[This is taken from Thomas H. Burgoyne’s Science of the Soul and Stars.]
Paracelsus, the most celebrated of the alchemists of the Middle Ages, thus mystically speaks of his art:
“If I have manna in my constitution, I can attract manna from heaven. Melissa is not only in the garden, but also in the air and in heaven. Saturn is not only in the sky, but also deep in the ocean and Earth. What is Venus but the Artemisia that grows in your garden, and what is iron but the planet Mars? That is to say, Venus and Artemisia are both products of the same essence, while Mars and iron are manifestations of the same cause. What is the human body but a constellation of the same powers that formed the stars in the sky? He who knows Mars knows the qualities of iron, and he who knows what iron is knows the attributes of Mars. What would become of your heart if there were no Sun in the Universe? To grasp the invisible elements, to attract them by their material correspondences, to control, purify, and transmute, them by the ever-moving powers of the living spirit–this is true Alchemy.”
Thus, in a very few simple words, we find this master of the art revealing the whole arcana of that mysterious science, which has for its chief object and goal, the discovery of the “philosopher’s stone,” which confers upon its fortunate possessor the blessings of immortal youth. Therefore, we cannot possibly do better in the commencement of our present study than, to minutely examine each particular sentence and endeavor to discover his true meaning, which, like all mystical writing, is so apparent, yet cunningly concealed, as to excite the student’s admiration.
“If I have manna in my constitution, I can attract manna from Heaven.” The manna here spoken of does not specify any particular thing, but is of universal application, and is simply used as an unknown quantity, like x, y, z in mathematics. But, ever since the days of Paracelsus, half-initiated mystics and bookworm occultists, have endeavored to discover what this manna really was. Some, the more spiritual, were of the opinion that, it was spiritual power, or purity of spirit; others imagined it to mean special magnetic qualifications, similar in nature to the so-called gifts of modern spiritualistic media. The concealment of the truth is unique, and consists in its very simplicity; and, when correctly expounded, should read: “I am the microcosm, and all the visible and invisible universe dwells within me, so that whatsoever power I have in my constitution, I can attract its correspondence from Heaven.” Paracelsus must have smiled to himself when he wrote “If I have manna,” etc., because his whole writings strive to prove man the miniature of Deity. Further along, he explains himself by pointing out the real Law of Correspondence, thus: “Melissa is not only in the garden, but also in the air, and in Heaven. Saturn is not only in the sky, but also deep in the ocean, and Earth.” The illustrations are beautiful, The life of the plant, the “anima floralis,” pervades the atmosphere and the interior states of spiritual life, where it becomes in the highest degree beautiful, and beneficial to the soul.
Thus, here is where the knowledge of the alchemical attributes of plants, as applicable to man, can be most beneficially utilized. Plants and flowers, whose attributes and aromas harmonize with the complex organism of man, should be selected for the house and garden, for, they are mediums to transmit the finer essences and aromas to the spiritual constitution of man; the plant to the physical, and the aromas and essences of the flowers to the soul.
Antipathies in plants and flowers would bring a similar evil influence, as the discords of the antagonistic human magnetism. It would not be so apparent, but more subtle, yet nevertheless effective in result.
Our attention is next drawn to the planet Saturn, which, we are informed, is not only shining in his starry sphere of the heavens, but is also buried in the ocean depths and embodied in the stratas of the earth. It is almost needless to add that, our author refers to those substances naturally Saturnine in their quality of life and expression, such as lead, clay, and coal, among the minerals, and various deadly plants among the flora, the chief of which is the aconite or monkshood, so significant of Saturn and the isolated, monkish hermit. After some repetition, in order to impress the truth of correspondences, our author exclaims: “What is the human body but a constellation of the same powers that formed the stars in the sky?” Truly, what else? for, “he who knows Mars knows the qualities of iron, and he who knows what iron is knows the attributes of Mars.” Could anything be plainer? We think not.
From the foregoing, which a long experience and much critical investigation and research have demonstrated as true, we cannot avoid the conclusion that Alchemy, equally as well as every other science, religion, or system of philosophy formulated by man, resolves itself, ultimately, in all its final conclusions, into the one universal parent of all wisdom.
ASTROLOGY, the Science of the Stars, in unison with the Science of the Soul, was, and still is, the one sublime center of real learning. It constituted the sacred fountain of living waters, from whose placid depths there rayed forth the Divine revelations of man, his whence, where, and whither; and under the careful conservation of a long line of gifted seers, it shone forth to the sons of men, as the sacred Hermetic light in the Astro-Masonic wisdom of Egypt’s ancient priesthood.
