You are on page 1of 16 Search inside document on the problem of opposites in alchemy The Aurora or Area Hora of the blessed Thomas Aquinas Here begins the treatise known as Aurora Consurgens All good things came to me together with Her, that Wisdom of the South 1, who preaches abroad, who utters her voice in the streets, cries out at the head of the multitudes, and in the entrance of the gates of the city utters her words, saying: Come to me and be enlightened, and your operations shall not be confounded; all that desire me shall be filled with my riches. Come, children, hearken to me; I will teach you the Science of God. Who is wise, and understands this, of which Alphidius says, that men and children pass her by daily in the streets and public places, and she is trodden into the mire by beasts of burden and by cattle? And Senior says: Naught is more base in appearance than she, and naught is more precious in nature than she, and God also has not appointed her to be bought for a price. She it is that Solomon chose to have instead of light, and above all beauty and health; he compared not like unto her the virtue of any precious stone, for all gold in her sight shall be esteemed as but a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay; and this not without cause, for to gain her is better than the merchandise of silver and the most pure gold. And her fruit is more precious than all the riches of this world, and all the things that are desired are not to be compared with her.
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You are on page 1of 16 Search inside document on the problem of opposites in alchemy The Aurora or Area Hora of the blessed Thomas Aquinas Here begins the treatise known as Aurora Consurgens All good things came to me together with Her, that Wisdom of the South 1, who preaches abroad, who utters her voice in the streets, cries out at the head of the multitudes, and in the entrance of the gates of the city utters her words, saying: Come to me and be enlightened, and your operations shall not be confounded; all that desire me shall be filled with my riches.
Come, children, hearken to me; I will teach you the Science of God. Who is wise, and understands this, of which Alphidius says, that men and children pass her by daily in the streets and public places, and she is trodden into the mire by beasts of burden and by cattle?
And Senior says: Naught is more base in appearance than she, and naught is more precious in nature than she, and God also has not appointed her to be bought for a price. She it is that Solomon chose to have instead of light, and above all beauty and health; he compared not like unto her the virtue of any precious stone, for all gold in her sight shall be esteemed as but a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay; and this not without cause, for to gain her is better than the merchandise of silver and the most pure gold.
And her fruit is more precious than all the riches of this world, and all the things that are desired are not to be compared with her. Length of days and health are in her right hand, and in her left hand Glory and infinite riches.
Her ways are beautiful operations and praiseworthy, not unsightly nor ill favoured, and her paths are measured and not hasty, but are bound up with perseverance and day-long toil. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold on her, and an unfailing light. Blessed shall they be who retain her, for the Science of God shall never perish, as Alphidius bears witness, for he says: He who hath found this Science, it shall be his rightful food for ever. And Hermes and other Philosophers say, that if a man who has this Science should live for a thousand years, and every day must feed seven thousand men, yet should he never lack.
This Senior does confirm, saying: That such a one is as rich as he that has a stone from which Fire is struck, who can give Fire to whomsoever he will and as much as he will and when he will without any loss to himself. The same is the intent of Aristotle in his second book Of the Soul, when he say: To the size and the growth of all things in nature a limit is appointed, but Fire by the addition of combustible matter waxes without end.
Blessed is the man that shall find this Science and into whom this prudence [of Saturn] flows; in all your ways think on her and she shall direct your steps. As Senior says: But the wise man and the discerning and ingenious in judgment understand her, when his spirits have been enlightened by the Liber Aggregationis [attributed to Albertus Magnus].
For then every spirit bursts into flood and follows its desire; blessed is he who meditates upon my words. And Solomon: My son, put her about your neck and write in the tables of your heart and you shall find what you seek.
Say to Wisdom: "You are my sister", and call Prudence your friend: for to meditate upon her is a most natural and subtle Understanding, which brings her to perfection. And they that constantly watch for her shall quickly be secure.
