the alchemist’s mirror (a story)

A friend saw I was having some troubles in my life and was worried about me. So he had a long chat with me about how my life was going. Told me he had been in a similar place at one point, till a good friend sat him down for a similar confrontation. My friend gave me an address, saying I should go and see what the alchemist could do for me. He said it had saved his life.
I thought that might be a bit OTT, but went to make my friend happy.
I went to an old shop, in the back of some alley that this friend had told me about. Opened the door and saw a lot of tea bunches, tinctures, crystals and maybe coins(?) of different metals. And what looked to be a mirror, with a blanket over it. The old fashioned kind of mirror, with legs under it. It looked like a piece of furniture, more than anything. I really didn’t think it was worth more than a curiousity and maybe a couple hundred bucks if it was an antique.
I met the very old man who ran the shop and told him my friend’s name who had sent me to this place. He nodded and looked me over, like I was a prize stallion. I considered leaving… I wasn’t about to be a creepy old dude’s new play thing!
As that thought went thru my head, he laughed and pulled the blanket off the mirror. He said something like the work was all between me and the mirror. Me and my self image. He wouldn’t be touching me. Ok, what a relief! Wait, had he just read my mind??
I looked at him in consternation and he laughed again. Then said, “You’e not the first young person who has come to me”
He told me to look in the mirror. So I stepped over to it and looked in.
At first, there was some flash in the back of the glass. Then a smokey effect spread over the glass. I could hardly see myself when it was complete.
Then a violet light swirled around me, as if assessing me and taking my merit. It split into many colours, until I was surrounded by a frame of colour that looked like I had a shadow of colours over me.
The old man said it was my aura. And asked what had made me so angry, that my colour was a red he rarely had ever seen. He told me to reflect on what that amount of energy might do to me. I felt a stone in the bottom of my stomach and a pain in my chest. He recommended I breathe till I could release it from inside of me.
As each colour was focused on, I was asked to feel it and experience, think about what had made me so, and release it. Untill my aura just showed a smooth, clean energy. I was calm. And I was intune with my body.
The old man taught me some meditative exercises so I could clear these emotional ghosts and then sent me home for a week. **(Lesson #1)**
The following week, I went back to the shop and the old man smiled when he saw that my aura was clear of the red. And I was a lot more serene.
So he had me stand in front of the mirror again.
I looked and saw the smoke gather and swirl around me.This time though, i didn’t see my aura. I saw a spirit of sorts rise above me. The old man asked when my birthday was and those of my parents as well. I gave them to him. He showed me where the spirit was reflectiong my destiny and asked me to consider what talents and interests I had that might lead me in that direction. And asked me if it was love or career that was more important to me. He shared stories about how emotions could hamper people’s lives, esp anger and guilt. I got what he was trying to say. He sent me home to think. To shape who I was. Then come back when I was ready for the next part of this journey. **(Lesson #2)**
After a few weeks of reflection, I was forming a sense of how these wrong directions, habits and excessive moods were affecting me. So I went back to the shop.
He was ready for me.
The old man asked me if I was ready to accept my part in how my adult relationships were shaped by me. That it took two, basically. Some would of course be weighted by my family dynamics, but I might be taking more direction from the other, rather than going my own way. People pleasing, or giving in.
He put me in front of the mirror. And told me about the consciousness and the subconscious. And what I might do without thought because of family patterns, like addiction.
The colours started to swirl around my heart, my liver, my spinal base, my groin and my head. He told me that love is often about duty and immediacy. Someone is in your life because you feel they have to be, or because they are close by. Convenient. Not always about emotional attachments. Or what is best for either of us. Other than needing people around you to survive. I was to go home and think about who was near me, just because I wanted them there. I enjoyed them there. Because they served my goals for my life. But most esp, those who supported me. I knew this was going to be a hard task. **(Lesson #3)**
I had so many reflections about this. I ended up making lists of people who I saw in my daily or weekly life. Those who were unrelated. And divided them into associations. Work, family and neighbourhood associations probably couldn’t be pared much, but they might not have to be active. You can’t remove blood. but you didn’t have to visit them. Not when you’re an adult.
With that, I went back to the shop.
The old man smiled when he saw me. He said I seemed more centered. I checked me inside and I did figure I was calmer. So I smiled back.
He directed me to the mirror. The astral imaging began again. This time it acted almost like a scan line. It went up and down me.
The old man gave me a task of listing the things I liked about myself, the things I could tolerate, but maybe needed work and the things I hated but needed, and the things I wanted to change, but may not be able to. He said it had taken me all my life to be this person. And it wasn’t going to change over night. It had taken lessons of the soul and errors. It had taken time. So the idea of just dropping who I was was now impossible. But I could shape it. If I would.
But more important, I needed to figure out what parts of me fit my life and the relationships I wanted now. And the goals I now had. I needed people who at least wouldn’t sabotage those things. I was stunned.
He reminded me that my core self had at minimum served me well. I was alive and well. Which actually takes a **lot** of work. My soul tribe had been praying for me obviously.
With that thought, he sent me home. For as long a think as I needed. **(Lesson #4)**
I had a horrible time over the next few weeks. And no matter how often or when I went to the shop, the door was locked. I called on friends. I called on family that I thought might actually support me. I gathered my inner circle. I prayed. I fell into a pit and screamed. I felt like I had wasted so much of my life on being some warped version of me. And I cried.
My kind friend who had brought me on this trek in the first place came by and held my hand. He told me:

