The modern alchemy movement is so powerful it has been given its own name – “Alchemergy.” Please enjoy our interview with internationally renowned author, lecturer and alchemist Dennis William Hauck.
“The principle goal of alchemy is transformation via manifestation of intention, and the chance that materialization will actually occur is directly proportional to the quality of expression.” Please put this into layman’s terms!
The alchemists consider consciousness a force of nature that is an essential ingredient in their experiments. By projecting a pure and focused intent the alchemists believed that the outcome of their experiments could be altered. Thus the “quality of expression” depends on the purity and focus of the alchemist’s consciousness. It is an idea that is currently recognized by modern physics as the so-called “observer effect” in quantum physics and other emerging ideas on the mind of nature.
“Alchemergy takes change out of the hands of politicians and back into the control of an enlightened populace.” Is there a political component to the transformational power of alchemy? How can alchemists reach a wider audience?
There has always been a political or social component to alchemy. In fact, our founding fathers were very familiar with alchemical principles and openly tried to apply them to the new democracy, and there was much debate about how far they should go. Benjamin Franklin and the great French philosopher Rousseau even wrote a constitution for America based on the Emerald Tablet. Alchemy is about the universal methods of transformation and perfection that apply to all aspects of human activity.
Can television serve as a source of alchemic training or transformation?
Absolutely. I have worked with teams from television and film production companies as a consultant on how to connect the archetypal power of alchemical principles to screenwriting. Most of the applications are subtle and do not mention alchemy, but producers and directors are familiar with Jung’s perspectives on the power of alchemy in people’s unconscious and that is the level at which they want to connect with audiences. On the other hand, there are some shows that openly use genuine alchemy principles, such as (surprisingly) the anime series “Full Metal Alchemist” or films like the Harry Potter series.
Is alchemy taught in US public schools now? How should it be taught?
Although a few Rudolph Steiner schools do teach alchemy, it is generally taught privately by alchemists. There is a correspondence program covering both practical and spiritual alchemy offered by the Alchemy Guild.
Did the American Native Indian use alchemy?
Surprisingly, yes. It is a kind of instinctive recognition of alchemical truths that uses their own terminology, and in general, their kind of alchemy is spiritual based and does not focus on the metals. Many tribes, including the Sioux, Hopi. and Apache have their own terms for First Matter, the four elements, the Quintessence, etc. Also, the mythic qualities ascribed to animals are almost always in line with alchemical symbology.
What is the major difference between Christianity, Witch Craft and Alchemy?
Alchemy and witchcraft are close cousins on different paths. Both pay close attention to nature, herbs, planetary energies, the elements, etc. Some see witchcraft as the feminine approach and alchemy as the masculine approach to the same tradition. The history of alchemy and Christianity is closely intertwined, and historians have shown that the roots of their common philosophy go back to Egypt. The Church of the Middle Ages was very wary of alchemy competing for the hearts and soul of mankind and persecuted many alchemists for voicing such beliefs as a person could contact God in the privacy of their own prayer and meditation at home. There is a whole tradition of Christian Alchemy based on the idea of Christ as Lapis (Philosopher’s Stone) that is part of the mystical Christian tradition and can be seen in the writings of alchemists like Jacob Boehme and organizations like the Rosicrucians.
How do science and alchemy intersect, clash or support each other these days?
The cutting edge of science, especially quantum physics and astrophysics, actually complement the alchemical view of nature very well. Psychology pays homage to alchemy on many different levels, and many psychologists actually recognize alchemical operations as effective tools in therapy. Chemistry is actually the worst fit to alchemy, as it arose out of a late tradition in alchemy known as the “puffers”, so called because they work primarily with high heat and spent hours frantically pushing bellows trying reach high temperature. Their approach was materialistic and they work purely physical, and they were interested only in making gold for wealth. Kind of like some modern chemists seeking to create the next golden drug at pharmaceutical companies.
How would you ignite the power of the Golden Chain of Homer in an Oakland, CA ghetto neighborhood?
Ha! Great question. I would go there and give the best lectures and workshops on alchemy I could possibly present. I would make sure every word connected with the audience at their level and exposed the alchemical truths in their lives and how transformation is possible only if it begins with one person. As the alchemists said, it takes a seed of gold to make gold. The Golden Chain of Homer is actually a chemical text with a strong spiritual symbolism and talks about the outer fire that ignites the inner fire. In the lab this is demonstrated by the ignition of metals or the way catalysts speed up processes. It is the grosser crackling temporary fire that ignites the purer most brilliant and focused inextinguishable flame. In people, it is the words of inspiration and truth that ring true in them and ignite an intense burning/yearning for truth that burns away all the dross and lies in their lives and makes them passionately true to their own inner essences.
How can the use of alchemy create a sustainable environment locally and globally?
The alchemists called themselves philosophers of fire, which was their code word for pure energy. In their work, they attempted to free the deepest energetic essences of things and purify them to the level at which they became empowered, embodied, and perfected. Inefficiency and waster were the dark forces in their experiments that they sought to separate out to bring their processes to new levels of full expression. This is the idealized view of any environmentalist – to create the purest energy with the least waste. The alchemist’s Ouroboros symbol (serpent or dragon eating its own tail in a circle of endless transformation) was how they expressed this idea of the eternal recycling of the whole universe. From their love of nature, I think the ancient alchemists would be at the forefront of environment efforts both locally and globally. They gave us the whole secret to a sustainable environment in their universal operations of how to transform one thing into another.
