Celtic Alchemy

Development Principles of Celtic Alchemy

One of the basic principles of alchemy as a science is to collect, unite and connect all the parts of a universal knowledge. The heritage of the Celts is exceptionally valuable in this regard, since it reveals the value of the systematic knowledge of alchemy as a global, unifying and synthesizing science that collects and creates something new. Celtic Alchemy is a phenomenon that exceeds cultural boundaries, it brings together the religious, educational, historical and cultural heritage of many peoples. The Celts created a unique approach to understanding the world based on the principle of acting.

The formation and development of Celtic alchemy holds a special place in human history. Iberians, Ligures, Picts, pre-aryans, Aryans, Belgae, Britons, Illyrians and even Hyperboreans, the fabulous people of Atlantis ... And this is even not a complete list of the ancient peoples and cultures that influenced the formation of the Celtic tradition!

Probably no other world culture has absorbed such an amount of knowledge as the Celtic. Constantly migrating and intersecting with different peoples, the Celts developed principles that subsequently determined the nature of Celtic Alchemy as the science of proportion, rhythm and filling. Like a good cocktail, the Celtic tradition has incorporated a set of the best ingredients and is, thus, in its essence alchemical.

Who is the successor of the Celtic traditions today? Bretons, Welsh, the residents of the English county of Cornwall, the Scots, the Irish, the Manx or someone else? It is hardly possible to answer such a question, however we can clearly claim that the Celts are a certain collected, mixed phenomenon that has had a significant impact on the development of the whole European culture.

The scheme of all the places preserving traces of the life, activities and consolidation of Celts resembles a boiling cauldron. In the first millennium BC the Celts lived in the basins of the Seine, the Rhine and upper Danube. The largest Celitc tribes include the Boii, Helvetii, Belgae, Sequani and Aedui. Subsequently, the area of ​​their settlement expanded and the Celts inhabited what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy. They inhabited also the territories of the Iberian Peninsula, the British Isles, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Netherlands. As you can see, the territories associated with the activities of the Celts are expansive. And if we add America and Africa, it would appear generally difficult to find a place on earth that would not be associated with the Celts.

One of the legends about the discovery of America claims that the Celts were the first among Europeans to came into contact with the ancient civilizations of America, which enriched Celtic alchemy with new knowledge. Moreover, the formal explorers and conquerors of America, Columbus and Cortes, were associated with the chivalric orders that borrowed a large part of the principles of Celtic Alchemy (Columbus was linked to the Knights Templar, and Cortes - with the Franciscans). The link of the Celts with the knowledge of African magic goes through the Iberians, who came from North Africa and joined the Iberian Celts. As a result of their mixing a new tribe appeared: the Celtiberians who fought with Rome in the armies of Carthage. The Celtic Iberians were in fact the ones who brought to alchemy the knowledge of rhythm.

Celts

This nation was called by different names depending on the place of settlement, however they shared a common form of self-designation borrowed from the Greeks: Celts, from the word Keltói. The Romans that conquered the Celts in the middle of the 1 c. BC called the Celtic tribes Gauls, from the Latin word Galli. Not being ancient in itself, the Celtic culture interacted closely with the ancient states. The Celtic ethnicity consisted of many tribes, all of which however were united by the art of constructing their culture based on the knowledge of geometric proportion, the linking of space and the weaving of patterns.

The Art of Conversion

All of Celtic alchemy can be represented as the art of nurturing the red or cinnabar - a substance that can be converted for the purpose of gaining a certain strength. Mastering the art of cinnabar made ​​it possible to significantly affect the quality of energy in the process of transformation. Through the art of red nurturing the properties of the energy could be modified to the extent of full materialization.

The word ‘red’ has a common root in the ancient Indo-European languages ​​and in modern British. In English it’s ‘red’, in Breton – ‘ruz’, in Ancient Breton – ‘rud’, in Welsh – ‘rhudd’, in Irish – ‘ruadh’, in Old Irish – ‘ruad’, in the Indo-European proto-language – ‘reudh’, and in Sanskrit – ‘rudhira’.

