A compilation of historical reflections on cannabis in alchemical literature.
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Three things suffice for the work: a white smoke, which is water; a green Lion, which is the ore of Hermes, and a fetid water… The stone, known from the chapters of books, is white smoke and water.
Of this self-same body, which is the matter of the Stone, three things are chiefly said; that it is a green Lion, a stinking Gum, and a white Fume. Having twelve pounds of Green Lion thus brought into gum, thou mayst believe…
St. Dunstan (pseudo)
A green Gum called our green Lyon, which Gum dry well, yet beware thou not burn his Flowers nor destroy his greenness.
Sir George Ripley
The Bosome-Book of Sir George Ripley
You will see marvelous signs of this Green Lion, such as could be bought by no treasures of the Roman Leo. Happy he who has found it and learned to use it as a treasure!
The Treasure of Treasures
Perfect bodies we naturally calcine with the first, without adding any impure body but one commonly called by philosophers the green lion, and this is the medium for perfectly combining the tinctures of the Sun and Moon.
The Golden Tract
Then the sowing of the field can take place, and you obtain the Mineral Stone, and the Green Lion that imbibes so much of its own spirit.
The Glory of the World
Beware therefore of many, and hold thee to one thing. This one thing is naught else but the lyon greene…
Green Lion, Bird of Hermes, Goose of Hermogenes, two-edged sword in the hand of the Cherub the Tree of Life, etc.; it is our true, secret vessel, and the Garden of the Sages in which our Sun rises and sets.
The Three Treatises of Philalethes
You have then nourished and dissolved the true lion with the blood of the green lion.
The Golden Tripod
I know well this Lyon Greene…
Hunting of the Greene Lyon
I have seen the Green Catholic Lion, and the Blood of the Lion, i.e., the Gold of the Sages, with my own eyes, have touched it with my hands, tasted it with my tongue, smelled it with my nose.
Upon the delicate leaves thereof it retaineth for our use that sweet heavenly honey which is called the manna, and, although it be of a gummy, oily, fat, and greasy substance, it is, notwithstanding, unconsumable by any fire.
Gargantua and Pantagruel
This is called the blessed stone; this earth is white and foliated, wherein the Philosophers do sow their gold… The fourth color is Ruddy and Sanguine, which is extracted from the white fire only.
The Hermetic Arcanum
O how many are the seekers after this gum, and how few there are who find it! Know ye that our gum is stronger than gold, and all those who know it do hold it more honorable than gold… Our gum, therefore, is for Philosophers more precious and more sublime than pearls…
Therefore I affirm that the Universal Medicine for bodies is the philosophic gold, after it has been separated and drawn to the highest state of perfection. Our common gold has absolutely nothing in common with the philosophic gold we use to begin our task. In that respect common gold is dead and clearly useless.
Philip a Gabella
By gold I mean our green gold- not the adored lump, which is dead and ineffectual.
Take the fire, or quicklime, of which the philosophers speak, which grows on trees, for in that God himself burns with divine love.
It appears then that this Stone is a Vegetable, as it were, the sweet Spirit that proceeds from the Bud of the Vine…
Count Bernard Trevisan
Trust my word, seek the grass that is trefiol. Thou knowest the name, and art wise and cunning if thou findest it.
The Sophic Hydrolith
You ought to know concerning the Quintessence, that it is a matter little and small, lodged and harbored in some Tree, Herb, Stone, or the like…
The Tomb of Semiramis
It contains the fire of Nature, or the Universal Spirit; with Air as its vehicle it contains Water, which must be separated in the beginning of the work, and also earth which remains behind in the form of caput mortuum, where the fire has left it, and is the true Red Earth wherein the fire dwelt for a while. The subject, duly collected, should not be less than eight nor more than sixteen ounces: place it in a china or glazed basin and cover it loosely to keep the dust out.
