Paracelsus College


(Originally published as a limited edition of 100 copies; formatted with Apple IIe.)


Basil Valentine and His Mysterious Fiery Wine Spirit
Alchemy - The Art of Evolution
Some Aspects of Correlation between Oriental and Western Philosophy
Astrology and The Process of Inner Growth
The Alchemy of Transference
A Pilgrim's Progress
The Emerald Tablet
Why Alchemy?
From the Book of Lambspring
Dr Paracelsus - Teacher
An Introduction to Chinese Thought and Medicine
Phenomenal Triplicities
The Volatilization of Salt of Tartar
Book Review: The Art of Memory
Computerized Naturopathy
Beekeeping with Herbs and Bach Remedies
Basic Principles of Energy Balancing
Mercury conjunct Saturn

Cover design 'Mercurious'; Rik Danenberg




In this 25th Anniversary year of the teachings being available in their present form, it is a great joy to dedicate this collection of works to the late Frater Albertus Spagyricus.

The conscious efforts of one whose life was an illustration of the art of 'giving for the benefit of all concerned', laid the foundation stone for the practical application of ideas that are available to everyone. His eminently quotable and profoundly humorous discourses, inspired a broader vision of the evolutionary process, and the possibility of the conscious participation of individuals within it.

This journal is offered for the sharing of individual alchemical work and is not necessarily an extension of the teachings of Paracelsus College. We hope that you may extract from it something essential and unique to your individual growth and understanding, as we have in the compiling of it.



Basil Valentine and His Mysterious Fiery Wine Spirit

The Benedictine brother Basilius Valentinus has become a legend in the history of science. But was there really a monk by that name, who lived and worked in a German monastery in the fifteenth century as the legend claims? The historians of science seem not to be able to agree. Here follows the opinion of Sylvain Matton who edited the French edition of the Triumphal Chariot of Antimony (Retz, Paris 1977):

On the identity of Basilius Valentinus.

"Thus, as they present themselves to us, the writings of Basil Valentine seem to have been edited by a Paracelcist at the end of the sixteenth century or the beginning of the seventeenth. We say 'as they present themselves to us', because one may not entirely exclude that more ancient writings, perhaps of the fifteenth century, have been revised, expounded upon, interpolated, even rewritten. But with this hypothesis, if one does not keep (sic) the legend of the fortuitous discovery of Valentines writings in the trunk of a pillar at the cathedral of Erfurt, it is hard to explain the absence of any manuscript, the oldest one dating from 1582."

On the following page is a very interesting reparation of 'Spiritus Vini', said to have been invented by Basil Valentine. It has been taken from his "Collected Works" Hamburg 1677.

The Preparation of the Fiery Wine-Spirit.

"A copper vessel has to be constructed that can be taken apart in the middle, as well as above and below the holes, that are located about halfway up the retort. Onto this an alembic is mounted with a tube, everything made of copper except for the recipient which must be made of glass and be of a large size. The latter is put into a wooden vessel filled with cold water. The top of the recipient must also be cooled by means of wet cloths, and these must be frequently replaced by fresh ones in order to enhance the cooling effect. Also the wooden vessel must have a Cock, so that the water may be removed and fresh water poured in again. When everything is ready, the prepared spiritus vini is introduced into the vessel through the lowest series of holes. When the level is just below these small holes, it is lit and the alcohol starts to burn. The air holes then force the mercury upward and the cold water causes it to liquify, so that it ascends from the alembic into the recipient. This then is the preparation of the true spiritus vini, but you must not neglect any detail in the work of cooling, and take care to replenish the aquam vitam so that its level does not burn too low, etc."



figure 2 shows what Basilius' apparatus may have looked like.

The next figure shows how Basilius' fiery wine-spirit may be produced by means of modern apparatus.


The partial oxidation of the alcohol takes place in the horizontal tube where the copper mesh acts as a catalyst for the reaction;

2C2 H5OH + 02 ---- > 2CH3CHO + 2H20

ethanol oxygen --------> ethanal water

From this it will be seen that Basilius' fiery wine-spirit consisted of a mixture of alcohol, water and acetaldehyde or ethanal.

Acetaldehyde is a very volatile liquid with a boiling point of 21 deg.C. For further information see eg. Linus & Peter Pauling, Chemistry, Freeman 1975, page 424. It may be suggested that the modern spagyricist may produce their fiery wine-spirit by;
1/. buying acetaldehyde and 96% alcohol
2/. mixing them in a certain proportion
3/. bringing them over the helm together.

We wish the experimenting spagyricist great success with this potent mixture, and are very interested in hearing of his or her experiences in using this spirit to extract the metallic tinctures.

Kjell Hellesoe; Stavanger, Norway.



It is. Of that we can have no doubt. What It is we both know and we don't, as It is everywhere that we can perceive and understand, as well as being everywhere beyond both perception and understanding.

One of the very few things we can truly say we know about in the world which each of us lives that applies equally to all of us without change, is that everything we are aware of moves.

No matter how large or how small the object of our attention, there is nothing more sure in this world than that it will sooner or later move. What can we conceive of that remains still - even for an instant? We may choose to sit and watch an oak tree grow or a rock erode away. We may say after exhaustive testing: "This rock has definitely not moved", but we can be sure that in this as in every other case it will be our laboratory technique at fault rather than any failing of the Universal law involved.

Can we really call the act of sitting around watching an oak tree grow or a rock be a rock Laboratory work? This of course is entirely up to us and the particular definition we choose to place on words. But for now, or at least until it changes, we may consider the definition of a laboratory to be: A place where work is consciously undertaken. This may be a sterilised room where the worker is surrounded by scientific looking bits and pieces, or it may be in the garden under a tree. Indeed for the seed of a plant trying to decide which way is up, it may be two inches below the ground. Wherever consciousness of environment, organised matter and sufficient life energy constitute a living entity and that entity decides to 'do', the place where it is at that moment is its Laboratory.

Movement inevitably means change. The axiom "Under identical conditions, identical results will manifest", seems at first thought to contradict this, but further contemplation will reveal that as something can never be the same as anything else, while as soon as something moves it is no longer the same 'something' as prior to its movement, there can truly be no such thing as 'Identical conditions' outside of 'No-Thing'; that static realm where theory exists without practical application.

To assist in gaining a further understanding of this, it is necessary to define a set of parameters within which the process of change occurs. They must be constants that apply equally to the most subtle as to the most gross. They must be applicable to all that exists within our Universe as well as it's logical polarity, that which is not of the Universe. As well, this must feel right to the unbiased observer within our innermost selves, for of what use to you is a system no matter how well thought through or with whatever impressive credentials, if it is not compatible with your current individual needs?

One pair of complementary opposites which assist in the definition of change, are those of space and time. Any movement which cannot fully be described by the concept 'space' can be defined completely with the addition of the concept 'time'. The reverse is also true. No movement can fully be described by either; they can operate only together and only with the assistance of a third principle, that of 'Life'.

These three are intangibles. They can be perceived only through their effect, which can in turn only be understood through the illusion of the apparent lack of one or another. This illusion is a very important part of the ability we refer to as 'Consciousness'. Without it we could not percieve the intricate cross-modulations of life, space and time, as it is only through concepts so much a part of our daily lives as humans, such as: "I haven't enough time", "She is dead" or "I've run out of milk" that we can define, understand and communicate the perceptions of our consciousness.

Everything within our Universe has an opposite. Day has night, heat has cold, girl has boy. If we are not aware of what the opposite is, all we can say is that we are not aware of it. It is an unwise person who sticks their neck out to say it does not exist. So it is that the very positive, useful aspects of the illusions that come with consciousness, have another often considered 'negative' side. We are trained from birth to believe that the way things appear is the way ihey are, although more often than not this is far from being the case as we can observe only too well in even a cursory glance at our own lives.

At a busy family breakfast, running out of milk can be an annoyance. "I've run out of milk" can herald the beginning of a day choked to the gunwales with disasters. Probably closely followed by a cry of: "My-watch-has-stopped-what-time-is-it-I've-missed-my-train" or some such, these things seem to follow on each others heels.

Leaving the tension aspect with its gilt edged invitation to disaster aside for the present, we are left with a problem of life, time and space. If space offered off no resistance, "I've run out of milk" would soon be followed by "But I've just got some more from the dairy", as it would be in practical terms as close as the fridge.

The resistance of space can be considered, at least for today, as the obstruction placed in the way of one line of energy containing the intention of moving from its point of creation unchanged to infinity, by another line of energy with a similar intention but having it's own individuality, including it's own quite different starting point and angle of direction. Where these lines of energy collide and intereact, that marvellous thing known as 'Experience' occurs, allowing true growth to take place.

If life offered off no resistance, some member of the family would volunteer to sprint to the dairy, buy a few pints and sprint back, completing the two miles or so in the time it takes to toast another piece of bread. The effect of this exertion would pass unnoticed.

The time factor of course is no exception in this example. The trip from here to the dairy or even from here to the cow would be as fast as the thought of it. There and back despite the physical distance involved, would occupy no time at all.

Time is the constant by which space is measured, just as space is the measure of time. Wherever organised energy exists and by its very existence poses a modifying potential to its environment, there can be no infinite speed of movement. Whether at the infinitely fast end - timeless travel, or the infinitely slow end - complete lack of any change.

Do we lack the time to do the things we really want do do with our lives? Are some p laces too far away for us to visit? Does a lack of control over the appropriate energy seem to stop even our most worthwhile intentions from coming to fruition? These illusions form a vital part of the pain and suffering associated with that difficult dis-ease we are all affected by; Human Evolution.

We all feel the pain. This is important, as it instructs us in the art of Appropriate Behaviour and is the foundation of our ability to experience. We do not however all suffer from the pain to the same degree. Our suffering exists in direct proportion to our ignorance, the only possible medicine for which begins with a constant healthy growth of self understanding, along with its polar opposite; the selfless giving of what is truly one's own, asking nothing in return.

Gregory Sneddon



I am writing about the correlations between Eastern and Western philosophies because we include Oriental philosophy in our classes in Herbal alchemy, Eastern and Western philosophy.
Seeing that we both, Gerard and myself, had outstanding teachers in both philosophies, we felt more capable of giving those theories though, rather than introducing Tridosha, as has been the custom in Frater Albertus' classes.
There are very many aspects which we discuss in our classes but for the size of an article I'll take just a small example.

Among the ancient Chinese masters were great alchemists. Most ancient Chinese philosophy has implications that can be seen in our study of alchemy. . In alchemy we study

the principle of no. 1 - the Unity,

the principle of no. 2 - the Duality,

the principle of no. 3 - the Trinity.

We see these principles represented right through the Oriental philosophy as well. They also form the basis of the 12 main meridians within the body.

I. The principle of no. 1: the Unity, as the Unity in which the whole meridian system should work, as one harmonious unity.

II. The principle of no. 2, the Duality, in the study of alchemy and in the study of astrology the positive and negative aspects.

In the Oriental philosophy we see this principle represented by the yang/yin principle, the duality, which in Eastern philosophy is the instigator of all change, and represents the corporeal essences of the Sun and the Moon.

change1 Change

So too, in the meridian system we find the yang meridians and the yin meridians. The yang relating to the Sun principle, the dynamic, creative, positive, masculine, external, light, Heaven, etc.

The yin relating to the Moon principle, formative, receptive, female, potential, internal, darkness, Earth, etc.

Not as opposites but as a constant change from one to the other.

So within the yang we find the beginning or seed of the yin principle, within the yin we find the beginning or seed of the yang principle.

These principles are carried within the yang and yin meridians. III. The principle of no. 3, the Trinity; the Trinity or the 3 fold aspect of Divinity as is found in practically all major religions.
The creative force behind all living things.

In Chinese philosophy it is seen as the breath of life.

In the study of alchemy we find the trinity represented in the principles of the spirit, the so ul and the body, or the mercury, the sulphur and the salt.

In the study of astrology we find the 3 durations: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable.

This we find in Oriental philosophy represented in the 3 stages of yang and the three stages of yin. Or as is said: 3 factors (principles) serve to complete Heaven, 3 factors (principles) serve to complete Earth, and 3 factors (principles)'serve to complete Man.

This is the principle of the Three Heater or San Chiao and the 9 continents the principles with which You actually work with in acupuncture treatments. Within the meridian system we find the 3 stages of yang and the 3 stages of yin as follows:

1. The beginning, small or lesser yang named Shao Yang. Its principle is so beautifully phrased in the translated texts as:
"The light power of yang is being born and is growing".

2. The coming to maturity, middle, bright or sunlight yang named Yang Ming, beautifully phrased as: "The light power of yang is expanding".

3. The full growth and so mutation, greater yang or big yang named Tai Yang, phrased as:
"The yang is greatest."
In which is born the switch to yin:

4. The beginning, little, small or lesser yin named Shao Yin, phrased as:
"The power of yin is growing and driving out yang".

5. The maturity, middle, greater or big yin named Tai Yin, phrased as:
"The yin is at its strongest".

6. The end, absolute yin or the yin finish named Xue Yin, phrased as:
"Yin has passed it's peak and is changing to yang".

Here you have the 3 stages of yang and the 3 stages of yin described in the Oriental tradition.

The names of the 12 main meridians are thus derived from these ancient classifications into the 3 phases of yang and the three phases of yin. These 6 phases are furthermore represented in Heaven and on Earth, which makes 12.

So by naming, for instance, the Stomach meridian as Tsu Yang Ming, one knows immediately which phase you deal with: Tsu = leg, foot representing Earth; Yang Ming middle. yang or bright or the coming to maturity. Another example: the Heart meridian, Shau Shao Yin. Shou = arm, hand representing Heaven, Shao Yin = the beginning, little or lesser yin. etc.

So within the meridian system we find: the principles of the 1, the Unity; the principles of the 2, the Duality; the principles of the 3, the Trinity; which together are the divine principles of creation, of existence.

They are the creative principles behind everything alive.

There are many more principles found within the meridian system correlating the Eastern and Western ancient theories, but I would like to close with this life giving principle and it may give food for thought to some.

According to Eastern tradition, to stay in balance is to maintain the capacity to adapt to a continuous, harmonious Change according to the laws of nature.

Mita van Putten.

The geometry of change The geometry of 'Change'. RD




Astrology is not meant to sit in a circumscribed, isolated compartment like other "..ologies" geology, archeology, anthropology or sociology. It is the matrix or womb from which these others sprang. It's source is the primordial urge of man to understand himself in relation to life and the cosmos.

It is the oldest study of the human pysche. Like all mothers who learn from their children, Astrology can learn from its twentieth century child, Psychology. Thus the ancient goddess is alchemically infused by new blood and regenerated.

In my thesis, I focus on the theme of Inner growth or the development of consciousness. I explore this within the framework of the astrological counseling session.

I study the approaches of three exceptional astrologers. Roy Alexander, Stephen Arroyo and Liz Greene. Then I look at Gestalt psychology and visualization processes which I consider to be powerful tools when used in conjunction with astrological insight. I include three case studies to exemplify this procedure.


We are all struggling to live, to make sense of our life experiences, to fulfil ourselves and to become more whole. Most of us, however, are far from living out our full potentials. We are blocked by internal conflicts, by disowning parts of ourselves, by stress, insecurities, low self esteem and unresolved relationships (particularly with our parents). We limit our own growth by deeply held unconscious beliefs such as, "I'm not good enough" or "To gain approval by others I must inhibit myself".

The process of growth, of understanding our internal dynamics, releasing our blockages, becoming more aware and more alive is called "Individuation" by Carl Jung and "Self-realization" by Abraham Maslow. It is a process which requires effort. As Fritz Perls says, you don't have to be on a psychiatrist's couch for twenty years, "but you have to invest yourself, and it takes time to grow."(1) No therapy offers total solutions --- whether it be Freudian, Jungian, Behavioural, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, or more recently, Primal Therapy, E.S.T. Training, Rebirthing or Neuro Linguistic Programming. But all these systems offer valuable approaches and tools for inner work.

Astrology is the most ancient form of psychology --the study of human consciousness or the soul. It was studied by the ancient Chaldeans, Sumerians, Egyptians, Arabs, Indians, Chinese and the Incans. It did not have restricted boundaries, but was interconnected with the Qabbalah, the occult, alchemy, numerology, tarot and ceremonial magic. Those who practised the art of astrology were the seers, the healer-priests, the initiates in higher orders, who contemplated the mysteries of man's role in the cycles of birth and death and his relationship to the heavens.

