Archive for the alchemy Category

Results of Alchemy

Posted in alchemy on February 4, 2009 by Patrick

Well, I crystallized something salt-like.  Not the beautiful snowy white all the books talk about — more brownish kind of sticky film with black specks (carbon from badly calcinated and clumsily filtered c.m.).

I tasted a grain and found it salty and not entirely useless, so I dissolved it into the tincture (which smells exactly like apple juice).   I think I can use the tincture for some of the stuff I’ve used Bardon’s fluid condenser for in the past, but I’d hesitate to call it “perfected.”

What I learned is this:

1)  Good enough isn’t.

2)  Nevertheless, it’s worth trying even in imperfection.

3)  I am poorly equipped for calcination.  It might be worth it to build a Bunsen set-up, which is fairly cheap and easy.  Alternately, I could create an oven from the grill.  Using the household oven doesn’t really work so well.

4)  I’m kind of lazy.


Screw Butane — Moving to Propane

Posted in alchemy on January 25, 2009 by Patrick

And not even the propane torch dented it.  Sure, it’s got some char about the edges, but it’s still green.  My garage smells like Woodstock, my legs are killing me from crouching, and I don’t even have it reduced enough to filter.

I am beginning to think that spagyria is not for me.  So much for “reconciling myself to matter.”

I Suck at Alchemy

Posted in alchemy on January 24, 2009 by Patrick

The good news is that the caput mortuum is dry now and no longer in danger of growing something else or putrifying.  Smells pretty delicious, actually — like nice autumn apples.  The bad news is, it will not burn.  Not a little bit.

So I bought a pencil torch, figuring if it can’t burn at like 1000 degrees, it just won’t.  But I didn’t realize it didn’t come prefilled with butane, so now I need to make another trip to the store to get butane for it.  I suppose I’m dumb.  I’m certainly annoyed.  And not doing a bloody damned thing tonight.

It’s been a long enough day as is.

Plant Alchemy

Posted in alchemy on January 22, 2009 by Patrick

So I bought the wrong filters, and ended up using paper towels. I can’t get the caput mortum to catch on fire, and I’m leery of sticking alcohol-soaked herbs in my oven.  I’m going to let it sit out overnight and see if it dries.  Or grows something.  We’ll see.

I took some pictures.  Perhaps I’ll post them later.  At the very least, I have a crude tincture — but I want to get the salts, too.


Posted in alchemy on November 2, 2008 by Patrick

In an effort to give my wand a workout (ahem) I’ve taken up some simple plant alchemy.  I want to explore the place where matter and consciousness interact, and this seems a cool way to do it.

Or a waste of time, we’ll see.

Tonight during the hour of Sol I ground an ounce of Egyptian camomile (which [a] is more than you think and [b] is a nightmare to powder by hand in a morter and pestle — in truth, it came out a bit rough).  I put in a jar, poured vodka over it because, it turns out, it’s illegal to sell (but not to own) Everclear in my ‘burb.  Since I’m just aiming for a simple spagyric tincture, though, I think vodka will suffice.

Now I shake it every day for about two weeks, at which point I figure out where I can calcinate it without getting arrested for unauthorized fire or kicked out of my apartment for setting off the alarms.