Tom Kenyon – The Art of Egyptian High Alchemy
This four-page document is the class handout that was given to all participants at The Egyptian High Alchemy Intensive in Seattle, Washington (USA) that took place in October 2013.
Glossary of Terms and Concepts: Egyptian High Alchemy
Alchemy is a system of chemical transformations that alchemists used in an attempt to turn base metals into precious metals (i.e., lead into gold). Various forms of alchemy developed in medieval Europe as well as in ancient China and India. In China, many alchemists also worked to attain the Elixir of Immortality. While alchemists generally failed in their attempts to turn lead into gold and failed to attain an external elixir that imparted immortality, the knowledge gained by alchemists eventually became the foundation of modern chemistry. All alchemy, regardless of its origins, requires three elements— 1) something to be transformed, 2) a vessel to contain the alchemical reactions and 3) a source of energy.
Internal Alchemy is a system of working internally to transform “elements of the psyche” and to change base energies (symbolized as lead) into psychological and spiritual illumination (symbolized by gold). Current systems of internal alchemy draw from many diverse traditions including European alchemy as well as from texts that originated in ancient China and India.
In all internal alchemies the three fundamental elements are—1) that which is to be transformed, (i.e., the psychological and spiritual dross of the individual, meaning those aspects of the psyche that prevent personal illumination), 2) that which contains the alchemical transformation (i.e., the subtle energy body of the individual) and 3) a source of energy, which is often—but not always—a form of subtle energy drawn from other dimensions of consciousness.
Egyptian High Alchemy is system of internal alchemy based upon the understandings of ancient Egypt. One of the fundamental tasks of any Egyptian alchemist was to strengthen his or her KA (energy body) as this action increased spiritual power. High Alchemy uses many of the same energetic processes for building the KA but adds an important element—the BA (or Celestial Soul). This relationship between the individual and his or her “higher aspects” insures that the powers gained through strengthening of the KA are used for the benefit of both oneself and others and also greatly inhibits the misuse of personal power.
Ethical Constraint is an ethical system essential to those undertaking the work of Egyptian High Alchemy. It insures that the building of spiritual powers is used appropriately and never for harm. There are many ways of stating this ethical concept, and this is not the only way to convey it. However, in its simplest form this ethical guideline can be stated as—For the sake of my own elevation and the elevation of all life, I shall strive to be harmless to myself and others.
BA The BA is the Celestial Soul (or Higher Self in New Age terms) and transcends the normal constraints of time and space. It is in a vibratory domain that is “healing” by its very nature. The BA imparts highly refined subtle energies that are very elevating and mind-expanding. Forming a conscious relationship with your own BA is one of the foundations for Egyptian High Alchemy.
Khat The Khat is your physical flesh and blood body. With a few notable and rare exceptions—such as when mystics, yogis or yoginis enter highly coherent states of consciousness—the Khat is bound by the laws of Newtonian physics.
KA The KA is one of your energy bodies, also referred to by the ancient Egyptians as the Spiritual Twin or Etheric Double. Your KA is the same size and shape as your physical body (i.e., your Khat), but it does not have mass since it is an energy body. It therefore operates according to the laws of Quantum Mechanics rather than Newtonian physics. When a channel is opened between the KA and your BA, there is a descent of highly refined and potent energies that can energize your KA and impart deep spiritual insight.
SAHU The SAHU emerges when your KA body has been transformed through the art of High Alchemy. According to the Egyptian Alchemical system, when your KA has been elevated and refined to a certain critical point, it will ignite with a type of etheric fire that is gold in color. This phenomenon is sometimes called The Glorious Spiritual Body or The Golden Raiment. When this occurs, your KA becomes the eternal SAHU, which is not subject to the dissolution of death or the after-death states of consciousness.
Sekhem is your life force, and the root of the word means that which makes things erect. According to the Hathors (see below), Sekhem is “birthed” in the solar plexus and descends to the root and sexual chakras. From here your life force is expressed as sexual energy, which can be expressed sexually and/or it can be transformed through alchemical transformations.
