A WORK COPIED
FROM AN ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT
WITHOUT ANY DATE OR
THE WAY TO OPERATE THE ELIXIR
COPIED IN THE YEAR
This document is part of the Bacstrom Manuscripts as has been translated by Dr. Sigismond Bacstrom. The original has been obtained from Yale University and now made part of the R.A.M.S. materials.
The following work was copied from a manuscript bought out
of Lackinton Allen & Compf Sale Catalogue for 1797 No.
10886, London Times, 1797.
HOW TO MAKE THE ELECTRUM 1 THE PHILOSOPHER’S EARTH 1 TO TURN THIS EARTH OF THE PHILOSOPHERS INTO FIRE
ELEMENTARY 3 ITS FURTHER CLEANSING 4 YOUR NEXT WORK 5 THE MERCURY FOR THE AMALGAMATION 5 THE FURTHER USE OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL GOLD and SILVER;
AND HOW TO JOIN IT TO THE ELEMENT OF THE EARTH THAT
THE MERCURY OF THE MERCURY OF THE PHILOSOPHERS MAY
BE PRODUCED 6 OF THE MANNER OF CLEANSING THE aaa 7 THE EAGLES 8 THE FIRST EAGLE BY GOD’S PERMISSION 9 THE SECOND EAGLE 10 THE 3RD, 4TH, 5TH, 6TH, 7TH AND 8TH EAGLES 11 THE STH EAGLE 11 THE 10 TH EAGLE 11 THE BLACK FECES 13 CONVERSIONS 14 PERFECTION 14
A CERTAIN QUICK AND EASY WAY TO EXTRACT THE
TRUE SULPHUR OF NATURE OUT OF THE ELECTRUM, AND TO ADD IT TO THE MERCURY IF IT SHOULD WANT
IT AND DOTH NOT COME TO ITS TRUE CONGELATION IN DUE TIME, FOR WANT OF THE FIRE OF THE SULPHUR
WITHIN ITS – BODY; AND TO ADD IT TO THE WORK
OF THE ELIXIR IN YOUR SEVERAL OPERATIONS 21
TO TURN THE SULPHUR INTO A DEEP BLOOD RED OIL 22
GENERAL DIRECTIONS (cont’d)
TO MAKE THE TRUE RED OIL WHICH IS FOR THE RED
ELIXIR – ONLY TO MULTIPLY IT IN QUANTITY AND
QUALITY 3 6
TO MAKE A RED OIL MORE PERFECT AND FIT FOR THIS
MYSTERY, SINCE DISCOVERED 37
ON THE PROCESS GIVEN IN PAGE 33, FOR MAKING
THE TRUE WHITE OIL, (THE REGULUS BUTRUM
ANTIMONII) WITH OTHER USEFUL REMARKS: BY MY
Take ANTIMONY 1 Pound (but let it be true male Hungarian Antimony) and flux it in a large Crucible, first having mixed with it 6 Ounces of good Tartar (that is to say Rhenish Tartar) and good Niter christals – all in fine powder. Cast the materials into the Crucible by little and little, let all flow well and then cast it into an antimonial horn and separate its Regulus, which will be about 4 Ounces. Repeat this process with fresh materials till you have about 12 Ounces or more, then purge it once with a mixture of about three parts Tartar to one of Niter, and then it will be truly prepared, which is then the philosopher’s earth.
Take 12 Ounces of this so made regulus or earth, and 2 Ounces of pure, fine and clear new made filings of Spanishe needles, for another steel will not do. Flux all your 12 Ounces of earth clear down first, then cast down on it 2 Ounces of yourpure clear filings of steel needles, and give a white heat: let them flow well together – even as thin as water, casting on it, as it flows, now and then some of your compositione of Tartar and Niter cleanse with your cleansing – iron from what dross or scum swims above from your Tartar and Niter: then when clear cast it out into your antimonial horn (the horn being first anointed with a candles-end); and let all cool. When cool, pound it grossly again and cast on it 2 Ounces more of fresh steel filings, as before, about 3 Ounces of your composition of Tartar and Niter being mixed with them: then let all flow exceedingly clear, casting still on, now and then some Tartar and Niter : and still cleansing it well from that which you find floating above: when clear cast it as before; into your antimonial/made hot/horn, and let all cool again. You have now obtained a very brittle mass, but no star. A third time, as before, in gross powder, mix it with the composition of Tartar and Niter, and cast it down on your 2 Ounces of filings of steel. (Remember at every time of repeating this operation you must use a new Crucible. First let your 2 Ounces of steel filings be in a white heat every time before you cast down your regulus upon it, which I find to be the best way in this work; therefore note this, and let your matter flow well, and very clear, with a charcoal fire, in a wind furnace, casting down now and then some of your composition of Tartar and Niter letting your fire be quick in every flux which causeth less loss). And now, having flowed very clear, and being well freed from its scoriae, being taken from the furnace, pour it forth a third time into your antimonial horn, and let all cool. You have now a most brittle mass, but still no star, that is: scaley on the outside, like to a serpent’s skin, and so intirely from the top to the bottom, and yellow and blewish and greenish if never so little tallow more than just sufficient to moisten it and no scoriae to be separated; but one perfect mass only what you took off with your skimming iron, all joining with your Tartar and Niter, and so it is cleansed with the tartar and niter from the impure parts, for if care be not taken to separate the scoriae, both the pure and impure will continue joined together in one mass: to prevent this, you must be exceeding careful to cleanse it well by casting in a little tartar and niter from time to time, while the matter is in fusion, to make it throw its scoriae to the surface; for if the bodily impurities be not purged out with the greatest care, always separating the scoriae asit arises your body will still remain inert and dead and all your other labour and expense will be fruitless; but proper attention being paid to this particular you will bring forth almost pure matter. The chaos of the adepts, the firey element of the philosophers. Having obtained this pure matter you must not think your labour ended; you are now only entering the portal of the true philosophers therefore attend to your work and proceed to the next step.
