Trigger Warning: An Alchemical Perspective on Triggers

At some point or another, every single one of us has experienced a trigger that lends itself to an emotional reaction. Anger, resentment, frustration, jealousy, insecurity all become galvanized by the action of a perceived “other”. I put “other” in quotation marks, because of the paradox here, as there is no “other” (if you subscribe to the ageless wisdom/perennial philosophy), there is only another.

Trigger Warning

What we see in the perceived separation is, in effect, a reflection of unresolved conflict that stokes an inner fire that was already pre-existing before the trigger was made manifest. Experience is what makes the unconscious conscious, and with the philosophical mindset, experience is a great tool to transform, transmute, and tell a new story.

Alchemical wisdom explores the notion of correspondence, and how everything connects to an archetypal, planetary, astrological, elemental, and inner world. With that being said, from an alchemical perspective, examining the action of triggers, and how they cause an energetic pendulum swing has quite an interesting correspondence.

“As above, so below. As within, so without. As the universe, so the soul.”

When a trigger is pulled, a metaphysical “bullet” is fired that pierces the heart of the deeper issue. In the physical world, a bullet is made from lead coated in copper.






Image via: Ancient-Symbols.com

Lead finds its alchemical correspondence with the root chakra, the element of earth, and imbalances within that space create fear, anxiety, and insecurity.










Image via: Ancient-Symbols.com

Copper relates to the heart chakra, the element of air, and, when imbalanced, corresponds to misunderstanding, or lack of empathy.

A bullet is literally fear clothed in a lack of empathy, anxiety coated in misunderstanding, a combination of lacking grounding and forgetting to breathe.

Fire-power releases the bullet when the trigger is pulled, and pierces a hole into time, space, and/or life.

We all have internal ammunition, our individual arsenal, collected from our individual experiences, disappointments, and pain. In order to heal our unresolved conflicts, it’s important to feel into our triggers, so we can refrain from firing shots, and instead seek the warmth in the fire of our soul, and use that light to help our spirit grow with refined clarity.

When the inevitable triggers find their way into your experience, remember the root of the issue, and where the heart of the matter lies. What kindles unsavory emotion can no longer burn us if we allow it to purify. Instead of firing shots, shoot to understand the fire, and how it corresponds to the cosmic mirror that reflects in everything we see and attract.

Tips for Navigating Triggers

  • When a trigger presents itself, step back and ask yourself what it is that’s actually affecting you about the situation.
  • Look inside your heart, and try to see how this other person, event, or situation can be a mirror reflecting an aspect of yourself back to you.
  • Go deeper, and look to the root of the issue. Where did the tear in your heart come from, when did the catalyst happen, and what was the true actuating cause?
  • Breathe, connect, and feel into the origins of the emotion.
  • Offer love, empathy, and kindness to the trigger (internally or externally, however feels best).
  • Transmute the fire with forgiveness, and move forward with compassion.

Learn more about alchemy and correspondence…


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