0 comments / Posted on by Candice Ruck

What is important to note before all else, is that Alchemy is an integral part of Hermeticism, alongside Astrology, Spagyric, Heraldry and Magic.

Hermeticism is a conveyor of sacred sciences that has endured the test of time although eventually, their essential meaning was lost and mingled with inexact sciences.

As its name suggests, the structure derives from the writings of Hermes Trismegistus.

It is during the Alexandrian period that the idea of Hermeticism seems to have its early historicity.

What occurs in the ancient world has been taken mostly from the Egyptians, but also the Assyrians and the Chaldeans if not from the Indians and the Chinese, for Alchemy is to be found in all cultures.

Alchemy as an internal operation, its object is the maturing, transmutation or rebirth of the soul.

The universal patterns of Alchemy encountered throughout different civilizations, developed in different climates, but with all that, the alchemical science retains significant universal truths.

In the context of Western Hermeticism, and more precisely in the Medieval era, Alchemy evolved as a secret doctrine concealed from the vulgar world, and the alchemists often used "linguistic quackery" to protect their tradition.

For all that, perhaps, the most concealed but dense written composition of their doctrine became well established in symbols and imagery, that for the uninitiated, had no meaning or were even considered as inconvenient.

The alchemists knew that certain truths are inaccessible to the profane world, and they didn't set the efforts in revealing the most intimate secrets of their doctrine to the surface.

Therefore, they pretended that their occupation is a form of metallurgy or experimentation with chemical elements and metals.

Metallurgy and metal refinement and alloy represent only external processes, but in combination with the inward methods of the soul, they incorporate one complete phase.

This form of expression in various traditions demonstrates that Alchemy contains all the signatures of a doctrine which is artisanal and consistent.

At the deepest level of Alchemy, the concept of an alchemical process that happened through a cycle of color changes ensued from the initial blackness to the perfection of the Philosopher's Stone. 

Three significant processes mark the sophistication of the alchemical process. Hence the symbolism of colors as an expression of the three alchemical phases: Black (Nigredo), White (Albedo), and Red (Rubedo).

The alchemist envisaged that each stage of the process would be marked by a change in color and a meeting with specific animals.

Consequently, linking the three significant colourings, certain stages correspond and have their complementary symbolism in animals.

 

Blackening - Black Crow, Raven, Toad, Massa Confusa.

Whitening - White Swan, White Eagle, skeleton.

Greening - Green Lion.

Iridescent colours - Peacock's Tail.

White Stone - Unicorn.

Reddening - Pelican feeding young with its blood; cockerel.

Final transmutation - Phoenix reborn from the fire.

 

As the alchemists reconfigured these experiments in their souls, they drew further similarities with Nature's more extensive investigation.

They saw the investigation as a microcosmic and macrocosmic reality within the subtle realm of the soul.

The living forces and entities in Nature were metaphorically rendered into their framework as they started to be represented through animal symbols, establishing thus the tangible alchemical processes in the form of figurative language.

Not all alchemists used the image of the Peacock's Tail, and the experience with the Green Lion was yet another stage they had reached throughout the process.

 

The Green Lion devouring the Sun is such a prominent expression depicted in many alchemical manuscripts and engravings that it can be considered as "the aqua regia" that dissolves the solar Gold creating, therefore, a solution that could easily permeate metals reputedly known as V.I.T.R.I.O.L.

 

Symbolism 

Before considering the symbolism of the Green Lion, it is essential to mention the symbolism behind the meaning of the V.I.T.R.I.O.L. and why it is vital in Alchemy.

V.I.T.R.I.O.L. stands for the abbreviation for Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem, which translates into "Visit the interior of the earth, and by rectifying what you find there, you will discover the hidden stone (the Philosopher's stone)."

In short, the adage suggests that the initiate may observe his inner nature and discover the true essence of existence since this is the path that leads to the Philosopher's stone. 

In artisanal Alchemy, the Green Lion devouring the Sun is a symbol on a chemical level for when a green, liquid sulfate often called "vitriol" purifies matter, leaving behind the Gold within that matter. Refined vitriol is a corrosive that consumes everything except for Gold. 

The Sun (Sol) represents Gold; therefore, the Green Lion is an alchemical metaphor for gold dissolving in a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids called 'aqua regia' (royal water).

