Sunday, September 11, 2011

Green Alchemy

Can you use hops in green alchemy?
Today, on one of the Golden Dawn forums that I occasionally read, Steve Nichols asked if there was a way to substitute renewable substances for the toxic chemicals that are typically used in most of external lab alchemy.

Now, my long-time readers know that me and Steve do not get along. It is a combination of the fact that I am a card carrying member of Golden Dawn (honest, I carry cards that says that I am involved in the tradition) and the fact that I do not value his work with Enochian Chess and other esoteric games systems as highly as he does. In other words, it is for strictly business reasons that we do not get along; we are both writers working in conflicting areas of philosophy and magical practice---of course, we can barely stand one another.

But Steve is asking something that I have wondered about for years. Can we make alchemy more green and less toxic?

Honestly, I do not want to risk poisoning myself, the cats, or my wife. Nor do I want to worry about my god-daughter sneaking into my lab. There is also the little fact that the local police department (as well as the Feds) periodically do raids on meth labs and suspected terrorists---a mineral alchemy shopping list looks a hell-a-lot like a bomb or making list.

(It brings a whole new meaning to the term "turning lead into gold" when you stop and look at the bomb and meth "puffers," doesn't it?)

Now, I like to think that I do a certain amount of green alchemy already. I occasionally work at making plant tinctures. I typically use whatever herbs I can get to grow in my yard. I am forced to work with lemon balm a lot. Lemon balm might be a weed.

Of course, I am not a real alchemist because the lady who taught me my basic tincture making skills is not a card carrying alchemist who can trace her lineage back to the Ancient Egyptians. Therefore, my opinion that plant alchemy is green (planet friendly) alchemy is completely wrong. But it is my opinion.

Now, if I could only figure out something alchemical to do with the hops that doesn't end up tasting like beer.


Anonymous said...

If you are not kidding with this question about a less poisonous alchemy, there's a whole practice in alchemy called the Plant Path. You can make a plant Stone. There's good info online, such as John Reid's free etext on plant alchemy on the Mclean's alchemy website. There's Manfred Junius's book, Isaac Hollandus's Vegetable Stone reprint from the Rosicrucians, and also Armand Barbault's Gold of a Thousand Mornings. Or you could even just mess around with George Starkey's Glorified Essence, which is described in Principe's book on Robert Boyle.

Fr. A. said...

A largely ignored fact is that Homeopathy is based upon Paracelsian teachings. I also believe there are some interesting relationships between Homeopathic preparation (Dilution, Succussion,etc) and Alchemical preparation. However, the Homeopathic preparation of Metals is quite safe as opposed to the Metallurgical practices. Some of the scarier aspects are the taking of Alchemical products and then identifying the Toxic effects such as nails and hair falling out, dental problems, etc as a "re-birth". This is a big pet peeve of mine. A while back some folks were using such a method with a particular "ens". Not one even gave credence to the possibility they were being poisoned even though I thoroughly documented major issues with toxicity due to the process that was used. Basically, they felt their hair falling out and the experience of skin lesions was a good thing. Even on this level, the same energetics can be produced but the Physical problems eliminated by appropriate dilution of the Toxic substance(s). Also ditto on Sleeve.