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The Alchemy Academic Forum 51-100

From January 25th 1996, the Alchemy forum was restructured and the messages were sequentially numbered prefixed with the letter A. This is an unedited extract of messages 51-100.
Go to next 50 messages . Back to alchemy academic forum archive.

Subject: A0051 Herb Web

From: Adam McLean
Date: 30 Aug 1996

I have just received information about a site organised by Tim Johnson, containing an enormous database documenting the ethnobotanical uses of 40,000 plant species worldwide. There is much information here on the medical uses of plant materials which may be of interest to practical alchemists.

Http://www.herbweb.com/


Subject: A0052 How to make the crucible?

Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 12:25:20 +0100
From: Joel Tetard

ShinmeiSuzuki wrote:
> [...] We plan to make the crucible which can dissolve the metal
> ( Cu, Zn, Pb, [Fe], etc). So, we will request a ceramic artist
> to make the crucible.
> Please give me some advice of the crucible form, size, material, etc.

I am pleased to see somebody in an university dare to study relations
between alchemy and metallurgy. Actually, this matter seems to be never
officially studied in Europe ... Shame on us !!! ;-)

Some people have studied its symbolism, according a psychological approach
(see Jung for instance), and some other have studied its relationships with
philosophy, literarure, etc. but very few have studied in depth the impact
of this art on technologies and sciences: metallurgy, glassmaking,
medicine, etc.

Modern lab wares are not very suitable for working in Alchemy. The main
problem is they are very fragile and they react with salts in some
cases. Their shape also could be not convenient.

More generally speaking it would be very interesting to study the
technology of old alchemical and chemical wares and instruments
(balances, furnaces, etc.). Making replicas would be necessary in order
to measure their performance, their accuracy etc.

It would be an interesting matter for discussion on the Forum ...

In order to make myself my crucible in a (far ...) future I collected
some information about the making of crucibles.

I append two texts in French.
1 - Fireclay is a summary in French of the pre-treatment of clay
2 - Crucible concerns mainly the making of crucibles as it was
observed in the glass industry in Europe before the 1st World War. I add
some addresses of dealers in France. This text is in French too (Sorry !).

I hope you understand French or you can find somebody who would help you.
In the future I'll try to do a "quick" (I need time for this ...)
translation/summary of these texts.

The following table gives the overall dimensions of modern crucibles
available from Solazaref's group. These wares are very convenient for
alchemical purposes.

According to a commercial booklet published 10 years ago, 3 different
series of crucibles (high shape, large shape, standard) are (were ?)
available. Each could be made of 3 different qualities of clay and the
available sizes are 150 cc, 200 cc and 250 cc.

Dimensions are given in the following table :

------------------------------------------------------------
Series I "Standard" I "Large" I "Height" I
------------------------------------------------------------
Capacity I 150 200 250 I 150 200 250 I 150 200 250 I
(in cc) I I I I
------------------------------------------------------------
Height I 100 110 120 I 80 90 100 I 120 130 140 I
(in mm) I I I I
------------------------------------------------------------
Diameter I 65 75 85 I 75 85 95 I 55 65 75 I
(in mm) I I I I
------------------------------------------------------------


Solazaref makes also a strong crucible required for special needs :
this "heavy-duty" crucible is made of compressed clay. Capacity : 150
cc, Diameter : 7 cm, Height : 10 cm

According to some other sources, making your own crucibles would be
rather easy.

Don't hesitate to do some experiments, mixing different kinds of clay,
using crushed fireclay (chamotte, in French) of different granulometry,
mixing clay with horse hairs and/or herbs (for making a kind of carbon
composite !), etc.

Cooking your crucibles would be for much longer time than for ordinary wares
and require much care. You will break a great deal of them !

Using such traditional crucibles, you ought to increase the
temperature at a very slow rate in order to avoid thermal stress: 2 or 3
hours could be needed before reaching the maximum temperature. The same time
would be necessary before opening the door of the athanor.

You can open the door of the furnace and work with the crucible, but
you have to keep it "red hot". Be care of cooling it !!

Crucibles are extremely fragile : protect them against stress due to air
stream, physical constraints (tools, shocks, etc) and any brutal changes
of temperature etc.

Protect them against moisture. Your vessels should by dry when you will
use them.

I hope this information will be helpful to you.

Best regards.

J Tetard


--------------------------

Fireclay text:-
Recueillez au gîte la quantité nécessaire de terre, en la triant sur le tas pour retirer toute impureté et étrangeté : elle doit être nette et de structure uniforme.
Séchez-là au soleil quelques semaines, jusqu'à ce qu'elle puisse se concasser en grain de 0,5 cm, ce que vous faites.
Dans de grands saladiers en grès ou sur des plaques d'enfournement adéquates - en carbure de silicium de préférence - demandez à un potier de vous la calciner à 1300°C. Une fois sortie du four, vous la broyez en grains non identiques dont les dimensions varient de la poussière à 1 mm. maximum. Vous obtiendrez de cette façon la chamotte dûment préparée. Faîtes cela sur 40% de votre quantité.
Pendant ce temps, vous aurez mouillé l'autre partie des grains de terre crus et vous l'aurez malaxée de sorte qu'elle forme une bouillie épaisse, un peu liquide tout de même. Vous filtrerez cette barbotine avec un tamis 30 (30 maille par pouce).
Vous mettez en présence la chamotte et la barbotine, dans un grand bac, et vous mélangez subtilement, jusqu'à obtention d'une pâte très homogène.
Fabriquez des plaques de plâtre d'une épaisseur de 7 à 10 cm (il en existe de toutes moulées chez les marchands de matériaux, vendus pour les cloisons), et placez votre pâte liquide sur ces plaques. Surveillez l'absorption d'eau d'eau qui, d'après le temps, peut demander de une à six heures, selon la saturation de la plaque.
Une fois ferme comme de la pâte à modeler, aisément façonnable à la main sans qu'elle colle aux dites, retirez la pâte et battez-la sur une table en bois très forte ; stockez-là dans votre cave en pain enveloppés dans des sacs de forte toile périodiquement humidifiés, parfaitement fermés. Elle se conservera ainsi prête à l'usage des années, pourvu qu'elle ne prenne pas la lumière, ni le chaud, ni l'air. Elle se bonifiera même avec le temps : plus elle sera vieille, meilleure vous la trouverez.
Façonnez à la main, avec habileté, vos formes. Laissez sécher dans un local ventilé mais à l'ombre et, une fois complètement sec, demandez au potier de cuire à 1400 °C pour les objets devant contenir un métal liquide, et à 1 100°C pour ceux qui doivent plus spécialement résister aux chocs thermiques, en atmosphère oxydante, dépourvue de salage.

