I am a Wizard and
my Art is Alchemy,
the science of transformation.
By skillful use of schemes
and happenstance, I create a ritual
that parallels and guides soul change.
It aligns personal process with
corresponding outer events.
Inner and outer, individual and universal
come to resonate, to reflect each other.
As Wizard, I can then bring cosmic powers
into the innermost mystery unfolding.
In this, my Magnum Opus, I seek to convert
a common, even despised substance
into a wondrous, precious one:
Lead into gold, torment into revelation.
What had seemed worthless affliction
becomes an altar and sublime sacrament.
First, the substance is found as focus for this Opus,
— often revealed by what one loves or fears the most.
I prayerfully guide this substance through a
progression of Procedures that activate
its powers of growth and transformation.
I personify these Procedures
through symbols and images that mirror them,
explore their diverse facets,
and give entry into their mysteries.
Not a series of formulas, but a soul-science,
Alchemy calls for intuitive creativity and skill
in using its implements, formulas and treatments.
I move with high intention, yet am
humbly open to guidance in the moment.
The quest of my Opus is to deliver
this seeker's soul from its captivity
in a dark and hidden place,
to enlighten its confused mind,
to ennoble its lowly state.
The Work culminates in the sublimation
of this substance into its transmuted state as:
The Pearl of Great Price, the Elixir of Life,
The Jewel of Paradox.
I call this substance to be thus transformed:
THE PRIMA MATERIA
When the Prima Materia is first found or identified,
it is often fragmented, a welter of accumulated,
ill-matching Elements, isolated, alienated.
This first Procedure of the Opus brings all the relevant
Elements of the Prima Materia together.
They are placed in an appropriate vessel
and moistened with the prescribed solvents,
mixed, blended, and brought to the desired consistency
for the Procedures that follow.
My understanding of the needs of the Opus,
determines the extent of this moistening,
from a slight dampening to drenching
the compound into a fluid state.
Emotional concern moistens the
Prima Materia's aridness to nurture
and enhance its soul qualities.
This Procedure quenches deep thirsts and
dissolves parched, rigid boundaries.
It softens and allows the various Elements
to be permeable to each other,
open to reaction and interaction.
They are activated to blend and recombine in new ways,
to explore the possibilities of unique configurations.
The Alchemical term for this moistening Procedure is:
SOLUTIO or SOAKING
SOLUTIO has done its work to soften and liquefy.
Now I need to stir and shake the Prima Materia
to blend its various components, to enliven and
catalyze further interactions and evolutions.
Repeated motions of winnowing, shaking and kneading
will mix the Solution, promote a sorting out, and
a release of toxins, dross and impurities.
Such agitation can break up blocks and create
readiness for change and the energy to bring it about.
Whether I knead the Prima Materia like clay, swirl
it like a potion or melt and mix in a furnace,
it thus becomes more vital and workable.
Traits, qualities, memories that had always
clustered, can now break apart.
My wizardly term for this sacred quaking is:
AGITATIO or SHAKING
This is a turning point in the Alchemical Work.
The Prima Materia, the substance I am
called on to transform, has already been
identified and extracted from the morass of
day-to-day life. Then it was brought into Solutio,
to dissolve and meld its various components. In
Agitato I stirred and spun the Prima Materia
to blend and activate it.
Now it is readied to receive a new energy that
will empower this to become a transformative
Work, not merely a change of appearance.
Now I use my Philosopher's Stone
to catalyze the Work's ultimate gifts.
The introduction of this germinating force is called:
SEMINATO or IMPREGNATION
The process of Seminato impregnates the Prima
Materia with Seeds of the transcendent.
These will dominate in the Work's unfolding.
It will be shaped by their particular energies,
functions and needs. My Work now, as Wizard,
is to nourish the Prima Materia
so that the relevant aspects thrive and develop
and the inconsequential ones starve and perish.
To accomplish this, it is as important for me to create
the appropriate hunger and thirst as to supply timely
and suitable nourishment. This will shape the Work's
final product, much as a plant or crystal's qualities
reveal the nature of their sustenance.
This process of wise feeding is called:
CIBATION or NURTURING
As the Prima Materia evolves, certain elements
are attracted to others, some repelled.
