MEMOIR LOGO CONCEPT: The aleph and a Sufi mystic inspired my creation and design of the syzygy logo, which I initially based on the symbolism of the yin and yang.

But the concept expanded when I first saw the aleph in Judith Cornell’s    
Mandala Healing Kit, My inexplicable attraction to it led me to incorporate it into my logo before I knew what it meant. 

I later read that the “Aleph (the first letter of the sacred Hebrew alphabet) embodies the primordial, divine potential of the universe. ... Aleph contains all the universe’s potential and all of its emptiness   simultaneously. Aleph represents a dynamic process of movement from unity to diversity and back to unity,” Jennifer Judelsohn, Songs of Creation.

And the  mystic poet Rumi inspired me to use the fire and water concept after I read The  Question.  Here is an excerpt:  

“The presence is there in front of me. A fire on the left, a lovely stream on the right.

One group walks toward the fire, into the fire. Another toward the sweet flowing water.

No one knows which are blessed and which are not.

Whoever walks into the fire appears suddenly in the stream. 

A head goes under water, and that head pokes out of the fire.”

LOGO ART: Cropped fire and water images from Free Images

LOTUS LOGO: In spiritual and religious literature, “the lotus is a symbol for the macrocosm and the microcosm, the universe and man. The lotus represents the divinity of the cosmos as well as the divinity of man. 

The lotus is the center of the infinite, omnipresent consciousness which connects with the consciousness of the universe. Through the intuition, one of man’s divine gifts, the spiritual student can see the infinite, omnipresent consciousness as the lotus flower within himself.” 

LOTUS ART: Courtesy 
Homestead, my website service provider. (Temporary art while I design of my own lotus logo.)

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(Thru Amazon)

Oracle Card (March 10, 2013)
QUESTION: Dear Spirit Guides. I honor you and thank you so much for all your guidance. Would you please give me guidance regarding court tomorrow morning? Thanks so much. 

ANSWER: Alchemy. “You have the Midas touch right now. And every project you begin turns to gold” [3]. 

Synchronicity (March 10 , 2013) The first sentence of the Alchemy card said, “You’re on a roll at this time…” The last sentence I wrote in Part III (at about 5:30 this morning) was “On a roll, I turned in my blue Camp Fire Girls cap and red kerchief….” 

Notes (March 10, 2013)
Alchemy? What a strange card to draw. It has something to do with transforming base metal to gold? I noticed lemons on my grocery list, and thought, “If the world gives you lemons, make lemonade.” And the thought stuck all morning.  

A few hours later, I walked to the grocery store to return the spoiled watermelon I bought yesterday. The manager gave me back double the price for the inconvenience. When has that ever happened before, ever? Not in my life. Then I stopped to buy a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s for the chilly walk home. The clerk gave me a cup of medium roast with hazelnut syrup—for free! 

On the walk home, I noticed that a couple of little girls had set up shop across the street. At first I brushed it off. I was more interested in watching the ducks in the pond on my side of the street. But then it popped into my mind: “I have the Midas touch, and those little girls look like they’re probably selling something.” I decided to cross the street and check it out. Maybe they needed my Midas touch. Low and behold they had a whole bowl of lemons sitting on their table, which they would gladly turn into fresh-squeezed lemonade for a buck. Of course, never mind warm coffee in hand. Or how odd children would set up a lemonade stand on a cold day in March. Sign me up. 

Then, as I was typing up my notes, I recalled another “gold” synchronicity. A few weeks ago I just suddenly had to know the words to Nicki Minaj’s rap at the beginning of “This Girl Is on Fire” by Alicia Keys. I found the lyrics on the Internet, and then waited for the song to play again so I could try to rap along, like I’ve ever rapped a word a day in my life! To my utter amazement, the last line of the rap verse says: “But I got ’em aggy cause I win the gold like Gabby,” Gabby, of course, the Olympian, but I made an instant connection to Gabby, that is, wins the gold like Gabby Hayes.

Also, the lyrics of my new favorite song in “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons have new meaning for me: “Raise my hands, Paint my spirit gold.”

Oracle Card (March 18, 2013)
QUESTION: Dear Spirit Guides: I am excited as I watch for God’s miracles in my life, as my prayers have been answered, even though I can’t see how yet. The eviction date approaches, but I continue to keep faith, working away on my website, and trying to maintain my physical and mental strength. I will continue what I’m doing unless you have any further guidance at this time. Thank you so much for all your guidance. : ) Love, Gabrielle

ANSWER: A New Dawn, “The worst is now behind you, and positive new experiences are on the horizon.... You’ve endured storms over rough seas, but now the way is clear and smooth….Wash away the negativity from your consciousness and past memories, and keep only the positive lessons and love. … Don't hang on to resentment or bitterness.. Let it go! ... Affirm, ‘I now release the need to experience this life lesson. I extract [echoes extracting gold from base metal on the alchemy card] whatever teachings I need to discover, and I move 
on.’ By pulling this card, you’ve turned a corner in your life, wherein your prayers and positive thoughts are delivering new rays of Divine light to illuminate your present and future.” 

