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Posts Tagged ‘Alchemy’

A POEM FOR FRIDAY: Red Lion

October 4, 2013 Leave a comment

I am publishing a poem today because we are moving rapidly into the New Moon in Libra; it occurs at 8:34 pm Eastern Daylight Time this evening. And with the New Moon I will cast an I Ching Gua (hexagram) to shed some light on the coming month. I’ll publish that here on Monday in lieu of the usual “Monday’s Poem”.

I published this poem not long ago in these pages. But given the context of the posts from this week I think it bears repeating. This week has been about alchemy and how we are all agents of transformation for ourselves and for everyone we come in contact with. Transformation does not come easily. It requires our attention, our effort and certainly our awareness. And sometimes it requires a catalyst, a philosopher’s stone, a Red Lion!

So, in this context of the alchemical transformation of human consciousness I repeat:

Red Lion

Some days the beast requires a leash,
Some ways the body must seek release.
There’s no chance of change in full control,
Transformation comes through Red Lion’s role.

Remember this warning, keep to the path.
Control the creature or suffer his wrath.
Don’t bind him too tightly, there’s energy need.
Give him his head, he wants to be freed.

There’s a delicate balance of domestic and wild:
Too much domestic, the mix is too mild:
Too much wild, the mix goes astray;
Isis knew the secret of this precious way!

PS: If you are in the Annapolis, Maryland area, I am beginning a new series of Qigong classes next Monday, October 7. Check details here.

You Are The Alchemist—Richard’s Commentary

October 3, 2013 Leave a comment

The message from The Divine Feminine Rosemary posted yesterday is a heavy one. It lays on each and every one of us a substantial responsibility. Being an Alchemist is no trivial undertaking. And the statement here is we are all Alchemists in our very beingness, in every thought, word and deed!

Here’s the responsibility The Divine Feminine hand us:

Each of you who sees these words is a transformation artist in every moment. Every word that you speak has the power to transform the hearer in some way. You can speak with love and concern and em-power the other person, or you can speak harshly and increase their feelings of low self-worth or self-esteem.

Even your thoughts have the power to affect another person. If someone speaks to you, and your thoughts are not supportive, you are sending that lower energy vibration to the speaker. If, on the other hand, you really listen and see the essence of the person and not the circumstance they are describing, then your thoughts can help that person to experience a higher vibrational energy and feel that support.

Heavy! But anyone of us who reads these words knows they are true. Anyone who trusts in the power of manifestation, the ability to turn thoughts into things, the Law of Attraction must realize that these powers apply to our relationship with others just as The Divine Feminine point out in clear terms.

Now I know my thoughts, words and deeds are not always of the purest form. In fact I am going through some moody moments in these last few days as the Moon wanes to the extreme just before conjoining the Sun exactly at 8:34 pm Eastern tomorrow, Friday, October 4. At that exact time the Moon becomes new, reborn. But now as I write she is in her Waning Crescent Phase and nearly “gone” from the sky. What does this mean? For me I get lethargic, heavy, I feel a little under the weather, not ill really but not well either. It’s as if as the Moon goes into the shadow of the Sun I move into my shadow time. And my mood reflects this shadow.

I write from this shadow time and ask “how am I to be a catalyst for the uplifting of others; how am I, even in my thoughts, to help another experience a higher vibrational energy?

Fortunately The Message not only states the challenge to be The Alchemist, it offers the solution to my concern:

Your first obligation, however, is to transform yourself into the person you were born to be. Are you living the life that your essence is asking for? Are you being your true self and not a persona required by others around you?

And:

As your consciousness evolves, so will your vibrational frequencies. Keep reaching for greater awareness, greater understanding of the world around you and where humanity is evolving. Pay attention to your thoughts and ask about the ‘light content’ of those thoughts. Are you thinking at a high frequency of light or do your thoughts feel heavy and dark?

