The Eye of Horus
Horus is a God conceived by a Golden phallus, made whole in the womb of a divine feminine, and birthed to be the heir of the throne of all. The story of Horus is the story of humanity. And, it is the story of you, the individual. If you exist now to validate your experience, then it must be so that you hold an interpretation of the history for how you got to this moment. We all tell our selves stories of when and where and how we were born, that’s the start of our personal story. Others help us tell this story too of course, which aids in the validation we feel for the story, its authenticity and factual nature. Then of course we have all of the memories that shape and direct our individuality and the events that have either accumulated to make us who we are today, or at the very least, have aided in the shaping of particular characteristics and preferences that make us uniquely ourselves. I am sure we can all look back and see the importance that these stories and moments hold for our individual natures. Especially when we take those still moments to reflect and look back. But, to the ancient Egyptians the Self was more than just the coagulated structures or memories of matter than gave us these experiences, which we hold as our own. The Self was also something grander, infinite, divine, and partially invisible to our sensory perceptions. If we have stories of ourselves, as we know ourselves, then we must also have a story for the divine, invisible, and infinite, aspects of Self that the Egyptians recognized. Thankfully myth has recorded these memories for our conscious selves to look back at and then feel nostalgic over; beautiful beginnings that explain our current state.
The origins of our true selves don’t take place in the dramas of divine humans. Our true selves and our true story rise from plains of consciousness. Invisible and internal landscapes left mostly unexplored by the many. There, it is not physical structures we know of as in this reality. It is not peopled with characters and animals, deserts or skies that we can look at and be familiar with. Instead of physicality we see this landscape to be full of the patterns of consciousness – mental archetypes - that commingle, push and pull, and give birth to states of awareness that we call our own – the dark matter of the soul. Myths work to simplify these stories and relate them to our current state and experience. They embody great and infinite powers into personified characters of internal archetypes that we can understand as the Gods and the stars of the stories of myth.
In the invisible plain of consciousness, there are many players. But, two of the main stars are what all myths embody as the Feminine and Masculine principles. The Feminine is the receptive nature, the part that receives the other. The Masculine is the giving principle, that action taker, and doer of the show. Then there is the energetic principle that acts to repel, attract, cut, or make new bonds between different Feminine and Masculine principles that are not our main stars of this story. The doer is the conscious mind, the receiver is the subconscious mind, and the third principle is the darkness of the unknown that these two principles dance around. In regards to the stories we will tell here, Isis is our feminine. Osiris is our masculine. And Set is the principle that pushes and pulls this connection, ultimately helping it to become more solid, to evolve, and give rise to the state of consciousness which is us in the story.
So, as the story goes, and according to the Egyptians, Isis and Osiris are brother and sister, but they were wedded to each other to rule the throne of their parents. Set is the Brother of Osiris and regularly quarreled with Osiris for the rights to the throne. Set, deciding that he wants to finely put an end to these brotherly battles, devises a plan to get rid of the trouble once and for all. He sneaks in to Osiris’s sleeping chambers at night and gets specific measurements of Osiris’ body while he is asleep. He then takes these measurements to the best sarcophagus builder and asks him to make a beautiful and ornate sarcophagus based upon these measurements. Once the box is done, Set holds a feast in honor of his brother and invites everyone they know to come and honor Osiris with him. During this feast and party, Set gets up to honor and toast his brother. He also reveals the ornately built sarcophagus, and proclaims that this is a treasure to who ever fit in it. Every one gets up to admire the beauty of this creation, and some even try to fit inside it to see if it is them that will take it home. Osiris then lies down in the box and finds that he is a perfect fit. In his excitement he exclaims that this is his treasure! Just at this moment, Set seals the coffin on Osiris and nails it shut. He then pushes it into the Nile and lets the waters take Osiris to his death. Set wipes his hands of the deeds feeling relieved that he will no longer have to quarrel for the throne.
Isis, Osiris’s wife and sister, mourns her husband’s death and decides to set out to find his body so that she can properly send Osiris off into the underworld. After much travel she eventually finds his coffin tangled in the roots of a tree on the coast of Byblos. She shuttles the sarcophagus home, and hides it in a swamp in the middle of the night so that Set wont find it and get angry at her. However, Set was out the next day hunting in the swamps and sees the coffin of Osiris carefully tucked away in the reeds as if intentionally hidden. He knows clearly in that moment what Isis had done, and in his anger he opens the sarcophagus and dismembers Osiris’ body into 14 pieces, which he spreads far and wide. Isis returning later finds the box open and her husband’s body dismantled. She hunts down all the pieces one by one assembling them, yet still finds that she is missing one piece – the phallus – which seems to have been eaten by the swamp creatures.
Thoth comes to the aid of Isis to help her restore Osiris’ body so that she can send him off to the underworld properly. Thoth fashions a golden phallus to the body, which once again makes Osiris whole. Before she says her final goodbyes, Isis uses this golden phallus to impregnate herself, and 9 months later gives birth to Horus.
During Horus’ youth, Set rules the throne. But with Horus an adult, he begins to battle with Set for the throne, which was taken from him, the rightful heir. In one heated fight Set gouges out the left eye of Horus, and smashes it into 6 pieces. Isis uses her power to restore Horus’ eye and heal his wounds. However, it was Thoth that stumbles upon the broken pieces of Horus’ original eye. He brings the pieces back together and fashions the eye to be almost perfect and whole again. He delivers this eye back to Horus, but Horus does not know what to do with this third eye. He eventually decides to place the eye upon the forehead of his deceased father Osiris in gratitude for his life. In this way he hopes that Osiris might be able to see more clearly in the underworld and help restore Horus’ position as King.
The Eye of Horus, the one that was plucked out, smashed, and reconstructed, later became a symbol of protection, restoration, resurrection, mercy, and was used by many as an amulet to protect against the darkness of unconscious action and to imbue mercy upon those that wished to harm the wearer.
Horus’ decision to sacrifice his new power and insight - embodied in this third eye - to his father is one of exceptional interest to anyone looking to understand the relevance of this story in relation to their own life. Osiris is the consciousness and King of creation. In his death though he becomes the king of the underworld; a world not seen by the eyes of the mortals. The underworld is a plain that any initiated soul must traverse if it is to reach its immortal existence and gain the throne of all. Horus’ sacrifice of his vision to his father, gifted to him by Thoth (the intellect) means that Horus consciously chooses to relinquish his desires to determine his fate and direction, and asks of his father – consciousness – to see through the darkness and help him to his rightful position. In this way Horus becomes whole, and unifies the realms of Upper and Lower Egypt. Essentially harmonizing his internal and external experiences as to be a divine and balanced ruler.
The Hermetic Arts
If you followed the story closely, then you will notice that Thoth plays a vital role twice in the becoming of Horus. To the ancient Egyptians, their deities were referred to as Neters, which means Spirits. Spirit can be easily defined as the Mind, so we can understand the many Gods of the Egyptian myths to be the archetypes of mind that are structured and give form to the reality that we experience. Thoth was the embodiment of the intellect. He was said to be the deity that gave science, math, music, and alchemy to humanity. With this in mind to our story, we can see how first the intellect aided the subconscious mind (isis) to fashion a Golden phallus, which fathered Horus. It was the intellect again that restored Horus’ eye and gave him a third eye, an inner vision, so that he and his father (consciousness) could traverse the invisible plains and unify the upper and lower kingdoms of the self.
It is the intellect that helps us to restore the understandings of just how far our consciousness permeates our experience – fully. The Egyptians held the intellect and mind in high esteem and found it to be the connecting factor between the external physical experience and the innate divinity of the invisible Self, housed within the temple of matter. This understanding was fashioned into a philosophy and science that later became known as the hermetic arts and alchemy.
Thoth was said to be the father of alchemy. He showed to man the secrets of matter and its connection to source. Egypt traded much with Greece in the past, including ideologies and philosophies. The Greeks interpreted Thoth to be the same as Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. Hermes, like Thoth, brought from the divine realm the sciences and arts, bridging the gap between mortal man and immortal deity. In their teachings (Thoth/Hermes), we find a foundational text attributed to these authors known as the Emerald Tablet. This text was said to possess the entirety of the philosophies and practice of the alchemical arts, and was also considered to be a key to unlocking nature or transmuting matter. It is this foundational text that gives us one of the most defining alchemical axioms: As above, so Below.
