The Alchemy Guild Bulletin is your source for breaking news on alchemy and alchemists with current announcements and latest info on classes, lectures, and events.
Published six times a year by the Alchemy Guild. Past issues are archived at AlchemyGuild.org.
Alchemy Guild Bulletin
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Autumnal Equinox: September 22, 2014 10:29 P.M. EDT
The exact date for autumnal equinox can vary in other time zones.
WHAT'S NEW ?
The Guild is pleased to announce its newest chapter:
Alchemy Guild of Germany (Alchemie Gilde Deutschland)
Hearty congratulations are extended to its President, Yvonne Reneman.
A few words from the Chapter President:
Greetings from Germany,
I am happy to announce that the Alchemy Guild has a German chapter now which is called “Alchemie Gilde Deutschland,” and I would like to thank Dennis William Hauck – who is also my instructor - for his trust and support.
My hope is that this new chapter will become a ‘cauldron’ for meetings, lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences or in other words - an alchemical home to those within our community but also a place which provides information to people who are interested to learn more about Alchemy.
You can contact me at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Module 2 of the Alchemy Study Program is now also available in German language.
Alchemy Guild of Russia
The Russian Chapter has been very active in both Moscow and St. Petersburg.
From Moscow Dimitry Nasareev reports the following activities:
Over the last year I have given a large number of public lectures and held meetings on Alchemy, both in an online format and real-time. The lectures emphasized spiritual alchemy and the seven stages of alchemical operations as outlined in Dennis W. Hauck’s book, The Emerald Tablet.
In cooperation with A. Ponomarev I arranged a certain amount of private conferences at which we explored the parallels between Chinese, Indian and Western alchemical traditions.
I conducted research in the following areas: 1) Alchemical Healing; 2) Alchemy as a Gate of Dreaming (work with the subconscious and Lucid Dreaming); 3) Alchemy and Advaita/ Dzogchen; and 4) Spagyria (work with plants).
Also, a new and updated version of our Russian IAG Chapter website was created.
From St. Petersburg Tatiana Matveeva reports the following:
A Chapter meeting in St.Petersburg was held recently, and a theurgic ritual for Thoth-Hermes was performed. I am inclined to continue working in Greko-Egyptian theurgy, and I have been translating more sacred texts (ancient and adapted by modern authors), which are now incorporated into our regular spiritual practices. One more alchemically-inspired ritual is planned in St.Petersburg.
Our colleagues in Moscow recently performed a ritual to Osiris for the Egyptian New Year. The ritual went very smoothly and has encouraged us to continue our work in this direction.
The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the International Alchemy Guild
Congratulations to Chapter President, Mathew Ingalls, for his appointment as the Alchemy/Spagyrics instructor for the Institute of Bioenergetic Medicine. http://ibemcollege.org/
Mathew has also been appointed an instructor to the Alchemy Study Program. http://www.AlchemyStudy.com
The RMCIAG is holding a series of monthly meetings to work through making a tincture. In August we started macerating safflower.
September - We will separate and calcinate the safflower, discuss the different methods of extracting the salts, then discuss circulation.
October - Timothy Hogan, Grand Master of the OSTI and CIRCES International will demonstrate alchemical experiments.
The Rocky Mountain Alchemy Conference:
The RMAC will be held July 23-24, 2016. We have a full line up of speakers. To keep up to date with announcements and register, visit our official website: http://rockymountainalchemyconference.com/ or check us out on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therockymountainalchemyconference?ref_type=bookmark
President Mathew Ingalls: mailto:email@example.com
Vice President Greg Carroll: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Mathew Ingalls, President
Midwest Alchemy Guild
Vincent N. Martin, President of the Midwest Chapter, and a graduate of the Alchemy Study Program submitted the following testimonial for the Program:
The Alchemy Study Program (ASP) is truly in a class all by itself. To me it is well worth the investment of both time and money. ASP enabled me to transform on all three levels of reality and these teachings “stuck,” immediately allowing the veil of Alchemical mystery to be lifted away. ASP empowered me to realize my Personal Vision of the Great Work.
I hope to share my Personal Vision with all my Brothers and Sisters of the Alchemy Guild one day, perhaps in the next Bulletin. ASP (particularly Module 7) gave me the tools to unlock my Personal Vision, and I look forward to the time when the Guild Apprenticeship Program re-opens to continue my studies.
