Obelisk Art History
The Compound of Alchemy

Cibation

George Ripley, 1471

Now I turn my pen to write of Cibation,
Since it must here the seventh place occupy:
But in few words it will be expedited,
Take heed therefore, and understand me wisely;
Cibation is called a feeding of our dry matter,
With milk and meat, which moderately you do,
Until it be brought unto the third order.

But give it never so much, that you it glut,
Beware of dropsy, and also of Noah’s flood:
By little and little therefore you to it put
Of meat and drink, as seems to do it good,
That watery humours not overgrow the blood,
To drink therefore let it be measured so,
That you never quench it from that kindly appetite.

For if it drink too much, then it must have
A vomit or else it will be sick too long from the dropsy
Therefore thy womb thou save,
And from the flux, or else it will be wrong,
But rather let it thirst for drink along
Than you should give it overmuch at once.
Which must in youth be dieted for the nonce.

And if you diet it (as nature does require) moderately,
Till time that it be grown to age,
Keeping it from cold, and nourishing it with moist fire,
Then it shall grow, and wax full of courage,
And do to you both pleasure and advantage;
For it shall make dark bodies whole and bright,
Cleansing their leprosies through its might.

Three time must you also turn about your wheel,
Still keeping the rule of the said Cibation,
And then as soon as it does feel the fire,
Like wax it will be ready unto liquation:
This chapter needs no longer protestation,
For I have told you the diet most convenient,
After thine elements be made equipolent.

And also how you shall bring thy gold to whiteness,
Most like in figure to leaves of the hawthorn tree,
Called Magnesia, as I have told before,
And our White Sulphur without combustibility,
Which from the fire will never fly away.
And thus the seventh gate (as you desired)
In the uprising of the Sun is conquered.

The end of the seventh gate

Further reading atalchemywebsite.com
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The Eighth Gate

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