ALCHEMY BY NIGHT
My full, working involvement with alchemy began in the early 80s, and has continued unabated ever since, but it was never
a wholly conscious decision. Wispy memories from school science lessons, subliminal hints, unrecognised dreams, plus a
couple of synchronicities; all these preceded full awareness that Alchemy was a path I wanted to actively explore.
In ALCHEMY BY NIGHT I describe that psychic evolution, selecting two remarkable dream sequences and two significant visions to demonstrate how the Opus manifested itself in my particular case. There are as many paths to the mountain-top as there are those who wish to climb, and my personal route has been very much that of the lone-adept. By which I mean that I was predominantly guided by a combination of my own dreams, the community of books, and a pragmatic application of the insights thus acquired. There was no-one else to whom I could turn for help.
This is psycho-spiritual alchemy, usually a step or two ahead of the seeker's conscious mind, and feedback I've received from some readers suggests that, as well as providing insights into alchemical ideas and their connection to collective states of consciousness, it also demonstrates that the alchemical way is open to anyone who is motivated, sincere and equally open to what it has to offer.
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
Alchemy plays a fundamental part in my life and has been doing so for the best part of a quarter century. What still
astonishes me, despite all my subsequent reading, is the fact that I was dreaming quite specific alchemical symbols at
precisely the relevant times in my development, long before I’d even begun to think of expanding on that third form summary
of The Secret Art. The dreams were impressive, insistent, specific, but it was still several years, and a synchronicity or
two, before I recognised them as alchemical and began exploring them in that context.
The more I read, the clearer it became that I was not alone in encountering these surprising parallels. Marie-Louise von Franz recounts how she felt when she encountered one of her own recent dreams, recorded in almost every detail in a mediæval latin manuscript. She thought she was in danger of going mad! As Carl Jung says: ‘These things are not just rare curiosities, and anyone who wishes to understand the symbolism of dreams cannot close his eyes to the fact that the dreams of modern men and women often contain the very images and metaphors that we find in the mediaeval treatises.’
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