"When you manifest big waves, you'd better damn-well intend to surf them."
- Your Guides and Angels
Perhaps, at times, it isn't that we haven't successfully manifested something, it's that we didn't anticipate the cost and the heat of such a transformation. You can't perform alchemy without respect for the process, and the heat of the alchemist's flame.
From this week's article on FAF Collective
Background: Alchemy is most well-known as the process of turning base metals and materials (usually lead) into gold. In the worlds of hemeticism, spirituality, the “occult”, and general mysticism, Alchemy is not just the physical practice of the transmutation of matter, it is also a method of body/mind/soul transformation.
In the metaphorical approach, alchemy involves transmuting one’s base energy or product (the “lead” aspects of life circumstance and personality/personal energy) by separating out the “impurities”, redeveloping and distilling (adjusting and refining) our patterns existence and ways of living, followed by the fermentation and coagulation of the final product (personal transformation and the re-integration of such as we turn these “lead” aspects into “gold”).
In personal and energetic alchemy we review our own character, energies, and life patterns; we identify existing things to nurture into a blossoming state, and we identify and decide on which of the less desirable aspects to remove or transform.
This spread, I have created for personal use and for use in the reading for others. I always encourage people to tweak and play around with spreads and techniques to personalize them, as there is no one size fits all, or “right” approach to divination (or to spirituality and mysticism). If your background and practice embraces the concepts of certain cultures and belief systems, it can be very powerful to integrate these into your techniques in a personal way.
One more note I have to make:
I work very loosely. Often times when I am finished with a card reading, my table and workspace becomes a combined collage of cards and spirit-whispers. I have always said, “I’m a card listener, not a card reader”. Because of this, I prefer spreads which can be “stacked”, but have a general or loose structure.
The technique of stacking placements adds additional indicators or insights. In the case of this spread, the number of drawn cards for each position can be doubled or trippled, respectively, to reflect different aspects of base metals, methods of separation and transformation, and advice for creating your golden outcomes.
Say you drew three cards for each position, you would have nine cards total, and would pair 1 of each card (from each section) into three sets of triplets.
If you did this, you would have 3 sets (of 3 related cards in each, following the “formula”) to examine 3 different lead aspects, 3 corresponding methods of personal transformation, as well as 3 outcomes. Clarifying cards can be drawn when needed. Let’s jump in!
Clear your deck, and shuffle seven times with intention….
Card/Row 1 – Base Metals – The “Lead”
This section identifies the “what”. These are the things which may not be serving us, which may need to be better developed at this time, and which need transforming. If it can be improved in your life, or within your personal nature, it will appear in this section of the reading
Card/Row 2 – Calcination/Dissolution – Methods for Transformation
This is the process by which we can transform the “lead” aspect. This section of the spread offers advice for “how?”, and “in what way?”. Here we can find the necessary steps to refine and transform aspects of our existence, but this can often require difficult choices that we have been putting off or trying to avoid making. It also may require us to open our mind to new ways of thinking, living, communicating, and acting; it can introduce both useful advice and new perspectives. Alchemical purification happens after burning up the base substance and dissolving it into water to form a new solution, so no matter how uncomfortable or seemingly inconvenient these changes may be, they are often necessary to properly transmute our “base metals”.
Card/Row 3 – Distillation and Coagulation – The Final Product
We are always under construction as people, working-masterpieces, so we are never truly finished with our self-work, or in developing our lives. This being said, each time we undergo the alchemical process we can transform the lead aspects into things that better work for us and help us live a more wholesome and fulfilled existence.
Since we are not as straightforward as people as forms of metal, we may need to repeat this process a few times, further refining ourselves and our lives in the process.
The third row gives the outcome in this spread; in that it defines what we can expect to happen if we commit to the process, trust our transformations, and see it through. If we draw what are percieved as positive cards here (such as the 9 of cups, ace of pentacles, the star, or temperance), they will indicate the rewards we can reap as a result. If the cards here are percievably “negative” (such as death, the tower, five of tentacles, or judgement), keep in mind that these are the processes or experiences we must prepare to go through so we can release that which doesn’t serve us (to have something better in its place). Some things transform easily, while other more difficult things leave us feeling a bit of the burn of the alchemists flame as we swirl within the beakers of life, dissolving our base metals to remove their heaviness.
We must look at what we have to gain and what we might need to let go with an open mind. If you are of offput by a seemingly negative card, I suggest drawing an additional card to clarify it and provide reassurance for that aspect of your transformation.
“More lead, more gold”. This is a mantra I use when working with people in their processes of personal alchemy. The more “lead” you have, the more potential you have to flourish with the right effort in place, and with trust for the process. Many successful people started with difficult lives, and often difficultyor conflict is the precursor to great awakening. The more base metals we posses, the more gold we can create through properly channelling and transmuting the wisdom and experience that comes from hardship.
Everything and anything worth keeping can be transformed through alchemy. If it cannot be transformed, it is best to consider releasing this aspect, or part of our lives, especially if we find ourselves living in a broken pattern associated with it. If we cannot transform it with significant time and effort, there is a high likelihood that this aspect of our lives is actually redirecting our energy and inhibiting true transformation in other areas of life. Examples of this are bad relationships, stagnant jobs, unsustainable lifestyles, comfort zones, and unrealistic ideals.
Personal alchemy is a process which transforms the body, mind, and energy of an individual to improve their life. The changes we must make within this process will be based in physical routine and lifestyle changes, changes in mindset, changes in relationships and interactions with others, and changes in who we perceive ourselves to be (in the identity and ego aspects which we cling to as human beings).
Now, all that’s left is to shuffle your cards, heat your beakers, and get cracking… This spread is good for any deck; tarot cards, Oracle cards, and any others. Use whichever one calls to you!
If anyone has questions, I encourage you to reach out to me by email, or to come visit me for a session! I offer private session by phone/video chat and in person, but I also provide a local, donation based walk-in service for readings and energetic healing on the first weekend of each month (at The Playful Soul, in Broad Ripple).
For more by me, more info on readings and shamanic healing, or for info on how to contact me directly; visit me online at www.relevantreadings.com
To send me an email, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org