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Boyle was also an ardent student trying to clarify many alchemical concepts which were becoming obscured even in his day. He was a meticulous experimenter and realized the difference between Philosophical and Unphilosophical workings upon materials. In his very influential book, "The Sceptical Chymist," Boyle called into question the number and nature of the elements and called for a more organized terminology.

His alchemical insights have been largely misinterpreted to be a debunking of vitalistic alchemy in favor of a more rigorous concentration on the physical facts.

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It was the beginning of a more mechanical world-view, which would last into the twentieth century. Around , King Charles II signed the first Charter of the Royal Society and the study of chemistry soon became an officially recognized science. America also had its alchemists, including several state Governors.

There were groups in Pennsylvania who brought with them many of the early German alchemical writings which were quite extensive. Alchemy survived underground in various. In the early s, H. Among other things, they taught laboratory alchemy as it was handed down by earlier Rosicrucian sources.

In the early s, one student of these classes was Albert Reidel. Frater Albertus went on to teach these classes himself and then later split off on his own to establish the Paracelsus Research Society in , which became accredited as Paracelsus College in the early 80s. With the passing of Frater Albertus in , there seemed to be a void in alchemical teachings and a lack of a central point where students could exchange information.

By the early nineties, through the efforts of several PRS students, contact with a French group was made and the Philosophers of Nature PON was formulated to fill the void with fresh ideas and to carry on research in alchemy. The PON closed in the late nineties.

Alchemy and Alchemists (Pocket Essentials)

Perhaps the most concise exposition of alchemical theory, acknowledged by adepts from all ages, is the famous "Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus. It is true, certain, and without falsehood, that whatever is below is like that which is above; and that which is above is like that which is below: to accomplish the one wonderful work. As all things are derived from the One Only Thing, by the will and by the word of the One Only One who created it in His Mind, so all things owe their existence to this Unity by the order of Nature, and can be improved by Adaptation to that Mind.

This Thing is the Father of all perfect things in the world. Its power is most perfect when it has again been changed into Earth. Separate the Earth from the Fire, the subtle from the gross, but carefully and with great judgment and skill. It ascends from earth to heaven, and descends again, new born, to the earth, taking unto itself thereby the power of the Above and the Below. Thus the splendor of the whole world will be thine, and all darkness shall flee from thee. This is the strongest of all powers, the Force of all forces, for it overcometh all subtle things and can penetrate all that is solid.

For thus was the world created, and rare combinations, and wonders of many kinds are wrought. What I have to say about the masterpiece of the alchemical art, the Solar Work, is now ended. The alchemists always admonish their students, "Know the theory first before attempting the praxis. The alchemical concept of life and matter lies at the opposite pole of that of the current scientific community. Science is trying to find out how matter created life.

Alchemy states that life created matter. Alchemy affirms that at the origin, there is consciousness. Consciousness is the need to Be of the Absolute. In order to satisfy this need, consciousness created life, and in order to evolve, life created matter. Alchemy is an exploration of the involution of the Absolute into matter and its subsequent evolution back to the source—the Ouroborus. There's a very old saying, "The All is mind. The universe is Mental. Whatever you choose, it is just a symbol so we can talk about it. This is perhaps best described as Infinite Living Mind.

Only by mental creation, can the All manifest the universe and still remain the All. For if a substance was used or acted upon, it would be separate and the All would not be All. What we call "matter" is only that portion of the All we apprehend through our senses. It is only a label we use to designate the manifestation of the All within the range of our. All things are connected but separated only by their rates of vibration.

Each one of us is a unique and complex waveform, though we also share many of the same "harmonics. Modern science takes advantage of this fact in order to identify materials by their vibratory nature in the form of spectral resonances in visible light, infrared, microwaves, etc. Einstein once said, "Everything is energy, beyond that is divine. Everything around us, though it seems separate and different from ourselves is One only One. All is from One is the First Law of Hermetics. Today we might call this energy and matter, which are the same. The Second Law of Hermetics is the law of Polarity.

The One divides into active and passive modes, with the active energy constituting the energies of life, and the passive one the energy of matter. Both are active in nature but Fire is the more active of the two. These are the volatile energies. These are the fixed energies—Water being the more active of the two. These "Elements" have nothing to do with the material bodies of the same name. They are in fact, energetic states, each with their own unique characteristics.

