Friday, November 2, 2012

Adam McLean on the "Frater Albertus" school

"Yes, it is good to see some researchers revisiting actual alchemical
processes and attempting to repeat some alchemical experiments
described in the original writings, books and manuscripts of alchemists.
Unfortunately, as these often involve high temperatures, molten metals
or salts, corrosive acids and alkalis, as well as poisonous volatile
substances, these can only be undertaken in a properly equipped
chemical laboratory.

From the 1980s, there was popularised by Frater Albertus in the USA
a type of kitchen chemistry, involving simple low temperature distillations
of herbal material. This was presented as an actual "alchemy" which could
result in plant stones and various such preparations which people were
led to believe could cure them of illnesses. Sadly, this was mere froth and
fabrication and had almost no connection to anything one might recognise as
being recorded in actual alchemical writings. During the last 30 years, this
Frater Albertus concocted "alchemy" seems to have been the one which
has become the popular view of practical alchemy, and is trawled through
in study courses and various web sites.

The important thing, surely, is to explore the original writings of the alchemists
and also attempt to repeat their experimental work."

taken from a comment posted here

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