Volume VI: Number 2 Spring 1978


From the book "Softly I Answered and Said."(sic)


Interviews With Frater Albertus p.522
Philosophical Mercury p.526
Pluto In The Constellations p.537
Informative Interchange: The Distillation of Volatile Oils p.540
Schamayim - back cover


Interviews With Frater Albertus

Q. Have you any real gold to work with?

A. Yes. This is pure gold without any alloy. Now watch when I pour this clear liquid over it.

Q. What is it?

A. The philosophical mercury.

Q. May I smell it?

A. Yes.

Q. It reminds me of something but I can't recall what right now.

A. Now watch it. (The philosophical mercury was poured over some gold.)

Q. It dissolves it all right. But it is getting darker. It is not a gold color anymore! Why is that?

A. It is a very strong colloidal gold solution.

Q. What now?

A. This is your Potable Gold. A few drops in a glass of wine will do the trick.

Q. You mean this is the real potable gold?

A. Yes. That is it.

Q. Well, I'll be darned. That reminds me about something else. I understand you were in a film made in Australia. Does that show what I just saw here?

A. No. The film you refer to was made in Melbourne, Australia, but it dealt with the theoretical aspects of astrology, cycles, and some alchemy. There was no laboratory alchemy involved.

Q. What about this film. Has it been shown in the U.S.A.?

A. Not that I know of. Actually, it was funded by the Australian Government. I understand that before it was completed with the technical things, such as background music and illustrative matters, it did not emerge finished from the cutting room, because a change of Government or some sort of governmental change did cut off the final financial subsidy. I have not heard again from Stephens Productions in Melbourne what has become of it.

Q. What was the title of this movie?

A. Hora Shastri, which loosely translated means the science of time (or the hours).

Q. It would be interesting to know what became of it, especially since in the recent issue of PHENOMENA, the Canadian Bulletin of Astrological News & Information, a lengthy interview with you was published that deals with astrology and alchemy. To me, it is interesting to see how these two are lately becoming mentioned in the same breath.

A. I am rather reluctant to give interviews because when these are published or aired they are not always what was said or indicated. There were, for instance, some interviews over the German National Radio Network in Stuttgart with a, reporter asking questions from Frankfurt which I answered from the Stuttgart Radio Station, a two-way unrehearsed question and answer sesslon. It was amazing to hear how questions can be put just to purposely entrap one to suit a reporter's fancy. After this broadcast, I was asked twice to go to the studio for live and, as I said, unrehearsed sessions. The end result was that the reporter asked questions that were aimed quite frankly to ridicule but certainly not to assist the media to get a fair appraisal of things under question. A similar incident happened during the 1973 Alchemistical Convention in Germany when television equipment was moved into the Hotel Zeppelin at Stuttgart so I could give a televised interview. The reporter or quizmaster, if you will, did ask prior to the interview with myself some of the people who were attending some questions. One should remember that many people came to hear and see what was going on during the three days of lectures, etc., so not everyone was conversant with the subject, at least sufficiently to answer all questions. Anyway, when it came to the actual telecast with me, the same thing happened as in the previous interviews mentioned. Catch questions were put to me that were not found in the outline shown to me and what I was supposedly to be asked so that I could answer as I saw fit. There were also some taped interviews during the convention from radio stations in other cities. Some told me later, who had heard these broadcasts, that some were accurate while others always had some changes made.

Q. I have to mention again to you the book, "The Occult Explosion" by Friedman, who starts his book by saying that you are teaching in a two week course how to transmute lead into gold.

A. Forgive me when I have to sigh as I do. You know, it is people like you've mentioned who do give a black eye to alchemy. I have never given Nat Friedman an interview, nor have I met the man. This shows you how one can get entangled in things one does not know anything about.

Q. Maybe there are things said or written about you that can hurt your cause.

A. Maybe? Someone showed me an article in a well known German magazine where the writer whom I had met in Vienna referred to me, but this time in all sincerity, as "Der Weise von Utah" - "The Sage of Utah." This I resent just as emphatically. Can't you see, the media has a difficult time to hold its balance. And then they wonder why I am reluctant to give interviews.

Alchemy is described by Paracelsus as an art in which Vulcan (the fire of Nature) is the active artist. By this art the pure is separated from the impure, and things are made to grow out of primordial matter (A'kasa). Alchemy renders perfect what Nature has left imperfect, and purifies all things by the power of the spirit that is contained in them.
PARACELSUS by Franz Hartmann, M.D.


