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ASK A PRACTITIONER: Spagyric Alchemist

What exactly is spagyrics?Renaissance-era physician Paracelsus made up the word spagyric—pronounced spa-jeer-rick—from two root words that literally mean separate and recombine. Our work comes from a tradition of alchemy, but spagyrics specifically applies to plants and healing work. Homeopathy is a complementary but completely different tradition.What goes into making your formulas?We have a lab where we take a plant completely apart and extract the minerals, essential oils, or some fermentation product. Then we purify everything separately and put it all back together again. Refining essences and formulas that treat symptoms on the physical level is a one- to two-month process. Our Spiritualized Essences, which include balancing tonics, take seven or eight months. Our highest-level extraction, Magisteries, focus on the soul level. Refining those is a yearlong process.How does someone use one of your products?If you have a purely physical ailment—say, you catch a cold—you can take some echinacea, a simple physical remedy. But if someone is constantly catching colds no matter how much echinacea he takes …

Micah Nilsson is the cofounder of Al-Kemi Spagyrics located on the southern Oregon coast. She studied with alchemists including Jean Dubuis. She may be reached online at

Originally published as "Ask a Practioner: So What’s It Really Like To Be A Spagyric Alchemist?" in the January/February 2014 issue of Spirituality and Health magazine.

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