This is a transcription of the fifth lecture in the course about Alchemy, originally given as live, unscripted lectures on Gnostic Radio. You can download the audio here: Alchemy 05 The Secret of Azoth AUDIO . There is also a reference PDF: Alchemy 05 The Secret of Azoth PDF .
“He who does not seek it is not likely to find it.” - Paracelsus
In the previous lectures, we described the ancient science of Alchemy, and how throughout all the ancient religions and mystical traditions around the world the science of Alchemy protected and preserved a very special kind of knowledge, whose nature is hidden in the word “Alchemy.”
We see that the word Alchemy has two components:
- the first two letters are “Al” which is Arabic for Al (Allah), “God,” and corresponds directly to the Hebrew אל El, God.”
- “chem” has different roots that all apply. Kimia (Greek χυμεία) means “to fuse or cast a metal.” Most people have heard that Alchemy is about transmuting lead into gold or transforming impure metals into purified metals. At the same time chem or khem is also from Egyptian. That is the old Egyptian name for Egypt: Khem. Translated from ancient Egyptian Khem means “the black earth.”
In the first lecture in this series about Alchemy, we explained that the four elements of Alchemy are symbolic, not literal. We discussed that the element earth represents our body, matter, whether physical matter or in the internal worlds it is the matter of those worlds. Our earth, our body, our self, is blackened, impure, filled with suffering, filled with anger, lust, pride, envy and all the other problems we have.
This is why Alchemy describes in all of its images and scriptures processes of purification using many different types of terms and symbols and images, processes, allegories, metaphors, symbolic mysteries that describe the process of being purified. That purification is not simply physical, it is on every level.
Our physical body is not as important as we think it is. The physical body is impermanent, temporary. We do not know how long we will have it. We need to take care of it and use it well, but really, we have had many bodies already, and we will have more, hopefully, if we have earned it. What matters more is what inhabits the body, which is our psyche. That is also our earth, alchemically speaking. It is that part of us that is here in a physical earth, but also needs to be purified.
So in the previous lecture, we described for you how this process of purification is described in many ways in Alchemy. These first images shows some of those Alchemical drawings that illustrate or symbolize the process of psychological purification that we need, the process of cleaning our psyche.
We described for you how through an intimate self-observation, through self-knowledge, we start to see and deal with that causes of our suffering. Those causes are inside of us. Those causes are in our mind, heart, and body. The most important ones are in our heart and mind, since bodies come and go.
So these images are about that process of psychological purification. How we clean ourselves in order to liberate the trapped energy.
Samael Aun Weor told us that there four primary elements in Alchemy. We already talked about the four elements: air, water, fire and earth. Those four elements constitute everything, but they are not the only way to look at things.
Salt, Sulphur, Mercury, Azoth
In Alchemy we talk about the elements in another way: the trinity of salt, mercury, sulphur, and a fourth principle called Azoth.
“...the four elements of Alchemy are:
Samael told us that the salt is matter. Salt is alchemically represented by a circle that has a line directly through the middle.
This symbol is quite significant in many ways. That symbol is a unity and also a duality. It has two halves. Salt is like that. If you have ever studied physical chemistry, you know that salts are polarised. Physically speaking, there are masculine salts (+) and feminine salts (-). Esoterically speaking, we say the same thing. Salt is also polarised. We see that in any form of matter.
When we talk about salt in Alchemy, we are not talking about table salt, physical salt, the salt you use in your food. The salt in Alchemy is something more subtle; it is a symbol that represents any kind of matter. Physical matter is “salt,” alchemically speaking. So our body is salt in Alchemy, and that is why Jesus in the gospels said:
“Ye are the salt of the earth.” - Matthew 5
That was an Alchemical statement. Our salt, our body, is this first element.
In Alchemy, Mercury is not physical mercury. Mercury-Hermes is the messenger of the gods.
Physically, mercury is also called quicksilver, and it has a very curious property. It is a liquid stone. It is a liquid metal. If you have ever seen mercury in a thermometer, it is highly receptive to temperature. That is why we use it to measure heat, to measure cold, because the metal physically speaking is very sensitive, it has very special properties. It does not condense and become solid like other metals. It remains as a liquid. So there is a reason that in Alchemy mercury was taken to represent something specific in the esoteric tradition. Paracelsus called it Ens Seminis. That is a Latin phrase that means “the entity of the sexual energy.”
Mercury represents the sexual energy. Again we are not talking about the physical matter, because that is salt. Ens Seminis is the energy of sexuality. That is the mercury.
It is stated amongst the ancient Alchemists:
“Praise God, because without mercury, there would be no hope.”
Mercury is the key of Alchemy. Sexual energy is the key. It is easy to see why. It is the most creative, most powerful force that we have access to. It is how we — even being impure, even being unworthy, even filled with defects, vices, and problems — have the power of God: to create life. It is the most terrible, tremendous, awesome power that we have. Just physically speaking, we can actually create life. It is an incredible responsibility, just physically, even if you are not talking about spirituality. When you talk about spirituality, that power is even greater.
In the bible, in Hebrew , “life” is pronounced chai. There is an incredible secret hidden in those letters, which we have been explaining in our many lectures and books. Chai, life, is hidden in the mercury: physical life and spiritual life.
Right now, we are spiritually dead. This is true, we know it is true, because we cannot see God directly, we cannot talk to God directly, we cannot hear God directly. Our connection to spirit is dead. In other words, we have no life, no chai. The primordial Adam — before sin — had spiritual life: the pure Adam walked and talked with God. That is why Adam was “nephesh chaiah” - a living soul.
"And Jehovah Elohim formed Adam [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the neshamah chaiah ["breath of life"]; and man became a nephesh chaiah [living soul]." - Genesis 2:7
Of course, mankind —you and me— lost that power. We are not living, but dead. This is the basis of the Christian doctrine, and that of Alchemy. We need to return to life. For that, we need to preserve the source of life.
This Greek word ζάω means “living,” and also “living water, having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul.”
We are “dead” because we abuse the sexual energy (ζάω, our vital power: mercury); we have wasted it not only in this life but many lives.
We do not live in Eden the way Adam and Eve once did. עדן Eden is a Hebrew word that means “bliss.” To return to Eden, we have to rectify the mistake that sent us out, and that is to work with the Tree of Knowledge (Daath), which is where the mercury is hidden. We need to learn to work with sexual energy, to learn to see the fruit on the tree, to appreciate the fruit, but not to abuse it. That fruit is sexuality.
The third element is sulphur. Sulphur represents fire, not physical fire, but the fire in the body, the fire in the atoms, the fire in every existing thing: the fire of life. There are many kinds of sulphur, not just one kind, but generally speaking sulphur represents fire.
These three elements form a trinity, a creative power (the law of three).
“There are three basic chemical substances which are called by the philosophers salt, sulphur, and mercury, but which are not to be confounded in any way with the crude salt, sulphur, and mercury taken from the earth or secured from the apothecary. Salt, sulphur, and mercury each has a triune nature, for each of these substances contains, in reality, also the other two substances, according to the secret arcanum of the wise. The body of salt is, therefore, threefold, namely salt, sulphur, and mercury; but in the body of salt one of the three (salt) predominates. Mercury is likewise composed of salt, sulphur, and mercury with the latter element predominating. Sulphur, similarly, is actually salt, sulphur, and mercury, with sulphur predominating.” - von Welling
Azoth is a very mysterious element, and I say it is mysterious because 99.999% of humanity has never ever experienced it. So, we have no idea about Azoth, practically speaking, but there are many theories, there are many beliefs about it. There are hundreds and thousands of books about Azoth. You may be thinking you have been studying religion a long time but do not remember seeing anything about Azoth.
The Hindu or Sanskrit name for Azoth is Kundalini. In the Bible, it is the brass serpent of Moses, and “the fire of the Pentecost” in the Bible. In the book of Acts, the apostles receive the Holy Spirit, and flames emerge from the tops of their heads. That is Azoth. That flame gives them the power to heal the sick, to cast out demons, to speak the word of God. That is Azoth.
Kundalini / Azoth is the energy that emerges from the first three elements when the conditions are right, when the karma allows it. Karma means cause and effect. If the conditions are established, fire emerges. It is the same as if you want to light a match: you need the components in order for the flame, the spark to flare. Kundalini is no different, yet it is not a physical force. It is in physical matter, but it is an energy that comes from far beyond physicality.
If you read the ancient scriptures, Azoth is said to be the greatest power in the universe. It is the fountain of youth. It is the universal medicine. It is the philosophical stone. It is the great power of the magician. It is the universal key or clue. It is the power wielded by all the great prophets and masters of every great tradition. It has had many names: Azoth in Alchemy, Kundalini in Yoga and Tantra in India, Candali in Tantric Buddhism. Tummo in Tibetan. Okidanokh in Gurdjieff’s system.
So today we are going to talk about Azoth, what it means really and how we can experience it.
