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Here are some excerpts from an alchemical text I was sifting through last night.

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This art is nothing else but a knowing of the secret and hid things of naturall masterrs and Lovers of the naturall art and wisdome, therefore no body should approach to this art, unlesse he has heard before some Logick, which teaches to distinguish truth from falsehood...

The Medicines which are given to man doe not make man, but drive away his distempers, and so it is here. Our Medicine given to him to whom wee ought to give it, makes true gold and Silver which is subject to no defect, and changes the man into the Woman, and the Woman into the man, and the man into an angell

Thirdly the medicine is found naturally, the things which are under the Circle of the Moone being foure elements. And therefore our Stone is joyned together by the 4 elements, and among the 4 elements one is cold, another drye, some warme, some moist. The Scholar here saith, Then our Stone is cold, moist, dry and hot. The Master answeres: Understand plainly. The Seven planets are Stones. Mercury is warm and dry because of the Sunne, cold and moist because of the Moone, for he is of the nature of water, of aire, of earth and of Fire. Therefore he is as the thing to which you joined him, Good with the good, and bad with the bad, which makes Aristotle say, when thou hast Water out of the aire, and aire out of the fire, and fire out of the earth (open thy eares and understand the sayings of the wise) Then thou hast the whole Art.

...our gold is made in the heighth of the Alembick, and in the roote that is in the Cucurbit.

..Therefore saith Geber, without Mercury the art is not perfected.

-Arnoldus de Nova Villa

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Alchemy’s “motto” is “As Above, So Below,” meaning that things of the earth are intrinsically interwoven with the heavens. Alchemists and shamans seek the balance between the two and from that balance, they effect transformations and healings. The symbol of the World Tree, found in many mystical traditions such as the Kabbalah, demonstrates that to be whole, we must have our branches in the heavens, but our roots in the earth, with the trunk as a highway flowing between the two states.

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"As above, so below"

-Hermes Trimegistus

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The hermetic treatsie, as above, so below, is shown in this pic I posted, that is divided in sections. You'll notice at the bottom the alchemical couple beggining the Work. However, the ideal "couple" are at the top They are "ideal" in my opinion, because they have wings and they hold an alembic.

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Trees symbolize the processes of transformation. A tree of moons signifies the Lesser or Lunar Work; a tree of suns signifies the Greater or Solar Work.


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"Hermes called me the Sun and the Moon. Riplaeus called me the green

lion. Our author called me hermaphrodite, but I pay no attention to

that. It makes no difference. Nor does it matter what the sophists

call me, for they learn nothing for all their trouble except: (1) I

am One Substance, not two; (2) In me is Bernard's little fountain (Yelekiah's note: this may be referring to the Ouroboros, which was considered a fountain in symbolism);

(3) I am dry water, subtle pure; (4) I am raised up by the power

of Mars, as commanded by Philaleth, the famous Adept who

coagulates my esoteric nature with Mercury."

Green Lion chowing down on the sun. Symbolically this depicts a stage in the development of the alchemist where the illumination that was previously regarded as outside, "other," to himself, is now being assimilated into his or her very being.

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Here is a pic of the fountain

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Notice the sun and the moon, the green dragons, and the smoke of the philosopher's stone ready to form.And the four stars in this picture represent the four elements, or humours as the Greeks called it.

-Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon, unknown philosopher

Edited by Yelekiah
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"You carry along the unyielding hearts of the immortals, Aphrodite, and the hearts of men, and with you is he of the many-colored wings, surrounding them with his swift pinions. Eros flies over the earth and over the loud-roaring salt sea and bewitches the one on whose frenzied mind he darts, winged and gold-gleaming, he bewitches the whelps of the mountain and those of the sea, what the earth brings forth and what the blazing sun looks down upon, and likewise mortal men. "

[attachmentid=21815] The Divine Union of opposites - the androgyne.

[attachmentid=21816] Eros, crowned, winged and coiled with the green serpent.

Edited by Rainbow Rowan
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Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon Appendix

Appendix. The 44 Qabbalistic Seals of Solomon: A Handy Chart of the Recipe for Changing Lead into Gold. This appendix is all according to number.

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1. Subject Ingredient. Prepare the Liquid, viscous Mercury, the Chaotic Waters over which the Spirit of God moved, the One Substance of Alchemy.

