Reid - Plant Stone

set up the oil extraction apparatus and extract the oils from two pounds of plant material.
place all of your collected oils into an amber-colored vial and store it for latter use.
This oil represents the volatile fraction of our Air element.

Take the two pounds of oil-depleted herb and place them into two separate containers.
Pour into each container half of the water used for the extraction of the volatile essential oils.
Add enough of the universal Mercury to each container so that the water's volume exceeds four times the volume of the plant material.
Place a fermentation lock into the cask and leave the cask in a 27-degree centigrade incubator until fermentation is complete.

Take the fermentation locks off of both casks but decant and filter the liquid from only one of them. Place cheesecloth loosely over the second cask and place it in a cool room with good air circulation.

Place all of the solid plant material along with the substance caught in the filter paper into a large steel pot. Cover the pot and place it in a refrigerator until needed latter.

The liquid that has been filtered contains immature alcohol, which is our Fire element. Perform a seven fold rectification via exhalation on this alcohol and your Fire element will be quite pure. Store it in a tightly sealed bottle for later use.

Save the phlegm and colored tinctures in separate sealed containers also.

Our second cask should now have started to undergo or even have completed its second fermentation.
This secondary fermentation of alcohol produces vinegar, which is our Water element. The sign of its manifestation is a skin of bacteria that forms on the surface of the matter. One can hasten the development of this product by inserting the hose of a small air pump underneath the surface of the liquid and by adding some "Mother of Vinager". In this way the acid forming bacteria are nourished constantly. Once your vinegar is formed, rectify it by freezing. After the three distillations of your final product are complete place your sharp spirit into an amber glass container and seal it tightly.

Combine all residual liquids left from the purification of the Water element into one large glass pot. Add to this the tincture left from the rectification of alcohol. Reduce the liquids by boiling until a thick honey like syrup is formed. Place this substance under a heat lamp and dry to a hard gum. Grind this to a fine powder and store it in a mason jar until latter.

Having done this we must use the Fire element to extract the fixed Air from approximately two ounces of unused herb. This fixed tincture is nothing more than the second fraction of our Air element. The first, of course, were the volatile oils extracted from the plant. The second is its tincture, which also contains the smells, color, and medicinal qualities of the herb. This extraction should be done by a very gentle digestion.

once, you have the fixed Air element, you must separate its volatile portion from the fixed part. During the digestion the Fire element also extracted some of the volatile Air. The separation of the volatile from the fixed may be done either by exhalation of the vapors (sweating) which allows the Fire and volatile Air element to come over together, or we can use a standard distillation setup. In this way though we are destroying a large part of the seminal virtues of our plant before they are amalgamated to its Earth element. In either method, place the clear liquid that you have collected in a tightly sealed mason jar and label it as the Fire and volatile Air element combined. Take the dark fixed Air left in the distillation flask and label it fixed Air of the herb in question.

Take all of the solid plant residue left from making the elements and combine them with any sediment caught in the filter papers. Place all of them into a large steel pot and take it outdoors and incinerate it. Once the plant has turned to ash, stop the incineration. Grind the ash fine and place it into a soxhlet extractor. Perform an extraction on the ash using the phlegm left from the purification of your Fire element. Continue this extraction until the phlegm coming out of the drainage tube no longer registers alkaline by litmus test. Note: If you must change water in the flask because it has become too saline you can use regular distilled water.

Once the extraction is complete pour the saline solution into a Pyrex dish and place it into an oven overnight at 100 degree F so the water will evaporate off. When dried, scrape these salts out of the dish and weigh them.

The salts are now placed back into the Pyrex dish and the calcination of the Earth element begins. This process of extraction, evaporation, grinding, weighing, calcining, grinding, and weighing must be done at least two more times. The Earth element is now a pure white and is ready to be made into the alchemical elixir of the first degree.
Note: during your final solve and coagula of the salts (dissolution and evaporation) you should use just enough of your universal Mercury to impart back to the salts the flame of life. This flame was lost during the successive solve and coagulas in the sterile water of the phlegm or the ordinary distilled water.

