So in the following paragraphs it is important not to get lost. If you get to lose your way now, mainly for lack of mental flexibility, you will face the remaining chapters progressing like in a maze. I suggest you to forget what you know of male and female salts, Mercurius and Sulfur, Sun and Moon, Spiritus Mundi and Secret Fire, as the author is here terribly pragmatic: he will just talk of salts, obtained by distillation, rectification, sublimation, filtration, solution. I think a good dose of intellectual passivity is also required to follow these so called minor alchemical authors who, in the final analysis, are those who dared to put in clear the preliminary proceedings the alchemical “celebrities” often refused to deal with, but in a poetical way.
“Side note: Three Salts.
In the final text of the first chapter, three salts are cited, which actually repose and are hidden in the above mentioned source of our chalybis or subject of the earth: in within there can be found special things, all separate, and in this way all three one by one can be extracted, their being as separated as conjuncted caused the philosophers to create a set of operations giving rise to wonderful things. Some of whose will be exposed.
Side note: Sal Armoniacum.
However many called Sal Armoniacum even the Mercurius Philosophorum, and not inappropriately Sulphur or sal naturae, they know that most worthy and true royal salt required from them many labored efforts, from unspoiled earth or any other subject, through distillation, and subsequent putrefaction on its own, or other similar and proper liquor, and through imbibition and fixation of this liquor in the earth, and they eventually achieved it when it raised through sublimation, and then they smeared it with wax and with the Sun oil set the stone. They dissolved it with its own spiritual water, so that volatile because of the dissolution they distilled both lights.
Side note: Sal Nitrum.
Sal nitrum, when skillfully made and well depurated, it is neither lower in rank nor inferior to Sal Armoniacum, not only because of its easy preparation, which doesn’t needs sophistication, but can be achieved with an easy women work, it is also true that it can be improved by the art till the final goal, in this case can greatly exceed. With no distillation but with a simple action defined ‘being abundantly fruitful’ ( the author define the operation exuberatione), and can be obtained by simple lisciva and a process very like the common saltpeter extraction.
Side note: Lisciva Ph.
It is good to know that of the real earths one is more eligible than the other. If you can really free from impurity the nitre with its lisciva, it is better. But even better will be if in the same clearing operation you can corroborate the nitre in its qualities either for celestial or terrestrial virtues. And you have to thank God if with so little and exiguous effort, with no justification of countless, difficult and dangerous processes, and there is no remaining salt neither fixed nor volatile, salient or whether they are fixed or volatile; you will take care of some astral impregnation or impression, which this salt in within keeps and include all the salts of the opera, but the ferment of the gold, which you should give life and fully cook.
Side note: Salt Fixed.
You should understand what concerns the salt fixed, which is called alkali, and which from any calcined earth is extracted (even from any disregarded fruit of the earth, of course even from wheat straw), according to Prisciano’s recommendation, or even not calcined at all, or spread till redness by the art through occult manifestation, and distilled with proper vehicle till volatility in form of a clear water or a blood color sweet oil, it has the strength of gold if distilled through alembic, to then achieve the oil, or even the joined oil of the salt and gold and in the stone coagulated with great projection, which also about the sal fixum of our minera, which this chapter is about. He who is not accomplished in the real golden fishing net the philosophers spoke about, at least learns of the Mercurius of the vulgar gold, by itself and in itself precipitated and fixed, and so ends this chapter.”
The coming chapters are going to explain the processes to get those salts. For the moment it is enough to know we are still in the preliminary, or first work (see an Opus Magnum scheme).
Next chapter Ortelius Commentary on Sendivogius. Chapter 5.
Previous chapter at Ortelius Commentary on Sendivogius. Chapter 3.
- See also Phantom Play’s Earth Salt Self Extractor;
- See also A Very Ancient Method to Shatter Carbonate Rocks ;