Browsed by
Tag: alchemy

Search for the Gods

Search for the Gods

Science tells us that, at least in quantum mechanics, the observer must take into account the observed. This is evident in the double-slit experiment, where matter and light exhibit characteristics of both waves and particles. This tells us that observer and observed are in no way independent of each other. Or, as Werner Heisenberg said, “separation of the observer from the phenomenon to be observed is no longer possible” (Heisenberg 231). The old alchemists used various ores in their work….

Read More Read More

The Blue Soul

The Blue Soul

  Transformations of the soul, according to alchemy, pass through several different colors. Originally, there were four colors that were described by alchemists as indicating the four primary phases of the process that result in the lapis philosophorum.These are nigredo (black), albedo (white), citrinitas (yellow), and rubedo (red). Other transitional colors were also mentioned, with various meanings. In this article, I’d like to discuss the color blue. I’ve just read James Hillman’s essay entitled, Alchemical Blue and the Unio Mentalis,…

Read More Read More

Alchemy: Raven’s Head

Alchemy: Raven’s Head

Nigredo – dal manoscritto Viatorium spagyricum, Herbrandt Jamsthaler, (1625) In the “furnace of the cross” and in the fire, says the “Aquarium sapientum,” “man, like the earthly gold, attains to the true black Raven’s Head; that is, he is utterly disfigured and is held in derision by the world (Jung 353)… There is much more to be said about black than what has been said. The blacker the black, the whiter the white will be. The blackest black provides the…

Read More Read More

Alchemy: Nigredo

Alchemy: Nigredo

Only in a physically reduced worldview, a worldview reduced to and by physics, can black be called a non-color, an absence of color, a deprivation of light (Hillman 1553). What is it in the human psyche that views the color black as somehow evil? We associate black with evil, with death, with the morbid and the macabre. Think of how many examples there are in our culture, our language, our phrases, and our art of black representing the negative, the…

Read More Read More

Alchemy: The Soul of Metals

Alchemy: The Soul of Metals

…perhaps the metals take pleasure in their alterations and enjoy the discipline imposed upon them by extracting their ore-bodies and the smelting (Hillman 491). The soul spelunker is always searching for treasure beneath the surfaces of things. In the alchemical inquiry, one is richly rewarded in this endeavor. The metals of alchemy, because they are animaterial substances, correspond to the gods, just as their associated planets do. In fact, all things can be imagined back to a specific god. In…

Read More Read More

Alchemy: In the Service of Nature

Alchemy: In the Service of Nature

    The Promethean archetype, the desire to steal that which was meant to serve Nature and use it exclusively for human purposes, should not be the blueprint for the practitioner of alchemy. Even individual soul-making, if focused solely on the human, does not assist the Anima Mundi in her transmutation. The primary task of the alchemist, his passion, is to further the improvement of the World Soul. The alchemical practice is not to carry out the Promethean aim of…

Read More Read More

Jung’s Coniunctio: The Chymical Wedding and Heraclitus

Jung’s Coniunctio: The Chymical Wedding and Heraclitus

                    In the workings of alchemy, the reconciliation of Sol and Luna is often referred to as The Chymical Wedding. Carl Jung’s theory of the conjunction of polarities in the psyche borrows heavily from this teaching. The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, tells us that “the way up and the way down are one and the same” (qtd. in Wheelwright 78). The idea that opposites complement each other and are actually the…

Read More Read More