Melissa: Queen of the Bee Haven

It’s just before Imbolc and in the garden, Melissa is thrusting her crinkled, heart-shaped leaves through the cold wet clay with wild abandon. I picked some leaves and made a strong infusion and let it cool, so I can sip on it everyday as I make her acquaintance.

Melissa officinalis, aka Lemon Balm, is a member of the mint family, the Lamiaceae. This is a huge and aromatic family of over 6,000 species, including pennyroyal, peppermint and spearmint, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, oregano, hyssop, horehound and self-heal. Many of these plants are indigenous to Europe and others have found their way here and made themselves at home. Melissa arrived in the second year of the garden, just one plant initially, but now she´s spread herself about, as is her nature and she is most welcome.

Winter Melissa

Melissa: goddess, bee and plant

In the reality we are creating here in our little patch of paradise, all the plants, trees and animals look out for each other and it´s a great pleasure to learn how to communicate and work together. Melissa is helping us bring in the bees! The plan to make a bee haven fell into place last autumn and we are getting some hives this spring, however, I didn’t recognize Melissa’s initiatory role in this process until I began my research.

The name Melissa is Greek for ´honeybee`, from ´meli`, meaning honey. According to Greek mythology, Melissa, a daughter of Melisseus the king of Crete and a demi-god who taught the use of honey and beekeeping, nursed the infant Zeus, feeding him goat’s milk and honey. In other stories, Melissa the nymph discovered honeycomb and mixed it with water to make a drink and taught others how to do the same, so the bee was named after her and she was appointed their guardian. Then there are the Melissae, (meaning ´bees`) the ancient priestesses of Demeter, Aphrodite, Artemis, Cybele and Rhea, who dressed and danced as bees and are said to have referred to Aphrodite and Artemis as Melissa, the Queen Bee. Bee priestesses still follow this tradition today.

Who was the original Melissa? Was she a goddess, a bee or a plant? Or all three at once? That doesn’t matter and can never be proven anyway. I like the ´Melissa myths` because they highlight the use of creative imagination and the powers of naming, exaltation and invocation. Contrary to popular belief, the naming power does not require knowledge of the ´true` or ´secret name` of anything, which do not even exist. To use the naming power, you only have to satisfy yourself that you have named something, or some one, correctly and she/he/it will naturally respond to your energy, exactly as a ´true name`. You experience this with nicknames and pet names and it is this power that some one once used to name honey, so as to exalt its unique qualities and then to invoke a higher power, a god or goddess of honey to teach its uses.

You name a plant, an animal, a mountain or a secret wild place to enter into a relationship with it and it doesn’t matter whether the name is original or common, so long as you hold it to be true – which is not the same as believing it to be true. There is no heart-opening, no giving and receiving with belief. Naming, exaltation and invocation are useful skills as it becomes increasingly difficult to discover how things work through conventional means. It’s also great fun.

Personally, I prefer the proper name Melissa, to the mundane lemon balm. Exaltation in alchemical terms means to elevate the essence of something to its highest potential, to ennoble it. It doesn’t mean separating spirit from matter, which is impossible, and it doesn’t need laboratory equipment.

I recognized Hekate, the ´Key-holder` at the crescent moon and called on her to show me how to navigate the liminal space between sensory input and the world of ideas, so I could get to know Melissa.

Melissa’s Silent Voice

For at least 2,000 years, it has been known that growing Melissa around hives keeps bees content and helps prevent them from swarming, and it also works to attract new swarms. I’ve transplanted Melissa seedlings from other parts of the garden to the bee haven, so that it will grow as a fragrant carpet under the plane trees, along with rosemary, lavender, cotoneaster, escallonia and abelias. Melissa flowers through summer and into autumn, providing both the nectar and pollen that bees love. Bees find plants like Melissa through sight, smell, electrical fields and pheromones.

Pheromones are part of the invisible network that enables an organic garden to thrive. They are similar to hormones but, whereas hormones are biochemicals that regulate behaviour within an organism, pheromones are released into the atmosphere to communicate with other members of the same species, or even of a completely different species. For example, plants emit pheromones to warn other plants of the same species about insect infestations, so that the forewarned plants can change the chemical constituents of their sap to make themselves more unattractive to the insects. There are alarm pheromones, food trail pheromones, sex pheromones, and many others that affect behavior or physiology. I’m pretty sure plant pheromones regulate human behaviour to some extent too, although the science is still unproven.

The volatile oils of Melissa have a very similar chemical makeup to the bee pheromone Nasonov. Worker (female) bees release Nasonov to call other foraging bees to food sources and to help them find their way back to the hive. Swarming bees also release Nasonov to call the rest of the swarm to the new location. Apparently, humans can smell Nasonov and it has the same pleasant, lemon-mint zing as Melissa. On a warm day, just running your fingers through a Melissa bush releases a fragrance that seems to cause you to inhale deeply and relax…….and then I found myself wondering about the relationship between the bees and Melissa. Out of all the plants in the garden, why does Melissa alone have this specific fragrance? What more does Melissa have to tell? Is odour Hekate`s key?

And what exactly is being unlocked here? Could it be a special tool for the co-creation of your unique life story?

