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About A Fire Under the Glass

A Fire Under the Glass

(Monotype prints)



These abstract visualizations of the alchemical progression were made by loosely, instinctively gesturing on plexiglass and then running the plate through the press to capture a one-of-a-kind impression on the page. This is a very physical process, but one that cannot be entirely controlled. Printing fixes the energy of the marks into final images but an ephemeral quality is retained in the inclusion of chance in the process. A chapbook of these images is available here.



CALCINATION: Planetary ruler: Saturn: The breaking down of a substance by powerful but controlled heat or fire. Incineration to ashes. Destruction of ego, preconceived notions, illusions about identity. Letting go of attachments.


DISSOLUTION: Planetary ruler: Jupiter: The ashes from Calcination are dissolved into liquid. Water suggests submersion into the intuitive or unconscious realm. The concept of Truth is expanded. This is an opening, a revealing of deeper layers of feelings that must be released.


SEPARATION: Planetary ruler: Mars: The product of the previous operation is filtered, and viable components are isolated. Past teachings that contributed to the formation of identity are sorted through. This allows impurities—  insecurities, unnecessary restraints— to be discarded, making way for new independence.


CONJUNCTION: Planetary ruler: Sun: The purified components are joined into a new whole. Disparate aspects of identity are harmonized. This momentary collection of parts into a whole is often referred to as the “Lesser Stone” and provides material for the enactment of the remaining operations.


FERMENTATION: Planetary ruler: Venus: The product of Conjunction is allowed to decay. In this period of rumination, putrefaction is considered to be a provider of new life into the Process, Symbolically, this is a pouring forth of new imagination and ideas about the self on the way towards enlightenment.

DISTILLATION: Planetary ruler: Mercury: The desired component is extracted from the product of Fermentation through heating, releasing the component as a vapor to be collected and cooled. This is a time of evaluation, of trials and intense self-scrutiny, a back-and-forth of pressure and release, until the material is in a most pure and concentrated state.


COAGULATION: Planetary ruler: Moon: The distilled liquid is converted into a solid through fundamental inner change, creating the final, renovated whole. This can be accomplished by addition of a motivating external substance/influence, or by additional heating or cooling. The resulting Greater Stone symbolizes reaching a new level of enlightenment.

PROJECTION: The abilities of the completed Stone are tested in the world. The end is the beginning.

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