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Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997
From: Richard Patz
I am not a member of a gnostic church or community. Any error of view in
Gnostic Christian matters is from my lack of knowledge. No disrespect is
While reading the Gospel of Philip (Nag Hammadi Library) I was struck by the
apparent similarity of the Bridal Chamber and the Alchemical Wedding.
Quoting Wesley W. Isenberg, trans.:
"According to this tractate, the existential malady of humanity results from
the differentiation of the sexes. When Eve separated from Adam, the original
androgynous unity was broken. The purpose of Christ's coming is to reunite
'Adam' and 'Eve.' Just as a husband and wife unite in the bridal chamber, so
also the reunion effected by Christ takes place in a bridal chamber, the
sacramental, spiritual one, where a person receives a foretaste and
assurance of ultimate union with an angelic, heavenly counterpart. 'Christ
came to repair the separation which was from the beginning and again unite
the two,' so that restoration may be accomplished and rest achieved."
Further, certain references to baptism made me think of the bath of the King
and Queen prior to union.
"The Lord [did] everything in a mystery, a baptism and a chrism and a
eucharist and a redemption and a bridal chamber." (Philip 67:28-30)
"Baptism is 'the Holy' building. Redemption is 'the Holy of the Holy.' 'The
Holy of the Holies' is the bridal chamber." (Philip 69:22-25)
Remarks anyone? Elucidation is always welcome.
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997
From: George Leake
>From: Richard Patz
>While reading the Gospel of Philip (Nag Hammadi Library) I was struck by the
>apparent similarity of the Bridal Chamber and the Alchemical Wedding.[snip]
Actually I find this quite cogent indeed. I also mean no disrespect to
anyone, but this weekend I found something about the deity Priapus and
certain pre-Christian premarital practices involving anointing phallic
symbols (and much else I'll leave to those who want to conduct further
research) in order that the bride to be would be thus impregnated by a
deity--so that the first born would be born of divine seed--I wish I had
the text in front of me to cite--though I think Robert Graves' White
Goddess is cited there--anyhow, the suggestion that this taking in of the
divine nature of the deity, and the anointing of the deity and some
connection to the Greek word Chrystos makes this cogent to both the Bridal
Chamber and the Alchemical Wedding examples given.
Back to Alchemy for a minute--has anyone ever postulated a connection
between divine seed and the Philosopher's Stone?
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97
From: Mike Dickman
The point being that this concept (or formula) - Solve/Coagula = King / Queen
< purification > union, does, on one level, permit of that interpretation...
[Let me briefly sum up the argument for those who were not party to it:
The contention - based on Gen. I, 27 and the term ALHIM, (masc. sing. root +
fem. pl. ending) in the original, which is here (King James) blithely
translated as "God" - is that "creation" was twofold, or at least occured in
two distinct phases...
The first phase creates, as it were, A-DM = "embodied Aleph" ('localised
awareness', or 'sentience', in the absolute broadest sense of those terms -
male, female, human, non-human, etc., ad infinitum), and - AT ONE AND
THE SAME TIME - a primordial female counterpart, called by Suarès ISHA
and - inasmuch as she is later ousted - literally spurned in favour of her
supplanter, Eve - by Crowley LILITH. (These names, however, as far as I
can ascertain - which is not very far, I can assure you! - do not seem
absolutely fundamental to the argument.)
A-DM is then placed (Gen. II, passim.) in a garden east of Eden, where,
although everything seems utterly paradisiac, 'an help meet' unto 'him'
cannot be found. It is of note, too, that the name of "God" (ALHIM) has
changed here to YHVH, given as "the LORD God" in King James (their
capitals)... This "LORD God" then (Gen II, 21 - 23) puts A-DM to sleep
and draws from 'him' 'his' 'rib', out of which he proceeds to fashion a
(supposedly) second woman, 'flesh of my flesh' and who 'shall be called
Woman, because she was taken out of Man'... Gen. II, 24 - 25 go on to say
that this shall ever be the cause of 'man' leaving his 'father and mother'
and 'cleaving unto the wife' (cleaving? - strong word that!), "... and they
shall be as one flesh..."
Skipping over the interlude with NChSh (= MShICh) in the garden - not
because it is in any way devoid of interest, by the way! - we come at last to
the point where (Gen. III, 22 - 24) the "LORD God", becoming a little
sarcastic at A-DM's pretensions - and his sharing - only! - in the FRUITS
of his meet (i.e., according to the OED, "suitable, fit, proper", or could we
say "no better than deserved"?) 'help's' initiation - sends forth THE MAN,
drives out THE MAN, (= A-DM = 'embodied sentience') - with no mention
of ChVH (as the 'woman' is named only SUBSEQUENT TO A-DM's
becoming aware of their nakedness) and sets "at the east of the garden
of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep
the way of the tree of life".