Gradually over the centuries, the ancient metaphysical insights were lost and astrology degenerated into a predictive tool, to foretell destiny, mainly the fate of kings and nations. Such predictions were more concretely accurate in the Sixteenth century, as Liz Greene says, because a king would identify himself completely with his persona and find reality only in the external definition of his role in society.(2) In the Twentieth Century there is far more opportunity for individual differentiation from social roles. This has allowed the development of vastly differing stages of growth amongst individuals, and a spectrum of levels and qualities of consciousness which makes concrete prediction inaccurate and

The role of astrology since the advent of Twentieth Century psychology has been undergoing redefinition. There has been development away from the moralistic stance of the past, the prediction formulae, archaic concepts, unfounded generalizations, simplistic fertilization from psychology has deeply influenced the approach of Dane Rudhyar and contemporary astrologers such as Alan Oken, Stephen Arroyo, Liz Greene, Robert Hand and Roy Alexander.

However there is still ongoing confusion as to what astrology is and what astrologers should do. Woman's Weekly astrological garbage still proliferates. Some astrologers are still trying to "prove" astrology with statistics, others are immersed in speculation an gossip about the royal family, others are trying to win horse races or play the stock market. Paradoxically, it is this very dross which highlights those astrologers who pursue the depths of meaning and insight. The confusion and controversy extend to the area of counseling. Should an astrologer give a one-way comprehensive "reading", or a two-way consultation which may focus primarily on a current life problem, rather than on the horoscope? The degree to which therapeutic techniques are allowable is also in doubt. The basic format of a single astrological session with a client may not be adequate. How valuable is an accurate chart interpretation anyway? Can astrology be used effectively as a tool for inner growth or is it merely another "head trip?"


Roy Alexander makes some significant points concerning counseling. In his view, a major problem is that most astrologers focus on chart interpretation as an end in itself. " ... just interpreting the chart is not, in itself, empowering to the client."(3) His approach is that the crucial issue is to USE the interpretation in order to make a shift in your life. The empowering factor which enables people to move on from being blocked in their problems is knowledge, in the sense of experience. He seeks the clarity of insight. "When you truly experience, accept and take resposibility for the way you are, you will no longer be stuck in the problem --- you will be free of it."(4) He acknowledges that we have a large vested interest in staying unconscious of our actual experience --- in order to conform to our belief systems of the way things should be, instead of the way they are. Roy Alexander goes on to say that the purpose of an astrological session is "to assist the client to become clear about the major themes of his life and to discover which of those themes have the status of context and which have the status of content."(5) He uses Werner Erhard's term "context" to describe the basic way of perceiving life that gives shape and significance to all our experience. A given experience is the content which occurs within the framework of the context. The limiting contexts from which people are likely to be operating can be classified into three groups. These can be described as the parental injunctions, "Don't think," "Don't love" and "Don't be powerful."(6)

Defining counseling is not all that easy, but a rule of thumb that will enable us to get clear about it is to say that, "... if you are doing more than 50% of the work in the interview it isn't counseling."(7) "An activity becomes counseling when it has the character of a joint process of discovery, with the astrologer and client operating in more or less equal partnership. The purpose of counseling can be defined as leading the client to see that he does not have to go on repeating the same old patterns --- however powerful these patterns may appear to be."(8) Roy Alexander stresses that the most basic rule is that the counselor must give up his need to be right. He must always be where the client is, which means no moralizing and no judgements. And he must LISTEN. Not only to the words, but to the attitudes and feelings behind the words and to the clients body language.

Roy Alexander is not concerned with analysis because although it can lead to more and more understanding, it doesn't make a real difference because it remains at the level of head knowledge and is not really confronted on the level of experience.

The client always comes to the interview, Roy says, with a main problem he is trying to deal with. The purpose of the counseling session is to help the client get in touch with his Real Self in relation to this main issue. In this way he can understand his hitherto unconscious motivation for creating that particular type of problem, the negative pay-offs he is getting by remaining stuck in the problem, and that he has the freedom to actually let go of that blockage. This is the process of changing the underlying negative assumptions. Such insights are empowering.

Stephen Arroyo sees the art of counseling as "an interchange of energy with another person, a way of elucidating the realities of the client's total life situation and individual way of being."(9) The particular system of astrology or astrological techniques is a secondary matter. "It is the personality of the doctor or therapist or counselor that has the healing impact with the client."(10) He discusses the danger of giving specific advice and says the astrologer " ... can offer his insight, his understanding and his support; and he can provide, with the help of astrology, clarification, a sense of order and meaning, a possibility of gaining higher awareness and a sense of the ultimate implications of the present situation."(11) This enables people to deal more effectively with their lives.

In the Jupiter/Saturn Lectures, Stephen Arroyo moves still further from the old idea of a comprehensive "reading".

"If you deal with the basic energies and thus with the basic motivations of the person, you can do so much; very often you can do an effective counseling session by just referring to the sign positions and the elements of the planets. Very often someone's problems are related mainly to the Sun sign, for example, and they have never quite accepted that part of their nature. If they were born, say with Saturn opposite the Sun or something similar, they may never have really accepted themselves. And they may benefit greatly from a helpful dialogue that clarifies their identity needs and ego motivations. This would of course not be a "comprehensive reading," but it could be extremely appropriate in some cases. I am talking here of what is effective in one-to-one interchanges with clients."(12)

Liz Greene's approach to astrology and counseling is deeply infused by Jungian psychology and her own personal exploration of dreams, myths and symbols. This exploration takes her into worlds of the personal and collective unconcious. She is in agreement with Carl Jung that "... symbolic products of the psyche hold the borderland between the formal world of the archetypes and the daylight world of consciousness."(13) Astrological symbols inhabit this borderland. Through exploring them, we can come to understand our personal myth, and the way in which all external experiences and events of our lives are outer projections of our internal drama.

One of the ways Liz Greene has found most helpful is to approach the individual horoscope "... through images, rather than working to intellectually analyse the chart or define it with keywords. It is rather like a theatre. There are certain actors who have been given certain roles. This raises issues of fate, because the characters and the costumes they wear, and the particular relationships they have with each other, are given at birth. There isn't a lot one can do about it. One is simply fated to work with those characters."(14)

"Whatever you want to call them -- gods or archetypal figures or characters in a play --- there is a myth or story being told in the horoscope. And if any person comes into my life and plays an important part, he is there because in some way he is connected with my myth. Otherwise he would not be in my life. And he will be carrying the part, the projection, of one of my inner characters. What we seem to do with our horoscopes and with all these different characters is that we elect to identify with some of them and disown others. The ones that we disown become our exteriorized fate, and we meet them outside ourselves."(15)

The struggle to become more conscious, called by Jung the Individuation Process, is a struggle to claim lost land [lost parts of our Self] from the sea of the unconscious .

In her counseling work, Liz focuses upon this process. In any creative meeting with the unconscious, something does happen, she says. "I do not feel that it is the analyst who "makes" it happen, for the analyst is only the facilitator who provides a safe place in which the individual can meet the denizens of his own unconscious nature."(16) ....... Whether in therapy or in life, this process of individuation is not without suffering, for the encounter with the inner images challenges and hurts the ego, forcing the individual to re-evaluate many things. This is, in a sense an encounter with one's fate."(17)

The individuation process does not produce instant happiness, but it does make life more meaningful. It "... permits fate to unfold in a richer and more complete tapestry which is at the same time more supportive of the ego and, paradoxically, more honouring of the unconscious." (18)


Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Psychology, says most of our potential is unused, because we live in patterned behaviour, we are playing the same roles over and over again. If you find out how you are preventing yourself from growing, you then have a way of dealing with this. He says that "Awareness per se --- by and of itself --- can be curative."(19) By "awareness" he does not mean analysing. "If we explain, interpret, this might be a very interesting game, but it's a dummy activity, and a dummy activity is worse than doing nothing."(20) He also remarks that roughly 90% of people don't go to a therapist to be cured, but to be more adequate in their neurosis.

"All impoverishment of the personality," he says, "... comes about by self-alienation --- by disowning parts of ourselves, either by repression or projection -the remedy is of course, re-identification."(21)

"Gestalt' means "whole" or "complete". "A gestalt is an ultimate experiential unit." (22) Gestalt Therapy is concerned with finding the impasse, the place where a person is blocked, and working on this until the unfinished situation is completed and released, and the experience integrated. It is an ongoing process of maturation.

Fritz Perls developed some techniques which are an important part of his therapy work. His 'two-chair method' involves asking the client to act out his self-conflict by being part of his personality in one chair, then to change chairs and be the other part. This enables a dialogue to develop between the two conflicting parts. This interaction takes place in the present tense --- the therapist asks the client, "How do you feel about this problem 'Now' Any avoidance of the "Now," by reminiscing, justifying, or wandering into abstractions or tangents is confronted. (23) The client is asked to express his direct feelings. If there is a discrepancy between the tone of voice and what is being said, this is also confronted. The body language is observed closely, and the therapist draws his client's attention to the way he might be huddled on the chair [revealing tension and fear] whilst he is verbally claiming that he is coping well with his life. This process is not exactly gentle, but it is very effective in focusing right into the impasse and completing the gestalt. Fritz Perls also worked intensively with dreams, which he saw as existential messages. In his wonderfully direct style, he said that "Freud once called the dream the Via Regia, the royal road to the unconscious. And I believe it is really the royal road to integration. I never know what the "unconscious" is, but we know that the dream is the most spontaneous production we have."(24) All the different parts of the dream are fragments of our personalities. By re-owning these projected fragments, we re~own our hidden potential. Recurrent dreams, he says, are the most important. They mean that a gestalt has not been closed. There is a problem that has not been completed and finished and therefore can't recede into the background. So a recurring dream is "an attempt to come alive, to come to grips with things."(25) In nightmares, you always find how you frustrate yourself.

An example of dream work is a woman who repeatedly dreamed of spiders crawling on her. Through a dialogue with the spider using the two chair technique, where the woman was first herself, then the spider, moving backwards and forwards, she came to realize that the spider was her internalized grandmother, who always told her to use her "God-given abilities" and to be good and obedient. This made her feel, when a child, that she was a bad girl. As a woman, it gave her an ongoing sense of inadequacy and restriction.(26) Her flash of insight into the real nature of the "spider" provided the means to release her from the problem.

Visualization processes have been used for centuries, in such disparate areas as ancient rites and ceremonies, witchcraft, Kundalini yoga and spiritual healing.

Carl Jung was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, but his work developed in a very different direction. Jung was primarily interested in integrating the unconscious and conscious parts of the psyche. He studied symbols, within the realms of religion, alchemy, myths, fairy tales and art. He worked extensively with dreams, but also developed a form of visualization which he called active imagination." The patient who was awake, but with eyes closed, would be guided by Jung to begin an imaginative meditation which would enable him to make contact with his unconcious. There was no fixed goal or format.(27). Often the meditation became an inner journey. As the imagery unfolded, it seemed to Jung to frequently represent levels beyond the personal. His patient would encounter mythic figures like "The wise old man" [the benign face of Saturn] or a projected anima image of "The Temptress," a siren-type figure [Venus-Neptune] or "The Puer," an innocent, foolish young man, seeking the "Holy Grail" of his soul [the urge for the realization of the Sun].

Jung developed the term "archetype" to denote these powerful unconscious figures who represent primordial images. He also differentiated between the personal unconscious and the "collective" or shared unconscious from which these archetypes emerge. The collective unconscious "retains and transmits the common psychological inheritence of mankind."(28)

Jung saw the journey of "active imagination" as a symbolic form of the process of individuation. It involved meeting the inhabitants of both the personal and the collective unconscious.

seven gods The seven gods of the planets in Hades - Mylius, Philosophia reformata (1622)

Currently, the Simontons in America, authors of "Getting Well Again" are approaching visualization in a very different way. They are teaching a form of visual imagery as a tool to help cancer patients actively participate in recovery from their disease. First the patient relaxes, then he attempts to visualize the cancer, the treatment destroying it [chemotherapy, radiation etc.] and most importantly, his body's natural defences helping him recover, in the form of white blood cells patrolling the body and destroying abnormal cells.(29) One man saw the white cells of his immune system as white sharks swallowing the cancerous cells. Visualizing enables the patient to consciously direct his energies and participate in the process of getting well again.


In working with a client, it is valuable to firstly discuss the major syndromes or personality patterns, emerging from the horoscope, and then to focus on the critical theme. This theme, as Roy Alexander says, is often repeated several times, in different ways, within the chart.

It might be, for example, a problem of the Sun in Capricorn [ruled by Saturn] square Saturn in the first house, which increases the Saturnian influence, and results in the individuals life force and vitality being heavily repressed by Saturnian restraint, self-discipline, control and low self-esteem. It is likely that the individual perceived his father as either remote, or as an authoritarian figure who only gave conditional love as a reward for tasks acheived.

Another example is a young woman with Pluto conjunct Venus in the seventh house and a Scorpio Ascendant, which intensifies the Venus/Pluto conjunction and the problem of dealing with relationships. She is likely to be outwardly reserved, but inwardly very emotional, with an intense craving for deep relationship, which compels her to experience obsessive and painful love affairs. She probably projected her Pluto onto one of her parents, when she was a child, and saw one of them as a Plutonic figure --dominating and possessive or emotionally manipulative.

Usually there is a particular, current life dilemma that an individual is struggling with, which motivates him to seek astrological counseling. The current problem is bound up with the critical theme. The clients relationship with one of his parents is also usually involved in the major theme. The Sun and Moon particularly, but also Venus and Mars, the signs and houses they inhabit and planetary aspects to them, are prime indicators of the way we perceived our parents during childhood and are currently dealing with our internal anima/animus balance.

Once the major theme is diagnosed it is valuable to WORK on the problem in accordance with the views of Roy Alexander and Fritz Perls. This activates the conflict so that it becomes very real in the here and now, and the tension produced becomes the drive for integration.

I began using Gestalt techniques within the framework of Astrology, using the two chairs to represent the two planetary energies at the core of the problem. I soon found that this process engendered intense levels of experience. Some of my clients began to describe their feelings with language which was immediate and symbolic, like dream imagery. I decided to explore this development and use visualization procedures.

One woman had a Venus/Mars problem of caring for others needs so much that she felt selfish asserting her own. I asked her to sit in the Mars chair, close her eyes and describe herself. She said that her arms were bound by her side in chains. I then asked her to move to the Venus chair, close her eyes again, and reach out and "touch" Mars. To my surprise, she not only touched Mars, but began undoing the chains.

Visualization has become an important part of my counseling sessions. It involves allowing the client to create his own images of his blockage. It is necessary that the counselor be paradoxically in control, but not in control. The aim is to move flexibly with the development of the images, yet firmly guide the client toward integration.

This can at times take the counselor into very deep water, as on one occasion when a client who felt severely neglected during childhood by his parents, said that his emotions died at that time and he had been living in the intellectual remnants ever since. [He was currently studying medicine at university] When I asked him to visualize, he saw the badly burnt, charred body of a child in the other chair. He said that it was revolting and didn't want to touch it. After initial panic, I remembered that all conflicts are capable of reconciliation. I asked him if he could see the child before it was burnt. He could, and we were able to reach an integration. I recommended he do Rebirthing Therapy to release his severe emotional pain. His disturbance was too great to be dealt with by Astrological counseling.

I include as case studies three partial transcripts of actual counseling sessions, showing the procedure of astrological and Gestalt work and visual imagery.


Antonias chart

Antonia has the Sun in Aries [conjunct Mercury] with a Pisces Ascendant. This already'indicates her main difficulty --- a struggle to assert herself in a jorceful way [Aries] and her sensitive personality, receptive to others [Pisces].

The Sun/Mercury conjunction is in opposition to Neptune in Libra, which intensifies the difficulty. She is likely to be extremely subjective in her relationships and identify so much with other peoples needs that she loses sight of her own. This can also result in depression and self-pity. On the positive side is compassion for those with problems and an idealistic urge to help.

The Sun forms a grand trine with Pluto and the Midheaven, indicating a way of reconciling her problem through the tenth house. If she can use her vitality and will [Sun] to express herself powerfully to others [Pluto] she can successfully acheive a career in possibly the area of social welfare [Midheaven].

Toni's Moon is in Capricorn, which to a certain extent holds her down and "earths" her. She is inclined to feel that her emotional security depends on being responsible and part of a group or organization [eleventh house].

The Moon is in wide opposition to Mars in Cancer, and Mars is closely conjunct Saturn. The energy and impulse of Mars is restrained and inhibited by Saturn. This reinforces the sense of duty. "Should" takes precedent over "want." Mars, trapped by Saturn and Cancer, can either toe the line and be responsible and nurturing to others, or become moody, irritable and in-turned.

Venus in Aries forms a close square to the Mars/Saturn conjunction in Cancer. Again this aspect reinforces the problem of assertiveness in conflict with receptivity. Furthermore, Venus is in Aries, when it is more compatible with Cancer, and Mars is in Cancer when it is the ruler of Aries. Venus square Mars suggests an urge for love and sexual expression which is repressed by Saturn.

