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Thread: Short Dry Path (Ars Brevis)

  1. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    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.)
    Maybe instead of glass they used clay. Chinese alchemy also uses clay vessels. In the West, they were used to produce HCl out of molten NaCl (around 800 deg C). Just a thought.

  2. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by theFool View Post
    Maybe instead of glass they used clay. Chinese alchemy also uses clay vessels. In the West, they were used to produce HCl out of molten NaCl (around 800 deg C). Just a thought.
    But clays require very high heats to melt (which works very well in the case of producing "spirit of salt" or making the "Royal Cement" for assaying, since it won't melt with the salt and will keep such mixtures solid even at glowing temperatures.) If the covering clay layer doesn't melt, it will leave fissures or cracks through which the volatile solvent could escape.

  3. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    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!
    Over some years I have given this Dry Path some thought about how to prepare the matters and the "crucible" for this work. So far I have not done any experiments with it. You need the secret solvent in dry form. It is composed of Philosophical Mercury, Sulfur, and Salt. The Mercury and Sulfur in the Wet Way are dissolved in a specific compound water. That would not work in the Dry Way. The Mercury without Water can be fixed into a volatile salt, Sal Armoniac. I know of two versions one more volatile than the other. Which to use? And how much? The Sulfur is a transparent ruby red oil when purified. The Salt is even more confusing to address. Ripley and others suggest one is to prepare a calx of gold. There are many ways written by the adepts.

    Gathering and preparing the Mercury, Sulfur and Salt requires much prior work before putting them together in a "crucible." And I believe for this process one must know the ratios of each to succeed. That being known the matters would be put into a "crucible" that has to be made for this purpose. There are a couple of choices I am looking at either a sphere or a cylinder made of thick iron or steel. For a sphere it would be two hemispheres with threads to screw them together for a strong seal. The cylinder would have a heavy screw on lid. Then one must know how much matter to put into the crucible.

    Those problems solved then comes the heating source and sequence. How hot how fast? I would think a gradual heat regimen would be prudent. However if you use wood charcoals or coal as a heating source then the crucible or egg would be placed into a bed of glowing coals already quite hot. Then the heating time would depend upon the size volume of the egg. Using coal would require more practice to succeed. However if the adepts used coal for this Way then there is a limit on the time window toward hours instead of days.

    My hypothesis is after the operation when the egg is opened the material inside would be the projection powder for the transmutation of metals. Probably one should have some prior success in the better described and detailed Wet Way before the more explosive flick of the wrist.

  4. #234
    JDP, now don't get me wrong here I'm not looking for a fight, and although some of the following may be worded a bit strongly please do not take offense...

    But since you act like you are an expert by slapping everybody across the head with book-knowledge from the old authors, may I ask how often you have yourself successfully made a Stone that can actually do what you claim a true Stone must be able to do?
    Such as transmute a variety of different metals into gold for example? Or transmuting a large amount of metal using a tiny amount of Stone?

    Or are you just fencing with things you have read and believe instead of things you have done and observed?
    Because I'm getting the impression you're being very active in showing how well you've read the texts, but you do not actually give directly useful information.
    It would seem that you know as little about the true identity of the "celestial salt" and the way to make any form of projection powder as any of us.
    So why do you act like you know more? And if you really do, why do you not share this knowledge?

    It seems quite contradictory that you are so adamant about what you keep calling "the secret solvent" being the big secret trick and being what separates the true alchemy from chemistry (or "chymistry" as the old spelling has it), while at the same time you have no clue what that "secret solvent" could be or what it actually does in any other terms than the mystical statements of the old authors.
    It sounds a bit like you're telling people they're wrong but when they ask you what the right way is you also don't know. How is that useful?

    In your reply you come back to the subject of amalgams and you claim there is no way to make any form of "tincture" with amalgams. But you do not elaborate.
    I still do not see what you mean. Of course you can use amalgamation to reduce for example gold to calx. Same thing with antimony. And yes you can make a
    solid from combinations with mercury and/or antimony. And if you throw that into molten lead yes you will get an alloy. And if you used gold then yes you will
    be seeding gold into the alloy. If mixed with the right elements you can even get gold coloured alloys and some are pretty close to gold in their characteristics.
    No, that will not be transmutation of the atoms into element 97. But the entire concept of alloys and mixed metals hadn't been developed to the point where we
    are nowadays, most of the alchemical texts were written in a time when the difference between atoms and molecules wasn't understood yet.
    So in their time this would seem a very real way to "tinct" a different metal into "gold".
    And even if we assume that real gold was made by transmutation, then I do not see why amalgamation could not be used in one of the many steps of the
    procedure. You talk like amalgamation must mean the end product is an amalgam.
    It seems that you have objections to amalgam use that you do not express clearly enough for me to follow. Just repeating the claim that amalgams cannot
    produce a "Tincture" is not a convincing argument.

