Category:Alchemy of Fire

Documento senza titolo

Spiritual Alchemy - Part 4

by Athos A. Altomonte
Color images taken from the website

© copyright by -

Index: The Seven Capital Sins - The two spiritual Crystallizations - The Philosophical Vitriol

The Seven Capital Sins

In the Hebrew Cabbala it is said that the Tree of Life corresponds, in the manifested world, to a Small Tree of Life called “Kallah”, the Bride. Reversed and in opposition with it there is “Qliphah”, the Prostitute of the Small Tree of Death. On the Tree of Life the Sephiroths, or spheres of evolutional manifestation, blossom and irradiate. The Qlippoth, or spheres of involutional manifestation, blossom and irradiate on the Tree of Death. Also in the Christian Tradition the Seven Virtues are opposed by the Seven Sins. This Ebdomada is crowned by two Sublime Virtues, Intelligence and Wisdom, and two dark manifestations oppose them: Blindness (of the Spirit) and (Fundamental) Error. Let’s study this whole evil from the Spiritual Plane.


Avarice will lead the lost mystic to a total and sterile isolation. To unveil, reveal, teach and transmit all that he has received and learnt from others will always be painful and annoying to him. He will pile up books and manuscripts, documents and Initiations, but he will never understand that he is only a simple instrument for transmission. He will be disjoined from all the initiatory filiations he might have been part of, multiplying trials, degrees and classes; the only result will be to delay the moment when he will have to finish his part and turn from a pupil to a Peer and perhaps one day a Superior. Avarice corresponds to the Earth and it is the contrary of Prudence, one of its excesses.


Gluttony will lead the Occultist to devour excessively all the documents, books, treaties and schemes available to him. He is not discouraged by the most different doctrines, the most antithetical teachings, the strangest mixtures. He is avid of all that flatters his curiosity and his thirst for knowledge. He gulps everything down and if he adds personal pride, he will try and extract his own doctrine; he will complete it, perhaps modifying it, with defective parts of the Initiatory Tradition, which he will have robbed and mixed together. On the contrary, if laziness is added to his dull thirst, the excess of all the different notions will be badly digested by a lazy mind and they will be suddenly thrown out; he will go back to materialism, which he will find more relaxing. Gluttony corresponds to Water and it is the contrary of Temperance.


Lust will introduce a kind of sensuality in all the initiatory domains where this kind of Occultist works. He will always be hostile to Doctrines that are too spiritual or too ascetic. He is always ready to support the necessity to compromise in a very liberal way on the needs of human nature (lower). He will defend religions and doctrines where sensuality has a role (tantrism, licentious Gnosticism and sexual and sensual magic). Only for this reason he will state that a mixed initiatory organization is superior to another one that is exclusively for men or women. Most of all, this fault will be expressed in the easiness with which he will inconsiderately transmit the initiations and teachings he knows to interpreters that are unsuitable and alien to this School. He will give away to people, for the same reason and with the same inconsiderateness, initiatory secrets in order to receive favors back. Finally, like for the fornications and adulteries reproached in Israel by the Prophets and Christ, he will perhaps follow doctrines, initiations and ceremonies of the opposite kind. He will not hesitate for his own interest, pleasure or only curiosity, to turn to currents of lower or astral Forces, when he realizes that the Higher Forces do not respond to him and therefore they are useless in these domains. Lust corresponds to Air and is opposed to Justice.


Sloth will lead the lost Aspirant to a kind of quietism, where the inaction of the Soul and the absence of any exterior work will make him view perfection as banal love for God. He will be blind to the evil of the beings surrounding him; if he sees them, he will not do anything to relieve them, viewing them as a fair result of their past mistakes. He will become disinterested in himself, relying on the Providence to access the salvation of moral perfection, considering Ignorance as safe as Spiritual Knowledge. Sloth corresponds to the reversed Fire and is opposed to Strength.


Because of envy the small-initiate wishes only for the first places and the small-honors; he won’t hesitate to delay or fight against other people’s advancement, if he knows or fears a superiority that can shadow him. He will use the “extinguisher” on facts and people, doctrines and teachings, books and documents, if they are liable of damaging his prestige and interest. He won’t rest until he owns more than anyone else, considering what he can’t obtain as an offence, despite knowing that he won’t be using it because it is intellectually opposite to him or because he doesn’t know its purpose. Envy corresponds to the Salt Principle and it is opposed to Charity.


