From the Master of Kadosh (April 2018)

posted Apr 10, 2018, 5:40 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite


Fraternal greetings!  The trip to Guthrie Oklahoma Scottish Rite reunion has been cancelled.  However, we are planning a joint Scottish Rite Consistory, Knights of St. Andrew, Sciots, and Grotto social event at the Sunnyvale Art & Wine Fest on the 2nd of June starting at noon.  So, mark your calendars and plan to attend this fun and relaxing event!

I wanted to take a moment and thank Wor. Hank Vlcek for his many years of distinguished service to the Scottish Rite and Blue Lodge.  Wor. Hank was a key person in my masonic journey and I had the honor of having him confer all of my Blue Lodge degrees at Golden Rule #479.  He will be sorely missed!  Arizona is gaining an amazing Masonic asset, and I wish him all the best in the next phase of his life’s journey!

Continuing the discussion on the Seven Virtues from my previous two articles, I will now explore the potential connections between the virtues and the seven-step alchemical process.

Seven Virtues as They Relate to Jacob’s Ladder and Alchemical Paths to Perfection

One might draw a connection between the Jacob’s Ladder and the seven-step alchemical process.  The seven-step alchemical process as it relates to the Seven Virtues, as expressed by Jacob’s Latter, is as follows:

Calcination - Temperance

Dissolution - Prudence

Separation – Fortitude

Conjunction - Justice

Fermentation - Faith

Distillation - Hope

Coagulation - Charity

Calcination, as it relates to psychology, is the destruction of ego and attachment to material possessions.  This relates to Temperance in abstaining from things which are not needed.  Dissolution is the further breaking down of artificial structures of the Psyche to remove prejudices and conditioning as well as it works on the heart and Id to release buried emotions that conceal or distort our true nature.  This relates to Prudence in that one must be wise and cautious in how they react to the exposure of their true nature.  Separation is the stage where one has to truly confront their authentic feelings and not simply forgive or excuse particular personal attributes.  This is related to Fortitude in that one must have courage in adversity or pain.  Conjunction provides the inner space, or simmering, which is required for us to truly and honestly accept all aspects of our authentic self.  This relates to Justice in that fair, equitable, and honest acceptance is required.  Fermentation is the process of death and rebirth.  The death of our old aspects of ourselves which no longer serve us and the rebirth or our new selves.  This relates to Faith in that we must have complete confidence and trust that we will be reborn after the death of our old habits.  Distillation is the purification of ourselves such that we constantly die and are reborn in the presence of the moment without reacquiring our previous bad habits or attributes.  Hope is related to this state in that we must expect that we will continue to refine ourselves and not revert back to less evolved ways of life.  Coagulation is the final phase in which we have become free from the mind and have allowed our consciousness or Soul to connect with the Materia Prima: The Spirit.  Alchemy’s ultimate goal is to create an interrelationship between mind and matter, between self and world, which is realized in this phase.  This relates to Charity in that that a true state of Charity is one in which a person loves his brother as himself and has a proper relationship to himself and those in the world around him.

Therefore, the paths to perfection can be expressed in many ways, and they are interrelated.  Exercising, internalizing, and exhibiting the Seven Virtues polarizes one towards the path of perfection and counteracts the Seven Deadly Sins.  The Alchemical path to perfection is related to Jacob’s Ladder and the Seven Virtues in a balanced and synergistic way.

Wishing you all well on your journey!

Fraternally, Sean Patrick, Master of Kadosh