The Alchemical Memory Palace
The Art of Subtle Sensuality as the Training of The Will
In the secret places in our minds, in the places we often do not remember how to visit outside of dreams, are located treasures of wisdom often neglected. Our ability to reflect and meditate deeply upon one object, to administrate fluid focus through concentration and patience, unlocks the sense gates, inner and outer. Opening one's awareness to these sense gates allows one to pass through them into the secret realms.
Navigation is possible as an articulation of breath. The direction, a singular focus, appears as a kind of transparent vehicle which amalgamates the senses. This vehicle can be recognized as being The Will.
I met my own Will in a dream many years ago. It appeared to me in the form of an old woman wearing a dark violet dress who was administering healing remedies. It was a vivid dream and I remembered it clearly upon waking. I recorded it and soon after I did an inner journey out of curiosity. I met her again and asked her who she was. She called herself The Healer, but also The Will. She appeared in many subsequent journeys and in more dreams over the years, slowly letting me know more about herself and the fundamental role she was playing in me.
One of the ways she did this was by aiding me in learning to develop a system of memorization through her focused sensual amalgamation. Using this focus and a devotedness to cultivating concentration and patience I began to be instructed on how to create an alchemical memory palace.
The first steps took place innocently. I was unaware of what I was doing. I was simply using the power of The Will to explore myself as I initiated an inner journey. My intention was to dialogue more deeply with my inner guidance. That yearning for a more meaningful, clarified dialogue, brought me to a different guide, a little girl sitting under a tree. She led me across a shallow river to the doors of a beautiful edifice. It was built out of sandstone, with a copper roof. Upon entering with my guide we went up a set of stairs to a library. I saw it as being the most perfect library I could imagine. It was grand, filled with all sorts of treasures, all sorts of mysteries. I never wanted to leave.
My guide let me know that this library represented all that I was and all that I would be. They also let me know that I was not yet focused sensually enough to sustain remaining there. Later I did another journey. The same guide brought me to a smaller version of the library, to a kind of study, which was easier to remember and concentrate upon.
This became a kind of home base for a while, an anchoring point. I would journey from there through a secret passage into the inner realms and back with different guides. After a long time the little girl came back. I'd nearly forgotten about her. She told me I was ready and she took me back to the library. It became my new home base and after another long while and a lot of inner journeys from there the little girl came back once more. She reminded me about the rest of the building that the library was a part of and that it was time to explore and integrate it.
Up until then part of me had resisted exploring it although I obviously knew the potential of doing so was always there. What could it be? What would be the point of exploring the whole building? Was it just going to be a monumental waste of time? I looked back on the journeys I'd done from the study and from the library. They'd obviously been tempering me for something but I hadn't known what. Maybe it was to have the concentration and patience to do this? All the signs I was receiving were pointing to that being the case.
The little girl began leading me from room to room. Within each one appeared a different guide. Each room was unique, with its own self-described context of symbolisms which these guides began to teach me as I asked about them. We went in a seemingly random pattern from door to door and I soon learned that there were several different levels to the building. Some had more rooms than others, some were configured in special ways. I was shown from the beginning that the way the rooms and their contents overlapped or mirrored other rooms created meaningful conjunctions.
I began to see the crystallized pattern of meaning in it and regarded it as a kind of cross section of my psyche, an alchemical memory palace. I called it a memory palace because it was an organized spatial system that was facilitating memorization. I called it alchemical because its seemingly inherant contents, as I discovered them through a kind of gnosis and watched as they interracted, were spurring realizations and transformations within me.
I recorded everything that I discovered in a written map of this alchemical memory palace. During a period of 8 years my awareness of the palace had grown and developed and its sensual apparency became more and more coherent. It was filled with hundreds of guides, all of which I met and dialogued with intimately. Each one had its own fully rounded autonomous character and a distinct, memorable appearance. Each one had a name that represented a part of me. And yet although I felt deeply connected with, even rooted into this palace, I still felt a yearning to look beyond it.
Setting out on exploratory journeys with the singular intention of looking over every horizon that I could see, horizontally and vertically, I began to discover new levels of the inner realms and new locations. I found many more alchemical memory palaces with different organizations of rooms and guides. At that point I had come to learn to see not just the meaningful relations within each of the palaces but the meaningful relations between the palaces themselves. Exploring and expanding my awareness of this organization became another level of intent within myself.