2. Object Ingredient. Visualize the the polar star, in perfect equilibrium at the center of the heavens, to represent the Object of Alchemy.

3. Vessel. Raise the Inner Fire that accomplishes the Work in the dual vessel.

4. Separation. Separate the Water from the Virgin Earth.

5. Decoction. Bring the Virgin Earth to life with 5 magical and 4 scientific imbibings, until it flows like tar.

6. Conjunction. Join this Earth and Water back together. The number X discloses the veil at the boundary of the Water kingdom, the threshold separating the Kingdom of Light from the World of Outer Darkness.

7. Augmentation. Increase the pure elements in the form of the 3 Principles to take the first step into the Lunar or Paradisiacal Kingdom of the Air and the Spirit World.

8. Calcination. Start calcinating and alkinizing these pure elements into a heavy, solid Earth, containing the Salt of Power. This is the key to the whole Work.

9. Inner Conjunction. Couple the seeds of the sun and the moon, or Mercury and sulphur, in a mixture of oil and water.

10. Patience. Wait patiently while the inner spirit of the liquified Mercury-Water grows the seeds.

11. Reduction. Combine the three principles into the foul, dark purulence.

12. Balance. Watch the North Star sustain the calcination of the Earth.

13. Dual Fire. Braid together licks of Hot Dry Fire with licks of Cold Moist Fire to form the mystical Dual Fire.

14. Sealing. Seal the vessel tight.

15. Calcination of the Salt. Watch the Salt calcinate inside the glass door.

16. Leaching. Keep up the circulation of the Moist Fire as the Salt leaches out.

17. Further Leaching. Watch the quintessence bubble out from the 4 pure elements.

18. Athanor. Recall that this is all happening in an oven constructed with three sciences.

19. Corpse. Discard the prior vessel which is now an empty shell.

20. Living Silver. Gather the Alchemical Mercury from the center of this amalgamated mystical material.

21. Sufficiency. Realize that this Living Silver is sufficient to do the entire Work by itself.

22. Reduction. Use the perfect balance of the North Star to reduce the crystal Stone using the magical Fire.

23. Blossoming. Count the ten colors of the peacock's tail the Fiery Sulphur goes through as the Liquid Mercury develops it.

24. Bleaching. Then dry it, so it begins to turn white.

25. Solification. Solidify the Mercury.

26. Tincturification. Join the Mercury to the Sulphur and Salt, forming the fireproof Tincture.

27. Petrification. Take the Stone from amidst the mixture, the White Gold of the Wise with the power to change all incomplete metals into the finest Silver.

28. Standing at the Second Threshold. With your back to the Paradisiacal Kingdom of the Air, face the open door to the Celestial Kingdom of Light.

29. Fire Elemental. Mercury is now the Solid White Stone, a fire-warrior, a Salamander.

30. Multiplication. The Stone increases in proportion to the amount of Liquid Mercury added, coagulating like milk turning to cheese, permitting the Stone to tinge in unlimited quality and quantity.

31. Harmony. Start the Red Work, but reflect on the balance of the polar star to inspire an extremely gentle fire, so it does not turn red too quickly.

32. Reflection. At the completion of this Work, the mysteries of the universe are as easy to see as looking into a mirror.

33. Fragmentation. Break the Stone into three parts, one to make the white Tincture of Silver, one to make white liquid Gold, and one to crush.

34. Dispersion. Scatter the remnants across the red stone and mix well.

35. Rapture. With this mixture, start conducting the marriage of the Sun and Moon. This will permit the mystical Gold and Silver to complement each other, the king and the queen to be brought to the highest ecstacy, and, for the third time, the cycle of 10 to be completed.

36. Fermentation. The first step in the Marriage is for the solid Sulphur of the Sun to ferment the white solid Sulphur of the Moon, recapitulating the heavens inside itself.

37. Exaltation. Next, the Solid White Sulphur cools and bring the hot, fiery Sulphur to life, so it can be glorified ever higher.

38. Completion. Now complete the Work of manufacturing the Stone using the fourth element, Earth, into which Hermes sought to transmute the Mercury.

39. Fire and Air Elements. Watch as these appear with ephemeral bodies of fire.

40. Control. Bring the Liquid Mercury, once burning passionately like liquid Fire, under control as it is excreted as solid Earth, imperturbable as a

flame-resistant Stone.

