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What Brought you to Alchemy?

Andro

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Hello and welcome!

He was a famous German scientist and also an adept Named Frater Albertus.

What's your criteria for "adept"?

After studying them both for two I recently this year I started the alchemical work on creating the Lesser Stone.

How would you characterize the "Lesser Stone"? How is it different from the "Greater Stone"?
 

Uambra

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Well, actually she is responsible for my interest in Alchemy:

db_AC-_XIIII_-_Kunst1.jpg


When I was planning a novel I searched for two trumps who should act as guardians for this novel. I have ten projects and each has two trumps as guardians (still two trumps left, so there will be another project, which I don't know yet). This novel is the first I actually want to write, so I followed the call of Alchemy. :)
 

Tannur

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Alchemy or no Alchemy, that is the question

Personally, I spent a long time unsure about whether to study Alchemy or not. I believed (rightly so) that before I could make that decision I would have to know in detail what the art was and why it was studied traditionally. Gradually, I came to the conclusion that Alchemy is not for me. The final "blow" came only yesterday when I finally decided I had enough knowledge to decide I did not need to study Alchemy. This is what I believe at the moment and so despite only joining here recently, I am probably going to leave if I don't become convinced to the contrary soon (which is unlikely, although please read on as there is a big chance I will continue studying Alchemy at least for a bit longer).

As far as I understand, Alchemy is a science of producing the Philosopher's Stone, or equivalently gaining enough knowledge of the four elements and how nature works through them to produce it. One could offer hundreds of other definitions, but most of these obscure the matter further and are subjective anyway. I am happy with this simple definition.

Furthermore, I know that Alchemy was studied as a kind of spiritual path. Not in and of itself, but as part of the technical Hermetica, the practical counterpart to the philosophical Hermetica. Together the two were considered to give a complete spiritual education which would lead to "Hermetic" gnosis. So gnosis is the ultimate goal of Alchemy and the other Hermetical sciences: magic and astrology. But when I started reading about magic and astrology, I realized that this was definitely not the path I wanted to pursue. I already have a spiritual path which I am happy with and which I know leads to gnosis. I don't need something else for these purposes.

Also, the personal attraction I have always had to Alchemy doesn't seem to justify studying it either. Granted, I do still find the science fascinating in its unveiling of the secrets of nature, but this is at a much lower level than that of gnosis. One does not become realized by learning Alchemy, as it is only the first step of the Hermetic path. Also, the science of the three principles that can be learnt from it isn't really something I see as being useful to my career as a Physicist: it is just too far-removed from the mathematical nature of Physics, to the extent that just knowing how morphogenesis works in general (say in the plant kingdom) is sufficient for being able to do Physics in this field. One doesn't need to know how the three principles work in this act of nature, much less how to use them to produce the Stone. It is all just excess knowledge that had its time in history but definitely is not very useful for studying something like Quantum Mechanics and Quantum fields, even in relation to natural generation (morphogenesis).

So it is of course a very personal decision I have had to make. I do not deny that Alchemy can be useful to others above and beyond the basis. Personally, the basis were more than enough for me. When I read the Qur'an (my holy book) now, I see all sorts of alchemical connections which give me a deeper understanding of it. But I have come to know that the true spiritual elixir, as the Great Shaykh Ibn Arabi claims in his Alchemy of Happiness, is nothing other than the "private face" (his term) by which one interacts with God. This is the face which many philosophers, past and present, do not have access to unfortunately (if you don't understand this, I strongly urge you to read Ibn Arabi's Alchemy of Happiness on scribd - it is an amazing, life-changing work). My spiritual path is actually linked back to Ibn Arabi, and his writings make so much sense to me. This private face is really what has helped me develop spiritually. It is being able to read the Qur'an and connect to *yourself* rather than as an abstract manual to the "secrets of nature". It is seeing the stories of the Qur'an in your life unfolding before your very eyes. The extent to which the two can correspond for someone who reads teh Qur'an properly is absolutely amazing, something even to a eery extent. The stories of the Prophets are kind of like the planetary stages which the stone goes through in its evolution, except Prophets are much more suitable for "human consumption" than planets. In fact, I am becoming more and more convinced that the Qur'an is the true alchemy of humans.

