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Thread: Women in Alchemy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Women in Alchemy

    Mary the Jewess or Cleopatra (whichever one) and Hypatia are not alone in the annals of science which did not succumb to religious machinations and torture. The following doctoral thesis has some excellent input from Adam McLean and Mark Haeffner so I am sure it is high quality. As always we must remember that in most eras during Empire (until the last decade in the West) it was almost impossible to find a woman willing to say they studied such things and then go on to achieve success in education or making money. It is not easy for men who say they are serious alchemists either. This thesis is only now available on line - please enjoy.

    "This thesis seeks to show that there were alchemical writings associated with women from Italy, France, the Swiss Cantons and England which originated in the period 1560 to 1616, and that these writings were read, translated, circulated, and referred to, at least up to 1660. The main evidence is provided by case studies: a printed book of secrets by Isabella Cortese (Venice, 1561); a sequence of late sixteenth and early seventeenth century manuscripts associated with Madame de la Martinville and Quercitan’s daughter (Jeanne du Port); and material, including an alchemical receipt book, associated with Lady Margaret Clifford (1560-1616). Supporting evidence suggests these women represent a wider participation of women in philosophical and practical alchemy, and adds to the evidence for evaluating women's participation in early modern philosophy and science. Women apparently read and wrote about alchemy, and assisted its diffusion through their work as editors, compilers, translators and patrons.

    The thesis compares writings from different genres and languages, and addresses issues such as the problem of defining alchemy, complexities of textual interpretation, and the difficulty of ascertaining women’s authorship or symbolic representation. Through a
    comparative process, the thesis discusses possible reasons for representations of women's alchemical practice based in key cultural themes: Paracelsian ideas, ambiguous readings of texts, women’s education, spiritual practice and household work, and their liaison with male experts and European networks. The underlying association of the alchemical metaphor of knowledge, that the material world could be returned to a perfected heavenly state, is interpreted with varying sophistication.

    The thesis considers how these women accommodated gender to alchemical philosophy. It suggests that there was scope for ambiguous interpretation, both of alchemical texts and of shared injunctions for early modern women and medieval alchemist monks to be silent, chaste, and obedient. Women may have used alchemy as an area in which to resist passivity and demonstrate their agency."

    I am happy to see her using the word Humanist rather than a more religious epithet or nomen. It is no surprise to see many good books have avoided mentioning a woman who practiced alchemy during Inquisitional eras.

    "The allegorical nature of some alchemical literature lent itself to humanist appropriation, but the wider alchemical metaphor was also expressed in a large corpus of sources of theory and practice for the alchemist, ranging from learned works to scrappy manuscripts.4

    This thesis seeks to show that this alchemical corpus included work associated with women, from several countries. It draws on evidence which has not been previously examined in great detail, probably because standard histories of alchemy have not focused primarily on the issue of women’s role in early modern alchemy.5 However, this study adds to, and is situated within, a body of work written from different scholarly perspectives, which illustrates shifting trends in the treatment of women and gender in twentieth century literature on alchemy. Early works focus on canonical figures of “great men”, with any slight discussion of women alchemists scattered, without focus on the question of women’s role. Arthur E. Waite’s Lives of the Alchemystical Philosophers, 1888, and John Read’s The Alchemist in Life, Literature and Art, 1947, fail to include a single life of a woman alchemist.6 The beginnings of a more inclusive approach appear in the late 1960s..."

    Of course I am happy to see the name of a de Medicis in the list of women alchemical students, and I know readers of my work will understand the importance of this as we consider how St. Germain de Medicis passed on the spy network and banking monopoly to his cousins now known as Rothschilds.

