V.I.T.R.I.O.L( vitriol) Acronym
VITRIOL is an acronym for Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem which translates into “Visit the interior of the earth, and by rectifying what you find there, you will discover the hidden stone (philosopher’s stone)”. The seven letter acronym VITRIOL is an actual form of sulfuric acid. It is considered a core medium of alteration and is seen as the symbolic Secret Fire that guides us towards spiritual excellence. This motto was first heard of in L’Azoth Des Philosophes by the 15th Century alchemist Basilius Valentinus.
Chemistry and Philosophy
It is a combination of iron and sulfuric acid. In chemistry Vitriol can be used as a powerful disinfectant and further distillation will yield a yellow colored(its color in natural state is green) oil called Oil of Vitriol. The powerful acid can dissolve human tissue and is corrosive to all metals except gold. The sulfuric acid in Vitriol is a powerful medium of transfiguration in Alchemical experiments. We can gather that philosophically it is the agent of transformation not only in alchemical experiments but in a spiritual sense. It breaks down each metallic principle, extracts the essence, dissolves within them, and produces from the mixture the Stone Petra.
Below you will find the cryptogram, it is meant to be read starting from Visita and ending in Lapidem. So what does it mean? The cryptogram is not as difficult to decipher but on the other hand achieving the goal of the hidden message may take lifetimes. The motto urges the initiate to look within and discover his/her own true nature for this is the path to the philosophers stone. We can then match up the seven steps of alchemy with VITRIOL as the process of “rectifying” the “stone”.