    You also seem to focus very much on semantics of the alchemical jargon and choke on the differences between things like "particulars" and a more universal Stone,
    between "alchemy" and "chymistry", and such. And although that is interesting from an epistemological point of view, it isn't practically helpful.
    My focus is on trying to figure out what substances might be useful in transmutation and how to do the trick. I feel that it is more useful to look into our
    modern knowledge of atoms, isotopes, and nuclear reactions and use that new modern scientific set of goggles to look at the old texts for hints and
    inspiration, than it is to get stuck in the old outdated theories of matter they used to try and make sense of things and literally parrot their ideas.

    I do believe that transmutation is possible and that it may be possible by throwing the right compound into molten metal. But I also believe that
    has little to do with a mystical "mercury" that combines with the right "sulfur" and "earth" inside the material. It has a lot more to do with the exchange
    of protons and alpha particles, fusion of light elements, and stimulated emission by heavier ones.

    To be honest at this point in time I would be happy with any transmuting powder, even if it can only transmute one specific metal.

    I think I am on the trail of the powder used in the story Albertus told in "the alchemist from the rocky mountains", which if I am right would be very similar to the powders produced by DeWinter, and fit in quite nicely with the trail of thought I have been developing based on other "via secca" manuscripts such as the "testament of flamel".
    The underlying theory has very little to do with the pre-nuclear theories and doctrine of materials that are used in all the old texts though.
    The practise however does run along the same lines and even uses the same materials as those mentioned in some of the texts. (More so the oriental paths.)

    From what I've read of your posts so far I get the impression that you are not interested in modern interpretations and prefer to adhere to the outdated models of the elements,
    so I shall not bother you with them unless you ask for explanation.
    Rest assured that if I do manage to produce anything of interest, even if it is a "particular" and not a "universal", I will let you know.

    I hope I haven't offended you too much with this critical and somewhat contrary post. Please forgive me if I have. ;-)
    Last edited by Mr Curious; 08-25-2018 at 02:50 PM. Reason: addition

  5. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curious View Post
    JDP, now don't get me wrong here I'm not looking for a fight, and although some of the following may be worded a bit strongly please do not take offense...

    But since you act like you are an expert by slapping everybody across the head with book-knowledge from the old authors, may I ask how often you have yourself successfully made a Stone that can actually do what you claim a true Stone must be able to do?
    Such as transmute a variety of different metals into gold for example? Or transmuting a large amount of metal using a tiny amount of Stone?

    Or are you just fencing with things you have read and believe instead of things you have done and observed?
    Because I'm getting the impression you're being very active in showing how well you've read the texts, but you do not actually give directly useful information.
    It would seem that you know as little about the true identity of the "celestial salt" and the way to make any form of projection powder as any of us.
    So why do you act like you know more? And if you really do, why do you not share this knowledge?
    Moot point. You don't need to be an "adept" to know these things. Anyone well-acquainted with the subject can tell you similar things as what I told you. I am not making exceptional claims here, just things anyone can gather from the literature.

    To be honest at this point in time I would be happy with any transmuting powder, even if it can only transmute one specific metal.
    If it transmutes several or many times its weight of any specific metal into gold or silver, then rest assured that it was made with alchemical methods (i.e. using some form of the secret solvent.) If a process achieves a quantity of silver or gold which is quite inferior to the amount of base metals (for silver-making) or silver (for gold-making) employed, then it is NOT "alchemical" but "chymical". A very simple and straightforward classification system that can easily be used to separate "alchemy" from "chymistry", and, needless to say, "chemistry" (which stubbornly denies any transmutation whatsoever by means of "chemical" reactions between substances, so it itself also conveniently separates itself from the old "chymistry".)

    I think I am on the trail of the powder used in the story Albertus told in "the alchemist from the rocky mountains", which if I am right would be very similar to the powders produced by DeWinter, and fit in quite nicely with the trail of thought I have been developing based on other "via secca" manuscripts such as the "testament of flamel".
    The underlying theory has very little to do with the pre-nuclear theories and doctrine of materials that are used in all the old texts though.
    The practise however does run along the same lines and even uses the same materials as those mentioned in some of the texts. (More so the oriental paths.)