Based on that, why did I say there is a chance I might continue studying Alchemy? My reason is actually quite ridiculous, but in my tradition we are taught to make istikhara (a prayer of seeking guidance, after asking around for advice) for even the smallest of things. It is the fact that I have already bought everything needed to do spagyrics. (In fact, only a few days ago did I buy a new hotplate because after realizing my old one was too weak at only 500W.) I have not actually done any lab alchemy as of yet and have had my equipment for a year or two now due to simply not having time. But I have ended up having a lot of free time on my hands this year and I just feel it would be ingratitude to the Divine to not use the equipment he has allowed me to obtain. Then again, if Alchemy was for me, why have I literally not had the chance to pursue the work ever since buying the equipment? Also, would selling it on gumtree or some other website be ingratitude, or simply getting rid of excess baggage I just don't need either in my spiritual path or career as a physicist? Overall, I feel that selling it (as well as my books) is the right choice for me at this stage in my life.

This isn't a cop out. I have thought this through and through over a long period of time and this is honestly the most rational and meaningful conclusion I have come to. All the visions, synchronicities and just sheer logic are telling me that my path lies in Physics rather than Alchemy. I don't deny ever returning to the science in the future, but for now I will this journey has come to an end. Anyone who is still thinking about this, my only advice is to not get deluded by all alchemical imagery (Splendor Solis etc) but rather focus on how alchemy is relevant *to you*. Conduct your analysis with an objective, piercing insight, and you are sure to be guided to the right path.

One final thing I feel I should mention is that I have always been taught by my teachers that when I am unsure about something, I should always look to my "nafs" (soul) and see which decision it inclines to. Then I should choose the opposite of that, because 99% of the time the nafs will incline to what is bad. When I look into my soul regarding "Alchemy or Alchemy not, that is the question" I find a resounding "yes" from my nafs. That is another reason I intuitively just know I have made the right decision. (On the contrary, when I look at Physics my nafs thinks it is extremely boring compared to Alchemy and finds it hard to even open a Physics book, despite all the signs I have had! For me, that just goes to show how deceiving the nafs can be.)

tl;dr: I am considering leaving Alchemy and the only thing stopping me is all the equipment I already have, as well as being enrolled onto a self-paced Spagyrics course with a real life teacher which I haven't completed yet. I don't like to leave things half-done, but the fact that I have realized I don't need Alchemy in my life, either from a spiritual or career-based perspective, is pushing me towards just selling the equipment and moving on in my life. I would highly appreciate alternative perspectives on this from my fellow alchemists.
 
Last edited:

black

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Hi Tannur

Alchemy is not for everyone and out of all those that pursue it only a
very, very small number have any success.

There are many paths to enlightenment Tannur and I'm sure you will find
one that feels right for you.

All the best and search with patience.
 

Awani

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One final thing I feel I should mention is that I have always been taught by my teachers that when I am unsure about something, I should always look to my "nafs" (soul) and see which decision it inclines to. Then I should choose the opposite of that, because 99% of the time the nafs will incline to what is bad.

You and your teachers remind me of George Costanza:


I don't need Alchemy in my life, either from a spiritual or career-based perspective, is pushing me towards just selling the equipment and moving on in my life. I would highly appreciate alternative perspectives on this from my fellow alchemists.

If that is your concept of alchemy then move on.

:p
 

Kibric

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Practical alchemy doesn't require the amount of soul searching you are doing. You simply won't stop practical alchemy even if you want too. You can't.
You know there is truth in it that's why you are still here.
After over a decade living with vessels in my pockets and littered all around my dwelling. No physical social life, no real work, years gone by just with my experiments.
Practical alchemy has taught me the wonders of natural chemistry in animals, stone work, religion, creation.
It is an Art and if you are called to it, it will never be a hobby. A driving force in your life that teaches you.
 