“Truly, and without deceit, that which is above corresponds to that which is below, and that which is below corresponds to that which is above, in the accomplishment of the miracle of the one thing.”
In ancient times the Above was referred to as the Heavens, the cosmos, or more importantly the invisible realm of eternity and Gods. The Above was also considered to be the internal experience as opposed to the external experience. In contrast, the Below was the Earth and the external experience of matter and form. The Below was also considered to be a direct reflection and product of the Above. Alchemical philosophy teaches us that these two things correspond. They are united, and in their union the miracle of the one thing is created – consciousness. Alchemy, before it was ever a science of transmutation, was known to be the understanding of the relationship that consciousness has to matter. These two things – consciousness & matter – relate via the mind. The mind was understood to be Thoth or Hermes, and so the art of alchemy became the hermetic arts, which taught of the mind and how to bridge the gap between the internal and the external as to restore consciousness and express full and immortal potential.
The as above, so below philosophy also shows us how all that is above and in the heavens, is representative of internal spheres of consciousness. The planets of the traditional astrological system were known to be representative of archetypes of the mind and to also correspond to their associated organs and endocrine system glands in the physical body. Everything has a relationship to everything else in alchemy, unified by consciousness, and made known by the mind. With the planets of the solar system in mind, it is easy to see how the Sun is the central focus of this system. It was known to be the life giving principle and provider for the entire experience we call life. The Suns relationship in the Below as a material correspondence was with Gold. Gold was believed to be of the same frequency and resonance of the sun by ancient alchemists. It was also the pineal gland and crown chakra center of man that was known to resonate with the frequencies of the Sun.
It is interesting to hold the Suns relationship in mind to Gold when we consider the origins of Horus. He was the product of a Golden phallus with the divine feminine. He is a child of the Sun. The Sun being of central focus and the life giving principle to all was why we see it associated with consciousness, the Father, and the One.
Beyond the Above and the Below, ancient alchemists also had intricately crafted philosophies that helped the mind understand the nature of existence and the Self. The philosophies of the 3 principles, 4 elements, 7 planets, and 12 alchemical processes were necessary knowledge for any student to become an efficient practicing alchemist.
Along side the Above and Below, The 3 principles is one of the most necessary philosophies to understand if a study in alchemy is to take place. The philosophy is quiet simple. It states that everything in life is made of the one thing, called the Prima Materia. But, this one thing expressed itself in 3 principles, namely the Soul, Spirit, and Body. Alchemists claimed that all things in life were made of the one, so in effect all things held these 3 principles as their foundation for existence. That meant that every rock, plant, animal, or person had as their being a Soul, a Spirit, and a Body. Since alchemists related everything that was invisible and above to everything that was visible and below, we find that the Soul, Spirit, and Body too had physical manifestations when separated or extracted from a host material. This is where practical laboratory alchemy comes into play.
Alchemists could take any material and separate it into its 3 base principles in the Lab. When these extractions were performed, alchemists found that they would get the same 3 products every time, regardless of the matter of its origin. When separated from its Body, the Soul was always found to express its self as an Oil. The Spirit was seen to always express itself as a Liquor – hence why we call alcohol spirits. And the Body was always found to be expressed as an alkaline salt.
The Oil of a subject, being representative of the Soul of that thing, was seen to be one and the same as the actuating and essential source of that object in question. This is why we call them Essential Oils. The essential oil of any object was the thing that made the material so. To alchemists, this meant that if you could find things of this world that were immortal and perfect, and retrieve that things Soul and oil for use, that you could commune with that consciousness and weave its nature into your own. You could restore fractured mortal consciousness by placing immortal consciousness within it.
The thing that was immortal and gave life to all was seen to be synonymous of the Sun. On Earth the Sun was expressed as Gold, and Gold too was seen to be immortal. To be Immortal one has to express that being from the inside out, through the true self, the Soul. Gold was often seen found just as its Self, needing only its self to radiate its own existence. It didn’t like to bond with other materials and form relationships, they could not touch Gold; it was a sovereign metal. Gold also never seemed to tarnish or corrode it always shined brilliantly. It was flexible yet strong. It expressed all of the traits of the divine. This meant that Gold held a perfected consciousness and was one with the all. So, its essence must be woven to our own for us to shine this same reflection of divinity. At least that’s how the Egyptians saw it.
Because alchemical philosophy states that all is made of a Soul, Spirit, and Body then it must be that there is an Oil in all things. If it was Gold’s essence that was needed to make mans fractured soul whole, then capturing the Oil of Gold was what needed to be done. According to the alchemical philosophy, metals must be made of a Body, Soul, and Spirit. And, if alchemical theory is to be at all true then we must be able to show that there is an Oil, a Soul, and Consciousness hidden within Gold. It is through the practice of laboratory alchemy that one can show that truly there is an oil in metal.
The Oil of Gold when extracted and tinctured into white wine, tinges that wine a deep red. In the Egyptian initiatory rites to becoming a Pharaoh, a drink made of tinctured gold, referred to as Red Ale, was fed to the becoming pharaoh so that he could be in communion with the Father, the source, the Sun, and rule as God on Earth from the Crown.
The drinker of this essence was said to have opened the Eye of Horus, which allowed the Self to see through the eternal underworld of the unknown to the finite world of Man and conscious experience. In this way the Unconscious man become a fully conscious Pharaoh. Pharaoh means ‘Great House’ or ‘Temple.’ Its like saying “My body is my Temple.” A Pharaoh is an awakened individual who becomes the house of God. Through him divinity and infinity can exist amongst and within Man. He is Horus, uniting the upper and the lower kingdoms, the Above and the Below, the Inside and the Outside. The essence that makes Gold, the Sun, and the Self was seen as essential to a Pharaoh for that Pharaoh to actually exist. If that essence was found in Gold, then it was Gold’s essence that could be imbibed, taken within, and stitched to our forms as in communion.
The Oil of Gold
There really is an Oil in Gold. It is an essence that comes from the metal. It isn’t necessarily that Gold has an Oil inside of it, but that it can create an Oil from itself. We would understand the process of how the Oil of Gold is extracted today in scientific terms as understanding the mechanics of catalytic conversion reactions. This is basically when you use a metal to pass elements along and create new compounds in the process. Gold can be used to create a highly complex, organic, hydrophobic oil that has stimulating effects on the Pineal Gland leading to healing effects in the body and mind. The Oil of Gold contains no Gold metal in it, but is instead an organic essence coming from the metal. It was this essence which was tinctured into alcohol to form the ‘Red Ale’ of the Egyptian initiatory rites for becoming a Pharaoh, linking your soul - the actuating cause - to the source of all, becoming one and eternal.
It is from the Egyptians that alchemy was handed down, and it is through alchemy that we can know how the Oil of Gold is made. It is with the essence of Gold that we can stimulate our pineal gland, the third eye, and assist our stories to the awakening of the Horus within; the ruler, pharaoh, and Self that unites the internal and external landscapes of the soul. Born of the source, restored by our intellects, and guided by our consciousness – to have the Sun inside you is to drink of the essence of Gold.
What are Metallic Oils?
Metallic oils are essences extracted from a metal. They are not colloidal suspensions, nor are they simply energetic tinctures. They are not related to Monoatomic or ORMES state elements. Truly, these are essential oils, derived from a metal.
These oils are the essential oil of the metal. An essential oil is a highly complex concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing organic volatile aromatic compounds, and we find that the characteristics of metallic oils, matches the definition of an essential oil.
With metallic oils being so similar to plant essential oils, we find that their chemical composition is also very similar. All essential oils have a unique chemical profile that makes them who they are.
This chemical profile is what gives the essential oil its unique fragrance, taste, and medicinal qualities. The compounds comprised in an essential oil – alcohols, aldehydes, terpens, ethers, ketone, and so on – are what make the essential oil beneficial for our bodies.
How are they made?
Intuitively, extracting an essential oil from a metal doesn’t make much sense. There isn’t any moisture found within it. You can press, steam, and distill them all day and never recover a drop.