--------------

Crucible text:-


Quelques éléments sur la fabrication des creusets

C. Chabrié, "Traité de chimie appliquée", tome second, chapitre "Verrerie : appareils de chauffage employés dans la fabrication du verre", pages 7 à13, Masson et Cie, Paris, 1908.
[...]
Creusets : Les creusets de verrerie sont le plus souvent de la forme d'un tronc de cône tel que la plus petite base forme le fond du creuset, la plus grande correspondant à l'ouverture du haut. La section du creuset peut être circulaire ou elliptique.
Examinons pourquoi cette forme a été adoptée.
On a donné au fond du creuset une surface moins grande qu'à son ouverture parce qu'il est nécessaire que, les creusets étant placé à coté les uns des autres, la flamme puisse circuler entre eux et la parois du four ;donc la forme conique est préférable à la forme cylindrique.
[...]
On dit que le coté du pot qui est le plus voisin de l'ouvreau (par où l'on cueille le verre en fusion) est tourné au logis, tandis que le coté opposé est dirigé vers la fosse.
L'arête du fond du creuset sur laquelle la flamme vient toucher avant de s'étaler autour du creuset appartient à ce qu'on appelle la jable. Il est facile de comprendre qu'elle s'amincit, parce qu'elle s'use plus vite que l'arête opposée.
Pour obvier à cet inconvénient, on tourne au logis le coté du pot qui faisait face à la fosse, et cela de temps en temps (au bout de deux ou trois semaines environ).
Cela est possible avec les creusets à section circulaire. Avec les autres, il n'en est pas de même. Alors, on donne à ces derniers une épaisseur plus grande du coté le plus exposé à la flamme.
D'une manière générale, on s'arrange pour que l'épaisseur du fond et de la parois verticale voisine du fond soit de 1/12 du diamètre de l'ouverture du creuset. Cette épaisseur n'est que de 1/20 de ce diamètre à la partie haute du pot. On a beaucoup discuter sur ces deux dimensions, car il y a avantage à avoir des pots minces pour avoir des fontes courtes et économiser le combustible, mais on a grand intérêt à se servir de pots résistants, donc assez épais.
Le volume des creusets est assez variable ; le rapport des dimensions correspondantes n'est pas forcément constant. Il suffit que le volume et surtout la surface du verre fondu soient assez grands pour que l'on puisse le cueillir facilement. C'est dire que le diamètre sera plus grand par rapport à la hauteur lorsque les pots seront petits que lorsqu'ils seront de grande taille.
En France on construit les creusets en leur donnant une hauteur d'environ 80 centimètres avant de les cuire. Ils n'ont plus que 70 centimètres après cuisson, et si l'on retranche l'épaisseur du fond et quelques centimètres de la hauteur qui sont inutilisés afin de ne pas trop remplir le pot, on arrive à une hauteur réelle d'environ 60 centimètres. La capacité du vase correspond à environ 400 kilogrammes de verre fondu.
En Allemagne on dépasse rarement 150 kilogrammes ; en Angleterre on atteint souvent 2 500 kilogrammes.
[...]
Il importe de donner quelques indications sur la façon de préparer les pots ou creusets.
Il est évident qu'on ne peut pas employer un métal pour faire ces creusets. Le fer et les métaux communs fondraient aux températures élevées des feux de verrerie. Le platine, qui conviendrait à tous égards, serait trop cher. On emploi donc de l'argile bien exempte de fer, très pauvre en chaux, et assez riche en alumine (2 à 3 partie de silice pour une d'alumine).
De semblables argiles se trouvent à Forges-les-Eaux en France ; à Huy, près de Namur, en Belgique ; à Kligenberg et à Pilsen en Bavière ; à Hourbridge en Angleterre.
Lorsqu'on extrait l'argile, elle retient 15 p. 100 d'eau ; on la laisse sécher à l'air sous des hangars et, au bout de plusieurs mois, elle ne contient plus guère que 6 p. 100 d'humidité.
Les matières organiques, d'ailleurs peu abondantes et qui donnent à l'argile sa couleur grisâtre, sont détruite pendant la torréfaction, opération après laquelle la matière doit être blanche.
Une argile de bonne qualité doit être onctueuse au toucher et happer la langue. Ces deux propriétés doivent être indispensables. Les argiles pyriteuses, en effet, ou sablonneuses sont rudes au toucher.
Comme l'argile est assez riche en eau, les pots qui seraient fabriqués avec de l'argile crue subiraient un retrait trop considérable pendant le séchage et surtout pendant l'attrempage qui se fait au rouge blanc. On mêle donc à cette argile crue un poids variable, mais souvent égale à celui de l'argile, d'une substance qui ne subirait pas de retrait. Cette substance est de l'argile préalablement calcinée en menus morceaux à très haute température. Il en résulte que cette poudre, ce ciment, qui a été passé à travers un tamis de laiton (de 80 fils au décimètre), divisera la masse de l'argile en milliers d'îlots qui rendront plus facile le départ de l'eau de cette argile.
Il est vrais que la porosité de la matière sera augmentée et sa solidité diminuée, et cela d'autant que la proportion du ciment sera plus considérable. C'est pourquoi toutes ces manipulations doivent être étudiées de très près dans chaque cas spécial.
Certaines remarques ont été exprimées par les verriers sur des faits que les chimistes de laboratoire n'auraient sans doute pas prévus. Ainsi il semble démontré que les argiles grises contenant des matières organiques doivent être préférées aux argiles plus blanches, parce qu'elle sont plus faciles à travailler en donnant des pâtes plus liantes. On sait même qu'il est bon d'abandonner longtemps, sous des hangars, les argiles à façonner afin de leur donner le temps de pourrir.
C'est pourquoi les argiles blanches si pures de Montereau ne conviennent nullement à la fabrication des pots de verrerie. Il est vrai que leur faible proportion d'alumine est à elle seule une raison qui doit les faire exclure.
Le mélange de ciment et de terre pourrie convient d'ailleurs beaucoup mieux pour la préparation des fours que le mélange de ciment et de terre nouvellement extraite. Il adhère mieux et résiste mieux au feu (Bontemps).
On peut faire servir des débris de vieux pots, séparés du verre adhérent, à la confection du ciment, à la condition toutefois de mêler à ces débris un poids égale de terre brûlée. On broie ensemble l'argile et le ciment avec des appareils qui n'ont rien de particulier à l'industrie du verre, sauf peut-être celui qui sert dans les fabriques de porcelaines à malaxer et à couper en tous sens automatiquement la terre, le ciment et l'eau préalablement mélangés dans des proportions voulues et d'ailleurs variables avec chaque fabricants.
Il est nécessaire, avant de mêler la terre, l'eau et le ciment, de passer au crible les substances solides.
Un procédé assez généralement employé pour le malaxage du mélange est celui qui consiste à le faire marcher.
L'opération se pratique ainsi :
Un ouvrier place dans une sorte de caisse appelée maie, mesurant 3 mètres environ de longueur sur 1,50 m. de largeur et 35 centimètres de hauteur, la pâte à malaxer. Il s'arrange de façon à ne remplir que la moitié de la caisse. Puis, il piétine, à pieds nus, la masse de terre en marchand de droite à gauche, puis de gauche à droite, c'est-à-dire en décrivant des raies transversales à la surface de la pâte, en s'avançant vers la partie de la caisse non recouverte de terre.
Ensuite, il découpe, avec une bêche ou spatule de bois, la masse qu'il a piétinée. Il la découpe en sorte de briquettes qu'il place, après les avoir retournées, sur la partie de la caisse qui, dans la première partie de l'opération, était restée libre. Il recommence alors à piétiner la masse, et exécute cinq à six fois la même suite de traitements. La pâte est alors bonne pour faire des creusets.
Il est évident qu'il est important que la proportion d'eau soit convenable : trop d'eau rendrait la matière incapable d'avoir assez de solidité pour éviter les tassements lorsque l'on travaille à la parois supérieure qui pèse sur la paroi inférieure du pot et pas assez d'eau exposerait l'ouvrier à laisser des vides d'air dans la masse d'une pâte trop sèche.
On a essayé de faire les pots avec des machine. Les résultats n'ont pas été bons. On les fait donc à la main avec ou sans employer de moule. Les bons ouvriers préfèrent souvent se passer du moule qui cependant soutient bien la pâte et permet à l'ouvrier de ne pas avoir le souci des dimensions à conserver.
Lorsqu'on se sert du moule, l'ouvrier prend un fonceau ou plateau de bois recouvert ou non d'une toile ou d'une feuille de zinc (pour éviter l'adhérence de la terre avec le bois). Sur ce fonceau il jette fortement la terre que l'ouvrier marcheur lui a apportée sous la forme de pastons ou cylindres de 15 centimètres de longueur sur 4 centimètres de diamètre environ.
Il s'arrange pour que la masse de terre ainsi placée sur le fonceau forme un tas d'un diamètre inférieur au diamètre intérieur du pot qu'il veut mouler, mais que l'épaisseur de ce tas, d'ailleurs plus épais au centre qu'aux bords, soit sensiblement plus grande que celle du fond du pot à faire. Puis l'ouvrier bat la terre avec une batte cylindrique et renverse le tourteau formé sur un autre fonceau dont la surface est garnie de grenaille de ciment, poudre qui a pour but de permettre ultérieurement la séparation du pot moulé d'avec le second fonceau.
Ensuite, il pose le moule sur le fonceau.
L poule est formé d'un tronc de cône renversé auquel les deux bases manques. La plus petite est formée par le fonceau sur lequel il pose ; la plus large forme l'ouverture supérieure par laquelle l'ouvrier passe le bras pour élever les parois du creusets. En effet, dès que le moule est placé, l'ouvrier bat le tourteau de terre placé sur le fonceau de manière à l'amincir et à ce que la terre arrive au contact du moule et même à monter le long de la paroi inférieure de ce moule.
Ainsi sont formés le fond et la surface de raccordement de ce fond avec ce qui sera la paroi du pot. Cet ensemble s'appelle le jable.
Il ne reste plus qu'à appliquer méthodiquement de la terre au-dessus du jable et le long du moule, à battre cette terre et enfin à polir soigneusement la surface intérieure du pot.
Il est très important de ne pas laisser d'air emprisonné dans la terre ainsi moulée, car à la cuisson cet air donnerait lieu à des ruptures.
Le moule peut être séparé très facilement du pot qu'il a servi à former, parce que ce moule est formé de trois parties reliées entre elles par des clavettes qui pénètrent dans des annéeaux placés sur des bandes de fer qui relient les douves.
Les moules sont faits en bois de chène. Quelquefois on tapisse leur surface interne de toile, fixée par des clous, afin de diminuer l'adhérence de la terre pour le moule.
Lorsqu'on se passe de moule, l'ouvrier appuie la terre avec sa main droite sur sa main gauche qui soutient la terre comme le faisait le moule. Il doit alors vérifier ses dimensions et, avec le fil à plomb, surveiller l'acroissement du daiamètre.
Souvent, pour éviter l'affaissement du pot en construction, il le laisse séher plusieurs heures avant de continuer à l'élever davantage. Il le couvre alors d'un ling humide et en commence un autre, et même quelquefois un troisième avant de continuer le premier.
[...]
Lorsqu'un pot est ainsi construit, il faut le sécher, ce qui est obtenues par deux opértations connues sous le nom de séchage et d'attrempage. Pour pratiquer le séchage, on place les pots posés sur leur fonceau dans de grandes pièces dans lesquelles on maintient une température bien régulière et de 20°C.
On a prétendu qu'il y avait avantage à faire séjourner les pots dans des chambres à 20°, puis d'autres à 30°, puis à 35°, puis à 40°. On y gagne du temps, mais on doit, semble -t-il, préférer un ressuage plus lent.
Le temps du ressuage est variable avec les épaisseurs et la forme du creuset [...].
Avec (un creuset dont les dimensions seront de 14 centimètres pour l'épaisseur du fond, et 8 centimètres pour celle des bords) il faudra toujours un minimum de deux mois et il sera préférable d'attendre quatre et même six mois.
Après le ressuage, on doit faire l'attrempage, qui consiste à chauffer graduellement le creuset dans des fours jusqu'à la température élevée à laquelle il sera soumis dans un four à verrerie.
Un four d'attrempage s'appelle une arche à pots.
Ordinairement, les pots sont placés chacun sur trois cales de terre cuite dna l'arche de manière que le fond de l'arche (ou de la sole du four) soit à dix ou 15 centimètres du fond des pots. Les gaz chauds arrivant du foyer placé sous la sole pénètrent par trois ouverturesménagées dans la sole. Ces ouvertures sont disposées ainsi : l'une est en face de la porte d'entrée, donc au fond du four, les deux autres sont situéesw sur les cotés.
La sole peut être carrée, dans le cas où l'arche ne doit renfermer que deux pots, ou rectangulaire ou circulaire si le nombre de creusets est plus grand.
[...]
L'attrempage est une opération délicate, puisqu'il faut recuire très lentement les pots depuis la température ambiante jusqu'au rouge blanc. Il y a une série de précaution dans la conduite du feu que seul l'usage peut apprendre. On chauffe au bois ou à la houille. Dans le cas où l'on chauffe au bois, on emploie des gros morceaux de bois vert.
[...]
Quand un pot menace de se fendre par son bord supérieur, on peut empêcher provsoirement la fente de se propager en lui posant une clef, une agrafe, sorte de petite pièce de terre cuite formée d'une plaque de terre deux fois recourbée qui, posée sur le bord du pot, le srre entre les deux parties pendantes, dont l'une est extérieure et l'autre intérieure, plongeant dans le pot de quelques centimètres.
Johann Rudolph Glauber, "Besreibung einer newerfundenen", 1648-1649, Fabeln. Traduction française par Du Teil ; "la description des nouveaux fourneaux", paris, 1659, chez Jolly. Reproduits par Atorène, "Le laboratoire Alchimique", Guy Trédaniel-Editions de la Maisnie, Paris, 1981.
... Les chimiques ont été un long temps en grande erreur, et non seulement eux, mais encore les orfèvres, et ceux qui séparent les métaux. Comme aussi d'autres qui ont besoin de se servir de creusets, s'étant persuadés en eux-mêmes, qu'il ne se peut trouver de bonne terre en autre part qu'en Hesse ; ce qui a été cause qu'il a fallu transporter des creusets de ce pays-là en celui-ci avec grands frais, ne considérant pas qu'en tous les endroits d'Allemagne, il s'en trouve de semblables. Ce qui est à la vérité une grande folie des hommes, ne provenant que de ne savoir pas connaître la bonne terre, laquelle se trouve presque partout. Je ne nie pas que la terre de Hesse soit très bonne pour les creusets, tuiles, retortes, et autres vaisseaux, qui doivent souffrir un grand feu, à cause de quoi on recommande la terre des creusets de Gipse et Valbourg.
Il y a peu d'années que quelques-uns ont fait leurs creusets et autres vaisseaux qui endurent bien le feu, avec la terre que l'on porte d'Angleterre et de France en Hollande, lesquels ont fort bien retenu les métaux dans le feu, mais non les sels, d'autant qu'ils sont trop poreux, et ne sont pas si compacts que ceux de Hesse, c'est pourquoi ceux de Hesse sont toujours préférés à tous les autres, d'autant qu'ils retiennent mieux les métaux et les sels, mais quoique cette terre soit transportée de là en autres places, néanmoins cette sorte de forts creusets n'en sauraient être faits ; la cause de cela ne provient pas de la constitution de l'air, ni du lieu, quoique faussement, quelques-uns lui aient voulu imputer, mais elle vient de l'erreur en les faisant cuire, car en Hesse il y a grande abondance de bois, lequel ils n'épargnent point en cuisant les creusets, car ils les cuisent jusqu'à la dureté de la pierre. Ce qui ne se peut faire avec un petit feu de tourbe.
La même erreur se commet en faisant d'autres pots et vaisseaux, lesquels sont faits à Freichen, Sibourg, et autres lieux proches de Cologne, lesquels sont transportés presque par toute l'Europe, la bonté desquels est attribuée à la seule terre, et non à la manière de les faire. Mais à présent, l'expérience nous a fait voir, que toute bonne terre devient pierre dans un feu violent, sans considérer le lieu où elle est prise.
[...]
Celui qui veut faire l'essai de la bonne et pure terre blanche, pour voir si elle se rend en pierre dans le feu, qu'il jette une pièce de pure terre de la grosseur d'un œuf dans un feu violent, observant si elle se crèvera en pièces promptement ou lentement : si elle ne crève et ne se réduit en poudre, quoiqu'elle ait quelques fentes, c'est une bonne terre propre pour être cuite, si le mélange est bien fait, en quoi consiste tout l'art.
[...]
Pour une part de la terre tamisée, y joindre deux, trois ou quatre parts -ayant égard à la graisse de la terre - de la terre cuite dans la fournaise d'un potier de terre, et mise en poudre, lesquelles étant mêlées avec une suffisante quantité d'eau, il les faut piler avec les pieds, et après les pétrir avec les mains, et la terre sera préparée pour en former les vaisseaux. Quand il fait des creusets et coupelles, qu'il se pourvoit en moules de bois grands et petits faits au tour, d'autant que lesdits vaisseaux ne sauraient être formés par la voie ordinaire des potiers, à cause que leur matière doit être fort maigre pour souffrir un grand feu, c'est pourquoi on les fait communément avec des moules, selon la façon ci-dessous écrite.
Mettez une pièce de votre terre préparée dans le moule, lequel il faut tenir d'une main, et appliquer la terre par dessus avec l'autre, ou le tenir avec les pieds, ou entre les cuisses, afin que la terre soit appliquée avec les deux mains. Comme aussi il te faut premièrement bien frotter le moule, avec du sable bien tamisé et bien net ; car autrement la terre s'attachera au moule de bois, de telle façon qu'il sera presque impossible d'en détacher le creuset sans grand danger : ce fait, il est besoin de l'appliquer encore plus avant en frappant dessus, avec quelque instrument de bois bien poli, afin que le creuset soit parfaitement mis dans le moule. Par ce moyen, les creusets deviennent extrêmement forts. Ce fait, tire le creuset hors, et le met sur une planche pour le sécher, premièrement à l'air, puis à la chaleur du feu, ou du soleil, et après le cuit dans la première chambre de notre quatrième fournaise, ou dans une fournaise de potier.