In the Christian world the red colour, associated with cinnabar, was in time perceived as negative, uncontrollable and enhancing the weak human qualities. It was believed that the red colour reinforces all the negative, like a storm, especially if the person did not have the ability to control the transformative power of cinnabar. In the Christian era red became the symbol of the devil as a signal that power could be received only from God, and not from inside. Thus, the red colour, on the one hand, represented infernal beings, and on the other – it was the symbol of power and strength. It is no accident that those who were born with red hair were perceived by the Celts as a representative of the Otherworld.

 

Symbols and Forms of Transformation in Celtic Alchemy

The main symbol of Celtic Alchemy is the omnific cauldron, which is administered by god Dagda and is securely hidden on the Isle of Man, near the north coast of Wales. The cauldron symbolizes power and the process of transformation, as well as the hidden source of knowledge around which all the processes associated with the alchemical transformation arise. Like the Holy Grail, the cauldron feeds the living and brings the dead back to life.

God Dagda is the main patron of Celtic Alchemy. Another primary symbol of Celtic Alchemy, along with the well-hidden cauldron, is the club of Dagda that controls life and death. Dagda, the bearer of powerful knowledge, was he patron of the special laboratories of the Celts, located in the wonderful hills, called sidhs, where alchemical transformations occurred. The Sidhs (‘sidh’ means mound or hill in Celtic) were believed to be the dominions of gods and were also associated with the underworld. Subsequently, the word ‘sidh’ acquired the meaning ‘abode of the Gods.’ 

Celtic alchemy was interested in the transformation of all forms of the material world, including colour and sound. The most significant form, symbolizing the process of transformation, was colour. The three primary colours were white, black and red. White symbolized movement, black symbolized peace, and red was the colour of inner strength and transformation.

The next group of basic transformation forms according to Celtic alchemy included sounds (rhythms), objects, characters and clothes. And the next one: parts of a whole, including body parts. Thus, the cult of the severed head was associated with the worship of the separately living part of a whole. Today’s tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic worship of the head as a trophy that protects from evil.

Halloween is celebrated on the eve of October 31, the eve of All Saints' Day. The holiday is associated with witches and sorcerers who are believed to walk freely among people in this night. Halloween inherits the tradition of marking the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain celebrated on November 1 – the first day of the new year in the Celtic calendar.

Samhain is one of the main Celtic festivals. It is believed to have been a peasant holiday marking the end of one agricultural cycle and the beginning of another. Samhain was considered a time when the boundaries between the human world and the otherworld disappeared. It was believed that on this day the spirits could come and visit the people, and that people, in turn, could visit the otherworld. On the eve of the holiday the Druids lit ritual bonfires, which was perhaps connected with the holiday of the times of the solar cults.

The notion of alchemical rhythm - one of the key notions of Celtic Alchemy - first grew into a cult of development (growth) and then - into a cult of celebration. The art of listening and working with rhythm gave birth to the arts of music, dance, poetry, relationships, the crafts and even the celebration of seasonal holidays, that were seen as points of energy changes in space, associated with rhythm. The Celtic pantheon, too, grew into a representation of a certain alchemical rhythm, a set of vital vibrations, each of which represented a particular god.

The same occurred also with the spirits of nature: the plants and the sacred animals – with the development of the Celtic pantheon of gods, they came to be regarded as powers with specific characteristic qualities.

The pantheon of Celtic deities is very diverse and may sometimes even seem rather confusing. Perhaps, some of the gods played only local roles and were considered only temporary notions by the Celts. The frequently mentioned and, so to say, multifunctional gods were about a dozen, whereas the rest were mentioned rather rarely. With the development of the religious notions related to certain powers, the natural phenomena and animals acquired divine status. The manufacture of weapons was also related to the cults and was thus ritualized. The creation of new cults contributed to the enlargement and reinforcement of the territories controlled by the Celts in the process of their transformation.

The rhythm of alchemic transformations was ruled by Brigit, goddess of fertility and rhythm, and daughter of the Dagda. The central location of Celtic Alchemy was the Hill of Tara (sidh Brung) - a symbol of fire, and the river Boyne - a symbol of water. Boyne is the alchemical wife of Dagda.