For she is clear to them that have Understanding, and she shall never fade away nor fail; she seems easy to them that have knowledge of her, for she goes about seeking such as are worthy of her and shows herself cheerfully to them in the ways and meets them with all providence; for her beginning is the most true nature, whereof comes no deceit.
What the Science is and how she comes into being I will lay bare, and will not hide from you. For she is gift and sacrament of God and a Divine matter, which deeply and in diverse manners was veiled in images by the wise.
Wherefore I bring the knowledge of her to light and will not pass over the truth , neither will I have to do with consuming envy; for from the beginning of my birth have I sought her out and knew not that she was the mother of all Sciences that went before me. And she bestowed on me innumerable riches, which I have learned without guile and will communicate without envy, and without hiding her worth. For she is an infinite treasure to all men, which a man having found, hides it and for joy thereof says: Rejoice, O Jerusalem and gather together all ye that love me; rejoice with gladness, for the Lord [God] hath been merciful unto his poor.
Senior likewise says: For there is a stone, which he that has knowledge lays upon his eyes, but he that does not, casts it upon the dunghill, and it is a medicine which puts poverty to flight, and after God, man has no better thing. These will not have the blessing and it shall be far from them, nor does such Science befit the unskilled, for everyone who is ignorant of it is its enemy, and that not without cause.
For the wise have not spoken to the foolish, seeing that he that speaks with a fool speaks with one that is asleep. Morienus says: If I were to unriddle all things as they are, there would nowhere be any further place for prudence, for the fool would be made equal to the wise; nor would any mortal under the sphere of the Moon bewail in stepmotherly poverty the pangs of hunger , for in this Science the number of fools is infinite.
Secondly, the dawn is midway between night and day, shining with twofold hues, namely, red and yellow; so likewise does this Science beget the colours yellow and red, which are midway between white and black. Thirdly, because at dawn they that labour under all the infirmities of the night are relieved and have rest; and so at the dawn of this Science all evil odours and vapours that infect the mind of the laborant fade away and weaken, as the Psalm says: In the evening weeping shall have place, and in the morning gladness.
Fourthly and lastly, the dawn is called the end of the night and the beginning of the day, or the mother of the Sun, and so our dawn at its greatest redness is the end of all darkness and the putting to flight of night, of that long-drawn-out winter wherein he who walks, if he does not take heed, shall stumble.
For of this indeed it is written: And night to night shows knowledge, day to day utters speech, and night shall be light as the day in its pleasures. Understand you foolish ones, and mark the parable and the interpretation, the words of the wise and their mysterious sayings; for the wise have used diverse manners of speech in making comparison with everything that is upon the Earth, and beneath the sphere of the Moon they have multiplied parables in this Science.
For the wise man who hears [the wise] will grow wiser and understand, and Understanding this Wisdom he will lay hold upon her. VI The first parable: of the black Earth wherein the seven planets took root Beholding from afar off I saw a great cloud looming black over the whole Earth, which had absorbed the Earth and covered my soul, because the Waters had come in even unto her, wherefore they were putrified and corrupted before the face of the lower hell and the shadow of death, for a tempest has overwhelmed me; then before me shall the Ethiopians fall down and my enemies shall lick my Earth.
Therefore there is no health in my flesh and all my bones are troubled before the face of my iniquity. For this cause have I laboured night by night with crying, my jaws are become hoarse; who is the man that liveth, Knowing and Understanding, delivering my soul from the hand of hell?
They that explain me shall have eternal life, and to him I will give to eat of the Tree of Life which is in paradise, and to sit with me on the Throne of my Kingdom. He that shall dig for me as money and obtain me as a treasure and shall not disturb the tears of my eyes and shall not deride my garment, shall not poison my meat and my drink and shall not defile with fornication the couch of my rest, and shall not violate my whole Body which is exceedingly delicate and above all my soul [or dove] which without gall is wholly beauteous and comely, in which there is no spot, who shall do no hurt to my seats and Thrones, he for whose love I languish, in whose ardour I melt, in whose odour I live, by whose sweetness I regain my health, from whose milk I take nourishment, in whose embrace I am made young, from whose kiss I receive the breath of life, in whose loving embrace my whole Body is lost, to him indeed I will be a father and he shall be to me a son; wise is he who rejoices his father, him I will place first and highest among the kings of the Earth, and I will keep my covenant faithful to him for ever.