It is really simple to make the elixir of the first degree. One need only add drop by drop the fixed Air of the plant in question onto the purified Earth element. When the Earth will hold no more fixed Air it is dried in the oven overnight.

We now see the elixir dried into a dark brown powder. If this powder is left out in the air it will soon begin to run and smell strongly of the herb. The elixir is usable in this stage, a few grains on the tongue yield the full taste of the herb as well as its medicinal benefits. By continually imbibing the Earth with its fixed Air, we can get the elixir to an exalted state. The whole mass in the oven will resemble tar or pitch. When the substance is cooled it will harden considerably. When it is even slightly heated it will flow like wax and fill the room with the smell of the herb intensely.

The next course of action is to refine the Earth element one more time. If I were you, I would save one-quarter of my elixir of the first degree for use as you move on to to making a Plant Stone.

Take the portion of your elixir you wish to turn into a stone and place it spoonful by spoonful into a crucible that is in a hot kiln. The elixir will smoke and bubble up considerably, so go slow in this operation. Once all of the elixir of the first degree is in the crucible add the fixed Air of the Fire and Water elements that you dried and ground fine. These two also will act as the elixir did when placed into the hot crucible, so you must add them spoonful by spoonful. Incinerate the Earth element and all of the fixed Air's until no more smoke is seen. At this point the entire mass will rest in the crucible like cooled igneous rock. Turn the kiln off and let it cool. Take the crucible out and empty it of its contents. Grind the matter to a fine powder. During the grinding, you will see shiny slivers of material like bits of crystal. Note: Be sure to wear a lab mask when grinding these salts. They are very caustic and will burn your nose severely if breathed in. Place the powder back into the crucible and calcine in the kiln for about three weeks. At the end of this time your Earth will be a beautiful pure white as shown. Only that which is essential remains of your plant. All other impurities have been burned away. As the husk is removed from the grain so have we removed the impure from the pure in our subject.

place your salts back into the crucible and increase the kiln's heat to cause your matter to go into flux. Beware not to have it too high or your matter will fly away from you. Let it remain in flux until a steel wire dipped in it shows a coating of the salts as clear glass when cooled. This is a sign that the body and Sulfur are completely pure. Take the crucible out of the kiln and immediately pour the fused salts into a slightly heated iron pan or a a warm slab of marble. The salt will congeal and form a clear to somewhat opaque glass. Grind these salts and put them through seven solve and coagulas using your universal Mercury. If you do this carefully you will grow crystals with some of the most beautiful formations you have seen. When this operation is complete we have our last alchemical element, that of the Earth.

 The first order of business was to capture a celestial signature onto the matter. Then followed digestion of the Earth in the two active elements (fire and air). Over time the liquid became darker and darker, moving to a burnt orange color. Concentration of this liquid was done by exhaling two-thirds of its volume. The color was now definitely a burnt orange color or that of a dark pumpkin. When held up to the rays of sunlight the liquid took on a blood red color like that of a liquid ruby. Without a doubt I knew that I was in possession of the first essential. The red oil of the soul, which contains the celestial Fire of life within it. After the extraction of the Soul from the Earth, I noticed that the Earth was no longer solid, but moved in the flask like wax.

next operation was to acquire the White Mercury. This was done by combining the Water and Earth elements. Then by using a water bath and a distillation train, I was able to prepare the Virgin's Milk. This substance indeed looks like milk when warm. When cool it acts like a glue and can be made volatile, hence its second name Glue of the Eagle.

it was time to combine the two mercuries with the residuum of the volatilization.

 One must first determine exactly how much a specific portion of the body will hold of the two liquid Mercuries. The body will hold more of the two Mercuries than you would think possible. Yet you do not want to put all that it can hold into the body, or you will be awakened one night by a very loud explosion.

When you have found the proper proportions for your matter simply pour the Red Mercury onto the Philosophical Body followed by the White Mercury. Almost immediately you will feel an increase of heat on the bottom of the flask. Seal the flask hermetically and place it in a sand bath around body temperature. In a few hours you will see that the matter has swollen up considerably. Note: It is best to do this incubation in the dark; when carried out properly the matter can become somewhat luminous.

[follows nigredo - albedo - rubedo.]