The following article has been written in an attempt to provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the theory surrounding the obscure pseudo-science known as Alchemy and the modern applications of this ancient art since its marriage with the practice of Hypnotherapy in a single system called Alchemical Hypnosis. It shall be noted that the theories and perceptions presented are subjective and personal to me, the author. I ask that you employ a gnostic discernment within whilst reading, and only entertain those ideas with which you resonate. Please enjoy.  

Let us start with a brief description of the ancient, yet recently refined, art of Hypnosis. With roots traced as far back as ancient Egypt, Greece, and beyond, humans have been using hypnosis to reach altered states of consciousness for many millennia. Back then, and even in contemporary times, hypnosis was used as a method of entertainment, something of a primitive side-show act; and for other reasons like transcending time and space to speak with the 'gods'.  Hypnotherapists are trained to help their clients fall in to a deep state of relaxation beginning with a skilled hypnotic induction which is used to bypass the rational, logical, often hyper-critical conscious mind using particular relaxation methods, language, and visualizations. Alchemical Hypnotherapists utilize techniques from many modern schools of Transpersonal Hypnotherapy and Psychology including Gestalt, Regression Therapy, and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) to help their clients achieve, maintain, and navigate a comfortable trance state.

It has been stated that a trance state requires two things: focus and absorption, so it can easily be said that a long car ride can be entrancing and a restful watch of the television produces and even requires a light state of trance to enjoy. Interestingly enough, and something that will be explained later, is the level of suggestibility the mind reaches when in this state. The subtle flicker of the television mixed with its enchanting programming literally captivates its watcher, leaving them open to the product purchase suggestions provided by advertisements. We automatically begin to believe that we need this ultra-soft roll of toilet paper because our minds are vulnerable to the very suggestion. Ideas become beliefs and beliefs become actions and perceptions. 

When the conscious mind has been attenuated through a relaxing hypnotic induction such as the flicker of the t.v., the endless droning of the car tires upon the highway, or the hypnotherapists calm, comforting voice, a new part of our psychology known as the subconscious mind begins to surface. This part of our psyche represents the mysterious home of our belief systems where all traces of our ancient to recent personal past has been indelibly recorded. When this enigmatic aspect of our cognitive composition comes to the forefront, the real work of hypnotherapy can begin.  

The Subconscious Mind is a term of convenience which refers to a metaphysical structure of perception which finds its physical home in the Limbic Cortex of the brain. The subconscious is the seat of the primal, symbolic, childlike mind. As mentioned above, it houses the belief systems which can either limit or empower us, but do heavily filter and mediate the way we perceive reality. Quantum Physics suggests that the single individual or 'observer' basically creates his external reality first internally with the help of the subconscious mind; for he cannot see what he does not first believe. According to this theory, the process occurs in imperceptible fractions of a second and takes advantage of a 'lag' in perception, so from our vantage point reality comes from the outside first, instead of the converse. (read more here) The subconscious and its faculties serve as limiters and governors of his perception to defend against any new ideas that would serve to threaten his paradigm. New ideas are introduced slowly and carefully so as not to short-circuit the delicate physiology of the brain and constructs of the psyche.

Consider the image of the iceberg, with a large bulk of the structure existing beneath the surface and a smaller above. The underwhelmed area of this picture above the surface can be compared to the conscious or verifiable aspects of our psyche: the ego, memory recall, intellect, aspects of our personality, moral compass, feeling language, etc. The surface of the water is an important part of this image as it is emblematic of the tenuous filters that separate the two very different regions above and below. These filters are made up of all of our concrete beliefs about the world. They mostly refer to our supposed or learned principals of physics, mathematics, sociology, psychology and science, and dictate what we believe to be possible. These filters help to compartmentalize life into safe little boxes which retain our sanity and security and maintain our comfort about the world around us. These filters represent the maze of awareness that hypnotherapists help clients to traverse when employing hypnotic induction. For a deeper understanding of an induction, it would be best to witness or receive one, for they come in many forms. (Session Video) But for the sake of this article, simply put, an induction is a relaxing guided journey which serves to incite a tangible move from the conscious mind - our critically-thinking and questioning mind - into the expansive, powerful, and abundant home of our core beliefs about ourselves - the subconscious mind. It is within this realm where the real change happens. 

