Alchemy, generally, derives from the old French alkemie, from the Arabic al-kimia, “the art of transformation”.
If you yourself have ever spent a moment fascinated or amazed by the great ruins, mysterious Hieroglyphics and cultural advancements of ancient Egypt, you should be able to easily understand why Arabs of the first millenium A.D. considered ‘Egyptology’ (or ‘Alchemy’) to be a science worthy of great minds.
Even in modern Islamic Egypt you will find at least a grudging respect for the ancients who built the Pyramids, Sphinx and other great monuments of dynastic Egypt. There can be little doubt that Arabs of the early centuries A.D. were among the founders of that great revival of Egyptian Studies, which filtered into Europe under the Arabic name of “Alchemy.”
But, even before the Arabs, others had long been involved in an attempt to restore the Sciences of Egypt; and none more diligently than the classical Greeks. By the time Arabic Alchemy reached Europe, it found there an already vast body of studies inspired by the contact between Greece and Egypt, long before ‘the Egyptian Science’ was forgotten by the Egyptians themselves.
Over the next millenium that fusion of Arabic and Greek memories of Egyptian Science would become the western world’s first ‘physical science’ based upon the idea of Experimentation, Proofs and precise Measurements. Today we know that fusion as “chemistry;” which admits (somewhat sheepishly) that it was founded by Alchemists. Like their sister-science Astronomy (which grudgingly admits it’s own origin from within Astrology,) Chemistry today truly ‘owns’ the field of elemental compounds.. Chemistry’s claim that it diverged from ancient Alchemy over the issue of ‘Spiritual forces’ is both absolutely true and furthermore, casts true Alchemy in it’s own proper light.
Alchemy is the Egyptian Science of SPIRITUAL FORCES and how they affect both Matter and Living entities.
THE FORCES OF CREATION :
According to the ancient Egyptians, ‘Spirit’ and ‘Matter’ are two “expressions” of the same Principle: pronounced ‘Neteru’ in Egyptian, and ‘Natura’ or ‘Nature’ in later tongues. According to Egyptian Alchemy, every ‘thing’ has a ‘spirit’ to it; and every ‘spirit’ has SOME FORM of ‘body.’ The profound attainments of the Egyptians were created by a people who knew the ‘spirits’ within Elemental Matter, and could ‘talk’ them into revealing their secrets to mankind.
This process of ‘talking to matter’ was symbolized to Egypt in THE PYRAMIDAL FORM, and was said to involve four ‘stages’ (the four triangular ‘faces’ of the Pyramid;) requiring the application of five great ‘Spiritual Forces’ emmenated by THE PRINCIPLE SHAPES OF GEOMETRY (symbolized by the five actual ‘sides’ of the Pyramid.) Those seeking to rediscover the truths of Alchemy are thus faced with two possible starting-places; THE FOUR PHASES OF THE GREAT WORK, and THE FIVE “SPIRITUAL” SOLIDS.
Before outlining those Forces and Geometries, however, it is well to remind the reader that Physical Alchemy DID in fact lead to the discovery of Chemistry; any attempt to re-apply the principles of The Great Work to “physical transmutation of the elements” will naturally result in either your personal ‘discovery’ of the Laws of Chemistry OR your rediscovery of the ORIGINAL form of Alchemy.. which operates on the PRE-chemical (or Energy-conversion) Level. While it is certainly true from our own experience that physical Chemicals CAN be ‘improved-upon’ by imbuing them with Spiritual Forces through Alchemical means, the primary study of the pre-chemical Alchemists was the study of HOW TO HARNESS THE SPIRIT WITHIN MATTER INTO THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY. It is our experienced view, that ONLY THAT is ‘The Great Work’ of the pre-chemical Alchemists. If you disagree, and insist that you will rediscover the Physical Transmutation Of Matter through Spiritual Forces, we advise you that (if you succeed at that) you will not have found your answers in these pages. But, if what you seek is the level of Creative Science known to Egypt (rather than the Chemical Alchemists of the late middle ages) then we can indeed share useful insight with you. (clink on the picture to view the symbols in a larger size).