It is not lost to us today. The same book lies open before us that faced our ancient forefathers. It is standing out clear and distinct, waiting to be read by the sons of men. We can learn its language, and from its pages, we ourselves can read our relation to God and our fellowman. Shall we not heed the whispering intuitions of the soul and place ourselves in conscious rapport with the whole?
This sublime Book of Wisdom was written by God Himself, to convey to His children the knowledge of His powers, attributes, and relation to all creative life. We cannot see that Divine Spirit which we call God. No; but as long as the finite form exists as such, we will have the spirit’s manifestations to learn from. Never will the Book of God be closed to the searching eye of the soul. There will always be presented to his vision lessons to study, and practical experiments to perform, to lead the soul into deeper mysteries. Until man fathoms his own universe, he cannot understand God. “Know thyself” is as applicable to-day as when the famous, immortal and mystic utterance was inscribed on the porch of the temple at Delphi.
Before this wonderful, divinely elaborated, but complex system can be fully realized, it is necessary that the student should comprehend, very distinctly, the two states of existence, the internal and the external, and become familiar with the laws of correspondences. And it seems strange that of all Sciences, that of medicine should have so completely failed to grasp this living truth, since every atom of medicine administered, invariably acts upon this alchemical principle. When the human organism has become discordant in some of its parts, it is because the interstellar vibrations have aroused various states within the human kingdom into a condition of rebellion against the supreme will. Man’s ignorance favors such seditious movements, and his general habits and code of morals stimulate them to undue activity. The final result is disease–disorganization of the parts and functions, and those medicines corresponding TO THE SAME FUNCTIONAL DEGREE OF LIFE WITHIN THE GRAND MAN, cure the disorder, when administered properly and IN TIME, whereas, if given to the perfectly healthy organism, THE ATOMS PRODUCE SIMILAR SYMPTOMS TO THE DISEASES THEY ALLEVIATE, because it is their mission to either subdue or be subdued, and when disease prevails the medicinal atoms, acting in unison with the natural parts and functions they affect, conquer or subdue the inharmony, and vice versa, as before stated. In all cases of disease and medicine, it is a simple question of A WAR BETWEEN THE ATOMS, and, therefore, the most potential forces within Nature are always at the command of the true Alchemist, because he knows bow and when to select his fighting forces, and when to set them in motion, for the best results.
Hahnemann, the founder of the Homeopathic system, has approached THE NEAREST to this alchemical truth, and as a consequence, we find it is in actual practice, the most natural, scientific, and successful system of medicine, yet given to the world; based, as it is, upon the well-known law of affinities, “Similia similibus curantur,” “like cures like,” being a very ancient axiom in the astrological practice of physic.
Bulwer Lytton, who had become thoroughly convinced of the great value and importance of uniting ancient Alchemy with modern medicine, makes the hero of his immortal story declare: “All that we propose to do is this: To find out the secrets of the human frame, to know why the parts ossify and the blood stagnates, and to apply continual preventives to the effects of time. THIS IS NOT MAGIC; IT IS THE ART OF MEDICINE, RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD.”
It is a fact that, the molecules of the body are all changed within twelve months; that every cell in the human organism is born and grows to maturity within that space of time. Nature is absolutely impartial. She draws from the atmosphere that she may reproduce a facsimile of everything she finds upon the surface of the body. So, if there be a sore, or festering ulcer, the atoms which are thrown off attract similar atoms, so as to reproduce the ulcer or sore, and thus prevent the disease from getting well of itself until it has worn itself out.
Further, every vein and canal throughout the entire body, from youth to maturity, is being coated with carbonate of lime, or lime in some form. The coating of the walls of the veins in such a manner, prevents the free circulation of the living matter; then, the real vitality of the food which we eat, is simply passed off through the pores, or through the bowels, or through the system, because it is unable to penetrate through the lime.
If that prevention which produces old age can be attained, then physical youth will continue.
The first step to take is to dissolve the lime in the body. Drink nothing but distilled water, in either tea, coffee, or any other form, and drink freely of the sweet juices of the grape and apple.
The food that we eat contains lime in a living form, and it is the living lime we need to build up the living bones, for the lime and the magnesia that we take in the water is crystallized dead mineral, possessing no responsibility of life, and the lime in our food is quite sufficient for all purposes. For everything we take in excess, Nature makes us pay the penalty.
The first principle of long living is to keep all channels of the body perfect and free from coatings of lime.
