Inner alchemy archives - Alchemy and dreams

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Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996
From: Richard Patz

>From: Mark House
>
>When I was very young my sister awakened me from a dream and told me I
>was talking to a dragon. How she knew this was because I was asking
>where is my dinosaur? Repeatedly. Later in my young life I had very
>lucid dreams about traveling in a desert with people I knew in this
>dream we were in a wagon and the wagon was being pulled by two very
>large beetles. We stopped in the sand, the two beetles ate each other
>became one, reappeared as two again, ate each became one etc. When I
>asked what was this I was told they would eventually stop and we would
>move on to our destination; a city where we would find great fruit and a
>garden of rest from the heat of the desert.

When I was young I dreamed about egyptian mummification. Small wonder that
later in life I would follow the study of Egyptology (I come to alchemy only
recently).

>Today the dreams are even more detailed. But I must not discuss the
>content since I have been told that personal initiation and dreams require
>a long study that unfolds in its own time-space.

Of course, and I wouldn't ask the details of such personal material.

Jung records a great deal of alchemical imagery in the dreams of his
patients. Have you read any of this material? As someone who is working in
an alchemical system do you have any comments about the content of the
Jungian material?

As I understand it, alchemy observes and describes the grand process of
Nature. And whether we are talking about physical evolution or psychological
intergration or the growth of spiritual enlightenment, the process is the
same. Hence the value of alchemy's capacity for multi-level interpretation
and, I would venture, the value of experience over dogma. As human beings we
have the option, by virtue of our self-awareness, to participate in this
process while other sentient beings suffer to be carried along. Through our
participation - in whatever framework or system we may call our own -
everything benefits. The effect is systemic.

So when I read the Jungian dream material I say "of course, we are all
moving in the same direction".

I am interested in your opinion.

Richard Patz



Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996
From: Mark House


As Frater Albertus used to say:"All things are in a state of ever
becoming." Even the universe is ever evolving...we live on a planet that
is moving along at the speed of light along with the rest of the matter
in space. Dreams however, move in a different space-time from that. They
can take a minute or an eternity to reveal the pattern that must be
interpreted or directly seen. To decipher dreams like Jung felt he
should do he came to know the symbology of ordinary people, patients,
etc., were engaging in inner world contacts with higher (meaning more
harmonious) energy. The formula of energy = consciousness and vice
versa, equates the two, and we are seeking unity of the opposites here
in the dream states. Jung had the courage to pursue the images as
descibed and his book on Pstchology and Alchemy is the result. A more
modern archetype that appears from the 1940's on are the UFO's that
appear everywhere to ordinary folk. Images are the messengers of the
Gods. The Gods are the energies contacted in numerous states of
consciousness. I don't know what is dream and what is reality. Few
people can distinguish the difference other than waking consciouness and
unconsciousness. My dreams can be so real that I can see the thread
through a maze of consciouness while awake. Waking dreams too have
several time-spaces over-lapping each other which makes viewing it a
task. Others like Carlos Casteneda Have told us that to write his book
on The Power of Silence and his latest, he dreams and sees the details
then simply remembers the event and writes it down. With practice in
dream diary writing the task is more easily accomplished. It takes real
devotion and detail oriented consciousness.

A.M.W. House



Date: Sat, 14 Dec 1996 18:17:15 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

Mark House wrote:

>we are seeking unity of the opposites here in the dream states.

Your comment reminds me of the custom of looking to dreams to restore health
and equilibrium.

Jesuit accounts (17th century) report that the Huron tribes of Central
Ontario, Canada, used to see dreams as a way to divine the "soul desires"
[ondinnock]. If these ondinnock were not fulfilled, sickness and mental
disease would result. A shaman [ocata] would help interpret the symbolic
nature of the visions and the dream itself would be ritually reenacted, with
practical modifications. The conditions of the dream were fulfilled -
illness was averted - equilibrium and health returned.

This appears to represent a folding the dream world into the physical world
thereby uniting unconscious and conscious experiences.

