The answer lies in the context of transmutation—turning the Moon unconscious mind into silver and the Sun conscious mind into gold in a figurative sense, or in the language of the alchemist. The first, black stage of the lesser work comes under Saturn, whose metal is the densest and most chaotic of all metals: lead. This is the mortification and putrefaction stage. Symbolised by the Raven or skull. At this stage consciousness must be withdrawn from the senses and turned inwards. The Soul is submerged in matter the cross and hidden from the light. The process of using the fire to dissolve and coagulate. First dissolve the impurities in fire and coagulate the elements of consciousness into a newer, higher form. Or the act of removing the parts that hold us back from the free flowing consciousness of wholeness. Therein you unlock the mystery of the sphinx—the mystery of uniting all four elements shown as the Magician in tarot Arcanum I.
The alchemist supports the goal of reaching the enlightenment in seven distinct processes. As the great work initiates, we watch a considerable mutation on the elements from their original state. Although, the evolution is far beyond the earthly metallurgy. The metaphor behind the altered matter and planetary influence, affect both spirit, psyche and body. For many authors, to follow the steps as a scientist may lead us to frustration and disappointment. That idea underlines the fact that the journey could be purely spiritual. The process of calcination is the beginning stage in alchemy. This is the false identity or poisoning ego that fights desperately for its survival. Is crucial to remove it from our inner selves. That way we will step up into a new level of spirituality.
The Great Work Latin : Magnum opus is an alchemical term for the process of working with the prima materia to create the philosopher's stone. It has been used to describe personal and spiritual transmutation in the Hermetic tradition , attached to laboratory processes and chemical color changes, used as a model for the individuation process, and as a device in art and literature. The magnum opus has been carried forward in New Age and neo-Hermetic movements which sometimes attached new symbolism and significance to the processes. The original process philosophy has four stages:  . The origin of these four phases can be traced at least as far back as the first century. Zosimus of Panopolis wrote that it was known to Mary the Jewess. The magnum opus had a variety of alchemical symbols attached to it. Birds like the raven, swan, and phoenix could be used to represent the progression through the colors. Similar color changes could be seen in the laboratory, where for example, the blackness of rotting, burnt, or fermenting matter would be associated with nigredo. Alchemical authors sometimes elaborated on the three or four color model by enumerating a variety of chemical steps to be performed.
Keyword: Burning What Happens: Thoughts, feelings, and energies which are traumatic, repressed, useless, or destructive are brought to the surface with the express intention of burning them away in the fires of the alchemists. This is the beginning of freedom from these energies. Keyword: Cleansing What Happens: The ashes which remain after the process of calcination are now washed or cleansed in the waters of higher emotion. While this stage can be very painful, the freedom gained after disconnecting from the old illusions that ruled us is exhilarating.
Keyword: Discernment What Happens: This stage is the realization of what was begun in the previous stages, once the old energies that no longer serve us are brought to the surface, burned and cleansed. Once we see how much of our previous life and outlook was filtered through a distorted lens, we can choose more consciously and competently who we are to become.
Keyword: Quickening What Happens: Supplied with a vision of who we now choose to be, we begin to look toward the cosmic counterpart of this vision. Keyword: Putrefaction What Happens: With a greater awareness of that which is greater than ourselves, our deficiencies and shortcomings which are not tied to our self concept those explored in the stages of Calcination and Dissolution become obvious for the first time. Love in this context is that of the highest order, that of releasing attachment to the future and to our expectations and desires of ourselves and others.
Instead, embracing our relationship with life, ourselves, and those we care about through the pure, intuitive perfection of Oneness. This is the ultimate expression of interdependence, where we exist, self actualized and yet completed only through a connection with both what is higher and beyond ourselves, as well as those around us. The image of the Phoenix rising from the ashes of his previous self, to ascend again is a symbol of this last step of the process. Pingback: Why Alchemy? Transformation Alchemy. You are commenting using your WordPress.
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