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Thread: Short Dry Path (Ars Brevis)

  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwellings View Post
    There is no Bullshit in the above lines. If you understand it thoroughly, you know Alchemy in its entirety and nothing can stop you from succeeding likewise if you do not understand it you know nothing of Alchemy.

    So, judge for yourself.

    This is the golden passage and acts as the "moment of truth" for your understanding. Go try it.
    But there is "bullshit" in that passage, "philosophical" baloney, designed to trap unwary people. If you don't take a look at what he himself points out in another passage (quoted further above) you will not understand what this deceitful trick consists of, namely: the "one substance only" is itself a COMPOSITE OF SEVERAL. Before you realize this you will keep on hitting stumbling blocks and never advance anywhere, because such a "one substance only" does NOT exist in nature. It is an artificial substance made by the alchemist himself. Amazing that so many seekers are still falling for this old & tired trap. Even as far back as Zosimos it was "disarmed" and plainly exposed, yet still countless generations of seekers kept on falling for it over and over.

  2. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwellings View Post
    From what you have said above, can I conclude that there must exist a first matter in the universe especially from the first line of your reply?
    No, not necessarily. Things can have their own composition, unique of their own. Anything that exists must have it. Iron is not the same thing as gold, beef is not the same thing as chicken, Coca-Cola is not the same thing as 7Up, etc.

    When alchemists say metallic, they mean in terms of spirit not actual physical terms.
    What they mean is derived from metals, or the minerals where metals come from.

    I also do not think that we are dealing with vulgar materials. So, the particular processes cannot be carried forward to Alchemy IMO.
    At one point you must start with "vulgar materials". There is no escaping this, because nature does not make anything but "vulgar materials", available to everyone all the same, the difference is in how they are manipulated and used. Nature does not make the alchemical substances used for making the Stone, those are made by the alchemist himself, but by manipulating the vulgar materials that nature or human industry puts at his disposal.

    Yes metals and minerals to varying degree are dry but there may exist a certain mineral which is sufficiently wet & dry so as to partake in the work.
    Which one? For hundreds of years people (and not just seekers after the Stone) have been placing just about every kind of mineral that has been found inside retorts/alembics/distilling-flasks and heating them (this was the main technique in what used to be called "fire analysis" or "analysis by fire" in past centuries; the chymists, and then the chemists, applied it to virtually all substances that fell into their hands, to see what products would they give off by heat alone.) None of them has ever delivered anything remotely resembling the secret solvent of alchemy.
    Last edited by JDP; 12-07-2017 at 11:03 PM.

  3. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    But there is "bullshit" in that passage, "philosophical" baloney, designed to trap unwary people. If you don't take a look at what he himself points out in another passage (quoted further above) you will not understand what this deceitful trick consists of, namely: the "one substance only" is itself a COMPOSITE OF SEVERAL. Before you realize this you will keep on hitting stumbling blocks and never advance anywhere, because such a "one substance only" does NOT exist in nature. It is an artificial substance made by the alchemist himself. Amazing that so many seekers are still falling for this old & tired trap. Even as far back as Zosimos it was "disarmed" and plainly exposed, yet still countless generations of seekers kept on falling for it over and over.
    The composite or rebis that we take for one matter happens quite later not at all to be confused with what he said.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    No, not necessarily. Things can have their own composition, unique of their own. Anything that exists must have it. Iron is not the same thing as gold, beef is not the same thing as chicken, Coca-Cola is not the same thing as 7Up, etc.

    What they mean is derived from metals, or the minerals where metals come from.

    At one point you must start with "vulgar materials". There is no escaping this, because nature does not make anything but "vulgar materials", available to everyone all the same, the difference is in how they are manipulated and used. Nature does not make the alchemical substances used for making the Stone, those are made by the alchemist himself, but by manipulating the vulgar materials that nature or human industry puts at his disposal.

    Which one? For hundreds of years people (and not just seekers after the Stone) have been placing just about every kind of mineral that has been found inside retorts/alembics/distilling-flasks and heating them (this was the main technique in what used to be called "fire analysis" or "analysis by fire" in past centuries; the chymists, and then the chemists, applied it to virtually all substances that fell into their hands, to see what products would they give off by heat alone.) None of them has ever delivered anything remotely resembling the secret solvent of alchemy.
    Truth be told, I can write very little against your reply. If you think in terms of chemistry, I dont think anything profitable can come out of it. Start with the first matter, then derive from there. That is all I can say. See if it changes your world view.

