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Subject: INNER - First steps of alchemical initiation
From: A.M. House
Date: 2 Dec 1996

IDENTIFYING SOME FIRST STEPS OF ALCHEMICAL INITIATION
By Anthony M. House

OUT OF UNITY YOU ARISE, TO RETURN TO UNITY IS YOUR DESTINY, THE MIND DISCOVERS THE PATH OF RETURN WHILE THE HEART PROVIDES THE KEY TO PROGRESS EACH STEP ALONG THE WAY

INNER CONTACT
We must know that we are needing to find our own path in the initiatory work. In addition to the 7 "Fama" commandments proposed for the servants of the Invisible Order, (see lesson 11 of general esoterics) there are no rigid restrictions for the student to comply to, yet, LPN France has generously shown us an outer work indispensable for inner contact to occur.

Experience has shown them that this contact is with the Genius within us all.

The Angel that is your higher self. Your lunar astral vehicle that becomes known to you by the eventual passage into the astral realms. We again individually verify the paths of return to unite with our origin.

Identifying some preparatory steps to research allows us to recover just where we have to look for direction in the initiatory respect of the eclectic paths of alchemy.

This effusive foregoing study will increasingly allow us ample access to the program of the outer work. Gaining a higher access allows for a more complete synthesis to emerge.

When significant contact is made you will know it. I can certify the profound effects that the correctly prepared stone of horsetail (Saturn) holds. A Saturn stone made by Michel Auger of LPN France, put me in contact with Divine Love (the FIRE of Unity).

I personally experienced a profound sorrow and joy simultaneously. I lost control of my emotions as tears filled my eyes, and I sobbed aloud for more than an hour. This happened to me last September 1993, at the LPN seminar.

Later, I consulted Patrice Maleze, Michel Auger, and Yves Arbez about my reaction. Patrice told me to try to laugh, as it has a countering effect on the tears.

Note: I have often observed Jean Dubuis attempting to hold back his emotion and tears while giving the seminars. Also, when Jean Dubuis is on the jazz (communing with the Grandfather (universe) he will often spontaneously grab hold of you, should you be near him at the moment, and press his lips to your forehead, just below the hairline.

One becomes a conduit and through which the great love flows out of Jean Dubuis, into you.

It's a rush! This is the Divine Love kiss of the Magister.

Patrice told me that because Michel A. had prepared it, I should tell him.

Michel Auger smiled knowingly and sat with me for a moment to console me. He didn't seem surprised, but pleased at the stones power, and as they had related in the lecture before giving the stone to those present, they asserted "It gives a Divine Love experience."

Yves, observing my reaction, took me aside and said "You are reborn today, on the inner plane," (fortunately Brigitte Donvez was there to translate for us), as he hugged me with genuine brotherly affection and respect.

This emotional reaction was powerful and fulfilling in many ways. Even today I well-up whenever I recall the experience. New vistas of inner symbolic reality have risen in turn in my conscious life, and today the inner walls blocking my growth, are dissolving away.

I might briefly mention too, that the caraway stone given in Oct. 1992 was a turning inward point for me. I had an instantaneous reaction that deleted all the mental data away and shifted attention to my heart perception. I later told Marc-Gerald Cibard that my brain had turned to mush!

I have always been self reflective and I've experienced deep meditation while completing experiments in seclusion before, but the apparent power that this initiatic stone held, relocated my perception.

It shifted my awareness inwardly. I can also say that I've endured dreams that continue to show me everyday (night) my psyche (this can be a very eye-opening event!), my station in life now, and some means to achieve a balance between everyday experience and inner life challenges. This pleased me greatly, causing some new details to form from within.

There will arise both voluntary and involuntary dreams that develop in the alchemists psyche and the images and symbols are not easy to read in the beginning, yet, they are as real as our waking reality.

See Horary Chart for dream analysis Fig. 1. This chart is useful for sorting out the confusing sequences awakened out of the time-space duality of dreams, while also systematizing from horary or natal information, an astrological approach.

Humanity automatically transmits thought by steps, to unity (the Fountain Source). We are as little kings (queens), on account of our inheritance, and we exchange data with the great king that IS the inner guide.

We are contacting the program of the unconscious realms in our heightened dreams and the resonant powers we contact allow us to temporarily merge with a new level of harmonic energy.

For posterity, and for self study, keeping a notebook of dream activities is a good way to remember a pattern that's unfolding. The symbols in the unconscious are doorways to transcendent meaning.

CARAWAY STONE
Let's begin with a stone of Caraway, which is asserted to be THE vegetable stone to make for initial, albeit temporary, inner lunar astral plane contact with Hod (Mercury) through dream states at first and later - waking visions. The level called Hod has another name called Thoth Hermes.

So it will give you information on Thoth qabala, and on Hermes alchemy. But these will be personal explanations to start your own way.

This stone opens this path. This path is the path of Shin the letter of the fire, but you must understand that this name fire is just like love. And there (path 31) will come the Divine Love path that will let you start alchemy.

When you do your own stone the experience will be strictly personal. A permanent contact in the interior worlds of the sephiroth can be achieved by use of the White and Red Stones of the metallic kingdom. A later article can cover the Flamel Path and initiation steps. Now, some steps to take in the vegetable kingdom.
METHOD: 98-99% alcohol is poured over approximately 12 lbs of seeds of caraway for 24 hours to mark the alcohol with the seeds. Then the alcohol is distilled off and set aside to be used later.

SULFUR
Fresh seeds (recommended up to 40 lbs.) are steam distilled with distilled rain water (or distilled water) for the essential oil. The thoroughly depleted seeds are then calcined and leached. Note that by allowing the seeds to rest and cool for 12 to 24 hours you can often get the same amount of oil from the same seeds. Just leave the seeds in the same flask and variate between work (distilling) and rest (cooling).

SALT
What you have to know first is that in nature 2 states occur. The crystalline one that's the state of order, and the amorphous state, the chaos one. The alchemical experiments are supported by the order state. So we will speak about certain types of crystals and some rules concerning these crystals.
But just what's necessary for alchemy. The crystals come from the fact that the atoms have a spiritual volume. And you can only put these spirits within 2 types.

With spheres like a cubic pattern or like the rhombohedric pattern. In reality the spheres don't touch, they are far from one another, but they always respect these 2 rules of network. See Fig. 2. And these 2 rules of network are based, and give 7 types of crystals in nature. In qabalistic and alchemistic tradition there are crystal attributions that are types of crystals. Plants are chosen according to the crystallization of the salt of the sulfur corresponding
Saturn/Cubic,

Jupiter/Quadratic,
Mars/Orthorhombic,
Sun/Monoclinic,

Venus/Triclinic,

Mercury/Rhombohedric,

Moon/Hexagonal,

Earth - has no particular crystallization, but may be set on any of the sephirotic levels of crystallization. Here Drosera is known to carry all 7 planetary flows, like its counterpart antimony.

So every sephirotic level is a resonance level in your inner world. We have not checked every level but I think for 2 of these levels we have to pick experiments that show that the tradition is right.

The first type of crystal is the cubic crystal.
This crystal is on the sephirotic level (of) Binah (3). There are 2 types of crystals that are perfect. Cubic and Rhombohedrical. The cubic one is the most perfect, because all its sides are equal and all its angles are right. And along the path down to the density of matter, crystals lose their perfection. If you want to work in alchemy, if you want to make stones and bring them to a sephirotic level, you must have the corresponding crystal to the self.

N.B. Let's examine briefly this important Self aspect. An example given by LPN France is this:
Given that you would produce a stone of whatsoever level, in this case let's continue with the Hod (Mercury) stone of caraway. The personal initiation can guide you to undertake further improvements (thus more power) in your technique and manipulation of the three essentials and FIRE from the atmosphere.

So an initiatic stone at the level of Hod (Mercury) produced by a person of a lower, or perhaps higher level than the stone obtained, may or may not react appreciatively to that level upon using the stones.

It should be noted that the inner level of the person (during its making) is imprinted upon the matrix of the stone and cannot rise above the stage of your own level. Determining your personal inner level is a sure way to get started rightly in the initiatory personal path.

The example supplied here draws a distinction to be recognized that alchemically, initiatic stones can be above, or below the inner level of your inner self.

You see that in alchemy, every step from higher to lower and vice versa requires starting at the onset.

Graduating to the fix the volatile and volatilize the fixed formula of this alchemical program, demands a really precise understanding (gained by experience) of the raising of the FIRE (Angel or secret fire).

Some help in this regard has been presented by LPN France.

Raising the secret fire in the amalgam (of the Flamel Work) for instance, to produce animated (raised initiatic energy) mercury, and the examples of transfer of life and energy in the kingdoms has back up statements covered in the Mendeleyev table of elements presentation, this allows some means of testing the power of stones, elixirs, elements etc. that have initiatic strength (force).

I can see several different research levels that would involve obtaining (principally) initiatic plant stones that are quickly produced (please see article in issue #1 of Ora et Labora), verses stones that are of the white stages and require a more rigorous and lengthy preparation. To deliberately answer whether the same initiatic strength is present in both.

Presently, we have from LPN France long experience about making truly, initiatic preparations. As well as their collective investigations of effects from their use. For months, and even years at a time. After significant initial contact, using the plant stones is no longer necessary. Again, the time for making inner world contact varies with each person.

We may find too, that our older stones produced from the beginning of our work, may not have as much strength as more recently improved stones do. Time and experience will show us.


PHILOSOPHICAL SEPARATION
If, (as the argument goes), whether or not a plant stone can - separate the three essentials from an immersion into a macerating media - is possible (some recent disclosure from Russ and Sue House says that these stones can cause a simple separation), it's proper to note, as well, that stones further produced by them, from the real philosophic separation of these essentials; by a correctly prepared plant stone, obtain and allow a higher (meaning - more harmonious) effect on the inner levels.

Still, in all, the inner self has a level and this level needs to be explored out for personal contact on the paths of return.

SALT continued..
Crystals (salt of the sulfur) can be obtained through the cloudy water obtained from the distillation in an oil separation device, (See Fig. 3, also refer to article in Ora et Labora, issue #2) and must be passed through solve coagula to obtain the crystals very large and transparent.

We'll see later, how to obtain the salt of the sulfur needed for sephirotic comparison, in the white stages section of the article.

Note: In Guelph, Canada, Jean Dubuis showed those present a jar filled with caraway crystals that were very clear (transparent) and large. Crystals will grow like tiny branches in the saturated cloudy water when we slowly evaporate (don't boil) the water, thus reducing the amount of extraneous water by vaporizing it and carefully scooping out the crystals as they form on the surface of the liquid. Dry them, and set these newly formed crystals aside.

The first crystals to appear can be separated from the later solve coagulae (crystallizations). These former crystals can be used as seeds to push coagulation along when saturation is weakened and the salt crystals begin to stop forming. Adding a few of these first crystals to the water will allow the formation to begin again. Finally, we obtain a point where the salt crystals refuse to form, this is the highest degree of purification.

Note: A high percentage of alcohol can be produced by macerating rectified wine - about 94-95% - in a warm place with potassium carbonate, then it's distilled with boiling stones, alembic, and/or kjeldahl flask, and a potassium trap at the vacuum tap - see excerpt from Lesson 29 Spagyrics below:

MERCURY
The first thing to obtain is a perfect Mercury. If it isn't absolute, it contains water; so 99 % alcohol still contains 10 ml of water per liter. This water dissolves a little bit of mine-ral salt and the Mercury/Salt separation can't be perfect. We sup-pose that thanks to our preceding lessons you have easily ob-tained a Mercury of at least 90 %.

To understand the means we chose in the process we are going to describe, we should know what we call "the wear and tear" of things, from the alchemical point of view.

For example, if we throw a small amount of salt in water; at first the water is at rest; the salt dissolves very rapidly. Add some more salt: the dissolution is slower. Add more salt and there is refusal: the water is saturated and doesn't want to dissolve any more salt.

You can heat the water to give it some more strength: eventually the dissolution of the salt will stop once more when a new saturation occurs. Potassium carbonate absorbs the water of the alcohol, but the more it absorbs of this water the less dynamic it becomes.

