Rituaal voor de graad van Practicus
Dit rituaal dateert uit ca. 1880 en werd gebruikt door de Societatis Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis
The Theoricus is robed in blue in the Preparation Room; over his head and
face is a thin Yellow Veil, and in his hand is placed an ebony Crux bearing a.
Red Rose. C. of N. robed and cowled in Black. They proceed to Porch and enter
C. of N.: By the mystic Rose and Cross.
C. of C.: By the power of Chymia.
C. of N.: As the Light of Reason dawns.
C. of C.: So Hermes bids thee enter.
The Conductor and Theoricus make a circuit while is sung this Ode to Hermes:
Rises all glorious;
Back to the dark abyss
Drives all our ills amise.
Hark, that bell ringing.
Angels sweet singing,
Proud o'er death he reigns
Conq'ring all ills and pains
His will, all-powerful,
Griefs that are sorrowful
Shrink to the shades of night
Fade before Hermes' Light.
The Mystery endeth here,
Man hath no mortal fear.
Life now is eternal,
And the Spirit Supernal.
The Theoricus is brought before the Suffragan, and caused to kneel, holding the Rose and Cross before him for the Blessing:
Suffragan: Thou who art the Revealer of all secrets of the Worlds above and of the Earth beneath. Thou who granteth unto Man powers of mind and reason, and taught him how to liberate the benificient and salutory in the various kingdoms of Science from gross and material matter, Bless this Postulant, give him broad comprehension and exceeding wisdom. Grant his instructions be received by the Light necessary to impart Thy holy hidden secrets, and to Thee be all the Glory. Amen.
The Theoricus, now rising, will listen to the Purpose of the Degree.
Suffragan: Theoricus, you have now arrived at the third grade, or Physical branch of the System of Rosicrucianism called Practicus. You are now to delve in the Mines of Alchemy and Hermeticism so far as we may be enabled, under our brief forms and symbolic services to impart the same to you. We can, at best, but place in your hands the wrap upon which you must weave the threads, which we will also give you (some dark and sombre, other bright and golden) a picture pleasing to the eye of the Eternal, who is to pass upon your work. Alchemy is so called because it is an instrument by which the good is to be separated from the evil; and what is not mature it matureth. It is a primary power, pure and uncorrupted, it exerciseth with the intellectual man and takes no part with the unthinking and indolent. Draw then upon your innate and tutored mind, and. follow us in our course of reasoning.
Alchemists claim the power after eliminating and dispersing the u1timate and grosser elements of bodies by the influence of Fire, to grasp and hold the residing spirit from escape to the etheral world beyond this World, and require and demand of it obedience and submission to their will. Hermeticism overrides and transcends nature, and by its art directed upon Nature, accomplishes rapidly that which nature requires an almost infinite period to effect.
In these matters therefore be attentive and diligent, and we will accordingly regard you by a higher rank in the scale of Rosicrucianism. We purposely propose making to you a new and startling discovery, and assigning you work in a more interior apartment of our moral laboratory.
You are to be instructed in the use of new and subtle simples and compounds of more artful and ingenious composition, through the force of elimination by Fire or Flame, Be not regardless of their symbolic application.
Lost our approach to Alchemic discovery may be thougtlessly revealed, we find it essential. to employ symbols to obscure our thoughts and ideas to the worldly and curious. But through our symbols you will be enabled to resolve immaterial thoughts into form, and adjust God's mental gifts and promised insight of the inner-life into a more finished moral, spiritual and individual system. With this preliminary instruction repair to the Celebrant and be obediant to his requirements.
The Conductor accompanies the Theoricus to the Celebrant in the center of the Hall, who is seated facing the West, with an Altar of Incense in front of him, lighted.
Celebrant: Thou hast listened to the foreshadowing recival of the Suffragan. My orders are from the invisible Adept to receive your solemn promise of Secrecy before further revelation. Kneel, if you are prepared to pledge yourself.
