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Subject: INNER - Dom Pernety's Zodiac
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 97 16:50:03 UT
From: Mike Dickman


Just a parenthesis... Shambhala's e-mail address (for possible copies of
Maitreya I - VI) is: If you'll excuse
the impertinence, I warned 'em you might be coming (!)...

Hope this's helpful.


Subject: INNER - Hermaphrodites (Note on Confererence)
From: Vladimir Georgiev
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 23:48:40 +100

From (Jean MacIntyre)

The Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association

The Multicultural Middle Ages and Renaissance:
A Dialogue of the Disciplines
Sponsored by the University of Alberta

The Banff Centre for Conferences
May 15-18, 1997


3. Max Bell 156 History of Science
Chair : Robert Graybill, Central Missouri University
"Holy Hermaphrodites and Medical Facts" The Depiction of Hermaphrodites in
Alchemy and Medicine"

Vladimir Georgiev

Subject: INNER - Dom Pernety's Zodiac
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 1997 12:58:13 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

First permit me to thank Dan for his observations and opinions. This has
been a very useful discussion for me.

And thanks to Mike for the Maitreya info! I'm there!

At 08:33 PM 27/02/97 +0000, you wrote:
>From: Dan

>The correspondences which I have used vary slightly:
> Cancer Dissolution Chariot Separation

> Aquarius Multiplication Star Dissolution

Could you remark further on these two variations?

Aquarius and multiplication is an association I am comfortable with (putting
aside the question of Tarot for a minute). Aquarius rules masses of people,
societies and fraternal organizations - the multitude as it were.

I am interested to hear your alternative observations.

Richard Patz

Subject: INNER - Hermaphrodites (Note on Confererence)
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 1997 16:51:40 GMT
From: Caroline Robertson

>The Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association
>The Banff Centre for Conferences
>May 15-18, 1997
>"Holy Hermaphrodites and Medical Facts" The Depiction of Hermaphrodites in
>Alchemy and Medicine"

If you go and if there is a transcript of the talk, I would be interested to
receive it. but if not, then no matter.

Subject: INNER - Dom Pernety's Zodiac
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 97 11:19:30 UT
From: Mike Dickman

The other obvious correspondences, of course are Ripley's Twelve Gates -
"... Twelve gates to the City, Halelu!...", as the old Gospel song would have
it - and Kircher's resumption of St. John...
The Ripley list, you will recall, is:
	1st. Gate	Calcination
2nd. Gate Dissolution
3rd. Gate Separation
4th. Gate Conjunction
5th. Gate Putrefaction
6th. Gate Congelation
7th. Gate Cibation/Nutrition
8th. Gate Sublimation
9th. Gate Fermentation
10th. Gate Exaltation
11th. Gate Multiplication
12th. Gate Projection
For the St. John, let me return to my old friend, John Michel ('City of
Revelation', Abacus, 1973, pp; 62-65 and 90-92)...
"... The City 'had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the
gates twelve angels, and names written thereon which are the names of the
twelve tribes of the children of Israel; on the east three gates; on the north
three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the
wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve
apostles of the Lamb.
"'And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth:
and he measured the city with a reed, twelve thousand furlongs... and he
measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits.
"'And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner
of precious stones... And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several
gate was of one pearl.
"'In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there
the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit
every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.'
"The twelve pearls at the gates (...) are also the twelve fruits of the tree
of life, one for each month (...) (for) 2160 years is the length of the
Platonic month, the time taken by the sun to move through one complete sign of
the zodiac and a twelfth part of the great year. The twelve circles can
therefore be taken to represent the twelve signs, and the whole figure is both
an image of the universe and a model of time, its dimensions recording
astrological cycles as well as astronomical distances... The circles are each
inscribed with one of the zodiacal symbols, and the corresponding apostles,
jewels, sons of Jacob, etc...
" (...) It is generally allowed that the twelve precious stones set in the
foundations of the Holy City correspond to the signs of the zodiac. Dr. R. H.
Charles in his monumental 'Commentary of the Revelation of St. John' discusses
the matter at length and declares that St. John's astrological arrangement was
made with intent. The correspondences between the jewels and the signs are
given by Kircher in 'Oedipus Aegyptiacus' as set out below, and the
appropriate Greek Gods are added.
	The Ram		amethyst		Athena
The Bull hyancinth Aphrodite
The Twins chrysoprase Apollo
The Crab topaz Hermes
The Lion beryl Zeus
The Virgin chrysolite Demeter
The Balance sardius Hephaistos
The Scorpion sardonyx Ares
The Archer smaragdus Artemis
The Goat chalcedon Hestia
The Water-carrier sapphire Hera
The Fishes jasper Poseidon
"In the description of the New Jerusalem the stones are places in reverse
order beginning with Piscean jasper and ending with the amethyst of Aries. The
reason is that the sun retreats through the twelve signs in the course of the
great year, passing from Taurus to Aries and then through Pisces to Aquarius,
John Michel is fun... On pp. 65-66, by the way, he also mentions the number
seven, as follows:

"... In Revelation there are 7 churches, 7 candlesticks, 7 stars, 7 angels, 7
vials, 7 seals, 7 thunders, 7 plagues and 7 spirits of God; the Lamb has 7
horns and 7 eyes, the dragon 7 heads and 7 crowns, and the beast has 7 heads
which are the 7 hills of the Whore of Babylon.
"Seven is the number of things sacred and mysterious, as the 7 veils of
initiation. According to Philo 'nature delights in the number seven', for the
astrologers know 7 planets, there are 7 stars in the Great Bear and 7 notes in
music; God rested on the seventh day, a man's head has 7 orifices and his life
proceeds in 7 year periods; the cycles of women and the moon occur in sevens,
28 days making the lunar month. 'By reason of this the Pythagoreans, indulging
in myth, liken 7 to the motherless and every virgin Maiden, because neither
was she born of the womb, nor shall she ever bear;'
"Seven is the Virgin because it is neither the product nor the factor of any
other numbers in the decad, and the geometry of seven is developed from no
other system of proportion nor does it give birth to any. Another reason is
that the seventh division of a circle has an angle of just over 51.4° and 515
is the number of 'parthenos', virgin. Seven has no gender for, as St.
Augustine writes, '3 is the first number wholly odd and 4 wholly even and
these two make 7... Therefore is the Holy Ghost often called by this number
" (...) There are 7 colours in the rainbow and 7 petals on the temple flower,
the pomegranate, but the number seven is rarely apparent in physical nature,
corresponding rather to the spiritual forces that regulate the cycles of time
and human development. The gnostics drew attention to the fact that the name
'Iesous' has only six letters xhile 'Xristos' has 7 as evidence for their
belief, against the teaching of the Church, that the body of Jesus was but the
temporary mortal lodging of the ancient spirit of Christ... Thus the body of
the New Jerusalem is shaped according to the geometry of six, which is the
image of matter, its construction simple and rational; but the construction of
the geometry of seven is neither, etc..."
I leave the rest of this to those of you who might find it interesting... The
book contains a useful introduction to Greek gematria and has long been one of
my own favourites... He's nuts! ...It's wonderful!
Concerning the gnostic Jesus and Christ dichotomy, by the way, the useful
reference is Meade's translation of 'The Hymn of Jesus' (Watkins, 1907 and
1963)... not to mention, of course (!), the 'Pistis Sophia'... This is on the
Gnostic Site accessible from Adam's, for those of you who have not yet been
Have a good Sunday!


Subject: INNER - Dom Pernety's Zodiac
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 03:49:43 -0500 (EST)
From: Dan


> > Cancer Dissolution Chariot Separation
> > Aquarius Multiplication Star Dissolution
> Could you remark further on these two variations?
> Aquarius and multiplication is an association I am comfortable with
> (putting aside the question of Tarot for a minute). Aquarius rules
> masses of people - societies and fraternal organizations - the
> multitude as it were.

Aquarius rules in the body the lower legs and ankles, and the circulation of
blood, which was thought to have a wave-like motion. The association with the
site of red blood cell production is difficult to avoid. These cells are
dissolved in the fluid medium of blood and carry oxygen to the community of
organs of the body.
The symbol of Aquarius is understood by Paul Case as a symbol of the process
of dissolution, though I am not familiar with this from any specifically
alchemical work. He associates this also with the function of meditation.

Separation in this context refers to the results of discrimination between
the "personal" self, the "carnal" man and the atman, the one incorruptable
soul; appeals to the letter cheth and to the Chariot are helpful.

Any attempt to allocate the processes of alchemy with the signs of the zodiac
is an effort to order chaos, and the exercise is often more valuable than the



Subject: INNER - "Flamel's" Music
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 03:50:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Dan


I just want to thank you for this interesting contribution, and also for your
thoughts in your recent post re Dom Pernety's zodiac.



Subject: INNER - "Flamel's" Music
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 97 12:07:03 UT
From: Mike Dickman


When I came across your note I had just been looking at your latest one to
Richard... Your closing comment, '... the exercise is propbably worth more
than the result...' is beautiful... You deserve... I don't know... a medal -
(in pure, transmuted gold, of course!)...

Isn't so much of this exactly that?



Subject: INNER - Rumpelstiltskin?
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 09:32:28 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake

I was wondering if anyone has ever written about any kind of alchemical
allegory present in the fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin. Weaving straw into
gold, indeed!

George Leake

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab' processes
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 13:16:50 +1300
From: Greg Boag

This is my first posting to the Inner Alchemy e-mail group. Hi everyone.

May I begin with a question?

I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has had any success with meditations on laboratory processes which involve the operator visualising himself (herself) inside flasks during various processes. The 'Philosophers of Nature' have included a number of such exercises in the their lessons so I had hoped that some of you might have followed these up and would be interested in relating your experiences.

Alternatively has anyone knowledge of any other published sources of such meditations?

I have had a good deal of experience in this area myself some years ago after I began experiments following a suggestion forwarded by one of my clients (I am a qualified hypnotherapist following a Jungian discipline). I would be most willing to lend some of my experience in this area if there is interest.


Greg Boag.

Subject: INNER - Kekule and the Ourobouros
From: Lerual
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 23:41:48 -0300

Whle reading a some chapters of a book on psychology by Perkins I came across this assertion:

"... the known experience of the chemist Friederich August von Kekulé. Lots of times it's been observed that the scientific and technological discover discovery often includes a metaforical thinking. In 1865, Kekulé had been trying, with little success, to discover the chemical structure of the benzene. The molecule consists in a ring of atoms, but then they didn't know the structures of the ring. Absort in the problem, Kekulé had a dream in which the molecules appeared like files of atoms. They gathered and swerved in such a way that they made Kekulé think of serpents. Suddenly, one of the serpents turned until biting its tail, and this suggested Kekulé the structure of the benzene ring."

Well, I'm presenting these fact looking for opinions. I would like to hear opinions on the presence of the Ourobouros in such a circumstance.

What do you think?


Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 22:43:05 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

To Lerual:
I believe that the original source of Kekule's dream was "Man and his Symbols,"
a compendium of Jungian writers. The unconscious mind, when it can be
accessed is I believe the greatest creative source for man.In "Tales for
Jung Folk:Original Fairytales for Persons of All Ages Dramatizing Jung's Archetypes of the
Collective Unconscious," I tell the story of when I was teaching a college
course on Frost's poetry, I had a dream in which I was reading a book of his
poetry, but i did not recognize the poem. Then i thought i would memorize it
and write it down when i woke up. The fascinating thing about this poem,
which I did not recognize until years later, was that it was a metaphor for
the way in hich it was created by the unconscious, with the sea representing the
unconscious and the land consciousness. If I'm able in the near future to share
this poem with alchemy e-mail I'll do so(my back is bothering me). Ultimately
all the "tales" in the book came from active fantasy or dreams in which the
archetypes were writing themselves.
The idea for my last book came from a sacred marriage of the conscious and un-
conscious minds in which i was given an idea which was unique in literature,
never before used in a novel, and in the years it took to write it, I mostly
just took dictation from the anima, which had become an equal partner with
the conscious mind in the sacred marriage. The book is "The Wind& the Wizard."
So in conclusion, whether for the scientist or the creative artist, the uncon-
scious is a potential treasure trove, and not merely the repository of repress-
ions as in Freudian psychology.Jung's great contribution was to recognize that
every life is a process of alchemical transformation.

Best regards,

Richard Roberts

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab' processes
From: Mats Winther
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 08:27:32 +0100

> I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has had any success
> with meditations on laboratory processes which involve the operator
> visualising himself (herself) inside flasks during various processes....
> Greg Boag.

Just a comment: to my view this symbol (containment within glass vessel) is
the most profound of all alchemical symbols. I think an understanding of
this is vital. It doesnīt just mean introversion and withdrawal. Since the
Vas Hermeticum is (preferably) made of glass there exists a rapport with
the outer world. It probably means a contraction of the libido attached to
the world to a more intense, concentrated relation. We live with the
trinitarian spirit of our christian culture. This is a spirit that isnīt
really down-to-earth. Instead it is everywhere in the world. It doesnīt
seem to feel content in the world. Instead it engages itself in so many
things. Hence the success of our culture. But the spirit that is created in
the glass vessel is the Spiritus Mercurius. It enjoys being in the vessel.
It is the spirit of quaternity which feels content in the little world.
This is because it doesnīt differ between spirit and matter. The matter
which to our trinitarian mind is the most vulgar is actually the finest of
all, it is spirit - Spiritus Mercurius.

Subject: INNER - Kekule and the Ourobouros
From: Alberto I. LaCava
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 09:16:48 -0500

I would say this is a classical example in Carl Jung's theory of the
archetypes in the collective unconscious. Although Kekuke may have dreamed
of the Ourobouros because he had probably seen the figure in the alchemical
texts in his college course of history of Chemistry. This image, at its
time, fired in the mind of the chemist the structure of benzene.

There has been, in recent years, a group of scientists in America that have
contested the theory of the dream. At the time of Kekule, several
scientists were working in dilucidating the structure of Benzene, among
them, competing schools in France, England and Germany. There is a school
of thought that claims that the dream was invented by Kekule so as not to
give credit to a French researcher, who had also proposed a cyclic
structure for benzene. The argument came in the "Chemical and Engineering
News" some few years ago ( I dont' have the exact quotes, since I do not
keep the collection due to lack of space in my appartment).

Alberto LaCava

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab' processes
From: Alberto I. LaCava
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 09:22:26 -0500


There are many examples of such meditations in the issues of the Hermetic
Journal, which was edited by Adam McLean from the seventies to the early
nineties. I have used the plates of "Geheime Figuren" in my courses with
meditations involving each of the plates. I have written a few articles,
including a description/explanation of the plates and followed by a
meditation on each. There are at least 5 or 6 that I have put in writing.

I hope this is useful to you. there has been a long tradition in Alchemy
that the figures of the alchemists were meditation plates.


Alberto I. LaCava

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab' processes
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 10:35:05 -0500 (EST)
From: Jeffrey

This is also my first message to the forum, though I was on the old alchemy
forum before its transmutation, so I will say hello again. I have spent a
number of years experimenting with what Jung has called active imagination
and the alchemical processes. In active imagination one develops a method
for entering a waking dream in which one can consciously engage with inner
figures and images. Jung believed, and I agree with him, that the secret of
alchemy is active imagination for two main reasons. By engaging in the
imaginal realm with physical processes, or spiritual ones for that matter,
one can effect their transformation. As the alchemists write, no body can
penetrate any other body, only spirit can penetrate body. Spirit is created
by entering the realms of imagination and dealing with bodies there. A good
discussion of these idea can be found in von Franz's book Alchemical Active
Imagination, which discusses the active imagination work of Dorn. This is
more a philosphical dialogue than a material one, but the same ideas apply.
The second main reason is the alchemists seem to believe that through active
imagination work, or dialogues with figures like Mercurius and Nature, one
could not only learn wisdom from them, but concentrate their power in a
physical substance itself. Parcelsus is especially keen on the power of
imaginatio to incarnate spiritual power in a material container and so
produce healing or transmutation. Thus active imagination can elicit wisdom
from spirit helpers such as Mercurius, or the Filius, can transmute physical
substance indirectly, and can concentrate spiritual or imaginal powers and
energies in a physical form.
I have experienced good results including a few cases of spontaneous healing,
but most especially transformation of the psyche itself. I have also
experienced some failures, but after twenty years of work with this I still
am convinced that the realm of imagination is the true alchemical garden
where the greatest results can be obtained.
I would love to hear some of your experiences as well as those of others on
the forum.
Alternatively has anyone knowledge of any other published sources of such

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 97 18:04:08 UT
From: Mike Dickman

By the way - is Ourobouros holding its tail in its mouth, biting it, or eating
it? And has anyone else ever hit on the idea of its actually vomiting it, in
much the same way as (I believe) the Green Lion image may also be read? Any
feedback here would be more than welcome


Subject: INNER - Kekule and the Ourobouros
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 97 17:57:14 UT
From: Mike Dickman

AMBIX has the following references to Kekule (with or without the accent
aigue and/or grave on the final 'e') and/or benzene that might bear looking
into if they haven't already been:
	XVIII	No. 1		(pp.26-48)
XX Nos. 2 & 3 (pp.106-131; 209-233)
XXI No. 1 (pp.29-52)
XXVII No. 2 (pp.136-141)
XXX No. 3 (pp.133-136)

Subject: INNER - Fixing the volatile
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 19:45:01 +0000
From: Estelle

This phrase "fixing the volatile" came to me last week whilst on my way to
Jungian therapy. I can't find reference to it in my limited library and wondered
if you could either explain its significance and/or suggest some reading.
my working interpretation so far is that I have been trying to
fix/crystallise something that resists fixing ie wanting security and a
given universe when the universe/energy/feelings are constantly
I'm sure I've read about it as part of the alchemical process and remember
something different about the aim and result.
please help!

thank you,


Subject: INNER - Kekulé and the Ourobouros
From: Lerual
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 15:10:23 -0300

Thank you very much for your contributions.