    "A secondary area of comparison is between the main period of study, 1560 to 1616, when the writings were initiated, and the period of diffusion, 1616 to 1660, in which the texts were rewritten and memories of women alchemists recorded. The main period was chosen because the evidence suggested that women actively experimented with both philosophical and practical alchemy between 1560 and 1616, corresponding with a “golden age” of European alchemy centred on courts and noble households across Europe.23 Within this period Paracelsianism and quasi-Paracelsian ideas were disseminated by figures such as, in Italy, Leonardo Fioravanti, in France, Joseph du Chesne and Theodore de Mayerne, and in England, John Dee, John Hester and Thomas Muffet. The passion for Paracelsian alchemy in Central Europe was at its height and centres including Prague, Trebon and Kracow were magnets for alchemists in western Europe, a fact reinforced by the case studies.."
    Last edited by R_Baird; 03-28-2016 at 07:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    In my worldview I go beyond shamanism and Taoist roots for alchemy, and I always allow for people who do great things for other life on Earth to be included amongst the muses I wish to align my energy with.

    I welcome the idea of politically active alchemy but I have seen it used against the good of all - all too often. And I am not all that comfortable with any religion or dogma being considered as part of what alchemy includes even though I know it has been part of the con game in that arena of human existence.

    "priestesses, power, and politics

    There is so much to say about women's spiritual leadership. In this time of fragmented and toxic culture, we don't even have words adequate to describe the breadth of heritages and practices. Most people would define priestess as a woman who leads ritual. But there are a range of names and culturally-defined meanings, including shaman, medicine woman, diviner, spirit-medium, oracle, sibyl and wisewoman. Countless ethnic titles such as machi, sangoma, eem, babaylan and mae de santo provide even more textured glimpses of a vast global picture.

    We can't really draw sharp divisions between these categories. The shaman may be a ritual leader, but also a solitary practitioner. The visionary can act as healer, the medicine woman speak prophetically. The ceremonial role of the priestess does not preclude her from entering into trance or shamanic spiritual journeys; sometimes it actually requires her to achieve these altered states. Above all, the ritual specialist has skills, special ability, even powers, but every member of the spiritual community has power. In shamanic cultures, the group commonly participates in raising spirit through chant, music, dance, clapping and drumming.

    It's this question of accessing and exerting power that makes the spiritual political, and explains the importance of religion in instituting social controls. When power hierarchies of men over women, conquerors over aboriginal peoples and rich over poor are at stake, priestesshood has political ramifications. Priestesses often lead liberation movements. Veleda ("seeress") of the Bructerii led a valiant tribal insurrection against the Roman empire in the lower Rhine valley. So did her British counterpart Boudicca of the Iceni, a Celtic tribe. This queen presided over divinations of battle outcomes and ceremonies appealing to the goddess Andraste for victory.In the 7th century, Dahia al-Kahina ("the priestess") galvanized Tunisia to resist the Arab conquest of north Africa. And a little over a century ago, the diviner Nehanda Nyakasikana roused the Shona to fight back against the Rhodesian takeover of Zimbabwe.

    When the colonial Spanish tore down the temple Maria Candelaria had founded, she organized the 1712 Maya rebellion of Chiapas. Some seventy years later, the young visionary Toypurina inspired her Indian people to rise up against the mission system in southern California. In 1801 a Chumash woman had a vision of Chupu, Mother Earth, telling the people to throw off baptism by bathing in the "tears of the sun." The Santa Barbara Mission persecuted this spiritual movement, but the Chumash kept building shrines and holding ceremonies in preparation for the rebellion of 1824. [See Daniel Fogel, Junipero Serra, the Vatican and Enslavement Theology, San Francisco: Ism Press, 1988, pp. 138-9, 141, 152]

    Many indigenous cultures uphold female spiritual leadership -- the Mapuche of Chile, the Karok and Yurok of California, for example, as well as others in South Africa, Siberia, and Indonesia -- while imperial and feudal societies generally suppress women's open exercise of religious authority. So the temple women gradually disappear from west Asia, patrician Rome tries to stamp out the Women's Mysteries, witches are burned in Europe, and mandarins persecute the Wu. Still, female resistance bubbles under the surface of "major" religions, in forms officially dismissed as "cults." Sacramental dance, drumming, and other ways of entering altered states of consciousness often play an important role in these rites that bypass and subvert socially decreed hierarchies. So do animistic consciousness and nature sanctuaries.