Green color has always been at the center of alchemical mysteries and consequently represented by the Green Lion. The sixteenth-century treatise Esh M'saref or The Refiner's Fire discusses the Green Lion:

And it is known in the metallic mysteries that at the very outset there occurs the enigma of the Lion of the green growth, which we call the Green Lion, which, I pray you, do not reckon that it is called for any other reason but its colour. For unless your matter be green, no only in that immediate state before it is reduced to water, but also after the water of Gold is made thereof, you must remember that you must thus amend your universal dry process. "

Usually, the color green is associated with the earth. 

For the alchemists who were concerned primarily with Spagyric and the vegetable kingdom with its significant process of fermentation, distillation and extraction of the vegetable matter, the Green Lion would stand as an expression of the raw matter of Nature " the green fuse stimulates the flower." 

Onward, the green leaves of the plant are formed through the quality of sunlight.

The Green Lion here is the green pigment chlorophyll that receives and captures the light.

From another perspective, the Green Lion devouring the Sun is an alchemical symbol representing what is probably the effect of the sulphuric acid that has been accumulated for extensive means in the alchemical process.

The Sun is also a symbol of consciousness, but more specifically, Gold or the Sun is directly linked with the Spirit.

Therefore, for the inner processes of Alchemy, the Green Lion is said to be the phase in which the soul is "dissolved" of any impurities to allow access to the higher Self, to the attainment of a superior state of consciousness, which corresponds with the Philosopher's Stone.

On the psychological level, a specific interpretation stands for the experience of consciousness (Sun) being overwhelmed by violent, frustrated desires (The Green Lion). 

In conclusion, it is known that the 'philosophers stone' is at the same time, under another aspect, the 'true medicine', i.e. the 'elixir of long life', which is also a symbol for the 'drink of immortality'.

V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is considered a core altering medium and is seen as the symbolic Secret Fire that leads to spiritual excellence.

The 15th Century alchemist Basilius Valentinus first developed of this adage in L'Azoth des Philosophes.

This is what the Alchemists called the Green Lion their real and true matter, along with other symbols as the corpus solare et lunare; the greatest Mystery of the alchemical doctrine.

***
If you would like to learn more about the Green Lion, Spiritual Alchemy and the Lions Gate during Leo Season, subscribe to our seasonal series ritual boxes by 7/15/20! 

What is important to note before all else, is that Alchemy is an integral part of Hermeticism, alongside Astrology, Spagyric, Heraldry and Magic.

Hermeticism is a conveyor of sacred sciences that has endured the test of time although eventually, their essential meaning was lost and mingled with inexact sciences.

As its name suggests, the structure derives from the writings of Hermes Trismegistus.

It is during the Alexandrian period that the idea of Hermeticism seems to have its early historicity.

What occurs in the ancient world has been taken mostly from the Egyptians, but also the Assyrians and the Chaldeans if not from the Indians and the Chinese, for Alchemy is to be found in all cultures.

Alchemy as an internal operation, its object is the maturing, transmutation or rebirth of the soul.

The universal patterns of Alchemy encountered throughout different civilizations, developed in different climates, but with all that, the alchemical science retains significant universal truths.

In the context of Western Hermeticism, and more precisely in the Medieval era, Alchemy evolved as a secret doctrine concealed from the vulgar world, and the alchemists often used "linguistic quackery" to protect their tradition.

For all that, perhaps, the most concealed but dense written composition of their doctrine became well established in symbols and imagery, that for the uninitiated, had no meaning or were even considered as inconvenient.

The alchemists knew that certain truths are inaccessible to the profane world, and they didn't set the efforts in revealing the most intimate secrets of their doctrine to the surface.

Therefore, they pretended that their occupation is a form of metallurgy or experimentation with chemical elements and metals.

Metallurgy and metal refinement and alloy represent only external processes, but in combination with the inward methods of the soul, they incorporate one complete phase.

This form of expression in various traditions demonstrates that Alchemy contains all the signatures of a doctrine which is artisanal and consistent.

At the deepest level of Alchemy, the concept of an alchemical process that happened through a cycle of color changes ensued from the initial blackness to the perfection of the Philosopher's Stone. 

Three significant processes mark the sophistication of the alchemical process. Hence the symbolism of colors as an expression of the three alchemical phases: Black (Nigredo), White (Albedo), and Red (Rubedo).

The alchemist envisaged that each stage of the process would be marked by a change in color and a meeting with specific animals.

Consequently, linking the three significant colourings, certain stages correspond and have their complementary symbolism in animals.

