Carrello vuoto

logo Nitrogeno Blog

Domenica, 03 Febbraio 2019 12:22

Alchemical Research Study: Ruling Planets and Salt of Sulfur Crystal Structures

According to the Philosophers of Nature (PoN), the ruling planet of any given herb will determine how that plant’s Salt of Sulfur crystallizes. One could therefore determine the plant’s ruling planet by observing its crystal structure under the microscope. In this article, the crystal structures of seven herbs, each with a different ruling planet, were observed under a microscope. It was found that only two of the seven crystal structures observed agreed with this correspondence study.


Jean Dubuis has stated that the crystal structure of the Salt of Sulfur of any given plant will correspond to its ruling planet. This present study will attempt to determine if this theory holds true.

There have been many instances when different sources (i.e. books, internet, etc.) have given different ruling planets for the same plant. In his article, “Planetary Attribution of Plants” Johann Hasler made an attempt to rectify this situation, and a new table of plants and their corresponding ruling planets was given. Many alchemists try to follow astrological timing in their work in order to strengthen and improve the quality of their end product, so following incorrect timing would almost definitely prove to be disadvantageous. Having a test to determine the ruling planet of any given herb or plant would virtually eliminate this problem. This present study gives some first steps in determining if this test would be feasible.

In this present study seven herbs were chosen, each ruled by a different ruling planet:

  • Basil (Mars)
  • Lemon Balm (Jupiter)
  • Horsetail (Saturn)
  • Celandine (Sun)
  • Chickweed (Moon)
  • Yarrow (Venus)
  • Caraway Seeds (Mercury)

Eight ounces of each were obtained. These plants were chosen because both “Alchemist’s Handbook” by Frater Albertus and “Spagyrics by Manfred Junius (two very popular reference books on the alchemical art) agree that these are the ruling planets of the chosen herbs above.

In this series of experiments, the Salt of Sulfur of each herb will be obtained and crystallized, then their crystal structures will be analyzed under a digital microscope.

Review of the Crystal Structures

Crystals can take a number of different shapes depending on their chemical makeup and the way in which they grew. We can divide these shapes into seven categories by measuring their structure along their three axes.


slfur 1

Figure 1: All seven crystal structures.

slfur 2

The Cubic System

The cubic crystal is also known as the “isometric” crystal. It is characterized by its total symmetry: It has three crystallographic axes that are all perpendicular to each other and are equal in length. At each of the crystal’s four corners there is one lattice point. An example of a crystal that has the cubic system is fluorite or ordinary table salt.

slfur 3

The Hexagonal System

The hexagonal crystal has four crytallographic axes comprised of three equal horizontal axes (a, b, d) at 120°, and one vertical axis (c) that is perpendicular to the others. The c axis can be either shorter or longer than the horizontal axes. Beryl follows this crystal structure.

slfur 4

The Tetragonal System

A tetragonal crystal is a cubic crystal that has been stretched along its c axis to form a rectangular crystal with a square top. Wulfenite follows this crystal structure.

slfur 6

The Rhombohedral System

The rhombohedral crystal is also known as the trigonal crystal. It has a shape that is similar to the cubic crystal, but has been skewed, as if one had gripped opposing corners of the crystal and stretched it. It is still considered “prismatic” in that all six of its faces are parallel to each other, just like the cubic crystal, but it has an oblique shape. Tourmaline is an example of a crystal that follows this crystal structure.

slfur 5

The Orthorhombic System

The orthorhombic crystal has three perpendicular axes, all with different lengths. An example of a mineral that bears this structure is stibnite.

slfur 7

The Monoclinic System

The monoclinic crystal has three unequal axes. The a and c crystallographic axes are inclined toward each other an an oblique angle, while the b axis is perpendicular to the other two. Feldspar follows this crystal system.

slfur 8

The Triclinic System

The triclinic crystal has three unequal crystallographic axes, all of which intersect at an oblique angle. It has no discernible symmetry and no mirrored or prismatic planes. Rhodonite follows this crystal structure.


The Crystal System and Correspondences

In Mineral Lesson #13 of the Philosophers of Nature lessons, Jean Dubuis gives the following planetary correspondences for each of the crystal systems:


Crystal System












Rhombohedral (aka Trigonal)



Table 1: The planetary correspondences for the crystal systems.

