By W. Wynn Westcott
The Collectanea Hermetica is a ten quantity set of Occult airtight books edited through William Wynn Westcott. The volumes are as follows: 1) airtight Arcanum, 2) The Divine Pymander, three) a brief Enquiry about the airtight artwork, four) Æsch Mezareph, five) Somnium Scipionis, 6) Chaldæan Oracles of Zoroaster, 7) Euphrates, or the Waters of the East, eight) Egyptian Magic, nine) Numbers, 10) Sepher Yetzirah. || The volumes contain numerous unique translations, commentaries, and copious notes. it's a necessary source for all scholars of Hermeticism, Alchemy, Kabalah and western esotericism as a rule.
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Folding Penetration, Dilatation and Congelation. In every mixed body Natural Fire is the Principle of Heat and Motion. Unnatural Fire they name that which being procured and coming from without is introduced into the matter artificially; that it may increase and multiply the strength of the natural heat. The Fire Contrary to Nature they call that which putrefieth the Compositum, and corrupteth the temperament of Nature. It is imperfect, because being too weak for generation, it is not carried beyond the bounds of corruption: such is the Fire or heat of the menstruum: yet it hath the name improperly of Fire against Nature, because in a manner it is according to Nature, for although it destroys the specific form, and corrupteth the matter, yet it disposeth it for reproduction.
There is usually no greater Secret found in the whole practice of the Work than the firm and justly weighed Motion of this Circle; for it informeth the Philosophers' Infant and inspireth Soul and Life into him. 89. The Laws of this Circle's motions are, that it run about gently: and by little and little, and sparingly let forth itself, lest that by making haste it fall from its measure, and the Fire inherent be overwhelmed with the Waters, the Architect of the vVork grow dull, or also be extinguished: that meat and drink be administered by turns, to the end there maybe a better Digestion nlade, and the best temperament of Hl£midum and Siccum; for the indissoluble colligation of them both is the End and Scope of the Work.
5~ 109. The Vessel wherein Philosophers decoct their 42 work is twofold; the one of Nature, the other of Art; the Vessel of Nature which is also called the Vessel of Philosophy is the Earth of the Stone, or the Female or Matrix, whereinto the sperm of the Male is received, putrefies, and is prepared for generation; the Vessel of Nature is of three sorts, for the secret is decocted in a threefold Vessel. 110. The First Vessel is made of a transparent Stone, or of a stony Glass, the form thereof some Philosophers have hid by a certain Enigmatic description; sometimes affirming that it is compounded of two pieces, to wit, an Alembic and a Bolt-head; sometimes of three, at other times of the two former with the addition of a Cover.