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Alchemy & Paracelsus Medicine

"Seals of the planets" - Chakra teachings of the ancient alchemists rediscovered "Seals of the planets" - Chakra teachings of the ancient alchemists rediscovered first published in the German magazine „Comed“, 07/2002 (side 74-76)

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"Seals of the planets" - Chakra teachings of the ancient alchemists rediscovered

Knowledge regarding the chakras, the principal human energy centres, is found mainly in Indian teachings. Substantial knowledge about them also existed in the West, however. The ancient alchemists called the chakras „seals of the planets“ and described several phases of energetic transformation they can undergo. Apart from healing, the result of that process of „Durchlichtung“ („lightening“) is nothing else but, in today’s language, a fundamental cultivation of one’s personality and consciousness.

By Ulrich Arndt

„When a child is born, its heavens are born with it and the seven organs which for themselves have the power to be seven planets and thus everything that belongs to its heavens”, famed Paracelsus once wrote. In his voluminous writings he often refers to the tremendous influence the planets have on the well-being of man – on the physical organs as well as on his mind and his “astral” dimension, his energy system. Today, the great medieval physician is regarded as the founding father of modern medicine.
At the same time, however, he is one of the most famous alchemists of all time. For many centuries up to the 18th, alchemy was an acknowledged method of scientific research. From that universal science developed what were to be the disciplines of biology, medicine, chemistry, physics and astronomy as well as psychology and philosophy. In alchemy, they formed one great field of interconnected knowledge. And the great alchemists used that holistic knowledge to create powerful medicines for people and to find ways to uplift “dark” creation into the light. Their legendary art of making gold was meant to transform dark lead into high-resonating gold, and in a similar way the alchemists wanted to “enlighten” man’s “darkness”, be it physical sickness or a dull spirit.
This transformation or “transmutation” is known as “The Great Work” of Alchemy. To put it a bit more modern, in the words of Frater Albertus, a well-known 20th century alchemist:

“Alchemy is nothing else but a gradual uplifting of the level of vibration.”
During the course of the last 2000 years countless alchemists in Egypt and Europe as well as in India and China have worked towards that goal. Even today the Alchemists’ writings contain a treasury of knowledge whose discovery has only just begun (the same goes for our present topic, the planets’ influence on man). What we do know is that many ancient texts explicitly state that each single planet “reigns” a certain corresponding human organ.

For instance, the sun was related to the heart, the moon to the brain, Jupiter to the liver.
Furthermore, planets were associated with certain kindred metals, precious stones and plants. Modern medical research has established that, for instance, these seven metals are in fact vital for the organs associated with the respective planets: The sun’s metal, gold, is vital for the heart; silver will soothe the brain and nervous system; zinc benefits the liver.
What was hitherto ignored was the fact that some alchemists also described planetary effects on man’s energy field, more specifically: the seven chakras. From these descriptions follows very explicit information that can be used for purposes of healing and spiritual development.

“Seals of the planets” the chakras were called by the alchemists, “locks”, “gates” oder “the Seven Furnaces of the Soul”.
Fearing persecution by the Inquisition or by greedy rulers, alchemists used highly enigmatic symbolic codes and dressed up essential information in allegoric images. In that way, the Alchemists’ teachings on the chakras were also encoded in riddles, and only now do we begin to understand how to decipher them.

