airwolf

~*~ Elder Airwolf LoP Ministry Founder/Owner~*~

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Merry Meet Legionnaires~
I am sixth generation Native Blackfoot and Scottish Celt. My Grandmother was one of my mentors her being a shaman, and my other mentor was my Druid Celtic Aunt. I was raised pagan and my education started at the age
of seven and formally after my first moon lodge ritual at 12. I am also trained as a voodoo priestess.
I am a retired MSW, Psychotherapist/Hypnotherapist, and a Dr of Ministries. I provide individual and family counseling.

Chocolate-Peppermint Waffle Cookies


Makes: 36 servings Yields: 36 cookies Prep: 30 mins Bake: 1 min to 2 mins per batch

Chocolate-Peppermint Waffle Cookies

Ingredients
1
cup butter
4
ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2
cups granulated sugar
4
eggs
2
teaspoons vanilla
1/2
teaspoon salt
1/2
teaspoon instant coffee crystals
1/2
cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2
cups all-purpose flour
2
tablespoons butter
1/4
cup powdered sugar
2
tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1
tablespoons milk
1/4
teaspoon peppermint extract
 
Crushed peppermint candies

Directions

In a medium saucepan heat and stir the 1 cup butter and unsweetened chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl beat the granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and coffee crystals with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 4 minutes or until thick and pale. Beat in the melted chocolate mixture. Beat in the 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.
Heat an electric waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions. Lightly grease the grids. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into the center of each waffle section to make 1 1/2- to 2-inch cookies. Close the iron and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until set. Using a fork, loosen the cookies from the grid. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Repeat with remaining batter, lightly greasing grids after each batch.
In a small saucepan melt the 2 tablespoons butter over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in the powdered sugar and the 2 tablespoons cocoa powder until smooth. Stir in the milk and peppermint extract to make a thin glaze.
Dip one side of each cookie in the glaze to coat the top, allowing excess glaze to drip off. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies. Let stand until set.

From the Test Kitchen

To Store:

Layer unglazed cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Glaze before serving.

Nutrition Facts

 (Chocolate-Peppermint Waffle Cookies)

Per serving: 
145 kcal cal., 
8 g fat
 
(5 g sat. fat, 
2 g monounsatured fat),
36 mg chol., 
93 mg sodium, 
18 g carb., 
1 g fiber, 
11 g sugar, 
2 g pro.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

 

Having Out of Body Experiences


More often than not meditation is intended to calm an individual and allow the free flow of thought. This is considered the standard meditative practice – one which permits the forethoughts of everyday life to take the back seat to matters of deeper significance pertaining to our existence. However, some individuals do seek something more from meditation. They do not just seek peace of mind within themselves, but rather are in search for a universal truth that few have found thus far. This is to say that some individuals have chosen meditative paths based upon the desire to achieve an out-of-body experience.
 
Sometimes referred to as OBE’s or OOBE’s, out-of-body experiences are in layman’s terms the spiritual travel into an altered realm of existence. Please note that an alternate realm is to be distinguished from an altered state of consciousness. Meditation is very useful in assisting an individual to induce an altered state of consciousness. This means that the individual is not thinking in the same manner in which they had been prior to meditating. As an example, if you had been thinking about what to prepare for dinner for your family prior to a meditation session, and afterwards are reflecting about the history of mankind, you have indeed succeeded in reaching an alternate consciousness. However, to reach an alternate realm of existence signifies that the self-essence, or soul, has wholly detached itself from the body, or physical realm, to reach the spiritual realm. It has been declared by Edgar Cayce amongst others who have claimed to access the Akasha Records that the spiritual realm is the domain of the divine.
 
Though it would seem as if an out-of-body experience represents the truest form of discovery and truth, it is not necessarily the most beneficial route to be taken. Moreover, this route is not always voluntary. Many individuals with epilepsy are more prone to these experiences, and the average "Joe" is likely unable to reach the spiritual realm regardless of the effort put forth.
 
Additionally, if an individual seeks an out-of-body experience, there are  certain warnings that must be heeded. The conscious stride to become a conscious visitor in the spiritual realm often stems from a strong desire to know more about the divine. Some individuals, however, take this a step farther and utilize these experiences to acquire divine qualities. In Wicca, as well as other religions, the practice of invocation is used to summon a deity within the human who now only serves as an avatar. If the invocation is successful, the individual who is acting as an avatar might attempt to remain in the spiritual realm while the divine would be stuck in the physical realm. This, in essence, is a form of deification in which the human body now holds divine power and the human soul remains with Akasha. 
 

 

Fierce Amazon Women

Amazon Warriors Did Indeed Fight and Die Like Men
Archaeology shows that these fierce women also smoked pot, got tattoos, killed—and loved—men. 

Simon Worrall

for National Geographic

Published October 29, 2014

The Amazons got a bum rap in antiquity. They wore trousers. They smoked pot, covered their skin with tattoos, rode horses, and fought as hard as the guys. Legends sprang up like weeds. They cut off their breasts to fire their bows better! They mutilated or killed their boy children! Modern (mostly male) scholars continued the confabulations. The Amazons were hard-core feminists. Man haters. Delinquent mothers. Lesbians.

Drawing on a wealth of textual, artistic, and archaeological evidence, Adrienne Mayor, author of The Amazons, dispels these myths and takes us inside the truly wild and wonderful world of these ancient warrior women.

Talking from her home in Palo Alto, California, she explains what Johnny Depp has in common with Amazons, why the Amazon spirit is breaking out all over pop culture, and who invented trousers.

We associate the word Amazon with digital book sales these days. Tell us about the real Amazons.

The real Amazons were long believed to be purely imaginary. They were the mythical warrior women who were the archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Every Greek hero or champion, from Hercules to Theseus and Achilles, had to prove his mettle by fighting a powerful warrior queen.

We know their names: Hippolyta, Antiope, Thessalia. But they were long thought to be just travelers' tales or products of the Greek storytelling imagination. A lot of scholars still argue that. But archaeology has now proven without a doubt that there really were women fitting the description that the Greeks gave us of Amazons and warrior women.

The Greeks located them in the areas north and east of the Mediterranean on the vast steppes of Eurasia. Archaeologists have been digging up thousands of graves of people called Scythians by the Greeks. They turn out to be people whose women fought, hunted, rode horses, used bows and arrows, just like the men. (See "Masters of Gold.")

What archaeological proofs have been discovered to show that these mythical beings actually existed?

They've been excavating Scythian kurgans, which are the burial mounds of these nomadic peoples. They all had horse-centred lifestyles, ranging across vast distances from the Black Sea all the way to Mongolia. They lived in small tribes, so it makes sense that everyone in the tribe is a stakeholder. They all have to contribute to defense and to war efforts and hunting. They all have to be able to defend themselves.

The great equalizer for those peoples was the domestication of horses and the invention of horse riding, followed by the perfection of the Scythian bow, which is smaller and very powerful. If you think about it, a woman on a horse with a bow, trained since childhood, can be just as fast and as deadly as a boy or man.

Archaeologists have found skeletons buried with bows and arrows and quivers and spears and horses. At first they assumed that anyone buried with weapons in that region must have been a male warrior. But with the advent of DNA testing and other bioarchaeological scientific analysis, they've found that about one-third of all Scythian women are buried with weapons and have war injuries just like the men. The women were also buried with knives and daggers and tools. So burial with masculine-seeming grave goods is no longer taken as an indicator of a male warrior. It's overwhelming proof that there were women answering to the description of the ancient Amazons.

Why were they called Amazons?

[Laughs.] That's such a complex story that I actually devoted an entire chapter to it. It's the one thing everyone seems to think they know about Amazons: that the name has something to do with only having one breast so they could easily fire an arrow or hurl a spear. But anyone who's watched The Hunger Games, or female archers, knows that that is an absolutely physiologically ridiculous idea. Indeed, no ancient Greek artworks—and there are thousands—show a woman with one breast.

All modern scholars point out that the plural noun "Amazones" was not originally a Greek word—and has nothing to do with breasts. The notion that "Amazon" meant "without breast" was invented by the Greek historian Hellanikos in the fifth century B.C.

He tried to force a Greek meaning on the foreign loan word: a for "lack" and "mazon," which sounded a bit like the Greek word for breast. His idea was rejected by other historians of his own day, and no ancient artist bought the story. But it stuck like superglue. Two early reviews of my book even claimed I accept that false etymology. Linguists today suggest that the name derives from ancient Iranian or Caucasian roots.

You describe them as "aggressive, independent man-killers." Were Amazons also lesbians?

That is one of the ideas that have arisen in modern times. Nobody in antiquity ever suggested that. We know that the ancient Greeks and Romans were not shy about discussing homosexuality among men or women. So if that idea had been current in antiquity, someone would have mentioned it.

The one interesting artistic bit of evidence that I did find is a vase that shows a Thracian huntress giving a love gift to the Queen of the Amazons, Penthesilea. That's a strong indication that at least someone thought of the idea of a love affair between Amazons. But just because we don't have any written evidence and only that one unique vase doesn't preclude that Amazons might have had relations with each other. It's just that it has nothing to do with the ancient idea of Amazons.

The strong bond of sisterhood was a famous trait in classical art and literature about Amazons. But it was modern people who interpreted that as a sexual preference for women. That started in the 20th century. The Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva declared that Amazons were symbolic of lesbianism in antiquity. Then others took that up. But the ancient Greeks didn't think of them as lesbians. They described them as lovers of men, actually. Man-killers—and man lovers.

You refer to the "Amazon spirit." What are its key characteristics?

I used that phrase in the dedication to a good friend of mine, Sunny Bock. She was a strong figure who believed in equality between men and women. She rode motorcycles, she rode horses, then became the first female railroad engineer. She was a risktaker who died an untimely death, probably because of her life of risk. She embodied the Amazon spirit: the assumption that women are the equals of men and that they could be just as noble and brave and heroic.

That comes through in the artworks and literature about Amazons. The Greeks were both fascinated and appalled by such independent women. They were so different from their wives and daughters. Yet there was a fascination. They were captivated by them. Pictures of Amazons on vase paintings always show them as beautiful, active, spirited, courageous, and brave.

I talked to a vase expert whose specialty is gestures on Greek vases. He has written an article about gestures begging for mercy in single combat images. Quite a few of the losers in duels are shown gesturing for mercy. But among Amazons, not so much. We have about 1,300 or so images of Amazons fighting. And only about two or three of them are gesturing for mercy. So they're shown to be extremely courageous and heroic. And I think that's the Amazon spirit.

Amazons smoked pot and drank a powerful concoction of fermented mare's milk called kumis, which they used in rituals. Put us around a campfire in ancient Scythia.

In that picture of the ancient Amazons sitting around their campfire we also have to include men. We don't have any evidence that there were whole societies with nothing but women. When we say Amazons, we mean Scythian women. In this case Scythian warrior women.

Herodotus gives us a very good picture. He says that they gathered a flower or leaves or seeds—he wasn't absolutely sure—and sat around a campfire and threw these plants onto the fire. They became intoxicated from the smoke and then would get up and dance and shout and yell with joy. It's pretty certain he was talking about hemp, because he actually does call it cannabis. He just wasn't certain whether it was the leaves or the flower or the bud. But we know they used intoxicants. Archaeologists are finding proof of this in the graves. Every Scythian man and woman was buried with a hemp-smoking kit, including a little charcoal brazier.

Herodotus also described a technique in which they would build a sauna-type arrangement of felt tents, probably in wintertime on the steppes. He describes it as like a tepee with a felt or leather canopy. They would take the hemp-smoking equipment inside the tent and get high. They've found the makings of those tents in many Scythian graves. They've also found the remains of kumis, the fermented mare's milk. I give a recipe in the book for a freezing technique they used to raise its potency. [Laughs.] Do not try this at home.

They were also very big on tattoos, weren't they?

There are a lot of tattoos—beautifully, lovingly detailed tattoos in images of Thracian and Scythian women on vase paintings. Ancient Greek historians described the tattooing practices of the culturally related tribes of Eurasia.

