Alchemy and the Hexagram

During the 4 or 5 years that I struggled with the content of the book The Mystical Hexagram, which was all received in meditation, I understood that this material was important. I also understood that the approach, using the symbol of the hexagram to cast light on a variety of other magical systems and techniques would appeal to just a small number of people. In the end, I took the use of the symbol only so far and stopped short of where I had intended to go with it – which was to look at what it meant also in alchemical terms. The reasons for this is that I am not expert enough in many areas to trust what was coming through sufficiently to commit it to paper and the record. Early in the process of compiling the thoughts and ideas in the book, I had abandoned any cross checking with other literature in the field – mostly down to laziness if I am honest but also because, in the end, we must trust our own instincts and not always rely on confirmation from an external counterpoint that may in fact be in error too. If it sounds to you as if I contradict myself here, you are probably correct but what I am try to say is that I dare only go so far in trusting my own inner access to knowledge and my attempts to understand what it meant. Eventually, I teamed with Sue Vincent to complete the book and her contributions were critical to making the work whole as it stood. But the book isn’t finished and I had doubted that I ever would be able to complete it….. until this morning.

This morning, I read an interesting article on Facebook by Emmanuel Rose around excerpts from Ripley’s First Gate. In this post, Emmanuel Rose writes an explanation of a part of the text..The stages of the alchemical process are to turn earth into water, water into air, and air into fire. These are symbols of the cooking process. They also represent the four-fold process of changing Jing into Chi into Shen into Emptiness. Or if you will, Nephesh into Ruach into Neschamah. The internal energies of the body are circulated so that the subtle water and fire mix. This is pictured in tarot Key 14 in the Case deck wherein the water is poured on the lion, symbolizing fire, and the fire is poured onto the eagle, symbolizing water. This circulation is somewhat similar to the Middle Pillar technique or the Taoist microcosmic orbit, though not identical. The “Wheel of the Elements” is an almost obvious reference to tarot Key 10 which pictures the process of internal alchemy. It is not an accident that it is attributed to Jupiter which rules Sagittarius, attributed to Key 14. (My thanks to Emmanuel Rose for posting this).

Suddenly I understood something.

The Hexagram is also the key to this process. The exercises that I found myself instructed to perform are a circulation similar to the Middle Pillar. I am so close to a major breakthrough that I can feel the energy but I cannot explain it. The hexagram and its 7 points or stars or metals, when looked at in a certain manner that takes into consideration the polarities demonstrated in it and also some of the other aspects of the symbol and its meanings, is a key to unlocking the Great Work of Alchemy. Of this, I am sure.


Fate, Destiny and Free Will

G. M. Vasey:

Re running this one one more time….

Originally posted on Asteroth's Domain:

The Vengeful Fates cackle
While spinning their eternal web
Objective achieved
The plot in place
They watch and wait

From The Eagle’s Saga – A poem from Weird Tales: Otherworld Poetry by Dr. G. Michael Vasey, 2006

Free will.

We all very much like to believe that we have freedom of choice. That we have the power to make the decisions in our lives. Indeed, those decisions are our life as they weave the patterns, twists and turns of our existence. But do we?

Hermes, when asked about the nature of ordinary man – that is, of man that had not entered the stream of development that leads to initiation – he said that such a man or woman was merely a ‘procession of fate’. from The Zelator by Mark Hedsel.

A procession of fate. An orderly movement of events beyond a person’s control.

You know, if we think of…

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The Seemingly Forgotten Book

Originally posted on The Wacky World of G. Michael Vasey:

Of all the books I have written, The Mystical Hexagram stands out for me. The hexagram was a bloody obsession to me for about 7-years (7! ha!). I needed some help to get the book over the finish line too and the emergency services arrived to breathe life into a sagging manuscript in the form of Sue Vincent. I even put a poem or two in it.


