Alchemical Healing

Alchemical healing is the process of getting to know oneself deeply.  With such personal knowledge, transformation is not only possible, but becomes an organic necessity.  There is no second guessing as the guidance comes from the ‘knowing’ within.   As one’s internal world is explored, acknowledged and honored, the external world realigns itself appropriately.  New possibilities appear that before were unfathomable. 

One of the ways to help begin the process of healing is to cultivate & work with our own consciousness ... the learned skill of knowing what we are doing or feeling in-the-moment.  To act consciously we need to know about and to be friendly with all the aspects of our persona that arise in different contexts and situations - the easy ones and the difficult ones.  It requires us to slow down enough so that we have options to do more than just react.  It is the ability to stay in our body (or to return as quickly as possible to it) when there is a huge emotion that takes us by storm.  It means having the where-with-all to assess each situation in life as an independent event with as much heart and caring as possible.  It means not navigating by automatic pilot (where my interpretation of this, has always been this, therefore I react like this). 

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Individuation is the cultivation of the deep knowing of ourselves, with much love, honor and respect.  It is the ability to know our truths.  It is the ability to speak a truth calmly without being attached to outcomes, even as risky as this might feel.  And because it is our truth, others tend to listen.

It is the confidence and calm of being our own best friend, so that if we are betrayed or deserted, we are never alone.  It is a kind of internal strength that gives us freedom to reach out and be-friend, help, love and be intimate with others.  It enlivens us to the felt-sense of true emotions, and away from drama, victimization and sentimentality.  Compassion and empathy, both for ourselves and for others, are at its core.  It has room for the light of our own goodness, and requires the energy inherent in our shadows.

Consciousness and individuation are cultivated with focused work and intention.  It is work that needs to engage and be informed by all aspects of the psyche.  The in-roads are numerous and diverse.  It is crucial that the unconscious mind has means to be heard.  We are at sea without it.  Dream work, active imagination, meditation, journaling, creativity, focussing, soul-level conversation, reading, shadow work are all part of the process.  It is an alchemical transformation.  Therefore, nothing is superfluous.

...for a man (or the masculine-trained mind in women) life is something that has to be taken by storm, as an act of the heroic will; but for a woman [or the feminine present in men, ed. note] to feel right about herself, life is best realized by a process of awakening.

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In the case of an adult, a sense of completeness is achieved through a union of the consciousness with the unconscious contents of the mind.  Out of this union arises what Jung called ‘the transcendent function of the psyche,’ by which a man can achieve his highest goal: the full realization of the potential of his individual Self.

Excerpts from Part 2: Ancient Myths & Modern Man by Joseph L Henderson

Man and His Symbols, Carl G. Jung