The Meaning of Azoth
If you study the accessible writings of Alchemy, or if you read on the internet about Azoth, you will see that all of the “scholars” are all saying the same things, because none of them really know. They only repeat what others have said. So all of the scholars and writings have been saying for a long time that the word Azoth comes from the Arabic al-zā'ūq, which means “the mercury.” Azoth is related to Mercury, Azoth is extracted from Mercury, but it is not Mercury alone. This is the mistake. People who do not know what Alchemy really is do not understand it, so they only repeat theories, and repeat what was written in other books, but they do not know from practical experience what Azoth is.
Remember the sacred trinity of Alchemy is Salt, Mercury, Sulphur. Azoth is extracted from the first three. So really we need to talk about three in one: Salt, Mercury, and Sulphur.
We need to talk about those three first, because for all of us, we do not have Azoth yet. It is latent within us. The potentiality is there. We do not have it yet, but we can acquire it, yet it is not easy to acquire. It is the power of God. It is the power the apostles had to heal the sick, to cast out demons. It is power over nature, over the elements. When Moses parted the red sea, when Jesus walked on water, when he raised the dead, that is because he had the power of Azoth / Kundalini. So, all those people around the world who are proclaiming that they are awakening Kundalini, if they do not have those powers, then they are liars, it is as simple as that. Azoth / Kundalini gives power over nature.
That power is extracted from Salt, Mercury, and Sulphur when the conditions are established. Let us understand what this means.
These first three elements are all interrelated with each other; you cannot separate them. I told you already that Salt relates to matter, that Mercury relates to sexual energy, and Sulphur is fire. So you can look at it this way. All salt has mercury and Sulphur in it. All mercury has salt and Sulphur in it, and all Sulphur has salt and mercury in it. These three elements work exactly the same way as the trinity in the Tree of Life. Within the Father are the Son and the Holy Spirit, and within the Son are the Father and the Holy Spirit. Similarly in the trikaya of Buddhism: the Dharmakaya cannot exist without the Nirmanakaya and the Sambhogakaya. These three are always one. A trinity is a three as one. They are always connected, always related.
What is beautiful about that is that mathematically speaking, the salt is a trinity in itself, meaning: our body has fire (sulphur) and sexual energy (mercury). So, the salt is three. Our sexual energy, our mercury also has salt in it and it has sulphur in it, fire. So really the mercury itself is also three and similarly with the sulphur, it is also three.
Thus, in this analysis, there are three, three, and three, which equals nine. The number nine is extremely significant in any esoteric tradition. When you understand that those nine are derived from one source, which is the Ain Soph, the root of all forces and energies — we can call it “quintessence” — that is the Azoth in its original state. That gives us nine and one, which equals ten. That number ten is also significant in every tradition. If you have studied Pythagoras, you will know about the decad. If you have studied Hebrew , you know that ten is the number of sephiroth on the Tree of Life, and it is the letter י lod.
Understanding this numerical basis (since everything is manifested according to the law of numbers) then we can understand why it is inaccurate to say what the scholars and parrots of esotericism say: that “Azoth is mercury.” Mercury comes from Azoth. Azoth is not mercury alone. Azoth is salt, sulphur and mercury purified, the ultimate essence of them. So really all the scholars are inaccurate so we need to look elsewhere if we want to know were the word comes from. We can find it in the Bible.
Azoth in the Book of Genesis
In the book of Genesis, in the second chapter, we learn about the creation of Adam. We have explained many times that the biblical story of Adam is a symbolic story of Kabbalah that has many levels of relevance and meaning.
Firstly, we need to know that Adam in the Bible is not a physical man like one of us. I know that many people went to church, and learned that Adam was one man that was the father of all human beings. This is completely inaccurate, and is just a story for children. The reality is that Adam is a symbol that has many levels of meaning.
Adam can represent the primordial state of humanity, a state that we as humanity once had: a state of innocence and purity, yet also a state of power and knowledge in which we knew God directly, spoke with God, walked with God, talked with God, and had command over nature.
“And אלהים Elohim [which is plural for “Gods and Goddesses”] said, Let us make Adam in our image (tselem), after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So Gods and Goddesses created Adam in their image, in the image of Gods and Goddesses they created them; male and female they created them. And the Gods and Goddesses blessed them, and the Gods and Goddesses said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” - Genesis 1
So physically and historically speaking, When Adam was first created in the bible Adam had command and control over the garden, he named the creatures, and was the most valuable creature in the garden and had perfect happiness. That state is the primordial Adam, a state that we have in our Consciousness that we can restore. As you know, Adam left Eden because of disobeying the law, and that story is a process of how his helper was elaborated and problems came into the scenario.
Yet, when we analyze this in relation with ourselves, Adam also represents our brain, our mind, our intellect. Spiritually speaking, Adam can also represent our Being, our Innermost. Physiologically speaking, Adam can also represent one of the two channels of energy that winds up our spinal column. There are two channels, one masculine and one feminine. In Sanskrit, they are called Ida and Pingala. In the bible, they are called Adam and Eve.
So, “Adam” has many levels of meaning. In the context of understanding Azoth, all of them apply, because the emergence and elaboration of Azoth relates to everything about us: everything.
I am prefacing it this way because Azoth is not easy to understand. I apologise, but spirituality is not an invention of mankind, something easy that can be sold in a bottle. I know everyone wants that, but that is only because people are lazy and do not want to change. The reality is that spirituality is very difficult, because we have corrupted ourselves so much. If you want to have the power of God, you need to grow and learn. It does not come like a pill in the bottle, or by paying someone a fee. It is granted by divinity when we earn it.
Let us look at this passage from Genesis:
“And Jehovah Elohim said, [It is] not good that Adam should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
"And out of the ground Jehovah Elohim formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.
"And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
"And Jehovah Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
"And the rib, which Jehovah Elohim had taken from Adam, made he אשה ishshah, and brought אשה ishshah unto Adam.” - Genesis 2
Ishshah אשה can be translated as “woman,” but the letters are very significant. Hebrew is written from right to left. Ishshah is spelled אשה Aleph, Shin, Hei. These letters are very significant. This is not simply talking about a physical woman.
The first letter of אשה ishshah is א Aleph, which is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. א Aleph symbolises air. The shape of that letter is a trinity. It is made of three letters, three י Iods. The א Aleph is a trinity expressed as air, the breath of God, the Neshamah.
The second letter of אשה ishshah is ש Shin, which is also a trinity. It is constituted with three י Iods. The letter ש Shin represents fire, and you can see in its shape that it looks like a fire, a flame. ש Shin is also a trinity, a three in one.
Both of these letters are “mother letters” in Hebrew . In many lectures and books we have spoken about the three mother letters: א Aleph, ש Shin and מ Mem, which are air, fire, and water. So in ishshah we have two elements: א air and ש fire.
So here we see ishshah, the woman: א air, ש fire, and a ה womb. The reason this is important is because of the next passage. The next line of the scripture says:
“And Adam said, ‘זאת Zoth is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: זאת Zoth shall be called Ishshah because זאת Zoth was taken out of איש iysh.’”
This is why it is important to know Hebrew when you study the Bible.
Directly translated, זאת Zoth in Hebrew means “this.” If you were to read the Bible like a comic book (which is what most people do), you would think this is literally about God making the first woman out of a rib. Then you might think, “Why would a physical man call his first woman, the first woman to exist, “this”?” That is really disrespectful. It does not sound like he is talking about a person. We do not call each other “this” or “that.” So the choice of words here is interesting. זאת Zoth, “this,” does not refer to a physical person. Continuing,
“... זאת Zoth shall be called Ishshah because זאת Zoth was taken out of איש iysh.”
Iysh איש is spelled א Aleph, י Iod, ש Shin. Iysh איש directly translated can mean “man.” So, in Hebrew , איש iysh and אשה ishshah mean man and woman. This is how most people read the passage: literally, physically, as if it is just about men and woman, about how many thousands of years ago they think that God created some people out of the dirt. That is a ridiculous interpretation and has nothing to do with reality. That is not the meaning of the scripture. The scripture was written to convey something important, but to get it, you need to know Hebrew and Alchemy.
The meaning is hidden, but very beautiful. Adam is saying that the אשה Ishshah came out of the איש iysh. So look at that איש iysh: Aleph, Iod, Shin. א Aleph is air. ש Shin is the fire. Between the two letters is the י Iod, the number ten. The Iod is just a dot, but it is the first letter of the name of God: יהוה, Jehovah. So here we see in איש iysh: God (י) between the air (א) and the fire (ש). Now if you take that Iod out, you just have Aleph and Shin, which spells אש esh, which literally means "fire." So: the “man” (iysh) in this passage is a flame of fire that has Iod inside, God, and from that man, Adam, that flame is taken out: Ishshah, Zoth.
In other words, from Adam (our Being) Jehovah Elohim (the Holy Spirit) takes the fire, to be the helper of Adam.
Do you follow that? We are talking about the primordial Adam, the pure Adam, the esh, fire, who is iysh, a man from whom comes “the woman,” a feminine fire which is called Zoth. That is the sequence.