Well, my thoughts may feel heavy and dark at the moment as the Moon “dies” into the Sun. But at least I am aware of this. And with this awareness I can perform some alchemical magic around this time: I can honor the Moon, let the experience of the final phase of her waning wash through me, and look forward to celebrating the New Moon as she is born tomorrow evening. I can meditate on the cycles of the Moon as they represent all the cycles in our lives. And I can reflect on these cycles as they mirror all the cycles within me, even the waxing and waning of moods!

Awareness is the key. It is the first step forward as The Alchemist to bring more light into the world!

ROSEMARY’S INSPIRATION: You are an Alchemist!

October 1, 2013 Leave a comment

My “Two-Minute” video for the week: You are an Alchemist!

MONDAY’S POEM: Red Lion

September 2, 2013 2 comments

Red Lion

Some days the beast requires a leash,
Some ways the body must seek release.
There’s no chance of change in full control,
Transformation comes through Red Lion’s role.

Remember this warning, keep to the path.
Control the creature or suffer his wrath.
Don’t bind him too tightly, there’s energy need.
Give him his head, he wants to be freed.

There’s a delicate balance of domestic and wild:
Too much domestic, the mix is too mild:
Too much wild, the mix goes astray;
Isis knew the secret of this precious way!

©2013 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Butterfly Maiden

June 3, 2013 Leave a comment

When I was a kid growing up in Wisconsin we used to plant corn when the oak leaves were as big as squirrel ears. I loved this way of letting nature guide the farming cycles. Nature knows more about how to grow things than we will ever know with all our weather predicting technology and modern methods. This reminds me that we are patiently waiting for the first delivery of spring harvest from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm here in Maryland. But with the cool, wet spring things are late and we are probably still a couple of weeks away from first delivery. For a farmer from Wisconsin there should be no surprise here!

I wrote this thinking about corn planting and growing – the old-fashioned way! And I hope Butterfly Maiden is watching over our CSA vegetables!

Butterfly Maiden

The corn is planted;
The spring rains have come.
The holy ground is rich;
The loam warms the seed.

Soon there will be a splitting;
Soon the full moon will shine.
Soon the earth will feed that seed;
Soon the sprout will reach for sun.

Moon watches through the night;
Moon wanes through a fortnight.
Moon withers toward rising sun;
Moon winks out as the sprout sees dawn.

Butterfly Maiden sheds her cocoon;
Butterfly Maiden warms in the sun.
Butterfly Maiden grins at the grinning moon;
Butterfly Maiden guards growing corn.

©2013 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

PS: Qigong starts this evening, Monday, June 3 at 7:00 pm. If you are in the area of Annapolis/Severna Park please join me: Details here.

Richard’s Message from A Conversation with The Other Side

May 24, 2013 Leave a comment

As promised in yesterday’s post I am providing a link here to a recording of the message I received via Rosemary from The Other Side, this past Monday evening, May 20. The message is just over 10 minutes long and is a great example of the kind of information Rosemary channels from the guides, angels and loved ones who show up at these events. And the special feature of these messages is they are both personal and universal.

Here’s the link:  Message 

Note that toward the end of this message,  there is  information about the Full Moon/Eclipse that occurs tonight (actually early Saturday morning); May 25 at 12:25 am Eastern time. Be sure to listen for it.

So, be careful out there over the long, Full-Moon-influenced weekend!

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PS: Rosemary has scheduled her next Conversation with The Other Side for Friday, June 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm Eastern time. If you are interested in receiving a channeled message like the ones I receive then get more information on Rosemary’s Website!

It’s a Sign!!! – Richard’s Commentary

February 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Inside-outside; optimism-pessimism; half-full-half-empty. There’s a spiral of thoughts here in Rosemary’s Exploration to digest. And somehow the article this week points directly at me!

I’ve been an optimist all my life. And I live a reasonably healthy internal life and do look for confirming signs all around me. And then I went to the doctor last week.

