“Alchemists recognise their art as a sacred science that unveils the secrets of nature leading the sincere seeker to union with the Divine. This Union is achieved through preparing the Philosopher’s Stone, which is said both to transmute base metals into gold and to be the Elixir of Immortality. A clue to the nature of the stone can be found in one of its alternative names: Azoth, from the Arabic al-zā’būq (اَلزَّاوُوق), meaning Quicksilver or Essence. Alchemists believe that there is an inner essence in humans that has been lost since the Fall, symbolised by the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. To discover this essence, free it from its bonds, and purify it is the Great Work of the alchemist.”

~ Francis Melville: The Secrets of High Magic