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Dr.Zoidberg
07-31-2013, 10:19 PM
Please bear with us as we are very new to Alchemy...

Please correct us if we are wrong. Our understanding of spagyric medicines is that they are meant to affect your mind/spirit (Mercury), body (Salt), and soul (Sulfur). Conventional or pharmaceutical medicines neglect the mind/spirit and soul aspects and only deal with the salt which affects physical realm.

In our research into prima materia for plant spagyrics, we have seen some suggest using dried materials over fresh stating it is more efficient and others say fresh materials will produce a better end result. Non alchemic sources have also stated that using dried materials will result in a more concentrated essential oil.

This leads us to a few questions:

1- If a dried herb results in a more concentrated oil, does that mean you are "losing" some aspects of the plant by drying it? We've read the argument to the contrary stating seeds are still viable after being dried.

2- How important are the astrological factors in plant work? If they do affect the plant work, how does this apply and are the effects cumulative? For example, We harvest fresh lavender (1 Mercury Point) on Weds (1 Mercury point) during and hour that correlates to Mercury (another Mercury point), then we begin our alchemic extraction that same hour or in the next Mercurial Hour (1 more Mercury point) and so on. If we wanted to add effects from another planet, we would harvest on another day or align another step with whatever planetary correspondence desired.

3- If a vulgar extraction is done to get a desired effect (salt only), would an alchemic extraction result in the same physical effect with additional mind/spirit and soul effects?

Thanks for your input, knowledge, and help!

Donna Matrix
07-31-2013, 11:52 PM
Hello Dr Zoidberg,

Welcome to the wonderful and odd world of alchemy where spirit meets matter thru consciousness.
In true Hermetics, we are constantly trying to connect the above to the below, to harmonize and direct the energies according to our goal. The planets are part of the above, and determine the when of it all.

Extractions are timed with the planets, tinctures, herbs are empowered using the planetary hours and days all congruent with the goal of the artist. I take my elixers during planetary hours. After I have ritually purified myself. I visualize the symbol of the planet in the elixer and water I drink.

Kiorionis
08-01-2013, 05:41 PM
I am planning on starting something similar again; to take planetary tinctures during planetary hours, and also by reciting planetary mantras during

Axismundi000
08-01-2013, 06:01 PM
This whole issue interests me. In some modern material I have read that the completed Alchemical product of Spagyrics no longer has a specific planetary vibration. This seems wrong to me, perhaps as the material ferments initially its planetary signature will be lost, the idea that when it is completed no planetary signature is present seems counter-intuitive.

This is theoretical for me because at present I am doing ens Melissa work which does not involve calcination and the Spagyric process as a whole. I intend to do some planetary Spagyrics as soon as opportunity allows. In the mean time I would value comments greatly.

lwowl
08-02-2013, 08:23 PM
Please bear with us as we are very new to Alchemy...

Please correct us if we are wrong. Our understanding of spagyric medicines is that they are meant to affect your mind/spirit (Mercury), body (Salt), and soul (Sulfur). Conventional or pharmaceutical medicines neglect the mind/spirit and soul aspects and only deal with the salt which affects physical realm.

In our research into prima materia for plant spagyrics, we have seen some suggest using dried materials over fresh stating it is more efficient and others say fresh materials will produce a better end result. Non alchemic sources have also stated that using dried materials will result in a more concentrated essential oil.

This leads us to a few questions:

1- If a dried herb results in a more concentrated oil, does that mean you are "losing" some aspects of the plant by drying it? We've read the argument to the contrary stating seeds are still viable after being dried.

2- How important are the astrological factors in plant work? If they do affect the plant work, how does this apply and are the effects cumulative? For example, We harvest fresh lavender (1 Mercury Point) on Weds (1 Mercury point) during and hour that correlates to Mercury (another Mercury point), then we begin our alchemic extraction that same hour or in the next Mercurial Hour (1 more Mercury point) and so on. If we wanted to add effects from another planet, we would harvest on another day or align another step with whatever planetary correspondence desired.

3- If a vulgar extraction is done to get a desired effect (salt only), would an alchemic extraction result in the same physical effect with additional mind/spirit and soul effects?

Thanks for your input, knowledge, and help!

Weather you use a fresh plant or a dried one depends upon how you feel about the plant in question as you work with it. I always dry cure green plants and let them integrate with the spirit in the menstrum until the green is gone. For flowers I sometimes use them fresh immediately after harvesting as with Manzanita blossoms. For the work with roses I carefully dry cure the flowers because handling them when fresh causes bruising that can detract from the delicate rose aromas.

