View Full Version : Trinity

01-02-2009, 06:53 AM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm).

Alchemy is a threefold art, its mystery well symbolised by a triangle. - Manly P. Hall
I thought I should start a thread about the trinity (triangle, triad), since it plays a large role in alchemy. Then of course each of the parts of this trinity is a subject on its own. As of writing this Salt (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=34)has already got its own thread.

The most ancient trinity is the sun; dawn, noon and dusk. This can easily be applied to the following allegory; birth (growth), maturity and death (decay). Most religions have incorporated this into their symbolisms, for example the Gnostics have Sophia, Pneuma, and Logos. In the book The History of the Devil (http://www.sacred-texts.com/evil/hod/)Paul Carus explains:

The Trinity idea is of a very ancient origin. We encounter it in the religion of Babylon, in Brahmanism, and in Buddhism. The Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, called the three jewels, representing (1) Buddha the teacher, (2) the Buddhist religion or the good law, and (3) the Buddhist brotherhood or Church. The Trinity doctrine is not contained in the New Testament, all the passages which seem to involve it being spurious; but it forms an integral part of almost all Gnostic systems, where it either appears as three abstract principles, or as the family relation of Father, Mother, and Child, viewed as one.

The Trinity idea of God as a divine unity of Father, Mother, and Christ-child was retained among the Oriental Christians to the days of the rise of Mohammedanism. The Koran knows as yet nothing of the spiritualised Trinity conception of the Western Church, but represents the Christian Trinity as consisting of God, Christ, and Mary. And this Gnostic Trinity-conception is a natural ideal which in the further development of Christianity proved strong enough to influence the Roman Catholic Church in her devotion to Mary, the mother of Christ, whose personality was sometimes superadded to the Trinity, and sometimes even suffered to replace the Holy Ghost.

The more abstract form of the Trinity, emphasising it as a triunity, found its artistic expression in pictures of God as possessed of three faces. The most striking among these productions is an old oil painting which was discovered by a German artist at Salerno... [see image below]http://www.sacred-texts.com/evil/hod/img/15000.jpg

In The Secret Teachings of All Ages (http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/index.htm) Manly P. Hall writes:

The face consists of a natural trinity: the eyes representing the spiritual power which comprehends; the nostrils representing the preservative and vivifying power; and the mouth and ears representing the material Demiurgic power of the lower world. The first sphere is eternally existent and is creative; the second sphere pertains to the mystery of the creative breach; and the third sphere to the creative word.
In alchemy the trinity is salt, sulphur and mercury. According to Paracelsus salt is the physical body, sulphur the the indwelling energizing nature, the astral man and mercury is the intelligence (the indwelling God). Paracelsus saw salt as an element of the earth, sulphur as an element of air and mercury as that of water. But keep in mind that there are many versions on this and some claim that mercury is fire not water for instance.

I think this is enough for this thread to get going...

Edit: Check out this (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=89)
Some more on the Triad....

There are 3 points in time. Past, Present, and Future. There are 3 states of being, Active, Passive, Neutral.

There are 3 types of symbolism, color, geometric, and numeric. Also there are 3 colors of the human races, black, red, and white. I had seen a list connecting each race to a symbolism type. Color/black, geometric/red, and numeric/white.

There are also 3 planes, Mental, Astral, and Physical. The human body also represents this. The head is the area of imagination and connected to the Mental plane. The thorax is connected to the Astral plane, because of breathing and its rythym . And the abdomen is to the Physical plane because of the relationship of the digestive system and the renovation of the body's cells.

This can also be shown using the head as an example... The eyes catch activity by your sight, the nose can show the state of the thorax, and the mouth is the messenger of the abdominal region.

The Hebrew letter, Aleph, also symbolizes a ternary. Two polar opposites neutralized by a third element.

I had found a list of Great Binaries:
Spirit/Matter = Soul
Life/Death = Exteriorization* into the Astral
Good/Evil = Deed
Consciousness/Power of Realization = Harmony

and the gender binary may be neutralized by : Male/Female = Androgyny

*can be defined as: voluntary & temporary leave of the body while retaining full consciousness and awareness of the surroundings.

And the name of God (Yod-He-Vau-He) can also be placed on the triangle with Yod at the peak, He(1) and Vau making the base and He(2) being the central point within the triangle.

Ok, thats all I can think of and dig up from my notes at this time. As I find more Ill share it.
Still more Trinitarian Alchemy:
In music, notes one third of an octave apart (ie 4 semi tones apart) are very harmonic: the combination of C with E & G for example which form the triad chord C major. The musical octave divided in half forms a very dissonant sound which can be viewed as duality (male / female, positive / negative etc) when divided in three equal parts the scale is harmonious and consonant sounding. Thus, as in Qabalah, Three becomes the harmonious manifestation of it's Dual opposites, the Holy Trinity.
Great additions you two!

