Alchemy is often associated with legends from the Middle Ages period. However, it is much older than that. There are writings from 3000 years before Christ.
From Alchemy – or the “art of curing all ills” as it is also known – a set of various sciences was born over time, such as astrology, numerology and even allopathic medicine as we know it today.
Furthermore, it is wrongly understood that Alchemy has as its objective “the transmutation of lead into gold”. But this is just a metaphor about the transformation of the imperfect, ignorant and sick human being – lead – to a divine, happy and healthy being – gold. In other words: the death of the corporeal state, dense and ephemeral, by the rebirth of consciousness and light of the spirit.
Alchemy – Al Kimyâ
The name is of Arabic origin (Al corresponds to article o), with a Greek root (elkimyâ). Kimyâ derives from Khen (or chem), which means “the black country”, the name given to Egypt in antiquity.
Some scholars think it has its origins in the Greek word derived from chyma, which is related to the smelting of metals.
Other meanings of the word:
– “Philosophical stone”.
-“The art of working and perfecting bodies with the help of nature”.
– In the Latin roots, this word was translated as: – “Solve et coagula”. We can divide the history of Alchemy into two independent movements: 1. Chinese Alchemy: in China, Alchemy would be associated with Taoism.
Western Alchemy: Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Rome, Islamic India and Europe. Also the Vedic philosophy in India, around the year 1000 BC, has similarities with the ideas of the alchemists.
In ancient Egypt, it was considered the work of the god Thoth, also known as Hermes Trismegistus. Therefore, the term Hermeticism is associated with Alchemy.
It is believed that Hermes transmitted part of his knowledge, alchemical commandments to alchemists, through the Emerald Tablet which, by all indications, was engraved in the 6th to 8th centuries. However, translations began to be studied in the West only around the 14th century.
In the city of Alexandria, Egypt, Alchemy flourished in the early centuries of the Christian era and was influenced by Plato. He said that matter, despite multiple appearances, is formed by a single substance, which is the justification for the possibility of transmutation. Thus, the alchemical process is obtained by the fusion of the four fundamental elements of antiquity: earth, fire, air and water.
It was thanks to Alexander’s campaigns that Alchemy spread throughout the Orient. And it was the Muslims who took it back to Europe, due to the Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.
In addition to various traces of Muslim culture in medieval Alchemy, traces of Jewish Kabbalah (the tree of life) are also present.
Some alchemists have brought great contributions to alchemical practice, among them we can mention some like Paracelsus, Nicolas Flamel and John Dee.
Through the study of the history of alchemy, we find that its practice began in antiquity, passing through different periods.
It was studied and practiced by different people, namely: scientists, philosophers and curious people, among others like Isaac Newton. It was spread in different countries and in different ways. Some regions focused more on the art of transmuting metals into gold, others on philosophy itself, seeking the metaphorical sense of transforming the impure individual into pure. Some others used the chemical part in the transmutation of substances, in the production of elixirs that were used in the treatment of physical disorders.
The search for the philosopher’s stone here is to transform the impure human being into the pure; the cause of illnesses, instead of proposing a cure for them, the encounter of the human being with its true essence, thus providing a happier and more fulfilled life.
By creating a complete system of flower essences, Joel Aleixo managed to translate alchemical knowledge, with its difficult languages and figures, into an easily understood language. Producing flower essences in his laboratory, leaving them ready for beginner alchemists to use. Today, knowledge can be disseminated clearly and objectively without persecution as it used to be.