Lapis Philosophicus And The Septenary

Order of Nine Angles

O9A Septenary System

Lapis Philosophicus, Isaac Newton, And The Septenary System

Perspicacious readers of a recent O9A text about alchemy {1} will have noticed that the image of part of a handwritten manuscript by Isaac Newton entitled Lapis Philosophicus cum suis rotis elementaribus {2} shows not only the Greco-Roman hermetic septenary system (Moon-Mercury-Venus-Sun-Mars-Jupiter-Saturn) – as used by the O9A – but also describes aspects of that system as Femina and others as Masculina; that is – to use the terminology of the O9A – muliebral and masculous.


Also, as with some earlier alchemical MSS, it shows the ‘Prima Materia’ (the primary substance/foundation/original-being).  That is, what is described, in ancient Hellenic hermeticism (such as the Pymander tractate) as ὀγδοατικὴν φύσιν [ogdoadic physis] of which Myatt writes in his commentary on that tractate:

“ὀγδοατικὴν φύσιν [is an] interesting and important term, often overlooked and often misinterpreted. What is meant is not a realm  – ζώνῃ – or sphere, similar to but ‘beyond’ the seven realms, but rather ‘of what’ the mortal has become, is reborn as, at the end of the journey: partaking in and being of ‘the ogdoadic physis’, and thus sharing the being/existence of those who have, or who have attained, that particular type of being/existence/physis. The existence, that is, of an immortal beyond the seven emanations.” {3}

In other words, the prima materia is simply (despite speculations about it over the centuries) just the physis {4} – the being – of those who, via a hermetic septenary anados or via alchemy, have acquired Lapis Philosophicus. Of which ‘jewel’ the anonymous author of a – as yet unpublished alchemical text in Latin translated into English by Isaac Newton – wrote that he had in that MS:

“named it by its proper name in calling it [the first matter] the stone of the wise [and] declared that which hath been hidden. For The Work is with you and [in] you, so that – being found in you – you have always some part of it wherever you are whether at sea or at land.” {5}

The author also states, several times, that the alchemists hide their knowledge “from the ignorant…from the vulgar.” Sometimes, of course, by being intentionally obscure, or by employing a particular esoteric vocabulary which only the most sagacious, the most learned and cultured – or initiates of a particular tradition – understand. Which is why – to quote MS 27 {5} – they would write enigmatic things such as the following:

“The Vultur[e] being upon the mountain crys with a loud voice, I am white of black and red of citrine… Know also that the crow which flys without wings in the blackness of the night and in the clearness of the day is the [beginning] of the Art.”

In another handwritten MS {6}, Isaac Newton provides an illustration of the ‘alchemical tree’ with its 7 plus 1 branches: the septenary plus the Prima Materia (the acausal) from whence we mortals derive our causal existence and to which we can return having balanced within ourselves the muliebral and the masculous, and which balance is the gift given by Lapis Philosophicus.

Prima mater est subsequentium filiorum et habet alas in pedibus pro symbolo

All of which ancient esoteric matters – from the employment of an esoteric vocabulary; to hiding certain esoteric knowledge from the ignorant and the vulgar; to expecting the sagacious (the learned and cultured) to work things out for themselves; to employing a septenary system; to mentioning the muliebral and masculous; to understanding what such things as Prima Materia/ὀγδοατικὴν φύσιν mean and imply – resonate with the modern Order of Nine Angles, and serve, as with many other things, to distinguish the O9A from other contemporary occult groups. For The Work is indeed “with them and in them”; presenced by O9A esoteric philosophy and O9A praxises such as the Seven Fold Way.

As Anton Long wrote, echoing the esoteric alchemical tradition known to Isaac Newton and so evident in various alchemical MSS such as Keynes MS 27:

“Lapis philosophicus is what it is, and always has been, and does what it does, and always has done, in terms of how it affects and changes those few who have succeeded in their decades-long endeavour and thus discovered it, and discovered it where it has always been hidden.” {7}

R. Parker


{1} R. Parker,  Alchemy And The Sinisterly-Numinous Tradition (e-text, 2015).

{2} MS 416, in Babson College’s Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton, currently housed in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

{3} David Myatt, Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander. 2013. ISBN 9781491249543.

{4} In respect of physis refer to (i) Myatt’s Mercvrii Trismegisti Pymander, (ii) Myatt’s translation of Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book 5, 1015α [ available, as of June 2015, atα/ ], and (iii) Further Notes Concerning The Hermetic Origins Of The O9A (e-text, 2015).

{5} Isaac Newton’s translation (also as yet unpublished) is preserved in a handwritten manuscript: Keynes MS 27 in the library of King’s College, Cambridge. In his introductory note, Newton refers to the printed book Theatrum Chemicum (vol 5. p 614 and p.198).

{6} Keynes MS 32, in the library of King’s College, Cambridge.

{7} Anton Long, The Enigmatic Truth, 2011. The text is included in A Modern Mage: Anton Long and The Order of Nine Angles (e-text, second edition, 2015).