Welcome to Part 2 of the creating Abramelin Oil via a steam distillation! In part 1 (Part 1 of the Distillation method of Abramelin Oil can be found here), I gathered the proper herbs, placed them into a steam distillation apparatus, and distilled for about an hour. I was left with about 300-350 ml of distilled solution. I let the solution sit overnight, sealed of course, to allow for full separation of the oil and the hydrosol (more about hydrosols can be found here). The next day, I was a bit befuddled. I have performed steam distillations on lots of different herbs and plants. All produce oils and hydrosols, and admittedly some produce very little in the way of true essential oils, but they all produce the essential oils. For example, Rose is very stingy. It can take a pound of rose just to get enough oil to even start to put a few drops into a vial. This is why Absolute Rose essential oil is so expensive.
In this case, it was VERY difficult to see any oils. I could see a very slight shimmering of them on the surface, but the other unusual aspect was that the hydrosol maintained a very cloudy and yellowish color. Typically the oils will have a yellow or brownish color to them, and the hydrosol, while it can be a bit cloudy in appearance, still has a clear/white color to it. As you can see, the solution here was much more ‘mixed’ and the entire substance was a murky citrine color.
I thought about what to do for a bit. The nice thing about not having detailed instructions (or any instructions really, for this process), is that you don’t have to follow them! After pouring it back and forth between a couple of vessels and watching the nearly non-existent Separation process, I figured that these particular oils (none of which I have extracted previously on their own–and, distilling more than one herb at a time only muddies the water) just weren’t light enough to all sit on top of the water/hydrosol. But, I reasoned that oils were oils, and water was water, and nary the two shall mix! They might co-mingle, but wouldn’t completely mix together. Perhaps if I added more oil, such as the olive oil that was to be added at the end of the procedure, the oils would bond together, and with a higher quantity of oils, and the lighter oils now bonded to the Olive Oil it would undoubtedly rise to the top, and I could then separate them from the hydrosol.
|Pure Olive Oil||Olive Oil Added to Abramelin Solution||The entire solution after maceration|
I estimated the proper amount of Olive Oil (estimation was all I had in this case) and added it to the solution. You can see from the center photo above, that the oil immediately separated from the hydrosol mixture. However, I wanted the Olive Oil to capture and mix with the oils of the herbs in the solution. So, over the course of about an hour, I macerated the mixture by shaking it about every 10 minutes. This allowed the Olive Oil to thoroughly circulate througout the solution, hopefully pick up the bits of the oil mixed with the hydrosol, and then separate with the oil back on top again.
Now for the separation process.
|The complete Solution||Separating the Hydrosols (below) from the Oils (above)||The separated Abramelin Oil|
I added the complete mixture back into the separatory funnel. I then drained off all of the hydrosols into a beaker and set it aside (for bottling, use and sale). Next, I drained off what was left of the combined oils of the Abramelin mixture (Myrrh, Calamus, Cassia, Cinnamon and Olive). Notice in the center picture above, that once the Olive Oil had been added and macertated and (hopefully) picked up the rest of the essential oils, that the hydrosol is much clearer/whiter/transparent in appearance. Hopefully, that means that the Olive Oil did indeed pick up and bond to the bits of the other oils that were coloring the Hydrosol.
Next came the moment of truth…did the Olive Oil attach to the existing oils of Myrrh, Calamus, Cassia and Cinnamon in the distilled solution, or did I just have a beaker full of Olive Oil? SUCCESS! The separated oils smelled incredible! It may actually be the strongest scented Abramelin Oil I’ve done, including the mixture done purely with essential oils! The wonderful scent of Cinnamon and Myrrh immediately transported me to that place where my consciousness reaches out towards my own Holy Guardian Angel. I realize that with some of the guesswork that I had to do, and the issue of the oils not separating the way that I would have liked (which may be remedied by a much larger batch of herbs and longer distillation), that this batch of oil may not be ‘exact’ according to the recipe, but when it was completed, and I had a chance to really inhale the scent and work with the oil a bit, I felt an amazing feel of success, triumph and connection with my own HGA.
For the practical test, I took one of my small keychain vials, and filled it with the oil for daily and ritual use. I’ll have to report back on how the oil worked out!
|An Empty Travel Vial||Vial of Abramelin Oil|
In summary, this has been a great experience. I highly doubt that the original intent and method of creating Abramelin Oil was using a steam distillation, but it certainly is a viable method of working and creating it. Was it my favorite? No, at this point, I think my favorite method of creating it was the Alcohol extraction method, which took a very long time and was a lot of work. However, this oil has a stronger and more forceful scent than the oil that I created via the alcohol extraction method. The Oil extraction was simple, and yielded a good oil, but was not nearly as pungent as either the alcohol extraction or the steam distillation. Time will tell as I begin using this oil, and who knows, when and if I decide to make a larger batch of oil via steam distillation, that will take a lot more time and effort, maybe this will supplant the alcohol extraction as my favorite method. After all, I love me some Alchemy!
Perhaps in a future blog entry, if there is interest, I can detail the other methods of creating Abramelin Oil, after all, whether you’re using a mason jar, a double boiler or a complex distillation apparatus, in the end, they are all Alchemical methods and they all work. As always, feel free to comment, and thanks for reading!
Mutatio per Solve et Coagula!