Ask An Alchemist – Ask Me Anything – Modern Mystics on REDDIT

Greetings Alchemists!

A short while ago I was given a wonderful opportunity to answer a broad spectrum of questions on the SubREDDIT channel Modern Mystics.  The questions were great, I had a wonderful time answering them all, and I look forward to another opportunity like this again!

 

So without further adieu, here are the questions and my responses, enjoy!

Ask An Alchemist

Reddit AMA Day

 

 

“Hi Aubrey,

I’ve only just heard about you from this thread so I am very excited to learn more about your work. Please forgive me if this question is something you’ve already answered elsewhere:

As an alchemist, how do you view astrology? Does it play into your inner work?

How do you view and/or deal with those people who insist alchemy was exclusively a physical or chemical practice?

What lines of reasoning have you found to be most effective in opening the minds of materialists to the idea of alchemy as a mental practice?

If there were one esoteric secret you would love to be common knowledge, what would it be?”

— Somethingclassy

 

 

Hi “Somethingclassy,”

 

Here are your questions and your answers!  ^_^

 

“As an alchemist, how do you view astrology? Does it play into your inner work?”

 

Astrology as a daily predictive method of prognostication is not something that I personally use, however, I am cognizant to the electrical tensions presented within Astrology and that they do, in fact, have relevance to our lives and our general conduct.  Of course this brings into immediate question the nature of Free Will, and if there is, in fact, such a thing.  Not gonna debate that topic here, but it would be fair to say that I am highly skeptical of our actual Free Will, relative to the mountains of evidence to support the fact so eloquently observed by Charles Dickens in “A Christmas Carol.” that a mere spot of mustard or undigested bit of food can alter a man’s cognitive presence as much as anything else.

Now, back to what I do.  ^_^

As a practicing Alchemist, understanding the narrative that is presented in Astrotheology has been the core focus of my work for the last three years.  It is understanding the relevance of this narrative as it pertains to ourselves and our cognitive processes that is one of the many components to the now popular catch phrase “Temet Nosce!”  This is because understanding how Astrotheology plays its role in the Alchemical process allows one to progress to the discovery and confirmation of a unified cosmology; which in all esoteric circles finds its home in the Electric Universe Model.  This unified cosmology is essential in understanding the deeper aspects of “Temet Nosce,” and its overall importance to the overall process of the Transmutation of the Self.

This brings me to the second question:
“How do you view and/or deal with those people who insist alchemy was exclusively a physical or chemical practice?”
I hold them with the deepest and highest degree of respect.  Nothing that is accomplished in Practical Physical Alchemy is anything but a boon to those employing the Art for the purpose of using the methods and means applied to the physical toward that which is eternal: the Body (material self, Salt), The Spirit (the Mental Self, Mercury), and The Soul (the Emotional Self, Sulfur).  However, it was Paulo Coelho who discusses this best in his opus magnum “The Alchemist,” wherein he explains that the pursuit of Alchemy is the pursuit of one’s own “Personal Legend,” and that the actualization of that pursuit is the catalyst that brings the change that leads to something greater than happiness.  If that pursuit leads one to become a Physical Alchemist because that activity brings Joy, then that person has most-likely actualized the pursuit of their “Personal Legend.”  However, if the pursuit is one that becomes an obsession with the accumulation of wealth (maybe trying to turn physical lead into actual gold), then as Paulo Coelho observed, they lose their ability to perform the actual Alchemy that would lead them to even greater heights than mere wealth or knowledge.   Like the Alchemist in Coelho’s book, I found it only necessary to possess the Emerald Tablets (which contain the Seven Esoteric Principles), and that was sufficient coupled with my education in the “Hard Sciences” like chemistry, biology, and physics, and I was enabled to engage in my own personal Transmutation, of which we are all now enjoying the fruits thereof today!  LOL ^_^

 

Your Third Question:

“What lines of reasoning have you found to be most effective in opening the minds of materialists to the idea of alchemy as a mental practice?”

