John Reid's Course on Practical Alchemy - Foreword

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Gentle reader,

In your hands, you have a small treasure. For in this book many of the secrets of Nature are clearly laid out. You are indeed fortunate, for this one book reveals alchemical methods and ideas which would have taken you years of dedicated research to learn. The author has remained true to his vow of sharing that which has been freely bestowed on him through grace.

It is truly rare to find an alchemist who is willing to clearly instruct the neophyte in this devine science. And this author does not just blindly quote the words of those who have gone before him. He teaches from the heart that which he has learned by the path of faith, prayer, work, and hope. Lend him your ear and learn these mysteries from one who has done them.

Much of the material in this book is unique. You will not find it elsewhere. Does this mean that it is incorrect because other authors have not said it before? Or could it be that here is stated that which others feared to say so openly? You will have to be the judge of this. But remember, not only is the process of the plant stone here clearly described, pictures are also included to verify the work described. How many of those other treatises have done this?

It is not my pupose to turn the student away from the use of other authors. For mans' life is too short to learn all the secrets hidden in Nature. One must follow the path that is revealed to them by that small inner voice. And this book will help to enlighten you in that choice. The very fact that you hold this book in your hands is important, for nothing happens by accident. I encourage you to study it and see what may develope within you by its use. Just remember that the alchemical path is a solitary one. Your work will not nessarily be the same as another's.

Before closing, I would like to point out the master piece in this book, the process for the plant stone, or Opus Minor as it is known. Many believe that this work is identical to the Great Work except for the materials being used. Most assert that mastery of the plant stone is essential before the Philosopher's Stone can be accomplished. If this is true, you have your path clearly described here.

While the process for the plant stone is described by others, it is more a spagyrical approach than an alchemical one in my opinion. But this book opens up the alchemical method for evolving the plant stone. Here you will see the transition of the matter through the colors that was so well described by the ancient alchemists. You will see the fermentation of the matter as it developes in the sealed vase of hermes.

I believe that if you study this book with an open mind you will be greatly rewarded. Listen to the words of this man who has actually done the work. Learn from his unique and unveiled labors. And thank him for being so open when you too have been blessed with the success of your labors.

May the one true star guide you!
Henry Hintz
October 18, 1993