The Alchemists’ Concept of the Chakras
According to the Alchemists’ concept of the chakras, each planet directs at the earth three different “rays” which – to put it simply – are the vibration of body, soul and spirit of that planet (what Alchemists call by the Latin Sal, Sulphur and Mercurius). These rays will, in turn, resonate with the “seals of the planets”, the chakras, in three different ways. In that process the Sal, Sulphur and Mercury vibrations of the planets correspond to respective phases of energetic transformation, namely to one of the so-called “Wandlungsphasen” (“phases of transformation”) which are “Nigredo” (blackness, Sal vibration); “Albedo” (=whiteness, Sulphur vibration) and “Rubedo” (=redness, Mercury vibration).
This means that the alchemistic teachings place man and matter in a developmental framework that proceeds from darkness to light or wisdom.
The three steps of Nigredo, Albedo and Rubedo are understood as different degrees of physical, emotional and spiritual healing, of psychological maturity and spiritual development – in short: they stand for different levels of the energetic vibration of human beings. In each of these transformation phases a certain chakra is being influenced by a certain planet and by one of the three different planet vibrations (Sal, Sulphur or Mercury vibration). During the course of several centuries, the Alchemists explored ways and means to guide man from his low level of vibration which is connected with sickness and psychological suffering to that highest vibrational level of Rubedo. That way, they also discovered medicines which not only transform the darkness of disease, but which can also, taken regularly, become a tool on one’s personal path of development. One of these highest medicines is “aurum potabile”, the legendary potable gold of the Alchemists, an essence distilled from pure gold. A special alchemistic medicine for the chakras, however, are the Jewel Essences associated with the planets. They provide extra energy and help a person to step forward on the emerging path of their development.

The alchemistic principle of operation in that process is really very simple:
The vibration of the chakras is uplifted, and they are tuned to the highest vibration of the seven planets. Like a tuning-fork that is induced to vibrate if its note is being struck, the chakras receive energy and information from the planetary vibration if they are in resonance with it. In fact, meridian measurements with the “Prognos” system have demonstrated a significant increase in energy and a harmonization of the meridian system after the ingestion of Jewel Essences – even, with 80 percent of test persons, in areas that are typical for effective naturopathy or allopathy medicines.
Secret Symbols
The most famous alchemistic representation of the chakras and their “planetary seals” comes from Johann Georg Gichtel (1638-1710), an alchemist from Regensburg (Bavaria). Today, he is only remembered as the patron of the great German mystic Jakob Böhme and his teachings. Gichtel published his chakra diagram in the volume “Theosophia practica” that appeared in 1696.
According to the caption it shows “complete earthly, natural, murky man; in stars and elements” and how “the wheel of the planets in seven satanic seals weighs down the soul”
(“wheel of the planets” being at that time the expression for their movements around the earth).
In his design Gichtel lays out the seven classical planets within the framework of the human body and associates them with the seven vices or deadly sins like haughtiness, miserliness
or envy. Gichtel wanted to show under which conditions – more precisely, in which chakra constellation – the planets cause negativity in man. This resonance of planet and chakra corresponds to the lowest level of vibration (Nigredo, Blackness). Therefore the figure is drawn in a black hatched style.
So, in this first phase of transformation, the root chakra resonates with the Sal vibration of the moon, the spleen chakra with the lowest Mercury vibration, the solar plexus chakra with Venus, the heart chakra with the Sal vibration of the sun, the throat chakra with Mars, the forehead chakra with Jupiter and the crown chakra with Saturn. Unfortunately, today many chakra therapists work with exactly that correlation. However, according to the Alchemists’ teachings, that way they will not be able to accomplish long-term healing, no real transformation of sickness – only if a patient should be able to take the next step on the journey on his/her own accord would such therapeutic support still be effective.
But in Gichtel’s diagram there is also a hint how the planets can work together positively and how vices can be transformed into virtues: It is the spiral line that, alternating between up and down, connects all “chakra seals” and in this new sequence shows the way out of the “blackness” to the Albedo level. Depending on whether you see its beginning in the heart or at the crown of the head, this new sequence of planets lays out “The Path of the Heart” and “The Path of the Mystic”, respectively. Still, these planet-and-chakra-resonances are only an intermediate step on the path to the highest of the transformation phases, the Rubedo vibrational level.
This third sequence of the seven planets the alchemists always encoded in a certain geometrical diagram, the so-called “Siebenstern” (Seven-pointed Star). Best known among these diagrams is the one by D. Stolcius von Stolcenberg in the „Viridarium chymicum“ of 1624. Here the Seven-pointed Star is placed on a circle which bears the inscription „Visita Interiora Terra Rectificando Inuenies Occultum Lapidem”, meaning