    Holy women are more visible historically, and more likely to be accorded honor and power in their own right than most women in patriarchal societies. Their authority tends to transcend division of society into religious and political spheres. We can observe this pattern over large ranges of time and place, and in very different kinds of societies, whether they are early Sumerian priestesses or female shamans acting as village chieftains in 19th century Siberia. A number of mikogami (female shamans) governed southwestern Japan in ancient times. Old histories report that the old shaman Himiko (or Pimiko) was chosen to rule the realm of Wa during a period of military anarchy, and succeeded in restoring the peace. Woman shamans were important spiritual and social forces in many east Asian cultures, including ancient China. In modern Korea, they still are.

    Barring women from ritual leadership and religious authority has been a key focus in the drive to undermine female power. Scriptures of the"major" religions often ban priestesses and female religious authority, either explicitly or through stories demonizing their power. Over centuries, male authorities carefully selected and edited the religious canon so as to erase traditions of female leadership (such as the Gnostic scriptures naming Mary Magdalene as the foremost Christian disciple). They also expunged female images of the Divine. This happened with an early saying of Muhammad that embraced the three great goddesses of Arabia as "daughters of Allah." The original version of this hadith was denounced as "the Satanic verses," and was revised in the written Quran.

    A male takeover of women's rites and mysteries is described in oral histories from Australia, Melanesia, the Amazon basin, Tierra del Fuego, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and elsewhere. Encroachments on the sphere of priestesses are also attested in the pagan Mediterranean. The priests of Apollo took control of oracular shrines at Delphi and Didyma, interpreting the women's ecstatic utterances and forbidding women the right to consult the Pythias. Male hierophants also gradually consolidated their control of the Mysteries at Eleusis, where legal records show the Melissa priestess contested masculine trespasses on her traditional rights in the 4th century. And although ancient oral history says that Amazon queens founded the great temple of Artemis at Ephesus, women were later forbidden entry to its holy of holies, according to the Roman-era writer Artemidorus....

    While male-dominated cultures often required priestesses to be celibate, sometimes they escaped the sexual constraints on ordinary women. In India, the devadasi (temple dancers) were subject to no husband and their children were named and inherited matrilineally. The laws of Hammurabi heavily favored men over women.... Babylonian titles of priestesses include such names as: zer mashitum, "woman who forgets the sperm," and zinishtum zikrum, "male woman," both of whom had a degree of independence derived from paternal inheritance in their own right. Their self-determination threatened the doctrine of male supremacy. One Babylonian writer warned, "Do not marry a prostitute, whose husbands are legion, An ishtaritu woman who is dedicated to a god, a kulmashitu woman whose... is much. When you have trouble, she will not support you, When you have a dispute she will be a mocker. There is no reverence or submissiveness within her..." [See James Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, Princeton, 1969]

    The history of priestesses is full of stories about women defying artificial limits and hierarchies. Again and again, they made a way across multiple obstacles, somehow, to lead, teach, counsel and inspire, often outside of official structures of authority, and usually in spite of them. In Europe, the Church prohibited women's religious leadership, but it persisted for centuries in witchcraft and folk religion. It also bubbled up among the Beguines and Free Spirit heretics and the Spanish beatas and alumbradas ("blessed" and "illuminated" women).

    Female seers led popular movements like the liberation of France in 1430. Perceptions of supernatural power followed Jeanne d'Arc from the very beginning of her charismatic leadership. Charges of witchcraft arose in her initial contact with the aristocracy, years before her Inquisitorial trial, and her stance of prophetic power and divine inspiration played a role in her execution. Into modern times, Europeans continued to seek out female healers, fairy doctors and seers, in the wake of endless campaigns by bishops and councils, destruction of animistic shrines, and witch persecutions by both church and state.

