Volume 3 Winter 1982

Our cover picture is by the renowned European artist Siegbert Hahn of Cologne. It is entitled "Patience" and symbolizes the emergence of a Being with the potentials (wings) given it, capable to rise above the earth after it has paused and learned to patiently observe its surroundings first, before making a decision when to rise and what direction to pursue.

Exemplar - Hans Nintzel
Pure Sulphur of Nature from White Phosphor
The Acetone of the Wise
Amber: The Gate to Mineral Alchemy
Gypsy Alchemy
Questions and Answers



Hans Nintzel

During medieval times alchemical literature became first a novelty, then a serious study to be discarded later as nonsense and a waste of time. To this very day it is considered an outmoded type of chemistry long since superseded by modern discoveries, both in science as a whole and especially in pharmacy and medicine. Be it as it may, any subject that still arouses so much controversy, when on the one hand it is declared as impossible while on the other hand both laymen and noteworthy scientists are still attracted to it, must have a reason. When formerly metallic transmutations were the main reason for its study it became evident that the entire process of nature is but an evolutionary or alchemistical procedure not confined to the mineral realm only but likewise to the plant and animal kingdom.

Hans Nintzel

Various attempts had been made to prove this in theory and practise, but not always successfulIy.

With the process of modern science alchemistical theories and laboratory, practices have aroused the curiosity of researchers and established some pertinent facts that cannot be ignored any, longer. However, some of this literature became more and more difficult to obtain and so the thought was voiced by some students, when browsing through the pigskin bound books and other rare manuscripts available to them at the former PRS and now College, to make these and others available to the public. Among them one student showed much interest in this matter and began to lay the groundwork for such a venture. It was Hans Nintzel of Texas.

When asked how all this came about he said: "R.A.M.S., Restorers of Alchemical Manuscript Society, was an idea that germinated around 1976 and produced its first fruit in 1977. This was the Bacstrom translated "Golden Chain of Homer". Sigismond Bacstrom, an alchemist, extracted items he thought of importance from the Boehm (publisher) versions of the "Golden Chain." The material seemed to be important. In fact, I asked Frater Albertus during my Secunda Class, "If the building was on fire, what book, if you could only save one, would you save?" "

"He smiled and said, 'The Golden Chain of Homer'. I asked if he therefore thought this to be one of the most important books on alchemy. He replied: "Yes. IF you can understand it!" Finding the Bacstrom (English)gave me the impetus to "restore" this manuscript and R.A.M.S. was now a seed. Typing was done by a friend in Albuquerque.

"Later, as other manuscripts came to hand. I enlisted the service of many friends all over the world to aid in this project. Some provided funds to obtain the documents and pay for materials. Others helped in typing or proof - reading. Others were kind enough to spend long hours in the translation of these documents. And most of those people treated this as a labor of love, that is, were not recompensed for their efforts, and considerable efforts they were. Now, many of them were not even aware that I had, for fun, "lumped" them together under the name R.A.M.S. This name was, as said, for fun and it was also appropriate since I am an Aries! Besides, everyone loves acronyms these days.

This then, a loosely known group of people often unaware who all was working with them on a particular document, contributed to the production of over fifty manuscripts. Some of these R.A.M.S. items are collections themselves in that they contain many tracts or treatises. Some of these have been translated from German, French and Latin. We are now working on an Italian, a German and a French manuscript."

When these publications appeared he graciously dedicated his efforts to the then PRS where the thoughts for this venture originated.

It is persons like Hans Nintzel that take the time and make the efforts to be of assistance unto others to help bring more light among mankind by rekindling the flame others wanted to extinguish. For this, Essentia expresses its appreciation publicly to Hans Nintzel and his wife Jody who so understandingly supports him in his work to republish important alchemical manuscripts.

May his work with the help of his associates continue to prosper for the benefit of all concerned. The Paracelsus College needs more of the type of Hans Nintzel to establish its work firmly among sincere searchers of the ancient and contemporary wisdom to be found in Alchemy, by using all legal and honorable means available.


