The Three Primes (Tria Prima)
According to alchemists, Mercury, Salt and Sulphur are the three-fold aspects of all phenomena--to be found in all compounds of a mineral or organic nature. It is postulated that by differing the proportions of each aspect in a compound, would cause a transmutation to occur. Mercury, as well as Salt and Sulphur, are not the common vulgar materials so used to effect a transmutation. This is made clear by exponents of the Royal Art.
Esoterically, Mercury represents Spirit, Salt--Body; and Sulphur--Soul. Every phenomenon and object in Nature is believed to possess these three attributes. It is thought that by separating each aspect of an aggregate substance, purifying, and then recombining them, the result would be a total refinement of the object.
Philosophically speaking, Mercury is the Mind; Salt--Will and Wisdom; Sulphur--Love. The three are components or principles of the Philosopher's Stone, and they work potently to transmute any base metal or character into golden perfection. Without these principles, the coveted Stone is ineffectual in its capacity to change vibratory rates.
Sulphur moulds a person into a balanced individual, with the desire and motive to act creatively; Salt actually bestows the individual with the will and power to act; while Mercury, the intellectual principle, is the coordinating factor of both Sulphur and Salt. Mercury, Sulphur, and Salt together with the mysterious Azoth, the Divine Fire, or "Scamayim," are the attributes of the Stone, and they work wonders when applied knowledgeably. These triune principles and Azoth correspond to the Christian Trinity and teh feminine principle personified by Mary. Azoth is the Shakti aspect of the triune godhead.
- Leonard Lee