November 24, 2006 at 1:40 pm #19356
Inside Chi Flows Naturally:
1. Essay on why my inner alchemist felt inspired to install a copper roof on our humble log cabin.
Why Copper? The mysteries of the sun, metallurgy, astrology, feng shui, inner and outer alchemy, artistic beauty and the practicality of solar heating – all fused into one copper roof. Are you ready to join me, and get off the old psychic grid? Photos of copper roof below.
2. Free Meditation beneath our newly copper-domed roof this Sat. Nov. 18, 7 pm-11:30 pm. Three silent sittings, leave early if you wish. Everyone is welcome, Tao embraces all paths and types of meditation. Light refreshments afterward. Joyce and I are picking up any Thanksgiving strays. Its a great time to absorb the deep earth changes happening, and a warm up for Winter Solstice. Please email if you’re coming, send your Energy Body if you aren’t. We always manage to squeeze last minute arrivals in. For directions and rsvp: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. The China Dream Trip 2007 (May 18-June 4) is starting to hum with signups from a really interesting international group of spiritual adventurers. The people who come on this trip are at least half the fun. They are folks excited about exploring China, from the Great Wall to Mt Emei, Mt. Qingcheng, and Mt. Hua. No prior experience in qigong required. We will be practicing together every day in different power spots. For more info or to make a deposit, contact: email@example.com
Full itinerary at: http://www.healingdao.com/chinatrip2007.
Spectacular photos from a two-time China dream tripper: http://www.arrowofmoonlight.com/China.html
4. Dec. 9-10. Qigong Fundamentals 3 & 4 workshop in Asheville, Internal Chi Breathing and Bone Breathing & Rooting.
Gets you deep into your bones, your ancestors, and the relationship between inner breathing and outer breathing. Open your dantian/ center of gravity more powerfully. Five simple standing-in-stillness postures. Natural, reverse, and counter-force breathing. “Ocean, Sky, Great Heart Breathing” qigong form. Excellent for preventing and healing all kinds of chronic illness, which is often diseased chi pushed down into the joints and bones. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Lovers of the Mystery of Transmutation,
I recently completed a dream of mine, to add a little copper shine to the roof of my and Joyce’s humble log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina.
This story begins in 1994, in Finland, on a journey above the arctic circle, on the solid land closest to the North Pole. I was headed to an initiation with a saami shaman and my Atlantean guide, which took place on a pyramid island in the middle of a frozen lake, where there was a potent 3-way crossing of earth ley lines. That story is for another time, consider it colorful backdrop. We stopped in Helsinki, the capital, and visited a church that had a hammered copper roof inside its chapel. The energy in the place was intense; I could feel the copper was holding the charge of people’s prayers.
The warm vibration from that copper roof experience stayed with me. It made me remember Wilhelm Reich, the inventor of the “orgone box”. His orgone box was made of layers of copper and wood and cotton. You would sit in the box and the dynamic tension between these natural elements would ostensibly concentrate the life force in your body, and effect healing. He was imprisoned by the Feds for constructing an unlicensed medical device, and sadly, died in prison in 1957.
Reich was mostly hated because of his theory that “orgone” (chi or prana) was an orgasmic force at the center of the universe and every human being. This is similar to my own understanding of yin-yang pulsation theory. But his use of copper in conducting that force is what aroused my curiosity.
From my study of Taoist inner alchemy and fengshui, I know that metal is an excellent conductor of chi. In the outer world, the conducting function of copper is obvious in electrical wiring, and the widespread reliance on other metals in technology to transfer force (i.e. metal structure of a building, or metal weapons, cars, trains, planes). The key virtue of the metal element is its strength and versatility. It can be shaped into many patterns and still hold great integrity.
Inside the human body, the metal element is linked with the lungs and breathing. The spiritual job of the lung spirit (“po” soul in Taoist worldview) is to conduct chi between heaven and earth. Humans do this by using subtle breath in our body’s internal channels. These channels are well mapped out by the Taoists, and can be activated using qigong and inner alchemy. The basic training in this internal breathing I cover in my Qigong Fundamentals 3 & 4.
Since visiting that church in Finland, I have long speculated that having a copper roof on my home might facilitate that subtle breathing process, and add some extra kick to my meditation process. A kind of house-sized orgone box, where even mundane household chores would feel slightly more orgasmic. Actually, I was perfectly happy with the flow of cosmic chi in my meditations. But Joyce and I had done much to improve the feng shui of our little cabin, and we noticed that with every improvement, the land on which our home rested seemed to be happier.
