Fires of Alchemy: A Transpersonal Viewpoint

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A Transpersonal Viewpoint

Author: Barbara Somers

Series Editor: Hazel Marshall

Although we know that the process of turning base metal into gold truly refers to the deepest and highest transformation within the human psyche, yet Alchemy remains a secret land of the imagination, veiled in mystery, touching something deep within us, inviting us into the world of archetypes, full of unexpected meaning.

Barbara Somers created the Alchemy courses on which this book is based, and ran them throughout the 1980's. They were originally intended both for the general public and for counsellors and psychotherapists in training; however, their appeal extends to a much wider public.

Barbara Somers leads us into this world with a sure touch, guiding us into the very centre of the symbolic Alchemist's den and through the phases, trials and tribulations of the inner process that helps us to become what we truly are. It is not an easy journey; it has its risks and dangers, but also its moments of joy and glory. And the gold that eventually manifests in the flask of the psyche is an indestructible treasure.
Let Transpersonal Alchemy do its work through this book and spread its message far and wide. The world is in dire need of the gold that is, paradoxically, not of this world.

Beata Bishop Psychotherapist, Supervisor, International Trainer and Speaker.

A most beautiful book in every sense - a treasure offered to us from the heart and soul of a remarkable teacher speaking with the voice of a life lived from the deepest level. A wise compassionate, deeply moving and illuminating guide to the Great Work of alchemy, East and West. Anne Baring Jungian analyst, visionary. Author of The Dream of the Cosmos and seven other titles.

A lively depiction of the traditions of alchemy East and West that conveys real insight into the underlying patterns of transformation in our lives. Barbara Somers succeeds in presenting complex ideas in a highly accessible way.

David Lorimer Former Director, Scientific and Medical Network. Editor of Network Magazine. Author of seven books including The Spirit of Science and Wider Horizons.

Aided by Hazel Marshall's inspired editing, Barbara Somers has created an oasis in which our travel-weary souls can rest, refresh themselves, and take stock. Here, we can assess progress on our incredible journey; the flame-light of her lantern illumines with wisdom, love and humour the next step along the way. It is a most precious gift indeed.

Sacha Abercorn Initiator of the Pushkin Creative Writing Prize for children.

Barbara Somers offers us a unique meeting of the alchemical paths of East and West. Each page touches us directly; we are invited to enter the flask, to gather the light and to search for the ox. A book for both heart and mind.

Monica Anthony Craniosacral Therapist, Psychotherapist and Composer.

A masterly book that both lifts alchemy out of obscurity and makes it relevant and resonant. Among the many books offering personal guidance, these pages shine like gold, shedding light in our own and the world’s dark places.

Marita Crawley From her review in Light Journal. Writer of plays, stories and lyrics.

To read ‘The Fires of Alchemy’ is to travel an ancient imaginal landscape accompanied by a gentle and experienced guide whose words ring with wisdom and humour. The memorable phrase ‘Nirvana means simply reporting for duty’ indeed describes the achievement of this life’s work by Barbara Somers, faithfully transcribed by Hazel Marshall.

Melanie Reinhart Astrologer and Author.

Introduction - An Oral Tradition.
Living Alchemy - Carl Jung - Life is Alchemy - Alchemy and Individuation - Sacred Space - Therapy as Alchemy.
The Story of Western Alchemy - Egypt, Greece, Persia and Arabia - The Crusades - Obscurity and heresy - The Dangers of Alchemy - Gold from Base Metal - Sympathetic Medicine - Hermes and the Puffers.
The Opus - The Early Alchemists - The Alchemist as the Opus - Laboratory as Oratory - The Flask, the Furnace and the Fire - The Mystical Sister - The Darkening, Washing, Fixing, and Consummation - The Peacock's Tail.
Calcinatio - Fire of fire - Alchemist as Cook - Paradox of Alchemy - Myths, Dreams and Dangers of the Calcinatio - 'Let me out!' - Celebrating Melancholy - Dark Poetry - Honouring the Darkness.
Solutio - Fire of Water - Alchemist as Washerwoman - The Moon and Confusion - Drowning in Solutio - Relationship - Agony and Ecstasy - Dreams and Dangers - Dionysus - Death of the King and Queen
Coagulatio - Fire of Earth - Alchemist as Initiator - The Androgyne - Eating Problems - Illness and Dying - False Gurus and Fairy Gold - The Story of Job - The Borderland - Joy, and Acceptance - White Gold.
Sublimatio - Fire of Air - A Gentle, Lenient Heat - Transpersonal Work - The Returning One - New Liquor - Squaring the Circle -The White Stone -Aflame with God - The Touchstone - Zen and Hindu Stories.
The Alchemy of the East - Theism and Buddhism - Women Alchemists - Honour - Immortality and the Individual.
Taoist Alchemy of China - The Tao and the Way - The Neitan and the Weitan - Science and Medicine - 'Bellows-blowers'- Magic and Healing - Meditation and Contemplation - Names for the Goal.
The Secret of the Golden Flower - The Plumb Line - Time of the Living Midnight - Danger - Exhaustion - Return of the Sun - The Divine Child - The Feather of Truth - The Circulation of the Light.
The Oxherding Pictures - Searching for, Catching and Herding the Ox - Coming Home on His Back - The Man Alone - Both Gone out of Sight - Returning to the Origin, Back to the Source - Entering the City with Bliss-bestowing Hands.
The Rainmaker - The Emerald Tablet

  • 272 pages: numerous colour and b/w illustrations
  • Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 20 mm portrait
  • Total weight: 0.650 kg