Weigh the pure matter you have now obtained, and add to it exactly its own weight of verdegrese, first well purified; that is to say, if your matter weigh lib. IPound then 1 Pound of verdegrese is to be added to it. Let both be ground to a fine powder, and work in with them in the grinding and mixing 4 Ounces of your composition of Tartar and Niter. Then cast them, so mixed, into a new Crucible, the Crucible being red hot, but you must not cast all in at once, but by little and little, by means of a small iron ladle, and be sure your Crucible be large enough. Keep a very strong fire and let your crucible be covered with a cover provided for the purpose. You must also, as before, keep casting in from time to time a little Tartar and Niter – and if a little black-soap be mixed with your Tartar and Niter will very much quicken its clearness of flowing. When the mass hath flowed very clear for about half an hour’s time then cast it forth into your antimonial horn, and let it cool. You will now have a blewish-white brittle mass, but very smooth on the outside, and not scaley as before, (if you have not prevented it by not attending to the removal of the impurities;) of a very fine, close grain, but without the least appearance of a star, then it is the philosophers chaos or electrum.
Its Further Cleansing
Let this our chaos or electrum be cleansed seven times, each time in a clean new Crucible with pure Tartar and Niter mixt together, as before in about 3 Ounces or more. After these cleansings its appearance will be that of a purplish coloured mass, being neither metal nor mineral, but very close in its grain and presenting a fine smooth and shining surface when broken: very ponderous: of a bl ewish-white colour within, but on the outside of a pure purple. This is the conjunction of our Sol and Luna having now an union of three elements in its composition, viz. earth, fire and air. This Gold and Silver is of great value – vulgar Gold and Silver, though most pure, are not to be compared with ours; for they are dead but this has life: yea life so potent that it can revive the dead (metals) but its potential life must be brought into action by the agency of Mercury of which bye and bye.
Take your conjoined Gold and Silver and in an exceeding clear mortar made of Iron, with a pestle made of the same pound it and grind it into an impalpable powder. On this you must bestow great labour, grinding and working it with great assiduity for at least six or seven hours, when you have ground it as fine as you well can in this mortar, so as to make it pass with ease through a very fine sieve, pour it out. Then take of this powder 3 1/2 Ounces and put it into a smooth marble or blew mortar/ (the harder the substance of the mortar be, to prevent any of it from being ground in with your Gold and Silver the better) and with its pestle grind it again with great industry that you may well be assured you have really brought the powder into an impalpable state. It is now ready to be formed into an aaa with Mercury.
Your Mercury for this work must be well cleansed and purged: to effect this let it be sublimed with pure clean white common salt – 2 parts of salt to 1 of Mercury ground exceedingly well together. The Mercury being then sublimed must be again revived with hot water, and then ground again and again with salt, not dry, then let it be boiled with it: and so grind and scower it, and boil and cleanse it by pouring down on it clear cold water till it is exceeding pure and bright.
THE FURTHER USE OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL
GOLD AND SILVER
AND HOW TO JOIN IT TO
THE ELEMENT OF WATER
THAT A PHILOSOPHICAL MERCURY
MAY BE PRODUCED
AND MERCURY OF THE MERCURY
OF THE PHILOSOPHERS
You have already got your Gold and Silver into an impalpable powder; you have cleansed and purged the Mercury intended for this work. Put of your Gold and Silver in powder 3 Ounces and of your Mercury well cleansed and purified 1 lb. and 12 Ounces into a quart skillet-pan or pot made of steel; add to it 2 Ounces of your best Sal Ammoniack pure and good, in lumps, and then put into your Iron skillet rain water, gathered when the Sun was in Virgo or in Libra. Put the whole upon the fire and as the water boils away keep adding more of the same rain water, still boiling it in your skillet of Iron for at least 12 hours time, let the boiling be gentle, and during the whole time stir it continually without any intermission with a piece of Iron. When the whole is amalgamated, which it will be if you diligently attend to it, pour off the black liquor (for your rain water will have taken up a quantity of blackish matter) and to what remains in the skillet pour on some exceeding clear fountain water to cleanse it from its remaining blackness, which will take much water. Then with dry salt, after pouring off your water, grind it in a skillet of Iron with a marble pestle, and being well ground boil it again with fresh water to cleanse it, then again grind it with Salt and boil it and cleanse it with fountain water, keep repeating this work till your Mercury in its amalgama be as pure and as bright as the most fine Silver, which will hardly be accomplished with less than 40 or 50 repetitions of the aforesaid matters and labours. Lastly repeat the process of grinding in a glass mortar with its pestle, first with dry salt and then withwater poured on it. After these purifications your amalgama will weigh 1 lb. and 14 Ounces or something better, (perhaps about 1/4 Ounce more) having gained from the electrum 2 & 3/4 Ounces of pure metaline matter when purified.