Dagda passed the knowledge of Celtic alchemy to Aengus Mac Og, god of love, Midir, god of the underworld, Lir, god of the sea and Manannan, his son (Isle of Man is named after him). Later the knowledge of Dagda was passed on to Bodb Dearg (Bodb the Auburn), ruler of the underground laboratory in the Lur Dirg and Gelt mountains, where various alchemical transformations occurred.

The Hill of Tara is an ancient Neolithic settlement located in the Irish county of Met. Built around 2000 BC this hill was, for many centuries, the principal sacred place of Ireland and the largest religious and political center of the island. Up until the 12th century the capital of Ireland was located here. The place was also considered the residence of the gods of the people of goddess Dana and the court of Conchobar mac Nessa.

Midir, god of the underworld, possessed the knowledge of the three sources of filling (represented by the three magical cows), e.g. drink, food and activities. Midir controlled also the magic cauldron and the three factors of desire: I want, I don’t want and I don’t know what I want.

Manannan was the guardian of the magic yellow shaft, the red javelin, and the three swords, named The Retaliator, The Great Fury, and The Little Fury. He had a ship that moved at the behest of thought, and a lovely horse that could run like the wind. Manannan had mastered the art of magic spells and invisibility. He also possessed the knowledge of the consumption of alchemical ingredients, which - together with the magic ale of Goibhniu, god of blacksmiths - gave people eternal youth and immortality. Manannan also had a magic cloak believed to possess various magical properties.

The constant migration of the Celts changed their rhythm of life, so each tribe formed its own pantheon, however it kept the main axial gods bearing certain collective features and multiple functions. It is therefore no surprise that over time Celtic history generated characters like King Arthur, Merlin, Tristan and Iseult, and King Lear. They were collective images of the Celtic warrior, the Celtic alchemist, the Celtic woman, and they demonstrated the special qualities of Celtic culture: the qualities of communication and synthesis.

 

The Heroes of Celtic Epos and Alchemy

Celtic Alchemy consists of cycles delineating the full process of alchemical transmutation and transformation. The Celtic epic cycles, which became rather well-known later on, were nothing more than a ‘literary’ reflection of the alchemical process. What is more, the fact that the description of the alchemical process acquired literary characteristics can be easily explained: since the priests possessing this alchemical knowledge were forbidden to put them down, up until the 13th century all the information related to them was passed down in oral form and subsequently recorded in the form of literary tales.

Only part of the Celtic epic cycles are preserved today. The oldest of these is a mythological cycle telling the story of the first alchemists, the gods of the tribe of Dan, which also provides information about the sources of Celtic alchemy and the Celtic pantheon. It is followed by two cycles on Celtic alchemy: the Ulster and the Ossian cycles. They both resemble a geometric shape whose reference points or faces are set out by the presentation of the events. The Celts saw the art of building geometric shapes as an opportunity to fix and preserve knowledge by constructing together rhythm, cycle, writing and drawing.

When studying Celtic alchemy we need to understand that breaking it down into periods is not as important as it is when studying other ancient cultures, since Celtic knowledge is much less related to the notion of time and is therefore not subject to temporal conceptualization. Celtic alchemical culture is the source of knowledge about the links that can be formed in space. Celtic alchemy is dominated by the knowledge of achieving spatial transformation, of linking various forms and conditions in space.

The most important hero in the Ulster cycle and the whole Celtic epos is the Celtic warrior and alchemist Cuchulainn. The analysis of his qualities and deeds reveals before his researchers the same master that realized the potential of Celtic alchemy as the science of achieving immortality. This science sees the physical parameters of the hero as part of the process of internal transformation that changes the power and the capabilities of his joints and his tendons, it even changes his facial expressions.

Cuchulainn is probably a true historical figure whose image acquired mythological features. The works of the Ulster cycle describe him as a warrior who studied the world but who also possessed the gift of providence and was superior in wisdom than all the heroes in the epos. The treatises tell the stories of how Cuchulainn slayed the hound of Culain, how he single-handedly defended his country against a whole army of enemies, and how he traveled in the underworld where the fairy Fand fell in love with him. Along with Fionn mac Cumhaill, the hero of the Ossian cycle, Cuchulainn contributed greatly to the development of Celtic alchemy as a science.

