. he adds: Then Herod. who is said to have been born in the town of Pethor on the host praising God and saying. because ancient and modern tidings of great joy. 8-14: phenomenon. bk. A. announces bad fortune. It is 'And the angel said unto them. drawing all their knowledge from their this day in the city of David a Saviour. the angel of the Lord these narratives. I shall see him. I bring you good difficult to reply to these questions. in the Frag.—Chalcidius is 'How shall I curse. II. says. . The wisest of the Chaldeans. 233. p. v. bk. as men perfectly versed in 'When they had heard the king. to him the vows fitting to such a great God. Gospel according to St. but not ** Diodorus of Tarsus. has preserved a Herod the king. keeping watch over their flock by night. when he had privily called the wise men. till it came and stood over where birth of a God and having found the majesty of this Child. We find the first reference to the star in the mouth of Balaam. Go and search diligently for the young child: and of a venerable God. they departed. asks: came upon them. Balaam. which shall be to all people. there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. which is Christ the Lord. Where is he that is bom King of the Jews? for we have seen his wise. bk. they rendered the young child was. 878. and said. Matthew. who. and myrrh.' assumed the form of a star in order to announce the birth of the Lord Speaking of such strange happenings and faced with the among us. for the grace of conversation with man and for the when ye have found him. they presented him with gifts: gold. cod. prophet or Mage in Mesopotamia. 125. they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. and on earth Euphrates. in Timaeum Platonis. lo. After having spoken of a star called Ahc by the Egyptians. Pair. Comm.. when he Mary his mother. as Mullachius. For unto you is born Rationalism and Ontologism. which star in the east. that I may come and advantage of mortal affairs. Documents historiques sur la Religion des Romains. this star while journeying through the night. This is much better known to 'When they saw the star. And own resources. 7-11. the star.25 struck by the mystery which envelops 'And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field. in Photius. On Destiny. impossibility of attributing the cause of them to any celestial Gospel according to St. the last of his editors. 28 A Bonnetty. greque. "Chalcidius. CIII.' swaddling clothes. and. good will toward men. And you than to others. p. sought. Fear not: for. lying in a manger. And. v. whom the Lord hath not defied? . they say. And he sent them to rising of a certain star announced not sickness or death. record of the Star of the Magi and the explanation for it given by the saying. having seen worship him also. obviously speaking to an initiate. II. the philosopher Chalcidius. Bonnetty. but the descent Bethlehem. II.C. 1-2. taught that the gods of Greece. at the centre of the peace. 210. Glory to God in the highest. bring me word again.54 Le Mystere des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 55 In the fourth century. what rational critics and others are wondering at this moment.™ when they were come into the house. and fell down and worshipped him. but had opened their treasures. and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and 'Who are these Magi and what is one to think of this star? That is they were sore afraid. around the year 1477 B. The 'And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly latter. went before them. and when they affirms that 'this star was not one of those which people the heavens. II. it is told. enquired of There is another and more venerable story. have made one forget all the means by which the ancient this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in peoples of the East preserved their primitive traditions. they saw the young child with Diodorus of Tarsus" shows himself even more explicit. behold. Luke. c. for the recent they saw in the east. cries out: Philosophorum graecorum of Didot.' rising Assyrian Empire. and a certain virtue or urano-diurnal (Suva^k ) force (6etoTcpav) having frankincense. whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy. lo. and are come to worship him.

which untiringly share the formidable sixteenth century. The mausoleums. Formerly the subterranean chambers of the temples served as abodes 8 for the statues of Ists. so the cathedral has its our day surround with a quite special veneration. sometimes in pairs. accordance with the custom. squat and unpretentious. silent. the figures of Mars. burial-place of the famous. 382. Benoit. secret passages. not archaic aspect of a herd of fossilized pachyderms. Witkowski20 describes for us a very curious stained glass obscure retreat. . . so welcoming. That is the dominant impression. felt by the visitor. under the there should be no doubt about their identity. Witkowski. representing heavy silence fills the vaulted space. and. which lasted until the middle of the contracted under the effort. We are here in the abode of the dead. fragments of the past abound. the star is used to indicate conception. Considerations sur le Culte d'lsis chez les Eduem. or beneath the subterranean galleries. Paving stones. Felicite. strained in the coverlet in contact with the belly of the woman. hospitable to the first martyrs? All is mystery. Are we about to issue forth sky of the central composition can be seen the sun. historical debris. 'His father. 17). 'the 1908. Real. Beaune. 'Already. A Virgin at Larmor (Morbihan) forms part of a fine triptych. toils without respite in the deep foundations of the work. France. joined to each other. only slightly Conception of St. taken moreover. they form the crypt (from the Greek KpuTmSi. at the time of the introduction of Christianity into Gaul. which the builder this window. etc. now destroyed. marble well as birth. anguish and fear in this G. 1862. cemetery of the Christians. Schemit. L'Art profane a I'Eglise. short capitals. . . but occult. the figure of each deity pressure of an excessive burden. Thick muscles. In inscription on their base: Virgini pariturae. Counsellor of Clothair II. develops in the darkness. Romain. Bigarne. moon and stars and into the caves of the cyclops? Are we on the threshold of a Dantean the scarf of Iris. described in the M same way. which used to be near the sacristy in the old church of Around us are numbers of enormous pillars. which the people in Just as the human soul has its hidden recesses. They extend underground below the church and. vain the death of Christ and the suffering of Mary (Mater dolorosa). Venus. 2T Ch. rough. as in the XXIV. cold place. as catacombs.' says the learned Pierre Dujols. Nocturnal will. The Virgin is often represented with a nimbus of stars. . Material power. Paris. basilica of Saint-Denis. hidden). damp. Bibliographic generale de VOcculte. The Virgin holds in her right hand a large star—maris inferno. This window showed the standing on their broad chamfered bases.. p. The borders of eternal resistance to being crushed.56 Le Mystere des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 57 now: I shall behold him. The conception was shown by a star. and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel. so stella—an epithet given to her in a Catholic hymn.. J. both the one and the other bear the same famous all together. The thousand outside noises. as in the Roman In symbolic iconography. by giving to all these members the motif. but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of feeling and one which imposes silence: it is the feeling of power. 8. Jacob. became those black Virgins. . when going through the galleries of a gothic crypt. power. In the echoes of the world. completely naked in elegance and richness give place to solidarity. projecting. Saint-Jean at Rouen. Bigarne" tells us of several statues of Isis. hollowing their stone chests. window. rigid. identical. tombs. which was already strange enough on account of its main knew how to direct and distribute. J. so that rounding their bony backs. without surprise. in his G. which is was accompanied by its name. the observer experiences a strange birth.1 exercised in secret. were ornamented with medallions on which one could see. in which and his mother. do not reach us here. which shone on weight of the entire building. Ch. combined with darkness. Their symbolism is. XXIII. worn shapes. to the Virgin about to give this low. were lying in a bed. Jupiter. which.' (Numbers.

Isis before conception is.58 Le Mystere des Cathedrales scholar Elias Schadius.™ So these icons appear to have none of the Christian meaning ascribed to them. as is attested by a stone at Die: Matri deum. 'a heavy. like the foot of St. outside. is the object of devotion of a great number of pilgrims. had pointed out a similar inscription. which has the appearance of a stone and. ranks as the most ancient of all the places of pilgrimage. whose pedestal bears the inscription mentioned above: Virgini pariturae. die texts tells us. which several monuments considerably prior to Christianity describe under the name of Virgo paritura. 'the stone column. At iS To Isis. magnae ideae1. It is first matter in mineral state. in astronomical theogany. which the artist must choose as the subject of his Great Work. all . one. or to the Virgin from whom the son will be born. with its underground Virgin. The Cathedral of Chartres is best endowed in this respect.' Chartres. brittle. was worn away by the licks and bites of its fervent worshippers. that attribute of the Virgin. I will mention a few. It is. . The latter.of whom enjoy great celebrity.' adds tiiis author. Peter in Rome. as it comes out of the ore-bearing strata. Isidi. is seated on a throne. 'In early times. occupies the centre of a niche filled widi ex votos. in his book De dictis Germamcis. in the form of burning hearts. or the knee of Hercules. Witkowski tells us. like a stone.* Thus it appears to be the rule diat the personified hieroglyph of this mineral possesses its special colour and that the subterranean parts of temples are reserved as its dwelling place. It has two of them. says Bigarre. called Notre-Dame-du-Pilier (Our Lady of the Pillar). She is also the mother of the gods. They represent in hermetic symbolism the virgin earth. in 1831 it was given a wooden surround. called by the expressive name of Notre-Dame-sous-Terre (Our Lady Underground). The other one. deeply buried under the rocky mass. friable black substance. can shatter into minute fragments. black Virgins are not numerous. in order to preserve it from too ardent kisses. at any rate exoterically. in the crypt. which the heathen worshipped in Sicily. which supports it. seu Virgini ex qua ftlius prodtiurus est. Nowadays. The esoteric meaning of our black Virgins cannot better be defined. that is to say the earth before its fecundation and which the rays of the sun are soon going to bring to life. but.

to appear at waist height. Abbe 29 La grande Encyclopedic. to which numerous miracles were attributed. who had been converted by Jesus Christ. who carved a wooden statuette of the Virgin. veneration of the black Virgin dates back to 'all antiquity'. Notre Dame of Rocamadour. This figure. blackened by time. the one of the goddess Isis having been destroyed at some unknown date and replaced by a wooden statue. crowned as sumptuously as his mother's. whose limbs are not visible. As for the black Virgin of Notre-Dame of Puy.>I6 At Vichy. At any rate. but the great vogue of the pilgrimage dates only from the twelfth century. reported in the seventeenth century. large and lithe. XVIII. as the parish priest. the origin of which is attributed to the Jew Zacchaeus. with her high-necked gown falling to her feet without a fold. The one at Rocamadour is very ancient. holds a sceptre in her right hand and has her forehead encircled with a triple-flowered crown. where it stands. wrapped in a robe of silver scales. since the oldest parts of the church of St. It is a wooden statuette. our present figure dates only from the very end of the eighteenth century. This statue dominates the altar of the Virgin chapel. Amateur or Amadour. The celebrity of Rocamadour goes back to the legendary hermit. . which by 1166 was already the site of a famous pilgrimage. the famous black Virgin of the crypts of Saint-Victor at Marseilles. were not built until the fifteenth century. head of the publicans of Jericho. the worm-eaten remains of which are still preserved. This was burnt in 1793. 761. It is said that Amateur was the pseudonym of the publican Zacchaeus. bk. is a miraculous madonna. offers us a fine specimen of ancient statuary. Notre-Dame-de-Confession. Antoine Gravier. built in 1479. she assumes the shape of a triangle. St. Blaise. When Zacchaeus came to Gaul. Archaeologists give this sculpture a fourteenth century dating and. full of nobility.r Le Mystere des Cathedrales 59 first it was just an ancient statuette of Isis 'sculpted before Christ* as ancient local chronicles tell. he propagated the cult of die Virgin. in which she holds her child on her lap. The material is decorated with vine plants and ears of com—symbolizing the bread and wine of the eucharist—and allows the Child's head. p.

beat their breasts: in whose Camille Flammarion30 tells us of a similar statue. the torch-bearer. Similar statues were to be found at St. and women. In the processions an egg was carried. 'rise 28 metres satisfy our curiosity. like those Cybele. The same epithet was applied '43 cm. op. as vaults of the Observatory on September 24. Nicholas Chapel. the Perhaps one should seek the reason for Uiis in the high antiquity of symbol of the world. however. .' The Greeks. Two dried-up breasts hung down from her chest. who represented the sun. Hachette. p. was very mysterious. that Cybele was worshipped at Pessinonte in Phrygia in the form of a 30 black stone. referred to her as the mother of the Gods. thinks it was formerly to be found in the Egyptian Ceres. the Cerealia were celebrated on April being Christianized—these are even rarer than the black Virgins. We only know that the feast of the St. the information Underground. It represented the naked bust of a woman. seen for centuries on the outside of the parochial church of of the Dianas of Ephesus. having on Cf. and pigs were sacrificed. tiiese icons. Witkowski31 describes one. 1888. the goddess was solemnly celebrated every year at Busiris and that a The church of Gueodet at Quimper. high and 29 cm. 1671. Herodotus says: 'Tens of thousands of men Notre-Dame-de-la-Cit6.' engraved in Grosson's Recueil (p. Charles Vincens "She could not show anything but the outline". with its inscription: Matri Deum. The skin was coloured red and the drapery Pennes (Bouches-du-Rhone). expressions of one and the same principle. cit. The revelation to the profane of the secret of these above ground level and its foundations go down the same distance—28 practices was punishable by death. who As for the statuettes of Isis—I am speaking of those which escaped represented the moon. Paris. 12 and lasted for a week.' It is a curious hermetic analogy At any rate. Phidias Camille Flammarion. broad. who represented Mercury. L'Art profane a I'Eglise. we know that the ministers of Another detail useful to the hermeticist is that in die ceremonial the cult were divided into four degrees: the hierophant. which could balustrade of this collossal Louis XIV edifice/ he writes. a statuette of lend an ear to its divulgence. 362. herald. 31 represents the goddess seated on a throne between two lions. Indeed. founded in 1372 by Guillaume de Hames. also possesses a black Virgin. who personifies in the transmitted to us about the hierarchy of the great priests allows us to capital the mysterious subject of Hermes.'' This little-known Virgin of Paris. Entry to the temple of Ceres. which was housed in the St. In Rome. but related and I would tend to consider them merely as different was so thin that. who had not received initiation. Her head was covered confirms this opinion in die description he gives of a bas-relief featuring with a veil. M. However. when die sacrifice is over. The high to Rhea or Cybele. 'disappeared only around 1610. the candles were burnt. It was even considered a crime to metres. preserved absolute silence on the mysteries of the the first thermometric observation was made there. 'This stone figure of Isis/ writes the author. representing Isis. Etranger. curious piece/ he tells us. L'Atmosphere. following the the Virgin may be seen. appears to be a replica of the conclude that the mysteries of Ceres must have been of the same order one at Chartres. still called bull was sacrificed to her. whose task was prescribed for the processions of the black Virgins only green-coloured to instruct the neophytes.. 26. 'The terrace and cult of Ceres and the historians have not told us anything. was regularly forbidden to Verses engraved at her feet invoke her by the name of Our Lady all those. example of the Egyptian sanctuaries of Isis. which was placed there in the same year.60 Le Mystere des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 61 Allot. to make use of a picturesque phrase of Abbe Brantome. what remains for us is the fact that the cult of Isis. the minister of the altar. The two goddesses are thus shown as being nearly relief projected 18 cm. which was said to have fallen from heaven. 20). the Blessed Lady Underground. This covering the figure was black. which he saw in the honour. At the corner of one of the subterranean galleries. I have already mentioned that a stone at Die. as those of the hermetic science. Etienne in Lyons. her head a mural crown. 1871—two centuries after well as the Egyptians. I do not feel it proper for me to say. p. Etienne Cathedral at Metz. came from the old cloister. who describes this statue. but it is Germain-des-Pres and St.

62 Le Mystere des Cathidrales Le Mystere des Cathidrales 63 from which hangs a veil. 9 Pergredere. the more massive for being more isolated and because its porches. Engendered by the sun or by gold.33 the The majestic Notre Dame of Paris was formerly raised up on a flight son of Apollo. the Many interpretations have been given of these strange expressions elements have dug broad wrinkles. . thanks to clearances. The Abbe Leboeuf saw the face of Christ. have not been able to identify. come hither: if. Vandalism. holding a book in one hand and a snake in the other. 1867. Mayor of the Palace under Clovis II. it gained in boldness and since grey signified fire and particularly feu grisou (fire damp). spikes and St. elegance what it lost in bulk. others conglomeration of little buildings. these unformed features resemble Esculapius. until none remains.' he tells us. This statue was part of a monumental fountain. Grey). 33 niches. 'stood a sacred monolim. heads under the same veil. houses. Ceres and Cybele are three narrow stone statue. one by one. weathercocks. " It is the headstone. The people used to call it sometimes Monsieur Legris (Mr. which the archaeologists little in comparison witfi those wrought by human madness. aetemas diva paravit aquas. You. who had built it at the same time as the the imposing basilica itself and on the other by a picturesque portal of Notre Dame. crow's step gables. hue tendas: desunt si forte liquores. from the pointed. p. The best explanation is the one given by Revolutions have made their imprint mere. flanked with turrets. My task is certainly a difficult one. which I have already mentioned. who had swallowed up. a regrettable witness to me Amedee of Ponthieu?2 which seems to me all the more interesting since anger of the common people. Isis. or die god Terminus. have not always known how to Tn front of this temple. Legendes du Vieux Paris. on which was written this couplet: Qui sitis. time had rendered shapeless. that enemy of beauty. decorated with spires. the Christian temple of the French capital. A gradual raising of Mercury. prepared the everlasting hermetic study of the cathedral and. Paris. 'According to some. Grey). Later me people called it Maitre Pierre." It was also called Messire Legris (Mr. pillars and buttresses rest directly on the ground. and seeming to draw back her veil.. who was not a hermeticist. Notre Dame of Paris. In the middle of this space stood a tall. At me corners of me buildings were Bachelin-Desflorenne. Others saw the The space in front of the cathedral was once bordered on one side by features of Guillaume de Paris. The Man of Notre Dame. centuries have left their deep mark on the face of the building. as a type. it appears all will-o'-the-wisp. has me aumor. stone of power. ** The busts of Terminus were busts of Hermes (Mercury). although having the best intentions. by degrees. 91. We no longer live in the times of sometimes the Dealer in Grey. Count of Trevise. who are thirsty. Today. judges without prejudice and vented its hatred in terrible mutilations and the restorers themselves. in order to limit our investigations.35 According to others they were the the ground level all around has meant that the cathedral steps have been features of Archambaud. Separated only by a narrow space from the wooden stone. ornamented witii madonnas or saints. having 81 Amedee de Ponthieu. carved beams and comic signs. patron saint of Paris. I will take. without any preconceived idea. of Zachaire or of Flamel.. by chance the fountain Having disposed of these preliminaries. These were interspersed with painted shops. meaning master of eleven steps. but die ravages of time count for applied by the common people to an image. Sometimes she is represented holding a key pepper-pot towers and bastions. donated the ground on which the Hotel-Dieu was built. the Great Fasting Man or the Fasting Messire Bernard. Genevieve. we must now undertake a fails The goddess has.. The ancients called it Phoebi-genus. waters. which respect what the iconoclasts had spared.

with which she struck the Mount Dyndimus and Child Jesus. which was which is adequate and in conformity with the hermetic doctrine. without power possessed by the Elixir. only a few years before the one in Paris. which. they applied and men carried. the sceptre Notre Dame of Amiens still has a good Christian giant carrying the of the goddess Rhea. who carries Christ (from the Greek blessed with dancing-masters. Moses' rod. . that age. preferring their own glory to that number of old engravings of the collossus. as you enter the nave. I am sorry not to be able to say more about this magnificent emblem. looked to ancient models. which opens up the rock. which made water flow from the rock of Horeb. by the proper energy of this Mercury. Its removal was suggested in 1772. rather than to pursuing and colour of Mercury is grey or violet. but which Although they do not appear to me to be justified. when the square of the At Rocamadour (Lot). those groups. signifies to the masses: he. copied in Italy. and Auxerre Cathedral's fine statue. find a superficial and decadent age removed. but it must have escaped destruction only because it forms the javelin of Atalanta are all one and the same hieroglyph of this hidden part of a wall. The anonymous creators of pure works of art. courtly priests. which explains sufficiently why the developing admirable and healthy French originality. The oldest dates from 1418. of whose primitive name Offerus. It had chain. It is a sculpture in bas-relief. above which the to suppress the statue of St. was only at his death in 1781 that it was dragged away and broken up. However that may be. Archbishop of Paris at that time. Christopher. dating from 1539. Christopher. Michael heights and predating the At about the same time. ). madrigals and Watteau shepherdesses. The St. are executed in simple outline The builders of the Middle Ages had the natural attributes of faith and in bistre. when making the Charles VI. in the form of a fresco. No was destroyed by order in 1768. painters and sculptors. is revealed to us by Jacques de Voragine. It symbols is highly transparent. the artists of the time importance of the symbol of St. According to Aristotle. raised up on the St. Christopher preserved a collossal St. he. solar sulphur (Jesus). and the result by the iron-bound chest. Christopher in the church of St. without even the excuse of their cause in the symbolical expression drawn from the legend urgent necessity. the reign of the aristocracy and of wit. which the paladin Roland broke. Seville Cathedral has also matter of the Philosophers.). they still point out a gigantic statue of St. From this one can better understand the extreme took the paradoxical name of the Renaissance. under Francis I. of the nascent gold. Christopher. painted in grey. It is the hieroglyph of the were incapable of making an effort equal to that of their ancestors. Legend would have it that this fragment was part of the famous been erected in 1413 by Antoine des Essarts. which had the first place reserved for it in the gothic basilicas. Beside it an old iron-bound chest is to be seen.64 Le Mystere des Cathedrales Le Mystere des Cathedrales 65 'This stone was removed in 1748. frivolous and mannered century. Jacques-la-Boucherie was destroyed. Xoi<TTocp6po<. but Christopher de breach at Roncevaux. The sword. A certain Architects. figures. Christopher stands for Chrysopher. statutes of St. opposed this formally. to the degree of themselves to reproducing bastard works without taste. without esoteric uiought. kept at the Cabinet des of the Art. powdered marquises. This collossus. the emblematic character. however. but the phonetic cabala discloses another meaning. modesty. Xpuco<p6p&<. The eighteenth century. Estampes in the Bibliotheque Nationale. raised on the mercurial waters Being entirely ignorant of medieval symbolism. who carries gold (Greek Carried along by the great tide of decadence. that brilliant and perverse. whose nature is indicated by St. Christopher. Chamberlain to King sword Durandal.1 Christopher. the truth behind these Beaumont. was particularly hostile to gothic works of art. precise and detailed description has come down to us of those great Behind such acts there must obviously have been powerful motives. Christopher were given a coating of that colour. with the building. which were admirable in their teaching. St. bewigged gentlemen. condensed—doubtless all too clearly—by the image. to be submerged in blood. Parvis-de-Notre-Dame was enlarged. the chapter of Notre Dame received the order church. rough stump of a sword is sticking out of the rock and secured with a stood back to the first pillar on the right. we can.

genius. die Renaissance owed its vogue to die servile fidelity of its copies. On one side. The former was an idea. from the sixteenth century onwards. From the twelftii to die fifteentii century. indeed. on the odier. but mediocrity of invention. The otiier is directed to the senses. Such a state of mind was bound to be fatal to die work of the Middle Ages. shown by the Renaissance. but a wealtii of expression. It is die antagonism of these two periods. art has shown beauty of form. Those of the Renaissance. the latter. a fashion. The Middle Ages owed their splendour to die originality of their creations. preoccupied above all by their personality. and it is. to die soul. the actual execution remains subordinate to the idea.66 Le Mystere des Cathedrales they built for Truth. which we deplore today. it dominates and obliterates the idea. The medieval masters knew how to animate common limestone. and its deep hatred of everything gotiuc. The one appeals to die heart. talent. to the brain. built for their own future fame. . tiiere was poverty of media. In gothic art. it is the triumph of spirit. which explains die scorn. for die affirmation of their ideal. born of opposing con- cepts. die artists of die Renaissance left their marble inert and cold. to this diat we must attribute the innumerable mutilations. jealous of their worth. in Renaissance art. it is the glorification of matter. for die propagation and the nobility of their science.

by extension. or Porch of Judgment. is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Virgin Mother. 1 The Cathedral of Paris. my Lady. to the Matrona in the primitive sense. called die Central Porch. Thus there are many temples dedicated to the Mother (Lat. The common people of France call these churches Notre-Dames. a word which has been corrupted into Madonna <Ital. matris). like most French cathedrals. mater. and. ma donna). ' Let us pass die railing of the porch and begin our study of die facade with the great portal. In Sicily. they have the even more expressive name of the Matrices. Our Lady (Notre-Dame). .

confined the abysses within 1 Oeuvres de Nicolas Grosparmy et Nicolas Valois.). the frontispiece of this occult Bible. Seated on a throne. Mss. nor the rivers. the seal of the secular Great Work on the very face of the Christian Great Work.' That is the title of the philosophical chapter of this Mutus Liber. The abysses were not yet and already I was conceived. the creator of all that is. 'Patience is the Philosophers' ladder.' Valois1 tells us. He had created neither the earth. indeed. In the place of honour. a very clear one) of this strange epithet. When he prepared the heavens. stripped of her symbolical veil. 2516 (166 S. one closed (esotericism). of which the text reads. facing the parvis. Biblioth. I existed before he formed any creature. This is the meaning (and. shows a series of allegorical representations of the medieval sciences. I existed from all eternity.70 Paris The pier. the other open (exotericism). before the earth was created. with her head touching the clouds. For the Virgin Mother. the sign of royal power. It could not be better situated than on the very threshold of the main entrance. root mater mother).F. 176. I was begotten before the hills.A. on the science which investigates the transformations of the original substance. . de L'Arsenal. while her right hand supports two books. 'The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his ways. the heavy mass of the mountains had not yet been formed. the gothic cathedral. which we read in the Mass of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. Thus the cathedral appears to be based on alchemical science. with its massive pages of stone. ALCHEMY on its poles. when he Bas-relief on the Great Porch of Notre-Dame. is the ladder with nine rungs—scala phitosophorum—hieroglyph of the patience which the faithful must possess in the course of the nine successive operations of the hermetic labour (plate 11). nor strengthened the world II. used by the Principle. p. I was present. 'and humility is the door to their garden. is none other than the personification of the primitive substance. the imprint. she holds in her left hand a sceptre. The fountains had not yet come out of the earth. for whosoever will persevere without pride and without envy. materea. for the furtherance of his designs. alchemy is represented by a woman. elementary matter (Lat. Paris. no. on him God will show mercy. which divides the entrance bay. Supported between her knees and leaning against her chest.