Atorène, "Le laboratoire Alchimique", Guy Trédaniel-Editions de la Maisnie, Paris, 1981.
... A Savignies, près de Beauvais, ou depuis une époque immémoriale la principale industrie était la poterie de grès, on fabriquait des creusets dont l'analyse indique 72% de silice, 19% d'alumine, et 4% d'oxyde de fer (plus divers 5%). Il étaient parmi les plus réputés dans les laboratoires, avec ceux de Hesse (Allemagne) contenant 71% de silice, 25% d'alumine et 4% d'oxyde de fer.
[...]
Ils (les creusets) sont classiquement renflés, plus hauts que larges, leur hauteur devant excéder la largeur d'au moins la moitié pour une bonne répartition de la chaleur.
[...]
Dans les feux de charbons, on les plaçait sur une rondelle en terre réfractaire, la tourte. Pour les chauffer au gaz, on préfère les suspendre dans un triangle en terre réfractaire, ou en silice.
[...]
On trouve de l'argile à peu près partout, il suffit de la malaxer avec de l'eau jusqu'à obtention d'une pâte liquide, laquelle coulera à travers les mailles d'un tamis en y laissant les cailloux. Le lendemain on décante, et on laisse sécher jusqu'à la consistance permettant le modelage, c'est tout simple.
Jusqu'à 600°C, il reste encore de l'eau captive, et il faut chauffer par petits palier ; au-dessus, on peut augmenter l'allure. le refroidissement devra être très lent, les terres non réfractaires ne seront pas sorties du four avant que l'on puisse les toucher rapidement du doigt. D'autres argiles, excellentes terres à feu naturelles, peuvent sortir incandescentes du four sans se briser.
L'argile dont on dispose pourra être mélangée à différents corps qui modifient ses propriétés, mica, argile cuite broyée (chamotte), chaux, la rendront moins sensible à la chaleur, mais c'est surtout la teneur en alumine qui rend réfractaire.
Bien que relatif à la fabrication de four, le texte suivant peut donner quelques "trucs" interressants :
Le ciment fondu que l'on trouve dans le commerce tient jusqu'à 1 400°C s'il contient 40% d'alumine, mais d'autres ciments, contenant 80% d'alumine, résistent à près de 2 000°C.
La gamme des granulats réfractaires (à adjoindre au ciment) est assez étendue (basalte, sillimanite, gibbsite, corindon brun ou blanc, alumine tabulaire, etc.), les chamottes doivent contenir au moins 40% d'alumine. D'une manière générale, les granulats utilisables doivent avoir subi une cuisson, naturelle ou artificielle, qui les a maintenu à une température telle que toutes les transformations préjudiciables ont déjà été subies. C'est d'ailleurs pourquoi les fours en terre doivent être cuits.
Il faut une granulométrie répartie de telle façon que les petits cailloux entrent dans les vides laissés par les gros. Le liant ne doit se déposer qu'en mince film sur la surface extérieure des cailloux.
Pour un petit four, on pourra utiliser en première couche un mortier dont la composition suivante correspond à 10 litres en place :
chamotte 0 - 0,2 mm 3,2 litres
chamotte 0,2 -2 mm 6,8 litres
eau pure 3,2 litres
ciment réfractaire 6,0 kilogrammes
Il faut d'abord bien mélanger les granulats et le liant, ensuite seulement ajouter l'eau : on dispose alors de deux heures pour utiliser le mortier, il conviendra de le tapoter pour faciliter sa mise en place.
Nous conseillons [pour un four] une épaisseur de parois de l'ordre de 5 centimètres, comprenant 1 ou 2 cm de mortier réfractaire, et 3 à 4 cm de béton isolant fabriqué comme suit.
Les granulats isolants (pouzzolane, ponce, vermiculite, argiles réfractaires expansées, corindon globulaire) ont un pouvoir réfractaire variable, mais ils résistent tous au moins à 1 000°C, ce qui nous suffira en tant qu'isolant (le corindon globulaire permet d'atteindre 1 700°C).
Voici un dosage valable avec du mica expansé (vermiculite), que l'on trouve facilement, on peut le moudre sans difficultés pour obtenir la granulométrie désirée. Pour 10 litres de béton isolant en place :
chamotte 0 - 0,2 mm 2 litres
mica 0,2-1 mm 4 litres
mica 3 - 6 mm 6 litres
eau pure 4 litres
ciment réfractaire 3 kilogrammes
Ce béton ne doit recevoir qu'un compactage léger.
Pour une bonne tenue mécanique, il faut mettre en œuvre les deux couches l'une après l'autre, sans attendre que la première ait fait prise.
Quatre heures après la fabrication, la réaction commence dans le liant, et le béton s'échauffe, entraînant une évaporation de l'eau. Il faut alors l'humidifier pour compenser les pertes, ou mettre un plastique dessus. Après vingt-quatre heures, on peut le laisser à l'air libre. Le lendemain, on peut commencer la miser en température, par paliers jusqu'à 600°C, comme pour la terre.
Pour glacer la surface ainsi qu'un émail, il faut l'enduire d'un peu de barbotine (eau + ciment) et y appliquer une mince feuille de plastique, la laissant jusqu'à complet durcissement.
Contrairement à la terre, le béton ne se rétracte pratiquement pas au séchage, et les cerclages de fer peuvent être placés avant .
Quelques adresses utiles :

Porcelaines Avignon, Bruère-Allichamps, 18200 Saint Amand Montrond
Téléphone : 48 61 03 83.
Cette société fabrique des creusets de petite capacité (hauteur 200 mm, ø 174 mm au maximum), en porcelaine émaillée ou en biscuit. Sur commande, elle peut réaliser des creusets en terre réfractaire de 380 cc. Bon matériel, résistant aux chocs thermiques, mais certainement un peu faible du point de vue mécanique. La terre ne présente pas de chamotte.

Céramiques Technique Desmarquest, Zone Industrielle N°1, 27025 Evreux Cedex.
Téléphone : 32 29 42 00
Cette société, depuis très longtemps réputée pour la qualité de ses produits, propose des creusets hautement réfractaires, mais de petite capacité (alumine, silice pure, fluorine, etc.).

Morgan Thermique S.A., B.P. 100, Z.I. Rue Gay Lussac, 95500 Gonesse
Téléphone : (1) 39 87 14 22.
Cette société fabrique une gamme de creusets industriels de moyenne et grande capacité (jusqu'à 400 litres). Il s'agit de creusets à base de carbure de silicium. La documentation est très complète et donne de précieux conseils concernant le stockage des creusets, leur utilisation et leur manipulation. Ces informations sont valables pour les creusets des autres fabricants...

Poterie du Souchy., 141, rue Paul Besse, 18500 Mehun sur Yèvre
Téléphone : 48 57 30 35
Cette société fabrique des creusets de capacité moyenne et grande destinés aux industries de la verrerie. D'autres produits réfractaires peuvent être produits sur demande. M. Baillet, le responsable de la société, est particulièrement aimable et est passionné par son métier. Il est curieux de tout ce qui concerne les "Arts du Feu" et prodigue d'excellents conseils. Cette société commercialise des terres réfractaires déjà préparées.
Une visite s'impose !!! (prévoir quelques heures ...).

Poteries Pierre D'Houches (filiation Solazaref). Contact : Madame Roux, 11, rue de l'Horloge, 63200 Riom. (il est possible que cette adresse ne soit plus bonne).

Les personnes de la Filiation Solazaref sont de véritables experts des Arts du Feu (poterie hautement réfractaire, verrerie spéciale, etc...). Bien que ne partageant pas les options politiques qui ont pu être les leurs, leur travail m'inspire le respect. Destiné en premier lieu à leur propre usage, ce matériel ppouvait cependant être obtenu auprès de Mme Roux, après lui avoir écrit et expliqué l'usage que l'on souhaite en faire. Sur commande, ils peuvent réaliser des pièces introuvables ailleurs, en particulier des creusets pressés en terre chamottée hautement réfractaire.

Je me suis procuré quelques creusets, mais ne les ai pas encore utilisés. Selon leurs indications, la terre utilisée peut tenir jusqu'à 1 650°C. pourvu qu'on monte lentement en température et qu'on utilise un moufle en acier jusqu'au rouge.

La nature très poreuse de la terre utilisée oblige à n'employer ces creusets que parfaitement secs. (Ceci est d'ailleurs valable pour l'ensemble des creusets, quelque soit leur origine).


Subject: A0053 Elias Artista

From: Adam McLean
Date 30 Aug 1996

This morning I received an enquiry about Elias Artista.

The prophecy concerning 'Elias Artista' or 'Elijah Artista' and the 'Secrets of Nature' has been linked to Paracelsus. In his tract on Minerals he wrote - "God revealed lesser things, but the most important thing is still wrapped in darkness, and will remain so until the coming of Elias Artista". Helvetius writing in the middle of the 17th century, mentions a visit from Elias Artista in his book 'The Golden Calf which the whole world adores'.

In 'The Works of the Highly Experienced and Famous Chymist, John Rudolph Glauber', London, 1689, there is a section on Elias Artista pages 221-230 'The Second Part of Miraculum Mundi. In which is described the Magnificent Coming of Elias the Artist; And that the wonderful Salt of Philosophers is the most Excellent Medicine of Vegetables, Animals, and Minerals.'

Does anyone know anything of the origin of this prophecy and its subsequent history or 'meaning'?

Adam McLean

Subject: A0054 Plants and the planets

From: O Alquimista
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 17:50:23 +0000

Has anyone followed the work of Armand Barbault from his "Gold of a
Thousand Dawns"? He relied most heavily on the use of plants and sap
in his Great Work. I'm wondering if anyone else has had results with
his method.