 

Blackening - Black Crow, Raven, Toad, Massa Confusa.

Whitening - White Swan, White Eagle, skeleton.

Greening - Green Lion.

Iridescent colours - Peacock's Tail.

White Stone - Unicorn.

Reddening - Pelican feeding young with its blood; cockerel.

Final transmutation - Phoenix reborn from the fire.

 

As the alchemists reconfigured these experiments in their souls, they drew further similarities with Nature's more extensive investigation.

They saw the investigation as a microcosmic and macrocosmic reality within the subtle realm of the soul.

The living forces and entities in Nature were metaphorically rendered into their framework as they started to be represented through animal symbols, establishing thus the tangible alchemical processes in the form of figurative language.

Not all alchemists used the image of the Peacock's Tail, and the experience with the Green Lion was yet another stage they had reached throughout the process.

 

The Green Lion devouring the Sun is such a prominent expression depicted in many alchemical manuscripts and engravings that it can be considered as "the aqua regia" that dissolves the solar Gold creating, therefore, a solution that could easily permeate metals reputedly known as V.I.T.R.I.O.L.

 

Symbolism 

Before considering the symbolism of the Green Lion, it is essential to mention the symbolism behind the meaning of the V.I.T.R.I.O.L. and why it is vital in Alchemy.

V.I.T.R.I.O.L. stands for the abbreviation for Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem, which translates into "Visit the interior of the earth, and by rectifying what you find there, you will discover the hidden stone (the Philosopher's stone)."

In short, the adage suggests that the initiate may observe his inner nature and discover the true essence of existence since this is the path that leads to the Philosopher's stone. 

In artisanal Alchemy, the Green Lion devouring the Sun is a symbol on a chemical level for when a green, liquid sulfate often called "vitriol" purifies matter, leaving behind the Gold within that matter. Refined vitriol is a corrosive that consumes everything except for Gold. 

The Sun (Sol) represents Gold; therefore, the Green Lion is an alchemical metaphor for gold dissolving in a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids called 'aqua regia' (royal water).

Green color has always been at the center of alchemical mysteries and consequently represented by the Green Lion. The sixteenth-century treatise Esh M'saref or The Refiner's Fire discusses the Green Lion:

And it is known in the metallic mysteries that at the very outset there occurs the enigma of the Lion of the green growth, which we call the Green Lion, which, I pray you, do not reckon that it is called for any other reason but its colour. For unless your matter be green, no only in that immediate state before it is reduced to water, but also after the water of Gold is made thereof, you must remember that you must thus amend your universal dry process. "

Usually, the color green is associated with the earth. 

For the alchemists who were concerned primarily with Spagyric and the vegetable kingdom with its significant process of fermentation, distillation and extraction of the vegetable matter, the Green Lion would stand as an expression of the raw matter of Nature " the green fuse stimulates the flower." 

Onward, the green leaves of the plant are formed through the quality of sunlight.

The Green Lion here is the green pigment chlorophyll that receives and captures the light.

From another perspective, the Green Lion devouring the Sun is an alchemical symbol representing what is probably the effect of the sulphuric acid that has been accumulated for extensive means in the alchemical process.

The Sun is also a symbol of consciousness, but more specifically, Gold or the Sun is directly linked with the Spirit.

Therefore, for the inner processes of Alchemy, the Green Lion is said to be the phase in which the soul is "dissolved" of any impurities to allow access to the higher Self, to the attainment of a superior state of consciousness, which corresponds with the Philosopher's Stone.

On the psychological level, a specific interpretation stands for the experience of consciousness (Sun) being overwhelmed by violent, frustrated desires (The Green Lion). 

In conclusion, it is known that the 'philosophers stone' is at the same time, under another aspect, the 'true medicine', i.e. the 'elixir of long life', which is also a symbol for the 'drink of immortality'.

V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is considered a core altering medium and is seen as the symbolic Secret Fire that leads to spiritual excellence.

The 15th Century alchemist Basilius Valentinus first developed of this adage in L'Azoth des Philosophes.

This is what the Alchemists called the Green Lion their real and true matter, along with other symbols as the corpus solare et lunare; the greatest Mystery of the alchemical doctrine.

***
If you would like to learn more about the Green Lion, Spiritual Alchemy and the Lions Gate during Leo Season, subscribe to our seasonal series ritual boxes by 7/15/20! 

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