I was wondering if there is any ralationship between the benzene and the Ourobouros.


Subject: INNER - Fixing the volatile
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 15:58:12 -0600
From: howard higgins

> From: Estelle
> This phrase "fixing the volatile" came to me last week whilst on my way to
> Jungian therapy. I can't find reference to it in my limited library and wondered
> if you could either explain its significance and/or suggest some reading.


Quoting my favorite source: "Two primary laws exist in nature, two
essential laws, which produce, by counterbalancing each other, the
universal equilibrium of things. These are fixedness and movement,
analogous, in philosophy, to Truth and Fiction, and, in Absolute
Conception, to Necessity and Liberty, which are the very essence of the
Deity. The Hermetic philosophers gave the named fixed to
everything ponderable, to everything that tends by its natural to
central repose and immobility; they term volatile everything that
more naturally and more readily obeys the law of movement; and they form
their stone by analysis, that is to say, by volatilization of the
, andthen by synthesis, that is, by fixing the
, which they effect by applying to the fixed, which they
call their salt, the sulphurated Mercury, or the light of life, directed
and made omnipotent by a Soverign Will. Thus they master entire
Nature, and thier stone is found wherever there is salt, which is the
reason for saying that no substance is foreign to the Great Work, and
that even the most despicable and apparently vile matters may be changed
into gold, which is true in this sense, that they all contain the
original salt-principle, represented by the the cubical stone."

Hope this helps

Charlie Higgins

Subject: INNER - Fixing the volatile
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 97 00:36:53 UT
From: Mike Dickman


In my limited understanding, fixing the volatile - at least in its 'inner
alchemy' sense - means something very like stabilising an insight and
integrating it into your way of going about things... There's a kind of 'jet
lag' between what could be termed 'understanding', on the one hand, and
'realisation' (= the stabilsing abovementioned), on the other...
Generally speaking the task of the alchemist is to 'volatalise the fixed
(which would then, by the same logic, mean something like dissolving one's
encrusted ideas and barely visible, because so all-encompassing,
prejudgements) and fix the volatile'. Good introductions, if you read French,
are Canseliet's 'Trois Anciens Traites d'Alchimie', 'Alchimie' and 'L'Alchimie
Expliquee sur ses Textes Classiques' (excuse me - since they don't come out
anyway, I've skipped the accents)
I hope this helps a little.


Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 19:31:20 -0800
From: Belle Hall

Dear Mike,

Throwing up? It is possible. But... Kekule was mentioned in a book on
Creativity for one of my classes for gifted education. It synchronistically
appeared at the same time last year with my own dream initiation
period. Not knowing what a benzene ring was or what one would need
a symbol that resembled a big dead rolypoly bug, I had to drop many
hints to get the scoop on that chemistry chapter and that repeatedly
circling snake thing.

It stopped me in my tracks when a student shared that benzene is made of
6 carbon atoms in a ring connected to 6 hydrogen atoms and that they are
best known for aroma.The benzene ring on paper looks like the seal of
Soloman. The ring is found to be planar, with 120 degree angles between pairs of
bonds formed by a given carbon atom. Somehow they feed off each other
and create in the process. Someone can correct me here (and they always
do) but the micro ring is like the macro ouroboros. And maybe the
ouroboros is then micro to the life/death cycle? Maybe it is more like
earth eating worms.

Anyway it seems that the benzene is the snake. As it drops one item, it
picks up another. As it picks up another, it drops an atom. I always saw
it as defecating (sorry) or something and the same stuff just keeps going
around? You could be right or we could both be right. Maybe the ouroboros
throws up and it is reabsorbed to be thrown up again? Like evaporating
moisture comes back as rain to fill the ocean. My personal feeling on
the matter is that even though it goes back around again, perhaps each
time it is a bit changed... sometimes for the good... sometimes for the bad.



Subject: INNER - Kekulé and the Ourobouros
From: Alberto I. LaCava
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 20:57:04 -0500

Dear Lerual,

> I was wondering if there is any relationship between the benzene and the
> Ourobouros.

Yes, there is. Its structure was a mystery for the chemists during last
century, since its formula is really C6H6, by using the valence theory of
the time, there were very few structures that would have the physical
properties of the benzene. The structure as we know today, is a "resonant
structure" with delocalized electrons forming two "ring shaped" clouds
above and below the benzene ring.

The discovery of the resonant structure, the ring shape (molecule biting
its own tail) was an insight that required a final flash of creativity to
put it together. The Ourobouros vision was what made that insight possible
in the case of Kekule.

Alberto I. LaCava

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
From: Alberto I. LaCava
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 20:59:52 -0500


The Ourobouros Paradox is that the Dragon eats itself and out of its own
substance grows again. There are several similar paradoxes in Alchemy.
This may remind you of the law of conservation of matter/energy in the

Alberto I. laCava

Subject: INNER - Fixing the volatile
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 09:47:52 -0500 (EST)
From: Jeffrey

In a message dated 3/16/97 1:41:08 PM, you wrote:

>This phrase "fixing the volatile" came to me last week whilst on my
>way to Jungian therapy. I can't find reference to it in my limited library
>and wondered if you could either explain its significance and/or
>suggest some reading.

Fixing the volatile has several different meanings, but in relation to
working with the unconscious or in dealing with a specific inner issue, it
means focusing totally on that issue without being distracted or moved off of
it until some transformation or insight occurs. The unconscious as Mercurius
is constantly changing its image and message, and so if anything is to be
accomplished the question you are dealing with needs to fixed so it cannot
change again. In active imagination work fixing also means holding onto a
single image and dealing with it while ignoring all other images and
distractions. Without fixing one can be distractec by a hundred other
images, or more often, by one's own desire not to look at the question at
hand. Jung writes of fixing in Pychology and Alchemy as does Eddinger in The
Anatomy of the Psyche.

Hope this is useful.


Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 09:31:55 -0800
From: Victoria GaVoian

>Throwing up? It is possible

In regards to this statement:

You could be right or we could both be right. Maybe the ouroboros
throws up and it is reabsorbed to be thrown up again? Like evaporating
moisture comes back as rain to fill the ocean.; My personal
feeling on the matter is that even though it goes back around again, perhaps each
time it is a bit changed...

Rather than throwing up and adding to itself, might it not be continually
growing, the neverending story?

Best Regards,

Victoria GaVoian

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 09:53:48 -0800
From: Victoria GaVoian

Hi Robert,

I'm am quite new and old at alchemy. What I have naturally experienced
throughout my life, I have suddenly found through this forum, actually
have names for. I noticed you spoke of conscious and unconscious,
however no mention of awareness. Does the term awareness fit into
any of your ideas or thoughts in any way?

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab' processes
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 22:54:03 -0400
From: Deanna Herrera

To Greg Boag,
Welcome to the group

to Mats Winter,

What do you think about the classic Jungian interperetation of the flask as
the ego? Not so much to offer an alternative to the alchemical metaphor
but to offer another but similar view. The idea of the ego contained and
of clarity (As aspects of the spirit, not the whole of spirit as you say
the part of the spirit that is involved with matter). Then it would seem
that the material of the flask is important. Crystal over glass. I am
thinking of the myth of Psyche and Eros. If I remember correctly, Psyche
drew water from the spring of life and sealed it in a crystal flask, which
was carried by an eagle to the Far seeing tower (Overview, perspective and
vision). This saved Psyche from her doom. It was Psyches last task I
recall to apease Aphrodite. I like this metaphor because after Psyche
marries Eros they have their baby and Joy is born from love and spirit. I
will take some time to look up the myth since it has been so long since I
have read it. Unless anyone else would like to add additional comments. I
realize I have a hard time sticking to the confines of alchemy.


Dr. Deanna Herrera (Counseling Psychologist, Stevenson College, UCSC)

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab' processes: flasks
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 97 10:15:59 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Greg (and Deanna)

You're aware of Madathanus' (i.e., Adrian von Mynsicht's) 'Parabola' in the
'Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians'?... The version I have is the Steiner
Publications 'A Christian Rosenkreutz Anthology' of 1968, in which you will
find it on pp. 381-391 (followed, interestingly enough, on the next page, by
Vaughan's 'Holy Mountain' text and image, complete with its own tame

I was also wondering, Deana, what you thought the confines of alchemy might
be? I'd also be interested to know how your 'serpent thing' evolved.


Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 97 10:15:33 UT
From: Mike Dickman

... Or moving in both directions simultaneously...
When I spoke of its vomiting itself, the image arose from a dream I had in
which I was the Ourobouros... There was only that and nothing else: Ourobouros
and space; Ourobouros in space; Ourobouros as space; Ourobouros despite space;
space as Ourobouros...
This comes back to an image I've been touting for years to anyone who will
listen: the idea of the dragondance... The dance of apparent creation as space
dancing space into space, AS space and THROUGH space, and on and back into
Hui-neng, the extraordinary 6th. Patriarch of Ch'an/Zen, says in his 'Platform
Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch'

From the very first, not a single thing exists
Within that 'not a single thing' lies inexhaustible treasure:
The great seas are in it; rivers and mountains also;
All that can be known; and sentient beings and Buddhas also.

The basis of Buddhist meditation is exactly this examination of where anything
could stem from, apparently remain for a while and then dissolve back into.
Being a great admirer of serpents in all their shapes and forms (almost all of
which are fascinatingly beautiful), and of their extraordinarily bad-tempered
(with us, the 'two-legged', at any rate... one wonders why?) 'wisdom', and
having had the leisure once to observe at great length (and with not a little
surprise, I might add) the mores and sexuality of both the wall lizard and the
large red slug, (and also since I dont have a Zippo lighter and, regardless of
its innate allures and fascinations at other times and in other contexts, I am
not particularly interested in benzene at just this moment) I would proffer
the following observations:

(i) Ourobouros as Caudogenitor:-
Awareness, as it 'moves through time', that is to say, out of an apparent,
i.e., visible, 'past', through an unfolding but only partially visible
'present', and on - backwards as it were - into an entirely invisible but
presumed and often prefabricated 'future', has many of the characteristics of
some 'head' spitting its own equally imagined 'tail'. If the past instant, no
matter how brief, is irretrievably 'gone', the future instant 'not yet here',
and the present instant ungraspable and only the unfolding from the one to the
other, i. e., the micro-shift in the content of awareness (or unawareness, for
that matter), it is, in fact - because of the time lag between experience and
conscious awareness of what has happened, the present and the future which are
creating the past, and not vice-versa.
As we know, at a micro and submicro level, this is very often exactly what is
observably happening.

(ii) Ourobouros as Caudophage:-
The figure of time and/or energy as experienced on a somewhat more macro scale
- (one's 'fools gold'?) - limited nourshment, at the best of times, no matter
how delicious, and very definitely running out! Perhaps it is exactly this
'fools gold' that asks to be purified into 'ours' and then sown - broad-cast -
upon the foliated earth?

(iii) Ourobouros as Caudoretentor:-
The whole, the coming back of everything on itself as an endless and
unpinpointable becoming - And, yes... Older, perhaps, and possibly a little
wiser, but who can be sure? Hence the adage 'Work and Pray'.

It is true that, in alchemia, very often the Ourobouros is figured as TWO
serpents (or birds, or canines, or felines, etc.), and then represents the
fixed and the volatile, the above and below, the twofold abyss, 'solve et
coagula', and the whole process of V.I.T.R.I.O.L. (which my 'dog' Latin
understands as - a la fois - the internal examination and subtle evaluation of
any possible lacks or default in the 'stone' one has managed to concoct, and
the need to try it against the 'interiorae terram' thereby to check it for any
possible frangibility or evaporation, and also to verify its actual
'tincturing' power.

While 'on the line', so to speak, I'd also like to thank everyone for their
generous and interesting partcipation thus far. Let's see how far we can keep
it moving.


Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab' processes
From: Mats Winther
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 11:14:10 +0100

To Deanna Herrera (and Gary Whiting and all).

(To Deanna:) No, I donīt think the Vas Hermeticum is analogous to the ego.
I would say that the classical jungian interpretation is "Spirit in a
Bottle". This archetype is extremely significant to our time and represents
the essence of alchemy. You say you have a "hard time sticking to the
confines of alchemy". We all have, that is when "Spiritus Mercurius"
escapes from the vessel and the work has to be started all over again. Here
is a short review of alchemical thinking the way I see it. It is the most
sophisticated "philosophy" that mankind ever created. The reason for all
these strange symbols is that the thoughts are so hard to grasp that we
have to use symbols instead. The glass or crystal quality of the vessel
hints at spiritual qualities. The container of the spirit is also spirit.
So the spirit is really containing itself. So what is this spirit that is
contained within itself? It is matter! Spiritus Mercurius is equal to Prima
Materia or Lapis! The Ourobouros, tail-biting snake, is being discussed now
in this group. It is the self-container. He can eat himself, and womit
himself up. This is a completely new view of matter. Matter is completely
connected to spirit like the head to the tail. But we have inherited the
christian, trinitarian viewpoint that matter is dead material that doesnīt
hold any real meaning. The meaning of life is within the Spirit. To modern
man matter and spirit have only a loose connection. We consider matter as
not really evil, only a little "dirty", but well worth manipulating with.

As pointed out earlier by Gary Whiting (inner/practical work) the most
important thing is to confront the Massa Confusa or Prima Materia. What
Gary hints at is the analogy to the jungian concept of integrating the
shadow by being confined in a state of "Nigredo". The analogy is there but
Jung was quite aware that the alchemical concept went much further. He had
to confine himself within the trinitarian world-view of science but the
alchemical "shadow-integration" concerns the total withdrawal of the
negative projections on matter altogether. Not just withdrawal of the
projections of ones own qualities on other people but actually changing
ones world-view by realizing that the meaninglessness and dirtyness of
matter really comes from the soul as a projection. Matter carries meaning
within itself! The glass flask which you hold in your hand, look at it and
in a glimpse you will see Mercurius there, with a roguish twinkle in his
eye! The medieval alchemist explained that the Serpens Mercurialis will be
found in what we think is the most vulgar matter, in excrement, in the
menstruum of a whore. What they meant was that if you withdraw the
projection and realize that this matter which you think is vulgar, is
really Spiritus Mercurius, then you are a Master. Mercurius is the one
closest to God. One side of the planet is red hot, and the other is blue
cold. Mercurius is Duplex - both matter and spirit. When Einstein tried to
explain the path of Mercurius he couldnīt use three-dimensional mathematics
which was fully sufficient for other planets. He had to use
four-dimensional time-matter mathematics. For nine years he worked himself
almost to death before he solved the problem. The path of Mercurius is hard
to follow. His number is four as compared to the trinity of christianity. I
envisage christianity as the morning-star, the planet of love - Venus, next
close to God.

Where does these concepts emerge from? Christianity started it itself.
What the story of Christ tells us is that matter is not so far away from
spirit anyway. How else could God send his Son to earth as a man of flesh
and blood? And afterwards he travelled back to the Heavenly Father with his
body! (not as a spirit). This is extremely significant. What the christians
did was that they rebuffed the Gnostic dualistic world-view that spirit and
matter is separated and that matter is essentially inferior to spirit. The
christians said that matter is not that bad, not that far away from spirit.
By doing that they encouraged the human mind to go still further - towards
the modern alchemical quaternity paradigm.

Within this context I have to warn you against the saying: "Spirit is
within matter". There is gnostic poison here. Spirit is not something that
is within matter and can be freed from it. Matter can be converted to
spirit in its whole. The correct saying (by an alchemist) should be: Spirit
and Matter is One.

