Basic Theory of the Acetate Path (14) — Multiplication and Projection
Here are my final words on the basic theory of the Acetate Path, rounding off the full description of the work.
Two steps in the process remain to be described. Multiplication, and projection. I should point out that these two steps are the part of the process I know least about. So my description here is only theory, and will be short.
Multiplication refers to the technique of manipulating the finished Stone in such a way as to increase its ability to transmute. That is, to increase its potency as a transmutation agent. This is important because after spending maybe years of time to confect your Stone, it would kind of be self defeating to use it up in a couple of experiments with transmutation and use it all up, then have to start over.
A broad research of classic alchemical documents that provide descriptions of the technique for multiplying the potency of the Stone will show that ideas about how this is to be achieved vary greatly. Whether or not there are various methods that work, or only one viable technique, it is very difficult to tell. For the most part the truth of the matter can probably only be discovered by trial and error … a difficult situation when it is likely that the experimenter will begin with only a small amount of the Stone as a means of solving the problem.
Ripley's take on this process is described in the 27th Chapter of the Bosome Book, Titled …
“The Multiplication or Increase of the Vertue and Goodness of the aforesaid White and Red Stones”
And I quote:
“If you wish to exalt your Medicine or Stone in quantity or goodness, then put your aforesaid white or red Stone, or part of each into a several Vyol of Glass fit for the quantity, close well the Viol, then hang up your Glass or Glasses in Balneo Mariae vaporoso so that it touch not the Water, in this warm fume or breath, the Stone which was congealed before in the Glass will now be dissolved, which then congeal again upon warm Ashes, and again thus dissolve and congeal, and so iterate this work of dissolution and congelation until at last the Stone within the Glass dissolved will be congealed, as soon as he cometh out of the Pot or Balneo, and feeleth the cold Air, without any other manner of Congelation to be used, and note that how often in this work you do dissolve and congeal your said Medicine or Stone, so many times doth he increase his Virtue ten times in projection, so that if at the first one ounce will convert 100 ounces, after the second Solution, the same one shall convert 1000, after the third 10000, after the fourth time 100000, and after the fifth 1000000 parts of any imperfect Metal into pure and true Gold and Silver in all Examinations as any of the Natural Mine.”
A small portion of the finished Stone is placed in a small flask with a long neck. The flask is sealed tight and then suspended over a water bath so that it does not touch the water, but only coming into contact with the steam from the water. The heat from the steam, which will be less than 100 degrees C, will melt the fragment of the Stone. When it is dissolved the flask should me moved from the steam and sat on an ash bath, and that degree of heat will affect the Stone in such a way that it will re-congeal and slowly harden again.
Ripley instructs us that each melting and re-congealing will increase the transmuting power of the Stone ten times.
This method of multiplication, if it actually works, is one of the simplest techniques I have come across. Many methods described by other authors also seek to increase the physical size of the stone while at the same time increasing it potency to transmute.
Finally, the subject of Projection.
Projection is not simply the act of tossing a piece of the Stone into a crucible of moltren metal and thereby forcing it to be transmuted in to gold or silver. Ripley explains his method, in the 28th Chapter, something like this: a portion of metallic Mercury (Hg) is heated in a crucible and a piece of the Stone is is projected into that hot Mercury. This Mercury is thus changed into a new form of the Stone, itself, and it congeals from the liquid metal into a solid. A portion of this substance is then taken and projected on a new batch of heated liquid Mercury … and so on four times. With the fourth cycle the fourth fresh batch of Mercury will transmute in to gold (or silver, depending on whether you were using the white or red Stone).
This is a kind of interesting method, and quite novel, compared to what most other authors suggest. One of the things Ripley doesn't say is that in the first projection, of the Stone on to the hot Mercury, the Stone must be wrapped in wax, otherwise as it hits the surface of the hot Mercury it will evaporate, and no transmutation will occur.
So that about wraps it up. While this is my last word on this specific thread of conversation, I will add detail to pieces of what I've already said, in future, and of course answer questions on this subject from anyone who would likew to know more.
Disclaimer: I strongly advise that you do not attempt to put the techniques I describe here in to practice unless you have a well developed experience with chemistry, or you have access to the careful instruction of someone who is intimately knowledgeable in the processes I describe herein. Many of these techniques I describe in these essays have potential risks involved, and I do not always point out those risks in my descriptions. I do not take responsibility for any injuries or damages which may occur from the practical experiment with instructions contained in this email.
This essay was first published on the Hermetic Alchemy Forum on 5 February 2014, as post #633.
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