In Alchemical terms, everything in existence is made up of salt, sulfur, and mercury. It’s easy to apply that kind of thinking to substances, individuals, or objects. But scale is never an issue in alchemy, so it must be applicable to groups and organizations, nations, species, etc. If we can go small we can go big.
That’s part of the beauty of alchemical thinking.
Our relationships, even, can be broken down the same way. There are the people who make up the relationship, the physical part, but there is also the soul of the relationship, the foundational core of common beliefs and desires, on which the relationship is built. And then there is the spirit of the relationship, the activities and emotional exchanges which express and propel the relationship as it progresses. If something is awry between two people, you can poke about at those three essences to figure out if the problem can be fixed and figure out how. Is someone not present? Is there a rift in the core of the relationship? Is there too little mutual activity or exchange?
Alchemists seek to break things down into their essences and make something new and elevated by perfecting and recombining them. And we can approach our dysfunctional relationships the same way. Often people try to fix their broken relationships by pouring in more and more spirit, more activities and more talking, more time together, more effort. But if the problem lies in the soul of the relationship none of those efforts will fix it. Just like adding more and more and more alcohol won’t make a good tincture if the original plant matter was rotten and ruined.