To me the important factor is the vitality of the plant.

Astrological factors are not important to me in the lab. My own moods and energy levels are.

From an operational standpoint in the lab, vulgar extractions only separate the common principles with no interest in combining the extracts into a concentrated whole. Spagyric operations extract (separate), concentrate, and reunite the products. Alchemical operations destroy the plant and catch the elements as the matter dies. Then with the help of the secret fire the philosophical matter is born from the ashes.

If you are interested I recently completed a spagyrical undertaking with Manzanita blossoms here (http://www.alchemylife.org/Pages/Elixirs%20Manzanita%20Grande.htm).

If you ingest nostrums made by any of the three ways you may be affected mind and body. Spagyric magestries effect the mind more strongly that common (vulgar) extracts. Alchemical entities accelerate your personal evolution.

lwowl

Dr.Zoidberg
08-03-2013, 04:06 AM
Donna Matrix,

Thank you for the welcome and for your insight.


Kiorionis,

We are planning to do this as well. Stay tuned for a post on our results.


Axismundi000,

Your input is appreciated. It is interesting to hear both accepted and rejected logic. Hopefully we can share some useful knowledge from our experience once we have completed this.


lwowl,

Your work is very interesting to us. We plan to do some research in the area of your Venomous Toad and perhaps create something similar with Cactus of the Four Winds. Thoughts?

psykopanther
01-31-2014, 09:35 PM
any updates to this Dr?

Dr.Zoidberg
02-07-2014, 06:06 PM
Hello psykopanther!

Sorry for the delayed response, we have been drawn away for a bit but are glad to return!

As for updates yes and no. As for dried vs fresh, we have found it is more efficient to use dried materials. Now whether or not you are losing some valuable and important aspects by drying, is another question.

The other 2 question we have not discovered answers to yet. We will update as we discover them :)

Axismundi000
02-07-2014, 07:57 PM
Hello psykopanther!

Sorry for the delayed response, we have been drawn away for a bit but are glad to return!

As for updates yes and no. As for dried vs fresh, we have found it is more efficient to use dried materials. Now whether or not you are losing some valuable and important aspects by drying, is another question.

The other 2 question we have not discovered answers to yet. We will update as we discover them :)

With regard to the use of dried I have had the suggestion that for initial fermentation use 50% ethanol liquid, dextrose and a turbo-yeast, which I have not tried because so far I have always managed to get fresh plant material.

I have a small amount of the 3 purified Principles (approx. 80 ml). Cohobating in a 2Litre Erlenmeyer flask. I can heat the flask a bit but the upper part of the flask is at room temperature so I have a rudimentary circulatory which will hopefully speed things up a bit, see what happens.

lwowl
02-08-2014, 06:44 PM
With regard to the use of dried I have had the suggestion that for initial fermentation use 50% ethanol liquid, dextrose and a turbo-yeast, which I have not tried because so far I have always managed to get fresh plant material.

I have a small amount of the 3 purified Principles (approx. 80 ml). Cohobating in a 2Litre Erlenmeyer flask. I can heat the flask a bit but the upper part of the flask is at room temperature so I have a rudimentary circulatory which will hopefully speed things up a bit, see what happens.

If you were to use 50% ethanol in your fermentation solution the yeast will not grow. Most yeasts do not survive in a menstrum above 20% ethanol. Samuel Adams brewery has bred a strain of yeasts that can survive at a much higher alcohol concentration in the ferment. I believe that beer costs about $100 a bottle.

The problem with fermenting your menstrum is that you have to add extra sugar and the yeast. As the yeast grow they produce more dross in the menstrum as their bodies die. This adds extraneous materials to the feces you draw your salts from. The whole purpose of the process is to get some alcohol into the menstrum to dissolve the principles you are interested in. You will be lucky if the yeasts give you more than 15% alcohol when they are done.

It is more efficient, faster and far simpler to digest the plant matter in 50% ethanol to get the same things from the menstrum that you would get from the yeasts the long way. I use 40% ethanol distilled white rum from the Caribbean islands. It is cheap and has no flavor additives like cheap vodka.

Ghislain
02-08-2014, 07:13 PM
In the lab at school we would boil plant material in alcohol to break down the cell walls so we could stain it with iodine for microscope slides. I would guess that this process might be good for breaking open the plant material to get the most out of it, but you may need to capture the distillate from this process as it would most likely contain some of the essential oils.

Shouldn't the alcohol be SV in our case?