I recommend this program for anyone who has even the mustard seed-sized hint of a desire to pursue this Path. That seed will be watered and it will grow.
The link to the ASP is: http://www.AlchemyStudy.com
Contact Mr. Martin at: mailto:email@example.com
Light can be as frightening as is the darkness. Light can blind, as do overwhelming psychic experiences. Always there should be balance and moderation, and when the stone is rolled away from the sepulcher and the initiate is faced with the emerging "Golden Dawn,” his heart should truly hold steadfast and be unafraid in the face of the resurrection from the darkness of the crypt he carries with him, the dungeon of Saturnus.
| || In This Issue: |
. Alchemy Guild of Germany
. Chapter News
. Featured Article
. Alchemical Awakenings
. Op Ed
. Wisdom of Humor
Spotlight On . .
. New Books
. Alchemy Study
HAPPY LABOR DAY!
One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.
The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.
September 21 is the International Day of Peace
No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
A Mystical, Alchemical Interpretation of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass
© 2014 John Caris revision copy
Apuleius wrote his famous, thought-provoking story The Golden Ass back in the second century A.D. During his life, he had defeated charges of practicing magic, been initiated into the Mysteries of Isis, and became a priest of god Aesculapius (in Greek named Asclepius), renowned for his healing powers. Snakes were often used in Aesculapius’ healing procedures. His staff was entwined with a serpent. Dreams were considered important. Patients would tell theirs to a priest at the god’s temple. Apuleius’ allegorical story has for centuries attracted those who sought secrets veiled by the charm of words, secrets about magic and alchemy, revelations concerning the structure of reality.
The complete story is a complex allegory containing many layers of meaning and reflecting the strange adventures of the main character Lucius. Leaving aside Apuleius’ shrewd examination of Roman society and his satiric remarks, in this essay I will examine the Psyche-Cupid episode, which is the mythic center. First, a short summary of the episode is required, before I share my insights and interpretations.
Psyche discovers her beauty causes the jealousy and envy of other people. Her father, unable to find her a suitor, goes to the oracle for advice. The oracle declares Psyche must wed the raging serpent: the wedding is viewed as a funeral. Left on a mountaintop, she is calmed by Zephyrus, the west wind, who carries her to the valley floor.
Psyche enters a palace. The attendants are invisible, and she hears only their voices. Her husband Cupid visits at night, leaving before dawn. She can feel and hear him, but not see him. Cupid allows her to do anything she wants, even if it will bring harm and destruction, with one exception: she cannot look on his face or he will leave. Her child will be divine only if she keeps the secret about Cupid, but if she reveals the secret, the child will be mortal. The soul (Psyche) is caught up in worldly affairs while the spirit (Cupid) is not, except through Psyche’s activities.
Psyche brings her two jealous sisters to the palace. On the third visit they tell Psyche that Cupid is a serpent, encouraging her to behead him. Psyche, after seeing Cupid by lamplight, cuts her thumb on one of his arrows, and her desire for him is ignited. Hot oil from the lamp spills on Cupid’s shoulder. Originally, he had pierced himself with an arrow and had fallen in love with her, but now he must fly away from his love.
In despair she throws herself into a river, but the waters lay her safely on the bank. Pan gives her advice: put aside grief and woo Cupid. She goes in search of Cupid. But Venus hears of Cupid’s wound and the gossip about him. When she learns Psyche is the cause of the harm, Venus is even more angry and wants to punish Cupid.
Psyche finds the shrines of Ceres, matron of the Eleusian Mysteries, and Juno, but neither want to offend Venus and receive her wrath.
Venus asks Mercury to proclaim around the countryside that she wants Psyche. Upon hearing the proclamation, Psyche goes to Venus’ palace and gives herself up. After beating her, Venus gives Psyche four tasks to perform. With the help of friendly spirits, she successfully performs the tasks, although she is nearly defeated by the fourth task, which is to go to Hades and get some of Proserpine’s beauty for Venus. Psyche is given a box to carry the beauty in, and she is told by a friendly spirit not to open and peek into the box to see the beauty.
After receiving Proserpine’s gift, the trickster in her mind whispers: why not take a tiny piece of beauty so she can be lovely in Cupid’s eyes. Because her self-image has been tarnished by Venus’ punishments, she opens the box and is surprised it contains the Sleep of the Innermost Darkness, the night of Styx. The Sleep emerges from the box and enters her, causing her to fall unconscious.
