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Tricksy Fellow


Sensuality, sexuality, control. These are complicated subjects in our field, and I've struggled with finding balance with these things. Mostly, I think, because I come from a liberated society....which is Good. The problem for me has been that there is so much more linked to sexuality and  the Sensual than the surface level. My tendency is to enjoy myself first, and to need a very explicit and valid reason Not to enjoy myself before abstaining from a pleasure. This is a problem, because there is so much more to it than just sexuality and I am loathe to inhibit myself. It is sensation itself that is a problem, or rather the desire for it. The Red King run wild, gone tyrant. Find yourself eating despite not even being remotely hungry? Mindlessly browsing the Net despite having actual useful and interesting things to do? Drinking a beer or two out of pure boredom? I certainly have, and until a recent (and blessed) event that I am extremely grateful for, I didn't understand. I certainly don't understand perfectly now, but I'll take what I can get.

 The problem for myself wasn't the actions--just like with sexuality, there is no inherent wrong in their expression...but there was something nagging me about it. About how gratifying these urges would directly compete with the goals I'd set for myself, and yet I'd find myself spending more time surfing the cursed internet than meditating in a given day. What the hell?  I would ask myself why I shouldn't just have the beer if I wanted it, what harm was there in that? The problem wasn't in the action, it was in the nature of my desire for it. The desire went against my higher aspirations, directly compteted with them. And regularly won! The Intelligence that governs the body, the instinctual mind, is powerful and should be harnessed in our efforts to complete the work. How does that relate to sensuality? The Red King desires sensation, interaction with the World. This is in it's nature, as interaction with and survival within the world of the Body and it's intelligences is it's duty. If the Red King is given free reign, the conditions necessary for further development can't manifest. (This is all my just my opinion, of course! There are a number of other ideas about what the Red King is, but they are silly and mine is correct......;-)  )

Anyway, I'm making this understanding (which may evolve) work for me, and using it to put my instincts and desires to work for me instead of against me. It's been interesting thus far-trying to really harness this part of myself without overdoing it and becoming an ascetic. Balance, and all that. I just want my lower desires, my lower will to be slave to my aspirations for a change. Perhaps even a fuel of sorts. I thought I'd reached that point, and then realized that the lower desires are more than just lust. The Red King is a tricksy, tricksy fellow.




  1. Ave again,

    well equilibrium is the key. We are all who we are. Lust and Sensuality are parts of us but they should not lead us - at least not always. This is why I like lent. That time can help you focus and balance things. Often it has a kind of a jojo effect though....


  2. I'm reading your "red king" reference as the base nature, the nephesh urge for pleasurable sensations, instant gratification. But the Red King in my research is one of the final stages of the Great Work, and can even be the philosopher's stone itself. where does the red king as the lower nature come from? Is that a Golden Dawn or RC meaning of the symbol? And why the red king for that aspect?

  3. The idea of the Red King as the Lower Nature is purely a matter of personal inspiration--I found connection with the Emperor of the Tarot, who is also linked to Aries. The lower will is the King of the physical body and it's automatic processes, and it makes sense (to me, anyway) that the Red King is a reference to this particular part of ourselves. Especially when you consider how important it is to harness that intelligence to higher nature in other areas of our work.

    The Philosopher's Stone is an entirely separate thing; take emblem 44 of the Hermetic Garden, which refers to the Stone:

    "Our Stone is something fire does not effect, from which Mercury Rises....

    The small plant of our Mercury rises from an earth
    That the fiery flame did not touch with it's heat.
    To it, moreover, the planets added their own powers,
    And the Sun and the Moon in particular irradiated it."

    What is irradiated at the first breathe of the newborn with the energies of the heavens?

    It is said that the Stone is, in the end, Pure Mercury, and that it is a "plaything of children."

    Another emblem which speaks to the Stone is emblem 30 of the Garden, which says

    " The dirtiness of the Stone makes men esteem it lightly, and not separate it.

    When the impure Stone is born in the caves of the Earth,
    It is spurned by the masses and too much ignored.
    Yet this impure thing is thoroughly cleansed by the philosophical fraternity,
    So that, the body's prison scorned, it may fly to the stars."

    I contend that the Stone itself is the refined Mind of the Alchemist. The Stone itself is said to be pure Mercury, and our Alchemical Mercury is our god-given mind, capable of active imagination. A "plaything of children"...The Earth itself is the body of Man, within which the unrefined mind is born. Scorned and left undeveloped by the vast majority of man. The refined and evolved mind has all the qualities given the Stone, especially if one understands the nature of the Metals themselves.

    So, the creation of the Philosopher's Stone is the refinement of the Mind. Projection of this Stone can transmute the Metals into Gold..this is a reference to the development of the interior stars, the Metals. Projecting the refined Mind into the metals and applying the Alchemical Fire--infusing them with pure Gold--effects their evolution and transmutation.

    The Alchemical Fire is created by combining the Air with "combustible" Sulfur. This is, again only in my opinion, the combination of the Breathe with the point of awareness/intent to move the LVX. The pure Gold is heavenly LVX. Gold creates gold; infusing the metals with Gold and heating them with the Alchemical Fire have the effect of raising their vibratory natures until they are as pure as the heavenly LVX, and transmuted.

    ...and I'm going on and on here. Sorry for the lengthy reply. Please feel free to completely disagree with me, this is just my own understanding and I could be completely off.

    I'm not, though. ;-)


  4. I posted another reply that addressed the Red King that for some reason didn't show, pardon. Here she is again.....

    Fra RO,

    That's interesting-in my researches (primarily the study of the emblematic literature...especially the Hermetic Garden...along with Philalethes' Three Treatises) The Red King is dealt with fairly early on in the work. This is my own understanding, as you don't get the good Alchemical stuff until you reach the Inner in my Order (I presume).
    I think that there are complicated interaction that occur between the Metals and the subtle bodies as they are refined, and that while a certain amount of refinement is required before the Red King can be joined to the White Queen, the Hermaphrodite has to be created before the seed of the great subtle body can be born. There is a good deal of refinement that has to occur after this seed is planted. I think that creating the Hermaphrodite is one of the major steps, but that the Red King is part of nature already in place and is not a state of being acquired. I could be wrong, of course! This just makes sense with what I've learned.

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  6. One last thing....

    ...there are other references to the color Red-especially the glowing red-that apply to Azoth, the Stone. There are three phases implied in the emblems-the Black, The White, and the Glowing Red. These three colors are indeed states of the Stone itself, and the final glowing Red stage would make sense as being near the completion of the Great Work.


  7. Fra Arcad,

    Lent is an interesting tool, isn't it? I never paid it any mind until I was grown and an infrequent (at best) church-goer. Nice to see a Christian church teaching the lay folk spiritual discipline through the liturgy.


  8. Fra Pope,

    Is that a Tower reference, The Crimson King? If so, I salute you.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Most of my alchemical research is done on the Alchemy Website, and then it's usually the medieval stuff. The Red King is one of the final stages in some texts. Like all alchemical images though, I guess it depends on the system it's being used in. Alchemical texts annoy the piss out of me. I'm a "Just say what you mean" kind of guy. I think that's why I prefer Goetia to Enochian.

  11. Ahh, Adam McLean's site. A wonderful resource-I've bought almost all of my alchemical library from that fellow. His site is a treasure.


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