“All the trees, herbs and roots, as well as all metals and minerals, receive their strength, their nourishment and their growth from the spirit of the earth because the spirit, which is life, is nourished by the stars and therefore feeds nourishment to all that is alive”.
Basil Valentine, The Twelve Keys, Fifth Key.
Seven ancient manuscripts containing obscure recipes for the production of esoteric wine. Seven different alchemical approaches to be worked in seven different places to better grasp the life-giving power of the earth. Seven wines, seven metals, seven different mystic-sensorial journeys.
It all began in eighteenth-century heterodox Venice, when books of magic and magical practices circulated widely in manuscript form. One day in 1777 a friar named Gian Giacomo, reported to the Holy Office for praesunta haeresis and wanted by the Captain of the Court who was ordered to arrest him, ran to take refuge in an attic not far from San Marco. The reason for the accusation was the possession of seven alchemical manuscripts that he had shown to other friars and winemakers.
In the attic the friar found a book in which he thought well to hide the manuscripts. Then, in the leaflet of the book, he wrote, he signed and dated the brief confession that there is to partially reconstruct this affair, and hid everything as best he could. We do not know what happened to Fr. Gian Giacomo right away. I do not know if he was captured by the Captain of the Tribunal, we do not know if he was ever brought before the Inquisitor. In the coeval court documents, there seems to be no mention of a friar named Gian Giacomo arrested for possession of suspicious manuscripts, and probably there was no real inquisitorial process.
For some reason the book and manuscripts ended up in Naples two years later, if – book in hand – we read, in the guard's paper, the name of its new owner, as well as place and date: "Ermanno dei Sorrentino, in Naples, 1779". Probably the book, soon found in the attic, was sold or given to someone - perhaps to said Ermanno - who took it with him to Naples along with the manuscripts. These are the events of Gian Giacomo, the manuscripts and the book which, before the fall of the Serenissima, reached the Naples of Ferdinando IV.
Well I was lucky enough to inherit from my father – who inherited it from his father – the book of Gian Giacomo, still intact and containing the manuscripts. I can not say that I am a descendant of Ermanno, the ancient owner of the book, although I share the same surname. The most important thing is to have come into possession of original manuscripts of the second half of the eighteenth century with alchemical procedures for the production of seven non-ordinary wines. Evidently it was wished that the memory of Gian Giacomo and the manuscripts should not be lost, if on the back of the book one reads, probably written by Gian Giacomo himself, the Greek word whose meaning is: "immortal".
Having always been a fond of alchemy and hermetic philosophy, I decided to reread the Twelve Keys of the Philosophy of Basil Valentine, the Corpus Hermeticum of Hermes Trismegistus, the Atalanta Fugiens by Micheil Maier and translate the manuscripts to begin the cultivation of the seven wines. Many things have remained obscure for several years. Thanks to the help of a friend Rosicrucian further possibilities of interpretation of the hermetic text have opened up and it was possible, using appropriately chosen viticulturists in seven different places in Italy, far from modern technologies, apply the acquired knowledge and obtain, after innumerable attempts, the seven alchemical wines of Fr. Gian Giacomo.
Today we keep book and manuscripts in a safe place. Where is it? In the Rosary of the Philosophers, in which, without the right Key, you can not enter...