Granted, we are talking about another time and culture. Bruce G. Trigger in
his book "The Huron, Farmers of the North" gives a number of graphic
examples from the early 17th century that illustrate just how different that
culture is to our own. A warrior dreamed of being burnt at the stake. He was
tortured, like in his dream, and a dog was killed as a surrogate. A rich man
dreamed that he had to refurnish his house. He gave away all his old belongings.

However, I think a similar method could be adopted today with perhaps a more
symbol reenactment than the examples given. Dream of a certain place? Then
go visit it. Dream of a horse? Go to the countryside and touch one. Seems a
good way of uniting the inner world with the outer world, if one is sensible
about the details. (No dog sacrifices please). Those with a background in
alchemical symbolism or ceremonial work - or artists - would have even more
resources for the implementation of this method than most people.

I am not suggesting every dream be 'brought to earth' as it were. But in my
experience some dreams do beg for expression.

Richard Patz


Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 12:38:45 -0800
From: Donald Minson

> From: Mark House
> As Frater Albertus used to say: "All things are in a state of ever
> becoming." Even the universe is ever evolving...we live on a planet that
> is moving along at the speed of light along with the rest of the matter
> in space. Dreams however, move in a different space-time from that...


Mark,

Ever becoming. Boy don't I know that feeling. The only constant in
the universe is change.

When you say energy = consciousness... are you including the unconscious
as well? Fire is the symbol of energy and of change. For the alchemists
the soul dwells in the fire of the heart. Jung, in his commentary on
Paracelsian alchemy, talked of this and postulated the heart [as
container and grave (a retort of sorts)], as the imagination---that
place where we do all the work, the opus. That seems to me to be a
meeting ground of the opposites, especially the conscious/unconscious
pair. The place where the spinning Mercurius resides. In this place
Paracelsus says that the spirit and soul reside and the great crime of
the spirit was its causing the soul to fall.

This equation of fire/energy--i.e., the active principle of the imagination--
means to me that the resolution to the separation of spirit and soul can
only be mended by activating or heating up that same
fire---or rather, a devotion of psychic energy to the process that
initiated the change in the first place. That requires a dialectic
between the spontaneous images of the unconscious and the humbled
ego---a dance between two partners who must find a language to
communicate the steps--the language of symbols... the language of
dreams.

It seems to me that "Ariadne" thread you spoke of is one such
image. Jung spoke of a web of associations (psych & alch) that provide
the context which, in turn, provides the proper
interpretation/deciphering of these gods. Your thread sounds like a
string in that web--- are there "pictures" along the route of your maze?

Which are the dreams and which are manifestations of the material world?
Do they dance? The unity we seek in dreams is (as dreams themselves
often are) sometimes a precipitant of things to come in waking
life....so, too, then we are seeking unity when awake, if we are seeking
at all. Further, to experience the symbolic life is a magic of high
regard.... to confuse it with a dream can be a dangerous thing... take
care my friend... nigredo is a dark dark place and the gods come to life
with zeal (an energy not so harmonious in its temporal
manifestation)... the opus is a physis---everbecoming ever changing....

Don Minson



From: Steve Kalec
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 13:01:24 -0500

Dear Richard Patz,

> I am not suggesting every dream be 'brought to earth' as it were.
> But in my experience some dreams do beg for expression.

I found your post very interesting and I agree with you that some
dreams beg for expression. I find it very striking how we can wake up
to certain moods which can last most of the day sometimes because
of a dream that we had. I like the examples you give in the possible
ways to fulfill and give expression to these dreams. Thanks.

Best regards,

Steve Kalec



Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 13:14:20 -0800
From: Donald Minson



> From: Richard Patz
> A shaman [ocata] would help interpret the symbolic
> nature of the visions and the dream itself would be ritually reenacted, with
> practical modifications. The conditions of the dream were fulfilled -
> illness was averted - equilibrium and health returned....