I realized a long time ago, “I’m not gonna be that guy.”  Meaning, to think that you will be the guy who suddenly changes the mind of another human being is pure hubris, conceit, and arrogance.  It is the very idea that a mind requires opening that is the first barrier to discussion.  Me, I leave people alone.  Believe what you what, because if you are anything like me (and we all are quite a bit like each other truth be known), then you will exchange, modify, dismiss, reject, revise, or revile whatever it was you believed a few years earlier; I have and I consider it a sign of growth.  So who’s to say that they won’t simple encounter Alchemy as a mental practice along the way. Heaven knows I wasn’t searching for ANYTHING when through the course of my various studies I realized that I had actually stumbled upon something amazing, beautiful, and liberating along the way.  That’s how things work, and if we obsess over the eventual destination of  The Truth” that we desire upon another, well … then we’re just missing the point and we turn into the monster dad on vacation obsessed with getting to the next stop, all the while missing the beauty of the journey as he ferries his family blindly forward.  The journey (and this is most-certainly from my own experience) is the thing, not the destination.

 

Last Question:

“If there were one esoteric secret you would love to be common knowledge, what would it be?”

 

This would be commitment to the Path (whatever path you have chosen for yourself), and to follow it no matter where it seems to lead you.

 

Far to often we apply our judgment to the Path we have chosen and abandon it upon the first evidence of difficulty, trial, or struggle.  Sometimes we allow our ignorance to be guided by the ignorance of others, and we cast aside real treasures because we fail to see things, or our treasures for what the are.

 

Another “Secret” … that all True esoteric traditions will eventually settle upon the ground of Love.  Meaning that in the end, if this is an esoteric or spiritual practice that will lead one to a greater sense of meaning or unity will always be based in the foundation of understanding how Love is an applied principle in the generation (creation), operation (preservation), and dissolution (destruction) of all things.  Not talking about God here … but something more than our limited perception of the greater whole.

 

This pursuit will eventually lead one to the final and lasting secret, that of Perspective.   In the end, the totality of it all (when it finally settles on you) will make you feel like a flea on the back of a dog, trying to describe the vastness of the ocean the flea now finds the dog swimming in as it fetches for a stick.  There’s too much for words, and the immensity of it can not be described, only felt.  It’s a wonderful feeling.  ^_^

 

VenBede Writes,

“I’m curious as to how you view the physical work of alchemy. Do you think that the historical alchemists were wasting their time toiling away in their labs trying to physically manifest that which was really a spiritual reward? Or was that work also working toward a spiritual goal?

If the latter, can you elaborate on how you feel the physical work of alchemy enables one to reach new spiritual depths?”

 

 

Hi VenBede,

“I’m curious as to how you view the physical work of alchemy. “

 

I hold them with the deepest and highest degree of respect.  Nothing that is accomplished in Practical Physical Alchemy is anything but a boon to those employing the Art for the purpose of using the methods and means applied to the physical toward that which is eternal: the Body (material self, Salt), The Spirit (the Mental Self, Mercury), and The Soul (the Emotional Self, Sulfur).

 

However, it was Paulo Coelho who discusses this best in his opus magnum “The Alchemist,” wherein he explains that the pursuit of Alchemy is the pursuit of one’s own “Personal Legend,” and that the actualization of that pursuit is the catalyst that brings the change that leads to something greater than happiness.  If that pursuit leads one to become a Physical Alchemist because that activity brings Joy, then that person has most-likely actualized the pursuit of their “Personal Legend.”  However, if the pursuit is one that becomes an obsession with the accumulation of wealth (maybe trying to turn physical lead into actual gold), then as Paulo Coelho observed, they lose their ability to perform the actual Alchemy that would lead them to even greater heights than mere wealth or knowledge.   Like the Alchemist in Coelho’s book, I found it only necessary to possess the Emerald Tablets (which contain the Seven Esoteric Principles), and that was sufficient coupled with my education in the “Hard Sciences” like chemistry, biology, and physics, and I was enabled to engage in my own personal Transmutation, of which we are all now enjoying the fruits thereof today!

