Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Chapter 8 The Potions Master
“Snape finished calling the names and looked up at the class. His
eyes were black like Hagrid’s, but they had none of Hagrid’s warmth.
They were cold and empty and made you think of dark tunnels.
“You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of
potionmaking,” he began. He spoke in barely more than a whisper, but
they caught every word – like Professor McGonagall Snape had the gift of keeping a
class silent without effort. “As there is little foolish wand-waving
here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don’t expect you
will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with
its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through
human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses…. I can teach
you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death – if you aren’t
as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.”
Oh HEY Snape. This chapter has been my favorite thus far I hope everyone enjoys it!
For an earth witch like myself, magic works very slowly and mysteriously. I work with the large, quietly thunderous rhythms of nature, rhythms I only barely comprehend, waiting patiently (most of the time!) to see the results of my spell-casting.
So when I sit and stare at my young datura seedlings, I am reminded that I am the one who cast this spell. I directed where this plant would start growing. I tricked it into thinking it was springtime. It would not be growing here, now, without my energies directing it. And yet I have no idea how it really happens.
I only used some fluorescent lights, a heating mat, soil, and water, but damn. Magic is cool.
In chemistry, vitriol is iron or copper sulfate salts and their derivative, sulfuric acid. The name comes from the Latin for “glassy,” after the resemblance of iron sulfate to shards of green glass. Vitriol is symbolized alchemically as the “green lion,” a poisonous substance that appears when metal is degraded by acid. Sulfuric acid, or oil of vitriol, was used in the synthesis of the lapis philosophorum- the Philosopher’s Stone. One unique property of sulfuric acid is the dissolution of metals- all except for gold, on which it has no effect.
The alchemical motto for vitriol is “Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem,” “Visit the interior of the earth and rectifying (purifying) you will find the hidden stone.” The motto originated in L’Azoth des Philosophes by the 15th Century alchemist Basilius Valentinus.
In Freemasonry, the motto is a common component of the symbolic “Chamber of reflection,” where a Mason contemplates and reflects on the nature of death. In both Freemasonry and Alchemy, the motto refers to a process of internal, spiritual purification.