Mercurius, in alchemy, was the transformative substance which allows the process of transmutation to occur. It was frequently called philosophical mercury, thus distinguishing it from ordinary mercury. Mercurius represented the divine spirit of life and the prima materia and was formed though the union of sulphur and argent vive.

It was thought to be the mother of all metals-the mother from which all metals were created. Mercurius supposedly contained both male and female seeds, therefore hermaphroditic, and required to be present if the chemical marriage of King Sol and Queen Luna were to occur. Other names for Mercurius were aqua permanens, divine water, or aqua vitae. A.G.H


At the heart of alchemical practice lies a mysterious and transformative substance known as Mercurius. Often referred to as the «philosophical mercury,» this ethereal element is far from the ordinary metal mercury. Mercurius is the key to the alchemical process, a divine elixir that catalyzes the transmutation of base elements into the purest and most precious forms.


Mercurius: The Divine Spirit of Life

In the realm of alchemy, Mercurius represents the divine spirit of life itself. It is considered the prima materia, the primary material from which all other substances originate. This ethereal essence is believed to embody the very essence of existence and creation. It is the catalyst that initiates and guides the alchemical transformation.


The Union of Sulphur and Argent Vive

Mercurius comes into being through a mystical union—the sacred marriage of sulphur and argent vive. Sulphur, symbolizing the soul and the active principle, combines with argent vive, representing the body and the receptive principle. This union gives birth to Mercurius, the divine hermaphrodite, containing both male and female aspects. This duality within Mercurius is essential for the alchemical processes to unfold.


Mercurius: Mother of All Metals

In the alchemical cosmogony, Mercurius holds a revered position as the «mother of all metals.» It is believed to be the primal source from which all other metals are derived. This notion underscores the profound spiritual and transformative power attributed to Mercurius in the alchemical tradition.


The Chemical Marriage of King Sol and Queen Luna

One of the central themes in alchemy is the symbolic union of King Sol (the Sun) and Queen Luna (the Moon). This union, often referred to as the «chemical marriage,» is crucial for the transmutation of base materials into gold. Mercurius plays a vital role in this sacred alchemical union, serving as the medium through which the divine conjunction takes place.


Other Names and Symbolism

Mercurius goes by various names, each reflecting its significance and attributes in alchemy. It is sometimes referred to as «aqua permanens» (perpetual water), «divine water,» or «aqua vitae» (water of life). These names emphasize its eternal and life-giving nature, underscoring its central role in the alchemical quest for spiritual and material transformation.



Drury, Nevil. The Watkins Dictionary of Magic. London. Watkins Publishing. 2005. p. 194