From the laborious operation which I have just described you will see how necessary it is that in this work every kind of impurity be purged completely away. After I had proceeded in my work a considerable length I discovered a method by which to shorten this labour and even to increase at the same time the purity of my amalgama. This process I shall now describe.
This I did not find out perfectly till I was as far advanced as my 9th eagle. Do as follows: after pouring off from the amalgama its blackened water, pour upon it a quart or two of pure fountain water with 4 Ounces or thereabouts of dried common trencher salt. – that is to say, your Mercury being first well washed, by pouring down on it a quantity of clean common fountain water (as I have before directed). Let the aaa be drained as dry as may be in your steel skillet, after which put your salt to it, and grind it well with your marble pestle, working it very strongly for at least an hours time: it will now have become very black by the grinding: then put your quart of clean water to it, stir all well together for some time and the water will have again become a little blackish: pour it off gently and put more water to it, and boil it for some time (for 12 hours at least) stirring it all the time; then pour off the water very gently to prevent any of your Mercury from spurting or flying over with the water. Again pour on more clear fountain water to sweeten your aaa. Then decant even to dryness, or as nearly so as may be, and again put to it about 4 Ounces of fresh dried common trencher salt and grind it as before, and so repeat all the former grindings, washings and boilings. These operations you must keep repeating in their order, till the salt by your grinding will only become gray but notat all blackish, which with such a quantity of salt as I have directed, will be about the 13th or 14th repetition. (For Note, I formerly used but a small quantity of salt which made it necessary for me to go so much often er over my labours to get my aaa pure, which even after all these repetitions was not so pure as it may be made in a much smaller number of times by the present method). Then dry your aaa which will be very pure and clean, of a blewish colour, weighing about 2 Ounces more than the Mercury did before it amalgamation, viz. the mercury about lb. 10 3/4 Ounces as in my 9th eagle may be seen and the aaa was then 1 lb. 13 1/4 Ounces.
The eagles are so many sublimations or distillations of your philosophical Mercury, but, that you may bring over your Mercury easily, and with safety, so as not to break your glasses note well the following particulars: set your retort low in sand, and give a very gentle fire for six or eight hours time, your register being close, after this give a little more heat, managing your fire so that your first heat may only raise the Mercury above its feces, and the second a little higher. Then about the 9th or 10th hour, raise your fire something stronger, giving such a heat as may make your Mercury rise gently, so as to come into your receiver; which it will do running down in drops from the neck of the retort, into the water; (you should have about 3 pints of water in your receiver:) and so by God’s grace all your Mercury will come over very securely, without breaking the necks of your glasses which otherwise would be the case.
Note: Put a double brown paper into the receivers mouth, about the nose of the retort, which will be an additional security; the glasses being the safest when prevented from coming in contact with each other.
Note: Also, that you ought to jog the neck of the receiver – now and then as the Mercury comes over, to keep it clear, which also contributes to the success of your operation. Thus here will your Mercury be brought over very gently and expeditiously-
The first eagle by God’s Permission.
Take your aaa pure and well cleansed as is before directed, which is to be observed in all your amalgamations, and put into a pure, clean, well-coated retort, and set it somewhat low in sand: then take a receiver having about three pints of clean fountain water in it, and lute it close to your retort. Give exceeding little fire for 6 or 8 hours time, as before directed: then increase your fire gradually and raise your Mercury which will ascend in fumes and settle in the neck of your retort, and there condense into drops and then fall into the water in the receiver; leaving in the bottom of the retort a most black feces, very spungy, weighing about 3 Ounces. The weight of the Mercury that has come over will be 1 lb. 12 Ounces.
Note: When the Mercury begins to come over it will be all over in about four or five hours after.
Note: Also, in this first sublimation or eagles (as also in the rest, but in them more strong) a Mercury of 4 natures comes over, with their true Sulphur vivifys the Mercury of Antimony the Mercury of Iron, the Mercury of Copper and all their true genuine solar Sulphurs mixed with the common Mercury and united to it in one body: all the Sulphurs being hid in these Mercuries joined harmonically by one true and natural conjunction, and being a true hermaphroditical Mercury it carrieth its Sulphur in its belly, and the Sulphur its Mercury by which may be attained and performed the greatest arcanums for mens bodies and for cleaning the impuremetals, the whole being first duly prepared thereto, which will be after the flight of 7, 8, 9 or 10 eagles and its purification.
