Source: Adam McLean's Alchemy Website @ www.levity.com
~ Transcribed by Dusan Djordjevic Mileusnic.
The Coelum Philosophorum,
Book of Vexations;
Phillipus Theophrastus Pracelsus.
The Science and Nature of Alchemy,
and What Opinion Should be Formed Thereof.
Regulated by the Seven Rules or Fundamental Canons according
to the seven commonly known Metals; and containing a
Preface with certain Treatises and Appendices.
of Theophrastus Paracelsus
to All Alchemists and Readers of this Book
You who are skilled in Alchemy, and as many others as promise yourselves great riches or chiefly desire to make gold and
silver, which Alchemy in different ways promises and teaches; equally, too, you who willingly undergo toil and vexations,
and wish not to be freed from them, until you have attained your rewards, and the fulfilment of the promises made to you;
experience teaches this every day, that out of thousands of you not even one accomplishes his desire. Is this a failure of
Nature or of Art? I say, no; but it is rather the fault of fate, or of the unskilfulness of the operator.
Since, therefore, the characters of the sign of the stars and planets of heaven, together with the other names, inverted
words, receipts, materials, and instruments are thoroughly well known to such as are acquainted with this art, it would be
altogether superfluous to recur to these same subjects in the present book, although the use of such signs, names, and
characters at the proper time is by no means without advantage.
But herein will be noticed another way of treating Alchemy different from the previous method, and deduced by Seven
Canons from the sevenfold series of the metals. This, indeed, will not give scope for a pompous parade of words, but,
nevertheless, in the consideration of those Canons everything which should be separated from Alchemy will be treated at
sufficient length, and, moreover, many secrets of other things are herein contained. Hence, too, result certain marvellous
speculations and new operations which frequently differ from the writings and opinions of ancient operators and natural
philosophers, but have been discovered and confirmed by full proof and experimentation.
Moreover, in this Art nothing is more true than this, though it be little known and gains small confidence. All the fault and
cause of difficulty in Alchemy, whereby very many persons are reduced to poverty, and others labour in vain, is wholly and
solely lack of skill in the operator, and the defect or excess of materials, whether in quantity or quality, whence it ensues
that, in the course of operation, things are wasted or reduced to nothing. If the true process shall have been found, the
substance itself while transmuting approaches daily more and more towards perfection. The straight road is easy, but it is
found by very few.
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