This same phenomenon renders the preparation of absolute alcohol difficult. The less water in it, the more avidity for water; the more the carbonate absorbed water, the less avidity it has for it. In addition, potassium carbonate attacks glass; the flask or bottle you use should only serve for this particular operation because frosted glass can never be completely cleaned.

Experience shows that in this operation potassium carbonate agglomerates into a lump and the attempts to remove it from the round bottom flask often results in the flask or the bottle breaking.

Following the same alchemical principles, it is better to re-use the potassium carbonate because it becomes more refined and opens correspondingly to the number of times it is used.

For the following operations we used canning jars made of glass, which have several advantages, in addition to being cheap. They can take water-baths, resist vacuum, and have air-tight caps. The only disadvantage is their cover: for distillation, you must either buy a reactor-cover which fits the type of jar you chose, or bore a hole 8 mm in diameter through the glass cover and adapt a standard tube of 8 mm. The boring is easy and requires only a few minutes. We should then obtain a carbide drill (bit) well sharpened. During the operation, lubricate with turpentine ; as soon as the bit comes through the other side, reverse the piece to complete the hole.

When our material is ready, the sequence of the operations proceeds as follows: calcine the potassium carbonate at 350 C (662 F) for at least an hour. Fill the jar half-way with the carbonate and pour 90 % alcohol within 2 cm ( one inch) of the top. Close with an air-tight cover and let the mix act for 24 hrs.

Shake two or three times during that period. The jar is then placed in a water-bath regulated by a thermostat or placed on an electric plate with a thermostat. The temperature of the water in the water-bath is maintained at 85 C (185 F).

Of course, during this operation, the jar is capped by an 8 mm tube equipped cover.

The distillation train is equipped with a check-valve, a con-denser and a round bottom flask; the whole forming an air-tight unit which prevents the alcohol from absorbing atmospheric mois-ture.

Again, if you do not have a good mastery of distillation, and you are not certain of the capacity for removing heat of the condenser, the airtightness of the system can cause an explosion.

You can avoid this inconvenience and at the same time prevent atmospheric moisture from entering by adding a moisture trap: an air outlet tube can be mounted on the receiving flask and this tube emerges in the atmosphere by means of a tube of 8 mm diame-ter and 20 to 25 cm long.
This tube is filled with calcined potassium carbonate which is maintained in place at both extremi-ties with stoppers made with cotton padding. Distillation with this equipment yields an alcohol that reads between 96 % and 98 %. With this alcohol we repeat the same process again but with only 1/6 of the volume of carbonate in the flask. The distilla-tion will then yield an alcohol that reads more than 99 %.

A third distillation with 25 g of carbonate per liter will yield an alcohol reading a minimum of 99.8 %. This alcohol must be used immediately because it cannot be easily kept at that percentage. You need a perfectly air-tight ground glass flask which must be full to insure the preservation of this alcohol for some time.

After use, dissolve the carbonate in distilled water and filter the liquor. The liquor spontaneously separates into two parts: one is light and the other heavy. This is due to the fact that the carbonate also fixes a certain quantity of alcohol. The distillation of this liquor recollects the alcohol. One can also take advantage of this distillation to concentrate the liquor. Pour the liquor into a pyrex dish and slowly evaporate. Keep the carbonate you collect kept in an air-tight flask, it can be used again.

If after coagulation the carbonate is not perfectly white, do not calcine it. It must be dissolved, filtered and coagulated again. This process demonstrates furthermore how many impurities can be extracted from the alcohol.

WHITE STAGES of Vegetable Kingdom

With this very pure Mercury, we are going to undertake the making of the white stage of the elixirs, thus called because the three principles which compose it are white or transparent when they are ready for the final coagulation.

With this perfect Mercury, we need a plant as perfect as possible. The dry plant will be rid of its dust and damaged parts, etc. If it contains a residue of water, it will weaken the Mercury and so you should carefully dry the plant.

This can take place, for example, in a desiccating jar. After you place the plant in a jar, add vacuum-tubes on one side of the water pump and on the other side toward the round bottom flask which contains the calcined potassium carbonate.

As the vacuum is made, you must close the circuit on the side of the water pump in order to avoid moisture from entering. The jar is maintained in a water-bath regulated at 60 C (140 F) for two to three hours. Under vacuum, at this temperature, the plant releases its resi-dual water in the form of vapor absorbed by the carbonate.

Place the plant in the thimble of a Soxhlet which is filled with absolute alcohol. The upper part of the condenser of the extractor is closed with a silicon stopper so as to prevent moisture from entering. The round bottom flask of the extrac-tor is heated to 85 C (185 F) in a water-bath so the Sulfur doesn't overheat. Several days of extraction are required to make sure the Sulfur has been extracted. Complete extraction of the Sulfur is essential.

The residue in the thimble is calcined and leached until the Salt becomes whiter than snow. You can recognize complete extrac-tion of the Sulfur by the fact that the Salt is not sticky. Often this salt sparkles because it forms small crystals.
Distil the tincture. If the alcohol collected in this manner is no longer absolute, it can be treated with calcined carbonate as before.

When the tincture reaches the thickness of honey pour it into a crucible and calcine it. A black residue is obtained that is ground as fine as possible. Place it then in a quartz or porcelain dish, but not glass. Pour on the residue a distilled water solution containing 5% alcohol of the alcohol just col-lected.

Pour this solution on the residue until it covers it to a depth of 1/2 to 1 cm. After a night of maceration, the solution is slowly evaporated. The residue is calcined, reduced to powder and the cycle starts again. In a very few days the residue be-comes sparkling white, whiter than snow: it is the Salt of the Sulfur. The crystals which appear in the Salt indicate the plane-tary attribution of the plant by their structure. This Salt of Sulfur is mixed in equal parts with the Salt obtained during the calcination of the plant. If there is a correct imbibition per-formed with the Mercury just collected, and it is put into the incubator, we are beginning to form the Vegetable Stone.

If you poured on a large quantity of Mercury, the volatile qua-lity will prevail. However, the alcohol only becomes charged with Salt and Sulfur through repeated distillations. The volatile must progressively make the fixed volatile.

PURIFICATION OF SULFUR
Purification of the essential oils of oil producing plants and seeds is simple and only requires adding the steamed oil that floats on the distilled water, back into the lower flask from which the plants or seeds are being boiled.

The oil must become more clear and pure. Caraway essential oil looks cloudy the first few times it's separated. It gradually becomes more clear and pristine as the oil is re-steamed. You may note too, that for the planetary herbs chosen by LPN we have the following:

Saturn/Horsetail,

Jupiter/Melissa,

Mars/Madder,

Sun/Eyebright Euphrasia,

Venus/Alchemilla or Yarrow,

Mercury/Caraway or Lavender flowers,

Moon/Veronica,

Earth/Drosera i.e., Sundew.

I'm sure you'll note that many of these herbs lack adequate quantities of essential oil and this has proved to be a problem for LPN France, although they are now researching intensively to simplify, for everybody, extraction of the sulfur of these essential oil deficient plants.

Further research regarding plants or seeds etc. that exhibit a matrix that gives salt of sulfur crystals matching the sephirotic levels, deserves some pioneering attention.

If plants or seeds don't yield a sufficient amount of essential oils, or none at all, you need not dispense with their use, but check the salt crystals that arise from its honey-like resins (refer to the white stages of preparation).

LPN is extracting with hexane in the case of horsetail or with acetone, in a soxhlet, and slow evaporation is necessary to allow sufficient removal for the above mentioned plants.. The oil is then a honey-like consistency.

THE INCUBATOR
The incubator is very important because an even temperature must be maintained for the Angel (secret fire) of the angel water to be gradually raised in strength and power. You must be sure you have a good deliquescence, and carefully distill the resultant oil from the potassium carbonate that dissolved in the atmospheric dew. The fire (heater) outside the vessel (containing your developing stone) is the fire against nature and the inner fire (inside the 'egg') is to be coaxed out of its secret abode by this external constant temperature. This is the Vulcan aspect of the work and definitely demands certain standards to be maintained.

As to the construction of the incubator, with some steel wool and some wire we can construct an inner cubic structure where the hot plate can be fitted into place. The size is up to you. The heat source can be a deciding factor in the dimensions of your inner cubic chamber.

You'll want to gain access to your confecting stone, so you should install a door that allows full or partial viewing of the 'egg' inside. It's possible to use a rather thick heat resistant glass for the door.

Surrounding this inner chamber (but not the access door) is vermiculite (silica) enclosed with an outer shell also equipped with a sufficiently sealable door, again shaped like a cube.

Sheet metal can easily be shaped and soldered to complete the incubator. Use a heater that can be trusted to keep an even temperature for very long periods of time.
If you use light bulb heat make sure the bulb is painted black and the paint is heat resistant. No electrical light can be shined on the developing stone. Beware of light from the bulb leaking through cracks.

THE EGG
The essential oil, once it's purified, is imbibed (added to) the crystals, but only in a carefully sealed 'egg' so that no parasitic odors or sulfurs can contaminate or determine the prepared salts by exposure.

LPN uses a small glass vessel or 'egg' with a wide mouth and cork that has a stirring mechanism made of bent glass tubing going through the cork and an opening for a syringe filled with the essential oil to be inserted for imbibation (cohobation).

Keep in mind that when a syringe filled with essential oil is added by drops into the egg, the opening for the syringe must be closed off and sealed when imbibition is done, a good solution is a tube with a stop cock that can be closed and opened.

The oil is imbibed every week one hour after sunrise on wednesday (for this stone of caraway is ruled by this planetary genius at this hour) it is stirred, incorporating the oil with salt, and incubated at 40 C until reaching a saturation point.

Then the same imbibation is done with the marked alcohol mentioned above to saturation, and again incubated. Lastly, deliquesced potassium carbonate (exposed to the night air) is distilled obtaining angel water, which is this distilled water charged by the atmospheric moisture with gur (prana), is added to its saturation point and again incubated, always at 40 C.

This is to charge the stone with initiatic fire energy. The initial stone is beige in color, but with up to 2 years of incubation it ripens to red-brown. Then it's completed. It will be ground into small crystals.

The crystals of all stones including caraway stone are taken with wine.

METHOD FOR TAKING CRYSTAL STONES OF PLANTS:
1. Coat finger with saliva
2. Touch finger on the desired dosage of crystals to be taken at the 1st hour on the day of the ruling intelligence
3. Touch finger with crystals adhering to tongue top
4. Red wine chaser

Apparently the idea is to swallow the crystals right away, they are dissolved with the wine in the stomach and release their fire and energy in the solar plexus. A distinction must be seen regarding the differences between medicinal and initiatory medicines here.

SOURCES: Spagyric Lesson 29; Transcript of LPN videos: Inner Consciousness through Dreams Oct. 1992; Horary Chart from The Hermetic Dream, 1978 - A highly recommended book.



Subject: INNER - re: First steps of alchemical initiation

Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 19:10:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz


I would like to thank A.M.House for his posting: Identifying Some First
Steps of Alchemical Initiation (Dec.2).The idea of working with plant
elixirs is a new subject for me so I wanted to spend some time with the
essay before replying with a few questions.

A.M.House wrote:

>For posterity, and for self study, keeping a notebook of dream activities is
>a good way to remember a pattern that's unfolding. The symbols in the
>unconscious are doorways to transcendent meaning.

I have also found this method very useful for self study. Do you find that
traditional alchemical imagery surfaces in your dreams?

>This stone opens this path. This path is the path of Shin the letter of the
>fire, but you must understand that this name fire is just like love. And
>there (path 31) will come the Divine Love path that will let you start
alchemy.

Do you not begin with Tau (path 32) the letter of Saturn?

>If you use light bulb heat make sure the bulb is painted black and the paint
>is heat resistant. No electrical light can be shined on the developing
>stone. Beware of light from the bulb leaking through cracks.

Interesting. I have heard this same warning regarding the preparing and
keeping a speculum (e.g. crystal ball, scrying stone etc.). Sunlight for
that matter is to be avoided too (for the speculum). I believe, a good way
to "clear" a crystal ball is to leave it in the sunlight for a day or so. As
it is a lunar magical tool perhaps the sunlight is a way to disconnect/reset
the object. Any explanation of the negative effect of electric light on the
stone?

