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Hermetic/alchemical meditation

6. Mercurius or the Caduceus

In this series of elementary meditative exercises, no special postures are required but that in which one is most comfortable, nor are any special breathing rhythms used. Meditation should be undertaken when one is not too tired, and the best situation is probably lying down in a quiet, nearly dark, room, and it is essential to have privacy and no possibility of being disturbed.
All these exercises begin with the Philosophic Egg or retort meditation, described in the first issue, which leads one into an inner meditative space. Within that space, we shall perform short exercises, and then close the meditation with the retort exercise reversed, that is leading one out of the inner space back to normal consciousness.
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Mercurius or the Caduceus

When one is within the inner space of the retort exercise, begin to build a picture of the Caduceus within one's being. As in the Hermaphrodite exercise (Number 5), experience the left-right polarities of one's inner nature. Picture one's being in the pentagam gesture, and allow one's feelings of the left and right polarities to focus in the arms and hands and form an inner picture of the horns of the Caduceus.

Then begin to work with the other polarity experienced in the Ouroboros meditation (Number 4), the head-body-limbs. Form inwardly the rounded solar part of the Mercurius symbol, and superimpose it upon the trunk of one's body experienced inwardly.

One should then begin to experience a kind of current flowing into the left hand, (the passive side of our being) from the Cosmos-outside, and round the circle of the Caduceus to the right side of the body, then round up the left side and across to the right hand, from which one should experience the flow of energy leaving. (Some purely left handed people may need to reverse these directions.) Do not allow this inner experience of flowing energy too develop too powerfully, and dominate the meditation It should be just a gentle flow. We are not here concerned with dynamics but with the balancing of energies within one's interior space.

At the lowest point of the solar facet of the Caduceus, one should form the image of a cross, and this cross is the earthing point of the symbol. If one finds the energetics of the Lunar-Solar flow becoming too strong, one needs only withdraw into the cross form, and allow the upper open lemniscate of the Caduceus to fade.

In performing this Mercurius exercise one aims to balance the various forces and facets of the symbol. The Lunar crescent or open part of the lemniscate - against the closed Solar part. The whole upper part -against the lower cross form. The left passive side - against the right active side. In the upper lunar pert one opens one's being to the Spiritual-cosmic forces, the closed Solar part allows one to experience the enclosed forces of the soul, while the cross is the solid part of incarnation, experienced through the feet in the contact with the earth realm.

The three meditative exercises of the Ouroboros, Hermaphrodite and the Caduceus form an inter-related group, and they can and should be practised together as an organic whole, integrating the various polarities of our beings.