Now I want to clarify something. Iīm not saying that the alchemical
paradigm is right and the christians and the gnostics are wrong. The
gnostic paradigm is very attractive. For instance, Iīm sure you all like
the Shadows-in-the-Cave parable by Platon. The paradigms are really
paradises where one can go and live. I wished I could live in the gnostic
paradise, but I canīt. I donīt know why - maybe the air is too thin at the
lofty mountain tops of gnosticism. Gnosticism is the paradise of the number
two. Christianity is the paradise of the number three. Alchemy is the
paradise of number four. The paradise of number one would be Taoism. Of all
these paths the most painful and dangerous is the path of a true alchemist.
The next hardest is the path of a true christian.

Finally Iīd like to repeat what I said in my previous mail. The spirit
enjoys being confined in the material world. This is heaven! Being here is
the practical work. For instance, donīt we enjoy being here discussing
planetary symbols and other strange things? Thatīs what is so hard to
understand about alchemy. Donīt let the your spirit fly away from the
world. Confine it here. The world is the vessel.


Mats Winther

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 12:59:09 -0500 (EST)
From: Ken Roche

Mike: you asked: "is Ourobouros holding its tail in its mouth, biting it, or
eating it? And has anyone else ever hit on the idea of its actually vomiting
it, in much the same way as (I believe) the Green Lion image may also
be read? Any feedback here would be more than welcome"

Years ago I remember reading a description of why the ourobouros was
such a good symbol of regenerative attitudes which gave as its reason
the habits of some snakes to slough their old skins with the aid of their
mouths. But I have no idea whether snakes actually use their mouths to
slough skin.


Subject: INNER - Ourobouros--tarot temperance thoth
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 15:58:08 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake

>From: Scott Lawrence Whitman
>Regarding Ourobouros:
>Refer to the Tarot card "Temperance" (Art). Perhaps best illustrated in the
>Thoth Deck. Note the inscription: "Visita interiora terrae rectificando
>invenies occultem lapidem". "Throwing-up" would defeat the purpose. Is he
>not eating his tail?

To answer the latter point and address all this eating vs. Throwing up,
the important point here is more that this symbolizes
converting into matter and back again...

As to the first point, this is true in Crowley's Tarot deck, but
Temperance was not always depicted this way, nor had an explicitly hermetic
meaning. Note the wings on Temperance. These come from some printer's
mistake, originally this image was an enthroned woman, ala Justice. Also,
Temperance was one of several cardinal virtues depicted along with other
medieval psychomachia in early Tarot.

George Leake

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab processes
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 11:33:31 +1200
From: Greg Boag

To Jeffrey,

You're a man after my own heart. Although I began my trance experiences 13 years ago through a strictly conventional training in hypnosis I was always more interested in the discipline of hypnosis for the benefits (spiritually) that could be gained from practicing self-hypnosis. This orientation lead me to develop, in the last six years, what I eventually learned is the technique Jungian therapists recognize as active imagination. So I have found myself, in a kind of back to front manner, practicing a very Jungian approach to psycho-therapy. My original introduction to archetypes came through an interest in practical magick so I am very pleased to be discovering for myself in the last three years that Jung has so much to offer in the areas I am developing by natural inclination and as a sideline to my training. Particularly in the area I am most interested in - active imagination coupled with creative imagination.

I also hold very firmly to the idea of thought directly effecting matter and have worked, in the last six years, on some very successful experiments with myself and a select group of friends, on active imagination techniques with can profoundly effect both physical and psychological transmutations (outside of lab' work which I am also involved in). I began work in this area as a by-product of my professional training where I noticed that a select number of therapeutic processes we were taught were having almost immediate and very obvious effects in the physical environment of the students on the course. After having some very important success in my original experiments with my anima I had read a book by one of Jungs students ( I forget her name (Hanna? someone)) on active imagination where she quoted something she said Jung used to quote often at gatherings. Jungs quote involved a story about a friend who went to China(?) and witnessed a Taoist monk effect the weather in th!
e dist
rict of a small village by imposing his balanced will in the collective conscious of the villagers. I am now very sure that this was Jungs way of hinting ... to those who knew from experience ... that it is very easy (in my experience) to manipluate the physical environment from the psyche via work with archetypes.

You asked in your posting 15 March if anyone knows of sources of written material of meditations on lab' processes. I take it that you have seen Alberto LaCava's posting where he suggests the Hermetic Journal. I also have a heap of notes from my personal work in this area and some notes a few of my friends who are familiar with this work are willing to share. I have also a good deal of written material on the subject of the use of active imagination in the transformation of the shadow and the anima/animus (If you're interested). I need to know more about the anima/amimus idea though, especially were the coniunctio is concerned, because my personal focus is in this area and I (and others)have found that results here are producing very interesting effects which are as yet a little beyond my present understanding.

Greg Boag

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab processes.
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 11:38:03 +1200
From: Greg Boag

To Alberto:

Thanks for the suggestion about the Hermetic Journal. Although interested parties are not exactly thick on the ground down under (N.Z.) I think I know someone who has some old copies of Adams publication.

You also mentioned some articles your've published. Where ... in the H.Journal?

Geheime Figuren? I'm not familiar with this work I dont think.


Greg Boag.

Subject: INNER - Fixing the volatile
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 11:45:54 +1200
From: Greg Boag

To Estelle:

Volatile = Archetype? Maybe an archetype which has up to this point largely existed in potential within your personal psyche is seeking recognition i.e. fixing within your awareness?

In practical alchemy the volitle, usually a solvent liquid, is washed over the fixed, usually a mineral salt. The purified salt, after a lot of work and effort eventually coagulates and fixes the liquid and at the same time the salt or fixed article is volitized creating at one and the same time a medium between the fixed and the volitile. This medium is Mercurius ... the messanger of the Gods, for he stands between the worlds at the threshold to the mysteries. This privileged position also gives him the opportunity to act as guide to the soul in the underworld (unconscious).

Subject: INNER - Fixing the volatile
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 14:23:16 +1200
From: C M Larsen

Dear Estelle,
I have been reading the various letters with much interest and now, for
the first time, feel I would like to add a comment to those responses
already made by others.

Your phrase took me back to a teacher who used to regularly quote from
Genesis 2:7 'And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living
soul' to illustrate this point. Perhaps the words of Corinne Heline
will clarify 'The spirit became indwelling. Breath here signifies a
portion of the Universal Soul which entered the created form.'

If we can consciously draw down and fix more and more of the universal
energy, not only does it nourish our body but seemingly also encourages
soul growth. We do it on a practical level when we put material
outdoors, in circulations etc.

I trust this gives you yet another aspect to consider before making your
own decision, as ultimately you must do, on what significance the phrase
has for you personally.

Yours sincerely

Colleen Larsen

Subject: INNER - Ouroboros
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 21:29:40 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

This is perhaps the most profound symbol because it represents very many
associated symbols and concepts, but I have never heard it associated with
"throwing up." Vastly simplfied this serpent embodies regeneration because
the serpent sloughs its skin; hence it calls to mind the Moon, the Great
Mother as the embodiment of Nature, and by swallowing itself involution and
evolution, particularly of the year's natural cycle. I could write a book
here, but the ouroboros is but a day away from having devoured all of
itself. The year's cycle is about to regenerate at the Vernal Equinox with 1
degree Aries. Fortunately i am born at 30 degrees Pisces where the zodiac
ends(360 degrees). Hopefully I will not have to incarnate again.

Blessing to all,

Richard Roberts

Subject: INNER - Kekule and the Ourobouros
From: Lerual
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 01:38:51 -0300

>AMBIX has the following references to Kekule....

I appreciate it. Thanks. But I don't know who/what AMBIX is.


Ambix is an academic journal on alchemy published for over 50 years. You can see details of its contents on the alchemy web site. -- Adam McLean.

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
From: Lerual
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 01:36:19 -0300

From: Mike Dickman
>By the way - is Ourobouros holding its tail in its mouth, biting it, or eating
>it? And has anyone else ever hit on the idea of its actually vomiting it, in
>much the same way as (I believe) the Green Lion image may also be read?

I liked very much the idea of the Ourobouros vomiting its tail. Maybe we must consider the possibility of vomiting the time at the same time that biting it...
Some reflection must be made.


Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 14:40:57 -0800
From: Scott Lawrence Whitman

Regarding Ourobouros:

Refer to the Tarot card "Temperance" (Art). Perhaps best illustrated in the
Thoth Deck. Note the inscription: "Visita interiora terrae rectificando
invenies occultem lapidem". "Throwing-up" would defeat the purpose. Is he
not eating his tail?

Scott L. Whitman

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros vomiting
From: "Mats Winther"
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 23:52:27 +0100

The "vomiting Ourobouros" could be very significant. It may be analogous to
"Mercurius escaping from the vessel". Here are my speculations: When the
Snake bites the Tail, (Lion devours King, Sol marriages Luna...) this means
a conjunction of spirit and matter, conscious and unconscious. A wholeness
is achieved, however this wholeness has qualities of death. The Nigredo
ensues. When the wingless dragon devours the winged dragon the spirit is
cooked in the stomach of the black dragon (which is the alchemical vessel).
But the Spirit Mercurius has a tendency to evaporate if the vessel is not
hermetically sealed. This is what happens to me all the time. I dream like
this: "Two red/blue fishes (Mercurius Duplex) in my aquarium always jump
out. I have to pick them up from the floor. I have to put them back and
seal the aquarium". The spirit leaving the vessel is analogous to "Raven
vomiting Blue Bird" or "Ourobouros vomiting tail". However, the difference
may be that this is in a later stage. When the vessel is not sealed the
Ourobouros has (probably) not yet bitten his tail. Itīs close to, but the
wholeness has not yet been achieved. Itīs not uncommon that Mercurius
dissapears in this case. The vomiting Ourobouros would be when Mercurius
bursts out from the sealed vessel, after the circle has been closed. The
process is reversed. Why would this happen? In the other case (my case and
perhaps the more usual) the spirit canīt be confined because it is so
volatile, actually it is so spiritual. Itīs a fully developed tertiary
spirit who wants to ride the wind and doesnīt understand the concept of the
little world. But the "Vomiting Ourobouros" case may appear when a person
understands the little world (quarternary) concept but suffers from an
undifferentiated tertiary spirit. The snake vomits because the food is not
ripe. This was seldom the case during the middle ages since they had such
strong belief. Today we instead have the ability to develop a strong
consciousness. To strenghten the consciousness would be the remedy then.
When the heavenly bird rides the wind high up in the atmosphere he will see
and understand a lot. The downward face of the wings will turn heavenly

The remedy for the other case would be to weaken the conscious spirit by
contracting the libido so that it fits into the little world of the vessel.
I think that the vomiting Ourobouros is a sign of great danger, the other
is only a sign of great sorrow.

Mats Winther

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab processes
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 05:45:24 -0400
From: Dr. Deanna Herrera

Dearest Mats:
I very very much appreciate your follow up Mats. I am printing it out and
will read it over again to digest (I won't throw it up) what you had
written. I go by the academic calendar and get spring holiday off so I
will have time to give it some thought. Please wait for my reply to come
in April. Do you think that the life of a true alchemist is more
difficult than the life of a true anyone? I think anyone living
authenticaly is up for persecution. For instance, I ran into some men in
mexico df. who sewed their eyes shut and starved themselves because they
had witnessed their children and wives being murdered for not paying
bribes. I later read that they died. Life for them was very hard. Life
is hard for everyone and I don't think that any one faith or philosophy or
religion has cornered that market. It is a matter of deciding to live out
one's own beliefs and then one has the honor of living the hardest of
lives. I would very much like to hear why you think the life of a true
alchemist is the hardest? I could be swayed.

Dear, Mike: I am doing well with the snake thing. Thanks for asking. I
am heading back to Chiapas soon and I will be doing some work to follow up
on some investigation I did this last summer on snakes and rain in
reference to weaving and some indigenous groups. During my vacation I will
check out those readings you noted again for further insights. There is an
excellent library in Oaxaca that carries Rosicrusion texts, oddly enough.
I have a lot of re- reading ahead of me.

Well, I did not mean to say that alchemy is "confining" so much as I have
stepped off of the discussing alchemy track and have wandered into other
philosophies, myths and metaphors and then was redirected to discuss
alchemy as it relates to inner process. I simply meant that it is difficult
for me to stick to one metaphor. Sometimes I would like to reflect on
other analogues of inner work in the forms of Asiatic and Greek myths,
Native American stories and mezoamerican traditions as other "maps". I
think Adam mentioned to me via mail that those topics are not addressed in
this discussion group. That we should keep the topic specific to alchemy.
I am working to do just that. Even so, like most of us I have studied so
much interesting material not related directly to alchemy that seems
related to our discussions. I could somehow find the thread to weave
metaphors like these into the fabric of alchemical processes, but I do not
have the specific language of alchemy nailed down well enough to do so. I
am sure I could relate all of human experience to some alchemical metaphor
if I was an adept, which clearly I am not. So I grapple a bit with
remaining within the "confines" of my own limited neural lingua franca
in regards to the alchemy metaphor of inner work. Not
that I think that alchemy is a confining metaphor in itself. Only my
knowledge of it is. So being, my impulse is to jump into a bunch of other
metaphors to describe ideas related to topics addressed. But I don't
because I am working to stick to the goal of discussing alchemy as it
relates to inner work. Even though I have read and read and read so much
material about alchemy I feel more comfortable discussing say greek myths
or hopi creation stories. I have a fairly concrete mind which does nothing
to keep me grounded to simple ideas. It just limits my discourse.
I appreciate it a great deal when links are made between alchemical
processes and other metaphors that look toward addressing or describing the
same inner work.Offering a context for which to incorporate alchemy into
my own "cognitive/intuitive map"deepens my understanding of alchemy. It is
only one seed in a pile of languages to describe what can not be described,
the infinite. I just need the cross references.
Apologies for wordiness. I just wanted to be crystal clear.



Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
From: Noel Kettering
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 07:59:30 -0500

Does anyone know the derivation of the word 'ourobouros' ?

What language ?

Noel Kettering

Subject: INNER - Ouroboros and vomiting
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 14:39:10 +0100
From: Michal Pober

I feel diffident about making this post.
By synchronicity, at this time when the ouroboros discussion has been so
compelling, a paper was placed in my hand by someone I had never met
before, and who was about to depart, which may or may not have anything to
do with the topic, or may be another strange metaphor of lesser or greater
relevance to our group..
Again, the source is obscure.. I was told it came from Rumi, who I know only
as a poet, and mystic.
The document is entitled : THE PROCESS. at the bottom it is identified with
these figures (2-1878-1923)

I'm reproducing the text in full, though I felt tempted to edit/shorten,
but feel nervous of obliterating some clue of which I am not cogniscent.
A wise king was riding along, at the moment when a snake was going into the
mouth of a man asleep, The rider saw and was hurrying to scare away the
snake, but he arrived too late. The snake had been swallowed.

Since the king had an abundant supply of intelligence, he struck the
sleeper several powerful blows with a mace. The strokes of the hard mace
drove the sleeper, in flight from the rider, to beneath a tree.

There many rotten apples had dropped and the King said : "Eat of these, oh
you in the grip of pain!" He gave the man so many apples to eat that they
were falling out of his mouth. The man was crying : "Oh King, pray, why
have you set on me? What have I done to you? If you had from the beginning
a quarrel with my soul, stike me with your sword and shed my blood at once.
Ill-omened was the hour I came into your sight. Happiness to him who never
saw your face! Without guilt, without sin, without having done anything
great or small, heretics would not allow such oppression! Blood gushes from
my mouth together with my words. Oh God, I beseech thee, give him

Every instant he was uttering a new curse, while the king kept beating him
and saying ; "Run in this plain." Blows of the mace fell on the man, and
the King followed as swiftly as the wind. He He went on running, again and
again falling on his face. He was full-fed, sleepy and fatigued; his feet
and face became covered with a hundred thousand wounds. Till nightfall the
rider drove him to and fro, until vomiting overtook him.

All the things he had eaten, bad or good, came up from him; the snake shot
forth from him along with what he had eaten. When he saw the snake outside
of him, he fell on his knees before that benificent king. As soon as he saw
the horror of that black, ugly, big snake, grief departed from him.

"Truly," said he, "you are the Gabriel of mercy, or you are God. Oh blest
the hour you saw me. I was dead. You have given me new life. Oh you, whom
the pure spirit would have praised, how many foolish and idle words have I
spoken to you!nIf I had known a little of this matter, how could I have
spoken foolish words? I should have spoken praise, if you had given me a
single hint as to the case, but you, keeping silent, showed persistence and
continued to beat me on the head. My head became dizzy, the wits flew out
of my head, especially as this head has little brains."

