Alchemical Elucidation

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

A short essay which covers the basis of Alchemical philosophy and foundation, as well as discusses its origins as both venerated science and system for psychological transformation

In a superficial view, Alchemy is generally accepted to have been a group of lost arts whose end goal was the transmutation of base metal into gold, by the means of the fabled philosohers stone. But what was the true purpose of this mysterious science?


The name Alchemy is derived from two words. Firstly from the name of ancient Egypt, Khem, from where Alchemy was first practiced.

The name El is a Northwest Semetic word attributed to deity, and was used in names such as El-ohim , El-Adonai and El-Shaddai.

It can then be said that the name Alchemy translates to holy art, or holy science.


The aim of the Alchemists was not only a scientific quest, but a spiritual quest as well. The latter is what will be examined in this short writing. 

Their goals were primarily two:

1. To find the fabled Philosopher's stone which would allow the transmutation of base metals into Gold

2. To create an elixir of immortality


The Alchemists did not believe that gold could be -made- from all things, but rather that it -existed- in all things, and that there was merely a matter of finding the means to bring it forth from base metals. This can be interpreted in a spiritual manner.

If we examine historical schools, we find a commonly repeated story or myth. The most popular version of this story is possibly that of Orpheus, and his descent into the underworld to retreive his lost love Eurydice. Examining the true meaning behind this story, we can see that Orpheus descent into the underworld represents the process of going within ones self, in order to bring out the true self, the highest expression behind the mind in order that the mind, emotions, and even physical undiscipline may be used to serve the purpose of that which dwells behind mind, and self. The Sumerians knew this story as the descent of Inanna, the Egyptians in a similar fashion held the story of the slain and risen Osiris. Most recently this story was translated into the German legend of Tannhauser. 

Now what is important are not the miniscule aspects of the characters, but the meaning behind their symbolic representations.

The story can be made in short into the latter motto of the philosophers to define the Azoth (that is to say that magical agent which would make transmutation possible)


“Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem,” “Visit the interior of the earth and rectifying you will find the hidden stone.”


 We can examine that the underworld represents the self. It is for this reason, among many others, that the ancients would hold their meetings, in underground caves, caverns, and temples which were symbolic of the inner self and symbolic of the great journey which was to be undertaken. In ancient times, various doctrines were created for this purpose to come into contact with that which is beyond the self. This concept was popular among the neo-platonists, buddhists and the schools of Rome. 


The very first thing one must realize, is that to the ancients the way to transcendence as not a universal problem but an individual problem. Each person was required not to find the means, but "a" means to try to reach this higher self. A person on a spiritual pursuit, could not regard the system of morals and regulation of religion,but instead had to free from both mind, and emotion. 

Though the common man would go through great travels, pilgrimages, penances, sacrifices, etc. and may have held decent and upright lives... they were not able to reach this expression of some higher being as it is as if having a demanded system, yet the purposes behind the system are never truly explained. To be truly "reborn" in the pursuit of self, was not acceptance, but a spiritual change in order to correct the self in the truest sense of the words. The person truly reborn should recognize each mistake of theirs and know to correct themselves. 

Pythagoras (who is often held as the greatest Orphic convert), told his disciples not to fall asleep, until they had reflected upon what they had done during the day, and resolved what to do differently and what to continue doing correctly. Some in different eras of time sought not to have the possibility of failures on their set path, by fleeing from any way in which they could make mistakes..and so they went on spirit journeys in the wilderness, isolated themselves, joined monasteries of some sort. etc.

 This was quite the worst idea possible, for from hiding from the confrontation of outside influence, they were now forced to be in a conflict and struggle with themself. There became no way to make mistakes in order to learn from them, and thus grow, and gain wisom and virtue. The ancients knew of this and on an Orphic Tablet from Luciana wrote - Through Being A Mortal, You Have Become God - 


In conclusion - Though many tried with various experiments - The secret Azoth of the philosophers remained clear to the wise.

Man cannot find the secret to transcendence

until he learns to transmutate ignorance into faith, hate into compassion, and pride into absolute humility.

Solve Et Coagula 

Submitted: March 21, 2018

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