His wound having healed, Cupid now ventures forth to find Psyche. When he comes upon her, he puts the Sleep back into the box and rouses her with a prick of his arrow. Awakening, she realizes that her uncontrollable curiosity is her weakness. Cupid now entreats Jove to help. Jove commands that Cupid and Psyche will be properly wed and their marriage will be divinely accepted. Psyche is taken to heaven by Mercury, given ambrosia, and becomes immortal, to be eternally wed to Cupid. Their child is a daughter whom they name Joy.
After reading the story several times over the years, I have discovered many connections to alchemy and the transformative process of the perennial philosophy concealed in the story. First some thoughts about the mystical level of meaning.
Psyche the soul is mortal; Cupid the spirit is immortal. Immortal means not mortal. The soul when it enters the world is mortal, and when the body dies, it leaves this realm of incarnation. If the soul remains mortal, it will reincarnate and continue the cycle of birth and death until it becomes immortal and goes to the divine realm--paradise or heaven or nirvana. Clearly, the ancients assumed reincarnation and the mortality of the soul.
After Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire, the church fathers rejected reincarnation but still maintained the inner truth; that is, the soul is mortal unless it becomes immortal. In Christianity gaining immortality means being saved and going to heaven. Those who are not saved go to hell, which is a realm where unsaved (read “mortal”) souls reside. These souls experience mortality as if they were still in their bodies. Hence hell takes the place of reincarnation without the recycling process, and thus a second chance is denied. Christianity posits a one-time opportunity for all eternity. Reincarnation offers recurring chances for acquiring immortality.
For me, an alchemical interpretation offers more insight. The nectar of the gods given to Psyche gives immortality; this is the quest for the fountain of youth. The marriage of the king and queen equals fusing the soul and spirit. Their offspring--the blending--is an immortal, spiritual soul that has experienced the physical, temporal world in physical form. This mystical marriage explains some of the complexities and apparent paradoxes in alchemical texts.
The heat is that of love. Psyche’s four tasks are the four alchemical stages. Venus’ wrath is another heat energy that decomposes the elements of the soul and separates the two, soul and spirit, for a time. The two sisters, corrupted substances, spur the soul towards its destruction and thus eventual renewal on a higher level. This is the phoenix image: death and rebirth. Without the sisters’ jealousy and hatred, Psyche would remain in an innocent, unconscious bliss--the mortal soul in an earthly paradise without any desire for achieving immortality. This is basic contentedness. (Is this a reason for God through the serpent tricking Adam and Eve into eating the apple?)
The sisters trigger the sequence leading to the soul’s salvation, but Psyche’s own curiosity leads to the destruction of her mindless innocence. At first she needs a visible image; later she wants to improve herself. Thus the punishment and travail begin but eventually lead to immortality because of Cupid’s love, which awakens Psyche into a higher consciousness. When Psyche the soul first entered Cupid’s enchanted palace, she was only in love with herself; yet once she cuts herself on one of his arrows, her love is directed toward her spirit guardian, Cupid. She is now in a state conducive to marriage with him. Previously, they were only living together. Because Psyche was not ready for and equal to a bonding with Cupid, he had to remain invisible. Although she bore within her their child, she had to go through a series of challenges before she could reach the spiritual level. At first Cupid came to earth at night for their meeting when she could only hear and feel but not see him. Now she goes to the god realm where they are married, and their child becomes immortal too. Venus’ wrath, expressing the existential qualities, turns Cupid onto Psyche! Otherwise, Psyche would have ended up as a mortal beauty without any offspring or opportunity to gain immortality. Jealousy is a distorted form of love, but notice the many other manifestations of love or heat. Also included is the love underlying the help that she receives for the four tasks. Was Cupid directing the assistance behind the scenes?
Christianity’s rejection of reincarnation created a distorted layer over the ancient texts. Reading the texts through a Christian lens engendered difficulties in interpretation and understanding. Later analyses tried to give clues that would unlock the code without disturbing the religious and political powers. Medieval alchemists at least needed to appear Christian because they were already on dangerous ground with their occult studies, and so the Christian guise was their shield against persecution.
The soul contains in its essence the seed of immortality. Without the seed the soul could never become immortal. It is the seed, the child within, that is transformed. The story of Psyche-Cupid is a key to the code hidden in the ancient texts.