In this context, that iysh has levels of significance: it represents our Being (Adam), and at the same time it represents anyone who achieves mastery, awakening, through which the Azoth emerges, by the grace of Jehovah Elohim. The person who suceeds in that earns the title Ish, "Man." But this "Man" does not reflect gender: it refers to the status of the soul. It relates to "man" as human being, mensch, "a person of integrity and honor," mennisco "human."
Azoth in Hebrew
Let me talk about the letters in the word Ha-zoth so that you can see a little bit of the significance here. The first letter of Ha-zoth is the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the letter ה Hei. The letter ה Hei is feminine, and it represents a womb.
The next letter is א Aleph, which is air.
So this word Hazoth has: ה a womb, ז a sword, א the trinity, and ת a completion.
Obviously, the womb ה is feminine. If we want to be "born again," to be born spiritually, we need to be gestated in a divine womb: that of our Divine Mother, Eloah, the goddess Shekinah.
Who gives the sword to the heroes? The Divine Mother. Observe Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and War. Athena is always accompanied by her serpent. She guides the heroes in their battles. Athena is the intelligence of the Kundalini.
Who is the א? The trinity above, which particularizes itself in the pure souls. It does this through the three akashic breaths that — through the science of Alchemy — and transformed into the awakened Kundalini. Through the Kundalini (Azoth), the power of the trinity can work through the initiate, the prophet, the master.
What is the ת? The convent, the agreement between the Innermost and the human soul. ת is also the completion of the work: success, fulfillment.
In other words, Hazoth is the Kundalini. Kundalini is the power of the Divine Mother (Athena, Durga, Shekinah, etc). It is a feminine fire in nature that can emerge in us and give us the power of the gods. It is the thunderbolt of Zeus, of Indra. It is the power of Poseidon. It is the power of Vishnu. It is the power of Kali-ma. Hazoth is a tremendous power; it is not a toy.
"The sexual act is the real consubstantiation of love in the tremendous psycho-physical reality of our Nature. Something is created when a man and a woman unite sexually. In those moments of supreme adoration, he and she are really only one androgynous being with powers to create like the Gods. The Elohim are male and female. Man and woman united sexually during the supreme ecstasy of love are really one terrifically divine Elohim. In those moments of sexual union, we are really in the Laboratorium-Oratorium of Holy Alchemy." - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
The Fire of Azoth
If you have studied the Bible, then you know that the Elohim said, “Let us make Adam in our image, male and female was Adam created,” male-female, one being, male-female. It is only later that the Ishshah was separated into two bodies, male and female, separated physically speaking. This has a psychological and spiritual component as well.
This image represents the division or separation of Adam and Eve, iysh and Ishshah. When they are united physically, psychologically, spiritually, what is the outcome? Fire. Isn’t it obvious? When you put a man and a woman together, isn’t there always fire? Sexual attraction is fire. Sexual cooperation is fire. Sometimes the fire between man and woman results in arguments and fighting, but it is fiery, sparks, energy, life.
Nowhere else does life emerge anywhere in the universe other than the combination of these two polarities: man and woman. In every level of life, creation is caused by the combination of male and female. This combination sparks fire physically, emotionally, mentally, sexually.
Above is an image from Alchemy. It is four or five hundred years old. It represents a spiritual process, a psychological process, an energetic process that is rooted in physicality, that our physical Salt has to be a part of but so does our Sulphur and our Mercury.
The fire below them is creating clouds of smoke and steam. Around them it is night, and you see and eclipse or a crescent moon in the back. This is all happening under the influence of the moon, because we are all under the influence of the moon. That means we are in mechanical nature. We are in darkness. This image is showing the way out. You see the couple iysh and Ishshah; masculine fire and feminine fire, both have there eyes closed, spiritually blind. This is our state. The way out of that is to learn how to work with the fire.
This image is of the Tree of Life, of the Kabbalah. I know for beginners it looks rather intimidating, but it is actually quite simple. The more time you spend with it, the simpler it becomes. This image roughly speaking has several important divisions that I want to point out to you.
The very top is a symbolic representation of the Absolute. The Absolute in Hebrew is called Ain, Ain Soph, and Ain Soph Aur. It is the primordial nothingness from which everything comes. It is the emptiness inside of everything that exists. It is the pure state of potentiality that has not yet become.
The process of becoming is the first sephirah, which is called Kether. That sphere represents how that nothing begins to become something. In Hebrew , in the Bible, this is represented by the words God says to Moses on the mountain, “Eheieh Asher Eheieh,” which is the sacred name of God in Kether. This name can be read as “I am becoming.”
“And Elohim said unto Moses, I shall become what I am becoming...” - Exodus 3:14
Learn more about this in The Secret Teachings of Moses.
So that becoming, Kether, is represented by the letter י Iod, the first letter of יהוה the holy name of God. The letter י Iod is the three parts of א Aleph, the three parts of ש Shin, and the three parts of מ Mem. All three mother letters are made from י Iod. They are the pure becoming of that first trinity: Kether, Chokmah, Binah. The letter י Iod elaborates everything.
We are this Tree of Life, but we do not have any knowledge of ourselves. The tenth sephirah is Malkuth, our salt, our physical body. We scarcely have any awareness of our physical body. We use it everyday, but most of the time we do not have any awareness of being inside of it, here and now. We have no knowledge of how this body is functioning. We just feed it and give it water and it takes care of itself; we really abuse it, and we have no clue about the incredible power that is hidden within this body.
The sephirah Malkuth, our physicality, has all of the rest of the Tree of Life, the heavens above, hidden, in potential, latent, inside. Stated another way, inside every atom of your body is the sephirah Kether, the Buddha, the Father of the Father, the pure becoming, the light of the Ain Soph. That pure light is inside every atom that you have.
Has anyone ever heard of an atomic bomb? Has anyone ever seen images or pictures of the power of splitting a single atom? Do you have any concept about of how much power is in one atom? We now have the knowledge to split one atom and destroy thousands of lives. Did you know that that same power is in all the atoms of your body, all the atoms of your brain, in all the atoms of your heart? That pure potential power is the power of the becoming of your Innermost: your Innermost has the power to create universes, yet, you have not developed that power. It is Azoth. Now you can understand where the power of a God comes from: inside you, in all the atoms, in all the cells, in all the molecules, in all the organs. It all contributes, if you know how to work with it.
So, our physicality is between two realms: the superior and inferior.
The superior realms are called nirvana, heaven, the internal worlds, the astral plane, the mental plane, Olympus, etc. Everybody wants to go there and be there. On the Tree of Life, they are represented by the sephiroth above Malkuth.
Below are the infernal worlds that we call hell, Klipoth, inferno, Avitchi.
The reality is that we carry those two realms inside of us: they are psychological. We are caught in the middle. Most of us are already trapped in hell.
The energy that descended into us, that gave us existence, that light of Kether, we trapped it through our mistaken actions: in our pride, anger, lust, greed, envy, all of our desires, wrong ideas, harmful thinking, harmful action, harming ourselves and others. That is why we are not gods. That is why we do not perceive “heaven.” Our minds are not pure, thus we cannot perceive purity. Our minds are filled with demonic desires, thus all we see is desire, anger, lust, etc. We are in hell because of our minds.
That is why we live in “the wilderness.” This world of ours is the wilderness, hell, which nowadays, if you look around, you see that we are bringing hell up to the surface of the earth more and more, because we already have hell in our minds and we want to live physically what is in our minds. We want all of our hidden desires to be expressed physically, without any consequences. That is why we are making legal what even a few years ago would have gotten us executed. We are now making all kinds of degeneration legal, acceptable, even entertaining. We are bringing hell up to the earth, physically speaking. Instead of bringing heaven out of ourselves, we are expressing hell. So, this is the state of our “becoming.”
In order to acquire the power of the incorruptible, we need to free ourselves from corruption. That corruption is not outside of us, it is inside of us. Why would God give the devil all of his power? We are devils. We are very impure. Why would God give us power? Why would God — which is pure an incorruptible — give everything to a demon?
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not... Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption... For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” - 1 Corinthians 15
The power of azoth is only given to those who earn it, to those who purify themselves, who deserve it, who can be trusted, who act for the benefit of others, not themselves, who act as vessels and vehicles of love, not self interest.
The power of Alchemy has always been restricted for this reason. Humanity has not been prepared for it. Humanity only wants to fulfill its desires. Humanity only wants sex, money, and power, and as many different kinds of interesting sensations as possible before we die. We do not care about anything else. We do not deserve the powers of a God. However, we can earn it by purifying ourselves, by seeing our pride for what it is, how it hurts ourselves and others, eliminating pride. Every time you eliminate one of those elements in your mind, you free the energy that is trapped in it. That energy can be harnessed to do good.
So that is what this Tree of Life helps us to understand: the dimensionality of ourselves, what we experience, how we experience it, and how to understand it in context.
This graphic from Alchemy shows the same thing visually.
This image shows three women sitting on a hill. Each one has a tree behind them, and they are sitting inside of a great sphere that has day and night, and outside of that sphere are the four elements; the air, the fire, the earth, and the water. We explained earlier that everything that exists depends on the four elements, and everything is driven by them, extracted from them, created by them.