The Key to the OL-factory

What we think of as a single smell is actually a combination of many odor molecules acting on a variety of receptors, creating an intricate neural code that we can identify as the scent of a rose or freshly baked bread. Each odour receptor, located in the olfactory epithelium of the nasal cavity, can be activated by many different odour molecules, and odour molecules can activate several different types of receptors at the same time. However, the some interactions are a better fit than others.

Leslie Vosshall of Rockefeller University, describes it like this:

“Think of a lock that can be opened by 10 different keys. Two of the keys are a perfect fit and open the door easily. The other eight don’t fit as well, and it takes more jiggling to get the door open.”

Our sense of smell is the only one of our senses that connects directly to the limbic system of the brain before going to the thalamus. The limbic system is the gateway to our intuition, memory, emotions, dreams, and higher consciousness. All other senses go to the thalamus first, from where they are routed to specific parts of the cortex for action. The olfactory bulb has direct connections to the amygdala and the hippocampus, where emotions and memories are processed.

This means that a specific smell (an odour engram) is tagged as positive or negative according to previously experienced odour engrams, BEFORE being sent to the thalamus for processing alongside input from the visual, auditory and tactile senses. In this way, what you actually perceive and are able to act upon, has already been filtered according to how you responded emotionally to odours you encountered in the past, whether you are aware of it or not. Smell rules!

This excerpt from an article featuring the work of Sissel Tolaas, a Norwegian artist and researcher who specializes in smell perception and what it reveals about us in the world, illustrates the point perfectly:

“There is nothing either good or bad, but smelling makes it so. The evolutionary purpose of smell, Tolaas says, is to help us find sex partners and food. In both pursuits, humans are widely accepting “generalists”; the only other species as indiscriminate are cockroaches and rats. Given our accommodating natures, we are not hardwired to dislike the smell of perspiration or excrement, she believes. But the cultural practice of censoring so-called bad smells trains people in disgust. Tolaas concedes that some smells are to be avoided because they are harsh or toxic, but insists that the reason we wrinkle our noses at billions of others comes down to simple prejudice.

Smell promotes a life beyond the “blandscape.” An overlooked feature of smell, Tolaas believes, is its capacity to promote joy. “We are born neutral,” she says, and as children we use our noses to encounter each day afresh with an attitude that is naturally open and curious. When we reclaim our true sense of smell, our senses work together in greater harmony. Subliminal impressions are brought to the surface, emotions become more vibrant, and we develop a greater tolerance for things that once disturbed us. “We become more appreciative of life and living,” she insists. Each day Tolaas exercises her nose as compulsively as athletes work their muscles, inhaling different smells to savor their distinctiveness. Her nose has become so sensitive, she says, that she need only breathe when she enters a meeting to assess the mood of the participants and judge how she should behave.

How to retrain your nose. Tolaas vanquishes olfactory prejudices by capturing a smell, cataloguing its molecules and replicating it with her store of 4,000 chemical components. Then she transfers the smell to a new environment, often without identifying what it is. She has observed that subjects who sniff a “bad” smell repeatedly find it gradually changes into an “interesting” one. Afterward, they may show more affection for the source, be it a polluted city or pungent subway car.”

From: How smell shapes our perception of the world around us.

In 2018, neurobiologists at the University of Toronto discovered an additional neural pathway from the olfactory system to the hippocampus, that is involved in a proclivity towards novelty regarding smells. The hippocampus (from the Greek hippos, meaning “horse,” and kampos, meaning “sea monster” because its shape resembles that of a sea horse) is also part of the limbic system, dealing with the formation of new memories and spatial navigation.

According to Afif Aqrabawi, from the Toronto team:

“In other words, we’ve discovered how you are able to remember the smell of your grandma’s apple pie when walking into her kitchen.”

Their research also showed how part of the olfactory system called the anterior olfactory nucleus (AON) plays a vital role in forming what-where-when memories from smells. They found that healthy mice, with all the connections working, preferred to spend energy smelling new odours than familiar ones. They then discovered that they could mimic the odour memory problems seen in Alzheimer’s patients by disconnecting communication between the hippocampus and the AON.

These two commentaries show how SUBJECTIVITY, NOVELTY and PLACE are hardwired into the processing of smell. You can use this functionality to locate yourself in the past and in the spent narrative, or to anchor yourself in the co-creation of your new story, effectively the honing of your soul. As I explained in a previous post, Killing Time with the Quantum Pixies, I find navigation via narrative better than time-related references for the purposes and pleasure of alchemical transformation and regeneration.

You embed yourself in your new story in your chosen location, by paying conscious attention to smells and using them to ´tag` events and experiences. It is subjective, in that your experience and how you feel about it is unique to you, and yet there is another, highly reassuring, factor here to be taken into account, which brings us back to Melissa.

Mother Nature has designed some plants to be beneficial to everyone.

Melissa in Alchemy

Paracelsus revered Melissa above all other herbs and it was a key ingredient in his famed Elixir of Life, along with saffron, celandine and Christmas rose. The complete recipe is unknown, but according to Paracelsus the art of prolonging life is to find and alchemically process the substances that correspond to the essence of human vitality: “Life of man is nothing else than an astral balm, a soothing effect, a celestial and invisible fire, encircled air and a penetrating salty-spirit.” He knew that Nature was not averse to prolonging life and he considered his Elixir of Life to be a universal strengthener of life force and spiritual essence, which he referred to as the Light of Nature, rather than a medicine or a remedy.