Venus is in opposition to Jupiter in Libra. The Moon is square Jupiter. Mars and Saturn are square Jupiter. So there are two T-squares involved here. [Venus, Jupiter, Mars/Saturn and secondly Moon, Mars Jupiter] If, through Jupiter, Antonia can get out into the world and focus her sensitivity, compassion and sense of responsibility into activity, into actually working with others [Jupiter in Libra] then she will be creatively reconciling her inner struggle.

But is the struggle too hard?

When Antonia came for the astrological counseling session, she was experiencing deep depression and acute lack of self-esteem. A sensitive and emotional woman, aged thirtynine, she was married with two children. She had worked for several years as a counselor on "Lifeline" when she was in her twenties. She felt that she had been going downhill since then, and in fact was experiencing the early intermittent stages of Multiple Sclerosis.

We discussed the broad themes of her chart, which seemed to repeat the Aries Sun/Pisces Ascendant problem, or we could call it the Sun/Neptune conflict.

Toni said, "I don't know where I am, which direction to go to. It is like I am in a whirlpool, going further and further down. I know I have to get out and I can get out, but after I get out, I don't know where to go." The word "whirlpool" was pivotal. I decided to call the two Gestalt chairs "Sun" and "Neptune."


Toni: "I am nothing. I feel fear. I'm sometimes suicidal. 1 can't do it anymore. I can't fight anymore. I'm tired, depressed, I have a total lack of se If worth." Lenni: "Close your eyes and describe what you look 1 ike. " Toni: I'm fat, like a pudding. I'm sloppy. I can't see my face, it is just a body, pale like an old stale pudding. A nasty, greyish-white colour. I'm not outlined, just a blob. I don't feel much."


Lenni: "How do you feel when you are really living."
Toni: "I feel free. I feel good, as if I can conquer the world. I have no inhibitions. I am bright, shining, I can almost fly. I run with total abandon. The world is so beautiful and it is all mine. There is so much good in this world and I've got it all. I've got everything that I ever wanted. I'm pretty and I'm healthy and I'm capable of doing anything that I want" to do. My body feels lovely. I have no pain. If I feel pain I just ignore it and it goes away because it hasn't found anyone who is going to look after it. My sensuality/sexuality is very strong."
Lenni: "Close your eyes, look over here at Neptune in this chair, feeling a nothing. Can you reach out and touch Neptune?"
Toni: "I don't want to touch it. It will take over me.
Lenni: "I want you to remember that you are free. Can you feel that you are free, that you are powerful and beautiful?"
Toni: "Yes."
Lenni: "Now, feeling that all through your body, can you reach out and touch Neptune?"
Toni: "It isn't there. I don't want it. I don't want anything to do with it. It's awful. Even when I'm strong it is there. I've got to get stronger."
Lenni: "Say that to Neptune. Tell Neptune."
Toni: "I don't want you. Go away. You cripple me. I don't want you. I know that you're a part of me, but just stay hidden. Stay in a corner. I'll put you in a little drawer and you can stay there. I'll close the drawer. It's just that Neptune is too big. I've got to fight it. I have to dominate it."
Lenni: "Sit here and be Neptune."
Toni: "The Sun is afraid of being dominated by you."
Toni: "Why is it afraid of me? I won't hurt it. The Sun isn't frightened of me. I'm frightened of the Sun because it is stronger. The Sun causes me to do things that society says is wrong and my family feels is wrong."
Lenni: "What things does the Sun cause you to do?"
Toni: "I can hurt my family by flaunting myself, by being sexually attractive, by not being a stereotype mother and wife. It is a big conflict for me. I really want to be the Sun but I can't be. There is too much at stake. I am only half alive."
Lenni: "So you give up being the Sun because you don't want to hurt people. And that means you are only half alive."
Toni: "Yes"
Lenni: "If you're fully alive, you hurt people."
Toni: "Yes. I don't want to hurt my children. But I'm sick, I'm in pain a lot and I'm lonely."
Lenni: "I want you to talk to the Sun."
Toni: "I love you. I wish I could be with you. I want You to know that I haven't given you up, even though -,ve put you away. I'll come and get you someday." Lenni: "I want you to reach out and hold the Sun's --and. Can you do that?" loni: "No. They are separate. They don't belong together." Lenni: "Do you want to be fully alive or only half alive?" Toni: "Fully. But it hurts too many people?"
Lenni: "If you are half dead are you able to love people?"
Toni: "I can, but it's a cold love."
Lenni: "Being alive involves loving and hurting."
Toni: "Yes. And being free. Free to be myself."
Lenni: "I want you to reach out once more and hold the Sun's hand. Can you reach out and say, "I want to be fully alive."?"
Toni: "It will hurt me. "But I can hold it's hand."
Lenni: "Can you say, "I want to be fully alive."?"
Toni: "Yes. I want to be fully alive."
Lenni: "Can you put your arms around the Sun?"
Toni: "Yes, but I feel scared."
Lenni: "How does the Sun feel?"
Toni: "The Sun is laughing. It is happy."
Lenni: "How do you feel?"
Toni: "I feel warmer. I'm getting warmer all the time. I don't really belong there but the Sun will take me and be friends with me. It might melt me. It won't mean to. I might just disappear."
Lenni: "But remember, you were the one who reached out and touched the Sun. The Sun was too frightened to touch you. You are strong, just as strong as the Sun."
Toni: "Yes"
Lenni: "You can be friends with the Sun."
Toni: "Yes, yes I can. It is feeling good."


Mylius; Philosophia reformata (1622)


Selma chart

Selma has the Sun conjunct Mars in Leo which suggests strong energy and assertiveness. In the eleventh house, this energy can best be used in the context of group involvement. It is more difficult for a woman, however, to "own" her assertiveness, and women often project onto their husbands, when they are in fact the forceful partner. If Mars in Leo is not used creatively, it can become cynical and critical.

The Sun is square the almost exact Jupiter/Saturn conjunction. This indicates an urge to expand and grow, but a simultaneous fear to do so. Saturn square the Sun suggests problems with tier father. Jupiter and Saturn are in Taurus which relates to material success through hard work and perserverance though the eighth house has the potential to rock this.

The Sun and Mars are square Uranus, which is the urge to break free and assert herself, and really be outrageous. There is an impulsive desire to throw away restrictions and express herself, no matter how unconventional this may be. It might even involve discarding the conservatism of Saturn in Taurus for the exhilarating psychological arid occult depths of the eighth house.

The Moon is in Sagittarius, trine the Sun in Leo, which is a very harmonious aspect. It is likely to enhance her health and vigour, both on an emotional and physical level. The element fire relates to energy. A Sagittarian Moon usually indicates an enjoyment of independence and space in relationships.

The Ascendant is in Libra, so there is likely to be some difficulty in expressing her fiery Sun conjunct Mars square Uranus through the milder Libran energy of co-operation.

Venus is the chart ruler, conjunct the mid-heaven in Cancer. It is the urge to work and achieve social recognition through relating to others in a manner which nurtures their growth.

The Mercury/Pluto conjunction in Leo, in the tenth house, suggest that the Venus/Cancer influence is unlikely to be sentimental. A focused mind and the ability to probe into depths is indicated.

Venus in Cancer is square the Ascendant in Libra and both are semi-square the fiery Sun/Mars.

Her North Node in the first house indicates that she needs to work on expressing her ego.

Selma's Chart reveals the theme of a strong Sun, Mars, Uranus wanting to break free, but being either restricted or focused positively by the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Taurus. Venus and the Libran Ascendant also represent a difficulty for her in expressing her Leo power.

Selma is a talented woman, who teaches leadlight, spins wool from her own sheep, and is deeply involved with health and diet. She is fortyfour years old, married, and has three children who are now young adults. During the last two years she has trained as a Rebirthing Therapist and this has caused conflict within her because of her husband's response. He has felt threatened by her stepping outside his world.

We discussed the difficulties she felt with her husband, which was the primary reason for her seeking astrological counseling. She felt he was holding her back from being herself, but she knew unconsciously, she was allowing him to block her. In other words, she was unconsciously using him as an excuse for not really living out and actualizing her own potentiality. She said, "I don't feel free to do the things I want to do. "Her husband didn't like her to joke around. "He thinks that you should be serious --- that unless you mean something, it is not worth saying." So there had been modified behaviour in the house for years, so that her husband would not be displeased. But Selma had realized that it was her problem --- she had been letting her behaviour be modified.

She said, "I have to assert myself, be myself, in any way I want to be." This statement was the Sun; Uranus and Mars trying to break out of Saturn, the Libran Ascendant and Venus ruling her chart. In order to use the two-chair technique. I simply called this polarity free self" and "the blocked self.


Selma: "I feel awful because I can't be myself." [She cries.]
It hurts inside because I keep it there, because I don't talk about it. I pretend. I can still make do. At times I feel as though I want to explode. I just make the most of it. I know I can only blame myself."

Selma: "I am bubbly. I am happy. I laugh a lot. I have fun. I am bursting with energy. I shine. I all the time. My body is really tingling and feels good."


Lenni: "Look at the blocked self. What does it look?"
Selma: "It is a black square. Solid black. Like a block something you can't move. So solid.
It wants to burst. It is bursting. It cracks like an egg, and red comes out. It explodes now, like a volcano, and some seeps out too."
Lenni: "Go over to this black square which has been exploding. Can you reach out and touch it?"
Selma: "Yes, I can bug it."
Lenni: "Can you put your hand into the redness.
Selma: "Yes."
Lenni: "How does it feel?"
Selma: "Good. It is full of life. Really vivacious and happy. it is what is inside me."
Lenni: "Can you say to this true self, "I am going to love you and let you be free.?"
Selma: "I am stuck with the square. Because I love that too. Because I've lived with it such a long time. It is a part of me. I love both parts of me. I love the redness, I love the redness much more."
Lenni: "Do you think you could put your arms around this black square and change it into a shape which is more alive?"
Selma: "A triangle. But it has sharp corners, just like the square."
Lenni: "Can you change it again, change it further?"
Selma: "An oval. It is red now."
Lenni: "A red oval."
Selma: "Which came out of the square. It feels better. I'd better give it a hug. Yeh that's it."
Lenni: "Are you happy with it?"
Selma: "Yes, I think it's a big improvement. A very big improvement."


Several weeks later, Selma had a dream. She rarely remembers her dreams, so this was a significant event.

She was a beautiful young maiden in a floating dress. She and another girl were being sentenced to death by a powerful Italian man who seemed to be in a position of high authority in society [Saturn]. They were going to be put to death by a guillotine [Mars, Saturn]. They were innocent. Their only crime was that they were young and alive. The Italian man's wife knew that they were innocent, but felt powerless to do anything. She was dominated completely by her husband.

Just before the execution, Selma felt a deep sense of peace in the realization that death could only kill her body, not her soul (Sun]. So she walked up to the Italian man told him that she was innocent. He already knew this. But the fact that she stood up for herself (Mars} impressed him, because everyone had always allowed him to dominate them. He spared her life.

This dream reveals that an integration is truly taking place in Selma's unconscious. She no longer needs to play out the role of the dominated wife. She has faced her own Saturn and is now able to live out her Sun and Mars. Integration is a process --- Selma had begun working on herself long before the astrological session, but it did produce a release, which led directly to the dream. At the time of the counseling session, in May 1985, Selma's progressed Sun was only one degree from exact with the Ascendant. [It is therefore probable that she was born four minutes earlier.] Her last moving from the darkness of the twelth house, to shine in the first.


The shaping of the world egg: Ptah working on a potter's wheel, Egypt.


James chart

One of my clients was a sensitive, but successful, forty year old business man whom I will call James. In his natal chart, he has a Leo Sun and a concentrated grouping of planets around the Midheaven, all fire and earth, polarized by a vulnerable Pisces Moon in the fourth house. The Moon is in opposition to Mars. Uranus, his ruling planet, is square Mars. Throughout his life he had pushed himself to achieve highly [four planets in the tenth house] but never experienced satisfaction from his achievements. He was continually frustrated [Mars, Uranus]. It was as though he was trying to prove to his internalized mother [Moon] that he was not a failure.

At the time of the counseling session, he was experiencing the transit of Uranus conjunct his Asdendant and in opposition to his natal Uranus. This activating the Mars/Moon opposition. His marriage was strained and undergoing considerable redefinition. His sense of identity was in crisis. He just wanted to out of his pattern of chronic frustration, but could see no way out.

Because of the three planets involved [Mars, Uranus and the Moon] I found it simpler to again use the terms "blocked self" and "free self". James was so depressed that he was able to describe his blocked self in detail, but could say nothing about his free self. I asked him whether he had ever felt free.
He remembered a time about nine years earlier, he had been walking through a Canadian forest in the morning, with the leaves wet and fresh dew. He said that his senses had been alive and tingling. I asked him to say the words loudly, "My senses are alive and tingling," then to say, "I am alive and tingling." He actually changed his posture being slumped in the chair to sitting upright and stretching his legs. Finally we began to develop a dialogue between the two parts of himself.
When I asked him to visualize his blocked self, he rep;ied that he couldn't visualize. He had tried with various meditation practices, but had always failed. I persisted by reminding him that his blocked self had that it was enclosed by a wall. I asked him if he could see that wall.

He closed his eyes and said that he saw a fence, which seemed to be made of bamboo. I asked him, in three stages, to walk to the fence, touch it, then look over it. Each step was difficult. He looked at his blocked self, which was a primitive figure like a tribal chief, sitting on a crude throne. He was wearing a heavy mantle, made of coarse hair and sticks, which bowed him down. No head was visible, just arms and legs, which barely protruded.

I asked him if he could reach out and touch this blocked self. He said, "Yeh, I've got him by the arm." Then he said with a grin, "Shall I pull him out from underneath his load?" I was surprised by his initiative, but I said, "Yes, if you want to." As he pulled the being out, light seemed to flash and suddenly the thing's arms turned into wings and James flew up into the sky. I don't know who was more astonished, James or I.

From the Turba Philosophorum 'THE ALCHEMICAL ANDROGYNE.'


The Astrological/Gestalt and Visualization methods used in the three case studies may not appeal to everyone. Indeed, those with a strong Mercury/Uranus bias will probably dismiss all visualizing as ephemeral, Neptunian illusion. Those with a dominant Pluto will like the levels of emotional catharsis, but would prefer a lusty primal scream. Saturnian individuals will feel threatened ---- "Boundaries have transgressed. This is not astrology." Boundaries in fact been crossed over, but that is precisely the role of the transpersonal planets, and of Uranus in particular --- to go beyond Saturn, in order to reform structures which were too restricted.
Astrology is a very rich, symbolic matrix, inhabiting the borderland between the conscious and unconscious worlds. Its music can be played with many instruments. Not everyone prefers a violin.
I do not suggest that all astrological counselors should use these methods --- there are many other logical approaches which might be more relevant to individual astrologers. Nor do I suggest that these methods are appropriate for every client. I simply offer my personal approach as one of many valid forms astrological counseling. Furthermore, I do not claim one single, visualized integration will totally release a deep-seated inner blockage. Yet it is, in Liz Greene's words, "a creative meeting with the unconscious" and "something does happen."(30)
Some individuals have such deep internal pain, that a single counseling session is inadequate. One of my clients, a thirty-seven year old social worker, with a Sun/Moon opposition square Mars, saw himself trapped inside an immensely high chimney with totally smooth walls. He hated being imprisoned, but was afraid that it might be worse outside. After some time, he found an internal ladder, and with continual ambivalence he climbed to the top. He sat on top of the wall, deliberating about returning, but eventually took an elevator ride to the outside to the ground. Again he hesitated before daring to go out. He found himself in a of gigantic flowers which shrank to normal proportions as he felt more selfconfidence. He remarked with a wry smile that perhaps the garden was simply another type of wall, like the chimney. Five months later, he suicided.

The Simontons, involved in cancer research, have found it important to carefully monitor their patients' visual imagery. One woman's health was declining, and it transpired she had been daily visualizing her cancer as a group of ants, constantly advancing, despite the concerted efforts of her immune system's guards. The woman was persuaded to change to more positive imagery and her condition began to improve.

it is a basic principle of Natural Therapies and Holistic medicine that emotional and mental states play a significant role in susceptibility to disease. Recent research suggests that there are psychological profiles associated with disease patterns---the perenially pressured, competitive stance, connected to heart problems ---- and the emotionally suppressed stance of always denying self and fitting in with others, connected to the likelihood of cancer. There is a growing body of evidence that emotional and mental states are also very important in recovery from disease.(31)

Astrology is deeply concerned with emotional and mental states. It is the art of interpreting psychological profiles. It is a tool for probing into unconscious levels of the psyche. It can offer structure and meaning to the maze of life's experiences. Far more than that, it is a key to unlock doors on the journey of inner growth or selftransmutation. To repeat Liz Greene's words, the individuation process "permits fate to unfold in a richer and more complex tapestry which is at the same time both more supportive of the ego and, paradoxically, more honouring of the unconscious."