But if he shall forsake my law and walk not in my ways and keep not my aforementioned commandments, the enemy shall have advantage over him and the son of iniquity shall have power to hurt him; but if he shall walk in my ways, then shall he not fear in the cold of snow. And for all his household there shall be covering, fine linen and purple, and he shall laugh in that day when I shall be satisfied and my Glory shall appear, for he has looked well to my paths and has not eaten his bread idle.
Therefore were the Heavens opened above him and there thundered the voice of him who holdeth the seven stars in his hand, which are the seven spirits sent forth into all the Earth to preach and to bear witness.
He that believes and is well baptized shall be saved, but he that believes not shall be condemned. And the signs of those who believe and are well baptized are these: When the king that is in Heaven judges over them, they shall be whitened with snow in Selmon and shall be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and the hinder parts of her back with the paleness of gold.
Such shall be to me a beloved son, behold him, beautiful above the sons of men, at whose beauty the Sun and Moon wonder. For he is the privilege of love and the heir, in whom men trust and without whom they can do nothing.
But he that has ears to hear, let him hear what the spirit of the doctrine says to the sons of the discipline concerning the seven stars, by which the divine work is wrought. And of these Senior treats in his book in the chapter of the Sun and Moon, saying: After you have made the seven metals which are distributed amongst and appointed to the seven planets, purge them nine times until they appear as pearls in likeness - this is the Whitening.
That death which a woman brought into the world, this day has a woman put to flight, and the barriers of hell are broken down; for death shall have no more dominion, nor shall the gates of hell prevail against her, for the tenth goat, which was lost, is found, and the hundredth sheep is restored in the wilderness, and the number of our brethren from the fall of the angels is fully made up. It is meet therefore, my son, to make merry this day, for there shall be no more crying nor any sorrow, for the former things are passed away.
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit of the Doctrine says to the Sons of the Discipline concerning the woman who ushered in death and put it to flight, which the Philosophers declare in these words: Take away this Soul and give him back his Soul, for the corruption of one is the generation of another, that is: Take from him the corrupting humour and add to him the con-natural humour, through which shall come to pass his perfecting and life. VIII The third parable: of the gate of brass and bar of iron of the Babylonian captivity He who broke in pieces my gates of brass and my bars of iron shall also move my candlestick out of its place, and shall break asunder the chains of the prison of darkness and feed my hungry soul, which longed in thirst for his face, with the fat of wheat and with honey out of the rock, and shall prepare a large dining room for my pilgrimage, that I may sleep in peace, and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit may rest upon me, [who has had mercy upon me].
For they shall gather me together out of all the countries, that they may pour upon me clean Water, and I shall be cleansed from the greatest sin, and from the noonday devil, for from the sole of my foot into the crown [of my head] there is no soundness in me. Therefore they shall cleanse me from my secret faults and from those of others, and thereafter I shall not remember all my iniquities, for God hath anointed me with the oil of gladness that there may dwell in me the virtue of penetration and of liquefaction in the day of my resurrection, when I shall be glorified by God.
For this generation comes and passes away, until he come that is to be sent, who also takes away the yoke of our captivity, wherein we spent seventy years by the rivers of Babylon; there we wept and hung up our instruments, because the daughters of Zion were haughty and walked with stretch-out necks and twinklings of their eyes and made a noise and went at a measured pace.