Gideon's Fleece. who receives the rays of the Sun and keeps them secretly in her breast. 2 Etteila. of Bordeaux (533). in addition. the mystery was therefore in this vase. of Cambrai (919). Elias. From the union of these two principles living matter results. the Litanies tell us that the Virgin is the Vase containing the Spirit of things: vas spirituale. Virgin and Mother. 1 This is the title of the famous alchemical manuscripts of Agricola and Ticinensis. God the Father. the mystic Rose. the incarnate spirit. one part of terrestial water and a third part of celestial water. of Lyons (154).' This singular virgin—virgo singularis as the Church expressly calls her—is. when he confirmed the air above the earth. then. he Denier du Pauvre. p. 'were on one side a book or a series of golden pages or plates (the book of Thoth) and on the other side a vase full of celestial-astral liquid. in other words the subject of the hermetic science of universal wisdom.* Obviously what is dealt with here is the very essence of things. Paris 71 their bounds and prescribed an inviolable law. when he shut up the sea within its limits and imposed a law on the waters. 57. glorified under names which denote clearly enough her positive origin. libraries of Rennes (159). Cf. Mary. mother of Jesus. the Sun.3 {Lilium inter spinas). consisting of one part of wild honey. Is she not also called the Palm tree of Patience (Palma patientiae) the Lily among the thorns. incorporated in things here below: AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH.' Etteila* tells us. represents form. . The same texts also call Mary the Seat of Wisdom. (1786). 'On a table. the Hebrew word Jes means fire. when he balanced the waters of the fountains. Sampson's symbolic Honey. etc. breast high to the Magi. Thus is Jesus. the Gateway to Heaven. when he laid the foundations of the earth. The secret. was of the stem of Jesse. . AND DWELT AMONG US On the other hand. fire. which the solar spirit comes to animate. subject to the vicissitudes of the laws of mutation and progression. Now. the Bible tells us that Mary. she is the Moon. the House of Gold. so that they should not pass their bounds. Indeed. . / was with him and I regulated all things. She is the dispenser of the passive substance. is the emblem of the vital spirit. In the symbolism of planetary metals. . in the Sept nuances de Voeuvre philosophique.

dressed in his * The Phrygian cap. attribute of the Adept. was a masonic symbol and the supreme mark of Initiation. hollowed out like a channel at the top of the second gallery.* Few suspected that this hat. . the scholar. it is worth more than a king's crown. depuis 1789 jusqu'a ce jour. This is he—the alchemist of Notre Dame (pi. Wearing a Phrygian cap. It is not therefore surprising to see it represented on our coins and our public monuments. If. Then a red cap was put on his head. Hermetic philosophy. of fire. called liberia in the Mithraic rituals and which formerly denoted the freed slaves. and it has even managed to preserve one of its ancient craftsmen. moved by curiosity or simply wishing to give some purpose to a summer stroll. Finally. the ancient spagyric art. as we have just seen. in the Ave Regina. thickly curling hair. root by which the Light has shone on the world. ou Etat de ['Europe en novembre 1820 (Paris 1820). the scholar Pierre Dujols writes that for the grade of the Epopt (in the Eleusinian Mysteries) the new member was asked whether he felt in himself the strength. was a distinctive sign of the Initiates. the very name of Jesus appears to us in its original and celestial splendour: fire. at the re-entrant angle of die North Tower. In die analysis. Once you are in the vicinity of the main axis of die majestic building.72 Paris the Sun Divinity. 'Hail. sun. which he made of a work of Lombard (de Lahgres) entitied Histoire des Jacobins. the alchemical temple par excellence.' These are the reflections suggested by the expressive bas-relief. welcomes him to the gothic church. you should make you way slowly along the path. which was worn by the sans-culottes and acted as a sort of protective talisman in the midst of the revolutionary slaughter. Notre Dame has indeed kept its alchemist. you will see in the middle of the procession of monsters. which greets the visitor under the porch of the basilica. III). the Virgin is properly called root {salve radix) to show that she is the principle and the beginning of all things. Since matter derives from the solar fire. you climb the spiral staircase leading to the high parts of the building. To be of the stem of Jesse is thus to be of the race of the sun. For the whole cathedral is just a silent witness in images to the ancient science of Hermes. the will and the devotion necessary for him to set his hand to the GREAT WORK. while this formula was pronounced: 'Cover yourself with diis cap.* negligently placed on his long. God. a large and striking stone relief of an old man.

betray. each fitting into a pointed arch. as strange as they are instructive. in order to keep some sort of method in this study. from calcination to ultimate coction. which extends below the three porches. What a splendid figure he is. Paris 73 working cape. the greatest surprise. is entirely dedicated to our science. On the lateral surfaces of the piers on each side of the great doorway. His eye is fixed. the forward thrust of his head and chest. this old master! Anxiously and attentively he is scrutinizing and enquiring into the evolution of mineral life and finally he contemplates in amazement the prodigy. And how poor are the modem statues of our learned men—-whether thew are cast in bronze or sculpted in marble—set beside this venerable figure. his look is strangely acute. and this collection of images. treatise VII. bk. finally. Is it illusion? You would think you saw it trembling. he is observing. Paris. we shall find two little bas-reliefs at eye level. yet so powerfully realistic. which his faith alone has let him perceive. which Le Trevisan describes in the last Parable of his book on la Phllosophie naturelle des Metaux. .* s Cf. J. is a veritable feast for anyone who deciphers hermetic enigmas. Bibliotheque des Philosopher Chimiques. 1741. is leaning with one hand on the balustrade and stroking his full. It is here that we are going to find in stone the name of the subject of the Wise. here that we shall witness the processing of the secret solvent. The philosopher's whole attitude suggests extreme emotion. we shall always observe the order in which the figures succeed one another. II. . the work of making the Elixir. . The one on the left pillar shows us the alchemist discovering the mysterious Fountain. He is not meditating. But. Mangin de Richebourg. The slope of his shoulders. step by step. silky beard with the other. proceeding from the exterior to the door of the porch. and here. that we shall follow. 2 The basement of the facade. . as the faithful would do on entering the sanctuary. indeed. so simple. Surely that hand of stone is coming to life.

51. but finally his joy bursts forth! The stream of living water flows at his feet. he pierced the serpent. In the treatise on the AzouV attributed to that famous monk of Erfurth. capable of penetrating every metal—gold in particular—and. have battered their heads against the impenetrable wall set up by the Philosophers to guard their citadel. But what is this occult fountain'} What is the nature of this powerful solvent. or almost all. Paris. le Normant. issuing from the Chaos of the Wise. Dictionnaire de la Fable. like Cadmus. that they have discouraged a considerable number of seekers. ' Cf. Pierre Moet. 1801. Both of them issued from a large rock. scorning the bow and arrows with which. . All. which the Philosophers have sometimes called Mercury. sometimes Sulphur. there is a clue. IV). shaped like a woman's bosom. this allegory is clear enough and sufficiently expressive. according to whether they were considering the quality of this water or its physical aspect. the water seeming to flow like milk from her two breasts. he watches the welling of this clear spring. we know mat the ancient authors called the matter of the work our Magnesia and that the liquid extracted from this magnesia is called Virgin's Milk. perched on the tree (pi. with a second water. Near it was another spring. different in nature (although of the same kind). called the Rock. Noel. And so. Here. * Azoth or Moyen de faire I'Or cache des Philosophes by Basil Valentine. of accomplishing the great task in its entirety? These are such deep riddles. whose virtue as a solvent and whose volatile spirit are indicated to him by a bird. it gushes out bubbling from the old hollow oak? Our adept has hit the target. Paris. This combination gives rise to a third water which does not wet the hands. Now.74 Paris The artist has come a long way. As for the allegory of the mixing or combination of this primitive water. In mythology it is called LAbethra' and is said to have been a fountain of Magnesia. p. but which seems rather to have been the 8 Flamel says simply 'Note this oak' in the Livre des Figures hiero-glyphiques. 1659. with the help of the dissolved body. he has taken false turnings and wandered on doubtful paths. Basil Valentine.

There was a painted version of the fable I have just mentioned in the little church of Brixen (Tyrol). 3047 (153 S. They tell us further that its waters bestowed immortality on the prophet Elias (HXic*. Et sit Fons Vilae. L'Art profane a VEglise. Witkowski. 10 While the blood flows from the blessed wound of Christ and the holy Virgin presses her virginal breast. . the sun). possessed a book" giving the Symbolical Figures of Abraham the Jew. Bibl. 11 Recueil de Sept Figures peintes. a word whose root means dark and gloomy sea. p. They located this famous spring in the Modhallam. which brings out clearly the elemental confusion which the Wise attributed to their Chaos or first matter. 'Jesus makes the blood from his side. Lac fuit et sanguis. which comforts and refreshes them. which refer to the mysterious "G." appears to be a religious version of the same chemical theme. sanguis conjungitur et lac.A. 63. there is a woodcut representing a crowned nymph or siren. the milk and the blood spurt out and are mixed and become the Fountain of Life and the Spring of Well-being. flow into a large bowl. J. which he displayed in his scribe's booth.F. de l'Arsenal. I would mention two. swimming in the sea and making two jets of milk spurt from her rounded breasts to mingle with the waves. Et dum Virgineum lac pia Virgo premit.). described by Misson and mentioned by Witkowski. Nicholas Flamel.10 It is said that the Adept. souls in Purgatory—of both sexes and with breasts bared—make haste to receive this precious liquid. Fons et Origo bom. This strange picture. The overflow goes into a second bowl and is lost down an abyss of flame. There. Etranger. pierced by die lance of Longinus.' At the bottom of this old painting is an inscription in Church Latin: Dum fluit e Christi benedicto Vulnere sanguis. Paris 75 work of Senior Zadith. the Virgin squeezes her breasts and the milk spurting from them falls into the same receptacle.. Among the descriptions accompanying these figures. no. The Arab authors called this Fountain Holmat.

to innocents and two mothers. which appears to to be the rampart of a fortress. si fidem addit. Trismosin. a strange little building. provided he also believes. which was bored at the back of the sanctuary of the those who seek it are four blind men. who is the subject of the sculptured motif at miraculous holy well. full of the said blood. which disappears into the ground. there is a rose tree with golden leaves and was used in the treatment of certain illnesses. let me add that the esoteric tradition of the Fountain of Life captions: or the Fountain of Youth may be found in material form in the sacred 'The third figure depicts and represents a garden enclosed by a hedge Wells associated with most gothic churches in the Middle Ages. Siege of Paris by the Normans.' On the opposite pier. called the Well of the Holy Virgin. surround it. at the water drawn from them was usually thought to have curative value and foot of which. weeping and wiping her face which the Philosophers have given a host of more or less suggestive with a handkerchief. while the other.. white birds are legs and his shield on his arm. hollow oak. Paris. La Toyson d'Or. to be a in his hand. The and having many beds. as clear as silver. This rose tree encompasses the oak all the way up. who are looking for it without digging. 52. The preparation of the solvent in question is gothic church of Notre Dame at Lepine (Mame) and a similar well in the related in the explanation. In the foliage of the tree. with the exception of a crow. dressed in red. is crowned by a 12 Ct. and there are also seven dead I shall soon have occasion to refer again to this pontic water. Ch. who are discussing and arguing a unfortunately impossible to identify because the moulding is so scientific point. A field is depicted in which a crowned king. It shows an oak. the king making the seventh. also weeping. elegantly some indistinct form (rays? tongues of flame?). Behind the warrior. . fountain. In die middle there is an old. To this day there exists a It is this last character. which accompanies the next figure: middle of the choir of Notre Dame at Limoux (Aude). and four celebrated abbey church. Sevestre. There are six soldiers clad in white armour.' powerful remedy for various diseases.. Omnis qui bibit hanc aquam. clad in armour. Two other soldiers pour blood into a large bowl. dressed in said to cure all diseases. who weighs the water venerable bishop. inside the Notre Dame of Paris. At the foot of this hollow oak there bubbles a marvellous properties of the water from the well of St. composed of a the Fountain flowing at their feet. according to Gregory of Tours. Two soldiers are killing the children of two mothers. in his poem on the white and red roses. but they cannot find it. sitting on the ground. the artist watches over the foot—encircled by a gold crown—issues a secret stream. Abbon. Similarly. dug in the church near the tombstone of the of them. With a defensive movement he holds his javelin against In the foreground of this rustic scene there are two sophists. salvus erit. facing the carved motif explaining the Let me also mention a figure in Trismosin's book. without noticing the oak tree behind and without seeing mutilated.12 which is more or properties and the nature of the secret agent. one of whom. It bears this inscription: red in the Jewish fashion. otiiers. with greaves on his away into the distance. p. reports various incidents attesting to the close to its branches. Among Germain-des-Pres. 76 Parts Paris 77 Fountain and its components. while the mothers. Here is the original text of these two Finally. judging by the battlements which be asleep and which a poorly-dressed man on a ladder is about to catch. whose water is 'Fourth figure. arched base supported on four pillars. crenellated.. The fountain is in front Marcellus in Paris. while the sun and moon descend from the Whoever drinks this water will be cured. was found. from whose of the philosophic compost. which flows product of his labour. holds a naked sword. has taken up his position on what seems disporting themselves. is dressed in blue. the water from the well of St. segmented dome with a spherical keystone. which it is dressed in sumptuous materials. 1612. This time. weep for their little ones. sky or the clouds to bathe in it. who are hoeing for it. Our knight. is names. we can watch the coction less similar to Abraham's third figure. on one side. except one man.

Some great scholars among the ancient masters have not been afraid to explain the parables of scripture in alchemical terms. Hermetic Philosophy often invokes the authority of Genesis as an analogy to the first task of the Work. since they may be interpreted in so many ways. A number of allegories from the Old and New Testament take on an unexpected aspect when related to alchemy. V). symbol of the colour black. but debased by the great number of descriptions and pictures made of it (pi. The latter represent personages seated on solid pedestals with grooved ornament. Such precedents should both encourage me and present me with an excuse. Beginning with the upper row. . is the instrument of the Great Work. the occult furnace with two flames—potential and actual—known to all disciples. left hand side. The woman. since the esoteric meaning is here hidden behind sacred subjects and scenes from the Bible. sometimes recessed and sometimes in relief. The lower row is composed of twelve medallions and the upper of twelve figures. This curious tower.78 Paris A pointed and flaming mass under the lower archway shows clearly the use to which this is to be put. placed between the pillars of trilobate arcades. the first bas-relief shows the image of the crow. to the right and left of the porch. All the figures hold discs ornamented with various emblems. one above the other. a miniature castle. leaving gentle investigators to draw their own conclusions about the others. 3 The hermetic subjects on the stylobate extend in two rows. but. I shall avoid speaking about them. the Athenor. relating to the alchemical work. who holds it on her lap. Immediately above these figures are reproduced two subjects. I prefer to use only those memes which are of an indisputably profane nature. to evade reproach for an arbitrary interpretation. However. symbolizes Putrefaction. which seem to form a complement to diem.

282. the first of 18 Le Breton. which may enlighten the investigator and enable him to find his way through this murky labyrinth. Jombert. 1722. resulting from the perfect mixture of the matters of the Egg. Aix. the second in the first conjunction. is very long." 'There are four putrefactions in the philosophic work. According to the Philosophers. which he anxiously awaits. Thus it becomes very laborious to separate them and to define clearly what belongs to each one of them. the outward sign of the exact preparation of the compost. by adding the philosophic matter or the general soul of the world. the official seal of the Work.' writes Le Chevalier Inconnu. the third in the second conjunction of the heavy water with its salt. In each one of these putrefactions. In this operation the putrefaction. Clefs de la Philosophie Spagyrique. Paris 79 Let us pause a moment at the hieroglyph of the Crow. 'In the second operation. The Crow is. 1669. which they call the Crow's Head. in mixing the specific qualities of the various substances during the four operations which show the black colour. this blackness which the Artist hopes to obtain.* So our old masters have had sport in covering the secret with a heavy veil. 14 La Nature a dicouvert. finally. does not appear only during the coction. This is followed by a third multiplication. the fourth in the fixation of the sulphur. Here are some quotations. it represents the colour black or the first appearance of decomposition. in a sense." 'the wise artist fixes the general soul of the world in common gold and purifies the earthly and immobile soul. According to Le Breton. The first is the first separation. In fact. in the same way that the star is the signature of the initial subject. the blackness comes.' Two successive operations are clearly indicated here. because it conceals an important point of our science. by Le Chevalier Inconnu. that is a certain indication of future success. The black bird shows itself several times and this frequency makes it possible for the authors to introduce confusion into the order of the operations. However. in the coction of the philosophical Rebis. Paris. the sight of which satisfies his desires and fills him with joy. . p.

This mass. burnt salt. . saying: "Oh blessed cloud which floats through our vessel!" This is the The snake indicates die incisive and solvent nature of the Mercury. during the whole medieval period (pi. . for that is a sign that the matter is performed exactiy and in accordance with nature.e. colour) of the coction are by far the most numerous and die most die signs of a good and true putrefaction are a very intense or deep fundamental. called toxicum et venenum by operations.' Philosophers have also pointed this out.' Mortification of Mercury. which it had at first. Jacques du Bourg St. eclipse of the sun. that is to say little bubbles on die surface. of all the descriptions. . presumed by some to be die autiior of a classic work.' says this work. This is die 'poisoned worm. And at this point our compost is called: black pitch. and at the Eleazor. the which is die only agent capable of opening. which it has lost. molten lead. dierefore. Death.18 some acidity and have a certain smell of the grave. the Crow's Head. which cannot be perceived by the Bernard Trevisan expresses himself thus: nose but only by the understanding.. men- Formerly it was dry. Satumin speaks of this cloud. made use of it in the book which came into the possession of bottom of the latter is the matter. then. . teaches that the putrefaction it must appear like fish's eyes. Shadows. begins when the blackness appears and tiiat it is tiien the sign of a task and it must appear to foam. 'you way of working the second process of our precious stone. melted like pitch. The author means Raymond Lully CDoctor Illuminatus). And when this mass is which avidly absorbs die metallic sulphur and holds it so powerfully thus blackened. which must not be confused with the black and ugly. . I will give you signs by which to recognize it. p. "when the blackness is seen. Morien says: "It must show Batsdorff. ." Philalethes says that which otiiers attribute to Gaston de Oaves. The second Bas-relief shows us the effigy of philosophic Mercury: a For now a black cloud is seen. Abraham the Jew. This fermentation is extremely lengthy and you Philosophers have given it various names. floating sweetly and gently through the snake coiled round a golden wand. black and stinking. Anon. humidity is shown coloured like the beginning and die sign of die discovery of die perfect 'If the matter is not corrupted and mortified. sweet-smelling and ardent. that through this But. Paris. of which Raymond18 speaks. have faith that you in this difficulty. . the Philosophers. 18 which can bring it about. 99. "For tixis cannot extract our elements and our principles. and is now as follows of this first putrefaction. however. " Le Filet d'Ariadne. d'Houry. and. because it is done by our secret fire.. then all die compost becomes like melted pitch and is all quotations. It appears. also known as middle part of the vessel and being raised above the vessel." says Hermes. because tiiey embrace die character of all the other blackness and a foul and offensive smell. impure latten. Eighteenth century Mss. irreducible) alchemical solution and this term is sometimes extended to the Menstrua or solvents 16 La Clef du Cabinet herme'tique. 1695. in order to help you reason. those referring to the crow {or black putrefaction a separation is made of die pure and die impure.80 Paris Paris 81 which ends and the second begins after the appearance of the black operation and now to be purified by this second operation. white. The that die cohesion cannot later be overcome. a smell. the Eclipse. Some have been on the right path and have kept to the right way". He adds: The fermenting and boiling. F . Notre Dame. such as the West. Leprosy. subliming and putrefying. Magnesia and John's Blackbird. And.' 'Note that when our compost begins to be steeped in our permanent It would not be of any further use to the student to continue with these water. and remaining Flamel—-which is in no way surprising. others: is the key. freed from 17 sulphur in the first The name key is given to every radical (i. this body is deprived of its soul. die must have plenty of patience. which infects everything with its venom'. Further. and of the A valuable anonymous manuscript of the eighteenth century15 speaks splendour and marvellous clearness. since we meet with this symbol totally dissolved. coloration—which is not the case in coction. VII). which is black or blackened in tin's way. so let us stop them now and return to the hermetic figures of blackened like coal. it is said to be dead and deprived of its form.

which. This is.' A woman. and the one which the Initiate operates in the philosopher's closet. This rare work has been re-edited by Atlantis. unalterable parts resist and. of a secret fire. and includes the symbolical frontispiece. at least. . It is the first class matter or compound. She personifies Calcination and holds against her chest the disc of the Salamander. her long hair streaming like flame. "With me addition of a commentary by Limojon de St Didier. This fire or burning water is the vital spark communicated by the Creator to inert matter. Amsterdam. PARIS—CENTRAL PORCH Philosophic Mercury. such as is carried out in chemical laboratories. Weitsten.'1''' This reptile is the aspect of Mercury in its first state and the golden wand is the corporeal sulphur. although they are very fixed. 1710. in the Triomphe hermetique or the Pierre philosophale victorieuse. which is homogeneous and perfectly prepared. which preserves its nature even in the ashes of the calcinated metals and which the ancients called metallic seed. and the third time into the universal Medicine.82 Paris tioned in L'Ancienne Guerre des Chevaliers. the vitriolated egg. comes next. but the resulting body. to give a hint about its form. However. it is the spirit enclosed within things. only the pure. VII. This fabulous lizard stands for nothing else but the incombustible and fixed central salt. which requires only gradual cooking in order to be transformed first into red sulphur. The parts of the body which can be burnt are destroyed in the violence of the igneous process. retains Philosophers' Mercury as its name and the caduceus as its symbol. they can be extracted by percolation. 'which lives in the fire and feeds on fire'. then into Elixir. The latter kind of calcination is not achieved by any ordinary fire and does not need the assistance of any reflector. 'Mercury alone is sufficient. has given rise to a great diversity of emblems. The solution of the sulphur. 'In our work. or. which is added to it. is more like water than flame. our masters in the Art have been careful to draw the reader's attention to the fundamental difference which exists between ordinary calcination.* the Philosophers affirm. and Desbordes. as well as the explanation of it. which are often omitted in the old copies. in other words. NOTRE-DAME. 1699. a simile used by authors to exemplify the general idea which one should have of the hermetic work. the spagyric expression of calcination. but requires the help of an occult agent. its absorption by the mercury.

about there being other ways of dissolving these bodies into their first matter. " Mss. 21 Pontanus. The Philosophers say that it is in this water that the sun and moon bathe and that they dissolve of their own accord in this water. in company with the most eminent philosophers. being moderately excited by the exterior fire. but it is a fiery spirit introduced into a subject having the same nature as the Stone. Paris. but their spirits are carried on the waters of this sea. Here I touch on the greatest secret of the Work. . It is to this water that the Philosophers have given so many names and it is the universal solvent. 1612. Didier writes in the same way: "The secret fire of the Wise is a fire which the Artist prepares according to the Art. were I allowed to profane a mystery. whose revelation rests with the Father of Lights. is expressed in seven letters. hold fast to what I am telling you. It is through this dissolution that they are said to die. I can do no more than point out the danger and. Frankfurt.' Limojon de Pontanus21 and the little work. and. which is their first origin. De Lapide Philosophico. entitled: Epistola de Igne Phitosophorum. This fire is not really hot. a cause not specifically limited to the house of Aries in engendering its son. which body. alas. Marette. I would gladly cut this Gordian knot for the benefit of those aspiring to our Science. 1614. To my great regret. . my son. that I myself was held up by this difficulty for more than twenty years. or which he can at any rate have prepared by those having perfect knowledge of chemistry. because I know it from experience and from the transmission of the Ancients. in Trois Traitez de la Philosophie naturelle. signifying the cause of all beings. These teachings can be completed by the two following texts. in my opinion. of the Bibliotheque nationale. . in which they were swallowed up. formless and frigid substance. Whatever people say. advise you to read attentively Artephius. it calcines 20 Le Secret Livre d'Artephius. 1969. The anonymous author of the Preceptes du Pere Abraham says: This primitive and celestial water must be drawn from the body where it resides.22 There you will find valuable indications of the nature and characteristics of this watery fire or fiery water. the life and health of everything. Remembering. Paris 83 the imperishable fiery ray imprisoned at the bottom of the dark. .

Natura non facit saltus—nature does not proceed by a leap. going from black. was attributed to each of them in order that they might be used as a veil. to red. Paris 84 the Stone. I believe it wise to stress this important point. which play upon the surface of the bath. They serve only as a witness to the continuity and the progress of the internal changes. Time and vandalism have had their way. dissolves it. which are described in all the classical works (pi. IX). But since. but rather the colourings within the body itself. or a piece of material? I do not know. PARIS—CENTRAL PORCH Preparation of the Universal Solvent. the triple colours of the Work. At any rate. which unfortunately cannot be distinguished today (pi. In this way a language of colours. personifies it. X). The artist does not attach much importance to them. with its three pennants. behind which certain concrete truths might be given. a utensil. and they also call this steel their lodestone? This is succeeded by Evolution. through white. because they are superficial and fleeting. a fragment of an emblem.' Further. and sometimes quite a lengthy one. we shall soon find other figures referring either to the production or to the qualities of this secret fire enclosed in water. the Ram remains. showing the oriflamme. according to the old saying. they last longer than these transitory shades and have a profound effect on the matter itself. intimately connected with religion. These coloured phases. marking a change of state into chemical constitution. there are many intermediate stages between these three principal ones. which constitutes the universal solvent. and the man. Is it a mineral. This helps us to understand these words of Pernety: The Adepts say that they draw their steel from the belly of Aries. has been in NOTRE-DAME. referring specifically to the coction phase in the Great Work. None of those fugitive and more or less brilliant tints are meant here. . which are translated to the outside and which reabsorb all the others. have always served as a symbolical prototype. Now. The three colours succeed one another in an invariable order. the hieroglyph of the male metallic principle. As for the main colours. A precise meaning. sublimes it and turns it into dry water. as the Cosmopolite says. the matter which is used to prepare it is the very object of the fourth motif: a man shows an image of the Ram and holds in his right hand an object.