When Anger occurs in an Aspirant, he will lose discipline and self-control. His authoritarianism and his overwhelming activity will not allow him to understand how other people, in the same conditions, are less advantaged than he is. His judgments will be rushed and definitive; his impetuous impatience will lead him to mistreat qualitatively inferior, weak and ignorant people. If he has the misfortune to become hateful, the darkest form of envy, his small-knowledge could turn him into a Black magician. Anger corresponds to the Mercury Principle and is opposed to Charity.


Pride has been often called “the father of all evils”. Because of Pride the Aspirant will consider himself superior to all profanes and different from them all, only because he is slightly richer intellectually. He will fancy himself as the beholder of secrets and teachings revealed only to him; he will picture himself designated to a certain mission that only him can accomplish, justified by his merits and special qualities. He often states he has been this or the other famous person in his previous lives. From this attitude – and more – he will acquire a steady and arrogant contempt for what he calls the profane humankind. Surrounded by a “golden” exile, he will not be able to perceive or recognize that perhaps close to him, hidden by the banality of a modest existence, work chosen Souls a thousand times better than him. In other words, in the past, in the present and in the future he is the man to whom everything is due and as a consequence he expects everything. Pride corresponds to the Sulfur Principle and it is opposed to Faith.

The Seven Vices double the Seven Capital Sins and they are somehow their result:

Imprudence, result of Avarice;

Intemperance, result of Gluttony;

Injustice, result of Lust;

Cowardliness, result of Laziness;

Hatred, result of Envy;

Arrogance, result of Anger;

Ignorance, result of Pride.

Therefore Man is punished for his sins.

The two spiritual Crystallizations

Two Tenebrous Virtues are opposed to Two Sublime Virtues: Blindness is opposed to Intelligence, Error to Wisdom.

Blindness – this Tenebrous Power deprives us of the discernment of the Spirits and makes us unable to perceive, inside the species and the material objects, what links them to the opposite Poles of Good and Evil, Light and Darkness. It veils the hidden sense of words, immediately obscures the esotericism and the superior sense of the Texts; it makes us prefer “the letter that kills” to the Spirit that vivifies. Even more seriously, it denies to us the access to the deep meaning of the Christian Scriptures and every Holy Book when it comes from another religion. Indeed, it rules as a Lord in the soul of every materialist and atheist, both if they are such by choice and if they have progressively descended towards blindness following a conscious carelessness. It veils to us the spiritual truths hidden under the appearances; through it the Eternal Truths become inaccessible to the “lost” man.

Error – This Mysterious Power brings inner confusion, deprives us of the sense of Good and Evil, Fair and Unfair, Beautiful and Ugly, Good and Bad. In these domains all discriminations slowly disappear; the worst of all, though, is when it dims our sense of truth and authenticity in the religious field. Because of Error, the lost Aspirant is not able any more to perceive what is useful to him; when the Soul has gone so far in the immersion in the Matter and the descent towards the Spiritual Darkness, it is very difficult to see a way up with our own means.

Since it is impossible for the lost Aspirant to distinguish what he has lost and to clearly judge his situation, he will easily confuse the Good with the Evil and he will obstinately imagine of being on the path of Light whilst walking on the path of Darkness. In the heart of the Satanist this Power bursts and irradiates, deviating, with its Black Light, other blind people towards a Determined Point.


Hermetic Philosophy.

«I attract all those who search for the Truth and the Supreme; only they will find the Art.

I am the magnetic stone of divine Love that attracts strong and steel men on the path of Truth.

I am the juice that vivifies and preserves all. I go from the top to bottom.

I am the dew of the sky and the greasiness of the earth.

I am the water of fire and the watery fire; without me nothing can live in the time of life.

I am close to everything and I permeate everything, but I am unknown.

Yet I am the hand of philosophers.

I open, I close: I give peace to the artist.

Without me you will not be able to do what you need to do.

