Life of Paracelsus
Franz Hartmann MD

Paracelsus (1493-1541)



There are Adepts of various grades. There are such as live like normal men in their physical bodies, and who are able to send their astral spirit out of their bodies during their sleep to any place they choose, and on awakening, their astral spirit returns again into the body to which it belongs; and there are others who have no physical bodies, because they have arrived at a state of perfection in which such bodies are no longer required for their purposes. [1]

[1. See H. P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence, (Nirmanahaya's) /blavatsky/voice-of-the-silence/ ]

"There are persons who have been exalted (verzuecht) to God, and who have remained in that state of exaltation, and they have not died. Their physical bodies have lost their lives, but without being conscious of it, without sensation, without any disease, and without suffering, and their bodies became transformed, and disappeared in such a manner that nobody knew what became of them, and yet they remained on the earth. But their spirits and heavenly bodies, having neither corporeal form, shape, nor colour, were exalted to heaven, like Enoch and Elias of old." [2] (Philosoph., v.)

[2. C. von Eckartshausen speaks in his "Disclosures of Magic" (1790) about the Adepts as follows: "These sages, whose number is small, are children of light, and are opposed to darkness. They dislike mystification and secrecy; they are open and frank, having nothing to do with secret societies and with external ceremonies. They possess a spiritual temple, in which God is presiding.

"They live in various parts of the earth, and do not meddle with politics; their business is to do as much good to humanity as is in their power, and to drink wisdom from the eternal fountain of truth. They never quarrel about opinions, because they know the truth. Theii number is small. Some live in Europe, others in Africa, but they are bound together by the harmony of their souls, and they are therefore as one. They are joined together, although they may be thousands of miles apart from each other. They understand each other, although they speak in different tongues, because the language of the sages is spiritual perception.

"No evil-disposed person could possibly live among them, because he would be recognised immediately, for he would be incapable of being illuminated by wisdom, and as a mirror covered with mire cannot reflect the light, likewise such a soul cannot reflect the truth. But the more the soul of man grows perfect, the nearer does it approach to God, and the more will its understanding grow and its love be exalted. Thus may man enter into sanctification; he may communicate with perfect beings in the spiritual kingdom, and be instructed and guided by them. He will be a true child of God. All Nature will be subject to him, because he will be an instrument to carry out the will of the Creator of Nature. He knows the future, the thoughts and the instincts of men, because the mysteries of eternity are open before him.

"But the plans of the worldly-wise will come to nought. That which took the followers of false science centuries to accomplish will be wiped out by a single stroke of the finger of God, and a nobler generation will come, which will worship God in spirit and in truth."]


"There is a great difference between the physical and the ethereal body. The former is visible and tangible, but the latter is invisible and intangible. The body eats and drinks; the spirit lives in faith. The body is evanescent and destructible; the spirit eternal. The body dies; the spirit lives. The body is conquered by the spirit; the spirit is victor. The body is opaque, clouded; the spirit transparent and clear. The body is often sick; the spirit knows no disease. The body is dark, but the spirit is light, and sees into the hearts of the mountains and the interior of the earth. The body executes acts which the spirit orders. The body is the mumia; the substance of the spirit is the balsam of life. The former comes from the earth, but the spirit from heaven." [3] (Philosoph., iv.)

[3. There are three kinds of knowledge : — 1. External knowledge, or scientific opinions in regard to external things (Gal. vi. 3). This knowledge leads to error, because it concentrates all the attention upon the illusory exterior of things, and keeps the mind in ignorance in regard to interior truths. 2. Knowledge received by entering into the mysteries of Nature; comprehension of truths independent of the opinions of others. It is the beginning of wisdom (Sirach i. i6). 3. Wisdom, or the knowledge of the Supreme Cause of all effects obtained by knowledge of self (Book of Wisdom, vii. 17-27). This is the wisdom of Solomon.

There are three kinds of knowers : — 1. The theorists, who deal with opinions and with illusory appearances; the opinionated and dogmatists, sceptics, materialists, &c., who continually quarrel about their different opinions. 2. Those who are able to recognise interior truths objectively by the power of their interior perception. 3. The Adepts, who are united with God, and know everything because they know themselves, by the power of the Holy Ghost being manifest in themselves (Prov. ix. 7). ]


The unmanifested Absolute cannot be conceived otherwise than as a mathematical point, without any magnitude, and such a point in becoming manifest in all directions would necessarily become a sphere.

