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Thread: Practical Alchemy - An Introduction

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by z0 K View Post
    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.
    I would like to add that John French's book resembles to me like a collection of anecdotal recipes of the time which probably he haven't tried them all to see with his own eyes. It is possible that the process of soot distilation is described oversimplified because the original recipe reached French's ear a bit "diluted". If he knew that soot is the prime matter, he would not devote only two lines to it.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    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.
    Yes I'm well aware of Blaise de Vigenere's work with Soote and JG Toeltius, Coelum Reseratum Chymicum as well.

    The excerpt you provided from Vigenere certainly indicates that he was collecting the alchemical Elements from the destructive distillation of chimney soot. And what did he get:

    1. a Water
    2. an oil
    3. Salarmoniac, Ripley's rime, Sal Armoniac
    4. an Earth

    First he separated the Water from the oil by funnel and then purified the water by BM distillation just as Hollandus teaches for the Vegetable work. Then he extracts the black Earth with the Water which Hollandus teaches in the Work of the Vine. Then he extracts the Salarmoniac as he calls it which is mixed in with the water soluble fixed salts. He then sublimes the Sal Armoniac from the fixed salts. Hollandus teaches the same operation. Sure looks to me like Blaise de Vigenerer was more alchemist than chymyst.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by z0 K View Post
    Yes I'm well aware of Blaise de Vigenere's work with Soote and JG Toeltius, Coelum Reseratum Chymicum as well.

    The excerpt you provided from Vigenere certainly indicates that he was collecting the alchemical Elements from the destructive distillation of chimney soot. And what did he get:

    1. a Water
    2. an oil
    3. Salarmoniac, Ripley's rime, Sal Armoniac
    4. an Earth

    First he separated the Water from the oil by funnel and then purified the water by BM distillation just as Hollandus teaches for the Vegetable work. Then he extracts the black Earth with the Water which Hollandus teaches in the Work of the Vine. Then he extracts the Salarmoniac as he calls it which is mixed in with the water soluble fixed salts. He then sublimes the Sal Armoniac from the fixed salts. Hollandus teaches the same operation. Sure looks to me like Blaise de Vigenerer was more alchemist than chymyst.
    I don't know about Hollandus and the dubious claims about the "Vegetable Stone" (if it doesn't transmute, then it is NOT any kind of alchemical "Stone" or "tincture"; maybe it was some sort of spagyric medicine), but I do know that it does not match the descriptions in a bunch of alchemy books, like those of Ripley, where the products/byproducts enumerated in my earlier post are all obtained IN THE SAME DISTILLATION OPERATION, not by further manipulations. Some of them can afterwards be separated by further operations, but the products/byproducts are all produced in the same operation, which if you do not change the receiver while they are being produced, obviously will end up mingling or gathering together (except the less volatile ones that might remain attached to other parts of the distilling apparatus.)

    Also, the "oil" obtained by the distillation of the alchemical "Adrop", "Green Lion", "Sericon", "Azoquean Vitriol", etc. is red, not black.

    Furthermore, the products/byproducts of soot also do not seem to have the exact same properties of the products/byproducts of the distillation of the alchemists' "matter".

    Vigenere was a chymist, he did not know how to make the Stone. Like many of his "tribe", he also had a tendency of letting his imagination and enthusiasm run a bit wild. He makes many dubious claims and sees "great secrets" pretty much everywhere, even in very mundane and common operations, like such simple distillations of single substances.

  4. #64
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    The Hollandus 'Vegetable' stone does claim to transmute base metals into gold. I highly doubt it is actually a 'vegetable' stone. I believe the term vegetable, refers the the philosophers stone in its 'vegetative' state, the "Regimen of Venus"
    Join me; on a voyage of stupidity, and self discovery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=vccZSHroTG4

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    He makes many dubious claims and sees "great secrets" pretty much everywhere, even in very mundane and common operations, like such simple distillations of single substances.
    We should all be so lucky. A child peering into the sky for the first time sees far more than an adult trying to hide from a hot sun.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon's Tail View Post
    We should all be so lucky. A child peering into the sky for the first time sees far more than an adult trying to hide from a hot sun.
    Well said
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon's Tail View Post
    We should all be so lucky. A child peering into the sky for the first time sees far more than an adult trying to hide from a hot sun.
    Noble sentiments, but highly unrealistic. A child peering into the sky for the first time is mesmerized by the pretty scenery but doesn't have the faintest clue of what he is really looking at. An adult doesn't have that sense of wonder but actually knows what it is (unless he is an utter ignoramus.) One lives in a fantasy world, the other one lives in reality.

