The seventh and final phase of alchemy is known as coagulation, in which the alchemist completes the Great Work and creates the Philosopher’s stone.
In laboratory alchemy, this is thought to occur after the process of distillation is completed and the matter congeals into a solid substance.
In personal alchemy, it signifies the completion of the process of solve et coagula, or dissolve and coagulate.
In what is known as the lesser work, the elements of the lower personality or ego are burned away and dissolved in order to be recombined into a greater whole.
The great work culminates in the final union of the purified self with the greater whole, a union of the microcosm of man with the macrocosm of the universe. According to Paracelsus, the result is a “completely healed human being who has burned away all the dross of his lower being and is free to fly as the Phoenix.”
On a spiritual level, the completion of the great work is thought to produce an entirely new body for the alchemist, an energy body of golden light that would survive beyond physical death. Paracelsus referred to this body as the Iliaster, or “the Star in Man.”
Once the Philosopher’s stone has been created, the alchemist can then use two operations, projection and multiplication, to increase the effects of his powerful achievement.
Projection is the use of the Philosopher’s stone to transmute base metals such as lead into gold. According to Dennis William Hauck, “it is said that just a tiny piece of the Stone or a pinch of the red powder of projection made from it is enough to perfect the metals and transmute lead into gold.”
Multiplication is the ability to heal and increase the amount of whatever it comes into contact with. “Just a touch of the Stone or a grain of the red powder will cause plants to grow to perfection or cells to be healed and multiply perfectly,” says Hauck.
This highlights the ultimate purpose of achieving coagulation and creating the Philosopher’s stone: it is not simply to transcend the material plane, but to bring the spiritual wisdom encountered back to heal the earth and other people.
As the Emerald Tablet says, “Its inherent strength is perfected if it is turned into Earth. Thus you will obtain the glory of the whole Universe.”