Most Excellent Excerpts
Anthony M. House C.H.
NOTES ON SOURCES:
Aphorismi seu Circulus Majus et Circulus Minus or the Lesser Circulation is from an unknown but obvious Master.
The many references to Frater Albertus come from the magazines - Parachemica, Parachemy, Essentia, and his books Alchemist's Handbook and Alchemist of the Rocky Mountains.
Notes on the Rudolf Glauber method that are in parenthesis are by professor Michael Junius.
Grossman is a German author in the Herbal work.
The Spagyric Technique by Robert Bartlett comes from Essentia.
An attempt at the Circulatum Minus is also from a student's article in Essentia.
The Four Elements by Frater K.H. comes from Parachemy Fall '77' vol.5, no. 4.
THREE UNIVERSAL FORCES
Manfred M. Junius (Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy)
1. The tiny building blocks of the atoms, which form matter - the SALT principle.
2. The life principle, Prana, which tries to materialize in countless forms, from simple molecules to the most complicated structures. We recognize it in the MERCURY principle.
3. Consciousness, intelligence, which guides and forms all life. It is the soul, atman, the SULPHUR principle.
These three philosophical principles are accessible to our human senses in the form of matter which manifests in four different states:
(1) EARTH-solid (cold)
(2) WATER-liquid (moist)
(3) AIR-gaseous (dry)
(4) FIRE-radiant or etheric (hot)
Within the four elements a fifth is present, the Quintessence, which however, is not one of the four elements. It permeates the whole universe. The Quintessence is the force that binds everything. It is the cohesive force of all living creatures and all existing things.
The extraction of the water soluble salts is done as follows:
The calcined ash is put in a beaker and covered with double or triple the amount of distilled water. Everything is slowly heated and stirred. Now the water soluble salts dissolve, while the insoluble ones settle. The clear liquid is decanted and filtered. The residue that remains after filtration of the solution is also called caput Mortuum (death's head). To get this quite pure, we must rinse it many times with distilled water. The Ph factor can be tested with litmus paper.
Chemically viewed, the water soluble salts consist chiefly of potassium carbonate and approximately 10 to 20% of other salts, such as potassium chloride, potassium sulphate, and sodium carbonate. These water soluble salts are fusible at about 900 degrees Celsius.
The salts that are not water soluble (caput Mortuum), consist chiefly of calcium, silicon, phosphorus, and magnesium. They contain traces of other metals. To melt the fixed salt temperatures of over 1500 degrees are required.
The Seven Basics
Seven Herbal Planetary Elixirs by Frater Albertus
There is a law in physics which, simply stated, says that all matter is transparent to energy except that matter which is in resonance to it (energy) and that the energy will be imparted to that body of matter. In Alchemy it is stated that ¼ oz. of prepared medicant is equal to 20 lbs. of the raw material from which it is made. It would seem that we are concentrating these "energies" and then placing a very small and acceptable amount of these in our bodies to help refine it. To gain the most from our "herb-basics," we must also work on the other levels of our being. The "virtues" of our herbs will do much to promote health in our bodies, but to gain the most from them we must also take "something" for our other "bodies." We are 3 in 1; body, mind, and soul; physical, mental, and emotional. We must make a conscious effort to change the imperfect, to place into our other bodies the "concentrates" that will impart the "energies" we want to work for us.
What is happening in the "7-basics" is a very gradual replacement of our body chemistry, to replace those things which in our "later" life causes aging. In the young the change is not or barely noticeable; but in the older bodies it is felt more intensely and quickly. Example: things will seem to be very "normal," then all of a sudden we start feeling an acceleration of little aches and pains, unexplained fatigue, emotional and mental confusion, the whole gamut of retarding agents. Then for some unexplained reason, we pass on to a state of "blah" neither good nor bad, just there and just doing with no real "Entheos." Yet later, if we are doing our homework, there comes a very small "opening." We sense something is at work. We start to "wake up." We start to "feel." But there also comes the realization that we must now be very careful of our every word, thought, act, and emotion. It is as if we have gone to the mountains and every step must now be watched to insure complete success. A careless move could very well spell out injury or worse, for the high paths are less forgiving than the wide valley roads. However, once the main body of work has been done, the real dividends will continue to re-new themselves for the rest of our lives. In the twilight years of our existence, we will find our bodies will function perfectly, for those things which would have "aged" us are not present. We had previously "opened" the METAL of our bodies, FIRED them (tortured), and finally replaced or returned to the opened-body metal an essence not normally found there. The cells were opened and purged of the toxic materials long ago and then replaced with the concentrated, refined "virtues."