Subject: A0055 Elias Artista

Date: Sat, 31 Aug 1996 16:39:13 +0200
From: Maurizio Nicosia

"Commendatio animae": Libera Domine animam servi tui sicut liberasti
Henoch et Eliam de 'comune morte mundi'.

Your question about the coming of Elias Artista is stimulating and very
complex and my English is regrettably much too poor to develop the argument
adequately. A similar question is proposed by Thomas Brown in "Religio
Medici", XLVI: "How can we interpet the 6000 years of Elijah?" (Note
that this is a re-translation from Italian; please verify original text);
but Thomas Browne's question is already an answer (see at XLVIII, also).

The origin of the prophecy is probably the end of book of Malachia 4, 5-6:
"Ecce ego mittam vobis Heliam prophetam antequam veniat dies Domini
magnus et horribilis et convertet cor patrum ad filios et cor filiorum
ad patres eorum ne forte veniam et percutiam terram anathemate".

In the apocryphal 'Apocalypse of Elijah' (citations from which are said
to be found in I Corinthians II, 9, and Ephesians V, 14), the prophet struggles with
Enoch against the evil for seven days; they are killed but revive
after four days.

St. Augustin of Ippona, in the "Contra Julianum" (P.L. 45, 1581),
expressly contrasts the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Earthly
Paradise at the admittance, in the same place, of Enoch and Elijah, the
"gemini victores".

But the return of prophecy in Renaissance is bound to be ascribed to Pico
della Mirandola, 'Heptaplus', the cabalistic interpretation of
Genesis, in the chapter on "Blissfulness which is the eternal life",
. It begin's: "And there is the completion of the Time. If in
fact the number Four is the perfection in Number's world... See
therefore that it bring us the Fourth Day". Later Pico wrote: "The
ancient Jewish wisdom said that with the six days of Genesis are
symbolized the 6000 years of the World... [...] ...In Jewish popular
tradition the Elia's oracles are diffused, directs, without symbolisms
or cicumlocutions... In 'Abodazara' there are these words: 'The Sons
of Elias said: the world has 6000 years. For 2000 the Creation, for 2000
the Light, for 2000 the Messia's Day..' ".

After Pico Guillaume Postel (omitting H. C. Agrippa, 'De occulta
philosophia' (1533), III, XLIII) another Christian cabalist, retakes the
prophecy in 'La clef des choses secrets' (XV, XIII: in Ed. De Monte,
Amsterdam, 1646): "Elias, the second Peter, when he will come..."; (see
VIII, VI; X, IV; and above all XIV, VI: "And, complete all this, the
Eternal Life will begin in the eighth day after the Shabbath... because
Enoch and Elias will die with Christ...")

Therefore Paracelsus - in the 'Theatrum chemicum' (Strasburg, 1613),
Heliophilus... - Philalethes, 'Introitus...', XIII, 28; XIII, 33 -
Sendivogius, 'Epistola philosophica' - Schweighardt, 'Speculum...'
etc.

The meaning of the prophecy is connected with the eternal life, the
regeneration of the Man, and the world: the 'long livers' of Philalethes
Jr. The name of the prophet is like to the Greek word for the sun. And his ascent
to Paradise takes place on a charriot of fire, like the Merkavah.
Elias is one of the three elements in Christ's Transfiguration,
the keystone of the world. The Elias coming is the completion of the
work. The Crows feed Elias. He speaks with God in a cave. Elias is the
Lord of Dew (I Kings); he is a 'Sundew'. Elias is the Lord of Fire ("And
Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of
the sons of Jacob... And with the stones he built an altar in the name
of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would
contain two measures of seed... And he put the wood in order, and cut
the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four
barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the
wood... Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt
sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the
water that was in the trench"). Elias is the Lord of life ("And she
said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of
meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am
gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son,
that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and
do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring
it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the
LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall
the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the
earth. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the
chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah
said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I
know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy
mouth is truth").

An interesting and unknown stage of the prophecy is the mosaic flooring
of the Duomo of Siena, where there are, in a hexagon under the
hexagonal cupola (Ascension), seven hexagons with the history of
prophet. Author of part of theme? Beccafumi. (Beccafumi left a series of woodcuts relevant to alchemy).

I thank you for your attention and your sagacious questions. And I
thank Ashmole, Elias.

Maurizio Nicosia



Subject: A0056 Jacques Bergier's FBI file Available!!!

From: Michael Ravnitzky
Date: 01 Sep 1996


I just wanted to let you know that JACQUES BERGIER's FBI dossier is
available upon request under the Freedom of Information Act. If you
would like a copy, just send a simple letter to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, 9th & Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20535
USA. You'll need to include his place and date of birth, place and
date of death, and also a copy of an encyclopedia article or newspaper
obituary or Who Was Who citation or other biographical reference to
prove that he's no longer alive. Also, you'll need to say something
like "I agree to pay up to $25 for fees associated with this request."
You should receive the file in due course.

Mike Ravnitzky
MikeRav@ix.netcom.com

Subject: A0057 Source for image

From: "M.E. WARLICK"
Date: Sat, 31 Aug 1996 15:22:32 -0600 (MDT)


Does anyone know the original text in which the following image first
appeared? It is a nude man (Saturn?) holding a sword and a globe who
stands inside a cauldron. In -The Golden Game-, de Rola uses it on his
first title page, but I can't find a citation for the image. A variant
is illustrated in Alexander Roob's -Alchemie & Mystik-, p. 190, cited as
from a 1746 Viennese edition of Isaak of Holland's Hand der Philosophen
(1667). I'm sure I've seen it somewhere else, but just can't find it in
my notes.

Thanks!

M.E. Warlick, (mwarlick@du.edu)

Subject: A0058 Source for image

From: Adam McLean
Date: 02 Sep 1996

Here is the information from my database of alchemical engravings and woodcuts in printed books.

JOANNES ISAACUS called Hollandus.
Geheimer und biss dato verborgen gehaltener trefficher Tractat, von ihm genant: die Hand der Philosophen, mit ihren verborgenen Zeichen. Wie auch desselben Opus Saturni mit annotationibus. Item: Opera vegatabilia [sic] so viel davon biss dato hat können erforsceht werden. Mit grosser Müh und Fleiss auss erforscheten niederländischen Manuscriptis verhochdeutschet, nebenst fleissigster nachreissung aller darin enthaltenen figuren. Von einem geübten Liebhaber der hermetischen Philosophy. Dabey mit angehenckt worden ein zwar kleiner, aber überauss herrlicher Tractat, so von Michaelis Sendivogii diener herkomt, und ohn zweiffel vom Hn. Sendivogio selber gestellet worden, darin der Grund der Metallischen melioration mit Fingern gleichsam gezeiget wird.
Franckfurt: in Verlegung Thomæ Matthiæ Götzens. 384 pages. [12 engravings and 16 woodcuts.]

[Contains:-
1. Der Hand der Philosophen.
2. Opus Saturni.
3. Opera Vegetabilia.
4. Ein überauss köstlicher Philosoph-Tractat von Denn Irrgängen der Alchymisten... Und kombt dieser güldene Tractat von Herrn Michaelis Sendivogii.]

[Illustrations:-
1. p13 Engraving. 129x67mm. The Hand of the Philosophers, with a fish roasting in a fire on the palm, crown and Moon above the thumb, six-pointed star above fore-finger, Sun above index-finger, lantern above ring-finger, and key above little finger.
2. p17 Woodcut. 20x37mm. Crown.
3. p19 Woodcut. 18x13mm. Small flask.
4. p23 Woodcut. 25x28mm. Six-pointed star.
5. p26 Woodcut. 34x34mm. Sun.
6. p28 Woodcut. 40x16mm. Lantern.
7. p33 Woodcut. 42x20mm. Key.
8. p40 Engraving. 60x70mm. Fish roasting in a fire.
9. p65 Engraving. 50x62mm. A bird and two animals are seen in a wide-bellied pot, besides which is a funnel-shaped still head.
10. p66 Engraving. 85x65mm. A man holding a sword and an orb, stands in a wide-bellied pot, as in item 9.
11. p67 Woodcut. 36x33mm. Two jugs.
12. p78 Engraving. 100x61mm. Cylindrical furnace with vessel on a tripod within it.
13. p80 Engraving. 112x66mm. Cylindrical furnace.
14. p138 Woodcut. 23x14mm. Small flask in margin.
15. p162 Engraving. 108x70mm. An alembic is placed in waterbath on a cylindrical furnace. The distillate is collected in a cascade of four flasks.
16. p200 Engraving. 62x70mm. Similar setup as in item 14, but with cascade of three collecting flasks.
17. p202 Engraving. 88x70mm. Similar setup as in item 14, but with cascade of three collecting flasks.
18. p217 Woodcut. 72x29mm. Retort.
19. p218 Woodcut. 42x26mm. Jug with handle.
20. p220 Engraving. 52x60mm. Vessel with tap at base.
21. p235 Woodcut. 23x11mm. Small round-bellied flask.
22. p242 Engraving. 76x76mm. Flask is heated in waterbath on cylindrical furnace.
23. p264 Woodcut. 32x18mm. Alembic with still head.
24. p268 Woodcut. 46x44mm. L-shaped piece of tubing, labelled 'Attractorium'.
25. p299 Woodcut. 71x28mm. A filtration funnel is suspended over a wide-bellied pot.
26. p311 Woodcut. 25x14mm. Small flask.
27. p312 Woodcut. 13x8mm. Small flask.
28. p314 Woodcut. 36x20mm. Flask.]


Subject: A0059 Les Demeures Philosophales

Date: Mon, 02 Sep 1996 12:28:40 +0100
From: Joel Tetard

James Bryant wrote:
> Do you know where I can get a copy of Les Demeures Philosophales by
> Fulcanelli I believe these two volumes are only printed in French. Do you
> know of any copies that have been translated? Please advise.


As far as they are not out of print. You can order Fulcanelli's and
Canseliet's books from :

- "la Table d'Emeraude"
8, rue des Trois Portes,
75005 Paris
Tel : +33 (01) 43 25 40 32
Fax : +33 (01) 40 51 02 67

- "Librairie du Graal"
15 rue Jean)Jacques Rousseau
75001 Paris
Tel : +33 (01) 42 36 07 60
Fax : +33 (01) 42 36 45 58

- "L'intersigne"
66, rue du Cherche-Midi
75006 Paris
Tel : +33 (01) 45 44 24 54
WWW :
Email : ersign@worldnet.fr

A (incomplete) list of French booksellers is available from the French
Association of Booksallers. Please check :


Reprints of Canseliet's books would be soon available. No more
information on this topic.

Best regards.

Joel Tetard


Subject: A0060 How to make the crucible?

Date: Mon, 02 Sep 1996 11:55:47 +0100
From: Joel Tetard

In addition to my last posting about the making of crucibles (A0052),
please, please note the text "Fireclay" came from Solazaref's "Introitus
ad philosophorum Lapidem" page 190. (ISBN 2-9500375-O-X).

You can reach Solazaref at the following address :

SOLAZAREF c/o Michel Chalon
La Tour Serviat
F 63410 Manzat France

Joel Tetard


Subject: A0061 Documents on Canseliet

Date: Mon, 02 Sep 1996 12:47:22 +0100
From: Joel Tetard

I am looking for any documents concerning Canseliet's life.

I'd much appreciate if somebody could provide me a tape copy or a
transcription of the "Radisocopie" made by Jacques Chancel and
broadcast on the 23th of June 1978 on France-Inter.

Did Canseliet appear in other radio or TV shows or interviews ?

