Alchemical Traditions, Pars II

Pars II. Transformations : Alchemies of the Spirit, Body & Word








Origins and Nature of European Alchemy

Aaron Cheak




The Alchemical Khiasmos

A. Ch. & Sabrina dalla Valle




Altus's Ominous Aphorism

Miro Mannucci




Turris Philosophorum

Christopher A. Plaisance




Heinrich Khunrath

Hereward Tilton




Mundus Imaginalis of Henry Corbin

Angela Voss




Amor, Corpus Resurrectionis

Paul Scarpari




Rene' Schwaller of Lubicz

Aaron Cheak




Transsubstantiation of the World

Leon Marvell




Alchemical Horticulture of Chadwick

Rod Blackhirst




"Checkmate" in Beckett & in Eliot

Dan Mellamphy


pp. 680-3



books authored

magazine-articles in

Sabrina dalla Valle

__ of Philosophical Research

Tracing the Origin (2012)

"many journals"

Miro Mannucci

City __ of New York

Christopher A. Plaisance

__ of Exeter

chapters in Daimonic Imagination (2013)


Hereward Tilton

__ of Exeter

Quest for the Phoenix (2003)

Angela Voss

Paul Scarpari

Leon Marvell

Deakin __ (Menbourne)

Transfigured Light (2007)

Dan Mellamphy

__ of Western Ontario






Origins and Nature of European Alchemy

Aaron Cheak


p. 294 a Yaziydiy dialogue {The Yaziydiy religion is located in the district known in Akkadian as "Mitanni", i.e., the upper valley of the H^abur river.}

"The text presents itself as a dialogue betwee semi-legendary alchemist. Morienus ([<]Arabic Maryanus), and the early Islamic King {h^a liyf}, Khalid ibn Yazid ibn Mu>awiyya (d. 704 or 708 CE)."

pp. 295-6 the 2 natures

p. 295

"Stephanos of Alexandria ... during the reign of Heraclius (610-41 CE) ... employed the symbol

p. 296

of iron irradiated by fire to explain how man suffused with divinity could simultaneously condense two natures ... ." (Taylor 1937, pp. 122-3)

Taylor 1937 = F. Sherwood Taylor : "Alchemical Works of Stephanos of Alexandria". AMBIX 1.

p. 298 immaterial elements

"this is the spiritual body ..., which is not formed of the sublunar elements, but from the four Elements of the world of Hurqalya, which are seventy times nobler and more precious than the Elements of the Terrestrial world."

pp. 301-2 translated from "L7S" : desire of the World-Soul; liberate the spiritual energy

p. 301

"To speak of "quantitative science" ... is a matter for Jabir of measuring 'the desire of the Soul of the world [which is] incorporeal to the elements'; moreover, ... Jabir invites us to read the collection called the Seventy Books as a ciphered text, a complete expose' in veiled form. ...

p. 302

This alchemy is eminently represented by Jaldaki, and ... in Iran through ... a Mir Fendereski, and ... in the Shaykhi school. Meditation on the alchemic operation as a spiritual experience (experime'ntation) of Nature tends to liberate the ... spiritual energy (extrahere cogitationem) immanent in the metals that alchemists treat, in order to incorporate them into the interior being (l'homme inte'rieur). Synchronistically, they realize the inner growth of the subtle body, the 'body of resurrection'."

"L7S" = Henry Corbin : 'Le Livre des sept statues d'Apollonios de Tyane, commente' par Jaldaki'. In :- Pierre Lory (ed.) : Alchimie comme art hie'ratique. Paris : L'Herne. 1986. pp. 61-143.S

p. 303 the anti-Christian imperative (i.e., a fervent intent to annihilate Christianty) in Renaissance Europe

"the end of the fifteenth century coincides with [Faivre & Voss 1995, pp. 50-1] a transformation of prisca theologia of the Middle Ages into the philosophia perennis of early modernity. ... This


{meaning, 'non-Christian-theological', i.e., anti-Christian, pagan-theology-based}

imperative took a number of forms ... . These include [Faivre & Voss 1995, p. 49]

philosophia occulta, ...

{'hidden philosopia', viz., concealing a virulent hatred of everything Christian}

Naturphilosophie ('Paracelsism and what followed in its wake'), theosophy ('Boehme and his followers'), Rosicrucianism (including 'the various branches of initiatic societies which appeared subsequently'), and Hermeticism ('the reception and influence during the modern period of the writings attributed to the mythical Hermes Trismegistus')."

