Alchemy was a medieval science. The early alchemists sought to transmute base metals into gold and to discover a universal cure for disease and a means of prolonging life.
In a broader sense, alchemy is defined as “a power or process of transforming something common into something special” or “an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting.” Alchemy is the science of self-transformation.
- 1 The spiritual science of alchemy
- 2 Origins
- 3 China
- 4 The Arabic world
- 5 Later developments
- 6 The legacy of the early alchemists
- 7 Saint Germain’s teachings on alchemy
- 8 Creation of the cloud
- 9 See also
- 10 For more information
- 11 Sources
The spiritual science of alchemy
Alchemy is the “all-chemistry of God,” which shows how each facet of creation is brought into manifestation in the material world. Alchemy deals with consciously controlling transmutations in Matter and energy, so that man becomes a co-creator with God.
Alchemy is the science that enables us to access the universal light that is our true heritage. We are intended to have the fullness of the abundant life Jesus came to vouchsafe to us to remind us of our ancient heritage in past golden ages in the higher octaves of light and in the Central Sun. Jesus and Saint Germain teach the science of alchemy.
Alchemy, the ancient science attributed to Adam, Noah, Moses, Solomon, Zoroaster and Hermes, became more widely known during the first century in the Hellenistic culture of Alexandria, Egypt, through the synthesis of Greek philosophy, Egyptian technology, and the mysticism of middle eastern religions.
First-century alchemists studied the Aristotelian hypothesis of “prime matter,” the basis for all substances in the terrestrial world. Upon this matter, forms could be impressed. The interaction of matter and form produces the four elements—fire, air, water, and earth—which in turn produce all material creation. Changes in the proportions of these elements in any given body result in the change of form; therefore, any substance can be changed into any other substance if the right conditions can be found.
This hypothesis encouraged skilled metallurgists to speculate upon the cause for the behavior of the metals with which they had become so adept. In preparing gold and silver ornaments for the wealthy, they naturally experimented with imitations for poorer customers and postulated that, if Aristotle was correct, they should be able to make gold as easily as any substitute. They were supported in this view by astrologers who also believed that under proper astrological circumstances the transmutation of base metals into gold could occur more readily.
Just as the body grows and the soul passes through the initiations of the crucifixion and the resurrection into the perfectionment of immortal life, so the ancient alchemists saw how metals developed within the earth from the less perfect substances of lead, copper, tin, iron, and mercury to the flawlessness of gold. They observed that they could hasten the process of change by careful nurture and long heating—“killing” the metal and then reviving it in a more refined state over and over again until gold is produced.
These alchemists invented many types of laboratory apparatus (some of which, in modified form, are still used today by modern chemists). Essentially artisans, they wished to keep their alchemy a trade secret and so invented symbolic names which the uninitiated could not understand. They used astrological signs to denote the five metals, relating them in inherent characteristics to the five known planets. Gold belonged to the sun, silver to the moon. As Hellenistic philosophy shifted from the scientific viewpoint to an emphasis on divine revelation in Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, and Christianity, alchemical writings became more and more mystical.
In the East, early Chinese alchemists following the Taoist philosophy sought to understand the way of natural law (tao means “way”). They made use of a “medicine”—a substance which when added to mercury or other metals brought about the alchemy. Gold thus prepared possessed the power of conferring healing or even immortality to anyone who consumed it. As in the West, Chinese alchemy later became mystical and the writings obscure.
The Arabic world
When the Nestorian Christians broke from the Orthodox church in the fifth century, they founded schools throughout Asia Minor and taught the philosophy and science of their Hellenistic background which included alchemy. In the eighth and ninth centuries, the Nestorians contacted the Arabs who became intensely interested in Greek science. Through them, alchemy began to return to its practical origins.
Since the Arabs were also in contact with China, they incorporated into their alchemical literature the Chinese concept of the “medicine” which became the “philosopher’s stone” of later European alchemists. The philosopher’s stone could heal the “sick” (base) metals by converting them into gold and also act as an elixir of life.
After the fall of Rome, almost all traces of Greek philosophy and science in Western Europe were lost and alchemy disappeared. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, however, a reawakening of interest in science led to the investigation of Arab secrets. Many of their alchemical works were translated into Latin and later into all the major European tongues.