  4. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwellings View Post
    The composite or rebis that we take for one matter happens quite later not at all to be confused with what he said.
    What he says there is about the beginning of the work. Where do you think he is telling you the "one thing" is coming from if not from the AT LEAST 3 SUBSTANCES he is talking about under "decknamen"? So, can you really make the Stone with "only one substance" according to him? No, not really. The "one thing" itself is made from several. It is this kind of "games" that many alchemists like to play to confuse as many seekers as possible.


    Truth be told, I can write very little against your reply. If you think in terms of chemistry, I dont think anything profitable can come out of it. Start with the first matter, then derive from there. That is all I can say. See if it changes your world view.
    What "first matter"? No such thing is found anywhere in nature. You will find a multitude of substances in nature, and all of them are "specified". Best advice I can give you: don't waste time with the Aristotelian-based theoretical musings about matter of many alchemists. It will get you nowhere fast, just like it took droves of seekers nowhere for centuries.

  5. #225
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    ARS BREVIS and Maria the prophetess

    Maria the prophetess in her The dialogue between Maria and Aros on the Alchemical Art also her give a one way very short

    and on this text of maria la profetessa there is an extremely interesting commentary of the famous Orthelius with serious operative indications that should be thoroughly analyzed

    a dear friend of ours has been translated from the Latin and published in 4 part all these commentary of the Orthelius at these 4 links

    https://www.labyrinthdesigners.org/a...itissa-part-1/

    https://www.labyrinthdesigners.org/a...issa-part-1/2/

    https://www.labyrinthdesigners.org/a...itissa-part-2/

    https://www.labyrinthdesigners.org/a...issa-part-2/2/

    maybe is good open one thread dedicated on it for analyzed well this way and this commentary true and traditional of Orthelius on it

    (orthelius that also comment the new lumen chimicun of sentivogius)

    my best regard
    Last edited by alfr; 01-19-2018 at 09:05 AM.

  6. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfr View Post
    ARS BREVIS and Maria the prophetess

    Maria the prophetess in her The dialogue between Maria and Aros on the Alchemical Art also her give a one way very short

    and on this text of maria la profetessa there is an extremely interesting commentary of the famous Orthelius with serious operative indications that should be thoroughly analyzed

    a dear friend of ours has been translated from the Latin and published in 4 part all these commentary of the Orthelius at these 4 links

    https://www.labyrinthdesigners.org/a...itissa-part-1/

    https://www.labyrinthdesigners.org/a...issa-part-1/2/

    https://www.labyrinthdesigners.org/a...itissa-part-2/

    https://www.labyrinthdesigners.org/a...issa-part-2/2/

    maybe is good open one thread dedicated on it for analyzed well this way and this commentary of Orthelius on it

    my best regard
    Alfr, Great work.

    I have repeatedly tried to understand the conversation but have always failed, kind of given up. But I also find that the selected portions in the first post are by themselves sufficient to figure out.

    If you carefully read the first post of this thread you will know what needs to be done.

    Phoenix is the mineral substance as can be understood from the highlighted text in the original post.

    It continued half an hour without speaking, and then added: I perceive you suspect what I have told you to be false, but if what I say be not true, the first time I come into your Globe, may an Eagle devour me.
    Now, you need to figure out what stuff is hiding behind the Eagle. The moment you know it, you will without a doubt know the means to tame the Eagle and Phoenix i.e. flick of the wrist.

  7. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwellings View Post
    Alfr, Great work.

    I have repeatedly tried to understand the conversation but have always failed, kind of given up.
    I have always understood her process to use vulgar metals (elemental gold and elemental silver) in the Work, thus the quicker time quoted. But all this only if one possesses our Universal Solvent first.

    Just like how different Alchemy treatises start off at different starting points (some already assuming you have our Universal Solvent), I find her discourse no different.

