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thing, and so perfects it with the "transmutation of the first substance (or the FIRST MATTER) into the last" (the last substance which is the THIRD MATTER).

A preparation of antimony also is the essential milestone in the production of Alcohol or Philosophical Spirits of Wine (indeed, the Arabic term for alcohol is "kuhool", alluding to "kuhl" or "kool" which is antimony) and even more so in the rectification (please see the plate on pg. 7)of the principle magisteria for the Great Work: The Antimonial Vinegar - and the much coveted Universal Solvent for the FIRST MATTER (with the Philosophical Mercury and Sulphur.

V. Laboratory Alchemy: The Great Work. Return to Section I

The end of alchemy is not to assist natural laws in evolving a more perfect vehicle for the expression of the life force or, because of the unity of all, to ultimately make the divine manifest. Nor is it the raising of vibrations nor is it evolution, nor is it about isolating the principle of life, nor is it the search for a union with the higher self, nor the search for making the stone of the self. And the Great Work is not about changing gold into a white powder, nor about emptying out the subconscious mind of the last residual doubt in order to fill it with "Christ Consciousness". But these terms are New Age garbage - though even Frater Albertus had used such lingo in his "Handbook of Alchemy": They've got no basis in the real world as the purpose of alchemy is producing the Philosophers' Stone in order to transmute lead into gold, to conquer disease and mortality, to smite and destroy the counsel of the nations (Ps. 33:10) and establish the Kingdom of God on the earth" (Dan. 2:34, 35). And no alchemist ever would reveal himself as such and not carry out a transmutation of lead into gold in a quantity that would leave no doubt about his command over matter, and about his mastership of creation.

The Great Work - the production of the Stone - therefore is a euphemism for the art and power of creation, or the mastership over the second world of Briah, the mastership over the FIRST MATTER: The Philosophers' Stone is the seedstone, the exaltation of the FIRST MATTER in the metal kingdom.

The process of exaltation of the FIRST MATTER or essence is accomplished by separating it - having been obtained through a spagyric process - into its three essentials, which then must be purified, and afterwards joined together again in a delicate and tedious process, called cohobation. The result here will be - if all goes well - the so-called Alchemistical Manifestation, which in the metallic kingdom is known as the Great Tincture: A synonym for the Philosophers' Stone.

The separation into the three essentials, their purification and cohobation consequently are not the spagyric work as some would make us believe and besides mistaking the caput mortuum (also they've misspelled it "caput mortem," which is an impossible Latin form) for the essential salt. But these processes belong to the Alchemistical Work, which comes after the spagyric work, and will lead to the Great Work. While the spagyric process, which precedes it, extracts the essence or FIRST MATTER only. And usually this will need more than one fraction - which afterwards must be collected into one. Thus, we see that extracting the spagyric fractions is not a separation into the three essentials, and their collection is not a cohobation.

There are innumerable variations of the Philosophers' Stone: While the red stone of the medieval alchemists is an apprentice's practice alone for producing a crude seedstone (an active blueprint which transmutes base metals into gold by insertion, and will heal disease and rejuvenate by ingestion), the more advanced stones are more specified in what they will bring about (like seeds in the plant kingdom). They are blueprints (the FIRST MATTER) for whatever they were created to form and inserted into chaotic substance, the three formative elements (Fire, Water and Air) which form the SECOND MATTER and the fixative element Earth which perfects the THIRD MATTER will read these blueprints and carry them out.

The earth thus was formed after its seedstone immersed into the dark clouds of the primordial waters and set into motion the awesome work of these formative forces. Paintings and other works of art show the fiery seedstone of the earth, (continued on next page)