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On Becoming an Alchemi...
 
by
Catherine MacCoun
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On Becoming an Alchemist: A Guide for the Modern Magician

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews

Many
regard alchemy as a metaphor for inner transformation. But this is only half
the story. According to Catherine MacCoun, alchemy is no mere metaphor. It’s
real magic. Transforming the inner world is, for the alchemist, a way to
transform the outer world. Through studying the principles of
alchemy, we can achieve extraordinary effects from ordinary actions by
understanding ho

...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published July 29th 2011 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. (first published February 12th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Purnacandra Sivarupa
This is a good book. Scratch that. This is a REALLY good book. It just barely misses greatness.

That's not to say that it isn't worth reading. In fact, buy it and read it right now.

Having said that Inner Traditions of Magic is a college textbook in the application of metaphysics in the construction of magical rituals, I can contextualize my thoughts on On Becoming an Alchemist by saying that it serves as an excellent associate's level textbook. There's no such thing as a primary school text on ma
...more
Natalie
Dec 31, 2008 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a great book for anyone going through any kind of internal transformation..I loved the way she addresses the challenges as well as the opportunities (too often spiritual books leave me feeling there is something wrong with having challenges on the path). she is frank, engaging and an entertaining writer...
Stephanie
Feb 07, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally, a great guide to practical alchemy. You can't go wrong starting here or ending up here. All the obtuse alchemical literature I read before finding this book is refined by Maccoun so I'm able to grasp both the larger picture of generating a great Work and its details.
Sophie
One of the best books on the subject of Alchemy. Yes, yes, there are many books out there, but lets admit it, they are all so dry and convoluted. So hard to read. And yes, I know why, but still... I love Catherine's writing. She is like a friend you want to have. Well, at least, I want to have. She is empathetic, funny, warm, cynical, smart, human and really knows what she is writing about. Its been a year and a half since I read the book and I went back and re-read parts of it at least 10 times ...more
Ross Tierney
Jan 17, 2016 Ross Tierney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure what I expected out of my first book on alchemy, but this was probably a good place to start. It's both dissatisfying in its lack of concrete, grandiose alchemical experiments to conduct immediately, but also elucidating in illustrating the core concepts of alchemy in general. I find myself thinking about some of these subjects (subtle perception, transmutation, astral projections) when my deeply rational mind doesn't quite have the tools to understand them fully. This, I suppose, i ...more
Stacy
Jul 23, 2014 Stacy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent read, written from the perspective from personal experiences of the author. It is also written in an approachable manner ie-she uses many day to day examples and allegories when talking about the alchemical processes. I would recommend this not only to those curious about spiritual alchemy, but those as well who are into esoteric and hermetic studies generally, in the sense of spiritual unfoldment, progression on ones path ect, this book would complement things to that natu ...more
Dearwassily
Would perhaps give 3.5 stars--fascinating read, coming from not knowing anything about alchemy. Sort of "convenient" that there are parts of the practice you have to be able think about without thinking about and certain things that can't be spoken about, but there were still helpful/intriguing points to consider.
Lorena
Jan 19, 2015 Lorena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wrote notes and I put some of the exercises given into practice. It is an engaging and practical book for someone interested in the subject. There were some things that I definitely disagree with the author with regarding her philosophy and view of society. However it is a book with many sections I wouldn't mind reading over and over again.
Juanita Baltz
Nov 24, 2011 Juanita Baltz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of information about alchemy and alchemists all seemed fanciful and frankly impossible. This book I have read multiple times and made notes that are helpful but I know I have not reached the complete essence. Do not expect to turn lead to gold but to expect to take many things and make them better for you and those around you. Dare to try it.
Maxime Lessard
Mar 20, 2016 Maxime Lessard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite writing-style as it sometimes felt borderline-condescending, but worth reading until the last pages. It does contains a lot of wisdom.
Sarah
Mar 26, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've now read this 5 times and each time I pick up something new. I love it, and would highly recommend it.
Patrick
May 23, 2016 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book about inner transformation,will keep me company until I leave this planet,if anyone has suggestions for inner work has good as this one please let me know !
Amy Herring
Oct 13, 2013 Amy Herring rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is written SO well and clearly. Her analogies are perfect to drive home her point. Its not in any way preachy and its totally accessibly. Loved it.
Abigail
Jan 07, 2011 Abigail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith, philosophy
Throughly enjoyed reading On Becoming An Alchemist, and one of the few books I actually go back and flip through. Each time I do, I catch something I missed before.
Angela
Oct 22, 2016 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deliberately written to bore those with short attention spans. She is like my other beloved, Bourdieu, in this.

One of my favorite books ever.
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Jim
Mar 22, 2009 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick "how to" guide; what could be better?!
Sameeha Anwar
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