The process here is exactly the same as in the first eagle. In my second eagle my amalgama weighed 1 lb. 15 & 3/4 Ounces, and the Mercury which came over was 1 lb. & 12 oz. and the black feces left behind in the retort weighed 3 3/4 Ounces.
Memorandum: For every eagle preserve the feces left behind in the retort; for they contain still a small portion of good electrum which must not be lost.
To repeat every particular in these eagles is unnecessary; for all of them are the same as the former – that is take 3 Ounces of electrum most subtly ground, Mercury 1 lb. 2 Ounces of Sal Ammoniack 2 oz. in an iron skillet: grind boil amalgamate as before directed: then in a retort low in sand bring over the Mercury leaving the black /the dead doves of diana according Iren. Philalethes/ feces behind in the retort. All the eagles are to be observed in their preparations, viz their boiling, cleansing, washing and subliming.
hen I took my 1 lb. 12 Ounces of Mercury and with fresh electrum 3 Ounces and Sal Ammoniack 2 Ounces I made my aaa by boiling as formerly, and after; washed my amalgama exceeding clean with Salt and water by the method already described, when I weighed it and found its weight to be only 1 lb. & 13 1/4 Ounces which I put into a good new retort, sit low in sand and applied my heat as before. It now came over with great ease, very gently and with great safety, and by God’s mercy and favour I had of Mercury come over lib. j. 10 Ounces and in the feces left behind 2 3/4 Ounces – 1/2 Ounce being now lost, but now it was more pure than formerly, therefore it was lost in the cleansing.
I took my last drawn Mercury weighing 1 lb. 10 Ounces exactly, and amalgamated it with my last drawn or extracted electrum, and 2 Ounces of good Sal Ammoniack, boiled it 12 hours, I then cleansed it in the manner before directed. My aaa nowweighed 1 lb. 13 3/4 Ounces – perhaps a few grains more, then the Mercury which came over I ground, worked and boiled with common salt several times, till I had made my Mercury very pure which then weighed only 1 lb. 7 3/4 Ounces and a few grains more, tho’ in this 10th sublimation my glass broke in the neck. When I took my Mercury and ground it with common salt a long time, and boiled it and wrought it several times until exceeding pure and boiled it and wrought it several times until it was exceeding pure, i.e. till I could get no soil from it. I then dried it and sublimed it alone per se in a good new glass retort; and being come over by easy degrees of fire I ground it with pure good common salt and in water boiled it several times, till the salt would take no more soil from it and be no more discoloured, but remain white. After this, I boiled it three times in a solution of pure , good sal ammonia, and every time washed it and cleansed it until exceeding pure. It then weighed 1 lb. 9 3/4 Ounces. This Mercury is a second time sublimated by itself, the better to purify it, if any impurities should still have remained; and in its sublimation I found it to come over exceeding clean and bright, so that I wondered at its exceeding brightness: this I did with a stronger fire than before, as it had now a disposition to coagulate by reason of the Sulphur which it now carried in its belly, and when come over I found it very near its former weight – it wanted only a few grains of 1 pound 9 3/4 Ounces. Note: In this sublimation it left the bottom of the retort very clear – only on the spot where the Mercury had lain there was a round spot, something larger in circumference than a crown piece, and round about it a circle of a blewish sad colour, and in a thin streaming substance a sad red colour thinly stained the glass: the colour resembled natural dnabar, which coloured all the sides of the glass – retort up to the neck. There was also a very subtile powder, which was a part of the sulphur which now began to separate itself from its Mercury but not above 2 or 3 grains in weight, the Mercury was the purest I ever beheld so that I was filled with admiration at its brightness and purity – shining like a highly burnished sword, as flamel saith: and so I finished my Mercury.
You will remember that I desired you to preserve the black feces left behind after every eagle, for that they contained still a portion of good electrum which ought not to be lost. The feces are left in the retort in the form of a black spongy round cake. I found in 5 of these cakes about 17 Ounces weight which I fluxed with Niter and Tartar and blacksoap. The mixture I put into little bits of paper rolled up and then put these papers into the crucible, under and over the feces, in my wind furnace, and as I fluxed I cast in from time to time some more of the same mixture rolled up in the same manner. For the 17 Ounces of feces I saved only 4 Ounces or thereabouts, losing something more than 1 Ounce in the ashes owing to my crucible breaking which allowed a part of it to run out, and I could not afterwards find it. I judge that in this, as in other fluxings of the black feces, left at the bottom of the retort I had sixteen ounces of feces and about 2 Ounces or nearly so of good pure electrum. The remainder was a black scoriae or earthy dross, of a black colour, having lost and let go all its tincture and metaline spirits into the Mercury, leaving the remaining feces dead and good for nothing, as by experience I have found of the last 4 Ounces I extracted from the feces, viz. the last fluxed 16 Ounces I made the aaa of my 10th eagle.