When accessed, as mentioned above, our subconscious mind becomes highly suggestible, meaning that it is open to and tends to immediately accept and integrate positive Hypnotic Suggestion - the most powerful tool of the hypnotherapist. This does not mean that everything is instantly absorbed - quite the contrary, in fact. Hypnotherapists must be mindful of the language used as to not suggest anything that the client himself would not want to integrate; for a certain faculty within the client still serves to discern, even in the relaxed state of hypnotic rest. Much like the television watcher; although he perceives the products presented as attractive, he still has the choice whether to purchase or not - the same principal applies in hypnotherapy. With the help of the client's intuitive guidance and these well-placed, masterfully-timed suggestions, we see them act as transformational affirmations, literally refining the skewed belief systems of the client, thus altering the external reality over which they govern.

With these precepts in place, the work of Alchemical Hypnosis can truly begin to change and transmute the emotional lead, the heavy, poisonous, archaic belief systems we carry on a daily basis into golden expressions of one's true, unburdened, authentic nature. 

And here's where Alchemy fits in.

Alchemy is an ancient occult, or hidden, practice that some would argue is older than hypnosis. Its most famous venture, as an early precursor to modern science and chemistry, was to derive through a precise mixing of ingredients, a substance known as the 'Philosopher's Stone' (A magical concoction that was rumored to have the ability to transmute, or transform, base metals into gold and was highly coveted in this ancient subculture). As time progressed and more obscure texts regarding Alchemy began to surface, researchers started to notice that this often lifelong, arduous, seemingly futile search for this mythical potion was something of an allegory. Those revisiting these ancient manuscripts, of whom the famed psychologist Carl Jung was a part, were amazed to see that the true transmutation actually occurred internally, within the hearts and minds of the Alchemists themselves. It was shown that both the 'lead' or 'base metal' they were referring to, as well as the 'gold' it was transformed to were metaphors for the practitioner's emotional spectrum. Lead represented depression, listlessness, anxiety, and fear, while gold was seen as joy, creativity, love, and spiritual buoyancy. 

"...the entire alchemical procedure...could just as well represent the individuation process of a single individual."

                                                                                                                                                                                 - C.G. Jung

This process of internal symbolic alchemy was made possible with the implementation and daily use of powerful inner guides or 'Archetypes', a term coined by the reverent psychologist himself. These Archetypes come in many forms such as the Inner Healer, Warrior, Mate, Mother, Father, Child, etc. Alchemy's processes were found to be very similar to that of ancient shamans, who worked to achieve an altered state of consciousness within which they could communicate with divine beings, elementals, guides, and sacred spirits. This ancient, invaluable methodology has now been synthesized into a comprehensive program which, under the direction of the skilled Alchemical Hypnotherapist, allows clients to perform internal symbolic alchemy as the ancient alchemists once did, and is readily available to those who diligently seek relief from internal imbalance. And with the work of Alchemy, relief was and is still readily achieved. 

In summation, Alchemical Hypnosis was born of two amazing traditions of therapy, one internal, archaic, and extremely individualistic and the other scientifically backed and verified as a legitimate, albeit somewhat misunderstood and under-appreciated form of talk therapy. The marriage of these two great philosophies was conceived and fully developed by world renowned hypnotherapist and teacher David Quigley of Santa Rosa, California, whose foresight allowed two rather complex systems of coordinated introspection to become one, and are proving themselves to be a match made in heaven; truly producing a sum which supersedes its parts. The natural ability for the human mind to be able to relax to a point where an arena of real change can be accessed, combined with the amazing technology of Inner Archetypal engagement is a revelation in terms of therapeutic efficacy. Utilizing a safe, light state of trance and the interactive process between therapist and client generated therefrom, clients are empowered to change the aspects of their life with which they are displeased. During session, Alchemical Hypnosis practitioners or Alchemists support, encourage, and educate their esteemed clientele, whom, because of their training in Archetypal communication actually become Alchemists themselves! The wonderful techniques of hypnotic suggestion, exciting inner journeys, and the ancient shamanic method of entranced spirit communication during interactive process are employed to assist the client in accomplishing these feats. 

