Lapis of Alchemy

Alchemy is a world of hidden treasures and although most of what others have heard or believed about Alchemist and science, much of it is irrelevant to the soul and the soul or the ‘thing’ that makes life better is the essence of alchemy; the aether of life, the fire of redemption, the purification of the soul, how to understand the world…

These epiphanies were and are almost always a product of work.  That when we work our magic, it’s much more than the result, it’s the philosophical gold, it’s the lapis.  (note that there is more than ONE significant meaning behind the lapis)

In the witches world as I have come to learn from others, the lapis is just a magical stone with metaphysical properties that can heal you and associated with everything under the Sun, a mineral and not just one mineral but a mixture of many minerals.  Some which are common and others a little more unique but they come together to form a blue body that can be realized by fire or water etc., in which case the lapis IS the philosophers stone.  Or to be more precise, it’s the Alchemist’s Stone.  I say that simply because it doesn’t just belong to Alchemist but our view of minerals, metals, the world are usually different from other practices of which I respect by the way.

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I love this because it emphasizes the dualities that exist in the world and how incompatible they will forever be YET we can also find harmony within the confines of duality and I think that is a very beautiful thought.  You can reference Pythagoras and Music of the Spheres if you want to learn more about that.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There are many different philosophers stones.  To me, the true philosophers stone is a seed.  To others especially in our past, it’s gold and it was gold because it was believed that if they could recreate gold, make gold, then they could make the whole world better with magic and all they had to do was crack the code and with word, with deed and with the best intentions, all the “sins” would be reformed and we wouldn’t suffer any more.  OH, and of course they could have all the gold they want. hehehehehe.

So alchemist are more than just people who dilly dally with fire, surfer, salt and mercury (quicksilver) with labs always distilling and refining and creating.

An alchemist is someone who reflects deeply into their work and correlates what they learn from Nature as a process of understanding the soul and the Nature of God (God being a general term that does NOT define male or female or any other “god” with a name or a face or a distinct function) and when we can translate what we learn into something that alters the way I/we see the world, then it’s like a treasure worth more than gold.

If I could explain it in words, it would end up being a picture and that picture would contain symbols and those symbols would be hidden because these special antidotes need to be attained on your own so I could give you clues but ultimately, it is through your own workings that you really understand.  It’s like the saying that nothing compares to experience and this is the truth for me.  Or like Lao tau said about the Moon, to paraphrase, if you spend your time looking at my finger pointing to the moon, then you’ll miss the moon altogether -Tao Te Ching.

There are certain traits or gifts or characteristics that seem to be in all alchemist: they are constantly looking for something because they seek perfection EVEN when there is no such thing save for the “undefined god”, the idea that anything can be made better.  All you have to do is first strip it down to it’s bare essence and THEN refine it and put all the parts back so that the result is something new but not necessarily something different.

They are usually some sort of merchant.  They usually have some sort of trade skill and they are extremely passionate about their work.  They are artist, they are deeply spiritual, analytical and philosophical as well as believers in Magic with OR without the K and musicians.

In history, the Alchemist were also heavily influenced by the Kabbala but that doesn’t mean they are followers or devotees to the Kabbala.  Alchemy became very important to the future of humanity during the same transition between Paganism and Christianity so a lot of the time you would also see an Alchemist that’s also depicted as a Gnostic during the age of Gnosis.

In art you see a lot of Kabbalist symbols mixed in with a lot of Zodiac symbols AND FYI, this is NOT a full representation of Alchemist in history.  Alchemy was also very well respected in China  and so you do see a LOT of the same symbols adapted to each culture (refined by culture I suppose you would say) and still used today under different new age influences aka Chakras, mandalas, the Wheel… look for the roots and you’ll find a common denominator.

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Essentially, the picture above is how they believed the world was ordered.  That life was a formation of scales/octaves (literally like music) and that the world could be understood by vibrations and music was to know the order of things aka Theory of Music.

Hermes Trismegistus- associated with the Greek God Hermes, the messenger and father of Hermeticism and also associated with the Egyptian God Thoth is said to be the Father of Alchemy HOWEVER I have also read and do believe that it is derived from the philosophies of Plato also known as Platonism during the Hellenistic period BECAUSE his work is often cited but is referenced as NeoPlatonism from when it resurfaced during the middle/dark ages.

