||first published in the magazine "Paracelsus" septenber
2004 (side 11-15)
The Path of the Energy of Life: The Secret Seven-pointed
The alchemical picture of the Vitriol seven-pointed
star (septagram) reveals – like hardly any other picture – the
deep knowledge of great alchemists such as Paracelsus. It shows
their knowledge on the influence of the seven planets on and the
course of life energy in the human being and even the living body
of our earth.
By Ulrich Arndt
Ancient alchemical scriptures often had been intentionally made very
difficult to understand. Many alchemists – Paracelsus too – were
treated with various forms of hostility. They often travelled throughout
their lifetimes in Europe, some even went across the Middle East and
North Africa in order to escape the greed of rulers and the narrow-mindedness
of churchmen at that time. Due to this threat however, they could not
lay their knowledge entirely open in books. Thus they referred to it
in allegories, used secret names for important substances and laboratory
procedures, and drew cryptic pictures with varied levels of meaning.
This contributes to the difficulty nowadays to comprehend their theoretical
and practical knowledge. Therefore comparative studies of the ancient
scriptures and at the same time practical investigations in the laboratory
for more than twenty years have been necessary to rediscover Paracelsus’ healing
elixirs, such as, for instance, the gold essence ”Aurum Potabile” (see
issue no. 6 and 7). Only in this way the most important basis for the
high art of alchemy could be deciphered, namely – as described
in the last issue – the knowledge of the secret solvents of alchemy,
with the help of which only production of the ”High Arcana” (this
is the term for the most supreme remedies of alchemy) from metals and
gems is possible.
What level of deep significance needs to be deciphered in the symbolic
pictures of alchemy thereby, is amply demonstrated by the examples of
the ”Vitriol seven-pointed star” and the ”planetary
The Vitriol seven-pointed star is one of the most famous pictures of
all alchemy. It was reproduced in different versions by several authors.
In the Middle Ages its secret knowledge was of such an importance that
the occult Order of the Knight Templars even ”engraved” the
seven-pointed star on the French landscape through buildings. And this
was done in an ingenious geomantic (i.e. according to knowledge of earth
energies) way, which also reveals an amazing knowledge about the alchemical
meaning of the Vitriol seven-pointed star. More about this later, first
let us have a look at the main components of the picture.
|The famous alchemical
seven-pointed star with the VITRIOL formula.
In its centre the Vitriol seven-pointed star has a face to which
the two hands on the left and on the right seem to belong, and
the two feet as well. These four extremities refer to the four
elements: in one hand there is a torch representing the element
of fire, in the other hand there is an air bladder (Vesica Piscis)
representing the element of air; one foot stands on the ground,
and the other one in water. The fifth element is often overlooked
but sits enthroned on the very top as the double wing of Hermes.
The five symbols of elements are arranged in a regular pentagon.
Beside the feet a king and a queen are seated with the symbols
of Sun and Moon symbolising the polar powers of nature.
Furthermore the picture shows three different forms: a triangle, a circle
and a seven-pointed star. The triangle represents the trinity of body,
spirit and soul, if one follows the inscriptions on the angles: ”corpus”, ”anima” and ”spiritus”,
or, in alchemy, for sal (= body, the solidifying principle), sulphur
(= soul, the moving principle) and mercurius (= spirit, the connecting
man, by Gichtel. The seven planets mark the ”furnaces of
the soul”, as the alchemists called the seven chakras.
Upon this triangle there
is a circle with seven emblems and an inscription as follows: ”Visita
Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem”,
in English: ”Search for the innermost of the earth, and you
will, by rectifying, find the secret stone.” The first letters
of all the Latin words form the name VITRIOL. In earlier times
Vitriol was already known as copper or iron vitriol from which
the alchemists made sulphuric acid for the processing of metals.
But Vitriol is as well an alchemical symbol for the process of
transmutation, thus meaning the legendary transformation from lead
to gold. Related to man this means his transformation from darkness
and disease to light, to health and to the dawning of consciousness.