Philosophical Mercury

The two words which make up the title of this treatise have caused much controversy for thousands of years. There are many scholars who vehemently deny even the possibility of the existence of such a substance and they ridicule and deride any person who would entertain such ideas.

Other people "believe" that the mercury of the philosophers exists but have no certain knowledge one way or the other, rather they rely on the opinions of others expressed verbally or in the many books which deal with this elusive substance. Again, others have actively sought the "mercury" but for some reason have not found it and have in due course lost their belief in its existence. To those who successfully persevere comes a happiness which they are hardly able to express, and the door opens to far wider vistas.

The sages agree that of the three kingdoms only in one is the true mercury found, that of the mineral kingdom. In order to discuss the prep aration of the mercury a discussion of the manner of formation of metals and minerals is a necessary precursor. Here is a brief extract of Basil Valentine:
"Let me tell you, then, that all metals and all minerals grow in the same way from the same root, and that thus all metals have a common origin. This first principle is a mere vapour extracted from the elementary earth through the heavenly planets, and, as it were, divided by the side real distillation of the Macrocosmos. This sidereal hot infusion, descending from on high into those things which are below, with the aero-sulphureous property, so acts and works as to engraft on them in a spiritual and invisible manner a certain strength and virtue. This vapour afterwards resolves itself in the earth into a kind of water, and out of this mineral water all metals are generated and perfected. The mineral vapour becomes this or that metal according as one or the other of the three first principles predominates, i.e., according as they have much or little mercury, sulphur, or salt, or an unequal mixture of their weights. Hence, some metals are fixed, and some are not fixed; some are permanent and unchangeable; some are volatile and variable, as you may see in gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, and lead.

"Besides these metals, other minerals are generated from these three principles; according to the proportion of the ingredients, we have vitriol, antimony, marcasite, electrum, and many other minerals.

"In its very first astrum, or star, and its first substance, gold has more perfect sulphur, and more perfect mercury than the other metals and minerals. Hence its operative virtue is much stronger and more po tent, as it is also more efficacious than the stars of the other metals."

It is clear to see that in order to make the perfect philosophical mercury, gold then is the best substance to begin with. Unfortunately, there are two major drawbacks when using gold. The first is the expense and the second is the difficulty in actually separating the three principles of gold. Silver, the next most perfect metal has similar difficulties. even if not quite to the same degree. The other metals (Cu, Fe, Pb, Hg, Sn), are less expensive and easier to work with. However, the mercury contained therein is much less pure and perfect than that of gold. It would seem then that the search for the philosophical mercury is not an easy one.

Fortunately, there is a solution. If the mercury from one of the less perfect metals is obtained and this then is purified and perfected, then a philosophical mercury would be obtained. This is the method by which the author has obtained the mercury from Pb, Cii and Hg.

Prepare the salt of the metal you wish to work with according to art. (This can be found in many books which write of the Stone of the Philosophers.) Then effect a separation of the three principles by means of Vulcan.

The apparatus shown in the illustration was found to be effective in this separation.
A is the reaction vessel containing the prepared salt.
B is the heating mantle contoured to fit A and to provide even heat.
C is a receiver where first the phlegm and then the Sulphur is collected after being cooled by condensor D.
E is a still head.
F is a coil of glass tubing running into a receiver.
G is a beaker supporting the coil and receiver, and containing acetone in which is dissolved dry ice (frozen CO2) the mixture of which will create a temperature of - 80o Celsius.

The volatile mercury will be driven through the condenser but it is so volatile that it will not be condensed (a white fume or smoke will be seen to pass through the still head), but rather will be condensed by the extreme cold of the acetone dry ice mixture. The oil (or sulphur) will be collected in C, since it will be condensed (for the most part) by condenser D. The salt will remain in A except for those salts which are sublimed during the separation. Make certain that these are collected and retained since they have been elevated and hence considerably purified.

The mercury then is distilled very slowly seven to ten times. If all the operations have been completed successfully, the Mercury of the Philosophers will be obtained. This mercury, when combined with the purified sulphur and salt, will yield (in due time) the true king of medicine.

The above purified mercury will also dissolve the body of gold to prepare the wondrous aurum potable.

