Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “On Becoming an Alchemist: A Guide for the Modern Magician” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
On Becoming an Alchemi...
Catherine MacCoun
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

On Becoming an Alchemist: A Guide for the Modern Magician

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews

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

ebook, 0 pages
Published July 29th 2011 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. (first published February 12th 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about On Becoming an Alchemist, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about On Becoming an Alchemist

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
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...
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gray rated it really liked it
Feb 06, 2016
Rk rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2013
David Loiseaux
David Loiseaux rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2015
Nancy rated it really liked it
Apr 07, 2012
Lisa Sophia
Lisa Sophia rated it liked it
Oct 27, 2016
Claire rated it really liked it
Oct 09, 2014
Mar 22, 2009 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick "how to" guide; what could be better?!
Sameeha Anwar
Sameeha Anwar rated it really liked it
Nov 09, 2016
Vaultknowledge rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2014
Donald E
Donald E rated it it was amazing
Sep 10, 2014
Shannon rated it it was amazing
Nov 25, 2015
Ali rated it did not like it
Apr 26, 2015
Monica rated it really liked it
Mar 23, 2015
Shelly rated it it was ok
May 16, 2015
Erica M. Frey
Erica M. Frey rated it liked it
Nov 15, 2009
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing and the World of Natural Magic
  • The Taoist I Ching
  • The Key to the True Kabbalah
  • Astrology of the Seers
  • The Unfolding Now: Realizing Your True Nature through the Practice of Presence
  • The Sorcerer's Secrets: Strategies in Practical Magick
  • Grimorium Verum
  • The Essence of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its Philosophy and Practice
  • The Essential Koran
  • The Shaman's Body: A New Shamanism for Transforming Health, Relationships, and the Community
  • Ascension Magick: Ritual, Myth & Healing for the New Aeon
  • The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Dogs: Dog Breeds & Dog Care
  • The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: An Uncommon Guide to Healing, Insight, and Love
  • Liber Kaos
  • The Power of Your Spirit: A Guide to Joyful Living
  • Enochian Magic for Beginners: The Original System of Angel Magic the Original System of Angel Magic
  • The Ever-Present Origin
  • Dick for a Day: What Would You Do If You Had One?

Share This Book