"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Friday 30 September 2016

The Components of Alchemy and the Philosopher’s Stone

The Components of Alchemy 
and the Philosopher’s Stone

by Anthony Tyler

Today, alchemy is an idea that has been pigeon-holed into either fantasy fiction or mad scientist craze (often both at the same time), and like any of the ancient sciences of the Mysteries, alchemy as an idea is shelved by most people today before it is even considered. Also like the collection of ancient sciences (astrology, numerology, Tarot, and the Tree of Life, et cetera), most people are confused by the exoteric definition of alchemy, often discarding the philosophy without even regarding the possibility of the art’s allegorical components.

At its most simplistic definition, alchemy is the concept of “transmuting” or purifying base metals into refined metals—often characterized as mercury to gold. The traditional principal chemicals used by the alchemist are sulfur, salt, mercury, and the “secret ingredient” universal transmutation essence, usually called “azoth,” which is considered essentially as the ultimate universal solvent (azoth is also sometimes considered to simply be mercury). The goal of this transmutation is to achieve ultimate purification, most commonly known as the Philosopher’s Stone, and known as the Elixir of Life, and true Enlightenment, which is represented as “gold.”

The literal transmutation of base metals to gold is something that has been acclaimed by an astonishing number of sages and adepts throughout history, but is obviously generally considered as completely impossible today. This article will set aside the detailed arguments for and against this intensely detailed and critical analysis of ancient and modern-day chemistry; and suffice it to say that many of these parallels are yet to adequately surface between the two. This does not make it especially plausible, but it certainly does not make it implausible either. Specifically, this article will focus on the allegorical tenants proposed by alchemy, which have primarily fruited in the philosophies of Hermeticism, and the exponent societies of Hermeticism such as Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry.

Hermes Trismagistus, traditionally known as Thoth, is known as the original alchemist, and his Emerald Tablet contained the secrets to the threefold manifestations of alchemy: the physical (the Philosopher’s Stone of gold), the mental (Enlightenment), and the spiritual (Elixir of Life). Perhaps the most well-known embodiment of Thoth’s teachings are survived in The Kybalion, which was a manuscript published in 1908 by an author(s) known as “the three initiates.” Interestingly, Tarot practitioners consider the knowledge and collection of ancient symbols from the Tarot to have also stemmed ultimately from Thoth’s Emerald Tablet, and Tarot is often coined “the Book of Thoth.”

Etymologically speaking, alchemy is likely the origin of metaphysical philosophy and doctrine, and it can certainly be said that astrology and alchemy are the first two of the ancient sciences, both arising almost inseparably. In turn, numerology, Tarot, the Tree of Life, the I-Ching, and essentially all forms of workable divination can be considered an application of alchemy. Researcher Mark Passio explained this art of alchemy as, “the vehicle for the influence of the soul,” and in this context, transmutation is the software engine with which magickal/metaphysical practice is facilitated.

To further explain this, Manly P. Hall wrote in his work, The Secret Teachings of All Ages:

“Through art [the true process of learning] the whole mass of base metals (the mental body of ignorance) was transmuted into pure gold (wisdom), for it was tinctured with understanding. … Through faith and proximity to God the consciousness of man may be transmuted from base animal desires (represented by the masses of the planetary metals) into a pure, golden, and godly consciousness, illumined and redeemed, and the manifesting God within that one increased from a tiny spark to a great and glorious Being… … Alchemy, therefore, should be regarded as the art of increasing and bringing into perfect flower with the greatest possible expedition.”

To put a cap on this idea, Hall also supplied the old adage, “Within everything is the seed of everything,” which could not explain the essence of alchemy any better. It is within this framework that the application of the art really begins to blossom, and the deeper meanings behind the allegories of the ancient chemistry are manifested. Even the most hardcore alchemists, who were truly attempting to transmute base metals to gold, upheld the idea that the physical could not be manifest until the spiritual and mental were manifest simultaneously—and thus only the sages and adepts were able to perform proper transmutation, and in a sense, the physical transmutation was considered as the final level of manifestation.