According to one account, Scythian women taught the Thracian women how to tattoo. The Greeks had lots of slaves from the Black Sea area, and they were all tattooed. They thought of tattoos as a sort of punishment. Who would voluntarily mark their bodies? Yet once again they had this push-pull attraction and anxiety about these foreign cultures.

We also now have archaeological evidence that Amazon-like women were tattooed. Tattoo kits been discovered in ancient Scythian burials. The frozen bodies of several heavily tattooed Scythian men and women have been recovered from graves. The famous Ice Princess is just one example—her tattoos of deer call to mind the tattoos depicted in Greek vase paintings.

Johnny Depp said, My skin is my journal, and the tattoos are the stories. I think that's a good way to think of this. They could have been initiations, they could be just for decoration, they could represent special experiences, either in reality or dreams. We don't really know. All we know is that they were heavily tattooed, mostly with real and fantastical animals and geometric designs.

A question I have been dying to ask: Who invented trousers?

The Greeks credited three different warrior women with the invention of trousers. Medea, a mythical sorceress and princess from the Caucasus region, was credited with inventing the outfit that was taken up by Scythians and Persians. The other two were Queen Semiramis, a legendary Assyrian figure, and Queen Rhodogune, which means "woman in red." The Greeks were not that far off. Trousers were invented by the people who first rode horses—and those were people from the steppes.

Leg coverings are absolutely essential if you're going to spend your life on horseback. Trousers are also the first tailored garments. They were pieced together and sewn. The Greeks wore rectangles of cloth held together with pins. They thought trousers were an abomination worn by the barbarians. But once again, they're fascinated by them.

In the vase paintings the Amazons have wildly spotted and striped and checked leggings and trousers. One of the things I find most interesting is that it was not just the men who rejected trousers. Greek women didn't wear them either. Yet we find images of beautiful Amazons in trousers on women's perfume jars and jewelry boxes. I think there's something going on in Greek private life that we don't really know about yet.

There was even an Amazon island, wasn't there?

Yes. It's the only island off the southern coast of the Black Sea. It's now called Giresun Island. But it was first written about in Apollonius of Rhodes's version of the epic poem The Argonauts. As Jason and the Argonauts are sailing east on the Black Sea, they stop at what they call Island of Ares or Amazon Island. There they see the ruins of a temple and an altar, where they claim the Amazons sacrificed horses and worshipped before they went to war.

This is really interesting, because it means the Greeks were finding ruins associated with Amazons as far back as the Bronze Age. It shows how real the Amazons were to them. Recently, Turkish archaeologists found the altar and temple ruins that are mentioned in Jason and the Argonauts.

They got a bad press in the ancient world, didn't they? There were rumors that they maimed and even castrated young boys. Separate the fiction from the fact.

The idea that Amazons abandoned, maimed, or killed young boys is a fairly early story that circulated among the Greeks, because several writers assumed that Amazon societies must be women only.

That then raised the question: How do they reproduce? They came up with these stories of women agreeing to meet with neighboring tribes to reproduce. But then what did they do with the boys? So there were stories that they either maimed them so that they couldn't participate in warfare or that they actually killed them to get rid of them and only kept the girls.

The most common story was that they sent the boys back to the fathers to be raised. Many modern scholars interpreted this as proof that they abandoned their duties as mothers. They don't take care of their babies! They give them away! Blah, blah, blah.

But it turns out that it was a very common custom among nomadic people, called fosterage. Sending sons to be raised by another tribe ensures that you're going to have good relations with that tribe. It's a way of sealing treaties. It was very common in antiquity.

Philip the Great was raised by an ally of his father. It was also common in the Middle Ages in Europe. It's also a way of ensuring you don't have incest within the tribe. The fact that the Scythian and Thracian tribes probably practiced fosterage led to these stories that the Amazons gave their sons to the father's tribe. That's probably a reality. But there is no archaeological evidence that they maimed boys.

Tell us about modern-day Amazons.

Today's news from the Middle East and Syria is filled with images of Kurdish Peshmerga women fighting IS. There are movies and TV series featuring bold warrior women and even Amazons. It started with Xena: Warrior Princess, and then there were the animated films Brave and Mulan and The Hunger Games and the role of Atalanta in the Hercules film. The new Vikings TV show has all the shield maidens. And of course there are strong women in A Game of Thrones. So everyone's really aware of the idea of warrior women.

It's sort of fair to say that Amazons, both as reality and as a dream of equality, have always been with us. It's just that sometimes that fiery Amazon spirit is hidden from view or even suppressed. Right now they're blazing back into popular culture.

BLYSSFUL SUN'S DAY PAGANS!

Blyssful Sun's Day Legionnaires~

All of nature responds to these currents. It is only the human family that has forgotten, because it can no longer see the inner side of reality. The light forces are moving either toward or outward from Earth. This is what creates our seasons. The path of the Sun is intricately involved in the movement of the light currents that fall to Earth.

During Fall Equinox, light from the Sun penetrates the outer atmospheric layers of Earth. At Winter Solstice, the light penetrates into the core of our globe. From a distance outside our solar system, Earth looks like a fiery sphere spinning in the heavens. During the Spring Equinox, the light once again is on the periphery of Earth, and at Summer Solstice, the light is high in the heavens. Note that the light is deep within the core of Earth during winter and high in the heavens during summer. This is both a metaphor and a reality on inner levels.

We can minister to our own personal psychology if we attune ourselves to the influences of the different radiances of light falling to Earth each month and during the solstices and equinoxes. Light waves descending to and ascending outward from Earth are an occult fact, meaning an inner reality not seen by most. Those of us desiring a more complete communion with spiritual forces must come to intelligent terms with this reality, for it is the movement of these ever-changing currents of light poured upon Earth that provide our evolutionary growth. These surges of power propel all kingdoms on Earth upward, lift the spinal spirit fire of the body into the heart and head centers, and have the effect of providing illumination for those of us who have prepared through intelligence and intention to participate.

The Winter Solstice has historically been the time of birth for all of Earth's great teachers. Because it is the time of new light for the planet, World Teachers choose this particular time to incarnate because they always bring with them a new teaching. This teaching is a new state of illumination for the people of Earth. Winter Solstice occurs on December 21, the same time that the planetary keynote changes from Sagittarius to Capricorn. At the time of the Winter Solstice, the light currents submerged within the core of the Earth reverse and change course, just like the Sun, which is reversing its southward course and turning northward. A reverse movement of any planetary body creates a powerful force until the new motion or path stabilizes. Therefore, from December 21 to midnight on the morning of December 25th, there is a powerful force field of light and radiation enveloping the Earth.

Blessed Yule~Winter Solstice!
~Elder Airwolf~

RUSTIC RED FIFE WHOLE GRAIN BREAD

RUSTIC RED FIFE WHOLE GRAIN BREAD

This handsome Red Fife whole grain boule was proofed in a cloth-lined mixing bowl.

DIFFICULTY: 
YIELD: One 1½-pound loaf
TIME: Day one, 10 minutes to make the preferments, and an overnight fermentation to develop flavor; Day two, about 30 minutes active prep time to knead and later shape the dough, about 6 hours dough-rising time, and 30 minutes to bake the bread
INTRODUCTION{ show full text }
Taxed to come up with a 100 percent whole grain country loaf using Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour, we were doubtful—very doubtful, frankly—we’d ever come up with anything quite as elegant as a simple French country loaf made with unbleached white flour. White flour is far farris non grata around Anson Mills where whole grains rule, but we’re actually pretty fond of it. Freshly milled and screened, white flour is a baker’s best friend. It’s fine, easy to knead,...

Taxed to come up with a 100 percent whole grain country loaf using Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour, we were doubtful—very doubtful, frankly—we’d ever come up with anything quite as elegant as a simple French country loaf made with unbleached white flour. White flour is far farris non grata around Anson Mills where whole grains rule, but we’re actually pretty fond of it. Freshly milled and screened, white flour is a baker’s best friend. It’s fine, easy to knead,...

Taxed to come up with a 100 percent whole grain country loaf using Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour, we were doubtful—very doubtful, frankly—we’d ever come up with anything quite as elegant as a simple French country loaf made with unbleached white flour. White flour is far farris non grata around Anson Mills where whole grains rule, but we’re actually pretty fond of it. Freshly milled and screened, white flour is a baker’s best friend. It’s fine, easy to knead, reliable, and capable of producing bread with a gloriously open, moist golden crumb, clean, sweet flavor, and a shattering crisp crust, even at home.

But we don’t wish to malign whole grains: whole grains are simply whole kernels, so every part of their seed architecture—bran, germ, endosperm—is preserved in the milling process, and left in the flour. That means fiber, micronutrients, nutrition, flavor. These are good things, right? Well, yes, but even good things can spell problems for the baker. That fabulous fiber in the bran (that bran, which, if we’re honest, can taste a tad bitter) interferes with carbon dioxide production in the dough and compromises its rise. Many of us have baked whole grain breads that reflect this problem: breads coarse of crumb and diminished in stature, breads that stale within hours. And despite the fact that Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour is an outstanding bread flour, that’s just what was happening to us.

We’d probably still be rubbing dough from our fingers and swearing were it not for the insight and instruction of Peter Reinhart in his book, Whole Grain Breads (Ten Speed Press, 2007). When we finally got our hands on this book and started reading it—deep into the disappointment phase of our baking trials—we were flooded with the relief of finding someone who had experienced our problems personally, solved them, and would teach us to do the same. A diagnosis and a cure all at the same time.

Not to get super specialized about details of Mr. Reinhart’s research and its outcomes—which is long-ranging, far-reaching, and decades deep (plus, you can always buy the book)—suffice it to say that Mr. Reinhart finds a way to capture “the full potential of flavor trapped in whole grain.” He does this by creating conditions favorable to enzymatic activity (and essential for flavor development in whole grain breads) with the parallel creation of two small doughs, or “preferments,” and delayed fermentation techniques. First, a firm starter dough (which he calls a “soaker”) of flour, water, and salt, but no yeast, is mixed together and rests at room temperature for 24 hours. Once moist, enzymes in the soaker-starter become active, hastening the conversion of amylase, a starch closely associated with flavor, to amylose, a sugar. This conversion sweetens the grain mixture prior to baking and produces other enymatic compounds that promote flavor development during the baking process itself.

In conjunction with the soaker, Mr. Reinhart makes a second firm dough, this one containing flour, water, and a small amount of yeast, and refrigerates it for 24 hours—a process that allows fermentation flavors to develop, but prevents the yeast from dying of exhaustion. Longer fermentation times—required to get under-yeasted doughs up to speed—signal a complex set of enzymatic activities at work in the dough. In a dough with minimal yeast, the yeast depletes available sugars in the flour after a couple of hours and is forced to seek fresh sustenance by converting damaged starches (produced in the milling process) to sugars. The longer it takes a dough to rise, the more interesting the fermentation flavors become—and the more interesting the flavor of the bread itself.

On the second day, the two doughs are combined, given a fresh infusion of yeast, a bit of flour, and some salt, and mixed or kneaded like regular bread dough. The activated enzymes in each give the final dough a big jump in terms of flavor and an extra lift when the bread hits the oven. It is a technique that produces a phenomenal loaf of whole grain bread: moist, richly flavored, and nicely lofted with a deep, crisp-chewy crust.

In many respects, our final recipe sticks closely to Mr. Reinhart’s. But Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour, like all quirky new crop heirlooms, hydrates differently than other whole grain flours. Less water is required, and the dough takes longer to absorb it. We were forced to cut back on the amount of yeast in the final dough—the Red Fife flour must have made the yeast giddy with appetite because the dough kept overproofing. We trimmed back the yeast and increased the proof times.

A final comment on this bread: in our head to head trials with other first class whole grain flours to assess flavor and performance, Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour blew the competition away. We were a bit surprised, actually—it wasn’t even close.

BAKING NOTES{ show full text }
Once the two preferments get together in the mixer, they become one sticky dough. This dough doesn’t relinquish its stickiness easily with additional kneading or by throwing more flour at it. The 2 tablespoons of olive oil help to some degree—and though Mr. Reinhart suggests adding it to increase aeration, we like the results either way. The best approach to stickiness management is using wet hands to handle the dough.