Many thanks in advance for your kind help.

Joel Tetard


Subject: A0062 Plants and the Planets

Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 10:02:51 -0300
From: Frater S.A.T.O.R.
Subject: Plants and the Planets (long)

Dear Mr. Rawn Clark:

I agree entirely with your statements on Plants and the Planets. Even
though a list like Frater Albertus' may be useful as a start, in my opinion
the best is to construct our own list based on our personal experimentation,
in this way erecting our own system of beliefs. I plant myself the seeds I
intend to use in my alchemical experiments and, according to the planetary
forces involved at the occasion, I have observed dramatically different
results. The moment the germination occurs, i.e., the moment the plant is
visible outside the earth, I draw an astrological chart for that plant, that
works somewhat like an alchemical sigil. If it is a lilac, for instance, I
'baptize' that seed 'Lilac I' or 'Lilac II' and so on. Then I trace (with
the aid of a computer astrology program, to minimize the effort...) the
newborn plant's planetary transits and start considering these transits in
conformity with mine own. This seems to work quite effectively as a
personal table for Plants and Planets, free from the influences of other
writers, the more reliable they may be. I have further observed that the
use of some 'ritual' before planting the seed also seems to be effective
for enhancing the 'power' of the specific seed. There are many rituals that
can be used in this way, and, even though one might consider these merely as
'small plays' of an alchemical psychodrama (especially if under a Jungian
orientation), in terms of the subconscious mind they play an interestingly
effective role (after all, quoting T.S.Eliot's "Burnt Norton", '...words
strain, crack and sometimes break, under the burden, under the tension,
slip, slide, perish, decay with imprecision, will not stay in place, will
not stay still'). Of course, any other form of 'meditation' before the said
operation is also effective in my opinion, such as the one employed by Dr.
Edward Bach for obtaining his 38 Flower Remedies. Hereunder I quote a
simple but very interesting ritual employed by Mr. Robert Hand, a well-known
astrologer, in the opening of his PHASE conclave (they study ancient
astrological texts), that might be used when working with planetary forces
for alchemical purposes and ask you all to please excuse me for the rather
long message.

Best regards.

Edmundo Ferreira (Frater S.A.T.O.R.), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


-------------------------------
>Return-Path:
>From: RobertHand@prodigy.com (ROBERT HAND)
>Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 14:12:34, -0500
>To: traditions@lists.csn.net
>Subject: Latin Invocation at Phase
>
>Several people have requested the text for the opening and
>closing invocations at PHASE. The text is found below.
>
>The invocations are created by myself out of material in the
>Picatrix, a Latin translation of a Medieval Arabic text probably
>of Sabaean origins. The invocations have been considerably
>shortened from the originals and additional bridge material has
>been composed by yours truly. The Closing ritual is also derived
>from Picatrix material and assembled with bridge material written
>by myself. Insofar as such rituals have any magical import, (a
>subject which I would not care to debate at this time), it is
>necessary always to use the closing ritual in conjunction with
>the opening ritual. Otherwise one might leave something lying
>around for the next group of people in the Hall to encounter. How
>would you feel if the Jehovah's Witnesses or other such group
>left their paraphernalia lying around in a public meeting place
>which you were about to use?
>
>Rob Hand
>
>
> Opening Ritual of the Four Quarters
>
>Ex Unitate et Intellectu et Anima Mundi Vita in naturam venit,
>quia natura est Deus Revelatus et Dea Revelata.
>
>[From the One, and Nous, and the World-Soul Life comes into
>Nature, for Nature is God and Goddess revealed.]
>
>Invocamus dominos quartorum ut nostra quaerenda benedicant.
>
>[We invoke the lords of the quarters, that they may bless our
>seeking.]
>
>Ad Orientem.
>
>[To the East]
>
>Salvent te Deus et Dea, Mercuri bone domine, tu qui es veridicus,
>sensatus, intelligens et in omni manerie scribarum, arithmeticae,
>computationis, scientiae coelorum et terrae sapiens et infusor!
>Dominus nobilis es et modicae laetitiae, divitiarum, mercationum,
>lucrorum, sensuum profundorum dominus et sustentator ac subtilis
>intellector. Tu cum fortunis fortuna es et cum infortunis es
>infortuna, cum masculis masculus, cum feminis vero femina, cum
>diurnis diurnus et cum nocturnis nocturnus existis et concors
>eisdem in cunctis eorum naturis, et cum eis te conformas in
>omnibus suis formis, et in omnibus suis qualitatibus te
>transmutas. Adesto nobiscum.
>
>[God and Goddess greet thee, good lord Mercury, thou who art
>sincere, sensate, intelligent, wise in, and the inspirer of,
>every manner of writing, arithmetic, computation, and knowledge
>of the heavens and of the earth. Thou art a noble lord, and the
>sustainer and subtle knower of modest joy, wealth, of trade and
>profit, and the lord of the deep senses. Thou art a fortune with
>the fortunes, an infortune with the infortunes, masculine with
>the masculine, but feminine with the feminine, diurnal with the
>diurnal, and nocturnal with the nocturnal, and in concord with
>them in their whole natures, and thou makest thyself conformable
>with them in all of thine own forms, thou transmutest thyself in
>all of their qualities. Be here with us.]
>
>Ad Australem.
>
>[To the South]
>
>Tu qui es radix coeli et es super omnes stellas et super omnes
>planetas, sanctus et honoratus, rogo te ut petitionem nostram
>exaudias, et nobis gratiam et amorem. Coniuro te per Unitatem et
>Intellectum et Anima Mundi qui tibi lumen tribuunt et vitam. Tu
>es lumen mundi. Tu es lux mundi et eius lumen; in medio
>planetarum existis. Tu es qui generationem tua virtute et calore
>facis in mundo, in tui loco sublimatus. Peto te tua altitudine et
>voluntate ut sic nos iuvare digneris ut scientiam, sapientiam et
>lucem habeamus quemadmodum tu es ceterorum planetarum et
>stellarum lux, et a te eorum lucem et lumen recipiunt. Quaeso te
>qui es radix totius firmamenti ut erga nos habeas pietatem, et in
>nostris precibus tibi factis et orationibus advertas. Adesto
>nobiscum
>
>[Thou who art the foundation of heaven, and who art above all
>stars and above all planets, holy and honored; I ask thee that
>thou mightest hear our petition, and that thou grantest to us
>grace and love. I invoke thee by the One, by Nous, and by the
>Soul of the World who grant thee light and life. Thou art the
>lamp of the world. Thou art the light of the world and its
>illumination; thou standest in the midst of the planets. Thou who
>causeth generation in the world by thy power and warmth, raised
>up high in thy place. I ask thee by thy sublimity and will that
>thou mayest deem it worthy to aid us that we may have knowledge,
>wisdom, and light just as thou art the light of the other planets
>and stars, and they receive their light and glory from thee. I
>ask thee who are the foundation of the entire firmament that thou
>hast compassion toward us, and that in our prayers and entreaties
>made unto thee that thou mayest pay heed. Be here with us.]
>
>Ad occidentem.
>
>[To the west]
>
>Salvent te Deus et Dea, Luna, quae es domina benedicta,
>fortunata, frigida et humida, equalis et formosa. Tu es omnium
>aliorum planetarum caput et clavis, in tuis motibus levis, lumen
>lucens habens, domina laetitiae et gaudii, bonorum verborum,
>bonae famae, regni fortunati. Tu es legem amans et res mundi
>cogitans, in tuis cogitationibus subtilis. Gaudia, cantilenas et
>iocalia diligis et amas, ambasciatorum et mandatorum domina et
>patefaciens secreta. Tu es libera et pretiosa, tuque ceteris
>planetis nobis es propinquior; tu es maior omnibus, ipsis
>luminosa; tu boni et mali aptrix, tu planetas ad invicem
>colligis, tu eorum lumina defers, tua bonitate quicumque sint
>rectificas. Et te invoco ut recipias in hoc loco petitiones
>nostras. Adesto nobiscum.
>
>[God and Goddess greet thee, O Moon, who art the blessed Lady,
>fortunate, cool and moist, impartial and beautiful. Thou art the
>chief and key of all of the other planets, swift in thy
>movements, having a light which illuminates, lady of pleasure,
>joy, of good words, of good fame, of fortunate kingship. Thou art
>one who loves the law, and who considers the affairs of the
>world, subtle in thy considerings. Thou esteemest and loveth
>joys, songs, and jests, O lady of emissaries and commissioners,
>and the one who discloses secrets. Thou art free and precious,
>thou art nearer to us than the other planets; thou art greater
>than all, more luminous than all, accomodator of good and evil;
>thou gatherest the planets together one onto the other; thou
>bearest their luminosity; by thy goodness thou rulest whatever
>they may be. And I invoke thee in order that thou mayst receive
>in this place our petitions. Be here with us]
>
>Ad septentrionalem.
>
>[To the north.]
>
>O domine alte qui nomen magnum habes et qui in superiori coelorum
>omnium planetarum consistis, et ille quem Deus sublimem posuit et
>altum! Tu es dominus Saturnus, qui es frigidus et siccus,
>tenebrosus, actor boni, in tua amicitia veridicus, in tuis
>promissionibus verax, durabilis et perseverans in amicitias et
>inimicitiis tuis; tui sensus longi et profundi; in tuis dictis et
>promissionibus veridicus, in tuis operibus unus, solus, ab aliis
>remotus, cum tristitia et dolore, a gaudiis et festivitatibus
>remotus; tu es senex, antianus, sapiens et boni intellectus. In
>te Deus potentias et virtutes posuit et spiritus bona et mala
>agendi. Rogo te, pater et domine, tuis nominibus altis et
>mirabilibus actibus ut mihi tale quid facias. Adesto nobiscum.
>
>[O high lord, thou who hast a great name who is in the highest
>heaven of all of the planets and one whom God has placed lofty
>and high. Thou art the lord Saturn, thou which art cold and dry,
>dark, doer of good, sincere in thy friendship, true in thy
>promisses, lasting and persevering in thy friendships and
>hostilities; thy senses long and deep; sincere in thy sayings and
>promisses, one in thy works, alone, removed from all others, with
>sadness and grief, remote from joys and festivities; thou art the
>old one, a nobleman, wise and of good intellect. In thee God has
>placed power and virtue, and the spirit of doing good and evil. I
>pray thee, father and lord, that by thy high names and wondrous
>deeds that thou mayst do for me such as thou dost.]
>
>Domini et Domina quartorum nos benedicatis et agenda nostra, et
>nostrum circulum, et donate nobis scientiam, sapientiam,
>caritatem, intellectum, et pacem. In nomina Unitatis, et
>Intellectus, et Animae Mundi, et Dominae Naturae. Adeste
>nobiscum.
>
>[Lords and lady of the quarters bless us, our doings, and our
>circle, and grant us knowledge, wisdom, love, understanding, and
>peace. In the Name of the One, Nous, the Soul of the World, and
>the Lady Nature. Be here with us.]
>
>
> Closing Ritual of the Four Quarters
>
>Ad Orientem
>
>[To the East]
>
>Salvemus te, Mercuri bone domine sapiens in omni manerie
>scribarum, arithmeticae, computationis, scientiae coelorum et
>terrae. Nobis donavisti scientiam artis astrologiae et
>profundissimas sapientias. Propter haec agimus gratias tibi.
>
>[We greet thee, good Lord Mercury, who art wise in all manner of
>writings, arithmetic, computation, and the knowledge of heaven
>and earth. Thou hast granted us the knowledge of the art and most
>profound wisdom of astrology. Because of this, we thank thee.]
>
>Ad Australem
>
>[To the South]
>
>Salvemus te, Sol domine lucis et luminis, tu qui es radix coeli
>et es super omnes stellas et super omnes planetas, sanctus et
>honoratus. Nobis donavisti lucem et luminem pro animis nostris.
>Propter haec agimus gratias tibi.
>
>[We greet thee Lord Sun, lord of light and illumination, thou who
>art the foundation of the heaven, honored and holy above all the
>planets. Thou hast granted us light and illumination for our
>souls. For this we thank thee.]
>
>Ad Occidentalem
>
>[To the South]
>
>Salvemus te, Luna domina noctis et mater incarnationum, tu qui es
>omnium aliorum planetarum caput et clavis. Nobis donavisti
>scientiam altioris coeli et coeli intra nos. Propter haec agimus
>gratias tibi.
>
>[We greet thee Lady Moon, lady of the night and mother of
>incarnation, thou who art the head and the key of all of the
>planets. Thou hast granted us the knowledge of the higher heaven
>and the heaven within us. For these thing we thank thee.]
>
>Ad Septentrionalem
>
>[To the North]
>
>Salvemus te, Saturne domine, tu qui es senex, antianus, sapiens
>et boni intellectus. Nobis donavisti profundiorem disciplinam et
>opus veritatis. Propter haec agimus gratias tibi.
>
>[We greet lord Saturn, thou who art the old man, the ancient one,
>the wise one of good intellect. Thou hast granted us the deeper
>teaching and the working of truth. For this we thank thee.]
>
>Domini et Domina quartorum nos benedixerunt et agenda nostra, et
>donaverunt nobis scientiam, sapientiam, caritatem, intellectum,
>et pacem. In nomina Unitatis, et Intellectus, et Animae Mundi, et
>Dominae Naturae, gratias agimus vobis. Excedite hinc, et redite
>ad regnos vestros ex quibus venistis. Circulum nostrum solvitur.
>
>[Lords and lady of the quarters ye have blest us and our doings,
>and ye have granted us knowledge, wisdom, love, understanding,
>and peace. In the Name of the One, Nous, the Soul of the World,
>and the Lady Nature, we thank you. Go forth from hence and return
>to your dominions from whence ye came. Our circle is dissolved.]
>
>Note on pronunciation:
>
>Because this is a medieval Latin document I prefer the
>ecclesiatical Latin pronunciation which is roughly as if it were
>Italian. One might also choose to use the Classical Latin
>pronunciation. See your neighborhood Latin grammar for details

