Introduction and Palm Sunday – Alchemy of Holy Week

March 23, 2024
By Dennis Klocek 26 min read

[ED: This series is a transcription of the Alchemy of Holy Week workshop that Dennis gave in 2018 at Rudolf Steiner College in California. We have included the images in the text from the handouts, and added additional references and handouts where it enhanced the experience. If you wish to listen to the lectures, they can be purchased for streaming or downloading here: Alchemy of Holy Week Lecture Series.]


Welcome everyone. Thanks for coming.  

At the last conference we had on The Alchemical Laboratory, I was asked something that had been floating around in my mind for a while, which was whether I could do a workshop on the Alchemy of Holy Week. A part of me said, “Oh my God, no.” And another part of me said, “You need to do a workshop on the Alchemy of Holy Week, man.” And I replied, “Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.” 

When I got home, I asked myself why I said that because the issue of Holy Week is not my forte. But as I was preparing for this, I realized I have been studying to do this my whole life. 

And what I would like to present to you is that the sequence of days in Holy Week is the work in the life of Christian Rosenkreutz. That’s why this is the Alchemy of Holy Week.

The Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz starts on Holy Saturday. I just learned yesterday something interesting: that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on Good Friday. 

So there are these sorts of pictures in the world of Holy Week as a continually recurring event. It’s not something that happened a long time ago. It is an archetype that is unfolding continually, even as we speak. It is an archetypal meditation on the nature of time as the foundation for the new mysteries. 

If you know the work of Emil Bock, an anthroposophical scholar, there is a wonderful book he wrote, called, “The Three Years.” There, he says that the passion of Holy Week is the collision of the Old Sun with the New Sun. That theme of the collision of the old mysteries and the new mysteries has its focal point in time in Golgotha. That’s the turning point of time, when the old mysteries were dying and the new mysteries were being born. That is the turning point between the clairvoyance that gave rise to fundamentalism and the clairvoyance that gives rise to freedom. That is my statement in a nutshell.

I’m going to keep focusing on that because the whole issue of the Passion and Christ’s dialogue was that he was an insurgent, a deep agitator against the status quo of the Hebrew religion. That’s why the priests and the Pharisees persecuted Him. It was political. That’s what “The Three Years” is about – the political structure of Christ as an insurgent. 

But it was not only political. It also had a great deal to do with the nature of clairvoyance and the question of how do I know that I know.  When an inner picture or imagination of something that I’m working with comes to me, how do I know it is true? This is of the greatest import today because public figures are lying all the time. This will become an accepted fact. And when it becomes just an accepted fact, people will lose contact with what Christ in the gospels called the Son of Man. 

We’re going to go into what the Son of Man is. Christ is always saying, “the Son of Man.” If you Google the Son of Man, you get led to some very strange pictures of what the Son of Man is, as opposed to the Son of God. This is in the language of Holy Week.

Those pictures of the old mystery and the new mystery and the turning point of the mysteries have to do not only with clairvoyance as a kind of mystery wisdom, but also with the moral issue of clairvoyance, the moral issue of truth telling. It’s political.

Christ was not only a religious figure, but also a political figure because of what was going on between the Romans and the Jews at the time in Palestine – and which is still going on today. It’s not settled. It’s still happening. And that’s why it’s so important to really understand the issue behind it, behind Holy Week. That’s why it involves alchemy and the mission of Christian Rosenkreutz, because the marriage feast in the Alchemical Wedding is triggered by the ritual death.

These are incredible pictures. Today we have beheadings as political theater. That’s why I say that the idea of Holy Week is not only something that happened before. It is happening now. It is of great import today because of the media and the amplification of imagery having to do with the question of how do I know what I know

How do I know that the image I am speaking to you about is true? That is the difference between the old mysteries and the new mysteries. In the old mysteries, the priests told you what was true. And if you were in-line with them, then that was the truth. That is still in the world today. There are whole parts of the world like that – just get in line with what we’re telling you, and that’s what’s true.

