View Full Version : Crystal Ball Stand

03-22-2014, 04:55 AM
My crystal ball stand is nearly complete. You see it in the wood shop fresh off the lathe with a mineral oil coat giving it a rich color. The other is dry with the turning plugs removed, in the lab with the ball in place. The color will return with a fresh coat, which may be teak oil, but I haven't decided. I may post the entire creation process from log to this stage if anyone expresses interest. I'll also happily discuss the reason for the ball, stand and other items that will occupy my altar. I do, in fact, consider this and the other items I'll be adding as "equipment."



03-28-2014, 12:57 AM
I'd be interested in seeing more pics of your workshop. Are those brass parts torch heads? What are the devices behind the torch and Bunsen? I always wanted a wood lathe since 7th grade wood shop. :)

03-28-2014, 02:57 AM
Finally got the hang of posting photos.

The older post [below] is my lab in my hobby room showing the unfinished stand. The photo above that is my friend's shop with the stand sitting on his lathe's rail. I have two wood lathes and one [small] metal, but all three don't even come close to the size of his. I have a "normal" workshop in the basement, but not all of my tools are set up at the moment ... table saw, radial arm saw and neither of the lathes, but I'm working on it. I also have access to heavy equipment at my step father's. I have more photos on PhotoBucket and Facebook, but I'll put a couple here ...

The finished crystal sphere and stand ...


Some glassware stored in the hobby room above my computer desk ...


My Alchemy work table in the hobby room. Parts for a Jacob's Ladder on the far left corner. Support hardware on the wall behind it. To the right of that, water recirculation pumps and controls as well as propane gas supply. And of course, the latticework with a Soxhlet apparatus. It's set up for distillation at the moment. The moveable mini-fume hood tops it. The bags are herbs. The box is to hold tinctures, but I actually have another similar one instead now. The small cabinet has adapters and small glass items. There's two shelves of flasks and condensers above that.


03-28-2014, 02:58 AM
My magnification and microscope table. I also use them to do photomicrography.


This is my wall unit in the living room. A few more glassware pieces.


03-28-2014, 04:59 PM
Very nice spaces, thanks for sharing! I live in Miami, and unfortunately, you can't build basements in houses here, so my workbench is in the 2-car garage and it runs almost the length of one wall, but with 2 cars, I obviously can't fit a table or radial arm saw. I have space for a drill press, grinder, mitre saw and a jigsaw, all table-mounted. If I could find a short wood lathe, I'd find space.

The microscopes are great, but I've never gotten into photograph or have a need for them, although I did take histology as an undergrad, and it takes me back to states of wonder. The fume hood is great! I failed in my attempt, (large plastic funnel and vacuum pump through a carbon/poly filter) and I really don't want to cut through the ceiling to tap into the dryer vent-pipe because it's far from the lab area in the attic. And I'm definitely not going through the 3 year old roof that cost me $22K. My small lattice with 3 uprights and a clamped cross piece was made in 9th grade metal shop with a slab of 1/2" Starrett® steel (but my dad had a hardware store), but your lattice is just what I wanted. Did you weld that together yourself?

I used to have a 400 key-wind Elgin® anniversary clock. Between the images of The Early Show and The Late Show on 1950s TV, and my (mean and nasty Aunt Roni), I eventually got one in my 1st marriage. In trying to avoid Oedipal dynamics, I married a woman who resembled my nasty aunt instead of my mother. Anyway, on June 11th of the year our marriage ended, that clock stopped running. June 11th happened to have been our anniversary! I think of omens as synchronicities, and 4 months later, after discovering infidelity, and theft, I filed for divorce. It happened to be Yom Kippur '92 (my Jewish lawyer at the time was non-observing). See what a simple image can elicit?

The tankard on the left, though fuzzy, reminds me of the one I purchased in Köln [Cologne] that has a picture of Köln Cathedral on it. I gave away a number of volumetric flasks to a friend's kid brother when I went to college, and disposed of some dangerous chemicals (in a most illegal and cruel way. I didn't neutralize the 16M Sulphuric acid before dumping it in the Doggy Dooly® dog latrine). Nightcrawlers came up by the dozens. I ran to make a Bicarb solution to dump on them. :( Killed a Pussy Willow tree. Stupid kid.

I had my lab in a heated garage as a kid, but here, the very table is foldable. A closet is dedicated to old-tech glove box that pulls out and grow-box for mycological pursuits, and glassware needs to be bubble-packed in plastic storage boxes. I use Bernzomatic® gas and recycled ice-water instead of the gas and water I used to have on tap. I'm thinking of building another lab table that I'll put on locking wheels like a school lab table. There's a guy on The Shroomery who blows glass bubblers, pipes, etc., and he said he can make borosilicate glass vessels. I sent him picks of alembics.



