Plumbum, Latin for Lead, is attributed to planet Saturn, and therefore to the Saturn Center or Muladhara Chakra of the Yogis. This is the lowermost point within the spinal column corresponding to the level of the sacral plexus in the nervous system. So Lead is one of the interior Metals, Stars or Stones inside the body of an alchemist that must be cleansed, purified and sublimated into Mercury, and finally into Gold. In the order of purifications and sublimations this lowest chakra must come first, hinted within the numeration of Primus, 'first' (in order), at 86, and equal to the number of Plumbum by Latin Cabala Simplex. This is one reason all spiritual disciplines stress breathing properly at the beginning of the work on any path of return. The breathing method described in Raja-Yoga has the aspirant imaging breath inhalation curling downward around the spine, 'striking' the Muladhara Chakra in order to stimulate the Kundalini Power coiled there. The Serpent Power is primary in all the subsequent works of alchemists.
In a larger sense Alchemical Lead is also the whole person, Our Antimony, the total inner and outer body of the aspirant, since 86 is also the numerical value of Terra Adamica, the Earthly Adam. In the twelfth century this prompted the author to open the first paragraph of his Secret Book of Artephius with:
"Antimony is a mineral participating of saturnine parts and has in all respects the nature thereof."1
(See ANTIMONY). In many Tarot packs, Saturn and Lead are represented by the twenty-first key, The World. The key is also assigned element Earth. The Cube of Space offers a plethora of hints. The World Tarot key, Saturn, Lead, Earth and Hebrew letter ת, tav, are all assigned the innermost point within the Cube. From this point six faces (the six other Metals and Chakras) receive influence from Lead through axes radiating from its center. In this connection consider once again why letter Aleph, the Ox, is symbolized by an earth-bull bearing solar energy in major world theologies (see A, ALEPH).
The earth center bursts forth Mercury, Sulphur and Salt from the coordinates Air, Fire and Water. Understand that each coordinate radiates one mode of the three elements chiefly, but each mode also contains the other two, so all three modes radiate in all directions. These influences are the Elohim, the Creative Powers, listed thirty-two times in the first chapter of Genesis. אלהים, Elohim, by Hebrew gematria totals 86, to equal Plumbum and Terra Adamica, the true, inner Earthly Human. We are the Creative Powers. Or rather these Powers flow through us. Therefore is the thirty-second path, assigned to letter Tav and Lead, called שכל נעבד, Saykel Neobed, the 'Administrative Intelligence' on the Tree since it ministers, in a direct sense, to the six other Metals. The thirty-second path connects Yesod, the seat of the Vital Soul, with Malkuth, the Body and the arena of sensation. It connects the Moon with Saturnine Earth. The third sphere, Binah, the Divine Soul, is given The Great Salt Sea as one of its titles, and to which the Saturnine-like energy and influence are assigned. Yesod is the sphere of the Moon. The Vital Soul in Yesod, considered the personal and automatic subconscious aspect of the lower self, is reached via this path assigned planet Saturn, Lead and Earth. When we travel the Road of Return up/into the Tree of Self, the thirty-second path is the Primus route. This is the Earth we are encouraged to visit in the dictum symbolized by the anagram V.I.T.R.I.O.L.:
"Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem. – Visit the interior of the Earth, by rectifying, you will discover the hidden Stone."
This is the path of Nature we are so often encouraged to follow, since Hebrew for Nature, הטבע, hatabo, totals 86 by gematria. We could not go astray studying the ways and works of the outer physical world as a path to God. It is after all, the path of all sciences. The actual Nature hinted by sages, however, is the nature of the True Self and the natural path inward, into the Earth. In the depths of Terra Adamica, toward the Waters of the Vital Soul attributed to the Moon, resides Balneo Mariae, the 'Bath of Mary.' BALNEUM (see same) is that portion of the Great Salt Sea nearer self-consciousness, within the limits of our Glass Vessel. Balneo Mariae (86), symbolized by Yesod and the Moon is a more personalized-feeling part of the One, Great, Salt Sea, sometimes referred to as the Great Stone under the symbols of Binah and Saturn, Earth and the sublimation of our Metal Lead.
1 Artephius, The Secret Book Of Artephius. Edmonds, WA: Alchemical Press, 1984, pg. 5.