Looking back over past newsletters, our usual sale for this time of year would be on Spagyrics for all your summer adventures: energy and vitality tonics for camping and hiking, digestive tonics to keep everything working smoothly on the road, and maybe some mental boosters for folks who attend summer conferences and workshops.
Some of these things are still happening in low-key ways, but for most of us right now, the whole world is contained by the boundaries of our own home space. For us, that’s been good, and not too far off our usual hermit lifestyle, since Alchemical & Spagyric work are demanding practices and not easily left unattended.
Even so, we do find ourselves getting a little restless some days, while also feeling like we should be doing “more” somehow while we’re sheltering here. Our garden is really benefiting from the increased attention, as are some of our other hobbies and spiritual pursuits that had been neglected during more outward times.
One friend described the feeling of the moment as Nature having sent us all to our rooms to think about what we’ve done, and though that stings a little in the truth of it, it might also be good advice for those of us fortunate enough to use this time in that way. So, to support the spiritual adventures that we can all take right now, regardless of the rules and restrictions of your outer environment, we’re having a sale on Spagyrics for inner journeys.
We’ll start with one of our Somalixir formulas that fits right in- Sacred Journey. Formulated around Syrian Rue for its gift of astral separation, along with Tibetan Rhodiola for the gift of foresight and positive vision, this formula can be used while awake or asleep to facilitate a looser connection between the physical and energetic body, while keeping the awareness collected and clear so that whatever purpose is set for the journey is attainable.
Sacred Journey works especially well in conjunction with traditional methods of trance creation, such as drumming, chanting or dancing, and with the addition of Salvia divinorum, an expanded sense of time is created within the journey, allowing connecting to other times, places, or beings.
For more dream-specific journeying, our Uncle Al Somalixir is a good ally. Named for the English occultist Aleister Crowley, this formula is a simple combination of Alpine species of Galangal and Turmeric. This combination was given to Crowley by a Nepalese shaman, who used it for magical dreamwork and ritual.
Crowley speaks of it as a formula for creating what he called the “Body of Light”, a non-corporeal but coherent level of being that can carry the consciousness out of the self for magickal or remote ritual work. It has a relaxing but unifying energy to it, useful for classic Hermetic work as Crowley would have done, or for many other spiritual practices in which action from the higher self is the focus.
Common Turmeric root plays an important role in our Asana Somalixir, created to support the practice of Yoga. As I discussed in my recent article on painkillers, Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory for the joints, and is very healing to painful musculo-skeletal conditions. In Asana, Turmeric is included for the preventative energy it has, helping you practice deep stretches and movements without injury or tension.
Asana also has Saffron, another opening herb that clears the subtle channels and opens the flow of energy, and together, they can be felt releasing physical tension in the body as the mind also lets go of worry and resistance. Cordyceps adds support to the breath and oxygenation of the tissues, and with that synergy, we find Asana can really help take your practice to new levels.
To move even deeper into breathwork, we created our Prana Somalixir. This formula started with a very special Spagyric we were able to make from Sweetgrass, whose soft but powerful aroma inspires deep breathing and a peaceful calm. Cordyceps also plays a supporting role in this formula, drawing the sacred, positive intelligence of the Sweetgrass deep into the being, to be further energized by the bright quality of our Alchemical Oil of Gold.
Prana opens this flow into a circular pattern free from effort or strain which feels almost as if the universe is breathing through you. This effortless cycle is supportive to Yogic breathwork, but also the Taoist Microcosmic Orbit and any other related practice of energy circulation and movement.
For a different take on energy circulation, along with mental and emotional balancing, consider our Shankhpushpi Initiatic. As I wrote when this Spagyric made its debut, it is one of Paul’s favourites for Taoist-style energy circulation, as it facilitates that open movement, but with an upward quality focused on the higher centers of the brain and crown.
Shankhpushpi’s healing effects are also centered in the mind, where it acts as a very intelligent balancer of emotional states, mental function, and attention. It is uplifting in cases of depression, but it brings stillness and peace to anxiety and racing thoughts. In meditation, it facilitates a calm but heightened sharpness of focus, useful for mindfulness meditation, as well as many other contemplative practices.
Gotu Kola is a more well-known Ayurvedic herb for the mind, and it is also a very balanced tonic to the brain and thought. This herb is also called Brahmi, referring to the Brahmin, or holy men, who revere it as a tonic to the relaxed but aware flow that meditation requires. At the same time, Gotu Kola is calming to the body, so that a state is created where the body is calm and restful for long periods of sitting, even as the mind remains sharp and awake.
Our Gotu Kola Initiatic can also be used as a long term rejuvenative to the mind, much like Ginkgo, but without its stimulating effects. It also carries an energy of detachment and freedom from emotional turmoil, especially combined with Ashwagandha or Scullcap.
The next sale Spagyric is also an emotional and mental balancer, and for purely aesthetic reasons, I am always happy when someone orders some so I can bottle it! Sugandi’s name means “fragrant”, and it has the most wonderful sweet and rich scent, either in traditional use as an incense, or in the Sugandi Initiatic I so enjoy smelling.
Emotionally, Sugandi is another balancer to difficult mental states, both from the emotional level and as a tonic to the physical nervous system. Adding more of the classic energy of Mercury’s intelligence, as a sacred herb, Sugandi supports dream and visionary travels and insights, and deep meditative states. Our Sugandi Initiatic combines well with Saffron, Lotus, or Tulsi for these practices.
If your activities and practices during this time tend towards the intellectual, our Celastrus Initiatic might be a useful Spagyric for you. In Ayurveda, this herb is called “Magzsudhi”, which means “brain clearer”, and that is the effect felt when a dose is taken. When we traveled more, this was the wake-up tonic for ourselves and anyone else who looked a little rough in the morning, as it quickly created a sense of cobwebs being swept from the mind, revealing its brightness and strength.
For meditation and spiritual work, our Celastrus Initiatic supports anything that requires sharpness and recall, such as complex chanting, sacred geometry, Qabalistic visualizations, and so on. It also increases the flow of thought, and so can be used for a super-charged version of mindfulness meditation, or for brainstorming or automatic writing and creativity.
For our final four sale Spagyrics, we return to the theme of inner journeys with the classic visionary vine, Banisteriopsis caapi, one of the core plants in the Ayahuasca brew. We work with four different varieties of the Vine: Black, White, Yellow and Red, and I wrote about each of them and their relationship to inner and outer Alchemy in this post.