Alchemy Journal Vol.2 No.6
Vol. 2 No.6
Three Gems of Alchemical Initiation
Part 2: Sublimation of Ching, the Second Gem of Alchemy
By Lynn Osburn
The sublimation of ching is the second alchemical gemstone. When ching is sublimated through the inner circulation you can become aware of your subtle body. Chi circulates through the inner circulation. Ching can rise through the microcosmic orbit and enliven or activate the dormant subtle body. The subtle body is the complement of the gross (physical) body. When enlivened by the reverse flow of ching the dormant subtle body begins to develop. The old Taoist masters called this development of the immortal fetus.
Ching energy is produced naturally by your physical body. This natural product is sexual energy. Ching is creation power. As sexual energy it is unconsciously produced and driven by biological instinct instilled by the great mother Void Chaos. The physical portal for the production of this microcosmic quintessence is the sex organ systems in men and women. When these complementary powers intermingle through sexual intercourse a new life can be created. The gross (physical) life created is the embryo that can become a new human being provided the electromagnetic and biochemical cascade of matter in the embryo has enough shen to complete its course.
Physical life is created by the union of outward flowing semen in men with the transmigrating egg in women. This unconscious intercourse produces a new human being. When a man prevents the outward flow of semen during sexual practice while drawing the orgasmic energy upward the subtle body can become manifest. The subtle body is in this way enlivened with ching power. Being slowly coalesces there; the immortal fetus is born. Consciousness, feeling and sensation are able to precipitate there.
The Taoist alchemical classic Secret of the Golden Flower, details this process but it does not address the Prima materia — sexuality — openly. Classic Western alchemical texts never speak of sexuality. Instead symbolic sexuality is linked to processes going on inside of sealed laboratory equipment. Often a king and queen are pictured in cohabitation upon waters in an alchemical vessel. Those European adepts referred to the process as mysterium conjuctionis—mysterious conjunction.
This marriage of the King and Queen is seen as an allegory for the enlivening processes going on inside the alchemical vessel. Indeed many a chaste Medieval Christian alchemist was barred by religious prejudice from discovering even the possibility of sublimating orgasmic energy.
I was first exposed to the idea of sublimation of sexual energy when I read Taoist Yoga Alchemy and Immortality by Lu K’uan Yu. This is a translation of his teacher’s nineteenth century manuscript. I was a young man when I first read it and rejected the notion of sexual sublimation for it barred orgasmic ejaculation. That was antithetical to my sexual drive at that time. In fact sexuality and lusty thoughts were called evil in the text. Years later I discovered this negative attitude toward sex was an influence first from Buddhism then Christianity. I had all but forgotten about sublimation of sexual energy for alchemical purposes until I read the work of Mantak Chia, a modern master of Taoist alchemy from Thailand. I had been a journeyman alchemist for twenty years by then. I had been circulating chi for ten years but my old incredulity return when I first read his book, Taoist Secrets of Love, Cultivating Male Sexual Energy.
However, I had learned to circulate chi by syncretizing certain Rosicrucian breathing exercises with the circulation patterns outlined in Taoist Yoga Alchemy and Immortality. I was no longer a youth and approaching middle age. My sex drive had become somewhat tempered, and I had gained too much respect for the Tao to dismiss the idea of sublimating sexual energy as laid out by Mantak Chia. He was using the same Taoist microcosmic orbit to flux sexual energy. I studied the book and followed the exercises. I found that sublimating ching was not that difficult since rotating chi through the inner circulation had become second nature for me by then.
Sublimating ching can be dangerous. Ching is much denser power than chi. It travels up the spinal column concentrating subtle body base capacitor qualities in the medulla-cerebellum. From there It penetrates inward into the light gathering organ, the pineal gland; a pulsation is felt as the floating Point opens in the middle of the forehead. If the charge is sustained in the subtle capacitor, It then loads into the port and starboard shen channels saturating Sylvian brain fissures (Called the Supreme Ultimate and Immaterial Spirit respectively by the Taoist alchemists.). Ching in the shen channels can induce power surges into the optic nerves because of the proximity. That surge of energy can cause clusters of blood vessels to blow out. To avoid the danger of ching build-up in the shen channels one must circulate chi after sublimating ching. The excess ching in the subtle body is converted through circulation into life sustaining chi power.
I highly recommend reading Mantak Chia’s book(s) before proceeding. Sublimating ching is not harmless like circulating chi. If one adheres religiously to the traditional methods taught by Mantak Chia then sublimating ching is fairly safe. However the alchemy of ching power spills out well beyond the confines of the traditional methods. If you succeed in sublimating ching and create your own immortal fetus by awakening the subtle body you will become aware of the painful conundrums of sexual power.
