The Transforming Fire : Workshop with Dennis Klocek and Jonathan Code
Coordinated by Jonathan Code in conjunction with Crossfields Institute International
April 8th,9th,10th 2015
“I attended the three day Alchemical Workshop with Dennis Klocek, and also his day workshop on ‘Weather’, the very best ever, on both counts. These were life-changing experiences for me, and I know they were also for one or two others I am acquainted with, and we will be continuing the work begun with Dennis at the Field Centre. So thank you for all your input and dedication.”
“I really enjoyed the workshop with Dennis and Jonathan. The content was well-focussed on the topic, and there was a good balance of the practical/pragmatic with the more spiritual/nebulous. I particularly enjoyed that Jonathan brought some of his apparatus into the workshop and actually ran distillations etc.”
“I enjoyed the workshop very much, it was so rich on every level and full of metaphors for life. Dennis and Jonathan complemented each other very well and it was good to see things happening in various apparatus. So thank you very much also for letting me participate at such short notice! The content and the delivery were all excellent. Thank you.”
In April 2015, Crossfields Institute International hosted a three day workshop called The Transforming Fire. This workshop was a collaboration between Dennis Klocek (author, researcher, lecturer and biodynamic gardener – www.dennisklocek.com) and Jonathan Code (author, lecturer with Crossfields Institute International). This three day workshop was founded on a demonstration of the practical stages undertaken in the creation of a spagyric tincture or essence. In this process a medicinal plant is first separated into its Three Principles: essential oil, ethanol and organic salts. This process is known as the ‘separation of the essential from the non-essential’. The three Essentials or Principles are then re-united, or “married” in order to create a concentrated medicinal tincture.
The workshop followed – on the one hand – the practical or technical processes (distillation, fermentation, incineration etc.) which use heat or warmth in different applications in order to get the ‘right separation’ and subsequent ‘right synthesis’. Alongside these practical aspects of the spagyric process we also studied analogous processes occurring in human physiology, in the psyche or soul and in a multitude of natural processes which – from an alchemical point of view – also reveal the Three Principles as informing dynamics. The study and practical engagement with Spagyrics has proved – for the course leaders – to be an effective motif for understanding and working creatively with disciplines as diverse as agriculture and organisational process.
Spagyric principles were contextualised further by Dennis in his research into preparation making in Biodynamics and during the course of the workshop he presented aspects of his current research into the use of gems in biodynamic preparations with particular applications in viticulture. These are currently being trialled in California.
Jonathan, as well as introducing the laboratory processes and equipment used in the making of a spagyric tinctures, led sessions on the study of alchemical imagery, with a particular focus on the image of the alchemical tree from Johann Daniel Mylius’s series of emblems Philosophia Reformata.
The workshop was very well received and had an enthusiastic response from all involved – not least the presenters!
“I really enjoyed it. Hadn’t really known what to expect. I did find bits challenging – being new to the topic. I guess that this was sort of made a bit harder by the fact that there were some really knowledgeable people who asked questions and challenged.
I thought that JC and DK made a great double act. The two of them offered different views and approaches and I thought that they worked really well together. I was very smooth in it’s delivery.“