The goal of Gaian Alchemy is the completion of the Great Work, as explained in an earlier post: Regeneration; orientation to Gaian Alchemy. There is no completion date, of course, but we are in the completion timeframe and the conditions are damn near perfect. The ancient alchemists had to generate the state of chaos needed to make matter mutable, but those conditions are now generously provided, saving us valuable energy. The framework, tools and clues are in place and now it is just a matter of application and dedication to the pleasures of discovery.
Stages and Phases
The Gaian Alchemy Retreats will address two core themes, Regeneration and Time by following the three main stages to the alchemical process. We don’t know how many stages the original alchemists used in their experiments, it could have been four in some cases, seven in others, but I’m following the model described by John Lash in the Course in Gaian Alchemy that he taught in the 80s and working with three. These are:
Formation and Fixation
With regard to phasing: the two Gaian Alchemy Retreats this year will concentrate on Formation and Fixation within the context of Regeneration. I’m planning for next year’s retreats to address Formation and Fixation with regard to Time. After that, those strands will come together, as appropriate, for the Coniunctio followed by (trumpet fanfare, if you will) the Magnificatio, “The expansion of consciousness to encompass the realm of Mythical Beings and the expansion of the senses.” JLL. I’m anticipating that the work will grow organically, like mycelium, with fruits in different locations and I’d like to see new ways of working together emerge. I’ve had to create some sort of structure, so I can envisage how the Work might progress, but I’m not intending to teach Gaian Alchemy as a set course – it’s much more about setting people up to take the work forward in their own way and supporting the Work as best we can.
Formation and Fixation
The Formation and Fixation stage could be described as the process of recovering the memories of where your senses originated and how to use them correctly. We don’t use our senses correctly, for the most part, because the theatre of human experience has been constructed to put the human at the centre of any experience, but not in any interactive relationship with anything else! For example, you might look at a tree or the stars, but there is no ordinarily accepted recognition of the fact that the tree and the stars are also interacting with you via that look. The observer effect acknowledges that observing an object, situation or phenomenon necessarily changes it, but it does not consider the possibility that the observer is also effected by the interaction. This two-way effect is not imaginary, even though it might not be measurable by instruments. There are biochemical and electromagnetic exchanges that occur between all living things, including the earth and cosmos, that the alchemists knew by other names and portrayed in their illustrations. The modern human is no longer able to use his/her senses to this degree of subtlety, however, we can choose to recover our senses.
The process of Formation and Fixation enables you to experience how you are located within the atmospheric membrane of the earth and how your senses were designed for interaction with all other forms of life on the planet and the plenary sovereign intelligence of the planet itself. The format of learning in the retreats will be some formal group teaching and discussion, followed by experiential exercises and one-on-one coaching sessions, for individual goal setting and support. There will also be a group task/project involving direct sensory and imaginative interaction with the land. The structure is intended to support ‘playful learning’, in a relaxed way that accommodates individual drives, talents and expectations (including my own) as much as possible.
The topics to be covered will include:
the three dimensions of space (enclosing space, surface space and enclosed space)
human identity and the Fallen Goddess Scenario as the guiding narrative
the human effect, intention, reason and desire
the process of recognition
kundalini and the grounding mechanism
DNA, biophotons and the challenges of time and light
I’m anticipating that what you’ll learn here will enable you to begin the process of regeneration, because this has been my experience. The ‘remembering’ of how to use your senses correctly and interactively with nature, within a guiding narrative that explains both earth and human origins AND is open-ended, makes if possible to use your imagination/consciousness fully, without falling into the trap of the ‘fantastic imagination’. The fantastic or fantasy imagination could be described as that which does not align with the dreaming of the earth. My experience is: fix the senses and the imagination follows.
Around the first quarter moon, seven or eight nights into this Bhairavi/Shodashi double shift, I dreamt about the sword in the stone. It was more an observation than a dream, the sword in the stone with an image of the brain superimposed on it.
A few days after my dream, John presented the Jupiter timeline, shown here.
But what is the meaning of the sword in the stone/brain motif?
Cueing is a subtle function of the mirroring attention. As it dances and shimmers, it fires neurons and dendrites in your brain into sparking up new synapses and guides your perception so that you notice some things rather than others. When such a powerful image as the sword in the stone, embedded as it is in the human imagination, shows up in a dream and in the sky and literally on earth within the same timeframe, it is an irresistible call to investigate further. Especially as I’d also been given a tarot card, the Queen of Swords, in a dream six months previously. The second image, of the sword in the brain, was my starting point – what connects the two images?
I like to play with the three attentions to get my dopamine fix, so I looked up some images of the brain.
The first thing that caught my attention was a structure called the fornix. I’d never heard of it before.