Stickiness notwithstanding, Red Fife is a bread flour...

Once the two preferments get together in the mixer, they become one sticky dough. This dough doesn’t relinquish its stickiness easily with additional kneading or by throwing more flour at it. The 2 tablespoons of olive oil help to some degree—and though Mr. Reinhart suggests adding it to increase aeration, we like the results either way. The best approach to stickiness management is using wet hands to handle the dough.

Stickiness notwithstanding, Red Fife is a bread flour...

Once the two preferments get together in the mixer, they become one sticky dough. This dough doesn’t relinquish its stickiness easily with additional kneading or by throwing more flour at it. The 2 tablespoons of olive oil help to some degree—and though Mr. Reinhart suggests adding it to increase aeration, we like the results either way. The best approach to stickiness management is using wet hands to handle the dough.

Stickiness notwithstanding, Red Fife is a bread flour and this is a muscular dough. It needs to be kneaded by machine—not by hand—to fully develop the flour’s gluten. If the dough feels especially taut and tough when you pull it from the mixing bowl, wet your hands and knead the dough a few times in succession on the counter to hydrate the dough and make it more supple.

The gluten window we mention in the body of the recipe signals the strength and extensibility of the dough. You can test this by pulling up a bit of dough between the thumb and forefinger of each hand and stretching it. When the dough is properly kneaded, it will stretch into a membrane thin enough to see through. This is the gluten window.

Working with a number of bread doughs recently, we fell in love with the utility and aesthetic of a coiled cane proofing basket known as a brotform. Sprinkled inside with flour, a brotform cradles the dough during its final rise, helping wetter doughs retain their shape. Unmolded just before baking onto a parchment-lined pizza peel or inverted sheet pan, the coiled design of the brotform leaves beautiful tracings on the dough. You can fabricate your own proofing basket—albeit one minus the design—by lining a 1½-quart mixing bowl with a clean linen napkin. Let the edges of the napkin drape over the rim of the bowl, and then secure the napkin by tying a length of kitchen twine around the bowl’s circumference. Flour the inside of the bowl generously and shake out the excess.

EQUIPMENT MISE EN PLACE
For this recipe, you will need a digital kitchen scale; two small mixing bowls; a wooden spoon; a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment; a pizza stone; a clean unglazed terra cotta pot about 10 inches in diameter, its bottom hole plugged with foil; a plastic dough scraper or large rubber spatula; an 8-inch brotform proofing basket or home-fabricated proofing basket described in Baking Remarks; a pastry brush; parchment paper; a pizza peel or baking sheet; long oven mitts; a baker’s lame or single-edged razor blade; an instant-read thermometer; and a wire cooling rack.

for the unleavened preferment:
8
ounces (1 cup plus 7 tablespoons) Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour
½
teaspoon fine sea salt
5
ounces (about ⅔ cup) spring or filtered water, warm (about 105 degrees)
for the leavened preferment:
8
ounces (1 cup plus 7 tablespoons) Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour
½
teaspoon instant yeast
5
ounces (about ⅔ cup) spring or filtered water, warm (about 105 degrees)
for the dough:
¾
teaspoon instant yeast
2
teaspoons honey or agave nectar
2
tablespoons olive oil

teaspoon fine sea salt 
2
ounces (¼ cup) Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour
Make the unleavened preferment: Mix the flour and salt in a small bowl. Pour in the water and stir the ingredients with your fingertips or a wooden spoon until they form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough by hand in the bowl, wiping the sides of the bowl with the dough ball to clean them, and then turn the ball out onto the countertop. Knead the dough about 2 minute more; it will be smooth and tacky. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and let it stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
Make the leavened preferment: Mix the flour and yeast in a small bowl. Pour in the water and stir the ingredients with your fingertips or a wooden spoon until they form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough by hand in the bowl, wiping the sides of the bowl with the dough ball to clean them, then turn the ball out onto the countertop. Knead the dough until smooth and strong, about 5 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Note: The two preferments look like identical twins (fig. 2.1).
Make the dough: After 24 hours, the unleavened preferment will smell sweet and look slightly sweaty from sitting up all night, but will not differ much visually from the day before. The leavened preferment, on the other hand, will look about 6 months pregnant. Remove the leavened preferment from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours before mixing the final dough.
After 2 hours, combine both preferments in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the yeast, honey or agave, olive oil, and salt and mix on low speed until no yeast granules are visible and the dough is smooth and sinewy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and continue to knead the dough on medium speed until it is strong and a small piece of it can be gently stretched with the fingers into a see-through gluten window (see Baking Notes), 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Wet your hands, pull the dough from the bowl and off the dough hook, and throw it on the counter. If the dough feels stubbornly taut, wet your hands and knead it 2 or 3 times to hydrate the dough. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it doubles in size and looks spongy and pocked, about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position; remove any additional racks. Place a pizza stone on the rack and set a large, clean terra cotta pot on the stone (don’t forget to first plug the hole in the pot with a small ball of aluminum foil). Heat the oven to 500 degrees.
Shape the dough: Using a plastic dough scraper or large rubber spatula, gently ease the risen dough from the bowl onto the countertop, leaving as much air in the dough as possible. Shape the dough into a rough ball. Cup both hands around the sides of the ball and drag its bottom against the counter, using friction to stretch and tighten the dough into a smooth, round ball (fig. 6.1). Turn the dough ball smooth-side down into a floured 8-inch brotform or home-fabricated 1½-quart proofing basket. Wet your fingers and pinch the seams of the dough to seal them (fig. 6.2). Brush the top of the dough with oil, then drape plastic wrap lightly over the basket and let the dough rise at room temperature until it appears light and airy and has risen close to the top of the brotform or bowl, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Bake the bread: Gently invert the brotform with the risen dough over a parchment paper–lined pizza peel or inverted baking sheet. Lift the basket off the dough. Using a baker’s lame or single-edged razor blade, slash an X into the top of the dough. Wearing long oven mitts, quickly pull the oven rack halfway out and transfer the pot from the stone to the open oven door. Slide the dough and its parchment from the pizza peel onto the stone and invert the pot immediately over the dough. Slide the rack back in, close the oven door, and reduce the heat to 450 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pot and continue to bake the bread until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 190 to 200 degrees, about 5 minutes longer. The bread should be nicely risen and a dark russet brown. Using potholders, transfer the bread from the oven to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