 

It’s strange our need to classify, quantify, or contain pretty much everything.  To me, there is no reason why one can not both practice Physical Alchemy and Spiritual Alchemy concurrently nor to assume that those original Alchemists didn’t do just that! Truth be known I envy those who have the facilities to engage in various experiments for the purpose of visualizing the reactions that are described so blandly in equations and on paper.   Not because explosions or vigorous reactions aren’t fun, but because there is something to be said for recognizing that what is taking place in the test tube, flask, or beaker has its analog within the Human Heart.  To witness this analog one must transcend the physical and engage in the philosophical.  ^_^

 

 

 

 

 

“Hey Aubrey. Big fan of your channel and have found it very useful, informative and insightful. One thing I’m skeptical about is the extent to which these teachings are included in popular movies/music. How do you think they end up there? Do you sometimes think you may be reading too much into them (when constantly dealing with such concepts/patterns it is easy to see them reflected everywhere)? Mostly I’m just asking a question because it’s an AMA but just wanted to say thanks for the awesome videos!”

— Wokyo

Hi “Wokyo”

 

Thank you for the wonderful compliments!  I’m super happy you’re enjoying the channel!  Now, onto your questions.

“One thing I’m skeptical about is the extent to which these teachings are included in popular movies/music. How do you think they end up there? Do you sometimes think you may be reading too much into them (when constantly dealing with such concepts/patterns it is easy to see them reflected everywhere)?”

This is a very good question and one that I and my daughter discuss frequently; are they doing it because they know what they are doing, are they doing it because that is just how it’s done, or are they doing it because its purely accidental or coincidental?”

 

So let’s address the elephant in the room first, the subtext of your question that reveals that there would, of necessity, be a conspiracy to employ these teaching for some kind of gain or purpose (which would eventually lead to some kind of gain).

I decided that I would approach this from another angle, instead of trying to prove that there was or was not a thing, I was going to employ a simple method using standard esoteric and mythological archetypes which have been in use for 3000+ years and see what happened – NO SHOE-HORNING.  Meaning, if it didn’t work like someone placing a transparency over a map to reveal cities, states, roads, whatever … then it didn’t work.  If on the other hand, a character walked like a duck (or in this case like a Falcon and was Horus), talked like a duck, and pooped like a duck, it was probably a duck.
This question is the core of what I have come to call my “Esoteric Schmackdown” series, and my particular “Transparency” is the Kabbalah, and common Astrotheological & Mythological archetypes and their narratives.

 

After having done this for a couple of years, and having done so privately for a bit longer, I am fairly well convinced (from preponderance of evidence) that its happening, and that it is designed to teach us a great many things, we need only avail ourselves the opportunity and become a bit more inquisitive about the ACTUAL story being played in front of us.

 

I had an afterthought, so I thought I’d go ahead and add it here.

 

Just because a symbol is in use, and it is being used correctly, does not mean that the person employing the use of the symbol has any idea (beyond the correct use and display of the symbol) what that symbol actually means of for what it actually stands.

 

For my 50th birthday, a friend of mine gave me a wonderful book, “Short Description of Gods, Goddesses and Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism in Nepal” published by Handicraft Association of Nepal.  (link to picture of cover below).  This manual is designed for members of the craft industry who supply religious artifacts and iconography.  The manual describes in limited terms what each hand gesture, expression, posture, article of clothing, etc, means, and how it is used, in sculpture.  It proves that you can have a community of people who are aware that this material has significance and what do present it correctly, but not necessarily that they are advised or aware of the deeper esoteric significance of each gesture, posture, article of clothing, etc actually means.

 

Like most things in the world, the truth tends to be some where between the available ideas or data, best to remain flexible when in its pursuit and always engage a high degree of mental alacrity!  🙂

 

 
KeenKeem writes,
Hi Aubrey, I’ve read the alchemist more than any other book. Is your job anything like a traditional alchemist and do you hold a falcon on your shoulder 100% of the time?

 

Hi KeenKeem!

 

Actually, she is a Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrot named “Aggie.”  And yes … I tend to be more of the latter rather than the former.  Although she tends to be less useful than a Falcon, but considerably more amusing!  Parrots are such clowns!  ^_^

 

Thank you for this question … helped me remember a book that I (for whatever reason) rejected reading three times and finally embraced to my absolute delight!

 

Even now, I need only consider Santiago turning to wind and I get all misty-eyed!  Truly “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is a Magnum Opus!  ^_^

 

 

 

 

 

ChorusButt

 

“What was your coolest experience? “

 

 

Hi ChorusButt!