It isn’t in the traditional ways that we can find oil within a metal, but more so in the methods that alchemy has made known to us. To understand their methods, we must understand their beliefs.
Alchemists believed that everything in life has a Soul, including metals. This Soul is equated with the universal consciousness that pervades all.
Through their laboratory experiments on nature, alchemists came to understand that the Soul of an object is always expressed as an oil. Since metals too were believed to have a Soul, then it came as no surprise to the alchemist that you could produce an oil from a metal.
In the past, alchemists spoke of their laboratory works in a spiritual manner, passing on their processes by relating them to religious texts or mythologies. But today the process by which a metallic oil can be extracted would be understood as a catalytic conversion reaction.
This is essentially using a metal to grab on to other elements suspended in solution, and passing them along to create new compounds. This passing along by the metal causes these natural elements of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon to arrange themselves into structured geometries, creating organic compounds – the same compounds found in plant essences.
In the extraction of metallic oils, the metal is only used as a catalyst, and is left out of the end product. The metallic essence is considered to be organic in nature, consisting of only oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. This classifies metallic essences as therapeutic grade oils that are safe for internal or external use.
How do they work?
There are three main ways by which metallic oils work on the individual.
1) the Phenols found within the essence circulate through the system and cleanse the receptor sites of each cell. Cell receptors are made to receive stimuli from extracellular molecules, which stimulate the cell to function in particular ways and generate the overall health, equilibrium, or distress of the body. Cell receptor sites will stay clogged unless cleansed by particular compounds, in this case phenols. With receptor sites cleared, the body’s cells can now receive new information that will introduce fresh functions for how the cells should respond to the environment that your intelligence and consciousness set for them.
2) Sesquiterpenes enter the nucleus and remove faulty or mutated genetic sequences that may be causing the body stress. On their way to the nucleus, these compounds also oxygenate the blood and create an alkaline system at PH 7.35. Oxygen boosts metabolism and regeneration, while the alkaline state reduces inflammation and kills healthy habitat for disease.
3) Monoterpenes restore cellular memory to its most optimum state. In this way, the natural rhythms of the body harmonize. Hormone production is balanced reducing physical and mental stress, sleep cycles are moderated which help set the stage for increased mental faculties to flourish and evolve, and dissonance is gently released so that the mind, body, and personal experience find balance with one another.
The most important aspect to the chemistry of an essential oil is that it exists only as a packet of probability. Each body has its own unique internal chemical environment that determines how other substance will react when in their presence.
It is the mind that creates this setting and determines how essential oils will function in the body. This means that oils will have different results depending on the frame of mind you hold yourself in when using them.
To get the best results with a metallic oil, it is recommended that the user read the content associated with the oil in use. This will move the mind to contemplate the thoughts that best set the stage for the organic essence to heal your body on a cellular level and gently transform your experience.
What results can be expected?
Because metallic oils are working on the cellular level, it should not be expected to experience physical sensations when working with an essence. Metallic essences attune the entire system – body and mind – in a gentle manner, from the inside out, so that transitions, healing, and growth come silently into your experience.
Each body is unique, which makes each oils expression unique to the individual. This means that it can be possible to feel the oil, in whatever way that might be for you. It is of value to pay close attention to your thoughts, moods, dreams, appetite, social interactions, conversations, and media consumption while working with an essence.
If you are consciously tracking your reality, you may begin to notice how your moods are shifting to be more positive or less stressed. Increased energy or dream activity may also result. Finding yourself in new opportunities or experiences can also be witnessed.
Reading the material associated with the oil in use will help to pinpoint in what areas you might expect to see changes occur – physically, mentally, or emotionally.
In some scenarios there is what is referred to as the initial detox phase when incorporating spiritual medicines. If toxins are present in the body, the oils presence will want to push them out. Sometimes this detox is noticeable as increased sweating or a change in stool, but usually this passes without any major notice to change.
Mental and emotional detox can also begin to occur. This may look like unhealthy relationships or attachments drifting away from your experience. Whether it is attachment to a person, a feeling, an object, or any other perceived experience, using a metallic oil will influence your moods and mentality to change, so that you begin to let go of the things that may hold down your fullest potentials from being expressed.
These shifts occur due to the balancing of the body’s hormones, influenced by the presence of these organic compounds. Balanced hormonal function also means harmonized mental and emotional outputs. These actions help sustain a state of awareness in the individual which some might consider as the awakened state.
If there are attachments, views, or biases keeping the individual from experiencing this state, then the mental-emotional detox will gentle remove these veils of perception.
And, It only takes a little to solicit these transitions in your experience. For example, within every drop there are enough of the medicinal constituents to coat every single cell 5,000x with the cleansing, beneficial agents of the oil. This translates as only small amounts needed to gain the benefits that these oils have to share.
Metallic oils work best when 1-10 drops are diluted into a drink of your choice and then ingested. Any fluid works, tea, wine, coffee, juice, etc. Your main interest when working with an essence is to get the oil in to you so that it can begin to work its magic.
Meditating on the content and correspondences associated to each particular essence can help to deepen the transitions of body and spirit that the oil can encourage. Contemplating the lessons contained in every vial will bring great insight, guidance, and support to your unique path.
Oil of Gold
4ml dram vial with dropper (± 200 drops) - $75.
Each vial lasts between 1-3 months depending on daily usage.
Suggested dose is 1-5 drops daily. Traditionally taken in a shot of wine or in a solution of your choice (tea, juice, coffee, water, etc.). It is absolutely necessary that this oil is diluted. For serious physical ailments 10-20 drops daily is recommended.
Due to the artistically crafted nature of our products, no order can be promised to ship within 7 days. If expedited shipping is needed, please contact us to negotiate the arrangements. We do our best to get our oils to you as quickly as possible. Thank you for understanding.
It goes against all the voices of reason found in our logical mind.
¿Oil from metal?
How is that possible?
Few modern practitioners talk about the production of metallic oils freely and openly, and a study into simple and safe methods of production can prove to take years of research and experimentation if explored alone. Below is a simple break down for how I produce my metallic oils for Kymia Arts.
Metals to Minerals
The first step in creating a metallic oil is obviously to have the metal of your choice at hand. For this example we will be using Gold, but these techniques work for any of the metals you might wish to extract. Once you have your metal you will need to convert your metal into a mineral.
From a metaphorical stand point, we can consider this like undressing a metal. We want to make our once armor-plated element vulnerable so that we may kill it and relieve it of its soul. According to alchemical philosophy, the Soul of any given subject is expressed as its oil. Being after the metallic oil means that we are after the soul of that substance. When you remove the soul of anything, you remove the aspect that once gave that material life. The work of alchemy is often one of an undertaker. It isn't until you master the art that we find a practitioner able to give and create life as opposed to take it - but this is a conversation for another time....
To convert a metal to a mineral, you need to start with a purified metal. 24k Gold is 99.999% pure and suitable for this work. The gold (our king) is submerged into his bath - Aqua Regia. Here, the Gold dissolves into a solution with the Aqua Regia. Although this gold seems to have completely disappeared into solution, an experienced practitioner still knows that he can break this once great king down even further to pull every ounce of his soul from his flesh.
To do this, the Gold must be precipitated out using the Oil of Tartar per Deliquium. Adding this solution to our kings bath causes finely divided particles to precipitate out and fall to the bottom of our beaker. After precipitation, the regia is decanted off, the gold is collected, and washed with fresh water. The gold precipitate will be of a brownish color and will no longer appear as shiny metallic gold. This gold precipitate is added back into a fresh batch of Aqua Regia and dissolved once again to divide it further. Once dissolved, it is again precipitated, collected, and washed. This process is repeated several times.
With each dissolution and precipitation of our gold, the particle size is reduced, and the color of the precipitate changes. Eventually we get to a state where we will have the 'white powder of gold' - or a fine gold calx as some call it.
This white gold calx, if added to Aqua regia, will tinge the solution green. This green solution is boiled and refluxed, and then allowed to cool. As it cools slowly, glowing green crystals of mineralized gold emerge in the flask. Some may attribute this as being the famed green lion of alchemy.
Spirit of a Metal
Before, during, or after the production of the mineralized gold, it is necessary to procure a supply of a metallic spirit.
