No this is not a series about cooking – not in the traditional sense of cooking food and recipes. But is it about cooking in another sense – you know we have an expression – ‘Cooking up new ideas” – or someone might ask you ‘’What are you cooking up now” when you’re on to a new project.
So yes, we will be cooking and what and how you might ask? And what’s this alchemy or alchemical cooking?
The true origins of alchemy can be traced back to the Greek words Chemia – and the origins are not very certain. The Egyptians spoke of al = the, and chemia = the black land. These very ancient alchemists experimented by taking the black soil of the Nile Delta, putting it through many processes and turning it into something beautiful. That is a very simple explanation.
Chemistry came out of the experimental side of alchemy and later philosophers and scientists took the notion and used this transformation process to talk about inner transformation and eventually about psychological transformation.
Throughout the centuries some alchemists search for material gold in the process, or the precious stone, or they searched for the Fountain of youth. The true alchemists saw their work as sacred work and a search for the ultimate value in life.
There are many beautiful images of alchemists in the Middle Ages, working alone in the kitchen or with a helper, and pouring all this raw material into the retort and watching it slowly transform – just the right amount of air, just the right amount of heat, and of stirring and being very patient to it could become gold. This symbolism is powerful for what is happening as you approach mid-life and go through the transformation of leaving behind youth and the morning of life and entering the afternoon of life and gaining a new inner wisdom.
How do you know you are ready for this? For most women the body works with the spirit by bringing on menopause – the gradual ceasing of menstruation – and for many, with its many uncomfortable side effects – out of sync hormones, mood swings, tiredness, weight gain, irritability, restlessness and so on. Sometimes it’s a questioning, or trust into it with illness, divorce, children leaving home, arguments, work.
Most women have lived a full morning of life – juggling family, career, relationship, success… and have gained lots of wisdom, knowledge, experience – all of which is wonderful. And also, the mistakes, the wrong turnings one has taken or what one has sacrificed to get to where they are now.
So now at 45 or almost 50 you find yourself standing at the threshold and there is an invitation to come into this unknown kitchen, put all these experiences, mistakes, fears, hopes and dreams, bring them all and put them into the blender and like the alchemist, begin the process of transforming them into gold for the afternoon of life.
The alchemist extracted the ore out of the mess and like them in this process we extract what is precious about all those experiences we have lived, and we leave behind what is no longer needed or useful.
Why now? Why is this so important?
In the morning of life we are so busy we often forget or don’t realise that we are living very much in a masculine dominated world – values of competition, success, being on top of things, keeping up with the status quo, with what is expected of us – and so easily – because it’s the norm, we conform. And these values have probably served us well and got us to where we needed to be.
But even more so NOW – it’s deep feminine consciousness that is needed if we are to bring about the changes needed. If we look at the mess the world is in and particularly currently with the COVID-19 virus ravaging whole countries and populations and where is the real leadership as we tackle it. Masculine and feminine are meant to be in balance but this polarity has been diminished and the masculine has dominated, and we have allowed that to happen.
Take the concept of TIME for example – the masculine tends to control time to maintain dominance – to compartmentalise, to plan, to look ahead.
The feminine tends to take time more like a river – being in the moment from the heart.
Many years ago, time followed the moon cycle of 13 months and each phase of the moon had a different energy. The masculine turned it into 12 months – a solar cycle and so we’re out of balance
We need both but the feminine is largely lost and now with COVID -19 we must look at time very differently and so many are afraid of this – so many don’t like being in the moment – they don’t like having to stay at home – they want to go BACK to what it was – funny how we always want to go BACK.
Women are blessed having the physical menopause because it says to them “BE WITH WHAT IS NOW – BE PRESENT TO WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR PHYSICAL BODY AND TAKE TIME TO SEE WHAT’S NEEDED NOW”.
Take this moment to look at how we can do this – how we can break away from the need to control it and to BE with it and to BECOME a woman who is rejuvenated, women who are awakening their feminine consciousness in a new way, women who are not afraid to enter the alchemical kitchen – that safe space which is a container to hold us as we transform and transmute all that we have and where we can find the energy – the fire, the air and all that is needed to create a coherent field of light.
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