  8. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curious View Post
    Recently, the past year or so, I have started comparing the variants of the via secca brevis. [...] I am primarily interested in variants of the powder of projection (which connects back to my interests in fusion of course) and as I said at present I am looking mostly into variations of the dry path as that seems to be a more direct way.
    Define what you understand by "via sicca brevis", because different authors had different ideas about how this claim was supposed to be carried out. Some authors, for example, consider amalgam claims as the "dry way" (since metallic mercury "does not wet the hands"), so it was carried out mostly using retorts and flasks and carefully regulated heat treatments, most of which extend for prolonged periods of time, while others considered it as a process using a saline or solid form of the secret solvent and certain metals or minerals, which is to be carried out all or mostly in crucibles and strong fusion temperatures, and it takes only a matter of days to carry it out.

    Both claims have their share of problems:

    1- Metallic amalgams never give any such thing as an alchemical "tincture", no matter how you prepare the metallic mercury and how long & with what you "cook" it. So this line of thought seems like a total dead-end. The most you can get from metallic mercury and its amalgams are some chymical "particulars" for directly making silver or gold (and most of the ones that work are not profitable; they cost more to carry out than the value of the small amount of precious metals obtained in the end)

    2- Sounds like an interesting claim, but how exactly is the volatile secret solvent prevented from being wholly evaporated by such strong heats??? And for those who pretend that this "way" is carried out exclusively in crucibles from beginning to end, how in blazes are you supposed to prepare any form of the secret solvent, all of which are volatile in varying degrees, with such strong temperature methods??? It seems like the solvent would mostly or wholly volatilize during its very production, and thus the whole thing would be self-defeating. So far, I have never encountered even one of the authors who deals with this claim clearly and logically address such an obvious obstacle. Even Fulcanelli avoids clearly addressing this paradox like the plague.
    Last edited by Andro; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:55 PM. Reason: Quote shortened for the topic.

  9. #229
    Whoa easy there friend, I've only just stepped in, give a guy a chance to take his hat off... ;-)

    In my understanding there is the long and wet way that starts with liquid water-mixed solvents like nitric acid, involves mostly glasswork, and only at the end when the stone is completed does a crucible come into play. And there is the short and dry way which doesn't start with dissolving things in acids but rather uses melting and sublimation and uses crucibles (or high temperature dry distilling) from the start.

    Obviously there are many variations and the paths are not absolutely separate, as calcinations and dry distilling often occur in both paths, and the methods that try to use mostly crucibles often still require some washing or separating of substances in the "wet" way using glassware. Similarly, the "wet" path also uses calcination and high temperatures applied to the dry matter, which technically isn't "wet" work at all of course.

    So if you want to nit-pick then neither paths are entirely "wet" or "dry" but always a combination of both types of work. ;-)
    But let's not get into a semantic cockfight, that doesn't help anyone.

    So, in my current opinion, the "via secca" simply means we try to minimise the amount of work in acidic solutions and we try to maximise the amount of work done with direct melting or sublimation of dry ingredients. And, again in my own humble opinion, the "wet path" then simply means we choose to perform as much of the work as possible in aquatic/acidic solutions and only really get to the dry product at the end of the Work, when the Stone is fixed and solidified.
    The "brevis" part I only included because it is often mentioned in the texts, and it is then often pointed out that the "wet path" takes a very long time, whereas the "dry path" is supposed to be a lot faster.

    Now let me reply to your two points.
    1- Metallic amalgams never give any such thing as an alchemical "tincture", no matter how you prepare the metallic mercury and how long & with what you "cook" it. So this line of thought seems like a total dead-end. The most you can get from metallic mercury and its amalgams are some chymical "particulars" for directly making silver or gold (and most of the ones that work are not profitable; they cost more to carry out than the value of the small amount of precious metals obtained in the end)
    Ok well I suppose that depends on how you define "tincture". (there's your ball back)
    As I understand it, the word "tincture" means "dye", as in to "tinct" something gold is to "dye" it gold, to add the colouring material to the subject material which causes the subject material to assume the colour (or "tint"="tinct") of the colouring material.
    So I do not immediately see why what you call "particulars" would not count as a form of "tincture".
    And I don't really follow what your problem is with the metallic amalgams. Perhaps I'm just missing the point you're trying to make?