    Very often priestesshood functions to carve out space for women in patriarchal societies. A strand of this feminist subversion runs through some of the European witch trials, with healer-diviners counseling deserted or battered women. It survives in living African lineages like the bori magadjiyar of the Hausa. Its devotees, richly adorned with cowrie-strand headdresses, dance to the ancient pre-Islamic deities (bori). Most of the magadjas are marginalized women (divorcees, single or barren women, perhaps lesbians, and others who don't fit into the male-dominated social order). The zar religion is even more widespread, and cuts across both Muslim and Christian cultures of northern Africa. Here again we find mostly women dancing and singing in honor of spirits which the society does not formally recognize as deities, but nevertheless must acknowledge, and even pay tribute to, as women make demands in their name."
    Last edited by R_Baird; 03-29-2016 at 04:54 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    To allow a gender orientation of any sort to come between a soul and "what IS' diminishes that soul's potential and yet it may motivate the ego to generate INTENT and focus. There can be trade offs to be certain, and perfection is probably a very rare thing as well imagine what it would be - to be perfect in every way.

    "The female-empowerment aspect of priestesshood also shows up in the Pacific. A Marquesan legend tells about the priestess Vehine-atua ("woman-god") at Hiva Oa. A chief asked her to help collect stones (a ritual act) for a marae shrine for his deceased father. She agreed on condition that she would travel back to Nukuhiva in his canoe, defying a tradition that prohibited women from riding in canoes. The chief agreed, but on the trip back he threw Vehine-atua and her husband into the ocean. She instructed her mate to break a gourd full of sandflies, causing a great storm to destroy the canoes. Her priestly staff took the couple safely to shore. [Nicole Thomas, "The Contradictions of Hierarchy: Myths, Women and Power in Eastern Polynesia," in Deborah Gewertz, ed. Myths of Matriarchy, 1988]

    Patriarchal colonizers stigmatized cultures that honored female spiritual leadership, calling them barbaric and inferior. A Han mandarin bragged that he had destroyed thousands of shrines of the wu (female shamans) in southern China. In the 16th century, Spanish colonizers were stunned to see that "old women" led most ceremonies in the Philippines. Missionary priests called these female shamans "diabolical witches," and for centuries struggled to stamp them out. They did manage to catholicize the islands, but the babaylan are still around. [See Carolyn Brewer, Holy Confrontation: Religion, Gender, and Sexuality in the Philippines, 1521-1685, Institute of Women's Studies, Manila, 2001]

    The same dynamic played itself out in the colonization of the Americas. The Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions persecuted priestesses and curanderas from Peru to Colombia to Brazil to Mexico, targeting Africans as well as First Nations peoples. In Venezuela, Mauricia la Bruja ("the witch") faced inquistors for holding gatherings in a cave "to sing and shake the little rattle." A voice from the darkness cried like a bird and told the people to keep the ways of the old ones, says her trial record. [Carlos Contramaestre, La Mudanza del Encanto, Academia Nacional de la Historia and Universidad de los Andes, Caracas, 1979, p. 28]

    In the 1600s, the Peruvian Inquisition targeted Quechua and Aymara wisewomen, who kept Indian religion alive and often acted to empower their communities and to protect them from colonial masters and officials. One priest explained that "they encouraged the whole village to mutiny and riot through their reputation as witches" who challenged church and state authorities. Juana Icha was hauled before inquisitors for making offerings to the ancient deities and healing with their power. An informer told the monks that she "worships the earth and the stars and cries to the water." [Irene Silverblatt, Moon, Sun, and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and Colonial Peru, Princeton, 1987, pp. 184-90]

