The Muse of Alchemy ….ūüĆĻ

Lady Alchymia is the guiding principle of Alchemy and is also known as the Anima Mercuri. She is Nature , but she is also the astrum – the stars . She is Quintessence , the 5th element.

‚ÄúAs above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul‚Ķ‚ÄĚ Hermes Trismegistus

Lady Alchymia – the muse of Alchemy

There are 2 entwining paths in alchemy …..which end in one .

THE SOLAR PATH РThe first way of knowing is rational, deductive, argumentative, the intellectual thinking that is the hallmark of science and our patriarchal Western culture. The alchemists called this consciousness the Solar path and assigned it many code words, such as ….Sun, Fire, Sulphur, and Spirit. The solar path is the King.

THE LUNAR PATH РThe alchemists called the other way of knowing Lunar. This kind of intelligence is a non-linear, image-driven, intuitive way of thinking that is an accepted tool of the arts and religion. Among its symbols are the Moon, Water, Mercury, Lady Alchymia the Holy Ghost, Soul.The lunar path is the Queen.

THE STELLAR PATH – is the sacred marriage of both the King energy and the Queen energy. The alchemists believed that perfection could only be achieved by working with both Solar and Lunar ways of knowing and ultimately uniting them in a third state of¬†Stellar Consciousness, the Egyptian alchemists called this the ‚ÄúIntelligence of the Heart.‚ÄĚ

Paracelcus – the great alchemical physician was¬† father of modern day homeopathy. He saw the function of¬† his remedies as¬† the restoration of celestial harmony between an inner ‘astrum’, or star, in man and a heavenly astrum.

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Brigid and the Secret Fire ……

Here is Brigit the Sun Goddess who sits  the Divine Forge and Sacred Hearth . She is  capable of transforming , with her own magical, alchemical, divine transmutation, one thing to another. Because of this she is the keeper of the secret Fire, a substance containing Heaven and Earth, which  is the 5th element after fire, air, earth and water. This is the  fire used in  alchemy and also the fire which Prometheus stole from Heaven. It  is serpentine in nature symbolising  life  force. It is the energy of  Kundalini, Chi, Prana.

Brigit reaches down into the dark Earth to connect with the ‘divine spark’ , she offers us divine inspiration . She is also Goddess of poetry and resides over purification and the waters of the sacred wells. Her energy is celebrated at Imbolc, a time of the stirring of growth within the dark earth. Three rivers are named after her …Brigit in Ireland, Braint in Wales and Brent in England .

“Seek that which is not possible” ….These are the words Carl Jung carved above his Hearth within his beloved Tower house.

Brigit and the Secret Fire

An Old Gaelic hymns for Imbolc reflect the nature of her celebration and her kundalini aspect;

‚ÄėEarly on Brides morn, shall the serpent come from the hole.

I will not harm the serpent, nor will the serpent harm me.’







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Echo’s lament for Narcissus

Echo was an Oread, a mountain nymph. She had a reputation for talking rather a lot and used this skill to distract Hera from searching for her husband Zeus who is conducting numerous affairs. As a punishment, Hera takes away Echo’s voice so that she is only able to repeat whatever she hears, a voice becomes an echo. She is silenced and loses her own authority.¬† Wandering one day she catches sight of Narcissus and falls madly, maybe obsessively in love with him. He catches sight of her but spurns her telling her he would rather die than be with her. And from then on she can only echo his voice and watch as he falls in love with his own reflection in the water. He too becomes obsessed, with himself,¬† and eventually dies as Echo watches on. His body by the pool becomes the Narcissus flower. Echo wastes away with only the Echo of her voice remaining.¬† A tale of obsession? narcissism or the search for the Beloved? Certainly one of loss and grief.

Echo’s lament for Narcissus


ECHO’S LAMENT FOR NARCISSUS¬† by Ben Jonson(1572-1632)

Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears;
Yet slower, yet, O faintly, gentle springs:
List to the heavy part the music bears,
Woe weeps out her division, when she sings.
Droop, herbs and flowers,
Fall grief in showers;
Our beauties are not ours:
O, I could still,
Like melting snow upon some craggy hill,
Drop, drop, drop, drop,
Since nature’s pride is, now, a withered daffodil.

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The Red Seeds Oracle

At our village’s open studio event next weekend I will be launching¬†¬† a new creation ….‘The Red Seeds Oracle’. I am Looking forward to seeing anyone that can make it to the Chapel . I dedicate this to the Feminine , to all the women I have known, to my mother, my sister¬† and to my daughters .With love and¬† special thanks to¬† Capella, my daughter, without her love and expertise this would not have manifested.¬†

Some words by the great Sufi poet RUMI for you all x

“You suppose you are the trouble
But you are the cure
You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it
It’s too bad that you want to be someone else
You don’t see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.” ……. RUMI



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The Harpie OCYPETE and the Swifts

Today the swifts have returned to their nests in the eves of  the chapel I live in. Every year I   wait excitedly for these amazing visitors to return to my hearth with activity and screeching.