We built two stone terraces to stop the chi from rushing downhill, and to create level land for the ambitious gardener in Joyce. The earth element was given a huge oomph by the crystal stone circle, which we wired in energetically to Lao Tzu’s ascension site in China. We added a waterfall, and the plants and trees seemed to rejoice at the presence of the water element. This beautiful “flow form” waterfall, with a sexy vulva shape and jade finish, was acoustically designed by New Zealand artist Iain Trousdell. It can be seen in the opening shots of my Qigong Fundamentals 3 DVD, “Ocean, Sky, & Great Heart Breathing Qigong”.
I know that fengshui, using adjustments to the external environment, has it limitations. The figure I accept is that aligning natural forces with fengshui methods can improve one’s energy flow in a home or office up to about 20%. The other 80% efficiency needs to be achieved via greater biological and psycho-spiritual conductivity within the human body. Most of our resistance is internal, and it is the major work for every human to overcome that resistance. Hence the Taoist emphasis on “wu wei”, or spontaneous action, and the development of qigong and inner alchemy methods to cultivate Original Chi (yuan qi) in opening a “super-conductive” relationship with the Life Force.
But the “Great Work” of alchemical transformation includes working with natural forces to establish greater harmony and balance between humans and the macro-cosmos or Nature. Other than keeping us dry, the cheap asphalt-tar roof over our head just didn’t seem to be adding much. Copper would offer better protection from high winds and forest fires. It would be more beautiful, and last longer. But these were secondary considerations, added justification for the expense of adding a copper roof. The real question: what kind of subtle energy would it add to our home and land?
This brings us to a fascinating aspect of copper – its close relationship to gold, the quintessential alchemical metal. In Chinese, the metal element is more accurately translated as the Gold (“jin”) Element. If you visit Wudang mountain (scheduled for the 2008 China Dream Trip), the highest and most powerful point is Golden Peak, with a temple magestically perched high above the clouds and surrounding peaks. The Golden Peak temple roof is covered with copper, supplied by the emperor.
Note that only the Taoists include this gold/metal element in their five element/phase system. Gold/metal is missing in the Indian, Egyptian, Greek, Arabic elemental systems, although esoterically those systems all focus on the alchemical production of gold. The base metals buried within the earth are all considered to be evolving towards the solar purity and incorruptibility of gold, in the same way that plants grow towards the sun. As above, so below. In western alchemy, copper is linked with the earth element and the alchemical process of “conjunction”. Copper and silver were often added to gold to “grow the gold” – hence the popularity of alchemists with kings seeking to bolster their treasury.
Copper was considered to be the metal closest to gold in its spiritual evolution, i.e. closest in vibration. The capstone of the Great Pyramid and every temple in Egypt had an obelisk at its center covered with “auriculum”. This was a gold-silver-copper and other rare earths natural alloy mentioned by Plato in his account of Egypt and Atlantis. Auriculum has apparently since gone back underground, its a rare earth metal no longer found on the surface. The “au” in its name later became the chemical symbol for gold and the “cu” symbol for copper.
Auriculum was used to conduct power between the earth and the heavens in Egypt, and was the core source of spiritual power that radiated out from every temple. It protected the auric field of those doing spiritual practice within it. The pyramid’s capstone produced a blinding light when the sun shone upon it. (Perhaps if we covered the pyramid atop the Washington monument obelisk with auriculum, America would recover its spiritual compass….?).
Before choosing a copper roof, I considered the astrological affiliation each metal has with a planet:
The alchemical transmutation process starts with lead (Saturn, called “true or original earth” in Taoist alchemical texts), and proceeds through tin, silver, mercury, iron, copper and finally gold. Note that copper is highly evolved, sitting next to gold, and its reddish-yellow color approximating that of gold. Only the last four metals on the list would be economically feasible for roofing material. I chose copper because of of it close affinity to gold and its ability to conduct the solar, lunar, and stellar forces. Copper also directly expresses the chi of Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and sexual transmutation. There are many myths surrounding Venus as being the planet from which humanity’s original 144,000 souls were “seeded’ into earth. Copper is holding the corresponding Venus vibration within the earth.
Is this planetary – metal resonance “real”? The scientific basis of these subtle alchemical-planetary correspondences has been challenged recently on the Healing Tao forum. I consider any resonance “real” if you can feel it clearly – no need for external scientific proof to verify what you know is energetically true. But there are interesting experiments in this case. Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian occultist, said “So long as substances are in a solid state they are subject to the forces of the earth, but as soon as they enter the liquid state, the planetary forces come into play.” (As an aside, this suggests interesting reasons why Taoist water-fire alchemy is so effective. The metal/jing yin elements in human blood are used to establish a deep resonance with spiritual intelligence of the vital organ spirits and their planetary affinities).