Just like in the vegetable work where we can take a highly rectified vegetable spirit to attract the soul (oil) of that plant into the spirit (this is known as tincturing) - so too can we attract the essence of a metal out from its vulnerable state using a highly rectified metallic spirit.
To obtain the spirit of a metal, acetate path operations need to be pursued.
An outline of the acetate path and procuring metallic spirits can be read about HERE
Now in possession of both our mineralized gold, and a pure metallic spirit, all that is left is to add the two together. The metallic spirit is poured into a flask full of crystals, sealed, and allowed to digest. Immediately upon contact with the spirit, the crystals dissolve and become effervescent. The solution is tinctured to a deep red immediately if all operations were performed properly.
After a few days of digestion you can begin to see Gold dust - shiny and golden in color - precipitating out of solution and falling to the bottom of the flask. After a few weeks all of the Gold will have fallen out and the deep red tincture of the Oil of Gold will be floating above its resurrected body.
Washing and Sweetening
The red tincture of gold is decanted off from its precipitated body and into a distillation train. The metallic spirit is gently distilled off, collected, and saved for future extraction. Left behind in the heating flask is the pure Oil of Gold. This pure essence is then tinctured again into a rectified spirit of wine as to wash it of any residual metallic spirit or acidity. This process is referred to as sweetening. The vegetable spirit is also gently distilled off and set aside for use as a washing agent for future extractions of the Oil of Gold. Fresh vegetable spirit is then added once again to the purified essence - it is tinctured, and the spirit distilled off for a final sweetening.
After these three distillations, the Oil of gold lays thick and resinous at the bottom of our heating flask. It is tinctured one final time into the rectified spirit of honey, bottled and sealed, and set aside for use as a finished essence.
For those of you that follow the work of Kymia Arts, you will have taken notice that we offer and produce animal essences and spagyrics. As with most of our projects and products, the question of: "how do you do this?" almost always surfaces.
An animal spagyric is very similar to a plant spagyric. The three principles of the material are separated (sulfur, mercury, and salt), purified, and then recombined. Of course when making an animal spagyric an animal must be used rather than a plant.
Listed below are the steps taken at Kymia Arts to produce a full animal spagyric
Step one is securing the animal you wish to work with. Depending on what you wish to create of course determines what must be done to secure the animal. Some animals can be easily caught like scorpions or spiders. But other animals, such as large mammals, usually have to be hunted. This is a huge practice in itself, and much can be said on how to go about this. Each animal has its own unique habitat and qualities. Understanding this life form and thinking on its level becomes a necessary practice when catching and hunting wild animals.
Once you have the animal of your choice in your possession, it has to then be processed. For the best results, the animal must be freshly dead. This phase of processing deals with separating all of the pieces of the animal. First the animal is skinned of its hide. The pelt is not used in the production of the spagyric and is instead tanned and saved for other uses or for display. The blood is then collected and set aside. The animal is gutted, the organs collected, and those are set aside. With the interior of the animal empty the muscle is then cut from the bone and set aside. Then the bones are collected and set aside.
Now that we have all of our pieces separated we can then begin to process each one for its respected Sulfur (Oil). Each piece of the animal can under go a different operation to render its essence. The blood, bones, muscle, and organs all yield an essence. If you are to make a full spectrum animal spagyric, then you will want all of these individual sulfurs in your end product.
Some of the blood collected is filtered into a flask, sealed and set to digest. Another portion of the blood is set to ferment to render the mercury of blood. The blood set to digest will be allowed to circulate and digest for a minimum of one lunar cycle, but I often allow several cycles to pass. After you have digested the blood to your liking, it is then to be filtered into a round bottom flask as to undergo distillation. The digested blood is then gently distilled. A phlegm will come over into the receiving flask. Once the phlegm stops coming over or slows down, and before reaching dryness the distillation is stopped. After the heating flask has been allowed to cool, the phlegm is then poured back over the material left in the heating flask. A gentle distillation is repeated. This process is repeated at least 3x, or until a volatile essence begins to come over with the original phlegm. The distillate is collected, and then funneled into a retort. The phlegm is then separated from the essence via distillation. The separated and collected phlegm is then poured back onto the dregs that remained behind in the heating flask. This wash is filtered and then set to evaporate. Upon evaporation small crystals should emerge, this is the salt of blood. These salts are washed with distilled water, filtered, and evaporated to dryness several times to render the purified body of blood. After all is done you will have the sulfur and salt of blood.
The blood that was set aside to ferment is also filtered into a distillation flask and gently heated. A spirit will come over. This spirit is rectified several time with subsequent distillations. Then end product is the Mercury of blood.
The organs of the animal undergo a slightly different process to extract their sulfur. Some pieces of the organs are separated and set aside to ferment. The other portions are crushed to a paste and then bathed in a dried and rectified Spirit of Wine. This solution is sealed and allowed to digest for a minimum of one lunar cycle. After digestion the solution is filtered into a distillation flask and gently distilled. The spirit will distill over and carry trace amount of the essence trapped in the organs. The distillation will be allowed to progress until the matter in the heating flask is of a dark and resinous quality. Special care is taken to not distill to dryness. The distillate is then added back to the heating flask and the cycle of distillation is repeated. This is done several times, until once again the essence becomes volatile and flies over into our receiving flask. The final distillate, after several iterations of the process is then placed in a retort and gently distilled. The original spirit is separated from the volatilized essence. The essence of the combined organs of the animal is now procured. This sulfur is set aside and saved.
While this process was occurring, fresh spirit of wine was added to the original organ paste. It is allowed to digest for a full lunar cycle (minimum). The solution is filtered and the process of distillations just described is undertaken. The organ paste is extracted a minimum of 3x to yield the entirety of its essence.
After several extractions have taken place on this paste, it is then removed and burnt to an ash in a strong fire. The ashes of the organ paste are collected, washed with distilled water, filtered, and then set to evaporate. Small crystals will form upon evaporation. This is the purified body of the combined organs of the animal. These salts are then washed, filtered, and evaporated several times to render highly purified salts.
The organ material that was set to ferment is then filtered into a distillation flask. This solution is gently distilled, and the operations necessary to render a rectified spirit are followed. The material used for fermentation is also calcined, and its ashes leeched to render salts. Now we have the purified sulfur, mercury, and salt of the associated organs of the animal.
Another operation undertaken is working with the bones of the animal. The bones are placed in a large pot and boiled with distilled water. Once a strong tincture has been pulled off, the solution is filtered and then distilled. The distillation will render a hydrosol and a volatized essence.
The boiled bones are then crushed and placed in a flask with the radical vinegar procured from the distillation of copper acetate. This menstruum dissolves the majority of the bones. After a digestion cycle has taken place, the solution is filtered into a heating flask and then set to distill. The solvent will distill over. The distillation is stopped once the material in the heating flask is of a think resinous consistency. This resin is removed and placed into an evaporation dish. Distilled water is poured of the gum and allowed to evaporate. This washing cycle is repeated several times to remove all acidity.
After our acetate solution has been washed, a dried and rectified wine spirit is poured over the solution. This solution is then filtered into a heating flask. The wine spirit is gently distilled over leaving the essence of bone behind. Fresh dried spirit is added back onto the essence and the distilled off as to wash to essence further. After several cycles of washing with the spirit the essence is filtered out of the heating flask and set aside in a sealed flask.
All remaining bone pieces are burned down to an ash in a strong fire. These ashes are washed with distilled water, filtered, and then allowed to evaporate to yield the salts of bone.
Once all of these operations are complete we can then recombine all of our separate sulfurs, mercuries, and salts to create a finished spagyric.
Animal spagyrics made in this manner contain the entirety of the animal. All of its principles are separated, purified, and recombined as in the tradition of spagyric. As you can see, much time, attention, and care is taken in the creation of these spagyrics. Months, sometimes years are spent in preparing these products. Each animal essence is a treasure. One that you can find no where else. Only some of the animal spagyrics Kymia Arts produces can be viewed under out Animal Alchemy tab in the top tool bar. Others remain in our reserves....
The Quintessence of Honey is produced in a very similar manner to and herbal Spagyric. A Spagyric is when you separate the principles of any given subject - Sulfur, Mercury, & salt - and then recombine them. As many know, the sulfur of any material is its oil, the Mercury is its spirit or a strong water, and the salt is an alkaline salt like substance which is considered the purified body of the material in use. A completed Quintessence of Honey is the Oil of Honey, the Spirit of Honey, and the Body of Honey recombined and cohobated.