The original archetype Melissa embodies is unknown. Some sources, say that Melissa is ruled by Jupiter, others by Venus or the Moon. Paracelsus considered Melissa to be supra-celestial by nature. It is probably closest to the Sun in terms of astrological convention, but the principle here is that Melissa does not conform to a specific planetary vibration. It is a plant that acts on all frequencies.

Hildegard von Bingen (from 1098CE) had a similar perspective:

“Lemon balm contains within it the virtues of a dozen other plants.”

Paracelsus did not get to test his Elixir of Life himself for very long. He lived the lonely peripatetic life of the misunderstood genius, who conveyed wisdom from a different narrative and was unpopular for confronting the orthodoxy of his day. He probably sought solace in the bottle and died in 1541 under suspicious circumstances in the White Horse Inn near Salzburg, Austria, most likely murdered by thugs in the pay of the medical mafia. (Sound familiar?) He was 48 years and 3 days old.

Some of his work on rejuvenation and regeneration survived and it is very much based on his studies of nature and the physical world: “It is not against nature to live for the renewal of the world. It is only that which we are mostly deprived of that is beyond our comprehension…..No one should be astonished and no doctor shall change his colour upon the fact that life can be prolonged.” He understood the archetypal relationship between plants and celestial bodies very clearly and how these can be used to correct imbalances within ourselves.

Two recipes for his Primum Ens Melissa are documented. The Primum Ens is the first entity, whereby the light of nature or life force is said to have been released from the plant into an essence, which when digested can restore lost youth more radically than is usually seen in nature. You can find both recipes here: I have not tried them myself and a cursory search through various alchemy forums will show that those who have, have not achieve the desired results. External conditions are very different today.

My focus is on inner alchemy, rather than lab work; my body is the alchemical vessel and the membrane that separates me from the external world is porous. All the processes of alchemy, emerge from the three vibrational levels of nigredo/fungus-putrefaction, albedo/weak life force-palour and rubedo/the rosy-blush of vibrant good health, that take place within the human body. I make changes and I observe how it affects me and the world around me. So the first thing I noticed about Melissa is its smell, which is both uplifting and relaxing. I find the scent of crushed Melissa leaves to be expansive, heart-opening, uplifting and soothing at the same time. The medieval Persian herbalist described said it, “Maketh the heart merry and joyful.” Over time, I feel that it balances the energies between the heart and the mind.

Melissa’s perfume is missing from the Primum Ens Melissa, in fact some of the lab alchemists who have tried to make the essence describe it as having a musty, slightly decaying smell. Given what we now know about the sense of smell, and Melissa’s unique fragrance, I do not see how an essence or tincture of this particular plant can be effective without allowing for the participation of the olfactory system.

“We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.”

Hildegard von Bingen

Benefits and Uses of Melissa

Melissa infusion: a small handful, 9-13 leaves, will make a pot of tea. Be sure to crush the leaves and smell deeply, before putting them in the pot. Let steep for 15-20 minutes, more if you like a stronger brew. You can drink it hot, with honey if you like, or let cool and chill for a refreshing cold drink. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge. I like to make Melissa and yarrow tea, as the arrow of yarrow guides plant medicine to where its needed most.

The nootropic benefit of Melissa is worth a mention, as it improves brain levels of acetylcholine through an inhibitory effect on acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter responsible for communication between the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system throughout the body. In the brain it is involved in the formation of memories, verbal and logical reasoning, and the ability to concentrate. Acetylcholine also offers protective benefits and may limit the neurological decay associated with degenerative diseases. Melissa helps improve memory and cognition and is also considered to be neuroprotectant.

The tea is very calming and helps with stress and anxiety, which also contributes to better thinking. It is a cooling nervine and very effective for all kinds of nervous tension, headaches, migraines, heart palpitations, period pain and menopausal issues (it’s especially supportive for women and children) and insomnia. For nervous pain associated with injury or back pain, I think St John’s Wort might be more effective. I have read recommendations for combining St John’s Wort and Melissa, but I haven’t tried that myself.

Melissa is considered safe for children and animals. I’ve given it to Freya sometimes, if she’s been a bit unsettled and it helps her calm down very quickly.

Melissa oil: crush Melissa leaves (don’t forget to sniff them first) to fill a jar, fill with extra virgin olive oil and leave to macerate in a warm-ish dark place for 4-6 weeks. I’m using a yarrow/Melissa blend at the moment and it smells delicious. I rub it over my heart chakra before going to sleep, as I feel it helps me get to sleep quicker and eases some congestion I’ve been experiencing around my heart chakra. Some sources recommend it for the brow chakra too – mind and heart.

Melissa tincture: I haven’t made this yet, but according to Matthew Wood, The Earthwise Herbal: “A tincture of fresh melissa should be on the shelf in every household as a general sedative.”

He says this about the uses of lemon balm:

“Lemon balm has a sour taste, as its name indicates – it is one of the few sour mints. Like most sour plants, it is cooling and sedative. It combines this property with the typical nerve-calming powers of the mint family to make a strong, but safe and simple sedative. These powers are much more marked when the plant is tinctured fresh……..

Melissa is a general remedy in some cases and a specific in others. Although it will generally sedate most people, it is particularly suited to conditions of sympathetic excess, hyperadrenalism, or hyperthyroidism. It is especially indicated when these tendencies are associated with the stomach or the heart. Heart palpitations, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and even aneurysm have found a treatment in melissa. It is sometimes combined with Lycopus in hyperthyroidism or is specific by itself. Keynote symptoms include sweaty palms (an indication for nervousness or sympathetic excess), a rapid or superficial pulse, and an elongated, pointed, red tongue.

