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I've created this blog to communicate the experience of Oneness and Connectedness employing views from science and metaphysics, with an emphasis on Alchemy, but also including Non-duality, Carlos Castaneda, Qabala, Gurdjieff, Quantum physics, Tao, Dreamtime, Krishnamurti, Hermeticism, Raja Yoga, Gnosticism, Ramtha and more. At the bottom of the page, you'll find related links to websites and videos. Please feel free to comment or contact me.

With much love, Serpentrio Arquila

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gases in Alchemy

In alchemy, there is much focus on metals, ores, salts and solvents.
In this post we'll dedicate some attention to gases.
After all, vessels are hermetically sealed to keep these gases in,
for they are true catalysts.

Van Helmont is accredited with inventing the name 'gas':
"I have called this spirit gas, it being scarcely indistinguishable from the Chaos of the ancients."

In the above image from Michael Maier's Atalanta Fugiens, we see the Stone of the Philosophers existing in the air, the water and the earth.

"Without benefit of being guided to the Organic Light, Alchemists scrutinized the natural light for signs of supernatural activity. Their scrutiny must have been extraordinary, because it allowed them to perceive the intimate operations of nature. They detected both oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere before these elements were observed with the aid of instruments and quantified in chemical language. Oxygen they called Prima Materia, the First Matter, because all that lives materially, even minerals, reacts to it before anything else. Today we know that oxygen is a highly reactive, unstable gas."
 - The Radiant Wisdom Stone by John Lash

"Nitrogen, which is preponderant in the atmosphere at close to 80 percent, was also discovered by alchemists. They called it Azoth. Along with oxygen, we breathe nitrogen with every breath, but as it is an "inert gas," we do not normally sense anything from it. It is possible, however, to be somatically conscious of breathing atmospheric nitrogen. The effect is a kind of light delirium, comparable to the effect of nitrous oxide, "laughing gas." Psychoactive mushrooms can cause people who ingest them to become giddy and laugh hilariously. It is now known that the properties of such plants derive from their rare nitrogenous chemistry, making them exceptional among the millions of plant species on the Earth."
The Radiant Wisdom Stone by John Lash

some names for gases
hydrogen - inflammable air
oxygen - dephlogisticated air, vital air, spiritus nitroaereus, fiery air, acidifying principle
nitrogen - phlogisticated air, mephitic air, corrupted air, azote
carbon dioxide - fixed air, aerial acid, mephitic air, spiritus sylvestre
hydrogen sulfide - aer hepaticus
sulfur dioxide - volatile spirit of sulfur, air of vitriol
ammonia - aer urinosum

hydrogen shares the alchemical symbol for gold:

nitrogen shares the alchemical symbol for nitre:

oxygen shares the alchemical symbol for alum:

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