Oil of Honey
When Kymia arts produces its oil of Honey it actually produce two separate oils, in two separate manners. The first oil is created by taking honey and simmering it with a large amount of hand collected spring water. As the water simmers down, a scum will rise to the top. This scum is scrapped off and the water is allowed to simmer down until it all appears to be gone. The honey left in the pot is then placed into a glass vessel and digested at body temperature in an incubation chamber. After a few days, any remaining water in the honey will rise to the top. A few weeks later, with consistent digestion, an Oil will be found to be floating on top of this thin water layer. The oil is collected and set aside. The honey that remains is then used in our second extraction of the Oil of Honey.
The second method we employ for the extraction of the Sulfur of Honey (oil) is done through straight distillation of the honey used in the initial extraction. Honey is place in a large flask, so that it only fills 1/4 of the flask. The honey is then gently distilled to remove any associated water. First a sweet water comes over with a gentle heat. The heat is then increased and a strong acidic water begins to distill over (alkahest of honey). After this strong water distills over the honey begins to swell in the flask and releases a white phlegm that distills over. When all 3 of these separate liquids are drawn off, the honey will begin to reach dryness. The heat is increased and a dry-distillation commences. As the honey breaks down with high levels of heat, it smokes and fumes. These fumes are captured and condensed so that a red oil drips down into the receiving flask. This I now our second extraction of the Oil of Honey
Spirit of Honey
To produce the Spirit of Honey, raw honey is dissolved into wild harvested spring water, yeast is added, and the honey is allowed to ferment. About 4 weeks later when the fermentation process comes to an end, this crude mead is filtered into a distillation flask and gently distilled - The Spirit of Honey is captured in the receiving flask. the Spirit is rectified several times through subsequent distillations to produce a cleaner and more potent Spirit. This spirit is placed in a bottle, sealed tightly to keep it from evaporating or from absorbing atmospheric moisture, and set aside next to our Oil of Honey.
Salt of Honey
Using the sweet water that was obtained from our distillation of the Oil of Honey, Both the flask used for the dry-distillation of honey, and the fermentation vessel used to create the Spirit of Honey are washed out to remove any dregs remaining from these two processes. This wash water is filtered into an open, wide mouth glass dish, and then set over a gentle heat for evaporation. Upon evaporating, a white salt like substance remains - this is the salt or body of Honey. This Salt is dissolved in spring water, filtered, and allowed to evaporate again to purify the salts to brilliant whiteness. The final product is the purified body of honey. It is set aside with the other two principles of honey - Oil & Spirit - so that they all may be cohobated and the Quintessence of Honey can be finalized.
Now that all three of the principles of honey have been procured, the next step is recombining them. The Oil, Spirit, and Salt are all added to a flask and sealed with a glass stopper. The flask is placed into the incubation chamber and allowed to circulate for one lunar Cycle. During the following month the 3 principles will comingle, blend together, and dissolve into one another so that all that remains is the red tincture of the Quintessence of Honey.
The Quintessence of Honey is a profound medicine that can only be produced through the art of Alchemy. Information on its history and uses can be found in the animal section of Kymia arts (or by clicking on this link - Quintessence of Honey). The Quintessence itself is made available to the public in our store section
Ancient alchemists were wise in coding their texts with words that can be so easily mistaken for their elementary counterparts (sulfur, mercury, salt, etc.). Even today many fall short of the authentic alchemical experiments described in these old manuscripts due to this confusion. Of all of the multifaceted words found within alchemy, it seems that none are more commonly misunderstood than Mercury.
In the alchemical perspective, Mercury was considered the spirit of any given material. Paracelsus explained it simply as such, saying:
"For Mercury is the spirit, sulfur is the soul, and salt is the body." 
Exploration of the word spirit, featured in the article Truth of the Matter, helped to define spirit as the mind - an inherent power of consciousness. It is the part of any given material that organizes the Logos, which inherently exists within consciousness - our alchemical sulfur. To the Greeks, Logos was considered to be a divine dialogue that God had within himself. This dialogue, in effect, was the beginnings of the creation of matter and our known reality.
"In beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word." John 1:1
It is found then that Mercury is intimately tied to Sulfur - Consciousness and the mind acting as one to manifest nature. Frater Albertus pointed to this relationship, noting:
"Sulfur, that is, the alchemical sulfur, is usually found in its oily form adhering to the Mercury."
Made for one another, alchemists viewed these two aspects - Sulfur and Mercury- as lovers, intimately bound together in union. These principles embodied archetypical patterns of masculinity & femininity, existing in a natural state of union unless separated by art. Manfred M. Junius wrote:
"Mercury... Represents the feminine and passive principle. Sulfur is the...masculine or active principle."
These general archetypes of masculine and feminine inspired alchemists to use words that were synonymous with these terms, once again further coding the alchemical principles of Mercury & Sulfur. Junius, describing these literary synonyms saying:
"Mercury is occasionally called the Moon, the Lunar, or Diana, Sulfur is the Sun, the Solar, Apollo, the original potency, the formative principle, the active, the principle of the "invisible fire" and also of love."
These principles, being so closely tied, made it difficult at times for alchemists to distinguish between one or the other, and many times these principles were considered to be two sides of the same coin. The image of two snakes, wrapped in a circle, biting each others tails served as a symbol to describe this and helped paint a picture of the motion going on within the realm of consciousness.
Recognition of the affinity that the principles of Mercury and Sulfur have towards each other, gave rise to another crucial observation: Sulfur coagulates Mercury. When brought together, the union of Sulfur and Mercury has the power to create salt, or a body. Francis Bacon starts out his essay- Experiments Touching Sulfur and Mercury- by saying:
"There bee two Great Families of Things; You may terme them by severall Names; Sulphureous and Mercureall, which are the Chymists Words: (as for their Sal, which is their Third Principle, it is a Compound of the other two;) Inflammable, and Not Inflammable; Mature and Crude; Oily and Watry."
Sulfur and Mercury - consciousness and Mind - existing together, naturally gave birth to the third principle - Salt.
Sulfur is the soul, the consciousness in matter. Consciousness being the actuating cause of an individual life. The Spirit is the mind, an inherent power of consciousness - this is our sulfur and mercury bound together - consciousness and mind. Consciousness, using the power of the mind, organizes and embodies thoughts, giving concrete reality to these thoughts, which have no concrete existence - it births Salt. This in turn makes all forms of matter, a matter of Soul and Spirit. Paracelsus defines this precisely, explaining in his book Concerning the Nature of Things:
"It should be known that the life of things is none other than a spiritual thing. On this account there is nothing corporeal but has latent within itself a spirit and life, which as just now said, is none other than a spiritual thing. But not only the lives which move and act, as men, animals, worms in the earth, birds under the sky, fishes in the sea, but also all corporeal and substantial things. For here we should know that God, at the beginning of the creation of all things, created no body whatever without its own spirit, which spirit contains after an occult manner within itself. For what is the body without the spirit? Absolutely nothing. So it is that the spirit holds concealed within itself the virtue and power of the thing, and not the body."
Confirmed to us by Paracelsus, all matter, and the alchemical Salt, are a manifestation of Spirit. All things have been made real by and through the Spirit, and the Spirit is made real by the Soul, Our Sulfur. This Spirit is our Mercury, the Mercury of the 3 principles. The mind of matter.
Mercury is the bridge or the medium through which invisible and immaterial consciousness can be placed within and reside in matter.
Applying the knowledge that Sulfur and mercury in union together gave rise to the third principle, Salt, alchemists employed these philosophical understandings in pursuit and finalization of every alchemists Magum Opus, the confection of the philosophers stone.
In Search of the stone, alchemists often referred to Mercury as Argent Vive. Another code word further mystifying the materials they were harnessing in their laboratories. Under this pseudonym -Argent Vive - Mercury was recognized in its metallic form as quicksilver. It's union with the masculine metallic seed/Sulfur, would in time coagulate into a Salt if incubated properly. Copulation between the masculine and feminine gave birth to a new form of metallic matter, a red powder - the famed philosophers stone.
