Identifying some first steps of Alchemical Initiation
By Anthony M. House
Identifying Some First Steps Of Alchemical Initiation
By Anthony M. House
Out Of Unity You Arise, To Return To Unity Is Your Destiny, The Mind Discovers The Path Of Return While The Heart Provides The Key To Progress Each Step Along The Way
We must know that we are needing to find our own path in the initiatory work. In addition to the 7 "Fama" commandments proposed for the servants of the Invisible Order, (see lesson 11 of general esoterics) there are no rigid restrictions for the student to comply to, yet, LPN France has generously shown us an outer work indispensable for inner contact to occur.
Experience has shown them that this contact is with the Genius within us all.
The Angel that is your higher self. Your lunar astral vehicle that becomes known to you by the eventual passage into the astral realms. We again individually verify the paths of return to unite with our origin.
Identifying some preparatory steps to research allows us to recover just where we have to look for direction in the initiatory respect of the eclectic paths of alchemy.
This effusive foregoing study will increasingly allow us ample access to the program of the outer work. Gaining a higher access allows for a more complete synthesis to emerge.
When significant contact is made you will know it. I can certify the profound effects that the correctly prepared stone of horsetail (Saturn) holds. A Saturn stone made by Michel Auger of LPN France, put me in contact with Divine Love (the FIRE of Unity).
I personally experienced a profound sorrow and joy simultaneously. I lost control of my emotions as tears filled my eyes, and I sobbed aloud for more than an hour. This happened to me last September 1993, at the LPN seminar.
Later, I consulted Patrice Maleze, Michel Auger, and Yves Arbez about my reaction. Patrice told me to try to laugh, as it has a countering effect on the tears.
Note: I have often observed Jean Dubuis attempting to hold back his emotion and tears while giving the seminars. Also, when Jean Dubuis is on the jazz (communing with the Grandfather (universe) he will often spontaneously grab hold of you, should you be near him at the moment, and press his lips to your forehead, just below the hairline.
One becomes a conduit and through which the great love flows out of Jean Dubuis, into you.
It's a rush! This is the Divine Love kiss of the Magister.
Patrice told me that because Michel A. had prepared it, I should tell him.
Michel Auger smiled knowingly and sat with me for a moment to console me. He didn't seem surprised, but pleased at the stones power, and as they had related in the lecture before giving the stone to those present, they asserted "It gives a Divine Love experience."
Yves, observing my reaction, took me aside and said "You are reborn today, on the inner plane," (fortunately Brigitte Donvez was there to translate for us), as he hugged me with genuine brotherly affection and respect.
This emotional reaction was powerful and fulfilling in many ways. Even today I well-up whenever I recall the experience. New vistas of inner symbolic reality have risen in turn in my conscious life, and today the inner walls blocking my growth, are dissolving away.
I might briefly mention too, that the caraway stone given in Oct. 1992 was a turning inward point for me. I had an instantaneous reaction that deleted all the mental data away and shifted attention to my heart perception. I later told Marc-Gerald Cibard that my brain had turned to mush!
I have always been self reflective and I've experienced deep meditation while completing experiments in seclusion before, but the apparent power that this initiatic stone held, relocated my perception.
It shifted my awareness inwardly. I can also say that I've endured dreams that continue to show me everyday (night) my psyche (this can be a very eye-opening event!), my station in life now, and some means to achieve a balance between everyday experience and inner life challenges. This pleased me greatly, causing some new details to form from within.
There will arise both voluntary and involuntary dreams that develop in the alchemists psyche and the images and symbols are not easy to read in the beginning, yet, they are as real as our waking reality.
See Horary Chart for dream analysis Fig. 1. This chart is useful for sorting out the confusing sequences awakened out of the time-space duality of dreams, while also systematizing from horary or natal information, an astrological approach.
Humanity automatically transmits thought by steps, to unity (the Fountain Source). We are as little kings (queens), on account of our inheritance, and we exchange data with the great king that IS the inner guide.
We are contacting the program of the unconscious realms in our heightened dreams and the resonant powers we contact allow us to temporarily merge with a new level of harmonic energy.
For posterity, and for self study, keeping a notebook of dream activities is a good way to remember a pattern that's unfolding. The symbols in the unconscious are doorways to transcendent meaning.
Let's begin with a stone of Caraway, which is asserted to be THE vegetable stone to make for initial, albeit temporary, inner lunar astral plane contact with Hod (Mercury) through dream states at first and later - waking visions. The level called Hod has another name called Thoth Hermes.