Where it gets crazy is when a contemporary person experiences the freedom of their individuality and they believe that because they’re speaking out of an experience they had, that it’s true.

We have political figures who are idealistic about being presidential candidates and who believe everything they say is true.

Just check the news cycles to get some background on things that are happening today, and you will see Holy Week as a drama of power. 

That’s my preamble.

Palm Sunday

Here we have a summary of the days in Holy Week. Today we will focus on Palm Sunday.

  • Sunday – Old Sun and new Sun in collision
  • Monday – Cursing the fig tree. Old moon forces of clairvoyance denounced.
  • Tuesday – Mars battle with Pharisees. Retreat to Mount of Olives. Revealing apocalypse to the disciples. Future sheep and goats among humans. Caesar and God.
  • Wednesday – Anointing of Magdalene. Betrayal of Judas. Polarity of Mercury. 
  • Thursday – Washing of the feet. Arrest of Christ. Passover Angel of Death. 
  • Friday – Great deed of love. Sacrifice for others. 
  • Saturday – Harrowing of hell
  • Sunday – Overcoming death

As we go through those, the themes that I would like to work on with you are: 

On Monday, the cursing of the fig tree, where Christ denounces the old moon forces of the ancient clairvoyance. Why a fig?

Tuesday is Mars day. On that day, Christ battles with the Pharisees over truth. It’s a war over who has the authority to heal people.

Also, in the handouts, there is a whole page of quotes from the gospels. We’ll be working with those to illustrate these dynamic points about a kind of political/religious drama of the rise of the individual taking power away from the collective. That is what is happening during Holy Week. And the collective is not happy about that – ever.

What I would like to do now is set the stage for this. On the handout, go to figure 4, the map of the world.

Easter is what is known as a moveable feast. There have been huge arguments over setting the date of Easter. In fact, the schism in the 600’s between the Eastern Church and the Western Church was about setting the dates of Easter.

The setting of the date of Easter appears to be random, but it has a very deep significance for the soul life of the human because it is an image of resurrection. 

Easter happens on the first full moon after the spring equinox. Why does it happen then? On the diagram, you can see a dotted curved line known as the ecliptic. That’s the path of the sun.

The dashed line going through Africa and South America is the equator.

Starting at the left in figure 4, you can see the dotted line starts at the upper horizontal line. That’s the Tropic of Cancer. It then goes to the right and crosses the equator where it says, “The Fall Equinox.” At the Fall Equinox, the sun crosses the equator and moves into the southern hemisphere.

It then goes south in declination every day, until it reaches the winter solstice at the bottom of the curve due south of Central America.

That’s our shortest day when the sun is in the southern hemisphere.

This was very significant in the ancient world because it was understood that when the sun was at its deepest point in the southern hemisphere, it actually was occulted by the Earth and the forces that were present in the sun rayed through the Earth as if it were transparent. It was a kind of beginning of a rejuvenation cycle.

When a planet stands in front of another one, there is a kind of damming up of forces that they both share. So the winter solstice was called the dark sun, the sun at midnight. It was raying up through the Earth.

The druids had all kinds of rituals to be able to perceive that through the Earth. It was a very significant time for them, the beginning of a new cycle. But the new cycle doesn’t give birth until the sun moves in declination up again and crosses the equator going north over Western Africa. 

When the sun crosses the equator going north that’s called the vernal equinox, the spring equinox. The vernal equinox means that there are 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. That’s on March 20.

At this time, there are huge amounts of forces in the natural world of plants and animals that are triggered by that. They are known as 12 and 12 because they require that for their new cycle to begin. There are whole cycles of pest management, budding and fruit setting – all kinds of things are triggered by 12 and 12. It’s the spring equinox. It’s the vernal point. It’s the birth point of a new year.

In terms of nature, in terms of life forces,  the sun at the equinox was considered to be a kind of birth going through a birth. What we experience of that now is Eastertide, the birth of the sun. We celebrate it.

But that force of the new sun is also the beginning of a death process. 

Like going into a tunnel. Are you going in? Or are you going out?