Of Saturn and Lead I speak
The basest metal of all
Heaviness, darkness
Hidden from the light
My soul sees the night

A burden I cannot carry
Instincts abandoned return
Spiraling downward
Galena’s sulfur suffocates
All that Saturn advocates

Saturnalia is explained
Deep need for some relief
Base needs expunged
A temporary respite
Daytime during night

Daath sees from on high
These things I must leave behind
My throat begs to speak
Words chosen with care
My soul now laid bare


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Moon Whispers Debuts as Fourth Poetry Collection from Author Dr. G. Michael Vasey

Brno, Czech Republic, May 17th, 2014. Moon whispers, a new collection of 30 poems from Dr. G. Michael Vasey, is released and is now available on Amazon and other book sites in paperback and Kindle formats. Moon whispers is the fourth poetry collection by this critically acclaimed author.

“This continually fascinating and ever-maturing writer has succeeded in assembling a cornucopia of new ideas, visions, and comments on his personal universe and the world ‘out there’,” said fellow author Gordon Strong. “Besides his poetry collections, Vasey’s other forays into authorship, ‘The Mystical Hexagram’ and his splendid novel ‘The Last Observer’ shows a varied dimension of thought and an endless imagination.”

Vasey was also recently featured in Chat Its Fate magazine (June 2014 issue) in an article featuring his early life experiences and promoting his novel – The Last Observer (Roundfire, 2013).

Hull-born Vasey writes extensively across a number of disparate areas in which he has a passionate interest. He is the author of over 300 articles and several books in the energy & Commodities industry, three books of poetry, and several books about magic and our ability to shape reality. He spent 18-years in Houston, TX and now lives in Brno in the Czech Republic, but is British by birth.

He is currently working on The Lord of the Elements – the prequel to The Last Observer – and another on the concept of the Fool in magic.

He tweets at @gmvasey.

Knights in Shining Armour

In the Mystical Hexagram, I talk of the horny hardened matter that we build up through life and I have discussed it another post on this blog too. As we get older, we lose our imaginative abilities to a great extent and we lose our childlike qualities. We form a shield if you will, against hurt, against pain, against trust, against the rest of the world. We hide. Our own experiences can make this hardened layer impermeable and impenetrable like a layer of very hard and rough skin.

by Albrecht Durer

by Albrecht Durer

In the past, this defensive skin has been portrayed as horns of hardened material why? because there is a relationship to the dark Moon – to Selene – for as we grow our horns of life – we sleep easier. The hardened material is seen as horn like as it echoes the crescent shape of the Moon. We become creatures of the Moon sleeping as opposed to those awakened initiates who strive for the Sun. It is the hardened dross of life that ought to be burned off and liberated through fission. Instead we wear our shining armour with pride. We, like the Moon, become (k)nights in shining armour – we reflect the Sun in our sleep-like state.

As I stated in the article ‘Life is but a dream‘, that is until you remember how to imagine. How to center yourself and imagine. Learn how to dream again. How to cast off the horny matter and transform the experiences – no matter what they are – into something of eternal value and meaning. Something spiritual and energizing. The combination of childish imagination skills and the adult’s experiences of life to at first remember to row, gently DOWN the stream, merrily understanding, it is YOUR dream and you can create your own reality.

Fate, Destiny and Free Will

The Vengeful Fates cackle
While spinning their eternal web
Objective achieved
The plot in place
They watch and wait

From The Eagle’s Saga – A poem from Weird Tales: Otherworld Poetry by Dr. G. Michael Vasey, 2006

Free will.

We all very much like to believe that we have freedom of choice. That we have the power to make the decisions in our lives. Indeed, those decisions are our life as they weave the patterns, twists and turns of our existence. But do we?

Hermes, when asked about the nature of ordinary man – that is, of man that had not entered the stream of development that leads to initiation – he said that such a man or woman was merely a ‘procession of fate’. from The Zelator by Mark Hedsel.

A procession of fate. An orderly movement of events beyond a person’s control.

