Alchemy Journal Vol.5 No.2

Volume 5. No. 2

Summer Solstice 2004

ARTICLES

The Tabula Smaragdina

Esoteric Perfumery

Spiritual Capital

FEATURES

From the Fire

Alchemy Lectures

Announcements

Feedback

EDITORIAL

From the Editor 

Submissions

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The Tabula Smaragdina:

An Interpretation

by Catherine Glashan

 

In the Tabula Smaragdina (Emerald Tablet) engraving by Daniel Mylius (shown at left), Hell is represented by the Clouds of Unknowing which separate the realms of the Above from the Below: “They keep us from experiencing the mystical splendor of the Above.“

Anyone or anything, which stops, blocks, prevents the truth and knowledge from being pursued, gathered, made available to ourselves and others, is doing evil and can be considered evil. One penetrates the Clouds of Unknowing by pursuing the truth and the “One Single Truth” or what I call Absolute Truth. (The first rubric of the Emerald Tablet is: “In truth, without deceit, certain, and most veritable.”)

In the Inner Laboratory, one examines both or all sides of an issue. The nature of our three dimensional reality is opposites and correspondences. Discovering the dichotomy or opposites and naming them is the first step (Calcination). In life, there are usually a myriad of more than two sides of an issue to consider. We have to be willing to look into all aspects of ourselves and look for the hidden truths (Dissolution). In the steps or process of thorough examination and discernment, that which does not pass the test of truth is released and let go of; thus separating the chaff from the wheat (Separation). In the engraving: “The empowered alchemist is symbolic of a successful integration (Conjunction) of the opposing forces to his left and right. Half his frock is black with white stars and other half is white with black stars.  In other words, each side contains the seed of its opposite, so he has neither denied nor destroyed the compelling powers of the opposites, only integrated them into his own being.” (from The Emerald Tablet by Dennis William Hauck)

The seed of truth may lies in both sides of any issue. Some truths are painful and must be accepted even though we may loose face (Fermentation). We must further make sure we are working with the highest truth we are able to discover after all the facts are dealt with (Distillation). Then, once we are sure we have all the facts, we know what we need to do, and we are free to proceed. We have penetrated the Clouds of Unknowing. Once we know, we can’t un-know. With confidence, we have broken free to act upon our conviction for our highest good whomever else the truth may pertain to (coagulation).

The process for penetrating the Clouds of Unknowing is represented: “In the center of the Below, a hermaphroditic alchemist holds two starry hatchets, (swords of truth) which represent the higher faculty of discernment and the operation of Separation. The alchemist has cut the chains of unknowing that tied Sol and Luna to their duality and balanced the powerful forces of the sexual attraction. He has seen through the Clouds of Unknowing, gained his freedom from instinct, and realizes the powerful influences of the archetypal powers. The empowered alchemist is symbolic of a successful Conjunction (integration) of the opposing forces to his left and right.” (ibid.)

In day-to-day life in our three dimensional reality of Below, there can never be total freedom from Hell. As the known always evokes the unknown, both Sol and Luna remain chained to the Clouds of Unknowing.

In our engraving a version of Hell is represented by Luna and the Stag Man. The Amazonian Moon-goddess, Artemis, was called the Mother of all creatures. Myth has it she was the Huntress, killer of all the animals to which she gave birth.  Her Huntress aspect was another form of the destroying Crone or waning moon. She led nocturnal hunts. Her priestesses wore the masks of hunting dogs called Alani – the mythological hunting dogs who tore the Horned God, Actaeon, a sacred king of the Artemis cult, a man “turned into a stag,” to pieces and devoured him.

My personal mantra for resolving dichotomy and creating the space for me to realize truth is: “Nowhere is it written (Mankind) a woman can’t make change once (they) she knows the truth and pursues it.” In seeking right knowledge, or truth, once one finds the Supreme Light of right knowing – reawakening – we are propelled into change. We are compelled to change our human ways to abide by the rules and laws of God. It is a great spiritual awakening to who we really are, what we are capable of, what advances in technology we can do for mankind, Mother Earth and our universe.

“At the very bottom of the page, one can find the purified Four Elements sealed or contained inside glass balls carried by two different birds. On the left, Fire and Air are under the outstretched wings of the Phoenix, a bird of myth and imagination that rose from the ashes of fire to be reborn, giving it dominion over the spheres of Fire and Air. On the right, Water and Earth are covered by the wings of a real bird, the Aquilla or Eagle, who has dominion over the spheres of Water and Earth.” (ibid.)

