JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 538
This wonderful and dimly provocative image from Johann Siebacher's Wasserstein der Weisen, oder chymisches Tractaetlein.... *, a curious alchemy book of obscured pubom Johann Ambrosius Siebmacher'lishing heritage, printed around 1660, is a sort of standard celestially-disembodied standard, though in this case the torch-holding hand may be coming through a trinitarian window/hole in the sky, straight from the body of the Der Herr Gott. Or perhaps not: perhaps this is an illustration of alchemical genius emerging from a Biblical interruption in the sky, igniting a heart-held philosopher's stone fixed to a well-rooted sepulchre, the very tree of life. The religiously-robed folks are retreating into the deeper shadow without the sight of the gloriously-enlightened lump, plainly visible to the plain observer.
Or not. Siebacher uses an epigram at the end of his book calling the whole chymical art into question: "It is an easy matter to prepare gold in the furnace out of metals:
at times there is found a man to whom the secret is revealed. Why is not
every alchemist rich? The reason is that one thing is wanting which many
seek with anxious care. Common gold is not fixed, and, when brought to
the test of fire, quickly disappears and perishes. But he who knows the
tired gold, which at all times remains the same, and from which nothing
is lost, he is the possessor of the true Art, and may be called a good
and practical Sage and Chemist." Rich in vision, and in spirit, with holes in the pockets.
*Johann Ambrosius Siebmacher. Wasserstein der Weysen, das ist, ein chymisch Tractätlein, darin der Weg gezeiget, die Materia genennet, und der Process beschrieben wird, zu dem hohen geheymnuss der Universal Tinctur zukommen, vor diesem niemalen gesehen. Darbey auch zwey sehr nutzliche andere Büchlein der Gleichformigkeit und Concordantz wegen angehenckt, nemlich, 1. Iohan von Mesung. 2. Via veritatis der einigen Warheit..., Frankfurt, 1619, 1661, 1703, 1704, 1709, 1710, 1743, 1762.
The Sophic Hydrolith; or Water Stone of the Wise, That is, a chymical work, in which the way is shewn, the matter named, and the process described; namely, the method of obtaining the universal tincture. Chapter One: A BRIEF EXPOSITION OF THE WONDERFUL WATER STONE OF THE WISE, COMMONLY CALLED THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE.