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Alchemical Stages: Correlations to Minor Arcana

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MaineGirl117  MaineGirl117 is offline
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Alchemical Stages: Correlations to Minor Arcana


The alchemical process of Individuation and it's stages discussion originally began in the Aces thread . To further this discussion, I have created this thread to remove it from the Aces in an effort to keep the threads on topic



Alchemy Dictionary of Terms

Quote:
Air

Air is one of the Four Elements of alchemy. Air in the alchemical sense carries the archetypal properties of spirit into the manifested world. It is associated with the operation of Separation and represented by the metal Iron.

Separation

The third operation in the alchemy of transformation. Symbols of Separation include swords, scythes, arrows, knives, and hatchets. The operation is symbolized by the sign for the constellation of Scorpio.
I still think this suit would be the forerunner of the suits and the first stages of the Great Work.

Quote:
Fire

Fire is one of the Four Elements of alchemy. Fire in the alchemical sense carries the archetypal properties of activity and transformation. It is associated with the operation of Calcination and represented by the metal lead.


Black Phase
The Black Phase (or Melanosis) is the first stage in alchemy. It phase begins with the operation of Calcination and lasts through the Putrefaction stage of Fermentation.
This seems to coincide with our thoughts about the Wands suit and the black glove in the Ace/Wands.

Quote:
Yellow Phase

The Yellow Phase (or Xanthosis) of alchemy is an intermediate stage that takes place between the Black and White phases of the Great Work. The term was used by Alexandrian alchemists to describe changes that took place during the Fermentation operation.
This one is new. Don't know how it would work into the scheme of things, or if it really has to since it's an intermediary phase it might be represented in mutlple suits.

Quote:
Water

Water is one of the Four Elements of alchemy. Water in the alchemical sense carries the archetypal properties of cleansing and purification. It is associated with the operation of Dissolution and represented by the metal tin.

tin

Tin is one of the seven metals of the alchemists. It is associated with the operation of Dissolution and the element Water. Pewter (a mixture of lead and tin) represents a metallic state between the operations of Calcination and Dissolution

White Phase
The White Phase (Leukosis) is the second stage of the Great Work and takes place during Distillation.
Seems our theories are holding up under the terminology here Hemera I'm reminded of the King of Cups with his distillation flask!

Quote:
Earth

Earth is one of the Four Elements of alchemy. Earth in the alchemical sense carries the archetypal properties of manifestation, birth, and material creation. It is associated with the operation of Conjunction and represented by the green ore of copper.

Conjunction

Conjunction is the fourth operation in alchemical transformation. It is the coming together of the opposing archetypal forces of the Sun and Moon or the King and Queen.

Purple Phase (ie. Rubido or Red Phase)
The Purple Phase (or Iosis) of the Great Work is the third and final stage of transformation. It is marked by the purpling or reddening of the material and occurs during the Coagulation operation.

square

The square or cube is symbolic of matter and the Four Elements of creation.

Stone
The Stone is the goal of the Great Work. It was viewed as a magical touchstone that could immediately perfect any substance or situation. The Philosopher's Stone has been associated with the Salt of the World, the Astral Body, the Elixir, and even Jesus Christ
I included the Square and Stone definitions because of the King of Pentacles and what stands behind him.
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MaineGirl117  MaineGirl117 is offline
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7 Stages of Transformation


I couldn't help exploring the aforementioned website and compiling the 7 stages with the conveniently provided explanation of said stages. What I also find interesting are the correspondances made with the chakras, which we've actually commented upon within the various Major Arcana threads.

Calcination

Quote:
The first operation in alchemical transformation. It is denoted by the symbol for the first sign of the zodiac, Aries.

Psychologically, this is the destruction of ego and our attachments to material possessions. Calcination is usually a natural humbling process as we are gradually assaulted and overcome by the trials and tribulations of life, though it can be a deliberate surrender of our inherent hubris gained through a variety of spiritual disciplines that ignite the fire of introspection and self-evaluation.