Since we now have the corresponding planets, we can lay these crystal structures in their proper position on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life as follows:

slfur 9a


Normally, we obtain the Salt of Sulfur by drying, calcining and leaching the “soup” or “thick tea” left over from the steam distillation of the herb which provided the essential oil (or alchemical “Sulfur”). Here, since we will not be needing or using the essential oil, I will merely boiled the herbs (separately, of course) with distilled water until I could no longer obtain any more “tea.” This tea was boiled down, dried, calcined to a gray-white, then leached to obtain the Salt of Sulfur. The solid herb which was left over from the extraction was be dried and then calcined and leached to obtain the Salt of Salt for comparison. The Salt of Sulfur was dissolved in distilled water and then left in a lab incubator at 40°C until the water evapourated to the point of saturation (which was observable by salt crystals forming on the surface of the solution). This saturated solution was then poured into an 8 dram bottle witha piece of natural twine in it, which acted as a substrate for the salt crystals to form on. The bottle with the solution and twine was left in the incubator until roughly half the solution had evapourated and crystals were observed adhering to the twine. The twine was then removed and left on a petri dish to dry in the incubator. All crystals were then analyzed by sight under the microscope.

In this experiment I avoided the use of a Soxhlet extrator. This was merely out of personal preference because I find that this type of extractor has the habit of clogging very easily, and I did not want to deal with the hassle of unclogging it all the time. The procedure above was deemed both adequate and equivalent.

Astrological timing was not followed in the above experiment. In other words, I did not start the extractions or any other operation at the hour of the ruling planet. I felt that to do so would have greatly extended the amount of time, as my own life situation (i.e. my job) did not allow me to always follow these timings. For those who are curious, I suggest conducting this same experiment while at the same time following astrological timing to see if there is a qualitative difference.


A seahorse/phoenix[1]



The amounts of Salt obtained from the above procedure are listed in the table below. As can be seen, the amounts of Salt of Salt are very miniscule, and as a result there wasn’t enough to grow crystals with.


Salt of Salt

Salt of Sulfur




Lemon Balm





















According to the literature, the Salt of Sulfur of Basil should follow the orthorhombic system (similar to that of stibnite), but what it actually seems to follow (as seen in the above pictures) is the cubic system. This indicates one of two things: 1) that the salt-crystal correspondence theory does not hold up, or 2) that Basil is in fact ruled by Saturn rather than Mars.


Lemon Balm

According to the literature, the crystal structure of the Salt of Sulfur of Lemon Balm should be tetragonal, but in the above pictures that is obviously not the case. The crystals seen in the pictures above seem to follow more the orthohombic or even triclinic formations. Again, as in the case of Basil, either the theory does not hold up, or Lemon Balm is actually ruled by Mars (or perhaps Venus).



According to the literature, Horsetail, being ruled by Saturn, should have a cubic formation within its Salt of Sulfur. Again, that is not the case. The crystal formations that the Salt of Sulfur of horsetail seem to take is of a triclinic system. This would indicate also that either the theory does not hold up, or that horsetail is ruled by Venus rather than Saturn.



Traditionally, celandine is ruled by the Sun, which correlates to a monoclinic crystal structure. This is confirmed in the above pictures.



Chickweed, being ruled by the Moon, should have a hexagonal crystal structure; this is confirmed in the above pictures.



Yarrow, being ruled by Venus, should have a triclinic crystal structure for its Salt of Sulfur. However, in the above pictures it can be seen that it actually follows a tetragonal crystal structure, which, according to the theory, would indicate that it is rather ruled by Jupiter.




Caraway, being ruled by Mercury, should have a rhombohedral (or trigonal) crystal structure within its Salt of Sulfur. However, as can be seen in the above photos, this is not the case - rather, they follow a hexagonal crystal structure, much more like that of quartz crystals. If the theory we are testing were true, this would indicate that caraway is actually ruled by the Moon.