So it will give you information on Thoth qabala, and on Hermes alchemy. But these will be personal explanations to start your own way.
This stone opens this path. This path is the path of Shin the letter of the fire, but you must understand that this name fire is just like love. And there (path 31) will come the Divine Love path that will let you start alchemy.
When you do your own stone the experience will be strictly personal. A permanent contact in the interior worlds of the sephiroth can be achieved by use of the White and Red Stones of the metallic kingdom. A later article can cover the Flamel Path and initiation steps. Now, some steps to take in the vegetable kingdom.
METHOD: 98-99% alcohol is poured over approximately 12 lbs of seeds of caraway for 24 hours to mark the alcohol with the seeds. Then the alcohol is distilled off and set aside to be used later.
Fresh seeds (recommended up to 40 lbs.) are steam distilled with distilled rain water (or distilled water) for the essential oil. The thoroughly depleted seeds are then calcined and leached. Note that by allowing the seeds to rest and cool for 12 to 24 hours you can often get the same amount of oil from the same seeds. Just leave the seeds in the same flask and variate between work (distilling) and rest (cooling).
What you have to know first is that in nature 2 states occur. The crystalline one that's the state of order, and the amorphous state, the chaos one. The alchemical experiments are supported by the order state. So we will speak about certain types of crystals and some rules concerning these crystals.
But just what's necessary for alchemy. The crystals come from the fact that the atoms have a spiritual volume. And you can only put these spirits within 2 types.
With spheres like a cubic pattern or like the rhombohedric pattern. In reality the spheres don't touch, they are far from one another, but they always respect these 2 rules of network. See Fig. 2. And these 2 rules of network are based, and give 7 types of crystals in nature. In qabalistic and alchemistic tradition there are crystal attributions that are types of crystals. Plants are chosen according to the crystallization of the salt of the sulfur corresponding to:
Earth - has no particular crystallization, but may be set on any of the sephirotic levels of crystallization. Here Drosera is known to carry all 7 planetary flows, like its counterpart antimony.
So every sephirotic level is a resonance level in your inner world. We have not checked every level but I think for 2 of these levels we have to pick experiments that show that the tradition is right.
The first type of crystal is the cubic crystal.
This crystal is on the sephirotic level (of) Binah (3). There are 2 types of crystals that are perfect. Cubic and Rhombohedrical. The cubic one is the most perfect, because all its sides are equal and all its angles are right. And along the path down to the density of matter, crystals lose their perfection. If you want to work in alchemy, if you want to make stones and bring them to a sephirotic level, you must have the corresponding crystal to the self.
N.B. Let's examine briefly this important Self aspect. An example given by LPN France is this:
Given that you would produce a stone of whatsoever level, in this case let's continue with the Hod (Mercury) stone of caraway. The personal initiation can guide you to undertake further improvements (thus more power) in your technique and manipulation of the three essentials and FIRE from the atmosphere.
So an initiatic stone at the level of Hod (Mercury) produced by a person of a lower, or perhaps higher level than the stone obtained, may or may not react appreciatively to that level upon using the stones.
It should be noted that the inner level of the person (during its making) is imprinted upon the matrix of the stone and cannot rise above the stage of your own level. Determining your personal inner level is a sure way to get started rightly in the initiatory personal path.
The example supplied here draws a distinction to be recognized that alchemically, initiatic stones can be above, or below the inner level of your inner self.
You see that in alchemy, every step from higher to lower and vice versa requires starting at the onset.
Graduating to the fix the volatile and volatilize the fixed formula of this alchemical program, demands a really precise understanding (gained by experience) of the raising of the FIRE (Angel or secret fire).
Some help in this regard has been presented by LPN France.
Raising the secret fire in the amalgam (of the Flamel Work) for instance, to produce animated (raised initiatic energy) mercury, and the examples of transfer of life and energy in the kingdoms has back up statements covered in the Mendeleyev table of elements presentation, this allows some means of testing the power of stones, elixirs, elements etc. that have initiatic strength (force).
I can see several different research levels that would involve obtaining (principally) initiatic plant stones that are quickly produced (please see article in issue #1 of Ora et Labora), verses stones that are of the white stages and require a more rigorous and lengthy preparation. To deliberately answer whether the same initiatic strength is present in both.
Presently, we have from LPN France long experience about making truly, initiatic preparations. As well as their collective investigations of effects from their use. For months, and even years at a time. After significant initial contact, using the plant stones is no longer necessary. Again, the time for making inner world contact varies with each person.
