I’ve been studying alchemy and its symbols a lot lately, and it’s really helped me to define what I believe about my own magickal practices! I wanted to share some basic ideas without really much planning, and see how it works out!
The three symbols in alchemy represent a trinity, a powerful thing in so many religious and magical practices. As alchemists used symbols and code-words to refer to so many concepts, it takes some creative interpretation to figure out what the philosophical side of their studies entailed.
Salt represents, in short, the body. It represents the physical matter of the world. However, one must remember the key words of the Emerald Tablet: “As above, so below.” This means that matter is not in any way separated from thought, as we’ll cover in time.
Mercury represents the spirit or mind. Mercury is the embodiment of thought and will, and all that this entails. I guess you could say it’s the personality, the will, and the conscious thought of a person or thing. I personally believe that all matter has some form of consciousness or another, but that’s not what we’re discussing right now.
Sulfur is the soul of the matter. Sulfur represents the primary reason to be and the origin of both mind and body. The soul is the origin of all things, and it is from the soul that consciousness, or Mercury flows and matter is arranged or rearranged into what we recognize as Salt, or the body.
So, what this all boils down to is what I believe is an incredibly important mental position to take on magic. “As above, so below” means “That which moves in what is above will move in what is below.” What your soul desires and what your mind can visualize will manifest in the physical world, if allowed to do so.
In our modern lives (and indeed, likely for most people throughout history, if alchemical texts, Taoist texts, and various other ancient texts try to teach), we’re so convinced that we have to force things to happen through physical effort that we stifle our mind’s ability to work through the problem and materialize a solution just by focusing on how much we need it, and how good it will feel to have it.
Divination, talismans, spells of any kind… It all comes back to the soul, the natural origin point that resides in all things. Magic isn’t a power you need to borrow or use to coerce the universe into giving you something. It’s your way of communicating your desire to the universe, and giving your thoughts a way to most easily manifest in the world.
Nothing in the universe is ever truly created or destroyed; matter, energy, and information are merely transformed from one state to another. When you draw, you merely leave graphite from your pencil in a trail on the page; when you erase it, you pull that graphite off with the rubber filings left behind. When you type something up or delete it on your computer, your taps of the keys communicate to the device how to display its internal processes on screen.
When you cast a spell, you transform the energy in crystals, candles, herbs, what-have-you into a change in the physical world, no matter how subtle or drastic. When you make a divination, you are sending a request into the cosmos to reveal its internal processes and help you figure out your next course of action.
Magic is just as natural as drawing, typing, eating, and breathing, and it’s a power that we have all been gifted with in order that we may craft the life we desire most for ourselves. Why is this the case? Well, I have some beliefs on that that I’d like to share sometime.
For now, I hope this rambling mess of a post made some kind of sense to you all! I’m trying to develop my own working theory on magic and what I believe about it, so I hope this helps you all out as much as it did me!