    2- Sounds like an interesting claim, but how exactly is the volatile secret solvent prevented from being wholly evaporated by such strong heats??? And for those who pretend that this "way" is carried out exclusively in crucibles from beginning to end, how in blazes are you supposed to prepare any form of the secret solvent, all of which are volatile in varying degrees, with such strong temperature methods??? It seems like the solvent would mostly or wholly volatilize during its very production, and thus the whole thing would be self-defeating. So far, I have never encountered even one of the authors who deals with this claim clearly and logically address such an obvious obstacle. Even Fulcanelli avoids clearly addressing this paradox like the plague.
    Well that seems rather easy: you seal the crucible. Or the crucible is in fact a fire resistant distilling setup. And the "secret solvent" used in the dry work is a lot less "volatile" than that used in the wet work. At least, most of the "dry path" texts I have read involve antimony and sulphates, and the Sb seems to be used instead of Hg, and it will distill. Other salts will also volatilise at temperatures high enough and will sublimate.
    But there are other ways in which the "solvent" is indeed evaporated off or burnt off even. If I understand those correctly the stuff that burns off isn't important and the stuff that doesn't vapourise and remains in the crucible is what we're after.
    So the "problems" you see in this variant of the dry path only exist if you do not take those things into consideration. Obviously if there is a volatile component that must remain in the concoction you will need to seal the crucible. If there is a volatile component that you need to collect, you will need to do that in a form of distilling setup. And if the volatile component is only required to reduce a metal or ore to its "calx" or "subtle powders", it may of course simply be evaporated or burnt off.
    Many authors do not detail the exact method of sublimating salts for example, as they seem to assume that anyone skilled in the art will understand how to handle materials that vapourise or sublimate.
    So again I don't fully see what the big "obstacle" is here, and why this is such a big "problem" in your opinion.
    Lastly, I wonder why you bring up Fulcanelli, as I do not consider him to speak clear language. He speaks in riddles and intentionally mystifies things, and it is often far from clear what he means to say. But perhaps he doesn't address this "paradox" simply because like me he doesn't see it as such?
    Then again I may simply be stupid and completely miss a valid point you're trying to make. If you feel this is the case, then please elaborate for me?

  10. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curious View Post
    Now let me reply to your two points.

    Ok well I suppose that depends on how you define "tincture". (there's your ball back)
    As I understand it, the word "tincture" means "dye", as in to "tinct" something gold is to "dye" it gold, to add the colouring material to the subject material which causes the subject material to assume the colour (or "tint"="tinct") of the colouring material.
    Only one thing can qualify as an "alchemical tincture": a substance that has the property of changing anywhere from several times to many times its own weight of base metals into silver or base metals and/or silver into gold. Anything else that does not perform this = NOT "alchemical".

    And it is not only the color of the metal that changes, it is also its specific gravity and common chemical properties.

    So I do not immediately see why what you call "particulars" would not count as a form of "tincture".
    Because in CHYMICAL "particulars" no such substance that can change several or many times its own weight of other metals into silver or gold is produced. All the silver and gold you make out of these processes is produced "directly" (i.e. without preparing an intermediary transmuting agent or "tincture") and then are separated from the rest of the untransmuted metals via assaying operations. "Chymistry" (notice the archaic spelling, not exactly the ordinary "chemistry" everyone knows and practices and studies today) never discovered how to prepare the alchemical solvent, therefore it ignores how to produce such substances. It's what separates "alchemy" from both "chymistry" and "chemistry".

    And I don't really follow what your problem is with the metallic amalgams. Perhaps I'm just missing the point you're trying to make?
    If you have experience in the subject you will know that metallic mercury and its amalgams with other metals/metalloids do not produce anything like the Stone or any other alchemical "tincture". This is pointed out by a number of authors (for example, the author of The Ancient War of the Knights), and it can also be plainly seen in the multitude of failed attempts by seekers, like Starkey, for example (read his surviving laboratory notebooks, which have been transcribed and translated by William R. Newman and Lawrence M. Principe. Starkey spent a great deal of his life trying to "animate" mercury in several ways and then "cook" it into the Stone by various amalgams, and, of course, very predictably got nowhere. His lab notes record nothing but failure after failure in achieving any transmuting "tincture" with such methods.)

