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Q: Translate Latin phrase into English ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Translate Latin phrase into English
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: trenee-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 30 Jun 2003 22:16 PDT
Expires: 30 Jul 2003 22:16 PDT
Question ID: 223787
Please translate "Visita Interiora Terrae, Rectif-cando Invernies
Occultum Lapidem" from Latin into English.
Subject: Re: Translate Latin phrase into English
Answered By: tehuti-ga on 01 Jul 2003 18:53 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello trenee

The phrase should be “Visita interiora terrae rectificando invenies
occultum lapidem” , which is an alchemical expression for vitriol
(take the first letter of each word).  It can be translated as " Visit
the Innermost of the Earth and by Rectifying you will find the Hidden

“In the approximately sixty works in which the symbols of the hermetic
philosophy are presented in this exhibition the focal role is revealed
of the hermetic philosopher, the candidate in the mysteries, in his
encounter with the fullness of the mystery, which is enacted as in a
process. The candidate is placed before the age-old hermetic axiom:
"Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem":
"Visit the Innermost of the Earth and by Rectifying you will find the
Hidden Stone."  This hidden stone, referred to in the above axiom, in
which the Latin initial letters acrostically form the word ‘vitriol’,
is a symbolical allusion to obtaining the tincture of life, which has
been held out to the candidate in the mysteries as a promise, so that,
like a crown on his path of initiation, he may receive and apply it as
a spiritual force, as the Philosophers’ Stone.”
From notes to the “The Silent Language Exhibition” by J.R. Ritman,
Founder of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica 
Web site of J.R. Ritman Library, Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica,
The Library of Hermetic Philosophy in Amsterdam

Vitriol is the old name for hydrochloric acid:
“Directly atop the Pentacle of Earth is a smaller globe with a cross.
This is the symbol for vitriol. In chemical terms it is the acid
(hydrochloric acid) that penetrates into the lead - the Interior of
the earth that is psychologically the unconscious- where we begin the
work of rectification. (Note how the modern meaning of the word
vitriol stems from a physical substance; acid evolves into caustic
words!). It is a common expression in alchemy that gold is found deep
inside the lead, and that by bringing consciousness to it, the lead
ascends out of its nigredo state and arises to become a pure white
stone. Ultimately the hidden stone, that is the red stone or the
philosopher's stone, is contained in nascent form within the shadows
of the unconscious.”
From: The Secrets of Alchemical Symbols : Vitriol from Daniel
Stolcius' Viridarium Chymicum (1624) (Alchemical Psychology web

Search strategy: I searched for the whole phrase on Google, and then
on fragments, thus establishing the correct form.  Restricting the
search to web pages in English allowed me to find the translation.
trenee-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Thank you so much. I appreciated knowing how it was researched. The
answer was corrective (very helpful!!!), informative and included
links to good sources.

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