The history of mankind has been marked by profuse cultural, sociological and individual searching for a ‘higher level’ of existence and consciousness. Historically punctuated by the attempts and explanations of the two major branches of thought, philosophy and science, the existential questions that have formed the fabric of this journey have yet to be solved. Despite their differences in reasoning, philosophy and science have both, seemingly and inadvertently, arrived at the same questions on which other methods have sought to further expand. These questions are the “Big Questions” about what defines humanity and its role in the cosmos. From examining the definitions of health and disease, the dichotomy between life and death and the question of transcendence of one’s physical being, mankind’s questioning has resulted in branches of thought that try to answer them both from a philosophical and scientific viewpoint.
The purpose of this paper is to arrive at an understanding of the intertwined relationship between the two major sciences, arts and philosophies of human history – alchemy and homeopathy. United by the common goal of reaching the highest level of existence, the two branches propose ideas that seem unrelated on the surface, but are truly and inherently connected.
Alchemy has sought to find the Philosopher’s Stone, and Homeopathy’s ultimate goal is to reach the freedom of health on all planes of existence. I hope to demonstrate how homeopathy has been strongly influenced by alchemical philosophies and principles in order to promote its own individual purpose of holistic healing.
History of Alchemy:
Alchemy is one of the oldest sciences in the world (Hall, 1928 ).The ancient word “Khem” originated from Egypt, the land alchemy arose from. In their time, the Egyptians and their land were invaded by the Greek Empire followed by the Arabs. Many things changed during their reigns including the language. The Greeks believed matter was made from four elements: fire, water, air and earth. Once their belief merged with that Egyptian sacred science of Hermes, the previous word “Khem” was changed to Khemia. Subsequent to that the Arabs overcame the Greek rulers and took control over Egypt. Finally, the Arabs added the word “Al” to “Khemia” which formed the word Alkhemia: meaning “black land” of Egypt. (Hall, 1928)
From the 400’s to the 1600’s alchemy was spread throughout the world from Egypt to Greece, to Muslim empires, to India (in the 1100’s) and to Europe during the 14th, 15th and 16th century. ()
History of Homeopathy:
Homeopathy had its start as a rebuttal to the common methods of 18th century medical practitioners. These methods, which included over-drugging, bleeding and cupping, were administered to the ill. The medical approach of homeopathy can be traced back to the time of the medieval alchemists. These practitioners include: Albertus Magnus (1193-1280), Agrippa Von Netsheim (1486-1535) and most important of all, Theophrastus Paracelcus (1493-1541) and even Hippocrates (468-377BC) (Morrell, 1999).
Samuel Christian Frederick Hahnemann, the founder of the homeopathic system of cure, gave reference to Hippocrates in the law of similars. However, no other person was the biggest influence in homeopathy and its practice than Hahnemann (1755-1843). Hahnemann combined all the previous ideas of his predecessors and joined them with his own, to form what we now know as homeopathy. (Danciger, 1987)
Many question if Hahnemann was influenced by the works of the physician and alchemist Paracelsus. In his time Hahnemann denied any parallels to Paracelsus and his practice of medieval alchemy. Some evidence disputes Paracelsus’ influence on Hahnemann and his work in homeopathy. Paracelsus did not use homeopathy in the way Hahnemann used it; he did not conduct provings like Hahnemann and neither did he dilute and potentize doses. The processes of provings, potentizing and diluting remedies was exclusively established by Hahnemann. (Morrell, 1999) However, general consensus supports speculation that Hahnemann was in fact influenced by Paracelsus and his work. Hahnemann and the advancement in homeopathy were influenced by the law of similars, (Danciger,1987). This method is most attributed to Paracelsus and his extensive clinical use of it. Paracelsus was also known for using small and single doses in his practice, which is one of the main principles of classical homeopathy.(Danciger, 1987).
An article written by Peter Morrell, a contemporary homeopathic researcher published in (http://www.homeoint.org/morrell/articles/pm_alchem.htm) affirms conventional opinions that Hahnemann built upon the work of Paracelsus. He speculates the reason for Hahnemann’s disassociation with the alchemist as being related to the controversy surrounding Paracelsus and his method of healing. Morrell goes on to say ” The fact is that Hahnemann was a brilliant thinker and practitioner, he was very inventive and precise in everything he did, although he left very little evidence behind that he was influenced by Paracelsus’ work”. Both Hahnemann and Paracelsus were fascinated by chemicals , made use of poisons, minerals, acids and metals to heal disease. They both had university teaching posts and were denounced later on, and they both rebelled against the medical practices of their time.(Morrell, 1999)
Additionally, both Paracelsus and Hahnemann were opposed to the Galenic method, created by the roman physician Galen( AD 129-199), which was based on four humours: blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Galen’s methods were derived from Hippocrates’ and Aristotle’s views on the nature of men. It was the opinion of Paracelsus that the Galenic method was limited in its approach to illness. To Paracelsus, a true physician must have knowledge of illness and nature. It was in his work that Paracelsus merged his study of alchemy with his medical practice. He believed that only those who understood the mysterious work of nature could be true medical art practitioners and discover the power of the remedy. (Morrell, 1999)
The physician should be versed in all branches of philosophy, physics and alchemy as well, as thoroughly, as profoundly as possible and should not lack any knowledge in these fields. He should stand on solid ground, founded in truthfulness and highest experience. For, of all men, the physician is supreme in the study and knowledge of nature and her light, and that is what enables him to be a helper of the sick.” (Paracelsus Samtliche Werke Sudhoff Matheissen Edition, vol. 10, part I, pp 277-8)(Danciger, 1987, P14)
The followings are two separate, but extremely similar quotes written by both Paracelsus and Hahnemann, each during their own time, outlining their aversion to the way medicine was being practiced:
“I found that the medicine I had learned was faulty, and that those who had written about it, neither knew nor understood it. They all tried to teach what they did not know. They are vainglorious babblers in all their wealth and pomp…[Paracelsus in Das Buch Paragranum, quoted in Coulter,Vol. 1, p.346]( Morrell, 1999)
” The unholy chief business of the old medicine seems to be, out of ignorance, to render the majority of diseases if not fatal, then at least incurable through the continuous debilitating and tormenting of the weak patient who, moreover, is already suffering from a. his disease and b. the addition of a new destructive disease. This is a very easy business once one has got the knack of this ruinous procedure and has become properly insensitive to the warning of conscience!”(Hahnemann, 1843 P.3).
The fact remains that the two healers had very similar systems of practice; “indeed many of the metals, acids and minerals including Mercury, Arsenic, Sulphur, Tin, Lead, Gold, Iron, Copper and Salt that were proved by Hahnemann, were originally introduced into medicine by Paracelsus”. (Morrell, 1999)
Although Hahnemann denied any association with alchemy or Paracelsus’ ideas, the fact remains that there is an underlying link to alchemy in Hahnemann’s work that makes one safely assume that he had a great knowledge about this sacred art and science. (Morrell, 1999)
Alchemy and its philosophy and Principles
Alchemy, and its philosophies, are a highly complex study that forms the source of much discussion. Alchemy is a science that teaches about the transformation of metals. (Hauck, 2004). Roger Bacon a British alchemist, in his book titled Mirror of Alchemy stated:
” Alchemy is a science teaching how to make and compound a certain medicine called the Elixir, which when cast upon metals or imperfect bodies of any kind, fully perfects them in the very projection.” (Hauck, 2004. P. 21).
The Elixir to which Bacon makes reference is “Aracanum” also known through medieval tradition, Powder, and Stone. (Hauck, 2004) In the book “The Secret Of The Emerald Tablet,” written by Dr. Gottlieb Latz, he postulates that Arcanum has the ability to “perfect anything.” An example of this may be found during the metamorphosis of baser metals to gold. Latz also professes that the cure to disease and the power to make man whole, is within Arcanum (Latz, n.d).
Paracelsus himself proclaimed Archaues, a common name for what is now known as Archanums, as playing an important role in healing. He believed Archanum to be “an essence that is equally distributed in all parts of human body. He also believed Archanum is “the Spiritus Vitae (Spirit of life) and takes its origin from Spiritus Mundi (Spirit of Universe) ( Danciger, 1987). This relationship between the transcendentally-cosmic spirit “entities” and the study of metallic transformation will become more apparent when specific reference is made in the next section of this report.
