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Mercoledì, 23 Gennaio 2019 09:47

How Spagyric and Alchemical products work

I want to clarify something from the last article. I mentioned that Kether / Mercury equates to energy / information. In the standard paradigm of the Three Essentials as taught by Frater Albertus Kether / Mercury is assigned solely energy, and Chokmah / Sulphur is assigned consciousness.

It was Rubaphilos Salfluere[1] who first suggested a change when he assigned simply the attribute of information to the alchemical Essential of Mercury . His main point being that since the god Mercury (Thoth) was known to be the carrier of information of the gods, alchemical Mercury should be designated as a container of information. While initially this did not sit well with me, I eventually warmed up to the idea, not in replacing the designation of energy with information, but rather adding it to energy. I saw no sense in carrying information to a place and then dropping it off for something else to carry out the instructions contained in the information. In a very real sense, this energy/information paring is like a cell which contains all the information about its life process, and independent replication processes. In the case of Kether / Mercury the information it contains is evolutionary information. It contains all information about what a thing is, has been, as well as the various conditions it can evolve into.

The other two Essentials also have their information quotients. In the standard paradigm Chokmah / Sulphur is associated with consciousness. The question is consciousness of what? In this case, it is the wisdom born out of the complete understanding the One has of itself. How much of this wisdom is accessible to any individual varies because no one person knows all. Frater Albertus was said to hold conversations on Physics, chemistry, medicine etc., with PhD’s though he had never studied those subjects, but he did have access to a universal wisdom. Even with that access his grammar was less than desirable[2]. The information contained in Essential of Sulphur is the range of feelings, thoughts and emotions capable of being expressed in that cycle of manifestation.

Of course the Body / Salt also has information within it, because it is a compilation of the other two Essentials. The information of the Body pertains to the functioning and laws of form and use within any particular cycle of manifestation. While understanding is based on knowledge gathered from experience, it does seem that there are limits to what is known and understood from experience at any given time, hence we have ages such as stone, bronze, and iron. In each of those ages there seemed to be a generalized hard cap as to how far people could push their experience and use the knowledge and understanding gleaned from it. Yet the precepts of the technology that would be used in the bronze and iron ages existed in the stone age. Simply put, 2000 years ago all the natural resources needed to make vacuum tubes or transistors were present and available to us, but it was not their time for physical emanation, even though the precepts about them existed in the greater consciousness wisdom of the time and was available to certain high level adepts.

OK, so what does all of this have to do with how and why spagyric and alchemical products work? By work I am not speaking only of the physical efficacy of the products in question. If we look at herbal preparations, their physical efficacy has been known for millennium and there is rigorous modern research being conducted today to back up those claims.

By the term work, I am also referring to the changes wrought to the interior person that is in their habitual thought patterns and the unencumbered way in which the life force flows through them for accomplishing any specific task.

The starting premise for all of this is that everything originates from a singular source, which in my last article as well as in this article I have termed the alchemical Essential of Mercury. This Essential of Mercury always was and is, (The Big Bang, or The Word)….take your pick…even when it is considered a no-thing preceding first emanation.

As an alchemist, my cosmological view is that energy = life, and where there is life there is consciousness. Modern physics teaches us that all matter is nothing more than energy, and thus from the alchemical point of view, and I suspect a growing consensus among theoretical physicist that all matter has some inherent consciousness (awareness).

When it comes to plants the question is not if life is inherent in the plant, but if there is a consciousness inherent in the plant. Is there an intelligent, semi-intelligent, or at least conscious entity inherent in the herb that we are processing that is capable of affecting our consciousness positively or negatively? If there is a consciousness inherent in the plant is it capable of assisting or resisting our working with it?

The experience of many indigenous people around the world points to a plant having consciousness as being a very true reality. Today universities and pharmacological houses are taking a second look at many text from the era of “classical chemistry” and realizing that the material in it should not be dismissed out of hand. Ethnopharmacologist have come to realize that the Shamans of indigenous peoples around the world have access to a specific knowledge, and a way of obtaining that knowledge from nature, based on a specific training that literally enables an alternate mode of communication between the Shaman and the natural matter (plant, animal, mineral) being worked on. Or as the Shamans would say, “the plants spoke to us”. Probably the best example today of this communication concerns Ayahuasca[3], ethnopharmacologist are unclear as to how the indigenous people learned of the hallucinogenic effects of the plant containing dimethyltryptamine because without a MAO inhibitor the psychoactive properties of the plant remain inert when consumed in liquid form. Yet these so-called primitive people were able to expertly produce what many say they should not have been able to do without the use of expensive modern day laboratory. Their explanation for how they achieved this was that the spirit of the plant spoke to them.

spagyric work John H Reid III

The question is how can such communication takes place? How can the plants, animals, and minerals speak to the shamans to impart that special knowledge about how to go about preparing those substances? Often, the preparation sequence is rather exacting from the manner and sequence of combining different substances, along with heating and cooling requirements that are intricate and time sensitive.

Mystics have been telling us for millennia that all life is one. They insist that this is not some pie-inthe-sky point of view, but a very true reality that forms the bedrock of existence. Until recently, we had taken them at their word unless one had advanced esoteric training and initiation. Today science is proving the old mystics right through a branch of study known as “Comparative Genomics”.

