About a week or so ago, give or take a few days, I made a post about alchemy and how to integrate it into your life. Now, we’re going to get into the nitty gritty! This post is dedicated to explaining what kind of alchemy we’re really going to be practicing here, and how to get started on it!
First of all, I feel I should repeat myself: you don’t need a fancy lab or transmutation circles to be an alchemist. All you need to use is your body, your mind, and your soul. Alchemy will help you to understand and categorize your existence and the existence of things around you in order to better effect change in your life.
Let me also be clear: just because alchemy doesn’t require experiments, books, candles, or any kinds of spells doesn’t mean you’re prohibited from using them. The beauty of it is that, once you’ve wrapped your head around the metaphysical processes of alchemy I’m going to lay out in this series of posts, you’ll find your spellcraft, your research, and all other aspects of your life — mystical, mundane, and everything in-between — to be given a boost!
That’s the plan, anyways! ☆
So, to begin, let’s lay out what alchemists are really talking about when they use all their various symbols: earth, water, air, fire, aether, salt, mercury, and sulfur. I’ve discussed salt, mercury, and sulfur before, but to review a bit, they’re codewords for body, mind, and soul. The alchemist endeavors to align the mind to the purposes of the soul so that the body can change things or be changed. If you really apply it well, you could rewrite reality! Or something like that.
As for the other elements, they’re the real bread and butter of this series. Let’s give it a brief overview:
Earth ~ Sometimes associated with salt, Earth is represented by the color black. Earth represents physical reality, the body, and the illusion that all things are solid and unchangeable.
Water ~ Sometimes associated with mercury or quicksilver, Water is represented by the color white. Water represents emotions, the subconscious, and the realization that reality is an ever-evolving fluid interplay of energies.
Air ~ Sometimes associated with gold, Air is represented by the color yellow. Air represents thought, the conscious mind, and coming to an understanding of how one is able to comprehend the world’s true state.
Fire ~ Sometimes associated with sulfur, Fire is represented by the color red. Fire represents the soul to some extent, but is more accurately called the “agent of transformation” and the epiphany that you, too, can effect change.
“What, then, is Aether?” you ask, trying not to think about a certain CGI action-adventure series with four color-coded heroines. Aether is the fifth element, and the resultant you get by mastering and combining the other four elements. This is the pinnacle of magick, and one you’ll reach in time, if you’re patient.
As this series goes on, I’ll go through the elements step-by-step so that you can, within your own practice, integrate them into your life. For now, there’s some homework you can do to prepare yourself!
While continuing your research, begin to observe animals around you. Whether it be a deer in the park, the koi in your neighbor’s pond, or even just your cat, watch them closely and with a mind open to new lessons. How is this animal different from you? How is it the same? In what way does this animal go about its life differently from yours, and is this a way that might improve your life?
There are lessons to be learned from everything around us, from the sun in the sky to the ants in the grass, and even the device you’re reading this on right now. I’ll go into my own beliefs on animism and things another time, though.
Be diligent in your studies, and may the Tree of Life always shelter you!