As early as B. The Element of Fire relates to the qualities of radiance, expansion, warmth, and light—anciently known as the hot and dry properties. On the psychological level, fire relates to the Superconscious Mind. The Element of Air is penetrating, diffuse, moveable—the wet and hot properties. Psychologically, air represents the Selfconscious Mind. The Element of Water relates to coolness, contraction, mutability or change—the properties of wet and cold. Water is the.


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In the human economy, this is the physical body. Modern science agrees that there are Four Fundamental Forces governing the activity of everything in our universe and though they call them "Strong Nuclear Force, Weak Nuclear Force, Electromagnetic Force and Gravitational Force," they are related to the ancient Elemental qualities of Fire, Water, Air and Earth respectively. These elemental qualities and their mixtures form the vehicles through which the alchemical "Three Essentials" operate.

They are the clothing which we interpret as our physical reality. Again these terms are not the common materials we associate with these words, such as table salt or the mercury in your thermometer.

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They describe subtle philosophical principles active in Nature. Alchemical Salt, or the Body of a thing, provides the matrix wherein the Sulfur and Mercury can act. It is a passive medium, the Virgin Earth, subject to the fixed energies of. The Salt is influenced by psychic and instinctual forces of the subconscious as well as the conditions affecting the various states of matter. The Alchemical Sulfur, or Soul of a thing, conducts the volatile principles of Fire and Air expressing consciousness, intellect, and the "True Will" or personal fire. Alchemical Mercury, or the Spirit of a thing, is the vital force or life force, and predominates in the elements of Air and Water, reflecting intellectual, instinctual and psychic energies.

It forms the link or bridge, between the higher forces of Sulfur and the lower body of matter, the Salt. The energies of Celestial Niter are often equated with the force of Kundalini, or spiritual forces of Indian philosophy. In alchemy, this is referred to as the Secret Fire in Man. The energies of Celestial Salt are equated with the force of Prana, or Vital Energy carried by the air we breathe. Prana is said to maintain physical life and existence.

It acts at the instinctual and unconscious levels as well as being influenced by cosmic cycles and other natural phenomena. At the lowest level of functioning, this is the self-centered ego; at its highest, we become aware of our Divine nature. The effects of awakening this Secret Fire within constitute a true initiation into nature's mysteries with attendant changes in our perception of how Nature operates.

This is a direct experience of liberating interior knowledge. The physical body is also changed and improved in functioning, constituting a genuine rebirth on spiritual and physical levels.

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The alchemical process seeks to fan this fire Many alchemists indicate that the Primal Elements are too subtle even for the most skilled artist and that only Nature can work at that level. The Three Essentials are the fruit of the Elements, which Man can manipulate even at the physical level. The three principles of things are produced out of the four elements in the following manner: Nature, whose power is in her obedience to the Will of God, ordained from the very beginning, that the four elements should incessantly act on one another, so, in obedience to.

Earth alone, having nothing to act upon, did not produce anything, but became the nurse, or womb, of these three principles. The Salt represents the Body, or vehicle, which allows expression of the other two essentials. It is a principle of fixity, consolidation, and focus—The Material Basis, or matrix.

The Sulfur, represents the Soul, the Consciousness. It is a fiery principle, brightness. The Spiritualized Male aspect of the One. The character of a thing. The True Colors. The Intelligence. The Divine Spark. It is a Subtle, spiritualized Feminine aspect of the One.

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The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Alchemist's Secret, by Isabel Cecilia Williams.

Pure Energy. It is the Sulfur the Consciousness which directs the Life Force through the body. Directing more of the Life Force through more refined bodies or vehicles is the course of Nature and Evolution. Alchemical work strives to create and fortify an incorruptible spiritual body of which the physical body is a reflection. That the plant world and the animal world are filled with living beings is obvious to all. The mineral world is generally looked upon as nonliving because we only understand carbon based life, but to the alchemist the mineral world is also teaming with life and consciousness just as much as the other two kingdoms.

The processes of alchemy reach into each of the three kingdoms in order to bring its subjects to a higher degree of perfection. In alchemy, all things are evolving but considered to be exposed to a wave of energies becoming involved in matter as well, and thus subject to hindrances and impurities from.