We are in a process of hooking-up directly to the Power station itself. We are in a process of aligning ourselves up with, coming into HARMONY (resonance) with it, flowing with it not fighting it. Once in the main stream of IT, being caught in its powerful currents, our slightest move, thought, wish, etc. will be impressed in and around us NOW! There will be little or no wait-time. Just as the tiny micro-switch throws the main power bus in the electric generating plant, so we will function. This automatically implies that we know what we are doing, who we are, and what our job is.
We begin our "apprentice" training in the plant world, the most forgiving of man-type errors, and continue up into the more exact and precise mineral world.
ELIXIR AND CLYSSUS
The preparation of elixir requires a thorough knowledge and experience, since an exchange of powers and substances takes place among the species. Any one who wants good recipes should hunt for them by studying old texts and manuscripts. Many of the elixirs in these were prepared with simple technical aids.
If the elixirs are mixtures of extracts of various species of plants, the clyssus is a preparation of recombined extracts of only one plant. The reunion of sulphur, salt, and mercury hardly gives trouble, as everything can simply be recombined. The salts are imbibed with mercury, to which is added the volatile sulphur, or the sulphur is first poured on the salts, and then the mercury is added. The imbibition is to be done gradually until the salt no longer absorbs anything. In this state the clyssus thus prepared can be melted and poured into a form to cool.
It is a kind of a plant stone which contains, in a concentrated form, certain curative powers of the plant from which it derives. Due to the strong concentration of the salts, it has quite a diuretic and purging effect, and it also improves digestion. A clyssus can be thinned as well as highly concentrated according to the individual practice of the spagyrist. Le Febure advises the following proportions: one part salt, two parts sulphur, three parts mercury. These quantities result in a more solid clyssus.
Among the classical recipes we also find pointers on how to combine the essentials by means of a simultaneous distilling apparatus. To this end, we put the three essentials into three different flasks, which then go under one alembic for distilling and are distilled through a common condenser. The classical elixirs always contain the salts that are extracted through incineration and calcination of the plant residue. In the later literature elixir recipes also turn up that do not always contain the calcined salts. Depending on their composition, elixirs have specific effects on the organism i.e. some stimulate the circulation, others help digestion or sleep, others again have a cathartic effect, and so forth. In the former times the so-called Life Elixirs and cordials were popular. They were general tonic elixirs. Elixirs are taken either with a spoon or thinned with water or wine.
(Manfred M. Junius) Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy
ON VEGETABLE STONE
In alchemy there are stones and stones. Text and practice, however, make it plain that a genuine Lapis Vegetabilis, in the true sense of the word, is more than a clyssus, insofar as in the last part of its preparation it must always go through the slow process of fixation in the fixing glass. Later, the glass is broken and the stone taken out or it is cast while still hot. Fixation takes place in a hermetically sealed glass through prolonged heating in a hot-air furnace, the Athanor.
This applies to stones from the fresh plants, dry plants, honey, and also from wine. Non-fixed compounds of salts, sulphur, and mercury are stone-like compounds and are certainly true spagyric preparations, but they are not plant stones in the higher and real sense.
Let us now turn to the preparation of a solid vegetable stone, also called the plant stone, herbal stone, rock, cat, pebble etc.That there are different views about the concept of a clyssus, it is similar with the stones. We have already made the acquaintance of the liquid plant stone in connection with the Circulatum Minus. It has the ability to separate. Although in alchemical circles it is often said that the fixed plant stone can also separate, I am skeptical about this assertion, as I do not find it confirmed in the majority of the texts on this subject or in practice. The tiny "small membrane" that appears on top when a fixed plant stone is brought into maceration does not represent a real or actual separation, in my view. Anyone who has experienced a genuine separation with the Circulatum will never confuse it with the effect of the plant stone on fresh plants in water. For a separation the liquid plant stone, however, is always greatly stressed in the relevant works. Conversely, the Circulatum Minus itself is not a medicine; it serves only to separate the oils and magisteries which then have great medicinal value.
