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The garden has always been a source of inspiration and base material for preparing Alchemical substances, but the techniques of Alchemy are not so commonly used in cultivating the garden itself. Most folks would agree that regardless of what you might be making, the quality of the material you start with, always plays a role in the quality of the finished product. Alchemy strives to elevate and enervate plants and minerals to create medicines, and there is no reason why we shouldn’t attempt to do the same with our base materials. After all, plants are living beings, and the more life force we cultivate in them, the more they can offer for human transformation. In a sense, it pays serious dividends in our medicines, if we invest in biological capital.
and forms the dense material from which plant spirits can ‘distill’ their form. and making homeopathic remedies (Calcination). the microflora of the soil best represent that life force. Similar to Alchemy. minding the stars has always been of critical importance to farmers and gardeners. It seems a logical enough place. some of the most relevant agricultural concepts to Alchemy and Spagyrics. Minerals and nutrients are mostly static. I begin with the soil. and it is the bacterial and . as well as directions for various garden preparations. Alchemic techniques are paralleled in the garden with processes like culturing native microflora(Fermentation).There are many techniques the gardener can use to build physical and energetic capacity in our fields. MERCURY To start. extracting minerals for soil building (Digestion and Fixation). I have collected in the following. Direct connections between Alchemy and gardening are not straight out of tradition. The soil must first have ample life forces at work in order to grow a plant with ample life forces. Taken to its most literal and critical example. but do share many similar techniques and perspectives. and I recommend the practice as essential for optimum success.
or tomato/cucumber prunings. and careful regulation of the fire/heat of the ferment is held in common with Alchemy. have lots of minerals and stimulants). . Pack to brim and place a weight on top (I use a bag filled with water) to force air out. These micro-organisms are the key component to any sustainable agriculture. we can create our own! Local native flora are generally the most effective for any system. etc. Use in 1/500 ratio in sprays/irrigation. fermented plant juice(FPJ) is the most widely used and simple input from this system. remove weight.. The best material is any fast growing vigorous plants (weeds like mugwort. Properly cultivating the right type of bacteria and fungus in large amounts is complex and time consuming. No amount of fertilizer will grow plants without the soil biota to activate those nutrients. The best system I have found comes out of native Korean and greater Asian farming techniques. Add ¼ part quantity of vodka to preserve. Pick growing tips before dawn when growth hormones are most concentrated. comfrey. To start. in the spirit of Alchemy. We are fermenting bulk materials like rice bran. similar to Alchemy as well. cover with breathable fabric and let digest for 1 week. The key technique is fermentation. plant tips. There are a number of great companies that sell inoculants. Finely chop with equal weight brown sugar or molasses and pack in a crock topped off with a layer of sugar. purslane. However. After 1 day. Decant finished liquid. and store in refrigerator. etc. and transforming those nutrients into large quantities of bacterial and fungal life. called Natural Farming with Indigenous MicroOrganisms(IMO)(ref1).fungal components that transform and transport a good deal of those nutrients.
mix the new IMO3 with equal parts of the local soil. First. and incorporates the FPJ. etc. but hold together when squeezed. This mixture should not drip. or other fertile soil. cook 3 cups of rice and place in a cedar. the rice should be full of native mycorrhizae. garden beds. Mix this water evenly into about 60 pounds of quality carbonaceous material such as rice bran or wheat mill run (available at feed stores). Turn regularly. and it will be cool when finished. This is IMO4 and can be used in potting soils. Now. so store in the dark. of FPJ. The last step to this process is to collect mycorrhizae rich soil(silky white fungal strands found under leaves. Keep in mind direct sunlight will kill IMO’s. Cover with a cloth and turn twice a day. and store in a dark place. and add more FPJ until moisture content holds things together when squeezed. this will have fermented slightly and have a mild sweet smell(IMO2).). knead well. or non-treated wood box about 1’x1’ square x4” tall. mycorrhizae-rich spot with 65 F minimum temp. and crumble easily. Let this mix ‘cook’ like the last batch under a roof on the ground. and then cover with small tarp to keep rain out. and cool when finished(IMO3). compost. in a 5 gallon bucket of water. Take 3 tablespoons of this ferment mix. but easily crumbles. and mix with equal weight brown sugar or molasses. Avoid condensation. directly on the ground 8-12 inches deep. In one week. and combine with 2 oz. It should be white with fresh mycorrhizae. Store in a dark location.The grander formula for top notch soil biota is as follows. trees. and place in deeply shaded. Lightly cover with leaves. and place in crock covered with a cloth. Place the inoculated material under a roof or other cover. . dryish and firm(IMO1). from at least 3-4 sites nearby your garden. Seal box with breathable fabric. After 1 week. or compost. Take this rice.
