If I ever thought that these planetary tinctures would be the same process, seven times over, I have, again, been corrected. Jupiter was a cinch, Saturn (in Capricorn) was earthy and needed extra purifying and filtering. And Mars?
More than the first two, this tincture I felt a real need for-to better balance the parts of my personality, perhaps. When I first assembled it to macerate, I felt that it could be possible for me to understand why Hannibal crossed the Alps and Caesar, the Rubicon. The jar felt hot in my hands, right from the very start. Even as I coveted the drive, passion and power that was inherent, I could also sense the danger. But I wanted it, anyway.
But, true to the Mars personality, this project has been a battle. I could not do the calcination on the original date because my area of New Jersey was under drought warning and a high alert for fires. Considering that snow melt and flood is a more usual problem in the spring, this is highly unusual. And, because I use Everclear at 190 proof for the menstruum, I didn't dare attempt the burn inside the house.
The day after I had wanted to do the calcination it started to rain, and rain, and rain (weather spell? What weather spell? I just had a little talk with a couple of entities about the danger of drought). It rained for a full week. The no burn regulation was lifted and this past Tuesday night, Mars hour, I took my bowl of alcohol soaked ginger root chips outside to ignite. (The picture is above) But no sooner did I have it lit, than the rain started again. The rain didn't bother the alcohol burn off, but that was it, no glowing coals, no smoldering, no ash. Just damp little black charcoals chips made from ginger. Damp and blackened-that pretty much describes how I felt at this point in the project.
The moon will be full very early Saturday morning (12:01am) and I had wanted to be done with this before then. Rummaging through my pantry, I was able to jury-rig a pretty good crucible, and for the last two days I've worked on reducing the coal to ash and then refining the ash. It will be done on time.
Dogged and determined, I can do (even if I don't enjoy it much), but that is rather earthy, not fiery. So the question is: at what point does determination shade into drive, push and yes, power? Should I have spent more time with that (possible) salamander, last year?