Manfred M. Junius
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Buy *Spagyrics: The Alchemical Preparation of Medicinal Essences, Tinctures, and Elixirs* by Manfred M. Junius online

Spagyrics: The Alchemical Preparation of Medicinal Essences, Tinctures, and Elixirs
Manfred M. Junius
Healing Arts Press
288 pages
February 2007
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Spagyrics is a term known in homeopathic realms and among some students of arcane healing and alchemy. Manfred M. Junius, the author of this book, which is subtitled "The Alchemical Preparation of Medicinal Essences, Tinctures, and Elixirs," is a former biology professor who has served as the head of the Australian School of Ayurveda and production manger for spagyrics at Australerba Laboratories. He has consolidated his extensive knowledge of the relatively unknown discipline of spagyrics, an art first practiced by the medieval physician Paracelsus.

Paracelsus taught that in order to produce a healing herbal essence that is complete and pure, the herb must be first reduced to its separate components and then recombined through alchemy. Junius states that "The alchemical work always takes place in three stages: (1) separation, (2) purification, and (3) cohobation (recombination, or the 'chymical wedding'). In the spagyrist's view, these actions lead to an increase and a release of certain curative powers in the initial species." In fact, the word spagyrics was invented by Paracelsus, combining two Greek terms meaning to draw out, or separate, and to combine.

Exactly how this process is carried out is explained in the book. First, one has to accept the alchemical belief that all matter is divided into three substances, or philosophical principles. These principles are sulfur, mercury and salt. However, these are not to be mistaken for the usual physical substances, but to be seen as symbolic essences. Mercury represents the life force (feminine), sulfur the soul (masculine), and salt, the body. If this is getting a little too far out for the average reader, be assured that the author has reasonable explanations for his treatise, and goes on to provide practical examples of how these essences interact. "Mercury is always a volatile substance on the material plane, Sulfur an oily substance, and Salt a substance of solid consistency."

Spagyrics goes farther than mere herbalism, and its proponents believe that the extra steps made to break the herbs down and recombine them, by boiling, by steam and by extraction, produce a medicine more potent than the usual herbal remedy. However, should you wish to produce spagyric products you will need specialized equipment not generally required to create mere herbal medicines. You will need to understand the principles and to be patient alchemy takes time. Moreover, a knowledge of astrology is required, as well as familiarity with a body of symbols (given in the book). You must think of your work as continual experimentation with a spiritual purpose, merging with unity instead of acting individualistically.

Junius asserts, "It is only when man finds his way back to the whole that we can heal completely. As long as the parts behave as if they were the whole, the situation remains confused." Wisely, he adds, "The same applies to politics and religion."

If you've always been curious about the real nature of alchemy, this book will help you in that search. If you are looking for more holistic ways to heal, this book will supply many thought-provoking guidelines. It will be cherished by those already familiar with the subject matter, and represents a bold undertaking by its author.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Barbara Bamberger Scott, 2008

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