Inner alchemy archives - Aion

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Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997
From: Patrick S. Dunn

After reading several essays by Jung on alchemy, I haven't come to any
conclusion where the link between Aion and pisces, or rather the
symbolism of the fish, have in the world of alchemy. If anybody has any
insight into this matter, I would greatly appreciate it.

PSD

Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997
From: Richard Roberts


Dear Patrick,

You inquire about the link between the symbolism of the fish, Pisces, and
the relation to alchemy. It has been 25 years since I read Jung's alchemical
works, but I believe that the connection is based upon the fish as symbol
for Christ( the Piscean age), and the relation of Christ to the *lapis,* the
divine qualities of which I recall Jung referring to as a *deus absconditus*
in matter. More I cannot recall now.

Best regards,
Richard Roberts

Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997
From: George Leake


I'm not sure about any connection to Aion or Jung, but there are certain
symbolic connections, or perhaps not so much connections as much as
resemblances--the fishes swim in a circle not unlike the symbol of the
Ouroboros, the snake with its tail in its mouth.

Of course the pisces symbol has ancient roots...


George Leake

Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997
From: Hil Cato

A fish is born in the water, breathes in the water, and eats what it
breathes. a fish moves through and exists in the very atmosphere that
is its womb and nourishment, and will also give birth and, hopefully,
die there. a fish's being-ness is fully integrated with its
surroundings. it is born/lives/eats/breathes/births/dies all within the
womb (chalice) of the earth.

good luck, xox

hil cato.

Date: Tue, 17 Jun 97
From: MIKE DICKMAN

The other point, of course, is that Pisces is the sign just before Aries and
that its decanates are ruled by Saturn, Jupiter and Mars - Daath, Chesed and
Geburah or Binah, Chesed and Geburah on the Tree of Life (depends how you're
reading it) - the three upper points of the hexagram.
In Tarot terms these decanates are the Lords of Abandoned Success (Crowley:
Indolence), Material Happiness (Crowley: Happiness) and Perfected Success
(Crowley: Satiety), and are ruled by the Angels of the Shemhamphorash VVLYH
and YLHYH, SALYH and AARYAL, and AASHLYH and MYHAL respectively.
The cards incarnating these ideas are the Hod, Yesod and Malkuth of Briah or
three final cards of the suit of Cups.
The ideas incarnate in Binah/Daath, Chesed and Geburah chime very well with
those incarnate as Aion.
It is also the case that only at the end of Pisces and beginning of Aries
(whose decanates are ruled by Mars, the Sun and Venus) is there a 'ripple' in
the energies of the Tree of Life, inasmuch as (there I go again!) the last
decanate of the former and first of the latter are BOTH ruled by Mars, this,
according to Crowley and others, being what gives the year the energy to
'leap' (so to speak) from its end to its beginning...
The decanates of Aries in Tarot terms are called the Lords of Dominion
(Crowley: Dominion), Established Strength (Crowley: Virtue) and Perfected Work
(Crowley: Completion), and ruled by the Angels VHVAL and DNYAL, HChShYH and
AAMMYH, and NNAAL and NYThAL.
The cards incarnating these ideas are the Choicmah, Binah and Chesed of
Atziluth or the first three (after the Ace, or Root) of the suit of Wands.
These also, according to the Golden Dawn systems include the four Kings, the
four Queens, and - by passing over it - Daath.
Aries is the traditional time for the start of the Great Work, the retreat of
Abramelin, and the rising of Christ...

Love,
m

Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997
From: Bernard Bovasso

Patrick:

From the standpoint of concepts of matter, the alchemists were extremely
influenced by the pre-Socratic philosophers of which Thales stands out as
prime for his notion that water was the *arché* substance or element. He
deduced this from his observation of fish fossils in a quarry. But aside from
the fish, it was the element of water that drew the focus so that the
alchemical notion of the *protohylos* which referred to the materia prima
literally means "first water" as the archetype of matter and the four
elements (water, earth. air and fire).