Various studies in both homeopathy and alchemy have arrived at the generalized hypothesis/observation that during a person’s life there is present a finely diffused form of matter of a magnetic nature , not only enclosed in the body but that radiates within and around it like a luminous sphere. It is constantly renewed by the vital chemistry (Hauck, 2004). In homeopathy this is called the Life Force (Hahnemann, 1842, ref: Aph. 9). Once the breath has served its purpose, this diffused matter leaves the body. An alchemist may set free this vital principle in his lab, destroy the body of metal on which he is working, purify its salt and reassemble its principle together in a higher form.” (Hauck, 2004)
In alchemy the physical world is a manifestation of a spiritual reality. This greater reality is only understood by those who condition themselves to be loving and pure in heart (Danciger, 1987). To many practitioners of homeopathy this realization, in the form of spiritual self-actualization is the ultimate goal (Hahnemann, 1842). The assumedly divided nature of the physical and the spiritual is an inherently false assumption. (Hahnemann, 1842). We may understand that homeopathy’s alchemically-based mandate to treat the physical, mental and emotional conditions of a patient can be seen as unification between the physical-spiritual realms.
The Emerald Tablet
This ancient artifact is formed in seven paragraphs of Hermetic teaching. There are many hidden messages carried in this single piece of green Tablet that provides guidance on how to achieve a personal transformation on all physical, mental, and spiritual levels. Hermetic teaching is the source of alchemy and its practice. (Hauck, 2004). It is this researcher’s attempt to demonstrate that the messages of the Tablet, when decoded, provide guidance on the previously mentioned physical-mental-spiritual unification goal. In the provided reading below, (the complete transcript of the Emerald Tablet) the unification between the ultimate goals of homeopathy and alchemy become apparent. “In truth, without deceit, certain, and most veritable. That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and That which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to Accomplish the miracles of the One Thing. And just as all things have come from this One Thing, through the meditation of One Mind, so do all created things originate from this One Thing, through Transformation. It’s father is the Sun; it mother the Moon. The Wind carries it in its belly; its nurse is the Earth. It is the origin of All, the Consecration of Universe; its inherent Strength is perfected, If it is not turned into Earth. Separate the Earth from Fire, the Subtle from the Gross, gently And with great Ingenuity. It rises from Earth to Heaven and Descends again to Earth, thereby combining within Itself the Powers of both the Above and the Below. Thus will you obtain the Glory of the Whole Universe. All Obscurity will be clear to you. This is the greatest Force of all Powers, because it overcomes every Subtle thing and penetrates Every Solid thing. In this way was the Universe created. From this comes many wondrous Applications, because this is the Pattern. Therefore am I called Thrice Greatest Hermes, having all three parts of the wisdom of the Whole Universe. Herein have I completely explained the Operation of the Sun.” ( Hauck, 2004, P.8, 9)
Commentary of The Emerald Tablet:
This following section is dedicated to the interpretation and detailing of the homeopathic significance of the The Tablet. I will simplify and expound upon certain aspects relevant to the alchemy-homeopathy link.
The expression “Above” contains two concepts: The first, being the starting point, from which there is an Above; the second, the existence of an unlimited upwardness. Likewise, the expression “Below” also includes two concepts. The first, being the starting point from which there is a Below; the second, an unlimited downwardness. (Clark, 1996)
Above is like what is Below; Below is like what is Above. This concept is an infinite field with the centre being “the One Thing” from which above and below stretch infinitely. This infinite field is “The One Thing” itself. It is all things and no-things, and thus the most powerful point we can imagine. It is this field that can place us in relationship with everything that is to be and in this field nothing occurs outside the nature’s laws. (Clark, 1996)
The “miracles of the One Thing” is the interplay of nature’s law; nothing can be broken outside of it and everything humanity does here is the manipulation of the fundamental points of this natural One. (Clark, 1996) It is from this point that alchemy’s four elemental natures is seen to relate to homeopathy, and homeopathic purposes at the spiritual level.
Each alchemical force is associated with a specific density. The turning downward in elemental sense is Fire, the active force in a denser form of vibration. It is the power of conscious awareness that is manifested through the human being (Clark, 1996) .
The homeopathic relation to alchemy bases itself on the encapsulation and the resultant application of the alchemical forces and their meaning, when paralleled with the spiritual notions of “Above” and “Below”.
This conscious awareness reconnects with the “SELF” when it is turned more inward, clothed in the denser matter (Earth) and this turning inward upon itself is what initiates the cycle of return that brings us to the next equation: Force arising from Form. This separation of Force from Form will separate Subtle from Gross, separating itself from its Self, constantly shedding its clothes of Matter, the process of human introspection or alchemical putrefaction and fermentation. There are two processes of separation; First Earth is removed from Fire, the ascending of conscious awareness, then the Fire acts upon itself, and it is separated from its own essence; from its Gross aspect. This is the release of Self from Form which is the reversal of the creation process. To die and be born again on a higher octave. (Clark, 1996).
Human introspection can, through the deep interconnectedness between homeopathic notions of Above and Below and their respective alchemical connotations of Earth and Fire, be seen as the same concept as alchemical putrefaction (fermentation), that will be discussed in the upcoming sections.
Returning again to the ideas of density and vibration, conscious awareness will rise within the field through levels of vibration with great wisdom. This ascendence is from the Earth or The Below to the Heavens or The Above. The Force that originally descended into Form is no longer the same. It is now ascended, it has been transformed into a new form and it has the power or wisdom to ascend a new Form with an increased awareness of its nature as a Force. It is now that we have an integration of Above aspects of the Force with Below aspects of the Form. This is a picture of whole field of Above and Below that results in a self aware Force uniting Above with Below. (Clark, 1996)
The new active Force is clearly on a higher octave of existence, and of all works of wonder in the word. It has wisdom and understanding that illuminates all darkness, it is a reflection of the “One Thing” placed one octave lower than the “One Thing”. As a result there is a process of recreation where a new generation is created.(Clark, 1996)
This new generation is “the world” where everything is alive, where there is a constant circulation in the field between Above and Below, The world is the product of the “One Thing” . It is at the level of marvelous adaptation that we humans, as physical beings, intervene and work with the substance of the world. Conscious awareness of the physical body is the Force within the Form, the Above inhabiting the Below.(Clark, 1996)
In alchemy there are four fundamental forces, (Fire, Earth, Water and Air), however it includes the fifth element. This fifth widely used element is a unifying force that assists both mental and physical states as well as their related alchemical-homeopathic positions, the Above and the Below. Quintessence is the incarnation of the life force encountered in dreams and altered states of minds; the purest individual state of something or someone that one must understand in order to transform (Hauck, 2004).
Paracelsus commented on Quintessence when he said: “Nothing of true value is located in the body of a substance, but in the virtue thereof, and this is the principle of the Quintessence, which reduces, say 20 lbs. of a given substance into a single ounce, and that ounce far exceeds the 20 lbs. in potency. Hence the less there is of body, the more in proportion is the virtue thereof.” (Cockren, n.d,)
Is also known as The Prima, the Elixir of life, The Astral Body, the Salt of The World and the alchemist’s ultimate goal to reach. Philosopher’s Stone is the inner potential of the spirit, the reason to evolve from the lower states of imperfection to higher states of perfection. This is illustrated by baser metals, such as lead, and the progression to Gold. The goal of the GREAT WORK in alchemy is the Philosopher’s Stone, which immediately perfects any substance and state. When elixir is applied to the human body it cures disease and restores youth. The Stone is the symbol of incorruptible wisdom. (Hauck, 2004)
Homeopathy and its Philosophy and Principles
In order to properly give an overview of homeopathy and its philosophy a few important definitions must be given based on the practice of homeopathy.
Homeopath Dr. Rajan Sankaran , in his book Spirit of Homeopathy, defines health as :
“The man’s freedom to be in the moment and fulfill the purpose of life. Man, like all creatures is an instrument of the spirit and is assigned a specific purpose by it.”
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann describes health also as:
“In the healthy human state, the spirit-like life force that enlivens the material organism as dynamis, governs without restriction and keeps all parts of the organism in the admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both feelings and functions, so that our indwelling, rational spirit can freely avail itself of this living, healthy instrument for the HIGHER PURPOSE OF OUR EXISTENCE” ( Hahnemann,1842, Aph.9 P.65).
