Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

July/August 2014 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store†and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

The Path of Alchemy: Becoming Who You Are

This article was written by Mark Stavish
posted under Magick

Writing The Path of Alchemy has been a long and fascinating journey. The initial book was written a decade ago and finally came to light after a series of mishaps and out-of-the-blue phone calls from old friends and students. Over the decade between its initial creation and its final appearance in print, the The Path of Alchemy (along with myself as author) changed, grew, and improved quite a bit. This was and is a good thing; for authors need to be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the methods they are proposing, not just write about them. Anything else is simply a research project and not a viable Path of Becoming.

My first encounter with alchemy was in the early 1980s, right at what was the end of Frater Albertusís Paracelsus College. Albertus had died and the College located in Salt Lake City, Utah struggled on for a year or two before closing its doors. Some of the Collegeís alumni continued to teach privately, or semi-privately, such as at the Rosicrucian Order, AMORCís Rose-Croix University, but finding them in the pre-Internet age was nearly impossible. I had Albertusís and Manfred Juniusís books and worked with what was available to me. A few years later I attended a seminar on alchemy sponsored by the now defunct French esoteric society The Philosophers of Nature, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It was not always clear to me why so many others and I struggled to understand alchemy, particularly when we were working in the dark on our own with only hints and suggestions to guide us. Jean Dubuis, chief author and founder of The Philosophers of Nature, stated that alchemy, unlike many occult arts and sciences, is one of the few that does not allow for personal illusions. Matter does not lie, the material world does not lie; alchemy is a perfect mirror of our inner state. Paraphrasing Paracelsus, Dubuis said that if we can transmute something in the material world, it is only because we have already transmuted the same energies and matter within ourselves.

That was it! With that simple explanation I understood why alchemy had become so important to me and to so many others. For too long we had met students and adepts of one form or another who in truth were fooling themselves about their own inner attainment. Alchemy offered a means of knowing unequivocally if we were going in the right direction or simply fooling ourselves. The Hermetic axiom ďAs above, so below; as below, so aboveĒ is not only a guiding principle but can be tested, just as any other Law of Nature.

What is equally fascinating about alchemy is the many levels of sophistication students can take it to, at least in its herbal aspects. The varieties of experiments to create tinctures, stones, and elixirs is phenomenal—all of which give positive benefits to the physical and psychic bodies of those who create and use them. Creating tinctures is not simply brewing a tea, but creating a veritable talisman thatís consumable. It is the ancient rite of bread and wine enacted in a kitchen lab wherein the body and blood of the creator and user is transformed in small but noticeable increments.

For too long alchemy has been cloaked in darkness. Many who would have undertaken the alchemical path, or could have benefited from even a limited study of working with plants, were discouraged by the emphasis on working with minerals. Plant work (or spagyrics, as it is called) is the beginning, and for many, the end, of alchemy. Through it, the fascinating laws of nature known as Natural Magic are revealed to oneís self.

In many ways, basic plant alchemy is ideal for just about everyone on an esoteric path. The knowledge required is often already present, only alchemical processes use this knowledge in a more efficient and direct manner. The methods and materials involved are inexpensive and readily available—dried or fresh herbs, canning jars, alcohol or distilled water, coffee filters, funnels, a kitchen stove, and an open heart and mind.

Adherents of traditional witchcraft, Wicca, and neo-paganism will see the forces of the Elements become visible and tangible. With only a nominal investment in time and energy, traditional teas, infusions and tinctures made for ritual, psychic or healing work can be demonstrably refined, strengthened, and improved.

Combining the methods of plant alchemy, ritual magic, and mysticism was something commonly done during the Medieval and Renaissance periods and in the early years of the twentieth century, when alchemy experienced a revival. While it would be imprudent to state the degree of consciousness I have experienced from combining these methods, it is safe to say that the methods have worked, as far as I am concerned. The techniques outlined in The Path of Alchemy for the creation of an alchemical product have had a dramatic effect on my interior and exterior life, and this is also true for everyone who has taken the time and effort to produce them.

Many of the spiritual questions that have puzzled students of esotericism for years have in time been revealed through a dedicated working with these simple methods. This is the most dramatic and common effect of using these alchemical techniques. I have been blessed, and I look forward to taking back more of the wisdom I have learned here on earth to Heaven.

Ora et labora!

Mark Stavish
Mark Stavish (Pennsylvania) has been a long-time student of esotericism and is a frequent lecturer on ancient occult knowledge. Founder of the Institute for Hermetic Studies, he is the author of numerous articles on Western esotericism. In 2001 he...  Read more

RELATED PRODUCTS

Freemasonry
Freemasonry
Rituals, Symbols & History of the Secret Society
Mark Stavish
$21.95 US | Add to Cart
The Path of Alchemy
The Path of Alchemy
Energetic Healing & the World of Natural Magic
Mark Stavish
$16.95 US,  $19.50 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

Is that clown doll looking at you funny? It may very well be. Haunted objects are the subject of my new book, Haunted Stuff: Demonic Dolls, Screaming Skulls, and Other Creepy Collectibles, and I'd think twice before picking up that doll house at the next yard sale, bub. Here are ten of my favorite haunted items from the book. Lady... read this article
Samhain Grave Minding Ritual
The Evolving Soul and Your Life Purpose: Connecting the Dots of Past Lives
On Wings of Change: The Dragon in Celtic Magic
Ceremonial Magick: Reuniting Yourself with the Natural World
Casting a Circle for Clairvoyant Readings

Most recent posts:
A "Thank You" to BKS Iyengar
BKS Iyengar passed away today. In the midst of a frantic morning I heard the news and suddenly paused, realizing the great impact one person can...

Lucky in Lenormand
Rana Georgeís The Essential Lenormand is quickly gaining a reputation for being a very approachable guide to this fascinating system. Her decades...

Does the Old Magick Reject Psychology?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...





Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $15.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Magical Almanac Llewellyn's 2015 Magical Almanac
Practical Magic for Everyday Living

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN