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Spagyrics - The Alchemy of Plants

By Tomas Stacewicz

2008 © Tomas Stacewicz. All rights reserved.

O. gives the recipies to create herbal elixirs and the formula of creating a herbal stone. A. It uses the same principles though as its older and greater brother . All this aims at raising the vibratory pitch of the Prime Matter . the art of transmutation.I. the form as we know it today may be considered to have been fathered by Paracelsus.T. not to be confused with the process of Urbigerus. so it can be regarded as a "Paracelsian Medicine". together with Fra.I. not least for the inspirational nature of his blog.the Mercury (Spirit). Understanding the Lesser Work you will be able to unravel the mysteries of the Greater.solve et couagula .s description of the process itself (which he was taught in a spagyrics class of our Order. Frater A. Jean Dubuis and Manfred Junius. So the main credit for the essay goes to Fra.The art of Spagery is the science of separation and recombination .T.into a restored and heavenly state. and the Salt (Body) . the so called "plant stone". Preparation To create spagryic elixirs. As I previously stated. the Sulphur (Soul). it is a sort of alchemical diary which can give lots of hints what to do with the art and science of spagergy. and is often referred to as the "Minor Work" (Opus Minor) or "Lesser Circulation" (Circulatum Minor.T. whereafter the Salt is purified and then recombined anew with the essence (Sulphur and Mercury). Spagery. Spagery has seen somewhat of a renaissance since the 1970's. although it also belongs to the spagyrical realm). A... which Fra.and is considered as a prerequisite to the mastery of the Great Work (Opus Magnum) and Major Circulation (Circulatum Major). chosen according to Planetary correspondence 1 One bottle of approximately 700 ml Alcohol distilled from wine (Spirits of Wine). My essay on spagyrics is actually inspired by a brother of mine.often referred to alchemical processes with plants. impressively has shown us on his blog.I. Although it has a long standing history. which has set up a wonderful blog on his own which deals with the Lesser Work. A. the Rosicrucian Order of the A. I have made some comments on it. have been tutored as pupils by one of these contemporary masters of Alchemy. but somewhat amended by me. thanks to authors like Frater Albertus.). Spagery may be considered as a lesser form of Alchemy. as for example Mark Stavish or John Reid. which I will reproduce here. These processes can be beautifully integrated and enhanced with Ceremonial Magic. In it the three Alchemical Principles .Alchemy . the following equipment is required: 1 Mason Jar 1 Mortar and Pestle 1 Knife 1 Long glass rod or metal spoon 1 Plant. using medicinal plants. or Plant Alchemy. I really recommend reading it.are separated in a preliminary process. Several modern authors.the Plant in its original and fallen state . which has done their share in popularizing the old art.I. So the main purpose of Spagery is to create alchemical remedies. these elixirs and the plant stone have great remedic qualities as they enhance the curing abilities of the plant as a consequence of the spagyric process.T. The very word spagery actually means "to separate and recombine" in its Greek etymology.* 1 Litre of distilled water .

3. Let it dry in a moderate temperature and away from the rays of the sun. Use a knife blessed ritually for this purpose. Any brandy may suffice but if you can find a brand which is crystal clear (like Grappa) its even better. i. Whilst doing this.e. and bottle with the Spirits of Wine on the Altar. acquire a fine grained sand (for example as used in a aquarium) and pour it into in a large metallic heat resistant vessel. State the intention. To distil spirits you must have a full distillation train. before plucking. Enter into the Oratory and work if possible by candle light from this point onward. aspects. 2. i. and chop the plant into parts as small as you can make them. in it's Virginal State. 5. alternatively a electric hot plate 1 Balneum Arenae .the First Matter (Materia Prima) . alternatively coffee filters 1 ceramic dish (resistant to very high temperatures) with lid (Crucible) 1 large cloth of linen Note: *The Menstruum or Alkahest (i. the mercurial spirit) must consist of Spirits of Wine. mortar and pestle. Distillation is also an art into itself. Choose a plant . Spread out the plant over a folded out newspaper. Distil one litre of water using a simple retort on a tripod and butane burner. So brandy is the easiest option.T. the Opening by Watchtower) if an Adept. Gather the plucked plant into a airtight jar and put it concealed from the sun.e. **To prepare a sand bath. ) My personal recommendation is to cast a chart of the heavens (a horoscope) and select a time which is favourable according to the dignities of the planets. Let it dry for at least a week. and envision the Goal of the . Astrological energies may be accessed by picking the plant when the Sun is in the house of the Sign you wish to work with. invoke the Planetary Force using the appropriate rites and implements. On the Planetary Hour. A. 1.I. not vodka (as Fra. the Goal of the Work.a sand bath** 1 Glass funnel 1 set of Filtering Paper-lab grade. Store the distilled water in an air sealed flask and in darkness. Place the jar filled with the herb.e. purifications and consecrations of Hall and invocation of the Highest Divine Force. Put on your robes and insignia. together with the empty Mason Jar. Perform banishings. Prepare your Oratory (your Temple space) as in the 0°=0° Grade on the Day of the Planet corresponding to the plant.1 Flask with stopper 1 500 ml pyrex flask with neck and spherical base (see image above on right) 2 500 ml pyrex vessels or beakers (measuring cups) 1 Retort w/tripod (see image above on left) 1 Butane burner w/fuel 1 Heating apparatus: a gas stove. simply pick the plant during the appropriate elemental tide. (Fra. Should you wish to work with a Plant's Elemental energies.according to the desired effect according to Planet and/or accepted quality of the plant.T.I. He further states that this plant is Isis. A. recommends to alternatively pick the plant during sunrise on the Day the Planet rules. suggests). 4. Do a preliminary invocation (i. Best of course is to distil wine yourself into a spirit but the simple retort won't suffice for that. Then put it into the air tight jar again as before. Pluck the plant by its roots during its corresponding Planetary day and hour. Perform a Middle Pillar Ritual. have a prayerful state of mind. etc.e.

