Thursday, February 9, 2017

Daemons Discuss - Podcast: Take 10! | Alchemy: How it Relates to the All Souls Trilogy & Some Basic (Really Basic!) Information on Alchemy

Take 10 - The One With the Experiments

Description: The dreaded (well, we dreaded it!) episode on alchemy!  What an intimidating topic!  We do a very (very, very, very) basic overview on alchemy in this episode.  We did it with the help of a beginner’s book on alchemy and a bunch of Google searches for different sources.  The end result?  Surprise!  You’ve been doing alchemy in one form of or another all of your life.  The end.  Next episode!  Just kidding, but if you are interested in the subject and were too intimidated to tackle it, you at least have a few starting points and factoids.  Oh, and stain removal tips!  Enjoy!

SPOILER ALERT! We (The Daemons) approach this podcast with an assumption that the listener has read The All Souls Trilogy, including A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life.  If you haven't, and you don't mind, we certainly don't mind!  😊  Let's do this.


1. Show notes (a lot of info this time . . . strap in!): 


A. For newcomers to the series:
- We'll start with the basics: The books in discussion are A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Life.  Together they make The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. 
- Our Daemon Guides to the All Souls Trilogy are available for download: ADOW, SON, TBOL
- If you'd like a ready-reference from the author herself, be sure to download the All Souls Real-Time Reading companion (free e-book at online booksellers via Penguin and Headline books).
- Deborah Harkness usually conducts a real-time reading on her Facebook Page (starting in September), and shares her posts across social media.  Check out her website for all of her social media links, and of course all that she has to offer her readers!
- To see what's available on the web as far as the All Souls universe fandom, check our links page.
- AllSoulsCon 2017 is HAPPENING!  Visit for social media links and information.  Also!  If you are planning on attending, be sure to join this Facebook group: All Souls Con Attendees

B. In this episode:
Pillars of Hermes (07:33)
BAD DAEMONS!  We forgot to thank Lisa S. for bringing the subject of alchemy to our table!  Thank you, Lisa!  We didn't thank you in the episode, but we hope this makes up for it! Also, audio problems conquered!  Thank you for your patience, it took a lot for us to get to this point, but we don't quit (a blessing and a curse), and we thank you for not quitting on us!

* (01:59) – YAY 🎉 – Episode 10!  If you are a YouTube listener, you at the end of the road.  Here are the places you can subscribe <-- we never got around to telling you that part!

* (03:14) – Our Discusser, Stephen wrote in with a clever email referring to our show notes in Take 8!  You can check out what he was referring to on those notes (time stamp: 36:39). Hint: three “fucks” fell on the cutting room floor.

* (04:24) – Propeller man!  He first appeared in the show notes of Take 3 … the point is, don’t miss out on the show notes!  We amuse ourselves making them, please enjoy them!  Like dessert!

* (06:17) – Email from Laura … SURPRISE!  Her personality test revealed her to be a “Campaigner!”  Of course she is!  ASC ‘17 is coming (but it’s NOT OUR TALE TO TELL!).  She’s keeping her head in the game.  You can check out our adventures from ASC ’15 here, hear our special episode on it here, stay tuned to, and follow them on Twitter @AllSoulsCon.   We should also mention that Laura isn't a lone wolf! Karen Mendez is co-director of ASC.  If you are planning on attending, be sure to join this Facebook group: All Souls Con Attendees

* (07:32) – This show, outlined:
•    Introduction on Alchemy
•    The All Souls Trilogy as an experiment of Alchemy
•    The crazy things we learned during our brief study on Alchemy

* (08:04) – Alchemy introduction.  Find The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy (by Dennis William Hauck) here:  Amazon/B&N  (See ‘Whoops! Corrections,’ below).  Also, check out this --> document on alchemy.

An example of why we like The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy.
It breaks the subject down to easily digestible tid-bits.