The soul and spirit are seeking each other: the soul on the ground and the spirit wafting down toward it, but not going all the way. Is she our spirit guide come to protect us? Is the soul’s vessel made of gossamer? The soul must perform its role and reach up and grasp the spirit, which simultaneously seizes the soul. To accomplish the task, we must become what we are not, that is, our perfect nature, our original self. The absurdity of existence often seems too much--La Commedia, as Dante Alighieri had called it.
Contact Mr. Caris at: mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit his website: http://www.westgatehouse.com
Don't let the dance of Sulfur and Mercury confuse you. Their blurred identities are part of the mystery of creation. Unfortunately, every author seems to have an opinion as to what they represent. That is why Paracelsus set the standard definitions that most alchemists after him have followed: Mercury is spirit and Sulfur is soul.
from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy by Dennis W. Hauck
The Awakening of an Alchemy Study Program Student:
How I Came to Alchemy
by Adam West
During my Teen’s and 20’s life was just one big party. These days it is all a blur, though, the struggles, addictions and mental state of mind that I was left with was not. The outfall from these self-indulgent and carefree decades of my life was hatred towards humanity, no self respect or control, the inability to exist within the ‘normal’ societies of life and the lack of compassion or commitment regarding everyday things such as myself, work and relationships. I was diagnosed with ADHD and mild depression at the age of 31, though, it was all just disconnection.
For a while I fought these issues, thinking, ‘I can overcome this, everything will just work out, the universe will provide for me’ then eventually I ended up in rehab. I had a beautiful baby daughter that I could not see due to my behaviour and I had hit rock bottom. I stuck it out in rehab and beat my psychedelic projection. I ventured back into society knowing that the next level was to work on my mental and spiritual wellbeing so that I could be a good father for my child.
I had always felt the connection that we have with the macro cosmos except, as I was high most of the time, I thought I just had ‘Special Powers’. I started to Google self awareness courses and the like hoping to find something or some help that could show me a way to love life, myself, and fill the hole or lack of understanding that I felt. My thirst for knowledge and the willing focus on the emotions that I had experienced brought me across the Alchemy Study Program. This was not a fantasy novel, Paracelsus knows, I’ve read all the books, this was real. Alchemy came to me like the moon every day, the sun every morning and the air that I breath. It found me. And it saved me. The one thing that I needed, the one thing that I believed truly did exist was the Universe, and the one thing that has been in my life on many levels of vibration, since and, always, is Alchemy.
Nights of study will always bring me clarity and knowledge. The grounding and earthly experience of growing herbs, knowing their planetary connection with myself and the astronomical and astrological aspects of who I am is the transformation that I have experienced. This could be lead into gold or the much needed marriage of my body with spirit and soul.
The past few years have been absolutely amazing. I have noticed acceptance through my healing and knowledge of spagyrics. I have accepted myself growing, maturing, learning patience and acknowledging the psychological minds of others. History knows we all breathe, shine and darken what many a scholar has written over the ages, and all others connected with the collective will write in the future.
The inner and outer laboratories have combined. My time, studies and patience have made me stronger. I have learned to love truly and have been rewarded more than gratefully.
Contact Mr. West at: mailto:email@example.com
. . . and the Story of an Adept Alchemist
A Short Autobiography on my Alchemical Awakening
by Steve Kalec
In my life, I have always believed in the eye of the conscience. What truly do I mean by this? I mean the Eye of Horus. As Miester Ekhart has said, “The eye with which I see God is the same eye in which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye, that is one eye and one seeing and one recognizing and one loving.” This is the one eye we can never hide form, as much as we would want to at times. This Eye knew me before I was formed in the belly, and I will dare to say, that I knew this eye also since eternity. Oh, please do not allow my blaspheming self to surprise you, for this Eye is verily also my eye. It is your eye also you know.
My earliest recollection of memory in this life was at of the age of three. I remember being put to sleep inside a huge wine press in the family wine cellar. While I napped my parents went to work the vines. It was spring time, and I remember waking up from a very peaceful sleep finding myself in total darkness except for a very intense beam blinding me further as the sun radiated through the crack of an old dilapidated door. I was on my knees holding onto the edge of the wine press. I was frightened as I did not know how to get down from the press, walk through the darkness and get passed a door beyond where the light was blinding. I didn’t cry as I felt a sense of assurance of a wonderful presence about me. I thought to myself that I was safe where I came from, the other world, the world I was in within my sleep. I sat down, felt my makeshift bed and lied back down feeling safe, in comfort, and fell asleep. Throughout my childhood till today I have always had an inner contact with the higher forces of nature. I was born a mystic and alchemy was always with me whose beautiful philosophy was gradually revealed to me as I was able to see and hear.