Do we, as astrologers, wish to continue playing the trivial pursuit of one-way readings? or do we want to perpetuate the benign naivety of "giving advice"? Astrology has the power to diagnose an individual's central conflicts and reveal the direction necessary for integration. Surely the role of astrological counselors is to responsibly meet the challenge of using this power.

Do we dare allow Astrology, the ancient goddess, to open her arms and embrace her Plutonic child, Psychology, thus regenerating? In all rebirth there is pain, as well as exultation.
-Lenni Foster.

female hierophant

From Montfaucon's Antiquities - 'A FEMALE HIEROPHANT OF THE MYSTERIES.'

1. Fritzs Perls p.2. "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim." ed. John stevens. Bantam. 1971.
2. Liz Greene p.153-156. "The Astrology of Fate."
3. Roy Alexander. p(xi) "The Astrology of Choice. A Counseling Approach". Weiser. 1983.
4. Roy Alexander p.6. ibid.
5. Roy Alexander p.45. ibid.
6. Roy Alexander p.46. ibid.
7. Roy Alexander p.83. ibid.
8. Roy Alexander p.84. ibid.
9. Stephen Arroyo p.51. "Astrology, Psychology & the Four Elements". CRCS Publications. California.1975.
10. Stephen Arroyo p.93. "The Jupiter/Saturn Conference Lectures". CRCS Publications. Nevada. 1984.
11. Stephen Arroyo p.245. "Astrology, Karma & Transformation". CRCS Publications. California.1978.
12. Stephen Arroyo p.92. "The Jupiter/Saturn Conference Lectures." ibid.
13. Liz Greene p. 130. "The Astrology of Fate" ibid.
14. Liz Greene p. 17. "The Jupiter/Saturn Conference Lectures" ibid.
15. Liz Greene p.17. "The Jupiter/Saturn Conference Lectures" ibid.
16. Liz Greene p.138. "The Astrology of Fate" ibid.
17. Liz Greene p138. "The Astrology of Fate" ibid.
18. Liz Greene p. 155. "The Astrology of Fate" ibid.
19. Fritz Perls p.17. "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim" ibid.
20. Fritz Perls p.79. "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim" ibid.
21. Fritz Perls p.245. "Gestalt Therapy Now" Penguin. U.S.A. 1972.
22. Fritz Perls p.16. "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim" ibid.
23. Fritz Perls p.164."Gestalt Therapy Now" ibid.
24. Fritz Perls p.7l." Gestalt Therapy Verbatim" ibid.
25. Fritz perls p.95. "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim" ibid.
26. Fritz Perls p.87-95. "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim" ibid.
27. Marie-Louise Von Franz p.219."Man and His Symbols" ed. Carl Jung. Dell. New York 1968.
28. Henderson p.98. "Man and His Symbols" ibid.
29. The Simontons p.6 "Getting Well Again" Bantam. U.S.A. 1980.
30. Liz Greene p.16. "The Astrology of Fate" ibid.
31. The Simontons p.47. "Getting Well Again" ibid.



Illust. J. Connelly

If at the centre all is still, peace and oneness, in order to gain experience I must move out from that centre. I must clothe that still, pure place with a system of beliefs .... beliefs about time, death, reality, other individuals, good and bad. This is the "Fall" of Adam and Eve, in eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they became self conscious beings, committed to the experience of good and evil.... separated from the One. We are born into a state of separation on Earth, and our own personal beliefs about reality are the raw materials that we use to make our way back to Oneness again. 47

At first the beliefs we clothe our childlike innocence with are gross. They concur with one or the other pole. "Anger is bad", "laughter is good", "poverty is spiritual" etc. Through experience we have the opportunity to refine those first beliefs, we have the opportunity to make our way back to Peace. As in all things on this Earth each of us must begin with the gross and through our efforts work towards the fine.

Perhaps I believe that "anger is always harmful". In line with my beliefs, wishing to be a good person, I suppress my anger. Each time anger arises within me I resist it and when energy meets resistance a field of force is created. Because 1 believe that original energy to be not good, that "not goodness" in me is magnified. I must fight to suppress something which has become quite powerful. The more I put into resisting that anger the more beyond my own control the whole situation becomes. Eventually any small irritating incident could arise and my own will is likely not to be strong enough to hold back the power house of anger I have been building. The inappropriateness and magnitude of the resultant outburst is very likely to hurt people who don't deserve it, and whom I don't wish to hurt. Misunderstandings, hurt and guilt can all result and I have confirmed my original belief.... "that anger is harmful". I now have more incentive to hold back my anger until I no longer can .... and so the circle continues, with the outside world seeming to prove my basic erroneous belief.

My original step out of the still centre was a step out of oneness into a state of dynamic imbalance. Through this state of perpetual adjustment I gain experience and understanding. I try something, find it doesn't bring the results 1 want, so 1 try something else and 1 note that the first action was inappropriate. Eventually, depending on the complexity of the desired result, through trial and error I will achieve success. A baby learning to grasp, begins with a sweeping action. This meets with limited success, so he tries a dragging action like a dog. This helps fine tune muscles in his arm but it still doesn't give him the results he wants. Finally his efforts concentrate on his hands and in the end he employs his fingers.

Each thing he tried which proved unsuccessful wasn't wasted, the muscles had to be trained and readied in a certain order. He had to work from gross to fine even though the first action seemed inappropriate. In our ignorance most of us, in our journey through life, reach a state of crystallized imbalance. As in example quoted earlier the belief that "anger is bad" can hold the individual suspended between the two poles of excess external anger and excess suppressed anger. Because the belief is constantly being strengthened by the individual's experience there is no longer room for trial and error. In a sense, the individual is no longer capable of experience in this part of their being.

How does one break out of such a circle? I must want to.

I must be willing to act on a sense that I could be happier, or more peaceful. Or I must be willing to act on a sense of being out of touch with some core of myself which I feel is worth getting to know.

The desire for a state of greater peace must become strong enough to be a real force, when the opportunity for change out of that crystalline state arises. I must endure increasing pain as I begin to see the possibility of change and find my will too weak and the endeavour too great to bring it about. Each time an opportunity for courageous new action presents itself I am unable to accept it, there is a sense of defeat, inadequacy, guilt. The pain is as difficult as that I suffered through my inappropriate behaviour, but there is a difference. Now there is a striving, I have to trust an intangible sense telling me that things could be better. I have begun on the search toward refinement. Thus through a desire for change, change has occurred, but at this stage it is little comfort.

This suffering is useful suffering though, it is a negative state, it is a state of receptivity. What I desire ... the positive, active force is 'something' more pure. I am being calcined by my suffering now, brought a state where I can absorb Grace from that which is All-Pure. The dangers are many at this stage. I may seek ways out of the fire. Drugs and alcohol and other sensory pleasures can ease the pain and make me forget about my state of dis-ease. I can become absorbed in matter so that the 'sense of something more refined' seems ridiculous.

Many times I can fall by the wayside at this stage, but there will eventually be a time when the desire for a more peaceful state will not be shouted down and I will remember that I was striving for something worthwhile. Now I am ready to know what I must do to accomplish change in this area of my life.

Because I am now ready, knowledge that I have come across before, possibly, will mean something to me now. Because of my newly opened state it could have the power of a revelation. And herein lies another danger, forgetting my own receptive state as part of the dynamic, I may see the acquisition of knowledge alone as the cause of the powerful effect. I may leave my quest here and seek more and more knowledge trying to duplicate the revelation I felt I'd received initially. It is possible I will diverge here for a while, but then depending on the strength of my initial desire for something essential, the attraction of books and speakers will pall a little, and again I find myself looking at what I'm dissatisfied with in myself.

Now I'm equipped with knowledge I have the tools with which to bring about change in myself. It is now that the work can begin.

The time comes, almost certainly sooner than I expect, invariably slightly before I feel I am ready. Perhaps it is a moment when, according to my new knowledge, anger would be a beneficial response, but rooted in my very being is the axiom that anger is harmful.

At this point it is no longer okay to swallow hard and be silent, to contemplate the whys and wherefores at a later date. No other action is appropriate except that which I now know to be more true.

I take a deep breath and tackle the moment. I may be clumsy, inept. I probably am, but that is simply because I have taken up the challenge of living experience again. Other people may react unfavourably. No one congratulates me or realises the courage involved.

But inside I am rewarded. Like drops of water on the tongue of a thirsty man, I absorb some of that intangible essence that was the whole reason for my so endeavour. It becomes a small part of me, and so strengthens, ever so slightly, my understanding of what it is I am questing after.

Judith Connelly


The Emerald Tablet















We have been taught that Alchemy is about the transmutation of energy. What does this mean though and what is the use of such an exercise? I searched for many years for the answers. Some of them I found in Chinese philosophy/alchemy and some of them in Western alchemy. But the whole purpose and idea of it all came clearest when I started to read about the works of Gurdjieff. A magician and philosopher, and a Sufi master who was very prominent in the Western world between the two World Wars. In short he greatly questioned the purpose of human life on earth. Normally we tend to see ourselves as the summit of creation. We take it for granted that the whole earth, indeed the solar system was created to finally produce us and for us to make use of.

If we start to question this and we start to sense that something is not quite right in the belief that the purpose of life on earth is man-made, then we come up against a new way of looking at the world and life. And it is this way of looking that makes Gurdjieff's contribution so distinctive. If there is a sense and purpose in human life that can be understood, then we have to play a part in the fulfilment of it.

All life depends on other life. Or as Trismegistus says in the Emerald Tablet: as all things were produced from One by the mediation of the One, so all things are produced from this One thing by adaption. This meens we have to adapt to the prevailing energies of the time and consciously nourish and maintain them.

In a way we have adapted to the prevailing energy of the element of Air of the Aquarian age. We have built aeroplanes and have built sky scrapers. So we have moved up into the Air.

But do we consciously nourish and maintain this energy? So far we have only taken from this energy and not given anything back. According to Gurdjieff, something is required of the human race, a finer subtle energy that is needed for the maintenance of our solar system. It is an idea or principle that was prominent in older times. Zoroaster spoke about it 2,500 years ago and it was implicit in the older Jewish scriptures. I do suspect that old structures like the Pyramids and Stonehenge were built for just such a purpose. Gurdjieff calls it the doctrine of Reciprocal Maintenance. The doctrine of Reciprocal Maintenance is everything that exists in the universe depends on other things for its maintenance and must in turn maintain the existence of others.

At the same time a great process of sensitization or spiritualization is proceeding on this earth and throughout the solar system and we have to make our contribution to it.

We know that we take a great deal from this earth. We are beginning to see that we are taking more than we are entitled to, that we are running heavily into debt to the earth and to life. This makes it even more important for us to know how to repay, how to square our account with the earth and with life. We can interpret this as exhaustion of resources and pollution of the environment, etc. but deep down we feel intensely uneasy about the significance of it all.

Gurdjieff assures us that certain subtle energies to be consciously produced by mankind are needed to maintain a proper balance in the solar system. It is only when the human race realises these responsibilities and falls into line with the prevalent cosmic energies (Archetypes) that we see the heights and flowering of civilizations. When this is not the case, great catastrophes and sudden changes in the solar system can be expected. The maintenance of our solar system is in part dependent on human understanding.

It is here that the study of alchemy comes in. It teaches us about the transmutation of energies and increases our understanding of the how and why of the universe.

By the study of the different cycles, astrology and above all the study of that ancient glyph "The Tree of Life" we increase our cosmic awareness. But that by itself is not enough. According to Gurdjieff we should also increase our sense of responsibility on a cosmic scale. By doing that we then also strengthen our souls, our "sulphur" becomes more fixed. It is only then that our human potential starts to become more fulfilled.

To break through our conditioned mind and reflexes he suggested a series of unusual exercises, which we nowadays try to do with Tai Chi and other martial arts.

For further help in this process he mentioned the use of what he so beautifully called an "enabling substance". This no doubt would have been an alchemical substance of a very high order.

In the olden days it was believed that any situation in life may be represented as a dynamic pattern for which there exists a precedent in nature. Cosmology was therefore the reigning science, for by knowledge of the laws of growth and celestial motion it was found possible to divine the appropriate response to any circumstances, to harmonise the conflicting interests, to predict and thus to influence the course of events.

-Gerard van Putten


Gurdjieff Today, by J. G. Bennett.
City of Revelation, by John Michell.
Worlds in Collision, by Velikovsky.
Synchronicity, by C. J. Jung.
The Philosopher's Stone, by Israel Regardie.




Many are the houses in which I have lived and many are the houses I have passed thr6ugh in which other people lived. They have all had one thing in common and that is they were painted in the colours of the previous occupants, often layer upon layer upon layer. Sometimes they were the same, imbuing the rooms with a very definite aura, and the rooms would almost seem alive with whispering, murmuring of events that had long faded with the memories of those whose experiences they had been. But most of them were a hotch potch, as varied as the people who had left a little of themselves behind in the layers on the walls and the pins and the beads and the dust gathered in the gaps in the floorboards.

A lot of the houses have blurred and are only recalled by something causing a long forgotten happening to rise to the surface, where it is briefly wondered at before it returns from.whence it came. Other houses are easily evoked and from their wide open windows spill the faces and the laughter of the friends who shared the growing.

And the separate houses from which we had come, fleeing from the frustration and uncertainty of the pass over point from childhood.

Most of the first houses we lived in were old, remnants and reminders of times that had passed. They were all decaying, some from the foundations up and they seemed to be slowly sinking back into the earth, to be built upon by a new generation. In others the walls were splitting asunder, weakened by the shifting soil on which they were built, water, neglect and borer working unceasingly until the roof collapsed. With some, the foundations and the walls remained standing long after the roof had been worn away by the elements, allowing nature to creep in, covering all traces with profusion of luxurious growth.

And then there was another house, old and ramshackle, yet it had an air of gently declining grace and a faintly lingering odour of roses, that perhaps, emanated like a memory from the faded wallpaper.

There was also one, filled with books and things to do, quaint curious things that one could spend days or weeks, sometimes even months or years examining and never realize where the time had gone or even what you had done with it, lost in timeless reveries, a whispering wind stirring the pages of the books so they seemed to be talking to each other in a secret language.

Some people lived in a house that radiated a force that drew you in, where everything seemed to be done as you thought of it, enveloping you in an amorphous closeness that separated you from the struggle and turmoil that raged outside the doors.

There was one filled with a sense of airyness, ethereal and filled with fascinating, fragile fleeting things, like half glimpsed thoughts that leave a faintly lingering trail of light that was never enough to see by.

Some friends lived in a house with a garden that twisted and twined with a profusion of different plants and animals, moist and fecund, one could feel that they were part of a procreative process that carried on endlessly, relentlessly, and unrestrained, where something that was there one day was gone the next, where even the strongest survived only until something stronger came along.

And another house, filled with hopes and dreams and laughter and the sound of lovers sighing in a delight that faded in time to wine stains on the carpet and the sound of tears whimpering down the hallway, cut off by the slamming of a door.

There were some strange houses, like one some friends of mine lived in for a while, it was aesthetically pleasing, yet on even the hottest day there was a lingering coldness that left one chilled to the bone. The garden too, was symmetrical with never a dead flower, a weed or a blade of grass out of place and there never seemed to be any birds, bees or other insects in the garden, the children seemed to lose their joy and spontaneity, becoming cold and withdrawn.

Also there exists a house, or perhaps there are many, shrouded in fog that swirls around the edges of a maelstrom which tugs and twists the vestiges of sanity, until it falls like tattered rags at your feet, leaving you free to play as even what you shattered lies, from whence few emerge, stranger and stronger, while those who stay find themselves caught in an endlessly repeated, self perpetrated kaleidoscope of cause and effect wherein their actions and reactions are continuously reflected back at them from the situations they live.

Moving in areas of houses, shaded by trees, where flowers nod in a warm breeze to the carefree sound of laughter which mingles with the tinkling of glasses and the humming of swimming pool pumps.

To others, where the breeze stirs the dust on barren ground, and where the crying of children mingles with the sound of buzzing flies and the dripping of broken taps.

Yet there is another that was created with a love that shifts, changes and evolves in harmony with some immutable law, that is as subtle as it is eternal, where as the golden sunlight floods the rooms, playing through gently swinging crystals so that the facets reveal a myriad of colours, which slowly fading to be replaced by layer upon layer of coloured clouds as the sun sinks towards a new day followed by the stars in their backdrop of deep blue velvet, there is a knowing deep down inside, that wherever I may go, I abide in a mansion of many rooms.

Jeannie Radcliffe


Dr Paracelsus - Teacher

Every human being lives and acts according to that which they believe to be right at the time. Later, perhaps, for some more often than not, that which was right to do yesterday seems wrong on retrospect today. Each action however can only truly be assessed within the context of the prevailing circumstances and environment. How few there are who follow their own inner sense of right and wrong and allow others to do likewise, without interfering.

