The Prima Materia, or First Matter, is a difficult concept to define. It has been said that the First Matter is both everything and nothing.
According to D. W. Hauck , “It is the primal One Thing that existed before time, as well as the primordial chaos that contains all possibilities.” It is said that the First Matter carries the germ or seeds of all things that every existed or ever could exist in the future.
In the Emerald Tablet, the “One Thing” refers to the Prima Materia. This was then acted upon by the thoughts or word of the One Mind to create the material reality we can observe with our senses.
The Egyptian hieroglyph for the sound “kh” also symbolized the concept of the First Matter. It was the first letter used in the word khem , which means “black matter which is alive.” [It also the root of the word alchemy.] Other possible translations of this word are “placenta,” “fertile dirt,” or “living black soil.”
It can be thought of as the unmanifest, the part of God or spirit that is all potential, that contains all possibilities.
It the substance that we start with, the raw material that is perfected through the entire alchemical process known as the “Great Work.”