    In 1591, the Brazilian Inquisition tried the Portuguese witch Maria Goncalves (also known as "Burn-tail") for sexual witchcraft and making powders from forest herbs. She defied the bishop, saying that if he preached from the pulpit, she preached from the cadeira (priestess-chair) Afro-Brazilian priestesses came under heavy fire in the 1700s. Inquisitors tried Antonia Luzia for calling together "black and brown women to adore dances," and seeking the ancestors' help in "dominating the masters' wills." The calundureira Luzia Pinta presided over divinatory dances in Angolan garb and an Indian-style feathered headdress. Tall and heavy, middle-aged, with tribal marks on her cheeks, she danced until she entered trance, her body trembling with power. Then "the winds" entered her ears, she prophesied and answered questions, laid people on the ground and leaped over them to cure them, and prescribed forest leaves for healing while holding a dagger. [Laura de Mello e Souza, O Diablo e a Terra de Santa Cruz: Feiticaria e Religiosidade Popular no Brasil Colonial, Companhia das Letras, Sao Paolo, 1987]

    Woman drumming and burning incense.

    Rock engraving from Jabal Ghunay,

    north Arabia. This image survived

    the centuries face down in the sand.

    In 19th century Iran, the poet Qurrat al-Ayn cut a daring figure in the Baha'i movement, astonishing, impressing and scaring the men around her, as she spoke prophetically for the cause of liberation. Later, an Afghani princess fled an arranged marriage in purdah to live under a tree in India as the mystic sage Hazrat Babajan. She initiated several Sufi masters including Meher Baba. Before her, India offered the precedent of a long line of yoginis and avadhutas, including Karaikkalamba, Mira Bai, and the Kashmiri mystic Lalla. Many of these women refused or broke out of marriages in order to freely pursue spiritual realization, dance and chant the divine names.

    Female leadership and symbolism were never choked out of indigenous traditions, and persisted even as these cultures absorbed elements of colonial religions. For example, the Baluchis of Pakistan/Iran modified the Muslim creed to say, "There is no god but Allah and the mother of Muhammad is his prophet." Mazatec curandera Mar’a Sabina subverted patriarchal theology by invoking the Female Divine in her entrancing chants. She revised the prescribed masculine identity of the Christian god as padre santisima -- "most holy (feminine) father." Such challenges have always been raised, even if they don't make it into the historical record -- or are omitted by scholarly gatekeepers who interpret the primary sources to everyone else.

    All over the world women are mounting powerful challenges to masculine domination of religious institutions. Catholic and Hindu and Buddhist women are campaigning for full female ordination in their traditions. Muslim feminists are asserting their right to interpret the Quran and hadiths. The daughters of Sarah are demanding to be counted as Jews (literally) in the minyan and rabbinate, and for women's right to lead services at the Western Wall of the ancient temple of Jerusalem. Loud voices are crying out against sexual abuse by clergy (and the institutional coverups that protect the rapists). The case for restoring female authority gathers strength by the breaking of these age-old silences.

    The burgeoning pagan and feminist spirituality movements are laying new foundations of Goddess veneration and female spiritual leadership. American Indian women are reclaiming the right to sit at the powwow drum, and sistahs of the African diaspora have retaken the conga and djembe for their own. Lucumi priestesses are reinvigorating female power in the orisa {Orisha became Voodoo in America.} traditions of west Africa, and breaking down gender barriers to initiation as prestigious diviners of Ifa: female iyanifa now stand beside the male babalawo."

  4. #4
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    Jan 2015
    If Jung was an alchemist it does not mean every thought he expressed is alchemical. I have difficulty when I see modern wanna-bes saying these things to be sure. I had difficulty accepting Jung as anything more than an Hermeticist like myself, and I have said if he is an alchemist - I am too. In fact I have studied it more than he did, and I would not call myself one of their number. Regardless of what that all might mean, and it is applicable as we discuss women alchemists or what alchemy really is, we should consider Jung's top student an alchemist probably. She is mentioned along with others in this excerpt from Wikipedia. I do wonder how Moses got to exist in the third century.

