This is my presentation I gave in Denver at the Rocky Mountain International Alchemy Guild Conference. I will be sharing it in portions in weekly continued blogs. Part 1
As Above So Below
This presentation is rich with correspondences and symbolism. I am hoping that through this presentation a better understanding will be had of what Hermes has meant when he said, “That which is above is as that which is below and that which is below is as that which is above”. This is a statement that is most often not fully understood in its profundity. Heaven and Earth are truly linked together in so many beautiful ways.
My passion is the study of alchemy. I started with inner alchemy though Carl Jung, which has lead me to the many beautiful Hermetic literatures. These very mystical writings have lead me to the practice of laboratory alchemy. Such experiments I soon found out that the many classic experiments that the ancient master have devised, are actual initiations which lead to inner realization, very much the same way as do temple initiations.
It is quite an awakening to the practicing alchemist when he realizes that at all times, he is at all times in the crucible with his experiment. That what purification and transformation his matter is undergoing in his crucible or flask, is also transpiring within his own soul and consciousness through sympathetic attunement and a resonating inner correspondence. Working with the plant kingdom, with herbs is very rewarding in that it aligns one with nature and her mysteries.
However, to go further in natures mysteries one soon finds himself in the practice with the investigation of the metallic kingdom which reveals a vast richness of knowledge expressed through wonderful symbolism and correspondence. That is what my presentation is about. It is about the seven metals of the alchemists and their transmutation.
Of course this immediately leads us to wonder, can we truly transmute lead to gold. Well, Paracelsus has said, you will transmute nothing, if you cannot transmute yourself first. This suggests to us that there must be a link between the inner and the outer world. In fact it is said that the production of metallic gold through the transmutation of a baser metal was to alchemy a proof of the transfiguration given by a power. It was a sign, a testimony of having realized the Gold in oneself. But to realize the gold in oneself one must first know what the inner metals are.
Alchemy is differentiated from profane chemistry by metaphysics. By an order of consciousness that is beyond the senses, which leads to the initiatic transmutation of the human consciousness. The wonderful analogical correspondences between the transmutation of metals and the transmutation of consciousness to a persevering alchemist is more than just symbolical, it becomes very real.
There is an ancient age old alchemical conception of specific correspondences where by a particular metal belonged to a certain planet. That is, that the metal lead belonged to Saturn, Tin to Jupiter, Iron to Mars, Silver to Moon, Copper to Venus, Mercury to Mercury and Gold to the Sun. This alchemical concept states that planets ruled their corresponding metals down here on earth. How can such a link be? How can the planets rule our metals down here on earth? Can planets truly effect anything here on earth? If the planets effect the metals here on earth, do they also effect us physically?
To be continued
Written by Steve Kalec
Forthcoming work; Beautiful Alchemy