The Ethers of Aphrodite





Written by

Frederick McLaren Adams

for Publication in

‘The Seventh Ray Journal, Book I: The Blue Ray’ 1999;

with illustrations of Frederick MacLaren Adams

Copyright © 2001 Feraferia Inc.

Including a brief descriptive phenomenology of

deep erotic proprioception* and practice

for the votaries of Romantic Love as Mystery Religion

and ongoing Initiation, the‘fedeli d’amore’.

*Proprioception denotes the direct perception of stimuli, sensations and feelings

arising from inside one’s own body.

Original Lay-out & Design

Peter Tromp

Amsterdam July 2001



Part One - Theory

Section One: Basal Body Hum

Section Two: Neuro-Electrical Raptures

Section Three: Sympneumic Raptures

Section Four: Synetheric Raptures

Part Two - Rudiments of Practice

(1) Waking up

(2) Maintaining the Intermediate State of Consciousness

(3) The Initiating Posture

(4) Attention, Relaxation and Breathing

(5) Alone and Sharing with Partner

(6) The Tingling of Pleasure

(7) The Dying Out & Reappearance of Energy

(8) Following the Energy Patterns

(9) Releasing Momentary Currents

(10) The Absurdity of the Quick Fix

Minimal Bibliography, Annotated


The influence in our lives of the Great Goddess Aphrodite conduces to the refinement of personal feeling in association with the currently unrecognized subtle cosmic fields of feeling-at-large. Aphrodite inspires the transmutation of raw reflexive sensation into active, imaginative sensibility. She offers miraculous means for the non-repressive sublimation of titanic drives, such as sexual hunger, into spiritualizing romantic adventures. These quests reveal an Initiatic Path of Love, a pilgrimage route midst delicate sentiments and grand passions verging on eternal cosmic mysteries. The Aphrodisian intellect does not lose itself in arid wastes of abstract terms and formulas. Aphrodite’s Empathic Gnosis slowly advances the evolution of feelings, love feelings primarily, thus deepening and elevating Soul, both individual and universal (Anima Mundi).

The subtle spiritual energies of cosmos belong to the soul-transmuting sphere of Aphrodite. I posit vast majestic fields of feeling filtering through the universe. They slowly permeate all bodies, subtle and gross, with the precious spiritual gifts of Aphrodite. These ‘psychoid’ fields are extremely subtle, beauteous, alive, conscious, lovingly intentional, divine. We are surrounded by feeling-at-large. Feeling is not entirely subjective or neural.

In ‘The Spinning Aphrodite’ by Elmer Suhr, we learn that, according to Aristotle, the Sun exhales a very hot and subtle breath which originally may have been assumed to be alive and sentient: Pneuma. In the celestial, crystalline ‘shell’ containing the orbit of the Moon, Aphrodite Ourania softens, cools and mellows Pneuma fresh from the blazing solar orb. Thus She prepares it for transfer by mists and clouds into the matrices of sea and earth, where it nurtures organic life. (Is this not analogous to certain alchemical operations?) As the eldest of the Fates, She spins out glowing pneumatic threads of destiny for all plants and animals, including human beings.

From archaic times the Greek mind preserved the archetypal notion of another finer, more pervasive and cosmogonic field of divinely creative fluidity: the immortal Aither or ether. For Homer, Aither possesses the feminine gender. And there are feminine proper nouns which refer to this super-fine cosmic substrate of sublime primordial energy: Aithra, Aithria, Aithre.

Now the term Pneuma denotes wind, breeze, breath, a more rarified, vivacious medium permeating the Aer (air) of everyday awareness. The root meaning of Aither is ‘blazing’, yet it does not burn like earthly fire. It shines in the bright blue sky on a sunny day; from it the stars have congealed. It is the ubiquitous ‘Light of Heaven’.

The extant patriarchal authors of classical Greece associated Aither with Zeus. However, I am convinced that Aither, as well as Pneuma, was primordially linked with some proto-Aphrodisian Queen of Heaven. Aither is Her dynamic flow-field, Her Pansympathetic ‘Body of Bliss’. Aphrodite’s Body of Bliss circulates in extremely rarified fields of feeling or exalted aisthesis. These beatific volumes (Solve) range through cosmos as untrammeled pristine waves of feeling, pure liquid love feelings ever quietly seeking absorption and elaboration in deep, joyous, personal love and devotion (Coagula). This ethereal flow of Her Love I call Chrysokyma, ‘Golden Wave’. Chrysokyma encompasses every kind of love.

Perhaps, the Hellenic Pneuma may be likened to the Chinese Chi, the Hindu Prana, the Mesmeric Fluidum, Bulwer Lytton’s Vril. The Aither would correspond to the Hindu Akasha and Chinese Shen. Rudolph Steiner distinguished four kinds of Aither (four ethers). In the writings of many late authors, these two indistinct categories of energy/ bliss are lumped together (a matter of ‘field coupling’?). The renaissance philosopher and theurgist, Marsilio Ficino, exemplifies this conflation when he writes so charmingly of the ‘Spirit’ of everyday things that are shiny or emanate aromatic vapours, the musical attraction of spiritual influences from the stars and the ‘Breath of Venus’ which we should feel everywhere if we are to nurture graciousness in our lives (Moore, 1994, p. 165). Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone Energy behaves like organismic Pneuma, yet also manifests in hurricanes and the ‘cosmic superimposition’ of spiral nebulae.

Among other ‘composite’ examples we may cite Pokut of the Shoshoni, Orenda of the Iroquois, Manitou of the Algonquin, Mana of the Polynesians, Num of the San Kung, the Archeus of Paracelcus, the Argent Vive attributed to Raymond Lully, the Fluid Chthonios of Ezra Pound. In the realm of formal theology we find the Hagia Pneuma of the Eastern Orthodoxy, the Sanctus Spiritus of Western Catholicism and the Shekinah of the Hebrews. But of course we can adduce myriads of cultural examples, each with its own particular shadings and overtones of reference and associative fringes.

