The Alchemical Pumpkin

In the dark of the new moon before Samhain, four of us initiated the Game of Subtle Alchemy. In that game we play with desires, polarities and the alchemical principles, to reveal our Supernatural abilities.

My game plan for this month looks like this:

SALT PRINCIPLE: Thinking, Attraction, Projection

SULPHUR PRINCIPLE: Feeling, Courage, Masculine

MERCURY PRINCIPLE: Feminine, Masculine detail

How to play that hand?????

The day before Samhain, it rained and rained. The ‘play indoors’ kind of rain I remember as a kid, because I’m old enough to remember playing outside most of the time. A perfect pumpkin carving day!

In previous years, I’ve gone for the traditional fierce jack o’ lantern style, and it’s always been a solo effort. This year, after 32 years of marriage, we made our first pumpkin together…….aaawwww…….and it turned out to be a cutie.

What does this have to do with the Subtle Alchemy Game?

Mirroring Mercury

The Mercurial Principle in alchemy is the most subtle. Salt is obvious, in your face, physical reality, albeit with mysterious, feminine depths. Sulphur is most easily recognized as the fiery drives of self-expression, both conscious and unconscious, as well as will and intention – a masculine energy. Mercury has been called the universal spirit, Castaneda’s mirroring attention, present in everything. A great deal has been written about it that sounds clever, intriguing even, yet leaves me none the wiser.

In our game, I drew Feminine-Masculine-Detail in the Mercury Principle and Dean drew Masculine-Feminine-Big Picture. That certainly pinged our attention. But what did it mean?

As we played with our pumpkin, we felt the principle in action, mirroring the ideas, actions and intensities that each of us expressed on our pumpkin project. It’s one of the ways the Universe brings itself back into balance, that can be experienced here on Earth. I wanted to add a dimple (Detail) and Dean didn’t (Big Picture). We could have argued about that, but recognizing the pattern, we laughed and our Tiger Pumpkin remains dimple-less.

Tiger Pumpkin

As it turned out, the friendly tiger hiding in the alchemical pumpkin had a few morsels to share.

Wholistic Projection

When you look at a carved pumpkin glowing in the dark, you can’t not think about light, shadow and projection.

I used the term Wholistic Projection in Subtle Alchemy, without describing what I meant by it. Projection is no accidental by-product of the psyche – it is nothing less than a Supernatural ability when opened up.

Projection is the mercury of intention, that makes it stick.

If projection isn’t running on full power, intentions fall short of their target.

What drives full metal projection? The fire of self-love, more than anything.

Jung’s original concept of the shadow personality does not imply that there are toxic flaws lurking in the ore of your nascent character, but society only values raw material for exploitation. As children, in our natural, devotional innocence and desire to fit in, we filtered out the parts of ourselves that didn’t fit society’s mould – and if you didn’t do that well enough, there are always plenty of ‘helpers’ with hammers to bash you into shape later.

The result dimmer light, weak projection and less contrast.

‚ÄúThere is no light without shadow and no psychic wholeness without imperfection.”

Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy

However, we don’t just project the aspects of ourselves we were trained to dislike – we also blindly project the most precious parts of ourselves onto others. Thinking about it, I wouldn’t be surprized to hear one day, that science has discovered that the entire human genome is projected in every biophoton. As such, most of what we project is necessarily, and thankfully, unconscious. You can never ‘see’ what you are projecting (this is due to the specific workings of the eyes and the different functions of the left and right eye) but you can assess the results by what you attract. Mercury mirrors the content of your projections directly into your soul (sulphur) and that can be delightful, or extremely uncomfortable.

Seeing into Life

Once you recognize this process, you can make the adjustments needed to turn up the power. If projection is the mercury of intention, sulphur is the drive – once you know you are projecting and take responsibility for what you project and what you attract, you can put a little or a lot in the mix.

Projection is part of vision, as is mirroring. Where is the boundary – do we ‘see’ reality into existence?

Drawing Hands, M.C. Escher, 1948

What are you projecting? And what is bening projected onto you?