If we imagine such a mathematical point as being self-conscious, thinking, and capable to act, and desirous to manifest itself, the only thinkable mode in which it could possibly accomplish this would be by radiating its own substance and consciousness from the centre towards the periphery.

The centre is the Father, the eternal source of all (John i. 4); the radius is the Son (the Logos), who was contained in the Father from eternity (John i. 1); the power of the father revealed in the light of the son from the incomprehensible centre to the unlimited periphery is the Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, which is manifested externally and revealed in visible Nature (John xv. 26). We cannot conceive of a body without length, breadth, and thickness; a circle or a sphere always consists of a centre, radius, and periphery. They are three, yet they are one, and neither of them can exist without the other two." [4]

[4. The doctrine of the Trinity is found in all the principal religious systems : in the Christian religion as Father, Son, and Spirit; among the Hindus as Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva; the Buddhists call it Atma, Buddhi, and Manas; the Persians [Zoroastrians] teach that Ormuzd [Ahura Mazda] produced light out of himself by the power of his word. The Egyptians called the First Cause Ammon, out of which all things were created by the power of its own will. In Chinese, Kwan-shai-gin is the universally manifested Word, coming from the unmanifested Absolute by the power of its own will, and being identical with the former. The Greeks called it Zeus (Power), Minerva (Wisdom), and Apollo (Beauty); the Germans, Wodan (the Supreme Cause), Thor (Power), and Freia (Beauty). Jehovah and Allah are trinities of Will, Knowledge, and Power; and even the Materialist believes in Causation, Matter, and Energy.]

"God sends out His thought by the power of His will (the Iliaster divides itself). He holds fast to the thought, and expresses it in the Word, in which is contained the creative and conservative power, and His thought becomes corporified, bringing into existence worlds and beings, which form, so to say, the visible body of the invisible God."

"Thus were the worlds formed in the beginning by the thought of God acting in the Macrocosm (the Universal Mind), and in the same manner are forms created in the individual sphere of the mind of man. If we hold on to a thought we create a form in our inner world, and we might render it objective and material if we knew our own creative power. A good thought produces a good, and an evil thought an evil form, and they grow as they are nourished by thought or "imagination."


All beings are the product of the creative power of the imagination. [5] This imagination may proceed (1) from Nature, (2) from man, (3) from God.

[5. There are three kinds of imagination: passive imagination, active thought, creative thought.]

There are consequently three modes in which men may come into existence : —

1. Natural men, the result of sexual intercourse between men and women. The imagination of the parents creates the sperm; the matrix furnishes the conditions for its development. "They are born of flesh, and their destiny is to serve as vehicles for the Spirit." (St. John iii. 6) [6]

[6. There are three kinds of birth: the birth of the flesh, of the soul, and of the spirit; and each birth has three stages: generation, germination, and fructification. The first birth is the natural birth of man; the second is the awakening of the soul, and the attainment of its power (Ephes. iv. 13) to control the desires and passions; it is, so to say, an invisible fire, penetrating the whole of the body. The third birth is the regeneration of the spirit, its awakening to spiritual consciousness. The last stage is attained by very few (i Cor. xv. 47 ; St. John iii. 6). 1 Krishna, Buddha, Christ.]

2. God-men, the products of the imagination and will of the divine Logos, the incarnating spiritual entities (St. Matt. i. 23; St. Luke i. 35). "They are already born of the Spirit." (St. John i. 14) [7]

[7. Krishna, Buddha, Christ.]

3. Primordial men, without fathers or mothers and without sex, produced by the thought of God in the matrix of Nature (Hebrews vii. 3). "They are the true images of the Creator, the children of God, without sin and without knowledge." (Luke iii. 38) Being attracted to matter, and desiring to enjoy material pleasures, they gradually sink into matter and learn to know good and evil. [8]

[8. "Adam." The failures of the Dhyan-Chohans.]


"Initiation," or "baptism," is the growth of the spiritual principle, which is germinally contained in every man, into consciousness. "Two germs grow into one man. One comes from the Spirit, the other germ comes from Nature; but the two are one. One becomes conscious of Nature, the other one may become conscious of the Spirit. One is the child of Adam, the other the son of Christ. There are a few whose spiritual consciousness is awakened to life, who have died in Adam and are reborn of Christ; [9] those who are reborn know themselves, and are thus initiated into the kingdom of the Spirit.