In this image we see all the processes of nature. The trinity above. These three women have halos around them, which represents the light of Kether, the pure becoming, the Ain Soph as light. In Greek that light is called Christ.
The middle figure holds a sphere, within which is a six pointed star. That six pointed star is very significant. On either side are two women; one holds an upward pointed triangle and another holds a downward pointed triangle. There are many levels of meaning here which I am going to address in a moment.
Below these three figures, hidden in the cavern of the earth are seven. The middle one is Apollo, who is a Greek symbol of Christ, and the other six are the muses. So we have seven below, three above, and above them all are the stars in heaven, the sun and the moon. Below them all is a well into the earth. So, here you see the whole Tree of Life, the Kabbalah, the light of the Ain Soph, the upper trinity, the seven lower sephiroth, and the entrance into the abyss. Everything is represented here, but notice those joined triangles.
Some call it “the star of David” or “the seal of Solomon,” yet it is also known in Hinduism and Buddhism. We could give many lectures just on that symbol, but here it represents the union of the forces of these two women. The woman on the left holds an upward facing triangle that in Alchemy represents fire. The woman on the right holds a downward facing triangle that in Alchemy represents water. When you unite the two, you create that star. Let me point out to you that those two triangles represent masculine and feminine, Adam and Eve, Iysh and Ishshah.
By wisely combining water and fire, we can create.
“It is true, no lie, certain, and to be depended upon, the superior agrees with the inferior, and the inferior with the superior, to effect that one truly wonderful work. As all things owe their existence to the Will of the Only One, so all things owe their origin to the One Only Thing, the most hidden, by the arrangement of the only God. The Father of that one only thing is the Sun, its Mother is the Moon; the wind carries it in its belly, but its nurse is a spiritous earth. That One Only Thing (after God) is the Father of all things in the universe. Its power is perfect after it has been united to a spiritous earth. Separate that spiritous earth from the dense or crude by means of a gentle heat with much attention. In great measure it ascends from the earth up to heaven and descends again, newborn, on the earth, and the superior and the inferior are increased in power. By this wilt thou partake of the honours of the whole world. And darkness will fly from thee. This is the strength of all powers. With this thou wilt be able to overcome all things, and to transmute all what is fine and what is coarse. In this manner the world was created; the arrangements to follow this road are hidden. For this reason I am called Chiram Telat Mechasot, One in essence, but Three in aspect. In this trinity is hidden the wisdom of the whole world. It is ended now, what I have said concerning the effects of the Sun.” - Hermes Trismegistus
This is one of the most important documents of Alchemy. Let us focus on this line:
“Separate that spiritous earth from the dense or crude by means of a gentle heat with much attention. In great measure it ascends from the earth up to heaven...”
Gently heat the water and the steam rises. The water is hidden in the earth. So, the fire must be carefully managed in the earth: our body.
If you were to place these two triangles directly over the sexual organs of a man and a women, you would see that regarding the water, the מ Mem, the downward facing triangle corresponds to the woman: the bottom most point of that triangle corresponds to the vagina, and the upper two corners to the two ovaries. The triangle of the fire, pointed upwards, corresponds to the man: the upward pointed triangle corresponds to the phallus, and the lower two to the two testicles.
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived...” - Genesis 4
“And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived...” - Genesis 4
“And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son...” - Genesis 4
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS... Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” - Luke 1
That was the knowledge that was hidden in the temple in Jerusalem when the Romans broke in...
“Said Resh Lakish, ‘When the Gentiles entered the Sanctuary, they saw (the engravings of) the cherubim joined together in an embrace. They took (the engravings) out to the marketplace, and they said, Should these Israelites - whose blessing is a blessing and whose curse is a curse (so they are so close to G-d) - be involved in such (erotic) matters? Immediately, (the Romans) debased (the Israelites), as it is said, (Lamentations 1:8) All who once respected her (Israel), debased her, for they saw her nakedness.’” - Talmud, Yoma 54b
The Romans went into the holiest sanctum of the temple and saw there that the Jews had been worshipping a statue of two angels joined sexually, and the Romans were outraged, and said you holy people think you are so holy but you are in here worshipping sex, and they burnt the temple to the ground. This is recorded in the Talmud.
Nowadays, everyone know these images are common in Hinduism and Buddhism, yet it was also the case in all Western traditions, but the images were hidden. The ancient secret of all religions is hidden in sexuality, in the union of the masculine and feminine fires.
What that image is teaching us is what it says in the bible:
“Except a man be born of water [מ] and the [holy] spirit [which is ש fire], he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of spirit is spirit.”
Everything that is born was conceived through sex. There is no exception to this. So it is absurd that people think that merely by believing something they can be born again.
Here we see in this other Alchemical painting or engraving from four or five hundred years ago the process of the second birth, what Jesus was describing hidden in Alchemical allegories.
A pregnant woman observes the fire. The fire is the spirit. The fire is the letter ש Shin, the forces of the Holy Spirit.
“And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost [ש] shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” - Luke 1
Christ, the light, incarnates in the prepared soul. The soul is prepared by first utilizing the fire to create the solar bodies, the soul. This is a series of initiations, and takes many years of sexual transmutation, in Chastity. Why do we need to incarnate Christ? Because Christ brings the full power of the fire within us.
"I am come to send fire [ש] on the earth [your body, your life]; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
"But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth [your body, your life]? I tell you, Nay; but rather division [to divide the “sheep” from the “goats” — the impure from the pure, within you]... [Ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time [of the end]?
"Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?
"When thou goest with thine adversary [Satan, your ego] to the magistrate, [as thou art] in the way [having broken the law of God], give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison [in the infernal worlds].
"I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite [of what you owe, due to your wrong actions].” - Luke 12
So the power of Christ is necessary in order for us to eliminate the ego. Yet, the fire of Christ cannot emerge in us until we accomplish all the required steps. First, we need to work with the fire of the Kundalini, step by step, until we are prepared to receive Christ.
The water is in the pot. So we see the fire, the water, we see the smoke and steam rising and the pregnant woman and the bellows to blow the air to stimulate the fire. All the elements are involved here. This is a symbolic image that represents the process of how that is born of flesh and how that is born of spirit.
We need to understand something very clearly. We know very well that the sexual energy can create flesh. Any man or a woman who wants to create flesh just needs to find the opposite sex. It is very easy: people are doing it all the time. It is very simple. It is not complicated. A complete idiot can create another physical body, and they often do. It takes no intelligence, it takes no skill, it takes no purity, it takes no morals, no special qualifications to be born of the flesh. To give birth to flesh is very easy, but to create of the spirit is another thing, another level, very different. This is not a matter of believing.
The Different Kinds of Bodies
The Christians in this day and age teach that to be born of spirit is just a matter of stating a few words and then you are done, you are “born again.” It is absurd, sad really, to reduce the great mysteries of God to that ridiculous theory. God is far more powerful than that, and mysterious, and beautiful. The second birth is far more than just stating a few words to be born again, and Paul said as much. St Paul in the first Corinthians 15 said:
“All σάρξ [Greek sarx: bodies, flesh] [is] not the same flesh: but [there is] one [kind of] flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, [and] another of birds.
“There are] also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another.
“[There is] one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for [one] star differeth from [another] star in glory.”
Paul is stating clearly that there are levels and levels of σάρξ sarx, which in the Bible is translated as “flesh,” but sarx also means “body.” So, Paul is saying that there are many levels of bodies that our soul can inhabit.
Paul is not talking about physical matter here. He would have wasted his time if his writings were about physical things. Paul was concerned about the qualities of the soul, the qualities of the spirit, and that is what this passage is about.
“All flesh is not the same flesh.” What is the flesh of men? In Hebrew , to say the word “men” you take the word iysh (man, singular) and you put a letter Mem at the end of it: iyshshim or ishim. That makes it plural, but it also adds the element of water: the letter Mem.
So, the flesh of “men” is not the flesh of you and me, the physical people. It is related with those who have entered “the kingdom.” The Ishim are people who have the fire awake and active within them to some degree. They have the Kundalini awakened to some degree.
An iysh, a “man,” does not mean a masculine person or a feminine person, it means someone who has already started to work with the fire and has started awakening the Kundalini. This means they have already entered into the first initiation of fire, and the Kundalini is rising up their spinal column.
Another type of flesh is that of beasts; well, that is you and me, we really are animals. We are really just animals that use the intellect to reason, and the power of reason has only give us the power to create more expensive and deadly weapons, and more extravagant ways to exploit each other, and more clever justifications of our crimes. It hasn’t really improved our situation on this planet. We still live and die in complete ignorance, never knowing our purpose, never knowing God. There are lots of theories and lots of beliefs, but no knowledge: no actual experience of the truth. So we are really just beasts.
So these first few bodies or types of flesh that he is describing here are related with levels of initiation, levels of spiritual development, levels of creating Kundalini and creating new types of bodies, inside, spiritually. Bodies that are born of spirit and water. Bodies born not physically, but internally, spiritually.