Now comes the time for me to discern and separate,
to divide out that which will serve the Goal,
and that which will not. I draw these
concerns, and compounds from the primal broth.
This Process is the polar complement
of CONJUNCTUM, joining together.
As Wizard, I can shape this Process with
various influences -temperature, light, etheric energy.
Or, perhaps, I may be led to simply allow
the solution of the Prima Materia to just sit.
This allows the Elements to follow there own natures to
settle out of themselves. Some will solidify and sink,
Others will float on the broth. Some will release as
vapor, others crystallize.
Discernment and discrimination are the edge of my
mind's blade, the means for me to pry apart and develop
individuated compounds. Each is recognized as unique
and treated according to its role in the Work.
Special vessels, implements, procedures, visualizations
and prayers can be used to minister to this sometimes
In the Work, I call this taking apart:
SEPERATUM or ISOLATION
In our Alchemical quest, the Prima Materia was drawn
out of the welter of day to day chaos. I soaked this
with tears, sweat and semen into solution.
This I shook and stirred and twirled around
till all the Elements in the Prima Materia
came into active interaction.
Into this rich and readied medium I placed
the Seed of transcendent meaning,
of transformative purpose.
Through nurturing the appropriate hungers and cares,
those Elements called for in this transformation thrive,
the others perish.
The broth of Prima Materia was now readied for a
purification, the separating out of the selected and nurtured
Elements and disposal of the others.
The resulting elixir of the Prima Materia enables me
to open the Work to a higher vibration, a fuller context.
This requires a new context, a universal consciousness,
both personal and transpersonal, self and non-self.
Into this, I gather the Elements into encompassing
relationship between the Immanent
— the horizontal realm of space-time, the worldly life —
and the Transcendent -the vertical, ascending
levels of being-consciousness.
This now is the vessal for all Procedures.
It thus holds the potential so that each aspect of the
Work may act as a link and merge these otherwise
irreconcilables. As in the Cross.
This gives the Work a cosmic environment in
which to evolve, the context in which to fulfill its
highest calling. For me, there is the ongoing
experience of being an individual expression
of the Divine Impulse.
Innermost and universal come as close
as inhalation and exhalation.
I call this relating the personal to the universal:
The Prima Materia has been dissolved, blended,
inseminated with the seed of transformation,
wisely nurtured and the essential
Elements selected and placed in Cosmosis.
These Elements are now readied to be activated
by my empowering shock.
The gesture to transmit this may vary from a gentle
nudge to a traumatizing jolt to the body or mind.
This is done with appropriate force, timing and
intention, as the I intuit is needed.
I create uncertain, unsettling circumstances to
activate excitation or fear,
even to the point of disorder and insanity,
if called for by the Work.
I am skilled at unsettling and confusing.
Bedeviling is a supreme art of mine.
I need not punish, as the range of my powers
lets me use a glance to bring discomfort,
even pain and turbulence.
This Procedure shakes loose old forms and stances.
It can startle and alert attention in the seeker.
It calls for new footing and direction.
It carries the forceful message and energy
to initiate a new beginning.
It can provoke that step off the end of one's world.
This completes the preparatory Procedures and activates
the Prima Materia into its next level of unfoldment.
I call this activating jolt:
PERTURBIO or SHOCK
The elixir of Elements, refined from the Prima Materia,
has been shock activated. Certain Elements now draw and
cohere to each other into unprecedented combinations,
products of the Work's special conditions and intentions.
The Elements internal cohesion now congeals them into
denser, more solid form.
This will unify and integrate them and enable
the compound to isolate out of the flux of things.
Now is a moment for me to help these gather and set,
to congeal and become concrete, a means of holding
particular concerns and qualities together in unique patterns.
This form giving process in the Alchemical Work I call:
COAGULA and CONCRETIZE
This is the culmination of the first phase of the Opus
that began when I drew the Prima Materia
out of the welter of raw experience.
Through my use of the suitable Alchemical Procedures,
the Prima Materia has been purified
from its crude, undifferentiated state and its selected
Elements coaxed to their full uniqueness.
An Element becoming fully itself,
is also preparation for it joining to what it is not,
to crave merging with its Other, its compliment.
In this conjoining, opposites are drawn together.
This merging of two that had been separate and distinct
in mystical, synergetic marriage is to bring about
their mutual fullness of being through that union.