Therefore the Lord will make bald the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and will discover their hair, for the law shall come forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
In that day when seven women took hold of one man, saying: We eat our own bread and wear our own apparel, why do you not defend our blood, which is poured out as Water round about Jerusalem? And they received the Divine reply: Rest still for a little time, until the number of our brethren is filled up, which is written in this book: then every one that shall be left in Zion shall be called saved, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion with the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding; then will ten acres of vineyard yield one little measure and thirty bushels of seed yield three bushels.
He that understands this shall not be moved for ever. He that has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit of the Doctrine says to the Sons of the Discipline concerning the Babylonian captivity, which endured seventy years, of which the Philosophers tell in these words: Manifold are the alternations of the seventy precepts. This is the Will of my Father, that they may know Him to be the true God and no other; who gives abundantly and upbraids not, unto all people in truth, and his only begotten Son, God of God, light of light, and the Holy Spirit who proceedeth from both, who is equal in Godhead to the Father and the Son, for in the Father inheriteth eternity, in the Son equality, in the Holy Spirit is the bond of eternity and equality; for as it is said, Like as the Father is, so is the Son, and so also is the Holy Spirit, and these three are One, [which the Philosopher would have to be] Body, Spirit, and Soul, for all perfection consists in the number three, that is, in measure, number, and weight.
For the Father is of none, the Son of the Father, the Holy Spirit proceeds from both; for to the Father is attributed Wisdom, by which he rules and sweetly disposes all things, whose ways are unsearchable and his judgements incomprehensible.
To the Son is attributed Truth, for he in his appearing took upon him that which he was not, subsisting perfect God and man of human flesh and reasonable Soul, who at the behest of the Father with the co-operation of the Holy Spirit restored to the world that which was lost by the sin of the fall.
To the Holy Spirit is attributed Goodness, through whom Earthly things become Heavenly, and this in threefold wise: by baptizing in Water, in blood, and in Fire; in Water by quickening and cleansing, when he washes away all defilements and driveth out murkiness from Souls, as it is said: You fecundate the Waters to give life to Souls.
For Water is the nourishment of all living things, for when Water comes down from Heaven it plentifully Waters the Earth, and the Earth by it receives that strength which can dissolve every metal, wherefore it beseeches him saying: Send forth your Spirit, that is Water, and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the Earth, for He breathes upon the Earth and He makes it tremble, and He Touches the mountains and He makes them smoke.
And when He baptizes with blood, and when He nourishes, as it is said: He gave me to drink of the saving Water of Wisdom, and again: His blood is drink indeed, for the seat of the Soul is in the blood, as Senior says, but the Soul itself remained in Water, which is similar in warmth and humidity, and therein consists all life. But when he baptizes in Fire, then he infuses the Soul and gives perfection to life, for Fire gives form and completes the whole, as it is said: He breathed into his face the breath of life, and man, who was aforetime dead, became a living Soul.
Of the first, second, and third the Philosophers bear witness, saying: For three months Water preserves and nourishes the foetus in the womb, Air nourishes it for the second three, Fire guards for the third three. The infant will never come to birth until these months are expired, then it is born and quickened by the Sun, for that is the quickener of all things that are dead.
Wherefore the aforesaid Spirit by reason of the excellence of His sevenfold gift is said to have seven virtues in his operation on Earth: In the first place, he warms the Earth as is to be seen in lime , which by coldness is dead and dry.
Wherefore the prophet says: My heart grew hot within me and in my operations a Fire flamed out. British Museum]: Fire, penetrating and stabilizing by its warmth, consumes all Earthly parts which are wholly material and not formal; for as long as Fire has matter, it ceases not to act, seeking to imprint its form on the passive substance. And Calet the Less: Make warm the cold of the one by the heat of the other. And Senior: Set the male upon the female, that is, the warm upon the cold.
In the second place, he extinguishes the intense imprinted Fire by ignition, of which the Prophet says: A Fire was kindled in their congregation, and a flame burned the wicked upon the Earth; he extinguishes this Fire by its own temperament, whence it is added: You are coolness in the heat.
