The History of Alchemy

History of Alchemy

The Alchemists

To most of us, the word “alchemy” calls up the picture of a medieval and slightly sinister laboratory in which an aged, black-robed wizard broods over the crucibles and alembics that are to bring within his reach the Philosopher’s Stone, and with that discovery, the formula for the Elixir of life and the transmutation of metals. But one can scarcely dismiss so lightly the science — or art, if you will –that won to its service the lifelong devotion of men of culture and attainment from every race and clime over a period of thousands of years, for the beginnings of alchemy are hidden in the mists of time. Such a science is something far more than an outlet for a few eccentric old men in their dotage.

What was the motive behind their constant strivings, their never-failing patience in the unravelling of the mysteries, the tenacity of purpose in the face of persecution and ridicule through the countless ages that led the alchemists to pursue undaunted their appointed way? Something far greater, surely, than a mere vainglorious desire to transmute the base metals into gold, or to brew a potion to prolong a little longer this earthly span, for the devotees of alchemy in the main cared little for such things.

The accounts of their lives almost without exception lead us to believe that they were concerned with things spiritual rather than with things temporal. They were men inspired by a vision, a vision of man made perfect, of man freed from disease and the limitations of warring faculties both mental and physical, standing godlike in the realization of a power that even at this very moment of time lies hidden in the deeper strata of consciousness, a vision of man made truly in the image and likeness of the One Divine Mind in its Perfection, Beauty, and Harmony.

To appreciate and understand the adepts’ visions, it is necessary to trace the history of their philosophy. So let us for step back into the past to catch a glimpse of these men, of their work and ideals, and more important still, of the possibilities that their life-work might bring to those who today are seeking for fuller knowledge and wider horizons.

(cont page 2)

In the Heart of the Supreme Mind: Thoth Hermes Trismegistus

In the Heart of the Supreme Mind: Thoth Hermes Trismegistus

by Symbol Reader WordPress

Johfra, “Hermes Trismegistus”

In The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall, I came across the following passage, which I found very illuminating:

“Before the visible universe was formed its mold was cast. This mold was called the Archetype, and this Archetype was in the Supreme Mind long before the process of creation began. Beholding the Archetypes, the Supreme Mind became enamored with Its own thought; so, taking the Word as a mighty hammer, It gouged out caverns in primordial space and cast the form of the spheres in the Archetypal mold, at the same time sowing in the newly fashioned bodies the seeds of living things. The darkness below, receiving the hammer of the Word, was fashioned into an orderly universe. The elements separated into strata and each brought forth living creatures. The Supreme Being–the Mind–male and female, brought forth the Word; and the Word, suspended between Light and darkness, was delivered of another Mind called the Workman, the Master-Builder, or the Maker of Things.“

The quote comes from a chapter devoted to “The Life and Teachings of Thoth Hermes Trismegistus,“ and specifically to the first part of the Corpus Hermeticum, i.e. “Poemandres, The Shepherd of Men,“ in which Hermes has a vision of the wise primordial being – the self-begotten World Serpent, the Great Dragon, the Mind of the Universe and the Creative Intelligence – who tells him the secrets of Creation. This supreme being personifies Logos – the word of God/dess which is made flesh.


As the power of Shiva and Shakti lies in their union, so the greatness of Hermes is derived from his union with Anima Mundi – the Soul of the World. Hermes/Thoth is a patron of all brands of soulful knowledge: he presides over the marriage of mysticim and science. Magic, alchemy, symbology, astrology, tarot are all under his dominion. The Egyptian Thoth was a lunar god characteristically depicted as an ibis with a beak resembling a lunar crescent, thus strengthening the god’s union with the Soul of the World, but also his being bound to the cycles of time and to the sublunar world of matter and manifestation. Manly P. Hall writes this about the lost legendary Book of Thoth:

“This work contained the secret processes by which the regeneration of humanity was to be accomplished and also served as the key to his other writings. Nothing definite is known concerning the contents of the Book of Thoth other than that its pages were covered with strange hieroglyphic figures and symbols, which gave to those acquainted with their use unlimited power over the spirits of the air and the subterranean divinities.“



The ability of mediating and moving freely between different contradictory realms (for example the heavens and the underworld) was one of the chief attributes of the Greek Hermes. In alchemy, it was in the hermetic vessel where the spiritual regeneration and rebirth took place as the intellect was blended with passions and emotions. The richness of this symbolism is visible in the glyph for the astrological symbol of Mercury is interestingly analyzed by Barbara G. Walker in The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets:

“ The cross marked Hermes a god of four-way crossroads, the four quarters of the earth, the four elements, the four divisions of the sacred year, the four winds, and the solstices and equinoxes represented by their zodiacal totems Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius-the bull, lion, serpent, and man-angel symbols adopted by Christians to represent the four evangelists. Sometimes, the cross of Hermes was an ankh, standing on a crescent that signified his mother the moon. This evolved into the conventional sign of Mercury, a circle with a cross Sign of Mercury (Hermes) below and a crescent above.”


In the quote which opens my post there is a reference to mind as a builder. In astrology, Mercury rules two signs: Gemini and Virgo; this duality refers to a need for practical realization of thoughts, ideas and projects. In his Complete Astrology, Alan Oken refers to Mercury as “the transmitter of the spiritual to the material.” As Mercury approaches a superior conjunction with the sun tomorrow, I was prompted to look at a classic distinction that Michael R. Meyer (inspired by Dane Rudhyar) made into four types of natal Mercury ( We are currently in the Promethean-Direct phase of Mercury:

“Promethean-Direct types are generally more able to effectively project their visions, reforms and agendas … upon the social and intellectual world, making things happen on a large-scale.“

I hope this leads us to a creative future.


Paul Manship, “Prometheus“

The Hermetic Teachings of Tehuti – The Kybalion

The Kybalion read aloud YouTube video

The Kybalion – according to

The Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy, originally published in 1908 under the pseudonym of “the Three Initiates”, is a book claiming to be the essence of the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus.

The Kybalion was first published in 1908 by the Yogi Publication Society in Chicago, Illinois and has been in the public domain since 1977. Purportedly based upon ancient Hermeticism, its philosophies became founding pillars within the New Thought movement of the early 1910s. The book early on makes the claim that it makes its appearance in one’s life when the time is appropriate and includes axioms and insights similar to those found in the Book of Proverbs.

I return to this over and over and each time something new surfaces and lights my path.


THOTH’s PROPHECY read from the Hermetic Texts by Graham Hancock
I find Graham Hancock to be inspiring. He has some theories that make much more logical conclusions to why things went certain ways. I don’t buy into the common beliefs about the human race in its beginnings, and in a lot of the common ideas about it’s various changes. I like many alternative versions of history that aren’t full of the propaganda they put in school books. Thoth (Tehuti) and Hermes Trismegistus (the thrice great} the Greek Egyptian philosopher who some believe to be Thoth reincarnated really resonates with me.
Wikipedia states:
Hermes Trismegistus. “The thrice greatest Hermes,” the name given by the Greeks to the Egyptian god Thoth or Tehuti, the god of wisdom, learning, and literature.”

I believe Thoth and Hermes were actual people. That they may have had more than basic human lives though. Gods walked among the humans of antediluvian world in my opinion. Some of these Gods were most likely extraterrestrial biological entities. Sumerian history makes it seem quite possible we were created by a extraterrestrial race. I’d love to read the Akashic records and know the exact truths.