    Which takes us back to the topic: many of the "wonders" some of these chymists were so fascinated with were really quite mundane and not any such "secrets". I find that in such cases the alchemists were more pragmatic and rejected such things as "sophistical & false", but at the same time they also had a tendency of denying just about everything regarding transmutation that did not have to do with alchemy and its methods. More than a few of the chymical transmutation processes that they labelled as "false" in fact actually work. It is the opposite side of the coin.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    I don't know about Hollandus and the dubious claims about the "Vegetable Stone" (if it doesn't transmute, then it is NOT any kind of alchemical "Stone" or "tincture"; maybe it was some sort of spagyric medicine), but I do know that it does not match the descriptions in a bunch of alchemy books, like those of Ripley, where the products/byproducts enumerated in my earlier post are all obtained IN THE SAME DISTILLATION OPERATION, not by further manipulations. Some of them can afterwards be separated by further operations, but the products/byproducts are all produced in the same operation, which if you do not change the receiver while they are being produced, obviously will end up mingling or gathering together (except the less volatile ones that might remain attached to other parts of the distilling apparatus.)

    Also, the "oil" obtained by the distillation of the alchemical "Adrop", "Green Lion", "Sericon", "Azoquean Vitriol", etc. is red, not black.

    Furthermore, the products/byproducts of soot also do not seem to have the exact same properties of the products/byproducts of the distillation of the alchemists' "matter".

    Vigenere was a chymist, he did not know how to make the Stone. Like many of his "tribe", he also had a tendency of letting his imagination and enthusiasm run a bit wild. He makes many dubious claims and sees "great secrets" pretty much everywhere, even in very mundane and common operations, like such simple distillations of single substances.
    Wow! You don't know about Hollandus. And because of that his claims are dubious. You've apparently never read his Work of the Wine and prefer to embarrass yourself with pontifications. Who elected you the Pope of Alchemy to decide what alchemists "claims" are dubious? Your "opinions" are not facts. Citing text is no substitute for working them in the lab.

    And another popish judgment from you: "Vigenere was a chymists, he did not know how to make the Stone." Did he tell you that that last time you saw him?

    Then you judge him to be a member of some tribe. By your popish declaration he is demoted from alchemist down to chymist and then even lover in status worthy of little respect he is now to be the maker of many dubious claims.

    I do believe you are engaged in Necromancing the Stone. You will never make the Philosophers Stone by belittling alchemists that don't see it your way.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by z0 K View Post
    Wow! You don't know about Hollandus. And because of that his claims are dubious. You've apparently never read his Work of the Wine and prefer to embarrass yourself with pontifications. Who elected you the Pope of Alchemy to decide what alchemists "claims" are dubious? Your "opinions" are not facts. Citing text is no substitute for working them in the lab.

    And another popish judgment from you: "Vigenere was a chymists, he did not know how to make the Stone." Did he tell you that that last time you saw him?

    Then you judge him to be a member of some tribe. By your popish declaration he is demoted from alchemist down to chymist and then even lover in status worthy of little respect he is now to be the maker of many dubious claims.

    I do believe you are engaged in Necromancing the Stone. You will never make the Philosophers Stone by belittling alchemists that don't see it your way.
    I find Hollandus' works quite "peppered" with nonsense claims, but then again so are many other alchemical works. My judgement here was more based on YOUR statements about what you say you have been able to replicate by allegedly following his instructions. So, it was YOU who said that the "vegetable stone" you prepared by following him doesn't transmute. That by itself IMMEDIATELY DISQUALIFIES whatever is it that you have concocted as the "Stone" of the alchemists. And I don't need to explain why, anyone well acquainted with alchemical literature knows why. From the oldest surviving alchemical texts transmutation and the Stone go hand-in-hand. Any supposed "tincture" that does not transmute = NOT alchemical.

    Vigenere never claims he was an "adept" and his work doesn't give the slightest impression that he actually knew how to prepare the Stone either. His style, ideas and claims are typical of those of the "chymists". The alchemists generally rejected anything that does not have to do with the secret solvent or "water" and the transmuting "tinctures" made with it. Vigenere does not fit into this mold at all. He quite clearly approvingly refers to several transmutation processes that have ZERO to do with the secret solvent and the Stone.

  10. #70
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    Hollandus' work is seriously encrypted. It would take some very thorough research imo to be able to crack the code of his works.

    Do you, JDP, have some kind of deck-name decoding system for 'the five salts of the hand of philosophy'?
    Join me; on a voyage of stupidity, and self discovery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=vccZSHroTG4

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