This process is nothing but the mythical path to the Holy Grail,
since in the legends the Holy Grail stands for the achievement
of a ”purer” and ”more illuminated” respectively ”more
The seven emblems in the circle too refer to such a transformation from
darkness to light and the rebirth on a higher level. They show symbols
of the labour at the ”Great Work”, i.e. the transmutation
from lead to gold; clockwise starting from the raven on the skull up
to the unicorn and ”resurrection”. Raven and skull thereby
represent the dark and matter in its slowest state of vibration, namely
certain slag originating from a working process, so-called caput mortuum.
Such slags are for instance ferric oxide or copper oxide that originate
from the production of sulphuric acid out of metal sulphates, i.e. Vitriol.
It was Paracelsus in particular who in his scriptures pointed out that
even from such slags valuable things can be obtained. Here the emblem
with the raven refers to a solvent containing ammoniac. The other pictures
describe the process of obtaining a royal essence or the gold essence
Aurum Potabile (symbolised by eagles carrying the crown); with their
help – as shown in the last picture – man is elevated from
darkness, earthiness and unconsciousness towards light, and thus ”reborn”,
Between each emblem one of the seven rays of the seven-pointed star is
placed. On each ray there is one of the symbols of the seven planets
starting, in accordance with the numbering of the rays, with Saturn,
Jupiter, Mars, then Sun, Venus, Mercury, and finally Moon. The planets
are traditionally assigned to certain metals: These are Saturn = lead
(or Antimony, Vitriol ore), Jupiter = tin, Mars = iron, Sun = gold, Venus
= copper, Mercury = mercury (or zinc), Moon = silver. By giving the names
of planets an indication is as well given to the Great Work of the metals
meaning the transformation from lead to gold.
The sequence of the planets’ numbering from 1 to 7 corresponds
to the so-called Chaldaic order of the planets. At that time the earth
was supposed to be the centre of the planetary orbits. And the order
that was established by the Chaldeans 3000 years ago was intended to
mark their decreasing distance from the earth. It is amazing: when the
seven classical planets are put into an order according to their average
orbital speed starting with the slowest planet Saturn, the same sequence
results. Thus it is a very reasonable physical order even though the
geocentric conception of the world has been proved as wrong.
At the end of the 17th century the alchemist Johann Georg Gichtel depicted
the planets in his famous “planetary man” exactly according
to this planetary sequence. Here the planets mark the chakras, the seven
main energy centres of man, starting from the crown chakra with Saturn
down to the root chakra with Moon. The alchemists called the chakras ”the
seals of the planets” or ”the furnaces of the soul”.
Gichtel hatching his planetary man in black called the picture a description
of the ”entirely earthly, natural, dark man”. The black hatching
represents the ”Nigredo phase”, literally ”the black”,
the dark, low-vibrating matter at the beginning of the Great Work. Thus
it is a similar phase as shown in the Vitriol seven-pointed star: there
the beginning of the work is symbolised by the black bird on the skull.
In the same way as the emblems in the seven-pointed star demonstrate
the transformation of matter, ”dark planetary man” has to
be transformed and raised. Thus, the planetary order and assignment of
the chakras as shown in Gichtel’s picture represent the very beginning
of the process. They mark a phase in which forces of solidification,
slowing down, and finally dying, dominate the processes. An indication
however is hidden in both pictures, the one of the seven-pointed star
and the one of planetary man, an indication as to how the planets can
combine their action, in order to elevate and illuminate man; and in
order to transform dark lead into sunny gold vibrating high.
More about this will be said in the next issue...