Alchemy is designed to identify and clear the underlying causes of physical, mental, and spiritual disturbance within the subconscious mind, convert or remove negative core beliefs, and shed the emotional baggage that weighs us down. Ultimately, a practicing Alchemist will achieve a deep connection with their Higher Self and find themselves fully aligned once more with their authentic nature - a journey the ancient Alchemists aptly named "The Great Work". Mr. Quigley's practical and proactive system aligns clientele with Inner Archetypes just as the progenitors of the practice did long ago. Guides discovered in-session are then used on a daily basis as a source of support, intuition, and strength to bolster the client's courage and integrity as they proceed to live the life they've always desired. Alchemy sessions serve to help clients alter their life from the inside out with amazing efficiency; often experiencing nothing short of a miracle in a matter of hours. Upon conclusion of the session, the client's new Inner Guides recruited during the process leave with them to see the external changes through to completion as clients are trained to communicate with them in real time whenever they wish. Alchemy is a truly wonderful work and a system which has the potential to revolutionize the way therapy is received, conducted, and utilized. I am truly proud to call myself an Alchemical Hypnotherapist. 

Seek out an Alchemist to begin your journey out of the depths of leaden depression, anxiety, and fear and into your bright future of golden empowerment, abundance, and truth. Take your first steps upon THE GOLDEN ROAD today to become a powerful Alchemist and learn to wield this ancient technology for yourself!

©2016 Zane Ellis Wheeler, CCHt

Addiction Recovery with the Alchemical Method

Four years ago my life was very different. I was in a world of malady, physical and spiritual. The addiction from which I suffered produced a pain so severe that any hope of focusing and retrieving some semblance of a life of sobriety was completely unforeseen. I needed help, and I needed it quickly. 

My fall from grace brought me to an abysmal state, a haphazard nightmare where all that I had cared for was strewn about recklessly. After years of partying and living an aimless, unfulfilling existence, I turned to hard drugs to quell my deep urges to fill the void of my unresolved emotional turmoil within; a hole which was a remnant of my tumultuous childhood. I soon reached a place where I was living way beyond my means and had to resort to criminal behavior to continue living viably, a fact for which I had always been regretful. My impetuous nature further propelled my life into ruins and I had at last reached my bottom; the proverbial state where the entire string of bad choices, which had propelled the addict to this point of despair, is played before him in something of a cruel tragic comedy. But, miraculously, after a much needed turn of fate, I found hope in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Upon entering the program of A.A., I was pleased to find that others like me not only existed elsewhere in the world but also wanted to convene in an attempt to help each other. I was surprised by the paradoxical nature of the situation; never before had I believed that a ravenous, wanton addict would actually desire the opportunity to help another human being. But, as my understanding of the principals of A.A. expanded, I began to see very clearly that being of service to others is an imperative tenet of successfully living a life of sobriety within the program. Through my own practice of this principal, it soon became demonstrable that service does lead to an understanding of self, and consequently an internal sense of joy is fostered. A.A. showed me how to live a life of sobriety that was happy, joyous, and free, and in this freedom I was allowed to explore what I really wanted from life. Having completed the Steps, I used the principals of the program to cultivate a more thorough understanding of my self, and I decided that it was time to find a career that would be truly fulfilling. My pursuit led me to the art of Alchemical Hypnotherapy.  

After months of study and practice, my certification as a hypnotherapist was achieved and I was tasked with the duty of searching out my own niche of self-expression upon which I could create my unique professional practice. Given my background, I naturally gravitated toward the opportunity to be of service to other recovering addicts in whichever capacity I was able. I have and will always hold a profound love for the programs of A.A. and N.A., and it was because of this love that I wanted to help those who are newly entering a life of recovery. As I refined the specialties of my burgeoning practice, my mission became clear: I was to be of service in a way that I had never thought possible – by applying the Alchemical method.