Is sustainability like a religion?
It does have a religious feel to it for some people. I think it is the idea of being in balance with the earth and cosmic laws that makes sustainability have this spiritual connotation to it. Of course, the alchemists all the way back to Egypt would have insisted it be treated as a spiritual quest. They saw Nature as the one great truth to which we have direct access, and revered her and tried to server her. They were and remain primarily Philosophers of Nature.
What are the time-tested Alchemical principals? How does it produce abundance and wealth?
There are seven major operations in alchemy that include about a dozen different techniques. But overall, the Great Work goes through three stages. The first is the Black Phase, in which the substance or situation at hand is reduced to its essences, and all the dross and extraneous material is removed by burning or dissolving in liquids. The next is the White Phase, in which the surviving essences are purified to the point where they become “innocent” again and true to their divine signature. During the final Red Phase, these isolated essences are combined in to one thing that is reborn on a new level of empowerment.
Is the organic food movement a form of alchemy?
The organic and raw food movements are certainly part of modern alchemy, and you will see several speakers and vendors promoting this idea at the Alchemy Conference this year.
“Be a part of the growing movement whereby ancient spirituality is infusing itself into Pop Culture to create change on a global level.” Can you give us three examples of this please? Are you speaking to the Green Movement here?
This growing movement is so powerful in modern alchemy that it has been given its own name – “Alchemergy.” Alchemergy is about the merging of ancient spiritual traditions and methods and their emergence in modern popular culture. Alchemy is no longer a secret discipline for a small band of reclusive practitioners but an open secret that is finding acceptance in totally new areas. These include the Green Movement, conscious eating and living groups, animal and nature preservation groups, spiritual movements, transformation of business and government, and many personal transformation groups. It is based on social networking and action. The Guild even opened up a new website devoted entirely to this concept at Alchemergy.net with a kind of MySpace for alchemists at Alchemergy.com.
Is the sustainability focus now unfolding an example of distillation?
Absolutely. Distillation in alchemy is the repeated purification of a material until it reaches perfection. In the lab, it is the boiling and repeated condensation of a liquid until the purest concentration is achieved. In personal and social alchemy, it is simply learning from experience and pushing oneself and one’s commitments to higher levels. We know the mistakes we are making in the environment and we know we cannot continue the mass excess consumption we have grown used to. We were not aware of this just 50 years ago. Now it is in the popular consciousness and that is the first distillation. The next successful distillation will purify that realization into the Red Phase of empowerment and action.
How do you reveal and engage your purified and empowered consciousness in a work shop setting ? At the grocery store?
You stay true to your own empowered essence. You do not compromise from the new vision you have distilled in your personal consciousness. You speak and act in accordance with this new understanding until it becomes real. Every decision you make at home, at work, shopping, or just mingling with people has to come from the purified and empowered consciousness you are giving birth to.
Is there evil and good in the alchemy that you experience?
I do not believe in good and evil. I think they are very anthropomorphic labels that only confuse people. I do believe in powers of light and darkness or what we might call “positive and negative” energies, although in the end, they are all part of the same One Thing. The alchemical symbol for this idea is the Oroboros or the serpent/dragon eating its own tail. This circular process is a natural cycle of destruction and creation that is the engine that drives the universe. It is similar to the Tai Chi symbol of yin (darkness) and yang (light) and their constant changing into one another. The alchemists believed that the universe constantly feeds on itself and each Oroboric cycle was part of the gradual spiral of perfection. All we can do is understand and try to live in accord with this natural process. That is the Great Work of the universe in which the alchemists sought to participate.
“I think it is the idea of being in balance with the earth and cosmic laws that makes sustainability have this spiritual connotation.”
Bio: Dennis William Hauck
Mr. Hauck is a bestselling author and popular lecturer working to facilitate personal and institutional transformation through the application of the ancient principles of alchemy. He writes and lectures on the universal principles of physical, psychological, and spiritual perfection to a wide variety of audiences that range from scientists and business leaders to religious and New Age groups. Hauck’s interest in alchemy began while he was still in graduate school at the University of Vienna, and he has since translated a number of important alchemy manuscripts dating back to the fourteenth century and authored more than a dozen books on the subject.
He is a professional member of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP), the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP), and the Center for Research Into Science (CRIS). Also a member of the Authors Guild.
Dennis William Hauck holds lectures and workshops throughout the world on the various aspects of practical, mental, and spiritual alchemy. He was a featured speaker at many important conferences, including the
www.AlchemyConference.com, the Conference On Mystical Egypt and Immortality in Cairo, conferences for the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and the International Society for Energetic Psychology, and many others For more information, visit his networking site at www.MyAzoth.com.
His award-winning website Alchemy Lab at www.AlchemyLab.com is one of the largest resources for alchemy on the Internet. The London Times called it one of the most stunning web archives ever.