Theoricus kneels holding the Rosy-Cross with both hands. Brethren all standing in form of a Cross. Celebrant being central point; Theoricus assents to the following
Do you promise and declare in the presence of these Rosicrucian Brethren,
upon your word of honor as a Man, by the symbol of the Rose and Cross, and the
Flame upon the Altar, that you will ever conceal and never reveal to any person
whomsoever, by any willful act or process, any, even the least, of the Secrets or
Mysteries of the Grade of Practicus of this Society of Rosicrucians which you
already know or may be any manner whatever become possessed of, unless it be to
a Brother of this Grade of Practicus, and not unto him after due trial, strict
examination or sure information by you had that he is entitled to the same?
Candidate: I do.
Celebrant: Your pledge of honor is accepted. Relying on your faith we will proceed in. instructing you in the great work of the Alchemists, the 'Grand Mysterium'. To this end, we again place you in charge of the Conductor who will escort you to the Venerable Ancients, as in the preceding Degrees, for instruction. They will inform you of the great and powerful agent employed by God, as well as by Man, for their mighty Alchemical purposes.
Theoricus is conducted direct from the center of the Hall to the 1st Ancient in The East, who is facing the West, and who has a single candle burning in. front of him.
1st Ancient: I am charged to direct your attention to Natural or Material Fire in the phase it was looked upon by the early Rosicrucians, as well by those of the present day; that Fire with which we are all familiar in contradistinction with that which is in the Celestial, invisible, and surrounding Medium, and of which in our physical Nature, we can comprehend but little.
Think of the shapes assumed by Fire, as the Flames noiselessly creep, entwine, spreading and widening, now contracting and deepening: Mark its changefulness of color, as in its increasing ardor it reddens, glows, then whitens. Mark the phantasms springing from the forge, as the ponderous sledge strikes the anvil, or the burning wheel flashes out its subtle sparks, singly, in pairs, by scores, then by Hyriads hastening into space, like the flashing guns of contending infantry, or the clashing sabres of the fierce squadrons of horse; until in brief, armies of hungry demons in their wild career are seen it. their brilliancy, and then by an invisible agency are extinguished. Behold aloft the glowing sky with myriad stars, a brilliant sea of reflecting Flame. This latent heat or generic Fire is found in the coldest flinty stone, in the thinest purest air, oxygen, Azoth, Ozone, in every and all things, supernaturally magnificent, a royal Element. This is Natural or physical Fire: all powerful, when not under due restraint. Lead on. My pass is Incensus (inflamed).
The Conductor repairs with the Theoricus direct to tho West, where sits the 2nd Ancient, facing the East with a plain Mirror reflecting the light of a burning taper by his side.
2nd Ancient: My purpose is to direct your thoughts to the Symbolism of Fire, and the reflections caused in the mind. The appearance of Deity when making himself manifest to men has invariably been in a glory, a halo, or surrounded by Flame, brightness and Fire, whether on an occasion of beneficience or displeasure: wonder not then that the Eastern nations were lead to look on God as embodied in Fire, and finally as the vivid symbol of the Divine presence. When in solemn convocation, they swore not by the Altar, but by the Flame or Fire which was upon the Altar, the emblem of the Deified Fire, disguised in many theological or theosophic forms. Lead on. My pass is 'Gloria Ignis Embra (Glory the Shadow of Flame).
The Conductor repairs with the Theoricus direct to the center of the Hall, then to the South, to the 3rd Ancient, who has a vestal lamp burning in front of him.
3rd Ancient: In the performance of a wise duty, I require your thought as to the Celestial Fire, when it ceases to be terrestrial element and partakes of the etherial qualities, The pure etherial fire which burns forever is represented under the Egyptian doctrines as Ptha, who is the emblem of the Eternal Spirit out of which everything is created. Thus, the souls of men are, according to the oldest Egyptian school of ethics, formed of Ether, at death return to it again.
The Celestial Fire is here represented by the vestal lamp having a tapering flame, indicative of God s influence and continued activity. It is the Everlasting Light, that like the incense conveys the unknown and unseen, even unto the direct presence of the All; the praise and supplication of mortal man. This by sweet perfume extracted by Fire and glowing prayer is wafted by the winged messenger 'Celestial Light.' Lead on. My Pass is 'Mil Nisi Luce' (Naught but the Light).