Michael Sternbach

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Practical alchemy doesn't require the amount of soul searching you are doing. You simply won't stop practical alchemy even if you want too. You can't.
You know there is truth in it that's why you are still here.
After over a decade living with vessels in my pockets and littered all around my dwelling. No physical social life, no real work, years gone by just with my experiments.
Practical alchemy has taught me the wonders of natural chemistry in animals, stone work, religion, creation.
It is an Art and if you are called to it, it will never be a hobby. A driving force in your life that teaches you.

I really resonate with this! :)
 

Tannur

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You and your teachers remind me of George Costanza:

My dear Awani, all I can say is that it works. It has something to do with how the unbalanced soul (any soul which is not that of a saint/realized person) only inclines to that which will keep it out of balance, like a magnet. By actively going against its desires, one gradually brings it back into balance. It was only recently that I realized that Alchemy itself was one of these things for me. When I penetrated into the reasons why I was practicing the art, everything became clear and I was finally able to leave Alchemy for good. Never before have I been in this position and I can only thank God for guiding me.


Practical alchemy doesn't require the amount of soul searching you are doing. You simply won't stop practical alchemy even if you want too. You can't.
You know there is truth in it that's why you are still here.
After over a decade living with vessels in my pockets and littered all around my dwelling. No physical social life, no real work, years gone by just with my experiments.
Practical alchemy has taught me the wonders of natural chemistry in animals, stone work, religion, creation.
It is an Art and if you are called to it, it will never be a hobby. A driving force in your life that teaches you.
Nice try, but I completely disagree with your very first sentence. An endeavour as time consuming and risky as Alchemy certainly does require an immense amount of soul-searching. How can it make sense to evaluate other decisions in life if one does not evaluate a decision such as pursuing the art? It is a very dangerous practice, one which can literally cause one to waste their life seeking the impossible (*for them* - the art itself however is very possible). How many an alchemist has wasted their life in this art? This is not a scare tactic but the mere truth.

Even ignoring the above, I simply know that Alchemy does require as much thought and "meta reflection" as possible. This is because it is exactly how I managed to free myself from its grips. It is sad that people often listen to the fanatic more than the balanced individual who weighs both sides and then makes their decision. I was one of you guys. I loved alchemy and still do. But my reasons for practicing the art (when I finally reached an understanding of them and they appeared crystal clear before me) did not stand up to scrutiny. It was then that I was forced to bid the art goodbye. It was hard, but a small synchronicity which happened at the end "at the hands" of my Shaykh gave me the final push I needed, for which I can again only thank Allah. As I said, I say this from a completely rational and balanced perspective: I still like the art and have been primordially attracted to it from old, and don't look down upon anyone still intent on learning it.
 

Uambra

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Tannur, if you don't trust in your heart and soul, then Alchemy might be the wrong path indeed. Good luck ;)
 

Awani

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It was hard, but a small synchronicity which happened at the end "at the hands" of my Shaykh gave me the final push I needed, for which I can again only thank Allah...

Be aware that I like to have more people in the forums deep into the wisdom of Islam/Sufism, for too long I was alone in this. However you have a tendency to do something that also pro-Christians are doing: preach and pontificate

Another thing you tend to do is spew "wisdom" from some "master/teacher", meaning you are nothing but an echo of someone else. Basically a slave. Now I fully understand the teacher/student relationship, and on a private level I get where you are coming from. However out in the open I would suggest a more open, general and personal attitude.

Why point this out?

Because I don't like preaching, pontification and zealots. Now if you have strong opinions, sourced from yourself or your own direct experiences - and you present them as such - then I don't have an issue at all.