The second is that of youthful ideals of the mind. The soul never grows old.
The third principle is dynamic breathing, which is storing up the oxygen in sufficient quantities, to supply the tissues with sufficient fuel, for combustion.
These three principles, acting in unison, contain the true basis of physical life and a means of long living. Old age is simply the petrifaction of the body through lime, and the incorporating of erroneous thoughts into the organism.
It is the true Alchemy of human existence, and the preventives, in each and every case must contain the spiritual correspondence to the cause they seek to remedy; and, though the followers of Hahnemann base the whole of their procedure of treatment upon their master’s fundamental law of “Similia similibus curantur,” yet, there may be a few rare cases wherein, this undeviating method would not apply with the required effect. In such a case, the Alchemist would resort to the well-known law of opposites, and base his treatment upon the dogma of “Contraria contrariis curantur,” so long the pet theory of the Allopathic school. They work upon the hypothesis that, like attracts like, and, if disease exist, those elements must be administered to set up the vibrations that will produce the polar opposite. If the body was racked with pain, those medicines would not be given that would create or increase similar conditions, but, their antipathy would be introduced into the system or applied locally to extinguish the foe.
So long as mankind remain within the semi-crystallized state of soul development, so as to require the aid of external forces to support the human throne within its earthly temple, mercenary troops will exist to supply these supposed supports.
Unquestionably, the astrological law is the true system of medicine, which treats disease by sympathy or by antipathy, according to the nature of the case, and the efficacy of the remedies at hand. This method is the only natural one, and has been thoroughly demonstrated by the numerous “provings of drugs” under Hahnemann’s law.
Happily, the time is not far distant when, the incarnated spirit will be able to use its own slumbering forces, and subdue all suffering and symptoms of disease in their very first inception, by virtue of its purer life and the dynamic potencies of its own interior, spiritual thought. Already, mental therapeutics is taking an advanced position among liberal, progressive minds, and nothing demonstrates so clearly and forcibly the grand, alchemical law of life-growth and decay, as the imponderable, invisible forces, which, constitute the materia medica, or remedial agents, of mental, magnetic, and spiritual healing.
Perhaps the most recondite subject connected with the healing art divine is, the modus operandi of medicinal action, upon the human body. A subject so simple and self-evident to the Alchemist, remains a profound mystery to the educated physician of the medical college; so much so that, we are tempted to ask of them: “Can you explain the modus operandi of drugs?” Dr. William Sharp, one of the most advanced physicians of the Homeopathic school, in one of his well-known “Essays on Medicine,” says: “In respect to the manner of action of drugs we are in total darkness, and we are so blind that the darkness is not felt. KNOWLEDGE OF THIS KIND CANNOT BE ATTAINED; it is labor lost and TIME wasted to go in search of it. True, hypotheses may be easily conceived; so may straws be gathered from the surface of the stream. But what are either of them worth? There is this difference between them–straws may amuse children, and hypotheses are sure to mislead physicians.”
It is when the Occult Initiate observes to what helpless conditions the practice of medicine has fallen, that, he would, if be could with any possibility of success, implore the angelic guardian of the human race to open the spiritual sight of men, that they might see, as he sees, the Divine relationship, and spiritual correspondence, of everything in the wide universe to man.
Nature’s laws move slowly and imperceptibly, yet surely and exact, and the time will certainly come when man will be forced into consciousness of these laws, whether he will or no. Nature is no respecter of persons, and those who will not move and progress, in harmony with her laws of advancement, must, of necessity, pass out with the old.
Alchemy, as it relates to the healing art, is the most noble in its object and beneficial in its effects, of all the many subdivisions of the sciences, because, it alleviates the pains and morbid afflictions of suffering humanity. As man’s constitution embraces a microscopic atom of all the essences and elements, corresponding to the whole; so does the air; and much, that we depend upon our food to supply, can be extracted from the atmosphere by breathing. Every breath we breathe is new life, or death.
Herein is the secret of success or failure, in certain localities, and under certain conditions. If we have iron within us, could we extract or attract iron from Saturn’s district? Or, if the element within us could attract gold, could we obtain it from the coal fields?