In a 1992 seminar with Jean Dubuis, it was stressed that an elementary knowledge of crystal structures is necessary if one wants to progress in the alchemical work. Salt in particular exhibits all seven of the basic crystal structures, as indicated above. According to Kabbalistic and alchemical tradition, these seven basic crystal structures correspond to various levels on the Tree of Life, which in turn resonates with the inner level of the Operator or alchemical practitioner. Using these different crystal structures while working with not only the Salt of Salt but more importantly with the Salt of Sulfur opens up a large field for experimentation both on an inner and outer level. Work of this sort is not limited to the plant realm, either; one can also practice this work with Salt in the mineral realm. Jean Dubuis even mentions that “if you change [antimony’s] crystalline network... the Red Stone is possible.”

By using these correspondences, Jean Dubuis stated that you can determine the ruling planet of any given plant by crystallizing its Salt of Sulfur and analyzing its structure under a microscope. However, when this theory was tested following the above procedures, only two of the seven crystal structure corresponded with what tradition would have them. Thus far, this attribution of crystal structures and planetary rulership does not seem to hold up.

I am not willing to completely disregard this system altogether, however. Several variables have not been explored:

  1. Astrological timing was not followed in the course of this experiment. If this is going to be explored, a system will need to be established to determine whether the crystal structure is a result of the astrological timing or the plant itself (ie. does all Salt of Sulfur form a monoclinic crystal structure when following Solar hours, or only when an herb ruled by the Sun is used?).
  2. Does making an extraction using ethanol instead of water make a difference in the resulting crystal structures?
  3. Because there was not enough Salt of Salt obtained from the herbs used, I did not explore the crystal structres that would have been obtained here. A possible future experiment might be to take the same herbs used above and just calcine and leach them, then see what crystal structure this takes. Granted this would be a mixture of both Salt of Salt and Salt of Sulfur, but this would nevertheless be an interesting course of experimentation.

From this experiment we have a few possible conclusions:

  1. The Salt of Sulfur - planetary correspondence system does not hold up. However, the reasoning behind this system, as explained by Jean Dubuis and Robert Bartlett[2], still seem sound. I would argue that the system still needs a little bit of tweaking in order to hold up to scrutiny - perhaps a new system based on this “older” model;
  2. The traditional ruling planets of the herbs above are wrong and need to be revised. I do not think this is a likely possibility, however, as the traditional ruling planets of these herbs have long been established.

There is some variance to the ruling planets of various herbs when comparing different source texts, such as Culpepper’s Herbal, Jean Dubuis, Frater Albertus, and Manfred Junius. This has led some to adopt a dual-rulership for some herbs in order to account for the discrepancies. It would be very useful to have a test by which one can determine objectively and with certitude what planet rules any given herb. With the research presented in this article I hope to start developing such a test. Further research will be conducted at the Toronto Hermetic Society.

[1] A seahorse/phoenix as a symbol of living crystalization: Ignis inside Aqua that gives structure to element Terra. The town of Venice is still builded on huge oak trunks that centuries had crystalized and made strong as concreet. Bassorilievo on a palazzo nearby the Gualdi’s house. Venice, Italy.

[2] See Robert Bartlett’s “Real Alchemy”.

Letto 1412 volte
James Collins

James, born in Toronto, Ontario (Canada), has degrees in both psychology and social work. He has been a member of AMORC for over fifteen years, starting as junior member. He began his operative alchemical journey almost ten years ago.

He has also studied and practiced sacred geometry, astrology and Kabbalah, calligraphy and art.


Articoli correlati (da tag)

  • Cucinare se stessi. Sul comportamento e sulla condizione dei miei corpi Cucinare se stessi. Sul comportamento e sulla condizione dei miei corpi

    È da parecchi anni che mi dedico al cibo, osservando come esso influisca sul comportamento e sulla condizione dei miei corpi.

  • Castelot and Ballandras made gold while nobody cared Castelot and Ballandras made gold while nobody cared

    The twenties, Nice, France... Gold! This article comes from a French review that dates from 1927, written by Andre Ibels for the Nouveau Journal de Nice At the end of the five chapters of the article you will find the protestation by a Professor of Engineering at the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers in Paris, that accused the scientists of her time of being cowardly.

