Water in Alchemy
After the first phase in alchemy, known in the west as calcination, or ‘burning to the bone,’ the alchemist introduced water in a process known as dissolution. Here, the ashes from calcination were immersed in water or another chemical liquid. Symbols of dissolution in alchemical art include floods, underground streams, lakes, a queen relaxing in a tub of water, and other illusions to water, sometimes in clay pots and cauldrons. In meditation, Taoist alchemists may visualize and feel (inside their lower abdomen), water slowly boiling in a cauldron with fires of calcination cooking from below.
In personal dissolution, the internal alchemist is looking at the dark waters of the unconscious mind. Other imagery in alchemical art can include giant whales and sleeping dragons guarding treasures. In the emotional-mental body, we have defense mechanisms protecting us from seeing the dark fears that have hidden in our unconscious for decades. This world of shadowy, watery energies tries to rise to the surface in the form of inner voices, visions, recurring dreams, or odd feelings toward the world that exists alongside our everyday waking life.
The dissolution phase leads to the dark night of the soul, depression, and intense sadness. It can make the adept wonder why they even went down this road in the first place. Wasn’t ignorance bliss, after all? However, the darkness is still inside of us and it can only be ignored so long before it demands attention. By bringing these issues to light, can we overcome them—or at least learn to live with the darkness harmoniously. It is like having a pile of trash in our office or bedroom that we refuse to look at or take outside. Trying to work with the energy itself, without getting caught up in the story, is a effective approach than being triggered by the details.
Taoist alchemists in one path call the alchemical processes of calcination and dissolution The Lesser Enlightenment of Water and Fire. When this cooking process is successful, the raw materials of the psyche will have been purified and contaminating materials will have been eliminated. The practitioner can take the most basic materials into the next phases of separation and conjunction, or in Taoism, the Greater Enlightenment of the Sun and Moon.
The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching:
Transforming Your Lead Into Goldhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1718636970/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1