The ancient practice of alchemy and its closely guarded and highly coded library of secrets and symbolism hints at the existence of a philosopher’s stone or lapis philosophorum. This “stone of the wise” is believed to be the key to immortality and is quite frequently referenced in a various mystical, mythical, and esoteric genres of fiction novels, movies, television shows, and video games. The philosopher’s stone is also referred to as the “stone of projection” as it is said to facilitate a bodily liberation of consciousness to explore and roam astral planes understood in alchemy as methods of spiritual travel.
After pouring through the writings and language of famously known alchemists of the past, P.D. Newman formally asserts that the philosopher’s stone may well in fact exist; however, with a twist. Newman believes the language of famous alchemists elude to Psilocybe cubensis, a strain of psychedelic mushroom as one potential example of a true “stone of the wise."
Newman points to a common alchemical axiom, “not of stone, not of bone, not of metal” speaking to the physical properties of lapis philosophorum as coming from neither the mineral nor animal kingdom; thus further eluding to the plant kingdom as a potential house of origination. As an entheogenic plant, the ingestion of P. cubensis is said to catalyze an experience of the Divine, immortal soul within. In doing so, such a revelation opens up the individual to an understanding of the continuity of “consciousness independent of the mortal frame”; our bodies in this physical manifestation.
Newman also refers to alchemist E.A. Hitchcock’s text, Remarks Upon Alchemy (1857) as including a major support to his theory. Hitchcock refers to the stone as that which “bloomed sweetly upon the dunghill”. We find that P. cubensis inherently requires the presence of dung in order to sustain itself. Hitchcock also includes a lunar analogy stating, the “Moon is white in its naturalistic State” yet blue if “molested”. Newman believes that Hitchcock’s coded remarks relate directly to the white coloration of P. cubensis in their natural state and their blue coloration when bruised or broken.
Additionally, he cites the writings of alchemist Andreas Libavius in his work, Alchymia (1606). Within, Libavius includes various drawings that seem to resemble an early model of a terrarium filled with a “dung bath” atop which what appears like mushroom caps and stipes grow upon. Perhaps early alchemist like Libavius cultivated their own entheogens.
Alchemist & Rosicrucian apologist Count Michael Maier alludes to the philosopher’s stone as a “Dragon” both “Winged and Volatile” allowing one’s consciousness to take flight and giving potency to the work of alchemy. Maier asserts that alchemical work without such “Dragons” and their “wings” makes alchemical work itself impotent. He references a “Philosophickal Dung” as the location of such “Dragons”; possibly P. cubensis and its “wings”, or the potential to create spiritual experience and even spiritual travel.
Despite the coded language, Maier’s mention of “Volatile” seems to remind us of the necessity of carefulness when going about the use of such philosopher’s stones. Like Newman, I’m led to believe that P. cubensis is indeed one such stone. Furthermore with the great potency and potential inherent within entheogenic catalysts, I equally believe in the requirement of great care, wisdom, and attentiveness present in any and all attempts to indulge.
We find ancient systems like the Eleusian celebrations of the Greater Mystery in which the ergot fungus was blended into a beverage called kykeon for ingestion upon an initiate’s sacred initiatory journey. Such a practice was carefully controlled, incredibly transformational, and done with the highest intentions throughout the entire experience. Let us all take a lesson from such ancient mystery schools and be open to the deeper meanings inherent in any usage of the philosopher’s stone available in our present era.
Newman VII, P.D. Psilocybe cubensis: A Worthy Candidate for the Philosopher’s Stone. Disinfo.