courtesy of Gail Kavanagh

C Alchemy Symbols

Chinese Alchemy

The Chinese Taoist tradition is probably the oldest alcehmical tradition. In contrast to Western Alchemy, which is concerned with transmutation of metals, the focus of Chinese Alchemy is on spiritual elixirs and vitality of life. Records tell of transmutations of Exilirs as early as the second century BC, Ko Hung, c,300 AD. A legendary Chinese alchemist states that cinnabar and mercury are essential elements in gaining the Elixir. There are many texts suggesting that the attainment of immortality by Taoist sages. Alchemy was also practiced in Tibet. Many traditional Chinese medicines owe their existence to earliest alchemical experimentation.


Mindfully he mixes them, yin earth and yang heaven, within the alchemical vessel of his own body. He can feel the circulation of forces within, brewing the profound elixir - refining the combination of inner resources and outer elements into a profound medicine.

C is for Facing Chaos

The first stage of the work is encountering CHAOS. The adepts warn of the fearful hidden dangers. "This science requires a philosopher and not a madman" they say. Taming the prima materia, that stone which, vile and precious the same time, exposes untold terrors. Nothing will ever be the same. This step is irreversible. The path for renewal lies ahead. The adept has broken into the very crust of Mother Earth, revealing hidden treasure as well as dread. The hidden symbolism in this expression refers to the opening of the gates to the subconscious.

Now the darkest secrets of the psyche can emerge. In alchemical illustration the subconscious is often represented by flooding rivers or oceans. This early stage in the work is represented by the Toad which dissolves into its component elements. "It is necessary first of all to mortify the stone, that is, to draw out the body, soul and spirit. For there is no profit in this art without mortification, but mortification is the separation of the elements."

Containing the Collective Unconscious

courtesy of Winnie Rose Reyes

Containment by Lori Gloyd

Jung believed that each mortal has an individual role to play in the evolution of human consciousness. Jus as our collective human capacity for consciousness evolved out of the unconscious psyche, so it does with each individual. Each of us umst, in an individual lifetime, recapitulate the evolution of the human race, and each of us must be an individual container in which the evolution of consciousness is carried forward.

Making containers

Soul Food is just one of the containers we have for storing material from the collective unconscious. The blogger archives are like a rich treasury, filled with wonderful insights into the human condition.

As individuals we can make various containers to store insights that we glean as we delve into the wonderland of the unconsious.

Apart from using journals we can put things in boxes, bags and other containers.

As a part of a trade I sent Jane Tilton a Lemurian Tote Bag and she wrote telling me that she was embroidering other things on to the bag and would store her Lemurian work in it. What a sensational idea! Such a bag is a perfect container for material drawn from the unconscious. I now plan to store my art books in one of these bags.