Celtic Alchemy is a concept that is beyond culture, and it unites the religious, educational, historical, and cultural heritage of many different nations. Iberian, Ligure, Pycta, Arian, Belgian, British, Illirian, and even Hyperborian (mythical inhabitants of Atlantis) – they are not the only ancient nations and cultures that influenced Celtic Alchemy. The Celts created a unique approach to understanding the world based on the principle of taking actions.
Perhaps no other culture in the world has ever absorbed so much knowledge. Having moved from one place to another and mixed with many different nations, the Celts have developed certain principles that defined the gist of Celtic Alchemy as a science of proportion, rhythm, and filling. Just like a good cocktail, the Celtic culture is a mix of many high-quality ingredients. This culture is alchemic by definition.
So who is the modern-day successor of Celtic traditions? The Bretons, the Welsh, the Cornish, the Irish, the inhabitants of Isle of Man or someone else? There is no straight answer to this question, but one might say that Celts represent a certain mixed and aggregated concept, which had a significant impact on the development of the whole European culture.
A map of locations previously inhabited by Celts looks like a boiling cauldron. In the first millennium BC Celts inhabited the Seine and Rhine river basins and the Danube upper river. Boyas, Gelvets, Belges, Sekwaines, and Eduans were among the largest Celtic tribes. Later they moved to other territories and settled down in what are now France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and northern Italy. They also inhabited the Iberian Peninsula, the British Isles, Czechia, Hungary, and Holland.
The Art of Transformation
Celtic Alchemy can be defined as the Art of Cherishing Red, or Cinnabar, which is a substance that can be transformed for creating a certain force. Mastering the art of Cinnabar would enable you to have a significant impact on the quality of your energy during its transformation. Thanks to the Art of Cherishing Red, the properties of this energy can keep changing until it has completely materialized.
In Christianity the color red related to Cinnabar was perceived as a negative color, i.e. the color beyond human control and something that would manifest human weaknesses. It was believed that red intensifies everything negative like a storm, especially if a person is not capable of controlling the transforming power of Cinnabar. In the times of Christianity red became a symbol of the Devil, which symbolized the belief that force can be acquired only from God, but not within. So on the one hand, red represented infernal creatures, but on the other hand, it was a symbol of power and force. Hence the fact that Celts perceived all red-heads as people from another world.
Symbols and forms of transformations in Celtic Alchemy
The main symbol of Celtic Alchemy is an all-producing pot owned by the Dagda Deity (the patron of Celtic Alchemy) and well-hidden on Isle of Man located by the northern shore of Wales. This pot symbolizes both power and the process of transformation. Furthermore, it is a hidden source of knowledge that creates all processes related to alchemic transformations. Similar to the Holy Grail, this pot brings the dead back to life and nurtures the living.
Celtic Alchemy studied the process of transformation by any forms of the material world including color and sound. Color is the most significant form symbolizing the process of transformation. White, black, and red were the main three colors. White used to symbolize movement; black – stillness; and red was the color of internal force and transformation.
In Celtic Alchemy sounds (rhythm), items, characters, and clothes were second to the main transformation forms. Then there were separate parts of the whole including body parts. For instance, the cut-head cult was related to worshiping a separate living part of the whole. Nowadays in traditional pumpkin carving for Halloween (October 31st; corresponds to Celtic New Year – Samhain Holiday) we can see the reflection of customs dating back to Celtic worship of heads as trophies protecting from evil.
The concept of alchemic rhythm is one of the key concepts in Celtic Alchemy. At first it was based on the cult of development (growth), and then it became a cult of celebrating. Working with rhythm makes Celtic Alchemy similar to African magic. This link is due to the fact that the Iberian tribe moved to Europe from northern Africa and mixed with Pyrenean Celts. The Art of listening and working with rhythm gave birth to the art of music, dance, poetry, and interactions, and also to different crafts and a tradition of celebrating seasonal holidays – the points of energy changes in space connected to rhythm. The Celtic Deity Pantheon also symbolized a certain alchemic rhythm and a combination of vitally important vibrations, each of them represented by another deity. The same process occurred within the spirits of nature – plants and sacred animals; and with the development of the Celtic Deity Pantheon people started considering them to be forces possessing certain qualities.