A passage mentioned earlier in the philosophy of alchemy is worth noting, as it stated the ultimate health as : “It is at the level of marvelous adaptation that humans, as physical beings, intervene and work with the substance of the world. Conscious awareness of the physical body is the Force within the Form, the ABOVE inhabiting the BELOW”. The material body without life force is unable to function. Life ‘s functions are only possible through the action of the immaterial Force that inhabits in the material body in both health and disease states.
No other statement is as brilliantly phrased as Dr. Hahnemann’s views on disease in Aph 11 of The Organon of Medical Art: “When a person falls ill, it is initially only this spirit like, autonomic life force, everywhere present in the organism, that is mistuned through the dynamic influence of a morbific agent inimical to life. Only the life principle, mistuned to such abnormality can impart to the organism the adverse sensations and induce in the organism the irregular functions that we call disease. The life principle is a power-wesen invisible in itself, only discernable by its effects on the organism. Therefore, its morbid mistunement only makes itself known by manifestations of disease in feelings and functions. In other words, the morbid mistunement of life principle makes itself discernable by disease symptoms; in no other way can it make itself known.”
Thus disease is a dynamic and invisible force within us that causes an imbalance of vital forces. Recognition may only be accomplished through manifested symptoms affecting the physical body. Vital force is not limited to the physical embodiment, but the spiritual too. Therefore, it may be concluded that disease is more than just a physical ailment but a spiritual one also. Everything in this world contains a visible and invisible form. The invisible is the inner spirit and the visible is the outer form. The visible can be observed with our five senses, but the inner spirit (the life force) should be sensed with intuition.(Hahnemann, 1842). In homeopathy we not only use our five senses to observe the patient and his/her symptoms but we need to train the inner eye of intuition to understand the deep inner spirit of the patient (Sankaran, 2007).
Classical homeopathy is based on the following important principles: The Law of similar, The minimum dose and the potentisation of remedies . The working of the life force to retain all parts of the organism in both feelings and functions in anadmirable and harmonious way. (Hahnemann, 1842)
Misha Norland in his book “Signatures, Miasms, Aids, Spiritual aspects of homeopathy” explains how these three principles are parallel with hermetic tradition, which is the basis of alchemy. “The cardinal principles of the hermetic world view are the following: Principle of unity, Principle of correspondence or analogies , Principle of polarity, Principle of levels of consciousness or planes of existence.” ( Norland, 2003, p.11)
Principle of unity:
Everything is related to the ultimate level of existence ” the ONE”. To reach this ultimate and higher purpose of existence is to achieve this unity and at a personal level. The goal of science is to explain nature as a rational whole. Scientists like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein searched in a mathematical way to explain this unifying theory. Homeopathy’s search of this unity is clearly stated by Hahnemann in Aph. 9 of the Organon that was mentioned earlier. To reach this unity is the ultimate goal, so that our indwelling reason gifted mind can freely employ this living healthy instrument for the HIGHER PURPOSE OF OUR EXISTENCE”.(Norland, 2003)
Principle of correspondences or analogies:
This expresses the similarity of Form and Force between the microcosm and macrocosm (the subtle and gross), the reflection of the individual in the universe. The correspondence between heaven and earth, “as Above, so Below”. That which is Below is like unto that which is Above. This principle in homeopathy corresponds with the law of similars, like cures like. (Norland, 2003) What is the law of similars? Pathos is the Greek word for suffering and Homios-pathos means similar suffering and to cure “like with like” (Hahnemann, 1842). Hahnemann writes in one of his essays about the power of the medicinal substances based on the law of similars:
” Every powerful medicinal substance produces in the human body a kind of peculiar disease; The more powerful the medicine, the more peculiar and marked violent the disease. We should imitate nature, which sometimes cures a chronic disease by another and employs in the disease we wish to cure, that medicine which is able to produce another very similar artificial disease, and the former will be cured; similia similibus.”(Hahnemann,1842)
He explores this idea more readily in Aph. 24 of Organon:
“In homeopathy, a medicine is sought for the totality of symptoms of the disease case, with regards for the originating cause and for the accessory circumstances…a medicine is sought which (among all medicines whose condition-altering abilities are known for having been tested in healthy individuals- provings) has the power and tendency to engender the artificial disease state most similar to that of the case of the disease in the person.”
Principle of polarity:
Drawing from every worldly example, everything has a polar opposite. In the physical world, the human consciousness has allowed for the categorization of substances. To comprehend the relationship between objects, the brain must group objects based on characteristics and observed properties. Just as the notion of ‘wet’ corresponds to that of the property, ‘dry’, alchemical thought too has polarized its inclusive ideas. Above is teamed with Below, Darkness with Lightness, Fire with Water, Lead with Gold, Saturn with the Sun.
In homeopathy, this polarity is expressed in accordance with Hahnemann’s principles of “the primary” and “the secondary” action. (Norland, 2003) An understanding of these terms is essential in case-taking, analysis, proving and interpreting the Materia Medica. The Primary state is when the disease first expresses itself; this being said, it is the uncompensated state. The Secondary state is the compensated state. It is a way that we adapt in any way necessary to continue our survival. Homeopathy uses these two states to describe the progress of a disease and the development of pathology in remedies. If the disease state is not transformed into health, we can see a progression from compensated to uncompensated and to decompensated states. When a patient is given the right remedy, the symptoms will be intensified because the symptoms of the artificial disease are added to the natural symptoms. (law of similars); this presents the primary action of the remedy; following this primary action of the remedy the vital force reacts in an equal and opposite manner to this stimulus,(Norland, 2003).
From a scientific viewpoint, the Third Law of Newtonian Mechanics states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. (Stern, 2006). This law is carried out in the alchemical vein by describing the ‘related dichotomy’ of positioning: “that which was Above will go Below and that which is Below will go Above”. As it states in The Emerald Tablet: With great capacity (Wisdom) it ascends from Earth to Heaven. Again it descends to Earth and takes back the power of the Above and the Below. Thus you will receive the glory of distinctiveness of the world. All obscurity will flee from you. (Clark, 1996,)
Principle of levels of consciousness or planes of existence:
There are three levels of consciousness: creative, destructive, and balancing/maintaining. They give rise to the alchemical elements of Earth, Water Fire, Air and the fifth element. These principles in homeopathy are : the spirit, the dynamis or the vital force that direct the body into function and feelings, and the third one is the physical body itself. The harmonious flow between these three levels is wholeness, that gives rise to the five elements in balancing manner. (Norland, 2003)
By reading the following quote from Hahnemann the researcher observes that homeopathy and alchemy look at the planes of existence through the same eyes:
“Human life is in no respect regulated by purely physical laws, which only obtain inorganic substances. The material substances of which the human organism is composed no longer follow, in this vital combination, the laws to which material substances in the inanimate condition are subject; they are regulated by the laws peculiar to vitality alone, they are themselves animated and vitalized as the whole system is animated and vitalized. Here a nameless fundamental power reigns omnipotent which abrogates all the tendency of the component parts of the body to obey the laws of gravitation, of momentum, of the vis inertia, of fermentation, of putrefaction and etc, and brings them under the wonderful laws of life alone, in other words, maintains them in the condition of sensibility and activity necessary to the preservation the living whole, a condition almost spiritually dynamic.”(Hahnemann, 1835)
Alchemical Stages or Operations of Alchemy
The following seven stages are the steps to alchemical transmutation. Understanding these stages or operations is a guide to understanding a deeper level of action of the remedies, the patients’ states, the process of case taking, the process of healing in the patient and most importantly, a deeper understanding of the practitioner’s own level of existence in relation to the patient and the world around. Understanding these can guide us to break the chains of delusions that can keep The Man away from the freedom of health.