    From what I've read of your posts so far I get the impression that you are not interested in modern interpretations and prefer to adhere to the outdated models of the elements,
    so I shall not bother you with them unless you ask for explanation.
    Rest assured that if I do manage to produce anything of interest, even if it is a "particular" and not a "universal", I will let you know.
    I am not really interested in theories of any kind, whether old or new. In the end and at the very core, I consider them only speculation, no matter how simple or intricate, or how much apparent "supporting evidence" they have going for them. Sooner or later some new or hitherto unnoticed (by the people who formulated such theories) empirical FACTS always come to the surface that challenge the validity of any theory. It has always happened, and it will always continue to happen. Theories/speculations/conjectures are "mortal", they have an "expiration date", all of them, no matter how apparently well-thought; empirical FACTS, on the other hand, are "immortal" and remain the same forever, no matter what we may think of them and seek to "explain" them.

  6. #236
    I do not see you mention any empirical facts though.
    You do once again start fencing with semantics and things you've read.
    Not very empirical nor factual.

    I am not really interested in theories of any kind, whether old or new.
    And that's why you keep bringing up the semantics of "alchemy" and "alchymy", because you have empirical facts about the one being able to transmute more than its share and the other not?
    Please share that empirical evidence with us then?

    And you keep bringing up what Fulcanelli wrote, you even started this entire thread with a huge chunk of text.
    That, I presume, is then also because of the abundant amount of empirical evidence in his writings?
    Or perhaps you alone in the entire world have empirical evidence of what Fulcanelli wrote?

    The "moot point" is not invalid. Indeed anyone who has read the old texts can repeat them. There is nothing factual about that, nothing empirical, and the fact that anyone can read and repeat the statements doesn't validate them in the least.
    This was sort of my point: you pretend to be an expert but you're only juggling and repeating the same texts everyone has been reading for ages.
    You try to slap me around the ears with for example the "alchemy"vs"chymystry" point that is based on zero empiricism and 100% copied from the old texts.
    Show me, if you are so certain of your preaching.
    Show me an example of a "real" alchemical transmutation and one of a typical "cymical" one, and then teach me about the semantics.
    But to keep acting the wiser and claiming empiricism where there is none to be seen is getting a little bit annoying.
    Last edited by Mr Curious; 08-25-2018 at 04:23 PM. Reason: addition

  7. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curious View Post
    I do not see you mention any empirical facts though.
    You do once again start fencing with semantics and things you've read.
    Not very empirical nor factual.


    And that's why you keep bringing up the semantics of "alchemy" and "alchymy", because you have empirical facts about the one being able to transmute more than its share and the other not?
    Please share that empirical evidence with us then?

    And you keep bringing up what Fulcanelli wrote, you even started this entire thread with a huge chunk of text.
    That, I presume, is then also because of the abundant amount of empirical evidence in his writings?
    Or perhaps you alone in the entire world have empirical evidence of what Fulcanelli wrote?

    The "moot point" is not invalid. Indeed anyone who has read the old texts can repeat them. There is nothing factual about that, nothing empirical, and the fact that anyone can read and repeat the statements doesn't validate them in the least.
    This was sort of my point: you pretend to be an expert but you're only juggling and repeating the same texts everyone has been reading for ages.
    You try to slap me around the ears with for example the "alchemy"vs"chymystry" point that is based on zero empiricism and 100% copied from the old texts.
    Show me, if you are so certain of your preaching.
    Show me an example of a "real" alchemical transmutation and one of a typical "cymical" one, and then teach me about the semantics.
    But to keep acting the wiser and claiming empiricism where there is none to be seen is getting a little bit annoying.
    I advice you to work on your reading & comprehension and your observational skills because it is obvious that you urgently need to improve them. The fact that you absurdly even claim that I "started this entire thread with a huge chunk of text" already more than proves it. No further evidence required. Anyone can check how erroneous this claim is simply by going to the very beginning of the thread.