In more practical terms, alchemy can very literally be seen as gardening and horticulture, psychotherapy, chemistry, or geology, politics, and any form of art. More precisely, alchemy is the search for gnosis, discovery of gnosis, and application of it—and ultimately how to reproduce this threefold practice in any given aspect of a person’s life at any given time. Here, the Freemasonic allegory of Solomon’s Temple can be found, as each man is the mason of his own mental, physical, and spiritual body, coalescing to create the totality of his existence, which is represented as a Temple. The allegory of Freemasonry implies alchemy, with the idea of the alchemist being a mason who is erecting his own sacred temple with which he pays testament to God.

In terms of the mechanisms of alchemy’s application, and the results of transmutation (the idea of literal metals, again set aside for analytical purposes) The Last American Vagabond has already done a fair amount of elaboration {see below]. However, as far as a look into the traditional methods of alchemical application, Samuel Norton, an alchemist of the late 16th century, supplied these fourteen components of alchemical process in his work, The Key of Alchemy:

1. Solution – the act of passing from a gaseous or solid condition, into one of liquidity.

2. Filtration – the mechanical separation of a liquid from the undissolved particles suspended in it.

3. Evaporation – the changing or converting from a liquid or solid state into a vaporous state with the aid of heat.

4. Distillation – an operation by which a volatile liquid may be separated from substances which it holds in solution.

5. Separation – the operation of disuniting or decomposing substances.

6. Rectification – the process of refining or purifying any substance by repeated distillation.

7. Calcination – the conversion into a powder or calx by the action of heat; expulsion of the volatile substance from a matter.

8. Commixtion – the blending of different ingredients into new compounds or mass.

9. Purification – (through putrefaction), disintegration by spontaneous decomposition; decay by artificial means.

10. Inhibition – the process of holding back or restraining.

11. Fermentation – the conversion of organic substances into new compounds in the presence of a ferment.

12. Fixation – the act or process of ceasing to be a fluid and becoming firm; state of being fixed.

13. Multiplication – the act or process of multiplying or increasing in number, the state of being multiplied.

14. Projection – the process of turning the base Metals into gold.

Astonishingly, whether someone is trying to make crack-cocaine, grow their own food, or evoke the psychotherapeutic benefits of neuroplasticity, components of alchemy can be found in all. In this light, the grand allegory of the golden Philosopher’s Stone is less of the ability to ascertain a certain type of physical object—and more so, it is the golden knowledge of alchemy itself and how to accurately apply it to the threefold planes of existence at any given point in time.

Once again, the ancient secrets that are boasted to be hidden by secret societies for so long are found to be entirely known to the public, and are simply obfuscated. After all, the definition of the term “occult” is simply “hidden” or obfuscated—and once again, the answers are found not in a piece of information previously unknown, but in the reformation of thought and the readjustment of one’s frame of reference. And, indeed, isn’t this one of the fundamental aspects of alchemy to begin with?

Alchemical Transmutation and 
Owning Your Archetypes

The first three parts of this series have discussed and laid the foundation for the concepts of Natural Law/Law of Karma, as empirically demonstrated in the neuronal constructs of the brain (not the only demonstration by any means, but perhaps the most poignant one); this series has also discussed the synthesis of this Natural Law with the inner laws set in place within the mind of man—this is considered the synthesis philosophy of the Microcosm and the Macrocosm in metaphysics.

The steps toward synthesis of these two projections of concept, is the archetypal symbolism that represents the allegorical representation of the neuronal “hard-wiring.” This is not exactly to say that there is literally symbolism within the neurons themselves (just like there is not literal symbolism within the stars themselves), but that the electrical clusters (CoEx Systems, as laid out in the previous articles) can be represented by archetypal wavelength patterns of consciousness, in the same way that sacred geometry is used by nature for plant life, et cetera, to grow, and in the same mode that astro-theology and astrology represent. The study of this vibratory nature into physical manifestation in science is called, “cymatics,” which is described as “modal vibrational phenomena.” Here is a video demonstrating the field of study. 