My mother was very religious and a devout Catholic. By the age of five, I knew the “Our Father”, the “Hail Mary” and “The Creed, I Believe in God." The sense of the higher presence that I was born with was further strengthened within me by my mother’s teaching of her understanding of God. She made me understand and believe that we always will receive from God what we ask for through prayer. My attunements with the Cosmic forces and the higher mind began early in my life. At age seven I was already erecting crosses for God made of branches in the woods, one for each request I had made. This was my way of making deals (covenants) with God. It was this inner strength and belief in higher forces that helped me throughout my life. We had a rough childhood as we were refugees for two years in Austria. My parents had nothing when they escaped from communist Yugoslavia, and then starting a new life in Canada was not easy.
At twenty-one I joined AMORC , whose teachings catapulted me into a new world and I felt as though I was reborn through them. I had early metaphysical experiences relating to the setting of the “Secret Fire,” which very soon allowed me to experience initiations in the Astral Realm. The “Glorious Body” is no mystery to me. I received contact with the “White Brotherhood” soon after I had worked my first healing using the transmuting fire as I was thought to generate it. Through a Rosicrucian friend I was lead to the teachings and the collected works of Carl Jung, through whom I was lead to laboratory practical alchemy, which complemented all my studies. I soon was able to see the mighty theurgic forces that could be evoked in practical lab alchemy. The alchemical process was now seen in its full universal aspect, in its threefold nature of spirit, soul and body, which completed my quest. Now all that was required of me was work, which brought me the completed holistic joy I had been always looking for. Heaven was now establishing itself on earth.
I joined the Philosophers of Nature at a time when they were still very active. I went to many of their seminars and met Russel House, Patrice Maleze and, of course, Jean Dubuis. Their lessons are still being studied as they encompass so much and so many paths. But my happiest moments were with Mafred Junius. His seminars were special, I suppose because he was special. He was a good mentor and a kind friend.
Contact Mr. Kalec at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
“One night 10 years ago I was internet surfing, and I came across this website on alchemy [IAG]. I was completely floored as I read what was before my eyes. An Art/science from the mother land. Ever since that night I’ve had this thirst or drive to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
IAG member Curtis Miles
THE RED OF ALCHEMY
By Paul Kiritsis
According to alchemical doctrine, the addition of mercury to the prima materia in the alembic and the repeated cycles of distillation to which it is subjected spurs a violent reaction, causing it to attain a deep red hue that can be likened to blushing. Fiery red is a colour of rage, passion, emotion, and activity, as well as the unconscious will to dominate, subjugate, and rule over nature. It is also the colour associated with the culminating phase of the alchemical opus, the rubedo, where the prima materia becomes ultima materia or the Philosopher’s Stone. The latter is habitually described as a dense red powder scintillating in the daylight like shards of broken glass. So many miraculous feats are attributed to it, the most notable being the transmutation of base metals into gold and the conferral of immortality upon the individual who ingests it. Like quicksilver, it was supposed to coagulate into a wax-like jelly when subjected to high temperatures and reacquire its original solid state again upon cooling.
In describing this, the most desirable of alchemical stages, the seventeenth century alchemist Eirenaeus Philalethes posited that: “And so the Red they name their Vermilion, their red lead, their Poppy of the Rock, their Tyre (i.e. Tyrian Purple), their Basilisk, their red Lion, and in sum it borrows the names of all red things.” Red flowers like roses and lilies, the ruby gemstone, and the red King are also symbols of the alchemical rubedo. The last of these is inexplicably linked with the sun, a material constituent of the collective and personal conscious. Hence, the rubedo alludes to the exaltation of the conscious mind under the auspices of an integrated unconscious; what Carl Jung called individuation.
Transpersonal psychology envisions the alchemical rubedo as the creation of a new, pneumatic state whereby any egoic projections of desirousness and personal exaltation emerging onto the virgin slate of the soul are instantly transformed into a creative fluid ready to utilize the client’s inner natural tendencies when forming interpersonal relationships. In this way psychic connections are not only genuine and open, but full of significance, resolve, and an adroit capacity for rejuvenation. Unlike many foregoing stages, the rubedo signals a permanent change to the composition of one’s personality; now, irreconcilable and hostile forces are resisted and the frightening putrefaction caused by internal friction more easily endured because of its constructive and beneficial after-effects.