At times, alchemists would also refer to quicksilver as Our Mercury, as if to show their own intimate philosophical understanding of the secrets hidden within this amazing and luminous liquid metal - this water which does not wet the hands. Prefacing mercury with the word Our pointed to the relationship the alchemists had with this matter. It showed possession, and a depth of understanding - One of knowing a material, inside and out, for its true nature and not just its surface level appearances. Much like how referring to a specific person as my wife or my husband shows others your intimate connection and understanding with that person, alchemists too had Our Mercury and Our Gold.
References to this relationship that Mercury facilitated between the soul and the body are prevalent amongst Greek and roman mythology as well. The name Mercury originally comes to us from the God Mercury that existed within the roman pantheon. Often considered one of the most favorited gods, Mercury was known as the son of Maia and Jupiter (Maia and Zues). It is believed that the name Mercury comes from a Proto-Indo-European root - merĝ- which stands for "boundary or border."
In Greek mythology Mercury was known as Hermes and similar to the etymological meaning of Mercury in the roman language, Hermes gets his name from the Greek word Herma which meant a heap of stones, or a boundary marker.
In the mythical stories of Ancient Greece and Rome, Mercury/Hermes was known as a messenger between the realm of immortal gods and the realm of mortal man. Mercury bridged this gap between creator and created - God and Man. He resided within the gap between the two and facilitated contact between their borders. He was the boundary marker.
Mercury's mother Maia is also of particular interest in these stories, and helps illuminate much of the nature that is attributed to Mercury. Maia was one of the seven Pleiades, all of which were considered sea-nymphs and daughters of the Titan Atlas, who was associated with the Moon. This watery nature of his sea-nymph mother and the lunar nature of her father Atlas seem to have been passed along to Mercury/Hermes.
Also of interest, is the linguistic similarity that Mercury's mother Maia has to the Vedic god of Illusion, Maya. Taking into consideration the fact that earthly matter and reality is an embodiment of thoughts - imagination taken as reality - produced by the Spirit/Mind, a thread connecting illusion to Mercury begins to be revealed. Mercury/Hermes was recognized as a trickster god, outwitting other gods for the satisfaction of mankind. This makes the thread between Mercury and illusion become even more apparent. What more is an illusion than a fancy trick? And certainly it can be seen that the Mind can play tricks on us all. Mind, being of course synonymous with Mercury, the connection of illusion thickens.
In ancient symbology, water embodies the moon, the feminine and the mercurial nature; alchemical mercury often being called Luna, or the feminine. Alchemy also considered Mercury to be composed of the elements air and water, And when found within any given material (plant, animal, mineral, metal) it was recognized by its watery consistency and Airy volatile nature. Mercury was always any humidity, moisture, or fluid found within different materials. For plants it was their inherent water, and liquor if fermented, in minerals and metals it was their acetones, and in animals it was their blood and semen. Physically, Mercury was always a liquid substance.
In many ancient traditions there is a great sea that separates the realm of immortality from the realm of mortality - Men from Gods. The ancient Egyptians spoke of this ocean as the "sea of death", a place that no mortal man could venture past and return from. In Greek/Roman mythology Mercury/Hermes was known to be a conductor of souls between these two abodes, helping to ferry individuals into the afterlife. Mercury himself was seen as this medium, this water/sea, spreading far and deep between the two lands of mortality and immortality.
Mercury was, and is, always the water, in all facets of study. The messenger and communicator standing between these two lands. Mercury bridged the gap between what appeared to be two separate worlds. The Presence of Mercury, Mind, or Spirit, unified and made what appears to be separate, whole, placing soul into Body - Mind into matter - immortal into mortal.
 Concerning the Nature of Things: Book One - Concerning the Generation of natural Things
 The Alchemists Handbook
Alchemy had a unique and beneficial perspective in understanding the nature of reality. One that is of great value to us today. Especially in regards to our evolution - individually and collectively.
Incorporating a theory of what was known as the 3 principles was fundamental in creating a foundation for the pursuit of alchemical works. This theory split all forms of matter into a trinity so that everything consisted of these three essentials. They were known as the soul, spirit, and body - or in alchemical terms the sulfur, mercury, and salt. We have these divisions with us today, and many people recognize themselves as having a spirit or a soul. But ask someone to define what these immaterial substances are and they will most likely fumble with their words.
In looking to help myself define these words so as to be resolved in my answer - if ever asked - I discovered some rather interesting information that helped to shed light on my understanding of nature, reality, and alchemical works. Practicality and application of alchemy and it's constituent theories and understandings became apparent as I explored the answers to these questions. With integration of this new found knowledge my world was truly transformed by the art of alchemy, which in essence can be seen as the transmutative flow of life itself.
It's easy for a person, with their mind and intelligence, to recognize that there is an immaterial backing to their being. This we might call our spirit, or our soul. In alchemical view, it was also crucial to recognize that not only moving, thinking, animate life was composed of an immaterial counter part, but that the inanimate rocks and plants also contained these substances of soul and spirit. Many of the alchemical works have made this knowing tangible through experimentation. The alchemist could separate any substance, plant or stone, to reveal three basic materials, which came to be labeled the salt, sulfur, or mercury of that material in use. The separation of these principles helped the alchemists of old to conceptualize this understanding - that all matter originated from one source and was comprised of the same basic building blocks. The source was the Prima Materia, the first matter of all. The building blocks were the 3 principles, and the four elements which won't be elaborated on in this article.
To understand the alchemical sulfur, mercury, and salt you must first understand what a soul, a spirit, and a body really are. The terms sulfur, mercury, and salt are just code words used to describe the body, soul, and spirit any given substance. In the past, alchemy and it's practitioners were seen to have gone through their fair share of persecution and discrimination. Many ancient manuscripts used coded language to hide the true meanings of valuable information. Information that might be used to condemn a practicing alchemist or grant power to the greedy. For now, this is history, and what matters most, here and now, is defining and resolving our understandings of the spirit, the soul, and the body.
First it is best to explore the body and define it so a foundation can be built to help grasp the spirit and the soul and their relationship to the body. The body was known in alchemy as the Salt - but let's stick with the word body and explore it's definition.
(Please read the following carefully and slowly.)
Salt: The Body
We all have a body. We can see it, touch it, feel it; Our body is our material vessel. It is the tool we utilize to interact with our world. The houser of our mind, our thoughts, emotions, and memories. We all know the body. It's simple for us to intellectually grasp an understanding of the body. Not only our own, but the bodies of other life forms or objects. We all seem to known it, but I wondered what was the best way to define it. I then did what any other person would do to get a definition of a word - I looked it up in the dictionary. Here is how our dictionary defines the word Body:
A material structure that embodies or gives concrete reality to something abstract.
That definition seems straight forward, but it actually threw me off. Especially the second half that states: "gives concrete reality to something abstract."
I then decided to dissect this definition of it's larger words to simplify the message at hand. I started by splitting the definition into two halves
First half: "a material structure that embodies or...."
Second half: "gives concrete reality to something abstract."
Starting with the second half I defined the larger words.
Reality: The state of things as they actually exist.
Abstract: Existing in thought or as an idea, but not having a physical or concrete existence.
This intrigued me. By picking apart the definition I began to see what was hiding behind these words. The second half of the original definition for Body was telling me that the body "gives a concrete reality to something that has no 'physical or concrete existence.'" The definition was essentially telling me a lie by stating that something that doesn't exist (abstract) actually exists (reality). A lie is defined as: "an intentional untruth", and that is exactly what we have here. My own dictionary was telling me the body was a lie. But let's explore the first half of the definition to further illuminate what a body might actually be.
The major words of the first half of the definition for Body are:
Material: The matter from which a thing is or can be created.
Structure: construct or arrange according to a plan; give a pattern or organization to.
Embodies: To give visible form to an idea, quality, or feeling.
These words shed substantial amounts of light on to the true nature of the body. These definitions are telling us that the body organizes (structure) something (material) to make an idea visible (embodies). What is the matter being structured to achieve this illusion - one of making something appear to exist that actually has 'no concrete reality?' The definition of embodies spells it out clearly: "To give visible form to an idea..." What is an idea? Many dictionaries use a simple definition of 'a thought' - so an idea is a thought.
