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Putrefactio, Alchemy, nigredo

In alchemy, Nigredo, or blackness, means putrefaction or decomposition. The alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher's stone all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter.

Quimera

"A three headed monster in an alchemical flask, representing the composition of the alchemical philosopher’s stone: Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury." Watercolor painting from Salomon Trismosin’s ‘Splendor solis’.