In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, scholars such as Roger Bacon (an embodiment of Saint Germain) and Albertus Magnus devoted themselves to compiling all phases of knowledge into encyclopedic works. Alchemy served as an important link in their understanding.
In the fifteenth century, alchemists began to turn their attention to more practical purposes than the attempt to make gold. It was at that time that Paracelsus developed metallic medicines and founded the school of iatrochemistry—the chemistry of medicines, the forerunner of modern pharmacology.
The discovery of the structure of the atom at the beginning of the twentieth century has supported one of the oldest alchemical theories. The electron and the nucleus of protons and neutrons could be considered “prime matter” and their structural relations the form which confers individual properties.
In the light of the Holy Spirit, Ascended Master Saint Germain teaches his disciples in the twentieth century “spiritual alchemy,” which is the science of self-transformation.
The legacy of the early alchemists
Saint Germain says:
Alchemy was originally intended to be a means of enriching individual destiny by making available the technique of changing base metals into gold, thereby producing opulence in the affairs of the successful practitioner. The dedication of the early alchemists to the cause of ferreting out its secrets was complete, and it was sanctified by the coordination of their minds with the works of their hands.
These alchemists pursued their experiments under the duress of persecution led by the entrenched reactionary forces of their day, and it is a tribute to their lives and honor that they persisted in the search. Thus they brought forth and bequeathed to humanity the bona fide results of their efforts as acknowledged scientific achievement and annotated philosophic knowledge to bless the culture and archives of the world order....
As the early alchemists attained a measure of success in probing the secrets of the universe, they became acutely aware of the need to band together and to withhold from the public eye certain discoveries which they made. A number of religious orders and secret societies grew out of this need, and the remnants thereof have survived to the present day....
Let me declare—because I can speak in the light of true knowledge—that the early alchemists were not nearly so unsuccessful as history would have men believe. Their discoveries were legion and they included knowledge both secular and religious, scientific and philosophic. Above all, they unlocked many truths which at a later date were made general knowledge.
Saint Germain’s teachings on alchemy
The following statements were taken directly from Saint Germain’s teaching in Saint Germain On Alchemy.
The inner meaning of alchemy is simply all-composition, implying the relation of the all of the creation to the parts which compose it. Thus alchemy, when properly understood, deals with the conscious power of controlling mutations and transmutations within Matter and energy and even within life itself. It is the science of the mystic and it is the forte of the self-realized man who, having sought, has found himself to be one with God and is willing to play his part.
Two thousand years ago when Christ walked upon the waters of the Sea of Galilee, his demonstration was a manifestation of the natural law of levitation operating within an energy framework of cohesion, adhesion, and magnetism—the very principles which make orbital flight possible. The light atoms composing the body of Christ absorbed at will an additional quantity of cosmic rays and spiritual substance whose kinship to physical light made his whole body light, thereby making it as easy for him to walk upon the sea as upon dry land.
His body was purely a ray of light shining upon the waters. The most dazzling conception of all was his ability to transfer this authority over energy to Peter through the power of Peter’s own vision of the Christ in radiant, illumined manifestation.
By taking his eyes temporarily from the Christ, however, Peter entered a human fear vibration and vortex which immediately densified his body, causing it to sink partially beneath the raging seas. The comforting hand of Christ, extended in pure love, reunited the alchemical tie, and the flow of spiritual energy through his hand raised Peter once again to safety.
The true purpose of alchemy
I would like to point out that it is the hope of the Brotherhood in releasing these teachings at this time to avoid for our students the mistakes of some of the early alchemists whose sole purpose seemed to be the acquirement of riches and honor and the ability to produce from universal substance the energies to change base metals into gold.
Let me hasten to say that not all of the early alchemists confined their goals to temporary gain. Indeed many stalwart souls pursued alchemy with the same reverence they would a quest for the Holy Grail, seeing it as a divine art and the origin of the Christian mysteries, as when Christ changed the water into wine at the marriage in Cana of Galilee.
We desire to see the original concepts about alchemy given new meaning, and we desire to see the meaning it acquired in the mystery schools brought to the fore. For the uses to which this science is presently put must be translated to a higher dimension if mankind are to reap the full benefits thereof.
When used by the alchemist, symbols and symbology properly understood are literally charged with meaning. For example, mercury is the symbol of speed and interprets to the consciousness the thought of wakeful, reverent alertness, which swiftly endows the chemistry of action with the intensity of application.
