The Spa’s relevance in Modern Life
Basically, a good Spa replicates the perfect processes of ALCHEMY. It manifests the three alchemical components of Salt, Mercury and Sulphur. In alchemy, these words describe three distinct states of existence.
The word “Salt” in the Alchemic context refers to the body, and the core material that makes up the body; the bones, blood, joints, muscles and skin.
“Mercury” refers to the motivation, the will power of the mind, the drive to accomplish things, to achieve endresults.
“Sulphur” refers to the domain of the “divine” – the exquisite beauty of flowers, the sunset, the sunrise, the full moon, high tide, low tide, water, and the elements: things beyond the control of human beings.
How does a Spa provide what City Dwellers need?
From an Alchemical point of view, modern people are Mercury dominant. They are always achieving, always getting something, and never missing a beat; iPods plugged into the ears at the same time as texting on the cell phone.
The attraction of the Spa experience is about modern people’s unconscious efforts to restore the balance of Sulphur and Salt in their lives. Of course, there are people who like to say that they go to a Spa as a dinner party statement.
They are easily identified by their attachment to Mercury expressions, with their Blackberrys switched on all the time and being busy sending text messages as they enter the Spa. At any well-designed Spa you will be met, at the very least, by water, flowers and stones. This immediately starts the process of introducing you to the domain of Sulphur.
Inside the Spa
You push open the door, and the sound of water is present: a member of staff immediately starts putting you at ease with a smile and if you are a guest coming for a treatment, you are offered a hot towel and cup of tea.
What is that really about? Yes, you may say it is hospitality and there is some truth in that, but what is more at the core of the experience is that through the sensations and stimulus that your sensory organs are experiencing, the drive of the Mercury energy of accomplishing, of achieving, of pushing yourself forward, is being switched off.
As you look around, you see candles and flowers, while the fragrance of incense flows around you. Dimensions of the Divine, and your connection to nature’s nourishment, are being triggered. This is why it is so important that mobile devices be switched off or left behind at this point. These devices are all aspects of the domain of Mercury, which of course does have its place in the scheme of things: these are the devices that were used by the guest to make their booking at the Spa in the first place!
However, once inside the Spa environment these Mercurial machines can become major saboteurs of the Spa experience. The guest then goes to the changing area, where it is essential that the presence of the elements carries a deeper, more pervading quality. This may manifest as the sound of water, the touch of fire with lit candles, the fragrance of flowers, the presence of rocks or stones or even a sense of more space and/or varying light. Then the opportunity to feel the warmth or coolness of water is provided, which again changes the response of the nervous system.