Friday, 6 August 2010

Nigredo & Albedo

This is all a bit haphazard... I'm jumping all over the place and not concentrating in any one place at the moment. But this is essential theorising before I've got the various things I need to actually start on the operation.

In my initial plans, I had thought of getting my potassium from ashes... my favourite pub has a wood-burning fire in the winter and I'm sure if someone wanted to take their ashes away, for whatever demented purpose, they'd be very pleased. But I've read recently that leaves have a much higher potassium content than trunks and branches so I've been pondering a more "leafy" source also bearing in mind my insistence that I use the most lowly substances that I can obtain.

I have a bit of an obsession that "organic" household waste shouldn't go to the landfill, that it should be composted which would be no problem if I had a garden... which I don't. Now, to add to my complications on this front, I drink a lot of tea and how to "ecologically" dispose of the old tea bags is quite a hassle.

Hang on a minute... tea... leaves... LEAVES! There we go, all I have to do is give my left-over tea leaves a vigorous heating and there's my source of potassium rich ash.

When it comes to procedures and general scientific theory, I'm much more of a modern amateur chemist than a more traditional alchemist... and all of that stuff with Albedo, Nigredo, Citrinitas and Rubedo don't really have that much place in my practice. But this new procedure that I'm adding in instead of just scrounging some ash is straight out of the manuscripts as far as Nigredo and Albedo are concerned.

See Steve Kalec's Salt Volatilization Experiment for an example of this more traditional alchemical work... for me... it's back to the chemistry textbooks.

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