41. Realization. The Stone has a body, a spirit, and a soul. A body because it is visible and tangible, a spirit because it penetrates through all metals, and a soul whose fiery attribute matures everything, turns it into a tincture, and perfects all metals.

42. The Quintessence in both Stones. These Stones advance from a single Being to form a duality, a triple, a subtle quadruplet, and finally the quintessence itself. This is Multiplication, since the white and the red quintessence can reproduce endlessly, as soon as the noble wedding of the Sun and Moon takes place.

43. The Crowning Achievement of the Work. The three crowns indicate that the Tincture-Stone of the Philosophers overcomes and refines the three kingdoms: vegetable, animal, and mineral.

44. The Wedding of the Sun and the Moon in Magical Celestical Fire. They are brought to their high and holy station.

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The fourth stage of alchemical transformation is Conjunction. It can be related to the chakral system where the heart is the fourth center of awareness. The heart can also represent the World Tree -- they are both a central “clearing house” where the spiritual meets the physical and blends and harmonizes them so that higher states of consciousness may be integrated.

In Conjunction, we bring together the work done in Calcination, where the ego was burned to ashes, in Dissolution, where the emotions became more fully integrated and accepted without the ego’s interference, and in Separation, where we discovered what was of value in our lives and let go of anything that wasn’t. All of this is essential groundwork for the experience of Conjunction, where we are called to a higher way of relating to ourselves, to others, and to the world. It is a coming together, or Heiros gamos, the Sacred Marriage, of all that we are, have been, and will ever be. It brings us face-to-face with our Soul’s essence. Purpose takes on a new meaning. As a result of having been humbled in the first three stages (I like the image of being on one’s knees before the majesty and power of the Soul.), we are made ready to accept this marriage on deep inner levels of being.


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I like that picture, it reminds me of the procress of conjunction of the king and queen.

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"Among the 7 planets I am called the Sun.

My pointy crown symbolizes the process:

First, we become completely subtle and pure

And bind with Mercury,

Then the black raven grows.

It is buried in the grave,

Rising anew,

Adorned with lillies, and betrothed.

Then at last the Sun-Child appears,

Bedecked with purple on his throne."

-Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon, unknown philosopher

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"In the modern mind, "alchemy" conjures up the image of a mis-guided proto-chemist locked away with his ovens and his retorts in a never-ending quest to make gold from lead, bubbling off some noxious mercury fumes from which he derives hallucinogenic images. In this view, the secret knowledge is pure superstition and the alchemist is a deluded fool.

Could such a delusion have held the interest of so many brilliant minds over so many centuries? It seems doubtful. There must have been some concrete goal to all this work.

In the "Isis the Prophetess" fragment is in many ways the origin point of alchemy in its modern sense. It is the first text in which mysticism becomes confused with laboratory procedures. In the text, though, it is clear that Isis first imparts a philosophical understanding, then conducts a physical operation, supposedly along with Horus, in order to demonstrate the principle and illustrate her mastery of the process of transmutation.

We might even think of this as the Alchemical Method: revelation, demonstration and transmutation. The key then becomes the source of the revelation. Where is the information coming from?

In the Isis fragment, the knowledge comes from a higher order of angel, implying at least a planetary level being, who bears the signs of Nuit and Khonsu and is called "Amnael." This angel is of course unique, appearing nowhere else in Hebrew angelology. There is a faint resemblance in name to the angel of Venus, Hanael or Anael. However, this line of conjecture quickly comes to a dead end; Isis is the Morning Star, is she learning from Herself?

An easier solution, without straining at angelic spellings, is to take the name as it is: Amn - el, the angel of Amon. This makes sense within the fragment's Egyptian background, giving us an image of the triple divinity of ancient Thebes. Isis learned the secrets of alchemy from a complex angelic being who combined the aspects of the star, Nuit, the moon, Khonsu, and the sun, Amon-Ra. The Hebrew spelling gives us a clue to the nature of this composite being. The name spelled in full adds to 123, the number of the three part name of God, AHH YHVH ALHYS, attributed to the top three sepherot on the tree of life, Binah, Hokmah and Kether. If we break the name into Amn and ael, we get 91 and 32, both references to the Tree of Life as a whole."

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Then the black raven grows.

It is buried in the grave,

Rising anew

I forgot to add my thoughts to this alchemical text. To me after the black raven grows, it represents death of the material (ascension into the ethereal) . Rising anew isn't too unlike the phoenix.

