…alchemy is not a smooth monolithic system, but rather a journey full of contradictions, false turns and dazzling insights into the worlds of creation. At times it seems to defy a single definition. But, in its most general, all-encompassing form, we can say with some degree of confidence that alchemy is the art and science of bringing something to its final perfection.
— Brian Cotnoir, from the first Preface
To most people, alchemy might conjour images of ancient bearded men in dimly lit rooms hovering over various malodourous substances connected by an arcane network of tubes, beakers bubbling away, struggling in earnest to produce gold from lead. Those more familiar with Carl Jung‘s work might imagine that all this fancy is well and good, but, of course, it’s all allegorical, beneath which is philosophy deeply concerned with transforming the alchemist hirself. Bartlett argues that, for modern alchemists, there’s truth to both images. Continue reading