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Thread: Volatile Fixed - Fixed Volatile

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Volatile Fixed - Fixed Volatile

    This is probably one of the most used instructions in alchemical texts:

    Make the volatile fix and the fix volatile!

    Robert Boyle for example also acknowledges a secret method of accomplishing this with the help of air/nitre. Seems he got that knowledge from Starkey/Philalethes:

    From Alchemy Tried in the Fire by Newman and Principe

    There is an intersting alternative version in the german translation of (the also very interesting book I recommend to read if you happen to read latin, french, or german) the 20th chapter of Pierre-Jean Fabre's "Propugnaculum alchymiae" (german: "Brustwehr der Alchemie") from 1624:

    (I give you an english translation of the part I mean)
    A long time is necessary for the perfection of metals and this is because of the wetness and coldness of the metallic seed or Principii metallici. And the vility of natural warmth which isn't able to overcome this abundant wetness and coldness. The alchemists therefore say: Make the hidden visible and the visible hidden and you will get the absolute Arcanum of alchemy! That is hide the obvious coldness and wetness of the Mercurii or metallic seed via cooking. This way you will make visible the hidden warmth and dryness of this very same Mercurii.
    Note: He is referreing to the metallic, vulgar mercury in chapter 15, quoting Geber and saying that it needs to be prepared in a certain way, otherwise it's useless. In chapter 14 however he clearly says that the "mercury" of the alchemists is not the metallic one, but a certain water that is not necessarily obtained from vulgar mercury and all that is needed to accomplish the whole work (see Fulcanelli).

    Quite a practical hint for the mysterious fix/volatile thingy imo and an interesting alternative to the volatilization methods of common salts that many authors give.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Yes, in this case the snake below is already hidden in the dragon above.

    When looking at this picture I always need to think about Bernus and his claim that the dragon above is nitric acid.

    I can't really agree, but most nitrates that would result out of the imbibition of any salt with this acid have very low melting points. So chemically seen, in a certain way Bernus was actually somehow right, because most salts actually are pushed up some steps of the Aurea Catena this way.

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