Rosicrucian Aphorisms and Process
Long have I had in my nostrils the scent of the herb moly which became so celebrated thanks to the poets of old… this herb is entirely chemical. It is said that Odysseus used it to protect himself against the poisons of Circe and the perilous singing of the Sirens. It is also related that Mercury himself found it and that it is an effective antidote to all poisons. It grows plentifully on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia…
Our secret fire, that is, our fiery and sulfurous water, which is called Balneum Mariae… This water is a white vapor.
The Secret Book of Artephius
Know the secret fire of the wise, which is the one and sole agent efficient for the opening, subliming, purifying, and disposing of the material.
Letter to the True Disciples of Hermes
Study, then, this fire, for had I myself found it at the first, I should not have erred two hundred times upon the veritable material.
The Secret Fire
No philosopher has ever openly Revealed this secret fire, and this powerful Agent, which works all the Wonders of the Art.
The Hermetic Triumph
Mercury, i.e. the white flower, can be used and applied to the tinctures of all planets.
The Little Peasant
Our true and real Matter is only a vapor… This Green Dragon is the natural Gold of the Philosophers, exceedingly different from the vulgar, which is corporeal and dead… but ours is spiritual, and living… Our Gold is called Natural, because it is not to be made by Art, and since it is known to none, but the true Disciples of Hermes, who understand how to separate it from its original Lump, tis also called Philosophical; and if God had not been so gracious, as to create this first Chaos to our hand, all our Skill and Art in the Construction of the great Elixir would be in vain.
This stone is of delicate touch, and there is more mildness in its touch than in its substance. Of sweet taste, and its proper nature is aerial.
Khalid said: Tell me of its odor, before and after its confection.
Morienus answered: Before confectioning, its odor is very heavy and foul. I know of no other stone like it nor having its powers. While the four elements are contained in this stone, it being thus like the world in composition, yet no other stone like it in power or nature is to be found in the world, nor has any of the authorities ever performed the operation other than by means of it. And the compositions attempted by those using anything else in this composition will fail utterly and come to nothing. The thing in which the entire accomplishment of this operation consists of the red vapor, the yellow vapor, the white vapor, the green lion, ocher, the impurities of the dead and of the stones, blood, eudica, and foul earth.
Begin in the Creators name, and with his vapor take the whiteness from the white vapor. The whole key to accomplishment of this operation is in the fire, with which the minerals are prepared and the bad spirits held back, and with which the spirit and body are joined.
In answer to you question about the white vapor, or virgins milk, you may know that it is a tincture and spirit of those bodies already dissolved and dead, from which the spirits have been withdrawn. It is the white vapor that flows in the body and removes its darkness, or earthiness, and impurity, uniting the bodies into one and augmenting their waters.
Without the white vapor, there could have been no pure gold nor any profit in it.
The Book of Morienus
Let it be sublimed in an high body and head…
Search of Perfection
Our Subject cannot be called the fiery Serpent of the Philosophers, nor have the power of overcoming any created thing, before it has received such Virtue and Quality from our Green-Dragon…
The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, chapter 12, “The Pilgrim Examines Alchemy”:
Another burned his eyes out, and was thus unable to supervise the calcination and the fixation: or bleared his sight with smoke to such an extent that before he cleared his eyes the nitrogen escaped. Some died of asphyxiation from the smoke. But for the greatest part they did not have enough coal in their bags and were obliged to run about to borrow it elsewhere, while in the meantime their concoction cooled off and was utterly ruined. This was of very frequent, in fact of almost constant, occurrence. Although they did not tolerate anyone among themselves save such as possessed full bags, yet these seemed to have a way of drying up very rapidly, and soon grew empty: they were obliged either to suspend their operations or to run away to borrow.
These blear’d eyes
Have wak’d to read your several colours, sir,
Of the pale citron, the green lion, the crow,
The peacock’s tail, the plumed swan.
Thou has descry’d the flower, the sanguis agni?
I have cast fire upon the earth, and see, I watch until it blazes.
Gospel of Thomas
See also Shakespeare sonnet 76, Knights Templar cannabis recipe in Villard Folio