Alchemy was a theory and practice in medieval times that is now considered an early protoscience. The word "alchemy" can be traced back to Arabic words, such as al-kīmiyā’ (الكيمياء) and al-khīmiyā’ (الخيمياء), both of which mean "the art of transformation."
It was supposed to be used as a tool for one to be able to change any metal into gold, or esoterically speaking create an elixir of immortality. This article will show you some major theories behind this mystical science.
Alchemy and the Alchemist
In alchemy, the Alchemist is a person who practices the art of transformation. In order to perform this work, they must have a deep understanding of their own spiritual and material being. They need to be able to connect with others on a spiritual plane in order to understand how they can help them.
It can be said that the Alchemists main focus is to create what is known as the "Philosopher's Stone" and that they ultimately work to convert their inner nature into a "stone" that could be used for healing, purifying, refining and or transforming other materials.
“Many have said of Alchemy, that it is for the making of gold and silver. For me such is not the aim, but to consider only what virtue and power may lie in medicines.”
The Four Elements
Alchemy is about more than just changing metals into gold. There are four different "elements" of alchemy, which are earth, air, water, and fire. These elements correspond to different things in daily life.
Earth corresponds with our physical reality. It is related to the ground under your feet and the world around you. Air corresponds to human thought and spirituality. It can also represent our thoughts and emotions as well as any intangible ideas we have. Water is related to the emotions and feelings we have on a daily basis as well as intuition or imagination that can't be seen or touched. Fire corresponds with energy as it moves through our lives as well as transformation that takes place from time to time.
So what does this have to do with alchemy? Everything! Alchemy is based on the theory that these four elements represent all aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The idea of alchemy grew out of this idea and spread rapidly throughout Europe during the Middle Ages because it seemed like a possible solution for everything we needed in order to live a perfected life of wealth, happiness, beauty, good health, etcetera.
Alchemy and Spiritualism
Alchemy was seen as a spiritual practice along with being a physical one. Alchemists of the Middle Ages had a belief in the holistic nature of reality, consisting of not only matter but spirit too.
This is why alchemical symbols are used in all sort of cultural practices. For example, you might find some alchemical symbols on Christian altars or in old churches, or on Jewish floor-cloths or amulets.
But it's not just Christianity and Judaism that use these alchemical symbols. They're also found in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Shintoism and Zoroastrianism.
The Theory of the Stone of the Philosophers
One of the most important aspects of alchemy is looking for the "philosopher's stone."
This stone was thought to be an incredibly powerful substance, like a magic potion. It was believed that once this stone was found, it would be able to change common metals into gold--no matter how much you had. This could potentially make someone exceedingly wealthy, and also give them eternal life if discovered and used practically.
The philosopher's stone was often seen as a metaphor for enlightenment and spiritual purity. Alchemists aiming for the philosopher's stone were trying to purify themselves in order to reach complete spiritual understanding. They hoped that by achieving this state they could then become closer to God.
It is very possible that the roots of alchemy come from ancient Egyptian practices involving metallurgy, though no one can say for sure where they originated. Alchemists believed in the idea of 'like begets like'. This means that if you put something with certain qualities in water or earth, it will grow more of those same qualities. For example, if you put lead in water, it will grow more lead instead of turning into gold because it has some lead-like qualities already.
Alchemy is a philosophical and practical tradition practiced by alchemists, although it is unclear whether they understood themselves as a unified discipline. The word 'alchemy' is derived from the Arabic word "al-khimiya" or "al-khimia" which means "the art of transformation." The techniques employed ranged from the more mundane, such as distillation, sublimation, calcination, and filtration to the more difficult, such as the transmutation of the allegorical base metals within man. It is one of the oldest sciences of humanity, Alchemy was known and honored in all ancient cultures because it protected the science of transforming the gross, animal man into a divine being.
Written and Copyrighted by: The Midnight Occult Society
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