It goes against all the voices of reason found in our logical mind.
¿Oil from metal?
How is that possible?
Few modern practitioners talk about the production of metallic oils freely and openly, and a study into simple and safe methods of production can prove to take years of research and experimentation if explored alone. Below is a simple break down for how I produce my metallic oils for Kymia Arts.
Metals to Minerals
The first step in creating a metallic oil is obviously to have the metal of your choice at hand. For this example we will be using Gold, but these techniques work for any of the metals you might wish to extract. Once you have your metal you will need to convert your metal into a mineral.
From a metaphorical stand point, we can consider this like undressing a metal. We want to make our once armor-plated element vulnerable so that we may kill it and relieve it of its soul. According to alchemical philosophy, the Soul of any given subject is expressed as its oil. Being after the metallic oil means that we are after the soul of that substance. When you remove the soul of anything, you remove the aspect that once gave that material life. The work of alchemy is often one of an undertaker. It isn't until you master the art that we find a practitioner able to give and create life as opposed to take it - but this is a conversation for another time....
To convert a metal to a mineral, you need to start with a purified metal. 24k Gold is 99.999% pure and suitable for this work. The gold (our king) is submerged into his bath - Aqua Regia. Here, the Gold dissolves into a solution with the Aqua Regia. Although this gold seems to have completely disappeared into solution, an experienced practitioner still knows that he can break this once great king down even further to pull every ounce of his soul from his flesh.
To do this, the Gold must be precipitated out using the Oil of Tartar per Deliquium. Adding this solution to our kings bath causes finely divided particles to precipitate out and fall to the bottom of our beaker. After precipitation, the regia is decanted off, the gold is collected, and washed with fresh water. The gold precipitate will be of a brownish color and will no longer appear as shiny metallic gold. This gold precipitate is added back into a fresh batch of Aqua Regia and dissolved once again to divide it further. Once dissolved, it is again precipitated, collected, and washed. This process is repeated several times.
With each dissolution and precipitation of our gold, the particle size is reduced, and the color of the precipitate changes. Eventually we get to a state where we will have the 'white powder of gold' - or a fine gold calx as some call it.
This white gold calx, if added to Aqua regia, will tinge the solution green. This green solution is boiled and refluxed, and then allowed to cool. As it cools slowly, glowing green crystals of mineralized gold emerge in the flask. Some may attribute this as being the famed green lion of alchemy.
Spirit of a Metal
Before, during, or after the production of the mineralized gold, it is necessary to procure a supply of a metallic spirit.
Just like in the vegetable work where we can take a highly rectified vegetable spirit to attract the soul (oil) of that plant into the spirit (this is known as tincturing) - so too can we attract the essence of a metal out from its vulnerable state using a highly rectified metallic spirit.
To obtain the spirit of a metal, acetate path operations need to be pursued.
An outline of the acetate path and procuring metallic spirits can be read about HERE
Now in possession of both our mineralized gold, and a pure metallic spirit, all that is left is to add the two together. The metallic spirit is poured into a flask full of crystals, sealed, and allowed to digest. Immediately upon contact with the spirit, the crystals dissolve and become effervescent. The solution is tinctured to a deep red immediately if all operations were performed properly.
After a few days of digestion you can begin to see Gold dust - shiny and golden in color - precipitating out of solution and falling to the bottom of the flask. After a few weeks all of the Gold will have fallen out and the deep red tincture of the Oil of Gold will be floating above its resurrected body.
Washing and Sweetening
The red tincture of gold is decanted off from its precipitated body and into a distillation train. The metallic spirit is gently distilled off, collected, and saved for future extraction. Left behind in the heating flask is the pure Oil of Gold. This pure essence is then tinctured again into a rectified spirit of wine as to wash it of any residual metallic spirit or acidity. This process is referred to as sweetening. The vegetable spirit is also gently distilled off and set aside for use as a washing agent for future extractions of the Oil of Gold. Fresh vegetable spirit is then added once again to the purified essence - it is tinctured, and the spirit distilled off for a final sweetening.
After these three distillations, the Oil of gold lays thick and resinous at the bottom of our heating flask. It is tinctured one final time into the rectified spirit of honey, bottled and sealed, and set aside for use as a finished essence.
Avery is the lead Alchemist at Kymia Arts and routinely shares information on general alchemy topics as well as our methods and products.