Pure Sulphur of Nature from White Phosphor

By Ludwig Wriesing, Austria

Beginning of Experiment: June 16, 1980 Sun in the sign Taurus. Planet at hour of beginning was Jupiter. Moon in first quarter.
Preparation and Collection of the following equipment.
Asbestos Cover: Serves as protection on table.
Glass Plate: Placed upon asbestos cover to retrieve small particles of pure sulphur.
Small Asbestos Sheet: This is a protection for the glass plate.
Small Corning Ware Dish: This small heat resistant dish is placed upon the asbestos because of possible increase of heat thereafter.
An Iron Wire: This iron wire will later be heated to ignite the stick of Phosphor. I would like to call special attention to the fact, when using a small glass bell the stick of Phosphor should be in proportion.
A Large Glass Bell: This large Glass Bell has to be transparent and is needed to observe the combustion process.
A Large Bucket: The large bucket is a safety precaution because it has to be large enough to be placed over the glass bell in which the Corning Ware dish has been placed with the phosphor. The large bucket is only used when too much beat should be generated because the glass bell is too small and will break. Phosphor can only be extinguished when no oxygen gets to it.
A Burner and Tripod: This Bunsen or Fisher burner and support serves to hold a pan similar when melting lead or tin. This fire serves to heat the iron wire to ignite the phosphor in the tube.
A Tube: In this tube is the mixture to be ignited with a match and it will not smoke.
This smokeless flame makes it possible that the iron wire will not turn black.
A Clamp: This clamp serves to get hold of the small piece of phosphor broken off the larger piece.
Napkins (Wet): The napkins serve to close the opening on the rim at the bottom of the glass bell. This is a precautionary measure as the pressure in the glass bell when the phosphor is burning in the corning ware dish can develop some gases that could escape.
Some Still Larger Buckets: These should be of several sizes so that they can be placed one over the other to avoid oxygen getting to the phosphor. (Extra precautionary measure)
Safety Goggles: this is a required laboratoty ruling.
A Pair of Asbestos Gloves: It is a foregone conclusion to work with gloves in the lab.
A Ventilator: A Ventilator is most important while working in the home by an open window. Any accumulation of gases in the room can endanger the health.


I place the large asbestos on the table. Upon the asbestos I place the glass plate.
Upon this glass plate I put a small piece of asbestos.
Upon this asbestos I place the coming ware dish or pyrex dish.
With the clamp or pincers, I take a small piece of phosphor out of the water container.
This piece of phosphor I place in the dish.
Over the dish in which the phosphor has been placed I put the transparent glass bell.

The piece of phosphor will soon begin to smoke. It is actually not smoke, but rather a white vapor (gas). This white "Dove" (gas) is caused by the air (oxygen) still remaining inside the glass bell.
Now I light the Bunsen or Fisher burner, while squeezing a piece of the mixture out of the tube on the little pan, ignite with a match to heat the iron wire.
Now I lift the glass bell on one side and ignite the phosphor in the dish on the broken off end with the iron wire. This ignition can only take place from the top.
The piece of phosphor will ignite at once and a snow white gas mill form inside the bell which whirls in clouds upward.
During the ignition of the phosphor inside the glass bell pressure will back up, because the wet napkins under the rim are not yet hermetically scaled. The pressure will lift the glass bell slightly.
As soon as the napkins are moistened with water again no gases can escape. It will be noticed that the heat inside the glass bell will hardly go higher than the hand can bear. The gas formation will last about an hour.
When I notice that no more fume, form inside the glass bell, I will lift the glass bell on one side and with a wooden spatula rub the remaining phosphor that had not ignited and it will immediately start to burn. I notice underneath the rest of the phosphor that had not ignited a liquid with a skin color, light red appearing.
The rising fumes (vapor) form on the inside of the glass bell, on the glass plate and asbestos shield as well on and in the coming ware dish as redyellow natural sulphur.
This red-yellow collection on the described parts relating to this experiment I wash at once with pure water and as ail end result I have the wonderful pure sulphur of nature which I place in a large neck flask and save for future experiments.

The Acetone

Dr. Christian Augustus Becker

In the last issue of Essentia under Examplar, Dr. Christian Augustus Becker was mentioned. His research proved to him what was known as the Mercury of the Wise, was a special Ketone known as Acetone. The following is in part what Dr. Becker has to say in his book, over a hundred years ago, long since out of print and hard to come by. It was written in German. An English translation was attempted by the publishers of rare alchemical texts under the name of Rams in Texas, of which this is an excerpt. Being personally conversant with the original German text for many years and its described experiments and tests, what follows should prove of great importance to advanced students. (Ed.)

Das Aceton

This is the place in the whole book where the behavior of the residue is described this clearly, and after having been lost in dark words for years, all of a sudden I was enlightened. The characteristic to burn like a tinder made it clear beyond doubt that the coal-like residue has to result from the destruction of an acetone salt. Thus the secret of the Spiritus Vini philosophici was discovered and all the products from the distillation were correct.