take the matter and place it in the Mason Jar.X.X. Having chopped the First Matter as finely as possible you now place the matter into the Mortar and grind it in parts with the Pestle.T. and on its Planetary Hour. The linen will do fine..) 9.e.a process of sublimation of the essence (i. Also be mindful of your Middle Pillar and draw L. Trace a circle round it and then the appropriate Hexagrams. and the Salt (Body). Personally I believe there is no need to expose the Mason Jar and its contents in temperatures beyond 20° C. Do another invocation over the Mason Jar. Spirit (Mercury). it should be in maceration for four weeks. Cover and wrap the Jar with a sheet of linen (Fra.I. where it will not be disturbed. The warmth enables the expansion and contraction. Following recipes for herbal tinctures/plant Stones without utilizing the energy of L. Hebrew characters and sigils. Set the wrapped Mason Jar in a moderately warm place (i. Put it again on the Altar and perform an additional Planetary invocation. On each Planetary Day (with a weekly interval). also recommends using your breath to inhale the L. etc. In this process the Soul and Spirit of the plant (its Sulphur and Mercury) are separated from the body (its Salt) through the agency of the Solvent or transferative medium (the Spirits of Wine . the vaporization and the following liquidization) .T. etc. Personally I believe this to be somewhat overkill. Rewrap it and put it away again. prefer to set it high up. as the process of Maceration requires Air to enable a continuous circulation within the flask (i. (Fra.work. Again remember to focus strongly on the goal.e. A. He further states that the work of Alchemy takes place on multiple levels at once . Repeat the invocation over the Mason Jar. i. Maceration 7.X.which also is a Mercury). where the Light of the Sun will warm it.) 10. 8. of normal room temperature). which in turn allow the separation and concentration to take place. A. It is important that you conduct the work with full awareness of this. into the First Matter as you exhale. When it is ground as fine as you can make it. until the alcohol is twice as high in the jar as the top of the matter. as the matter and its Essence will be very sensitive and receptive to mental and astral currents during it's fermentation. (Fra. .V.X.e.) 6. via visualisation and the will to surround the First Matter that you are working with (the plant).V.e.X. down the Pillar to Malkuth when you inhale and up to Tiphareth and out through your hands while you exhale. take out the Mason Jar and unwrap it. Sulphur and Mercury) and subsequent cohobation. A.) Leave the Tincture within the dark womb of the Mason Jar for as many weeks as the corresponding Planetary number (if you for example have chosen a Plant sacred to Jupiter. and as you exhale. for seven weeks. Pour the Spirits of Wine over the matter.V.I. sending a cloud of the L. or the concentrative powers of the mind is fruitless. It is important to leave some air in the Jar. Shake it gently with large circulating (clockwise) movements. He believes this is a good thing. which he sees as severely diminishing the penetration of mental currents.I. and project the L. recommends covering the mason jar with Aluminium foil.V. the Alkahest or Menstruum.T.In the Soul (Sulphur). Purify with Water and Consecrate with Fire as in the opening. purify and consecrate. without people disturbing it. if sacred to Venus.V.

