Psychedelic Press UK

The following essay has been written by Kevin Murray and is published here with his kind permission. Please find his contact details at the bottom of this page.

Through a paradigm of sympathetic magic, ancient alchemists sought to animate statues, turn lead to gold, and perfect their own existence. They sought the living transformation of their own souls in sympathy with the transmutation of base elements, but originally, their quarry was the Elixir of Immortality. They hunted for it on the earth; in the myriad of abundant plant forms. The original alchemist was the shaman: “he who ‘sees’, because he is endowed with supernatural vision” (Eliade, Forge 19). “His capacity as a visionary, as well as his ‘science’, comes to him, at least in part, from a mystic solidarity with heaven” (Eliade, Forge, 20), and his first inspiration came through the medium of the Earth-mother, the way of plants. While…

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