    PS: methinks I have more empirical experience in these matters in my little finger than you have in your entire body. My acquaintance with these matters goes very much beyond just reading of old books. And I don't see why should I need to "prove it" to you, specially even less with your ungrateful, arrogant and rude attitude, which can already be plainly seen by your initial reply to my post directed at you, your beforehand "apologies" notwithstanding. But if you really had the necessary level of empirical experience you would already have known some of the things I pointed out for you, like the difficulty of actually "sealing" a crucible or any way of preventing a volatile substance from evaporating into the atmosphere at such glowing hot temperatures, which can only be known to someone who has already actually tried to achieve such things.

  8. #238
    Well to be honest you dragged me into this thread and demanded a definition of "dry path". When I gave it, you came up with all kinds of problems in practical implementation.
    Most of those seem obvious problems. But when I suggest ways to get around them, you also choose to selectively read what I write and keep insisting that they cannot be overcome.

    You are right that I have not been very friendly in the past couple of posts. That is in part my fault and I do apologise for taking some things the wrong way and responding a bit too viciously. But you are also being quite argumentative so don't act like you've been all loving and helpful in your comments.

    Still, this is indeed going entirely in the wrong direction. So I would like to suggest we back up a bit and try a restart.

    You ask what I consider the "dry path"?
    Well perhaps an example of a pretty clear "Dry path" would help then:
    http://www.rexresearch.com/alchemy5/tribus.htm "Lapis de Tribus" by S. Bactrom.
    As you can see, the procedure is almost entirely done in a crucible and does not use material dissolved in a liquid solvent.

    You came up with two problems: amalgams and evaporation of the volatiles.
    You have not explained what the problem is with the use of amalgams, so I can't really reply to that.
    As for evaporation, I did answer but you don't accept that answer. I say just seal the vessel you use and the vapours cannot escape. You say that is impossible. I do not see why that would be impossible.

    You seem to think that is because I have no experience with melting metals and crucibles and kilns. That is not the case. I have quite some experience with high temperature work.
    I have made various ceramics, glazes, glasses, crystals, metals and alloys working with ovens and direct fire and working with different types of vessels.

    If you think that when I say "seal your crucible" I mean take a standard graphite melting pot and just put a lid on it, then you are mistaken.

    But let's try to get this back on track of a civil discourse and a constructive discussion?
    So ok, where were we and what were we talking about?
    Oh right, I basically only answered your pop question about defining the dry path and you came up with two big problems and then it all got messy and we slid downhill into the muck.
    Shall we pick it up there?

  9. #239
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curious View Post
    Well to be honest you dragged me into this thread and demanded a definition of "dry path". When I gave it, you came up with all kinds of problems in practical implementation.
    I actually didn't, one of the moderators moved the post here. I originally posted it in the thread you opened, where you were talking about the subject already.

    Most of those seem obvious problems. But when I suggest ways to get around them, you also choose to selectively read what I write and keep insisting that they cannot be overcome.
    I didn't select anything, I just answered that your propositions won't work in practice.

    You are right that I have not been very friendly in the past couple of posts. That is in part my fault and I do apologise for taking some things the wrong way and responding a bit too viciously. But you are also being quite argumentative so don't act like you've been all loving and helpful in your comments.

    Still, this is indeed going entirely in the wrong direction. So I would like to suggest we back up a bit and try a restart.

    You ask what I consider the "dry path"?
    Well perhaps an example of a pretty clear "Dry path" would help then:
    http://www.rexresearch.com/alchemy5/tribus.htm "Lapis de Tribus" by S. Bactrom.
    As you can see, the procedure is almost entirely done in a crucible and does not use material dissolved in a liquid solvent.
    Anyone who has worked with the sulfides of arsenic and antimony, as well as lead-glasses, will naturally be highly skeptical of the claims being made there. Either the author is lying or he is grossly exaggerating the gold yield. It is true that some "gradating glasses" can in fact be produced that make silver yield some gold, but nothing like this author claims. The amount of gold obtained is always very inferior to both the weight of the "gradating glass" and the silver employed. Nothing "alchemical" in the true sense is produced in such operations. This type of "gradating glass" operations are totally "chymical". No alchemical "tincture" (i.e. that can transmute many times its own weight) will ever be produced with such methods.