In the same way that we create our physical body, physically using sexual energy, when we harness that energy and save it, and give it to God, that energy creates inside, creating new types of bodies, in levels and levels.
In other words, there is not one serpent of Kundalini. There are seven. If you have studied Buddhism, you have seen the Buddha with seven serpents risen. Those seven serpents represent the seven lower sephiroth on the Tree of Life, from Malkuth to Chesed, and those seven serpents are represented here by Apollo and the muses. Here in this image, they are waiting in the earth, still waiting to be brought out. The earth is our body. Those are the seven serpents or seven bodies that we need to create. We haven’t done it yet.
In the middle of them is Apollo. Apollo is the God of the sun. He represents Christ. He also represents our innermost. So these seven bodies are solar bodies created under the energy and influence of the sun. The sun is up here. The bodies that we have now are lunar, they come from the moon. They belong to earth, to physicality, to mechanical nature, they will be returned to mechanical nature, we do not own them. We need solar bodies. Solar bodies are immortal. Lunar bodies are not.
This is why Paul explains that there are celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial. Celestial means “of the stars” and the word for “stars” in Hebrew is כוכב kowkab, and can also be directly translated as “mercury.” So those solar bodies, those celestial bodies, are created from Mercury.
He says, “there is one glory of the sun and another glory of the moon and another glory of the stars.” These are three levels of spiritual development.
All of us are at the level of the moon. All of this is described in the Bhagavad gita, when Krishna talks about the lunar path and the solar path. We are all lunar creatures; we belong to the moon. The moon runs our lives mechanically. In other words, we are slaves of nature; we have no power over nature. Nature has power over us. Our bodies are lunar. Our mind is lunar, mechanical, instinctive. We need a solar mind. Nevertheless, even if we do not know about creating the solar bodies, even just working as a single person, through Meditation and psychological work we can reveal “the glory of the moon,” in which our mind becomes beautiful enough to reflect a lot of light. In other words, we can become a saintly person, pure. Yet, this is still the lowest level of glory.
The “glory of the bodies of the sun” is revealed when we create the solar bodies, by raising the seven serpents of Kundalini, through which we become an actual human being. This is to restore Adam and Even inside of us back in Eden, “bliss.” Such a person is a God, an angel, at their level. This is a master who has power over nature. They see God, they talk to God, they know God. They have clairvoyance, they have Astral travel , thy can remember their past lives, they can take their physical body into other dimensions. They can travel out of their body into other dimensions. They are not like us, yet they are not finished. They are at the beginning of their work as Buddhas.
It is another level to have “the glory of the stars.” That is to have the Trikaya, to incarnate Kether, Chokmah, Binah. Such beings are resurrected masters, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna. Those are masters in which the entirety of their karma is paid. The entirety of their ego is dead. They have no pride, no lust, no anger, no envy, no fear. They are pure, completely pure; they are what we would call a Logos, a cosmo-creator.
Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Padmasambhava are masters who have resurrected; they have died psychologically and physically, and have been born in a new body. That body is not from the flesh of animals but is a body of liberation, a body that is made from solar atoms not lunar atoms. They are immortal. That is what it means to have celestial bodies. Even there, there are levels...
The Serpent of Brass
So this passage in Corinthians in combination with everything else we have described is giving you an insight into the levels of spiritual development that we have to climb. The way we do it is also hidden in the Bible. We are spiritually dead. To have life, we need to follow the instructions that God gave to Moses in the book of Numbers.
“The people spoke out against אלהים [Elohim] and Moshe [Moses], 'Why did you take us out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread and no מים [mayim, water]! Our נפש [nephesh, soul] is getting disgusted with this insubstantial food.' [They tired of the manna from God, calling it "tasteless." In other words, they craved sensation, and began to break the Law.]
"Jehovah sent שרף [seraph, fiery] נחש [nachash, serpents] against the people, and when they [tempting serpents of Eden] began biting the people, a number of Israelites died.
"The people came to Moses and said, 'We have sinned by speaking against יהוה [Jehovah] and you. Pray to יהוה [Jehovah], and have Him take the snakes away from us.'
The book of Numbers in the Bible describes how to raise the serpent of the Kundalini on the pole. The pole is your spinal column, which in Hebrew is represented by the letter ו Vav, which is a straight line with the י Iod on top, and that is represented here in this image. That is a Vav with the serpent on it. That is where we acquire the power of life, spiritual life, life in Consciousness, where we start to change from being a victim of nature to being a master of nature, like Moses.
Moses in Hebrew is משה Moshe, spelled Mem Shin Hei, which are the letters for מ water, ש fire, and ה a womb. In other words, Moshe means “born of water and fire,” or in other words, born again as Jesus instructed. Moshe represents the sephirah Tiphereth, which is our human soul, which in Hebrew is nephesh. Our human soul must be born of water and fire (spirit), by means of which the nephesh becomes nephesh chaiah, a “living soul,” and soul with life, or the power of God: creation of spiritual life.
The word חי chai, life, is spelled with the letter ח Chet. Chet ח is the eighth Hebrew letter. Chet ח is made when you merge together that pole, the ו Vav, which is the sixth letter, and the seventh letter, which is ז Zayin. Vav + ז Zayin. The ו Vav is the spine, and the man. The ז Zayin is a sword (willpower), and the woman. Together, they are Iysh-Ishshah, Adam and Eve, brain and sex.
"Happy [is] the אדם Adam [that] findeth חכמה Chokmah, and the man [that] getteth בונה Binah... She [is] a tree of חי life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy [is every one] that retaineth her." - Proverbs 3
“So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword [ז] which turned every way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life [chai].” - Genesis 3
That flaming sword ז is what we need the raise upon our ו spine. That flaming sword is the serpent of Kundalini. That is “the serpent of brass.”
What is brass? Brass actually is a new term. At the time this was all written, that word was not in use. Instead, the word used was bronze, which is a combination of two metals: copper and tin. Copper is feminine. The symbol of copper is the sign of Venus, the goddess of love. Tin is masculine, represented by Jupiter. So, copper and tin represents Adam and Eve, male-female. Unite them in fire, and you make bronze: the serpent of bronze.
What is interesting is that when you look at this passage about the serpent of brass from Numbers 21 in Hebrew , it does not say the word “fire” anywhere right. So how do you know this is the flaming serpent? How do you know this is the flaming fire of the Kundalini? Look at the Hebrew passage from Numbers 21:
ויעש משה נחש נחשת וישמהו על־הנס והיה אם־נשך הנחש את־איש והביט אל־נחש הנחשת וחי׃
The whole passage is filled with the letter ש Shin. That is how we know it is fire.
So in other words, in order for us to have life, to be healed of the bites of the tempting serpent that caused us to leave Eden, we need to raise a serpent on a pole.
So there are two serpents: a duality.
There is a fallen serpent. The Luciferic power in desire is the fire that tempts us in every which way. Primarily, it tempts us to eat the “fruit” that is forbidden. It intoxicates “Eve,” which is our sexual organs. Adam represents the brain. Eve, Havah, is spelt the same way as chaiah, but with an extra Hei for the womb. Havah, Hei, Eve relates to our sexual organs. Adam and Eve are inside of you right now: your sexual organs and brain. What is the most difficult temptation to overcome in life, for any of us? Sex. That is Eve. The serpent in the water tempts. The serpent on our own inner tree which is in our waters, our own inner waters is always tempting us sexually, and Eve, the sexual organs, the sexual energy, is always telling the brain (Adam), “Look at this fruit, it smells good, I bet it tastes good, lets have a bite.”
That is an internal, psychological temptation that is always happening. What is the fruit that Even wants? The orgasm. Every time we succumb to temptation and indulge in the orgasm, we push ourselves further away from Eden.
“When any man hath an ejaculation of semen out of his flesh, because of his ejaculation he is filthy.” - Leviticus 15
In Eden is where we can know God. So, to return to Eden, we need to conquer the tempting serpent, we need to purify ourselves of those base animal desires, and restore the serpent back on the pole, the serpent of brass, the serpent that unites Vav and Zayin to create Chet or Chaiah, life.
This is how Adam becomes a Nephesh Chaiah, a living soul. We aren’t living, we are dead. We need life, so we need to raise our serpent on a pole.
Azoth in the Song of Songs
This is also hidden in the book the Song of Songs. It says,
“Who [מי me] is this [זאת zoth] ascending from the wilderness [מדבר midbar; ma-dabar] like pillars of smoke, perfumed with מר [myrrh; Mars, fire] and לבונה lĕbownah [frankincense; Leo, fire], with the all spices of the merchant...” - Song of Songs 3:6
The Song of Songs is a very beautiful and erotic poem in the Bible, and it is not what people think it is. It is a book of pure Alchemy. Yet, you can only find the Alchemy in it if you know the Hebrew .
The first word from this line of the third chapter is the word who; in English we say who, while in Hebrew it is pronounced “me.” The Hebrew word Me is a Kabbalistic name of God. The translators of the Bible did not know that, so they though this line was a question. It is not. It is a statement.
“מי Me is זאת zoth...”