To sublimate ching one must collect sexual energy then concentrate It. You do this by stimulation sexually to a point near orgasm. The closer to orgasm you get, the more ching there is. That energy builds in the groin area and must be drawn upward. This is accomplished by drawing in a deep breath while pulling the hot sexual energy up the spine through the inner circulation. This is the opposite direction as in circulating chi.
To keep the power from flowing into orgasmic energy you should clinch the buttocks and fists while pulling the energy upward. It first moves into a cavity near the bowels. Store It there and build another charge and store It the same way. Collective charges stored there from multiple surging concentrates until the sexual fluids that usually carry orgasmic energy become overcharged. Thus overcharged they will escape; the sages say do not spill your seed.
With the supercharge of ching collected stop the sexual gathering and concentrate on drawing the ching up the spine with each inhalation. You will feel It getting dense at the base of your skull. With each inhalation more of It will collect at the base of your skull until this subtle body basal capacitor is fully saturated with ching power. Then the power will jump to the center of your brain and cause a sensation in the middle of your forehead; that is the Floating Point Navigator opening. Should you have enough ching still rising to keep the capacitor charged the density fans out to the left and right saturating the Sylvian fissures above the ears. This signifies the shen generators are charging in the Lateral Ventricles. Should you have still more ching rising the density can be drawn to the crowning point at the top of your skull. Should that open you will know ONE and become Ion. (Personification in eternity)
This process can be seen in the following drawings. First: Ching power rising in the main channel saturating the brain in a man; from Taoist Secrets of Love Cultivating Male Sexual Energy, by Mantak Chia. Second: Ching power flowing in complete circuit in a woman. (from Healing Love Through the Tao, Cultivating Female Sexual Energy by Mantak & Maneewan Chia).
The Point at the top does not open easily and It is better not to open unless you have some shen to distill. If power rises to the crown do not leave It there. Rotate It down to the bottom between the stomach and the bowels. Do this by practicing the inner circulation. It will settle down and balance out in chi.
Once I had become proficient at sublimating ching, I realized how much the experience of the process revealed still more of the Emerald Tablet axioms.
… Here is the essence of every Perfection in the world. Its strength and power prevail when turned into earth; thou wilt separate the earth from fire, the subtle from the gross, gently and with great care.
It ascends from earth to heaven, descends again to earth and receives the power of the higher and the lower. By this means, thou wilt have the glory of the world. And because of this, all obscurity will flee from thee. Within this is the power, most powerful of all powers. For It will overcome all subtle things, and penetrate every solid thing. Thus the world was created. Wonderful adaptations will emerge from this; It is the Way.
When ching rises into the original cavity of Spirit behind and between the eyes insight and intuition evolve; one can perceive and feel the essence of every Perfection— the mystery of ONE.
Sexual power is quite strong. It wants to get out and create. When you turn It within—into your earth Its strength and power prevail. That means ching turned inward saturates the subtle body with strength and power thus enlivening It.
‘First, the (subtle) sexual sublimate energy must be separated from the (gross) material sexual secretion systems. This is done with great care (concentration) and no force is necessary — just will power. It, the sexual energy sublimate, ascends from the groin (earth) to the original cavity of spirit in the head (heaven). It empowers the subtle body and receives the powers of the higher (insight, intuition, inductive configuration, deductive penetration, refined concentration, enhanced imagination).
Having empowered the higher, It descends to the lower, the original cavity of vitality above the crotch and below the kidneys, there It empowers the lower (cogent feeling and sensation, refined will power and emotions). Thus empowered and within the subtle body you will have the glory of the world. And through your evolution in the subtle body and because of the higher and lower development you will attain the most powerful of all powers: knowing the way of things.
Lynn Osburn is co-author of Green Gold: the Tree of Life, Marijuana in Magic and Religion published by Access Unlimited. For more information email [email protected]..
The Alchemy in Spiritual Progress
Part 6: Fermentation
Last time, I presented material on Putrefaction -Fermentation and told you I was currently in the Putrefaction stage. In his book, The Emerald Tablet, Dennis William Hauck defines Putrefaction as “the absolute suppression of ego….often perceived as a dark depression in which the former ruling principle of the personality must die to make room for a higher identity (pg. 115).” Having moved through the Putrefaction stage and into Fermentation where my former identity was changed, I want to share more with you on that subject. I will discuss Distillation next time.