The Ethers of Aphrodite will reveal themselves more fully and powerfully in the tender exchanges of true lovers. When they learn to sense that ‘perfumed radiance’ which is “simple and pure, clear and bright” (Redgrove, p. 195; Nelli, p. 165), they matriculate in the Aethereal University as Fellows of the Rose (emblem of Courtly Lovers) and distinguish four major synergising initiations:

(1) The exiled Kore Mysteries of BASAL BODY HUM.


(3) The SYMPNEUMIC RAPTURES, or Love Fusions of Sacred Pneuma.

(4) The SYNETHERIC RAPTURES, or anagogic and celestially transfigurative Love Fusions of Aither.

Then the new fedeli d’amore can undertake Aphrodite’s mission of world irradiation, Earth healing and blessing. I believe a Golden Rose of four pairs of theurgical lovers could work miracles of Earth renewal by spreading their amplified Ethers of Aphrodite.



Section One:


Basal Body Hum is the ever-present background ‘buzz’ of your body, ‘propriotactile’, not sonic, by virtue of which you remain subtly connected with your visual anatomy. Under almost all daily circumstances, you never notice this mysterious buzz or hum. Perhaps it is comparable to the ‘black body radiation’ background of the universe. ‘As above so below.’

Basal body hum may be described as a very subtle, low-intensity yet high-frequency field which permeates and surrounds the visible body image. When you become silently introspective, you can experience this field, even though quiescent, as the perceivable background of your whole embodiment, or of any part of it, such as the left shoulder, the right foot, and so forth. In The Hermetic Tradition, Julius Evola writes,

“The goal of Hindu alchemy was to introduce consciousness into this vital force, causing it to become a part of it; then to reawaken and retrace all the phases of the organization, reaching thereby an actual and creative rapport with the completed form of one’s own body, -“ (Evola p. 164).

I believe this very basic level of Holistic Proprioception corresponds to the Materia Prima or First Matter of the alchemists. This Ur-phenomenon, Goethe’s ‘Urphänomen’, is feminine. It is ubiquitous and therefore has been called common, vulgar, cheap, irrelevant, like the Hermetic First Matter. It is either overlooked entirely or certainly devalued by almost everyone! And yet Basal Body Hum can be considered the most precious of possessions. For within this field, or ground (ungrund) as matrix, the sparkling, beatific Ethers of Aphrodite are activated by the Great Work of Spiritual Love Play.

Section Two:


These consist of the neuro-electrically channeled and specialized transports of familiar sexual pleasure, all too frequently reduced to mere tension-reducers and sleep-promoters. They are not to be despised. They are circumscribed and momentary, and yet, when granted proper respect as Hierophanies, become very beautiful and edifying like fireworks arching and bursting in the night sky. If they are not recontextualized, inevitably they lead to the predominantly localized genital orgasm, more characteristic of male functioning than of female. Of course, the localized ejaculatory climax abruptly brings the curtain down on the show. To paraphrase the words of Paul Friedrich in ‘The Meaning of Aphrodite’ by nature women are gifted with a greater capacity for deep proprioception and “longer afterglow,” relating to any kind of ecstatic encounter. Now men can and should increase these capacities in themselves. For too many millennia women have felt constrained to imitate or conform to the steep-sided, sharp-peaked patriarchal orgasm. This is a prime source of frustration and disease for both sexes. The mimesis must re-polarize: men can learn the ways of deeper and more sustained proprioception from the feminine psyche.

In body-field consciousness during love-making, the neuro-electrical raptures appear in the form of localized jets, spurts, streakings, ‘shooting stars,’. and radial bursts as well as lineal surges, usually of short, exquisite duration. Initially the intensity of these surges is low and they are liminally faint: will-o-the-wisps, fireflies, or foxfire flarings in the vast cosmic terra incognita of pure sensual proprioception. They are lovely revelations and deserve to be appreciated for their intrinsic worth, not as mere precursors of the ejaculatory instant, which shuts down the arcane Love ballet of spiritually refining etheric currents. They are messages of living cosmos to you in the dialect of your own unique Love Nature. Their semantic is non-verbal, or para-verbal, but most certainly not mindless or sub-intellectual. Think of Kandinsky or Bach! They consists of fugal sensations with feeling-toned timbres and richly harmonic auras.

The vein-like spurts and surges occur vividly in the genitals, to be sure, but also appear in any other part of the body as well. The Sophic Lover must remain respectfully, acquiescently and gratefully attentive in a non-targeted way, to all lush regions of the fluid body field.

It is from the slightest and most delicate of these surges that the greatest waves and radiance of love bliss will arise.

The Sulphur of the alchemists, I believe, can be correlated with these normally accessible streakings of primordial bliss. Usually the subtle principle of Sulphur is taken as masculine. However, ‘sulphurous’ spurts and streakings appear as phosphorescently beautiful in the psyches of both men and women (‘sulphureous Mercury’). I have labeled them ‘neuro-electrical’ to distinguish them from the following stages of the Aphrodisian Mysteria. But of course these inner body erotic surges of short duration and trajectory possess ethereal dimensions which practitioners must appreciate. Intuit and savour them fully as inherently spiritual revelations, both immanent and transcendent. (Shallis; ‘The Electric Connection’, last chapter).

Section Three:


The beautiful term, ‘Sympneuma’, is the title of a mysterious Victorian book by Alice and Laurence Oliphant. This perplexing text was produced by Alice Le Strange Oliphant in trance with Laurence as amanuensis. The basic concept, no doubt essential to the fin ‘amors of some inner circle of Troubadours and Domnas as Priestesses, is discussed briefly by Peter Redgrove in his essential work, ‘The Black Goddess & The Unseen Real.’

