In The Secrets of John Dee, the original author quotes Raymond Lully:
" 'My son (saith he) the first matter is a subtle sulphurous Earth. And this noble Earth is called the Mercurial Subject. Know then for certain that this slimy moist Sperm or Earth must be dissolved into a water, and this is the water of the philosophers, not any common water whatsoever.' This is the Grand Secret of the Art, and Lully discovered it, with a great deal of honesty and charity.' "1
Lully points out immediately that the original Sulphur is within Alchemical Earth. Elsewhere we have investigated TINCTURE (see same) where it is also suggested that Tincture is inherent within AIN SUPh AUR, the Limitless Light, the Root of Earth. Prima Materia is the first, tangible substance (albeit invisible and formless from the physical side of experience) with which God makes, through stages of the coalescence of sound and color vibration, all that the physical universe appears to be. The One-Substance contains all that is necessary for the work. It includes Omniscience, the Mercurial and Eternal Knowing which Qabalists equate with Kether, the Root of Air and Universal Mercury. Within that is Omnipotence, Virgin Sulphur and the Tincture which Qabalists call Chokmah, the Root of Fire. Finally, accommodating these two and filling all space (Ain Suph), is Omnipresence, the Body of the elementary mind-substance and the stuff of the Root of Water named Binah.
All alchemists worth their salt agree with one another when they tell us that nothing whatsoever need be added to the work; it, to repeat, contains everything requisite. It need only be improved upon, calling for Art from the Artificer, that is, full self-conscious cooperation with God, the Super-conscious, and Almighty One-Self. Cooperation is the key, for perfection cannot be brought to fruition without His Divine Grace, and Blessing is not awarded to uncooperative sons and daughters. The Blessing was there since the beginning, however, as Dr. Dee continues, philosophizing over the opening lines in Genesis:
"Remember the practice and Magic of the Almighty God in His creation, as it is manifested to thee by Moses. “In principio,” saith he, “creavit Deus Coelum et Terrram.” - In the beginning God mingles or tempered together the thin and the thick. For Heaven and Earth in this text signify the Virgin Mercury and the Virgin Sulphur. This I will prove out of the text itself, and that by the vulgar revived translation which runs thus: “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth, and the Earth was without form and void, and there was darkness upon the face of the abyss, and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In the first part of this text Moses mentions two created principles, not a perfect world, as we shall prove hereafter; and this he does in these general terms – Heaven and Earth. In the latter part of it he describes each of these principles by itself in more particular terms, and he begins with the Earth. “And the Earth,” saith he, “was without form and void.” Hence I infer that the Earth he speaks of, was a mere Rudiment or principle of this Earth which I now see, for this present Earth is neither void nor without form. I conclude then that the Mosaical Earth was the Virgin Sulphur, which is an Earth without form, for it hath no determined figure."2
This quotation has also been attributed to Thomas Vaughan in Lumen De Lumine. However, it is repeated from The Secrets of John Dee, comma for comma, with no mention of Dee’s work being the source of Vaughan's text. Dr. John Dee expired in 1608, thirteen years prior the birth of Thomas Vaughan in 1621.
The Earth (to get back to the quotation), "void and formless," is not yet a physical substance, but the substance 'stuff' of the Universal Subconscious Mind. Under the influence of Binah, to which is attributed Saturnine qualities of compaction and concretization, it works to become physically tangible. It coalesces into suns and stars from primarily a gaseous state. Therefore are Virgin Sulphur and the Tincture assigned to Chokmah, also called Masloth, the 'fixed highway of the stars.'
Virgin Desire within Prima Materia first manifests as the primal activity (animation). The first expression of pure, primal knowing is to do something. Doing is moving, and the primal motion, science tells us, is a whirling, rotary motion. This initiates the coalescing action of the first gaseous clouds. Droplets of gas, in turn, are formed of the coalescence of Heavenly Dew, the invisible, void and formless Earth, AIN SUPh AUR. Science is very close to this discovery. The smallest physical particle commonly recognized is called dark matter. This 'dark matter,' the Akasha of the Hindus, is now speculated to contain the illusive 'god-particle' of 21st century particle physics.
But Air and Space Magazine featured an article in the Dec'92/Jan'93 issue. It was the second article in a series titled Let There Be Light – How do cold dark clouds of gas and dust give rise to nuclear fires that brighten the universe? In it astronomers seek the answer to the ages-old question: How do stars come into existence? Their most frustrating problem (at this writing) is that the final formation of a star is blocked visually by the immense, dense cloud cover of gases, some of which measure 300 light-years in section. This may always remain the case until instrumentation becomes available to peer through those outer edges of the cloud blanket. They are working on this. The center, however, will appear no different from the edges, save being more compact, and burning brighter, since the center is a cloud of gas, coalesced and compacted into a plasma-like substance forming a thermonuclear sphere. Behind that, at the source, I believe astrophysicists wil find a black hole. Astronomer, Karen Strom, almost said it on page forty of the magazine article:
“I'm working on little groups of stars within the cloud now,” she says, “because I think they're the seeds....Star formation really goes on there, and the stars slowly escape from there and populate the rest of the cloud. We see these groups of stars during the window in time when they are old enough to have burned off some of their placental gas but are still clinging to one another in the place where they were born.”
A peer astronomer, Charles Lada, asked of their formation: “How does nature know how to do that?” Omniscience is intrinsic within the mind-stuff of AIN SUPh AUR, under the mode Universal Mercury of the Tree-fold One God. The astronomical and physical sciences still as yet refuse to accept the idea that the Matter they continue to investigate is a LIVING and INTELLIGENT MATTER! The 'wishing to do' Intelligence spurs Virgin Desire (Sulphur) 'to make' by moving vast portions of Itself (the Salt Substance) 'to collapse' under its own gravity about a central, pre-fixed point. The invisible Earth bears Virgin Sulphur, the Root of Fire, and forms spheres of fire in suns and stars. Stars come out from that central cloud of 'gas,' mentioned above which, in turn, comes out from a black hole originally.
1 Dee, Dr. John, The Secrets of John Dee. Ed., Intro. and commentary by Gordon James. Edmonds, WA: Holmes Publishing Group, 1995, pg. 36.
2 Ibid., pg. 37.