Faivre & Voss 1995 = Antoine Faivre & Karen-Claire Voss : "Western Esotericism and the Science of Religions". NUMEN 42.1.

p. 306 certain mineral formations {These can be aptly employed to repraesent certain hypn-agogic states. [parallels written 20 June 2018]}

"the arbor Dianae or 'tree of Diana' refers to a metallic dendrite of silver and mercury;

{At the commencement of a typical Siberian shamanic dream of ascending into Heaven, the dreamer encountreth an extremely tall tree whose top pierceth through the floor of Heaven. Thereupon, the shaman climbeth that tree.}

the 'net' : a purple alloy of copper and antimony taking on a net-like appearance; and

{At the commencement of a typical Bodish visionary dream of seeing the divine world, a network (commonly called the "net of Indra") is viewed. The beads along the lines of this net thereupon expand so as collectively to fill the field-of-vision, disclosing a view of Heaven.}

the 'star regulus of antimony', a crystalline form of metallic antimony."

{This is the kind which I have at times experienced : while reposing in the the dark with one's eyen closed, one commenceth to see a point of light, which rapidly brighteneth itself. Then, suddenly one is swiftly moving athwart a rural scene until halting, and at that juncture witnesseth an immense deity (perhaps a goddess hundreds of feet in stature, standing behind a pond -- which is what I witnessed).}

{Each of these hypn-agogic states hath a myth describing it : (1) the tree with is climbed may be in the AmerIndian "bird-nester" myth; (2) the "net of Indra" may have its meshes so wide as to be sailed through by ship in Irish immran myth; and (3) this may be the tarot/tarock/tarocchia card labeled "Star", wherein a goddess is filling a vessel with water from a pond.}

p. 307 Goethe as forerunner of Husserl

"Indeed, it was Goethe who very significantly ... was deeply aware of and sensitive to the subjective or phenomenological constellation of perception (thus anticipating Husserl), as well as to the 'external' object of perception.

For this reason, Goethe rightly characterized this delicate empiricism as too rigorous for poets and artists, and too subtle for natural scientists."

pp. 307-8 pan-en-theist framework of Renaissance natural philosophies

p. 307

"This vitalist or panentheistic conception of nature is crucial to the alchemical perception of physis as a living entity interpenetrated with sen-

p. 308

tience ...; it is also crucial to ... saying that chemical processes are merely material 'expressions' of essentially spiritual realities ... ."

p. 309 theourgia

"the theurgic idea ... in relation to Zosimos ... emerges distinctly in relation to certain currents of early modern alchemy (notably Della Riviera and John Dee, both of whom, it should be noted, strongly influenced one of the first radically spiritual alchemies of the twentieth century -- Julius Evola's La Tradizione Eremetica -- a work that actually preceded the more famous works by Jung and Eliade)."

fn. 34 "On the historiography of Evola's alchemical ideas vis-a`-vis Eliade's, see especially H. T. HAKL's ... 'The Symbolism of Hermeticism According to Julius Evola' in Lux in Tenebris : The Visual and Symbolic in Western Esotericism, ed. Peter FORSHAW et al. (Leiden : Brill, forthcoming)."




The Alchemical Khiasmos

A. Ch. & Sabrina dalla Valle


pp. 310-2 khiasmos in Hera-kleitos & in the Timaios {a Puth-agorean book employed also by (with permission from Puth-agorean authorities) Platon}

p. 310

"A chiasmus usually describes rhetorical forms involving inversion and reciprocity, and perhaps the oldest and most immediate chiasmic structures are those found in the fragments of Heraclitus :

p. 311

[Hera-kleitos fragment 62 (Hippo-lutos : Refutation of All Opinions 9:10:6)] ...

Mortals are immortals, and immortals are mortals,

living the others' death, and dying the others' life."

{This would referr to death-deities (Haides, Thanatos, etc.).}

... the chiasmus is thus a paradox -- two opposite conditions are placed in seeming contradiction -- yet both are integral to each other's truth." [fn. 5 : "See also Patrick Lee MILLER, Becoming God : Pure Reason in Early Greek Philosophy (New York : Continuum, 2011), 7 ff."]

"the Heraclitean aphorisms ... in the following ... chiasmus :

'wholes and not-wholes, convergent divergent, consonant dissonant, from all things one and from one all things'."

{referring to variable descriptions of aisthetics and of ethics}

"every living being, in its comportment to all other things, naturally embodies such a relationship. Every living presence

p. 312

implies a counter-presence, a counter-weaving, of affinities and aversions, a simultaneous attraction and repulsion that ... creates an inherent, yet vital, tonos (tone, tension). ... For Heraclitus, this tonos or tension is inherent to the constitution of reality. ... For here reality is a process rather than a fixed form, and inherent to this process is the principle of 'return by departure' (being brought together by being brought apart). ...