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Notice in this woodcut that the androgyne wears a single crown. The serpent is related to a symbol in the Hindu tantra (I think it's yoni/lingam). The serpent and the cup is another masculine/feminine dichotomy. And the fact that they share a crown is representing Conjunction.

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three part name of God, AHH YHVH ALHYS

The Egyptian was HUHI, also with interchangeable letters. IHVH to a Kabbalist was sacred in magic, thought to give power to create and undo creations.

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This poem is on the first page of the book The Garden of the Golden Flower:

Where is the root of the Golden Flower?

In the garden of the Two Trees.

And where does the flower bloom?

In the Purple Hall of the City of Jade.

Where is this garden?

In the seed water, the moat of the city.

When does the flower bloom?

At the end of the far journey.

What journey?

From water to fire, earth to gold, serpent to eagle;

from father to mother, mother to son, son to father.

And the cost of the journey?

The blood of the father, mother, and son.

Blood, then, is a password?

No, only the Sphinx can teach the password.

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From water to fire, earth to gold, serpent to eagle;

This poem, in my opinion, is about transformation (which I think is the third and final stage of a certain art).

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Just One Thing under the Sun

Its Possession is the secret of making Gold.

Its form is both male and female.

Its nature is both hot and cold.

Its nutrients pour out,

Its male part, solid, Its female part, liquid.

Its unity makes it the beginning and the end.

Its state changes from male to female:

Dissolving, putrefying, purifying, coagulating,

Until the golden Child appears.

Its milk feeds the Child anew,

And lets you immediately repeat the Work,

Until everything flows and penetrates.

Then fine gold accumulates,

Its Spiritual Body turns acid.

Its Colors have to be made ready for the Work:

But be righteous and guard against sins,

And God will grant you this treasure

-Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon, unknown philosopher

edit: I found out that the raven (raven's body) represents liquid mercury, also it desires to become a peacock, another alchemical stage in birds. And this is evident in the pic above. The raven looks up to the peacock.

Edited by Yelekiah
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"... Choose tenderley

A place for thine academy.

Let there be an holy wood

Of embowered solitude

By the still, the rainless river,

Underneath the tangled roots

Of majestic trees that quiver

In the quiet airs where shoots

Of kindly grass are green,

Moss and ferns asleep between,

Lilies in the water lapped,

Sunbeams in the branches trapped

-Windless and eternal even

Silenced all the birds of heaven

By the low insistent call

Of the constant water fall.

There, to such a setting be

Its carven gem of deity,

A central flawless fire, enthralled

Like Truth within an emerald."

[attachmentid=21819] [attachmentid=21820]

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Let there be an holy wood

Of embowered solitude

Not important but that poem she posted is by Aleister Crowley, which inspired Manson's album Holy Wood.

user posted image

This is Mercury in his Kingdom, notice the crown.

The seven stars represent the circulations of Air, through which the

paradisiacal queen nourishes so the Child grows in power, strength,

and virtue. And you see the triangle inverted. It means water I think.

"A king in purple robes

Stabilizes me each time:

That is the pure Gold of the Philosophers

Who seek It in me.

It is called Solid Red Sulphur.

Everything else keeps a wide berth,

Because I can do it all single handed,

Though I am only one Stone,

I tolerate no Silver or Gold,

And Mercury treats me with disdain.

I complete the entire Work

All by my Self."

Completes the work all by himself, because he is "God", he has all the elements. It may be liquid. Oh yes, it is, because the inverted triangle is water. Some liquids do not "tolerate" Mercury.

Edited by Yelekiah
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We have covered most of the symbols within these last few poems and allegories. So it is very interesting to see that throughout most of European and Middle Eastern and Asian history there is an underlying current of alchemy. From bible times through to masonic traditions of today.

"Tarot having become partially or entirely forgotten or misunderstood, is pictured symbols fell into the hands of the sham diviners, and of the providers of the public amusement by games of Cards. The modern Tarot, or Tarocchi pack of cards consists of 78 cards of which 22 form a special group of trumps, of pictorial design: the remaining 56 are composed of four suits of 10 numerals and four court cards, King, Queen, Knight and Knave or Valet; the suits are Swords (Militaryism), Cups (Sacerdocy), Clubs or Wands (Agriculture), and Shekels or Coins (Commerce), answering respectively to our Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds. The purpose is with the 22 trumps, these form the special characteristic of the pack and are the lineal descendants of the Hieroglyphics of the Tarot. These 22 correspond to the letters of the Hebrew and other sacred alphabets, which fall naturally into three classes of a Trio of Mothers, and Heptad of doubles, and a duodecad of simple letters. They are also considered as a triad of Heptads and one apart, a system of Initiation and an Uninitiate."