Subject: A0063 Acetylsalicylic acid & Melatonin

Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 10:29:54 -0400
From: Jfruther

Dear Forum Members,

I am looking for a alchemical/spagyrical way to produce Acetylsalicylic acid
(ASPIRIN). I heard about the "Coffee and Lemon" Method, which means you mix
coffee and lemon juice. But I think there must be some more elaborated method.
The other question concerns Melathonin - I know there is a Melathonin-Forum,
but my question goes not into the chemical way.
Is there some experience about Melatonin in the alchemical/spagyrical realm.
As far as I heard, there is a way to produce this stuff out of
herbs/vegetables, but unfortunately you need some 100 kilograms for a
portion.
Any serious comments welcome.

J. Ruther

Subject: A0064 Cronos

From: Terry Kattleman
Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 15:50:34 +0000

I'm new here, and I have no idea if this has ever been discussed in the
forum, but I saw an interesting Mexican horror film the other night, Cronos,
that revolved around a 400-year-old mechanical device, discovered or created
by an alchemist whose name I can't recall, that imparted immortality at the
expense of vampirism. The device is a palm-sized gold beetle or some such,
with retractable legs and stinger, and inside is a living insect of some
sort whose `venom' is injected into the user. A complicated user's manual,
written in backwards Latin, was included. Just wondering if there is any
historical basis for this tale.


Subject: A0065 Acetylsalicylic acid & Melatonin

Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 10:50:46 -0600 (MDT)
From: Tom Hennessy

I have a theory of *vinegarization*.
If one were to simply use the required 'plant' as the substrate and then..
make vinegar with it.. and then simply let it evaporate.. would one now be
left with a product which *would* contain *much* of the required
substance.. but also with.. impurities?

Who loves ya.
tom http://www.nucleus.com/watchman

Subject: A0066 Cronos

From: Adam McLean
Date: 02 Sep 1996

Dear Terry Kattleman

I did see this film a couple of years ago and I remember it as an imaginative exploration of some rather dark elements in the human psyche. I doubt whether it is based on any real device described in an alchemical book or manuscript. It is, rather, a work of the modern imagination. Poe would have been proud to have written a short story based on this idea. Alchemy is often used as the basis for fanciful ideas. I seem to recall that the name of a real historical alchemist was associated with the device in the film, but I cannot clearly remember who. It may have been Sendivogius, but here my memory fails me.

With best wishes,


Adam McLean

Subject: A0067 Cronos

Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 14:46:56 -0500
From: Christopher L. Chiappari

Terry Kattleman's query reminded me of a similar subject about which I have
wondered. I have a non-scholarly book written in Spanish about magic and
alchemy in which is included a short description of some famous alchemists.
Among them of course is Albertus Magnus. In the description of him, it
says that he had created some kind of animated machine, but unfortunately
his student, Thomas Aquinas, destroyed it as the work of the devil. Does
anyone know of a source for this idea? I apologize if this is too far
afield of this list.

Many thanks in advance,
Chris

Christopher L. Chiappari
Department of Anthropology
University of Minnesota
215 Ford Hall, 224 Church St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Subject: A0068 Elias Artista

Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 21:45:14 +0300
From: Gerard

There may be a confusion beetween 'Elias Artista' and 'Helie Artiste' who
was expected and hoped by the 16th century rosicrucians.
In this case Helie from Helios means Sun and may be refering to something else.




Subject: A0069 Plants and the Planets

Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 13:49:28 -0400
From: RawnClark@aol.com

Dear Edmundo/Fra. S.A.T.O.R.,

I really appreciated your reply. I especially enjoyed hearing about your
method of plant-natal-astrology. This seems an excellent way of
personalizing information (though doing the calculations by hand would make
it even more personal ).

If you have not already encountered them, I would like to recommend to you
the "Sabian Symbols". These are a set of 360 symbols, one for each degree of
the zodiac, which present very insightful images depicting the essential
meaning of each point in the planetary cycles. I find them very helpful,
especially in the understanding of transits.

An excellent reference for the Sabian Symbols is:
"The Sabian Symbols in Astrology"
by Dr. Marc Edmund Jones
ISBN: 0-943358-40-X
Aurora Press
P.O.Box 573
Santa Fe, N.M.
87504 USA
$18.95, papaerback, 437 pages.

Best to you,
:) Rawn Clark (Fra. A.L.M.)
02 Sept 96

Subject: Forum subscribers by country

From: Adam McLean
Date: 03 Sep 1996

One of the subscribers recently asked me how many subscribers there were on the alchemy academic forum and for an analysis of the subscription list by the country in which they are living.

As of today 3rd September 1996 there are 344 subscribers.

The bulk of the readership is obviously in the USA where internet use is high, but it is not necessarily easy to identify the countries in which users are living. Based on the e-mail address terminators I can identify subscribers living in the following listing of countries, however many others who appear from their e-mail address to be based in the USA may in fact not be, so please treat this as a minimum listing.

20 U.K.
14 Italy
12 Canada
11 Brazil
10 Czech Republic
10 France
7 Australia
6 New Zealand
6 Portugal
4 Japan
4 Germany
3 Spain
3 Norway
2 Sweden
2 Belgium
2 Austria
2 Switzerland

And single representatives from a number of countries including Poland, Denmark, Ireland, South Africa, Korea, Mexico, Hungary, Argentina, among others.

There are a number of people using compuserve addresses, which do not allow me to identify the countries in which they are living. I also believe that not all .aol addresses are in the USA. Also the .com suffixes (which apparently used to be an exclusive US suffix) are not necessarily now based in the USA (for example my own address).


Subject: A0070 Spanish Portuguese alchemy resource

From: calhhh
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 1996 12:45:56 -0400


Dear Forum Members :

It is clear by the list of international subscribers of the
very enriching and stimulating Forum hosted by Mr. McLean,
that Alchemy is flowering all around us, and as a result new
resources are emerging on the WWW. Inspired by the news of
members of Spanish/Portuguese speaking countries, I would
like to take this opportunity to announce that a new home
page hosted by AIIES has been set up in spanish to discuss
ALCHEMY and SUBTLE ENERGIES (ALQUIMIA y ENERGIAS SUTILES),
which even though in its initial stages, is looking forward
to become a true meeting place for all spanish/portuguese
speaking people sincerely interested in these subject areas.
We welcome your visit, participation (through the submittance
of materials, ideas, , articles, etc.) and specially your
constructive criticism that will surely help us model our site
to become a comfortable home for people that like ourselves
so deeply love and respect The Royal Art.

Page address : http://ametista.dgi.inpe.br/aiies

Also a forum has been set for the discussion of alchemy which
is running indistinctly in spanish and portuguese to which
you could subscribe by sending a message to :

FORUMALQ@bambam.dgi.inpe.br
In order to subscribe just write SUBSCRIBE after the "Subject:" area.

Best Regards to all,

ORCIS
calhhh@mail.pananet.com

Subject: A0071 Lilacs & plant attributions

Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 08:30:43 -0400
From: Flamel

Speaking of T.S. Eliot (see msg A0062) and plant attributions, although I
know of no specific reference to the lilac in alchemical literature (nor is
it to be found in the general homeopathic materia medica), we might get a
clue of how the old natural philosophers might have associated the lilac by
looking at how it has been personified in literature, mythology, folklore,
etc. - a kind of "comparative anatomy," so to speak, of how the image of the
lilac has been projected.

Very briefly... and starting with T.S. Eliot:

"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."
(from "The Waste Land")

Here Eliot associates the lilac with the month of April, death (mortificatio)
and renewal (In "The Hollow Men" he has some similar associations to the
lilac). Perhaps Eliot was thinking of the great American poet, Walt Whitman,
who wrote:

"When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love."
(from "When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom'd")

The poem goes on... and ends with this:

"Comrades mine and I in the midst, and their memory ever to keep, for the
dead I loved so well,
For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands - and this for his
dear sake,
Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul,
There in the fragrant pines and the cedars dusk and dim."

Of course, the "him" referred to in the first stanza, and throughout the
poem, was Abraham Lincoln who died on April 15, 1865, the day after he was
shot by John Wilkes Booth.

Maybe Whitman knew his folklore and made his associations to the lilac out of
that context. As Adam mentioned the lilac was first introduced to Europe in
the 16th century. A Scottish legend says that the seeds of the first plants
were dropped in an old woman's garden by a bird, a falcon. They grew into a
beautiful bush but did not bloom. One day a young prince stopped to admire
the bush; as he was leaving a plume from his cap fell on the bush, and from
that day the bush had plumes of purple flowers. Another legend records a
young girl who died on the eve of her marriage. She asked that lilacs be
planted on her grave. When they bloomed they were white, and remained so
even after transplanting.

From this, and other tales, the lilac gathered a reputation of being unlucky,
e.g., if brought into a house, they will cause death in the household; if
worn, the wearer will never marry; or, giving a spray of lilacs to your
betrothed meant the engagement was off, etc.

To these psychic facts others, of course, could be added until one builds up
an armamentarium of the image of the lilac. In this way it may be possible
to establish what meaning the alchemists might have attributed to the lilac.


