There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
The goal of alchemy is to turn things into gold. It symbolizes the perfection of all matter on any level, including that of the mind, spirit, and soul. We become attracted by the glitter of this but don’t know how to get there. This is the materialist earthly plane and the 1st chakra. We believe we can “buy” our way into heaven and it is here the Fool becomes the Magus and his Word is his magick, rituals, and invocations.
There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
Ooh, it makes me wonder, Ooh, it makes me wonder.
Our thoughts often lead us astray, or cause misgivings, the 2nd chakra is dominated by the unconscious mind’s emotions (Yesod the Moon); The tree by the brook is none other than the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life holds the path to Liberation and Eternal Life, and you can find it in Musiq (a songbird) more than in the words. To wonder is the beginning of wisdom and rebirth.
There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.
Those who “stand looking” are the sages and the teachers, this is Iblis this is Thoth. The Hermit guides us on the path and is the one who must “leave” in order to retreat from the world for introspection. Through our imagination, we can see that there is more to the world than meets the eye (smoke rings; perhaps it can be taken as representing psychedelics, the “little smoke” that dissolves normal consciousness). The 3rd chakra element is fire (smoke through the trees), and the ring is the Wheel of Fortune, a time for decision. In the 3rd chakra, we develop our Will.
And it’s whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.
This verse belongs to the heart chakra and the prophecy of the New Age dawning. To find our way, we need to listen to the music in our hearts, our inner place of trust and innocence, for “music is the means of liberation” (as occultist Paul Foster Case said). “Reason” refers to the Justice Tarot Atu, the virtue of the heart chakra; and in general, to higher truth, integration, balance, justice and brother/sisterhood for all people. According to Plato, Reason is the highest part of the soul.
If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now,
It’s just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on.
And it makes me wonder.
The 5th chakra verse is alchemical purification, where change and adaptation occur. These are the Pagan celebrations of spring. Liberation comes from choosing the correct path (road). We cannot allow our temptations to rule us, we need to take the more conscious path (the virtue of Temperance, found in the 5th chakra). In May, when we enter Gemini (a 5th chakra sign), we are approaching Summer, a time of “bustling” new growth, which the thyroid gland of the 5th chakra stimulates. Since the famous alleged “back-masking” or reversed speech of this verse supposedly reveals “Satan,” it might confirm the attribution of the Devil Tarot Atu (temptation) to the 5th chakra.
Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know,
The piper’s calling you to join him,
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.
We need to quiet our thoughts in order to see the visions in our third eye, the 6th chakra in our brains, which whisper to us on the wind; a symbol of spirit and its flight, like the two wings of the 6th chakra. “Whispering” refers to the “still small voice” of intuition. In the 4th verse it said the call would come soon; now it’s happening, and the pathway is clear. The male Piper (Pan/Horned god) and female Lady (Feminine goddess) are joining, as in the Divine Alchemical Marriage.
And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.
And she’s buying the stairway to heaven.
The Crown chakra is where the divine connects us beyond our soul/self to the greater soul/Self. The “Lady we all know,” can only be the Goddess of Wisdom Sophia! She has many names, this is the universal divine feminine energy. She is the inner self of the Lady who originally bought the stairway to heaven, as the seeker on the path. She now appears in glorious white light and gold, which refers to the crown chakra where we feel the bliss of realization in which all are one and one is all. This is the real meaning of turning lead into gold which is the premise of Spiritual Alchemy. We can see the gold in all things (or their radiance, as in The Celestine Prophecy). Hearing the music of liberation, promised us in the 2nd, 4th, and 6th verses, Nirvana comes to us, the rock of peace that stills all the rolls of craving (as Buddha called it).