Content mirrors form. ... What we find here is more explicitly mirrored in perhaps the most diffi-

p. 313

cult passage in Plato -- Timaeus 35A-37B -- in which the formation of

the world soul (psyche kosmou, anima mundi) is described as

[fn. 8 : "For a history of the idea of the world soul ..., see David FIDELER's forthcoming book, The Soul of the World ... ."]

the very link between the eternal and the transient.

{the likeness, in mortal entities, of (according to modern occult societies) the aitheric body as link between the material body and the astral body}

In this most alchemical of ... dialogues, the indivisible (the 'circle of the same') is linked to the divisible ('the circle of the difference') via what he {or rather, the book's Puth-agorean author}

calls 'the best {litterally, 'the most beautiful'} of possible bonds' (desmon de kallistos).

[fn. 9 : [quoting Timaios 31C] "Now the best bond ... in the nature of things is best accomplished by proportion" ("trans. modified after Zeyl").]

When the two circles ... are united {or rather, jointed}, their

point of union ...

{or rather, region of juncture}

is the spiritual point {or rather, region} in the material world and the material point {or rather, region} in the spiritual world. ... In other words, this absolute chiasmic juncture is the very thing that animates the world (anima mundi)."

p. 313 parallelism of the world-soul with souls of mortals

"The world soul, moreover, is mirrored in the Platonic ... embodied soul, which is precisely ... a mean term between the divine and the human. It puts human perception in a privileged ... condition, enabling perspective on both the metaphysical and the physical worlds.

Through its 'counter-stretched harmony', the taut and tensile human psyche mirrors the macrocosmic chiasmus."

pp. 316-7, fn. 22 refinement of emotion during human sleep : rendring transparent the veil between immaterial and material worlds

p. 316

"Following Goethe, he [Steiner 1988, p. 53] advocates the refinement, indeed the distillation, of emotion and sense,

p. 317

dream and waking, in order to free one's being from its internal and eternal boundaries, thus liberating into a deeper, more authentic experience of reality."

p. 317, fn. 22

"This conscious connection between dreaming and waking is described by Steiner as a necessary rhythm used to break free from the sensory and emotional boundaries between the macrocosmic and microcosmic worlds. ... In sleep, the inner life of the soul 'spreads into the outer ["macrocosmic"] world' in a state wherein it is unconsciously active (Rudolf STEINER ... 1968, 19). In ... Steiner's verses [1998, pp. 70 sq] ..., upon sleeping,

the microcosmic ego

{one's guardian-angel}


the macrocosmic spirit

{one's oversoul}

with supersensuous eyes -- its refined soul-craft in the form of wisdom, power and love created while waking. With these crafted 'eyes', the spirit may act through the self-conscious organ of the human upon waking.

The macrocosm can thus speak to the microcosmic self in the form of fresh insight into our inner life and outer worldly perceptions. In this way, the veil of separation between the known world and the unknown world becomes transparent with increased awareness between these two states of sleeping and waking."

p. 317

"In Heideggerian terms, one must allow pure authenticity (Eigentlichkeit) to arise between the godly and the counter-godly ..., rendering the eternal godhead in us diaphanous. This diaphanous juncture of the godly and the counter-godly, the eternal and the transient, is described by Heidegger [1971, p. 63] as ... bound together by the intimacy of their difference."

Steiner 1988 = Rudolf Steiner : The Science of Knowing : Outline of the Epistemology Implicit in the Goethean World View. Spring Valley (NY) : Mercury Pr.

Steiner 1968 = Rudolf Steiner : Macrocosm and Microcosm. London : Rudolf Steiner Pr.

Steiner 1998 = Rudolf Steiner : Guidance in Esoteric Training. London : Rudolf Steiner Pr.

Heidegger 1971 = Martin Heidegger : "The Origin of the Work of Art", in his Poetry, Language, Thought (transl. by Albert Hofstadter). NY : Harper & Row.

pp. 317-8 aristocracy of emotion : primordial trust in the quidam of ever-shifting mystery

p. 317

"To become an istrument of the chiasmic demiurge, the artisan must have the courage to open up ... the unknown ... to a process that is beyond ..., ... to ... the method of nondual conjunction ... . Germane to this process is a mysterious element that one can never quite grasp : a quidam, as T. S. Eliot called it ... . This mysterious element or quidam lives in ... a sensitivity for what is simultaneously present but missing : what is ...