[9. The "flesh of Adam" forms the animal elements of the soul, but the flesh of Christ is the spirit (the sixth principle). All the animal principles existing in Nature exist germinally in the soul-essence of man, and may grow there and develop into entities. The whole of the animal creation is thus represented in the soul of man, because the growth of an animal passion means the growth of an animal principle in the soul. If such passions are conquered by the power of the spirit, these animal "creatures" will die and be expelled from the organism of the soul, in the same way as a decayed part of the physical body becomes separated from the physical organism; and as such processes going on in the physical form may be observed during the waking state, likewise the corresponding processes going on in the organism of the soul may be observed during a dream.]

"Initiation is therefore a matter of growth, and cannot be obtained by favour. Ceremonies are only external forms. The true baptism is the baptism of fire, the growth into the spirit of wisdom, the victory of the spirit over the animal nature of man." [10]

[10. There are three kinds of baptism, by which three different names are received. The first baptism is only an external form, and the name is optional; the second is the baptism with the "water of truth," or the awakening of the soul to a recognition of the truth, by which a new name is received, expressing the quality and destination of the individual (1 Moses xvii. 5); the third is the baptism with the "fire of the spirit," and the name which it confers expresses the power of the perfect and immortal divine man. (St John's Revelation ii. 17)]

We know that nobody can enjoy the possession of any external sense, such as sight, hearing, &c., unless he has organs adapted for that purpose. The same is true in regard to the inner senses of man, which also require the organisation of a spiritual but nevertheless substantial body; and as the physical body generates its organs in the womb of its mother, so the spiritual body becomes generated in the astral body of man.

"The form of man must be adapted to his plane of existence. A horseshoe of iron has a form adapted to its purpose, and so has a goblet of silver. Nature has many strange children, and man must have his shape, and also that wherein he is made. Therefore Christ says, 'He who is with Me denies himself.' This means that he must rise superior to that which belongs to Nature in him. He must take his cross upon his shoulders, namely, the cross which Nature has put upon him. Take Nature upon your shoulders and carry her, but do not identify yourself with her. Love your neighbour, and free yourself of that carnal reason which forces you to be a servant of self." (De Arte Presaga)


"Nature can teach everything belonging to Nature; she derives her knowledge from the Spirit. But Spirit and Nature are one, for Nature is a light that comes from the Spirit. If Nature learns from the Spirit, the one becomes divided into two: the disciple asks questions, and answers them himself. In a dream the dreamer and the person he dreams of are one; and in temptation the tempter and the tempted are one."

"The light of Nature is the light that comes from the Spirit. It is in man — is born with him, and grows up with him. There are some persons who live in this interior light, but the life of others is centred in their animal instincts, and they grope in darkness and error. There are some who write wiser than they know, but it is wisdom that writes through them, for man has no wisdom of his own; he can only come into contact with wisdom through the light of Nature that is in himself."

"Those who live in their animal instincts are not wise, and that which they write is inspired by their animal reason. Some animals are murderous and others are greedy; some are thievish and others are lewd; but all the elements of the animal kingdom are in the soul of man, and whenever such elements become alive in him they dominate over his reason, and man becomes like a reasoning animal, and writes as dictated by his animal reason."

"That which a man writes is not created by him, but it existed before him, and will exist after him; he only gives it a form. Therefore that which he writes is not his but another's; he is only the instrument through which truth or error expresses itself. There are those who write mechanically, and such writing may come from three causes; intellectual writing may come from over fifty-seven causes, and the writing of the Word of God may come from ten causes. A person who writes should know the cause from whence his ideas come, for only he who knows wisdom can write wisely." [11] (De Fundamento Sapientiae)

[11. There are three distinct classes of mediumship: mechanical mediumship, in which the physical forces of the medium are used by extraneous influences (obsession, physical manifestations, &c.); emotional mediumship, by which the energies of the soul of the medium are stimulated and his feelings and his thoughts aroused (trance speaking and writing); spiritual mediumship, in which wisdom manifests itself through transcendentally conscious man (ecstasy, illumination).]