In this regard, it can be seen through the accumulated discussion in this series thus far that the first step for every human towards their own inner illumination (their initiation) is learning to own their archetypesthat is to say, learning symbolic literacy.

In a layman’s explanation, symbolic literacy can be considered as the key to Solomon’s Temple in Freemasonic ritualism, Solomon’s Temple being the paragon representation of enlightenment, each man’s own body and mind (his accumulated existence) being his own temple. More to the point, however, this process is considered in esoteric philosophy as alchemical transmutation. This article will not dive deeply into the aspects of chemical alchemy through herbalism and metallurgic reactions, (suffice it to say that these ideas have their own deep and grounded history in reality after sifting through the disinformation) but will instead focus on the ideas of spiritual alchemy, which could be considered as the cornerstone of the Gnostic Mystery Initiations as they are known today. The easiest explanation of this form of alchemy is the idea of taking the baser (mercurial) elements of a person’s own existence, and to transmute them into the higher (golden) elements of Divinity—thus, a synthesis with the Micro and Macrocosms.

In the vast array of brain sciences today, this idea of transmutation is called “neuroplasticity.” This idea of transmutation is the original stirrings of the ancient shamanic culture that still circulates today, which is the idea of an individual whose path in life—their trade, like a carpenter, or chef, or scientist—is to be a gateway for the esoteric, and the divine. The shaman is each person’s potential conduit for a spark towards alchemical transmutation, and the ideas of the holy men, like the priest, as an intermediary purge between God and man has stemmed from these original concepts. The allure of “ayahuasca ceremonies in the jungle with a shaman” as so many people are interested in today, is the deeper allure of personal transmutation.

Ayahuasca is the divine conduit to the symbolic gateway, and the shaman acts as the channel and provides the symbolic literacy to the experiences. The shaman is the training wheels here, but not in a negative way. This is their purpose—to aid the sick. In this regard is why psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, salvinorin a (salvia), mescaline, and even cannabinoids are considered tools for “waking up,” as many people like to say. More accurately, these things can be a key to alchemical transmutation, but the reality of this statement is that no one is going to be receiving any degree of enlightenment unless their “trip” is pertaining directly to the esoteric sciences—and this is hardly done adequately unless someone has a trained shaman with them or a metaphysical mentor of somekind, or the substance taker has been initiated already. Sadly, the lack of esoteric guidance during a psychedelic trip is why the CIA and Military Intelligence has been so eager to splash things like LSD onto the public, by way of Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey and the list of other pop culture icons.

Another, increasingly common route towards this process of transmutation today is hypnotherapy—but again, this benefit really relies on the practitioner. While clinical hypnotists are becoming more and more common, and the esoteric nature of the unconscious is becoming more and more understood with the help of minds like Carl Jung, the possibility of finding an esoteric-minded hypnotherapist is not entirely outside the question, but probably not easy. Other lesser known aspects of psychological medicine are “biofeedback,” which, similar to hypnosis, is a science of using specified vibrational rates to help a person literally tune their thoughts to different orientations with demonstrated clinical benefit. Perhaps outstanding to some people, biofeedback is a heavily documented medical treatment.

In more occulted terms, the application of the Divination Arts is, overall, alchemy of this nature. Since a person cannot read their own neural patterns, esoteric symbolism is the physical projection/modal vibrational phenomena of the neural patterns, or “CoEx Systems.” As music is the vibratory manifestation of numbers, so is the human being the vibratory manifestation of their thoughts. Numerology, as a whole, is not only the all-encompassing field of mathematics today and traditional Pythagorean mathematics, but it is also the study of how these numbers affect physical manifestations by transmitting vibrational phenomena—this means, numerology is also the study of how numbers affect the inner psychology of an individual, which is a much more vast and complex topic than one may realize.

Astrology, is the study of the earth’s relationship to the solar system, and thus the earth’s relationship to man, and man’s relationship to the solar system by proxy. The discussion does not even need the consideration of “horoscopes”—all a person needs to do is look to the different climates on the earth and weather patterns as an example of how the earth’s relationship with the solar system subtly, electromagnetically creates impressions on the human existence. Another common example is the Moon’s effect on a water’s tide.