In addition to being cooling, sedative and calming, melissa is diaphoretic, so it is applicable in fevers with nervousness and in the fevers of young children. It is also used in nervous depression following exhaustive fevers and for convalescence when the digestion has long been irritated.”

Matthew Wood, The Earthwise Herbal

The list of conditions helped by Melissa is too long for me to go into each one, but if you are affected by any of these it might be worth researching Melissa and trying it for yourself:

  • thyroid problems (has a balancing effect on both hyper and hypo issues)
  • digestive issues
  • herpes (topical application)
  • liver and heart conditions
  • insect bites
  • fevers
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • detoxification

Wild Juicing

Foraging for weeds

Whatever the weather, our day starts with walking the dogs and (sometimes with cats in tow) and sometimes foraging for weeds. We are lucky to live in an area where there is no intensive farming, no crop spraying and lots of hedgerows, meadows and verges, where the wild plants flourish. Our own land was not occupied for 40 years before we moved here so, although it is hard work clawing out a few patches for cultivation, at least I know that our soil is relatively uncontaminated.  In the height of summer, when it can be very hot and dry, there’s not usually so much to be had from the wild, but we usually have plenty in our garden then.  Foraging and wild juicing is more of a winter activity for us.

I started juicing two years ago in spring when the cleavers came out en masse and almost begged to be juiced. I bought a Lexen Manual Juicer, as the electric one some one left us is so big and noisy and I have Luddite leanings. What a joy this little machine is. It makes beautiful, rich and slick juice and is so satisfying to use – and easy to clean. I much prefer it to the electric version. Chopping the plants and fruits and pushing them into the machine and watching the juice and pulp come out is a kind of meditation. 

Wild juice ingredients

Wild juice recipe

  • 2-3 crisp apples
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • Large thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • Handful of coriander/cilantro leaves

And several handfuls of one or more of the following:

  • Beetroot
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli leaves
  • Cabbage (red or green)
  • Carrots
  • Chickweed
  • Cleavers
  • Coriander/cilantro
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Kale
  • Lemon balm (not too much as it’s very strong)
  • Mallow (not too much as it’s very gooey)
  • Milk thistle leaves
  • Parsley
  • Plantain leaves
  • Radish leaves –
  • Red Clover
  • Swiss chard
  • Wheat grass
  • Yarrow (not too much as it’s pucker-power astringent)

For our tastes the apple, celery, ginger and coriander/cilantro is the basic blend and then whatever greens are available. This juicer prefers hard fruits, technically it’s a wheat grass juicer, so anything too mushy doesn’t work so well. We grow broccoli, kale, swiss chard and cabbage for most of the year, hopefully the ginger, coriander/cilantro and apples will make it this year and we find the ‘weeds’ on our walks.


Fresh green juice

Biological power plants

The human body is a biological power plant, as it transduces multiple energy sources for different systems and processes. Oxygen is used as the primary fuel to break down food, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins in order to power movement and essential physiological processes, such as digestion, respiration, mitosis and repair. The nervous system is considered to be primarily electrical, driven by the polarizing actions of the sodium-potassium pump in response to stimuli and then back to the resting state after external stimulation. The nervous system uses about one third of the body’s overall energy capacity, regardless of physical activity or lifestyle choices. Except in cases of injury, poisoning or chronic illness, most ‘nervous conditions’ can be significantly remediated through diet. However, more recently some researchers are considering that the nervous system is powered by light.  And what about the senses????

The human body also creates energy. I cranked my manual juicer with kinetic energy, not hard enough to make me sweat (thankfully), but just being alive creates thermal energy. And then there is light. All life forms radiate light, which is electromagnetic energy. Some electromagnetic energy is visible to the naked eye, like rainbows or laser beams, but most isn’t.

Your body grows new retinal cells every two days, new skin in six weeks, a new liver over an eight week period and new nerve cells in a matter of months. So what stops us from regenerating and why do we all show signs of ageing, with advancing years? Those are big questions, with many answers, but in biological terms your body needs three things:

  • the right raw materials from which to construct new cells;
  • sufficient cellular energy to enable it to use the raw materials;
  • a working communication system, so it knows what to do and when;
  • a guiding narrative that attunes you to health and regeneration.

If any one of these three components is depleted, as they mostly are, you don’t heal and regenerate as you were designed to do and eventually you succumb to total systemic failure – otherwise known as death. Additionally, cells, systems, habits and even civilizations all go through a natural process of apoptosis, signified by chaos, and that’s one way of looking at the current conditions. The question is: what do you do about it? You can just find yourself a safe haven and ride out the rest of you life as best you can and there’s plenty to be said for that approach, I nearly ended up there myself. But funnily enough, when I found my safe haven, here in Galicia, I began to perceive and experience life in a very different way. Life gushes, sprouts and oozes through every pore in the earth and atmosphere here and I want more of it. This leads back to the plants, the wild plants and weeds……