It is extraordinary how often the name 'Paracelsus' is found dotted throughout esoteric and exoteric literature. He is as fine an example of the archetype 'Genius Angry at a Bureaucratic World' as you are likely to find anywhere in history books. Of course the doctors and scientists of today now laugh at how silly their ancestors of the sixteenth century were not to listen to one who knew so much, but this begs the question as to how warm a reception he would receive before a modern audience of undergraduates and Professors, whether of Orthodox or the so-called 'Alternative' persuasion.

There is one major difficulty in writing anything worthwhile on this subject. No-one currently alive ever met the man. If we are interested - and why shouldn't we be - in finding out a little about one who in this case died, so we are told, on September 21st 1541, or (September 24th depending which book you read), we are obliged to rely on the pieced together accounts of the various historians, or read what he himself wrote.

Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim, who called himself 'Paracelsus', was a rather prolific writer of short books on the subjects of Medicine, Philosophy and Alchemy. At the time. Alchemy was a respected if often misused term used to describe a multitude of things relating chiefly to the process of purifying metals. To get rich quick, one simply needed to know an Alchemist and be given the correct 'lead into gold' recipe. Some Alchemists were hard working metallurgists, others were equally hard working con men. The third category - that of those who were actually engaged in the work of 'Raising Vibrations' as part of assisting in the Evolutionary Process and who as a test of their current batch of 'Medicine' would perhaps see if a little of it could raise a metal up a rung or two on the evolutionary ladder - hardly deserves a mention. They were so few and far between and in general so far from the public eye, that if one did a tour of the known Alchemists in a sixteenth century city, one could be fairly sure not to meet one of the latter group.

Literature concerning Paracelsus deals chiefly with two things. It quotes verbatum from his books - or rather as close to verbatum as the translator can get, as the meanings of many words and concepts are hard to understand in any language. Or it traces his life from childhood in the woods of Switzerland, through to the bitterness and anger at the medieval scientific establishment that marked his later life.

His life story seems to trigger a sympathetic response in many. We find in him a champion against the Stuffed Shirt. An example of one who favoured a direct, radical approach to the process of learning rather than the 'Do Not Rock The Boat Because It Is Too Lucrative' approach common to the medical schools of the day. He wished to teach in the common German language, much to the horror of those to whom the medieval latin was the proper language of the scholar. In the Basle market place we are told, in front of students, Professors and their current and prospective patients, he burned the books of the up to then God-like Avicenna. There are also references to an interesting set of experiments he wished to carry out on human faeces, the beginning of which, so the story goes, has him carrying a plate full into a class of, so we are told, rather overwhelmed medical students.

The only text-book he showed any respect for was personal experience. He despised and condemned those medical students who graduated as doctors without having had any practical experience with the sick. If his writings are any indication of the contempt with which he held his peers the man himself must have been dynamite. Tact seems not to have been one of his most noted attributes. The European medical establishment became littered with embarrased doctors, who in an effort to protect the status quo made his life as difficult as they could. The establishments' main difficulty in this regard seems to have been Paracelsus' extraordinary success rate in treating all manner of diseases. As there is nothing the selfconceited dread more than being exposed for the fools they are, there was a limit to how far they could go in their anti-Paracelsian activities.

Experience then as now, comes only one way. The hard way. From the mines of the Tyrol, among Gypsys and vagabonds, from Moscow to Cairo, through Ireland, Finland, Spain, the Middle East. For years he travelled, learning and experimenting, constantly adding to his store-house of knowledge and experience. Theory was fine, but only as a preliminary guide to how practice should proceed. If someone says 'I know', one assumes they are quoting their own practical experience, for what real value is a system based on another's experience?

Approaching the works of Paracelsus can be a daunting exercise. Although more than many other authors of Alchemical literature he is committed to the open statement of the Truth as he sees it, so many of the concepts are so obscure by nature, for those not versed in his system, that the innocent student quickly becomes overwhelmed.

As everything should be attempted with some purpose in mind, the question arises, why study the works of Paracelsus? For some, there seems to be some comfort in befuddling the brain with mysteries and secret things. The more mysterious and high-sounding a book, the more highly it is regarded. One gets lost in the idea of the great personages who can not only write but also understand these things. It gives a sense of temporary relief and comfort knowing that one possesses THIS book which contains all those amazing ideas. Pretty soon though, the effect wears off and one finds another book containing even more mysteries.

Reading books is not a waste of time, but reading books that tell you to do things, without either the intention to do them and subsequent efforts in that direction, or the conscious intention not to do them but perhaps to compare them with things one is doing, is. After all we read books supposedly to learn things, but learning from another's experience is only possible when you make their experience become your experience by doing what they suggest.

The books written by Paracelsus are not for everybody. It is wonderful that in this age of efficient communication they stare at you off many a bookshop and library shelf, but this does not alter the fact that they may not be the right thing for you, now. If on the other hand one perseveres with a study of his writings, they will gradually open up to the industrious unraveller great scope for practical experimentation.

If the treasure-house of Alchemy has a series of doors, then the key to the first must surely be patience and hard work. These virtues Paracelsus requires of his readers. He obtained his knowledge the hard way and he does not easily part with it to those of the cursory glance. Do not expect an easy journey through this man's writings. He is as difficult dead as we are lead to believe he was when alive. There are many more comprehensible works on the bookstore shelves. Be content to be inspired by his biography and leave it at that, unless you truly wish to study what this great man has left us. Reading in this case is just not enough.
Gregory Sneddon



To understand Traditional Chinese Medicine one must be familiar with the many principles of Taoist philosophy. In this brief introduction to Chinese thought, I shall use the number system 1-10 as did the ancient sages to describe the underlying philosophy.
(1) Tao
(2) Yin and Yang
(3) The concept of Heaven-Earth and Man (also Tai Chi)
(4) The Four Seasons (also the Four Images)
(5) The Five Elements
(6) The Six Climates (also the Six Divisions)
(7) The Seven Internal Evils
(8) The Eight Principles (also the 8 Trigrams or Eight Great Manifestations)
(9) The Nine Continents (also the Nine causes of disease)
(10) The Ten Celestial Stems (and Twelve terrestial Branches)

In this issue I will concentrate on the first two concepts, Tao and Yin/Yang. In the system of numbers by which I have chosen to introduce basic Chinese Philosophy, the Tao (pronounced DAo) is numbered as 1. To understand why this is so, I shall begin with an ancient diagram used to depict the evolution of the fundamental principles of natural forces. It is known as the "Diagram of Cosmic Evolution in Terms of the 64 Hexagrams". This diagram is the substance of a very old classic of Chinese literature, the I Ching. It perceives man as a cosmos in miniature (microcosm) responding to, and fashioned after the universe, acting and reacting under the influence of the same forces and laws which prevail in nature. these primary forces were identified by the Chinese as Yin and Yang, the Four Images (that correspond to gravity, the strong and weak nuclear forces and electromagnetism in modern physics), and the five elements.

Diagram 1

At this stage, I will be discussing only the basic concepts implicit in this diagram. The bottom blank space represents that which is undivided and that which the rest is dependent upon; it is variously named the Tao, the Supreme Ultimate and primal Chaos. It should be noted that each stage of manifestation can be represented by a binary number (yang= O, yin= 1, although odd numbers are said to be yang and even numbers yin). This structure is similiar to computer language and has many parallels with electronics theory. Chang Chuang Yuan in speaking of the Tao states that,

"It is nameless and termless,but it is the potentiality from which all things emerge". Lao Tsu in the Tao Te Ching explains that "the tao that can be spoken of is not the Tao itself. The name that can be given is not the name itself. The unnameable is the source of the universe". The Tao Te Ching is the essence of Taoism and the Tao its source, truth with no dogma.
"Look, it cannot be seen - it is beyond form
Listen, it cannot be heard - it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held - it is intangible.
These three are indefinable;
Therefore they are joined in one.
From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark;

An unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness.
The form of the formless,
The image of the imageless,
It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.

Stand before it and there is no beginning
Follow it and there id no end.
Stay with the ancient Tao,
Move with the present.

Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of Tao"

In the Taoist Philosophy of manifestation it is said that in the first stage, a creative force sparked out of the void and descended with a circular motion, returning to the source, hence delineating an entity within the void. Void being symbolized Oas the great unity or 'great nothingness'. The concept of circular motion is also present in the cyclic pattern and change in the universe. Einstein showed that light itself does not move in straight lines, but is curved and returns back on itself. Due to the momentum created by the force, it continues beyond the source to divide the entity in two-or polarize it, hence the emergence of duality or dual power. Dual power is the original instigator of change or movement, since there now exists a relationship between the two derived from no-thing of the first stage. It followed that all happenings in nature were conditioned and fashioned by the constantly changing relationship of these two cosmic regulators, thereby giving birth to relativity, or a relative world within the oneness of the Absolute.

Named Yin and Yang, these two complimentary opposites (they together make up the whole) are considered to be the primogenial elements from which this universe was created. lleaven was created as a result of an accumulation of Yang; Earth because of an accumulation of Yin. It was eealized that both Yin and Yang were always present,,neither of the components ever existed in an absolute state and there was continued transformation from Yin to Yang and vice versa, this duality being preserved within an entity.

For the Chinese, who derived their livelihood from agriculture, a philosophy of manifestation such as this gave also practical foundations for their relationship with nature. For the Yin and Yang expressed phenomena which were part of their everyday life. A literal translation of the two Chinese characters result in the meanings, 'the shady side of the hill' for Yin and the 'sunny side of the hill' for Yang. So Yin was the dark and Yang the light, complementary opposites being part of their everyday life, eg. Yin represented the shady, cloudy and cool element, while Yang the bright, sunny and hot element. The division of phenomena and effects into polar groups may be traced back to the archaic beginnings of Chinese culture. Below is a table showing the primary correspondances of Yin and Yang.

Correspondences of;

moon / sun
earth / heaven
autumn, winter / spring. summer
female / male
cold, coolness / heat, warmth
interior / exterior
structive / active
contractive / expansive
centripetal / centrifugal
negative / positive
the lower part / the upper part
water, rain / fire
quiescience / movement
the right side /the left side
night /day
passivity /activity
decay / growth
blood (xue) / qi (energy)

If we keep in mind the original meanings of Yang and Yin and their original functions as that of manifestation of heaven and earth, we can begin to understand the meaning of the Tao ('the way') to the Chinese peasant. Since the entire universe followed one immutable course which became manifest through the change of night to day, through growth and decay, man in his utter dependence upon the universe could do no better than follow a way conceived after that of nature. The only manner in which man could attain the right way, the Tao, was by following the laws of nature and adjusting to them.

Thus man saw the universe endowed with a spirit that was strong for those that followed it and unforgiving towards disobedience, it must be remembered that the sun shines on all equally and impartially.

The Chinese people perceived that within nature there was a graduation of power; the earth being dependent on heaven. When rain did not come and winter snows thawed too late for the young lambs, it indicated that heaven was more powerful. Heaven through its visible manifestations was the ruler of the world and united its Tao with that of the earth in order to complete the yearly cycle of nature, thus man conformed with the way of the Tao. This concept of Tao was subdivided into the Tao of Heaven, the Tao of Earth, and the Tao of man symbolised by the sacred tortoise, each fitting into the other as an indivisible entity.

If we now return to diagram 1, we see at the bottom a blank space, undivided - an expression of the Tao, nameless and formless, it being the potentiality from which all things emerge. On the diagram, above the blank space is the area of polarization of forces, polarization, it must be remembered is not opposition, but complimentariness, the dark and light, the receptive and the projective, that is Yin and Yang. This presents to us the idea of an image of the nature of all that is and all that can be experienced in this known, and yet to be known universe wherein we exist. It is a graphic display of the 'being' and 'non-being' of everything that will be humanly experiencable.

It is difficult with our Western orientation and logic to see that 'being' and 'non-being' are initially generative and initially supportive because Western man so readily supposes that nothing is the permanent end of the universe. It is not easily graspable that the void is creative and that being comes from non-being as sound from silence.

"The Tao begot one
One begot two
Two begot three
And three begot the ten thousand things
The ten thousand things carry Yin and embrace Yang.
They acheive harmony by combining these forces"

Lao Tsu 'Tao Te Ching'.

As the Chinese proved over and over again, following the Tao was the way to ensure success. Certainly on the practical level this was borne out again and again in their agriculturally dominated lives plant in Spring, growth to maturity in Summer, harvest in Autumn, and rest in preparedness in Winter. Such concepts played an important part in early Chinese medical thought which was so inextricably entwined with philosophical concepts. In fact, in the Nei Ching, many references are made to impress the reader that his health, and with it the highly desirable state of longevity, depended largely upon his own behaviour towards Tao.

In the Nei Ching we read of a number of mythological sages who enjoyed eternal youth as a consequence of their adherence to the Tao, "those who follow the Tao acheive the formula of perpetual youth and maintain a youthful body. Although they are old in years they are still able to produce offspring". Thus we can begin to understand the main thrust of Chinese medicine in terms of the Tao, not in itself but in conjunction with the two agents of the universe, the Yin and Yang. So Taoism is living one's life in accordance with the forces of Yin and Yang that results in the natural way of life. It is finding the path whereby we may balance the two primary forces within the realm of our existence, it is living in harmony with nature. it is in one sense like the Ancient Greek idea of 'temperence', in which happiness is obtained by the avoidance of excesses. Harmony with nature is sleeping (Yin) at nightime (Yin) and working or being active during the daylight hours (Yang); waking with the dawn and resting in the evening; wearing warm clothes in Winter, cool clothes in Summer; adjusting our diets so that warmer foods are taken in Winter and cooler foods are taken in Summer; slowing down one's activities in Autumn and Winter and increasing activities in Spring and Summer. This is acting in accordance with the forces of Yin and Yang.

It is said that our known universe in all its manifestations is an expression of universal 'qi' Qi is a term not easily translated into English because of its many expressions, some translate it as energy or vital force).

Chu Li says that, "Life is like a loan from the universal qi". Chang Cai adds that, "Every birth is a condensation of qi, every death is a dispersal. Birth is not a gain - death is not a loss" in the Su Wen it states, "That which was from the beginning in Heaven is Qi. On Earth it becomes visible as form, qi and form interact giving birth to the myriad of things. Qi activates all the processes of the body, the unceasing circulation of blood, the dissemination of fluid in the skin and flesh joints and bone hollows, the lubrication of the digestive tract, sweating and urination. Thus one is able to smell only if lung qi penetrates the nose; one can distinguish the five colours only if the liver qi penetrates the eyes; one can taste only if the heart qi penetrates the tongue; one can know whether one likes or dislikes food only if the spleen qi penetrates the mouth." The meridians (Yang) are the paths of the transforming action of qi in the solid and hollow organs (Yin).

An understanding of Yin and Yang is fundamental to the practise of Chinese medicine. For example, the different parts of the body can be seen according to Yin and Yang as are the manifestations of disease - a fever is Yang, a chill is yin. Therefore to treat a fever (Yang) we must apply Yin (to cool the fever,) to treat a chill (Yin), we must apply Yang (to warm the chill).

The purpose of acupuncture is to balance the body in terms of Yin and Yang, the balance of which is individual. Since this philosophy was developed in a country which was primarily agricultural and man was seen to he part of his natural environment the aspects of the body were defined in terms related to the environment. The back of the body is Yang and the front Yin. Traditionally this classification came about because the Chinese being a nation of farmers feel the sun on their backs as they bent over to work in the fields. The aspect which faces the sun is Yang, therefore the back of the body is Yang. Similiarly, the front of the body is Yin as it is less exposed to the sun than is the back; thus Yang is posterior (the back) and Yin is anterior (the front).

Yet again, the head is closer to the sun than the feet, therefore the head (superior end of the body) is Yang and the feet (inferior end of the body) are Yin. Simliarly, the exterior, exposed to the warm bright sun is Yang while the interior, dark, closed and internal is Yin.

Basic points concerning the nature of Yin and Yang.

(1) Yin and Yang are not absolutes.

That is, if one were to focus to a point, unimpeded, there would be a disappearance into the Centre. Likewise, if one were to expand outwards from a Centre, unimpeded, there would be a dispersion towards nothing. There must always be a counter-balancing effect to contraction or expansion or nothing would exist, ie. the two forces must co-exist and dynamically balance one another for this phenomenal world to exist. Hence rather than a static description of phenomena, Yin/Yang represent a continuous, unceasing interchange in which a portion of the one must exist within the other, eg. there cannot be darkness without light, for within every night there is potential day. Movement in one direction implies the possibility of movement in the other, eg. filling a bowl with rice, when filled the bowl has actual fullness (of rice) and potential emptiness.

