Earth - Air - Fire and Water
The Pharmageddon Herbal

Ivor Hughes

Spagyric Pharmacy Chapter12. Part 2.


The whole world of 6 dimensions is filled with his bounty; wheresoever thou lookest, it is making him known.
Jallaledin Rumi
The Mathnawi. Book 3. Verse 3108

"The alchemist, like the smith, and like the potter before him, is a �master of fire�. It is with fire that he controls the passage of matter from one state to another.

The first potter who, with the aid of live embers, was successful in hardening those shapes which he had given to his clay, must have felt the intoxication of the demiurge: he had discovered a transmuting agent. That which took natural heat �from the sun or the bowels of the earth-so long to ripen, was transformed by fire at a speed hitherto undreamed of. This demiurgic enthusiasm springs from that obscure presentiment that the great se�cret lay in discovering how to 'perform' faster than Nature, in other words (since it is always necessary to talk in terms of the spiritual experience of primitive man) how, without peril, to interfere in the processes of the cosmic forces. Fire turned out to be the means by which man could �execute� faster, but it could also do something other than what already existed in Nature. It was therefore the manifestation of a magico - religious power which could modify the world and which, consequently, did not belong to this world. This is why most primitive cultures look upon the specialist in the sacred � the shaman, the medicine man, the magician � as a master of fire.

The Forge and the Crucible.
Professor Mircea Eliade,

When the Earth works upon her chemistry, she does so with heat, pressure and the forces of the magnetic spectrum. That principle applies not only to the Ionosphere, Atmosphere and  Hydrosphere; but also to the realms of Soil, Lithosphere and Barysphere. 6 realms of Nature.

It is in the 7th realm that her works are revealed. We are part of that 7th realm, the Biosphere. It is the Ionosphere and the Atmosphere that mediate the electromagnetic spectrum that makes life, as it is understood, possible under those chemical conditions that prevail upon earth. During lightning discharges, a precipitation of atmospheric nutrients occurs.

The lightening rips through and vibrates the atmospheric soup. During this process proteins and other precursors or biological building blocks are formed and rained down to the waiting earth

 It is a Spagyric dictum, �Ever follow the footsteps of Nature and let her be your guide�.

To that end, a Spagyric practitioner takes the remedies of nature, and seeks to bring them to perfection. This is a two fold task, for the Spagyrist must also works upon their own inner garden, even as they work upon the products of the outer garden. As Paracelsus has said you must seek out the pharmacies of nature and see in which box she keeps them.

Nature has perfected the herb, then so must practitioner perfect the medicines derived from them. This is done by timing, right attitude and good intent. The herb must be gathered at the correct time. We know when it is the correct time to do that.

Before the work is commenced upon the herb, the Spagyrist must prepare themselves. This is done in solitude with a 24 hour fast with meditation and prayer. No words are spoken, the only things allowed to pass the lips are clean water, and the breath.

Let no one think, that this is irrational, for the science of physics, acknowledges that the experimenter has an effect upon the experiment, that the observer has an effect on that which is observed. This is a magnetic and spiritual homeopathy, either on the conscious or unconscious level. By analogy, we certainly understand the difference between a Master Chef and the Technician Cook. One follows the heart, and the other follows instructions.

When operating on the herb each step must be taken at the correct time. The correct time is when the magnetic flux of Earth is suitable for each operation. No one is born a Master, each individual must serve the apprenticeship of the technician. The medicines produced by the technician will grow ever more perfect with the growing inner perfection of the aspirant.

Pure Astrology as the Basis of Works. 12.9
The Moon and its position in the Zodiac, as observed from Earth, is integral to plant alchemy. As a star, our own Sun is a relatively small body in comparison with many of those giant stars that make up our Zodiacal belt. The output of electronic matter from those stars is in proportion to their magnitude.

The evidence of Radio Astronomy is irrefutable, the output of those stars is received and recorded here on earth. All things are the product of their season in the yearly cycle. Medicinal plants must be harvested at the correct phase of the moon in relation to the plant part required. When the plant is opened or operated on, each stage should be done at the astrological time allocated for each operation.

Without a knowledge of Astrological tools and methods, the production of a true spagyric medicine is not possible.

For the aspirant, the first tool is a good Ephemeris or set of Astronomical Tables. In that way one may see the rising and the setting of the Moon and in which Constellation she lies. Father Sun, Mother Earth and Daughter Moon

In the preceding module, I tried to present a scientific rationale for those things that the caucus of science considers irrational. I have done so, because we live in an age of a Scientific system of thought.

