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John Reid's Course on Practical Alchemy - Conclusion

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In writing this book I have fulfilled a promise made it seems an eternity ago. Divine Providence has seen fit to bless me with some measure of success in this art, though there is still though a long way to go. I am surely no adept at this science. All of it, of course, is not known to me; that small portion that is known is shared lovingly with you. For freely it was given and freely I shall give.

This subject has been presented as I understand it. If my explanation of the three essentials and the four elements seems amateurish then I must confess, an amateur has written it. If you feel the wording of the last two processes are a transparent attempt at coyness, then my plea is guilty. It was never my intention to be, or portray myself as a master in this art. I have only hoped to inspire others to take up the study of this subject.

The first time the process for the plant stone unfolded before my eyes to completion, I knew the stories of the alchemist were true. In truth if one thinks about this process they will see that nature is completely imitated, nothing at all is wasted. All things are simply broken down to their first matter and then reassembled by art to a higher form. Elevation or evolution of matter is the final aim of alchemy. It matters not a bit if one is working with plants, animals or minerals. Nature in her wisdom is simple and acts always the same.

We see in the small work an exact mirror of the great work. While this stone will not make gold it is a treasure nonetheless. One can see that it is indeed imperative to master the Minor Opus before you do the Magnum Opus.

When I wrote earlier in the book that gradually I was able to understand what the alchemists said, this was slightly misstated. I should have said, I felt what the alchemists meant. So much of this art is delivered to the alchemist through his soul. He feels intuitively what to do. Even if he has not gotten the nuts and bolts down of certain things, he KNOWS how to proceed. This is a hard thing to explain but it is true.

The author is very interested in corresponding with persons who are actively engaged in the study of the Hermetic art or are earnestly striving to learn it. He has designed a graduated course of study composed of the teachings of the Western Inner tradition, to aid the student in recognizing and then walking the Path of Return. Mr. Reid also prepares customized alchemic herbal extracts for individuals. He may be reached by writing to: P.O. Box 223, Pelham N.Y. 10803, USA
Web Address: Http://

That which you have experienced,
And known within yourself,
Remains a belief, to everyone else.


I speak not fiction, but what is certain and most true.

What is below is like that which is above, and what is above is like that which is below for performing the miracle of one thing.

And as all things were produced from One by the Mediation of One, so all things are produced from this One thing by adaptation.

Its father is the Sun, its mother was the Moon, the wind carried it in its belly, its nurse is the Earth.

It is the cause of all perfection throughout the whole world.

Its power is perfect if it be changed into the earth.

Separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, gently, and with judgment.

It ascends from earth to heaven, and descends again to earth, thus you will possess the glory of the whole World and all obscurity will fly away.

This thing is the fortitude of all fortitude, because it overcomes all subtle things, and penetrates every solid thing. Thus were all things created.

Thence proceed wonderful adaptations which are produced in this way.

Therefore am I called Hermes Trismegistus, possessing the three parts of the philosophy of the whole World.

What I had to say concerning the operation of the Sun is complete.