Alchemy (Al-Khemet): The Black Land

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On alchemy, its history and meaning

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  • Thank goodness for the fact that the underworld aspect has a role in the story of the unfolding of consciousness! Where would we be without it? The shadow is more powerful than I likely usually give credit to, and I think this uprising in Egypt, the modern culture of ancient Osiris, is case-in-point. Not only are the young Egyptians awakening and harkening the call to action, they are not not aligning with western values as many of us might naively hope--but calling for something entirely new and transcendent instead. I believe a new world order is truly at the threshold, and all this is but a preliminary step. It's frightening and hopeful at the same time. With each individual having "direct access and potential realization of god" as you say, Thom, significant steps in the direction of global individuation are at hand.

    We need to recognize the role of western culture in all this, and even claim our individual contribution to the current situation. I was in Egypt last year and saw firsthand the challenges faced by those of the heartbreakingly sincere and yearning  younger generation under 30 who have done all in their power to strive for sucess and still lacked the basic freedoms and opportunities we so proudly brandish in the western world. As I move toward my own ultimate educational degree, I honor the fact that I have had it relatively easy in many ways. I also remember that a dollar as a tip meant the world to those who carried my suitcase, drove the bus I rode on, or recited ancient histories of the gods.

    Let us all light a candle today for Osiris and the shadow that will not longer be relegated to the swamplands: It must be acknowledged and re-membered, as Osiris himself was in ancient myth.

  • The Book of the Dead has been called the "Gospel of Osiris" for good reason. Initially it was Ra, the sun god, who carried the light of consciousness (the prima materia) through the duat. But, in time, Osiris joined him and not only replaced him, but eventually opened the possibility for anyone to pilot the solar barque. In the above world this same change was mirrored through the efforts of Akhenaten whereafter access to god was no longer solely vested in the pharaoh; now, any worthy soul had direct access and potential realization (gnosis) of god. The Book of the Dead is one of the first well organized maps of the individuation process, replete with many of the challenges we all face in transforming darkness into the light of the Individuated Self and beyond.
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