The Turba Philosophorum, indisputably the most ancient alchemical treatise extant in the Latin language, was the first work in which the First Matter was alluded as 'Ore.' Later, Rosicrucian writers were to label student alchemists 'miners,' who searched out this precious Ore within the mountain of 'our earth.' In Latin, 'ore' is aes, and again that gematria sheds much light. Aes totals 23. There are several words equivalent in Hebrew gematria. חיה, kiah, 'Life-Force,' is the vivifying, animating principle within Chokmah, also called AB, the Father. The second sphere is also equated with the Virgin Sulphur, the fiery life in Masloth, the sphere of the zodiac (ring of fixed stars). The Ore in the Turba implies a matter “which liveth.” The Hebrew אווי, avauvee, meaning 'hunger, desire,' is the drive within the First Matter for manifestation. It is also the hunger and desire for reunification within us, reflected from that source. This longing and hunger is חדוה, chedauah, 'gladness, joy,' which the Creator bestows upon miners who find this precious Ore. Each word חדוה and אווי sums to 23. The Turba has been the work on alchemy for several centuries before Geber. Its original language is surmised to have been Hebrew or Arabic. If so, the Hebrew for 'Ore' is בצר, batzar, and in Aesch Mezareph (the Purifying Fire), a Hebrew alchemical work, batzar is referred to Chokmah again. It is translated as 'Gold Dust.' The Book of Alze is a brief tract written by an unknown German sage. In it the author declares:
"Know that the true Tincture can be prepared only out of our Ore."1
This means that the Universal Limitless Light is the only Substance that can permanently transmute lower consciousness.
He supplements an explanation concerning the 'White Ore' with several quotations from other sources, principally the Turba. The best description offered is a comparison with the egg again:
"Three things constitute the true Ore, viz., body, soul and spirit...Do not marvel that the Sages describe our Ore under many names, and as consisting of body, soul and spirit. They are also referred to as brothers, or as husband and wife. But Geber says that sometimes the whole substance is only called body, or spirit; and unless there be a dissolution into water, our work cannot be brought to a successful issue. Of course, we do not mean the water of the clouds, as the foolish say, but a permanent water, which, however, cannot be permanent without its body."2
Permanent water consists of Mercury, Sulphur and Salt, the spirit, soul and body of the Universal Subconscious Mind Matter, Ain Suph Aur. The 'mountain' referred to by all Sages to be moved by Faith is the Mountain of Spirit, the Ore. Sages and philosophers were very carefully selective with the various names given their ingredients for the Stone’s confection. To conceal the One-Thing in all things they labeled their various concoctions a multitude of names, which, translated literally, made no sense in many cases. The original languages, however, number coded with gematria and such, could not help to tip the astute miner. Sages were careful to choose words and phrases that left number trails. While the English and other modern translations confounded the intellectuals further, simple references back to the original language for all the numbers clarified the various names. With a little practice, and good dictionaries in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, wondrous magic may unfold before the modern miner's eye. Without the “use of the Cabalists,” Ore remains simply some refuse mineral.
1 Anonymous, The Book Of Alze. Edmonds, WA: Alchemical Press, 1986, pg. 3.
2 Ibid., pg. 5.