Our latest installment in the free members-only course is a collection of writings, slides, and information focused on the theme of the Art of Distillation, a foundation technique of Alchemy and Spagyrics with endless application in the work. The Art of Distillation is also the new Module we’ve added for the next session of the School, starting in April of 2012.
The Art of Distillation encompasses so much about lab work- the Art aspect, in which each person follows their own inner guide and creates something unique; and the Distillation process, which is an important technical skill to master. And, as we discussed in this article, like all Alchemical practice, Distillation is best understood by looking to Nature for guidance and wisdom.
This idea, that Nature herself is the source of information about Nature, is not a new concept, and it is not confined to some “other”, more enlightened culture. In the West, we also have this tradition to tap into, and the lineage of it is carried in Alchemy and its sister Art, Spagyrics. Reclaiming this tradition and sharing it with new students who will add to and expand it is one of the primary missions of our School.
In the next session of the School, we will debut a new curriculum which we believe will connect students with this level of understanding even more deeply. In this expanded schedule, we have added a new Module called the Art of Distillation, where we will explore this important process in great depth. Just five months into the session, this new study will allow students to do hands on lab work earlier in the program, while also linking the inner work of Know Thyself to the later, more complex lab work.
For the schedule and tuition information on the 2012 session, see this page. If you’re interested in joining us in the next session, make sure you sign up for our newsletter using the signup box on the right side of this page. Select Alchemical School as an interest, and then watch your inbox for instructions on enrolling in the free subscriber course and applying to the full School in January.
As we finish one complete cycle of our School and prepare to welcome new students next Spring, we are also expanding our community education offerings, and have created a new course with free membership to anyone interested.
This course is part of our ongoing expansion of the School of Spagyric & Alchemical Arts, and will offer more in-depth articles, videos, lectures, and texts than the basic sample course. It is also part of the community building that we are working towards in the School, opening the philosophy and practice of Alchemy and Spagyrics to a new audience and maintaining it as a living lineage.
Right now in this course, we are presenting a slideshow on the lab process of bringing a Magistery to maturation, a text on Paracelsian medicine, part one of a lecture on Hermetics and Alchemy, and a selection of important resource texts. Later this year, we will be posting further installments in the Hermetics lecture, a slideshow of lab practices for working philosophically, and a presentation on the Art of Distillation.
For information about enrolling in this new course, use the signup box on the right side of this page to join our mailing list. Make sure to select “Alchemical School” as an interest, and then watch your inbox for confirmation and instructions. If you’re already on our School newsletter mailing list, watch for a link to signup instructions in the next newsletter.
Our first group of students has graduated from Module One, and will be moving on to their next Module in a few weeks. We have been greatly enjoying our teaching experience, and will be enrolling new students starting in November.
Our next open session will begin in March of 2011, and will be the formerly separate units of Know Thyself and Plant Alchemy and Spagyrics, combined into one Module, which will cost $800. Application will start in December, announced through our School newsletter, and students will be selected by random drawing, as before. We’re happy to say that we will be able to accept twice as many students for this session as we did in our inaugural class.
This Module will cover ancient history of Alchemy and Hermetics, Qabalah and the planetary energies in spiritual work and healing, and working with Spagyric principles in healing. It is offered entirely online through our School website, and includes written texts, recorded lectures, live chats and discussions, and many hours of personal guidance and interaction with us. For more details on the curriculum of this and the later lab work Modules, see this article on the School website.
If you’re wondering how the online School will work, or if it is right for you, you should visit our sample course to see the classroom in action. We set up the sample course with actual text excerpts, lecture clips, and discussion examples, and it was created in the actual classroom site that students use for full courses. It really gives a feel for the type of material we are working to pass on to students, and our methods for sharing our work. To access the sample course as our guest, click here.
We are excited about the growth of our School, and look forward to many more connections with students who will carry this work forward- be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out as we go forward!
Later this month, I will be presenting a lecture at the International Alchemy Conference in Los Angeles, October 23-25. The title is “Body, Spirit, and Soul: an Alchemical Philosophy of Nature”, and we will be discussing the three levels of being in Alchemical and Spagyric philosophy as well as our own work.
Modern science and philosophy draws a line through Nature’s creation: on one side is the human realm of spirited and ensouled beings, while across the divide lives everything else in a state of purely physical existence.
But this was not always the way we looked at the world, and it doesn’t have to be our worldview now, especially as we begin to realize the price that our environment pays for a philosophy that holds most of the world to be inert and unintelligent.
Alchemical and Spagyric philosophy is rooted in a time when all of Nature was understood to contain body, spirit, and soul just as we do, from the active world of animals down through plants and even to the quieter mineral kingdom. All that Nature created was seen as ensouled, alive, aware, and intelligent; in the plant realm, this intelligence was understood as the true source of healing.
In this talk, I will discuss the three levels of being in plants from both an historical and personal perspective, drawing on my studies of Hermetic and alchemical philosophy and my own work as a gardener, herbalist, and Spagyric practitioner. Alchemy and Spagyrics offer powerful ways of connecting with our forgotten Western lineage of vitalist and magical connection to nature, as well as giving us ways of moving that lineage forward into a re-enchantment of matter itself.
This lecture will also be a great opportunity to experience the type of material we will be teaching in our Alchemical School, as well as getting to know us as teachers, so if you are considering the School, we hope you’ll come to the conference and my talk.
For more information about the International Alchemy Conference, click here.
Many people have responded to our survey about the Alchemical School, and we are very grateful for the input we’ve received so far. The data and numbers are very helpful in the planning we are doing now, as are all of the extra suggestions and ideas offered.
The survey has ended, and next we will begin meeting in earnest to plan the school and create a vision that meets all of our needs. We will keep this site section updated with our responses, ideas, and plans based on the survey results, but for now, here is a report of the responses so far.
Have you studied or practiced any Alchemy before?
- None: 27.7%
- History or Theoretical Study: 51.4%
- Psychological or Inner Alchemy: 50.9%
- Basic Laboratory Work: 22.5%
- Advanced Laboratory Work: 1.2%
Why do you want to study Alchemy?
- General personal enrichment: 78.6%
- To care for friends and family: 66.5%
- As a spiritual path: 79.2%
- To use in a healing practice: 80.3%
- To create a business: 26.0%
What applications of Alchemy are you interested in studying?
- Inner (non-laboratory) work: 85.0%
- Plant Alchemy: 96.5%
- Mineral & Metal Alchemy: 82.1%
Do you have a suitable space for a lab?
- Yes: 71.7%
- No: 20.8%
- I’m not interested in lab work: 7.5%
How many hours a week can you commit to pursue your studies in Alchemy?
- less than 1: 0%
- 1 to 4: 41.0%
- 5 to 9: 31.8%
- 10 to 15: 16.2%
- 15 or more: 11.0%
Per year, what could you budget for equipment?
- $0: 0.6%
- $100 to $300: 22.0%
- $300 to $500: 29.5%
- $500 to $1000: 23.1%
- more than $1000: 17.9%
- I’m not interested in lab work: 6.9%
Which scheduling structure would you prefer?
- Long guided course: 71.7%
- Intensives only: 17.9%
- Another system: 10.4%
How many times a year are you free to travel to an intensive in Oregon?
- None: 9.8%
- Once a year: 50.3%
- Twice a year: 39.9%
What is your budget for yearly tuition?
- $500 to $1000: 52.0%
- $1000 to $2000: 25.4%
- $2000 to $3000: 10.4%
- $3000 to $4000: 1.7%
- Other: less than 500: 2%