Djed The Djed is the energetic pathway of the chakras along the spine. Raising the Djed is an important alchemical transformation in Egyptian Alchemy and involves moving Sekhem up the spine to activate the powers of the chakras and the higher brain centers. When Sekhem enters the brain centers, it generates potent states of spiritual illumination. (Note: For those with spine issues, meaning pain in the spine, it is suggested that you work with the Secondary Djed (also called the Secret Channel, the Central Channel or the Pranic Tube), which runs along the central axis of your body from the crown down to the perineum (a point midway between your anus and your genitals).
Min is an iconographic symbol from Egyptian Alchemy that depicts a male figure with an erection who holds a flail (a type of whip) in one hand. The figure is sometimes referred to as The Great God Min. His erection symbolizes that he is charged with the potency of Sekhem. The flail represents the spiritual discipline required to send Sekhem up the Djed into the higher brain centers for the purpose of spiritual illumination. While Min is depicted as a male figure, the principle applies to both men and women.
Ankh The anhk is sometimes called the Egyptian Cross since it looks like the cross of Christianity with the exception that the top of the cross is a loop. Egyptologists often refer to the ankh as the symbol of life. The symbol consists of a teardrop or loop set on top of a T.
The ankh has three aspects, each of them highly symbolic. The first is the T cross and represents, among many things, matter. The Shen Loop is the teardrop on top of the cross and represents spirit. The third aspect is the Shen Knot, which binds spirit to matter. The inner teaching of this symbol is that our bodies bind us to matter (including time and space). The Shen Loop, represents our spirit, which is not bound or constrained by our bodies.
It is, instead, bound to our bodies through our breath—symbolized by the Shen Knot. In deep alchemical meditations and transformations, your breath may get shallow or stop altogether. When this occurs, your Shen Knot is loosened and you can more easily travel into the spiritual worlds. When you need to breathe, your body will spontaneously take a breath.
Hathors The Hathors are a group of interdimensional beings that are not Egyptian in origin but worked through the Egyptian fertility temple of the goddess Hator (see below). The primary Hator temple was (and still is) located in Dendera, Egypt.
Hator is the Egyptian goddess of fertility, sexual ecstasy and bliss. Archaeologists have uncovered various musical instruments in Hator temple sites including harps, drums, flutes, and sistrums , a type of metallic rattle. Sound was a crucial element in rituals conducted at the Hator temples and—according to the Hathors—this type of sound was used to enter trance states of consciousness so that the priestesses and priests could “commune” or communicate with beings in other dimensions of consciousness—including the Hathors who instructed them in the art of ascension (i.e., the raising of consciousness).
Horus is known as the hawk-headed god and the son of Isis and Osiris. At a symbolic level, he represents the union of spirit and matter. As a flying being (i.e., a Hawk) he also represents the part of us that can fly above our earthly experience and the limitations of time and space. There are many progressions of Horus as he passes through the Isis and Osiris mythos. In his final stage, he is known as the High God Horus, meaning that he (i.e., you) has attained an ascended state of consciousness.
Set-Horus is an iconographic symbol depicting two figures (Horus and Set) locked in a battle. They are in such fierce conflict it is difficult to tell one from the other. At a mythic and psychological level this refers to the conflict between our higher aspirations (symbolized by Horus) and our lower more base aspirations (symbolized by Set). The teaching behind this symbol is that in the ascension process, there is a phase (sometime repeated multiple times) in which we must choose between the higher and lower expressions of our nature.
Nut (also Nu:t) is the night sky goddess although sometimes called simply the sky goddess. She was the mother of Isis, Osiris and Horus among others. In the work of this Intensive we will be accessing her attributes as the night sky goddess due to the mythic dimension of her relationship with RA (the sun god).
According to one interpretation of this myth, Nu:t swallows the sun at sunset, and during the night (i.e., the darkness) he passes into her womb where he is renewed through the feminine mysteries and then rebirthed at dawn. The symbolic aspect of this passage is critical to this form of Egyptian alchemy in that the solarized (i.e., male) methods of building the KA are surrendered to the lunar/dark night sky (i.e., feminine mysteries) where renewal takes place.