Cuchulainn is of divine origin: his father is the sun god Lugh and his mother – Deichtine, daughter of Aengus, god of youth, love and beauty. The epic hero receives the knowledge while still in his mother’s womb and after his birth he becomes the pupil of the druid Cathbad. Cuchulainn falls in love with Emer, daughter of Forgall Monach, (she helps him to acquire powerful and mysterious knowledge and the power of the six gifts) and later, after a series of trials, he marries her. The arts that Cuchulainn acquires are: the art of preserving beauty, the art of conversation, the art of work, the art of being at peace, the art of preserving the acquired and the art of listening.

On the island of the goddess Scathach, Cuchulainn studies the art of wielding weapons, the art of crossing the bridge and the Gáe Bulg blow. The ancients believed that those who could not coordinate their actions, could not cross to the other side and would be eaten by a ferocious animal (the art of coordination was in fact the art of crossing the bridge).

The Gae Bulg blow is the art of destroying impending danger before it overtakes you. Celtic alchemy uses the phrase ‘to throw the spear with your foot’ which means ‘the Gae Bulg blow’.

Cuchulainn learns also six tricks from Aife, princess of otherworldly kingdom and rival of goddess Scathach. However after being defeated, Aife makes peace with Scathach and even becomes Cuchulainn’s lover. She bears him a son, called Connla, whom Cuchulainn unwittingly stabs in the stomach with a spear later on.

In the process of transformation, the energy body of Cuchulain becomes very tight, he attains such a power through the development of his inner fire that others see his body as a source of light and heat. Cuchulainn demolishes his enemies with such a power that he causes storms and eclipses. According to one of the main Celtic alchemical treatises, Táin Bó Cúalnge (known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley), Cuchulain mastered the art of inner transformation and could change his appearance, he could even impart power not only to the movements of his hands and feet, but also to his hair. All of his body system were powerful and united. His blood provided fire and helped Cuchulainn transform everything around him, the energy of his muscles changed the density of the air, his skin like the sails of a ship could catch the mighty wind.

The main events of the Cuchulainn epos are associated with two sacred bulls. The Brown Bull of Cúalnge is a symbol of knowledge, alchemical transformation and masculinity. Finnbhennach  (the White-horned Bull of Connacht) symbolizes alchemical knowledge associated with femininity. Finnbhennach  originally belongs to Queen Medb but for certain reasons he moves to the herd of her husband Ailill, king of the Connachta. This leads to a war during which Cuchulainn passes his battle initiation and destroys the troops of the queen, trying to get at least one of the bulls.

It’s worth noting that the development of Celtic alchemy in the times of Cuchulainn was related to women. Some helped him (his mother Deichtine, his wife Emer and Scathach), others opposed him (queen Medb, the goddess Morrigan) however he acquired most of his knowledge through them. So although Medb fought Cuchulainn for the right over the Bull, he learned in the process many techniques and skills, spells and charms, and even magical transformations. As a result, all the great women-warriors and goddesses came in contact with Cuchulainn. Even his death (Cuchulainn causes his own death by breaking one of his gaesa: not to eat dog meat) should be considered as a manifestation of his knowledge which he uses against himself, thus freeing his spirit from his body and achieving miraculous transformation.

The campaign of Medb, the warrior queen, against Ulster for the alchemical knowledge hidden in the Brown Bull of Cúalnge prevents Cuchulainn from gaining corporeal immortality. However, this campaign leads to the death of Medb herself - she is killed, while bathing, by a stone, shot from the sling of Furbaide, son of Conchobar Mac Nessa, king of the Ulaid. Queen Mebd represents in the epos one of the manifestations of the goddess Morrigan.

Morrigan is the goddess that represents the qualities associated with death, which can take man, if he does not practice Celtic Alchemy. Morrigan has three hypostases: Badb, Macha and Nemain. Which of these deaths will appear depends on the acts of the person during his life. The three powers that appear in the form of a crow (symbol of death) take the souls of great warriors to the otherworld for an eternal feast or eternal torment. No one can argue with the power of death - if she has came, nothing can stop her. Cuchulainn defies death but cannot completely defeat it and she takes his physical body, goddess Morrigan does not want to save it. According to the legend, Morrigan is also in charge of the laboratory of death and her sidh is the only sidh controlled by a woman.