Therefore, it is only natural that the medical remedies we employ to restore the organism, when afflicted with disease, should group themselves into similar correspondences, and so, in a general sense, we find them; for we note that the brain, the circulation, the lungs, and the stomach, are the four chief citadels of the body; the heart, of course, representing the center of circulation. And this also explains, further, if that were necessary, why the principal remedies of the homeopathic system are so speedy and direct in their action. The four principal drugs, which stand as representatives of their class, are aconite, belladonna, phosphorus, and pulsatilla. These represent the quadrant, for light is not more nicely adjusted to the eye, nor sound to the ear, than aconite to the circulation, belladonna to the brain, phosphorus to the lungs, and pulsatilla to the stomach; while ramifying in the seven directions indicated by the seven primary planets, we find stimulants, tonics, narcotics, nervines, alteratives, cathartics and diuretics, as the natural material correspondences thereof.
That we assign phosphorus to the lungs may appear startling to the orthodox student, especially when, he calls to mind the fact that phosphorus has long been recognized in medical science as a brain food and medicine. Anticipating such mental questions, we reply that in medicine, from the alchemical view, we are occupying a wholly different standpoint; i.e., the power of controlling the functional action of the body, in this view of the case, and the fact that, the lungs and the brain are in the most perfect affinity, there will remain no mystery upon the subject.
The Alchemy of stones and gems attracts our next attention. Affinities and antipathies to the human constitution, are to be found in these crystallized representatives of the subtle, invisible influences emanating from our planetary system. They are the mediums for the transmission of corresponding attributes and influences of existing powers and potencies, and if carried or worn upon the person, they will bring the person in direct rapport with the invisible forces within the universal system.
Here again Hahnemann’s scientific philosophy would prove effectual, that “Similia similibus curantur.” Would the fiery influence of a topaz attract much from the realms of a chrysolite? Or, the crystallized, airy forces of a sapphire be a suitable medium for the earthly forces of a jasper?
Gems and stones are dead or living realities. They live, slumber and die, and have their potent existence as do the organic forms of matter. They are, usually, imbued with the vivifying spark of Divinity, and shine forth and exert their influence through the magical powers attracted to them from the forces of Nature. A real, living entity abides within them that can be seen by the clairvoyant vision, and to the trained student in Occult lore, this entity can be made to become an obedient servant, giving warning of the approach of danger, impressions of men and things, and warding off discordant influences surrounding us; or that, which we may contact from the magnetic and personal environments in our relations in the social world; or that which may be projected to us from the invisible realms of life.
Think you the pytamids would be intact today, if the stones from which they were built had been promiscuously selected? They were chosen by Adepts in the knowledge of the Laws of Correspondence and antipathy and affinity. The sphinx also stand as monuments to the heights of wisdom that man can attain.
Metals also can be followed out on the same lines as the gems and stones.
Much as we would like to continue, we are compelled to bring this discourse to a close, even though in doing so we must of necessity omit much of vital interest to the student. We will, therefore, only add that the seven basic metals stand as the crystallized representatives of their respective groups: Gold for the Sun, Silver for the Moon, Tin for Jupiter, Copper for Venus, Quicksilver for Mercury and Lead for Saturn. Each finds it own sphere of action within the temporary abiding place of the human soul on earth–the physical body. So, likewise, the twelve constellations and their corresponding talismanic gems, representing in their glittering array the anatomical Zodiac of the human frame, and typifying the spiritual quality of the atoms, there congregated, in every degree of life. These, and a thousand other mysteries, had we the time, might be unfolded to the student’s view with considerable advantage, but we are compelled to refrain. The philosopher’s stone is near at hand. Seek it not in remote spheres or distant parts of the earth, for it is ever around you and within, and becomes the golden key of true wisdom, which prepares the soul for its higher life and brighter destiny. It is the still, small voice of the awakened soul, that purges the conscience from suffering, and the spiritual body from earthy dross. It is that, which treasures not the corrupting, delusive wealth of Earth, nor the transient powers of mammon, but garners the fruits which spring from the pure life, and treasures the jewels of heaven. Vainly will you seek for this stone of the wise philosopher amid the turmoil, sufferings, and selfishness of life, unless you accept your mission upon earth as a duty, delegated to the soul, from Heaven. Eschew the evil thereof, and hold fast that which is good. To do this, means to expand with the inward truth and become one of the “pure in heart,” in which blessed state, the magical white stone, conveying A NEW NAME, reveals the living angel within, to the outward man. Then, and then alone, doth he know the Adonai.
Such are the Divine, spiritual principles upon which the higher Alchemy of life is based. They seek only to establish a Divine, conscious at-one-ment between the angel, the man, and the universe, and to this end, we conclude with the words of the immortal Paracelsus:
“To grasp these invisible elements, to attract them by their material correspondences, to control, purify, and transmute them by the ever-moving powers of the living spirit, THIS IS TRUE ALCHEMY.”