In this Academy we have two main alchemical traditions:
1. Mesoamerican Tradition
Olmec culture was the Mother culture of the Mesoamerican traditions (Aztec, Toltec, Zapotec)
2. Andean Tradition
Chavin culture (900-200 B.C.) was the Mother culture of the Andean traditions of Peru and Chile
In Alchemical terms, Mesoamerican traditions are orientated toward increasing or improving energy in the body. Andean traditions are orientated toward gathering energy. Both traditions are strongly connection to Nature, the moon and the influence and power of place.
The Andes is an especially significant destination for women for several reasons. First, this region, South of the equator on the South American continent has a particular force which exerts a beneficial influence on the energetic body. Visits every seven years are most beneficial; this is the period during which the body completely renews itself. The second is the influence of the moon. Normally, a woman’s energy runs in and out like the tide in response to the 28 day lunar cycle. However, in the Andes, a woman’s body responds to the moon as if the tide is always coming in, or the moon is waxing, hence the vessels of her energetic body are always filling up.
Due to the ‘invisible’ knowledge of these powerful places, particular alchemical practices are very effective, opening up the potential of our energy vessels. Each type of Alchemy needs special vessels where energy can develop and the main difference between the twelve forms of Alchemy is the form of the vessel, or ‘effort’.
To make this concept a little clearer lets compare Alchemy to wine-making.
First we must produce the fruit (alchemical ingredients created during practice), then we must ferment the grapes (nurture the energy that results from practice) and finally cellar the wine for several years (save, refine and transform this energy). Although this wine will mature over ten years, its quality depends on each step, from beginning to end.
The twelve forms of Alchemy are like twelve different wines, each has a time and a season, and each may be drunk from a different shaped cup. In our analogy, the cup (the body’s energy vessels) is what holds the wine (captures the essence), and the reason that the shape varies is because each form of Alchemy requires a different shaped vessel in which to mix the alchemical ingredients. The ‘vessel’ really equates to ‘effort’. Each form of Alchemy requires a slightly different effort and this effort can be influenced by various factors including the environment, the season, the moon, the type of practice and one’s own internal condition.
One type of vessel is used to gather, capture or grow energy, another to save and assimilate energy and another to transform it. This is why the twelve Alchemies can be categorised in three main directions. Those that work to improve our energy or soul, those that protect our energy and those that look to the after-life.