p. 318

ever-absent to the deeper constitution of of reality. To sense ... ever-presence and ever-absence requires a certain ... conjunction of temperaments -- what Eliot's ... counterpart [fn. 24 "Eliot dedicated his Wasteland to Pound with a line from Dante's Purgatorio (XXVI, 117)."], Ezra Pound (il miglior fabbro, 'the better craftsman') called

an 'aristocracy of emotion'. It is precisely through this ... refined sensitivity,

{Persons usually styled "aristocrats", however, are persons the very reverse from any refined sensitivity : being instead of viciously debauched habits and of violently jaded appetites.}

that one intuits the shifting mystery behind the chiasmus : the quidam

that conceals through revelation and reveals through concealment." {Spirit-guided intuition may function thusly, especially in a sense of awe as concerning beauty.}

{Whenever any important principle is newly discovered, there must dawn a realization that such principle must be opening up a feasibility for discovering further new understandings -- including, perhaps, further principles yet to be discovered (though we may not as of yet be knowledgeable of quite what these could be).}

p. 318 we are crucified unto the world in order to achieve transcendental liberation in the aeternal beyond life, even unto integral consciousness in the empsychosis

"The cross of human incarnation both 'crucifies' us to earth and provides a vehicle of transcendence. ...

{Such "vehicle of transcendence" can be the world crucified unto us : for, "the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Epistole to the Galatai 6:14).}

And yet, what is distilled in the crucible of existence has already been achieved beyond life. It is eternal. As such, ... living impulses ... are conduits for something that precedes, animates and transcends us. As the Prussian poet and phenomenologist, Jean Gebser, points out, this conduit is no less than integral consciousness itself :

the crystalline Diaphainon (transparency, durchsichtigkeit) through which both ... origin

[fn. 25 : "Origin, synonymous for Gebser with the wellsprings of all consciousness ..., is not an event fixed in the past, but an ever-present spiritual process continuously available to an inensified (tonified) awareness."]

and telos {'purpose'}, are rendered ever-present. By rendering origin present through the mirror of the anima mundi, human consciousness itself becomes an active chiasmos and thus participates in the empsychosis -- the ensouling -- of the world."

Epistole to the Galatai 6:14

pp. 318-9 chiasmic apperception for reciprocal engendring of reality

p. 318

"the chiasmic apperception is holarchical, originating from and culminating in an immediate gnosis of the whole ... . There is still an empiricism at play here, but it is

p. 319

a 'delicate empiricism' -- a zarte Empirie, as Goethe called it -- which is too rigorous for poets, but too subtle for physicists ..., and thus liable to overlooked by both. ...

Here we are in the presence of what German Romantics such as Franz von Baader called [fn. 27 "Antoine FAIVRE, Theosophy, Imagination, Tradition: Studies in Western Esotericism (trans. Christine Rhone, Albany, NY : State University of New York Press, 2000), 143 ff., 158 ff."] a 'reciprocal engendring' of reality. When the counterstretched chiasmus is struck between human perception and divine perception, a synergistic rapport is reached. In such moments of exchange ... the harmonies of the world soul and the human soul are awakened ... . The principle of the chiasmus', remarks Miller [2011, p. 38], 'thus reveals itself as the logos {'reasoning'} not only of understanding, but ultimately of divine self-knowledge'." Consciousness is intensified into a diaphanous integrum, and the body that bears this awareness is fundamentally transfigured."

Miller 2011 = Patrick Lee Miller : Becoming God : Pure Reason in Early Greek Philosophy. NY, Continuum.




Altus's Ominous Aphorism

Miro Mannucci


"the Mishnah notes that these fifteen psalms were sung by the priests who stood not on the Southern Steps, but on the fifteen steps from the Court of the Women ascending to the Court of Israel : On the fifteen steps which led into the women’s court, corresponding with the fifteen songs of degrees, stood the Levites, with their musical instruments, and sang.” — m. Sukkah 5:4-5" ("SS&S")

"SS&S" = "The Southern Steps And Psalms Of Ascent Reminders".

As concerning these 15, (Zohar 648) "they were all disposed from the parts of the beard of the Most Holy Ancient One." Thus, these 15 are the sum of two summands (15 = 6 + 9) : (Zohar 649) "Six there are; nine they are called." (in LHA 18)

LHA 18 = Lesser Holy Assembly, chapter XVIII.

