Four alchemical engravings

Four alchemical engravings 

Four alchemical engravings  850 480 V.M. Kwen Khan Khu

Esteemed friends:

I am addressing all of you on this occasion to send you some reflections on four important and very enlightening alchemical engravings.

First engraving

The woman of the stone that is associated with the stream –Mercury– of the sages.


  1. The woman certainly represents Mercury. Fulcanelli calls this woman the woman of the stone that is associated with the stream –Mercury– of the sages, therefore the woman there is Mercury.
  2. The fact that the woman has fire in two torches is because, being Mercury, she must be fecundated by the former. That is why the God Mercury himself comes to her, also carrying a torch in one hand and a rose in the other. The rose signifies the sublimation of the work, without which everything will fail.
  3. The inverted triangle on which the woman stands is the hieroglyph of Mercury.
  4. The sea is the very stream of the sages.
  5. Sulfur is symbolized by the torches.
  6. The sun is the Sulfur, the fire, and the Moon is the Mercury, as a confirmation of all this.
  7. The ship that can be seen in the distance symbolizes the alchemical journey that we must make.
  8. The Caduceus of Mercury is to indicate that, with the good offices of the Divine Mother, the creative energy will ascend through the ganglion channels IDA and PINGALA.
  9. The woman is linked to the stone because all the work is done with the help of the Great Rock –sexuality–.

Second engraving

"It is necessary to kill the living in order to resurrect the dead"


  1. In the sky Jupiter shines with his rays riding on an eagle. That is the PROFOUND INNER BEING and it is also symbolized by the eagle.
  2. The constellations are drawn in the clouds, because, according to many alchemists, the Great Work was done according to the order of the constellations.
  3. On one side is the sun and on the other is the moon, symbolizing Sulfur and Mercury.
  4. Now in the center you can see some cannons –a symbol of the brute fire– that are destroying a city. That is our psychological city, because the “I” only knows how to create chaos.
  5. On the other side is the TREE OF LIFE, which symbolizes the BEING, but being full of apples it also symbolizes the TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, the SEX.
  6. Underneath the cannons are three doors that mark the three portals: INITIATION-DEATH, RESURRECTION and finally ASCENSION.
  7. An Adept shows the keys to pass through these three doors. These keys are three fundamental stages to achieve triumph in the GREAT WORK:
  8. There is a river that flows and it is the SEA OF THE PHILOSOPHERS, the sexual waters. In that river or sea we see someone trying to fish. That is the neophyte who seeks to capture in his transmutations the FISH, the Mercury of the sages.
  9. Finally, we see Hercules with his mace wanting to crush a green dragon. That dragon is the Sulfurized Mercury. But it is necessary to remove from this Sulfurized Mercury its impurities –with the psychological death–. That is why it is said: “It is necessary to kill the living in order to resurrect the dead”

Third engraving


  1. The word SOLUTIO refers to the preparation of Mercury.
  2. To do this, a man and a woman are needed, and, in turn, they represent Mercury as the woman and Sulfur as the man, for this reason the latter can be seen as surrounded by fire.
  3. The roses that the woman has are representative of the seven mutations of Mercury until it is ready for the great inner works.
  4. The Green Lion is the Mercury before it is fecundated by the Sulfur to become Sulfurized Mercury or Mercurial Sulfur.
  5. That is why the lion wants to swallow the sun, to become a RED LION, in this way Mercury has become sulfurized and vice versa.
  6. Then we see cut out on a stone –sex– a plugged vessel or recipient, that is the union of the lingam-yoni.

Fourth Engraving

Sublimation of the Work


  1. First of all, we are warned that we are entering the phase of SUBLIMATION OF THE WORK. This is designated in Alchemy by the word SUBLIMATIO.
  2. The engraving depicts a king and a queen who, in addition to symbolizing the man and woman who act together to do the Great Work, also symbolize Sulfur, the man, and Mercury, the woman.
  3. There is a tree that has suns as if they were flowers. It is the Sulfurized Mercury –Mercury united to Sulfur, to the fire of Stella Maris–.
  4. The three balls are the three forces of Nature that alchemists wield.
  5. The eagle that the king holds is the volatile element, i.e., Mercury; but the fire it has in its legs is the Sulfur that has been integrated into its composition.
  6. The scepter of power of the king means that, at this point, the Sulfurized Mercury is capable of magically operating all the processes of obtaining the Philosopher’s Stone.
  7. The steaming vessel symbolizes the yoni, it is the hermetic vessel of the sages.
  8. That vessel is near a furnace, for the furnace symbolizes sexuality itself, it is the alchemical athanor.
  9. Near the woman we see the god Saturn with his sickle inviting us to die in order to be able to do the sublimation.
  10. Likewise, the plant that shows a small sun, a small moon, and a Star of Solomon is there to point out that it all lies in the combination of masculine and feminine forces. The Star of Solomon is the Hermetic triumph.
  11. The swan on the woman’s right arm is an allegory of the mercurial waters.
  12. The woman is pregnant because she also represents the fecundated Mercury.
  13. Next to the hermetic glass we see a wolf. This wolf is referred to in all alchemical texts as the GRAY WOLF, the primordial agent of the work and which happens to be Mercury itself.

I now send you a few sentences to reflect on:

“The understanding one knows how to moderate feelings.”

“One understanding is better than many hands.”

“He who is not a good understander cannot be understood.”

“There is no microscope more subtle than intelligence.”
Felipe Picatoste

“True understanding consists in giving value to that of others.”
La Bruyère

Kwen Khan Khu