The dream I shared with you in which my Soul came to me, holding the light, heralded the beginnings of the sister process to Putrefaction: Fermentation. It felt like sliding from a smelly and distasteful pit of garbage into a silent temple, one devoid of anything except a stone floor, walls and ceiling. There was nothing to cushion my entry, nor to provide comfort as I sat upon the smooth, cool floor. But there was a strong presence of wisdom, which told me to be cautious of feeling relief to be out of the garbage pit. It guided me to stay aware of what I’d just experienced, to apply the lessons learned in everyday life, and to remain open to what was to come for the process was not yet complete. As in the making of fine wine, after the grapes begin the period of breaking down their former structure (as in the experience of Putrefaction), the mixture must be transferred to another container (the newly developing self), where a catalyst is added to produce the final stages of fermentation (where a new identity and outlook is formed).
I moved into the stage of surrendering and allowing myself to be lifted out of the cauldron that contained all that defined me into a new one. Wisdom cautioned me to remain in a state of egoless surrender so that I was an empty and receptive vessel for the addition of the catalyst – that ineffable something that would ultimately produce the “spirit” within me. Hauck describes this as a process in which “new life is brought to dead, decaying matter.” (ibid., pg. 113). I began experiencing extremely strong guidance from my masculine, thinking aspect. It created a kind of schedule for me in which I would go about regular daily tasks but with a new, conscious awareness of why I was doing them. There was a natural falling away of those things that had no reason for being. Everything had a purpose and anything that did not, dissolved, making way for the catalyst to appear. As things fell away in importance, I realized that much of who I had thought I was was based upon many of those now dissolving matters. Although moving through new territory, it was intriguing to watch how the elimination of much of what I had previously held as so meaningful felt like a freeing, an expansion into the unknown. (It’s important to note here that while my masculine was guiding me to perceive differently, my feminine aspect was guiding me to remain open, receptive, and malleable to the upcoming changes. This is an apt example of how, after Conjunction, in which the Sacred Marriage of the feminine and masculine takes place, these two aspects work together in harmonious concert, to our benefit.)
Traditions in many cultures embrace stories about the transformational process. In the Celtic culture, for instance, a typical tale would be an Arthurian one, such as the legend of Parsival, who, in his search for the Grail, represents the Putrefaction-Fermentation stage, where the fall from grace occurs as the ego rots and falls away. Then, as a ripening, or maturing, takes place, the Grail becomes the catalyst as a model for living the enlightened life and not necessarily the sought-after boon itself. It is not the goal that holds the gifts – it is the process itself. In Fermentation, if we can surrender to its winnowing, we are freed for new and higher ways to experience our lives. We cease being goal-oriented as a mad race for enlightenment. We act from an expansive knowledge of life, one that is inspired from the peak of our experiences rather than from the limited view from below. We no longer hope – we have become that hope. We see ourselves as part of an entire and greater fabric, rather than only an unimportant thread. We know we are connected to all that is. The ego-based personality self is a thing of the past and no longer defines who we are or what we are doing. Yes, of course, we still have responsibilities and daily activities, but we perceive and experience them as only part of the entire picture rather than the picture itself.
In my Fermentation, I spent much time just watching. I observed how my new thinking process was affecting the outcome of everything. It was lifting my previous beliefs about spirituality, for instance, to a much higher plane of understanding. I was awed by what I was discovering and felt that I was once again a student, this time of the vaster and greater cosmic truths that I was not previously ready to embody. It was a strange and wonder-filled experience of being humbled so that the basic material of me could be reshaped into a higher resonance with my Soul as it relates to its union with all that is. Until next time — may your catalysts be profound and your fermenting produce only the finest of inner wine!
Nanci Shanderá, Ph.D. is a Mystery School teacher and spiritual counselor-dreamworker at EarthSpirit Center in Eagle Rock, California. This article is excerpted from her book in progress: Digging for Gold: the Art & Soul of Spiritual Experience. She can be reached at 323/254-5458. Her website iswww.EarthSpiritCenter.com.
Traditions in many cultures embrace stories about the transformational process. In the Celtic culture, for instance, a typical tale would be an Arthurian one, such as the legend of Parsival, who, in his search for the Grail, represents the Putrefaction-Fermentation stage, where the fall from grace occurs as the ego rots and falls away. Then, as a ripening, or maturing, takes place, the Grail becomes the catalyst as a model for living the enlightened life and not necessarily the sought-after boon itself.
The Pillar of Celestial Fire : And the Lost Science of the Ancient Seers
by Robert Cox
$18.95. Pbk. 364 pages (1998). Order book online by clicking on cover!