Oh yes, can't forget "Ora et Labora." Jewish-Christian Entheogenic Gnostic votive table. Beneath the table is rye grain, and within the Greek equilateral, mushroomic vestment cross, are ears of grain. All symbolic of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Four feminine archetypes (Mary the Mother, Mary the Consort, Isis, and winged Sophia) balance the masculine images of the Crucified, Cosmic (centerpiece, Y'shua among the planets, between Joachim and Boaz, in the catlike maw of existence), and copacetic Christ, and Michael subduing Satan. Cross and Kabbalistic Tree as Trees of Life/Knowledge of Good and Evil, Mushroomic 'fruit of knowledge of Good and Evil,' pot of incense, Sabbath candles (in candle holders found on the island of St. Michael, MD), my paternal grandmother's candlesticks from Bucharest (she had a numinous vision as a child, of the night sky parting and revealing and a table full of bearded elders), and Eternal Light above.


03-29-2014, 04:22 AM
Nice account of your spaces, too. I'm familiar with Miami. My father and step mother lived there for 14 years before retiring to North Carolina. You may have seen some of the gargantuan prefabricated steel buildings he put up, having no idea he did them. I had an offer to work at Disney in the mid-2000's, but was riding high with my own business at the time and didn't see the 2008 crash coming. Besides, I couldn't bring myself to live on a glass plate with palm trees and lizards. I need mountains, or something similar. Besides the crash error in judgement, I forgot to realize I could have worked there for a while just for the experience and then left. All this was mixed in with other job offers, none of which I took. Oh well ... a life path is a life path.

The microscopes are inherited, as is the majority of my photography equipment. My step-father's-father was a professor of archeology at Drew University and left some things to me, although I've had my own darkroom and cameras since 1970-71. As for the fume hood and even the lattice and water recirculation system, I photo-documented their construction, which you can view on PhotoBucket ... http://s1295.photobucket.com/user/DonSweet11/library/?sort=3&page=1

As for the clocks, interestingly, none of them work. In a way, that's almost intentional. I've always been fascinated with Man's need to nail down and quantify time. It's been innate. As I progressed through my Native American experiences, I more or less came to understand why. In the N/A world, although it's only defined this way for those outside of it, there is what's called "Indian Time." It's difficult to explain to Western/European culture precisely what that means, but in essence, it's, "Things will happen when they will happen." A concept that generally short-circuits someone steeped in Western Cultural mindsets. A person like that is what I call a "wasichu" (wa-see-choo) and is a Lakota Sioux word for "white person" but also means "fat eater." My clocks are a testament to my fascination with "Wasichu Time," which can be frankly annoying. I've given up trying to talk to anyone about a thirteen month year. Again, it short-circuits their brains. And forget about "Alchemical hours," a concept that literally fries the braincells of an empiricist.

Interestingly, in relation to that, I'm 3/4ths German (Bavarian, Bohemian, Swiss and Czech) and 1/4th Britt, pre-dating the Revolution. Not a lick of N/A blood that I'm aware of ... however ... there's a story behind that that I may tell you sometime. As for the steins, simply a small collection commemorating my genetics, one of which my mother bought for me in Germany. In purchasing it, she was led to the basement of a department store where the steins were kept for the occasional odd tourist, as Real Germans don't drink out of steins/tankards, or so I was told.

Two candle holders are next for the altar. They will hold large candles that will burn when I'm active in the lab. The primary representation of them is Universal Duality, but there are several others, not to exclude the various Alchemical perspectives of Fire, but also near the top of the list is Male/Female and The Sacred Marriage.

After that, it will be a carved wooden dragon sculpture. I just purchased the carving tools and I'll be cutting it out of some of the [American] oak I've been using for firewood this winter. My imagery is fluctuating between an outright dragon and a dragon with eagle-like qualities, but in any case, the wings will be spread primarily representing an active pursuit of the experience of Alchemy. I scoured the Internet for a dragon sculpture, but most are Asian and I'd like a more European look to it, so I decided to cut one myself ... patiently and over time. A dozen years ago I saw one in an occult store window I'd have given my eye teeth to possess. Unfortunately, I was fresh out of eye teeth. It was magnificent.

At the moment, I'm rounding out my glassware and very close to starting simple distillations. Nothing is being rushed and contemplation is an all-encompassing component.

If empirical scientists took the time, had the patience and opened their minds to contemplation, I have a feeling our current empirical scientific world influence would be quite different than it is now ... largely far less "empirical" in nature.

Wouldn't that be nice?

03-29-2014, 06:25 AM
All very interesting. I haven't been to Drew University since I left seminary in May 1978. I had one professor, Dr. Robert Bull, a former chemistry teacher turned archaeologist, who went on digs in Nicaea. He taught me my first (condescending) lessons on Gnostic religion, mostly Valentinus.

We have dragons though out our house, 'guarding' our bedroom, an ouroboric twin dragon outside the bedroom, a dragon clock in the kitchen, and twin dragons flanking a Sun-Moon in the living room. Christian visitors, and a former acquaintance who developed paranoid schizophrenia (just BEFORE joining the army) have automatically projected typical symbolic meanings of evil on them. We are anything but sinister people.