The Conductor repairs with Theoricus direct from the South to the 4th Ancient in the North, crossing his path when passing from the East to the West, and thereby completing in his travel the form of a Cross. The 4th Ancient has three tapers burning in front of him placed in position of a triangle and a small cross in the center thereof, representing the Divine Lux.
4th Ancient: To me is awarded the impressive duty of explaining the Divine Essence of Fire: The Holy and Perpetual Fire which was under the constant care of the Virgin Priestesses, whose services of purity were preserved in the doctrines taught in Persia, Egypt, Greece and Italy, and were termed 'perpetual watches' or 'watch lights', this observance is still maintained in the Persian, Roman and Hebrew faiths. It is their 'Ignis Aeternus', The Holy ceremony of Fire pervades all religious systems, being a universal symbol in worship, a visible representation of the spirit of the Invisible. For as Fire is everywhere, so God is everywhere, about us and in us, and thus we are God-lighted men. This was the teaching of the Fire-worshippers, who claimed the discovery of the Eternal Fire, or thus to have approached their Master in the 'Immortal Light'. The comprehension of all this, end the re-embodiment of this truth in their philosophy was the claim of the Rosicrucians. As Fire dissolveth all things, dissipateth all things, and causeth them to become invisible, true philosophy could go no further, and so adoration was paid to the unknown God in the last image that was possible to men of anything; Fire, which was known as his shadow. In all this we contemplate not the Natural Fire, but the Symbolic, the Celestial, the Divine, the Ineffable etherial spirit; the immortal fervor, into which the world evolves. Lead on. My Pass is 'Immortalis' (Immortality).
The Conductor now returns to the Celebrant in the center of the Sacred Hall, with the Theoricus in charge, and faces him to the East. The veil is removed.
Celebrant: Thus far hast thou carried the rose transfixed upon the Cross, that Cross which is the emblem of Life, the Protector, the Redeemer, the Salvator, while the scarlet Rose symbolizes the ardent desire for refreshing life, the birth of knowledge, the expansion of the intellect, the dawn of new light upon the spirit, that you may be enabled to receive and comprehend a new existence which unfolds, as we approach the presence of the Omniscient. Therefore, the successive instruction that has been given by the four Ancients, in compliance with their duty, is intended to open to your mind a greater comprehension of the power of Light, Flame or Fire in its several divisions as Natural, Symbolical, Celestial and Divine Fire. All this is to prepare you for the Chemical and Hermetic instruction, which you are to receive from the Alchemic Philosophers in their Secret Laboratory. To them is entrusted the developing of much Mysterious knowledge, and to them we are about to commit you, with the injunction to bear this Rose and Cross, the latter as a symbol of your faith, the former as the emblem of your desire for the dawn of immortal Knowledge. But I must first invest you with mystic modes of recognition, and this lead on 'Sub-Rosa', which is my Pass.
Sign: Palm of hand open, palm against the other as he makes sign. Make a waving motion as you raise it (Flame).
Token: Place Right Hand upon palm against the other as he makes sign.
Password: Chymia (Chemistry or Alchemy).
Secret Word: Ignis (Fire).
Battery: **** *** (Cross and Rosa).
The Initials of the Passwords of the Ancients with my own form 'I.G.N.I.S.'
You will now repair under the guidance of your Conductor to where you may be properly qualified to enter upon the discharge of your new duties, for now you are to prepare for the golden duty of becoming man's benefactor, to assist and minister to the unfortunate from disease, or cruel accident, or the greater sufferings from manís inhumanity to man through conflicting passions.
You will, therefore, remove the raiment of Blue of Hope, of the Science of Chemistry, and replace it with that of the higher Class: of the Science of Alchemy and Hermeticism, of which, Yellow through all time has been the emblem, and that of a nobler grade of Wisdom.
For we now proclaim, that having entered upon a more active sphere of duty to you fellow man, you be entitled to be recognized as Practicus.