Taken from: The Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy (Manfred M. Junius.)
THE SPAGYRIC PLANT STONE
The following is excerpted from "The Alchemist of the Rocky Mountains" by Frater Albertus Spagyricus
Take whatever plant you select, or any part thereof. I would recommend the entire plant where it is called for. Take the fresh plant preferably, but you may also use the dried plant if the fresh is not available.
Distill from it its essential oil by steam. If no special steam distillation apparatus is at hand, a pressure cooker will do very nicely. Insert a tube into the opening where the weight rests on the vent and collect the steam through a condenser and the oil will separate from the water in the receiving vessel.
Thus you have the alchemistical sulfur in the form of an oil...
Take the residue including the water you added in the beginning to produce the steam and to keep the plant from getting scorched. Put all this in a large bottle or container and add some sugar and/or a little regular yeast and let it ferment. This takes about seven or more days in a moderate heat.
When the fermentation ceases distill from it its alcohol, or your alchemistical Mercury. Thus you have the Herbal Mercury...
Having gotten this far, evaporate the water, dry the residue and incinerate over a hot fire. This will yield at first a black, then gray substance and finally becomes white in the process of calcination, as it is called.
This can be shortened by taking the light gray ashes and leeching them with distilled water where the water soluble salts will dissolve in the water. Filter this and test it with Ph paper. It will show very alkaline indicating a deep blue color on the indicated litmus paper.
Evaporate the water and you will have a white Salt...
These three are put together in a retort by first adding the salt in a sufficient amount depending on the size of the retort so that the bottom of the retort is covered not more than one fourth.
Then add enough of the spirit or distilled alcohol, the alchemical spirit and some of the essential oil, until the salt, which is the mineral, has absorbed all it can of both and has enough of both liquid additions swimming above it to the height of a fingers thickness.
Distill very slowly off what will come over until the salt is dry.
Keep the heat up and calcine in the same retort. Let it cool. After an hour or longer add to the salt in the retort what has been distilled out previously and repeat this until the salt has absorbed all that is put back of what is distilled out.
Then have in readiness more of the spirit (alcohol) and sulfur (oil) and add to the salt as before. Do this as long as necessary until the same amount of spirit and sulfur distills over as you have added the last time.
This is the sign that the salt has all it can hold...
Keep calcining and you will have a Plant Stone, which you may use to help cure what the herb is supposed to accomplish.
Do not let the work get too dry, keep enough of the herbs sulfur on hand...Sulfur keeps the stone from dissolving. If it gets too dry add more sulfur.
You may also hang this Stone in another herb macerating in a jar. It will extract all the essence, namely the three essentials mercury-sulfur-salt to the top which you may skim off. In this way the Plant Stone will save you the work of making a stone of every plant.
Here you have the whole story of how to do the little work in a few simple words.
OPUS VEGETABILE, ISAAC HOLLANDUS ON THE ALKALI
Alkali is the salt extracted through the calcination of the whole plant. To this end, the closed calcination is suggested, which Libavius also advises. In the preparation of the alkalis, the salts are extracted as much as possible with the plants "own water" i.e., with the water of the plant carefully distilled through heating and then made visible through slow evaporation. Otherwise, spring water is recommended for the extraction of the salts. The alkali, however, arises out of the total essence of the substances, so that it carries with itself the inner powers, while only the corpus is separated. It is extracted from vegetable, animal, and mineral substances which are all together reverberated in ash or lime, during which the container must be closed as much as possible and the joints sealed to prevent even a trace of essence from escaping, and to keep the volatile together with the fixed.
The fattest plants, however, which carry seed, are best for making salarmeniac (sal armeniacus or ammonia salts). After these, the best are the hottest herbs, from which the most powerful and strongest salarmeniac is made. know that there is still another spirit of salarmeniac, that is, one extracted from saline things, which is also salarmeniac, because the spirits of all insensitive things are called salarmeniac when they are separated from their bodies, so that the spirit of all salts is called salarmeniac.