Ghislain

Axismundi000
02-08-2014, 10:09 PM
If you were to use 50% ethanol in your fermentation solution the yeast will not grow. Most yeasts do not survive in a menstrum above 20% ethanol. Samuel Adams brewery has bred a strain of yeasts that can survive at a much higher alcohol concentration in the ferment. I believe that beer costs about $100 a bottle.

The problem with fermenting your menstrum is that you have to add extra sugar and the yeast. As the yeast grow they produce more dross in the menstrum as their bodies die. This adds extraneous materials to the feces you draw your salts from. The whole purpose of the process is to get some alcohol into the menstrum to dissolve the principles you are interested in. You will be lucky if the yeasts give you more than 15% alcohol when they are done.

It is more efficient, faster and far simpler to digest the plant matter in 50% ethanol to get the same things from the menstrum that you would get from the yeasts the long way. I use 40% ethanol distilled white rum from the Caribbean islands. It is cheap and has no flavor additives like cheap vodka.

Just as well I haven't tried the dried plant info I have then.

The extraneous material generated by the yeast is readily removed during calcination. Mercury Principal(Ethanol) produced via 'putrefacto' and the Sulphur and Salt Principals also separated out through putrefaction fits my personal Alchemic paradigm.

Adding alcohol but not actually having a putrefaction stage is outside my understanding of practical Alchemy.

Destructive distillation could do the same but I find cleaning the lab glass too tiresome.

I welcome suggestions and any practical experience people choose to share.

One way to ensure fresh plant material and sidestep the using dried debate is to use a freezer. Freezing the fresh plant matter will make the ice crystals rupture the plant cells so when thawed it will be automatically macerated I am thinking.

Like I say suggestions welcome.

Dr.Zoidberg
02-10-2014, 02:28 PM
In the lab at school we would boil plant material in alcohol to break down the cell walls so we could stain it with iodine for microscope slides. I would guess that this process might be good for breaking open the plant material to get the most out of it, but you may need to capture the distillate from this process as it would most likely contain some of the essential oils.

Shouldn't the alcohol be SV in our case?

Ghislain

This is interesting; sounds similar to steam distillation. Wondering if such harsh conditions (in this or steam distillation) would destroy subtle or important aspects...

Ghislain
02-10-2014, 03:24 PM
Yes this would be one of my concerns

Ghislain

lwowl
02-10-2014, 07:16 PM
Just as well I haven't tried the dried plant info I have then.

The extraneous material generated by the yeast is readily removed during calcination. Mercury Principal(Ethanol) produced via 'putrefacto' and the Sulphur and Salt Principals also separated out through putrefaction fits my personal Alchemic paradigm.

Adding alcohol but not actually having a putrefaction stage is outside my understanding of practical Alchemy.

Destructive distillation could do the same but I find cleaning the lab glass too tiresome.

I welcome suggestions and any practical experience people choose to share.

One way to ensure fresh plant material and sidestep the using dried debate is to use a freezer. Freezing the fresh plant matter will make the ice crystals rupture the plant cells so when thawed it will be automatically macerated I am thinking.

Like I say suggestions welcome.

Here's my perspective, point of view, approach etc.:

Putrefaction, digestion, decay and fermentation are all the result of microbes eating organic matter. Putrefaction usually connotes a unpleasant smell arising from the excretement of the microbes as it piles up in the mash or menstrum. Fermentation commonly refers to the action of certain yeasts that primarily produce ethyl alcohol. The mash they produce does not smell so bad as "fermentation" by bacteria.

Digestion is another way to describe the action of the microbes. They digest the organic matter, break it down and excrete alcohol. The alcohol penetrates the matters selectively absorbing some molecules in the menstrum or mash. So does the water. Usually one will then filter out the alcohol/water solution containing the molecules of interest.

Our bodies do the same thing only we use HCl to digest the matters we put into our stomachs. We also use microbes in our guts to further digest the materials and then filter out the useful things that keep us alive. However if something goes foul in our guts (gets out of balance) things can rot and that is putrefaction. In a way the difference between putrefaction and digestion is a matter of smell. And that indicates the presence of other molecules.

Putrefaction and digestion are the actions of the microbes to make the solvent, ethanol. The solvent, ethanol spirit, absorbs the plant mercury and sulfur. Since what we want for our purpose is the plant mercury and sulfur, one can use the ethanol spirit that was previously fermented and distilled to extract the mercury and sulfur.

It depends on your point of view or how you approach the subject whether you feel the need to make your ethanol from scratch in your herbal mash, or to digest the mash in the spirit alone.