Now let us have a look at the seven-pointed star of the Knight Templars
in France. An old map of the Knight Templars shows the position of the
seven main Commanderies which are arranged in the form of a star. Also
here the rays of the star are in the same order as the planets. But there
is a difference: they are arranged in a contrary order. Close to the
centre of the star the name of Bourges, a town, stands out. Interestingly
enough the famous alchemist Fulcanelli described Bourges as the ”Keystone
of the Great Work of the Alchemists in Europe”, without however
giving any further explanation. Only in 1998 this riddle was revealed,
partly at least. Geomantist Peter Dawkins had found an extensive energy
line, a so-called ley-line, that passes through France starting from
Saintes Maries de-la-Mer (the most important place of pilgrimage of the
Sinti and Roma), and running through Bourges and Chartres, and even through
England. As many places of the legend of the Grail are located on this
line, Dawkins called it the ”line of the Grail”. Exactly
this line of the Grail passes through the centre of the seven-pointed
star of the Knight Templars. In the North of France it divides the ray
of the Sun precisely, and in the South it runs between the rays of Saturn
and Moon into the Mediterranean. Mind you that this line of the Grail
is not depicted in the old map of the Knight Templars. Could this coincidence
be mere chance? Hardly: Sun, Moon and Saturn, the three planetary rays
placed on the line of the Grail represent the trinity of body, spirit
and soul. In the alchemy they stand for Sal, Sulphur and Mercurius. And
if we look at the Vitriol seven-pointed star, the deliberate placement
of the seven-pointed star is even more apparent. The three rays of Sun,
Moon and Saturn in the contraction VITRIOL stand for the beginning, middle
and end of the word, i.e. the letters VRL. VRL or VRIL is the name of
the all-pervading, invigorating elemental force of creation. The remaining
letters IT and IO form the Latin word ITIO, in English ”going” or ”travel”,
meaning the journey or the path, or rather the flow of the universal
power of creation through the seven planets in the form of seven divine ”lights”,
and finally the course of life energy through body, spirit and soul,
and the seven chakras of man.
to a model of the seven-pointed star of the Knight Templars
in France that marks the position of the main Commanderies
of their Order with the line of the Grail.
The Knight Templars associated their seven-pointed star in France
very purposefully with the flow of life energy on our earth. Such
a sensational discovery was just made before the turn of the millennium.
Like Dawkins, the geomantist Siegfried Prumbach has found extensive
energy lines. Four years ago he discovered that all these ley-lines
form a regular geometrical pattern: a global energy grid that is
mainly built by 12 large pentagons, forming a so called dodecahedron
(one of the five Platonic solids). Exactly in the centre of one
of these large pentagons which is superimposed on Europe and North
Africa, Bourges is located as the centre of the seven-pointed star.
And, the line of the Grail too, runs exactly through the centre
of this pentagon.
The Knight Templars placed the main Commanderies of their seven-pointed
star close to strong natural sites of power, for example the point of
the Moon at Rennes-le-Chateau (a legendary place of the Catharians) and
the point of the planet Mars at Verdun (actually this point of Mars,
the god of war, attained sad fame during the First World War). The Knight
Templars connected the flow of energy between the seven sites of power
or ”chakras of the earth” in France in a particular way.
the energy grid of the earth. The 12 large pentagons are divided
into smaller pentagons by the marked rays of the pentagram
|The inner pentagon of
the large European Pentagon is exactly superimposed on France.
At its centre is the town Bourges, the ”keystone of the
Great Work of the alchemists in Europe”, and the seven-pointed
star of the Knight Templars.
The secret knowledge of the alchemists is in regard to the way
the energies in the seven-pointed star of the planets are to flow
in order to have a vitalising effect. They knew how to transform
the ”dark planetary order” of the Nigredo level to ”gold” and
to brightness. They called this highest level of vibration ”Rubedo” (=
reddening), according to the colours appearing during the transformation
of matter in the Great Work. The endeavour of all great alchemists
was to reach this highest level of vibration in their laboratory
work and within themselves. For this purpose Paracelsus transformed
solid metals and gems into unique lucid elixirs. Used as remedies
they are meant to ”brighten up” man in the same manner,
i.e. to raise him in his vibrational level, and to heal and support
the development of character and consciousness.
Bildquellen: ©Hans Nietsch Verlag, ©Siegfried Prumbach 1x
der Bücher „Edelstein-Essenzen“ und „Metall-Essenzen“ im
Bezug alchemistische Rubedo-Essenzen im Esoterikfachhandel.
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