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Al-Khemiya from the African dark soil. An arabic word meaning dark art from this land.

Alchemy has a long history of development. It's exact origins are unknown but it has existed in Africa, the Arab world, China, Greece and most of Europe.

Modern alchemy has now changed abandoned its form as proto-chemistry in favour of a form of transpersonal psychology.

Associated with Uroborous in medicine and Isaac Newton in science.


This is an exercise in operative alchemy. That is the practical means of refinement. Speculative alchemy is what you are reading. Alchemy is the integration of knowledge into the practice or art of living. In this sense science is speculative. Technology is operative. Alchemy is the craft that combines the truth of science with the technology to enable that truth. Science failed to integrate itself with a pragmatic and personal empowering philosophy.

Definitions found for alchemy

" . . . a mingling, infusion" Websters

"An imaginary art which aimed to transmute the baser metals into gold, to find the panacea, or universal remedy for diseases, etc. It led the way to modern chemistry." Websters

"Miraculous power of transmuting something common into something precious." Websters

"the way two individuals relate to each other; "their chemistry was wrong from the beginning -- they hated each other"; "a mysterious alchemy brought them together" [syn: chemistry, interpersonal chemistry]" Wordnet

Relationship to Chemistry and Physics

Francis Bacon in 1200 came across a recipe involving honey (carbon) and brimstone (sulphur) which created a volatile explosive mixture. Realising the military potential of this substance he did not release this information and it was 200 years before the use of gunpowder was 'discovered' by the Western militia.

Alchemists regard 'science' as a 'bastard son' of their Arte. The reason being the moral and spineless pursuit of knowledge bereft of consequence or foresight. Alchemy is more influential than it has ever been. The nature of this influence is found in the Emerald Tablet.

The early history of science integrated the search for truth with a religious component. Modern secularised science felt this aspect of the search for knowledge was contrary to its aims and marginalised any elements with a religious or mystical content. Chemistry is most often associated with alchemy but it can be seen even today in medicine with the caduceus (the staff of Hermes) being the recognised symbol for medicine. The agenda of alchemy has always been the furtherance of human knowledge and the integration and improvement of society. Alchemy has also been a technological system, interested in working operations and the preparation of material wealth, longevity and a big theory of everything now being attempted by 'puffer' physics.

Relationship to Mettulurgy

The earliest aspect of the Black Art (from the rich black soil of Egypt) was the working of metal. Gold was one of the easiest metals for prehistoric homonids to work with but the magic or science came with the heating and beating.

Relationship to Symbology

Western alchemy is suffused and diversifies into and influences astrology, tarot, kabbalah, freemasonry, wicca, architecture, art, advertising, NLP and semiotics.

The Animals


The Serpent is the repository of the Gnostic tradition. Instructing Adam in his enslavement in the false Eden created by the terrorist deity mentioned in Genesis. Worship me or die. As an envoy of knowledge Uroborus had many forms, some of which are familiar. In the esoteric tradition the focus on the wisdom of the serpent, creates a polarity to the sheep mentality beloved of the 'good' shepard.


The element of renewal is continual. Other symbolic systems embody their principles in stone but in a sense only the mundane interpretation can be constructed in ritual or physical embodiment. This may be a foundation for the phoenix which is requires only its essence to arrise and return with new fire and vigor.

The 12 types of man

People were divided into 12 types with qualities from each of the four elements

These are the signs of the Zodiac.

The Colours


In the red we see the fruit of the ripening.


In some modern interpretations of the last few hundred years, the yellowing, seasoning, ripening or citrine phase is blended into the white.


The whitening, purification is the first stage of alchemical practice in both speculative and operative operations.


The black, niger or nigredo corresponds to the primary earth matter of alchemy. In speculative and internal systems it is about the sealing of enegy and the gestation of spiritual force. In many systems of the lowest being the most exalted, black represents the fana-il fana of the dervishes, the dark feminine principle of High Magik, the 'dark' Luciferic degrees of Masonry and so on.


Isaac Newton considered his alchemical work of far more importance than the 'scientific' work he is reknowned for. At the time due to the influence of the Church all knowledge was required to have a religious significance, just as today the scientific establishment requires that its work does not have such a component.


Metal work, allopathic medicine, chemical and industrial processes, psychology, cryptology, laboratory equipment. Scientific methodology (in particular documenting and verifying experiments) are some of the well known influences of Alchemy.

The Alchemical Process

Both spiritual alchemy and physical alchemy concerns itself with the transmutation of base metals into gold. In spritual alchemy, this is seen as a metaphor for turning something ordinary into something extraordinary, this is known as evolution. In physical alchemy this has been abandoned since science found out that this would require unlikely decay nuclear chains and a stable nuclear reaction would not be reasonable.

Gold is said to be the most highly evolved material in the physical universe.

List of Suggested Alchemists

See also

External Links