The philosophy of alchemy
Alchemy is different from modern chemistry, because its principles and practices are viewed spiritually and religion is considered as a relevant criterion within it. Alchemy refers to the process of extracting juice, while chemistry has to do with deriving metal from ore. As Lindsay (1970) explains, ‘The transmutative processes comprise the common element, the transformation of a given substance into a higher one.’ Thus, alchemy is the art of transmutation. Alchemists developed a framework of theory, terminology, experimental process and basic laboratory techniques that are still recognizable today. Nevertheless, alchemy differs from modern science in its inclusion of hermetic principles and practices related to mythology, religion and spirituality.