The Hermes Paradigm, Book Two: The First Work, Rubaphilos Salfluěre

This surely is a great miracle and without any deception, that in a venomous Dragon there should be the great medicine” in Figure VI of Lambsprinck’s 1625 De lapide philosophico. Engraving taken from Lambsprinck’s work and hand-coloured by Adam McLean.

" The Hermes Paradigm, Book Two: The First Work introduces and explains the Prima [or plant work] and that which is needed to understand and practice it accurately and successfully. This book focuses on relaying content which is useful and important to the serious student, excluding everything that is superfluous to such a task. I invite the novice as well as the more experienced student of alchemy to read and study this book many times, taking advantage of our accumulated knowledge and experience as it is presented here ..."

- Ben Kosem, A.H.S.

About the book:

This second volume in Rubaphilos Salfluĕre’s groundbreaking The Hermes Paradigm series builds upon the foundation laid in Book One: First Principles – with its detailed consideration of the history of Hermetism, exposition upon the core concepts and first principles of Hermetic science and initiation, and discussion of how natural law provides the blueprint for both the alchemical laboratory tradition and the inner alchemical journey of initiation – to examine the Western tradition of Hermetic laboratory alchemy. Motives for entering into the alchemical work are proffered as a starting point for consideration: if it is quality knowledge regarding the truth about the nature of reality that one genuinely seeks, and if one is prepared to relentlessly pursue such knowledge over days, months or more likely years towards its eventual attainment, then the Royal Road of alchemy – the Hermetic science – may indeed lead one to the desired destination, the illumination that is wisdom. Along the way, the importance of a rigorous and disciplined experimental methodology is emphasised, as is the guidance of a reliable and generous tutor; the creation of matter and its nature as per Hermetic philosophy – including the three Principals of Salt-structure, Sulphur-energy and Mercury-intelligence, which form the foundation of matter – is elaborated, as is the relationship between these Principals and the essential binary system inherent in all departments of Nature (that is, the Universal Spirit and the Watery Chaos), and the Elements. The mechanism by which matter evolves – known as spagyria – is then discussed, and the application of spagyric method to the First Work or Plant Prima detailed. Venturing further than to merely iterate recommended alchemical laboratory equipment and simple and practical astrological considerations, The Hermes Paradigm, Book Two: The First Work describes at length the processes of separation and putrefaction (by maceration, fermentation and pelicanisation), purification and cohobation, along with specific confections ranging from the herbal simple to the Plant Stone, the Circulatum Minor and even rejuvenatives such as the Primum Ens Melissæ.

About the author:

Rubaphilos Salfluěre began his nine year alchemical apprenticeship in 1988, under the private instruction of Frater Albertus Spagyricus' last active New Zealand graduate. By 1990, he had founded a small alchemical study group whose aim is the preservation and further development of the knowledge that he inherited from his teacher. Today that group continues to serve as a vehicle for private tuition and collaborative research. During the past 20 years, Rubaphilos has been a member of a number of respected esoteric organisations including the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosæ Crucis, the Builders of the Adytum, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Philosophers of Nature, and Freemasonry, holding prominent offices and ranks in some of these institutions. Originally trained as a neo-Jungian therapist, and running a private practice during the mid-1990s, his skill in the field of human psychology has allowed him to open doors into little understood avenues of the inner alchemical work. Rubaphilos began to study oenology through Charles Sturt University in 2003, for the purpose of augmenting his traditional training in laboratory alchemy with a modern depth of understanding. Today he lives in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, focusing upon his writing, ongoing teaching and research commitments.

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