The king answered : "If I had uttered a hint of it, your gall would have
instantly turned to water. Had I told you the qualities of the snake,
terror would have fetched up the breath from your soul. You would have
become good for nothing, as a mouse before a cat, you would have been as
distraught as a lamb before a wolf. No power to plan or move would have
remained in you. Therefore I tended to you without speaking. I was mute, I
handled the iron. If I had told you about the snake you would not have been
able to eat, nor would you have been capable of vomiting or cared to do so.
I heard your abuse and went on with my work. I kept repeating under my
breath : 'Lord, make it easy.' I had not permission to speak of the cause
and I had not the power to abandon you."

"If I should tell aright the description of the enemy which is in your
souls, the gall-bladders even of courageous men would burst, such a one
would neither go his way, nor care for any work. Neither would there remain
to his heart endurance in meditation, nor to his body strength for fasting
and prayer. So that by my hand, the seemingly impossible is actualised, and
wings are restored to the bird whose plumes were torn away."

Subject: INNER - Ouroboros and kundalini
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 14:39:13 +0100
From: Michal Pober

I have recently been reading Marion Woodman's most recent book, 'Dancing in
the Flames', written with Elinor Dickson, pub. Shambhala, 1996. ISBN
1-57062-199-3. One chapter contains an excellent synthesis of western
(primarily Jungian) and eastern energetic concepts connecting the chakras
and kundalini energy.

I have culled the following two quotes, as being relevant to the ouroboros

p. 71 :
Kundalini power, the symbol of raising the energy coiled at the base of the
spine upward through the chakras, is called by Sri Chinmoy "the power of
the Supreme Goddess." Repressed or coiled in a circle, she can be poisonous
to both the body and the psyche, but once risen and standing upright, she
is beneficent. The power of the serpent, rightly understood, is one of the
ways the Goddess overcomes duality.

p. 73 (a quotation from Tsultrim Allione, "Women of Wisdom" (London:
Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984, p.29):
Where, then, does the snake-wave appear within the human being? It dwells,
first and foremost, within our very center, the spine, which viewed from
the side, looks like a snake, and moves like a snake. Further, it presides
over the entire underworld of the body, governing many of our involuntary
movements; the swallowing of food, the pulsating flow of blood, the
peristaltic movement of the intestines, the pulsating rhythm of orgasm, and
the tiny undulations that ripple through muscle tissue. The snake
symbolizes everything within our bodies and minds that moves under the
surface, hidden from the light of consciousness.

I hope that this information will be of interest.

Michal Pober

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab processes
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 10:11:31 -0600 (CST)
From: Mackie Blanton

Deanna, you have noted to us that there are times in your posts
to this group when you would like to weave in discussions of other
analogues and traditions, but that you sense that they might not be "related
directly to alchemy [and] the fabric of alchemical processes." I suggest
you follow your impulse. All you need to see is that all sacred isms and
traditions, and what you call analogues are foundationally *alchemical*,
just because they are already always a conflation of internal perceptions
of external realities that will induce both inside and outside transformations
--as long as the inducer does not look away.

Here's an analogy: it does not matter which of the various 600
psychotherapies a psychotherapist practices, because psychotherapies are a
gestalt. Hence, every psychotherapy is Gestalt Psychotherapy. All of your
traditions, analogues, and isms, therefore, are Alchemy.

So if I were you, I wouldn't "jump in"; there's no need to: just be
there, on the ground, and make connections without the freneticism. That is
one ism that is not alchemical, until it seduces.

Mackie Blanton

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 13:23:25 +0000
From: Hil Cato

Hey, I like this tangential idea of the ourobouros vomiting itself up:
nausea often refers to self-conflict/questioning one's place in the
universe. So the snake vomits up all that is self, to encircle the
world, to define the world as that-which-is-not-self,
that-which-exceeds-individual experience...

Subject: INNER - Meditation on lab processes
From: Donald Minson

Greg said:

> . I need to know more about the anima/amimus idea
> though, especially were the coniunctio is concerned, because my
> personal focus is in this area and I (and others)have found that
> results here are producing very interesting effects which are as
> yet a little beyond my present understanding.

check out Jung's essay: "The Psychology of the Transference"
from Volume XVI of his "Collected Works" entitled "The Practice of

It is wonderful, I just finished it recently and it is presented
in an Alchemical format.....It changed the Journey for me and my


Donald Minson

Subject: INNER - Poem from 'Tales for Jung folk'
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 00:08:26 -0400
From: Deanna Herrera

Richard Roberts requested that I send this poem to the inner alchemy group
because he is having a difficult time typing (and I have two of his books).
I do not have time to type in his interperetation of the poem. So expect
that additional paragraph within the next two days.

I had thought that something rocky
Would stand against the sea
But wave on wave brought the land down,
Cliff and dune tumbled in,
Sand and rubble showered me,
Surely all would fall to sea.

I had thought the scene empty,
Yet something glinted in the sun
The fragile nets of five fishermen.
Casting when waters outrun,
Letting surf swirl nets in,
They catch a rhythm of life and men.

Today I stand in the throat of the sea,
Watching waves work for them,
But what when man is alone,
And sea strives but drag him in?
"Are you here always?" I call to them.
"Always,always," say the men.

Direct any questions or comments to Richard Roberts.

Dr. Deanna Herrera

Subject: INNER - Confinement to alchemical tradition
From: Mats Winther
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 10:37:18 +0100

I have forgotten to present my self to the group. Iīm swedish with a degree
in physics and Iīm working with computer software. Iīm not very cunning in
scholarly alchemy, but on the other hand I have personal experiences of
this god Mercurius who have appeared many times to me in dreams. And he
presents symbols just like them appearing in the alchemical works.

here are my comments.

> ...I would very much like to hear why you think the life of a true
> alchemist is the hardest? I could be swayed.

I meant that it is the hardest of the "paths". I donīt consider "sewing
your eyes shut and starving yourself to death" as being a path. Why is it
the hardest of the paths? (Remember that the following is my very personal
Because itīs not a religion (compared to christianity and gnosticism). In
the paradise of the number four you are alone. You will inevitably succumb
to the strong gravity field of the unconscious. This is the Nigredo where
all your beliefs are shattered. There is no vicarious suffering. There is
no deputy to do it for you, like Jesus. You will have to carry your own
cross, suffer death and arise from death. And after this you will have no
freedom anymore. You must follow your destiny or become seriously ill. And
for every advancement you make, the gain will be stolen from you by the
power who drives you. And by this the power will be even stronger. What is
there for you? Only Meaning. Wonderful meaning, Ambra or honey-dew. This is
the gift from Mercurius to mankind. But there is nothing here for the ego.

I misunderstood you the previous time. You seem to worry about that you
sometimes leave the alchemical track partaking in this forum. I donīt think
itīs wrong to use unusual symbols taken from everywhere, why not your own
dreams. There are very cunning persons in this forum and also not so
cunning but instead provocative thinkers like me, for instance. We tend to
complement each other. And remember that Mercurius is a descendant
from greek mythology where his name was Hermes.

But how do we use the symbols? For instance, Christ appears in both gnostic,
christian and alchemical thinking. But to the gnostics he never really
touched the ground when he walked the earth. Most
christians and alchemists would not agree on this. But personally, I am not
afraid of being wrong. I make faulty statements all the time. If we all had
exactly the same view there would be no discussion and no increased

In my view, if your interest is not only academical you sooner or later
have to choose paradigm. Will it be paradise 1,2,3 or 4? Of course, there
is nothing wrong studying the Rosicrucians, but I have to remind you that
they are dualists (number 2-paradise). In fact, it could be a way to a
better understanding of alchemy. By studying the opposite one can learn
what alchemy is not. Look at the medieval alchemist. They are confused.
They have a hard time confining themself to alchemical tradition. For
instance they have a problem with the number four and revert to the number
three. Citrinitas is forgotten and the four stages becomes three:

I hope Iīve enlightened you on the problem of confinement to the alchemical
tradition. Itīs probably a hopeless task.

Mats Winther

Subject: INNER - Ouroboros
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 06:19:34 -0500
From: Beat Krummenacher

There is a further interesting connection between the benzene ring and
alchemy. The most alchemical sulphurs contain aromatic compounds, i.e.
chemical compounds with benzene rings. The most interesting ones show
anellated benzene rings, therefore several directly interrelated aromatic
pi systems. Such systems absorb visible light of different wavelength
according to the number of the electrons standing in resonance. Thus
aromatic compounds often are colored.

Many sulphurs in the vegetable, animal and mineral kingdom have a more or
less red color, which often can be led back to aromatic compounds. The
benzene ring as chemical skeleton, the Ouroboros and the practical
preparation of alchemical sulphurs own therefore an interesting inner

Best wishes

Subject: INNER - Inner alchemy
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 09:15:44 -0800
From: George Matchette

Thank you for welcoming to this group.

My particular interest in alchemy is primarily metaphorical as a way of
understanding the process of psychological change from
psychological/spiritual point-of-view. I am also a "salek" on the path of
sufism, which frequently uses alchemical metaphors to describe the process
of spiritual purification and ascension (for example, the removal or rust
from iron). I am particularly interested in what researchers and seekers
have come across in understanding their own process of change/growth from
an alchemical perspective.

Again, thank you for welcoming me.

George Matchette, MFCC

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 21:57:43 +0200
From: Dimitris

>From: Noel Kettering
>Does anyone know the derivation of the word 'ourobouros' ?
>What language ?

The work is Greek: ouro >(oura=tail) + boros >( bora=food, boros=the one who



Subject: INNER - Ouroboros and kundalini
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 22:07:03 +0200
From: Dimitris

>From: Michal Pober
>I have recently been reading Marion Woodman's most recent book, 'Dancing in
>the Flames', written with Elinor Dickson, pub. Shambhala, 1996. ISBN
>1-57062-199-3. One chapter contains an excellent synthesis of western
>(primarily Jungian) and eastern energetic concepts connecting the chakras
>and kundalini energy.
>I have culled the following two quotes, as being relevant to the ouroboros
>The snake symbolizes everything within our bodies and minds that moves
>under the surface, hidden from the light of consciousness.

In Astrology, the snake and kundalini are related to Pluto and Scorpio. It's
interesting to notice that the symbol of Scorpio is threefold (according to
some): the snake, the scorpio and the eagle. Three symbols related to
transformation (the eagle being the final phase of transformation= spiritual
freedom.) An issue with very much depth, indeed.



Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 23:57:19 -0600 (CST)
From: Mackie Blanton

Rather than see that the ourobouros's vomiting up self
signifies the world as that-which-is-not-self, I prefer to see this
as meaning that one must die to self, thereby undergoing an internal
conflation of self and the other as the only supreme individual experience.

Mackie Blanton

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros "vomiting"
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 97 18:02:58 UT
From: Mike Dickman

George's queasy stomach aside, this has brought up (if you will excuse the
expression) some amazing results, so I'd just like to add one or two things
here myself, and to clarify some of the original ideas and terms.

We need several models here, the first of which could be the following:
Take your ourobouros (of which a possible derivation might be from the Greek
words meaning 'heaven toucher' and 'plunger') down to the absolutely
microscopic - the state of being just before the mathematical point arises -
and then... very slowly allow that point to arise... At this point, what do
you have?... Either an embryonic ourobouros in much the same sense as a
microscopic seed that is going to somehow expand and then - for some strange
reason - stick its tail in its mouth... and my question here is: does this
tail grow out of the head or do they expand together, and is there any way in
which the head is somehow a fixed point and the tail a sweeping encompassing,
or is the whole thing cycling and moving? Also: what on earth (or out of it)
could be the reason for its sticking its tail in its mouth in the first

Or a full-fledged but minuscule ourobouros, tail already in mouth, the growth
of which as it expands to encompass the universe must necessarily - unless the
whole thing is in stasis relative to itself, which same is hardly serpentine,
would you not agree? - entail some movement of the tail 'out' of the mouth,
which is to say, generally in an anti-clockwise direction...

An associated point here is the following, drawn from Buddhist 'pramana' or
Any point-instant, no matter how minuscule, as long as its is susceptible to
time-space, that is to say, to having other point-instants 'surround' it
either temporally or physically, will always be further divisible into three -
a 'left', 'right' and 'centre', or 'beginning', 'middle' and 'end', so to
speak - ad infinitum, so that, like Achilles' tortoise, its initial roots
always and ever evade detection.

It is also equally demonstrable that something can never arise from nothing,
and yet that whatever it is that does arise can never be demonstrated to have
any essence at all except that of beginningless and endless unrootableness,
called in Sanskrit Buddhist jargon 'shunyata', a word which has often,
unfortunately, been translated as 'void' although its real sense is something
far more akin to 'infinite openness'.

(Interesting textbooks on these matters, by the way, and infinitely accessible
to the occidental reader, are Tarthang Tulku's amazing 'Time, Space and
Knowledge' series published by Dharma Publications, Berkeley, CA. (There is
also an enthusiastic if somewhat gauche and erratic web-site at Both are well worth looking into.)
Model No. 2 is this: If, for example, the head of the ourobouros is a fixed
point, or, at any rate, fixed with regard to the rest of it which may then be
visualised as growing, sweeping magestically down and round, and finally up
and back and coming to rest in, or penetrating, its source, what is it
actually doing? If it is penetrating, does it continue to grow within? If it
is coming to rest, why does it come to rest - what is there is this universe
that has ever come to rest? - What is there outside this universe that has
ever come to rest?

I don't know that I so much meant 'throwing up' its tail (which would imply
its trying to get rid of it which is not at all the point!) as generating it
from its mouth...

But, enough!... Let's see how much further we can keep our old hoop snake

Respectfully (if somewhat playfully!)

Subject: INNER - Jalal Ud din and the confines of alchemy
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 97 22:15:45 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Michal and Deanna

First off, to Michal, for the Rumi story a million thanks! For me it really
quintessentialises the whole thing... Thank you for overcoming your
diffidence, and to our unknown benefactor, thank you, too... This among all
things, I would go so far as to say, is what I wanted to hear...

To Deanna I would like to say that I really agree with Mackie and the others.
Please don't hesitate to share your insight with us - Nothing is outside the
alchemical paradigm, nor could be, or as a system it would not be worth a
second thought...
Anything you - or anyone - can bring to it... can share... is of unfathomable
worth and can only help us all grow in love and understanding? Surely this is
the part of the goal most difficult to realise? The dissolving of both flask
and contained into the realisation of a goal beyond what any one of us alone
could even begin to conceive...


Subject: INNER - Lab processes, serpent energies, etc
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 97 22:12:25 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Dear Mats,

I am a little shocked to hear you say that sewing one's eyes shut and starving
oneself to death in protest of the murder of one's wife and children because
one would not accept bribes is not a "path"... Surely ANY act that protests
evil, no matter how painful to the 'self' this may be, and no matter either
the view of 'the self' that prompts it, is 'path'... 'Path', as I understand
it, anyway, is any prompting that tends to the realisation that things -
spiritual, political, or material - and 'things' in the ancient Norse sense, I
don't know if this has persisted into modern Nordic tongues? - could be/should
be 'better'... Sometimes, to begin a movement, one has to start at a very
lowly point, but to begin anywhere but where one is, is certainly not of much
value inasmuch as it is sure to lack 'ground' on which to base itself.
Two tales here:

A Zen master was once asked where the path began. He drew a circle in the air.
"Step through that," he said.

The other is some advice given me in the street in passing, one morning some
thirty years back by a fellow who, up till that instant, I had thought was a
bit of a staid and pretentious 'yoga teacher' to the rich and leisured...

"You will never plant the tree unless you find your muladhara cakra," he said.
"Trees don't plant in mid-air."

In Sanskrit, for those of you who've never had the pleasure, muladhara, from
the roots 'mula' and 'dhr', means 'root-holder', and is figured at the base of
the kundalini 'tree', visualised as being in the pireneum, but - of course -
any and everywhere that is base and something to stand on - as a four-petalled
(or, if you prefer, four-directioned) lotus of a warm red colour, its
directionality emphasised by four outward pointing golden spears, and its
weightiness and centrality by a six-tusked giant bull-elephant. Into this the
two 'side' channels of 'ida' and 'pingala' (carriers of the 'sun' and 'moon'
energies) sweep down to blend their fires upon the coiled and sleeping
many-headed serpent of kundalini, or candala ('the outcaste woman'), who
herself then rises as a fiery uncoiling of energy up the 'central channel' of
sushumna, passing through, and awakening in turn, the various other levels on
the way to the perfect efflorescence of the crown cakra ('wheel', 'circle',
'mandala', and pronounced 'chakra').
This, at least, is how it works in the Hindu tantric system.

All path is hard.
That's the whole point.
It's supposed to smash one's smug attachment to one's own particular little

I was also a little surprised that you should find the outward expansion of
the ourobouros tail 'evil'... In my book, 'evil' is only what tends to the
harming and or undervaluing of 'the other', be this people or things...