 

In recent history, it would have to be my first use of “Magic Mushrooms” as part of my esoteric pursuits.  The experience was pretty amazing, and one what I was happy to share the next day in “The M.A.P.” (The Modern Alchemist Podcast).

Here’s the link!  Enjoy!  ^_^
The M.A.P. Ep 5 Astrotheology Magic & Magic Mushrooms

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igkj3nUMhSw&t=1s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snsa90 asks,

 

“What is your outlook on the tarot? Do you study or practice it?”

 

Allow me to answer your second question first, and by the nature of my answer, the answer to your first question shall also be revealed.

“Do I study or practice it [The Tarot]?”

 

My first introduction to the Tarot was back in 1991 through a friend of mine who was in college at the time.  Basically neither of us knew what we were doing, he was using “Intuition” to read the cards coupled with that more-than-useless pamphlet that comes with any Tarot deck, and trying to prognosticate the future.  The cards were borderline “Evil” and their use completely questionable, perhaps even sinful.  From this point of view (this is also a biopic reference to an earlier question – Question & Answer #3 for “Somethingclassy”) I advanced from “The Cards should be burned, and I need to repent and be cleansed,” to “The cards are an expression of functions Universal, and within them are contained the necessary elements to express our human narrative and grant us access to what some call ‘The World Soul.’”

 

So some 26 years later, I read the Tarot professionally (have done so in the Olympia area for the last three years), teach its use and application (there are many), and recognize that the Tarot represent, when taken in consideration of the whole in which they lay (which is the Qabala) a useful key to understanding a great many things, things worthy of a lifetime of pursuit and mediation.
The Tarot is not magical.  The cards are mere card board and plastic, but the presentation of the Symbols in context with their relative meaning, combined with a grounded understanding of Symbology, Astrology, Numerology, and Kabbalah can open portals to alternative states of consciousness (not everything need be measured as “higher or lower” relative to conscious states).

 

It is the application of human consciousness toward the comprehension of sacred symbology that is the means of altering one’s conscious state and seeing the world without Time.  The symbols which endure are always expressed as narratives and are never without context to a greater whole.  It is the perception of this context that allows one to have Vision.

 

However, to get to this point requires more than mere intuition, but an applied study into the nature and complexities of the symbols involved and their associative context, history, and meaning.  In the end, all symbols point to something that is real, visible, or tangible.

For a sampling of my work and process, feel free to check out my analysis of the Economist Magazine cover 2017, also known as the “Trump Tarot Cover.”
It is more a deconstruction of the symbols presented but within the context of the greater whole that was the eventuality of Trump’s inauguration, and what would follow.  So far I’ve been pretty much on point.  The reading was broadcast on December 7, 2016
Enjoy!  ^_^

The M A P – Ep 9 – THE ECONOMIST MAGAZINE’S 2017 TRUMP WORLD TAROT COVER DECIPHERED!!!
(soooo dramatic!  LOL)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxGpW9lAdo8&t=1724s

 

and

 

The M A P Ep 10 – Fine Tuning The Wheel of Fortune – Trump World Tarot Cover https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=033nKUg5io8

 

 

 

 

 

 

LambaGo asks,

 

“Aubrey, How do we get rid of the the 4th dimensional Beings that feed off of our emotions? “

 

First off, and I say this both by way of jesting and also by way of illustrating a functional reality within the Universe: Everything’s gotta eat.

 

That includes you.  So while we would like to assume the role of “Victim” to something elusive and predatory, the truth is we have very much the same function upon the natural world by virtue of our very existence.

Now this may seem like a very odd way to address this question but hear me out.  What we have created here is a syllogism.  As Fourth dimensional entities are to me, so to I am to the natural world around me.  Meaning that I feed upon it in ways that cannot necessarily be seen but are certainly felt within the environment over time.  This syllogism helps us place into framework an equation that gives us a great degree of personal power.  As A is to B so to B is to C.  Therefore A and C are but the same thing but in different forms.