Do Not Extract the Gold 
Dream Journal Entry 
Monday, March 19, 2013
I’m telling Zach (my brother) that it’s such a shame that all the updates I’m making to my memoir won’t be in the hard copy as I explain to him my new strategy to brush off all the dirt from my childhood experiences in order to extract the gold, like turning lemons into lemonade, or something to that effect. I thought he would like it better that way, and Dad would too. But Zach is adamant: “No! Don’t do that.” 

Synchronicity (March 19, 2013)
Speaking of lemons, I added them to my grocery list. But I wasn’t really thinking about lemons on my way to the store. The wind was fierce, and I almost turned back when my pink baseball cap blew off. But my lack of English muffins prodded me on. 

In addition to the ridiculous wind, I was annoyed because I couldn’t stop thinking about a certain e-mail I had received earlier from a potential client. I wanted to ask the Universe for a synchronicity, something that would give me guidance about that e-mail, but I don’t think that’s how it works. You can ask for a sign, but can you ask for a synchronicity? I don’t know. I really just wanted to enjoy my walk. Just blow it off, like the wind. Repeat. Just blow it off, like the wind. Repeat. My thoughts soon relaxed, became present, and shortly thereafter the wind let up. 

As I approached the backside of the grocery store, a row of about 15 pallets with bags stacked on them attracted my attention. Why so many? What is in them, dirt or concrete or what? I had to know, so I deviated from my usual path to check them out. But I couldn’t tell what was in them because they were double-wrapped. What’s it to me anyway, I wondered, as I stepped up on the curb past the last pallet and began to cross the field, which I had never done before. About ten steps in, on the ground right in front of me, was a lemon. A plastic lemon! 

No doubt my psyche lured me to that very spot. How hilarious! What are the chances? I was so excited, walking up on a lemon like that in such an odd and unexpected way. Of course, without the context of the alchemy oracle card that I drew on March 10, and the correlations I made between gold and a lemon and between my psyche and matter, a plastic lemon in the middle of a field would have been meaningless to me. But this amazing synchronicity told me to go home and research alchemy, a subject that I had sent to the back of the line, and to reread my lemon/gold synchronicities with renewed importance. 

I had what I thought was a brilliant idea as I began to build this page, that is, I would accomplish two things at once: build the alchemy page, of course, but in the process I would show how I plan to transform the negative childhood experiences in my memoir (which seem to be a thorn in the claws of some of my family members, especially my Dad) and turn them into gold. I took into account what Zach said in my dream, but I figured he just misunderstood what I meant. 

However, totally disregarding my conscious thought, my psyche apparently took over the whole process of building this page, for it is not until this very moment that I realize this page isn't at all what I was planning. 

That thing about childhood memories never even came up. Instead that lemon in the field led me, through alchemy, to a whole new understanding of the process of personal transformation, and it showed me where I am in my process of self-discovery.  

As I review everything I have just written, as I scratch my head at the marvel of it all, a revelation occurs to me: From the depths of the dark night of my soul arises a new dawn—the color of lemons and sunrise—on this first day of spring, March 20, 2013.  ♂ 
From the depths of the dark night of my soul arises a new dawn—the color of lemons and sunrise—on the first day of spring, March 20, 2013. 
Jung examined the 
medieval alchemical process through the lens of a psychologist in his book Psychology and Alchemy. In it he demonstrated express correlations between the process of transformation of lead into gold as a metaphor for the process of personal growth, what he termed “the process of individuation”; that is a purifying process of development that begins from our dark unconscious state, or lead, through to an enlightened state of wisdom, symbolized by gold, when we have realized our authentic Self, that is, our full potential.
Many philosophers of alchemy view this process of self-discovery as occurring in three or foumajor phases, which may vary from one person to another and will likely overlap during transitional periods. Based on my current view and limited knowledge of my process of self-discovery, I am going to refer to three phases, which seem to best describe my stages of growth, which philosophers have named “Nigredo,” “Albedo,” and “Rubedo.” 

Nigredo (or “Black”) Phase
In this “black” phase, we begin to realize that those things we always found so annoying in others were reflections of our own behaviors, and we are mortified. Our ego is repulsed to discover that we are not at all who we imagined ourselves to be. Depression sets in. Thoughts of death preoccupy a person in this phase, which aptly reflects the dying, or dismantling, of the “old” personality. 

