What is Alchemy?
Although its true origins are unknown, Alchemy can be traced back to ancient Egypt with the emergence of The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus (Hermes was the Greek name for the Egyptian God Thoth). The term itself comes from the roots “Al-Kheme”, meaning “from Egypt” or “from the black land,” which was a reference to the fertile soils around the Nile River. Alchemy was this protoscience and philosophy, which eventually became the basis for modern day chemistry and medicine. Some of humanity’s greatest scholars, philosophers, physicians, and artists have been students of this ancient science (Paracelsus, Plato, Sir Isaac Newton, John Dee, Edward Kelly, Nicolas Flamel, Nagarjuna, just to name a few). It is from the science of alchemy where we get pharmacology and various chemical processes such as distillation, the process used to make alcohol.
The notorious story of the alchemists was the search for the “Philosopher’s Stone,” – an “Elixir of Immortality” which was thought to be able to turn lead into gold. The modern consensus of this ancient practice of alchemy is that it was merely an absurd pseudo-science, practiced by fools trying to get rich quick by attempting to turn base metals, such as lead, into gold; Often misunderstood, misinterpreted, and highly ridiculed… alchemy is actually a much deeper, more mysterious body of knowledge than is given credit. The key to understanding the secrets of alchemy lies in understanding the meaning behind its symbolism.
Alchemy is synonymous with Purification, Refinement, and Distillation. The removal of impurities, or the idea of perfecting something… of turning “Lead into Gold’ was not about getting rich, but is actually a metaphor for removing all that is unnecessary; the process of refining until you get something that is pure and perfect. In simplest terms, it is the transformation of something negative into something positive. This ancient process actually represents the metaphor of taking the basic consciousness (lead) that we are born with, and transmuting or transforming it into the higher consciousness (gold) that is both our birthright and our privilege. Most alchemical text and philosophy is filled with metaphor, encoded and mystified in order to avoid persecution from the powers that controlled the narrative of society, i.e. the Roman Catholic Church, monarchs, and governments. People were often ostracized, killed or “burned at the stake” for these ideas, out of fear of the occult and the unknown. When understood as allegory, Inner Alchemy can be seen as the process of using the body as a laboratory for refining, distilling, or purifying the fluids of the body; making them chemically perfect in order to generate a pure fuel, coursing through the physiological processes of the body, feeding the brain.. and when sparked, can ignite the engine of Higher Consciousness. This is the true meaning of Awakening the Third Eye or the All-Seeing Eye“(Excerpt from Magical Egypt)
What is SOMA Alchemy?
With Soma Alchemy, we catalyze this transformational process using the power of the breath. Drawing on the ancient wisdom traditions, we recognize that purity, health, and happiness requires a balance and integration of the three vital energies within the body. In Taoism, these are the Jing, Chi, and Shen; in Alchemy, the terms are Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury. These three vital energies, or “Three Treasures” correspond with the three main areas of the body: the Hara (Lower Abdomen), the Heart (Thorax), and the Brain (Head). They are also referred to as “Dan Tiens” in Chinese medicine, meaning “Elixir Fields.”
Upper Dan Tien: Brain / Head > Shen / Spirit / Mind – Radiance, Consciousness, Electromagnetic Field, Thoughts
Middle Dan Tien: Heart / Thorax > Chi / Energy / Breath – Vitality, Life-force, Emotions
Lower Dan Tien: Gut / Lower Abdomen > Jing / Essence / Body – Genetics, Energy Reserves, Sexual Organs
Modern science is now catching up with these age-old ideas of three “brains.” We see a preponderance of evidence showing how most health issues stem from an imbalance of the Gut Microbiome. Research at the HeartMath institute is also looking at the science of the heart, showing the benefits of gratitude and the importance of Heart Coherence. When all three “brains” are working together in harmony, we find ourselves in a state of health, balance, and alignment. In Soma Alchemy, we also recognize the importance of the Elements in maintaining our Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual Health. Theses elements could be assigned to a wide variety of aspects within our being, but for our purposes:
Earth corresponds with Nutrition and Actions
Water corresponds with Fitness and Emotions
Air corresponds with Breathwork and Thoughts
Fire corresponds with Meditation and True Will
Through a holistic practice of proper diet, exercise, breathwork, and meditation, we can become whole and awaken the SOMA by bringing our body (hara), energies in motion (e-motion in the heart), and thoughts (head) into a coherent state of Universal Health and Wellness.