How does this help you?  The realization of this simple principle reveals that there are no divisions between dimensions or between all things existing within those dimensions.  The All is in All and is All.  There are no enemies out there, in this dimension or the next who are not ultimately a projection of the Ego in an effort to conceal itself within the lie that we are anything but a part of each other.

 

And like how we may often view our younger selves as difficult or even alien to our current selves, so to we can view that which is perceived as being “Outside” of ourselves.  Relative to our younger selves, we cannot deny that they are part of who we are now as much as we are part of who they were then.  So to, the world and all that is in it, in whatever dimension one chooses to travel upon, is but a part of one greater whole.  There need be nothing foreign or threatening, and when fully embraced, one discovers that the Universe conspires to help you forward.

 

This brings be to the question you may be thinking but have not yet asked, “How do I go forward?”  Like the river going down hill, that’s how.  Within the esoteric there is a saying, “Go with the flow,” meaning do not meet resistance with resistance, but go where you can and allow the universe to be your guide.  When we do this, we find our lives moving along quite well, but when the Ego becomes engaged, we often find ourselves in conflict with the world around us, and that can invite energies into our lives that tend to decay or prohibit growth.  One need only change one’s course and the stimulus that is causing what you may feel as a “feeding frenzy” dissipate without the least degree of effort.  Remember, “Resistance is futile,” so “go with the flow,” and examine what it is about your life that would cause you to feel you are being fed upon and change your course.

Everything may need to eat, but you don’t need to avail yourself as dinner.

Hope that helps!  ^_^

 

 

 

 

 

NOQOL-RII writes,

“How did you become involved in practical alchemy?”

 

Purely by accident.  Its funny to me to look back and in retrospect realize that I had been studying the principles of Alchemy for about a year before I even knew what that actually was, beyond the typical fair that we are supplied on the History Channel.   I think that is how it is when you allow yourself to merely wander and consider what you are experiencing along the way.  It was a kind of discovery for something that I had, as yet, no language sufficient to describe and something that required time and patience to reconcile in my mind; after all, its not every day you can see the scope of human history and identify a singular thread running through it all (many threads actually, but you get the idea).

For more on my particular journey, feel free to check out “Who is the Modern Alchemist?” on my WordPress.  Link below!

 

 

Are you affiliated with any occult fraternities or institutions?”

Nope.  I discovered that in order for them to function, all their doings must be witnessed by others, whether they understand what they are witnessing is not relevant; only the meaning of the symbols was actually concealed in their secret (sacred) meetings.

This meant that what I was witnessing was the expression of a language used to describe something else.  I needed only discover what was being described to understand the language being used.

And so it went, and has gone, ever since.  There are times I wish I did belong to some of these groups, if only to be able to short-cut some stumbling about in the dark for access to actual media discussing this material.  But then, we all know that is a complete fantasy, for the real goodies can only be learned from mouth to ear.
So … I watch, I listen, and I learn.   🙂
“Who is the Modern Alchemist?”
https://themodernalchemistchannel.wordpress.com/about/

 

 

 

 

ChristianKool (Christian Perennialist) writes,

As a Perennialist, I’m very interested in comparative studies of religions/contemplation practices. Has any other practice(s) influenced you? How do you view the esoteric practices in other religions? Thank you very much for your time!

 

 

Has any other practice(s) influenced you?

 

I have been influenced by every practice I have studied.  One cannot truly study a thing unless it is fully internalized and processed, and so it is with the esoteric.  As a result, I discovered, or rather confirmed, quite by accident that there is a singular narrative running through the course of human history and activity, and that this narrative has been greatly distorted by what I have come to call “The Piscean Lens,” which represents the last 2000 years of human activity and our collective assumption (publicly) that the way we see things today is the way they ever have been … the exception being the prophetic “End of Days” where everything we see now will become chaos.

Its was that last part in particular that has ever drew my attention.  How would you know what chaos looks like, other than presenting it in opposition to your preferred state of existence.  Or … the chaos described has already happened, and what we are seeing is what could then be perceived as a “Heavenly state” because we were free of catastrophic external influence from “The Gods” (which were and still are, the planets).  I plan to discuss this concept further this year in Essentials of Practical Alchemy 2017 when we give the Eye(s) of Horus a thorough going over.