Now the Aqua ardens with the quintessence became a simple chemical fact, and the only thing surprising that was left was how the old chemists had been able to work with it for centuries without this becoming known. Of course everybody put a curse on whoever would give away the secret, and this curse seemingly represented a moralistic power because Weidenfeld in a book that was to be published later on indicated hope for the discovery, but the book never came out. And Pott, who had thorough knowledge and who did not have to fear the curse says, that whether because of a promise or because of envy: the preparation is easy, but it is a secret.

The tinged yellow residue is dissolved with vinegar, evaporated to rubber and distilled. The residue is again treated with vinegar and also distilled. The distillates are poured together, combined with the previous one, left 14 days to digest, and then distilled. At first the Spiritus ardens passes over, which is then rectified until it is so strong that a linen cloth soaked in it and ignited will burn. During these rectifications a white oil appears on the surface and a yellow oil also remains, which is being distilled with a stronger fire. The sublimate in the neck of the retort is being pulverized and is placed to melt on an iron plate in a cold place. The liquid is filtered and a little Aqua ardens is added, whereby a green oil will separate and settle at the surface. Then it is distilled. First water and then a thick oil appear. The Water is distilled in another recipient and evaporated in the water bath until a thick, oily substance, like melted tar, remains on the floor. This black liquid substance is treated further with Aqua ardens, however, which is not explained any further here.

The Gold Tincture

Just as gold is considered the finest metal, the hermetics also thought of it as the finest medication, and that is how the Aurum potabile was put on a throne upon which it remained for many centuries. But as much as they revered it, their secret dissolution against was honored as much and maybe more, and they called it gold too. In his old age Raimund, for his strength, prepared the raw oil from the lead and said that it was more delicious than gold. Basilius Valentinus, who describes the preparation of the Spiritus Vini philosophici under the cover of the distillation of the vitriol, called the raw oil "heavy as gold, as thick as blood, burning and fiery, the real liquid gold of the philosophers".

The ideal of the alchemists and the masterpiece of the art was the Lapis Philosophorum, the stone of the wise ones. For its preparation the most needed metal was the gold. The customary gold was not suited for this purpose because it was dead due to the firm closure of its particles, and it therefore had to be animated first. This was achieved by treatment with the Spiritus Vini philosophici, whereby the soul, the characteristics were separated from the impure body and dissolved. This gave then the philosophic gold, Aurum nostrum, the quintessence, the radical dissolution without corrosion, which was achieved through the raw oil of the Acetone, called the Acetone aerrimum and the Dissaeveus Auri.

This dissolving power is confirmed by experiment reported by Fuchs (Geschichte des Zinks, pg. 200). Hellot distilled acetic zinc. At first a lightly acetic phlegm transformed; then stripes appeared, and then followed a sublimate in white, fragile flowers. Then white vapors arose which were condensed in the top of the flask into whitish-yellow, then dark green oil. The recipient contained a liquid which ignited just like Spiritus vini. Poured onto water, it first swam at the top then mixed with the water, and only a few drops of a reddish, spicy oil remained at the top. The residue of the distillation was of the color of ashes. On it the acetic phlegm was poured digested for 8-10 days, then drained and distilled, leaving a resinous substance at the bottom. The process was repeated until enough resin was obtained. This in turn was then distilled in a small retort and heated to the point of glowing, whereby a yellow liquid transferred, followed by thick white vapors. When the distillate was poured on the white sublimate in the neck of the retort, it dissolved the sublimate immediately, and so drops of reddish oil separated on the surface. This oil was then rubbed onto gold and silver trays, which within 4 hours dissolved at the covered areas.

Alchemy through shady lab assistants, crooks and dreamers has gained such a bad reputation over the years, that in general it is considered to be superstition, cheating, or fraud. Only in more recent times have individual voices of the educated world turned to the expression of Marsilius Ficinus, saying that the old and new philosophers, as the natural scientists called themselves then, have spent much effort and work in order to explore nature, and they have subsequently recognized the honorable effort of the old chemists. It was natural in its old form. As a basic rule it was established that all bodies are composed of the three chemical elements: salt, sulphur and mercury. The names which are meant only as symbols, and which mean something quite different, would equate with the following in today's terminology:

mercury = hydrogen
sulphur = carbon
salt = oxygen

Missing is nitrogen whose existence as a simple element, however, is still doubtful.

The theory said that the differences of the metals is based on the qualitative proportions of these three elements, and that through changes in these proportions, it is therefore possible to alter the metals up to a perfection of gold and silver. Since the proportions of the mixture were determined only hypothetically, the experiment was only empirically technical; but since all metals and many minerals had been used in the experiments, it presented an opportunity for many chemical discoveries which served the sciences in general. The old experts and highly respected persons, like Albertus Magnus and Roger Bacon, analogously to the efforts of today's science, tended to dismantle the bodies and to create new connections. The old chemistry, using the transmutation of the metals, arrived at no confirmed positive results, whereas modern chemistry not only calculated the atoms, but also their abberations.

