[...] It was here in this building, that the members of the Brotherhood, up to thirteen at a time, for 40 days, enacted their secret rites of spiritual rejuvenation, but only after physical rejuvenation had been completed.
It was these rites of physical rejuvenation that employed alchemical medicines.
Beginning on the full moon in May, a 40 day seclusion began, which included fasting, prayer, and the drinking of rain water (collected in May), and laxatives. On the 17th day, several ounces of blood were removed and a few white drops of an unknown substance given to the participating neophyte. Six drops were to be taken in the evening, and six in the morning, increasing two drops per day until the 32nd day of seclusion. At sunrise on the 33rd day, more blood was removed, and the first grains of the materia prima was given.
The effects of the 'grain of elixir' was instant loss of the powers of speech and recognition, with convulsions and heavy sweating. After these subsided, the bedding was changed, and a broth made of lean beef and a variety of herbs was given. On the second day, a grain was added to the broth repeating the above symptoms, and upon which "a delirious fever set in which ended with a complete loss or shedding of the skin, hair and teeth of the subject."
On the 35th day a bath of prescribed temperature was given, and on the following day, the 3rd and last grain of the materia prima was given in a goblet of wine. The effects of the final dose were much more mild, resulting in a deep sleep during which the skin, hair, and teeth reappeared. On awakening from this ordeal, an herbal bath was given, and an ordinary bath (with saltpeter added) on the 38th day. On the following day (the 39th) ten drops of the elixir of life were given in two spoonfuls of red wine. This final dose was known as the 'grand master's elixir' or balsam.
On the 40th and final day, the initiate was said to have been reborn into primordial innocence and capable of living 5,557 years with the grace of God before being called back to the heavenly lodge. The process however, had to be repeated every forty years in the month of May if this were to happen.
Unfortunately, we know neither the contents of the elixir or the herbs administered as bath or broth for this ceremony. It is also very likely that such a recipe or listing may be sitting somewhere, written in Old German, or even frakture script, in a local historical society somewhere in Eastern Pennsylvania, with no one being able to read it, or know the meaning of its contents otherwise.
We are also at a loss for any idea as to who may have survived the ordeal. However, the effects of the recipe sound strikingly similar to those given in Paracelsus' writings regarding the Melissa Ens, a potent spagyric medicine said to convey long life and rejuvenation.