Upon further examination, one can see the corresponding colors indicate the four elements as well. The entire left or Solar side of the central vertical line portrays the operation of Calcination; the rising elements of fire and Air. Fire bellows from the Earth of the mountain signifying the higher reality of fire of Fermentation that further purifies any dross not let go of during Calcination. Water spews forth from the mountain on the right (Lunar side) signifying the higher state of cleansing and sorting of the truths discerned during Fermentation in the 6th stage of Distillation.

“A line drawn from the Ferment Below to the name of God Above divides the engraving in half and bisects the alchemist through the middle of his being. That line, which is the Cosmic Axis or vertical axis of reality, connects him through the Tree of Gold and central Stone directly to G6d. It travels through all three realms, starting in the Physical Realm, transecting the psychological processes of the Realm of Soul, and reaching the highest point in the Realm of Spirit.” (ibid.)

The first thing I noticed is the rings give the illusion of yet another axis which is depth or height, a quality of a third dimensions in addition to the other two. The dot in the center of the inner most circle is the apex of this three dimensional quality featuring the jewel in the perfect setting. Just as this quintessence is the ultimate goal of the alchemist, where the Above meets the Below, where all things have been combined “gently and with great integrity” after rising upward through the seven steps of transformation

This wonderful engraving is a summary of how the Sulfur of our souls is exposed and purified in the Work. United with the Mercury reality of our spirits, it undergoes Coagulation to form the Salt of the Philosophers, the immortal, permanently enlightened, and wholly incarnated state of consciousness known as the Philosopher’s Stone. Like the concentric target that it forms at the very center of this engraving, this is our goal, our perfected being and ultimate home. The perfected soul is now able to enter the reality behind our reality, which is void of, or beyond, duality. The realm of prethought or coming into the word where all just is and from which all is created.

The transcended being is now free to cross the horizontal line and ascend into the light, both visible and not visible, of heaven, the Above, the indescribable sun behind the sun. He/she is now able to be one with the Monad God, who has four letters to his name that cannot be spoken, or the tetra, or forms of Mercury, the lamb which is the son or Jesus and Thoth. The Elohim or angelic realms are always present watching over the human on her/his spiritual path. The initiate with the perfected Soul and Spirit is now free to return to earth and in so doing purify the energies and life force all around her/him by their mere presence.

Catherine Glashan is an alchemical practitioner who makes individualized tinctures for her clients. She is a student in the Alchemy Home Study Program and wrote this article about the Tabula Smargdina in response to one of the questions in the Module One exam. She can be contacted at Cathrolf@sbcglobal.net .

Anyone or anything, which stops, blocks, prevents the truth and knowledge from being pursued, gathered, made available to ourselves and others, is doing evil and can be considered evil.

 

Alchemical Blending of Esoteric Perfumery

“Magick is as close as the scented air you breathe.”

by Gail Adrian

 

The sole purpose of alchemy is to take that which is gross and unrefined to transform it into perfection. Perfection, it is to be noted, is a process, not always a quantifiable end. Concurrently, the purpose of alchemical perfumery is to create a perfected and refined scent from the prima materia of individual aromatic materials.

It is most helpful to decide beforehand what energies and concepts you wish to aromatically highlight in your perfume/aromatic celebration. This will allow you to choose appropriate materials. Bear in mind that in the creative process, what you intuit is equally as true and valid as written texts. Intuition is lunar, right brained, intuitive.  Written texts, studies, etc are Solar, or left brained. Metaphysical work utilizes both the intuitive and analytical processes. No esoteric creation can truly be considered complete without the successful merging of these two modalities.

In esoteric perfumery, we are accessing our own inner knowledge. Some of us believe this wisdom has been gleaned over many lifetimes. In order to build your own expertise, and confidence in the present life, you must always go with your “gut feeling.” In time, the willingness to own your inner knowing will grow to the extent that your compositions and blends will be powerful and  transcendent. Your ability to create them will be a source of joy for you and all who experience your labors.