NOW before I go I just want to say that I am not one to deny real science and I do believe that sciences often changes the more we learn so my references (when they come up in the future) are not to say real science is wrong.  It’s only to say that philosophy does still have a place in the world of science even when my most favorite astrophysicist doesn’t agree.

I remember about 10 years or so back now when Neil’ DeGrass Tyson said that philosophy no longer has a place in science and it was about the only time I really disagreed with him on a personal level.  To me, philosophy is our window (at least mine) into deep thoughts and new ways to approach the WAY we think NOT just what we think or the regurgitation of information.

Without the Alchemist, science wouldn’t be what it is today.  IT WAS in the very search for the truth of our souls/god that inspired people to look into the Natural world so to forget that their thoughts, blood, sweat, humiliation, tears AND jubilation are what took us from the world they used to live in, into the one we have now is to send humanity back into the dark ages.

I still hold on to the belief that imperfection is perfection.  We don’t need to make things perfect but we can always make things better.

Thank you for reading.

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Agrippa of Nettesheim, De occult philosophia, 1510.

The Moon Dragon is very similar to the Asian depiction of the Blue Dragon eating its tail in which life is constantly destroyed and renewed.  In other words, a representation of the Life cycle or Infinity, at least that is how I see it.

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This one is called Jerusalem by W. Blake 1804-1820.  According to my resource book, it’s said to be a possible representation of the Moon Dragon but I think it looks like a chicken head.

The pics are taken from the book, The Hermetic Museum of Alchemy and Mysticism by Alexander Roob.

On Top Of An Anthill

I went for a hike yesterday alone so I could collect my own thoughts and just have some real me time.

I wanted to try a new experiment with Shadow work and it was an extremely emotional hike that I came down the anthill feeling like I came one step closer to really understanding something about myself.

The experiment was something like automatic writing. I really don’t know if I am using the term right for what I was doing BUT whenever I could hear my thoughts penetrating my souls…like thoughts that clearly elicit an emotional response, I wrote them down.

I have not looked at them since writing them down so this will be my first time looking at them with all of you.

In an effort to be truly authentic and really do the work that I KNOW my guides are telling me I need to do, I will omit nothing because I have been learning that the person I show people is strong and confident and the person I hide (my shadow) is extremely sensitive and I always have to take care of her.

With without further rambling. Here it is.

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Here are some pics. I really felt like the Fae were around watching me. I know how crazy that seems since I don’t think I have ever seen one yet these dead trees, they all seemed to look like a creature to me and it felt like they wanted me to know they were there, that somehow, even when along the way it became more silent than I have heard in a long time, that I was not alone on my journey.

At one point the wind came and it seemed as though it was the tree talking to me. It happened at a moment when I was wondering if I should continue or keep going. I went a little further then turned around to head back down.

A funny looking Grasshopper or Cricket. It was my first indication that my guides were with me. The cricket/grasshopper (both) are part of my menagerie so I know when they come around that I need to listen, that there’s a pearl of wisdom waiting for me somewhere.

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Western Jimsom weed (extremely poisonous and fatal)

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Lichen painted rocks. 🧡

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This is apparently the highest peak in the county.

On the way up and when I reached the top. It was really a moment for me. It was a small table on top of a giant anthill. I remember at some point wondering if all mountains were at some point crystal mountains or that when looking at the mesas, how flat the Earth really did look to those who didn’t know any better.

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On the way back down I grabbed a couple more pics. The side of the mountain looked painted to me. I wasn’t able to get a good picture because I didn’t have a tripod or a different camera with me so I get what I get.

And finally, there was a girl that I felt was somehow special. She greeted me on her way down, passing me by but it was how she said it and them she skipped on down the mountain like a fairy. I am not saying she is/was one but I am saying that her presence did make me smile, like a guardian that only needed to be sure I got what I came for.

So that was my journey yesterday. Some call it soul searching, others call it Shadow Work. Whatever you call, it was a good journey for me. I needed it. I needed the time to just be alone and actually collect my thoughts.

If you embark on something similar, I would love to hear about it. Thanks for reading and I know these pics aren’t my greatest works but that’s okay.

🧡 Sandra

Pennyroyal Tea

The name brings to mind a Nirvana song titled Pennyroyal Tea.

