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THE SIGNATURE BEAD EXPLAINED

1. HEPTAGRAM: THE SEVEN SIDED STAR




Our signature bead consists of 3 alchemical engravings. You will find a Seven Sided Star (Heptagram), the symbol for Gold and the symbol for Silver. By explaining the characters and giving more background information about them, the coherence of these symbols will become much more clear and may help you understand why this bead represents the Philosophers’ Stone and why our brand is named Modern Alchemy.

The Heptagram refers to the seven planets which were known to early alchemists. In many Gnostic myths man is given an autonomous task of creation: in order to heal the sick organism of the world, he must lead the divine sparks of light, spiritual gold, through the seven planetary spheres of the Ptolemaic cosmos and back to their heavenly home. To the outermost sphere of Saturn corresponds the "sullied garment of the soul", the grossest material, lead. Passing through this sphere meant physical death and the putrefaction of matter that is necessary prerequisite transformation. The subsequent stages were: Jupiter-tin, Mars-iron, Venus-copper, Mercury-quicksilver, Moon-silver and Sun-gold.

The individual metals were taken to represent various degrees of maturity or illness of the same basic material on its way to perfection, to gold. To ease its passage through the seven gates of the planetary demons, gnosis, the knowledge of astral magic practices, was required.

Source: Roob, A. (2009) The Hermetic Cabinet, Köln: Taschen.


"Aurum nostrum non est aurum vulgi."

1. HEPTAGRAM: THE SEVEN SIDED STAR




Our signature bead consists of 3 alchemical engravings. You will find a Seven Sided Star (Heptagram), the symbol for Gold and the symbol for Silver. By explaining the characters and giving more background information about them, the coherence of these symbols will become much more clear and may help you understand why this bead represents the Philosophers’ Stone and why our brand is named Modern Alchemy.

The Heptagram refers to the seven planets which were known to early alchemists. In many Gnostic myths man is given an autonomous task of creation: in order to heal the sick organism of the world, he must lead the divine sparks of light, spiritual gold, through the seven planetary spheres of the Ptolemaic cosmos and back to their heavenly home. To the outermost sphere of Saturn corresponds the "sullied garment of the soul", the grossest material, lead. Passing through this sphere meant physical death and the putrefaction of matter that is necessary prerequisite transformation. The subsequent stages were: Jupiter-tin, Mars-iron, Venus-copper, Mercury-quicksilver, Moon-silver and Sun-gold.

The individual metals were taken to represent various degrees of maturity or illness of the same basic material on its way to perfection, to gold. To ease its passage through the seven gates of the planetary demons, gnosis, the knowledge of astral magic practices, was required.

Source: Roob, A. (2009) The Hermetic Cabinet, Köln: Taschen.

"Aurum nostrum non est aurum vulgi."

2. GOLD




In the centre of our signature bead you’ll find the symbol that represents the sun in alchemy. The physical meaning it represents is gold. A quote that comes from Alchemy is:

Aurum nostrum non est aurum vulgi.

It means: “Our gold is not the gold of the crowd.” For the alchemists the physical material had a metaphysical counterpart. This is where our slogan “a magical tool to stimulate the mind” comes from.

The sun In Platonism symbolizes the idea of the good. Plato saw the sun as the origin of the existence of all things and also the reason why we are able to see those things. Likewise, the idea of the good is the cause of being and of our knowing of it. Just as the sun exists in the sensory world and connects the ability to see it, so does the idea of the good and thinking bind each other in the spiritual world. Because of this dual role, the idea of the good ensures that what we think matches what it is like. In other words, that there is such a thing as truth.

The alchemists seem to see gold as the physical expression of the sun. And at the same time as the physical or material expression of the idea of the good.

Finally it is a solar gold, because it is the rightful son of the Sun and the true Sun of Nature; its power gives force to the elements of which the warmth vivifies the souls and of which the movement of the entire Nature is brought into movement; from its influence the power of things arises, because it is the influence of the light, a part of the heavens, the lower Sun and the Light of Nature, without which even science would be blind; without its warmth reason would be stupid; without its rays imagination would be dead; without its influences spirit is sterile; and without its light intellect remaining in eternal darkness.

Taken from the manuscript: La Lumière sortant des Tenebres (The Light coming forth from the Darkness)

As one of the most durable and rare metals on earth, shining as bright as the sun, physical gold became the physical counterpart of the sun. It is said of the philosophers and thaumaturge Empedocles that he asserted the existence of two suns. The hermetic doctrines also include a double sun, and distinguish between a bright spirit-sun, the "philosophical gold", and the dark natural sun, corresponding to "material gold". The former consists of the essential fire that is conjoined with the ether or the "glowing air".

Source: Roob, A. (2009) The Hermetic Cabinet, Köln: Taschen.

2. GOLD




In the centre of our signature bead you’ll find the symbol that represents the sun in alchemy. The physical meaning it represents is gold. A quote that comes from Alchemy is:

"Aurum nostrum non est aurum vulgi."

It means: “Our gold is not the gold of the crowd.” For the alchemists the physical material had a metaphysical counterpart. This is where our slogan “a magical tool to stimulate the mind” comes from.

The sun In Platonism symbolizes the idea of the good. Plato saw the sun as the origin of the existence of all things and also the reason why we are able to see those things. Likewise, the idea of the good is the cause of being and of our knowing of it. Just as the sun exists in the sensory world and connects the ability to see it, so does the idea of the good and thinking bind each other in the spiritual world. Because of this dual role, the idea of the good ensures that what we think matches what it is like. In other words, that there is such a thing as truth.

The alchemists seem to see gold as the physical expression of the sun. And at the same time as the physical or material expression of the idea of the good.