As a result the energies of life are weakened and the energies of matter predominate when it is the energies of life which should predominate. The alchemist believed that by understanding Nature's laws and applying them with Art, that it is possible to remove hindrances to the evolutionary wave so that the energies of life can predominate and lift the subject toward perfection.

Nature is the greatest alchemist of all. She has all of time to complete the process of evolution which is constantly unfolding around us like a symphony. The alchemist seeks to assist in this evolution utilizing Nature's own laws and methods. In the Laboratory, the alchemist can demonstrate Nature's laws at work and can speed the processes up. Early observations of Nature revealed that she moves in cycles, that there is a rhythm to everything.

Vibration is a periodic event, circular in nature. Everything we see, everything we know of is vibration and because of this, there are certain harmonies established between things. From early times people have observed the stars in order to understand the rhythm of Nature. If one intends to help the process of evolution, one has to keep within Nature's laws. You would not go out and plant lettuce in the snow. So it is in the Laboratory, where the alchemist would await a specific time to carry out an operation in order to capture the momentum of subtle forces.

There are many such connections between gardening and alchemical works. Astrology is intimately connected with the Hermetic Philosophy and supplies much of the guidance for practical applications of the Alchemist's Art. Man is a microcosm inseparable from his macrocosmic environment. The Sun has always been considered the source of all life and light in our system.

The Sun radiates out; the planets absorb what they need then radiate the excess. This forms the complex interplay of subtle energies that reach our planet and form the basis for astrological studies. The stars also exert their energies and enter into this constant interplay. Advances in Radio Astronomy have shown that we are constantly receiving energy "fingerprints" from many stars as well as the planets.

In practice, all things are considered to be the product of their natural cycles. For example, medicinal plants are harvested at the correct time in relation to the plant part required. When the plant is operated on in the laboratory, each stage should be done at an optimal astrological configuration harmonious to that operation.

It has been said that without knowledge of astrological tools and methods, the production of a true alchemical medicine is not possible. Each illness appears like a vibratory disharmony or dissonance to our particular waveform or field. Using a system of correspondences, alchemical medicine seeks to restore the harmony of our true selves.

From ancient traditions to modern scientific studies, we know that medicinal herbs have physiological effects on specific organ systems. Herbs, like the organs they affect, are considered to fall under the influence of a particular planet or sign of the zodiac on the basis of an affinity.

Each planetary sphere has a unique energetic expression and signature qualities associated with it, such as color, musical tones, parts of the body, diseases, medical effects, herbs, stones and metals. For example, the planet Venus is said to be the "ruler" of Copper metal and the herb Yarrow, as well as affecting the kidneys in man.

Today we might describe this "sympathy" as resonance. Each thing below then, has a characteristic waveform resonating with planetary energies from above in specific ways. Within man's occult anatomy, these planetary representatives were often referred to as our "Interior Stars. In the work with plants, the Moon's disposition is a very important consideration.

The Waxing Moon is good for Enriching an Essential element by circulations or distillations. The Waning Moon is good for Separating the Pure from the Impure whether by distillation, extraction, or calcinations, etc. Just as the dying moonlight, our matter is subjected to the fermentation and putrefaction of death in order to release its essence, thus separating the pure and the impure. Astrology helps to harness subtle forces, which have an influence on our subject matter. That there are physical forces at play has been demonstrated through studies such as crystallization experiments, and capillary dynamics; but there is also a subtle, spiritual aspect we seek to capture as well.

Our material subject is the magnet which gathers the energy and holds it. Our personal natal horoscope provides us with a powerful tool for understanding our own energy signature and how it is affected by other energy forms including matter. A detailed examination of the birth chart takes time, but reveals one's essence. The first concepts to examine in order to use this system are the individual planets and zodiacal signs, their energies, and rulerships. By developing an understanding of these sympathies and their interactions with each other, we can work to rectify the energetic imbalances that can lead to illness, and also work to strengthen specific energies within ourselves for physical or spiritual improvement.

Each individual at birth is considered to be of a particular zodiac type in that their energetic imprint predisposes them to a particular temperament and also a predisposition to an organ weakness which is peculiar to that sign of the zodiac. The most simple is to use the individual planetary energies to support organs, systems, or functions of the body, or use them to oppose disorders, all according to planetary rulership.