We may define Sympneuma as spirituous breath blending (‘Pneuma with’). The Sympneumic Raptures emerge in gradually increasing and unfolding fusions of Pneuma throughout the whole body, whether you are alone or with a lover. Or in other words, Sympneuma suggests a gradual conjoining or field-coupling of subtle breath-streams and the ‘pneumatic cosmos’ between true Romantic Lovers. Again we are reminded of Wilhelm Reich’s ‘orgonetic tingling and streaming’ and ‘cosmic superimposition’. Increasing attunement through Sympneuma - awareness of erotic breath interweavings - promotes Soul-deepening of Body in ‘vital Spirit’ to Divinity, the Eternal Aphrodite.

This unfamiliar experience of sympneumic fusion is crucial to the attainment of higher conjunctions in the Alchemy of Love. Actually every time two lovers unite, even in a casual or ho-hum perfunctory manner, an initial, rudimentary Sympneuma goes into effect, but never fully blossoms because the lovers do not apply their trance-dilated consciousness to the emerging inner phenomena of the charged breath ballet.

If they cultivate interactive proprioception, that is, if they merge their inner sensations - which requires no more than regular, intentional practice - two people harmoniously in love can completely blend their subtle breath fields and thereby tap into atmospheric Pneuma-at-large (Spiritus Mundi).

I believe this pneumatic doubling activates its own sensory networks. The splendid Pneuma of all lovers continually replenishes and transmutes the planetary reservoir of Spiritus Mundi for the benefit of all beings, and offers access to supersensible worlds.

In psychosomatic consciousness, the Sympneumatic Raptures appear as voluminous streaming, flowing, swirling, rippling, quivering and tingling movements throughout the whole body, aura (now proprioceptively accessible) and extended surroundings. The periodic rise and fall of broad, continuous wave forms is unmistakable! In the course of a morning Chrysokyma session, these whole-body cataracts in slow motion often emerge during or immediately following the end of the exhalation phase of spontaneous respiration. Pause on empty! The felt edges of the ‘solid’ body seem to become diffuse and the different segments of this body have a tendency to move symphonically with one another in slight, slow, smooth undulations entraining with the charged breath liberated by Eros into cosmic Pneuma.

With growing awareness of and fine-tuning to beatific waves of love-fused and vivified Sympneuma, you pass through a living iridescent arch. You gain admittance to the Inner Court of the Forgotten Mysteries of Aphrodite. Whether woman or man, the Queen has patiently awaited your homecoming.

The proprioceptive stage of Sympneuma evokes imagery of an inner weather system model rather than one of fixed centers and networks.

Following a full-blown morning session of Chrysokyma ritual can condense, shape and distribute the love-charged Pneuma throughout the home, and landscape. Here Landscape Theurgy enters the picture.

The Sympneumic experiences may be associated with the Philosophical Mercury or Lunaria of the alchemists. Sympneuma reveals the Secret Sea of the alchemical opus, and of course it is feminine for both women and men.

“- The same that oft times


Charm’d magic casements

opening on the foam

Of perilous seas, in faery

lands forlorn.”

From ‘Ode to a Nightengale’ by John Keats

However the interior sensory phenomena discussed in Section Two continue, filaments of gossamer in swirling vapors. Phosphorescent fish still dart and flicker in the oceanic tides now all aglow and shimmering.

One indispensable historian of the venerable Hermetic Art, F. Sherwood Taylor, asserts that alchemy is a chemistry of Pneuma or Spirit. (Taylor pp. 6-17, 230).

Section Four:


The Synetheric Raptures form what I conceptualize as love fusions in Aither. They are identified by their astonishing Golden Radiance of seamlessly compounded, steady-state (standing wave) pleasure sensations and love feelings throughout the whole body, aura and Soul. Body becomes the flower of the soul. This Charis, or state of grace, can only merge between two devoted, surrendering Romantic Lovers; between Soul Lovers who are much more than ‘good sexual partners’ or ‘erotic technicians’ (absurdity of absurdities). These two lovers must sense the destined path of their love, like Soror Mystica and Frater Mysticus engaged in the Magnum Opus. At whatever age, they become Kore and Kouros.

In actual practice your lover may await you in the Halls of Mnemosyne, or may be a Faerie or shamanic spirit being. Sometimes the one develops into the other in the prolonged course of this work.

If the inner intuition of what Romantic Love ‘feels like’ continues to diminish, as it is diminishing today at an ever increasing rate, then the core value structure of the Western Culture (the Paideuma) will collapse: profound anomie does not offer a pretty scene to behold. Sophia Harmonia departs. Please peer into my euphemism.

If the sacred energies of normally remote inner Love Play become sufficiently free from conditioned response so they may exfoliate on their own during an extended mystery working of Chrysokyma, then at some point, the celebrant will become conscious of a gloriously blissful Radiance emanating from every part of the body, bathing flesh and aura and suffusing Soul with a Golden beatitude. It does feel golden! This love bliss radiance constitutes a Pleroma, or divine fullness, both immanent and transcendent. It confers an incredible blessedness.

When the perfumed radiance (said of Demeter) sets in, it persists unabated. It can continue long after the session ends, for its attenuation is very slow and gradual. This inner splendor will swell into a playful vivacity later in the day, sweeten your temper and even help you to glide through clogged and troubled territories. Thus the numinous, bounteous and dazzling presence of divine Aphrodite moves in union with your own.

During this fourth stage, all the phenomena of Stages two and three continue with awesome enhancement.

When this fourth stage of the ethereal love mystery has descended, you can sweep the open palm of either hand over any part of your fleshy body, between two and twelve inches from the surface, and thereby feel a swath of even more intense pleasure blossom deep within your tissues under the arc of your passing hand. Or if you pass your hand through the air above the skin of your lover, she or he will register the same mesmeric crescendo of astonishing fluidum.

When you interact with others during the day, the radiance will resurge to ignite happiness, joy, merriment and mirth. You have been sensitized to the secret radiance of others and its intertwining, concerted flow throughout the world! The universal Sympatheia revives.

