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How to Extract the Sulfur and Mercury from a Metal?

Antinventor2020

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Greetings, I have been researching alchemy for a bit, but I am looking for one more piece of knowledge. I seek a way to extract the philosophic Mercury and sulfur from metals for an experiment. I heard kymia arts made a method for extracting the oil and liquor of a metal, but I wanted to hear what you guys thought. Thank you very much
 

Antinventor2020

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I’ve also heard to extract the philosophic Mercury and sulfur from something like wood, you must burn it. The ash that remains is the “salt” or body and the smoke is the Mercury and sulfur of the wood that must be collected and cooled into a liquid. One may separate the sulfur and Mercury through distillation. Am I correct?
 

theFool

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I’ve also heard to extract the philosophic Mercury and sulfur from something like wood, you must burn it. The ash that remains is the “salt” or body and the smoke is the Mercury and sulfur of the wood that must be collected and cooled into a liquid. One may separate the sulfur and Mercury through distillation. Am I correct?
May I ask where have you seen that information? Is it somewhere publicly available to read it from source? Glauber comes first into mind.
 

Antinventor2020

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I read that method in the book titled "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy" by Dennis William Hauck, where they detail an example of the sulfur and mercury and salt existing in burning wood.

"In the burning of wood, for example, Sulfur is the wood fuel which is consumed in
the fire; Mercury is the smoke, heat, and light that come from the fire; and Salt is
the wood ashes created by the fire. As Paracelsus put it: 'The fire is Mercury; what is
burnt is Sulfur; and all ash is Salt.'"
 

theFool

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Thanks for your reply. As we know wood distillation produces mainly wood tar, acetic acid methanol and water. Wether a "mercury" can be found in this distillate if someone purifies it, is a question answered only by experiment. In my opinion, a well known chemical substance cannot be "alchemical mercury". E.g. ethanol is not mercury, neither acetic acid or phenols in the tar. You have to identify almost a new chemical element, unknown by maistream science. I guess is not very difficult to come across if you do experiments, but for some reason it has not been recorded yet in mainstream chemistry books.
 

Michael Sternbach

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Thanks for your reply. As we know wood distillation produces mainly wood tar, acetic acid methanol and water. Wether a "mercury" can be found in this distillate if someone purifies it, is a question answered only by experiment. In my opinion, a well known chemical substance cannot be "alchemical mercury". E.g. ethanol is not mercury, neither acetic acid or phenols in the tar. You have to identify almost a new chemical element, unknown by maistream science. I guess is not very difficult to come across if you do experiments, but for some reason it has not been recorded yet in mainstream chemistry books.

According to some (including Frater Albertus), alcohol is the Mercury of plants. What the equivalent would be when it comes to minerals and metals is a question that I haven't heard a straightforward answer to so far.
 

Jimmy Rig

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Just reading through this a few thoughts occurred to me.

-Elemental/refined sulphur in its solid form is yellow like a fires body of flame.
-It has a very signature odor which indicates a vaporous/volatile nature or potential of sulfur.

-If you light a combustible over snow, you will immediately notice that the snow around the base of the fire will turn a yellow color initially and then get burnt black as this deposit begins to burn ignited by the heat of the coals/base of ignition.(It is a fuel deposited in a tangible , as an oil/tar) -sulfur principle
-not unlike the yellow staining seen in cigarettes' filters.

I do not doubt that this deposition of "sulfur" could be collected in some form. Another vaporized substance from combustibles (plants) could be considered ethanol or mercury, obtained by a gentler method.

Salt requires the most aggressive method (burning).


For metals.. I have never even tried but I think of Moses burning the golden calf and throwing the ashes on the water, making the Israelites drink it.

So if a metal as stable as gold can be reduced to ashes via a strong fire, I wonder if on its way to becoming ashes some volatile principles can be evolved?.
I.e. if you could figure a way out to heat a metal to the point where it vaporizes and collect the vapors maybe that could be a way to get your sulfur principle.

Your salt could be gotten via extreme calcination.
(I think both requires extreme heat haha)

Your mercury? Gosh I really do not know; how would you putrefy or ferment gold or any other metal without already having a secret solvent of sorts.

Maybe you can get a mercury that works on metals from a root of metals; For some reason I am thinking of some type of earth containing a lot of minerals (an ore but not necessarily one found in the mines) and naturally saturated for this. Reapplying any mercury to its mother earth should increase its potency until It can dissolve said earth. Maybe this is a ladder you can explore but I am not recommending that you do as it is from my position pure speculation.

Who knows who's thoughts can give the right little bump though right?