On a deeper level, astrology is the relationship between man and the stars as mapped out through time—because man’s search to understand who he is and where he is would’ve always been incomplete without time’s relationship to space explained. Thus, the ancient traditional calendars of the Maya, as example, and nearly any advanced ancient civilization. The Maya were not trying to map the end of the world–they were studying the esoteric sciences of divination. Tarot cards, and the multiplicity of different ways that they can be used, can be seen as a culmination and practical application of numerology and these astro-theological/astrological symbols. By way of modal vibratory manifestation of the neurons is how a Tarot reading works, and in a reading, whether a person is doing their own or is taking a reading from another person, the cards are always considered the oracle. The sacred, divine aspect here is not a “fortune teller,” but the idea that these cards provide of fundamental mode of manifestation for inner thoughts of the unconsciousness.

Perhaps the most versatile but also the most misunderstood and complex of the Divination Arts is the diagram of the Tree of Life. This simple chart, taken from Manly Palmer Hall’s The Secret Teachings of All Ages is a connotative diagram of the ten points on the Tree of Life, or the “sephiroth”, and their modes of symbolic expression and interpretation.

Kether–the Crown
Primum Mobile
The Fiery Heavens
The Zodiac
The First Motion
The Zodiac
Jesod–the Foundation
Malchuth–the Kingdom

Additional explanation of the symbolism relating to the sephiroph include herbs, colors, and other traditional ritual magickal outlets. Indeed, it has always been considered in esoteric philosophy that certain herbs helped people transmit certain things with their minds. The Native Americans thought that tobacco helped them tune their mind to a better transmission with the heavens (a sort of grandiose biofeedback), and cannabis held a strong traditional shamanic use in the ancient orient, alongside opium. Other ancient herbs common for their useful metaphysical properties are sage, lavender, mugwort (St. John’s), valerian, and ancient herbalism holds connotation for virtually all commonly known herbs.

If the human experience is a computer, and the Divination Arts are the software programs that help the computer run most optimally, then the Tree of Life would be something like a GPU (graphics processing unit) or a motherboard chip—it is the conduit, or codex, within which all other divination explanations reside. Even more simplistic: the Tree of Life represents the ten fundamental conduits of existence, and these ten fundamental conduits are the modes from which all esoteric symbolism stems from. Manly Hall’s chapter on the subject can be read here.


The deepest level of divination and transmutation is what people have popularized as “synchronicity,” which deserves a much deeper connotation than has been given to the phenomena. On a more basic, yet nuanced level, what people think of as synchronicity is like “accidental ritual magick,” per se. For those unfamiliar with the term, things like this are considered a synchronized occurrence with the universe: When someone thinks about another person randomly in passing, only to have them pop up in their life at that moment circumstantially; when someone meets a stranger, and an event happens afterward involving the help of the stranger that has coincidentally made the person more fortunate than they would have been without the stranger; when a person is in desperate need of a material gain but has no avenues of getting it, and the material finds their way to the person through seemingly random events; when a person has a thought, directly followed by the person next to them verbalizing the thought without the other person’s knowledge of the mimicry. These are but a few examples out of many, and to the trained eye, “synchronicity” also becomes an easily explained form of “accidental extra-sensory perception.”

With this working definition of someone’s synchronicity being a form of “accidental ESP/ritual magick,” it entails the concepts discussed throughout this article—the ideas of using these esoteric symbols to inherently manifest “modal vibrational phenomena” that is a reflection of inner neural sequencing, or “CoEx Systems.” All that is required for the definition of a ritual, in this case, is: a person considering a coherent, symbolically literate evocation/invocation of thought, and projecting into their environment, and their environment being adequately set up for the absorption/synthesis of this electromagnetic transmission. On a conscious level, all that is required in the circumstances of synchronicity is for a person to have an imaginative thought that is empirically inspired by the moment they are in, and having the right amount of wishful/willful attention/intention.