Regards,
Richard Patz



Subject: INNER - First steps of alchemical initiation
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 06:14:46 -0800
From: Mark House

> From: Richard Patz
>
> A.M.House wrote:
> >For posterity, and for self study, keeping a notebook of dream activities is
> >a good way to remember a pattern that's unfolding. The symbols in the
> >unconscious are doorways to transcendent meaning.

> I have also found this method very useful for self study. Do you find that
> traditional alchemical imagery surfaces in your dreams?

Richard,

When I was very young my sister awakened me from a dream and told me I
was talking to a dragon. How she knew this was because I was asking
where is my dinosaur? Repeatedly. Later in my young life I had very
lucid dreams about traveling in a desert with people I knew in this
dream we were in a wagon and the wagon was being pulled by two very
large beetles. We stopped in the sand, the two beetles ate each other
became one, reappeared as two again, ate each became one etc. When I
asked what was this I was told they would eventually stop and we would
move on to our destination; a city where we would find great fruit and a
garden of rest from the heat of the desert.
Today the dreams are even more detailed. But I must not discuss the
content since I have been told that personal initiation and dreams require
a long study that unfolds in its own time-space. Although I can tell you
that hours and days are spent in the other state of awareness when
a really good inner contact has transpired.

> >This stone opens this path. This path is the path of Shin the letter of the
> >fire, but you must understand that this name fire is just like love.
> Do you not begin with Tau (path 32) the letter of Saturn?

In qabala the path to begin ascension is 32. To understand this you
start from Assiah and take a direct path upwards or inwards towards
Yesod. However the path of the fire is the most common for alchemy and
the dream state of seeing fire is most common when taking alchemically
charged medicines that are releasing the fire of the "angel" of path 31.
It is the path of fire and love. Divine love experience.

> >If you use light bulb heat make sure the bulb is painted black and the paint
> >is heat resistant. No electrical light can be shined on the developing
> >stone. Beware of light from the bulb leaking through cracks.

> Interesting. I have heard this same warning regarding the preparing and
> keeping a speculum (e.g. crystal ball, scrying stone etc.). Sunlight for
> that matter is to be avoided too (for the speculum). I believe, a good way
> to "clear" a crystal ball is to leave it in the sunlight for a day or so. As
> it is a lunar magical tool perhaps the sunlight is a way to disconnect/reset
> the object. Any explanation of the negative effect of electric light on the
> stone?

The stone is born in darkness. This may be a direct understanding of the
philosophers of the dark matter or background energies at play in the
work of the making of the P. Stone.

Anthony Mark House



Subject: INNER - Alchemy and Qabalah

Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 20:11:41 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

>From: Mark House
>In qabala the path to begin ascension is 32. To understand this you
>start from Assiah and take a direct path upwards or inwards towards
>Yesod. However the path of the fire is the most common for alchemy and
>the dream state of seeing fire is most common when taking alchemically
>charged medicines that are releasing the fire of the "angel" of path 31.
>It is the path of fire and love. Divine love experience.

I would be interested in discussing parallels and points of contact between
Qabalah and Alchemy further.

We could even take a look at Aesch Mezareph. The first two chapters are at
http://www.levity.com/alchemy/aesch.html

>The stone is born in darkness.

A powerful comment. Thank you for this.

Richard Patz
Date: Fri Dec 13 09:30:08 1996



Subject: INNER - Alchemy and Dreams
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 20:13:02 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

>From: Mark House
>
>When I was very young my sister awakened me from a dream and told me I
>was talking to a dragon. How she knew this was because I was asking
>where is my dinosaur? Repeatedly. Later in my young life I had very
>lucid dreams about traveling in a desert with people I knew in this
>dream we were in a wagon and the wagon was being pulled by two very
>large beetles. We stopped in the sand, the two beetles ate each other
>became one, reappeared as two again, ate each became one etc. When I
>asked what was this I was told they would eventually stop and we would
>move on to our destination; a city where we would find great fruit and a
>garden of rest from the heat of the desert.

When I was young I dreamed about egyptian mummification. Small wonder that
later in life I would follow the study of Egyptology (I come to alchemy only
recently).

>Today the dreams are even more detailed. But I must not discuss the
>content since I have been told that personal initiation and dreams require
>a long study that unfolds in its own time-space.

Of course, and I wouldn't ask the details of such personal material.

Jung records a great deal of alchemical imagery in the dreams of his
patients. Have you read any of this material? As someone who is working in
an alchemical system do you have any comments about the content of the
Jungian material?

As I understand it, alchemy observes and describes the grand process of
Nature. And whether we are talking about physical evolution or psychological
intergration or the growth of spiritual enlightenment, the process is the
same. Hence the value of alchemy's capacity for multi-level interpretation
and, I would venture, the value of experience over dogma. As human beings we
have the option, by virtue of our self-awareness, to participate in this
process while other sentient beings suffer to be carried along. Through our
participation - in whatever framework or system we may call our own -
everything benefits. The effect is systemic.

So when I read the Jungian dream material I say "of course, we are all
moving in the same direction".

I am interested in your opinion.

Richard Patz



Subject: INNER - Alchemy and Dreams
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 21:18:06 -0800
From: Mark House

As Frater Albertus used to say:"All things are in a state of ever
becoming." Even the universe is ever evolving...we live on a planet that
is moving along at the speed of light along with the rest of the matter
in space. Dreams however, move in a different space-time from that. They
can take a minute or an eternity to reveal the pattern that must be
interpreted or directly seen. To decipher dreams like Jung felt he
should do he came to know the symbology of ordinary people, patients,
etc., were engaging in inner world contacts with higher (meaning more
harmonious) energy. The formula of energy = consciousness and vice
versa, equates the two, and we are seeking unity of the opposites here
in the dream states. Jung had the courage to pursue the images as
descibed and his book on Pstchology and Alchemy is the result. A more
modern archetype that appears from the 1940's on are the UFO's that
appear everywhere to ordinary folk. Images are the messengers of the
Gods. The Gods are the energies contacted in numerous states of
consciousness. I don't know what is dream and what is reality. Few
people can distinguish the difference other than waking consciouness and
unconsciousness. My dreams can be so real that I can see the thread
through a maze of consciouness while awake. Waking dreams too have
several time-spaces over-lapping each other which makes viewing it a
task. Others like Carlos Casteneda Have told us that to write his book
on The Power of Silence and his latest, he dreams and sees the details
then simply remembers the event and writes it down. With practice in
dream diary writing the task is more easily accomplished. It takes real
devotion and detail oriented consciousness.

A.M.W. House



Subject: INNER - Alchemy and Dreams
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 1996 18:17:15 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

Mark House wrote:

>we are seeking unity of the opposites here in the dream states.

Your comment reminds me of the custom of looking to dreams to restore health
and equilibrium.

Jesuit accounts (17th century) report that the Huron tribes of Central
Ontario, Canada, used to see dreams as a way to divine the "soul desires"
[ondinnock]. If these ondinnock were not fulfilled, sickness and mental
disease would result. A shaman [ocata] would help interpret the symbolic
nature of the visions and the dream itself would be ritually reenacted, with
practical modifications. The conditions of the dream were fulfilled -
illness was averted - equilibrium and health returned.

This appears to represent a folding the dream world into the physical world
thereby uniting unconscious and conscious experiences.

Granted, we are talking about another time and culture. Bruce G. Trigger in
his book "The Huron, Farmers of the North" gives a number of graphic
examples from the early 17th century that illustrate just how different that
culture is to our own. A warrior dreamed of being burnt at the stake. He was
tortured, like in his dream, and a dog was killed as a surrogate. A rich man
dreamed that he had to refurnish his house. He gave away all his old belongings.

However, I think a similar method could be adopted today with perhaps a more
symbol reenactment than the examples given. Dream of a certain place? Then
go visit it. Dream of a horse? Go to the countryside and touch one. Seems a
good way of uniting the inner world with the outer world, if one is sensible
about the details. (No dog sacrifices please). Those with a background in
alchemical symbolism or ceremonial work - or artists - would have even more
resources for the implementation of this method than most people.

I am not suggesting every dream be 'brought to earth' as it were. But in my
experience some dreams do beg for expression.

Richard Patz



Subject: INNER - Alchemy and Dreams
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 12:38:45 -0800
From: Donald Minson

> From: Mark House
> As Frater Albertus used to say: "All things are in a state of ever
> becoming." Even the universe is ever evolving...we live on a planet that
> is moving along at the speed of light along with the rest of the matter
> in space. Dreams however, move in a different space-time from that...


Mark,

Ever becoming. Boy don't I know that feeling. The only constant in
the universe is change.

When you say energy = consciousness... are you including the unconscious
as well? Fire is the symbol of energy and of change. For the alchemists
the soul dwells in the fire of the heart. Jung, in his commentary on
Paracelsian alchemy, talked of this and postulated the heart [as
container and grave (a retort of sorts)], as the imagination---that
place where we do all the work, the opus. That seems to me to be a
meeting ground of the opposites, especially the conscious/unconscious
pair. The place where the spinning Mercurius resides. In this place
Paracelsus says that the spirit and soul reside and the great crime of
the spirit was its causing the soul to fall.

This equation of fire/energy--i.e., the active principle of the imagination--
means to me that the resolution to the separation of spirit and soul can
only be mended by activating or heating up that same
fire---or rather, a devotion of psychic energy to the process that
initiated the change in the first place. That requires a dialectic
between the spontaneous images of the unconscious and the humbled
ego---a dance between two partners who must find a language to
communicate the steps--the language of symbols... the language of
dreams.

It seems to me that "Ariadne" thread you spoke of is one such
image. Jung spoke of a web of associations (psych & alch) that provide
the context which, in turn, provides the proper
interpretation/deciphering of these gods. Your thread sounds like a
string in that web--- are there "pictures" along the route of your maze?

Which are the dreams and which are manifestations of the material world?
Do they dance? The unity we seek in dreams is (as dreams themselves
often are) sometimes a precipitant of things to come in waking
life....so, too, then we are seeking unity when awake, if we are seeking
at all. Further, to experience the symbolic life is a magic of high
regard.... to confuse it with a dream can be a dangerous thing... take
care my friend... nigredo is a dark dark place and the gods come to life
with zeal (an energy not so harmonious in its temporal
manifestation)... the opus is a physis---everbecoming ever changing....

Don Minson



Subject: INNER - Alchemy and Dreams
From: Steve Kalec
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 13:01:24 -0500

Dear Richard Patz,

> I am not suggesting every dream be 'brought to earth' as it were.
> But in my experience some dreams do beg for expression.

I found your post very interesting and I agree with you that some
dreams beg for expression. I find it very striking how we can wake up
to certain moods which can last most of the day sometimes because
of a dream that we had. I like the examples you give in the possible
ways to fulfill and give expression to these dreams. Thanks.

Best regards,

Steve Kalec



Subject: INNER - Alchemy and Dreams
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 13:14:20 -0800
From: Donald Minson

> From: Richard Patz
> A shaman [ocata] would help interpret the symbolic
> nature of the visions and the dream itself would be ritually reenacted, with
> practical modifications. The conditions of the dream were fulfilled -
> illness was averted - equilibrium and health returned....

> However, I think a similar method could be adopted today with perhaps a more
> symbol reenactment than the examples given. Dream of a certain place? Then
> go visit it. Dream of a horse? Go to the countryside and touch one. Seems a
> good way of uniting the inner world with the outer world... Those with a background
> in alchemical symbolism or ceremonial work - or artists - would have even
> more resources for the implementation of this method than most people.

Richard,

Your symbolic reenactment idea reminds me of Robert Johnson's (the
Jungian analyst's--not the Blues guitarist's) idea of incorporating
ritual as a necessary symbolic compliment to dream and fantasy material.
He feels we need some kind of physical/material re-enforcement of an
experience which might otherwise demand an unconscious--and therefore
dangerous or uncomfortable--response of our manifested behavior. Just
like the extremes you related. Johnson says the psyche doesn't know the
difference between a symbolic act and a real one, and that we can create
some physically exercised ritual experience to suffice rather than
leaving it up to the unconscious to determine its manifestation. He gave
the example of a young man who dreamed of junk food. The junkfood
symbolized to the man his pursual of unhealthy habits and
behaviors,i.e., unfulfilling, habitual, seeking for empty pleasures. So,
the young man would ritually go to a fast food restaurant, buy the
biggest,greasiest burger the largest fries and drink and take it home,
dig a hole in his back yard and bury it. Symbolically this had the
effect of ridding or "burying" or laying to rest this impulses. As a
result he was able--consciously and happily and with greater ease--to
change his life with more rewarding seekings and experiences.