Note: In the 10 amalgamations for my 10 eagles I used 33 Ounces with what I collected from the black feces. From this it may be judged what quantity of metaline Sulphur and Mercury Salt of nature might to into this my Mercury made in the manner before declared.
For this work there is a conversion of natures:
First: Earth into Fire:
The electrum being duly prepared, then you have earth (Antimony is earth) which being united to Iron its half part is then called the element of fire, when pure, because fire abounds.
Second: Fire into Air:
When that elemented Iron is joined to its spouse viz Copper (verdegreis) in equal proportion, and cleansed to its highest degree of purity, then it becomes the philosopher’s Air because that element now abounds.
Third: Air into Water:
Let it be well amalgamated with well purged Mercury and often sublimed – every time with fresh electrum aaa. With the Mercury and then again sublimed; then all the elements are liquified and turned into philosophical Mercury.
The Mercury of the philosophers being truly prepared, which you now know how to accomplish, you must turn the wheel of nature back again for the finishing of the stone. This is not to be accomplished by an manual operation, but by the secret operation of God and nature, working on your Mercury within its proper glass: for being only agitated from without, by the external fire or heat, properly applied it turns again.
Which is the true elixir of the philosophers in its first order. From all this it is obvious that the elements are turned twice round in this work, but if you work with common gold (for from it you may also make the elixir) then (note) the elements must be turned round thrice. Prefer thou the philosophers Gold which comes out of their Mercury.
For making the first regulus or earth common argol or tartar will serve, which is from ordinary wine, lees of white or claret wine from 4 or 5 lb. Mix 13 Ounces or 14 Ounces of this with 1 lb. of Antimony and 3 Ounces of Niter. By this means you shall have a large produce of regulus, using a quick charcoal fire in your wind furnace.
In making (and cleansing) your electrum in the 2d conjunction (that of Iron) and in the 3d (that of Copper) use good Rhenish – wine tartar and Niter: I also add sometimes a little blacksoap which helps much.
Remember always to put first your 2 Ounces of steel into your crucible, and bring it to white heat: then in lumps or grossly ground, cast in your earth (the regulus) but not mixed with the Tartar and Niter in fine powder; for if it be in fine powder and so mixed with the Tartar and Niter it calcines and mixes with the scoriae in such a manner, owing to the great heat of Iron, that you will lose a fourth part of your regulus, which will blend itself so intimately with the Tartar and Niter floating at top as never to join the regulus that is below.
To cleanse your regulus in the second work after you have joined the Iron to your electrum, or in the third when you have added Copper take either of them, as the case may be, that is your electrum, in lumps or grossly broken and put it down alone into your hot crucible with a small iron ladle: then put upon it, by degrees, some of your composition of Tartar and Niter in fine powder adding a little more from time to time. Let your electrum flow well under the mixture; and now and then, when the Tartar and Niter is grown thick and ropie on the top, over the regulus in its clear high flux, take it off with a broad pointed Iron rod or skimmer. The dross of the regulus unites itself to the ropie substance so that you get rid of it when you skim off the scoriated Tartar and Niter and again cast on more tartar and niter, and if you mix them with a little black soap it will be the better – let it flow well and then take off the dross with your skimmer as before. This work you must repeat so often till your regulus be exceedingly well purified from its dross and have become pure and good.
Before you cast your melted electrum into your antimonial horn, let the horn be thoroughly heated and greased with the end of a candle (better with Oil), but you must rub it over very thin and equal, taking care not to allow any melted tallow to remain below in the bottom of the antimonial horn, for if any remain it will cause bubbles in the body of your electrum, and prevent it from coming forth clear, with a fine, smooth grain within and without, as a mineral body ought to do. On the contrary, it will come out rough and full of holes, not only on the surface but through the whole body of the cast matter. ( Note: if you oil it with a feather, pour it into the cone whilst it flows very thin, raising your heat, and the moment it is in the cone, beat on the brim of it all around, it will be perfectly close and stellated centrally and on the superficies – the cone must be previously well-heated).
To make it quickly flow clear and very bright, cast on it now and then blacksoap mixed with salt 2 parts and tartar 1 part. Roll it up in bits of paper before you throw it in, and all your electrum (it is properly electrum when you have 3 elements in your body, viz Antimony earth, Iron fire and Copper air) by this treatment will flow very easily and quickly, and clear even as water. By these means you will purify it and make it clear and bright: with other ways you will fail in your work, with great loss, as I have found by experience.
Two reasons may be given why 3 Ounces of our electrum, finely ground, as directed in the several processes, are sufficient for the quantity of Mercury used in the amalgamations.
The first is, because the Mercury though boiled for 12 hours or more, as in the several eagles as directed, will take up and hold no more. If more be added it will be found that the aaa can not retain it in its cleansing; for I have found by experience that more or less will be thrown out of the aaa as it more or less exceed 3 Ounces.
