In occultism, this is the luminous fifth element (invisible to ordinary sight) or essence, which was seen as binding together in union or pact the other four elements (earth, air, fire, water).
The fifth essence is the ultimate substance, without a formal name, but intrinsically related to the other four essences, air, fire, water and earth.
The ancient Greeks said that the four elements or forms was the only places where matter could exist. The Pythagoreans added then a fifth, the fifth essence, ether, more subtle and pure than fire and possessed of an orbicular motion, which flew upwards at creation and formed the basis of the stars. Hence the word stands for the essential principle or the most subtle extract of a body that can be procured.
In alchemy the term was usually synonymous with 'elixir'.
See Quintessence of the Animate and Inanimate: A Discourse on the Holy Dharma, The Quintessence Tantras of Tibetan Medicine, Philosopher's Stone, Divination, Acutomancy, Agalmatomancy, Coscinomancy, Cleidomancy, Augur, Stoichomancy, Dowsing, Tarot, Heptameron, Demonology, Sortilege, Idolomancy, Demonomancy, Tephramancy, Anemoscopy, Eromancy, Austromancy, Chaomancy, Roadomancy, Capnomancy, Pyromancy, Meteormancy, Ceraunoscopy, Zoomancy, Felidomancy, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Chakra Store, The Tarot Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: (1) Powell, Neil, Alchemy, the Ancient Science, Doubleday; (2) Alchemy: The Art of Knowing (Medieval Wisdom), Harper Collins Publishers; (3) Fernando, Diana, Alchemy: An Illustrated A to Z, Sterling Publications; (4) Walker, Charles, The Encyclopedia of the Occult, Random House Value; (5) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group.
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