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Thread: Practical Alchemy - An Introduction

  1. #51
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    The one matter only saga, can arrise for multiple reasons. None of the Sages said that this one matter is some type of homogeneous substance did they?

    If you consider that what they could be refering to as one matter, is in fact.... say.... 'light'... and that 'light' condenses into all matter.... you can see where im going with this.

    'Spirit' is another example. ..

    Lets have a look at 'The Golden Chain of Homer'. It talks about the impregnation of waters with 'fire' and that this fire through putrifaction becomes embodied and becomes nitre and salt, and then it speculates that nitre and salt reflux in the earth and becomes specified and become sulfur and arsenic respectively.

    So, along this way of thinking, i could put sulfur and arsenic in a crucible, and some spiritually minded hypies could speculate that i was working with "One Matter" since their philosophies could revolve around the notion that these two substances actually come from One Matter aka 'Fire' or 'Spirit' or 'Light'.....

    ...... and because of this reason (that the philosophies of the time could speculate that all things are derived from the One Thing) this debate will truly and undoubtedly never find a finishing point. Because it is not necessarily that they were trying to trick us (even though some may have been) but that these philosophers actually believed they were working with ONE THING, as the Emerald Tablet suggests.

    So whether you believe you can, or you believe you can't; ElixirMixer is right - Mr. Churchill
    Join me; on a voyage of stupidity, and self discovery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=vccZSHroTG4

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by z0 K View Post
    Do you have an alternative proposition as to the origin of the Mercury of the Philosophers? I'd like to hear it.
    Here is some guessing (which of course can change in future): According to literature, the Mercury exists in almost every mineral and plant. Liberating it and capturing it pure is the riddle. Simply trying to distill it out from one matter will not do the trick. As JDP has mentioned, this process has already been tried on almost every known single matter by chemists. So, probably something must be mixed with the matter or other process performed. It would not be surprising to find it already premixed somewhere in nature but in general it is not found. Soot could be a good candidate. It is not natural but manmade.

  3. #53
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    Soot resembles the look of pulverized antimony ore (or Antimony(III) Sulfide - Sb2S3) a lot.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by theFool View Post
    Here is some guessing (which of course can change in future): According to literature, the Mercury exists in almost every mineral and plant. Liberating it and capturing it pure is the riddle. Simply trying to distill it out from one matter will not do the trick. As JDP has mentioned, this process has already been tried on almost every known single matter by chemists. So, probably something must be mixed with the matter or other process performed. It would not be surprising to find it already premixed somewhere in nature but in general it is not found. Soot could be a good candidate. It is not natural but manmade.
    Though soot is interesting, and technically an artificial substance (though it appeared to be made from "one matter" to people of older times, since they did not fully understand the role that our atmosphere plays in combustion; this was fully clarified by Lavoisier and his followers in the late 18th century), it has been well investigated by the 16th-18th century "chymists" and then later by the chemists. The first clear description of the "analysis by fire" of soot seems to be the one by the French chymist Blaise de Vigenere in his Discourse on Fire and Salt (late 16th century.) Here is a very brief description by John French of what is obtained from soot:

    HOW TO MAKE AN OIL AND WATER OUT OF SOOT

    This may be distilled per descensum or by retort as thus, viz., take of the best soot (which shines like jet) and fill with it a glass retort coated or earthen retort to the neck. Distill it with a strong fire by degrees into a large receiver, and there will come forth a yellowish spirit with a black oil which you may separate and digest.


    So two basic products are obtained: a "yellowish spirit" (i.e. a "watery" liquid) and a "black oil". Now compare that to the descriptions of the distillation of the alchemists' "matter", like the ones found in Ripley's works, for example. Does it sound to you that they are a perfect match? It certainly does not! The "matter" of the alchemists when submitted to the same modus operandi gives several products/byproducts (it depends on the substances and manner of preparation used to make this "matter"):

    1- A white water, spirit or oil
    2- A red water, spirit or oil
    3- A solid sublimate (usually described as being white in color)
    4- A burning "spirit" (often compared to common spirit of wine, i.e. our alcohol)
    5- A sediment/feces/caput-mortuum left behind in the distillation flask (most often described as being "black" or "dark".)