> However, I think a similar method could be adopted today with perhaps a more
> symbol reenactment than the examples given. Dream of a certain place? Then
> go visit it. Dream of a horse? Go to the countryside and touch one. Seems a
> good way of uniting the inner world with the outer world... Those with a background
> in alchemical symbolism or ceremonial work - or artists - would have even
> more resources for the implementation of this method than most people.

Richard,

Your symbolic reenactment idea reminds me of Robert Johnson's (the
Jungian analyst's--not the Blues guitarist's) idea of incorporating
ritual as a necessary symbolic compliment to dream and fantasy material.
He feels we need some kind of physical/material re-enforcement of an
experience which might otherwise demand an unconscious--and therefore
dangerous or uncomfortable--response of our manifested behavior. Just
like the extremes you related. Johnson says the psyche doesn't know the
difference between a symbolic act and a real one, and that we can create
some physically exercised ritual experience to suffice rather than
leaving it up to the unconscious to determine its manifestation. He gave
the example of a young man who dreamed of junk food. The junkfood
symbolized to the man his pursual of unhealthy habits and
behaviors,i.e., unfulfilling, habitual, seeking for empty pleasures. So,
the young man would ritually go to a fast food restaurant, buy the
biggest,greasiest burger the largest fries and drink and take it home,
dig a hole in his back yard and bury it. Symbolically this had the
effect of ridding or "burying" or laying to rest this impulses. As a
result he was able--consciously and happily and with greater ease--to
change his life with more rewarding seekings and experiences.

Don Minson




Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 15:07:27 -0800
From: Victoria GaVoian

Dear Anthony House,

These stones that you speak of, is there someone's writings that I may
look into? (For many years I have experienced these things you speak.)
Best Wishes,

Victoria GeVoian



Date: Sun, 30 Mar 1997 05:40:39 -0800
From: Anthony M. House

> From: Victoria GaVoian
> These stones that you speak of, is there someone's writings that I may
> look into? (For many years I have experienced these things you speak.)


Dear Victoria,

Victoria, please read this article:
http://www.levity.com/alchemy/markhouse6.html, for a start.
It's not uncommon for experiences like these to occur for people even
without any taking of stones or alchemical/qabalistic, study/discipline.

We can say that we have two types of stones. First there is the
vegetable stone that doesn't give a complete initiation. And the mineral
stone which gives a complete initiation of the four elements. The white
work gives medicines of the first three orders and the red stone gives
medicines from the three upper (levels) that means if you take these
stones or the white stone it will allow for you to become aware of your
three inner worlds of the lunar astral. And the red stone will let you
be aware of conscious (ness) of the three upper levels. So the red stone
will give you consciousness on the four elements up to Jupiter and on
the Binah Level.

When you take a vegetable stone the interest is to take it with a
slightly alcoholic liquid (wine) in order to have it come really fast in
your stomach. The stomach liquids destroy the alcoholic structures of
the vegetable stone, and if everything is fine the energy is freed next
to the solar plexus. And that explains its effects.

Although this excerpt is a little long for the forum email I think it
can be of the greatest assistance. On the Inner Master, comes from the
same transcript as mentioned in the Dream Consciousness posting.
Here it is:

