Alchemical treatises explain that, in order to obtain the Philosophers’ Stone symbolized by Mercury, the adept has to begin their work exactly as the Sun enters Aries and the Moon enters Taurus, for the Sun is exalted in Aries and the Moon in Taurus. Gemini, the next sign in the zodiacal circle, is the home of Mercury.
Thus we have the three signs of Aries (the Sun), Taurus (the Moon) and Gemini (Mercury), which follow each other in order to show that it is the union of the Sun and the Moon that produces the child, Mercury. The trio of Sun, Moon and Mercury is found in other signs of the Zodiac as well but, for the time being, we shall consider only these three very significant signs, Aries, Taurus and Gemini.
The glyph of Mercury is composed of the disc of the Sun, the crescent of the Moon and, to indicate their union, the plus sign (+). The glyph of Mercury, therefore, is simply the union of Sun and Moon.
The Sun and the Moon give birth to the child, Mercury, the Philosophers’ Stone. But the true Philosophers’ Stone sought by alchemists is, in reality, a symbol of the transformation of man. Alchemists work with the Sun and the Moon, that is to say, with the two principles of will and imagination and it is thanks to the work of the two principles that they are capable of transmuting their own matter and becoming, symbolically, as radiant as the Sun and as pure as the Moon.
It is no coincidence that Mars is domiciled in Aries and Venus in Taurus, for it is by working with the Sun and the Moon, that is to say with the masculine and feminine principles, by sublimating their sexual energy (Venus) and the dynamic, active force of their will (Mars), that an alchemist obtains the spiritual powers symbolized by Mercury, the magic agent.
The Knights Templar figure Baphomet
In the tradition of the Knights Templar, this magic agent was represented by Baphomet, that monstrous figure which led many people to believe that the Templars worshipped the Devil. Others called the magic agent ‘Azot,’ a word that is formed of the first letter of the alphabet in Latin (A), Greek (Alpha) and Hebrew (Aleph) and the last letters of the same three alphabets, Z (Latin), O (Greek) and T (Hebrew), and which signifies that the magic agent is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
To be continued…
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov,
Sèvres, December 27, 1970
Complete Works Volume 14. Love and Sexuality, Part 1
Chapter 2 Taking the bull by the horns – The Caduceus of Hermes