So in the ancient times, that beginning was understood to be a kind of virginal quality or potential that would eventually unfold for three months towards the summer solstice, when the death process would start to happen. The early spring flowers would reach the summer solstice, set seed and then start to go away. The annuals are part of that cycle.

Perennials have a different thing.  But the annual plants, which are food plants, most of the vegetables and most of the grains, are annuals. They are a kind of microcosm of the birth of the sun at the vernal point.

In astrology, the vernal point on your birth chart is the truth of your life.

So that means that when the sun goes through that spot there is a new possibility, a new sun. Easter is the new sun.

But the moon – on the Figure 4 diagram you’ll see a very faint dashed line – follows the sun. It goes down below the ecliptic and then above the ecliptic. The moon is eccentric five degrees above and below the ecliptic. It is kind of all over the sky.

The sun represents the life body because it is so regular. The moon represents the astral body because it’s all over the place.

There are certain places where the ether force of the Sun and the astral force of the moon come together in a very intense place. That’s called an eclipse, and the place where that happens is on the ecliptic.

So the relationship between the Sun and the Moon and the Earth is huge, especially having to do with the way in which the life forces of the human and the soul forces of the human interact in consciousness. This is clairvoyance.

Clairvoyance comes either from the ego/astral side or from the astral/etheric side.

We’ve talked about this for years – how is your clairvoyance arising? That is a drama of the sun and the moon. For that, I’d like to read a quote from Rudolf Steiner. This is from page 60 of “Christ And The Spiritual World” by Rudolf Steiner: 

“The working together of thinking, feeling and willing has to be kept in order. Not, however, from all the planets, but only through the Sun, the Moon and the Earth. So that through the interworking of the Sun, the Moon and the Earth, if this is harmonious, the human being is made fit for the harmonious cooperation of his three soul powers.” 

Rudolf Steiner calls this the Virgin Moon at Easter. 

The virgin moon at Easter is the first full moon after the sun crosses the equator.

The sun is virginal and the moon follows it. It also has its virginity. So the first dark moon and the first full moon after the equinox are equal in power in terms of plant growth, and that’s what gives a surge to the annuals.

The moon gets its virginity again, so to speak, and that enables plants to have a super fluidity of life forces that allow them to surge up off the Earth in their  annual surge. The first full moon and  dark moon after the equinox, after the sun goes through the vernal point, are equal in their power. So the Dark Moon is equivalent to a full moon because the Dark Moon is a virgin moon, and then you have the full moon of Easter. So there’s all this procreative power for a new potential. The procreative power for the new mysteries, the new potential. That’s what’s happening in nature. That’s what’s happening in the planets. That’s what’s happening in the soul of the human. It is the possibility to assimilate a shadow element to the degree that it becomes a medicine. This is the alchemical way.

So the way we’re going to work with the idea of this new mystery alchemically is that each day, there is a glyph that can be used as a meditative device to help you enter into the dynamics of Holy Week.

In Holy Week, Christ is coming from Galilee, a kind of a resort town, into Jerusalem, which has always been a kind of questionable location.

And He knows that He’s going to come in and stir the pot.

PALM SUNDAY – The Crucible

Palm Sunday is the entry into what could be called the crucible of Holy Week.

A crucible is sometimes called a “trypod” because you try things there. You burn things.  A crucible is a place where you lead substances into a crucifixion. Alchemically, the crucible is taking substances and burning them. 

On the handout there is a row of glyphs. 

The first one on the left, which looks like an envelope, is the glyph for a crucible. The square is Earth. The square means you are here. The triangle pointing down is also earth. In the crucible, we burn things until they become complete earth. They are no longer living. They become what an alchemist would call a corpse. As we will find out, the resurrection of the corpse is the central mystery of Holy Week. It is also the central mystery of alchemy because it is a language of the way in which a corpse has been formed from the old mysteries and must be put into a crucible and annihilated so that the new mysteries can arise out of it.