You know, if we think of time as being linear starting at the beginning and ending at the end then it is entirely possible that we have free will. As we move down this timeline, so to speak, that is our life, we can make choices. We are our own master. But if you see time as an illusion – a creation of the mind to provide some context – then doesn’t free will somehow become nonsense? If the past, the now and the future all exist at once but it is just our perception that sweeps along this eternal now creating the illusion of time then freedom of choice is an illusion too. Time helps our conscious mind to delude us into believing we are in control when in fact, we sleep in a procession of fate.

In the stillness of the eternal moment there is an understanding of sorts that we already have a destiny – a fate – and as we feel the illusion of moving through time, we think that we made a choice. It’s like an LP spinning on an old record player. The needle tracks a pre-ordained path but to our ears we hear a stream of music from beginning to end. It all exists at once of course on that LP.

The threads which the Fates spin are so unchageable, that, even if they decreed to someone a kingdom which at the moment belonged to another, and even if that other slew the man of destiny, to save himself from ever being deprived by him of his throne, nevertheless the dead man would come to life again in order to fulfil the decree of the Fates … He who is destined to become a carpenter, will become one even if his hands have been cut off: and he who has been destined to carry off the prize for running in the Olympic games, will not fail to win even if he broke his leg: and a man to whom the Fates have decreed that he shall be an eminent archer, will not miss the mark, even though he lost his eyesight.” (Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 8.7).

Hecate - whose three heads look to the past, the present and the future and is the Goddess of those who have yet to find their way

Hecate – whose three heads look to the past, the present and the future and is the Goddess of those who have yet to find their way

It seems to me then that man is destined to experience something pre-ordained – his fate. It might well be that it is the essence of the person who devised this plan – a plan of descent into the material realms in order to experience. And if so, then surely, once we have eyes to see and ears to hear, this becomes understood and in a sense, our freedom of choice is once again restored to us except that we gladly decide to accept our fate. We accept the will of God.

After a short while, I imagined being with Asteroth and there we were. I asked about being attuned with the will of God. She stood with me, arm around my shoulder and pointed to some trees. “Does the tree not express the will of God?” she asked. “Look how the trees grow towards the light, tall, strong and straight. Do you see them struggling to break away from the will of God and grow sideways?” I saw a terribly deformed and frail tree. “OK – but how does that apply to me?” I asked. “Stop struggling and listen. Attune to your inner self, become who you truly are and stop struggling,” She said.
Diary Extract.

From Inner Journeys: Explorations of the Soul, Thoth, 2005

The Subtle and The Gross

For all that meets the bodily sense I deem
Symbolical, one might alphabet
For infant minds: and we in this low world
Placed with our backs to bright Reality,
That we may learn with young unwounded ken
The substance from the shadow.

(The Destiny of Nations – Coleridge)

I am finding The Zelator by Mark Hedsel a fascinating read. I have, in fact, read it at least twice before and it was one of those books that discovered me many years ago. I recall being in Toronto on a business trip and having a couple of hours to kill. I found a cheap bookstore somewhere in town and there was a pile of books called The Zelator. I picked one up and was sold in an instant.

Hedsel discusses at issues and topics at length linking and joining what appear to be unrelated items and directions in a way that makes me wonder at what little we know these days. This man knew his classics and much more. There are things he discusses that really resonate with me in amongst this treasury of mystical thought.

He discusses the dweller on the threshold as being the demon that stops our entry into the spiritual realms but he argues that this demon or demon(s) is in fact of our own making. It is the dross that we carry inside of us. It is the Lead that fills the Fool’s sack; our burden of sin if you will. He says that the physical and spiritual realms are a continuation of one thing as opposed to a duality. You can either meet your demons progressively and take their power away or, you will without doubt meet them in your life as a matter of course if you start to engage in spiritual work.

Another book I read recently – Counterpoint to Reality – by Stephen John O’Connor has him facing those demons and realizing they are an ‘externalisation’ of his thoughts – of himself, if you will. His demons manifest as he experiments with Ayahuasca.

Hedsel challenges his reader as to whether they wish to sleep to Selene or awake to Isis? He comments substantially on the concept of a dark Moon governed by Selene that is a ‘region’ of demons. A place pulling in collections of thought forms created deliberately or inadvertently by the sleepers and the deliberate workers of the left hand path. He challenges those who chose to awake to Isis to remain awake at all times and to carefully lift the first of the seven veils.