Physiologically , the Fire of Calcination can be experienced as the metabolic discipline or aerobic activity that tunes the body, burning off excesses from overindulgence and producing a lean, mean, fighting machine. Calcination begins in the Base or Lead Chakra at the sacral cup at the base of the spine.

In Society , the Calcination is expressed in the lives of revolutionaries, conquerors, and other warriors who try to overthrow the status quo.

On the Planetary level, it is the Fire of creation, the formation of a livable environment from molten matter and volcanic ashes.
Dissolution

Quote:
The second operation in alchemical transformation is Dissolution. The process of dissolving a solid in a liquid; the reduction of a dry thing in water. Represented by the sign for the constellation of Cancer.

Psychologically , this represents a further breaking down of the artificial structures of the psyche by total immersion in the unconscious, non-rational, feminine or rejected part of our minds. It is, for the most part, an unconscious process in which our conscious minds let go of control to allow the surfacing of buried material. It is opening the floodgates and generating new energy from the waters held back. Dissolution can be experienced as "flow," the bliss of being well-used and actively engaged in creative acts without traditional prejudices, personal hang-ups, or established hierarchy getting in the way.

Physiologically , Dissolution is the continuance of the kundalini experience, the opening-up of energy channels in the body to recharge and elevate every single cell. Dissolution takes place in the Genital or Tin Chakra and involves the lungs and spleen.

In Society , the process of steady growth through gradual Dissolution is exemplified by agrarian, monastic, or agriculture-based lifestyles.

On the Planetary level, Dissolution is the Great Flood, the cleansing of the earth of all that is inferior
Separation

Quote:
The third operation in the alchemy of transformation. Symbols of Separation include swords, scythes, arrows, knives, and hatchets. The operation is symbolized by the sign for the constellation of Scorpio

Psychologically, this process is the rediscovery of our essence and the reclaiming of dream and visionary "gold" previously rejected by the masculine, rational part of our minds. It is, for the most part, a conscious process in which we review formerly hidden material and decide what to discard and what to reintegrate into our refined personality. Much of this shadowy material is things we are ashamed of or were taught to hide away by our parents, churches, and schooling. Separation is letting go of the self-inflicted restraints to our true nature, so we can shine through.

Physiologically, Separation is following and controlling the breath in the body as it works with the forces of Spirit and Soul to give birth to new energy and physical renewal. Separation begins in the Navel or Iron Chakra located at the level of the solar plexus.

In Society, Separation is expressed as the establishment of clans, cities, and nationalities.

Separation on the Planetary level is represented by the formation of landmasses and islands from the powerful forces of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire.

Conjunction

Quote:
Conjunction is the fourth operation in alchemical transformation. It is the coming together of the opposing archetypal forces of the Sun and Moon or the King and Queen.

Psychologically, it is empowerment of our true selves, the union of both the masculine and feminine sides of our personalities into a new belief system or an intuitive state of consciousness. The alchemists referred to it as the Lesser Stone, and after it is achieved, the adept is able to clearly discern what needs to be done to achieve lasting enlightenment, which is union with the Overself. Often, synchronicities begin to occur that confirm the alchemist is on the right track.

Physiologically, Conjunction is using the body’s sexual energies for personal transformation. Conjunction takes place in the body at the level of the Heart or Copper Chakra.

In Society, it is the growth of crafts and technology to master the environment.

On the Planetary level, Conjunction occurs when primordial life forms are created from the energy of the Sun or lightning.

Fermentation

Quote:
The fifth operation in alchemical transformation is Fermentation. It is represented by the sign for the constellation of Capricorn

Psychologically , the Fermentation process starts with the inspiration of spiritual power from Above that reanimates, energizes, and enlightens the alchemist. Out of the blackness of his Putrefaction comes the yellow Ferment, which appears like a golden wax flowing out of the foul matter of the Soul. Its arrival is announced by a brilliant display of colors and meaningful visions called the "Peacock’s Tail." Fermentation can be achieved through various activities that include intense prayer, desire for mystical union, breakdown of the personality, transpersonal therapy, psychedelic drugs, and deep meditation. Fermentation is living inspiration from something totally beyond us.