The chemistry, which was taught freely in Arabic sciences and which was protected by the caliphs, encountered mistrust and suspicion with its transition to the Christian World. It was derived from the non-believers whose actions were connected with the world of magic and the devil; was persecuted by the Church. Working with it was, therefore, socially dangerous, and physically the vapor of the minerals and the vast effort were not advantageous for the health. Large incentives were needed to find followers and disciples, but they were not scarce. Just as the Church promises its believers eternal happiness, alchemy promised retention of health by means of the lapis and with that longer life and large richness heaven on earth; in addition the was the secret with its mysterious appeal. Permeated by the grandeur of their ideal, the alchemists drowned themselves in religious mysticisim; everything started with God and everything was done under his protection, and only through God's grace and enlightenment could the stone of wisdom be obtained.

The radical dissolution of the gold, which was caused without corrosives and from which the metal could not be reduced, was the true Aurum potabile, the quintessence. Rupescissa says, "the quintessence of the gold is Aurum Dei and part of the lapis, and it is completely transformed into nutriment. The genuine gold is not transformed into nutriment, but it is excreted in the form in which it taken in. Aurum alchymicum, which is composed of corrosives, destroys nature; therefore the Aurum Lapidis is called Aurum Dei.

Paracelsus explains that the quintessence in the gold is very little, but that it has the color in the power, and when it is extracted the remaining metal has lost its power. It differs from Aurum potabile in as much as it may not be reduced to metallic gold a second time, while the Aurum potabile may be transformed into a metallic body; therefore its quintessence is finer.

Raimund gives the following eloquent, but complicated statement:

1. Spiritus philosophici is distilled three times over Sal Tartari, and this distillation is kept in digestion for 50 days, at the end of which a yellow residue appears on the bottom.

2. The gold and silver are now separately calcinated, that is amalgamated and the quicksilver evaporated.

3. On the remaining calcinated metal each separately we pour three fingers' width of the sharp spirit No. 1, and then first hold in a water bath, and then in the ash-bath at boiling temperatures. The dissolution of the gold is yellow and it is carefully decanted; also the dissolution of the silver is green or blue and it is carefully decanted.

4. The residue of the metals is repeatedly treated in the same manner until everything is dissolved.

5. These solutions are each kept 40 days in digestion; then the solvent is distilled-out in a water bath, leaving the metals behind just like oils. The distillate is poured back over the oil, left to digest in the water bath for 24 hours and then distilled.

6. The distillate is at first gently distilled in a sand bath, whereby the water goes over, then at higher temperatures the spirit goes over, and even at higher temperatures a part of the oil transforms.

7. The water that went over at first in the water bath is added to the distillate, digested, distilled in the sandbath, and this is repeated as often as needed to have all the gold and silver go over.

8. The solutions are rectified in the sand-bath seven times.

9. Now both are mixed and circulated for 60 days.

With this the great solvent is prepared, which dissolves all metals radicalIy.

Now other gold, which has been amalgamated and calcined through the evaporation of the quicksilver, is digested with the solvent No. 1, and after its distillation it is submersed by Menstruum majus to dissolve the gold. When this is done it is drained. On the residue a fresh Menstruum majus is poured for complete dissolution, and that is then combined with the previous one. The solution has the color of a most beautiful ruby or carbuncle. It is circulated for 20 days in a water bath and 20 days in an ash-bath. Then you will find the gold transformed at the bottom into beautiful rosin, and the water on top may be carefully drained. The rosin is soluble in any liquid. This is the true Aurum potabile.

The procedure is described so clearly that with the exception of the secret solvent agent it is totally understandable. Noteworthy is that not only gold, but also silver is needed.

Rupescissa's procedure is simpler. Gold amalgam is finely atomized by evaporating the quicksilver, and then after adding Acetum philosophorum it is placed in the sun. This causes the oil film on the surface which is taken off as it is forming, and which is placed into a glass with water. The water is evaporated and the quintessence of the gold, which contains the highest sweetness, remains.

A similar case should be the Essentia dulcis of the orphanage in Halle. According to the report by Dr. Richter, its inventor, the essential element is a subtle red gold, which dissolves quickly and without residue or turpidity in the "spirit of wine". When the alcohol (spirit) is taken out, a blackish powder remains which may easily be transformed into a light, fragile, purple red and sweet powder: there is a slight weight loss during this process because the most subtle, even at low temperatures, rises in the form of vapor, which when caught, condenses into red drops.

