noted that it seems hiding urine under the bed must be put into the context of other Puritan repressions, whereas in most cultures and in history urine was considered “avaluable commodity” (Smith 1954). The Latin word for urine,
has a meaning of towash, from its ancient use in
washing clothes, and cosmetic use for women’s hair. As the famous adept Ripley wrote, “And when ther sherts be fylyd wyth pysse, then lat the Woman be bound” and scholars have suggested that Robert Herrick’s poem “Upon Sudds, a Laundresse” and its
references conceal the alchemical process (Abraham 2001).
Human Piss and Bovine Urine: A Synthesis of Soma theories
Urine of an uncorrupted boy dates to magical practices in African and Egyptiantraditions, and a young pure boy was thought to be a purer vessel, and an important placein antique magic, particularly in love charms (von Franz 1980).†The earliest interest inthe alchemy of urine might have emerged out of Vedic
rites of urine drinking, if Wasson’s deductions of the recycling of a fungal entheogen through the human hold anywater. Certainly the ancient Chinese recorded Daoist adepts drinking urine as part of their longevity practices (Needham 1983). Even if the cult of
disappeared, evolved or went underground in Tantric circles (Hajiceck-Dobberstein 1995; Dannaway 2009), theChinese were equally interested in urine, both drinking and subjecting it to alchemical processes. The continuous transmission of religion, folklore and alchemical knowledgefrom India back and forth to China might have sparked the Daoist search for the herb or fruit of immortality. The drinking of urine by Vedic soma drinkers may be behind thecontinued use, and medical claims, of urine therapy (
) by mystics fromYogis to Daoist immortals. Indian yogis, followers of ayurveda and those seeking miraclecures still drink urine daily in India, and all over Asia, reflecting ancient traditionsesteeming urine as a power substance, containing immortal
and potent chemicaland volatile properties. “Man as microcosmic” theories and the ancient associations of visionary/immortality and urine would focus alchemists trying to find powerfulmedicines and elixirs from living sources.But perhaps, as many Indian scholars believe, that the
of Veda was analchemical-metallurgical operation to form a mystical alloy. The fixation of volatilesubstances, like mercury, is indeed still highly revered as parad in India and the subject of the “volatile and the fixt” has dominated all chymical speculations of alchemy right upinto the times of Boyle and Newton. But Indian scholars tend to view that the urinereferences in the Rig Veda, and Nagarjuna in his alchemical tantric recipes, refers to theurine of cows, and in many cases this is undoubtedly correct. This is how Kalyanaraman(2000) explains the processing of silver and gold pyrites with urine, which are found inregions connected with the Kiratas and Chinese (interesting in considering the purchaseof soma in the Rig Veda), even though he writes, “… cow's urine may explain
(piss on it) in RV 9.63.7, 'putting into movement the human waters'.” Isubmit that if Rig Vedic soma rites were some metallurgical process using ingredients
Manuscripts often note the use of infant’s urine in making alchemical homunculi(Figuier 1856).