Tarot Deck


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or Tarocchi pack

Tarocchi was the name of the guy that invented in the 14th century. There is a misconception that the Egyptians invented them. However, divination isn't anyting new. The Chinese used I-Ching.

of cards consists of 78 cards of which 22 form a special group of trumps

In some decks there are 72 archetypes. There are 72 spirits of the Goetia (by Solomon), 72 angels in the Hadith, and most importantly 72 angels related to the Kabbalah. The Kabbalistic Tarot is a 72 card deck. 22 is the major arcana, or secret.

The Kether is the Crown (Alpha) on the Tree of Life, representing the infinite light, infinite wisdom. Chokmah is the male, yang energy. Binah is the yin. Chesed is the ruler, while Geburah is associated with mars, the warrior. Tiphereth I think means beauty, and is associated with the sun. It was mentioned earlier that the sun is often seen as a male figure, however, in some cultures it is female, and signifies an eagle. Nedzach is Venus, and Hod is Mercury (Intellect). Yesod is the moon, Malkuth (Kingdom) is physical reality. Unlike Yesod which deals with illusion. And Daath, or Knowledge, is chaos of thought.

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Notice the equal-armed cross on the picture of Mercury, above. This is also a Templar Cross. Worn by the Knights Templars, red on a white background.

"The Knights Templar later became surrounded by legends concerning secrets and mysteries handed down to the select from ancient times. Perhaps most well known are those concerning the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, and secrets of building. Some sources say the Holy Grail, or Sangreal, was found by the order and taken to Scotland during the scourging of the order in 1307, and that it remains buried beneath Rosslyn Chapel. Some say that the order also found the Ark of the Covenant, the chest which contained sacred objects of ancient Israel, including Aaron's rod and the tablets of stone inscribed by God with the Ten Commandments.

These legends are connected with the long occupation by the order of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Some sources record that they discovered secrets of the Master Masons who had built the original and second temples secreted there, along with knowledge that the Ark had been moved to Ethiopia before the destruction of the first temple. Allusion to this is made in engravings on the Cathedral at Chartres (considered along with the Cathedrals at Amiens and Reims to be one of the best examples of gothic architecture), great influence over the building of which was had by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who was also influential in the formation of the order. Further links to both the search by the order for the Ark and to its discovery of ancient secrets of building are suggested by the existence of the monolithic Church of St George in Lalibela in Ethiopia, which stands to this day and whose construction is incorrectly attributed to the Knights Templar. There is also an underground church dated to the same period in Aubeterre in France."


Symbol of the French Monarchy [attachmentid=21827]

Contrary to popular belief, the fleur-de-lis did not originate in France. Although this is debated by some scholars, it was allegedly inherited from the Ancient Egyptian symbol for circumcision, later adopted by the ruling class of the Roman Empire, probably due to religious influences. After the fall of Empire it was inherited to symbolize the sacred origin of the Merovingian dynasty and then became a symbol of the entire Christian French Kingdom. This is however speculative. Modern, unconfirmed theories about the Holy Grail see in the fleur-de-lis a symbol of the mythical holy origin of the French nation in the union of legendary King Meroveus with Mary Magdalene's descendancy given to her by Jesus

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with Mary Magdalene's

"Magdala" means "tower of strength" in Hebrew. Some people see parallels with her story and that of Lazerus to the resurrection of Osiris.

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"...his fire breathing dragon is Hermes' little bird, flying here from

the North. It is a celestial creation, consisting of fire and air.

Its fire-breathing mouth, therefore, has the power to (1) warm the

cold chaotic water, (2) transmute it into a virgin earth, and finally

(3) transmute it into a fire-resistant liquid-wax Stone, which is why

the Stone is called a Tincture."

My species gives me a grey belly,

but I'm neither male nor female.

Rather, I have both genders.

My flesh and blood prove it.

My blood is male, my flesh female.

The power of both is spiritual.

I have both male and female organs.

So people call me a hermaphrodite.

My treasure is the Earth Element,

where there are minerals, metals, and such.

