Image credit The De Morgan Foundation, The Love Potion, Evelyn De Morgan, 1903, 40″ x 21″, oil on canvas, held by The De Morgan Center, London.
Written by Hypatia
For Coven Life
Planetary knowledge that can assist you in developing your Magickal Practice.
Know They Self
While embarking on my path to understand the self, I stumbled on the magickal world of the Alchemist. ‘Know thy Self’ the very words inscribed on the entrance of many great temples from Kemet and Luxor in Egypt to Delphi in Greece.
This was an axiom practiced by the great minds of the ancient world that brings the knowing of one’s self in accordance with the understanding of the creation of ‘All That Is.’
Through the process of alchemy -transformation and transmutation, one takes a glimpse into the world of the Divine by looking into their own being. The Wise person, Witch, Seeker call yourself what you may, understands that the search of the Holy Grail, the Philosophers Stone, the meaning of life and the reason for all existence only lies within. The Witch that realizes their true power and potential understands this well, giving them the power to create a beautiful existence for them selves and all they are in contact with.
Alchemy- Word Origin.
The word originated in ancient Egypt from the word Khem meaning the black land. It was here the sacred art of alchemy was practiced through methods of mummification for the goal of immortality. It was then later taken by the ancient Greeks that introduced the word Khemica meaning chemical. It trickled down to the Arabs where they then called it AlKhemica- Al- meaning the all mighty or sacred and Khemica meaning the chemistry. Putting that all together it translates as the sacred chemistry of the Divine. Egyptians were big on magic and it was all through their practice of alchemy that connected them to the celestial energies of the ‘Sacred Seven’.
Who are the Sacred Seven?
The ancients spoke of the Seven Sacred Planets that were Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon. You may also know them as Cronus, Pluto, Aries, Helios or Apollo, Hermes and Selene or Artemis.
They are in Druid, Norse, Indian Ayurvedic, Australian and American Native Aboriginal Law, in the Far East of Asia to Europe, Scandinavia, and beyond! All the ancients were observers of the same sky, just from a different perspective.
The Witch as the Alchemist
Much like the Witch, the Alchemist is the seeker of truth obtained through a perpetual path of encountering the Divine and a mystical path of knowledge.
Alchemy is not just restricted to that of the Alchemist. It is the formulation and the foundation of creation itself. Its essence belongs in all spiritual, philosophical and religious paths. It connects ourselves to that of the spirit and the soul of the earth and that of the whole of the celestial spheres. In fact it is the very root of our modern science, medical and spiritual Reductionism.
Now astrology may not be for everyone, however it is very important, that in order to understand the natural order, and be in tune with the Great Mother and The Great Father, we at least need to learn the foundations of the rhythm of the earth. It is respectable that we learn to understand the essence of the ephemeris of the planetary cycles such as the moon phases, especially when we are drawing down the moon, creating affirmations, spells, wishes, call it what you may. What does each moon phase mean, the new moon, the waning, waxing, gibbous and crescent moon, the full moon? Each phase of the moon has its own energy that is created by the other planetary alignments in the celestial spheres.
How about the energy of the other planets such as Mercury that is connected to the ancient God Hermes. The planet Venus, this is connected to the Greek Goddess Aphrodite and so on. The ancients knew this connection all too well and honored these planets as their Gods. They called them the ‘Sacred Seven’ and built grand temples in their honor. Their temples were built according to astrological alignments such as Stonehenge, the Acropolis, the pyramids from Machu Picchu to Egypt.
In the study of Witchcraft, Alchemy, Wicca etc., in fact any other earth based religion as well as philosophy and spirituality, such knowledge is not only invaluable but imperative for the connection to the natural environment that one will be closely working with. In our modern world of sciences we have completely removed ourselves from this energy. Have we forgotten that the seasons are connected to this energy created in the celestial spheres? The earth’s rhythm is expressed through the seasons, this is why we honor each and every turning of the Wheel. We see this respectful honoring through the animal, plant and mineral kingdom, it is all around us, it is right there in front of us.
It’s important and respectable that a Witch or any one studying a nature based religion understands where the very energy that they are drawing for their magickal use comes from.
So how is a Witch connected to Alchemy, Astrology and the Elements?
Every time you make a potion, an elixir, cast a spell, make a wish on a full moon, perform a ritual for Esbat, Sabbat of ANY form that includes the Great Mother Earth, the Great Luna Mother and Solar father or Solar King, you are performing Alchemy. In fact when there is a solar and Luna eclipse they call this the Alchemical Wedding. The time where 2 great celestial energies merge in the quintessence of the Cosmos (celestial bodies).
The very elements that a Witch honors are the quintessence of these celestial bodies. Most advanced civilizations understood that our origins were from the stars, the Star Nations, the Star Seeds, The Pleiades etc… It was believed that of these classical 5 elements we (including all that is on earth and Earth Herself) were created from.
“To the elements it came from
Everything will return.
Our body to Earth
Our Blood to Water
Heat to Fire
Breath to Air.”
-Empedoclese- (495 BCE)
The fifth element is the quintessence or spirit that brings everything on this Great Mother Earth into existence as a result of the celestial energy.
whenever you use a herb for magickal purposes, a crystal, make a talisman, burn a candle for a desire, burn a piece of paper with written words to acquire an effective outcome, collect rain water or morning dew of a plant for spell or any magickal work, this is practicing Alchemy!
When we take something with intention and desire it to be turned into something else we are are performing alchemy. It is the transformation and transmutation that is achieved through the energy of the soul, connected to that of the body and spirit that originates from the celestial sphere, the cosmos, the Universe, the Goddess, God, Great Spirit etc……
The more that you are in tune with these energies and understand what they are ‘gifting’ you, the more effective your magick will become. This method puts you in alignment with the very essence of your path.
In Hermetics the saying ‘As Above so Below, as Within so Without’ explains that what is in the celestial spheres above is in the very essence of ourselves, hence the God and Goddess living within our being. It is through alchemy that we connect and are the embodiment of the God and the Goddess and representation here on earth.
In the following weeks I will attempt to include a small list of ephemeris that will include the ‘Sacred Seven’ and hopefully this will give you an understanding and a foundation to your energetic emanation of magickal power.
Alchemy and astrology can be a very precise science that includes specific times of the day, hours of planets and so forth. In this short series of posts I will only give you the outline, the basic understanding of where these energies are coming from and what their foundation concerning your magickal ephemeris can be. If you wish to do further studies and have an interest in this area the rest is up to you.