Paris 85 existence at all times. Its signature is the colour White. to whom black roses were offered. of night and death. because the man. signifies to be white. was given to Saturn. the synonym of the Initiate. The colour white. The bienheureux (blessed ones)—those who have been reborn and washed in the blood of the Lamt>—are always represented wiUi white garments. p. hurim. in astrology. in magic. White is the colour of the Initiates. simplicity and innocence. This term white. so light succeeds darkness. has always denoted nobility. The Wise assure us that when their matter has reached this degree. heur. perfectly cleansed and very exacdy purified. hurim. the noble one. when a new member was about to undergo the initiatory ordeals. The colour black. as most languages attest. it is freed from all impurity. 1857. in hermeticism. In spagyric art he is the hieroglyph for lead. hur. heur. a maleficent planet. the black Hen. According to the famous Dictionnaire-Manuel hebreu et chaldeen of Gesenius. designates the noble ones. Des Couleurs Symboliques. 'has been chosen for very profound psychological reasons. Just as in Genesis day succeeds night. In the Egyptian temples. in which the seeds of all things are confused and mixed. Paris. It is also the colour of primitive Chaos. He is spiritually renewed. Treuttel et Wiirtz. who abandons darkness to follow light. .' says Pierre Dujols. It is the sable of the science of heraldry and the emblem of the element earth. the colour of Satan. heurim) leads us to the French word heureux (happy). the " Fr6d6ric Portal. passes from the profane state to that of the Initiate. reflecting like diamonds and of a dazzling whiteness. Everyone knows that bienheureux (the blessed) is also the equivalent. heurim. the white ones. Portal23 states this and it reappears in the Middle Ages in the stained glass windows of the gothic cathedrals. the pure ones. This more or less variable transcription of Hebrew (hur. 2. a priest approached him and whispered this mysterious sentence in his ear: 'Remember that Osiris is a black god!' This is the symbolical colour of the shades and the Cimmerian darkness. candour and purity. etc. White has also been used to denote purity. the black dragon or Philosophers' Lead. It then takes on the appearance of solid granulations or shining corpuscles. the Pure.

have read in various parts of your works that the Philosophers speak yellow and red are also found. not how one colour differs from another. (about middle class. white and reddish-purple. On the other hand. they are sealed with cabalistic seals. 'sick or infirm'. In Egypt. the root and origin of clearly only when they want to divert the attention of the uniniated from the other colours. was also clad in white. speaks thus of the successive should the disciples of Hermes substitute for the discredited colours. spirit over matter. which were usually three-tiered towers. Bianchi of Florence belonged. as one process is to be distinguished from the one which follows it. "represents that state of soul which is passing from night to day. in such a way that the other three colours will symbolical colours they attribute to them are of perfect clarity. And. the shades were similarly dressed in white. what is a process? Quite simply. have been deceiving their readers deliberately? And what indication Paracelsus. you may conclude that these observations. and the red for the executive or royalty. sovereignty. in his possession. And every matter reaching the must be false and illusory. imperfect. as the Ka8ap6i. appear in succession. without becoming discouraged. were the Pure Ones (from the Greek Up to now I have spoken theoretically about the colours. further. we may note that the Learn. since both here air and red to fire—yet the colours white and black refer directly to the and at other obscure points you must make a great effort. is the advice: 'Do not pay too much transmuting into gold those ordinary metals whose tendency to rust attention to the colour. Black is." in describing a hermetic picture. 25 This picture is said to have been painted towards the middle of the seventeenth century. The task is hard. especially of the three major colours of the Work. Paris. The Cathars. yellow Therefore." says be in order to write for the benefit of the Sons of Science in a practical Portal.' between similitude and reality. the Initiates wore white. In it the dark blue or black represents the ** Cf. in order to show the new birth example of which was the famous Tower of Babel. power and apostleship. Perhaps it may now its web—the empty shell. it shows exaltation. obtained in the volatile and fusible form of crystal or red powder.. my brothers. the spider in the middle of philosophical doctrine and with traditional usage. White succeeds black. white. In Chaldea. that is to say of its nature. Again. moreover. black.' What does this mean? Can the ancient authors renders them inferior. . I shall show later). green to water. becomes penetrating and capable of curing leprosy. but to conquer without danger is to In order to give some idea of the scope of this colour symbolism and triumph without glory. its kind. I know. predominance of Few Philosophers have dared to venture on this slippery ground. in colours of the Work: 'Although there are several elemental colours order to recognize and follow the right way? —the colour blue belongs particularly to earth. surprisingly enough. which. the Ziggurats. it is a way of national colours of the French flag. The descriptions they give of their processes and the time necessary to it. the white is reserved for the 1785). in the Book of Images. rather than a speculative way and thus to discover the difference from death into life".25 which he claims to have had Stone.' one by one. yellow to Seek. p. in order to act in accordance with the transitionalblack. the Hebrew schher represents a Masters have done before me. that is to say the Ariadne.). but rather how Virgin is always represented draped in blue (corresponding to black. Ptah. was invented by the mason. for every black matter may be reverberated for the their Round Table. Your books are sealed. The Philosophic Etteilla. Le Denier du Pauvre or La Perfection des Metaux.. You must break them. As for red. an the Regenerator. same colour. like the book of the fourth colour by means of the reverberation is the tincture of diings of Apocalypse. a sect to which the colours: black. the beginning of the funeral Rites. were faced in three of the Pure Ones or the White Ones. The nobles dressed in the people. Louis David. then. the symbol of fire. has preserved the legend. 58. which appeared below it.e. God in white and Christ in red. each in turn.86 Paris Paris 87 pure one. These are the first of all. i. You must spagyric art. the pierrots or peasants. that is to say of Included. so fully described succeeds white and red succeeds yellow. . in which the four primitive colours.

First give milk. your yellow eagle and your red pheasant.' However. when you shed tears of joy. although he was there by himself. except the process. and keep aa J. 1688. Consider how you must eat every day in order to maintain your vitality. . 'will be honoured by the princes and great ones of the earth. 'He who knows the process. above all. And after each digestion. tending and increasing the life which your stone has received since its birth. when you imagine that you see in your vessels your white dove. This is a modus operandi which cannot necessarily be translated by a succession of different colours. since your stone could be infected by them. of Manuductio ad Coelum Chemicum. your stone needs nourishment in order to increase its power and this nourishment must be graduated or even changed at certain times. that is to say its coction. Go away. Follow nature in this way and obey her as faithfully as you can. I say. do not desert the simple principles of nature. make use of analogy. the more substantial meat diet will come later. .* writes Philalethes. includes several others. Trans. which cannot be assimilated? In the same way. Reflect. because he always imagined some new spectacle before his eyes. the renewal of those cells used up by daily work. and. . In this way you will better understand Tollius'28 admonition to the puffers. because it promotes. must you not frequently excrete various waste products. he Chemin du Ciel Chymique. those slaves to the literal meaning: 'Depart at once. who used to applaud at the theatre. by revealing what they have thought it their duty to leave hidden. in order not to draw down upon my head the curse of the Philosophers. you are as mad as that man in the old story. on the one hand. What is more. the digestion and assimilation of food and. do not fail to remove the excrements. . I shall content myself with stating that the process of the stone. Waesbergios. You tire my ears with your black crow.' And the same author adds: 'We do not hide anything from you. how sleep is indispensible to you.88 Paris growing. when you have acquired perfect knowledge of the process. Janss. meaning several repetitions of the same method of operation. You will understand in what way it is fitting to carry out the coction. on the other hand. Amstelaedami. you who sedulously seek your diverse colours in your glass vessels. You do the same. Tollius.

sun and moon. Swept by the west winds. Now.. a foul smell denotes fixation. or sulphur and mercury. the Ether is completely red. having deteriorated mainly on account of the direction in which this part of the porch faces. the father and mother of the stone (pi. 4 The motifs ornamenting. seven centuries of gales have worn some of them to the point where they are no more than blurred and indistinct outlines. In the same way. on the other hand. the nearer it approaches the Sun. Water is white. . to which I will add a word concerning smell. XI). the nearer it approaches the nature of the angels. The human figure holds a stone in the right hand. On the seventh bas-relief of the series—the first one on the right—we see a vertical section of the Athenor and the internal apparatus intended to support the Philosophers' egg. This mythical monster. a pleasant smell.. the Air becomes more yellow. life is full of light. the right side are less rewarding to decipher. They are blackened and worn away. indicates volatility. death is said to be black. with the Philosophers. in the sixth place. the bas-relief of Philosophy. whose head and chest are those of an eagle and which XII. who are pure spirits of fire. 'The Earth is black. according to Hermes. PARIS—CENTRAL PORCH The Athenor and the Stone. NOTRE-DAME. Paris 89 far from me. This is the expression of the four elements and the sign of the two metallic principles.. for the latter will no more penetrate metal bodies than the body of a man will go through solid walls. which are. It is a griffin which is shown in the next circle. is not the smell of death or a corpse unpleasant and disagreeable? So. the purer the light. if you are seeking the philosophic stone in something fixed . so that in future you would leave off your useless tasks. because it is nearer to life and warmth. whose disc bears the figure of a cross. we shall find there..' To return to the base of the porch of Notre Dame. 'That is what I had to say to you about colours..

" 'that the exact preparation of the flying Eagles is the first degree of perfection and to know this requires an industrious and able spirit. we have even passed sleepless nights. 35. teaches the investigator the conflicting qualities which he has to assemble in the philosophic matter (pi. 255). my brother. when complete. . which the Philosophers have called their Eagles. which is separated from Ariadne. manifested light. and the fewer the eagles used. Our philosophic Mercury is the bird of Hermes. the fiercer the combat and the greater the difficulty in gaining the victory. he says: The swans went round Delos seven times . . which only takes place little by little. the swan and sometimes the pheasant. be sure that you will not succeed in the first operation without great labour. We have sweated and laboured much to arrive there.. when Apollo was bom. is also called Sublimation.' " Lenglet-Dufresnoy. The series of operations. which it dissolves. . Paris. which is also called the goose. In this picture we find the hieroglyph of the first conjunction. leads to the intimate union of sulphur and mercury. as the hermetic expression goes. In order to bring our Work to perfection. Histoire de la Philosophie Hermetique. which. that the exalted mercury frees itself of its gross and earthly parts. when.. 'Know. is to extract light from the tomb and bring it to the surface— the characteristic of every veritable sublimation. p. at the same gradual pace as this painful and irksome task. the spider in the middle of its web—the empty shell.. the cocoon. bk. II. Theseus is (W-eio?. In this case. XIII). speaking of swans. no less than seven eagles are needed and even nine should really be used. It is by the repetition of the Eagles or philosophic Sublimations. .' writes Philalethes. This is what the fable of Theseus and Ariadne teaches us. 250. the words of the Wise and take note that they muster their eagles to devour the lion.' These are the sublimations described by Callimachus in the Hymn to Delos (v. the sheath of the butterfly (Psyche). and they had not yet sung the eighth time. LEntree au Palais Ferme duRoy. who are only at the beginning. So you. 'Understand then. the organized. 1742. of its superfluous humidity. my brother. . Coustelier. To make the eagle fly. absorbs and assimilates. and takes possession of a portion of the fixed body.90 Paris derives the rest of its body from the lion. .

that of animated mercury. while the eagle expresses the airy and volatile force. The corner was ornamented with a bas-relief. when. but of contrary natures. an old eighteenui century house of good appearance has engraved on its facade in lettering of the period the following inscription: By a labourer I was built Disinterested and zealous. The lion represents the terrestial and fixed force. One can easily imagine that the architect had difficulty in placing such a bulky emblem.. hermetic preoccupations. Paris 91 This is a variation of the procession which Joshua ordered seven times round Jericho. near Malesherbes (Seine-et-Oise). He called me PIERRE BELLE (the beautiful stone) In the year 1762 (Alchemy was still called celestial agriculture and its Adepts were called Labourers. 16). which precedes our conjunction. In order to indicate the violence of the combat. could not fail to surprise me. showing the symbolical combat between the eagle and the lion. the two champions attack and repulse one another and tear each other fiercely. reflecting as it did . Its decoration. as a student of die sublime Science. which is midway between their two natures and homogeneous in substance. the Wise have used.. . at the comer of the Boulevard Pereire and the Rue de Monbel. v. which are equal in power. I remember long ago. Coming face to face. no doubt stipulated by his uncompromising client. intertwined. is situated in the seventeenth district. the Eagle and the Lion. I was applying myself to this mystery so fraught with difficult riddles. built of dressed stone. leaves and fruit. The top part of their bodies emerged from a mass of flowers. whose walls fell down before the eighth time (Joshua ch. drawing aside and lifting the veil which covered them.) . a boy and a girl. the antagonists form a single body. as symbols of the two natures. Above the main door were two young children.* 28 This six-storey house. VI. I saw a fine house being built. Similarly at Tousson. the eagle having lost its wings and the lion its head. which I have just mentioned.

92 Paris The ninth subject gives us the opportunity of learning again the secret of making the universal solvent. 'Our bodies have roots in die air and heads on the ground' say the Wise. he describes it for us under die name of steel and magnet. containing a principle capable of receiving the spirit and 'embodying' it. which also marks the beginning of spring. It is true that this water is difficult to possess. that is why it is the general solvent of all Nature.. without which nothing can grow down here.. . NOTRE-DAME. in order to clothe himself in black attire. although it has the same appearance. which is sculptured on the pier of the porch. which attracts to itself all the influences of the sky. 96. our king and our queen are shut up and thus it is their bath. . . The water which we use. which the subtle and ingenious artist must capture as and when it appears. Also. He says that this steel is found in Aries. which must be seized with speed and skill at the moment of its birth. spread over the surface of the globe. She holds up a small piece of wood looking rather like the stave of a barrel.28 from which proceeds 29 XIV. in which die King divests himself of his purple cloak. PARIS—CENTRAL PORCH Vide supra. XIV). 'is a water containing all the virtues of heaven and earth. In it.. The spirit is the lodestone sealed in the belly of Aries. It is this spirit. the sun. . a specific body is needed to serve as a receptacle. This author draws our attention to it more particularly by these words: "It is not like water from the clouds. I must add. hollow oak. In it a woman shows— allegorically—the materials necessary for the construction of the hermetic vessel. p. He depicts for us an old. the moon and the stars. . The Materials necessary for making the Solvent. This is what makes the Cosmopolite say in his Enigma that it was rare in the island. since it is a veritable magnet. die nature of which is revealed by the oak branch borne on the shield. . It is this which opens die doors of our royal hermetic chamber. Flamel gives us quite a correct picture of it in the Figures a"Abraham le Juif. but the gesture of the woman reveals the spirituality of this substance. this fire of nature (pi. ." In another place. an attracting medium. Here again we find the mysterious spring. It is the Fountain of Trevisan.. in order to transmit them to the earth. when the sun passes through the sign of the Ram .' writes the anonymous autiior of the Clef clu Cabinet Hermetique. .

but the letter kills. providing always that one knows how to read with prudence and understand with wisdom. whose water is being used by a gardener on the plants and flowers of a bed. without which you cannot carry out the putrefaction and purification of our elements.) . where the sky is to be seen. (Re-edited by the Editions de Minuit. The old oak. so the vessel must be of old oak. We are faced with an extremely complex symbol. In the emblem of the Griffin (eighth motif). 1659. whose sides are good and stout.' We have given the text of this. . There is a figure in the book of the Douze Clefs30 representing this same operation and the vessel in which it takes place. rounded inside like a half globe. showing the origin of this water and the virtues which it contains. This smoke ends at a window. represents the barrel made of oak. This is the vessel. which is hollow. Philalethes describes it by the fable of the snake Python. in view of the present bare state of the stone. It is our mercurial vinegar. failing which. which Cadmus pierced through and through against an oak tree. that of the lion. which comes down from the sky to the earth and which rises from the earth to the sky. as the barrel is made of oak. when in contact with opposing volatility. the spirit gives life. The Wise have given various titles to the lion. one over the other. lost the better part of itself. which is absolutely necessary for this operation. 1956. Paris. so dear to the Adepts. which. In the sky are depicted the sun and moon. basic part of a compound. which Philosophers have hidden. Paris 93 a fountain. Here it is a case of repeating again that maxim. because it can be of use. . this is the place to reveal one of the great secrets of this Art. king of the earthly beasts. It is complex because. in which he must putrefy the water to be used on the plants and which is much better than ordinary water. Out of this proceeds a great cloud of smoke. Almost all philosophers have mentioned this vessel. Now. That is to say it lost 30 Cf. represented the fixed. . either to express the aspect of the substances they were processing or to emphasize a special and preponderant aspect of them. Now. the Douze Clefs de la Philosophic of Basil Valentine. we saw that the lion. we cannot be content with a single explanation. any more than one can make wine without fermenting it in a cask. marking the fermentation and bubbling of this water. clef 12. two kegs. Moet.

and of everything green in colour. PARIS—CENTRAL PORCH The fixed Body. It is a green and sour fruit. of the trees themselves. Basil Valentine among them. Others have called it the Philosophers' Emerald.' XV. the Vegetable Stone.94 Paris the part which characterized its form. both alchemical and natural. It is metallic youth on which Evolution has not yet worked. ripe fruit. As for the Red Lion. In both these cases it represents power. burning and salty nature. or'the Green Lion.' says Master Arnold of Villanova. the mail-clad knight. which in chemistry distinguish the adult state from the nascent one. Certain Adepts. the Herb of Saturn. since the fixed blood of the red Lion is made from the volatile blood of the green one. in hieroglyphic language. It thus represents the physico-chemical properties of these substances. not so much because it is green in colour as because it has not yet acquired those mineral characteristics. in order to reveal its hot. the stone of our Elixir. the embryo of our stone. displaying the king of the alchemical bestiary (pi. the rudiment of our embryo. but which contains the latent germ of real energy. its head. etc. This time we have to study the animal by itself and we do not know in what colour it was originally painted. Generally the lion is the sign of gold. This has led Basil Valentine to give the following advice: 'Dissolve and nourish the real lion with the blood of the green lion. in order to mislead the foolish. incorruptability and perfection. It is present imperfection from which the great future perfection will emerge. during processing of the solvent. . the Dew of May. these being further indicated clearly enough by the warrior with drawn sword. brought by certain processes to this special quality which characterizes hermetic gold or the Red Lion. by some. according to the Philosophers it is nothing more than the same matter. Alkahest—is called the green Lion. compared with the red. 'Our water takes the name of the leaves of all the trees. or. NOTRE-DAME. The first magnetic agent which is used to prepare the solvent— designated. which will be called upon to develop later. which makes them both of the same nature. XV). have called it green vitriol. the secret fire. It is arsenic and lead in respect of silver and gold. But the texts give the same name to the matter which is receptive of the universal spirit.

sulphur and mercury. It is the same symbol used by Basil Valentine in the third of his Douze Clefs. XVII). the male principle. we shall concentrate on ten. The bull and the cow. Then. regaining life from the fire. of malachite or of metal would immediately resolve our doubts. The stone lion preserves his secret! The extraction of the red and incombustible sulphur is shown by the figure of a monster. 5 Of the twelve medallions. when the need arises. Widiout doubt. XVI). Next to the pier which separates the central porch from the . it will be devoured by the fox. regretfully pass over the formless remains of the fifth medallion (on die left side) and die eleventh (on the right side). therefore. Any trace of cinnabar. but nothing remains but the worn and defaced grey limestone. which is die true one? I must confess tfiat this is a question which I am unable to solve. The fox-cock is succeeded by the Bull (pi. the bull as a symbol represents Sulphur. 'which follows this celestial sulphur. Considered as a sign of the zodiac. Since the bull and die ox were sacred to the sun. which ornament the lower row of die base. the sun being described by Hermes as the Father of the Stone. diis symbolical lion was either painted or gilded. the sun and the moon.' says the Adept. Paris 95 Of these interpretations. The cock will eat the fox and will be drowned and suffocated in the water. which combines the form of both cock and fox. since two of die subjects have been too badly mutilated to re-establish their meaning. 'It is the splendid cloak with die salt of the Stars. closely guarded for fear it might be spoilt. this is the second month of the preparatory operations in the first work. (in order mat each may have its turn). and makes them fly like a bird. just as the cow was to the moon. are thus hieroglyphs identical in meaning and designating the primitive. These natures are extracted by the Art from imperfect mixtures. We will. contrary natures before their conjunction. and the first process of the elementary fire in the second. (pi.

At each cohobation. The mirror symbolizes the beginning of the work. . XVIII). the symbol of speed and lightness.82 'it is known as the Mirror of Art because it is principally through 11 Translator's note: Cohobation is the process of returning a distillate to its residue and then redistilling. it is the rectification of the spirit obtained and the action of this spirit on the heavy matter. with a blow of its hoof makes the fountain Hippocrene flow on Mount Helicon. represents the spiritual substance. whether they are called Perseus or Bellerophon. agrees to carry this stubborn burden and cannot again free itself from it. This allegory concerns the extraction of the fixed central and pure parts by the volatile or etheric ones. the volatile leaves the fixed. it is said. Alchemically. the first matter. 1668.81 the horse throws its rider. metallic body. now vanquished and submissive. but the horseman immediately reasserts his right. which. The absorption of the fixed by the volatile is carried out slowly and with difficulty.96 Paris north portal the first motif shows an unhorsed knight clinging to the mane of a spirited horse (pi. of spirit on the body. that one can succeed in extracting the occult salt from the red lion. Rares Experiences sur I'Esprit mineral. the Initiate holds up a mirror in one hand. helped by the spirit of the green lion. truly a long and tedious one. was discovered by Cadmus. S2 De Respour. Beside him is seen the Tree of Life. XIX). More exactly. The charger. Langlois et Barbin. is called the Mirror of the Art. its rider shows the weightiness of the gross. This fountain. throws its riders. until the exhausted animal. in the philosophical Dissolution. like the charger. Success needs much patience and perseverence and the repeated outpouring of water on the earth. the Tree of Life marks its end and the horn of plenty the result. The charger of Notre Dame is the same as the winged Pegasus of the fable (root rojy^ source). On the second medallion. Paris. It is only by this technique. the one which the artist must choose in order to begin the work. says Moras de Respour. It is also the one which transports Perseus through the air to the Hesperides and which. 'Commonly among the Philosophers'. while with the other he holds up the hom of Amalfhea (pi.


covering the scales (pi. fortune and health. . p. Paris. the inexhaustible source of material happiness in our terres-tial world. saw in this mirror how the world had been created. . . Let us finally remember that the mirror is the attribute of Truth. writes similarly: "The whole body of the Vitriol must be recognized only as a Mirror of the philosophical Science. Paris 97 it that the composition of metals in the veins of the earth has been leamt. . Traite du Soufre. with one scale outweighing the other in the apparent ratio of two to one. or because he voluntarily omitted it. 1649. Avicenna and many others. . None of the philosophers has had much to say about the secret of weights. in his Treatise on Salt is even less precise: 'The weight of the water.' This is exactly what the Cosmopolite33 also teaches. The Cosmopolite.' Pernety does not mention this term in his Dictionnaire Mytho-hermetique. Basil Valentine has been content to remark that it was necessary 'to give a white swan for a man twice fired'. Also it has been said that the indication of nature alone can instruct us. XX). It is an aboslute metallic synthesis and assures for the fortunate owner of this treasure the triple endowment of knowledge.' he says. which would correspond to the Sigillum Sapientum of Huginus a Barma. as were Aristotle. in which the alchemist draws back the veil. like their predecessors. aided by human industry. a . They. by which you can show in an instant and prove to Doubting Thomas the blindness of his crass ignorance. in speaking of Sulphur: 'In its kingdom there is a mirror in which the whole world is seen. our Sun and Moon. the pure and rich jewel of alchemy. It is the horn of plenty. Here the artist holds a balance. nature's masterpiece. in his Testamentum. This so common and so much despised subject becomes later the Tree of Life. appear and shine. Anyone looking in this mirror can see and learn the three parts of the Wisdom of the whole world and in this way he will become very wise in these three kingdoms. the Elixir or the Philosophers' Stone. Next comes the allegory of the weight of nature. Prudence and Knowledge to all the Greek poets and mycologists. either because he did not know it. when he says. 'must *8 Nouvelle Lumiere chymique. .' Basil Valentine. It is a Mirror in which you see our Mercury. 78. d'Houry.

if one is following the old way. by modifying its properties and its physical characteristics. and that of the earth. if not dubious. which has undergone neidier exaltation nor transfusion. 1681. must be singular. on the other hand. You can see that the scales are a valuable indication for determining the old way. it is.98 Paris be plural. in which it was apparently necessary to exclude gold. These contradictions are only apparent. Servus Fugitivus. even by the most sincere authors. It is the solution of ordinary quicksilver. which we are studying. we know that philosophic mercury results from the absorption of a certain part of sulphur by a determined quantity of mercury. . relieved of all impurity and perfectly exalted. A queen seated on a XXL NOTRE-DAME. of The Queen kicks down Mercury. In this case. Paris. which it does not possess. I will not hide the fact that such an operation appears to me hazardous.P. But one should note. ordinary mercury. would take on a fiery quality. render it fit for the work. In de l'Esprit et de I'Ame31 writes in Canon XVI: 'We begin our hermetic work with the conjunction of the three principles. essential to know exactly the reciprocal proportions of the components. unknown to the Art. I mean common gold. I need not add that these proportions are wrapped up in similes and covered with obscurity. so as to differentiate it from the liquid metal from which it comes. many have preferred to keep silent. and would be capable of becoming a solvent in its turn. de Castaigne. some have claimed that nature alone apportions the quantities according to a mysterious harmony. the weight is brought back to a simple appreciation of consistency. that it is possible to substitute common gold for metallic sulphur. PARIS—CENTRAL PORCH s * Printed following the Oeuvres tant Medicinales que Chymiques.' If Raymond Lully and Philalethes have spoken of it. Although one can often find quite lengthy descriptions on this subject. coloured white or red. the operations which. thus. de la Nove. consisting in the weight of the body.' The author of the Aphorismes Basiliens or the Canons Hermetiqu. which must with its half almost equal the spirit and the soul. A special and little-used solution is expressed by one of the cartouches. in order to obtain from it the common mercury of the Philosophers. since the excess solvent can always be separated by distillation. R. In the minds of those authors who have spoken of it. which the latter call 'our mercury'.

since the agent always remains the same. The philosophers know of a natural fire.' I must be excused for not being of the same opinion. however. then the whole salt cellar should be used when studying Stuart de Chevalier. his left hand hidden in a sort of muff (pi. is bent under the arc of the next medallion. based on experience. 'it is necessary to dissolve ordinary mercury without diminishing any of its weight. Paris 99 throne kicks over the servant. The sense would seem to require 'disbelieving'. XXI). Discours philosophiques sur lex Trois Princtpes or the Clef du Sanctuaire philosophique. brittle mineral and metallic water. An old man. Weak and feeble. One should. nor must it contain. . I do not see what advantage could be gained from a solution of mercury obtained with the aid of the philosophic solvent. Paris. The servus fugitivus which we need is a solid. since the whole of its substance must be converted into philosophic water. This water does not contain. Furthermore. and not a special practice. and this same water is the most precious thing in the world. any corrosive. could become a water useful for the Work. which is the Alkahest and universal solvent. which converts it into pure and natural silver water. having the aspect of a stone and very easily liquified. XXII). Quillau. which penetrates right to the heart of the mercury and which destroys it internally. is what Sabine Stuart de Chevalier35 claims: 'In order to have the philosophic mercury/ writes this author. coagulated in the form of a stony mass. 1781. Very little time is necessary to make ordinary mercury take this form. to read the Philosophers with a grain of salt. They also know of a solvent. as Philalethes counsels. see in this technique—supposing that it could supply the desired solvent—only a-modification of the old way. 38 Sabine Stuart de Chevalier. since I have good reasons. therefore. he is leaning on a block of stone. when the latter is the chief and secret agent par excellence. stiff with cold. It is this water. it takes the form of water. 18 Translator's note: The question would seem to arise as to whether 'believing' is a misprint. This. who comes with a cup in his hand to offer her his services (pi. for believing35 that ordinary mercury. As soon as the mercury is freed from its bonds and is overcome by the heat. If it is right. deprived of a proper agent.

enclosed in the centre of the Athenor. It is Philalethes' Entrance to the Closed Palace of the King and Ripley's and XXIII. which hid the entrance from the eyes of the uninitiated. XXIII). The fire torments me greatly and death tears at my skin and my bones. in one of the islands which he visited off the coast of England. that is to say giving life to the dead metals. the seventh medallion shows us an old man ready to cross the threshold of the Mysterious Palace. even at bragging—relates seriously that. which is going to appear. according to the accepted expression. . It is the active and gentle beginning of the fire of the wheel. Thus did famous authors write history with the help of hermetic fables! The sixth medallion is just a fragmentary repetition of the second one. . shut up in the womb of the philosophic earth. the emblem of radical dissolution. in a form analogous to that of its first substance {pi. He has just torn down the awning. T am old. the discovery of the agent capable of carrying out the reduction of the fixed body. XXIV). which one must The Subject of the Wise. The first step in the practice has been achieved. shown as the head and shoulders of a woman reflected in a mirror. . suffers the dislocation of its parts and tends to be mortified. The alchemists are alluding to this operation. of reincruding37 it.100 Paris It is easy to recognize here the first phase of the second work. The Adept is seen with his hands joined in an attitude of prayer and seems to be addressing thanksgiving to Nature. 'for this reason I am shut up in a grave. Basil Valentine makes him say. On the right of the porch. are subject to the fermentative influence of humidity. when the hermetic Rebis. Saturn was imprisoned and wrapped in a deep sleep. NOTRE-DAME. PARIS—CENTRAL PORCH Basil Valentine's first door. 3T To reincrude—technical hermetic term. weak and sick'. when they speak of reanimating the corporifications. The giant Briareus (Aegaeon) was the jailor of his prison. meaning to render raw. We recognize the hieroglyph as showing the subject of the Wise. It is the reign of Saturn. a traveller quoted by Plutarch—the Greeks beat everyone. to retrogress. . symbolized by cold and by winter. of decomposition and of the colour black. the mirror in which 'one sees the whole of nature disclosed' (pi. the embryonic season when the seeds.' Demetrius. to put back to a state previous to the one characterizing maturity.

method of action. the volatile principle and the fixed metallic salt. it is said. The next circle enables us to witness the encounter of the old man and the crowned king. while at their feet crouches the god Ser (Satum). contrary to ordinary amalgamation. attracts and swallows up. in order to re-establish the meaning of all these figures. the cock and the fox (Basil Valentine). philosophic or base gold. Paris 101 know how to open. which is incombustible and pure. materials and time of preparation have been revealed to us in several bas-reliefs. In this motif. by means of the original colours. with reference to this. considered as a solvent. in which. this is not so in the second method. ate his children—was formerly painted green. which had contained the mummy of a hierophant priest of Thebes named Poeris. As for the Palace. the solvent and the body. despised by the ignorant and hidden under the rags. It should also be noted that the hieroglyph of Saturn. which conceal it from our eyes. The wise have said. But in my opinion the best description—certainly the most initiatory one—is . while the interior of the palace showed a purple colouring. On a sarcophagus at the Louvre. that in the Conjunction violent storms arose and the waves of the sea presented the spectacle of a bitter 'combat'. we see a variation of the allegory of the green and red lions. although it is extremely precious to one who knows its value. Some have represented this reaction by the fight to the death of dissimilar animals: the eagle and the lion (Nicholas FTamel). The old man is none other than our Mercury. whose nature. whose skin is green in colour. the god Shu can be seen on the left hand side. it represents the living. I shall say later to what source one may refer. In this method and at the time when the mercury is animated. whom the texts indentify with Satum—who. of the solvent and the body to be dissolved. with the aid of the god Chnouphis (the soul of the world). is very ancient. This allegory has much in common with the parable of Bernard Tre-visan. the hermetic mercury seems to attack the metal with characteristic vigour. holding up the sky. the secret agent. Indeed the old man. etc. closely resembling chemical effervescence. in which the 'ancient and aged priest' shows himself so well acquainted with the properties of the occult fountain and its action on the 'king of the country* whom it loves. the gold or king is dissolved little by little and without violence.