The second reason is that the Mercury though it may be made to hold a little more in the amalgamation is not able to retain all the metalinic matter in the sublimation but will leave some behind in the black feces. I find, after the sublimation of the Mercury, that there is left behind in the bottom of the retort, out of every 6 Ounces of electrum or thereabouts, 2 Ounces at the least. That is, by fluxing down the black feces, I recover 2 Ounces of good electrum.
Note this: the Mercury in its coming over carries up with it at each time, that is at each eagle, as much as its body will hold or its wings bear, and no more can it carry with it, for that is its full due. When the 10th eagle is finished it hath then received its full proportion of Sulphur into its belly to animate it, so as it may be afterwards congealed and fixed by digestion -or else after due preparation of its Sulphur by digestion its true weight of Sulphur added in equal parts with its own true Mercury animated and by decoction it will then truly putrify to blackness; and by God’s grace, by degrees, to the elixir, first white and then red; which by the heat only of digestion it will never do.
/Does the author in the last sentence mean to say that Decoction (i.e. Boiling) is absolutely necessary and that a mere Digesting heat is not sufficient for the Work?/
Take of your electrum, exceedingly purified 1 lb. and of Sal Ammoniack only 15 Ounces, for more injures and intermingle th a foul Sulphur with the true. Let them be ground exceedingly fine, first apart and then together. Then put them in a wide necked retort with rather a low body, and first with a gentle warmth only, digest for 12 hours, then in sand, set pretty low, by degrees raise the fire, and when the blood red Sulphur begins to come into the neck of the retort; raise the Fire suddenly to a stronger heat to force up the blood red Sulphur of nature, which otherwise will fall back into the lower part of the neck of the retort among the dross that do rise last and so be lost among that dross and scoriae which layeth below.
In 3 hours time all the pure Sulphur of nature will have come over, which you may presently know by observing that part of the neck of the retort next to the body: when it begins to exhibit a brown sooty looking quality then cease speedily your Fire. The retort being cold break it gently and take only the middle blood red flowers, which is the Sulphur of nature, red as a firey coal, casting away the whitish red flowers, which are the first and which stick to the nose of the retort, and also the last soiled red flowers in that part of the neck which is nearest the body.
As you obtain the pure red middle flowers cast them into warm fountain water: stir them well with a stick (a glass rod will do better) and then let them stand awhile and the flowers will precipitate, while the salt, which carried them over, will be taken up by the water, and by this means be separated from the flowers in a clear solution. Decant – decant and dulcify it with more fresh warm water till the precipitate, that is the flowers, become very sweet. Then dry them and keep them so in a close stopped phial for use.
Note that these flowers, if not presently dulcified but allowed to remain with the salt, with the intention of being afterward dulcified, will be rendered useless: for the precious Sulphur of nature will in a very short time be corroded and corrupted by the Sal Ammoniack and so be destroyed and rendered unfit for our work. Therefore make it sweet by frequent washings with warm Water so that it may be entirely freed from the Sal Ammoniack: then let it be carefully dried in the Sun or in a like heat and then it will be fit for amalgamation with your Mercury at any time the work may require it, by grinding it with the Mercury in a marble (or glass) mortar, previously well heated in boiling water – or you may make your amalgamation otherwise.
These flowers may be turned into a deep blood red oil of a wonderful firey nature of excellent use and virtue in some works – a secret of great worth. Do as follows:
Take of these flowers and of Mercury Sublimate pure and good ana: grind them in a mortar as before, exceeding well together: then in a glass retort, in sand, in a very easy fire, a very red firey oil will distil over, rising in fumes and afterwards in drops, falling into the receiver, increase your fire very gently.
Observe: – this oil you may fix by digestion.
Note it well!
TO WORK THE ELIXIR
Take of your electrum exceedingly pure and well cleansed 1 lb. and pure SAL AMMONLAK 17 Ounces mix and grind them exceedingly well together: then in a glass retort, in sand, set pretty low, give first a gentle heat that the watery parts of the Sal Ammoniack may gently ascend: then increase gently your fire,and a dirty whitish, yet dark muddy and duskish flowers will ascend into the neck of the retort, in the first 6, 7, or 8 hours, intermixed with the Sal Ammoniack; which flowers if separated, as in the foregoing process, will be small in quantity and of a pale duskish orange colour only, and good for little: but these muddy flowers come from the good – the true Sulphur with the Sal Ammoniack – which helps to purify the true Sulphur below. Urge the fire something stronger towards the latter end or last 2 hours, and you will find remaining in the bottom of the retort the true Sulphur in the form of a cake of a deep liver colour, thoroughly opened, of a spongy texture and exhibiting little or no appearance of a metallic look; being of a firey hot taste on the tongue, and of a sweetish flavour; being now freed, by means of the Sal Ammoniack, from all its malignant and muddy feces.
