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Thread: Volatile Alkali/Circulatum

  1. #1
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    Volatile Alkali/Circulatum

    This is a Phoenix-thread from the old site.

    Spagyrics is pretty basic: seperate the three principles, purify and recombine.
    So the trick for each of the three kingdoms is to find out what their principles are.
    The plant kingdom is the simplest.
    You have one salt that is the primary basic salt of this kingdom - potassium carbonate.
    Burn any plant to ashes and the bulk of those ashes will be potassium carbonate.
    As for the mercury, it is one thing in each kingdom. For example, all plants have the same mercury - ethyl alcohol.
    And lastly, the sulphur of a plant is its essential oil.

    So basically, you can buy pretty well purified potassium carbonate, essential oil and ethyl alcohol (Thunderbird).
    The only mystery is how to recombine them and what proportions.

    I've read: 1 salt : 2 oil : 3 mercury
    I've also read: 1 salt : 3 oil : 7 mercury (interesting, the occult #s, the law of 1, the law of 3, the law of 7).
    (These proportions are for the plant kingdom)

    So now how to combine them... one of the mysteries of alchemy is how to make the fixed (salt) fly (volatile).
    Well, the secret is out. In Newman and Principe's "Alchemy Tried by Fire", they chronicle the 17th century Alchemist
    George Starkey's efforts to make the fixed alkali (potassium carbonate) volatile (united with essential oil).
    The secret is a completely natural circulation that takes place simply by leaving the co-mixed materials outdoors
    and yet protected from rain and debris, insects (bugs love this stuff!). Read about it here:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=eQE...PrKA#PPA136,M1

    Go to the contents and click the chapter that says: the volatilisation of alkalies and Starkey's grand design for medicine.

    This is an amazing secret, turning any plant, no matter what toxicity, into good medicine.
    It is also the path of the plant stone (dry way) or circulatum (wet way).

    After reading that, compare to Urbigerus' Circulatum Minor, the third method of creating it.
    Read about that here:

    http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~panopu...ssentiaii2.htm

    Now you have the keys. Compare the two works, notice the differences, choose your path, experiment.
    Good luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi
    I realise questions of purity may arise.

    Well, you should have steam distilled essential oils. If you think you can make them more pure than you can buy them, or
    you like to do it yourself and have your energy impressed on it, go for it.

    Potassium carbonate: you can buy this at clay/pottery/ceramics supplies shops. If you want to purify it you can find processes
    for this in many books. Here's a good one:
    http://www.alchemywebsite.com/steve_kalec.html

    Ethyl alcohol. Again, you can read how to purify this in many books. Isn't it interesting that the same salt of this kingdom
    is used to remove the excess water from spirit of wine.


    Notice in Starkey's work, you don't want extremely purified spirit of wine except in the process of seperating the principles from
    your circulatum after they've stratified. Volatile alkali will dissolve in an aqueous solution of spirit of wine (brandy, vodka) but not
    in dephlegmed spirit of wine. So the dephlegmed spirit of wine is used to get your circulatum back, but not added to volatile alkali
    to make circulatum.

    If you search this enough, you'll find this circulatum can also extract tinctures from metals. It won't dissolve them, but will
    extract tinctures, because it is not the proper menstruum for this kingdom. But it's not too hard to make a calx of any metal
    and extract its sulphur with your circulatum. You can see that Starkey did the dry way of fusing the potassium and the minera,
    and then adding turpentine and allowing the circulation.
    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi
    here's a couple photos just six days after union:




    and this morning, the 18th day... Crystals appearing !!!



    I believe the consumation is finished when the entire contents become crystals.
    Then you have to decide whether to make the stone or the circulatum;
    or split it in half and do both!
    Quote Originally Posted by deviadah
    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi
    I've read: 1 salt : 2 oil : 3 mercury
    I've also read: 1 salt : 3 oil : 7 mercury (interesting, the occult #s, the law of 1, the law of 3, the law of 7).
    Interesting... these are magic numbers!
    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi
    in this photo, i'm trying to show that the crystalisation is happening in the salt as well,
    not just on top of the oil. This is just as Stirkius described.

    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi
    Here's the potential circulatum after 5 weeks.
    I actually decanted some excessive turpentine because I need to transport this to my new place.



