alchemy 101

Alchemy 101: What is Alchemy?

Alchemy is a practice that has its origins in Egypt, as evidenced from the word in itself. The Arabic prefix Al, meaning ‘the’, combined with the word khemia, derived from khem, the name for the land of Egypt, gives us the translation of the term ‘alchemy’: “The art of Egypt”.

From Egypt, alchemy was a gift from the Kemetic god Thoth (’Djehuty’), who thus is seen as its founder. Thoth brought to man sciences and mathematics; he presided over scribes and knowledge. 

As the Hellenics, or Greeks, traveled into Egypt, they associated many of the Kemetic deities with their own. For example, the Hellenic god Hermes became synonymous with Thoth. Through this relation between Thoth and Hermes, Hermes was also perceived as the founder of alchemy. Thus, alchemy is commonly referred to as the Hermetic art, or the arts of Hermes. Additionally, he is also referred to as Hermes Trismegistus, ‘Thrice-great Hermes’.

From Egypt, the practice of alchemy gradually spread north until finally reaching the European countries. Alchemy also had a presence in eastern countries, taking on a similar, but different, form there. 

Furthermore, alchemy is a two-sided subject; it is a practice that is both spiritual and physical. It encompassed astrology, mysticism, spiritualism, and physics.

Throughout history there have been three main goals of an alchemist: 

I. To transmute ordinary metals into gold.

II. To make the soul progress from its ordinary state to one of spiritual perfection.

III. To create a substance known as the Philosopher’s Stone, using raw materials and the assistance of the divine.

Alchemy was composed of both of science and spiritual principle; if an alchemist could transmute, or “purify”, base metals into gold, then, they believed, they could achieve spiritual purity. 

Alchemy 101

Note: This is about modern, real alchemy, not anything fictional.

What is alchemy?

Alchemy is simply a process of transformation, creation, or combination. During the Middle Ages, it was a very popular endeavor of attempting to transmute common things like iron into pure gold. It combined science and witchcraft, and was the forerunner for modern chemistry.

What this post is about, however, is the more metaphysical form of alchemy: using physical materials or symbols to manipulate energy, like modern witchcraft.

Alchemical Symbols

The three symbols in the top-left are called the Three Principles: sulfur, salt, and mercury. The five symbols in the top-right are the symbols of the elements: fire, air, water, earth, and a symbol that represents them all*.  Medieval alchemists believed that the Three Principles and the Four Elements were what everything is made of. This can also be applied to the astral realm and the different energies that it consists of. 

  • Sulfur energy is hot, fiery, and energetic.
  • Salt energy is cleansing, absorbing, and somewhat neutral.
  • Mercury energy is calm but quick, and is a communication energy.

*When all four element symbols are overlayed, they form what looks like a David’s Star. It represents unity and the astral realm, whereas the plus sign symbol just represents the elements.

The lower symbols represent the planets and metals. (Pluto and Uranus are excluded because it wasn’t known that they even existed at the time) 

The Philosopher’s Stone

(NO, NOT HARRY POTTER) The Philosopher’s Stone was a substance that could allegedly transmute common, base materials into gold. The energetic equivalent is an energy that turns negative energy into positive energy. Use the symbol of the Philosopher's Stone to avoid the effects of curses, or to bless an area.

These symbols and physical things can be used to represent energies for spells. For example, copper could be used to correspond with Venus energy, sulfur can be used for curses, and so on.

Alchemical symbols can be used as/in sigils. The metals they correspond with can be used to correspond with astrological energies.

This post was a little ramble-y, but I hope it was informative! This is what I’ve gleaned and interpreted from lots of research, so if you disagree with anything, that’s fine, but please don’t get salty. Have a lovely day <3


It would come as no great surprise to an experienced traveler of Cyrodiil’s back country if I were to give them the warning, “avoid Ogres if you can. They are dangerous indeed.” Such a person may well ask for more obvious pronouncements. Perhaps “the grass is green, so be aware of that.” In fact, a legendary foul temperament and overall capacity for effective physical violence are hallmarks of the Ogre race, known all too well to woodsmen, mercenaries, and apprentice mages hoping to collect fresh Ogre teeth for bonus points in Alchemy 101.

