For the Warding Elixirs I am making (in association with the As Above, So Below exhibit at the Museum of Haunted and Mysterious Objects), I felt it most appropriate to generate an elixir for each day of the week.
From many ancient societies there remains evidence of archaeoastronomy – physical structures speaking to deep connections these cultures had with the celestial realm. Alchemists around the world and from many different eras paid particular attention to the positions and relations of seven celestial bodies in particular, known as the Alchemical Planets. It was believed these hold subtle but unmistakable influences on earthly concerns, and “resonate” with plants, minerals, and metals to enhance or mitigate their inherent qualities. What is particularly interesting is that there now seems to be some elements of verity to this, as current observational equipment is able to measure certain resonant frequencies of celestial bodies and events – one group of these in relation to the earth has even been named: “Schumann Resonators“. This all begs the question, of course, How did the alchemists know?
The seven traditional Alchemical Planets, common to many cultures which developed alchemy independently of each other, are: the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. It’s easy to see the correlation (from Roman and Norse mythology) these planets have to the names of the days in the seven-day calendar we use today: Sun/Sunday, Moon/Monday, Mars (Tyr)/Tuesday, Mercury (Wodin)/Wednesday, Jupiter (Thor)/Thursday, Venus (Freya)/Friday, Saturn/Saturday. When an alchemist would do his or her work, the days of the week and the places the planets held in the sky were acknowledged (and even the hour of each day they “ruled”), and that information used to inform the work being done.
Each elixir is made with specific plants or resins resonant to a particular planet, or with qualities drawn out and amplified when worked under the auspices of a particular planet, and constructed using a nanseia cycle to increase their protective qualities:
For the Sun I used Frankincense and Marshmallow (to purify from negative energy and provide psychic/spiritual protection).
For the Moon I used Lotus and Mallow (to purify the soul, strengthen persistence against evil influence, and for spiritual protection).
For Mars I used Myrrh, Wormwood and Ginger (to protect and heal the spirit).
For Mercury I used Fennel and Lavender (for courage and strength against evil assailing the spirit).
For Jupiter I used Sage, Fennel and Yarrow (for protection and courage against the powers of evil, and to cleanse from evil influence).
For Venus I used Yarrow and Mallow (for healing and protection against evil and its potentially debilitating power).
For Saturn I used Horsetail and Burdock (for grounding evil energy and resisting its harmful effects).
And all were started during their respective hours during the first day of October’s New Moon. The New Moon signifies birth, recovery, and healing, which I felt properly supported the protection intent of the elixirs.
After the plant matter soaked each in its respective menstruum (the liquid used by alchemists to extract the most powerful properties of the plants used) for the required number of days, I strained the remaining physical matter from the fluid and prepared it for the next step of the process. Each bit of equipment used needs to be properly cleansed and prepared with pure spring water, and I included some photos of this part of the labor-intensive process.