Of course, I had heard from more than one source that one has to lose one’s self in order to find one’s self, an idea I often romanticized in my mind. But I didn’t know what it really meant until now. The following description by Jungian analyst M.-L. von Franz sums up that phase of “losing myself to find myself” pretty accurately: “For the person in this phase, life is not pleasant, as it is full of confusion and bewilderment, disorientation, sickness of spirit and confrontations with the shadow. Jealousy, envy, irritability, anxiety, self-righteousness, greed, melancholy and inflation are just some of the panoply of feelings that show up during this most difficult of the phases” [2]. 

I read again and again that you can’t rush this phase, or any of the phases for that matter. It is what it is. It takes its own sweet (or not so sweet) time, to evolve, to be ready for the next phase, in this case, the “white” phase. Having weeded out pretension and falsity, a person ending the black phase will have a newfound sense of humility: “At the end of the Nigredo is a somewhat chastened person, now much more aware of their frailties and weaknesses than ever before. Because all those shadow projections enabled us to feel a false sense of security, and we’ve lost them, we feel very naked and alone.”

Albedo (or “White”) Phase 
As the phase of the “dark night of the soul” ends, we enter the Albedo, the “white” phase, the “new dawning of a psyche freed of projections as Citrinitas, after the yellow colour of lemons and sunrise.” At first, when daylight broke, I did feel exposed, almost violated.

The awareness that others could see through what I didn’t even recognize as a disguise felt embarrassing. But rather than pull the covers over my head, my first inclination, I embraced my weaknesses, and even went the extra mile to expose them—again—on the Internet for the whole world to see (hopefully). 

In this phase, if we are patient and if we just stay receptive, “we start to become aware of something ‘outside’ ourselves that is intensely and immediately interested in ensuring our survival and success. Medieval people often called this a Guardian Angel.” I call them my spirit guides.​

Since entering this phase I have received amazing, ongoing guidance from my spirit guides—from God, from the Universe, from my higher Self, or whatever one likes
to call that which cannot be named—who  
Alchemy transforms lead to gold, dark soul to dawn
Of my stones, I selected the three stones above, top to bottom, to represent my phases of self-discovery: Nigredo, Albedo, and Rubedo. For me they represent the dark night of the soul, the new dawn, and gold, a symbol of the soul’s highest achievement: individuation.
“It was part of Jung’s genius, born out of his respect for ancient ways and wisdom traditions, to recognize that the medieval alchemists were about something much more profound than making gold out of lead. Rather than metallurgical transformation, alchemy is about the process of personal transformation. Lead is symbolic of the basic unconscious state that we’re in when we come into the world, and the gold is the achievement we reach when we have developed in ourselves what Jung called “individuation,” that is, when we have become fully and truly who we are meant to be.” [1]

Jungian Center for the Spiritual Sciences
spoke to me through poetry and song and oracle cards and synchronicities and serendipity: “What we experience in practice during this phase is that a super-human presence begins to guide us. … It seems super-human because we have no way of representing frontal lobe activity as being within us. There is no place on the sensory or motor cortex to record such a thing. It seems ‘higher’ than us because it is a higher centre in our brains than we had previously been able to comprehend in quite this way.” The next phase, of course, is the red phase.

Rubedo (or “Red”) Phase
I have not yet entered the red phase at this point in my experience, although the idea of subordination to a higher power is not entirely unfamiliar to me. Nonetheless, since I lack experience in this phase, I will depend entirely on the following quotes by an expert to describe it. (Of course, I will continue to update this web page as my experience dictates.)

The third phase is a subordination to this “higher” presence, by allowing this power to “use us as an instrument, apparently for its own will, but we usually find later that it was in our own best interests in the long term. Very elite athletes, especially martial artists, can illustrate dramatically how subordinating to this power allows them to respond with speed, precision and force far beyond what conscious thought and will could achieve.” 

In this phase, the “Rubedo is the art and science of applying our newly acquired optimised psyche in the outside world, so that segment of alchemy will take us the rest of our lives. To the extent we have done our inner work properly, we will be more capable of understanding our experiences in their true context and react to them more suitably and adaptively.” 

                                    ♂ ♀ 
Imagine you walk on the pavement around this field just about every day on the way to and from the store. Then one day you are  distracted,  and for some odd reason, you suddenly find yourself walking right smack-dab through the middle of the field, and stumble upon a lemon.
More than lead to gold or lemons to lemonade,   alchemical processes purify the soul, if aware    
After writing the above article—summarizing the three phases of alchemy and how they relate to my journey—I went back and reread my journal entries over the last few weeks. To my surprise, synchronicity after synchronicity seemed to indicate new opportunities on the horizon of my life. 
The following journal entries recorded in March 2013 
Alchemy March 2013

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