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Thread: Elias Ashmole

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Here ya go.... Apologies for any typos.... I think the tabs are all messed up.
    Alchemical Mandela: a survey of the mandala in western and esoteric traditions
    by Adam McLean.
    Mandela eight

    This Mandala, George Ripley's wheel, is normally included in the various editions of his of chemical classic, The Twelve Gates, and differs from previous mandalas in this series in that it consists entirely of words without symbols. It thus conveys its meaning directly through the geometrical arrangement of ideas.
    This Mandala basically synthesizes the fourfold division of the world into one. That is, it leads from quadrangular perception of the world structure to a circular one. At the center we find the Central Stone uniting the four elements, and around this the first circle proclaims:

    When thou hast made the quadrangle round,
    Then is all the secret found.

    Having recognized the basic structure of this mandala, we note the four outer circles relating to the four elements with their usual correspondences:

    Fire earth water air
    Hot and dry cold and dry cold and moist hot and moist
    Summer autumn winter spring
    South west north east

    We also find four descriptive qualities which are of great interest:
    Attractive retentive expulsive digestive

    These four outer circles exist as independent realms, and the become unified by being incorporated into the main body of the mandala through a series of concentric circles. They descend to the inner unity of the Central Stone, described above. In the first ring inward from four outer elements, we find them incorporated again as four globes fixing the outer dimensions of the Stone. The text lying within the next inner circle relate to these globes.

    The first side of the Stone is in the West, and indicates the entry into the PRACTICE of the Work of the Stone. The text reads

    Here the red man to his white wife
    Be spoused with the spirit of life

    In the next stage,

    Here to purgatory they must go
    There to be purged by pain and woe

    The globe in the North, the lower dimension of the Stone under which lies the abyss, indicates the role of purification, The Sphere of Purgatory, in the work. (Purification here relates both to the outer substance of physical work and the inner realm of the soul.)

    In the following stage, in the East directly opposite the first globe, we find the entry into the SPECULATIVE part of the work after the purification:

    Here they have passed their pains all
    And [are] made resplendent as is crystal

    The Practice of the Stone encompasses the outer workings which deal directly with substance in experiments. The Speculative (seeing) aspect of the Stone encompasses the inner experiences that arise in the soul through this outer work.

    The uppermost globe, which represents the heights of the Stone, is introduced by the verse

    Here to paradise they go to won
    Brighter made then is the Sun

    This indicates the end of the practice of the Stone, which is thus shining more than the quintessence.
    Between these four stages of the globes, four seven-line verses parallel the alchemical work with the four spiritual transition stages in the life of Christ: the Incarnation, or Descension; the Passion; the Resurrection; and the Ascension.

    There follows a series of four spheres, related to the Sun, Moon, Venus and Mercury, which correspond to different facets of the tinctures:

    I. The Sphere of the Sun relates the best Stone, which is ripened by the sun, is close in nature to the fire, and sustains the fire of the other stones. Gold, the Sun metal, is the greatest among metals, and neither fire nor water corrupts it.

    III. The Lunar Sphere represents the white tincture of flashing splendor, the mother giving birth to the stones in her womb. This tincture promotes solution as the Sun brings congelation, since she contains in herself all the virtues of softening and also tinges all metals.

    VIII. The Sphere of Venus, marked VIII, which stands between the tinctures of the Sun and Moon, is called the Green Lion.

    XII. The mercury sphere, XII, in the highest degree the golden spirit, does not differ from gold, except that gold is fixed, whereas this unfixed and manifests coldness and moistness, and its fire is hidden.
    The next sphere inward indicates the principal colors of the work: Pale, black, white and red.
    Then we have the sphere of the first and second qualities,

    Earth being as air
    Water being as fire
    Air being as earth
    Fire being as water
    from which is born the Fifth Essence (the engraver here seems to have made a slip at this point and repeats the two final terms of the series.)

    Thus we arrive at the central resolution of this mandala, with its uniting of the fourfold into the one Central Stone.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Thanks Chenkel

    I didn't realise how much you had to write.

    It is much appreciated.

    Open Book
    "Dogmatic Assumption Inhibits Enquiry" Rupert Sheldrake

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