green sand. A simple fix is kelp meal. you start with a high quality sea or mineral salt. while it is stirred. 2 to 3 cups of salt is combined with just enough water to dissolve it. It originates from Chris Emmons book on ORMUS(ref2). This is done through fertilizers. perhaps due to less processing and exposure. Allow to settle. During this process. the final time leaving as much water as there is ORMUS. white flakes will precipitate out of the water. This is done until the water reaches a Ph of no more than 10. is a sea salt extraction using lye that can be called ORMUS. clay. and soils can differ vastly. LYE IS CAUSTIC! So use protection. Dilluted lye is very slowly added to the water. and stirring. Assuming you have good soil with the above qualities. Dead Sea and Himalayan have both been effective for me. which is also highly energized. I believe this is due to the energetic capacity of said salt. and brought to a simmer. directly in irrigation per acre. or energized trace minerals. Some ocean salts have not worked at all.SALT The other critical component to the soil is the mineral and nutritive capacity it has. To make. It is perishable. and their application. . but can be stored in a foil wrapped HDPE plastic container in a cellar or fridge for 6 months.78. The Alchemic solution. This water is then added to a 5 gallon HDPE plastic bucket with about 3-4 gallons of water. Repeat this 3 times. compost. This can then be added at 1 tablespoon to the gallon for foliar sprays. Best applied in wet weather. or something similar. you might say. and are often under-supplied in gardens. so keep a close eye and don’t get overzealous. and coarse salts as well as mined salts seem to hold more capacity. let me elaborate on some techniques that can take gardening a few steps further. and minerals. This article is not meant to be a basic gardening how-to. once or twice a year. or 2 oz. and then all of a sudden. At times it takes a lot of lye to raise the Ph. Trace minerals in plants are critical for all developmental stages. so first off let it be said that adequate baseline fertility must be created first. prevents ‘hot spots’ from occurring. This is the ORMUS. Adding the lye slowly. sand. The first technique is related to trace minerals. then decant the water. just the smallest amount will cause Ph to shoot up. The Ph does not rise proportional to the lye.
.Another mineral preparation that uses similar techniques to lab alchemy is an extract of shells and bones. but sea shells work too. the more crushed and ground. Once we have a concentrated acetic acid vinegar.. Next. the better (an initial roasting of bones in particular helps with grinding). First we must freeze concentrate vinegar (regular white vinegar is fine) 3 times. etc. There should be loads of water soluble calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate. I prefer eggshells. and repeat this process twice more. we pour this over any collection of shells and bones. filter the concentrate through cheesecloth. Save the concentrate. and the concentrated vinegar quickly thaws leaving an ice plug. Shaken daily. and evaporate. Take a 1 gallon jug. this is allowed to digest for a week or so. turn over a bowl. freeze. Calcium forms the most critical soil mineral element and affects all growth processes. This can be added to foliar sprays and irrigation at 1-2 tablespoons per gallon. Make sure the container used has a permeable seal because there will be lots of off-gassing (remember the old baking soda and vinegar volcano experiment you probably did as a child?).
or just taking a reflective walk through the crops). These substances emit very low-frequency radio waves that are taken up into the atmosphere. altars. You might say that soils rich in these substances have a great deal of energetic and electromagnetic potential. as well as atmospheric oxygen. In nature. When paramagnetic substance is used with etheric broadcasters (this can be takyon/torroidal field antennae. which is in itself a weak magnetic field.ETHERICS AND ASTROLOGY One other important soil mineral connection is that of paramagnetic force. . paramagnetic soils will act as amplifiers for directed etheric forces. microflora vitality. nutrient exchange. physical and energetic vitality in the garden will be increased. volcanic. constructive music. When this potential is tapped. and pest/disease/climatic resistance. or basaltic rock. tone/frequency generators. This will translate down to the physical as increased ionic and an-ionic activity. this is found in granite.