The Laws Of Spiritual Alchemy:
1) Duad: Unified Duality
The first thing one must ‘accept’ (and there is no other way of dealing with it!,) is that EVERY “THING” IS A LIFE, and EVERY “LIFE” IS PART “THING.”
‘Creative’ or Original ‘Entities’
There are a small number of “Original Creative Forces” each of which is a Unified Duality composed of LIFE and A SPECIFIC GEOMETRIC SHAPE. These were later identified as ‘the Five Platonic Solids’ of classical western science; but to Egyptians they were ‘the Fathers of all other Natures.’ The Five Causal Geometries are:
TETRAHEDRON: the Force Of ATTAINING DIALOGUE
Meaning “a Four-sided Solid,” the Tetrahedron is the ‘appliance’ by which direct communication can be established between oneself and any other ‘self’ whether spiritual or material in form. Plato identified the ‘static’ Tetrahedron as a ‘pyramidal’ form whose base and sides are each a triangle.. though that is not the only ‘possible’ Tetrahedral shape. Our Alchemy uses a CYLINDER composed of the four sides identified as ‘outside, inside, top edge and bottom edge;’ and this is used to “channel” substances or other dialogues into the ‘alembic’ or Vessel holding the symbolic or elementary “subject-matter.”
DODECAHEDRON: The Force Of CREATIVE COMMAND
This “Twelve-sided Solid” or Dodecahedral object is recognized by all of the ancient Master Alchemists as the most ‘Causal’ of Geometries; it equates with ‘a direct Command from God’ in it’s effect on the subject-matter when the alembic containing it is placed within such a geometry. Again, there are several ways of arriving at a 12-sided Solid.. though only one of those was recognized as ‘perfect’ by Plato, we use a variant based upon two hexahedral ‘pyramids’ conjoined at their bases.. placed in conjunction with the alembic.
HEXAHEDRON: The force Of TRANSMUTATION OF FORM
The CUBE or “Six-sided Solid” is used to cause a subject-matter to become “pliant” of form.. allowing the Alchemist to ‘channel’ into it instructions for a more desirable form it should take. Once that form has become ‘idealized’ or approximating the intended goal, this geometry is immediately replaced with the following..
PENTAHEDRON: The Force Of PRESERVATION OF FORM
Meaning “a Five-sided Solid” the PYRAMID is the most famous and visable of the Egyptian Alchemical Geometries, since it was used on a grand scale to induce Preservation Of Form for royalty. Placed around the alembic in which a subject-matter has attained desired form, this geometry causes that form to be PERFECTED and RETAINED ad infinitum.
ICOSAHEDRON: The Force Of INTER-RELATIONSHIP
The final essential in any ‘new creation’ is that it be able to ‘relate’ with the rest of Reality. This “Twenty-sided Solid” bestows that ability. While Plato identified this shape as ‘angular’ and precise as an ABSTRACT IDEAL, we recognize it as the ancestral form of THE SPHERE, which we place around the alembic, thus in effect ‘Circling the Square’ or causing Inter-relatedness to occur for the Product. Normally this triggers either the ‘Fulminato’ or ‘Magnum Opus’ Stage of it’s completion.
‘Created’ or non-original ‘Entities’
Each ‘Neteru’ or Spiritual Force in the Universe (other than those original ‘fathers of all other Natures’) is described as a Composite ‘Being’ made up of some ‘non-human’ (“thing”-like) but living form, conjoined to a ‘human’ other half. While it may well be that this “Anthropomorphic” view of Nature is simply all we can SEE IT AS because we are ourselves human-shaped (and thus can only relate with something as ‘intelligent’ if it has human shape,) the end-result is the same as if these Anthropomorphic Nature-Forces actually ARE half-man/half-animal Lifeforms.
A basic list of the most important of these diety-forms is provided in our article on The Egyptian Mystical Rites. You may find it useful to contact them each (in the original Egyptian OR the more modern Hebraic Kaballist practices) as you progress through your studies in Alchemy.