When duly invested, be obedient to the instructions of your faithful Guide, who will introduce you to the Laboratory of your future Companions, Philosophers in Alchemy, by the Battery of 4 and 3, significant of the 4 points or arms of the Cross, and 3, the Divine Triad emblemized by the deified Rose.
You may now retire.
Practicus is robed in Yellow or color of Gold, and is conducted to the
entrance of the 3 Apartment, the Laboratory of the Hermeticists; in which there
are five Companions deeply immersed in study or work, and a vacant seat and
Chemists desk, The Conductor of Novices taps 4 then 3 lightly at the entrance,
which is promptly responded to by the golden notes of a bell within in
corresponding measure. The door opens, and one of the five, in Yellow robes,
:approaches the newly initiated, who still carries the Rose and Cross.
1st Alchemist: Godís greeting to Man. For the holy purpose of Humanity, an unknown influence directs the pure in spirit, the noble in sentiment, and the true in soul, to yield their time and toil, as benefactors of their race; for this you come to us. By the Mystic Rose and Cross, and, the Sacred number 7, your mission is revealed.. Thou art Practicus, learned as yet in but the rudiments of our Art and Science. Come, draw near: We must have thy warmer friendship, and as well thy study. Enter.
They all enter and are seated, the Candidate retaining the Rose and Cross.
Conductor: With a spirit of unity and meekness inspiring our every purpose, we seek a solution of the means for conquering disease, lifeís enemy; and of the power of assuring immunity from the consequences of life after life.
1st Alchemist: You seek to conquer the Mysterium. If it should please God to reveal unto us these great Mysteries, would we be able to comprehend and understand them, unless he should bestow upon us some new faculties of the mind?
Before yielding to a fuller consideration of these special subjects, let me advert to your recent instruction and approach less abruptly such momentuous revelations.
As a Theoricus you bowed to Aesculapius, the God of Medicine, but reverence is also due to the Ancient Philosopher Hermes Trismegistus, almost cotemporaneous with the Law-giver Moses, and called 'Thrice Great', by reason of his virtues and great learning. It was he who gave us the division of a day into hours. He is the alledged inventor of Alchemy: the father of that species of philosophy, which claims to solve and explain all the phenomina of nature from the three chemical principles, salt, sulphur and mercury: A system which reveals the causes of diseases, and the operations of medicines, on the principle of an Alkali and Acid. In this and congenial studies by being an active participant you are entitled to rank as Practicus.
2nd Alchemist: In continuation of your late instruction received from the four Ancients, let me speak of our practical experience in this Laboratory. Your attention was drawn to the various phazes of Fire. We exemplify, that Fire disjoints and unhinges all classes of matter, dark metals run like waters of light, the demons are conjured out of the Minerals, and they are shown as angels white. By Fire we lay our hands upon the solids, part them, powder them, melt them, fine them, drive them out to delicate and impalpable texture; firing them into cloud, mist, gas, into nothing. Men of Science cannot tell. us what is Fire, but simply say, it is a phenomenon; they cannot tell whence it comes, or whither it goeth. They tell us it is the evolution of Light and hear in the combustion of bodies.
Conductor: What knowledge can you impart upon the effect of the Fire element upon the production of precious metals?
3rd Alchemist: We may advise you, that Gold and Silver are the chief metals of the Alchemists, and the two chief Mystic Symbols of the Rosicrucians. Fire, light, vitality exists in everything, metal, stone and timber, when the 'Life' of which is gone, it becomes unfit for service. In the combination of the metals which was explained to you as a Theoricus, you well remember of the product of silver through the germ of Primordium, which germ has also given to us the product of Gold, and which it is ardently hoped will shortly give to us the Elixer Vitae. To the uninstructed, it is the generally received opinion that these things are among the impossible: this may be, but the approach, to us, seems at our door, and not a drew, nor a fable. This possibility is based upon the assumption that every metal consists of Mercury as a versatile and flexible base, out of which all metals have their being, and. into which they may be ultimately reduced by Art. 2nd: That the Species of Metals and their specific forms are not subject to transmutation, but only the individual or primal parts, which are visible and can be acted upon. 3rd: All metals differ in their degree of perfection or purity toward the invisible Light or Life which is within everything, the 'Celestial glory', or primordial base, which has matter for its cover, or exterior, or mask. 4th: Art everleaps and transcends Nature, accomplishing, quickly that which Nature requires periods to attain. 5th: God has created every metal of its own kind, and fixed in them a principle of growth, especially in Gold, the Superior metal, and which in itself has magnetic seed, an unseen power, unappreciable in this world, but which Art can , inspire and multiply.