The glyph on the left is a crucible. Then there is distillation, precipitation, oil & alcohol, ouroboros, digestion, purification, sublimation. Those are the days of Holy Week.

  • Crucible – Sunday
  • Distillation – Monday
  • Precipitation – Tuesday
  • Oil & Alcohol – Wednesday
  • Ouroboros – Thursday
  • Digestion – Friday
  • Purification – Saturday
  • Sublimation – Sunday

The way we will work with them is that you can meditate on each day of Holy Week by drawing and erasing the glyph of the process that is connected to that day. 

On Palm Sunday, Christ was entering the crucible. He was entering Jerusalem, where it was going to happen. He was going into the crucible. The New Mysteries are about feelings, but not personal feelings. Rather, they are about feeling extracts, the feelings of the world soul. The feelings of the world soul are the movements of the planets -how the earth is interacting with the sun and the moon.

Those angular aspects and approaches and avoidances and occultations are feelings having to do with deep Pythagorean geometries. Those are the feelings of the world soul.

When you make a glyph and are drawing it inwardly, what is happening inwardly is that you are placing your consciousness into the field of geometry of those movements. 

So the alchemist used a glyph meditatively to tune their personal feelings into universal, archetypal feelings of the world soul. 

The drama of Christ during holy week: Monday Moon day, Tuesday Mars day, Wednesday Mercury day—is traveling through the planets and their mood qualities to redeem them on Easter Sunday, the new sun.

This is a symbolic language that the alchemist used to come in contact with certain feelings. Not personal feelings, but rather feelings that the earth is having in relation to the sun and the moon, to the life body and the astral body.

So why do we use a glyph like this? Because if you think it in words, you get stuck. Your imagination can’t grasp it. And your imagination is the thing that is at risk with fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism is to take your imagination and put it in abeyance somewhere, so that you can believe what I believe. I don’t want you to imagine something else. I want you to get in line with what I believe. Pharisee law #231: “Before you can drink from the cup, you must wash the outside of the cup with running water.” Christ talks about that. We have a quote about that for Tuesday. It’s in Holy Week language. 

Holy Week Daily Exercise Explanations

The Glyph and the Crucible

In order to do that, each day we’re going to have some homework. You’re going to take a glyph into sleep; I’ll tell you which  one. Then in the morning, we are going to do an exercise called the crucible. If you want to see the crucible, look at this other sheet. That sheet is what is known as the tree of knowledge. 

We will do the crucible exercise every morning. You will take a glyph into sleep the night before that you feel is related to part of the tree of knowledge drawing, and in the morning, you will decide which part of this drawing it relates to. We’re putting a seed in, and then in the morning, put that into the crucible. And you’re only allowed to ask questions. You’re not allowed to make a comment. For a contemporary soul, that is like a crucible. Opinion is the enemy.

So we will enact a crucible every day. There will be 2 or 3 minutes to construct a glyph. Then we will come back to the tree of knowledge. Focus on a section of the picture and ask questions about it for 5 or 10 minutes. Then we’ll put it to sleep, I’ll give a lecture and then we’ll move on. That is our exercise.

It’s a microcosm of the way the Rosicrucians worked by taking a glyph into sleep and then in the morning asking questions with no answers.

Christ talked to the apostles on Holy Tuesday about the Apocalypse. He said this is going to be really weird for you – meditate and pray, but don’t come up with answers beforehand. If you expect answers beforehand, I can’t help you.

So keeping the question open is the crucible that we have to learn to live with in order to live a creative life when life looks like ninety yards of barbed wire for breakfast. What happens then is that we go into blame and opinion and guilt and shame.  The new mysteries are about keeping the question open until you can be led, because if you come up with the answers beforehand, I can’t help you. Just do the work in freedom and keep the question open. That’s the new clairvoyance. Don’t say anything is true until you hear it from someone else. Then you know that you haven’t manipulated things with your opinion.

To begin with, we will do a little crucible exercise. 