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:musical_score: “Sit and drink pennyroyal tea

Distill the life that’s inside of me

Sit and drink pennyroyal tea

I’m anemic royalty”.

What I didn’t know back then was that it was probably a reference to Courtney’s baby, Francis Bean and a reflection of Kirk’s feelings toward being a good father.

Anyway. Pennyroyal is used to induce labor, can cause miscarriage and used to aid PMS symptoms as well as bring on mensuration.

However, it used to be called lungwort and was used to suppress coughs and help break a fever by producing sweat.

Pennyroyal Tea

1 teaspoon of dried herb steeped in 8oz of water once a day SPARINGLY. Some suggests that there is no “safe” dosage but it has been used for generations to cause abortions which has also lead to death of some mothers.

Do not take while pregnant! Do not give it to children, infants or pets.

Information sourced from

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Contraindications are sourced from the internet off various sources. While I believe that a cup will heal, too much can kill so use with caution or under the direction of a certified herbalist or ask your doctor.

Four Imperial Palaces

And Five Emperors

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The Four Palaces are also known as the four elements or four compasses or four guardians that are invoked or awakened when starting rituals.

I use a singing bowl to wake the four corners along with a chant and meditation.

The Four Guardians

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Black Tortoise: North, Winter, Night, Water. The Black Tortoise hears your thoughts and prayers.

Red Phoenix: South, Summer, Noon, Fire. Brings growth.

Azure Dragon: East, Spring, Morning, Wood. Nurturing.

White Tiger: West, Fall, Evening, Metal. Sees movements or acts.

Five Directions or 5 Celestial Bodies or 5 Emperors

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North/Water

South/Fire

Center/Earth

East/Wood

West/Metal

 

 

The Three Sovereigns or Trinity of Heaven, Earth and Man

Heaven: celestial kingdom; sun, moon, stars; spirit, pneumatic, proliferation.

Earth: the underworld: mountain, valley, plain; transformation; resources, soma.

Man: humankind; Father, Mother, Offspring; choice, manifestation, psyche.

In Taoist/Buddhist craft, the Five Emperors are called in to undue bad joo joo ie: malevolent magic but that’s not their only purpose.

In western witchcraft there are four elements: earth, fire, wind, and water.

I incorporate myself as the sixth element of my craft, wind because I use my breath as a principal element aka, qi. But also recognize Wind/air as a unifying aspect in the craft not only because it communicates but because it’s the element that acts upon all the other elements in other words, you can’t have fire or water without air (oxygen) and without those you cannot have wood, or metal or what makes earth (the mother) able to nurture or give birth all the elements that we, humans, need for resources etc.

Collectively they are all aspects of the the Tao.

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Dragon pic is my own.

Wormwood aka Absinthe

Artemisia absinthium

Wormwood

Green Fairy

Green Madness

Artemisia

Absinthos

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Belonging to the Daisy family and apx 40 million years old.

This “weed” was known to kill anything (plant) that tried to invade its space and is a wild spreader and known for its bitter taste before it became the popular spirit known to cause hallucinations from a chemical called thujone which wasn’t really the culprit but the amount of alcohol in absinth (136% – 180% proof) killed a lot of people in its day and it was outlawed in 1915 in the US.

Early doctors and alchemist believe that it could get rid of tapeworm and would prescribe it even though it would likely kill them. Talk about last ditch effort!

Absinthe is NOT something you should ever make at home and I think it is still illegal, at least in the US (I think).

It’s known as the Green Fairy and also known to cause blindness, cramps, nerve damage though today, you can safely purchase it at the market. Um…not the alcohol but the herb woodworm in oil, capsule or powder form.

The father of this Green Madness was Nicholas Culpeper and his recipe became famous for inducing a “stream of consciousness”.

Van Gogh was locked up in an asylum detoxing from the Green Fairy when he painted Starry Night.

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So for all it’s madness, how was/is Wormwood ever used medicinally?

It can be used in a slave to repel fleas and ticks and it’s also used to help with other stomach ailments like liver and gallstone issues as well as Chrones diseases and as a topical treatment for healing wounds. I personally would not cultivate it on my own for ingestion or topical treatment because I am allergic to most weeds but you can buy it just about anywhere.

You can look up ratio details online or ask your doctor about the right amount to use in tea but it doesn’t taste good. That’s what I hear, I haven’t tried it myself.

