top of page

The Soul of Nature: Early Alchemy

The following is an excerpt from Isha Lerner's book: Power of Flowers.

Astrologers, those who have studied the stars, and herbalists, those who have studied the plants, have ever been seeking those remedies which will help us to keep our health and joy. ~Edward Beach

The entire natural world, including the world of human beings, is engaged in the alchemical process of spiritual transmutation. Therefore, flowers – both in the form of essences and of artistic renderings – are perhaps its greatest ally.

The Ancient Art Of Alchemy Is Almost As Old As Civilization Itself!

At the esoteric level, western alchemists, in their quest for spiritual perfection, developed a tradition of "cosmic magic." It can be traced as far back as the 4th century B.C.E. (Before the Common Era), extending deep into the mystery of Thoth, the Egyptian god of mathematics and science. It is interesting to note that in the Eastern world of approximately the same time period, Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist yogis were engaged in highly esoteric, alchemical experimentation, as well. In the Hindu and Buddhist context, these secret practices are commonly known as tantra.

At a more mundane level, western alchemical theory is based on the notion that the material world, despite its great diversity of form, can be reduced to a single, primary substance. This substance, known as prima materia, or primal, chaotic matter, ultimately consists of 4 basic elements: air, fire, water, earth. It was further believed that certain transmuting agents, themselves made up of these four basic elements, were capable of changing one material into another. In this context, alchemy was understood as the art of transmuting base materials into more refined materials through a process of freeing the original base materials from their "impurities." This notion became known as "the philosopher's stone,” the most recognized of all alchemical ideas. Perhaps Paraselsus described this alchemical movement toward purity and perfection best when he said:

Nature...does not produce anything that is perfection. Humanity must bring things to perfection. The work of bringing things to perfection is called "Alchemy" and he is an alchemist who carries what nature grows for the use of humanity to its destined end.

Alchemists Of Ancient Times Were Not Yet Burdened By The Artificial Distinction Between Science And The Occult.

In this sense, they were at a decided advantage over modern day seekers of perfection. The observable world of nature and the invisible, unconscious world of the psyche were not yet dualistically set apart, allowing for a holistic approach to inner and outer realities. In a world of whole things, one was more apt to discover whole truths. The minds of antiquity were more fluid; imaginations more fertile, giving rise to fanciful visions and elaborate excursions into overlapping philosophical, psychological, and religious domains. Steeped in a profound and direct experience of the mystical union of matter and spirit, all material forms were recognized as ultimately changeable and transmutable.

The Contribution Made To Both Mystical And Scientific Enterprises By Early Alchemists Cannot Be Overstated.

They understood the elemental healing properties of various plants, flowers, and chemicals, and were, consequently, able to formulate many powerful elixirs and potions – including the herbal concoctions used in the Egyptian mummification process, as well as those used in African shamanic healing and visionary journeys. Ultimately, their greatest achievement was their exploration of the dark, mysterious, unconscious aspects of nature and humanity. Through this journey, the early alchemists managed a blend of the exotic, the scientific, the esoteric, and the mudane.

Recommended Flower Essence

Alchemy Flower Remedy is best used when seeking to embody the physics of sacred love and wisdom on a cellular level. The properties of this essence are derived from the flowers corresponding to the Feminine Soul of Nature, Natura.


bottom of page