Perhaps some Celtic deities used to merely perform some limited functions and were considered to be some temporary concepts. There were over ten deities, which performed ‘multiple functions’, and others were hardly ever mentioned. With the development of religious concepts certain forces, natural events, and animals obtained divine meaning. Weapon-making was also a part of some cult and would be performed during certain rituals. The expansion and strengthening of territories controlled by Celts had a certain impact on the fact that more and more cults emerged every day.
The rhythm of alchemic transformations was controlled by Brigit – the goddess of fertility and rhythm, Dagda’s daughter. Tara Hill is considered to be a central point of Celtic Alchemy; the ancient capital of Ireland is a symbol of fire; and Boyne River is the symbol of water. Boyne is the name of Dagda’s alchemic spouse.
Dagda transferred his knowledge of Celtic Alchemy to Oengus (MacOk) - God of Love; to Midhir - God of the Underground Kingdom; to Lear – God of the Seas; and his son Manannan (Isle of Man is named after him). Then Dagda’s knowledge was passed to Bodb Dirg (Bodb-the-Redhead) – the head of an underground laboratory in Gelta and Loog Dirg Mountains, where different alchemic transformations occurred in the past.
Due to the constant migration of Celts, their life-rhythms also changed; therefore, each tribe created its own Pantheon, though preserved the main deities that had common features and performed multiple functions. It is no wonder that the Celtic history includes such characters as King Arthur, Merlin-the-Wizard, Tristan and Isolde, and King Lear. They represented a collective figure of Celtic Warrior, Celtic Alchemist, Celtic Woman; thereby manifesting the unique features of Celtic culture – the qualities of connection and synthesis.
Main characters of Celtic Epos and Alchemy
The whole Celtic Alchemy consists of different cycles, each of them describing the full process of alchemic change and transformation. Celtic epic cycles represented a literary reflection of different stages of the alchemic process. It is quite logical that alchemic processes were described by the means of literature because priests that possessed alchemic knowledge were not allowed to write it down, and up to the 18th Century they passed all their knowledge verbally and it was written down much later.
The Mythological cycle is the most ancient, and it describes the first alchemists – the deities of the Danu tribe. It also tells about the origins of Celtic Alchemy and Alchemic Deity Pantheon. The other two main Celtic alchemy cycles include the Ulad and Ossian cycles. Each is like a geometrical form and it describes certain events that are used as reference points of this geometrical form. Celts considered the art of building geometrical forms as an opportunity to note and preserve the knowledge by lining up rhythms, cycles, letters, and pictures.
When studying Celtic Alchemy, it is necessary to understand that the process of chronicling in this culture is not as important as in many others, because Celtic knowledge is least related to the concept of time, i.e. it is completely beyond time. Celtic Alchemic culture is the source of knowledge about links, which can be created in space. In Celtic Alchemy the main knowledge is related to understanding the spatial dimension and connecting different forms and terms in space.
Kuhulin – a warrior and an alchemist – is the most important character of the Ulad Cycle and the whole Celtic epos. He and Finn MacKumall - the main Ossian Cycle character –had a significant impact on the development of Celtic Alchemy as a science. When analyzing this character’s personality and exploits, the researchers came to a conclusion that he is a master, who apparently used Celtic Alchemy as a way to achieve immortality in real life. This science considers physical properties to be a part of the internal transformation process that changes the power and capabilities of joints and tendons, and even facial expressions.
During transformation Kuhulin’s energy body became very dense and he got so powerful in terms of the development of his inner fire that it made people perceive his body as a source of light and heat. Kuhulin would descend such force on his enemies that it would produce storms and eclipses. It even says in one of the main Celtic Alchemic works named ‘Táin Bó Cúalnge’ (Ravishing a bull from Cualnge), Kuhulin, who mastered the art of internal transformation, could change his appearance and make not only his arms and legs strong, but even his hair. All systems of his body had strong forces and links. Blood gave fire and helped Kuhulin transform his surroundings; the energy of his muscles could change air density; and his skin was like the sails of a boat catching a strong wind.