With that in mind, we can see then that the body is actually an organization of thought to give a concrete reality to something that does not actually exist.
That is our true definition for Body - hiding behind our own English words the entire time.
Since the alchemical term Salt and body are synonymous we can then also apply our new definition of the body to the alchemical salt. The salt associated to the 3 principles of all matter.
The body, which basically defines the existence of all forms of matter, and the majority of objective reality is being painted as an illusion with use of that definition. Physicality is an illusion - That sounds a lot like eastern philosophy, and can even correlate to certain understandings in quantum theory.
Our definition for Body gains ground as authentic as the definitions of spirit and soul are also dissected.
Mercury: The Spirit
In alchemical works the spirit of a given material was known as the Mercury. Staying with our theme of using common language instead of alchemical code let's define spirit.
Spirit: The nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the mind and ego.
The second half of this definition says it most plainly, telling us that the spirit is the mind and the ego. The first half helps us to build a more holistic image to understand the mind and the ego. The most interesting word to me in the first half of the definition of spirit was character, so I looked it up to define it.
Character: the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
With previous understanding of the ego, I found similarities to its definition with the definition of character, so I also looked to define ego and make those similarities more apparent.
Ego: the individual self of a person; a person as thinking, feeling, willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.
- that which identifies with thought, feelings, and desires as self.
Essentially, identification with thoughts and feelings gives rise to individuality or character. The mechanics of this function are found within the mind, which the spirit was defined as. Getting to the bottom of spirit is also then getting to the bottom of mind. To define mind...
Mind: the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, thoughts, and feelings; the faculty of consciousness.
If spirit is our mind, and our mind is what enables us to experience the world and ourselves, what then are we? What is the self that the mind is helping us experience? Are we our thoughts? No. We are not our feelings either. The mind is not our source, and the definition of mind is telling us this.
We identify with our thoughts, which also hold our memories, and this identification gives rise to character or individuality. It makes us believe an untruth - that we are our thoughts and emotions, that we are the part that thinks. But we are not our thoughts, or our emotions, we are not our individual selves that we thought - at least not entirely.
The first half of the definition of mind is telling us that the mind is just an element that enables us to be aware of our world and thoughts. But the mind itself is plainly defined as a "faculty of consciousness." What does it mean to be a faculty of consciousness?
Faculty is defined as:
An inherent mental or physical power
Spirit is the mind and
The mind is an inherent power of consciousness.
Consciousness inherently has the power to think. Consciousness is responsible for the mind. The mind is then responsible for the creation of thought. The mind identifies with that thought, organizes it, and embodies it's ideas to create conceptually a concrete reality, even though those realities don't actually exist (other than in the mind).
Sulfur: The Soul
This leaves us to define our final word that we set out to understand. Soul. The alchemical sulfur was the soul of any given material. (Read more on the alchemical sulfur.)
What is the soul?
The Soul is: The actuating cause of an individual life.
In the previous study of the definition for spirit, the answer to what the actuating cause was is presented to us.
- Consciousness -
The mind is an inherent power of consciousness. Consciousness is the actuating cause for an individual life. That answer holds true for all individual lives and for all forms of existence. All matter was known to be composed of these 3 basic principles -soul, spirit, and body- so all of existence knows consciousness as the actuating cause of its individual life. Every rock, plant, animal, star, atom, galaxy, etc.
Consciousness is the true Prima Materia of the alchemists. The seed from which all forms grow and are rooted in. It is the spark of life.
Life can be defined as: a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul.
Life and existence belong to the soul, and the soul is consciousness.
Consciousness is life, and in all life is consciousness.
Consciousness is the Key.
This is the fundamental truth that alchemy was built upon. Any subsequent experimentation is merely just an exploration of this singular truth, or validation of that truth through any physical or spiritual alchemical practice. The understanding of this fact automatically granted the understanding of the truth of all things and gave true alchemists a fantastic power - The power to be - living freely as and in eternity.
Standardization of definition
In looking to explore and understand the 3 principles of alchemy, I read through many alchemical texts - ancient and modern. The majority of the texts seem to agree that Sulfur is the Soul, Mercury is the Spirit, and Salt is the Body. These texts seemed to be written as if to assume that the student reading them already had prior knowledge of what a soul, spirit, and body are. Feeling that it is never safe to assume, it felt appropriate to seek out fully defining these terms.
To summarize and define the body, soul, and spirit:
Body: Organization of thought to give a concrete reality to something that does not actually exist.
Spirit: The mind - an inherent power of consciousness
Soul: Consciousness - the actuating cause of life
I encourage others to contemplate on the implications this presumes on the nature of reality.
To end here and to honor an old tradition that many alchemists followed of starting or finishing their writings with a prayer, I quote St. Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
At Kymia Arts we have taken the Vedic Chakra System, Astrology, and Alchemy and transposed them, one upon another, to achieve an integrative system of diagnoses and medicine. Through observation and practice, we have begun to recognize relationships between the different energy centers of the body and the effects our metallic oils have on these personal dis-eases.
It can be noted that the energy centers of the body are systematically placed in a vertical pattern, traveling from the base of the spine to the crown of the skull. Each wheel of energy overlapping the center either above or below it, sharing in certain attributes of its neighbor’s main characteristics. Using the energy centers of the root chakra and the sacral chakra as an example (Saturn/Lead & Jupiter/Tin): The root chakra touches on aspects of personal sexuality and how you relate to and feel comfortable with your own sexuality, whereas the sacral chakra would touch more on how you express that sexuality outwardly. Both overlap on the area of human sexuality. These two centers also share a common denominator for working on different aspects of the Kidneys to regulate hormone secretions, diminish fatigue, and increase awareness.
To see the relationship the chakra centers have to their neighbors is an easy stride to take. But more expansive relationships have been recognized during our studies. Connections such as: the Brow Chakra (Oil of Silver) to the Sacral Chakra (Oil of Tin), the Throat Chakra (Oil of Mercury) to the Solar Plexus (Oil of Iron), just to name a few. These connections become practical in the application of metallic oils for health purposes, both physical and metal, because it allows us to see where an individual’s ailments are stemming from and attack the problem at its source.
Most often a person’s disease will cascade down to other centers rather than extending upwards, jumping the center immediately below it to land on the next one. (Ex: throat chakra jumps heart chakra and lands on solar plexus, then overlapping the sacral chakra). It looks much like a stone skipping across water. The first skip covers the largest length since it holds the blunt of the energy. With each subsequent skip, the stone loses momentum, causing the length between skips to shorten until eventual the rock falls into the water. The first point of contact and the energy behind that system is where the problem is rooted.
Many modes of medicine will focus on symptoms, or the different areas where the “stone has skipped,” but few practices address the energy that first went in to skipping the stone. When we understand the relationships the energy centers have to one another in the body, we can follow the skips back to the point of origin to effectively stamp out any physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual disturbances’ at the source.
It is also seen that each energetic system in the body builds upon the one immediately below it. If your root chakra is unbalanced it will cause issues in the sacral chakra, which in return will cause issues in the solar plexus which is situated above the sacral chakra. This can cause the entire energetic system to be out of balance and manifest as a multitude of physical and emotional symptoms within the individual.
There are many points of view you can take to begin to pinpoint the cause of physical and mental diseases. Understanding the relationship of these energetic systems to each other is a corner stone of achieving perfect health, and mental and emotional mastery.
The Acetate Path is one of the Methods employed by alchemists to obtain the soul (sulfur) and Spirit (mercury) of metals and minerals. The acetate path was made most public by past alchemists such as Issac Hollandus in his Work on Saturn, George Ripley in his Bosom Book, and many others. It was considered a viable path and option for obtaining the Sulfur of metals.
Outlined below is a step by step, showing and explaining this method. It is to be remembered that these process were created and employed with recognition to the matter in use, in this case metal, as containing in it the same principles that all life embodied - namely a soul and a spirit. These metals contained consciousness. This process was one of many that was used within the alchemical laboratories to work with and actualize this consciousness.
Step 1: Trial by Fire
To begin the extraction of the soul and spirit of a stone or metal, it was first necessary to secure a source of ore. In this example copper will be used.