Don Minson



Subject: INNER - The domain of inner alchemy
Date: 19th Dec 1996
From: Adam McLean

There is now a good core group of subscribers to this Inner alchemy e-mail group, so we should begin to set out and explore the topics which come under this heading.

Inner alchemy here embraces what is sometimes called 'spiritual' or 'soul' alchemy, and essentially deals with the transformation of the inner substance, the soul matter at the heart of our human nature. This inner transformation can be acheived using the following:

* By intellectually studying the texts and imagery of alchemy.

* By meditative working with texts and imagery of alchemy. This includes contemplating individual images as mandalas, or long meditations on complex series of symbols, or undertaking imaginative inner journeys, based on alchemical allegories.

* By using the events of practical alchemical operations as seeds for meditations. For example, by reflecting an outer experience of, say calcination, so that it becomes a powerful interior experience.


Consequently the work of this Inner alchemy e-mail group must focus on such aspects as,

* Identifying and analysing texts important for inner alchemical work.

* Identifying and analysing symbols and emblems that are important for this inner work.

* Identifying and analysing allegories that are significant for interior alchemy.

* Discussing techniques for the contemplative or meditative exploration of alchemical material.

* Investigating psychological models drawing upon alchemical ideas - Jungian archetypes, dream symbols, etc


As this is a group devoted to inner alchemy, we must try to remain focussed on our subject. It is all too easy for us to generally discuss inner work, but there are other places for such general discussion. So I would ask us all to try to keep focussed on alchemy in our discussions.

This group, by its nature, must be speculative, and as there are no objective criteria or rules from which we can decide what is relevant to these discussions, I as moderator will have to gently push and prod subscribers to hold to our subject.

This subject being speculative, there will be many honestly and deeply held views which may conflict. With inner work, we must bear in mind that what is true for one individual, coming from a certain background, is not necessarily relevant or true in another individual's interior work. [The prime example will probably be the relevance of Christian symbolism in alchemical work - but there are many other conflicts.] I do ask us all to be tolerant, and please be willing to accept my occasional refocussing of the group onto the topic of alchemy.

Adam McLean



Subject: INNER - The domain of inner alchemy
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 16:16:17 -0800
From: Heather

Dear Mr. McLean

>Alchemy e-mail wrote:
>There is now a good core group of subscribers to this Inner alchemy e-mail
> group, so we should begin to set out and explore the topics which come under
> this heading.


I had been hoping for alchemical images as they relate to psychology. For
example, I was recently rereading "Goethe's Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and
The Beautiful Lily." In particular, I was wondering if anyone would be able
to make a comparison between the Old Woman, with the black-withering hand and
the tale of the Handless Maiden. The Jungian analyst and author, Robert
Johnson, has a wonderul book titled "The Fisher King & The Handless Maiden"
with interpretaions and more. Both feminine figures plunge their hands into
water with varying results. I would be very interested in comments about these
symbols. Would this be within the topic-area you are suggesting?

Perhaps a beginning reading list, specific to this e-mail group, would be
helpful in directing the discussion initially.

Thank you for your attention to these questions and your gracious montoring of
this discussion.

Heather



Subject: INNER - Imaginative inner journey
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 00:29:21 -0800
From: Donald Minson


A short time ago I began an imaginative inner journey (or as Jung
called it an Active Imagination). I entered into an imaginative realm
with reverence and humility to begin a dialogue or dialectic between my
conscious ego-personality and my unconscious (seeking its image-making
function). When one does this one has to allow images to flow of their
own accord and then begin an interaction with these images--in my case
the images were a setting and personifications of psychic elements...one
shouldn't question or analyze the images too much or at all (during the
procedure/experiment)...one must needs develop a relationship with the
images and/or characters: asking questions, creating a responsive
environment, in short participating in a process that is created by the
transpersonal...not the ego...the alchemist ( according to Jung)
projected onto his experiments a significant part of his inner life
(unconsciously, of course, for projections happen they are not created).
The alchemists' visions, dreams and allegory were such imaginative inner
journeys. What unfolded (in my attempt) was a scenario appropriate to
our discussions. I would like to share some of my journey with the hope
that there will be some appropriate feedback and discussion to challenge
and enhance the forthcoming encounters.

I entered a large wooden door with an arched top...it is obviously the
middle ages...I enter a room that is dark but not gloomy. there are
several men dressed in heavy white garb--not unlike a monk's--yet
somehow I knew these men were alchemists...they were focused and busy on
their "work"...I was welcomed by an adept named Alizar (he was to be my
"keeper") and I was instructed to don a similar robe and that it was
important to wear it during the work. I was assigned beginner's
work...washing cleaning, etc.--I was to learn humility and regard for
the work and to watch and keep my mouth shut--I knew it was the
beginning of a long (life-time) journey. Shortly after, a group of men
in black robes entered with determination and purpose and conferred with
Alizar in quiet...they seemed slightly hostile and impatient-he was
obviously in charge-they left in just such a hurry...He told me they had
come for me but that I wasn't ready yet but they would come...and he
smiled knowingly and fatherly (he does this often--I trust him wholly).
After this I returned to my work and it was then that I was to see my
first flask (marked with an old script "A")--I washed it carefully--as I
watched the water drip off it slowly, I was reminded of the principle
of the moisture of the alchemists language and that the process was one
of patience...A few days later (real time) Alizar positioned the flask
on a rectangular table (centered in the room) with each of us on either
side...it was important to him that it had been "cleansed" and he
instructs me that this is the place of the work and that I am to place
something of myself into the flask (energy and attention) we each (he
actually being a part of myself i have forgotten or don't know about)
focus on the flask and an energy enters into the flask from each of our
eyes
...he says that we have created a "being", not a human being or
creature, but an existent energy (an archetypal form)...and that I may
posess it only in the container ..to release it is to be consumed by
it...it is a power and a tool...it is to manufacture matter out of my
darkness...a matter which I may consume later...when i am prepared to
deal with it ...

There are further episodes (two thus far) yet this should be enough to
provoke responses...I'm curious to others' thoughts, experiences, and
additions/analyses as regards the alchemical symbolism, having begun the
inner imaginative journey i need realistic application to continue...i
am not clueless..I have many ideas and find a great many (personal)
inferences...alchemy means a great many things to me and through seeking
perspective I hope it to mean a great many more...

with respect,
DMINSON



Subject: INNER - Inner work is practical ?
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 02:07:07 -0500
From: Dan Denlinger

May there be a general consensus that our inner work is, in fact, practical?
By this is meant that any psychic, inner work must be reflected in some
physical alteration of our vehicle. Here the vehicle is understood as
more than merely what is commonly understood as the physical body.

We may need only to understand the psycho-physical organism here,
the union of body and mind.

The important point is that each one affects the other; as, for example,
certain thoughts may arouse emotions which in turn follow definite
physical effects. Some easy examples are: thoughts of a fearful nature
inspire anxiety and may then be followed by definite physical
sensations of tension in stomach, throat or muscles; sensual thoughts
result in unmistakable physical changes.

The question which looms before us then is : "What physical responses
result from the contemplation of alchemical symbols?"

Before we can begin to grasp this we must surmount a first hurdle.
Whereas fear and sexuality are somewhat more concrete and arousing,
the contemplation of images is somewhat dryer and what is aroused in
us is less easily noticed and more easily obscured.

Repeated reading and study of alchemical writings may set the stage for
this through familiarity. The images arouse us emotionally, artistically.
Our imagination is stimulated.

In the interior, still, quiet and largely unknown, the traces of the answer
to this first question may slowly form. As we hold the images in our
mind's eye and in our heart the libido is raised, distilled, until a suitable
liqueur is obtained. This is not the end of our work, but is to be understood
as only the beginning.

Dan Denlinger



Subject: INNER - Is Inner work practical ?
From: Adam McLean
Date: 20th Dec 1996

>May there be a general consensus that our inner work is, in fact, practical?
>By this is meant that any psychic, inner work must be reflected in some
>physical alteration of our vehicle...

>What physical responses result from the contemplation of
>alchemical symbols?


I don't think we can readily use the criterion that inner work must inevitably be associated with physical changes. How can we use such an idea? Do we have
to take our blood pressure when meditating to make sure we acheived anything?
This doesn't make sense to me. The inner part of the human being is surely
so subtle that we cannot measure its activities with outer instruments. How can
we use outer measurements in judging the results of interior work?

Let us reserve physical measurements for physical processes. They are
amenable to direct outer measurement. The thesis that the interior life of the
soul can be easily measured belongs in the real of groups like the
scientologists with their e-meters, or the endlessly pointless experiments
in ESP labs.

This is an inner alchemy e-mail group. I don't see the point of trying to reduce it
and its contributors to discussing only physically measurable responses to
contemplating alchemical symbols. Why should we limit ourselves and embrace
this agenda? This group pursues inner alchemy, and will investigate this in all its
fullness and richness.


Adam McLean



Subject: INNER - Is Inner work practical?
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 11:08:11 -0500
From: Gilbert Arnold

Well Adam, in all fairness I should say that when my inner lab is out of
control my BP goes up. When I meditate, be it using imagery, archetypes,
tai chi or aikido a sure sign (in my case) that inner processes are sort of
working is a lowering of the BP.

Blessings,

Gilbert



Subject: INNER - Is Inner work practical ?
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 1996 13:44:08 -0500
From: Dan Denlinger

Doubtless, an effort to not appear to be too mystical has succeeded overly
well.

Indeed, the inner part of the human being is so subtle that it is not to be
measured by outer instrument, and no such suggestion emanated from
this quarter.
As my knowledge of scientology is nil, I am in no position to comment on
their meters; but I am confident that interior life is not easily measured.
Again the work of the parapsychologists has little application to the work
at hand (excepting perhaps some suggestive examples of Kirlian
photographs of plant leaves).
Any suggestion of a reduction to "discussing only physically measurable
responses" is simply not what I meant, at all.
Left then with the question of how we can use the idea of the transformation
of our physical vehicles through the inner alchemical work, let us inquire.

A kite can be a wonderful thing. With a little effort it is made to catch the
wind; thereafter it rises on the currents of air, swings, dances and sways: a
thing of beauty and an admirable symbol of our aspiration. Should its string
break, its relevance to our lives quickly fades.

Again, the lotus flower sits on the surface of the water; its roots, the
source of its beauty, reside in the muck beneath.

As Basil Valentine tells us:

"...A rational man must be able to assign a reason for everything, and when
he smells a dung heap of a very penetrating odor, he should be able to say
why he calls it good dung, and also why a certain person who has partaken of
fragrant and sweet-smelling food, gives it out in the shape of highly
maloderous excrement. Hence the sage should inquire...how those properties
can be turned to good account. For the earth is nourished with stinking dung,
and precious fruits are produced thereby. ... But you will ask me why I quote
such simple and absurd examples. The example, I confess, smacks of the
stables rather than of the drawing-room; but the careful student of Nature
will understand me all the better for that reason. He will see that the
highest things become the lowest, and the lowest are changed into the
highest-i.e., a medicine into a poison, and a poison
into a medicine; a sweet thing into a bitter, acid and corrosive substance;
and a common thing, on the other hand, into something useful".

All this said, the point is that our body, our vehicle (= a medium through
which something is transmitted, expressed or accomplished) in its
totality is the triune unity of spirit-soul-body. These elements are not
separable from each other, except through abstraction, a sometimes
deadly thing which cuts concepts off from the flow of life.
Our inner life is grounded in our body (this is not to say that it proceeds
from the body).
As the concepts which pervade our inner life are composed of a manifold
of representations,so our bodies are composed of a manifold of cells.
Each of these cells participates, collectively, in consciousness. Each
of them requires nutrition.

Take a common thing, e.g., diet. How is this to be used uncommonly? In
yogic teaching we learn of a subtle portion of food, its prana, the extraction
of which is initiated only through consciousness.; thereafter, the regular
digestive organs do the work.
This subtle portion of food directly feeds the the yogi's subtle body. A
truly wonderful example of a common thing used most uncommonly!