Subject: A0072 The wet and dry ways

From: Adam McLean
Date: 05 Sep 1996

Does anyone have any insights to share on the wet and dry ways (the via humida and via sicca)?

Has anyone traced the history of these concepts in the literature, or explored the different meanings ascribed to these ideas?

Adam McLean

Subject: A0073 Lilac dreams

From: Marcella Gillick
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 1996 11:30:15 +0000


Firstly I would like to thank all those who responded to my initial
query looking for significant meanings for the Lilac plant. Most of
the replies were posted direct to the forum, but there were a few
sent privately, contents of which I've sketched out below, just to
add to the info base.
It was a strange quest from beginning to end! It started out
literally from chasing dreams - to explain, a dear friend died about
six months ago - he was an old druid whose interests included
telepathy, earth energies, etc. Recently some close friends have
had dreams of him, dreams that seem to connect and overlap,
almost shared dreams, most of which, with a little bit of
thought having some significant meaning. However, the lilac was
a complete mystery to us, it seemed that he couldn't have chosen a
more obscure symbol.
Flamel (ref A0071) - the first link I found was the Walt
Whitman poem you partly quote: It seemed most appropriate given
the context. There's also a song in my head that Elkie Brooks(sp?)
sang called Lilac Wine which I can't get the words of...
I am however of the view at this stage that Lilac is literally
'a joke from the grave' - knowing the man so well, I know it would
have amused him greatly to have us all scurrying around looking for
meanings for Lilac, only to ultimately discover that one of its main
uses is: "To drive away ghosts"!!! I can almost hear him laughing.
Okay, just to summarise and maybe put a lid on this topic, and
NOT including posts directly to the Forum, heres what came up:-

- Lilac originally got the name Syringa because its hollow twigs were
used to inject opium into the body.

- It needs a freeze to bloom. There is currently no true essential
oil produced (all is snythetic). It was thought to drive away
ghosts. It can be used in love-expansion rituals. Inhale for
internal purification. Might be considered as a spring, renewal
energy and the white or purple flowers as spiritually uplifting.

- Lilac is associated with Venus and Water. It is used for
exorcism and for protection. It pushes evil away and its flowers
can be put into a house that is haunted with negative forces. It is
colloquially (Czech) referred to as Spanish Elder, Saint John's
Elder. Cerny Bez is the Chech name for Sambucus Nigra, or
Elderberry. The common colloquial word actually translates as
'without'. Elderberry translates, maybe, to 'Black Without'. The
proper name, 'Serik' seems to translate loosely to 'nightfall'.

- It seems in an odd way to have some association with Mountain Ash
(Rowan), at least in that both are pestered by the same bug - Ash
Borer aka Lilac Borer, or in latin, Podosesia Syringae.

Well, that's all, the most significant information for me was the
origination of the name Syringa, as I was hoping to find something
linking Lilac to the Immune System, either the Earth's or Man's - so
Syringa does give a very, very tenuous link to the HIV virus (yes,
okay I am clutching at straws!). In any case, the Elder tree itself
has featured in more recent dreams, and given the link between the
two, that is the current direction of the wild goose chase.
Goodbye and thanks again to all who provided information.

Marcella
gillickm@forbairt.ie

Subject: A0074 Wet and dry ways

Date: Thu, 05 Sep 1996 10:41:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bermudez, Pablo


In the last book by Andrea de Pascalis, Alchemy the Royal Art, he mentions
that the wet way is of persian origin, and the dry way attributed to Egypt.

Subject: A0075 Work related question

Date: Thu, 5 Sep 1996 15:10:32 -0600 (MDT)
From: Tom Hennessy


Does anyone know whether passing a current through an acidic solution
changes the pH one way or the other?
Basic chemistry .. which I am sorely lacking.

Who loves ya.
Tom http://www.nucleus.com/watchman

Subject: A0076 Work related question

Date: Thu, 05 Sep 1996 15:55:30 -0700
From: Halvard Haarklau


> From: Tom Hennessy
>
> Does anyone know whether passing a current through an acidic solution
> changes the pH one way or the other?
> Basic chemistry .. which I am sorely lacking.
>

Passing a current through an acidic solution should increase the pH,
that is, the solution becomes less acidic. The reason for this:
H+ ions (protons) take up electrons (e-) from the negative electrode,
and escapes in the form of hydrogen gas (H2):

2H+ + 2e- -> H2

The pH is, by definition, a function of the H+ consentration
(PH=-log(H+)

This reaction is always accompanied by a corresponding reaction
at the positive electrode, where electrons are taken from some
component in the solution.

Best regards! Halvard

Subject: A0077 The wet and dry ways

Date: Thu, 5 Sep 1996 23:08:00 -0400
From: Jeffrey

Can some one briefly explain the differences denoted by these two terms [the wet and dry ways] in the actual achemical process?

Thanks-Jeff

Subject: A0078 The wet and dry ways

Date: Fri, 06 Sep 1996 08:30:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bermudez, Pablo


There are two ways in alchemy, known as the wet way and the dry way.

The dry way is very short, according to Lenglet-Dufresnoy, the Magnum Opus
can be done in 8 days, using double philosophic mercury. This way is called
the Saturn Regime and, according to Fulcanelli, it only uses one matter. The
procedures are deeply hidden.

The wet way takes about 18 months to be accomplished, and is the most used
way.

carpe diem

Subject: A0079 'Dreams of Gold' film

From: Adam McLean
Date: 8 Sep 1996

A correspondent wrote to me personally about a film on alchemy. Has anyone seen this film?

Adam McLean

>I just wanted to mention a program that I recently saw,
>called "Dreams of Gold" made by Time Life (avaliable on video). I was
>totally amazed because it was sort of a main stream(well, it was on
>cable) release that was absolutely respectful and decent. It brought a
>lot of historical and unbiased information about alchemy. To give you an
>idea, the last line was: "The Alchemists were right", said by a big
>physician of some big University...I think it can be considered as an
>very sympatetic introduction of Alchemy to the public, and also a sign
>that the times are changing...

Subject: A0080 Cronos

Date: Thu, 05 Sep 1996 19:39:08 -0400
From: Raymond P. Cullen

The name of the alchemist in Cronos was Fulcanelli, a familiar name to
some of us.

ray
rcullen@groupz.com

Subject: A0081 The wet and dry ways

Date: Sat, 07 Sep 1996 22:24:57 +0200
From: Maurizio Nicosia


From Heraclitus' Fragments:

"Pleasure of souls is to become wet" (Fr. 54; Numen. fr. 35; Porph. 'de
antro nymph.' 10)

"The dry soul is the best of all and the most wise" (Fr. 58; Plut. 'de
aud.' 41 a)

"The way up and the way down are One and the same" (Fr. 31; Hippol.
'Refut.' IX 10,4)

Subject: A0082 Historical periods in alchemy

From: Adam McLean
Date: 8 Sep 1996

It is obvious that there are some distinct historical periods in the tradition of western alchemy, which are not necessarily merely a projection of our own late twentieth century views. It might be instructive for us to try and identify some of these periods and provide a description of these on the alchemy web site, so I would welcome peoples views. Some historical periods or phases which immediately spring to my mind are:-

1. The early period 11th-14th centuries in which documents are transmitted from arabic sources and translated into Latin. This is the period of the 'Turba philosophorum', and the scholars.

2. The period in the 15th century when original western alchemical works are created in manuscript, often anonymously. This is the period of the 'Buch der heilgen Dreifaltigkeit', the 'Aurora consurgens' and George Ripley's writings.

3. The Paracelsian phase which extended from the mid-16th century to the early decades of the 17th Century.

4. The 'Rosicrucian phase' in the early part of the 17th century. Rudolf II, Fludd, Maier etc.

5. The Boehmists, beginning with Boehme but extending through Franckenburg, Gichtel in the German speaking world and through John Pordage and the English followers.

6. The English alchemists of the mid-17th century, initially focussed around Hartlib, and encompassing Thomas Vaughan, Boyle, William Cooper, Eireneus Philalethes, Newton etc.

7. The 'Golden and Rosy Cross' and related masonic-alchemical groups in the German speaking world in the mid to late 18th Century.

These periods, of course, overlap, and are not necessarily to be seen as forming a serial evolution, but each of these has a kind of integrity, a core of ideas and coherent approach to alchemy, and many texts and authors can be seen as working within that particular current.

I would welcome any view on this analysis, or ways of extending it, and wonder if it might provide a picture of alchemy as forming a number of loose groupings and alliances, where alchemists at a particular time felt a certain resonance with the ideas of others, rather than the flat evolutionary picture which some historians have tried to present.

Adam McLean



Mon Sep 09 18:19:47 1996
Subject: Updated the forum archives

I have now updated the forum archives on the web site [http://www.levity.com/alchemy].
Archives of all three incarnations of the forum are now available. I have placed onto the web the full set of 1532 messages on the old forum and the first set of 50 messages on the new alchemy academic forum, together with some sample threads from the first unmoderated forum.

Adam McLean


Subject: A0083 Question about the first matter of alchemy

Date: Mon, 09 Sep 1996 15:32:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bermudez, Pablo

We have been studying lately the second book of Fulcanelli, "Les Demeures
Philosophales", specially everything concerning the first matter to be used
in the works of alchemy.

After describing some physical aspects of the matter, and comparing it to
the Oak (Trevisan's Oak by the fountain?) he mentions that if we know why in
Egypt the cat was a divinity the " vulgar name of the subject will appear
with full clarity"

Does anybody know why the cats were divinities in Egypt ?

thanks in advance...

vela

Subject: A0084 Jean Bourre

Tue, 10 Sep 1996 16:48:27 +0100
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 16:48:27 +0100

From: Andrew Shelton

I am looking for any information on Jean Bourre, a french man of some
distinction, who owned Plessey-Bourre chateau. Apart from being a
minister to the kings of france, he was also interested in Alchemy.

Kind Regards

A Shelton

Subject: A0085 Question about the first matter of alchemy

Date: 10 Sep 96 07:31:01 EDT
From: Marcus Williamson

> Does anybody know why the cats were divinities in Egypt ?

Lewis Spence, in "The Myths of Ancient Egypt" (Harrap, 1915) states :

"The cat was regarded both as an incarnation of Bast,
the goddess of Bubastis, and therefore sacred to her,
and as a personification of the sun. Throughout
Egyptian mythology the cat is to be found, and gene-
rally in a beneficent aspect. In the 'Book of the Dead' it
is a cat who cuts off the head of the serpent of darkness
and who assists in the destruction of the foes of Osiris."

later on the same page

"... A passage from Herodotus further
illustrates the esteem in which these animals were held :
'When a conflagration takes place a supernatural im-
pulse seizes on the cats. For the Egyptians, standing
at a distance, take care of the cats and neglect to put
out the fire; but the cats, making their escape, and
leaping over the men, throw themselves into the fire;
and when this happens great lamentations are made
among the Egyptians...'"

Hope this helps

regards
Marcus

E-mail : 71333.1665@compuserve.com

Subject: A0086 Question about the first matter of alchemy

Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 15:16:47 +0100
From: Joel Tetard


Vela wrote:

> We have been studying lately the second book of Fulcanelli, "Les
>Demeures Philosophales", specially everything concerning the first
>matter to be used in the works of alchemy.
>
> [...] he mentions that if we know why in Egypt the cat was a divinity
>the " vulgar name of the subject will appear with full clarity"
>
> Does anybody know why the cats were divinities in Egypt ?


The followings quotations could be of some help to you. I did not
translate them in order to keep the "phonetic cabala".

