1. A theory of nature as made up of primary elements.
2. A belief in the gradual evolution and transformation of substance.
3. A system for inducing transmutation.
4. The imitation of nature by a gentle technology.
5. The faith that one’s inner being is changed by participation in external chemical experiments.
6. A general system of synchronistic correspondences between planets, colors, herbs, minerals, species of animals, signs and symbols, parts of the body, astrological signs, etc. known as the Doctrine of Signatures.
7. Gold as the completed and perfected form of the metals, in specific, and substance in general (Alchemy is the attempt to transmute other substances into gold, however that attempt is understood and carried out).
8. The existence of a paradoxical form of matter, sometimes called The Philosopher’s Stone (the Lapis), which can be used in making gold or in brewing elixirs (elixer vitae) and medicines that have universal curative powers (panacea).
9. A method of symbolism working on the simultaneity of a series of complementary pairs: Sun/Moon, Gold/Silver, Sulphur/Mercury, King/Queen, Male/Female, Husband/Bride, Christ/Man, etc.
10. The search for magical texts that come from a time when the human race was closer to the source of things or are handed down from higher intelligences, extraterrestrials, guardians, or their immediate familiars during some Golden Age. These texts deal with the creation or synthesis of matter and are a blueprint for physical experimentation in a cosmic context (as well as for personal development). They have been reinterpreted in terms of the Earth’s different epochs and nationalities.
11. In the Occident, alchemy is early inductive experimental science and is closely allied with metallurgy, pharmacy, industrial chemistry, and coinage.
12. In the Orient, alchemy is a system of meditation in which one’s body is understood as elementally and harmonically equivalent to the field of creation. (Between East and West, the body may be thought of as a microcosm of nature, with its own deposits of seeds, elixirs, and mineral substances).
13. Alchemy is joined to astrology in a set of meanings that arise from the correspondences of planets, metals, and parts of the body, and the overall belief in a cosmic timing that permeates nature.Read less