4 oktober 2012

9 Albedo The white work, part 1, theory

The choice between pursuing the way of return or to fall into our own little self created imaginary world is part of the real choice faced when the first slivers of light shine through and the white tincture is made.

Albedo is a very complex stage of the work, and arguably, is the most important. Albedo has 2 phases, several layers, and not everything that sparkles is gold.

We know that this stage refers to silver. We also know that many choose to stop working at this level. The light of the Sun is reflected by the moon, and anyone who has experienced a real full moon in the countryside out in the open can attest to a strange fact. When the full moon reflects the light of the sun fully, it is almost as light as day, but "after a different manner". The light is not warm, it doesn't heat. It has an aetherial feeling to it, like seeing things through a slightly shimmering veil.

I have been putting off writing this article because I believe it is good to consider what we put into writing. I have no intention of misleading anyone and therefore sometimes I need to consider, and reconsider what I plan on posting, especially on a subject as difficult as this. It was not until this past weekend when speaking to some of my peers and people I consider more knowledgeable than me that the penny dropped and I found the correct way of tackling this topic. It was not until one of the authors of Krystiania publishing house made a poignant comment about who to write for and how that I found the exact angle I was going to attack this post on.

Albedo never occurs in isolation. Albedo and Rubedo move in and out of eachother and are part of eachother. Not only that, we need to make a difference between Gnosis, the ultimate understanding of the mystery as a realisation and as distinct from having undergone the process.  The realisation, the acquiring of gnosis is a life-changing moment, after which one is never the same again. In theosophy one refers to this as being reborn in Christ, and most traditions claim that it is only at this stage that the seeker acquires a soul.

Gnosis is the Philosopher's Stone, it is reintegration into Adam, the awareness of and becoming part of the fullness. For those out there who are kabbalistically challenged, this is not an initiation into any specific sphere upon the tree. This is most definitively not an initiation into Tiphereth or even Kether. Instead this is closer to what certain traditions refer to as being freed, returning fully into the Ain Soph Aur.

Why is it important to make a difference between Gnosis/Realisation and process? Because depending on the path of return chosen you may work with a system where your level of realisation is linked to where you are in the process or you may work with a system where it is seen as more important to get a realisation that you later use for your process instead. We can also talk about this from the perspective of the difference between the different phases in the alchemical bodies and the levels of consciousness reached in alchemy. One can have a solar consciousness without having developed a solar body ;)
The opposite is also true. You may have experienced things from a process related perspective yet not truly receive Gnosis. This is typical with mystical approaches where levels of non-dual awareness are mistaken for gnosis.

I am taking the liberty to name this "Alchemy with nature" and "Alchemy against nature".
(For an example of Alchemy against nature I recommend Sendivogius' system.
http://www.levity.com/alchemy/newchem1.html for those interested.)

In the work against nature,
The powder of projection, created by the philosophers stone can be given to someone when they are in a nigredo phase. This will then lead to a transformation whereby they receive and create a philosophers stone themselves. The point of consciousness will move into the stone and never ever be able to leave again. some find this difficult, since truth can hurt from the point of view of where we previously were.
The stone immediately transforms all materia in the vessel to the prima materia, thus a forced Nigredo that is darker than the black of nature will occur. Then the stone will cause a change depending on what process related state the vessel was in prior to being exposed to the stone.
 However the vessel will still hold the caput mortem, materia that has been whitened and some materia that will start to be tinged with the colour of the stone.

The vessel will become more and more tinged as the stone dissolves the metals and turnst them into tinted gold. This type of Albedo does however have a curious tendence to lead to the caput mortem becoming an indissoluble stone. This creates a duality in the flask, where the wholeness is reflected. The stone radiating gold, gold radiating silver and silver being held by the fangs of the caput mortem which is the dragon.

In the process this will lead the aspiring adept to have within all aspects of creation. The abyss has been crossed and is seen as not an abyss anymore, and the transformation is now something that has to happen and needs to be done, not as some unsurmountable task. The initiators job here is to make sure the stone is not merely inserted into the vessel at a random place but has to be put in the absolute center to replace the old center.

Thus albedo is reached and this is albedo tinted with the stone, but containing within the dragon. The dangers are here to only focus on the stone and ignore the process that still needs to happen. Also, as the stone is in the vessel and can eternally be replicated, one can loose oneself in the consequences of the stone and in using the stone as a powder of projection in rituals, where one's Lunar consciousness is raised towards the sun and can shine down upon the darkness. Those in darkness can thus be blinded by the light as there is from the outside perspective no difference between the moon in its fullness and the true spiritual sun.

Many a sect has been started by this.

Thus Albedo reached from a process point of view is different from albedo reached as a result of gnosis.

If albedo is reached through a process then the power of the mirror remains, but the wholeness is not reached. There is not a single claw of the dragon left instead the whole vessel undergoes a graying after the blackening.
This time of twilight scares many as the utter darkness has been passed yet the whiteness of the l´silver that reflects the sun is not reached yet.
Often a few spots of superheated white powder turn into gold too quickly, yet combust and are no more. This disheartens the seeker as they are able to hold the mirror to heaven and allow the moon to enter fullness, yet they are not fully gold themselves.

As with the prevous version this has its blessings and dangers.