Alchemical symbol for Antimony, aka the Grey Wolf

When most of us think of Alchemy we think of turning base metal into gold, but in truth it was the science that preceded chemistry, and was far more reaching.  Enough diversity that this entire blog site could be devoted to it, so may I suggest that you check out the Rubellus Petrinus site to better understand the overall scope:

On the alchemical subject of the Grey Wolf, we are speaking of the European Grey Wolf, not to be confused with the North American Gray Wolf from which I usurped my avatar sobriquet and my Native American ancestors named their Way Ya clan.

In Alchemy, the base metal antimony was referred to as the Grey Wolf because molten antimony so aggressively gobbled up metals such as copper, lead, and tin to form alloys.

In 17th century alchemy, Basil Valentine popularized antimony’s curative properties:

“Take Glass of Antimony; as it is made of the Minera of Antimony, subtily pulverized, and extract its Tincture with distilled Vinegar; afterward abstract the Vinegar thence and edulcorate the remaining Powder. Then pour on Spirit of Wine with which extract the Tincture, and circulate it in a Pelican well closed, for an entire Month. Afterward, distil it per se, without any  Addition, with a certain singular Dexterity; and you will thence receive a wonderful grateful and  sweet Medicine, in the form of a Red Oil, of which after may be formed the Stone of Fire.

This Oil is the Quintessence, and the highest, that can be written of Antimony; as you may find in my former Writings, wherein have made a short Declaration of Antimony, and in which I showed also, that there are four Instruments required for its Preparation, and the fifth is that, in which Vulcan hath fixed his Residence.”

In alchemic imagery, the Lupus Metallorum (wolf of metals) was used to “devour the Lion (gold) to redeem it”, which appears to be a purification process form removing contaminants from gold.  Of course, they talked funny back then, in addition to in riddles to confuse the uninitiated, but here are the clues left:

“If you would operate by means of our bodies, take a fierce grey wolf, which, though on account of its name it be subject to the sway of warlike Mars, is by birth the offspring of ancient Saturn, and is found in the valleys and mountains of the world, where he roams savage with hunger. Cast to him the body of the King, and when he has devoured it, burn him entirely in a great fire. By this process the King will be liberated; and when it has been performed thrice the Lion has overcome the wolf and will find nothing to devour in him. Thus our Body has been rendered fit for first stage of our work.”

Here at The Alchemist Resource we of course have the Tattered Old Gray Wolf, using a pictured shared by as the avatar:

Graywolf’s original avatar 

The literal translation of gray in Cherokee is “faded blue”, but all ya’ll painters know what color you get when you mix black and white together, and the picture above captures white dog and a black dog arm in arm as buds and equals as “one”, investigating  the mysterious and intriguing world on the other side of the fence.  

In the greater sense, once you look through the thin veil of our differences, we are different cells of the same body.  I believe that if there is sin, it is creating disharmony in the universe, which includes our common body.

I also believe in the form of karma that can be an instant response to our actions, as well as that which grows around us when we act dis-harmoniously and begin to surround ourselves with offended brothers and sisters that begin to act in kind.

Mankind created the dog in his chosen image from the wolf, so we owe them all the love, affection, and harmony that has brought into our lives, which brings us to the plight of the real North American Gray Wolf, which is being removed from endangered lists and hunted again.  Anyone familiar with genetics knows that gene pool diversity is required to maintain the long-term race against extinction and the current one is if anything already too small.

Aside from any moral obligation, consider their role in Mother Nature and check out what happened when they were removed from Yellowstone and later returned:

North American Gray Wolf

Searching for the elusive Wolf in winter coat.

Leave a Reply