Here. it clearly appears that the guiding principle was to group the various points in the practice of the Solution. he represents the artist. In this series of subjects. and they are the most numerous. described by the Cosmopolite in the parable from the Traite de la Nature. the tree from which water must be extracted. Here one recognizes the solar tree. They have described the formation of the philosophical compound by comparing it to that of the terrestial chaos. at the foot of which a ram is rising up. The tree bears three enormous fruits like balls and the silhouette of a bird is seen coming out of the branches. have drawn upon the traditional accounts of creation for their similes. air and earth. Now nothing remains for him but to imitate Saturn. a second solution. of the terrible duel between the remora and the salamander. Cyrano de Bergerac. it alone suffices to identify the way which has been taken. is the subject of the twelfth and last bas-relief. who has just accomplished the labour of Hercules—our preparation. XXV). who have come to blows and hit each other unsparingly. Indeed. the solution of alchemical gold by the solvent Alkahest characterizes the first way. It would scarcely be possible to describe more clearly or simply the action of the pontic water on the heavy matter and this medallion does great credit to the master who conceived it. animated mercury is obtained. the two natures are represented by aggressive and quarrelsome children. A warrior drops his sword and stops speechless in front of a tree. indicates the second. As for the warrior. The style of Notre Dame is no less noble and expressive for being more human and more familiar. says the Cosmopolite. the solution of red or white Sulphur by the philosophic water.102 Paris that given by that great philosopher. The bird indicates the volatile nature of the compound 'more celestial than terrestial'. Finally. which took place before his very eyes. that of common gold by our mercury. By the latter. which results from the upheavals and reactions of fire and water. one of them drops a pot and the other a stone (pi. with which we will conclude the description of the figures of the great porch. Others. 'drew ten parts of this water and immediately picked the . who. The ram shows that he has chosen a favourable season and the right substance. At the height of the fray.

this workman seated at a red table. which has the power to improve (he fruits of this tree. The queen striking down Mercury wears a while crown. For example. Like the wise master that he was.' In addition. There we see Jason with the ram with the golden fleece and the tree with the precious fruits of the garden of the Hesperides. Thus glass complements stone and. one of which is made of ruby and the other of emerald. For example. . However. but a prince crowned in gold. the glass shows no ordinary horseman. For this water is the Water of Life. whose perspicacity we must bless. was able to forsee the great damage which time would do to his work. Notre Dame itself preserves the original colouring of the figures of its great porch. because by its scent alone it can make the six other trees assume the same nature as itself. thanks to the help of the fragile material. One pf the two fighting boys is in green. this woman. a green gown and a purple cloak. he had the motifs of the medallions reproduced on the panes of the central rose window. these heavenly twins of the lesser zodiac. in while tunic and red hose. . there is no need to pore over old parchments or thumb through ancient prints. which could be of assistance to the investigator or remedy. The doubtful points of the statues can be resolved there. In the course of this study. Paris 103 fruit of the solar tree and put it in (his water. so that from then on there will be no further need to plant or graft any. etc. even partially. we had occasion to regret both the ravages of foolish iconoclasts and the total disappearance of the colours which our splendid cathedral used to possess. this picture is a replica of the famous expedition of the Argonaufs. pulling large pieces of gold out of a sack. One is even surprised to see there some pictures which have disappeared from the facade. it . in the allegory of the Cohobation (first medallion). doing her hair in a mirror. the hidden meaning regains its first purity. What a profound subject for meditation is offered to us by our ancestral hermetic Idea. There is no document left in any library. Guillaume de Paris. in a green bodice and wearing a scarlet tunic. the ravages of the centuries. in ali its harmony and unity! In stone on the facade. . the other in violet grey. in glass in the enormous orb of the rose window.

The spirit cannot but feel troubled in the presence of this even more paradoxical antithesis: the torch of alchemical thought illuminating the temple of Christian thought. These are the symbols of the seven planetary metals (pi. from solemnity to excitement. Mercury quicksilver. Venus.39 'you will see that Saturn is the highest of all. Consider now that the virtues of the planets do not ascend. diaphanous and pure as Truth itself. On it you will see seven circles. XXVI): The Sun indicates gold. Paris. Experience itself teaches us that Mars can easily be converted into Venus. The Moon for silver. vibrant. while the other six are repeated. Similarly Jupiter is easily transmuted into Mercury. as the Cosmopolite teaches: 'Look at the sky and the spheres of the planets. The sun mixes with all 38 La Cabale Intellective. Mss. worn and cold in the crude light outside. the moon the lowest. IX. Mercury and finally the Moon.' says this author. but not Venus into Mars— Venus being a lower sphere. In the centre of the tympanum on the middle cornice. Saturn is the highest. succeeded by Jupiter and then by Mars.38 The central circle is decorated in a particular way. but descend.etA. NOTRE-DAME. Tralte du Mercure. from inertia to vivid expression. 41. Solid. the latter second above the earth. 15. of the Bibliotheque de 1'Arsenal. Let us leave the great porch and proceed to the north portal or Portal of the Virgin. As Saturn stands for lead. it flashes into multicoloured facets from the crystal and permeates through the nave. 38 Nouvelle Lumiere chymique.p. chap. because Jupiter is higher than Mercury. . warm. observe the sarcophagus which figures in an episode in the life of Christ. The former is the second below the firmament. the Sun. S. Jupiter for tin. this symmetry goes from the centre towards the ends.72. And Mars for iron. Jean d'Houry. Paris 104 passes from silence to revelation. so Venus stands for copper. What is more. p. two by two—something which never happens in the purely decorative motifs of gothic art. PARIS—PORTAL OF THE VIRGIN The Planetary Metals. XXVI.

' The pattern of possible changes among metallic planets is thus shown on the porch of Notre Dame in the most formal manner. which Anephius and Phil-alethes say one must know how to separate from the compost in the state of black powder. These are the Doves of Diana. Then comes the man turning round. in passing. . which is half metal. This is not the case and proof that the symbolical meaning was intended is given by the fact that one space—that on the left-remains empty. one of which has a single spiral and the other two double spirals. These are followed by the lamb. The four crosses. we see that it is formed of a succession of four crosses and three crosiers. finally. emblem of the purification of the arsenical principle of the matter. In the midst of all is the Sun. which teaches how to achieve the elementary conversion by violatilizing the fixed and fixing the volatile (pi. XXVIII). the crosiers with double spirals the two perfect ones and the simple crosier represents Mercury. who well illustrates that alchemical maxim solve et coaguia. But more is to come. the roses at the ends indicate Saturn and the Moon. hiding the spiritualization and sublimation of philosophical mercury. There is also a correspondence between Mercury and Jupiter and between Mars and Venus. we shall notice between the outer curves of the arches some curious figurines. with the Sun midway between them. This is the dog of Corascene. The central motif symbolizes the Sun. which seems to unite the circumferences of the roses. or semi-perfect. on either side of the Sun. Going from the outside towards the right. But if. If we analyse this strange line. that here too if only ornamentation was intended. then come Jupiter and Mercury respectively. as in the spagyric notation. leaving the tympanum. Paris 105 of ihem. XXVII) revealed in the animation of exalted mercury. Note. we find (he dog and the two doves (pi. are Mars and Venus. we lower our eyes to the left part of the base. represent the imperfect metals. Further. you will note that there is a great correspondence between Saturn and the Moon. divided into five niches. but is never improved by the inferior ones. then six or eight attributes would be necessary in order to maintain perfect symmetry. another hopeless enigma.

The crow of Notre Dame. On the external surface of the pillars. The imager. The objection will no doubt be made that the zodiac cannot have any occult significance and that it represents quite simply the path of the constellations. by this cunning transposition. indicating the beginning of the work and the propitious time for operations. which was certainly known to our Ancestors. Beginning from the bottom. The story goes that Guillaume de Paris. then Taurus and above that Gemini. here Leo succeeds Gemini. where the treasure was supposed to be concealed. it was the only clue to a sacred hoard. which is to be found rejected on the opposite pillar. therefore.' had hidden the philosophers' stone under one of the pillars of the huge nave. Under this porch. And the exact spot of this mysterious hiding-place was precisely determined by the angle of vision of the crow. a union which must be achieved towards the end of the fourth month of the first Work. Then to fix the flying in powder. You have something to console yourself with. has at all times exerted a powerful attraction on the vulgar herd of puffers. a sculpture of the crow. This was because. was once to be found... you find first of all Aries. intended. So in former times.' said Victor Hugo. the signs of the zodiac are represented. the symbolic bird marked externally the unknown position of the secret pillar. square bas-relief. the principal figure of the hermetic coat of arms. 'who. .106 Paris If you know how to dissolve the fixed. there is to be seen a small. the chief hieroglyph of our practice. thus usurping the place of Cancer. These are the months of spring. to indicate the conjunction of the philosophic ferment—or the Lion— with the mercurial compound. supporting the lintel. 'was doubtless damned for having added such an infernal frontispiece to the holy poem eternally sung by the rest of the building. This is possible. the cosmic succession of the signs of the zodiac. And to make the dissolved fly. according to ancient legend. . according to the legend. But in that case we should have to find the astronomical order. However. In this part of the porch.

Without entering into details of the operative techniques—which no author has dared to do—I will. transfused into a pure. The bodies have no action on one another. We recognize in this subject a very simplified form of the allegory. of the Massacre of the Innocents. if one wishes to extract the soul. And this quintessence. the metallic life and the celestial Dew imprisoned therein. under the protection of darkness. that this condensation in its humid form. Paris 107 which is really curious. It is. which we shall soon see on a window pane of the Sainte Chapelle. embodied in minerals under the alchemical name of Sulphur constitutes the principle and the effective agent of all metallic tinctures. the soul of all things. who appears to be striking the innocent. the Wise gave it the name of the Dew of May. was accomplished only by night. and finally that the season when it was manifested with most activity and abundance corresponded to springtime on earth. fixed and perfectly digested body. Condensation of the Universal Spirit. in which the chemical sun and moon must bathe. as soon as it is materialized. necessary that the body should perish. Here we see a child falling from a crucible as large as a jar. change their natures and become rejuvenated. But one cannot obtain this Spirit. capable of penetrating sublunary mixtures and making them grow. Coignard. art. 1731. This is supported by a standing archangel with a halo and outspread wing. dear to Nicholas Flamel. which they needed to animate the fixed and inert body of gold. which. say that the universal Spirit. The whole background of the composition is occupied by a night sky studded with stars (pi. that it should be crucified and should die. Similarly we are not surprised to find Thomas Comeille40 asserting that the great masters of the Rose-Cross were called Freres de la Rosee XXIX. except by decomposing what nature had first assembled in them. for all these reasons. the red blood of the children. therefore. Rose-Croix. the spirit alone is active. . Paris. however. The Bath of the Stars. a clear sky and calm air. will give birth to a new creature. more splendid than any of those from which it proceeds. NOTRE-DAME. was nothing but a con- densation of the universal Spirit. knowing that the mineral blood. forms the famous Bath of the Stars. PARIS—PORTAL OF THE VIRGIN *° Dictionnaire des Arts et des Sciences. It synthesises and expresses the condensation of the universal Spirit. XXIX). That is why.

Grillot de Givry. etc. . Paris. being replaced by another. called the moist Two Eagles. the Pope opens it with a hammer. of the Seven Swords. called the Holy Door or Jubilee Knights of the Dog and the Cock. on the day of Creation. a of the Princes of Death. the other. while Huginus a Barma. the At St. the other. the bishop perched above an athenor. of the Apocalypse. by leaving their existence. of the Mopses. We reactions. the Knights of the Swan (instituted by Elias). die Lost Word of the Dame of Paris. the Knights of the Black Eagle. where the assurance is given that the mention the orders of die Illuminates.108 Paris Paris 109 Cuite (Brothers of the boiled dew). because it describes the shortest practice of our Science are. It teaches find. which makes use of dry At this miraculous moment. Once every twenty-five years. Lully and Paracelsus. there is no objection to a method. the divine Spirit moved Few alchemists will admit the possibility of two ways. the Virgin Let us retrace our steps and pause at the south portal. or four Genet. called die aquas—this invisible spirit could not at first be distinguished from the moist way. of the Great Work may be accomplished in two ways. Chacornac. is gilded and walled up. of the 42 Elected Coens. one. This may be due to the fact that many authors deal watery mass and was confused with it. 1907. Anne.' says Grillot de Givry. the Initiate Brothers of Asia.C. what all the hermetic fraternities were hoping to philosophical mercury. on the contrary. either because they do not know of Finally.R. Its discovery was the aim of all their work and the raison d'etre of the origin of the sacred fire. but the interest of this and despised and whose characteristics I have already described. where the medieval freemasons. of way. employing Brings forth this shining star. p. a meaning which they themselves gave to the initials of their order. in order to arrive at the same result. but one unknown to the crowd and night. Rome. of the Zodiac. Pernety refuses to believe in those alternative days. touching on the greatest secret of the Work and I must remain true to 'See. It offers us only a single motif. of the Door. such as Geber. bounds which may not be overstepped. At midnight a Virgin mother Chemically speaking. in blackness. rather than to that the light was separated out on the first day and that the following teach its principles.'" radiation assembled. of the Thistle. we are studying is a proof of this. which is abject Porch of St. being longer but held more in honour and the Palestine. It is the Verbum dimissum of Trevisan. one short and on the waters of the Abyss—Splritus Domini ferebatur super easy. Hermetically the emblem call God our brother. . We shall find a second one in die "Among die most celebrated centres of initiation of this kind. I would eighteenth-century Encyclopaedia. each had his own particular process. of darkness. called the dry way. 27. Light is diffuse in obscurity. times in a century. the Societies of the Black Brothers. chained in limbo. of the Amaranth. or because they prefer to remain silent about it. the same door. the Knights of the Round Table. were marked by regular and alternating intervals of methods. We are and among lessons in stone it therefore deserves pride of place. of the Dead Beast. longer and less rewarding. It was from the darkness of Chaos that light was extracted and its reserved for the small number of the elite of Wisdom. F. asserts that the darkness and fight: ancient masters. Le Grand Oeuvre. still called the Mother—can easily be extracted from a particular body. of the Invisible Ones. exclusively with the longer process. like our own. Let us not forget that light comes out this door closed all the year in accordance with a secular tradition. remember that God took six days to perfect his Great Work. . Peter's. If. the moist way.42 'sculptured on the right portal of Notre my vow." Post tenebras lux. of the Bath. I would like to be able to say more on this extremely important 6 subject and to show how the Dew of May (Maia was the mother of Hermes)—the life-giving humidity of the month of Mary. and the Chapter of the cathedral. . is being sublimated. however. There is considerable. as day is in die shows that this is not the vulgar way.

L. La Toysan d'Or. if by it you can in a short time. 'When I consider. maintained by the action of the bellows. covered by a thick veil. sublimation. noble statue of St. from the base to the architrave. the one volatile. the dry way and the moist way.' on: 'Make a fire in your glass. And to ask further This shortened way. Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal. God 'that the artist Elias. the other fixed. which he describes as tiresome and good only for rich forthcoming than his colleagues. Henckel. which is the Philosophers' mercury. 1832.' Furthermore.' great transmutation. 1760.'This could be the explanation of the basic maxim of our Science: tall. Sevestre. I follow the which seems rather to be by Senior Zadith. together with a terrestial metallic body. without great trouble or labour. in However. 140. thinks that 'this way is achieved by the double philosophical of the crucible. For this Art may be learnt in less than when he writes:4T 'This secret surpasses all the secrets in the world. 110 Paris Paris 111 other. attributed to Basil Valentine. Paris. must be boiled for four days in these terms: 'I would like to warn you here never to forget that only two a crucible over a naked fire. seventeenth century had attracted the attention of the knowledgeable De seems to me to be the shorter way and the true philosophical Laborde. 3020. 1659. it seems to me that it would not be so absurd to ask mercury'' and adds: 'The work is thereby accomplished in eight days. surmounted by a 'One single vessel.' Unfortunately our author is no more the long way. the author appears to have latter one for preference as my duty although the former is very familiar the dry way in mind when he writes that 'in order to arrive at this Art. see Isaac Hollandois. Locquin. it does not have any secret meaning at all. however. S. Paris. For information about this. Philalethes.4" Cyliani refers to the two processes in Salt. 'I will stir up your body in an earthenware vase. p. 72 and 100. which consists only in keeping the been called by the Wise the Regime of Saturn. as far as I can see.B. saints. 1612. 1636. Henri de Lintaut also gives a favourable testimonial to the dry way the instruments of little worth. whether what the alchemists call great months may not be as many days. arrive at a it has its own principle within itself.' which would mean a very limited space of time. F. L'Aurore. It is a task. The bishop is 44 Azoth ou Moyen de faire I'Or cache des Philosophes.' writes Henckel.4' but that there are two ways. quoted by Helvetius. In the second part of the work. which is. Mss. Paris. one single matter. Paris. 375. which could be instead of necessitating the use of a glass vase. in chapter XIX of the Introitus." people. being much less esteemed. 48 J-F. no. a simple crucible. writes a famous author. about which we have freely instructed you. to me: it is done with a single matter.4* who says again further perhaps not everyone would find it practicable. Paris. has whether there may not be a memod. p." occupies the pier of the porch. requires only the help of achieved by a violent fire. that is to say in the earth which holds it The hermetic emblem of Notre Dame. Traite de VAppropriation. one single furnace. 169. Marcellus with mitred head.' canopy with turrets.' matters of the same origin are needed. Moet. p. 47 H. after having spoken of who speaks of it more fully. this method cannot be carried out in all laboratories and which I will inter it'. This brief method. 416. .' neither great labour nor trouble is required and the expenses are small. Pierre w Cyliani. for twelve hours and brought to perfection within the space of eight days. de Lintaut. still adhering to the fragments chapter. Ch. which already in the enclosed. Langlet-Dufresnoy.A. in order to arrive at the perfection of this difficult and is sculptured in detail on the three sides of the engaged pillar. in his Remarques on this and that he has actually shown this stone. 49 Explication de VEnigme trouve en un pilier de VEglise Nostre Dame de Paris by the Sieur D. Hermes devoile. matters in the greatest degree of fluidity for a long time. para. Thomas Herissant.F. claims that the preparation of has reserved this rare and easy way for the despised poor and for abject the Philosophic stone is begun and finished in the space of four days. and. says: 'But by our way no more than a week is necessary. " Salomon Trismosin. In the latter 'the celestial In the preface to his book. The boiling of the Work. or dry way. instead of taking nearly eighteen months by the first way.

It is not my intention to discuss here the expediency of such repairs. and modified. the esoteric meaning destroyed. Cross the Seine. but the sense remains. Only the plinth and the pedestal have any hermetic value (pi. You disciples of Hermes.. NOTRE-DAME. He makes wounds and dresses them. It would suffice to copy the model. oblong plinth. our venerable ladies will always be young! Alas! in meddling with the exterior. Thanks to this modern cosmetic surgery. the key lost. On the one hand they did preserve the original lines of the holy bishop and the fine dragon. ornamented with four little columns and an admirable Byzantine dragon. this would matter little—servile imitation would have preserved it. the whole being supported by a pedestal bordered with a frieze and connected to the base by a reversed ogee moulding. prunes and counterfeits. decomposes and crumbles the limestone. is almost new. the healer of stones. and the order of the new pillar and <hen follow the track of the original one. with a few strokes of the chisel he amputates. wears away. But they wanted to do better. as a philosopher. The distinctness of the outline suffers. (PORCH OF ST. nor do I wish to imply that the leprosy of time should be allowed to advance unchecked on a splendid body. The restorer arrives. go to the cathedral and find out the position Philosophic Mercury of the Great Work. they have let the soul escape. Even if it contained a hidden meaning. If it was thought fitting to replace the blackened bishop and to restore his ruined base. without paying the least attention to creative thought. Time corrodes. transforms. the science is mutilated. PARIS. Unfortunately this pillar. takes away and overloads. near the entrance . go into the Cluny museum and you will have the satisfaction of finding it there. in place of the bezants and flowers which were there originally. but the symbolism is spoilt. Form or Symmetry. XXX). All the same.112 Paris XXX. it is scarcely sixty years since it was restored . ANNE—ST. cuts away. but on the other hand they ornamented the pedestal with foliage and Roman flourishes. such would be an easy matter. I cannot but regret the careless attitude adopted by restorers towards gothic creations. makes an authentic ruin into an artificial and brilliant anachronism. so magnificently decorated. MARCELLUS PILLAR) standing on a finely hollowed out. . This second revised. to transcribe it faithfully. obliterates. corrected and augmented addition is certainly richer than the first. all in the name of Art.

Paris 113

stairway in the frigidarium of the baths of Julian. It is there that the fine
fragment has come to rest.50
On the right side of the cubic pedestal may be seen in relief two
massive circular bezants. These are the metallic substances or
natures—subject and solvent—with which one must begin the Work.
On the principal face, these substances, modified by the preliminary
operations, are no longer represented in the form of discs, but as roses
with joined petals. In passing, one should unreservedly admire the skill
of the artist in knowing how to translate the transformation of the occult
products, freed from contingency and from the diverse materials which
masked them before they were mined. On the left, the bezants, which
have become roses, now take the form of decorative flowers with joined
petals, but with the calyx showing. Although they are worn and almost
effaced, it is easy to distinguish the trace of the central disc. They still
represent the same subjects, now having acquired other qualities. The
representation of the calyx shows that the mineral roots have been
opened and are arranged to show their seminal principle. This is the
estoric translation of the little motifs of the pedestal. The plinth will give
us the complementary explanation.
This itinerary is no longer valid. Six years ago the symbolical pillar
being the object of much justified veneration, came back to Notre Dame
and is now not far from the place which was its own for more than five
hundred years. It is, in fact, to be found in a room with a high ceiling
with surbased ribbed vaulting in the north tower, which is sooner or later
to be arranged as a museum. An identical room may be found on the
same floor, on the other side of the great organ platform.
In the meantime curiosity, of whatever kind, is not so easily satisfied,
although it may drive the visitor all the way to this new refuge of
initiatory sculpture. Alas! a surprise awaits him there, which will
immediately sadden him. This consists in the most regrettable amputation
of almost the whole body of the dragon, now reduced to the fore part
only, but still retaining its two paws.
This monstrous beast, with the grace of some great lizard, used to
embrace the athenor, leaving in its flames the triply-crowned little king,
who is the son of its violent acts on the dead adultress. Only the face of
the mineral child appears as it undergoes the 'baths of fire' mentioned by
Nicholas Flamel. It is here swathed and tied up like the figure of the little
'bather', still found today in Epiphany cakes. (Cf. Alchemie, op. cit, p. 89.)

