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Cannabis in Alchemical Literature

Cannabis in Alchemical Literature: Green Lion,
Philosopher’s Stone

Three things suffice for the work: a white smoke, which
is water; a green Lion, which is the ore of Hermes, and a fetid
water… The stone, known from the chapters of books, is white smoke
and water.

Michael Maier
Atalanta Fugiens

Of this self-same body, which is the matter of the Stone, three
things are chiefly said; that it is a green Lion, a stinking Gum, and a
white Fume. Having twelve pounds of Green Lion thus brought into gum,
thou mayst believe…

St. Dunstan (pseudo)
Philosophia Maturata

A green Gum called our green Lyon, which Gum dry well, yet beware thou not burn his Flowers nor destroy his greenness.

Sir George Ripley
The Bosome-Book of Sir George Ripley

You will see marvelous signs of this Green Lion, such as could be
bought by no treasures of the Roman Leo. Happy he who has found it and
learned to use it as a treasure!

The Treasure of Treasures

Perfect bodies we naturally calcine with the first, without adding
any impure body but one commonly called by philosophers the green
lion, and this is the medium for perfectly combining the tinctures of
the Sun and Moon.

The Golden Tract

Then the sowing of the field can take place, and you obtain the
Mineral Stone, and the Green Lion that imbibes so much of its own

The Glory of the World

Beware therefore of many, and hold thee to one thing. This one thing is naught else but the lyon greene…

Bloomfield’s Blossoms

Green Lion, Bird of Hermes, Goose of Hermogenes, two-edged sword
in the hand of the Cherub the Tree of Life, etc.; it is our true, secret
vessel, and the Garden of the Sages in which our Sun rises and sets.

The Three Treatises of Philalethes

You have then nourished and dissolved the true lion with the blood of the green lion.

The Golden Tripod

I know well this Lyon Greene…

Hunting of the Greene Lyon

I have seen the Green Catholic Lion, and the Blood of
the Lion, i.e., the Gold of the Sages, with my own eyes, have touched it
with my hands, tasted it with my tongue, smelled it with my nose.

Heinrich Khunrath


Upon the delicate leaves thereof it retaineth for our
use that sweet heavenly honey which is called the manna, and, although
it be of a gummy, oily, fat, and greasy substance, it is,
notwithstanding, unconsumable by any fire.

Gargantua and Pantagruel

This is called the blessed stone; this earth is white and
foliated, wherein the Philosophers do sow their gold… The fourth color
is Ruddy and Sanguine, which is extracted from the white fire only.

Jean dEspagnet
The Hermetic Arcanum

O how many are the seekers after this gum, and how few there are
who find it! Know ye that our gum is stronger than gold, and all those
who know it do hold it more honorable than gold… Our gum, therefore,
is for Philosophers more precious and more sublime than pearls…

Turba Philosophorum

Therefore I affirm that the Universal Medicine for bodies is the
philosophic gold, after it has been separated and drawn to the highest
state of perfection. Our common gold has absolutely nothing in common
with the philosophic gold we use to begin our task. In that respect
common gold is dead and clearly useless.

Philip a Gabella
Consideratio Brevis

By gold I mean our green gold- not the adored lump, which is dead and ineffectual.

Thomas Vaughan
Aula Lucis

Take the fire, or quicklime, of which the philosophers speak,
which grows on trees, for in that God himself burns with divine love.

Gloria Mundi

It appears then that this Stone is a Vegetable, as it were, the sweet Spirit that proceeds from the Bud of the Vine…

Count Bernard Trevisan
Verbum Dismissum

Trust my word, seek the grass that is trefiol. Thou knowest the name, and art wise and cunning if thou findest it.

The Sophic Hydrolith

You ought to know concerning the Quintessence, that it is a matter
little and small, lodged and harbored in some Tree, Herb, Stone, or
the like…

The Tomb of Semiramis

It contains the fire of Nature, or the Universal Spirit; with Air
as its vehicle it contains Water, which must be separated in the
beginning of the work, and also earth which remains behind in the form
of caput mortuum, where the fire has left it, and is the true Red Earth
wherein the fire dwelt for a while. The subject, duly collected, should
not be less than eight nor more than sixteen ounces: place it in a
china or glazed basin and cover it loosely to keep the dust out.