It is sad that people often listen to the fanatic more than the balanced individual who weighs both sides and then makes their decision.

Yes it is, and this is what you are doing.

:p
 

Tannur

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This post has been cleansed of a lot of broken links to specific posts in the forum that we could not fix. / AF mods

Be aware that I like to have more people in the forums deep into the wisdom of Islam/Sufism, for too long I was alone in this. However you have a tendency to do something that also pro-Christians are doing: preach and pontificate
I am not being sarcastic in any way but I literally just went through my posts and this is my conclusion. If I am missing something, I would highly appreciate it if you could point it out. I am more than happy to learn.
Post 1. I gave my opinion on the first matter, explaining clearly my reason. I don't see any preaching/pontification.
2. A Harry Potter symbolism thing I just wrote for fun.
3. Some replies giving my own opinion
4. reply
5. A "meeting" I had with a recent Sufi. No preaching or anything, just stating what happened and describing his tariqa.
6. "a strange law" I noticed about alchemy. Just sharing something I found interesting. Can't see any preaching
7. asking for lab equipment advice
8. asking what phonetic cabala is
9. ditto
10. recommended a sufi gathering to you in an entirely innocent way.
11. asking for spiritual paths which use alchemy
12. a thread I took down immediately as I sensed it was inappropriate
13. a post describing how I decided alchemy wasn't for me. I can't see any preaching here either, I am simply just stating my personal reasons for leaving the art, as well as asking what other people think. Note that I still didn't leave completely at this point and was still looking for signs.
14. A link to a book
15. I had a synchronicity and posted about it, again in a completely innocent way of just wanting to share my experience... This is when I left alchemy officially. If posting about a synchronicity that happened whilst listening to my teacher is not suitable for the forums, I don't know which rules to follow anymore. I don't see how this is dogmatic or "preaching" in any way. I just thought it was appropriate to post it for the sake of completeness given it happened only a few hours after I was undecided about leaving the art.
16. I was answering a question based on my own opinion. I admit that I this post does appear a bit dogmatic in how I give my definition of alchemy etc. But I always post with the understanding that people will know it is my own opinion.
17. a reply which clearly says "to me..." (ie in my opinion)
18. another reply. I admit it is slightly dogmatic, but I feel this should be allowed in the heat of debate/discussion. I don't see why one needs to state a reason or "in my opinion" before everything. Maybe that isn't what you are saying but as I said above, what rules do I follow in that case? I don't know any other way of discussing a subject that mostly consists of people's opinions anyway to be honest.
19. ditto
20. ditto
21. A reply to one of your replies. I explained the reasoning behind the Sufi idea of going against the soul. This is an old method anyway and isn't even used by my actual teacher. I guess by "teachers" I meant the people I learn from in books etc. Read any book on sufism and you are bound to come across the idea of "going against the soul" at some point.

The second part of the post is just a reply to another post on why I disagree with it. The person said alchemy doesn't require the amount of "soul searching" I was doing and I merely explained why I disagreed with them. I don't see how this is preachy or dogmatic.
22. Last will and testament post
I think it is clear that the title is half serious. The post is just giving the main insights I gained from studying alchemical texts. I don't see anything wrong with this.
23. standard reply
24. You replied to my post saying why bother joining the forums if I was leaving Alchemy and I said (again, half serious) that I am ready to be banned and didn't know this would happen. Which is entirely true: I joined not knowing I would leave, hence why one of my earlier posts is asking for advice about equipment.
25. You replied saying I claimed being a beginner in my application and I said I was not a beginner to alchemy itself. I think this was just a misunderstanding overall and I simply clarified it. Again nothing preachy etc as I'm sure you would agree.
26. my opinion on something, with reasons given.
27. My post on the DMT thread... I agree this sounds dogmatic, but you said above "Now if you have strong opinions, sourced from yourself or your own direct experiences - and you present them as such - then I don't have an issue at all." What does it mean to present them as such? (Please keep in mind that I am not trying to argue but merely trying to understand how I can improve my posts in future.) Is it because it is unclear that the DMT post is my opinion and seems like I am simply copy+pasting from a Sufi book? I would highly appreciate if you could explain this point.
28. answering someone's question based on my own experience of maths.