Among these 15, the 14th is concerning "the beard of >ah.rown", and ("V-B-VC 133:2") concerning the "collar band" (clerical collar) as worn by a man-of-the-cloth. This clerical collar must be worn in commemoration of the gold-collar-wearing <ma-leqiym (Strong's 6002-6003), the 'folk (\<am\) of Leq', where \Leq\ (\laqlaq\ 'stork' : DMWA, p. 1026a) could be intended as an abbrevation of (\luqaymah\ 'snack, morsel' : DMWA, p. 1026a) \Luqman\ = Strong's 3946 \Laqquwm\ 'blockade' (\laqm\ 'to block' : DMWA, p. 1026a). So as to praise the "golden collars" (1st Dibrey ha-Yamiym 18:7 -- BSRNV, p. 300a) of the <ma-leqiym, Luqman (who "was from Nubia", a country abounding in \NWB\, 'gold' in Kemetic) said that "If words are silver, silence is golden" ("SLQ"). [According to the Midras^ of the Talmuwd, "If speech is silvern, then silence is golden." ("SSSG")] Luqman, moreover, said that ("SLQ") "Allah’s Hand is on the mouths of wise men", thus indicating the praeternatural hand upon the mouth of the ahuia-teotl (CBM 74; CB"I&C", p. xxxi-a), and upon the mouth of Macuil-xochitl (CBM 72; CB"I&C", p. xxx-b).

"V-B-VC 133:2"

BSRNV = Clinton R. Smith : Brenton's Septuagint, Restored Names Version. Lulu, 2014.

"SLQ" = "The story of Luqman from the Qur>an (and Ibn Katir)".

"SSSG" = "Speech Is Silver, Silence Is Golden".

CBM = Caudex Borgianus Mexicanus.

CBM 72

CB"I&C" = Bruce E. Byland : "Introduction and Commentary", in :- Gesele Di`az & Alan Rodgers : The Codex Borgia. Dover Publ, Mineola (NY), 1993.

p. 320 commandment on the 14th plate of the Mutus Liber ('mute book')

"lele, lege, lege, relege ... . ... read, read, read, reread .. ."

{Most probably the meaning intended by the author of that book is : Do read each of the 3 synoptic eu-angelia (gospels), but do take care to reread the Eu-angelion kata Ioannes.}

pp. 321-2 surreptiously spying on the nude goddess Artemis [sometimes speciously identified (via misinterpretation of an aphorism by Herakleitos) with Meter Phusis/Mater Natura/"Mother Nature"]

p. 321

"not just the half-conscious mind's onanism ..., but ...

{While performing sexual coi:tion wth a woman, >onan happened to ejaculate his semen ourside her vagina. The same sort of effect occurred when Hephaistos attempted sexually to violate the body of goddess Athene (GM 25.b, vol. 1, p. 97).}

p. 322

the quintessence ... will display herself in all her naked glory -- the naked Diana at the secretive bath -- a divine sap that nourishes the soul,

and makes it grow."

{Viewing a goddess's body stark naked might indeed swell a man's penis tumescently.}

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. Penguin Bks, 1955.

pp. 322-4 according to a Carthusian abbot : the 4 rungs {so likewise according to the Qabbalah} of the divine dream-ladder to Heaven {Otherwise, in the more usual Roman Catholic commentary, 4 sets of ladder-rungs to Heaven are mentioned.}

p. 322

"four such spiritual works ... : reading; meditation; prayer; contemplation. This is the ladder for those in cloisters ... . It is a marvellously tall ladder, ... the one end standing on the ground, the other thrilling into the clouds and showing the climber heavenly secrets.

This is the ladder that Jacob {Ya<qob} saw, in Genesis {B-Re>s^iyt}), that stood on the earth and reached into heaven, on which he saw heavenly angels ascending and descending ... ." (Guigo II : Scala Paradisi @1-2, translated by Edmund Colledge & James Walsh, as The Ladder of Monks. Garden City [NY] : Image Bks, 1974. pp. 81 sq.)

{UNLIKELY INTERPRETATION! Because the Latin word \scala\, litterally meaning 'ladder' is also used for 'musical scale', and because the mal>akiym (angeloi) witnessed in the dream as climbing that sullam ('ladder') are renowned from their intoning their voices in chanting along the musical scale, therefore this dream is surely figurative for ekklesiastic chanting.}

p. 323

"the rungs of the ladder are four in number ..., namely lectio (reading), meditatio (meditation), oratio (prayer), and finally contemplatio (contemplation)."

p. 324

"reading with[out] meditation is dry; meditation without reading is misleading;

prayer without meditation is half-hearted; meditation without prayer is barren;

["but"] prayer with devotion attains to contemplation" (Scala Paradisi @12).

Guigo II : Scala Paradisi @1-2, In :- Guigo II (transl. by Edmund Colledge & James Walsh) : The Ladder of Monks. Garden City (NY) : Image Bks, 1974. pp. 81 sq.


Aaron Cheak (ed.) : Alchemical Traditions from Antiquity to the Avant-Garde. Numen Bks MMXIII, Melbourne (Victoria), 2013.