With all due respect,

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 97 22:49:34 UT
From: Mike Dickman


Thank you for the correct interpretation of the word... I was basing mine on
the Greek 'ourano(meches)' and 'bouto', which is the kind of thing one *might*
be able to do were one's Greek better, but is doubtless misplaced in my case
(whose Greek would make Shakespeare's look like total fluency!)
Thank you for bringing my old 'ophis' out an eagle in the end, too... A dark
and difficult path... but culminating, in the end, and thank the gods that be,
in majesty and light.


Subject: INNER - Ourobouros and vomiting
From: Mats Winther
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 09:13:07 +0100

> From: Michal Pober
> I feel diffident about making this post.
> By synchronicity, ....

Thank you, for this alchemical masterpiece. I think it to some extent
confirms my analysis. It points at the extreme danger, also it speaks of
the need for strenghtening the adepts consciousness (" this head has
little brains"). He is not even conscious of having a snake in his belly.
Then the bird is restored after throwing up (".. wings are restored to the
bird whose plumes were torn away"). When the bird flies again the conscious
spirit is being strenghtened.

Mats Winther

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros and kundalini
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 97 08:22 PST
From: Diane Munoz

According to my training, the Ouroboros represents the recycled
ignorance of social consciousness, feeding off of itself. The snake, which
represents the kundalini, sits at the base of the spine and is activated
according to the use of conscious mind and what frequency that mind is
using, which denotes the level of consciousness which has been accessed.
Since the energy of the kundalini has heretofore been used only for funding
survival, procreation and power, it is represented by a snake eating its
own tail. When it begins to awaken is when the entity begins to access
consciousness that is at a higher frequency level. When this is a
consistent experience, the kundalini begins to move up the spine, past the
first three levels of consciousness, into the head and it transforms the
body (the symbol for that is a dragon) and enlightenment has begun.

Diane Munoz

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 12:52:10 +0000
From: Hil Cato

Self and other are of the same stuff, but distinct. Perhaps the image
of vomiting leads back to digestion; once one has digested spirit and
the intangible threads of logic which keep spirit moving through us
creatures who live and die, then one can regurgitate onself, create new
form out of the digesting material...

Last night I stared at the very-almost-full moon, watched it split so
each eye carried a moon, set them spinning, pushed them together again,
saw a cone of light extend itself from around the moon, as if a tunnel
of light was being extended... the light spun white and blue and yellow
around the moon - as it extended, it became more and more yellow.

Subject: INNER - Confinement to alchemical tradition
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 13:02:39 +0000
From: Hil Cato

>>I hope Iīve enlightened you on the problem of confinement to the alchemical
tradition. Itīs probably a hopeless task.

Mats Winther

Hey, I think all symbols are fitting, and I do believe any moment or act
or thought or picture or fragment, I do believe that they are as
symbolically valid as we care to believe they are. I guess I would say
that all thought is valid, and a student will learn from any
lesson/however, some study of thought will help us build stronger trees
or more luminous clouds..

Subject: INNER - Inner Interpretation
From: Steve Kalec
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 19:34:33 -0500

A few years ago I was blessed by the bestowal upon me
of a very mystical and profound inner initiation. The experience has
been a seriously transforming one and since then I have been truly
wanting to make sure that I am fully understanding in its full depth
the true meanings of what has been revealed to me. I am still in
need of some answers and some confirmations that I am searching
for . I also know of the difficulty in sharing of interpretations of inner
experiences since they all reflect a personal note, but in the same
manner there is a universality to the symbols and the language of the
unconscious. We have here on our E-mail forum many serious , very
insightful and knowledgeable alchemists. I have no better place to turn
and go to for the help that I seek. So I am here in most humbleness
relating to you my experience. I am promising you that I am not
adding to or removing from anything that has transpired that night.
Please forgive me if this might come out a little lengthy .

I was suddenly and instantaneously awoken at around two
o'clock after midnight.The atmosphere at first was very eery and a
kind of terror was upon me as I became aware of a presence around
me in my room. A peaceful assurance soon came over me as I was
gently touched at the ankle area as though to indicate that no harm
is intended. By now I realized that something was about to transpire
and that it was happening for me.

I took a deep breath, held it and slowly released it.I concentrated
my consciousness into the area at the center of my head. I started to
feel a lightness of being and felt my consciousness rapidly expanding
and rising. Heinous and monstrous faces appeared in front of me as I
soared through them.Speed was increasing and the passage was very
turbulent until the faces were left well behind.Suddenly there was a stop
and I was engulfed by an immense silence and peace.

I found myself standing inside a temple with a very high ceiling
and distant walls. In front of me were three being wearing white robes
advancing towards me. The one in the center was holding a golden
crown and came up to me. He held the crown about eight inches above
my head as he said " This is to symbolize that you have entered into
the Kingdom ". As he stepped back giving way, the one on the right
held up a most beautiful sword blade up. Ingraved in it at the root of
the blade just above the hilt was the symbol of an eye within a triangle.
The voice of the one in the center asked me , " do you know the
meaning of this symbol ? " I replied that it was the all seeing eye.
The voice asked, " what else does it mean ? ". I replied that it was my
conscience. The voice again asked " but what else does it mean ? ".
For some reason, I understood and I answered that it symbolized the
consciousness of God within me. The voice of the initiator was at this
point satisfied. Then with authority he asked me to look at the other
symbol in its handle and if I knew its meaning. I looked and saw a black
serpent entwined around its golden handle with its head upwards
towards the blade. I was perplexed and in the experience I didn't know
what this symbol was all about. To myself I whispered " why serpent " ?
The being to the left quickly stepped around and behind me and
whispered into my ear " it is the bottom of the pit ". Still being
perplexed I heard the voice of the initiator saying, " yes, it symbolizes
the bottom of the pit, and remember always that it was the consciousness
of God within you that has raised you out of the pit ". He continued as
he said , " This is your sword, in it is your key and your power ". In a
commanding voice he said " USE IT , and now take the Kingdom down
to earth " . Very high vibrations quickly descended in frequency and I
found myself again in my bed fully conscious of all that has happened.

Prior to this experience I was always dreadfully afraid of knives
and sharp things. I could not stand knives on the kitchen counter, I would
always make sure they were put away. Now I am fascinated by swords,
I could stare at them, study their beauty and am no longer afraid of sharp
things. One day I hope to reproduce the sword I saw with its symbols and
it's winged shaped hilt.

Things that I think I understand : The Crown represents spiritual
achievement. The fact that It was not placed on my head and only held
over my head represents that my ego did not identify with the experience
and that it was not an inflationary experience. Also that the Crown is
always above us forever to be achieved and that our unfolding in
spirituality is infinite. The serpent is the unconscious contents below the
surface of consciousness also it represents raw psychic energy, vital
mercurial forces emerging. I believe that the key and the power in the
sword is the upward and downward way, rising to the above and returning
to the below. To solve and coagulate. Solve , having consciousness raised
out of the pit and coagulate, taking consciousness back down to earth.

Things I don't think I understand : Is the consciousness of God
within me that is referred to by the voice, the conscious workings of the
divine energies within me or is it my consciousness of the divine within
me that has raised me out of the pit ? What is the pit ? Is it the depth of
the unconscious ? To be raised out of the pit , is this the end of
involution and the beginning of evolution or spiritualization ? Why did I
enter into the kingdom ? Kether symbolizes the Crown. Is the kingdom
representing the whole world where Kether is drawn out of it ?

I would greatly appreciate insight and help in these questions. I
would also appreciate comments and opinions as to similar experiences.
Please above all show me if you can see what I am not seeing.
For anyone who wishes to contact me privately my e-mail address is . Thank you all for lending me your ears.

Best regards to all,

Steve Kalec

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 20:40:57 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

>>Does anyone know the derivation of the word 'ourobouros' ?

>The work is Greek:
> ouro >(oura=tail) + boros >( bora=food, boros=the one who eats).

Perhaps now we can dispense with discussions of the ourovomitus.

Richard Roberts

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
From: Noel Kettering
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 03:18:30 -0500

The subject of the Ourobouros has been on my mind a lot lately. I was
able to see a possible interpretation as soon as I started to meditate
on it, but I've been having a difficult time trying to put that
interpretation into words.

First, the interpretations that I found in various references were:
Eternity; Time and continuity of life; Self-fecundation; Unity of all
things, which never disappear, but perpetually change form in an
eternal cycle of destruction and re-creation; and Cosmic Unity.

I wasn't able to find a Greek version of the word, but was able (thanks
to Dimitris) to find the roots of the word which are "ouro" which means
tail, and "boros" which can mean devouring - as in, a savage animal
devouring the flesh of its victim.

The Book of Lambspring - figure VI - shows a beautiful engraving of
a winged serpent devouring its own tail, and accompanying the engraving
is a verse (which starts - A savage Dragon lives in the forest,). Below
the engraving is a caption which reads: "The Mercury is precipitated or
sublimed, dissolved in its own proper water, and then once more

I wasn't able to work out the gematria of the Greek word, but by Latin
gematria the word "Ourobouros" has a number of 141 which is the same
number as "Solve Et Coagula" (dissolve and coagulate), a summary of the
entire alchemical process. Perhaps the Latinized version of the word is
spelled this way intentionally, to draw our attention to "Solve Et

If the serpent represents DESIRE, then the symbol might represent
desire devouring desire - an Alchemical puzzle.

For some time I have been thinking that, contrary to the appearance of
separation, there is only ONE Desire - the desire for Unity. This
desire is - the Will of God (Latin NUTUS) the force we call gravitation
- the universal desire to be united, the force that holds the universe

This desire takes many forms as every creature attempts to express that
One Will - or rather - as the ONE THING (God) expresses his Will
through every creature.

Every action of every life is an expression of that desire to be
united, every choice that we make is colored by our conscious or (more
likely) subconscious desire to be part of some group, or be liked by
some person, to be linked to - united with - that person or group.

The clothing that we wear and the way we decorate our bodies, the
things we read, the colors that we prefer, our vocations, our hobbies,
our preferred mode of travel, our favorite places, the foods and drinks
we consume, everything in our lives - every decision that we make, or
have ever made - is based on DESIRE.

We might extrapolate that the same might be true in the animal kingdom,
and even the plant kingdom, and in some way that same desire might be
expressed in the mineral kingdom - though in all these worlds the
desire is expressed subconsciously. In the human kingdom we reach a
stage where we can be aware (to some extent) of the desire and
consciously express it.

As we evolve towards the fifth kingdom we become evermore aware of the
true meaning and power of this "Savage Dragon", the Alchemical COPPER,
as the Book of Lambspring states - "His venom becomes the great
Medicine." When the desire for 'Unity With God' consumes all the
'other' lesser desires, we have reached a point where our expression of
desire is always beneficial to the world. Our desire is always to unite
and make whole. Our desire is always to allow God to express through
our every action and thought.

The basis of desire is "What do I want ?" And, of course, that implies
"Who am I ?" It is always God - the ONE THING - that acts through these
separate personalities, that expresses through every separate thing in
the universe.

It is the GRACE OF GOD that consumes the lesser expressions of desire
until only GOLD and the purest SILVER remain. The serpent has always
been the ONE THING refining its vehicles, tempering the expressions of
those vehicles. God is an "all-consuming FIRE that feeds upon itself".

In the words of Hermes, "You will separate the Earth from the Fire, the
subtle from the dense, suavely, with great skill" - because it will be
(as it always has been) God that is performing the GREAT WORK.

Hear, O Israel,
Jehovah thy God, that which was, is, and ever shall be,


Subject: INNER - Ourobouros, encircling
From: Mats Winther
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 09:08:20 +0100

> From: Hil Cato
> Hey, I like this tangential idea of the ourobouros vomiting itself up:
> nausea often refers to self-conflict/questioning one's place in the
> universe. So the snake vomits up all that is self, to encircle the
> world, to define the world as that-which-is-not-self,
> that-which-exceeds-individual experience...

Maybe one could go even further: when the godhead rested in Nigredo, in his
own belly before the creation, the conscious spirit was not mature since
there existed no prior time where consciousness could have developed. So the
alchemical process reversed and the godhead vomited his tail which meant
that the universe was created and spirit departed from matter. The tail
became the golden bird who departed from Chaos and since then this bird has
encircled the universe with his all-seeing eye. So the "kalpa" in which we
live could mean the expansion of the godhead's consciousness so that there
will be a fully developed winged dragon at the time when the godhead
swallows himself again. But this time there will be no reversal but the
process will continue through Rubedo, Citrinitas and Albedo. So maybe Mike
Dickman's dream shouldn't be interpreted on the personal level. Maybe it
pictured the state of the godhead at the dawn of existence.
An alchemical creation myth and divine drama!

Mats Winther

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 03:55:06 +0200
From: Dimitris

>From: Mike Dickman
>Thank you for the correct interpretation of the word... I was basing mine on
>the Greek 'ourano(meches)' and 'bouto', which is the kind of thing one *might*
>be able to do were one's Greek better, but is doubtless misplaced in my case
>(whose Greek would make Shakespeare's look like total fluency!)
>Thank you for bringing my old 'ophis' out an eagle in the end, too... A dark
>and difficult path... but culminating, in the end, and thank the gods that be,
>in majesty and light.

You are very welcome!
I like your ourano-bouto! That's what eagles do.

Subject: INNER - Inner Interpretation
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 04:10:36 +0200
From: Dimitris

>From: Steve Kalec
>Things I don't think I understand : Is the consciousness of God
>within me that is referred to by the voice, the conscious workings of the
>divine energies within me or is it my consciousness of the divine within
>me that has raised me out of the pit ?

Is there really a difference between the two?

>What is the pit ? Is it the depth of
>the unconscious ? To be raised out of the pit , is this the end of
>involution and the beginning of evolution or spiritualization ? Why did I
>enter into the kingdom ? Kether symbolizes the Crown. Is the kingdom
>representing the whole world where Kether is drawn out of it ?

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on this, I'm just sharing with you my personal

Every symbol can be interpreted in many many ways. I believe that each
interperetation is 'correct' in its synchronistic context. That is, every
interpretation that comes in any way, is a response to what we need to hear
at that given moment. Your interpretations of the pit and the kingdom could
very well be what you say. Go with the flow, and Good Luck.

(Sorry for not offering another interpretation, but I agree with yours.)


P.S. To be in the pit, reminds me of narrowness. Get the image: you're in a
pit and all you see is a small portion of the world and all-that-exists. You
are raised out of the pit, you float and fly. Perspective. A whole new world
is revealed. This meaning can be literal or metaphorical. As you please.

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 04:18:05 +0200
From: Dimitris

>From: Richard Roberts
>Perhaps now we can dispense with discussions of the ourovomitus.

Leaving aside the literal meaning, I think that both interpretations are
interesting. That is, the ophis/snake biting its tail, symbolizing (in my
opinion and words) the primordial undifferentiated substance,
Apeiron/Infinite, etc.

The snake vomiting its tail symbolizing the birth of duality,
differentiation: GENESIS (emergence of things out of 0).
The symbol/visual represantation leaves both options and interpretations
open. There is no indication of MOTION (inward or outward,
clockwise/anti-clockwise.) That's what's nice about it.


Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 04:26:07 +0200
From: Dimitris

>I wasn't able to work out the gematria of the Greek word, but by Latin
>gematria the word "Ourobouros" has a number of 141 which is the same
>number as "Solve Et Coagula" (dissolve and coagulate), a summary of the
>entire alchemical process. Perhaps the Latinized version of the word is
>spelled this way intentionally, to draw our attention to "Solve Et

Question: Is it Ourobouros or Ouroboros? In Greek, it's the latter.
What is the gematria number and its meaning of Ouroboros and not
Ourobouros(I don't know how to derive it.)
Your point about the latinized spelling is interesting.


Subject: INNER - Lab processes, serpent energies, etc
From: Mats Winther
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 07:33:13 +0100

No, in answering Deanne's message I only meant that "sewing ones eyes.." is
not a definition of a path. Iīm not saying that it couldnīt be an example
of pursuing a path. I use "path" in the sense of religious or philosphical

Iīm not saying that "womiting tail" is evil. I just made up a theory that
it is a "sign of danger".

Mats Winther

Subject: INNER - Inner Interpretation
From: Mats Winther
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 12:27:39 +0100

Steve Kalec,
This is a remarkable vision. My comments:
This is the Holy Trinity. The one in the middle is the Father, the one on
the right with the sword (as in the Revelations of S:t John) is the Son.
The one on the left is the Holy Ghost (as he whispers the truth in your
ear). The triangle with the eye is actually a well-known symbol of The Holy
Trinity and can often be seen on churches. How you interpret the symbol in
the vision, as the consciousness of God within you, is very good. It
represents namely our conscious picture of God, as a three-fold deity. The
spirit of our time is the spirit of number three (or the "tertiary spirit"
as I put it earlier). To be successful in the Art one has to completely
integrate this spirit.