“How do you view the esoteric practices in other religions?”

 

I view all practices which seek to enlighten or enliven the Soul of Humanity worthy of praise and study.  Each practice, each religion, carries within it its own perspective relative to a greater narrative and the nature of human activity. Furthermore, the study of what people believe relative to the constructs of religion can often tell you more about a culture than anything else; for it addresses the core cosmology of a particular people and how they see themselves (and others) framed within it.  It has been my study of these things, a study guarding against an ethnocentric perspective, that has led me to some of my greatest revelations and discoveries!

Paaladin writes,

 

“Hi Aubrey,

I am fascinated with your views on astrology, particularly after watching M A P Ep. 6. I am interested in learning and understanding this information for myself and honing this faculty. Do you have any recommendations of where to start? Good books to read, websites, videos, etc…? It all seems so daunting and there is so much misinformation out there that it all seems so convoluted, especially considering you’ve said that the old methods have become antiquated. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Also, any chance of giving pro wrestling the ol’ esoteric schmackdown in the future? Is there something subconscious at play teaching us about the universe and the coming Saturnian age symbolized through John Cena’s wristbands…or is it really just fake sports?

And lastly, thank you Aubrey for your work and your youtube channel and thank you for seemingly being the only person who teaches this stuff that isn’t an arrogant cynic or wannabe armchair revolutionary. Continued success!”

 

 

First off, thank you for the wonderful compliments, I am genuinely happy you are enjoying the Channel and the material I am working to produce.  Going from the bottom to the top of your question(s):
“Also, any chance of giving pro wrestling the ol’ esoteric schmackdown in the future? Is there something subconscious at play teaching us about the universe and the coming Saturnian age symbolized through John Cena’s wristbands…or is it really just fake sports?”

I am totally planning to do some Esoteric Schmackdown on Pro Wrestling, which is absolutely awash in esoteric symbolism (go Vince!).  In fact I even reference John Cena in my last Talking Politics “Kabbalah, Chess, and Politics,” pointing out that his use of the red on the left and the blue on the right is a correct expression of those energies when understood against the Kabbalah (or Reiki).

 

As for astrology …

Astrology as a daily predictive method of prognostication is not something that I personally use, however, I am cognizant to the electrical tensions presented within Astrology and that they do, in fact, have relevance to our lives and our general conduct. Of course this brings into immediate question the nature of Free Will, and if there is, in fact, such a thing. Not gonna debate that topic here, but it would be fair to say that I am highly skeptical of our actual Free Will, relative to the mountains of evidence to support the fact so eloquently observed by Charles Dickens in “A Christmas Carol.” that a mere spot of mustard or undigested bit of food can alter a man’s cognitive presence as much as anything else.

 

Relative to good books, my approach to astrology was first to understand how it presented within my personal bailiwick “The Tarot,” which it does to a high degree.  What I tell my students is this: discover which one of the esoteric sciences appeals to you most and let that be your starting point.  Be it the Tarot, Astrology, or Palmistry, understand that science and see how it relates to the other esoteric sciences; but PICK ONE, then study that.  Not everyone is good with astrology, but they are good at something.  The esoteric takes that into account, and so each of these sciences reference the other, literally.

Taken from this perspective you will discover what clicks for you and then use that as your bridge to the other information, skills, or practices.
As for books … I stick with the classics, and my library (or my preferred playground) can be found here:
Sacred Texts Archive
http://www.sacred-texts.com/
 

However … some of the BEST esoteric texts are concealed within works of fiction, like Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus” (its full title).  Concealed within this text lay some sound advice given by its protagonist who also abandons the texts of “today” for that of the classics.  😉

 
Afterthought: begin with the Kyballion or the Emerald Tablets (same thing). The Seven Esoteric Principles presented within this text are sufficient to supply anyone with the necessary Keys to begin their journey and appraise the value of what is encountered along the way.

 

For more information about the Seven Esoteric (or Hermetic) Principles check out my brief introduction from last year’s Essentials of Practical Alchemy class:

“The 7 Hermetic Principles of the Electric Universe Essentials of Practical Alchemy 2016 Class 5 “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1XALdZUrWQ

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s