There are many other ways of seeing the world which cannot be invalidated by science. Science is only a single thread in the vast tapestry of human experience. Science is not the all, it is just another system of thought, another way of seeing the world.

Herbs and the Seven Inner Planets. 12.10
It is indicated that the endocrine glands and their related organ systems are linked to the inner planets by magnetic influence. From the Empiric viewpoint, i.e. by direct experience, we understand that medicinal herbs have a profound physiological effect on a specific organ system.

Accordingly, herbs, like the organs they affect, are considered to fall under the influence of a particular planet. Medical Astrology makes use of these correlations for diagnostic and prescribing purposes. Likewise, the Spagyric practitioner notes these affinities when preparing a remedy. This is the true doctrine of herbal signatures.

Figure 12.10A








Au 79

Hg 80

Cu 29

Fe 26

Ag 47

 Sn 50

Pb 82











Gall Bladder




Herbs and the Constellations 12.11
Herbs have also been allocated to a particular sign of the zodiac. Each individual at birth, is considered to be of a particular Solar Zodiac type, in that their endocrine settings at birth, predispose them to a particular temperament. In addition to the temperament, there is also a predisposition to an organ weakness, which is peculiar to that Solar Zodiac type. The weakness is considered to be as a result of a cell salt deficiency, which the organ requires to operate at optimal level. Investigation will show that herbs which are known to have a beneficial effect on a particular organ system, contain that combination of salts, necessary for smooth functioning. Herbs are allocated to a particular constellation on the basis of affinity.

The Zodiac and Spagyric Operations. 12.12

Alchemy recognises 12 distinct chemical operations, one for each sign of the Zodiac. When the moon is in a particular constellation, a corresponding chemical operation is performed. In other words, the magnetic flux, or state of the matter to be operated, is considered to be optimal. The evidence for this is Empiric rather than scientific, and as such, may be considered to be reliable and reproducible; not on demand, but when the conditions are right. The operations and the constellations are as follows;


Table 12.12A

Moon in Constellation



-::- Aries -::-


-::- Taurus -::-


-::- Gemini -::-


-::- Cancer -::-


-::- Leo -::-


-::- Virgo -::-


-::- Libra -::-


-::- Scorpio -::-


-::- Sagittarius -::-


-::- Capricorn -::-


-::- Aquarius -::-


-::- Pisces -::-


The Spagyric Extracts 12.13
The Spagyric extracts are prepared using the same methodology that is outlined in the monograph dealing with extractions. The major differences are in 5 areas.

1. In the preparation of the solvents.
2. The Astrological correspondence.
3. Longer Maceration times.
4. Extraction of the soluble salts from the Marc.
5. The Exaltation of the extract.

Spagyric Solvents 12.14
Plant alchemy makes use of two solvents, namely: water and alcohol. However, we must draw a clear distinction between the orthodox chemical understanding of those two substances, and what is understood by the Spagyric pharmacist. Let us deal with water first.

Water 12.15
It is highly unlikely that there remains a natural source of uncontaminated water anywhere on the globe. Even rain water now contains large quantities of industrial contaminants. The minimum requirement for water in Spagyric preparations is �Distilled Water� The ideal water for a Spagyric preparation, is the distilled water taken from the plant material that is to be operated on. It must be potentised by the correct rotation procedures (Exaltation)

In medieval times, the method of collecting that water was laborious. Shortly after dawn, a clean linen sheet was drawn across dew laden plants of the same specie that was to be operated on. The collected dew was then wrung into a suitable container, and then distilled and set aside for when the magistery was to be prepared. This would involve perhaps 4 or 5 weeks work in order to collect sufficient dew to make a preparation.

The dew has passed through and been exuded by the plant, it is moon drawn and is formed from the boundary layer of of the herb metabolism. If we consider the subject of homoeopathy and molecular memory, we will understand that the water collected in this manner, will have a natural affinity with the spagyric preparation.

A more viable method of collecting that water, would be to trap and condense the warm, moisture laden air from the dehydration process and then distil it. In this manner, substantial quantities of the correct type of water may be economically obtained.

Alcohol. 12.16
In the same manner as water, the alcohol or mercury as it is called should be obtained from the same type of herb that is to be operated on. The strength of the alcohol should be circa 80 % by volume, to ensure maximum extraction of the plant.