We feel that we are upon the eve of obtaining this power, for what may be done with metal, may have a co-relative effect upon the human body; that is that the solution of prolongation of animal life must follow quickly upon the ability to transmute other metals to Gold, as they are kindred, the purest metallic life with animal life. The ability to hold Gold in solution is already familiar to us.
Conductor: What mean you by the product of Gold by Nature through germination and increase; is it subject to multiplication through seed as in the animal and vegetable kingdoms?
4th Alchemist: Certainly, but under a modified process of Nature. The precious metals are nurtured, and subject to increase through the secret operations of the Planets, they gestate and grow daily in the bowels of the earth. The Sun and Moon, night and day, light and darkness, water and fire are all active in the generation of the precious metals. It has been a matter of assumption, that the invisible operation of the Sun effects the natural production of Gold, while the refining and bleaching lucidity of the Moon had its effect on Silver. Whence their origin, if they do not germinate and fructify in the Laboratories of the Earth as in the womb of their Mother, and produce strains of Nature in maturing? The purpose of the Alchemist is to assist Nature and expedite it through the hermetic Art.
A spark, an atom of Fire, Life, or Divine Lux, which is within every thing, is in the metals, deeply hidden in the interior which buds, germinates and bears fruit.
Conductor: The production of the precious metals is only through assisting Nature in its more rapid gestation, while the multiplying its seed is an impossibility?
4th Alchemist: Not altogether so, for the Rosicrucian Alchemist claims to be able to gather the subtle, escaping gases or fumes, he or retain them and reduce them to material shape, thus, metaphorically, they enter the outer world or exterior of visible and material matter, and bring back into visible, tangible form old things metamorphosed into new things. This is the true significancy of Transmutation. The invisible escaping light or fire of certain metals seized upon, that is this 'Fairy Gold', is condensed into real Gold, through the influence of 'Primitia' or Primordial solution.
We thus figuratively express our ability 'to go beyond the line of this physical world, to pass as it were into the next world, work in it, and come back in safety bearing our well earned trophies of marketable gold, and the Elixir Vitae, or the means of rejuvenation, and perpetuation of human life. We thus become possessed of a revealed divine power, having the impress of immortality, and termed the monstruum or Hagisterium, which seizes upon the departing breath of the spirit, as it wings from man, and wins it back despite itself to redischarge its functions. The physical man is estopped in his decay, in his daily bodily corruption and the escaping native Fire resumes its ordinary duty end faculty.
This paradox presents itself, 'Light is material and hence must be dark, as all material, hence it cannot be light to us, though it may be darkness to God'.
Conductor: That evidence can be produced of these powers of change in material substances and immaterial shadows?
5th Alchemist: Have you not already witnessed them, or does not your intellect present them possible? May there not be faculties in Man beyond those of perception through hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling and seeing? It is not necessary for the eyeless cave-fish have orbs end fitting sockets, to give it perceptive sight. Give me your Scarlet Rose, the emblem of our Love, the symbol of our darning Faith in eternal Life.
5th Alchemist takes the Rose from the Cross, and holds it in the fumes of flour of sulphur, which flour is taken from a jar, and sprinkled on the chemical flaming tripod dish: The Chemist then continues: Behold this beauteous Rose of scarlet color and brilliant hue, emblematic of the blood that washes away the sins of the world, note its contact with the fumes of this simple yellow mineral and the effect; how gradually end yet certainly it conceals its color, when the sulphurous gases, as of an evil Spirit, dare to approach it.