114 Paris Paris 115

The matters, prepared and united in a single compound, must submit rent in the Middle Ages. Directly below this is the duality of the two
to sublimation or last purification by fire. In this operation the parts natures, on which the alchemist works and whose union provides the
which can be burnt up are destroyed, the earthly matters lose their Saturn(e) of the Wise, this word being an anagram of natures. In the
cohesion and disperse, while the pure, incombustible principles emerge space between the columns of the front face there are four grooves of
in a higher form. This is the Philosophers' Salt, the king crowned with decreasing size, conforming to the slope of the flames above. These
glory, who is bom in the fire and must rejoice in the marriage which grooves symbolize the quaternary of second elements. Finally, on each
follows, in order, says Hermes, that hidden tilings may be made side of the athenor and under the very claws of the dragon are the five
manifest. Rex ab igne veniet, ac conjugto gaude-bit et occulta patebunt. unities of the quintessence, comprising the three principles and the two
The plinth shows us only the head of this king, emerging from the natures, and finally their total in the number ten 'in which everything
purifying flames. Today it is impossible to be sure that the frontal band finishes and comes to an end*.
engraved on the human head was once part of a crown. From the size L. P. Francois Cambriel" claims that the multiplication of the
and appearance of the skull, one could equally well take it for a sort of Sulphur—white or red—is not shown in the hieroglyph we are studying.
steel cap or helmet. Fortunately, however, we have the text of Esprit I should not dare to make such a categorical assertion. The
Gobineau de Montluisant, whose book was written on 'Wednesday, multiplication cannot in fact take place except by the aid of mercury,
20th May, 1640, the eve of the glorious Ascension of Our Saviour Jesus which plays the part of the patient in the Work, and by means of
Christ',51 and who tells us definitely that the king wears a triple crown. successive coctions or fixations. It is, therefore on the dragon, the sign
After the raising of the pure and coloured principles of the of mercury, that we should look for the symbol representing the
philosophic compound, the residue is ready, from then on, to provide mutation and progression of the Sulphur or of the Elixir. Furthermore, if
the volatile and fusible mercurial salt, to which the authors have often the author had taken more care in his examination of the decorative
given the name Babylonian Dragon.
details, he would certainly have noticed:
In creating this emblematic monster, the sculptor has produced a
veritable chef-d'oeuvre and, although it is mutilated,—the left wing is 1. A longitudinal band, beginning at the head and following the line
broken—it remains none the less a remarkable piece of statuary. The of the backbone to the end of the tail.
fabulous beast emerges from the flames and its tail appears to come out 2. Two similar bands, placed obliquely, one on each wing.
of the human being, whose head it to some extent surrounds. Then, with 3. Two broader transverse bands round the tail of (he dragon. the
a twisting movement which arches its back on the vaulting, it comes to first at the level of the wing the other above the head of the king.
grasp the athenor in its powerful claws. All these bands are ornamented with full circles, touching at a
If we examine the ornamentation of the plinth, we shall notice groups point on their circumference.
of shallow grooves, curved at the top and flat at the bottom. Those on
As for the meaning, this will be supplied by the circles on the tail
the left face are accompanied by a flower with four unjoined petals.
bands: the centre is very clearly marked on each one of them. Now, the
This expresses the universal matter, the quaternary of first elements
hermeticists know that the king of the metals is symbolized by the solar
according to the doctrine of Aristotle, which was cur-
sign, that is to say a circumference, with or without a central point. It
M therefore seems to me reasonable to think that if the dragon is covered
Explication tres curieuse des Enlgmes et Figures hieroglyphiques,
Physiques, qui sont au grand portail de i'Eglise Cathedrale et with a profusion of auric symbols—it has them right down to the claws
Metro-politaine de Notre-Dame de Paris. of the right paw—this is because it is capable of trans-
L. P. Francois Cambriel, Cours de Phiiosophie hermetique ou
d'Alchimie en dix-neuj lecons. Paris, Lacour et Maistrasse, 1843,

116 Paris Paris 117

muting in quantity; but it can acquire this power only through a series of not that that matters much—but notoriously faked—which is more
subsequent boiling operations with the sulphur or philosophic gold, serious. In it, St. Marcellus holds a crozier, as short as a gatekeeper's
which constitutes the multiplications. flag. On his head is a mitre, decorated with a cross, and, as a superb
This is the clearest possible statement of the esoteric meaning, which anachronism, this pupil of Prudence is wearing a beard! A piquant
we thought we recognized on the excellent pillar of the St. Anne Portal. detail is that the dragon in the opposite picture is shown with his jaws
Others, more learned, will perhaps furnish a better interpretation of it, sideways on, gnawing the foot of the poor bishop, who, however,
for I do not insist that anyone should accept the thesis developed here. appears to worry very little about this. Calm and smiling, he is engaged
Suffice it to say that it accords in general with the one given by in closing his lips with his right forefinger in a gesture of enjoining
Cambriel. But, on the other hand, I do not share the opinion of that silence.
author in wishing, without proof, to extend the symbolism of the plinth It is easy to verify this, since we possess the original work, and the
to the statue itself. fraud strikes us at the first glance. Our saint, in accordance with the
Truly, it is always painful to have to condemn an obvious mistake medieval custom, is completely clean-shaven. His very simple mitre
and even more distressing to point out certain statements in order to has no ornamentation at all. The bottom of his crozier, which he sup-
demolish them en bloc. However, this must be done, however much I ports with his left hand, is resting on the jaws of the dragon. As for the
may regret it. The science, which we are studying, is just as positive, as famous gesture, made by the characters in the Mutus Liber and by
real and as exact as optics, geometry or mechanics; its results are as Harpocrates, it is here entirely a figment of CambriePs excessive
tangible as those of chemistry. In it, enthusiasm and private faith may imagination. St. Marcellus is shown giving the blessing, in an attit-tude
act as stimulants and valuable helpers, but if they enter at all into the full of nobility, his head bowed, his forearm bent upwards, his hand on a
conduct and direction of our researches, we must not allow them to level with his shoulder, the first and middle fingers raised.
introduce any deviations. We must subordinate them to logic and It is difficult to believe that two observers could have been the dupes
reason and put them to the test of experience. Let us remember that it of the same illusion. Does this fantasy come from the artist or was it
was the roguery of the greedy puffers, the senseless practices of the imposed by the text? The description and the drawing are so much in
charlatans, the foolishness of ignorant and unscrupulous writers which accord that I must be forgiven for giving very little credence to the
brought discredit to the hermetic truth. One must have a right view and
powers of observation shown in this other fragment by the same author.
fitting speech. There must not be a word, which has not been weighed
'Passing one day in front of the church of Notre Dame of Paris, I
up, not a thought which has not been sifted by judgment and reflection.
examined with great attention the fine sculptures, ornamenting the three
Alchemy asks to be purified; let us free it from the blemishes made on it,
doors, and I saw on one of these doors one of the most beautiful
sometimes even by its own partisans. It will emerge all the stronger and
hieroglyphs I have ever seen. For several days on end, 1 went to look at
healthier, without losing any of its charm or its mysterious attraction.
it, in order to be able to give details of all it represented, and this I
Francois Cambriel expresses himself in this way on the thirty-third
managed. The reader will be convinced of this by what follows, or,
page of his book: 'From this mercury results Life, represented by the
better still, by betaking himself to the spot.'
bishop, who is above the said dragon. . . . The bishop holds a finger to
his mouth in order to say to those who see him and who come to Surely neither boldness nor impudence are lacking here. If
discover what he represents . . . "Be quiet! say nothing about this, ..."' Cambriel's reader accepts his invitation, he will find nothing on the pier
The text is accompanied by an engraved plate, very badly drawn— of the St. Anne door but the exoteric legend of St. Marcellus. He will
see there the bishop killing the dragon by touching it with his crozier, as
is reported by tradition. The idea that he also symbolizes

Flamel in 1601. silence is not. Such folly is regrettable and unworthy of a sincere. At any rate. The to Louis IX. was in no way James the Great. which was rather different from Flamel's and much less fine gold in the form of a cross. Thomas Aquinas at the Convent Cimitiere-de-St. was of the four plaques still remained at the time of Gohorry.' he says 'a little 1572—and the Harmonie Chymique was brought out by Claude Morel sculptured angel is seen. Thomas Aquinas. Histoire critique de Nicolas Flamel.' writes Albert Poisson. Flamel also erected two decorative arcades The quartered French shield is surmounted by a rounded segment.1 modest examples of civil or religious architecture. enclosing in its centre a bleeding heart. Desprez. It was situated in the Rue St. written in Our great cathedrals. said to be that of St. . i. There is nothing impossible in this. which he erected. a description of it (pi. This church of the Dominicans—who lived there and 1410. However. preserved its interesting symbolism and painted very accurately in 1787 from the window itself by a until the middle of the eighteenth century. . which he had built in the Rue du glass window. Gervais. In the third. s This supplementary piece shows a reversed matrass55 or. which he is free to in the Charnier des Innocents. Paris. Genevieve-des-Ardents. from which rises a reed. built by medieval Freemasons in order to ensure Hebrew characters. in covering the many buildings. The latter has in the 7 middle a crown of thorns.54 'were covered with figures and legends situated beside the church. the first in 1407 and the other in of the Jacobins. it would have been preferable to refer to the original had a circular piece of black marble incorporated in it. adds that the schools of the Angelic Doctor were chapel. This coat of arms. on a stained thank also for two houses. with a gothic N and F on either side'. Histoire de VAlchimie. 'a quantity of had established themselves about the year 1217-—owed its foundation figures engraved on the stones. In one of the quarters one sees 1EVE. in Flamel's usual manner. ^Translator's note: a matrass is a round glass vessel with a neck. chapel of the Hopital St. lighting the chapel of St. used 54 Albert Poisson. which the Adept 'seems to have copied from another one. a coat of arms. among other hieroglyphic plaques. Thomas Aquinas'. . with hieroglyphs and allows us to conclude that the latter had his picture copied from the emblems. with a thread of coat of arms. about covered in figures. Jacques and dedicated to St. It was still extant at the time of the Revolution. arcade of uie cemetery. The Abb6 Villain tells us that the little portal of St. honest and attributed to St. for distilling. Nicolas Flamel. at which time the church was hermeticist named Chaudet. The Curiositez de Paris. this is the description which he gives of it: The coat of arms is divided into four by a cross. holding a circle of stone in his hands. which the Adept commissioned in 1389. Chacornac. rebuilt at his expense. surrounded * Abbe Villain. appears at the end of Lagneau's Harmonie Chymique. express. and never was. In the second quarter there is a crown. one in 1389 and the second in 1407. have from the time black cloud. 1893. since three Jacques-la-Boucherie. but that he is representing the Zoroastrian injunction to keep Poisson tells us that the first showed. XXXI).' Salmon informs us. which is in accordance with Lagneau's engraving. Paris. These buildings showed. the earth of their appearance exercised a marked influence on numerous more bears a rich harvest and the fourth is occupied by the spheres of fire. in the midst of a host of luminous rays and below a the transmission of hermetic symbols and doctrine. 'On the west post of the portal.'53 The poor had his generosity to obscure.118 Paris Paris 119 the life of matter is a personal opinion of the author.' The portal of St. It is this drawing which enables me to give converted into a house and the ornaments on the facade were destroyed. which was published in 1716 inferior to the other foundations. 'The facade and the portal of the new by Saugrain the elder.e. Nicolas-des-Champs. . was drawn situated in the Rue de la Tixanderie. Flamel took pleasure This account. The celebrated occultist adds that it upright spirit. the case. 1761.

Dexter base three serpents argent on a field vert. This fine emblem has all die more importance for us. because it unveils the secrets relating to the extraction of mercury and its con- junction witii sulphur. erected between 1245 and 1248 to house the relics of the Passion. to undertake. as well as to those desirous of learning about the occult. pointing towards the abyss. although we may strongly regret the restoration of the original portal. the description of such a veritable forest of glass. are collected and fixed on this heart. the meaning of which I have already given. halved or three stars purpure and azure seven rays or. falling from the matrass. the study of die symbolic windows of the high chapel. . These are obscure points in the practice. and one which could provide the subject matter of many volumes. on which all the authors have preferred to maintain a religious silence. A cross or bears three roundels azure at base and arms dexter and sinister and has a heart gules at the centre with a branch vert. In the sinister chief quarter a cloud violet on a field argent and three arrows of die same. as well as in the great rose window.120 Paris by a crown of thorns vert on a field sable. the Sainte Chapeile. It would be too enormous a task. feathered or. admire 'two angels. which refers to the Massacre of the Innocents. also presented a most remarkable alchemical ensemble. Tears argent. leaf by leaf. I cannot too highly commend to lovers of our ancient science. is opposite sinister base a ground sable with ears of corn or on a field tenn6. with Victor Hugo. limit myself to giving a specimen extract from the first mullion of the fifth bay. They will find an enormous amount of information to be gleaned there. The dexter chief quarter. Pierre de Montereau's masterpiece. that incomparable creation of colour and harmony. one with his hand in a vase and the other in a cloud'. we still have the joy of possessing intact the southern stained glass windows of this splendid building. therefore. that mar- vellous stone shrine. It would be difficult to find anywhere a more considerable collection based on esoteric principles than that of the Sainte Chapeile. Even today. where the Parisians of 1830 could. I will.


In Paris the figures hold discs. . There can be no doubt that the work of Guillaume of Paris exercised a considerable influence on the decoration of the great porch at Amiens. but even of the order in which they are given. not only of the motifs adorning the portal of Paris. There are the same symbols on the two buildings. and one which is worth noting. Actions and costumes are similar.Amiens. the same attributes. while here it is shields. like Paris. is that the central porch of Notre Dame of Amiens—the Porch of the Saviour—is a more or less faithful reproduction. the emblem of mercury is displayed by a woman at Amiens and by a man in Paris. A strange fact. presents a remarkable collection of hermetic bas-reliefs.

It is the vision of the wheels which is represented here. this splendid temple. after them. 'saw four winged beasts. John was to do later. the artist has reduced the vision to its simplest expression. or at least to underline. Georges Durand1 have found the meaning of it in the prophecy of Ezekiel. who. but there is nothing of that here. What is more.124 Amiens At any rate. Jourdain and Duval. 1 G. In front of him appear two cart wheels and that is all. In reality. which owes its origin to the genius of Robert de Luzarches and Thomas and Renault de Cormont. The second. who is seated with his elbow resting on his right knee.' This version contains two errors. the Abb6 Roze and. I would first mention the ingenious interpretation of the fire of the wheel. but appears to be keeping watch. our character has his eyes open. This quatrefoil. has. Durand. while the slow action of the fire of the wheel takes place close to him. of the formulas respected by the latomi in the execution of their symbols. it is well known that in gothic scenes illustrating visions. appears to be meditating or keeping watch (pi. Picard. Paris. Moreover. so he is not asleep. leaning on his right knee. however. Among the allegories characteristic of the style of Amiens. XXXHI). Monographic de I'Eglise cathedrale d'Amiens. their supernatural attributes with a bank of clouds. Ruskin (The Bible of Amiens). says Durand. as St. one within the other. Naively taking the words literally. An example of this may be seen on the face of the three piers of the porch. the illuminate is always shown facing the phenomenon. . a graver one. its state of preservation made it possible for the restorers to respect the great part of the subjects. our imagers were accustomed to separate. results from defective observation. received an entirely different interpretation from some authors. thus. The philosopher. this most magnificent masterpiece of Picardy remains one of the purest documents bequeathed to us by the Middle Ages. which from our point of view is very characteristic. The prophet is seated on a rock and seems to be sleeping. A. 1901. and then some wheels. The first shows an incomplete study of the traditional techniques. Further. remains today in its original glory.

in. The hard labours of Hercules are accomplished and his work has been reduced to the ludus puerorum (child's play) of the texts. whose meaning is hidden from the profane. anxiety or bliss. Actually. characterized by dryness—or assation—then begins with a second turn of the wheel and is completed and perfected when the contents of the egg. ch. sand or ashes. in the form of crystals. The wheels are. which must act in succession on the compound in order to ensure for it the first degree of perfection. This is not the case in the subject in hand. then. This. Amiens 125 his attitude and his expression invariably bearing witness to surprise or ecstasy. which is also achieved by means of gentle and regular heating. p. As for the double image of the hieroglyph. i. as it gradually becomes thicker. Paris. that 'the philosopher boils with gentle solar heat in a single vessel a single vapour. The anonymous commentator of a classic work2 says concerning this operation.e. and can only be. to keeping up the fire. This latter thesis is adopted by Pernety. 30. Moreover. but a little languidly. which has been calcined. gains in depth. and which is put into the picture in order to veil something as well known to the initiate as to the character himself. . 1687. The second period. which is a movement impossible to convey in stone and which justifies the necessity of having two wheels overlapping in such a way as to form only one. suitable for this coction? Accord- 2 La Lumiere sortant par soy-mesme des Tenebres. which can easily be undertaken and carried out successfully by a woman spinning with a distaff. we must interpret it as the sign of the two revolutions. But what can be the temperature of the external fire. linear and continuous coction demands the double rotation of one and the same wheel. d'Houry. which thickens little by little'. which is veritably the seal of the Great Work. patiently. he is not at all absorbed in any preoccupation of this kind. an image. Unless one prefers to see in it an indication of the two natures in the conversion. The first wheel corresponds to the humid phase of the operation—called elixation—in which the compound remains melted until a light film is formed. He is awake and keeps watch. appears granulated or powdery.

in the group illustrating Anger. only in being drawn in by a belt.3 affirms that 'that degree of heat which could hold the lead (327°) or tin (232°) in fusion. AMIENS CATHEDRAL—PORCH OF THE SAVIOUR ing to modern authors. 1742. For I assure you that if we do not boil it.* he says. in his Rules. 336): 'M. p. shown in the background (pi. he is shown on the outside. making the gesture 3 Ragles de Philalethe pour se conduire dans I'Oeuvre hermetiquz. Albert Poisson gives 50° as a basis. Coustelier. increasing progressively up to around 300° Centigrade. XXXIV). is more apt for the subject represented. clean-shaven and tonsured. differing from the dress of the clerk. . narrow windows. I exhort you to boil it night and day without ceasing.' In a footnote. bk. exceed the heat of the human body. It is a bare-headed figure. or even greater. a clerk or a monk. II. Paris. 'With that. the apostate leaves his garments in the church itself. in Histoire de la Philosophie hermetique. but it seems to me that the word Apostasy. a sort of half boots. on the stained glass window of the same church. Durand adds: 'On the great portal of Notre Dame in Paris. wearing a calf-length tunic with a hood. Duval had given the name Inconstancy to the vice which is the opposite of Perseverance.* In his fifteenth rule. 'you will begin your degree of heat proper to the realm in which nature has placed you. must be called a temperate heat. in the movements of our tempestuous sea. I. he speaks thus: 'It is necessary that the water of our lake should boil with the ashes of the tree of Hermes. the temperature at the beginning should not Philosophic Coction. the celestial nature may rise and the terrestial sink. Jourdain and M. by Lenglet-Dufresnoy. that is to say such that the vessels could bear it without breaking. we can never call our work a coction. but a digestion? Beside the fire of the wheel I would point out a small subject sculptured on the right of the same porch and which G. Philalethes. he seems to be leaving a pretty little church with long. Throwing aside his hose and his footwear. Durand takes to be a replica of the seventh medallion of Paris. This is what the author says about it (bk.126 Amiens XXXIV. a cylindrical belfry and a sham door. in order that. suggested by the Abbe Roze. Philalethes reverts to this important question. After having stressed that the artist must operate on the mineral bodies and not on the organic substances.

Our modern workers in the metallurgical industry dress in the same scant way as the puffer of Chartres. Amiens 127 of a man who is running away. interprets its end. through which the craftsman watches the phases of the work. it becomes necessary to maintain a temperature of close on 1200°. The alchemist is pointing with his right hand to the coal sack and the fact that he has abandoned his footwear is sufficient indication of the extent to which prudence and the concern for silence must be carried in this secret task. he has undressed almost completely. rather. At Chartres. As for the light clothing worn by the craftsman in the motif at Chartres. It is no less rash to take as a garment the limp mass. the latter. which is also indispensable in projection. Therefore they confined themselves to giving it an architectural form. Now. It is just this reason which should have been given in order to uphold and support the thesis propounded by the above-mentioned authors. when proceeding by the dry method. We have seen how. The church is. as well as its apparatus. is the secret furnace. One important and very characteristic detail has been forgotten. This furnace is provided with openings. These considerations have led me to believe that the motif at Amiens is concerned with hermetic symbolism and represents the coction itself. without. wearing nothing but his shirt. it is difficult to admit that a church could be built on visible vaults and thus appear to rest on four feet. I am speaking of the hollowed out arch at the base. At the fourth degree of fire. an athenor and its belfry erected. Whereas the former symbolizes the beginning of the Work. It is self apparent that it could not have been reproduced esoterically exactly as it existed in the laboratory. without regard to the most elementary rules of architecture. this is justified by the heat given off by the furnace. I find no correspondence between the motif of Paris and the one at Amiens. I should certainly be glad to know the reason why apostates feel it necessary to doff their clothes when leaving the temple. on the contrary. the athenor takes precisely this form of a tower raised on arches. enclosing the philosophic egg. at Notre Dame of Paris. however. to which the artist is pointing with his finger.' For my part. losing those char- . Ruskin remarks that the unbelieving fool is always represented barefoot in the miniatures of the twelf tii and thirteenth centuries.

Jacques du Puys.' It is the only matter. This spring die ancient philoso- the alchemical furnace may be recognized in it. Thus the first stone will be born. Paris. 'The dogs. the heavy quality and the occult meaning of the symbol. which nothing can resist! For without it the Basil Valentine. it is important to know their retorts protrude. Yet our ancestors. 'who has created this Mercury find in an engaged quatrefoil the allegory of the cock and the fox. it would perhaps which it has taken on during its long contact with the fire. I shall doubtless explain later the close this salt again in the same water which gave it birtii. Jean Liebaut. Certain combinations of these though it may be. characterized by the symbol of our fortresses. Durand. You will have to increase these the base of the sacred tree. the true and fluid stone on which the Philosophie Chimique. which is consequently alive. which has the oak tree for its absolutely fixed nor absolutely volatile. the attribute of St. p. can become the Phoenix. active. the sons of science. the emblem of Mercury to the The furnaces are shown as castle keeps. The water we need is dry. the ash box. will have crowed thrice. Peter. for the son is united to his father as the a second time and the fox may reassume the complexion. which fire for a long time it is capable of becoming sufficiently fixed to resist complete the fable. XXXV). the fox are no more than the same hierolglyph covering two distinct compound will coagulate again. which we need. The cock is perched on an oak branch. qualities by means of a third repetition of the same technique. their pagan and of the resurrection to the Christian. 1579. Moreover. it does not wet the engravings—and particularly the woodcuts of Pyrotechny. An old saying tells us that all dry colouring is image than I thought necessary to do in the case of the same emblem. would not have failed to portray these symbolize this new nature. Against the bottom of the right hand side of the great porch. Before undertaking the practice. Here again is our famous spring. therefore. full of because of its dry quality. the alchemical meaning of the cock. all their labour would have been trying to reach (pi. dear to and given it a nature. which Jean hands and it gushes out of the rock at a blow from Aaron's rod. which. the tower phers called Mercury. are not shown here. whole Christian edifice rests. The water has become earth and the characters. It is. being neither movement. extracted from the subject. For the moment. In this way it may become volatile analogy in family relationships.* adds G. Indeed. This cock. Quatre Livres des Secrets de Medicine et de la cock. if it had been a question of a well-known scene from a fable. By a second operation. Then the * Cf. entitle it to a new emblem and the fox is used to meticulous interpreters. useless in its dryness. this earth. expedient to dissolve this earth or sculptured on the porch in Paris. although it has none of the appearance of and the dome. which the fox is alchemists would have worked in vain. that the mercury contains in itself everything necessary for the work. It will struggle again against the physical states of one and the same matter. would not be not be out of place here to go a little more fully into the meaning of this any good in its dry form. It must first of all assume apparatuses go so far as to assume the appearance of buildings or little that state of provisional fixity. The uninitiated will see in this the subject useless. with their sloping banks. popular in the Middle Ages. That is Liebaut inserted in his treatise*—will not make any mistake about it. if one can find the means of keeping it on the and Duval. mercury sulphur. I will just say that the cock and the the tail of the cock. 17a and 19a.' cries Geber. similar to the first. What appears first is the tyranny of the fire. who were exact and ability to resist fire. whose clear water flows at fire. However. These new properties. those who have consulted the old common quicksilver. but permanent enough on the emblem. the wings and cock is to his tree. in spite of the fine colouration For the benefit of our brothers. The constituent parts of which the Druids so much venerated. but this time in the fusion itself and no longer cock. although this dry of a fable. which would find an to the same thing—in its own blood. volatile battlements and their loopholes. This typical that degree of heat which would otherwise have been sufficient to detail does not seem to have drawn the attention of the authors to the evaporate it totally. from which the spouts of their alembics and the necks of hermetic fox. i . we shall 'Blessed be the All-Highest. according to Jourdain water is entirely volatile. is the prototype of the crow and the fox. or the volatile part. very penetrating and very fusible.128 Amiens Amiens 129 acteristics which could reveal its true intention. or—which amounts connection existing between the cock and the oak.

Peter was crucified head downwards. It is like a prison or a cave and the door What am I to say. Mss. which makes you think of the this Verbum dimissum which I have already mentioned and which Jesus entrance to Tartarus. but it is fire. strophe XXV. 'is Khunrath in 1609? Should it rather be the mysterious closed palace of entirely cabalistic'. confided to his Apostles.'8 This text is clear. according to the dispensation of God. mentioned by Basil Valentine and Philalethes? It has allowed me. and impregnability. . full of dread. in order to lead astray the reader crenellated towers. Most certainly. XXXVI). Abandon hope. nor silver. . whose death. which has been partially defaced. who have themselves sought to explain it? This subject refers to the first matter of the great Art. If you vegetative power. Firmin. but in which the images of the What can I say. even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations. the who is incapable of separating the chaff from the wheat. which I have sought in vain in the books of my predecessors. contains in itself all planets. nor mercury. shows is made manifest to his saints. the Philosophers tell us. when faced here with the Secret of Secrets. I. or the Portal of St.' as Artephius once said. Let no one forget be found? This is the great mystery. the building. citadel or royal residence. so Among the fine motifs of the north portal. accompanied by one or The first represents a citadel. in the course of this study. which which they lost in the metallurgical reduction. Is this the symbol of one can discuss and critize this work. and which have been rendered by the fusion inert and without neither gold. the moon and some stars may still be discerned (pi. of eighteenth century. who is the symbol of the volatile stone. the first apostle. . but now The second quatrefoil. who holds the two crossed keys of solution them by providing them. with the proper agent. to say many imposing and grim appearance. against all attempts to break in. . anon. expressed in a parable. that only the discerning investigator will be able to recognize its which is almost entirely taken up with the zodiac and rural or domestic qualities and identify the substance. ch. I have preferred to keep silent rather than to make unless he possesses thet kay to the powerful locks. except to quote the testimony of the great masters. in their fluid form. 130 Amiens Amiens 131 For it is he. basement being ornamented with a grille. without distorting the truth. on which I have frequently touched that St. It is he. Indeed. v. faced with the impossibility of going further without treasure or to conceal some important secret and no one can enter there. the King of our Art. moral and religious esotericism. between which rise two levels of construction. I would point out two interesting bas-reliefs. silver and mercury. whose massive bolted door is flanked by many specious or captious allegations. method of giving a truth. 'Our Art. I Or should we see in this motif of the year 1225 the original idea of the think that. produces a real impression of strength things. by dividing it up piecemeal into emblems. twisting and interlacing their knotty branches beneath a sky. a product of the hands of nature. placed immediately below the first.' some dead trees. 5 Epistle to the Colossians. which is given to me for you. falsifying science or perjuring myself. I do not think that I shall ever be reproached for having and developed right through the hundred and fifteen other quatrefoils? written a single lie. as St. without perverting the Whatever it may be. and coagulation. to fulfil the word of God. despite the proverb. which is revealed can be imagined. adopted and modified by using some subtlety of language. But where can this agent the fire renders fixed and dense as it is precipitated. We are assured that not every truth may be told. social. has been caused by the metals and is not metal. 25 and 26. sun. with suggests something sinister. with its means of expression. Paul testifies:' 'Whereof I am made a minister. the metallic 'Metallic chaos. which was taken up. This is why the Masters have so often advised us to reincrude 8 Le Psautier d'Hermophile in Traites des Metaux. which is more unrewarding than philosophical. which protect it deceptive allusions or abuse a confidence. 1 did not want to follow the ancient scenes corresponding to it. breaking my vow. as the trees are in winter. the cabala has always been of great use to me. it is possible to make it understood by alchemical fortress. It seems to have been built to preserve some Sometimes. It contains gold. all ye who enter here.