It should be noted that the development of Celtic Alchemy at the times of Kuhulin was related to women. Some of them helped him, others – opposed; but he still managed to obtain most of his knowledge from them. As a result all great lady-warriors and goddesses used to interact with Kuhulin. Even his death (Kuhulin killed himself by breaking one of his own gaces (laws) – eating dog-meat) should be considered to be a manifestation of his knowledge that he applied against himself by striking with his own weapon. After this Kuhulin freed his spirit from the body and underwent a miraculous transformation.
The main contribution of Celtic Alchemy into the world culture is the gaces of the art of action. These gaces enabled people to understand the tasks that they had to perform. It should also be noted that gaces are the foundation of all the rules that still control human lives. Gaces are the rules and individual behavior standards, which regulate human life and represent certain types of Celtic pledges. For instance, Kuhulin – an epic hero – had to be responsible for his words; he was forbidden to help women, eat dog-meat, and allow anyone to pass through his land without his consent. Gaces were developed by some druid priests, and they were based on the macro-cosmic principles manifested in everyday life.
From the Alchemic point of view, the gaces are important because they enable people to produce an internal effort, i.e. when people not only take responsibility for their actions, but also have to constantly keep their rules in mind and master their practice. Gaces are not an abstract concept; instead, they perform an important function helping people to stay consciously connected to their internal world and preserve the secret of weak and strong points of someone’s character. Losing control over a gace meant losing power and energy, and this would lead to physical sickness.
The gace principle was later inherited by many knight’s orders and became very important for the Knights Templars. They managed to keep an order in the whole organization for many centuries by following their internal codes, which consisted of different gaces.
Thereby, Celtic Alchemy established a certain scale of moral values based on power, law, and principles that were set in order to make some people or their actions better in terms of quality. Breaching the law would always lead to a disaster and partially destroy the universe.
As time passed, the internal links materialized into the external links, i.e. at first internal energy links were applied in external life and supported it. Later external links were created – the external level being more material and hard. Celts considered even buildings and natural landscapes to be a part of space, in which special conditions were created for certain energy transformations.
Everything that Celts did – from conquering neighborhood tribes to building their own home or ritual center – followed a well-arranged process of transformation and created an independent spirit. Thereby, internal energy changes in people were considered to be a process of building up or otherwise losing the power of spirit. Often these processes corresponded to caves or areas inhabited by bears.
In Celtic Alchemy stones (and later trees) were considered to be a symbol or a form that followed the links principle. These stones had crystalline structure that can be transformed and modified. From olden days stones were considered to be the knots of knowledge, which absorbed the energy of their surroundings. Different roles were attributed to stones based on their crystalline structure.
History and system of Celtic Alchemic Education
Celts settled in the British Isles in about 4th Century BC. They mixed with local tribes and gave birth to a new type of Celts. They built their own training centers based on their druid and pagan understanding of the development. As a result of this process, they developed a strong magical system based on either previously acquired knowledge or their attempts to achieve immortality. On the British Isles Celts synthesized the knowledge of Pythagoreans, Aryans, Iberians, Nords, and local tribes, and this process enabled them to create a harmonious system of beliefs in immortality.
The druids created special training centers with 20-year long education programs, and the curriculum of these centers included studying 20 thousand poems. This educational system consisted of four transitional stages. Three of them were related to different stages of self-perfection, and one of them had no name. Druids were very consistent with the quality and understanding of how this knowledge should be absorbed.
The training consisted of stages called Phion’s Stairs. Each stage represented a lesson learnt or a new phase of life noted as the Celtic alphabetic symbol – Ogam. One year corresponded to making one pattern and symbolized the process of mastering different arts and skills. The main goal in life is constant self-perfection . This series of lessons and the chain of regenerations represents a druid concept of soul migration. According to some Celtic works, souls get regenerated while moving upwards through different stages, and with every regeneration they get closer to the True Spirit. Some other sources say that human souls get transferred to the next generation.