    You came up with two problems: amalgams and evaporation of the volatiles.
    You have not explained what the problem is with the use of amalgams, so I can't really reply to that.
    But I did explain it. Let me recap it again: no matter how you prepare your metallic mercury, what metals/metalloids you mix it with, and how long you "cook" such amalgams, they will never "coagulate" into a fixed, fusible and fire-resistant "tincture" that "penetrates" metals and transmutes them. It's just not going to happen. You don't have to take my word for it. We are not dealing with the experience of only one person here, but with the collective accumulated experience of several centuries. You can read about the many failures that so many seekers fell into by trying to follow this "mercurialist" line of thinking. Boerhaave, for example, even spent YEARS patiently heating flasks with various amalgams just to see "what happens". The result of his troubles: N-O-T-H-I-N-G! The metallic mercury remained exactly the same as it always was, no matter what apparent changes it went through. In the end, the exact same mercury remained or could be recovered. Ever since authors like Gaston "Claveus" Duclo made such "mercurialist" claims popular in the 16th century, a veritable army of "puffers" and chymists tried their luck at making the Stone with amalgams. None succeeded in making anything that can be considered an alchemical "tincture". Some did succeed in achieving "direct" (i.e. chymical; no transmuting "tincture" involved) transmutations involving metallic mercury, though.

    As for evaporation, I did answer but you don't accept that answer. I say just seal the vessel you use and the vapours cannot escape. You say that is impossible. I do not see why that would be impossible.
    But like I told you, in practice it does not work. It is not easy at all to really seal a vessel that will be glowing hot all over its mass. The pressure build-up is too much for any vessel or cement/lute to withstand it.

    You seem to think that is because I have no experience with melting metals and crucibles and kilns. That is not the case. I have quite some experience with high temperature work.
    I have made various ceramics, glazes, glasses, crystals, metals and alloys working with ovens and direct fire and working with different types of vessels.
    But none of that calls for the vessels being "sealed" or prevent a volatile substance from escaping the strong heat.

    If you think that when I say "seal your crucible" I mean take a standard graphite melting pot and just put a lid on it, then you are mistaken.
    From my answer I think you can tell that I assumed that is not what you meant, as there is nothing really closing the joints between the crucible and the lid. That's why I brought up the subject of cements/lutes.

    But let's try to get this back on track of a civil discourse and a constructive discussion?
    So ok, where were we and what were we talking about?
    That the authors who claim that you can prepare the secret solvent (a volatile substance in all its forms) in crucibles and then use it to make the Stone in the same type of vessels and with strong fires are either full of crap and lying and making people waste their time and money on a fairy tale, or they actually discovered a way to prevent some forms of the secret solvent from volatilizing too fast and being able to remain in strong heats long enough to both prepare it, and then make the Stone with it. If the second is true, then how??? None of the authors so far consulted on this topic seem to address this problem, at least not in a logical and sufficiently clear manner. The originator of this claim (viz. the 17th century anonymous brass-founder who visited Helvetius and gave him a sample of the Stone for him to test) only makes a vague and enigmatic reference to the "Glassy Seal of Hermes", but does not care to elaborate more on this. This mysterious utterance has caused some to speculate that what he probably meant is that the substances used to make the Stone in this "dry way" are to be covered with a layer of molten glass. But anyone who has performed tests to see how well can molten glass prevent volatile substances from evaporating will have his share of doubts about its effectiveness in the long run. The molten glass slows down the evaporation, to be sure, but certainly not enough to prevent the volatile substances from eventually making it through the glass layer and finding their way out. Since the substances that make-up the Stone in this alleged "way" have to be kept in a strong fire for several days, one then has to obviously wonder how could one possibly prevent the secret solvent from eventually mostly or wholly volatilizing.

  10. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    I actually didn't, one of the moderators moved the post here. I originally posted it in the thread you opened, where you were talking about the subject already.
    Correct, I moved that post to its rightful topic-related thread/location, as opposed to going into detailed practical discussions on someone's introduction thread. Introduction threads are just that, an opportunity for new members to tell us a bit about themselves, as well as an opportunity for everyone else to meet and greet those who are new. If you want to go into specifics, just quote something from the intro thread that you want to address, and reply on the topic-relevant thread that best fits the bill. This makes the forum easy to read, search and navigate for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    The molten glass slows down the evaporation, to be sure, but certainly not enough to prevent the volatile substances from eventually making it through the glass layer and finding their way out. Since the substances that make-up the Stone in this alleged "way" have to be kept in a strong fire for several days, one then has to obviously wonder how could one possibly prevent the secret solvent from eventually mostly or wholly volatilizing.
    That is, assuming the glass was intended to prevent/slow down evaporation. But what if this is an erroneous assumption? What if this "glass" plays a completely different role here? And for the more erudite among us, what does Fulcanelli (for example) has to say about glass?

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