OCYPETE..meaning ‘swift wing’¬† was a Harpie – a¬† feared mythic woman with the face of a bird and¬† wings. In earlier versions they were seen as beautiful winged wind-spirits and known for their beauty . Later they were transformed into screaming winged monsters.¬† In Greek and Roman mythology, the Harpies were employed by the higher gods to carry out the punishment of crime. The Myth¬† tells that the Harpies stole¬† food . On such an occasion Ocypete was chased relentlessly and tried to escape by flying over the Ionian Sea. However, she was forced to land and fell exhausted along¬† over the shores of¬† two islands which received the name “The Strophades” (the islands of the swift), these islands became the harpies’ residence. The Harpie has been¬† used metaphorically to refer to a nasty or annoying woman ( or just a woman) and has been used as such in books, plays and colloquially and¬† mostly used in a misogynistic manner.

‚Äú…hope is a bird with swift wings, and she took flight before he could stop her.‚Ä̬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sarah Winter

OCYPETE – The ‘Swift’ Harpie

Historically, swifts have been known as “The Devil’s Bird”. Their legs are stunted for they have no need of then as they feed, drink, and preen in flight and are the only group of birds known who actually mate on the wing.¬† The only time they stop is to lay their eggs and feed their young. They return to their nests every summer , having travelled for up to 3,000 miles in just a few days. They¬† can live for 20 years .A third of British swifts have been lost since 1995, blamed in part on the disappearance of suitable nesting sites in the UK.

‚ÄúIt soared, a bird, it held its flight, a swift pure cry, soar silver orb it leaped serene, speeding, sustained, to come, don’t spin it out too long long breath he breath long life, soaring high, high resplendent, aflame, crowned, high in the effulgence symbolistic, high, of the ethereal bosom, high, of the high vast irradiation everywhere all soaring all around about the all, the endlessnessness…‚ÄĚ James Joyce – Ulysses





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ANIMA MUNDI – The World Soul ūüĆé

This print depicts the World Soul as seen from the perspective of alchemy …she wears the red stone also known as the philosophers stone which is a symbol of enlightenment. She is the connection between Spirit and Matter. She is the Divine spark and the echo of the Universe .

“To the alchemists, the philosophers‚Äô stone, their son of God, was not begotten in the womb of the Virgin Mary, but in the womb of Mother Nature. Jung reminds us that ‚ÄúNature is not matter only, she is also spirit.‚ÄĚ…Paul Levey

ANIMA MUNDI … The World Soul

ANIMA MUNDI –¬† is a feminine principle which was historically considered the “soul of the world”, the essence and spirit¬† of human, animal and plant life on Earth. This was understood by the ancient philosophers and the alchemists who regarded the World Soul as a pure ethereal spirit diffused throughout all nature, the divine essence that embraces and energizes all life in the universe. In the Renaissance the World Soul was understood as the force that guides the unfolding of nature and the cosmos.

Anima Mundi Thurneisser zum Thurn, Quinta Essentia, (Leipzig: 1574)

The World Soul was also the creative principle that the Renaissance artists sought to channel in their work. Their art was based upon the same sacred proportions they saw in nature, and they understood the imagination as a magical power that can ‚Äúlure and channel the energies of the anima mundi.‚ÄĚ The alchemists continued to explore the anima mundi. While the Church looked for light in the heavens, the alchemists sought the light hidden in matter, in the earth itself. They understood that there was a sacred essence within creation, which through their experiments and imagination they worked to release. For the alchemists the anima mundi is the divine spark in matter. For our ancestors, psychology and ecology were one which originally formed the archetype of the Anima Mundi. Today it¬† can still be seen that our human psyche and the world psyche are deeply interconnected -via our human connections to each other and our connections to the health of our planet. The feminine nurturing aspect of the anima mundi needs awakening¬† in an overly dominant egocentric western society ….. on an individual level and a collective level.

The last Major Arcana tarot card number 21 ‘The World ‘depicts the Anima Mundi


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VESTA and the phallus of fire…..

‚ÄúIn each moment the fire rages, it will burn away a hundred veils. And carry you a thousand steps toward your goal.‚Ä̬†¬† …..RUMI¬† trans by Coleman Barks

VESTA and the Phallus of Fire

VESTA and the Phallus of Fire

Vesta, Goddess of the home and hearth,¬† resides in her circular temple as the sacred fire. Where most temples would have a statue, that of Vesta had a hearth, she was the flame and¬† was rarely depicted.¬† The fire was a religious center of Roman worship, the common hearth¬† of the whole Roman people. The sacred¬† fire not only burned in the inner sanctum of her temple in the Roman Forum, but also¬† in the homes of the Roman people. The people believed that Vesta’s fire guarded their world, families and lives, and that if the fire went out, Rome would fall to invading barbarian armies. To prevent this from happening, the Vestal priestesses¬† kept the eternal flame alight in Vesta’s temple, ensuring the connection¬† between the gods and humankind¬† would remain unbroken. Although Feminine,the priestesses were treated as men , an elevation for woman in such a patriarchal society . The priestesses were wed to the God – the phallus of the fire. Vesta was recognised as an androgynous diety – a union of God and Goddess energy. She was associated with the phallus and as such¬† was the embodiment of the Phallic mother. A sacred phallus was among the objects considered vital to the security of the Roman state which were in the keeping of the Vestal virgins. She was worshiped as the most virgin and clean of all the gods, and known as the Mother who granted fecundity and fertility.¬†Ovid explained “Vesta is the same as the earth, both have the perennial fire: the Earth and the sacred Fire are both symbolic of home.”¬† Vestas festival,the Vestalia¬† (7-15 June), was regarded as one of the most important Roman holidays, existing well after the Roman conversion to Christianity.

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” …..Albert Schweitzer


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