A rather primitive race of large, brutish, vaguely humanoid creatures, Ogres seem to prefer hilly or mountainous terrain and are more common in the North, and in Colovia than in the Nibenay Basin. They are considered Goblin-ken, along with Goblins and Orcs, and Malacath is their patron deity. He considers them his ‘little brothers’ and becomes quite angry when people go out of their way to mistreat them. A popular folktale from the end of the Third Era claims that a questing hero and Malacath devotee - most often an Orc in their oral traditions - freed some Gold-Coast Ogres from a haughty nobleman who had enslaved them, and the Ogres in turn forced the nobleman to work the fields instead as they supervised him. It’s unlikely this fanciful tale has any basis in reality: such reversals are common in Colovian folk tales, and serve to impart moral lessons upon their readers and listeners.

Ogres are known to have an obsession with finely crafted human materials, and shiny things in particular, whether natural or crafted. They often steal heirloom swords and large gems to satisfy this obsession. Most Ogres wear crude hip packs and loin cloths of hide. It is speculated that they do have a rudimentary culture and can use tools, although most fight unarmed, preferring to batter opponents with their tough, rock-like fists. There are unconfirmed reports that the more intelligent members of their species can sometimes be outfitted for war in oversized suits of armor, and can be trained to wield heavy weapons effectively. There are even fanciful tales of Ogre magi casting powerful sorceries, imbued with the malice and wit of Malacath, but these are most often found in cautionary tales for children, or the epic poems of yore.

Ogre blood ancestry is unknown, but many people believe they can and do interbreed with Orcs and Goblins on occasion, and one infamous Imperial man believed his family was descended from them, although it is reported that his quest to reunite with his “long lost kin” ended in his untimely but inevitable demise. Like many Tamrielic creatures, their bodies contain magic, which can be imbued into potions. Alchemists prize their teeth and pay high prices for them, often attracting the attention of competing mercenary guilds. Adventurers questing in the Colovian Highlands and Bruma county are advised to tip their swords or arrow heads in poison as this primitive race has a particular weakness to it - one of the few pieces of folk wisdom surrounding Ogres which has been shown to be objectively true. Adventurers who believe they can confuse Ogres with riddles or bribe them with large potatoes might find that too much reliance on folk wisdom can be fatal, however.

(Writing: Pilaf the Defiler / Art: Lady Nerevar)

Alchemy 101: Above, Below, and the “One Thing”

To learn alchemy, the practitioner must first understand its principles. To do so, we must look at the content of the ancient texts that served as the foundation for alchemy. One such text being the Emerald Tablet, which was said to hold the entirety of the philosophy and practice of alchemy. With this we can understand the foundation of the system of reasoning that the alchemists had.

In the Theatrum Chemicum translation of the Emerald Tablet, the second line states, “Whatever is below is similar to that which is above. Through this the marvels of the work of one thing are procured and perfected.” Although it’s short, within this excerpt is the entirety of alchemical philosophy:

To start, the heavens, as referred to by numerous religions, is the above: it was the sky and the swath of stars overhead; it contained the sun, the moon, and the planets. The above is the realm of God / the gods, and it is also the internal expression of the soul, residing in each of us.

On the other hand, the below is the earththe mortal world.

The above and the below correspond; they are in union with each other. However, while the two are perceived as two separate aspects, they are, in fact, one. 

Together, the above and the below accomplish the “one thing”. Alchemists believed that all things were created from one thing by one thing. This “one thing” is what was known by alchemists as the Prima Materia, the first matter, in which there was one, unchangeable reality behind the ever-changing material world. It is regarded as the source of everything, and alchemists, in their studies, were constantly searching for this Prima Materia. 

In addition, the “one thing” was believed to simultaneously express itself as three things (a trinity). Similar to other practices, alchemy has its own trinity, its own set of three principles:

insideahurricane  asked:

How did learn to paint?

I’m still learning every day. I have found that the keys to success on this journey are sacrifice, dedication, and passion. If you demonstrate those three attributes, you can be great at anything to which you set your mind.

anonymous asked:

Your art is so expressive and free. Where do you draw the line between being inspired by someone else's art and copying it? Are you often bothered by that sort of thing?

Early in my life and career I rigorously studied art history and looked at a lot of art. I collected inspiration from a multitude of sources and stored it away. I now spend almost all of my time creating and actually limit the amount of outside stimulation I allow during my creative process. I utilize my long term memory and stored inspiration from which to draw most of my source material and cultivate my own unique interpretation. I find that keeping a certain level of separation forces me to access a deeper part of my brain and fill in the gaps employing my own imagination. This practice and methodology significantly reduces the risk of stealing someone else’s ideas or copying.