Have you ever stopped to consider why you need to put so much time and effort into weeding the garden? The weeds always win! They are stronger, better adapted to the environment and they are prolific, whatever the conditions, the weeds survive and return more quickly than cultivated plants – they are the power plants. That’s because they grow as Nature intended, they haven’t been hybridized for yield benefits or so they can be transported over long distances, irradiated and still look tasty on a grocery store shelf. Domestic vegetables are designed for profit and wild plants are designed for life. Wild plants contain at least 5 – 10 times more nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, phytochemicals and biophotons than supermarket vegetables. 15 grams of nettles contain far more nutrients than 100 grams of healthy romaine lettuce. I’ve long suspected that one of the reasons I didn’t do well on a vegetarian diet was lack of minerals. I’m very reluctant to use supplements, as I regard them as suspiciously as I do every other processed ‘food – made for profit, rather than health. Several studies have shown that the mineral content of wild edible plants is higher than their commercial equivalents, which stands to reason if the wild plants are collected from soil that has not been depleted through industrial farming methods. However, there is another reason, that is even more significant and that is light.

Eat light!

Biophotons, that is light emitted by life, were discovered in 1923 by Russian scientist Professor Alexander Gurvich, who originally named them “mitogenetic rays”. German biophysicist Fritz-Albert Popp proved their existence in 1974 and subsequently developed biophoton theory based on observation to explain their possible biological role and the ways in which they may control biochemical processes, growth, differentiation etc. This work is now continued in a network of research laboratories in more than 10 countries, although it remains outside of make-believe mainstream science.

The radiant light emanating from animals and plants that is too faint to be seen by the naked eye. It would be like seeing a lit candle in the dark from 20km away, but it has been repeatedly photographed using the Popp designed photomultiplier devices.  In humans it appears to be most concentrated in the forehead, the throat and the chest area.

According to Popp, living cells and DNA use electromagnetic waves to communicate and transfer information. Substances and unnatural electromagnetic fields, disrupt the natural cycles of light emission causing loss of coherence and poor intracellular communication, so that the body is unable to generate new healthy cells. For example, Popp found that cancer cells were not attuned to the rest of the body ie. out of synch, dancing to a different tune.

A biophoton is always emitted before each of the appproximately 100,000 biochemical reactions that occur per second in every cell in the human body. There is no biochemical reaction that takes place without the preceding biophoton signal, which is why it is considered to be the ‘steering system’ for all the biochemistry that takes place in the body. The communication system of the body is more akin to fibre optics than copper wires.

If you can find a very local source of edible wild plants, give wild juicing a try and I’m sure you’ll notice the benefits in a few weeks. Popp considers the biophoton content to be of far greater importance than just the nutrient or caloric content of a food freshly picked, as it brings coherence back into the body. Health and regeneration is just not possible without communication and coherence. Eating plants with a high biophoton content helps correct the deficit caused by electromagnetic pollution and reconnects you with nature – another part of the story. Wild edible leafy green plants have the highest biophoton content of all foods available, as the ancient alchemists surely knew.

Green Lion Devouring the Sun


There are said to be around 100 trillion microbes in the gut, bacteria, fungi and protozoa and they are part of the digestive process. Essentially, they break down different foods in various ways, by providing enzymes that the body does not produce itself. A healthy microbiota (community of microbes) results in good health and an optimized immune system. Conversely, lack of microbial diversity in the gut has been implicated in many conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, eczema, heart disease and obesity.

The microbiota is adversely affected by sugar substitutes, such as aspartame and sucralose and saccharin, medications and antibiotics and food additives in processed foods. However, it will recover quickly when these are stopped and natural wholesome foods are introduced back into the diet.

I take the view that the microbes in my body and those in the environment act as one super-organism and are in continuous communication with each other. So eating local wild foods enhances my connection with nature and supports my intuition and regeneration (which depends on signals from the environment), as well as my health.

The Radioactive Riddle of Hexagram 42

I Ching Hexagram 42: Increase

Hexagram 42

I’m working on the Gaian Alchemy Course at the moment, editing it for publication on Nemeta and getting ready to start teaching it at retreats here next year. As always happens when you focus on anything to do with the Sophianic Mysteries, your attention intensifies the subject of study and brings it to the forefront of your life. Such is the alchemical process of magnification, right in your face. As such, I’m writing this in alt-reel time, as a work-in-progress and a taster of what’s to come.

In the Gaian Alchemy Course, John Lash describes the purpose of the ‘Great Work’, the incremental (increasing) aspect of the Human Effect on the Cosmos, as such:

“In simple language this means [the Human] must realize how to fulfill itself by giving out far more than it ever takes in, or needs to take in. This of course totally defies the second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy which states that any “energy system” will ultimately exhaust itself in the process of converting in-put and out-put back and forth.


But to defy entropy is quite presumptuous. A genuine alchemist will never make any fantastic claims that cannot be supported by the evidence of nature. If the alchemist sees far-reaching possibilities of the Human, the prospect must be verified through a real phenomenon already existing in nature, so that what the alchemist proposes can be seen as a natural extension of that phenomenon.


The notion of the Human extending and completing Nature is [summarized]: what Nature takes a long time to evolve, the Human finishes off in a short time. So far, we see mostly the destructive aspects of this dynamic. But the alchemists had another angle on all this. In many strange statements, they frequently referred to the Human as taking up the work of Nature and completing it.


“In the symbols and rites of metallurgical operations there comes into being the idea of an active collaboration of man and nature, perhaps even the belief that man, by his own work, is capable of superseding the processes of nature.” The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and Structure of Alchemy, Mircea Eliade.”