Another technique for using the planetary system of healing involves a more in-depth study of the birth chart and of the whole self, rather than just the treatment of passing symptoms and illnesses. It offers much deeper and longer-lasting balance and wellness. In this approach, the birth information of the individual is examined, and planetary affinities are determined.

The concept behind this is that at the time of birth, the planetary energies are locked up in physical material and have a determined reflection, stamping their influences and energies at each level of being. The rulership of the various houses in the birth chart reveals all types of personal qualities, such as strengths, weaknesses, disease and health tendencies, and affinities for certain methods of treatment. The planetary energies can also be deliberately introduced in order to produce certain effects in the body, mind, or spiritual level of a person.

Each planetary influence can be experienced and worked with in turn to create physical and spiritual balance. For example, during distillation, our liquid passes into an invisible state then condenses and manifests in an improved form. The alchemists viewed this as analogous to death, a visit to the spiritual world then rebirth in the physical. Similarly during recrystallization, our matter is dissolved into a medium and becomes clear, then made to reappear as an improved form. In astrology, the birth chart shows the imprint of the cosmos on the individual at birth.

So too during those periods of rebirth of our matter there is the imprint of the heavens. By repeatedly reinforcing a particular planetary power during these multiple rebirths, our subject becomes polarized to that force. It is therefore necessary that theory is accompanied by practice, the one being the consequence of the other. Only laboratory practice gives mastership, for what is practice if not controlled by theory. The rigor of the former corrects the vagaries of the latter.

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How was your experience with this page? It is ironic that the world that Newton helped create has anything but a unified view of Nature, a world whose short-sightedness and materialistic greed threaten Nature herself, and humanity as a whole".

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For some reason known only to himself, in his old age Newton destroyed and burned a great many of his papers. One can only wonder what knowledge or insights they may have contained. The author suggests that modern physics, especially quantum mechanics, is returning us gradually to that lost unity, where consciousness itself is the vital ingredient, not matter itself. This indeed could be the elusive philosopher's stone, ultimately a latent quality in the seeker that is revealed or developed.

It is the idea that the experimenter can actually manipulate matter through strong visualisation or imagination. The alchemical work begins with the first matter.

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This is the Lesser Work: Nigredo. For Egyptian alchemists that prima materia may have been the black earth fed by the Nile. Al-kimia comes from the ancient name of Egypt, meaning "black land". So, in the laboratory, the practitioner would choose some material to work with. It could indeed be common soil, but Isaac Newton chose antimony as his first agent, whereas Nicholas Flamel used mercury. Others may have thought that they must use the most vile and base substance as prime matter, such as dung or urine.

Indeed, Hennig Brand, the German alchemist, inadvertently discovered the element phosphorus in after boiling down large amounts of human urine, thinking that its yellow colour may indicate the presence of gold. He heated the residues on his furnace until the retort was red-hot, and liquid dripped out, spontaneously bursting into flames.

He found that he could store this strange liquid in glass jars, where it solidified and gave off a pale-green glow. This inspired him to name the substance 'phosphorus' from the Greek word meaning 'light bearing'. Brand kept his discovery secret, as did all alchemists, while he continued to try to extract gold from the substance he had discovered. No doubt he must have thought he had discovered the "philosopher's stone", for it came from a man, containing life force, and miraculously emitted light. In Jungian alchemy this would be the raw unrefined state of the unconscious before any inner work was undertaken.

The semi-mythical first century adept Mary Prophetissa equated this stage with a spiritual or metaphorical death.


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  • In any case it corresponds with the confused and conflicted state of the alchemist at the beginning of the work. The second stage, Albedo , deals with whitening or cleansing the matter, and its inner meaning could be physical discipline, fasting or abstinences to prepare for full realisation of the soul. The final stage, or Greater Work, is the climax in which the philosopher's stone or elixir is achieved, and the alchemical marriage takes place, the wedding of king and queen or sun and moon.

    Because of all the esoteric variables, the work would be repeated again and again, even for many years or a lifetime, in the quest for ultimate success and completion. Thus the deeper meaning of alchemy, the efforts that one must make within the crucible of one's life through all its ups and downs, blessings and adversities, to keep going and make sense of it all within the Cosmic play, this is the real gift of this book. Sean Martin puts it in these words: "The final stage of the work, the rubedo , is left up to the individual.