On Becoming An Alchemist by Catherine MacCoun

I am greatly interested in alchemy. I enjoy the thought that science and spiritualism are not so far removed. In fact, it’s the closest thing to a belief system I have. I feel, additionally, that one can control most of the conditions of their fate with the mind. I suppose I was a good choice to review On Becoming an Alchemist: A Guide for the Modern Magician.

However, this was a particularly difficult book for me to read and review. Though written in a conversational tone, the book’s concepts were muddled. There was some form of dropping the ball, where ideas piqued my interest, but waned quickly once the author began her explanation. I appreciated the scientific edge to the theories and felt the book a fairly easy read. The exercises were fine (if a bit simplistic). I just kept feeling a sense of deficiency. Perhaps this is, in effect, the whole of the author’s point. Perhaps that we are to search for and find our own Philosopher’s Stone, that she can’t send us there, that she’s just a guide.

By the end, I’d put the book down several times over several days, giving my mind time to blend. It didn’t help. I still felt the book lacking.

© 2007-2009

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