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put on the lid and place it on the stove anew and at full heat.T. They are Osiris Slain. the essence (Sulphur & Mercury) will pour into the flask while the Salt will remain in the filter. comments: "Remember here the INRI of the Analysis of the Key Word ritual. Remember to use the most intense heat that you can apply. so that the Salt may be refined into it's purest and living state by burning off the dead matter. the Destroyer. Separate the Sulphur and Mercury away from the Salt. for as many hours as is necessary. so take care to provide with good ventilation while you perform it. Contemplate the refined and Seperated parts of the Plant. The liquid will be Dark. A. Incinerate the matter with a match.as possible. Nature is perfectly renewed!") The alcohol of your Mercury should fuel this burn for some time. Place the ash it in the Mortar and grind it down to a fine powder with the Pestle. When this is completed. This is done by putting the funnel into a flask. 15. 14. Calcination 13. A. 12. Then pour it again in the ceramic container. etc.i. This process is called Cineration.I.of the plant. take out the Mason Jar and unwrap it. This is the process of Calcination proper. Let it calcinate into a white ash. (Fra. When it has finished burning . At the appropriate Planetary Day and Hour. Now open the Jar. as it has absorbed the Life of the plant. (Fra. It seems like a good idea and a nice addition). Take the glass rod or spoon and poke the dead matter with it so that it will burn thoroughly.. Put a stopper on the flask containing this part of the Elixir . envisioning the flask surrounded in a blue mist. once more say a prayer and enter a meditative state.I. and having placed it within your ceramic container (Crucible).T.I. The goal is to create as much white ash . place it upon your heating apparatus. Put it on the Altar and perform an additional Planetary invocation. Scrape this off into a container and save it. Put a filtering paper in the funnel and pour the macerated solution over it.caput mortum . preventing the penetration of the flask (and thus the tincture) by unwanted thought forms. comments: "The entire process above is Apophis. This may take several hours before you turn of the heat. Squeeze out all liquid from the filter. when all the alcohol has been combusted . The purification of . turn of the heat and grind the white ashes with Mortar and Pestle. purify and consecrate. Place the grey ash in the Mortar and grind it down again to a fine powder with the Pestle. (Note: The process of Cineration will emit lots of smoke.) When it is finished turn off the heat and let everything cool down.in Fire.the tincture. the separation.e. Let it now burn into a grey ash. purified from the caput mortum) .. Then pour it in the ceramic container and place it again on the stove and at full heat. let no sunlight enter into the tincture at this juncture.Separation 11. recommends vibrating HARP-PAR-KRATES and using the Sign of Silence at this juncture. When you are satisfied with the colour.turn on the stove at full heat and let the matter burn into a black ash. Repeat the invocation over the Mason Jar. Take up the dead matter .") But the refinement of the Salt doesn't end here.e.T. (Fra. A.the perfectly refined Salt (i. Put away the flask into a cabinet sealed from light. Igne Natura Renovatur Integra.

T. not over 40° and not below 35° Celsius. the ideal temperature for digestion is approximately the temperature of the human body. the Mercury will rise from the tincture with the application of heat. Now place the flask in the prepared sand bath. Make sure to press all water from the filter. recommends letting it rest for at the very least one week. Now you are ready for the coagula phase. not with the rod or spoon but with gentle circulating (deosil) movements.S. This is done by putting the glass vessel on a moderated heat (on the radiator for example. and the Mercury further absorb the qualities of both the Sulphur and of the refined Salt". A. The resultant must now be in one of the two pyrex vessels and the Salt fully dissolved in the distilled water (stir with the glass rod or spoon to make sure). 17. instead of a Elixir. [See image above for the simple distillation train . Leaching 16. Now.T. receiving flask (this can be any container.I. Repeat the invocation as before (on the Planetary Day and Hour) and now recombine the separated and refined parts (the three Alchemical Principles of Sulphur. Seal it hermetically with a stopper and stir the mixture. Digestion 18. discoloured) you may calcinate again and purify with water and leach anew. This is done through filtering and "leaching". put the Salt crystals in the flask and pour over it the combined essence (Sulphur & Mercury. and say a prayer of thanks-giving to the Deity. Again repeat the invocation over the flask. i. Perform the Analysis of the . and put everything on the stove and on the lowest possible temperature. (Fra. 19.S.] Enter once more into a meditative.R. After calcination (consecration with fire) of the Salts you must purify them with Water. or to use Fra. and transfer to the receiving flask. Let it now digest for as many weeks as the Planetary number. and preferably for one entire Moon Cycle. He further recommends an altogether different method compared to mine (and I cite him): "After this time [of gestation] has passed.the philosophical egg). Then take a funnel and put another filter on it. It needed be a lab flask [use the pyrex flask . The Salt must be crystallic and pure white. Mercury and Salt) into the pyrex flask (spherical with neck . set up your retort. To do this critical process you must use your distilled water.R.e. purify and consecrate. Then pour the water through it and into another pyrex measuring cup or beaker. or putting the vessel in the sandbath and everything on the stove. seal the top. and set the burner Alight. A. Pour the tincture into the retort. of mixing the Salts with the essence (Mercury and Sulphur). etc. "so that the mixture may gestate. Then leach the filtered water . using the lovest possible heat) and let the water evaporate until nothing remains but white Salt crystals. If you aspire to produce a Plant Stone. really.Salt must use both fire and water.I. Repeat this process (with new filters each time) until there is no longer any residue in the filter.]) and Butane burner. If they are not remaining white (i. Fill a measuring cup (the pyrex vessel called a beaker) with distilled water and mix the calcinated Salts in the water (stirring with a glass rod or spoon).s words: "The Mercury carries the Sulphur within it's Womb"). you could instead multiply the number of weeks by the number of the Planet. This is important.e.