Your interpretations are perhaps formally correct, but you donīt seem to
understand the immense implications of such a vision. You actually stand
before the Holy Trinity. Very few people in history have experienced such
an elevation. Your dignity as a person is huge, although you donīt realize
it. You are given the most important role in the divine drama.
You experience the typical effect of the three-fold spirit when your
consciousness is "expanding and rising". You pass through the levels of the
low spirits ("heinous and monstrous faces") on your way to the highest
level, the Palace of the Trinity. This signifies that you become conscious
of diverse lowly mentalities, "false spirits" within you and in the world.
This is pertaining to "integration of the shadow" in jungian terms, and
"expulsion of the demons" in alchemical terms (dissolution of the Prima
Materia to achieve the quintessence). The "throwing up of the snake" aptly
expresses this expulsion of the demons. However, it is really "throwing up
one's own tail" since it is one's own evil. This is expanding consciousness
and is the same process used by the christians when they wanted to rid
themselves of evil. The spewed out lowly spirits are transformed to a
tertiary spirit, a fully developed winged dragon. After he has reached the
summit, the Palace of Trinity, he will lower down to earth again and will
be swallowed by earth. But since the dragon now is free from impurities it
will not be spewed out to expand consciousness. A new being will emerge
again at Albedo.

At the Palace of Trinity you are "almost crowned". This means that you are
really the Son of God. According to the medieval alchemist the Opus was
invoked by the Holy Ghost, so this is quite in order. You are not given the
herdsmans staff (like Jesus), but instead you are given the sword which
shows that a new revelation is emerging. The crown is meant for you, but
before it can really be put on your head you must establish the Kingdom of
Heaven on earth. You are given the power to achieve this goal. The power is
symbolized by the sword. According to the Revelations of S:t John, Christ
will carry a sword at his second coming. The godhead has chosen you to
carry this sword. You will be the Second Christ. The sword is your tongue
which will declare a new revelation, and it will not be a mild language.
But before you can become the Second Christ, you must be transformed in the
alchemical process. And when you emerge renewed from the unconscious like
when the dragon spewed forth Jason in greek mythology, you will be
transformed into the Son of God, the Second Christ, or Aquarius if you
like. I know itīs hard to believe, but these are the immense implications
of your vision.

Below the symbol of the Trinity is the Serpent. It is striving upwards,
towards the Trinity. The Serpent is Satan, aptly named "the bottomless
pit". What is he up to? He will unite himself with the godhead so that the
three becomes four. This will heal the split in the godhead and the
paradigm of the number four is at hand. The new paradigm will be "Spirit
and Matter is One". The Kingdom of Heaven will be established on material
Earth. Matter will no longer be meaningless, it will regain it status. This
is the archetype of Mercurius who is matter and spirit united. This is what
I meant in an earlier message when I wrote that the alchemical concept goes
much farther than the actual personal Opus. It is also a divine drama, the
Opus of God. You have been assigned a mission. Itīs your life's work. You
will heal the split in the godhead. Satan will return and accomplish The
Holy Quaternity to replace The Holy Trinity. But as the Father points out,
it was The Holy Trinity that saved us from Satan in the beginning of the
era. Christianity started it all. It is also the Trinity that invokes the
purging of sin from the adept's personal soul and thereby starts the Opus.

Mats Winther

Subject: INNER - Ourobouros
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 97 13:34:14 UT
From: Mike Dickman

You are very welcome!
I like your ourano-bouto! That's what eagles do.

Yeah! That's what put me onto the idea... Thanks for your answer to Richard,
by the way... I think sitting reading this stuff with a sore back may not be
helping... but you could - Richard - try visualising him within your body ā la
the grand circulation of Taoist yoga and see if that doesn't help unblock you.
He would at least have served some purpose for you then. Sorry to get on your
nerves. I know how bad back feels.

The gematria, by the way, is 70 400 100 70 2 70 400 100 70/800 200 for the
Latin spelling (depending upon whether you're using the omicron or the omega
in the '-os' - I personally prefer the omega solution) and 70 400 100 70 2 70
100 70/800 200 for the Greek.
The first gives either 1412 or 2142 for the first, and 1012 or 1742 for the
I can do no better than to refer you to John Michel's 'City of Revelation'
(Abacus 1973) and W. Stirling's 'The Canon' (Garnstone 1974) for some
extremely interesting musings on Greek gematria in fairly accessible, and
certainly interesting (!) form...


Subject: INNER - Lab processes, serpent energies, etc
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 12:25:00 +0000
From: Hil Cato

Mike, I just love love your stories. (When we have a moment in
discussion, I would like a story about the "unkillable man", I think
there is a Hindu story? I have been dreaming of the impending
dismemberment of the unkillable man, dismemberment under the sea. He
first appeared in my dreams 15 years ago, a skinned and bloodied head of
a man, huge, reaching for me through a sunflower field.)


Subject: INNER - Evolving
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 16:18:41 +0000
From: Greg Boag

To Richard Roberts;

In your March 19th posting you said:

>Hopefully I will not have to incarnate again.

Some philosophic systems consider it a great honour and opportunity to be

Do you have any personal experience that we can do better in our desire to
'know' and 'evolve' anywhere else? If so please send the address and the
travel agent.



Subject: INNER - Snake spewing out venom
From: Mats Winther
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 09:53:30 +0100

Among the myths of India there is one that parallells the vomiting snake
mythologem. It is called "The churning of the sea". I give it here in
abbreviated form.

Indra had lost his vigour. To restore his strenght the gods followed
Vishnu's advice. Vishnu promised that that the snake Vasuki would produce a
liquid of immortality. They took the Snake and twined him around mount
Mandara and began to churn. The gods were at the tail, and the demons at
the head. But as they were churning the mountain began to shake and did
great damage to the inhabitants of the ocean. And the heat destroyed the
animals and birds in the surroundings. The mountain threatened to break
through the earth and destroy it. But the giant turtle got beneath the
mountain and became its pivot. The churning went on faster and faster. The
snake suffered from his painful labour. Torrents of venom escaped from his
jaws and poured down on earth in a vast river and threatened to destroy
everything, even the gods. To save the world from destruction, Siva drank
the poison. But the poison burnt his throat. In the end the gods had their
reward. The sea of venom created, became the sea of milk which engendered
many wonderful gods, among them the Moon and Lakshmi, the god of fortune.
But first of all came Surabhi, the marvellous cow, mother and nurse of all
living things.

Comments: the mythologem of the spewing snake seem to be (1) extremely
dangerous, (2) procreative on the grand scale.

I would appreciate if someone could relay the myth of "Dragon spewing out
Jason". I only have references to this myth in my library.

Mats Winther

Subject: INNER - Inner Interpretation
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 97 14:21:02 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Woah, there, Mats!

Your interpretation is fascinating but I would remind us all of the following
little Hassidic saying:

If you happen to be planting a tree when you hear MShICh has come,
Finish planting before you run and see.

Steve - Mats may, of course, be quite right - but if I might also suggest a
study in Waite's and Crowley's Tarot decks - in fact in any Tarot deck at all
- of 'The Ace of Swords', for the crown and sword images and possible
interpretations, Crowley's card of the same name also for the eye in the
triangle (here represented by the word 'Thelema - Law'), and his 'The Lovers'
and 'The Hermit' for the serpent-entwined pommel...
An interpretation from a slightly different point of view than Mats' then:

The Ace of Swords represents the Kether of the Yetziratic world - the world of
the "messengers" between the powerful archetypal 'inhabitants' of the 'realm
of pure spirit' and the 'natural world', Assiah, the 'realm of the senses and
sensed', as it were... Its power, however, unlike those of the Ace of Wands
and of Cups, is INVOKED rather than innate...
The sword passing through the crown has many possibilities: the one I favour
is that of the rising energy of the so-called kundalini passing upwards into
and opening out the so-called 'crown centre'... This movement, however, is
only half of the story and has a tendency to leave one overvaluing the more
'spiritual' aethyrs to the detriment of those that are more 'material' (most
of the history of religions is about exactly this problem)...
Swords, it should always be remembered, and as opposed to sabres of various
types, are two-sided... One of the arts I teach is T'ai Chi Jian, 'The
Sword-Form of the Supreme Ultimate'... One of the first things one is brought
to realise as soon as one has a real sword in one's hand, is that any cutting
down of a supposed 'external' "enemy" will necessarily entail the cutting down
of the real idiot who lives behind one's nose first... Hakuin Ekaku, the great
Rinzai Zen Master of the 16th. century, wrote an open letter to the Samurai
accusing of being thieves inasmuch as they claimed to be soldiers but still
knew the meaning of fear. "The only real soldier", said Hakuin, "is one who is
dead already. Only he may give himself unconditionally to the fray. All others
are playing at it tentatively." There is wealth of material on the way of the
warrior: a good introduction might be Daisetzu Suzuki's 'Zen and Japanese
Culture', (Princeton 1989), sections V and VI, pp. 89-214, and Trevor
Leggett's 'Zen and the Ways' (RKP 1978)... I suggest these sources inasmuch as
they are very non-sentimental about 'knightliness'... You might also look into
the Taoist 'Sun-tzu' or 'Arts of War'...
Maņjushri, the Buddhist 'Enlightenment Being' of penetrating insight, is
traditionally shown wielding a sword, the 'sword of wisdom' whose double-edged
blade cuts down both subject and object as it slices to the innate vast
openness of all that is.
The Kether of Yetzirah can be seen as 'nesting into' and coinciding with the
Tiphareth of Briah, and, thereby, Michael ('Who is Beloved of God?'), leader
of the heavenly hosts AS GUIDE in the sense of 'guiding light', something to
steer towards.
However, the sword, and the hand that holds it, begin in the Malkuth of
Yetsirah, corresponding in their turn to the Tiphareth of Assiah, meaning,
basically that one has commenced digestion of the initiations regarding the
five elements, and is starting to invoke - but is not necessarily ready for -
what is above... beyond...
The crown of Kether, I might point out, is always 'above' the head, even when
on it...
The serpent-entwined sphere or egg, though symbolising in your dream 'the
pit', is also the point of eternal becoming... The Hermit holds it in his hand
as the one true subject worthy of study, and it is that which is analysed into
its fractal infinities with the beginnings of the first 'Solve' of the Lovers,
and that which will reach synthesis and completion of investigation on the
path of Samech in the balanced interplay of Temperance (and don't forget the
V.I.T.R.I.O.L.! - Boy oh boy! - does one ever need it!)...
The question is: What could ever come into being, persist for a while and then
pass out of it, and when, where, why and how could any of these things ever
happen? A good dash of that should go a long way to sorting out hopes and
fears from whatever else it is that is left when once you've (we've) finally
got rid of them...
So who are the three beings?... (forgive me if my tone sounds a bit aggressive
by the way: it's not meant to be. I'm just playing devil's advocate to Mats.)
In keeping with the 'Tree' image, they could be Tiphareth, Geburah and Chesed
- Certainly would be in GD symbolism... (and they certainly seem to play that
role in your 'dreaming')...
The hideous faces may well be your own fear of being trapped in the material -
There IS NO material... Everything, from the vastness of possibility up, is -
and hinges entirely upon - your way of seeing.
I'm sorry if this steps it down a tad from Mats' interpretation... I'm sure
mine is equally open to question.
After all... Whatever it was, your vision was certainly beautiful, and is
probably - certainly, even - beyond all meanings anyone outside yourself could
really apply...

With respect,

Subject: INNER - Evolving
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 97 14:32:31 UT
From: Mike Dickman

The question is, of course, IS there anywhere else to evolve and work in than
any given 'here' and 'now' when even any proofs as to the existence of that
are open to question?
As Greg says, even to be able to generate the conscious and careful wish to
participate henceforth - especially in the desire to perhaps in all the rest
of time prove more or less useful to at least one other being - is considered
a rare and beautiful privilege by many systems...
Surely it's why we're doing all this, no?


Subject: INNER - Inner Interpretation
From: Steve Kalec
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 12:58:03 -0500

Dear Mats Winther,

I sincerely wish to thank you very much for helping me
with my quest in trying to arrive at a true deciphering of my vision
concerning the Key and the Power in my sword. You have written
me some extremely powerful words and your interpretation is
impressively majestic and most beautifully laid out. It is evident that
you are well acquainted and versant in the esoteric transcendent
symbologies of inner alchemy. You are right when you say that
I don't seem to understand the immense applications of such a
vision. I have never dared to see into it with such a profound depth.
But believe me that not a day has gone by that I don't think about
the whole thing. I know that it is a very mystical and esoteric vision
and I have never since relaxed in searching for its true meaning. It
is very hard to find people whom one can go to and share these
kind of thinkings and ideas. I have been a student of mysticism
since many years and my search has eventually led me to Carl Jung,
and Jung has led me to Alchemy and soon I found my kind on this
alchemy e-mail forum. The beings as the Trinity did escape me,
and so did the serpent as Satan on his journey back to the Godhead.
The heinous and monstrous faces, I did understand as the expulsion
of demons and the integration of the shadows. To become the Son
of God , all true alchemist aspire to that as do I. To me it would be the
achieving of the Philosopher's Stone. Chrishood is latent and potential
in higher consciousness in all of us and in that sense I can accept
what you are saying that I must establish the Kingdom of Heaven on
earth. I believe that this would be the effect of the blessed descent
of the Holy Spirit. The Tincturing by this positive , creative , cleansing,
healing , life giving and all encompassing energy of love would turn
any cold and dark unconscious crude lead into the bright shining Gold
of the Divine Quintessential Light. Dear Mats, you have stirred my soul.
You have given me allot to think about and digest. My sincere thanks
once more for your gracious time and true help .

I suppose allot can be summed up with a passage from the
Emerald Tablet.

" It ascends from earth to heaven, and descends again, new born to
earth, taking unto itself thereby the power of the Above and the Below.
Thus the splendor of the whole world will be thine, and all darkness shall
flee from thee ".

Best Regards,

Steve Kalec

Subject: INNER - unkillable men and followers in the footsteps of Kai Lung
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 97 23:24:23 UT
From: Mike Dickman


Hi there...Tales of the 'unkillable man' I don't know, but there is a state on
the way to perfect realisation as conceived of by the Tibetan Buddhists
(particularly those of the Nyingma, or 'Ancient', School) called in Tibetan
tsewang rig'dzin (ts'e dbangs rig 'dzin), meaning 'Knowledge-holder with power
over life', which refers to the blending of one's life-force into that of the
whole, whereby 'deaths and entrances' at last become a simple play of 'coming
and going'... It is related to, and becomes part and parcel of a phenomenon
called 'jalü (don't know if that umlaut-u came out or not) ('ja' lus, in
Tibetan transliteration), the so-called 'rainbow body', in which the physical
body dissolves, at death, into photons of light, shrinks to a remarkable
extent, or remains without putrefying for several weeks, and even months or
years after the apparent cessation of all vital functions...
If I find the taleyou're looking for, though, you can bet your bottom dollar
I'll find some way to get it to ya!


Subject: INNER - Lab processes, serpent energies, etc
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 97 23:06:50 UT
From: Mike Dickman


Hi - in your post you say

>No, in answering Deanne's message I only meant that "sewing ones eyes.." is
>not a definition of a path. I'm not saying that it couldn't be an example of
>pursuing a path. I use "path" in the sense of religious or philosphical

Sure... anything that leads back to 'reality', or, in any case, some form of
'sanity', no?

>I'm not saying that "vomiting tail" is evil. I just made up a theory that
>it is a "sign of danger".

Okay. Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. I was just checking.


Subject: INNER- dream consciousness
From: Anthony House
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 21:39:40 -0800

Greetings forum,

This is an excerpt from the transcript I made of the videotapes recorded at
the first of the former LPN-USA alchemical seminars in the USA. These are
the words of a master alchemist who's experience is presented with clarity
and integrity. There are obvious places here and there where the sentences
are incomplete as in the beginning here. Please excuse this fault. It is
part of the transcribers dilemma to capture all that was possible, the
audio was at times non existent or very faint......

