“They want Messiahs
who walk on water
not men and women
who appreciate the beauty
in not being able to.”
… After satisfactorily explaining
the nature of the Earthly Realm,
The Alchemists turned their attentions to the stars…
Crescent – Moon – Soul
To those heavenly bodies
which seemingly ‘wandered’ across the fixed backdrop of the constellations,
they gave the generic name planets,
and held them in especial reverence.
Cross – Earth – Body-Matter
The symbolic system they developed
to designate the planetary beings
also linked them to the human psyche.
… Not content with speculations
on the nature of the physical world,
their deductions led the Alchemists to contemplations
of a metaphysical nature…
If Magical Elements could be transmuted
each into the other
then they must ultimately be equivalent.
They posited a fifth element
which possessed all the properties of the other four,
and called it the ‘Quintessence’…
To lessen the confusion between Fire and Water
and to accentuate the difference between
Earth and Air, the Alchemists coloured their symbols…
… Alchemy is one of the oldest techniques known to mankind.
The Ancient who first cast a weather eye at the heavens,
licked a finger and held it aloft in the sky,
in order to ascertain which way the wind did blow… was an ‘Alchemist’.
One of the first things the Alchemists noticed about the elements was their mutability…
They seemed to be caught up in an endless round of transmutation,
and were forever striving to become each other.
That apart, they were incredibly stable in themselves, and also incredibly dynamic!
Small wonder then that the equilateral triangle,
with its base-line and its point,
presented itself as such a fitting symbol of their being.
These and other observations led the Alchemists to conceive a set of qualities
for the Magical Elements which would explain their transmutation from one to the other.
Earth is Cold and Dry… Water is Cold and Moist…
Air is Moist and Hot… Fire is Hot and Dry…
Make Earth Hot to get Fire. Make Earth Moist to get Water.
Earth cannot become Air without first becoming Fire or Water and vice versa.
Similarly, Fire cannot become Water without first becoming Earth or Air and vice versa.
All of which, upon consideration, is an extremely subtle conception
to be entertained by mere ‘primitives’.
Mother-Wild has not only the experience
of her forebears and the accepted rules
of the clan to guide her,
she seeks to learn also from
ants, bees, spiders and badgers.
She studies the family life of the birds.
To her and her child the birds are real people,
who live close to the mysterium.
The murmuring trees breathe its presence.
The falling waters chant its praise.