As an insect repellent you can add it to a lotion or spray.

For wounds (antibacterial treatment) you can make a salve.

As for ingested uses, ask your doctor. This information comes mostly from a book called The Big, Bad Book of Botany by Michael Largo and various sources from the internet and should be taken with a grain of salt, so to speak.

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Garlic

Garlic

Allium sativum

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In folklore, garlic, as well as leeks and onions were used to protect against evil and was worn during the Black Plague outbreak in the Middle Ages. While it never proved to work against black death, it could be said that the strong smell of garlic and/or onions was enough to keep people a safer distance apart and it never worked against vampires.

Fun Fact, I am distantly related to John Hunyadi, the “Turk Beater” also known as the man who murdered Vlad Tepes aka Dracual or the Impaler.

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Garlic was also thought to protect people against illness which is how it is used today and has been used for over 7 thousand years I think. It is a native crop to China from the Yunnan province but clearly cultivated around the world and probably one of the most used of all herbs because there are many truths to its power to protect against illnesses.

Garlic as well as onions are everyday staples in my home and when I was growing up it was the one herb that both my ma and dad could agree on and used it in and for just about everything. I was actually very surprised to learn that a lot of people don’t use garlic in their everyday cooking. Call it culture shock and I learned that when I met my husband!

They say that the secret to long life is eating garlic and I have pretty much used it in every dish since I started cooking when I was about 8 years old. To NOT use garlic and onions is like sea water without the salt. Not only does it add more flavor to every dish, it also does have very powerful medicinal properties that have been shown to protect against cancer, stomach illnesses, and help keep your cardiovascular system in good shape by reducing bad cholesterol and triglycerides. It’s one of the worlds most powerful and cheap antioxidants as well a good source to regulate blood sugar and boost testosterone and metabolized iron.

Anti-oxidants are used to rid your blood of oxidative stress which impairs your bloods cells from delivering hemoglobin through your body and is one of the more important aspects of a good cardiovascular heath. Or as my mom would say, “it keeps you young”. Lol. Maybe she was right the whole time. I will be 42 soon and from what I am told, I still look to be in my 20’s. Late 20s but still…

Aside from the common knowledge, my mom had me use garlic for everything. When I think of it I think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the dad uses Windex on everything. My mom was like that with garlic. You got a pimple? Rub some garlic on it. Have a patch of uneven skin tone? Rub some garlic on it. Not feeling good, eat some garlic. That, and she would have me use it when I got sun patches on my skin. I used to get white spots on my face from too much sun so it would stand out against my tan skin. TBH, I think it was bleaching my skin so to speak, that or it was turning over new cell growth so that the damaged skin spots would fall away faster. Don’t quote me on any of that as a fact. It’s just what I did and it seemed to work. I do caution however that it does sting a little but it is an anti inflammatory as well SO….

Garlic, of course, can be eaten raw as well as cooked but raw garlic makes your breath smell a little worse for wear. Remedies that I know of to combat garlic and onion breath are to chew a piece of parsley. You know, that piece of green that restaurants put on your plate and to eat an apple. I personally go with the apple because it taste better but parsley (fresh) is cheaper and can be easily grown in your home herbal gardens.

This year will be my first successful year growing garlic at home. In previous years I had failed and that would be because I live in a hot climate and garlic are mild weather crops. Cool weather crops.

To plant, take a clove and push it into the ground. While my book says that they should be planted deep, others have said they can be shallow and I did the latter and it was successful.

The bigger the clove, the bigger the bulbs so plant the biggest ones you have. Plant in the Fall and harvest in the Spring. You don’t have to do anything to them but they prefer nutrient rich organic loose soils that remain somewhat dryer and plant just over a bulbs width apart.

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Garlic belongs to the Amaryllidacae family and is closely related to: onions, leeks, rakkyo and shallots. I think I read that the stalks from garlic are actually considered leeks and they are edible and do produce flowers and are pollinated by bees.

Before harvesting, cut the stalks off to concentrate energy into the bulbs for bigger bulbs. Personally I prefer normal sized cloves. Elephant garlic taste too bitter to me but I will cut the leeks after this late cold spell passes.

All pics are mine but the sketch was taken from The Big, Bad Book of Botany.