The way to prepare the gold is very different from the usual method, and even though harmless minerals are needed for the preparation, all foreign additives are so separated that all samples can prove that no corrosives are contained therein.

Half an ounce of the ordinary essence costs 2 "Taler".

Half an ounce of the concentrated essence costs 8 "Taler", since the latter contains four times as much gold. The substance was considered to be too expensive and it was said that the gold part hardly amounted to 1/8 of the price. The gold is, however, the least, but the other expenses and the efforts for the preparation, which keep several people busy year after year, are such that the price in comparison with prices of other medications should be set higher.

In Crell's records of 1747 the doctor of the orphanage, Dr. Richter, a grandson of the inventor, states that the process will be revealed in time. I cannot find any news in regard to this and an explanation is to be expected from Halle.

This information is very little, and therefore a more eloquent report by Wollner Diss. inang. de Epilepsia ejusque medicamento specifico Essentia dulcis adpellato. Lugduni Batavorum 1706, 4.p.22) should be mentioned. According to him it is prepared from purest gold, which is so refined that even the simple Spiritus vini rectificatissimus will dissolve a large amount of it and then turn ruby-red. The characteristics attributed by chemists to the radically dissolved Auro potabile are found also in the Essentia dulcis, that is, it cannot for the most part be reduced to a metallic body, but it evaporates like smoke even with medium fire. When a large enough amount of water is poured onto this essence, it turns turbid at first and then a very fine powder sinks to the bottom, which when dried in mild warmth, shows a yellow color and a bitter taste. It is however of such finesse that when added to spirit of wine, it dissolves completely like wax and it represents again the Essentia dulcis in color and taste. This indicates that the color of the Essentia dulcis originates from this powder or the finest Crocus Auri. When this powder is heated at medium temperature in a glass over coals, there will every once in a while be very fine coins of reduced gold, but the largest part of the residue seems so dissolved, refined and freed from all metallic chains, that it may not be reduced to metal because as the powder feels the fire, the larger part flies away in smoke, leaving a fine powder which may not be reduced with "Spiessglanz" (antimony glance, stibnite) or with lead but which forms a highly red purple colored salt when melted with Sal Tartari. This salt will even perpetrate the Tiegel and color it purple on its outside.

In 1723 Kleinfelder in Koenigsberg issued a statement against this essence, saying that it was nothing else but a tincture of burned sugar, and he said that the sugar tincture that he invented was as effective as the Essentia dulcis, even if it really contained gold. Later it was believed that the black, coaly residue of the prepartion, when lengthened with ether to become a reddish-brown tincture, and when mixed with Franzbrantwein, was the Essentia dulcis.

It seems that the procedure done according to Lullius: an indication for that is the preparation from the black residue in the distilling of the ether. The wrong interpretation may have resulted from the fact Lullius calls the substance for Spiritus Vini philosophici in many places Nigrum nigrius, and after distillation of the acetic salts a black substance like melted pitch remains. Maybe a spy in the laboratory overheard something about this black residue in the retort, and thought to have discovered the "wine spirit-coal" in it.

The earlier hermetics used their acetone in many ways, partially for chemical procedures in connection with acids and salts, partially for the preparation of medications. From the vegetable substances the quintessence is extracted within 3 hours when it (acetone) is used. An interesting observation of Rupescissa is that the Laxantia through this become more effective and are therefore administered in smaller dosages.

Among the later chemiatrics Quercitanus used it for the preparation of the Antipyreton and a gold tincture, and Agricola too manufactured several medications with it without realizing that he already possessed the Menstruum Lullii, which he desired so much to obtain.

We should mention here:


which the Count Onuphrio de Marsciano tells of in his hermetic writing, of 1774, p. 30. When he suffered a severe case of Podagra he placed the spirit oil the swollen and extremely painful foot, and "Oh Wonder! he says, the pain disappeared and I started to dance for joy, to the astonishment of my friend. After that the Podagra has not pained me again, and didn't have the least bit of complaint thereafter, but I have been completely free and healthy like before; but from then on, I started to take 20 drops in the morning before eating for 15 days in order to completely clean the blood since there is no blood cleansing like it in the whole world. He calls the substance only spiritus simplex, but in the hermetic experiment on page 161, where he cites from Lullius that the quintessence heals all tiredness and sickness, and removes all weakness, protects from all sicknesses and retains the youth, he clearly says: And I swear the truth that I have seen wonderful things done by this Simplici Spiritu Vini philosophici, and I have even healed the Podagra completely with it, as many have seen and has, been ashamed by.

