Alchemy was introduced in Europe by Greeks who had studied in Kemet (Egypt) after the Greek conquest of Egypt by Alexander and it was a popular European metaphysical discipline into the 18th Century.
In fact, the word Alchemy is derived from the Arabic Alkem meaning the mysterious art of the Kemites which the Arabs used to describe Egyptian Kemetic Spirituality after the Arabs discovered sacred Egyptian Kemetic Spiritual Science following the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 646 AD.
The Basic Hermetic Alchemical Elements which make up Spirit in Hermetics are Air, Water, Earth and Fire represented as follows:
These fundamental Principles of Hermetic Alchemy are derived from Egyptian Kemetic Creation Theology such as the Memphite Theology and Ennead at Heliopolis.
In terms of Egyptian Kemetic Spirituality, the origin of Hermetic Alchemy’s basic elements of Earth, Fire, Wind and Water which make up Spirit are expressions the One Supreme Being in the form of the Neteru Deities.
Egyptian Kemetic Theology states that initially the Universe was a vast inactive ocean of watery nothingness called “Nun” in which were contained all the Laws of the Universe and the Seeds of life which were still in an inactive dormant state.
The Supreme Being (Spirit) then begot itself out of the Nun and rose to a mount of dry land upon which the Neteru Deity “RA” manifested through an act of Self-Creation by exercising Conscious Will on the Nun to bring it into an active state which resulted in RA’s emanation as the Principal expression of the Supreme Being out of the primordial Nun once it was activated by the Will of the Supreme Being.
Since RA self-emanated from the exercise of will on active Nun (Energy) by the Unseen Supreme Being according to the Egyptian African Creation myth, the Egyptians portrayed RA using a Symbol that combined a Falcon (Will) with a Red Solar Disc (Active Primordial Energy or Nun) and a Snake coiled around the Solar Disc representing the Intelligent Exercise of Will over Primordial Matter by the Unseen Supreme Being (Spirit) which had led to the First Emanation of the Deity RA.
RA then split itself into 2 Pairs or Deities “Shu” representing Air and “Tefnut” representing moisture.
Shu and Tefnut then paired to make another Pair: “Nut” representing the Sky, and “Geb” representing Earth.
In this way, sky and earth as well as the Natural Laws of Modality which oscillate between Hot and Cold that apply in the space between the Sky and the Earth came to exist.
In Kemetic Spirituality, Atum is also an androgynous personification of Ntchr or nature produced from the Nun.
The Atum was divided into Nine Ntchrs starting with the Ntchr Shu who is regarded as the God of Air.
The Ntchr Tefnut represents Moisture, and she is the companion and balancing Feminine energy of the masculine Ntchr Shu.
The next Principal Ntchers Geb and Nut represent Earth and the Sky.
These four Ntchru are the foundational elements of everything in the physical Universe and they also represent the Polar opposites observed in the Universe as Masculine and Feminine expressions of creative Energy.
The Egyptian Kemetic Tree Of Life expresses this interrelationship between Spirit (The Supreme Being) and the coming forth Hermetic Alchemy’s principles of Air, Water, Earth and Fire in which the entirety of Nature is manifested as an expression of the Supreme Being as well as the Spiritual Anatomy of Man.
For this reason, Air, Water, Earth and Fire as the foundational elements of Hermetic Alchemy come out of Egyptian Kemetic Spirituality which was called Hermetics by the Greeks and Alkemy by the Muslim conquerors of Egypt.
The same can also be said of the Kabbalah whose Tree Of Life is also modelled on Ancient Egyptian Kemetic Spiritual Science which is one of Pre-Colonial Africa’s important contributions to world Civilization.