Elixir of Youth

>> Saturday, January 24, 2009

elixir of youth
Alchemy using dissolved elements is simple and effective. It differs from the Great Work because it starts with water already containing the necessary elements. Traditional alchemists would consider it the lightweight end of the Art. The Great Work focused on the reverse direction, converting metallic gold into the Philosophers’ Stone. For the ancients this involved three major technological hurdles. The first was to make a solvent for gold. No easy achievement. The second hurdle was to eliminate the impure elements, particularly nitrogen, introduced in dissolving the gold. The third major hurdle was to create a gold chloride that could be dissolved in water. When the gold dissolves, we have potable gold, or gold that can ingested to purify the body. It was said that with this Elixir of Youth, the old could become young again; and life could be extended to at least the natural limit of one hundred and twenty years. After all, the Bible said that Melchizedek, the King of Salem, who first possessed the Philosophers’ Stone, would live forever.

Dissolving metallic gold was no easy matter. Alchemists needed a Secret Fire. They created nitric acid by reacting ammonium chloride or sal ammoniac, the Salt of Ammon, with niter or potassium nitrate. Many chemists would be surprised to know that in antiquity priests distilled ammonia from dung, bones and horns at the Temple of Amun in Libya. The name ammonium even derives from the Egyptian deity, Amun. Egyptian Priests used this in their chemical works at their nearby Temple of Amun in the Oasis of Siwa in Egypt. Nitric and hydrochloric acids were combined to form Aqua Regia, that unique combination of oxidizing and non-oxidizing acids that together can dissolve metallic gold.

Nitric acid is amongst the most dangerous of substances to work with. This acid blinded many alchemists, or they met a painful respiratory end from the fumes, splashes and spills. Many inadvertently created poisons or explosives. Fulminating gold and silver are highly unstable explosives, quite probably the deadly Shamir. Many military devices use fulminate of mercury as a detonator.

Check: Sulphuric acid and its use, tombac
Verify: Egyptian gods
Research: The Greek connection, gold and immortality
Add: Great Work
Source: Stuart Nettleton, The Alchemy Key The Mystical Provenance of the Philosophers' Stone, 2002, p. 12

1 comments:

IT Zone January 24, 2009 at 8:23 AM  

Nice post

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