My favorite system comes from the Biodynamic community. particularly the Valerian. Valerian. ‘moony’. they are more tied to celestial rhythms. The Biodynamic calendar is a sidereal moon calendar. Lastly. Fire-fruit/seed. Chamomile.What about insect pests? There is a spagyric-type remedy that comes from the Biodynamic gardening community. as well as specially prepared silica and manure. Take one cup from the 10.e. You can save some of the 2x for future preparations. and I have one in the works. This ash is then added to a cup or so of very pure water. the better quality plant we will get. Nettle I use regularly as well. This is 2x. I also feel that a vegetal alkahest quartz preparation would also greatly benefit plant silica/structural needs. Earthroot. and Oak bark(the calcium prep can substitute for Oak bark). I have been using spagyric tinctures of these plants in my sprays. Each of the 4 elements represents a different part of the plant to work with. Shake it up. for its nutritional profile. Because plants do not have as much of an individualistic consciousness as people. This is 3x. I feel that these have helped my plant’s disease resistance. We take at least 50 plus (I’ve used thousands) of whatever the offending insect is. Air-flower. Yarrow. A dilute amount will still be effective. Another key biodynamic technique is the use of 6 key plants. So. Water-leaf. and ability to stimulate plant sap when used fresh. Also it accounts for any occultations (any planet being blocked by . or part of a plant we harvest and cultivate. The 8x can then be added full strength to sprayers or irrigation. then add this water to 9 cups more very pure water. This calendar is unique in that it uses the inclination and declination of the moon (moon rising/falling in sky in relation to axis of earth) to determine transplanting times. conditions here in Oregon. The plants are Nettle. which is used to counteract rainy. one of the most important things one can do is observe proper timing. They have a unique way of processing insects into homeopathic remedies using calcination. the element of the sign dictates what type. When the moon enters a zodiac sign. i. more specifically Maria Thun(ref3). Dandelion. and roast them to a fine ash(calcination). and add it to another 9 cups of water. the more we can use astrology. mineral content. This should be repeated until you have a 8x strength.
i. most plants can be placed under one or the other safely. I feel. or the moon/sun. The planetary days of the week can also be used. Jupiter – larger perennial shrubs. 2nd quarter for leaf/seed/fruit and planting. A simpler astrological system is to use moon phases. deciduous trees. although this requires some research into planetary rulership of plants. Mars-perennial and biennial herbs/flowers/shrubs. Full moon/3rd quarter for seed/fruit/root and harvest. Venus-annual flowers and more ‘complex’ plants.e. . Look to functions for Solar and Lunar herbs. conjunct or opposed another via the perspective of earth). as well as other unique astrological weather. 4th quarter for roots and tilling. New moon/1st quarter for planting. Here is my general rule of thumb: Mercury – annual grasses and ‘simple’ plants. Saturn – evergreen trees.another. and since these two bodies represent a more fundamental yin/yang type axis.
For myself. more internal growth. I feed the garden. I have found that my studies in Alchemy are easily applied to the garden. and the process renews itself. My garden shows me in tangible form the connectivity of life. Watching the transformation of the seasons and the life cycles of plants is inspiration for me in my lab. This makes better medicine. Bradley Capron is an herbalist/acupuncturist/farmer living in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. His farm and spagyric herbal line. as well as its cyclic and evolutionary nature. and this growth process continues to illuminate me. and creates ever more robust ecosystems. Solstice Herbals. it feeds me! So don’t forget to get out of the lab and into the sun…. Alchemy comes most alive in the garden. supplies local wine country restaurants. the Portland .
7. OR. The North American Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calender. He can be reached at info@solsticeherbals. 2010. Prell.com. Maria. 40. Emmons. or 503-857-8705. 2009. “Natural Farming with Indigenous Microorganisms: Inputs and Uses”. and Village Health Clinic in Eugene. . Floris Books. 2010.State University Saturday Farmers Market. Chris.com. Dreamgate Press. No. Ormus: Modern Day Alchemy. Thun. solsticeherbals@gmail. Vol . Jackie. Acres USA July 2010.