Occult Phenomena

Action at a Distance. — "The (spiritual) breath of man reaches very far; for the breath is his spirit, and he may send his spirit many hundred miles away, so that it will accomplish all that the man himself could have accomplished. Such a breath travels as fast as the wind, or as a ball shot out of a gun, and delivers its message." (Philosoph. Tract., iii.)

Disappearance of Objects. — "Visible bodies may be made invisible, or covered, in the same way as night covers a man and makes him invisible, or as he would become invisible if he were put behind a wall; and as Nature can render something visible or invisible by such means, likewise a visible substance may be covered with an invisible substance, and be made invisible by art." [12] (Philosoph. Sag., i.)

[12. It is said that "darkness is absence of light." We may say with equal truth that "light is absence of darkness;" light and darkness are certain states of the cosmic ether (A'kasa). Light is "spirit," darkness is "matter." Both have positive qualities (Gen. i. 4).]

Palingenesis [rebirth]. — "If a thing loses its material substance, the invisible form still remains in the light of Nature (the astral light); and if we can reclothe that form with visible matter, we can make that form visible again. All matter is composed of three elements — sulphur, mercury, and salt. By alchemical means we may create a magnetic attraction in the astral form, so that it will attract from the elements (the A'kasa) those principles which it possessed before its mortification, and incorporate them and become visible again." [13] (De Resuscitationibus)

[13. Plato, Seneca, Erastus, Avicenna, Averroes, Albertus Magnus, Caspalin, Cardanus, Cornelius Agrippa, Eckartshausen, and many others wrote about the palingenesis of plants and animals. Kircher resurrected a rose from its ashes in the presence of Queen Christina of Sweden, 1687. The astral body of an individual form remains with the remnants of the latter until these remnants have been fully decomposed, and by certain methods known to the alchemist it can be reclothed with matter and become visible again.]

Occult Letters. — "If the elementary body can write a letter, and send it by a messenger to somebody in a month, why should not the ethereal body of an Adept be able to write a letter and to send it to its destination (by an element spirit) in an hour?" [14] (Philosoph, Sag., i. cap. 6).

[14. The value of a letter should be determined by the quality of its contents, and not by the manner in which it has been received.]

Transformations. — "There is a species of magic by which living bodies can be formed and one body be transformed into another, as was done by Moses." [15] (Philosoph. Sag.)

[15. Exod. vii. 10.]

Transmutations. — "An instance of transmutation may be seen in wood which has become petrified. The form of the wood remains unchanged; nevertheless it is no longer wood, but a stone." (De Transmutationibus)

Passage of Matter through Matter. — "Things that are done by visible means in the ordinary manner may be done by invisible means in an extraordinary way. For instance, a lock can be opened with a key; a cut be made with a sword; the body be protected by a coat-of-mail. All this may be done by visible means. You may grasp a man with your hand without making a hole in him, and take a fish out of water without leaving a hole in the water; or you may put something into water, and if you withdraw your hand no hole will be left in the water. By the necromantic art something can be put through a body or into a body, and no hole will be left in the latter." [16] (Philosoph. Sag., i. 4)

[16. Such manifestations of occult power may be witnessed frequently in spiritualistic séances. The reason why they seem incomprehensible to us is because we habitually look upon form as something real instead of seeing in it an illusion, and because our accepted opinions in regard to the constitution of matter are fundamentally wrong.]


"By the magic power of the will a person on this side of the ocean may make a person on the other side hear what is said on this side, and a person in the East thus converse with another person in the West. The physical man may hear and understand the voice of another man at a distance of a hundred steps, and the ethereal body of a man know what another man thinks at a distance of a hundred miles and more."

"What can be accomplished by ordinary means in a month (such as the sending of messages) can be done by this art in one day. If you have a tube a mile long, and you speak through it at one end, a person at the other end will hear what you say. If the elementary body can do this, how much easier will it be for the ethereal body, which is much more powerful (in relation to other ethereal bodies) than the former!" [17] (Philosoph. Sag., i. cap. 60)

[17. The earthly atmosphere may be, so to say, perforated by a tube or wire, carrying an electric current, and the ether (A'kasa) be " perforated" likewise by a current of spiritual force. An electric current passes unimpeded through the earth; a thought current passes unimpeded through the A'kasa.]