While not, strictly speaking, a new release, recent discussions about this book in several alchemy discussion threads has spurned renewed interest in it. Compelling evidence is presented here that during a previous Golden Age, a universal sacred science was shared by enlightened Seers of the biblical, Egyptian, Vedic, Taoist, and Native American traditions. This science involved the generation of subtle energy or cosmic life force from the most evolved elements in the body of Mother Earth, namely, the precious and semiprecious metals. In medieval Europe this lost science became known as Alchemy. The author believes that the recent discovery of high-spin, monatomic elements heralds a rediscovery of this lost science, and is destined to give rise to powerful new subtle energy technologies that will lay the foundation for a New Golden Age. The Pillar of Celestial Fire presents the spiritual, historical, and scientific background of this impending Global Awakening and outlines the celestial and technological mechanics that will inevitably bring it about. The mysterious and powerful knowledge possessed by these ancient Seers is relevant today, for it holds the keys to spiritual enlightenment, perfect health, and physical immortality. The Kundalini of the Cosmos (which is the “pillar of celestial fire”) descends into the kundalini of the initiate. As Above, so Below. The following is an excerpt from the book that deals with this intriguing idea:
"In order to initiate the new Golden Age, the life force of the Creator must descend into our midst and be infused into the depths of our souls and the very fabric of the Earth. The "life force of the Creator" is not a euphemism. It describes an actual physical-spiritual force that periodically descends upon our planet in accordance with an ancient cosmic rhythm. It descends as a wave of luminous subtle matter or celestial fire. . . . The wave of celestial fire emanates from the heavenly regions at the center of the Universe. It is carried to the Earth from those regions by an invisible pillar of celestial fire that lies in the direction of the Pleiades constellation.
"The pillar of celestial fire may be understood as a vast stream of cosmic life force filled with the Divine Presence of God. It's unique function is to uphold the intimate relationship between Heaven and Earth. It connects our planet with the blazing glory of Heaven at the center of the Universe. However, the pillar of celestial fire cannot be seen through a telescope. This is because it is not composed of ordinary matter. It is composed of luminous subtle matter. This type of matter is too subtle to be seen with our ordinary eyes. It can be seen only through the spiritual eye - the eye of pure consciousness.
"Metaphorically speaking, the pillar of celestial fire may be compared to a cosmic umbilical cord. Through this golden cord of subtle matter-energy the life-breath of the Creator flows to our embryonic world at the beginning of each new cycle of Ages, infusing Light and Life into every atom and cell on Earth. The life-breath of the Creator flows along the cosmic umbilical cord as a wave of celestial fire. This wave already has been unleashed and now is on its way to our world. When the wave of celestial fire washes over our world, everything that we know will be changed irrevocably. The Earth will become infused with the Divine Presence. It will be set on fire with the ineffable glory of Heaven.
"Although this transformation is inevitable, the character of the transformation - whether it is gradual and gentle, or sudden and violent - is within our own hands. The wave of celestial fire is coming. It is our job to prepare ourselves and the entire Earth to receive it. To do this, over the next ten to twenty years we must dramatically increase the density of the subtle life force within ourselves and within the Earth. We must acclimate ourselves to the increasing spiritual Light that will dawn at the time of Illumination. We must raise the spiritual vibration of our planet, so that we can resonate with the powerful wave of cosmic life force that is about to descend upon us."
In order to initiate the new Golden Age, the life force of the Creator must descend into our midst and be infused into the depths of our souls and the very fabric of the Earth. The “life force of the Creator” is not a euphemism. It describes an actual physical-spiritual force that periodically descends upon our planet in accordance with an ancient cosmic rhythm. It descends as a wave of luminous subtle matter or celestial fire.
The Verdet (and Calx of Venus)
The verdet is a green or bluish substance, almost insoluble in water, but very soluble in vinegar and other acid spirits. The verdigris is formed on the surface of the copper or brass parts that are exposed to the action of humid air, and is nothing else than a copper carbonate. The copper carbonate, in its natural state is the malachite. Frequently, the verdigris is confused with the copper acetate.
Seek 1 kg of native Venus vitriol; place it inside of a glass or porcelain recipient and pour in source water heated up to 40º C, enough to dissolve it completely. Then filter the solution. In an enameled iron basin, dissolve separately, in source water heated to 40º C, 1 kg of salt of tartar (potassium carbonate) or, if you do not have it, use sodium carbonate. Filter the solution. Now, plunge a porcelain or enamel mug in the vitriol solution and fill it. Pour it, little by little, in the carbonate solution as there is effervescence, move well with a wood spoon, and a precipitate of clear green-blue will be formed at the same time.