    Nearly all has become salt. When you push on it with the spoon, you can see the whole
    from top to bottom is like ice - solid. But so far this is an unsuccessful experiment :
    when I put some of the salt in water, it leaves an oily residue and Sharkey (I love all his nicknames!)
    says the test is that it wont leave any oil. I tried it out anyway in some Vodka.
    After 15 minutes the plant (ground ivy) has not been attacked to any noticeable degree and it should
    decompose to mush in 7-8 minutes.
    So I'll wait some more....
    Quote Originally Posted by WCH
    Every number is magical. While I see the significance of 1 : 3 : 7, I think a holier sequence would be 1 : 4 : 9 -- the first three squares, ratio of the sides of the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, symbol for both the infinite and the perfect, as well as personal development and Will. A friend of mine wrote a paper not too long ago arguing that the dimensions of the Monolith are intended to continue to spiral into infinity... that is, it properly has the dimensions 1 : 4 : 9 : 16 : 25 : 36 : 49 etc, that being a very potent symbol for individuation, only that it's being represented in three dimensions (not infinite dimensions) and therefore only the first three enter into it.

    I suppose ultimately it would depend on what you want the combined potion/tincture/elixer/whatever to accomplish. 1 : 4 : 9, however, I'd think would be most closely tied ratio to the Great Work. Whether the ratio is effective in spagyria I don't know for sure, having not attempted it... although it's close to 1 : 3 : 7, so if that works, I'm sure it would as well. Since it's easily produced mathematically, and involves sacred geometry, it would be very easy to code into architecture or sculpture or whatever, which is a plus for those of an esoteric mind.

    If 1 : 3 : 7 almost works, but needs a slight adjustment, I would suggest that 1 : 4 : 9 is nearly essential as the next ratio to try, being both a similar ratio, and "more perfect."
    Quote Originally Posted by cashew21
    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi
    Notice in Starkey's work, you don't want extremely purified spirit of wine except in the process of seperating the principles from
    your circulatum after they've stratified. Volatile alkali will dissolve in an aqueous solution of spirit of wine (brandy, vodka) but not
    in dephlegmed spirit of wine. So the dephlegmed spirit of wine is used to get your circulatum back, but not added to volatile alkali
    to make circulatum.
    .
    Sorry to be so myopic, but I find this use of dephlegmed spirit of wine confusing. How is it used to get the curculatum back but not added to make circulatum? What are the processes used? Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi
    Quote Originally Posted by cashew21
    Sorry to be so myopic, but I find this use of dephlegmed spirit of wine confusing. How is it used to get the curculatum back but not added to make circulatum? What are the processes used? Thanks
    Sorry. I can see how that was confusingly said.
    Strong alkalis will not mix with dephlegmed spirit of wine or Everclear - the alcohol floats
    on top of the alkali. They can be made to mix by shaking and allowing to seperate and the alcohol
    draws a tincture from the alkali which holds the sulphur of whatever materia you're working with.
    This is what one does in some preparations of entia - a strong alkali solution (potassium carbonate)
    is added to an herb and it draws the sulphur/essential oil out of the herb, and then the alkali is extracted with highly rectified alcohol. If the alcohol or the alkali are not strong enough, they will mix and then you
    cannot simply decant your tincture (tincted alcohol).

    So in Starkey's process, he added a weak spirit of wine to the volatile alkali to make a liquid
    stone/circulatum in which any herb is placed and the essentials extracted.
    To renew or recycle the circulatum, it is distilled with dephlegmed alcohol which will accept everything
    but the volatile alkali, which comes out pure and ready for re-use.
    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi
    Here are some pics of the crystals formed from the volatile alkali.
    I didn't distill - this just evaporated over time.
    I'll do some tests on them and post the results.




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    I'm working on the circulatum again since that's the furthest one can go
    with the plant kingdom and make better preperations of melissa, antimony, etc...

