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View Full Version : My perspective on ancient alchemy



Shadow
01-04-2010, 04:35 AM
I would like to start this thread by stating that everything herein is purely speculation on my part.

I have read a number of the old alchemical texts, probably the same ones read by many others. Although I never saw a specific process that could be followed now without guesswork, there are hints of a particular path. The most noteable process, in my opinion, which recurs throughout such texts is repeated distillations (often to ludicrous iterations). When I read about this, it reminded me of isotopic separation. Remember that the ancients did not have centrifuges and things like we have today, so they would have to rely on slight differences in distillation and reaction rates for different isotopes. Another element of the stories involves collecting dew. This may seem strange until one learns about cosmic ray spallation which occurs in earth's upper atmosphere, forming certain radionuclides which mix with the atmosphere or fall to earth. One of these nuclides is Be-10, which makes its way to the topsoil via rain (and possibly dew, though this would have to be verified). If they managed to also extract an alpha emitter such as radium from uranium ore (a stretch of imagination, but not impossible), then they could have formed a neutron source. Also, they could have used cosmogenic radionuclides other than Be-10 if they were useful. Many seem to focus on the purification of the dew, but what if it is instead the extraction of elements/compounds dissolved within the dew that is of importance? That would make more sense to me.

Even if correct, this does not explain how a mass of lead could be transmuted to gold in 15 minutes as the story goes. But if they were collecting cosmogenic radionuclides, it would explain the emphasis on solar activity. This is because cosmic rays reaching earth vary inversely with solar activity. Hence we have an astronomical aspect to the collection of these elements which is more than mere superstition.

This is only a beginning summary, but it should acquaint you with my view on these things. I may be entirely wrong or not at all, but only further experiment will prove either way. Can anyone offer input on any of this?

Seth-Ra
01-04-2010, 10:34 AM
Ive worked with rain and dew quite a good deal in my work. I use them as "mercury"/"mediums" in the work, usually infusing the "sulphur"/"life-force" from somewhere else. But this depends entirely on one's own art, ofcourse. ;)

I do like your idea, im not going to say its wrong cause it makes sense in a lot of ways. But i personally dont see the Art of Alchemy being broken down into simple physical maters or equations, otherwise it would be chemistry. ;)

its said there are 3 sides to every story, "his side, her side, and the truth."
Your idea could be highly plausible as to how some of the physical stuff works, but there is still the mental and spiritual to account for, these 2 are very important to transmutations, as they cause things in the physical lab to happen, that chemists cant recreate, unless they become alchemists.
It was the failing of union with the unseen concepts of mind and soul that led the 'science' of chemistry, understanding later tipped its hat to psychology (mental), while the spiritual still goes unattended by many, or led blindly by those who know as much about soul as i do about trigonometry , i.e. nothing. :D

But again, as far as physical nature of things goes, i would agree with you that this could be a factor in how rain and dew work, and id also agree that its what goes in that is also important. :)
Nice findings/ideas and nice to meet you also.

~Seth-Ra

Ghislain
01-04-2010, 02:48 PM
Greetings Shadow

I would speculate that we talk and think in words of our own creation.
Maybe to gain an understanding of that which is not known one needs
to view it from a totally different perspective than words/thoughts alone.

What words does one use to describe something that as yet has no meaning?

Ghislain