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Using as a point of departure the engravings or "symbols" from an alchemical treatise by Basil Valentin, entitled "AZOTH, or the Means to Make the Occult Gold of the Philosophers" (1659), six series of visual discourses, as many as there are images in the book, have been created in order to develop the symbolic content of each image.


Basil Valentin

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Translated extracts from the original text

This art and mystery should only be revealed in parables, which must be considered and weighed exactly, it is necessary also to be familiar with the books and the writings of the rest of the philosophers.  Thus, in order to reach this Art, it is not necessary to make tremendous works, many efforts nor great expenses.  The tools are inexpensive, so this art can be learned in twelve hours, and carried to perfection in a period of eight days, always that someone has its own principle. And if in the rest of the Arts, six or seven years are required in order to reach perfection, there have been those who have taken thirty or forty years and made great efforts without ever reaching the end of this mystery. Nevertheless, the artists who know the end try to hide it, and secretly guard this craft, which truly ordinarily admire those who dedicate themselves to the world business and follow them.

But, all these things pertain to God’s mercies, and in our work all that is required is AZOTH and fire, which is not another thing than to wash, cook, dissolve, putrefy, coagulate and fix; and such things can be made as much by someone who is poor and unfortunate as by a rich person, and the necessity of recording this matter is due to the fear of not remembering, because it can be taught through the living voice. Truly it is impossible to state these things with greater clarity because of the iniquity of some people.  So, I say the minimum and I charge you, that in order to make these ingenious matters you take the moon’s water or quicksilver, that be impregnated of the rays of sun and, as the ancients say, this operation truly harmonizes with female, although one finds it in so many writings and books composed with respect, and if a great number of people and nobility look for it in terms of great expense and work, it is in vain, as Nature has raised a barrier in the middle of the path.  These things or parables are proposed to you in the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trimegisto, the most excellent philosopher for the best and clearest understanding.

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