A.O. Spare - The Dwellers on the Threshold.

A.O. Spare – The Dwellers on the Threshold.

Interestingly, this view has a lot in common with that of Bardon who starts students working on their magical mirrors very early instructing them to work diligently on balancing the elements within; to work on our personal faults and sins carefully. Without this work, without some aspect of inner balance, we may make little progress or if we do, it is felt by his student that it may well be backward progress.

The idea that our demons are of our own making should be no surprise if you understand that we create our own reality. How we see the world, how we react and interact to it will be based on our complex inner self’s make up. It’s a circular argument that we create and what we create we may allow to subconsciously influence our creation. Somewhere, we must break the circle or perhaps square the circle…. and escape our own hell and exorcise our own demons.

Hedsel points to the classical Alchemical texts which show this and much more in allegory and image. We must separate the subtle from the gross. “The true horror of the Bestia is that it dwells in each of us. This is why the path of initiation leads inevitably to the hunting of the beast within.” he says.

In some small way, my five-years of study with the SOL led me to understand something very similar. The ‘angry old man’ that I met along the way was but one aspect of my inner beast. Importantly, Asteroth showed me a set of exercises that I still utilize today to work on this inner beast – my inner self-created demons….. They were written up in the Appendices of Inner Journeys and are reproduced here for those that may have an interest in using them….

Water Meditation
You are seated on an endless flat plain. All around you, the plain disappears into the distance and above you hangs a large and full bright Moon in a darkened sky. It is quiet and dark except for the silvery coloured moonlight which casts no shadow on the flat surface on which you find yourself.

In front of you sits a small but ornate silver cup. As you look at the cup it reflects the silver moonlight back towards you and you can see the reflection of the full moon in its metal. Inside the cup is clear crystal stream water that you collected earlier. As the moonlight shines down and into the cup you know that it is filling the water in the cup with lunar energy. You watch as the water in the cup gradually takes on a bluish silver light of its own as it absorbs the Moon energy.

You watch this energy and the light dancing on top of the water and you know that the water is being energised under the full moon. After a while, you see that the water has now become so energised that it is emitting a pale blue white light of its own.

Knowing that the water is now ready to accept your desires, you begin to see that the energised water is attracting all that you desire as qualities about yourself into it. For quite a while, you watch as these images arise in front of you and then are slowly sucked into the water.

When you feel ready, you will take the cup and giving thanks to the creator, you drink the water. It is cold and it tastes good. As the water enters your body you feel an energy filling you up and you know that the water has healing qualities both for your body and soul. You know that in drinking this water energised by moonlight and filled with the qualities that you desire to build within yourself that even now you are changing. Feel the change take place within you.

Fire Meditation
You are seated on a beach. On one side you are aware of the ocean as small surf waves break on the sandy shore. There is a gentle breeze blowing off the ocean. In front of you a beach fire burns. You watch as the flames rise occasionally blown by the wind. You see the colours of the fire, reds, oranges, purples and greens and you can feel the heat on your face. You can hear the crackle, popping and spitting sounds as the fire burns through the driftwood fuel.

As you sit, the fire grows bigger and bigger as it burns through the driftwood. You can feel the heat on your face getting hotter but occasionally there is no heat at all as the onshore breeze blows the flames temporarily way from you. You feel connected to the fire as it burns. It warms you and protects you from any wild beasts that might be around.

When you can see the fire in as much detail as possible imagine that you are throwing any unwanted aspects of yourself on to the fire. As you do so, the flames jump higher and higher as it burns this new source of fuel. Feel these unwanted aspects of yourself diminish as they are burned on your fire. Smell the smoke that arises as more acrid and know that the flames are turning your burden into energy that you can use.

When you feel ready, give thanks to the Universe for taking your unwanted burden as a gift in the form of heat, light and smoke. Feel lighter and energised by the experience.

From Inner Journeys: Explorations of the Soul, Thoth, 2005