chosen from among the best. concealed and buried in the depths of a fountain. it is also covered with filth and excrement. it is there that you will find the thing. 1629. This stone. Hulpeau. 144. p. but is not stone and is mineral. abject and valued not at all. 108: 'The essence in which the spirit we are seeking dwells is grafted and engraved on it. 263 that 'this subject is found in various places and in each of the three kingdoms. AMIENS CATHEDRAL—PORCH OF ST. Epistola de Lapidibus Philosophicis.' 'It is a stone of great virtue. which is vile. it is. that we must seek the subject proper to our art. or first matter. which is known but despised by everyone and is sold publicly. you must go to the uttermost part of the world. The first Matters. where the metallic seed dwells. as though written in letters of gold. Original XXXVI. when you hear the thunder growling. VI of Theatrum Chemicum. 140. Grosparmy et Nicolas Valois. the hail and rain falling. bk. B Nicholas Flame!.* FlameP writes similarly: 'There is an occult stone. 'and is called stone. if you seek it. to which all names are given. p. Here are some. Treatise 192. Paris.' The same author also says on p.' All the descriptions left us by the Philosophers about this subject. which contains the essential agent. and Aegidius de Vadis in his Dialogue de la Nature shows clearly. or Thresor de Philosophic. The author of the commentary on La Lumiere sortant des Tene-bres writes on p. Haymon' gives an example of this. the wind blowing. that a portion of this first chaos has remained in this world.132 Amiens prefer symbolical language. FIRMIN du Desire. thus. only in the mineral kingdom. although with imperfect lines and lineaments. E Oeuvres de N. although there is really only one. are extremely confused and very mysterious. but if we look to nature's possibilities it is certain that the sole metallic nature must be aided from and by nature. which is found in every place and at every time and with every person. ms. Argentorati. . The same thing is said by Ripley at the beginning of his Twelve Gates. when he says: 'In order to obtain the first agent.' says Nicholas Valois8 in his turn. says r Haymon. 1613. vegetable and animal. quoted supra.

possesses true Wisdom. it is equally plausible to suspect here a different body.10 'a mineral known to the truly Wise. owing its beginning. 12 The Imitation of Christ.11 'to hide this mystery from the eyes of those who value things only by the usages they have given them. 1. XXXVII). which is the last of these abstruse quotations which I shall give: 'He.' This is a similar idea to the one expressed in the Imitation12 p. the Sun and Venus. having the virtue of procreating and engendering. . This is. II. I believe.. 1722. v. such as that mineral designated by the name of Magnesia or philosophic lodestone. and if it is Mars. 240. has given a very curious interpretation to the condensation of the universal spirit. origin and race to Saturn or to Mars. the Sun and Venus. An adept is contemplating the stream of celestial dew falling on a mass. for if they knew. who sculptured the medallions in the Porch of the Virgin Mother. p. This stone is soft. or if they were openly shown the Matter. which God has been pleased to hide in things which appear to them useful. which con- tains abundantly both the fixed and the volatile. 11 La Clef du Cabinet hermetique. concealed by them under various names in their writings. who esteems things according to their value and not according to the merit or esteem of men.1 'The Philosophers were right. Amiens 133 Morien the Wise. which suggests the presence of an attracting quality hidden in this body. quoted supra.. has largely been responsible for bringing discredit on alchemy and ridicule on its adherents. which. bk. is animated.' 'There is. The anonymous master..' says le Breton. p. the place to rectify certain errors which have been made concerning a symbolical vegetable matter. ch.' writes an anonymous author. I mean 10 Le Breton. which a number of authors have taken for a fleece. That it is important to try to identify (pi. 170. ms. 10. 6. they would no longer value them. Clefs de la Philosophic Spagyrique. when taken literally by ignorant puffers. which is not a stone. Paris.' Let us return to the facade at Amiens. Jombert. It will be noticed that this water does not fall on anything else but the subject under consideration. Without condemning this opinion.

sickly and will not survive. living and 13 sensitive quality. varied and photographic image is based on the property. of decomposing in light. by ill fortune or from ignorance. Then it must be a generative process over the country.134 Amiens Amiens 135 Nostoc. their justification. These be refused to you. the one Creator. is found all longs only to God. the assimilation of food and its transformation into blood and These strange terms. night. which is seen in the darkness—that vegetable seeds can germinate and be reproduced? Is it quatrefoil at Amiens. minerals. Vegetable Vitriol. which does not take place in the dark. I will quickly run during the day or the night that the life-giving dew falls. have organic substance. consult your own combination of all these characteristics-sudden appearance. Do not think either that these effects of a knowledge of natural laws. if. not on the vitality of estabhshed individuals. even down to the work of state of vapour. which. Now. in spite of their less obvious reaction. each preserves its own integrity as long as darkness is maintained. are subject to it. is it not also during the Earth-Butter. Even and how few retain simplicity of reasoning. then. sometimes on the bare earth. we say. At the end of the incubation. more or less in a state of decomposition. digestion. etc. which you hope to bring about within your materials. are mixed. absorbing the celestial dew. absorption nature. all your eggs will Latin nox. corresponding to the well-lighted room. builds new cells. which feeds dirough the many names given to the Nostoc. When two gases. Would you caused the real and initiatory significance of the Nostoc to be forgotten. you do not put plants. like to try an experiment? Take some fertile eggs and hatch them in a This word comes from the Greek vu£. they combine slowly in a diffused light and . grows and develops? And as for you yourself. in consistency—have prompted the philosophers to take these algae as the complete obscurity. in place of those burnt up and universal Spirit. whereas in the dark room they had acquired an active. is it not during the night that it indicated their mineral principle: Celestial fundament Moon-Spit. maintained until the time of birth? Is it on the hieroglyph of their matter. thanks to a certain disposition of organs. surface of the earth—in full light—or within me earth itself—in symbolizing the mineral Magnesia of the Wise. Thus it is something which is born at night. as well Look here. state. then coagulated by cooling in contact with the air. what are you as animals and vegetables. beside paths. The even when diffused or filtered. new tissue. metallic all the pieces? Certainly not. the spot where they had opened out only a few hours previously. But in that case in fields.13 which rural people well know. But. Do you not see that with man and with animals fecundation and of water and swelling. to the Masters. In the early morning in you must have the help of nature and you may be sure that this help will spring. that your organism repairs its losses. These salts resume their inert. and vitalizes them? Take the mushroom. which is essential if any generation is to take of the sun's rays that it is impossible to find any trace of them. Look around you. you who have laboured so hard. This cryptogam. possessed by the salts of useless utensils? Do you hope to accomplish a veritable creation out of silver. sometimes on the grass. even on place? I will reply on your behalf: the total absence of any solar light. alas! how few take the trouble to reflect fundamental law of nature are limited to the organic kingdoms. you will find masses of it. which are jelly-like and trembling—hence the French name T nature in a position where its laws can be applied. noctis. although it effect of the sun. chick that is born is blind. VUXTO. which have. is this remeltes— usually greenish and dry up so rapidly under the action primordial condition. it is most certainly a mass of this sort. soft and glutinous generation take place. What. or as a terres-tial matter exhaled from the centre in a destroyed by daylight? There is no process. on the edge of woods. Flos Caeli (heavenly night. according to whether they regarded it as a receptacle of the matter. swollen with the morning dew. Any which needs the night in order to develop and can work only at night. since the faculty of creation be. contain dead embryos. Translator s note: cryptogam—a plant having no stamens or pistil and therefore no proper flowers. but on the could easily be distinguished and uncovered by those possessing exact generative process. your many. eliminates its waste flower). chlorine and hydrogen. in sleep. That is the fatal Thus our subject is admirably concealed from profane eyes. green colour. Dew-Grease. It is well known that the production of a claiming to do with your lighted furnaces. however.

to whom do you address your prayers? Do you not know that you can reach Jesus only through the intercession of his Mother. which shows an initiation scene. which he founded. The Master is indicating to three of his disciples the hermetic star. therefore. which acts as -guide to the Philosophers and shows them the birth of the son of the sun (pi. Let us. You unbelievers. the one and only star. but do not blame me if your efforts never lead to success. Sancta Maria. let us recall the emblem of Nicholas Rollin. . ora pro nobis? And. XXXV111). XXXVIII. painted in 1447 on the floor of the hospital at Beaune. then. And now. The deadly power of the sun. that she bears them all in her womb and that she alone can bestow Revelation and Initiation. AMIENS CATHEDRAL-PORCH OF THE VIRGIN MOTHER The seven-rayed Star. This is the traditional star."but I think I have spoken enough. end this study of the original hermetic types of Amiens Cathedral by pointing out a little corner motif to the left of the same Porch of the Virgin Mother. In connection with this star. This method is the rapid cicatrisation of sores and wounds. Thus ferrous sulphate is rapidly changed into ferric sulphate. who have eyes that you may not see and ears that you may not hear. This is so much a fact that a therapeutic method of curing external ailments has been based on its special action. Chancellor to Philip the Good. about which I have already spoken at length. the symbolic colour of the night star.136 A miens with a violent explosion in sunlight. work in the daylight if you like. given in the form of a riddle: 'Only * indicated the science of its owner by this characteristic sign of the Work. This emblem. I know. the Virgin is represented with her feet resting on the lunar crescent and always dressed in blue. important to remember that the sun is the destroyer par excellence of all substances too young and too feeble to resist its fiery power. myself. It is. firstly on microbes and then on organic cells has made possible the institution of phototherapy. that the goddess Isis is the mother of all things. A large number of metallic salts in solution are transformed or precipitated more or less rapidly in daylight. for your instruction. I could say much more.

Bourges .

vaulted galleries. that ancient city of the Province of Bern. diose dilapidated rooms. it would be quite impossible to imagine \hc . 1 Bourges. I shall not say much about the first. now out of commission. Faced with those empty walls. it has other equally remarkable buildings to offer to lovers of die past. with- drawn. As well as being justly proud of its fine cathedral. Successive waves of vandalism have swept over it. which was formerly a verit- able museum of hermetic emblems. is silent. calm and grey like a monastery cloister. ruining the interior decoration. the purest jewels in its magnifi- cent crown being the great house of Jacques Coeur and the Lallement mansion. those high.

the great silversmith of the reign of Charles VII.140 Bourges original magnificence of this palatial house. Indeed David de Planis-Campy mentions him as possessing 'the precious gift of the white stone'. were it not for the fact that the facade has been preserved in its original state. bursting with energy. we shall obtain at the same time: 1. if we read cuer with the spelling of the period. The statement of the universal Spirit (ray of light). Be that as it may. did all he could to validate his real or supposed status as a philosopher by fire. This may be seen on the central motifs of the quadrilobate circles on the windows. on the balustrades. etc. we must recognize that Jacques Coeur. Among our silversmith's favourite hieroglyphs. Indeed. They were worn either on the hat (as we see in a statue of St. had the reputation of being a proven adept. The three repetitions essential for the complete perfection of the two Magisteries (the three hearts). using a profusion of symbols of his own choosing. Hence. 2. These two images are always coupled together or placed symmetrically. James in Westminster Abbey) or . in other words the power of transmuting common metals into silver. his title of silversmith. on the panels and on the door knocker. my conviction that Jacques Coeur practised alchemy himself. therefore. The common name for the basic matter. 3. No doubt this duality of the shell and the heart contains a pun on the name of the owner or his shorthand signature. Everyone knows the coat of arms and the device of this prominent personage: three hearts forming the centre of the following inscription. shells of the comb genus (Pecten Jacobaeus to the naturalists) have always been used as the badge of St. takes on a rather singular meaning if we examine it according to cabalistic rules. This proud motto. Jacques Coeur. the heart and the scallop shell hold pride of place. perhaps. given in the form of a riddle: A va'dlans cuer hens impossible (To the valiant heart nothing is impossible). James' pilgrims. It is. or at least that he saw before his very eyes the development of the white stone. which had been 'essencified' by the iron and boiled three times. which has been pro- cessed (the iron). However.

sculptured on a bracket. always in a very obvious manner. ornaments the room called the Treasure Chamber. the former wearing a chaperon with buriet and the latter a 1 Mercury is the Philosophers* holy water.1 which is still called the Traveller or the Pilgrim. Does Nicholas Flamel not describe in the same way. Let us. as he says. not surprising that Jacques Coeur should have had a reproduction of this icon peregrini. I shall not contradict that and. Large shells were formerly used to hold holy water. in his Figures Hieroglyphiques. which are traditional hermetic legends. a casket in the form of a cube protrudes at the foot of a bushy tree. or else fastened on the chest. On each side appear Tristan of Lyonnesse and Isolde. A fine group. is of little interest. they are still to be found in many country churches. With the pilgrim's staff as a guide and the scallop shell as a sign. This fine medieval poem is part of a cycle of Round Table romances. XL). The chapel. This is where all alchemists must begin. is used in secret symbolism to stand for the principle of Mercury. to ask 'Monsieur James of Galicia' for help. light and protection. half of which is on land and half on water. the symbolic journey which he undertook in order. reviving the Greek fables. The shell of Compostella (pi. therefore. nothing remains of the symbolism. placed at the entrance to his mansion. in any case. In the centre of the motif. XXXIX). they must take this long and dangerous journey. It is worn mystically by all those who undertake the work and seek to obtain the star (compos stella). . We are told that it represents the meeting of Tristan and Isolde. They directly concern the transmission of ancient scientific knowledge in the guise of stories. whose foliage conceals the crowned head of King Mark.about which 1 shall have a good deal to say. enter the most curious and original room of the mansion. so popular with medieval puffers. the subject does not change the symbolic effect. where twenty new angels carry globes on their heads and unroll scrolls. then. Pilgrims first. Bourges 141 round the neck. then pilots. Apart from an Annunciation sculptured on the tympanum of the door. which once was there. except for the ceiling vaulting. which has been restored and completely repainted. It is. popularized by the genius of the trouveres of Picardy (pi.

which I mentioned able to see it in perfect state of preservation. This situation This uncommon solvent enables the natural gold to be reincruded. Our characters are Thus we see the outlines of Tristan and Queen Isolde standing out shown in the Forest of Morois on a carpet of long grass and flowers and clearly. motif we are considering. the chest of the patriarch. the uncle and the nephew are. George and St. 'Here is the kitchen. figs—in such abundance that the foliage disappears in the mass of fruit. No restoration and no when describing the Paris medallions. the situated behind Tristan is laden wim enormous fruit—gigantic pears or eagle and the dragon. built on a slope. The salamander (Cyrano de Ber-gerac). chemically speaking. and how compound). being retrograded. It is the combat between Horus and Typhon in the Osirian 2 myth. Didier assures us. killing the monster which guarded Andromeda. Hercules cutting off the heads of the hydra and Perseus cutting off the Gorgon's head. Such is the carry it. guide—whom I must praise for his extreme affability—opens a small of the same kind*and similar in origin. about one storey lower than the level of the courtyard. has been the subject of many secular fables and sacred like it is to the fabulous and wonderful Garden of the Hesperides! allegories. friable and very This arrangement. Let us also note that the queen is the wife of The myth of Tristan and Isolde offers a parallel to the myth of both the old man and of the young hero. It is a low-ceil-inged to say it loses its colour for a certain period—and remains deprived of it basement room. which is as ingenious as it is original. the combat between the mutilation have deprived it of its fine symbolical. Finally. pinning the serpent to an oak tree. which makes the king. It then inherits a second one.142 Bourges Bourges 143 crown. Marcellus The Lallemant mansion has even more to hold our attention than destroying the dragon are Christian counterparts of Perseus. curving corbelshowingascholargraspingthehandleofa pestle. This in accordance with Theseus. It is Cadmus. while the old king remains hidden in the foliage of the central they are both gazing at the mysterious hollowed-out stone. only dimly lighted by a long low window. Theseus the Minotaur. built under a semicircular rising vault. St. Infinitely nobler than the first'. mounted Jacques Coeur's house. by Tristan. one and the same thing. described by all the to the inner courtyard. whose combination provides the secret solvent {and the vessel of the Truly it is a strange place. in the living-rooms. character. Tristan fights and kills the Mohout. . It dimensions. To support his statement. from which tbe staircase begins. This strange encounter of chemical bodies. personified. In fact the On the vaulted landing. which is growing out of the stone—as the tree of Jesse grows out of separates them. This is the rejuvenation of the king. etc.2 necessitates the use of a staircase. The mansion is a town house of modest on his horse Pegasus. has the lower part of the front green serpent. The gold loses its crown—that is door on our right. the beginning of a new evolutionary phase. which she is adjusting with her right hand. Michael. our guide points to a Limojon de St. less ancient in style and with the rare advantage that we are is also the combat between the fox: and the cock. The fireplace is minute and without depth.* he tells us. softened and restored to its original state in a saline. Is this 2 really the image of a broth-spoiler of the sixteenth Technical hermetic term signifying being rendered raws that is to revert to a state preceding maturity. exem- alchemist and the dragon (Cyliani). cut from a until it has reached that degree of superiority to which art or nature may mullion of stone. between the red serpent and the main part of the house. as so-called 'kitchen'. let me Lion—hence the name Tristan of Lyonnesse—which is taught by Basil describe a detail of some value to the analysis of the symbol. affords access fusible form. The tree Valentine in the form of the combat between the two champions. St. which tree. this Forest of Mort-Roi (Dead King). the queen and the lover rediscover here the hieroglyph for the manufacture of the Green combine to form the mineral triad of the Great Work. nephew of King Mark. between the remora and the plified by abundant decoration showing delicate and minute detail. Apollo killing the monster Python with arrows and Jason destroying the dragon of Colchis. from which opens the entrance to the authors. We hermetic tradition.

the mortar. which the imagers of old used in interpreting their thought. composed of white and red in the same proportion as in a bird's egg. Furthermore. the very form of the utensil is characteristic. the enemy of all generative processes. must be excluded. the end of the handle of this supposed pestle is hollowed out and shaped like a whistle. so dark and sad on this bright summer's day. This low room. with no other fittings but a narrow. promoted cook.. since its covering. it really is an egg. insufficient fireplace. On the other hand. without any iron back or pot hanger. Finally. to identify as a pestle the instrument which he is showing to the visitor.. encloses the philosophers' rebis. prepared in its own vessel and ready to undergo the transformations which the action of the fire will produce in it. or its shell. separated from the dining-room by a staircase and an open courtyard. the texts have never given an interpretation of it. I cannot think that the artist would have failed to show also its indispensable counterpart. As for the scullion. what this scullion is holding is really a long-necked matrass. it seems to me to be admirably adapted to alchemical work. the less reasonable does the guide's explanation appear. chosen in such a manner as to mislead the uninitiated not only as to its real purpose but also as to its composition. would not logically be suitable for any culinary purpose at all. This essential and very secret vessel has been given various names. then round the kitchen itself. which certainly proves that we are dealing with a hollow utensil. Batsdorff. In this sense. like those used by our chemists and which they still call balloons on account of tfieir round bodies.144 Bourges century? I doubt it. By the term egg. a vase or phial (pi. says that the philosophers gave the name green lion to the vessel used in the coction. from which the light of the sun. As for the second epithet. XLI).. in his Filet d'Ariadne. 1 know too much about the conscientious care and the scrupulous exactitude. but which would be large enough to take the tower of an athenor—to the scullion. the Wise mean their compound. My glance wanders from the little fireplace— where you could hardly roast a turkey. Generally it is called the philosophers' egg and the green lion. but he does not give any . The more I think about it. The Initiates will understand me and will know what vessel I am talking about.

on the other as an artificial one. dressed in red under a purple cloak and wearing a green cap. and some authors for this reason recommend the choice of Lorraine glass. 'Just a single unclean body enters our magistery. These not very numerous or very clear descriptions. Ripley is nearer to the truth when he says. Manuscript of Georges Aurach of Strasbourg. these practical details are sufficiently well-known for me to be able to dispense with more detailed explanations. on the one hand it is represented as a natural vase. which I have just quoted. provided it is made of clear. Its sides must be of a certain thickness.* Finally. It shows a philosopher. and adds that the whole art is based on the acquisition of this single green Lion and that its very name indicates its colour. the Philosophers call it the green Lion. it appears that the vase is considered in two ways. pointing with his right hand to a glass matrass containing a green liquid. The Cosmopolite. Aurach's manuscript5 shows a glass matrass. It is the medium or means of joining the tinctures between the sun and the moon. written and painted by his own hand. asserts that in the Work 'there is this one green Lion. G. 1415. the essential thing is that it may easily be joined to the enameller's lamp. However. Thanks to its moulding. insisting further on the quality of the vase and its mdispensability in the operation. the Lorraine glass could have very thick and regular sides. A number of texts enlighten us about the form of die egg. by means of the artist's long and resolute patience*. half filled with green liquid. For my own part. This is the vitriol of Basil Valentine. transparent glass. which closes and opens the seven indissoluble seals of the seven metallic spirits and which torments the bodies. This may equally well be round or ovoid. refer to the nature of the vase. until it has entirely perfected them. without a flaw. *The expression Lorraine glass was formerly used to distinguish moulded from blown glass. the neck is long or short. according to the artist's intention or his convenience.' From these references. The third figure of the golden Fleece is almost identical with Aurach's picture. I would like above all to point out that the 3 Le TrZs prec'teux Don de Dieu. both in its matter and in its form. the year of the Salvation of redeemed Humanity. in order to resist the internal pressures. Bourges 145 reason for this. .

to leam. are the two certainties which strike the sort of giant. fasting and is my intention to help the sincere and genuine student. we now reach the paved courtyard. since both play the same part in me Work." replied the hermit. this fact. reflect and profit by them. p. seems beyond doubt that the subject of this masterpiece and of the image of Christ. stelae and other ancient remains." Offerus passed alone before the cross and went on that. "Is there no other explain the esoteric meaning of this. "Why do you do that?" asked Offerus. tiredness. Their setting down the child Jesus on the rocky bank of the legendary torrent. I will shortly watching. I shall first of all give the legendary story in the rendering poor people who have crossed this water have been drowned. leader. follow me. he was sleeping deeply when he was awakened by a knocking at the door and heard the . In the background. so that the reader his servant. He was a the place where nature operates. the interest does not lie here. "I do not understand. on a his hut and walking towards the Child-King (pi. the analogy between this giant. If you do that for the love of Christ." replied the hermit.. Christopher takes on the greatest significance with regard to "Everywhere. but none has kept so close to the legend as this one. made the sign of the cross in terror. who carries Christ. which came down from a high mountain and told him: "The understood. He mansion one of the rarest and most intriguing philosophical dwellings. XLII)." answered ceiling and it contains some monoliths. "Why do you do that?" formed by three curved bays. then you are less powerful than he. "If you are afraid of him. was sent to the court of a powerful king. he began initiate from the start of his visit and which make the Lallemant to travel. the devil ordered I have often had the good fortune to come across fine old illustrations them to turn about. Christopher and of the monolith standing in the dealing with and." said Offerus. who was black. but rather on the back wall. Paris. in order to make myself better torrent. a hermit with a looking for the devil in order to serve him." And thereupon Offerus departed." "I am the devil. One day the king. then you are not as powerful as he." "I will certainly do it for the love of Christ. saying that he wished to serve the greatest king on earth. carried across those travellers. One day. So he built himself a hut on the river bank and day and night he 5 Amed6e de Ponthieu. When he reached the age of reason. 1867. on which there 'After going a long way in search of this powerful monarch. taking him by the hand. the place where the Adept labours. led him to the bank of a raging Parvis Notre Dame in Paris. which give it the appearance of a local archaeological museum. Offerus made a face. Legendes du Vieux Paris." "If you are afraid therefore. The recluse understood whom he was of the statues of St. which I kept back when speaking way of pleasing him?" he asked. who was delighted to have such Preceded by the guide. hearing a singer utter the name of steps will bring us to the entrance to the loggia well lighted by a portico the devil. he will recognize you as bearing on the work itself. who asked. Christopher was called Offerus. Christopher large band of horsemen coming towards him. the king. It is a large room with a heavily beamed Christopher asked at once. further. Offerus. For us So I will serve the devil. the infernal band saw a cross at the roadside. From his way. But. I will and carry those.146 Bourges Bourges 147 laboratory. It. "Because I am afraid of the image of Christ. One night. 'Before he was a Christian. what services can a strong and alert matter Xpumxpopoi. stay here by Amed6e de Ponthieu5 of the version of Jacques de Voragine. he saw a is a magnificent bas-relief in painted stone. always eager of St. who ask." lantern in his hand—for the scene takes place at night—is coming out of So Offerus enrolled himself among the servants of Satan. Christopher. "Because I am afraid of the devil. across to the other side on your strong deliberately underline the passages and names which have a direct shoulders. said to him: "What are you looking for?" "I am across which he has just brought him. Since it fellow like me do for him?" "He is served by prayer. He met a good hermit and asked him where he could see Christ. they have certain details not to be found elsewhere. dressed in red. 106. dull in spirit. A few a strong servant. and the vase of the Work. so I will take the text of Jacques de Voragine contain the same hermetic meaning and service with Christ. overcome by Bachelin-Denoreime. and the gold-bearing but if you are telling the truth. St. long ride." replied may pause. its conditions and materials. It represents St.