Let us take another common thing, e.g., the leaf of a plant, say kale or
collards, which is exposed to the the sun, moon and rain. In fact the
function of a leaf is to gather and store solar force. It is no accident that
the sun is a timeless symbol of consciousness.

Do we recognize no possible connection between our diet and our inner life?

Why are all those leafy plants growing at the feet of the artifex and his
soror mystica as they wring the water from cloths exposed to sun, moon
and rain. Do we imagine this is some physical dew? Do we see no
connection to aurum potabile?

Do we imagine that the functions of our lungs, kidneys, livers, nay, even our
brains, have no connection to our inner life?

Perhaps these thoughts are not appropriate to a forum focussed on inner
alchemy.
On the other hand, practical alchemy is generally concerned with the cooking
and grinding of the dead minerals and metals of the earth, and I think such
thoughts as these would be most unwelcome amongst such minds.
Perhaps a forum on physical or anatomical alchemy is needed. For myself,
there is and can be no conflict between practical and inner alchemy: They
are both inextricably and most happily embraced.

Please do not imagine this is all I have to offer you, as many things grow in
my garden.
But some simple concepts need to be clarified, so that we may know the uses
of good dung and how it may be turned to good account.

How do others feel?

Blessings,

Dan



Subject: INNER - The domain of inner alchemy
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 01:42:26 -0800
From: Donald Minson

> I had been hoping for alchemical images as they relate to psychology. For
> example, I was recently rereading "Goethe's Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and
> The Beautiful Lily." In particular, I was wondering if anyone would be able
> to make a comparison between the Old Woman, with the black-withering hand and
> the tale of the Handless Maiden. The Jungian analyst and author, Robert
> Johnson, has a wonderul book titled "The Fisher King & The Handless Maiden"
> with interpretaions and more. Both feminine figures plunge their hands into
> water with varying results. I would be very interested in comments about these
> symbols. Would this be within the topic-area you are suggesting?

Heather,

I am unable to make comparisons between the two, but I can offer a
analogy from Jung's Alchemical Studies (p.329-30.) Its taken from the
section entitled "the torture motif". Apparently, the torture motif
applies to three things 1) the torture of the raw materials 2) the
arcane substance 3)the investigators themselves. Essentially it is a
process of significant change. One that alters--possibly painfully--that
which is to be transformed...be it the artifex, his soul, or
whatever...one of the common motifs is the one relating to your query:
the cutting off of the hands...the motif occurs in alchemy as the
cutting off of human hands and the paws of the lion...Basically it
represents a difficult change ,but necessary for
transformation...especially the stage called: Nigredo--the long dark
night of the soul...depression, etc.,

You wrote "Both feminine figures 'plunge' their hands into..." I quote
from Jung's text..."we also were plunged into stupor for a long time and
were hidden under the cloak of despair. But when we came back to
ourselves and tormented our thoughts with the torment of our unlimited
reflection, we beheld the substances." Perhaps in your stories, (which
I've not read), the change (after immersion) is a parallel to this
change, resulting in a discovery of some kind (or a resulting new
outlook/attitude) on the part of the characters. I know that often the
feminine figure in fairy tales is an anima figure--perhaps representing
the human soul or world-soul (anima-mundi) ...both of which we find in
alchemy.

I love Robert Johnson, by the way...

P.S. That the hand is black and withering is a sure sign of
nigredo---the water in alchemy is usually the aqua permanens--the
miraculous/spiritual water (media of conjunction, bath of regeneration),
and in Jungian psychology water often represents the unconscious, or
the water of life...a nourishing substance.
Respectfully,
Donald Minson



Subject: INNER - Homonculus - other symbols
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 01:51:22 -0800
From: Donald Minson

Hey out there,

Can anyone give their interpretation of the homonculus and, perhaps,
its psychic equivalent??

I have my intuitions as regards subjective applications (and have read
a little bit of Jung's) but I'm curious to others' interpretation. Also,
what are some of your favorite symbols/allegories for contemplation and
why?? One of my fave's is the flask itself... I'm not sure why... any
comments?

With regard,

Donald Minson



Subject: INNER - The Handless Maiden
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 12:04:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

>From: Heather
>In particular, I was wondering if anyone would be able
>to make a comparison between the Old Woman, with the black-withering hand and
>the tale of the Handless Maiden.... Both feminine figures plunge their hands
>into water with varying results. I would be very interested in comments about
>these symbols.

I am not familiar with the Tale of the Handless Maiden but the image you
suggest reminds me of a woodcut I saw in "Alchemy: The Philosopher's Stone"
by Allison Coudert (pg.46). The illustration, from 'Della Transmutatione
Metallica' 1572, shows a Handless Mercury standing in a swamp, his arms
upraised. Perhaps your maiden has something to do with fixing the volatile.

By coincidence, the day I received your posting a dear friend of mine
returned a video tape to me of a program from several years ago called "The
Fifth Gospel". It was prepared for BBC4, I think, and it dealt with
traditional Christian attitudes to the handicapped. Anyway, the principle
actress was a woman with no hands - they had been burned off when she was a
baby. She goes to Lourdes and one of the most striking images in the film
was when she rose up from immersing herself in the water (still handless of
course). The first time I saw this documentary, years ago, I thought of that
woodcut.

As to your other point, I too would be interested in any introductory
reading that Adam might suggest to establish a basis of unity within this
E-mail group.

Richard Patz



Subject: INNER - Is Inner work practical ?
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 08:50:56 -0800
From: Belle

As the yin and yang, wax and wane, ebb and flow, through Eternal Love the
ugly is made into the beautiful and back again. Yes for once the
practical can be seen as the Spiritual Inner. I feel the Connectedness.
Your blessings are most appreciated.

Peace,

Belle



Subject: INNER - Whole hands and withered hands
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 09:10:36 -0800
From: Belle

Please read the story of Tristan and Isolde which Wagner also worked into
an opera. Besides the eternal triangle which brings a torture, the
repetition of names in the legend is most interesting. Isolde's mother
was isolde. To go into enemy territory, he became Tantris/Tristan. Then
to forget Isolde, he marries another Isolde... Isolde of the white hands.
Somewhere in this myth is similar symbolism to Jung's psychological
alchemy. It is best analyzed when the legend is read in full. Which woman
is the Soul? or is each woman/Isolde a part of what makes us each whole
and the sense that to be complete we must each accept the" whole hands"
AND the "withered" hands of ourselves?

Peace,

Belle



Subject: INNER - Homonculus - other symbols
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 09:34:43 -0800
From: Belle

There is something about that flask that is a semblance of the Egyptian's
ankh which is an ansate cross meaning having a handle. It is a hand
mirror. Now flip it 180 degrees and you've got a flask of sorts with
little distillery pipes to drain off the yucky stuff. Maybe the flask is
our own personal hand mirror where we look hard into ourselves at the
refection thereby determining if we love it or choose to transmute it? My
personal feelings are that we each have no choice. The choice has been
made for us by an Eternal Love.And we would do best to be grateful.

This idea of homunculus has been difficult for me because the writers are
male. Could there be such a form as homuncula? Often the
intellect/philosopher has difficulty fitting into the imperfect. Imagine
the difficulty of lacking certain body parts as well. It is Not envy as
Freud contends, but angst. Hmm? Ankh and angst look similar. Perhaps it
was Isis who first felt the painful constriction. My intent here is not
to be sexist, but to be peopleists instead. As men strive to see their
feminine side, woman must reflect on the masculine. That is a part of the
INNER.

Peace,

Belle



Subject: INNER - Homonculus - other symbols
Date: 23rd Dec 1996
From: Adam McLean

Belle,

Often the humunculus could be seen as hermaphrodite.

Adam McLean



Subject: INNER - Is Inner work practical ?
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 12:22:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

>From: Dan Denlinger
>A kite can be a wonderful thing. With a little effort it is made to catch the
>wind; thereafter it rises on the currents of air, swings, dances and sways: a
>thing of beauty and an admirable symbol of our aspiration. Should its string
>break, its relevance to our lives quickly fades.

Indeed. The practical side of inner work is our ability to bring the fruits
of meditation to harvest (the world of action). If we cannot do this - if we
don't grow by virtue of our work - then our work becomes nothing but an
elaborate distraction.

Spirituality is a very domestic thing. It begins at home. No matter how
wonderful and spiritual an experience might be, we still have to feed the
cats and change the cat litter (and the human equilvalents). It doesn't
matter if we can turn lead into gold or stop the process of aging if we
can't be genuinely compassionate with each other, if we can't realize the
inherent sacredness of feeding the cats.

And relating to all aspects of our world with an exalted view, I think,
reflects the transformative nature of the Stone. Treat people with kindness,
respect and a modest amount of trust and they respond in kind. Recognize
their essential holiness, it might make a difference for them in ways that
we can't possibly know.

>As Basil Valentine tells us:
>
>"...but the careful student of Nature
>will understand me all the better for that reason. He will see that the
>highest things become the lowest, and the lowest are changed into the
>highest-i.e., a medicine into a poison, and a poison
>into a medicine; a sweet thing into a bitter, acid and corrosive substance;
>and a common thing, on the other hand, into something useful".

I like this passage. I think it can be applied quite nicely to our inner
phenomena. Too often in our present society we are taught "this is a good
thought/feeling", "this is a bad thought/feeling". Valetine seems to be
calling us to a neutral, higher ground - where thoughts and feelings are
just that, thoughts and feelings. This frees us up for potential
transmutation and the realization of gifts that we already have but don't
recognize as such.

>Why are all those leafy plants growing at the feet of the artifex and his
>soror mystica as they wring the water from cloths exposed to sun, moon
>and rain. Do we imagine this is some physical dew? Do we see no
>connection to aurum potabile?

"Let us follow the guidance of Nature: she will not lead us astray" [The
Only True Way, 1677]

......or whatever Adam decides.

>How do others feel?

Our measure of success is qualitative rather than quantitative.

As Aesch Mezareph puts it:

"For so the true Physician of impure Metals hath not an outward Show of
Riches, but is rather like the Tohu of the first Nature, empty and void."

Comments?

Richard



Subject: INNER - Gerard Dorn
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 13:40:48 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

In "Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy" Jung quotes Dorn:
Transmutemini in vivos lapides philosophicos! (Transform yourselves into
living philosophical stones!). [Psychology and Alchemy, Collected Works
vol.12 par.187]

Jung's bibliography gives his source of the Dorn material as 'Theatrum
Chemicum', 1602. Is there an English translation of this work available?

Thank you.

Richard Patz



Subject: INNER - Homonculus - other symbols
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 14:39:16 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

>From: Donald Minson

>Can anyone give their interpretation of the homonculus and, perhaps,
>its psychic equivalent??

Perhaps the homonculus is addressing the concept of thoughts as things, or
more precisely the tendency of thoughts and feelings to cohere into patterns
of attitude and behaviour.

Habits are another way of talking about this. They can be useful. They can
be obstacles. And in extreme dissociated cases, they can be monsters. In any
case there is a certain amount of autonomy to habititual ways of thinking
and feeling.

In this case the flask you mention is your mind. Each of us set to cleaning
at the commencement of our Work - removing preconceptions, assumptions,
conceits about ourselves, about the world around us, and about our Great Work.

The homonculus we set out to create, is perhaps the constructive work habits
and attitudes that will serve as our assistant in the task at hand.

Feedback?

Richard



Subject: INNER - Gerard Dorn
Date: 23rd Dec 1996
From: Adam McLean

Dorn is magnificent though we cannot really appraise his work as only short selected extracts have been translated into English. I have been trying to find someone to translate a substantial chunk of Dorn but with no luck to date. There is a translation into English of an important work by Dorn in MS Sloane 632 in the British Library:-

'A treatise of John Tritheme, concerninge the spagyricke artifice, exposed and interpreted by Gerrard Dorney', containing the greater part of Dorn's Speculativa philosophia. [The 'Speculative Philosophia', or second part of his 'Clavis totius Philosophiae Chymisticae', was printed in 12mo, Lugd. 1567.]

The handwriting is very difficult, I did try and transcribe some of this during a visit to the British Library earlier this year, but I had to give it up as it was taking far too long to make out the text. Working from a microfilm would be extremely difficult, one would need to work off the original manuscript.