That מי me is God. So this clearly says: God is Azoth. מי is the water from which we must be born again. It is the water of schamayim, which are the superior waters, the upper Eden, related to Daath and the upper trinity.
“מי Who is זאת [this] ascending from the wilderness...”
So that statement is saying מי Me, the creative divine waters of God, is ascending from the wilderness. Where is the wilderness? It is outside of Eden (bliss). Remember, Adam and Eve were sent out of Eden and cast out into the wilderness to suffer. That is where we are. Does anybody realize yet that they are in hell? That this planet is hell? This is the wilderness. We are here to suffer until we rectify our mistakes. No matter how clever you think you are, you will never trick the world into giving you what you want, because you have karma, and you will pay. It is better to pay consciously, willingly, with knowledge, than to pay like a beast, an animal. It is better to do it with ones heart and soul and mind, to pay with remorse, to pay with gratitude, and move on towards redemption, rather than to continue to repeat the mistakes and deepen our pain.
To come out of the wilderness we need מי Me to ascend in our wilderness. That wilderness is us, our hell, our heart, mind, body.
Mem (מ) is the mother of the word (דבר). Ma means “mother.” The mother of the word is the Divine Mother, Maria, ma-ria who gives birth to the Christ, the Word, the Logos, which means “word.”
The Logos is the upper trinity who emerges in us as Azoth “like pillars of smoke.” Here is the smoke rising from the fire. The smoke represents זאת Azoth. It is the power of the divinity that has passed through the flames that burns all of our impurities out, and what arises out of that is the power of divinity.
We cannot grasp that. Can you grab smoke? You cannot. Similarly, you cannot take hold of the powers of God. Those who say that they have the Kundalini awakened and have powers are liars. Those powers belong to divinity. Nevertheless, the black magicians, the witches and sorcerers, do have powers, but they are the powers of the devils. The prophets work with the powers of God, but they do not own those powers. The Innermost has them, and can provide them to the human soul (Moses) when the soul needs them.
“And Jehovah went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night...” - Exodus 13
That is Azoth. It is the power of divinity that can rise in us to guide us.
It is “perfumed with myrrh and frankincense.”
What is myrrh? Myrrh is an incense, a gum. Written in Hebrew it is מר Mem, Resh. If you have studied astrology, myrrh is the incense related to Aries. Aries is related to our head, our brain. Aries is ruled by Mars, the planet, the force, the energy. Mars is a fiery sign. Mars / Ares is the God of war — a God, not a devil. Who does Mars wage war against? All the forces that are opposed to God: the ego. What is the name of Mars in Hebrew ? Maadim, which is ruled by Samael.
"My rule is over the planet Maadim (Mars)." - Samael in ספר הזהר Zohar 19.8.142
In this scripture, myrrh is a symbol. It is hiding that this is the fire of Mars that perfumes this fire of מי Me. That is, to raise the fire, you need to work with Mars / Samael.
In Hebrew , frankincense is לבונה lebonah. Lebonah is also fiery, since it is related to Leo, a fire sign. What does the lion represent in Alchemy? It represents your Innermost, the Being, karma, the ferocious dignity of God. Leo is related with the heart and the spinal column.
SO: to raise מי Me from the wilderness, we need the perfume of the head (myrrh) and the heart and spine (frankincense). That is: we need to purify ourselves. What do our head and heart smell like now? Beautiful, like incense? No! They smells like animal sex, anger, envy, pride. We need to clean ourselves very well, psychologically speaking.
The scripture continues,
“Behold his bed, which [is] Solomon’s; ששים shishshiym [60: ס Samech] valiant heroes [are] about it, of the valiant of Israel.
“They all hold swords [ז], [being] expert in war: every איש 'iysh [hath] his sword [ז] upon his thigh because of fear of לילות Lilith.” - Song of Songs 3:7-8
Let us analyze this carefully.
“Behold his bed, which is Solomon’s...”
This is very significant: it is saying that fire arises from a bed. What do you do in a bed, most people? Two main things. Sleep, and have sex. That is significant. Most people do both of those unconsciously, like animals, with no prayer, no remembrance of God, only worshipping desire.
“Behold his bed.” Whose bed? Solomon represents an initiate, a king, a melech, a master, someone who commands nature, who has wisdom (Chokmah, Christ) incarnated. That is: it is the bed of a Master who serves his Innermost, not his lust.
Then in English it says:
“Three score valiant heroes”
In Hebrew it says shishshiym, which means “three score,” which is sixty. Kabbalah is a science of numbers. These numbers are not accidental. They are not just stuck there for no reason, they are all meaningful, and when you write threescore or ששים shishshiym, look at how you write it: two shins, a Iod, and a Mem. The Mem is the water, the Iod is the power of God, and the two shins are the iysh and Ishshah, masculine and feminine. Everything we have been talking about is there in that word. But what is sixty? All letters in Hebrew are numbers, too. To write sixty, you write the letter ס Samech, which looks like a מ Mem, a circle. ס Samech is the fifteenth letter; it represents a serpent biting its tail. It is the oroborous. It is the tempting serpent, who, if we conquer temptation, gives us light and wisdom.
Jesus said: “Be ye therefore wise as serpents...” - Matthew 10
The letter ס Samech represents the Azoth, the energy behind all things, that causes existence to be.
“...shishshiym [60: ס Samech] valiant heroes [are] about it, of the valiant of Israel.”
The valiant heroes are Giborim, “strong ones, heroes” related to the sephirah Geburah.
“They all hold swords being expert in war (Mars, Ares). Every iysh has his sword upon his thigh because of fear of Lilith.”
Again this isn’t talking literally about a bunch of people standing around somebody’s bed holding swords, as that would be ridiculous. This scripture is symbolic of how we need to relate to our spiritual work. What is hidden here is a lesson about our Innermost, our Being, about the fire and energy inside of us.
They hold swords upon to their thighs. What is your thigh? Your thighs are the entry way to your sexual energy. Your thighs are your two pillars at the gate of the door of the temple, the temple of your body. The entrance and the exit of that temple is through sex. You come into life through sex, and you leave it through sex, through how you use it. If you use it as an animal, you die as an animal, you suffer as an animal. If you use it as a master, as an angel, as a Buddha, you leave that way.
So the sword is to guard the entryway to sex.
“...and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword...” - Genesis 3
The Giborim are Cherubim. They protect the pure, and punish the impure. They protect the Way.
“Every iysh has his sword upon his thigh because of fear of Lilith.”
Who is Lilith? Has anyone here ever heard of Delilah? In Hebrew , that means “of the night.” The Hebrew word laila means “night,” but in the scripture here in the song of Solomon it doesn’t say laila, it says Lilith. The translators wrote “night” in English because they did not know what they were translating, but it should say Lilith as it does in Hebrew .
Lilith is a name that applies to the psychology of hell, the tempting aspect of hell, Eve as the evil temptress, as the seductive woman Delilah who takes Samson's power from him, Eve as the women who tries to bring humanity into hell. Lilith is the one who seduces our mind and sex through desire, not just lust, but through pride, envy, gluttony, fear etc; all of that is represented here, but especially sex.
The masters here hold their swords to defend from Lilith. That Lilith is inside of us. It is our own mind. It is Eve in us as the tempting serpent. It is also outside. Society is the kingdom of Lilith and her sister Nahemah. Sexual crime is the domain of Lilith.
So if you want to enter into these studies, if you want to become an Alchemist, if you want to be free of suffering, you have to defend yourself against Lilith, inside and outside. Here in this image we are being shown how to do it.
One of the great patrons of Alchemy is a very famous doctor whose name is Paracelsus. This engraving is a picture of him. He holds in his hand a sword, his Zayin, and on the pommel directly behind his palm is written Azoth. Clearly that sword is phallic, sexual. He is showing the way without showing it directly: Azoth.
So, we have focused on merely a few lines of the Song of Songs, and that is how complex and beautiful the teachings are: they are very condensed, very hidden. They are also symbolic.
The next passage in that scripture says:
“King Solomon made himself a chariot of the tree of Lebanon.” - Song of Songs 3:9
This scripture does not mean physically, terrestrially, he went out with an axe and cut some trees down to make a chariot. It would be ridiculous to preserve that in a scripture. The meaning is symbolic, spiritual. That chariot is the same chariot you see in every religion. It is the chariot of Arjuna and Krishna.
Amongst the Hindus, Krishna represents Christ. Arjuna is the warrior, the human soul, Tiphereth. Observe Arjuna as the human soul accompanied by Christ driving a chariot of four horses. Observe in the Greeks Apollo the symbol of the sun, Christ, driving a chariot of four horses. Observe amongst the Egyptians the God driving the Chariot. We see this in every religion. The chariot represents the soul. The horses are the solar bodies. Christ, Apollo, Solomon, relate to Tiphereth, the Causal body, the human soul. The four bodies below are the four horses; the Mental body, the Astral body, the vital body, and the physical body.
When we have risen the Kundalini in these five spheres or sephiroth, we have created a chariot to heaven, a chariot that travels in the celestial realms amongst the gods. In Kabbalah, it is called Merkabah. Ezekiel went to heaven in a Merkabah.