Again, I would highly highly appreciate if you could point out where I went wrong.

Awani said:
Another thing you tend to do is spew "wisdom" from some "master/teacher", meaning you are nothing but an echo of someone else. Basically a slave. Now I fully understand the teacher/student relationship, and on a private level I get where you are coming from. However out in the open I would suggest a more open, general and personal attitude.

Why point this out?

Because I don't like preaching, pontification and zealots. Now if you have strong opinions, sourced from yourself or your own direct experiences - and you present them as such - then I don't have an issue at all.

Why would quoting from a teacher or a Sufi master I read make me a slave? Surely if a budding alchemist quotes from someone he knows to be a true alchemist they are not considered a slave? In fact, there are users on this forum who quote extensively nearly on every post and that is clearly fine. Is it because I am quoting from Sufi sources rather than Alchemy? Please note I am not trying to argue, just trying to understand where I have gone wrong and how I can improve.

If you were referring to Sufi sources then I can understand your advice to be more open, general and personal. I am grateful to have received this advice and will try my best to implement it. I fully get how not everyone will be convinced by quotes from Sufi sources or find them useful.
 

Kibric

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Im not trying. You are not a practical alchemist by your own admission. You simply do not know about alchemy and its practise. You can keep your wisdom of a few weeks, i will keep my wisdom of years. If you want to be a carpenter you do not spend weeks months or years pontificating about it. You get on and do.
 

Awani

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I would highly appreciate it if you could point it out.

In your dissection you write three times "I agree it sounds dogmatic"... which is enough in the short time you've been here. Considering you are new here (some have been in this forum for over TEN years) it does help if you write things like "In my view...", "The way I see it..." or "...at least that is my theory"... and so on and so forth. If you do that you'd avoid sounding the way you do, and thus will receive a better response.

"Would you become a pigrim on the road of love? The first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust an ashes." Rumi

I fully get how not everyone will be convinced by quotes from Sufi sources or find them useful.

That's not what I said. I quote Sufism a lot.

You seem quite interested in sufism... if you are still interested in the subject would you be willing to go to a local "lodge" and see the proceedings for yourself?

How do you know I am not a Sufi Master?

:p
 

Tannur

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Im not trying. You are not a practical alchemist by your own admission. You simply do not know about alchemy and its practise. You can keep your wisdom of a few weeks, i will keep my wisdom of years. If you want to be a carpenter you do not spend weeks months or years pontificating about it. You get on and do.
I meant "nice try" as in "nice try at trying to convince me that I won't be able to leave alchemy". Claiming I am ignorant of alchemy is really just an ad hominem based on ignorance on your part. It's no different from me claiming you don't know anything about biology even though you might have studied it for years. As I said in another thread, whilst I have not done practical alchemy I have still read countless books on the subject and know the meaning of the authors and exactly what Alchemy is and is not.

I agree that someone who wants to become a carpenter should get on with it but I don't want to become a lab alchemist. I am still interested in other forms of alchemy.

I'm not sure what you are referring to by "pontificating" as I was only able to identify two instances which could be called that in my previous posts. Maybe I am missing something given that Awani used exactly the same word.
 

Tannur

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In your dissection you write three times "I agree it sounds dogmatic"... which is enough in the short time you've been here. Considering you are new here (some have been in this forum for over TEN years) it does help if you write things like "In my view...", "The way I see it..." or "...at least that is my theory"... and so on and so forth. If you do that you'd avoid sounding the way you do, and thus will receive a better response.

"Would you become a pigrim on the road of love? The first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust an ashes." Rumi
You are right, my bad.



