The Ninth Alchemical Recipe

The Ninth Alchemical Recipe
It takes Mercury to make mercury

It takes Mercury to make mercury.

Every atom of the entire cosmos can be reduced to one breath of the Deity:
‘To receive it all – to sacrifice it all – to transform it all’.

Hermes is at once the protector of thieves and travellers, the messenger of the gods, and the god of healing. He is the clever jester, the wise one, and the disruptor of the fixed, iron structures in which humanity becomes endlessly entangled.

Mercury as the corrector helps us recognise our fixed patterns, our coping strategies. He instils in us an awareness of all the undesirable physical experiences, the emotions and illnesses in our body, which we attract when we stray from the path. That is why he is the patron of wanderers and thieves.

The signals of mercury are registered in the subtlest, most ephemeral and sensitive of planes, in the nerves. As the divine Mercury, he aids us in spreading the divine message. Both aspects of Mercury become one by means of his staff.

The dedicated alchemist works with courage, determination and humility, rejoicing in an inner quietude that brings peace to the nervous system.


(Text first published in Pentagram 2015  No. 2.   Emblem: Atalanta Fugiens Emblem 10: Give Fire to fire, Mercury to Mercury, and you have enough – Michael Maier )