No doubt this mysterious radiance or splendor which can arise between spiritual lovers expresses the crowning glory of the Opus. Consider Cauda Pavonis, Tail of the Peacock, spreading rainbow colours; Rebis, the androgynous ‘Two-Thing’. The radiance results from the transmutation of the interior Prima Materia or primordial body hum described in Section One. The Lapis (Stone) yields the Philosophical Gold of the alchemists, gold of a quality greatly superior to the familiar gold obtained by mining: a living, spirituous, ‘hyper-chemical’ gold. Lapis and Aqua Vitae identified! (Steady radiance). Coincidentia Oppositorum. (Franz, p. 174).

” - these two are like the mercury and the sulphur described by the alchemists, Sol the Father and Lune the Mother, the Male and Female principles, the White and Red Mercuries, which two, conjoined again, form a deep amber liquid. This is the philosophic gold, which is not made from metallic gold -“

(First two italics mine).

Archibald Cockren, a 20th Century alchemist

(Cockren, p. 126.)

Sometimes it would seem the finale of the long, arduous labor of love was the birth of the Filius Regius, a royal son from the purified and transmuted Lunar Queen and Solar King, after several separations and conjunctions. (I would suggest the birth of a royal daughter, Filia Regia or Kore, as the miraculous agent of ultimate, ineffable transmutations. This is a possibility we must assiduously seek in our time!) The Coniunctio and the birth of Fila Regia – Filius Regius in this fourth stage of the Dromena of Chrysokyma initiates the maturation of the celebrant’s Augeoeides or Aitherodes (Radiant Body or Aither Body), an enduring and starwending Body of Love.

“Are where thy grey eye


And where thy footstep

gleams -

In what ethereal dances,

By what eternal streams.”

From ‘To One in Paradise’ by Edgar Allen Poe.




“For I love him with my whole heart,

that always, when I go between

sleeping and waking

I have one guide with him together:

play and pleasure and joy & laughter.

The content I have in silence and peace

no creature knows

while he lies in my arms,

till he is transfigured -”.

(Author’s italics)

- Peire d’Alvernhe

(1150 – 1180)

Troubadour Poet

These lines are part of the reply of a lady to her lover, carried by a messenger bird. They are quoted from Arthur Versluis’ book, ‘The Mysteries of Love’ (p. 45-46). Please note the expression, ‘between sleeping and waking’.

Here follows a simple, relaxed practice to facilitate experience of the Aphrodisian Ethers. The term ‘Ethers’ connotes the whole gamut of super-fine fluids involved in ancient Mediterranean cosmologies.

When first you awaken in the morning, you are immersed in the lovely hypno-pompic state of consciousness. The hypno-pompic state lies between the mode of deep sleep and dreaming and the mode of day-wakeful consciousness. And, of course, hypno-pompic consciousness is graduating from the sleeping mode toward the waking mode. As it moves from deep sleep toward the waking state, hypno-pompic consciousness usually enjoys the freshness and replenishment of fully rejuvenated, psychic, spiritual, sensual and erotic powers. It offers a unique opportunity to harmonize volition with the archetypal potentials of the unconsciousness as understood by Jung. More specifically, the hypno-pompic state allows the lost riches of introverted sensation to be recovered and spiritually re-synthesized with feeling in the soul-making tradition of romantic love, now in dangerous subsidence.

Imagine how a voluptuous stretch and yawn feel when you first awaken in the morning after a full night’s sleep. Your smiling body twists and turns from side to side, brimming over with fresh, dewy bliss and tingling vitality. Little pockets of delicious warmth open up in the depths of this contour and that.

(1) Waking Up

Do not leap out of bed; do not entirely fall back into sleep. Brush away all busy anxious daily concerns before they get started. Lie flat on your back and remain quietly somnolent in this intermediate mode of consciousness, neither fully asleep nor fully awake. Sink into soft effortless contact with the primordial un-differentiated hum of your subtle whole body presence. Exult in the felt quality of warm, luxurious sleepiness, like an earthworm under a rain-soaked leaf. Tender this quality of psychic life proper respect. You become beaded with minute iridescent dew drops. They quiver with distilled Ethers from the Goddess of the Dawn and they seep into sleep-loosened pores. Soak your imagination in this alchemical bath which is reviving your Rainbow Body. Relax voluptuously in the ethereal bath, the primal humming wavelets of your forever delicate, fountain-fed whole body presence. (Please take my metaphors seriously. They are carefully chosen from the Tradition and from experience.) You are a hidden spring softly purling in the violet airs of sunrise.

(2) Maintaining the intermediate state of consciousness

Maintain your immersion in the intermediate state of consciousness. While lying flat on your back, slowly, smoothly (no jarring movements) pull your feet up toward your pelvis so that your parallel legs form a pyramid with your knees at the peak, overlooking the plain of your flattened torso. Study the illustration below.

This is the initiating posture! It is crucial to the gradual revelation of the beautiful mysteries of Chrysokyma. Why this posture should be so efficacious I do not fully comprehend. Of course you are very comfortably lying on your back. A pillow offers a soft support for your head. However I believe the effectiveness of this posture has something to do with the loop you complete between your chest, shoulder, arms, hands and thighs. The thighs of someone you love exert a strong appeal. As you will learn from doing Chrysokyma, the thighs are tremendously powerful generators of both streaking and flowing love pleasures. And once activated the calves are also. Human legs are marvelous ‘wave guidance forms’. each region of the body has its own mind, its own unique beauty and spirit power.

All regions of the body are equally filled and surrounded by your inimitable Soul. However, at every ‘point’ in your body, Soul also transcends the limits of day-wakeful space and time. But Soul always flowers into body, both subtle and dense, both flowing and congealed, both wave and particle. The Body is a flower that can spread the grace of the Soul in the perfumes of the Spirit.

The bottom of your feet should be comfortably flattened against the surface of your bed. They can be planted 4 - 12” apart. You may readjust from time to time. Thighs and legs may remain parted slightly, or they may be permitted to collapse toward each other so that the insides of the knees make contact slightly, comfortably.