There are some extracts of Dorn in one of Marie-Louise von Franz' books. I will try and transcribe some of these - though it may take a few weeks before I find time to do this.

Adam McLean



Subject: INNER - Is inner work Practical
From: Steve Kalec
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 16:55:05 -0500

>Please do not imagine this is all I have to offer you, as many things grow
>in my garden.But some simple concepts need to be clarified, so that we
>may know the uses of good dung and how it may be turned to good account.
>How do others feel?

For myself I absolutely feel with you. From what I see in your
style of writing and the essence your post offers, I can tell that you must
have a beautiful garden growing. I love beautiful gardens, I would love to
take a stroll with you through yours. I am fairly new at Alchemy and I am
still at the tilling stage of my garden and I am on the lookout for good
dung.

> For myself, there is and can be no conflict between practical and inner
>alchemy: They are both inextricably and most happily embraced.

I fully agree, and I could not imagine how and why inner and
outer should conflict with each other. The language ( symbols ) used by
the Inner and outer consciousness is always one that relates to one an
other. One day while I was calcinating the salt residues of Melissa and I
was forming it into one bunch, I was struck by what I saw outwardly and
what I felt at the same time inwardly.The heat that was being collected
inside the formed bunch was revealing itself in red hot fire. A glow was
forming in the center of the bunch and it was shining through layers of the
salts though cracks and openings to its center. For some reason this
became a most beautiful sight. I could have stared a very long time.It
attracted me very much,and I realized that there was something within me
that was in harmonious attunement with what was happening outside.I
realized that an inner fire and heat was being manifested within the center
of my being. This has never faded and it is still with me always. Through
the practical I have learned how to kindle, fan and control the inner fire.
So yes, I hear you when you say that practical and inner alchemy,
" they are both inextricably and most happily embraced ".

Steve Kalec



Subject: INNER - Homunculus - other symbols
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 21:23:26 -0800
From: Belle Hall

> Often the humunculus could be seen as hermaphrodite.

I know very well what you are saying to me and understand your kindness
in its intent. But does a man who first contemplates the hermaphrodite
see emasculation before he sees the uniqueness of the hermaphrodite? I
saw confusion in the adrogyny before I saw it as halfway to where I may
be going? If that even makes any sense. In a way I answered my own
question in that it is what is in the composition of the base metal in
the first place that determines how the alchemist sees the initial
homoncula.

Peace

Belle Hall



Subject: INNER - Whole hands and withered hands
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 00:08:04 -0800
From: Donald Minson

Belle wrote:
> Which woman
> is the Soul? or is each woman/Isolde a part of what makes us each whole
> and the sense that to be complete we must each accept the" whole hands"
> AND the "withered" hands of ourselves?
>
>
Belle,

Robert Johnson (Jungian Analyst) wrote a book called "WE: The
Psychology of Romantic Love"...the title is a bit misleading. Though he
makes a very good case for romantic love being the result of the loss of
the feminine in western culture, the book is more about the discovery of
the soul and retracting the projection from the material world--Jung
said this retraction of projection is what throws the alchemist into
nigredo...for to remove such illusions from the world and accept
responsibility for them is a very melancholy experience (to say the
least.) Johnson says Isolde the fair represents the soul which, if
retracted as the projection it is, would leave a beautiful down-to-earth
woman: Isolde of the white hands...Tristan cannot remove his projection
and suffers forever...he could not,therefore, successfully, become an
adept.

D Minson



Subject: INNER - Homunculus - other symbols
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 00:43:55 -0800
From: Donald Minson

> Richard Patz wrote:
> Perhaps the homonculus is addressing the concept of thoughts as things, or
> more precisely the tendency of thoughts and feelings to cohere into patterns
> of attitude and behaviour.

I hadn't looked at it like that, I like it though...
I had seen the idea of projection onto the alchemical work...but I
hadn't looked at my own manifestations of my own work as an item such
as the Homoncolus.

> Habits are another way of talking about this. They can be useful. They can
> be obstacles. And in extreme dissociated cases, they can be monsters. In any
> case there is a certain amount of autonomy to habititual ways of thinking
> and feeling.

...habits are a good example of the hermaphroditic qualities of the
homonculus, too...observing manifested behaviors I can certainly see
amalgamations of parental influences...

> In this case the flask you mention is your mind. Each of us set to cleaning
> at the commencement of our Work - removing preconceptions, assumptions,
> conceits about ourselves, about the world around us, and about our Great Work.

I had looked at the flask as a specific function of the mind...a role
of containment for distilling and sublimating qualities or modes of
behavior/operation...I look at it as the field of imagination with
protective borders, borders that can only contain so much so that I
don't confuse so many unnecessary associations when developing on one
idea or effort...Jung talked of the Paracelcian idea of the heart as the
imagination (either in P&A or Alch. Studies) and also the idea of the
egg...in either place the "sunpoint' or the fire i.e., the
libido/psychic energy, existed within to focus, heat up, concentrate on
the imaginative work...in any event the idea of containment is stressed.
It seems very logical to me to assign a "place" where the ideas don't
contaminate other ideas--no leaking out of that particular substance
iinto any place it doesn't belong. A model or personification is such a
container. In this way I can recognize a particular characteristic
belonging to a particular character, identify it and put it in the
"proper" container rather than say let my depression about one issue
invade another facet of my life...it is difficult, of course, but
sometimes effective.

> The homonculus we set out to create, is perhaps the constructive work habits
> and attitudes that will serve as our assistant in the task at hand.

Nice image...I'll use that...thanks.

Respectfully,

D Minson



Subject: INNER - Homunculus - other symbols
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 02:58:34 -0500
From: Bernard Bovasso

Belle writes:

>This idea of homunculus has been difficult for me because the
> writers are male. Could there be such a form as homuncula?
>Often the intellect/philosopher has difficulty fitting into the imperfect.
>Imagine the difficulty of lacking certain body parts as well.
>It is Not envy as Freud contends, but angst. Hmm? Ankh and angst
>look similar. Perhaps it was Isis who first felt the painful constriction.
>My intent here is not to be sexist, but to be peopleists instead. As
>men strive to see their feminine side, woman must reflect on the
>masculine.

Belle:
The homunculus as literally "little man" is especially significant
from the standpoint of the feminine psychology. In Jung's
approach to the psyche it would indicate the animus, or an
endopsychic, contrasexual figure and, as such, a nascent
masculine principle necessary as complement to the femine
psychology. Since the animus is more spirit, in the sense of
*geist,* Logos and mind, rather than soul (*anima*) it is especially
developmental. Hence, the little man, Tom Thumb, homunculus,
etc., indicate a potential for inner spiritual growth.

But in the alchemical sense the differentiation is preceded by
the homunculus as hermaphroditic and the event of Sol and
Luna, animus and anima, as one person, first in fusion, then
separation and again as the conniunctio in a process performed
in the *vas hermeticum* or curcubita, the vessel to the inner or
uterine waters.

In this sense the homunculus *separates out* and rises,
representing the freeing of the Mercurius from physis. In the
psychological case this would represent for the woman a rising
up (qua "liberation," "consciousness raising") of the animus
to fuller assertion of her inner (as spiritual) potential.

Bernard Bovasso



Subject: INNER - Hermaphrodite
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 21:23:26 -0800
From: Adam McLean

>> Often the homunculus could be seen as hermaphrodite.

Belle Hall wrote:

>But does a man who first contemplates the hermaphrodite
>see emasculation before he sees the uniqueness of the hermaphrodite?
>I saw confusion in the androgyny before I saw it as halfway to where I
>may be going?


I myself have never seen the hermaphrodite as an emasculated male figure, but rather as an entity having its own unique nature. It does not live in my mind, as an effeminate male figure or a virago, but as a unique type of being.

Adam McLean



Subject: INNER - Hermaphrodite/homunculus
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 16:09:53 -0500
From: Bernard Bovasso


Belle Hall writes:

>> Often the humunculus could be seen as hermaphrodite.

>I know very well what you are saying to me and understand
>your kindness in its intent. But does a man who first
>contemplates the hermaphrodite see emasculation before
>he sees the uniqueness of the hermaphrodite?

Belle:

If a man or a woman are conditioned in Freudian localisms they
may be happy to see "emasculation" to account for and thus
justify however they may feel inadequate. But you will notice
that "emasculation" is in effect a sacrifice of power that has become
genderized in our own time and detailed as male (qua the phallus
and the male seminal function). That is an unfortunate localism since
power may be represented in a multitude of ways. For example, the
handless maiden and the lion who loses his paws was recently discussed.
In either case the sacrifice of power is required before the process
may commence. But if one's ego locates the sum of power located
in the genitals, then the term "emasculation" may be appropriate. It is only
one avenue to surrendering power and is fraught with dread for the simple
reason that it indicates a process involvement on the way
to a stupendous change.

> I saw confusion in the adrogyny before I saw it as halfway to
>where I may be going? If that even makes any sense. In a way I
>answered my own question in that it is what is in the
>composition of the base metal in the first place that determines
>how the alchemist sees the initial homoncula.

Yes, in the first place, as you say, and which is the original (*arche*)
place of the protohyle and prima materia represented as a
*massa confusa* or condition of undifferentiated natures, gender
difference is also con-fused. The hermaphrodite is a next step
in this fusion state but already indicating the elements of difference
as maleness/femaleness, animus/anima, Sol/Luna, etc., or as you
may prefer it, Humunculus/homuncula. The danger run here, of
course, is of literalizing or ontically fixing these states in becoming
so that the (in this case) gender fusion is allowed to prevail as the
entire trip and by which the personal identity is accommodated. This
would amount to an arresting of process, but worst of all, precluding it
working its way to the completion (of self-discovery).

Bernard



Subject: INNER - Hermaphrodite
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 16:36:46 -0800
From: Belle Hall

> >But does a man who first contemplates the hermaphrodite
> >see emasculation before he sees the uniqueness of the hermaphrodite?

> I myself have never seen the hermaphrodite as an emasculated male figure,
> but rather as an entity having its own unique nature. It does not live in my
> mind, as an effeminate male figure or a virago, but as a unique type of being.

Dear Adam McLean,

Please forgive me. One of the first things I tell my students each year
is that my sense of time, space and order is generally not in sync with
the mainstream. I have been known to tell the punchline only to have a
student point out that I "forgot" to tell the story. Your insightful
response reminds me how much I have learned in 10 short months. It was
initially that I saw the hermaphroditic figure as perhaps "lacking."
Never having seen such a figure before, my childlike nature went "Oh
yuck!" As I study the figure now as symbolic for a higher understanding
I can see it (I don't like that word-how about personage?) as the unique
being the personage represents. Perhaps it also symbolizes to some
degree the unique qualities it takes to monitor a necessary (at least for
me) discussion group as well as the patience to gently "teach" a teacher.
I will work harder at tellings that are in the correct order. What would
Dr. Carl say about that in regards to alchemy?

peace,

Belle Hall



Subject: INNER - Gerard Dorn
From: Adam McLean
Date: 25 Dec 1996

A small extract from Dorn's 'Philosophia speculativa'

This castle of inner truth will destroy many people; it is a cheap thing,
mostly despised and even hated. But one should not hate it, but rather love
it; it is the greatest treasure, it is loving to everybody and hostile to everybody.
You can find it everywhere and practically nobody has ever found it. Change
yourself, the heavenly wisdom says, from dead philosophical stones into living
philosophical stones, because I am the true medicine and I change
everything which cannot exist into something eternal. Why are you possessed
by madness? Through yourself but not from you, is everything which you need
and which you wrongly seek outside.

There shines in us, though dimly in darkness, the life and the light of man,
a light which does not come from us, which however is in us, and we must
therefore find it within us. It belongs to Him who has put it into us; we can
find it in Him, in His light. Therefore the truth is not to be looked for in us,
but in the image of God which dwells within us, that is the one thing which
has no second other thing. It is the Being and is in itself the whole of existence.