The later period of Celtic Alchemy is associated with the events that took place in the 3rd c. Most treatises of the Ossian cycle (also called the cycle of Finn or the Fenian Cycle) are dedicated to the Fianna, the wandering warriors and hunters. Their leader is Fionn mac Cumhaill,  father of the poet Oisin. According to one version, Oisin was the one who passed the knowledge of Celtic Alchemy to the major Christian saint of the Celtic land, St. Patrick. Along with Cuchulain, Finn and Oisin are the main protagonists of the Celtic epos.

St. Patrick (389-461) is Ireland’s patron, the founder of Irish monasticism. Some sources claim that he was born in Scotland, others say France. He fell into the hands of pirates and at the age of 16 he ended up in Ireland, where he became a shepherd. At 22 he fled to France where he received his monastic education in a monastic school - either the Martinian school founded by Martin of Tours, or the Lerins school founded by Honoratus. Patrick was ordained bishop by Pope Celestine I and was sent to Ireland where he zealously converted the Celts to Christianity and founded many monasteries, the most famous of which was in Armagh county, in the north of Ireland. St. Patrick combined Christianity with the principles of Celtic Alchemy, and perceived the mass as an art where the process itself, the act was seen as primary and most valuable. 

 

Gaesa

The narrative style and characters of the Ossians cycle differ from the times of Cuchulainn. These tales place more emphasis on spiritual experiences, which are seen as a process of inner transformation. This period is associated with the establishment of the functions of Gaesa, rules and norms of individual behavior regulating the life of a person; the Celtic version of vows. The epic hero Cuchulainn, for example, had to bear responsibility for his words, he was forbidden to help women, to eat dog meat and to let anyone pass through the land he controlled without his consent. The gaesa were developed by druid-priests and were based on the macrocosmic principles manifested in everyday life.

From the standpoint of alchemy, the special significance of the gaesa laid in the generation of internal effort, when the person not simply assumed certain obligations but had to constantly remember them and improve himself in putting them to practice. And since following the gaesa required an understanding and not just a blind execution of the prohibitions, it would be wrong to consider them simply a form of taboo. Being non-abstract, the gaesa performed an important function in helping people to consciously communicate with their inner world, they also helped keep the secret about the strengths and weaknesses of the person. A person's name was also considered one of the forms of gaesa, it was believed that the name must not be pronounced and given to the ignorant. The loss of control over gaesa meant the loss of strength and energy and led to physical weakness.

Later, the concept of gaesa was inherited by many knightly orders and was particularly important to the Templars. Internal codes consisting of gaesa helped maintain order throughout the Order of the Temple for centuries.

Thus, Celtic alchemy created a special scale of moral values ​​based on power, law and principles, established for the purpose of improving the quality of a specific person, a specific action. Violation of the law always led to disaster, to the destruction of a part of the universe.

Linking Principles

Over time the internal links materialized in the external. In other words, the initially internal energy links were projected onto external life where they served as a support. This led to the formation of links at the external, more material and crude level. The Celts viewed even structures and natural landscape as parts of space exhibiting special conditions related to certain energy conversions (e.g. castles, ‘dun’ in Gaelic, symbolized the strengthening of energy, and fields, called ‘magos’ in Gaelic, symbolized its diffusion).

All the actions of the Celts – from the conquest of neighboring tribes to the building of their own homes or ceremonial centers - fit into the orderly process of transformation and the formation of their own spirit. Thus, the internal energy change in the person was regarded as a process that increased or, conversely, decreased the strength of the spirit. Such processes were often related to caves or places inhabited by bears (artos, Celt.).

‘Art’ in Celtic also means ‘God’ and ‘artaios’ means ‘changes’.

The symbols and forms that realized the principle of linking in Celtic alchemy were stones (later trees) because they had a crystalline structure capable of transformation and change. Since ancient times stones were considered the nodes of knowledge that absorbed the power of the place where they were located. Different stones were ascribed different roles depending on their crystal structure.