The process of “talking” to ‘the lesser gods’ of the Egyptian pantheon involves learning the Anthropomorphic Form of the Nature they embody.. and then opening a dialogue with them by use of the Original Creative Geometries. This allows one to ‘transmute’ or ‘alter’ your relation to them, by “Spiritual Alchemy.” Likewise, the same approach is used for “talking” to Matter; one must learn the true ‘Nature’ of it’s element-form, and then use the “Causal Geometries” to open a dialogue with them. While it has become traditional to refer to this process of Neteru-contact as ‘the old Egyptian religion,’ that is a misnomer; it was in fact not ‘religion’ but A TOTEMIC SCIENCE, part of the larger science that we today inherit as Spiritual Alchemy.
2) Tetramorphic Progression: the Four Stages
Once ANY Nature has been contacted by use of Alchemical forces, there begins a Four-Stage “Evolutionary Process” that leads in fixed steps to whatever ‘goal’ one has set-out to attain. These Four Stages are represented as THE ‘ASCENDING SCALE OF ALCHEMICAL COLORS.’ While it may seem improbable to the inexperienced mind, each Alchemically-triggered Evolutionary Phase actually DOES produce some manifestation of the color of that Phase of Alchemy. The Four Color-Phases are (in sequential order:)
BLACK: ‘Massa Confusa’
In this initial Stage, the ‘subject’ seems both confused and vague; disorder is the keynote, and one may wonder if any good could come of this! Patient observation soon reveals an emerging ‘Product’ though it is quite primitive and only slowly does it move toward your goal.
In this second Stage, the emerging product enters a rather extreme period of ‘purging;’ it sheds the confusion and vagueness of it’s origins.. but may seem to have completely missed the intended direction of evolution! Further patience reveals that this Stage has further solidified the Product as a “workable nucleus” which can later be turned into a more desirable direction of growth.
Now in this third Stage the Alchemy becomes quite apparent; the formerly rather distorted Product now begins to show clear signs that it is moving in the desired direction of growth. Patience is less needed now than is CAUTION; the Alchemy here can be sometimes quite ‘explosive’ and fast-paced! At times, one may feel that it is all getting QUITE out of hand!, and then suddenly..
GOLD: ‘Magnum Opus’
The Product solidifies into a FUNCTIONING or ‘living’ REALITY that fulfills the goal intended (and usually quite a bit MORE than ever expected!) One may be tempted to think the work ‘done’ when it attains this Stage; but it may still need to ‘cool’ or temper into final form over a brief period of functional use. Sudden ‘proofs’ of the final Product’s desirability emerge, to inform the Alchemist that his Great Work has been attained.
Any deliberate use of this Four-Stage Color Symbolization (even as simple a use as dressing oneself in the four colors sequentially!,) can trigger Alchemical results, though (naturally) only on a minor level unless the Creative Forces of Causal Geometry are also employed. Many people find Color-Alchemy sufficient for their self-transformations. But, should you wish a more detailed description of the complex process of Spiritual Alchemy as performed in our tradition, we recommend you study The Shining Tree Self-Work-Book..
AUTHOR: Khiron, the Kuei-Shen Hsien
The ancient Latin and Greek words for the goal of Alchemy translate into English as “The Great Work”, of which the Philosopher’s Stone is but the end product. For as long as humanity existed Alchemy has been the origin of Medicine in all cultures and the main path to Awakening and Enlightenment. Distinct traces of it exist in most ancient documents of the most ancient Egyptian texts known to us, as they do in Chinese texts of the middle Ages such as the Book of the Golden Lotus. In the Occidental texts of ancient Greece, the same book exists, except the Lotus has become a Rose. But the color is still Red Gold. It represents the path of who we truly are.
Alchemy is the knowledge of transmuting energy, consciousness and matter and teaches us that Energy, Consciousness and Matter can be transmuted through the knowledge of how these interrelate and transmute one another. And in many ancient cultures, the main areas of interest that the alchemists were involved in was medicine. The essence of medicine is transformation, and the alchemists transformed deadly poisons or otherwise inert organic substances into valuable medicines capable of bringing about beneficial healing transformations in the organism.
