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John Reid's Course on Practical Alchemy - II. Chapter 9.

Second part.
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One would tend to think that the conjunction of the three into one would be simple. This is far from the truth. One must first determine exactly how much a specific portion of the body will hold of the two liquid Mercuries. The body will hold more of the two Mercuries than you would think possible. Yet you do not want to put all that it can hold into the body, or you will be awakened one night by a very loud explosion. In this respect, I advise you to invest in a lot of test tubes and to use the fire and water elements for your experiments. All things being equal, you will find the proper proportions with diligence and patience.

When you have found the proper proportions for your matter simply pour the Red Mercury onto the Philosophical Body followed by the White Mercury. Almost immediately you will feel an increase of heat on the bottom of the flask. Seal the flask hermetically and place it in a sand bath around body temperature. In a few hours you will see that the matter has swollen up considerably. Note: It is best to do this incubation in the dark; when carried out properly the matter can become somewhat luminous.

Here we see the matter about two hours after the conjunction. If you look closely you will see there is still liquid in the flask.

This shows the matter after one night of digestion. Notice how much the matter has swollen up. The sides of the matter have begun jutting up into mountains, and they are snow white. In the level middle of the matter, we see that a grayish shadow has formed. Around the side of the flask, we see a yellow colored liquid. The matter has a creamy appearance.

Two days into the process and there is still some yellow- colored liquid around the sides of the matter. The sides of the matter have risen even more. The entire mass has contracted. On the side of one of the edges, we see the appearance of two small holes. The edges of the holes are darkened.

After about three days all the liquid had been drunk by the matter, though there was no color change in the matter. It would be almost two weeks before the appearance of color in the center and along the inside edges of the matter would appear. What also should be noticed about the difference of this picture is the topography of the matter. In this picture the creamy look of the edges is gone. It is replaced by what looks like miniature mountains and chimneys in the matter. All of this topographical action suggests movement underneath the surface of the matter, or a hidden life about to burst forth.

The old masters say that this period of the construction of the stone is one of rest for the alchemist. That, my friends, is far from the truth. While there is indeed no more physical labor, the mental labor one goes through is tortuous. One acts as if one is a new mother, constantly checking on there newborn child throughout the night. You must constantly watch the temperature if you do not want to kill the newborn babe. Also one constantly thinks that one should raise the temperature by just one degree or so. Surely, your mind tells you, if the absorption of the matter happened so quickly there should be some change in the appearance of the matter by now. You are constantly engaged in a mental war with yourself not to urge the fire to rashly. I tell you the first two weeks of conception are truly agonizing.

Three weeks into the process and the matter has not changed perceptibly, though the angle of the shot is different. With close observation, one can see that the chimneys on the surface have moved. The original chimneys have closed up, the new ones are almost closed.

Four weeks have now passed since we first conjoined our essentials. The color change was moving so slowly that I began to doubt if I was really on the right track. The topography of the matter has really changed drastically. The chimneys have closed up and the matter has swelled even more. The entire concave center of the matter has a tan to brown color about it. The front edges of the matter also look more crystalline. We are now slightly halfway into our putrefaction processes. Still the temperature must remain constant at where we have first set it.

At approximately four and a half to five weeks the matter begins to fall in on itself. Some matter was left on the sides of the flask when it pulled away from it. The color in the center of the matter has also gotten a shade or two darker.

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