However, the main contribution of Celtic Alchemy to world culture lies in the gaesa of the art of action. They made the tasks assigned to man more comprehensible. Also worth mentioning is that the gaesa were the foundation of all the rules that govern people’s lives even today.

History and System of Celtic Alchemical Learning

As already mentioned, Celtic alchemy was formed as a result of the fusion of many different cultures: we associate it, on the one hand, with the history of the British Isles, and on the other, it can be considered universal because it has transformed so many times that we can hardly say what is primary today.

The Celts appeared on the territory of the British Isles around the 4th c. BC. After they got mixed with the local tribes, a new type of Celts appeared. They started building educational centres in accordance with their own druid understanding of development. This resulted in the development of a powerful magical system based on the already existing knowledge and the knowledge acquired in the pursuit of immortality. The Celts on the British Isles synthesized the knowledge of the Pythagoreans, the Aryans, the Iberians, the Normans and the native tribes that helped them to create a coherent system of belief in immortality.

Druids created special training centres, the main of which were located in English Oxford, in Tara Hill and in the centre of the isle of Iona.

The isle of Iona is part of the Hebrides archipelago near the north coast of Scotland. The island was donated to St. Columba by the king of the Hebridean kingdom Dalriada, Conall Mac Komgallom (558-574) for the purpose of building a monastery. Thus it turned into a kind of base used by the Christian church - guided by St. Columba, St. Aidan (who founded the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland, northern England, in 635) and their followers - to carry out the Christianization of the whole of Northern Britain.

St. Columba (543-615) played a major role in the propagation of the Irish type of Christianity not only in the British Isles but also in most of Western Europe. Leading an ascetic life, he was primarily a Celt, that is, although he served the cause of Christ, he did not deny the knowledge of Celtic paganism and alchemy but instead he put them in the service of what he had devoted his life to.

The education in these institutions established by the Celts lasted 20 years, during which 20,000 verses had to be learnt. The educational system consisted of four transitional stages; three of them were related to different stages of improvement, and one had no name. The druids strictly followed the quality and understanding of knowledge acquisition.

The training consisted of several steps called Yr Graddfeydd in Wales or Aradah Fionn in Ireland. Each step represented a certain pattern fixed with the help of an Oghamic sign. One year corresponded to the creation of one pattern, which symbolized the mastering of a number of arts and skills by the student.

The father of the Celtic Ogham alphabet - the most ancient form of writing in Ireland – was believed to be the god of literature and oratory, Oghma (also ‘Grianainech’, meaning ‘Sun Face’ in Celtic; and ‘Milbél’, meaning ‘Honey Tongue’ in Celtic). Externally, the Ogham writing consisted of vertical inscriptions on stone pillars and walls. The Ogham letters looked like points or inclined notches.

This image belongs to the Ogham writing system, called ‘Yr Graddfeydd’ in Welsh (meaning ‘steps’ in Welsh) or ‘Aradach Fionn’ (meaning ‘Fionn’s Ladder’ in Irish).

From the world that lies beyond time,
Over time the shadows fall.
By the beauty, older than the Earth,
The soul can ascend the stairs.
I climb Fionn’s ladder
To witness what is older than time.

These lines refer to Fionn’s Ladder whose every step represents a lesson learned or a new phase of life, in this context the main purpose of life is relentless self-improvement. This series of lessons and the chain of rebirths represent the Druidic concept of the transmigration of the soul. According to some Celtic sources, the rebirth of the soul is related to its movement up the steps of the ladder, so that each rebirth brings it closer to the True Spirit. According to other sources, the rebirth of the human soul lies in the person’s descendants.

Celtic civilization is among the oldest European matrix cultures, i.e. the cultures formed at the level of all necessary development institutions: religious, social, educational and financial. Sometimes it seems as if one of the tasks of Celtic Alchemy was to attempt to receive and preserve a certain power (indirect evidence of this is the ritual of catching apples). One of the particularly important principles in Celtic alchemy is the principle of action regarded both independently or as inscribed in the algorithm of other actions. This principle was developed by the Fianna, a special class of the Celts who possessed various parts of the knowledge. The Fianna were especially interested in the individual development of energy with the help of various conversion techniques - from mastering weapons to making elixirs and potions. This conceptual approach to learning made up a methodology that changed with the development of the abilities of the organism.