    Here's another process from Frater Albertus:
    THE SPAGYRIC PLANT STONE

    The following is excerpted from "The Alchemist of the Rocky Mountains" by Frater Albertus Spagyricus
    Take whatever plant you select, or any part thereof. I would recommend the entire plant where it is called for. Take the fresh plant preferably, but you may also use the dried plant if the fresh is not available.
    Distill from it its essential oil by steam. If no special steam distillation apparatus is at hand, a pressure cooker will do very nicely. Insert a tube into the opening where the weight rests on the vent and collect the steam through a condenser and the oil will separate from the water in the receiving vessel.
    Thus you have the alchemistical sulfur in the form of an oil...
    Take the residue including the water you added in the beginning to produce the steam and to keep the plant from getting scorched. Put all this in a large bottle or container and add some sugar and/or a little regular yeast and let it ferment. This takes about seven or more days in a moderate heat.
    When the fermentation ceases distill from it its alcohol, or your alchemistical Mercury. Thus you have the Herbal Mercury...
    Having gotten this far, evaporate the water, dry the residue and incinerate over a hot fire. This will yield at first a black, then gray substance and finally becomes white in the process of calcination, as it is called.
    This can be shortened by taking the light gray ashes and leeching them with distilled water where the water soluble salts will dissolve in the water. Filter this and test it with Ph paper. It will show very alkaline indicating a deep blue color on the indicated litmus paper.
    Evaporate the water and you will have a white Salt...
    These three are put together in a retort by first adding the salt in a sufficient amount depending on the size of the retort so that the bottom of the retort is covered not more than one fourth.
    Then add enough of the spirit or distilled alcohol, the alchemical spirit and some of the essential oil, until the salt, which is the mineral, has absorbed all it can of both and has enough of both liquid additions swimming above it to the height of a fingers thickness.
    Distill very slowly off what will come over until the salt is dry.
    Keep the heat up and calcine in the same retort. Let it cool. After an hour or longer add to the salt in the retort what has been distilled out previously and repeat this until the salt has absorbed all that is put back of what is distilled out.
    Then have in readiness more of the spirit (alcohol) and sulfur (oil) and add to the salt as before. Do this as long as necessary until the same amount of spirit and sulfur distills over as you have added the last time.
    This is the sign that the salt has all it can hold...
    Keep calcining and you will have a Plant Stone, which you may use to help cure what the herb is supposed to accomplish.
    Do not let the work get too dry, keep enough of the herbs sulfur on hand...Sulfur keeps the stone from dissolving. If it gets too dry add more sulfur.
    You may also hang this Stone in another herb macerating in a jar. It will extract all the essence, namely the three essentials mercury-sulfur-salt to the top which you may skim off. In this way the Plant Stone will save you the work of making a stone of every plant.
    Here you have the whole story of how to do the little work in a few simple words.
    Frater Albertus


    So one can see the similarities in all the processes. I'm working with a mixture
    of the short path with the distillations of Urbigerus. This should
    yield a working circulatum. I'll do the distillations this weekend and let you know.

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    Still working on the distillations.
    They're quite slow.

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    I got distracted with some other works, but recently started
    this again.
    This time I made Starkey's soap but with vinegar instead of
    turpentine. I then dissolved the soap in weak spirit of wine/alcohol
    and am distilling. About half came over at BM temps and the rest
    is slowly coming over at balneum arena temps.
    It extracted a color in a much shorter time than regular potassium
    carbonate/ens process, so I think it's more powerful as it is a method of
    combining vinegar and alcohol via the medium of tartar to make a
    liquid plant stone.

    The same process would apply for the mineral stone, substituting
    mineral salts, acids and mercuries.

    I find it interesting, this soap. Do not the Philosophers say to
    "wash your laton"?

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    A soap joins a water-loving (hydrophilic) principle with a
    water-"hating" (hydrophobic) principle. So part of the soap molecule
    can extract from water and part from oil, but in one step instead
    of two - better than an alkali alone (as in the ens process).

    This soap, made with vinegar, creates certain acetate esters that may
    be the crucial element in the mercury, like acetone in the mineral work.
    Glycerine may also be a key - something the alchemists didn't have
    a word for, or had unusual words for. Van Helmont called his principle
    "latex".

  6. #6
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    I had thought the same volatile alkali/soap that happens with
    the plant circulatum would apply to the mineral kingdom
    as well. Well, yesterday I got the idea to apply it to the animal
    kingdom.
    An amount of baking soda was placed in a steel "crucible" and
    fired to decompose to sodium carbonate - animal salt.
    While still very hot, I pounded it with a mortar and added
    a small amount of "animal acid" - fresh urine. I rubbed this
    into the salt, adding sufficient quantities to produce the saponaceous
    texture. This soap I dissolved in weak spirit of wine (vodka and water).
    The extracted color is that of medium-dark urine.
    Someone said all alkahests are of this color.

    I'll try to dissolve something or extract a color from some mineral
    or metal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by solomon levi View Post
    I had thought the same volatile alkali/soap that happens with
    the plant circulatum would apply to the mineral kingdom
    as well. Well, yesterday I got the idea to apply it to the animal
    kingdom.
    An amount of baking soda was placed in a steel "crucible" and
    fired to decompose to sodium carbonate - animal salt.
    While still very hot, I pounded it with a mortar and added
    a small amount of "animal acid" - fresh urine. I rubbed this
    into the salt, adding sufficient quantities to produce the saponaceous
    texture. This soap I dissolved in weak spirit of wine (vodka and water).
    The extracted color is that of medium-dark urine.
    Someone said all alkahests are of this color.

