This page describes the starting points we used as a compass for the creation of Centrum Athanor. This led to a design and realisation that supports inner growth and transformation, without ever being intrusive. As a trainer/organiser, you don’t have you do anything with it, or even care about it, to choose Centrum Athanor as venue for your activity. As a participant, you usually have other things on your mind. For us, the most important thing is that you feel at home, completely at ease. And should one of the aspects of what we offer have touched you, either consciously or unconsciously, then this (secretly) makes us happy: mission accomplished!
Centrum Athanor derives its name from the alchemy. The athanor being a furnace that ensures the heating of the transmutation processes. The furnace in which lead was turned into gold.
In the beginning was the one, the absolute,
the all in one, the one in all.
The Magnum Opus (Great Work) consists of finding the divine essence in body, mind and soul. Or in alchemical terms: sulphur, mercury and salt. It is a quest for the prima materia, the first material, the essence of life, the divine principle from which all is created. Not only is it the material from which all is made, it is also etherecal and immaterial, it’s a particle and a wave, matter and energy. The athanor is the instrument in which the alchemical processes take place. The research instrument for those who want to know and connect heaven and earth.
The result is the philosopher’s stone, the elixir of life that heals all ailments, and lead turning into gold.
That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above,
and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below,
to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.
This phrase – which encompasses a world of notions – originates from the Emerald Tablet. The Emerald Tablet is a short, cryptic text that was a source of inspiration for the alchemists.
Our stone circle represents a materialisation of this belief: in particular because of its orientation towards the phases of the sun and moon. It is a piece of heaven on earth that makes a majestic interconnection visible and tangible in multiple ways.
Alchemy is an esoteric discipline full of mystery and symbolism. Alchemy is of all times, from far and wide, and it has nothing to do with religion. It is a wonderful combination of both the spiritual and the material quest. Although often classified under the denominators ‘pseudoscience’ and ‘fantasy’, gradually the alchemist insights are being endorsed by today’s quantum physics.
The rooms of Centrum Athanor are named after famous alchemists – such as Newton and Paracelsus – who have undeniably left their mark on our current society.
The relationship between what’s on the inside and what’s on the outside – both literally and figuratively – is central at Centrum Athanor. Everything is continuously interconnected.
For the layout of the grounds, we deliberately took its geomantic properties into account. The result is a place where people find it less difficult to recharge, concentrate, and observe.
Experience that all is one.
Geomancy is an ancient esoteric doctrine about the subtle energies and energy flows of the earth. About the interconnectedness of man with his surroundings, the earth, the universe. About feeling and experiencing it. Places where such energy is naturally more strongly present, have of old been used for the construction of sanctuaries and public administration buildings. Places with a strong connection to the greater whole.
Without intending disrespect to either of them, geomancy could be considered comparable to the Western version of Feng Shui.
In order to make that greater whole tangible and perceptible, the present qualities, classified after the classical distribution of Earth - Water - Air – Fire, have been mapped out. The location of the stone circle, the future new building, the access road, etc. has been determined on that basis. The remains of a centuries-old lane, which ran past the (later) farm to the first piece of cultivated land would prove to play an important role.
The whole design is such that in terms of energy, a new coherence has been created thus enabling the change of function. Reinforcing that what was already there. So that there is a correlation between the different (new) elements. And from within that unity, something grows that wasn’t here before: a locus of energy that inspires and transforms. A fascinating process that is still in progress.
The available outdoor space – more than 2.5 hectares of former corn fields – embraces the existing landscape elements of the property and the surrounding countryside. A combination of spaciousness and seclusion, planted with the indigenous trees and bushes of the area. Space for rest, experiencing Nature, and using in training courses. A source of inspiration.
When you enter a monastery, you can feel the atmosphere around you change. You exchange your daily world for the seclusion of a community that is ‘unconnected’ to it, a place that knows other rules and laws. This is not only due to the people present, but also to the building.
A cathedral, in turn, will give you a feeling of belonging to a greater whole, something grandiose, exalted.
Experience that all is one.
The goal of Centrum Athanor is to be a venue that - by itself - encourages and supports inner growth and awareness. In addition to geomancy, we use geometry to achieve this. Geometry is the language of design. Everything can be regarded as an expression of the nine known fundamental forces, expressed in the nine known numbers.
Architecture can apply these numbers and forces. Measurements, proportions, materials, etc. all have their proper resonance, thus influencing the way you perceive a building or a part of it. Conscious application leads to a building that is attuned to, and resonates with, its purpose, the function for which it is intended. Meaningful construction.
For the meditation area at the stone circle, the application of the silver ratio was chosen. This ratio - 1:√2 – has a generating, silver character. The roof is built like a diaphragm, giving it a seemingly rotational effect. To complement this, the golden ratio was used in most of the adjacent rooms. The result is in appealing architectural harmony and rhythm.
In the existing main building, the proportions were already largely fixed. There, the emphasis is on the use of the five elements: air, fire, water, earth, and aether. The accommodation exudes a relaxed atmosphere.