The alchemy management process covered knowledge related to other worlds and spaces, such as Atlantis. Druidism, i.e. the Celtic art of magic, and the druid institute are generally associated with the west coast of Wales, which is believed to be linked to Atlantis. Sources say that the true priestly knowledge of the Celts came from the Pheryllt, creators of the priestly centres. The Pheryllt are also associated with the art of making lei (‘lei’ means ‘oak road’ in Celtic), through which passed the power lines of their labyrinths. They also created the sun wheel on top of Glastonbury Tor hill. All Celtic rings are viewed as the ring of the sun, including the Supreme Stone perched on top of Glastonbury Tor.

The Pheryllt were the ancient priests of Atlantis. After the disappearance of Atlantis they moved to the western coast of Wales and started creating a new knowledge – the knowledge of modern times that formed the basis of Celtic alchemy. The Pheryllt are credited with the creation of the megalithic constructions, such as Stonehenge, Silbury Hill, Glastonbury Castle, Newgrange, Callanish and others. In all likelihood, the main centre of the Pheryllt was in the area of Glastonbury or in what is today Glastonbury Tor hill.

Stonehenge is an ancient structure located in Wiltshire county in southern England. It consists of massive stones that form a closed circle and represent a model of the solar system. The erection of Stonehenge at the borderline of the Stone Age and the Bronze Age coincided with the heyday of the Minoan civilization on Crete. Stonehenge bears clear traces of several construction phases in its history, each separated by a whole millennia. In its earliest stage (about 3100 BC) the monument consisted of a circular bank and ditch enclosure. Outside the circle stood the Heel stone, called also The Heel of the Running Monk, and inside there were sacrificial indentations located circumferentially at an equal distance. Later, a number of dolerite stones were arranged within the centre of the site in the form of two concentric circles. These stones reached 8 meters in height and their weight was 50 tons (researchers believe they were carried from the closest stone quarry in the eastern part of Wales at a distance of 380 km). Stonehenge consists of four large stone circles. The outer circle consists of a number of upright pillars, each covered with a flat slab of stone, touching the neighbouring one, and thus forming a single ring. Each pillar weighs approximately 25 tons, and the plates - 700 kilograms. Within the second circle there are smaller single standing stones, called ‘menhirs’. The third and fourth circles are not closed, i.e. they resemble crescents, and also contain groups of stones.

Silbury Hill is the largest of the ancient manmade hills and is located in Wiltshire county, southern England. According to the radiocarbon analysis Silbury Hill was built around 2500 BC. The hill is 40 meters high.

Newgrange is megalithic structure in Ireland with a façade made of quartz that reflects the sunlight beautifully. The whole design of Newgrange is focused on the winter solstice. It is believed that the complex was built around 3500 BC. The stones are marked with ancient alchemical symbols and signs.

Callanish, or The City of the Gods, is located on the Isle of Lewis, near the north-west coast of Scotland. This is one of the most important and mysterious ancient ceremonial centres. Callanish is a cross-shaped setting of standing stones enclosed in a circle. One of the axes of the complex is aligned with the sunrise and the sunset at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. The estimated time of construction of this megalithic monument is 3000 BC.

Glastonbury Abbey is located in the county of Cornwall in southwest England. The first church was built here in the 2nd century and it later grew into the largest abbey in England. Legend tells that after Jesus was crucified, his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy merchant, arrived here and brought with him the grail with the blood and sweat of the crucified Christ. He stopped at this place to built the church of the Virgin, and the bowl itself he buried in Galstonbury Tor hill. The abbey burned down completely in 1184, and was rebuilt by Henry II, but was later destroyed again by his descendant Henry VIII in an attempt to get rid of the Roman influence in the islands.

Many researchers tend to attribute the knowledge of the Pheryllt to the wizard Merlin. If you look at it from the point of alchemical principles and proportions, the grounds for such speculation are certainly present. If you look at everything from the standpoint of the European historical and anthropological science, it is admittedly difficult to find a direct link. However, due to the fact that alchemy is above all a system of knowledge, it can sometimes take as basis what is only implicit, if the phenomenon reveals actual knowledge related to change and transformation. Alchemy is based on the three drops of Art: mind, body and energy. The presence of these droplets proves the existence of a boiler that produced them, e.g alchemy.

