Rome's Porta Magica - Hermetic Door - and Naples' Pietatella are the world's only incontestable alchemical monuments. Particularly the Porta Magica do not contain hidden symbols, but display them in an unmistakable form; they are locations built to represent alchemy, and nothing else.
The Porta Magica was opened in 1680 in the wall of the Palombara's "Horto". Above the door is a bas-relief containing symbols already seen in the Rosacrucian work Aurum Seculum Redivivum of 1621, by Henricus Madathanus, from which we reproduce a detail, an evocative, synthetic display, a six pointed star surrounded by four angels.
Today this alchemic door can be found in the northern corner of the gardens of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. Its original position was about 50 meters toward the intersection between via Carlo Alberto and via San Vito, along an ancient perimetric wall that faced Strada Felice, with Villa Palombara situated between the old strada Felice and strada Gregoriana, now called via Merulana.
The Hermetic Door originated within the context of Queen Christina of Sweden who, having abdicated and converted to Catholicism, came to live in Rome. She was thus able to concentrate on the only arguments that interested her, that is, philosophy, spirituality, and alchemy. At her court gathered exceptional individuals about which we will write soon.
In 1873 the Porta Magica was dismantled and reassembled in 1888 within the gardens in Piazza Vittorio, in an old perimetric wall belonging to the old S. Eusebio church. Next to it were added two statues of the god Bes originally in the gardens of the Quirinale Palace, that have something to do with the theme the Porta deals with.
Bes is a kind of “Leonardo”, or Taotie, that is, a solar daimon, meaning the radiating and devouring power of the sun. It devours shapes, and useless ideas of "truth" so that may triumph the evidence radiated by the naked sense of everything when we let that everything be once more submerged within eternity.
EPIGRAPHS LOST IN THE VILLA
VILLAE IANUAM TRANANDO RECLUDENS IÀSON OBTINET LOCUPLES VELLUS MEDEAE 1680
Walking through this Villa's door, Jason the discoverer obtains Medea's vellum in big quantity 1680.
The vellum belongs to Medea because succeeding is a magical fact, a re-conversion of one's own acts and thoughts. The Argonauts were a symbol for Queen Cristina of Sweden.
AQUA A QUA HORTI IRRIGANTUR NON EST AQUA A QUA HORTI ALUNTUR
The water irrigating these gardens is not the water feeding them.
This obviously means, at the same time, the secret fire of dew and March equinox rain plus radical moisture.
CUM SOLO SOPHORUM LAPIS NON SALE ET DATUR SOLE SILE LUPIS
Be content with just the salt of knowledge and the sun of reason.
Because salt comes from the sun, that is from light, and because rational knowledge comes from metaphysical inspiration that radiates like the sun.
QUI POTENTI HODIE PECUNIA NATURAE ARCANA EMITUR SPURIA REVELAT NOBILITAS SED MORTEM NON LEGITIMA QUAERIT SAPIENTIA
He who reveals the mysteries of nature to an influential person is looking for his own death.
Here we go.
HOC IN RUBE, CAELI RORE, FUSIS AEQUIS, PHYSIS AQUIS, SOLUM FRACTUM, REDDIT FRUCTUM, DUM CUM SALE NITRI, AC SOLE, SURGUNT FUMI SPARSI FIMI. ISTUD NEMUS, PARVUS NUMUS, TENET FORMA SEMPER FIRMA, DUM SUNT ORTAE SINE ARTE VITES, PYRA, ET POMA PURA. HABENS LACUM, PROPE, LUCUM, UBI LUPUS NON, SED LUPUS SEPE LUDIT; DUM NON LAEDIT MITES OVES, ATQUE AVES; CANIS CUSTOS INTER CASTOS AGNOS FERAS MITTIT FORAS, ET EST AEGRI HUJUS AGRI AER SOLUS VERA SALUS, REPLENS HERBIS VIAS URBIS. SULCI SATI DANT PRO SITI SCYPHOS VINI. INTROVENI, VIR NON VANUS. EXTRA VENUS. VOBIS, FURES, CLANDO FORES. LABE LOTUS, BIBAS LAETUS MERI MARE, BACCHI MORE. INTER UVAS, Sl VIS, OVAS, ET QUOD CUPIS, GRATIS CAPIS. TIBI PARO, CORDE PURO, QUICQUID PUTAS, A ME PETAS. DANT HIC APES CLARAS OPES DULCIS MELLIS, SEMPER MOLLIS. HIC IN SILVAE UMBRA SALVE TU, QUI LUGES, NUNC SI LEGES NOTAS ISTAS, STANS HIC AESTAS, VERA MISTA; FRONTE MOESTA NUNQUAM FLERES, INTER FLORES SI MANERES, NEC MANARES INTER FLETUS, DUM HIC FLATUS AURAE SPIRANT, UNDE SPERANT MESTAE MENTES INTER MONTES, INTER COLLES, INTER GALLES, ET IN VALLE HUJUS VILLAE, UBI VALLUS CLAUDIT VELLUS. BONUM OMEN, SEMPER AMEN ETIAM PETRAE DUM A PUTRE SURGUNT PATRE, ITA NOTAS, HIC VIX NATUS, IN HAC PORTA, LUTO PARTA, TEMPUS RIDET, BREVI RODET.