Somebody who has reached this level of development through clinical work or the life process is fueled by altruistic love and fundamental harmony, operating in ways that deepen and enrich personal and collective experiences. They are concerned for their own welfare; the welfare of their brothers and sisters; and for the betterment of transnational ethos and lifestyle. Well-balanced, measured, and calculated in their thinking and consequent actions, integrated individuals emit positive, benevolent vibrations that radiate outwards and enrapture those in their immediate vicinity; their cheerful disposition is so infectious and soul-nourishing that others vibrating on lesser wavelengths want to be around them all the time. High vibrations are energizing and everyone wants to be energized.
Rubedo, then, might be described as a permanent psychospiritual shift within the individual which involves the appearance of objectively-sensed truths. The most important of these relates to the nature of the relationship between the inner and outer planes, between microcosm and macrocosm or mind and matter. Clients who have been successfully integrated know that to pursue the fulfillment of those desires orientated towards the acquisition of material properties is futile because the desirousness of the ego-self is perpetual and can never be completely gratified. How does one quench an unquenchable thirst?
Having climbed onto the sturdier ground on which the ‘superior’ personality or ‘diamond body’ rests, he or she now understands that the ego’s desire to possess bits and pieces of the phenomenal world and call them ‘mine’ arises from a persistent concentration on exterior visual imagery, one that imbues their corresponding internal constituents with emotional significance and personal worth. When unaccompanied by mental processes able to internalize images and assimilate them into an intricate personal labyrinth of interconnected meanings and purposes, matter is meaningless and worthless. In other words there is no worth or value in anything unless matter is appropriated by the dualism of the human mind. Everything is within, not without. Logically then, relations and actions with the outer world–movements, possessions, behaviors and attitudes, and the scope and depth of active participation in interpersonal relationships–are all splinters of a mirror reflecting core worth or values that currently preside over the integrated or un-integrated soul of a particular individual.
If this esoterically-flavored philosophy is to be believed, then what we call reality and objective truth are in fact internal affairs; a subjectively-constructed state in each person’s ‘heart’. Contemplating this truth, mulling it over, and then ‘earthing’ it by applying it to relationships and to life in general is what reddening or the rubedo is all about. Just like the ultima materia or ruby-red Philosopher’s Stone, fulfilling the spiritualization of consciousness in this psychotherapeutic stage is about being able to project oneself into foreign psychic spaces, withdraw from them at will, and rise to extraordinary places in the heavens from whence the action of the spiritual winds on the collective and personal psyche becomes fully coherent. It’s about programming the mind to be unconditional and non-judgmental, pulling down fixated and neurotic obstructions, and being able to permeate all possible foreign modes of thought and being. The imaginal world is its inheritance and creative vision is its language. Its dialect is subtle. This is rubedo or red.
Are you seeing red yet?
Contact Mr. Kiritsis at: mailto:email@example.com
Congratulations to Mr. Kiritsis on being awarded the IAG Paraselsus Award in recognition of his outstanding website and in honor of Mr. Kiritsis' personal philosophy of alchemy and applied alchemical methods on mind-matter interaction, transpersonal psychology, consciousness studies, mythology, and history. Visit this award winning website: http://www.paulkiritsis.net
Recently on the Guild’s Alchemists Forum a question was posed regarding the difference between Soul and Spirit. Unlike other responses, Roger Asterilla elevated the question to how words affect a true exploration of the mysteries of life.
Mr. Asterilla posited that the problem is in the use of ‘words’, themselves, since they are symbols that convey experiences of consciousness, and both reveal and conceal. Moreover, he tells us, there are inherent dangers in revealing (writing down) the Mysteries, and the reasons can be found in many of the ancient sources. His text follows:
. . . . Jacques Lacan, a contemporary with Freud and Jung, emphasized the relation of language to unconscious functioning. Language, being metaphoric and symbolic, is one step -- one large step -- removed from ‘reality,’ and in the gap between the symbolic and the real is all the deception, lies, and fraud of human existence.
This effect of the written word was known in antiquity by Socrates, who observed that:
"The written word is but a bastard son of the lawfully engendered ‘intelligible Word’ graven in the soul of the learner, which can defend itself, and knows when to speak and to be silent."