Some feel the need to synchronize the whole operation astrologically. Others don't. The truth seems to be that what you feel you need to do is what will work for you. Even if you get it wrong or make some mistakes. You will fix them and further develop your skills as an artist and become adept at the Practice.

So far it works for me.:)

Dr.Zoidberg
03-03-2014, 09:16 PM
One way to ensure fresh plant material and sidestep the using dried debate is to use a freezer. Freezing the fresh plant matter will make the ice crystals rupture the plant cells so when thawed it will be automatically macerated I am thinking.


This is awesome! Never thought of this. Did you come up with this yourself or from other sources?



Here's my perspective, point of view, approach etc.:

Putrefaction, digestion, decay and fermentation are all the result of microbes eating organic matter. Putrefaction usually connotes a unpleasant smell arising from the excretement of the microbes as it piles up in the mash or menstrum. Fermentation commonly refers to the action of certain yeasts that primarily produce ethyl alcohol. The mash they produce does not smell so bad as "fermentation" by bacteria.

Digestion is another way to describe the action of the microbes. They digest the organic matter, break it down and excrete alcohol. The alcohol penetrates the matters selectively absorbing some molecules in the menstrum or mash. So does the water. Usually one will then filter out the alcohol/water solution containing the molecules of interest.

Our bodies do the same thing only we use HCl to digest the matters we put into our stomachs. We also use microbes in our guts to further digest the materials and then filter out the useful things that keep us alive. However if something goes foul in our guts (gets out of balance) things can rot and that is putrefaction. In a way the difference between putrefaction and digestion is a matter of smell. And that indicates the presence of other molecules.

Putrefaction and digestion are the actions of the microbes to make the solvent, ethanol. The solvent, ethanol spirit, absorbs the plant mercury and sulfur. Since what we want for our purpose is the plant mercury and sulfur, one can use the ethanol spirit that was previously fermented and distilled to extract the mercury and sulfur.

It depends on your point of view or how you approach the subject whether you feel the need to make your ethanol from scratch in your herbal mash, or to digest the mash in the spirit alone.

Some feel the need to synchronize the whole operation astrologically. Others don't. The truth seems to be that what you feel you need to do is what will work for you. Even if you get it wrong or make some mistakes. You will fix them and further develop your skills as an artist and become adept at the Practice.

So far it works for me.:)

Thanks lwowl! You provided lots of great info here.

Axismundi000
03-04-2014, 05:53 PM
This is awesome! Never thought of this. Did you come up with this yourself or from other sources?


Thanks, I remembered my biology lessons at school were this was mentioned. You know I haven't actually tried this yet because I am using fresh plant material and demijohns.

My Soxhlet has a 1 litre capacity so I need about 15 demijohns of fermentation to get one litre of purified mercury principal (ethanol distilled 7 times to at least 95% proof). At present I have 9 demijohns done with 4 currently running, so 2 more to start on the appropriate planetary day and I will have done enough. If I don't get enough mercury Principal (rectified ethanol) I can always do a few more demijohns, if I have and excess of ethanol I'm sure I can use the excess in the future in some way, so no harm done. So, when I know I have enough of the ethanol (mercury Principal) I will purify the Sulphur and Salt components. Then I will run these in the Soxhlet to speed up re-combination. My hope is to have a good amount of Quintessence made because I wish to experiment with this liquid and utilize it in Ritual Magic.

Hope you don't mind me going into a bit of detail, it helps me to verbalise my process and this is a forum I guess.

Dr.Zoidberg
03-05-2014, 09:10 PM
Thanks, I remembered my biology lessons at school were this was mentioned. You know I haven't actually tried this yet because I am using fresh plant material and demijohns.

My Soxhlet has a 1 litre capacity so I need about 15 demijohns of fermentation to get one litre of purified mercury principal (ethanol distilled 7 times to at least 95% proof). At present I have 9 demijohns done with 4 currently running, so 2 more to start on the appropriate planetary day and I will have done enough. If I don't get enough mercury Principal (rectified ethanol) I can always do a few more demijohns, if I have and excess of ethanol I'm sure I can use the excess in the future in some way, so no harm done. So, when I know I have enough of the ethanol (mercury Principal) I will purify the Sulphur and Salt components. Then I will run these in the Soxhlet to speed up re-combination. My hope is to have a good amount of Quintessence made because I wish to experiment with this liquid and utilize it in Ritual Magic.

Hope you don't mind me going into a bit of detail, it helps me to verbalise my process and this is a forum I guess.

Well it is something we are going to try and we will post our results.

Also we appreciate you sharing; it is always interesting to hear about others' experiments. :)