Subject: INNER - The objective of Alchemy
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 15:35:16 +0000
From: Br.Athanasius

It seems to me that in any endevourr whatsoever it is crucial to
determine the objective and thus the focus can be adjusted as needed.
What is the objective of Alchemy? I agree with several of the
correspondants that there is no essential opposition between,
so-called practical and inner alchemy. The inner is practical and
the practical is ultimately inner. I think a more useful distinction
might be form and essence or esoteric truth and the corresponding
exoteric form. The key errors of all psuedo-esoterists are to
confuse the domains of these elements, to mistake the form for
the essence or the essence for the form. All of the alchemistic
texts warn about this, particularly the Sophic Hydrolith, the
Glory of the World, the Turba Philosophorum etc.

I put before the assembled " Turba Alchemista" the following
idea to consider. The various texts speak of certain spiritual
and moral prereqisites to the study of this great arcanum, and warn
of most terrible and dire consequences for the unwary students
and the careless masters who choose their students carelessly.
Why are these provisos indicated. Is it that without the proper
nobility of soul, the study is simply impossible, without
the eye of the soul clean, the seeker simply will never see the
truth that is hidden before his eyes, or the student will be able to
master the arcanum, but being a wicked person he will become
dangerous to the world, and particularly to the reputation of the Art.

If the first position is correct, and I believe that it is, and this
is the position indicated in the texts that I indicated earlier,
than, the objective of the alchemical endeaver is essentially
spiritual and as such the physical aspects are a support thereto.


In Christ,

Brother Athanasius



Subject: INNER - Hermaphrodite
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 16:55:36 +0000
From: Br.Athanasius

Is not the alchemic reference to the King and Queen conjoined
aka the Hermaphrodite an allusion to the Platonic concept of the
same principle. That is to say the Hermaphrodite represent the fulness
of the Man, Adam Qadman of the Kabballah, Wang, of the Far Eastern
tradition, or perhaps more useful to a alchemic discussion the
Universal Man of the Islamic esoteric tradition. ?? Thus the
hermaphrodite is in no way emaculated but represents symbolically
the fulness of Man's potentialities.

the servant of God,

Brother Athanasius



Subject: INNER - Gerard Dorn
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 17:43:37 +0000
From: Br. Athanasius

I think that Mr.Dorn's comments are excellent and cut to the core
of one of the necessary prerequisite forms of knowledge that the
alchemical tradition presupposes, that of a comprehensive tradition,
which include a docrine of man, that is in accordance with the
cosmological presuppostion implicit within the most traditional
alchemic texts. More specically a correct doctrine of knowledge,
as connected to a spiritual anthropology, is absolulely vital
to a more than surface examination of any esoteric doctrine, alchemy
included. A correct epistemology, or more correctly ,a gnoseology,
is supplied by the various traditional contexts in which fruitful
alchemy was employed, Chrisianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. Moreover
there are many simularities in the gnoseologies of the various
traditions, the Nous of the Christ-European tradition has analogs
in the other traditions as well. The Stone of the Alchemic tradition
is analogous to the Nous of the Christian Tradition, and thus
connected to the various other analogs as well. The Nous is the
source of the objective inner illumination of Man. It is considered
as the Heart is the core of Mans being qua Man. It is the hidden
Stone that is the foundation of the Cosmos. " The Stone which the
builder's rejected" of the Scripture's can be glossed in this way.
The "builders" in a certain sense represent the rationalist or the
unillumined reason to be more precise, which rejects the Stone
which represent the higher or solar faculty. The direct faculty by
which we know God.

In Christ,

Brother Athanasius



Subject: INNER - Imaginative inner journey
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 01:02:41 -0500
From: Dan Denlinger

Donald,

Thank you for sharing with us the fruit of your interesting inner journey.
What work you must have accomplished to have come to this point. To enter
the state of active imagination is not easy for some and can be frustratingly
elusive.
Quite right of you to avoid too quick analysis. The young seedlings which
arise from seeds sown in the earth of our receptive psychic nature are
delicate. To expose them too soon to the harsh light of conscious analysis
can be fatal to their development; this is a mistake often made which
undoes and delays fruition of much of our inner work.
Analysis can be a deadly thing, which, like a knife, cuts concepts from
the life which surrounds and gives birth to them. This knife needs must
be wielded with care.

What follows now are some thoughts and associations related to your vision.

> arched, wooden door
you enter into an organic appreciation of things discarded by our modern
world

> room dark , not gloomy
depiction of your conscious state as you enter the vision- you enter the
initial layer of the unconscious, still partly illumiated by consciousness

> several white-garbed men
agents of archetypal forces within you; seeds of future development already
existent in the depths of your Self.

> Alizar
This sounded so like alizarin(e) I checked the dictionary: an orange-red
crystalline compound used as a dye [Fr. alizarine < Sp., prob.< Ar. al-'sarah, the juice: al, the + 'asarah, juice (< 'asara,
to squeeze). The madder plant is known botanically as "rubia tinctorum".
Hence Alizar is synonymous with the red powder and stands for the active
transformative force. Later, you aknowledge Alizar as a part of yourself
which is not now fully accessable. It is much to early in the work to have
achieved the red powder, so it is a "gift". This is a gift from your Self to
yourself, as you later afirm that Alizar is a part of you. On another level
of symbolism, red is associated with the principle of fire and, astrologically,
with the planet ("star") Mars, connected with activity and will. In either
case, we are reminded of sulphur, the active principle of consciousness
and of the work.

> don similar robe
Active desire clothes you with the correct attitude to begin the work; white
of course is associated generally with purity and innocence.

> washing, cleaning
Purification through humility and silence. It is requisite that the personal
ego be small, quiet and not interfere with the process.

> black-robed men
Contact with elements from deeper within the unconscious; you are,
however, not yet ready.

> flask
A receptacle; a portion of your psychic mechanism, your attitude, is
definitely consecrated to the work; a preliminary phase is completed, and a
new work of washing begins. Richard infers from this symbol the mind,
particularly the habit-mind, or rather, "the tendency of thoughts and
feelings to cohere into patterns of attitudes and behaviour"; later the term
autonomy occurs. In the Virtual Alchemy Library, in the articles section,
Adam has an interesting article dealing with the symbolism of the crucible,
retort and still.

> the letter, A
Obviously the first letter, or beginning, of the alphabet.

A great deal seems to have been omitted here, as the complexity of the
symbolism increases significantly. The depth of the experience has shifted
dramatically, from washing and cleaning to the generation of the homunculus!

> flask on table, center of room
The mandala symbol arises; confirmation of the successful completion of the
prior work.

> you are to put something of yourself into the flask
You understand this as energy and attention; a commitment of same.

>energy from eyes
Eyes are again connected with self-consciousness and the principle of fire.
This is plain when we remember the ancients' understanding of sight, that
light emanated from the eyes; and also when we think of the adage, "eyes are
the lights of the soul".
The homunuclus, or spirit in the bottle, is, of course, Mercurius, here the
female counterpart and spouse of masculine sulpher.
The consumpyion theme is rather more complex, but basically may be seen
as another sort of purification and assimilation.
Your need to activate and deepen your inner experience seems plain from the
symbols, the desire to "marry" more of yourself to inner realities. This can
only be achieved through regular practice of the kind you have already begun.

Blessings,

Dan



Subject: INNER - Reading list
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 01:48:25 -0500
From: Dan Denlinger

A reading list is certainly a good idea for participants in the alchemy
e-mail forum.
Such a list is currently available to in the Alchemy Virtual Library. The
"Introduction to Alchemy" section gives an introductory reading list.
Within the "Reference Library may be found not only original texts,
but also articles on alchemy and hermetics and useful links to other
sites. A selection of these articles are by Adam and are particularly
helpful in developing a sense of backround.

Blessings,

Dan



Subject: INNER - Handless Mercury
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 13:32:39 -0800
From: Heather

To Donald Minson, Richard Patz, and all,

I have just returned from holiday travels to find the many messages from
Inner Alchemy in my mail box. It will take me some time to catch up on the
reading. Nevertheless, I wanted to thank you for the responses to the
issue of the hands. The detailed comments, especially in reference to
Jung's "torture motif" have already been helpful.

I am unfamiliar with the image of the "Handless Mercury." However, next
week I will be at the university library and will surely look for it.

Thanks Again,

Heather



Subject: INNER - Handless Mercury
From: Adam McLean
Date: 29th December 1996

There is an image of the 'Handless Mercury' in a very interesting 16th century allegorical book

Giovanni Battista NAZARI.
Della tramutatione metallica sogni tre... Brescia,1572

[The first edition of 1564 does not contain this illustration.]

Regrettably I cannot read the Italian text. I have tried a number of times over the past years to find someone able and willing to translate this text, but to no avail. It is a key work of alchemical allegory. So if anyone knows a willing Italian translator!!!

I attach to this file an image file in GIF format, which some of you will be able to view through a subsidiary program. In the next few days I will also put the cycle of images from the Nazari onto the web site graphics pages.

With best wishes,


Adam McLean



Subject: INNER - Homonculus - other symbols
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 00:44:33 -0800
From: Donald Minson

Belle wrote:
>
> There is something about that flask that is a semblance of the Egyptian's
> ankh which is an ansate cross meaning having a handle. It is a hand
> mirror. Now flip it 180 degrees and you've got a flask of sorts with
> little distillery pipes to drain off the yucky stuff. Maybe the flask is
> our own personal hand mirror where we look hard into ourselves at the
> refection...

I agree with the reflective fuction of the retort...the crux anastasa (ankh)
is bound with regenerative/rebirth symbolism as well...thus, the significance
of its symbolism for eternity...this works well with the idea of the retort...

respectfully,

Donald Minson



Subject: Re: INNER - Homunculus - other symbols
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 01:21:14 -0800
From: Donald Minson

Belle wrote:

> > > Often the humunculus could be seen as hermaphrodite.
>
> But does a man who first contemplates the hermaphrodite
> see emasculation before he sees the uniqueness of the hermaphrodite?

I, as a male, do not see emasculation...my encounters with the
hermaphrodite weren't with the homonculus...they were of Mercurius
and I was elated to find such an archaic symbol of masculine/feminine
conjunction...a union within rather than projected without was such a
relief. Rather than projecting my own unique and DEMANDING
feminine side onto the women of my life I can now give them a more
rewarding relationship rather than a confusing mixture of numinous
adulation and rejection for not meeting with an image that was my
own...the power Bernard spoke of is very real for some men, perhaps
for all at some point, say adolescence??...but I feel it is only associated
to the genitals by way of this same projection...to remove a part of
oneself and cast it on to another is to be pulled to it and without
understanding its powerful draw one may feel so alienated so as to
respond in a way compensatory to inferiority and place the power onto
the obvious "connection" to that physically manifested, "material"
image...perhaps this inspired the initial divorce from the
body---similarly, the clean eye of the soul Br. Athanasius spoke
of--about which the alchemists were so explicit...

Respectfully,

From: Donald Minson



Subject: INNER: Imaginative inner journey
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 02:50:51 -0800
From: Donald Minson

Dan,

Thanks so much for your comments and support concerning my
inner journey...I was at first uncertain that I should include it in our
discussions. Your comments were thought provoking, helpful and
very welcome. You've made mention twice of the Alchemical Virtual
Library and I'd like to share something I find synchronistic related to
this and your comments. I downloaded quite a few items from the
Library a couple of days ago so that I might peruse them at work that
evening and I noticed my notes on the name Alizar lying on on my
dresser and reminded myself to look at them again...the next day
your letters arrived ...one suggesting to visit the Library and the other
in which you, too, had used the dictionary to find the same content on
the name Alizar...up until now I hadn't trusted that something so remote
from my conscious (the dictionary findings) were necessarily of value...
not that I hadn't been able to convince myself of others' experiences,
but that is objective...it is difficult sometimes to verify a subjective
experiece as having a particular meaning...others may say, so what,
you both looked in the dictionary and found the same thing...but for me
the multiple associations---my "noticing' a piece of paper I see often ,
with the alchemical papers in hand...and your suggestions to peruse
these papers along with your rendering the same information written on
my piece of paper--are meaningful coincidence...all the more meaningful
because after reading the mail and finding the similarities congruous I
went to work and began reading the papers and the first one I began
reading that night was about The Emerald Tablet of Hermes and in Adam's
introduction he attributes the text to have come from the translation of
the Kitab Sirr al-Asar....strikingly familiar phonetically.