Each of the following steps are, in the classic alchemical sense, celestially guided as well as influenced by your own efforts at self-purification. Using Dennis William Hauck’s Chart of Correspondences (A complete series of tables included in the Chart of Correspondences can be found at alchemylab.com), there are specific scent families that can be aligned with each alchemical process. They are:

Calcination: Biting, sulfuric brimstone

Dissolution: Acrid, vinegary

Separation: Sulfuric, rotten eggs

Conjunction: Chlorinic

Fermentation: Putrid and perfumed at the same time

Distillation: Fresh after rain smell

Coagulation: Flowery, heavenly scented

It is important to bear in mind that as artists, we have the power to determine for ourselves, just how literally we wish to stick to any definition. Sometimes, in the interest of our artistic evolution, it is necessary to expand or improvise upon these ancient definitions of scent. In fact, it is necessary for our own alchemical growth as artists. As previously stated, the purpose of alchemical perfumery is to create a refined, perfected scent from individual ingredients. These will comprise our prima materia or raw material.  The following represent the operations of alchemical and astrological  blending that represent the basic steps to alchemical transformation of prima materia in esoteric perfumery.

Calcination (Roasting, reducing)

Dissolution (Dissolving, breaking down)

Separating (Sifting, filtering, cutting)

Conjunction (Re-uniting, fixing)

Fermentation (Putrefying, digesting, congealing)  

Distillation (Potentizing, multiplying)

Coagulation (Fusing, projecting)

Two other axioms in alchemy that are helpful to the alchemical perfumery are:  (1) AS ABOVE SO BELOW. This maxim encourages us to understand that nothing of beauty is possible unless it is a reflection of the central, divine core of all things. When we are able to connect with Source, our work transcends who we are as limited ego to become refined and majestic, suffusing our work with greatness. (2) SOLVE ET COAGULA: DISSOLVE AND RECOMBINE. Each of the seven stages of alchemy requires deconstruction followed by reconfiguration. This process leads the alchemist to subsequent levels of transformation. We find this paralleled in perfume. Perfume is constructed in sequential layers of metamorphosis which exposes, through evaporation, a pageant of bouquets repeated over and again until the final fragrant note is exhausted. Working tools such as scent strips and alcohol are designed to break apart the individual components of our perfumes. They allow us to examine each ingredient individually and in relationship to the composition. It is thus important to use scent strips at every phase of perfume blending. Alcohol, with its high evaporative rate also succeeds in promoting maximum perception of the nuances of a perfume’s layering. For this reason, it has a more “refined” effect than heavier bases such as vegetable oils.

Alchemical perfume must have, at its core, a “spiritual” reason for its existence.  Expanding one’s interpretation of the term “spiritual” allows for a greater diversity of spiritual themes. An important astrological configuration, a seasonal or earth-based celebration or a transcendent ritual such as marriage, birth, death, life transition, even the urge to express a personal inner struggle; all these can be elevated into a perfume that expresses the divine within the profane.

 

The Chymical Marriage

Alchemy, like all transcendent spiritual arts, requires the union of opposites. Through the mating of the royal couple, King Sol and Queen Luna, comes the perfect and individual magickal child. This resulting offspring is the Magnum ‘Opus’ or Great Work.  Using the same terms to denote the concepts of expansion (Solar) and Contraction (Lunar), we can begin to build our perfume. The following lists the nature and correspondences of some of the alchemical archetypes as applied to esoteric perfumery.

Sol, The Sun, or King

Energetics

Reigning, Central, Constant, Burning, Initiating

Any Golden, or Orange Colored Warming Expansive dealing with Fire, Heat, Protection, Growth, Intellectual Knowledge

 

Solar Deities

Zeus/Apollo

Hera (Not strictly associated with the Sun, Hera was “mother to the gods” (3) and therefore corresponds to the Primal Energy of the Sun)

Ra

Osiris

 

Solar Oils:

Oranges and citruses in general

Saffron

Cinnamon

Clove

Myrrh

Frankincense (This oil is included because of its ability to withstand heat in the desert climate from which it is located. Also, Frankincense corresponds to Christ, a Solar Deity)

Rosemary and Mint (These are in this list because of their abilities to open the mind and promote one-pointed concentration for the purpose of intellectual pursuits)

 

Luna, The Moon, Queen

Energetics

Changeable, cool, wet, glowing, pearlescent, without a strong individual characteristic, able to highlight or reflect the qualities of the other ingredients around it.

 

Lunar Deities

Artemis

Selene

Hecate (many of the dark goddesses can be included here)
Lunar Oils

Sandalwood,

Artemesias,

Davana,

Violet Leaf,

Tuberose (for its ability to induce trance)

Myrtle

Bays

 

Blending for the Spring or Vernal Equinox

and Energetics of the Spring Equinox

Spring:

Rebirth, Mother, Rediscovery, Reconnection, Vegetal, Floral, Green, qualities of light

Myths of Motherhood, Regrowth, birth.