[RUSTIC RED FIFE WHOLE GRAIN BREAD This handsome Red Fife whole grain boule was proofed in a cloth-lined mixing bowl. DOWNLOAD RECIPE DIFFICULTY: YIELD: One 1½-pound loaf TIME: Day one, 10 minutes to make the preferments, and an overnight fermentation to develop flavor; Day two, about 30 minutes active prep time to knead and later shape the dough, about 6 hours dough-rising time, and 30 minutes to bake the bread INTRODUCTION{ show full text } Taxed to come up with a 100 percent whole grain country loaf using Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour, we were doubtful—very doubtful, frankly—we’d ever come up with anything quite as elegant as a simple French country loaf made with unbleached white flour. White flour is far farris non grata around Anson Mills where whole grains rule, but we’re actually pretty fond of it. Freshly milled and screened, white flour is a baker’s best friend. It’s fine, easy to knead,... Taxed to come up with a 100 percent whole grain country loaf using Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour, we were doubtful—very doubtful, frankly—we’d ever come up with anything quite as elegant as a simple French country loaf made with unbleached white flour. White flour is far farris non grata around Anson Mills where whole grains rule, but we’re actually pretty fond of it. Freshly milled and screened, white flour is a baker’s best friend. It’s fine, easy to knead,... Taxed to come up with a 100 percent whole grain country loaf using Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour, we were doubtful—very doubtful, frankly—we’d ever come up with anything quite as elegant as a simple French country loaf made with unbleached white flour. White flour is far farris non grata around Anson Mills where whole grains rule, but we’re actually pretty fond of it. Freshly milled and screened, white flour is a baker’s best friend. It’s fine, easy to knead, reliable, and capable of producing bread with a gloriously open, moist golden crumb, clean, sweet flavor, and a shattering crisp crust, even at home. But we don’t wish to malign whole grains: whole grains are simply whole kernels, so every part of their seed architecture—bran, germ, endosperm—is preserved in the milling process, and left in the flour. That means fiber, micronutrients, nutrition, flavor. These are good things, right? Well, yes, but even good things can spell problems for the baker. That fabulous fiber in the bran (that bran, which, if we’re honest, can taste a tad bitter) interferes with carbon dioxide production in the dough and compromises its rise. Many of us have baked whole grain breads that reflect this problem: breads coarse of crumb and diminished in stature, breads that stale within hours. And despite the fact that Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour is an outstanding bread flour, that’s just what was happening to us. We’d probably still be rubbing dough from our fingers and swearing were it not for the insight and instruction of Peter Reinhart in his book, Whole Grain Breads (Ten Speed Press, 2007). When we finally got our hands on this book and started reading it—deep into the disappointment phase of our baking trials—we were flooded with the relief of finding someone who had experienced our problems personally, solved them, and would teach us to do the same. A diagnosis and a cure all at the same time. Not to get super specialized about details of Mr. Reinhart’s research and its outcomes—which is long-ranging, far-reaching, and decades deep (plus, you can always buy the book)—suffice it to say that Mr. Reinhart finds a way to capture “the full potential of flavor trapped in whole grain.” He does this by creating conditions favorable to enzymatic activity (and essential for flavor development in whole grain breads) with the parallel creation of two small doughs, or “preferments,” and delayed fermentation techniques. First, a firm starter dough (which he calls a “soaker”) of flour, water, and salt, but no yeast, is mixed together and rests at room temperature for 24 hours. Once moist, enzymes in the soaker-starter become active, hastening the conversion of amylase, a starch closely associated with flavor, to amylose, a sugar. This conversion sweetens the grain mixture prior to baking and produces other enymatic compounds that promote flavor development during the baking process itself. In conjunction with the soaker, Mr. Reinhart makes a second firm dough, this one containing flour, water, and a small amount of yeast, and refrigerates it for 24 hours—a process that allows fermentation flavors to develop, but prevents the yeast from dying of exhaustion. Longer fermentation times—required to get under-yeasted doughs up to speed—signal a complex set of enzymatic activities at work in the dough. In a dough with minimal yeast, the yeast depletes available sugars in the flour after a couple of hours and is forced to seek fresh sustenance by converting damaged starches (produced in the milling process) to sugars. The longer it takes a dough to rise, the more interesting the fermentation flavors become—and the more interesting the flavor of the bread itself. On the second day, the two doughs are combined, given a fresh infusion of yeast, a bit of flour, and some salt, and mixed or kneaded like regular bread dough. The activated enzymes in each give the final dough a big jump in terms of flavor and an extra lift when the bread hits the oven. It is a technique that produces a phenomenal loaf of whole grain bread: moist, richly flavored, and nicely lofted with a deep, crisp-chewy crust. In many respects, our final recipe sticks closely to Mr. Reinhart’s. But Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour, like all quirky new crop heirlooms, hydrates differently than other whole grain flours. Less water is required, and the dough takes longer to absorb it. We were forced to cut back on the amount of yeast in the final dough—the Red Fife flour must have made the yeast giddy with appetite because the dough kept overproofing. We trimmed back the yeast and increased the proof times. A final comment on this bread: in our head to head trials with other first class whole grain flours to assess flavor and performance, Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour blew the competition away. We were a bit surprised, actually—it wasn’t even close. BAKING NOTES{ show full text } Once the two preferments get together in the mixer, they become one sticky dough. This dough doesn’t relinquish its stickiness easily with additional kneading or by throwing more flour at it. The 2 tablespoons of olive oil help to some degree—and though Mr. Reinhart suggests adding it to increase aeration, we like the results either way. The best approach to stickiness management is using wet hands to handle the dough. Stickiness notwithstanding, Red Fife is a bread flour... Once the two preferments get together in the mixer, they become one sticky dough. This dough doesn’t relinquish its stickiness easily with additional kneading or by throwing more flour at it. The 2 tablespoons of olive oil help to some degree—and though Mr. Reinhart suggests adding it to increase aeration, we like the results either way. The best approach to stickiness management is using wet hands to handle the dough. Stickiness notwithstanding, Red Fife is a bread flour... Once the two preferments get together in the mixer, they become one sticky dough. This dough doesn’t relinquish its stickiness easily with additional kneading or by throwing more flour at it. The 2 tablespoons of olive oil help to some degree—and though Mr. Reinhart suggests adding it to increase aeration, we like the results either way. The best approach to stickiness management is using wet hands to handle the dough. Stickiness notwithstanding, Red Fife is a bread flour and this is a muscular dough. It needs to be kneaded by machine—not by hand—to fully develop the flour’s gluten. If the dough feels especially taut and tough when you pull it from the mixing bowl, wet your hands and knead the dough a few times in succession on the counter to hydrate the dough and make it more supple. The gluten window we mention in the body of the recipe signals the strength and extensibility of the dough. You can test this by pulling up a bit of dough between the thumb and forefinger of each hand and stretching it. When the dough is properly kneaded, it will stretch into a membrane thin enough to see through. This is the gluten window. Working with a number of bread doughs recently, we fell in love with the utility and aesthetic of a coiled cane proofing basket known as a brotform. Sprinkled inside with flour, a brotform cradles the dough during its final rise, helping wetter doughs retain their shape. Unmolded just before baking onto a parchment-lined pizza peel or inverted sheet pan, the coiled design of the brotform leaves beautiful tracings on the dough. You can fabricate your own proofing basket—albeit one minus the design—by lining a 1½-quart mixing bowl with a clean linen napkin. Let the edges of the napkin drape over the rim of the bowl, and then secure the napkin by tying a length of kitchen twine around the bowl’s circumference. Flour the inside of the bowl generously and shake out the excess. EQUIPMENT MISE EN PLACE For this recipe, you will need a digital kitchen scale; two small mixing bowls; a wooden spoon; a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment; a pizza stone; a clean unglazed terra cotta pot about 10 inches in diameter, its bottom hole plugged with foil; a plastic dough scraper or large rubber spatula; an 8-inch brotform proofing basket or home-fabricated proofing basket described in Baking Remarks; a pastry brush; parchment paper; a pizza peel or baking sheet; long oven mitts; a baker’s lame or single-edged razor blade; an instant-read thermometer; and a wire cooling rack. for the unleavened preferment: 8 ounces (1 cup plus 7 tablespoons) Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour ½ teaspoon fine sea salt 5 ounces (about ⅔ cup) spring or filtered water, warm (about 105 degrees) for the leavened preferment: 8 ounces (1 cup plus 7 tablespoons) Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour ½ teaspoon instant yeast 5 ounces (about ⅔ cup) spring or filtered water, warm (about 105 degrees) for the dough: ¾ teaspoon instant yeast 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar 2 tablespoons olive oil ⅝ teaspoon fine sea salt 2 ounces (¼ cup) Anson Mills Rustic Red Fife Bread Flour Make the unleavened preferment: Mix the flour and salt in a small bowl. Pour in the water and stir the ingredients with your fingertips or a wooden spoon until they form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough by hand in the bowl, wiping the sides of the bowl with the dough ball to clean them, and then turn the ball out onto the countertop. Knead the dough about 2 minute more; it will be smooth and tacky. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and let it stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Make the leavened preferment: Mix the flour and yeast in a small bowl. Pour in the water and stir the ingredients with your fingertips or a wooden spoon until they form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough by hand in the bowl, wiping the sides of the bowl with the dough ball to clean them, then turn the ball out onto the countertop. Knead the dough until smooth and strong, about 5 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Note: The two preferments look like identical twins (fig. 2.1). Make the dough: After 24 hours, the unleavened preferment will smell sweet and look slightly sweaty from sitting up all night, but will not differ much visually from the day before. The leavened preferment, on the other hand, will look about 6 months pregnant. Remove the leavened preferment from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours before mixing the final dough. After 2 hours, combine both preferments in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the yeast, honey or agave, olive oil, and salt and mix on low speed until no yeast granules are visible and the dough is smooth and sinewy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and continue to knead the dough on medium speed until it is strong and a small piece of it can be gently stretched with the fingers into a see-through gluten window (see Baking Notes), 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Wet your hands, pull the dough from the bowl and off the dough hook, and throw it on the counter. If the dough feels stubbornly taut, wet your hands and knead it 2 or 3 times to hydrate the dough. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it doubles in size and looks spongy and pocked, about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position; remove any additional racks. Place a pizza stone on the rack and set a large, clean terra cotta pot on the stone (don’t forget to first plug the hole in the pot with a small ball of aluminum foil). Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Shape the dough: Using a plastic dough scraper or large rubber spatula, gently ease the risen dough from the bowl onto the countertop, leaving as much air in the dough as possible. Shape the dough into a rough ball. Cup both hands around the sides of the ball and drag its bottom against the counter, using friction to stretch and tighten the dough into a smooth, round ball (fig. 6.1). Turn the dough ball smooth-side down into a floured 8-inch brotform or home-fabricated 1½-quart proofing basket. Wet your fingers and pinch the seams of the dough to seal them (fig. 6.2). Brush the top of the dough with oil, then drape plastic wrap lightly over the basket and let the dough rise at room temperature until it appears light and airy and has risen close to the top of the brotform or bowl, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Bake the bread: Gently invert the brotform with the risen dough over a parchment paper–lined pizza peel or inverted baking sheet. Lift the basket off the dough. Using a baker’s lame or single-edged razor blade, slash an X into the top of the dough. Wearing long oven mitts, quickly pull the oven rack halfway out and transfer the pot from the stone to the open oven door. Slide the dough and its parchment from the pizza peel onto the stone and invert the pot immediately over the dough. Slide the rack back in, close the oven door, and reduce the heat to 450 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pot and continue to bake the bread until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 190 to 200 degrees, about 5 minutes longer. The bread should be nicely risen and a dark russet brown. Using potholders, transfer the bread from the oven to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.]

Legions Clever Crones Cauldron Store

New Handcrafted Yule Logs & Altar Brooms....and much more....just clock on the magickal merchants links and it will lake you there.

Product Description

  

 

Make you Yule extra special with your very own Yule log for your ritual.

 

Each Yule log is hand crafted right out of the forest. Each log is uniquely different

 

is size shape and design. They are 6 to 8 inches long with three holes for mini chime candles. 

 

Each log is bless by the natural mill work of the little critters that carved their unique designs under the bark,

 

and it has been naturally stained for preserve the integrity of the wood. Each log is decorated with pine cones,

 

holly leaf & berries, and some cented cinnamon sticks for sent. You can keep your log year after year, or

 

simply remove the decorations after alter ritual and add to your Yule log ritual burning as you injoy the warmth and crackling.

 

Make sure you add those cinnamon sticks for added sent and energy to the fire.

 

Blessed Yule!

 

 

Rustic Blood Orange Tart with Salted Pecan Crust

Makes:
 
8 servings
Serving Size:
 
1 slice
Yields:
 
8 slices
Prep:
 
35 mins
Bake:
 
40 mins 375°F

 

Rustic Blood Orange Tart with Salted Pecan Crust

Ingredients
1
recipe Salted Pecan Crust
6
blood oranges and/or regular oranges
 
Milk
2
tablespoons turbinado sugar
1/2
cup pure maple syrup
1
recipe Sweetened Whipped Cream (optional)
 
Coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare Salted Pecan Crust. On a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper, slightly flatten pastry. Roll pastry from center to edges into a circle about 13-inches in diameter. Slide paper with pastry onto a large baking sheet; set aside.
Cut peel off oranges, removing all of the white pith. Thinly slice oranges crosswise; discard any seeds and white pith from centers. Arrange orange slices in center of pastry to within 2 inches of edges. Fold uncovered pastry up over orange slices, pleating as necessary to keep pastry flat against fruit. Lightly brush pastry top and sides with milk; sprinkle entire tart with turbinado sugar.
Bake about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan bring maple syrup to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, until reduced by half (12 to 15 minutes); cool slightly.
Spoon the reduced maple syrup over tart. Transfer tart on parchment paper to a serving platter or board. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. If desired, serve with Sweetened Whipped Cream and sprinkle with toasted pecans.

From the Test Kitchen

*Tip:

Be sure the pecans are very finely chopped or the crust might crack when you fold it up over the oranges.

Sweetened Whipped Cream

Ingredients

1
cup whipping cream
2
tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2
teaspoon vanilla

Directions

In a chilled mixing bowl beat whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl).

Salted Pecan Crust

Ingredients

1 1/2
cups all-purpose flour
1/4
cup very finely chopped toasted pecans*
1/4
cup packed brown sugar
1/4
teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2
cup cold butter, cut up
2
egg yolks, lightly beaten
1
tablespoon ice water

Directions

In a medium bowl stir together flour, pecans, brown sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until pieces are pea size. In a small bowl combine egg yolks and the ice water. Gradually stir egg yolk mixture into flour mixture. Using your fingers, gently knead the dough just until a ball forms. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.

From the Test Kitchen
*To Toast Nuts:

Spread nuts in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden, shaking the pan once or twice; let cool.

Alchemy: The Philosopher's Stone

by Edward Kelley

Though I have already twice suffered chains and imprisonment in Bohemia, an indignity which has been offered to me in no other part of the world, yet my mind, remaining unbound, has all this time exercised itself in the study of that philosophy which is despised only by the wicked and foolish, but is praised and admired by the wise. Nay, the saying that none but fools and lawyers hate and despise Alchemy has passed into a proverb. Furthermore, as during the preceding three years I have used great labor, expense, and care in order to discover for your Majesty that which might afford you much profit and pleasure, so during my imprisonment - a calamity which has befallen me through the action of your Majesty - I am utterly incapable of remaining idle. Hence I have written a treatise, by means of which your imperial mind may be guided into all the truth of the more ancient philosophy, whence, as from a lofty eminence, it may contemplate and distinguish the fertile tracts from the barren and stony wilderness. But if my teaching displease you, know that you are still altogether wandering astray from the true scope and aim of this matter, and are utterly wasting your money, time, labor, and hope. A familiar acquaintance with the different branches of knowledge has taught me this one thing, that nothing is more ancient, excellent, or more desirable than truth, and whoever neglects it must pass his whole life in the shade. Nevertheless, it always was, and always will be, the way of mankind to release Barabbas and to crucify Christ. This I have - for my good, no doubt - experienced in my own case. I venture to hope, however, that my life and character will so become known to posterity that I may be counted among those who have suffered much for the sake of truth. The full certainty of the present treatise time is powerless to abrogate. If your Majesty will deign to peruse it at your leisure, you will easily perceive that my mind is profoundly versed in this study.

(1) All genuine and judicious philosophers have traced back things to their first principles, that is to say, those comprehended in the threefold division of Nature. The generation of animals they have attributed to a mingling of the male and female in sexual union; that of vegetables to their own proper seed; while as the principle of minerals they have assigned earth and viscous water.

(2) All specific and individual things which fall under a certain class, obey the general laws and are referable to the first principles of the class to which they belong.

(3) Thus, every animal is the product of sexual union; every plant, of its proper seed; every mineral, of the mixture of its generic earth and water.

(4) Hence, an unchangeable law of Nature regulates the generation of everything within the limits of its own particular genus.

(5) It follows that, with reference to their origin, animals are generically distinct from vegetables and minerals; the same difference exists respectively between vegetables and minerals and the two other natural kingdoms.

(6) The common and universal matter of these three principles is called Chaos.

(7) Chaos contains within itself the four elements of all that is, viz., fire, air, water, and earth, by the mixture and motion of which the forms of all earthly things are impressed upon their subjects.

(8) These elements have four qualities: heat, coldness, humidity, dryness. The first inheres in fire, the second in water, the third in air, the fourth in earth.