The Tree of Worlds & The Art of Subtle Sensuality
While exploring these different organizations of alchemical memory palaces and focusing The Will into their crystallized patterns of meaning I've learned how to describe a key meditation which works subtly in all of them, an art of subtle sensuality.
Imagine a tree. At the roots of the tree are my initial intentions, the ones that began the process of learning to memorize what was within. They had to do with desiring to dialogue on a deeper level with my own inner guidance for the purpose of healing. The trunk of the tree is made up of the different psychic levels which I discovered in myself based on those intentions, including their varied alchemical memory palaces and all that they contain. The branches of the tree are the transformative insights and revelations sprouting upward from the trunk.
The Art of Subtle Sensuality, as I call it, can be imagined to be like a piece of fruit which is hanging from a branch of this tree. The branch it hangs from is the branch that represents the insights and revelations connected with the harnessing of the vehicle of The Will.
This art is a training of The Will. It is not training The Will, it is the other way around. The Will, autonomous and coherent, trains you with it. It is a kind of meditation, a focusing and concentrating of the inner and outer senses. This meditation must be experienced firsthand to be comprehended. No one can actually tell you exactly what it is. You've got to learn it yourself, in your own time, in your own naturally unfolding way. It is only once it is learned this way that you can become fully aware of it and integrate it into your awareness. You have got to become aware of your own 'tree' to be able to reach the fruit that it bears. Although this is the case, I will still give you an outline of what it is from my point of view.
Outlining the Art
As I've explained, what I call the Art of Subtle Sensuality is a kind of meditation which I've arrived to as a training of The Will. The meditation for me subtly includes the entire process of inner journeying, the discovery and exploration of alchemical memory palaces leading to realizing their organization spanning across all the different psychic levels and the higher goal of meditative absorption in the realization of equanimity.
When the realization of how to express this meditation I'd been practicing first arrived it came in the form of a new alchemical memory palace called The Sphere of Subtle Sensuality. The palace was in the form of a reflective silver sphere in the center of a shining silver city called Subtle Sensuality. Upon entering the sphere I discovered that there were seven rooms inside, one on top of the other. Each room contained a different guide representing one aspect of the meditation which they each disclosed to me coherently.
In this outline I am including the descriptions of the guides and their rooms in the memory palace as they may help to illustrate each of the parts of the meditation for you. They are a good example of the kind of stuff which can appear in an inner journey and a memory palace. Understand also that they are designed to fit well within my own inner world so they are memorable to me. Their appearances, genders, ages, their animal forms, their assignation to a particular chakra and an alchemical stage - all these are to create an impression, a connection, that I can follow within the context of my own understanding. If these become distracting for you you can just pay attention to the name of each part of the meditation and the description of it.
The Art of Subtle Sensuality, A Meditation
Root Chakra - The Art of Subtle Invitation, The Natural Rebirth, The Black and White Rabbit, Calcination
A woman in her mid 30s. She has long dark hair. She is naked and is loosely wrapped in the hide of a black bear. She is otherwise naked, her body painted in beautiful flowing patterns of black and white. Her vagina has been painted green. The room is a green meadow surrounded by eight tall aspen trees. The Art of Subtle Invitation is sitting in the center of the room on the grass. In her animal form she is a black and white rabbit surrounded by the 'cave' of the bear hide.
'At the start of the meditation one begins to raise a new intention that is meant to take them inward into a natural transformation process, a natural rebirthing. This intention is a subtle invitation, a kind of asking. One may go so far as to call it a prayer. It can be applied to all the different aspects of inner exploration - from beginning an inner journey to beginning a conversation with a guide to beginning to explore a memory palace, etc.'
Sacral Chakra (Chalice) - The Art of Subtle Connection, The Waters of Transformation, The Golden Carp, Dissolution
A man in his mid 30s. He has shaved his head and is naked. He also has a large skull tattooed on his back. Turquoise water flows from the eye sockets and mouth forming a rippling pool below it within a golden circle. The room he is in has a golden walkway which surrounds a still pool of turquoise-green water. The Art of Subtle Connection sits on a small circular golden 'island' in the center of the pool. In his animal form he is a golden carp with turquoise spots.
'Once one has launched their intention they can begin to follow it. It will leave a wake behind it, something which begins to introduce new connections to you. For example, after intending to have an inner journey one then one may begin to see landscapes, guides, etc. which draw one into a kind of transformational storyline.'