    PS: the older alchemists often used methods by which the "waters/spirits/oils" were not separated and instead an apparently single "water" was obtained, which was then further operated upon to imbue it with the "sulphur/tincture/soul" of the "body", which would be the "hidden redness" inside the "white/silvery/milky water" (the texts of alchemists like Ibn Umail and al-Iraqi are full of interesting comments and information regarding these older methods.)

  5. #55
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    Putrifaction.

    Putrifaction is "The Gate".

    Putrifaction is your "Introduction to Alchemy".

    Putrifaction IS the way that the.... (?)spirit (?) ... lets say... becomes available to the Alchemist.

    Done.

    Moving on........
    Join me; on a voyage of stupidity, and self discovery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=vccZSHroTG4

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Though soot is interesting, and technically an artificial substance (though it appeared to be made from "one matter" to people of older times, since they did not fully understand the role that our atmosphere plays in combustion; this was fully clarified by Lavoisier and his followers in the late 18th century), it has been well investigated by the 16th-18th century "chymists" and then later by the chemists. The first clear description of the "analysis by fire" of soot seems to be the one by the French chymist Blaise de Vigenere in his Discourse on Fire and Salt (late 16th century.) Here is a very brief description by John French of what is obtained from soot:

    HOW TO MAKE AN OIL AND WATER OUT OF SOOT

    This may be distilled per descensum or by retort as thus, viz., take of the best soot (which shines like jet) and fill with it a glass retort coated or earthen retort to the neck. Distill it with a strong fire by degrees into a large receiver, and there will come forth a yellowish spirit with a black oil which you may separate and digest.


    So two basic products are obtained: a "yellowish spirit" (i.e. a "watery" liquid) and a "black oil". Now compare that to the descriptions of the distillation of the alchemists' "matter", like the ones found in Ripley's works, for example. Does it sound to you that they are a perfect match? It certainly does not! The "matter" of the alchemists when submitted to the same modus operandi gives several products/byproducts (it depends on the substances and manner of preparation used to make this "matter"):

    1- A white water, spirit or oil
    2- A red water, spirit or oil
    3- A solid sublimate (usually described as being white in color)
    4- A burning "spirit" (often compared to common spirit of wine, i.e. our alcohol)
    5- A sediment/feces/caput-mortuum left behind in the distillation flask (most often described as being "black" or "dark".)

    PS: the older alchemists often used methods by which the "waters/spirits/oils" were not separated and instead an apparently single "water" was obtained, which was then further operated upon to imbue it with the "sulphur/tincture/soul" of the "body", which would be the "hidden redness" inside the "white/silvery/milky water" (the texts of alchemists like Ibn Umail and al-Iraqi are full of interesting comments and information regarding these older methods.)
    Especially the older alchemists seemed to have dealt a lot with common mercury. The solid sublimate, white in color (your #3) therefore is most likely Mercury Chloride then.
    Following this theory we already might have two components of the initial mixture: Common Mercury and common salt.

    John of Rupescissa adds Roman Vitriol (Iron Sulfate) and Saltpeter in addition to those two matters above. Have you ever tried these?

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    Especially the older alchemists seemed to have dealt a lot with common mercury. The solid sublimate, white in color (your #3) therefore is most likely Mercury Chloride then.
    Following this theory we already might have two components of the initial mixture: Common Mercury and common salt.

    John of Rupescissa adds Roman Vitriol (Iron Sulfate) and Saltpeter in addition to those two matters above. Have you ever tried these?
    Such mixtures would give nitric and hydrochloric acids, plus whatever parts of mercury get combined with these and then sublimed.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Such mixtures would give nitric and hydrochloric acids, plus whatever parts of mercury get combined with these and then sublimed.
    With the obvious potential to dissolve gold with this aqua regia..