(9) By means of these qualities, the elements act upon each other, and motion takes place.

(10) Elements either act upon each other, or are acted on, and are called either active or passive.

(11) Active elements are those which, in a compound, impress upon the passive a certain specific character, according to the strength and extent of their motion. These are water and fire.

(12) The passive elements - earth and air - are those which by their inactive qualities readily receive the impressions of the aforesaid active elements.

(13) The four elements are distinguished, not only by their activity and passivity, but also by the priority and posteriority of their motions.

(14) Priority and posteriority are here predicated either with references to the position of the whole sphere, or the importance of the result or aim of the motion.

(15) In space, heavy objects tend downwards, and light objects upwards; those which are neither light nor heavy hold an intermediate position.

(16) In this way, even among the passive elements, earth holds a higher place than air, because it delights more in rest; for the less motion, the more passivity.

(17) The excellence of result has reference to perfection and imperfection, the mature being more perfect than the immature. Now, maturity is altogether due to the heat of fire. Hence fire holds the highest place among active elements.

(18) Among the passive elements, the first place belongs to that which is most passive, i.e., which is most quickly and easily influenced. In a compound, earth is first passively affected, then air.

(19) Similarly, in every compound, the perfecting element acts last; for perfection is a transition from immaturity to maturity.

(20) Maturity being caused by heat, cold is the cause of immaturity.

(21) It is clear, then, that the elements, or remote first principles of animals, vegetables, and minerals, in Chaos, are susceptible of active movements in fire and water, and of passive movements in earth and air. Water acts on earth, and transmutes it into its own nature; fire heats air, and also changes it into its own likeness.

(22) The active elements may be called male, while the passive elements represent the female principle.

(23) Any compound belonging to any of these three kingdoms - animal, vegetable, mineral - is female in so far as it is earth and air, and male in so far as it is fire and water.

(24) Only that which has consistency is sensuously perceptible. Elementary fire and air, being naturally subtle, cannot be seen.

(25) Only two elements, water and earth, are visible, and earth is called the hiding-place of fire, water the abode of air.

(26) In these two elements we have the broad law of limitation which divides the male from the female.

(27) The first matter of vegetables is the water and earth hidden in its seed, these being more water than earth.

(28) The first matter of animals is the mixture of the male and female sperm, which embodies more moisture than dryness.

(29) The first matter of minerals is a kind of viscous water, mingled with pure and impure earth.

(30) Impure earth is combustible sulfur, which hinders all fusion, and superficially matures the water joined to it, as we see in the minor minerals, marcasite, magnesia, antimony, etc.

(31) Pure earth is that which so unites the smallest parts of its aforesaid water that they cannot be separated by the fiercest fire, so that either both remain fixed or are volatilized.

(32) Of this viscous water and fusible earth, or sulphur, is composed that which is called quicksilver, the first matter of the metals.

(33) Metals are nothing but Mercury digested by different degrees of heat.

(34) Different modifications of heat cause, in the metallic compound, either maturity or immaturity.

(35) The mature is that which has exactly attained all the activities and properties of fire. Such is gold.

(36) The immature is that which is dominated by the element of water, and is never acted on by fire. Such are lead, tin, copper, iron, and silver.

(37) Only one metal, viz., gold, is absolutely perfect and mature. Hence it is called the perfect male body.

(38) The rest are immature and, therefore, imperfect.

(39) The limit of immaturity is the beginning of maturity; for the end of the first is the beginning of the last.

(40) Silver is less bounded but aqueous immaturity than the rest of the metals, though it may indeed be regarded as to a certain extent impure, still its water is already covered with the congealing vesture of its earth, and it thus tends to perfection.

(41) This condition is the reason why silver is everywhere called by the Sages the perfect female body.

(42) All other metals differ only in the degree of their imperfection, according as they are more or less bounded by the said immaturity; nevertheless, all have a certain tendency towards perfection, though they lack the aforesaid congealing vesture of their earth.

(43) This congealing force is the effect of earthy coldness, balancing its own proper humidity, and causing fixation in the fluid matter.

(44) The lesser metals are fusible in a fierce fire, and therefore lack this perfect congealing force. If they become solid when cool, this is due to the arrangement of their aforesaid earthy particles.

(45) According to the different ways in which this viscous water and pure earth are joined together, so as to produce quicksilver by coagulation, with the mediation of natural heat, we have different metals, some of which are called perfect, like gold and silver, while the rest are regarded as imperfect.

(46) Whoever would imitate Nature in any particular operation must first be sure that he has the same matter, and, secondly, that this substance is acted on in a way similar to that of Nature. For Nature rejoices in natural method, and like purifies like.

(47) Hence they are mistaken who strive to elicit the medicine for the tingeing of metals from animals or vegetables. The tincture and the metal tinged must belong to the same root or genus; and as it is the imperfect metals upon which the Philosopher's Stone is to be projected, it follows that the powder of the Stone must be essentially Mercury. The Stone is the metallic matter which changes the forms of imperfect metals into gold, as we may learn from the first chapter of "The Code of Truth": "The Philosophical Stone is the metallic matter converting the substances and forms of imperfect metals"; and all Sages agree that it can have this effect only by being like them.

(48) That Mercury is the first matter of metals, I will attempt to prove by the saying of some Sages:

In the Turba Philosophorum, chapter 1., we find the following words: "In the estimation of all Sages, Mercury is the first principle of all metals."
And a little further on: "As flesh is generated from coagulated blood, so gold is generated out of coagulated Mercury."
Again, towards the end of the chapter: "All pure and impure metallic bodies are Mercury, because they are generated from the same."
Arnold writes thus to the King of Aragon: "Know that the matter and sperm of all metals are Mercury, digested and thickened in the womb of the earth; they are digested by sulphureous heat, and according to the quality and quantity of the sulphur different metals are generated. Their matter is essentially the same, though there may be some accidental differences, such as a greater or less degree of digestion, etc. All things are made of that into which they may be resolved, e.g., ice or snow, which may be resolved into water; and so all metals may be resolved into quicksilver; hence they are made out of quicksilver."
The same view is set forth by Bernard of Trevisa, in his book on the "Transmutation of Metals": "Similarly, quicksilver is the substance of all metals; it is as a water by reason of the homogeneity which it possesses with vegetables and animals, and it receives the virtues of those things which adhere to it in decoction." A little further on the same Trevisan affirms that "Gold is nothing but quicksilver congealed by its sulphur."
And, in another place, he writes as follows: "The solvent differs from the soluble only in proportion and degree of digestion, but not in matter, since Nature has formed the one out of the other without any addition, even as by a process equally simple and wonderful she evolves gold out of quicksilver."
Again: "The Sages have it that gold is nothing but quicksilver perfectly digested in the bowels of the earth, and they have signified that this is brought about by sulphur, which coagulates the Mercury, and digests it by its own heat. Hence the Sages have said that gold is nothing but mature quicksilver."
Such also is the consensus of other authorities. "The Sounding of the Trumpet" gives forth no uncertain note: "Extract quicksilver from the bodies, and you have above the ground quicksilver and sulphur of the same substance of which gold and silver are made in the earth."
The "Way of Ways" leads to the same conclusion: "Reverend Father, incline they venerable ears, and understand that quicksilver is the sperm of all metals, perfect and imperfect, digested in the bowels of the earth by the heat of sulphur, the variety of metals being due to the diversity of their sulphur."
We find in the same tract a similar canon: "All metals in the earth are generated in Mercury, and thus Mercury is the first matter of metals."
To these words Avicenna signifies his assent in chapter iii.: "As ice, which by heat is dissolved into water, is clearly generated out of water, so all metals may be resolved into Mercury, whence it is clear that they are generated out of it."
This reasoning is confirmed by "The Sounding of the Trumpet": "Every passive body is reduced to its first matter by operations contrary to its nature; the first matter is quicksilver, being itself the oil of all liquid and ductile things."
So also the third chapter of the "Correction of Fools": "The nature of all fusible things is that of Mercury coagulated out of a vapor, or the heat of red or white incombustible sulphur."
In chapter i. of the "Art of Alchemy" we read: "All Sages agree that the metals are generated from the vapor of sulphur and quicksilver."
Again, a passage in the Turba Philosophorum runs thus: "It is certain that every subject derives from that into which it can be resolved. All metals may be resolved into quicksilver, hence they were once quicksilver."