    "Axiom of Maria

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    Axiom of Maria is a precept in alchemy: "One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth." It is attributed to 3rd century alchemist Maria Prophetissa, also called the Jewess, sister of Moses, or the Copt.[1] Marie-Louise von Franz gives an alternative version thus: "Out of the One comes Two, out of Two comes Three, and from the Third comes the One as the Fourth."[2]

    Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875–1961) used the axiom as a metaphor for the process of individuation. One is unconscious wholeness; two is the conflict of opposites; three points to a potential resolution; the third is the transcendent function, described as a "psychic function that arises from the tension between consciousness and the unconscious and supports their union";[3] and the one as the fourth is a transformed state of consciousness, relatively whole and at peace.

    Jung speaks of the axiom of Maria as running in various forms through the whole of alchemy like a leitmotiv. In "The Psychology of the Transference" he writes of the fourfold nature of the transforming process using the language of Greek alchemy:

    "It begins with the four separate elements, the state of chaos, and ascends by degrees to the three manifestations of Mercurius[4] in the inorganic, organic, and spiritual worlds; and, after attaining the form of Sol and Luna (i.e., the precious metal gold and silver, but also the radiance of the gods who can overcome the strife of the elements by love), it culminates in the one and indivisible (incorruptible, ethereal, eternal) nature of the anima, the quinta essentia, aqua permanens, tincture, or lapis philosophorum. This progression from the number 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 is the 'axiom of Maria'..."[5]
    The Axiom of Maria may be interpreted as an alchemical analogy of the process of individuation from the many to the one, from undifferentiated unconsciousness to individual consciousness."

  5. #5
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    Jan 2015
    Adam McLean was consulted by the author of the doctoral thesis in the opening post and he writes that he can only think of three women alchemists. His first two might be the same person - Miriam and Mariae are often the same person in different languages including Mery-taten and other variations. It would appear I have mentioned others already and they come up with some wives and friends with interests but not real alchemists. One of the problems is limited breadth of scope and knowledge about the dryads or female druids who might have been peryllats or pheryllts. If one includes humanists who knew majick and had spiritual union with "what is" all so many can be included. Women with such knowledge would have been targets in various cultures and courts - the Queen of Sheba and Solomon for example. I believe Francis Bacon brought a young daughter of an alchemist from the continent who was the sister of one who had fled to Arabia or Turkey.

    "From: [email protected] (Adam McLean)
    Some weeks ago I met an art historian who was researching alchemical symbolism and who asked me about female alchemists. I truly could not immediately call to mind more than three, Maria the Jewess and Miriam the prophetess, and Perenelle wife of Flamel - all of these more mythical figures than real individuals. There is of course Leona Constantia who wrote 'Sonnenblume der Weisen', 1704, but I cannot easily recall any other woman alchemists. Can anyone help my memory on this point? It would be good if I could draw up a list.

    Adam McLean

    Not much use here but there's also Rebecca wife of Thomas Vaughn, Lady Anne Conway might be thought of as a spiritual alchemist.
    There is the tract attributed to Cleopatra- interesting that it was attributed to a woman.

    There is a "mistress oglevy" described as a "rare chymical genetlewoman" and a Lady Judith Barrington" mentioned in Stephen Clucas *The correspondence of a XVII-century gentleman:Sir Cheney Culpepper...* AMBIX vol 40 p.149 1993

    John Aubrey writes Mary Countess of Pemboke "was a great Chymist, and spent yearly a great deale in that study"

    The mother of Lucy Hutchinson, who was the wife of the superintendant of the Tower of London may well have learnt alchemy from Sir Walter RalieghI quote from *Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson* everyman's edition 1908 p12.

