Alchemy forms a fundamental body of knowledge and practice within the Hermetic tradition. It encompasses both the inner work of the theurgist as well as the work in the laboratory, and is focused upon the goal of transformation, whether of the theurgist or of the substances of the manifest world. This course focuses upon the use of plant alchemy, which is safer than mineral alchemy and very effective in supporting the goals of the theurgist.

In addition to assisting in one's personal growth, the products of plant alchemy may be used in the healing of the self and others.

Laboratory supplies will be provided as part of this course, and students will use the laboratory equipment provided by the Academy.

Course materials

We explore the fundamental ideas behind alchemical practice in the laboratory, including the philosophy of the Emerald Tablet, the primal Three Principles and Four Elements, and how these things are reflected in both the inner and outer world.

We will learn to create plant tinctures using alchemical principles. The student will also learn the difference between spagyric and alchemical processes, and how to apply both. Other alchemical preparations will also be explored from other branches of the Art.

The most important laboratory practices in alchemy involve distillation, which separates the constituents of the First Matter, and circulation, which both separates and conjoins those constituents. We will perform several experiments using distillation techniques:

We explore the creation of initiatory preparations, including the Ens, the Elixir, and the Plant Stone. We will learn how to use these as part of the Hermetic practice to enhance the theurgist's experience of the practice and to strengthen the connection with divinity.

FAQs: Alchemy

What kind of kiln do I need, and how large should it be?

A kiln should have at least the following features:

calcination, kiln
How hot should the calcination kiln be for plant salts?
I have found that salts are quickly whitened with temperatures between 800 and 1200 degrees F.
calcination, kiln
What do I need to know about soxhlet thimbles?
I have only used cellulose thimbles, so I don't know what to say about glass or glass fiber thimbles.
distillation, soxhlet, thimbles
What size of soxhlet device should I use?
If you want the device to be compatible with the Stadtler distillation train, the male end should be 24/40.
distillation, soxhlet