After you first awaken, if you feel the need to go to the bathroom, do so before you assume the initiating posture. During the short interval you are away from bed, move ‘somnambulistically’ to preserve the somewhat fragile ‘tissue’ of the hypno-pompic disposition of consciousness. Bracket out all anticipations, worries or concerns of the last and forthcoming day. Such anxious preoccupations snap you into the beta-frequencies of externalizing, goal-oriented drives and the magical morning trance zone of spiritual sluice-gates and subtle nuances of erotic flow are again closed down and cemented over. In terms of full psychic growth, this eventually is one of the major tragedies of our time. You are catapulted into the ‘commonsense’ corporealisation of “averageness, everydayness and matter-of-factness”. (Martin Heidegger).

(3) The Initiating Posture

Rest the palms of your hands lightly, daintily upon the FRONTS of your upper thighs. (Once more please refer to the illustration.) It is sufficient for only the heels of your hands and the tips of your fingers to rest lightly on the fronts of your warm, humming thighs. Delicacy is the Soul of this Art, a spiritual discipline of languor and reverie, which returns Body to Soul in the alembic of subtle, pneumatic solutions.

And so you have your relaxed hands upon on the fronts of your relaxed thighs. Your body segments and limbs are symmetrical with one another in straight but certainly nor rigid longitudinal and transverse alignment.

If your bedroom is warm enough it is enjoyable to practice naked. However, loose, voluminous nightgown or nightshirt can actually conserve and condense both the Ethers generated by your body and those attracted to you from the fresh dew-laden morning airs circulating through the landscape surrounding your chamber.

Please take note of the following conditions for they are very important determinants. Depending on the temperature prevailing in your bedroom in the morning, a sheet or a sheet and blanket really should cover your entire body (or two bodies), with the exception of the head(s). Of course your raised knees turn the covering sheet or sheet-and-blanket into a kind of tent. Inside the air gap becomes warm, richly redolent and very vibrant. Optimal warmth is necessary for successful ‘incubation’. You must be comfortable; muscular stress must be minimized. Also I am convinced that this tent-like arrangement accumulates and intensifies the Ethers and thus promotes the generation of blissful, spiritually liberating ripples and freshets of ‘White Stone Mercury’. From time to time you may lift the upper edge of your coverlet around your shoulders. This allows the air inside to exchange with the botanical-dewy airs outside.

When weather permits, make sure that a bedroom window is at least partially open (preferably facing East and Dawn, and yet any direction will suffice.) This condition most certainly makes an immense difference in the strength, clarity and vividness of your Chrysokymic delights and Aphrodisian metanaoia! Pristine, dewy, morning airs bring you the purest and most powerful Pneuma of Aphrodite! Please see the critically relevant alchemical ‘graphic novel’, Mutus Liber (Adam McLean). If you live in northerly latitudes and the winters are severe, during that season allow your bedroom a 10 - 30 minute window-airing every day sometime before noon. And fill a small glass bowl with fresh water - spring water preferably - and float a fresh bouquet of leafy aromatic sprigs in the water. But fresh aromatics can be hard to come by during winter time. You can substitute a drop or two of your favorite essential oil. The oil will float to the surface of the water. Set the bowl outside occasionally to absorb some rain drops or snow flakes. In the names of Aphrodite and Artemis bless the bowl and its vital vapors. Reverently place it near your bed. Bless the airs of your bedroom in the names of Aphrodite and Hermes. Vibrate the air deftly with bell or singing bowl (Grail) each morning after Chrysokyma. Or a soft gong or tinkling triangle may be used. Experiment.

You will make the greatest progress and the most surprising breakthroughs in your practice of hypno-pompic Chrysokyma during the Spring Season! To an astonishing degree, this fact is experientally verifiable, and is in accord with the assertions of some practicing alchemists (Adam McLean; Armand Barbault). Wonderous deepenings and exaltations continue with comparative ease through the Summer and Autumn, when personal nostalgia and ancestral memories tincture the broth with exquisite Soul-making feeling tones. A quieter activity may be expected during the Winter months. The Vital Spirit is assimilating all the new developments of the foregoing year, especially if you ruminate upon the events of each session and journalize them if ever so briefly. This convinces the deep self that your intentions are genuine. The more subdued activity, the quietus, awakens unknown sensitivities to remote subtleties within subtleties of the finest hue where the elusive mystery of love feeling abides.

I am suggesting the reclamation of a currently repressed dimension of passion: sentiment. When will we realize that the contemporary disparagement of romance and sentiment is gutting our culture, soul and spirit? Is it already too late? Only Goddess knows. Pumping out babies we can’t care for properly will not fill, but ultimately increase the collective void and spreading sense of angry futility in the face of the problem of ‘population explosion.’ The intelligent magical cultivation of romantic love feelings closely coupled with refined erotic sensations can transform void into Pleroma, that is, lasting spiritual fullness in devotion to Goddess and God.

(4) Attention, Relaxation and Breathing

Maintaining a soft, diffuse focus of attention, breathe out slowly and easily through your arms into your hands, and then from your hands into your thighs. As you exhale very slowly, gently, almost nonchalantly, in two long, ‘melodious arcs’, feel your breath rippling through both arms-hands-fingers to thighs. The tenuous sensations spread out in your full thighs like silvery streams of water that have splashed into echoing marble basins whose rims are warm with sunlight. The continuity of sensation in these arcs will first appear in your consciousness as very slight “streamings and tinglings”, to apply the famous expression of Wilhelm Reich. Once you have registered the continuity of low-level tingling and streaming in the loop, forget it and simply allow your aimless breathing to proceed. Never impatiently urge your sensations to intensify. You cannot whip this mare! Whenever the raptorial hunting, or coercive, tendency arises, dismiss it and soothe yourself into contentment with drowsy, voluptuous passivity again. Your eyes remain closed throughout the session.