On the handout, look at the picture of the hand coming out of the cloud. It’s touching a tree, and the tree is split. One side of the tree is light. One side is dark. And there is fruit on the tree. The cloud, the hand, and the split tree are the subject of our crucible exercise. (Don’t go down to the hands reaching up yet. That is another level.)

For five minutes, look at it and if a question comes to you, ask the question. State the question as a complete sentence. Then wait a bit and live with it to see how it feels before asking the next question. You are now burning the corpus in the crucible of your own belief. 

The goal of this exercise is to watch the movement in your own soul coming from someone else’s question. By asking questions that don’t get answered, we are creating a field of consciousness. The crucible is the feeling in your soul that comes from another person’s question. So that if you think someone’s question is coming from left field, then you just learn how to play the outfield. That is very healthy, if you can tolerate it. If there is something in the question that you cannot answer, that is a kind of burning that an alchemist would use to reduce it down to its essence and you’re doing that by asking questions that don’t get answered.

This is one of the big messages of Holy Week: Can you tolerate people not going along with your program? The Jews are being put down by the Romans and the common people are being put down by the Pharisees. This is the political structure that Christ is speaking into because there were dire consequences in the ancient mysteries around power.  I have power over you because I have the clairvoyance to see your faults. When I can see your faults according to my checklist, this is the basis of the Inquisition in the 1600’s, and of Nazism. That is not lost from our world today.

At the time of Christ, the Romans were taking over everything. The Jews were trying to find their place. It wasn’t until 1945 that they did. There was all of this opinion and conflict around the issue of “you need to get in line with what I believe”. That was the thrust of the drama of Holy Week.

Lecture One

This is Palm Sunday. This is in Matthew 21. It’s in your page of quotes there. 

“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples ahead, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you and immediately you will find a donkey tied and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you just say this, ‘The Lord needs them. And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet.” 

This prophet is clairvoyance. During the time of Christ, if you were a holy person, you were expected to do miracles. You were expected to be able to prophecy. You were expected to be able to see into another person. The training that you would receive, especially in the temple sleep process, trained you to get access to that dimension and hold it in your life body in a particular configuration. You were taught to do that. You were not considered a holy person unless you could prophecy and heal the sick.

Steiner himself said that people being brought back from the dead had been done before, but it was never done by a soul who had never incarnated before. This is where we get to the mystery of the phantom.

For an idea of someone coming back from the dead, look at the issue in China about the Dalai Lama where the Chinese are politicizing the reincarnation of the new Dalai Lama. They want to be the ones to pick the new Dalai Lama to make sure that he is in line with their political structure. They want to be part of the decision.

But the Dalai Lama responded by saying, “I am not reincarnating. So anything you choose is bogus.” Why? In order to keep sacred what is sacred. If the Chinese pick the new Dalai Lama, is there a real Dalai Lama? It is bogus because he said he is not coming back. These are the new mysteries. He will come back but not as a Dalai Lama and therefore without the powers that he had. Rudolf Steiner talked about spiritual leaders reincarnating but without the powers that they had accrued in a previous incarnation. This is also a part of the new mysteries.

If you read the Alchemical Wedding, when he takes the oath of the knight of the golden stone on the 7th day, that is about not having powers that you had before and not extending your life beyond its normal time. He had to take a vow not to do that.

(continue with Matthew quote)  

“Tell the daughter of Zion, see your king that is coming to you gentle and riding on a donkey. The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and cloaks for Jesus to sit on. While spreading the cloaks on the ground, others cut branches from the trees. The crowds that went ahead of him, called out, “Hosanna to the son of David.”

The son of David is the one who was going to lift up the Jews from their subjugation by the Romans and set the stage for Jerusalem to become what was prophesied. 

Why a donkey? Everything in the gospels is symbolic of a level of consciousness. The son of man is symbolic of a level of consciousness. The donkey is symbolic of a level of consciousness. I will give you some examples of donkeys as symbols through the ages.