Inner Master
What I would like to say also, in the first page of the Mutus Liber
there's a man (draws a picture) sleeping against a rock. And there's a
ladder, and angels blowing pipes or trumpets, and to make the Nicola
Flamel work you must be linked to the inner master who is your guardian,
your protector, and your initiator. This is why it's very important to
start with vegetable stones. Because the vegetable stones allow the
beginning of the inner initiation because the work to the Lunar Venusian
Regulus is not alchemical, but from there on you are linked, and it's
your inner master that gives you information on the state of
substance(s). And that's very important. Maybe I am taking a personal
case but you will see at the beginning it (animated mercury) is a little
baby, in the dreams, and the baby grows, and you're in a state of love
with your animated mercury. And if it has no love it's not open. That's
why you need to have the feet on the ground because you wonder if
sometimes you're not going mad, to love a substance.
When you reach the 7th Eagle you can have the vision of a man and a
woman making one and only body, It's the animated mercury. When you will
see inside - an inside friction - it will mean your inner sulfur and
your inner mercury - you feel it. And you have to calm this down in you
in order to let it happen outside. So this way is really a matching with
the matter. This is why you have to be linked to your inner Master.
I will speak about this inner master. In religion it's called the Saint
Guardian Angel, your inner master is the guide of love and knowledge,
and if you're careful of what he says and how he says it in the dreams -
and it's important to write down your dreams and analyze them - because
he will give you teachings and conceptions that are far higher than the
usual philosophical conceptions, social or moral, or religious, or
initiatic.
Anyway if you want to reach the Stone you will have to overcome all
that. Because the inner master will give you knowledge that allows you
to be free, to be with no Guru and with no servant in this world. And
you will have love for humanity - for things - that will be higher than
the usual love. And this is the divine source. Your divine source - that
is love - and the translator of all this is your inner master.
Seeing this inner master will be given to you by first taking the
caraway stone that will be taught to you later by Marc Gerald. The
caraway stone is very important. If you look at all the golden money in
America, from these old coins you have mythological symbols. There's one
with a man with two heads (Yves draws the figure) and there's a key here
- an initiatic key - it looks down, it looks up. And this is why the
caraway stone is a key and it really lets inner initiation happen.
Otherwise I'd like to speak of 2 things about intelligence of the heart
and about brain intelligence. The intelligence of the heart - it's
function is the numbers of existence past on this earth.
The more you live, the more you have experiences, positive or negative,
and these experiences give you a certain heart intelligence. Do you
understand this?. The brain intelligence is something you have when
you're born, or not, but when you go on the other side - it doesn't
exist anymore. The intelligence of the heart is permanent from one life
to another. And people on this earth are very intelligent with lots of
diplomas, are dumb asses. Laughs. Because the intelligence of the heart
is common sense. The intelligence of the heart lets you be sensitive to
intuition, to be related to people, to be linked with people you live
with and I often think that if people would look at themselves with the
heart we would all be in love with one another.
But it needs an inner balance, you mustn't be daydreaming. You need a
very heavy psychic force and a very open heart. We can say that the
intelligence of the heart is the intelligence that pushes you to feed
your heart and not your stomach. It makes you be aware of the beauty of
being and the beauty of people. You have two brains - one here (Yves
presses his hand to his head) and one in the heart. Usually only the
upper one works. If you make that one (heart brain) work, you will
become a channel of the divine voice that will come out of you.
You will have a privaledged relationship in all this, maybe you will
cry, you will speak to the others soul and heart. You will be drunk -
words of love and wisdom will be expressed, that will cure these heart
failures and will feed them. He will always remember them. But you will
not always remember what you have said. What was from the heart is
hardly held by the brain. In your laboratory you must work with love.
Because you are all divine children. All of you have a lot of love to
give. In your laboratory the stones will be sensitive to your inner love
and it's your love that will open the doors to secrets of alchemy, they
will lead you to the doors of your own inner guide. A friend of mine is
Redy Sted (spelling requested) I showed him 2 vegetable stones. One of
caraway done by myself, and another one done by somebody else. He didn't
know the qabala - not too good - he took his pendulum and he put his
finger on the qabala tree. he said "this stone is of such sephirotic
level and that one is of such sephirotic level, and he was right. So
even if you have a caraway stone that should be on this level (8), your
inner sephirotic level is stamped in the stone you are doing. Wallah.
That's all!

Anthony



Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 13:21:02 -0500
From: Patrick S. Dunn

Dear brothers and sisters:

I too have had similar reoccuring dreams. Although I have no universal
explanation for their occurance and ceaseless transformation, I come to
you for dire help. In my dreams, I am usually walking along a dirt path
or in a large temple-like dwelling. During this time there are
poisonous snakes endlessly trying to bite me. The snakes are usually
rattlers but have also changed, literally, to cottonmouths and
abnormally huge cobras. In different dreams the background varies: from
rural wooded areas to almost psychedelic gardens. If anyone can help
out in an interpretation in an alchemical fashion I would be most
thankful.