This is the first stage, it is the burning process, it is the burning of the ego in the fires of higher awareness, it is the burning within, the releasing of energies from repressed passed traumas and emotions. By releasing this energy and bringing them to the surface one is faced with them and has to deal with them. One must allow the fires of calcinations to burn them away and destroy the ego.(Hauck, 2004)
“Calcination is a natural humbling process as we are gradually assaulted and overcome by the trials and tribulations of life.” (Hauck, 2004 P.188)
Calcination in the alchemist’s lab is the process of heating a substance over the flames of a purposeful fire, (there needs to be an intend behind this fire, this alchemical fire is not just an ordinary one, the alchemist sets an intend and meditates before starting his fire, until it is reduced to ashes. (Hauck, 2004)
Fire is a very important element for alchemists. Fulcanelli the 20th century alchemist states: “All our purifications are done in fire, by fire and with fire. Alchemists considered acids, especially Vitriol, as a kind of liquid fire that also was considered a process of calcination. Vitriol is a thick green substance that forms from the weathering of sulfur-bearing rocks. It is a combination of iron and sulfuric acid that fascinated the alchemists. Sulfuric acid became the fire that drove hundreds of chemical reactions. It is a powerful corrosive that eats away flesh and all metals except gold. In the body, calcinations starts at the base chakra also known as Lead chakra which is located at the sacral region”. (Hauck, 2004, P.187).
This second stage is when the ashes of calciantion are dissolved by acid or water. These ashes are also called the ‘Salt of the Stone’; it carries all the essences of a substance. It is these essences that later will become the “Philosopher’s Stone”. In the body dissolution takes place in the genital chakra also known as Tin chakra which has an affinity to the lungs and spleen. In this stage there is a journey to unconscious mind. This stage can be seen in dreams, visions, delusions or non-rational mind. In this stage one can experience anxiety, fear, denial and illusion. There might be mental and emotional breakdown. But facing this breakdown is very important for preceding the next stages.( Hauk, 2004)
“During dissolution, the conscious mind lets go of control to allow the surfacing of buried material and tied up energy.”(Hauk, 2004, P.189).
This is the separation of the essence and isolation of components of dissolution. Any dead or useless material is discarded and separated from filtration. There is a war between the opposite components within the pure and impure, therefore this is the most demanding and difficult stage in alchemy. The struggle is between the conditioned world, the world that Man has created for himself through his delusions and the other world of reality, the world of consciousness, a world much different than the opposing conditioned one; where one can differentiate between the world of ego that was burned in flames of calcinations, and a world that has let go of ego in the dissolution stage. This stage in the body is seen in solar plexus or Iron chakra (Hauck, 2004) ” The rediscovery of our essence and the reclaiming of dream and visionary ‘Gold’ previously rejected by the masculine, rational part of minds. It retrieves the frozen energy released from the breaking down of habits and crystallized thoughts;(assumptions, beliefs and prejudices) and hardened feelings (emotional blockages, neuroses and phobias).” (Hauck, 2004, p.191)
At this stage the remaining elements from separation are recombined into a new one, done by fusing or amalgamating the metals or by adding a temporary mediator such as an acid or a catalyst. It is the joining of the two opposite sides; masculine and feminine forces; the gross and subtle. It is crucifixion of the substance or the alchemist; the fixing to a cross; a cross between the Vertical and Horizontal axes of reality. In the vertical axis there is the union of the spirit and the matter (The Above and the Below). In the horizontal axis there is a union of masculine and feminine consciousness. It indicates the balancing between the Soul and the Spirit. In the body, conjunction takes place in the heart chakra or the copper chakra where the sexual energies are used for personal transformation. Conjunction is the turning point between the first three operations (in the Matter) and the last three Operations (in the Spirit). In this unification of the masculine and feminine side, consciousness takes on a new intuitive state. To alchemists this is known as the Lesser Stone, this is the state when the alchemist will know what to do next to achieve the ultimate enlightenment. The occurrence of synchronicities in the alchemist’s life will confirm that he is on the right track. (Hauck, 2004)
This is the stage where there is a new life introduced to the conjunction’s child that is raised to a new level of existence, to a higher octave of being. There are two steps to this process: Putrefaction and Fermentation. The first is rotting and decomposition of the matter and the second is coming alive again in the spirit (also seen as rebirth).
“Destruction brings about the Death of the material. But the spirit renews, like before, the Life. Provided that the seed is putrefied in the right soil – otherwise all labor, work, and art will be in vain.” (Daniel Stolcius, Chemisches Lustgaertlein, 1625, publication unknown, page unknown)(Hauck, 2004. P. 195) In the alchemical lab this process starts with rotting of the substance.(Hauck, 2004)
“The alchemists often added manure to help get the process going. The sign that putrefaction is nearing its end is a milky white fluid that appears like a tunnel of white light in the black, rotting material. The dead material seems to come to life again with an influx of digesting bacteria, as Fermentation begins. This is the introduction of new life into the product of Conjunction to revive and rejuvenate it in a process of spiritization. Finally, out of the utter blackness of Putrefaction comes the yellow Ferment, which appears like a golden wax flowing out of the foul matter. Chinese alchemists called this substance the Golden Pill, which marked their intermediary Yellow Phase (the Xanthosis), an alchemical transition also recognized by Alexandrian alchemists.
The production of the Ferment or Golden Pill is a sign of the formation of a shiny, oily film the alchemists named the Cauda Pavonis (“Peacock’s Tail”). We see this process most clearly in the making of wine. First, the grapes are “sacrificed” or crushed to release their essences in the juice. Then, Putrefaction begins as the juice is allowed to decompose and rot. Next, a white layer of digesting bacteria arises that begins the process of Fermentation. This phase is also sometimes marked by a waxy substance the alchemists called the Ferment, and an oily film known as the Peacock’s Tail. Finally, the new life force “overcomes” the original identity of the grape juice and replaces it with a new and higher presence or life.This higher presence is released during the next operation (Distillation), which produces the true Spirit of Wine (its alcohol), and contains the purified essence of grapes.” (Hauck, 2004, P.196)
This is the stage of death of any weakness and frailness that is followed by resurrection to the new existence. The despair gives way to meaningful visions. The blackness gives way to peacock’s tail. In the body, it takes place in the throat chakra or mercury chakra. The throat or Mercury chakra is responsible for vibrations that come in the form of voice and speech. (Hauck, 2004)
It is known to be the key operation in alchemy. It is the release of unstable essences of the imprisoned matter. In chemistry any combination that is unstable will not last in the formula, the elements will release energy to be broken down. This energy again in condensed in a purified form; known as the “Mother of the Stone”. It is the rising from Earth to Heaven and coming back to Earth in a purified form when the powers of Above and Below are combined within. This is the white stage of alchemy, the purification stage. After distillation there is sublimation, which is condensing the liquid into solid in a more pure form. In chemistry distillation is when a solution is boiled and condensed to raise its concentration and therefore purity. It is freedom from emotions and sentimentality, cutting off from personal identity. This stage in the body takes place in the forehead area, also called the third eye, where the pineal and pituitary glands are; it is also known as brow or silver chakra. (Hauck, 2004) “On the Planetary level,” Distillation is the realization of the power of higher love, as the life force on the entire planet gradually seeks to become one force in nature based on a shared vision of Truth.”(Hauck, 2004, P.199).
This is the seventh stage. It is the appearance of the Stone or Lapidum. There is a fusion of fermented product of conjunction with the sublimated energy that was released through distillation. Now the purest essence of the body and soul have come together” The Glory of The Whole Universe”, the union of spirit and matter. This is the stage of a new confidence and evolution of mind, when the existence on all levels of reality under the light of evolved consciousness and knowledge of truth is possible. This is when the body exists in a state of health, when all the cells are nourished and energized by this elixir of life. Through crown chakra or gold chakra a Second body, a body of light emerges. (Hauk, 2004)
The relationship of homeopathy to the seven stages of alchemy On the level of remedy preparation:
The researcher invites the reader to look at the preparation of a few remedies (certain peculiar remedies) by Hahnemann in which he used the three stages of alchemy: calcination, distillation and sublimation.(Morrell, 1999) Causticum:
‘”Take a piece of freshly burned lime of about two pounds, dip this piece into a vessel of distilled water for about one minute, then lay it in a dish, in which it will soon turn into powder with the development of much heat and its peculiar odour, called lime-vapor. Of this fine powder take two ounces and mix with it in a (warmed) porcelain triturating bowl a solution of two ounces of bisulphate of potash, which has been heated to red heat and melted, cooled again and then pulverized and dissolved in two ounces of boiling hot water. This thickish mixture is put into a small glass retort, to which the helm is attached with wet bladder; into the tube of the helm is inserted the receiver half submerged in water; the retort is warmed by the gradual approach of a charcoal fire below and all the fluid is distilled over by applying the suitable heat. The distilled fluid will be about an ounce and a half of watery clearness, containing in concentrated form the substance mentioned above, i.e., Causticum; its smells like the ley of caustic Potash…‘”(Hahnemannn,1835, P.559)
Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum:
“A mixture of equal parts of finely powdered, clean oyster shells and quite pure flowers of sulphur is kept for ten minutes at a white heat in a hermetically closed crucible and afterwards stored up in a well-corked bottle. To develop its powers, it is treated like other dry drugs in order to potentize it to the higher degrees, according to the directions at the end of the first volume.” (Hahnemann,1835, reprinted in 2005, P.762)
“Half an ounce of purified tartar, moistened with a few drops of water, is pressed together into a ball, which is rolled up into a piece of paper and allowed to dry; then it is brought to a red heat between the glowing charcoal of a grate [or of a draught furnace]. It is then taken out, laid in a porcelain saucer and covered with a linen cloth; it is allowed to attract moisture from the air in a cellar, which causes the alkaline salt partially to deliquesce, and, if allowed to stay there a few weeks, it will deposit even the last trace of lime. A clear drop of this preparation is then triturated three times with 100 grains of sugar of milk…” (Hahnemann,1835, P.805)
It is in the researcher’s carefully examined observations that the words and techniques employed by Hahnemann’s description of homeopathic remedy preparation are clear indications of the founder of homeopathy’s integration of alchemical and hermetic wisdom.