But it is not the salmiac that the philosophers mean; the salarmeniac extracted from plants, which contains the four elements. That is the salmiac which the philosophers mean, and from salmiac they make elixiria, but one cannot make elixirs from the other kind. That is the philosopher's soap and washing water with which they can clean the corpora, with it they dry the evil moisture of the elements, with it they also dissolve the corpora, and with it they conjoin the things that are contrary or antagonistic to each other. It is a flying spirit, one that comes and goes - and if it were not present, the Elixir would not succeed.
In this salmiac there are many hidden things that cannot all be described, because wonderful things can be accomplished with it if it has previously been fixed. But that is not necessary for this work. However, everything the salmiac from the salts achieves is also done by salmiac from the plants. And from the salmiac extracted from the plants and elixir can be made without the addition of other species - which cannot be done with the salarmeniac from the salts. But the salarmeniac can well be prepared with other species, so that with it the Mercury can be dissolved in water, likewise all other metals and all things, provided one proceeds with them as I have taught elsewhere. For now, enough of it.
HINTS ON THE HERBAL PROCESS
During the instruction period the most simple and basic methods are demonstrated and then applied by the student to prove the law under consideration. It must not be assumed that this is the only way by which the herbal substance can be brought to the state of medicinal preparation. After separation of the three essentials, namely: sulphur, salt and mercury, out of any of the plants in question, the process of purification has still puzzled some. The objective of the whitening or purging of the extraneous substances, still adhering to the three separated essentials, is to prepare them for their conjunction. All three must be in pure condition before it can be accomplished to the satisfaction of the Spagyrist. It has been found that after the first day of calcination of the feces, the salt, after it has been purged of the black color and begins to show gray, can then be covered with a wire gauze such as is used to place underneath a flask for distillation so that the asbestos shield will cover the calcinating dish. It seems that the whitening will take place faster and, most importantly, the fluffy substances now forming (the snow) will not be drifted off by the heat. Likewise, the sulphur (alchemical soul substance) which is always pure in itself and has only on the exterior the impurities clinging to it, will yield much faster to purgation. As was noted in the laboratory here, when the process is demonstrated in a few days the sulphur became as white as snow and even showed crystalline formations.
These are the true organic mineral salts where the oily appearance of the sulphur now has become pure. That it reacts differently from the salt when calcinated was proven by its cohesion and adhesion when lifted from the dish. The spoon or spatula when turned around would not let the calcined sulphur fall off. Experiments with the salt showed that it would not do that but would fall off as soon as the spoon or spatula was turned upside down. Since both will, in the course of time, have become white, common observation will not be able to keep them apart. The conjunction is then performed by having the mercury of the vegetable kingdom purified as described in the Alchemist's Handbook and the three, when absolutely pure, are then conjoined in three equal parts by either volume or weight. They will fuse when put into a vial and subjected to moderate heat. When they become too dry more of the purified mercury of the vegetable should be added until in the course of time it will congeal and become hard, as was shown. The purified salt, sulphur and mercury can also be placed in a small Erlen Meyer flask with a condenser, preferably a coil condenser attached to the top in an upright position and the circulation thus performed. Care should be taken not to have an excess of mercury in the flask. The conjunction should take place over a moderate fire to begin with and the fire can be increased as time goes on and the hardening becomes visible. Even then gradually adding more of the mercury and keeping the process going for some time will increase the potency.
Another way has been tried and will work also when not sufficient equipment is at hand. The purified or near purified substances when having attained a gray coloring are placed in a bottle or vial and subjected to a continuous heat. In the tightly closed vessel it will become solid and change color then whiten as time goes on. The purer the substances the better, and the sooner the whitening will occur. The circulation described above using the coil condenser attached to the top with the gray calcined sulphur and salt can be added and circulated in a like manner.
Another way is to take feces only, calcining then while the extracted tincture, derived by distillation from alcohol or water is being reserved and then added to the calcined feces that remain behind in the distillation flask. Constant circulation and repeated distillation and cohobation upon the calcined feces in the retort or distillation flask will also produce the desired results. As can be seen there are many ways to get the same results.