Spirits of the Departed

"If a person dies, it is only his body that dies; the human soul does not die, [18] neither can it be buried, but it remains alive, and knows whatever it knew before it became separated from the body. It remains the same as it was before death: if a man has been a liar in his life, he will be one after death; and if he has been well experienced in a certain science or art, he will know that science or art; but a human soul that knew nothing about a certain thing during its life will not be able to learn much about it after death."

[18. The human soul is threefold: the animal, intellectual, and spiritual soul. The imperfect elements of the soul die; that which is perfect remains alive. Life is threefold: the organic life, the life of the soul, and that of the spirit.]

"If we desire to enter into communication with the spirit of a deceased person, we may make a picture representing that person, and write his name and the questions we wish to ask him upon it, and put that picture under our head after retiring to rest; and during our sleep the deceased appears to us in our dreams and answers our questions. But the experiment must be made in a spirit of unfaltering faith, full of confidence that it will succeed, else it will fail, because it is not the picture that brings the spirit, but our faith that brings us into communication with it; and the picture is only made for the purpose of assisting the imagination, and to make it more powerful." [19] (Philosoph., v.)

[19. There are three sources of faith: opinion, belief, and knowledge.]

"Men have two spirits — an animal spirit and a human spirit — in them. [20] A man who lives in his animal spirit is like an animal during life, and will be an animal after death; but a man who lives in his human spirit will remain human. Animals have consciousness and reason, but they have no spiritual intelligence. It is the presence of the latter that raises man above the animal, and its absence that makes an animal of what once appeared to be a man. A man in whom the animal reason alone is active is a lunatic, and his character resembles that of some animal. One man acts like a wolf, another like a dog, another like a hog, a snake, or a fox, &c. It is their animal principle that makes them act as they do, and their animal principle will perish like the animals themselves. But the human reason is not of an animal nature, but comes from God, and being a part of God, it is necessarily immortal." (De Lunaticis)

[20. The human spirit has a twofold aspect, a human and a divine one.]

The Elixir of Life [21]

[21. The writings attributed to Paracelsus in regard to this subject that are known at present are partly spurious, partly fragmentary, and the translations incorrect. The extracts given below of his writings on the Elixir of Life are taken from an original MS, in private possession.]

Paracelsus, as well as his predecessors, such as Galen, Arnold, De Villanova, Raimund Lullius, &c., laboured studiously to discover a remedy for the prolongation of life. He did not believe in the possibility of rendering the physical body immortal, but he considered it the duty of every physician to attempt to prolong human life as long as it could be prolonged, because it is only during life upon the earth that man can acquire knowledge and improve his character; after death he acquires nothing new, but enjoys his possessions.

Paracelsus, like Roger Bacon, Verulam, and others, maintained that the human body could be rejuvenated to a certain extent by a fresh supply of vitality, and it was his aim to find means by which such a supply could be obtained. He says: —

"If we could extract the fire of life from the heart without destroying the heart, and draw the quintessence out of inanimate things, and use it for our purpose, we might live for ever in the enjoyment of health, and without experiencing any disease. But this is not possible in our present condition. We cannot reverse the laws of Nature, and whatever dies a natural death cannot be resuscitated by man. But man may mend that which he himself has broken, and break that which he himself has made."

"All things have a certain time during which they exist upon the earth. The saints have a certain time during which they exist, and also the wicked. If a man's time to stay is over, he will have to leave. But many die before their time is over, not by a visitation of Providence, but because they are ignorant of the laws controlling their nature."

"Metals may be preserved from rust, and wood be protected against the rot. Blood may be preserved a long time if the air is excluded. Egyptian mummies have kept their forms for centuries without undergoing putrefaction. Animals awaken from their winter sleep, and flies, having become torpid from cold, become nimble again when they are warmed. A tree will sometimes bear no fruit for twenty years, and then begin again to bloom and bear fruit as it did when it was young; and if inanimate objects can be kept from destruction, why should there be no possibility to preserve the life-essence of animate forms?"

"Life itself comes from heaven. It is an emanation of the Supreme Power of the universe, and it is therefore eternal and unchangeable; but it requires a substantial vehicle for its manifestation. Material forms are earthly, and, like all earthly substances, they are subject to dissolution and change. To prolong the process of life, we must try to protect the material form in which life is active against all injurious influences that may act upon it."

