From magic to science: intriguing rituals and experiments of the alchemists

From magic to science: intriguing rituals and experiments of the alchemists

The alchemist in search of the philosopher's stone.

Picture of Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771

In history, there were many rituals and magical practices, with some of their more bizarre than others. While alchemists were busy looking for the philosopher's stone and the elixir of immortality, some mages experimented and searched for ways of finding hidden treasures. It is said that a great library of Alexandria was conducted a lot of research, experiments and rituals, that some of them have led to the creation of such a fantastic creations, like a sphinx.

A lot of magical rituals

Magical rituals are not a myth, they really existed. While the ceremonial rituals were performed for their symbolic value, in magic rituals has a dual role: as a symbolic and aimed at obtaining a specific result and the desired changes.

The historical documents describe numerous magic rites, practices and techniques, details: inscriptions, temples, sanctuaries and special tools designed for use in such applications. Over time, it allocates a separate branch of archeology that is involved in prospecting, exploration and interpretation of such things.

From the Celts to the African tribes, from the legendary inhabitants of Atlantis to the ancient Egyptians, from the witches in Europe before the Yin-Yang masters in China and Japan; from alchemists employed conventional metal conversion into pure gold, Priests to Wood; by wizards and wizards to Priests Maya and Aztec; all they used magic rituals, wanting to get some benefit and to facilitate daily life.

Creation of the philosopher's stone and the immortality of

The Magnum Opus (great work) - is an alchemical process, designed to create the Philosopher's Stone. The original substance was represented symbolically in the form of an egg, which contains answers to all questions, and by means of which, it was thought, an ordinary metal could be converted into gold.

It was assumed that, using the stone in certain special procedures, could get the elixir of life, it will become immortal drunk. Many European, Arab and Chinese alchemists claimed to have discovered it. In Asia, especially in China, many emperors were asked to bring them the elixir that they were able to rule their countries forever. However, when the elixir was brought to them, and drunk, they died instantly. The dream of eternal life did not bring them nothing but death.

Alchemists correlate The Magnum Opus with symbolic transmutation through which people can develop spiritually. However, they believed that it is a physical and chemical process that occurs due to the balanced combination of magic and science.

From magic to science: intriguing rituals and experiments of the alchemists

A page from an alchemical treatise of the sixteenth century. Photo: Public Domain

Initially, the process was associated with 4 colors, each representing a particular transformation result of each phase. Nigredo (blackening) characterized the first phase. The second phase consisted of albedo (whitening). The third phase was presented citrinitas (yellowish white); and last phase comprised rubedo (redness).

Alchemy were not only men. Zosimos, writer of the Gnostic Panopolis, mentions in his works, the first in the history of a woman alchemist known as Mary the Jewess, who was well aware of the four transformations, characterized by the primary colors of the alchemists.

How to live forever

Four colors were obtained as a result of certain processes. A plurality of texts, such as Tabula Smaragdina or Mutus Liber, describe these processes, the number of which is typically from 7 to 14, encoding proposed recipes creating philosophical stone.

In accordance with the English alchemist Georges Ripleem exist 12 steps of creating philosophical stone: calcination, dissolution, separation, union, rotting, hardening, cibation, sublimation, fermentation, exaltation increase and designing. Different methods are different alchemists.

From magic to science: intriguing rituals and experiments of the alchemists

The Philosopher's Stone at Atalanta Fugiens Emblem 21. Photo: Public Domain

It had many alchemists who claimed that they had found the philosopher's stone in the history. The most significant of these was Nicolas Flamel from Saint-Germain. He cheaply bought a book written by an Arab alchemist. He was able to decipher the secret of the illustrations in the book and use them to create the Philosopher's Stone. It is said that the alchemist is still alive and continues his experiments in secret laboratories.

Regardless of whether they discovered the philosopher's stone or not, many of the physical, chemical, and medical discoveries, which continue to be extremely useful today, made by alchemists.

From magic to science: intriguing rituals and experiments of the alchemists

The alchemical water bath (double), invented by Mary-Jew in 1528

key of Solomon

Legend has it that King Solomon was able to dominate the angels, demons and jinn. Them he assigned various tasks: from the construction of the temple to protect the gold mines and diamond mines. It is said that the king could do it all with the help of the legendary book Clavicula Salomonis ( "Key of Solomon"), it describes the rituals and spells, by which dedicated could summon spirits

From magic to science: intriguing rituals and experiments of the alchemists

In the manuscript of "The Key of Solomon," shows one of the magical figures, it is identified as a large pentagram, so there is an Italian manuscript of XVII century in the Bodleian Library Michael MS. 276, which reads: "This is the main pentacle, called Big pentacle, it should be written on paper, leather or parchment lamb, which has a greenish tint. Circumference 72 divine letters must be red and the gold letters. The letters inside the pentacle must be red or sky blue, with the great name of God in gold. This is done to encourage the spirits, then they bow down before you and will be obedient. "

It is said that at the court of King Solomon's men, angels, demons and jinn have been collected and arranged by rank and position. Everyone played their role and perform a particular task, and in case of mistakes personally reported to the king. In the book "A Thousand and One Nights" tells about the punishment of gin, which angered the king. During this gin with the help of magic formulas contained in the book, was imprisoned in a bottle and threw it into the sea.

The mighty and wise king Solomon

In accordance with the literature of Judaism, Solomon for his modesty has acquired the right to command the spirits and animals, as in prayer, he only asked for wisdom rather than material wealth. Thus, the demons brought him regularly gems that increased the wealth and fame of Solomon and his kingdom flourished. Besides the magical book, Solomon was also the owner of a magic ring, known as the Seal of Solomon. The ring gave him power over demons, and even thought that with the help of the king could catch and force of Asmodeus, the king of demons, submit to the will of Solomon.

From magic to science: intriguing rituals and experiments of the alchemists

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, the picture of Edward Poynter, 1890

The legend says that Solomon's temple was built by angels and demons. The stones used for the construction, cut Shamir - a worm that can penetrate through the stone, brought by Solomon from heaven on the team. Solomon also dominate the two coupled demons Uzza and Azazel and forced them to open all the secrets that he wanted to know. The "educational purposes" Solomon commanded the demons to take some of his friends on a day trip to hell.

Thus, in the history of human science mixed with magic; objective research supported magical rituals; State policy went hand in hand with spells and witchcraft. All these work together to help a person to achieve his goals. Even if the philosopher's stone and the elixir of immortality is still not found, the legendary book "Key of Solomon" is lost and forgotten the art of alchemists, however, all these things were the basis for the discovery, used until now.