Steiner inspired Frau L. Kolisko to perform an experiment over the Sun-Saturn conjunction of 1926, described in her book, “Workings of the Stars in Earthly Substance”. Image patterns normally formed by lead (affiliated with Saturn) were in a dissolved silver nitrate solution. These lead patterns completely disappeared during the Saturn conjunction, and later reappeared afterwards. This experiment was successfully repeated by others, suggesting a physical change in liquified earth metals due to the resonance. I recall my first teacher in the spagyric arts (external or laboratory alchemy), Dan Travers, proudly showing me how he had liquified gold at room temperature. I eventually gave up spagyrics for inner alchemy as a more direct method. In any case success in inner alchemy is necessary for the external alchemy to proceed.
Nick Kollerstrom, a former scientist, has also conducted astrological research on what he calls “The Eureka Effect”. He showed a statistically significant relation between moments of inspiration in scientific work and the presence of septiles and quintiles among transiting planets. He’s done interesting studies involving metal-planet correspondences, showing how in the chart for the first creation of Plutonium, Pluto was on the ascendant. None of this should be surprising to modern folks slowly getting used to the possibility that our quantum universe is intelligent and that every event entails a complex set of resonant forces.
Part of my mission in spreading body-centered Taoist internal alchemy meditation and its external component of qigong is to resurrect alchemy as the oldest science on the planet, preceding even the development of religion. This process of recovery entails revealing alchemy as the hidden foundation for modern science, which I believe will eventually evolve to reclaim its alchemical roots.
It may surprise some to learn that the first famous American scientist was the alchemist George Starkey (1628-1665), educated at Harvard College, who wrote numerous alchemical treatises under the name Eirenaeus Philalethes (“a peaceful lover of truth”). Starkey became the “chymistry” teacher of Robert Boyle, who borrowed heavily from Starkey and would go on to acquire fame as “the father of modern chemistry”. Starkey’s works acquired a huge audience that included luminaries like Isaac Newton, John Locke, and Gottfried Leibniz.
The million or so words that Newton composed on alchemy are heavily indebted to the theory and practice of Philalethes, and were the hidden driver for most of Newton’s famous discoveries. it was Newton’s belief in alchemy that drove him to fathom the subtle forces of nature like gravity. He pursued the secrets of alchemy until his death. He believed the mere physical forces he had discovered were superficial to deeper underlying spiritual forces. Alas, like most western alchemists, he had no teacher of inner alchemy.
Newton left clear directions for making alchemical furnaces and other apparatus, as well as processes for star regulus, a copper-antimony alloy called “the net,” a beautiful purple metal that forms crystals. Newton wrote a manuscript discussing metallic “vegetation,” the formation of dendrites from salts and metals. To Newton, the fact that metals could be made to grow in a flask was a sign that they possessed a sort of life, and could therefore be made to ferment, putrefy, and ultimately multiply.
These alchemical speculations become even more interesting in light of modern discoveries about metal. I read a piece in Scientific American describing how the earliest complex life forms on earth did not begin in a primordial sea struck by lightning. Life more likely evolved in ponds with metallic concentrations that allowed single celled organisms to form complex lifeforms using metals/minerals as their infrastructure. This is born out today by the spray of thousands of tiny metal ions that are showering out from every cell in the human body. This metal spray is what keeps the cell healthy and allows the life force to circulate at that level. But enough digression into the mystery of metallurgy, biology, and alchemy.
The bottom line is that we put a copper roof on our home, primarily as an alchemical exploration. It was not cheap. I saved my copper pennies for quite a few years. We took advantage of copper’s close relationship with the sun, and installed beneath the copper on the south side of the roof 2000 feet of tubing filled with water and anti-freeze. The sun heats the copper, the copper (with a radiant foil to intensify the process) cooks the water in the tubing, which flows into my home radiant flooring system. Its essentially a copper rooftop cooking unit. The rooftop coiled tubing system is a system that I designed from scratch, not on the market, so its effectiveness remains to be proven.
But meanwhile, I feel I am deeper into experiencing the Sun-Copper-Human energetic loop of transmutation. The copper roof has added a lovely spice to our home’s meditative field. To me, it feels like the heavens have been grounded just above my crown, and the Gods of Alchemy are pleased. Its like sitting in a divine “chi sandwich”, with both heaven and earth snuggled a little bit closer together with me. I spent a long time welcoming the copper elementals with a big inner smile from my human solar-heart fire, and those shiny copper sprites seem very responsive. The other elementals on our property are playing with them, showering a new subtle bliss upon on our humble log cabin in addition to its dazzling appearance. The metal element also helps to keep the excessive wood element of the house and forest in balance. In the Chinese “control cycle” of 5 element theory, metal controls wood.
