The Alchemy Stones: Metals, Minerals, and the Stages of Life

The Alchemy Stones: Metals, Minerals, and the Stages of Life May 23, 2019

Signs and symbols, ancient and obscure images created by priests, philosophers, and magicians. Occult and mysterious, they inspire our imaginations. I have a life-long interest in the obscure; so when I stumbled across the idea of alchemy at a young age, I was fascinated. Exploring the coded texts and the drawings packed with symbolism captured my curiosity. I’d never be able to discuss alchemical concepts in the same detail as, say, lesser-known giantesses; but I enjoy engaging with the symbols nonetheless. So many years ago, I created the Alchemy Stones.

Here’s all seventeen symbols described and the interpretations I use for them, but for now I’ll just tell you how much I love this oracle. I personally use divination as two parts entertainment, one part self-help tool. Unless I’m in a ritual situation communicating with spirits or deities (for which I mostly prefer the runes anyway) it’s all in good fun with some insight thrown in.

A lot of divination sets are strikingly mundane for a tool that many use for spiritual and personal growth. They discuss if you’ll receive money, who is romantically interested in you, whether a friend is talking about you behind your back. And while that’s absolutely amusing information if you’re not serious about it, or helpful if you are, it’s not the kind of information many are looking for.

Alchemy is a process of personal growth, of purification of oneself. You’re probably familiar with the idea of turning lead to gold, and certainly many alchemists had this as their final goal. But for many, the physical process was both a metaphor for and a reflection of their inner transformation. While I disagree with medieval alchemists that humanity is inherently sinful and stained, I do believe that everyone has negative habits that could be examined and adjusted. That’s the point of alchemy: stripping away the bad and letting inner beauty shine through.

The Alchemy Stones reflect personal growth through a progression of metals (from lead to gold) and stages of the alchemical process. From nigredo, the first step in cleansing to the quintessence, the marriage of two opposites and the combination of all the elements, alchemy mirrors our own spiritual growth. Its signs and symbols make an excellent guidepost for those on the journey.

Reading with the Alchemy Stones

As an example reading, I drew three Alchemy Stones: the element Air, the metal Lead, and the metal Iron. I asked about a specific insecurity I’ve been dealing with lately. The element Air tells me to focus on logic and reasoning. My insecurity has no basis in reality, no real reason to exist.

The metal Lead is the very beginning, the basest of metals. It’s the very beginning of the journey. I’m just beginning here, and it’s okay to be gentle with myself as I find ways to move past this difficulty. The metal Iron is the masculine metal, brittle and easily broken compared to others. Trying to strong-arm my way through my fear isn’t going to be effective; only acceptance and working through my emotions will ultimately cure it.


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