Sincerely,

Bernard
(BXBovasso)

From: DONALD MINSON
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997

Basically Jung's Aion is a phenomenology of the Self. A term Jung used to describe the
greater self as an independently operating archetype within the our psyche.
the book is a broad exposition of the history of its manifestation throughout the
christian aion which corresponds roughly to the aion of pisces. He expounds on the
symbolism inherent in many belief systems that involve a mystical, religious,
spiritual or philosophical bias or outlook--Alchemy certainly could be said to include
all those aspects. In as much as Alchemy played an historical role in the development
of the concept of the Self it was included in his exposition. Generally the Aion is
declared with the passing of its particular zodiacal sign through the spring equinox
as Pisces has done for the past 2000 years more or less (from
about the birth of Christ)...synchronistically the first fish of pisces pointing
upwards passed through the equinox for roughly the first 1000+ years and corresponded
to man's attaining a heavenward attitude towards his enlightenment...the second fish,
pointing laterally, then passed through the equinox and corresponded to man's
broadening and exploratory role in his enlightenment...these two natures are
antithetical approaches to development which have a correspondence to Christ and
antichrist each receiving his due manifestation in the material world...an
enantiadromian movement through the aion (thus the eschatological nature of
Revelations finds its correspondence)...the important quality to notice is the
antithetical nature of the two fish...pairs of opposites are paramount in alchemy...and
one of Jung's references is a picture from Lambspringk's book showing two fish in a
river(?) swimming opposite directions and some statement that the whole of alchemy
could be deduced from its contemplation...among other things the antinomial properties
within alchemy can be deduced...essentially the fish corresponds to the serpent and the
dragon in all their manifestations directly and indirectly...also mentioned in the book
are some alchemical references to a hot or fiery fish to be used in the recipes and
elementally these are significant...generally, though, the fish of alchemy played an
indirect supporting role in the book and I wouldn't sweat much over finding direct
correspondences...

Donald Minson

Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997
From: Jeffrey

"But the wind carries in its belly the unchangeable son of the sun. This son
is like a fish without bones, which swims in our phislophical sea." The fish
without bones is a common image in alchemy and one that Jung refers to in
Aion, which is his book on the nature of the Self. Someone has mentioned the
fish image in the book of Lambspring, and there are several references to
magic fish that magnetically attracts ships and causes them to stop dead in
the water. Some alchemists use this image in reverse by stating that the
master must find a magnet of the wise that attracts this fish, rather than
the fish being the magnet. Generally Jung believes fish symbolize any
archetypal images within the collective uncsoncious and the image in dreams
of catching fish has to do with making something conscious. He thinks that
the fish in alchemy is a reference to the prima materia which is transformed
into the lapis, so that the fish is a symbol of the stone of the philsopher's
before it has been transformed. The notion of working with or catching afish
then refers tothe very difficult problem of determining what the prima
materia is and how to obtain it.

Jeff

From: DONALD MINSON
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997

Dear George,

Hope this is more useful than a wicker basket...( please take into account
... a couple of late-night-post-work-beers...that different size fonts and
different settings of length per message alter the shape of the letter as it
is read by different computers... and that some find modern art attractive)

Basically Jung's Aion is a phenomenology of the Self. A term Jung used
to describe the greater self as an independently operating archetype within
the our psyche. The book is a broad exposition of the history of its
manifestation throughout the Christian Aion which corresponds roughly
to the aion of pisces.

In the book, Jung expounds on the symbolism inherent in many belief
systems that involve a mystical, religious, spiritual or philosophical bias
or outlook--Alchemy certainly could be said to include all those aspects.
In as much as Alchemy played an historical role in the development of the
concept of the Self it was included in his exposition.

Generally, the Aion is declared with the passing of its particular zodiacal
sign through the spring equinox as Pisces has done for the past 2000 years
more or less (from about the birth of Christ)...synchronistically the
first fish of pisces pointing upwards passed through the equinox for
roughly the first 1000+ years and corresponded to man's attaining a
heavenward attitude towards his enlightenment...the second fish,
pointing laterally, then passed through the equinox and corresponded
to man's broadening and exploratory role in his enlightenment...these
two natures are antithetical approaches to development which have a
correspondence to Christ and Antichrist each receiving his due
manifestation in the material world...an enantiadromian movement
through the aion (thus the eschatological nature of Revelations finds
its correspondence)...