Physiologically , Fermentation is the rousing of living energy (chi or kundalini) in the body to heal and vivify. It is expressed as vibratory tones and spoken truths emerging from the Throat or Mercury Chakra.

In Society, the Fermentation experience is the basis of religion and mystical awareness.

On the Planetary level, it is the evolution of life to produce higher consciousness.


Distillation

Quote:
Distillation is the sixth operation in alchemical transformation. Denoted by the symbol for the constellation Virgo. It is essentially a process of concentration, no matter on what level (physical, mental, or spiritual) it occurs

Psychologically, Distillation is the agitation and sublimation of psychic forces is necessary to ensure that no impurities from the inflated ego or deeply submerged id are incorporated into the next and final stage. Personal Distillation consists of a variety of introspective techniques that raise the content of the psyche to the highest level possible, free from sentimentality and emotions, cut off even from one’s personal identity. Distillation is the purification of the unborn Self -- all that we truly are and can be.

Physiologically , Distillation is raising the life force repeatedly from the lower regions in the cauldron of the body to the brain (what Oriental alchemists called the Circulation of the Light), where it eventually becomes a wondrous solidifying light full of power. Distillation is said to culminate in the Third Eye area of the forehead, at the level of the pituitary and pineal glands, in the Brow or Silver Chakra.

In Society , the Distillation experience is expressed as science and objective experimentation.

On the Planetary level, Distillation is the realization of the power of higher love, as the life force on the entire planet gradually seeks to become one force in nature based on a shared vision of Truth.

Coagulation

Quote:
The seventh and last operation in alchemical transformation is Coagulation.

Psychologically, Coagulation is first sensed as a new confidence that is beyond all things, though many experience it as a Second Body of golden coalesced light, a permanent vehicle of consciousness that embodies the highest aspirations and evolution of mind. Coagulation incarnates and releases the Ultima Materia of the soul, the Astral Body, which the alchemists also referred to it as the Greater or Philosopher’s Stone. Using this magical Stone, the alchemists believed they could exist on all levels of reality.

Physiologically , this stage is marked by the release of the Elixir in the blood that rejuvenates the body into a perfect vessel of health. A brain ambrosia is said to be released through the interaction of light from the phallic-shaped pineal gland and matter from the vulva of the pituitary. This heavenly food or viaticum both nourishes and energizes the cells without any waste products being produced. These physiological and psychological processes create the Second Body, a body of solid light that emerges through the Crown or Gold Chakra.

In Society, it is the living wisdom in which everyone exists within the same light of evolved consciousness and knowledge of Truth.

On the Planetary level, Coagulation is a return to the Garden of Eden, this time on a higher level in tune with the divine mind.
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MaineGirl117  MaineGirl117 is offline
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Here is another source for ordering the suits, something to consider at least though it is pretty dense reading and mostly relates to Historical Associations: link

The one part I do particularly like is this (because I'm wondering if the Swords suit should be moved)

Quote:
agree with the order:

Wands
Cups
Swords
Disks/Coins/Pentacles

Because it is the flow of emmanation

Wands/Father
Cups/Mother
Swords/Son
Disks/Daughter

or

Wands/First spark, ray of light
Cups/Void into which the light may fill
Swords/Soul and spirit
Disks/Earthly manifestation
Any thoughts?
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Hemera  Hemera is offline
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Wands/First spark, ray of light
Cups/Void into which the light may fill
Swords/Soul and spirit
Disks/Earthly manifestation


This one is especially nice! Wow. Straight to my notebook..
Im always a bit hesitant about the ones with genders on them just because it seems to make it more complicated somehow.

Thank you for all the material in your posts MaineGirl117! Im having a busy spell at work but Ill dig into this asap. I will also post a reading as soon as I have some more time. Off to work again now..
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MaineGirl117  MaineGirl117 is offline
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I liked that one too Hemera!! Still waiting on my book Should have more to add afterwards... maybe today!
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