View Full Version : Do you swing?

solomon levi
11-29-2009, 04:51 AM
The alchemical experience for me seems to swing back and forth between
intensive laboratory work and self-study/introspection. I'll have all kinds
of lab things I want to do and I make some progress with them, then I seem
to lose interest and can't make myself do the lab stuff. Synchronistically,
I'll delve into the spiritual aspects, assess my life, search my soul,
clean "house"... and after a short time I'm all fired up about lab work again
and have lots of new insights and ideas.

I see purpose/spirit in these swings or cycles, so I don't try to interfere
or alter them.

I know the spiritual inner alchemy can stand on its own, because we have
the perfect alchemical laboratory right inside of us. But for those of us who
do physical lab work on making elixirs, etc, to supplement and enhance
our spiritual initiations, I'm happy to find that lab work cannot stand on its

What's your experience?

11-29-2009, 06:16 AM

I largely agree,
without some sensitivity to internal things, alot of what happens in the lab would go unnoticed.


11-29-2009, 10:23 AM
LabOratorium, two words in one. That's not by chance, but yes I do swing, some time I swing to lab from oratorium, and sometime it is the opposite.

Oratorium is several thing : Inner psychological work, energetic work (theurgy etc), readings and studies, Presence...

There is no big separation between them, they are the two sides of the coin.

11-30-2009, 11:15 AM
Yes... for a month or two I'll focus on one type of development. For me most of it is probably more basic than for many of you... things like:

- Reading and trying to get a better grasp of symbolism and the ways in which the processes are described, learning about different schools of thought and how alchemy has been approached in the past

- Physical training (Taoist martial arts). This involves some meditative practices and a lot of focus exercises, but mainly it's about improving my ability to move with grace, speed and power.

- Herbalism, in the sense of expanding my grasp of what can be used for what and how to best use it for that purpose.

- Contemporary studies on cognition, often from a sociological or psychological perspective (I think they have quite a lot to learn from alchemy, but there's definitely interesting data coming out nowadays and reading it betters one's understanding of mental processes)

- Learning the ways in which altered states can be produced and their utility. My research here focuses mainly on drugs, even though I find other methods interesting.

Of those, the herbalism is the most constant one... every couple weeks I buy another three or four herbs and gradually expand my collection, attempting to get a grasp on those few before getting more. Just by cooking and making a pot of tea a day, and paying close attention to what I put into each, I'm always learning things. The two types of book learning (traditional and contemporary) are more sporadic, because occasionally I'll pick up a book or article and get through it, and maybe it'll pique my interest in a particular area so I'll read more along those lines, but then nothing for a few months. The drug stuff also comes in spurts, but it's a common topic of conversation with my friends so they keep me somewhat on track. The physical training has been a little lax lately, and definitely comes in waves... for three months or so I'll be training an hour a day, and then not much for a while.

More than just going from one type to another, though, it seems that I'm either productive or not. When I'm being productive I'll probably be reading, and training, and reflecting, and experimenting. When I'm not, I won't be doing much of any of them. I try to avoid that, but it does happen sometimes. Does anybody have any advice for getting past that?