The newer chemistry has again taken up the research since Chevenix found the acetone as Spiritus pyraceticus; this research, however, dealt only with analytic interests, disregarding its medical costs; and medicine was left empty-handed without its due share.

The alchemists rectified the pure acetone repeatedly in order to eliminate the water, and to arrive at a concentration that would burn like alcohol. The more modern chemists dehydrate the acetone with calcium chloride, which we however cannot approve of, since the latter combines itself with the wood alcohol which is analogous to the acetone. This combination does not dissolve at 1O0oC; this condition proves disadvantageous when the product is used as a medication. This process seems also unnecessary since the Aqua ardens (das Aceton) is more volatile than the spirit of wine, and it merges already at 48o in veins, while the water follows only at higher temperatures, and the two oils do so at an even higher temperature.

The entire distillate was kept in digestion for several weeks in the warmth of horse dung (30o), whereby especially the oil the quintessence, is separated on the surface and it provided a very pleasant smell. This oil consists of two oily substances: one, a distillate according to Fittig (About Acetone 1858. page 48) at 90o; the other one, Dumasin at 120o. These two oils form the core of the medication; therefore the substance is an acetonium oleosum and correctly should be called an


The pure acetone, as provided by the chemical industry is of little medical value. It is clear and light as water, burns completely, but has no trace of oil on the surface. The oil, however, is still inside because if you place the acetone in mild digestion over an extended period of time, the oil appears and surfaces. I already observed this reaction in the past, and I have repeated the experiment now. I placed 1/2 ounce pure acetone in a glass that was not tightly closed on the back burner. After approximately onehalf had evaporated, a trace of oil appeared, and after two months, when only 1/2 Drachme remained, a visible layer of a clear oil was on the surface.

The pure acetone may be quite good as a chemical preparation, but therapeutically it constitutes a weakened oil-poor product, which only has the appearance, like vanilla beans, of which the aromatic Benzo-resin has been drained.

For medical application purposes, it will be advisable and required that it is prepared with the same method used by the hermetics. It takes a of time and patience and under current situation of the business, these may not be expected because already in 1668 during a discussion of Weidenfeld Spiritus Vini Lulliani, Jungken complained that the modern chemists are not able to produce anything extraordinary since they start to work in the morning, but stop again at night, which is the wrong way, because a good thing takes time.


The Gate to the Mineral Kingdom

Poznan, Poland

" ... it is well known to all that medications prepared from herbs are less potent than those prepared from mineral . . ."
Frater Albertus

When reading The Alchemist's Handbook by Frater Albertus it occurred to me that the process for producing the herbal elixir described there might be applied to the Mineral Kingdom, too. However a major difficulty in doing that is the fact that most minerals (and especially metals) do not resolve in alcohol and therefore cannot be worked upon in this way. It is also difficult to estimate the curative value of those minerals which do resolve in alcohol and it might be dangerous to apply the resultant elixirs to people without making many tests of their usefulness. It would be therefore much easier and safer to start working with mineral alchemy from a substance which is neither mineral nor vegetable (or which is both at once) and the curative properties of which have already been tested by others. There is such a substance and I believe it may change and expand the field of contemporary alchemical practice. The substance 1 have in mind is amber.

Amber is considered to be a semiprecious stone, but in reality it is not a stone. It is fossilized resin from the forests which were flooded by the sea millions of years ago and can be found in several regions of the earth, most notably on the coasts of the Baltic Sea. Not all amber is the same. Its color ranges from milky-white or almost transparent through the most usual golden hue to deep brown and even black, It depends partly on the tree, the resin of which gave the material for the amber, partly on the amount of impurities it contains (insects, plants, etc.) and partly on the conditions in which it underwent the process of fossilization.

Most of the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean area knew amber and used it in many diverse ways. In Egypt, for example, small pieces of amber were placed under the skin of the mummy to ensure its safe passage to the other world and possibly also to prevent its decomposition. Persians believed it to consist of solidified Sun rays. In classical times Greeks were fascinated by a strange feature of amber: when rubbed against cloth it draws towards itself small pieces of wool, feather, paper, etc. Perhaps because of this the great philosopher Thales claimed that amber had a soul. Both Greeks and Romans utilized amber (or "electron" as they called it) for a number of magical, curative and alchemical purposes, besides the obvious decorative ones. The gladiators' talisman was a piece of amber with the words "I will win" written on it. Ancient merchants undertook long and dangerous journeys to the Baltic coast in order to bring "the gold of the North". There were three main routes leading to it from Rome, Greece and Asia Minor, and the Phoenician sailors used to visit the coast of the Baltic as early as 1000 B.C.