Let us know if you have any luck. Also if you do take what I wrote on the mercury into consideration know that it is a Slow Process. (I think)

I was thinking about this a while back considering how one might make the "oil of clay" required in a recipe to fortify a lodestone (John French). Never got around to trying this yet but it piqued my interest.
 

black

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According to some (including Frater Albertus), alcohol is the Mercury of plants. What the equivalent would be when it comes to minerals and metals is a question that I haven't heard a straightforward answer to so far.
Hi Michael

Frater Albertus has used the term Alcohol as many of the Old Masters, but this word "Alcohol" is not referring to what we view as Ethanol.
 

Antinventor2020

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Well, when heated with a torch, I noticed metals gave off various vapors from the intense flame
 

Christophorus

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Hi Michael

Frater Albertus has used the term Alcohol as many of the Old Masters, but this word "Alcohol" is not referring to what we view as Ethanol.

Agree.

My 2 cents...

I struggled with this too until I understood it.
Substances are one thing, Philosophical Substances are another.
Philosophical Alcohol is not Ethanol. Ethanol is a common substance obtained by common distillation. If it's common, it's not philosophical.

Common Alcohol (Ethanol) it's a consequence! Being Philosophical means it's a Cause or a Principle.

Without the principles (the causes), we cannot obtain something new, specified, and ready to evolve, through the Art.

We can say that:
Planet Earth (the tangible Earth) is constituted by 4 consequential tangible elements that we perceive by our senses. But they're cause or counterpart are the non-tangible Elements (something like the Soul of the Element itself).

Understand that you are not what you think you are. You are a reflex from YOURSELF. A needed consequence... Incarnation = In Carnis = In flesh.

The same applies to Salt, Mercury, and Sulphur. Those are the combinations of the 4 causal elements (not the substance/tangible elements).
SALT - Earth and Water.
SULPHUR - Air and Fire.
MERCURY - Water and Air.

To extract the Mercury of a Metal means that you were able to combine the Water and Air elements. In that process (a philosophical operation) the Mercury Manifest's itself. It's a principle (by precipitation). This Mercury is "the bridge" between the Fixed and the Volatile, the "middle one".

According to some (including Frater Albertus), alcohol is the Mercury of plants. What the equivalent would be when it comes to minerals and metals is a question that I haven't heard a straightforward answer to so far.

The true true true can only be one: SM.

As I said, these are just my 2 cents... what I begin to understand, hopefully right.
C.
 
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theFool

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Well, when heated with a torch, I noticed metals gave off various vapors from the intense flame

You might find interesting also when steel wool (or iron in general) is dissolved in sulfuric acid. A garlic-like smell evolves, a quite inexplicable observation by common chemistry.
 

Michael Sternbach

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Hi Michael

Frater Albertus has used the term Alcohol as many of the Old Masters, but this word "Alcohol" is not referring to what we view as Ethanol.

Hi Black

Actually, I confused Frater Albertus with Manfred M. Junius. :D Quoting his Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy, p. 54:

In the plant world, ethyl alcohol (ethanol = C2H5OH) is the carrier of the Mercury Principle. In some treatises, ethyl alcohol is also designated as the Element Air, or even as the Quinta Essentia, but those are exceptions that should not confuse the reader. In a narrower sense, we always consider ethyl alcohol the Mercury of the plant world.

And p. 56:

It is important to remember that the Mercury Principle is always anonymous and therefore does not appear to be bound to the individual plant species. Throughout the whole plant world, ethyl alcohol is the carrier of Mercury, while Sulfur and Salt belong exclusively to the respective species. We can therefore replace Mercury in the plant world at any time "from outside," thus, for instance, also buy it in the drugstore.
 

Michael Sternbach

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You might find interesting also when steel wool (or iron in general) is dissolved in sulfuric acid. A garlic-like smell evolves, a quite inexplicable observation by common chemistry.

Well, when iron reacts with sulfuric acid, ferric sulfate and sulfur dioxide gas are produced. And when the insides of a garlic bulb are exposed to air, the alliin it contains breaks down into various sulfur compounds.

I guess there's the explanation in terms of common chemistry.
 

black

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Hi Black

Actually, I confused Frater Albertus with Manfred M. Junius. :D Quoting his Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy, p. 54:
In the plant world, ethyl alcohol (ethanol = C2H5OH) is the carrier of the Mercury Principle.

In some treatises, ethyl alcohol is also designated as the Element Air, or even as the Quinta Essentia, but those are exceptions that should not confuse the reader. In a narrower sense, we always consider ethyl alcohol the Mercury of the plant world.
And p. 56:
It is important to remember that the Mercury Principle is always anonymous and therefore does not appear to be bound to the individual plant species. Throughout the whole plant world, ethyl alcohol is the carrier of Mercury, while Sulfur and Salt belong exclusively to the respective species. We can therefore replace Mercury in the plant world at any time "from outside," thus, for instance, also buy it in the drugstore.
Hi Michael.