    We took the article from the Adam Mc Lean website1, probably the best site of alchemy ever. The article was written by Mark House, an American researcher in alchemy, who in the next issue of NitroGeno will write a commentary about this text and the experiments that took place.

    How i succeeded in making gold according to the process of mr. Jollivet Castelot - December 1925
    By A. Ballandras

    Dosage of Gold obtained by the second method.

    The residue, which had been obtained by a mixture of:

    • Silver 10 grams
    • Tin 3 grams
    • Arsenic sulphide 3 grams
    • Antimony sulphide 3 grams

    was crushed as much as possible and subdued (read: subjected) to a treatment of pure chloric acid like in the first method. [Here is a reference to a first method - not presented here - the above being the second method presented by Ballandras from a text, the name and size of which is unknown to me.] However, to completely eliminate the silver and the tin employer, I scrupled to begin the indicated treatments, that is to say that the powder which was obtained having been subdued first to the action of azotic acid then washed with distillated water, then subdued to the action of chloric acid, then once more washed with distillated water, and these different operations were begun once more with another portion of pure azotic acid, and another portion of pure chloric acid after having carefully washed the insoluble residue was subdued to the prolonged action of aqua regalis following:

    Chloric acid - 15 parts/ Azotic acid - 4-5 parts.

    It must be noted that this thing happened during the ebullition (bubbling; boiling) The washed residue contained the slighter part of gold, this thing would be found dissolved in the last liquor, which I obtained. After 18 hours of digestion at the temperature of about 25 degrees, I subdued the mixture to ebullition during 3 hours. After refrigeration, I filtered this on wool of glass and I looked to see if parts were not drawn along in suspense. Finding nothing I proceeded with an analysis of the liquor which I obtained. For that month I made two parts strictly equal of the liquor, the first being destined to qualitative analysis, the other quantitative.

    A) Qualitative Analysis: Assay of usual reagents:

    • Chloride of Tin - Rose colored precipitate
    • Pure Soda in solution - Voluminous yellow reddish precipitate
    • Sulfate of Iron - During ebullition, metallic precipitate, greenish black very dense spangles.

    B) Quantitative Analysis:

    The second part of the liquor destined to undergo quantitative analysis was treated by H2S when the most important part of chloric and azotic acids were driven out by a prolonged ebullition.

    This time the liquor was slightly acid and had a weak smell of chlorine. I called H2S into action; about 20 minutes long. The black precipitate which I obtained was received by a filter paper carefully washed first with well distillated water, then with hot water and at last with chloric acid. After drying in the vapor-bath, the precipitate was put in a capsule of porcelain and heated in a mould at about 850 degrees, so as to destroy the sulphides precipitated with gold i.e., the arsenic and the antimony. These were naturally decomposed by the temperature of 850 degrees to which it had been subdued during two hours. The quantity of gold obtained was 0.238 grains. The half of the liquor having served for the dissolution having been turned to good use for the qualitative analysis it followed that the whole quantity of gold contained in the original liquor should be equal to double the quantity obtained. i.e., 0.476 grains of gold per 10 grams of silver employed, yield then was 0.476 grains of gold per gram silver. {I must point out that the obtaining of gold is not a mathematical regularity, that is to say, the purport (proportion) of residue changes according to the conditions of heating.}

    old drugstore

    2) Dry method

    I acted on 22 grains of chemically pure silver supplied by Messrs. Poulenc of Paris and on 3.5 grains of chemically pure orpiment supplied by the Pharmacie Central of Paris. The mixture was heated to about 1600 C in a metal smelting furnace for about ¾ hour. The residue obtained was again melted for an hour with the addition of orpiment, after having been hammered for half an hour and re-melted with the addition of small quantities of orpiment every 10 minutes, it was withdrawn. After cooling and the addition of chemically pure antimony sulphide, it was again put back into the furnace, small quantities of orpiment being thrown in every 5 minutes. The residue obtained had a dark metallic tint, after hammering it became slightly golden.

    Analysis of the Residue

    The residue dissolved in chemically pure 36 degree HNO3 first cold and then hot, gave an abundant pulverulent deposit. This deposit after being washed and treated with HN3 to dissolve the arsenic and antimony salts was completely dissolved in aqua regia. The liquor after being chlorinated and filtered was subjected to the reagents of Platinum and gold.