 

Deities:

Demeter

Persephone the spring maiden, (As Kore, her other name would be more associated with Fall)

Mars

Ostara

Flora

 

Vernal Equinox Aromatics:

 

Maternal:

Wheat

Blue Chamomile

Rose

 

Daughter:

Narcissus (sacred to Persephone)

Myrrh (for its erotic invitation)

`

Mars: (Arian and therefore appropriate to Spring):

Saffron (can also be classified as solar)

Coriander

Cumin

Pine

 

Aries:

Pepper

Juniper

Marjoram

 

General:

All Seeds

Young Grasses

Early Florals

Also helpful would be those aromatics pertinent to the sign of the moon during the Equinox event. The blends created for an Equinox deal with balance and the impending shift from perfect poise to a gradually changing predominance of opposition regarding either light to dark, or dark to light. When blending for the Equinox, the concepts of both balance and imbalance hold equal insight.

Questions to consider when blending for the Equinox: What materials will reflect total center? To where is this central instant of concentricity cycling?  To cold?  To heat?  To movement?  To stillness?  Each of these aspects, when asked in a contemplative state will both define your perfume as well as facilitate illumination toward wisdom.

Questions to consider when blending for a seasonal event: What season is it? Do you wish to celebrate the perfect balance or movement away from this point? Do you wish to celebrate what has been before? Do you wish to celebrate what is to be? Do you wish to attract, clear out, or just reflect what is?

While this is not a complete list hopefully these questions will stimulate your own internal perfume artist. Alchemical Perfumery is not an end in itself. Rather, it is a metaphorical process that leads us back to our true selves. Esoteric perfume blending is a powerful art form expressive of unfoldment into the Divine. Both technically challenging and symbolically provocative, esoteric perfumery provides us a variety of experiences that demand our greatest efforts intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

 

In esoteric perfumery, we are accessing our own inner knowledge. Some of us believe this wisdom has been gleaned over many lifetimes. In order to build your own expertise, and confidence in the present life, you must always go with your “gut feeling.” In time, the willingness to own your inner knowing will grow to the extent that your compositions and blends will be powerful and  transcendent. Your ability to create them will be a source of joy for you and all who experience your labors.

In esoteric perfumery, we are accessing our own inner knowledge. Some of us believe this wisdom has been gleaned over many lifetimes. In order to build your own expertise, and confidence in the present life, you must always go with your “gut feeling.” In time, the willingness to own your inner knowing will grow to the extent that your compositions and blends will be powerful and  transcendent. Your ability to create them will be a source of joy for you and all who experience your labors.

lso helpful would be those aromatics pertinent to the sign of the moon during the Equinox event. The blends created for an Equinox deal with balance and the impending shift from perfect poise to a gradually changing predominance of opposition regarding either light to dark, or dark to light. When blending for the Equinox, the concepts of both balance and imbalance hold equal insight.

Books and Peridodicals

Beryl, Paul. Compendium of Herbal Magick. Phoenix Publishing, 1998.

Greer, Mary. The Essence of Magic: Tarot, Ritual and Aromatherapy. Ed. Gina R. Gross and Ed Buryn. Newcastle: North Hollywood, Ca, 1993.

Lilly, William. Christian Astrology. Regulus,1985.

Miller, Richard A. The Magical and Ritual Use of Perfumes. Cont. Iona Miller. Inner Traditions International Ltd, 1990.

“Parabola”, 656 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, www.parabola.org.

Phanes Press, PO Box 6114, Grand Rapids, MI 49516, www.phanes.com

Walker, Barbara. The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects. Harper: San Francisco, 1988.

 

Websites

alchemylab.com  (Alchemy from Dennis William Hauck)

www.skyscrip.co.uk (Astrology)

www.renaissanceastrology.com (Christopher Warnock’s traditional astrology site)

http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/PT/PT.html (John Opsopaus’ Pythagorean Tarot) http://www.mythinglinks.org/home.html (Kathleen Jenks, Phd Excellent myth resources)

Gail Adrian, Fragranceur® is a botanical perfumer specializing in custom biographical perfumery. Copyright 2004 Gail Adrian. All Rights Reserved. You may reach her through her website: http://www.gailadrian.com or by phone: 201.444.3628

Spiritual Capital: Wealth We Can Live By

by Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall

Our capitalist culture and the business practices that operate within it are in crisis. In fact, global business can currently be described as a “monster consuming itself.” This definition stems from the fact that the underlying ethos and assumptions of capitalism, and many of the business practices that follow from them, are unsustainable. Capitalism and business as we know them have no long-term future, and therefore limit the future of our culture at large.

