THE ALCHEMICAL QUARTET
The purpose of this booklet is to investigate each of the traditional four stages of the opus, in turn ..... but it must be said that this quadripartite arrangement, related to the four Elements, Humours etc., is only one of many such schemes, some numbering two, seven, ten, twelve or more divisions. This is not as contradictory as it might at first appear. The broad sequences of The Work are generally acknowledged, and, once the main development is understood, the various sub-sections will be recognised as simply theoretical alternative divisions which may be adopted according to taste or interpretation.
‘The extraction of the Elements’, writes Bernard de Trevisan, ‘is a certain Composition of Blacknesse, Whiteness, Yellowness and Redness’.
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
'The stages followed the pattern, first black, then white, next citrine, and finally blood red, and in that order only. But in between these colours all the colours of the rainbow were generated. These various colours were often referred to as the peacock’s tail. If the main colours were out of order then this was a warning of error in the experiment.'
Lapidus (David Curwen)
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