So my first question was: where is the evidence for Human increase, or completion of the processes of Nature?

One of my favourite methods of inquiry is to form a question and hold it lightly in my mind, resisting groping around for answers from any pre-existing knowledge or experience. Some patience is needed (not my personal forte) and after a while, at exactly the right time the answer is revealed through a series of ‘clues’. The Wisdom Goddess loves this game and guides you to what you are looking for, and more.

And She collapses Time in the process. The Aeonic Mother had, in fact, been guiding me to this question before I was even aware I had a question and had already set me up to begin exploring the interaction of minerals in the body – I’ve written posts on sulphur and iodine and in the blink of an eye, a book called Minerals for the Genetic Code, by Charles Walters, dropped into my lap.

I found this book very interesting. It describes the work of Dr Richard Olree who has created a ‘map’ that brings together several different ‘perspectives’ of the human body and finds the correlations between them. These perspectives are the Standard Genetic Code, the Walter Russell table of the elements (as opposed to the more familiar Mendelyev table), the relevant electric valences from the Mendelyev table, the amino acids that are coded, the vertebra of the spine, the meridians and the I Ching. The resulting map is called the Olree Biological Periodic Chart.

A Cautionary Note on Genes

Before I go into the main topic of this post, I want to make a brief comment on the subject of genetics: the theory that DNA makes RNA which makes protein is referred to as ‘the central dogma’ and is mostly theoretical. The more the genome is studied (in the mode of current science) the less is known and the only common ground is that the current view is incomplete, simplistic and not supported by evidence. Bruce Lipton’s research presented in the Biology of Belief, that genes are not deterministic of behaviour via the proteins they code, but responsive to signals from the environment that are themselves shaped by belief and perception, follows a well-developed line of inquiry.

“For biological research, the twentieth century has arguably been the century of the gene. The central importance of the gene as a unity of inheritance and function has been crucial to our present understanding of many biological phenomena. Nonetheless, we may well have come to the point where the use of the term “gene” is of limited value and might in fact be a hindrance to our understanding of the genome. Although this may sound heretical, especially coming from a card-carrying geneticist, it reflects the fact that, unlike chromosomes, genes are not physical objects but are merely concepts that have acquired a great deal of historic baggage over the past decades.”


Geneticist William Gelbart (1998)

Modern gene research bears a certain resemblance to Pasteur’s germ research, in which the theory with the greatest profit potential, ie one germ, one pharmaceutical to kill it, killed off the superior scientific research regarding how the organism responded to the environment, of Antoine Beauchamp. Today, you just need to identify the gene that causes the problem and money will be thrown at you to splice it out!

Watson and Crick won the Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA in 1962, after at least 10 years research into how DNA stored and replicated hereditary traits. The double-helix DNA model is familiar to everyone, but these images are all computer generated and based on X-ray crystallography, which involves scattering X-rays off atoms in crystallized arrays of DNA to form complex patterns of dots on photographic film. Images are then interpreted using complex mathematics. They are not real.

These images are of DNA strands, seen through an electron microscope, which sees electrons rather than photons. The first image (A) shows the chromosomes, which only come to light when the cell is preparing to divide. The bottom image is of chromatin, which is how DNA looks when it is not dividing.

DNA, chromosomes and chromatin


I am considering the outrageous possibility that the Anthropic genome is not to be found in the DNA at all, but (at least in part) projected into the ‘vessel’ with the DNA acting as a receiver of sorts. Not so far fetched maybe if you consider the work of Luc Montagnier, joint winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008, who claims that DNA can send electromagnetic imprints of itself over distance, which can be used by enzymes to create exact copies of the original DNA. (See:  DNA Waves and Water. ) He filed a US Patent on technology that can detect the ‘phantom replica’ of DNA, unfortunately without knowing that the US Patent Office is run by xenosh crooks.

Also consider the work of Martin Blank and Reba Goodman: DNA is a fractal antenna in electromagnetic fields.

Whichever way you look at it, genetics is far from settled science, so bear that in mind as you read this post.

The I Ching and Gaian Alchemy

When you’re hot on the trail, everything happens at once and this showed up right on time in Lesson 4 of the Gaian Alchemy Course:

“The three stages of the Great Work are Formation, Fixation, Multiplication. In the last stage, the multiplicatio or magnificatio in the old latin lingo, a condition of total porosity is achieved in the human mass, in the flesh.


The same idea is expressed with elegant clarity in the I Ching, or Book of Changes. The commentary on the 42nd hexagram, “I” or “Increase” says:


“A sacrifice of the higher element that produced an increase of the lower is called an out-and-out increase: it indicates the spirit that alone has power to save the world.”


And the text adds that “this conception expresses the fundamental idea upon which the Book of Changes is based.”


Infinity is Change. In this passage “I” is the exact equivalent of increment in the alchemical sense. An “out-and-out” increase must be one in which a new element is truly added to what is originally given.


Only a physics that excludes the Human could ignore this illuminating primary idea by positing the inevitable run-down of creation into a snuffed-out slag-heap adrift in aching emptiness.


But this is not our way.”


To know what and how the Anthropos does to complete the work of Sophia and Thelete, requires a shift in perception and the ability to hold that perception stable in the symbiotic mind and simultaneously act upon it. The Sophianic Narrative provides the conceptual framework for such a shift, which will lead to an actual physiological transmutation caused by recognition of the true material structure of the human animal and its co-creative functionality.