Professor Manfred M. Junius (1929-2004) lived in Australia, so I was able to have several long conversations with him ... some many years back.

Unfortunately Manfred did not have an Understanding of what an Alchemic process is or how to achieve such a process.

This is very evident to any Alchemist that has worked an Alchemic process.

Frater Albertus met with Manfred when the Frater was teaching in Australia.

Manfred told me he was a bit annoyed with the Frater.
He had given the Frater 1 litre of (what he believed to be) Our Mercury, to take back on the plane with him to the US.

He was quite hurt because he said he never heard from Frater Albertus about it again.

I won't go into detail, but any Alchemist with knowledge of Our Mercury would find this most amusing.

In my experience a few "millilitres" should be treated with the same respect as nitroglycerine.
 

black

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As I said, these are just my 2 cents... what I begin to understand, hopefully right.
C.
Hello Christophorus

It sounds like you have had a shift in your perception of the Work. :)
 

Michael Sternbach

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Hi Michael.

Professor Manfred M. Junius (1929-2004) lived in Australia, so I was able to have several long conversations with him ... some many years back.

Unfortunately Manfred did not have an Understanding of what an Alchemic process is or how to achieve such a process.

This is very evident to any Alchemist that has worked an Alchemic process.

Frater Albertus met with Manfred when the Frater was teaching in Australia.

Manfred told me he was a bit annoyed with the Frater.
He had given the Frater 1 litre of (what he believed to be) Our Mercury, to take back on the plane with him to the US.

He was quite hurt because he said he never heard from Frater Albertus about it again.

I won't go into detail, but any Alchemist with knowledge of Our Mercury would find this most amusing.

In my experience a few "millilitres" should be treated with the same respect as nitroglycerine.

Well, the suggestion to use any available ethanol in lieu of alcohol gained from the plant itself did make me wonder, when I first read it so long ago.

E.g., in the manufacturing procedure of Zimpel spagyrics, the Mercury employed is always the product of the specific medical plant's fermentation, it's not "any ethanol."
 

black

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Well, the suggestion to use any available ethanol in lieu of alcohol gained from the plant itself did make me wonder, when I first read it so long ago.

E.g., in the manufacturing procedure of Zimpel spagyrics, the Mercury employed is always the product of the specific medical plant's fermentation, it's not "any ethanol."

Hi Michael

A "specific medical plant's fermentation" may give us a "Specific Spirit", but that "Spirit" will not be able to Extract the plants Particular Quintessence or the plants Universal Quintessence.
 

Michael Sternbach

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Hi Michael

A "specific medical plant's fermentation" may give us a "Specific Spirit", but that "Spirit" will not be able to Extract the plants Particular Quintessence or the plants Universal Quintessence.

Dear Black

What may be needed is a definition of terms.

The OP was asking about a separation of the three principles from substances belonging to different realms of nature.

My reply was in reference to the spagyric method as commonly applied to plants today. There, alcohol in some form is indeed called Mercury.

I believe my reply was correct as far as this is concerned.
 

black

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Dear Black
What may be needed is a definition of terms.

Yes, this is always a major stumbling block.

The OP was asking about a separation of the three principles from substances belonging to different realms of nature.
This is the OP's question:

From Antinventor
How does one go about extracting the sulfur and Mercury from a metal?

The only way to extract "The Sulfur" / "Quintessence" is with "The Mercury".

My reply was in reference to the spagyric method as commonly applied to plants today. There, alcohol in some form is indeed called Mercury.

Yes correct ... the word Alcohol is in reference to "The Mercury" not Ethanol.

The only way to extract "The Sulfur" / "Quintessence" in any of the Three Realms is with "The Mercury", it is the only Spirit that can do this.

To be clear on the "definition of terms" ... "Mercury" = Secret Solvent = SM

I believe my reply was correct as far as this is concerned.
 

Antinventor2020

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I’ve heard a way to extract this, one could go through the “acetate path”. Is that correct?
 

black

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I’ve heard a way to extract this, one could go through the “acetate path”. Is that correct?
Hi Antinventor, this could be a good path for you to start your Alchemic Journey.

Give it a try and please keep us informed on your progress.

Remember to read as much as you can about this process before you start in the laboratory.

Alchemy lab work can be very dangerous, so please take the appropriate safety measures.
e.g. eye protection, gloves and laboratory apron are a must for any work.

Wishing you great success with this new venture of yours. :)
 

Antinventor2020

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Hi Antinventor, this could be a good path for you to start your Alchemic Journey.

Give it a try and please keep us informed on your progress.

Remember to read as much as you can about this process before you start in the laboratory.

Alchemy lab work can be very dangerous, so please take the appropriate safety measures.
e.g. eye protection, gloves and laboratory apron are a must for any work.

Wishing you great success with this new venture of yours. :)
Thank you very much!
 