And I like the phrase: Trinitarian Alchemy
3 also the mystic number of Chokmah in the Sephir Sephiroth
Qabalah denotes three within Binah and represent the realization of action.
Sufi Inayat Khan: intelligence, abstract light and the sun are one and the same - three aspects of the one light form the idea that lies behind the doctrine of Trinity (Trimurti) One being three
This is the manner in which the unseen becomes manifested and visible to us.
Tarot: Threes are the child of One & Two, the early fulfillment of the suit
Wands: birth of creation
Cups: fertility
Swords: womb of chaos
Pentacles: constructive energy
the three steps of the major cycle of universe and i guess alchemy

and all again

if it doesnt make sense sorry cause im just a neophyte


I would say: creation > destruction, with the third part being the constant creation/destruction cycle!

Well, if you don't destroy, there's no room for creation.

Even when I was young, I was fascinated that the triangle was the first shape (vertex-number-wise) that was enclosed.

Also, I believe there are three different dream types, and although the names for the second two escape my mind, the first one is the albedo, based on water and white imagery, the second is based on red and emotional imagery, and the third on dark and disturbing imagery. There are also three bodies in the American political system.

Perhaps groups of three are so efficient because they have the uncanny ability to cancel each other out and enhance each other. If you have a group of two, someone is bound to win. If you have four, there is always one possible rival or friend you will never have to face, if you imagine things in terms of shapes such as the rectangle.

Theosophy, Vol. 27, No. 7, May, 1939 (Pages 301-306)

The Triangle is the most profound of all geometrical symbols. As a cosmic symbol representing the Higher Trinity of the universe it became the root of the word Deity. The ancient Greeks called the letter D (the triangular delta) "the vehicle of the Unknown Diety". The Boeotians wrote the word Zeus with a delta, from which came the Latin Deus. The triangle is also the basic form in Nature. When the molecules of salt deposit themselves as a solid, the first shape they assume is that of a triangle. A flame is triangular in shape; hence, the word pyramid from the Greek pyr, or fire. The triangle is also the form assumed by the pine, the most primitive tree after the fern period.

02-07-2014, 02:37 AM
There are 3 types of astrological signs: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable.... These can be represented by the top three Chakras.... so the Chakras go like this how I understand them in a western kinda way...
Crown=Soul - Cardinal
ThirdEye=Mind - Fixed
Throat=Body - Mutable (Aether)

The top three are special and they explain some kind of actions on the bottom four... like maybe how to translate between the 4 elements or something... invert air and you get fire... you use the mind to do so...

Soul/Crown - Absorbs the Universe's energy, thinks unto itself... private self... ponderings...

Mind/ThirdEye - Translates the Soul's intent into the Body's actions and the Body's sense into the Soul's contemplations

Body/Throat - First form of action... voice and vibration (cause avalanche without using physical body)... spacial energy (aether/Higgs Boson)... actions and a receiver of reactive vibrations.... harmonizer with like bodies...

I read somewhere on the forums something about saturn, sun and moon.... absorption, emanation and reflection... and I was thinking maybe these could line up... Maybe...

Cardinal - Soul - Crown - Saturn - Black - Absorption - Salt
Fixed - Mind - ThirdEye - Moon - Silver - Reflection - Mercury
Mutable - Body - Throat - Sun - Gold - Emanation - Sulphur

Maybe I have some of properties reversed...
Like salt is a buffer so it absorbs, but then maybe because mercury is liquid it engulfs and absorbs.... mercury is shiny though.... so reflective
sulphur burns to emanate but this is all abstract

I think of the three: Sulphur, Mercury and Salt as like poor man's Gold (Sun), Silver (Moon), and.... something(Saturn?A Black Hole? Space... I think space... empty void)
So maybe (thinking aloud here) I have the absorption in the wrong place.... because I also think of Body as kind of like void.... like the echo or container within which things resonate... maybe that just refers to the container though...
So maybe:

Salt - ?? (Space?)... What's something related to the sun and moon (which are symbols for silver and gold... bronze? copper?!!)?
(again thinking out loud)

Salt - Copper (Saturn)
Sulphur - Gold (Sun)
Mercury - Silver (Moon)

Maybe these aren't equivalent but they are both triads that are interesting and closely related amongst themselves...

02-07-2014, 05:25 AM
There are two trinities found in the Sefer Yetzirah:

And He created His universe by three signs: by Border, and letter, and number.

Creation needs space to change, therefore border. Also, force must become form. Letters are like quality, numbers quantity.

The second trinity is described with the three mother letters of Aleph, Mem and Shin (Air, Fire, and Water... Can't remember which element belongs with which letter...)

This all is the foundation of Qabbalistic magic. To speak, or better, to sing things into existence.

There's a brilliant interview with Alan Moore about magic and language on YouTube. At one point he brings up the strange occurance that something written down my have the chance of manifesting (basic law of attraction sort of thing).

Basil Valentine also mentions a trinity of Air, Fire and Water in the Triumphal Chariot.. But I'm not around my books at the moment.

11-05-2016, 02:39 PM
I am currently writing a book about the number 3, and its meanings and usage throughout the ancient and modern world...Will keep you up to date. There is not enough room to type a post about this number lol.