So, while drunk on this notion, I looked up what Dr Olree had to say about Hexagram 42. What a let down! He has Hex 42 linked with a STOP codon (which ends a transcription process) and Lumbar 3, which manages the legs and urination. That does not correlate with the meaning of ‘Increase’, which incidentally, he has translated as ‘Benefit’.

When I first looked at the Olree Chart, it struck me as odd that he worked from the bottom up on the spine, starting with the Coccyx bones, and correlated the hexagrams in reverse; so Coccyx 4 correlated with Hex 64 and at the top of the spine, Hex 1 with the Cervical 1 bone at the top of the neck. This makes sense as Hex 1 refers to the creative force, which tends to be associated with mind and the head, but it can also be taken as a reference to the initial conditions of the inception of life. The dragons refer to the telluric currents of the Aeon Sophia as She became the earth.

My copy of the I Ching says:

“When all the lines are nines, it means:

There appears a flight of dragons without heads.

Good fortune.”

So, I wondered what would show up if I reversed the order of the Hexagrams in the Olree Chart – I Ching ker-ching!

Tritium and Hexagram 42

When I reversed the order of the I Ching hexagrams in the Olree Chart, #42 correlated with Thoracic disc 5, the lung meridian (active at 4am), the amino acid asparagine and the element tritium (bebegen in the Russell chart).

This woman is indicating the location of Thoracic 5 on the front of the body.

Front opening bra – Butterfly Chakra


Does that image look familiar?  It’s from John Lash’s Mandela Effect Decoded: Summary and Overview of the Gnostic Investigation (63) and it indicates where the Butterfly Chakra locks onto the body.

In the Olree Chart, this point on the body correlates with tritium, also known as hydrogen-3 as it is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

According to the Wikipedia entry on tritium:

“The nucleus of tritium (sometimes called a triton) contains one proton and two neutrons, whereas the nucleus of protium (by far the most abundant hydrogen isotope) contains one proton and no neutrons. Naturally occurring tritium is extremely rare on Earth, where trace amounts are formed by the interaction of the atmosphere with cosmic rays. It can be produced by irradiating lithium metal or lithium-bearing ceramic pebbles in a nuclear reactor. Tritium is used as a radioactive tracer, in radioluminescent light sources for watches and instruments, and, along with deuterium, as a fuel for nuclear fusion reactions with applications in energy generation and weapons. The name of this isotope is derived from the Greek tritos meaning ‘third’.”

According to the Russian Wikipedia entry (which is different to the English version), it costs $30 million to produce one kilo of tritium.

Tritium is an odourless, tasteless, invisible vapour that is a transmutational element. It decays into helium-3, a radioactive isotope of helium.

This is part of what the Russian Wikipedia says about helium-3:

“Most of the helium-3 on Earth, preserved from the time of its formation. It is dissolved in the mantle and gradually enters the atmosphere, its isotopic abundance in the mantle the magma is 4-10 parts per million parts of helium-4[3], and some of the materials of mantle origin, have 10-40 times higher ratio than in the atmosphere[4][5]. However, its supply from the mantle into the10 parts per million parts of helium-4[3], and some of the materials of mantle origin, have 10-40 times higher ratio than in the atmosphere[4][5]. However, its supply from the mantle into the atmosphere (through volcanoes and fissures in the bark) is estimated at only a few pounds a year. Some of the helium-3 is emitted in the decay of tritium, spallation reactions on lithium (under the action of alpha particles and cosmic rays) and comes from the solar wind. On the Sun and in the atmospheres of the giant planets of the primary helium-3 is much greater than in the Earth’s atmosphere.”

And this is an addition in the English Wikipedia:

“Production, sales and distribution of helium-3 in the United States are managed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Isotope Program.[30] Virtually all helium-3 used in industry today is produced from the radioactive decay of tritium. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen and is typically produced by bombarding lithium-6 with neutrons in a nuclear reactor. The lithium nucleus absorbs a neutron and splits into helium-4 and tritium. Tritium decays into helium-3 with a half-life of 12.3 years, so helium-3 can be produced by simply storing the tritium until it undergoes radioactive decay.


Tritium is a critical component of nuclear weapons and historically it was produced and stockpiled primarily for this application. The decay of tritium into helium-3 reduces the explosive power of the fusion warhead, so periodically the accumulated helium-3 must be removed from warhead reservoirs and tritium in storage. Helium-3 removed during this process is marketed for other applications.


For decades this has been, and remains, the principal source of the world’s helium-3.[31]However, since the signing of the START I Treaty in 1991 the number of nuclear warheads that are kept ready for use has decreased[32][33] This has reduced the quantity of helium-3 available from this source. Helium-3 stockpiles have been further diminished by increased demand,[34] primarily for use in neutron radiation detectors and medical diagnostic procedures. US industrial demand for helium-3 reached a peak of 70,000 liters (approximately 8 kg) per year in 2008. Price at auction, historically about $100/liter, reached as high as $2000/liter[35] Since then, demand for helium-3 has declined to about 6000 liters per year due to the high cost and efforts by the DOE to recycle it and find substitutes.