The process I performed, twice to make it all the more subtil, and volatile. Take of the above sulphureous spongy cake what quantity you please, and in a clean marble mortar grind it to a fine powder: put it into a spherical glass or uncut body, something high, with its stopper exactly fitted: pour down on it pure spirit of vinegaras much as will cover it 4, 5 or 6 fingers breadth, and set it in a gentle sand heat. Digest for 3 days, and during that time, shake it gently 3 or 4 times a day, that the Sulphur may thereby enter into the more intimate union with the vinegar. Then it becomes as red as a ruby and clear, which you will perceive by looking through the glass with a candle on the opposite side, then let it settle for one night’s time; and in the morning decant slowly and gently in a very clear bright place, in the morning sun light, on what remains in the bottom of the glass pour more vinegar and digest – and decant as before. Repeat this till you have wholly extracted the tinctures which you will know by the vinegar being unable to extract any more colour remaining transparent and clear. Then gently draw off your Vinegar that it may leave the Sulphur just dry: – but take care that you scorch not this precious tender Sulphur in the distillation.
Take pure good spirit of wine, well rectified, and pour it down upon this tender Sulphur, and it will immediately be tinged of a deep blood red colour: shake and work it till the s.v. has dissolved as much of this precious Sulphur as it can take up: decant over into a spherical glass with a long neck and wash out what remains with more s.v. till all the Sulphur be in the s.v. – then lute closed the neck of the glass, the lute being dry, place it in warm sand with a degree of heat so moderate that it may not raise the spirit of wine from the Sulphur: keep it in this heat for 8 or 9 days, shaking it gently 3 or 4 times a day: then let it cool for one night. Next morning move the glass gently, and in that motion the Sulphur will join itself to the s.v. Then gently decant into a new clean glass retort: close to it a large receiver and in sand give a very gentle Fire but yet so as to make the s.v. and Sulphur boil: keep wet cloths on the receiver and preserve such a heat as may just make the contents of the retort continue to boil, and the s.v. will carry over the tender red Sulphur with a kind of puffing noise in the form of an oil redder than blood.
Observing that some Sulphur still remained in the bottom of the retort I poured back the Oil upon it, and in sand as before, set high, brought the s.v. to boil: the Sulphureous oil came over a second time; of a deeper red colour than by the first operation, and now separated from its feces, which lay behind in the bottom of the retort.
From the receiver I put into a small glass body, to which I luted a small head and receiver and set it in sand something high. With a low heat by a saw-dust fire my s.v. separated itself and came over into the receiver, which I let come so long till the blood red Oil began to follow. I then let all cool and took off my red Oil as thick as new honey – much redder than blood, or even a ruby, and poured it into a new clean christal glass for use.
This red, vivified and potent Sulphur is the Philosophers Earth and will join with the Mercury as the red earth extracted from its Mercury by the help of the red and white oils.
This is in fact to make Sulphur by Sulphur as formerly you were instructed to make Mercury by Mercury in the process of of the 10th eagle (to which all the Philosophers agree) to get its true Sulphur of nature. It is thus made with its oil. Take Mercury, 8 Ounces which was made by your 10 eagles, and let it be digested 21 days
in a bolt head, then let it cool, and pour on it 2 Ounces of your red Oil, and, in your digesting heat of saw-dust, set somewhat low, let it stand 21 days more and the Mercury will be precipitated and turned into an exceeding red sulphureous substance. Put it into a glass retort, coated, and set it low in sand. Then gradually raise the fire and the mercury will separate itself and rise by sublimation from the true sulphur of nature in the form of fine subtile flowers; and its sulphur, which it before held in its belly, will be found remaining below in the retort of a colour more red than a ruby.
Take of this sulphur six drachms, and of your Mercury prepared by six, seven, eight, nine or 10 eagles the same weight, and put them into a hot marble mortar. Then imbibe them with your red oil of Vitriol by little and little, putting it by drops upon the Mercury and Sulphur; and with the end of a very clean knife working the red Oil, which is the soul, into the Mercury which is the spirit and the Sulphur which is the body. Keep working and still imbibing with the red Oil till all be well and exactly mixed in a powderable or moist crumbly earth, redder than blood – so completely joined that no Mercury appear in the least.
It is then truly prepared and ready to be put into your glass egg, which ought to be so big that three parts may be empty and one full.
Two parts of Mercury to one of earth is also a very good proportion for the composition – and is what I generally use. Three parts of Mercury to one of earth will also do but it requires a longer time before blackness comes on by reason of its having less of the fire of nature, that is the Sulphur within it.
The Mercury is its spirit, the red Sulphur (before being brought into an Oil by the s.v.) is its body, and the red Oil is its soul, which joins the spirit and body, and byits continual circulation, kept up by means of external heat, it drops down continually on the matter – rising as a dew and continually trickling down the sides of the glass; and so continually re-moistening the matter below.
By this means a matter that to all appearance is incorruptible is brought into a state of putrefaction – the blackness of death follows – but the dead will revive again uniting all three into a glorified body after 150 days.
BY A STILL BETTER
It was some time before I came to the knowledge of this process to make from 1 lb. of Antimony, 8 unces of pure regulus, which is an approved and true way to help forward the work of the philosophical Mercury and the electrum before treated of.