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Though soot is interesting, and technically an artificial substance (though it appeared to be made from "one matter" to people of older times, since they did not fully understand the role that our atmosphere plays in combustion; this was fully clarified by Lavoisier and his followers in the late 18th century), it has been well investigated by the 16th-18th century "chymists" and then later by the chemists. The first clear description of the "analysis by fire" of soot seems to be the one by the French chymist Blaise de Vigenere in his Discourse on Fire and Salt (late 16th century.) Here is a very brief description by John French of what is obtained from soot:

    HOW TO MAKE AN OIL AND WATER OUT OF SOOT

    This may be distilled per descensum or by retort as thus, viz., take of the best soot (which shines like jet) and fill with it a glass retort coated or earthen retort to the neck. Distill it with a strong fire by degrees into a large receiver, and there will come forth a yellowish spirit with a black oil which you may separate and digest.


    So two basic products are obtained: a "yellowish spirit" (i.e. a "watery" liquid) and a "black oil". Now compare that to the descriptions of the distillation of the alchemists' "matter", like the ones found in Ripley's works, for example. Does it sound to you that they are a perfect match? It certainly does not! The "matter" of the alchemists when submitted to the same modus operandi gives several products/byproducts (it depends on the substances and manner of preparation used to make this "matter"):

    1- A white water, spirit or oil
    2- A red water, spirit or oil
    3- A solid sublimate (usually described as being white in color)
    4- A burning "spirit" (often compared to common spirit of wine, i.e. our alcohol)
    5- A sediment/feces/caput-mortuum left behind in the distillation flask (most often described as being "black" or "dark".)

    PS: the older alchemists often used methods by which the "waters/spirits/oils" were not separated and instead an apparently single "water" was obtained, which was then further operated upon to imbue it with the "sulphur/tincture/soul" of the "body", which would be the "hidden redness" inside the "white/silvery/milky water" (the texts of alchemists like Ibn Umail and al-Iraqi are full of interesting comments and information regarding these older methods.)
    Seems to me your general premise that all natural things of vegetable, animal and mineral origin have been investigated by the chymysts and chemists and they say nothing about finding Mercury of the Philosophers and such is merely your personal conclusion based upon your scholarly book reading assumptions. Case in point your example of John French and that terse description of soot distillation.

    Seems like you prefer to believe French's description of what you get from soot over what I have reported and documented in photo and video. That's your choice for sure. However looks to me like he was describing a sloppy operation where the soot was heated too fast. That's just my opinion based upon what I have received from soot distillation using modern electric control of heating. I use a modified kiln controlled with Variac transformer. I can adjust the heat by single degrees and hold it there for days if necessary.

    I love it when you use Ripley for an example. And no, Ripley's description of the Elements received does not look like a match with French's. Yet when distilled properly soot gives:

    1. A white oily water (if you like that description instead of clear), pH 12, reeking of Armoniac. That oily water turns yellow, then a beautiful transparent red oil appears when the Fire in it is separated out and concentrated.

    2. A solid sublimate white in color, Ripley's rime, Sal Armoniac

    3. The "white" water is a powerful "burning spirit" for sure. It is the Spirit of Philosophical Wine that I work with whether I get if from soot or some other vegetable matter including a compost of garbage piled up in a corner as many used to have in their kitchens.

    4. A black caput-mortuum that delivers a beautiful citrine fixed salt.

    My opinion about many of those old chymists is not the same as yours. It is obvious to me that many of them were alchemists. I say this for one because as I said Bolnest lays out all the details to make the Secret Solvent in pieces some in the vegetable section, some in the animal section and some in the mineral section.

    We've argued this before. You seem to think for some reason that an alchemist could not or would not work publically as a chymyst so as not to be associated with the plethora of puffers and frauds that were giving the Royal Art a bad name. Of course an alchemist working as a chymyst would be able to describe the products of various laboratory processes in detail yet never say anything about the alchemical Elements derived from them. That would be giving the Secret away to the common to the profane.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by z0 K View Post
    Seems to me your general premise that all natural things of vegetable, animal and mineral origin have been investigated by the chymysts and chemists and they say nothing about finding Mercury of the Philosophers and such is merely your personal conclusion based upon your scholarly book reading assumptions. Case in point your example of John French and that terse description of soot distillation.