Therefore be afraid of the Lord, pray and work with patience. If you find me, your pain will stop and you will find the merciful benevolent Lord that will give you all that your heart wishes.

This juice must be grasped before it turns into smoke or fog. These two vapors or fumes are the roots of Art.

The First Matter receives its nourishment from the FIAT or Word of creation. The Word comes from the Father and by means of him all things were created. And the Spirit emanates from the Two and the divine air gives life. Therefore air makes alive all elementated things. Fire warms all things, water refreshes them, quenches their thirst and restores them. The nitrous earth feeds and preserves all things like a mother. So the fire generated air and air feeds the fire for it not to die. Indeed the nourishment of fire is the air turned into water; in this radical humid water element, namely in the unctuous and greasy radical humidity the fire burns. And the earth, like a container of nitrous salts, gives the nourishment. In its womb there are all these elements, because in its womb is the sulfurous nitrous salt of Nature. It is the good and unique thing that the Highest created in this visible world. This unique salt, mother of the elements, is the water that Nature contains in its womb. It is a Phoenix that lives in the Fire; a pelican that gives life to its dead children through its blood. It is the young Icarus drowned, whose nurse is the earth, whose mother is the air and whose father is the fire; water is its purification and its drink. A stone that is not a stone, water that is not water, but a stone with force of life and a water with a power of life, a sulfur, a merkur, a salt that Nature hides in itself; those who are not wise will never know or see it.

The Highest gives His gifts for work».


The Philosophical Vitriol

A master told us: - “There are two vitriols, or rather vitriol can come under two forms, Pure Vitriol and Impure or vulgar Vitriol….

Indeed the Soul of what is known as Predestined Element in all things exists, as Paracelsus said. This Predestined Element is made of Salt, Sulfur and Mercury; it is immersed and scattered in a mass formed of phlegm and dead and damned earth. This gives us the Body as we see it. The Dead Earth is of course the Hilè of the Gnostics. We have an example in vegetables: alkaloids such as quinine and nicotine are indeed the pure and active principles of these vegetables. If we deprive them of these principles they are left without strength and action.

If we suppress this phlegm or dead earth, in physical Alchemy we will have Pure Vitriol. Otherwise it would be impure Vitriol; the Work would be more difficult and long-lasting if the impurity was bigger and the quantity of Predestined element was smaller. This is the Pure Vitriol at the base of the Hermetic Work, the raw material of Art. The Salt, because of some processes, will take the shape of Mercury or Secret Fire; by means of a close ùnion between Fixed and Volatile, it will give us Sulfur, the Philosophic Magnet that attracts the Universal Spirit, the “Harmonious Salt”. This series of processes is implied in this sentence: “Visita Interiora Terrae, Rectificando, Invenies Occultum Lapidem”; it is the definition of an inner alchemic process well known by cabbalists, resumed in VITRIOL: “Visit the inside of the Earth and by rectifying you will find the hidden stone”.

We can see now how the first operation of Spiritual Alchemy should be carried out, viz. the Internalization in the search for our Self. A text says: “… do not ask for Faith and then pray. Pray first and faith will flood your Heart. I haven’t said enough to let you know that you must form a Mystical Body; it will replace the visible body in all your deeds, in order to use your immaterial forces. You will then live in the hyper-physicality, and life is there…”, “… coordinate all your actions and impressions in order to make a perfect harmonious whole. Make an effort to acquire the extreme clearness of your intentions. Depart from what contaminates the sight, don’t listen to what profanes the ear, exalt in yourself the feeling in personality and then absorb the latter inside the Absolute…”.

We will give the Sight readings, a work room, laboratory and oratory, strictly limited to these three qualities.

We will give inner Hearing texts with deep connections to the three qualities. Words, sentences and thoughts bring with them an unsuspected soul, a text which has been deeply meditated, thought and re-thought by hundreds of Adepts, which becomes somehow a harmonics in a succession of Words of Power.

For Smell we will create a particular atmosphere, with frequent fumigations during our orations and meditations. We will suppress any mix evoking a different psychic attitude, not suitable or practiced in foreign doctrines, but most of all regarding places and operations of practical magic. We will come back on this subject further on.