(2) Yin and Yang are relative.
Einstein like any Taoist sage knew that the description of any phenomena in terms of Yin and Yang is dependent on the point of view. If we consider the different phases of substance, it could be said that the solid is Yin when compared with liquid (Yang); however if the liquid is considered as Yin then gas could be thought of as Yang. Such a relative relationship between Yin and Yang exists on all levels. If we take the continuum of hot-warm-cool-cold, hot is Moist Yang and cold is the moist Yin, warm is hotter than both cool and cold, therefore in respect of these it is known as Yang (relatively); however, if we compare it to the hot, it is cooler and therefore is relatively Yin. Similarly, in comparison to warm and hot, cool is Yin, but relative to cold it is Yang.

(3) Yin and, Yang are complementary opposites.

It would appear that we are looking at opposites when we describe hot as opposed to cold, light as opposed to dark and so on, yet at the same time they are complementary because the one connot exist without the other, hence they complete one another. They together constitute a unified whole, always combining and co-operating, both within the body and without. AS such, the Yin/Yang theory is one of dualistic monism, as is expressed by the Tai Qi symbol or monad (an ultimate unit or being), a multi-dimensional diagram of this process.

    Diagram 3.                           Diagram 4.

Neither Yin nor Yang can exist wholly in a pure state, each contains the seed of the other - within Yang there is contained Yin and within Yin there is contained Yang, eg. The pumping action of the heart moves between the Yin and Yang extremes of contraction and expansion. As contraction occurs, the potential to expand increases until expansion occurs and vice versa, as expansion occurs the potential to contract increases until contraction begins. All operate within this balance of naturally occurring extremes. This is delightfully symbolized by the Chinese monad as movement from one extreme to the other - Yin to Yang, black to white with each having the seed of the other contained within to maintain the balance. If for any reason, the balancing mechanism is interfered with, which can occur in man due to a degree of the will, then a state of imbalance or disease can occur (this imbalance is symbolized in diagram 4). Depending on which aspect of the balance is not operating, two possibilities can occur.

A deficiency of Yin will give a Yang excess, eg. a lack of Yin (cooling and nourishing) can allow heat to predominate that could manifest as night sweats, afternoon fever, hot flushes at menopause, headaches, insomnia etc. Conversely a deficiency of Yang leads to a Yin excess, eg. a lack of heat in the body could allow cold to predominate, which could manifest in such symptoms as edema, diarrhoea, poor blood circulation, impotence or back pain.

A man belongs to the Yang, as a female belongs to the Yin, yet both male and female are products of the same two primary forces, hence both qualities are contained in both sexes. Yin and Yang both generate and mutually inhibit and control each other. Yang ascends to Heaven; Yin descends to Earth, hence the universe (Heaven and Earth) represents motion and rest, controlled by the wisdom of nature. Nature grants the power to beget and to grow, to harvest and to store, to finish and to begin anew.

-Barry Nester (Australian Acupuncture College).


There is a magic about giving. It opens gates; It begins flows; It starts things happening. Tithing, or giving one tenth to the Universe, has its origins in earliest Hebrew history. The wealthy farmers told the reapers of the wheat and barley harvest to leave one tenth of the crop on the ground for anybody to come and gather it. These are called the gleanings. one of the most beautiful stories in all literature is that of Ruth and Boaz. While gleaning in Boaz's field, Ruth and Boaz fell in love. And he married her. Their son's son was the father of King David from whose line Jesus came.

Tithing is full of meaning today. Those who have begun to tithe will tell you that they have experienced a unique change; for not only does the heart grow rich in giving but the pocket does also. It is a rule of the universe, whether we like it or not. And those who tithe never have any more financial problems. Some reject the idea when they hear about it and pretend not to understand. But those who have ears to hear will hear and a new chapter of their life will begin with rare and unexpected overtones.

What then is tithing. It is giving unconditionally and without question, one tenth of whatever money you get from this moment. You can't substitute anything for money. It is money that flows and returns one hundred fold.

-Alice Morriss



There's a little creature sometimes calls on me, taps on windows then taps on toes. I've never beard its name though I'm sure it's the sound that cuts high up on still, close nights or the call you hear through misty, hazy days and nights. And it's always your sound high and clear; touches just the core of you reacyes the nails on your fingers, the lashes of your eyes. And so when you hear it you'll know it is the creature calling and that soon it will be finding some warm crevice in your body to nuzzle in. In between your elbow and your arm, in between your toes - anywhere that's warm and soft and near.

And so after it's nestled and feels quite at home and you're feeling like it's always been this way it will begin to wink. It won't he an enormous wink - just a little twitter in fact you might mistake it for a large blink but soon you know it's a wink and then you know it's time to begin.

Your eyes begin to open wider, wider, wider stilt and then to suddenly close. Tight. You feel a slipping away of things - like gliding on a moon-lit night through still waters only you're the boat and the water and the carried all at once.

And you're always sure of the creature warm and soft and somehow joyful Soon your eyes begin to open and it's liquid light you feel. Your window has gone and now it's a hall of mirrors, an open field, the clear blue sky, the empty jetty, the sound of boats rattle everywhere and nowhere. Nothing is the same but nothing has changed except for the way that you see. And the creature warm and snug just smiles and you feel the sun warming skin, the "ah" of snow flakes falling, and the rush of heavy winds and the creature begins to laugh - and it's a festival you're in, or falling through some revolving spiral of colour and music and mirth.

And soon the creature's winking again and your eyes shut. Tight. And you feel like it's a glide again through darkness. But there are warm spaces and you arrive again, somewhere familiar. Even with your eyes shut tight you know it's a place well known and when you open your eyes it is and it's yours - your room and the creature just uncurls from the warm space. There's the noise again like something you've half-heard half-known but always just don't quite catch and you know that it's all you. The journey, the darkness, the light - the creature.

Sometimes our living
brings us to an edge
a beginning that we haven't met before
and the rules of the old game of play
have to be recoloured
often thrown - far away

Sometimes our living
brings us to an arrival
before we knew we had departed
Some of us take a longer while
to wake and to arrive
at the edge
but before dark
All ourselves come
tumbling up ...


Sometimes he'd say
the birds haven't returned
they no longer call
the sun has drawn her shades on me
the wind no longer murmurs about my being
and he saw
a place high up to climb to
just clawing
and there alone
to scream
a silent breath that the dead wind
and then he peered and whispered
"I am alone
I am afraid...."
and glimpsed the tendril twisting from the
shade the birds glide within the heart of the wind's caress
felt the world within him rising ...
his self the very seed
ready now for spring.

Maud Clark



The opportunity, to BE and DO according to the law is available to everyone. Are you familiar with this expression. "If only I had known, I would never have done or said it." So say many with regret but you will have to bear the consequence of your actions; blessing or curse. These and similiar expressions are our reflections of what we see today from what had been formed in our yesterdays with the zodiac, planets and the rays they reflect.

With the wisdom of hindsight, let us examine Uranus's motion through Sagittarius. Uranus, the comprehensive intelligence and Sagittarius, the inspirational influence with it's qualities of being the mutable or Rajasic Guna in this positive fire triad. While Uranus moves direct through Sagittarius, we all receive a comprehensive, inspirational combination of influences. This influence is still received even though their mutual relationship alters, due to the apparent retrograde motion of the planet. In direct motion, Uranus slows, coming to it's stationary point, then goes back over each dwadashamsa, coming to it's stationary point of rest again. These degrees are thrice visited by Uranus going in direct motion again. The same influence being expressed each time but alternating in polarity. This sequence could be written as: Positive (+), neutral (=), negative (-), neutral (=) positive(+). Additionally, consideration should be given to the three trines formed by Mercury in Leo, the indication of the third trine being of particular significance.

Uranus, share-bearer of the orange ray moves direct, reflecting God's will (+), then pauses momentarily, at recognition upon it's very stationary point (=), before moving in retrograde motion (-), which presents an opportunity for you to anew your conscious choice between a pleasureable or the preferable path. Uranus pauses once more (=), then moves direct (+), reflecting the consequence of your choice, until the planet arrives at the degree from whence this started and continues on activating God's Will through the heavenly concerto.

Direct, stationary or retrograde, how conscious are we of what we receive? Individually what can it mean?

-A. & C. Garden.


Union of the Wanderers Union of the Wanderers. RD


Translation from German plus comments in [brackets]
by Arthur G. Fehres from the Swiss P.R.S. Journal QUINTA ESSENTIA No.1, 1976 page 25:

During the Quinta Class 1975 (Switzerland), Frater Albertus has read to the students thereof the precise instructions on how to prepare the volatile salt of tartar. Mr. Siegfried Seifert has now been successful in finding the original in the library and has rewritten the Old German text in the German of today. To the student it is now very valuable to be able to read the complete treatise here on the volatilization of salt of tartar.

The following has been taken out of "Selected Rare Chemical Secrets" by Kenelm Digby, Hamburg 1684: An effective and true method to volatilize salt of tartar and to make the spirit of wine workable.

Take one pound well calcined tartar [One pound of crude tartar results in just over six ounces of the salt. Pulverize the tartar and calcine in the open air, grind again in warm mortar and calcine again. This will give you a well calcined tartar] and expose to the air [spread out in flat dishes] out of the sun [to facilitate absorption of moisture] until it becomes liquid. [This can take several weeks depending on the moisture content in the air. Alternatively, one can use distilled rain water and leech out the salt through filtering or soxhlet extraction.] Then filter and distill off the moisture. [Evaporate in flat enamel dish and keep breaking up the forming salt until all is dry.] After that, calcine the tartar [first pulverize in warm mortar] and let it glow for 6 to 8 hours followed by exposing it again to the air till it runs, then filter, distill and calcine as before. This to be repeated ten times. [Most important is to get all the carbon out. This is readily done as follows. When the black calcined tartar has run into a liquid through exposure to the air or with sufficient distilled rain water let it stand for a day. Then evaporate to dryness, grind and calcine, which will quickly change the black to grey. After leeching this calcinate, the filtrate is free of carbon and colourless, which otherwise looks like honey.]

Then dissolve the tartar in distilled vinegar (Spanish or French vinegar) [any wine vinegar will do]. The whole secret lies in the correct distillation of the vinegar, which has to take place in the waterbath, but so gently that the phlegm comes over.

When you notice that sour drops are coming over, you increase the heat to such a degree that you can count to 8 or 9 in between each drop. Continue the distillation in this way till the remaining looks like syrup. Then increase the heat again till the distillate starts to smell and continue distilling till most of the residue is dry.

Rectify [redistill] the last obtained strongest distillate on its own and add it to the weaker distillate. Keeping the phlegm for later use, rectify [redistill] then the two combined and as often till after distillation there remains no residue at all on the bottom of the vessel [if putrefaction of the grapes is complete redistillation upon redistillation will prove to be unnecessary]. Each time take a clean distillation flask and continue distillation till the flask is dry inside. The result is not a stronger spiritus aceti, which it does not need to be, but nevertheless it will work. [The stronger the acetic acid solution the more alchemical sulphur is drawn out, which after drying is calcined into carbon.]

Then take 7 or 8 ounces of our salt of tartar and dissolve as much or more in the before mentioned spiritus [acetil and when you let it stand, it will throw out a black residue [which is carbonized alchemical sulphur and appears only after calcination]. Then filter [unnecessary], distill [evaporate in enamel dish and reduce to powder] and calcine as before, but not with as strong a heat as it should hardly glow (1 hour is sufficient). Agitate it for as long as it is warm and dissolve again in the freshly distilled vinegar [of same strength] as before, let the residue [carbon] settle out, then again filter, distill and calcine as before. [Lastly one should filter, evaporate and reduce to dry powder.] Repeat this procedure until there occurs no more sediment [i.e. until no more alchemical'sulphur is extracted and therefore no more carbon forms when calcined], which will happen after 7 or 8 times, that is when you have done your work well.


Michael Maier; Atalanta Fugiens (1618).

When it is absolutely dry, take one ounce of it for the following test. Put it in a clean flask and pour over it spiritus vini, not just moistening it, but enough to make it flow well. Let it stand [macerate] for 24 hours [or longer] well stoppered in gentle heat (blood temperature), then distill in gentle heat [not to complete dryness]. If the spiritus [vinil cohobates and the phlegm distills over, then proceed with the whole quantity. [Water is the medium between the salt and the spiritus vini. The spiritus should contain about 20% water].

If not, you have to dissolve the salt further in vinegar, filter, distill and calcine as before, till you see that the spiritus binds with the salt (that will not take long). [Repetition appears to accelerate alteration of chemical compounds.]

Then go about the rest of the salt in the same manner as with the one ounce [using all or some of this ounce as a 'starter']. Imbibe with spiritus vini and distill. Continue imbibing and distilling till the spiritus vini distilling over again is as strong as you poured over it. In here lies the secret to sublime it.

Dissolve the impregnated salt of tartar in the phlegm of the distilled vinegar or in a weak spiritus vini [I recommend warm distilled rain water] (not more than necessary to dissolve). Shake well, then the salt of tartar will soon dissolve and the unwanted part will be thrown out as a sediment. Decant that which has dissolved, filter and distill off the phlegm of the vinegar or the weak spiritus vini, then the dry spiritus or the dry water will rise moisture free like pure icicles. [This distillation requires very gentle heat and is best done under vacuum.]

This is the true volatile salt of tartar and spiritus vini in the form of a salt. It is the vegetable menstruum that dissolves leaf gold into an oily substance with gentle heat.

The tartar which remains at the bottom of sublimate should be put with that which remains undissolved in the phlegm of the vinegar or weak spiritus vini and work it again with spiritus vini. First it should be calcined (not for as long and not with such a strong heat as before).

Then expose to the air till it runs and much more residue will remain. After that, filter and distill and dissolve it again in distilled vinegar as before. By repeating this process step by step three times there is more acheived than before with the whole process together, for the tartar has changed its nature. [Each repetition seems to improve the 'learning ability' of the compound.]

Imbibe further with spiritus vini. This time you can work as much spiritus vini on it and sublime as many pure crystals as you want.


book review


by Frances Yates

The late Frances Yates was an honorary Fellow of the Warburg Institute at the University of London. She was awarded an O.B.E. in 1972. Her book THE ART OF MEMORY is an astonishing account of the use of imagery during the European Renaissance and, in particular, the importance of ordered memory in the Hermetic Arts. Ms. Yates focuses on the work of Giordano Bruno, the enigmatic and remarkable genius who profoundly influenced the occult teachings of the period. The book sheds light on Dante's Divine Comedy, the form of Shakespearean theatre and the history of ancient architecture. Students of Alchemy will be interested in the extraordinary use of imagery and active imagination which is portrayed in a most unusual and exciting manner.

Giordano Bruno and others used the system as a means of achieving "illumination", or a dialogue with God, for MEMORY was seen as a power of the soul. Bruno believed that by constructing an ordered and linked series of images in the mind, the psyche could commune with the Divine. The images were odd to say the least. Myths, magical and astrological themes predominated in the system. This re-arrangement of the psyche thus brought one closer to the nature of the All.

Bruno's connections with Shakespeare raise some fascinating hypotheses about the underlying nature and meaning of this famous author's work. The description of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, with its mandala-like symbolism, will surprise many readers. The design and arrangement of the building (conceive it as a "theatre of the world or macrocosm") accords with Hermetic, Magical and Zodiacal principles. The roof of the theatre had, for example, the signs of the zodiac painted on it. The placement of actors and the location of action scenes may have been influenced by this layout thus adding a new dimension to the meanings and morality expressed in the plays.

Frances Yates also traces the development of this memory system from Egypt, through Greece, Italy and Germany to Britain. The people, the church, alchemy and local culture all combined to influence the progress of the system and, it can be argued, the system influenced those in return. The book contains some fine illustrations and diagrams of mnemonic devices of the period. This is a scholarly work and is highly recommended.

calligraphy Les Greenhill
-Leslie Greenhill.



Bio-Electronic Functional Diagnosis.

The accuracy, precision and range of this modern scientific approach to diagnosis and therapy, based on both Eastern and Western medicine, has so impressed physicians, medical and naturopathic alike, that thousands of them in Europe, USA, and an increasing number in Australia are using it daily in their clinics.

Bio-Electronic Functional Diagnosis is a method which, by means of electronic measurement, registers the electrical resistance of an acupuncture point. The measurement value resulting from this, permits the diagnostic assessment of the corresponding organ.

The subsequent remedy test, to be followed through immediately, clarifies the therapeutic agent to be taken; even permitting a differential diagnostic statement in connection with nosodes that have come up in the test.

It is the full understanding of the Chinese doctrine of acupuncture that affords a basis for conducting Bio-Electronic Diagnosis.

The use of the acupuncture meridians is however, only one aspect of this diagnostic method.

In understanding this type of diagnosis, it is necessary to have some knowledge of the function of our body cybernetics, as well as the regulation of disease and pathology.

To find out what functions are normal or abnormal, two particular tests are done

1/.A test is done with the use of a machine called THE DECODER. This produces a graph via the use of electrodes placed on various parts of the body. It is used to evaluate the regulatory and functional processes of the living organism. The device also registers pathological and physiological changes. In addition, information is obtained about chronic and acute states of disease, foci and the ability of the organism to react to therapeutic influences and reaction on block conditions.