    Seems like you prefer to believe French's description of what you get from soot over what I have reported and documented in photo and video. That's your choice for sure. However looks to me like he was describing a sloppy operation where the soot was heated too fast. That's just my opinion based upon what I have received from soot distillation using modern electric control of heating. I use a modified kiln controlled with Variac transformer. I can adjust the heat by single degrees and hold it there for days if necessary.

    I love it when you use Ripley for an example. And no, Ripley's description of the Elements received does not look like a match with French's. Yet when distilled properly soot gives:

    1. A white oily water (if you like that description instead of clear), pH 12, reeking of Armoniac. That oily water turns yellow, then a beautiful transparent red oil appears when the Fire in it is separated out and concentrated.

    2. A solid sublimate white in color, Ripley's rime, Sal Armoniac

    3. The "white" water is a powerful "burning spirit" for sure. It is the Spirit of Philosophical Wine that I work with whether I get if from soot or some other vegetable matter including a compost of garbage piled up in a corner as many used to have in their kitchens.

    4. A black caput-mortuum that delivers a beautiful citrine fixed salt.

    My opinion about many of those old chymists is not the same as yours. It is obvious to me that many of them were alchemists. I say this for one because as I said Bolnest lays out all the details to make the Secret Solvent in pieces some in the vegetable section, some in the animal section and some in the mineral section.

    We've argued this before. You seem to think for some reason that an alchemist could not or would not work publically as a chymyst so as not to be associated with the plethora of puffers and frauds that were giving the Royal Art a bad name. Of course an alchemist working as a chymyst would be able to describe the products of various laboratory processes in detail yet never say anything about the alchemical Elements derived from them. That would be giving the Secret away to the common to the profane.
    There are more detailed descriptions than those of French. Here is the referred to first clear description of the distillation of soot, by Blaise de Vigenere:

    Take then the Soote of Chimney, but of that which shall mount highest in a very long Chimney pipe, and in the very top, where it must bee most subtill, thereof fill a great Cornue, or an Alembic two parts of three, then apply thereunto a great recipient, which you wrap about with linnen wet with fresh water. Give fire by small quantities, the water and the oil will distill together, although the water ought in order to issue out first. After that, all these two liquors shall passe through the Recipient, and when nothing else shall arise, increase your fire with faggot stickes well dryed, or other like, continuing it for 8 or 10 houres, so long that the earths which shall rest in the bottome bee well calcined: but for that they are in small quantity put to more Soote, and continue it as aforesaid, untill you have earth enough which you shall take out of the Alembic, which you shall put into a little earthen pot, of Parris, not smoothed, or in a little hollow pot. The water and oile, which you shall have distilled may be easily separated by a glasse fonnell, where the water will swimme above the oile: This done you shall rectify your water by Balneum Marić, by redistilling of it two or three times; for oile doth not mount by this degree of fire but by Sand; keepe them asunder upon the earths, that shall be calcined within the said pot or cruset, put their water thereon a little warme stirring it with a spit, so long till the Salt which shall therein bee revealed by the fires action, do totally dissolve it selfe into this Water; withdraw it by distillation, and the Salt shall bee left you in the bottome, of the nature of Salarmoniac, so that by pressing it, it will elevate it selfe. But of this more plainely hereafter in its owne place, when we shall speake of Salt. Of Earthes wee need not take much care, for wee must seeke for the best in the Ashes, as also fixed Salt. So by the meanes of Water, extracted out of ashes (we will here a little passe from Soote, a little better to declare the subject of Earthes.)

    It is very similar to John French's more concise description, and it certainly does not match very well with the descriptions of the alchemists. I have never seen any such "analysis by fire" descriptions, and not just for soot but also for any single naturally occurring substance, that can be called a completely satisfactory match with the distillation of the "matter" of the alchemists.

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