If it were worth while, I might adduce hundreds of other passages from the writings of the Sages, but as they would serve no good purpose, I will let these suffice.
Those persons make a great mistake who suppose that the thick water of Antimony, or that viscous substance which is extracted from sublimed Mercury, or from Mercury and Jupiter dissolved together in a damp spot, can in any case be the first substance of metals. Antimony can never assume metallic qualities, because its water and moisture are not tempered with dry, subtle, earth, and want, moreover, that unctuosity which is characteristic of malleable metals. But, as Chambar well says in the "Code of Truth": "It is only through jealousy that Sages have called the Stone Antimony." In the same way, those who destroy the natural composition of Mercury, in order to resolve it into a thick or limpid water, which they call the first matter of metals, fight against Nature in the dark, like blinded gladiators.As soon as Mercury loses its specific form, it becomes something else, which cannot thenceforth mingle with metals in their smallest parts, and is made void for the work of the Philosophers. Whoever is taken up with such childish experiments, should listen to the Sage of Trevisa in his "Transmutation of Metals":
"Who can find truth that destroys the humid nature of Mercury? Some foolish persons change its specific metallic arrangement, corrupt its natural humidity by dissolution, and disproportionate quicksilver from its original mineral quality, which wanted nothing but purification and simple digestion. By means of salts, vitriol, and alum, they destroy the seed which Nature has been at pains to develop. For seed in human and sensitive things is formed by Nature and not by art, but by art it is united and mixed. Seed needs no addition, and brooks no diminution. If it is to produce a new thing of the same genus, it must remain the very same thing that was formed by Nature. All teaching that changes Mercury is false and vain, for this is the original sperm of metals, and its moisture must not be dried up, for otherwise it will not dissolve. Too much fire will cause a morbid heat, like that of a fever, and change the passive into active elements, thus the balance of forces is destroyed, and the whole work marred. Yet these fools extract from the lesser minerals corrosive waters, into which they project the different species of metals, and thus corrode them.
"The only natural solution is that by which out of the solvent and the soluble, or male and female, there results a new species. No water can naturally dissolve metals except that which abides with them in substance and form, which also the dissolved metals can again congeal; this is not the case with aqua fortis, seeing that it only destroys the specific arrangement. Only that water can rightly dissolve metals which is inseparable from them in fixation, and such a water is Mercury, but not aqua fortis, or any thing else which those fools are pleased to call Mercurial Water." Thus far Trevisan.Persons who have fallen into this fatal error may also derive benefit from the teaching of Avicenna on this point: "Quicksilver is cold and humid, and of it, or with it, God had created all metals. It is aerial, and becomes volatile by the action of fire, but when it has withstood the fire a little time, it accomplishes great marvels, and is itself only a living spirit of unexampled potency. It enters and penetrates all bodies, passes through them, and is their ferment. It is then the White and the Red Elixir and is an everlasting water, the water of life, the Virgin's milk, the spring, and that Alum of which whosoever drinks cannot die, etc. It is the wanton serpent that conceives of its own seed, and brings forth on the same day. With its poison it destroys all things. It is volatile, but the wise make it to abide the fire, and then it transmutes as it has been transmuted, and tinges as it has been tinged, and coagulates as it has been coagulated. Therefore is the generation of quicksilver to be preferred before all minerals; it is found in all ores, and has its sign with all. Quicksilver is that which saves metals from combustion, and renders them fusible. It is the Red Tincture which enters into the most intimate union with metals, because it is of their own nature, mingles with them indissolubly in all their smallest parts, and, being homogeneous, naturally adheres to them. Mercury receives all homogeneous substances, but rejects all that is heterogeneous, because it delights in its own nature, but recoils from whatsoever is strange. How foolish, then, to spoil and destroy that which Nature made the seed of all metallic virtue by elaborate chemical operations!" The "Rosary" bids us be particularly careful, lest in purifying the quicksilver we dissipate its virtue, and impair its active force. A grain of wheat, or any other seed, will not grow if its generative virtue be destroyed by excessive external heat. Therefore, purify your quicksilver by distillation over a gentle fire.Says the Sage of Trevisa: "If the quicksilver be robbed of its due metallic proportion, how can other substances of the same metallic genus be generated from it? It is a mistake to suppose that you can work miracles with a clear limpid water extracted from quicksilver. Even if we could get such a water, it would not be of use, either as to form or proportion, nor could it restore or build up a perfect metallic species. For as soon as the quicksilver is changed from its first nature, it is rendered unfit for our operation, since it loses its spermatic and metallic quality. I do, indeed, approve of impure and gross Mercury being sublimed and purified once or twice with simple salt, according to the proper method of the Sages, so long as the fluxibility or radical humor of such Mercury remains unimpaired, that is to say, so long as its specific mercurial nature is not destroyed, and so long as its outward appearance does not become that of a dry powder."In the "Ladder of the Sages" we are told to beware of vitrification in the solution of bodies, with the odor and taste of imperfect substances, and also of the generative virtue of their form being in any way scorched and destroyed by corrosive waters. If you have been trying to do any of these things, you may see how grievous your mistake has been. For the water of the Sages adheres to nothing except homogeneous substances. It does not wet your hands if you touch it, but scorches your skin, and frets and corrodes every substance with which it comes in contact, except gold and silver (it would not affect these until they have been dissipated and dissolved by spirits and strong waters), and with these it combines most intimately. But the other mixture is most childish, it is condemned by the concert of the Sages, and by my own experience. I now propose to show that quicksilver is the water with which, and in which, the solution of the Sages takes place, by putting before the reader the opinions of many Philosophers living in different countries and ages.Says Menalates in the Turba: "Whoever joins quicksilver to the body of magnesia, and the woman to the man, extracts the hidden nature by which bodies are colored. Know that quicksilver is a consuming fire which mortifies bodies by its contact."
Another Sage, in the Turba, says: "Divide the elements by fire, unite them through the mediation of Mercury, which is the greatest arcanum, and so the magistery is complete, the whole difficulty consisting in the solution and conjunction. The solution, or separation, takes places through the mediation of Mercury, which first dissolves the bodies, and these are again united by ferment and Mercury."
Rosinus makes Gold address Mercury as follows: "Dost thou dispute with me, Mercury? I am the Lord, the Stone which abides the fire." Says Mercury: "Thou sayest true; but I have begotten thee, and one part of me quickens many of thee, since thou art grudging in comparison with me. Whoever will join me to my brother or sister shall live and rejoice, and make me sufficient for thee."
In the 5th chapter of the "Book of Three Words," we read: "I tell thee that in Mercury are the works of the planets, and all their imaginations in its pages."
Aristotle says that the first mode of preparation is that the Stone shall become Mercury; he calls Mercury the first body, which acts on gross substances and changes them into its own likeness. "If Mercury did nothing else than render bodies subtle and like itself, it would suffice us."
Senior: "Our Stone, then, is congealed water, that is to say, Mercury congealed in gold and silver, and, when fixed, resistant to the fire."
"The Sounding of the Trumpet": "Mercury contains all that the Sages seek, and destroys all flaky gold. It dissolves, softens, and extracts the soul from the body."
"The Book on the Art of Alchemy": "The Sages were first put upon attempting to clothe inferior bodies in the glory and splendor of the perfect body when they discovered that metals differ only according to the greater or smaller degree of their digestion, and are all generated from Mercury, with which they extracted gold and reduced it to its first nature."
The "Correction of Fools": "Observe that crude Mercury dissolves bodies and reduces them to their first matter or nature. Being made of clear water, it always strives to corrode the crude, and especially that which is nearest to its own nature, viz., gold and silver." The same book observes: "You can make use of crude Mercury as follows - to seal up and open natures, since similar things are helpful one to another." Once more: "Quicksilver is the root in the Art of Alchemy, for the Sages say that all metals are of it, and through it, and in it - it follows that the metals must first be reduced to Mercury, the matter and sperm of all metals."
Again: "The reason why all metals must be reduced to the nature of vapor is because we see that all are generated of quicksilver, though the mediation of which they came into being."
Gratianus: "Purify Laton, i.e., copper (ore), with Mercury, for Laton is of gold and silver, a compound, yellow, imperfect body."
"The Sounding of the Trumpet": "Common Mercury is called a spirit. If you do not resolve the body into Mercury, with Mercury, you cannot obtain its hidden virtue."
"Art of Alchemy," chapter vi.: "The second part of the Stone we call living Mercury, which, being living and crude, is said to dissolve bodies, because it adheres to them in their innermost being. This is the Stone without which Nature does nothing."
"Rosary": "Mercury never dies, except with its brother and sister. When Mercury mortifies the matter of the Sun and Moon, there remains a matter like ashes."
The Sage of Trevisa: "Add nothing above ground for digesting and thickening Mercury into the nature of gold or of metals." Again: "This solution is possible and natural, that is to say, by Art as handmaid to Nature, and is unique and necessary in the work; but it is brought about only by quicksilver, in such proportions as commend themselves to a good workman who knows the inmost properties of Nature."
"Art of Alchemy": "Who can sufficiently extol Mercury, for Mercury alone has power to reduce gold to its first nature?"
From these quotations it is clear what the Sages meant by their water, and what they thought of this wonderful liquid, viz., Mercury, to which they ascribed all power in the Magistery, for nothing can be perfected outside its own genus. Men digest vegetables, not in the blood of animals, but in water which is their first principle, nor are minerals affected by the vegetable liquid. In the words of the "Sounding of the Trumpet": "The whole Magistery consists in dividing the elements from the metals, and purifying them, and in separating the sulphur of Nature from the metals."
Furthermore, as Hermes says, only homogeneous substances cohere, and only they can produce offspring after their own kind, i.e., if you want a medicine which is to generate metals, its origin must be metallic, since "species are tinged by their genus," as the philosopher testifies.
In short, our Magistery consists in the union of the male and female, or active and passive, elements through the mediation of our metallic water and a proper degree of heat. Now, the male and female are two metallic bodies, and this I will again prove by irrefragable quotations from the Sages:
Dantius bids us prepare the bodies and dissolve them.
Rhasis: "Change the bodies into water, and the water into earth: then all is done."
Galienus: "Prepare the bodies, and purify them of the blackness in which is corruption, till the white becomes white and red, then dissolve both, etc."
Calid (chapter i.): "If you do not make the bodies subtle, so that they may be impalpable to touch, you will not gain your end. If they have not been ground, repeat your operation, and see that they are ground and subtilized. If you do this, you will be directed to your desired goal."
Aristotle: "Bodies cannot be changes except by reduction into their first matter."
Calid (chapter v.): "Similarly, the Sages have commanded us to dissolve the bodies so that heat adheres to their inmost parts; then we proceed to coagulation after a second dissolution with a substance which most nearly approaches them."
Menabadus: "Make bodies not bodies, and incorporeal things bodies, for this is the whole process by which the hidden virtue of Nature is extracted."
Ascanius: "The conjunction of the two is like the union of husband and wife, from whose embrace results golden water."
"Anthology of Secrets": "Wed the red man to the white woman, and you have the whole Magistery."
"The Sounding of the Trumpet": "There is another quicksilver and permanent tincture which is extracted from perfect bodies by dissolution, distillation, sublimation, and subtilization."
Hermes: "Join the male to the female in their own proper humidity, because there is no birth without union of male and female."
Plato: "Nature follows a kindred nature, contains it, and teaches it to resist the fire. Wed the man to the woman, and you have the whole Magistery."
Avicenna: "Purify husband and wife separately, in order that they may unite more intimately; for if you do not purify them, they cannot love each other. By conjunction of the two natures you get a clear and lucid nature, which, when it ascends, becomes bright and serviceable."
"Art of Alchemy": "Two bodies provide us with everything in our water."
Trevisanus: "Only that water which is of the same species, and can be thickened by bodies, can dissolve bodies."
Hermes: "Let the stones of mixture be taken in the beginning of the first work, and let them be equally mixed into earth."
"Mirror": "Our Stone must be extracted from the nature of two bodies, before it can become a perfect Elixir."
Democritus: "You should first dissolve the bodies over white hot ashes, and not grind them except only with water."
"Rosary" of Arnold: "Extract the Medicine from the most homogeneous bodies in Nature."
I have thus proved the number of the bodies from which the Elixir is obtained. I will now show by quotations what these bodies are.
"Exposition of the Letter of King Alexander": "In this art you must wed the Sun and the Moon."
"The Sounding of the Trumpet": "The Sun only heats the earth and imparts to it his virtue through the mediation of the Moon, which, of all stars, most readily receives his light and heat."
"The Correction of Fools": "Sow gold and silver, and they will yield to your labor a thousandfold, through the mediation of that thing which alone has what you seek. The Tincture of gold and silver exhibits the same metallic proportions as the imperfect metals, because they have a common first matter in Mercury."
Again: "Tinge with gold and silver, because gold gives the golden and silver the silver color and nature. Reject all things that have not naturally or virtually the power of tingeing, as in them is no fruit, but only waste of money and gnashing of teeth."
Senior: "I, the Sun, am hot and dry, and thou, the Moon, art cold and moist; when we are wedded together in a closed chamber, I will gently steal away thy soul."
Rosinus to Saratant: "From the living water we obtain earth, a homogeneous dead body, composed of two natures, that of the Sun and that of the Moon."
Again: "When the Sun, my brother, for the love of me (silver) pours his sperm (i.e. his solar fatness) into the chamber (i.e. my Lunar body), namely, when we become one in a strong and complete complexion and union, the child of our wedded love will be born."
Hermes: "Its humidity is of the empire of the Moon, and its fatness of the empire of the Sun, and these two are its coagulum and pure seed."
Astratus says: "Whoever would attain the truth, let him take the humor of the Sun and the Spirit of the Moon."
Turba Philosophorum: "Both bodies in their perfection should be taken for the composition of the Elixir, whether orange or white, for neither becomes liquid without the other."
Again, Gold says: "No one kills me but my sister."
Aristotle: "If I did not see gold and silver, I should certainly say that Alchemy was not true."
The Sage: "The foundation of our Art is gold and its shadow."
"Art of Alchemy": "We have already said that gold and silver must be united."
"Rosary": "There is an addition of orange color by which the Medicine is perfected from the substance of fixed sulphur, i.e., both medicines are obtained from gold and silver."
The Sage: "Whoever knows how to tinge sulphur and quicksilver has reached the great arcanum. Gold and silver must be in the Tincture, and also the ferment of the spirit."
"Rosary": "The ferment of the Sun is the sperm of the man, the ferment of the Moon, the sperm of the woman. Of both we get a chaste union and a true generation."
"The Sounding of the Trumpet": "You want silver to subtilize your gold, and make it volatile by removing its impurity, since the silver has a greater need of the light of gold. Therefore Hermes, as also Aristotle in his treatise on Plants, says that gold is its father, and silver its mother; nothing else is needed for our Stone. Silver is the field in which the seed of gold is sown." And a little further on: "In my sister, the Moon, grows your wisdom, and not in any other of my servants, saith the Lord Sun. I am like seed sown in good and pure soil, which sprouts and grows and multiplies and yields great gain to the sower. I, the Sun, give to thee, the Moon, my beauty, the light of the Sun, when we are united in our smallest parts." And the Moon says to the Sun: "Thou hast need of me, as the cock has need of the hen, and I need thy operation, who art perfect in morals, the father of lights, a great and mighty lord, hot and dry, and I am the waxing Moon, cold and moist, but I receive thy nature by our union."
Avicenna: "In order to obtain the red and the white Elixir, the two bodies must be united. For though gold is the most fixed and perfect of the metals, yet if it be dissolved into its smallest parts, it becomes spiritual and volatile, like quicksilver, and that because of its heat. This tincture, which is without number, is called the hot male seed. But if silver be dissolved in warm water, it remains fixed as before, and has little or no tincture, yet it readily receives the tincture in a temperament of hot and cold, and is called the cold, dry, female seed. Gold or silver by themselves are not easily fusible, but a mixture of the two melts readily, as is well known to goldsmiths. Hence if our Stone did not contain both gold and silver, it would not be liquid, and would yield no medicine through any magistery, nor tincture, for if it yielded tincture it would still have no tingeing power."
And a little further on: "Take heed, then, and operate only on gold, silver, and quicksilver, since all the profit of our Art is derived from these three."
I may add that crude Mercury is the water which the Sages have used for the purpose of solution. I have proved that two bodies must be dissolved, and that they are no other than gold and silver. Now I will describe the conjunction of these two bodies by means of the crude Mercury of the Sages.
"The Light of Lights": "Know that it is gold, silver, and Mercury that whiten and redden within and without. The Dragon does not die, unless he be killed with his brother and sister, and it must be not by one, but by both together."
"The Ladder of the Sages": "Others say that a true body must be added to these two, to strengthen and shorten the operation."
"Treasury of the Sages": "Our Stone has body, soul, and spirit, the imperfect body is the body, the ferment the soul, and the water the spirit."
"The Way of Ways": "The water is called the spirit, because it gives life to the imperfect and mortified body, and imparts to it a better form; the ferment is the soul, because it gives life to the body, and changes it into its own nature."
Again: "The whole Magistery is accomplished with our water, and of it. For it dissolves the bodies, calcines and reduces them to earth, transforms them into ashes, whitens and purifies them, as Morienus says: "Azoth and fire purify Laton, that is to say, wash it and thoroughly remove its obscurity; Laton is the impure body, Azoth is quicksilver."
"The Sounding of the Trumpet": "As without the ferment there is no perfect tincture, as the Sages say, so without leaven there is no good bread. In our Stone the ferment is like the soul, which gives life to the dead body through the mediation of the spirit, or Mercury."
"The Rosary" and Peter of Zalentum say: "If the ferment, which is the medium of conjunction, be placed in the beginning, or in the middle, the work is more quickly perfected."
"The Sounding of the Trumpet": "The Elixir of the Sages is composed of three things, viz., the Lunar, the Solar, and the Mercurial Stone. In the Lunar Stone is white sulphur, in the Solar Stone red sulphur, and the Mercurial Stone embraces both, which is the strength of the whole Magistery."
Eximenus: "The water, with its adjuncts, being placed in the vessel, preserves them from combustion. The substances being ground with water, there follows the ascension of the Ethelia and the imbibition of water is sufficient by itself to complete the work."
Plato: "Take fixed bodies, join them together, wash the body in the bodily substance, and let it be strengthened with the incorporeal body, till you change it into a real body."
Pandulphus: "The fixed water is pure water of life, and no tingeing poison is generated without gold and its shadow. Whoever tinges the poison of the Sages with the Sun and its shadow, has attained the highest wisdom."
Again: "Separate the elements with fire, unite them by means of Mercury, and the Magistery is complete."
Exercit, 14: "The spirit guards the body and preserves it from fire, the clarified body keeps the spirit from evaporating over the fire, the body being fixed and the spirit incombustible. Hence the body cannot be burnt, because the body and spirit are one through the soul. The soul prevents them from being separated by the fire. Hence the three together can defy the fire and anything else in the world."
Rhasis("Book of Lights"): "Our Stone is named after the creation of the world, being three and yet one. Nowhere is our Mercury found purer than in gold, silver and common Mercury."
When bodies and spirits are dissolved, they are resolved into the four elements, which become a firm and fixed substance. But when they are not both dissolved, there is a particular mixture which the fire can still separate."
Rosinus: "In our Magistery are a spirit and bodies, whence it is said: It rejoices being sown in the three associated substances."
Calid: "Prepare the strone bodies with the dissolves humidity, till either shall be reduced to its subtle form. If you do not subtilize and grind the bodies till they become impalpable, you will not find what you seek."
Rosinus: "The Stone consists of body, soul, and spirit, or water, as the Philosophers say, and is digested in one vessel. Our whole Magistery is of, and by, our water, which dissolves the bodies, not into water, but by a true philosophical solution into the water whence metals are extracted, and is calcined and reduced to earth. It makes yellow as wax those bodies into whose nature it is transformed; it substantialises, whitens, and purifies the Laton, according to the word of Morienus."
Aristotle: "Take your beloved son, and wed him to his sister, his white sister, in equal marriage, and give them the cup of love, for it is a food which prompts them to union. All pure things must be united to pure things, or they will have sons unlike themselves. Therefore, first of all, even as Avicenna advises, sublime the Mercury, and purify in it impure bodies. Then pound and dissolve. Repeat this operation again and again."
Ascanius: "Stir up war between copper and Mercury till they destroy each other and devour each other. Then the copper coagulates the quicksilver, the quicksilver congeals the copper, and both bodies become a powder by means of diligent imbibition and digestion. Join together the red man and the white woman till they become Ethelia, that is, quicksilver. Whoever changes them into a spirit by means of quicksilver, and then makes them red, can tinge every body."
As to the nature of this copper, Gratianus instructs us in the following words: "Make Laton white, i.e., whiten copper with Mercury, because Laton is an orange imperfect body, composed of gold and silver."I advise all and sundry to follow my teaching, as to the correctness of which my quotations from the ancients can leave no doubt, which also has received further confirmation from my own experiments. Any deviation from this course leads to deception, except only the work of Saturn, which must be performed by the subtilization of principles. The Sages say that homogeneous things only combine with each other, make each other white and red, and permit of common generation. The important point is that Mercury should act upon our earth. This is the union of male and female, of which the Sages say so much. After the water, or quicksilver, has once appeared, it grows and increases, because the earth becomes white, and this is called the impregnation. Then the ferment is coagulated, i.e., joined to the imperfect prepared body, till they become one in color and appearance: this is termed the birth of our Stone, which the Sages call the King. Of this substance it is said in the "Art of Alchemy" that if any one scorches this flower, and separates the elements, the generative germ is destroyed.
I conclude with the words of Avicenna: "The true principle of our work is the dissolution of the Stone, because solved bodies have assumed the nature of spirits, i.e., because their quality is drier. For the solution of the body is attended with the coagulation of the spirit. Be patient, therefore, digest, pound, make yellow as wax, and never be weary of repeating these processes till they are quite perfect. For things saturated with water are thereby softened. The more you pound the substance, the more you soften it, and subtilize its gross parts, till they are thoroughly penetrated with the spirit and thus dissolved. For by pounding, roasting, and fire, the tough and viscous parts of bodies are separated."