Bringing this discussing back to cymatics and modal phenomena, the indicators of metaphysics are ultimately pointing to the earth’s magnetic field. The ancient metaphysicists considered this electromagnetic sea of radio transmissions as the “ether.” It was considered that this was the earthly antennae of divinity, and that all consciousness and magickal phenomena were uses of etheric energy. Thoughts, and even souls were considered etheric. While today, the idea of the “ether” has been “rationalized” out of modern physics by conceptually incomplete Einsteinian theoretical computations, the concepts of “spiritual energy” were always considered a valid pursuit by ancient logicians and “scientists,” even more contemporary scientists of the last three centuries took ether physics seriously.

As a generalized explanation, the severance of physics from the idea of the ether is what has created the separate fields of physics and esoteric metaphysics today, because metaphysics could also (to a certain degree) just be coined “ether physics,” although researchers today have specified the term a bit further than that. The vast majority of Nikola Tesla’s career was dedicated to potential exploitations of the ether, for ideas like free energy, weather augmentation, and weaponization. Today, there are a great many number of scientists who have elaborated on Tesla’s work, either directly or indirectly, such as: Dr. Michael Persinger and Dr. Todd Murphy, Eric Dollard, Peter Carroll and Marco Rodin, just to give a brief list. As a passerby mention, since thoughts and “brain power” have already been identified as a Hertz radio wave within the electromagnetic spectrum, this idea of the ether as the earth’s magnetic field is hardly a stretch, even without looking into the data.


Ultimately, by a statement made with empirical deduction, it appears that the end of this Age of Pisces, into the Age of Aquarius, is ushering in an era of Self Initiation. The internet has naturally started this process, but the data of the internet largely remains misunderstood or yet to be accurately documented and categorized. This has always been the way of the initiate—having to step into the darkness of confusion, randomness, and chaos, so as to illuminate the darkness with wisdom, poise, and order.

Esoteric metaphysics has always taught initiation through the Self, inherently, but the exoteric separation of man from the Divine with traditional religions and the various priesthoods has turned the idea of the man as the shamanic “arrow pointer,” into the man as the “worthy” in contrast to “unworthy.” As well, this is the same nature that has been adopted, whether intentionally or not, in many branches of Freemasonry and the traditional surviving branches of the ancient Mystery Initiations that have been promulgated by history’s elite. Instead of the separation being an individual priest, per se, the separation has become of the ritualized esoteric embodiment of the ancient knowledge by the brotherhood. The brotherhood has become the conduit, and those separated from these rites of the brotherhood, whoever the brothers may be, are largely separated from a possibility of authentic initiation.

This article and this series are merely meant to be arrow pointers for the Oracle of the Internet, as none of the keys can be handed from one person to another. It is perhaps the most fundamental nature of consciousness that an individual cannot be “woken up” to the nuanced nature of reality by someone else’s will—one truly must always instigate this process on their own. With this mentioning of self-initiation in mind, it is crucial to note that this is no condemnation of the mentor-apprentice relationship, because this is usually a fundamental part of the learning process. However, the idea of a decentralized, authentic understanding of the esoteric principles might just be what the new era is ordering. In any case, the present moment is always the perfect time for one to stop letting their archetypes lead them around by the nose, and to start owning their brain’s modal vibrational phenomena.
Part 1: You are the Illusion
Part 2: Everything You Thought You Knew is Actually the Occult
Part 3: Your Archetypes Own You (Astrotheology)
Part 4: Alchemical Transmutation and Owning Your Archetypes
Part 5: Fortean Ontology: A Meta-Analysis of Esoteric Metaphysics, the Paranormal and Ufology
Part 6: A Look at Modern Secret Societies and Natural Law
Part 7: Real Magicians Don’t Read “New Age”


From The Last American Vagabond @ http://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/top-news/components-alchemy-philosophers-stone/#comment-4206 and http://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/your-esoteric-initiation/esoteric-initiation-part-4-alchemical-transmutation-owning-archetypes/

For more information about alchemy see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/alchemy   
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