Fulcanelli, "les demeures philosophales", II, chap. "Louis d'Estissac"
(p 345 of the 1964 edition) :
"Ce sont les *moustaches* du chat qui lui ont fait donner son nom (see
footnote) ; on ne se doute guere qu'elles dissimulent un haut point de
science, et que cette raison secrete valut au gracieux felin l'honneur
d'etre eleve au rang des divinites egyptiennes"

Footnot : X(alpha), le signe de la lumiere. Le dialecte picard, gardien,
comme le provencal, des traditions de la langue sacree, a conserve le
son dur primitif "ka" pour designer le chat.

Dom Pernety "Dictionnaire Mytho-Hermetique" (1787)
"Chat : cet animal etait un symbole hieroglyphique chez les Egyptiens,
qui l'adoraient sous le nom d'AElurus. Il representait la Lune ou
Mercure Philosophique, parce que le Chat semble ressentir les effets des
influences lunaires. On remarque en effet des vicissitudes de grandeur
dans la prunelle des yeux de cet animal. Elle se conforme aux changemens
des phases de la Lune. Elle augmente lorsque cette planete est dans son
croissant ; elle diminue lorsque la Lune est dans son declin."

Some interesting words from "Essai sur les Hieroglyphes d'Horapollon et
quelques mots sur la Cabale", par le Chevalier de Goulianof, membre de
l'Academie Russe", Paris, avril 1827 :

Page 12
"I.10 Horapollon rapporte que la statue du *Soleil*, à Heliopolis, avait
la figure d'un CHAT. Brillant jeu de mot.
Le soleil est la source de la *fertilite*, de l'*abondance*. Cet astre
est par consequent *convenable*, *utile*, *bienfaisant*.
Or toutes ces idees, je veux dire la *fertilite*, l'*abondance*,
l'*utilite*, etc. sont rendues par le copte CHAOU et ce mot signifie
egalement un chat."

(note from JT : our prima materia is a Chaos...)

Patrick Rivière "Alchimie et Spagyrie. Du grand OEuvre a la medecine de
Paracelse", Caen, 1986 (ISBN 2-905835-11-1)
"Le Chat :
Les Egyptiens l'adoraient sous le nom d'AElurus et d'Atoum. Il etait
l'embleme d'Osiris, donc du soleil, puisque ces moustaches en forme de X
en exprimaient le rayonnement. Dans l'OEuvre alchimique, il est
indispensable. Il est le *loyal serviteur* du Marquis de Carabas (de bas
carat !) : l'ingenieux "chat botte" du compte de Perrault. (Cf. notre
article "Du chat noir au chat roux ou des primes couleurs de l'OEuvre"
in revue "Atlantis" n°283). Gageons que ce n'est certainement pas par
hasard, si *c'est autour du chat noir* que l'on trouve la fortune !..."

Best regards

Joël Tetard


Subject: A0087 Question about the first matter of alchemy

From: Sean Blosl
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 16:04:23 -0080


> > Does anybody know why the cats were divinities in Egypt ?

A good book on the lore of the CAT is:

"The Tiger in the House", by Carl Van Vechten

It covers a wide range of views on the Cat. Occult, Literary, Art,
Poetry, Folklore, and Law. Written in the early 1900's. Very good
book.

Sean Blosl.

Subject: A0088 A Question on origins

Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 00:21:59 -0400
From: GFMeuse

Recently I read a summary of one of the Hindu myths of creation which
involves the creation Amrita, the drink of immortality. In it are many
similarities to the symbolism and steps in the alchemical search for the
elixir of life. Has anyone commented on this before and if so where? I only
recently started studying alchemy and would like to know of any sources that
discuss the historical origins of alchemy.

Dominguin Meuse: GFMeuse@aol.com

Subject: A0089 A Question on origins

From: Leonid M. Kokun
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 96 23:09:00 +0300

To Dominguin Meuse who wrote:

< Recently I read a summary of one of the Hindu myths of creation which
< involves the creation Amrita, the drink of immortality. In it are many
< similarities to the symbolism and steps in the alchemical search for the
< elixir of life. Has anyone commented on this before and if so where? I only
< recently started studying alchemy and would like to know of any sources that
< discuss the historical origins of alchemy.

< Dominguin Meuse: GFMeuse@aol.com

If you read French, you will find almost exhaustive bibliography of Indian
alchemy source texts in: "Renou & Filiozat: L'Inde classique, t.II, 1953",
No.1687 and further; their contents and terminology testify to their Western
origin.

Leo Kokun: aegeis@aegeis.carrier.kiev.ua


Subject: A0090 Question about the first matter of alchemy

Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 20:48:06 -0400
From: Jeffrey

Another good book on the cat is The Archetypal Cat, which covers the
symbolism of the cat through the ages and offers a psychological commentary on
some of them.

Subject: A0091 Bosch and alchemy

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 09:14:27 -0300
From: Javier Borkenztain Szeiman

I would like to know about the alchemical symbology in Hyeronymus
Bosch's art, specially the Garden of Delights
Thanks to the one who shares his wisdom.
DOV

Subject: A0092 Question about first matter

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 17:16:26 +0200
From: Maurizio Nicosia

On the matter of... first matter proposed by Pablo Bermudez, a little
contribution.

Marcus Williamson cites Lewis Spence's statement:


If the cat assists in the destruction of the foes of Osiris, as an
incarnation of Bast, it is another visage of Isis.

On Isis Diodorus of Sicily wrote: "I, Isis... I have erected the town of Bubastis" (I, 27);
Isis "...discovered the medicine of immortality, also" (I, 25).
Isis' dresses are variegated. Her ambit is the matter. The dress of
Osiris, on the contrary, has only one colour, the light-colour
(Plutarchus, Isis and Osiris, 382, C-D).

Typical attribute of the Queen of goddesses, and of his brother-husband,
is the Ankh, the handle cross. Isis (daughter of Hermes, according to
Plutarchus' Isis and Osiris), Diodoro specifies, "... firstly revealed the
fruits to the men" (I, 27).

Canseliet, in the first preface to 'Les Demeures philosophales', refers to the
fruits of the oak, "little worlds linked to the branches through their
crosses which serve by stalks".

With best wishes

Maurizio Nicosia

Subject: A0093 Manget's Bibliotheca Curiosa

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 10:33:08 -0500
From: Wilfred Theisen

Does anyone know where the Johnson reprint of Manget's
Bibliotheca Curiosa can be obtained, i.e. purchased?

I find it hard to borrow a copy.

Help would be greatly appreciated.

Subject: A0094 AMORC and alchemy

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 17:29:33 -0600
From: Roy M. Liuzza

In the histories and biographies put out by AMORC it is said that
the founder, H. Spenser Lewis, once achieved a transmutation of some base
metal into gold (I forget the details). He did this with newspaper
reporters present and the event was, supposedly, reported in the press.

Does anyone know anything more about this? what really happened? Is
there a source for this that is not an official AMORC publication?

-- Roy Liuzza
rliuzza@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu

Subject: A0095 Manget's Bibliotheca Curiosa

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 16:51:31 -0500
From: George Leake

>From: Wilfred Theisen
>Does anyone know where the Johnson reprint of Manget's
>Bibliotheca Curiosa can be obtained, i.e. purchased?
>I find it hard to borrow a copy.
>Help would be greatly appreciated.

*but you definitely want to *buy* it? If you're willing to spend the money,
I'm sure I can hook you up with several reliable book dealers. Please
contact me at taliesin@mail.utexas.edu.

*btw, unless its uncataloged or something, University of Texas does not
have this listed

*unless you're actually looking for this:

MANGET, J / BIBLIOTHECA CHIRURGICA / 1721


*or this[note added entry citation of Johnstone, James]:

AUTHOR: Sturla Thordarson, 1214-1284.
TITLE: The Norwegian account of King Haco's expedition against
Scotland, A. D. MCCLXIII. Literally translated from the
original Icelandic of the Flateyan and Frisian mss. by the
Rev. James Johnstone ... and edited with additional notes by
Edmund Goldsmid.
PUBLISHED: Edinburgh, Priv. print., 1885.
DESCRIPTION: 64 p. 23 cm.
SERIES: Bibliotheca curiosa
NOTES: Extracts from Hakonar saga Gamla Hakonarsonar.
Omits the Icelandic text, which was included in the original
edition of 1782.
"This edition is limited to 275 small-paper and 75 large paper
copies."
COPY NOTES: Bookplate of Edward Alexander Parsons.
SUBJECTS: Haakon Gamli, King of Norway, 1204-1263.
SUBJECTS: Scotland--History--To 1603
Norway--History--1030-1397
Scandinavian empire.
OTHER AUTHORS: Johnstone, James, d. 1798
Goldsmid, Edmund.
OCLC NUMBER: 4553364

George Leake


Subject: A0096 Question about first matter

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 23:42:38 GMT
From: Lewis Goudy

On Sep 12, 1996 17:41:34, M. Nicosia wrote:

>If the cat assists in the destruction of the foes of Osiris, as an
>incarnation of Bast, it is another visage of Isis.

In The Golden Bough Frazer observes
Yet if the old Egyptian farmer felt a secret joy at reaping
and garnering the grain, it was essential that he should
conceal the natural emotion under an air of profound
dejection. For was he not severing the body of the corn-
god with his sickle and trampling it to pieces under the
hoofs of his cattle on the treshing-floor? Accordingly we
are told that it was an ancient custom of the Egyptian corn-
reapers to beat their breasts and lament over the first sheaf
cut, while at the same time they called upon Isis...In Egypt
the slain deity was Osiris, and the name *Maneros* applied
to the dirge appears to be derived from certain words meaning
"Come to thy house," which often occur in the lamentations
for the dead god.

That the reverence shown cats by the Egyptians derives from a
mundane self-interest respecting rats and grain is commonplace.
The above passage indicates an element of atonement in its
theurgic import, as well as a profound sense of place.

Subject: A0097 Question about first matter

Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 00:39:41 -0500
From: Alex Isidoro

I would like to point out some material on the subject in the excellent
book of Titus Burckhard "Alchimie, Sa signification et son image du
monde" ed. ARCHE MILANO 1979, at chapter VII " La Materia Prima".

Also the fruit of the oak as a globe with a cross on the top could be
assumed to be the symbol of Mars. The mighty oak is not a cloud ...

Finally the book also mentions an analogy between the "Materia Prima"
and She who had the potential to provide the undifferentiated matter
which dressed our Saviour.

Regards,

Alex Isidoro


Subject: A0098 Manget's Bibliotheca Curiosa

From: Adam McLean
Date: 13 Sep 1996


Dear Wilfred Theisen,

As far as I know Manget's Bibliotheca Chemica Curiosa has not been reprinted in a modern edition. Are you sure you are not confusing this with the other great compendium the 'Theatrum Chemicum' which was edited by Maurizio Barracano, and published at Turin in 1981?

If you wish a copy of Bibliotheca Chemica Curiosa, why not get a microfilm made by one of the special collections, say in Glasgow or Wisconsin, or the British Library. You can then print this out on a special photocopier onto paper and get someone to bind it up into a series of volumes. The Bibliotheca Chemica Curiosa consists of two large folio volumes each of about 1000 pages. To have it microfilmed would probably cost around $600 if they did one frame per page (rather than one frame per opening) with another $300 to print it out onto paper.


Adam McLean

Subject: A0099 AMORC and alchemy

Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 10:37:12 -0400
From: Gilbert Arnold

My understanding is that Frater Lewis used a technique to change the
colour and density of a piece of zinc. Such techniques are documented in
metallurgical "alchemical" texts of both western and eastern traditions.

Regards and Blessings,

Gilbert