Traditionally raw ore was taken from which the pure metal could be smelted out. Smelting processes will not be elaborated on in this article so we will skip ahead to having our pure metal.
Once the pure metal is obtained it is ground down to a fine powder. This powder can then be placed into a cast-iron pan and set over a fire to oxidize. Exposure to the elements and various other methods were employed by alchemist to obtain an oxide. The oxidization of any material is essential the burning of that substance. the ultimate goal was to let your matter "burn", be "killed", and to obtain its oxidized form, or dead body.
In alchemical philosophy the body (metal) had to be killed and turned "inside out" so that the spirit and soul of the given metal could be captured and used for alchemical purposes. This killing was done in the fire. The oxide version of the metal was considered the dead body, from which its spirit and soul would be resurrected.
After the philosophical killing of the metal, the dead body had to be awakened and brought back to life. this was done by using specially crafted menstruums which were essentially the spirits of other metals, minerals, or plants. In this example distilled vinegar will be used, but as stated above a wide variety of menstruums could be used to obtain the desired effect.
The metallic oxide is taken and mixed in a flask with our chosen menstruum (vinegar). When an oxide is mixed with an acetic solution a metallic acetate is formed. The acetate Solution is then hermetically sealed and allowed to digest for 2 weeks to a month
Step 2: Breath of Life
when ready, the alchemist then takes his digested solution of acetate and distills it down to get a highly concentrated version of the acetate solution. The concentrated solution of acetate is taken outside to evaporate slowly and remove the remaining liquid that is holding it in solution. The solution is placed in a glass dish and put over a heating element on a gently heat or allowed to evaporate in the sun. Over the course of a few days the remaining liquid evaporates leaving pure and dry crystals of copper acetate.
Once dry, the crystals are dissolved into distilled water, filtered, and placed back in the glass dish to evaporate off the moisture again. This process of "washing" removes any residual corrosive materials. This step of washing is repeated multiple times to achieve a highly purified acetate crystal.
Step 3: Preparation for Rebirth
Once enough dried and washed crystals are secured they can be crushed and funneled into a flask to be dry distilled.
Dry distillation is a process of distilling by using a dry starting material rather than a liquid which is commonly the case.
Roughly 1/3 of the flask is filled with crushed crystals.
Step 4: Rising from the Ashes
With the crystals of copper acetate in a flask, they are ready to be dry distilled.
The flask on the far left holds the crystals. this flask is placed in a heating mantle that is capable of reaching high temperatures. The flask containing the crystals is attached to a long Liebig Condenser. This condenser has cold water running through it and is intended to condense the majority of the fumes that will issue forth from the heated crystals. This condenser is then attached to a receiving flask. The receiving flask sits in a bowl of ice water to help further condense the fumes into our sulfur and mercury. The receiving flask has two necks. From the second neck, another condenser is attached. In-case any of the fumes are not trapped and condensed into liquid, this second condenser helps to do so. At the end of the second condenser tube a receiving flask is attached. The adapter connecting the second condenser and receiving flask has a vacuum tube attachment. A hose runs from this last receiving flask to a set of Gas Washing Bottles. The first Gas Washing Bottle is left empty. This bottle acts as a pressure release so that during the heavy heating of the crystals heat and fumes can escape and the risk of exploding any glassware is avoided. A hose runs from the first Gas Washing Bottle to a second bottle. This second bottle is filled with Rectified Spirit of Wine (Alcohol) and acts as a bubbler and trap. Incase any of the volatile spirits were not trapped during their contact with the two condensers, the bubbler will trap the remaining spirits so that no product is lost.
When the dry distillation is adequately assembled the heating element can then be turned on to a moderate temperature. The crystals are allowed to slowly heat up until they begin to fume.
Step 5: Life
After the crystals of copper acetate have stopped fuming during the dry distillation, the heating mantle is allowed to cool slowly before the sulfur and mercury can be retrieved. Any liquid caught in the two receiving flasks are combined, filtered, and then put into a clean distillation apparatus, a retort works best for this. A gentle distillation is run to separate the mercury (acetone. in this case the Radical Vinegar) from the sulfur (Oil). the acetone is more volatile and will be captured in the receiving flask. The oil thickens and is left behind in the heating flask. A small bit of alcohol is added to the oil to make it runny and easy to work with, otherwise the oil is rather sticky. Dry distillation of copper acetate yields a green oil, pictured above. The color can vary between each distillation, but always stays a color of green.
This general process can be performed to extract the oils of Copper, Iron, Lead, Antimony, Tin, Zinc, Mercury, etc. To produce the oils of Gold and Silver, other methods are employed.
During the 8th century a man by the name of Jabir ibn Hayyan (A.K.A Geber), a well-known alchemist of Persian descent, wrote of two alchemical principles: Sulfur and Mercury. These two principles revolutionized the understandings that future alchemists would gain on the nature of matter and its origins. But Geber was a very cryptic author and was careful to conceal the true principles of alchemy. He encoded his writings with a veiled style of language. Due to this coded language, we now have our modern word “jibberish”,which refers directly to Jabir and his style of writing which appeared to be pure jibberish to those unaware of the principles of alchemy. But don’t be confused by these titles of Sulfur and Mercury. Understanding the nature of Jabir’s writing style, we can see beyond the code words of Sulfur and Mercury which would lead us to believe these two properties to be elemental sulfur with its pungent smell and liquid mercury or quicksilver. Understanding Sulfur as a code word for a deeper principle, we can now begin to answer the question of “what is Sulfur?” For the sake of this article let us forget about the principle of Mercury and focus specifically on the alchemical Sulfur and what it truly is.
Alchemists studying the works of Jabir knew their Sulfur as an oily substance. This oil could be extracted and concentrated out of their choice of any substance (Plant, animal, mineral, or metal). Frater Albertus, a widely known and respected modern alchemist also points this out by saying: “Sulfur, that is, the alchemical sulfur, is usually found in its oily form adhering to the Mercury.” Although we can pin-point alchemical sulfur as an oil, it functioned as a much deeper symbol to ancient and modern alchemists. In Paracelsus’s book “Concerning the Nature of Things,”he writes that “Sulfur is the soul.” But how can an oil now become the Soul of the substance in question?
The Webster dictionary defines Soul as: The immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life. To the alchemists, the oily characteristics of their Sulfur were described in just the same manner. The Sulfur was seen as the individual signature of the plant, animal, mineral, or metal in question. It was what gave each form of life its own unique characteristics. It was the closest material manifestation of a universal principle that gave all of life its spark and being. This source of all was known to the alchemists as Prima Materia. It was the alchemists “First Matter”, or that from which all things originated from and gained life through. Ancient Indian alchemist called this First Matter Adrishta, which translates as “unseen influence.” To ancient philosophers the unseen influence behind the physical cosmos could be attributed to pure and unbounded consciousness.
Referring back to our definition of Soul, we can now attribute consciousness to the “actuating cause of an individual life.” In all ancient philosophies, consciousness proceeded matter. It created matter by interacting with itself in an internal dialogue known to the Greeks as Logos. The alchemists Sulfur became the soul of the material they were working closely with in their laboratories. This Soul was understood as the Consciousness of that material, and that consciousness was seen as the source of that particular material. Not only was consciousness the source of the material being explored, but that same consciousness was the source of all. Universal and infinite in its expression this one consciousness gave life to all forms.
Freeing the Sulfur from its corporeal body made the universal life giving force of consciousness more available to the alchemists. Further research and study into this substance as the “actuating cause” of life would later lead alchemists into deeper understandings of the nature of all life. In time this would gift the alchemists the ability to extend life indefinitely in any body (Plant, animal, even Human) by creating a direct and permanent link with the subject and the unbounded consciousness residing in all life.
With closer examination the alchemists deepened there knowledge of the relationship of consciousness to matter. Diligent study and practice would eventually lead some to awaken infinite consciousness - acting as the source of life – in matter, and in effect finishing their “great work.” The Magnum Opus of the alchemists. The confection of the philosophers stone.
“He who does not know the Sulfur knows nothing, and can accomplish nothing, neither of medicine, nor of philosophy, nor any of the secrets of Nature.” -Paracelsus
Avery is the lead Alchemist at Kymia Arts and routinely shares information on general alchemy topics as well as our methods and products.