The intention behind the preparation of the above remedies holds great significance to this homeopathy-alchemy connection. Hahnemann clearly instructed that homeopaths are to prepare their own remedies, (Hahnemann, 1842). The researcher has also drawn a conclusion that homeopath’s intention is like the intention of the alchemist before entering the lab: many alchemists without pure intentions entered their labs and tried to transmute the base metals into gold but were never successful in their endeavors. (Hauck, 2004)
This same lack of success is similar to the pursuits of those who tried to duplicate Hahnemann’s experiment many times but reached different results. It is not just the combination of the elements that is important, but the process and the intent plays a major role in remedy preparation. (Morrell, 1999)
“The Idea of ‘ash’ is that it is the reduced form of substance into its spiritual form, this is what the alchemists, (and Hahnemann) did by trituraiton. It reduces a substance into something in between the material and the immaterial. Dust is therefore one of the most powerful symbols of duality.”( the detail reference of this quote is unknown)
In the following paragraphs, I would like to point out a few extracts from alchemical texts that were demonstrated by Peter Morrell to observe the parallel between the homeopathic remedy preparation and the preparation of alchemical medicine.
“Preparation of corals to restrain menstruum and profluvium…make a mixture, reduce by calcination through the fourth grade of reverberation for 12 hours or more; afterwards reduce by ablution with water and plantain.” (Paracelsus, Alchemical Medicine, 1987,Alchemical Press, n.d on original manuscript was found , p.20)(Morrell,1999)
“Concerning magnet…it has virtue for wounds and ulcers…of magnet…of calyx of eggs…set in layers in a crucible. Place in a fire of reverberation a day and a night..Extract and it will be prepared…”(Paracelsus, Alchemical Medicine, 1987,Alchemical Press, n.d on original manuscript was found , p.22)(Morrell,1999)
“Concerning silver, the virtue of silver obtains in complaints of the cerebrum, the spleen, the liver, and in the retention of profluvium…arrange in layers and reduce to the fourth grade of reverberation for 24 hours…” (Paracelsus, Alchemical Medicine, 1987,Alchemical Press, n.d on original manuscript was found p.32)(Morrell, 1999)
To observe another parallel between the science of alchemy and the science of homeopathy, the following paragraphs detail the identical principles of homeopathy and alchemy in dealing with physical-spiritual transmutation (exemplified by the transformation of the Thing to No Thing)
Alchemy is the science of multiplication and is based upon the natural phenomenon of growth. “Nothing from nothing comes,” is a primordial saying. Alchemy is the process that increases and improves that which already exists. Another primordial statement is that “within everything is the seed of everything although by the simple processes of nature, it may remain latent for many centuries, or its growth may be exceedingly slow. (Hall, 1928)
The process of dynamisation is one of the principles of homeopathy ( Hahnemann, 1842). It is the transforming of matter into energy. As Hahnemann states, disease is dymanis and a true medical art practitioner must understand the dynamic quality of the disease as well as the dynamic quality of the medicine. So to cure disease in a human body that is energetic, one needs a medicine which is energetic and not in a crude form. Therefore energy is released from matter. (Hahnemann, 1842) “Today, alchemy and science (especially quantum physics) are converging on a single view of the universe. Einstein’s equation of the universe (E=mc2) is alchemy as it is in modern physics. Energy (E) is sulphur; mass (m) is salt; and light is mercury. For both alchemist and physicist, energy and matter are really the same thing whose expression and form is determined by the intermediary of light. In fact, if that little “c” in Einstein’s equation stood for “consciousness” instead of ‘light” there would be no difference between alchemy and modern science.” (Hauck, 2004, P. 59, 60)
This statement can be compared to the homeopathic process of dynamisation where the medicinal properties hidden in the crude substance are raised to a higher level and become energetic so they can act on the energetic level of our existence.
“For its own special purpose, the homeopathic medical art develops to a formerly unheard of degree, the internal, spirit-like medicinal powers of crude substances. It does so by means of a procedure which belongs exclusively to it (and which was untried before my time) whereby these substances become altogether more than ever-indeed, immeasurably- penetratingly effective and helpful, even those substances which, in their crude state do not manifest the least medicinal power in the human body (such as gold). This remarkable alteration in the properties of natural bodies is achieved through mechanical action on their smallest particles by trituration and sucussion, while these particles are separated from one another by means of an intervening, indifferent substance that is either dry or liquid. This procedure develops the latent dynamic powers of the substance which were previously unnoticeable, as if slumbering. The dynamic powers of these substances mainly have an influence on the life principle, on the condition of animal life. Therefore this process is called dynamisation or potentisation (development of the medicinal power). Its products are called dynamisations or potencies of different degrees. (Hahnemann, 1842, Aph 269, p 235, 236)
From the above statements, one can conclude, upon preparation of the homeopathic medicines, the homeopath transcends Avogadro’s number. Since energy and mass are inversely proportional, the more highly potentised the medicine the less substance exists, the more energy is released. As mentioned before, the power of intention in preparing these medicines is important, because intention has a direct effect on energy.
On The level of case-taking and the relationship between the homeopath and patient:
” The unprejudiced observer, even the most sharp witted one, knowing the nullity of supersensible speculations which are not born out in experience, perceives nothing in each single case of disease other than the alteration in the condition of the body and soul…”(Hahnemann, 1842, Aph. 6, P. 62, 63)
What is the alchemical basis of homeopathic case-taking? It is to be an unprejudiced observer, to have no preconceived notion. If remembrance is given to the second stage in alchemy (separation), one can recognize the fundamental value of ‘letting go’ of any ideas, beliefs and prejudices the homeopath may have when taking a case. (Cicchetti, 2001). With relation to alchemy, the homeopath’s acceptance of a patient is similar to the alchemist entering his lab. Just like the alchemist walking into the lab, the homeopath must have clear intention and an unbiased, honest viewpoint before and during the treatment of the patient. The alchemist must not focus on his ego when entering the lab. The homeopath must relinquish his or her biases and beliefs for the duration of their patient’s visit. This attitude, in both alchemy and homeopathy, has an important effect on the work and the outcome. (Ciccetti, 2000/Hauck 2004)
A homeopath while taking a case, must allow the essence of the vital force to emerge from conscious and unconscious levels of existence of the patient; or even deeper than the emergence of this essence is the “Undistilled substance of “Prima Materia” of anamnesis, indeed of alchemical transformation.(Cicchetti, 2001).
To find the right remedy (similimum), is similar to the “separation” stage of alchemy, where the parts of a substance are separated, so that later on they can be put together through conjunction as a whole. The consciousness and ability of the homeopath separates the characteristic symptoms from the peculiar ones. They then go onto the stage of conjunction or second transformation. Once conjunction takes place the practitioner obtains the “red thread” that flows through the case and can lead him/her to finding the similimum. What happens when the patient takes the similimum? First there is the initial aggravation and return of old suppressed symptoms (the putrefaction and fermentation). This is also called the process of healing; this process must take place in order for health to be achieved (Cicchetti, 2001).
