I have been studying the seven major operations in the alchemy of transformation. RO was kind enough to provide me a link about the time I started studying the Invocation Rite, which provoked me to begin my studies in the alchemy of transformation. (The full site is available here) It was an immediate inspiration to me because the terminology of the alchemy of transformation is very scientific in nature. My mind could grasp the spiritual/scientific metaphor of each term. I have seen how each operation works in the laboratory and I could understand how it would work spiritually.
The first term was calcination, which jumped out immediately to me because I use the term on a regular basis. In my profession, I work with 3 very large industrial plants that precalcines raw material in the production of a common rock product. A precalciner configuration is highly fuel and process efficient. The design provides for a steadier more controllable fuel flow and therefore allows the processing of the final product to be more homogeneous in nature. Internationally, many similar plants have switch to this robust design. I have stood at the base of three of these large kilns (60' to 120' in length) and watched material being processed through monitors. Cool, or rather HOT STUFF!!!
The basic alchemical definition of calcination involves the heating of a material within a crudible or direct flame until the substance has been reduced to ashes. I didn't like using a crudible (ah, maybe 6 inches) in my metaphor, it was wishy washy to me. I liked the MANLY metaphor of the precalciner kiln (60 feet!), besides, in the precalciner kiln, rock is eventually being transformed down-kiln, which is incidentally another metaphor.
The basic scientific definition of calcination involves three processes: thermal decomposition, evolution of volatile gases and phase transition. Using the precalciner kiln example, the material goes into the kiln, the material undergoes physical/chemical changes and then comes out as ash-like. IMHO, this kiln is equivalent to the Path and the material is the Self. The kiln, AKA the Path, provides heat (magick) to the Self, which causes the release of toxic/volatile gases in the form of ego and personal attachments. I will draw up a process flow diagrams showing the whole process. A diagram is very clear in my mind. (I will post it in a subsequent post)
As far as an interpretation within a personal context, I do not have words.