* (08:30) – The Scribe, Thoth

* (08:45) – The Pillars of Hermes

* (13:16) – Alchemy = The Art of transmutation.  Transmutation defined:
nounthe action of changing or the state of being changed into another form.
"the transmutation of the political economy of the postwar years was complete"    Physics:
    the changing of one element into another by radioactive decay, nuclear bombardment, or similar processes.
    Biology, historical:
    the conversion or transformation of one species into another.

* (14:42) – Practical Alchemy for the Good Wife – couldn’t find it!  Googled it.  No luck. 

* (15:52) – Val’s stain removal tip of the day:  For protein stains (blood included), ensure you treat with really cold water.  Soaking is preferable.  After it has soaked for a while, work a small amount of blue Dawn (any laundry or regular soap will work, but she uses blue Dawn for everything!) into the stain.  Let it sit for an hour or two, then machine wash in cold water.  Vampires, take note!

* (17:59) – Angela’s mom swears by gold Dial soap for stains.  She mentioned that like the Dad used Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, her mom uses this magic block of gold for everything 😂.  Work it in, and stains be gone! Find it near the Irish Spring on store shelves.  Angela also said this (off-mic): "She swears by it for everything - not just stains. In fact, I got eczema on my nose, and the derm said to use gentle cleansers, blah, blah, blah. Medicine and gentle cleansers wasn't working. I started using Dial soap and it cleared up significantly!"

Gus from My Big Fat Greek Wedding
* (20:07) – Distillation by definition:
noun: distillation; plural noun: distillations
    the action of purifying a liquid by a process of heating and cooling.
    "the petroleum distillation process"
    the extraction of the essential meaning or most important aspects of something.
    "the film is a distillation of personal experiences"

* (21:08) – 40 days in alchemy is an important number; let's note the significance of the time span of forty days in biblical, philosophical and scientific terms --  Forty days and forty nights - Noah’s Arc. Forty days are usually needed in alchemical operations; the alchemists looked on forty days as the charmed period when the philosopher's stone and elixir of life were to appear. Moses spent forty days on the mount.  Elijah was forty days fed by ravens.  In Greek scientific tradition, it was believed to take forty days to ensoul a male fetus.  According to the 16th century Jewish mystic, Rabbi Loew, Maharal (yes, the man we met in Shadow of Night) of Prague, the number forty has the power to raise up something's spiritual state.

* (22:59) – The steps in an alchemical experiment (mentioned briefly, but we didn’t elaborate)
1. Calcination
2. Dissolution
3. Separation
4. Conjunction
5. Fermentation
6. Distillation
7. Coagulation

* (23:19) – At the end of ADOW (the seed of The Blasted Tree):
"Once the door closed, a worn silver coffin shot down the chimney and landed on the burning paper. Two gobbets of blood and mercury, released from the hollow chambers inside the ampulla by the heat of the fire, chased each other around the surface of the book before falling into the grate. There they seeped into the soft old mortar of the fireplace and traveled into the heart of the house. When they reached it, the house sighed with relief and released a forgotten, forbidden scent." ... see Arbor Vitae
* (23:33) – Arbor Dianae/Diana's Tree

* (24:58) – The actual quote from Marthe’s song.  Jean and Val were close(ish) . . .
“‘You are the tree and branch,’” he said, fixing his eyes on the slashes of countryside visible through the nearest window, “‘where delight’s fruit ripens. ’”
* (25:56) – Episode on the Aurora ConsurgensTake 9 – The One With the Sun King and Moon King

* (26:52) – Branches of alchemy
•    Spiritual
•    Psychological
•    Artistic
•    Social
•    Practical
•    Therapeutic

* (27:34) – A note on spiritual, social & psychological alchemy: The experiment Valerie talked about was actually a slightly altered modern offshoot of this famous sociology/psychological experiment.   The Milgram Experiment was a study of human obedience.  Check this one, too: Stanford Prison Experiment. Social Alchemy (specifically), can be small scale -- matchmaking couples, emotional blackmail, hero worship, or large scale -- social norms including religious belief & political leanings, changed by groups of people like activists, clerics or politicians, spreading on to a larger population.  The difference between spiritual/social/psychological alchemy and some of the other ones is that you are replacing physical substance (or material & methods in the case of artistic alchemy), with suggestion of ideas and/or beliefs.