However, it is my belief that a critical mass of individuals acting from higher motivations can make a difference. This critical mass of present and potential leaders can use their spiritual intelligence to create spiritual capital in their wider organizational cultures, thereby making those cultures more sustainable. The goal is to generate a capitalism that is itself sustainable and to create a world in which sustainable capitalism can generate wealth that nourishes all human needs.

The key word here is wealth. My own definition of wealth is “that which we have access to that enhances the quality of life.” We often refer to an individual’s “wealth of talent,” wealth of character,” or “wealth of good fortune.” The world itself comes form the Old English welth, meaning “to be well.” But the dictionary definition of wealth emphasizes first, “a great quantity or store of money.” Capitalism, as we know it, is about money and material wealth.

Spiritual capital, by contrast, is wealth that we can live by, wealth that enriches the deeper aspects of our lives. It is wealth we gain through drawing upon our deepest meanings, deepest values, most fundamental purposes, and highest motivations, and by finding a way to embed these in our lives and work.

Spiritual capital is a vision and a model for organizational and cultural sustainability within a wider framework of community and global concern. It is capital amassed through serving, in both corporate philosophy and practice, the deeper concerns of humanity and the planet. It is capital that reflects our shared values, shared visions, and fundamental purpose in life. Spiritual capital is reflected in what an organization believes in, what it exists for, what it aspires to, and what it takes responsibility for.

My use of the word spiritual in the definition of both spiritual capital and spiritual intelligence has no connection with religion or any other organized belief system. Spiritual intelligence is the intelligence with which we access our deepest meanings, values, purposes, and higher motivations. It is how we use these in our thinking processes, in the decisions that we make, and the things that we think it is worthwhile to do. These decisions include how we make and how we allocate our material wealth.

Spiritual intelligence is our moral intelligence, giving us an innate ability to distinguish right from wrong. It is the intelligence with which we exercise goodness, truth, beauty, and compassion in our lives. It is, if you like, the soul’s intelligence, if you think of soul as that channeling capacity in human beings that brings things up from the deeper and richer dimensions of imagination and spirit into our daily lives, organizations and institutions.

There is a crucial link between spiritual intelligence, spiritual capital and sustainability. It can be expressed as follows: We need a sense of meaning and values and a sense of fundamental purpose (spiritual intelligence) in order to build the wealth that these can generate (spiritual capitalism). It is only when our notion of capitalism includes spiritual capital’s wealth of meaning, values, purpose, and higher motivation that we can have sustainable capitalism and a sustainable society.

Danah Zohar was born and educated in the United States. She studied Physics and Philosophy at MIT and then did her postgraduate work in Philosophy, Religion & Psychology at Harvard University. She is the author of the best-selling The Quantum Self and The Quantum Society, books that extend the language and principles of quantum physics into a new understanding of human consciousness, psychology and social organization. Ian Marshall is a Jungian-oriented psychiatrist and psychotherapist and the co-author of several of Zohar’s books. He studied Philosophy and Psychology at Oxford University before entering medical school at London University. Excerpted from Spiritual Capital: Wealth We Can Live By by Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall (Berrett-Koehler Pub © 2004). See New Releases.

 

We need a sense of meaning and values and a sense of fundamental purpose (spiritual intelligence) in order to build the wealth that these can generate (spiritual capitalism).

FEATURES

From the Fire (by Dennis William Hauck)

There has been a huge response to my last column and the announcement of the new www.Alchemergy.com website. The idea of a new form of alchemy for modern times with modern wording and modern applications is a natural corollary to the fact that these ancient principles are universal both in space and time. While a few of my more traditional alchemist friends have accused me of going “practical” or even “mercenary,” I can only respond that the alchemical Conjunction takes places in the real world, and it is just as bad to be too spiritual as it is to be too materialistic. Balance is the key to becoming spiritual warriors engaged in transforming not only ourselves but the world and its institutions.

