First Stage - Calcination
CALCINATION is the first of seven major operations in the alchemy of transformation.
Chemically, the Calcination process involves heating a substance in a crucible or over an open flame until it is reduced to ashes. In the Arcanum Experiment, Calcination is represented by sulfuric acid, which the alchemists made from a naturally occurring substance called Vitriol. Sulfuric acid is a powerful corrosive that eats away flesh and reacts with all metals except gold.
Psychologically, this is the destruction of ego and our attachments to material possessions. Calcination is usually a natural humbling process as we are gradually assaulted and overcome by the trials and tribulations of life, though it can be a deliberate surrender of our inherent hubris gained through a variety of spiritual disciplines that ignite the fire of introspection and self-evaluation.
Physiologically, the Fire of Calcination can be experienced as the metabolic discipline or aerobic activity that tunes the body, burning off excesses from overindulgence and producing a lean, mean, fighting machine. Calcination begins in the Base or Lead Chakra at the sacral cup at the base of the spine.
In Society, the Calcination is expressed in the lives of revolutionaries, conquerors, and other warriors who try to overthrow the status quo. On the Planetary level, it is the Fire of creation, the formation of a livable environment from molten matter and volcanic ashes.
CORRESPONDENCES OF CALCINATION
- According to the Emerald Tablet, "Its father is the Sun."
- Element: Fire.
- Color: Magenta; Purple-Red.
- Planet: Saturn.
- Metal: Lead.
From the Book "The Emerald Tablet"
The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation
by Dennis William Hauck
The Emerald Tablet--an ancient document that contains the essence of the alchemical teachings--has had an important influence on many Western spiritual and religious traditions. Ostensibly concerned with turning base metals into gold, alchemy was in fact dedicated to transforming the lead of self into the gold of spirit.