Most physical ailments are directly connected to the mental and emotional state; they derive from the delusions and false perceptions (Sankaran 2007). This is exemplified in the failed state of a patient whose matched remedy is Nux-vomica. On a physical plane the patient is suffering from many gastric issues; there is constipation, bloating, allergies, angina pectoris, breathing issues, debility and many other physical symptoms that he/she is dealing with at this state. But the delusion of the Nux patient that is at a deeper level, is that someone has sold his bed or has invaded his place of comfort. Such patient finds relief in the use of stimulants such as coffee, alcohol or sex. (Sankaran 2005). This is the delusion that, if not dealt with at an early stage, will drive the patient to experience all the physical ailments associated with the Nux personality. It will also drive him to possible isolation and other mental disorders (Sankaran, 2005). It is therefore safe to draw the conclusion that this false identity and poisoned ego that fights for survival must undergo alchemically-based Calcination; the burning of this tainted ego must take place for healing to occur.
The next stage of healing marks the collapse of false structures of psyche and the conscious mind will let go of control (alchemically manifest in Dissolution stage). Journeying further down the healing path, the imprisoning habits will break down. These habits are isolated and filtered by the further evolved conscious mind. Any habit and attitude that is useless and serves no purpose, other than imprisoning the conscious mind, will be discarded and the ones that move the patient through reaching the inner gold will be kept (Separation) and recombined into a new thought (Conjunction). Most healings when reaching this level will further drive the conscious mind towards fermentation and resurrection to a new level of being (Ramsey, 1997).
A true state of health is achieved when the patient goes beyond this stage into distillation, where all the impurities from the inflated ego have been lifted. Then comes the last stage of healing, the final stage, the emerging of the stone, where the individual finds the inner gold, where he is free from the imprisoning ego that moves the disease into the body and soul; when the matter and spirit are reunited. (Ramsey, 1997)
On the level of homeopath’s personal journey:
The single quote that captures the exact essence of what it means to be a healer was stated by Mother Teresa:
“From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. If your heart is full of love, you will speak of love.”
Embodied in this quote is the advice to embrace the unbiased, in order to help your patient heal even before you give them a remedy:
“Healing is a gift, and your presence as a healer can be a gift in itself, if you give your patients your attention, your respect and your love”. As Mother Teresa said, (quoted above), you will help your patient heal even before you give her a remedy. Don’t be discouraged if you make a mistake. I have made many mistakes along the way and I have learned from them. I have been practicing alternative medicine for nearly 30 years and I have never stopped learning.” ( De Schepper,2001, p xii)
The opening line of Dr. Samuel Hahneman’s Organon of Medical Art is:
“The physician’s highest and ONLY calling is to make the sick healthy, to cure, as it is called.”(Hahnemann, 1842, Aph. 1, P.60).
This researcher’s view, and the conclusion of the opening aphorism of Organon of the Medical art, is expressed in the following section. Many people claim that their choice of profession was divinely inspired, or that they had a ‘calling’ to that career. What is a ‘calling’? Why did Samuel Hahnemann refer to the art of homeopathy as such? It is this researcher’s conclusion from reading Hahnemann’s writings, that a homeopath is more than just a physician who focuses only on mechanical functioning of the human body; a homeopath seeks to penetrate the patient more deeply- to probe his or her soul. (Sankaran 2007). To reach the highest calling the homeopath must go Beyond, Below, and Above. He must take himself and the patient from the alchemical position of that which is Below to that which is Above and in reverse: from Above to that which is Below in order to initiate health on all planes of existence (what is referred to as “The Glory of the Whole Universe.”)
“Alchemy takes time, as love takes time and gold takes time. It is not a quick fix, as every alchemist knows, it requires forbearance and patience and more patience, as we recognize that the timing is not simply our own. Alchemy’s work of making Heaven on Earth turns us both inward and outward at the same time: we live more deeply in our world as well as see more where we are as part of the larger cosmic picture. What alchemy stands for, is not only knowledge but also wisdom. Knowledge learnt and suffered through experience. (Ramsey, 1997, P.7-8)
“Alchemy is about wholeness, about the whole of who we are, and about living whole rather than partial and suppressed lives. Wholeness by definition means inclusion rather than denial. Wholeness means looking at what we haven’t lived: at what is in the shadow of who we think we are, or who we have so far been. And this is where the potency of alchemy lies, because in that recognition is a place where we can no longer escape ourselves, a place of confrontation where we Work, and the process it entails, begins.” ( Ramsey,1997,P.7).
The two major phases of the Work in alchemy : AS ABOVE, SO BELOW and AS WITHIN, SO WITHOUT have two aspects:
The first aspect is mastery over “prima material” or first matter, the raw subject which is the chaos that exists both inside the Man and in his life. This raw material is one’s own hidden stone that one needs to get a hold of. The conscious mind must descend to this unconscious in order to feel and experience, instead of to think and control. The impurities of this raw material that need to go through fermentation and distillation are the psyche’s complexes, resistances and blockages. The “lead within”, is that which brings one to the lowest of the lows, a place that is under the surface of the conscious mind. It is a dark place, and yet one that the person must find and face, (or perhaps let it find him). The discovery and acceptance of this “inner lead” is a necessary requisite for the person to move on the second aspect on his journey through the phases of health (Ramsey, 1997).
The second aspect is the process of creating inwardly a body that relates to consciousness; the new life; resurrection. (Ramsey, 1997). Triggered by the discovery and acceptance of the dark within, the person must venture within his own mind in a process of deep introspection in order to create a body that can be reborn (Ramsey 1997) .
From the above statement and the previous statements on the healing journey of the patient, I conclude that, in homeopathy, everyone who sets foot on this path of practicing his life and work must walk through these two phases, so he/she can walk other humans through this path using the two sacred practices of alchemy and homeopathy.
The alchemical metals and the homeopathic understanding of them:
The seven metals associated with alchemy are gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, tin and lead. Each of these metals corresponds respectively to the seven planets of Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Alchemists understood the certain characteristics of each of these metals and the corresponding planet. The alchemists believed that each metal had the same virtue as the corresponding planet and that a single spirit was infused in both of them. Integrating this belief in planetary-metallic duality with the idea that the metal was in fact the terrestrial manifestation of this force, the alchemists drew strong links between celestial bodies and base and high metals on the Earth. .(Hauck, 2004)
“Alchemists referred to the sum total of the cosmic signature of the metals as a person’s temperament. Originally the word referred to the metallurgical process of “tempering” or mixing different metals or to produce certain characteristics in an alloy.” (Hauck,2004, P.109).
Homeopaths such as Dr. Rajan Sankaran and Jan Scholten presented a very interesting understanding of these metals that is beyond the mechanical rubrics used in Repertories and Materia Medicas written by the old masters. However what is also interesting, is Hahnemann’s interest in proving these seven metals in his time. I’ll explore the ever-expanding connections between homeopathy and alchemy in this section. Comparisons between alchemical, astrological and homeopathic understanding and ascribed properties of each metal will be made.
Lead is the symbol of heaviness for matter. Heavy metals disintegrated by radioactive decay over time return to the form of lead. In alchemy lead is the most important metal, this grey, dead metal with such unattractive darkness has a spark hidden deep inside like a secret fire. This fire is the basis of transforming lead to gold. So within this dark and heavy metal there is a message of hope for mankind for its own transformation. Lead unites two opposite forces, the heavy, dark and rigid with rejuvenating inner fire. The lead process is connected with death and resurrection. (Hauck 2004)
Lead is also known as Plumbum in homeopathy. The main picture of people who need this remedy on the mental plane is slowness of perception, weakness, loss of memory, sadness, apathy. On the physical plane the pathologies are manifested as gradual paralysis, sclerotic conditions, colic, degeneration of nerves and loss of power in the limbs (Sankaran, 2005). Also in homeopathy lead is used to treat sclerosis and the hardening of bones and arteries, which is characteristic of old age and a signature of lead (Hauck, 2004).