It’s funny Rosemary should use the example: “You might have been given a medical diagnosis that you don’t like.” My doctor visit, the first in several years, was just routine; I thought I should get a new base-line of all the numbers western medicine is so fond of analyzing. I feel in excellent health, eating well on a pretty strict regimen of raw nut, seed, fruit and vegetable smoothies for breakfast and lunch, exercising with yoga and qigong, meditating, working for myself and a pretty gentle boss (Rosemary); all good things right? So, the nurse took my blood pressure and seemed pretty alarmed; “all the celery in your smoothies doesn’t seem to be working” she remarked.

OK, I’ve had an issue with high blood pressure before; it’s a genetic condition. I have taken medication in the past but then controlled it reasonably well with Chinese herbs, acupuncture, etc. I thought I was good to go for life! Not so! The external sign here is a warning that things need to change even more.

And I am resisting this change; my resistance is not improving my blood pressure a bit! I am ignoring the external signs, but struggling to change the internal perspective in order to see the external signs change. While I remain an optimist my glass seems to be closer to empty than full! Am I fooling myself?

Since my experience at Qi Revolution with Jeff Primack I have been practicing his Level 1 Qigong Form every day. I am getting prepared for Level 1 training this Saturday. And I am planning to go for certification to teach Level 1 a week later on March 9th. I am optimistic that I can achieve this goal. I am changing my diet to include many of Jeff’s recommendations in his Conquering Any Disease book, following many of his suggestions for reducing high blood pressure (yep, more celery!) and curing heart disease. More internal changes.

Now, I realize this is a life-change and not an over-night change that I’m working on here. It’s only been a week since that doctor visit. But the optimist in me is looking for the external signs to support my internal changes. And my blood pressure remains high; that half-full glass is looking even more empty!

And the spiral continues, but in a downward spin. What is this about? All signs, whether they are inward or outward, point to lessons. There’s something karmic here; something much deeper than qigong practice and meditation. And I need to dig down where that spiral is drilling to wedge out this darkness that is shadowing my optimism. And no matter how deeply we dig for the lead or the gold, there is always another layer to dredge up, examine and alchemically transform. The signs point the way; they are critical signs to follow.

I am reading those signs carefully; I am taking my blood pressure multiple times a day. I am asking many questions and looking deeply in the dark mirror, working to clear it of dust. I am watching but not expecting new external signs any time soon. And that’s OK; I have time.

And I’m taking a newly prescribed drug (two, actually, in one pill). Yes, I have at least temporarily resorted to western medicine’s approach to my condition. I am hopeful this will improve my pressure and give me more time for the natural approach to kick in.

Yes, I read the sign, and while I didn’t like the direction it pointed, I realize there are many more lessons for this western man to learn, many more internal adjustments to make and many more years to practice!

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Queen of Heaven

April 9, 2010 Leave a comment

We are in store for a beautiful weekend in Colorado. I hope you have a wonderful one wherever you are! On Sundays Rosemary and I host “Sundays at The Center“, a celebration of spirit. During our celebration this Sunday I plan to talk about Isis and some of what I’ve been reading which connects her to alchemy. It is also clear to me that she is connected to Inanna, Sumerian “Queen of Heaven” of whom I’ve written earlier in this blog.

The origin of the Egyptian Goddess, Isis, is unknown. But at some point in her history and associated stories it becomes clear that there is some linkage to the Sumerian Inanna and the Semitic Ishtar. First, along with Mari, Diana, Hecate, Pasiphae, Selene, Brigit, Cybele, the Shekinah, Lilith, and Persephone, they are Moon Goddesses (ref: Diane Wolkstein in Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth). And the three were also known as “Queen of Heaven.” How much cross-cultural exchange took place across the middle east from the Mediterranean area to Mesopotamia is unknown. But the parallels of myths, stories and religious rites and observances is highly synchronistic.

What are we dealing with here historically? Was there significant exchange across these civilizations or are we seeing an archetype at play? And does this archetype continue to play out in our lives today? One of the dominant religions of today, Christianity, has at its core a story which resembles the Isis/Osiris/Horus story with uncanny parallels. Yes, until recently, the patriarchy has driven much of the Isis story out of Christianity. But Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene are coming back into their own. Is this archetypal or cultural mixing of stories?