Our soul is a chariot made from atoms of the sun, Christ, not mechanical nature. It is the chariot of the gods. It is the solar boat that the Egyptian initiates ride into the night lands to be preserved against evil. It is these five bodies, acquired by raising five serpents.
We begin here, physically. The process of raising the Kundalini in the physical body is long, difficult. To do it, you have to pay karma, and you have to change your behavior. You have to succeed in psychological ordeals, tests. Step by step, slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae up the spinal column, gradually, the fire rises. Success is measured by the qualities of your heart, not your pocket book, not by what school you go to, not by what teacher you follow. The purity of your heart determines everything.
“The Azoth and the fire clean the bronze [brass], that is to say, they clean and completely strip it of all its blackness.” - Villanova, Semita Semitae
The bronze represents that solar armor, the solar bodies. At first, they are dirty, and then through our psychological work we make them pure; we have to clean them. The fire and the Azoth do that process for us. It is gradual.
So where to do we begin? Paracelsus gives the clue:
“Q. How may this fire be most easily distinguished?
“A. By the sulphureous excrements in which it is enveloped, and by the saline environment with which it is clothed.” - Paracelsus
I hope that after this lecture you can understand that statement. Paracelsus is stating that for you to start working with the fire, you need to work in the “sulphurous excrements” where it is hidden. Sulphur relates to fire in us, sexual fire, but what we have as sexual fire is excrement, garbage, filth. The sexual fire in us is poisoned, but the fire that we need is hidden in it.
“And by the saline environment by which it is clothed...” What is saline? Salt: the body. Our body is that saline environment. Everything about our body depends on salt; without salt, we would die. Salt is the basis of organic life. Where do you find the highest concentrations of salt? The blood and the sexual energy. That is where you find the sexual fire, which has to be extracted from the sulphurous excrement and the saline environment it is clothed within.
How do you do the work? Transmutation. Working with all the elements inside your self in order to become pure. Learning from moment to moment in every action, in every thought and every feeling, to renounce selfish desire and harmful action, and to adopt action that benefits others, and to sacrifice yourself and your desires in order to help others, and make this a better place. That is not easy, but if we want to become a Buddha, an angel, a master, that is what they are: vehicles of pure action, with no selfishness. They seek to serve, and that is all. A genuine master seeks nothing for himself or herself, but only to serve others. They sacrifice everything to serve others. We sacrifice nothing. We just want more. So, this shows how far we have to go.
To succeed in harnessing the power of Azoth does not depend on time, money, or membership in a group. It depends on your power of sacrifice. How willing you are to sacrifice your selfishness, lust, pride, envy. To renounce all of that,to create a kingdom in heaven, a place, a mansion, a house. To be born again. For that to happen, you have to want to die psychologically. If you like this type of life, if you like suffering in this way, you will never change; in fact, you will get worse. It is proven. It is a mathematical and scientific fact. Time does not improve anything. Time degenerates things. What creates improvement is willpower, the will to survive, the will to adapt, the will to change. It is true amongst animals, and it is true amongst us, but we do not want to change, we want everything to be done for us by someone else. We want God to come down here and take all the bad stuff away and give us all the good things, so we do not have to do anything for it. Nature does not work like that, God does not work like that. God does not cater to the ego. God wants the ego to die.
So to find the fire in yourself and work with it, you need to find your sulphurous excrements, and you have to become aware of your saline environment. Become aware of your body; be here and now. Observe yourself at all times, and watch the sulphur as it moves in you: the fire in your body, heart, mind. Fire is energy. What moves your thoughts, what moves your heart, what moves your body? Is it pure or is it filthy? Is it divine or is it animal? Answer that question and you will find the way to Azoth.
Questions and Answers
Audience: I grew up in a Catholic family, and the priest would talk about the trinity, becoming three in one, the divine mother; can you explain which portion of Alchemy or the substance she is?
Instructor: She is this, she is also that. She is everything. The thing to understand about this is very difficult for the intellect to grasp. The three archetypes are one. They are not separate. They are also unformed; they are forces in us, forces or energies that work in us. They are three in one, they are masculine, they are feminine, they are both.
In Hebrew , in the Bible, this is called Elohim, which is a plural word. The trinity is El which is “God,” yet the trinity is also Eloah, which is “goddess.” Together, they are Elohim: God and goddess, or even God-goddess (two in one). So it could be God and goddess, or gods and goddesses; both are true.
When we think of God, we usually think of an old man up in the clouds somewhere who every once in a while throws thunderbolts at us to make us suffer. That is not what God is. God is energy, forces, intelligence, but not with form. God is formless. That intelligence can take form when it needs to, as it needs to.
If you have studied Hinduism and have seen the image of Krishna when he shows himself to Arjuna, he shows himself with an uncountable number of forms, millions of heads arms and faces. That is “God.” It is that intelligence that can manifest in whatever way is needed. Those manifestations can be male or female, can be God or goddess. So, it is the divine mother and the divine father. The reality of God is far beyond our concepts of “God.”
What is important about that to know though is that in Hinduism, Buddhism, the Greek mysteries, etc. all represent these spheres in different ways, usually as a God and a goddess paired. In Hinduism, Kether is Brahma and his wife. When you look at this in Kabbalah, what we see is that again all three of these androgynous. In order for that archetypal energy— which is in potentiality — to become something, those three divided into two: male-female, Yab-Yum, Amma-Aima, Father-Mother. Those three become two to create.
Audience: So without her there cannot be creation?
Instructor: Without him, without her, how can creation happen? How can a man have a child by himself? Similarly, even at the heights of existence, there must be both masculine and feminine for creation to occur.
Audience: Psychologically speak should we be praying to our mother?
Instructor: You should simply be praying, whether you say “mother, father, God, it....”
Audience: But is it that…..
Instructor: It does not matter what you think. It is what it is. She loves you whether you think she is a woman or not. The Divine Mother is formless. It is very important to grasp that, because she can appear to you in any form, even masculine forms. She can appear to you physically, and it has happened. In the book Magic Runes, Samael Aun Weor wrote:
“Oh ignorant mortals, how many times has your mother appeared to you but you have been ignorant of her!”
Those who have devotion to there divine mother will feel the impact of that. Oh my God she could have been standing next to me and talking to me and helping me with something and I was completely ignorant of that. That is a humiliating feeling but it is a fact and you may find that along the way that you may meet people that that has happened too.
Audience: In the woodcut engraving with the three above and the seven below, can you explain why the six muses are there?
Instructor: In that image, as in Greek mythology, the muses represent the diversification of the knowledge that emerges from the sun. So all the different muses represent the different areas of knowledge, wisdom: music, art, science, rhetoric, philosophy, etc.
Apollo is the sun, the source of knowledge and light, and those muses represent how the light of Apollo is particularized. Specifically, they are aspects of Christ. They have different levels of meaning. So, the muses can apply in Atziluth, as they are archetypes or forms, aspects of intelligence or light that emerge out of the Ain Soph. in that particular image, they represent how that light is crystallizing from Briah into Yetzirah, which is how the solar bodies are elaborated. So, those muses in that context represent the solar bodies, the initiations of fire.
Audience: Could you go back to the second graphic, the ones with the Salt, Sulphur and Azoth. The question is, the three elements, the alchemical elements and how there is no water there represented, then you show the Hebrew , I think it was the one that ends in a Hei. The Hei represents the womb. That is also the emptiness, that empty space that we all exist in, that exists within everything is the Divine Mother, so that is the same as the Azoth, so we need to activate that? That potential is inside everything?
A: The Hei is in different levels of the Tree of Life. The letter Hei is feminine and represents a womb. At the top of the Tree of Life there is a Hei, related to the Absolute. There is also a Hei in the upper Eden (Daath) and there is also a Hei here in our physical body, first as the womb of the woman, obviously, but all men have a Hei, too, which is the spinal column. It is a Vav, but it is also a Hei, as it is a place where we also give spiritual birth. So, in Kabbalah we talk about having two wombs, physically speaking, related with our earth. So the Hei has many levels. Hei can also relate to Geburah, the divine soul, and so can Zayin. So there are many levels. Generally speaking we just say that the Hei is feminine. It is Eve, the soul.
So you asked if the Azoth is the same as the emptiness, and do we need to activate that? In reality, what we need to do is to comprehend the emptiness, yet this can only be fully completed if we have a mind capable of comprehending it. Such a mind does not exist in us yet. We can comprehend a little bit at our level, but I am adddessing complete comprehension: absolute knowledge of the causes of existence. The mind that is capable of comprehending the emptiness completely is a very special vessel, known in Buddhism as Dharmakaya. This is both a body and a mind; it is related to the spehirah Kether. This is the type of mind one needs in order to comprehend the Divine Mother Space, the Shunyata, the Primordial Void or womb of existence. Beings at that level are very rare, and unimaginably pure. Nevertheless, to reach that state is a process of converting the latent forces of the Divine Mother — which are everywhere in everything, but are especially concentrated in our sexual energy — into active, awakened energy, a special process that is made possible by Her Intelligence and Wisdom, as a Crown of life for those who earn it.
