- The Philosophers' Stone and the secret of its Geometry by Claus Furstner with Hermetic Alchemy
The Philosophers' Stone
Page 2

  1. Introduction                     (p.1)
  2. The four Concepts of the Stone
  3. Geometric components of the Stone
  4. Construction of the Stone

  5. The Secret of the Stone          (p.2)
        The Mute Book
  6. The Secret revealed
  7. Application of Colours
  8. Modern Interpretation
  9. Conclusions

    Index page



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PS 5 - The Secret of the Stone

At a first glance the construction procedure for the Stone outlined above appears simple enough.
Drawing a small circle and the square around it is easy, and the three points of any triangle will always lie on the outline of a circle.
For example like this :


However the Philosophers' Stone must be drawn in such a way that :

This is to express the significance of the two halves of the outer circle.

( The human identity exists in two conditions : material and spiritual,
with the right attitude in the material world it will be in harmony with the spiritual world and therefore the Cosmos.)

Underlying illustration by Altus in 1677
Geometry overlay by Claus Furstner in 1996

This makes drawing the required triangle and large circle slightly more difficult.
Remember : the triangle must also be drawn in such a way that :

This geometric configuration has been the secret of the Philosophers' Stone since its ancient beginning.
Only few initiated philosophers with knowledge of geometry knew the solution to this secret of the stone.

Now look once more at this drawing of the Stone taken from a 17th Century publication.


The top of the triangle does not fall on the circumference of the outer circle, but clearly just below it.
The reason for this could be twofold :

  1. The drawer of this illustration did not wish to reveal its geometric secret,

  2. and/or he considers the human condition strives to be in harmony with the Cosmos, but never quite reaches this ideal state.

The above illustration of the Philosophers' Stone was drawn by Michael Maier in 1618 and published in his book :
Atalanta fugiens - 'New chymical emblems of the Secrets of Nature'
Printed by Hieronymus Galler in 1618

The illustration was reprinted in 1988 in :
The Golden Game - 'Alchemic Engravings of the Seventeenth Century' by Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
Published by Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, 1988

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PS 6 - The Secret revealed

The answer to the secret of the Philosophers' Stone is hidden in the symbol itself.

It is the harmonious and dynamic balance of duality in the material environment.

Down - Up)


  1. Draw a small circle and the square that fits around it.
  2. Take the distance of the diagonal of the square (a to b) with a compass and draw an arc from point a intersecting with a similar arc from the diagonal of(e and g).
    This defines point d which is the top of the triangle.
  3. Draw a line vertically upward from k to d.
  4. The top of the inner circle (c) is the centre of the outer circle.

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  1. Extend the base line of the square on both sides.

  2. Drawn a line from d, through corner e of the square until it forms point f at the base line.

  3. Similarly draw a second line from d, through corner a until it forms point h on the base line.

  4. Points d f h now define the required triangle.

Down - Up)


Draw a circle using centre point c with radius c d.
This produces the Cosmos circle with all three points of the triangle on its circumference.

All the geometrical criteria of the Philosopher' Stone have now been met :
  1. The top line of the square (e a) coincides with the middle line of the Cosmos circle.

  2. The upper point of the inner circle (c) forms the centre point of the Cosmos circle.

  3. The triangle is in contact with all four points of the square (e a b g) and touches with its three corners (d f h) the Cosmos circle.

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PS 7 - Application of Colours to the Philosophers' Stone

I have incorporated these four aspects in the Philosophers' Stone with four colours, which are derived from four symbolic chemical elements used in Alchemy.

The 'non-colours' black (alchemic lead) and 'all-colours' white (alchemic mercury) symbolise the conditions of the subconscious and the conscious.

The colour red symbolise the interaction in the material World (alchemic sulphur or assertion) and yellow is the Union with the Cosmos (alchemic gold or wisdom).

Alchemic Element Colour Symbolises
Lead BLACK The subconscious
Mercury WHITE The conscious
Sulphur RED Interaction with the World
Gold YELLOW Union with the Cosmos

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PS 8 - Modern Interpretation

The two main features of our Universe (as we understand it in this modern time) are :

  1. the presence of equal amounts of matter and anti-matter. (duality)

  2. The presence of four forces :

    1. (spirit) - the strong atomic force - holding the components of atoms together
    2. (mind) - the weak atomic force - combining atoms into molecules
    3. (soul) - the magnetic force
    4. (body) - the gravity force

    Matter and anti-matter are represented by the inner Circle of Duality,
    while the four forces correspond with the ancient alchemic elements of the square.

    It is remarkable how well these components of our Universe readily correspond with the symbolism of the Philosophers' Stone.


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    PS 9 - Conclusion

    Finding the balance & the Cosmic Heart.

    • Finding the balance , between the dualities logic & emotion or masculine & feminine (Small circle).
      In the Material world (square)

    • Finding x. the Heart of the Macro Cosmos (Big circle ),

    • with y.the Heart and x. the Mind of the Micro Cosmos

    This is The Key to Enlightenment
    and the completion of The Philosophers' Stone.

    When the Human Mind x. unites with the Cosmic Heart x. true Wisdom, Compassion and Enlightenment is achieved.


    (Up - Top - Index page)


    The Philosophers' Stone.

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