We may find too, that our older stones produced from the beginning of our work, may not have as much strength as more recently improved stones do. Time and experience will show us.
If, (as the argument goes), whether or not a plant stone can - separate the three essentials from an immersion into a macerating media - is possible (some recent disclosure from Russ and Sue House says that these stones can cause a simple separation), it's proper to note, as well, that stones further produced by them, from the real philosophic separation of these essentials; by a correctly prepared plant stone, obtain and allow a higher (meaning - more harmonious) effect on the inner levels.
Still, in all, the inner self has a level and this level needs to be explored out for personal contact on the paths of return.
Crystals (salt of the sulfur) can be obtained through the cloudy water obtained from the distillation in an oil separation device, (See Fig. 3, also refer to article in Ora et Labora, issue #2) and must be passed through solve coagula to obtain the crystals very large and transparent.
We'll see later, how to obtain the salt of the sulfur needed for sephirotic comparison, in the white stages section of the article.
Note: In Guelph, Canada, Jean Dubuis showed those present a jar filled with caraway crystals that were very clear (transparent) and large. Crystals will grow like tiny branches in the saturated cloudy water when we slowly evaporate (don't boil) the water, thus reducing the amount of extraneous water by vaporizing it and carefully scooping out the crystals as they form on the surface of the liquid. Dry them, and set these newly formed crystals aside.
The first crystals to appear can be separated from the later solve coagulae (crystallizations). These former crystals can be used as seeds to push coagulation along when saturation is weakened and the salt crystals begin to stop forming. Adding a few of these first crystals to the water will allow the formation to begin again. Finally, we obtain a point where the salt crystals refuse to form, this is the highest degree of purification.
Note: A high percentage of alcohol can be produced by macerating rectified wine - about 94-95% - in a warm place with potassium carbonate, then it's distilled with boiling stones, alembic, and/or kjeldahl flask, and a potassium trap at the vacuum tap - see excerpt from Lesson 29 Spagyrics below:
The first thing to obtain is a perfect Mercury. If it isn't absolute, it contains water; so 99 % alcohol still contains 10 ml of water per liter. This water dissolves a little bit of mineral salt and the Mercury/Salt separation can't be perfect. We suppose that thanks to our preceding lessons you have easily obtained a Mercury of at least 90 %.
To understand the means we chose in the process we are going to describe, we should know what we call "the wear and tear" of things, from the alchemical point of view.
For example, if we throw a small amount of salt in water; at first the water is at rest; the salt dissolves very rapidly. Add some more salt: the dissolution is slower. Add more salt and there is refusal: the water is saturated and doesn't want to dissolve any more salt.
You can heat the water to give it some more strength: eventually the dissolution of the salt will stop once more when a new saturation occurs. Potassium carbonate absorbs the water of the alcohol, but the more it absorbs of this water the less dynamic it becomes.
This same phenomenon renders the preparation of absolute alcohol difficult. The less water in it, the more avidity for water; the more the carbonate absorbed water, the less avidity it has for it. In addition, potassium carbonate attacks glass; the flask or bottle you use should only serve for this particular operation because frosted glass can never be completely cleaned.
Experience shows that in this operation potassium carbonate agglomerates into a lump and the attempts to remove it from the round bottom flask often results in the flask or the bottle breaking.
Following the same alchemical principles, it is better to reuse the potassium carbonate because it becomes more refined and opens correspondingly to the number of times it is used.
For the following operations we used canning jars made of glass, which have several advantages, in addition to being cheap. They can take water-baths, resist vacuum, and have air-tight caps. The only disadvantage is their cover: for distillation, you must either buy a reactor-cover which fits the type of jar you chose, or bore a hole 8 mm in diameter through the glass cover and adapt a standard tube of 8 mm. The boring is easy and requires only a few minutes. We should then obtain a carbide drill (bit) well sharpened. During the operation, lubricate with turpentine ; as soon as the bit comes through the other side, reverse the piece to complete the hole.
When our material is ready, the sequence of the operations proceeds as follows: calcine the potassium carbonate at 350 C (662 F) for at least an hour. Fill the jar half-way with the carbonate and pour 90 % alcohol within 2 cm ( one inch) of the top. Close with an air-tight cover and let the mix act for 24 hrs.
Shake two or three times during that period. The jar is then placed in a water-bath regulated by a thermostat or placed on an electric plate with a thermostat. The temperature of the water in the water-bath is maintained at 85 C (185 F).
Of course, during this operation, the jar is capped by an 8 mm tube equipped cover.
