Alchemy's Ancient Global Tradition


Celestial Agriculture. The art and science of alchemy has been found throughout many times and regions. Its ancient principles still apply today, the truth in reality then, remains true now. Our endeavor is their adept convergence with modernity. We can speak of Chinese alchemy, Indian alchemy, Hellenistic, Arabic and European. The earliest alchemy came from Egypt. The god of alchemy is Thoth, known to the Greeks as Hermes. This is why alchemy is known as the Hermetic Philosophy.

After the center of alchemy in the ancient world, the Great Library of Alexandria with its famous Pharos Lighthouse, was destroyed in the 5th century CE, most of those practicing the Hermetic Philosophy fled Egypt and migrated east to the Arab lands not occupied by the Romans. It was here that the Arabic prefix Al was added to the Greek Khemia to give us Al-Khemia, later to become Alchemy.

Hypatia of Alexandria

The powerful secrets of alchemy were closely guarded and often handed down in coded images and writing. Sometimes alchemists suffered terrible persecution. Hypatia of Alexandria was the last librarian (tragically murdered) of the Great Library and is credited with discovering that planets have elliptical orbits.

"Tis true without lying, certain and most true. That which is below is like that which is above and that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracle of one only thing. And as all things have been and arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation. The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse. The father of all perfection in the whole world is here. Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth. Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry. It ascends from the earth to the heaven and again it descends to the earth and receives the force of things superior and inferior. By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you. Its force is above all force, for it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing. So was the world created. From this are and do come admirable adaptations where of the means is here in this. Hence I am called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world. That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended."
Inscription of The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, translated by Isaac Newton

To take what has been given to us and transform it, hoping and praying for the better, lies at the heart of what is Alchemy -- as known over the centuries and millennia as: The Royal Art, The Way of the Philosopher, The Hermetic Philosophy, The Sacred Science, The Great Work, The Art of Transformation, The Divine Art, or simply The Art.

The alchemical tradition encompasses an elegant philosophical worldview and corresponding set of practical laboratory techniques to harness the potencies of the natural world, plants and minerals, and offers a vital alternative or complementary set of remedies for health and well-being.

Alchemy is innovative, problem-solving and experimental with mastery earned over time, study and considerate effort. Each alchemist's expression of the Art is unique. An alchemist will typically have a library of books dedicated to their work.

Alchemy cannot be bound to a single system of thought, any more than it can be reduced to a single symbolic interpretation, because it transcends all dogma and all religions. 

One must not forget that at one time or another, sometimes in turn and sometimes simultaneously, Egyptians, Greeks, Arabs, Jews, Chinese, Indians, and Europeans have practiced the art and have been stewards of the ancient tradition. Alchemy was practiced during Shakespeare's time and Prospero from The Tempest may have been based on John Dee, the renown English alchemist who was a contemporary.

The famous Swiss physician and alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541) was a pioneer of the medical revolution of the Renaissance and is credited with the botanical extraction method called spagyrics (Greek for "to separate and recombine") which we utilize in REÅLEA products.

Nature is the physician, not you. From her you must learn, not from yourself. She compounds the remedies, not you. See to it that you find out where Nature has her pharmacies, where her virtues have been written down, and in what boxes they are stored.-- Paracelsus

Now I will teach and describe the secret of the arts, which secret is at the heart of all secrets hidden in the art of alchemy; since one will here understand the wonderful works that God has accomplished in all things he has made out of the four elements... For I shall here teach you to know the spirits of herbs, trees, and all growing things; how to separate them from their bodies, and also how to purify the four elements and restore them to their first being and the perfect power; that is, that when the elements are purified, how they can be put together again and make a perfect and fixed body of them, which is then glorified and has a miraculous effect.
-- Isaac Hollandus, Opera Vegetabilia (15th century)

Alchemy is a rainbow bridging the chasm between the earthly and heavenly planes, between matter and spirit. Like the rainbow, it may appear within reach, only to recede if one chases it merely to find a pot of gold.

True alchemy consists in perfecting metals, and in the maintenance of health. False alchemy in destroying both the one and the other. The first employs Nature’s agents and imitates her operations. The second works on erroneous principles and employs the tyrant and destroyer of Nature as her agent. The first, from a small quantity of a vile matter, fashions a most precious thing. The second, from a most precious matter, from gold itself, fashions a matter most vile, smoke, and ashes. The result of the true alchemy is the prompt cure of all ills afflicting humanity; the result of the false consists in those same ills that commonly befall puffers. 

-- Dom Pernety, Dictionnaire Mytho-Hermetique (1758)

There are considered to be six types of alchemy:

Practical, Therapeutic, Artistic, Psychological, Social and Spiritual.

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