The Alchemy of Desire

By Frater Cleo (Metropolitan College)
Director of the Advanced Astrological Section


“Be careful what thou intensely desireth for it will surely come to thee.”

How often we have realized the truth of this statement, when, having set the wheel of desire in motion, we obtain the longed-for desire, at a time when we no longer wish for it. We started the working of the Law and Law must be fulfilled. The laws underlying Time and Space do not work con-jointly with the laws of Desire, unless specially evoked, consequently the effect of the Desire often comes at an inopportune time, so far as the choice of the Ego is concerned.

Only after many bitter experiences does the Ego awaken and begin to recognize some of the laws working on the different planes of activity. Oftentimes, these experiences are productive of so much anguish, that from the fear of the repetition of the anguish, the Ego almost ceases its activity. Cessation of activity is death. To live, we must be active, we must desire. Desire was and is the originating, and the impelling force of the world, which carries all of us onward to the goal of evolution.

When the Ego begins to differentiate between the joyous and the sorrowful results attained from its desires, then it develops discrimination. Discrimination is one of the first definite steps, which later leads the Soul to God. It is the Life of Mercury, the child, which leads the Pilgrim to Paradise.

In the accompanying illustration from Jacob Boehme’s, “Mysterium Magnum,” the connecting link, between the Law and the Prophets and the Godhead, is clearly indicated. It contains the symbolism of the child Mercury standing between Moses, the Law of the material world and the Christos, the Law of the spiritual world. It is also significant that the Divine Child stands between Law on one side and Love on the other, the two paths which the mystics mention, both of which lead to the same goal.

There are several other points, contained in this illustration, which are full of deep meaning and worthy of consideration, especially by astrological students. On the Zodiacal Belt surrounding the world, Scorpio will be noted as the prominent central sign. Scorpio is “the negative side of Mars,” and it is known as the sign of spiritual regeneration. Mars is the planet of force, energy, which operates particularly on the plane of Desire. In the undeveloped Ego, the force of Mars generates impulse, while in the developed Ego, impulse is spiritually transmuted into Will.

The figure of the Christos stands with the left foot in the ring, or round, 6 and 7, which corresponds to the signs Virgo and Libra, the signs of Purity and Balance. The right foot in 8, corresponding to Scorpio, the sign of Creating and Constructing – the Law of the Father. The Christos must have Purity of body, soul and spirit. He must have the strength to stand alone, balanced between the extremes of both attraction and repulsion. Working in accordance with “Thy Will and not mine be done,” the Initiate is always creative and constructive.

Mercury is the Alchemist, who transmutes impulses into Will, that force which rightly selects and directs the desires of the regenerated Soul. Mercury is the Thinker, the Discriminator, who teaches the impermanence of the material, and the realness of immaterial things.

You have felt the anguish of unsatisfied material desires; you have turned from such because you understand the Law. If within your Soul there are aspirations for better, purer and more permanent desires, then Mercury has been born and he has planted a Rose on your Cross. Later you will become the spiritual Alchemist who transmutes all of his strong desires, by the direction of his Will, into an intense longing for God, and His Light, then will blossom forth the full grown Rose. You will know in the “doing of His Will,” the true Brotherhood of Man, for you will love all, and in your consciousness you will realize the truth that “All is One and One is All.”

This is the Alchemy of Desire.