“Alchemy is matter, to make soul matter, to transform our sense of what matters.
Saving the psyche’s phenomena calls for an alchemical method of chaos, a method which indulges the soul’s surprising beauty and inventive freedom.” James Hillman
Alchemy 2: The Perversion of Nature
In Alchemy, the transformation of plant material, producing medicines and distilled essences, is called the ‘Lesser Work’. The ‘Greater Work’ in Alchemy is focused on the 7 metals of antiquity and their correspondences with the planets ‘out there’ and equally with these archetypal elements inside the imagination of each person.
Penetrating Mother Earth with ploughing and burials, dwarves underground, clay smeared on bodies. Firing kilns, smelting, forging, casting, welding, lost wax casts, floating sheet, fluxes and toxic spirits. The bronze age and the kali yuga. Blades, jewellery, coins, lightening rods and stainless steel, rare earth and noble metals.
Going to Heaven, divination and how metals arrive from outer space. Baetyls, including the Ka’bah, shooting stars, mazal tov and movie stars. Dragon flights and mythology. Amalgams in your teeth and the mischief of mercury, lead pipes, copper T and copper tubing, iron maidens and iron men, tin cans, sterling silver, and the gold standard.
Most students of Alchemy know that the journey begins with first discovering and then transforming the leaden unconsciousness of the nigredo into the silver peacock’s tail of the albedo. The subsequent journey involves bringing the purified consciousness back down the mountain, into the embodiment of the rubedo. There is still one further station, that of bringing the ‘true gold’ alive in the world.
For the theoria of this workshop, we will deepen our insight into this later development of consciousness through exploring Jung’s ‘Mysterium Coniunctionis’. Then we will come to understand the calm joy and unique responsibilities that the Alchemic journey implies for each of us. For the praxis, we will sculpt a Caduceus with all seven of the primary metals, shaping, soldering, blow-torching, electroplating, sawing, acid cleansing, drilling and casting the metals to create our own Hermetic wand.
Advanced level: Entry requires Alchemy 1. 7 day workshop. Residential.