We’re getting a little esoteric on this week’s episode of The Psychedelic Integration Podcast, aiming to challenge some of the limiting narratives we see around psychedelics and what they actually do for us, as well as to inspire some critical thinking and understanding of what psychedelic integration looks like in practice. So, WTF is spiritual alchemy?
Join us for a conversation tracing the historical origins of alchemy and where this concept comes from, all the way into our modern day thinking where we run into all kinds of myths and misconceptions around the actual methods of transforming darkness into light. What does that actually look like in daily life, and how can psychedelics help awaken us to our own magical powers of creation? We’ll talk about what being a real life spiritual alchemist really looks like, and we’ll give you some guidance on how to turn on the lights in your own psychedelic healing journey.
The Origins and Legacy of Spiritual Alchemy
Alchemy got its start as a way to encode the esoteric science of transforming oneself into a higher being into allowable religious contexts. Our human soul is the base metal, and our divine soul is the gold. Basically a bunch of pagans, philosophers, and thought leaders decided to create secret societies and underground mystery schools to share their understanding of the connection between Source and mankind and avoid getting burned at the stake and otherwise murdered. They even got royalty to invest in their endeavors, because of course the kingdoms thought turning base metals into gold would make them materially rich. Clever, right?
We’re still unpacking everything that was lost from these dark times when this kind of growth and spiritual evolution had to be hidden because of organized religion and government oppression. (Sounds kind of parallel to the modern day journey of the psychedelic explorer, no?)
In a spiritual context, we hear about this concept all the time – shadow work, lightworkers, energy work, transforming dark into light, taking pain and turning it into joy, creating something out of nothing, erasing trauma and replacing it with bliss. We have been taught in spiritual communities that we can overcome our suffering and pain by manipulating the problem, studying it, sitting in it, analyzing it, and twisting it around and that somehow that will magically make it go away, or never have happened. We think that we can take a journey with entheogenic medicines and miraculously everything will be better.
This isn’t an accurate understanding of the true healing and transformational process of psychedelics or spiritual alchemy, and in fact can lead to spiritual bypassing, narcissism, and delusional thinking. The Western mindset of solving problems by leaning into them more and more and more, and thinking that singularly focusing on the pain points will somehow solve the problem, is actually creating MORE pain, more darkness, and more of what we don’t want. While the transformation and alchemical shift is possible and real, how we do this isn’t by putting all our attention on our pain, suffering, and problems.
How Do We Transform Darkness? Turn on the Lights.
Doing the work of rewiring our neural pathways away from negative ruts toward peace, positivity, and happiness is an ongoing psychedelic integration practice that takes time and effort. Energy work, shadow work, and light work are not necessarily epic battles of good vs. evil, but lots of small, daily choices about where to put our attention, what thoughts to engage with, and how we spend our time.
Daily Opportunities for Spiritual Alchemy
- Fill your time up with responsibilities, activities, hobbies, etc. to keep the mind and hands busy
- Volunteer in your own community or in an intentional community
- Be in the present moment, use your senses to connect with your surroundings
- Put your energy into something besides your problems
- Care for an animal
- Focus your attention on the positive forces in your life, WHATEVER that is
- Live with intention
- Grow a garden and cultivate caretaking, love, and nurturing
- Bring awareness to complaining and replace with gratitude and appreciation
Psychedelics open the door to our own psychic power. It’s like discovering that in fact, you are an alchemist and have always been an alchemist, that you have magical powers of spiritual alchemy, and that you can control what happens in your life using intention and attention. Join us on the podcast for a deep dive on how to be the light bearer of your own spiritual awakening!
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