The Philosopher's Stone

Originally the Philosopher's Stone was believed to be the chemical that changed base metals into silver or gold, often it was termed the Power of Projection.

The Philosopher's Stone was an alchemical "medicine" sought by alchemists in order to bring about a permanent transmutation of base metals into gold. The Philosopher's Stone had several names, including the"materia prima" and the "magnum opus" . Many "recipes" for the Philosopher's Stone were concocted throughout the centuries, usually either containing a silver or gold alloy which could be changed again into the pure metal, making alchemists believe that the metal had been transformed, or a "white or yellow metallic alloy superficially resembling silver or gold". Only a small quantity of the Philosopher's Stone was said to be required in order to transform large quantities of base metals into gold.

he Philosopher's Stone was mystically described in a way unlike the experimental definition of the substance. For philosophers and mystics, "philosophical sulphur" and "philosophical mercury" were, in a representation of "perfect unity," to be combined in some mysterious way to form the Philosopher's Stone .

The "seed of gold" was to be extracted to form the Stone, according to "Eirenaeus Philalethes".

It was known as the "Soul of the World" and the "Spirit of Truth," to be comprehended only with the aid of the Holy Ghost. It was known not only as a transmuting agent but also as a source of wisdom and of healing. I

t was generally described and illustrated cryptically and symbolically. The Philosopher's Stone's power as a healer and a restorer of life is exemplified in legends of the "Elixir of Life," a "solution of the Stone in spirits of wine" which, when consumed by the alchemist, would restore health and youth. It was not supposed to prevent death, but rather to delay it, cleansing the body of impurities, prolonging life and restoring youth. The idea of a solution containing gold or the Philosopher's Stone prolonging life led, in later years, to a number of yellow or gold-tinged liquids being "foisted upon a credulous public" for the supposed medicinal value of the liquid.

It was first mentioned by Zosimos the Theban (c. 250-300) in the third century. Throughout the generations the Philosopher's Stone has taken on an immense range of powers; not only has it been called the secret of life and health, but also possessing spiritual significance. The notion of its spiritual qualities expanded until in the thirteenth century a program evolved that led the alchemist through a strict devotional ritual and purification. After completing this ceremony he was thought worthy to perform his activities.

Eventually the Philosopher's Stone was thought to signify the force behind the evolution of life and the universal binding power which unites minds and souls in a human oneness.

Finally, it represented the purity and sanctity of the highest realm of pure thought and altruistic existence.

The Philosopher's Stone - the White Stone by the River - The Sword in the Stone - all the same - that which contains the knowledge of creation - a symbol that represents the final outcome of man's inner transformation, of the conversion of the base metal of his outer character to the golden properties of his higher self.