This interweaving of realities can create a
wondrous new vision of self and Other.
As in all Procedures in this Opus, through higher
guidance and transcending love, I, as Wizard,
use my wisdom and deft trickery to bring
this stage into completion.
My terms for this merging is:
CONJUNCTUM or JOINING
Chapter Eleven: THE VALLEY
This is an awing and special time in the Opus.
It is a passage, a crossing over.
From the known to the mysterious.
The Work is transferred from the seen
to the unseen vessel where I can fulfill
the complementary Procedures.
It is the moment for me to place the awoken
Prima Materia into this special vessel
in which it can meet and merge with its Other,
the shadowed aspects of its wholeness.
My means of opening the Work to higher realms of
being is called:
INITIO or INITIATE
To activate this new series of Procedures,
I must again uses the moistening of SOLUTIO or SOAKING.
But now it is part of a larger Process and is used to
different purpose. While the Prima Materia was in its
raw and crude form, I used solvents to dissolve it
into a state of flux. Thus its Elements were freed
and prepared to combine in new ways.
Now this same Procedure is used as one pole
in an oscillation between opposite states.
At the other pole is form giving COAGULA.
This takes the Prima Materia through repeated cycles
between complementary, mutually exclusive forms
— such as liquid and solid, vapor and condensate, flux
and gel, physical and spiritual. Through this it
becomes more malleable, more open to being drawn back
and forth in all the needful ways without harm.
This will enhance its stability regardless of form.
It opens the Prima Materia to deeper, fuller work.
I call this pair of interacting, complimentary
SOLVE and COAGULA
(DISSOLVE and CONCRETIZE)
The solvents have been vitally useful till now
— tears, passion, sweat, drink and semen.
From the initial dissolving, through to transporting
the Prima Materia into the new vessel of the Valley,
solvents have been essential. But they are no longer
needed for the Opus and so are in excess.
I utilize the heat in emotions and circumstances
to drive off the unneeded volatile elements,
evaporating off into steam and mist.
My driving off this moisture will extract,
stabilize and intensify the Essence.
This Process of expelling the solvents
from the Prima Materia is called:
Through the previous Procedures I extracted and
purified the Essence of the Prima Materia.
But its form is still vague and amorphous.
I now need to bake it, utterly dry it out
into a more solid form.
Only in this way will it survive and serve.
I use various intensities of heat to drive out
the remaining solvents, both fluidity in the physical
and soggy emotions.
This Process changes the Materia's physical nature:
thickening if it is a liquid, baking it if a paste.
This defines and stabilizes its resulting shape.
If the heat is intense enough,
I can turn solids to powder.
The implements I use for this are the furnace,
various fuels, bellows and dampers.
Abstract, critical thinking can also create a drying out
from overreactions and feelings and reveal
the de-emotionalized essentials.
My driving off the last of the solvents used in the
original Prima Materia broth brings each individual
substance and aspect to develop its own proper thirst
for resolution later.
This mystical use of heat is called:
CALCINATION or BAKING
The Prima Materia's Essence has been extracted and
taken form as its expression and containment.
To prepare for and activate its eventual transmutation,
I now activate the ultimate purification and renewal.
Every aspect still attached to Essence that is nonessential,
circumstantial or merely habit must die.
It must suffer, decompose, perish to all its old self.
What is left is free of contaminates,
ultimately refined, suitable to be brought
through rebirth into its transcendent state.
This Procedure fosters the breakdown of the substance
within the form, much as the caterpillar must perish
and turn to nutrient in its cocoon for the butterfly to
come into being. This creates a healing fermentation to
destroy antiquated rigid physical and mental structures
through trials, humiliation, a "dark night of the soul."
It is a deathing that activates the powers of
deep change, healing and life.
It can activate the curative, creative powers
that rise in survival's response.
"As in healing, when all else fails, let it rot.
This can precipitate a healing crisis,"
advised Abertus Magnus, Lord Alchemist.
"That a seed must die if it is to be born again,"
advised another great Teacher.
There may be pain, illness, or other challenges to
patience and trust. If the Materia is rigid,
unyielding, it may be bent and snapped to pieces.
Organic materials, once emptied of life, putrefy and rot.
