After writing a handful of posts about igniting a journey of personal transformation, I paused today to look at what I was doing from a larger perspective and decided to take a step back to share more information with those of you who may discover my posts and decide to travel with me on this journey for a while.
As a practicing alchemist, working on my awakening and transformation is a major part of my life. But I wanted to become even more focused on this part of the Work. So, I decided to use the seven major operations of alchemy described in the Emerald Tablet, a bible or wikipedia for alchemists. My decision was to start with one of the three intertwined aspects of alchemy – the mental or psychological – instead of either of the other two, the spiritual or the physical, since all three eventually have to come in to play for the Work to be successful.
Timing is critical in alchemy. Having made the decision to do the inner part of the work first, it felt natural to initiate each of the seven operations with start of a zodiac sign. Spring is the time that most alchemists begin the Great Work. This is the time of Aries, the Cardinal Fire sign, and everything in alchemy begins with Fire. Therefore, this cycle of my transformation began on the Spring Equinox, March 20, 2010. The seven operations of alchemy of the Emerald Tablet described in simple straightforward terms are:
Calcination: breaking down of the material selected by the alchemist for the Work using fire or heat.
Dissolution: continuing to release the fundamental elements of the material by bathing it in a special liquid.
Separation: selecting the key elements necessary to continue the Work.
Conjunction: joining these elements in a new combination or the Marriage of the Sun and the Moon.
Fermentation: allowing the material to be infused with the energy of the spiritual world.
Distillation: separating the subtle and gross aspects of the material so that the qualities of the spiritual and material worlds, or the Above and the Below are intermingled.
Coagulation: combining the qualities of the Above and Below to create the Philosopher’s Stone.
The key to personal transformation is for us to take the responsibility to create or do something to initiate each of these operations. Here’s my list of these actions:
Calcination – Ignite
Dissolution – Liberate
Separation – Choose
Conjunction – Unify
Fermentation – Embrace
Distillation – Elevate
Coagulation – Transform
This leads to another way of saying what I did on March 20, 2010; I ignited my transformation. I’d like to talk more about this next.