Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

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Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Ellenar » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:39 am

Behold, Aule now gathered six metals, copper {T(ambe)}, silver {I(lsa)}, tin {L(atuken)}, lead {K(anu)}, iron {A(nga)}, gold {L(aure)}, and taking a portion of each made with his magic a seventh which he named tikal, and this had all the properties of the six and many of its own.  Its colour was bright green or red in varying lights and it could not be broken, and Aule alone could forge it.  Thereafter he forged a mighty chain, making it of all seven metals welded with spells to a substance of uttermost hardness and brightness, and smoothness, but of tikal he had not sufficient to add more than a little to each link.  Nonetheless he made two manacles of tikal only and four fetters likewise.  Now the chain was named Angaino, the oppressor, and the manacles Vorotemnar that bind for ever, but the fetters Ilterindi for they might never be filed or cleft.
-The Chaining Of Melko, The Book Of Lost Tales 1 

I have been meditating, quite heavily, upon tikal and its properties.  It has come into my mind that the possibility exists for the recreation of this metal.  It is my hypothesis that if this metal could successfully be forged, one would be in possession of a mythic substance known for its ability to bind and ward malevolent forces.

I have learned from Aule that if tikal is recreated, that a person can use the metal to fashion an amulet, whose virtue would provide a significant amount of protective influence.  He also said, "That the virtue of tikal is not solely in the elements of its making, but also within the one who forges it." 

I must confess that I know absolutely nothing about metalworking.  Is it even possible to chemically combine the various metals, which go into its making?     
"The time of Moonsheen has passed. The noontide of the dominion of Men is waning. Soon will come the era of Starshine. And the ages will partake of both; the grace of Moonsheen and the glory of the Days of the Sun" -Mormeril

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:18 pm

Well, I know some chemistry, but not a lot about metallurgy.

Generally speaking, you'll have more luck making an alloy of metals near each other on the periodic table:

http://www.dayah.com/periodic/

The combo I had the most doubt about was iron (Fe) with gold (Au), however it does appear that this is possible: http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/50592 ... ption.html

Combining more than two metallic elements as an alloy becomes more difficult, and I would think that only a metallurgist would be able to say if this is possible, and if so, what it's physical properties would be.

The only thing I can suggest is maybe asking at a university that has a large inorganic chemistry department, and perhaps one that also teaches metallurgy?

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Llefyn Mallwen » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:59 pm

A quick thought on the tikal.  Could it be, for some reason, that copper be a dominant metal in the mix, as copper itself has a red hue, and as it oxidises the green appears because of it's interaction with oxygen?  Here's a technical bit on copper oxidization:

Initially, bare Cu metal atoms react with air to form the pink oxide, cuprite, Cu2O, which has Cu+1 cations. This gradually oxidizes further to the black oxide, tenorite, CuO, with Cu+2 ions. The black sulfide CuS also sometimes forms. In the presence of moisture, the blackish layer slowly reacts with sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide from the air to eventually form the patina, which is a mixture of 3 minerals:
brochantite, a green, hydrated copper sulfate, Cu4SO4(OH)6
  malachite, the green, hydrated copper carbonate Cu2CO3(OH)3
  azurite, the blue, hydrated copper carbonate Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Niennildi Oarnen » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:12 pm

Since Aule had the dominion over shaping the earth to bring Eru's vision to completion, I am wondering if Tikal isn't an element rather than an alloy. As a demiurgic being, I think he created another metal that embodied the properties of copper, silver, tin, iron, lead and gold. I think the phrases "it could not be broken" and "Aule alone could forge it" are clues to this, as an element cannot be broken down into component parts as an alloy could and mankind cannot create elemental metals. 

The alloy part of this passage comes with the creation of  the magical chain Angaino.
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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Llefyn Mallwen » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:21 am

Though I went down the road-of-the-obvious and went looking for the reason for the reddish-hue in the constructed metal, the idea had occurred to me that tikal could be an element of it's own.  Which is slightly humorous in relation to a statement that I read lately, where the poster stated (loosely quoted)...

      "There are no unknown elements"...in reference to the Elemental Table, and  mystery metals.  The poster was trying to tell us that because something isn't in the current version of the elemental table, "it" doesn't exist.    ***what???***  My immediate gut reaction was "silly human, thinking we've already discovered everything." 

I've had *that* conversation with my other half a couple of times already. :-) 

Thanks Dineen, you're my independent confirmation :-)

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Niennildi Oarnen » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:44 pm

Llefyn, I am actually wondering if tikal is a known element, but that we just know it by another name.