    Mr. Andre Vandenberghe who was acting as preparator for this experiment, had thought that in accordance with the law of evolution of matter, the transmutation of bodies into gold should be preceded or accompanied by their transmutation into platinum. According to Mendeleiev’s progression, we have Pt - 195.2 and Au - 197.2

    The reactions of gold were quite characteristic; the reactions of platinum also seemed to reveal its presence. The quantity of gold obtained in this experiment was estimated at about one gram. I emit the hypothesis that the arsenic acts as a catalyzer and the sulphur as a ferment in this transmutation.

    Jollivet Castelot, Douai, December 1925

    A recent experiment in transmutation

    By M. Jollivet Castelot

    All my research work on transmutation since 1908 has started from the fact that gold is found in nature associated with antimony and arsenic sulphides as well as with Tellurium which is considered as the mineralizer of gold. I therefore considered it logical to introduce Tellurium into the artificial combination of silver and arsenic and antimony sulphides that I make. The following is an account of one of my recent experiments:bI prepared a mixture composed of 6 grams of chemically pure silver, 1 gram of native orpiment (Arsenic trisulphide A52S3) free from gold, 1 gram of chemically pure antimony sulphide, and 2 grams of chemically pure Tellurium. I added pure silica to the usual fluxes. This mixture was heated in the furnace in the usual way for one hour at a temperature of 1100 C (approximately) [note: parenthesis are not mine AMWH].

    The residue obtained was of a blackish grey color with violet reflections. It weighed 6.420 grains. When subjected to the action of nitric acid, the residue was attacked with difficulty and greenish metallic particles became detached. The solution was then decanted and a greenish-yellow residue remained which was kept at the boiling point in nitric acid for several hours, after decanting off the liquor once again, the residue, which had not changed, was washed, treated with ammonia and then subjected to the action of aqua regia in which it was entirely dissolved after boiling for several hours.

    The solution after being chlorinated and then subjected to the reagents of gold, gave the following:

    • Potassium Ferrocyanide - greenish brown coloration.
    • Tin Protochloride + Tin Bichloride - a yellow bronze coloration and then a metallic deposit of the same shade.
    • Ammonia - coloration and precipitate identical with the preceding one and which became transformed into a yellow deposit of fulminating gold at the end of a few hours.
    • Formol - light yellowish black metallic precipitate.
    • Peroxide of Hydrogen - light very finely divided brownish black precipitate.
    • Oxalic acid - yellowish black precipitate.
    • Ferrous Sulphate - golden yellow metallic precipitate.
    • Caustic Potash - a fairly abundant golden yellow metallic precipitate at the end of a few hours.

    The presence of gold was therefore very distinctly shown and a remarkable feature was that the metal obtained possessed the yellow bronze color of gold telluride and of native silver. I had therefore produced a bronze colored gold in my laboratory by artificial means thanks to the intervention of the Tellurium.

    “A certain amount of gold was certainly lost in this test as in all my previous tests, for it is known that arsenic, antimony and Tellurium entrain gold in their fusion and their volatilization. In order to obviate this disadvantage, I had thought of making the vapors of arsenic and antimony sulphides and of Tellurium act on the silver in fusion in a closed vessel by means of a special device, but I have been forced to give up this scheme for the time being on account of the difficulties met with for the construction of this apparatus, the cost of which would be very high. I consider it certain that if the vapors were allowed to bubble through the melted silver, a much higher yield of gold would be obtained than that I have obtained hitherto by an imperfect and too rapid contact of the bodies in presence; while it is undoubtedly necessary to make them react on one another in the state of vapor in a closed vessel.” Jollivet Castelot, Douai, April 24th, 1926

    The chemical manufacture of gold account of one of my last experiments in the transmutation of silver into gold

    As a sequel to my previous work on the artificial synthesis of gold, I have introduced Tin into these new tests as it is also often associated with gold in nature. The following is a description of this new process, thanks to which the percentage of gold obtained destroys all the objections that are raised with regard to impurities.

