*    *

The writing of this book was begun in Kathmandu, in Nepal, in April 1980, as a synthesis of what the author had expressed over a number of years in addresses and seminars, especially those he gave in the Universidad Autónoma de México (Casa del Lago) and the Joan Miró Foundation of Barcelona, as well as in the Centro de Estudios de Simbología of that city. What today constitutes Chapter Two was published, in fragmentary form, as two articles, at the end of the same year in the literary supplement of the now-defunct daily, La Opinión, of Buenos Aires. The remaining chapters of the present book have been written in India, Spain, Argentina, and Mexico-that is, in the course of journeys on which the author could not always count on the bibliographical apparatus necessary for publication, such as he would have hoped to have access to. Nevertheless, practically all of the sources and citations have since been verified. There is a second print of this book (Mexico 1987, B.D.E.).
*    *
1. "In truth, certainly, and without doubt: What is below is equal to what is above, and what is above, equal to what is below, in order to work the miracles of one thing." 

2. "Just as all things proceed from the One, and from the contemplation of the Only One, so all things arise from this One thing by adaptation." 

3. "Its father is the Sun, and its mother the Moon, the wind carried it in its belly, and its nurse is the Earth." 

4. "It is the father of the wonders of the entire world." 

5. "Its might is perfect when it is converted into earth." 

6. "Separate earth from fire, the fine from the gross, softly and with all care." 

7. "Mount from the earth to the heaven, and thence returns to the earth, to receive the strength of what is above and of what is below. Thus you will possess the light of all the world, and darkness will withdraw from you." 

8. "This is the power of all powers, for it dominates all that is subtile, and penetrates everything solid." 

9. "Accordingly, the small world is made to the likeness of the great world." 

10. "Therefore, and in this fashion, prodigious applications will be realized." 

11. "Thus, I am called Hermes Trismegistus, since I possess the three parts of universal wisdom." 

12. "What I have said of the work of the Sun is finished." 

Emerald Tablet, attributed to Hermes Trismegistus.
Visit the bowels of the Earth, and in rectifying you shall find the hidden stone.

Maxim of Basilius Valentinus 
fifteenth-century alchemist.
Let us sing of the light that brightens the path of human return!
Let us glorify the nine daughters of the great Zeus!
Those, of luminous voices;
Let us sing the praises of these virgins who,
By virtue of the pure initiations that
Issue from the books, those awakeners of intelligence,
Snatch from the painful sufferings of earth
the souls that wander in the depths of the wells of life!
Proclus: Hymn to the Muses
(*)  Translation of: Federico González, La Rueda: Una Imagen Simbólica del Cosmos (Barcelona:  Symbolos, 1986). Translator: Dr. Robert R. Barr.