Primum Ens

The Primum Ens of Melissae

From The Life and the Doctrines of Paracelsus
Franz Hartmann, (1891) reprinted 1963, Health Research, Mokulumne Hill, California. pp 352/4

Paracelsus stated that nature provides substances that could rejuvenate, to some degree, the well being and vitality of the body by attracting and concentrating the source of spirit and soul that was found in particular remedial substances.

"'Such a remedy is the Primum Ens, the source of all life. As the fabulous halcyon1 becomes rejuvenated and its own substance renewed by drawing its nutriment from the Primum Ens, so may man rejuvenate his constitution by purifying it so that it may be able to receive without any interruption the life-giving influences of the divine spirit.'

'But the vehicle that forms the medium through which life acts consists of elementary substances that are found in Nature,and which forms the quintessence of all things. There are some substances in which this quintessence is contained in greater quantities than others, and from which it may more easily be extracted. Such substances are especially the herb called melissa, and the human blood.'

'The 'Primum Ens' of a thing is its first beginning, its Prima Materia; an invisible and intangible spiritual substance, which may be incorporated in some material vehicle. 'He who wants to separate the Primum Ens from its Corpus must have a great deal of experience in the spagyric art. If he is not a good alchemist his labour will be in vain' ('De Separat. Rer.')

'The Primum Ens Melissae is prepared in the following manner: Take half a pound of pure carbonate of potash, and expose it to the air until it is dissolved (by attracting water from the atmosphere). Filter the fluid, and put as many fresh leaves of the plant melissa into it as it will hold, so that the fluid will cover the leaves. Let it stand in a well-closed glass in a moderately warm place for twenty-four hours. The fluid may then be removed from the leaves, and the latter thrown away. On the top of this fluid absolute alcohol is poured, so that it will cover the former to the height of one or two inches, and it is left to remain for one or two days, or until the alcohol becomes of an intensely green colour. This alcohol is then to be taken away and preserved, and fresh alcohol is put upon the alkaline fluid, and the operation is repeated until all the colouring matter is absorbed by the alcohol. This alcoholic fluid is now to be distilled, and the alcohol evaporated until it becomes of the thickness of a syrup, which is the Primum Ens Melissae; but the alcohol that has been distilled away and the liquid potash may be used again. The liquid potash must be of great concentration and the alcohol of great strength, else they would become mixed, and the experiment would not succeed.'"2


'And the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters.'
'The waters above were separated from the waters below.' Genesis

Halcyon days: the Winter solstice; The long Winter nights are an ideal time for the collection of angel water and it is the pivotal time for the rebirth of the spirit of vegetation that then appears in the Spring. The fixing of this spirit in the salt magnet is the means to manifesting the Primum Ens

Pure grape spirit that was circulated initially on its own wine and/or sharpened over potassium carbonate to ensure the spirit is dry. The fresh herb will add water; hence the need for a saturate salt solution.
The water etc., is drawn out of the plant cells by a difference in salt concentration in order to create a balance. In this way the essence is transferred to the angel water. The green tincture may appear after a few minutes or if left to macerate for several months or even years the resulting alcohol tincture may become amber.
The spirit receives the tincture from below by using a form of osmotic pressure and diffusion from the high concentration salt sol~. to the concentrated spirit which allows the soul to cross the membrane but not the body/salt that served as its medium.
It may be difficult to remove all the colour from the salt. Regular shaking can help. There may be no choice in the end but to dry the salt and recalcine it to burn out the carbon so it can collect fresh dew (angel water).

When the discarded leaves are dried they reveal a coating of precious soluble salt. This can either be rinsed with distilled water and collected after evaporation or the body dried and calcined. The soluble salt of the melissa can be added to the rest when dissolved and leached with distilled water and recrystallised.

Any herb can be subjected to the Ens process, although the results will vary according to the differing symbiotic relationship and virtues of the herb. It is useful on herbs with minimal oil content. Melissa is said to have 0.1 % volatile oil.


green ens melissa green ens melissa
A few minutes after the addition of the tartarised spirits of wine produced the green tincture. Fresh leaves were added to the solution immediately after chopping and no heat was applied.

ens melissa The fresh leaves of melissa were macerated in the saturate solution in a digestive summer heat for three days and removed using a sieve. Pure spirits of wine from circulated wine (1 month) was added and settled on top of the salt solution. In this example a pale green tincture appeared within a few hours.

amber ens melissa Fresh leaves and flowers of melissa were added to 500ml of saturate solution and macerated for two years. It was sieved and the body dried and calcined to recover any soluble salt. Circulated spiritus vini was added to cover the salt solution by approx. two centimetres.

1 Halcyon - a bird, perhaps kingfisher or pelican, anciently fabled to brood about the time of winter solstice in a nest floating on the sea, and to charm the wind and waves so that the sea was then specially calm. Hence, halcyon days or alcyonides (Gk.) (Editor-D. E. Foster: Parachemica, Aust. Spring 1978)

2 Lesebure, a physician of Louis XIV of France, gives, in his 'Guide to Chemistry' ('Chemischer Handleiter.' Nuremberg, 1685, page 276), an account of some experiments, witnessed by himself, with the Primum Ens Melissae as follows:- 'One of my most intimate friends prepared the Primum Ens Melissae, and his curiosity would not allow him to rest until he had seen with his own eyes the effect of this arcanum, so that he might be certain whether or not the accounts given of its virtues were true. He therefore made the experiment, first upon himself then upon an old female servant, aged seventy years, and afterwards upon an old hen that was kept at his house. First he took, every morning at sunrise, a glass of white wine that was tinctured with this remedy, and after using it for fourteen days his finger and toenails began to fall out, without, however, causing any pain. He was not courageous enough to continue the experiment, but gave the same remedy to the old female servant. She took it every morning for about ten days, when she began to menstruate again as in former days. At this she was very much surprised, because she did not know that she had been taking a medicine. She became frightened, and refused to continue the experiment. My friend took, therefore, some grain, soaked it in that wine and gave it to the old hen to eat, and on the sixth day that bird began to lose its feathers, and kept on losing them until it was perfectly made, but before two weeks had passed away, new feathers grew, which were much more beautifully coloured; her comb stood up again, and she began again to lay eggs.'

From The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus Vol.II Edit. A. E. Waite

The Book concerning Renovation and Restoration p.135
The First Entity of Herbs.
Take celandine or balm; beat them into a pulse, shut them up in a glass vessel hermetically sealed, and place in horse dung to be digested for a month. Afterwards separate the pure from the impure, pour the pure into a glass vessel with dissolved salt, and let this, when closed, be exposed to the sun for a month. When this period has elapsed, you will find at the bottom a thick liquid and the salt floating on the surface. When this is separated you will have the virtues of the balm or of the celandine, as they are in their first entity; and these are called, and really are, the first entities of the balm or of the celandine.

From The Book of Formulas John Hazelrigg 1904 p.22; Rams collection.

Aries - calcine
Cancer - deliquese
Leo - digest
Scorpio - separate