What are Spagyrics?
Spagyria is an ancient practice that dates back to Kemet/Ancient Egypt & possibly even before that. It is a practice that employs the Alchemical Processes to create a Spiritualized preparation. The word Spagyric, or rather Sparygicus (Latin) is made up of two Greek words": σπάω (Spáō, “I draw, pull, separate”) ἀγείρω (Ageírō, “I assemble, remember, awaken”) In short, Spagyrics are Alchemical herbal preparations that concentrate the plant into a much more potent & bioavailable form. These on average tend to be 40x-400x more effective than commercial tinctures. Spagyrics are whole preparations as opposed to tinctures and other extracts. What makes a Spagyric special is the way it’s made. This process yields a much more wholistic product than any other extraction method employed elsewhere. There are a few different methods through which a Spagyric can be made, each yielding their own very unique energetic & physical signature.
Spagyrics are comprised of three main principles:
🜍 Soul - The Oil/Organic Acids of the plant ☿ Spirit - Alcohol 🜔 Body - Mineral Salt
The ancients alchemists claimed that all things in existence are made up of three essential things:
🜍 Sulfur - Soul ☿ Mercury - Spirit 🜔 Salt - Body
They believed that by combining the oil, alcohol & purified mineral salt of a plant together, one would elevate the plant into more of a Spiritualized state. This process of Spiritualizing the extract involves reducing the plant into only it’s most essential by seperating it’s active components from the superfluous compounds found within the plant. Through the Spagyric process, these “superfluous” compounds are reduced to ashes and leeched for the essential mineral salts locked within the carbon in the plant. The processes employed on the plant realm in Spagyrics create a strong foundation for the Alchemist who intends to explore The Work further into the Animal, Mineral & Metallic realms since the baseline for extracting the three essentials from the other three realms is generally the same as the plant realm. I will cover some of the processes here that I employ regularly in the lab to make Spagyrics below… for the sake of not typing up an entire book, I will stick to only spelling out enough to get the point across.
Spaygric Processes: Solve et Coagula The foundational theme in Spagyria is known as "Solve et Coagula," which means to dissolve and coagulate or to destroy so that you can rebuild. This process is seen in the totality of life. In the process of making spagyrics there are several different methods one can employ to get the job done. This processing of plants can vary from quite basic, yet effective techniques such as the Spagyric Tincture, to much more sophistcated techniques that yield much more potent end products. Each of these paths leading us to a unique form of a spagyric, but the foundation always remains the same: Reduce the plant to only what is essential.
The various Spagyric preparations are: Spagyric Tinctures Spagyric Essences Quintessences Magistries Ens Spagyric Elixirs Plant Stones
The basic extraction process is as follows:
Oil or Tincture Extraction
Fermentation (not done with Spagyric Tinctures)
Mineral Salt Extraction
Solve Tincture or Essential Oil:
In Spagyric Tinctures, the plant is extracted with pure Ethanol (95%-100% ethyl-alcohol) either through slow masceration over the course of 40 days minimum, or through use of a Soxhlet extraction (this is usually much faster than masceration and more efficient at extracting all the tincture out of the plant and is my prefered method of extraction for Spagyric Tinctures); some plants are also extracted with water afterward. The alcohol extracts the essential oil of the plant and the active compounds found within the plant body. Ethanol is the Spirit of the plant realm and is an excelent solvent to extract the “Soul” or oil from plants. Ethanol is an alcohol produced through the fermentation of any plant, and is the form of alcohol that many people in the world enjoy in wine & beer worldwide. Ethanol has an affinity to oils and water soluble compounds so it is the ideal candiate sovent to use for tinctures. These Alcohol and Water fractions are filtered well and then put aside. **In Spagyric essences, the use of steam distillation is employed to seperate the essential oil out of plants with volatile essential oils, such as Lavender or Sage, instead of using alcohol to extract the oil directly. Other alchemically menstruums are use to extract the essential oil as well for use in the other Spagyric paths. This is the Soul of the plant.
This process is usually not done when making a spagyric tincture. The plant that was distilled for its essential oil is now fermented for several weeks and then distilled to seperate the alcohol (ethanol) that is formed in the process of fermentation. This ethanol is rectified several times until it is completely dry/pure. This is the Spirit of the plant.
After the extract containing the essential oil is extracted, the remaining plant mater that was just extracted is put through the Calcination process, where it is burned until it is a fine white ash and the mineral salts locked within the plant are freed from their carbon bonds. This renders these mineral salts readilly soluble in water. The ashes are disolved in water and then gently evaporated over the course of days leaving behind beautiful crystallized mineral salts. This process is usually repeated several times in order to purify the salts and to spiritualize them. This process allows us to leave no part of the plant unused, utilizing the whole plant in the extraction process and leaving zero waste behind. This is a major part of the Spagyric process that sets it apart from any other conventional tincture. Wholistic in the true sense of the word. This is the Body of the plant.
The tincture (or pure essential oil along with purified plant spirit/alcohol) and the purified mineral salts are recombined (usually under vacuum) to complete the Spagyric. A chemical rection takes place in the process of this recombination of the Oil, Spirit & Salt. This reaction effectively neutralizes the acidic oil and alkaline salt, rendering the oils water soluble. Since alcohol and salts don’t mix, the oil acts as a bridge to allow the alcohol and salt to mix and greatly increase the bioavalablity of the Spagyric.
This Spagyric now contains all three principles of the plant: The Oils/active compounds, Spirit/Acids & Mineral salts the Plant contained except now it’s in a much more pure & potent state. This maintains the integrity of the medicinal qualities and energetics of the plant, but in a much more spiritualized form.
Chemically speaking, what happens during the reaction as a result of the Coagula step is the mineral salts neutrize the organic acids/essential oils of the plant, converting the them into esters yielding water soluble soapy compounds. This is an Alchemical Saponification that renders the the oil into a bioavailable water soluble state!