The color of the Rose turns to a palor, or white.
Our expressive emblem of Manís redemption, blushing in its pride, fails not to hide its beauty and scorning the distasteful union, exhibits its defilement through every part; as the Soul grows palid by contagion with the influences of the evil One, whose symbols are sulphur in contact with Fire. So here Sulphur and Fire work their fearful sickly curse.
But be ye ever so impure, the chrystal Waters of Life by repentance and faith will wash your sins away, and make you pure as ere thou were before polution. In like manner I baptise this symbol, and behold it shall be as God created it in all its beauty and radiant splendor.
As this last sentence is uttered, the 5th Alchemist will rinse the Rose in a prepared chalice of pure water when the rose will resume its original color.
Hast thou sinned, repent and wash thou in the Waters of Life and God will make you pure.
A distant gong strikes 12 equal notes, tolling: which one of the Alchemists counts as it strikes.
1st Alchemist: One half the hours of Hermes are gone, and Gualdi sleeps, but one stroke more and all our hopes are ended.
The Gong sounds one stroke more.
The Council have decided: our Gualdi's dead. The secret I form is forever buried.
All the Alchemists rise, make the sign of the Cross with arms extended, then clasp them on their breasts, and are sealed in silence and bowing. Shortly the 1st Alchemist, recovering, speaks: Know, Frater, The cause of our sudden grief. Our hopes, our convictions, were centered, and our belief is still unshaken, that the Great Mysterium is discovered, but the secret was with the Magister Templi, Gualdi; who at the instant of his discovery, rang of the welcome tidings, but becoming overjoyed at his success, the functions of Nature succumbed, and he was found at the midnight hour by those he had alarmed still holding the thong that sounded the joyous news, but as it now appears, his own death knell.
It was his habit to pursue his labors at night when all nature was still and his Fraters in repose: his success was foreshadowed and a nightly alarm expected; but from the time of the finding his body he has never uttered a word, or given his watchers a sign. The solution that was found on his central desk contained Nitre and Gold in solution with some other admixture: and his motto, 'Igne Nitrum Roris Invenitur', by Fire the Nitre of Dew is extracted, scrawled in crimson upon a piece of died skin, was laying close by his seat.
The supposition was entertained that he may have drunk of the solution, and his own life might thereby be saved: his body was taken accordingly to the Chamber of Rest, together with his books, and the chemica1s with which he was experimenting, in hopes of his giving evidence of life and revealing the long sought for secret.
It had been agreed that his watchers should be without intermission, and that the Magus and Council should set this day and hour (it being now 3 days since his syncope commenced) and adjudge him alive or dead: with the notification to the Brotherhood, that one-half the number of hours into which Hermes had divided the day should be tolled announcing the conclusion of their decision, and that briefly following one bell stroke should signify their decision of Death, and three in quick succession the power of his resuscitation. The Council has decided, and our worst fears are realized, for we now may never know the composition of the solution which was found at his desk, if indeed that which was left was of itself complete as a compound. This hopeful yet startling fact remains to console us, his body does not corrupt, though the heart is still, and the sensory nervous life is inactive, circulation and nutrition have ceased and the 'Fiat' of the Council is pronounced.
Now, Frater, should this body not corrupt, your original question of how to conquer disease, which is life's enemy, would appear to be solved. Your second interrogatory is to be sought for in and after study, and with the Adepts.
We will now retire to the Chapel or Sacred Hall, and leave you under the care of your able and wise Conductor.
The Alchemists retire, with arms crossed on breast.
Conductor: Frater, the learned Alchemist who has just left us, is a wise and noted Rosicrucian; he intimates to you the source from which the name of this noble Fraternity takes its rise, at least this scientific portion: thus, the name comes from 'Ros', the Latin word for Dew, and 'Crux', 'Cross'. From the mystical Cross is formed the letters spelling the Latin word Lux, or Light or Fire: hence the hidden significancy in the Aphorism, 'By Fire the Nitre of the Dew is extracted', or 'Igne, Nitrum, Roris, Invenitur'.