There is Kairos time, Parmenidean time, the Mithraic ÆON of Boundless Time, and of course, there is the Eternal Now (Paul Tillich's term). I do not wear a watch, and the last pocket watch I purchased, broke in a month. It had a pewter Greenman case, but shitty Chinese works, and the watch smith said it would cost far more to fix it than it was worth. Now that I've been retired, I mark time by the Sabbath candles I burn at sundown on Friday evenings, and as Bobby Weir sang, "...You've got to deep-six your wrist-watch, and try to understand, the time it seems to capture, is just the movement of its hands..." I don't use a calendar much anymore. Maybe to note the solstices and equinoxes, and Christmas. (Three of us vowed never to take a mushroom trip on the winter solstice ever again. We all three got dragged down into root-filled, brown, subterranean places with earthy faces peering at us from the roots, and cramping pain in our navel centers).

Miami has its charm. The Sunshine State has given me a cataract, malignant melanoma, and basal cell carcinoma. I am encroached upon by people who seem to be aesthetically and socially challenged. The city's vibe is anti-intellectual, incredibly hostile, and pornographically narcissistic. But Florida WAS the only state of the lower 48 without snow this winter. We have reptiles that seem to be preparing for a new Mesozoic Era. Sometimes pythons come out of your toilet. We've got ALL the venomous serpents of the USA. I feel like Florida is the penis of the USA, and Miami is its syphilitic shanker (in addition to which we've been the #1 US city in HIV/AIDS for a dozen years now). But my house is paid for, and fortunately, I don't have to date. If you ever want coconuts, or Psilocybe cubensis spores....

03-29-2014, 07:22 AM
By the way ... I don't need shrooms or herbs to have a "psychedelic" experience ... all I need to do is drive up for a gallon of milk or some gas and Humanity gives me all the psychedelics I can handle ...

03-29-2014, 10:24 AM
By the way ... I don't need shrooms or herbs to have a "psychedelic" experience ... all I need to do is drive up for a gallon of milk or some gas and Humanity gives me all the psychedelics I can handle ...

If you have done Shrooms properly and don't need them I agree with you, if you have not done Shrooms and say you don't need them I disagree. ;)


03-29-2014, 04:40 PM
Ha! dev ...

Stop by sometime when I'm attending a sweat lodge, more properly termed a "purification ceremony." I'll show you "psychedelics" ...


"There is nothing more boundless than a mind released from its bonds."

03-29-2014, 05:34 PM
If you have done Shrooms properly and don't need them I agree with you, if you have not done Shrooms and say you don't need them I disagree. ;)


I almost agree with you dev because of the word "need." I no longer "need" my fungal friends after 43 years of use, but I probably don't "need" to take many of the vitamin, mineral, anti-oxidant, and nootropic supplements either. All of these things contribute to my psychophysical, and psychospiritual health. The only noticeable down-side is the psychosocial domain, as evidenced by both of your (and DonSweet's) comments. Few and far between are those who share this cup with my Soror Mystica, Rose, and me. I'd have to say that just as the Amanita muscaria mushroom (rotating in dev's avatar) have a rhizophilic relationship with the roots of coniferous trees, and indeed, cannot take root and grow without those trees, I have established a similar relationship with P. cubensis. I disseminate its spores, and in return its fruit has made me a more fulfilled and more Knowledgeable fellow. Why, these things changed my entire life and have continued to feed enthusiasm [from French enthousiasme, or via late Latin from Greek enthousiasmos, from enthous ‘possessed by a god, inspired’ (based on theos ‘god’)] since I've been 18 years old.

Entheogens were the wedge that separated the the socio-cultural dross from the Gold of my truer nature. These substances worked synergistically to distill and extract my INTP typology, my Sheldonian Meso-ectomorphic, Cerebrotonic self from the "buzzing blooming confusion" of post-modern life in America. As I said, there was a psychosocial down-side, because INTPs (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator typology) only comprises 1-2% of the American public. Fortunate it is that I found a spouse with this type. Now, forgive the apologia for my entheogenic enthusiasm, but it has become enmeshed with my existence. I understand that this site is not one dedicated to this subject, and for that I have over 10,000 posts at Shroomery.org. But in their Spirituality & Mysticism forum, there is painfully little on alchemy, except perhaps what I have brought to it. So, pardon my indulgence. Entheogens have accompanied me through most of my life, from young scientific materialist, through various phases of my life, having lifted me out of puerile black magick pursuits, through more colorful Wiccan, then Zen, Yoga, Christian, Kabbalistic, Gnostic, and alchemical explorations, not to be taken in an exclusively linear progression. This covers 42 years of personal history.

I would like to experience a sweat lodge purification, but I think it's contraindicated with certain cardiac considerations and medications that complicate my karma. Fungi only raise my blood pressure for a few hours, and my system tolerates them well.