Alchemical practices and currents of thought can be found in all the world’s great traditional medical systems. In Chinese Medicine, the Taoists were involved in alchemy. In Indian Ayurvedic Medicine, alchemical bhasmas, or mineral ash preparations, are wonder drugs that are still in use today.
The alchemical tradition in Greek Medicine is based on Hermetic philosophy, which was founded by the legendary Egyptian philosopher king Hermes Trimegistus, or the “Thrice-Great Hermes”. Many alchemists equate him with the Greek god Hermes or Mercury, and take his winged, serpent-entwined staff as their symbol or emblem.
1. (n.) alchemy
a form of chemistry and speculative philosophy of the Middle Ages that attempted to discover an elixir of life that would confer youth and immortality upon its user. Alchemy can be viewed as a protoscience, a precursor to modern chemistry, having provided procedures, equipment, and terminology that are still in use. However, alchemy also included various non-scientific mythological, religious, and spiritual concepts, theories and practices and a method for transmuting base metals into gold.
any seemingly magical process of transmuting ordinary materials into something of true merit.
3. (n.) alchemy
a pseudoscientific forerunner of chemistry in medieval times
4. (n.) chemistry, interpersonal chemistry, alchemy
the way two individuals relate to each other
5. (n) Medicinal alchemy, is also called pharmacists, chemists.
Alchemy was an early form of chemistry with magical and philosophic associations, studied in the Middle Ages. Its aims were to change base metals into gold and to discover the secret of eternal life. “My studies in alchemy,” observed [Roger Chillingworth], “and my sojourn, for above a year past, among a people well versed in the kindly properties of simples, have made a better physician of me than many that claim the medical degree (From Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter).
It is common today to think of alchemy as the mere precursor of chemistry or a primitive and not very accurate attempt to describe nature. This is entirely untrue. Alchemy, from its beginnings, was a means to transform the human soul from its base (lead) state to its Enlightened and eternal state (gold). Alchemy lies at the heart of the world’s three dominant modern religions.
The word “Alchemy” is derived from Khem, the name of Egypt, “Al” means “of” so the word means “of Egypt.” It came to mean the wisdom of Egypt. Many of the sayings and methods attributed to Hermetica have been traced hieroglyphic texts that are among the earliest Egyptian writings, others have been traced further back to cuneiform tablets of the Sumerians, dating to 6000-5000bce. It is claimed that the wisdom of alchemy was even older than these sources currently no evidence to either dispute or confirm this claim.
The texts known as the ‘Hermetica’ are not the product of one ancient sage or Divinity. They are named after the Greek God Hermes Trismegistris, Thrice Great Hermes, the Greek name of Egyptian God Thoth as in the ancient world it was common to credit the God or Goddess who inspired the author. Hermetica is seen as the direct descendant of Sumerian and Egyptian philosophy.
The Egyptian God Thoth was believed to have invented the sacred art of writing and the concepts of justice; he taught mankind astronomy, architecture, geometry, medicine and religion. He was the carrier of Divine messages and recorded all human deeds. Like the Hebrew/Persian god, He sat among the judges of the dead, weighing the heart. An unworthy heart (soul) was eaten by Sobek and ceased to exist, while the worthy went to the blissful realms or were reborn to continue their evolution. It is therefore understandable that Thoth, the God of Wisdom, was credited with the creation of alchemy.
300bc – Greece
Though Hermetica is Egyptian belief, its familiar forms from the 1st and 3rd century are works filtered through the understanding of ancient Greek scholars such as Pythagoras and Plato. Pythagoras studied in Egypt for 22 years, his geometry texts were translations, not inventions. Plato studied the translations of Egyptian texts by Pythagoras before he started writing, and many of his ideas are restatements of Egyptian philosophy.
