Poetry, Practices for Cultivating Love

“The Philosopher’s Stone”: a Poem

This is a poem I wrote several years ago during a period of healing transformation in my life. Although this is a poem about  my life, I  think it is actually a poem about all of our lives:

“The Philosopher’s Stone”

Long after the Ancient Chemist

Set aside his trade,

I found the Philosopher’s Stone

Deep inside of me.

It was a word

That became a Thought

That became a WORLD.

And all the dark, leaden, dying

Turns to shining silver and gold.

O Aqua Benedictus,

O Amor Animi,

I will practice your art,

You beautiful Alchemy.

 ~By Shelly Johnson, 2014

Questions for Reflection: 

1. Ancient alchemists sought for the philosopher’s stone, which many of them believed would turn ordinary metals into gold. I believe the philosopher’s stone is inside all of us. You could say it is a word or a thought or an image. Or you might call it something else. What is it inside of us that could turn all that is dead and decaying in us into gold?

2. When we discover this philosopher’s stone inside of us, what does it mean to practice alchemy? What affect would it have on the world around us?

3. What does it mean to be an alchemist? What is the art of an alchemist?


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