Secret of Celtic Alchemy Code
Celtic Alchemy is the art of communicating with the forces of nature and living by laws regulated with a strict order of actions in a certain rhythm. As mentioned, this rhythm is the main principle of transformation. Another noteworthy peculiarity of Celtic Alchemy includes its focus on forces and skills set by nature. Celtic Alchemy does not develop energy; it links and redistributes it instead. One might assume that the main objective of Celtic Alchemy is to link the whole material world with the world of spirits and deities. There is a belief in Celtic culture that the area originally inhabited by Celts has its own dimension of time different from the common perception of time.
Whatever efforts we apply in order to discover and decipher the codes of Celtic Alchemy, we would still be unable to achieve this goal because the most important goal of Celts was the distribution of knowledge. Combination of links is a significant part of the process of discovering the Celtic knowledge. Only through the combination of different knowledge can one answer the main question - partial knowledge would not enable you to find the answer. Many researchers, such as Saint Patrick and Saint Columba tried to discover the knowledge of Celts, but instead they merely became a part of this knowledge. The knowledge of Celtic Alchemy is a spectrum, in which one can get immersed but cannot envelope it.
Thereby, thanks to Celtic Alchemy modern European cultures incidentally inherited not only different forms of knowledge, but also a valuable methodology consisting of the system of developing the knowledge and the principles of teaching it. It was Celts who created the concept of building the society as a structure that develops in set order and purposefully. In reality Celtic Alchemy was a direction for the development of the whole European civilization and all its development trends.
Celts also had a certain impact on the system of public relations. In this system the principle of proportion got modified into a form now called ‘democratic existence’. The main modern financial institutions were also formed due to Celts because they were the ones who created the foundation of main financial relations.
Thanks to the Celts the art of monastic existence was created. Later this concept was developed by the Knights Templars and Freemasons. Basically the concept of a knights order as an institute of perfection originated in the Celtic culture because it was the Celts that showed the world the importance and the significance of the links principle for achieving a common goal.
Having set strict laws for their lives, the Celts created a certain model of religious society, which has never existed before; and many Christian leaders tried to apply this model in real life. It developed most effectively within the organizational structure of the Knights Templars.
Furthermore, it seems that Celts were responsible for the fact that in our times we can not only consume high-quality beverages and food, but we can also do so graciously.
According to the Celtic Alchemy, people can achieve immortality in the point where eight arts cross. The link between many parameters in terms of their quality enables people to acquire magical skills. Any action – from everyday routines to sacral rituals of eating sacred salmon (fish of wisdom that enables us to understand the past and the future) – was considered by Celtic Alchemy to be the art of gathering together.
Therefore, even modern people trying to perform several tasks at the same time act in accordance with the principles of the Celtic Alchemy. Linkage can physically transform different objects. However, we need to remember that the main character of Celtic epos, alchemist and warrior Finn MacKumal can put his magical pot on the fire, and make the immortality elixir only in the place that has some support, i.e. the place where three to eight processes occur simultaneously. In Celtic Alchemy such place is called ’the eight Fenian stones’. In order to join this secret process of the ancient Celtic art of transforming yourself we (present-day people) cannot do without some support.
Gaces of the art of action:
- the art of discovering the code of life;
- eating and drinking as a way of discovering the magical qualities of a body;
- the art of preserving silence for understanding the depth of knowledge;
- the art of crystallization;
- actions as part of linking process;
- actions of a woman defined by her destruction are different from actions of a man;
- actions should not be targeted at those who exist beyond the laws of actions;
- actions should not be lost (in links with unnecessary people, animals, and forces);
- actions fill but do not empty;
- actions are quality, they cannot be little;
- abuse and threats destroy; but calmness punishes;
- every action has its master;
- actions should never leave knowledge;
- actions are defined not only externally, but also internally (spreading ungrounded opinions makes one lose his power);
- time spent unconsciously will not go unpunished;
- force should be controlled;
- the truth is in rhythm; power is in links; and filling is in actions.