Know the Law involved, understand its applications and then use not only the heat but also the intelligence which the dear Lord has given you. After all you are the one who is going to bring about the result and not the book learning or the notes that you wrote down!
Notes: VEGETABLE RADICAL MENSTRUUM
Place herb in weak acetic acid and rectified spirits of wine. Equal parts of both liquids are to be used. Distill, then digest and complete process of mixture and distillation, repeat two more times, making a total of three.
OF THE SEPARATION OF THE ELEMENTS, From Natural Magick - Baptista Porta
In every compound, there are four elements but for the most part, one is predominant, the rest are dull and unprofitable. Hence, when we speak of separating the elements of a compound, we mean the separating of that predominant one.
In the water-lily, the element of water is chief; Air, earth, and fire are in it, but in small proportion.
Hence there is but a small quantity of heat or dryness in it, because water overwhelms them all.
The same must be understood in other things also. But do not think, that we intend by the separation of the elements, to divide them absolutely, the air from the water and the water from the fire and earth; but only by a certain similitude, as what is the hotter than the rest, we call fire; the moisture of water, etc.
We count those airy, which fill the vessels and receivers, and easily burst them, and to fly out. When the elements are thus separated, they may afterwards be purified and attenuated.
The manner of extracting them, is various according to the diversity of natural things; for some must be calcined some sublimated, others distilled.
Herbs, flowers, and seeds require 1st degree of fire. B/M or water bath
Leaves, fruits, 2nd degree of fire. Ash bath
Roots, branches, trunks, 3rd degree of fire. Sand bath
Timber, 4th degree of fire. Open flame
THE FOUR ELEMENTS by FRATER K.H.
In the vegetable stone, our fire completes the work and of the four there remains only one. We will see in our final labor the hidden tincture, now revealed in its maturity. It was born in water, strengthened by air, matured by fire, to become our fiery vegetable stone, earth.
It was in death (dissolution as in fermentation) that out substance separated into these three essentials. We witnessed the spirit separating from the body and tincture (soul) now appeared in our menstruum saturated by this, Living Spirit. The body (salt) drops below and we see the separation of the three essentials performed by the hand of Nature alone. The essential point is this: without water the separation would not be possible.
This separation was brought about by the invisible fire which is the active principle and became manifest to our eyes as tincture or sulphur.
The work is ended when that which is volatile becomes fixed and fixed volatile. Thereby two materials coalesce together to become a Living substance such as that which did not exist before.
The Opus Major is just an incident in the Opus Minor or the Little Work. (Frater Albertus)
An alchemical result can replenish itself; Spagyric preparations cannot, they are used up. (F. Albertus)
If salts are not pure enough (white) some carbonaceous residue is left in them.
That which is essential cannot be destroyed by fire, only purified.
GROSSMAN'S HERBAL ELIXIR
Fifty pounds of a fresh, flowering plant including root, stem, leaves and seeds are cleaned from drying leaves and other impurities and then washed.
OILS- After cutting the plant into small pieces, water is poured over it and then slowly distilled. Any oil that shows is separated from the water and the water thus obtained without the oil, which is now kept separate, is poured back over the plant to which has been added one to two teaspoons of yeast.
ALCOHOL- All of this is placed in a wooden container and slightly covered so it can ferment. One has to watch that placed in a distillation flask and distilled until nothing more distills over. A steam distillation is best.
SALT- What remains in the flask is calcined, leached out with water, filtered and the filtrate slowly evaporated. The residue is saved. The former distillate is reduced by further distillation until two parts of the distillate come over to one part of the leached out salt.
Both are distilled once more and the soul separated from the first distillation is now added.
Taken from: The Alchemist's Handbook
Melissa dead head calcined to white in a furnace at 500 degrees celsius for two to three hours fused into a yellow color.
When dissolved in H2O the distillate showed a yellow color. Not all of the sulphur was taken out of the macerated and circulated herb when calcined.
For liquid extraction use volatile solvent such as ether of a lower specific gravity than solution to be extracted. Use ether on water plant extraction to recover essential oil.
Keep heat below 600 degrees celsius for minerals and herb salts to get snow white salts. Crystal mineral salts will appear snow white after leaching.