Yet I'm nothing that you may suppose.

I am One Substance by my nature.

In my metal form I am simultaneously

hot and cold, wet and dry.

-Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon, unknown philosopher

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That last pic is of a griffin. A heraldic griffin (or gryphon) has the hind parts (including legs and tail) of a lion, the upper parts (including feathered neck, wings, claws, and head with beak) of an eagle and also ears. It is the ears which distinguish the griffin's head from an eagle's head in heraldry, which is important because, as well as the full griffin, the griffin's head is also often found in heraldry and would otherwise be identical to the head of the eagle.

[attachmentid=21831] The Welsh Flag

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The griffin is a half-lion and half-eagle creature that symbolizes the Conjunction of the fixed and volatile principles. An allusion to the Vessel of Hermes.

This is what I posted earlier about the griffin, but I'll add to it a bit. The eagle's claws on the griffin is a symbol of strength and intelligence. In the Middle Ages they guarded the treasures that belonged to the kings. However, griffins pre-date that, as early as Mesopotamia and even Egypt. Some of them were on Sumerian scrolls. But these creatures were thought to pull the chariots of many gods throughout mythology. They are essentially a divine human as well because the eagle wings are heavenly, and the lion is terrestrial. So the griffin symbolizes fixation of the volatile along with Conjunction. I've heard that some portion of their bodies could cure blindness. And there is the alchemical griffin's egg that has magical properties.

Edited by Yelekiah
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Since ancient Egyptian times, alchemists have worked in secret to produce something called the Philosopher's Stone, or the Elixir of Life. The materials have been called ORMEs, monoatomic gold, white gold, white powder gold, ORMUS, m-state, AuM, microclusters, and manna.

The ORMUS or m-state materials are thought to be the precious metal elements in a different atomic state. It appears that this state of certain of these elements has been known throughout history. Several of the procedures for extracting or making ORMUS have been adapted from ancient alchemical texts. It is possible that the Philosopher's Stone and the Biblical manna are both variations on this state of matter.

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Since ancient Egyptian times, alchemists have worked in secret to produce something called the Philosopher's Stone

The Elixir is just the Philosopher's Stone in Liquid form. In medieval China, this Elixir was called the Golden Elixir (jindan). The jindan portrayed spiritual powers and signified transcendence. I'm assuming that it was liquid gold for the soul.

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In chinese mythology:

Dragon = East, Spring, Green, Water

Red Bird (Phoenix) = South, Summer, Red, Fire

Tiger = West, Fall, White, Metal

Tortoise (Black Warrior) = North, Winter, Black

The most well known goal of alchemy was the transmutation of any metal into either gold or silver. Alchemists also tried to create a "Panacea", a remedy that supposedly would cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely. The "Philosopher's stone" was believed to be an essential ingredient in these goals. This mythical substance was hypothesized to have the ability to do both. A third goal of many alchemists was creating human life.

Over time, the goals of alchemy were totally reinterpreted by many readers of the subject. Many readers came to believe that these goals of alchemy were really metaphors for a spiritual transformation of the self. They then wrote manuals that reinterpreted alchemy as a spiritual practice. For this reason, many alchemy manuals describe the "Philosopher's Stone" as a gift that every man potentially has unto himself, the "Transmutation" as the process that transforms the alchemist by studying sciences, and the "Panacea" as the true meaning of love and science. These writers felt that when reading a book on alchemy, the reader must read "over" the words to figure out the way to follow — decoding the secret text to discover its true meaning. This approach remains common to adherents of Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, who often employ gematria and notariqon to expand their understanding of their religious texts, especially the Torah.

Black powder may have been an important invention of Chinese alchemists. Described in 9th century texts and used in fireworks by the 10th Century, it was used in cannons by 1290. From China, the use of gunpowder spread to Japan, the Mongols, the Arab world and Europe. Gunpowder was used by the Mongols against the Hungarians in 1241, and in Europe starting with the 14th century.

Black powder was most likely invented in the middle east before it found its way to China. Saltpeter, the critical oxidising component, was found naturally in India and along the Salt trade routes in the Middle East.

Chinese alchemy was closely connected to Taoist forms of medicine, such as Acupuncture and Moxibustion, and to martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan and Kung Fu (although some Tai Chi schools believe that their art derives from the Hygienic or Philosophical branches of Taoism, not the Alchemical).

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