||first published in the German
magazine „Comed“, 07/2002 (side 74-76)
"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,
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
of transformation and the purpose of these teachings to guide humans,
therapeutic intervention, towards the highest vibrational level of
|Chakra Teachings of the Alchemists
Path of Contemplation
Path of the Heart
|7. Crown chakra
||Saturn - Amethyst
|6. Forehead chakra
||Venus - Diamond
|5. Throat chakra
||Jupiter - Sapphire
|4. Heart chakra
||Mercury - Emerald
|3. Solar plexus chakra
||Mars - Yellow Topaz
|2. Spleen/ sexual chakra
||Moon - Pearl
|1. Root chakra
||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 @