    "Sir Water Raleigh and Mr Ruthin being prisoners in the Tower, and addicting themselves to chemistry, she suffered them to make their Rare experiments at her cost, partly to comfort and divert the poor prisoners, and partly to gain the knowledge of their experiments, and the medicines to help such poor people as were not able to seek physicians. By these means she aquired a great deal of skill"

    A Tomazine Scarlet was imprisoned and fined by the College of Physicians for using stibium in 1588 which probably means she was Paracelsian in orientation, though she claimed to be illiterate, so this must be doubtful.

    Another doubtful attribution must be the wife of Richard Mathew's- the Mathew's who got into the pamphlet war with George Starkey about the "mathew's pill"

    Some of these might be a bit far fetched but maybe they are of some use.

    Jon Marshall

    Regarding your recent post on female alchemists you write:
    << and Perenelle wife of Flamel - all of these more mythical figures than real individuals.>>
    I have never thought of Pernelle as mythical, but rather as a good, solid woman of some good sense. I think that the Nicolas/Pernelle pair has taken on something of a symbolic importance among alchemists, in that it is representative of the union of the 2 natures which is necessary in the Work.

    I have a bit of 'oral history' for you, that I cannot verify, but it comes from my French friends: Pierre Curie was a modern alchemist, pursuing the Great Work, and pitchblende was chosen as a 'prime matter'. He worked with Marie on this. After his death by accident, which was due in part to his progressive radiation poisoning, 'some people' came to Marie with a proposal. Given the beginnings of a sort of feminism in Europe, it was necessary to have a national hero who was a woman. 'Clean up your work, get rid of the vestiges of Hermeticism and Alchemy, publish it as pure physics...'. "
    Last edited by R_Baird; 04-04-2016 at 08:24 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    I am not certain that a woman needs as much study to get rid of things which are less important - in comparison to men who are all male.

    I am not sure the all woman female has a lot more intuition but I suspect it is a strength.

    And most of all, in my experience a woman gets orgasmic beyond what a man does and stays there longer. There are chemicals which the body generates during ecstasy which create the spiritual union or Bhakti a person like me would have a hard time getting to.

    My point, in all of what I am not certain about - above; is this - maybe a woman does not need the spiritual fruit brought about by alchemical studies. There is more to alchemy than that but it is important to every aspect of alchemy. As many people including Mircae Eliade say - shamans are the root of alchemy.

    "Shamanic ecstasy is the real "Old Time Religion," of which modern churches are but pallid evocations. Shamanic, visionary ecstasy, the mysterium tremendum, the unio mystica, the eternally delightful experience of the universe as energy, is a sine qua non of religion, it is what religion is for! There is no need for faith, it is the ecstatic experience itself that gives one faith in the intrinsic unity and integrity of the universe, in ourselves as integral parts of the whole; that reveals to us the sublime majesty of our universe, and the fluctuant, scintillant, alchemical miracle that is quotidian consciousness. Any religion that requires faith and gives none, that defends against religious experiences, that promulgates the bizarre superstition that humankind is in some way separate, divorced from the rest of creation, that heals not the gaping wound between Body and Soul, but would tear them asunder... is no religion at all!" - Jonathan Ott

    Does it not make sense that the Royal House of Judah or David would educate their kids as best they can? Clearly Solomon was a good example (see Keys of Solomon and Ars Goetia). Plato was also immaculately born and from a Royal lineage. Yes, that warrants trying to connect him just as the nearby Hittites are connected with Moses and all of these myths are part of the Phoenician structures according to the Father of Biblical Archaeology. In the time of the best known Cleopatra I found reference for a certain teacher named Comarius in Alexandria who taught Yeshua (Jesus) and Mary as well as Cleopatra and maybe even Apollonius. Of course we always have to consider the possibility that Comarius was one in a long line of people with the same name, the one in my books might be different from this one. I do not feel Cleopatra warrants going into on the alchemical pursuit to the extent of Comarius - so I will start a thread titled Greek Alchemy to cover what is said in the following link.
    Last edited by R_Baird; 04-12-2016 at 11:35 AM.

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