(Whether this last sentence is to be interpreted as 'His' setting them up as a
guard or as a seal/talisman is open to question. Surely the east of the
Garden, which was, itself, "east of Eden", would be in its very midst?)
Coming back, then, to the Royal Couple image, the Bridal Chamber (often
in the 'heart' of a labyrinthine rose-garden), and the images of pranayama
breath-modulation evoked by Steve Kalec, are we not somewhere in the
realm of - shall we say, to not put too fine a point on it 'many-fold' integration -
often followed by apparent collapse and reentry into putrefaction, tending
ever onwards toward a final and perfect trans-substantiation in the primordial
union of ABBA 'Primordial Father' (= YH), AIMA 'Primordial Mother'
(= IHVH ALHIM) and ARIK ANPhIN / ATIK YVMIN 'Vast Countenance' /
'Ancient of Days' (= AHIH), which would then, in its turn, both seal and
reverberate down through all other unions of the ZAUR ANPIN
'Lesser Countenance' and its corresponding MLKH 'Queen' or KLH 'Bride'?
My QBLH is a bit nicked from everywhere and everything, so any comments
on the above will be more than appreciated. I also apologise for the 'blinding
clarity' of my presentation... I am simply musing through my fingertips:
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997
From: Richard Patz
>From: Mike Dickman
You mentioned Lilith. An excellent book about her is "Lilith - the First
Eve" by Siegmund Hurwitz. He presents a wide ranging historical survey with
a separate psychological discussion. Much food for thought.
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997
In a message dated 97-02-11 04:58:03 EST, you write:
>Back to Alchemy for a minute--has anyone ever postulated
>a connection between divine seed and the Philosopher's Stone?
Well I have, but I doubt I'm part of the "anyone" in your question. Do you
know Newgrange in Ireland and its reputed function as a "seed catcher"? I'm
talking about the long light shaft over a passage way into the megalithic
tomb, the shaft that pierces a highly carved stone which has been set up over
a kind of Yoni stone or vas, if you would, which may have held the ashes of
the last king. On solstice the first rays of the new sun penetrate the shaft
to the stone. Karnak, in Egypt, has a "seed catcher" function too leading
from a grand causeway to a holy of holies. It too is a solstice marker.
Serpent Mound in Ohio has a similar feature also. The common denominator
between the sites is the kind of monomyth which Robert Graves explicates in
The White Goddess, a myth which alchemy shares as a structure - as Jung and
many others have revealed. With the first rays of the sun/king/god the female
earth is opened for the work. I see a lot of "divine seed" and "philosopher's
stone" in such agricultural scenarios, as did Joe Campbell and Mircea Eliade.
But maybe I'm mired in overview. Anyway, I appreciated the questions in your
post, George. And I am not one who is sqeamish about the sexual nature of our
"metaphors" and their links to the divine. The sacred and the profane meet
and mingle in the vas, as they do in the impregnating light shafts at
Newgrange, and Luxor, and Chillocote, Ohio.
From: Marcella Gillick
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997
> From: Joe
> know Newgrange in Ireland and its reputed function as a "seed catcher"?
I hadn't ever heard of it being called a ''seed catcher'' - but even in
mythological stories Newgrange was the place where mortal women went
to give birth to sons fathered by Gods. I've heard the stone basins inside
Newgrange being referred to as 'parabolic reflectors' - said to have been
used to concentrate solar wind energy. I would quite like to discuss the
whole thing further, if you e-mail me as below
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 97
From: Mike Dickman
Just a brief word - not my own, either - on Newgrange and her sisters
"... In fact the stone circles were like the centres of great ripples
spreading across the land, set out with perfect geometry on the face of the
country, the radiating lines of one circle meeting those of another and
dividing the country into vast crystalline shapes surrounding the sacred
centres... the prehistoric carved spirals, such as those at New Grange in
Ireland and those found on rocks and standing stones at many other places...
(being)... based on integral Pythagorean triangles. In the same way, the
geometry of the country with its lines and spirals is precise, yet its beauty
lies in the fact that it is never rigid, for it is everywhere related to the
earth's natural features, the peaks and headlands over which the sitings were
made. These features reflect the patterns of the heavens, for the whole system
of alignments is based on obsevations of the sun, moon and stars made from
within the stone circles..."
Yup! You guessed it: John Michell... But for anyone who hasn't been in the
West Kennet long-barrow recently, try the large, flat stone set into the floor
in the first chamber on your left as you go in... Buzz is not quite the word.