Throughout the progress of this long and arduous Work,
I have been called on to be most attentive and
diligent, to intuitively support it from stage to stage.
I've been patiently caring for it, to "make haste slowly".
But this is perhaps the most difficult Procedure to maintain
detachment in, to humbly know that I cannot control
this suffering, in spite of my caring.
To awaken deep change, to allow new healing and balance,
I must watch this most anguishing Processe
with humble, helpless detachment.
Yet the Alchemist knows that,
"Everything that dies is not the immortal true Self."
This descent into darkness and suffering as a means to
bring a renewal of substance and aliveness is called:
MORTIFICATION and PUTREFACTION
Death and Rotting
All that was unessential in the Prima Materia has died
and what is precious has risen, reborn from that festering.
The form its essence took in the proceeding Processes
held and contained it as it went through this deathing.
This next Procedure will set this form
and solidify its constellation.
This will crystallize this unique and individual creation
of the Alchemical Art from regressing to a less evolved state,
or even dissolving back into the Primal Broth.
This wondrous new form of the Prima Materia
preserves and removes it from accidental influences.
It becomes a stable, separate entity and substance.
In accord to its own particular needs,
I may devise and use unique vessels and influences
to substantiate its form. This will help activate and release
the Prima Materia's Essence. As a psychic event,
this Process stabilizes the subject's transformed awareness
to its new level of realization.
The diamond cannot return to being coal.
The painting can't be reduced to its constituent colors.
The Prima Materia's new fundamental nature
is made immutable through this process of:
Freed from the bonds of time and matter,
the Prima Materia is now brought to rebirth.
It is awakened beyond all form
to shift its center of self-knowing
from the transitory to its Truth,
from its circumstantial self to its Essence,
from the realms of many "me"s
to the one Realm of "I Am".
As Wizard, I have prepared for this with all my skills,
but rebirth can come through Grace alone.
The Prima Materia is thus absorbed in its Essence.
This becomes its source reality. Its every aspect and action
become expression and outworking of its spirit.
This is soul and body merging.
The human achieves the wings of Awakening,
thus able to fly between heaven and earth.
The Prima Materia becomes an infinity multifaceted crystal,
radiating rainbows of Light: The Gem of Transmutation.
This Procedure materializes spirit.
It gives ethereal revelation the stability of outer form.
My role in this Procedure is to dwell in attentive prayer.
In the Opus, it is called:
SUBLIMATION and GLORIFICATION
The inner, secret Opus is complete.
My Art has transformed
the despised substance into gold,
the affliction into sacrament.
"Our gold is not the common gold," the Wizard reminds.
The exalted Prima Materia is now removed from the
hidden vessel in which I carried out the subjective portion.
Now I can proclaim its glorified body
into the outer, day-to-day world.
It is now also real in the objective Realm.
There it is revealed as the Philosopher's Stone,
the Pearl of Great Price, the Jewel of Paradox.
As both an inner and outer reality,
it binds the two Realms, the seen and the unseen.
It brings them into resonance.
Through the marriage of these estranged natures
— the lower and the higher,
the body and the soul,
the self and the shadow-
the sacred Self comes into being.
The ordinary, half-known life becomes
elevated into the treasured eternal Truth.
This is the consummation of my wizardly way
with skills and happenstance. The Opus is complete.
No longer needed here as Guide,
I am released for other Callings.
As my last act and offering, I bring the Prima Materia
to embody its sublime state in:
The CULMINATION of the Opus and
The MANIFESTATION of the Jewel of Paradox
The Jewel is so bursting with the boundlessness
of its Source, it yearns and is impelled to propagate.
It is readied to become manifold and abundant,
to reflect the One into the many.
Consciousness separates from its contents and
is absorbed in the "I Am" Presence.
It is awakened to recognize Oness in
every being and awareness.
With the Jewel of Paradox as center of its Heart,
it is freed from the confines of personal history
and circumstance and is empowered
to express its universal and spiritual truths.
It uses the Jewel as a means to transcend
the material realm and consciousness,
the limited and ephemeral.
It lives out of its awakened wholeness.
As an integral part of the subject's psyche,
the Jewel of Paradox can be used to catalyze
others' transformation in the selfsame way.
PROJECTION and DISPERSION