A. M. W. House

Tape #3 Saturday Oct. 3rd 1992

Inner Consciousness Through Dreams

the inner world yourself. The inner dreams. There is a difference between
dreams and visions, at the beginning it's very slight. And consciousness in
dreams by using the stones are becoming bigger and bigger. You'll become
more and more conscious in the inner worlds, of where you are going and
visiting at night. During the day you are at the school of the light, and
at night you are at the school of night. And when you are at the school of
(study? service? 30)? all the contacts will take place at night.
The contacts are of the invisible order, it takes place at night. Night
contacts are generated by the interior master. He talks (communicates) to
the individual with symbols. At this end we call him the Great King. On
earth we are the small King. The Great King contains all the information
for the program, but they are useless. It's like a computer. All the
information is in the computer, but you, you are important, essential for
the Great King, and the Great King is essential for you. Because you will
be able to structure the information between the Great King and the Little
King. Everyone is the master in his triangle.
The work consists first to structure the information coming from the brain
and this on our own is the consciousness coming downward to the deity. All
the informations are inside the computer, but it's you who will give the
input to the software of the program. I cannot elaborate because it's too
long, it would require at least 3 other days meeting. In the work that we
can perform at night you note all your dreams. Everyday you will structure
them by - you will note the dreams of each Monday, of each Tuesday, of each
Wednesday, each Thursday and so on...and you will structure them by the
Moon quarters. Every morning you note and resume by one word. And this one
word resumes the same sensation you had in your dream. If you dream of a
white horse, if it is the white that gives you the highest sensation then
you note white, if it's the color that empresses you the most then you put
color. And after noting all these dreams there are clear messages. And it
happens in the alchemical work that you have a global vision of a problem
clearly, it's also probable that the inner master transmits on different
terms, we shall put one behind another. You cannot go into great details
because it goes too far.
Initially this process occurs through consciousness of your dreams. We'll
use them so intensely - so that what we live at night might seem more real
than what we live like during the day. We have a big difficulty making a
difference between what we live at night and how we live during the day.
You must have a great equilibrium, have a high psychic power, sufficient,
and have your feet on the ground. The head in the heavens and the feet on
the ground.

We notice at the beginning when we begin to do this work that before our
eyes we stand before our Great King and him, he turns back to us. The
transfer between King and thinking occurs in the beginning through symbols.
Sun is the etymology - in other words sun means what is said - sun means
sun. Gradually when you consciousize your dreams you will become able to
read from the other side. They will give you information in the form of the
teachings, which you will read. They will give instructions, which you are
supposed to follow very strictly. You are supposed to put your knees before
the Great King, he is the only master who must guide you. His messages are
personal to you.
They are not supposed to be told generally and you should never disclose
what's behind the door of the temple. This is your way, your right (rite?)
maybe sometimes you can share a little bit and with friends or with friends
that are even higher than you. Higher evoluted than you. Does everybody
understand? You will be given time to read, but we have noticed that
generally you don't remember what you read. And with the interior worlds
and all the dreams we will transfer information from this world over the
ceiling to the Great King. There will be an information transfer and him,
he will send everything clear. We send and he sends back. Him, he needs
earth and earth we need him.
Like when you come on earth you have to learn how to read, and when you go
on the other side you have to learn again to read. except if you did he
information transfer. At the beginning we don't remember what we read.
After we remember what we read. We learn in classes and alone we have
instructions and teachings. When we are right at Tiphareth (6) in the
qabala (crosses over to the tree of life) Tiphareth is the sun in the
middle, you think consciousness of that level. You become aware of it...
because you can have the level of initiation at this level and not be
conscious of it. And you have to take the vegetable stones and mineral
stones, and on earth you have to consciousize those levels in the 4 worlds.
When we gain consciousness on the level of Tiphareth you are able to have
messages clear from the inner master. That means he is a friend that will
come and sit down at the edge of your bed. He's your friend and you are
connected to him. It's him who always gives you information at night.
He is the connection and the junction between you and the Grandfather.
This inner master, he will bring you into a different world. Generally the
caraway is below the initiation of the lunar level, lunar initiation is a
dark area. Like at night - when the night is coming. And in this lunar
world you will see - you will visit first underground, you live with -----,
you live with troglodytes, at the end of this tunnel you will leave the
underworld and when the tumors are crystals. And after you are in the light
of the day. Then you are in a world of water. And you will have the
knowledge to go under the water or over the water. After you will fly in
the world of air.

It happened already - no? This is when you are in the world of air, you
take a glider or airplane and after you fly on your own with your arms.
When you learn how to fly with the arms you reach the world of fire. So you
climb the elements of earth from the bottom - Earth, water, air, fire. Then
you have an initiation in a castle. Its a castle like the church of the
Muslims with a crescent Moon (Lunar). This ones religion is the Moon. When
you have this initiation in this lunar world, one year later they give back
to you the initiatic powers that correspond to the lunar world. And you
feel it in your solar plexus. And you have cured your emotional problems
that correspond to the lunar world. The stones are medicines for the soul.
Do you understand why? Because they give you the initiatic powers that
correspond to the initiatic level, and you solve the emotional problems
from this level.
If you're afraid of dogs, dogs are animals on the lunar world, and when
you get the initiation of the lunar world you will not be afraid of dogs
anymore. When you visit the lunar world you will see immediately the 4
other worlds which is the world of mercury order. You will see how a lot of
rocks are much more clear, it's (they're) luminous - has luminosity. It's
landscape is like dry mountains and beaches without much vegetation. When
you can reach the 4th level you have the initiation in the next interior
world. You have the top part of mercury, it's the castle side of
Then go to the venusian world. it is very green, you have flowers, big
flowers, genetic trees, the animals are right here on the earth. We live in
houses that are in the trees. What Jean said yesterday or this morning. The
initiation occurs in a big house which is located in a tree. Then we go to
the solar world. (Yves circles Tiphareth with his finger) This is a country
where there is a lot of sun. The air is more hostile. The animals are
fantastic. They are not normal. You have an elephant that flies. Outside
our world of thinking (waking consciousness). The church (castle) is much
like the Berseile of Castone in France. We climb the ladder in the world of
Mars. Here you have an initiation in a fortress. Then you have Jupiter.
There you have an initiation in a church or cathedral. Alright? And the
church or cathedral is ----- and there you have dreams of God. This is
where you get information to read, which are orders.
You can visit each of these worlds, but not necessarily if you have an
inefficiency of the Hod level. You can be risen to the level of Jupiter,
but you cannot stay there. You visit all those worlds. It's not your home
when you go on the other side. Our home is as far as the initiation is
concerned. Do you have any questions? O.K.? The initiation - when you get
here is when you get the initiation of the 4 elements. You have the 4
elements, The King essence, and the castle. We will say a little something
in order to reject all taboos. Sexuality exists on the other side. And you
have to eliminate and remove all those taboos which come from religious and
all the dead matters.

Q. Does that mean that we don't have to be afraid to report sexual dreams?

A. Maybe your girlfriend will not be very happy. Laughs. But we have
sexuality on the other side, which will be repeated.

Q. Question about physical initiation?

A. What do you mean by physical initiation? As soon as you've got the
initiation with the stone you don't take anymore. If the caraway stone does
not give you an initiation effect. It will give an innermost result
including a better way to health. The caraway stone gives one initiation at
that level (Hod) and that's all, nothing else. And this is already a big

Subject: INNER - Inner Interpretation
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 11:03:55 -0500 (EST)
From: Jeff

Dear Mats,

Quite an interpretation. You certainly know your imagery but I wonder if
you are not making two mistakes. This may be a misunderstanding on my part,
but I have work with people and their visions a long time. Steve's vision is
powerful but not unusual, and the danger of your interpretation seems to me
to be to confuse an individual's work on thier own enlightenment with some
kind of cosmic task. People who make this assumption usually decide they are
the new messanger or messiah or some such, and forgot that individual
enlightenment is the enlightenment of the cosmos. If I am enlightened, then
God is as well within me, but that does not mean I am bringing enlightenment
to you or to anyone else - that you must achieve for yourself. Second, you
naively make the assumption that the Christian mythos is somehow the correct
one, that three means trinity and four the redemption of Satan. Perhaps the
christian concept is simply one of many triggered by the archetypal movement
of three to four.

For me Steve's vision is significant and indicative of the powerful
experiences people on their path can have, and alchemy is a very powerful
symbol system for understanding these experiences. But we all have the god
within to be redeemed and, as a good Jungian I suppose, the redemption of the
individual is to me the highest work. I personally doubt whether there is
any other way to redeem God than in the creation of the individual personal
god within the individual psyche. This I thnk Seve's vision is about and
that is quite cosmic enough in itself.



Subject: INNER - Wolves as Catalysts
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 08:18:36 -0800
From: George Matchette

Hi All!

Over the years, wolves have frequently appeared in my dreams, beginning
with the time I read Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf as a teenager. While I've
worked a lot with this image archetypically as representing instinctual
energies, I'm curious if any of you have come across reference to wolves as
part of the alchemical process.

(How I think of wolves, in general, are as social animals, very much like
ourselves. Hesse's exploration, it seems to me, was about what happens when
we become "human" and struggle with both belonging to the pack and not
belonging, but individuating. I've recently come to think as individuating
as a transcendant or "soul" function that lives within a pack mentality and
genetic history. In other words, my corpus and 2/3rds of my brain leans
towards wolfishness (positive and negative), 1/3 searches for the spark of
which stars are made. As I age, I find my identification leaning towards
light and like most seekers, seek to enhance the process.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Best regards,


Subject: INNER - Evolving
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 02:58:46 +0200
From: Dimitris

>From: Mike Dickman
>The question is, of course, IS there anywhere else to evolve and work in than
>any given 'here' and 'now' when even any proofs as to the existence of that
>are open to question?

The nature of time and reality is something that consumes much of my grey
cell energy over the last months. Well, what I've concluded to so far is
that the only thing that exists is NOW. Past is very elusive and the future
is not known. May be one could say that there is no past and future, but an
eternal present, which is constantly changing form, creating the perception
(notice I'm not saying illusion) of time. So, there is nowhere to go, but
here. 'We exist in the present, and this present constantly dissolves and
re-forms itself from the beginning. It's a dynamic source, whose waters are
always fresh. Every island is called 'present' and it floats in a timeless
and formless ocean...' (F. DAVID PEAT: The Philosopher's Stone, from Greek
trans.) I imagine that letting go in this flow is what living a miraculous
life is about. So IS there anywhere else to evolve and work in than any give
'here' and 'now'?

'Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.'

T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton.
(Isn't this poem fantastic?)

Go with the flow alchemists.

Subject: INNER - Snake spewing out venom
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 04:02:56 +0200
From: Dimitris

>From: Mats Winther
>I would appreciate if someone could relay the myth of "Dragon spewing out
>Jason". I only have references to this myth in my library.

I haven't heard any version of the myth where the Dragon spews out Jason.
Here's a brief and general account of the myth of Jason: Jason and the 50
Argonauts started a quest for the golden fleece. The fleece was somewhere in
Colchis, a place reigned by Aeetes. Jason asked for the Golden Fleece and
the king assigned him some tasks that he had to accomplish, in order to get
the fleece. First, he was to yoke two bronze leg bulls that spit fire. Then,
he had to sow dragon teeth. Warriors sprouted from the teeth, but Jason
tricked them, and they killed each other. Medea -Aeetes' daughter-
fell in love with Jason and helped him accomplish his assignments,
successfuly. Aeetes refused to give Jason the fleece, which was guarded by a
sleepless dragon. Medea got the dragon off to sleap, and they stole the
Fleece. The sailed with Argo, but Aeetes followed them, so Medea and Jason
killed Apsyrtus (Medea's brother and Aeetes' son) and cut his limbs off one
by one, thus forcing Aeetes to fall behind as he stopped to pick up each
piece...... (to be continued.)

Some thoughts:
Medea: the female part of Jason(/anima?) The dragon: chaos, nuclear force.
Golden Fleece: the secret of reality/the opus of alchemical
process/manifesting reality using the secrets of sub-atomic, quantum field.
50 Argonauts: why 50 ?


P.S. If the myth isn't a myth, then according to some, the story must have
occured round 1600 BC. There is a brilliant account and intepretation of the
myth in 'Barbara Hand Clow's: Chiron, Llewelyn, 1987, USA'. She relates the
myth with the passage from The Age of Taurus (matriatrchy) to the Age of
Aries (patriarchy), the balance between animus/anima, the quest for
survival, and large scale destruction (I think.) According to her, the 1.600
BC date is part of a vast transpluto planetary cycle. Now, we're on the same
point of the cycle, as Jason back in 1.600 BC!

Subject: INNER - Lost post
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 09:30:58 +0100
From: Michal Pober

Dear Mike and Mats,

Thank you for your enthusiastic replies to my post re The Process..
I'm working hard on this piece still, had come up with one formulation
which i duly sent off and then hopefully aborted...

Mike: I seem to have misfiled your response. If it is possible for you to
resend it that would be great. Privately would avoid cluttering the group

thanks again!


Subject: INNER - Inner Interpretation (2)
From: Mats Winther
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 11:40:12 +0100

Steve Kalec,
Big problems necessitates big messages, so here is a lengthy one.

If my earlier message sounded majestic, that was not my intention. To me
they were just plausible thoughts, nothing else. The use of symbols may
create a religious feeling. But that is not how I look at them, Iīm not
religious at all. I use them because they talk to the unconscious at the
same time. The unconscious needs to be updated with what is going on. Also,
symbols seem to be totally beyond the scope of low-witted people, who even
think itīs insane to use this kind of language. This is a great advantage
since the message only goes through to the people it was intended for. This
was very important to the medieval alchemists.

But, in fact, your vision is rather pompous. This is because The Father is
rather old fashioned. He thinks he makes a good impression that way. But
modern man usually prefer a more modest language. The Holy Ghost is not at
all like that. He is much more pragmatical. I say this because there is a
dangerous trap concerning religiosity, and you could be the type of person
who steps into it. If you start making relics, a sword for example, and
acquire an estetical attitude toward the Opus; if you start "collecting"
visions, dreams, spiritual knowledge without "living" it, then you are a
great sinner. Then you are like the man who collects delicious fruits, and
even conscientiously peels them, where-upon he leaves them to rot where
they lie in a big heap inside his house. Or you would be like the fisherman
who is forever fishing, never returning to the shore to feast on the catch.
The tragedy would be even greater in your case since you have received such
a strong call. Only a few fish are needed to make a meal. This is why the
medieval alchemists told their disciples to "rend your books asunder".
Actually there is no need to read any 'esoteric' literature at all, the
jungian studies youīve done is quite enough. When the tertiary spirit is
integrated you will be able to do the symbolical thinking yourself. The
Spirit is really sickly tired of estetism, relic worship, dream collecting,
book collecting and all kind of spiritual hypocrisy. It wants to see some
real action. The unconscious - the Anima - is not a goddess to be
worshipped. Donīt do the same mistake as so many other tragic figures. The
Trinity today is a modern spirit, very pragmatical. It will become the
tertiary function which is a great gift.

The descent of The Holy Ghost then, is not such a "big deal". He is already
working inside you. But maybe he thinks that a formal baptism is needed. It
will probably not be a dove descending, like in Jesusī case. A more modern
scenario could be something like this. The light will shine in through your
window at early morning time, and it makes your face warm. As you open your
eyes you see that itīs actually dark outside. As you close your eyes again
the light is back and it becomes stronger and stronger and your face
becomes hot. You experience a heavenly peace and wellbeing; what the
christians called Grace. But you hear a buzzing sound that is increasing.
You realize that the hood of light above you is The Holy Ghost and it is
boring a hole in your head. Afterwards you realize that you have been
trepanned and a fecundation has occured.

Now, as the spirit grows inside you, he is no longer a spirit. Only a
function of your psyche. So there will be no more Trinity to worship out
there. This will avoid the collector trap. I think I must update you
concerning the qualities of The Holy Ghost. You seem to have missed out a
relevant part. The Holy Ghost is love, certainly, but only to some. To
others - a nightmare. The tertiary function brings forth the truth which
can be relayed to others. So anybody who talks back to you will also talk
back to The Holy Ghost. And remember the saying of Jesus, that you can talk
back to the Father and the Son, but never, ever, talk back to the Holy
Ghost. There is nothing mystical about this, either. It just means that a
serious deterioration of health will occur, or a fatal mishap, perhaps. So
there is also death surrounding a person who has integrated the tertiary
spirit and expresses its truth. The sharp edge of the sword then, is of no
estetical significance, it is a sign of deadly danger. The three-fold
spirit will not only give you bright understanding. This sinister function
will come with it, as well. In fact, the harvest has already started, and
the bad corn will be thrown into the fire. You call it "cleansing" - that
is correct. This is not the workings of Satan. Itīs The Holy Ghost. I know
this all sounds religious, but it is really a commonplace experience. This
was my comments concerning the power of the sword which is in the sharp

The blade concerns the daylight world and the handle concerns the
underworld. The serpent on the handle is coiled around the gold like the
dragon is coiled around his golden treasure in the hero myth. This is
Satan, the wingless dragon. The mature winged dragon will descend and enter
into the jaws of the earth monster. Now, here is the tricky part, the
ascent is child's stuff; the descent and entering into the tomb is quite
different. To me, here is where the process really starts. This is Nigredo
(but many medieval alchemist meant that the Nigredo started at the ascent
of the spirit). I agree with you that the "Key" concerns coagulatio. This
is fixing the volatile spirit that descends from the lofty mountain. You
have received a key that will open the tomb - the alchemical vessel - so
you can enter and enjoy being there. What I donīt understand is; how can
the sword of the lofty, tertiary spirit also contain the key to the
concentrated, minuscule spirit? I mean, they are opposites. Anyway, for the
time being I donīt want to talk too much about this secretive matter. Iīve
already gone into the topic in earlier messages.

