Alchemy was a philosophical tradition whose goals were the creation of the philosopher's stone; the ability to transmute base metals into the noble metals (gold or silver); and development of an elixir of life, which would confer youth and longevity.
Mme. Blavatsky stated:
The transmutation spoken of by the real alchemists was the alteration of the base alloy in man's nature. At the same time, actual transmutation of lead into gold is possible. And many followers of the alchemists, as well as of the pure-souled Jacob Boehme, eagerly sought to accomplish the material transmuting, being led away by the glitter of wealth. . . . The stories told of various men who are said to have produced gold from base metals for different kings in Europe are wrong explanations.
- Alchemy in the Nineteenth Century by H.P. Blavatsky
- The Science of Life by H. P. Blavatsky
- Where Alchemy and Science Meet by Boris de Zirkoff
- Best Books about Alchemy by Katinka Hesselink
- Homuncli, Golems, and Artificial Life by Gary Lachman
- Alchemy or the Hermetic Philosophy by Alexander Wilder
- Alchemy and the Alchemists at WisdomWorld.org
- Alchemy at Katinkahesselink.net
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 117.