> “When you know better, you do better” Maya Angelou.

I slumped and stopped fighting myself. I gathered all the information about me I had been working on. And I rebuilt myself. I was a bit wobbly at first, but I was walking again.
And it was then that the shop door opened, the next time I went by.
The old man looked me over, much as he had the first time we had met. He smiled with pride. I beamed back.
I went before the mirror again. The smoke gathered and built a new aura. I was pleased to see it was so calm a colour. Probably because I was so exausted.
The old man said that since I had chosen my new self and my new family, I should live among them for awhile. I wuld get used to these new emotions, only by trying them out. By living for today, but keeping an eye on what my vision was of tomorrow. Heading alays toward it.
I also needed to remember that people don’t like it when others near them change. Esp for the better. So expect to do battle for my soul. For my new self. To look to my new inner circle to support me if I got tired. He had every faith in me that I could do it. **(Lesson #5)**
I hunkered down and prepared for the fight he had forewarned me of and it did come. Mostly by people who had never seemed to care before for some odd reason. NOW they decided that I needed to be a warped version of me that I had never been before. So they could tolerate me being near them. I wasn’t really interested. But sometimes succumbing, till I could get away from them, was the fastest way to deal with them I had never been much of a fighter. So I avoided them from then on. I now knew them as my enemy. For a little while though, it was like I was doing a dance of two steps forward and one back. At least with part of my life, part of my soul.
And the rest of the time, I worked on me. I lived my life. And I became happier and happier. Well, more content. More positive. Even my health improved. People started to ask me where I had gone for a holiday, or if I was in love. I just smiled and said I was taking better care of myself. There was a lot of backslapping.
So it was awhile before I went back to the shop.
When I did, the old man grinned and waved me toward the mirror.
He waited for the mirror to confirm what he had seen. I was carrying myself better, seemed more relaxed and in touch with my body. And living true to my vision. My aura came immediately and clearly intune. No confusion.
So he said, this lesson was about letting my true self become instinctual. Which just meant practicing, till I no longer had to think about which me I should be leading with. The old me would feel wrong. The new. real me would feel better. He gave me some exercises about sensual confirmation and told me to practice. He also said I should work more on meditating. Trying to be one with the universe. He thought I would connect with the divine now. If I sought them, they would come.
**(Lesson #6)
I was now a beacon for what I wanted. I was living authentically. And authentic souls came to me. I meditated and drew the divine. I started seeing fun and excitement in having my vision fulfilled. My friend was so pleased with my progress and we grew closer. Actually I grew.
I could breathe clearly.
I went back to the shop’s address. But there was nothing there! Was it all just a dream?
That night, the old man came to me in my dreams. He said I was strong enough to live well on my own. He would return if I was actually ever again in need. But meanwhile, the mirror was within me now.
I woke up crying, like an old friend had died. But feeling like I would see them again in eternity.
I called my new best friend. Crying. He asked what was wrong. Of course. I told him of the dream and the shop being gone. He hesitated, then confirmed that he had experienced that too. He had just been glad I had found it when I was in need.
**(Lesson #7)**


## . . . . the lessons
1. **calcination** – breaking down parts of ourselves that are in the way of our own happiness.
2. **dissolution** – seeing our real self past the old patterns that didn’t serve us.
3. **separation** – being honest in our feelings about ourselves and other ppl
4. **conjunction** – accepting our authentic self
5. **fermentation** –
a) **Putrefaction** – where the old is allowed to rot in a dark night of the soul b) **Spiritization** – where we let this old go so we can build anew
6. **distillation** – a process of integrating the new in our life, living in the moment and seeking enlightenment
7. **coagulation** – letting go of the mental and living within the soul so we can connect with the material prima or life force.

[7 stages of spiritual alchemy- source][]

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