“The term fornix comes from Latin and means “arch.” It is used to refer to various arch-like structures in the body, but when used in reference to the brain it indicates a bundle of white matter fibers that arches around the thalamus…..
……The diverse group of structures known as the limbic system is now thought to be involved in much more than emotion, and the fornix is still considered an important part of the limbic system. The fornix acts as the primary outgoing pathway from the hippocampus, and thus its most recognized function is its involvement in memory. The hippocampal projections that travel in the fornix are thought to be important for memory consolidation, and damage to the fornix has been associated with anterograde amnesia, which involves the inability to create new memories. Fornix damage is primarily linked to deficits in declarative memories, or memories for factual information—and especially episodic memories, which are a type of declarative memory that deals with autobiographical information.”
The fornix is also known as the dream box, as it is said to be where your dreams come from. So this arched, vault-like structure, that brought to mind the outline of an anvil, links your experiences to your sense of self, through the faculties of memory and dreaming. Wow – what a hit!
(BTW: if that wasn’t enough, women also have a fornix near the cervix that is involved in orgasms.
According to the Constellations of Words, the word fornix is linked to fornax:
“The word broth (from *bhreue-) resembles the word brothel. Brothels were called fornices (hence fornication), i.e. ‘arches’, because prostitutes used to gather ‘under the arches’ of certain buildings of ancient Rome . The word brothel comes from another *bhreu– root: *bhreu– Also bhreue-. ‘To cut, break up’. Derivatives: brittle, brothel (from Old English breothan, to deteriorate, from Germanic *breuthan, to be broken up), bruise, frustule (the hard, siliceous bivalve shell of a diatom), frustum (the portion of a solid – normally a cone or pyramid – which lies between two parallel planes cutting the solid). [Pokorny 1. bhreu– 169, 2. bhreu–s– 171. Watkins]
The word brand from Old French brand, and Old Norse brandr, also meant a ‘sword, or sword-blade.’
“In alchemical terms, ‘the Philosopher’s Sword’ is the fire in the furnace” [Penguin Symbols].
An athanor, or alchemists’ furnace, is an Arabic word ‘al-tannur‘, Hebrew tannur, related to Akkadian tinnuru, meaning a furnace or oven, usually shaped like an egg . Built of brick or clay, it was designed to keep an even heat over long periods of time. The alchemists considered it an incubator and sometimes referred to it as the ‘House of the Chick.’  The making of the Philosopher’s Stone (also referred to as the Philosopher’s Egg) requires the combination of the purest possible sulfur and the purest possible mercury, to be combined in the athanor .
Alchemists regarded the athanor, in which the process of transmutation took place, [as] an egg-shaped matrix, like the world itself, which is a gigantic egg, the Orphic egg which may be found at the base of all initiatory rites both in Egypt and in Greece. And just as Ruah Elohim, the Spirit of the Lord, floats upon the waters, so ought the spirit of the world, the spirit of life, to float above the waters of the athanor. The alchemist needed the skill to make this spirit his own.(GRIM p. 392) [Penguin Symbols]”
And there is the link between the sword in the stone and the sword in the brain: in alchemical terms, ‘the Philosopher’s Sword’ is the fire in the fornix. The fornix is the biological structure that enables you to self-identify within the dreaming of the Wisdom Goddess, so that Her dream can come through you and the sky writing shows what is currently being fired up. So far so good.
Thalamus, bridal chamber and cosmic egg
You will also notice that the structure below the fornix, the thalamus, is egg shaped. The walnut-sized thalamus is located right in the centre of the brain and is variously referred to as the cosmic egg, the bridal chamber and the gateway to consciousness. Its main function is to distribute incoming sensory information to appropriate regions of the cortex so that it can be actioned or stored. However, it also functions as a gatekeeper, only delivering information in accordance with your state of consciousness. In non-ordinary consciousness, such as in a telestic or shamanic trance or a full-body kundalini experience the thalamus is the dipole centre-point of the feminine/negatively charged pituitary gland via the ida channel and the masculine/positively charged pineal gland via the pingala channel. In these peak experiences the cortex is so flooded with information that it is often impossible to act on it, or even recognize it at the time. The fornix holds this content in memory, as part of your life experience and helps you process it in dreams so that you can express it later.
The thalamus doesn’t get much attention, as compared to the more popular pineal gland, but turns out to be quite mysterious. It was named by a Greek physician, Claudius Galen who lived from around 129AD to 210AD and went to Rome to revive the ideas of Hippocrates. He described and named the thalamus, meaning ‘bridal chamber’ from ‘thalamos’ meaning inner room. He considered that the thalamus supplied the ‘animal spirit’ to the optic nerves. The part that looks like the egg yolk is called the Massa Intermedia, but only 70-80% of the population have one and it is often smaller in men. It is a bundle of tissue that connects the two halves of the ‘thalamus walnut’ and is said to be functionless by medical science! Intermedia means connection across multiple channels and the thalamus is also a part of a flower.