2/. To evaluate further and to localise the health states of various organs, another test is made by the use of an electronic machine called THE THERATEST SUPER. It is linked with a computer to facilitate more efficient and graphic recording and for further accuracy in diagnosis. This method of diagnosis and testing also has other features that make it a very valuable tool, particularly in the evaluation of the correct prescription and dosage. The patient to be tested is Connected via electrodes and after further decoding the computer indicates the area to be tested. At this stage a "pencil" electrode is placed on the acupuncture points of meridians and a series of measurements are taken that are then fed into the computer for evaluation.


From this the practitioner can have a very accurate guide to the health problems of the patient.

The development of this was made possible by the scientific work of many people; some of whom were Drs. Schmidt, Vill, Pflaum, Bergsmann, Schaefer, Jendrissek, Evertz, Marschner and Mr Herbert Jahnke. A great deal of work has been done by Dr Hans Kupka, a German naturopath who has played a big part in the training, application and research of the system around the world and in particular its advancement in Australia.

The following interview was recorded in September 1985 with Dr Malcolm Hutchinson D.O., N.D. who has been pioneering this system in Australia ---

Q. Before computers, how were you diagnosing your patients?
A. Iridology, Chirology and general symptomology.

Q. Were you using Pulse as well?
A. No.

Q. What effect is this diagnosis having?
A. Well, one gets more specific diagnosis using all the facilities of the computer in its assessment and graphical values and actual allergy reactions from a person. Whether they are sensitive and if there is a reaction to a particular problem.

Q. How does it work?
A. The computer basically is a recorder, it takes the place of pen and paper, in our case it correlates all the information that is fed into it from the patient via the Acupuncture meridians and cell function tests.

Q. So you actually hook the computer up to the acupuncture meridians and then record out?
A. The patient is connected to the diagnostic machine using electrodes. A probe is fed into the computer which records the actual measurement of the meridian energy being tested.

Q. So does that mean if you measure the Lung meridian, it would give a read out by which you could monitor what the lung is actually doing?
A. Thats right, for example, if you took the circulation meridian, measured that and found, say, in our case we use 40 as an average value and that was reading somewhere around 20, compared to 60, the 20 would represent a degeneration of the circulation due to other factors which could be vascular congestion, heart, all sorts of reasons for it. But if it were, say, 60, we would look more towards the triple warmer relating to the adrenalin point, also the Heart point, you might find that the person has been under extreme tension or had a shock or is a heavy coffee drinker for example, and that could relate to all those three points. You can determine even further, the Pancreas point may also relate to the coffee. You may have another case where you might have a palpation effect and a very low adrenalin reaction which could relate to hypoglycemia and so you would see other points backing it up like the circulation point and other factors involved, the energy factors of the cell functions for instance.

Q. How many different points can you tune into.
A. Well we're using the terminal points of the hands and the feet, of which there are about 20 .....

Q. Once you've put that information into the computer and you can see the areas of bodily functions you've tuned into, how do you determine the necessary medication?
A. Right, well via what we call the allergy checking or the medicine test... for example one may have a high reading on the liver and joint degeneration points and with allergy testing, one can determine what substance is causing the reaction. Quite often we find chocolate or oranges may create that reaction. Chocolate can upset the calcium levels in the joints and also have an effect on liver functions which could then cause other symptoms such as migraines. You can be very specific as to what is causing the degeneration, whereas in the Iris diagnosis one might find a degeneration but you couldn't say specifically what's causing it. It's far easier to make an accurate assessment.

Q. What's the medicine test?
A. Well basically using different remedies such as homeopathics, tissue cell salts, herbal tinctures, herbal preparations, vitamins, food allergy preparations, minerals, general natural substances beneficial to patients, are tested on the patient to see what their body reacts to without them actually taking the dosage. Once you've determined what's favourable then you can work out a dosage. For example, in homeopathics or nosodes or high potency preparations there is always a question of dosage with the taking of that preparation. With this system you can tell whether it's one drop or ten drops. You can monitor it over a period of time to see just how effective it's been. Whether it's eradicated all the problems it was intended for.

Q. So once they come back you can do another test and compare it with the last one?
A. That's right. So if you're treating the lung and it was reading 60, which would be too high, then you can determine what improvement has taken place.

Q. Are there any variables in that?
A. Of course every patient is different but there is always a reaction within two weeks because this system gives you far greater accuracy in diagnosing. You may find they respond in a different area to what you originally thought, but there's always a reaction because there may be another underlying factor. That area might change first. Sometimes the disease doesn't start off in the area that's most affected. For example Migraines can be caused by the liver or gallbladder which can be triggered off by another substance, in other words an allergy, whether it be chocolate, M.S.G., red wine or whatever. It's usually the state of the liver or gallbladder that's causing the problem. But there's probably other things that have added to the condition as well - something like Hepatitis or Salmonella or insecticide poisoning - something that goes back years. So we can really trace these things back, find out what the reaction is. Some times you find really obscure things are causing the problem so you treat the actual cause. And then that organ starts to function better. You get quite a dramatic change. You may get a person in later on, who's got something of the same nature of disease and it may turn out that the same remedy doesn't affect it. We often get that with a lot of alcoholic type people. You build them up and after a session on alcohol where they would normally get a hangover, they find the next day they don't get one.

Q. Does it ever show up any defects in the body that are a total surprise to you?
A. I'm always surprised because you never know what a person is going to come in with. I remember a guy who came in who was very livery, pale, thin, haggard and absolutely worn out, he was on the verge of being thrown out of his job because he couldn't cope, when I did the test on him, I found that he had a reaction to Salmonella, I asked him when it occurred and he said 17-18 years ago. He had such a severe attack that it left him debilitated for months and he gradually got over it but in doing so he got heavily into Serapax, drugs and medications, becoming dependent on them, and on cocaine, so I gave him the antidote to Salmonella and within 1 month he was able to cut out all the drugs. He's still using alcohol but not to the extent he was then. His nervous system is now functioning, you wouldn't think you would suffer with the reaction for so long. This is quite a common reaction.

Q. He never really got over it?
A. No, not really, the antidote worked quite well.

Q. Computers give you a pretty good read out as to what's going on inside?
A. Yes, it prints all the information out as well, so it records the medication administered, which is useful for when the patient returns next visit. We also have a backup system as well, which is a Homeopathic repertory computer which has the entire Kent system stored on disk and from that we can do the traditional Homeopathic questioning. The information is fed into the computer and within seconds we have the answer punched up in front of us on the screen with all the cross referencing of systems. It saves lots of time and the computer can select which remedy will work better for those symptoms, it's very exact.

Sometimes it's very handy to treat people who can't come in, so they telephone, and simply by feeding their symptoms in, without making a diagnosis, and the computer comes back with a selection of answers which can quite easily be confirmed with the patient on the phone and then to post the medication or whatever. It's great value in treating people that are autistic or young children, people with a language barrier who find it hard to communicate.

Q. Is this 21st Century medicine?
A. I think it's just another part of the developement that is taking place in medicine; even now in the surgery side of things they use lasers etc, we're all heading in the same direction. So the computer certainly does have a role in this field, especially in diagnosing and prescribing.

In fact we found in one case, a woman who suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis and when we tested, we found an interference from the amalgams in her front tooth which was causing the disfunction in the kidney meridian which was then causing oedema. So we suggested getting rid of the amalgam in that tooth to see what effect it would have, so after going to a dentist who thought it was a lot of nonsense, she tried several others who gave the same sort of answers, till eventually she found one who was more interested and because she was persistant about it, he did it, and within 4 days she was virtually cured or relieved of the condition in her legs and was able to run again. The dentist was extremely surprised. So she had all the amalgams removed.

Q. And now she's sprinting.....
A. Well she's hardly having any problems at all, but basically it was the one thing that made a dramatic difference. It (the computer) sometimes comes up with obscure causes that don't enter into your mind.

Q. It certainly is a different way of monitoring the energy systems in the body.
A. Yeah, Yeah, there's probably lots of other ways too.

Q. Can you get a reading on the Spirit?
A. Well alcohol poisoning certainly shows up, ha, ha.

Q. Are the medications you test Spagyrically prepared?
A. Yeah, we do use them quite often.

Q. Sometimes it's difficult to tell with Homeopathically prepared medications whether the whole body, soul and spirit of the herb or mineral has been captured in the tincture, can the computer tell the difference?
A. Well you can test unfixed Antimony as opposed to fixed Antimony and you can find out what area it is going to work on best. I've tested Mistletoe and you find one particular preparation works o.k., and you might find the Spagyric works a lot better, it gives a much more favourable reaction on the patient.

Q. Is it very prominent, the difference between the two?
A. Well I use Spagyric as much as possible, because I've found a big difference, and in the patients who take them.

Michael Maier; Atalanta Fugiens

Beekeeping with Herbs and Bach Remedies

While living in the cold regions of Canada, we decided to purchase six bee hives. Thinking back now, it was an odd thing to do, for we knew little about beekeeping. Yet, what better country than Canada, to learn the art - the hard way. The long cold winters when the bees were iced in for many months of the year, provided a wonderful opportunity to learn, how to treat our ailing small creatures with herbs and Bach remedies. These natural methods of treatment were first introduced to us at a beekeeper's meeting late one summer, and indeed, they proved to be a successful alternative to drugs.

Once the winter was over and the insulation removed from around the hive, it was always a good feeling of satisfaction to witness a healthy and active colony. Especially so, when other beekeepers were distraught: at having to destroy diseased hives. One only needed to produce a healthy state in the hive for a period of time in order to earn immediate approval from the local inspector. Was it purely coincidence that only R few people were on his approved list, and those individuals were using herbs for treatment rather than drugs. I will leave it up to you, the reader, to make up your mind.

A great deal of stress and shock can he experienced by bees after long journeys through all kinds of weather situations. To eliminate this, we fed our bees a syrup made from honey and Bach flower remedies. These essences can be purchased from most health food stores. A few drops of 'Rescue Remedy' added to one part honey, one part water/syrup was all that was required. This syrup can also be brushed across the screened boxes. We found the bees delighted in nourishing themselves on this elixir for an hour or so. This is a wonderful remedy for packaged bees that may have suffered stress while travelling to their destination by car or postage.

This brings us to the question many people ask. Why use honey to make up a syrup instead of sugar?. I never use sugar because brown sugar causes scours in bees and white sugar is debilitating. For those beekeepers wishing to feed large colonies of bees, the following recipe may be of use:
101bs. honey mixed with 61bs. of liquid. Add to this 3 to 4 parts Sage to 1 part Thyme and Chamomile. Allow to steep, then strain.

To combat ants sneaking into the hives through the inner covers, place bunches of Catnip leaves on top of them. If you have no Catnip, try Marigolds, Tansy or Pennyroyal. It always pays to have at least one of these three herbs in your garden.

Now and then I would make up some Sage tea to help the bees cleanse their systems after the long winter. I found Sage tea to be excellent for this. To half a cup of finely chopped Sage I would add 12 ounces of water, plus 4 tablespoons of honey (you way use more if you like). Keep the water below 150 deg. F. Steep for 20 minutes then allow to cool to room temperature, before straining and pouring into the bees feeding trough. The rescue remedy way be added to this solution if required.

Perhaps you do not have any honey to feed your bees. Rudolph Steiner has much useful information in his book 'Nine Lectures on Bees'. He recommends using Chamomile tea with Thyme and a few grains of sea salt. Chamomile has properties which help the bee's digestive system convert the refined sugar into usable form. Sea salt aids the bee's digestion and Thyme is an excellent bacteriocide.

Many handy hints were shared with us by our beekeeping friends in Canada. One useful lesson we learnt was a method of helping swarms settle in their new hives. Some beekeepers way well know the problems and frustration when a swarm leaves its new hive for its former residence. Freshly picked Thyme leaves rubbed on the branch or ledge masks the pheromone, or scent of the queen bee, thereby preventing the bees from returning. They will soon settle down in their new home.

In order to prevent robbing, we placed Wormwood in the entrance to the hive, as well as in every crack between the wood. Within an hour, robbing will cease. Make certain that this bitter herb is not placed in the honey supers, (boxes), as honey is hygroscopic and would draw the strong odour into the combs.


WORMWOOD: Prevents robbing. Place in entrance to hive. Also insect repellant.
RUE: Insect repellent. Place around hives.
CALENDULA: Bee stings. Bruise and apply.
LEMON BALM: Scent hives. Use leaves.
CATNIP: Repel ants
THYME: Bee medicine. Use to house a swarm.
MINT: Repels ants.
ROSEMARY: Scent supers. Use early Spring. Crush herb.
SAGE: Bee medicine. Easily the best.
BORAGE: Attracts bees. Good to grow in garden.
BERGAMOT: Scent hives.
CHAMOMILE: Bee stings Feeding

-Cynthia Paynter


1. There is an all pervasive life energy in the body, that like the blood continuously circulates.

2. This energy is the matrix of the physical form. Order in the energy form is order in the physical form and vice versa.

3. The energy field is wholistic, it underlies, and is connected with the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual being.

4. The energy field is the subtle aspect of both health and disease.

5. Ordering the energy field will gradually order the physical and emotional bodies. It is a way of working from within outwards. It is subtle yet definitely purposeful.

6. The energy field is basically 'polarized' into positive and negative, or yin and yang.

7. Positive is yang, outgoing, dynamic, aggresive and hat. Negative is yin, receptive, absorbing and cool.

8. They are the basic pulse of the universe, contracting and expanding, drawing in and going out.

9. In the body, energy-is continuously going out to the universe and drawing in from the universe. Energy flows out through the right hand and comes in through the left hand.

10. Metal is positive and stimulates energy. organic material like wood or cotton wool, is negative and absorbs energy or, draws it in. Arranging these materials in different ways, creates a life energy 'battery' or orgone box, which can be used for healing.

11. In behaviour the life pulse, manifests in the form of reaching out to the environment, from the self and drawing in from the environment, into the self. Self and environment form a polarity that needs to be in dynamic balance. However one can fixate on either one. The risk in being fixated on the outgoing pole, is that one can lose receptivity and the sense of ones self (it diminishes into the background of awareness). The alternative risk is that one becomes so receptive, that one is forever stressed by the environment (hypersensitivity, allergy etc.) and that one has a strong sense of self, but cannot risk it in going out to the environment (through fear of losing the self despite the fact that it is in risking the self, that the self gains and grows) it can result in a condition of contracted recoil.


12. In astrology this pulse is represented by the sun and the moon, presiding over the day and the night, the objective and the subjective, thinking and feeling. In Sanskrit, sun and moon are called Na and Tha, and the physical yoga system is called Hatha yoga, that is the union of the sun and the moon, which is also the favourite alchemical symbol of the west. In yoga they refer to, two life or nerve currents, to the left and the right of the central line in the body (in the back, this is the spine). They correspond to the positive and negative, yin and yang, we have been discussing. These two currents are also represented in the left and right nostrils.

13. These two energies are also represented as heaven and earth, the positive yang energy comes down from heaven, it's upper pole is in the head, and represents the mental, nerve sense and spiritual functions. Earth energy is the yin power, which rises up from the earth. As a pole, it is located in the feet, and represents contact with the ground, groundedness refers to contact with outer reality. The base in the feet also correlates with the base of the spine, in the torso. This point is seat of the negative pole in the body and represents the seat of the instinctual energies, which in the pelvis connect with the sexual and emotional energies. These two poles, at the base of the spine, and at the crown of the head, the instinctual and spiritual poles, are the fundamental polarity in the body and in man.

14. These two energies, one coming down from above and the other coming up from below, meet in the diaphragm, the meeting place of heaven and earth. The pulsation of the diaphragm, and the breathing (the perpetual coming in and going out) is the polarity dynamic par excellence in the system. All imbalances, mental, emotional and physical show here.

15. The inbreathe, takes energy upwards, and focuses as the positive, nerve sense, and mental functions. The outbreath takes energy downwards and focuses on the instinctual and physical energies. If one performs a complete and uninhibited expiration, whilst lying on one's back, the pelvis tilts forward. The more free the energy there is, the smoother and more full the tilt (the upper part of the body also tilts forward). This is the orgasm reflex of Reich. A strongly physical therapy like Reichs naturally focuses on the expiration and the lower instinctual pole.

16. Smoking represents a sharp 'inspiratory' taking in of air, it gives a jolt to the upper nerve sense pole (which also has a contracting effect), and nicotine exactly correlates this effect. A soft and slow draw on a cigarette, with a sharp blowing out of breath, would help reverse the pattern in the nervous system caused by smoking.

