The alchemical manuscript of the Seven Keys of Honoratus Marinier
Translated by Vincent Matley with an Introduction by Adam McLean.
This late Eighteenth Century work is preserved in two manuscripts. It is almost completely unknown. It consists of a series of seven 'keys' presenting the alchemical work in a sequence of twenty two emblematic figures. These are provided with explanatory texts, providing practical explanations of the allegorical imagery. The allegorical images present a kind of alchemical drama featuring as its main characters Vulcan, Apollo, Diana, Mercury, Saturn, and the alchemical adept. It follows the conventional alchemical idea of the sequence of colour changes - black, through white, to red. It uses the idea of the hermaphrodite and bird symbols. This work could well be the last alchemical emblematic sequence ever to have been created.