Can you hear the bells?
Note also, the similarity between the Eye of Horus and the thalamus, with its yolk like Massa Intermedia.
At this point in my research, my mind leapt to the second attention, the realm of imagination, so I decided to sleep on it. The next day was the 7th September, when Jupiter completed its seven month cycle and returned to the womb of the Virgin and Arcturus was high and bright in the sky. Perfect conditions for a shamanic realignment session to explore this topic in non-ordinary consciousness.
Shamanic Realignment of the Imagination
In the most general sense, a shamanic realignment session realigns your imagination with the imagination of the earth. You need an intention or topic to make the connections and in this instance I aimed to witness what was happening with the sword in the stone/brain motif. A shamanic realignment session differs from a telestic session in that you invite the Wisdom Goddess into your body, as opposed to going out to meet Her. The subject is more personal than for a telestic session and can focus on a healing issue or what might be termed, self-actualization or transmutation.
Before the session I made sure to get express permission from my two male companions, to guide the process – a crucial prerequisite. This time I was able to describe the activation of the ida and pingala as they snaked up my spine, crossing at the chakras, as it was happening. As soon as they passed they passed the throat chakra, the temperature dropped, the honeycomb lattice became visible and there was a low, subauditory hum around the tipi. Then all the dogs in the neighbourhood started barking and our dogs ploughed into the tipi, like hyper-excited children at a birthday party. It was immediately clear to me that this session was going to be hands-on learning.
The lesson was in concentration and how to speak so that the power of the Aeonic Mother is in the words. I told my companions that rather than being disturbed by the dogs, we were going to use our focus and concentration to silence the area and stop our dogs from entering the tipi. I guided them in holding focus and concentration and that’s what we did. We were able to repeat the process three times, so that we were all satisfied that the silence and non-disturbance was the result of our focus and concentration. The simply beautiful take-away from that lesson was that it really doesn’t take much effort to enforce your boundary and bring calm to your immediate vicinity. Don’t invite in what you don’t want. Boundaries are sacred to the Aeons.
But what does this have to do with the sword in the stone? There is always a flood of information that comes with these sessions, as new synaptic connections are made in the brain. The power of the word is given to all sovereign human animals but, in order to use it, you must recognize your own sovereignty. You can only recognize your sovereignty through your actions, when you rise to the challenge and grasp the sword with both hands – that is to speak the truth, intentionally and clearly, at the time that it matters.
I add the qualifier, ‘intentionally and clearly’ because mindless chatter and emotional outbursts, no matter how personally intense, do not wield Her power. Neither does logic without personal involvement, no matter how well expressed. It is only when you care deeply enough about something AND are able to maintain the presence of mind to be able to speak clearly in the moment, that the ida and pingala bring sufficient charge to the thalamus, and the ‘bridal chamber’ regenerates. Then you know you share the power of the Wisdom Goddess.
As Arcturus pointed to Jupiter in the womb of the Virgin, the legend of King Arthur was cued and called your attention to the question of sovereignty; were you born to be sovereign, to wield the supreme power of the Aeon Sophia, to co-create your experience with your words? Spelling only works when you hold the s-word.
“The highest desire of the gaian dakinis is that you command them with pleasure.”
Yolanda of Galicia, in completion with Shodashi, 2017
In researching my next post I came across this passage from John Lash:
“When Kundalini is raised from its dormant state, higher intelligence blossoms, and there are other effects as well. Gnostic sects such as the Ophites practiced the communal raising of Kundalini to produce an protective envelope against Archontic intrusion. In effect, they held Kundalini, the sexual-spiritual energy locked in the body structure, to be the main instrument of defense against the Archons. The Dialogue of the Savior, NHC III, 5 (85), contains this exchange:
Judas said, “Behold, The authorities (Archons) dwell above us, so it is they who will rule over us.”
The savior said, “It is you who will rule over them. But only when you rid yourselves of jealousy, and take on the protection of the Light, and enter the nymphion (bridal chamber).”
The savior-teacher is emphatic that we have power over the Archons, but he also makes it clear that some human failings impede the use of our power. The Greek word phthonos may be translated as “jealousy” or “envy.” Gnostics considered envy to be the signature of the Archons, as well as the key human failing that makes us vulnerable to their intrusion. “The protection of the Light” comes through activated Kundalini, often described as a lightning-like tide of electrified light that pours through the body. “Nymphion” is a code word for the ambient cell of psychophysical protection generated by high levels of Kundalini.”