17. Energy derives its dynamism from polarity, from opposites. Everywhere, in all places and in all fields, phenomena polarize, and gravitate around opposites. Between opposites there is the middle point, this point is the vital mixing point. Connecting opposites automatically generates energy and the need for balance. A simple example is this, just say one identifies two opposing needs i.e. the need to be 'nice' and the need to assert oneself, we can simply place one need in one hand and the other need in the other hand. After getting the feel of them, you can begin to gradually bring the two hands together. If one does this carefully and with concentration, one can actually feel the two energies (needs) coming together, the meeting of the hands can actually be felt as an energetic and emotional charge. Similarly, if we connect two opposites in the body, (the body is a composite of many polarity lines, elaborating some of the more fundamental polarities) then an energy charge will develop, as it develops the two energies will tend to 'polarize' and balance. Finding the middle point, and working it will facilitate the process.

18. Energy healing involves finding the blockage in the energy flow, polarizing it and balancing it. once the energy field has been balanced, healing will follow through into the physical form.

19. Emotions are one form of bio-energy (though all energy has a 'feel' to it) basic flow of the energy, particulary it's type of fixation, inwards or outwards, in the 'spiritual' pole or the 'instinctual' one, in the head or in the heart, is conditioned by emotional and psychological aspects. Deep energy healing may involve psychologically unravelling significance, emotionally reaching consciously into the holding, re-experiencing traumas etc. However, generally balancing the energy, can acheive much, and may of itself bring about emotional release and integration.

20. A key form of the emotional bio-energy is sexual, is libido. An important feature of energy balancing, is balancing the energy. In polarity therapy, working the pelvic energy (perineal technique) and polarizing it with the head (mental and spiritual poles) is of the most prominent importance. The most deep, subtle repressed and fearful concerns (ie. oedipul, disappointment in reaching out, surrender, etc.) surround the free flow of sexuality, for most of us, and a disturbed sexual energy can wreak havoc on us, and forms a key part of the human suffering in humanity. Too great a concentration of energy on the upper pole, divorced from the lower pole can disturb sexuality and instinctuality. The basic pulse of life, contraction and expansion, is represented by, and greatly heightened in sex.

21. Outward flowing energy charges the periphery or the skin, it aims to cross the skin and go beyond the boundary of the individual, the skin is warmed by this process (also when energy comes in the other way). Inward flowing energy takes the energy into the centre line of the body, if this-process is chronic then the skin becomes cold and dead. The centre line of the body (in the back it is the spine) is represented by the big toe, and also connects to the head. The outer periphery is represented in the small toe, and connects to the base of the spine, it is associated with the earth element. If, when a person stands or is walking and leans more on the inside of the foot (the big toe side) then the energy is more inward flowing, they withdraw more into themselves (the knees and the inside of the upper thighs also tend to tilt inwards). If the person leans more on the outer, then the process is reversed. If the person has a weak sense of boundary and physically over expands, the foot will tend to point outwards and they will lean more on the outer. One can exercise the energy by leaning more on the inside of the foot, pointing the toes inwards and turning the knees inwards. Or alternatively, leaning on the outside of the foot, pointing the toes outwards and turning the knees outwards. Also the in-breath takes the energy inwards and up (the nervy constitution) and the out-breath takes the energy downwards and out. One can add that to one's experiments and exercise.

22. The balance of energy involves the continuous and free flow of energy, inwards and outwards, upwards and downwards. The free movement of the diaphragm, contracting and expanding, and the free flow of the breath through the left and right nostrils. In behaviour, it involves the balance between contact and withdrawal, going out to experience and withdrawing in to assimilate the experience. However this is most probably an ideal state and we can only hope to approximate it, through the resolutions of our polarities, with a smooth and constant flow between left and right, male and female, heaven and earth, this is the true Tai Chi, and the Tai Chi exercises are a form of this.

23. The chakras are vital energy centres in the body, and are situated along the centre line of the body. They govern the overall energy field of the body, and thus all disturbances in the energy field and the body can he traced to one or another of the chakras. They represent basic fields of activity and qualities, and are characterised by specific vibrational tones. In the traditional Indian system; there are 7 chakras, and they view life in terms of the ascending chakras, that is, removing oneself from the activities of the lower chakras (i.e sex, anger etc). I believe that the upper and lower form a complete whole, and are all valid.

24. The first chakra is situated at the base of the spine, it is the reservoir of dense energy, it is connected to the earth element and to the planet Saturn. Saturn is the lord of boundaries with it's grand boundaries. It thus rules the boundary of the body represented as the skin. The outer zone of the body is represented by the small toe and finger. It also rules structure, thus the skeletal system, and on a more subtle level, all structuring and binding forces in the body. It also relates to gravity in the body, and according to Ida Rolf, the precise locus of the body's centre of gravity, tends to centre around the lumbosacral junction. Appropriate balance here is of prime importance in bringing about co-ordinated body movements. The pelvis through the sacrolumbar junction, forms a mechanical bearing on which the upper body is balanced. Psychologically, it also represents our sense of having a base, a structure, our sense of being earthed, and our connection to the basic physical world, in Jungian psychology, it is the seat of the quality of the sensation type Indian symbology, which visually presents the chakras as lotuses, shows it as having four petals. Four is the number of structure and base, it is also the basic mandala number representing completeness. In Sanskrit, this chakra is called Muladhar chakra. It forms a polarity to the topmost chakra in the head, representing pure spirit, or the most absolute non-dense and subtle of elements. Yet as polarities always contain something of the opposite, here in the most dense and material of places, there is spirit, and this spiritual energy is called kundalini, represented as a serpent. Like the aboriginal rainbow serpent, the most cthonic (earthy) of creatures which is connected with the rainbow, those subtle qualities of the sky. Without this base spirit becomes disconnected.

25. The point at the base of the spine is considered very important in polarity therapy. it is used to polarize to the head and neck, but also any point along the spine can be charged by connecting it to this point. It is considered to be the most negative charged point in the body, a powerful energy point. Also in polarity therapy, they consider that energy blocks, when chronic, are deposited, (so to speak) in the negative base alongside the coccyx, in the perineum, and the negative charged base in the body, the feet. The feet are to the whole body what the base of the spine is to the torso. In reflexology, energy blockages of the body reside in the feet as crystals, and the whole body is mapped in the foot. Calcium is the mineral which connects to this chakra. In Indian symbology, the elephant is connected to this centre. This is a way of showing it's heaviness. density and strength, also it's connection with heavy labour. The seed mantra of this chakra is LAM, if you just repeat the letter L, you get a heavy, dense sound, this sounds aids you in connecting with this chakra.

26. The second chakra is in the genital area and has to do with sex and generation. It is connected to the water element and is called Swadisthan chakra. It is a powerful energy, connected with the desire to merge with another. It roles over the sex organs, the bladder, kidneys, mucous membranes and all fluids in the body. Solids congeal and fluids flow. Whereas the earth chakra is static and establishing, this chakra is concerned with movement and flow. The water element is connected with emotions in general, emotions are tidal, when they become blocked however, movement stops and they connect to the earth chakra, which is not where they belong. The genitals polarize to the mouth, and lipstick is a direct sexual reference. Also the lobes of the ear are indicative of the generative energy in the pelvis. Sexual energy that is blocked tends to displace upwards and can cause blushing in the face, nose irritation, ear sensitivity and irritation. This chakra is connected to the fourth toe and finger (this finger is where the wedding ring is placed and among other things is a symbol of sexual obligation). The seed mantra of this chakra is VAM, if you repeat just the letter V, the lips come together and produce a vibrating sound, in other words, the lips are directly stimulated, which polarizes to the genitals.

27. The third chakra is called Manipura, and is connected to the fire element. It rules over the fire of digestion, is connected to the liver (organ of anger) and stomach, also to the eyes. It is the chakra of dynamism and aggressiveness. This chakra is in the navel and directly behind it in the spine. It's colour is red. It relates directly to the manufacture and use of energy and this is related to the power of will. The umbilicus is another vital energy point. Polarizing it with the forehead (third eye) creates a powerful energy charge in the body and refers to the polarity of 'head' and 'gut'. The fire centre is connected to Mars, and therefore to the metal iron. It's mantra is RAM, which relates significantly to the Ram as the animal of Aries. If you repeat R in a rolling way you get a powerful rumbling sound appropriate to the fire element. This chakra connects with the third toe, gently pulling and holding both these toes is a way of balancing this centre. The right toe connecting to the liver and the left one to the stomach. The toe can be correlated directly with the organ. Will and power are dominants in our experience and are very susceptible to blocking. If-the second chakra of sexuality is blocked, then this centre can be overcharged, which is one of the great dangers of celibacy, that is, it can create a too great emphasis on will and power. Aggressiveness has a number of functions, and one important one is to be able to destroy experience, in order to be able to assimilate it, and digest it. It is by destroying the form of food, by dental aggression, that we can then digest it, to make that which is outside and different into that which is inside and ourselves. Similarly with destructuring experience, for example reading, we have to chew it over, and then digest it, otherwise we spew it out, in exam papers, over people we ear bash etc. Fritz Perls goes into this in great detail, in his book "Ego Hunger and Aggression". We see here why fire connects with digestion, and the inability to digest psychologically (when we can't stomach something) cramps our stomach as much as eating chalk. Aggression is an instinctual force that must go somewhere, and if it's outward path is blocked, it can torn towards the self, so that we inflict pain and suffering on ourselves. An essential part of therapy is working out of our destructive urges and aggression, which often involves their expression, and which parodoxically, opens the way to our love and gratitude.

28. The fourth chakra, lies in the centre of the chest, between the breasts, and in the corresponding areas in the back and the vertebrae in that area. It is an area of great emotional sensitivity and vulnerability, we find it prominent in those who have a strong Cancer influence astrologically, usually in the area of holding in and protecting the area. Vulnerability is an acute sensitivity which thrills the nerve sense in this area, many find it difficult to bear and thus shut down, this is a key issue for Cancer. This centre rules over love and covers our primal need for love and affection. From here we reach out to be loved and touched, if this reaching out is interfered with, for example by, a parent being physically and emotionally distant, then the result is pain and shutdown of openness. The energy from this centre goes up into the shoulders, down the arms and out the fingers, the corresponding primal gesture being to reach out to hold and touch. I have seen these issues to lie behind several repetitive strain injuries, even leaving aside the issue of the labour not being one of love, for primal issues often lie behind it. This chakra rules over both the heart and lungs. In polarity therapy, they say that the diaphragm rules over the heart and is used to aid recovery after heart attacks. Many lung disturbances, and in particular asthma, relate to this centre. Primary blocks in feeling are located here. Love is connected to the sexual current in the genitals, affection is a warm energy which naturally flows into the genitals, it is through the simple fear of this; of our genital excitations, that the purity of love is tainted. Whatever is behind so many blocks to feeling, Freud and Reich see this as the primary block. When the feeling of love becomes cutoff from the sexual current, that is when, the affection current and the sexual current which are primarily one, become separated. All kinds of problems can arise, for when sex and love become separated, one may become affectionate but non-sexual or sexual but not affectionate, the gradations of the problem are infinite. The Indian texts say that the penis is the organ of action of the heart chakra (presumably the vagina is too, but the Indians tend to be quiet about female sexuality). If the penis becomes divorced from the affectionate current, then it cannot be said to be the organ of action of the heart chakra, it becomes a sadistic tool. What the phallus is for so many men who have shut down on their affection, softness and sensuality, because they see that as feminine and for some strange reason, that is frightening. A classic example is the oedipul situation. A boy feels love for his mother, at a certain stage, this love arouses odd feelings. feelings that go down into the genitals, this arouses fear and can result in the shutdown of feeling. There is a real timidity of soul here, a tentative moving forwards and backwards, for love, is a deep, even sacred, concern and an issue of great sensitivity. The Indians locate the soul flame here, and say it is thumb sized. The deer is the animal that relates to this centre, with it's lightness and ease of movement, characteristic of the air element. The deer is also a gentle animal and soft to the touch, for this centre rules over the sense of touch. It also rules over giving touch or reaching out to touch, for the energy of the heart comes down into the hands. The withdrawal of the soul inward, in a fearful stance, which if chronic, disturbs the feeling function of the skin. This centre can be polarized with the head centre, bringing together mind and feelings, by placing the left hand on the forehead and the right hand over the chest between the breasts, this creates an energy charge which is very balancing. One can also tell by the degree of energy over the head or over the heart, which centre is the stronger. The heart can also be polarized with the genitals.

The seed mantra of this centre is YAM and if you repeat the letter Y, you get a light sound appropriate to this centre. This centre also correlates to the fourth toe and finger (the one next to the big toe) and this can be polarized by gently pulling on both these toes at the same time, this often provokes a yawning reaction, which is a sign that the air element is activated. This centre is called Anahat Chakra.

29. The next centre is the throat and it is called Visudha chakra, and is connected to the element ether, that is the state of matter just before form, in the energy state becoming formative, but not yet formed. It is connected to the emotion of grief, because this emotion is concerned with the absence of an object. This is a formless, nebulous and swirling area, and people often report a purplish colour when focusing on this area. It is connected astrologically to the planet Neptune. The sense of loss, of yearning, of an emptiness and a hole that needs to be filled in order for one to feel existence are all connected to this centre. It is also the centre of subtle feeling, feeling which is often called spiritual, and a feeling which is often stimulated by a wide expanse, such as the ocean or the night sky, and it connects us to the sense of belonging to a wider whole, the negative of this is the sense of being swallowed up by this wider whole, and one feels diminished in stature. The mystic task is to incorporate the formles into form, or as in Zen, to know that the form and formless are one.

On another level the subtle feeling here is felt as grace, that is a subtle formless force which enters into form and has an ordering effect on form, and this is a spiritual healing, or grace.

Ether is a very fine force which grants refinement to the system. If this centre is overactive and not balanced with the rest of the system, you have an excessive fineness, leading to anything gross having a jarring effect, one becomes allergic to the world, because this centre polarizes to the earth centre at the base, which when working together create balance. However if the earth chakra is weak or drowned out by excessive ether, then the whole system becomes weak, dream symbols and images become too dominant, phantasy drains too much energy, and one feels disconnected from the physical world, When working well and in balance with the system, it grants fineness, subtle perception, a feeling of grace and an attunement to symbols, which act as important guides to meaning. It can also grant the capacity for the transmission of grace and spiritual healing.

The seed mantra that relates to this centre is HAM, and if you repeat the sound H, you find that it arises from the throat, and is a soft sound which has a bushing effect.

This chakra is said to connect to the ears, and this may be because of the effusive nature of sound, which is like the ether. However, more importantly, it connects to the voice and expression through the voice, persona literally means through sound, and is a basic medium for the expression of the personality and much from the throat, and is a soft sound which has a bushing effect. This chakra is said to connect to the ears, and this may be because of the effusive nature of sound, which is like the ether. However, more importantly, it connects to the voice and expression through the voice, persona literally means through sound, and is a basic medium for the expression of the personality and much blocking of this expression occurs in the throat. The throat also mediates between the head and the body. It connects to the area between the big toe (representing the head) and other toes, in India, a big space here, which is tried to be cultivated, is seen as a sign of the separation between mind and body. However, just as the etheric chakra is the link between form and energy, the point of embodiment, so the throat, is an important link between the head and the body, it is an extremely vital area for the smooth flow of nerve currents, and it is an area where nerve currents tend to block, a smooth juncture here and a clear connection between the mind and the body, and the etheric, formative and physical energies is extremely vital to health.

30. The sixth chakra lies in the forehead, between the eyes, it is often called the third eye. It represents pure mind, and has an ordering effect on the whole body, it can actually be used to polarize all the other centres.

This is the point where Ida and Pingala, or the left and right energy currents arise from, it is thus, a unifying centre.

It lies above the body in the sense that the experience of this centre takes one into non physical realms, one is out of form and into light. Some yoga people therefore focus on this centre to the exclusion of all else, I think this a mistake, this centre is not above all else but amongst all else. It needs to be integrated with all the other centres, and this creates wholeness. There is a need to transcend material and also personal concerns, but also to come back into them. Here is the light of pure mind, and a certain seership. The mantra of this centre is OM, O is a letter which being the circle denotes unity. which this centre brings.

-Harry Achilleos


Mercury conjunct Saturn

mercury & saturn

As the teachings cannot be paid for, equally, alchemy cannot be taught. Mercury or Hermes has always been regarded as the progenitor and teacher of the alchemists. This tells us in their own language that the true 'teacher' of alchemy is Life itself. What is taught in the formal manner is an introduction to systems which ultimately act as a filter on direct experience of life and consciousness, and one day must be transcended if one is to ever be truly free. Every system or discipline, whether physiological, psychological or metaphysical is a limitation, a narrow passage which gives order to the chaos. The inevitable emergence from these coccoons of 'reason' and 'language' must be faced by anyone who becomes an advocate or 'professor' of such a system. Life will do this, simply because life is that volatile Spirit that frees up all fixidity.

tunnels of Set
concretions of a time,
Funnels that let
us live
in open-eyed