Youīre trying to get off the hook in saying this:
"To become the Son of God, all true alchemist aspire to that as do I (..)
Christhood is latent (..) in all of us and in that sense (..) I must
establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth".
I must point out that there are dragons of different sizes. And you are a
huge dragon. If you deny this you will be like a man walking about,
carrying an elephant on his shoulders. Your body will only be capable of
this for a short time, then it will start to sway. You are probably
experiencing physical problems already. The elephant is meant to ride on. A
little Nietzsche-reading would be good here, I think.
To me, the term "Christhood" seems religious, buddistic even. But this is
not some kind of spiritual adventure. Taking the Kingdom to Earth just
means opening peoples eyes so that they see that the Kingdom is at hand.
Jesus made us come closer to Earth, but we are still walking one centimeter
above the ground. Itīs your job to make people actually put down their feet
on the ground. They will not be under the control of the lofty spirit
anymore. This is the paradigm of the number four.
Jesus went into Nigredo, where he stayed for three days, after which he was
resurrected and thereby inherited all the power of Heaven and Earth.
However, the power of Earth was inhibited by the Devil. This little problem
is fixed by Satan ascending to the Godhead.
Many persons have to encounter the unconscious so that they after this can
go on with their job as a company director, for instance. Jesus did the
same. Afterwards he went on with his job as the emperor of the universe.
There are different sizes of dragons.
When the Kingdom is established on Earth people will eat, drink, work and
enjoy being in the sun. Thatīs all. For the first time they will realize
that they are actually here, in the warm vessel of the world. They will no
longer run about everywhere like restless ghosts. But the place will be
continually cleansed.

Mats Winther

Subject: INNER - Answer to Jeff
From: Mats Winther
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 12:28:44 +0100

Thanks for your constructive criticism.

> ...but I have worked with people and their visions a long time. Steve's
> vision is powerful but not unusual, and the danger of your interpretation
> seems to me to be to confuse an individual's work on thier own
> enlightenment with some kind of cosmic task. People who make this
>assumption usually decide they are...

I see it as both individual and "cosmic". And in certain cases itīs very
hard to make a discernment at all. I think Steve's is such a case. Iīm
quite aware that these visions appear to more than one person. But the
"Spirit" have to call several people because very few will make it. Maybe
Steve is strong enough to make it. Probably there are several persons that
has been "promised the crown", but only one will be crowned. As a jungian
you know there is a collective psyche as well as an individual. The
collective psyche is also evolving. God is going through an individuation

> ... Second, you naively make the assumption that the Christian mythos is
> somehow the correct one, that three means trinity and four the
> redemption of Satan. Perhaps the christian concept is simply one of
> many triggered by the archetypal movement of three to four....

No, I have many weaknesses, but Iīm certainly not naive. Iīm quite aware
that there are other versions of the myth concerning the archetypal
movement of three to four. I myself made up one of my own in an earlier
message. In fact, Iīm not fond of using the christian version. To me it
sounds so pompous. But I mean, regardless of what mythological context you
use the underlying archetypes are the same. The essential meaning remains
the same. Itīs only practical using christian mythology in the christian
cultural sphere. The unconscious uses this approach to. But if you start
studying Buddhism, for instance, the unconscious will certainly produce a
buddistic version.


Mats Winther

Subject: INNER - Nigredo Friday
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 00:19:26 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

I believe I can slay two alchemical antagonists with one
email: Mats Winther's question re the myth of the dragon spewing out Jason
and George Matchette's inquiry about "wolves as part of the alchemical
process." There is a synchronicity between this day, Good Friday, and the
answer to these questions, for both deal with that station in the hero's
journey described in Joseph Campbell's THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES as
"the belly of the whale," which incorporates symbolism of the Night-Sea
Journey: Joseph in the Well, Jonah in the Whale, Entombment of Christ,
illus. in the book by a page from the 15th century "Biblia Pauperum."
Campbell writes, this station is "a sphere of rebirth symbolized in the
worldwide womb image of the belly of the whale. The hero, instead of
conquering... the threshold is swallowed into the unknown, and would appear
to have died."

To my critics who believe that spiritual evolution can occur only on the
earth plane (incarnation), I may have more to say when I have more time, but
alchemy is devoted to the process whereby spirit is liberated from matter,
Indeed, Coomaraswamy writes that "no creature can attain a higher grade
of nature without ceasing to exist." Christ in the tomb is a matephor of Light
(Gnostic Nous) trapped in its antithesis the darkness of matter (nigredo).
In Eastern philosophy, the paralell is to yin swallowing yang. The "belly
of the whale" is a precursor, however, to rebirth, and wolf and dragon
represent nigredo.

In the 1970s Campbell began to augment his lectures with color slide
projections, which appealed to the Sensation and Feeling functions as well
as the Thinking function. He stayed in my home on most of his West coast
trips in the 1970s, and I drove him to many of his lectures; hence, I saw
these slides many, many times. I recall the dragon "spewing Jason" from a
4th or 5th century Greek vase on which it had been painted. It was a magic
potion from Athene which enabled Jason to emerge from the dragon's maw.
Michael Maier's "Scrutinium Chymicum" (1687) has an engraving of a wolf
eating a dead king. Then in the background, the wolf is consumed in fire,
from which the resurrected king emerges. Thus, the king represents
spirit-Sun-gold descended to and devoured by Physis-Saturn-lead.
I am having dinner Sat. night with Jean Erdman, Joseph Campbell's widow,
and Mark Watts, the son of Zen scholar Alan Watts. It was Watts who brought
Campbell and me together exactly thirty years ago. I found, to present her,
two old poems I dedicated to my mentor, and since one has a
sacrificial/alchemical quality, I shall send them as attachments. In this
holiest week of the year, it is appropriate that the questions on the wolf
and dragon should direct us towards thinking about the rebirth of the Christ
within each of us.

Blessings to all,

Richard Roberts


c 1981 Richard Roberts

Had you not crossed the threshold and ventured forth,
Retrieving from childhood's time the marvelous tales,
Everyman himself would have been content
To sit at home amid the milking pails.

But certain maps of mythology you made,
Unknown regions of the secret soul chartered,
Peopled by princesses, dragons fire-breathing,
For which the known world we gladly bartered.

Without you the world was a smaller place,
So we strapped on swords and followed after.
To where you led there was an infinite castle,
And once inside we were heroes ever after.

Where once we had limped alas through life,
You gave us winged steeds to ride like Pegasus,
And from that castle keep of myth in shape of knights,
Your deathless words still march out to smite us.

(for Joseph Campbell)

c 1981 Richard Roberts

The way lies through gnarled forests drear,
The path now lost beneath leaves sere,
And underneath his horse's hooves,
The mossy stones do moan and ooze,
And speak to him like trodden toads.
On he goes, knowing that all roads
Are but strands of a single thread,
Converging like a spiral or a web.
The rusty jaws of the chapel gate
Beckon him to he knows not what fate.

A mailed hand at the chapel door
Proffers him a chalice of zinc,
Which when set to his lips to drink,
Foams to the brim with shrieking gore.

Given a Mirror Mysterium
Before entering Inner Sanctum,
Naked he stood, bereft of clothing,
And is made to look with loathing
On Desire to which he might succumb,
And Fear of what he might become.

Now ready he awaits his fate.
All veils are parted, vows are said,
And he is irrevocably within.
And waiting, holding His flayed skin,
The Living Host offers him His Head,
Illumined upon a golden plate.

Subject: INNER - Inner Interpretation
From: Steve Kalec
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 20:45:46 -0500

Dear Jeff,

> But we all have the god within to be redeemed and, as a good Jungian
> I suppose, the redemption of the individual is to me the highest work.

And I agree with you fully. Each in our own way and in our own time.
As each individual is lifted to a higher plane he pulls with himself to
some degree the whole. Cosmically he assists in the elevation of the
collective whole. And as you say, in this is the highest work. It is in
this that as each individual redemption is accumulated, a critical mass
so to speak in the elevation of consciousness will one day be reached
causing a collective cosmic chain reaction and explosion into a new and
higher consciousness in humanity and in the world. The collective Stone
will be made.

>.........and the danger of your interpretation seems to me
>to be to confuse an individual's work on their own enlightenment with
>some kind of cosmic task. People who make this assumption usually
>decide they are the new messenger or messiah or some such, and
>forgot that individual enlightenment is the enlightenment of the

Heavens forbid that I should be vain enough to consider myself as
such. I do appreciate your concern and I know that you are speaking to
Mats Winthers. But allow me to say that I did understand Mats'
message inwardly. To heal the split in the Godhead, if it is to be done,
it is to be done within me, in my soul and in my consciousness. When
he stated that I am to establish the kingdom of heaven on earth and
become the son of God , I understood it as the inner Alchemical
process which will occur when the volatile Holy Spirit , the universal
tincturing essence will become Fixed and the Glory of God , Divine
Consciousness will spill out onto the calcined purified salts or earth
and become established in the material aspect and objective
consciousness of my being .

But I do hear you as to how an ill assumption can be made by
some who are not quite grounded or some whose vain and expanded
egos get over excited and blown away by such a message.

I would like to thank all of you who have taken out time to share
with me their views and comments.

To Mike Dickman, > " The sword passing through the crown
has many possibilities ". The kundalini , psychic or vital mercurial
energies emerging is definitely in order here and so is the crown as
the Sahasrara chakra. Thank you for your kabalistic interpretation.

To Dimitris, > " I believe that each interpretation is 'correct' in
its synchronistic context. That is, every interpretation that comes in
any way, is a response to what we need to hear at that given moment.
Your interpretations of the pit and the kingdom couldvery well be what
you say. Go with the flow ". ......Yes , usually the first feelings and
impression are the most valid.

Best Regards to all,

Steve Kalec

Subject: INNER - auspicious beginnings
From: Edward DeVito
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 00:37:27 -0500 (EST)

In a message dated 97-01-02 08:47:48 EST, you write:

Dear Laurel,

>You asked, " 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.

My approach is through Hermetic Magic, which employs considerable alchemical
symbolism in a microcosmic "Circle" of the year (containing the elements and
associated correspondences) that relates to the "Journey of the Divine King
and his "rites of passage", celebrated at the Solstices, Equinoxes and Cross
Quarter Days. Though the focus is upon this Divine "King" the Circle is
balanced in gender, so the process is a study in balance and proportion as
well as myth & symbol.

I know better than to say the Circle works "best", but I, personally, haven't
found anything to beat it!

If you, or anyone, have questions, I can be reached as

Love & Light!

(Edward DeVito, Portland, Oregon)

Subject: INNER - Nigredo Friday
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 13:51:03 -0800
From: George Matchette

To: Richard Roberts and other interested members

>Richard wrote (in part):
>To my critics who believe that spiritual evolution can occur only on the
>earth plane (incarnation), I may have more to say when I have more time, but
>alchemy is devoted to the process whereby spirit is liberated from matter,
>Indeed, Coomaraswamy writes that "no creature can attain a higher grade
>of nature without ceasing to exist." Christ in the tomb is a matephor of Light
>(Gnostic Nous) trapped in its antithesis the darkness of matter (nigredo).
>In Eastern philosophy, the paralell is to yin swallowing yang. The "belly
>of the whale" is a precursor, however, to rebirth, and wolf and dragon
>represent nigredo.

Thank you for your thoughtful response. Since I last wrote, I had the
insight that man tends to be vertical in his stations, roughly
corresponding to the triume brain representing survival (reptilian),
social/emotional (mamallian) and intellectual/spiritual (neo-cortex). My
experience and thought is that the path of spirit includes a shift of
identification and experience from lower to higher that generally requires
one or more catalytic agents (teacher, friend, mystic experiences, divine
presence, etc). This path is anything but linear in that our capacities
from low to higher (or, if that is too perjorative, early to later
evolutionary stages of development) remain with us as potentialities. (For
example, most of us experience strong emotional feelings of loss and
sadness when someone close to us dies, however we might think, and even
experience, the unity of consciousness that is the eternity and beyond of
the reach of fleshy cessation of function. ) So, the wolf is devouring and
protective at the same time: a part that attaches all of his emotions to
belonging, with the possibility of knowing a love that is less conditional.

Does the wolf, then, have to die for this to happen, as is suggested? I
think so, and just barely do-able (like Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammad, etc.)
because you have to actually breathe (or perhaps get used to non-breathing)
the eternity and that's not so easy for a wolf to do, dependent as he is on
physical and social survival for self-definition.

Happy Easter,

George Matchette
San Francisco, California

Subject: INNER - Answer to Jeff
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 16:32:17 -0800
From: Belle Hall

Dear Mats,
Your words are read by more than those who respond. I have hesitated to
do so because too frequently my musings are more personal than they have
a right to be on this scholarly forum. However, I believe that everything
happens for a reason and your words have been chosen carefully with good
intent behind each. Not everyone can appreciate them in the same way, but
as for me, thank you for sharing.

In your study why do you think that so few follow through with finding
the Godhead? Could the idea in itself seem so fantastical that
individuals refuse to believe their thoughts could have any real meaning?
It seems plausible that the neophyte would give up when there is such
skepticism even amongst scholars who recognize that
individuation/enlightenment/whatever does happen. Yet still fault is
found in an interpretation......It seems to me that if there was but one
path then all the symbols and all the books and all the dreams would be
precisely the same..and they are not? There are then many paths to the
same Creator,yes?

You speak well. Do not stop.
Peace, Belle

Subject: INNER - Answer to Jeff
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 14:46:31 -0800
From: Victoria GaVoian

In regards to the Jeff/Matt mail

> From: Mats Winther
> Jeff,

> > ... Second, you naively make the assumption that the Christian
>mythos is somehow the correct one, that three means trinity and four
>the redemption of Satan. Perhaps the christian concept is simply one
>of many triggered by the archetypal movement of three to four....

and your answer:
> No, I have many weaknesses, but I'm certainly not naive. I'm quite
>aware that there are other versions of the myth concerning the
>archetypal movement of three to four. I myself made up one of my own in
>an earlier message. In fact, I'm not fond of using the christian version.

Dear Jeff and Mat,

I am very much interested in the relationship and surrounding myths of
the three and four. I was fortunate to have studied privately with
Marie Bauer Hall (wife of Manly P. Hall) for over three years. Her work
is based on the three and four that has a Christian myth of its own.
Very,very different than the Satan/four aspect mentioned above (which I
compared to quantum physics as well as the Qabalah. I would like to
make comparisons with other myths as well as these you have mentioned.
Could you please give me reference info. (Christian or otherwise)so I
may look up.

Also, in working with her, I had access to some very rare books, one of
which was entitled "Symbola uaria Diuersorum Principvm Sacrosanc
Ecclesiae & Sacri Impery Romani. Cum uberrima Isagoge Iac: Typoty
Familiariss Aulae & Historiograhi Sacrae Caes: R.Q.M." The last letter
or "y" of the words "Impery" and Typoty" are not on our keyboard. It
looks like a y or u (with an extension like a "y") with two small dots
on top. I have wondered what this meant for many years. Because this
book written in the 1400's, had her name annagramatically spelled out in
English if you have it laid out in the same way as on the cover of the
book. It was sent to her anonymously many years before. If anyone here
could tell me what this means, I would be very grateful. The book is
almost entirely filled with symbols and emblems. I thank you for any
help you can give me on this matter.

I'm new to alchemy, and only beginning to understand the language you
speak. Sometimes however, I become lost. There are times that a great
many of you in this group use lofty words that could be simply
explained. I have been starved for the wonderful information you are
all sharing, please take this into consideration, so that others who are
in search of the causal essence of life, the soul and its growth, will
not be frightened away by your wonderful and I sincerely believe to be,
necessary intellect.

Best wishes to all of you,

Victoria GeVoian

P.s...I agree that action is not only the key, but the basis for our own
transformation or do you use the word individuation?

Subject: INNER - Dream consciousness
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 15:07:27 -0800
From: Victoria GaVoian

Dear Anthony House,

These stones that you speak of, is there someone's writings that I may
look into? (For many years I have experienced these things you speak.)
Best Wishes,

Victoria GeVoian