It is interesting to note that when a thermometer is placed in the still head, the temperature will not go above 35o Celcius during the whole operation. This indicates that the substance passing over is indeed very volatile. When a further distillation is effected, the temperature in the still head (i.e. the boiling point of the liquid) will probably be below 30oCelcius. Eventually it will distill at room temperature, 20o-25o Celcius, 68o-77o Fahrenheit. Since the mercury will boil at this temperature, it is ESSENTIAL that the vessel containing the mercury is carefully and tightly sealed or it will no longer be in your possession. Also, when the 7-10 distillations are being performed, great care must be taken to prevent losses of the mercury. It can literally disappear without the operator being aware of its passing until it is too late. If an ice bath (i.e. place the receiver in a dish half filled with ice and a little water) is used to cool the receiver when doing these distillations, there is less chance of large losses. Once this elusive substance has been obtained, it would be very disappointing to have it disappear into "thin air." So take a little care.

When preparing the cooling solution considerable diligence must be employed. Place the receiver into the beaker and then half fill the beaker with acetone. Place a small piece of dry ice (about the size of a cork) into the acetone and considerable bubbling will ensue. If too much dry ice is added, the acetone will most likely bubble up and out of the beaker. Rather, hold the small piece of dry ice with a pair of tongs (your fingers would suffer severe frostbite) just below the surface of the acetone until it dissolves. Repeat this process until the temperature reaches - 70o to- 80o Celcius as measured by a thermometer.

In all likelihood it will not be possible to run this system under vacuum because pressure will build up. This will mean some loss of spirit. However, because the separation can be effected on pounds of salt so that several ounces of spirit and sulphur may be obtained in the space of about 9-12 hours, this will not be a major problem.

There are many other facets of this whole process which could be examined in detail, but since you can't make a horse drink even after leading him to water, what has been said will be sufficient. A little care, patience, and practice is all that is needed to achieve your goal. Remember, all things come to he or she who is patient, but if you sit on your posterior it will take a long time!



Pluto In The Constellations

By Carl W. Stahl

Pluto is the planet of beginnings and endings. As with everything, this can be viewed from two points of view. Here we are concerned with the physical (etheric or astral) and the spiritual (creative mind). To the spiritually oriented person the physical death or transition is really rebirth and escape from a prison composed of a body of clay, feelings and mental gyrations which apparently lead nowhere and have no apparent real purpose. To the one who enjoys the physical, emotional and mental experiences, or believes it is all there is to existence, death is, of course, a calmaity. An ending to all that is and might have been. Pluto is the planet of Cosmic Consciousness. Those strongly under its influence eventually reach a point where they come "eyeball to eyeball" in confrontation with themselves. They see themselves as they are; not necessarily separating from this experience with feelings of pride, nor with the knowledge of a job well done. Although this also may be one of the results of the illumination you obtain when this happens. Once this Super Conscious state has been reached all knowledge is at the disposal of the Soul. The natal Pluto also represents man's anti-social attitude, his desire to be free from all ties to others. The Pluto strong person tries to live a secluded existence free from interference from all mankind. Pluto aspecting the Moon brings shyness into relations with women and in the sexual act. With the Sun the native seeks seclusion rather than fame and his most creative moments occur in solitude. With Mercury a need to contemplate in solitude and his best work is done in seclusion. With Venus a desire for a spiritual love. With Mars there is rebellion against the establishment. With Jupiter the native expands his inner horizons through contemplation and meditation. With Saturn strict discipline and denial may lead to the source of inner illumination. With Uranus solitude and seclusion may illuminate the mind and release inner knowledge, thus expanding the horizons while appearing to withdraw from life. With Neptune imagination and understanding of the real behind the apparent could be a result of meditation. Remember that the planet which is closest to an angle of the chart is the planet whose influence colors the nature of the planet aspected.


Beginnings, endings, birth, death, divorce, a singling out process, detachment, isolation, anti-social attitude, miracles, the unexpected.


Pluto puts a damper on the native's social life except for those in which solitude and detachment from the general public are concerned. He may meet with a selected few to study the laws of nature and -hare a restricted ideal of love and brotherhood. Because of his desire for solitude he could be very difficult to get along with, brushing off all attempts of others to share his life and his studies. An abstract love would be easier for this person to relate to than a one to one situation.


Pluto here makes the native a born rebel. Though he may fight for an ideal or a cause he does so alone. It is against his nature to join with groups and when forced to do so he breaks off the association as soon as possible. This is the sign of the born guerrilla fighter whether to aid society or to fight it. His tactics are "hit and run." When confined, whether by actual walls or by circumstances, his first instinct is to escape, by brute force if necessary.