Many have asked what direction they should take to begin using the principles of alchemergy (or modern alchemy). There seem to be two main branches forming of how to apply alchemical operations to concerns of Health and Wealth. The Health category includes not only nutrition and spagyrics but also dieting, breathing techniques and aerobics. Also sparking renewed interest are traditional alchemical practices such as Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Acupuncture, Yoga, etc. The operations of purification and distillation of essences takes on new meaning when applied to the human body. On the other hand, in the category of Wealth, the focus is on joyful work, finding your dharma, spiritual products and franchises, liquidating cumbersome assets, conscious investing, transforming the workplace, and examining our relationship with money.

This is an opportunity to actually contribute to the growth of a new spiritual discipline. Please feel free to email me with your ideas and questions on alchemergy. Send me links to relevant websites and books. Let me know of any companies offering opportunities for income to spiritually motivated individuals. If you have time, write up your ideas and experiences on the power of alchemical transformation in your life for me to add to the website. Think about what it would really take for you to make yourself over. Think about new ways to apply the ancient methods of working with matter and spirit. Think about unifying science and religion. Think about transforming the lead of a politicized, secularized world of greed and competing religions and nations into a new world of gold in which the human spirit is exalted and freed — no longer shackled to fear, dogma, and the egocentric control of those who would “rule” us into conformity with their own shortsighted vision of what is real.

Balance is the key to becoming spiritual warriors engaged in transforming not only ourselves but the world and its institutions.

New Releases

Spiritual Capital: Wealth We Can Live By

By Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall
Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.   ISBN: 1-57675-138-4
Cloth.  $27.95. Number of Pages: 173.    Publication Date: May 2004

< To order this book online, click on bookcover.

Our world is at a crossroads; and we must choose between two alternatives. The first alternative includes capitalism and business, as we know them today. This alternative is one that includes an amoral culture of short-term self-interest, profit maximization, emphasis on shareholder value, isolationist thinking, and profligate disregard of long-term consequences. This scenario is based on narrow assumptions about human nature and motivation. As a system, it is unsustainable, a monster set to consume itself. But there is another way. In Spiritual Capital: Wealth We Can Live By, authors Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall make the argument that for capitalism to have a future, its focus must be changed from the single-minded accumulation of material capital to the accumulation of spiritual capital–a kind of wealth earned by acting not out of short-term bottom-line expediency, but by serving fundamental human needs. Spiritual Capitalshows that capitalism–as we know it–materialistic, amoral, relentlessly exhausting the world’s natural resources and the people who toil under the system–is ultimately unsustainable. Zohar and Marshall offer a vision of capitalism as it could be: a values-based culture in which wealth is accumulated to generate a decent profit while businesses act to raise the common good and ensure the sustainability of their enterprises. But this shift in culture requires us to understand the motivations that drive our culture. The authors offer a new way to systematically diagnose the motivational and emotional state of an organizational culture, one that both mirrors and extends Abraham Maslow’s well-known pyramid of needs. They then introduce the concept of spiritual intelligence (SQ), and describe how it can be used to shift individuals in our culture from a state of acting from lower motivations — fear, greed, anger, and self-assertion–to one of acting from higher motivations — exploration, cooperation, power-within, mastery, and higher service. Zohar and Marshall describe how this shift can actually happen and can be diagnosed in a given organizational culture. They look in depth at eight issues that dominate corporate culture and how they are influenced by the processes of SQ transformation and they discuss the leadership elite who must be the ones to bring about and embody this cultural shift. Finally, the authors argue that spiritual capital is still a valid and workable form of capitalism, and summarizes what we, as individuals, can do to make it happen.

 

Alchemy Lectures and Workshops

Herbal Alchemy Class

Learn how to make alchemical tinctures and elixirs from herbs and flowers right in your own kitchen during this class in Sacramento, California. Discover the secrets of “charging” your formulations with healing energy and tailoring them for specific transformations. Make your first tincture in class – all supplies included free. Instructor: Dennis William Hauck. Tuesday September 14, 7-9 PM at the lecture hall of East West Books, 2216 Fair Oaks Blvd. (at Howe), Sacramento, CA 95825. Telephone: 916-920-3837. Email: ewb@eastwestbooks.com . Fee: $10.

