The Wayward Alchemist

The Wayward Alchemist.

Let us break that down:

The.

The: denoting a single person or thing that is either common, already defined, or already understood.

Meaning me! I am The person or thing that is commonly used, or presented before you right now, right now. Hi!

But, where does “the” come from?

The. definite article, late Old English þe, nominative masculine form of the demonstrative pronoun and adjective. After c.950, it replaced earlier se (masc.), seo(fem.), þæt (neuter), and probably represents se altered by the th- form which was used in all the masculine oblique cases.

I have no idea what that means. I am not an etymologist. But, I trust to those who are!

Moving right along!

Wayward.

Wayward:

  1. Following one’s own capricious, wanton, or depraved inclinations

  2. Following no clear principle or law

  3. Opposite to what is desired or expected

I am wayward. I have been wayward ever since I was a tot. To understand where I come from, you need to understand where wayward comes from:

Wayward (adj.): late 14c., shortening of aweiward “turned away,” from way (adv.), shortening of away + -ward. Related: Waywardly; waywardness.

Wayward comes from “away-ward”, which would logically be the opposite of “to-ward”. Isn’t that fun? I am going away from something in my own deliciously deviant fashion! Doesn’t that just define my whole bloody life? But, wait! There’s more!

The Witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth are often called just that: “The Witches”, but never, not once in the whole play are they called that by any character. They are referred to as “bearded ladies” more so than “the Witches”. So where is the confusion?

It comes from the stage directions: Enter the Witches. Modern interpretation of the stage direction means that we see them as witches, when they are more commonly referred to as “The Weird Sisters.” But, weird has a very powerful history that I will probably tell my kids, because they would be very fortunate to be “weird”

Weird (adj.): c. 1400, “having power to control fate, from wierd (n.), from Old English wyrd “fate, chance, fortune; destiny; the Fates,” literally “that which comes,” from Proto-Germanic *wurthiz (source also of Old Saxon wurd, Old High German wurt “fate,” Old Norse urðr “fate, one of the three Norns”), from PIE *wert-“to turn, to wind,” (source also of German werden, Old English weorðan “to become”), from root *wer- (3) “to turn, bend” (see versus). For sense development from “turning” to “becoming,” compare phrase turn into “become.”

 Weird means those who control fate, comes from wyrd (fate), which comes from urdr (one of the three Norns in Norse mythology).  The Norns were the three sisters who controlled the fate of the universe, similar to the Moirae in Greek mythology.

And in the First Folio, Shakespeare’s characters are not spelt the same way that it is in modern editions: Weird Sisters was originally: Weyward Sisters. Think about that!

Alchemist.

Alchemist: someone who studies or practices alchemy.

Alchemy:

  1. medieval science/philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life

  2. a power or process of transforming something common into something special

  3. an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting

Alchemy is the process by which material things become immaterial.

The mortal becomes mortal.

And the impure becomes pure.

Its derivation:

Alchemy: mid-14c., from Old French alchimie (14c.), alquemie (13c.), from Medieval Latin alkimia, from Arabic al-kimiya, from Greek khemeioa, all meaning “alchemy.” Gr. khymeia was probably the original, being first applied to pharmaceutical chemistry

So from its origins in Greece and Egypt, the emphasis was on purification, taking the base materials to perfection.

So that is what I try to do. In life. Here. Everywhere:

Taking this material world and purifying it through my own devious, delicious fashion into aetheric beauty. 

 

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