Because of Pluto here you will tend to be less boisterous and expansive than is normal for this constellation. You will have high ideals and will attempt to live up to them but you will do so in the solitude of your own home and the silence of your own heart. The usual easy going comradeship of Sagittarius will be lacking in your makeup, and you may even be considered sullen and taciturn. Illumination is possible when you learn to look within for the answers you seek.


Pluto here brings an intense desire for solitude, a need to keep separate from others. If the restrictions of everyday living become too frustrating you will seek freedom through rebellion and further withdrawal within yourself. Capricorn usually accepts hard work and restriction as a way of life. Pluto brings a desire for freedom, hence the native is in a constant struggle between the world and his spiritual aspirations. A struggle between soul and matter.


The concentrative energy of this constellation and the withdrawal of Pluto create an ideal situation for the attainment of Cosmic Consciousness. The native's actions appear abrupt and eccentric to others. The craving for solitude to attain spiritual illumination could become such an obsession that every effort will be made to keep others at arms length. Ability to acquire an understanding of nature's laws and the further ability to put them to practical use.


The usual easy going acceptance of others and a desire for the social life is lacking here. The native seeks seclusion and quietness in order to attain his spiritual and religious ends. By the aid of ritual and meditation great strides in development of the soul personality are made. Pluto here seeks to reveal the truth as he sees it, rather than concealing it under the veil of superstition. Expansion of the idealistic side of the nature.


Power and leadership always bring about isolation from those led, but Pluto here makes this almost an obsession. The Arian reluctance to associate itself with those having more ability than themselves here extends to all mankind. They rebel at all restriction. Their only desire is to be free hence they seek to set themselves above all others. Where this is impossible they must ever be in a state of rebellion to attain this end.


Venus unites, Pluto separates. The native is constantly seeking to overcome this division. Inwardly he seeks companionship and understanding from others but because he also seeks solitude and freedom from restriction he rebuffs those who seek to contact and who might help him. Both would be friends and lovers are rebuffed by this anti-social attitude. Peace comes only when the native turns inward and beholds the wonders of all creation within himself.


Native has the ability to communicate on the higher levels. Thought transference and projection are distinct possibilities. But it must be kept on an impersonal level for the presence or involvement of too many brings up the native's defences and he withdraws into the solitude of his own soul, shutting out those he might otherwise benefit or communicate with to the advantage of both.


To the already sensitive and imaginative native of Cancer, Pluto brings a desire for solitude which makes the native even more touchy and his feelings more easily hurt. He finds persecution where only friendship was intended. Resentment against the home environment and against the restriction of everyday life is a constant irritation making the native brusk, moody and rebellious. They may attempt to flee to the ends of the earth to escape boredom only to flee back again when there they find the same boredom, not knowing that the fault is within them.


Pluto here, because it separates the native from others, becomes rebellion against authority as well as against all those who would share his lot in life. Born to rule, he fights against the restriction of ruling as strongly as he fights again all involvement. He seeks to withdraw from all that might interfere with his solitude. Sun, ruler of Leo, brings illumination and the native, when he discovers this, easily attains it by simply withdrawing into silent meditation.


Pluto here increases the shyness and retiring nature of the native. Their feeling of embarrassment is even more acute. They suffer a feeling of humiliation and shame that is usually wholly imaginary. Properly used, this position of Pluto brings the ability to tune in on higher planes. ESP is a distinct possibility if natal aspects assist. Knowledge and the ability to put it to practical use are here indicated once the native overcomes his shyness and anti-social attitude toward others.

Know that our Mercury is before the eyes of all men, though it is known to few. When it is prepared, its splendour is most admirable; but the sight is vouchsafed to none, save the sons of knowledge. Do not despise it, therefore, when you see it in sordid guise; for if you do, you will never accomplish our Magistry and if you can change its countenance, the transformation will he glorious. For our water is a most pure virgin, and is loved of many, but meets all her wooers in foul garments, in order that she may be able to distinguish the worthy from the unworthy. Our beautiful maiden abounds in inward hidden graces; unlike the immodest woman who meets her lover, in splendid garments. To those who do not despise her foul exterior, she then appears in all her beauty, and brings them an infinite dower of riches and health. Our Queen is pure above measure, and her splendour like that of a celestial being - and so indeed she is called by the Sages, who also style her their quintessence. Her brilliancy is such as baffles imagination, and, if you would have any idea of it, you must see it with your own eyes. Our water is serene, crystalline, pure, and beautiful though it can assume its true form only through the aid of our Art. In that form it is our sea, our hidden fountain, from which gold derives it birth by natural descent; yet it is also stronger than gold, and overcomes it, wherefore gold is united to it, and is washed in it, and the two together grow up into a strong hero, whorn neither Pope nor Emperor can buy for a price. Hence you should, above all things, seek this water, by means of which (wth the solitary addition of a clean and perfect body) the Stone may be prepared.



Informative Interchange

The Distillation of Volatile Oils

The same technique given for circulations and extractions in Informative Interchange, pg. 515, of the Winter issue of Parachemy Volume VI; Number 1 may be used for the distillation of volatile liquids, when there is only one volatile liquid and the residue is a viscous oil or solid.

A distillation in a retort above a 60 watt bulb goes slow, without risk of overheating, and is very regular. The vacuum in it is always based on the same principle: the driving out of air by the vapors of the liquid which is to be distilled.

The distillation of alcohol from a viscous non-volatile oil is started as follows: The mixture (100 ml.) is put in a 250 ml. retort. In the receiving vessel, which is tightly fitted by means of a rubber stopper to the sidearm of the retort, there is placed 20 to 30 ml. of alcohol. This alcohol has to be heated by a smooth flame. Do not heat brutally but start caressing the vessel with the flame until a strong boiling begins. Then you will see that the vapors rise gradually in the sidearm and that the condensating alcohol drops back into the vessel so that the temperature of the sidearm increases. (See the direction of the arrows in the diagram.) The vapors will fill the retort, which looks like a drizzle. The alcohol in the vessel has to boil until the walls, including the neck of the retort, will show condensating alcohol and the wall feels hot when touched. In the meantime, the retort should stay above the heating light.

Once this stage is finished, remove the flame quickly. Put the stopper on the retort while the other hand cools the receiving vessel and sidearm by means of a wet cloth. After a short time, the distillation will start.

The rate of the distillation may be controlled by the power of the light, the distance between the light and the retort. A dry cloth placed around the retort will increase the distillation rate. Usually, the rate of distillation is controlled to distill 5 to 10 drops a minute. There are about 20 drops in a ml. If, for instance, 10 drops needs one minute, one needs 200 minutes or approximately 3 hours for 100 ml.

In the meantime, you can sleep upon both ears . . . that is, the distillation will work perfectly well without assistance. Fine oils of metals can be obtained using this simple technique.
- Belgium


back cover


In alchemy there are three symbolic substances: mercury, sulphur, and salt. To these was added a fourth mysterious life principle called Azoth. Concerning the first three, Herr von Welling has written: "There are three basic chemical substances which are called by the philosophers salt, sulphur, and mercury, but which are not to be confounded in any way with the crude salt, sulphur, and mercury taken from the earth or secured from the apothecary. Salt, sulphur, and mercury each has a triune nature, for each of these substances contains, in reality, also the other two substances, according to the secret arcanum of the wise. The body of salt is, therefore, threefold, namely salt, sulphur, and mercury; but in the body of salt one of the three (salt) predominates. Mercury is likewise composed of salt, sulphur, and mercury with the latter element predominating. Sulphur, similarly, is actually salt, sulphur, and mercury, with sulphur predominating. These nine divisions - 3 times 3, plus Azoth (the mysterious universal life force) equals 10, the sacred decad of Pythagoras. Concerning the nature of Azoth there is much controversy. Some view it as the invisible, eternal fire; others as electricity; still others as magnetism. Transcendentalists refer to it as the astral light.

"The Universe is surrounded by the sphere of the stars. Beyond that sphere is the sphere of Schamayim, which is the Divine fiery water, the first outflow of the Word of God, the flaming river pouring from the presence of the Eternal. Schamayim, the fiery androgynous water, divides. The fire becomes the solar fire and the water becomes the lunar water. Schamayim is the universal mercury - sometimes called Azoth - the measureless spirit of life. The spiritual fiery original water Schamayim comes through Eden (in Hebrew, vapor) and pours itself into four main rivers (the elements). This is the river of living water - Azoth (the fiery mercurial essence) that flows out from the throne of God and the Lamb. In this Eden (vaporous essence or mist) is the spiritual earth (incomprehensible and intangible), or the dust Aphar, out of which God formed Adam min Haadamah, the spiritual body of man, which body must sometime become revealed."

From THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF ALL AGES by Manly Palmer Hall, pg. CLV.