The starches in the fresh herb must first be converted to useable sugars for the fermentation process. When the fermentation process has been completed, the liquid is then distilled to obtain the mercury. The aim of the distillation process is to produce 95 % by volume alcohol, which may then be suitably diluted with the previously obtained water.

Spagyric Maceration 12.17
Tinctures prepared by the spagyric technique, differ only in the maceration time. Either a lunar month (4 x 7 days), or a philosophical month (40 days), depending on the type of material being operated on. The strength of the alcohol is usually 70 to 75 %. If resinous materials are being processed, then 80% would be the better strength of solvent to ensure the complete extraction of the resins.

Recovery of Soluble Salts from the Marc. 12.18
On completion of the extraction, the marc is pressed and the resulting liquid added to the extract. The pressed marc is then spread out in a fireproof dish and steadily heated from below. Unless one has access to a fume hood, this process is best carried on outdoors because of the volume of smoke and fumes produced. The temperature for the Calcination process should not be allowed to exceed 400C, lest the salts melt and fuse.

The Calcination will proceed in stages and pass through different colour changes. The first change being the carbonisation of the marc, which is black. Then through different shades of brown and orange., then finally grey, and then white. When no further changes are observed, then the process of Calcination is complete.

    Evaporating Dish
Transfer the ash to a mortar and pestle and subject it to a thorough grinding in order to produce a fine powder. Place the resulting powder into a Soxhlet extractor, and introduce to the boiling flask a minimum of 200ml of distilled water. Heat the flask to boiling and carry out a fourteen fold hot extraction of the ash. When the process is complete, turn off the heat and allow the apparatus to cool. Transfer the liquid from the flask to an evaporating dish and drive off the water.

When the evaporation is complete the crystallised soluble salts will be visible. These salts are corrosive, i.e., very strongly alkaline, they will turn litmus paper an intense blue, therefore, care must be taken when handling them. The salts are washed by filtration and recrystallised by evaporation. Transfer the soluble salts to a mortar and triturate them to produce a fine even powder. The grinding process should be carried out by the method described in Hahnemann�s Organon. The salts are then added to the extract and stirred well. The extract is then ready for the exaltation process.

       Alternative Extraction Apparatus BP 1958

The apparatus shown on the left is a robust and cheaper alternative to the Soxhlet extractor. The continuous hot extraction of plant drugs can only be justified for analytic purposes, such as making a determination of Alkaloid content. Glycosides and other constituents succumb to hydrolysis very quickly during such a process.

Exaltation or Circulation 12.19
The exaltation, or circulation, is the Spagyric equivalent of the Homoeopathic potentisation or succussion process, whereby the liquid being circulated is raised to a higher level of potency. Essentially, the liquid to be circulated is gently heated to a temperature not exceeding 35C, inside a closed container. The vapours from the heated liquid will rise and condense in the head of the flask, and then run back into the main body of the flask thus setting up a rhythmic circulation.

The expansion head is critical to the operation. A suitable apparatus may be constructed by using a Separating funnel mounted on the top of an Erlenmeyer flask.




Erlenmayer Flask

The flask is connected to the funnel via a cork or rubber bung. The liquid to be circulated is poured into the flask, and the separating funnel, which will double as the expansion head, is mounted on top.

The flask is then gently heated from below. To prevent any damage to the extract, the flask should be suspended in a water bath and the temperature regulated by means of a thermostat. A seven fold circulation is required, i.e., a 7 day process. The apparatus is turned off at night and turned on again during the day. At the end of the seven fold circulation the extract may be considered ready for use.





The Soluble Salts -Theoretical Considerations 12.20
All life forms are mineral based. Nearly all life forms depend upon the green plants for sustenance, irrespective of whether they are herbivore or carnivore. The major difference between a molecule of chlorophyll and a molecule of blood, is in the central atom of those respective molecules.

For chlorophyll, it is magnesium, and for blood it is iron. The human body has a poor tolerance for crude minerals, with many having extremely toxic effects. As a general example, if iron is prescribed for anaemia, it is invariably a preparation of the crude metal. Many generation of women can attest to its constipating effect and the subsequent resort to laxatives.

However, if the iron has been Bio-chelated (passed through a plant), then it is readily assimilated by the body with none of the side effects.