Sigismond Bacstrom
Rosicrucian Aphorisms and Process

Long have I had in my nostrils the scent of the herb moly which
became so celebrated thanks to the poets of old… this herb is entirely
chemical. It is said that Odysseus used it to protect himself against
the poisons of Circe and the perilous singing of the Sirens. It is also
related that Mercury himself found it and that it is an effective
antidote to all poisons. It grows plentifully on Mount Cyllene in

Michael Maier
Septimana Philosophica

Our secret fire, that is, our fiery and sulfurous water, which is called Balneum Mariae… This water is a white vapor.

The Secret Book of Artephius

Know the secret fire of the wise, which is the one and sole agent
efficient for the opening, subliming, purifying, and disposing of the

Letter to the True Disciples of Hermes

Study, then, this fire, for had I myself found it at the first, I
should not have erred two hundred times upon the veritable material.

John Pontanus
The Secret Fire

No philosopher has ever openly Revealed this secret fire, and this
powerful Agent, which works all the Wonders of the Art.

The Hermetic Triumph

Mercury, i.e. the white flower, can be used and applied to the tinctures of all planets.

The Little Peasant

Our true and real Matter is only a vapor… This Green Dragon is
the natural Gold of the Philosophers, exceedingly different from the
vulgar, which is corporeal and dead… but ours is spiritual, and
living… Our Gold is called Natural, because it is not to be made by
Art, and since it is known to none, but the true Disciples of Hermes,
who understand how to separate it from its original Lump, tis also
called Philosophical; and if God had not been so gracious, as to create
this first Chaos to our hand, all our Skill and Art in the Construction
of the great Elixir would be in vain.

Baron Urbigerus
Aphorismi Urbigerani

This stone is of delicate touch, and there is more mildness in its
touch than in its substance. Of sweet taste, and its proper nature is

Khalid said: Tell me of its odor, before and after its confection.

Morienus answered: Before confectioning, its odor is very heavy
and foul. I know of no other stone like it nor having its powers. While
the four elements are contained in this stone, it being thus like the
world in composition, yet no other stone like it in power or nature is
to be found in the world, nor has any of the authorities ever performed
the operation other than by means of it. And the compositions attempted
by those using anything else in this composition will fail utterly and
come to nothing. The thing in which the entire accomplishment of this
operation consists of the red vapor, the yellow vapor, the white vapor,
the green lion, ocher, the impurities of the dead and of the stones,
blood, eudica, and foul earth.

Begin in the Creators
name, and with his vapor take the whiteness from the white vapor. The
whole key to accomplishment of this operation is in the fire, with
which the minerals are prepared and the bad spirits held back, and with
which the spirit and body are joined.

In answer to
you question about the white vapor, or virgins milk, you may know that
it is a tincture and spirit of those bodies already dissolved and dead,
from which the spirits have been withdrawn. It is the white vapor that
flows in the body and removes its darkness, or earthiness, and
impurity, uniting the bodies into one and augmenting their waters.

Without the white vapor, there could have been no pure gold nor any profit in it.

The Book of Morienus

Let it be sublimed in an high body and head…

Search of Perfection

Our Subject cannot be called the fiery Serpent of the
Philosophers, nor have the power of overcoming any created thing, before
it has received such Virtue and Quality from our Green-Dragon…

Baron Urbigerus
Aphorismi Urbigerani

The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, chapter 12, The Pilgrim Examines Alchemy:

Another burned his eyes out, and was thus unable to supervise the
calcination and the fixation: or bleared his sight with smoke to such
an extent that before he cleared his eyes the nitrogen escaped. Some
died of asphyxiation from the smoke. But for the greatest part they did
not have enough coal in their bags and were obliged to run about to
borrow it elsewhere, while in the meantime their concoction cooled off
and was utterly ruined. This was of very frequent, in fact of almost
constant, occurrence. Although they did not tolerate anyone among
themselves save such as possessed full bags, yet these seemed to have a
way of drying up very rapidly, and soon grew empty: they were obliged
either to suspend their operations or to run away to borrow.

These blear’d eyes
Have wak’d to read your several colours, sir,
Of the pale citron, the green lion, the crow,
The peacock’s tail, the plumed swan.
Thou has descry’d the flower, the sanguis agni?

Ben Jonson
The Alchemist

I have cast fire upon the earth, and see, I watch until it blazes.
Gospel of Thomas

See also Shakespeare sonnet 76, Knights Templar cannabis recipe in
Villard Folio: https://www.villardman.net/sample3testtry.html

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