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In alchemy, or the changing of one substance into another, there are seven steps.

1. Calcination – the heating of a substance in a crucible over an open flame until it is reduced to ashes.

In Shamanism we have calcination as the destruction of our ego and our attachments to the physical world. We take the challenges and experiences of life and learn humbleness as we ignite the fire of self introspection and burn away those elements that never worked for us anyway.

The fire of Calcination tunes the body, burns off excesses from overindulgence and creates a lean mean fighting machine. First chakra, Fire, Red.

2. Dissolution – it is the dissolving of the ashes from Calcination in water. In Shamanism is is a further breaking down of the artifical beliefs we have been given or have adopted by opening the floodgates of new energy and new concepts, new beliefs and ideas, allowing new energy to enter our systems. Dissolution can be felt as the bliss of being well used and actively engaged in creative acts without traditional prejudices, personal hangups or established hierarchy getting the way.

It is the opening up of the kundalini channels in the body to elevate every cell, second chakra, water, blue.

3. Separation – it is the isolation of the components of dissolution by filtration and removing any unworthy material.

Yup'ik shaman exorcising evil spirits from a s...
Yup’ik shaman exorcising evil spirits from a sick boy. Nushagak, Alaska, 1890s. Fienup-Riordan 1994: 206 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Shamanism this is the rediscovery of our essence and the reclaiming of dreams and visions previously rejected by imposed beliefs that this was somehow irrational. Separation is letting go of self inflicted restraints and allowing our true selves and our true experiences to shine through. Separation is controlling the inflow and the outflow, the body and the breath to give birth to new energy. Third chakra, air, orange red.

4. Conjunction – it is the recombination of the saved elements from Separation into a new substance.

In Shamanism it is the empowerment of our true selves. Walking with one foot in this world and one foot in the Inner worlds, finding ourselves in a new belief system or causal consciousness. Alchemists call this the Lesser Stone and with it the adept is able to clearly discern what needs to be done to achieve union with the Overself. Often synchronicities begin to occur showing that the path is correct. Using the body’s sexual energies for personal transformation takes place in the heart. Earth, Green, hearth chakra.

5. Fermentation – is a two stepped process that begins with the Putrefication of the “child” from the Conjunction resulting in its death and resurrection to a new level of being. In alchemy it is the growth of a ferment, (bacteria) in organic solutions such as fermenting milk to make cheese.

Egyptian alchemists created a drink called “Liquor Hepatitis” which means Liquor of the Liver. They beieved the liver was the seat of the soul. It exudes a wonderful fragrance and the alchemists made a perfume of it called “Balsam of the Soul”.

In Shamanism the fermentation process starts with the inspiration of spiritual power from Above that re-animates, energizes and enlightens the seeker. Out of the blackness of putrefication comes the yellow ferment, the golden wax flowing out of the foul matter of the soul. Its arrival is seen as a display of bright color and meaningful vision called the “Peacock’s tail”.

English: Sami shamanic drum in the Arktikum mu...
English: Sami shamanic drum in the Arktikum museum, in Rovaniemi, Finland. Suomi: Saamelainen shamaanirumpu Arktikumissa Rovaniemellä (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fermentation can be achieved through impeccability, through practice, experience with awareness. Fermentation is living inspirations from something totally beyond us and yet deep within us. Fermentation is the rousing of chi, living energy, in the body to heal and unify. It is expressed as vibratory tones and spoken truths through the fourth chakra the throat, It is the base of mystical awareness. Throat chakra, sulfur, turquoise.

6. Distillation – the boiling and condensation of the fermented solution to increase it purity, such as the distilling of wine to make brandy.

In Shamanism it is the agitation and sublimation of psychic forces that is necessary to ensure that no impurities from the ego or id, no valueless beliefs are incorporated into the next and final stage. It is using introspection to weed out any last misbeliefs, any preconceived notions, any persevering thoughtforms that are not for you. It is raising the content of your psyche to the highest level possible, from sentimentality, totally in control of your lower bodies, free from their controlling you, cut off even from one’s own personality or personal identity. It is the purification of the unborn self – all that we truly are and can be. It is raising the life force from the body into the brain, known by Oriental Alchemists as the “Circulation of Light” where it eventually becomes a solidifying light full of power. Distillation is said to culminate in the Third Eye Chakra. Mercury, deep blue.

7. Coagulation – the precipitation or sublimation of the purified ferment from distillation. Alchemists called this final product, “Powder of the Sun”.

In Shamanism, coagulation is first sensed as a new confidence that is beyond all things, a Second body, an oversoul, a permanent vehicle of consciousness that embodies the highest aspirations and evolution of mind. Coagulation incarnates and releases the Ultima Materia of the soul. The alchemists referred to this as the Philosopher’s Stone. Using this stone, alchemists believed they could exist on all levels of reality. Could this be your atmic self?

Goldes shaman priest in his regalia
Goldes shaman priest in his regalia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Shamanism it is the release of intentions for healing into your body, brain and psyche. And yet it is more than intention, it is like a brain ambrosia or heavenly food that nourishes and energizes the cells without any waste products being produced. It is both physiological and psychological as a process that creates the Atmic body which emerges through the Crown or gold Chakra. It is the living wisdom in which everyone exists with the same light of evolved consciousness and knowledge of the truth. It is the return to the Garden of Eden.

According to the Emerald Tablet, “Thus you will obtain the Glory of the Whole Universe. All Obscurity will be clear to you. This is the greatest force of all powers, because it overcomes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.” Crown chakra, salt, violet.

Write me your thoughts on alchemy and Shamanism. How do they correlate to the system of chakras as you know it? How is it that the Emerald Tablets, written over 3,500 years ago show us the same things Shamanism does? Is that just a coincidence? Can your atmic self be realized in this lifetime? What is required before you can reach your atmic self?

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Re-member the old ways with a Shaman Elder. Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls offers an introductory course starting with the history of Shamanism around the world. We learn about healing herbs, finding your totem, what Shamanic ecstasy is and how to achieve it without drugs, how to meditate and many actual visualizations to help improve one’s skills. You will build a medicine wheel, meet your totem animals and spirit guides, create a place for visions, learn to interpret your dreams, learn ceremonies for celebration and healing and so much more!