 

Paranormal Conference

The Second Annual Pacific Northwest Ghost Hunters Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, September 24 and 25, at the University Heights Center in Seattle, Washington. The conference is sponsored by A.G.H.O.S.T., which is the most advanced technical paranormal research group in the Pacific Northwest.  The Conference, open to the public, will bring together speakers, workshops, exhibitors, vendors and everyone interested in the paranormal for an enjoyable and exciting exploration into paranormal activities.  Dennis William Hauck will be a featured speaker at the Conference and will discuss his own paranormal and mystical experiences and investigations.  For additional information, call (425) 246-1104 or  email AGHOSTConference@yahoo.com . Website: www.Theresaghost.com

 

Modern Alchemy Workshop

An all-day workshop on Modern Alchemy will be held in Seattle, Washington, on Sunday, September 26, 2004, led by Dennis William Hauck. Spend a day with one of the world’s few practicing alchemists, as he reveals ancient methods of transformation and helps you apply them to your own life. Learn how the alchemists worked simultaneously on all three levels of reality – the physical, the mental, and the spiritual – to achieve their transmutations. Use their secret drawings and meditations to achieve higher states of consciousness and penetrate the illusions of everyday life. Learn to work with the metals within and change your personality (your personal “temperament”) from lead to gold. Enter the sacred space of the inner laboratory to create the Philosopher’s Stone, an incorruptible state of consciousness the alchemists used to explore and work on different levels of reality. This experiential all-day workshop will give you the tools you need to achieve lasting change within the framework of life in the modern world. More information on modern alchemy is available at the speaker’s website www.Alchemergy.com. Dennis William Hauck is the bestselling author of The Sorcerer’s Stone: A Beginner’s Guide to Alchemy and The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation, as well as numerous other books and translations on the ancient art. He is a popular lecturer who has appeared on over 300 TV and radio shows, including such national programs as “Extra,” “Geraldo,” and “Sally Jessy Raphael.” 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. $79. Includes workbook. Space limited. Register early for this event! Register Now. For more information, email Marcia Bower atmbower@alchemylab.com .

 

Crucible 2004: Alchemical Empowerment

The fifth annual Crucible event expands to a two-day format that combines a multimedia workshop, experiential meditations, and personal consultations. The all-day workshop will be held on Saturday, October 11, and the optional consultations will be on Saturday night and Sunday, October 12, at the Sierra 2 Center in Sacramento, California. Located on three acres of lush landscaping, the center is within easy reach of downtown and within walking distance of many restaurants, bookstores, and coffee houses. Next to Sierra Green park in the Curtis Park section of Sacramento, the center is known for its tranquil and inspiring setting. This year’s event features powerful demonstrations of both spiritual and practical techniques in alchemy and will include live experiments and actual meditations used by the alchemists. There will be a refreshment stand and a vendor area offering rare books, recent titles, prints, tinctures, colloids, essential oils, videos, audio tapes, and many more unique products. More Information and Complete Schedule. Because of the individual work during this seminar, space is limited to 50 participants. Please register early! The admission fee is $79 for Saturday’s workshop. Due to popular demand, we are offering an optional second day for personal consultations. The fee is $40 per person and will be scheduled for Saturday night and Sunday. Discounts for multiple registrations are available. Register for Crucible 2004 Now!

Announcements

  • Magickal Activism Website. A new website at www.magicalactivism.org is devoted to using magick, intention and ritual to manifest healing changes in our society. The first project is “Magic for Marriage.” Through it, they are trying to coordinate magical people in all communities to focus their energies through a ritual to make same sex marriages legal throughout the USA. Target date is July 1, on the full Moon. The website is operated by esoteric author Christopher Penczak, whose personal website is at www.christopherpenczak.com .
  • Writers Wanted! The Alchemy Journal is looking for articles on any aspect of alchemy, including biographies, historical materail, practical laboratory work, spagyric recipes, philosophical pieces, poetry, experiences in personal transformation, spiritual insights, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, book reviews, film and video reviews, website reviews, artwork, etc. Please submit your material or queries via email to editor@alchemylab.com.

Feedback from Our Readers

“Hi !  I just wanted to take this moment to thank you for sending this journal to me.  Each time I read the journal I find that I enjoy it immensely. Blessings always.” – Pam (email withheld by request)“Thank you so much for the Alchemergy perspective. I had always thought of alchemy and its transformations a lost art full of ancient references but now it has come alive and is living in me. Imagine if that happened to everyone in the modern world? We have knowledge and equipment that the alchemists never dreamt possible. Coupled with Hermetic understanding of universal principles, we could really change the planet!” – Dennis Rochavich < zendenny@yahoo.com >

EDITORIAL

From the Editor (by Duane Saari)

Friends, acquaintances, and colleagues often ask me why alchemical writings contain so many allegories, obscure terms, and cryptic symbols. They claim the stilted, dense writing style of the alchemists considered masters of the art, at best, make the time and effort required for research and study extremely unsatisfying and, at worse, hide the lack of significant truths or world changing principles.

