A Process for the Purification of Mercury
The purest mercury revivified from cinnabar is to be dissolved in as much aqua fortis as is necessary. Into the solution pour gradually as much solution of sea salt or hydrochloric acid as is necessary to precipitate the mercury, and the result is a white calx of mercury. Wash this well with water, and dry the calx.
Mix the dried calx with one, two, or three parts of its weight of stone lime, and half a part of rye or wheat flour. Then distill the mixture by means of a retort.
The distilled mercury, unless perfectly clean, may be passed two or three times through chamois leather.
This revivified mercury is bright, like the firmament, and dissolves gold in a very short time, even by rubbing, and without heat. The whole process may, with advantage, be repeated two or three times. Such mercury will be wonderfully pure. The aqua fortis solution must always be diluted with clean water before precipitating. Ordinary mercury contains crudities which it deposits in the water. Weigh the purified mercury, and it will be observed to have diminished by the quarter part or more of its mercury, because whatever impurity there was in the mercury (though it be virgin running mercury) remains in the water, and cannot be precipitated.
But, to prove this truth, evaporate the water which was poured off from the precipitate, and there remains a sediment as black as ink. Purify, therefore, the mercury, and it is fit for all operations, and is a master over all metals. [anon]
This Awareness indicates that the First Matter for alchemist normally referred to as water, is that element known as urine.
The urine or First Matter, is sometimes described as Mercury and Sulfur; mercury because it flows in a liquid form, and sulfur because of the sulfur content in urine. [Philosophers Stone]
"Then all of these astrological influences (as known or called) from without, bear witness - or are as innate influences upon our activity, our sojourn through any given experience. Not because we were born with the sun in this sign or that, nor because Jupiter or Mercury or Saturn or Uranus or Mars was rising or setting, but rather:
"Because we were made for the purpose of being companions with Him, a little lower than the angels who behold His face ever yet as heirs, as joint heirs with Him who is the Savior, the Way, then we have brought these about because of our activities through our experiences in those realms! Hence they bear witness by being in certain positions - because of our activity, our sojourn in those environs, in relationships to the universal forces of activity.
Manly Palmer Hall
"According to the ancient philosophers, salt was of the earth earthy, sulphur was a fire which was spirit, while mercury was nothing, only a messenger like the winged Hermes of the Greeks. His color is purple, which is the blending of the red and the blue—the blue of the spirit and the red of the body.
The alchemist realizes that he himself is the Philosopher’s Stone, and that this stone is made diamond-like when the salt and the sulphur, or the spirit and the body, are united through mercury, the link of mind. Man is the incarnated principle of mind as the animal is of emotion. He stands with one foot on the heavens and the other on the earth." [Initiates of the Flame, by Manly Palmer Hall]
C. G. Jung
The mystic vessel where the two natures unite (sol and luna, caduceus) to produce the filius hermaphroditus, Hermes, flanked by the six gods of the planets. «Solidonius dominator elementorum, author rarissimus et excellentissimus philosophus», c. 1701-1800
"Since olden times “the seven” have represented the seven gods of the planets; they form what the Pyramid inscriptions call a paut neteru, a “company of gods”. Although a company is described as “nine,” it often proves to be not nine at all but ten, and sometimes even more.
Thus Maspero tells us that the first and last members of the series can be added to, or doubled, without injury to the number nine. Something of the sort happened to the classical paut of the Greco-Roman or Babylonian gods in the post-classical age, when the gods were degraded to demons and retired partly to the distant stars and partly to the metals inside the earth.
It then transpired that Hermes or Mercurius possessed a double nature, being a chthonic god of revelation and also the spirit of quicksilver, for which reason he was represented as a hermaphrodite. As the planet Mercury, he is nearest to the sun, hence he is pre-eminently related to gold. But, as quicksilver, he dissolves the gold and extinguishes its sunlike brilliance.
All through the Middle Ages he was the object of much puzzled speculation on the part of the natural philosophers: sometimes he was a ministering and helpful spirit, a πάρεδρος (literally “assistant, comrade”) or familiaris.."
"For instance he is dragon, lion, eagle, raven, to mention only the most important of them. In the alchemical hierarchy of gods Mercurius comes lowest as prima materia and highest as lapis philosophorum. The spiritus mercurialis is the alchemists’ guide Hermes Psychopompos: and their tempter; he is their good luck and their ruin.
His dual nature enables him to be not only the seventh but also the eighth—the eighth on Olympus “whom nobody thought of.” [Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 12: Psychology and Alchemy]
The Rosary of the Philosophers
“Of Our Mercury which is the Green Lion Devouring the Sun Know that it is Mercury cold and moist and God hath created all minerals of it, for it is an airy element, flying from the fire.
Therefore, when any part is fixed to it, it effecteth an high matter and it is a profitable spirit, and there is not any thing in the world but it. Neither is there any thing that may stand in the place of it, and it is a thing searching to the bottom in every body, and enriching it.
Therefore, when it is mingled with the body, it reviveth it and illuminates it and converts it from disposition to disposition, and, from one colour into another, therefore it is the whole Elixir of whiteness and redness, and it is a permanent water, and water of life and death..”
“Therefore Gold says unto him, dost thou prefer thyself before me, And I am Lord of Stones enduring the fire. Our Mercury says unto it, but I have begat thee and thou art born of me, and one part of me revives many parts of thee, but thou art covetous and givest not any thing in comparison to me, and he which shall bind me with my brother and my sister shall live and rejoice, and it shall suffice him in all his life, if he should live a thousand thousand years, and every day sustain seven thousand men, yet he should never want, and I am the whole secret and in me the Science is hidden, because I convert all bodies into Sol and Luna, when my nature is such that I mollify the hard, and make the soft hard.” [The Rosary of the Philosophers, c. 1550]
"The Latins call thee Mercury, the Messenger of the Gods; among the Greeks thy name is that of great Hermes. Thou art called Tenthius on the soil of Egypt; thy father is Nilus, who enriches that soil, and has bequeathed unto thee untold wealth. Thou hast duly conveyed to the peoples of Egypt the laws which Vulcan, being in the secret with thee, has given.
All nations of the world behold thee with delight, yet thou desirest to be known to very few. Of how many secrets of Nature have the keys been entrusted to thy keeping!
Thy face is red, thy neck is yellow, thy bosom is whiter than purest snow. Thy feet are shod with black sandals, a wand with a double snake in no wise hurts thy hand. This is thine apparel whereby thou art known to all, O Hermes ! Thy complexion is fittingly of four hues." [A Subtle Allegory Concerning the Secrets of Alchemy, by Michael Maier]