Alchemy for Dummies

  “The matter lies before the eyes of all; everybody sees it, touches it, loves it, but knows it not. It is glorious and vile, precious and of small account, and is found everywhere... But, to be brief, our Matter has as many names as there are things in this world; that is why the foolish know it not.”
- The Golden Tract.

           Most people who know anything about Alchemy are familiar with the Alchemist’s preoccupation with changing lead into gold. Although this story can be taken literally, most people today also understand that this has a metaphorical significance, and that it actually refers to an Alchemical transformation worked on the human consciousness itself. Since lead is the metal that Hermetic scholars attribute to Saturn, and Gold is the metal they attribute to the Sun, one could surmise that Alchemy is, in fact, an esoteric process of somehow transforming the Greater Malefic force, Saturn, who dominates, and yet is bound within, our universe, into the primary life giving power that radiates out from its center, our Sun.

Of course, this is just one possible theory.

It may be interesting to note that many ancient alchemists were actually far more interested in the process of making iron than of making gold, since iron had far greater practical uses back then, such as for making weapons, farming tools, and eventually for use in the construction of reinforced buildings. The quest to transform one’s self into iron also has greater metaphorical value as well, at least in my humble opinion, since it’s divorced from the shallow usurious mercantile obsessions of our modern consumerist culture and serves to reconnect us to a waning masculine essence which in modern times is in desperate need of a little reaffirmation.

Since iron is also the metal attributed to the planet Mars, who is known as the Lesser Malefic, one could even view this form of Alchemical Work as a way or opting for “the lesser of two evil.”

Again, this is just another possible theory, but such theorizing is precisely where the Great Work must begin.  

           At first glance, the standard Alchemical process may strike some Hermetic initiates as a bit suspicious, particularly when, as in other occult systems of “self-transformation,” most notably the O. T. O.’s “Knowledge and Conversation of One’s Holy Guardian Angel,” one is informed that an alien intelligence is expected to appear at some advanced point in the work and inhabit the prepared vessel, which in this case is “you.”

           Just in case you missed that last part, let me say it again. During the 5th stage of the Alchemical process, which is called Fermentation, or sometimes “Mortificatio,” after the human mind has already completed a thorough refining process that essentially has created a new and better person, an alien intelligence is supposed to appear who will inhabit his or her body.

This will inevitably lead more clever initiates to wonder if they are somehow already one of these higher creatures who seem to use human bodies for sustenance, or are they just a very clever and well bred cow.

           However, as bovine as we may choose to act, human beings are not merely cows. The truth is that we are essentially of the same basic nature as any conceivable type of higher order being who might be able to utilize the human condition as a means of strengthening and sustaining its own transcendental existence. If we were being farmed, it could only by beings who once lived as we do now but who have moved onto a “higher” state of being without first abandoning the carnal needs and habits of the flesh and blood they now lack.

            Thankfully, I have come to understand the Alchemical process far better than I did when I first encountered these threats of spiritual possession, and, hopefully, I will be able to describe the various stages of Alchemical transformation in a way that won’t have you looking over your shoulder, fearful that you too are about to be abducted or eaten by something from beyond.

After all, it was only a theory.

Oh, by the way, and if you want to study the Alchemical Self-Initiation that set me off on this weird rant, this first link should lead you to all of the rest. If you watch far enough, there's a really good five minute long clip of Terence Mckenna near the end, who, to the best of my knowledge, isn't a pawn of dark forces, or if he is, they're politely subtle about it. Enjoy.

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