It is the furthest planet from the sun, and from the Earth it looks like a slow moving yellowish grey star. Alchemy’s view of Saturn is that mankind must return to Saturn to redeem it and complete its transformation, spiritization and rebirth. Saturn therefore stands at the border between death and rebirth. (Hauk, 2004)
The Tin temperament focuses more on sensuality and greater interaction with others than the leaden person It is used to promote abundance, prosperity and success in business, stimulation, energy, healing and rejuvenation. Alchemists also used this metal to treat liver affections, eczema, water retention, liquid ovarian cysts and certain types of obesity. (Hauck, 2004)
The homeopathic term for Tin is Stannum. It is used to strengthen and regenerate muscle and brain tissue. It is used for joints and connective tissue of ligaments and cartilage, liver disease, congestion, hardening of tissues, encephalitis and other issues where fluid balance is disturbed. (Radar, Homeopathic Software, 10.5 Version). According to Sankaran, there is failure in performance and a feeling of being empty, weak and drained.
The attributes of Jupiter are expansion, fluency, joviality, abundance, prosperity, growth and success. Jupiter represents active, masculine energy and authority and is said to convey an aristocratic demeanor over those born under the astrological sign. It produces a state of mind over matter, a world of creativity (Hauck, 2004).
The Iron temperament is a will to power and to control others; concerns about providing for material needs in the world; there are characteristics of anger, uncontrolled and aggressive assertion, ego identity and will power. In the human body iron is found in the blood and liver. Blood provides energy and clear thinking and the liver is associated with positivity and will power. It is the carrier of life force and a rejuvenator, but too much of it is destructive to life and makes the living system rigid and mechanical. In alchemy the oil was used for purifying blood and rejuvenating, healing the wounds and cuts, soothing the gall bladder, stimulating the pancreas, healing bleeding ulcers, strengthening bone marrow, increasing the organism’s sensitivity, enhancing instincts, and enhancing passion. (Hauck, 2004)
The picture of Iron (Ferrum) in homeopathy is: preserving, persistent and thoroughness in tasks; self-enforcing routine and discipline. The Iron type faces opposition through control and is irrefutable in his position to avoid failure. Usually attracted to discipline-focused careers like military work, the personality may fail due to an overt use of force, (Scholten, 2007). On the physical level it is a remedy used for anaemia, cancer, paralysis, vertigo, conjunctivitis, low and high blood pressure, liver complaints and problem with shoulders.(Radar 10.5 Version). “I must protect and defend. I have to resist the pressure and opposition. The person is compelled to do something against his/her wishes and has to fight against it.” (Sankaran, 2005 p.38)
Mars represents the animal soul, passions and the survival instinct. The Martian qualities reinforce the ego of individuality and strengthen personality. This red planet provides us with the energy to act, to begin a new project. Mars is also known as a powerful God of War ( Hauck, 2004).
A representative of arts, mystical love and earthly relationships, the alchemical profile of this metal is a speech and touch-based temperament with a balanced feeling and ascending mind. Copper needs to work the element of Earth (the corresponding planet of copper is Venus). So in the alchemical transmutation of copper, one can experience Free Will and can be liberated from buried emotions, addictions, instincts and impulses. When used in conjunction with too much Earth element, Copper can produce somebody who is too user-centered, materialistic and selfish. The alchemists used copper also in treating physical conditions such as thyroid problems, sexual dysfunction, poor circulation, cramps, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.(Hauck, 2004)
The picture of Cuprum (Copper) in homeopathy is a cramped mind, hardworking, serious people who don’t want to lose control; they follow and love rules because it gives them a sense of security. Their fears are from failure, opposition, being approached, strangers and criticism. The main physical manifestations are cancer, leucopenia, epilepsy, cramps, paralysis, diseases of liver and spasms of throat and esophagus (Scholten, 2007).
The brightest planet in the sky is called evening star and has two sides. The earthy side that represents the attracting and beautifying power that is displayed more in possession and money, and the other side represents harmony in all things. In mythology Venus was attracted to Mars which was the god of war. Overall Venus is the goddess of love, beauty and peace and the acceptance of the Natural Law. (Hauck, 2004)
Mercury is the symbol of life force; it is also connected with the forces of death and decay. As mercury is transmuted a sense of trust and sublimity is developed. Alchemists believed that mercury was the key to transformation of metals because it moistens and dissolves metals the way water dissolves salts. It is at the level of mercury’s transmutation that fermentation begins. In Indian alchemy mercury is called rasa, which is the cosmic chaos where the universe has leaped from. Since its signature is life and growth, it has been associated with the twisted serpents such as the medical caduceus, shamanic serpents and even the structure of DNA. Mercury rules intellect, reasoning, writing and speech. It has an effect on vocal cords, throat, lungs and lymph glands. It brings on mental clarity and better functioning of the nerves (Hauck, 2004) .
The homeopathic picture of mercury is defined on all three planes of health. On the mental level, the person is reserved, withdrawn, and needs to feel contact to communicate. There is, however a desire to communicate, although it is obstructed by stammering. Highly suspicious, the Mercury personality believes that everybody is an enemy. He is often depressed, has a delusion that he is a criminal and suffers from phobic states. Maismatically it is from syphilitic miasm which indicates destruction and decay. The defense mechanism is weak and there is inefficiency in the organism. There is inflammation in the throat and glands. Mercury has been used homeopathically to treat AIDS, syphilis, bone marrow problems, CNS problems and snake bites. (Radar – 10.5 version)
Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, and the swiftest planet that rules the intellect, speech and reasoning. It represents the marriage of spirit and soul to produce the new body of the Philosopher’s Child. It symbolizes contact, communication, flow and flexibility. Mercury also governs the blood circulation, breathing, nerves signals, thought process, and the communication between the organs (Hauck, 2004) .
In Alchemy: It is the metal nearest the perfection of gold. It is associated with the soul. With the transmutation of silver, intuition reaches its highest level of perfection and one moves beyond the limitations of time and space. There is a deep connection with cosmos. The alchemists worked with this metal using the operation of distillation. Silver is sedative and has a cooling effect. There are aspects of interest in family and relationships, sensitivity and imagination. Silver in the physical body affects the female reproductive system, menstruation, breasts and hormonal imbalances, the stomach, body fluids and mucus membranes. Alchemists also prepared an oil of silver to treat brain disorders, reduce stress, balance emotions, treat epilepsy and other nervous system disorders, improve memory and also improve mania and melancholy. Silver had an effect on the subconscious and helped remove fears and blockages, and bring a sense of comfort, grace and sensitivity (Hauck, 2004).
In homeopathy it is referred to in its Latin-based elemental name, Argentum Metallicum. The mental symptoms of this metal are sensitivity, excitability and feeling unbalanced from minor incidents. There is a very strong component of intellect. The person feels that she/he has to defend himself constantly with the intellect. Argentum feels that he must be a performer to demonstrate his intellect, skills and talents. There is certain aspect of anxiety and fright. They are good public speakers, and people who lecture others using logic and intellect. There are two opposite sides observed; on one hand there is great clarity of mind and on the other hand a disinclination to talk (Sankaran, 2005). Some of the physical affections of Argentum Metallicum include hoarseness and laryngitis, loss of voice, irritation of mucus membranes, a foggy sensation in the brain, inflammation and thickening of the cartilages, painful tension in the muscles and pain and swelling of the ovaries and prolapse of uterus. (Radar 10.5 version)
Astrologically: The Moon (Luna)
Classical Mythology and historical depictions associate the moon with the soul and unconscious self. It is considered to be equivalent to the soul in its purest receptivity state. The transmuted soul is illuminated by the spirit and equivalent to the Sun and the metal gold. Since silver is only one degree separate from gold, its celestial associate represents the closest form (The Moon) to the astrological alchemical Gold (The Sun). Lunar energies rule growth, fertility, the stomach, the womb and fluids of the body. It is also related to cycles and changeable emotions and fertility.
Gold represents ambition, courage, self-reliance, dignity, authority and the power to be able to manage self and others. It represents the working Above. However if this nature is not grounded in the world, the individual becomes too focused on working above and forgets the connection with the real world. With being Above one must also connect to Below, to the real world in pure form, and if this is not achieved it can easily transmute to leaden qualities of despair, lack of confidence, poor self esteem and impurity. Gold that keeps a pure and real connection with the real world will be rewarded by health, wealth and happiness through synchronistic responses from the universe. On the physical plane, gold has effects on circulation and the heart. It has been used to treat damage to cartilages and other connective tissues and rheumatoid arthritis (Hauck, 2004).