Frankly, it has been difficult for me to explain such a self evident fact to many of these potential explorers of this important esoteric practice. If I emphasize the significance of the alchemical process of transformation and the need to make it available only to those who are fully committed, I am accused of being elitist. Should I raise the danger of the alchemical secrets falling into the hands of well intentioned but uninitiated, my explanation is often seen as self serving. So, I have searched for the combination of the essential reasons and their clear descriptions that convey what seems both true and natural to me. Happily, while reading one of the masters, I stumbled across both. In Fulcanelli’s The Dwellings of the Philosophers, translated by Brigitte Donvez and Lionel Perrin, and published in 1999 by Archive Press, Eugene Canseliet addresses these issues in his Preface for the first edition.

Canseliet explains the secrecy of alchemical truths as a way of ensuring that the would be apprentice and ultimate adept is called upon and challenged to make a personal effort of such a degree that the resulting energy and passion are themselves part of the answers sought. “He would greatly delude himself who hoped to understand the secret doctrine after a simple reading. ‘Our books have not been written for all,’ repeat the old masters, ‘though all are called upon to read them.’ For each one of us must contribute his personal effort which is definitely essential if he wants to acquire the notions of a science which has never ceased to be esoteric. This is why the philosophers, aiming to hide its principles from the masses, have concealed the ancient knowledge in the mystery of words and the veil of allegories.”  The use of the word “masses” here is not intended to be derogatory, but simply a way of emphasizing that most people are only casually interested in alchemy and what it has to offer.

Canseliet goes on to say how he would answer the question raised at the beginning of this editorial. “These exclusionary rules have a profound reason.  If I were to be asked, I would simply say that he privilege of science should remain the prerogative of a scientific elite.” In response to the protests of elitism, Canseliet would offer this justification: “More often than not, that which could bring him (mankind) well-being turns to his disadvantage and eventually becomes the instrument of his ruin.  Methods of modern warfare are, alas! the most striking and the saddest proof of this disastrous state of mind.”

Will the words offered by this apprentice of the master, Fulcanelli himself, to explain the difficulty of penetrating the depths of alchemy be sufficient impetus for those explorers, whose efforts have failed again and again, to win them an understanding of our esoteric art? Perhaps not, but Canseliet does give a consolation prize for the determined. He reveals one of the keys to Fulcanelli’s writings. “His method is different from that employed by his predecessors; it consists in describing in detail all of the operations of the Work, after having divided them into several fragments. He thus takes each of the phases of the Work, begins its explanation in a chapter, interrupts it to continue it in another, and completes it in a final passage. This parceling out, which turns the Magistery into a philosophical puzzle, will not frighten the educated investigator; but it quickly discourages the layman, incapable of finding his way in this labyrinth of a different nature, and unqualified to uncover the correct sequence of the manipulations.”

After reflecting on the words of Canseliet, rather than an explanation of the reasons you may be frustrated in your quest for the secrets that lie within alchemy, I offer, my fellow seeker, only encouragement that you may discover the passion and commitment necessary to find your way.

“These exclusionary rules have a profound reason.  If I were to be asked, I would simply say that he privilege of science should remain the prerogative of a scientific elite.” In response to the protests of elitism, Canseliet would offer this justification: “More often than not, that which could bring him (mankind) well-being turns to his disadvantage and eventually becomes the instrument of his ruin.  Methods of modern warfare are, alas! the most striking and the saddest proof of this disastrous state of mind.”

Submissions

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 via email to the Editor

Subscriptions

The Alchemy Journal is published quarterly at the annual solstices and equinoxes. Issues are posted at the Alchemy Lab website on the journal archives page at www.AlchemyLab.com/journal.htm. This page also contains a Directory of Past Issues and an Index of Articles. To subscribe to the journal, simply send a blank email to AlchemyJournal-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Submissions

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 via email to editor@alchemylab.com

Subscriptions

The Alchemy Journal is published quarterly at the annual solstices and equinoxes. Issues are posted at the Alchemy Lab website on the journal archives page at www.AlchemyLab.com/journal.htm. This page also contains a Directory of Past Issues and an Index of Articles. To subscribe to the journal, simply send a blank email to AlchemyJournal-subscribe@yahoogroups.com