The Greek is where the etymological origin of the alchemy definition is found. In concrete we can determine that the word chemia, can be defined like “mixture of liquids”. From the word alchemy, it was established by the Arabs who were the ones who created the term alkymya.
Alchemy is an esoteric belief that is linked to the transmutation of matter. The practices and experiences of alchemy were key to the original development of chemistry, while the alchemists sought the philosopher’s stone to transform any metal into gold.
It is considered as a proto-science or a philosophical discipline that includes notions of chemistry, physics, astrology, metallurgy, spiritualism and art. Alchemy schools were very popular for about 2,500 years, in regions such as Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, China, India, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
The mystery and magic surrounding alchemy and the search for a stone have led to the development of a large number of books that revolve around them. Thus, for example, we find the literary work of Paulo Coelho entitled “The Alchemist.” It is a work where we approach the life of a young Spanish pastor, named Santiago, who leaves his land to live a thousand adventures.
In this way, with this narrative, the famous Brazilian writer, inspires the idea that we must fight to achieve dreams, that destiny acts so that we can make them come true and that sometimes we do not realize everything that we have until we lose it.
In addition, there are other works, literary and cinematographic, that also deal with this. This would be the case of the first film in the literary saga about a young wizard created by J.K. Rowling: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. A production where we are told how the rival of the protagonist, Voldemort, is looking for the mythical stone philosopher to increase its power as it has extraordinary properties.
In spite of its diverse forms and currents, alchemy is very associated at the present time with the search of a process that allows to transform any element in gold and the capacity to obtain the eternal life.
The alchemists believed that the red philosopher’s stone was capable of transmuting ignoble metals into gold, while the white philosopher’s stone could transform the ignoble metals into silver.
The philosopher’s stone also appears linked to the elixir of life, a substance that would cure all diseases and enable eternal life. Despite the lack of this potion, many alchemists, such as Paracelsus, achieved important discoveries in the pharmaceutical industry.
Importantly, in theory, it is not impossible to convert lead into gold but Manly Palmer Hall afirms in one of his talks, that he once met an alchemist that showed him a little crystal bottle were gold was growing.