I did not realize before my deeper readings into the stories of Isis that her significance and recognition as the Queen of Heaven extended throughout the Mediterranean area, even reaching Britain, and lasted well into the first millennium AD! The last temple of Isis and Osiris continued in operation on the island of Philae in the Upper Nile into the 6th century. How much influence did the parallel worship of Isis have on the Christian mythos? We know that Christian churches and holy sites are built over more ancient spiritually significant sites throughout the world. The Church adopted calendars, saints and sites to fit as an overlay and displace what came before. How much of the story of Jesus, the whole basis of a dominant world religion, is nothing more than an overlay on stories which came before?

What did change in translating the stories of Inanna and Isis to Christianity was the loss of the Feminine as the Masculine worked to dominate and control. The various cults of Isis rose in the Egyptian Delta area; they varied from city to city; they rose in power above the cults of Ra, the masculine; but I find no evidence of a purge of all worship of Ra in order for the Feminine Isis to dominate. This displacement was a gradual shift from masculine to feminine influence. The Christian story is different: The Theodosian decree (in about 380 AD) required the destruction of all pagan temples. Control. The masculine approach to imposing rules on the population.

Marie-Louise von Franz describes the masculine this way: “With this development and increase in the sun cult came a development in law, science, geometry, the planning of fields, of buildings, and so on. There was an enormous progress in rational civilization and in organization and war, etc. That was a development of the masculine world, of the mind world and the world of order”. Sound familiar? It was after this “increase in the sun cult” (by a couple thousand years) that the “men became tired” and the cult of Isis rose – enantiodromia.

We are due for another episode of enantiodromia. We are watching the failing and fading of the current age of masculine dominance. We are in the middle of a swing away from rationalism and war. At least I hope we are! It is time for us to pay attention to the Queen of Heaven. She is due!

Enantiodromia; are we in it? We can hope so!

April 8, 2010 1 comment

It was a lovely day in Colorado after our snow on Tuesday which was enough to cancel one of our scheduled meetings. The snow is all gone, soaking into my grass to green it. Perhaps we can say in Colorado at this time of year we are in a period of enantiodromia: the warm spring 60 and 70 degree temperatures bring about the spring snow, and then we bounce back to the warm spring…

Wikipedia says this:  “enantiodromia is a principle introduced by psychiatrist Carl Jung that the superabundance of any force inevitably produces its opposite. It is equivalent to the principle of equilibrium in the natural world, in that any extreme is opposed by the system in order to restore balance.” I encountered this word in my current book on alchemy by Marie-Louise von Franz which I’ve mentioned before in these posts. And what in particular caught my attention was her reference to the rise of Isis in Egypt as a central Goddess, even the most powerful of all the gods/goddesses.

She first tells the story of the rise of the cult of the sun god, Ra, around 3,000 to 2,800 BC; sun worship gradually exceeded that of the moon and bull worship (end of the Age of Taurus), an enantiodromia. This gave rise to a patriarchal social and political order. As Ra became old and senile, Isis, using a poisonous serpent or worm and then healing him, tricked him into giving her his secret name, and thereby all his power. “…at the end of the Egyptian civilization there was a similar enantiodromia. Suddenly Isis got everything into her hands and the male gods faded – and it is interesting that that was at the end of the Aries age and that now we are at the end of the Pisces, the astrological fish age, and again a woman is gathering the harvest and the men are a bit tired.” Wow! Von Franz said this in 1959!

Is the patriarchal political and social order under which we have lived our whole lives truly at an end? Are the men “a bit tired”? And where is our Isis, our Inanna, when we need them?

The Isis story is certainly a parallel with the Inanna story to which I’ve referred before. Her descent into the underworld gave her king and husband, Dumuzi, just the opportunity he needed to take charge; and of course he did! This was an enantiodromia. But Inanna was able to come back from the underworld to rule again; poor Dumuzi had to spend half of each year in the underworld in exchange for Inanna’s rise. (And his poor sister spent the other half of the year “down there” representing a nice balance).

