Coagulation in Alchemy
The seventh and last stop on our alchemical climb is the process of Coagulation. We’ve discussed burning away our imperfections with the fires of Calcination and washing away what isn’t useful in the waters of Dissolution. The Separation process further filtered out material we didn’t need, leaving the best parts of our psyche to recombine in Conjunction. Fermentation took us into the pregnant darkness to birth into a new way of being. Distillation concentrated our essence to raise our psyche to the highest level we’ve experienced.
In Coagulation, the fixation of spiritual energies in the body, creates what is called the “Philosopher’s Stone.” This is a metaphor for a purified and integrated spirit, cleaned out of baser materials in the previous operations. The image for Coagulation in alchemical art is the mythical phoenix that built his nest in flames and resurrected in a healed and rejuvenated body. Some medieval alchemists called this second body a “body of light.” Paracelsus called it the Astral Body, or Star Body.
In Taoist Alchemical studies, the light body or Coagulation process, is said to result from the merging of the energies of Heaven and Earth in the practitioner’s body. Exercises that lead to wholeness are the same exercises we discuss here often: standing like a tree in Iron Shirt Chi Kung, reaching up to the stars in moving Chi Kung, and feeling the blending of sun at the heart and moon at the kidneys in Taoist Yoga.
Cooking fire and water in your navel, merging sun and moon in your solar plexus, and combining the energies of stars in your brain are more advanced practices and beyond the scope of a blog post—but Taoists have these all mapped out—it’s just up to us to study and practice. Good luck.
The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching:
Transforming Your Lead Into Gold