The distillation train is equipped with a check-valve, a condenser and a round bottom flask; the whole forming an air-tight unit which prevents the alcohol from absorbing atmospheric moisture.
Again, if you do not have a good mastery of distillation, and you are not certain of the capacity for removing heat of the condenser, the air-tightness of the system can cause an explosion.
You can avoid this inconvenience and at the same time prevent atmospheric moisture from entering by adding a moisture trap: an air outlet tube can be mounted on the receiving flask and this tube emerges in the atmosphere by means of a tube of 8 mm diameter and 20 to 25 cm long.
This tube is filled with calcined potassium carbonate which is maintained in place at both extremities with stoppers made with cotton padding. Distillation with this equipment yields an alcohol that reads between 96 % and 98 %. With this alcohol we repeat the same process again but with only 1/6 of the volume of carbonate in the flask. The distillation will then yield an alcohol that reads more than 99 %.
A third distillation with 25 g of carbonate per liter will yield an alcohol reading a minimum of 99.8 %. This alcohol must be used immediately because it cannot be easily kept at that percentage. You need a perfectly air-tight ground glass flask which must be full to insure the preservation of this alcohol for some time.
After use, dissolve the carbonate in distilled water and filter the liquor. The liquor spontaneously separates into two parts: one is light and the other heavy. This is due to the fact that the carbonate also fixes a certain quantity of alcohol. The distillation of this liquor recollects the alcohol. One can also take advantage of this distillation to concentrate the liquor. Pour the liquor into a pyrex dish and slowly evaporate. Keep the carbonate you collect kept in an air-tight flask, it can be used again.
If after coagulation the carbonate is not perfectly white, do not calcine it. It must be dissolved, filtered and coagulated again. This process demonstrates furthermore how many impurities can be extracted from the alcohol.
WHITE STAGES of Vegetable Kingdom
With this very pure Mercury, we are going to undertake the making of the white stage of the elixirs, thus called because the three principles which compose it are white or transparent when they are ready for the final coagulation.
With this perfect Mercury, we need a plant as perfect as possible. The dry plant will be rid of its dust and damaged parts, etc. If it contains a residue of water, it will weaken the Mercury and so you should carefully dry the plant.
This can take place, for example, in a desiccating jar. After you place the plant in a jar, add vacuum-tubes on one side of the water pump and on the other side toward the round bottom flask which contains the calcined potassium carbonate.
As the vacuum is made, you must close the circuit on the side of the water pump in order to avoid moisture from entering. The jar is maintained in a water-bath regulated at 60 C (140 F) for two to three hours. Under vacuum, at this temperature, the plant releases its residual water in the form of vapor absorbed by the carbonate.
Place the plant in the thimble of a Soxhlet which is filled with absolute alcohol. The upper part of the condenser of the extractor is closed with a silicon stopper so as to prevent moisture from entering. The round bottom flask of the extractor is heated to 85 C (185 F) in a water-bath so the Sulfur doesn't overheat. Several days of extraction are required to make sure the Sulfur has been extracted. Complete extraction of the Sulfur is essential.
The residue in the thimble is calcined and leached until the Salt becomes whiter than snow. You can recognize complete extraction of the Sulfur by the fact that the Salt is not sticky. Often this salt sparkles because it forms small crystals.
Distil the tincture. If the alcohol collected in this manner is no longer absolute, it can be treated with calcined carbonate as before.
When the tincture reaches the thickness of honey pour it into a crucible and calcine it. A black residue is obtained that is ground as fine as possible. Place it then in a quartz or porcelain dish, but not glass. Pour on the residue a distilled water solution containing 5% alcohol of the alcohol just collected.
Pour this solution on the residue until it covers it to a depth of 1/2 to 1 cm. After a night of maceration, the solution is slowly evaporated. The residue is calcined, reduced to powder and the cycle starts again. In a very few days the residue becomes sparkling white, whiter than snow: it is the Salt of the Sulfur. The crystals which appear in the Salt indicate the planetary attribution of the plant by their structure. This Salt of Sulfur is mixed in equal parts with the Salt obtained during the calcination of the plant. If there is a correct imbibition performed with the Mercury just collected, and it is put into the incubator, we are beginning to form the Vegetable Stone.
If you poured on a large quantity of Mercury, the volatile quality will prevail. However, the alcohol only becomes charged with Salt and Sulfur through repeated distillations. The volatile must progressively make the fixed volatile.
PURIFICATION OF SULFUR
Purification of the essential oils of oil producing plants and seeds is simple and only requires adding the steamed oil that floats on the distilled water, back into the lower flask from which the plants or seeds are being boiled.