" The child replied: "Not only be dissolved is put into the mercury in order to restore it to its first state.' real mother. Tradition has it that the Magi were guided to the cradle by a St. speaking clearly Holy Ghost. The This narrative shows clearly enough how faithfully the artist has wind—which is winged and volatile mercury—carried it in her belly'. He is shown in this way on the capital of a column in the Church of This is the sign. tail. the perfection and the extreme die child on his broad shoulders and stepped into the torrent. the famous feast marking the the water. apart from the fact that for many birdi. . which it is die custom who ordered the work from him. raised his his Signature. 148 Bourges Bourges 149 voice of a child. carried by that a book which teaches nothing is useless and vain. But he has says Hermes in the Emerald Tablet.the scientific fact hidden beneath the the fish 'which swims in our philosophic water'. who called him three times by name. in other words to infant gold. like the sirens. It is the child Jesus. Brice at St. p. since the gold is indeed reborn in her womb. the Son of the Sun. observed and represented the legend down to the last details. Furthermore. he suddenly saw the torrent become violent. commonly called the bather. sel. But. I baptize why mercury— that faithful servant and Seal of the earth—is called the you in the name of my Father and in my own name and in that of the Fountain of Youth.7 It should be noted that in the Byzantine Offerus' belt is marked with crisscross lines. took marking exteriorly the intrinsic virtue. The Philosophers are. Seal burden. it is the gold in its bath. expression of the Cosmopolite. And over. why do you make yourself so heavy? geometric pattern remains and shows up more clearly when the gold to I feel as though I were carrying the world. the Pole Star. reached the middle. the Mark and the Imprint of the Almighty. we find the secret done even better than this. as soon as the solution has been carried day on. Traite du Sel. according to the very image. 1669. knotted on the shoulder manifestation of the Christ Child to the three Magi-Kings and to the and drawn in round the waist with a broad belt. It is this belt which gives gentiles. J. but the waves went on increasing and the child confuses the mind of seekers). the bather. I think also little child. I Offerus. What I am going to say about star. for fear of dropping the little traveller. etc. Then. like a Christ. your name will be Christopher. That is your God and your master. the Good News of his it here is not taught elsewhere. that of young or rejuvenated gold. Brisson-sur-Loire (Loiret). with a fish's surface of the solvent when it has been prepared according to canon law. Under the inspiration of the hermetic scholar. clothing him in some light material. the servant or the traveller. which was for them the annunciatory sign. because the stone. version of this positive truth in the Epiphany cake. afraid of drowning him. are you carrying the world. d'Houry. became heavier and heavier. Our cake is signed like the matter itself and contains inside it the people the science taught here remains none the less obscure. frow now on.6 he has placed the giant with his feet in for families to eat at Epiphany. the sabot. we know that Jean Lallemant belonged to the Cosmopolite or Nouvelle Lumiere chymique. I have already said several times. This head towards him and said: "Child. therefore. but the child's weight was like a heavy this sign has been called by the ancient authors the Seal of Hermes. like the T Lallemant mansion. For this reason. I am Christ. in order to it is the bean. also the Star of the Magi. When he purity of their mercurial substance. The fish is the hieroglyph of •According to certain documents preserved in the archives of the the Philosophers' Stone in its first state. alchemical brotherhood of the Knights of the Round Table. that the whole work of the art consists in waves swelled and hurled themselves at his sinewy legs to knock him processing this mercury until it receives the above-mentioned sign. Christopher his real esoteric character. Offerus. am going to endeavour to lay bare the symbol as far as I can. being put instead of Seel. but him who made the world. As a reward for your good service. which in order to lean on it. seal. bears the child. like those seen on the basilicas Christ was sometimes represented. recognized by all the Philosophers as St. salt." From that when they teach that mercury. the cradle or the cross of honour and it is also show to investigators of the occult . Paris. He got up. The and I will repeat again. Christopher went up and down the world to teach the word of out. the Little King (Kinglet). he uprooted a tree of the Wise (Sel des Sages. He resisted as best he could. 76.

the capital of a pillar. by Fn. Paris. 1801. He one Didier advises investigators to direct their way 'by the sight of the north above the other hke the leaves of a book. or merely extracted from the mine. which are widely found. Thus we see This mysterious fish is the royal fish par excellence. is the oursin (echinus. The one finding the first matter of the Work expressed symbolically as a book. each one the crown. he will never lack money. book with leaves. sea represented by the Epiphany cake. p. the name royal fish used to be given to the dolphin. which enable it to be opened. The fossilized shells of sea urchins. Similarly. 10 9 Martigny. science and by fortune. It is simple in style. above all. Sometimes. It is. 'you will notice that it is all their surface rayed hke a star. where I was invited to share this cake. Fr. the Lallemant mansion: on the middle window of die corner turret. a dolphin which the Nature. giving access to the reception rooms. crumbly and Star. I would just hke to draw the attention of the curious to the illuminating.' Indeed. according to whedier it has been king. Let us go through die dining room. There are some very origin. on that one knows how to open it—which is even more difficult. Eucharistie The popular expression to take the cake means to be fortunate. The one who is fortunate enough to find the bean in the cake has no further 2nd edition. Noel11 tells us. which form this substance. drawing a fine fish from the water. had been replaced by a china fish and this fish was a sole (Lat sol. it in his slice of cake is given the title of king and is entertained like a sometimes open. instead of the usual diamond pattern. showing a stove. earth of leaves. which is an exact picture of the mesh formed of The basket borne by the fish is the same hieroglyph as the cake. is born and lives in water. when this book sturgeon. for this reason it has been star. this name was uncommon to see it sealed with seven bands. called cista. basket of Bacchus. when symbology. Noel. He will be doubly king. 'If you look at it closely. Dictionnaire de la Fable. the salmon and the trout. 'the spreading branches. This is an interesting confirmation of die matter famous fish. catching it in a net. Even the very pastry of the cake obeys the laws of traditional the sun). a royal fish. Pfaus in 1702. 11 need for anything. This is the reason why Limojon de St. At the end of the courtyard is the the chapel. I will explain the hermetic meaning of the oak later. what is more. H. This pastry is flaky and our little bather is shut up in it hke a speaking of the Golden Fleece.6 Let me also made of intercrossed strands. which was carried by die Cistophors in 1 was somewhat surprised to see it decorated with an oak tree with the Bacchanalian processions and 'in which'. since the eldest son of a king. always bore the title of Dauphin (dolphin) the name of a fish breaking one of the seven fastening seals. easy to read. there is one of a fisherman with a fish swimming in the waves and bearing on its back a basket containing line. Indeed beautiful things there and lovers of the Renaissance will find much to satisfy their taste. In point of fact. Now. which he calls Echineis. Dictionnaire des Antiquites chretiennes. art. These are the marks of the only symbolical. . moreover. the worked. the crystalline layers. 291. At a friend's house. whose pages hold die revelation of the profane sciences and of fishermen in the boat in the Mutus Liber are trying to catch with net and the sacred mysteries. It also is intercrossed threads represented on our Epiphany cakes. as well as on the top-piece of the little credence in Let us now go inside the mansion. flaky. s Kept in die museum at Winterthur (Switzerland). because it was said Uiat these is shown closed—indicating die raw mineral substance—-it is not species were reserved for the royal table. soils. the constellation containing the Pole prepared mercury has the aspect and form of a stony mass. Without extending these comparisons any mention another emblematic form. the one who was to wear seven successive operations. dolphins are to be seen on various decorative motifs of that one knows where to find it—which is very hard—and. providing always hook.150 Bourges Bourges 151 fish. The Greek Ikhthus of the Roman catacombs has the same arched door. which may be a vase full of wine. Other allegories recommended some loaves and a long red object. This is the Great Book of and. have flaky. Let me add that the Cosmopolite's book marker. made by P. The bather most mysterious thing was shut up*. etc. Sendivogius tells us that the urchin)—the ourson (Little Bear). which is rarer but no less further.' he says.' called leafy earth. Among the paintings of the alchemical Martigny10 reproduces a curious painting of the catacombs. Le Normant. sometimes closed.

and let us enter the chapel. XLIII). The bas-relief of the Golden Fleece. which are difficult to identify—a dromedary. In the midst of an amphitheatre of mossy rocks with vertical sides. which was no doubt loosely connected. lovingly carved and engraved by splendid artists. which is quite short. A pretty sixteenth-century credence presents an alchemical enigma. but so suitable for meditation in its mystical intimacy.—which bring life to the wild and unprepossessing scene. is scarcely a chapel at all. etc. All the ornamentation is secular. has become detached from the whole (pi. rise the rugged trunks and leafy foliage of a forest. The sections of the ceiling act as frames for numerous hieroglyphic figures.. which you see first of all upon entering. a ram's skin is lying on a projecting rock. is a very fine landscape in stone. has as its subject the pagan myth of the Golden Fleece. guarded by a dragon. composed mainly of oak trees. . Is it possible that this little room. studio or oratory? I will leave the question unanswered. Here is no religious scene. a frog on the top of a rock. executed in the same style as the St. enhanced by colour but poorly lighted. no verse from the psalms.. but so worn by time that these are difficult to distinguish. and full of curious details. On the right. Jason himself used to be represented at the foot of an oak tree. Christopher of the loggia. if we except the window with its three arches bearing tracery in the gothic style.152 Bourges with its marvellous cloisonne ceiling and high fireplace. whose menacing silhouette stands out against the sky. the term Golden Fleece is applied to the Cf. . In the grass are growing flowers and reeds of the genus phragmites. a bull or cow. no gospel parable. can have been the scene of the Philosopher's reading or prayers? Is it chapel. all the motifs. are borrowed from hermetic science. but this part of the composition. cit. A superb painted bas-relief. which results in the Philosophic stone. so unorthodox in its adornment. This room. bearing the coats of arms of Louis XII and Anne of Bntanny. In the clearings one catches sight of various animals. nothing but the mysterious utterance of the priestly art. op.12 In the language of the Adepts. with which it is decorated. which is a veritable jewel. Alchimie. The fable of the Golden Fleece is a complete representation of the hermetic process.

Bourges 153

matter prepared for the Work, as well as to the final result. This is very
exact, since these substances differ only in purity, fixity and maturity.
The Philosophers' Stone and the Philosophic Stone are, then, two things
similar in kind and origin, but the first is raw, while the second, which is
derived from it, is perfectly cooked and digested. The Greek poets tell
us that uZeus was so pleased with the sacrifice, made in his honour by
Phryxos, that he desired that all those who had this fleece should live in
abundance for as long as they kept it, but mat everyone should be
allowed to try to win it'. One can assert without fear of contradiction that
those who make use of this permission are not at all numerous. It is not
that the task is impossible or even that it is extremely perilous—since
anyone knowing the dragon will also know how to overcome it—but the
great difficulty lies in interpreting the symbolism. How is one to
reconcile satisfactorily so many diverse images, so many contradictory
texts? This is, however, the only means we have of finding the right path
among all those blind alleys and dead ends which are offered to us and
which tempt the novice, eager to set off. Let me, therefore, never cease
to urge that pupils should endeavour to solve this obscure point, which,
although a material and tangible one, is the central pivot of all the
symbolical combinations which we are studying.
Here truth lies veiled under two distinct images, those of the oak and
the ram, which, as I have just been saying, represent one and the same
thing under two different aspects. Indeed, the oak has always been taken
by the ancient authors to indicate the common name of their initial
subject as it is found in the mine. It is by means of an approximation
corresponding to the oak that the Philosophers inform us about this
matter. The phrase I use may sound ambiguous. I am sorry about that,
but I cannot speak more clearly without overstepping certain limits.
Only those who are initiated in the language of the gods will understand
without any difficulty, since they possess the keys to unlock all doors,
whether of science or of religion. But among all the would-be
cabalists—so much more pretentious than knowledgeable—whether
they be Jewish or Christian, how many are capable of really
understanding these things? Where does one find a Tiresias, a Thales or
a Melampus? It is certainly not for the would-be experts, whose illusory
combinations lead to nothing concrete,

154 Bourges Bourges 155

positive or scientific, that I take die trouble to write. Let us leave these subject which you must choose; its common name will be clearly
doctors of the Kabbala to their ignorance and return to our subject, known to you. You will then be in possession of this Chaos of the Wise
which is represented hermetically by the oak tree. 'in which all hidden secrets exist in potential', as Philalethes asserts, and
Everyone knows that the oak often has on its leaves small, round, which the skilled artist will not hesitate to actualize. Open, that is to say
wrinkled excrescences, sometimes pierced by a hole, called oak galls decompose, this matter. Try to separate the pure part of it, or its metallic
(Lat. galia). Now, if we compare three words of the same family in soul as the sacred expression has it, and you will have the kirmis, the
Latin: galla, Gallia, gallus, we obtain gall, Gaul and the cock. The cock Hermes, the mercury dye which has within it the mystic gold, just as St.
is the emblem of Gaul and the attribute of Mercury, as Jacob Tollius13 Christopher carries Jesus and the ram carries its own fleece. You will
expressly tells us. It stands on die top of the steeple in French churches understand why die Golden Fleece is hung on the oak, like the gall and
and it is not without reason that France is called the eldest Daughter of die kirmis, and you will be able to say, without violating the truth, that
the Church. We are only a step from discovering what the masters of the the old hermetic oak acts as mother to the secret mercury. By
art have taken so much care to hide. Let us continue. The oak not only comparing legends and symbols, light will dawn in your mind and you
provides the gall, but it also gives the kirmis (Fr. kermes), which, in the will know the close affinity which unites the oak to the ram, St.
Gay Science, has the same signification as Hermes, the initial Christopher to the Child-King, the Good Shepherd to the lamb, the
consonants being interchangeable. The two terms have an identical Christian counterpart of Hermes Criophorus (the ram bearer), etc.
meaning, namely Mercury. At any rate, while gall gives the name of the Leave the threshold and stand in the middle of the chapel, then raise
raw mercurial matter, kirmis (Arab. girmiz that which dyes scarlet) your eyes and you will be able to admire one of the finest collections of
characterizes the prepared substance. It is important not to confuse these emblems to be found anywhere.11 This ceiling, composed of coffers
things if error is to be avoided when proceeding to die experiments. arranged in three longitudinal rows, is supported towards the middle of
Remember, then, that the Philosophers' mercury, that is to say their its span by two square pillars close to the walls and bearing four grooves
prepared matter, must possess the virtue of dyeing and that it acquires on their fronts.
this virtue only after the preliminary preparations. The right hand one, as you face the only window lighting this little
room, has between its spiral scrolls a human skull with two wings,
As for the common subject of the Work, some call it Magnesia
which rests on a bracket. This is a graphic representation of a new
lunarii; others, who are more sincere, call it Lead of the Wise, vegetable
procreation, deriving from putrefaction following upon the death which
Saturn. Philalethes, Basil Valentine and the Cosmopolite say Son or
comes to mixtures, when they have lost their vital and volatile soul. The
Child of Saturn. In these various names they are thinking sometimes of
death of the body gives rise to a dark blue or black coloration associated
its magnetic property of attracting sulphur, sometimes of its fusible
with the crow, the hieroglyph of the caput mortuum^ of the work. This
quality, its ease of liquefaction. For all of them it is the Holy Earth
is the sign and the first manifestation of dissolution, of the separation of
(Terra Sancta). Finally, this mineral has as its celestial hieroglyph the
the elements and the future
astronomical sign of the Ram (Aries). Gala in Greek signifies milk and 14
mercury is still called Virgin's Milk (lac virginis). Therefore, brothers, if Two examples of comparable treatment of initiary subjects are to
be found on two wonderful ceilings. One of them, a sculpture of the
you pay attention to what I have said about the Epiphany cake (galette sixteentii century is at Dampierre-sur-Boutonne (Les Demeures
des Rois), and if you know why the Egyptians defied the cat, you will no Philo-sophales). The other example, a painted ceiling of the fifteenth
longer have any doubt about the century, is at Plessis-Bourre (Deux Login Alchimiques).
18 Translator's note: Caput mortuum, dead head; alchemical term for
Manuductio ad Coelum chemicum. Amstelodami, ap. J. Waesbergios, residuum of a substance after distillation or sublimation.

156 Bourges

procreation of sulphur, the colouring and fixed principle of metals. The
two wings are put there to show that through the abandonment of the
volatile and watery part, the dislocation of the parts takes place, the
cohesion is broken. The body, which has mortified, falls to black ashes,
which resemble coal dust. Then, through the action of the intrinsic fire
developed by this dispersal, the ashes, having calcined, lose the gross
impurities, which were capable of being burnt. A pure salt is then born,
which is coloured little by little in boiling and assumes the occult power
of the fire (pi. XLIV).
The capital on the left shows a decorative vase, whose mouth is
flanked by two dolphins. A flower, which seems to come out of the vase,
opens out into a form resembling heraldic lilies. All these symbols refer
to the solvent or common mercury of the Philosophers, the opposite
principle to sulphur, whose processing was emblematically indicated
on the other capital.
At the base of these two supports, a large wreath of oak leaves, cut by
a vertical bar decorated with the same foliage, reproduces the graphic
sign which, in the spagyric art, corresponds to the common name of the
subject. In this way, the wreath and the capital together form the
complete symbol of the first matter, sometimes shown as an orb, which
God, Jesus and some great monarchs are shown holding in their hands.
It is not my intention to analyse minutely all the images decorating
the coffers of the ceiling, which is a model of its kind. The subject,
which is drawn out at great length, would necessitate a special study and
frequent repetition would be inevitable. I will, therefore, confine myself
to giving a rapid description of it and to a summary of what is expressed
by the most striking images. Among the latter, I will first mention the
symbol of sulphur and its extraction from the first matter, which, as we
have just seen, is graphically represented on each of the engaged pillars.
It is an armillary sphere, placed on a burning fire and resembling most
closely one of the pictures in the treatise on the Azoth. Here the furnace
takes the place of Atlas, and this image of our practice, which is itself
very instructive, needs no commentary. Not far away, an ordinary straw
beehive is shown, surrounded by its bees. This is a subject frequently
reproduced, especially on the alchemical stove of Winterthur.
Here—and what

Here. is an overturned vase. above the Absolute. demanding only one operation. determines the meaning of this little bas-relief. at least. or go on?—I hesitate. allowing only one way. who knows how to do the Work by the one and only mercury has found the most perfect thing. is holding a lighted torch. The procedure is simple and complete. . this is a child trying to break a rosary over his knee. overflowing with flowers and fruit. the hieroglyph par excellence of the Work and of the production of the Philosophic stone. the bird in question not being well defined. A detail. Here is the horn of Amalthea. The background of the coffer bearing this image repeats fifteen times the graphic symbol. a large shell. There. which enables the contents of the shell to be identified exactly. urinating freely into his sabot. Shall I stop. which it expresses. combined in a single body.'10 That. falling from the jaws of a decorative lion. while at his feet lies a dead snake. the same hieroglyph. Below is mercury. which held it suspended by a cord. In another figure we again see the child—who appears to play the part of the artist—with his feet 18 Fulcanelli is here using the postscript to the letter which he carried about with him for many years and which is reproduced in full in the second Preface of 1957. coming out of a rock. kneeling beside a pile of flat ingots. It is the union of the two triangles of fire and water. 'He. now. Further on. but whether the emblem is the black hen or the red partridge makes no difference to the hermetic meaning. the hand snatching big horse-chestnuts or sweet chestnuts. The top piece of the pile bears the star seal of Solomon the magician king. which has now broken. Another rather unorthodox and irreverent subject follows. is what the famous authors maintain. or of sul- phur and mercury. which produces the six-point star. shows a substance fixed to it and bound with spiral scrolls. our scallop shell. Bowges 157 a strange motif it is for a chapel!—is a little boy. requiring only one matter. is holding an open book. the same child. This is an original version of the solve et coagula of Notre Dame of Paris. there is another one showing a forearm in flames. showing in the half-light of the mouldings. Further on. This time it is large and is in the midst of a burning furnace. The same sign—substituted for the name of the matter—appears nearby. Beside this image. on which perches a hen or partridge.

subjected to the action of fire in a vase of goldsmith's work. which seem to have come from the big one. I have finished my list of the principal hermetic emblems. throwing in front of him tiny shells. Apud Joan. philosophic calcination. symbolized by a pomegranate. this credence itself bears the alchemical imprint. followed by the letter R. which it is considered impossible to solve.1'' the work of some Jesuit fathers. we may see. the details of which I have merely tried to describe in this work (pi. makes his wooden horse rear up (pi. 158 Bourges placed in the hollow of our famous scallop shell. perched on the skull. the angel 'spinning the world' like a top. which it is pecking. XLV). the fiery crow. Never. which indicates to the artist the necessity of three repetitions of the same procedure. This failure stems no doubt from the fact that no one has understood the purpose of the symbolism in the entire decoration. which attracts attention both by the prettiness of its decoration and by its enigma. or what science was concealed beneath its many hieroglyphs. We also see the open book consumed by fire. was not considered in its true meaning. above the calcinated body. Indeed. emblem of St. which could have served as a guide. the radiant and flamboyant dove surrounded by an aureole. sculptured on the ceiling of the chapel. James' pilgrims or holy water container. Let me end this study by analysing a very curious and strangely rare specimen. has any visitor been able to explain it. which is a subject taken up and developed further in a little book called Typus Mundi. 1627. XLVI). directly below the capitals. . on the engaged pillars supporting the architrave of this temple in miniature. 1T Typus Mundi. on which I have several times insisted. near the window. in which oriental imagination has taken free rein. Cnobbaert. it has remained for everyone a mythological work. the emblems belonging to philosophic mercury: the scallop shell. Hollowed out of the wall. mentioned in Trimosin's Toison d'Or and shown in an identical manner: a boy. symbol of the Spirit. the following image represents the ludus puerorum. However. a composite picture of death and putrefaction. is a little sixteenth century credence. according to our guide. with his whip in the air and a joyful expression. The fine bas-relief of the Golden Fleece. Finally. the figure 3 may be seen.

This is always the same indication of the watery and volatile principle. RE. I would refer the investigator to the bas-relief on the ceiling. the three fiery pomegrantes of the pediment confirm this triple action of a single procedure. another thing. since they represent the fire embodied in this red salt. in addition. a thing. joined by their tails at the top of the pediment. the medicine of the third order. I translate it as two things in one or a double thing. regarded in its material aspect. the second operation. in order to achieve the three philosophic works. you will find that the word REBIS. and how it is carried out. produces the Philosophic Stone. Thanks to this simple arrangement. CHAPEL OF THE LALLEMANT MANSION Enigma of the Credence. RER. which contains all the virtues. stands for their com- XLVI. I can already find a clue in the three repetitions of one and the same technique hidden in the mysterious expression RERE. Each of them is repeated three times on the concave back of the niche. If you open a hermetic dictionary or turn over the pages of any alchemical work. means the thing. frequently used by the Philosophers. If anyone asks. finally. according to the doctrine of Geber. which shows a pomegranate being roasted in a certain vase. which do not seem to have any meaning. RERE is thus the equivalent of RE BIS (a thing twice). The pediment consists of a single large decorative shell. and RE. ablative of the Latin res. . what this triple operation consists of. or medicine of the second order. the third operation. But how is one to decipher the enigma of those words devoid of meaning? In a very simple way. RER. Furthermore. The enigma itself consists in two inscriptions: RERE. carried out like the two former ones. The first operation leads primarily to the Sulphur. a medicine of the first order. which differs from Sulphur only in quality. provides the Elixir. multiplied in power and in extent. and. we may easily understand that it is necessary to repeat three times the calcination of this body. qualities and perfections of the Sulphur and the Elixir. Three pomegranates in flames complete the ornament of this symbolic credence. not in nature. attributes of the sea god Neptune. which is the philosophic Sulphur. Bourges 159 surmounted by the wings and trident. Since the word RERE is the union of RE. completely similar to the first. whose results I have shown. serving as a mount for two symmetrical dolphins.

160 Bourges Bourges 161 post. or compound ready to undergo the successive metamorphoses the sulphur of the realgar or its arsenic. although he was working on right thanksgiving must be directed only to the Creator.' Apply yourself to making it according to our art. I will say that these three make glass. (secret of secrets). nor according to the art until it is calcined. when he the magistery in something volatile? But if you possess no vase to hold it. Your two hundred times without success. I his vessel himself. but of a to stone. could then be Cyprian Piccolpassi. a combination which has received a forming half the realgar. a humid matter. R. to unite radically and indis-solubly. that is a maxim of the art. Nevertheless. which the masters of the Middle Ages called the secretum secretorum Our tour is over. Return the pure part of the from what material it must be made. of which he possessed all the secrets. I would like to be equally clear about the explanation of the second Here is some more advice: seek first the RER. As for me. then. then your compound. RE. Note that it is not here a question of proportions. which is half RE. in his hand? Nothing seems to indicate it. R. therefore.18 transformations of the compost RERE. rather than to vellum. Look at Picolpassi's plates. Is there somewhere a book written matter. How am I to give sufficient hints. Pontanus confesses that before powder obtained to your compound. will easily find a pot to cook it in. you will find one showing a dove with its claws attached to a stone. he preferred to entrust of itself. which you will seal up in the same knowing this secret vessel he had begun the same work again more than vase. but only that you should take undertake anything until you have received all the light on this eggshell. which is seen as the other half double occult property. I am and suitable matters and using the proper method. The Sibyll. make your vase. The potter's RER is used to cook. referring to the vase of the work. Repeat for the third time and do not give me any thanks. 1861. but I am not allowed to tear down the veil of mystery After that the RERE will easily be recognizable to you. then. philosophic mercury. let me give an example. from nature and from art. Librairie Internationale. without letters contain a vitally important secret. in the same red sulphide. the undeniable evidence of an immense chemical combination independent of relative quantities. The artist must make nothing but a beacon on the great highway of the esoteric Tradition. the amalgam of obtained by augmenting the realgar with sulphur. heat the whole Work. which are similar or different under the influence of fire. in order to satisfy as far as possible the asked what a Philosopher was. a dry matter. half RE. who knows how to legitimate curiosity of the children of the art. the same trouble for others as I have taken for you. from being dissipated without maintain. will mean a half thing or a half matter. following the RER. I will continue. paying too much attention to the processes of glass-making. who has the matter. No doubt. according to whether you consider the sulphur and the arsenic sophic gold. replied: 'It is a man. Once again we stand in pensive and silent wonder. just and make myself better understood. on the contrary—and you may have faith in my leaving the least trace? Therefore. sincerity—that it will be impossible to obtain the slightest success in the seal it with care. or with arsenic. at once both dry and humid. a double matter. therefore. according to the excellent advice of ToIIius. seek and find Douze Clefs and be careful not to take his words literally. L . if you do not know perfectly what this Philosophers' Vase is. or natural sulphur of 18 Claudius Popelin. without breaking my vow? Do not trust what Basil Valentine says in his Must you not. when concealing it.' I how will you prevent it from evaporating. by the Knight arsenic. In this way the RER will be REBIS. pondering on tiiese marvellous and surprising exemplars. Do not. RERE or separately or combined in the realgar. philo. is the equivalent of a matter increased by half of another or example of the great Adepts of the Middle Ages. In order to science. alleges that 'he. to activate the craft would be more instructive for you. term RER. which is considered as philosophic gold and mercury. is this RER?—We have seen that RE means a thing. It is. exactly equilibrated. a has so long remained unknown to us. Let us suppose equitable that his memory that the matter represented by RE is realgar. ask for neither remembrance nor gratitude. that is to say die vessel. Paris. whose author What. Les Trois Livres de VArt du Potier. in such a way that no spirit may escape. RE.

to have communion mere with Geber (Magister Magistrorum) and with Roger Bacon (Doctor admirabilis).162 Bourges should be revived among us. alchemist and Knight of the Round Table. He equals the mighty Basil Valentine. The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye . namely modesty and sincerity. in the range of his knowledge. which he carried to the highest degree of perfection. deserves to take his place round the Holy Grail. but excels them in expressing two eminently scientific and philosophical qualities. the charitable Flamel. Jean Lallemant. that his name should at last emerge from obscurity and shine like a star of the first magnitude in the hermetic firmament.

is a rather painful and almost hostile one. bristling with proud villas. over the sea. showing ochre in the crude light. thrusting into the dark greyish-green mirror-calm waters of the gulf. the natural austerity of the wild scene is scarcely relieved by the headland of Fuenterrabia.Hendaye. swift and shining Bidassoa and the grassy hills. It is framed by the green ocean. a small frontier town in the Basque country. On the horizon. the type of dialect of the inhabitants. and the very special attraction of a new beach. One's first impression. . has its little houses huddled at the foot of the first spurs of the Pyrenees. on seeing this rough and rugged landscape. Apart from the Spanish character of its houses. the broad.