We will give Touch the contact with old hermetic books which have been read and re-read, thought and kept with love from those who preceded us on the Path. The energetic reserve in an old work is not comparable with a new book. Each object charges slowly during its unconscious life; psychometrics gives us the definitive demonstration of it. The researcher always leaves us something of the understanding or non-understanding, unavoidably mixed. Nevertheless the Power of the effort stays in those pages.

We will reserve to Taste the art of choosing, with wisdom and good “taste”, the general elements of this essentially western, Rosicrucian and hermetic picture. We will not use any symbolism strongly marked by a confession; let’s leave all these formulas in Chains, where words don’t say anything. We will not use rites and uses typical of the masses who, to walk towards the same Goal, don’t follow our Path. We will remember that the Power of Eggregores is such that it attracts and gives strength to those who will join Their Rituals.

The Universe and the influx of the Stars irradiate the Evolution of the Hermetic Work through well defined plans and cycles; in the same way, the Aspirant will see in the “inner sky” the unrolling of a succession of symbolic “seasons”. The “mystical season” of every Cardinal Virtue corresponds to an earthly season, an Element, a Temperament, an Ascetic Way and an aspect of the Divine Tetramorph with the corresponding Archangel:


Cardinal Virtue

Gifts of the Holy Spirit


































Prudence corresponds to Silence and Earth;

Temperance corresponds to Solitude and Water;

Justice corresponds to Hunger and Air;

Strength corresponds to Waking and Fire.

We find these four mortifications in Christianity, Buddhism and Islamism.

In particular we find it in the Sphinx, with its tetralogy, which is well known to Occultists:

To know – To want – To dare – To be silent, respectively

Water – Air – Fire – Earth; they correspond to the four elements, arranged exactly the same as the basis of the Hermetic Tetractys.


The silence can be Silence of the tongue, consisting in abstention from talking of anything but “for God”, “with God” or with “another God”. By “another God” we mean the contact with the Master. The Silence of the Heart consists of the renunciation of every thought addressed to the Beings or the Things Created. Silence by itself leads to the Knowledge of God. “Think about God more often than you breathe…”; this is the prime Way of the Aspirant. Silence corresponds to the Earth and Prudence.


Solitude is the means to ensure the Silence of the tongue. Indeed we will avoid mixing materially to others, the profane crowd, to futile worries for futile desires and objectives. If necessary, separate in your mind men from women, men and women. Monasticism has been the first Way of the Initiate; the First Path of the Adept is to avoid the contact with Things and Beings of the gross world interiorly. It obeys three reasons: avoid the Evil deriving from Others; avoid the Evil that we can bring to Others; make the company of the Master in the Assembly permanent. Solitude by itself leads to the Knowledge of the world and it corresponds to Water and Temperance.

Hunger or Fasting

Fasting consists of reducing the nourishment, with the natural consequence of a reduction of physical needs. It must be ensured in the spirit of poverty, modesty, gentleness, calm, purity. The Aspirant must remember the fasting of the great Prophets. Such as the forty days of fasting in the terrible solitude of Judas’ desert, at the end of which Master Jesus saw the appearance of Satan, the Prince of Darkness, and the Proof of the threefold temptation. Christ explains to the Apostles how, in the cure of a possessed person, only fasting can drive some demons out. Hunger by itself leads to the Knowledge of Lucifer and it corresponds to Air, of which he is the Prince (Paul, Eph. 2, 2), and to Justice.


Waking is a result of Hunger; it drives away the useful sleep, often made heavier by an excessive eating. Now there are contacts between Man and the “Celestial” Assembly, which at the beginning were only possible during the sleep, taking advantage by a splitting of the Soul out of the Body, far from its gross Vibration. The sleep occurring during an important fasting is a quietness that can free the Soul. Our Waking has also other goals, which are: the Waking of the Heart that instinctively searches Contemplation; the Waking of the Eye, which realizes and objectifies Vision in the heart (The inner Temple or Philosophical Egg) and defines it. Waking by itself leads to the Knowledge of the Soul and it corresponds to Fire and Faith.

torna su

This article comes from Esotericism Readings

The URL for this story is: