Alchemical Gold & All That Glitters…

Leo by Josephine Wall

Leo by Josephine Wall

Ever had the feeling that you have a much greater destiny in life, a royal or heroic path? Ever feel like the people you encounter in your life should really be laying a red carpet before you as you arrive? Yes, you guessed it. We’re about to enter the Leo phase of The Alchemical Journey!

Such grandeur probably sounds a bit over the top, and one might well be embarrassed to admit ever entertaining such fantasies. Before we dismiss the idea, though, let us indulge the Leo phase of the annual cycle we are about to enter, and consider how our personal narratives are stitched together. After all, our life stories are never just a collection of random personal events and circumstances; they are woven through with mythic, archetypal, seasonal themes that entwine themselves around everyday experiences, even when we are largely unconscious of them.

Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker

We all have the ability to identify ourselves as a King Arthur, a Cleopatra, a Luke Skywalker, or a Lara Croft, and such identification can inspire us to rise to the challenges we face in life, enable us to go beyond our fears and limitations. To have our hearts suddenly ignited with an uncommon enthusiasm, to allow something other-than-human to take us over; to be in the presence of an inexplicable synchronicity or otherworldy power is to glimpse the possibility of who we are, how we may once have been and what we may become.

This month, as the Sun passes through the sign of the Lion, the Zodiac seems to grant us permission to let the divine light within us shine out in the world. We can take our cues from what’s happening in nature. We only have to look at the ripe summer fruits on the tree, showing off their Leonine glory, or the fields of golden wheat and corn swaying elegantly in a royal summer breeze. The work of the alchemist is mimetic; it seeks to imitate the transformational cycles of nature and evoke its symbolic power. So during this season of fruition and growth, we can celebrate the glory of who we are and allow the natural warmth and confidence within us to radiate out.

Children have no problem playing kings and queens, goddesses and heroes. It just pours forth effortlessly from their creativity and their joy. How significant we have become as adults, how careful to distinguish what is real from what is fantasy. Let’s welcome Leo as it generously invites us to reconnect to the spontaneous impulse to make things up in the moment, play-act, and lose ourselves in fabulous stories.

To experience ourselves within a mythic setting through dreams or visionary journeys, or even just being here within the enchanted Isle of Avalon and its great Zodiac temple, is to be in touch with the heavenly half of our being. We should be careful not to overly literalise this imaginal experience, though. Trying to steal fire from the gods to inflate our individual identities invariably leaves us chained to the impenetrable rock of self-importance! Better to honour that great solar power from which we draw each inspirational breath – allow its fiery force to shine through us and radiate out of us, whilst tending the candle flame of our own personal destiny with dedicated humility.

The Green Lion

The Green Lion

There is a fabulous character in alchemy, the Green Lion, often depicted swallowing the Sun and causing blood to flow from it. Green is the colour of transformation, and of the earth, and the lion can be seen as the alchemical flask to which the “sun-which-bleeds” must surrender. After a series of initiatory stages, the green lion reappears as a king marked with seven stars regurgitating an eternal sun of pure gold, a celestial lion of green earth impregnated by the immortal heavens. Part of our journey into the Leo archetype, then, is to distinguish which Lion / Sun we are dealing with – the golden light of our heroic lion-heart or the glittering ego with its polished surfaces and grand gestures!

On The Alchemical Journey this month, we practice being seen by each other and exposing the truth of our hearts. What we realise through this process is that when we allow our innate presence to shine joyfully through us, our ordinarily inflated egos gradually begin to fall into line and give up trying to run the show!

Our Leo Workshop this year is on Sat 31st July and Sun 1st August in Glastonbury. Click Here for More Details…

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