Key Word ritual. You may experience visions as well. o Note: Take a few drops of the Elixir in mineral water each morning prior to breakfast. even though it creates wonderful symbology.we have separated. The solid stone will now melt into a wax.T.the Plant Stone. openly and explicitly in a authorative and initiated fashion you never will se the likes of anywhere else. Then there is the distinguished courses by Jean Dubuis (witten for the now defunct organization Philosophers of Nature) which can be purchased through Triad Publishing. and of the plant used in the Elixir it self. during the final Vibration of L. There is also a spagyrical course by John Reid III on Adam MacLean's Alchemy Web Site which is supposed to be good. as many times as the Planetary number. To use it. perform a cohobation. and contains Osiris Risen-treat it as such!" In this instance it is important to recombine the essence (i. A. Place it within a specially marked bottle with stopper. visualize a pillar of white light descending into the receiving flask and joining the Mercury. They will reveal much to you of the power invoked by the Elixir. you will have to make the test: put it in the Crucible on the stove and on full heat. This new Mercury is the true Tincture. The course pertaining to this discourse is called Spagyrics (A Practical Course in Plant Alchemy). and re-combined the parts of the plant. so that the finished product is of much higher vibration. This Mercury will contain the refined Essence of the Plant . turn of the stove and remove the pyrex flask from the sand bath. This process is then repeated several times.. o 21. which will create a continuous "circulation" (i. o o Further Reading and Study o I recommend a thorough reading of the splendid web page of the Portuguese Alchemist Rubellus Petrinus. 20. which I believe is overkill). Take up a glass filled with mineral water and pour some drops into it using a pipet (Fra. Personally I believe that the distillation with retort isn't necessary at all.e.but within the flask) which probably will make the elixir more potent and the following digestion perhaps even create the much sought after "plant stone".I. Sulphur and Mercury) with the Salt again. refined. Remove the stopper and pour out the finished elixir or .e. . He is a true master of the art.V. It can suffice with the pyrex flask (hermetically sealed) and a moderate source of heat (around the normal temperature of the body) in several weeks.e. This is therefore a continuous sublimation and cohobation. Make careful record of the effects you feel in the physical and subtle bodies. so take note of these. If you have managed to produce a Plant Stone.by the grace of God . Drink this Elixir. instead recommends distilled water and around 2ml of the completed Tincture. ending on the Planetary Day and Hour. Afterwards take out the flask from the Oratory and store it in a dry and light sealed compartment o 22. After the set time has elapsed. a continuous sublimation and cohobation . and then sit in meditation. i. scrape of a tiny bit (a few grams) and dissolve it into the mineral water before drinking. Turn off the heat and the wax will solidify into a Stone again. Perform a banishing of the Planet in question.X. lesser banishings and a licence to depart. He covers the entire Ars Royale of outer Alchemy and Spagery.

ISBN 0-87728655-8). and Elixirs (Healing Arts Press. Junius. by Frater Albertus. by Manfred M. So buy them all. but in a condensated and much more easily accessible format: Alchemy (Weiser. This book was use to be called Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy in an earlier edition by Inner Traditions (ISBN 0-89281-060-2).Of the published literature there is of course the two prime classics: Alchemist's Handbook: Manual for practical laboratory alchemy (Weiser. They all contain a detailed tabulation of all plants according to Planetary rulership. Tinctures. Spagyrics: The Alchemical Preparation of Medicinal Essences. the next steps to master after success in this spagyrical process. But I have to mention another and quite a new book. But I wouldn't want to be without Frater Albertus' and Junius' works either. which I warmly recommend. It's a brilliant work which even surpasses the other two in bits and parts. Ora et Labora! . ISBN 1-59477-179-0). the necessary missing key in the instructions above. as it contains much of the useful information in the other two prior works. and the Circulatum Minor of Urbigerus. ISBN 1-57863-379-6). There's also detailed instructions in the art of distillation. by Brian Cotnoir.

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