What is Alchemy

Alchemy is a versatile subject which can be termed as the early form of chemical technology that used to explore the nature of different materials. It can also be termed as philosophy of universe and of mankind’s status in the system of different things. This branch of study introduced an astounding language with emblematic symbols, which were used to discover the world.  The subject has a well-built philosophical basis, and there are a few alchemists who make use of spiritual matters and religious metaphor in their alchemical ideas. From 16th to 18th century almost 4 thousand books were issued on this subject, which introduced alchemy as a multiplicity of dissimilar viewpoints.

Its origin:

The word alchemy is derived from Arabic word al-kimya, which means chemistry in English. It is often called spagyric art, a Greek word that means “to divide” and to join again. In the medieval era the subject took a new dimension following the need of the people of that era who preferred the philosopher’s stone more than transforming different metal in to gold or so on. They who deal in alchemy had a belief that the philosophers stone will turn into a vital tool which will help a lot in transmuting different metals. The stone also helped a lot to increase their knowledge of alchemy.

 Alchemy today:

Though origin of alchemy was in medieval era, it is still in practice and individual person use it for different purposes. Let’s see the approaches of alchemy in today’s world:

  • There are a few people who believe that alchemy can be used to prepare healing remedies in today’s consequence as well. They still believe that it is easy to get the transmuting philosopher’s stone.
  • A majority of people are interested in alchemy as they take it as a source of esoteric and philosophic ideas. They use the alchemical symbols and ideas as a part of magical system, tarot cards etc.

Other facts:

 In medieval era people generally used make use of alchemy as a chemical process to transform different metals and gold as well. They used to follow different steps to transmute those metals. The steps can be summed up as solidify or melt or can be called coagulate or solute as well. Here are the processes or steps of alchemy in detail:

  • Separation
  • Purification
  • Sublimation
  • Liberation
  • Crystallization
  • Coagulation
  • Magnetization
  • Unification
  • Rotation
  • Amalgamation
  • Finis


Alchemy as a study has enthused many great theorists over the years and still many things are to be found in the different threads of the subject. Alchemy as a subject doesn’t use any particular concept and that is why individual makes use of different thought and symbols to express their view.