Category Archives: Alchemy

Alchemy of the Four Elements – Calcinatio – The Alchemy of Fire

The classical four elements play a role in alchemy and each of the four elements has its own particular operation. Calcinatio is the fire operation. Solutio is the matching operation for water, coagulatio for earth and sublimatio for air.  As this shows, … Continue reading

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Albedo – The Alchemy of the Moon

In alchemy, albedo is one of the four major stages of the magnum opus, following nigredo, and before citrinitas and rubedo. It is a Latinicized term meaning “whiteness”. Following the chaos or massa confusa of the nigredo stage, the alchemist undertakes a purification in albedo, which is literally referred to as ablutio – the … Continue reading

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Alchemy – Moving to Another Stage

Part of the process of the Great work requires movement from one stage to anothers. The many processes that can be applied to any stage are eventually exhausted. What does this mean for psycho-spiritual alchemy? It means that the difficulty … Continue reading

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The Four Elements – The Alchemy of Balance

Empedocles, in his Tetrasomia,  was the first to propose four elements, fire, earth, air, and water, which he called the four “roots” (ῥιζὤματα, rhizōmata), and Plato seems to have been the first to use the term “element (στοιχεῖον, stoicheion)” in reference to … Continue reading

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The Alchemy of Darkness – Nigredo

In alchemy, nigredo, or blackness, means putrefaction or decomposition. Many alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher’s stone all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter. Nigredo, or blackness, in the … Continue reading

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Humors – Cornerstones of World View

Most people have had some exposure to the  Greek classical elements theory of earth, air, fire and water. These were considered the building blocks of all matter and the basis of medieval understanding of how matter works and interacts. Aristotle gave characteristics … Continue reading

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Alchemy – Stages versus Processes

Refer to any website or book and you will find listings of the “stages of alchemy”. These differ markedly. In my experience this is often due to a misunderstanding in the popular literature. People are not differentiating between stages and … Continue reading

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