And Calet the Less: Extinguish the Fire of the one by the coolness of the other. And Avicenna: Of all things in which there is burning, the first thing that is released from it is a fiery virtue, which is more mild and more worthy than the virtues of the other elements. In the third place he makes it soft, that is, he liquefies the hardness of the Earth and dissolves its condensed and exceedingly compact parts, of which it is written: The rain of the Holy Spirit melts.
And the Prophet says: He shall send out his word and shall melt it, his wind shall blow and the Waters shall run.
And in the Book of the Quintessence it is written: Woman dissolves man and the man fixes the woman, that is, the Spirit dissolves the Body and softens it and the Body hardens the Spirit.
In the fourth place he enlightens, when he takes away all darkness from the Body, of which the hymn sings: Purge the horrible darknesses of our mind, enkindle a light in our senses, and the Prophet says: He conducted them all the night with a light of Fire, and night shall be as light as the day. And Senior: And he makes all that is black, white, and all that is white, red, for Water whitens and Fire enlightens. For He shines through the tincturing Soul like a ruby in colour, which colour it has acquired by virtue of the Fire, wherefore Fire is called the Dyer.
And in the Book of the Quintessence: You see a wondrous light in the darkness. And in the Turba Philosophorum it is written: If the clouds have whitened the surface, without a doubt their inner parts shall be whitened also.
And Morienus says: Already we have taken away the black and have made the white, with the salt natron [sodium carbonate - used in preservation of organic tissues], that is with the Spirit. In the fifth place, he separates the pure from the impure when he removes all accidents from the Soul, which are vapours, that is, evil odours, as it is written: Fire separates those things that are unlike and brings together those things that are like.
Wherefore the Prophet says: You have tried me by Fire, and iniquity shall not be found in me. And again: We have passed through Fire and Water, and You have brought us forth into rest and refreshment. Alphidius: Earth is liquefied and turned into Water, Water is liquefied and turned into Air; Air is liquefied and turned into Fire, Fire is liquefied and turned into glorified Earth. On this Rasis says: A certain purification of things precedes the work of perfect preparation, which by some is called administration or cleansing, by others rectification, and by some washing or separation.
For the Spirit himself, who is sevenfold in his operation, separates the purer parts from the impure, that the impure parts being cast away, the work may be fulfilled with the pure. And this fifth virtue Hermes refers to in his Secret, when he says: You shall separate the Earth from the Fire, the subtle from the gross, gently etc. In the sixth place he exalts the lowly, when he brings to the surface the Soul which heretofore had been hidden deep within the bowels of the Earth, of which the Prophet says: He brings out them that were bound in his strength.
Again: You have delivered my Soul out of the lower hell. And Isaias: The Spirit of the Lord lifted me up. And the Philosophers: Whomsoever shall make the hidden manifest knows the whole work, and he who knows our cambar i. Morienus: He who shall raise up his Soul, shall see its colours.
Aurora Consurgens – An Alchemical Treatise of the 15th Century
Authorship[ edit ] The argument against the authorship of Thomas Aquinas is that the style of Aurora consurgens does not correspond to that of Thomas Aquinas except in the Fourth Parable, which in style and content is similar to the "Expositio" in "Symbolum Apostolorum", which is an oral lecture of Thomas of Aquin. His praising of the poor is typical for a Dominican or a Franciscan. The passionately style of being gripped could result from an intrusion of the unconscious which — as psychological experience tells - might have compensated a rather intellectual consciousness dominated by logic. The biography of Thomas Aquinas fits this, as, before his death, Thomas Aquinas is said to have had a disturbing vision, the content of which is not authenticated. But he is said to have interpreted the Song of Songs on his deathbed. Thus this treatise might well represent his last seminar or his last words. It also refers to the Song of Songs, especially in its last 7th parable de confabulatione dilecti cum dilecta , which draws closely on it, in main parts paraphrasing it.