The Heremtic Problem of Salt—Toronto Hermetic Society


In conjunction with my (somewhat impromptu) travels through Canada following the Jean Gebser Society conference in New York City, I was kindly invited by the Toronto Hermetic Society to present a talk on my work on Schwaller de Lubicz and the Hermetic Problem of Salt. The details are as follows:

Toronto Hermetic Society is proud to present a special lecture and discussion with Aaron Cheak, noted esoteric scholar and writer, on Monday, October 27th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Please arrive between 6:30 and 6:45, as the lecture will start promptly at 7:00pm

Aaron Cheak, PhD, is a scholar of comparative religion, philosophy, and esotericism. He teaches the history of Eastern and Western alchemies at the University of Philosophical Research, and is the current president of the International Jean Gebser Society. He received his doctorate in Religious Studies from the University of Queensland in 2011 for his work on French Hermetic philosopher, René Schwaller de Lubicz. Outside the academy, Aaron has been trained in the preparation of spagyric elixirs at the Paracelsus College, and is a practitioner within the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages of Vajrayana Buddhism. He presently lives on the eastern coast of Australia, where he maintains an active interest in tea, wine, poetry, typography and alchemy. Dr Cheak is the author and editor of Alchemical Traditions: From Antiquity to the Avant-Garde (2013).

An excerpt from Aaron Cheak's "The Hermetic Problem of Salt"

"Since Paracelsus (1493-1541), salt has played a role in alchemy as the physical “body” which remains after combustion, the corporeal substance that survives death to reinaugurate new life. It was both ‘corruption and preservation against corruption’ (Dorn); both the ‘last agent of corruption’ and the ‘first agent in generation’ (Steeb). As such, the alchemical salt functions as the fulcrum of death and revivification. The idea that the agent, instrument and patient of the alchemical process are not separate entities but aspects of one reality prefigures the significance accorded in this study to ‘the Hermetic problem of salt’. Just as in chemistry a salt may be defined as the product of an acid and a base, alchemically, salt is the integral resolution to the primordial polarities embodied in the mineral symbolique of cinnabar (HgS), the salt of sulphur and mercury. In the alchemy of René Adolphe Schwaller de Lubicz (1887-1961), salt forms the equilibrium between an active function (sulphur, divinity, peras) and its passive resistance (mercurial substance, prima materia, the apeiron), aspects which are latently present in the primordial (pre-polarised) unity, but crystallised into physical existence as “salt”. With Schwaller’s concept, one is dealing with a juncture of the metaphysical and proto-physical. As will be seen, however, this also inheres in the body as a fulcrum point of death and palingenesis."

All Toronto Hermetic Society events are free of charge, but we recommend a $10 - $20 donation that will be split between the guest speaker and THS. All of the donations THS receives will be put towards paying for the space and items needed to keep our events running.

All are welcome who will honor the material discussed and the beings present. If you would like to attend this event, please message an administrator for the address. If you are going to be late, please enter the space quietly. 

May all merit generated by this event be dedicated to the benefit of all sentient beings!