Lemuria - The Place to Work
The Lemurian constellation of WordPress blogs and Enchanteur's journey is the opus - the work. A pilgrim quickly discovers that one can integrate many facets of their personality and attain psychic wholeness within Lemuria. Many have described the sense of wholeness that they have attained as a result of meeting inner mules and alter egos. Julia Clay, for example, describes the Mirror Work.
In the tradition that I study, anything can be a mirror of my inner process - people, animals, and most especially nature. For so many of us “modern” men and women - nature is “out there.” What we forget is that nature was there before we arrived and if we do not totally destroy our planet - she will be there long after we leave. Perhaps what has changed is our relationship with Her.
When did we decide that nature is something to be trussed and tied, subdued and contained, managed and devoured?
What hope is there for our earth if we see Her only as a supplier of natural resources? What will happen when all the ones who can remember how to praise her have crossed over? It is easy to fall into despair and despondency and to feel helpless. It is far more difficult to pay attention to what is working, and follow that flow of energy.
How do you pay attention to what is working? Where is nature a mirror for your inner process?
When I told my family and friends about my plans to quest - many of them were frightened. They shared their worries with me - would I get lost? probably not… be eaten by a bear? not likely… encounter a mountain lion? gosh that would be a thrill! mostly they wondered what would happen to me - alone for three days and nights - fasting for four days and nights.
What happened was a glorious conversation with the non-human world - reflecting back to me with utter certainty that the whole world is holding its breath - waiting for me fill the niche that only I can fill.
The process of reincorporation - literally coming back into my body - is at times painful and prickly - but I am finding my way - expanding my breadth of experiences and finding the men and women who can be clear mirrors for me. When we look into a clear mirror - and like what we see - it is our incipient self looking back at us - yearning to be re-membered.
Here I go mixing metaphors - but roaming through Lemuria weaves so many disparate parts of my life together into one exquisite tapestry. So many yarns and threads of varied textures and colors, thicknesses and weights - skillfully combined to tell my story - my larger story - my epic tale - my heroic journey and all around me are clear mirrors - reflecting possibility, creativity, and courage right back at me!
It is with reverence and gratitude that I kneel before Enchanteur and place this tapestry on the floor before her. Heather stands beside her with Raven on her shoulder. Looking into their eyes, they hear me with the ears of their hearts. And if you are reading this - you too will hear this piece of the tale.
Enchanteur heard me knocking, saw my creative potential, and pulled me close to her. She let me feel her beating heart, let me breathe in rhythm with her, sprinkled me with the seeds of dreams and the visions of enchantment.Upward we swirled and flew on the wings of ravens, down we penetrated - into the dark, black, holding spaces of incubation, and then returning to the middleworld, she gave me a pair of wings, some spectacles, and several other useful items (and that darn candlestick) and she gave me a nudge in the direction of previous travellers and wished me well.
Leaps of Faith
O is for Opus (The Work)
The Opus by Heather Blakey
In the popular imagination, the alchemist is a seeker of gold, driven by personal profit and greed to extract that precious substance from base metals. From a modern-day perspective, attached as we are to material wealth, this reading of the alchemist's exploits are understandable. But while there were those 'puffers' who did indeed mint coins and sought riches and fame, some were at least after an 'inner' gold. This was variously known as the Philosopher's Stone, Golden Flower, Elixir of Life, and universal medicine, depending on a particular tradition, but all symbolising the search for the supreme and ultimate value.
The alchemist's quest was one of self-development, attempting to integrate the many facets of personality to attain psychic wholeness. Alchemy, as the depth psychology of an earlier age thus required infinite patience, subtlety in appreciation and dedication to the Art, often at great personal sacrifice.
The work or opus of alchemy was an inner repetition of the cosmology outside - except, on the psychological level, the alchemical process was a complete reversal of our contemporary notion of biological evolution - as an expanding, outer process on the physical plane. Its final 'goal' was inorganic matter, either a metal (notably, gold), a mineral, a crystal or a stone.
For the alchemist, the world is read through substances, with alchemy itself being a means of entering the realm of imagination. The world was seen in terms of imagination interacting with concrete substances through impersonal, objective operations. It was thus a discipline built entirely on the psychological phenomenon of projection. The alchemist projected his psychic state onto matter and matter, likewise, projected its transformations onto the alchemis. It was a dual process, a mirroring back of physical operations on substances, each one resonating with all human experiences hitherto lying dormant within the personal psyche. By projecting psychic processes into the matter which was to be transformed - from a 'lesser' substance, the prima materia (eg, lead, earth, water or dung) into a more valuable substance (eg, gold) - the alchemist was, in effect, attempting to transform human spirit from a lower to a higher form.
Operations called calcinatio, solutio, putrefactio, mortificatio, coagulatio, coniunctio and so forth, like the materials and vessels used, were personified metaphors of psychological processes. Imaginative processes of dismemberment, torture, cannibalism, decapitation, flaying, poisoning; and images of monsters, dragons, unipeds, skeletons, hermaphrodites, et al spoke a pathologised language recognising they worked simultaneously on both the soul in his materials and the soul in himself.
For the alchemist, the vessel was something truly marvellous, a kind of matrix, or uterus, from which the miraculous stone or 'divine' child is born. As a place of containment, it was both womb and tomb, death being intimately connected and essential to new life. In us the retort is the vessel of memory and imagination, holding events and fantasies where they can be subjected to the heat of passion and feeling or to the simmering of thought and reflection. In this retort, events of life decay, losing their literal form; but they also ferment, acquiring taste, bite, and body - a good cook of the psyche knowing the best combinations of temperature and time, when to let things simmer and when to bring them to the boil.