In my last post about Ficino’s Gift of the Magi, I suggested using gold tincture instead of gold leaf. This choice has more than one advantage. A tincture is easier to use, it is completely absorbed when you take the preparation internally, but above all it gives you the chance to add several precious layers to your Work, if you make your tincture yourself. And the process can be quite easy, especially if we use as a basis one of the methods suggested by Franz Bardon in his invaluable Initiation to Hermetics.
Obviously, you need a piece of gold. That could be a coin or any piece of jewellery in yellow gold, 14 or 18 carats. First layer you can add: you could choose an object that has special meaning for you, or search for a special piece that you feel particularly fit for this Work, then you can elect it to this sole purpose, or use it as a talisman, e.g. to help you focus in your Work. Yes, you could use a sacred image too. Think to the purpose of your Work and find what can help best to achieve it. You could even prepare a special tincture for each particular kind of Work.
The tools are quite simple. You need something to hold your gold piece over the flame, and a vessel for the water. The first can be a piece of metal wire, for the second you could follow the same criteria as we did above for the gold piece, providing that it is heat resistant: a simple white ceramic cup would be perfect.
As for the flame, avoid using a candle, because it would blacken your gold piece, and consequentely release impurities into your tincture. What works best is a alcohol burner, fed with pure 95° alcohol, the one that is used for homemade liquors: it will give you a nice, clean flame and it is safe and convenient to use indoor.
You need water. The simplest basis is distilled water, but here you can add another step to your Work. Personnally, I prefer rainwater collected in my Sacred Wood – yes, I do have one – but feel free to choose the kind of water that suits best your purpose and inclinations: find a natural place to collect rain or springwater or visit a holy place to draw it from a particular fountain.
Making a tincture can be a simple process or a infinitely complex ritual, depending solely on your disposition and aims. Of course, the more layers you add to your Work, the easier is for you to fortify Its meaning in your subconsciuos, that is to build Its astral aspects and connections to the subtler worlds: and this is what makes your Preparation actually work. To get the best results, you must prepare yourself, your workspace and your ingredients and tools according to your inclination, your Tradition and your purpose. Remember the Golden Rule in Tantra and all Alchemy: the most important result of the Process is the transformation that It engenders inside you as you conduct it.
Once you have everything ready, light up the alcohol burner and put the bowl with a little water beside it. You can add some more water during the process if needed. Pick up your gold piece with the hooked wire and put it on the flame until it gets red hot, then put it in the water. Unless you are skilled in this kind of procedure, you should better put on some gloves and a protection for your face or at least safety glassess, to avoid getting burned by the hissing water. Make sure that the wire does not touch the water, but only your gold piece does. Repeat the process 7, 10 or as may times as you find appropriate. At the end, your water will be saturated with gold particles: your gold tincture is ready.
This is the skeleton of the procedure, you can complete it with all the rituals of your choice: the blessing of the tools and ingredients, the invocations to be assisted by special Entities, the dedication of the merits at the end of the Work, the consecration of the product to a particular Entity or Purpose, and so on and so forth. We will see the basics of some of these procedures in the next posts, but you can start producing your gold tincture straightaway even with the simplest method and enjoy its wonder, anytime you need to stabilize, equilibrate, illuminate, eternalize.