Vitaestone recognises that a further stage beyond the current four-stage alchemical model exists.
Alchemy is both a science that can guide us to understand the inner world of spiritual experiences and a system that expressed inner experiences through imagery.
Alchemy is translated as the ‘art of transmutation’ which seeks to transform the soul from its unconscious state to self-knowledge and wisdom. Alchemy offers insight into transforming human personality and to understand nature, the cosmos and universal truths. The discoveries that opened up the mystery of alchemy in ancient times continue to this day.
The shared vastness and richness of alchemical images have been built up over centuries. Individual dreams and visions, myths and the wisdom of various spiritual traditions have formed part of its inception and ongoing evolution. The alchemical tradition has a rich history that spans over 2000 years with influences from Egypt, China, Rome and Greece, including Arabic and Islamic traditions.
The first stage is the nigredo and is described as the ‘blackening’ stage. We may experience a crisis, an accident, or an awakening of some kind that exposes that our life is not working and that we are not fully living our lives. We become aware and conscious of our unresolved and historical issues and work through them. We own and integrate, or let go, of those parts of ourselves that we have previously defended against and denied (our shadow). This stage is messy and chaotic and we feel lost, disorientated and confused but in time we form a healthy and self-accepting relationship and heal the split between self and shadow.
Although we may experience many crisis points throughout ego/personal development, the nigredo comes into its fullness in the chakra model at the awakening/ beginning of the heart chakra. This is the mid-life crisis that awakens us to search for deeper meaning and purpose and the beginning of the spiritual journey.
The second stage is the albedo and is the ‘whitening’ stage, symbolised by the moon. This is the stage of the soul. By this stage, we have undertaken a lot of work understanding and resolving our personal and psychological issues. We gradually rise above our problems and see beyond our life experiences that have made us believe we are unworthy, bad and corrupt. We learn to love ourselves just as we are, flaws and all. We experience love in the world. It is this state of love and of remembering our innocence that defines the transformation to the albedo stage and heal the split between mind and body.
In the chakra model, this stage relates to the heart–throat–brow chakra.
The third stage is the citrinitas and is the ‘yellowing’ stage of spiritual awakening and is symbolised by the sun. This is where we experience the death of our ego and transcend the sense of an individual self and surrender to a higher power. This stage involves a deep commitment to inner spiritual work and ultimately this process leads to the Royal Marriage or the Greater Coniunctio, the alchemical union of opposites and the impersonal sublime state of union between the soul and spirit/ sun and moon/ heaven and earth. We awaken and heal the split between Soul and Spirit.
In the chakra model, this stage relates to the awakening of the crown chakra.
Follow this link for dreams that appear in the citrinitas.
The fourth stage is the rubedo, described as the ‘reddening’ stage. This is the journey of descent, where we return to earth and manifest spirituality and all the wisdom we have gained during our journey, and bring it back into life. This is considered the most difficult phase of all and is referred to in the alchemical model as the Greater Work. Fully embodied and integrated spirituality equates to alchemical success and the goal of alchemy – the creation of the Inward Philosopher’s Stone.
In the chakra model, this stage relates to fully embodied spirituality and integration of all seven chakras.
Follow this link for dreams that appear in the rubedo.
Beginning of the Outward Stone
Journey of Ascent
Journey of Descent: Core Dimension
Journey of Descent: Ground Dimension
Journey of Descent: Integrated Dimension
Completed Integration: Quintessential Dimension
Mysteries of the Universe
The fifth stage is beyond the chakra system (the totality of individual consciousness) and corresponds to the Soul of the World (the totality of the whole universe).
In the rubedo the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone was considered the goal of alchemy, however, for other alchemists a further potentiality – the Outward Philosophers’ Stone was possible, where the whole person, manifested self or the stone is united with celestial wisdom and to the original creation. This, in turn, leads to deepening degrees of union with the unus mundus (station 3-8) and healing of the split between ‘Light upon Light’.
Follow this link for dreams that appear in the Outward Stone.
The way of the Living Philosophical Stone is beyond all models and maps for Living Realisation both includes yet transcends all views and experiences without holding onto any one of them as the ultimate nature of reality i.e. hierarchical view (which requires the concept of time-space and this encompasses the views of both duality and non-duality) and the non-hierarchical view (which includes realisation of instantaneous moment-to-moment creation, uni-local realisation and the holographic view).
We arrive at a place of self-realisation where we know we are both an individual manifestation of the Soul of the World and the Soul of the World is wholly contained within each individual manifestation. We are open, free and recognise that it is the Soul of the World that develops us, matures us and expresses itself through us (and always has) in order to know itself.
Follow this link for dreams that appear in the Living Stone.