The important quality to notice is the antithetical nature of the two fish...pairs
of opposites are paramount in alchemy...and one of Jung's references
is a picture from Lambspringk's book showing two fish in a river(?)
swimming opposite directions and some statement that the whole of
alchemy could be deduced from its contemplation...among other things
the antinomial properties within alchemy can be deduced...

Essentially the fish corresponds to the serpent and the dragon in all their
manifestations directly and indirectly...also mentioned in the book are
some alchemical references to a hot or fiery fish to be used in the recipes
and elementally these are significant...generally, though, the fish of alchemy
played an indirect supporting role in the book and I wouldn't sweat much over
finding direct correspondences...

Though this is probably still incorrect form, I hope I rendered a less irritating
read...

Donald Minson

Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997
From: George Leake


>From: MIKE DICKMAN
>The other point, of course, is that Pisces is the sign just before Aries and
>that its decanates are ruled by Saturn, Jupiter and Mars - Daath, Chesed and
>Geburah or Binah, Chesed and Geburah on the Tree of Life (depends how you're
>reading it) - the three upper points of the hexagram.
>In Tarot terms these decanates are the Lords of Abandoned Success (Crowley:
>Indolence), Material Happiness (Crowley: Happiness) and Perfected Success
>(Crowley: Satiety), and are ruled by the Angels of the Shemhamphorash VVLYH
>and YLHYH, SALYH and AARYAL, and AASHLYH and MYHAL respectively.

I think everyone here not familiar with Tarot should realize that what
Mike's talking about here only applies to one or two Tarot decks, not Tarot
capital letter "t" implying every single deck. Same goes with the QBListic
attributions, which, after all, are applied quite inconsistently in the
many modern occult decks. All this is certainly an interesting sidelight on
its own terms, but its just that. Another important thing to remember is
that there's not that much here that relates to alchemy, even though
Crowley and Waite knew quite a bit about Alchemy, there's not really that
much in their decks that relates to alchemy. I'm sure many of us know this
already, but for those of you less familiar with the facts, I just thought
a little background might illuminate things.

George Leake

Date: Thu, 19 Jun 97
From: MIKE DICKMAN

What George says is quite true. I had meant to mention that the system I am
propounding is only that of the Golden Dawn based tarotdecks (which - be it
added - implies a good two thirds of the modern ones) and that not even all of
these apply the QBListic attributions in the same manner... The ones I mention
are part of the basis of the GD pack itself, and those of Crowley and Waite.
Forgive my lapsus.

Respectfully
m

Date: Fri, 20 Jun 97
From: MIKE DICKMAN

Although, according to George " All this is certainly an interesting sidelight
on its own terms, but its just that. Another important thing to remember is
that there's not that much here that relates to alchemy...", it should be
pointed out that Antoine Faivre (an author George is very fond of quoting
himself) has dedicated an entire book to exactly the point I was trying to
bring out, but - so as to clarify it further, I might, perhaps, add the
following:

Pisces signals the end - the culmination - of a cycle... in this particular
case, as very articulately argued by Bernard, Jeff and others, the cycle of
seeking out and finding at least the keys to the prima materia (although I
must add it would be well to remember, here, that - as Fulcanelli, quoting
Argos, says - (Le Mystere des Cathedrales, pp. 93 – 94): 'Man is not the
prima materia, except where Alchemy has come to be viewed from the
rather special standpoint to which certain mystics who misunderstand
Jacob Boehme have become attached ... Our Great Mother knows
nothing of prudishness and of the hypocritical conventions of men, for
she creates continuously... The science we study is as positive,
palpable and exact as those of optics, geometry or engineering,
its results as tangible as those of chemistry')... Pisces, then, is a
coming to "an end before the beiginning"... The beginning is to carry
this ending over into a new and further cycle beyond what was first
considered to be the goal... Mao (theoretically) and the I Ching both
consider this as 'continuing revolution'...

Certainly does keep one from dozing off.

Respectfully,
m