"We must therefore attempt to eradicate all physical and psychical diseases, and to prevent all evils that are caused by age, occupation, or accidents. We should protect man against all evil influences acting upon him during the foetal state, in infancy, youth, manhood, and old age; we should defend him against injurious influences coming from the astral plane; cause him to avoid immoderate eating and drinking, fatigue of body or mind, excessive joy or grief, or mental excitement of any kind. We must protect him against infectious or epidemic diseases, whether they are of a physical or moral character, and employ such remedies as have been provided by Nature for such purposes."

"Such a remedy is the Primum Ens, the source of all life. As the fabulous halcyon becomes rejuvenated and its own substance renewed by drawing its nutriment from the Primum Ens, so may man rejuvenate his constitution by purifying it so that it will be able to receive without any interruption the life-giving influence of the divine spirit. [22]

[22. Compare Five Years of Theosophy, ch 1 "The Elixir of Life."]

"But the vehicle that forms the medium through which life acts consists of elementary substances that are found in Nature, and which form the quintessence of all things. There are some substances in which this quintessence is contained in greater quantities than in others, and from which it can more easily be extracted. Such substances are especially the herb called melissa and the human blood.

The Primum Ens

The "Primum Ens" of a thing is its first beginning, its Prima Materia, an invisible and intangible spiritual substance, which can be incorporated in some material vehicle. "He who wants to separate the Primum Ens from its Corpus (vehicle) must have a great deal of experience in the spagyric art. If he is not a good alchemist his labour will be in vain." (De Separat. Per.)

"The Primum Ens Melissae is prepared in the following manner: — Take half a pound of pure carbonate of potash and expose it to the air until it is dissolved (by attracting water from the atmosphere). Filter the fluid, and put as many fresh leaves of the plant melissa into it as it will hold, so that the fluid will cover the leaves. Let it stand in a well-closed glass, and in a moderately warm place, for twenty-four hours. The fluid may then be removed from the leaves, and the latter thrown away. On the top of this fluid absolute alcohol is poured, so that it will cover the former to the height of one or two inches, and it is left to remain for one or two days, or until the alcohol becomes of an intensely green colour. This alcohol is then to be taken away and preserved, and fresh alcohol is put upon the alkaline fluid, and the operation is repeated until all the colouring matter is absorbed by the alcohol. This alcoholic fluid is now to be distilled, and the alcohol evaporated until it becomes of the thickness of a syrup, which is the Primum Ens Melissae; but the alcohol that has been distilled away and the liquid potash may be used again. The liquid potash must be of great concentration and the alcohol of great strength, else they would become mixed, and the experiment would not succeed." [23]

[23. Lesebure, a physician of Louis XIV. of France, gives, in his "Guide to Chemistry" ("Chemischer Handleiter," Nuremberg, 1685, p. 276), an account of some experiments, witnessed by himself, with the Primun Ens Melissae as follows : — "One of my most intimate friends prepared the Primum Ens Melissae, and his curiosity would not allow him to rest until he had seen with his own eyes the effect of this arcanum, so that he might be certain whether or not the accounts given of its virtues were true. He therefore made the experiment, first upon himself, then upon an old female servant, aged seventy years, and afterwards upon an old hen that was kept at his house. First he took, every morning at sunrise, a glass of white wine that was tinctured with this remedy, and after using it for fourteen days his finger and toe nails began to fall out, without, however, causing any pain. He was not courageous enough to continue the experiment, but gave the same remedy to the old female servant. She took it every morning for about ten days, when she began to menstruate again, as in former days. At this she was very much surprised, because she did not know that she had been taking a medicine. She became frightened, and refused to continue the experiment. My friend took, therefore, some grain, soaked it in that wine, and gave it to the old hen to eat, and on the sixth day that bird began to lose its feathers, and kept on losing them until it was perfectly nude; but before two weeks had passed away new feathers grew, which were much more beautifully coloured; her comb stood up again, and she began again to lay eggs."

In the "Life of Cagliostro" some such rejuvenating medicine is mentioned, and the names of some persons who succeeded in the experiment are given. These and similar facts have neither been proved nor disproved by science, but are waiting for an investigation. The judges at the trial of Cagliostro, before the tribunal of the Inquisition at Rome, were only intent to convict him; but he who can read their report "between the lines " will find a great deal that speaks in favour of Cagliostro, and much that has not been explained.]

