alchemy 101

suggested readings

below you’ll find texts related to alchemy and the connections between symbolism, the unconscious, dreams, and individuation. if you’re interested in personal alchemy specifically, my videos on tiktok condense a lot of the essential materials into video form (and i will continue to make more videos).

i do, however, recommend that you read the emerald tablet in full, and if you’re serious about taking your psychospiritual development into your own hands, then i suggest memorizing it for recitation at least once a day (preferably every morning, to remind yourself of the work being done behind your material, day-to-day ‘work’).

you’ll also find tools for reading tarot underneath the book-list, and below that, you can access the individuation (personal alchemy) readings that i suggest engaging in at each stage of the process.

p.s. if you’d like me to make a broader literary-religious-philosophical-mythological reading list outside these more educational resources, shoot me an email and let me know! (contact button at bottom of the page)

just found this great video resource on jung and individuation on youtube. definitely worth checking out! the whole page is really educational too.

Translations of the Emerald Tablet

in my videos, i quote from Fulnacelli, because their translation resonates most with the way we speak today. but there are many others, and my favorite is Isaac Newton’s (which is also at the link)

Psychology and Alchemy by Carl Jung

pretty straightforward–the book is jung’s argument for alchemy as a psychospiritual rather than physical process of transformation. this is where i get all the correspondences that i reference in my video (for example, the fire of the furnace being the objective awareness of the observer)

Man and his Symbols by Carl Jung

if you’re interested in the subtle yet integral role that symbolism plays in our lives, and you haven’t already, then read this. just read it.

Alchemy : An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology by Marie-Louise von Franz

MLVF is a great student and teacher of Jungian and alchemical thinking. this book is a great elaboration on jung’s work from a woman’s perspective, and it shows you how to read the “clues” hidden in alchemical texts that reveal alchemy’s secret goal: personal transformation.

The Mystery of the Coniunctio : Alchemical Image of Individuation by Edward F. Edinger

these are two essays based on the lectures by Edinger on Jungian alchemical thinking. He breaks down Jung’s Mysterium Coniunctionis (which we’ll get to later, but if you want to check that out too, go for it, it’s linked) in the first, and then uses that logic to read the Rosarium Pictures (example images below).

i know how daunting the world of alchemy and psychospirituality can seem, but remember that all of this is symbolism, a mess of words and allegories all pointing to one thing: how to embrace the lived experience by not only being, but becoming.

that is why I’m not a fan of dictionaries and encyclopedias of symbols and such things, because the true meanings of these symbols aren’t learned simply through the rational mind, but through the understanding that comes with experiencing them. reading, writing, and living with awareness provides you with an understanding that seeps into your bones, that expands your consciousness with its sheer existence in your mind.

BUT, because you all seem very fond of the symbol dictionary, i’m going to link one, but BEWARE–there’s nothing freakier than a sign out of context :p

Dictionary of Occult, Hermetic, and Alchemical Sigils by Fred Gettings

“The Alchemical Process of Transformation” by Nigel Hamilton

a quick, simple breakdown of alchemy’s beginnings, the role of the different elements, symbols, and signs, and the different stages of the process.

The Corpus Hermeticum

a collection of seventeen greek hermetic treatises written between c. 100 and c. 300 CE, attributed to hermes trismegistus and translated by george mead. this is one of the foundational texts of the hermetic tradition. there are debates as to their origins, but let’s leave the problem of history to the historians 😉

The Bhagavad Gita translated by Swami Nikhilananda

nikhilananda calls this “the lord’s song”, and you might say that it is perhaps the best text on earth that to capture the essence of “The One”. it is ethereal and beautiful, reminiscent of some modern spiritual and religious texts you may have encountered, and always worth a read.

The Gospel of Thomas

downloadable pdf of the very enjoyable gospel of thomas.

The Apocrypha, or Non-Canonical Gospels

this website has collected translations of the numerous gospels that were dubbed non-canonical and therefore not included in the new testament, from thomas and judas to mary and the infancy gospels.

Sanchuniaton’s Phoenician Cosmogeny

with commentary by eusibius who had great disdain for the areligious approach of phoenician thought, the cosmogeny itself, while written down by sanchuniaton, is attributed to thoth (hermes trismagistus). the cosmogeny begins with the claim that “he supposes and affirms”–“he” being thoth. if you are interested in the idea of creation being its own creator, then you’ll definitely enjoy this.

Tarot Tools

here are some of my favorite resources for tarot. all of these are available for free online except the Ben-Dov book, so if you have access to an online version of it, please let me know. let’s make knowledge accessible 🙂

The Way of Tarot by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. White

Easy Guide to Rider-Waite Tarot Reading by Paul de Senquisse

Tarot – the Open Reading by Yoav Ben-Dov

Jung and Tarot: an Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols

Tarocchi Appropriati – rules & example

happy reading for now beautiful people. remember to go easy on yourself–“rome wasn’t built in a day“, and you’re not going to become the person you have in mind over night, so be graceful and allow yourself to be lost for now. being lost is a good thing. it means you’re going somewhere, you just haven’t quite figured out how to get there yet.

the four week individuation

“If a blind man can gradually be helped to see it is not to be expected that he will at once discern new truths with an eagle eye. One must be glad if he sees anything at all, and if he begins to understand what he sees.”

Carl Jung – Psychology and Alchemy

questions or suggestions on films/music/books that i should include?