The Alchemical Operation of Ascent, or Sublimatio

In this dream, I have angel wings and I am with a 5-year-old boy who I carry on my back and together we fly. Both the wings and the ascent depict the alchemical process of sublimatio (Edinger, 1985) which refers to the ascent of consciousness to the subtle spiritual realms.

I discovered that, according to Raff, there are two sublimatio processes in the alchemical journey (Raff, 2000; Waite, 1893). In his discussion of emblem 7, Raff compares the sublimatio image of the two birds to the ‘union of the soul and spirit’ (p. 125) and to ‘matrimony’ (N.B. Delphinas as cited in Raff, 2000, p. 123). This is the first sublimatio and it corresponds in the four-stage alchemical model to the citrinitas.

However, emblem 12 reveals a further sublimatio process that occurs in the later stages of the alchemical journey (after the operation of multiplicatio that occurs at emblem 10) through the symbolic image of the winged guide who takes the son to the top of a mountain to gain celestial powers from the stars.  I understood my dream of the angel wings and boy – that occurred after the multiplicatio dream, as relating to this second sublimatio process.