View Full Version : confusion about operations of alchemy

solomon levi
11-17-2009, 01:21 AM
It seems odd to me that so many people who call themselves alchemists
can't agree on the operations of alchemy and their correspondences.
Whether we consider them in seven or twelve, this shouldn't be difficult
for one who supposedly follows nature to divine.

Bartlett, in his book Real Alchemy, (which is a great book BTW) gives
what he calls the "classical" listing, which it isn't at all. Everyone knows
calcination belongs to aries and digestion to leo and not the other way
around. And then he attributes distillation to gemini??? and congealation
virgo??? These are definitely not the classical view.

Hauck and alchemy lab have a decent 7 system, except for some reason
they stray from the zodiac and call their fourth operation conjuction ruled
by venus. Why not just attribute the seven planets to seven operations
instead of throwing in one planets amidst 6 zodiac signs?

In Frater Albertus' Alchemist's Handbook, he must have decided to avoid
it altogether, because he lists the zodiac signs and follows them by their
animal name, like ram, crab, archbearer, etc...

Brian Cotnoir has the classical representation in his book, but I still must
argue with this... if you wanted to pick an auspicious sign to perform the
operation of fixation, would you choose gemini, a mutable air sign ruled
by mercury???
How about choosing a fixed sign for starters!! Shouldn't it be ruled by saturn?
Though still an air sign, aquarius seems a much better choice.

Anyway, all these people have contributed wonderful things to alchemy.
But you'd think Alchemists who should be known for their ability to follow
nature, would understand the months and the seasons. It only takes a
little meditation.

And the order of the operations kind of depends on what path your doing.
Obviously in the acetate path you want to calcine your mineral, then
dissolve it in vinegar, then congeal it through evaporation or distillation,
then distill it, then separate, rectify through more distillation....

I guess I'd leave all that to the psychological alchemists. It may work for
meditations, but not in the lab where all these operations cross over and
get confused. I mean, I can congeal the salts from a vinegar solution and it
would be, simultaneously, distillation, congealation, separation; sometimes
fixation, sometimes volatilization...

This should be a science. Science can't be so confusing, so much disagreement.
Too many people use their thinking instead of observing objectively.

True Initiate
02-22-2010, 12:47 AM
That all tells us that the spiritual part of alchemy is almost lost today.We can reconstruct to some degree the practical part but the spiritual remains mystery to us.

Hopefully the Messiah will keep the promise and return to this planet to bring the long lost enlightenment.

02-22-2010, 08:31 AM
The signs of the zodiac linked to operations of practical alchemy is, in my opinion, just a code for alchemical texts, and the order has nothing to do with real practical alchemy.

Maybe Bartlett sees the gemini as an air sign and thus a distillation, which is the opposite of congelation, likned with virgo, the opposite sign of mercury, as the operations are linked with the Mercury ?

You know, one can be a good alchemist and a bad hermetist. Only few are really good hermetists (in the understanding of Nature's attributes - and can link them with the Trivium hermeticum).

The good attribution will be yours. This is simple as that.

I also wanted to say that "psychological alchemy" is in my opinion not really potent. There is a need for a Theurgical work behind in order to bring the energies into action. But to do this, you need *before* to understand in the practice the Real Magnum Opus in the Lab, and I would also say, in several different ways.
Like the beads on a necklace, they all follow a same string, in the beginning we see the beads, and at the end, we can finally see the string.

02-22-2010, 10:31 PM
A few intersting points above (some of which I agree with), and I'll also add some of my own:

The fragmented human mind has this tendency to overcomplicate things...

It can't be THAT simple, our minds constantly whisper to us... And we naively listen :)

You can't learn Alchemy from books about Alchemy.

My life has taught me to maximize and cherrish direct experience above anything else.
For me, it's fuck the vulgar/'majoritarian' norms, fuck tradition and fuck all fantasies of external salvation (the "god/saviour is outside me" bullshit).

And more than anything else: Fuck (KNOW) myself :)

I find it of utmost neccessity to radically deconstruct 'common' sense, to learn to truly communicate and to deal with the divine cruelty of real-time feedback, instead of living in constant delay and having one-sided monologues with ourselves.

I don't think we need complex rituals and systems of magic to interact with what's beyond the common/vulgar physical senses. An open heart who's wounds we're not afraid to suffer and an open mind who's not afraid to follow the needs and desires of our longing heart - are in my opinion the best starting points of discerment in each and every aspect of our living experience.

Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/sting/letyoursoulbeyourpilot.html) (Follow the link for the full lyrics)

So I say:

Consume Life and let yourself be burned to the core by its fiery trials, from within and from without alike.

Consume good Art (don't just observe it as bystanders, EAT IT!), learn its language, use it in your daily lives and syncronize yourselves to its wisdom.

Only then will you (maybe) understand the books. Not before...

But that's just me and the way I see things :cool:

I don't mean to offend anyone, but if someone feels offended - they probably deserve it :)