The oil must become more clear and pure. Caraway essential oil looks cloudy the first few times it's separated. It gradually becomes more clear and pristine as the oil is re-steamed. You may note too, that for the planetary herbs chosen by LPN we have the following:
Venus/Alchemilla or Yarrow,
Mercury/Caraway or Lavender flowers,
Earth/Drosera i.e., Sundew.
I'm sure you'll note that many of these herbs lack adequate quantities of essential oil and this has proved to be a problem for LPN France, although they are now researching intensively to simplify, for everybody, extraction of the sulfur of these essential oil deficient plants.
Further research regarding plants or seeds etc. that exhibit a matrix that gives salt of sulfur crystals matching the sephirotic levels, deserves some pioneering attention.
If plants or seeds don't yield a sufficient amount of essential oils, or none at all, you need not dispense with their use, but check the salt crystals that arise from its honey-like resins (refer to the white stages of preparation).
LPN is extracting with hexane in the case of horsetail or with acetone, in a soxhlet, and slow evaporation is necessary to allow sufficient removal for the above mentioned plants.. The oil is then a honey-like consistency.
The incubator is very important because an even temperature must be maintained for the Angel (secret fire) of the angel water to be gradually raised in strength and power. You must be sure you have a good deliquescence, and carefully distill the resultant oil from the potassium carbonate that dissolved in the atmospheric dew. The fire (heater) outside the vessel (containing your developing stone) is the fire against nature and the inner fire (inside the 'egg') is to be coaxed out of its secret abode by this external constant temperature. This is the Vulcan aspect of the work and definitely demands certain standards to be maintained.
As to the construction of the incubator, with some steel wool and some wire we can construct an inner cubic structure where the hot plate can be fitted into place. The size is up to you. The heat source can be a deciding factor in the dimensions of your inner cubic chamber.
You'll want to gain access to your confecting stone, so you should install a door that allows full or partial viewing of the 'egg' inside. It's possible to use a rather thick heat resistant glass for the door.
Surrounding this inner chamber (but not the access door) is vermiculite (silica) enclosed with an outer shell also equipped with a sufficiently sealable door, again shaped like a cube.
Sheet metal can easily be shaped and soldered to complete the incubator. Use a heater that can be trusted to keep an even temperature for very long periods of time.
If you use light bulb heat make sure the bulb is painted black and the paint is heat resistant. No electrical light can be shined on the developing stone. Beware of light from the bulb leaking through cracks.
The essential oil, once it's purified, is imbibed (added to) the crystals, but only in a carefully sealed 'egg' so that no parasitic odors or sulfurs can contaminate or determine the prepared salts by exposure.
LPN uses a small glass vessel or 'egg' with a wide mouth and cork that has a stirring mechanism made of bent glass tubing going through the cork and an opening for a syringe filled with the essential oil to be inserted for imbibation (cohobation).
Keep in mind that when a syringe filled with essential oil is added by drops into the egg, the opening for the syringe must be closed off and sealed when imbibition is done, a good solution is a tube with a stop cock that can be closed and opened.
The oil is imbibed every week one hour after sunrise on Wednesday (for this stone of caraway is ruled by this planetary genius at this hour) it is stirred, incorporating the oil with salt, and incubated at 40 C until reaching a saturation point.
Then the same imbibation is done with the marked alcohol mentioned above to saturation, and again incubated. Lastly, deliquesced potassium carbonate (exposed to the night air) is distilled obtaining angel water, which is this distilled water charged by the atmospheric moisture with gur (prana), is added to its saturation point and again incubated, always at 40 C.
This is to charge the stone with initiatic fire energy. The initial stone is beige in color, but with up to 2 years of incubation it ripens to red-brown. Then it's completed. It will be ground into small crystals.
The crystals of all stones including caraway stone are taken with wine.
METHOD FOR TAKING CRYSTAL STONES OF PLANTS:
1. Coat finger with saliva
2. Touch finger on the desired dosage of crystals to be taken at the 1st hour on the day of the ruling intelligence
3. Touch finger with crystals adhering to tongue top
4. Red wine chaser
Apparently the idea is to swallow the crystals right away, they are dissolved with the wine in the stomach and release their fire and energy in the solar plexus. A distinction must be seen regarding the differences between medicinal and initiatory medicines here.
SOURCES: Spagyric Lesson 29; Transcript of LPN videos: Inner Consciousness through Dreams Oct. 1992; Horary Chart from The Hermetic Dream, 1978 - A highly recommended book.