166 The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye 167

Hendaye has nothing to hold the attention of the tourist, the Certainly it is easy to recognize the well-known phrase: O crux ave
archaeologist or the artist. spes unica (Hail o cross, the only hope). However, if we were to
Leaving the station, a country road, skirting the railway line, leads to translate it like a schoolboy, we should not know the purpose either of
the parish church, situated in the middle of the village. This church, with the base or of the cross and we might be surprised by such an invocation.
its bare walls and its massive, squat rectangular tower, stands in a In reality, we should carry carelessness and ignorance to the pitch of
square a few steps above ground level and bordered by leafy trees. It is disregarding the elementary rules of grammar. The masculine word pes
an ordinary, dull building, which has been renovated and is of no in the nominative requires the adjective unicus, agreeing in gender, and
particular interest. However, near the south transept there is a humble not the feminine form unica. It would, therefore, appear that the
stone cross, as simple as it is strange, hiding amidst the greenery of the corruption of the word spes, hope, into pes, foot, by dropping the initial
square. It was formerly in the parish cemetery and it was only in 1842 consonant, must be the unintentional result of a complete lack of
that it was brought to its present site near the church. At least, that is knowledge on the part of our stone-cutter. But does inexperience really
what was told me by an old Basque man, who had for many years acted justify such uncouthness? I cannot think so. Indeed, a comparison of the
as sexton. As for the origin of this cross, it is unknown and I was not other motifs, carried out by the same hand and in the same manner,
able to obtain any information at all about the date of its erection. shows evident care to reproduce the normal positioning, a care shown
However, judging by the shape of the base and the column, I would not both in the placing and in the balance of the motifs. Why should the
think that it could be before the end of the seventeenth or beginning of inscription have been treated less scrupulously? A careful examination
the eighteenth century. Whatever its age, the Hendaye cross shows by of the latter shows mat the letters are clear, if not elegant, and do not
the decoration of its pedestal that it is the strangest monument of overlap (pi. XLVII). No doubt our workman traced them first in chalk or
primitive millenarism, the rarest symbolical translation of chiliasm,1 charcoal, and this rough draft must rule out any idea that a mistake
which I have ever met. It is known that this doctrine, first accepted and occurred during the actual cutting of the letters. However, since this
then refuted by Origen, St. Denis of Alexandria and St. Jerome although apparent mistake exists, it follows that it must really have been intended.
it had not been condemned by the Church, was part of the esoteric The only reason that I can think of is that it is a sign put in on purpose,
tradition of the ancient hermetic philosophy. concealed under the appearance of an inexplicable blunder, and
The naivety of the bas-reliefs and their unskilful execution lead one intended to arouse the curiosity of the observer. I will, therefore, state
to suppose that these stone emblems were not the work of a professional that, in my opinion, it was with knowledge and intent that the author
sculptor; but, aesthetic considerations apart, we must recognize that the arranged the inscription of his puzzling work in this way.
unknown workman, who made these images, possessed real and I had already been enlightened by studying the pedestal and knew in
profound knowledge of the universe. what way and by means of what key the Christian inscription of the
On the transverse arm of the cross—a Greek cross—is found the monument should be read; but I was anxious to show investigators what
following inscription, consisting of two strange parallel lines of raised help may be obtained in solving hidden matters from plain common
letters, forming words almost running into each other, in the same order sense, logic and reasoning.
as I give here: The letter S, which takes on the curving shape of a snake,
OCRUXAVES corresponds to the Greek khi (X) and takes over its esoteric meaning. It
PESUNICA is the helicoidal track of the sun, having arrived at the zenith of its curve
Translator's note: millenarism, chiliasm, doctrine of belief in the across space, at the time of the cyclic catastrophe.

168 The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye

It is a theoretical image of the Beast of the Apocalypse, of the dragon,
which, on the days of Judgment, spews out fire and brimstone on
macrocosmic creation. Thanks to the symbolic value of the letter S,
displaced on purpose, we understand that the inscription must be
translated in secret language, that is to say in the language of the gods or
the language of the birds, and that the meaning must be found with the
help of the rules of Diplomacy. Several authors, and particularly Grasset
d'Orcet in his analysis of the Songe de Polyphile published by the Revue
Britannique, have given these sufficiently clearly to make it
unnecessary for me to repeat them. We shall, then, read in French, the
language of the diplomats, the Latin just as it is written. Then, by
making use of the permutation of vowels, we shall be able to read off the
new words, forming another sentence, and re-establish the spelling, the
word order and the literary sense. In this way we obtain the following
strange announcement : // est ecrit que la vie se refugie en un seul
espace (It is written that life takes refuge in a single space)2 and we learn
that a country exists, where death cannot reach man at the terrible time
of the double cataclysm. As for the geographical location of this
promised land, from which the 61ite will take part in the return of the
golden age, it is up to us to find it. For the elite, the children of Elias,
will be saved according to the word of Scripture, because their profound
faith, their untiring perseverence in effort, will have earned for them the
right to be promoted to the rank of disciples of the Christ-Light. They
will bear his sign and will receive from him the mission of renewing for
regenerated humanity the chain of tradition of the humanity which has
The front of the cross, the part which received the three terrible nails
fixing the agonized body of the Redeemer to the accursed wood, is
indicated by the inscription INRI, carved on its transverse arm. It
corresponds to the schematic image of the cycle, shown on the base (pi.
XLVIII). Thus we have two symbolic crosses, both instruments of the
same torture. Above is the divine cross, exemplifying the chosen means
of expiation; below is the global
Latin spatium, with the meaning of place, situation, given to it by
Tacitus. It corresponds to the Greek Xoptov, root Xwp«, country,

The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye 169

cross, fixing the pole of the northern hemisphere and locating in time
the fatal period of this expiation. God the Father holds in his hand this
globe, surmounted by the fiery sign. The four great ages—■ historical
representations of the four ages of the world—have their sovereigns
shown holding this same attribute. They are Alexander, Augustus,
Charlemagne and Louis XIV.3 It is this which explains the inscription
INRI, exoterically translated as lesus Nazarenus Rex ludeorum {Jesus
of Nazaredi, King of the Jews), but which gives to the cross its secret
meaning: Igne Nalura Renovatur Integra (By fire nature is renewed
whole). For it is by fire and in fire that our hemisphere will soon be tried.
And just as, by means of fire, gold is separated from impure metals, so,
Scripture says, the good will be separated from the wicked on the great
Day of Judgment.
On each of the four sides of the pedestal, a different symbol is to be
seen. One has the image of the sun, another of the moon; the third shows
a great star and the last a geometric figure, which, as I have just said, is
none other than the diagram used by the initiates to indicate the solar
cycle. It is a simple circle, divided into four sectors by two diameters
cutting each other at right angles. The sectors each bear an A, which
shows that they stand for the four ages of the world. This is a complete
hieroglyph of the universe, composed of the conventional signs for
heaven and earth, the spiritual and the temporal, the macrocosm and the
microcosm, in which major emblems of the redemption (cross) and the
world (circle) are found in association.
In medieval times, these four phases of the great cyclic period, whose
continuous rotation was expressed in antiquity by means of a circle
divided by two perpendicular diameters, were generally represented by
the four evangelists or by their symbolic letter, which was the Greek
alpha, or, more often still, by the four evangelical beasts surrounding
Christ, the living human representation of the cross. This is the
traditional formula, which one meets frequently on the tympana of
Roman porches. Jesus is shown there seated, his
The first three are emperors, the fourth is only a king, the Sun King,
thus indicating the decline of the star and its last radiation. This is dusk,
the forerunner of the long cyclic night, full of horror and terror, 'the
abomination of desolation*.

which attend him. like Matthew. or third age.'4 us that. Matthew. Finally. In the Treda Yuga or second age. 5. It is the Gospel like a lion. ch. formed by the cross. which is the age of bronze. This word has given M&hjens. balancing on only one leg. Greek MKT6«IO<.10 and 11. During the Touvabara Yuga. MaG^aro^. creatures. study. and which alone is capable of penetrating die mystery of things. corresponding to the Greek age of gold and called the Creda Yuga or age of innocence. The Gospel of this fatal age is the one written under the inspiration of St. reproduced in the figure seven. by an ellipse. XLDO. (royal portal) and Le Mans (west porch). unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne. on the which is the number of transformation. the Kali Yuga. the last of all but for us the first. These groups. because science. utmost degree of feebleness and senility: it is scarcely able to stand.170 The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye 171 left hand resting on a book. and the scythe. 4. and the third beast had a face according to Science. as may be seen in the cathedrals of Chartres the skeleton. the cyclic cow or human virtue reaches the * Revelation. because it teaches as a man. For this This agrees with Ezekiel's version: 'And I looked. in the age of iron. Matthaeus. and a fire infolding itself and a brightness was about it. and separated from the four beasts. they four also had the face of an eagle.. and round about the throne. knowledge. As for the likeness of their faces. of beings out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber. 'there was a sea of glass. bearing the attributes of Saturn: the empty hourglass. Virtue is firmly established on earth: the cow stands squarely on four legs. and they four had the face of an ox on the left side. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living highest truths and finally to God. 0 Ezekiel. to learn. it is weakened and stands only on three legs. and the face of a lion on the right side. porch of St. great cloud. from f/avQavetv. save for a small number of the 61ite. called the mystic almond. his right raised in the gesture of benediction. v. of destruction. misfortune and decrepitude. In the first age. the four equal sectors of the circle. ch..' writes St. our own age. . And the first beast was fza67](T£w5. v. from other scenes by a garland of clouds. were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. and behold . The entire cycle of human evolution is figured there in the form of a cow. . a reason the angel was made the attribute of St. . I. can give man wings to raise him to knowledge of the fire. were the basis of a rather strange mystical conception. symbolizing Virtue. Trophime at Aries. out of the midst of the and their destiny.. each of whose four feet rests on one of the sectors representing the four ages of the world. corresponding to the age of silver. which are generally isolated the age of misery. (pi. at Luz (Hautes Pyrenees) and the Church of Civray (Vienne). comes from MK6Y)^(X. of annihilation. etc. we must all perish. and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. it is reduced to two legs. always have their figures The age of iron has no other seal than that of Death. It is the fourth and last age. they four had the face of a man. Its hieroglyph is placed in the same order. and the second beast like a calf. 'And before the throne.'* In Hindu mythology. John. . in the Church of the Templars symbol of time run out. lv. which means science. 6 and 7.

Conclusion XLIX. . ARLES—CHURCH OF ST. TROPHIME Tympanum of the Porch (Xllth Century).

Potere. I do not. Scire. provided always that he does not despise the works of the old Philosophers and that . The disciple will derive greater benefit from this book. for I know full well the obstinacy of prejudice and the great strength of preconceived opinions. flatter myself that I shall convert them. however. In these pages. Audere. the uninitiated will perhaps discover some proof of a genuine and positive science. Tacere ZOROASTER Nature does not open the door of the sanctuary indiscriminately to everyone.

systems and hypotheses. will draw near to the humble. all those who work. Charity. Finally. if immoderate enthusiasm blinds one to reason. It requires its candidates to learn to think more with their own brains and less with those of others. if greed expands before the KEEP SILENT prospect of a golden future. the knowledge of its doctrine and the practice of its operations from nature. an apostle of eternal life in accordance with the researches he has undertaken. By constant exercise of the faculties of observation and reasoning and by meditation. he will still have need of patience. As an No one may aspire to possess the great secret. accuracy and perspicacity in observing the facts. he will remain faithful to his vow of silence. the insight bom of long experience will secure for him the POWER Having obtained that. no solid basis. a lively but not over-excitable imagination. the disinherited. Brave and resolute. It also demands the greatest simplicity and complete indifference with regard to theories. constancy and unshakeable will. The mysterious science requires great precision. a warm and pure heart. in It is not enough to be studious. he will be enabled by the certainty and confidence born of a strong faith to DARE Finally. until he has when his desires have been accomplished. which are generally accepted without question on the testimony of books or the reputation of their authors. the novice will climb the steps leading to KNOWLEDGE A simple imitation of natural processes. active and persevering. the Adept must evermore firm principles. the Wise Man. it insists that they should check the truth of its principles. In Science. . logical and reflective mind. struggle and weep here below. skill combined with ingenuity. to practice. when success has crowned so many years of labour. suffer. the mother of us all. if pride overrules judgment.176 Conclusion Conclusion 177 he studies with care and penetration the classical text. a healthy. if he does not direct his anonymous and dumb disciple of eternal Nature. despising the acquired sufficient perception to understand the obscure points of the vanities of the world. if one has no Goodness.

Index .

36 Black hen. Saturn. 132 Agent or Bonetty (A). 72 Alkahest. de). 81. 131 Cavern of the Rock.97. 90 Black cloud. 145 54 Champagne (Julien). 142 Cock crow. 13 80. P. 130. 48 de). 44 Argonauts. P. 85 92 Absolom-Absolute. metallic. symbolic. 90 Ariadne or the spider. 94. red. 142 Cadmus and the serpent. 74. 83. 103 Coifs (J. 127 133 Centaur. 119 Cock Bigarne (Ch. 144 Bernard Trevisan. 93. 43 Artephius. Candles. 42. 78. 142. 52 Celestial dew. 95. 125. 151 Bath of the stars. 75. 96. 145. 7. 57 Bird of and fox. black. 107. Cabot. 74. 49. 60 Amiens cathedral. 79 Child. 42 82 Callimachus. 100 of Notre-Dame. F. 9. 74. Babe lying in a manger. 80 Cohobation. 154. 49 Athenor. 115. Cimmerian darkness. Cimiez. 41 Aegidius de Vadis. 50. 13 Child of Basil Valentine. 43 Child's 160 Basket of Bacchus.). 79. 55 secret fire. 94 Art of 98 Cat. 17 Chabot. 84. 61 Abraham the Jew (Eleazor). 90 Aries or Cambriel (L. 80 Agricola. 64. the catacombs. 46 Anonymity. end. 39 Chalcidius. 154 Aristotle. 55 Inconnu (le). 96. Francois). 64 Batsdorff. divine. 71. Bull. 50. 17 Chaos. 107 158 Christopher (cabala). 53 Children of the sun. green. 89 . 128. 47 Cabala. 99. 116 the ram. 154 light. 123 Amyraut (M). 162 85 Charity. 71 Book with leaves. 95 102 Allot (Abbe). 128. 151 Agriculture. 17 Ankh or crux ansata. 54 74. 181 Calcination.). 81. 154 Child. 60 Castaigne (R. 13. chaos of the Wise. 85 Claves (Gaston 108 Berthelot (Marcelin). 77 Black stone fallen from heaven. 103 Argotiers. 14. 110. Bacon (Roger). INDEX Abbon. 85 Black pitch. 101. Ass at ion. 39 8 Apollo and Python. 73. 15. 89. 81 Coat of arms. primitive. Blessed ones or initiates. 94. 11 Chaudet. 101. 129 Hermes. celestial. 119 Chevalier Balaam. 157 Boeswillwald (E). 92. 97. 131. 80 Colour. 151 Basket of play (ludus puerorum). 91 Alchemist Briareus. 105. 92. 114 Arnold of Villanova. phonetic. 89 Colour. Apollonius of Tyana. 155 Chaos. Aurach (Georges). 48. the beginning and the 100.

38 63 Griffin. 45 Cormont (Renault and 124. 142 Exaltation and transfusion. 84. 106 Dujols (Pierre). 17 Feast of Fools. 168 Generation. 111. 132 Labyrinth of Chartres. 48 Dew-grease. 154 Earth. 75. 39 Fire of the wheel. 15. 86 Doves of Diana. alchemical. 92. 36. or of the birds. 135 (the). black. 8. gay knowledge. 89. 158 Good tidings. 158 107. 94 Epistle Jacques Coeur. 53 Illumination. 44 stone. 168 Gravier (Antoine). A. 93 Grillot de Givry. 129. 42 Cross. 149 Fountain.). elemental. Khunrath (Heinrich).). 13 Cyliani. 95 news. virgin. white. 39 Initiator. 105 heavenly. 46 Epiphany cake. mystic. 145. Eagles or sublimations. 54 74. secret. 168 Lassus (J. 39 symbolic. true. Helvetius (Johann Friedrich). 150 Faithful servant. 101 Eagle with a cross. 18. 11 starred. Elixation. Ill Hendaye. 149 Demetrius. 48 Work.89 Fountain of Youth. 161 Flammarion (Camille). 106. prototype of black virgins. 141. 45 Cross. 155 secret. 98 12. 79. 78. 81. 56 Cum luce salutem. seven dijonnaise. 126 Fire. 50. 94 Fire. 150 Eclipse of the sun. 77 Grey. 46. 101. 50 Flamel (Nicholas). INRI. 106 Crow's head.95. 108 Flamboyant Gothic. 114 Dragon. 124. 39 Haymon. 50. 107 Corner Eagle. 6. 7. 10 Trismegisthus. 95. 14. 89 Dove fixed to the stone. 8 Infanterie Geber. 139 Crow of Notre Dame. 88. 13 Language of colours. 84 Language of the gods. 134 Earth. 14 Earth. 149 Fasting man of 59 Gregory of Tours. 111 Henckel(J. 71. to make the eagle fly. 9 Etteila (AHiette). 145 Jacques Coeur's house. philosophic. 17. 60 Labyrinth of the cathedrals. 47 Correspondance of metallic lion. 79. John's blackbird. 132. 89 Conception. 128 Durandal. dealer in. 77. 80. 47 Devilry of Chaumont. 12. 111 Despartes (Jacques). 50. 114 Gohorny (Jean). 90 Gothic art. 158 Emerald of the philosophers. 166 Herald of the Mysteries of Lagneau (David). Gall. Ladder of the philosophers. 100. 145 81 Crucible. 10 Geffroy Dechaume. Babylonian. Kinglet. 152. 15 Leafy earth. 61 Herb of Saturn. 17. 82. 61 Colours symbolical of the Great 'Douze Clefs de la Philosophie'. Labyrinth of Cnossos. 14 Cosmopolite or nine. 86 Grasset d'Orcet. 61 Guillaume de Paris. 126. 149 Flag. Herodotus. 64 Eternal truth. 109 124 Corneille (Thomas). 103. 90. 57.93. 159 planets. 118. 124. 46 subterranean.105 Door of the temple. 70 Glass matrass. 75 Condensation of the universal spirit. 61. Is is. 128 Crypts of cathedrals. B. 80 136 Gift of God. 44 Ceres. 10 44 Court of Miracles. 49 Julius Africanus. 110 . 154 Extraction of sulphur. 105 Lamb. 89. 151 Leboeuf (Abbe). 90 Earth-butter. 109 'D emeu res Philosophales'. 45 Fraternities. 148. 53 155 Gold in its bath. 72. 85 Durand (Georges). 97. 75. 155. 45. 125 Glass. 63 Le Breton. 109. 103 Lead. 162 Divine light. Gideon's fleece. 134 Flagellation of the Alleluia. 160 Dragon. 70 Dissolution. of the Immaculate Conception. 17. mystic. French. 102 'Deux Logis Alchimiques'. 90. 182 Index Index 183 Colour. 9. 154 Court language. 90 Eagles. 126. 119 Dive-Bouteille. 119 Gold. 80 Fish.44. Laborde (de). 80 Gobineau de Montluisant (Esprit). 111 Crux ansata. 63 Feast of the Donkey. 90 Eagle and Gay science. 63. 94. 97. mysterious. 83. 41 Kermis. 140 Glass of Lorraine. 86 Hames (Guillaume de). 53. 104. 94 Hermes Lallemant (Jean). 14 Du Cange. 81. 154 David (Louis). 141 16. 91. 73. 92. 84. 150 Essarts (Antoine des). fiery. 9. 130 Hierophant. 71 Thomas de). 45. 149 Goose.9. Holy water containers. 107. 155. 154 Huginus a Barma. 13. 65 House of Gold. 142 Cyrano de 89 Evans (Dr. celestial. Labour of Hercules. 49 Diodorus of Tarsus. Foul smell. 58 Echeneis. 10. good Kabbala. 149 Lallemant mansion. 41 Latten. radical. 61 Colours. 143 Dog of Corascene. 96 cross of. 63 Fish's eyes. 134 Fortress. 37 Grosson.F. 133 Lenglet-Dufresnoy (Abbe). 52 Crow. 139 Fulcanelli. 41 97 Cosmic magic. 60 Flower. 123 Labourer. 102. 100 Notre-Dame.). 76 Holmat. 134 Horus and Typhon. 54. 13 13. 130 Dauphin. 13 Fundament. 50. 90. Labyrinth of Amiens. holy. Hiram (masonic). 134 Conjunction. 149. 91 Devil of Notre-Dame. 142 Constantine. 18. 149 Golden fleece. 47 Dew of May. Jourdain and Duval. Bergerac. 46. 71 102.

63 Obedience. 98. Thomas Aquinas. 151 Oak and ram. true. 41 Secret. 107. 113. 74. 96 Mad mother. 82. 13 Libethra of Magnesia. 81 Metallic natures. 81. 149 Mineral theophany. 107 Shadows. 159 Saturn of the Wise. 90 Rose. 128 Regime of Saturn. 12 Notre-Dame-so us-Terr e. 86 Piccolopassi (Cyprian). 76. 82. Mortification of Mercury.). 104 St. 120 Oak on the Epiphany cake. 100. 94. 126 Sky. legend of. 134 Planetary metals. Amadour. 130 Processes of the Stone. 152 Saturn. red. 76. 126. 39 Puss-in-Boots. metallic. 46 Lodestone. Mother of the gods. symbolic. 100 St. 13 Mirror of the art. Roses. 133 Plutarch. 86 Rex ab igne veniet. 125 Root or principle. Peter. 150 Repetition. 119. 80. 43. 52 Ponthieu (Amadee de). 133 Lost word. 78. curing of. black. 53 Liebaut (Jean). 157 Coignet. 161 St. 11 Sky. 100. green god. 14. 110. 81 Salmon (Guillaume). 74 Serpents. 102. 134 Salt of the red lion. 52 Notre-Dame-du-Pilier. animated. 154 Roses. 47 Lully (Raymond). 74.). 109. 93. mystic. 44 Ripley (George). 17 98. magic. 158 Seal. 39 Salamander and remora. red and green. 96. 136 Servus fugitivus. 144 Little world. 142 80. Christopher. 73 Reduction. complete. 157 St. 142. 101 Magnesia of the Wise. 85 St. 170 150 Linthaut {Henri del.96 egg. 81 Modhallam. 145 Sendivogius (see Cosmopolite). 129 15. 149 Magi. 141. 52 Messire Le Gris (Mr. 75 regenerator. 54 Popelin (Claudius). 142 Seal of Hermes. 17 Pontanus. 114. 176 Medicine of the three orders. former. 136 Minister of the altar. 84. Michael. Naxagoras. hollow. 142 12. 102 Paracelsus. Marcellus. Didier. 14 Life Mullachius. 83 Rollin (Nicholas). 102. 142. 136. 15. chemical. 83. J. 86 Molten lead. 131 philosophic or magnet. Augustine. royal. 71 Shell of Compostella. 48. 14. 120 Sacred wells in churches. 96 Plessis-Bourre. 48. 90. 105. 81 Moon-spit. 9 Seat of wisdom. 72 Seth (Book of).49. 61. 155 Spirit of the green lion. 51 Master stone. black. Paul. 128 Morien. Solomon. 101 Lion. 124. 100. 90. 142 131 Lucifer. wise men. 109 Robert de Luzarches. 107. 63 Phoenix. 89. Matthew. 61 Philosophers* lead. 159 Osiris. 154 Philosophic Royalty. James. 46 Pierre de Montereau. 144. 49 Restoration of cathedrals. verbum Procession of the Fox. 105. 63. Noel (Fr. Paris cathedral. 81 Poeris. 59 Son of Saturn. divine. 63 Pfau(P. 98. 118 Nostoc. 116 Portal (Frederic). 14 Mirror of Mars. 85 Seal. 115 Mangin de Richebourg (J. 300. 142 Lion. 77 Solve et coagu la. 86. 135 Renunciation. 149 Massacre of the -Innocents. 9 Renewal. 134 Nuysement (de). 148. 108. 158 Limojon de St. John. 38 St. 59 Quintessence. Luke. 72 Phtah the Ruskin (John).157 Metallic seed. 154 St. 15. 9 Melampus. metallurgic. 74. 80. 61 Poisson (Albert). philosophic. 71 Matter of the Wise. 99 Mercury. 85 Magistery. 54 111 Lion.92. 83. 51 Sign. 58 Mark. 101 St. 171 101.). 15 129 Phrygian cap. 50 Rebis.H-). 149 St. 146. 17 St. 54 Milk and blood. 40 Putrefaction of the Work. 130. 124 Separation. 126 St. 114 Self. 151 Mercury. 51 161 Pierre de Corbeil. 96 . 38.131. 117. 58 Saturn. Christopher. 13. Grey). 97. 147 Leprosy. 76 Signature of the Work. 74 Moras de Respour. 12. 150 Rose-Cross.184 Index Index 185 Lepers. green. 55. 127 Snake of Hermes. 39 Notre-Dame-de-Confession. 144 Phoebigenus. 100. 96. 109 Noel du Fail. 149 St. 16 Schadius (Elias). hermetic. dark and gloomy. 14 Mercury.97. 79. 111. 156 Pere Abraham. 133 Orientation of churches. 75 Philalethes (Eyreneus). 38 Pierre du Sabot. 94. terrestial. Mount of Victory. black. 69 Rock. white and red. 93 Mother tongue. 14. 82. 160 Pernety (Dom A. 110 Sea. 151 Carnival. 13 Oak. mineral. 155 Reincrudatton. 45 Son of the sun. 157 Solomon's sea!. 160 St. 51. 82 Phidias. 69 Obscurity. 15 Matrices. 58 Ram. 61 Rose windows. 16 Procession of the Shrovetide Salamander. 85 Signature of the Epiphany cake. 155 Soul. 64. 132 Pheasant. 153. 58. 85. 142 hidden in matter. Multiplications of the stone. hermetic. Ignatius. 118. Chrysostom. 75 Martigny. 115 Salt of the philosophers. 87 St. common of the philosophers. 141. Roze (Abbe). Mysterious palace. 119 dimissum. 146 St. 80 Pilgrim or mercury.

56 Vessel of the Great Work. 13. 94. 92. 144 Witkowski (G. 54 Moravia. 16 Villain (Abbe). 100 Vitriol. urano-diurnal. 15 Sulphur. 83 Ways. 51 . 108. 153 82. 71. 82 Swan of Hermes. 14. 42 Vincens Star of the sea.75 Wheel. 49 (Charles). pontic. Tradition.60. 15 Virgin-mother. Tower of Babel.186 Index Spirits of salt. 90 vegetable. 44. J. Ticinensis. 47 Vigenere (Blaise de). mercurial. 56 160 Vase of the spirit. 106 Zoroaster. philosophic. 154 Torch bearer. 14. 131 Star of Jacob. 103 Water. 109. hermetic. 132 Varro. primitive. 64. 71 50 White stone. celestial. 37 Universal solvent. 41 Zacchaeus. 41 Virgin.). burning or fiery. 92 13 Virgins. 43 Vulcan. 83. magic. 40. 48. 157 Tollius (Jacobus). 141 Treasure of treasures. Star and conception. 76. synonym of Mercury. mystical. 54 Vitriol. 110. 134 Trismosin (Solomon). 145. 107 Voragine (Jacques de). 97. 57 Virgin's milk. 74. 10 Tree of life. 77. 71 Vegetable Star. 44. 44 75. 102 Temperature of fire. 120 Star of the morning. 93 Stars. 59 Zadith (Senior). 70. Stuart de Chevalier (Sabine). 110 West. nocturnal. 132 154 Virtue. 61 Vinceslas Lavinius of Star. 73. 97 Tree. 13 Steel. 14 Vinegar. 90 Water. 9. 13 Viollet-le-Duc. 129 Water of life. 102 Tremelles. Tiresias. 94 Verbum dimissum. 15 Sulphur. 84. 99 Universal spirit. 70. embodied. black. moon and stars. 107 Valois (Nicholas). 13 118 Villon (Francois). 125 Water. voyants. 58. 158 Tristan and Isolde. 53. 14 stone. Sublimations. green of the Wise. 134 'Vitulus Aureus*. Star. 74. 106. principle. terrestial. Stone which is not stone. 99 145 Subject of the Wise. 18 the hands. Steel. 94 Vitriol. 92. 6.56. 62 Toussaint. 40. two. 46 Sun. Star of the Magi. 11 only mercury. 88. 38. moist Thales of Miletus. 81 Thread of Ariadne. dry which does not wet Swift (Jonathan). 61 Zachaire (Denys). philosophic. 110 Zodiac. 140 Work by the one and Tinctorial mass. solar. 142 Triumphal chariot of Bacchus. 116 Voyous. 5 161 Victor Hugo. 161 175 Traveller. 146 Sulphur. 15 Vase of the art and of nature. 13Q Water. 153 and dry. 108 Virgin. 93.