Three Treatises of Art: Alchemy for the Behmenist Adept, The Little Alchemical Farmer, and The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species, Two Anonymous Authors and Adam Michael Birkholz

Selected and Translated by Russell Yoder

Three Treatises of Art: Alchemy for the Behmenist Adept, The Little Alchemical Farmer, and The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species, Two Anonymous Authors and Adam Michael Birkholz

"… for no creature but man can bring the wonders of the world to light; and
therefore also the spirit of this world hath so very much longed after man, and
hath drawn him to it, that it might shew forth its wonders in him, that man should
produce all arts and languages in it; moreover, the spirit and heart out of earths and
metals, that Precious Stone, the Philosophers Stone, which indeed, since Solomon’s
time, hath been found by few, but now at the end shall be found more clearly, as we
know and understand."

- Jacob Boehme

"While a careful reading and inward digestion of its contents will leave no doubt –
as the anonymous compiler claims – that this is the instruction for a physical work;
that may not necessarily be the same thing as saying it is for the outward laboratory."

- Russell Yoder

About the book:

These Three Treatises of Art – namely Alchemy for the Behmenist Adept, The Little Alchemical Farmer and The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species – have been translated by Russell Yoder. Two of the three are presented in English for the first time, while the third is presented anew for the first time since the 18th century.

Alchemy for the Behmenist Adept
Alchemy for the Behmenist Adept (or, Idea Chemiæ Bohmianæ Adeptæ): The Preparation of the Philosopher’s Stone According to Jacob Bohm (Amsterdam, 1690) is a rare and significant attempt to systematise Jacob Boehme’s Hermetic corpus. Drawing upon the High Dutch Philosopher’s works – including Aurora: Die Morgenröte im Aufgang, The Threefold Life of Man, De Signatura Rerum (or, Signature of All Things), Mysterium Pansophicum (or, Earthly and Heavenly Mystery and the Image of the Soul), Mysterium Magnum, Clavis, and Sixty-two Theosophic EpistlesAlchemy for the Behmenist Adept is concerned with “the preparation of the great Wonder-Stone of the Wise, the signs and colour which appear in the Work, their force and effect, and what commonly and especially to take heed of while at work …”

The Little Alchemical Farmer
A sublimely humourous pastorale, The Little Alchemical Farmer (or, Der Kleine Bauer) succinctly illustrates the familiar adage that “when the novice or apprentice is ready the Master appears.” Encountered on the path “between two Mountains,” this “fine old Farmer” is a keeper of high Mystery who generously expounds upon the crude ‘Second Matter’ and the conjunction of the red and white Star-flowers (the ‘red man’ and ‘white woman’) to become “the Prima Materia ‘of all metals’.” Before vanishing into the Mountain itself, this elderly ‘country gentleman’ describes the origin and root of all metals, the ignorance of the senses and the importance of prayer, “the white Mercurial Lily-sap” (‘Azot’ or ‘Gluten Aquilae’), and “[t]he sulphuric, incombustible, fixed, red lily juice” (‘Laton’ or ‘Leo Rubeus’), and emphasises that although “from the nature of these [white and red] flowers, precious stones and pearls grow forth,” the “highest object [of concern] is to further knowledge of God, and long life, and recovery from all diseases.”

The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species
A Treatise entitled ‘The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species’, with Selected Notes, from Compass of the Wise (Compendium of the Golden and Rosie Cross) by Adam Michael Birkholz (Berlin, 1782) elaborates upon Saturn – that “fiend, foe, and death of all metals” who is also “their resurrection and life” – and the spirit of this “child-eater, father, brother, sister, destroyer of all planets, friend and enemy …” In addition to describing this “right philosophical water of separation, which by its sharpness cuts all metals and minerals,” The Lead of the Wise and Its Dual Species discusses the properties of “our raw philosophical matter,” the principal Key to the work (“our magical fire”), the female Gold or Suns, the prophet Ezekiel, “the Boneless Fish [‘Euhmais’] which swims around in the philosophical seas,” the preparation of the philosophical ferment of leaven, the amalgamation of “the true philosophical gold … with a Mercury of Saturn,” and significantly more.

About the author:

Russell Yoder is descended from a Swiss German and French Huguenot family in Pennsylvania. His great-great grandmother was a member of Dr. George DeBenneville’s Rosicrucian and Universalist teaching circle northwest of Philadelphia, in the Oley Valley of 18th century Pennsylvania. DeBenneville, who was also a friend of the nearby radical pietist commune at Ephrata, is the only proven early American to have achieved the Opus. Russell is the translator of DeBenneville’s single copy handwritten manuscript on the preparation of the Philosopher’s Stone, currently housed in the archives of the Schwenkfelder Heritage Center and Library, Pennsburg. During the 1980s Russell also served as the last teaching Elder and translator of the Ephrata Society’s literature on the practice of Behmenist alchemy. His published work includes Light Dawning: The Origin of Rosicrucian Mysticism in the New World and An Early American Alchemical Treatise, both currently available from the J.D. Holmes Group (Sequim, Washington). Russell is retired and living in Thailand.

 

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