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