(5) Alone and Sharing with Partner

If you are alone, imagine someone lovely hovering near you, gently breathing in counterpoint with you, pulsing and undulating in reciprocity with your own reverberant rhythms. You may imagine her or his face close to your own, in brilliant halos of light, transformed by and exuding the mists of love. You feel the thrilling touch of the other spectral skin. Don’t hold on to these images. Let them metamorphose as they emerge from and dissolve into inner erotic ether waves. Later these images will expand into sustained visionary journeys with your lover. The finest clairvoyance arises from reciprocal interior clairtouchance between metaphysically oriented lovers. Some completely buried loves from the deep past may reappear and suddenly disentomb the most gorgeous forgotten feelings, with hundreds of associated tints which confer upon your Sleeping Beauty Soul benefits of incalculable value. World Soul needs to resurrect these for the good of Earth, humanity and your own future works of joy.

If you lift into the sky with your imaginal Spirit Lover, continue to attend the movements of the subtle breath in and around your body. Of course this entails a limbering of consciousness to accomodate supple transitions of focus, which become relatively easy in the hypno-pompic state. If the visual adventure takes a turn you find unpleasant (which hardly ever happens) simply refocus on the activity of the Ethers as such in and around your physical form. The visual perigrinations will switch on and off automatically. Allow them to guide if their ambient feeling tone remains anagogic (‘upward leading’) and benevolent. Your basic frame of reference or ‘divine ground’ is the felicitous billowing flow of coadunating ethereous sensations and melting feelings in and around your whole body, and not just your genitals.

These ethereous sensations and feelings constitute the medium of Aphrodite’s holifying presence, and must be ardently invited to fill the entire field of consciousness. Thus Aphrodite may vivify and orchestrate all image-crystalizing meanders. The best of these should be journalized, along with the associated ever-new ether movement patterns, deep somatic sensations, prominent immersive ambient feeling tones and qualities-at-large. There really is no language for the phenomena of this mysterious, disowned Cosmos! Just do your best to identify and trace movements. For qualitative descriptions, search for similies and metaphors in the vocabularies of the familiar specialized senses.

If you do not stay in touch with the refining, romantic enchantments of Aphrodite’s supersensible realm, She cannot guide you, and the love-bliss will either evaporate or degrade into vulgarity, rawness and crudity of marketplace feelings and fantasy. This must be minimized if the practice is to advance soulmakings and spiritual transmutation. I do not mean that the Chrysokyma experience should lack passion or erotic transport. The finer, deeper, more tender love emotions are more powerful, more wholly galvanizing than the coarser kind, aroused and extinguished all too quickly by the familiar peaking out, with a consequent loss of accumulating, subtle layers and dimensions of the Ethers. With the delights of sensuality, the feeling tone of romantic love simply must be preserved!

If there are two of you,

begin by lying alongside each other

with both in the initiating posture.

At least some areas of the skin of arms, legs and feet, must be touching. Donate some attention to the soft sounds and movements of your two breathings, and the mixing of the flesh fragrances.

At first do not concern yourselves with coordinating breath cycles. The coordination will occur naturally, involuntarily, and you should take note of that. Lovers will experience a mutual positive feedback of delicious, swimming, diffusing and suffusing delights of many different kinds. Your two luscious breath-bodies are making rarified love to each other!

Two lovers can communicate to each other in short whispers what is happening in her or his body field and where it is happening anatomically. Each pair will work out its own love-bliss code as their spirituous interiors gradually coalescence telepathically. Little sighs and cries of love bliss increase the delicate flow of Aphrodisian Ethers.

When the flows and radiance are well established, the two lovers may deftly roll onto their sides facing each other, forming a loose, comfortable embrace. Terms of endearment should be exchanged for they increase the love-flow: movements of breath, lungs, heart, sweet soft tones, and soul.

If she whispers, “Lovely surge in my right shoulder-”, he must try to discover an answering surge in one of his shoulders and slowly body-breathe it back into her right shoulder. And then both follow the intertwining currents from there. Always remain aware that no two Chrysokyma sessions are ever the same: surprising novelties arise each time. Constant innovation is intrinsic to the Soul of this magical art.

In time, the whole inner, subtle sensoria of the two lovers begin to fuse and what she feels is immediately felt by him through some action of etheric resonance: the alchemical Cojunctio. Initially, the first ripples of Golden wave must pass from the woman to the man, for she naturally and necessarily holifies the two. But in the fullness of time, the love communion flows both ways equally, as it is incorporated into the Divine Pleroma of the Great Goddess, the Goddess and the God, Kore and Kouros. In other words, the love flows and feelings can convey themselves back and forth telepathically, and then very little verbal cuing is required. Chrysokyma offers full psionic rapport, which is fundamentally a process of gradually linking inner, fluid, proprioceptive sensoria. (Somewhere Isaac Newton has said space is the sensorium of God.) The Conjunctio of Romantic Love, appropriately developed, opens the gates to this limitless yet assiduously ignored or suspiciously skirted cosmic hinterland of Spiritus Mundi and Anima Mundi. Romantic Lovers can swim in these luminous waters if they decide to orient their dilated consciousness toward the Faerie shores.

While enthralled in the loose embrace mentioned above, each lover’s hands rest lightly on some part of the back, waist, hips, shoulders or head of the other. This permits the long, smooth exhalations of each to pulse through the arms and enter the other from the super-sensitized fingertips and palms. As inner ethereal communion deepens, the lovers should learn to breathe directly from pelvis into pelvis, from belly into belly, from breast and heart into breast and heart, from lips and eyes into lips and eyes, from toes into toes, from body totality into body totality, and so forth. In the hypno-pompic state, allow spontaneous fugal breathing rhythms to interweave themselves: dyadic respiration. Each lover must listen and feel with the whole Soul-body for all the heavings and cross-currents, the subtle quiverings, ripplings, soughings and syncopated pulsings of Both in the concrescence and synergy of their new birth to inner cosmos.

