Originally, alchemy was fundamentally spiritual. Transmutation of lead into gold is presented as an analogy for personal transmutation, purification, and perfection. Early alchemists, highlight the spiritual nature of the alchemical quest, symbolic of a religious regeneration of the human soul. They used to believed that the world was composed of a handful of elements that generated the world by moving according to their own natures, animated by the great Source from which all life sprung. This concept of elements was adopted by naturists and elemental mages in their spellcraft fields. Alchemy also differed based on the region. Some focused on channels of energy transmission, others on medicine to preserve health and hopefully create an undecaying body. Occidental alchemists generally divided the elements into fire, water, wind, earth, and quintessence (star-matter). Umah alchemists had a different worldview and saw fire, water, earth, wood, and metal.Due to the suppression of alternative religious philosophy in Ecclesiam's heyday, many alchemical books are intentionally difficult to read and understand. Alchemists published books but typically encoded the philosophies in complicated allegories or secret codes known only to their friends. Many alchemical books focused on transmutation or changing metals into other metals based on the idea that it mimicked a natural process.Metals were separated into noble and base metals which represented celestial bodies. Agents for transmutation were divided into particulars and universals like the philosophers stone. Even the body (of humanoids) was considered an alchemical workshop with organs doing the transmutation. Early alchemy's search for gold leads to fine-tuning of metallurgy into its modern understanding. The search for changing matter eventually diverged into the development of useful things alcohol, alloys, pigments, perfumes, cleaning products and later, chemistry. For a few centuries, alchemy was publicly attacked as superstition, causing it to go underground and maintained only in secret societies. Afterward, alchemy focused on activating the magic energy within everyday objects to give them new properties or putting together magical reagents for specific outcomes.
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