    Well that seems rather easy: you seal the crucible. Or the crucible is in fact a fire resistant distilling setup. And the "secret solvent" used in the dry work is a lot less "volatile" than that used in the wet work. At least, most of the "dry path" texts I have read involve antimony and sulphates, and the Sb seems to be used instead of Hg, and it will distill. Other salts will also volatilise at temperatures high enough and will sublimate.
    I can see that you don't have much experience in these matters yet. Go ahead and try your "rather easy" proposed solution with pretty much any volatile matters and see how much of them remain after you blast the "sealed" crucible with a strong fire for at least several hours. First problem you will encounter: it is practically impossible to actually "seal" a crucible. And even if you keep adding layer after layer of refractory cement/lute to try to seal it, you will come onto the second problem: the internal pressure build-up will eventually just crack the lute, or blow the lid off, or actually burst the crucible into pieces.

    Using layers of molten glass over the heated substances (as would seem to be suggested by some authors) does not work well either. Even substances that are less volatile than the secret solvent, like zinc, eventually just find their way out through the molten layer of glass. So this is indeed a very real obstacle, as anyone who has actually looked into the matter will know well.

    It doesn't matter much that the solid or "saline" forms of the secret solvent are less volatile; they are in fact still volatile nonetheless. If you put them in a glowing hot crucible for some extended period of time, they will end up just evaporating away. The secret solvent does NOT act immediately on the metallic matters it is put in contact with. It needs some time to exert its action on them and partly dissolve them, and then gradually "radically join" with them. It cannot all be done in just a matter of a few minutes! So the problem very much remains: how are you supposed to keep the secret solvent from just being wholly volatilized in this alleged "dry way"??? No writer that treats of this subject that I have consulted so far gives a logical and clear explanation of how is this supposed to be done. Not even Fulcanelli (and this dude is one of the writers I have seen so far who has dealt with the most regarding this alleged "dry way" subject.)

    But there are other ways in which the "solvent" is indeed evaporated off or burnt off even. If I understand those correctly the stuff that burns off isn't important and the stuff that doesn't vapourise and remains in the crucible is what we're after.
    Those solvents are not the secret solvent of alchemy. One of its peculiar properties is that it eventually permanently joins the metallic matters it dissolves and forms wholly new substances with them: the alchemical "tinctures".

    So the "problems" you see in this variant of the dry path only exist if you do not take those things into consideration.
    All such things have been "taken into consideration" to death already. As you can see, the problem is still there.

    Obviously if there is a volatile component that must remain in the concoction you will need to seal the crucible.
    As explained above, it doesn't work. There is no way to actually seal a crucible. This is not like the work with glass vessels, which due to the lower temperatures employed you can seal them and use them as such up to a certain limit (and even then it is always dangerous, as the vessel might still burst from internal pressure.)

    If there is a volatile component that you need to collect, you will need to do that in a form of distilling setup. And if the volatile component is only required to reduce a metal or ore to its "calx" or "subtle powders", it may of course simply be evaporated or burnt off.
    That would of course invalidate the claims of those who say that in the alleged "dry way" only crucibles and strong fires are used, from beginning to end.

    Many authors do not detail the exact method of sublimating salts for example, as they seem to assume that anyone skilled in the art will understand how to handle materials that vapourise or sublimate.
    Because sublimation was a very standard and well-known operation. How does this relate to the problem at hand, though? We are not talking about standard, well-known operations that do not require much explanations here.

    So again I don't fully see what the big "obstacle" is here, and why this is such a big "problem" in your opinion.
    Then again I may simply be stupid and completely miss a valid point you're trying to make. If you feel this is the case, then please elaborate for me?
    Hopefully now you will see why from the above elaborations.

    Lastly, I wonder why you bring up Fulcanelli, as I do not consider him to speak clear language. He speaks in riddles and intentionally mystifies things, and it is often far from clear what he means to say.
    Quite the opposite. Fulcanelli is quite clear in most of his explanations, except of course for a few things, particularly when it comes to explaining the issue of the preparation of the secret solvent. Here he adopts a very different style, the one of practically all alchemists before him, and always covers up the names of the actual substances involved in the operations.

    But perhaps he doesn't address this "paradox" simply because like me he doesn't see it as such?
    Oh, he must have known about it alright! He himself clearly describes the form of the secret solvent he worked with as a white, fusible, VOLATILE "salt". He just doesn't bother to explain to his readers how in blazes are you supposed to both prepare it, and then, after certain operations on some metallic matters, keep it for a certain period of time in the midst of glowing hot fires without the damn thing just evaporating away!

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