People scoff at alchemy, and it’s true that it has attracted a score of unscrupulous people and charlatans. From the beginning, alchemy has been a dual proto-science, the two paths of alchemy inextricably intertwined: the practical technological path that has given us distillation, ore testing and refining, dyes, inks, glass, cosmetics, ceramics, liquors, medicines, paints and so on and the spiritual, metaphorical path leading from ignorance to enlightenment, from imperfectly ephemeral to perfect immortality; a path of personal transformation.

It is indeed a field rife with quacks, charlatans, thieves, liars, con artists, and counterfeiters.

It is also filled with the incurably curious, the daring, the inquiring and intellectual. For all the liars, alchemy has also had the greats such as Sir Isaac Newton, Roger Bacon, Tycho Brahe, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Browne, Paracelsus, Ernest Rutherford, Jabir ibn Hayyan, Wei Boyang, Avicenna, Robert Boyle, Antoine Lavoisier, and John Dalton. I can’t name a one of the charlatans – their names are lost to history, but the names and deeds of respectable alchemists lives on.

I will never be among the greats – I have no ambition for it – but I dabble and I enjoy it. I am a hobby alchemist, in it for the wonder and the fun.

That’s what this whole blog is about – the fun and wonder of alchemy. Experiments, comments, trials, and probably a great many errors and a few explosions may happen. Play along if you will, or laugh if you’d rather. It’s all for the joy of learning and doing.


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