    I'll try to dissolve something or extract a color from some mineral
    or metal.
    I added some regulus of antimony and slightly heated this and the antimony
    bubbled (dissolved) for a few hours just like gold does in aqua regia.
    I probably should have tried a different metal since antimony dissolves in alkalies.
    I'll try silver next time. Anyway, this will make a good tincture.

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    Here's a pic of Sharkey's soap, the volatile alkali. I'm collecting
    the deliquesced "oil", possibly for medicine, also as a powerful
    extracting device.

    http://www.servimg.com/image_preview...=53&u=12781761

  9. #9
    These are some very cool experiments you're working on.

    Do not the Philosophers say to "wash your laton"?
    Hehe, indeed they do! What did they mean by your laton? What did is their purifying water? This could be applied generically to many methods, but there's a certain path I'm thinking of at the moment.

    This soap, made with vinegar, creates certain acetate esters that may
    be the crucial element in the mercury, like acetone in the mineral work.
    Glycerine may also be a key - something the alchemists didn't have
    a word for, or had unusual words for. Van Helmont called his principle
    "latex".
    Very good obsevation, and you're absolutely correct. Esters are pretty important!

  10. #10
    Latex is a 'sublime' allegory.

    Besides the common allegory it means the following in Latin:

    Latex -ticis, m. a fluid, liquid; esp. of water: occulti latices, Liv.; securi latices, Verg.; frugum laticumque cupido, hunger and thirst, Lucr.; also of wine: meri, Ov.; Lucr., Verg.; latex absinthi, wormwood juice, Lucr.

    Laticlavius -a -um (latus/clavus), having a broad purple stripe (the distinguishing peculiarity of senators, equestrian military tribunes, and sons of noble families) tribunus, Suet.

    Latus -a -um (originally stlatos), adj. (with compar. and superl.), broad, wide. Lit., fossa XV pedes lata, Caes.; via, Cic.; in latum crescere, to grow broad, Ov.; Verg., Tac. Transf., (1) extensive, large: locus, Cic,; latissimae solitudines, Caes. (2) of persons, proud, haughty: latus ut in circo spatiere, Hor. (3) of pronunciation, broad: cuius tu illa lata non numquam imitaris, Cic. (4) of style, diffuse, copious, full, rich: oratio, disputatio, Cic.; Liv., Quint., Tac.

    Clavus -i, m. (1) a nail. Lit., clavis ferreis confixa transtra, Caes.; clavus trabalis, a spike, as a sign of firmness, an attribute of Necessitas, Hor.; prov.: trabali clavo figere, to fix firmly, Cic.; annalis, the nail which on the ides of September every year was driven into the wall of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus at Rome; hence fig.: ex hoc die clavum anni movebis, reckon the beginning of the year, Cic. Transf., a tiller, helm, rudder: Verg.; fig.: clavum imperii tenere, Cic. (2) a stripe of purple on the tunic worn broad by the senators (latus), narrow by the knights (angustus): latum clavum a Caesare impetravi, I have become a senator, Plin.; also worn by sons of senators or knights: Ov., Liv. Transf., clavus=a tunic, with either the broad or the narrow stripe: Hor.

    Stlatarius -a -um (from stlata, a kind of ship), brought by sea, and therefore, costly: Juv.

    Lateo -ere, to lie hid, be concealed. Lit., in occulto, Cic.; abdite, Cic.; latet anguis in herba, Verg.; navis latet portu, Hor.; latet sub clasibus aequor, is concealed, covered, Verg.; portus latet, is screened from the winds, Cic.; esp. to keep out of sight, in order not the appear in court: Cic. Transf., (1) to live in obscurity: bene qui latuit, bene vixit, Ov. (2) to be sheltered, safe from misfortune: sub umbra amicitiae Romanae, Liv.; in tutela ac praesidio bellicae virtutis, Cic. (3) to be unknown: aliae (causae) sunt perspicuae, aliae latent, Cic.; scelus latere inter tot flagitia, Cic.; also with acc.: res latet aliquem, is concealed from, unknown to, Verg.; Ov.

    Latex also has references to: to bear, bring, carry, to display, make public, to conceal, to endure, submit to, to bear, to bring forth, produce, to bear away, carry off, to plunder.
    "Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism, and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be mislead; to conceal the Truth, which it calls light, and draw them away from it." - Albert Pike

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