By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel
I wrote the following for the 233rd issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.
Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).
Last week, I gave a basic introduction to astrology and alchemy with the promise that in this next installment, we’d learn how the two are connected.
When researching their connections, however, I discovered an overwhelming amount of information that would take countless reports to cover. So, for the sake of length, we’ll check out some basic information on their connections and leave the more complex stuff for another time.
Before we dive into the information, I’d once again like to give a few shout-outs.
Thanks to Eve Dembowski, Cosmic Intelligence Agency, Karen Bartlett at The Spagyricus Institute, Susan Levitt, and The Mountain Astrologer for their information on the connections between these two fascinating schools of thought.
These sources provide great information on alchemy and astrology respectively, but if you research one, expect the other to pop up somewhere.
Eve Dembowski at Cosmic Intelligence Agency writes that the connection between alchemy and astrology is rooted in the fifth and fourth century BC. Our understanding of this connection comes from the philosophies of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle, as well as the metallurgical skills of ancient Egyptians. (1)
Eve writes that the Emerald Tablet summarizes the meaning and structure of alchemy. Knowledge of this meaning and structure was presented to the man believed to be the author of the Corpus Hermeticum, Hermes Trismegistus. Despite that this knowledge was pure at the time, our understanding of alchemy and astrology has become heavily distorted in our modern age. (1)
Now, Eve writes, these once strong practices appear to be little more than “philosophical musings” due to the materialistic scientific view that’s standard today. These days, most people think alchemy and astrology are nothing but superstition. (1)
The Essence of All Creation
Eve writes that alchemy and astrology both address the spirit’s “movement and manifestation” but function on “different levels” or “different realms”. Astrology deals with the celestial realm and alchemy the “sub-terrestrial” realm. (1)
She describes spirit as the foundation or “essence” of all creation, and this essence connects everything. Spirit permeates all matter and form, providing them “substance and vitality”. (1)
Spirit, or “essential form”, she writes, can be likened to the vertical threads of life, with the material world likened to the horizontal threads. Soul is a combination of spirit and body, essential and material; and it’s a result of the spiritual and material uniting to form life. The soul’s primary purpose is to reflect spirit. (1)
Purifying & Aligning the Body
Eve writes that alchemy and astrology share the common purpose of purifying and aligning the body with the soul so the spirit can reflect itself purely through the body, which is its physical manifestation. Although some see alchemy as more of a philosophical than literal endeavor, psychologists led by Carl Jung provided clarity on it by applying it to the “psychotherapeutic process” of individual evolution. (1)
The approach that resulted, Eve writes, is used by psychological astrologers to this day. This new understanding and approach is helpful for individual or personal growth but ultimately misrepresents alchemy. Like astrology, alchemy is about more than individual evolution. It encompasses the philosophical, chemical, and psychological. (1)
Eve writes that successful physical alchemy results in the creation of gold, but its ultimate intention is to purify the soul so spirit can reflect truthfully in the physical world. In this sense, alchemy’s true aim is to transform the “I” or ego-self, as it represents a barrier to the flooding of consciousness into the physical world by the light of spirit. The alchemical view is that consciousness is everywhere and in everything; from the metals in the ground to the planets in space. (1)
Dangerous Occult Knowledge?
Alchemy has always been associated with the esoteric and occult, Eve writes. In the past, only certain people were deemed fit to practice this “royal art”. It was essentially closed to the public. A certain level of wisdom was required before one could know the secrets of the alchemists, and its true purpose is hidden in the symbolism comprising the alchemical language. This language shares similarities with astrological symbolism. (1)
Eve writes that knowledge of alchemy was considered dangerous for someone improperly prepared. In a philosophical sense, it threatened religions of the time, which in turn ruthlessly suppressed it. Thus, alchemy needed to stay hidden. This could be why so many old alchemic texts were written with secret language, riddles, and illustrated symbols, among other oddities. (1)
Eve writes that the Corpus Hermeticum, said to have recorded “all human knowledge” up to the point it was written, provides some of the oldest astrological, alchemical, and philosophical wisdom. The oft-quoted phrase, “What is below is like that which is above, and what is above is like that below”, (or “as above, so below”) originates with this book and represents the basic foundational principle of alchemy, astrology, and magic. (1)
Science Catching Up to Alchemists?