The DOE recognized the developing shortage of both tritium and helium-3. and began producing tritium by lithium irradiation at the Tennessee Valley Authority‘s Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station in 2010.[34] In this process tritium-producing burnable absorber rods (TPBARs) containing lithium in a ceramic form are inserted into the reactor in place of the normal boron control rods[36] Periodically the TPBARs are replaced and the tritium extracted.

Currently only one reactor is used for tritium production but the process could, if necessary, be vastly scaled up to meet any conceivable demand simply by utilizing more of the nation’s power reactors. Substantial quantities of tritium and helium-3 could also be extracted from the heavy water moderator in CANDU nuclear reactors.[34][37]

Apparently, plans are underway for mining helium-3 on the moon!

And then there’s this:

“Despite the objections of local fishermen, the tritium-tainted water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be dumped into the sea, a top official at Tokyo Electric says.


“The decision has already been made,” Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with the media.


Tritium typically poses little risk to human health unless ingested in high amounts, and ocean discharges of diluted volumes of tritium-tainted water are a routine part of nuclear power plant operations. This is because it is a byproduct of nuclear operations but cannot be filtered out of water.


As of July 6, about 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks at the Fukushima plant, which is quickly running out of space.*


From The Japan Times.

A story that was widely reported this summer, but I haven’t found any record of it having subsequently happened.



I invite you to consider these words from John Lash in NB 111.1, Fukushima Mon Amour, from 20 February 2014:

“And I’m beginning to wonder, really wonder, if the timing a Fukushima with correction may not be one of the greatest lessons in duplicity that comes out of the GNE. Consider that Jupiter is now in the twins, I was looking at it about an hour ago, it was directly at the apex over the house here. Crystal-clear evening, the night sky, black as onyx or ebony. Brilliant figure of Orion, high in the sky. And to the left of Orion, Jupiter in the twins. The twins have a connotation of duplicity which is a form of evil and manipulation. But the twins also have connotation up doubling, and let’s say, let’s add to that, let’s add to the themes of the twins, the theme of a Janus like power. A power that has two faces, destructive and regenerative. Its obvious and the evidence is there as seen in the documentary clips in Hiroshima Mon Amour, that nuclear energy can be extremely destructive when it is made to explode in the form of a bomb. But suppose that coupled with that destruction is a regenerative power. Suppose that the much feared radio activity has, in Gaian terms, some kind of regenerative role. Who’s to say it doesn’t? We haven’t been exposed to it long enough to know. The evidence is skewed by the horrific connotations that go along with the word radio activity, radiation disease, and so forth. But in fact where is the evidence that radiation has produced massive mutation of our species since 1945?”

And a bit further on in the Briefing:

“Because you can search far and wide and I don’t think that you’ll find anybody, any scientist, any expert, or even any mystic telling you what is the place of radio activity in nature, in Her on Her terms. We didn’t invent it. Ever since 1945 the human species has been laboring under the illusion that we created Atomic Energy. This is ridiculous. Nor did we create the radiation that precedes from atomic explosions. We did not create that energy. She did. And so the question to ask is; what does She use it for? What is it? Maybe this is the moment to really turn the human mind around and to look at Gaian processes at the most elementary levels matter as if seeing it through Her mind and Her eyes. I do not feel confident about what I’m telling you now, but in a way I do, in an odd way I do feel confident. Here’s one thing I can say of which I feel confident. If nuclear radiation so-called, is actually a bionic excitation produced by the first attention of the Aeon Sophia, then it must be verifiable as such.”

Hot on the heels of that comes, NB 112 – Beyond Fukushima – Frontiers of Gaian Alchemy – 23 February 2014

“That is where correction begins, on the frontier of Gaian Alchemy… or frontiers because there are more than one. There are more than one frontier; it is a vast frontier, defined by those operations the Aeon Sophia performs through the use of her first attention. Whether she performs them at the so called elementary level of matter, in the presence of the radioactive minerals that occur naturally in the earth, such as uranium and plutonium, cesium, whether she performs those actions in the realm of biology and genetics, whether she performs them in maritime biology, in the chemistry of the oceans, whether she performs them in the dynamic chemistry of the atmosphere, the troposphere, the ionosphere, and whether she performs them deep in the physio-chemical and neuro-chemical recesses of the human animal. These are the frontiers of Gaian Alchemy. At the moment that correction dawns, so comes that opportunity. This momentous opportunity to reframe and revision the science the theoretical and applied science in those many domains where the operations of the Aeon Sophia are perpetual, and often inaccessible although ultimately not beyond the range of human investigation, experimentation and verification.”

And that is where I am now, on the wild frontier of Gaian Alchemy, launching off into a new adventure. So, what is tritium to the Planetary Animal Mother? And what is the function of tritium in the human body?  What links Gaian Alchemy, Hexagram 42 and tritium?

I can’t answer those questions, yet. In the Aeonic timframe, we are barely into Correction, maybe 10-11 seconds, but everything happens at once in alt-reel time. I can barely keep up, which is why this exposition is somewhat rambling and inconclusive – to misquote some one: I had no time to write a shorter post!

In researching tritium/bebegen I looked to find what Walter Russell had to say on it. That will be covered in a subsequent post, but here’s a little curiosity to end with: on a site called, subtitled the Modern Energy Research Library, at the bottom of the page on tritium is a link to a company called Trivortex – this is the company that Anton created, he who made the water discs for Nemeta. Coincidence or clue?????