In this villa, from heavenly dew, tilled fields and running waters, the furrowed soil fruit gives; in the meanwhile, in saltpeter and because of the sun, from the dispersed manure vapors rise. This small forest always looks the same; while spontaneously vine shoots, sincere pear and apple trees are born. Near the lake there is a small forest where who plays is not the wolf, but the hare; it jokes without offending the meek sheep and the birds. The dog guarding the chaste lambs chases predators away; and the countryside air is enough to give health back to the sick. This estate fills with produce the city's streets. The plowed furrows give cups of wine for your thirst. Modest man, enter! May Venus stay away! To you, thieves, I close my doors. Drink merrily and copiously pure wine, as if you were Bacchus himself. Rejoice among the vines, and take freely whatever you may desire. For you I sincerely prepare what you ask for. Here bees produce in great amounts sweet, soft honey. Cheers to you, who are crying in the shadow of these trees. Now, if you understood this, that here summer mixes with spring, you would not be crying with so much sadness. If you remained here, among the flowers, you would not cry, because here you can breathe the fragrance of air. Therefore, the melancholic souls recover and learn to hope once again among the mountains, the hills, the paths and in the valley of this villa, where the sheepfold protects the flock. For you I make a wish: may it always be thusly.
But you, as you wake up, notice here on this jamb what concrete did generate - because stones are born from putrefaction – and notice that time vaguely jokes, rapidly destroying everything
Several alchemical works have been mixed, here as in the rest of the text, but there are also various philosophical and moral considerations, as in the case of de Sangro's Pietatella. The final phrase is about saltpetre, quoting Flamel about the secret that we should recognize thank to the bones of the dead.
EPIGRAPHS ON THE ROSE WINDOW
TRIA SUNT MIRABILIA DEUS ET HOMO MATER ET VIRGO TRINUS ET UNUS
Three are the wonders; god and man, mother and virgin, trine but one
Three examples referring to Sulfur and Salt, indicating respectively:
- the VITRIOL see the meaning of Immanuel
- the dew which is the Mercury from which a salt is anyway extracted, even if it remains virgin, and precisely because that's what it is, and then
- the three principles that are already — or derive from - the potential Philosopher's Stone, or First Matter, the Prima Materia
CENTRUM IN TRIGONO CENTRI
The center lies at the center of the triangle.
- the golden and spermatic nature of antimony (see the cross)
- as well as your inner reality, made physical, of the Immanuel,
- then both the precipitating golden water (dew), and that contained in the human mine (the human vitriol – urine).
So, these are three operations altogether. But, also, this “centrum” evokes the "King of Salts" as the center of the Earthen Element.
EPIGRAPHS ON THE ARCHITRAVE
רוחאלהים (RUACH ELOHIM)
Spirit of Deities, a ancient Hebrew and biblical name of the Mystery
HORTI MAGICI INGRESSUM HESPERIUS CUSTODIT DRACO ET SINE ALCIDE COLCHICAS DELICIAS NON GUSTASSET IASON
The hesperius dragon guards the entrance to the magical garden and, without the will of Hercules, Jason would not be able to savor the Colchides' delights.
Concerning the necessity of preparing the substances needed for the various endeavours (the labours of Hercules), and in particular useful to raise antimony's melting point (the dragon) and to strengthen its nature with the right marriage of the virgin (antimony) with the warrior (iron).
EPIGRAPHS ON THE DOORSTEPS
SI SEDES NON IS
This motto, almost a palindrome, reads as "If you sit you don't go" from left to right and as "If you don't sit you go" from right to left.