Under the same sky,

PSD



Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997 15:12:37 -0800
From: Belle Hall

> From: Patrick S. Dunn
> I too have had similar reoccuring dreams. Although I have no universal
> explanation for their occurance and ceaseless transformation, I come to
> you for dire help. In my dreams, I am usually walking along a dirt path
> or in a large temple-like dwelling. During this time there are
> poisonous snakes endlessly trying to bite me. The snakes are usually
> rattlers but have also changed, literally, to cottonmouths and
> abnormally huge cobras. In different dreams the background varies: from
> rural wooded areas to almost psychedelic gardens. If anyone can help
> out in an interpretation in an alchemical fashion I would be most
> thankful.


You have got to allow the snakes to bite you. They are not there to
poison you. They are there to bite you with what ever it is that you need
to know or bring out into the Light. No citations. I just know.

Peace, Belle



Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997
From: Mats Winther


Patrick,
No wonder you have no explanation for these dreams - they are "Prima
Materia"-dreams. And Prima Materia is sometimes called Massa Confusa, which
defies interpretation because it is "confusion". There are probably
hundreds of definitions of Prima Materia. Here is my explanation.

These dreams are excellent depictions of the Prima Materia and this goes to
show that you could become successful in the Hermetic art. The Prima
Materia is namely the necessary raw material of the Opus.
So here we are at the beginning at the Opus. At this stage it is imperative
to develop some sort of understanding so that one doesn't get lost in the
labyrinth of Massa Confusa, which so many have done before you. First of
all, the Prima Materia as depicted in your dreams, are not to be understood
as the Nigredo which is where the real alchemical process starts and where
the alchemist leaves his apprenticeship to get into real business. So,
techniques like active imagination etcetera are not to be applied at this
stage. That would be dangerous, or would not succeed anyway. Furthermore,
the alchemical symbology is not as applicable here as it will be later.
Therefore, the development of understanding does not need to follow the
alchemical pattern. There are today more sophisticated tools of
strengthening consciousness.

Ergo: this is the real raw material - the real Massa Confusa. How do I know
this? Because it depicts the "Dangerous Paradise". You are walking about in
places where you would really long to be - if it werenīt for the snakes. It
is as if the dreams say: "This is a wonderful place, but for now: get away
from here - the snakes are dangerous!". How most persons would react on
this would be to leave the place. But then curiosity and longing for these
places would take over and one would return; this time with due weaponry.
And this is exactly the intent of these dreams - that you should get away,
later to return. This is known as the circular movement of the spirit -
circular distillation - solve and coagulate. And the weaponry will be the
understanding that you will develop, and more importantly - the
psychological indepence of the unconscious. You see, the Prima Materia is
really a Mother goddess. The word "materia" actually has the same root as
"mother" or "mater". So in getting away i.e, freeing the spirit from Prima
Materia, you will actually free yourself from an infantile mother bondage.
If you arenīt successful in doing a "dissolutio" so that the spirit is
freed from itsī unconscious state of bondage in matter, then you will fall
into the collector trap which Iīve mentioned in other mailings. This is a
very tragic state of affair where a childish attitude is conserved. The
disciple will "remain at home" together with his Mother. Since the spirit
is still bound up in matter the disciple will still project upon matter so
that objects and signs seem to have both meaning and magic. A very typical
behaviour for such a person would be, for instance, to collect gemstones.
So here you see how dangerous the Prima Materia really is. An alchemist
bound up by her, will not be a true alchemist. This person will only be
doing a ritual behaviour; an "imitatio Mercuri". If alchemy would ever be
established as a religion, the gentile would resort to such behaviour on
Sundays; for instance, a symbolical stay within the Vas Hermeticum,
followed by resurection at Rubedo. But the real alchemist must go through
the process for real. Itīs imperative to free the spirit from itsī
infantile bounds. The danger is that the whole life is thrown away at
childish behaviour, gently treading among the snakes in the Prima
Materia-paradise, not to be bitten by them or "touched by the archetype".
The tragic, ritual alchemist has an estetical outlook and has the ability
to turn even the most magnificent vision into a "gemstone" - a thing for
worship - not for living. And maybe God will give him the most sublime
wonder to show him that he is really going too far - turning even this one
to stone.

