The Way of Vitriol

Basil Valentine described the way of Vitriol in Le Dernier Testament Bibliotheca, Hermetica Éditions Retz, 114, Champs-Élysées, 75008, Paris, 1978.

Page 212. "Truth is that in my precedent writings of the Twelve Keys I already gave to know my design of a point to the other, to my successors and descending to the practice of my 5th Key, I demonstrated parabolically and I made to see how it can make the great philosophers stone extracting of the sulphur and of the salt of the gold the best and the purest and this by the help of the mercury which is particularly necessary and above all, to extract it of a raw mineral and not melted one."

Page 238. "When you have found a mineral of such and so beautiful graduation that is clean and pure, which is called, as I told you, vitriol, beg then to God, that he gives you intelligence and wisdom to continue your design. And, after its calcination, put it in a strong and tightly closed retort.


Distil it, firstly, to a moderate fire, then, to a strong one. The white spirit will distil as the snow that leaves in the form of a horrible and frightful exhalation or wind until it doesn't come anymore and that everything has come out. Observe that in this wind or white spirit, all the three beginnings are occult and contained...And, that, it is not absolutely necessary to seek these three beginnings in the precious things..."

Page 239. "Now, if you take this white spirit extracted by distillation and that you disentangle it of its terrestrial humidity, you will find and will perceive in the glass vase bottom the treasure and foundation of all the philosophers of the world before your eyes and in your hands, that is ignored of the masses; it is a red oil that weigh as much as gold or lead, as thick as blood, and of a burning fire property.

It is the philosophers' true liquid gold, whose composition is made by the nature of three beginnings that consist of a soul, a spirit and a body..."

Here it is brothers a summary description of the vitriolo distillation with view to the extraction of the three fundamental beginnings for the Great Alchemic Work: Sulphur, Mercury and Salt.

Before you make this distillation just as the Master tells us, you will need a special mud refractory retort called Glauber's retort. In the best Pyrex glass alembic you will never make it.

Besides, so much as we know, this distillation is not easy to execute because if you don't know nor have the "hand work" or the special touch of the practice, well instead of the white spirit and of the red oil, it will just leave you with sulphurous acid.

We never made this distillation for lack of the referred retort but we have knowledge that other brothers attempted it and they didn't get it.

The "prima materia" or first matter, will be a vitriol of Mars and Venus as what was showed to you in the image. It won't be easy to get in its natural state just as the Master tells us in his writings, that is to say the Hungary vitriol.

Happily in Portugal, our country, it is relatively easy to find in Alentejo and the Aljustrel' mines and others, a native Mars and Venus vitriol.

Rubellus Petrinus

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