Do these myths and archetypal examples of enantiodromia condemn us to forever shift from one extreme to another as we struggle as a humanity for power and control? I say in my title “we can hope so” that we are in a period of enantiodromia; that we are experiencing tired men and the rise of the Goddess, the power of The Feminine.  I say this not because I think a feminist, goddess dominated matriarchal society would be better but because I have lived with what the patriarchal, masculine, “god the father” dominated society has generated. I am looking for balance; and maybe, just maybe as we swing back from the extreme through this enantiodromia principle, we can somehow arrest the pendulum’s swing more toward the center.

Can the “new human” figure out a way to share power and control without regard to gender? Is there a balance between masculine and feminine principles we can apply to our social and political struggles so they become less struggle and more cooperation?

As we move toward a new astrological age, the Age of Aquarius, let’s hope we are in a new period of enantiodromia but that the opposites move to balance!

Alchemy and the Goddess

April 6, 2010 Leave a comment

My posts have been sparse lately as we travel coast to coast and back home. Experiencing all these climates has been enjoyable but a bit hard on the environmental body controls. Rosemary and I are both a bit under the weather (so to speak) from the changes. It was good to get home to Colorado last evening and back to our regular schedules. My posts will be regular again as well!

Last night Rosemary and I hosted our “First Monday” Spiritual Exploration Group meeting here in Colorado Springs. We had a good turn out for our topic of the month: What’s All This Hype about 2012? What’s the Basis for it and What Do We Think Might Happen? I found some interesting references to both Alchemy and the Goddess in my readings in preparation for the discussion. There seems to be a strong synchronistic potential at work in my life. The books I am choosing to read and the topics I am choosing to write about and discuss all align with the topic of this post. More of this as we work through the week

The first story of my current book on Alchemy (Alchemy, an Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology by Marie-Louise von Franz) is from the Codex Marcianus. It is called The Prophetess Isis to Her Son and is about Isis seeking the secret of “the holy technique” – the preparation of gold and silver. Interestingly Alchemy and the Goddess are immediately linked not only in my mind (see my post on March 25) but in the very first material I take up on the subject!

The story itself is fascinating: Isis encounters an angel who wants to have sex with her in exchange for the knowledge of alchemy. She puts him off until she obtains the knowledge; then he admits this is above him and he needs to hand her off to another more powerful angel. The next day the more powerful angel appears; this one too wants to have sex with Isis. Again she refuses until she receives the secrets of the preparation of gold and silver. In the story the recipe is actually presented but the names of the various substances used are so arcane as to be not identifiable today. But Isis does obtain the secret knowledge and is allowed to share it with her son, Horus.

The significant part of this is where von Franz takes the discussion: she draws the parallel between this myth and the creation myth of the Bible where Eve is the source of the “fall” when she suggests Adam eats the apple whereby they gain knowledge. Of course the Isis story is a positive one: not only does Isis succeed in gaining the information she sought, but she also avoided payment for it by not having sex with the angels. The Eve story is negative: the payment for the knowledge gained is expulsion from the garden. Von Franz would say both stories are archetypal and related; they likely have the same source. The Biblical story is much younger than the Isis story. How is it that the newer story was twisted to have a negative outcome to the gain of knowledge?

And this becomes the crux of the evolution of western civilization, even consciousness! There was an ancient track that seemed to consider knowledge as good. And women were the seekers and keepers of knowledge. This track was diverted a few thousand years ago to declare knowledge as evil; and the cause of this evil was Woman! What is this all about?

Is knowledge good or evil? You might think this is a silly question in the post-modern world of today when science and technology are supreme icons of advancement. But this debate continues. How many people today would still say Eve was wrong in offering the apple, knowledge, to Adam? How many people today deny the science behind the evolutionary process? Believe it or not there is still a sizable portion of the population of this country that believes the Earth is the center of the Universe! (And I suspect these people do not want to discover anything that would contradict their beliefs.)

Is knowledge evil; is ignorance bliss? The question is not as simple as it seems. My posts will continue to consider the question – as we seek answers through knowledge!