The Hermetica inspired some of the greatest achievements of the ancient world. The famous Library of Alexandria contained more than 500,000 scrolls, including Euclid, Archimedes, Ptolemy (geometry), Aristarchus of Samos (who demonstrated that the world was round and revolves around the sun some 1500 years before Kepler) and texts on math and geography which were translated in Latin and dominated these fields well into the middle ages. Here scientists studied ancient Egyptian texts* and learned of the precession of the equinoxes and that the moon, which revolved around the Earth, was responsible for tides. (Sumerian text predated this teaching by 3000 years.)
Eratosthenes, a famous Greek alchemist, calculated the circumference of the Earth and was unchallenged until the last half of the 20th century when space travel and computer measurements confirmed his measurements adding only a few decimal points. All of these authors were alchemists.
The writings of Hermes Trismegistris have had a profound effect on Western thought and religion. The Hermetica’s influence on early Christianity is seen through such saints as St. Clement, St. Origen – an Alexandrian who synthesized pagan and Christian doctrines, and St. Augistine who were each students of Hermetic philosophy. The New Testament’s emphasis on “the Word” is Hermetic Greek doctrine.
Several versions of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes were in secret circulation in scattered Jewish enclaves all over Europe, Asia and Russia. Thus many sacred texts were preserved. Hebrews equated Hermes with Enoch (Sumerian derivative), who received direct teachings from God and was eventually taken up into heaven.
400’s – Dark Ages
When the Library at Alexandria was destroyed and the last librarian murdered in 415c.e. by Christian fanatics, the knowledge was scattered and lost, hidden for almost 1000 years – the “dark ages.” Fear, brutality, superstition, and intolerance ruled the West. Western versions of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes were hidden in metaphor, allegory and blinds to prevent the reader or aspirant from accusations of heresy by the Church. Alchemy took sanctuary in the Middle East.
700’s – The Muslim Empire
Pagan scholars and sages fled to the Middle-East and were welcomed with open arms by the emerging Moslem cultures. Greek versions of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes were treasured by the Moslem conquerors and revered as sources used to develop algebra, number theory, architecture and medicine which until recently far surpassed the West. 200 years after Alchemy worked its magic, Muslim Empires were replete with learning and scientific achievements.
In the 9th century, the first University was established in Baghdad and was called “the House of Wisdom.” Many pagan works were translated and taught, studied and practiced. Hermetica became the secret inspiration for many unorthodox religious sects such as the Sabaeans, Sufis (who called Hermes “Idris and Enoch.”), Zoroastrians, Gnosticism and various schools of neo-Platonists. The most notable of the Sufis was. Al Hallaj martyred as a heretic, who loudly espoused the Hermetic wisdom “I am the truth,” and “We are all God.”
1100’s – India
In the 1100s custodian of Hermetic texts went into India and back into Europe where they found sanctuary in the region of Aquaitania in France, where the flowering of the middle-ages occurred under the influence of Eleanor of Aquaitaine. It was the influence of the Hermetica that led to the Gnostic revival in that region, which in turn led to the Albiginsian crusade, which virtually depopulated southern France.
1400’s – Florance & The Renaissance
Alchemists and scholars traveled to the city of Florence where their knowledge inspired a cultural flowering under the guidance of the di Medici family. Cosimo di Medici translated the lost works of Plato into Latin in 1438 and sent agents to look for other “lost” works. In 1460, the Thrice Great Hermes was brought back and translated. This heralded the Renaissance (meaning “rebirth”). Greek translations again became available to the West with the invention of the printing press in 1460. They were instrumental in bringing about the modern view of the world.
Reuchlin (1455 – 1522), the teacher of Martin Luther and Erasmus, studied the Hermetica in Florence and left to sew the seeds of the Protestant Reformation in Germany. Thomas Linaere, a student in Hermetica and natural philosophy, founded the Royal College of Physicians in London. The mathematician Nicholas of Cusa; the physician Paracelsus; the architect Filippo Brunelleschi; the astronomer Copernicus, the astronomer Toscanelli (whose map inspired Christopher Columbus). All of these men studied Hermetica in Florence. Copernicus studied these ancient texts and announced his (re)discovery that the Earth revolved around the Sun. He quoted Hermetica in his landmark Revolution of Celestial Orbs.