Further in Plato's Phaedrus, King Ammon admonishes Theuth (Thoth) of the dangers inherent in the written word. The King states: "This discovery of your will creates forgetfulness in the learners’ souls because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external, written characters and not remember of themselves . . . your disciples (will be given) not truth but the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things, and will have learned nothing."
Specifically, as it pertains to putting to pen the Mysteries, it is stated:
"When they (the Mysteries) have been written down, they are tumbled about anywhere among those who may or may not understand them. . . ."
The reason for this opposition to writing, since it increases forgetfulness, is also given:
“Sowing words brings forth sacred truths too quickly, in too facile a manner; like a plant that grows in eight days, words are but shallowly rooted in the mind.”
Finally, in the Corpus Hermeticum Hermes states,
“One should protect the many from themselves, that they might ignore what has been said until they are prepared -- for else they might think themselves ‘superior to Fate,’ becoming ever more arrogant, whereas if ignorant they will at least refrain from sin out of fear of the unknown . . . those who receive the teachings only intellectually, without the transformative power of the initiatory tradition to guide them, may well -- like Nietzche -- sink into an amoral, egotistic morass, worse even than those who knew nothing.”
Plato is explicitly clear regarding the argument of writing down the Mysteries and the sacred language from which they came: The greatest danger mankind faces is forgetfulness of the Divine; and that in "the old age of mankind some memorials shall have to remain of the wisdom of the past." Therefore, as opposed to allowing frustration to overwhelm you, would it not be more effective to seek the origin of the words that interest you, which will reveal the perceptions you seek?
The following is an abridged statement from Thomas Troward:
"For the majority of us, we have become habituated to the practice of forming our opinions and conclusions by external appearances, and by the limited importance we attach to our use of words. However, when we endeavor to understand the real meaning of words, and to analyze the causes underlying appearances, our old perceptions gradually give way, and we awaken to the fact that we were living in a world that was limited in its significance and meaning. This type of enquiry, a willingness to seek the underlying significance of words, which deepen our perceptions, is an attempt to broaden our intelligence born from a determination to discover for ourselves the truth; regardless of previous or preconceived ideas and to think honestly for ourselves."
Contact Mr. Asterilla at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The link to the Alchemists Forum is: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/alchemists_forum/info
Working magic means showing up with your demons and your divinity, your sorrow and your joy. Alchemy only happens when we are willing to go through the processes of gathering together, refining, pouring, and solidifying. In the end, we have something fine to hold.
Make Magic of Your Life by T. Thorn Coyle
The Harvest Moon and the Equinox
It’s an early Harvest Moon this year for the Northern Hemisphere. Look for the Harvest Moon to shine on the night of September 8-9, 2014. In traditional skylore, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, and depending on the year, the Harvest Moon can come anywhere from two weeks before to two weeks after the autumnal equinox. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the 2014 autumnal equinox comes on September 23, so the September 8-9 full moon counts as the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon.
The moon turns precisely full on Tuesday, September 9, at 1:38 Universal Time. Translating Universal Time to the clock time at United States’ time zones, that places the precise time for the September full moon on Monday, September 8, at 9:38 p.m. EDT, 8:38 p.m. CDT, 7:38 p.m. MDT or 6:38 p.m. PDT.
The Harvest Moon is known for bringing a procession of moonlit nights!
The Wisdom of Humor
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NEW BOOKS BY MEMBERS
Paul Kirtsis has written an alchemy e-book, The Black Art, available for download from his website, which encompasses all of his alchemical writings. Below is a general description of the content:
The Black Art (2013), the fourth e-book, contains all of Mr. Kirtsis' work on the subject of alchemy, including a lucid presentation on the formative principles (the four elements, the seven planets and metals, and the tria prima); a historiographical analysis on the in- auguration and interaction of alchemy with other disciplines/ traditions in the West; the viability of its primary objectives (i.e. metallic transmutation, transcendence, and unio mystica with the divine); the cosmographical implications of the last four plates of the Splendor Solis; and an in-depth expose of the alchemical stages as a psychological process. Download at: www.paulkiritsis.net
Dennis William Hauck makes alchemy’s secrets and powers accessible to everyone once again in this second printing of the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first basic primer on the subject of alchemy.On sale now at the Guild Bookstore:
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