Colm Holland-Blog

Colm Holland’s 40 Days of Alchemy Meditations at home.

DAY 3 - Prima Materia

Meditation 3

First remember to test yourself again by reciting the first verse of The Emerald Tablet.

Today we will look in greater depth at the concept of Prima Materia.

On Day 1: I introduced us to this thought:

All things living and static consist of what the alchemists called ‘Prima Materia’ - a force that unites all things and can be engaged with simply through the power of our innermost thoughts.

An understanding of Prima Materia is fundamental to the practice and life of an alchemist.

I also have some good and bad news - almost no two ancient alchemists could agree on what Prima Materia actually is - does it actually have any real material form such as one of the many base elements that exist in all life as we know it - or is it something less concrete such as a force, light or energy? Then of course, in true alchemical fashion, when they did decide they knew what it was, they studiously hid their interpretation in indecipherable texts and symbols.

This means that as modern spiritual alchemists we are almost none the wiser about the true nature of Prima Materia, except we live in the 21st century - the age of science and technology. Modern physics tells us that all matter on earth and in the universe contains energy. Here’s a detailed history and explanation of modern particle physics from Professor Brian Cox if you have an hour to spare:

What you will discover in his lecture is that the insatiable desire to understand what makes up the universe did not end with the ancient alchemists - it is alive and well today and drives the latest science of particle physics. You may also feel that instead of indecipherable ancient texts the proposed answers are represented in complex calculus. The principle has not really changed: there is an energy that lives within all of the universe, and we are still trying to understand its effects.

One effect that the ancient alchemists did all agree on is that the Prima Materia unites all things, animal and mineral, material and spiritual, microscopic and universal. It is ubiquitous and joins everything together. We are not separated from outer space or from anything on earth or even from each other. We are all connected.

This is our exercise for today.

Spend the rest of the time you have set aside now and again whenever you have a moment for idle thought today, and meditate on the concept that all things are connected, in a way we cannot even now fully understand, but it is a reality.

Here is a brief mantra if it helps to do this meditation:

‘I have inside me the winds, the deserts, the oceans, the stars and everything created in the universe.’

(From The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho).

And remember, to encourage you throughout these exercises I have asked Love to give you everything you need to be the Alchemist in your world.