Solar Plexus Chakra - The Art of Subtle Anticipation, The Sigil Net, The Diamond Caterpillar, Separation
A woman in her mid 30s. Her hair is long and golden. She is wearing a golden net over her naked body like a blanket. At each connecting point is a diamond. The room is diamond and is gridded. Inside of each square is a circular golden sigil. Each sigil contains different symbols representing different patterns of guides working together. She sits on a golden meditation pillow. In her animal form she is a diamond caterpillar with a glowing golden net inside of its skin.
'At this point of the meditation one may begin to foresee the next stages, anticipating their organization. For example during an inner journey this could appear as seeing a city or several cities far off in the distance. You know they're there, you can see them symbolized as 'far off cities' and what that would look like to you, but you'll still need to use your will to arrive to them individually to explore them, their meanings and how they may interrelate.'
Heart Chakra - The Art of Subtle Appreciation, The Flight of Appreciation, The Spectral Eagle, Conjunction
A man in his mid 30s. The brother of The Art of Subtle Detection. He has on a well fitted blue outfit - coat, shirt and pants. Embroidered on the back of his coat is a set of spectral coloured wings and pinned to his lapel is a celestial flower. The room has been filled with vases of celestial flowers. The vases are blue and pink and turquoise and gold and are all semi-transparent. Sitting at the center of this space is The Art of Subtle Appreciation on a meditation pillow with the same colours. In his animal form he is a spectral eagle.
'In this stage of the meditation one may encounter spontaneous and intense feelings of appreciation based on the apparent fulfilling of their intention. For example in an inner journey, exploring the subtle and meaningful connections which appear and seeing how they subtly anticipate more connections creates a kind of upwelling of positive emotion, what feels like a strong and blissful current. You are getting somewhere. It can become easy to rest at this point, bathing in this bliss. This is not a bad thing, it can be very beneficial for relaxing and easing one's senses, but there is simply more. Actually navigating this current upward requires the focus of The Will.'
Throat Chakra - The Art of Subtle Detection, The Training of The Inner Senses, The Detective's Apprentice, The Blue Lion, Fermentation
A man in his 30s. The brother of The Art of Subtle Appreciation. He has on a well fitted dark blue outfit - coat, shirt and pants. Embroidered in white on the back of his coat are seven stars, each one with an 'aura' of the main colour associated to each chakra (one is red, one orange, etc.). He has longish brown hair tucked behind his ears and has a fine silver chain hanging around his neck upon which is hanging a single silver sphere which rests at the heart. This sphere represents the alchemical memory palace called The Sphere of Subtle Sensuality which all of these guides or parts are contained within. In his animal form he is a blue lion.
'In this stage of the meditation one is using The Will to consciously navigate the current of appreciation. The vehicle of The Will can be seen as the inner and outer senses amalgamated. This vehicle has the ability to detect, through training, the more refined and delicate parts of the current which allow for less resistance while moving upward. It avoids intense feelings of one sort or another, which threaten to send it careening in an opposing direction, instead balancing between them.'
Third Eye Chakra - The Art of Subtle Concentration, Shared Awareness in Concentration, The Violet Moth, Distillation
A woman in her 30s who is naked and has a shaved head. She is sitting inside of a transparent violet merkaba which begins to take form around her and is in a deep meditation with her eyes half open concentrated upon a candle flame. Her eyes are glowing violet and inside of her pupils are countless tiny galaxies floating in deep space. A kind of galaxy map of the universe is being projected through her eyes into the space of the room. In her animal form she is a shimmering violet moth.
'This balancing of the vehicle of The Will, the amalgamated senses, is a kind of subtle concentration. Once The Will has experience of this balance it never entirely forgets it. It knows what to do to get back to it. Imagine it like a salmon which has swum upstream, against all odds, back to its birthplace. The salmon is not singular, there are many other salmon who have, by following their instinct, also found the way and made it back. What brings them together is that they have done so while sharing a singular concentration amongst them, a shared awareness.'
Crown Chakra - The Art of Being Native to All Possibility, Empty Possibility, The Spectral Mantis, Coagulation
This room is filled with golden-white light. There is someone sitting in the center of the room but they only appear as a set of eyes hovering in the light. These genderless, ageless eyes look directly at me, into me, through me....They radiate an empty satisfaction and spiritual certainty with their presence. In their animal form they are a spectral mantis.
'In this final stage of the meditation the concentrated balance of the vehicle of The Will allows it to rise high enough to where it dissolves into a state of absorption. This state of absorption cannot be described, only alluded to as feeling completely empty yet filled with all possibility.'