1500’s – England
In England, the works of Hermes had a profound effect on Elizabeth I and the circle of learned courtiers that surrounded her. Sir Phillip Sidney, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Donne, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, George Chapmen, Frances Bacon, Dr. John Dee, and Sir Edward Kelly all studied the Hermetica. Prague the capital of Bohemia, was an enlightened refuge for Hermetic scholars, Aristotelian philosophers, Jewish Kaballists and scientists from every nation, due to the benevolent attitude of Rudolph II.
1600’s – Modern Day
Although the counter-reformation and Inquisition tried to discredit alchemy, reason eventually won out and the “Enlightenment” set the stage for the modern world. Throughout the Enlightenment, Hermetica continued to influence such visionary scientists as Isaac Newton and John Milton, who quoted it in their texts on various subjects. Secret societies such as Masonry, the Golden Dawn, the O.T.O., the Rosecrutians were founded around Hermetic texts and on Hermetic doctrines. Early Hermetic writings remain some of the oldest and greatest sacred texts ever written. In a very real sense, Hermetica continues its influence as quantum mechanics demonstrates the hidden truths of ancient Hermetic philosophy and psychology validates alchemy as true means of mental and spiritual health. Religion and science are merging.
How do the Alchemical formulas help individuals manifest their desires and intentions?
Since his childhood, Jacques Tombazian has questioned why he was blessed with the capacity to manifest things in his life with great ease. He had no logical answer until in his Inner Quest he discovered a Divine Archetype in one of his subtle bodies. Her name is MIN the Red Rose. She is the daughter of Aphrodite and Thor, and is the Goddess of love and desire. She represents creative inspiration, and can be used to help us go from inspiration to manifestation, from idea to act, from intention to intent.
Intention is Yin, a passive wishful thinking, idea, or inspiration. Intent, however, is Yang, an active and Creative Inspiration. There are many individuals who have lots of good ideas, but the question is- why can they not manifest them? What will help them is to invoke MIN the Red Rose and work with her, that is, if she is not naturally present in their subtle bodies. MIN can help them manifest their inspirations.
How do these Alchemical formulas work?
By the knowledge of Quantum Physics, Alchemy, Astrology and the Power of Attraction, the Alchemical formulas are embedded in a liquid that consists of water and essential oils. The user simply meditates on the things he/she wishes to manifest, and sprays the formula around the body, or aura. The energetic formula will release any impurities in the energy field and purify the chakras and subtle bodies, thus making it an ideal environment for MIN and other Archetypes to assist in manifesting our desires and intentions. With the help of Kirlian photography technology, we can see clearly the changes on our aura before and after the use of the formula.
Alchemy’s first law of equivalent exchange is as follows: “Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain something of equal value must be lost”.
The Alchemist’s Prayer :
Oh, most singular and unspeakable Presence, first and last in the Universe, brighten the fury of my fire and burn away the doors of my being. Cleanse my soiled soul; bathe me in your awesome light. Set me free from my history and cut me loose from my boundaries. Unite me this the one thing, hidden in my life, wherein is my only strength. Fill me with your Presence, allow me to see through your singular Eye, grant me entry to your Mind, let me resonate with your Will. Make me transparent to your flame, and fashion me into a lens for your light only. Transmute me into an incorruptible Stone in you eternal service, like the golden light that surrounds you.
Some of the more famous people who were practicing alchemists or influenced by alchemical texts:
|Political & Religious Leaders||Scientists||Philosophers|
|Queen Elizabeth I||Albert Einstein||Aristotle|
|Martin Luther||Sir Isaac Newton||Plato|
|John Calvin||Copernicus||Giordano Bruno|
|Thomas Aquinas||Roger Bacon||Roger Bacon|
|Rumi & other Sufi Masters||Johanus Kepler|
|Shakespeare||Leonardo da Vinci||Israel Regarde|
|Daniel Defoe||Michelangello||Aliester Crowley|
|Victor Hugo||William Blake||Edward Kelley|
|Ben Johnson||Botticelli||John Dee|
|Percy & Mary Shelley||Sir Walter Raleigh||A.E. Waite|