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Inner Transformation: The Path of Spiritual Alchemy

Alchemy is an ancient art that has always been captivating. Who, indeed, has not dreamed of turning lead into gold? However, the recipes left by our predecessors were not always clear, and their language, often coded and difficult to decipher, is known as the “language of the birds,” of which few hold the key.

What is alchemy?

Originally, alchemy is the art of transformation, whether it be mineral or vegetal, to find the quintessence or to transmute lead into gold and achieve perfection. Yet, alchemy is not just about this mystical quest for wealth through the manipulation of metals or plants. By analogy, it applies at several levels: mineral, vegetal, animal, and human. Each of these realms is associated with an element – earth for mineral, water for vegetal, air for animal, and fire for human – in an evolutionary process of increasing dynamism: from the mineral world, static and slow, to the vegetal which is born, lives, and dies quickly thanks to water; from the animal, endowed with movement and a consciousness certainly less developed than that of humans, to the human realm characterized by action and symbolized by fire.

It is also important to remember that every body is composed of three elements – sulfur, mercury, and salt – symbolizing the body, soul, and spirit. Salt represents the balance of forces in the primal matter, mercury the vital energy animating all things, and sulfur, the divine within us, our mission. The alchemist, no matter their domain, works with these three indissociable materials.

My main interest in this article is to explore how alchemical processes can be applied to the human psyche. For this, I draw from my own experience. A few years ago, as part of my esoteric studies, I embarked on alchemical experiments with plants, seeking to extract their essence. At that time, I was married and living in the countryside, in a strained conjugal relationship. Interestingly, as my alchemical experiments with plants progressed, I saw my marriage evolve through the same stages of the Great Work: separating the elements, purifying them, and reuniting them.

Let’s look at these three stages in detail.

The black work, the first and most delicate stage, aims to free ourselves from all the impurities that encumber us. Imagine your soul as a pure diamond trapped in a shell composed of conditioning and false beliefs that feed our ego. The goal is to shed this encasement without losing our essence. Saturn, symbol of time and structure, governs this operation. This involves letting go, stepping back, willingness, time, reflection, and listening to oneself as well as to the messages others send us.

Next comes the white work, the stage of purification, where two paths open up: the wet path, requiring the suspension of the mind through meditation, and the dry path, quicker but demanding a profound transformation supported by an unwavering will, cultivating selflessness, absence of covetousness, integrity, and mastery over passions.

Finally, the red work, where unity is restored and essence revealed. The spirit unites with the purified matter, allowing for an elevated consciousness of oneself, others, and the universe, serving a greater purpose.

Whatever the domain in alchemy one works on, it is always about working with energies. And the four realms are inextricably linked, and alchemical work on one of the realms has repercussions on the others. It is also important to note that the intention put into this energetic work is crucial. It must be pure. During my experiments, I asked for discernment, which was granted to me.


The path of consciousness is not simple. It is solitary and often challenging, but alchemical processes are there to attest to this: lengthy operations are necessary to reach the quintessence of things. The practice of spiritual alchemy requires will and a quest for transcendence, a path that I have traveled until finding peace, self-confidence, and the certainty that things are as they should be.


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