Many modern alchemists have problems with this. Personally, I didnīt expect
this condition. But here I find myself teaching Prima Materia instead of
myself learning from others. I have been told earlier, by persons working
with people, that the level of consciousness is low, these days. I have
come to see that they are right. The medieval alchemist were actually
better off. Why is this? Because they had a strong belief and understanding
of Christianity and itsī mythology which to a certain extent is alchemical
although it doesnīt go all the way (or is alchemy Christian?) . Many of
todays alchemists seem to have regressed to a pre-christian dualistic
world-view, greatly inferior to the Christian.

Anyhow, - and this is important - when the disciple has strengthened his
consciousness, achieved a moral stature, acquired a feeling for hard work,
and thereby acquired maturity and freedom - the spirit must return. The
circle must be closed. Now, but only now, is it allowed to become childish.
Now it is allowed to collect gemstones and doing childish drawings, for
instance. In fact, things like this must be done, because consciousness
must now stop expanding and instead start to contract. The spirit must now
return to matter where it previously left. But, if you make drawings, for
instance, they are not to be regarded as pieces of art. This is important.
Their only value are as topical expressions of the unconscious. And these
activities have no value for others and should not be exhibited. They only
risk corrupting others. After this the unconscious will start to cooperate,
and we are at the active imagination and entrance to Nigredo. But from
initial Prima Materia to here, there are in most cases several years.

The disciple "pierces the snake", and "nails it to the tree". This,
symbolically, is the breaking free from the Mother. The hero killing the
dragon is similar, except that the disciple seems to have a real problem,
the snake being so big. The freeing of the spirit from the Prima Materia
then, is nothing other than taking up an interest in that which is not
material, like dream interpretation, hard work, intellectual understanding,
contributions to society by work. By the way, the latter is morally much
better than living in an introverted, ritual bondage to "Prima Mater". I
really hope that you haven't already delved in ritual alchemy for too many
years, because then you will not heed my words, and thereby admit that
youīve threwn away so much time. But there is fresh Prima Materia in the
dreams, so I think you are a healthy beginner. This Prima Materia will
produce many dreams until the blue bird has reached the summit, where the
dreams will disappear.

Mats Winther



Date: Thu, 3 Apr 97
From: Mike Dickman


Belle's right on track, Patrick...

Bear in mind that your granny really was a dragon... so were all of ours...
Snakes are famous for what?... Incredible power, incredible beauty, incredible
wisdom, intelligent shyness, and incredibly bad tempers when crossed...
I go with Belle... Let 'em bite ya!

Though the European occident has been beating serpents about the ears since
time was - or at least since they took on that middle-eastern monotheism-stuff
at any rate (something to do with a naked and slinky feller named NChSh)
(which same has the numerical value of MShIH)(back to Satan and the Christ
here, aren't we?) - the wiley orient (not to mention large swathes of the rest
of the forgotten planet) has been feeding them milk and making them offerings,
receiving, in return - except where these practises have fallen into the 20th.
century - all the bounties dragons bring.

Nagas, dragons, serpents, Lu, sadag... all of these, correctly approached, are
renowned as bestowers of both wealth and wisdom (cf., e.g., the tale
concerning Nagarjuna I sent Deanna on Jan. 28th., [Archives, January, on
Adam's web-site])

... You may very well find that they don't want to attack you at all.

Best of luck.

Love,

m