* (29:55) – Carl Jung’s connection to Alchemy.  Basically the Alchemy of Personality!

* (31:43) – Miriam the Jewess

* (31:52) – Q&A w/ the Getty

* (32:34) – Mary’s bath/Bain-Marie.

* (33:04) – Valerie found some schools for Alchemy in the US and mentioned them in this episode.  Let us caution you about the Flamel college of California…there have been many BBB complaints (found out after recording!)  Status of accreditation is unknown.  Do your research, and proceed at your own risk! Oh, and here is the information on --> Nicholas Flamel

* (34:18) – Deb's update located here: New Year's Update

* (35:52) – Pinterest Inspiration Board (for January)

* (36:17) – FAN GIRL DOWN!  Jean’s comment, Deb’s answer:

* (37:00) – Rosco at the moment of Val scaring him awake (after reading the above!):

Rosco is not too pleased about his rest being disturbed here...
 * (38:06) – That mystery convo between Domenico/Matthew:
“You didn’t need to tell me that. Who the hell is he?”
“One of Matthew’s oldest friends,” Ysabeau murmured, eyes on her son, “which makes him a very dangerous enemy.”
My attention turned to Matthew, who continued to exchange words with Domenico across a precisely drawn zone of engagement. There was a blur of black and gray movement, and the Venetian hurtled backward toward the chestnut tree he’d been leaning against when we first spotted him. A loud crack carried across the grounds.
“Well done,” Ysabeau muttered.
* (38:34) – There was a reply by Deb to a comment in that thread that implied that the TV show would not be from Diana’s POV

* (39:12) – Tweet from AllSoulsDG (see ‘Whoops!/Corrections’ below), a question they asked the Twitterverse:
* (40:23) – Val wants to be Marthe’s BFF – because there’s news she can use.

* (41:44) – Angela wants to hang out with the School of Night to witness the crazed scene with Widow Beaton.

* (42:42) – Jean wants to be one of the Fire Witches that had to evaluate Diana in SON, or part of Verin’s girl squad in TBOL.

* (43:30) – Val’s head movie during Jean’s description of ‘Verin’s girl squad’ ... 'Bad blood' (DON’T JUDGE)!  And also?  This exists:

The "Booby Trap" Self Defense Sport Bra
. . . also for some visual cues on how we imagine Verin & squad would dress:

* (44:52) – The scene from The Producers:

Screen cap from the scene Jean mentioned in The Producers
* (45:52) – For the record, Valerie is a Virgo ♍.   Now, go ahead and become a Discusser (use the form below if you also want to make a comment on this episode, or just go here!)

C. Whoops! Corrections.

D. Previous Episode
Special Edition - The One With the Good News!

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Credits/Copyright Information 
* Intro music: "Ghost Dance" (edited down to second chorus) by Kevin Macleod, licensed for use by Creative Commons.
* News intro: by AwesomeMusicVideos21; provided for fair-use/royalty-free.
*  Outro music: Rimsky-Korsakov - "Scheherazade Symphonic Suite for Orchestra Op.35 - IV. Allegro molto," Public       

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* Our episode titles are a loving tribute to the show "Friends" just 'cause we love Friends and - let's face it - it's easier! Here's how one of the show creators explains their reasoning:
Jeff Greenstein: "When Marta & David & Jeff & I did 'Dream On', we used to spend a lot of time thinking about titles, because they were on-screen at the top of each episode. On "Friends", we decided that was a waste of time. We figured, why not name each episode after the thing that people will ostensibly be talking about around the water-cooler the next day?"
This was a Daemon Production

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