    I made an intimate mixture of 6 grams of chemically pure silver of which the purity was tested by a professional chemist, the Head of the laboratory of one of the most important Works of the region. 2 Grams of antimony sulphide, 1 gram of orpiment, and 1 gram of Tin; all these bodies were obtained from the Establishment Poulenc of Paris and were chemically pure. I added the usual fluxes and then heated the whole in a crucible in the furnace to about 1100 C fort2 about 1 hour, twice adding a small quantity of antimony sulphide.

    The residue obtained was treated for a long period in pure 36 degree nitric acid, first cold and then at the boiling point.

    The insoluble residue was next washed with distilled water, treated with ammonia, washed again and finally treated for a long period with boiling aqua regia. The liquor when filtered and subjected to the reagents of gold showed the presence of this metal in the form of deposits3 which maybe estimated at 0.05 grains in all, which is very high considering the 6 grams of silver employed.

    With Oxalic acid, the solution turned violet and gave an abundant black pulverulent precipitate.

    With Hydrogen Peroxide, a very finely divided precipitate of gold.

    With Formic Aldehyde, a brown precipitate of gold.

    With Tin Protochloride, an intense violet pink coloration.

    The addition of Tin to the other bodies has certainly facilitated the reactions of the gold and increased the yield of this metal which can be manufactured artificially by my process.

    It would be easy to show that, given the respective prices of gold and of the other substances that are used in my process to produce it, a profit could be obtained if the process were worked industrially; all the more so as the greater part of the silver employed can be recovered at each test.

    I believe I now hold the key to the regular and even industrial manufacture of gold. But the industrial question is voluntarily put aside from my thoughts, for my only object is the search for pure scientific truth.
    Jolivet Castelot, Douai, April 15th, 1927

    Table of reactions


    • C2H2O4 - Abundant deposit of metallic gold.
    • H2O2 (basic) - Brown precipitate.
    • K4 Fe Cy6 . 3H2O - Green coloration.
    • Na2CO3 (in ebullition) - Brownish precipitate.
    • NH3 - Reddish yellow precipitate (Au); topped by a yellow precipitate (Pt).
    • KOH - Reddish yellow precipitate (Au); topped by a yellow precipitate (Pt).
    • SnCL2.2H2O - Solution colored brown with reactions of platinum salts and deposit of black powder.
    • KI - Solution becomes reddish followed by a discharge of iodine and a brown precipitate (Platinum iodide).

    Extracts from the press

    “It must be admitted that it is extraordinary and incomprehensible that France for the past ten years has refused to take an interest in the experiments of a rich and universally respected scientist who has given proofs of his worth, even after the conclusive experiments carried out by an official chemist, Mr Ballandras of Lyons.”
    Andre Ibels, La Razon, June 8, 1927

    It is unjust, gentlemen, that a scientist of the value of Mr. Jollivet Castelot should be held in suspicion at the very moment when he is losing his sight through overwork. To continue his work, however embarrassing it may be to yours, is a sacred duty.”
    Declaration by Mademoiselle M.L. of Paris. Professor of Engineering at the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, Paris, at the Chemical Congress in Paris. October 1927

    “Oh! it is not that Mr. Jollivet Castelot has not attempted to make his invention known in France, on the contrary, he has written leaflets and books and has founded reviews for this purpose... Not only was he not taken seriously, but he was also a butt to the sarcasm and even to the insults of the official scientists in general and of the Nobelist Perrin in particular. The Acedemie des Sciences itself - as usual - refused to record his communication.”
    Andre Ibels, Nouveau Journal de Nice, October 16, 1927

  • On making gold yesterday. Tradition, ethics, history On making gold yesterday. Tradition, ethics, history

    It is essential not to fall into the incorrect idea of believing that alchemy only means “to make gold”, as we have already explained in the editorial, and we invite everyone to read it because it contains all the ethics of the science/art in just a few sentences.

  • Nevertheless, we can make Gold, absolutely Nevertheless, we can make Gold, absolutely

    To create Gold through Alchemy is just like free climbing a very steep cliff without any safety lock, a situation where the handholds are few, tilted and small.

Lascia un commento

Assicurati di aver digitato tutte le informazioni richieste, evidenziate da un asterisco (*). Non è consentito codice HTML.


Rimani aggiornato su News - Iniziative - Offerte!