Three Books of Occult Philosophy/Book 1/Chapter 5
Of the wonderfull Natures of Fire, and Earth.
THere are two things (saith Hermes) viz. Fire and Earth, which are sufficient for the operation of all wonderfull things: the former is active, the latter passive. Fire (as saith Dionysius) in all things, and through all things, comes and goes away bright, it is in all things bright, and at the same time occult, and unknown; When it is by it self (no other matter coming to it, in which it should manifest its proper action) it is boundless, and invisible, of it self sufficient for every action that is proper to it, moveable, yielding it self after a maner to all things that come next to it, renewing, guarding nature, enlightening, not comprehended by lights that are vailed over, clear, parted, leaping back, bending upwards, quick in motion, high, alwayes raising motions, comprehending another, not Comprehended it self, not standing in need of another, secretly increasing of it self, and manifesting its greatness to things that receive it, Active, Powerfull, Invisibly present in all things at once; it will not be affronted or opposed, but as it were in a way of revenge, it will reduce on a sudden things into obedience to it self, incomprehensible, impalpable, not lessened, most rich in all dispensations of it self. Fire (as saith Pliny) is the boundless, and mischievous part of the nature of things, it being a question whether it destroys, or produceth most things. Fire it self is one, and penetrates through all things (as say the Pythagorians) also spread abroad in the Heavens, and shining: but in the infernall place streightened, dark, and tormenting, in the mid way it partakes of both. Fire therefore in it self is one, but in that which receives it, manifold, and in differing subjects it is distributed in a different manner, as Cleanthes witnesseth in Cicero. That fire then which we use is fetched out of other things. It is in stones, and is fetched out by the stroke of the steele: it is in Earth, and makes that, after digging up, to smoake : it is in Water, and heats springs, and wells: it is in the depth of the Sea, and makes that, being tossed with winds, warm: it is in the Aire, and makes it (as we oftentimes see) to burn. And all Animals, and living things whatsoever, as also all Vegetables are preserved by heat: and every thing that lives, lives by reason of the inclosed heat. The properties of the Fire that is above, are heat, making all things Fruitfull, and light, giving life to all things. The properties of the infernall Fire are a parching heat, consuming all things, and darkness, making all things barren. The Celestiall, and bright Fire drives away spirits of darkness; also this our Fire made with Wood drives away the same, in as much as it hath an Analogy with, and is the vehiculum of that Superior light; as also of him, who saith, I am the Light of the World, which is true Fire, the Father of lights, from whom every good thing that is given, Comes; sending forth the light of his Fire, and communicating it first to the Sun, and the rest of the Celestiall bodies, and by these, as by mediating instruments, conveying that light into our Fire. As therefore the spirits of darkness are stronger in the dark: so good spirits, which are Angels of Light, are augmented, not only by that light, which is Divine, of the Sun, and Celestiall, but also by the light of our common Fire. Hence it was that the first, and most wise institutors of Religions, and Ceremonies ordained, that Prayers, Singings, and all manner of Divine Worships whatsoever should not be performed without lighted Candles, or Torches. (Hence also was that significant saying of Pythagoras. Do not speak of God without a Light) and they commanded that for the driving away of wicked spirits, Lights and Fires should be kindled by the Corpses of the dead, and that they should not be removed, untill the expiations were after a Holy manner performed, and they buried. And the great Jehovah himself in the old Law Commanded that all his Sacrifices should be offered with Fire, and that Fire should always be burning upon the Altar, which Custome the Priests of the Altar did always observe, and keep amongst the Romanes. Now the Basis, and foundation of all the Elements, is the Earth, for that is the object, subject, and receptacle of all Celestiall rayes, and influences; in it are contained the seeds, and Seminall vertues of all things; and therefore it is said to be Animall, Vegetable, and Minerall. It being made fruitfull by the other Elements, and the Heavens, brings forth all things of it self; It receives the abundance of all things, and is, as it were the first fountain, from whence all things spring, it is the Center, foundation, and mother of all things. Take as much of it as you please, seperated, washed, depurated, subtilized, if you let it lye in the open Aire a little while, it will, being full, and abounding with Heavenly vertues, of it self bring forth Plants, Worms, and other living things, also Stones, and bright sparks of Metals. In it are great secrets, if at any time it shall be purified by the help of Fire, and reduced unto its simplicity by a convenient washing. It is the first matter of our Creation, and the truest Medicine that can restore, and preserve us.