Friday, September 26, 2008

Solution and Separation

October 4, 2008
Say good bye to Corpus Mortuum - the dead remnants that get thrown away.

Calcination left me with black cinders that I ground into powder and burnt further until one would think that there was nothing left to burn. Alchemists see differently. In ashes lies the body of the plant (which alchemists refer to as salt).
To "separate the Earth from Fire, the subtle from the gross, gently and with great ingenuity," as the writing from the emerald tablet advises I pour 300ml of distilled water over the cool ashes and place it over the fire. Soon the mixture of ashes and water starts to boil. I am working outside again although there are no fumes and it would probably be safe to work inside as well. After 20 minutes I take the pot from the fire and let it cool. Once cold, I filter the mixture into a glass jar. What's left are the solution of salts desolved in the water and the insoluble ashes aka corpus mortuum which gets discarded into my compost pile.

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