All posts







Nano-Organo Spagyric Elixirs of Gold



May Dew


Demystifying the Volatile Salt

 Metallic oils…or are they?



Medicine for the Head, the Heart, and the Hara

Spagyric preparations: Medicines for the head, the heart, and the hara

Before diving into this subject, it should be well noted that the definitions and terminology of Alchemy and Spagyrics are both highly contextual and not always universally agreed upon by the many authors on the subject. For the sake of educational value and initiation into the unique perspective and potential applications of the Spagyric extracts created by Secret Fire Apothecary, it would best to further elaborate upon personal and clinical definitions, parameters and context of three primary types of preparations: essences, elixirs, and tinctures.

One of the most famed Alchemical axioms states “as above, so below; as within, so without”. Therefore, we may deduce that there exists a mirrored congruence of the three types of bodies within the human being (mental, emotional, and physical); thence three categories of specified and congruent Spagyric preparations.

In simple terms of spectrum, these three bodies and corresponding types of Spagyric extracts can be delineated by measurement of frequency or in alchemical terms – fixity vs volatility.

The temperature required to distill these different preparations in their entirety acts as a key physical marker of this spectrum; the most volatile of preparations requiring the least amount of heat. The most fixed requiring the most, and preparations that fall in the middle requiring mid-range temperatures.

A simple scale of below, at, and above water boiling temperature is appropriate for Spagyric work in the Vegetable Kingdom.

Table showing the variations under the Spagyric Principle under Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury.

Tinctures, Essences, and Elixirs

The most fixed body is the physical and is sympathetic with fixed medicines (tinctures). The most subtle, lofty, and non-corporeal body is the mental/spiritual, sympathetic with the most volatile of preparations (essences). The emotional/soul body resides between the poles of fixed vs volatile, sympathetic with Spagyrics in the middle of this range (elixirs), representing an embodied spirit. The latin phrase “similia similibus curantur” commonly used in homeopathy today describes this well, meaning “the like cures the like”.

Despite the seemingly distinct categories that proceed, there are no rigid borders between the physical, emotional and mental self and that each of these bodies correlate and influence one another: the physical affecting the emotional body, mental affecting the physical body, emotional affecting the mental body and so forth.

A Tria Prima of Spagyric preparations…

Spagyric Tinctures

Spagyric Tinctures are predominantly attuned to the Alchemical Salt principle (the Physical Body) and include a full spectrum of active constituents. The process includes:

  • Extraction of active/nutritional compounds (fixed and volatile Sulphur) via maceration in pure alcohol (or alcohol, water, vinegar etc separately for dual and triple extracts).
  • Mineral salts (Salt of Salt) are extracted from the spent body of the plant via calcination/leaching with distilled water.

This type of spagyric preparation tends to be very dark in colour, containing a plants medicinal and nutritional compounds (volatile and fixed Sulphur), as well as the mineral salts (Salt) and the alcohol/water/vinegar (Mercury).

They are generally not distilled during the process, unlike the essences and elixirs, which will be described next. Their influence is primarily focused on the physical body as a whole, although they too share an affinity with the mental and emotional bodies which correlate more specifically with the essences and elixirs.

Fixed tinctures may be prepared by using the fixed vegetable Mercury: vinegar/acetic acid, whilst un-fixed/volatile tinctures are prepared using the volatile vegetable Mercury: ethyl alcohol.

Combinations of alcohol, water and vinegar can be used to create tinctures carrying both fixed and un-fixed qualities. Or it can be extracted at the same time using what’s known as the “vegetable radical menstruum” (natural/plant derived ethyl acetate). This is both fixed and volatile in nature. Disease and ailments can be classified by these same terms, with the tendency of fixed diseases and ailments being chronic and un-fixed/volatile diseases and ailments being acute.

Spagyric Elixirs

Spagyric Elixirs are predominantly attuned to the Alchemical Sulphur principle (the Soul/Emotional Body), with a focus on the complete volatile oil paired in balance with the fixed mineral salts and natural spirits.

The word elixir derives from the Arabic word al-iksir, translating roughly to “from the ashes”. This preparation is crafted via multiple distillation processes and a final cohobation with the mineral salts and natural spirits. Their influence is primarily focused upon the emotions, the endocrine system, and the individual Soul. Two forms are offered, a solid plant stone and a dissolved/liquid plant stone. The process includes:

  • Extraction of the full spectrum essential oil (volatile Sulphur) is separated via steam or hydro-distillation. It is purified via hydro-distillation and the hydrosol is saved for work with the alcohol (volatile Mercury).
  • Extraction of determined spirits/alcohol (volatile Mercury) created by the fermentation of the spent plant body, hydrosol and leftover waters from steam distillation. It is purified by distillation.
  • Calcination and mineral salt extraction of the spent plant body (Salt of Salt)
  • Calcination and mineral salt extraction of all that remains after the distillation process (Salt of Sulphur)
  • Mineral salts (Salt of Salt and Salt of Sulphur), the essential oil (volatile Sulphur) and the determined spirit/alcohol (volatile Mercury) are combined and matured in various ways to achieve either a solid or liquid elixir.
  • Additional works of maturation can also be performed to produce a sublimated salt (volatile Salt).

These types of spagyric preparations are transparent but rich in colour when in liquid form (red, gold, green, purple, blue etc). It contains the mineral salts (fixed and volatile Salt), the full spectrum essential oil (volatile Sulphur) and its determined alcohol (volatile Mercury). The initial distillation (extraction of volatile Sulphur) is performed at the boiling temperature of water.

Spagyric Essences

Spagyric Essences are predominantly attuned to the Alchemical Mercury principle (the Mental/Spiritual Body), with a focus on the determined natural spirits (Mercury). These are paired with only the most volatile aspects of the mineral salts (Salt) and oils of the plant (Sulphur).

Spagyric Essences are used similarly to conventional “Flower Essences”, but they differ in that they still contain very specific active compounds and are not diluted homeopathically (although they can be).

These Essences are derived from tinctures or herbal ferments. Their influence is primarily focused upon the subtle energetic channels of the body (described well in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine), the nervous system, the mental faculties and the Universal Spirit present in all things; a particular synergy has been noted between these essences and the Jungian archetypes. The process includes:

  • Extraction of the plant via maceration or fermentation.
  • Distillation of the maceration or fermentation to extract only the most volatile spirit and oils of the plant(volatile Mercury and Sulphur)
  • Mineral salts (Salt of Salt and Salt of Sulphur) and the distillate (Sulphur & Mercury) are combined and matured.
  • Final/repeated distillation and cohobation of the mineral salts (Salt) and distillate (Sulphur & Mercury).

These types of spagyric preparations tends to be light yellow in colour, containing only the most volatile aspects of the plant’s mineral salts (volatile Salt), a specific fraction of it’s essential oils (volatile Sulphur), and its determined alcohol (volatile Mercury). This distillation is performed below the boiling point of water, as low as body temperature (37.5C), and no higher than the boiling temperature of alcohol (78C).

In summary…

Certainly these methods are not exhaustive of the totality of Spagyria, nor is the nomenclature, definitions, theories, correspondences, or manner of working universal and agreed upon by all practitioners and authors as mentioned already.

This article represents a summary of a personal path, interpretation, educational sources, and clinical practice. That being said, it does illuminate the substantial variance and precision possible within the philosophy, methodology, and clinical application of the vast materia medica afforded by Spagyria.