For instance, perhaps a metal from the Refractory group on the Periodic Table so that it would meet the clue of "bright green or red in varying lights". Right now I am wondering about tungsten with it's strength and refractory capabilities.
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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Ellenar » Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:59 am

Very keen insight, Dineen.  I myself have also been puzzling over the quotes mentioned in your response, and their relation to the nature of tikal.  It never occured to me that tikal could possibly be an element already in existence, which we may know by another name.   
"The time of Moonsheen has passed. The noontide of the dominion of Men is waning. Soon will come the era of Starshine. And the ages will partake of both; the grace of Moonsheen and the glory of the Days of the Sun" -Mormeril

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Rúnyamirë » Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:40 pm

Now I'm no metallurgist or chemist but this topic couldn't help but remind me of an article I read awhile back on glassy (or amorphous) metals.  They're a new class of materials first developed at Caltech.  Normal metal has a crystalline structure, meaning the molecules form regular geometric patterns.  Glassy metals have an amorphous structure, meaning the molecules are randomly distributed around each other.  Their strength and hardness is above and beyond the best steel or titanium, and they do not bend but actually shatter like glass.  As I understand it there are a couple approaches to making amorphous metal.  One is to cool the molten metal so quickly that the molecules don't have time to crystallize.  The other is to mix an alloy of many metal with different atomic sizes and properties.  If you get the proportions right, the many different metals are too jumbled together and they prevent each other from forming crystals.  Perhaps tikal was a type of material we are now rediscovering?  Interesting also to note that gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, and lead (along with mercury) were the seven planetary metals of alchemy.  Perhaps, (as alchemy is as much spiritual as scientific) those alchemists of old tapped some spark of Aule's ancient wisdom?

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Calantirniel » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:30 pm

This is a great topic - how did I miss it?  Speaking as an Astrologer (whom in the olde days I would have also had Alchemical training), except for Mercury, all of these metals are assigned rulership of the planets up to Saturn - and the lights (Sun and Moon).

Gold - Sun (Leo)
Silver - Moon (Cancer)
Copper - Venus (Taurus/Libra)
Iron - Mars (Aries/Scorpio)
Tin - Jupiter (Sagittarius/Pisces)
Lead - Saturn (Capricorn/Aquarius)

Missing:
Mercury - Mercury (Gemini/Virgo) and noted the only one liquid at "normal" temperatures

Thanks Llefyn for showing how Copper is the key - in Astrology, Venus is in charge of relationships and "gets along" with the others.  Interesting.

Thanks for the notes on the names of the metals, is that Quenya by chance?  Also, I recognize a few of those have their own Cirth/Tengwar symbol.

So, I wonder if this act could be "alchemized" symbolically, in the same way Dave makes sigils.  This could be pretty fun actually ;)
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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Turwaithien » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:20 am

I recently discovered some jewelry that reminded me of this. http://mokume-gane.com/index.php?page=home Mokume-gane is definately not the same as creating an alloy or new metal, but I wonder if using such a method would yeild good results. I don't know much about the process, but since it clearly can be used to forge rings, it can also be used to make an amulet. The only problem I can think of that would cause a problem is the different melting points of all these metals. I don't know what combination of temperature and pressure would be required to make it work, but after I've gained some profecciency in jewelry and metal-working, I think I'd like to give it a try.

Another similar method of combining metals is by using metal clay and sintering them together. Again, the melting points would probably cause a problems. Also, I'm unsure as to how many of these metals are available in clay form. It seems only the more precious ones are.

Melting Points (degrees Fahrenheit)
iron: 2800
copper: 1984
gold: 1948
silver:1763
lead: 621
tin: 449

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Eruannlass » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:19 pm

Suilad ~

A local SCA (medieval re~enactment) member gave a demo of Mokume~gane a few years back. Because of the expense and specialty of the craft, the class was open to only 10 people, all of whom were guests at the event (no local members...). I will try to contact him and see if he has some material that he might be able to pass along, or knows of some websites. The site where he did this is somewhat open aired and minimal in resources, which implies that there is not a ton of heavy gear needed to use the crafting method. I'll see what I can find out.

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Turwaithien » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:45 pm

That would be awesome! I've also learned that making alloys (like sterling silver and various karats of gold) is surprisingly simple. You melt them in the crucible starting with the one with the highest melting point and moving on down. Sterling silver is only two metals though, and various types of gold are I think two or three types, so melting six at once could still be difficult. Unfortunately, due to restrictions at the school studio, I wouldn't be able to try with the iron and most definitely not the lead. I had actually forgotten about lead being hazardous to health actually. I also wonder how one would be able to experiment with various amounts of each metal, particularly due to the exceedingly high price of gold these days. But that's probably just me rambling.

