Since ancient times, alchemists have worked, following Nature's processes, to create substances which give wisdom and insight to the user.
Whether working on alchemical medicines for specific illnesses, or on the legendary quest for the Philosopher's Stone, the idea at the heart of alchemy is the protection and elevation of the natural life force of the plant or mineral worked on, and the capture of that life force in the final alchemical preparation.
The alchemists' ideas about this life force were greatly influenced by the Gnostic philosophy, which taught that all matter is alive, containing sparks of the original primordial light of the universe.
These sparks are aspects of the divine within all things, and the goal of the Gnostics was to liberate these sparks, both in the natural world and inside the self, and to allow them to return to their original refined and perfect state of being.
The alchemists called these sparks of life force Mercury, manifesting in plants as the animating spirit and "intelligence", or healing and vitalizing properties gained from the plant's growth and journey through life.
Humans, too, have a Mercury level, governing our life force and intelligence, as well as our adaptability and overall balance. Like all natural things, humans' Mercury level is also the connection between our obvious physical body and our pure, eternal soul level, bringing life and growth to both of these other aspects of our being.
The intelligences of plants, carried by alchemy from their Mercury level to ours, can act in powerful ways to heal our bodies and balance our beings.
Special groups of plants, used by spiritual travelers through the ages, act on us in less material ways, transferring intelligences that transport the consciousness to levels of being not ordinarily seen, connecting our body and soul and allowing each to access the other.
Many have experienced transformation through the use of such substances, allowing access to spiritual realms and insights. The religious foundations of many cultures come from the cultivation of such transformative experiences, whether from external substances such as plants, or from the body's own chemicals released through Yoga, dance, intense prayer, or ritual.
These experiences open the doors of the soul to new realms of being, which, if worked with properly, continue to be accessible as sources of growth and advancement.
The correct integration of these experiences is the key to true spiritual advancement and its usefulness in the rest of daily life; unfortunately this key is missing from the context of most work of this type.
Often, the participant finds that the ritual and substance use must increase and become more extreme to maintain the same effects, leading to damage to the body. When this happens, channels of energy and the understanding of their use that had been created by previous work are lost, and spiritual stagnation sets in.
These same special plants, extracted with alchemical understanding, allow the transfer of the Mercurial life force, the Veriditas, from the plant to the user, again initiating them into useful transformative states for growth.
Our Alchymical Initiatics work through this transfer of the life force and intelligence of the plant, rather than overwhelming the body with chemicals and poisoning it into an intoxicated state. In fact, many of the strongest initiatory plants are also tonics to overall health.
The training and insights gained in past work can then be accessed and utilized in directed and specific ways, without harm to the body, and as part of a coherent spiritual path with direction and integrity.
This allows a refinement of previous ecstatic and open states, whether they had been achieved through external substances or internal work.
Whereas previous work had blown open all of the soul's doors, specific states can now be accessed, traveled to, understood, and integrated, at will and under the control of the initiate.
This personal contact with sacred dimensions of being is the meaning of the word "Gnosis", and is a form of direct knowledge from experience unmediated by religious functionaries such as gurus, shamen, or priests.
This search for Gnosis was the driving force behind the visionary work of Hildegard of Bingen, the ancient alchemists, the Gnostics, and all other seekers of true spiritual wisdom.
Our Alchymical Initiatics are valuable tools for such a search, and we offer them for use in your individual path.
We emphatically support each person’s right to freedom of spiritual practice, and we advocate the responsible use of initiatic herbs.
Educate yourself, and do not take our advice as a substitute for your own wisdom and caution. No information we give is intended to replace the guidance of a qualified professional.
Please consult your physician before using any herbs, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, on other medications, or receiving treatment for an illness.