The Secret Code of Celtic Alchemy

Celtic alchemy is the art of communicating with the forces of nature, the art of living according to the laws dictated by the strict sequencing of actions in a certain rhythm, which - as already mentioned - is the main transforming principle. A very important feature of Celtic alchemy is its original focus on the powers and abilities specified by nature. It does not develop but rather links and redistributes energy. We can even say that the main purpose of Celtic alchemy is to link the whole material world with the spiritual world and the world of gods. Even the purely physical expanse of territories occupied by the Celts sets within the Celtic tradition a perspective on time that is rather different from the common temporal perception.

And no matter how much we try to unravel and decipher the code of Celtic alchemy, we are bound to fail – after all the dissemination of knowledge was the most important task of the Celts. This is why, the most important milestone in the understanding of Celtic knowledge lies in the set of links. Only the total body of knowledge can provide an answer to a single question, and no one can know the whole by knowing the part. Many explorers - St. Patrick and St. Columba, for example - tried to break the code of Celtic knowledge but instead, simply became part of it. The knowledge of Celtic alchemy is so vast that you can dive in its depths but you can never grasp it.

So, modern European culture has unwittingly inherited from Celtic alchemy different forms of knowledge and a valuable methodology, comprised of a knowledge development system and a set of teaching principles. After all, the Celts were the ones who created the idea of building society as a structure that develops in an organized and focused manner. Celtic alchemy actually served as a directing vector for the progress of the whole European civilization as well as its development institutions.

The Celtic influence affected also the system of social relations where the principle of proportion gradually acquired the form of what we today call ‘democratic existence’. We also owe the major financial institutions of modernity to the Celts as they laid the foundation for a large number of the financial relationships.

The Celts laid also the foundations of the art of monastic life, which was subsequently developed by the Templars and Freemasons. Generally, the conceptualization of the order of the Templars as an institution of improvement comes from the Celts who demonstrated how important and significant the principle of linking is for the achievement of a common result.

Subordinating their lives to strict laws, the Celts created a special model of religious society that had never existed before. Many Christian leaders tried to apply this model in practice but it was most effectively developed in the organization of the Order of the Temple. Again thanks to the Celts today we can not only consume high-quality food and drinks but we also know how to do this properly, we can even say, beautifully.

Celtic alchemy believes that where eight arts converge people acquire immortality. It is exactly this large number of connecting parameters in the form of qualities and abilities that allows people to gain magical powers. Every action - from everyday acts to the sacred rituals to eating the sacred salmon, the fish of wisdom that helps to understand the past and the future – was seen in Celtic alchemy as the art of collecting everything together.

Thus, even today, when a person does several things at once well, he follows the principles of Celtic alchemy. Linking can cause physical transformation of various forms. However, we must remember that Fionn mac Cumhaill can place his magic cauldron, in which he brews the elixir of immortality, only in a place with a good support, a place where three to eight processes occur simultaneously. Celtic alchemy calls such a place ‘the eight Fenian stones’. So if we, contemporary people, want to be part of the secret process of the ancient Celtic art of transforming, we need to have inner support.

Gaesa of the art of action:

  • the art of knowing the code of life;
  • eating and drinking as a means of understanding the magic of the body;
  • the art of preserving silence for the purpose of acquiring in-depth knowledge;
  • the art of crystallization;
  • action as a linking element;
  • the actions of women, defined by their destruction, differ from the actions of men;
  • the action should not be directed at those who do not live according to the laws of action;
  • the action should not be lost (with unnecessary people, animals and forces);
  • the action fills, it does not destroy;
  • the action is quality, it can not be small;
  • abuses and threats are destructive; peace punishes;
  • actions have their master;
  • action should not forsake knowledge;
  • the action is determined not only externally but also internally (the dissemination of unconscious judgments leads to the loss of power);
  • time spent not consciously will not remain unpunished;
  • power needs to be supervised;
  • truth lies in rhythm, power lies in links, and filling lies in actions.

 

20 april 2008

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