Drew Wiberg

Alchemical Fish Market: Part Two

Drew Wiberg
Alchemical Fish Market: Part Two

I don't mind making mistakes. In fact, I love them. Mistakes are real-time indicators that you are in the process of learning something. I don't mind being new either. I'm middle-aged, or approaching middle-age depending on the state of nano-mechanical healing technology in 40 years, and the opportunities to be new at something get spaced further and further out when you are this far into the pasture.


I made a mistake in one of the first posts, Approaching the Snow Moon. Because I am relatively new to magic (I'm realizing this after thinking for a long time that I knew a lot about it) I had my lunar cycles wrong. I thought (read: intuited) that a lunar phase began with a full moon, instead of the New Moon. I realized this when looking up the Ojibwe names for moons in the 1997 Ojibwe language calendar that my late mentor, Ayabe, the Bad River Ojibwe Elder, had given me a few years ago (miss you brother, you'll be added to the ancestor altar soon! [Do they have internet access in Ojibwe heaven, Fox?])


So, armed with the correct information, the name of the approaching moon phase (Bear Moon) and the one we are in at this writing (Spirit Moon) and knowing that we are exactly half-way through the 2017 Spirit Moon, I made some adjustments to my daily practice. I have been performing daily tarot readings with a three-spread reading on Monday and one card draws the rest of the week. Today, it being an auspicious Full Spirit Moon (with a full eclipse and occasional comet showers this evening), I took the opportunity to break my practice away from my 'work week' cycle and align it with the 'lunar week' or those 7 day periods between moon quarters. Wow, what a difference it made in my cards. I was getting a lot of repeated cards, which, now that I think about it makes sense. I was aligning my questions and my world view with the monotony of a corporate job. Of course the same challenges would come up over and over again. Shifting to lunar time produced an amazing four card spread.


I'm still using the first three cards to predict the beginning / middle / end of the lunar week and the fourth card to predict the day of the next quarter (since I will be pulling another four card spread on that day). I plan on doing a full spread every New Moon to kick off that phase and understand my path through the Matrix that much better.


I haven't forgotten the warnings and teachings of my past questions, however, and one I really have taken to heart is the 'suggestion' that the most effective magical path for me is through alchemy. Let's look a bit deeper into the world that is being created by this research, returning to our alchemist / fisherman and his boat filled with stone fish.


Our Alchemist, who has taken on the name of Valraven, has succeeded in pulling from the depths of the open ocean a shoal of stone fish. The writh and jump in the bottom of his craft, threatening to break back through and escape into the ocean. Wrapping his crystal sphere in a silk cloth he places it back in his pack. With the magnet gone dark, the fish cease most of their activity. Valraven is a metallurgist, a tinkerer. His boat is powered with an automatous pair of arms that, through a series of gears, pull at silver oars to propel him through the water. His pseudo-robot is powered with a combination of material and thought. He is unique in his understanding of how it works. Mere thought by itself, or the material fuel in isolation, cannot power what he has built, only when they are both combined in a vessel does the appropriate syngery take place. It is the duality of this new fuel that connects to the deeper parts of reality, drawing sufficient power to pull him through the water with his heavy load, back to port.


Once in port, Valraven uses more automatons to assist him in loading the stone fish into a cart and bringing them to market. There he sets up among all the rest of the fish mongers. They cannot see that his fish are made of stone and almost all of those shopping in the market see them as rigid gaping mouth catfish, and thus, not worth purchasing. Valraven is unfettered, however, these fish have a specific purpose and a specific set of customers.


Inside of his fish, the quicksilver continues to churn, even though the fish themselves have grown quiet. This primal substance acts upon itself, divides itself, multiplies, and consumes itself again. These tiny pockets of the prime mover of magical reality behave like cells or bacteria in a Petri dish, they are magical microbiomes encapsulated in their stone symbols. Valraven knows that when the right customer walks by, the two will act as attracting poles. He used his magnet to draw them from the depth and they, in turn, are magnets for the right person, those who's dial is turned closer to the resonance of the universe. They align themselves, organizing their positions imperceptibly on the table, seeking, as Aaron Cheak put it, to "render the pristine ontology."


The colors in the fish market are mostly red and silver. Blood and scales cover everything broken only by the dull brown of wet wood and the white of ice. Valraven's booth is different, his robes are of a purple hue and the stone fish on his table are shimmering stages of violet. This color is purposeful and is used, much as color is used in nature, to warn the idle consumer that these fish are poison.


Again from Aaron Cheak, in his essay 'The Perfect Black':


"ios... is a poly semantic word meaning not only 'violet' (the flower and the color) but also 'poison, venom, arrow... The term is cognate with vir... virus... virility. The cumulative meaning suggests a violet colored, virulent potency [penetrating] like an arrow... [infecting] like a poison in order to destroy the mortal... and strengthen the... spiritual."


That is the mark of Valraven's customer. She must be willing to swallow the poison of magic in order to kill off those mortal parts of herself that are holding her spirit down.


Much like myself, as I swallow the stone fish and it infects me from the inside out, I shift my world view from the very mortal capitalist American work week and align my understanding of time with a system much older and in rhythm with the perfect dark of space-time.