It is also known as Aurum. It has the power to take responsibilities, be the leader and maintain the position. (Sankaran, 2005). It is about preserving the power, being the Sheppard, protector and praying. (Sholten, 2005). The feeling in Aurum is that the person must take responsibilities that are beyond his capacity and if he doesn’t achieve his goals he gets the feeling of being a failure, of feeling guilty and eventually becomes suicidal. There is a polarity between high morals and principles and being immoral, irresponsible and suicidal. Aurum has a fear of high places however in the failed and suicidal state one can see jumping off the height to kill himself. Physically Aurum’s pathology can manifest into serious chronic issues such as hypertension, heart disease, cancer and other degenerative and destructive pathologies.(Sankaran, 2005)
Astrologically: The Sun (Sol)
Sun is the King in alchemy, represents the crown chakra and is pictured as a thousand petalled lotus that floats above the head. It embraces all the colors, senses and functions. Sun represents one’s deepest identity, the true self, the inner authority, justified pride and dignity. It represents self ambition, spirit, highest will, energy, power, courage, vitality, creative energies and organization (Hauck, 2004).
Convergence of any two seemingly unrelated grand topics is a happening very rarely seen in the modern academic world. Most branches of study remain distinct from each other, with the occasional parallel being drawn, but finally being separate. For any two assumedly distinct subjects of study (especially one steeped in esoteric, ancient wisdom) to be consolidated, or shown to have bold comparative points, is a grand occurrence. Alchemy and homeopathy are one of the very few consolidated/ parallel unions that remain a powerful influence on modern social and medical study.
Through historical search, I have concluded that the alchemical teachings and philosophy of Paracelsus strongly influenced homeopathy and Hahnemann work in forming this system of medicine and art of healing. Although evidence shows that Although Hahnemann refuted any link to alchemy and its influences on his thought, one cannot resist the overwhelming evidence that surrounds his study. The documentation cited in this paper forms the basis for the assertion that the two sciences indeed display strong interconnections on a deeper level; a relationship to which Hahnemann could not have been ignorant.
Through my research I have concluded that an understanding of alchemy is an essential precursor to possessing a true understanding of homeopathic processes and practice. The alchemical quest in search of the Philosopher’s Stone transmutes “The Being” to a higher plane of existence. This higher plane or higher octave is achieved, by passing the alchemical stages of transmutation from the baser states of existence to the highest states. It is going through the process of death and resurrection where one exists free from obscurities, and is able to flow between Above and Below, constantly evolving to the ultimate state of being and freedom from obscurities.
In search for the same quest on a human level, the homeopath is on a journey to bring the patient and himself to the ultimate level of existence. Attempting to help the patient reach his high (or ultimately highest) plane of health and self-aware existence, the homeopath draws on the teachings of alchemical transmutation (to find the Philosopher’s Stone of health and freedom from obstructive delusions). By bringing the patient through his own Above and Below (a feat accomplished with the pure intentions so deeply characteristic of the alchemist), the homeopath seeks to probe and deeply comprehend the patient’s internal world (self) and the nature of the external world (reality). It is through knowing the basis of his remedies and their respective energetic forces upon a person’s vital force that the homeopath will merge the two bodies of knowledge: alchemy and homeopathy.
The alchemist is always searching for the most subtle level of reality, the deepest underlying level and pattern of existence. This as well is what a homeopath is looking for . To explore and extract the subtlest and the most peculiar level of reality that exists in the deepest underlying part of his patient is the driving force behind the holistic treatment that is homeopathy. This process of deriving Force from Form, subtle from gross and spirit from matter, is an individually alchemical one, although its greatest proponent and employer is homeopathy; the remedies are prepared from the same principle, by making the most material, immaterial and making the physical, vibrational.
The operations of alchemy transform and perfect anything, whether it be the base metals, imperfect bodies, a person’s temperament and the human soul. To learn these operations and become an alchemist, one must first reach the purification by self-journey through the seven stages.
A genuine homeopath; one that has gone through the stages of burning and destruction of ego, dissolution, separation, conjunction, distillation, fermentation and coagulation, is making Heaven on Earth by transforming lives, through an inward and outward self-transformation where he/she can live deeply in the world.
The history of the great men and women of homeopathy serves as a reminder of the strength and determination of modern homeopathy’s forbearers. They have journeyed through their own experiences and learned from it the knowledge necessary to gain wisdom.
Homeopathy is about wholeness. A homeopath looks at the patient as a whole and must prompt the emergence of that which has been suppressed to the surface, where the patient must face it. A homeopath must evolve from the stage of denial and look at what is in the shadow of the false perception of reality, and it is only then that healing can occur. Both homeopath and alchemist must recognize and self-initiate the transcendence of the place from which they have been escaping; that place of fear, uncertainty and insecurity, that place of the conditioned mind’s imprisonment; that place where the ego reigns over all else. It is only then that the true process of healing can be brought forth by the homeopath. Free from judgment, ego and dramas of the past and present, completely empty, entering with pure intentions, the homeopath will be, as Hahnemann commands, “Free from bias” and will be able to initiate the pathway to a patient’s state of true health.
Books and Journals:
Cicchetti Jane, Connections to the Source: The use of dreams and Symbolisms in homeopathic practice,
The American Homeopath Vol 7, 2001, Seattle, WA, USA
Dancinger. Elizabeth, Homeopathy From Alchemy To Medicine, 1987, Healing Art Press, Rochester, Vermont
De Schepper, Luc, Hahnemann Rivisited, 2001, Full of Life Publications, United States of America
Hahnemann. Samuel Frederick, Chronic Diseases, Vol. 1, 1835, Reprinted 2005, Translated by Prof. Louis H Tafel, B. Jain Publishers. (P.) Ltd. New Delhi, India Hahnemann.
Samuel Frederick, Organon of the Medical Art, 6th Edition, 1842, Edited and Annotated by Wenda Brewster O’Reily Ph.D 1996, Birdcage Books, California, United States of America Hall,
Manly. P, The Secret Teachings Of All Ages, 1928, 2003 Edition,
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin Group, United States of America Hauck,
Dennis William, The Sorcerer’s Stone A Beginner’s Guide to Alchemy, 2004, Citadel Press Kensington, United States of America
Norland, Misha, with Robinson Claire, SIGNATURES MIASMS AIDS Spiritual aspects of Homeopathy,2003, Yondercott Press, London, UK
Ramsey, Jay, Alchemy the Art of Transformation, 1997, Thorson’s Publishers, California, United States of America
Sankaran Rajan, Sankaran’s Schema, 2005, Homeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai, India
Sankaran Rajan, Sensations Refined, 2007, Homeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai, India
Sankaran Rajan, The Spirit of Homeopathy, 2005, Homeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai, India
Sankaran Rajan, The Soul of Remedies, 2005, Homeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai, India
Scholten Jan, Homeopathy and The Elements, 2007, Mariette Honig Translation, 2007, Stichting Alonnissos
A Brief History of Alchemy. June, 2009, Retrieved November 10 2010 ,
Clark Rawn, Commentary On Emerald Tablet, Feb 1996, Retrieved November 10 2010 http://www.levity.com/alchemy/rawn_cla.html,
Cockren, n.d, Alchemical Theory http://www.alchemylab.com/alchemical_theory.htm
Latz Gottlieb, Secret of The Emerald Tablet, n.d, Retrieved November 10 2010 http://www.alchemylab.com/latz.htm,
Morrell Peter, Hahnemann’s debt to Alchemy October 1999, Retrieved November 10 2010 http://www.homeoint.org/morrell/articles/pm_alchem.htm
Stern Dr. David, P, Newton’s Third Law, March 2006, Retrieved May 30, 2010
Homeopathic Software used:
Radar Repertory Program software, License number 44140, Release 10.5. (hsp +ck)
Your article is so interesting and answers so many questions I’ve been asking myself, completing perfectly what I am reading about at this time in my life: The Tao, The Yi Qing, Eckhart Tolle and Caroline Myss… I would say I came across your research by the luckiest coincidence! Thank you so much for writing it!
Excellent, thought-provoking article–thank you for sharing your insights! I also wonder if Hahnemann was inspired by the alchemists’ tools employing heating, boiling, etc., which might have created a similar succussing / potentizing effect on their own medicines (sulphur, mercury, etc.)?
I believe Hahnemann was most definitely aware of alchemical process in his practice.
Thank you Sara for your article. I am writing in March 2018 and I do believe we are going to see huge shifts…alchemical shifts in the perception of homeopathy in the coming year.
Thank you for your comment and yes we are seeing huge shifts…