Brandon Conn



As a student of both Western Esotericism and Occultism in general, this series brings together several influences and interests: Hermetic philosophy and Alchemy, understood not just as a mere form of proto-chemistry concerned with the transmutation of lead or base metal into gold, but a psycho-spiritual tradition involved with the transmutation of consciousness itself. The three primary alchemical principles are sulfur, salt and mercury. While I do not wish to divulge all the symbolism contained in these works, I will briefly mention Tabula Smaragdina, or the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, one who possessed “the three parts of wisdom and philosophy of the whole world”. Some translations say ‘universe’ in place of ‘world’ and some interpret it as simply ‘universal philosophy.’ The Emerald Tablet is filled with potent symbolism of the hermetic art and contains poetic imagery and references to the four elements. The elements according to ancient cosmology were fire, water, earth and air. A four-fold structure is also typical of a mandala,¬†understood to be a visual psychocosm, a representation of the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe. As the hermetic axiom states ‘As Above, So Below,’ there is a correspondence between the macrocosm and the microcosm, cosmology and consciousness. For this series, the twelve signs of Western Astrology are arranged according to their element. 12 divided by 4 gives us the three modalities: fixed, cardinal and mutable signs.