In the myth of King Midas, Midas was a devotee of Dionysos. As the myth goes, Midas was approached by Apollo with his lyre, who asked Midas if he would like to be a devotee of Apollo. Midas said no because he was a devotee of Dionysos who basically sings the songs of the common man. Then Midas said let’s have a contest. So Apollo and Dionysos each played and then asked Midas which one he preferred. Midas said Dionysos and then went to sleep. And in the morning he wakes up with the ears of a donkey. He grew the ears of an ass to listen to the songs of Dionysos. After that, he always wore a funny hat that he could fold his ears into. But every once in a while, he had to go down the river to wash his face and take his hat off. And the reeds saw his ears in the reflection, and they whispered in the wind to each other, “Midas has the ears of an ass.” 

What does that wonderful myth suggest? That the clairvoyance of Dionysos is the old blood clairvoyance. It is ancient. My body is telling me what’s going on. 

Another example is “The Golden Ass” by Apuleius. It is the story of the journey of a young man, trying to deal with his rather interesting sexual appetites. He goes to a witch’s coven, has all sorts of interesting adventures, and he also turns into an ass. 

Then there is the fairy tale of the prince and the donkey. The donkey is the old clairvoyance, and it takes love, compassion and understanding from a princess to remove the donkey suit and become a prince once again. Old clairvoyance. New clairvoyance.

There is also the “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” where Bottom gets the ears of an ass and turns into a donkey. Why does he turn into a donkey? Because it is a tale of the old clairvoyance. 

So Christ comes into Jerusalem on a donkey. And the people say the liberator has come who is going to lift us from this subjugation. The son of David has finally come to us. 

By this time, Christ had been performing miracles and healings with crowds of people following him in the wilderness. Stories were spreading throughout the countryside that he was the great prophet whose power would finally shake off Roman rule and establish the new kingdom, the new Jerusalem on earth that everyone was expecting.

So He rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. This is instinctual wisdom, what Rudolf Steiner called belly clairvoyance. And He was sitting on it, so that the people would know that this is the end of the line. 

After that triumphant entrance on the donkey, the first thing that He does is to go to the temple where there is buying and selling. This is from Matthew 21-12:

“Jesus entered the temple and drove off those who were buying and selling. He overturned the benches and tables of the money changers and those who were selling doves.”

That was not an acceptable thing to do because these were turtle doves. The people bought them to give to the priests as payment. And then they had squab. So if you wanted to come and tithe, there were sellers of turtle doves that you could buy to give to the priests. It was the IRS basically, but it was a religious IRS.

So He went into the temple and said, “My house is a house of prayer. But you are making it into a den of thieves.” 

So He comes riding on the old clairvoyance. And He says, I hear you calling me the son of David, but I know that at the end of the week there is going to be a whole other regime happening here. Christ knew that. And He went into the temple and said the new mysteries are not about selling doves. There is something else that needs to happen in this house.

When He said to the money changers to take the tribute money out of the temple, that was not acceptable to the regime because that was the way things were done.

Emil Bock gives a wonderful picture of that. Christ came from Galilee, which was equivalent today to coming from some place like Tahoe and going to San Francisco. He came from this bucolic location and went into Jerusalem where all the wheeling and dealing was done by the powers that be who ran the temple.

Here, the common people were subjugated not only by the Romans but also by the priests and the Pharisees. So there was a whole system to the way things happened and whether or not it was allowed for you to wash your clothes on Saturday or whatever the rule was.

Many of the parables that Christ gave have that flavor to them, the gist being that the coin of the realm in the spiritual world is prayer and attention to the Divine.  By using simple parables that seemed to be about usury or tithing, He was really talking about a higher level that He called the Son of Man.

All through the gospels, Christ is using this language of the Son of Man. The Son of Man is what in today’s esoteric language we would call the Virgin Sophia. The Virgin Sophia is the soul purified of desire. Each individual soul contributes to that Sophianic consciousness by building an organ of perception. 

We are building in Sophianic consciousness the new Jerusalem, an organ of perception of the Holy Spirit. Those organs of perception are what Rudolf Steiner called Manas, Buddhi, Atman. They are the transformed physical body, transformed life body and transformed soul. Taken together, they form a spiritual body that will be us at the end of time. That is the Son of Man. 