Finally, I do you to wit, sons of knowledge, that in the work of the Sages there are three solutions. The first is that of the crude body. The second is that of the earth of the Sages. The third is that which takes place during the augmentation of the substance. If you diligently consider all that I have said, this Magistery will become known to you. As for me, how much I have endured on account of this Art, history will reveal to future ages.

Copyright Occult 100 © All Rights Reserved.

BLYSSFUL FREYA'S DAY PAGANS!


YULE LORE AND THE PAGAN ORIGIN OF SANTA CLAUS THE OAK KING vs. THE HOLLY KING 

From the Celtic tradition, comes a pair of ancient pagan characters who fight twice a year, once on Midsummer (about June 21) and again on the Winter Solstice (about Dec 21). The spirits of the Holly King and the Oak King come from two of the Druids' most sacred trees: Holly and Oak. The Oak King is the lord of the waxing half of the year. He governs the Celtic earth from December to June. The Holly King is the lord of the waning half of the year. He governs the Celtic earth from June to December.

The battle between the two figures occurs on the winter solstice when the Oak King kills the Holly King at Yule and takes his place. The Oak King then reigns until Litha (midsummer) when the two battle again. The Holly King wins in June then reigns until Yule (winter solstice) in December.

The Holly King we all know as the present day Santa Claus. He wears red and bears holly leaves and berries in his hat. He drives a team of eight deer (or reindeer) because deer were highly sacred to the Celtic Gods. The number eight represents the eight sabbats of the solar calendar.

Many of us would recognize the Oak King as the modern-day "Baby New Year". He is the new, fresh and young child-god that beckons mother nature to re-new herself as he brings the warm rays of the sun back.

Mistletoe is sacred to the Oak King (and a symbol of love and procreation--hence the kissing under the mistletoe tradition). Mistletoe grows high in the branches of oak trees. The two plants, holly and mistletoe, are traditional to the Yule season and represent the battle that takes place between the two forces of nature. That mistletoe is common at this time of year also illustrates that although the Oak and Holly Kings are mortal enemies twice a year they are also two sides of a whole. One can't exist without the other and each respects the other despite their confrontational relationships.

* Easy Yule Incense *

Mix together:

1 part crushed Juniper berries

1 Part Balsam Fir needles

Burn on charcoals, perfect for Winter & Yule rituals

~ Barbara Morris 2011

The Wisdom of the Underworld

Womb of Light: The Alchemy of the Goddess

Womb of Light is an exploration of the Sacred Feminine and the application of Her transformative energies. These writings will have the intent and focus of inspiring and quickening within the individual a thirst for deeper connection and opening to the magick and gnosis of the Goddess in all of Her forms. She is the Mother, the Uraeus, the Muse, the Warrior, and the Healer, to name a few. SHE is the cycle of life and death and all that is held between; and my goal is to share the wisdom of her Womb of Light that all may claim their Divine birthright.

The Wisdom of the Underworld~Posted by Robin Fennelly 

Crackling leaves are burning
Transformed from life to death
The crow calls out relentlessly
To those unseen and life withers
In the blasting of its issue.

The Crone’s outstretched hand
Pulls me tightly to her breast
The air chills at her touch
Long icy fingers tapping out
The heart beat of life’s pulse within.

The solemn silence of darkness
The pause of silent breath
Power and strength drawn
From the sinewy strands of time.

Quartered path of gravel and stone
Flesh and blood
Moonlight and stars
The wellspring of Earth
The light of the cosmos above.

I tremble within Her embrace
Form giving way to the formless
Mind swirling within the waters of insight.

Sight pierces the veil as the
Road is cautiously chosen
Knowledge of the unknown 
Becomes the heat of my desire.

The quickening spark waits in 
The blessings of fertile darkness
And pulls me towards rebirth 
Into a place of Light.

The air is full and heavy this time of the year as the veils thin and the spirits walk among us… some offering guidance and assistance and others being mischievous and stirring up an already potent mix of energetic trouble. There is a distinct and growing crispness to the air as the weather offers a preview of what to expect in the coming winter months, and leaves crackle underfoot reminding us that summer’s moisture has given way and the dryness of death is near. As a Witch, the changing of each of the seasons echoes through my body and in response my perceptions and attitudes about what each change will bring sharpens and narrows to an intentional and purposeful focus. In particular, Samhain hangs heavy in my thoughts and the opportunity to reach a little deeper into my own state of mortality and transformation looms large. 

Each year at this time, I make a silent commitment to being more fully present and alive in my daily activities. This is, in large, my antidote to feeling the pall of death and an active reminder that this state of manifest, physical life will follow the natural order of things and return to the finer state of a non corporeal vessel. Food takes on a deeper level of enjoyment. Family is drawn closer and self-care takes priority over spreading myself too thin. Long walks surrounded by the beauty of Fall exercise my physical body and stimulate and open my senses in a broader way.

I spend time in deeper reflection during my meditations and just as the days become fuller in energy and imbued with the visual palette of Autumn, the hues and intensity of my time spent as the Hermit turning within takes on more complexity. Each inhalation becomes an exercise to draw up those parts of myself that reside in the shadows that occasionally come to the surface of light, but for the most part are as fleeting and ephemeral in quality as the spirits who walk among us. Each exhalation is a chance to release those that are not productive or embrace and enliven those that will serve as the primal compost of what I choose to quicken in the Spring. 

