THE ALCHEMICAL MERCURIUS
If alchemy has a patron deity it's Hermes, god of riddles, tricks and secrets; or as the Romans called him,
Mercury; tutelary wheeler-dealer deity of trade, thieves and market places? The arch illusionist,
the ultimate Tricky-Dickie, the fluid that is really a metal but behaves like a liquid.
But also the spiritual essence, the divine messenger, the psychopomp, the guide of souls,
the only one who can lead you safely through the darkness of psychological dissolution;
because he himself will certainly be a part of that dissolution. Now you see him, now you don't.
Mercury is all these things, and many more. This booklet will provide a wide-ranging,
general introduction to this mutable, presiding genius of Alchemy.
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
Ruland, in his Lexicon of Alchemy (c. 1612), gives more than forty names for Mercury, ranging from
‘Wine of Souls’ to ‘Poison’, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. He also adds this significant warning.
‘You must always be careful to distinguish what is generally and particularly stated concerning Mercury,
as to whether it be about ordinary Mercury, or about Our Mercury. Do not make a mistake; otherwise, the information will be useless.’
Once again, Mercury appears, flourishes his wand, and self-replicates; but he rarely manifests without leaving a token of some kind, and we now know that we must specify whether we wish to encounter the tangible abstract of red cinnabar, or the less palpable, omnipresent spirit of transformation.
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