Transformation: Alchemy and “The Pearl of Great Price”

By Jeri Noble

There are many terms for the “Pearl of Great Price” in Alchemy as well as ways of attaining it. As with many concepts in this ancient art, it tends to work best when approached from the viewpoint of mind over matter.

“The Pearl of Great Price” is supposed to be that magical catalyst for manifestation; that which will “turn lead into gold”. Although shrouded in mystery in medieval times, when the ordinary person was illiterate and uninformed, today the only mystery is how to wrap our brains around this particular concept.

Attainment of this “pearl” requires tremendous purification of the soul, an ability to allow the putrification of old energies and the patience to allow the transmutation of the Self. These are 3 of the defined steps to attainment of this miracle:




It all seems very esoteric doesn’t it? There are modern day concepts, rituals and practices which easily translate to the same procedures, although I would never presume to imply that the activity is easy.

In today’s terminology, what is this Pearl? Simplistically speaking, it is that part of our heart, our psyche, which is imbued with the essence of the Divine. Knowing what it is however, is not quite enough to effect manifestation. Many spiritually inclined people have plugged into this and still live lives of poverty and despair.

To allow that putrification that the ancients spoke of, means to accept and forgive our guilts, resentments and negative judgements of ourselves and others. We have to be willing to experience these things (our dark side) and fully embrace them as part of the Divine Essence. This is amazingly difficult even for a tolerant person because we aren’t playing at being “bad” or “nasty” like a small child, but instead are honestly trying to understand how all of the parts can add up to a Divine whole.

The Transmutation is an automatic process which occurs when the putrification has gone it’s course. All the ugliness has been consciously absorbed and absolved, creating a purity of being which is clear and honest. Then it’s just a matter of time and often, repetition. Purification and putrification until the transmutation takes place. When it does occur, the individual becomes fully aware of their connectedness to the Divine and is then capable of beginning to accept the gift. The acceptance is a whole process unto itself.

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