Alchemical Speculative Placemaking

Calcinatio ♈︎

[Qualities of calcinatio: element of fire 🜂, death of a ruling principle, purification, purging, recognition of unconscious desire or demand]

“Take a fierce grey wolf, which…is found in the valleys and mountains of the world, where he roams savage with hunger. Cast to him the body of the King, and when he has devoured it, burn him entirely in a great fire…Thus our Body has been rendered fit for first stage of our work.”

– Calcinatio emblem and instructions from Atalanta Fugiens, 1618


The first step is taken. Drawn from unspoken yearnings and rendered to the flame, the order has fallen. The king is dead. That which reigned has been feasted upon, remains tossed to be emptied of themselves.

Ashes of the old turn to the salt of wisdom for the new. What calls to you to be burned? Cleansed? What desires await their spark?

In order to rise
From its own ashes
A phoenix
First
Must
Burn.

Earthseed: The Books of the Living

This is an ending. The form from which to begin the true work long denied. Tongues of fire unquenched, the end came the only way left possible. The new world carried in centuries of beating hearts will be built on these ruins, these facts and fantasies in flames.

Fire is the rage, the hell of the past, ignited by the lightening from the long-gathering storm. The replenished soil awaits planting with other seeds, other ways, other futures to blossom.

This is the beginning of the work. Call forth the soul’s cries for they will be the guides.

Agni Gayatri Mantra – Chant to Agni, the Vedic God of Fire. Audio from Dr. R. Thiagarajan.

Om, Let me meditate on the great flame,
Oh, God of fire, give me higher intellect,
And let the Fire God illuminate my mind.

Calcinatio stage from 15th century alchemical text Aurora consurgens.

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