Comparative genomics is a field of biological research in which the genome sequences of different species — human, mouse, and a wide variety of other organisms from bacteria to chimpanzees — are compared.

“Although we like to think we are special, our genes bring us down to Earth. DNA is what ties the entire living world together. It may well account for the extraordinary diversity among organisms but it also serves to underline their common origins - we all evolved from the same soup of chemicals... By studying non-human genomes, we gain insight into our own.” Monise Durrani, BBC Science[4].

“This again reminds us of the unity of life - the fact that genes are not purpose-made for each organism, but rather evolution keeps on re-using its inventions over time.” Sir John Sulston, Director, Sanger Institute, UK[5].

The chart below is just a small sampling of the genome that we share with things. Doing a Google search on the phrase “how much DNA do humans share with other things” will yield some interesting information.









Zebra Fish






Fruit Fly


Honey Bee


Round Worm


Wine Grape


Bakers Yeast



There are of course many more examples of the DNA that is shared across living organisms, and I think it is that shared DNA that allows for a non-verbal communication to take place across species lines, through this shared DNA. Indeed, this communication is all around us, but life in the modern world has a way of drowning out this silent, yet ever-present communication.

We all evolved from the “same soup of chemicals” as Monise Durrani said. I think that evolution was symbiotic in nature. The essential macro and micro mineral elements necessary for plant life are the same as those for sustaining human life. Today over 70% of the medicines we use to cure ourselves have their origin from plants, as either direct isolation of molecules found in plants, or by synthetically producing a molecule or parts of a molecule found in plants[6].

spagyric work 2 John H Reid III

The plants did not just evolve alongside of us to act as food or medicine, but also to act as teachers to help aid in our evolution. This is the “speaking to us” the indigenous Shamans have pointed to. In alchemy and spagyrics we term this a plant or minerals arcanum or secret intelligence. And it is the arcanum that permits the user of spagyric products to have the inner experiences derived from using said products within the proper hermetic paradigm. These experiences are not mere flights of fancy, nor the result of a placebo effect. The fact that such inner-experiences can be elicited from persons with no knowledge about alchemy or the effects of such preparations shows that they are a naturally occurring phenomena. Although, I openly admit that using the products with intent allows for better results. I think those that experience the effects without being aware of the paradigm are just naturally inclined to that sort of inter-species communication.

In alchemy the effect is carried out by what is termed the quintessence of the matter. While the plants arcanum operates within the sphere of the Soul and Body of the Three Essential information/energy paradigm detailed above, the Quintessence is solely of the Essential of Mercury and I believe centered around the mineral kingdom and gases. I am not going to try and prove that there is life in the mineral kingdom. There is however, growing evidence that minerals do possess a form of memory, which of course means there is a form of life. Today’s electronic memory is based upon silicon[7]. It has also been shown that soil contains a form of memory[8] that preserve products of past abiotic and biotic soil processes and are thus able to record environmental changes on the nanoscale. A new mineral composite made up of Graphene a form of carbon, and Molybdenite creates a type of flash memory that not only stores data but maintains it in the absence of electricity[9]. One of the main arguments about

silicon data storage not evincing life (awareness), is that it must be manipulated by outside electric current. Of course this is how our brains work (electrical charges interacting with neurons), but the Graphene/ Molybdenite combination puts this argument to rest. Perhaps out there in the cosmos, there is a form of life whose memory is built upon this Graphene/ Molybdenite model. The arrogance of many minds is that because we have come up with something in our labs, it precludes the possibility of it having existed and having been utilized naturally somewhere else in the universe.

In the wider natural world, is there an exchange of information between particles, similar to the memory functions on the nanoscale possessed by soil? Has this basic memory exchange been happening in interstellar space since the first hydrogen atoms were transmuted to helium in stars, and did it continue with the production of the heavier elements formed by supernova? Is this memory exchange propagated via energetic particles like photons and electrons, and even quantum entanglement as atoms combine to form molecules and compounds, and assist in organic and inorganic functions?

Alchemy says yes there is, and it is in the form of the quintessence, the non-corporeal substance that might be thought as an energetic DNA. From our perspective our entire universe is built up on the gases and eventual solid elements that make up the periodic table, but since time is an illusion[10], might it not be argued that the entire potentiality of what a thing evolves into is indeed already present in the memory or awareness of those elements? Is it indeed the case, that alchemical quintessence simply catalyzes that which is already present in the minerals that make up our body causing seeming changes to be wrought that are in the end just the natural expression of something which already exist?



[2] “The Alchemist Handbook” forward by Israel Regardie pg 7 1974 Revised Edition








[10] Time is relative, and flexible and, according to Einstein, “the divi ing line between past, present, and future is an illusion”

Letto 494 volte
John H Reid III

John H. Reid III is recognized as a living authority in practical and spiritual alchemy. He has been studying and practicing alchemy for nearly thirty years and has developed an approach to teaching the often obtuse subject matter of the Royal Art in a way that is easy to understand, engaging, informative, and life transforming.

In the mid 90's the publication of John's first book the "Minor Opus a.k.a John Reid's Course on Practical Alchemy" aroused considerable interest. It has been hailed as an outstanding work on plant alchemy. Thousands of people from around the world have cut their alchemical teeth on this seminal text, and hundreds of websites have based a large part of their alchemical content around it. It is in fact cited on Wikipedia as a detailed online course in Plant Alchemy.

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