Empathy – fuelling the alchemist’s fire.

Here is a paradox. Alchemy is a solitary pursuit, and yet for it to be successful it needs to be utterly shared, utterly given back, utterly given away. An attempt at alchemical transformation without this generosity, without love, is doomed to fail. You simply can not work the alchemical opus for your own, small, personal…

Withdrawing projections, ripping the veils, the gift of broken trust.

  The experience of withdrawing projections and rebalancing in the truth can be an immensely painful one. It is essential to the project of becoming more whole that we accomplish this task however, that we allow ourselves to see what is really the truth in our life in all its disappointment and with all its…

Ode to Autumn. Keats. Landscapes of imagination.

Beautiful poetry for a beautiful time of year. Thank you to John Keats for his eye which could see this and his vision which led him to write it down. One of the things I have always loved about this poem is the personification of autumn – it brings the sense of the imaginal world…

Omnipollent nature – beauty in the ordinary

Just in case you wanted another miracle (and the The upward pointing icicle and other miracles was always a popular post on this blog) here we have a bee with blue knees. The pollen she is collecting comes from one of these lace cap hydrangeas. But the whole blue suede knees thing is to be encouraged I…

Confounding Perception – use of collage for transpersonal psychotherapy

Any good definition of transpersonal psychotherapy includes something about how we can consolidate, ground, and embody moments of transpersonal knowing.  Over time, these moments can begin to come together in to a coherent pattern, a change of heart which opens new vistas of awareness and understanding for the person. Transpersonal approaches to psychotherapy seek to…

A Blackbird Singing: full throated beauty.

This poem by RS Thomas captures this alchemy of joy and sorrow – the heart opening depth of the evening. It seems wrong that out of this bird, Black, bold, a suggestion of dark Places about it, there yet should come Such rich music, although the notes’ Ore were changed to rare metal At one touch…

Storming out of the darkness

When transformation comes, it is sometimes at the pace of a glimmer, a hint, the tiniest and merest minute sign that something is different. But sometimes that spark catches, like an early May day, and the whole of a person’s life can be transfigured. Boom! Just like that. Did you go to the countryside this…

Albedo – alchemist’s purity, alchemist’s peril.

By the light of the silvery moon…..albedo is the whitening stage of alchemy. How do we recognise it, how do we work with it, and what are its dangers? Although we are often mightily relieved to move out from the dreadful clutches of nigredo in to the white, imaginative, open, diaphanous, cleansing rising of albedo,…

Solutio – the Alchemist’s surrender

Coming apart, dissolving, letting go of structures. The alchemical operation of solutio, the purification by water, is a fundamental and observable feature of the transformation of matter (and of what matters). The alchemical operations are ways of understanding how something is worked on in the process of transformation. So if we are changing lead to…

The Emerald Tablet

The earth reflects heaven and heaven reflects  earth, and there is no division between these realms. Everything proceeds from the origin. This knowing is, and is  engendered by Light and by loving reflection. It became known through the body and understanding gently emerged there approached with wisdom and love. It will be constant and it will…

The upward pointing icicle and other miracles

So the upwards pointing icicle came to my garden one morning about five years ago. I still have no idea what to make of it. It was there, bold as brass, or a little icy excitement, emerging from the frozen ice of the pot. Icicles usually go downwards. This one went upwards. There was no…

The forgotten mistress of the king.

This poem by Rowan Williams has become a favourite of mine. Glory and defeat, victory and humility, all  there.   For Inna Lisnianskaya Barefoot, down the long woodland corridors of frost, Over the needles, walks the forgotten mistress of the king. She smells of grapes, candles, black furs. Of cooking smells, and smoke in a…