Take Hungarian Antimony 1 lb, and, in gross powder, put into a Crucible, something large, place it so that the bottom of the Crucible may stand in ashes or sand on the grate in your wind furnace – the ashes or sand being in a Earthen or Iron dish, with cinders all round its bottom and sides. Have a plate of Iron, exactly flat, to cover the mouth of the Crucible, upon which make a charcoal Fire, putting the charcoal by degrees on the top of the plate, increasing this way your heat for one hour, and then for another hour still more strongly. Observe there must be no salt mixed with the Antimony in this process: the Antimony must be used alone.
After being 2 hours in the Fire take off the plate and pour out the regulus into an antimonial horn, and you will find a most pure Regulus weighing about 8 Or 9 Ounces and a very black dusty scoriae laying on its top, which separate being the dross and refuse of the Antimony and good for nothing.
This Regulus is made with Antimony 9 parts, and Iron 4 parts. Take steel or needle filings 4 Ounces and good Hungarian Antimony 9 Ounces. Let the filings be made red hot in a Crucible in a wind furnace, then put down on it first 8 Ounces of your Antimony in gross powder: stir all with an Iron rod and cast on it, now and then, a little rock Niter to make it flow easily: mix still with your Iron rod: let all flowwell and then cast by little and little and at different times the remaining 1 Ounce of Antimony, and now and then a little Niter. Let all flow well for half an hour, then cast it out into your antimonial horn and separate its dross which you will find at top. Flux it again and purge it with niter only, let it flow a little, then cast it forth and again separate its dross. Do so 3 or 4 times till it be exceedingly pure, which it will be.
Note: that by this way you get and hold its true Mercury and Sulphur in the Antimony and in the Iron; and the solar Sulphur obtained from the Iron by this way is obtained much more plentifully than by other ways – the one being a magnet for the other to draw forth the Sulphur and to hold it as by experience I have found.When it is pure, add just its equal weight of pure verdegrese in gross powder: let all flow well together. You are first to melt your Regulus and then, with an Iron ladle, cast on it now and then a part of your verdegrese; and make all flow well by casting on it from time to time a little nitre. Then cast all out into your antimonial horn and separate the dross. Flux it again and again until it be exceedingly pure, casting on it now and then in its fusion a little nitre. When pure keep it for use to make the Sulphur and true Mercury of the philosophers, (viz the white and the red,). In this electrum three elements are joined, Antimony which is the Earth, Iron which is Fire, and Copper which gives the Air.
Memorandum: The red Oil before mentioned is not the true soul of our Elixir as I have proved by experience, but neverthless it serves to make the Sulphur out of the Mercury as before is taught (being by that way animated). But the white Oil is the true spirit and soul, and philosophers true Mercury for the first conjunction and multiplications of the White Elixir.
To Make The True White Oil, (Butyrum) Which
Is The Spirit And Soul In Our
Elixir And The Metaline
Take the electrum prepared as is before directed, pure and good, one part and grind it to an impalpable powder, and well prepared Mercury Sublimate two parts: grind both well together: protect your mouth and nose, on account of the poysonous vapours, which are mortal, when received in the lungs), put the compound into a coated glass retort with a wide neck, and in sand set low, with a fire of suppression give first for 6 hours a very small heat the better to open its body – then increase the fire and a white Oil of a christaline nature will come over into the receiver, dropping down, while a buttery christaline substance will partly tumble down into the receiver and partly stick in the neck of the retort, which ought to be set sloping to favour the operation. In about 12 hours the work will be finished. When all is cold separate the Mercury viva with great care from the white Oil. When the white Oil is separated from the Mercury viva you will find a buttery hard reddish substance somewhat christaline stuck fast in and about the neck of the Retort and the sides of the receiver. Put it into a very clean glass bason and expose it to a clean good air, being free from the rain and dust. After a short time, it will dissolve into a white Oil which mix with the other white Oil and in a clean new glass retort, set high in sand, its nose sloping into the receiver and properly luted, I give it a very gentle fire /:best ground into the receiver:/ (i.e., ground glass fittings-HWN) until the buttery substance like icicles, begins to appear; then raise the Fire and force off all that will go over. The christaline buttery substance which you obtain will be less in quantity and less red than before: you are again to liquify them in the Air and proceed as before. Repeat the work 7 times in 7 new clean glasses – and note that every time you draw it off it leaves its dead eagles, which gave it wings, viz its salts and the common Mercury, in grayish powdery feces sticking at the sides and lower
part of the necks of the retorts; and our Mercury is then pure and clean, like cream of milk, being shaken or otherwise agitated: a thin substance floats over this cream till agitated slightly. This thin substance is its spirit, of a sourish, sharpe and fiery taste; which keep close for use.
This white cream, being of a fiery nature (and indeed it is our natural fire), with the this Spirit, is the true Mercury of the Philosophers. Let the philosophical mercury be rectified in such a warmth as will only raise its flegm.