When, on the wave of their love, lovers enter visionary landscapes, they can embrace, kiss and caress each other there. They can run, dance, frolic and fly. The environmental feeling tones are opulent like heady perfume. Love sensations, feelings and thoughts increase in vividness like the surrounding colors and shapes.

These paradisal journeys should be thoroughly reviewed and recorded by the couple - or single practitioner - within a few hours following the experience. Thus the rapture is grounded and integrated, and can be shared.

Between them, true lovers always hold the whole world in their arms. This follows from the over-riding power of Aphrodite.

Remember, each lover must also spend some time in single practice.

(6) The Tingling of Pleasure

Wherever in your body you feel a slight pleasurable tingling, streaming and/ or expansion of erotic warmth, breathe and focus softly into it. You are receptively scanning your whole body field, including aura, for the small, local awakenings of the Ethers of Aphrodite. (Review the neuro-electrical section above.) In this stage of the Love Play Opus, never impatiently apply external manual manipulations to increase or intensify the activity. The Golden Wave must rise gradually by itself or you get a vastly inferior excitation. Once the Radiance commences, caresses of all kinds increase the proprioceptive rapture and beauty of Love Bliss. The foregoing applies only to Chrysokyma sessions. On page. 265 of her book, ‘Alchemy’, Marie-Louise von Franz shares a recommendation from an alchemical text: “Pay attention, so as not to burn the king and queen with too much fire.” The coalescence of inner etheric sensoria for the emergence of the finest raptures of love requires a persistent gentle heat, a slow ‘Sophic Fire’.

(7) The Dying Out and Reappearance of Energy

The little streamings and wisps of proprioceptive pleasure you locate will die out and then reappear in other parts of your body. You simply register them momentarily, without interfering, and continue passively to scan and monitor your whole body field, enjoying the erotic, ethereal show, and also the visual scenes constellated by the ethereal dynamic.

Scan but do not target like a hawk searching for prey. Nor should you hunt like a detached observer ferreting out ‘interesting data’. You are a fully participating Petitioner - Tarot Trump 0 - in a Mystery Play, much of which is unfolding and infolding throughout your Body of Mysteries. Of course this is no longer the body of ‘common sense’ or of contemporary materialistic science. This is the preternatural body, the original body which results from the alchemical Coagulatio or condensing. And the Coagulatio co-adjusts with the Solve, a dissolving, distilling and etherealizing of body. We are reclaiming the magical body which is an aspect of the eternal Soul, the Shamanic Body of bewildering transmutations and ineffable mystery.

To reiterate, do not fall into the trap of willing, forcing or compelling the flickering minnows to do this or that, to turn this way or that. If no oppression by self-will is brought to bear, the free play of the frailest and most liminal sparks of Love Bliss will give rise to the most powerful winds and galvanizing lava-flows of love rapture, after patient tendence. Your loving, non-obtrusive attention to the little freshets and sparks of celestial-cthonic erotic sensation slowly amplifies their activity, as you will see. They have been almost completely neglected by people ‘in a hurry’ for millennia!

(8) Following the Energy Patterns

With deference, follow them in and out of drowse, always focusing softly. ‘In and out of drowse’ is a most important pointer. You learn to remain in the hypno-pompic trance, which normally carries your consciousness from deep sleep and dream into what we may call the work-a-day waking mode. In the practice of Chrysokyma, you prolong this usually short-lived transitional state. (The alarm clock sounds its traumatic death knell.)

In the hypno-pompic state, you preserve access to the Jungian Collective Unconscious and the Objective Psyche, equivalent to the Neo-platonic and Hermetic Anima Mundi or Kore Kosmou. If you drowse off while scanning for second stage spurts and trickles of erotic pleasure, you will soon awaken to stronger ones in new and surprising patterns, and their precious associates of romantic reverie remembrance, whether of this lifetime or some other. If some stronger surge arises quite suddenly, maintain your soft scanning disposition, otherwise you may be jolted out of the hypno-pompic mode, which is a condition necessary to the spiritual explorations upon which you have embarked. Reducing all these fine considerations to the generalities of words makes the process seem difficult. But the actual practice is not so very difficult. Believe me, most people still harbor an instinct for this depreciated mode of consciousness, which provides Aphrodisian access to Astral Touch (Aither) as well as Astral Light.

(9) Releasing Momentary Currents

Do not seize upon the various coursings of numinous bliss. Never try to hold on to them or force them to increase in strength by ‘gripping’ muscular contractions or any other means that obstruct their flow. The momentary currents, tinglings or burstings accomplish their work of subtle vivification by flaring up here and there in the body where needed, by playfully swimming around in the finer secret sensorium, to which we are usually deadened by 20th Century quotidian routings and hyperactive frenzies. The following lines were penned by William Blake:

“He who binds to himself a joy

Does the winged life destroy;

But he who kisses the joy as it flies

Lives in eternity’s sun rise.”

(10) The Absurdity of the Quick Fix

All directed, repetitious spiritual energy practices and elaborate, prefabricated psycho-spiritual schemata should be set aside during the morning hypno-pompic session.

The lyrical adventure of Chrysokyma is not a performance principle drill! However drills are important in support of Chrysokyma if they are practiced at other times. If the so-called ‘fire-breath’ or contractions of the pubo-coccygeal muscles (‘p-c pump’) are employed during the time allotted to Chrysokyma, so as to ‘speed-up the process’, access to the deeper levels of Pneuma and Aither is most certainly blocked. Hence the finer, more delicate currents are ‘short-circuited’ or shut down. These finer, more delicate, pristine currents constitute the only source-matrix for the generation of the most potent and fully transformative flow-fields of Love Bliss. Now the above-mentioned practices deliver quick raw energy boosts when you need them. But such a quick raw energy boost during the morning session, no matter how good it feels for a moment or two, snaps you right out of the hypno-pompic modality. If you aspire to the finer thing, beware of the quick fix.

