Plate II – The First Treatise
A bearded male in red and violet apparel points his index finger to a glass retort containing a yellowish liquid. Tied to the neck of the vessel is a banner with the Latin sentence:
"Eamus Quesitum Quatuor Elementorum Naturas.”
“Let us target the four main elements of nature.”
These are the primary details within the picture. The rest is superfluous. The illustration follows the First Treatise within the manuscript which discourses on the origin of the Stone and how to produce it. The very first sentence reads: “The Philosopher’s Stone is produced by means of the Greening and Growing Nature.”
The ‘four main elements’ on the banner aptly refer to Fire (light), Water (fluids), Air (breath), Earth (food). The glass retort with the long neck represents the esophagus and stomach with its yellowish digestive acid.
Some commentators have actually, and erroneously, suggested this yellow liquid is urine, which in this case, would be ridiculous. This error has often appeared in writings as an essential ingredient for making the Stone!
The most important detail is the man’s index finger. Such a gesture is definitely suggestive of the Hebrew letter Yod (י), the ‘Creative Hand’. In Tarot, Yod is assigned to the Hermit Key and the astrological sign Virgo, which governs the intestinal and digestive region in medical astrology. The Yod is also indicative of the specific fluid, chyle, released from the lacteals of the upper, small intestine during the digestive process. This is natural through the course of food assimilation in both human and animal kingdoms. This secretion is the crux of our immune system, and the normal amounts are ‘distilled’ into the blood stream from a ductless gland. However, unbeknownst to the medical community, extra amounts of this oily, milky substance may be injected into the sanguinary system by suggestions from the self-conscious mind. The man in the picture is wearing a red robe as colored in the Magician Key in most of the other assorted Tarot packs. In both representations the red robe implicates self-conscious direction of its Rajas Guna toward Sattva Guna. The violet robe implicates subconsciousness by its color association with the sphere Yesod on the Tree of Life. Yesod is the sphere assigned to the automatic consciousness, or the subconscious. Body maintenance is one chief function of the automatic consciousness. By his apparel the figure is demonstrating that by giving conscious suggestions to the subconscious, extra amounts of the ‘solar gold’ fluid is released into the blood stream, affording healthier glands and organs to function efficaciously toward optimal performance.
The primary message within this First Treatise of the manuscript is the accent toward a healthy physical vehicle to hold the increased energy influx further along on the pathway toward the Philosophers’ Stone. This is what all classical alchemical literature calls ‘the gross work’, or the Black Work, which is the care and maintenance of the physical organism. What genuine aspirants are laboring towards is the habitation of the Most High within a Chariot capable of containing the heightened spiritual vibrations. Otherwise the cellular consciousness would burn up from the experience.