Looking back at previous posts (on a somewhat unrelated topic) it was mentioned that perhaps copper is the major component due to the green color, when sterling silver tarnishes (which it does because of it's copper content) it tarnishes black and not green. It being red in certain light would probably be due to copper though because that's why rose gold is reddish in color. Green could possibly be from silver, which (again with gold) makes a greenish yellow gold. This is all just speculation on my part though as I know pretty much only about the metals commonly used in jewelry, so I haven't a clue what the other three metals would do to the color or anything really. Tin is a part of bronze (the other part of which is copper), but that's about all I know about it.

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Niennildi Oarnen » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:48 am

Turwaithien, if you are familiar with metal clay, I came across this tutorial on a bronze and copper mokume gane metal clay technique:

http://www.cindysilas.com/mokume_gane.pdf

Unfortunately, it didn't show a true finished product, just sheet of copper with the applied "wood grain" decoration.


I still stand by my thought that tikal is the elven name of a metal that we already know. It just that it has varying properties of all the metals that make up the initials of its name. We just don't know which properties those are. Iron, silver and copper's conductivity? Copper's color? Gold's rarity or softness? Lead's heaviness or toxicity? Red in a certain light and its strength lead me to think it's one of the platinum group like iridium or rhodium.

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by LostBoy » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:06 pm

Bumping this old topic because it's relevant -

Within the occult, an alloy of all 7 planetary metals is referred to as "electrum magicum" and has a variety of magical uses. When I was reading the Lost Tales, I totally noticed the similarity between electrum magicum and tilkal. It left some questions, though: first of all, did Tolkien - a devout Catholic - know about electrum magicum and put that in on purpose? It's unlikely he'd know, and even LESS likely that if he did, he'd deliberately write something like that in. This is actually one of the things that convinced me was certainly channeling even if he didn't know it, most especially in the early drafts before he edited out everything that seemed too pagan and made him uncomfortable.

The second question is: if it's an alloy of planetary metals, why was mercury left out? WEEEEEEELL while looking up a link for the forum about electrum magicum, I stumbled across this: http://www.occultforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20334" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

People who have tried to make electrum magicum complain that because the boiling point of mercury is below the melting point of some of the other metals, it simply evaporates when added to the mixture. You can alloy the other six...but not mercury.

I'm more than a little dumbfounded by this revelation.

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Re: Tikal- The Mystic Metal Of Aule

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:32 pm

LostBoy wrote:Bumping this old topic because it's relevant -

Within the occult, an alloy of all 7 planetary metals is referred to as "electrum magicum" and has a variety of magical uses. When I was reading the Lost Tales, I totally noticed the similarity between electrum magicum and tilkal.

It left some questions, though: first of all, did Tolkien - a devout Catholic - know about electrum magicum and put that in on purpose? It's unlikely he'd know,[...]
I agree with you there. The only person he came into contact with who was said to be versed in occult knowledge was Charles Williams (the link provided is a good one for providing a wider societal milieu of the time period in addition to Williams' biography).
and even LESS likely that if he did, he'd deliberately write something like that in. This is actually one of the things that convinced me was certainly channeling even if he didn't know it, most especially in the early drafts before he edited out everything that seemed too pagan and made him uncomfortable.
I think it more likely that he was attempting to 'streamline' the Tales to improve the narrative flow rather than that he was removing elements that seemed too pagan and made him uncomfortable. It is true that he was, by his own admission "a devout Catholic", but he also was, also by his own admission, at best 'dissatisfied' with a number of aspects of Church doctrine (see especially Letters #250, #267, and #306). We are not told exactly what these dissatisfactions are, but this statement from Letter #306 is pretty strongly worded: "I know quite well that, to you as to me, the Church which once felt like a refuge, now often feels like a trap. There is nowhere else to go!" This was written to his son Michael Tolkien, indicating that the discussion of such topics were hardly 'taboo' in his household.
The second question is: if it's an alloy of planetary metals, why was mercury left out? WEEEEEEELL while looking up a link for the forum about electrum magicum, I stumbled across this: http://www.occultforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20334

People who have tried to make electrum magicum complain that because the boiling point of mercury is below the melting point of some of the other metals, it simply evaporates when added to the mixture. You can alloy the other six...but not mercury.

I'm more than a little dumbfounded by this revelation.
As an entheogenic shaman, I posses neither the knowledge of Western Occultism, nor the interest, to comment upon these magical aspects. As someone who knows a thing or two about chemistry, though, I will say that anyone who vaporizes ('boils') mercury in an open vessel most likely won't live very long. Moreover, even if one could alloy these elements under extreme conditions (under extreme pressure in an inert helium environment, say), it wouldn't actually do anything. Any more than, say, nano-diamonds are going to get up and sashay across the room.

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