ZSD23 (sophia_dione) wrote,
ZSD23
sophia_dione

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Repurposing the Azoth of the Philosophers

                                                                                                     

Azoth of the Philosophers copyright Dee Rapposelli http://www.deerapposelli.com



I am in the process of making low tables and bomos (altar tables) with my  digital art. This image is a intended to become a bomos and is an adaption of an alchemical mandala that has long fascinated me and many others. That mandala is the 12th plate of an alchemical picture book called The Azoth of the Philosophers. It depicts the process of alchemy--both as a laboratory exercise and as spiritual pathwork via ascension through the planetary spheres (the Western equivalent of "chakras").


                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                           
                                                                                                             

    As I have explained in the book The Seal of Secrets of theWorld Adventures in Planetary Magic, which addresses my work with the Arbatel, Western magical mandala and seals are similar to Eastern mandalas and yantras in that they are mnemonic instruments made of symbols that are understood by and/or provide revelatory contemplative experiences for the initiated.

The term Azoth is thought to be derived from the Arabic al za’uq : “the mercury.” It may also be meant to suggest “A-to-Z” –the totality of name and form, as is meant in the terms Alpha-Omega and A-U-Mg (popularly written as Om). It is said to be the life principle.

The sun, moon, and cube of salt in the image represent sulfur, mercury, and salt and also soul, spirit, and body. I refer the reader to thispost by art curator Johnes Ruta for more insight on the meaning of the sulfur, mercury, salt triad.
On the left of the image stands the red king (sulfur) who dies to be reborn as the Philosopher's Stone (Enlightened). On the right is the melusine white queen (mercury), who is the source of life and also revelation of spiritual identity. As in Eastern Tantric lore, in which spiritual integration and enlightenment in a path of return is symbolized by the union (and dissolution) of male and female polarities, so too does the union of the alchemical king and queen result in transfiguration into the Divine Self.

This image, and philosophical alchemy in general inspired the second book in a series of cross-genrre fantasy/metaphysical/occult fiction that I wrote a few years ago and self-published.  The second book in the series is called The Fallen Fairy (originally titled The Sex Lives of Sorcerers and I think an old, not as tightly edited print version of the novel is still out there on amazon). Ostensibly about what happens when sorcerers from an alternate plane of existence vie to catch and control a human incarnation of a fairy, it, like all of my novels, is about the nature of self, transformation, and redemption.

Excerpt from the novel The Fallen Fairy
“There is a saying in the alchemical texts that goes like this,” Michael murmured. “The dragon only dies when he is killed by his brother and sister at once; not by one alone, but by both at once. That is, by the sun and moon.’ You and me,” he said.
. . .
“In creation mythology, we talk about the world forming from chaos and void by the will of a conscious entity—God. But the chaos—the so-called prima materia—is not matter, nature, or the world; it is the human psyche full of convoluted impressions, habituations, and the conditioning of nature and nurture. This is the seven-headed dragon that must be slain by the hero who is none other than the divine spirit within asserting itself. It rescues the damsel-in-distress, which is the soul.”The path of inner alchemy and of mysticism in all the great traditions founded in gnosis, Michael said, was to transform the human creature, who was nothing more than a helpless gear of the world machine, into a real person with real will, intention, and creative abilities.
“Some persons call this enlightenment; some call it ‘being like unto God’; some call it the Great Work, which is magic,” he said.
                                                                                                                   
Tags: alchemy, altars, azoth, bomos, hermeticism, metaphysical fiction, occult
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