Nobel Prize Winner for Bio-Chemistry, Linus Pauling PhD., considered that a mineral deficiency was the foremost predisposing factor in the genesis of disease within the body. Analysis of the cremated remains of the human body, has shown that the remains consist primarily of 12 different salts, as follows :

The Salts. Table 12.20A

Calcium phosphate Calcium sulphate Calcium fluoride Potassium phosphate
Potassium sulphate Potassium chloride Sodium phosphate Sodium sulphate
Sodium sulphate Sodium sulphate Magnesium phosphate Silicon dioxide

There is a very effective system of therapy based upon those salts, which was devised by a German homoeopathic physician, Wilhelm Sch�ssler. It is important to remember that single salt, or combinations of them, as found in plants, will act on the cellular level. However the salts are strongly alkaline and must never be used except in Homoeopathic potencies. An orthodox extract or tincture will only operate on the organ level, for the simple reason that they do not contain all of the bio-chelated cell salts, and thus, must be considered incomplete extracts. Whereas, the Spagyric method produces a complete extraction of the plant. The Solve et Coagula has been achieved. Hahnemann�s Homeopathy, Sch�ssler�s Tissue Salts and the Bach Flower Remedies, are a direct extension of the Paracelsian method of Spagyric. A study of the writings of Paracelsus, and the application of his teaching to the Pharmaceutical Art, will yield a rich harvest.

The remedy is nothing but a seed that you must develop into that which it is destined to be.
Man and his body.

The Tissue salts 12.21
Homoeopathic minerals used in accordance with the principles developed by German homoeopathic physician, Wilhelm Sch�ssler (1822-1898). Sch�ssler reasoned that since the remains of the human body, when it is burned to ashes, primarily consist of 12 mineral salts, these minerals must play a vital role in the body's integrity and function. In addition, the different organs and parts of the body in turn reveal different combinations of minerals. Sch�ssler's method consisted of administering the appropriate minerals to correct deficiencies, which he identified in his patients using a complex diagnostic system.

The twelve tissue salts

Calcium phosphate Calcium sulphate Calcium fluoride Potassium phosphate
Potassium sulphate Potassium chloride Sodium phosphate Sodium sulphate
Sodium chloride Iron phosphate Magnesium phosphate Silicon dioxide

Filtration 12.22
Excessive filtration is detrimental to plant drugs. If it is necessary, then the procedure should be resorted to once only. However it is a useful separation technique for other operations.

There are two basic methods.
Funnel and Filter Paper Method. Figure 12.22A

Filtration can be a slow procedure, traditionally Chamois leather was the filter medium used.
The procedure can be accelerated by the means of the device shown above right. It works by a siphon effect, whereby a vacuum at the exit end of the filter funnel is created each time the funnel siphons.

Filtration Apparatus Figure 12.22B

Glass Funnel

Buchner Flask

Buchner Funnel

Buchner Filtration

Filter papers (Acid free) are available in a number of grades relating, to the task that is to be performed. For filtration of a plant drug (Once Only) then a standard paper will suffice, with the proviso, that the extraction has been performed correctly. If it has, the only substance that needs to be filtered out, is the coagulated albumins. These substances break down the integrity of the extraction with spoilage organisms, and therefore must be removed.

Filter papers are usually folded in a fluted manner for insertion into the cone of the funnel. This procedure aids the filtration process. The funnel is mounted on a Buchner flask with a side inlet. This allows for air displacement.


The second method is more costly in equipment, however it is much more efficient. This is filtration via a Buchner funnel and reduced pressure.

The pressure is lowered by use of the Venturi tube shown on the left. The side arm of the Buchner funnel is attached to the side arm of the venturi tube.

The speed of filtration may be changed by increasing or reducing the volume of water which passes through the tube from the tap to which it is attached.

Fast filtration by increasing the volume of water through the tube tends to be counter productive, better results are obtained by a gentle suction, this is done by reducing the volume of water passing through the Venturi tube

The Spagyric practitioner must at all times adhere to International pharmaceutical practice in methodology as laid out in previous modules of the Pharmageddon Herbal. The only permissible solvents are correctly prepared Alcohol and Water. The pharmaceutical measurements must be strictly adhered to in order that the preparations may be reproduced on the basis of the appended signature, in any pharmacy, anywhere world wide. Anything less is gross irresponsibility on the part of the natural practitioner for the simple reason that the patients life if traveling could be put at risk. 

Spagyric Part 1.
Spagyric Part 3.

Pharmageddon Herbal Block Index