Salt equates with the idea of selfhood and reminds mankind of the need to have the self retain the savor of its Divine Source in preference to the crystallization of identity within the Sodom and Gomorrah of materiality indicated in the historical figure of Lot’s wife.
Fire, as Life, is the catalyst which can be increased from the cosmic light within the cosmic rays in order to intensify and purify the radiance of Life in the contemplated design....
Earth symbolizes the natural crystalline densities created out of Spirit’s energies and sustained by the beings of the elemental kingdom. These tiny creators, in their mimicry of human discord, have transferred to nature mankind’s inharmonious patterns.... It is this discord imposed upon the very atoms of substance which the alchemist must remove from his laboratory before he can create. It is the dross which the alchemist will purify by fire.
Alchemy and freedom
It ought to become increasingly clear to the students of this course that I am determined to bring to your minds and feelings a new sense of freedom. The wholesome concepts presented herein must indicate to your total being that the key to alchemy that must precede the acquisition of all other keys is the mastery of yourself, to a greater or lesser degree.
This key must be recognized for what it is, for self-mastery is the key to all self-knowledge. It must then be understood and used, at least in part. And you must acknowledge without question that you yourself are the alchemist who shall determine the design of your creation. Furthermore, you must know your self as the Real Self and your creation as coming forth from that Self.
If man expects to succeed in alchemy, which is in truth dependent on the higher laws of spiritual science, he must nurture the faith on which the strength of his invocation and concentration will rest.
The now of the present hour must be utilized as a chalice of spiritual opportunity.... Each man must become aware of his choices and select either freedom or fetters as he explores the chemistry of his present state, brings it into focus upon the mirror of truth, and then determines to alter each base condition.
Consider all the beauty of life which can be. Perceive this as pure gold. All causes of unhappiness, every vibration of discord, fear, doubt, suspicion, condemnation, criticism, judgment, self-righteousness, and all negative traits are part of either the human mold or the mowlde which must be purged as dross before purity can so regenerate a lifestream as to enable the individual to partake of the waters of Life freely.
It is not enough that men come to drink when the invitation from higher sources has gone forth. They must make new skins to retain the new wine of infinite goodness and purpose. This is spiritual alchemy; and wise are they who first master it in themselves before attempting to govern the elements in others or in nature, for thus is karma justified by wisdom and rendered benign....
So-called physical death does not represent the end of being. It merely divides eternal life into compartments of identity and experience whereby expansion and opportunity can be utilized to the fullest and each outworn mold discarded.
In “Intermediate Studies in Alchemy,” Saint Germain explains that man is not truly free until he has the power to create. “Matter that presents so hard an appearance to the eye is actually composed of the whirling energies of Spirit,” the Master Alchemist says. “Its density can be calculated and comprehended by the self; and with the speed of light, the consciousness can reach out and pass through dense substance as easily as the swimmer cuts through the water with his arms in motion.”
Creation of the cloud
► Main article: Cloud of infinite energy
Saint Germain gives a precise meditation for gaining spiritual power through the creation or magnetization of the “cloud”—a forcefield of vibrating energy which can be used for healing. The cloud is the soul’s own alchemical altar, a platform to invoke the presence of the ascended masters and their assistance with every alchemical experiment. It is the means whereby man can alter his destiny.
For more information
Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Saint Germain On Alchemy: Formulas for Self-Transformation
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, May 28, 1986.
1978 Pearls of Wisdom, notes on alchemy.
Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Saint Germain On Alchemy: Formulas for Self-Transformation.
- Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Saint Germain On Alchemy: Formulas for Self-Transformation, pp. 16–17, 18–19.
- Ibid., p. 6.
- Ibid., pp. 3–4.
- John 2:1–11.
- Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Saint Germain On Alchemy: Formulas for Self-Transformation, pp. 11–12.
- Matt. 5:13.
- Gen. 19:26.
- Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Saint Germain On Alchemy: Formulas for Self-Transformation, pp. 21–22.
- Ibid., p. 17.
- Ibid., p. 28.
- Ibid., p. 32.
- John 10:10.
- I Cor. 15:54.
- Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Saint Germain On Alchemy: Formulas for Self-Transformation, pp. 45–47.
- Ibid., pp. 178–79.