I will let you know when our log home achieves full enlightenment, or ascends like a dragon’s chariot into the heavens. I hope we are still living in it when it takes off. Meanwhile, you’re all invited to stop by a meditate at the regular meditations we hold here. Or tune in with your Energy Body, recognizing that without its metal/gold element, you wouldn’t be able to transport yourself across time/space.
I am enclosing a link to a few photos, in case you are curious to see the different stages of transformation. Joyce accuses me of showing the roof photos as if they were “baby pictures”, and assures me no one else is interested….I reply: no one except other alchemists.
Smiling with a golden-copper heart glow,
Who takes Heaven as his ancestor, Virtue as his home,
the Tao as his door, and who becomes change is a Sage.
Chuang Tzu, Inner Chapters
“The Tao is very close, but everyone looks far away.
Life is very simple, but everyone seeks difficulty.”
— Taoist Sage, 200 B.C
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Click to UnsubscribeNovember 24, 2006 at 1:43 pm #19357
Preparing the alchemical copper-gold to replace the old tar paper (lacquer preserves long life of roof)
Craft of laying each shingle is sllow and laborious.
the solar tubing solution to off grid heating
Healing Tao staff meeting (neighbor’s dog. My pet rabbit is in hiding).
I Ching trigram for Lake: why it reminds of the metal element, setting sun in West
November 24, 2006 at 6:53 pm #19359
“Copper also directly expresses the chi of Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and sexual transmutation.”
In Shamanic Astrology the Venus sign on a woman’s chart represents what kind of woman/goddess she is here to be. (On a man’s chart, She represents his “anima.”) For instance, if Venus is in Libra, the woman is here to embody relationship and equal partnership, if in Cancer, sensitivity, feelings, intuition and mothering. If Venus is in Taurus, the sign most naturally corresponding to Venus, sensuality and literally, embodiment are main factors.
Of Taurus it is said that the primary interest is “bringing heaven to earth to enjoy it.” Venus represents the feminine body presence and the energy of attraction – the primary metal quality.
The Taurus/Scorpio axis (“axis” meaning the polarity of any two signs) is interested predominately in “running the lifeforce through the body.”
In Shamanic Astrology, Venus is not considered the “ruling planet” of Libra, as in normal traditional astrology. So while love and beauty are truly Venusian characteristics, they must not be mistaken for abstract esthetic ideals (Libran qualities), for Venus, the Goddess, was never interested in partnership (Libra) but in having partners as it suited Her, mostly for her own pleasure and satisfaction and enjoyment of self (Taurus). Venus represents, then, the art of being in the body.
So Venus, the planet, the metal element -the coalescence of the distillation of alchemical elixir (gold/copper), the principle of attraction, the factor of fulfillment in the body/embodiment, AND the fact that Venus’ heliacal rises charted over a period of eight years produces a nearly perfect five-pointed star in the heavens She travels through make Her Big Sister to the Earth and Us and all we are doing here.
AlexanderNovember 25, 2006 at 12:17 am #19361
Intresting I am a libra and I was introduced to a venutian guide years back. I just thought it was becuase I learn alot from women.
thanks for the info.November 25, 2006 at 12:41 am #19363
Love the house Michael.
I’ve often fantasized about someday living in a log cabin (and find it somehow endearing that you reside in one).
Good luck with the tubing system.November 25, 2006 at 3:54 am #19365
The sun generates 12 different kinds of energies as it goes through the year. These energies are global and not personal. We are not our sun signs. Sun-centered astrology is not accurate because we are on earth and need to use earth-centered astrology. Your chart is made of of many different things that all fit together as a composite that you, the being, live in like you live in a house. The sign Mars is in -the man you are here to be- and your rising sign are at least as important as the sign the sun was in when you were born. -ANovember 25, 2006 at 4:45 am #19367
Thanks for the extra details on Venus and agree that its very strange to have western astrology include all the planets EXCEPT the earth, the one we live on. Chinese astorlogy, like Taoist energy cultivation, is earth centered, i..e Earth is the central element, not ether.
I don’t think this makes it “more correct”, just safer and more practical.
michaelNovember 25, 2006 at 4:47 am #19369
I’m only in Asheville half the year, but love it when I’m home.