Interestingly, and I left this out of my relation of the active
imagination, the first name to emerge from my unconscious for this
character was Alice, I felt it inappropriate for a man so I tried a
second time, Alisson came up, the third time came a masculine variation
Alizon which in a later episode emerged comfortably and finally as
Alizar...the night of my fantasy I looked up Alizar under a variety of
spellings and ,in the Brittanica I found Alisar a place in Phyrigia
named after the plant you described and again I looked up Alisson and
found that it , too, was a variation on a plant name, Alyssum, that was
used to cure rabies...the vegetable theme is common as is the
Mediterranean, and Arabic (which was my first intuition of the name) as
well as the hermaphroditic symbolism....I'm not quite sure what to make
of it all but I feel I need to know more of this "Kitab Sirr al-Asar" (a
book of advice to kings.)

Respectfully,

Date: Mon Dec 30 16:30:33 1996



Subject: INNER - Handless Mercury
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 12:23:05 -0800
From: HeatherB

The image of the 'Handless Mercury' is most striking! Thank you for
sending the attachment.
Can you make any other comments on this particular image? Can the plants be
identified as a specific species? Is he really rising from the swamp? Is
that a mound/mountain he is standing on?
I am so intrigued!

What can you say of the name Nazari? Is it common?
It might be too far off the subject to go into it now, but the name is very
significant to me.

>Adam McLean wrote:
>In the next few days I will also
>put the cycle of images from the Nazari onto the web site >graphics pages.

When these images are added to the web site, please let us know, and
include the exact web page address. (My email program recognizes web site
addresses, and can forward me directly.)

Best wishes to all, Heather


------
P.S. from Adam McLean. The Nazari images are now on the web site.
See the recent additions page or else

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/nazari_images.html



Subject: INNER: Imaginative inner journey
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 09:09:01 -0800
From: Belle Hall

Dearest Inner Soul Group,

Jung and synchronicity is I hope appropriate in this journey as well as
the use of the dictionary. It is of great comfort to me to read where
others have relied on words to gain further insight into the alchemical
process. Dreams and Jung brought me to alchemy. Coincidence? I'm not that
smart! What began as a dream about a shiny gold coin in a slot
machine(and I don't gamble) lead me to a dream interpretation book with a
section on dreams and alchemy. At first the similarity in the mandala and
the gold coin seemed obvious, but probable. But when later dreams had
characters named Ken and Sidwell and Thallia? the dictionary proved
almost magical to understanding Ken/knowing/gno and Sidwell/sideral and
Thallia/ muse etc. Though an English teacher I had managed to dodge
mythology and now I feel as though I had acted in every play about Cupid
and Psyche etc. Perhaps on an universal soul level I did? Anyway... yes I
concur that for myself the dictionary has connected many ideas that
otherwise would have remained lost. And with it came a gnosis of why
alchemists took every opportunity to give Glory to God. Don't most holy
books suggest that God is Word?
peace,

Belle Hall



Subject: INNER - Handless Mercury
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 13:21:36 -0800
From: Donald Minson

Hey folks,
There's a wonderful color version of the first Nazari woodcut as
the frontispiece to Jung's Alchemical Studies (Vol. 13 of the Collected
Works), it includes a short descriptive as well.
Does anyone have any comments on the fourth image??
I've read that there is a definite God Image (gnostic and otherwise)
connected to the ass, and that the ape/monkey image is connected
as the shadow of god, but I'm particularly interested in the circulation
of the ass, and anyrelations to the alchemical circulatio.
In another episode of my active imagination a group of white robed
eunuch priests encircle me as I concentrate on the flask centered on
the table which is dressed as an altar including candles and ivy
(I later found ivy to be associated to Dionysis--not Bacchus)...they
aren't holding hands or celebrating as inthe nazari woodcut, they are
solemn and circling counter-clockwise....I feel this is directing the energy
to the unconscious and my conscious mind tries to change direections
but I am not allowed...my arms (I have four of them) are being pulled the
four directions as in an x or a cross...in a later return to this episode
the eunuchs stop, lower their hoods, turn in to face the center and I
am on my knees, head bowed to the flask and two large flames arise at
either end of the oblong table...a striking image I felt compelled to draw
and contemplate...any thoughts????
Respectfully,
DMINSON



Subject: INNER - Handless Mercury
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 96 13:09 PST
From: Diane Munoz

RE:
>Can you make any other comments on this particular image? Can the plants be
>identified as a specific species? Is he really rising from the swamp? Is
>that a mound/mountain he is standing on?

In regards to the image of the handless Mercury. It looks to me as if he
also has no feet, that his feet are within a block of what looks like, to
this modern mind, a block of cement... so he's really footless and
handless. Also, the field in which he is standing looks like
amaranth/wheat, does it not?



Subject: INNER - Imaginative inner journey
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 16:14:10 -0800
From: Donald Minson

Belle,

Glad to hear of your concurring experiences and thoughts...just a
thought/comment on the gold coin---

gold is a symbol of the sun (god), alchemical and otherwise, and, of
course, the opus goal, it is also a symbol of consciousnesss/higher
conscious awareness...the circle is a symbol of the Self and God and
money is an investment of libido (psychic energy per Jung's definition),
there is also an alchemical coin of which I have no information... the
idea of chance is appropriate (as in taking one, or allowing destiny a
free hand)...In the book of John, Christ is said to be the Logos, the
Word made Flesh, I therefore (though I'd not put it the dictionary
context) had taken the transsubstantiation in that symbolic context (one
of many)..."take this it is my flesh (word) eat it (consume the word) in
remembrance of me; take this [wine](spiritual gnosis) it is my Blood
(meaning/significance) drink (assimilate) it in remembrance of me...."
[forgive the paraphrasing liberties]...thanks for the reminder....

Respectfully,

DMINSON

P.S. I take it you've read Johnson's She about Eros & Psyche or Erich
Neumann's Psyche and Amor??? Both are great books on the psychology
of the feminine, the myth is quite revealing...



Subject: INNER - Handless Mercury
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 19:07:48 -0800
From: Belle Hall

Dearest Inner Group, especially Diane,

Perhaps it is just "universal grain" much like "universal soul." Grain
being the seed from which the plant receives DNA/RNA instructions on how
to grow from a single kernel into a specific living whateverwhich is
pretty miraculous in and of itself. There is some correspondence here
because many alchemists weave into their allegorical works that it takes
but a single grain of the Phil. stone to turn sickness into health/ lead
into gold etc. Personally I have been struggling with the image of a head
of corn, a head of wheat (berries, nuts, fruits)etc. because it can be
cereal like Ceres. And somehow that is a word play on cerebellum/cerebral
also a head.(Is this the place of our fruit?) Plus the constellation
Monocerus(Unicorn) and that unicorn that lays own in the maiden's lap is
possibly tied to this also. The answer that connects this all together is
close enough to zap me, but there's a "transfer interrupted" coming over
my frequency.

Anyway I'm not so sure its on a mound. Maybe it's coming up out of the
muck like God made Adam out of the clay? If he/ she/it was footless it'd
be without a soul as often I've read feet/foot as a soul symbol. The foot
keeps the body of man"upright"(Diel,Paul) Jung I think corroborates by
observing that in myths sometimes somebody like Hephaestus or Mani will
have an extra talent to make up for lameness?

Now about those hands.......

Peace,

Belle Hall



Subject: INNER - Imaginative inner journey
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 19:16:07 -0800
From: The Halls

From DMINSON:
> P.S. I take it you've read Johnson's She about Eros & Psyche or Erich
> Neumann's Psyche and Amor??? Both are great books on the psychology
> of the feminine, the myth is quite revealing...

DEAR DMINSON,

I shall add your reading suggestions to my list of "to dos" in this
lifetime! I've read ALOT in the last 10 months, and still feel like even
if I spent 24-7 it would still not be enough. As I shared privately with
Adam..I AM A NEOPHYTE. And will accept gratefully all the help I can get
(or give)

Peace,

Belle



Subject: INNER - Thalia the muse
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 21:04:31 -0800
From: Donald Minson

> Belle wrote;
> Thallia/ muse etc.

Belle this muse is also found in the second decade of hermetic tarot
cards:

Thalia 'the festive', associated with - comedy and pastoral poetry, violin, mask of comedy.

I found this in Adam's essay on the Hermetic origin of the Tarot cards
from the Alchemy Web Page under the heading Articles, if you care to
look...

Respectfully,

DMINSON



Subject: INNER - Handless Mercurius
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 23:33:37 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

The mutilated Mercurius reminds one of the ordeal the arcane substance
has undergone to attain sublimation and rebirth. The 'Artis Auriferae', Basel,
1593, mentions cutting off hands and feet as part of the process. The
tormented one is often the stone, but frequently Mercurius. Variations
consist of Mercurius senex cooked in a bath until Mercurius puer is born, or
until the spirit ascends in the form of a white dove. Contemporary with the
above text by Arisleus, there is the splendid engraved frontpiece for Le
Tableau des riches inventions, or 'Le Songe de Poliphile', 1600, in which the
seated lion has all four paws cut off, and they are lying beside him. Atop
the engraving is the ascended phoenix. Note the prominent wings on the head
of our Mercurius puer. In terms of inner alchemy, one might conclude from
these edifying tableaus that the individuation process begins in torment and
ends in exalted consciousness. I wish all our online alchemists that same
ideal New Year.

Richard Roberts

---------------
P.S. from Adam McLean. I have a copy of the 'Tableau des riches
inventions' frontispiece on the web site

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/amcl19.html



Subject: INNER - auspicious beginnings
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 1997 16:07:52 -0700 (MST)
From: Laurel

Happy New Year.
My solar return follows the new year almost immediately.
Was born during winter at sunset on a last quarter moon.
I have been musing about how best to alchemically honor the moment of
solar return.
I wonder which vessel would best hold the process.
Basically interesed how others have used inner alchemy to celebrate/honor the
turning of the wheel.
Thank you.

laurel



Subject: INNER - Kabbalah
From: "Zeljko Bistrovic"
Date: 2 Jan 1997 08:29:22 -0000

Shalom!

I have my own interests, and one of these is the tudy of Kabbalah. I made some
analogies between Kabbalah and Tarot, and I notice that has been done many times
before. But there are some diferences. I am interested to make contact with
anyone who is in love in Kabbalah.

This "Inner symposium" is like children exchange of pictures of famous
actors or some else idols. But this is fun. I, also, have collection of different
Kabbalah images, most of the "tree of life". I will show you some.

I am interested about Symbols, and I have question about the picture of the
lion on the frontispiece from Beroalde de Verville's "Le Tableau des riches inventions".


Gratefuly your Aharon



Subject: INNER - Thalia the muse
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 08:37:15 -0800
From: Belle Hall

Thank you [Donald Minson] for the info [about Thalia].

I also just purchased a book by Sallie Nichols
JUNG and TAROT An archetypal Journey which I am only beginning to peruse.
Don't know how scholarly it is, but that's never stopped me before.As I
looked over my dream journal I saw that my notes about Thalia (from the
dictionary!) included Gk.thallein/to flourish and thallium at.wt. 81(my
birthday)and thallus(to sprout) a stemless, rootless leafless plant of the
Thallophyte subkingdom which includes algae, fungi, and bacteria. Again
gnosis implies CONNECTION but I cannot get it. OOps I see bitty notes
down the side.. thalamus/thalamos inner chamber possibly akin to round
building with a conical roof and thalamus is gray matter in cerebral
cortex that relays sensory stimuli. Now somebody please explain how the
Greeks and brains and taxonomies are "accidentally" threaded together
through centuries. Much less how they ended up in my dreams??? As Thalia
is also one of the Graces, perhaps it would be best if I gave Grace where
it is due and counted my many Blessings. No wonder alchemists' works are
steeped in enigmas. They must have confronted quite a few as they
operated. Gosh.

Peace,

Belle. And TRULY my thanks to all.

Now yesterday I was resting and had a vision of a HUGE white cobra rising
up and then it turned into a diamond. Not a rhombus thing , but a jewel.
It was a side view of a big one with mant facets. I read all about
serpents and wisdom and evil da da da..Still this was definitely a cobra
and white? Please forgive my rudeness for throwing in another
topic. Snakes and Jung go together; snakes and alchemy ...it wasn't an
ouroboros?
Peace.