Alchemical healing is not about protocols, insurance codes, needle techniques or superbills. It is about relating deeply and changing people’s lives.
I had my first astrology reading when I was 28 years old. Sitting beside me, my astrologer Steven Forrest looked me in the eye and broke the news to me that I was going to be a late bloomer. With my natal Sun in Aquarius in the 11th House, the House of Future Plans and Goals, he counseled me to be patient with the process of discovering my life’s purpose. He told me, in fact, that the age of 54 would be significant. I understand now he was looking at the time when my Progressed Sun in Aries would cross my Ascendant. Age 54 seemed then like a very long time to wait for my life to begin.
For the past fifteen years, I have gone back and forth about whether or not to continue to use the word “alchemy” when I talk about my work. I’ve always known that people have a lot of preconceived ideas about the word’s implications. Bearded wizards bent over flasks of odiferous concoctions … dusty books filled with weird pictures … heavy metal rock bands … expensive hair care products … small batch carefully brewed beer from rural places … these images did not really get at what I wanted to say about my work.
But just as early anthropologists stood for the sophisticated wisdom of “primitive” cultures and recent scholars and explorers have revealed the astonishing healing powers of tribal shamanism, I continued to feel a need to stand for alchemy. The more I delved into it, the more I saw that alchemy is not simply “failed chemistry” or antiquated magic but rather a way of understanding the world that can help us answer questions that modern science and psychology cannot. It is an integrated system of knowledge, a way of understanding the world, different from, but equal in value to our modern viewpoint.