Karen Bartlett at The Spagyricus Institute writes that old “pseudo sciences” like alchemy and astrology are easier to understand if you consider that everything is connected. Thanks to Quantum Physics and the Unified Field Theory, we now have a scientific context for this idea. (2)
Karen writes that science is confirming all matter is composed of “one thing”, as ancient alchemists understood. Thanks to modern science, the phrase “as above, so below” is being proven (or at the very least, clarified). (2)
For related reading, Karen recommends the following books:
- The Dancing Woo Li Masters by Gary Zukav
- God and the New Physics
- The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot (2)
She also recommends:
- Real Alchemy by Robert Bartlett
- The Way of the Crucible by Robert Bartlett
- The Alchemist’s Handbook by Frater Albertus
- Herbal Alchemy by Junius Manfried
- The Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy by Dennis William Hauck (2)
“One Giant Hologram”
Karen writes that Michael Talbot’s Holographic Theory takes the idea that everything is connected even further by displaying how, regardless of what piece of the cosmic puzzle you look at, everything fits together. Essentially, it’s all “one giant hologram”. (2)
Karen cites this as a reason acupuncture in your foot or ear can affect an organ or condition somewhere else in the body you wouldn’t expect it to affect. It’s also why you can determine a person’s health issues and other things about their life based on the astrological sign they’re born under. (2)
This is what I love about alchemy and astrology: they illuminate our connection with the earth and the cosmos. Not only do they invite us to consider the presence of a soul in everything; they provide extensive knowledge on how to discover and utilize it for a fulfilling, soulful life.
By making us aware of this eternal, all-encompassing collective soul, they invite us to approach the world with love and empathy. Your worldview will immediately change when you realize that everything, down to the tiniest speck of dust, is conscious. Hopefully you’ll develop compassion, because the world needs more of it.
More on the Four Elements
I’ll conclude this report with some more basic information on alchemy, astrology, and the four elements prevalent in both practices.
Susan Levitt writes that the four elements – earth, wind, fire, and water – are found in various spiritual and magic systems. Examples include the four astrological elements, the four suits of a tarot deck, and the four elements from alchemical symbols in medieval Europe and ancient Egypt. As we know, the purpose of alchemy is to transform one’s base self into gold. (3)
In external alchemy, this is applied to things like lead. Inner alchemy, however, is all about becoming enlightened and creating a golden light body, so to speak.
With thanks to Susan, here’s some information on each element:
Susan writes that water is a nurturing, feminine element that represents love, emotion, faith, and spiritual belief. It’s described as the life essence and the “sea of fertility” (among other things). Since it can “flow around” any obstacle without changing its essence, the ancient Chinese believed it’s the most powerful element. (3)
Fire, Susan writes, is an exciting, masculine element. It represents will, destiny, drive, and “spirit in action”. The myth of Apollo in his sun chariot is one of many examples of a myth centered on the element of fire. (3)
Susan writes that fire and water share great symbolic significance. Their mixture represents an alchemical balance, either of emotion put into action or action stemming from intense emotion. In the two elements, we find the balanced polarity of yin and yang. (3)
Susan describes it as the “harmonious blend” of night and day, dark and light, etc. Together, these masculine and feminine elements represent the essence of life. The separation of yin and yang signals death. (3)
Susan writes that air is a masculine element that represents the mind, intellect, and mental activity. The Tower of Babel and the smoke in a peace pipe both represent the air element. Intellectual activity and communicative abilities are associated with air and have been valued throughout history. (3)
Earth, Susan writes, is a stable, feminine element that represents health, money, the material world, tangible material things, and the idea of a Mother Earth. Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders is a symbol of the earth element. (3)
Susan writes that just like fire and water, earth and air represent a male and female polarity. The mixture of earth and air represents the alchemical balance of bringing ideas into reality while changing reality with those ideas, beliefs, and values. (3)
Longtime fans of alchemy and astrology will tell you the two are sacred and connected. If approached with an open heart, they can impart much-needed wisdom and help you realize the soul’s true potential.
Nearly every philosophy contains genuine bits of wisdom regarding evolution and enlightenment. With alchemy and astrology, it’s hidden in symbols and secret languages to keep it away from the inexperienced. In this era, however, the masses are waking up and hidden wisdom is being revealed.
Do you enjoy studying alchemy and astrology? For more information, I highly recommend checking out the sources used for this writing. As with most spiritual traditions, the rabbit hole goes deeper than what we covered here. Dive on in by checking out the sources below.
(1) Eve Dembowski, “Astrology and Alchemy”, Cosmic Intelligence Agency – https://cosmicintelligenceagency.com/astrology-and-alchemy/
(2) Karen Bartlett, “Alchemy and Astrology, The Sister Science”, The Spagyricus Institute – https://www.spagyricus.com/articles/alchemy-and-astrology-the-sister-science
(3) Susan Levitt, “Astrology and Alchemy” SusanLevitt.com (Originally written for The Mountain Astrologer, page 81.), January 1994 – http://susanlevitt.com/about/writers-resume/astrology-and-alchemy/
About the author:
I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.
I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).
I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.
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