Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Alchemy - You're Doing it Wrong

Here's another one of those "what was he thinking?" stories. It seems that a man in Northern Ireland decided that the best way he could possibly spend his day was attempting to transform excrement into gold by mixing it with fertilizer and putting it on top of a heater. Because alchemy, really! The result of his experiment? He started a fire that consumed his apartment and threatened those of his neighbors. Because that shit burns!

Recently, Paul Moran from Northern Ireland attempted to put a twist on the old lead-into-gold trick by turning feces into gold. No word on whether this modification to the recipe was out of necessity or a indomitable sense of adventure.

Either way, the process involved leaving feces, along with fertilizer, on top of a heater. While this process did not manage to transmute the feces into gold, it did manage to transmute his entire apartment into a blazing inferno.

Upon his arrest, Moran admitted to arson and endangering the life of fellow residents in the building by starting the fire, which is estimated to have caused £3,000 worth of damage. Judge McFarland who presided over the case commented that Moran’s endeavors were an “interesting experiment” but that they were obviously doomed to fail. He then proceeded to transmute the next three months of Moran’s life into jail time.

Here's what probably happened. Moran at some point sat down and watched Alejandro Jodorowsky's film The Holy Mountain, in which an alchemist does in fact transform feces into gold in a process that appears to involve a lot of heat and some additional chemical reagents. Knowing that Jodorowsky is revered by many as a genuine mystic, he figured that the film must have revealed the True Secret of Alchemy (TM) and went about trying to replicate the process with the materials he had at hand. As Paul Moran unfortunately found out, just because you see it in a movie doesn't mean that it's real.

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J.C. said...

I rather enjoy your news briefs. Where do you find this stuff?

Ananael Qaa said...

I have Google news alerts set up looking for likely terms and topics, and I also peruse various weird news sites. Unfortunately it still requires a lot of sifting because so much weird news has nothing to do with the paranormal and magical terms get used in so many other contexts.

David Griffin said...

The history of alchemy is chock full of such stories, and sometimes it even gets worse. I have carefully examined several manuscript compendia of alchemy in A.O. archives deriving from the Gold und Rosenkreutz order in Germany. What is most curious about these particular documents is that they are neither written in cipher nor even using "the language of the birds," the language of analogy so often found in classical alchemical texts in countless variations.

These rare manuscripts actually have the alchemical instructions written out clearly. They do have blinds in them though....

The kind of blinds guaranteed to blow up ones own house for certain, if not in fact the entire city block!

For example, the Thesaurus Thesaurum ad Fraternitas Rosae Crucis Testamentum contains at least two recipies for the fabrication of potable gold that inevitably result in highly explosive gold fulminates.

I asked my own alchemical Master about this, thinking that these processes were included so that if these documents fell into the wrong hands, there secrets would remain nonetheless protected.

"No," my Master replied, "the answer is simpler than that. Surely in the Alpha Omega you have had students who are a pain in the neck. We all have.

It was to such students that the Golden and Rosy Cross gave such dangerous processes. Only destiny would then decide if they were worthy of greater knowledge. Either way, such students would not pose any further bother to the order!"

Ananael Qaa said...

@David: You say that like you think it's a good thing...

David Griffin said...

Actually, I think it is pretty bizarre. It is, however, just one of many oddities in the history of alchemy.

Anonymous said...


And this in Northern ireland! Strange things on your own doorstep and you need an American to let you know.
Wonderful story. thanks for the share.


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