This retrospection is guided by the call of the Crone and the draping of her mantle upon me that I am so keenly aware of at this time of the year. The Goddess Cerridwen calls to me in whispers of wind and rustling leaves and the temptation of wanting knowledge of a more transformative nature seems at times overwhelming. So, I sit and wait patiently as the Crone reveals what she will to me. In this state of waiting, the time passes in a non-linear way and at some moments seems limitless in what is held. My breath becomes slower and deeper and the mundane world seems to fade into the background as time appears to stand still. There is no fear as the Goddess points a bony finger beckoning me to follow her as we begin the descent into the caverns of an underworld that is of my own making. There is only a deep feeling of peace and at oneness with all of life and a sensation of being more alive in this space of death. 

The path moves downward at sharp angles and footing is unsure as firmly pressed dirt gives way to gravel. The sensation is one of traversing a misshapen spiral or labyrinth, energy and flow of movement all dancing in a discordant and circular nature. I feel myself being pulled along, caught in the current of this winding steady flow. I am alone in the growing darkness. 

I take a deep breath in and then pull up all the courage I can, exhaling with an even deeper breath that releases any fears I may have. I take a few steps forward and the ground beneath has an unexpected softness to it. It moves in rhythm with my step, giving way with each footfall, but nonetheless gently supporting my weight. All my senses come to full alert and I move forward, nudged along by pure instinct. I realize there is no way of knowing what direction I am moving and this place has a feeling of being non-linear in nature. I stand for a time in this quiet space of darkness, allowing its energy to enfold me and its peace to fill every fiber of my being. Curiosity soon takes hold and the desire to explore even deeper wells up. 

I hear a rhythmic pulse of sound that nudges me forward. It sounds like the gentle inhale and exhale of breath; it is the sound of air as it fills lungs and gives life and then is released back into the atmosphere. The sound increases, and I find myself breathing in unison with it. I open my mouth and call out to Cerridwen. I can feel Her presence all around me and HER breath is hot and foul. She smells of Death and Her challenge is that of facing the death of my weaknesses and the decay and stagnation of a life that is not infused with the passion of pure existence. She whispers my name and asks what I will offer in sacrifice in order to have one drop of her Cauldron’s liquid. 

I breathe deeply and think on what compelled me to enter this place. I have no words and the challenge is more than I had bargained for. The realization that knowledge is hard won. True wisdom comes not from merely the desire for it, but from the relinquishment of what we cling to most fiercely thus allowing the space to be filled with the gifts of the Goddess. I breathe deeply and reaffirm my Life and the greater wisdom gained from the courage of stepping into the shadows. 

I call out again to Cerridwen. My voice is now stronger and more assured in the knowledge that I have changed the inner landscape of my underworld. I breathe deeply and open my eyes, the energy of the Crone still wrapped about me. The call of the Crone echoes throughout me and I am reminded that this final harvest of Samhain is a call to the wisdom of the darkness. I will carry with me the knowledge that it is only in the embrace of the shadow that true gnosis can be found and in its final reaping is brought to the brilliance of Light that shines in all who heed the Call. 

May the blessings of Samhain and the Wisdom of the Crone be the fruits of your last harvest.

http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/womb-of-light/the-wisdom-of-the-underworld.html

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Medicine Bag

Some call them medicine bags; others medicine pouches, charm bags, gri-gri, mojo bags or amulets. Whatever the name, these small (or not) pouches hold items the user finds symbolic in order to provide protection, prosperity, healing, love, etc.

For thousands of years, the medicine bag was worn or carried and contained any number of objects, from herbs, leaves, crystals, feathers, to fur and more. Native American shamans carried such bags to offer healing rituals to those in need. Others carried medicine bags that held items that meant something personal to the owner.  A farmer might have a medicine bag filled with seeds, herbs and stones to increase his harvest. Warriors carried one to protect them in battle.  

Some bags may only contain one item, such as in Morocco. Still others, such as a Brazilian patua, may contain roots in the shape of a hand, nestled in the leaves of rue, with garlic and cloves added. Africans may have their medicine bags made of metal, while others are constructed of animal skins, leather, or fabric.

Whatever the container, a medicine bag is essentially magic in a bag. Objects are collected, empowered and worn, carried or placed in the home for various reasons. And, since all things contain energy, it stands to reason that crystals be an important contribution to the medicine bag, as well as other natural items such as herbs, flowers and the like.

What crystals should you choose for your medicine bag? It depends on the desired outcome you wish to achieve. Of course, Clear Quartz crystal can be used since it is the ultimate, all-around wonder crystal.  You could also use a birthstone if you wish. There are endless possibilities here.

What else goes into your medicine bag? Along with your chosen crystal(s), you may want to add some herbs, flowers or whatnot to go into your bag for that added little boost. Below is a list of common issues, their corresponding crystals and herbs to give you a bit of guidance. The listings are by no means exhaustive, and you can choose whichever stones, herbs or plants feel right to you.

Prosperity – Crystals: Citrine, Malachite, Green Aventurine, Jade, Tigers Eye, Peridot. Herbs, flowers: Mint, Cloves, Cinnamon stick, Cinquefoil, Bergamot, Oak leaves.
Healing – Crystals: Bloodstone, Amber, Agate, Amethyst, Hematite, Azurite, Jasper, Carnelian, Calcite, Diamond,Turquoise, Sunstone, Sodalite.  Herbs, flowers: Chamomile, Sage, Feverfew, Yarrow.
Protection – Crystals: Apache Tear, Obsidian, Jet, Onyx, Black Tourmaline, Malachite, Topaz, Garnet, Turquoise. Herbs, flowers: Pansy, Thyme, Morning Glory, Ivy, Lobelia.
Love – Crystals: Rose Quartz, Ruby, Emerald, Pearl, Moonstone, Rhodocrosite, Pink Tourmaline. Herbs, flowers: Apple (seeds can be used), Rose petals, Violet, Feverfew.
Creativity – Crystals: Iolite, Agate, Green Aventurine, Amazonite, Lapis Lazuli, Blue Chalcedony, Pietersite. Herbs, flowers: Dill, Fennel, Fern, Lavender, Mint, Marjoram, Parsley.

Of course, you can make a medicine bag to suit whatever issue you like. It can be as simple or complex as you wish.

Making a medicine bag

A medicine bag can be bought, such as an organza bag used for wedding tokens, or a tarot card bag or any other little bag you wish. If you really want to get creative, you can make your own. A simple one can be made out of a square piece of fabric (size is up to you, but 4” x 4” is just enough to fit in a purse, pocket or hung around the neck), tied with a ribbon of your choosing. You could sew one by machine sewing two squares, right sides together and leaving the fourth side open. Turn right side out, insert your objects, and sew the opening shut. Sew on a piece of ribbon for hanging.

What do I do now?

Now that you have your medicine bag, you are ready to empower it. This is just simply sitting quietly and stating your intention while holding your bag. Place the bag in your home, where it may do its job, such as near your checkbook or purse for prosperity; near your computer for creativity (or kitchen for creative cooking), under your pillow for love, etc. A medicine bag may also be worn or carried with you. Place one in your car for protection if you travel often. Hang one on your front doorknob to keep your home protected.  The medicine bag will lose its power after about a month, so if it is still needed, remove the crystals and cleanse them, as well as replacing any herbs or flowers. If the bag has done its job, remove the objects, cleanse the crystals and return the natural elements back to nature.

It all boils down to what feels right to you. A feather you pick up on a walk could be put in a medicine bag; a small pebble or stone; perhaps corresponding crystals of you and your spouse or partner may aid in a better relationship. Use your imagination, state your intention, and have fun with it! 

 

BLYSSFUL WODEN'S DAY LEGIONNAIRES & PAGANS

Greetings Pagans!

Well as a Native & Pagan turkey day for me hold a bad tast in my mouth, so I'm rolling right ahead onto the Winter Solstice & Yule.

The Winter Solstice
Every year the Sun traces out a circular path in a west-to-east direction relative to the stars (this is in addition to the apparent daily east-to-west rotation of the celestial sphere around the Earth). The two points at which the ecliptic and the equatorial plane intersect, known as the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, and the two points of the ecliptic farthest north and south from the equatorial plane, known as the summer and winter solstices, divide the ecliptic into four equal parts. These cycles were familiar to Greek astronomers, but it wasn't until Hipparchus that a method of using the observed dates of two equinoxes and a solstice to calculate the size and direction of the displacement of the Sun’s orbit was established. Hipparchus (190BC – 120BC) was a Greek Astronomer and Mathematician. His writings on this subject tell us that the Solstice was a known event not just in his time, but before his time as well.

The winter solstice occurs on December 21 and marks the beginning of winter (this is the shortest day of the year). The Winter Solstice has been recognized and celebrated for eons by ancient people around the globe.

The Newgrange burial mound in Ireland's County Meath is surrounded by megalithic stones set in what archeologists believe to be astronomical position to the Winter Solstice. The Stone Age monument dates to around 3200 B.C., making it 500 years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and a thousand years older than England's Stonehenge.

Stonehenge itself has long been associated with the solstice and equinox cycles. Once again, there is evidence of ancient people recognizing these times of the year not just from an astronomical perspective, but in terms of spiritual reverence as well.

No one is really sure when the first festival or ritual celebration for this time of the year occurred. But we do know that it has long been recognized and honored in some of the worlds most reverent monuments. It would be silly to think that a point in time so important to ancient people would not have been celebrated or honored until the 7th century AD. So with starting with that let's move on to some of the Yule celebrations, and to embrace some of that the Legion is offering two of our minis classes, Candle & Faery Magick. Both classes are only four weeks long doing a crash course on these subjects, but we do intend to embrace the Yule aspect in each with a craft project. For more information please read below and we hope to see you there during the Yule Tidings.

Welcome to the Legion of Pagans Winter Solstice Mini Classes Registration!

The Legion will be offering two mini classes starting December 1st for four weeks.

There is a Candle Magic Class~(Instructor~Elder Airwolf)

And a Faery Magick Class~(Instructor~Falling Star)

Descriptions for each class follows below, so hurry and get in on the warm Yule Season fun with a mini class from the Legion of Pagans!

*******Winter Solstice Mini Classes*******

Mini Candle Magick Class

)O(~~~LoP Mini Candle Magic Class Description~~~)O(

Candlelight is magickal and brings warmth

and sets the mood.
Candles have been associated with myth,
lore, superstition, spells and been long used
for divination's and rituals, to intensify the 
energies while performing magickal work.
Each color of the candles represents a 
specific intent and combined with a spell,
will bring forth strength within our magick.
By using the proper candle color,
engraving a small symbol onto a candle or
by adding herbs and essential oils, 
we create candle magick and when we 
are using our special prepared candles 
with our spells and rituals, we are adding 
extra strength and energy to our magickal 
work.
In this Class you will learn to incorporate 
candle magick into your everyday magick. 


~~~All mini classes cost $40.00 and there are no refunds once the class starts~~~

This is a 4 week course

CLASS REGISTRATION STARTS ON:( NOVEMBER 10TH~30TH)

(REGISTER THROUGH legionofpagans12@gmail.com) 

Make your donation to the Neighborhood Needs & Ministry Funds tab

located in the green toolbar.

Send a copy of your receipt to legionofpagans12@gmail.com to complete your class registration enrollment.

~~~ MATERIAL NEEDED ~~~


BOOK: Exploring Candle Magick by Patricia Telesco

A small quiz is given each week to determine the progress in class.
It is possible we might have to repeat a class an extra week,depending
on each students progress,we want to make sure every student fully 
understands each weekly reading assignment,before we move on to the
next chapter in class. 

Course Outline was created by the
Legion of Pagans Spiritual Ministry

Copyright © Elder Airwolf

)O( Faery Magick )O(

We will be exploring "The Ancient Art of Faery Magick by D. J. Conway."

In this four week class we will be discovering the magick within the faery realms of the Fae looking as all the different types of faeries and their worlds. We will see how they help us in ours and learn how to make friends with your faery friends. We will also be doing a faery project. 

Class completions receive certificates of completion from the:

Legion of Pagans Spiritual Ministry

Institution of Magick

Elder Airwolf~Founder/Owner