Finally it is a solar gold, because it is the rightful son of the Sun and the true Sun of Nature; its power gives force to the elements of which the warmth vivifies the souls and of which the movement of the entire Nature is brought into movement; from its influence the power of things arises, because it is the influence of the light, a part of the heavens, the lower Sun and the Light of Nature, without which even science would be blind; without its warmth reason would be stupid; without its rays imagination would be dead; without its influences spirit is sterile; and without its light intellect remaining in eternal darkness.

Taken from the manuscript: La Lumière sortant des Tenebres (The Light coming forth from the Darkness)

As one of the most durable and rare metals on earth, shining as bright as the sun, physical gold became the physical counterpart of the sun. It is said of the philosophers and thaumaturge Empedocles that he asserted the existence of two suns. The hermetic doctrines also include a double sun, and distinguish between a bright spirit-sun, the "philosophical gold", and the dark natural sun, corresponding to "material gold". The former consists of the essential fire that is conjoined with the ether or the "glowing air".

Source: Roob, A. (2009) The Hermetic Cabinet, Köln: Taschen.

"Woman dissolves man, and he makes her solid. That is: The spirit dissolves the body and makes it soft, and the body fixes the spirit."

Aurora consurgens, early 16th century

"Woman dissolves man, and he makes her solid. That is: The spirit dissolves the body and makes it soft, and the body fixes the spirit."

Aurora consurgens, early 16th century

3. SILVER




Empedocles also taught that all life lay in the movement resulting from the clash between the two polar forces, love and conflict. In the Opus Magnum these correspond to the two alternating processes of dissolution and coagulation, disintegration and bonding, distillation and condensation. They correspond to the two polar agents of Arabic alchemy: mercury and sulphur, philosophical quicksilver and brimstone, sun and moon, white woman and red man. The climax of the Work is the moment of conjunctio, the conjunction of the male and female principle in the marriage of heaven and earth, of fiery spirit and watery matter (materia from the Latin mater, mother). The indestructible product of this cosmic sex act is the lapis, the "red son of the Sun".

Source: Roob, A. (2009) The Hermetic Cabinet, Köln: Taschen.

Except for the symbol for the “male” sun you will also find the “female” counterpart in our bead, the moon. The moon also represents silver, the only metal to alloy with the male gold. From their marriage the Filius Philosophorum is born, the philosophers child or the moon child. Metaphorically linked to the birth of Christ, in which God became man, in alchemy Man became the Creator itself and by using the elements they were able to reach salvation.

3. SILVER




Empedocles also taught that all life lay in the movement resulting from the clash between the two polar forces, love and conflict. In the Opus Magnum these correspond to the two alternating processes of dissolution and coagulation, disintegration and bonding, distillation and condensation. They correspond to the two polar agents of Arabic alchemy: mercury and sulphur, philosophical quicksilver and brimstone, sun and moon, white woman and red man. The climax of the Work is the moment of conjunctio, the conjunction of the male and female principle in the marriage of heaven and earth, of fiery spirit and watery matter (materia from the Latin mater, mother). The indestructible product of this cosmic sex act is the lapis, the "red son of the Sun".

Source: Roob, A. (2009) The Hermetic Cabinet, Köln: Taschen.

Except for the symbol for the “male” sun you will also find the “female” counterpart in our bead, the moon. The moon also represents silver, the only metal to alloy with the male gold. From their marriage the Filius Philosophorum is born, the philosophers child or the moon child. Metaphorically linked to the birth of Christ, in which God became man, in alchemy Man became the Creator itself and by using the elements they were able to reach salvation.

"Make of man and woman a circle, from that a square, then a triangle, then another circle, and you will have the Philosophers' Stone."

Michael Maier, Atalanta fugiens, Oppenheim, 1618

"Make of man and woman a circle, from that a square, then a triangle, then another circle, and you will have the Philosophers' Stone."

Michael Maier, Atalanta fugiens, Oppenheim, 1618

4. Philosopher's Stone




The name "Philosophers' Stone" arose because alchemists referred to themselves as philosophers, as written in the well-known text Turba Philosophorum. In alchemical writings, in addition to Philosophers' Stone, elixir (originally Arabic) and red tincture also appear. To make their lyrics hermetic (inaccessible), the alchemists used several other concealing terms, such as basilisk, salamander and chameleon.

By using the Philosophers' Stone, (Latin: Lapis Philosophorum), a legendary alchemical substance, the alchemists were capable of turning base metals such as mercury into gold (chrysopoeia, from the Greek χρυσός khrusos, "gold", and ποιεῖν poiēin, "to make") or silver. For many centuries, it was the most sought goal in alchemy, and efforts to discover this substance were known as the "Magnum Opus" (Great Work).

According to later alchemists like Isaac Newton, the Great Work was aimed at enlightening the philosopher himself. The Philosophers' Stone became a symbol for being on the right track on a metaphysical journey to find the solar gold.

4. Philosopher's Stone




The name "Philosophers' Stone" arose because alchemists referred to themselves as philosophers, as written in the well-known text Turba Philosophorum. In alchemical writings, in addition to Philosophers' Stone, elixir (originally Arabic) and red tincture also appear. To make their lyrics hermetic (inaccessible), the alchemists used several other concealing terms, such as basilisk, salamander and chameleon.

By using the Philosophers' Stone, (Latin: Lapis Philosophorum), a legendary alchemical substance, the alchemists were capable of turning base metals such as mercury into gold (chrysopoeia, from the Greek χρυσός khrusos, "gold", and ποιεῖν poiēin, "to make") or silver. For many centuries, it was the most sought goal in alchemy, and efforts to discover this substance were known as the "Magnum Opus" (Great Work).

According to later alchemists like Isaac Newton, the Great Work was aimed at enlightening the philosopher himself. The Philosophers' Stone became a symbol for being on the right track on a metaphysical journey to find the solar gold.