According to tradition the astrological correspondences of amber are the sign of Leo, the Sun, and everthing that is ruled by them, which also includes gold. As producing gold is the ultimate goal of material-plane alchemy, it may be supposed that amber is a possible prime material for accomplishing that. This hypothesis must be confirmed in practice and there is nothing else that I can say about it. However much more can be said about the medicinal use of amber which is believed to cure a great number of diseases. Its virtues have been the subject of research carried out by members of two Polish organizations: the Association of Dowsers in Poznan and the Association of Radiesthetes in Warsaw. Jan Podbielski, a catholic priest and an engineer, as well as an eminent dowser, has found out that amber contains a large number of free electrons which act as a bactericidal agent. Wearing necklaces of rough amber (never polished amber, as the process of polishing deprives it of the healing property ties) next to the skin helps to keep up good health and good feeling. Jan Podbielski is 97 years old now and still in good physical and mental condition, which he ascribes to the fact that he has rubbed his hands with 2-3 drops of amber tincture twice a day for almost his whole life. He believes it strengthens both the physical organism and the aura. Rubbing amber tincture on various parts of the body is also believed to cure such diseases as flu, rheumatism, headache, etc., while wearing amber necklaces heals disorders of the thyroid gland. Another researcher, the late Czeslaw Klimuszko, a Franciscan monk and a recognized clairvoyant, advocated drinking 2-3 drops of amber tincture with boiled and cooled water twice a day.

It is the power of this tincture that I think could be increased by alchemical means. I have not done any practical work in that direction yet but I believe my ideas might be interesting to other alchemists and therefore I decided to write them down and hope to bear from those who will try them out.

The procedure which 1 would like to suggest is based on the processes described by Frater Albertus in his Alchemist's Handbook though there are some noticeable differences. The first step is to prepare the ordinary amber tincture which is done as follows:

1. Take 20 grams of small pieces of amber (if possible), they should be of the same kind, especially the same color, in order to get uniform results when working with the same kind again), place them in n bottle and pour 0.3 liter of pure 90 or 95% alcohol over it. Close the bottle hermetically and leave it for ten to fourteen days, shaking occasionally (at least once

After ten days there should be no more change of color in the tincture (by then it will be of deep golden hue) and it is poured out in another bottle. The remaining amber is ground in a mortar and the above process is repeated again.

:3. Pour the two tinctures together (the second part should be filtered to prevent any small solid pieces from entering the tincture). The remaining amber powder is placed on a porcelain dish and lit. Then it is ground again and calcined One's own judgement and experience should be used to estimate the length of this calcination. When it is finished the ashes which are left, and which constitute our Salt, are stored in a container for later use.

The next step is to separate our Sulphur from our Mercury, both which are contained in the tincture. In order to do that the tincture is to be distilled several times until we obtain pure, crystal clear Mercury. After each distillation there will remain an oily substance in the flask which should be taken out and stored separately. This oil is our Sulphur.

Separating the three alchemical principles constitute the 'Solve' part of the process. Now they have to be re-united in the 'Coagula' phase. In order to do that the apparatus shown on page 34 of Alchemist's Handbook will be used. The Salt (amber ashes) is placed into the lower flask, Mercury (distilled tincture) is poured over it, and the Sulphur (the oil left from the distillation) is placed in the thimble of the extractor. Then the circulation is started and any changes in color of the substance in the lower flask are observed. This process should continue until there is no further change in color or until the whole of the Sulphur (oil) is absorbed by the Salt. The resultant substance is the Amber Elixir.

I expect to carry out the process described above soon and to write about my results for Essentia if these results will be interesting enough and may be a contribution to the Science and Art of Alchemy.

Gypsy Alchemy

We are indebted to Prof. Hancock from the University of Texas who called our attention the fact that the gypsies also had in their Zigetmersprache (Gypsy language) an alchemical vocabulary. This may come as no surprise when one considers their uncanny knowledge handed from generation to generation concerning the metaphysical knowledge and its various ramifications which shows in their knowledge of chiromancy (palm reading).

Sudents of alchemy will wonder how the laboratory terminology can be explained, when gypsies are constantly on the move and laboratory procedures require some considerable time for their completion. No wonder that genuine gypsies are considered a strange lot of people whose origin is still a matter of great dispute.

What follows is a dictionary of alchemistical terminology up to now unknown to the general public.

Questions and Answers

Q. We were told to use 50 % alcohol and 50% water to make our tinc tures for our seven basic herbs. If one were to make tinctures for medicinal use for others, does this formula still hold true or is it more efficacious to follow the proportions of alcohol and water as layed down by the Pharmacopea?