Awani said:
That's not what I said. I quote Sufism a lot.
I still don't understand what you meant. You directly linked the fact that I quote Sufi masters to "being a slave".

"Another thing you tend to do is spew "wisdom" from some "master/teacher", meaning you are nothing but an echo of someone else. Basically a slave."


Awani said:
How do you know I am not a Sufi Master?

:p
I don't. I was just recommending something based on a few posts.
 

Awani

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...whilst I have not done practical alchemy I have still read countless books on the subject and know the meaning of the authors and exactly what Alchemy is and is not.

Sorry, if you haven't done practical lab work no amount of reading can help you. That doesn't mean you can't focus on non-lab alchemy. You can do whatever you want, but I wouldn't preach about the "truths" of lab alchemy to people that actually do it.

I still don't understand what you meant. You directly linked the fact that I quote Sufi masters to "being a slave".

To me the phrase "my master said this or my master said that" sounds like someone who doesn't think for themselves. I personally dislike the term master as I am an anarchist. That is a personal opinion.

The "dogmatic preaching" was a moderator related issue regarding the rules and guidelines of the forums, the "master/slave" bit was a personal opinon. Sorry for not being clear.

:p
 

Tannur

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Sorry, if you haven't done practical lab work no amount of reading can help you. That doesn't mean you can't focus on non-lab alchemy. You can do whatever you want, but I wouldn't preach about the "truths" of lab alchemy to people that actually do it.
I am assuming you mean "talk about them in a way that sounds like preaching". I agree, as I said above. If you mean I should refrain from talking at all, I disagree. I have definitely been able to learn concrete truths about Alchemy by just reading texts and see no problem with sharing them (provided I refrain from sounding dogmatic).

I just want to state that I have nothing against anyone on these forums. I am just here to benefit from people's posts and try to post the things I have found useful myself. Also I regret sounding dogmatic in some of my recent posts and will try my best to avoid this in future.
 

Awani

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I am assuming you mean "talk about them in a way that sounds like preaching". I agree, as I said above.

Yes.

If you mean I should refrain from talking at all, I disagree.

Never said that.

(these moderator related posts will be removed in due time to avoid clutter)

:p
 

Kamië

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So, what brought me to Alchemy?

A few years ago, I bought this book, ALCHEMY & MYSTICISM by Alexander Roob. I was thrilled by all those images on it, but I was unable to understand any of them. Last year, I found other books about alchemy, but this time, it had some musical references (Atalanta Fugiens), so, I decided to learn about alchemy and how to read those books. My goal is to approach in how music can relate to alchemy and from this relation, I would like to share with everyone any of my achivements. At least, this is the "Truth" that I'm looking for.
 

Awani

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That Roob book is awesome. Essential in any alchemy collection IMO.

:p
 

Philosophical

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Funnily enough it was the Book of Aquarius that really got me into it. I had been on a quest of seeking truth and wisdom through observation and comprehension of nature for about 5 years prior to that and when I found alchemy it united with my passion with as much grace as salt in water.
 

Kamië

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That Roob book is awesome. Essential in any alchemy collection IMO.

:p

Indeed, the book is a great reference book. Thanks to it, I found "Atalanta Fugiens". The only thing I don't like about "ALCHEMY & MYSTICISM" is its little measures. I would like a bigger edition, but as it is, is an amazing book.
 

Christophorus

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So, what brought me to Alchemy?

A few years ago, I bought this book, ALCHEMY & MYSTICISM by Alexander Roob. I was thrilled by all those images on it, but I was unable to understand any of them. Last year, I found other books about alchemy, but this time, it had some musical references (Atalanta Fugiens), so, I decided to learn about alchemy and how to read those books. My goal is to approach in how music can relate to alchemy and from this relation, I would like to share with everyone any of my achivements. At least, this is the "Truth" that I'm looking for.

Hello..

Yes got it too. Its a nice one indeed. As you say and I totally agree it opens doors.