Basic Theory of the Acetate Path (8) — The Secret Solvents
It might be said that in seeking knowledge of the Philosopher's Stone there are five primary secrets that are guarded. The true nature of:
1. The Proper Method
2. The Crude Matter
3. The Secret Fire
4. The Alkahest
5. Philosophic Mercury
The proper method I am discussing (in general terms) as I complete these essays.
The crude matter … for this Path … I have already described.
The last three secrets are probably the things about which virtually nothing is known … outside of a proper education and successful experience. So let us now consider the real nature of the last three secrets … a subject which I refer to as “The Secret Solvents”.
Previously we have separated each of the products of the destructive distillation, and then PURIFIED them. Now we begin the THIRD WORK which is the process of putting them all back together as a single homogeneous whole.
This process leans on a knowledge of how to make a special solvent called 'Man's Blood' and a solvent called the 'Alkahest', which allow us to radically dissolve the mineral Salts which form the solvent and the body of our Stone. Without these solvents the Salts in the work cannot be opened, softened and made volatile enough for our Stone to penetrate the heart of every gross metal, and force their transmutation.
Previously we removed the volatile Sulphur from the Sulphurous mass (tar-like oil) by lifting it away with the help of the pure Ardent Water (Mercury-Acetone). This Ardent Water and volatile Sulphur now need to be united. This is achieved by distilling the Ardent water away from the Sulphur, and then returning it, to re-distill, until the Ardent Water lifts up with itself, over the still-head, all of the Sulphur, until nothing remains. This homogeneous combination of Ardent water and volatile Sulphur is our man's blood, and it has a special property … it can dissolve and unite with Ripley's Earth, Albertus' Salt of Sulphur. The Secret Fire of the Philosophers.
This is the next step, to take the snow white pure Salt of Sulphur and dissolve it in the man's blood. This is done also by the very skilled application of circulation (pelicansation).
The combination of the Ardent Water, the Volatile Sulphur and the fixt Salt of Sulphur is that which the old alchemists called their Alkahest. It is the man's blood infused with the Secret Fire. An acid (the Sulphur) successfully combined with an alkali (the Salt), producing a solvent which is does not produce water+salt, but which retains the solvent properties of both the acid, the alkali and the spirit they are dissolved in. A oddity in nature and in chemistry.
The importance of the Alkahest, is its special property. Which is that it has the ability to radically dissolve the 'basis', or foliated earth, our Nature Sulphur. (Which is in fact the pure crystalised Salt of Lead. Also known as the Heart of Saturn).
This is the next step, to now use the Alkahest to dissolve and unite with the foliated earth. Success in this step produces that which the old Adepts called … Philosophic Mercury. 'Philosophic' because it is a solvent which is composed entirely of all the products that took part in the destructive distillation … and now no longer solid matter, but a liquid. In other words … solid matter … the Lead and organic solvent, are now retrograded … reverse engineered back to their primordial state … a viscous slime.
This substance is now the unification of all the products of the destructive distillation … unified because if we now distill this Philosophic Mercury it will all come over the still-head, leaving no residue behind. In a manner this is our Stone in its most basic form, since it is the Four Elements united into a new Fifth State … the Q-state. But this substance is not our universal transmutation agent. It lacks that which the old Adepts called 'The Ferment' (to gold or silver).
This is the subject of the next essay.
Air + Fire = Man's Blood
Man's Blood + Earth = Alkahest
Alkahest + Nature Sulphur = Philosophic Mercury
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 18 November 2013, as post #506.
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