A. Follow the Pharmacopea.

Q. Is it true that in making the plant stone, and in carrying out various alchemical processes that one is making the human stone by using that knowledge?

A. If by human stone you mean your body and its subsequent separation of dross from it, followed by purification, yes, this analogy will hold.

Q. If a person were to make a perfect plant stone, and that person were to die, would the stone still be able to separate other herbs? Should a person make provisions as to what to do with the plant stone or the Philosophers Stone after that person dies? Would either stone ever come to have less power?

A. Either, as you state a "perfect" stone would not loose any of its efficacy, when used properly.

Q. For some evenings now, I have been having dreams which are unusual and even outrageous. At least one other person here has had dreams with the same quality of strangeness. Could this be due to inhaling antimony?

A. Very unlikely. One's thoughts are so much occupied during the study periods, that much of it, which needs clarification, is carried over in our dreams. Q. According to the cycles: It seems strange that the signs are going one way and time is going the opposite way. Will you please explain? A. One of the Cycles goes with the rotation of the earth from West to East, while the other goes in the opposite direction (like the shadow on the sundial) from the past into the future. It is the law of opposites that provides movement between creation and evolution.

Q. On page 96 (of the Triumphal Chariot of Antimony) Kerckring says in his note at the bottom of the page, after reheating the glass and circulating with spirit of wine to distill off the spirit of wine. Is this disillate red or is what is left in the flask (the undistilled substance) red?

A. The distillate is red when properly conducted.

Q. You tell us not to mix the kingdoms, yet Kerckring tells us to pour mercury of wine (vegetable) over the glass of antimony (a mineral).

A. That answer referred to making a stone.

Q. Would you share with us, how you came to know the things you teach us?

A. By personal revelation.

Q. Re-deionized water: We have been told that deionized water is almost the same as distilled water. We saw an electrical device "dionizing" the water at Paracelsus Laboratories. Would you please explain basically what's being done to the water?

A. What you have witnessed was an ionexchange where the water between the electrodes was demineralized (reversed osmosis.)

Q. After extracting all the tincture of unfixed Antimony with KM, do you then distill off all the KM and add alcohol, or do you leave the KM with the tincture?

A. The ratio is 1 part by weight of extraction media to 1 part by weight of solvent (menstruum).

Q. What are the proper assignments of the Alchemical Elements and the contemporary ones?

A. Your question is vague. As to alchemical elements, these Fire, Earth, Air and Water. 0 contemporary atomic chart showing the elements, the alchemical element earth (solids) is shown, in black letters. Water shows the elements in blue (liquid) like Mercury, Gallium, Bromine. (gases) yellow like Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Helium, Argon Krypton, etc. Fire (red) is actually the thermal (heat) emision or fire. This is not marked. red on the atomic chart, but yellow, as it represents also a gas the form of Hydrogen (flammable - fire).

Q. Are "orders" like the Rosicrucians (Amorc) and Freeman Lodges recommended as Guides for spiritual schooling? In earlier centuries according to some literture they worked with "black magic". Is this the case still today?

A. All so called orders that teach how to uplift mankind are to be extolled. Unfortunately, there not enough. Formerly, as well as today, the opposite can enter under the guise of such orders. A good axiom is: By their fruits shall know them. The orders have mentioned when taken their original concepts are belonging to the first. Please be aware that much takes place under name Rosicrucian and Freemasonry that are anything but what is originally represented by them. It still holds: By their fruits ye shall know them.

Q. Ouspenski writes about the four ways. Could Paracelsus College be included in the fourth Way.

A. Yes.

Q. What is clarified sugar?

A. Refined sugar. Formerly sugar cones or loaves. were dark and not fined containing other substances than pure carbohydrates.

Q. How does Schuessler's Cell Salt System differ from Hahneman's Homeopathic System? Besides the Astro - Pulsation correspondence that is recognized and included the Biochemic Cell Salt System?

A. The names indicate it. Cell salts are found in the blood before entering tissues and can be triturated according to homeopathic systems. Homeopathic remedies are attenuated according to their pathological origins. A substance similar to causing an illness is used to cure it. Cell salts (minerals) have been attributed also to the twelve signs of the Zodiac referring to basic minerals associated with them as related to planetary influences found within the signs.

Q. We learn in the lab that a fixed cannot be unfixed. If one's mercury is in a fixed sign and in a fixed house does this indicate a fixed mind. If so, how can fixed become unfixed so that one may open up one's mind?

A. By trial and error.