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Quintessence (Latin, quinta essentia, "fifth essence or element") is in Pythagorean mysticism the fifth element or spirit that fills the universe generating its life and vitality. Quintessence encompasses the other four elements, fire, air, water, and earth; therefore, it is 'pure essence' essential for life. In Hinduism it is known as akasha; in alchemy azoth, or the transcendental philosopher's stone.
Other meanings are:
Drury, Nevil. The Watkins Dictionary of Magic. London. Watkins Publishing. 2005. p. 242