I am making this Instructable not so much as a how-to but more of a guide.
I have received a huge influx of emails and messages asking how to start alchemy and telling me about your endeavors in the art. Some of them were more promising than others and I wish I could respond to every single one of them.
However, as a standing guide for beginners, I want to make this to cut down on the amount of emails asking the same question, so that way I can get to more emails.
Step 1: Books
Reading is essential. Books are one of the most valuable materials to mankind, and thus Alchemy. There are many books that I have read but the main ones I think are important are
Robert Allen Bartlett
-The Way of the Crucible
-The Alchemist's Handbook
These books are the books that inspired the way that I live now. I suggest you read any of these to start.
*Note on The Way of the Crucible, it's a successor to Real Alchemy and contains more advanced teachings and concepts. Out of the two I would start with Real Alchemy.
Step 2: Schools
There are in fact schools specifically made for alchemical practices.
There are many teachers that have studied and practiced alchemy for years, including Robert Allen Bartlett himself, that will teach you to live the alchemical life. I suggest you check it out.
Step 3: FAQs
Now here are some FAQs that I get A LOT.
Q) How do you start in Alchemy?
A) You read this Instructable
Q) Is this anything like Fullmetal Alchemist?
A) Absolutely not. In fact, this question is the most insulting to me. The show is absolutely nothing like real alchemy. No, you cannot animate inanimate objects. No, making "Alchemy Circles" is not how we do our work. No no no no NO! Please never contact me with this question again. Comparing the complex and vast knowledge of Alchemy to a TV show insults me, my art, my intelligence, and the thousands of alchemists who have given up their lives to add to the pool of knowledge.
Not a question but still something I hear a lot) You don't need the spirituality to perform Alchemy.
A) Wrong. That statement is completely and utterly false. Without the spirituality of the Art, you have science. You cannot have true alchemy without spirituality. It simply is not true and that is final.
A) Why do you not update more often?
Q) I don't update often because I don't have much time. I am torn between work, school and other obligations that I can't keep up with this site.
Another reason is that I am fully aware that anyone can access this site. Including minors. So I have a responsibility to provide as much information as I can without making it unsafe for minors. I also have a responsibility to not divulge too much. Many alchemists and my colleagues are frankly angry with me that I even put a tutorial of how to make a Spagyrical Elixir. If I divulge too much, I might even put myself at risk. So I think long and hard about what I put on this site, and think about the unintended dangers I may put my readers in.
Q) I'm X years old and wanna learn achemy.
A) If you're under 21 years old, you shouldn't be attempting alchemy. I myself an under that threshold but I understand all the dangers that are associated with these practices. I'm sorry to say, but if you are less than 16 you should abandon the idea of alchemy for a few years. It's something harsh to say, but you need to truly understand what you are about to enter.
Q) Do you know how to make the Philosopher's Stone?
A) I can neither confirm nor deny knowledge of the Philosopher's Stone
Q) So is the Philosopher's Stone the end goal of Alchemy?
A) No. The end goal of Alchemy is to evolve yourself and evolve nature.
Step 4: In Conclusion
I hope that this has answered many questions and concerns about alchemy. I understand that this won't necessarily help the problem, but I hope it makes an impact.