“Travel to the bottom of the Earth, perfect it, and you shall find the hidden stone.”
The initials of the Latin words form the word VITRIOL, the alchemistic symbol for the process of transmutation and, regarding humans, their transformation towards the light – in other words, the uplifting of their vibrational and awareness level. The Rubedo sequence of the planets is found by following the star’s rays through the center to the respective opposite ray:
from Saturn to Venus and - via Jupiter, Mercury, Mars and Moon -towards the Sun.
This “Strahlenweg” (Path of Rays) is also clearly indicated in a diagram found in the „Opus maga-cabbalisticum“ of 1719, written by Georg von Welling, an alchemist at the court of Karlsruhe in southern Germany.
This book was very popular among Rosicrucians. The famous German poet Goethe studied it intensely, with the consequence that Welling’s writings later also strongly influenced Rudolf Steiner, the originator of Anthroposophy, and his esoteric concepts. In the Seven-pointed Star sequence of Rubedo, the root chakra vibrates in resonance with the highest Sun vibration, the spleen chakra with that of the Moon, the solar plexus chakra with that of Mars, the heart chakra with Mercury, the throat chakra with Jupiter,the forehead chakra with Venus, and the crown chakra with the highest Saturn vibration.

Healing in the alchemistic sense of the word happens when the chakras begin to resonate with this highest vibration.

For the therapist, this means
that a metal, a precious stone or a plant that is correlated with Mars, for example is not to be used for throat chakra conditions – this would correspond to the low vibrational level of Nigredo -, but for problems related to the solar plexus chakra. Most suitable, however, for such an “uplifting of the chakras” are the alchemistic jewel essences specially developed for this purpose.

Alchemy & Ayurvedic Medicine
Actually the secret Rubedo planet sequence is known to everyone: It is encoded in the sequence of our weekdays’ names and thus also in the Bible’s Book of Genesis! As we know, the names of the seven weekdays are associated with the seven classical planets. The sequence of the following weekdays corresponds exactly to that third planet sequence.

What is really sensational:
Exactly the same correlation of planets and chakras as in the Rubedo sequence is known from the ancient Indian medicine of Ayurveda. Moreover, all the correlations of the seven metals and the seven most beneficial jewels with the planets – and so with the chakras – are identical in Alchemy and Ayurveda. Also in Ayurveda, certain colours are associated with the planets, and, strikingly, only the Rubedo planet sequence corresponds to the natural sequence of the rainbow. Furthermore, both medical systems employ the same means - specially formulated alchemistic essences of the seven metals and precious stones - to cure illnesses and to uplift a person’s energy level. The spiritual effects of this chakra stimulation were also known in ancient India. For this reason, the jewel essences for the seven chakras were called “medicine of the Maharajas”. For at least seven years they were administered to an heir apparent in order to prepare him emotionally and intellectually for his highest office.
So, in a most impressive fashion, the medical and chakra teachings of Ayurveda corroborate the alchemistic developmental teachings about the three phases of transformation and the purpose of these teachings to guide humans, with every therapeutic intervention, towards the highest vibrational level of Rubedo.

Chakra Teachings of the Alchemists
  Nigredo Albedo I
Path of Contemplation
Albedo II
Path of the Heart
Rubedo
7. Crown chakra Saturn Saturn Sun Saturn - Amethyst
6. Forehead chakra Jupiter Moon Venus Venus - Diamond
5. Throat chakra Mars Jupiter Mars Jupiter - Sapphire
4. Heart chakra Sun Mercury Mercury Mercury - Emerald
3. Solar plexus chakra Venus Mars Jupiter Mars - Yellow Topaz
2. Spleen/ sexual chakra Mercury Venus Moon Moon - Pearl
1. Root chakra Moon Sun Saturn Sun - Ruby
The three transformation phases Nigredo, Albedo and Rubedo and their respective correlations with the planets and chakras. In each phase the chakra resonates with a different and higher planet energy, thus uplifting the vibrational level of the whole person.

Translated by Michael Schaefer, Germany 2003 @


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