Alchemy – The Minor Work (Opus Minor) of Alchemy is the work of silver. This work involves the refinement of the components of personality. The student learns to balance the elements earth, air, water and fire. From the perspective of the hermetic Kabbalah, the element earth is harmonized in the sphere Malkuth in the Tree of Life. All material things are examined like the professional, family, health and financial position. In the sphere Yesod the subconscious can be found. Here subconscious aspects and the intellect are balanced. This is followed by the sphere of Hod, where the water and the mental and emotional aspects are harmonized. The sphere Netzach corresponds to the fire and thus to the will of man. If these elements are balanced, an equilateral cross symbolically emerges. The balance of the four elements has an impact on how our life is. The fifth element is the spirit, the top of the pentagram and is called quintessence. The impulse for transformation emanates from the Higher Self, which harmonizes and balances our elements. It is actually the work of the “holy guardian angel”, although it looks like you are making an effort yourself.
The Perfection of the Minor Work is the precondition for the full connection of spirit and soul. A vehicle is created in which the higher spirit will be able to operate. The attachment to the personality is released and the destiny for the higher Spirit is prepared. Then follows the “Chymical Wedding” and the arrival of the Sun-Consciousness or Messiah-Consciousness.
The Great Work (Opus Magnum) transforms the lead of ignorance into the gold of accomplishment. This takes place in the middle triad of the Tree of Life and is also the work of gold. The Opus Magnum is the ministry to God and mankind. This includes all we do.
The transmutation of metals is a spiritual and physical process. The Seven Metals correspond with the seven ancient planets in astrology and the seven chakras. It is important for the student to understand the underlying principles and aspects of personality. In Mystery Schools the student gains access to the knowledge of the Wise Men and can experience this for himself.
In the alchemical courses of the Hermetic Academy practical methods are taught to accomplish these stages of alchemy.