Faunus

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I’ve also heard to extract the philosophic Mercury and sulfur from something like wood, you must burn it. The ash that remains is the “salt” or body and the smoke is the Mercury and sulfur of the wood that must be collected and cooled into a liquid. One may separate the sulfur and Mercury through distillation. Am I correct?

I'm not going to talk about the acetate path to extract the sulfur and mercury of metals because I didn't worked with it, however I would like to point out that this is very probably based on a quote from paracelsus in Liber paramirum (1st book, 2nd chapter) where he uses this analogy to talk about mercury, sulfur and salt.

Take wood for example. Burn it. What burn is the sulfur, what exhale in fumes is mercury, what stay in ashes is the salt
(Note : I just did the french translation as it is the language in wich I have this quote)

I don't think this quote refers specifically to pyrodistillation, it's more of an analogy : mercury is the volatile, salt is the fixed and sulfur is the flamable. Note that the sulfur is burned in the process so this is definitly not a working process. Though in his archidoxes some text could be interpreted as being pyrodistillation, other text indicates low temperature work such as extraction with wine spirit.

To be totally honest, I don't really believe in pyrodistillation. It's way too "messy" and destructive to me.

For extracting sulfur of metals, I remember a quote from Fulcanelli, where he use ammoniac salt to sublimate metallic salts or calx and to extract the sulfur afterward.
 

Jimmy Rig

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From animal works; I know that you can distill off a golden liquid from your putrefied/fermented matter. This is at a regular or fairly high heat. You will be left with a gross residue which I am sure you could make into a nice salt (let's call this Salt). You can probably do a more simple separation via settling and pouring also (pretty sure this is how the ancients worked).

The golden liquid that was first distilled; (I'll call it "Essence" S+M) if sitting for a while in a sealed flask will slowly drop out a white waxy looking substance on the bottom of the flask (takes a few weeks to begin) (mine are tear drop shaped flasks; the white wax will form in a little button or circle/ring on the bottom. I believe this is the volatile salts falling out of solution from prolonged storage in the dark.)

You can also separate this with a low-heat distillation (I use a retort) and you will get a crystal clear, very potent spirit(Ill call this Mercury in potential, or the non isolated mercury.) and will be left with the yellow/red/brown looking stuff at the bottom(Ill call this sulfur). The problem I always have here is that it seems that this sulfur likes to turn into a sort of feces once all the moisture leaves; i.e. you are distilling a nice golden fluid (the result of a distillation) and as you get to the bottom of the distillation it gets grosser and grosser. It seems difficult to clean up this "sulfur" if I am understanding this right.

Or maybe its better to put; it seems easy to separate the body from the essence (M+S) and easy enough to separate out the M, but difficult to not burn the S initially.

The clear spirit would be the "mercury" in this example, which like spirit of wine(ethanol) can be increased in potency via multiple eagles at low temperatures; concentrating the volatile portion.

I have a question for @black;

You mention that only a few milliliters of mercury or SM is very dangerous; like nitroglycerin and is explosive I believe. "The fear of god" you have mentioned before.

You also said that you can extract 5ml in about 20 minutes.

You get this from the mineral realm; and this is the only substance or mercury capable of pulling sulfur from subjects;

My question is three-fold; or three questions :p

1. Is the mercury you are obtaining in SMALL and POWERFUL quantities derived from a dry or wet distillation?
2. Have you been able to get it from more than one mineral or only one specific subject?
3.Does what I wrote here agree with how you term these things or am I in your opinion missing the mark here.

For anyone reading; do not take my words too seriously; just jumping into the discussion here.
 

black

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Hi Jimmy
You get this from the mineral realm; and this is the only substance or mercury capable of pulling sulfur from subjects;
Yes Jimmy, Our Mercury is the only substance that is capable of bringing forth the Sulfur (Our Oil, The Quintessence, Soul) Universal or Particular from any of the three realms.

My question is three-fold; or three questions
1. Is the mercury you are obtaining in SMALL and POWERFUL quantities derived from a dry or wet distillation?
I have been shown several ways to collect Our Mercury (Spiritus Mundi).

2. Have you been able to get it from more than one mineral or only one specific subject?
There are many, many places and subjects where Pure Spiritus Mundi may be collected from.

3.Does what I wrote here agree with how you term these things or am I in your opinion missing the mark here.
Yes, missing the mark ..... BUT the allegory found in working with urine may assist the students of Alchemy advance in the Work .... urine and feces are of little to no use at all for collecting Our Mercury (SM).

The GW that the Alchemists use to obtain their Quintessence is not the Golden Water that many aspiring Alchemists believe to be urine.

Also the GW that the Alchemists use to obtain their Quintessence is not to be confused with Our Mercury (Spiritus Mundi).