Primum Ens Sanguinis

To make the Primum Ens Sanguinis take blood from the median vein of a healthy young person, and let it run into a warm bottle that has been weighed upon scales, so that the exact quantity of the blood used will be known. Add to this blood twice its quantity of alcahest, close the bottle, and permit it to remain in a moderately warm place for about fourteen days, after which the red fluid is to be separated from the sediment, filtered, and preserved. This is the Primum Ens Sanguinis, and it is used in the same manner as the Primum Ens Melissae.

The Alcahest

The celebrated Alcahest is an universal medicine whose preparation was also known to Helmont and to some Rosicrucians. It was considered by them as one of the greatest mysteries. It is prepared as follows : —

"Take freshly prepared caustic lime, if possible still warm; powder it quickly in a dry place, and put it into a retort. Add as much absolute alcohol as the powder will absorb, and distil the alcohol at a moderate heat, until the powder in the retort is left perfectly dry. The distilled alcohol is now to be poured again upon the lime, and distilled, and this operation repeated ten times. Mix the powder with the fifth part of its own weight of pure carbonate of potash. This must be done very quickly and in a dry atmosphere, so that it will not attract any moisture. Insert the mixture of the two powders into a retort and heat it gradually, after putting about two ounces of absolute alcohol into the recipient. White vapours arise from the powder, and are attracted by the alcohol, and the heating is to be continued as long as this takes place. Pour the alcohol from the recipient into a dish, and set it on fire. The alcohol burns away, and the alcahest remains in the dish. It is an excellent medicine, and is used in the same manner as the Primum Ens Melissae." [24]

[24. We give these and the following prescriptions as curiosities, for what they are worth. They contain great truths, but only those who know will be able to understand and to prepare them. Those who go to the apothecary's shop to get these remedies prepared will be disappointed.]

On account of the great powers contained in the limestone, Paracelsus says that "many a man kicks away with his foot a stone that would be more valuable to him than his best cow, if he only knew what great mysteries were put into it by God by means of the spirit of Nature." [25]

[25. The alchemistical writings of Paracelsus are as obscure for the uninitiated as those of any other alchemist, but to the initiated they are plain enough. He gives, however, many plain directions in regard to the treatment of special diseases, and which can easily be followed out The reason why the doctrines of Paracelsus are not more extensively followed out by modern physicians is, that his system is, unfortunately, little known, and still less understood. The time will come when the resurrected doctrines of Paracelsus will create again a revolution in medical science, as the man Paracelsus did three hundred years ago.]


One of the greatest sympathetic remedies of Paracelsus, for the possession of which he was envied a great deal, and the preparation of which he kept very secret, was his Zenexton. His disciple, Oswald Sroll, in his "Basilica Chemica," pp. 210-213, describes its preparation as follows: —

"Make an instrument of good steel, by which you may cut some small tablets of the size of a penny, and whose composition will be given below. The instrument consists of two discs, which can be connected together by a middle piece in the shape of a ring, forming a hollow space between the two discs, and the latter are provided with handles. Upon the inner side of one disc is engraved a snake, and the inner side of the other represents a scorpion, so that the substance which is to be put into the hollow space between the two discs will receive the impression of the snake on one side and of the scorpion on the other. The instrument is to be made at a time when sun and moon are together in the sign of Scorpion. [26] By this process the upper bodies will be joined to the lower ones in an inseparable sympathetic union."

[26. This takes place in the Macrocosm during the time of the new moon, occurring each year between October 23 and November 23.]

"The substance of which the tablets are made is prepared as follows: — Take about eighteen live toads, dry them by exposing them to the sun and the air, and powder them. They must be dried very quickly, else they will rot. Take a number of menstrual cloths from young girls; white arsenic, auro-pigment, half an ounce of each; roots of Diptamus albus and Tormentilla erecta, of each three drachms; one drachm of small pearls; red corals, pieces of hyacinths and smaragds [emeralds], half a drachm of each; oriental saffron, forty grains; and a few grains of musk and amber. Powder all fine, mix it all together, and make a paste out of it with rosewater and gum-tragacanth. Make a paste out of it at the time when the moon is in the sign of Scorpion, cut into tablets, and seal them with the instrument. Dry the tablets, cover them with red silk, and wear them by a string around your neck, but they ought not to touch the bare skin. Such an amulet protects the wearer against the plague, sorcery, poison, and evil astral influences; it draws poisons out of the body, and absorbs them entirely."

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