Proceed in the same way, always moving, until the effervescence stops. If there is no more effervescence when you pour the vitriol solution, it is because the solution is saturated. Then, stop. Leave it to rest some time, then flow by decantation the solution. If it drains a bluish liquid, it is because there is still some vitriol in the solution that didn’t react with the carbonate. Pour abundance of tap water on your precipitate to wash it properly, always moving very well, until the water comes out clear. By decantation, flow all the water and let to evaporate in the sun or on a gas stove, with moderate heat, in a sand bath. When the matter is dry, remove it with a stainless steel spoon and keep it in a large mouth glass flask well closed. This canonical Venus verdet, although prepared artificially, was made of native Venus vitriol, which is the main element of the chemical reaction.
If you want to prepare the Calx of Venus or Aes Ustum (oxide), put in a mud or stainless steel porringer, 250g of verdet and place it on a gas stove at a very high heat. Move or stir well again with a stainless steel spoon, as if you where to calcinate it, until it turns completely black. When it reaches this point, stop and let it cool. Proceed in the same way, until you have calcinate all of your verdet. When cool, pour it in a large mouth glass flask well closed. This calx will serve you to you prepare the verdigris and the tincture of Venus.
Rubellus Petrinus is a Portuguese alchemist who offers an excellent multi-language website devoted to the operative and speculative aspects of alchemy at http://planeta.clix.pt/petrinus/alchemy-e.htm.)
Alchemy Lectures and Workshops
Indian Alchemy and Ayurveda Seminar. Australia. January 2002.
An alchemy seminar, with master alchemist Prof. Junius, is to be held in beautiful Byron Bay, Australia, in January 2002. The workshop will be over three days. Bookings essential A.S.A.P! Cost: $200. Please contact [email protected] for further info.
Alchemical Art Exhibition. Virginia. June-July 2002.
“Twelve Keys and the Glass House” is the title of an exhibition of the alchemical artwork of Kurt Godwin. Much of the art is a reinterpretation of the work of Basil Valentine. The exhibition runs from June 6 through July 21 at the McLean Project for the Arts, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, Virginia 22101. For more information, call 703-790-1953 or email [email protected].
Crucible 2002: A Gathering of Alchemists. California. October 2002.
Crucible 2002, a meeting of alchemists from around the world, will be held in October 2002 in Sacramento, California, USA. Topics include cutting-edge research in alchemy, spagyrics, and spiritual techniques, as well as instructive seminars in all aspects of alchemy. There will also be a vendor area offering rare books, recent titles, prints, tinctures, essential oils, videos, audio tapes, and many more unique products. Pre-registration is $79, which includes all lectures and demonstrations, and admission to the vendor areas. Discounted travel and lodging will be available. For more information, visit www.Crucible.org. Exhibitor and speaker applications are also available from that website, which is the home of the International Alchemy Guild(IAG).
From the Editor (Dennis William Hauck)
Something is in the Air. I do not mean mundane air, but the Air of the alchemists. This is the Air of spirit, the universal life force that animates from Above. Just as normal air keep our bodies alive, so does this celestial Air nourish our spirits. If we do not stay consciously connected to the Air of the divine Mind, however, our spirit withers away. I think we all begin to loose contact with the Air of spirit when we pass from childhood to adulthood, when we follow the pattern and mindset of modern civilization, which has little regard for this invisible, universal force. Indeed, alchemists today are like Jedi knights, constantly seeking connection with the unseen “Force” that animates the whole universe. But this is not fantasy, and that is what is in the Air.
There is something wonderful coming our way as a species, a new birth in spirit awaits us. Yet, like a newborn child, we will need that proverbial slap on the back to get us breathing in the new medium — the Gurdjieff “shock” that will force us to a new octave of being. That “slap” hurts, though, and coming into a new level of being is never easy. They will suffer who resist breathing in the new way, who hold onto the material realm. But ultimately the change has to be for the greater good — part of the greater alchemy of which we are so woefully unaware. The time is getting closer. Another decade perhaps. Those who can will sense it. Something is in the Air.
Submit your articles on any aspect of alchemy. We are looking for biographies, historical articles, practical laboratory work, spagyric recipes, philosophical pieces, experiences in personal transformation, spiritual insights, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, book reviews, film and video reviews, website reviews, artwork, etc. Please submit your material or queries to the Alchemy Journal, P.O. Box 22201, Sacramento, CA 95822-0201. You may also submit materials via email to the Editor or to the Assistant Editor, Tiffany-Nicole Hill at [email protected].
The Alchemy Journal is posted bimonthly at the Alchemy Lab website on the journal archives page at www.AlchemyLab.com/journal.htm. To subscribe to the journal, send a blank email to [email protected].