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To: alt.magick
From: Leigh Daniels
Subj: Alchemy (0000.alchemy.ld)
Date: unknown

The basic process of alchemy has three braod phases (There are sub-phases in 
each of the main ones). The starting material is separated into the three 
essentials of Sulfur, Salt and Mercury. These three are then purified. The 
final phase is the recombination of the three to produce a stone. 

In the plant kingdom the Sulfur is the essential oil, the salt is the complex 
of water-soluable salts and the Mercury is the alcohol obtained from 

In the metallic kingdom I am less certain about the entire laboratory 
process, although it follows the three basic phases. I know that metallic 
mercury is used, but only after it has been "animated", a process that is 
long, difficult and dangerous. Metallic mercury is one of the most toxic 
elements and is extremely dangerous to work with without adequate equipment 
and skill. It is absorbed through the skin and from the odorless vapor and it 
accumulates in the body where it can cause nerve damage. (The expression "mad 
as a hatter" comes from the poisoning of hat makers by the mercury compound 
used to make hats shiny.) This is why working with plants is a good place to 
start. It gives you experience. As to what the Sulfur and Salt in the 
metallic kingdom are, I can't say that I know precisely.

How this translates into spiritual development is difficult to describe 
because it is not a rational process. It might be that in learning to animate 
matter, to create something new, you become as a creator god (or goddess) and 
this brings about the realization of your true divine nature. There is a lot 
of inner work that goes hand-in-hand with the lab work and it is the 
combination of the two that, I believe, brings about the desired result.

The red powder that you ask about is the philosopher's stone ground into 
powder. To perform a transmutation, the powder is enclosed in wax and then 
"projected" (thrown) into the molten metal, usually lead, where it kept in a 
molten state for some length of time and then cooled. The result is gold.

The fact that you have to use gold to make gold is irrelevant in alchemy 
because performing a transmutation is not done to produce gold for a 
commercial or monetary use. It is done to demostrate the achievement of a 
certain level of development, perhaps of an aspect of that divine creative 
power that we all have but seldom acknowledge.

The books by Albertus and Junius mentioned in an earlier post give more 
details of the theory and practice, especially for the plant kingdom.

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