The great revival in this class or branch of Rosicrucianism was at Paris. In March 1623, when the number 36 was thus distributed, 6 in Paris, 6 in Italy, 6 in Spain, 12 in Germany, 4 in Sweden and 2 in Switzerland.
You well remember what was said to you of the discovery of transmutation to Silver, and the excitement occasioned thereby, as narrated to you in the preceding Grade of Theoricus, but the wildness of enthusiasm was evinced, when the Practicus Philosophers sounded that terrible Bell, which announced the double discovery of the Transmutation to 'White Gold', or Platinum. and that of Virgin Gold.
The sole attention of the 6 Alchemists of the Practicus Grade was given to the transformation of metals to Gold, immediately after realizing the force of Primitia when excercised by Fire upon certain. primary metals and producing silver.
Realizing that through evolution all things in the Universe had succumbed to change, and that by progression even in the metals a theory of successive changes is established by which nature reveals strange results, the task remained to ascertain the requisite metals for the combination, with the proper proportions thereof, and the dynamic conditions or laws by the use of Primitia to produce the desired result, which was Gold.
They were confident that Mercury was an essential: that copper was necessary, and most likely sulphur and tin.
The ability to hold Gold in solution had already bean conquered by Nitro Nuriatic Acid. In forming the amalgam native gold was added to the above named metals, as a seed. The course of Nature, under the operation of a simple and universal law, is effected, sometimes slowly, before evolution ensues exhibiting organic development. Thus having the matter as a vehicle of change, motion being required to attain the result by change, a force became requisite to cause change that evolution should follow. As one thing is derived from others, the problem of advance becomes one of transmutation; and as matter and force are not created, the changes must be those of transformation.
The Alchemists then had recourse to Primitia, a Nitre extracted from dew, which caused motion, the mechanical collision, the breathing as it were of the component parts, which produces life, and resulted in a chemical change. This was from an incoherent mass to coherence producing integration of parts. After tedious experimenting, and with different components, two new combinations of great value were disclosed, one of 'White Gold', or Platinum, and the other, the long sought for, malleable, unoxidizing, lustrous, precious gold.
Joy and relief to millions of their fellow-men was their first impulse. But had these Alchemists once revealed the power of goldmaking, the metal could have lost its value and not unlikely the producer would have lost his life to gratify an insatiate people. But no, the very knowledge of their magic power, and the surprise at its existence, delighted them more, than aught the World could give. They concealed their Mystery, denied its existence, shunned Society and the World, remained unknown, invisible, illuminated; serving their God and as well mankind, assisting the feeble, frail and suffering. They were overcome and astonished at the immensity of the power accorded by Godís grace to man.
A long list of eminent men, experts and profound students have examined the product of gold by Art, and have verified its production in its material state by Alchemical Transmutation.
This Chamber, Frater, although small in size, is intended to represent the Laboratory of these Philosophers, as you perceive, and is the Second in the Series of four rooms on the south side of the Sacred Hall, that occupied by the Theorici being the first, and which leads into this by a connecting passage-way. Here you beheld loss of confusion in the retorts, bulbs, receivers, worms and cylinders for compounding and distilled. Here were required scales and measures, heating and hanging lamps, and all the appliances necessary and requisite for the use of the Philosophers of Hermes. Salt, Sulphur and Mercury abound in various shapes. Alkali and Acids continually met the gaze: and in long rows, systematically arranged and occupying one side of the room, were many books of the Egyptians, treating of universal principles, of the nature and orders of Celestial beings. of medicines and ever of divination. The Philosophers were termed 'Practicus', and here they pursued their Hermetic studies.
As in the preceding degree of Theoricus, when you were therein admitted to complete the number Seven, so in this Grade of Practicus, you now have been admitted to fill a vacancy and complete their number Six.
Music. An Ora or Miserere.
Solemn music is heard from the Secret or Sacred Hall.
Hark! The Holy Chant steals o'er the midnight air, ĎTis the lament oíer the dead. Let us retire.