As a student of psychology, I had heard for some time that the late, reverent psychologist C.G. Jung and Bill W., the creator of A.A., had been friends. I had also been informed that the two had actually collaborated on some of the original concepts which later became the Twelve Steps; a notion that I found very intriguing. This bit of information struck me as rather serendipitous given the fact that I was considering merging the principals of Alchemy with those of the Twelve Steps, a marriage that would soon prove to be very momentous. As I continued to learn and absorb the innumerable brilliant techniques that comprised the Alchemical methodology, I couldn’t help but stumble upon some that seemed to speak to my recovering addict within.

Of all the issues that could propel the addict into their addiction and then seems to precipitate the cycle of destruction, often causing relapse and extended usage, the wounded Inner Child seemed to be the most prevalent. I found that working on my own issues centered around abandonment and ineffectual parenting in my childhood quickly filled the hole that lay within my heart, the hole that I was attempting to fill with drugs. As soon as my Child was nurtured, the need for any external validation melted away. My heart was filled with love. A love for my Child which naturally blossomed into a true, unadulterated love for myself as a whole, and to a larger extent, the world around me, developed quickly and effortlessly. This, it seemed, was a great place to start for the modern addict, with whom I was very excited to work.

Thinking back on my time in the thick of the program, I began to remember certain steps that were hard to conceptualize upon first glance. For example, as a baptized and confirmed Lutheran who could have been considered nothing more than defector from the church, I entered the program with a skewed sense of a Higher Power, to say the least. I quickly learned, as most do, that the cultivation of a relationship with this enigmatic Higher Power was paramount to a recovering addict’s success in the program. Therefore, Alchemical Hypnotherapy, being a system self-exploration through which the seeker can develop a relationship with all manner of Inner Guides, seemed to be the perfect remedy for this dilemma.

The first protocol I augmented and applied to the recovery community was a journey to meet the addict’s inner conception of their personal Higher Power. My guided hypnotic journey uses silent process in a group setting to lead seekers down to the land of their Higher Power, and was first used in a Sober Living Environment shortly after I was certified. I was able to successfully induce and lead eleven recovering addicts and alcoholics down to their inner world wherein the divine image of their Higher Powers manifested. As the eager, newly clean and sober members of the program sat before me entranced, I helped them ascertain certain personal truths regarding their present life. Their Higher Powers were prompted to help them understand more clearly everything from their optimal nutrition and exercise plans, to relationships and meditative practices that would best suit them currently. All within a mild, fully conscious hypnotic trance and in the presence of this thoroughly divine figure, about whom they had previously been confused. It was truly a magical experience whose value for the recovery community was clearly evident.

As the residents shared their stories of the information bestowed, the gifts received, and the sensations felt in the presence of their revenant, divine guides, I couldn’t help but be filled with a sense of inspiration. This new discovery would no doubt lead to a fuller understanding of just what it would take to supplement the Twelve Steps with the magic of Alchemy. As I left that evening, the ideas began to flow. Apart from there being a definite need for the rescue of their Inner Child, an addict might find Etheric Plane Communication or EPC very beneficial. EPC is an Alchemical technique which can be utilized during a light, comfortable trance and is used to establish a safe and intimate dialogue between the client and anyone in their life with whom they need to complete communication. Within the context of addiction recovery, EPC would be extremely useful for making amends; particularly to those who have passed on or are too dangerous or removed from the addict’s life to visit in person. EPC could become a tool of great communication and release for the addict struggling with the crippling guilt of a long and arduous addiction. The possibilities began to seem endless.

In summation, the underlying ideologies of Alchemical Hypnotherapy and the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are very much aligned. Truth, resurrection of purity, and karmic atonement and fortitude seem to be the themes which unite the two great tools of self-betterment. It is only natural that they be combined to a degree that is advantageous for both. My mission to help those with whom I have shared a similar past and my methods in doing so are constantly being refined. As I develop these adapted protocols I become more and more excited about the possibilities they can produce in the lives of those who seek a deeper dimension of recovery. It is my time to give back, for Alchemy has opened a completely new world of self-love, acceptance, and empowerment in my life; a fact for which I am eternally grateful.

©2015 Zane Ellis Wheeler, CHt

All Rights Reserved; California Guild of Alchemists 2016