Alchemy Symbolism Discussion Group

A number of people who have taken my Study course on Alchemical Symbolism have expressed the wish that I might create a discussion group on this subject. You can now join this for free by going to and registering as a member. Non-members will be able to see the postings but only members will be able to post messages or questions. This will be strongly moderated to keep the discussions tightly focussed on alchemical symbolism.

I see this group primarily as a way of continuing to explore the perspective I have taken in my Study course on Alchemical Symbolism, allowing me to occasionally post out images and provide a commentary, rather than me spending six months writing up a new structured study course.

The group began on the 3rd of January 2016. In the first month there have been 1,983 visitors, 6,129 visits to the site, 16,761 page views and 67 posts. This should grow into a substantial resource on alchemy symbolism seen from an exact and academic standpoint.

You can see the postings through this page

The alchemy discussion forum.

In February 2008 I set up the alchemy discussion forum to replace the alchemy academy email discussion group which I had to close because of the problems of moderation and the descent of the group into chaos.
I decided to abandon using an email system but instead adopt the more complex software of a web based bulletin board structure. This uses threads and categories, which allowed a more focused approach. It incorporates email notification of new posts in a thread a user wishes to watch, a search engine, and also allows direct posting of images into postings.
It also allowed me to only open the discussions to people adopting a scholarly approach, whilst allowing the general public to read all the contributions. Members of the group have to use their own name rather than some pseudonym, and this has had the effect of making people responsible for that they say. The problem with many discussion groups are the few disruptive, difficult people who hide behind pseudonyms and feel they can say whatever they wish, and they ultimately drive sensible people away and take over the group. The alchemy discussion forum is designed to be a safe place for serious discussion.
Although it has not developed a large band of subscribers, the quality of the discussions is unparalleled. It has been the most successful of all the discussion groups I have founded. Over the six years to date there have been 613,285 visitors, 1,273,485 visits to the site, 5,034,357 page visits, and 3,068 postings.

You can read through the massive archive of discussions on all facets of alchemy at this page

and if you are of a scholarly nature you can apply to join by contacting

Older discussion forums using email that I organised, which have now been closed.

The alchemy academy.
This was an e-mail discussion forum dedicated to the scholarly and academic study of alchemy, strongly moderated by Adam McLean. This discussion group, which closed in 2007, was based on an exploration of the original texts and imagery of alchemy, and approached this with a scholarly rigour. The academy ran for eight years and was a major vehicle for people to discuss alchemy in a scholarly way on the internet. Many of the participants were major scholars and researchers into alchemy.
People should read the archives and consult the policy statement in order to see the approach that was taken in this group. Unsubstantiated speculation was not pursued in this academic group. This group was only for people who adopted a scholarly approach to the subject. It was strongly moderated and this allowed it to survive and flourish over the eight years of its establishment.
Archive of the academic group.

The practical alchemy group. This was a separate group for the discussion of laboratory alchemy, for people to exchange ideas, techniques and experiences of their work with laboratory alchemy. Primarily for people actively interested in performing alchemical experiments.
Due to lack of interest and the fact that few people wanted to keep to the subject of practical alchemy. This group was closed at the end of April 2000.
Archive of the practical group.

The alchemy discussion group. This discussion group was originally set up as forum for the scholarly discussion of alchemy. Over a period of time it became obvious that many people did not want to work within the constraints of the scholarly approach and wished to speculate and interprete alchemy in a wider context. In April 1999 I decided to set up the alchemy academy for the academic and scholarly discussion of alchemy, and to relax the rules for discussion on the alchemy discussion group to allow a wider and more speculative approach. In July 1999 I ceased to act as moderator and the group rapidly dissolved away.
Click for description of the old scholarly group and its archives.