Vote for Snow by Night on Top Web Comics Find us on DriveThru Comics for downloadable PDFs

Upcoming Events

Law & Processes

Laws of Alchemy

First Law of Alchemy: All is One
As all things are derived from the Prime Matter, all things are inherently connected. There is but one life in the universe, and it infuses everything. This life saturates and fills all forms, shapes, and manifestations. What is called matter is only a portion of the one that can be perceived through human senses. All of creation, even though it seems separate, is one and only one.

Second Law of Alchemy: Universal Polarity
The Prime Matter naturally divides into opposites. This can be seen throughout creation: day and night; male and female; hot and cold; wet and dry. If there is one thing in nature, an opposite exists somewhere. Polarity causes the Prime Matter to divide into the active and the passive, where the active is energy and the passive is matter. Polarity is always in motion. Night becomes day then becomes night again. What is hot will cool and then, in time, grow hot again.

Third Law of Alchemy: As Above, So Below
In alchemy, the macrocosmos is the same as the microcosmos. A drop of water is just one part of the ocean, but the ocean has the same proprieties as that drop of water. The heavens above represent the spirit and universality of the macrocosmos that is reflected in microcosmos of the matter of below.

Alchemical Processes

Calcination is the process of dehydration by fire and the reduction of a substance to complete ash. It drives off water and other volatile compounds and brings about a decomposition of the material. Typically, calcination is done in an oven, in a crucible or over an open flame. A long and slow calcination works better than a short and violent one. After calcination, the substance becomes dry and hard and is no longer affected by common fire. The resulting ash is the essence of the original substance — its Sophic Salt. Human creation is a form of calcination. Calcination is influenced by the planet Pyra. In alchemical symbology, calcination is represented by the salamander.

Dissolution is the transformation of a substance by immersing it in a liquid. Dissolution can break down corrupted and artificial structures. It releases inner properties and powers of a substance. Most commonly, the ashes from the calcination process are dissolved. The water then takes on the properties of the original substance, but in a purer, more concentrated form. Dissolution is influenced by the planet Astarte. In alchemical symbology, dissolution is represented by the hippocampus.

Separation is the alchemical process of breaking substances down and retrieving their most basic constituents or essences. Separation happens after calcination or dissolution. The most common manner is filtration, but other methods of separation include settling, decomposing, skimming, or sifting. Through this process, extraneous or unworthy material is separated from the target essence and discarded. The essences are then isolated in non-reactive containers, such as glass, for later use by the alchemist. Separation is influenced by the planet Elus. In alchemical symbology, separation is represented by the basilisk or the cockatrice.

Conjunction is the recombining of pure, separated substances into a new compound. This process follows separation, which gives the alchemist the most genuine and essential parts of matter to use. Different matter is brought together through mixing or commingling. The physical conjunction must be aided through the mental and spiritual influences of the planets, the stars, and the alchemist herself. Philosophically, conjunction is a sexual union as components are mated to form a child. Conjunction is influenced by the planet Niteo. In alchemical symbology, conjunction is represented by the taurus or the minotaur.

Fermentation is the conversion of organic substances into new compounds using a living medium. Putrefaction is the first step in fermentation, in which matter is allowed to rot and decompose. As the matter putrefies, new life invests the matter with an influx of digesting bacteria. While it is a warm process, fermentation is a gentle process that does not subject the matter to the consuming flames of calcination. Fermentation is influenced by the planet Zenos. In alchemical symbology, fermentation is represented by the faun.

Distillation is the process of boiling and condensing a substance to increase its concentration and purity. This process releases the pure essence of a substance in the evaporating vapors. These vapors can be captured and allowed to cool to create a pure, condensed liquid. The process can be repeated to further purify the substance. Alchemists are experimenting with distilling solid substances by heating them in a vacuum in a process called sublimation. Distillation is influenced by Luna, the moon. In alchemical symbology, distillation is represented by the griffon.

Coagulation is the final rung of transformation in alchemy and the most complicated. This process builds on others before it as the earlier processes merely refine and purify substances to be used in coagulation. Most commonly, coagulation uses the substances born from fermentation and then purified in distillation. Coagulation recombines these purified substances and perfects them. The resulting substance is the foundation of the Philosopher's Stone, which has the ability to perfect other substances, heal wounds, and cure disease. Coagulation is influenced by Sol, the sun. In alchemical symbology, coagulation is represented by the phoenix.

« Return to the Almanac Index