A true alchemical oil of gold is a rare and special thing, for people living in any age. The power of herbs and their medicinal properties is well known to pharmacology and the public. However extracting the medicinal qualities of minerals and metals is an art still reserved to alchemy and the few, for various reasons. So what is it that distinguishes a true alchemical oil from other preparations? This article will accompany the gallery on the right.
For starters, an alchemical oil of gold does not contain any actual gold in it. The same is true of any alchemical metallic oil - there should be no metal present in the final preparation. Some products out there claiming to be oils of gold are actually colloidal. What is a colloidal? It is when a metal is broken down into very small (nano) particles and put into a liquid suspension. So when you drink a colloidal, you are actually drinking a metal. This is not good for you, sometimes it is toxic; with the exception of iron and trace minerals we do not need these metals for survival.
So what is an alchemical oil? Whatever kingdom we are working in - be it animal, vegetable or mineral, the “soul” of a particular thing is found in an substance we extract that resembles (but is not always chemically speaking) an oil. This oil contains the consciousness or personality of the material. In the completed oil of gold ( in the gallery above), the colour you can see is the soul, the medicinal qualities of the gold, but there is no actual gold in the finished product. This is one of the mysteries of alchemy - the ability for the operator to separate the soul from gold. Stephanos of Alexandria said “Alchemy is the art of separating bodies from souls”. So an alchemical oil will have the soul (colour) of the gold in it but not the body (the gold itself).
The basic process is that we have to first open the gold to unlock it’s healing potential. This is done by preparing the King's bath (a special acid to dissolve the gold) which converts the gold into liquid form. The gold is then made into a crystalline form and further steps are taken to purify it of any corrosives from the previous step. Next, a special menstruum (alchemical terminology for a solvent) is added to extract the gold. This in itself is a specially prepared menstruum that has very traditional roots in alchemy stretching back to famous alchemists like Ripley, Hollandus and Weidenfeld. This menstruum must die and be reborn in order to be useful, a classic hallmark of any operation that is truly alchemical. Once the menstruum is finished, it is added to the opened gold, whereby the whole matter becomes a liquid. The preparation is then allowed to digest for several months. A catalytic reaction takes place here, whereby the liquid solvent is imprinted by the chemical profile of the gold. Finally the menstruum is separated for future extractions and the gold oil is then circulated for use.
In a final act of magic, when a true alchemical gold tincturing process is complete, an alchemist gets his/her gold back because it is no longer in solution, and they can reuse it again many many times. You can see this in one of the final images, the gold has settled out at the bottom of the flask after extraction.
Another important test on anything claiming to be an alchemical oil is to put a drop of it on a copper plate. If, over time, the plate corrodes, it is not safe to drink. Some oils sold have not reached full maturation and can be unsafe. This is a simple, age old test to check whether the oil still contains any corrosives. Additionally, a "sweetening" process is done on the oil taken from the alchemical text, the Golden Chain of Homer. This is where it is washed several times to remove any residual nastiness. You can also test oils with pH paper to be sure they are not too acidic or alkaline.
In alchemy we seek to test and replicate not just physical creation of life like in science, but also the spiritual qualities inherent. We come to know through our work that mind and matter are inextricably connected – they are two sides of the One. As we work on something it works on us, there are also many subtle levels where consciousness interacts with the physical. All physical things have unique qualities and signatures, and we utilise these in our alchemical Great Work, for our evolution. I would encourage anyone curious or doubtful to test this concept by doing the work themselves via this ancient and well trodden path.
Working with and ingesting gold connects someone with their own inner sun, that place we feel blessed, radiant, full of vitality, a source of light, glory and “ruling” our domain inner and outer. For “As above, so below” says the Emerald Tablet of Hermes. Gold has a strong resonance with the heart as the Sun and gold exists on this correspondence. For ancient Egyptians, it was used to help build the astral body.