Fire-breath, ‘p-c pump’ and similar exercises raise a comparatively crude and coarse-grained erotic energy (and low grade orgasms) with impressive speed - but they also set up a barrier to the foundational, aboriginal reservoirs of the Aphrodisian Ethers. Also they quickly exhaust immediately available neuro-electrical reserves of erotic energy, which must be allowed to awaken themselves slowly and effortlessly if they are to couple successfully with the universal reservoirs of super-fine (hence more powerful) Cosmic Love Breath.

Also, if Chrysokyma is to develop true love rapture, then spontaneity and continual innovative readjustment to the switching and swerving of frolicsome streams, define the sine qua non of joyous fulfillment.

The great Carl Kerényi coined the term arretology, to suggest a very advanced science of the ineffable with reference to the ancient Hellenic Mysteries. The arreton of profound joy in love certainly cannot be defined or mapped, but perhaps the best climate for its long-term nurture can be suggested.

On some mornings, the blissful streamings will grow more forceful and imposing. Finally they open into a great sea-breezy space. Then they will converge in the chest or solar plexus, genitals or pelvic girdle. After a while they mount the heavenly stairs of the spine with an increasing sense of melting incandescent Love. They fill the cranium and cascade down through the chest and abdomen. As in the invaluable practice of Chi Gong, these transmuted Ethers must be stored in the core, one and one half inches below the navel (Mantak Chia).

You and your beloved throb and flow into prolonged etheric fusion. Your concrescent sensoria fill with blissful Radiance, Aphrodite’s Golden Wave. Ultimately you also catch glimpses of the gleaming Aither, sometimes in puddles flashing from hollows of the Earth (the Mercury-Lunaria). In other instances you and your Beloved wing rapturously through opalescent landscapes of Paradise.

From simple mysteries of breath and pulse, Love distills the Ethers of Aphrodite, and they float you through the day.

Hail Aphrodite!

Minimal Bibliography


1. Bleakly, Alan: Fruits of the Moon Tree; Gateway Books, London, 1984 (p. 29 and other alchemical passages.)

2. Barbault, Armand: Gold of a Thousand Mornings; Spearman, London, 1975.

3. Couliano, Ioan: Eros and Magic in the Renaissance; University of Chicago Press, 1987 (Pneuma-phantasmologie.)

4. Cockren, Archibald: Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored; Reprinted by Borderland Sciences, California. No date.

5. Chia, Mantak: Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao; Aurora Press, Santa Fe, 1983 (The best groundwork exercises for free-form Chrysokyma. Also see Chia’s books on sexuality.)

6. Darnton, Robert: Mesmerism; Harvard University Press; Cambridge, Mass. 1968.

7. Evola, Julius: The Hermetic Tradition; Inner Traditions, Vermont 1995.

8. Eliade, Mircea: The Forge and the Crucible; Harper and Brothers, N.Y., 1962.

9. Franz, Marie-Louise von: Alchemy; Inner City Books, Toronto, 1980 (See lecture on Aurora Consurgens).

10. Friedrich, Paul: The Meaning of Aphrodite; University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1982.

11. Guthrie, W.K.C.: The Greeks and Their Gods; Beacon Press, Boston, 1955 (See general index: “Aither”).

12. Godwin, Joselyn: Michael Maier’s Atlanta Fugiens; Phanes Press, Grand Rapids, 1989 (Translator and editor)

13. Kalweit, Holger: Dreamtime and Inner Space; Shambala, Boston, 1988. (Shamanic Spirit Lovers).

14. Louÿs, Pierre: The Songs of Bilitis; Dover, N.Y., 1988 (Refined sensuality).

15. Makin, Peter: Provence and Pound; University of California Press, Berkeley, 1978.

16. McLean, Adam: A Commentary on the Mutus Liber; Phanes Press, Grand Rapids, 1991 (“‘Dew and Ether,” Essential reference).

17. Mead, G.R.S.: The Doctrine of the Subtle Body in Western Tradition; Solos Press, Dorset, 1993 (From Pneuma Ochema to Augoeides).

18. Moore, Thomas: Soul Mates; Harper Collins, N.Y., 1994.

19. Nelli, René: L’Érotique des Troubadours; Privat, Toulouse, 1963 (p. 159-168 Traditional physics of Eros.)

20. Oderman, Kevin: Ezra Pound and the Erotic Medium; Duke University Press, Durham, 1986 (Essential to Gnosis of Chrysokyma).

21. Redgrove, Peter: The Black Goddess and the Unseen Real; Grove Press, N.Y. 1987 (Essential to Chrysokyma, especially sections 3 and 4.)

22. Renee, Janine: Playful Magic; Llewellyn, St. Paul, 1994 (Landscape Sympneuma, pages 104-112).

23. Runyon Carroll “Poke”: Seasonal Rites of Baal and Astarte; C.H.S., Inc. Silverado, California, 1998 (Excellent correlation of alchemical operations with the Seasons and Hierosgamos).

24. Sanella, Lee: The Kundalini Experience; Integral Publishing, Lower Lake, California, 1976.

25. Shallis, Michael: The Electric Connection; New Amsterdam, N.Y. 1988 (Electricity, ethers and psyche. Especially Chapters 5, 10, 11.)

26. Smoley, Richard: From Lead to Gold; Gnosis, No. 40, Summer 1996, San Francisco.

27. Suhr, Elmer G.: The Spinning Aphrodite; Helios Books, N.Y. 1969 (Essential reading.)

28. Taylor, F. Sherwood: The Alchemists; Henry Schuman, N.Y. 1949 (The best conceptual and historical orientation.)

29. Urban, Rudolph von: Sex Perfection and Marital Happiness; The Dial Press, N.Y. 1959 (Essential reference).

30. Versluis, Arthur: The Mysteries of Love; S.L.R.- Grail, St. Paul, 1996

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