When Christ is speaking here, He is speaking to the people about the end times when the Son of Man will be recognized. The Son of God is your body that you inherit from Adam and Eve. And you have to give it back. The Son of Man is your manhood and womanhood to overcome the corpse.

The corpse is the residue of the unperceived desires that make in your soul a shadow body, a dense body, a corpus, alchemically an ash.

So the Son of Man is the Christ force in each soul working to transform desire into wish, resolve and love. It is the same force, it is just purified. In alchemy, that is what you do in the crucible: you purify things by burning them into a corpse.

Now I am going to draw on the board the glyph for distillation. It is the second one in the row of glyphs.The glyph is not the finished thing but the process that you use to draw it. The movement of the glyph is the healing.

The first glyph is a standard distillation.

The second glyph is another kind of distillation known as Mary’s bath, the baine Marie. It is a very slow distillation in water. Put the water in a retort. Heat the water. There is an ascending and descending of the vapors in the retort. Then it goes through an inversion from manifestation into a spiritual form. So distillation is lifting the corpus into a spiritual condition.

Glyph Exercise – Distillation

Taking a glyph into sleep: Before you go to sleep, draw the form of the glyph. Keep working on it so that you have the experience that you and the glyph begin to shake hands. At a certain point, it becomes very easy for you to visualize making it. You hold it and build it and move it. You get to the point where it is doing it. That’s the shaking hands. Do that before you go to sleep. What you’re meditating on in the glyph is the process of going from manifestation to its spiritual condition. 

That type of meditation would be given in the old days as a kind of preparation. The essence of the alchemical work is to work inwardly with the symbols to reach the archetypal beings that stand behind them. 

[Question from audience.]

Should we work on the glyphs in the order in which they are presented?

Answer: Choose one that seems to speak to you. 

[Evening break. Next morning continue with crucible exercise]

Take out your crucible drawing. We will start with five minutes of crucible work, which means only asking questions. Look at the picture, focusing on the section with three arms with hands reaching out on the left. And then the three arms and hands on the right. The questions should be about that section.  As we go along, you will see how this works.


Dennis Klocek

Dennis Klocek, MFA, is co-founder of the Coros Institute, an internationally renowned lecturer, and teacher. He is the author of nine books, including the newly released Colors of the Soul; Esoteric Physiology and also Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics. He regularly shares his alchemical, spiritual, and scientific insights at


  1. Betsy Huljev on March 25, 2024 at 2:29 am

    Dear Dennis and Ben,

    I am wondering if you could further define wish, resolve, and love, the higher expressions of desire? Of course I know what they are on some level, but hearing Dennis’s choice of words would be most appreciated for further exploration.

    Love this work. Thank you. It is timely and most meaningful on a collective level, but also helping me Consciously navigate the recent death of my husband.

    Deep bow to this experience.

    Betsy Huljev

    • Ben Klocek on March 26, 2024 at 8:39 am

      Dear Betsy,

      There is a free Mystery Wisdom lecture series we produced years ago that includes many selected lectures collected as an overview of the esoteric language and ideas that Dennis presents on. In lecture 6, The Seven Levels of Will, Dennis describes what you are looking for.

      You might already be aware of it, but the lecture series, Honoring the Dead, might help in navigating your recent loss. Dennis’ pictures of building relationships with those that have crossed over have given me much healing and connection with those I have lost.


      • Betsy Huljev on March 26, 2024 at 9:22 am

        Thank you Ben for these suggestions. I will follow through and listen in. 🕊️

Leave a Comment

Similar Writings

Easter Sunday

By Dennis Klocek | March 24, 2024
Posted in , , , , ,

On the handout, go to figure 3 on the lower left. That’s an alchemical diagram of the relationship between what’s known as salt and sulfur. This relates to the idea of form and then sublimation. And so the Alchemist had a word for the way in which the invisible became visible. They would look at…