Yesterday, after a long brooding over alchemical texts and these emblems, I came to the thought that the two modes of working in Alchemy that are described as "Solve et Coagula" could not only be understood as two successive phases of the Work, but instead as happening at the same time.
The King on this emblem is the consciousness of the Adept, and the sea in which it is drowning is a symbol for the unconsciousness and its dissolving powers or also for an alchemical agent that has great dissolving qualitites, but of which i do not know anything now.
This process of dissolution is the "Solve" part of the formula. It frees the consciousness from the bonds of the body, and may be a kind of philosophick death.
On this picture we see an Egg as the central symbol, next to a fireplace and a Man holding a sword in his hands.
The philosophick Egg is a symbol for the energetic body of the Adept.
With the use of fire one can boil the egg, and make it solid.
In our tradition we use magical energy, known as L.V.X., to feed the energetic bodies of the aspirant. The magician learns to generate and transmit ever more magical energy through his body, and this energy in turn helps to make the energetic bodies of the magician ever more solid and stable.
The source of L.V.X. is akin to a celestial, mighty Fire, that is our Sun, the giver and dispenser of Light and Life on our earth.
The sword is a symbol for Air, and to the magical element of Air belong all faculties of the reasoning mind.
All magic and energetic transformation happens with the use of our minds, as it is said by the Alchemists that the Work is done by the aid of Mercury alone, and Mercury is a symbol for self-consciousness and reasoning abilities.
So this emblem is a symbol for the "Coagula" part of the process. The volatile principles are made solid and fix, an energetic vessel is created, just like a potter who uses clay to form vessels.
When the perception is freed from its physical limitations, when the Adept experiences a philosophick Death, or when his Mercury begins to fly, the bonds that attach or fix the consciousness to the body are volatized, and at the other hand (and maybe at the same time, but i could easily be on the wrong track here), by the influx of celestial essences that Mercury carries with him on his flight back to the body, the energetic bodies of the Adept reach the highest maximum of solidity.
Besides the ability to maintain some sort of identity (a quality that is trained on the dream level i guess), the process of becoming freed from the physical limitations requires, as i understand it, a great deal of emotional control. I have read more than one time that at the moment of this separation (which is a union with the All-One) the greatest danger arises when the Adept is not able to constrain or control his feelings. He could be too easily carried away by a wave of divine ecstasy and put himself in risk to die.