Alchemy attempts to transform base metals into gold. The three prime elements that it works with are Sulfur, Sodium and Mercury. But before you say, ah- I’m not interested in metals- realize that we are not just talking about metals. We are talking chemical changes that occur everywhere in nature. We are talking about our bodies as well as our psyches. Astrology and Alchemy are very intertwined in their symbolic language and we can learn a lot about ourselves and the world we live in by realizing these parallels.
Okay so let’s bring these three alchemical elements into their planetary forms, starting with Sulfur.
Of all of our planets what does this photo most remind you of? The Sun right? Bold and yellow like our Father Sun.
Sulfur is also known for it’s pungent smell. Think rotten eggs. This is another shade of it’s boldness- it’s “isness”. Sulfur is akin to the SOUL, like the word “SOL” which is latin for Sun. The Sun is the “I am” principle. Our “being”. In french “I am” is “Je suis”. Jesus is the “Son of god” (Sun?) and “walks on water”.
Father Sun is that part in us that is the “inner king”, like a lion. Leo the lion is the sign associated with the Sun. We all need this masculine roaring “isness” in order to know what we want and where we are trying to go in life. This is the essential vital principle within us, the Qi that flows through the body.
Moving on to Sodium.
The familiar iridescent glow of the Moon is found in rock salt, one of the most common compounds of Sodium. The Moon, as we have discussed in other posts has been associated with the word MUNDANE, meaning “of the earthly world”, with Monday being it’s symbolic day. Sodium is akin to the BODY. Remember the Sodium is the ASHES of the stick, falling back to the earthly ground when the other two substances are gone, it remains.
Of course the Moon is associated with the past, which can take on a dreamy tint.
In fact, everything about the Moon is elusive, and just beyond reach. Mystery surrounds all things with the Moon, which is funny because the Moon is supposed to be connected with mundane Mondays! What is going on?
Let’s take a look at the metal that is associated with the Moon, beautiful shiny and perfectly reflective Silver.
We wake up on a mundane Monday to go out and make some MONEY? And then we all turn into ASHES at the end of it?? Is the Moon all about this bleakness?? I don’t think so..
There are 7 metals in Alchemy, with Silver being the 7th yet containing the previous 6 in “spiritual form”. I’m not saying I know what that means but I think it is safe to say that even though Silver is MUNDANE it is also MAGICAL.
Silver (Moon) is also the best conductor of electricity of all the metals. Sodium (Moon) is key in the operation of all electrical signals to and from the brain in the human body.
Okay, so to review, the Sun is associated with Sulfur and the “spark of life”. It is the Soul of a person (aka SOL which is latin for Sun). In other words it is a person’s vital essence. The Moon is associated with Sodium and the body, and all it’s many mysteries. What about Mercury? What about the smoke?
Mercury is thus symbolically associated with the SPIRIT, a.k.a “RESPIRE”. It is the ANIMATING principle of the soul within the body. InSPIRation is an animating word that puts the SPIRIT back in someone’s heart and mind, thus motivating them, ANIMATING them. Where does this root word “SPIR” come from?
Spirals emphasize CHANGE which paradoxically is the only thing that is consistent in the Universe.
I find it helpful as an astrologer to view the birth chart as a spiral AS WELL as a circle. Embracing changes of the spiral, yet finding peace within the circle of wholeness.
Anyway- before I go off in too different a direction here (thanks to Mercury and his bag of tricks) I will sign off. I look forward to learning more about the principles of Alchemy and how they tie into Astrology and the natural world.