Alchemy Part III
Spagyrics and Alchemy the 3 and 4 of it

In Alchemy Part II Alchemical Cosmology, I described the 3 states of the Divine Mind that the Alchemist feels is the true progenitor and substance of all matter, indeed the entire universe. These three states have specific qualities and in alchemical nomenclature are termed as the 3 Essentials.

The first Essential is termed Mercury, which by the way has nothing to do with common Hg, except for some analogies pertaining to certain physical qualities of the Philosophers Mercury and Hg. The Essential known as Mercury is also termed Spirit and if you review what was written previously, in Alchemy Part II (Alchemical Cosmology) about the first state of the Divine Mind you will find this assignation apropos. In this manifestation The Divine Mind is considered to be neutral, feminine, cold and still.

The second state of the Divine Mind is known as the Essential Sulphur. Again this has nothing to do with native sulfur, although certain analogies exist between the physical characteristics of sulphur and the spiritual principles assigned to this Essential. The Essential of Sulphur is also known as the Soul, it is considered to have a positive polarity, male, hot, light, and expansive.

The third and final state of the Divine Mind is known as the Essential Salt. In alchemical parlance this Essential is also known as the Body. The Essential Salt is a peculiar thing as it takes on and is made from the qualities of the two preceding Essentials. In one mode the Essential of Salt is seen as dark and sterile and in another it is seen as bright and pregnant with possibility. In one sense this is seen as solid matter defined by weight, mass, space and time, and in another it is chaos, unformed and sterile yet every potentiality exist within it because it is no-one-thing. The polarity of the Essential salt is negative, it is neither male nor female but takes on the outer appearance of what Nature needs at the time in order to accomplish her task. It is both permanent and transitory. The essential of salt is paradoxically fixed and set by the act of taking on of form, and yet internally it is alive vibrant and moving, as all matter does from the dance of the atom. Of the Essential Salt it may truly be said only the No-thing rest, everything else is in motion.

For the Alchemist everything seen and unseen is given a measure of the three essentials irrespective of it being organic or inorganic, gas, solid, liquid, or thermal radiation everything lives and is made completely of the Three Essentials of Body, Soul, and Spirit. It is the job of the Alchemist to recognize the inherent perfection, which lies within Natures subjects, and continue with the Art where Nature has left off. In order to perform his work the Alchemist makes use of process known as Spagyrics. Spagyria is made from two Greek words spao, to draw out, to divide, and ageiro, to gather, to bind, to join. The Spagyric process is a three-fold process of separation, purification, and cohobation (recombination).

There is an alchemical maxim that goes "all things alchemical are spagyric, but not all things spagyric are alchemical". When you get right down to it there are a million ways to go about separating, purifying, and recombining anything, especially when one is after items nebulously described as Body, Soul, and Spirit. Fortunately the ancients have left clues in their writings as to what these items are. Within each subject of any of the three kingdoms of Nature (plant, animal, mineral) there exist a Spirit if acquired properly has the unique ability to separate from the subject without the use of outside heat or corrosive agents, the true soul of the subject. This soul shows itself as an oily substance, and when prepared properly has a healing virtue and efficacy beyond words or description. The residuum of these operations after having been put through special operations is then considered the new body, ready to receive its purified soul and spirit, which when united and put through the alchemical art is said to be reborn a new and sovereign being. This work can be done on all of Natures creatures from plants, minerals, and yes even the Alchemist himself.

Ahh, but I get ahead of myself for the Alchemist can not handle the Three Essentials until he has had his matter go through a sort of involution, using the four elements to in effect return the matter back to chaos. The Alchemist knows this is possible because he has seen the Divine Mind traverse the Universe as it moved from the ethereal fire of colored lights in the heavens, as it stretched out and touched the diaphanous garment of the air mingling its energy and heat to produce humidity and moisture as it weds the water element. Entwined in its lovers embrace it, the Alchemist Mind followed the Divine Mind as it's fructifying seed fell upon the earth as water and nourished plant and beast alike before descending, into Earth's womb to have the final seed grow.

It is with this knowledge that the Alchemist sets about to use the four elements and the power of the planets to bring about the change in his matter that he seeks. And while it may sound fanciful to say that there is a connection between terrestrial objects like plants and stones to celestial bodies like planets, constellations and suns, there is, and what's more we can prove it. In Alchemy Part IV (Celestial Connections to Terrestrial Matter) we will show demonstrable proof that shows a connection between the 7 metals and the 7 planets of the ancients as well as a connection with plants. I think this next will blow you away!

Image: Woodcut from Hieronymus Braunschweig Das Buch zu distillieren, Strassburg, 1519 Handcolored watercolor by Adam Mclean, copyright Adam Mclean. Text Copyright 2006 John H. Reid III