Audience: Also you said that the solar bodies have to be cleaned, but I was thinking for the Innermost like, we have multiple existences and its not his duty, the magician, the one who is doing the work, to create just one solar body, he has to like create, well, how many solar bodies besides the seven need to be created by the Innermost to have the work complete?
Instructor: That’s it.
Audience: Just the one set of seven that come through all the lives lived?
Instructor: In order to reach perfection, the human soul has to incarnate the monad (the Innermost), and that is completed through the process of Resurrection. That only has to happen one time.
Audience: So it is that same human soul that gets info from all the different lives…
Instructor: Yes. And the solar bodies are immortal.
There is a long series of Alchemical drawings by a northern European Alchemist about exactly that. The drawings show how the people who are under the king, like the people of Israel, ask for the king to give them some things, and eventually the king dies. So they bury the king, and the king emerges back from death, in order to merge with his son, and the two merge and then raise to another level. That process represents how the human soul, which is first separate from the king (like the king and his son) through the process of death and resurrection merge and become one. That is what happens through the process of resurrection. All the parts of the Being are unified. That is why a Resurrected Master is perfect. A Resurrected Master is a God incarnated.
So, if you ever have an experience with a master of that level, I mean a conscious awakened experience with Jesus, Buddha, Padmasambhava, someone like that, you will realize that my explanation falls very short of conveying the type of being that they are.
Audience: You were giving alternative names for Azoth in different religions. I have always thought that Azoth was related with the Akash and the ether. Is there any relationship between them?
Instructor: It is the same thing. In the first lecture on this series that I gave about the elements, I talked about the four primary elements that all emerge from the fifth element, which is called the quintessence. The quintessence is the Akash, and can also be called ether. That is the Azoth. Specifically, we are using the term Azoth for when the quintessence is drawn back out of those elements. It is the power once those elements have been purged. They have been destroyed and cleansed and emerge purified; the Azoth is the power that comes out of that. So, it is the Akash. It is the ultimate root of all things (yet undeveloped), and it is the result of the work specifically, when it emerges, developed.
You see, our purpose for living is to transform ourselves into gods. The latent energies of the universe are awaiting that transformation. By harnessing those energies within us — especially the sexual power — we become gods. The Akash becomes particularized in us as Kundalini / Azoth: the power of the gods to command all things.
It is interesting that if you study the writings on Azoth, all of the Alchemists only give a little drop of explanation about it. They are very vague about it, and that is because they are all at different levels. Some had some experience, some had very little, so they were not willing to reveal too much about that. If you study Paracelsus, who wrote the most about it, what he says is quite blunt: that the Azoth is the Philosophical Stone. It is the Universal Medicine; it is the ultimate refined element that comes out of the work. That is the power of the Kundalini. That power is in all the masters, at whatever level. So, the Tree of Life, for example, represents levels in nature, heavens and hells, and every one of those levels is inhabited by beings from Malkuth upward... all those beings have Kundalini awakened to some degree, according to their level. So, that is Azoth in all of those levels. So, the more pure it becomes, the more potent it becomes, and the more purified that being, the more they rise, and the more power they wield.
Audience: What is the name of the Kundalini in the Tibetan tradition and can you please elaborate on the second picture?
Instructor: I explained those first two images in a previous lecture, so please study them there.
In the Tibetan tradition, there are many names for this energy, depending on which school you are talking about, and also the types of techniques they are dealing with, and the level of the student. Two terms that are quite common now are Tummo and Candali. But there are others.
Audience: In the diagram, the woman is giving a hand gesture. I tried to do it and it’s very difficult. Is that the meaning behind it or is there some other meaning?
Instructor: As far as I can tell, the gesture of her hands is related with her pregnancy. I do not see any other specific meaning, other than she has got her hands there around her belly, protecting her belly. If there is some other meaning, I do not know.
Audience: With the full passage on the incense who are the merchants, and are they related to Mercury?
Instructor: Yes, the merchants are related to Mercury, as he is the patron of the merchants. The “powders of the merchant” refers to the different stages of the development of our Mercury.
Audience: When working with the elements, are you supposed to feel like the elements you are working with in an attempt to merge with them?
Instructor: If you look back in the lectures we gave previous to this one, especially the first two, I talked extensively about the primary elements and how we work with them psychologically. So, yes we do feel them, but not physically: psychologically. It is important to learn how to recognize the differences between them so we do not become identified with circumstances. The ordeals of the elements are not necessarily pleasant, so we go through tests and ordeals in life. When we are tested with fire, we feel like we are burning psychologically. When someone is criticizing you, it burns, it is painful. If you are having an ordeal of water, you feel like everything in your life is about to be swept away, like you are going to drown in your circumstances. It is painful, it is not pleasant. So the elements definitely apply to how we feel psychologically, not physically. We are not looking for the elements in physical sensations, but psychological ones.
Audience: Something just came into my mind, the question before that about the pregnant woman with the two hands I was just wondering if the ten fingers could represent the number ten.
Instructor: Yes, the number ten is related with the ten fingers and toes. Ten is the letter Iod. Additionally, 10 looks like IO, a name of the Divine Mother. The woman in the drawing has a lot of significance. She does not represent us, she represents our Divine Mother. The one who gives birth to the solar bodies is our Divine Mother. She does that spiritually, inside. She is the one who takes all the elements and utilizes them.
Azoth is her intelligence. Kundalini is the Divine Mother. This is why it is so absurd to read those books written by crazy people that they say that they awakened Kundalini and had scary experiences, or it damaged them or hurt them and they have all these horrible experiences. I do not know what they are experiencing, but it is not Kundalini. Kundalini is the creative power of the Divine Mother herself working through matter, working through energy. So, those authors are either very confused, or they are intentionally misleading their readers.
The Divine Mother is the very fire and power of a master. So these people who may be having these experiences may be hallucinating, they might be psychotic, they might be working with other forces, maybe in the body, maybe working with black magic. Who knows? But what those people describe is not the Divine Mother, it is not Kundalini. They are mistaken
Audience: You said in the beginning the physical body doesn’t really matter, but really it is our laboratory. So here and now, it is the most important thing?
Instructor: Here and now, the body does matter, but spiritually over the long term, we really need to realize that the body is just a laboratory, and we have had many bodies before. My statement was to emphasize that we are not the body. We need it, but we are not it.
Audience: Not to identify with it?
Instructor: Yes. We think it is our identity. We are slaves of the body. The body wants chocolate so we do everything we can to get it. If the body wants sex, we get it. No hesitation. We do not question the body, we do not control the body, it controls us, and that is why we are suffering. The body is an animal, and we are letting our animal run our show, run our lives. That is why we suffer. We have to learn to dominate the body and control it, teach it and guide it, so that it becomes a fit vessel for our Innermost.
Now on that note, let me point out that the body is feminine, whether you are masculine or feminine. Malkuth is feminine. So in that context, the body is receptive. It will obey, but you need to have the willpower, that masculine will, whether you are male or female, it doesn’t matter, that masculine force in you that will command it and tell it “you obey me and not the other way round.”
All the body will do, all the body wants to do, is get you in trouble. If you haven’t learned that already, I can give you my condolences, because you will, you will. Your body will only get you in trouble. It will get you pregnant when you do not want to get pregnant. It will get you sick. It will get you diseases. It will get you unhealthy because it wants to eat things it shouldn’t eat. It wants to smoke what it shouldn’t smoke. It wants to drink what it shouldn’t drink. All for what? If you really analyze it, it is pretty absurd how enslaved we are by that little half inch at the tip of the tongue.
Audience: Yeah, say it’s the body, but aren’t those desires created by ego?
Instructor: Created by the ego, yes, but the body is the one that is using them to convince us to be enslaved. That is our Eve, our feminine, sexual energy, sexual organs, the body, the mind. It is all related, but specifically we have to command the body.
Jesus gave the example: he sat on the donkey and rode it into Jerusalem. The donkey is the body-mind, that is us. We need Christ to sit on the donkey and guide us. Now on that note, I can point out as a hint for other lectures, that that Christ is Messiah. The letters in that Hebrew word correspond to the elements that we have explained today. All the Hebrew letters in that word relate to Azoth.
Audience: What is the most powerful rune in Alchemical science to transmute the fire? Will the exercises Dis, Das, Dos.
Instructor: All runes and mantras transmute fire, because the fire is in everything.
The mantra Dis, Das, Dos has the three letters I, A, O which correspond to Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury. That is a very powerful mantra. It also has the Daleth and the S, whether it is Samech or Shin. So, all the letters in that mantra are very powerful for transmuting the fire. It is very effective. Also effective is the mantra INRI.
There are hundreds of mantras. They all work, they are all powerful. When you are a beginner, take any of them that appeal to you, and work with it, and as you acquire experience in yourself and work with these techniques, you will acquire more knowledge, and you will start to sense and know from your experience what mantras you need and when, but that is something only you can know.