Event

Invitation to practice Collective Alchemy, 22 May

Friday May 22, 2020

 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST AFRAID TO LET GO OF AND WHO WOULD YOU BE IF YOU DID?

 
To practice Collective Alchemy is to walk a dual path:
 
  • The Via Negativa consists of the practices that burn away the personal ‘dross’ that clouds the individual’s capacity for clear transpersonal consciousness. These are ‘deconstructive’ practices that heal old wounds and unmake our egoic identities.
  • The Via Positiva consists of practices to help us access, explore and strengthen Integral consciousness, that clear transpersonal consciousness that can support humanity in this epochal shift. (For more on Integral consciousness, see part V of the Practice Guide and watch out for Helen’s upcoming blog ‘Updating our ways of knowing’).

From now on, in our Collective Alchemy practice calls, we will be walking this dual path together, alternating between the paths of Via Positiva and Via Negativa. The ‘duality’ doesn’t stop there, either. We have seen the power of having two calls on our practice day every second Friday – one in the morning to accommodate the Asian time zones, and one in the evening to accommodate North America. The two calls seem to open up a kind of energetic practice portal which allows us to spend these hours together during and between the calls, sleeping or waking, in the sacred space of collective alchemical practice.

In our last call, Friday May 8, we took our first step on the Via Positiva, with an unselfconscious foray together into Integral consciousness.
 
In our next call, Friday 22 May, we shall start the journey along the Via Negativa, working with the Matrix of Alchemical Procedures (see the section on the Mechanics of Collective Alchemy in part III of the Practice Guide). Alchemy is a structured process of transformation which proceeds through a sequence of phases, the first of which is Calcination. This is what we will be working with in our next call, based on the calling question:
 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST AFRAID TO LET GO OF AND WHO WOULD YOU BE IF YOU DID?

 

In Calcination, ‘the substance is burned until nothing remains but ashes’. What is burned in calcination is the base matter of false roots. Just as in the last call we leaned into what is true, so in this call we will lean into what is false. The false roots we are called to burn are our attachments to all transient conditions that distract us from who we really are. We can detect these false roots through symptoms of anxiety, the pain of loss and the suffering caused by fear of loss, and the onslaught of external upheavals. These symptoms seem very much to be part of life these days. Alchemically, all losses have just one purpose: to reconnect you with your true self. As alchemists, then, our interest lies in speeding up the process of calcination so we can spend as much of our lives as possible in the productive pursuit of living as who we really are. And yet, this intense burning is not something we are likely to relish; it smacks of great suffering. While we could (and many do) reduce our suffering by learning detachment and developing inner composure through practices like meditation, from an alchemical perspective, that is irrelevant. Resisting, clinging, struggling will only make that fire burn hotter and faster, and the resulting calcination will be rapid and thorough! 
 
“There is no such thing as luke-warm alchemy.” 
 

If you are intrigued by this practice and want to do more of it, please consider becoming a Patron of Collective Alchemy

Crucible Visual by Viola Tschendel

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