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The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing and the World of Natural Magic

The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing and the World of Natural Magic
Mark Stavish
Llewellyn 2006
ISBN  0-7387-0903-4

Are you working the rites in the FOI Spiral of Alchemy?    Do you wish you had a better understanding of alchemy, so that you could organize your studies appropriately  as well as deepen your awareness of the message of each rite?  This book can help bring you up to speed very quickly.

I own some wonderful books on alchemy that came highly recommended.  Alas, I am still wading through them.  I keep pausing to contemplate the theory and philosophy contained in them.  I keep trying to put the concepts and definitions in my own words. But I keep going back to the drawing board. It is slow-going. 

The Path Of Alchemy is the ideal prelude to the classic and key works on alchemy. It is a blessing for the person who wants a quick, coherent overview, because it provides a concise, concrete road map to alchemical terms and concepts.  The high points of alchemy are clarified in manageable chunks for the beginner, as well as a great review for others.

The focus is on plant, rather than mineral,  alchemy, which is more practical  for the beginner as it is less expensive, and provides quicker feedback.   This allows the student to experience first hand the processes and principles of alchemy. 

What I liked best about The Path of Alchemy is its multifaceted approach, which takes into account different learning styles as well as acknowledging that we are multi-dimensional beings who live on levels other than the purely intellectual. 

The Path of Alchemy engages the student on intellectual, imaginative, spiritual, and practical levels. Theoretical and philosophical discussions satisfy the intellect, while meditations and visualizations enable the student to identify with and experience each process from within.  An alchemical activity and meditation accompany each concept.  Clear step-by-step instructions encourage learning by doing.   The student  identify with process by internalizing its action.

Chapter One provides an overview of alchemy, from its beginnings in Egypt to the present.  It identifies what is unique about alchemy, and explains its relevance to systems of magic and divination as well as to science.  The next 8 chapters follow a format which involves the introduction of a key concept, definition, relating it to areas already familiar to the student, a hands-on experiment, review of the alchemical process and the result of the experiment, a meditation or visualization; and guidance for further study.

Topics include sulphur, salt, and mercury; the 4 elements; calcination; the stone; distillation; the ens; and other core concepts in alchemy.  There are also discussions of initiation, healing, ritual, the role of the planets in alchemy, mystical symbolism, tarot, and more. 

Other special features are grouped together at the end of the book. Three valuable appendixes contain information and charts on planetary hours, the longevity formula of St.Germain, and information about Nicholas Flamel.  The glossary clarifies 38 alchemical terms and concepts.  There is a selected bibliography of 19 books.  There is also a very valuable resource list which provides guidance to the best resources in 8 categories of reading, courses, websites, seminars, and workshops.

I believe you will enjoy The Path of Alchemy, and that it will greatly enrich and enhance your experience of the rituals leading to the FOI Alchemical Degrees. 



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