The road to initiation in a mystery school is often depicted as climbing a mountain. The mountain path is difficult and demands our full attention. This is the first step on the emblem – the calcination – after which the step of self surrender and overcoming the ego – the sublimatio – will lead to the solutio. On the next steps our self knowledge increases and we find the tincture, the essence of our existence. The seven windows of our soul are opened and the alchemical wedding takes place in the uppermost room of the tower. The phoenix arises from the ashes. The nucleus of the earth, our old self, is overcome. In the emblem, the rock rises up from the academic sea, the dialectic territory. In the four corners we observe the four elements, since the point of departure for this instructive journey is the earth. Twelve signs of the zodiac assist us in the task of exploring our microcosm and, through the surrender of the self, neutralising the oppressive, karmic forces we find there.
(Text first published in Pentagram 2015 No. 2. Emblem: 3. Mittel: Coniunction – Cabala: Spiegel der Kunst und Natur, in Alchymia – Stephan Michelspacher)