Isis is the Cosmic Mother, the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus. She was a central figure in the Egyptian pantheon. One of the fundamental myths around Isis centered around her husband Osiris who was killed by his brother Set. Through her powers of regeneration and renewal, which are part of the feminine mysteries, she brought Osiris “back to life” so that she could conceive their son Horus.
The Stream of Isis is a “stream” of subtle life-enhancing and elevating energies that are water-like in their quality. When the stream of Isis is embraced, remarkable healing and elevation can occur.
Osiris is the husband of Isis and the father of Horus. In the Osirian mysteries, he was resurrected from the dead by his wife, Isis, which is depicted visually in the Resurrection Chamber at the Hator temple at Dendera. He was considered by the ancient Egyptians to be a god of the underworld or the after-life.
Uraeus The uraeus is a unique energy pattern in the brain that emerges when Sekhem rises up the Djed and enters the higher brain centers. In Egyptian art the uraeus is depicted as a coiled serpent in the head area that often extends from the third eye area as the head of a snake.
The uraeus energy pattern forms when Sekhem is coaxed into the brain centers where it imparts deep spiritual insight and heightened psychic abilities. The uraeus occurs naturally—without the need to force the process—for those undertaking Egyptian High Alchemy when the individual is purified enough and ready for this phase of development.
Neters are subtle energies with life-enhancing and elevating attributes. In classic Egyptian Alchemy there are many types of Neters with varying qualities. In the form of Alchemy that is being taught in this Intensive, we use the term Neters to refer to any subtle energy that has elevating properties. Some of these Neters are similar to chi as described by Daoists or prana as described by yogis and yoginis. However, some Neters are qualities of consciousness or cosmic forces and are not related to either chi or prana.
BAROD The BAROD is an acoustically supported Rod of Power that you create within your own KA through your imaginal abilities (i.e., your capacity to generate vividly real internal sensory realities). When engaged, the BAROD activates a dynamic descent of Neters from the BA (your Celestial Soul) into your KA (your Etheric Double) for the purpose of increasing the luminosity and energy of your KA. The root of the word comes from two words—the Egyptian word “BA” and the English word “rod.”
The BAROD uses natural (meaning non-electronic) harmonic frequencies combined with the imaginal creation of a Golden Rod that runs from the BA point above your head down to your perineum. (Note: The BA point is an energy vortex that can be located by raising your arms directly above your head and touching your fingers together. The area where your fingers make contact is the general vicinity of the BA point). When the BAROD is activated, the descent of Neters from your BA is driven into your KA in a dynamic fashion.
Sekhmet is a warrior and healing goddess. She is depicted as a lioness and represents fierce feminine power, especially the power of protection.
Ascension is a term that has multiple meanings depending upon what system is being used and who is describing it. In the system of Egyptian High Alchemy, ascension refers to a movement upward in consciousness, specifically through a direct connection with your BA (Celestial Soul), which transcends time and space. There are many stages in the ascension process and any movement upward is essentially an ascent.
When the KA becomes energized and refined through interaction with the BA, ascension begins to accelerate. One of the final stages of ascension is the attainment of the Sahu, The Glorious Spiritual Body or Golden Raiment. This phase of ascension involves a transformation of the KA as described earlier under the term Sahu. In a very rare form of ascension, the physical body (the Khat) is transformed into its underlying nature, which is light. This attainment is called the Rainbow Light Body in Tibetan Buddhism whereby a yogi or yogini transforms his or her physical body into a rainbow of light (the Five Pure Lights) at the moment of death.
Apophis is the serpent of duality and chaos. He symbolizes the sine wave of the phenomenal world—i.e., the ups and downs (the highs and lows) of human experience. One task of the alchemist is to see past the illusion of Apophis to the underlying luminous nature of existence and to make contact with the higher realms of his or her being that are unaffected by the hypnotic undulation of Apophis.
Maat is the goddess of truth and justice. She is often depicted with a scale in which the heart of a person who has died is weighed against a feather. If the heart is heavy with regret or wickedness, the person must pass into the underworld. If the heart is light as a feather, the person passes into the higher worlds of Osiris.