back to The Essential Key of the Great Work
"To obtain the treasures of Nature, ye must only follow Nature who gives not like time to every generation. But as the mare hath ten months, the Elephant hath three or as some say nine years and 50 before Conjunction, be patient therefore in a work of nature, for thereunto only is promised victory and the chief errors in art are hastiness and dullness."
The alchemist is stepping in the footprints of Nature, holding a lit candle. The flame of the candle is a well-known symbol for the inner light, that is, the inner divine essence that is present in every man, but hidden by darkness. But it needs to grow like everything in nature. Patience is necessary, as even spiritual work will be ruined if it is forced.
Here is another engraving with the same theme: