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The title Spagyric is derived from the ancient Greek words spao (to draw out) and agerio (to gather). This term highlights the basic technique underlying the many forms of Spagyric medicines:  Separate, purify and recombine. 

It’s central blueprint, the Tria Prima, states that all things are composed of three parts: Salt, Sulphur and Mercury. Regarding plants and fungi, the three essentials include the:

  • Mineral salt profile- Salt/Physical Body
  • Essential oil and active compound profile- Sulphur/Soul or Emotional Body
  • Alcohol potential through fermentation- Mercury/Spiritual or Mental Body

Generally speaking (but not always), the Salt is considered fixed, the Sulphur is fixed and volatile, and Mercury volatile. This polarity of fixity vs volatility like the Tria Prima, can be applied to all things. Fixed qualities include heaviness, slowness and physicality. Volatile qualities are light, quick and ethereal.


It should be well noted that not all authors agree upon the definitions and processes described here. Across the history of alchemy, writings which are in total agreement are rarely found – except perhaps between student and teacher. Universal standardization of nomenclature and processes are lacking, but there are indeed central guiding principles of this art.

Definitions and terminology are also highly contextual in alchemical writings. One word can mean many different things – terms and descriptions are sometimes literal, while other times they can be symbolic or allegorical. This article is meant to act as a view into the unique perspective, clinical application and experience of Secret Fire Apothecary.


Spagyric elixirs include a balance of fixed and volatile components.  As a balance point between fixed and volatile, they are associated with the Sulphur principle (the soul/emotional body). The soul/emotional body represents the experience/expression of the universal spark of life (Mercury) inhabiting a unique body (Salt). Spagyric elixirs contain not only the volatile Sulphur (essential oil), but also the fixed Salt (mineral salts). With the fixed qualities of the Salt and volatile Sulphur combined, the equation totals as balanced.

The process of making a spagyric elixir includes:

  • Extraction of the essential oil via hydro and/or steam distillation 
  • Extraction of an endogenous alcohol via fermentation and distillation
  • Extraction of the mineral salts by burning the plant material to a fine white ash (calcination) and extracting the salts with distilled water. The leftover liquids from distillation are also reduced and burned to an ash, to extract more minerals (Salt of Sulphur).
  • Recombination of the mineral salts, natural alcohol and essential oil into a homogenous solid. This is also known as a “vegetable stone”.
  • The solid extract may also be dissolved back into alcohol to simplify ingestion and standardized dosing. 

Fixed and Volatile Attributes

With their mix of fixed and volatile attributes, spagyric elixirs generally have a bright but translucent color (in liquid form). Their increased clarity but brilliant color is another variable which indicates the balance of fixed and volatile components. In terms of general association in this context, color is indicated by fixity and clarity indicated by volatility.


Spagyric elixirs support the soul/emotional body primarily but also influence the more subtle mental/spiritual and substantial physical bodies. Highly bioavailable, they are delivered quickly into the body as a liquid extract, or as a solid “stone” dissolved into water. Spagyric elixirs can act in both sympathy to support, or antipathy to negate certain emotional states.

One way of discerning an appropriate elixir, is to consider the relationship between the organs of the body and emotions. Traditional systems of medicine such as traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine have long made this connection between the physical and emotional. For example, traditional Chinese medicine notes the following negative emotion/organ associations:

  • Fear is associated with the kidneys 
  • Excessive joy is associated with the heart
  • Worry is associated with the spleen
  • Grief is associated with the lungs
  • Anger is associated with the liver

In alchemy, substances such as herbs and fungi are placed under rulership of the different planets. Each planet also rules over the organs and other parts of the body: 

  • Saturn rules the spleen
  • Jupiter rules the liver
  • Mars rules the gallbladder
  • Sun rules the heart
  • Venus rules the kidneys
  • Mercury rules the lungs
  • Moon rules the stomach

For example: an issue of anger may benefit from an herb of Jupiter, the planet which rules the liver-the organ associated with anger. Traditional wisdom provides many pathways to the root of emotional disorders and where they manifest in the body. Armed with this understanding, we may better choose our remedials. 

More Information and Disclaimer

For further information on the benefits of plants, fungi, spagyrics in general and personal consultation and advice, please CONTACT US.

All information/product provided on is for strictly educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate any disease, ailment or injury of any kind.

These statements have not been reviewed/endorsed by Health Canada nor the FDA.