It probably means that eagles come last as a consequence and without an effort but they must be done, or the Stone will remain unripe. In fact the motto is written on the first step, which means that you are almost entered.
EST OPUS OCCULTUM VERI SOPHI APERIRE TERRAM UT GERMINET
SALUTEM PRO POPULO
It is the hidden work of the wise man to open the earth so that the people's salvation may sprout
I think it goes back in the process (everything here is appositely fragmented and a bit out of focus) and it generally deals with philosophical mercury that, extracted from salt, earth, or air sprouts or ferments, generating the power that will dent matter, opening it.
EPIGRAPHS ON THE DOOR JAMB
FILIUS NOSTER MORTUUS VIVIT REX AB IGNE REDIT ET CONIUGIO GAUDET OCCULTO
Our son comes back from the dead and lives again, comes back as the king of fire and profits from the hidden marriage
This is probably also an antimonial symbolism concerning the formation of the Regolus after the sub-fusion obtained marrying iron thanks to the priest, the necessar salts
SI FECERIS VOLARE TERRAM SUPER CAPUT TUUM EIUS PENNIS AQUAS TORRENTIUM CONVERTES IN PETRAM
If you will make the earth fly above your head together with her feathers, you will change torrents into stone
Without getting into details, we already said in the nushadir article about which wings can distill “terram”. So this enigma deals with a sublimation whose product can fix substance made "liquid" for the occasion.
Or and again about the harvesting of the heavenly substance useful to make a kind of philosophical mercury.
DIAMETER SPHERAE THAU CIRCULI CRUX ORBI NON ORBIS PROSUNT
The diameter of the sphere, the tau of the circle, the cross of the orbit do not help the blind. The salts, the vitriol, and antimony. Just to say - making fun of someone – “Learn how to use your symbolic mind”.
QUANDO IN TUA DOMO NIGRI CORVI PARTURIENT ALBAS COLUMBAS TUNC VOCABERIS SAPIENS
When in your home black crows will give birth to white doves, then you will be called a savant.
Similar to the last aphorism, being that everything here seems to me all mixed up and just exposed as single, topic, highlighted informations. So, “Now” the black becomes white.
QUI SCIT COMBURERE AQUA ET LAVARE IGNE FACIT DE TERRA CAELUM ET DE CAELO TERRAM PRETIOSAM
He who can burn with water and wash with fire turns the earth into sky and the sky into precious earth.
It speaks of the alchemical ability to detonate, reduce to lime et cetera, and of the creation of generally alcaline solvents, thank to the inner fires that are conceiled in some substances and in nature, which allows you to make volatile what was fixed, or visible what was very subtle.
AZOT ET IGNIS DEALBANDO LATONAM VENIET SINE VESTE DIANA
Azoth and Fire: whitening latona Diane without clothes will come
It deals with the white phase, with which, they say, the Opus advances without any more jumps. Usually it is said tha,t in this phase you, can throw away your books.
But why did he put this phrase at the end?
1. A garden
2. The Quirinale Palace in Rome, is one of the three official residences of the President of the Italian Republic. The palace has been in use since Roman times, as excavations in the gardens testify. On this hill, the Romans built temples to the most sacred Gods Flora and Quirinus.
3. See in this issue “a chinese kiln”.
4. In 1653, Cristina instituted the Order of the Amaranta, bearing the emblem evergreen wreath as a symbol of eternal life, the secret meaning of being made up of leaves amaranta, a symbolic plant to Colchis, land tied to the myth the Argonauts.
5. See Neumann considerations on saltpeter in R.A.M.S. digital, where Neumann writes that saltpetre is an "oily and urinous salt" produced by a putrid substance of animal or vegetable origin capable of conveying a universal agent, ie a nitrous gas precipitated in the form of a salt but, he adds, which is partly made of the rock, plus the limestone and the cemented wall. Neumann, citing Flamel about bones, concludes that "since the walls are limestone or joined with lime, we know that just lime is one of the best magnets". Bones and calcite has a lot in common, particularly if well prepaired. For instance, with the deer’s stage it is easy to make a peculiar salt similar to saltpeter or sal armoniac.
6. In 1646, Christina of Sweden planned the foundation of the Order of Immanuel, עִמָּנוּאֵל, an epithet of Christ tied to the Rosicrucian tradition. They read this mystic name not so much as "God with us", but as "God in us." Later she instituted the Order of Amaranta. See note 4.
7. Take a look to the symbol of planet Earth in astrology and hermetism.