Welcome visits from all of the regular forum posters, hang in the stone circle or whatever, continue the Tao conversation…..
michaelNovember 25, 2006 at 8:51 am #19371
– I’m just beginning to experiment with Reich-style ‘orgone accumulators’ made with layers of metals and textiles – each seems to do different things. They do work very nicely to charge things up and can be used for both healing and magic.
Interestingly, a long time ago in the west it was tin that was the metal of Venus and Copper was the metal of Jupiter. Not sure when they switched places, nor whether the reason the current attributions work (and they do) is scientific or just cultural.
I’ve read Philalethes and alot of western alchemical works are inspiring to me – my favourite is the “Book of Lambspring”, so-called – I’ve put a link at the bottom here to a large site on Western alchemy where you can find Lambspring and a helluva lot more. Western alchemy seems different from Chinese and the same. I am not sure how many people here would get something out of these texts but you never know. The east-meets-west vibe here is great. Maybe making contact with more western influences will help people, and maybe it will just confuse them, I don’t know!
Those interested in making temples of their houses may be interested to know about coloured paints you can make which connect to the planets and can both absorb and radiate “chi” at different frequencies – I have been using these for some time and they work like, ahem, magic. Not only for use on walls in a permanent manner either… you can vivify artistic paintings done with them for example, or use them to bodypaint to bring influences in. If people are interested I will give details, I don’t want to just trot it all out in case it’s boring for people here as not being their style.
Lovely vibe coming off of your place there Michael! I do admire your attitude and achievements.
NNNovember 25, 2006 at 12:18 pm #19373
ohh, thank you. I do not know that much about astrology. I do know it was one of the first religions. I just thought it was a interesting. I am learning about the I ching. One of the important understanding I had of astrology is that you can change your stars.November 25, 2006 at 10:44 pm #19375
Yes. This has always made sense to me but I have not yet found a way to apply it. I think it is ony a matter of time.
When Shamanic Astrology refers to “earth-centered” it means ‘to view the universe from the standpoint of the earth outward.’ What you can visually see in the sky without articficial aids is most important and part of the ceremony of aligning with the bigger picture.
One can reverse the sun-centered viewpoint -seeing the section of space, the sign, that the sun is in as a backdrop to it from the earth- by seeing the sign the earth is backdropped by if you were looking from the sun. So someone with the sun in Cancer would have the earth in Capricorn. -ANovember 26, 2006 at 4:07 am #19377
Ya, I Ching- Take a look at Stephen Karcher’s Total I Ching. He’s got the alchemical roots of it down. Really rich reading.
The astrology you’re born with gives you a destiny/destination and once you fulfill it you can get another one. The alchemical practices are for that. -ANovember 26, 2006 at 11:36 pm #19379
Next time I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll look you up. Feel free to look me up next time you’re in NYC. Don’t have a stone circle, but and make you a nice cup of tea.November 27, 2006 at 12:03 am #19381
I was born with Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars in Scorpio with Cancer rising; also Aries moon. I have been searching for a revelatory understanding of this combination.November 27, 2006 at 4:26 am #19383
…searching for a revelatory understanding here, that is.
Here are a few quick points. Without knowing whether these bodies are conjunct, which would add another dimension, and whether they are in aspect to, say, Saturn or Pluto, which would add another nother dimension, and where the nodes are, which would add still more dimension…
Cancer rising says you are here to learn/master “Cancerianism” – how to nurture responsibly, starting with yourself. Sensitivity, feelings, intuition, caring. The rising represents the mystery school you are a part of in this life.
Venus in Scorpio means that the aspect of the feminine you are here to embody is that of the alchemist/sorceress, the one who knows how to use the power of birth-death-rebirth/transmutation.
Mars in Scorpio means your masculine aspect, your animus, is the same. and that that is what you’d look for in a partner.
Sun in Scorpio means you use Scorpionic energy to fulfill your life’s work.
Scorpio itself is about running the lifeforce through you. With Cancer rising you are here to learn responsible nurturing using all that lifeforce.
Moon sign represents your roots, lineage, what you are familiar with and have some mastery in from the “past” and what your addictions are. Moon in Aries means that you bring into this life the knowledge of how to be a playful adventurer, a high-spirited individualist, and a defender of the realm. The Moon energy will strongly influence how you feel and operate with regard to your present life intentions and those instincts need to be moderated carefully so as not to invade and dominate your life. Specifically, your Aries moon will say, “I want it for ME!” and your Cancer rising will say, “I need to give it to THEM.” You will have to find a balance there that favors the rising’s intentions you set for yourself.
To get a usable understanding of how this and the rest of your chart works in terms of your intentions and challenges in this life you need to get a reading.
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